« AnteriorContinuar »
The existence of the city of Yapahoo, in the It has always been a matter of great sur- district of Seven Korles, has of course been prise to me that, in his very interesting review known for many years ; but when I first visited of the “Ruined Cities of Ceylon,” Sir Emerson its ruins, in 1850, I found myself, according Tennent omits all description of Yapahoo, to the testimony of the priests of the adjoining which, in point of architectural beauty and temple, only the third Englishman who had richness of design, far excels all the ancient ever explored them. The first being the late capitals of the island. It is not less remark- | General Fraser, so well known in Ceylon, who able, too, that while the “stock” ruius of halted near them when marching some troops Ceylon, such as Anaradhapoora, Pollanarua, through the country during the Kandyan Re&c., are sufficiently remote to make a visit to bellion, in 1819; the second, my companion them something of an undertaking, these, in my visit to them, Mr. J. Woodford Birch, which are little over fifty miles from Kandy of the Civil Service, to whom the merit is due and eighty from Colombo, are still compara- of having first drawn attention to these very tively unknown.
The situation of the ruins is lovely. A Tennent visited it, he would not, in his chapter, gigantic boulder, rather than a rocky hill, starts on the fine arts among the ancient inhabitants, abruptly from the plain, and, wherever a root have described stone carving as “so deteriorcan cling, it is laden with forest trees and ated in later times that there is little difficulty, brushwood. The greater part of one side of at the present day, in pronouncing on the suit, however, is perfectly perpendicular; and at periority of the specimens remaining at Anarathe base of this wall of rock, at a point some dhapoora over these, which are to be found 200 feet above the plain, to which the ground among the ruins of the later capitals, Polanslopes with a steep descent, was built the arua, Yapahoo, and Kornegalle ;* for Yapahoo, palace, commanding a glorious view over the though one of the “later capitals,” presents by level country, whose jungle-covered surface is far the finest examples of stone carving in picturesquely broken by the numerous isolated Ceylon. hills and rocks with which it is studded.
The ruins are not extensive, for Yapahoo On one side of the palace stands the Dalada was the capital for very few years. They Maligawa, the shrine of the sacred tooth of consist only of the palace and the Dalada Buddha, which accompanied the seat of govern- Maligawa. The latter is a plain stone buildment in all its many changes of site during the ing, without ornamentation, and hardly worth later dynasties.
describing. It is substantial, and in wonderBelow it lay the city, of which the only ful preservation. But the ruins of the former vestige remaining is an occasional embankment, prove that, in design and execution, the archiwhich tells of some pleasant tank, that has tects of Ceylon, in the thirteenth century, had been dry for ages. The absence of all remnant certainly not deteriorated since the days of their of the dwellings of the people, which is the predecessors, when Anaradhapoora flourished. case with regard to all the ruined cities in The palace itself was evidently never large ; Ceylon, is easily accounted for by the fact but it is a gem ; and it was not until we had that, under the native government, only royal felled the huge forest trees—which, thrusting and religious buildings and those of the higher their roots into every crevice, had displaced the nobility were built of stone ; the lower orders noble flight of steps leading from the town to being only permitted to erect houses of the the great entrance of the palace, and commost temporary description. Knox, in his pletely hid the front of the building—that I history of his captivity in Ceylon, in 1659, could realise its great beauty. describes with great minuteness their “small, The palace was approached from a court low, thatched cottages, built with sticks and yard, now a paddy-field, at the foot of the hill, daubed with clay,” which they were not allowed by a succession of apparently three flights of to build " above one story high,” or to cover
steps. A few of the first flight were, in 1850, with tiles." “ The poorer sort,” says he, in tolerable order. The second has almost en“have not above one room in their houses ; tirely disappeared. The nature of the ground, few above two, unless they be the great men. a steep sloping bank, with frequent rocks, reNeither doth the king allow them to build quired the erection of a mass of masonry to better.' So tenacious is the influence of cus- support it. This has fallen away, and the tom, that, even some years after our possession steps are doubtless covered by the debris of the of the Kandyan Provinces, it was found neces- building and the vegetable deposits of ages. sary to issue a proclamation, giving to natives Here and there a huge stone shows its edge ; of certain rank permission to tile their houses. “The said privilege,” however, was only extended to “persons who have or may receive commissions for office under the signature of the governor of the island.”
It is no wonder, therefore, that no trace of the town itself remains. Of far different material were the palaces and temples. These, as old Knox truly says, were “of rare and exquisite work, built with hewn stones, and engraved with images and figures," so much su
Stone Spout at Yapahoo. perior to anything of which the people themselves were capable, that they were ignorant of and the course of the flight is traceable by the their history, which, Knox remarks, he, too, stanchion-holes, which appear on the faces of "could not attain to know."
the rocks up which it led. Yapahoo is certainly the finest specimen of Mr. O'Grady, the government agent for the north-west
province, has recently dug up some exquisitely carved stone this “exquisite work ;” and had Sir Emerson
pillars at Kornegalle.
