Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/13

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EURASIA.

blood that makes it possible for them to live and die in India. Nothing will ever exterminate Eurasia; it clings to the sun and the soil, and is marvelously propagative within its own borders. There is no remote chance of its ever being reabsorbed by either of its original elements; the prejudices of both Europeans and natives are far too vigorous to permit of much intermarriage with a jat of people who are neither one nor the other. Occasionally an up-country planter, predestined to a remote and "jungly" existence, comes down to Calcutta and draws his bride from the upper circles of Eurasia—this not so often now as formerly. Occasionally, too, a young shopman with the red of Scotland fresh in his cheeks is carried off by his landlady's daughter; while Tommy Atkins falls a comparatively easy prey. The sight of a native with a half-caste wife is much rarer, for there Eurasian as well as native antipathy comes into operation. The whole conscious inclination of Eurasian life, in habits, tastes, religion, and most of all in ambition, is toward the European and away from the native standards. On the whole, Eurasian prejudices against the natives are probably stronger than European ones, and more unreasoning. The claims of that cousinship must be more than ignored, they must be trampled upon. But, in the matter of marrying and giving in marriage, Eurasia is more than sufficient unto itself, and has been for so many generations that both the native and European characteristics of the type have become largely merged in its own.

There are twenty thousand Eurasians in Calcutta to one third that number of Europeans. Even that does not represent the proportion fairly, for the census-taker probably finds it easier to obtain the true age of unmarried ladies than the confession "East Indian" if "European" can be written with the least shadow of acceptance. They are not hermetically sealed up in offices and closed gharries and darkened drawing-rooms during the heat of the day, like the Europeans; they take their walks abroad careless of the sun, in straw hats and such other ephemeral millinery as pleases them. Always they wear belati-cut clothes; it is the dear privilege of the poorest and blackest. They share the tram-car with the natives and they walk to their business, distinguished in this way from the sahib, who does neither. Thus one meets them in crowds, but not always thus. Quite often it is in a luxurious landau behind a fair pair of horses, with a coachman on the box and two syces behind, that one has the opportunity of observing Eurasia, lying back among its cushions. For Eurasia has its nabobs, and the Red Road knows them as well as it knows the judges of the High Court of Calcutta, or the members of his Excellency's Council. Once a year, only once, at the state ball at Government House, it is possible, if one looks