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that I have never yet seen such smugglers as those of the valley of Carol. See, said he (pointing to the company) these are people who know the smallest crevice in the mountains, and who pass where neither you nor I would ever dare to venture ourselves. And what kind of contraband do you think they carry on ?-In the Jura, near Geneva, the mor!ntaineers carry jewellery and watches, which are such small articles that it is natural they should not be seen. But these merely smuggle—what do you think?—wool! and we can hardly ever catch them. In fact, they climb the mountains on the south side, and when they have reached the summit they throw down the balts, which roll down on the north side, when others receive and carry them through the defiles into the plain. It is in vain that we watch them, they always escape us. It is a very different thing with sugar and coffeee; as for those goods, they introduce them as the ladies in the sea-ports do Vanilla, in their bags. · They are an untractable and wicked people, whom we have the greatest difficulty to keep under restraint, who are neither French nor Spanish, and who look only for one thing, which is a rise in the price of commodities. Would you believe it, they are almost all Bonapartists, though they had no more connection with the government of Bonaparte than with that of the king? But I will tell
the reason; sugar and coffee were dearer then, and smuggling was more profitable.'” P. 140.
We must now bid adieu to M. A. Thiers ; his intention in this publication may have been very good; but how could he think of frightening the soldiers of France by such rawheads and bloody bones as those which he has here collected. He supposes them so simple as not to know that the English had some share in Bonaparte's expulsion from Spain. He supposes that a magnificent bandit will send them at once to the right about, and he talks as wisely as Sir Robert Wilson acts, as well as Ballasteros and Morillo fight.
Art. IV. Transactions of the Literary Society of Bombay.
Vol. III. Longman and Co. 1823. We cannot say of this volume, that it is either interesting or amusing. Confined by the plan of the Society, or by the acquirements of its members, to a very limited range of in.vestigation, these Transactions present such a degree of sameness and mediocrity, that the reader feels himself condemned to turn over page after page, still in quest of something that may gratify his curiosity, or reward his labour; and at length to find himself at the end unsatisfied, or disappointed. The religion and antiquities of India no longer possess the interest which they once excited in the mind of a European: the absurdity of the one, and the uncertainty of the other, baving completely exhaused the patience of the most resolute scholar, and mocked, at the same time, his desire of knowledge by a repetition of the most monstrous and uncouth fables, and by an array of dates and epochs, which no extent of credulity could tolerate. The literature, too, of Hindostan, as we remarked in a former article, has been found of much less importance, than the enthusiasın of its more early cultivators would have allowed them to anticipate : whilst the science of the East, even when aided and embellished by the more rational philosophy of Europe, is now admitted to consist of a few rude principles, unskilfully connected and illogically pursued. M. Bailly, in his, History of Ancient Astronomy, represents with more fancy than truth, the scientific knowledge of the Asiatics in the light of a magnificent ruin; and wishes us to believe, that, amidst the disorder which now prevails, we see the scattered. materials of one of the noblest and most original productions of human genius, which the weight of time, and the revolutions of society, have gradually broken down and defaced. But others, not less intelligent than Bailly, have satisfied themselves that the fabric of Oriental philosophy can, at no, time have been either losty or elegant; and that the fragments which we behold bear the appearance of blocks which have never been fashioned nor polished, rather than of stately columns, which the injuries of age, and of barbarism, have stripped of their beauty.
As the labours of the Bombay Society appear to be restricted to enquiries which bear more or less directly on the illustration of Eastern manners, language, and religion, the barrenness of their field, and the tame uniformity of its views, are never relieved by the introduction of the richer and more varied discussions which respect European science and modern interests. We are aware that such discussious would be altogether unseasonable and misplaced in the Memoirs of an Indian Society, and are besiiles perfectly con-, vinced that all the value wbich can belong to the literary labours of such a body, must be derived from the light which they still succeed in throwing upon the dark parts of Asiatic history and antiquities; and we should, therefore, we among the first to deprecate any such extension of their plan or change of objects as would lead the members to assume the office of mere critics, or of political pamphleteers. We allude to the narrow field which they occupy, merely as to one of the reasons which will enable the reader to ac
count for the general heaviness which pervades these Transactions, as well as for that want of variety and stimulating matter which the appetite of the present age so clamorously demands.
There are three or four papers in this volume, furnished by Major Vans Kennedy, all of which are considerably too long and diffuse. The leading fault in every one of his productions is the extreme tenuity of his matter, and the interminable wordiness of his style. We believe we made the same observations in our review of the second volume of these Memoirs; and there is, we lament, more ground for it than ever, in the one now before us. For example, there is a critique on the Mahomet of Voltaire, which occupies no fewer than fifty quarto pages; of which the object is neither more nor less than to prove that the poet has not adhered literally to the truth of history; in depicting the character of that celebrated impostor; a circumstance which the author was himself the first to acknowledge, and which he even attempted to defend on the unphilosophical ground, that he who was a fanatic and a hypocrite, was capable of every other wickedness, even the most atrocious.
