Citation
The Last days of Boosy, the bearer of little Henry

Material Information

Title:
The Last days of Boosy, the bearer of little Henry
Alternate Title:
Sequel to Little Henry and his bearer
Creator:
Sherwood Mrs (Mary Martha) 1775-1851 ( Author, Primary )
Allen, S. ( Engraver )
Clay, Richard 1789-1877 ( Printer )
Houlston & Stoneman ( Publisher )
Marchant, Frederick ( Illustrator )
Place of Publication:
London
Publisher:
Houlston and Stoneman
Manufacturer:
R. Clay
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
186 p., 1 leaf of plate : ill. ; 15 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Baldwin -- 1850
Children -- Conversion to Christianity -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Children -- Death -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Conversion narratives -- 1850 ( lcsh )
Juvenile fiction -- India ( lcsh )
Genre:
Children's literature ( fast )

Notes

General Note:
by Mrs. Sherwood, author of "Little Henry and his bearer," "The Indian pilgrim," etc. etc.
General Note:
Ill. engraved by S. Allen drawn after F. Marchant.
General Note:
Includes bibliographical references
General Note:
Date from inscription.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
ALH7896 ( LTUF )
002237409 ( ALEPHBIBNUM )

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Full Text






The Baldwin Library /

RmB x.





4 lh DVL

ae. Powe en
Cg



THE

LAST DAYS OF BOOSY.









HOULSTON & S'TONE MAN, 64, PATE KNOST EK HOW



THE

LAST DAYS OF BOOSY,

THE

Bearer of Hittle Wenrp.

BY MRS. SHERWOOD,

AUTHOR OF “ LITTLE HENRY AND HIS BEARER,”

“(THE INDIAN PILGRIM,” &c. &c.

SECOND EDITION.



LONDON:

HOULSTON AND STONEMAN,
PATERNOSTER ROW.



LETTER

FROM

MR. McNEIL TO MR. SMITH.



My Dear Sir,—Having after
long inquiry at last found out where
you live, and how a letter may find
you, I address you with the hope
that you may be able to give me
some account of the last days of the
faithful Bearer* to whom little

* Bearer, a servant, whose work is to carry
a palanquin, but who is frequently employed
to take charge of children.

B



Q THE LAST DAYS

Henry L—— was so deeply and
truly attached.

I was in Berhampore, and under
very painful circumstances, at the
time in which Henry died; and it
was not till after the death of that
holy child that I became acquainted
with Mr. and Mrs. Baron. My wife
and I were soon drawn towards them
by a similarity of feelings, for our
firstborn was at that time taken from
our arms by his heavenly Father,
and we had to lay his infant re-
mains in the burial-ground at Ber-
hampore. It was a sad joy to us
to choose for his resting-place the



OF BOOSY. 3

adjoining spot to the grave of the
sweet and pious Henry L .



The History of Little Henry was
at this time confided to us in manu-
script by Mrs. Baron, and I was
permitted to copy it. The only por-
tion which was added to the manu-
script when it was printed, a few
years afterwards, was what relates
to Boosy.

This passage informs the reader
that “immediately after the funeral
of his little sahib,* having received
his wages, with a handsome present,

%* Sahil, master.



4 THE LAST DAYS

he carried the lock of hair, which
Mrs. Baron sealed up carefully, with
a letter from her, to Mr. Smith. He
was received into Mr. Smith’s family,
and removed with him to a distant
part of India, where shortly after,
he renounced caste,* and declared
himself a Christian. After due
examination, he was baptized, and
continued till his death, which
happened not very long after, a sin-
cere Christian.”

Of course, my dear Sir, this

* Caste, the natives of India are divided
into various ranks, called caste. Each caste has
respective employments, which descend from
father to son.



OF BOOSY. 6

passage is well known to you, but
it has certainly perplexed me much,
as I know not how to reconcile it
with what I personally know of the
poor Bearer ; and I confess it would
be a great satisfaction, on many
accounts, if you could show me how
what I happen to have seen of
Boosy can agree with the last pages
in the printed history of little
Ilenry.

I now proceed to give you the
account of a very singular and affect-
ing meeting which I had with him.
I never saw Boosy but once, and it
is some years since, for the history

B 3



6 THE LAST DAYS



of little Henry L had not then
been published, and the fine example
which this babe in Christ had been
permitted to give of the power of
the Divine Spirit within the breast
even of a tender child, had not been
generally made known in our own
country. I had occasion to pass by
Berhampore with my family, in a
pinnace, about two years or more
after the death of little Henry. We
had been staying up the country in
a better climate, for probably
throughout the East there is not a
climate more unhealthy than Ber-
hampore, and we came to anchor
close upon the cantonments, with the



OF BOOSY. 7

intention of staying there all night.
I could observe that my wife had
the utmost difficulty to restrain her
tears, but she did not purpose to go
on shore; and had she done so, it
would not have been convenient, as
we arrived at a late hour in the
evening, and were to move soon
after sunrise in the morning.

The night proved very tempes-
tuous, commencing with much
thunder and lightning, which was
followed towards midnight by one
of our tropical rains, so well known
to all Indians, and I feared that the
plan which I had formed of visiting



8 THE LAST DAYS

my boy’s grave, unknown to Mrs.
McNeil, must be utterly put aside.

But when the morning dawned
the tempest had wholly subsided,
the sky was cloudless, and the earth
seemed as if it had only been
refreshed by the driving shower.

I arose, summoned my bearers,
and was on my way to the well-
remembered burying-ground before
the stars had disappeared. There
was not a person moving in the
square of the cantonment,—not a
sound heard, so that the voices of
my bearers, as they made their



OF BOOSY. 9

usual cries, fell hollow and melan-
choly upon my ear.

The first beams of the sun had
just shot up above the horizon, when
we entered the plain beyond the
cantonments. You, my good Sir,
must remember this plain; its vast
extent and perfect level ; its verdure
without break or variety, as far as
the eye can reach, excepting from a
few gentlemen’s houses, standing
here and there on the open space ;
the burial-ground enclosed with
walls and gates, and clusters of the
various kinds of palms, though
these are few, and far between.



10 THE LAST DAYS

To my apprehension, disease and
death hovered continually over this
plain, the ground being always
swampy, and sometimes entirely laid
under water.

On this morning, I well remem-
ber, that as the sun arose, the fog
from the damp earth rose with it, so
that we were very near the burying-
ground before I saw the summits of
the tombs rising above the high
wall, so dimly did they show through
the mist.

It had not occurred to me, till we
were opposite the principal gates of



OF BOOSY. ll

the burial-ground, that I ought to
have sent for the keys to the person
who kept them. I ought to have
remembered that these places are
always kept locked.

I had then, however, no time to
spare, and, vexed with myself for
my carelessness, I resolved to get
out and try the gate at either end.
So ordering the bearers to set me
down, and to remain where they
were till I should return, I went
first to the nearest gate. It was
locked, and so securely, that it could
not be moved. The other gate was
at the back of the enclosure, and in



12 THE LAST DAYS

order to get to it, it was necessary
for me to go half round the walls.
Being come to the back of the
grave-yard, I perceived that a por-
tion of the wall had lately fallen,
probably during the last night, for
the ruin looked quite fresh, and had
hardly yet settled. By this open-
ing I will enter, I thought, and
take one last look at my infant’s
grave.

I was just turning the corner of
the enclosure when I observed this
breach, and was making up my mind
to enter by it, when I saw the figure
of a black man, with his back rather



OF BOOSY. 13

towards me, creeping towardsthe rub-
bish in a stealthy, quiet manner, and
the next minute I lost sight of him,
as he passed into the interior of the
grave-yard. The natives, in general,
avoid the burying places of Euro-
peans, and Hindoos of caste are very
scrupulous in touching or going near
the dead, though, with their usual
inconsistency, the tombs of their
saints are accounted sacred, and often
visited for religious purposes. But,
as you probably know, dear Sir, every
European burial-ground has its ap-
pointed ‘ chockedaur,* and I there-
- fore supposed the man I saw to bea

* Chockedaur, a watchman,
Cc



14 THE LAST DAYS

person of this kind belonging to the
place.

When I came to the opening in
the wall, I climbed over the rubbish,
and entered this city of the dead,
where the remains of so many of my
countrymen had been gathered from
year to year; sacrifices, for the most
part, to a climate as ill-suited to
Europeans as any throughout the

whole extent of our dominions in
India.

Threading my way through streets
of tombs to the lowly grave of my
baby, which, as I before said, was



OF BOOSY. 15

next to that of little Henry, I was
startled to see the man who had
entered the place before me kneeling
at the tomb of Henry, and with
joined hands, and eyes uplifted
towards the upper part of the monu-
ment, calling upon the dead, as if
the dead could hear.

« Ah, mira beta,* mira Henry,”
he said, “ and can it never be that
we shall meet again? Oh! my son,
how sweet is thy memory. My
heart forsakes its own people, to
cling to thee; yet art thou lost, and
lost to me for ever. Alas! alas!

* Mira beta, my sor.



16 THE LAST DAYS

the moon opens the night-flower,
and the sun makes the water-lily to
blossom ; each is confined to its own
object ; so will each god look down
upon the creatures he has made.
Would that your God was my God ;
but am I not of other blood than
thou? The white man’s hopes
cannot extend to one of swarthy hue.
There cannot be one ,Meaven for
white and black>for slave and
master. Oh, Brahma,* be not en-
raged with me, because I have dared
to doubt thy power. There is nothing
greater than thee; all depend upon
thee, as the pearls on the thread on

* Brahma, the chief god of the Hindoos,



OF BOOSY. 17

which they are strung. A single
atom emanating from thee produced
the universe, and still thou remainest
entire. But what say 1?—he for
whom my soul mourns worshipped
another God ; a God of love, a God
of mercy. Oh why, why was he not
my God also? Why did my parents
bathe me in the waters of Gunga ?*
—why did they appoint her as my
guardian deity ; aye, and can I doubt
her power? Does she not send me
threatening omens, and _ terrible
visions? Has she not power to doom

* Gunga, a Hindoo goddess. The river

Ganges.

c3



18 THE LAST DAYS

me after death to never-ending mise-
rable births ? Ah! what are brothers,
kinsmen, friends ? What is my
choota sahib* himself? Men, beasts,
stones, are not they all one? Has
not a perpetual irresistible force made
all that we see, and unceasingly
renews it? Are we not to-day a
man, yesterday a plant, and to-mor-
row perchance a stone? Such is the
destiny of all. But oh, mirat Henry,
mira Henry, shall I then never see
thee more? Must even the re-
membrance of thee be obscured
from my memory? Oh, why
did thy God permit us to see

* Choota sahib, little master. + Mira, my.

be +
6
s



OF BOOSY. 19

so fair, so rich a jewel, if he pur-
posed to take thee so soon to
himself? What is my god to
your God, my sahib? When did
Brahma form one like thee ; so pure,
so kind, so gentle?” Then gushing
into tears, he _pressed his head
against the marble, and uttered deep

groans.

This, then, [thought, is Boosy, Hen-
ry L——’s poor Boosy. Most won-
derful ! Surely these travailings of the
soul must end in a new birth unto life!

Though I did not speak, yet I
made some movement which caused
Boosy to start, and spring upon his



20 TUE LAST DAYS

feet like a person suddenly found out
in some bad action. I was the first
who spoke.

“ You are the man called Boosy,”
Isaid, “ the beloved Bearer of Henry
L , and I find you kneeling by
the tomb of your little sahib.
I rejoice that the memory of



the past is thus deeply graven
on your heart. But did I not hear
the murmurs of doubt, and
fear, and hesitation? Do you
not remember the .words of your
beloved one, who, when lying
on his bed of death, sid, ‘ Oh, my
poor dearer! what will become of



OF BOOSY. 21

you, tf you neglect 80 great salvation?’
Can you forget that when he added,
‘Oh, Lord Jesus Christ, turn the
heart of my poor dearer ’ you re-
peated that prayer, and thus added
your voice to his, in supplication to
the God of the Christians ? ”

Boosy was evidently much troubled
at the sight of me, and for a few
minutes was quite at a loss how to
answer me. He felt that what he
had been doing, kneeling and praying
at the grave of a Christian, was so
entirely contrary to all the prejudices
of the Hindoos, that his character
would be utterly gone with his own



22 THE LAST DAYS

people if the fact should ever be
known. He was frightened, too,
lest I should have been followed
to the breach in the wall by some
of my servants, for he looked
anxiously toward that way, and
did not recover his presence of
mind till he found that we were
quite alone; he then spoke,
and began with excusing him-
self for visiting the burial-ground.

“No one could blame you,” I
answered, “ for visiting the tomb
of one so loved as your little sahib
was by you. I too am here to visit
the grave of a child.”



OF BOOSY. 23

« You are a Feringhee,* Sahib,”
he answered, “ andI am a poor
Hindoo. My people would account
me unclean, could they kiiow where
I had been. The sahib will not tell.
I shall bathe in the sacred stream
which flows from Gunga when I go
hence, and I shall obtain pardon for
this offence.”

I told him, that as the offence was
imaginary, so an imaginary remedy
might answer to it. But “ Boosy,”
I added, “ do I now hear you boast-
ing of the powers of Gunga? Do you

* Feringhee, European.



24 THE LAST DAYS

forget what you once said to your
beloved sahid, when left with
him one night during the latter
days of his life ?>—* Sahib, I have
been thinking all day that I
am a sinner, and always have
been one; and I begin to believe
my sins are such as Gunga cannot
wash away. I wish I could be-
lieve in the Lord Jesus Christ !’
Do you not recollect these
words ?”

“The sahib knows _ every-
thing,” he answered, in some
surprise. “I did say those
words.”



OF BOOSY. 25

“ And they were good words,
Boosy,’’ I replied—‘“very good words.
And if you meant what you said,
God has been very good to you, to
open your eyes to the truth. He
will not begin the work and leave it
unfinished; for the God of the *
Christians, the only true God, has
no respect of persons, for he has
made of one blood all nations of
men who dwell on the face of the
earth, and for them has the Son of
God descended from heaven, and
taken upon him the human nature,
that by receiving the punishment of
their sins, happiness alone is left for
those who love him.”

D



26 THE LAST DAYS

“ But, Sahib,” cried Boosy, “ who
could see the fair countenances of
the Feringhees, and then look with
equal pleasure on our swarthy
features ?”

“God sees not as men see,” I
replied. ‘He looks at the heart,
and he is ready to receive all who
will go to him; but understand me
well, it is not, as you once asserted
to your little sahib, that as there
are many brooks and rivers of
water, which all run into the sea at
last, so there are many religions
which all lead to heaven, one way
being as good as another. No,



OF BOOSY. 27

such is not the case; for God is
an infinite being—all powerful, all
holy. He alone can show us
the way, and make it easy for us,
to tread which is to bring us to him.
Your little sahib, I well remember,
told you of this, and these were
his words: ‘There is but one way
to heaven; our Saviour, the Lord
Jesus Christ, is the way to heaven,
and zo man cometh unto God but
by him.”

The Bearer made no direct answer
to what I said, but began to speak
of his beta, as he called Henry,
comparing him in gentleness to the



28 THE LAST DAYS

lamb, in tenderness to the dove, and
in beauty to the flower of the water-
lily. Had I not witnessed his man-
ner before the tomb, when he thought
himself alone, I might have doubted
the sincerity of these highly figura-
tive expressions; but I could not
doubt, and I asked him what he
thought had caused this little boy
to differ so much from other chil-
dren. ‘I believe,’ he answered,
“that it was the God he worshipped
who made him to differ.”

“Do you not then honour that
God who can makeso beautiful a
work as an holy child?”



OF BOOSY. 29

« When I think on the power of
the creation of so dazzling a jewel,”
he replied; “ when I reflect that
such a one must have been formed
and moulded in the eternal Mind ;
1 am ready to renounce the gods of
my forefathers, and to acknowledge
the God of the Christians. Brahma*
and Vishnou, aye, and all our gods,
are so loaded with sins,~they love
so to wallow in their iniquities, that
they would, I believe, only mock at
the purity of my sweet sahib. How,
then, could they form one like him?
No god of the Hindoos could imagine

® Brahma and Vishnou, primary gods of the
Hindoos.

pd3



30 THE LAST DAYS

a creature so glorious, so noble, and
yet so simple.”

Unwilling to allow this opportunity
to pass away, I earnestly implored
him to acknowledge himself a Chris-
tian, as he so admired the holiness
of our God.

“‘ My mind does not yet own your
God as supreme over all,” he an-
swered, somewhat sullenly ; “ the
mind cannot be so easily subdued.
I cannot so hastily renounce the gods
of my forefathers.”

“ But you have already done what



OF BOOSY. 31

will injure you in the eyes of your
people,” I said. ‘“ Were it known
to them, your visit to this tomb
would not be forgiven.”

«The sahib has me in his power,”
he answered; “but he would not
light a fire near the stalk of the
Madhavi creeper, whose leaves are
already dried by a sultry gale.”

“No,” I replied ; “I would re-
fresh it with genial showers ; I would
bathe it in fresh water; I would
tenderly guard it, and encourage it
to thrive ; but I would not leave it
to itself to perish. Boosy,” I



32 THE LAST DAYS

added, “for the sake of that swect
boy, who loved you as his own soul,
why retract those words which it once
made him so happy to hear youutter?”’

“Tle cannot hear me now,” he
answered ; “what I said was said
to give him joy. It gave him joy—
I am content; he is no more, and I
again acknowledge the gods of my
forefathers,”

“And is it possible,” I remem-
ber I said, “that the holy joy ex-
pressed by that innocent child was
without hope? Ah! Henry, Henry,
praised be God for removing you ere



OF BOOSY. 838

you had seen how fallacious were
your hopes! And will you not meet
again with the Bearer you loved
so well! Sweet boy, how could any
one deceive you so, and see your
joy, and yet be content to retract
what had been uttered!”

