Page:Isvar Chandra Vidyasagar, a story of his life and work.djvu/531

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sister, and so forth. When two are united, it is easy to attract a third by the double force, when the three are united, the receipt of a fourth and fifth and sixth becomes still easier and easier. When one has thus absorbed others in him, one does not feel their separate individuality, but bears equal feelings of love and humanity for each of them. In the commencement, this sort of union is easily realisable in one's own family, the members having natural ties of affection for one another. It is for this reason, that the system of joint family is so highly commendable to the true Hindu.

The scarcity of rainfall in Bengal in the year 1866 caused a great scarcity of food grains. In the beginning of the next year, a fearful famine broke out in the country, which assumed a serious aspect in the months of May, June and July. The whole of Orissa and the southern part of Bengal was ravaged by it Language is inadequate to describe the sufferings of the people of those parts. The very recollection of their miseries even at the present day sends a thrilling sensation throughout the frame and makes the hairs of the body stand on their ends. They knew not how to appease their hunger. They ate leaves and roots of weeds and plants indiscriminately, whether these were esculent or not They deserted their homes and ran to distant lands in search of a handful of rice. The mother deserted her dear baby; the father, his child; the son, his parents; the husband, his

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