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Near Cawnpoor, “a good rain this for the bread," said one of the villagers to the other.-'Yes,' was the answer, and a good government under which a man may eat bread in safety. While such a feeling prevails, we have good hopes of the stability of our Indian government.
I have noticed on many occasions that all through India any thing is thought good enough for the weaker sex, and that the roughest words, the poorest garments, the scantiest alms, the most degrading labour, and the hardest blows, are generally their portions. The same chuprassee who, in clearing the way before a great man, speaks civilly enough to those of his own sex, cuffs and kicks any unfortunate female who crosses his path, without warning or forbearance. Yet to young children they are all gentleness and indulgence. What riddles men are! and how strangely do they differ in different countries ! An idle boy in a crowd would infallibly, in England, get his head broken, but what an outcry would be raised if an unoffending woman were beaten by one of the satellites of authority! Perhaps both parties might learn something from each other ; at least I have al. ways thought it very hard to see beadles, in England, lashing away children on all public occasions, as curiosity were a crime at an age in which it is, of all others, most natural.
Not to be married early is a circumstance always discreditable among the Hindoos.
Almost all the nobility of India are mere drunkards and voluptuaries. By some singular fatality, nearly all the principal establishments of the English in India, have been fixed in bad situations.
The disease of night-blindness, that is, of requiring the full light of day to see, is very common, Dr. Smith said, among the lower classes in India, and to some professions of men, such as soldiers, very inconvenient. The sepoys ascribe it to a bad and insufficient food, and it is said to be always most prevalent in a scarcity. It seems to be the same disorder of the eyes with which people are afflicted who live on damaged or inferior rice, in itself a food of very little nourishment, and probably arises from a weakness of the digestive powers.
I was talking with Dr. Smith on the remarkably dimin stature of the women all over India,-a circumstance extending, with very few exceptions, to the female children of Europeans by native mothers; and observed that one could hardly suppose such little creatures to be the mothers or daughters of so tall men as many of the sepoys are. He answered, that the women whom we saw in the streets and fields, and those with whom only, under ordinary circumstances, Europeans could form connexions, were of the lowest caste, whose growth was stinted from an early age by poverty and liard labour, and whose husbands and brothers were also, as I might observe, of a very mean stature. That the sepoys, and respectable natives in general, kept their women out of our way as much as possible ; but that he, as a medical man, had frequently had women of the better sort brought to him for advice, whose personal advantages corresponded with those of their husbands, and who were of stature equal to the common run of European females.
The sea is called by all the natives of Central India "kala panee,' (black water,) and they have the most terrible ideas of it and the countries beyond it. Sir John Malcolm relates, in his account of Malwah, that when Cheetoo, the Pindarree chief, was flying in hopeless misery from the English, he was often alvised by his followers to surrender to their mercy. He was possessed, however, by the idea that he should be transported, and this notion was to him more hideous than (leath. These men, who all one after another came in and obtained pardon, said that during their Captain's short and miserable sleep, he used continually to murmur, kala panee! kala panee! Thus haunted, he never would yield, till at length all his people, one by one, had forsaken him in the jungle, and a mangled body was found in a tiger's lair, which the sword, the ornamented saddle, and a leiter-case containing some important papers and a general's commission from the Ex-Raja of Nagpoor, proved to have been once the scourge of Central India! A nearly similar case Dr. Smith said had fallen under his own knowledge, of a Bheel chief, who, for murder and robbery, was sent to he confined at Allahabad. He was very anxious during the march to obtain spiritTOL. IV. ----NO. 7.
uous liquors, which the officer commanding the escort, out of compassion, frequently supplied him with. When, however, he was drunk, he would never be pacified with the assurance that he was only to be confined at Allahabad, and used to cry and rave about . kala panee,' invoking Company Sahib' to be merciful, and kill him, that he might be burned in Hindostan. With such feelings, they may well listen with astonishment to the long voyages which we voluntarily take, and of the strange lands which must lie beyond this frightful barrier.