« Ah, how could I do it?” cried
Boosy ; “ how could I do it, Sahib?
But yet—I would repeat again all
that I have said, could I but be per-
mitted to behold my beloved again.
Oh! Henry, mira Henry, shall I
never see those sweet eyes of thine
again turned upon me, which used
to sparkle with tenderness for me,



34 THE LAST DAYS

a slave—a heathen? Ah, how did
they glow with love, when I said
that I believed in his God !—when
he thought we should mect again !
Yes, though the dark moss had
settled on the head of the water-lily ;
though my beautiful one was then
sinking under the hand of death;
yet love for his poor Bearer was up-
permost in his thoughts, and, satisfied
that we should meet again, his soul
departed in peace to Him who made
it. Ah, mira Henry, mira Henry,
would to God I was with thee, once
more, my son!”’

Suddenly bursting into tears, and



OF BOOSY. 85

wringing his hands in his agony, he
broke from me, and waving me off
from approaching him, he rapidly
passed round the monument, and the
next moment he had hid himself
from my sight, probably behind one
of the many graves there clustered
together.

From that day to this, though I
have made numberless inquiries, T
have heard no more of him; and
although I was persuaded that this
unhappy idolater would be granted
to the fervent prayers which it was
put into the heart of little Henry
L—— to make for him, yet when



36 THE LAST DAYS

I saw the passage relating to the
conversion, baptism, and death of
this man, at the end of the printed
volume, I became extremely anxious
to know how these things were
brought about, for I had certainly
thought that he would never have
courage to confess the feelings which
were, as it appeared accidentally,
unfolded to me at the grave of
Henry L——.

The prayer of this pious child
for his unbelieving dearer is graven
on my memory. I have taught my
own children to repeat it for their
poor servants; and since they have



OF BOOSY. 37

read the short account of the con-
version of Boosy, I trust that some
of them have the assurance of its
fulfilment in the cases of those for
whom they have used it.

I hope, my dear Sir, that you
will pardon the liberty I take in ad-
dressing you, and that you will most
kindly grant the favour I ask, not
only in my own name, but in that
of my children.—Yours faithfully,

Anprew McNEIL.



The copy of Mr. Smith’s letter
is dated very soon after that of Mr.
McNeil. It contains a full and

E



38 THE LAST DAYS

satisfactory answer to all that gen-
tleman’s inquiries.



MR. SMITH’S LETTER.

My Dear Sir,—I have the
greatest pleasure in complying with
your wishes, and am glad to be
thus, as it were, compelled to
perform that which I had often
planned, but for which I fancied
that I never could find the time.

I am able to narrate the history
of Boosy, or at least all that is
important in it, from the time of
the death of little Henry L
partly from personal knowledge,



>



OF BOOSY. 39

and partly from his own lips.
Immediately after the funeral of
, the poor bearer came



Henry L
to me in Calcutta, bringing me the
lock of fair hair which Mrs. Baron had

cut from the head of the dying child.

I will repeat the account he then

gave of himself, in his own words.

“ Sahib,” he said, “ when I had
seen the earth* committed to the
earth, standing afar off, and watch-
ing the train of the sahib looghet
as they carried the box to its last

* So they always speak of the dead.
+ Sahib looghe, master people. }$ Bor, coffin.



40 THE LAST DAYS

place, I returned to the house, and
having received my wages, and the
little packet which I was to carry to
you, Sahib, I set out for Calcutta.
They say that we Hindoos have not
the deep feelings of the Feringhees ;
that we do not love our children,
nor our aged parents as they do.
What do I know? Our religion
enjoins many cruel acts :—would the
Feringhees be less hard than we are,
were they taught as we are ?

“ T took a passage in a boat go-
ing down to Calcutta. I sate silent
and sad on the deck. I spoke to

no one, and no one troubled him-



OF BOOSY. 41

self to speak to me. 1 felt like one
who had lost the delight of his eyes,
and the joy of his heart. I was as
one mourning for an only son; my
bosom was cold, for the cherished

one was no longer beside me.”

But even this was good, as we
afterwards found, for it was by this
his uncommon love for his little
sahib, that God was working in the
poor bearer’s heart. Boosy had
not been with us many months,
before my affairs rendered it neces-
sary I should leave Calcutta, to dwell
at my indigo factory, at Callee
Gunge, a village on one of the thou-

E3



42 THE LAST DAYS

sand branches of the Ganges, not
very far from the Sunderbunds.*

When I mentioned my change of
residence to Boosy, he told me he
knew Callee Gunge very well, that
his own house was within a few
miles of it, and that he had a mar-
ried son there, an only child. He
was pleased with the idea of seeing
him again, and joyfully consented to
go with us to Callee Gunge.

It is not necessary for me to say

* Sunderbunds, a territory lying about the
mouths of the Ganges, covered with set
marshes and extensive woods. A wild and

dismal country, much infested with tigers,



OF BOOSY. 43

wuch about our new abode, for,
from the first, Mrs. Smith’s health
suffered so severely from the change,
that we had scarcely settled ourselves
before we were obliged to think of
our removal to England as the only
chance of saving her life. In this
dilemma, I was glad to hear of a
Mr. Campbell, who resided at some
distance from us, who was then with-
out employment, a person in whom,
I was told, I might place perfect con-
fidence. ‘To him I went, and it was
soon arranged between us, that he
should dwell in my_ house, and
Manage my affairs during my
absence.



44 THE LAST DAYS

I took Boosy with me to Mr.
Campbell’s bungalow,* and it was
settled, much to the bearer’s joy,
that he should enter into the service
of the only son of Mr. Campbell,
as soon as I was no longer in need

of his personal attendance.

The rest of our servants, with the
exception of a Mussulmaun ayah,t
were to go with us to Calcutta,
and there be dismissed, as Mr. Camp-
bell was already provided with
sufficient attendance.

* Bungalow, a house with a thatched roof.

+ Mussulmaun ayah, a Mahometan waiting-

maid.



OF BOOSY. 45

Poor Boosy! how little did he
anticipate the troubles his new mas-
ter would bring upon him. He was
all delight and warmth at the prospect
of once again serving a “ Feringhee
baba,”* as he called him. He told
me, on our return, that he had seen
the young gentleman getting out of
his carriage, under the portico of his
papa’s door, “ and I am sure I shall
serve the choota sahib with my whole
heart,” he said, “ for he has the fair
hair and slender form of him for
whom I mourn.”

It was after this visit to Mr. Camp-

* Baba, baby, a child.



46 THE LAST DAYS

bell’s that Boosy went for a few days
to see his own family, but he did
not stay long, for at that time his
heart was wholly with the English,
and he seemed, as it were, to have
lost all affection for his own race.
He told me his son was in service
as a bearer in an English family,
that he was in consequence from
home, but he had seen his daughter-
in-law, and an infant grand-child,
for whom he had, by a present of
money to the Brahmins,* obtained
the beloved name of Henry, in place
of his own, for the child had been
called after him. ‘I would have

* Brahmins, the Hindoo priests.



OF BOOSY. 47

liked to show my son’s child to my
beloved sahib,” he said; ‘“ he would
have smiled upon the dark boy, and
for my sake I know he would have
loved him, and taught him what is

right.”

It was only of this child, of all
his kin, that Boosy spoke with any
affection ; and indeed he soon ceased
mentioning him at all, his whole
thoughts being given up to his young
future master, Edward Campbell ;
and it was with increased pleasure,
from day to day, that he talked of
entering his service. It is true he
had only caught one view of him,



48 THE LAST DAYS

but the boy was about the age of
Henry L
too, for English children in India all



, and he was like him

resemble each other, as they all,

more or less, suffer from the climate.

Boosy saw Edward Campbell no
more till he entered into his service,
for it was agreed that he should
accompany us to the pinnace that
was to carry us over the water. The
day before we left Callee Gunge, I
called him into my room, and said
much to him respecting the leaving
of his idols to serve the true God.
His answers on the whole did not
please me. It was evident he only



OF BOOSY. 49

clung through fear to the false gods
of his forefathers, while in his heart,
as I plainly saw, he acknowledged
no religion but the Christian’s, which
he proved by consenting to kneel
with me when I prayed for his
conversion.

The day following we left Callee
Gunge, our servants accompanying
us to Calcutta ; the Mussulmaun ayah
alone remained behind, Mrs. Smith
having procured another, who would
go with her to England.

We parted from Boosy on the
sea-shore ; and in order not to mix
F



50 THE LAST DAYS

up my affairs with his, I will pro-
ceed to relate what befel him in my
absence, in his own words, as told
to me on his death-bed, on my
return, a bereaved widower, from

England.

BOOSY’S ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF.

I pip not refuse to jom in your
prayer, Sahib, because I was thinking
of my Henry baba, and of many of his
words ; and I longed to be with him
and at peace. As the thirsty stag of
the desert longs for the cold flowing
waters, so my soul longed for that



OF BOOSY. 51

country, of which my dilharee* once
spoke to me as we sate together in
view of the hills near Raje-mahal :+
—‘“There is a country, now, where
there are no castes, and where we
all shall be like dear brothers. It
is a better country than this ; there
are no evil beasts; there is no more
hunger, no more thirst; there the
waters are sure; there the sun does
not scorch by day, nor the moon
smite by night.” I thought of that
country, Sahib, and my heart was

longing to be there.

But whilst thus sweetly talking, a

* Dilharee, beloved.
¢ Raje-mahal, the hall of the Rajah.



52 THE LAST DAYS

Mussulmaun ayah, who had long
been in the service of the Beebee*
Smith, was listening with her ear
close to the lattice; and when I
opened the door to go out, I could
just see the border of her skirt as
she hastened away through another
door. You know, Sahib, that it was
the Beebee Smith who had got a
place for her in Campbell Sahib’s
family, and she was to wait upon
the beebee sahib,t and was to begin
her attendance the very next day on
her new lady.

Though I had seen her clothes as

* Beebee, lady.
+ Beebee sahib, lady of the house.



OF BOOSY. 53

she fled away, yet I did not sup-
pose that she had heard what had
passed. It is a saying, that gold is
safer in the hand than a secret in the
breast of a woman ; and thus it was

my fate to find.

No doubt you remember, Smith
Sahib, that I went with you to see
you on board the great ship, which
was to carry you and the beebee over
the calla paunee ;* and before we
parted, you laid your hand upon me,
and blessed me, saying to me,
“Boosy, the glimmer of light you
now have can never be quenched,

* Calla paunee, black waters, or the sea.

F3



54 THE LAST DAYS

but it will grow more and more till
it shines out in perfect day.” And
with these words we parted, andagain
I felt as one alone on the wide earth.

The next day I set off for Callee
Gunge to my place at Campbell
Sahib’s, and found that the family
were already quite settled in the
house. It is a grand puckah* house,
Sahib, at Callee Gunge, and it
stands in as wide a compoundt as
any I know; and the trees and
shrubs which grow in it spread a
sweet perfume in the air, making it

altogether a very pleasant place.
* Puckah, brick or stone.

+ Compound, the enclosure round the house,
generally walled.



OF BOOSY. 55

You probably remember too, Sahib,
that the servants’ houses form al-
most a street in the back of the
compound ; and the bearers, with
their sirdaur,* have a large room
with a sort of verandah before it.
We were a double set at Campbell
Sahib’s, and there was my place,
and these were what I accounted
my bhay looghe.t

Having made my salam} to the
sahib himself, I repaired to the well-
known house of the bearers, having
my brass dishes and my clothes in a

* Sirdaur, the chief.
+ Bhay looghe, brother people.
t Salam, respectful bow.



56 THE LAST DAYS

sack; and as I came near the
verandah, I used the common words
of salutation to my new companions,
saying, that I was come to join their
society.

The sirdaur slipped out from
within the house as I spoke to those
without, and said, “ Ram ram,*
brother, if you come in the name of
those we serve (meaning their gods)
you are welcome.”

I was taken by surprise, and said,
“In what other name should I
come?” “ Very good,” he answered,

* Ram ram, a mode of salutation, or a call
upon the god Ram.



OF BOOSY. 57

“come in, then, and we will dip
our hands in the same dish.”

« What more could I ask,” I said ;
but I felt confused, and disturbed
to know what this could mean.
There is generally one provider
among a company of bearers, and
every one furnishes his portion of
money. I laid down what would
be required for a month’s provision :
and, as it was nearly dinner time,
and I was not required in the house
for an hour or so, I placed myself
in a corner with my nargeel.*

* Nargeel, a pipe that is smoked through
water.



58 THE LAST DAYS

Suddenly I heard a voice; it was
loud and shrill: I looked up, and
there was the ayah. ‘“ Eh, Boosy,”
she said, “so you are come, and
have found your place among your
brethren. I thought rather to have
seen you in other company. I did
not suppose that you took so much

account of your caste.”

“ What mean you, woman?” I
asked.

She uttered a loud shrill laugh,
and snapping her fingers in scorn,
she passed on up to the house.



OF BOOSY. 59

Nothing more was «said; but
I could see that my companions
looked on me with the eyes of
suspicion, and I perceived that they
spoke few words to me, though they
talked much amongst themselves.
When the hour was out which was
given me for my dinner, I went up
to the house to make my salam to

Edward Sahib.

T went into the hall where the bee-
bee sahib was sitting with another
beebee, whilst a bearer was pulling
the punkah.* The beebees were

* Punkah, a large fan suspended from the
ceiling.



60 THE LAST DAYS

talking, and the choota sahib was
lying with his back on the mat under
the punkah, with a number of jeu-
jeu* about him on the floor. He
was kicking up his feet, which were
without shoes or stockings; and
though he saw me standing at the
door, he seemed to take no notice of
me.

“ Look, Edward,” said his mo-
ther, “ here is your new servant ;
here is Boosy.”

The boy made no answer; and
she said again, “ Do you not see the
new man?”

* Jeujeu, playthings.



OF BOOSY. 61

“ Let him wait,” said the little
sahib. ‘“ What else is he for? ”

The beebee took no more notice ;
and I was going out to wait in the
verandah, when the young sahib
cried out, “ Where are you going P
did I not tell you to wait ?”

I stood still where I was, but my
memory rolled back to the days so
lately passed, and on the little mas-
ter I had lost for ever. Ah, Henry
baba ! ah, Henry piarra !* I seemed
to say to myself, how sweet, how
gentle, how humble was your bear-

* Piarra, beloved.

G



62 THE LAST DAYS

ing at all times! and even in the
hours of weariness and pain, you
were more tender to your poor ser-
vant than a son to a father. What
caused you so to differ from other
children ? for do not even the chil-
dren of my own people despise and
trample upon those who are beneath
them? Is man of one blood and
descended from one stock, or is this
a dream, a fancy, a delusion? Do
all the Feringhees believe this? and
if so, how can they thus despise
their fellow-creatures, because the
sun has looked upon them, and
changed the colour of their skin?
These were my thoughts, Sahib, and



OF BOOSY. 63

they were like a perplexed thread,
which I could not unravel. I was
disturbed from them by a call from
the choota sahib ;—his father had
come in, and had ordered him to
gather up the scattered jeu-jeu, and
the child passed the order to me.
“Take these away,” he said, as he
rose from the floor; and whilst I
was doing his orders, he ran out of
the room.

“The choota sahib is gone out,
Boosy,” said the lady. “ You know
your duty; you must follow him,
and see that no harm happens to

him :—fly,” she added, “ he has



64 THE LAST DAYS

mounted the rocking-horse, I hear ;
he will overthrow it.”

Do you know a rocking-horse,
Sahib? it is a Europe jeu-jeu, a
horse of wood fixed on rockers. I
ran at the beebee’s call; but 1 came
a moment too late; the boy had
mounted the horse, and had just
tilted it over. When I came into
the verandah, he was poised on his
head with his heels in the air.

The servants had all run in at the
noise of the first crash. The ayah
was the foremost to catch up the
child, and to add her clamour to his.



OF BOOSY. 65

“Where were you, Boosy,” she
screamed, “that you were not ready
to prevent this misfortune ?”’ Then
speaking to the boy,—‘ My life, my
light, my soul,” she said, “how has
this happened ? was there no servant
to prevent it? no one to hold you up,
and save that beautiful head ?”

Thus I began my service in the
house of Campbell Sahib, by being
charged with carelessness, and the
sahib himself was the only one who.
said I was not to blame. But the
ayah had given me a bad name ; she
had told among the servants what
had passed between me and you,

a 3



66 THE LAST DAYS

Sahib; and she had made me an
object of suspicion in the eyes both
of the Hindoos and Mussulmauns.

Both these parties hate the
Christians ; and they despise them in
their hearts, because they profess to
call no man common or unclean,
nor to esteem the highest castes and
orders of the natives better than the
lowest, whilst at the same time they
lord it over all of them, as if they
were themselves of a higher and
purer origin.

Thus had this woman set my peo-
ple against me, before I had shown



OF BOosY. 67

myself in the family ; and had even
thrown out her hints before the bee-
bee, and the choota sahib, saying,
“ Hindoo is good, and Mussulmaun
is good, and Christian very good ;
black child is good, and white child
is very good; but half and half is
not good, and he that is not sincere
in the religion of his fathers and his
people is not to be trusted.”

These were the words with all the
persons in the house, and the lady
had said, “ Very true, and very good.
Let every person be sincere in his
religion, and God will surely bless
him in the end. If this man Boosy



68 THE LAST DAYS

has been converted by Mr. Smith,
as you pretend, let him say so, and
it will be well.” Butthe beebee did
not say these words to me; she was
high and proud, and cared not much

for these things.

After Edward Sahib had fallen
from the horse, I took care never to
leave him, but when I went to my
khauna* at fixed hours of the days.
I followed him wherever he went.
I slept on a goderiet by the side of
his little bed. I fanned him to sleep.
I washed and dressed him, and took
care of his clothes, and walked by

* Khauna, food. + Goderie, a mattress.