My sketch, which gives a very imperfect idea the ground. Indeed, it is wonderful that what of the general appearance of the ruined palace, remains should be so perfect. shows what remains of the last flight, which, The lower steps were flanked by pedestals, rising from a comparatively level, or probably surmounted by huge stone singhas, or lionslevelled, piece of ground, approached the en- the national emblem of the Singhalese. One trance hall. Here commences tho decorated of these is standing yet ; but its lion has fallen part of the building, and the ground is abso- from his place; and I had some trouble in lutely encumbered with sculptured stones,
This flight of steps, then, some thirty in number, flanked with balustrades of grotesque design and very elaborate execution, led up to a terrace formed of massive stonework, perfectly chiselled, and in excellent preservation.
Here, we may imagine, emerging from the stately building, the king, on great occasions, showed himself to admiring crowds assembled in the court below.
We have now reached the grand entrance of the palace. A doorway of graceful proportions, supported on each side by ornamental columns, opens into a moderately-sized hall, which was lighted by two windows, one on either side of the door, of
The Singha. rare and exquisite carving. One is perfect still ; the other has fallen, and its finding him, as I here represent him, lying but fragments are scattered round. Indeed, the little broken at the foot of his pedestal. whole of the superstructure on one side of the I have little doubt that his companion is not doorway has disappeared, and a massive and far distant, though I had not time to dig for very beautiful pillar has fallen across the site him. of the front wall, which contained the missing The lion which I did find, hewn in one block, window.
and measuring four feet four inches by three It is probable that the building was never feet ten inches, and two feet thick, is the best completed ; and this its brief occupation as specimen of the singha I have seen, and exthe seat of government renders more than hibits very strikingly those Egyptian characlikely. For it is impossible to conceive that teristics which have been noticed with respect masonry so substantial, and sculpture so elabo- to the Singhalese lion. rate, would have been lavished on a building Above the lions were two hideous heads of which was intended to be of such modest ex- Rakshas, or demons, one on either side ; and tent. The existing ruins appear to have been these again were succeeded by it pair of gajathose only of the entrance hall of some mag. singhas, fabulous creatures, having the head of nificent palace which it was designed to complete. For there are no remains but those which my sketches show, which are indeed those of a building too small even for convenient residence, though sufficiently large to have served for the state entrance to a noble palace, which, if completed in the same style, would have far eclipsed in magnificence anything which is to be found at Pollanarua or Anaradhapoora.
But forest trees, the growth of ages, and ruthless creepers, have played sad havoc here. One side of the upper flight of steps has been
The Gajasinga. entirely overturned ; and the grotesque and emblematic figures which formed that side of an elephant and the body of a lion-figures the balustrade, lie half, or entirely, buried in which are to be met with in almost all the
V.HOW THE DEVIL WAS BAULKED
BY A DAME.
ruined cities of Ceylon. As, however, I do not the name of San Salvator's Berg, St. Saviour's think they are so well known in England, I | Hill, and a cross is erected on its summit. give a detailed drawing of this curious myth. That the hills had come into their present It is also of one block of stone, and measures position from the sea-shore was firmly believed five feet by four.
by the burghers of old, who would cite, as This creature is called in Tamil, Yánei-Yáli, proof positive of the truth of their story, that which has the same signification, viz., “Ele- scallops and other sea-shells, turned to stone phant-Lion,” and is one of the vehicles of from their long rest inland, are found bedded Durga, a form of the goddess Parvati, who, in in the soil, while there is not a trace of them consequence, is called “ Yáli Yúrthi,” she who | in any part of the country round. rides on a Yali.
Ever since the hills were landed in their These completed the balustrade, and we now present station the devil has let the Aix folk come to the terrace I have mentioned. Its alone ; and the clever way in which they took height above the lion pedestal may be some him in gave rise to the proverb, “ De Aechen fifty or sixty feet.
