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Puebla and Queretaro ;-a great variety of coloured blankets, called Mangas, used as a cloak when riding, by most people, and as a substitute for every other kind of clothing by the lower orders ;-leather, curiously wrought, from Guadalajara ;-with saddles, spurs, lassos, and all the trappings with which the Mexican horses are usually disfigured. All these were concentrated upon one point; near which, in the Calle de Plateros, there was a whole nest of silversmiths. In the other parts of the town, some cumbrous furniture was occasionally to be met with, as bedsteads, presses, and tables, painted, varnished, and inlaid at a vast expense, but of a most uncouth shape, and generally as little calculated for comfort, as for ornament. All the other contents of the shops appeared to bę European, but the supply was scanty, and the price enormous. Nature, on the other hand, as if to compensate the want of the luxuries of the Old World, appeared to have been most munificent in her gifts. For many days after my arrival, I could never pass a common fruit-stall, without stopping to admire the variety of fruits and flowers with which it was adorned. Pine-apples, oranges, bananas, chirimoyas, melons, grenaditos de China, and a thousand other delicious fruits, are found in abundance during the greatest part of the year, together with pears, apples, and all the productions of more northern climates. Many of these fruits do not, it is true, thrive on the table-land: but it must always be borne in mind that Mexico, from the peculiarity of its geological structure, and the manner in which heat is modified by height in every part of its territory, combines, sometimes within a very few leagues, the greatest possible variety of climates. On the table-land, flowers are to be found at all seasons, but particularly from March to June, when roses spring up in such profusion, that, on the dias de fieste, bundreds of men and women, of the very lowest classes, are seen returning covered with garlands from the Chinampas. The trees, too, preserve their fo. liage during ten months of the year.
“With such advantages as these, the valley about the capital might be made a paradise ; yet there is hardly a single country house to be seen, except in the Pueblos of San Angel, and San Augustin, which have been almost abandoned since the commencement of the revolution. The principal feature in the smaller villages, is a little white chapel, which produces a beautiful effect when seen through the trees at a distance; but, as you approach, the charm is broken, for it is usually surrounded by nothing but wretched hovels, which afford shelter to a few Indian families, with all their live stock, compressed into the smallest possible compass. Yet there are very pretty rides in many directions : Chapultepec and Tacubaya are within a moderate distance ; and, by taking the direction of the Paseo de las Vigas, you see the remains of the Chinampas, or floating gardens, which are to be found at a little distance from the canal of Chalco. it seems to me questionable whether they ever did float, but it is certain that they are now all" fixtures: they are surrounded, however, by a broad ditch, full of water, over which a little drawbridge is thrown, to keep up the communication with terra firma. Of the correctness of the description which Humboldt gives of their beauties, it was impossible for us to judge, as in January we naturally looked in vain for the hedges of flowers, with which he states them to be adorned: to us they appeared mere kitchen-gardens, and it is, in fact, from thence that the capital is principally supplied with vegetables. The hut of the Indian proprietor, far from adding to the attractions of the scene, is generally a misera. ble hovel, but too well suited, in point of appearance, to the squalid looks and tattered garments of its inbabitants.
“The canal of Chalco presents a much more lively prospect. Both evening and morning it is covered with canoes, in which the natives convey the produce of their gardens, fruit, flowers, and vegetables, to the Mexican market. Chalco is a large town, situated upon a lake of the same name, about twenty miles to the south-east of the capital ; the canal which leads to it is very narrow. The canoes mostly used are of two kinds: one, a punt, which is pushed along by men, and contains sometimes the joint stock of two or three families; the other, a very light, narrow canoe, about twelve feet in length, and just broad enough to contain one person sitting down, at each end, with their little provision for the market piled up between them. The canoes are chiefly worked by women, VOL. IV.-10. 7.
with single paddles, with whicli, however, they are made to skim over the water with great velocity. The gesticulations of these ladies, when animated by a little pulque on their return home, their extreme volubility, and the energy which they display in their quarrels with the tribes of children which they carry about with them, form a curious contrast to their melancholy looks and extreme taciturnity at all other times. They are, however, a very hardy race, and capable of supporting great fatigue. I have ofien met, when returning from my rides, whole files of men and women, all loaded, the men with baskets, the women with a couple of children each, setting out from Mexico at five in the evening, to return to their villages, which I usually found, upon inquiry, to be seven or eight miles off; and this they accomplish in an hour and a half, by continuing steadily at a long Indian trot, which many of them are able to keep up for a surprising distance. If a question be asked of the leader, the whole party stops, and when it is answered, they proceed again together at the same uniform pace.
