From the Archives: A Day in the Life of William Carey
As described in a letter from Calcutta, quoted in J.B. Middlebrook, William Carey, 1961, p. 64–5.
I rose this morning at a quarter before six, read a chapter in the Hebrew Bible, and spent the time till seven in private addresses to God, and then attended family prayer with the servants in Bengali. While tea was getting ready, I read a little in Persian with a moonshi who was waiting when I left my bedroom; and also before breakfast a portion of the Scripture in Hindustani. The moment breakfast was over, sat down to the translation of the Ramayana from Sanskrit, with a pundit, who was also waiting, and continued this translation till ten o’clock, at which hour I went to College and attended the duties there till between one and two o’clock. When I returned home, I examined a proof-sheet of the Bengali translation of Jeremiah, which took till dinner-time. I always, when down in Calcutta, dine at Mr. Rolt’s which is near. After dinner, translated, with the assistance of the chief pundit of the College, the greatest part of the eighth chapter of Matthew into Sanskrit. This employed me till six o’clock. After six, sat down with a Telinga pundit to learn that language. At seven I began to collect a few previous thoughts into the form of a sermon, and preached at half-past seven. About forty persons present, and among them one of the Puisne Judges of the Sudder Dewany Adawlut. After sermon I got a subscription from him for five hundred rupees towards erecting our new place of worship; he is an exceedingly friendly man. Preaching was over and the congregation gone by nine o’clock. I then sat down and translated the eleventh of Ezekiel into Bengali, and this lasted till near eleven; and now I sit down to write to you.
From William ...