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Roving East and Roving West   By: (1868-1938)

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First Page:

[Illustration: TWO MEN ADMIRING FUJI FROM A WINDOW From Hokusai's "A Hundred Views of Fuji"]

ROVING EAST

AND

ROVING WEST

BY

E. V. LUCAS

TO

E. L. L.

MY HOST AT RAISINA

"Yes, Sir, there are two objects of curiosity, e.g., the Christian world and the Mahometan world." DR. JOHNSON.

"Motion recollected in tranquillity." WORDSWORTH ( very nearly ).

CONTENTS

INDIA

NOISELESS FEET THE SAHIB THE PASSING SHOW INDIA'S BIRDS THE TOWERS OF SILENCE THE GARLANDS DELHI A DAY'S HAWKING NEW, OR IMPERIAL, DELHI THE DIVERS THE ROPE TRICK AGRA AND FATEHPUR SIKRI LUCKNOW A TIGER THE SACRED CITY CALCUTTA ROSE AYLMER JOB AND JOE EXIT

JAPAN

INTRODUCTORY THE LITTLE LAND THE RICE FIELDS SURFACE MATERIALISM FIRST GLIMPSE OF FUJI TWO FUNERALS THE LITTLE GEISHA MANNERS THE PLAY MYANOSHITA FUJI

AMERICA

DEMOCRACY AT HOME SAN FRANCISCO ROADS GOOD AND BAD UNIVERSITIES, LOVE AND PRONUNCIATION FIRST SIGNS OF PROHIBITION R. L. S. STORIES AND HUMORISTS THE CARS CHICAGO THE MOVIES THE AMERICAN FACE PROHIBITION AGAIN THE BALL GAME SKY SCRAPERS A PLEA FOR THE AQUARIUM ENGLISH AND FRENCH INFLUENCES SKY SIGNS AND CONEY ISLAND THE PRESS TREASURES OF ART MOUNT VERNON VERS LIBRE DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE BOSTON PHILADELPHIA GENERAL REFLECTIONS

INDEX

INDIA

NOISELESS FEET

Although India is a land of walkers, there is no sound of footfalls. Most of the feet are bare and all are silent: dark strangers overtake one like ghosts.

Both in the cities and the country some one is always walking. There are carts and motorcars, and on the roads about Delhi a curious service of camel omnibuses, but most of the people walk, and they walk ever. In the bazaars they walk in their thousands; on the long, dusty roads, miles from anywhere, there are always a few, approaching or receding.

It is odd that the only occasion on which Indians break from their walk into a run or a trot is when they are bearers at a funeral, or have an unusually heavy head load, or carry a piano. Why there is so much piano carrying in Calcutta I cannot say, but the streets (as I feel now) have no commoner spectacle than six or eight merry, half naked fellows, trotting along, laughing and jesting under their burden, all with an odd, swinging movement of the arms.

One of one's earliest impressions of the Indians is that their hands are inadequate. They suggest no power.

Not only is there always some one walking, but there is always some one resting. They repose at full length wherever the need for sleep takes them; or they sit with pointed knees. Coming from England one is struck by so much inertness; for though the English labourer can be lazy enough he usually rests on his feet, leaning against walls: if he is a land labourer, leaning with his back to the support; if he follows the sea, leaning on his stomach.

It was interesting to pass on from India and its prostrate philosophers with their infinite capacity for taking naps, to Japan, where there seems to be neither time nor space for idlers. Whereas in India one has continually to turn aside in order not to step upon a sleeping figure the footpath being a favourite dormitory in Japan no one is ever doing nothing, and no one appears to be weary or poor.

India, save for a few native politicians and agitators, strikes one as a land destitute of ambition. In the cities there are infrequent signs of progress; in the country none. The peasants support life on as little as they can, they rest as much as possible and their carts and implements are prehistoric. They may believe in their gods, but fatalism is their true religion. How little they can be affected by civilisation I learned from a tiny settlement of bush dwellers not twenty miles from Bombay, close to that beautiful lake which has been transformed into a reservoir, where bows and arrows are still the only weapons and rats are a staple food... Continue reading book >>




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