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27th June 1863.
Babu Kedar Nath Dutt served me as Nazir for 14 months, and I have much pleasure in certifying to his more than ordinary abilities and high character. He left me to my great regret for a better appointment in the collectorate, where I wish him every success.
Wright Sudder Amean of Burdwan
200. I did not take pleasure in the duties of a tax collector. At that time the the cheating of the Nazir came to the attention of the higher officers. Talk began to the effect that if the salary of the Nazir was increased a little then the government's cheating could be checked. At that time Chandra Shekar Basu was the Head Clerk Collector. Chandra Babu was a childhood friend from Ulagram and I respected him as an older brother. The man was truly first rate. Upon discussing my situation with him, he said, "There is a [vacany for] a Second Clerk Collector, you apply for it." I had an interview with Collector Hoag Saheb. Hoag Saheb gave me the post of second clerk at a salary of 30 Rupees per month.
201. Now money was in short supply and thus I kept my family at the house of Kali Kaka in Calcutta. I stayed in one small residence, which, after several days, Chandra Babu and I shared. Later I crossed the river Banka and rented a house in the village of Bhacchala and I brought my mother and wife there. With great difficulty I managed to survived. Hoag Saheb allowed me to become a Money Order Agent, so I began to get a little more money. During the time that I was a Collectorate Office clerk I wrote the poem 'Bijangram' and subsequently the poem 'Sannyasi'.
During that period I had some thoughts on religion and put them into verse. Thereafter, I presented them to the Vaishnava society in Bhacchala and that peom, 'Sannyasi', was printed. At that time I also wrote a small English work entitled 'Our Wants'. Chandra Babu was in the Brahma Samaj. My old friend Keshab Sen also came to see the Samaj. Reverend Lalbihari De used to criticise Keshav Sen at that time, saying that he stole from the Bible [?]. At this time I had several philosophy students. They became members of the Brahma Samaj because of Chandra Babu.
203. Therefore they said to me, "You resolve the two views." Oneday, pointing out the mutual relationship between Brahmo philosophy and Christian philosophy, I proposed a meeting between the members of both groups, but both sides became extremely angry with me. Padre Stern made one or two hostile speeches about me. I made one or two speeches in reply. I estabhished the Bhratri Samaj. Chandra Babu and other Brahmo men were not pleased about this. Their group split and some of them began to come to my society.
204. Because of the enemy's increase great aprehension arose [in my party?]. A few men in our office, such as Tilochan Simha, were in my party. At this time Rakhaldas Haldar, who had [just] returned from England, became Deputy Collector in Burdwan. Our literary society met at the Burdwan public library and on that account I had disputes with Rakhal Babu. From time to time I would go to Calcutta. Sriyuta Hilly Saheb, who was the Superintendent of Stationary, came to Burdwan. When I met with him he said, "I will endevour to arrange a good position for you."
205. During one session of our Bhratri Samaj I gave a speech entitled 'The Soul'. A report of the speech was published in the newspaper, Public Engagement. When he saw the report Hilly Saheb came to hear. He invited me to come to Calcutta to hear a speech in a meeting at the Dalhousie Institute on the subject of the Centralisation of Power. When I went to Calcutta I meet Dal Saheb and proceeded to the meeting in the Dalhousie Insititute. After hearing the lecture I stayed at Baro Dada Dvijendra Natha Tagore's house for the night. Early in the morning I returned to Burdwan without seeing him. Baro Dada wrote a poem in Bengali to me and I gave an answer in poetry. We exchanged a lot of poems and two of them were published in Sannyasi. Where all the others went cannot be determined.
206. I did not have a good job and there was a lack of money. Your mother became pregnant at the first attempt and for her good I sent her to Jakpur. I sent my mother and Annada to the home of Kali Kaka in Calcutta. For my part, I discussed Dharma Shastra and a good deal of philosophy and taught many persons, and I wrote a lot. Brother Mahendra Nath Mitra was the Head Clerk of a small court in Chooadangah.
