Page:Thirty-five years in the East.djvu/91

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51
THIRTY-FIVE YEARS IN THE EAST.

Rajah Heera Sing, son to the minister Dhyan Sing, who was a favourite of Runjeet Sing's, was afflicted with diabetes, and we ( I and the five native physicians ) were consulted, at the palace garden of Hazooree Bagh, in the presence of Runjeet Sing, and on that occasion I made mention of milk-sugar. As neither the Maharajah nor his physicians had ever heard of any sugar prepared from the milk of cows, they were curious to see a specimen of it, and I was ordered to prepare some in the gulab-haneh ( rose-watar house ), in the presence of the fakir, Noor-oo-Deen ; but they had scarcely patience to wait for its preparation, I produced some white and fine crystallized milk-sugar which I presented in a box to Runjeet Sing, of which he gave a few pieces to a boy to taste, but he did not find it so sweet as cane-sugar, so no one spoke any more about it, and the milk scene was thus at its end. The gulab-haneh, where the rose-waters and the bedemusk ( aqua flor. salicis Babylon ), which they use as cooling beverages in the hot season, were distilled, was the very place where I at first practised, and it was there I gave lessons in pharmacy and chemistry to the fakirs Aziz-oo-Deen and Noor-oo-Deen. The spirit produced from Cabul grapes, for the use of Runjeet Sing, was distilled in that place in my presence, by his own people, because every thing eatable or drinkable, destined for the Sikhs and Hindoos, must be prepared with their own hands, no Christian or Musselman being permitted to touch it, lest they should pollute it. There were also the royal magazines, under the care of Noor-oo-Deen, where I prepared different opiates, and many amusing metallic oxydes ( kooshtegee ), to please the fakir and Runjeet Sing, for which they held me in high estimation. Among others, I prepared some morphine, with a large dose of which the Maharaja would surely have killed a famous opium-eater, if I had not been consulted in time, and administered to him some antidotes. I thought it strange that no one at Lahore was aware of the existence of coffee, and its use- fulness. Even the learned fakirs, Aziz-oo-Deen and Noor- oo-Deen ( brohers ), who were of Arab descent, knew coffee