The first article in the volume, is likewise from the pen of Major Kennedy, and has for its subject, the “ State of Persia, from the Battle of Arbela, in A. C. 331, to the Rise of Ardashir Babegan, in A.D. 226.”. Of this long period, our knowledge is so excessively scanty, that we canpot but feel grateful for the attempt which is here made to supply us with an addition to it; and if the success of the industrious author has not been such as to fill up the vacuity, he has at least made good use of all the inaterials which a sedulous and persevering research could enable him to procure, and also pointed out the particular objects to which future enquiry will be most profitably directed, We
e pass over three papers, one of which presents the singular title of “ An Account of the Origin of the Living God at the Village of Chinchore, near Paona," and invite the attention of a reader for a moment to one contributed by Sir Jobn Malcolm, on the Institution and Ceremonies of the Hindoo Festival of the Dusrah ; with a short account of the Kurradee Brahmins.
of the festival now mentioned, nothing appears either new or striking, or in any degree worthy of quotation or abridgment. There was, however, a time when the ceremonies of the Dusrab were attended with a mystery of great wickedness, and disgraced by one of the most frightful sa. crifices of a cruel superstition. Sir John had been informed
that it was not uncommon on the occasion we are now speaking of, to immolate human victims at the altar of one of their goddesses ; and upon enquiring of a Brahmin as to the truth of the report, he was assured, that his information was perfectly correct, and moreover that the unhappy persons who were selected as sin-offerings to the sanguinary divinity, were usually closely connected with the individuals whose hands deprived them of life. The particulars relative to this horrible sacrifice, were conimunicated to Sir John Malcolm nearly as follows.
The Bralimins of the tribe Kurradee, were formerly accustomed to immolate yearly a young Brahmin to Kula De. wary, an infernal goddess. This deity is supposed to delight in human blood, and is usually represented with three fiery eyes, and covered with red flowers ; holding in one hand a sword, and in the other a battle-axe. The prayers of her votaries are offered to her during the first nine days of the Dusrah Feast; and in the evening of the tenth day, a grand repast is prepared, to which the whole family is invited. An intoxicating drug is secretly mixed with the food of the intended victim; who, in many cases, is a stranger; wbom the master of the house has for several months, perhaps years, treated with the greatest kindness and attention, and sometimes, to lull suspicion, gives him his daughter in marriage. As soon as the poisonous and intoxicating drug operates, the master of the house, unattended, takes the devoted person into the temple, leads him three times round the idol; and, on his prostrating bimself before it, takes this opportunity to cut his throat. He collects with the greatest care the blood in a small bowl, which he first applies to the lips of the ferocious goddess, and then sprinkles it over her body; and a hole having been dug at the feet of the idol, he deposits the corpse in it with the greatest care, in order to
prevent discovery. After the perpetration of this horrid act, the Kurradee Brahmin returns to his family, and spends the pight in mirth: and revelry; convinced that by this prasseworthy act he has propitiated the favour of the blood-thirsty deity for twelve years. On the morning of the following day, the corpse is taken from the hole into which it had been thrown and the idol is laid aside till next Dussarah, when a similar sacrifice is made.
The discontinuance of this barbarous superstition was occasioned by the knowledge of a very revolting case having been conveyed to the Peishwa of the district, some time before Poona was added to the British dominions ;-who suppressed iminediately this order of the Brahmins, or at least
forbade the exercise of their detestable rites within the limits of his government, an act of authority which obtained aniyersal approbation.
The paper marked No. VI. contains an interesting account by Mr. Macmurdo, of the earthquake which took place in India, in the year 1819. In the description of the shock, it will be necessary, says he, to speak in the first person, because I can only pretend to describe with correctness, my own feelings, thoughts, and observations.
“ At the moment already mentioned, ten minutes before seven in the evening of the 16th of June, after a hot day, I was sitting with a party of friends, on an earthen terrace, in front of a house in which we were about to dine. The evening was remarkably serene, not a cloud to be seen, and a light and cool breeze from the west. The situation was on a ridge of slate rock in the town of Anjar, and close under a large round tower, with four heavy guns mounted on it. Our notice was first attracted by a slight motion of our chairs, as if they had been lifted up, and a noise from the doors and windows, as if they had been moved by the breeze: before the question of, "What is that,' could be uttcred, a second lifting of the chairs took place, and the motion became too evident to be mistaken even by me, who had never before experienced a shock. Every person made what haste he could to leave the tower, which, after rolling and heaving in å most awful manner, gave way at the bottom on the western side, and crumbling down, buried guns and carriages in the rubbish: a moment after, the towers and curtain of the fort wall, and upwards of fifteen hundred houses were reduced to ruins; but as I was within thirty yards of the round tower, my attention was particularly drawn to it."
The apthor ņext informs us, that the opinion of the people around him differed very much as to the length of time the shock continued; some maintaining that it lasted four minutes, others limiting the duration to two minutes; and a third party insisting that it did not exceed a minute and a half.
* With regard to the nature of the motion, there is likewise a variety of opinions. Some with whom I have conversed, feel convinced of the action of the shock being directly upwards, as if the earth was on the point of opening under our feet :'a few assert that it was vibratory, whilst others attribute to it an undulating motion. I confess I am one of those who favour the last mentioned opinion, although the slight motion at the commencement, did certainly feel as a direct elevation of the chair, attended by a blow, as if under the feet. When the shock was at its height, the motion of the earth was so strongly undulatory, that to keep our feet was no easy matter. The waving of the surface was perfectly