207. He wanted to take the law examination in order to enter the high court, so he took six months leave. George Linton Saheb invited me to take his position. The salary was 140 Rupees [per month]. Half of it had to be given to Mahendra Babu. At the time I was to go and do the job in Chooadangah, Hogg Saheb gave the certificate written below to me:
208. "Babu Kedarnath Dutt has served under me as Second Clerk in the English Collectorate Department for about eighteen months. He is a very intelligent, hard working officer and has discharged his duties to my satisfaction. He leaves his appointment at his own request and I am sorry to lose his services.
209. Upon proceeding to Chooadanga I lived in a thatched house constructed by Mahendra Babu. Linton Saheb worked one week in Maherpur and one week in Chooadanga. The legal suits regarding the Indigo Workers were of many types; I spent one and a half years in Chooadanga. Mahendra Babu was on vacation but after a year he resigned the post. I requested Linton Saheb to obtain the position [for me] and he requested the government. During the time that I lived in Chooadanga I bought a piece of land in Ranaghat and built a house thereon. My father-in-law, Madhusudan Mitra Mahasaya, helped me purchase the land. It was very convienent to travel to Ranaghat from Chooadanga. I came on Saturday and returned on Monday.
210. On the 26th of Asvin 1271, Sal , your elder sister was born in Mama's house, in Jakpur. On the 20th of Asvin there was a great storm which resulted in widespread destruction. On the preceding I left Chooadanga on the occassion of the [Durga] Pooja. I left the key to my thatched house in the custody of a servant and proceeded to Ranaghat. In the morning of the following day the storm began. Before evening time, due to the force of the storm, many trees, shrubs, houses, and doorways were destroyed. Mother and Annada were in Calcutta. I did not receive any news about what happened either to them or in Jakpur.
The disaster was very extensive. The railway was in trouble at Chanka, so after three days I went to Calcutta. When I reached Calcutta I saw that mother and Annada were unscathed. After 5 or 6 days I received a letter to the effect that I had a beautiful daughter. During the storm there was a lot of damage done throughout the land. [Upon hearing the news of my daughther's birth] I became free of anxiety to some extent.
211. My house in Ranaghat was completed after the storm. A few months after the storm I attempted to bring my wife and daughter there. First I brought mother and Annada to the house and after continual insistence I brought my wife and daughter. We all lived in one place at last. I came [from my place of work] on Saturday and returned on Sunday.
212. While living in Chooadanga I endeavoured to improve the Chooadanga school and other matters. Towers Saheb gave this certificate to me:
I have much pleasure in having an opportunity of expressing my opinion on your character and conduct during the period I have known you. You resided nine months at Chooadanga while I had charge of the Sub-dividsion and although not directly subordinate to myself I had many opportunities of becoming aquainted with your position as a member of the School Committee, as in other ways. It gives me great pleasure to be able to bear testimony to the very high respect in which both the Native and European Community regarded you. Your departure from this part of the country will be a real loss to the residents, not only from the active and able part which you took in promoting every scheme for their advantage, but also by the removal from their midst of one who afforded his countrymen a high and rare example of honesty and right-mindedness.
I have the honour to be, sir,
Your most obedient servant,
Asst. Mag. and collector of Chooadanga"
214. While living in Chooadanga I took the law examination in Burdwan. At this time Linton Saheb gave me this certificate:
215. "This is to certify that Babu Kedar Nath Dutt at present Officiating Clerk of the Chooadanga Court of the Small Causes has conducted himself to my entire satisfaction in the discharge of the multifarious duties with which he has been entrusted. I consider him to be a respectable and well educated person and a fit and proper person to appear as a canditate at the ensuing leadership examination and he carries with him my best wishes for his success.
