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queer-looking implements on the table, but
otherwise maintained a look of lofty stoicism;
nor did he seem in any way alarmed when I
approached with the conductors.

Some of my servants who had already
experienced the process, now came clustering
about with looks of ill-suppressed merriment,
to witness the fuqueer's ordeal. I fastened
one wire to his still extended tongs, and the
other to the foot on the ground.

As the coil machine was not yet in action,
beyond disconcerting him a little, the attachment
of the wires did not otherwise affect him.
But when I pushed the magnet into the coil
and gave him the full strength of the battery,
he howled like a demon; the tongsto which
his hand was now fastened by a force beyond
his willquivered in his unwilling grasp as
if it were burning the flesh from his bones.
He threw himself on the ground, yelling
and gnashing his teeth, the tongs clanging an
irregular accompaniment. Never was human
pride so abruptly cast down. He was rolling
about in such a frantic way that I began to fear
he would do himself mischief; and, thinking
he had now had as much as was good for him,
I stopped the machine and released him.

For some minutes he lay quivering on the
ground, as if not quite sure that the horrible
spell was broken; then gathering himself up,
he flung the tongs from him, bounded across
the lawn, and over the fence like an antelope.
When he had got to what he reckoned cursing
distance, he turned round, shook his fists at me,
and fell to work, pouring out a torrent of imprecations,
shouting, screeching, and tossing
his arms about in a manner fearful to behold.

There is this peculiarity in the abuse of an
Oriental, that, beyond wishing the object of it a
liberal endowment of blisters boils and ulcers,
(no inefficient curses in a hot country,) he does
not otherwise allude to him personally; but
directs the main burden of his wrath against
his female relatives-- from his grandmother to
his granddaughter,—wives, daughters, sisters,
aunts, and grandaunts inclusive. These he imprecates
individually and collectively through
every clause of a prescribed formulary, which
has been handed down by his ancestors, and
which, in searchingness of detail and comprehensiveness
of malediction, leaves small scope
for additions or improvements.

Leaving me, then, to rot and wither from
the face of the earth, and consigning all my
female kindred to utter and inevitable death
and destruction, he walked off to a neighbouring
village to give vent to his feelings and
compose his ruffled dignity.

It so happened, that a short time after
the fuqueer had gone, I incautiously held
my head, while watching the result of some
experiments, over a dish of fuming acid, and
consequently became so ill as to be obliged to
retire to my bedroom and lie down.  In
about an hour, I called to my bearer to fetch
me a glass of water; but, although I heard
him and some of the other servants whispering
together behind the purda, or door curtain,
no attention was paid to my summons. After
repeating the call two or three times with
the same result, I got up to see what was
the matter. On drawing aside the purda,
I beheld the whole establishment seated in
full conclave on their haunches round the
door. On seeing me, they all got up and took
to their heels, like a covey of frightened
partridges. The old Kidmudgar was too fat
to run far; so I seized him, just as he was
making his exit by a gap in the garden fence.
He was, at first, quite incapable of giving any
account of himself; so I made him sit a minute
among the long grass to recover his wind,
when he broke out with "Oh! re-bab-re-bab!"
and began to blubber, as only a fat Kidmudgar
can, imploring me to send instantly
for the fuqueer, and make him a present; if
I did not, I would certainly be a dead man
before to-morrow's sun; "For," said he, "a
fuqueer's curse is good as kismut-ke-bat" (a
matter of fate). Some of his fellows now
seeing that the murder was out, ventured to
come back, and joined in requesting me to
save my life while there was yet time.

A laugh was the only answer I could make.
This somewhat re-assured them, but it was
easy to see that I was regarded by all as a
doomed man. It was to no purpose that I
told them I was now quite well, and endeavoured
to explain the cause of my sickness.
They would have it that I was in a dying
state, and that my only salvation lay in
sending off a messenger with a kid and a bag
of rupees to the fuqueer. The durdzee (tailor),
who had just come from the village where
the fuqueer had taken refuge, told me, that
as soon as the fuqueer heard that I was ill,
he performed a pas seul of a most impressive
character, shouting and threatening to
curse everybody in the village as he had
cursed me and mine. The consequence was
that pice, cowries, rice and ghee were showered
upon him with overwhelming liberality.

Without saying a word, I armed myself
with a horsewhip, set out for the village, and
found the fuqueer surrounded by a dense
crowd of men and women; to whom he was
jabbering with tremendous volubility; telling
them how he had withered me up root and
branch, and expressing a hope that I would
serve as a lesson to the other children of
Sheitan who ventured to take liberties with a
fuqueer. The crowd hid me from him till
I broke in upon his dreams with a slight
taste of my whip across his shoulders. His
eyes nearly leaped out of their sockets when
he turned round and saw me. Another intimation
from my thong sent him off with a yell,
leaving the rich spoil he had collected from
the simple villagers behind. What became of
him I cannot tell. I heard no more of him.

A few such adventures as these would tend
to lessen the gross, and, to them, expensive
superstitions under which the natives of India
at present labour.