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have gone through fire and water to serye him. It may scem a problem in our nature, but so it is—the strength of personal attachments is at its greatest height towards those who are capable of serving us, when we are most convinced of their unworthiness. Every body knew that Whitwell would stick at nothing to advance or enrich him. This was a species of merit, therefore, that came home to the selfish principle more or less kneaded into every man's composition. It outweighed in their esteem a hundred acts of profligacy and corruption, and there are few who exercise a stern moral disapprobation towards failings, from which they are themselves likely to reap a benefit sooner or later. Amongst another class of thinkers, who, deeming themselves birds only of prey and passage, held the comfortable doctrine that India was a carcase to be stripped and plundered, and that he who could get the largest share of it in the shortest time, was the ablest servant of the Company, Whitwell was in still higher odour. Few mén, least of all the persons I am describing, think better of others than themselves; but this is a class that are always sceptical of the existence of any virtue, of which they perceive no traces in themselves. Indeed, it is almost impossible to persuade such reasoners that you yourself are honest; nor would you succeed in the attempt by the strongest evidence to your integrity, were it not for the consoling creed which they profess, that he, who proves himself to be honest, proves himself to be, at the same time, a blockhead.
It is now matter of history, that the malversations of Rumbold's government became the subject of Parliamentary inquiry. The labours of a committee, which sat for eight months, brought forth a mass of criminatory matter in the shape of seven huge folió reports, and D, it is well known, had obtained leave to bring a bill of pains and penalties against the Madras governor, and Whitwell, the chief-secretary. There is a historic nebula over this part of our Indian transactions, which has had many commentators, but little or no explanation. It was never fairly sifted. The Indian squad had then at their command a cluster of close boroughs, and constituted a powerful party in the House of Commons. Rumbold, on his recall, is said to have brought home a considerable fortune; and there wandered about the town rumours, some of them distinct and definite, that he had appropriated considerable sums to allay the flame of public virtue, to which, had it burned steadily, he must have fallen a victim. Amongst others, it was confidently believed by a Company's servant,*-who had his eye anxiously on the whole procedure, and was himself examined as a witness before the committee,-to the latest moment of his existence (and he was a person of the highest integrity. and honour), that Rumbold had requested permission to send a copy of the report, with his own remarks in the margin, to the person who had taken the leading part against him in Parliament, and who had moved, as already said, for'a bill of pains and penalties against him, urging with great earnestness the justice of giving due consideration to those remarks, which would be found, he said, satisfactory answers to the charges. The “ marginal notes,” it is stated, advånced through several successive pages from £100 to 10,000; and if it has never been established that the accuser was bribed, it is quite manifest, that the accusation was withdrawn. D-was, in the strongest terms of implication, charged by Burket with this piece of corruption,
Whitwell adhered, with a fidelity worthy a better cause, to the interests of Rumbold. He fled to Paris ; but Whitwell's secretary, finding that a government proclamation had issued for their apprehension, honourably delivered
† Speech on the debts of the Nabob of the Carnatic.
* Mr. Chamier,
himself up. Thus the whole proceeding closed. Sir Thomas Rumbold long lived in guilty splendour; and Whitwell, after many reverses of fortune, died, about fifteen years since, in abject poverty, at Paris, where he had for some time subsisted on the reluctant, grudged contributions of two or three persons, whom he had enabled to return home with princely fortunes.
This is somewhat of a digression from Topping, and his testatorship. Yet, as the traditions of that period are now nearly effaced, and many of its transactions studiously suppressed, no apology is necessary for having thus lightly touched them. Whitwell was strongly attached to Topping, who had many personal qualifications that rendered his society pleasing and instructive. Their confidence had a singular beginning. Whitwell and Topping had been, on some occasion or other, closetted together for some time, during which the former spoke in the tone of a grave and uncompromising morality upon every topie; for that mysterious carriage of the body, which humbugs the greater portion of mankind into a persuasion of its being an indication of correct and circumspect conduct, was systematically assumed by Whitwell, who had found it of the utmost use to him. Topping's penetration into human characters, however, was too profound to be imposed upon, and in the midst of one of Whitwell's gravest observations, he burst into a loud fit of laughing. The farce was really too much for him, inasmuch as he knew almost intuitively what was going on in Whitwell's mind. The chief secretary stared with astonishment, for Topping was one of the best-bred men in the settlement. But it was like the recognition in free-masonry. From that moment Whitwell felt the absurdity of speaking from under a mask. “ We know each other ; do we not?” said he, seizing Topping's hand.” Perfectly,” replied the other.
