The Abbé Dubois

Born on the banks of the Rhone, this enlightened French missionary was the first European to carry out a comprehensive survey of the manners and customs of the Hindus. Roderick Cameron describes how the book that he wrote, which he published with the encouragement of the British East India Company, remains a classic in its own field.

Seringapatam was once the capital of the Mysore Rajas, and is the place where Tipu Sultan had his Summer Palace. The Palace is a tawdry building, poorly constructed in wood and plaster, nevertheless not without a certain charm, its walls lacquered all over with flowers like Kashmirian papier-mache work. A tropical garden of palms surrounds its open colonnades.

Tipu Sultan, better known perhaps as the “Tiger of Mysore,” for years England’s implacable foe and the bogey of every child who still reads Henty, was, surprisingly enough for one reputed to be so cruel, unusually fond of plants; and his favourite specimens, we are told, were fed daily with milk and curds. Wandering over the grass-grown ramparts of the fort, the traveller is shown the breach by which it was stormed and the spot where Tipu met his tragic death. Wounded, he fell from his charger.

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