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dostan, nor dwell upon the biography of the illustrious prelate, whose premature demise, the true Christians and the lovers of knowledge in every land, have occasion to deplore. For our purpose of levying contribution on his Narrative, with the twofold object of enriching our pages, and exemplifying his admirable character and the materials of the work, it will be enough for us to premise, that he was the second bishop of the Established Church sent to India; that he carried with him the loftiest reputation as a divine, pastor, traveller, poet—that he was truly “a deeply read and deeply thinking scholar, with the spirit of an apostle, a hatred of intolerance, great simplicity, emphatically a man of virtue and genius.” So much had he aecomplished in literature, -80 peculiar was the excellence of his life and manners, that he was pre-eminently the writer and the ecclesiastic of promise, from the prolongation of whose career, every merit as a model, and the most valuable and beautiful specimens of composition, were to be expected. And hence we should feel a special regret at his appointment, and complain of the British government for exposing to the Indian climate, literary endowments and personal deserts of this order, if the various worth of these posthumous Journals and Letters, and the importance of his proceedings and memory in India, did not seem to indemnify and console us for his loss. He would have felt himself abundantly rewarded, if he had distinctly foreseen that they " would contribute, in the smallest degree, and with the most remote influence, to render the character of the Hindoos more respectable, and their condition more happy."
Bishop Heber set sail for Calcutta in the year 1823; landed in October, and undertook a series of progresses which embraced almost the whole of his vast diocese. His first expedition was to the northern provinces, which his predecessor was not able to reach ; he afterwards traversed the country to Bombay; next visited Ceylon, and finally the presidency of Madras, in which he ended his mortal course. His first absence from Calcutta, on these Visitations, was of fifteen months, during which he indefatigably surveyed regions and tribes replete with objects of curiosity and attraction for a cultivated, philosophical, and pious mind; and of which some had very rarely been entered by Europeans. The Narrative is in the shape of a diary, and consists, in great part, of his correspondence with his beloved wife; who is the editor of the two volumes, and who states in her preface that it was his intention to revisit the same countries, and then only to publish an account of his travels from his notes, corrected by further experience. His more full and elaborate report, precious as it would have been, is hardly to be desired, when we consider that the freshness, ease, engaging familiarity, graphic imagery, and confidential tenderness which pervade and
endear these memoranda, and reveal the whole man, might have been lost to the world. The Letters to his friends in England, which are appended to the Diaries, and occupy a considerable portion of the second volume, are at least equally acceptable; and though they necessarily present some repetitions, we doubt whether any reader would dispense with a single line. The impression which every page of the whole carries, is that of perfect authenticity-we mean invariable truth and candour on the part of the writer, accompanying a clear comprehensive vision, and a strong discriminating judgment, assisted by the noblest charity, and clouded by very few prejudices, national or religious.
In relation to prejudice, we were startled, we must confess, on the very threshold of the book, by some sentences of a passage touching us as Americans. We refer to the following, in the journal of the voyage to India :
“I have been pleased, in my different conversations with our officers concerning foreign seamen, to find that the American sailors bear a better character now with those of our own country than I had understood, or than they really used to do. They are not so grievously addicted to lying as they were once said to be. They have less animosity against the English than formerly, and their character seems to have recovered its natural English tone. One of the officers spoke well of their conduct even during the late war. A Company's ship, he said, on board which he was serving, had a number of American prisoners to take home, who, for the additional allowance of provisions usual on such occasions, undertook to assist in navigating the ship. In this situation, they behaved extremely well, and, at length, when a vessel, supposed to be an American, hove in sight, and an action was expected, they came forward in a body to desire to be sent below, being equally resolved neither to fight against their country, nor to break their faith with their captors.”
A few of the terms here employed—"even during the late war,”—“character recovered its natural English tone,” betray the unfavourable prepossession of the writer, and the complacency of the Briton. But he expresses himself with caution, tells the honourable anecdote with kindness, and conveys the opinions or errors of others, rather than his own. We confidently deny, that the American sailors are less to be credited than those of any other nation whatever; and protest against the testimony of British officers, whose feelings and particular experience warp their judgment on this point. The outrages and oppression which the American merchant vessels experienced formerly, from the British cruisers, occasioned attempts at evasion or deception, as the only means of bafiling rapacious power,—-which gave colour to the charge of habitual mendacity. The practice of impressment on the high seas, induced false representations, chiefly on the part of the foreign sailors, who were found on board of our defenceless ships; and hence the American name was rendered responsible for foreign sins, in addition to those the commission of which may be said to have been forced.
