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them, is thought to be pollution of the very vilest description. They appear, from what I could collect respecting them, to be a quiet race of persons, who gain an honest livelihood in the houses of the wealthy; though the small sum which they receive from each employer per day, would excite the contempt of many a street-sweeper in England. A coarse muslin wrapper round the loins, and falling as low as the knee, where it is tucked up, and a small flat white turban, flat from carrying weights upon it, constitute the whole of the costume worn by these useful, though despised people, who add so much to the comfort of John Bull and his children in India.
Your gharry-wallah, or horse-keeper, lives in the stable, with your horses; and it is not unusual to find him, if you peep in at night, fast asleep with his family, by the side of the Arabian. He is a hardworking man, and has to attend you when out visiting. If you are on horseback, he runs after you, and always carries a chourie, or whisk of hairs in his hand, to keep the flies off the animal. If you run a carriage, you put him in livery, and he sits behind you on the step ; on such occasions he boasts of being your syce, or groom. These stable-men are, generally speaking, an obstinate race; and it is a difficult matter to persuade them to undertake the care of more than one horse. Horses in India always when in stable, have the hinder-legs tethered to a stake driven into the ground; for they are so tormented by insects, that it is dangerous to approach them, unless
secured in this manner. As the gharry-wallah and your horses live upon the same sort of corn, (gram,) you must see the latter fed yourself, every day, to ensure them getting their proper allowance, for you can place no confidence in these native servants when out of your sight.
If you want to have an article of jewellery made or repaired, you send for the goldsmith to come and put all to rights. He brings with him his little charcoal furnace, crucibles, and blow-pipe-in fact, everything necessary to melt, mould, or mend ; and it is customary to supply yourself with the gold or silver which may be requisite for such operations, and which may be readily purchased; the current coin of the country answering very well, where there is any difficulty in procuring the precious metals. It is excessively amusing to watch the native goldsmith, as he is seated by his fire, and going through the various processes connected with the fusing, or perhaps purifying of the metals. He fans his embers up into a red heat with only a
common punkah, which he uses very dexterously. His working-tools are curious, and complicated in their construction, bnt appear to be well adapted for the purposes intended, and satisfy you at once that they were originally designed by no common minds. Not any of the tools that I saw are copies of those manufactured in Birmingham or Sheffield ; which, seeing that there are such large importations of these useful instruments into India every year, may seem surprising. The native gold
smith prefers working with tools of Indian manufacture. He is accustomed to them from long use, and the shape is religiously preserved. They suit the feeble grasp of his delicate hand, and though he gets on slowly with some of them, yet time is not to him so valuable as to our own industrious artisan.He is skilful, and can set you stones very neatly; or, make, from a copy, chains, rings, or brooches, if the pattern be not very difficult. The native jeweller is also a cutter and polisher of diamonds, though he cuts them unscientifically, from the want of proper machinery. Consequently, Indian-cut diamonds are but little esteemed at home; and when they are valuable, and will bear it, are re-cut before they are sent into the London market. Trinkets, and all sorts of jewellery being so much worn by the Indian ladies, our artist makes one of a numerous class, who carry on a very profitable trade in every town and village throughout Hindostan. From him may be purchased the most costly gems; and though to all appearances a poor man, he will often, should you express a wish to purchase any of these adult playthings, pull out from under his gown a dirty roll of linen, in which he has folded an amount of treasure that astonishes you, when spread out to view. Here is a bit of brown paper, with a diamond wrapped up in it, worth fifty pounds; there a ruby, that graced the brow of some maharajah; in another, a portrait of some old king of Delhi, exquisitely painted, and surrounded by brilliants; in another fold, fastened by a pin, is a nose
ornament, set with magnificent emeralds. He shows you a ring of plain gold; you examine it, and see nothing particular about it; he smiles-touches a spring—and the ring falls to pieces, and forms a necklace two yards long, that can be returned at pleasure into its originally small compass. You perhaps want to buy a Trinchinopoly chain from him; he does not keep them, but says
“ he can make you one very like.” He squats himself down in a corner of your room ; unwinds from his neck some hundred yards or two of fine gold wire; cuts it into proper lengths; fastens sixteen or eighteen ends together ; and in a few hours bows himself into your presence, with the chain finished, and all plaited by the nimble fingers of the little dusty, dirty man, whom perhaps you bad sent for to solder your teapot-lid. If you supply him with gold or silver when doing anything, it is very necessary to watch him closely, as he is, like too many of his countrymen, given to pilfering. I remember a case in point. A friend of mine had some old epaulettes, which he wished to have melted down, just for the sake of the silver which they contained, and with which he desired to have some trinkets repaired. The village jeweller was sent for, the same man I have taken the liberty of sketching here. He set to work in the usual way, and when the wire was in a fused state, he pulled out a small phial containing a powerful acid, of which he was just going to pour some into the crucible, when my friend arrested his arm, and told him that the
acid was quite unnecessary, and the trick not a new one to him.
I was a little surprised, and asked, after the jeweller's departure, for an explanation.The fact is, that when these artists cannot rob you, as they always will do if possible, of a portion of the precious metal, they, as a last chance, pop into the molten mass a little acid, which causes it to boil over, -apparently to their great sorrow; but when they return home, they search the cinders into which the gold or silver has run, and, in this cunning way, rob you before your eyes.