BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll


The Characters of Theophrastus

Theophrastus


Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner


Forty-One Years in India

by Field-Marshal

Excerpt:

We changed our house this year and took one close to the Stewarts, an arrangement for which I was very thankful later, when my wife had a great sorrow in the death of her sister, Mrs. Sladen, at Peshawar. It was everything for her at such a time to have a kind and sympathizing friend close at hand, when I was engaged with my work and could be very little with her during the day. At this time, as at all others, Sir Hugh Rose was a most considerate friend to us; he placed his house at Mashobra at my wife's disposal, thus providing her with a quiet resort which she frequently made use of and which she learned to love so much that, when I returned to Simla as Commander-inChief, her first thought was to secure this lovely ' Retreat ■ as a refuge from the (sometimes) slightly trying gaiety of Simla.

The Commander-in-Chief was good enough to send in my name for a brevet for the Umbeyla expedition, but the Viceroy refused to forward the recommendation, for the reason that I was 'too junior to be made a LieutenantColonel.' I was then thirty-two!

Throughout the whole of 1864 I was more or less ill; the office work (which never suited me quite as well as more active employment) was excessive, for, in addition to the ordinary routine, I had undertaken to revise the 'Bengal Route-Book,' which had become quite obsolete, having been compiled in 1837, when Kurnal was our frontier station. A voyage round the Cape was still considered the panacea for all Indian ailments, and the doctors strongly advised my taking leave to England, and travelling by that route.

We left Simla towards the end of October, and, after spending the next three months in Calcutta, where I was chiefly employed in taking up transports and superintending the embarkation of troops returning to England, I was given the command of a batch of 800 time-expired men on board the Renown, one of Green's frigate-built ships which was chartered for their conveyance. Two hundred of the men belonged to the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the Rifle Brigade, the remainder to the Artillery and various other corps; they had all been twelve years in the army, and most of them were decorated for service in the Crimea and Indian Mutiny.

1865] A VOYAGE ROUND THE CAPE 25

At the inspection parade before we embarked, a certain number of men were brought up for punishment for various offences committed on the way down country; none of the misdemeanours appeared to me very serious, so I determined to let the culprits off. I told the men that we had now met for the first time and I was unwilling to commence our acquaintance by awarding punishments; we had to spend three or four months together, and I hoped they would show, by their good behaviour while under my command, that I had not made a mistake in condoning their transgressions. The officers seemed somewhat surprised at my action in this matter, but I think it was proved by the men's subsequent conduct that I had not judged them incorrectly, for they all behaved in quite an exemplary manner throughout the voyage.

We had been on board more than six weeks, when one of the crew was attacked by small-pox—an untoward circumstance in a crowded ship. The sailor was placed in a boat which was hung over the ship's side, and a cabin-boy, the marks on whose face plainly showed that he had already suffered badly from the disease, was told off to look after him. The man recovered, and there was no other case. Shortly before we reached St. Helena, scurvy appeared amongst the troops, necessitating lime-juice being given in larger quantities, but what proved a more effectual remedy was water-cress, many sacks of which were laid in before we left the island.

On the 29th May, 1865, we sighted the 'Lizard,' and took a pilot on board, who brought with him a few newspapers, which confirmed the tidings signalled to us by an American ship that the war between the Federals and Confederates was at an end. How eagerly we scanned the journals, after having heard nothing from home for four months, but the only piece of news we found of personal interest to ourselves was that my father had been made a K.C.B.


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