When an American sailor avoided the fangs of the boarding officer, by a true statement and genuine papers, the latter lest him dissatisfied, and only half persuaded, if not utterly incredulous. We have ourselves witnessed this effect in two instances of visits for impressment, in which some English seamen escaped by “simulation and dissimulation," and the visiters retired, obviously with the impression, that all on board were “grievously addicted to lying.” On the score of veracity, the presumption would be, that the real American sailor is superior to any other, because he has generally received some elementary education, including religious principles. As to his tone of character, in other respects,— bravery, skill, discipline, and generositywe believe that even at the commencement of the last war, proved to be at least equal to the highest with the enemy. If he had “animosity against the English,” it was abundantly provoked by injury and contumely; if it is less than formerly, its decrease has been in proportion to the amendment in conduct and dispositions on the other side. In the same diary of the voyage, in one of the largest of the Company's ships, the good Bishop complains that when he administered the sacrament, after having preached at different times, only three of the seamen attended. We doubt that less piety would have been manifested by an American crew, of like numbers, after so much eloquent and imposing exhortation. But to return to our proper theme.
On the voyage, the exalted missionary shows his tenderness of heart, richness of fancy, and poetical talent, in various passages of the journal, a few of which we must venture to transcribe :
“A vessel bound for London, three days from Funchal, passed us at dinner. time. My wife's eyes swam with tears as this vessel passed us, and there were one or two of the young men who looked wishfully after her. For my own part, I am but too well convinced, that all my firmness would go, if I allowed myself to look back, even for a moment. Yet, as I did not leave home and its blessings without counting the cost, I do not, and I trust in God that I shall not, regret the choice that ï have made. But knowing how much others have given up for my sake, should make me both more studious to make the loss less to them, and also, and above all, so to discharge my duty, as that they may never think that these sacrifices have been made in vain.”
“ August 18.—The same breeze, which has now increased to what seamen call a strong gåle, with a high rolling sea from the south-west. Both yesterday and to-day we have had the opportunity of seeing no insufficient specimen of those gigantic waves of which i have often heard as prevailing in these latitudes. In a weaker vessel, and with less confidence in our officers and crew, they would be alarming as well as awful and sublime. But, in our case, seen as they are from a strong and well-found ship, in fine clear weather, and with good sea room, they constitute a magnificent spectacle, which may be contemplated with unmixed pleasure. I have hardly been able to leave the deck, so much have I enjoyed it, and my wife, who happily now feels very little inconvenience from the motion, has expressed the same feelings. The deep blue of the sea, the snow-white tops of the waves, their enormous sweep, the alternate sinking and rising of the ship, which seems like a plaything in a giant's hands, and the vast multitude of seabirds skimming round us, constitute a picture of the most exhilarating, as well as the most impressive character ; and I trust a better and holier feeling has not been absent from our minds, of thankfulness to Him who has thus far protected us, who blesses us daily with so many comforts beyond what might be expected in our present situation, and who has given us a passage, throughout the whole extent of the Atlantic, so unusually rapid and favourable.”
" September 18.—This evening we had a most beautiful sunset--the most remarkable recollected by any of the officers or passengers, and I think the most magnificent spectacle i ever saw. Besides the usual beautiful tints of crimson, Alame-colour, &c., which the clouds displayed, and which were strangely contrusted with the deep blue of the sea, and the lighter, but equally beautiful blue of the sky, there were in the immediate neighbourhood of the sinking sun, and for some time after his disc had disappeared, large tracts of a pale translucent green, such as I had never seen before except in a prism, and surpassing every effect of paint, or glass, or gem. Every body on board was touched and awed by the glory of the scene, and many observed, that such a spectacle alone was worth the whole voyage from England. One circumstance in the scene struck me as different from all which I had been led to expect in a tropical sunset. I mean, that its progress from light to darkness was much more gradual than most travellers and philosophers have stated. The dip of the sun did not seem more rapid, nor did the duration of the tints on the horizon appear materi. ally less, than on similar occasions in England. Neither did I notice any striking difference in the continuance of the twilight. I pointed out the fact to Major Sackville, who answered, that he had long been convinced that the supposed rapidity of sunrise and sunset in India had been exaggerated,—that he had always found a good hour between dawn and sunrise, and little less between sunset and total darkness."
