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FAMINES IN THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT:
BENGAL 1770, FROM THE DUTCH PRESS

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Leydse Courant, 5 Apr 1771
[much text lost in spine of tightly-bound volume of newspapers]:
"HOUGLY in BENGALEN den 7 September [1770]. Zedert de maand Mart hebben Wy alhier niets anders dan een Aan-eenschakeling van Droefheeden en Ongelukken gehad. De overgroote Hette en Droogte van het Voor- ___was oorzaak, dat het Land zyne Vrugtbaarheid kwyt raakte; ___ier en daar zynde Putten en Vyvers droogden gantsch en al uit, ___dar veele Menschen van Dorst versmagtende omkwamen: ___ vonden zig meest alle de Inwoonders genoodzaakt om na de ___rden van de Rivier de Ganges te wyken, ten einde aldaar eenige ___kwikking te vinden; doch het gefolg hiervan was, dat er bin- ___ zeer korten tyd een weezentlyke Hongersnood ontstond, en ___in de Bovenlanden: Hier door week de behoeftige Gemeente ___e Stranden, in hoope van by de Europeaanen eenige Onder- ___ing te zullen kuunen krygen; maar dewyl in de nabaurige ___ken even zoo weinig als hier een genoegzaame Voorraad van ___men of ander Voedsel by de hand was, moesten er duizenden ___ Honger sterven: Het getal dezer Ongelukkigen was in dit ons ___, om van andere Plaatsen niet te spreeken, zoo groot, dat men ___aauwer nood in staat was, om hetzelve van de doode Ligchaa- ___ en half verrotte Lyken te zuiveren.
___ deze zoo akelige Omstandigheid waren de Levenden niet in ___om behoorlyk te beletten, dat de Uitgehongerden zig niet met ___ Bestorvenen zogten te geneeren: Dus wierd de Elende hoe ___er hoe grooter, ja onbeschryflyk te meer dewyl de Goddelyke ___oede zig nog verder uitstrekte door de woedende Kinder- ___es, die als een Pest begonnen te heerschen, zoo dat die Ziekte ___ de rampzalige en in allen opzigte deerniswaardige Schepsels ___nze Colonie wierd overgebragt: derhalven floeg dezelve wel ___ over tot de Europeaanen in diervoege, dat er genoegzaam ___ Huisgezin overbleef, daar de Woede van die Ziekte geene ___stappen agterliet: Ook is het deze Ramp, dewelke op don 6 ___ onzen altoos waarden en zeer geagten Directeur, FAURE, ___ het Leven rukte, na dat nog geen zes Weeken te vooren ook ___ Huis-Vrouw gestorven was.
___ier by kwam nog, dat eene besmettende Ziekte, die onder de ___nders eerst begin nam, en hen in weinig Oogenblikken het Le- ___deed eindigen, zig binnen onze Colonie ook openbaarde, waar ___r dan de Huizen der Europeërs in groot gevaar raakten van ___st al te zullen uitsterven; doch de genoo mene Voorzorg, om ___dit gedugte Kwaad, ware het mooglyk, den verderen Doorgang ___erhinderen, is van een gewenschten Uitslag geweest, want het- ___e wierd in zoo verre gestuit, dat men binnen drie Weeken geen ___ken daar van meer bespeurde.
___it deze bovenstaande Schers van Rampspoeden kan een ieder ___oegzaam zig een denkbeeld vormen van de Droesheid, die in ___e Colonie hee seht, daar byna alles in Rouw en Getreur is.
___.S. By het afzenden van dezen heeft men hoope, dat wy hier langzaamer hand wederom eenige Verligting van Smert krygen zullen, want de Levensmiddelen worden iets beter koop, hoewel nog op verre na niet tot den voorigen Prys."
Amsterdamse courant, 13 Apr 1771