OF BOOSY. 69

him when he went out in his palan-
quin,* and drove the flies from him
when he ate. The duties were the
same as those required of me in the
service of the dilharee Henry baba ;
but, a wa wila,+ how changed were
the feelings with which I performed
them. How different are the ser-
vices wrought by love to those which
are rendered for wages! Can silver
purchase affection? Can chains of
gold restrain the wanderings of the
heart? I desired to love Edward
Sahib; and the baba sahib might
have loved me had he been left to

* Palanquin, Indian sedan.
t A wa wila, exclamation of grief.



70 THE LAST DAYS

himself. He liked to hear stories ;
and I knew many with which, in
days that were past, I used to amuse
the beloved one who was gone. In
the day-time Edward Sahib never
rested. He was always in motion,
secking some amusement, and find-
ing none: wearying himself with
tumbling and tossing on the sit-
ringe ;* breaking and smashing his
jeu-jeus ; scolding, kicking, and
abusing me, and the other servants ;
teazing his mother, for what he
could not obtain; snatching for-

bidden food from the table, when

* Sitringe, a carpet.



OF BOOSY. 71

set out for the sahib looghe,* in the
hall ; and too often using the gallee+
he heard from the black people, and
repeating those jestings in which they
delight. But in the evening, when
it was getting dark, and when I had
laid him in his cot and sat beside
him, with my choury,t he would
often listen to me, and hear me talk
of Henry baba; and of many things
which had happened to him, and of
his sweet and gentle bearing, from
the time that I first took him, a
helpless babe, without a mother, to

* Sahib looghe, master people.
T Gallee, abuse, bad language.
t Choury, a fan for driving away flies.



72 THE LAST DAYS

myarms. I didnot tell how he had
tried to make me a Christian, for I
was afraid; but I spoke of how he
had died in peace and joy, and how
he was in happiness with the God
of his fathers; and I held up the
picture that was in my heart before
his fancy, and he heard me again
and again. In little time we should
have loved each other, had I been
left with him; but when the dark
hours of each twenty-four were
passed, the same things wrought
again on my choota sahib to make
him what he had been each day be-
fore. The beebee sahib would never
suffer him to be contradicted, but



OF BOOSY. 73

hewas to do all that hedesired, sothat
nothing was done to hurt his health.

“T shall take him,” she said, “ in
a few years to Willaet,* where he
will be taught, and where he will be
able to learn what is right, and all
bad customs taught him by the
natives will be forgotten. There,
too, he will soon forget the only
tongue he can now speak, and will
learn to talk like his own people.”
These were the words she often said
to the beebees who came to see her,
and the beebees always answered,
“ Very good.”

* Wiilaet, Europe.

H



74 THE LAST DAYS

But though she never blamed the
baba when he used bad language,
and called the servants gudhys,* and
bundaurs,t with other words more
wicked, yet she always reproved the
servants on these occasions, and me
chiefly, because I was his chief
attendant ; not suffermg me to an-
swer, or to say that I had no power

to make the choota sahib do well.

“ May be,” she once said, “ that
you think it no harm for a child to
use the vile language so common
among your people. You bring up
your own children in all manner of

* Gudhys, asses. + Bundaurs, slaves.



OF BOOSY. 75

wickedness ; how then can you do
otherwise with the children of your
masters?” What more could I say,
than that I had no power to prevent
the choota sahib from doing that
which was in his heart to do; but
this I did say, and she answered,
«The child is innocent; he knows
not the meaning of the words which
he utters: go away, and attend to
him, and let me not hear any more
of this.”

I was in this family several months;
the cold season was gone; and the
white man began to grow weak under

the influence of the black man’s sun.



76 THE LAST DAYS

The choota sahib grew languid ; he
was less active than he had been in
the cold weather, but he was more
restless. Nothing would please him.
He rolled and tossed on the sitringes

he fought with the flies and mus-
quitoes, which buzzed about him ;
he was irritated all over with the
prickly heat ; he found no ease, but
when I was rubbing him with sweet
oil, or waving the punkah over him.
But I could do nothing well or
right; and one day, after he had
been some time in the beebee sahib’s
room, he told me that I was to tell
him no more stories about Henry

baba.



OF BOOSY. 77

“And why not, Sahib?” I
asked.

“Because Henry baba died; and
hearing of him makes me think of
dying,” he answered. “ The ayah
says, I must hear no more about
him ; and mamma said, that children

should not think of death.”

I made no answer.

“ Henry is in heaven, you say,
Boosy; shall you ever see him

> *) 9)
again r

«‘ How should I know 2” I answer-
H3



78 THE LAST DAYS

ed; but I spoke with a full, sad
heart, for I had long felt that, if I
dared to declare that I wished to
learn to be a Christian, I should be
sure to meet with my beloved child
again. Often and often had I read
parts of the book which he had
given me, even since I had been at
Campbell Sahib’s house, when I
thought I could do so unseen, yet
was I still afraid of the persecution
which I knew would follow, and
had therefore continued to fall in
with ali the rites and ceremonies
observed by my bhay looghe.*
But when I turned my eyes from

* Bhau Looghe, brother people.



OF BOOSY. 79

the hope of the Christians, to all 1
had learned from childhood of the
dark spirit of the Hindoo faith, a
gloom, and a horror, and a con-
fusion came over me, such as I

could not describe.

“ Are you a true Hindoo, Boosy?”’
said the choota sahib. “Do you
believe in those frightful images
I see in the little temples, and
under the trees, and carried about
every where to sell, or to drown,
or to break to pieces? The ayah
says, that she does not believe
in them, because she is a Mussul-

maunee, and a true follower of the



80 THE LAST DAYS

Prophet Mahomet. She says there
is only one God, and Mahomet is his
prophet now, but that Huzrut Esau*
will come at the end of a long time,
and then her prophet will acknow-
ledge him. She told mamma, on
this account she did not despise the
Saviour of the Christians; but she
said she despised all those people
who were not what they pre-
tended to be. Those were the
words she said; and mamma said
so too; and then the ayah said some-
thing about you, Boosy—she said,
you were neither one thing nor
another.”

* Huarut Esau, the blessed Jesus.



OF BOOSY. 81

Just as the child had spoken these
words, the ayah stood before us.

“Whose name have you used,
woman, before the ears of the bee-
bee sahib?” I asked. “ What have

you said of me?”

“ What have I said,” she answer-
ed, “ but true words? Who is it,”
she added, “ who reads the Engile*
every day at the early dawn, sitting
by the choota sahib’s bed, and think-
ing that no eye sees you? You are a
Christian, Boosy,” she added. “I
despise you; you are an infidel, and
have not courage to own it. Was

* Engile, the Bible.



82 THE LAST DAYS

there but the spirit of a cingala * in
you, man, you would confess what

”
you are, and bear the consequences.
“What consequences?” I asked.

“You would submit to be scorn-
ed, scoffed at, spit upon, treated as

an outcast,’ she added.

There was not a vile word in the
Hindoo tongue which she did not
use; nor a vile wish which she did
not utter. I wondered what I had
done to make her my enemy; but
she wanted my place for a man called
Nerkon, a bearer, with whom she

* Cingala, grasshopper.



OF BOOSY. 83

had lived some years in your family,
Sahib. This came to my knowledge

afterwards.

That evening, after sunset, the
sahib and the beebee went to visit a
friend, and Edward Sahib was left
with the servants ; and the ayah sent
for tum-tum wallas* and the putully
nautch,t and we all sat ina dark room
to see the tumasha,{ and there was

much singing and much noise.

Edward Sahib would not go to
bed at his usual hour; and when I
begged him to do so, he left me, and

* Tum-tum wallas, drum-players.
+ Putully nautch, a puppet-show.
t Tumasha, the show, or spectacle.



84. THE LAST DAYS

went and sat on the mat by the

ayah.

“What will you say to-morrow to
the beebee sahib?”’ I said to the boy.
“Tf she asks you at what hour you

went to bed, what will you say ?”

“What should he say ?”’ replied
the ayah. ‘‘ You know better,” she
added, “than to make the mother’s
heart sad, by telling her what is past
and can’t be undone.” “Nay,” I
remarked, “ but if we do not tell
the truth, and if it is found that we
have lied, where shall we be 2?”

Many a large fire has been kindled



OF BOOSY. 85

by a single spark ; and many a vio-
lent quarrel has been blown up bya
few words. I had spoken those few
words, and I had drawn upon me
the indignation of every servant
present, and in many instances of
their wives and children ; for every
man’s wife and child had come to
the house to see the nautch, and
those that were not of caste to come

within, stood around the door.

“ You had best all of you go home,
my friends, for we have a serpent
under our roof,” said the ayah ;
“one which will rouse itself by and
by, though it sleeps now, and will
make every one of us feel its fangs.



86 THE LAST DAYS

Here is the man who is watching all
we do, that he may blacken our
faces in the eyes of the sahib ;”’ and
having thus begun, she all at once
changed her tone, and using the
most violent and offensive words
against me, accused me of being in
heart a Christian, and of having
eaten with them, and of having lost
caste ; of being no better than a com-
mon sweeper; having a mouth for
every kind of meat; one that would
eat swine’s flesh with a Christian,
and carrion with the pariah. Her
words were taken up by most of the
persons present, and the noise of the
voices, especially of the women, filled

the whole compound ; and the child



OF BOOSY. 87

seemed to enjoy the scene, laughing
heartily at the vile names which were
bestowed upon me.

I could not, had I wished it, have
made myself heard in my own de-
fence ; but I was worked up at last
to such anger that I knocked down
one little hump-backed man, who
came grinning and jeering in my
face.

This was enough: it would not
do to come to blows in the sahib’s
house, said the ayah. We were not
in the bazar ; we were not wild asses

in the wieraun : * so bidding us all

* Wieraun, wilderness.



88 THE LAST DAYS

to be silent, she once more caused
the singing and nautching and tum-
tuming to go on, until it was thought

necessary that they should cease.

Edward Sahib would not go to
bed, till there was fear that his father
and mother might return; but he
made the ayah wait upon him, for
he called me names, and pushed
me from him. I lay down on my
goderie that night so full of thought
that I could not sleep; so after a
while I got up, and sat in the open
doorway, before which we had placed
the choota sahib’s cot. It was a
clear night; there was not a cloud

in the dark blue sky, so that 1 could



OF BOOSY. 89

see distinctly, beyond the verandah,
the wide green lawn spread before
the doorway ; and through the groves
which surrounded it I could just get
a sight of Gunga, whose waters

sparkled in the starlight.

I had been taught from an infant,
Sahib, to account that river sacred,
and to believe that all the works of
nature on the earth were the habita-
tions of spirits; that the sun and
the moon were gods ; that the voices
of gods were heard in the winds ;
and that there was something of
divinity in the image of any god
which had been blessed by the

13



90 THE LAST DAYS

Brahmins.* These things had I
learned from a boy; but at that
time, whilst I sat in the door-way
breathing the cool night air, I felt

gods

quite certain that all these
were nothing but the inventions and
works of man, and that if what the
Christian’s book taught of the
Creator of all things was not true,
there was no other book that was.
Then came this thought into my
mind, as I watched the stars in the
heavens :—Is not my Henry Sahib
as the fair moon, and do I not love

him as the star Rohini loves the

* The Hindoos say they have three hundred
and thirty million gods.



OF BOOSsY. 91

moon ? Is he not as full of light to
me as the clear moon to that pale
star? The time must come when
that bright orb is obscured by the
gloom from the sight of her loving
star; but at the end of the eclipse
Rohini shall again rejoin her beloved
moon, and then will the heavens be

light again.

Henry dilharee, may not it be so
with us? The dark eclipse is now
reigning supreme over my destiny ;
but it must pass away, and then all
will be light, soft and beautiful light!
Yes, I remember I thought, it must

be light, beautiful light, when I can



92 THE LAST DAYS

turn away from these vile gods of
my race, to worship one so pure as
He who formed the mind of my
sahib! Oh, that my heart were
more pleasing in /Zis sight! Oh,
that I could trust to Him to purify
it as my Henry told me he could
do! For what would heaven itself
be if our vile gods dwelt there! they
who love darkness more than light,
because it is as a cloak for their

foul deeds.

Oh, how at that hour I loathed
these gods of man’s imagining ; and
yet so fearful was I of my fellow

men, and of being made an outcast



OF BOOSY. 93

from my people, that even to myself
I could not venture to think of
renouncing the faith in which I had
been reared. One other reason re-
strained me from confessing myself
a Christian: I considered that if
these idols were no gods, yet per-
chance they might have power as
tormentors and devils.

I sat im that place till the first
faint blush of dawn, and till I heard
the birds begin to move in the
branches of the tall trees. I had
been thinking, and thinking with a
full and sad heart, of what I could

do, and wishing that the days could



94 THE LAST DAYS

return when my gentle Henry baba
was with me, when he lay in my
arms as in a cradle, sleeping in
innocency, and waking to thank me
for loving him, and perhaps to tell
me of some happy dream of the
Saviour he loved. I asked myself
then, as I often have done since,
wherefore those are fierce, bloody,
and vicious, who worship gods they
suppose to be the same, and where-
fore those who see their God to be
kind and lovely become so them-
selves? May it not be, Sahib, that
the human breast is as a mirror, or
rather a clear pool, which is bright
beneath the unclouded sunbeam,



Full Text








The Baldwin Library /

RmB x.


4 lh DVL

ae. Powe en
Cg
THE

LAST DAYS OF BOOSY.



HOULSTON & S'TONE MAN, 64, PATE KNOST EK HOW
THE

LAST DAYS OF BOOSY,

THE

Bearer of Hittle Wenrp.

BY MRS. SHERWOOD,

AUTHOR OF “ LITTLE HENRY AND HIS BEARER,”

“(THE INDIAN PILGRIM,” &c. &c.

SECOND EDITION.



LONDON:

HOULSTON AND STONEMAN,
PATERNOSTER ROW.
LETTER

FROM

MR. McNEIL TO MR. SMITH.



My Dear Sir,—Having after
long inquiry at last found out where
you live, and how a letter may find
you, I address you with the hope
that you may be able to give me
some account of the last days of the
faithful Bearer* to whom little

* Bearer, a servant, whose work is to carry
a palanquin, but who is frequently employed
to take charge of children.

B
Q THE LAST DAYS

Henry L—— was so deeply and
truly attached.

I was in Berhampore, and under
very painful circumstances, at the
time in which Henry died; and it
was not till after the death of that
holy child that I became acquainted
with Mr. and Mrs. Baron. My wife
and I were soon drawn towards them
by a similarity of feelings, for our
firstborn was at that time taken from
our arms by his heavenly Father,
and we had to lay his infant re-
mains in the burial-ground at Ber-
hampore. It was a sad joy to us
to choose for his resting-place the
OF BOOSY. 3

adjoining spot to the grave of the
sweet and pious Henry L .



The History of Little Henry was
at this time confided to us in manu-
script by Mrs. Baron, and I was
permitted to copy it. The only por-
tion which was added to the manu-
script when it was printed, a few
years afterwards, was what relates
to Boosy.

This passage informs the reader
that “immediately after the funeral
of his little sahib,* having received
his wages, with a handsome present,

%* Sahil, master.
4 THE LAST DAYS

he carried the lock of hair, which
Mrs. Baron sealed up carefully, with
a letter from her, to Mr. Smith. He
was received into Mr. Smith’s family,
and removed with him to a distant
part of India, where shortly after,
he renounced caste,* and declared
himself a Christian. After due
examination, he was baptized, and
continued till his death, which
happened not very long after, a sin-
cere Christian.”

Of course, my dear Sir, this

* Caste, the natives of India are divided
into various ranks, called caste. Each caste has
respective employments, which descend from
father to son.
OF BOOSY. 6

passage is well known to you, but
it has certainly perplexed me much,
as I know not how to reconcile it
with what I personally know of the
poor Bearer ; and I confess it would
be a great satisfaction, on many
accounts, if you could show me how
what I happen to have seen of
Boosy can agree with the last pages
in the printed history of little
Ilenry.

I now proceed to give you the
account of a very singular and affect-
ing meeting which I had with him.
I never saw Boosy but once, and it
is some years since, for the history

B 3
6 THE LAST DAYS



of little Henry L had not then
been published, and the fine example
which this babe in Christ had been
permitted to give of the power of
the Divine Spirit within the breast
even of a tender child, had not been
generally made known in our own
country. I had occasion to pass by
Berhampore with my family, in a
pinnace, about two years or more
after the death of little Henry. We
had been staying up the country in
a better climate, for probably
throughout the East there is not a
climate more unhealthy than Ber-
hampore, and we came to anchor
close upon the cantonments, with the
OF BOOSY. 7

intention of staying there all night.
I could observe that my wife had
the utmost difficulty to restrain her
tears, but she did not purpose to go
on shore; and had she done so, it
would not have been convenient, as
we arrived at a late hour in the
evening, and were to move soon
after sunrise in the morning.

The night proved very tempes-
tuous, commencing with much
thunder and lightning, which was
followed towards midnight by one
of our tropical rains, so well known
to all Indians, and I feared that the
plan which I had formed of visiting
8 THE LAST DAYS

my boy’s grave, unknown to Mrs.
McNeil, must be utterly put aside.

But when the morning dawned
the tempest had wholly subsided,
the sky was cloudless, and the earth
seemed as if it had only been
refreshed by the driving shower.

I arose, summoned my bearers,
and was on my way to the well-
remembered burying-ground before
the stars had disappeared. There
was not a person moving in the
square of the cantonment,—not a
sound heard, so that the voices of
my bearers, as they made their
OF BOOSY. 9

usual cries, fell hollow and melan-
choly upon my ear.