Ten years ago there were few parts of India, where the sight and sound of military array would not have been a sign of flight and tears ; the villagers instead of crowding to see us, would have come out indeed, but with their hands clasped, kissing the dust, and throwing down before the invader all their wives' sil. ver ornaments, with bitter entreaties that the generous conqueror would condescend to take all they had and do them no further injury; and accounting them. selves but too happy if those prayers were heard, so that their houses were left unburnt, and their wives and daughters inviolate! War is, doubtless, a dreadful evil every where, but war, as it is carried on in these countries, appears to have horrors which an European soldier can scarcely form an idea of.
The Portuguese churches in the city of Bassein, once a celebrated colony of the Portuguese, are as ruins, melancholy objects to look at, but they are monuments, nevertheless, of departed greatness, of a love of splendour far superior to the anxiety for amassing money by which other nations have been chief ly actuated, and of a zeal for God, which, if not according to knowledge, was a zeal still, and a sincere one. It was painful to me, at the time, to think, how few relics, if the English were now expelled from India, would be left behind of their religion, their power, or their civil and military magnificence.
The great body of the Maharatta people are a very peaceable and simple peasantry, of frugal habits, and gentle dispositions ; there seems to be no dis. trict in India, of equal extent and population, where so few crimes are commit. ted, and of the robberies and murders which really occur, the greatest part by far are the work of the Bheels, who, on these mountains as well as in Central India, maintain a precarious and sanguinary independence, and are found less accessible to such means of conciliation as have yet been tried with them, than any of their more northern kindred.
Nothing can be more foolish, or in its effects more pernicious, than the man. ner in which spirits are distributed to European troops in India. Early every morning, a pint of fiery, coarse, undiluted rum is given to every man, and half that quantity to every woman ; this, the greater part of the new-comers abhor in the first instance, or would, at all events, if lefi to themselves, mix with water. The ridicule of their seasoned companions, however, deters them from doing so, and a habit of the worst kind of intemperance is acquired in a few weeks, more fatal to the army than the swords of the Jâts, or the climate of the Burmese.
Of Schwartz and his fifty years' labour among the heathens, the extraordinary influence and popularity which he acquired, both with Mussulmans, Hindoos, and contending European governments, I need give you no account, except that my idea of bim has been raised since I came into the south of India. I used to suspect, that, with many admirable qualities, there was too great a mixture of intrigue in his character ; that he was too much of a political prophet, and that the veneration which the heathen paid and still pay him, and which indeed almost regards him as a superior being, putting crowns and burning lights before his statue, was purchased by some unwarrantable compromise with their prejudices. I find I was quite mistaken. He was really one of the most active and fearless, as he was one of the most successful missionaries who have appeared since the Apostles.
There are now in the south of India about 200 Protestant congregations, the numbers of which have been sometimes vaguely stated at 40,000. I doubt whether they reach 15,000, but even this, all things considered, is a great number. The Roman Catholics are considerably more numerous, but belong to a lower caste of Indian, for even these Christians retain many prejudices of caste, and in point of knowledge and morality, are said to be extremely inferior.
