Page:Isvar Chandra Vidyasagar, a story of his life and work.djvu/92

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Nor did Isvar Chandra's troubles end here. He had patiently to put up with difficulties most trying and painfnl. The readers of the present day can have no idea of the city of Calcutta of those days. The conservancy was most defective, particularly in the native quarters. The uncovered drains on two sides of the lanes were full of dirt and foul water, appearing like cess-pools, with worms of various descriptions rolling about in their midst, and mosquitoes filling the air with their peculiar songs. The houses, standing in rows by the sides of these drains, shut out the sun throughout the year, and they were therefore always damp, especially their lowest floors. The privies and cook-rooms for the tenants of the lowest floors were, for want of space, located side by side. Cock-roaches and other insects and worms abounded in them. The very sight of them was loathsome.

The lowest floor of Jagaddurlabh Babu's house, where Thakurdas lived with his sons, was not an exception to this. It was as filthy, as damp. The air in it was filled with a most offensive smell. The worms and cock-roaches from the neighbouring privies moved about freely in Isvar Chandra's cook-room. To keep the worms away, he kept a jug of water ready at hand, and whenever they approached him, he poured down some water upon them, making them recede with the water. But it was not so easy to keep back the cock-roaches. These were particularly troublesome in the night.

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