The first beams of the sun had
just shot up above the horizon, when
we entered the plain beyond the
cantonments. You, my good Sir,
must remember this plain; its vast
extent and perfect level ; its verdure
without break or variety, as far as
the eye can reach, excepting from a
few gentlemen’s houses, standing
here and there on the open space ;
the burial-ground enclosed with
walls and gates, and clusters of the
various kinds of palms, though
these are few, and far between.
10 THE LAST DAYS

To my apprehension, disease and
death hovered continually over this
plain, the ground being always
swampy, and sometimes entirely laid
under water.

On this morning, I well remem-
ber, that as the sun arose, the fog
from the damp earth rose with it, so
that we were very near the burying-
ground before I saw the summits of
the tombs rising above the high
wall, so dimly did they show through
the mist.

It had not occurred to me, till we
were opposite the principal gates of
OF BOOSY. ll

the burial-ground, that I ought to
have sent for the keys to the person
who kept them. I ought to have
remembered that these places are
always kept locked.

I had then, however, no time to
spare, and, vexed with myself for
my carelessness, I resolved to get
out and try the gate at either end.
So ordering the bearers to set me
down, and to remain where they
were till I should return, I went
first to the nearest gate. It was
locked, and so securely, that it could
not be moved. The other gate was
at the back of the enclosure, and in
12 THE LAST DAYS

order to get to it, it was necessary
for me to go half round the walls.
Being come to the back of the
grave-yard, I perceived that a por-
tion of the wall had lately fallen,
probably during the last night, for
the ruin looked quite fresh, and had
hardly yet settled. By this open-
ing I will enter, I thought, and
take one last look at my infant’s
grave.

I was just turning the corner of
the enclosure when I observed this
breach, and was making up my mind
to enter by it, when I saw the figure
of a black man, with his back rather
OF BOOSY. 13

towards me, creeping towardsthe rub-
bish in a stealthy, quiet manner, and
the next minute I lost sight of him,
as he passed into the interior of the
grave-yard. The natives, in general,
avoid the burying places of Euro-
peans, and Hindoos of caste are very
scrupulous in touching or going near
the dead, though, with their usual
inconsistency, the tombs of their
saints are accounted sacred, and often
visited for religious purposes. But,
as you probably know, dear Sir, every
European burial-ground has its ap-
pointed ‘ chockedaur,* and I there-
- fore supposed the man I saw to bea

* Chockedaur, a watchman,
Cc
14 THE LAST DAYS

person of this kind belonging to the
place.

When I came to the opening in
the wall, I climbed over the rubbish,
and entered this city of the dead,
where the remains of so many of my
countrymen had been gathered from
year to year; sacrifices, for the most
part, to a climate as ill-suited to
Europeans as any throughout the

whole extent of our dominions in
India.

Threading my way through streets
of tombs to the lowly grave of my
baby, which, as I before said, was
OF BOOSY. 15

next to that of little Henry, I was
startled to see the man who had
entered the place before me kneeling
at the tomb of Henry, and with
joined hands, and eyes uplifted
towards the upper part of the monu-
ment, calling upon the dead, as if
the dead could hear.

« Ah, mira beta,* mira Henry,”
he said, “ and can it never be that
we shall meet again? Oh! my son,
how sweet is thy memory. My
heart forsakes its own people, to
cling to thee; yet art thou lost, and
lost to me for ever. Alas! alas!

* Mira beta, my sor.
16 THE LAST DAYS

the moon opens the night-flower,
and the sun makes the water-lily to
blossom ; each is confined to its own
object ; so will each god look down
upon the creatures he has made.
Would that your God was my God ;
but am I not of other blood than
thou? The white man’s hopes
cannot extend to one of swarthy hue.
There cannot be one ,Meaven for
white and black>for slave and
master. Oh, Brahma,* be not en-
raged with me, because I have dared
to doubt thy power. There is nothing
greater than thee; all depend upon
thee, as the pearls on the thread on

* Brahma, the chief god of the Hindoos,
OF BOOSY. 17

which they are strung. A single
atom emanating from thee produced
the universe, and still thou remainest
entire. But what say 1?—he for
whom my soul mourns worshipped
another God ; a God of love, a God
of mercy. Oh why, why was he not
my God also? Why did my parents
bathe me in the waters of Gunga ?*
—why did they appoint her as my
guardian deity ; aye, and can I doubt
her power? Does she not send me
threatening omens, and _ terrible
visions? Has she not power to doom

* Gunga, a Hindoo goddess. The river

Ganges.

c3
18 THE LAST DAYS

me after death to never-ending mise-
rable births ? Ah! what are brothers,
kinsmen, friends ? What is my
choota sahib* himself? Men, beasts,
stones, are not they all one? Has
not a perpetual irresistible force made
all that we see, and unceasingly
renews it? Are we not to-day a
man, yesterday a plant, and to-mor-
row perchance a stone? Such is the
destiny of all. But oh, mirat Henry,
mira Henry, shall I then never see
thee more? Must even the re-
membrance of thee be obscured
from my memory? Oh, why
did thy God permit us to see

* Choota sahib, little master. + Mira, my.

be +
6
s
OF BOOSY. 19

so fair, so rich a jewel, if he pur-
posed to take thee so soon to
himself? What is my god to
your God, my sahib? When did
Brahma form one like thee ; so pure,
so kind, so gentle?” Then gushing
into tears, he _pressed his head
against the marble, and uttered deep

groans.

This, then, [thought, is Boosy, Hen-
ry L——’s poor Boosy. Most won-
derful ! Surely these travailings of the
soul must end in a new birth unto life!

Though I did not speak, yet I
made some movement which caused
Boosy to start, and spring upon his
20 TUE LAST DAYS

feet like a person suddenly found out
in some bad action. I was the first
who spoke.

“ You are the man called Boosy,”
Isaid, “ the beloved Bearer of Henry
L , and I find you kneeling by
the tomb of your little sahib.
I rejoice that the memory of



the past is thus deeply graven
on your heart. But did I not hear
the murmurs of doubt, and
fear, and hesitation? Do you
not remember the .words of your
beloved one, who, when lying
on his bed of death, sid, ‘ Oh, my
poor dearer! what will become of
OF BOOSY. 21

you, tf you neglect 80 great salvation?’
Can you forget that when he added,
‘Oh, Lord Jesus Christ, turn the
heart of my poor dearer ’ you re-
peated that prayer, and thus added
your voice to his, in supplication to
the God of the Christians ? ”

Boosy was evidently much troubled
at the sight of me, and for a few
minutes was quite at a loss how to
answer me. He felt that what he
had been doing, kneeling and praying
at the grave of a Christian, was so
entirely contrary to all the prejudices
of the Hindoos, that his character
would be utterly gone with his own
22 THE LAST DAYS

people if the fact should ever be
known. He was frightened, too,
lest I should have been followed
to the breach in the wall by some
of my servants, for he looked
anxiously toward that way, and
did not recover his presence of
mind till he found that we were
quite alone; he then spoke,
and began with excusing him-
self for visiting the burial-ground.

“No one could blame you,” I
answered, “ for visiting the tomb
of one so loved as your little sahib
was by you. I too am here to visit
the grave of a child.”
OF BOOSY. 23

« You are a Feringhee,* Sahib,”
he answered, “ andI am a poor
Hindoo. My people would account
me unclean, could they kiiow where
I had been. The sahib will not tell.
I shall bathe in the sacred stream
which flows from Gunga when I go
hence, and I shall obtain pardon for
this offence.”

I told him, that as the offence was
imaginary, so an imaginary remedy
might answer to it. But “ Boosy,”
I added, “ do I now hear you boast-
ing of the powers of Gunga? Do you

* Feringhee, European.
24 THE LAST DAYS

forget what you once said to your
beloved sahid, when left with
him one night during the latter
days of his life ?>—* Sahib, I have
been thinking all day that I
am a sinner, and always have
been one; and I begin to believe
my sins are such as Gunga cannot
wash away. I wish I could be-
lieve in the Lord Jesus Christ !’
Do you not recollect these
words ?”

“The sahib knows _ every-
thing,” he answered, in some
surprise. “I did say those
words.”
OF BOOSY. 25

“ And they were good words,
Boosy,’’ I replied—‘“very good words.
And if you meant what you said,
God has been very good to you, to
open your eyes to the truth. He
will not begin the work and leave it
unfinished; for the God of the *
Christians, the only true God, has
no respect of persons, for he has
made of one blood all nations of
men who dwell on the face of the
earth, and for them has the Son of
God descended from heaven, and
taken upon him the human nature,
that by receiving the punishment of
their sins, happiness alone is left for
those who love him.”

D
26 THE LAST DAYS

“ But, Sahib,” cried Boosy, “ who
could see the fair countenances of
the Feringhees, and then look with
equal pleasure on our swarthy
features ?”

“God sees not as men see,” I
replied. ‘He looks at the heart,
and he is ready to receive all who
will go to him; but understand me
well, it is not, as you once asserted
to your little sahib, that as there
are many brooks and rivers of
water, which all run into the sea at
last, so there are many religions
which all lead to heaven, one way
being as good as another. No,
OF BOOSY. 27

such is not the case; for God is
an infinite being—all powerful, all
holy. He alone can show us
the way, and make it easy for us,
to tread which is to bring us to him.
Your little sahib, I well remember,
told you of this, and these were
his words: ‘There is but one way
to heaven; our Saviour, the Lord
Jesus Christ, is the way to heaven,
and zo man cometh unto God but
by him.”

The Bearer made no direct answer
to what I said, but began to speak
of his beta, as he called Henry,
comparing him in gentleness to the
28 THE LAST DAYS

lamb, in tenderness to the dove, and
in beauty to the flower of the water-
lily. Had I not witnessed his man-
ner before the tomb, when he thought
himself alone, I might have doubted
the sincerity of these highly figura-
tive expressions; but I could not
doubt, and I asked him what he
thought had caused this little boy
to differ so much from other chil-
dren. ‘I believe,’ he answered,
“that it was the God he worshipped
who made him to differ.”

“Do you not then honour that
God who can makeso beautiful a
work as an holy child?”
OF BOOSY. 29

« When I think on the power of
the creation of so dazzling a jewel,”
he replied; “ when I reflect that
such a one must have been formed
and moulded in the eternal Mind ;
1 am ready to renounce the gods of
my forefathers, and to acknowledge
the God of the Christians. Brahma*
and Vishnou, aye, and all our gods,
are so loaded with sins,~they love
so to wallow in their iniquities, that
they would, I believe, only mock at
the purity of my sweet sahib. How,
then, could they form one like him?
No god of the Hindoos could imagine

® Brahma and Vishnou, primary gods of the
Hindoos.

pd3
30 THE LAST DAYS

a creature so glorious, so noble, and
yet so simple.”

Unwilling to allow this opportunity
to pass away, I earnestly implored
him to acknowledge himself a Chris-
tian, as he so admired the holiness
of our God.

“‘ My mind does not yet own your
God as supreme over all,” he an-
swered, somewhat sullenly ; “ the
mind cannot be so easily subdued.
I cannot so hastily renounce the gods
of my forefathers.”

“ But you have already done what
OF BOOSY. 31

will injure you in the eyes of your
people,” I said. ‘“ Were it known
to them, your visit to this tomb
would not be forgiven.”

«The sahib has me in his power,”
he answered; “but he would not
light a fire near the stalk of the
Madhavi creeper, whose leaves are
already dried by a sultry gale.”

“No,” I replied ; “I would re-
fresh it with genial showers ; I would
bathe it in fresh water; I would
tenderly guard it, and encourage it
to thrive ; but I would not leave it
to itself to perish. Boosy,” I
32 THE LAST DAYS

added, “for the sake of that swect
boy, who loved you as his own soul,
why retract those words which it once
made him so happy to hear youutter?”’

“Tle cannot hear me now,” he
answered ; “what I said was said
to give him joy. It gave him joy—
I am content; he is no more, and I
again acknowledge the gods of my
forefathers,”

“And is it possible,” I remem-
ber I said, “that the holy joy ex-
pressed by that innocent child was
without hope? Ah! Henry, Henry,
praised be God for removing you ere
OF BOOSY. 838

you had seen how fallacious were
your hopes! And will you not meet
again with the Bearer you loved
so well! Sweet boy, how could any
one deceive you so, and see your
joy, and yet be content to retract
what had been uttered!”

« Ah, how could I do it?” cried
Boosy ; “ how could I do it, Sahib?
But yet—I would repeat again all
that I have said, could I but be per-
mitted to behold my beloved again.
Oh! Henry, mira Henry, shall I
never see those sweet eyes of thine
again turned upon me, which used
to sparkle with tenderness for me,
34 THE LAST DAYS

a slave—a heathen? Ah, how did
they glow with love, when I said
that I believed in his God !—when
he thought we should mect again !
Yes, though the dark moss had
settled on the head of the water-lily ;
though my beautiful one was then
sinking under the hand of death;
yet love for his poor Bearer was up-
permost in his thoughts, and, satisfied
that we should meet again, his soul
departed in peace to Him who made
it. Ah, mira Henry, mira Henry,
would to God I was with thee, once
more, my son!”’

Suddenly bursting into tears, and
OF BOOSY. 85

wringing his hands in his agony, he
broke from me, and waving me off
from approaching him, he rapidly
passed round the monument, and the
next moment he had hid himself
from my sight, probably behind one
of the many graves there clustered
together.

From that day to this, though I
have made numberless inquiries, T
have heard no more of him; and
although I was persuaded that this
unhappy idolater would be granted
to the fervent prayers which it was
put into the heart of little Henry
L—— to make for him, yet when
36 THE LAST DAYS

I saw the passage relating to the
conversion, baptism, and death of
this man, at the end of the printed
volume, I became extremely anxious
to know how these things were
brought about, for I had certainly
thought that he would never have
courage to confess the feelings which
were, as it appeared accidentally,
unfolded to me at the grave of
Henry L——.

The prayer of this pious child
for his unbelieving dearer is graven
on my memory. I have taught my
own children to repeat it for their
poor servants; and since they have
OF BOOSY. 37

read the short account of the con-
version of Boosy, I trust that some
of them have the assurance of its
fulfilment in the cases of those for
whom they have used it.

I hope, my dear Sir, that you
will pardon the liberty I take in ad-
dressing you, and that you will most
kindly grant the favour I ask, not
only in my own name, but in that
of my children.—Yours faithfully,

Anprew McNEIL.



The copy of Mr. Smith’s letter
is dated very soon after that of Mr.
McNeil. It contains a full and

E
38 THE LAST DAYS

satisfactory answer to all that gen-
tleman’s inquiries.



MR. SMITH’S LETTER.

My Dear Sir,—I have the
greatest pleasure in complying with
your wishes, and am glad to be
thus, as it were, compelled to
perform that which I had often
planned, but for which I fancied
that I never could find the time.

I am able to narrate the history
of Boosy, or at least all that is
important in it, from the time of
the death of little Henry L
partly from personal knowledge,



>
OF BOOSY. 39

and partly from his own lips.
Immediately after the funeral of
, the poor bearer came



Henry L
to me in Calcutta, bringing me the
lock of fair hair which Mrs. Baron had

cut from the head of the dying child.

I will repeat the account he then

gave of himself, in his own words.

“ Sahib,” he said, “ when I had
seen the earth* committed to the
earth, standing afar off, and watch-
ing the train of the sahib looghet
as they carried the box to its last

* So they always speak of the dead.
+ Sahib looghe, master people. }$ Bor, coffin.
40 THE LAST DAYS

place, I returned to the house, and
having received my wages, and the
little packet which I was to carry to
you, Sahib, I set out for Calcutta.
They say that we Hindoos have not
the deep feelings of the Feringhees ;
that we do not love our children,
nor our aged parents as they do.
What do I know? Our religion
enjoins many cruel acts :—would the
Feringhees be less hard than we are,
were they taught as we are ?

“ T took a passage in a boat go-
ing down to Calcutta. I sate silent
and sad on the deck. I spoke to

no one, and no one troubled him-
OF BOOSY. 41

self to speak to me. 1 felt like one
who had lost the delight of his eyes,
and the joy of his heart. I was as
one mourning for an only son; my
bosom was cold, for the cherished

one was no longer beside me.”

But even this was good, as we
afterwards found, for it was by this
his uncommon love for his little
sahib, that God was working in the
poor bearer’s heart. Boosy had
not been with us many months,
before my affairs rendered it neces-
sary I should leave Calcutta, to dwell
at my indigo factory, at Callee
Gunge, a village on one of the thou-

E3
42 THE LAST DAYS

sand branches of the Ganges, not
very far from the Sunderbunds.*

When I mentioned my change of
residence to Boosy, he told me he
knew Callee Gunge very well, that
his own house was within a few
miles of it, and that he had a mar-
ried son there, an only child. He
was pleased with the idea of seeing
him again, and joyfully consented to
go with us to Callee Gunge.

It is not necessary for me to say

* Sunderbunds, a territory lying about the
mouths of the Ganges, covered with set
marshes and extensive woods. A wild and

dismal country, much infested with tigers,
OF BOOSY. 43

wuch about our new abode, for,
from the first, Mrs. Smith’s health
suffered so severely from the change,
that we had scarcely settled ourselves
before we were obliged to think of
our removal to England as the only
chance of saving her life. In this
dilemma, I was glad to hear of a
Mr. Campbell, who resided at some
distance from us, who was then with-
out employment, a person in whom,
I was told, I might place perfect con-
fidence. ‘To him I went, and it was
soon arranged between us, that he
should dwell in my_ house, and
Manage my affairs during my
absence.
44 THE LAST DAYS

I took Boosy with me to Mr.
Campbell’s bungalow,* and it was
settled, much to the bearer’s joy,
that he should enter into the service
of the only son of Mr. Campbell,
as soon as I was no longer in need

of his personal attendance.

The rest of our servants, with the
exception of a Mussulmaun ayah,t
were to go with us to Calcutta,
and there be dismissed, as Mr. Camp-
bell was already provided with
sufficient attendance.