"AMSTERDAM den 12 April. De Ed. Heeren Bewindhebberen van de O.I. Comp. alhier, hebben met een Brief over Engeland uit Bengalen aangebragt, gedateerd den 29sten Augustus 1770 ... dat in de Maand May overleeden was den Heer Boudewyn Versolewel Faure Directeur te Bengalen ... dat aldaar voor eerst de Kinder-Ziekte als een Pest door het gantsche Land had gewoed, waar door een zeer groot getal Menschen, en onder anderen den bovengem. Directeur, waren weggerukt; en dat ten anderen aldaar een formeele Hongersnood was ontstaan, waar door zeer veele Inwoonderen door gebrek waren vergaan."
Middelburgsche courant, 20 Apr 1771
"By onze voorgaande Couranten van de zwaare Sterfte der Menschen in Indostan, onder Engeland, gemeld hebbende, ziet men regenwoordig dien aangaande de volgende COPIE van een BRIEF van UGLY, in ASIEN, zynde een Nederlandsch Comptoir, Gedagtekend den 7 September 1770.
Van de Maand van Maart af hebben wy alhier niets anders gehad dan op elkan der volgende ongelukken en ellenden. De groote hitte en droogte in het Voorjaar hebben een onvruchtbaarheid veroorzaakt: alle Vyvers en Putten zyn uitgedroogd; en veele Lieden, hunne onlydelyken dorst niet hebbende kunnen lesschen, zyn in dien treurige staat gestorven: andere zyn, om een diergelyk einde to vermyden, verplicht geworden na de Oevers van de Riviere de Ganges te wyken; dog 'er is daar op wel haast een algemeene Hongersnood daar uit gesproten, voornaamlyk in het opperste gedeelte des Lands. Het Volk, door beide die plaagen te gelyk afgemat zynde, keerde toen wederom te rug na de Kusten, in hoop van eenige onderstand in de Europeaansche Stichting te vinden; dog dewyl de onvruchtbaar heid aldaar een zelfde uitwerking had voortgebragt, zoo bezweeken 'er duizende door den Honger: Het aantal dier ongelukkige in deze Plaats, zonder van de andere Stichtingen te spreeken, was zoo gtoot, dat men nauwelkys in staat was de Doode te begraven en het Land van de reeds rottende Lichaamen te zuiveren.- In deze bedrukte omstandigheden behoefd men zig niet te verwonderen, dat de Besmetting, gewoone medegezel der andere plaagen, zig by de hongersnood kwam voegen, en dat de aangesteekene Lucht die gene vernielde, welke nog iets hadden gevonden, waar door zy hun ongelukkig leeven mogten verlengen; en nog te meerder, om dat men niet vermogend was, dat die door den honger verwoed gewordene Menschen de doode Lichaamen niet aanvielen, en 'er het behoud hunner dagen door zochten, alschoon zy geen meerder gelegenheid konden vinden, om dezelve te verkorten.- De pokjes waren de eerste Besmetting, die zig onder de Inboorlingen openbaarde, en die door he in onze Colonien overgebraagt wierd. Hunne uit werkingen waren, evengelyk die der Pest, zoo snel, dat 'er wel schielyk geen Europeaansch Huisgezin gevonden wierd, welke geen slacht offer van den haaren, aan die wreede plaag, konde toeschryven: Onder de Lieden van alle Kunne in Ouderdom, welke daar door weggerukt geworden zyn, kan men nyt genoeg betreuren den Directeur van ons Comptoir, den Heer Faure, een Man doorgaans in eerbied zynde, wegens zyne Gaaven en Gemoeds-gesteldtenis als Verstand; deze overleed den 6. Mey, na dat hy zyne Vrouw 6. Weeken te vooren had verlooren.