During the whole of my residence in this country, and more than ever since, in the course of this long journey, I have been enabled to see and hear a good deal of the advantages and disadvantages of an Indian life, my general im. pression has certainly been, that though, except under very unusual circumstances, great wealth is now no longer to be looked for in India, and though the dangers of the climate are, I think, rather underrated than otherwise in Europe, the service still is one of the best within an Englishman's reach, as affording to every young man of talent, industry, and good character, a field of honourable and useful exertion, and a prospect of moderate competency, without any greater risk of health and life, than with such views before him, and with a re. liance on God's good providence, a Christian is fully justified in encounter. ing:
Even if Christianity were out of the question, and if when I had wheeled away the rubbish of the old pagodas, 1 had nothing better than simple Deism to erect in their stead, I should still feel some of the anxiety which now urges me. It is necessary to see idolatry, to be fully sensible of its inischievous effects on the human mind. But of all idolatries which I have ever read or heard of, the religion of the Hindoos, in which I had taken some pains to inform myself, really appears to me the worst, both in the degrading notions which it gives of the Deity; in the endless round of its burdensome ceremonies, which occupy the time and distract the thoughts, without either instructing or interesting its votaries ; in the filthy acts of uncleanness and cruelty, not only permitted, but enjoined, and in. separably interwoven with those ceremonies; in the system of castes, a system which tends, more than any thing else the Devil has yet invented, to destroy the feelings of general benevolence, and to make nine-tenths of mankind the hope less slaves of the remainder; and in the total absence of any popular system of morals, or any single lesson which the people at large ever hear, to live virtuous. ly and do good to each other. I do not say, indeed, that there are not some scat-, tered lessons of this kind to be found in their ancient books; but those books are neither accessible to the people at large, nor are these last permitted to read them; and in general all the sins that a sudra is taught to fear, are killing a cow, offending a brahmin, or neglecting one of the many frivolous rites by which their deities are supposed to be conciliated. Accordingly, though the general sobriety of the Hindoos (a virtue which they possess in common with most inhabitants of warm climates,) affords a very great facility to the maintenance of public order and decorum, I really never have met with a race of men whose standard of morality is so low, who feel so little apparent shame on being detect. ed in a falsehood, or so little interest in the sufferings of a neighbour, not being of their own caste or family; whose ordinary and familiar conversation is so li centious; or, in the wilder and more lawless districts, who shed blood with so little repugnance. The good qualities which there are among them (and thank God there is a great deal of good among them still) are, in no instance that I am aware of, connected with, or arising out of, their religion, since it is in no instance to good deeds or virtuous babits of life that the future rewards in which they believe are promised. Their bravery, their fidelity to their employers, their temperance, and (wherever they are found) their humanity, and gentleness of disposition, appear to arise exclusively from a natural happy temperament, from an honourable pride in their own renown, and the renown of their ancestors; and from the goodness of God, who seems unwilling that his image should be entirely defaced even in the midst of the grossest error. The Mussulmans have a far better creed, and though they seldom either like the English, or are liked by them, I am inclined to think are, on the whole, a better people. Yet even with them, the forins of their worship bave a natural tendency to make men hy, pocrites, and the overweening contempt with which they are inspired for all the world beside, the degradation of their women by the system of polygamy, and the detestable crimes, which, owing to this degradation, are almost universal, are such as, even if I had no ulterior hope, would make me anxious to attract them to a better or more harmless system.
To say that the Hindoos or Mussulmans are deficient in any essential feature of a civilized people, is an assertion which I can scarcely suppose to be made by
any who have lived with them. Their manners are, at least, as pleasing and courteous as those in the corresponding stations of life among ourselves ; their houses are larger, and, according to their wants and climate, to the full as convenient as ours ; their architecture is at least as elegant, and though the worthy Scotch divines may doubtless wish their labourers to be clad in hodden grey,' and their gentry and merchants to wear powder and mottled stockings, like worthy Mr. and the other elders of his kirk-session, I really do not think that they would gain either in cleanliness, elegance, or comfort, by exchanging a white cotton robe for the completest suits of dittos. Nor is it true that in the mechanic arts they are inferior to the general run of European nations. Where they fall short of us, (which is chiefly in agricultural implements and the mechanics of common life,) they are not, so far as I have understood of Italy and the south of France, surpassed in any great degree by the people of those countries. Their goldsmiths and weavers produce as beautiful fabrics as our own, and it is so far from true that they are obstinately wedded to their old patterns, that they show an anxiety to imitate our models, and do imitate them very successful. ly: The ships built by native artists at Bombay are notoriously as good as any which sail from London or Liverpool. The carriages and gigs which they supply at Calcutta are as handsome, though not as durable, as those of Long Acre. In the little town of Monghyr, 300 miles from Calcutta, I had pistols, doublebarrelled guns, and different pieces of cabinet-work brought down to my boat for sale, which in outward form (for I know no further,) nobody but perhaps Mr. could detect to be of Hindoo origin ; and at Delhi, in the shop of a wealthy native jeweller, I found broaches, ear-rings, snuff-boxes, &c. of the latest models (so far as I am a judge,) and ornamented with French devices and mottos.