* Bungalow, a house with a thatched roof.

+ Mussulmaun ayah, a Mahometan waiting-

maid.
OF BOOSY. 45

Poor Boosy! how little did he
anticipate the troubles his new mas-
ter would bring upon him. He was
all delight and warmth at the prospect
of once again serving a “ Feringhee
baba,”* as he called him. He told
me, on our return, that he had seen
the young gentleman getting out of
his carriage, under the portico of his
papa’s door, “ and I am sure I shall
serve the choota sahib with my whole
heart,” he said, “ for he has the fair
hair and slender form of him for
whom I mourn.”

It was after this visit to Mr. Camp-

* Baba, baby, a child.
46 THE LAST DAYS

bell’s that Boosy went for a few days
to see his own family, but he did
not stay long, for at that time his
heart was wholly with the English,
and he seemed, as it were, to have
lost all affection for his own race.
He told me his son was in service
as a bearer in an English family,
that he was in consequence from
home, but he had seen his daughter-
in-law, and an infant grand-child,
for whom he had, by a present of
money to the Brahmins,* obtained
the beloved name of Henry, in place
of his own, for the child had been
called after him. ‘I would have

* Brahmins, the Hindoo priests.
OF BOOSY. 47

liked to show my son’s child to my
beloved sahib,” he said; ‘“ he would
have smiled upon the dark boy, and
for my sake I know he would have
loved him, and taught him what is

right.”

It was only of this child, of all
his kin, that Boosy spoke with any
affection ; and indeed he soon ceased
mentioning him at all, his whole
thoughts being given up to his young
future master, Edward Campbell ;
and it was with increased pleasure,
from day to day, that he talked of
entering his service. It is true he
had only caught one view of him,
48 THE LAST DAYS

but the boy was about the age of
Henry L
too, for English children in India all



, and he was like him

resemble each other, as they all,

more or less, suffer from the climate.

Boosy saw Edward Campbell no
more till he entered into his service,
for it was agreed that he should
accompany us to the pinnace that
was to carry us over the water. The
day before we left Callee Gunge, I
called him into my room, and said
much to him respecting the leaving
of his idols to serve the true God.
His answers on the whole did not
please me. It was evident he only
OF BOOSY. 49

clung through fear to the false gods
of his forefathers, while in his heart,
as I plainly saw, he acknowledged
no religion but the Christian’s, which
he proved by consenting to kneel
with me when I prayed for his
conversion.

The day following we left Callee
Gunge, our servants accompanying
us to Calcutta ; the Mussulmaun ayah
alone remained behind, Mrs. Smith
having procured another, who would
go with her to England.

We parted from Boosy on the
sea-shore ; and in order not to mix
F
50 THE LAST DAYS

up my affairs with his, I will pro-
ceed to relate what befel him in my
absence, in his own words, as told
to me on his death-bed, on my
return, a bereaved widower, from

England.

BOOSY’S ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF.

I pip not refuse to jom in your
prayer, Sahib, because I was thinking
of my Henry baba, and of many of his
words ; and I longed to be with him
and at peace. As the thirsty stag of
the desert longs for the cold flowing
waters, so my soul longed for that
OF BOOSY. 51

country, of which my dilharee* once
spoke to me as we sate together in
view of the hills near Raje-mahal :+
—‘“There is a country, now, where
there are no castes, and where we
all shall be like dear brothers. It
is a better country than this ; there
are no evil beasts; there is no more
hunger, no more thirst; there the
waters are sure; there the sun does
not scorch by day, nor the moon
smite by night.” I thought of that
country, Sahib, and my heart was

longing to be there.

But whilst thus sweetly talking, a

* Dilharee, beloved.
¢ Raje-mahal, the hall of the Rajah.
52 THE LAST DAYS

Mussulmaun ayah, who had long
been in the service of the Beebee*
Smith, was listening with her ear
close to the lattice; and when I
opened the door to go out, I could
just see the border of her skirt as
she hastened away through another
door. You know, Sahib, that it was
the Beebee Smith who had got a
place for her in Campbell Sahib’s
family, and she was to wait upon
the beebee sahib,t and was to begin
her attendance the very next day on
her new lady.

Though I had seen her clothes as

* Beebee, lady.
+ Beebee sahib, lady of the house.
OF BOOSY. 53

she fled away, yet I did not sup-
pose that she had heard what had
passed. It is a saying, that gold is
safer in the hand than a secret in the
breast of a woman ; and thus it was

my fate to find.

No doubt you remember, Smith
Sahib, that I went with you to see
you on board the great ship, which
was to carry you and the beebee over
the calla paunee ;* and before we
parted, you laid your hand upon me,
and blessed me, saying to me,
“Boosy, the glimmer of light you
now have can never be quenched,

* Calla paunee, black waters, or the sea.

F3
54 THE LAST DAYS

but it will grow more and more till
it shines out in perfect day.” And
with these words we parted, andagain
I felt as one alone on the wide earth.

The next day I set off for Callee
Gunge to my place at Campbell
Sahib’s, and found that the family
were already quite settled in the
house. It is a grand puckah* house,
Sahib, at Callee Gunge, and it
stands in as wide a compoundt as
any I know; and the trees and
shrubs which grow in it spread a
sweet perfume in the air, making it

altogether a very pleasant place.
* Puckah, brick or stone.

+ Compound, the enclosure round the house,
generally walled.
OF BOOSY. 55

You probably remember too, Sahib,
that the servants’ houses form al-
most a street in the back of the
compound ; and the bearers, with
their sirdaur,* have a large room
with a sort of verandah before it.
We were a double set at Campbell
Sahib’s, and there was my place,
and these were what I accounted
my bhay looghe.t

Having made my salam} to the
sahib himself, I repaired to the well-
known house of the bearers, having
my brass dishes and my clothes in a

* Sirdaur, the chief.
+ Bhay looghe, brother people.
t Salam, respectful bow.
56 THE LAST DAYS

sack; and as I came near the
verandah, I used the common words
of salutation to my new companions,
saying, that I was come to join their
society.

The sirdaur slipped out from
within the house as I spoke to those
without, and said, “ Ram ram,*
brother, if you come in the name of
those we serve (meaning their gods)
you are welcome.”

I was taken by surprise, and said,
“In what other name should I
come?” “ Very good,” he answered,

* Ram ram, a mode of salutation, or a call
upon the god Ram.
OF BOOSY. 57

“come in, then, and we will dip
our hands in the same dish.”

« What more could I ask,” I said ;
but I felt confused, and disturbed
to know what this could mean.
There is generally one provider
among a company of bearers, and
every one furnishes his portion of
money. I laid down what would
be required for a month’s provision :
and, as it was nearly dinner time,
and I was not required in the house
for an hour or so, I placed myself
in a corner with my nargeel.*

* Nargeel, a pipe that is smoked through
water.
58 THE LAST DAYS

Suddenly I heard a voice; it was
loud and shrill: I looked up, and
there was the ayah. ‘“ Eh, Boosy,”
she said, “so you are come, and
have found your place among your
brethren. I thought rather to have
seen you in other company. I did
not suppose that you took so much

account of your caste.”

“ What mean you, woman?” I
asked.

She uttered a loud shrill laugh,
and snapping her fingers in scorn,
she passed on up to the house.
OF BOOSY. 59

Nothing more was «said; but
I could see that my companions
looked on me with the eyes of
suspicion, and I perceived that they
spoke few words to me, though they
talked much amongst themselves.
When the hour was out which was
given me for my dinner, I went up
to the house to make my salam to

Edward Sahib.

T went into the hall where the bee-
bee sahib was sitting with another
beebee, whilst a bearer was pulling
the punkah.* The beebees were

* Punkah, a large fan suspended from the
ceiling.
60 THE LAST DAYS

talking, and the choota sahib was
lying with his back on the mat under
the punkah, with a number of jeu-
jeu* about him on the floor. He
was kicking up his feet, which were
without shoes or stockings; and
though he saw me standing at the
door, he seemed to take no notice of
me.

“ Look, Edward,” said his mo-
ther, “ here is your new servant ;
here is Boosy.”

The boy made no answer; and
she said again, “ Do you not see the
new man?”

* Jeujeu, playthings.
OF BOOSY. 61

“ Let him wait,” said the little
sahib. ‘“ What else is he for? ”

The beebee took no more notice ;
and I was going out to wait in the
verandah, when the young sahib
cried out, “ Where are you going P
did I not tell you to wait ?”

I stood still where I was, but my
memory rolled back to the days so
lately passed, and on the little mas-
ter I had lost for ever. Ah, Henry
baba ! ah, Henry piarra !* I seemed
to say to myself, how sweet, how
gentle, how humble was your bear-

* Piarra, beloved.

G
62 THE LAST DAYS

ing at all times! and even in the
hours of weariness and pain, you
were more tender to your poor ser-
vant than a son to a father. What
caused you so to differ from other
children ? for do not even the chil-
dren of my own people despise and
trample upon those who are beneath
them? Is man of one blood and
descended from one stock, or is this
a dream, a fancy, a delusion? Do
all the Feringhees believe this? and
if so, how can they thus despise
their fellow-creatures, because the
sun has looked upon them, and
changed the colour of their skin?
These were my thoughts, Sahib, and
OF BOOSY. 63

they were like a perplexed thread,
which I could not unravel. I was
disturbed from them by a call from
the choota sahib ;—his father had
come in, and had ordered him to
gather up the scattered jeu-jeu, and
the child passed the order to me.
“Take these away,” he said, as he
rose from the floor; and whilst I
was doing his orders, he ran out of
the room.

“The choota sahib is gone out,
Boosy,” said the lady. “ You know
your duty; you must follow him,
and see that no harm happens to

him :—fly,” she added, “ he has
64 THE LAST DAYS

mounted the rocking-horse, I hear ;
he will overthrow it.”

Do you know a rocking-horse,
Sahib? it is a Europe jeu-jeu, a
horse of wood fixed on rockers. I
ran at the beebee’s call; but 1 came
a moment too late; the boy had
mounted the horse, and had just
tilted it over. When I came into
the verandah, he was poised on his
head with his heels in the air.

The servants had all run in at the
noise of the first crash. The ayah
was the foremost to catch up the
child, and to add her clamour to his.
OF BOOSY. 65

“Where were you, Boosy,” she
screamed, “that you were not ready
to prevent this misfortune ?”’ Then
speaking to the boy,—‘ My life, my
light, my soul,” she said, “how has
this happened ? was there no servant
to prevent it? no one to hold you up,
and save that beautiful head ?”

Thus I began my service in the
house of Campbell Sahib, by being
charged with carelessness, and the
sahib himself was the only one who.
said I was not to blame. But the
ayah had given me a bad name ; she
had told among the servants what
had passed between me and you,

a 3
66 THE LAST DAYS

Sahib; and she had made me an
object of suspicion in the eyes both
of the Hindoos and Mussulmauns.

Both these parties hate the
Christians ; and they despise them in
their hearts, because they profess to
call no man common or unclean,
nor to esteem the highest castes and
orders of the natives better than the
lowest, whilst at the same time they
lord it over all of them, as if they
were themselves of a higher and
purer origin.

Thus had this woman set my peo-
ple against me, before I had shown
OF BOosY. 67

myself in the family ; and had even
thrown out her hints before the bee-
bee, and the choota sahib, saying,
“ Hindoo is good, and Mussulmaun
is good, and Christian very good ;
black child is good, and white child
is very good; but half and half is
not good, and he that is not sincere
in the religion of his fathers and his
people is not to be trusted.”

These were the words with all the
persons in the house, and the lady
had said, “ Very true, and very good.
Let every person be sincere in his
religion, and God will surely bless
him in the end. If this man Boosy
68 THE LAST DAYS

has been converted by Mr. Smith,
as you pretend, let him say so, and
it will be well.” Butthe beebee did
not say these words to me; she was
high and proud, and cared not much

for these things.

After Edward Sahib had fallen
from the horse, I took care never to
leave him, but when I went to my
khauna* at fixed hours of the days.
I followed him wherever he went.
I slept on a goderiet by the side of
his little bed. I fanned him to sleep.
I washed and dressed him, and took
care of his clothes, and walked by

* Khauna, food. + Goderie, a mattress.
OF BOOSY. 69

him when he went out in his palan-
quin,* and drove the flies from him
when he ate. The duties were the
same as those required of me in the
service of the dilharee Henry baba ;
but, a wa wila,+ how changed were
the feelings with which I performed
them. How different are the ser-
vices wrought by love to those which
are rendered for wages! Can silver
purchase affection? Can chains of
gold restrain the wanderings of the
heart? I desired to love Edward
Sahib; and the baba sahib might
have loved me had he been left to

* Palanquin, Indian sedan.
t A wa wila, exclamation of grief.
70 THE LAST DAYS

himself. He liked to hear stories ;
and I knew many with which, in
days that were past, I used to amuse
the beloved one who was gone. In
the day-time Edward Sahib never
rested. He was always in motion,
secking some amusement, and find-
ing none: wearying himself with
tumbling and tossing on the sit-
ringe ;* breaking and smashing his
jeu-jeus ; scolding, kicking, and
abusing me, and the other servants ;
teazing his mother, for what he
could not obtain; snatching for-

bidden food from the table, when

* Sitringe, a carpet.
OF BOOSY. 71

set out for the sahib looghe,* in the
hall ; and too often using the gallee+
he heard from the black people, and
repeating those jestings in which they
delight. But in the evening, when
it was getting dark, and when I had
laid him in his cot and sat beside
him, with my choury,t he would
often listen to me, and hear me talk
of Henry baba; and of many things
which had happened to him, and of
his sweet and gentle bearing, from
the time that I first took him, a
helpless babe, without a mother, to

* Sahib looghe, master people.
T Gallee, abuse, bad language.
t Choury, a fan for driving away flies.
72 THE LAST DAYS

myarms. I didnot tell how he had
tried to make me a Christian, for I
was afraid; but I spoke of how he
had died in peace and joy, and how
he was in happiness with the God
of his fathers; and I held up the
picture that was in my heart before
his fancy, and he heard me again
and again. In little time we should
have loved each other, had I been
left with him; but when the dark
hours of each twenty-four were
passed, the same things wrought
again on my choota sahib to make
him what he had been each day be-
fore. The beebee sahib would never
suffer him to be contradicted, but
OF BOOSY. 73

hewas to do all that hedesired, sothat
nothing was done to hurt his health.

“T shall take him,” she said, “ in
a few years to Willaet,* where he
will be taught, and where he will be
able to learn what is right, and all
bad customs taught him by the
natives will be forgotten. There,
too, he will soon forget the only
tongue he can now speak, and will
learn to talk like his own people.”
These were the words she often said
to the beebees who came to see her,
and the beebees always answered,
“ Very good.”

* Wiilaet, Europe.

H
74 THE LAST DAYS

But though she never blamed the
baba when he used bad language,
and called the servants gudhys,* and
bundaurs,t with other words more
wicked, yet she always reproved the
servants on these occasions, and me
chiefly, because I was his chief
attendant ; not suffermg me to an-
swer, or to say that I had no power

to make the choota sahib do well.

“ May be,” she once said, “ that
you think it no harm for a child to
use the vile language so common
among your people. You bring up
your own children in all manner of

* Gudhys, asses. + Bundaurs, slaves.
OF BOOSY. 75

wickedness ; how then can you do
otherwise with the children of your
masters?” What more could I say,
than that I had no power to prevent
the choota sahib from doing that
which was in his heart to do; but
this I did say, and she answered,
«The child is innocent; he knows
not the meaning of the words which
he utters: go away, and attend to
him, and let me not hear any more
of this.”

I was in this family several months;
the cold season was gone; and the
white man began to grow weak under

the influence of the black man’s sun.
76 THE LAST DAYS

The choota sahib grew languid ; he
was less active than he had been in
the cold weather, but he was more
restless. Nothing would please him.
He rolled and tossed on the sitringes

he fought with the flies and mus-
quitoes, which buzzed about him ;
he was irritated all over with the
prickly heat ; he found no ease, but
when I was rubbing him with sweet
oil, or waving the punkah over him.
But I could do nothing well or
right; and one day, after he had
been some time in the beebee sahib’s
room, he told me that I was to tell
him no more stories about Henry

baba.
OF BOOSY. 77

“And why not, Sahib?” I
asked.

“Because Henry baba died; and
hearing of him makes me think of
dying,” he answered. “ The ayah
says, I must hear no more about
him ; and mamma said, that children

should not think of death.”

I made no answer.

“ Henry is in heaven, you say,
Boosy; shall you ever see him

> *) 9)
again r

«‘ How should I know 2” I answer-
H3
78 THE LAST DAYS

ed; but I spoke with a full, sad
heart, for I had long felt that, if I
dared to declare that I wished to
learn to be a Christian, I should be
sure to meet with my beloved child
again. Often and often had I read
parts of the book which he had
given me, even since I had been at
Campbell Sahib’s house, when I
thought I could do so unseen, yet
was I still afraid of the persecution
which I knew would follow, and
had therefore continued to fall in
with ali the rites and ceremonies
observed by my bhay looghe.*
But when I turned my eyes from

* Bhau Looghe, brother people.
OF BOOSY. 79

the hope of the Christians, to all 1
had learned from childhood of the
dark spirit of the Hindoo faith, a
gloom, and a horror, and a con-
fusion came over me, such as I

could not describe.

“ Are you a true Hindoo, Boosy?”’
said the choota sahib. “Do you
believe in those frightful images
I see in the little temples, and
under the trees, and carried about
every where to sell, or to drown,
or to break to pieces? The ayah
says, that she does not believe
in them, because she is a Mussul-

maunee, and a true follower of the
80 THE LAST DAYS

Prophet Mahomet. She says there
is only one God, and Mahomet is his
prophet now, but that Huzrut Esau*
will come at the end of a long time,
and then her prophet will acknow-
ledge him. She told mamma, on
this account she did not despise the
Saviour of the Christians; but she
said she despised all those people
who were not what they pre-
tended to be. Those were the
words she said; and mamma said
so too; and then the ayah said some-
thing about you, Boosy—she said,
you were neither one thing nor
another.”