- Dog of het niet genoeg was ons door een enkele soort van Pest te vernielen, 'er ontdekte zig kort daar na onder de Indiaanen eene nog geduchter soort, welke in weinige oogenblikken die gene, die 'er van aangegreepen wierden, weg rukte: In den beginne verspreidde zy zig in onze Colonien, met een zoodanig geweld, dar men redenen had te vreezen, dat 'er zeer weinig Europeaanen voor bewaard zouden kunnen blyven; echter wierden de Voorbehoedmiddalen, welke te werk gesteld wierden, om den voortgang te steuiten, zoo gelukkig bevonden, dar zy in den tyd van 3. Weeken verdween, zonder het minste voetspoor na te laaten.- Men oordeel volgens, deze getrouwe Schilderyen van den benauwden staat, waar in wy gedompeld waren, en de algemeene droesheid, welke door de herdenking aan die gene, welke onder de eene of andere dier vereende plaagen bezweeken zyn, tot nog toe verleevendigd word.- Dien on verminderd hebben wy tegenwoordig eenigen zweem van hoop, om ons ??lor verzoet te zullen zien: want de pryzen der Leevensmiddele zyn gedaald, dog zy zyn nog zeer ver van Taux waar op zy voor de Hongersnood waren.'
Waar toe ook veel gedaan heeft het niet, op de gewoonen tyd, arriveeret van de Asiatische Schepen, voor de Verafgelegene Landstreeken, met leevensmiddelen beladen: Zynde 'er te Calcotta dagelyks 1000 Menschen gestorven."
Opregte Groninger courant, 3 Sep 1771
"Met de ingekoomene Oostindische Compagnie Schepen heeft men een Brief van Bengalen en van Dekan, gedagteekend den 27 December, ontfangen, waar in gezegt word, dat de groote Hongersnood, die men aldaar in dit Jaar heeft uitgestaan, veele Menschen weggesleept heeft."
's Hertogenbossche courant, 6 Sep 1771
[compare with the Groningen version] ... "Met deze Schepen heeft men een Brief van Decan van den 17 December 1770 waar in bevestigd word, dat de groote hongersnood die men aldaar in dat Jaar heeft uitgestaan, veele Menschen heeft weggesleept."
Oprechte Haerlemsche courant, 2 Nov 1771
"HALLE [Germany; headquarters of the Francke Foundations, an organisation for Protestant missionary work- unfortunately, online scanning of their original documents only seems to have reached 1768 as of January 2018, when I am compiling this page] den 22 October. Uit eenen Brief van den Missionaris [Johann] Kiernander, van den 31 December 1770, uit Bengalen geschreeven, ziet men, dat de buitengewoone Hongersnood aldaar, waarvan verschieden Nieuwspapieren Melding hebben gedaan, volkomen zyne Waarheid heeft gehad. In de eerste helft van dat Jaar zyn veele groote Magazynen met Ryst en andere Leevensmiddelen door Brandstichters aangesteeken, en tot Asch verbrand. Daarenboven hadt het in het geheele Koningryk Bengalen in negen Maanden, en in eenige Provincien nog langer, in 't geheel niet gereegend. Door het een en ander ontstondt zo eene verschriklyke Duurte, dat de Ryst niet alleen tienmaal, maar op sommige Plaatsen was dezelve voor dien Prys nog niet eens te bekomen. Door dien Hongersnood ontstondt eene ongelooflyk zwaare Sterfte. Het getal der Lieden, die in alle de Provincien van het Koningryk Bengalen daaraan gestorven zyn, wordt door sommigen op veertien honderd duizend Menschen gereekend. Het Land is daardoor op veele Plaatsen tot een Woestyn geworden. By deeze bekommerende Omstandigheden erkent de gemelde Missionaris het als eene byzondere Godlyke Weldaad, dat he en zyne gemeente geen Gebrek hadden geleeden. Zelfs was zyne Gemeente nog met 4 Leden vermeerderd. De Missions Kerk voor veele Jaaren begonnen, was ook in dat Jaar van grooten Hongersnood voltooid geworden.