June 18th 1864
216. When Mahendra Babu left his position Linton Saheb wrote a letter to the government on my behalf [in order that I might] continue in the post. At this time a small law court was estbalished in Mushidabad and the clerk of that place was appointed to Chooadanga. Therefore, I resigned the position and went to the house in Ranaghat. Linton Saheb wrote a letter to the government on my behalf and the government responded saying that very soon they would give me a good posting.
217. I was acquinted with Heeley Seheb. He had a Head Clerkship available, but he considered that the status of clerk was not suitable for me. He made known my situation to Secretary Srijuta Eden Saheb. Heeley Saheb spoke to me with much affection, saying, "You will soon get a good position. You stay in Ranaghat and wait." At this time Linton Saheb also gave a certificate to me.
218. As long as times are bad you can not see anything [but unhappiness]. But when times are good everthing is happy in all directions. On the 9th of February I received three letters [of emphloyment]. One was a letter from Linton Saheb. He wrote, saying, "Rasika Babu, the clerk of Maherpur has died, and If you wish you can go to Maherpur and secure that position." The second letter was from Heeley Saheb. He wrote, "My dear Babu, I am glad to say that you have been appointed Deputy Registrar at Chapra. If you have not yet got your letter of appointment you had better come down at once for it. Yours sincerely, Wilfred L. Heeley."
220. The third letter was from the government. That letter was [about] my job in Chapra. Dated 5th February 1866, [I was given the post of] Special Deputy Registrar of Assurances with powers of a Deputy magistrate and Deputy Collector of the 6th grade of the Sub Executive Service salary.
221. I was very happy to receive these letters. I went to meet my supreme benefactor, Heeley Saheb, but he had gone to Orissa. When I learnt this I returned. Setting out with Sri Kanta Mukhopadyaya and Yogendra Chatopadhyaya and one Western bearer, and with a dog named Tiger I got in Chooadanga, I [finally] arrived in Chapra. I took up residence in a second story apartment near the court house and began my work. The language of the west was Urdu. I [found] a teacher and I began to learn Urdu and Pharsi. Grey Saheb was the Collector then. Taking permission from him I went to Ranaghat and fetched my wife.
222. Everything in Chapra was good, only.... I would have to take an examination. For that purpose I began to study law. When I took charge of the office of Registrar I went from time to time to see the villages in the Maphahsval. While going to Simuriya to verify a power of attorney I met Babu Brahma Dev Narayan. Godna was the place of Gautamashrama, ['Gautama Muni's Ashram']. It was there that Ahalya had become stone [when cursed by her husband, Gautama]. Gautamashram was the place where the Nyaya Sastra [scripture dealing with logic] was born. 'As this is a sacred place, there should be aschool of logic here' - with this thought in mind I organised a meeting and gave a speech on Gautama. As a result of that speech I had a discussion with respectable gentlemen from all over the area. They considered me a friend who wished the best for the locality. At that time no effort was made to collect any money. I heard from the mouth of Bandhubar Raya, Taraprasad Mukhopadhyaya and Bahadur Ukil Mahasaya that there was a school of nyaya in Godna which was supported even by Europeans.
223. At the outset my relations with the English people of Chapra were not good. The Indigo planters, the doctor and the police saheb formed one group and made trouble for me. Even though each of them had separate affairs, nevertheless, everybody's intention towards me was bad. The European Indigo planters were trying to get perferential treatment from the [Registrar's] office over the native Zamindars. In this matter I was no help because [to offer any preference] would have been exceedingly wrong. The doctor saheb had previously been in charge of the Registrar's Office and he used to get a little money [on the side]. He did not get it any more because of me and he thus became hostile.
224. Because I was not able to bear any impropiety on the part of the police the police were unhappy. Be that as it may, Grey Saheb was not able to get a little money [?] and Holiday Saheb came and took over his post. My enemies whispered many bad things about me in the ear of this great soul. At first the feeling between Holiday Saheb and myself was very difficult. But gradually, after a short time, by the grace of God and with the help of Heeley Saheb, I caused him to see the truth. And after he made some exertions [on my behalf] all of my enemies became my friends.
