BLTC Press Titles


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Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll


The Bhagavad Gita

Anonymous


Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi


The Secret Doctrine, Volume I Cosmogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky


Hodson of Hodson's horse, or, Twelve years of a soldier's life in India

by William Stephen Raikes Hodson

Excerpt:

It is intended that the children should remain in the Institution until they are eighteen years of age, if their fathers be alive, and until somehow or other provided for, should they be orphans. The majority of the boys will, of course, become soldiers; but my belief is, that having been brought up in the delightful climate of the Himalaya, they will, after ten or fifteen years, settle down in the various stations and slightly elevated valleys in these hills, as traders and cultivators, and form the nucleus of the first British colony in India. My object is to give them English habits from the first, which they have in most cases to learn, from being brought up by native nurses from infancy. Part of the scheme is to make the Institution support itself, and I am very shortly going to start a farm-yard. I have already got a fine large garden

c

in full swing] and here you may see French beans, cabbages, strawberry plants, and fine potatoes (free from disease). I steadfastly refuse the slightest dash of colour in admitting children. People may call this illiberal if they please; the answer is obvious. Half-castes stand the climate of the plains too well to need a hill sanitorium, and by mixing them with English children you corrupt those whom you wish to benefit. The little boy who was lately redeemed from Cabul, and whom Colonel Lawrence consigned to my care, is the plague of my existence. He has the thoroughly lying, deceitful habits, and all the dirt, of the AfFghan races, and not a single point of interest to counterbalance them.

In 1854 Sir H. Lawrence wrote in an account of the Asvlum :—' As soon as the site was fixed Lieutenant Hodson took much trouble with the buildings. The less said about me the better, but give the credit to my brother, to Edwardes, Hodson, and others, who from the beginning have helped me.'

SUBATHOO, August 1847.

I have some hopes, though but faint ones, of being relieved from the necessity of a move to Cawnpore [whither his regiment had been ordered], by obtaining a berth under Colonel Lawrence. I know that he has asked for me, and, I believe, for an appointment which would please me more than any other he could find, as being one of the most confidential nature, and involving constant locomotion, and plenty of work both for head, nerve, and body. But I must not be sanguine, as we have already a large proportion of officers away from the regiment, and I am a young soldier, though, alas! growing grievously old in years.

The appointment alluded to was to the " Corps of Guides," then recently organised by Colonel Lawrence for service in the Punjab. While this question, however, was still pending, there seemed a prospect of Lieutenant Hodson's succeeding to the adjutancy of his regiment, and Colonel Lawrence, as will be seen from the subjoined letter, recommended his accepting it, if offered :—

"simla, Sept. wth, 1847.

"my Dear Hodson,—I have spoken to the Governor-General about you, who at once replied, 'Let him take the adjutancy.' He wishes you well, but is puzzled by the absentee question. We are all, moreover, agreed on the usefulness to yourself of being employed for a time as adjutant to a regiment. There are always slips, but I know of no man of double or treble your standing who has so good a prospect before him. Favour and partiality do occasionally give a man a lift, but depend upon it that his is the best chance in the long run who helps himself. So far you have done this manfully, and you have reason to be proud of being selected at one time for three different appointments by three different men. Don't, however, be too proud. Learn your duties thoroughly. Continue to study two or three hours a day; not to pass in a hurry, but that you may do so two or three years hence with kclat. Take advantage of Becher's being at Kussowlee to learn something of surveying. All knowledge is useful; but to soldier or official of any sort in India, I know no branch of knowledge which so well repays the student.


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