” We had been but few minutes con-
fined before every one fell into a perspi- ration lo profuse, you can form no idea of it. This brought on a raging thirst, which increased in proportion as the body was drained of its moisture.
” Various expedients were thought of to give more room and air. To obtain the former, it was moved to put off their cloaths : this was approved as a happy motion; and in a few minutes, I believe, every man was stripped: (myself, Mr. Court, and the two young gentlemen by me excepted) For a little time they flat- tered themselves with having gained a mighty advantage; every hat was put in. motion to produce a circulationof air; and Mr. Baillie proposed that every man- should sit down on his hams. This ex- pedient was several times put in practice, and at each time many of the poor crea- tures, whose natural strength was sol’s than that of others, or who had been more exhausted and could not immediate- ly recover their legs, as others did when the word was given to rife, fell to rife no more : for they were instantly trod to death, or suffocated. When the whole body sat down, they were so- closely wedged together, that they were obliged to ule many efforts, before they could put themselves in motion to get up again.
Before nine o’clock every man’s thirst grew intolerable, and respiration difficult. Efforts were again made to, force the door, but in vain. Many insults were’ used to the guard to provoke them to fire in upon us. For my own part-, I hitherto, felt little pain, or uneasiness, but what re- suited from my anxiety for the sufferings of those within. By keeping my face between two of the bars, I obtained air enough to give my lungs easy play, tho* my perspiration was excessive, and thirst commencing. At this period, so strong a urinous volatile effluvia came from the prison, that I was not able to turn my head that way, for more than a tew se- conds at a time.
‘ – Now.every body,excepting thosositu- ated in and near the windows, began to grow outrageous,and many delirious: IVat- er,water, becamethe general cry.’ And the old Jemmautdaar, before-mentioned, ta- king pity onus,ordered the people to bring
C c c some
386 Deplorabledeaths of the Englif) at Calcutta. Vol. i. some skins of water. This was what I dreaded. 1 foresaw it would prove the ruin of the small chance left us, and es- sayed many times to speak to him private- ly to forbid its being brought; but the clamour was so loud, it became impos- sible. The water appeared. Words cannot paint to you the universal agita- tion and raving the sight of it threw us into. 1 had flattered myself that some, by preserving an equal temper of mind, might out-live the night; but now the reflection which gave me the greatest pain was, that I saw no possibility of one escaping to tell the dismal tale.
” Until the water came, I had myself hot suffered much from thirst, which in- stantly grew excessive. We had no means of conveying it into the prison, but by hats forced through the bars; and thus myself and Messrs. Coles and Scot (notwithstanding the pains they suffered from their wounds) supplied them as fast as possible. But those who have expe- rienced intense thirst, or are acquainted with the cause and nature of this appetite, will be sufficiently sensible it could receive no more than a momentary alleviation ; the cause still subsisted. ‘ Though we brought full hats within the bars, there ensued such violent struggles, and frequent contests to get at it, that, before it reach- ed the lips of any one, there would be scarcely a small tea-cup-full left in diem. These supplies, like sprinkling water on fire, only served to feed and raise the flame.