* Huarut Esau, the blessed Jesus.
OF BOOSY. 81

Just as the child had spoken these
words, the ayah stood before us.

“Whose name have you used,
woman, before the ears of the bee-
bee sahib?” I asked. “ What have

you said of me?”

“ What have I said,” she answer-
ed, “ but true words? Who is it,”
she added, “ who reads the Engile*
every day at the early dawn, sitting
by the choota sahib’s bed, and think-
ing that no eye sees you? You are a
Christian, Boosy,” she added. “I
despise you; you are an infidel, and
have not courage to own it. Was

* Engile, the Bible.
82 THE LAST DAYS

there but the spirit of a cingala * in
you, man, you would confess what

”
you are, and bear the consequences.
“What consequences?” I asked.

“You would submit to be scorn-
ed, scoffed at, spit upon, treated as

an outcast,’ she added.

There was not a vile word in the
Hindoo tongue which she did not
use; nor a vile wish which she did
not utter. I wondered what I had
done to make her my enemy; but
she wanted my place for a man called
Nerkon, a bearer, with whom she

* Cingala, grasshopper.
OF BOOSY. 83

had lived some years in your family,
Sahib. This came to my knowledge

afterwards.

That evening, after sunset, the
sahib and the beebee went to visit a
friend, and Edward Sahib was left
with the servants ; and the ayah sent
for tum-tum wallas* and the putully
nautch,t and we all sat ina dark room
to see the tumasha,{ and there was

much singing and much noise.

Edward Sahib would not go to
bed at his usual hour; and when I
begged him to do so, he left me, and

* Tum-tum wallas, drum-players.
+ Putully nautch, a puppet-show.
t Tumasha, the show, or spectacle.
84. THE LAST DAYS

went and sat on the mat by the

ayah.

“What will you say to-morrow to
the beebee sahib?”’ I said to the boy.
“Tf she asks you at what hour you

went to bed, what will you say ?”

“What should he say ?”’ replied
the ayah. ‘‘ You know better,” she
added, “than to make the mother’s
heart sad, by telling her what is past
and can’t be undone.” “Nay,” I
remarked, “ but if we do not tell
the truth, and if it is found that we
have lied, where shall we be 2?”

Many a large fire has been kindled
OF BOOSY. 85

by a single spark ; and many a vio-
lent quarrel has been blown up bya
few words. I had spoken those few
words, and I had drawn upon me
the indignation of every servant
present, and in many instances of
their wives and children ; for every
man’s wife and child had come to
the house to see the nautch, and
those that were not of caste to come

within, stood around the door.

“ You had best all of you go home,
my friends, for we have a serpent
under our roof,” said the ayah ;
“one which will rouse itself by and
by, though it sleeps now, and will
make every one of us feel its fangs.
86 THE LAST DAYS

Here is the man who is watching all
we do, that he may blacken our
faces in the eyes of the sahib ;”’ and
having thus begun, she all at once
changed her tone, and using the
most violent and offensive words
against me, accused me of being in
heart a Christian, and of having
eaten with them, and of having lost
caste ; of being no better than a com-
mon sweeper; having a mouth for
every kind of meat; one that would
eat swine’s flesh with a Christian,
and carrion with the pariah. Her
words were taken up by most of the
persons present, and the noise of the
voices, especially of the women, filled

the whole compound ; and the child
OF BOOSY. 87

seemed to enjoy the scene, laughing
heartily at the vile names which were
bestowed upon me.

I could not, had I wished it, have
made myself heard in my own de-
fence ; but I was worked up at last
to such anger that I knocked down
one little hump-backed man, who
came grinning and jeering in my
face.

This was enough: it would not
do to come to blows in the sahib’s
house, said the ayah. We were not
in the bazar ; we were not wild asses

in the wieraun : * so bidding us all

* Wieraun, wilderness.
88 THE LAST DAYS

to be silent, she once more caused
the singing and nautching and tum-
tuming to go on, until it was thought

necessary that they should cease.

Edward Sahib would not go to
bed, till there was fear that his father
and mother might return; but he
made the ayah wait upon him, for
he called me names, and pushed
me from him. I lay down on my
goderie that night so full of thought
that I could not sleep; so after a
while I got up, and sat in the open
doorway, before which we had placed
the choota sahib’s cot. It was a
clear night; there was not a cloud

in the dark blue sky, so that 1 could
OF BOOSY. 89

see distinctly, beyond the verandah,
the wide green lawn spread before
the doorway ; and through the groves
which surrounded it I could just get
a sight of Gunga, whose waters

sparkled in the starlight.

I had been taught from an infant,
Sahib, to account that river sacred,
and to believe that all the works of
nature on the earth were the habita-
tions of spirits; that the sun and
the moon were gods ; that the voices
of gods were heard in the winds ;
and that there was something of
divinity in the image of any god
which had been blessed by the

13
90 THE LAST DAYS

Brahmins.* These things had I
learned from a boy; but at that
time, whilst I sat in the door-way
breathing the cool night air, I felt

gods

quite certain that all these
were nothing but the inventions and
works of man, and that if what the
Christian’s book taught of the
Creator of all things was not true,
there was no other book that was.
Then came this thought into my
mind, as I watched the stars in the
heavens :—Is not my Henry Sahib
as the fair moon, and do I not love

him as the star Rohini loves the

* The Hindoos say they have three hundred
and thirty million gods.
OF BOOSsY. 91

moon ? Is he not as full of light to
me as the clear moon to that pale
star? The time must come when
that bright orb is obscured by the
gloom from the sight of her loving
star; but at the end of the eclipse
Rohini shall again rejoin her beloved
moon, and then will the heavens be

light again.

Henry dilharee, may not it be so
with us? The dark eclipse is now
reigning supreme over my destiny ;
but it must pass away, and then all
will be light, soft and beautiful light!
Yes, I remember I thought, it must

be light, beautiful light, when I can
92 THE LAST DAYS

turn away from these vile gods of
my race, to worship one so pure as
He who formed the mind of my
sahib! Oh, that my heart were
more pleasing in /Zis sight! Oh,
that I could trust to Him to purify
it as my Henry told me he could
do! For what would heaven itself
be if our vile gods dwelt there! they
who love darkness more than light,
because it is as a cloak for their

foul deeds.

Oh, how at that hour I loathed
these gods of man’s imagining ; and
yet so fearful was I of my fellow

men, and of being made an outcast
OF BOOSY. 93

from my people, that even to myself
I could not venture to think of
renouncing the faith in which I had
been reared. One other reason re-
strained me from confessing myself
a Christian: I considered that if
these idols were no gods, yet per-
chance they might have power as
tormentors and devils.

I sat im that place till the first
faint blush of dawn, and till I heard
the birds begin to move in the
branches of the tall trees. I had
been thinking, and thinking with a
full and sad heart, of what I could

do, and wishing that the days could
94 THE LAST DAYS

return when my gentle Henry baba
was with me, when he lay in my
arms as in a cradle, sleeping in
innocency, and waking to thank me
for loving him, and perhaps to tell
me of some happy dream of the
Saviour he loved. I asked myself
then, as I often have done since,
wherefore those are fierce, bloody,
and vicious, who worship gods they
suppose to be the same, and where-
fore those who see their God to be
kind and lovely become so them-
selves? May it not be, Sahib, that
the human breast is as a mirror, or
rather a clear pool, which is bright
beneath the unclouded sunbeam,
OF BOOSY. 95

but dark beneath the angry hea-
vens ?

I was disturbed from my reflec-
tions, by the choota sahib calling
pettishly to me, because I was not
near his bed.

He was accustomed to take the
air before sunrise, in a small car-
riage, by the side of which I walked ;
and whilst I dressed him he was
cross, and taunted me with what the
ayah had said the night before. He
bade me not tell his mamma that he
had sat up, and eaten much bazar

sweetmeats ; though he said he felt
96 THE LAST DAYS

sick, and had a head-ache. I would
not promise any thing, and he struck

me with his small white hand.

I thought that I would not stay
with him; and then I asked myself,
What can I do; where shall I go?
But I need not have asked myself
this question : my destiny was fixed ;
I was to receive my wages, and my
dismissal that day, and so it was

ordered.

The beebee sahib had a golden
chain, finely wrought, and worth
many rupees. The evening before,

when dressing, she had taken it off,
OF BOOSY. 97

for she often wore it ina morning,
and it had been laid on the table
where she dressed. Her son was in
the room ; he had taken it up, and
put it round his own neck, unseen

by his mamma.

He came out to me with the jewel
on his neck, and I had admonished
him to take it back; he left me, and
when he returned to me he was
without it, and I thought no more of
it. But when we came back from
taking the air, we found the ayah in
the verandah, with many of the ser-
vants about her: we could hear her
voice as soon as we turned the corner

K

.
98 THE LAST DAYS

of the house, but could not tell what
she said, because her words were
mixed up with those of the sirdaur,
and soon after, of the matraneys.*
These were, as our custom is, to our
shame I own it, Sahib, calling each
other every vile name which man’s
evil mind ever invented; and the
women, in their anger, looked as if
they were under the influence of

some maddening drug.

« What is this?” I asked, as I
stepped into the verandah.

* Matraneys, low Hindoos, who do the most

menial offices.
OF BOOSY. 99

“Or kia,”* replied the matranee,
‘what more is it but that the ayah
has lost the beebee sahib’s golden
chain, and that she is charging my
wife with having taken it?”

I turned to the choota sahib, who
stood before me, and reminded him
that he had come out of the beebee
sahib’s room, the evening before,

with the chain on his neck.
“True words! true words!” said
one of the bearers : “I saw the gold

sparkling on the sahib’s dress.”

* Or kia, What more ? (used in a rude way.)
100 THE LAST DAYS

“And did I not ask you, Sahib,
to take it back to where you found
i?”

«True words,” answered the boy,

“ And where did you put it, when
you left me, Sahib, to go into your

mamma’s room ?”’

“Kia janna?’* he replied, as
cool and as careless as if it had been
a cowryt instead of a gold chain

which was missing; and he was

* Kia janna, how do I know?

+ Cowry, shell, used as money.
OF BOOSY. 101

walking away, and I following, when
the ayah catching hold of my cherda,*
said: “Stop, man! stop! am I an
owl, that no one should hearken to
my words? Am I nothing? The
chain was seen last by you. When
the choota sahib came back into his
mamma’s room, he had it not with
him. How should he have it, and

I not see it ? Have I no eyes—am

I blind?”

“ What,” I answered, “ would
you lay the weight of your own care-

lessness on me: what have I to do

* Cherda, a veil, or turban.

K3
102 THE LAST DAYS

with the jewel?” I said these
words, and I said others ; my tongue
was loosed, and I spoke unadvisedly ;
for already had all good thoughts
passed from my mind, melting away

like the snows of El-Caaf.

The ayah answered in her most
exalted voice, and out came the
sahib. ‘ What is this?” he asked.
He caused all to be silent, but the
sirdaur, who told him the cause of
the tumult, and would have added
other words, but the sahib cut him
short. ‘The chain must be found
before sun-set,” he said, “ or I shall

take means to make the thief betray
OF BOOSY. 103

himself ;” and so saying, he took
his son by the hand, and led him to

his mother.

The story of that day, Sahib, and
of all the quarrels between the ser-
vants, and of the taunts and re-
proaches which I had to suffer,
would be both long and unprofit-
able. I was charged by all parties
with having stolen the chain, and
of having slipped it off the choota
sahib’s neck ; though I believe there
was not one of our people who really
considered me the thief. You must
not suppose either, Sahib, that they
were offended by the dishonesty of
104 THE LAST DAYS

the person who had hidden or ab-
stracted the chain; for theft, and
lying, and false witness, are accounted
no shame, unless detected, even by
the best of our people. But they,
one and all, held me in contempt
and dislike; and I had deserved
their contempt, for my heart was
with the Christians, and yet I had
not the courage to say it was so.

So the day passed, and the jewel
was not found; for how should it
have been, seeing that it was not
lost, but safe in a deep recess in a
khilwut khanah* of the beebee’s?

* Khilwut khanah, private room.
OF BOOSY. 105

where the artful ayah pretended to
find it, when she had worked her

will with me.

When night was come, and the
jewel not found, we were all sub-
jected to the trial of chewing rice.
It was done by lamp-light, and in
the presence of a man called a con-
juror, who pretended to be able to

discover guilt by this test.

A small portion of rice was handed
to each man and woman, and chewed,
and put out from the mouth; and
where the rice is well chewed the

person is supposed to be innocent ;
106 THE LAST DAYS

where it is not so, he is ‘counted
guilty. I had no fear of this trial,
for I knew my innocence ; but when
I took the rice in my mouth, it
seemed to me to have been changed
into pebbles ; for surely it was mixed
up with what would not yield to the
teeth, for it was gritty in my mouth
like sand.

I could not masticate it; and
when I put it forth, and it had been
examined, I was pronounced the
guilty one. The servants all cried out,
“ Wa! wa!*—we knew it;” and I
was commanded to produce the jewel.

* Wa! Wa! wonderful! wonderful!
OF BOOsY. 107

But what could I do? I had it not.
So the sahib talked of the jail, and
of a trial before the judges; and I
was delivered over to the chockedaurs
to keep me for the night: but the
chockedaurs slept, or pretended to
do so, and I took the opportunity
to escape.

I had nothing about me but the
money I had saved in my services,
which was changed into gold pieces,
and tied up in my cummerbund.*

I had my chits,t also, and my book;

* Cummerbund, the cloth with which the Waist
is girded,

+ Chits, letters of character.
108 THE LAST DAYS

for I had secured these during the
day ; for I knew that I was hated,
and I feared that there was treachery

working against me.

So I fled, Sahib ; and not know-
ing where to go, and afraid of going
to my house, I went to Berhampore,
in hopes of finding the beebee Ba-
ron; but she was gone to England.
My journey was long; I was alone
in heart, though I fell in with many
persons, and some I had known
before. I was carried on in perfect
safety; and I could not but feel
that a hand stronger than that of man
had so directed my wanderings
OF BOOSY. 109

When I came to Berhampore, I
was disappointed sorely in not find-
ing the Feringhee beebee ; for I had
resolved to open the inmost folds of
my heart to her, and to tell her how
I had been persecuted by my people;
and how I had fallen under the sus-
picion of the sahib looghe. I had
confidence in that beebee, such as I
had never had even in my own
mother ; and I had this trust in her,
because I believed her to be a
Christian in heart, not in name only;
and yet, though I acknowledged the
power of this religion, I could not
make up my mind to confess this
belief.
il0 THE LAST DAYS

Can I ever forget the evening when
I reached Berhampore, and heard
that the beebee Baron was gone?
My heart became as lead within my
breast; and fearful lest I should
meet with any one I knew, I would
not go to the bazaar to spend the
night. The sight of the place in
which the beloved of my heart had
drooped and died, fading from my
sight like the pictures* of the desert,
seemed to bring back my lost’ one
fresh to my mind; and the wound,
unhealed, burst forth and _ bled

* Pictures of the Desert, the Mirage, a decep-
tive appearance of water in the desert when
none exists.
OF BOOSY. 11]

afresh, as if it had been but just
inflicted.

The night was stormy; the light-
ning flashed, and the thunder rolled.
I crept under the cover of a verandah
of an empty bungalow: I wrapped
myself up in my cherdah ; and as I
listened to the thunder, I had many
thoughts, and they were all of my
little sahib.

From time to time, I fell into
short slumbers; and then I fancied
that I held my pale one still in my
arms, and heard his gentle voice ;
but when I awoke, it was to find
112 THE LAST DAYS

that I was alone—alone in the vast
earth, without a creature to whom
1 could open the sorrows of my
heart. When the rain had ceased,
and the day began to chase the
darkness of night, I suddenly took
the resolution of going to look from
afar at the place of the grave
of my beloved. It was star-light
when I left the verandah; and
when I came out upon the cherbu-
ter,* and had gone on a while, I
could just discern the forms of the
tallest tombs, as they rose above the
faint streak of dawning light upon
the horizon.

* Cherbuter, a marble or stone terrace.
OF BOOSY. 113

As I went slowly on, the sun
arose ; and the damp earth began to
teem with mist. I went nearer and
nearer to the silent place where my
Henry rested. I left the beaten
road ; for I thought that I heard
the steps of bearers in the distance.
The fear of being seen, of being
known, of being suspected, had
taken hold of me again; and I
hastened to conceal myself, by going
round the grave-yard. I had no.
thought of entering into it, till I saw
a breach caused by a late slip in the
wall ; but when I saw this, I delayed
no longer ; I rushed over the mound,
and hastened to the spot where the

L3
114 THE LAST DAYS

tomb had been built over my child’s
remains. I knew the tomb, be-
cause the picture of it had been
shown to me by the beebee Smith ;
I knew the exact place from the
bearings of the palm-trees which

grew near to it.

In that moment I was regardless
of all my prejudices and fears, and
every superstitious feeling which I
had sucked in, as it were, with my
mother’s milk. The wall of sepa-
ration between the white and black
man was broken down; and at the
grave of my Henry, my heart acknow-
ledged what my tongue even then
OF BOOSY. 115

denied,—that there is but one family
of mankind, and one God and
Father of all.

Whilst I was kneeling at my
Henry’s tomb, a Feringhee sahib
came suddenly up to me—a man of
great wisdom, and one who knew
all that I had ever done or said,
whilst I lived in the service of Henry
Sahib. He talked much and long
to me, and his words were good ;
but he had not come alone to the
burying-ground. He had a palan-
quin waiting without, and great was
my fear lest this sahib should betray
me to his servants; for the sahib
116 THE LAST DAYS

looghe cannot be made to understand
what it is for a black man to lose
caste, and to be held up as an object
of scorn to his own people.