Van de Kust Koromandel wordt integendeel beright, dat het Weer aldaar aangenaam en vruchtbaar was geweest. Men kon aldaar hoop op eenen goeden Oogst hebben. De laatste Brieven van daar, waren van den 12 Maart 1771. Alle de Missionarissen op die Kust waren toen nog in leeven, en hun Missions-Werk hadt gezeegenden voortgang."
Gazette de France, 6 Dec 1771
[Not Dutch, but this seems to be a second version of Kiernander's letter above. Sending multiple copies of letters from Asia to Europe by different routes was standard practice at the time.]
"De Marseille, le 21 Novembre 1771.
Une lettre, du 31 Décembre 1770, écrite de Calcutta, par un Missionnaire, confirme la nouvelle qu'on avoit déjà annoncée des malheurs qu'a fait éprouver la famine dans les Indes Orientales & contient quelques détails sur cet événement affreux. Pendant neuf mois entiers, il n'est point tombé d'eau dans le Bengale ni dans les Provinces voisines. Cette sécheresse présageant au Gouvernement les maux qui marchent à sa suite, on s'est attaché de tous côtés, à faire des amas de grains. Des incendaires, répandus dans les Villes & dans les campagnes, ont mis le feu, à différentes reprises, à tous les magasins publics, pour tirer plus d'avantage des provisions qu'ils avoient rassemblées. Le Peuple de ce climat se nourrit de riz. La rareté de cette denrée l'a portée à un prix si haut, qu'elle se vendoit vingt fois plus cher qu'à l'ordinaire: on ne pouvoit s'en procurer même à prix d'argent. La famine est devenue, par-là, le fléau du riche et du pauvre. Plus de deux millions d'hommes ont peri de faim. Les rues de Calcutta étoient, tous les jours, remplies de corps morts. Ceux qui disputoient à la famine le reste de leurs jours, trouvoient à peine le temps d'enterrer, ou de jetter dans le Gange leurs amis ou leurs parens. Muzadal [sic, presumably for Muxavad / Murshidabad] & d'autres Villes de Bengale ont été changées en un désert affreux. Mais d'autres lettres des Missionnaires de Tranquebar, de Madrass, de Cudeleur & de Tirutschinapalli, de Coromandel, du 12 Mars dernier, marquent que la terre offre par-tout les plus belles espérances."
"The First Protestant Missionary to Bengal" (in "Calcutta Review" vol. VII, Jan-Jun 1847)
[This article about Kiernander's work, correcting misinformation in earlier biographies, includes some additional information about the events of 1770, based on the archive copies of his letters]
p161: "The year 1770 was a peculiarly trying one to the Mission. It was the year of famine, and a season of great sickness. Before the famine and sickness came on, continual fires had destroyed large storehouses full of provision and had rendered thousands houseless. The awful desolation which swept over the land cannot be adequately described. Those who perished are reckoned by millions. While multitudes perished, the Lord watched over his own: Mr. Kiernander in relating the calamity to the society, expresses his thanks to God that not only had he found enough for himself and his people, but that the Lord had given him the means of supplying others. At the close of the year ... the Church was completed and set apart for worship. ... During this year eleven adult heathen were baptised and fourteen papists received. ..."
[Footnote:] "Our curious readers may be interested by a table of the prices of grain during that year, drawn from the unpublished Dutch records at Chinsurah. We call particular attention to the month of August :-
Seers for
one Rupee
1769
Oct.

