Letters from India Volume I/To a Sister 2

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Government House, Wednesday, April 1836.

My dearest ——, There are two or three ships going off within three or four days of each other, so we are sending a few letters by each, and I have no doubt that the first will be last, and so on.

We have sent in the ‘Jupiter’ a box full of little trifling things such as we could pick up, and there is a very small Japan box for you, not the least attractive; but a China ship arrived this week with little knick-knacks, and as Calcutta produces nothing indigenous to the soil, and we are not allowed to go shopping, we were obliged to put up with what we could get. I suppose, in time, we shall see tempting articles, and then we shall have received a little money to buy them with; but they say, in fact, we shall not see anything pretty till we go up the country. Nobody in Calcutta will look at anything that is not either French or English; but for the sake of example, I am already going to devote myself exclusively to Chinese silks and native jewelry whenever I want anything new. The prices here are too absurd: they charge entirely by the precedence of the house they go to, and the scale is very much, ten shillings at Government House for what is nine to members of Council, eight to the rest of the society, and so on, till a native gets the same article for one. It is very provoking, and utterly incurable.

Yours most affectionately,

E. E.