“ Amongst the many curious scenes that Mexico presented at the end of 1823, I know none with which we were more struck than the Alameda. As compared with the Prado of Madrid, it was, indeed, deprived of its brightest ornament, the women ; for few or none of the ladies of Mexico ever appear in public on foot ; but to compensate this, it had the merit of being totally unlike any thing that we had ever seen before. On a Sunday, or Dia de Fiesta, the avenues were crowded with enormous coaches, mostly without springs, but very highly var. nished, and bedizened with extraordinary paintings in lieu of arms, in each of which were seated two or more ladies, dressed in full evening costume, and whiling away the time with a segar en attendant the approach of some of the numerous gentlemen walking or riding near. Nor were the equestrians less remarkable; for most of them were equipped in the full riding dress of the country, differing only from that worn by the lower orders in the richness of the materials. When made up for display in the capital, it is enormously expensive. In the first place, the hind quarters of the horse are covered with a coating of leather, (called the anquera,) sometimes stamped and gilt, and sometimes curiously wrought, but always terminating in a fringe or border of little tags of brass, iron, or silver, which make a prodigicus jingling at every step. The saddle, - which is of a piece with the anquera, and is adorned in a similar manner, rises before into an inlaid pummel, to which, in the country, the lasso is attached ; while the plated headstall of the bridle is connected by large silver ornaments with the powerful Arabic bit. Fur is sometimes used for the anquera ; and this, when of an expensive kind, (as black bear-skin, or otter-skin,) and embroidered, as it generally is, with broad stripes of gold and silver, makes the value of the whole apparatus amount to four or five hundred dollars, (about 1001.) A common leather saddle costs from fifty to eighty dollars. The rider wears a Mexican hat, with a brim six inches wide, a broad edging of gold or silver lace, and a very low crown : he has a jacket, likewise embroidered in gold, or trimmed with rich fur, and a pair of breeches open at the knee, and terminating in two points considerably below it, of some extraordinary colour, (pea-green or bleu celeste,) and thickly studded down the sides with large silver buttons. The lower part of the leg is protected by a pair of Guadalajara stamped-leather boots, curiously wrapped around it, and attached to the knee with embroidered garters; these de scend as far as the ankle, where they are met by shoes of a most peculiar shape, with a sort of wing projecting on the saddle side ; and the whole is terminated by spurs, (made at Lerma or Toluca,) of so preposterous a size, that many of them weigh a pound and a half, while the rowels of all trail upon the ground, if by any chance the wearer is forced to dismount. A cloth manga, or riding-cloak, is often thrown over the front of the saddle, and crossed behind the rider in such a manner as to display the circular piece of green or blue velvet in the centre, through which the head is passed, when the manga is worn, and which is generally very beautifully embroidered. The cost of the whole dress, when the saddle is of fur, with armas de agua of the same materials, it is not easy to calculate, as it depends entirely upon the degree of expense to which a person chooses to go in the embroidery. A very handsome saddle may be bought for three hundred dollars. I have known two hundred dollars given for a pair of Guadalajara boots, (worked with silver,) but eighty may be taken as a very liberal price. A jacket, not at all particularly fine, would cost as much more. The hat is worth twenty dollars ; the breeches, if at all rich, fifty or sixty; the spurs, with embroidered stirrup-leathers, twenty ; the plated bridle thirty-two; while a manga of the most ordinary kind is not to be procured under one hundred dollars, and if at all remarkable, could not be purchased for less than three. The horse usually mounted on these occasions, must be a pacer, fat, sleek, and slow, but with remarkably high action before ; which, it is thought, tends to show off both the animal and the rider to the greatest advantage. The tout ensemble is exo ceedingly picturesque ; and the public walks of Mexico will lose much in point of effect, when the riding-dress of England, or France, is substituted, as it probably will be, for a national costume of so very peculiar a character.”
ART. V.-Narrative of a Journey through the Upper Pro
vinces of India, from Calcutta to Bombay, 1824–1825, (with Notes upon Ceylon,) un account of a Journey to Madras and the southern Provinces, 1826, and Letters written in India. By the late Right Rev. REGINALD HEBER, D. D. Lord Bishop of Calcutta. 2 vols. 8vo. Philadelphia : 1828.
Mr. Burke exclaimed, in one of his speeches, that the British empire in India was “an awful thing." It cannot be deemed, even by the most zealous friend of the purity of government in England, more awful than it is curious and extraordinary. Other European nations have founded and maintained distant dominion with a small numerical force; the Spaniards, the Portuguese, the French and the Dutch; but the amount, variety, and condition of the population rendered subject by them, are not to be compared with those of the conquered Hindoos. There is a like peculiarity in the origin, agency, growth, and tenure of the British Indian rule ; which, in fact, viewed in what aspect or relation soever, must strike the most simple inquirer as a phenomenon nearly throughout, and a topic of wonderful and manifold interest.
