The sermon, which was preached by the then Bishop of Calcutta, dealt largely with the allegory of the Church as the Bride of Christ, and the duties of bishops in her preparation for Marriage. It was rambling and tedious, but the choir sang well and the playing of the fine organ was admirable.
The 12th of January was the ninth day of the ten days' Hindoo festival of the Sankarati Puja. I went over to the Howrah Bridge to see the bathing. On the stone building on the right, as I looked over the bridge railing at the top of the great flight of steps, a slab is let into the wall inscribed in English:a
" This stone is dedicated by a few Englishwomen to the memory of those pilgrims, mostly women, who perished with the 'Sir John Lawrence* in the cyclone of the 25th May, 1887."
A golden-brown butterfly was settled near the stone on the grey stucco wall. The river, dirty everywhere, was here thickly strewn with floating rubbish. The whole of the steps and the edge of the river were crowded with bathers and people ministering to themasome grave and deliberate, others lively and splashing, washing their bright-coloured draperies and clothes and rubbing their own brown bodies with the sacred water.
They were Mahrattas, these people, and about
H 113H 113