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unique character as the centre of Hinduism ; the one city above all others that is drenched with the beliefs and superstitions of the wide-spread religion of Brahm : sufficient to see much that is striking, much that is interesting, more that is disgusting, and not a little that is saddening. Forty-eight hours after reaching it we are again in the train, this time bound for a place of very different associations, and very different appearanceCawn pore.
THE CITIES OF THE PLAIN.
CAWNPORE AND LUCKNOW.
* Forget not the field where they perished,
From Benares to Cawnpore is a journey of about ten hours by train, and as we go through the intervening country by night, we can say little about it, except that it is as flat as the rest of Bengal, and that about midway in it occurs the city of Allahabad, at the junction of the Jumna and the Ganges, the former of which is crossed by the railway, on a fine iron-girder bridge.
Arrived at Cawnpore, we drive across a mile of open flat ground, crossed by one or two roads, and dotted by one or two barracks and other military buildings, which form part of the cantonment, and make our way to the bungalow which has been turned into an hotel. The native town of Cawnpore is a crowded dirty place; and as it was never of much importance during the times of the native rulers, there is little to induce a European to wander through it.
Ever since 1857 the interest of Cawnpore to a foreigner has centered almost exclusively in those parts of the cantonment, and of the suburbs of the native town, which were the scenes of the most thrilling and awful incidents of that terrible year in India. Let anyone who wishes to read an admirably written account of those scenes
- full of vigorous, pathetic, and brilliant passagesperuse at once Cawnpore,' by G. 0. Trevelyan. '
would be difficult to find a more heart-stirring account of heroic endurance and human agony.
We will take a 'buggy,' and spend a morning in visiting the three chief points in the now historic groundthe scenes of the gallant defence, and the subsequent treacherous massacre, of the Cawnpore garrison of 1857.
A mile to the north of the railway station, and about the same distance south-west from the left bank of the Ganges --in the centre of a flat, bare, dusty piece of ground-a handsome church is in course of erection. The piece of ground is nearly square, a quarter of a mile each way, and is well marked off by roads running round all its four sides.
This is the memorial church; and it was on this open 'piece of ground that General Sir Hugh Wheeler, with his slender garrison of 500 men, together with 500 women and children, stood at bay for three weeks against a horde of mutineers who were thirsting for their blood. There was nothing to protect them from the deadly hail of round shot and bullets but a mud wall, over which a horse could leap; nothing to shelter them from the scarcely less deadly strokes of the summer sun but the thin roofs of their shed-barracks, which, before the siege was half over, were ignited and burnt by the enemy's fire.
Here, through those terrible three weeks, the men toiled incessantly through the weary night and through the scorching day; working guns, plying rifles, wielding the bayonet when the cowardly foe mustered courage enough to make a charge at the weakly bulwarks ; carrying the wounded from wherever they fell to the wretched barracks in the centre of the ground, or drawing water from a well on whose mouth the fire of the rebels was especially directed. And here the women toiled at tending the wounded, nursing the children, and preparing what scanty meals they could ; and suffering such agony of fear, grief, privation,
sickness, death itself, as perhaps falls to the lot of few even to dream of.
North of the Intrenchment, and but two hundred yards from it, stands a handsome white cross, placed over a well now filled up.
It was to this well that, night after night of those score of dreadful days, the ever-diminishing garrison bore stealthily the bodies of those whom the whizzing bullet, the crashing round shot, or the silent strokes of cholera and sunstroke, had released from a life which to many had all the agony of death; and when the three weeks were over, a fourth of the garrison lay in that well of death, while the rest survived to meet a yet more dreadful end.
A mile to the north-east of the Intrenchment stands, on the bank of the Ganges, a small Hindoo temple, hard by where a ravine, now dry, but in autumn a water-course, runs down to the main stream. It was down this ravine that the remnant of the gallant garrison passed, marching, limping, or carried in dhoolies, after a safe-conduct down the river had been pledged them by the treacherous Nana. They thought indeed that their sufferings were over, and that the bitterness of death was passed; but the safe-conduct was in all but name a death-warrant, and they were passing down the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
It was within a few yards of this temple that they embarked in the two dozen boats provided for them; and it was here that, as soon as all were on board, a fire was opened upon them, so sudden, so treacherous, so deadly, that more than half of the helpless crews were at once shot dead or wounded and drowned ; while of the remainder all but four, who escaped as by a miracle, were seized and carried off for a death not long delayed.
A mile again from the Intrenchment, due north, is now a pleasant-looking, well-kept garden, where roses, jas
THE WELL OF CAWNPORE.
mines and acacias, grow luxuriantly round a central cluster of dark cypresses. Within this ring of cypresses, half hidden by them, is a grassy mound, crowned by a marble statue within a screen of worked stone. The statue represents an angel with face serene, sad, and downcast, and hands which, crossed over the breast, hold each a palm-branch. Round the screen is carved the text: * These are they which came through great tribulation;' and round the pedestal of the statue is inscribed: “ Sacred to a great body of Christian people, chiefly women and children, who were foully murdered by order of the rebel Nana Doondoopunt, and cast, the dying with the dead, into the well below, July 16th, 1857.'
It was within a hundred yards of this well that the tragedy of the defence of the intrenchments, and of the treachery at the boats, had its final and most bloody scene enacted in that massacre of the surviving 270, 'chiefly women and children,' which has marked the Nana with the foulest stigma that history can record. It was in this well that there were found, by the soldiers of Neill's avenging army, those ghastly remains which roused in them such terrible resolves of retribution. It is well that the horrid memories that would otherwise haunt this spot are now somewhat softened by the quiet seclusion of the garden and by the beauty of the memorial tomb. It is well, too, that over that other Well of Death there rises now a symbol of peace and hope, and that over the ground where once were heard all the horrid sounds of war will soon spread the sound of a Christian service.
From Cawnpore to Lucknow is only a distance of fortyseven miles, which we traverse by rail in two hours and a half, after crossing the Ganges by the Cawnpore bridge of boats. Would that in 1857 the transit between the two places had been as easy!