An association of traders, in one city of what may be called a small island of Europe, began an intercourse with the East, for the purpose of common gain : from the period when they first introduced factories, a century and a half elapsed before they attained or sought political power: suddenly, the jealous and hostile feelings of rival European establishments, and the quick stirrings of ambition, involved them in contests so waged by their servants, as to invest them with a territorial sovereignty, which, for the preservation of any foothold at all, and the prosecution of their original object, it became necessary to preserve and indefinitely enlarge. The formation of the settlement in Bengal, which proved the source of their gigantic prosperity, was owing to a singular accident. A gentleman of the name of Broughton, went from Surat to Agrah, where he chanced to cure the daughter of the Emperor Shah Jehaun of a se.
vere malady. Among the rewards of this benefit, he received the privilege of carrying on a free trade. Thence he proceeded to Bengal; and there his medical skill ingratiated him with the nabob of that country, who extended his commercial privilege to all his nation. Thus the company's agents were enabled to build, in 1636, a factory at Hoogley, and stood indebted, as Sir John Malcolm remarks, to the professional abilities of a physician for this commencement of their greatness. Within seventy or eighty years since the operations of that genuine warrior and statesman, Clive, has that mighty sway been created, which now embraces a vast continent, eighty millions of vassals, and two hundred and thirty or forty thousand native, well-disciplined troops ; while the entire military force, composed of British or Europeans, falls short of twenty thousand, and the estimated number of all the latter in India, not in the civil or military service, scarcely reaches three thousand.
The Hindoo population is said to comprise all descriptions of human beings; from the most intelligent to the most ignorant ; from the bravest and boldest to the most timid and abject :-the military tribes are fierce, turbulent, and superstitious; but all have real masters, besides the British, and more immediate, in the large body of the priesthood, and the more cultivated teachers: the native soldier is represented as shrewd and quick in his conception; fond of pre-eminence, if not of glory; and capable, when skilfully prompted, of the most extraordinary exertions of courage and perseverance. -According to the highest authorities, it is alone by the bravery and fidelity of the sepoy, that India can be preserved to Great Britain. Sir John Malcolm deprecates any accession to the European force, on the ground that it might, from particular causes, weaken the attachment, and lessen the efficiency of the native troops. At the same time, this very competent judge acknowledges, that his countrymen can never succeed in establishing any cordial or social union with their Indian subjects ; so widely do they differ in manners, language, religion, and feelings. Other material circumstances, upon which we may have occasion to touch, contribute to render the British dominion precarious and unique, and to exact the utmost care in the selection of the depositaries of that arbitrary power, without which it cannot be prolonged, or even beneficially administered for the rulers or the people. The eminent writer whom we have named above, observes, “ The only safe view that Great Britain can take of her empire in India, is to consider it, as it really is, always in a state of danger, and to think it quite impossible to render her possessions in that country secure, ex. cept under the management of able and firm rulers. If a succession of men of great talents and virtues cannot be found, or is the operation of any influence on party feelings and principles prevents their being chosen, we must reconcile ourselves to the serious hazard of the early decline, if not the loss, of the great dominion we have founded in the East.”
It is worthy of note, in the annals of the British sway, how many of the chief men, whether in the military or civil service, have displayed considerable talents and active virtue. Of the commanders, we may cite Clive, Lake, Eyre Coote, Meadows, Cornwallis, Wellington, Combermere, and Campbell. The political and judicial departments, shine indeed, as Sir William Jones, Warren Hastings, Barlow, Lawrence, Munro, Lord Minto, Sir James Mackintosh, the Marquis Wellesley, Sir John Shore, Elphinstone, Adam, Sir John Malcolm, are mentioned. Other administrators could be named, whose signal abilities and immense labours redound strongly to the credit of those by whom they were selected and sustained in place. In connexion with this Indian rule, too, the literary and scientific research, and the productiveness of the press, have been in a manner co-extensive. We may merely refer to the Transactions of the different Asiatic societies, and to the volumes of Jones, Orme, Rennel, Maurice, Wilks, Malcolm, Hamilton, Elphinstone, Forbes, Leyden, Tennant. The official reports from the Presidencies, are, in general, very able and instructive performances :-a mighty mass of information was disclosed to the world, on the occasion of Warren Hastings's trial ; and several of the British periodical works, have supplied much additional knowledge, in the shape of reviews and disquisitions from original sources. Similar interest and value may be ascribed to the narratives of the embassies or missions, which the British authorities have sent to the native sovereigns and adjacent powers. The special attention which has been paid to the history, geography, and philology of the whole East, has, moreover, incalculably enlarged and rectified those branches of study; though in noting this circumstance, we should confess, that as far as the Asiatic annals and traditions have been employed, we think that the quantum of historical certainty is far from being proportionably increased. The code of Hindoo laws, which Warren Hastings caused to be compiled by the most erudite Pundits, is justly represented by Dr. Robertson, as the most valuable and authentic elucidation of India policy and manners, that had been communicated to Europe.
of the books respecting India, to which general readers are likely to resort, there is none, we are sure, destined to become so popular and familiar, as that of which the title is transcribed at the head of this article ;-and of the names which are or may be associated with the British empire in that quarter, few will ultimately rival, and still fewer surpass, in favour and authority, the one in its title-page. We shall not here enter into details concerning the introduction and diffusion of Christianity in Hin