I Have Heard A Great Many Expressions Of Sorrow For The Queen From
The Malays, And Always With The 'hope The People Will Take Much
Care Of Her, Now She Is Alone'.
Of course Prince Albert was only
the Queen's husband to them, and all their feeling is about her.
It is very difficult to see anything of them, for they want nothing
of you, and expect nothing but dislike and contempt.
It would take
a long time to make many friends, as they are naturally
distrustful. I found that eating or drinking anything, if they
offer it, made most way, as they know they are accused of poisoning
all Christians indiscriminately. Of course, therefore, they are
shy of offering things. I drank tea in the Mosque at the end of
Ramadan, and was surrounded by delighted faces as I sipped. The
little boy who waits in this house here had followed us, and was
horrified: he is still waiting to see the poison work.
No one can conceive what has become of all the ships that usually
touch here about this time. I was promised my choice of Green's
and Smith's, and now only the heavy old Camperdown is expected with
rice from Moulmein. A lady now here, who has been Heaven only
knows WHERE NOT, praises Alexandria above all other places, after
Suez. Her lungs are bad, and she swears by Suez, which she says is
the dreariest and healthiest (for lungs) place in the world. You
can't think how soon one learns to 'annihilate space', if not time,
in one's thoughts, by daily reading advertisements for every port
in India, America, Australia, &c., &c., and conversing with people
who have just come from the 'ends of the earth'.
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