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MEMORIALS OF NEPAU L.
A VERY few years of service in India suffice to try the constitution of a soldier. If he is not compelled by the duties of his profession to confront the rays of a mid-day sun, ten to one but he finds an excuse for his rashness in the temptations of the chase. The tigers and leopards of the plains, the bears and wild deer of the hills, and the elephants and rhinoceroses of the jungle, supply a hundred reasons for exposure to the greatest climatic dangers, and
send home a youth, before he emerges from subaltern rank, a victim to fever, chronic hepatitis, rheumatism, or general derangement. It is hardly worth while to enter into a specific detail either of the diseases which forced me to quit India on sick furlough, or of the quality of the field-pastime which originated my disorder. Let it suffice, that in 1838, being then a Lieutenant in the Bengal army, I was obliged to seek a restoration to health in my native country, and that the month of April 1840, found me once more in India (at Bombay), after a very pleasant overland trip from England, through France, Italy, and Egypt. The passage to India by the overland route is now so well known, and has been described by so many abler pens than mine, that the reader may also be spared my impressions thereanent. After being diligenced through France, steamed to Genoa, Civita Vecchia, and Alexandria, and donkeyed through Egypt to Suez, I was carried down the Red Sea to Aden, and thence to Bombay. The retrospect of the voyage recalls one circumstance
which greatly amused me on the way from Marseilles, in the ‘Rhameses,' French steampacket, to Malta. We had a motley collection of passengers on board. There were expiredleave Indian officers going to join their regiments; inquisitive Yankees bent upon sightseeing, and the accumulation of a few notions regarding Cheops and Ghiza ; and last, not least, there was a glory-seeking body of French officers who were about to enter the service of the Shah of Persia-honest haters of England and everything English, who comported themselves under the idea that they were destined to show a Persian army the way to India. . Several of them, after smoking my tobacco from Marseilles to Malta (they appeared to have none of their own), took an affectionate farewell of me, promising that we should shortly again meet on the banks of the Sutlej, when I should be well treated by them, and enjoy all the indulgences a prisoner of war could possibly expect ! Not wishing to be outdone in kindness of intention, I assured them they should have
quarter in the anticipated contest, provided they shouted out “Rhameses,” and “Malta.” A few sacrés followed and we parted. I cannot pass over two characters we had on board the * Rhameses'-one was a young Capuchin monk, dressed in the gaberdine of his order, and bound for Mecca. He was zealous in his calling, and bent upon allowing neither Mahomet nor his coffin any longer to remain between heaven and earth. He was resolved to bring him, coffin and all, once more on terra firma, and to settle the question at issue as to who was the greatest impostor on earth. This well “ intintioned" missionary I soon after discovered was an Irishman, and a better informed or more amusing fellow I never met with. He astonished me one morning by addressing me in English with a highly finished Irish accent. He was neither teetotaller nor drunkard, but entertained and practised very proper notions on the subject of the beverages of civilized man.
The monk and the French invader of India, General D--S, had numerous and daily