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Elect. Thy father's brother, Menelaus, is here,
(The phrenzy of Orestes suddenly returus.)
Orest. Mother! I do beseech thee, urge them not,
Their eyes are hot with blood, their hair is living-
They leap upon me
Elect. Rest thee upon thy couch, and shake not so,
Of the things thou dreamest.
Orest. Spirit of Light! the ministers of death
The dog-faced-the devils-they-they-choak me? Elect. (Leaning over him and endeavouring to keep him on the bed.) I will not let thee go, my brother; thus Folding my arm about thy neck
I will restrain thee.
Orest. (Struggling violently.)
Get thee gone!-thou art oue of my furies,
Elect. Oh! wretched that I am, where shall I look
(Orestes is supposed to leap from the bed as if to drive away the Furies.)
Orest. Give me the horned bow, the gift of Phoebus,
Elect. Shall One of Heaven by mortal arm
Orest. Unless she straitway vanish from my sight-
What aileth me that I do pant thus heavily?
Why dost thou weep, my sister, folding up
And now unveil thy face, my sister,
For when my spirit doth grow dark, thine arm
And now, dear mourner, to thy chamber go,
And soothe the troubled visions of the night?—
The reader will perceive that we have omitted many lines of the original in our translation, retaining only so much as would enable us to present the beautiful domestic poetry of the scene, The extent of the foregoing remarks must plead our apology for thus abruptly bringing this article to a conclusion.
ART. V.-Observations on the Mussulmauns of India; descriptive of their Manners, Customs, Habits, and Religious Opinions. Made during a Twelve Years' Residence in their immediate Society. By Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali. 2 vols. London. Parbury, Allen and Co.
Pen and Pencil Sketches; being the Journal of a Tour in India. By Captain Mundy, late Aide-de-Camp to Lord Combermere. 2 vols. London. Murray.
THESE are precisely the books from which information, on matters of ordinary occurrence in India, may be most agreeably derived; and, although differing from each other in many respects, both as to object and to character, they have quite enough similarity to justify us in classing them together. Each of the writers honestly disclaims every pretension to literature and science the lady modestly introduces herself as "a very humble scribe;" the gentleman more boldly affirms that it is "a fortunate default in his education" which has left him "totally unskilled in
ὕπνῳ αΰπνον βλεφαξεν εκταθεισα δος.
Botany and Geology;" and we are by no means inclined to dispute the validity of his reasons for considering this deficiency to be a piece of good luck. Per contra, both of them evidently possess great quickness of observation, much good sense, and abundance of well-directed feeling; both, moreover, have had more than common opportunities of closely inspecting the habits which they have described. Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali is, perhaps, the only Englishwoman who, by braving the chance of Polygamy, has entitled herself to entire acquaintance with the mysteries of the Mugganee, or first matrimonial contract, and of the Sarchuck, the Mayndhie, and the Baarraat, the three days of nuptial ceremony; and, if we may judge from the cheerful tone of her volumes, and from the affection with which she speaks of many of the kinsfolk whom she acquired by marriage, she has not had reason to regret the morning on which she somewhat stealthily plighted her vows to a bearded spouse at an English altar. Captain Mundy, by his close attachment to the person of the Commander-in-chief, enjoyed facilities of access to the Native Powers rarely to be attained in more subordinate stations; and he was received with distinction by the King of Oude, in the Dil Koosha at Lucknow, and by the descendant of Aurungzebe, in the Dewânee Khâs of Delhi. To this knowledge of Courts, for which he was indebted to the accident of military rank, his own peculiar tastes have added an intimate acquaintance with the sporting amusements of the natives; and from the mouth of the Ganges to the very gorge of the Shattool Pass, in the Himalaya Mountains, snakes, hogs, tigers, antelopes, alligators, and other such "small gear," were doomed to fall beneath his unerring Manton. No embryo outand-outer, in his first Melton season, ever tallyhoed from the coverside with half the ardour which animated this Oriental Nimrod at the entrance of a jungle; and his spirited pencil, aided by the inimitable burin of Landseer, has presented a series of “Ideas " and "Symptoms" on Indian Hunting which may claim fair companionship with the similar moving accidents of English flood and field immortalized by Aiken.
Our first extracts will exhibit the two writers in contrast on the same subject; and we shall afterwards take each of them at hazard, as they happen to strike our fancy. The following passages contain the impressions produced upon Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali and Captain Mundy respectively, by interviews with the same person, and that no less a person than the Great Mogul. The sole difference is, that the one was admitted to a public and stately audience; the other enjoyed a private and, if we may so express ourselves, a friendly conversation. The young soldier writes, as he does throughout, in a light, playful, careless, off
hand, and degagé manner; the matron, as will be perceived, is somewhat more staid and sententious :
"The palace occupies an immense space of ground, enclosed by high walls, and entered by a gateway of grand architecture. On either side the entrance I noticed lines of compact buildings, occupied by the military, reaching to the second gateway, which is but little inferior in style and strength to the grand entrance; and here again appear long lines of buildings similarly occupied. I passed through several of these formidable barriers before I reached the marble hall, where the king holds his durbar (court) at stated times; but as mine was a mere unceremonious visit to the king and queen, it was not at the usual hour of durbar, and I passed through the hall without making any particular observations, although I could perceive it was not deficient in the costliness and splendour suited to the former greatness of the Indian empire.