TRANSLATION OF AX ODE BY KOODRUT. “Ambition's voice was in my ear, she whisper'd yesterday, "How goodly is the land of Room, how wide the Russian sway! How blest to conquer either realm, and dwell through life to come, Lulld by the barp's melodious string, cheer'd by the northern drum!' But wisdom heard ; 'O youth,' she said, 'in passion's fetter tied, O come and see a sight with me shall cure thee of thy pride !! She led me to a lonely dell, a sad and shady ground, Where many an ancient sepulchre gleamed in the moon-shine round. . And • Here Secunder sleeps,' she cried ;-'this is his rival's stone ; And here the mighty chief reclines who reard the Median throne. Inquire of these, doth aught of all their ancient pomp remain, Save late regret, and bitter tears for ever, and in vain? Return, return, and in thy heart engraven keep my lore ; The lesser wealth, the lighter load-small blame betides the poor.' The appearances of the Indian coast and population, on the approach to the shore, are finely described. Our Bishop was first struck with the large boats from the Maldive Islands, whose crews, each from thirty to fifty men, are, like those of a portion of our northern vessels, sharers in the vessel and cargo. These navigators were chiefly naked, except a cloth round the loins, and the colour of all was the darkest shade of antique bronze, “which, together with the elegant forms and well-turned limbs of many among them, gave the spectator a perfect impression of Grecian statues of that metal.” The Bishop mentions two observations which occurred to him forcibly, as he gazed at them; first, that the deep bronze tint is more naturally agreea
• “Rooth” is the Oriental name for the Turkish empire,—“Secunder" is Alex. ander the Great,-and the founder of the Median throne is Ky-kaoss, or Deiioces. VOL. IV.-N0. 7.
ble to the human eye, than the fair skins of Europe ; and the second was, how entirely the idea of indelicacy, which would naturally belong to such figures if they were white, is prevented by their being of a different colour from our own. We are inclined to question the correctness of both these remarks, as general propositions; but we must economize space, with so much excellent matter ahead. When the native Hindoos crowded about the ship after she had anchored in the river Hooghly, he noted that, of the multitude, some were as black as negroes, others merely copper-coloured, and others but little darker than the Tunisians whom he had seen at Liverpool. Here he was informed, by clergymen who had surveyed much of India, that the same diversity obtained throughout the country, and was every where striking. It does not proceed from difference of exposure, since the same variety of tint is visible in those who are naked all alike; nor does it depend on custe, Brahmins of a very high caste being sometimes black, while the Pariahs, or outcasts, are comparatively fair. On this question of colour, which is certainly curious, the Bishop dwells and speculates in more than one place. For example, we find after he has proceeded far in his first Visitation, the following remarkable facts and theory :
“I thought it remarkable that though most of the male deities are represented of a deep brown colour, like the natives of the country, the females are usually no less red and white than our porcelain beauties as exhibited in England. But it is evident, from the expressions of most of the Indians themselves, from the style of their amatory poetry, and other circumstances, that they consider fairness as a part of beauty, and a proof of noble blood. They do not like to be called black; and though the Abyssinians, who are sometimes met with in the country, are very little darker than they themselves are, their jest books are full of taunts on the charcoal complexion of the Hubshee.' Much of this has probably arisen from their having been so long subjected to the Moguls, and other conquerors, originally from more northern climates, and who continued to keep up the comparative fairness of their stock, by frequent importation of northern beauties. India too has been always, and long before the Europeans came hither, a favourite theatre for adventurers from Persia, Greece, Tartary, Turkey, and Arabia, all white men, and all in their turn possessing themselves of wealth and power. These circumstances must have greatly contributed to make a fair complexion fashionable. It is remarkable, however, to observe how surely all these classes of men in a few generations, even without any intermarriage with the Hindoos, assume the deep olive tint, little less dark than a Negro, which seems natural to the climate. The Portuguese natives form unions among themselves alone, or if they can with Europeans. Yet the Portuguese have, during a three hundred years' residence in India, become as black as Caffres. Surely this goes far to disprove the assertion, which is sometimes made, that climate alone is insufficient to account for the difference between the Negro and the European. It is true that in the Negro are other peculiarities which the Indian has not, and to which the Portuguese colonist shows no symptom of approximation, and which undoubtedly do not appear to follow so naturally from the climate, as that swarthiness of complexion which is the sole distinction between the Hindoo and the European. But if heat produces one change, other peculiarities of climate may produce other and additional changes, and when such peculiarities have 3 or 4000 years to operate in, it is not easy to fix any limits to their power. I am inclined after all, to suspect that our European vanity leads us astray in supposing that our own is the primitive complexion, which I should rather suppose was that of the Indian, half way between the two extremes, and perhaps the most