225. Everyone in Chapra became my friends. The lawyer, Kesab Babu, alway supported my point of view. The Judge Saheb also was favourable towards me.
The people of Chapra made many kinds of pickle. A certain type of vinegar pickle was the best. I began to make it. [Their] mustard oil pickle had a pleasant taste and I began to make that also. At that time I ate a lot of fish and meat. I had known that killing animals was bad for a long time, but I had a strong desire to enjoy fish and meat.
226. I ate a lot of fish in Chapra, but it was not very good. Therefore, I ate more goat meat. After the prolonged eating of food of this kind combined with red chillies and mustard seed pickle, I developed a bleeding ulcer. The first [attack] occurred on a full moon day. Gradually I got pains every new moon and full moon day. It took 5 to 7 days from the day the pain started for it to go away. So much sufferring! When the pain [started] I automatically sufferred from vomiting and diarrhoea for 10 to 17 hours. At first I went to the doctor, and a close friend, Manohar Babu, gave me medical treatment. Thereafter, I tried Moslem natural medicine. Finally, Mahendra Mama brought some Ayur Vedic herbs from the jungle and a local Vaidya made a little medicine.
227. But none of these things worked. The first time I went to Bhagalpur to take the examination I was unsuccessful. I was a little anxious because I was not sure if I would be able to take the examination. My health became very bad and I wanted to be tranferred to another place. There being no opportunity for a mutual transfer, I travelled to the west [of India] during the puja season. My office superintendent, Narasimha Prasad, and Kasi Babu the Collector Head Clerk, a brahmana and one servant [accompanied me] on the trip. After 13 days we returned to Chapra, having travelled to Vrindavan, Mathura, Agra, Prayag, Mrijpur and Kasi. Moreover, while on the train I met Bimal Visvas Mahasaya who promised to send some medicine from Vidyasagara Mahasaya.
Even in those days there was no great firmness in Hinduism [Arya Dharma]. My bhakti was mixed with jnana. Therefore, I did not enjoy the happiness experienced by the pure bhakta while I was in Vrindavan. Instead, when I reached Kasi I had a cold from drinking Yamuna water. In Prayag I shaved my head and in Vrindavan I spoke with Raja Radha Kanta.
229. He was pleased to see me. At that time he was reading Garga Samhita. When I saw the temples of Sridham Vrindavan I became happy. But I did not properly honour the devotees. In Kanpur I fell into the hands of a false friend, but before he could show any strength from his hands I was rescued. The pandars in Prayag were the worst class of men. They tried to give us a difficult time, but they could do very little.
230. As soon as I returned to Chapra I received a herbal prescription [from Bimal Visvas?] but there was a delay while Multani Hing was searched for. The examination was approaching so I studied very hard. Mathuranath Teoyari made an astrological calculation and said, "This time you will definitely pass the examination." Because of the condition of my body I did not have so much confidence. That year [I suffered] the pain of colitis and various kinds of heart pains. Once more we [travelled and] went to see a fair in Sonapur, where we stayed in a tent. During this leave of absence the Registrar General, Beverley Saheb, came to see me at my office, but he had to wait [for my return]. When I returned I heard of his waiting and went to see him. He was very happy. He said, "This time you study hard for the examination."
231. When I went this time to take the examination in Patna I stayed at the house of my friend, Guruprasad Sena. Vamacharan Bandyopadhyaya accompanied me. I took the examination and then returned. Having taken the exam and returning to Chapra from Patna I saw that Srimati Kadambani had been born. This daughter was very beautiful. But once she almost died due to a stomach disease. At that time Sadu used to move around by crawling and she would play with Tiger. Babbling she would say, "Gaitha le ai le ai" etc. Kadu was born on the 29th of Caitra 1788. At this time Annada was making mischief, as he moved around he would wrestle with the servant, Makhan.
232. In the month of June I received news of being successful in the examination. Beverley Saheb wrote this note:
"5th June 1867
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