Great Eastern Hotel, Calcutta. - This is [his and Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson's] last day at Calcutta, except for a night on their way back from Darjeeling to Madras next week; their time here has been 'very interesting, though rather tiring' and they have met many people, mainly Bengalis. The connections of the Tagores and Chaudhuris, for whom they had introductions, 'form a remarkable social and intellectual circle'. Many of them are 'a good deal Europeanized', and all talk and write English well, though they are mostly nationalistic and wear Indian dress in their own homes. Have met at least a dozen of the Tagore family, men and women, all 'agreeable and clever'; the poet Rabindranath, whom they have met in England, is now in America; his brother [Satyendranath] who lives here was the first Indian to join the Indian Civil Service. There are then two younger men [Gaganendranath and Abanindranath] who are distinguished painters; Robert is 'rather disappointed in their work, but they are charming people and great connoisseurs'. The family home consists of three large palaces on three sides of a small square in the centre of town; there are some 'fine musicians, as well as writers'. They are going with a young relation [Nagendranath Ganguli] to spend a night at the family house on the Ganges on their way back from Darjeeling; he will meet them at Sara and take them there by boat.
They have also met Justice [Ashutosh] Chaudhuri, who married a Tagore [Rabindranath's niece] and has seven brothers; they are 'going for lunch with a deportee... who scarcely looks like a revolutionary'; have also seen something of Dr [Jagadish Chandra] Bose, a 'very distinguished physicist and botanist', and have met many young men 'chiefly barristers, and many of them Cambridge men', who are inclined to be 'a little sore' about the British 'methods of government'; some of them are 'really bitter'. The problem is that the English, 'with very few exceptions, do dislike and distrust the Bengalis' and cannot conceal this. Only the law is open as a career, and there is little gratitude for Morley's reforms. Hopes the commission [on public services in India] will support 'simultaneous examinations for the Civil Service'. Things are quite quiet, despite the 'Delhi outrage' [the attempted assassination of the Viceroy, Lord Hardinge], but could worsen at any time. The ill-feeling is 'almost entirely confined to the rich and educated classes'. and the British must make sure to 'protect and legislate for the peasants' to balance the increased power given 'quite rightly' to the others.
Finishes the letter on Wednesday morning, before starting for Darjeeling; expects to be in a 'far colder climate' than his father tomorrow morning. Did not give the correct address for him in Java to his mother and sends the correct one for him for letters written after 18 Jan. Expects to reach Java around 13 [February]. Has been to see the large Banyan tree in the Botanical Gardens, which is 143 years old; compares it to Milton's description at the end of book 9 of "Paradise Lost". Expects Julian has now left Wallington; he seems to have enjoyed his 'long stay' there; is glad his parents found him a 'pleasant visitor'. Dickinson is now 'fairly well' though gets tired easily; Robert is very well 'despite Indian food'.