Yet Topping had the master-key that unlocked Whitwell's soul, whilst the latter had scarcely a guess of what Topping really was. Along with the rest of the settlement, native and European, he was convinced of Topping's wealth-and convinced (so deep a root do the wildest errors strike into the general opinion) without the slightest evidence or presumption, nay, with strong proofs constantly recurring to the contrary, for Topping, not long before he had adopted the system of making wills, was pressed for the payment of trifling sums. Had Topping applied to Whitwell in these distresses, his purse would have been opened to him without stint or reserve ; but through some politic refinement, which few could fathom, Topping still passed with Whitwell as a man of unbounded wealth; and it was in one of their confidential evening tête-à-têtes, at his garden-house, that he breathed into his friend's ear, under solemn injunctions of secresy, the intention of leaving him by will the bulk of his immense wealth. Whitwell received the intimation with the greatest delight and the most implicit credence. Topping's: life, his age being now advanced beyond the ordinary chances in a hot climate, was scarcely in any one's estimate of a twelvemonth's value. Why should Topping, a man of the world, and with no temptation or inducement to a superfluous falsehood, breathe such an intention but in perfect sincerity ? In short, Whitwell considered the promise as so much wealth in the shape of a security payable at no distant period, though for the present unavailable.
Whitwell, however, did make it available. To corroborate his intention, Topping had given him, according to custom on these occasions, for there were many residuary legatees into whom he had infused the same expectations,-a copy of his will. When Whitwell wanted money for his own use or for the exigencies of the government, the Nabob's exchequer being by this: time squeezed to a husk, he found no difficulty in obtaining large sums from
rich natives like Paupiah or Jyah Pillay, by the prozluction, in strict confi. dence, of this document. Bat confidential communications contrive now and then to escape; and it happened, awkwardly enough, that Jacob Arathoon's residuary legacy and Whitwell's crossed each other, as it were, to the great perplexity of both. The same happened to the other persons who were looking forward to the same imaginary wealth. . As every one; however, is a firni believer in his own good fortune, that perplexity soon ceased to disturb them, and the gates of Topping's compound were day by day besieged with the most affectionate inquiries after his health from those who were cagerly praying for his death.
If Topping received payment in kind from Whitwell, it was in the shape of patronage. To many persons patronage is wealth, bringing with it the highest enjoyments which wealth can procure. Through Whitwell's instrumentality, Topping provided for many young men' who had come out recommended to him from England. He was enabled to cement by marriage many hopeless attachments cherished by young civilians, who had fallen in love with certain Madras beauties before they were enabled to support them. Wealth is power'. In this instance iinaginary wealth was power; and, to his credit be it said, Topping exerted its influence kindly and benevolently. He never wanted money. A slight hint or inuendo that a loan for an occasional purpose would be of use to him, for a season, became almost instantly a round sum of ready money in his hands.
Jack Topping, however, at last, paid the debt of nature. But who shall paint the meeting of the legatees, each frantic with hope, that rushed into his hall the instant his remains had been deposited in the grave—the grave of many a hope too fondly nursed, too rudely crossed, that lay buried with him! Smollett's admirable pencil, that sketched the posthumous scene of Roderick Randon's grandfather, would scarcely be equal to it. For myself, Í shrink from the attempt. “ The will, the will, the authentic will itself !” exclaimed Whitwell.
i Here is my copy." “ And here is mine," exclaimed half dozen other residuary legatees. Last (for the Armenians, though not dead 10 the impulses of avarice, are a modest unobtrusive people) was heard poor Jacob Arathoon's voice, “and here is mine," producing from his under-cassock a piece of paper greasier than his own face. “ And here, also," continued Jacob, " is the clause bequeathing funds for our new Armenian church, for which I have paid by anticipation 18,000 star pagodas." All was despair. Not that the opinion of Jack Topping's immense wealth was at all shaken; but each found a competitor in each for its enjoyment. The only refuge from despair was the date of each will, for. counterparts, regularly sealed and executed, were found to each of the copies lie had put into the hands of the several parties to whom he had bequeathed his property. “Mine is of the latest date," said one ;“mine! said another;"—the same key-notc ran through the whole circle. What were the astonishment and dismay of cach when they all turned out to be dated the same day! It was clear they had been all duped; more clear still, when they found that Topping had no wealth, but died, leaving behind him debts to an immense amount.
The Armenians were the only gainers; they gained a new church. Nor did they refund a fanam to poor Jacob, who sued them by a bill in the Mayor's Court for a joint-contribution towards its construction, and in addition to the costs of the building, which to this day is called Jacob's folly, and coregistered in the archives of the church, immemorially kept in Greek, 11 AMOPIA TOT IAKOBOT, had to pay the costs of the suit.
dsint. jour. N.S.VOL.II No.56,
Miscellanies, Original and Select.
PROCEEDINGS OF SOCIETIES. Royal Asiatic Society A General Meeting was held on the 5th of July; the Right Hon. Sir A. Johnston, V.P., in the chair.
Several donations were laid on the table, among which were the following, viz.
From Major Charles Stewart, a very curious and valuable original painting, representing the Mogul emperor, Shah Jehán, and the principal personages of his court ; this interesting record is supposed to have been the work of a celebrated artist, named Abd al Samad, and, from various circumstances, to have been executed about A.D. 1625. Major Stewart communicated several Memoranda connected with the subject of the picture, and it is hoped that he may be induced to favour the Society with notices of the individuals whose portraits have been thus preserved.
