The Caravansaries At The Entrance Of The Town Were Crowded, And
There Was No Other Alternative Except To Pass Through The Whole Town
To The Other Side.
The town-gate had a very promising appearance,
rising proudly and boldly into the air; I hoped to see
buildings, and saw instead wretched mud hovels and narrow lanes; so
narrow, indeed, that the foot passengers were obliged to step under
the entrances of the huts to allow our baili to pass them.
2nd February. A few miles distant from Matara, we turned out of the
beaten road which leads from Delhi to Mutra, a town which still
remains under English government. Matara is a pretty little town,
with a very neat mosque, broad streets, and walled houses, many of
which, indeed, are decorated with galleries, columns, or sculptures
of red sandstone.
The appearance of the country here is of monotonous uniformity -
boundless plains, on which orchards and meadows alternately present
themselves, the latter apparently quite scorched up in consequence
of the dry season. The corn was already a foot high; but such large
quantities of yellow flowers were mixed with it, that there was
great difficulty in telling whether corn or weeds had been sown.
The cultivation of cotton is of very great importance here. The
Indian plant does not, indeed, attain the height and thickness of
the Egyptian; however, it is considered that the quality of the
cotton does not depend upon the size of the plants, and that the
cotton of this country is the finest and the best.
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