Nov.

Dec.
1770
Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

Jun.

Jul.

Aug.

Sep.

Oct.
Fine Rice89998744357
Coarse ditto101111½1091116
Kolai121313½131211109754
Beans13131414131211116710
Wheat111212½121110985
Dál1112121111105444

BONUS! John Splinter Stavorinus (trans. S.H. Wilcocke) "Voyages to the East-Indies" (vol. 1, 1798)
[translated from the Dutch Johan Splinter Stavorinus, "Reize van Zeeland over de Kaap de Goede Hoop, naar Batavia, Bantam, Bengalen enz. ..." (1793): the translation is sufficiently accurate that I have not transcribed the Dutch text, except where the English does stray significantly]

pp151-5 [9 Mar 1770, at the Dutch East India Company factory, Chinsurah- "the Company" and "our" here refer to the Dutch company; on 8 March it had been announced that director George Lodewijk Vernet would be leaving Bengal on 15 Mar, to be succeeded by Boudewijn Versewel Faure- referred to in this edition as "F—"]: "... the directors received a letter from Patna which is a large city in the kingdom of Bahar about ninety leagues [Dutch: "mijlen"] distant from Chinsurah, where the Company have a factory, for the opium and saltpetre trade, informing them, that the ravages of famine were there so great, that hundreds of Indians perished daily for want of food, so that our people avoided going out of the lodge, in order not to behold the misery of these wretched inhabitants, who lay dying in crouds, along the streets and highways, merely for want of nourishment. The survivors began even to attempt satisfying their craving hunger, with the flesh of the dead, in order to preserve their own existence. In this instance, the observation, that nature overcomes precept, was forcibly verified; for these poor, superstitious heathens, into whom, from their childhood, an abhorrence of every kind of animal food is instilled, and more especially with respect to human flesh, on account of their belief in the transmigration of souls, now sought to prolong their miserable existence a little while, by devouring the flesh of their fellow-creatures.
The dire effects of famine too were felt in Bengal. At Chinsurah, a woman, taking her two small children in her arms, plunged into the Ganges and drowned herself, not possessing, or being able to procure, any thing to satisfy the raging hunger of her tender offspring. The banks of the river were covered with dying people; some of whom, unable to defend themselves, though still alive, were devoured by the jackals. This happened even in the town of Chinsurah itself, where a poor sick Bengalese, who had laid himself down in the street, without any assistance being offered to him by any body, was attacked in the night by the jackals, and devoured alive; and though he had strength enough to cry out for help, no one would leave his own abode, to deliver the poor wretch, who was found, in the morning, dead, and half-devoured.
The Bengalese will seldom assist each other, unless they happen to be friends, or relations, and then the service that they render, only consists in carrying the sufferer to the water of the Ganges to let him die there, or be carried away by the stream, and resign his breath in its waves; for they all trust, that by this means, they will be purified from most of their sins, and their souls be translated into the body of an happier creature.
This dreadful calamity was occasioned, partly by the failure of the rice-harvest, the preceding year, but it may chiefly be attributed, to the monopoly which the English had made of the rice, which was reaped the season before, and which they now held at so high a price, that the natives, most of whom could earn no more than one, or one and a half, stiver (penny) per day, out of which they had to maintain a wife and children, could not buy, for this trifle of money, the tenth part of the rice they wanted, the consequences of which were, that whole families perished miserably.
The evil was augmented by another scourge, almost equally calamitous, the small-pox, which attacked people of all ages, and brought many to the grave.
This added to the contagion which had already contaminated the air, through the number of half-putrified bodies which lay unburied or unburnt, along the banks of the river; hence the mortality encreased more and more, especially after my having left Bengal [Dutch: "mijn vertrek uit de Ganges"]. The director F— died of the small-pox, in the month of May ensuing, as I was informed, just before my departure from Batavia.
The heat of the weather now likewise augmented, from day to day, so that at noon it equalled, and sometimes surpassed, the warmth of the blood: men and animals could scarcely breathe; and, although the heat was considerably less within doors, than in the open air, it was, nevertheless, scarcely supportable to me, and to every one, who had not been used to it. Water was poured, from time to time, upon the stones of the court-yards round the houses, which afforded a momentary coolness, but it soon vanished before the scorching rays of the sun. The water taken out of the Ganges differed only eight or ten degrees in warmth, from the air in the shade where my thermometer hung; this stood, in the latter end of the month, at 104°, and, when I took the tube in my hand, the mercury fell to 98°; whence it appeared, that the heat of the outward air, surpassed that of the blood, by 6°. ...

[On 15 Mar, it was the turn of the British East India Company at Calcutta to say farewell to director Vernet as he proceeded downstream to the port of Fultah / Falta / (or in Dutch, Voltah)] "We were all sumptuously entertained at dinner, by the English governor, and invited in the evening, to be spectators at a play ... A little before the conclusion of the performance, Mr. F— received a letter from Chinsurah, informing him, that his lady [Dutch text adds "welke hij ziek had achtergelaaten"= "whom he had left behind, sick"] was at the point of death, whereupon that gentleman resolved to return the same night to Chinsurah ... Mrs. F— [in Dutch, "de vrouw van den Directeur F..."] died on the 27th of March ..."

p159: [Stavorinus was to carry some official papers to the VOC Asian headquarters at Batavia] "At last these papers were got ready, and, on the 31st of May [mistranslation of Dutch "Maart"= "March"], they were delivered to me ... at the same time I received the dispatches for the governor general, from the director F—. This gentleman endeavoured to persuade me to stay that night at Chinsurah, being fearful that I should be overtaken by a thunderstorm [Dutch, "een zwaar onweder"= "a severe storm"- but thunder and lightning are mentioned later], which seemed to be brewing over us; but having nothing in view, but to make all possible speed to leave the Ganges, before the bad season, which was very near at hand, should set in, I left Chinsurah the same evening, in a budgerow.
It was when we were before Chandernagore, that the storm burst upon us ... [violent weather continued for days, so Stavorinus did not reach Falta until the morning of 3 April, setting sail for Batavia within an hour, at the cost of leaving behind some similarly delayed cargo; even so, he had to give the pilot "a small present" to persuade him to take the ship down river in the worsening adverse monsoon]."