This sahib was good and kind,
but I knew him not; and so great
was my fear of my own race, that
I dared not confess to him my
feelings. Ah! I know since, I
was as a blind man, who, when a
friend binds his hair with a wreath
of flowers, mistakes it for a twining
snake, and foolishly rejects it. Thus
did I reject the kindness of this
Feringhee lord, for I feared that he
should read my thoughts aright ;
OF BOOSY. 117

and breaking from him, lest he
should see how sorely my heart was
moved by his words, I hid myself
amongst the tombs till he was gone.

That same day, happening to
meet with a man whom I knew,
who was going up to Patna in
the train of a great man, a Hindoo,
he persuaded me to join the party ;
and after a day or two, succeeded
in getting me a place in the family
as palanquin bearer. I went with
this sahib to a great puckah house
at Barr, and used to go with him
every day to his magazine at
Patna.
118 THE LAST DAYS

This sahib was a very rich man,
a soudagur,* and had himself built
a muttf near to his country house,
and there he maintained a Brahmin.
The mutt was dedicated to Honey-
maun,{ and near to it was a grove
filled with sacred monkeys. Every
day, after I had taken my sahib
from Barr to Patna, and brought
back the palanquin, with the other
bearers, for he generally returned
by water, I had nothing else to do;
and then it was that I had leisure

to see more and more of the abomi-

* Soudagur, merchant.
+ Mutt, Hindoo temple.

{ Honeymaun, the monkey god.
OF BOOSY, 119

nations of idolatry. A more wicked
man could not have been, than the
Brahmin who served the idol in the
temple ; and when I compared, as I
often did, the language and actions
of this old gooroo,* with those of
the few Feringhee Christians whom
I had known, I seemed to want no
other proof of the divine nature of
the one religion, and the fearful ori-
gin of the other. I could not mix
with the horrid rites, or use the
brutish language, common to these
people. Still, however, I feared to
make myself known among the
Feringhees, or to return to my house.

* Gooroo, a religious teacher, a confessor.
120 THE LAST DAYS

After awhile, however, by chance, as
it seemed, I met with a man who had
been in the service of Campbell Sahib,
who told me that the chain was found,
and my character cleared ; but that
the ayah had carried her point ; that
Nerkon was in my place, and that
he had found means to please Edward
Sahib more than I had done.

It is of noconsequence, I answered;
I desire not to be taken into the
family again, but I am glad that my
honesty is proved. I will go to my
own house, and I shall not show
myself in the house where Campbell
Sahib dwells, till Smith Sahib re-
OF BOOSY. 121

turns; which God grant may be
soon. I am his servant, his slave:
I will serve no other man.

So I got my discharge, and my
wages, and I turned my face towards
Callee Gunge. When I came to my
house, I found that ‘things had
happened.’* My son was at home;
but his wife had died whilst I was
away. ‘The boy, my grandson, was
much grown; and he was living
with Zeebee, his mother’s mother,
in the house nearest to his father.

I had been so long separated from
* An Eastern expression.

M
122 THE LAST DAYS

my son, that he was as a stranger to
me; and I saw also that he looked
on me with suspicion ; for the words
of the ayah, like the breath of the
pestilence, had reached his ear, and
the ear of all my kinspeople. So
coldly was I received by them, that
I concealed a great part of the trea-
sure which I had brought with me,
even from my own child; burying
it under a tree in a jungle* not far
from my house, in a brass lotat

filled up with clay.

It was anguish to my heart to be
* Jungle, uncultivated waste-land, overrun
with brush-wood or reeds.

+ Lota, a drinking vessel.
OF BOOSY. 123

looked thus coldly upon by my son,
my only one. I had tasted of the
sweet influences of that love which
unites the child to the parent, and
helpless childhood to the hand which
fosters it. My memory recurred
again to my gentle Henry; and I
had many thoughts respecting that
Divine Power which causes the
flowers of celestial growth thus to
blossom and pour forth their odours,
in this present state of our corrupt
existence, as the flower of the shub-
boo* in the gloomy hours of night.

The mind of my son was shut up

* Shubboo, a flower that is fragrant at night.
124 THE LAST DAYS

in the deepest darkness; and the
slightest word from me which tended
to prove what the ayah had said of
me, filled him with fury; and in his
fury, what might he not have done!
But I was still in the strength and
vigour of life; and it is the aged and
infirm parent only who is carried to
die on the banks of Gunga. Then the
Feringhees also were near, and I was
known to them ; thus my life was pre-
served ; and from day to day I hoped
to hear of your return, Smith Sahib.

Yet I sinned, and sinned griev-
ously ; for my courage was not equal
to that of the weakest woman.
OF BOOSY. 125

I feared my own son; I feared
the Brahmins ; I feared to make the
dreadful confession which was to
make me as the dust under the feet
of my people; and yet that confes-
sion was ever on my lips—especially
when I heard the name of the God
of the Christians held up to con-
tempt, in language which I dare not
to repeat. I did not foresee that
the son whom I loved, would be
taken from me; and that the oppor-
tunity of opening the truth to him,
would soon be lost, and lost for
ever.

My son had hardly arrived at the
full strength of manhood, when he
M 3
126 THE LAST DAYS

was suddenly cut off by fever ; and
when I saw him lying a cold corpse,
I then indeed felt my sin. I was
made to know, that I had nothing
to plead in my own favour with the
God of the Christians; and I never
before had any thing like the sense
of sin which I then felt. But,
strange as it may appear, I spent
much silver on his ohsequies.

I would not suffer his body to be
committed to the monsters of Gunga.
I caused the corpse to be laid on a
funeral pile, and burned to ashes.
I gave a funeral feast ; the Brahmins
partook of it, and cried, “ Wa! wa!
wonderful! wonderful ! ”’
OF BOOSY. 127

My brethren once more smiled
upon me on this account, but my
heart was more deeply sad than ever ;
and I then was made to feel the
difference of that sorrow which flows
from the loss of one of whose hap-
piness we must be sure, from the
dark and deep misery of a bereave-
ment in which there is no hope.
The memory of my Henry had ever
been sweet to me, but I could not
think of my own son but with terror
and despair; and yet there were
moments, even then, in which the
thoughts which I had of the Saviour
of the Christian, distilled on my
heart like drops of rain on the thirsty
128 THE LAST DAYS

ground. I turned to my book, the
book which my Henry had given me,
and I found these, words therein :
“ Come unto me all ye that labour,
and are heavy laden, and I will give
you rest.” ‘he words were most
sweet to me, though I could not see
how they could be fulfilled.

Whilst my sorrow for my poor
son was yet in its greenest freshness,
it seemed as if my eyes were more
and more opened to the unholy lives
and examples of the Brahmins, and
the utter vileness and cruelty of what
they call their religion, and the more
my heart thirsted after the pure and
OF BOOSY. 129

living springs which flow from the
Christian’s book, and which my
Henry so much loved. When I had
lost my son, my heart turned more
than ever to his little child. I loved
to call him Henry; but his grand-
mother liked not the name, and
would always pronounce it Indru.

The eyes of a parent look not on
the countenance of a little son as
other eyes do. In my sight, the
dark boy is as the moon in bright-
ness, and his voice as sweet as the
note of the cithara.*

* Cithara, a lute.
180 THE LAST DAYS

When his father was no more, I
took him from the house of his
grandmother, Zecbee. She uttered
many hard words, but she believed
that I had silver; and he who has
silver, is thought somebody in my
country. So the boy slept in my
arms, and dipped his hand in my
dish, and was with me when I
walked out, and when I sate in my
house. He was my sweet compa-
nion; and I put good words in his
mouth, and made my own words
easy, that he might understand them.

I showed him the heavens above,
the sun, the stars, and the moon in
OF BOOSY. 181

her mild lustre, and I spoke of One
who made all these, and made all
men. I told him stories of Henry
baba, of his life, of his death, of his
gentle ways, of his love for me, and
my love for him; and he asked me
many innocent questions, and whes
ther I should see him again, or if he
should ever see him; and then I told
him that he was in a happy place,
and that if he could be like him, he
would be with him some time.

Still I dared not to teach him, for
I was dreadfully afraid of my peo-
ple, the name of the Saviour ; lest
he should speak it before Zeebee.
182 THE LAST DAYS

She watched him continually. She
came often and sate at the door of
my house, tempting the child to come
to her for the gee and sugar* she
brought with her; and when she had
got him, she talked to him of her
gods, and filled his young mind
with terrors. What could I do?
Where could I go? I was waiting
for your return, Sahib, when I knew
that I should have a friend; and the
report came that you were on the
sea, and then that you were in Cal-
cutta, yet still you did not come to
Callee Gunge.

* Gee and Sugar, a kind of sweetmeat,
OF BOOSY. 133

But though I knew it not, this
was good for me; I was resting too
anxiously on a fellow-creature; I cal-
culated not on the various accidents
to which man is liable ; and it was
needful for me that I should be
brought to place my whole depend-
ence on my God, and be made to
feel that He who sent his Son to die
for me, would never forsake me in
the time of present need. I had
heard, for the beebee Baron had told
some one in my presence, how the
mother of my ever beloved Henry
had cried in her dying hour, “ O
God! I leave my fatherless child
with thee, in full confidence that my

N
134 THE LAST DAYS

baby will never be left destitute!”
and she too had shown the com-
mandment which is given us so to
do in the Christian’s book, ‘ Leave
thy fatherless children, and I will
preserve them alive; and let thy
widows trust in me.” I had thought
the words very good, and it had
been explained to me what the word
alive meant; that it meant not pre-
sent, but eternal life, of which life
her orphan was assured before he
left the body. I had made many
thoughts about these words; yet I
could not trust my own boy with the
God of the Christians; and the
cause of my darkness and distrust
OF BOOSY. 185

was, because I could not bring my-
self to confess my God before my
people. Ah, Sahib, as the convic-
tions of the truth became stronger
within me, contending with my
fleshly fears, I became more and
more unhappy. As the earth groans
and trembles when the hidden fires
within are struggling for a vent, so
the tumult within me was often
fearful to endure; for my thoughts
were as fire, drying up my life.

At length I began to feel the
languors of that disease which is
bringing me to my grave; it came
not like that of my son, as the
136 THE LAST DAYS

* lightning that strikes the blooming
tree, making it become, in an instant,
a scathed and lifeless trunk, but as
a worm at the root, which slowly yet
surely eats up the life.

But I was not prepared for death
and for leaving my helpless child ;
and how earnest then were my
prayers for the arrival of you, my
father and my friend.

I was unwilling to let Zeebee know
that I felt ill, but her eye was upon
me for evil and not for good. Her ,
soul thirsted for my life; and she
often uttered her forebodings of my
OF BOOsY. 137

speedy death. As the geeda* prowls
near the bed of the dying, she
watched, with eager look, the progress
of my distemper; for she was cer-
tain that I had silver somewhere, and
she tried many means to discover
where it was. She was always trying
to get out my hiding-place from me;
but I warned her that if I had money
it was for my boy, and would be
given to you, Sahib, to keep for him.

Could she have discovered the
treasure, what would my life have
been worth to me?—but until the
secret was known, it would not have

* Geeda, the jackal,

N 3
138 THE LAST DAYS

answered to her that my life should
be shortened. Had Zeebee dared to
take active measures, she would have
caused my death herself; probably,
making me by tortures acknowledge,
in my last hour, where I had laid my
money ; but then she knew, though
she kept it concealed from me, that
you, Sahib, were on your road to
Callee Gunge, and she was fully
aware that you would not allow any-
thing that looked suspicious to pass
unexamined.

A small boat had passed your
pimnace, Sahib, a day or two before,
and you were hourly expected at
OF BOOsY. 189

your house at Callee Gunge. This
Zeebee could keep from me easily,
as my health was so bad that I
made. it an excuse for staying at
home; for, in truth, I could not
bear to listen to the vile language of
our people, and, above all, I wished
to keep in innocence the ears of my
little Henry.

It was the evening after your
actual arrival at your own house,
Sahib, that Zeebee sent to consult
a Brahmin, a man accounted of
great sanctity, who lived in the
Mutt, dedicated to Callee in the
Gunge.
140 THE LAST DAYS

Kooloo is an old man, and great
has been his influence for years
past over the people. He came
in the dusk of the evening, and
went and sate himself in a dark
corner of the grove, beside a well
near my house. He sent a boy
whom he had brought with him, to
fetch Zeebee to him. I saw the
boy, and heard part of the message,
but had no thought of what could
be his errand.

That same hour, being in my
house, and the child with me, the
little one said, “ Father, I have left

my lota in the grove, where we
OF BOOSY. 141

went to fetch water this evening;
I will run and find it;” and away
he went, the distance being small.

He was longer than I thought
he ought to be, and I dragged
myself out to the door to call him.
I was afraid of some accident be-
falling him, not from the well, the
walls of which were high, but from
my own people; I could not see him,
and I went on toward the grove.

It was very dark under the trees,
and I heard voices: I could dis-
tinguish that of Zeebee, and also
that of the child. I drew near,
142 _ THE LAST DAYS

under covert of the grove, and stood
behind the parapet of the well.
Here is mischief, I thought: I will
hear what is said !

“Indru,” said Zeebee, “ your
bap* has good things hidden some-
where; get him to tell you where
they are, and you shall have gour,t
and kelouna,t and hingeens of
silver.”

“Shall I run and ask my father
* Bap, father.

t+ Gour, sugar.
t Kelowna, playthings.
§ Bangles, ornaments worn round the wrists

‘and ankles,
OF BOOSY. 143

now, repliedthe boyinnocently ; “and
then I can come back and tell you.”

“ No, Indru,” said the old woman,
coaxingly, “ that way will not do;
you must go home and ask your
bap to show you his treasure, and
then you can tell us where he hides
it; and we will give you fine jeu-
jeus, if you are a good boy, and do
not tell Boosy what we said to you.”

“ Why should I not tell my
father?” asked the child. ‘“ Why
should I not ask him why he has
hid the jeu-jeus from Henry? I
will run to him now.”
144 THE LAST DAYS

«Tt is folly to talk to him,” said
Zeebee, laying hold of the boy, and
preventing his escape. “ Boosy has
made a fool of the child; there is
no sense in him; what a man will
he make! Why, Indru, would
I have sent for the sage Kooloo,
from Callee Gunge, if I could
have got the good things from
your father, for the asking of
them ?”

Then turning to Kooloo she
added, “ If the child returns, Boosy
will be off to Smith Sahib’s house,
with the treasure ; he will be off to
the Feringhees, and he will learn,
OF BOOSY. 145

what I have kept from him with such
difficulty, that the sahib is returned.”

“Do not frighten the boy,
Zeebee,” said the Brahmin, ‘ you
will gain nothing by it. Wait till
the Feringhee lord is with Boosy ;
listen then to their words; and be
ready, at once, to seize the treasure.
Take my word that it is buried in
some lone spot; and it will be easy
to get at, whilst the Feringhee is
with Boosy, talking to him of an
hereafter. The Feringhees,” he
added, scoffingly, “‘ are always cast-
ing the substance from them, that
they may catch its empty shadow.”

0
146 THE LAST DAYS

« But rob not my father,” said
the soft voice of my little Henry.
“Do not take from him what he
would wish to keep! It is his own !
Do not rob my father.”’

“ Your father, child, is an unbe-
lieving Christian,” said Zeebee. “ He
is an infidel, the son of a slave-girl.
He is no better than the gudhy of

the wieraun.”*

“Oh! speak not so,” answered
the boy: “he is my father, and I
love him.”

* Gudhy of the wieraun, wild ass of the wil-
derness.
OF BOOSY. 147

I will not repeat the words of the
old woman; they sprang from a
heart full of bitterness ; but she told
the child again, that I was a Chris-
tian, and that she had known it long.
And then I heard the voice of the
Brahmin ; but 1 caught not all his
words, for he spoke in a low deep
tone. Alas! as his habit too often
was, he was cursing all Christians by

his gods.

« What is a Christian? It must
be something good; my father is
good;” were the next words I

heard, and they were spoken by the
child.
148 THE LAST DAYS

Zeebee answered, and used every
foul word which is in the mouth of
an idolater to describe a Christian ;
and then she joined her fearful curses
with those of the Brahmin. When
the child spoke again, his voice was
changed, he was weeping. “ Oh my
father, mira piarra bap, I am sure he
is not a wicked Christian,” he said;
«« he is good, very good, to Henry.”

I approached the speakers.—
Coming round the wall of the well,
my heart burned within me; for
whose fault is it, I thought, that
this babe thinks he speaks the truth,
when he denies that I am a Chris-
OF BOOSY. 149

tian? Why have I feared to teach
him the name of Christ? Zeebee
was speaking again: “ Did not your
grandfather's parents,” she said,
« devote him in infancy to the great
Gunga; do I not know that they
did it? Do I not know that his
mother often took him, when he was
a child no bigger than you, Indru,
to shed flowers on her holy bosom,
and to make poojah* to her, and to
purify himself in her holy waters ?
Did she not teach him to pray to the
mighty monsters which nestle in her
bosom? Is he not hers, soul and
body? and will she not be revenged

* Poojah, ceremony offerings.

03
150 THE LAST DAYS

on him, when his corpse is thrown
into her sacred waters? She will
throw it up, Indru; she will dis-
gorge it ; she will give it to the fowls
of the air, and the beasts of the
jungle. She will doom his soul to
enter into some loathsome animal,
and to suffer thousands of miserable
births.”

Then again she flew off to utter
many fearful words and hideous im-
precations, which the Brahmin con-
firmed in anger which he uo longer

controlled.

I came forward at that moment ;
OF BOOsY. 151

the trembling child looked up and
saw me, I stooped, and he sprang
into my arms, bursting into tears,
and, for an instant, nestling his face

in my bosom.