sind der Duevel ze lous," which means in their dialect, “ The Aix folk are craftier than the
devil himself.” LEGENDS OF CHARLEMAGNE'S CITY. *
Tale and legend fail in fitly portraying his wrath, now that the destined instruments of his
vengeance have become two smiling hills, from Night or day the foul fiend never rested
which the traveller views the loruly sight of after the trick the men of Aix had played City and Minster rising proudly and unhared him by giving him a wolf's soul instead
from the plain below. upon
Still greater must have of a man's, in return for his help with their been his fury when one of Charlemagne's sucMinster. And, cruellest cut of all, it had
cessors, Louis the Pious, built a church and passed into a proverb that the men of Aix were monastery on St. Salvator's Berg. sharper than the Devil. Nursing his wrath to keep it warm, he hit on the dark design of
THE LOUP-GAROU. burying minster, palace, city, men, women, and children in one common ruin. So, one day he went to the sea-shore, saw a great hill
[The following verses are founded on a superstition
once prevalent in various parts of France, and not un. of sand, which just suited his purpose, put it known to other countries. The Loup-garon is the on his back, and laughing in his sleeve, set out AukávOpwtos of the Greeks, and the were-wolf of our to crush the city and all it contained. Pant
own ancestors-a human being with the power of self
transformation into a wolf. Marie de France, the ing and sweating under his burthen, he came
Anglo-Norman poetess of the thirteenth century, in her near the town gate called the “ Pont-thor,” “Lai du Bisclaveret," states that this human-wolf when a brecze sprang up from the east, blew was, in her time, called "garwall” in Normandy, some of his sand into his eyes and nearly
"bisclaveret” being the Breton name. Her editor, blinded him, so that, enveloped in a perfect of the swer-wolf" of the Teutons, or the English
M. de Roquefort, says that “garwall” is a corruption simoom, he could not find his way to the city. “were-wolf.” In Mediæval Latin, its equivalent was
Now, it so happened that a decent old “gerulphus.” Madlle. Bosquet (“ La Normandie, woman came up on her way to market, while Traditions et Legendes "), quoting Collin de Plancy,
“ Dictionnaire Infernal.” states that the Emperor he was trying to get to the town. Ho accosted
Sigismund summoned the most learned theologians to her most courteously, saying :
discuss before him the question of the reality of the “ Can you show me the way to Aix, good transformation of men into wolves, and the result of it dame ?"
was the unanimous recognition of it as a well-authen. At that very instant, by rare good luck, she
ticated fact, to dispute wbich was a heresy, “et se
déclarer partisan d'une incrédulité damnable.” Marie caught a glimpse of the cloven foot. Most
de France thus describes the loup-garou or garwall :luckily, the dame had all her wits about her, for she straightway pulled out her rosary beads,
" Garwall si est beste salvace;
Tant cum il est en cele race, and, catching their cross, made the holy sign
Humes dévure, grant mal fait, upon the sand-hill in the twinkling of an eye.
Es grapz forest converse è vait.” Forthwith the devil's power all passed away.
Garwall is a savage beast, He vanished then and there, and dropped his
And he loves on man to feast; load so suddenly that it split in two. In
Great the ravages he makes memory of the good woman's cleverness, the
Roaming through the forest brakes. larger mound was and is called the Lous Berg, the Hill of Craft. The smaller one goes by
According to Madlle. Bosquet, there are many instances of loups-garcus having a paw severed in con
tests with the hunters, which afterwards became a * See vol. ix., p. 573.
THE MECHANICAL SEMPSTRESS,
OUR mechanicians should have perfected the sewing-machine. The land that invented the steam-engine and the power-loom, ought, in the ordinary nature of things, to have crowned its work by the final device which was to sew together the textile fabrics its cunning mechanics had so deftly woven. Indeed, an Englishman did perfect a clever mechanical arrangement for embroidery purposes, which absolutely included some of the most important parts of the first practical sewing-machine ; but he actually did not recognise the fact that he was just touching a contrivance that would have made his fortune. This inventor, Mr. John Foster, of Nottingham, was a very young man, only nineteen, when he first contrived his embroidery machine, and, in conjunction with his moneyed partner, Mr. Gibbons, in December, 1844, brought it into practical use. Yet neither of them could see that the road they had fairly entered upon, if followed up, would inevitably lead to fame and wealth. Their machine to them was an embroiderer, and nothing more, although Mr. Fothergill, in a paper read at the Society of Arts last year, states that he saw this very machine sew most effectually: indeed, by the use of needle and shuttle, it produced a lock-stitch of precisely the same character as those now in use. No progress was made with this machine further than to employ it in embroidery, and the patents were not extended. It is supposed that the seeds of this invention, however, were not altogether lost : some workmen of the original patentee, it is said, proceeded to America, and there they disseminated the original idea. There is no evidence of this further than the emigration of the trained workmen who were in possession of the secret to New York; but it is very possible they did make some valuable use of their knowledge. It certainly does not appear, however, that either of these workmen was ever in communication with the man who eventually constructed the sewing-machine which is the parent, and contains the fruitful germs of all the sewing-machines in existence. We allude to Elias Howe, a native of Massachusetts, in America, who, nearly a quarter of a century ago, first conceived the idea of making a mechanical sempstress. The history of this working-man is remarkable, and in some respects it presents a happy contrast to that of other great inventors whose genius only brought them trouble and penury throughout life. When only twenty-two years of age, whilst working as a mechanic, he conceived the project of making a sewing-machine. This
VII. Into the merry city
At even-soug rode he ; But at the diamond casement
There sat no fair ladie.
He rushed into her chamber,
There wan and scared she lay, Nor with her wonted smiling
A welcome rose to say.
He kneels, and from his mantle
Triumphant draws his prize, But to his feet, with horror,
He starts, and wond'ring eyes.
No longer paw of wild-wolf,
Horrid with claw and hair, But the bright hand of woman
Her hand-is bleeding there.
Shrieking, the lovely lady
Aside her mantle threw :
G. J. DE WILDE.