pp388-90: [in a description of the climate of Bengal] "I observed the degrees of heat, nearly every day, by a thermometer of Fahrenheit [Dutch, "een beproefde kwik-Thermometer, geteekend naar de schaal van FHARENHEIT"= "a tested quicksilver-thermometer, marked according to the scale of Fahrenheit"- quicksilver being Mercury, and FHARENHEIT being a printer's error], from the beginning of October, till the beginning of April. The thermometer was hung in the open air, against a wall [Dutch, "een hoogen muur"= "a high wall"], facing the north, and there were no buildings opposite, by which the rays of the sun could be reflected. The greatest degree of heat, was generally about two o'clock, or half past, in the afternoon, and the least, about an hour before sunrise, in the morning.
In October, the greatest heat, in the afternoon, was 94°, with a northerly wind, and clear sky; the least heat, in the same month, in the afternoon, was 85°, wind and weather as before; the lowest degree, before sunrise, with a northerly wind, was 70°.
In November, the highest, in the afternoon, 89°, wind northeast, a clear sky; the lowest, in the afternoon, 81°, wind north, clear weather; and the lowest, before sunrise, 60°, wind north, foggy weather.
In December, the highest, in the afternoon, 88½°, wind east, a clear sky; the lowest, in the afternoon, 76°, wind north, clear sky; and the lowest, before sunrise, 52°, wind north, clear weather.
In January, the highest, in the afternoon, 85°, wind southwest, clear sky; the lowest, in the afternoon, 74°, wind north, clear sky; and the lowest, before sunrise, 63°, wind northeast, clear weather.
In February, the highest, in the afternoon, 92°, wind south, clear sky; the lowest, in the afternoon, 76°, wind west, cloudy; and the lowest, before sunrise, 68°, wind south, clear weather.
In March, the highest, in the afternoon, 104°, wind south, clear sky; the lowest, in the afternoon, 93°, calm and cloudy; and the lowest, before sunrise, 72°, wind south, clear weather.
On the 3d of April, when we sailed down the Ganges, the thermometer stood, at three o'clock in the afternoon, at 101°. I then caused it to be let down into the river, five or six feet under the surface of the water, [Dutch text adds: "en geduurende vijf minuten onder blijven"= "remaining under for a duration of five minutes"] and drawing it suddenly up again, I found that the mercury had fallen to 86°. Upon hanging it up in its place, it fell, two minutes afterwards, to 83°, but it rose again, by degrees, in the space of seven minutes, to 98°. Some observations were communicated to me, which were made in the month of May, 1769, by which it appears, that the mercury then rose as high as 110°; and a gentleman of my acquaintance, who was at Patna, in that month, informed me, that there it had even risen to the top of the tube.
The winds generally blow here, throughout the year, either direct north, or direct south; part of the year from the one point, and the remaining part from the opposite point. The same wind which prevails at land, blows likewise at sea, along the coast of Coromandel, and the Bay of Bengal.
When the monsoons break up, that is, when the wind varies from the north to the south, or from the south to the north, the change is often accompanied by violent squalls, and whirlwinds. When one of these rages remarkably fierce, it receives the denomination of the elephant; and it is scarecly possible for a ship, when overtaken by one of these tornadoes, to brave its fury."

p396: [from the description of Bengal] "Throughout the land, where it is inhabited, numerous reservoirs, of an oblong square shape, but of various sizes, are dug in the earth; they are frequently more than acre in extent; they are called tanks. They are filled with water in the rainy season, and afford the inhabitants, during the following dry months, a provision of water, of a better quality and appearance, than that of the Ganges, which is always thick and muddy."