It is, in fact, the want of means on the part of the teachers, and not any of that invincible repugnance so often supposed to exist on the part of the Mindoos, which, in my opinion, must make the progress of the Gospel slow in India. Those who think otherwise, have, I suspect, either never really desired the improvement which they affect to regard as impossible, or by raising their expectations, in the first instance, too high, have been the cause of their own disappointment. We cannot work miracles, and it is idle to suppose that thirty or forty Missionaries, (for this is, perhaps, the full number, including all Protestant sects throughout all India,) can have, in ten or a dozen years, (for a longer time has scarcely occurred, since the work was set about in good earnest,) so much as conveyed the name of the Gospel to more than a very small part of a nation containing 100,000,000 inhabitants, and scattered over a country of 1,500,000 square miles. It is no less idle to expect that any nation, or any great numbers in a nation, will change the wcient system of faith at once, or otherwise than by very slow degrees, and with great reluctance, a reluctance not likely to be lessened when the new creed is offered them by a race of foreign conquerors, speaking their language for the most part very imperfectly.
On the whole, I think it still desirable, that in this country the newspapers should be licensed by government, though from the increased interest which the Ilindoos and Mussulmans take in politics, and the evident fermentation which, either for good or evil, is going on in the public mind, I do not think the mea. sure can be long continued. But the power of deportation is, I am convinced, essential to the public peace. Many of the adventurers who come hither from Europe, are the greatest profligates the sun ever saw ; men whom nothing but despotism can manage, and who, unless they were really under a despotie rule, would insult, beat, and plunder the natives without shame or pity. Even now, many instances occur of insult and misconduct, for which the prospect of im. mediate embarkation for Europe is the most effectual precaution or remedy. It is, in fact, the only control which the Company possesses over the tradesmen and ship-builders in Calcutta, and the indigo planters up the country.
ART. VI.-GERMAN LITERATURE.
1.-Geschichte der Deutschen Poesie und Beredsamkeit, von
Friedrich Bouterwek. History of German Poetry and
by FREDERICK BOUTERWEK. 3 vols. 1819. 2.-Andenken an Deutsche Historiker aus den letzten fünf
zig Jahren. Notices relating to German Historians of the last fifty years. By Ă. H. L. HEEREN. In the
sixth volume of his Works: 1823. 3.-Franz Horns Umrisse, &c. Sketches of the History and
Criticism of the Literature of Germany, from 1790 to 1818. By FRANCIS Horn. Second Edition : 1821.
ENTHUSIASM in letters, manifests itself by devotedness in their pursuit. Singleness of purpose can alone conduct to the highest eminence; it may leave the character feebly developed in the points that concern the details of business, and the intercourse of active life; but it will give the mind a singular power in the department with which it is familiar. Thus the personal habits of almost every studious man, furnish the superficial observer with much that seems to provoke the expression of contempt, and afford the man of the world an apparent justification of his assumed superiority. It belongs to cool reflection and the justice of posterity, to attribute to every peculiar exertion of mind, the degree of consideration to which it is justly entitled. Yet the general inferences of mankind are here, as usual, correct; and the common usage of language, marks the difference between the polished and the cultivated man.
This enthusiasm, which is engendered in a fervid spirit, by application of the mind to a noble object, grows by exercise into a habit, and intellectual life is thus upheld and made happy by a permanent excitement, almost entirely independent of fortune and the world. Thus literary action becomes a solace and a reward. Pursuit itself is an enjoyment; and the constant effort at advancement in intelligence and the discovery of truth, gives variety and value to existence. In the eye of the world, such men may be but poor calculators, who sacrifice the main chance to follow ideal interests; but, on the other hand, in their theory, the man of lower pursuits is a thoughtless spendthrift, who, being possessed of nothing but time, squanders it wastefully, and lays up no treasure in himself. A just estimate of human life allows to each social occupation its appropriate dignity, both to those, who, by their productive industry, employ the physical strength, and promote the opulence of the country, and those who keep aloof from the din of business, and, in the serenity