"After being conveyed through several splendid apartments, I was conducted to the queen's mahul, (palace for females,) where his majesty and the queen were awaiting my arrival. I found on my entrance the king seated in the open air in an arm chair, enjoying his hookha; the queen's musnud was on the ground, close by the side of her venerable husband. Being accustomed to native society, I knew how to render the respect due from an humble individual to personages of their exalted rank. After having left my shoes at the entrance and advanced towards them, my salaams were tendered, and then the usual offering of nuzzas, first to the king, and then to the queen, who invited me to a seat on her own carpet,- -an honour I knew how to appreciate from my acquaintance with the etiquette observed on such occasions. "The whole period of my visit was occupied in very interesting conversation; eager enquiries were made respecting England, the government, the manners of the court, the habits of the people, my own family affairs, my husband's views in travelling, and his adventures in England, my own satisfaction as regarded climate, and the people with whom I was so immediately connected by marriage; the conver sation, indeed, never flagged an instant, for the condescending courtesy of their majesties encouraged me to add to their entertainment, by details which seemed to interest and delight them greatly.
"On taking leave his majesty very cordially shook me by the hand, and the queen embraced me with warmth. Both appeared, and expressed themselves, highly gratified with the visit of an English lady who could explain herself in their language without embarrassment, or the assistance of an interpreter, and who was the more interesting to them from the circumstance of being the wife of a Syaad; the queen, indeed, was particular in reminding me that 'the Syaads were, in a religious point of view, the nobles of the Mussulmauns, and reverenced as such far more than those titled characters who receive their distinction from their fellow mortals.'
"I was grieved to be obliged to accept the queen's parting present of an embroidered scarf, because I knew her means were exceedingly
limited compared with the demands upon her bounty; but I could not refuse that which was intended to do me honour at the risk of wounding those feelings I so greatly respected. A small ring, of trifling value, was then placed by the queen on my finger, as she remarked, *to remind me of the giver.'
"The king's countenance, dignified by age, possesses traces of extreme beauty; he is much fairer than Asiatics usually are; his features are still fine, his hair silvery white; intelligence beams upon his brow, his conversation gentle and refined, and his condescending manners hardly to be surpassed by the most refined gentleman of Europe. I am told by those who have been long intimate with his habits in private, that he leads a life of strict piety and temperance, equal to that of a durweish of his faith, whom he imitates in expending his income on others without indulging in a single luxury himself.
The queen's manners are very amiable and condescending; she is reported to be as highly gifted with intellectual endowments as I can affirm she is with genuine politeness.”—vol. ii. pp. 155–159.
Captain Mundy, as in duty bound, accompanied the Commander-in-Chief:
"On entering the precincts of the royal abode, we filed through sundry narrow and dirty alleys, until we arrived at an arched gate, too low to admit our elephants. We were therefore obliged to dismount, and proceed on foot. Lord Combermere, however, balked the evident intention of the prince to make him walk, by getting into his palankeen. We shortly arrived at the archway leading into the quadrangle, in which the Dewanee Khâs, or hall of audience, is situated, where the Commander-in-chief was required to dismiss his palankeen.
"On passing the Lal Purdah, or great red curtain which veils the entrance, the whole of our party, English and native, made a low salaam, in honour of the august majesty of which we were as yet not in sight."-vol. i. pp. 77, 78.
1 "At the entrance of the corridor leading to the presence, the Resident and his assistants were required to take off shoes and hats; but according to previous agreement, Lord Combermere and his suite retained both boots and hats during the whole ceremony.
"The Dewânee Khâs is a beautiful open edifice, supported on white marble columns, the whole elegantly inlaid and gilt. The roof is said to have been vaulted with silver in the more prosperous days of the Delhi empire, but it was spoiled by those common devastators of India, the Mahrattas. Around the cornice still remains the (now, at least, inapplicable) inscription, If there be a Paradise upon earth, it is this, it is this. The throne, occupying the centre of the building, is raised about three feet from the floor, and shaded by a canopy of gold tissue and seed-pearl. There are no steps to the front of the throne, the entrance being in the rear. Seated cross-legged upon it, and supported by surrounding cushions, we found the present representative of the Great Mogul. He is a fine-looking old man, his countenance dignified, and his white beard descending upon his breast. On his