p402: [from the description of the River Ganges] "It is at its greatest elevation, and its strongest afflux, in the months of July, August, and September. It then overflows its banks, and inundates the adjacent country. Both flood and ebb, are then so violent, that they threaten to carry every thing before them. ... Its grweatest strength is between Serampore and Hougly. ... The river is at its lowest, in the months of March and April. At Chinsurah, where our Company have their factory, there is but a narrow creek left, at that time, at low water, running along the opposite shore. ...
The Gentoos worship the Ganges as a divinity, and an annual festival is held in its honour. They conceive that by washing in its holy waters, they are purified from all their sins; and those who live near the river, perform an ablution in it, at least, once every day. Those who have no opportunity of doing this, and who live too far inland, come, once a year, from all parts of the country, as far as thirty days' journey, and farther, to cleanse both their bodies and their souls in the sacred wave.
The number of people, whom I saw arrive in the latter end of March, at Hougly and Terbonee, for the above purpose, was incredible. ..."

pp489-90: [from the explanation of the government of Bengal] "The office of resident at the Durbar, is not only very honourable, but it is likewise one of the most lucrative. Three or four years' enjoyment of it, is sufficient for the accumulation of a princely fortune [Dutch: "schatrijk" which has an implication of wealth on the scale of a government treasury].
In the year 1767, one of these residents returned to Europe with a fortune of nine millions of gilders; which he had obtained by his dextrous management of affairs, during the three years which he had filled this office. [Dutch: slightly different phrasing, with redundant addition of "Bengalen verliet"= "left Bengal"]
When Lord CLIVE returned to England for the last time, he carried away, as it is said, a crore of rupees, which is fifteen millions of gilders.
The yoke of servitude, which the English have thus imposed upon the Moors, is not borne very patiently by them. On the contrary, they would do every thing in their power, to deliver themselves from their tyrants, if these were not so firmly established here. The only hope which remains for them, is, that if the land be wholly exhausted, the English will no more hold the means of maintaining themselves in their possessions. The unfortunate Bengalese are still worse off; they are first oppressed by the Moors, and afterwards by the English; and yet it is their manual labour that has purchased all the immense riches, which have been drawn, from time immemorial, both by their neighbours in Asia, and their visitors from Europe, and have successively swelled the treasures of the Great Mogul, of their nabobs, and of the English East-India Company [Dutch: similar meaning phrased quite differently]. They work for a mere trifle, and live frugally upon a little rice, and some vegetables. Nothing, or very little of the specie that is imported, goes out of the country again, as the materials for their manufactures are produced in the land, except some capok, which is brought from Surat. These poor people, who contribute so much to the prosperity of the country, instead of being favoured and encouraged by the English, are, on the contrary, continually exposed to the rapacious extortions of their taskmasters, and are oppressed in every way, partly by open violence, and partly by monopolies, which the English have made of all articles necessary to life; the dried cowdung even not excepted, which these poor people use for fuel. But this is not so much to be ascribed to the English Company, as to their servants [Dutch: "Bediendens" which implies a higher, more responsible, grade of servants than mere "Dienaars"], who leave no means untried, to accumulate wealth. They do not trouble themselves about the manner of obtaining it, so they do but speedily amass the riches they are in search of. Instead of preventing these monopolies, which were, in a great measure, the cause of the scarcity of provisions which was felt in the spring of 1770, the English government at Calcutta, suffer them to exist unnoticed and unremedied; and it has, in consequence, not been improbably suspected, that they are themselves concerned in these iniquitous transactions.

p496: [from the description of Calcutta] "Close to the courthouse, stands a theatre, where plays are sometimes performed by amateurs.
Higher up, is an Armenian church, which is a large and noble building, provide with a handsome steeple.
There was not, when I was there, any English church; but preparations were making for building one, and the necessary materials had been collected."

pp521-2: [from the description of typical European households in Bengal] "...those who possess any the least fortune, keep a black writer in daily employment at their houses, for which he received twenty or twenty-five rupees per month. These black writers are descendants of Portuguese, who having married native women, their offspring have lost the colour of their fathers, and received that of their mothers; but they retain the religion of the former. They write a good hand, and copy Dutch very accurately, without understanding a word of it. ...
Besides these black writers, most Europeans have also one or two banyans, who note down all payments and receipts, and through whose hands all pecuniary matters go, as well in buying as in selling. They serve, in this capacity, without any fixed pay, but they know how much more they may charge upon every rupee, than they have in reality paid, and this is called costumado." ...
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