Emily Bayly to Haswell and Sydney Bayly 1888

Rampore-Bauleah is a large station on the north bank of the Ganges, whose stream is at this season fully a mile wide, with a very slow current; its banks are thirty feet above the water.  The climate of Rampore is marked by greater extremes than that of Calcutta: the temperature can rise above 106°, and fall to 78° at night: the mean was 2·5° higher than at Calcutta, which is 126 miles further south.

Rampore Bauleah

5th July 1888

P.S. Please post the enclosed. I will write to Uncle Dan and Aunt Rosa next time. E.B.

My dear Haswell,

Thank you for your nice letter (which I found too short) Am glad you spent a happy birthday and had such nice presents, no one remembered Aunt Emily this year but I shall never forget the one I spent at home in 1887 as long as I live.  You must have got quite a library.  At family worship we read the Children’s Scripture Portion in Bengali when the five children are present, two of whom can read their verse nicely.  We have a new Hymnal of Love of Songs and Solos, besides Hymns written by Bengalis & sung to Bengali tunes.  At night we have family worship in English because the children are not present and our Teachers understand quite well, the name of one is Mrs Chatterjee, the other Miss Rose Joseph.  How much I would like you and Sydney to pay me a visit, not just now for the heat is very great.  A sparrow has built her nest in my bathroom, the little family are rather noisy.  Some Miners(sic)  tried to build their nest in the Verandah opposite my room but I would not let them, because they are dreadfully noisy quite as much so as parrots.  There are several kinds of night birds, owls, another bird which makes a noise like Lock lock lock lock lock till one feels quite cross, another says most distinctly Brain fever, over and over till one is in danger of having that worst of  all fevers.  A Palm tree close to my door has a number of nests hanging from the large long leaves, they are long and the bird enters at the bottom.  I have watched but I cannot tell what kind of birds have built them.  Your loving Auntie, Emily Bayly.  (write again soon)


My dear Sidney

I will now answer your kind letter.  I am quite well thank you & very happy (especially when I get letters from my dear nephews, I do not remember Good Friday, am glad you had a nice walk with dear Pappa.  You have never told me if you got the Photograph of the “S S Pekin” I sent.  The people of Bengal are called Bengalis not Indians.  I wonder what you will all think of the other Photographs of my pupils, that will be sent to Uncle Dan from Mrs Anderson.  I hope she will send the description, if not I must do so.  The first week of the May holiday I remained at home & had the 3 orphans, they sat on a mat by my side at breakfast 9 a m & dinner 7 p. m.  I ate the curry and rice, then I went to a friends for 10 days.  I gave the children into the care of our native Christian family.  I gave them a box of  nice clean clothes plenty of soap & told the servant to go every day & bathe them & keep them clean but they came back so dirty I could not even look at them so had their heads shaven & then gave them each a good scrub in hot water & put on clean clothes their dark brown skin looked so nice.  One day they were talking together & Gopal (a boy 5 years) said he was Miss Thomsons child because she gave him a handkerchief, then Soolimoon ( a girl 7 years) said she was Miss Baylys because she had given her a doll & lots of clothes.  Pelli a girl of 4 years said she was Miss B’s no said Soolimoon Miss B can only have one child, after thinking she said she belonged to Dr Moseion no said Gopal I belong to Dr M because he is a male child like me.  Your loving Auntie, Emily Bayly


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