(44) Invitations, visiting, loud music [[206-207]]
|Williamson 1810 vol. 1: ((449))
Though the native
women retained by European gentlemen very rarely proceed to the rivers
to bathe, but content themselves with either the use of a small bath of
masonry, or with pots of water, they are nevertheless extremely fond of
going abroad in a palanquin, or a r'hut, attended by their dhyes, and
the guttah-tope, or cover, of the vehicle, brought down close on all
It certainly would be uncharitable to annex a bad
motive, as inseparable
from all such excursions, yet it may probably be considered as a
rule, that such ladies either take the air with the intention of
some established gallant, or that they ultimately give way to the
and whisperings of their menials, who are rarely proof against a very
bribe, and are frequently known to throw an admirer, as though
in the way of Madam's notice.
[] However reclusive may be the Hindoostanee ladies, yet []
indulge in certain amusements peculiar to India. The acceptance and
of compliments and civilities afford no small gratification: the
or despatch, of a complimentary pawn (beetle), or of an elauchee
(cardamom) being an affair of considerable importance among a
whose whole time appears to be devoted to whatever is childish or
When visits are paid, much ceremony is used, and every endeavour
to appear well-bred and affable.
On such occasions, a profusion of compliments are exchanged,
narrowly observes the dress, the equipage, and the conduct of the
but reserves her remarks till a free vent may be given to envy and
not forgetting a little scandal. Some ladies affect to possess a
ear, and exercise not only their own lungs, but those of their
also, in vociferating various commonplace songs. These captivating
they accompany with tremendous thumps on a large long drum, called a dhole;
or perhaps shewing the agility of their fingers in playing upon a very
small kind of tambourine, called a coonjerry.
|Williamson 1810 vol. 1: ((450))
Woe be to that
kind keeper who should dissent from the fair one's opinion, regarding
the excellence of her performance, or the pleasing tones of the
Where this infatuation exists, the whole neighbourhood is compelled to
submit to the nuisance. There would be no use in remonstrating with the
lady, through the medium of her servants: and as to parleying with the
gentleman on such a subject, that would give great offence; or, at all
events, would be unavailing.
The man who submits to such an uproar, for the sake of a
may be ((451)) considered a living illustration of Shakespeare's
but most wholesome lesson, 'The ewe that will not hear its lamb when it
bleats, will never attend to a calf when it bawls.' In truth, some of
ladies ride upon very high horses, and keep the whip-hand most
a circumstance we should by no means expect, after hearing, perhaps,
their respective names were 'Chembayly' (jasmine),' Golaub'
'Miscery' (sugar),' Gool-beegum' (queen of roses), 'Meevah-Jehan' (the
fruit of life): though perhaps those known by the name of 'Soorooj'
the sun) might lay claim to some authority, without acting so grossly
opposition to their nomenclature.