An Excursion to Arcot.--Railroads in Hindostan.--Appearance of the Country.--The Homage of Flowers.--Cauverypak.--The Native System of Cultivation.--Visit to a Bramin.--Schools.--A Car of Juggernaut.--The Dutch Reformed Mission.--Back to Madras.--The Portuguese Settlement.--Gindy Park.--A Diamond Merchant.-- Lord and Lady Napier.--The Normal School.
February 20th.--We left Madras on the 18th, with Lord Napier, in a special train. Arcot, the capital of the famous province of that name, is seventy miles distant from Madras. A renewal of railroad travel, after an interval of six months, in which we had come half-way around the globe, was exhilarating. The road, the engine, and the cars, are of European construction, and even the coal is imported from Wales. The gauge, five feet eight, is uniform in India; but the Government, on considerations of economy, has concluded to contract it to the very narrow one recently proposed in Europe. There are three classes of passengers, the third the cheapest and most numerous. The soil of the region through which we passed is light; the rocks, granite. The landscape wears a dull, yellowish color, although there is no want of palm and cactus. We seemed to be travelling alternately through sandy fields or meadows covered with stagnant water. We soon learned, however, that these pools are artificial reservoirs for irrigation. In some places, the prevailing sterile aspect is relieved by fields of growing rice. The peasantry dress chiefly in white. The herds of very small cattle are more numerous than we expected to find in a country where
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Publication information: Book title: William H. Seward's Travels around the World. Contributors: Olive Risley Seward - Editor, William Henry Seward - Author. Publisher: D. Appleton. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1873. Page number: 365.
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