Kooloo and the woman stood
astonished and silent, for the instant,
but burst forth again, a moment
afterwards, in louder and more ter-
rible imprecations. The child slipped
from my arms, when their voices
broke out again; and in his agony,
falling on his knees, and clasping his
hands, he addressed the fearful name
by which they were cursing me, as
I had taught him to do to the to
152 THE LAST DAYS

him unknown God who made the
heavens. “Oh Gunga mi,” (my
Gunga,) he said, “ for the love thou
hast for all thou hast made, spare,
spare, spare my father |”

Oh! Sahib, who could describe
what I felt at that moment? the
conviction of my sin, as it regarded
my children, shot through my heart
like the last death-pang! Why had
I not taught that holy Name to my
boy, by which man only can be
saved? Alas, had I lived to hear the
tongue of my innocent babe, calling
upon this god of the idolaters in a
way in which she was unworthy to
OF BOOSY. 153

- be named. What more can I say?
I knew not till that moment how I
had cherished the idea that, though
my little son’s countenance was dark,
yet his God had been purifying his
heart, making it as white as the lily
of my sahib’s cheek. I knew that,
in this world, my little Henry could
not serve my beloved master; but
my hopes were, that I was rearing
him in a way that would fit him to
be his loved companion in the
presence of that Holy One whom
he adored.

But I had followed my own
devices; I had listened to the voice
154 THE LAST DAYS

of my selfish fleshly nature. I had
feared to acknowledge Him whom |
served in my heart; and oh, how
bitterly, how severely, and yet how
tenderly, was I made to confess my
error! I saw my sin, in all its hor-
ror, placed, as it were, before me in
letters of flaming fire. I scarce knew
what I said, or what I did: I only
remember I fell upon my knees be-
side my boy ; I held my hand to his
lips to prevent his utterance, whilst
I exclaimed, “ Oh, God of the Chris-
tians, my God, in thy great love for
wretched sinners, pardon my child,
pardon me also! I no longer will
deny thy power, thy goodness. Iam
OF BOOSY. 155

thy creature. There is none greater,
none equal to thee. Oh, my God,
support me, uphold me; on thee do
I depend, for I know none other

beside thee!”

Whilst I spoke, Zeebee and the
Brahmin remained silent ; I believe,
overpowered by the very earnestness
of my manner; but the instant I
ceased, they both addressed me in
one voice ; but what they said I knew
not, for my mind was utterly failing
me.

The excitement of the moment
had been too much for me in my
156 THE LAST DAYS

weak state; I could not distinguish
their words. I only remember that
I felt the soft arm of my little dark
Henry thrown around my neck, that
his warm tears fell upon my cheek,
and that his infant lip was pressed
to mine; that he whispered words
of love to me; though, strange to
say, I knew not the boy, but fancied
it was my own sweet sahib come
back to me, expressing his joy, his
holy joy, at my acknowledgment of
our God. Sahib, that moment of
imminent danger was the happiest
of my life,—a blessed foretaste of
that which is to come. What else
followed, is known to you, I know it
OF BOOSY. 157

not. My thoughts were already
removed from earth, to scenes no
human tongue can describe, no hu-
man eye can conceive, no human
heart comprehend.

* * * * *

Here, my dear Sir, in this very
critical point in the life of Boosy, I
was at hand, though he knew it not.
The morning of the day I retwmed
to my house, I was necessarily much
occupied; but hearing from Mr.
Campbell, that Boosy, of whom I
desired never to lose sight, was
living at his house, near the village
of Callee Gunge, and in a dangerous

P
158 THE LAST DAYS

state of health, I thought I would go
to see him the next morning, as I
know, alas! how rapidly disease
carries away even the strongest
amongst us in this hot climate.

Fearful of agitating him in his
weak state, by my unexpected ap-
pearance, I sent a trusty messenger
to the woman Zeebee, to tell Boosy
that I was returned, and would be
with him by sunrise, in the cool of
the morning.

Thus, by doing what I considered
prudent, I was made the very means
to shorten the earthly career of the
OF BOOSY. 159

invalid ; but yet I shall never regret
it, as it was the cause of rousing
those feelings, which lay dormant in
his heart, making him to break
through all those false ties, which
enchained and enthralled him in a
servitude more harsh, more severe,
than that experienced by the wretched
Afric.

From subsequent inquiry, I learnt
from Zeebee, that, instead of deliver-
ing my message to Boosy, she had
sent off for Kooloo; thinking, no
doubt, she could settle some plan
with him for securing the money,

before it would be time to apprise
160 THE LAST DAYS

him of my purposed visit. Zeebee’s
pretended excuse, was her wish that
Boosy should die in the religion of his
forefathers; and she said she had sent
for Kooloo, that his arguments with

the invalid might outweigh mine.

I had arranged my affairs at home
sooner than I expected; and my
things not having been removed from
my pinnace, I determined to put off
my visit no longer to Boosy ; so I
was soon on board, and we were at
the village of Callee some time before
the moon arose.

It was my intention to sit with
OF BOOSY. 161

Boosy for an hour or so that evening,
and then to return to the pinnace,
which was to be my resting-place for
the night.

Callee Gunge is a peculiar seat of
the worship of Callee. She has a
mutt in the bazaar, on the white
walls of which her fearful figure,
with her tongue protruding from her
mouth, glared horridly by the light
of the lamps burning within the court.
I had taken a guide to the house of
Boosy, which was alittle beyond the
village : but, as the moon was near
the full, and would rise, we knew,
before the darkness of night could

P3
162 THE LAST DAYS

prevail, I would have no torches to
perplex our path.

If you have not been much in the
lower parts of Bengal, my dear Sir,
you may not have formed an idea of
the sort of place in which Boosy’s
house was located. As soon as we
left the bazaar, we entered an extent
of very flat country, which was inter-
sected with dykes and ditches for
carrying off the water; the earth
being thrown up on their sides, so
as to form causeways.

In the spaces between these ditches

are many groves of bamboos, which
OF BOOSY. 163

arise to an immense height in the rich
swampy soil. We soon reached a
cluster of huts, on a slight elevation,
and were shown to the house of the
bearer. It was open, and no one
within. A neighbour, however, told
us that he had left home only a
minute before, to seek his grandson,
who was gone to a well, which was,
he said, among a cluster of trees on

the right.

I wished to see Boosy alone ; so,
bidding my people wait where they
were, with the exception of a Portu-
guese servant, whom I had brought
from Calcutta, and whom I told to
164 THE LAST DAYS

follow me, I went on to the grove,
and soon saw the well before us.
As I proceeded, I heard voices, and
caught a few words of what was
said, which so excited my interest,
that I motioned to my servant to
stand where he was, whilst I myself
approached the well. Coming near
to it, on the side opposite to where
the persons talkmg were situated,
I became greatly interested with what
I heard ; and was actually standing,
though unobserved, at the back of
the bearer, at the moment when the
little child was kneeling and erymg,
“ Gunga mi! spare, spare, spare my
father.”
OF BOOSY. 165

I saw Boosy, for I could not doubt
it was the man I sought, kneel beside
him, and, placing one hand upon the
boy’s lips, and raising the other in
the act of supplication, earnestly
implore forgiveness and support from
the only true God, whom now his
tongue fully acknowledged. “Oh,
my son,” he then added, addressing
the trembling child, still kneeling
beside him, “ ask no favour of Gunga,
who, if she is anything, is of the evil
one. ‘There is but one God, and one
Saviour, and that Saviour is the
Messiah, the Christ. Listen, Kooloo
—listen, Zeebee! Hear the words
of my lips. Would to God I had
166 THE LAST DAYS

uttered them months ago! You
have judged truly—I am a Christian;
I am a Christian; I confess it now.
Long have I, in heart, renounced the
idols whom you blindly worship—
the gods of our fathers, who are no
gods.”

Then suddenly loosing his hold of
the child, and clasping his hands, he
added, ‘“ My hope is in thee, and
thee only, O blessed Saviour of the
Christians; now I know that thou
lovest me ; it is thy tender arms that
support me.”

But how, Sir, can I find words to
OF BOOSY. 167

describe the scene that followed,—the
fearful blasphemies, and execrations,
and horrid threats of torture and
murder, which were poured forth by
the woman andthe Brahmin? But,
praised be God! the struggle was
already over with the poor bearer.
He heard them not; for when I
stooped to listen to his words,—for
the fearful voices of the Heathen
filled the air,—I soon discovered that
his thoughts had wandered, and that
he imagined his little grandson was
the sweet child who had been made
the earthly means of his conversion.

Then, too, it was most pitiable to
168 THE LAST DAYS

hear the plaintive tones of the little
Indian boy, as he clasped his infant
arms around the only parent he had
ever known; earnestly imploring him
to speak to him, as he was wont to
speak, and, above all, to take him

from that horrid place.

“Father ! dear father!” he said,
“why stay here? come away with
Henry. Let us go away, father ;
Henry loves to be with you alone ;
Henry will pray to your God, to your
Saviour ; he will love the same God
that you do, for those who love him
are kind and gentle, and Henry loves

them too.”
OF BOOSY. 169

“ Yes, my son,” replied Boosy,
“we will no more part; it is long,
very long, since I looked upon your
countenance, so sweet to my heart.
Yes, we shall not part again—there
is no more death nor sorrow for us.
Our God has suffered for us, and
now we shall be happy in his pre-
sence for evermore.”

As he spoke, I saw that the timid
child clung more closely to his fa-
ther’s bosom, and wept bitterly with
fear and sorrow.

I drew back a little, for I feared
to present myself, whilst the violence
Q
170 THE LAST DAYS

of the anger of the Hindoos was
unabated ; but I came forward again,
when I perceived, by the shrieks of
the child, that the furious woman
was trying to unloose his hold on his
grandfather. Whilst in the very
act of so doing, I stepped forward,
and presented myself before their
astonished eyes.

The woman started back; she
saw at once who I was, for she knew
me, though I did not know her : the
Brahmin shrunk away, and showed

himself no more.

But Boosy knew me not; he had
OF BOOSY. 171

fallen to the ground, the child’s arms
still clasped round him. ‘The violent
excitement of the last scene had, in
fact, been more than his weakened
frame could endure, and it had oper-
ated by breaking some internal blood-
vessel; for when lights were brought,
we found that his mouth was filled
with blood, and his whole face was
discoloured with it. When we had
unclasped the hold the little boy had
upon his grandfather, the babe would
have fallen back, had I not caught him.

The infant was utterly overpowered
with terror; he was even past crying

out. I took him up in my arms,
172 THE LAST DAYS

and in that moment,—how could I
have done otherwise >—adopted him
in my heart, and prayed most
earnestly, that the adoption might
be blessed to both of us.

I summoned my people; I caused
the poor bearer to be lifted up, and
carried to his house. I had merely
supposed that he was fainting, and
intended to have had him conveyed
to my boat, when he was recovered.
But I had no idea of what had
really happened, till he was laid on
his charpoie* at his own door, and
we had procured a light.

* Charpoie, mattress.
OF BOOSsY. 173

“ Murdaur! Murdaur!’”’* was then
the cry of the people, and truly I
thought it was so; until, after a little
while, he revived so far as to open
his eyes, and look anxiously around
him. I presented myself to him,
with the boy in my arms; I had
soothed the child, and he had been
made to feel that I was a friend.
Eventhese small matters are arranged
by a kind Providence; and even
the most difficult matters become
easy where the Almighty is opening
out his love to his suffering creatures.
‘Thus the black boy was made to
confide in one of another nation,

* Murdaur, a corpse.

a3
174 THE LAST DAYS

and another colour, and as I held
him before his grandfather the poor
man smiled. There was real joy in
that smile ; he tried to speak, but i
prevented him.

“«T understand you,” I said, “ you
give this boy to me;” and I laid the
dimpled swarthy hand of the child
in that of the poor man’s, holding
my own near that he should transfer
it to mine. “It is done then,” I
said; “ the boy is mine; and I call
upon the God whom I adore, to wit-
ness the gift.”

One of the greatest evils, as you
OF BOOSY. 175

well know, Sir, of a jungle life, is
the difficulty of getting medical
help; on this account, we people of
the jungle always study a little medi-
cine. I had medicines in my boat ;
I knew what to administer to the
invalid; so I sent for my little chest,
and gave him what I thought right,
to the best of my judgment. -The
night was very hot, and we kept him
in the verandah, where we had first
placed him.

You are well acquainted, dear Sir,
with the thousand cruelties which
proceed from the odious system of
Castes, by which many persons in
176 THE LAST DAYS

India are accounted unclean, and
left to perish like the beasts of the
field. Boosy having declared him-
self a Christian, was as a stricken
deer amongst his own people; and,
even whilst we were with him, they
without any shame wholly forsook
him. Had we left him, they would
probably have first tried to obtain
the secret of the buried silver, and
then made short work of him.

I was resolved, therefore, not to
leave him to their tender mercies.
‘To move him was impossible; neither
could I have trusted any of my own

servants, but the Portuguese; I
OF BOOSY. 177

remained with him therefore myself
during the night, and in the morning
sent for assistance to Mr. Campbell.
He not only sent a Christian Moon-
shee,* and an inferior servant, who
was too low to have any scruples in
assisting the dying, but came himself
soon after, and brought in his boat
an old woman to watch and take
charge of the boy.

Thus was the poor bearer of little
Henry L—— attended with every
possiblecare during the closing scenes
of his eventful life; for no sooner

* Moonshee, learned men, among the
Mahometans.
178 THE LAST DAYS.

had he been brought to make his
confession, than mercies burst upon
him in showers of blessing. He
lingered many days, and recovered
at one time so far that we had almost
resolved to venture to remove him ;
though we delayed under the fear
of a recurrence of the inward bleed-
ing. It was when he seemed to be
so much better that he told his
history during my absence ; not all
at once, as I have related in this
letter, but little and little, as I thought
he could bear it. As the time ap-
proached in which he was to be
released from all suffering, his mind
opened rapidly to the truth. He
OF BOOSY. 179

seemed at the same time to become
more and more sensible of his own
depravity, and of his utter depend-
ence on his Saviour; and yet, as I
have remarked in other dying Christ-
ians, seeming to lose sight of the
former, as time advanced, in the
brightness of the glory of the latter.

He was exceedingly anxious to be
baptized,and to have his boy baptized
with him. ‘There was a little delay
in the performance of this rite, owing
to the circumstance of the clergyman,
whom we wished to perform it, not
being able to come to Callee Gunge
for a few days. This delay proved,
180 THE LAST DAYS

however, to be the more satisfactory,
as it gave me more time to observe
what the Divine Spirit was working
within the breast of the dying man,
to search and examine him, in re-
ference to his assurance in the Sa-

viour, and renunciation of self.

He was very far reduced, when
the outward forms of baptism ‘were
administered to him, and to his little
boy at the same time. Mr. Campbell
was present. As the poor man had
a desire that his name should be
changed, we called him John; the
little one retained the beloved name
of Henry.
OF BOOSY. 181

Much to our surprise, Boosy lin-
gered some time after his baptism,
and we attributed the prolonga-
tion of his life to the peace which
it pleased God to bestow upon

him.

As is often the case, he seemed to
be better the evening before the day
of his death, than he had been since
my return. I sate by him till nearly
tiidnight. It was one of our calmest,
sweetest Indian nights; and the eyes
of the poor man, as he lay on his
charpoie, were lifted to the heavens
above, glowing with millions of far
distant bright worlds.

R
182 THE LAST DAYS

His thoughts had recurred, as they
always did when he was in his
happiest frame, to the years he had
spent with Henry L——-; his mind,
through weakness, sometimes wan-
dering, so that he rather spoke to
than of that holy child.

“ Mira Henry, mira baba!” he
said, “come near, my lovely one,
and tell me more of our blessed
Lord ; true are your words—we now
sit near the tomb, on the very sill of
the door, and the river rolls beneath;
but beyond it is a country where
we shall hunger no more, nor thirst
again. You have seen that country ;
OF BOOSY. 183

you can tell me more than you did
then: the Saviour is there, and there
is happiness for ever.”

Sometimes he would start from
these visions, and‘recollect where he
was, and know me, and commend
his little one to me, though not
seeming to have the least fear that
I should neglect him: then again he
seemed to be carried out of himself,
and to be communing with things
unseen.

I left him under the keeping of
the Christian servants for a few
hours, for I had made my home in
184 THE LAST DAYS

my pinnace, and returned again at
the early dawn, to leave him no more

whilst he breathed.

When I saw him again, he was
past all consciousness of present
things: the servants told me that
he had taken a last leave of his little
boy. He was evidently dying, though
without consciousness of pain. When
I returned to him, for some time he
neither moved nor spoke. At length
he murmured, “ Henry, my beloved,
now I knowthat thy Saviour is mine.”’
Soon after which he added, “ I come,
blessed Saviour, I come,” and shortly
afterwards he ceased to breathe.
OF BOOSY. 185

His remains were committed to
the earth, near the spot in the grove
where God had put the words of his
confession into his mouth, and the
little dark Henry went with me to
my house. Here 1 placed him un-
der the especial care of a Christian
Moonshee, whom I had brought with
me from Calcutta; and the boy is
always with him, and I will not so
far doubt the faithfulness of God as
to believe that that boy will ever be
suffered to turn to the corruptions
of his father’s people. At present
he is as fine and promising a child
as ever derived his origin from
native parents.
186 LAST DAYS OF BOOSY.

Have I not now, my dear Sir,
fully answered your and your chil-
dren’s request; and many are the
thanks I owe to you and them, for
having thus urged me to collect these
memorials of poor Boosy, in such a
form as will prevent them from being
scattered, and perhaps wholly lost
With every Christian wish of kind-

ness,

I remain, dear Sir,
Yours faithfully,

Tyropnitus SMITH.

R CLAY, PRIXTER, BREAD STREET WILL.