From Lieut. Alex. Burnes, F.R.S., a copy of the Narrative of his Journey from India to Bokhara, Persia, &c., with the Map.
From the Right Hon. Sir A. Johnston, an Indian matchlock and powder flask, apparently very ancient ; also an account of the different classes of Elephants, translated from the Singhalese; and an original drawing of the crater of Mount Merapi, a volcano in Java.
William Holt Yates, Esq., M.D., elected on the 21st of June, having made his payments and signed the obligation-book, was admitted a member of the society.
John Edye, Esq., of the Navy Surveyor's Office, Somerset House, and Robert Alexander, Esq., late member of council at Madras, were ballotted for and elected resident members of the society.
The first part of Observations on Atmospherical Influence, in reference to Climate, &c., by Whitelaw Ainslie, Esq., M.D., was read.
Dr. Ainslic commences by quoting the recorded opinions of other writers, both ancient and modern, on this subject, and proceeds to examioe the effects of climate on the physical and moral character of the human race; observing that, in hot countries, both the mental and corporeal faculties arrive at maturity sooner than in more temperate regions; while, at the same time, it may be doubted whether the causes of this more rapid expansion are not also conducive to more speedy decay. The effects of heat on the children of Europeans born in India, and on half-castes, are next adverted to; and the author then developes the causes of change in national character acting independently of climate; illustrating his remarks by adducing the ancient and modern states of various nations. The next point treated is a comparison of the climates of the old and new continents, with observations on the probable origin of the differences perceptible between them, which leads the author to speak of the various sanitary stations established in India. He concludes this section with some general reflexions on the subject of climate, including considerations on the differences of colour in the human race.
The reading of the late Capt. McMurdo's Account of Sinde, communicated by James Bird, Esq., was brought to a conclusion.
Resuming the author's view of the character of the Sindians, he observes that their bigotry, arrogance, and self-conceit, keep equal pace with their ignorance; and among other bad qualities, they are accused of being treache rous; they are, however, much less addicted to the practice of assassination than their neighbours to the north and to the cast; the Bellooche tribes, in particular, entertain a high idea of the duties of hospitality, and its rights are rarely infringed by those who retain the simplicity of their original manners. They have likewise the greatest respect for their females, who possess considerable influence over them; and their adherence to any agreement, to which their women are a party, may be more implicitly relied on than if the bargain had been sworn to on the Koran. The Sindian soldier is individually brave, but is inferior to the Arab in coolness in action, and is not possessed of that sense of honour which is displayed by the Indian soldier. He is bold in his attack, but feels less hesitation in turning bis back than almost any other man who carries arms. The military classes in Sinde are generally expert marksmen, being trained to the matchlock from youth. Capt. McMurdo then proceeds to describe the other tribes of inhabitants of this country; after which follow some remarks on the Sindian language, and a sketch of its government concludes the paper.
Thanks were returned to Dr. Ainslie and Mr. Bird for their respective communications.
July 19.-The last General Meeting for the present session was held this, day; the Right Hon. Chas, W. Williams Wynn, M.P., President, in the chair. Among the donations laid on the table were the following:
From M. Adolph Erman, a copy of the first volume of his “ Reise, um die erde durch Nord Asien und die Vieden Oceane in den jahren 1828, 1829, und 1830 ; with plates. - From the Royal Society of Literature, the 2d Part of Vol. II. of its Transactions.
From Malárajá Kali Krishna Bahadur, his Bengáli translations of Dr. Johnson's Rasselas and of a system of polite learning. Also his MS. account of Nagarkirtana, a public invocation of Hari by the Hindús, with a coloured drawing of the procession.
From Major William Yule, a lithographed fac-simile of a magnificent Indian gold coin or medal, struck by the Emperor Shủh Jehán, and weighing 70 oz. Major Yule has added translations of the inscription's, and inscribed the whole to the Royal Asiatic Society.
From the Rt. Hon. Sir A. Johnston, two portraits in water-colours of Mira Sebbe Meėstriar Sekadlie Maricar, a Muhammedan physician to the court of Kandy, who possessed various privileges and exemptions derived from his ancestors, the first cloth weavers introduced into Ceylon, to wliom they were granted by the then king of Kandy, as evidenced by an ancient deed of gift, of which a transcript was presented to the Royal Asiatic Society by Sir A. Johnston.
Jonathan Birch, Esq. was ballotted for and elected a Resident Member of the Society,
An Account of the Sect of Kaprías at Mhurr, by Robert Cotton Money, Esq, Bombay C.S., was read.
This sect, the origin of which, like that of most religious orders among the Hindús, is involved in 'much obscurity, derives its name from being devoted to the worship of Parvati, the consort of Siva, under her name of Kála Puri or Kaya Puri. It claims for its founder Lalla Jus Rájá, an associate of Rámchunder, after his conquest of Ceylon, but who quitted him at Mhurr, to establish this sect, by especial order of the goddess. The constitution of the order is singular : it is limited in number to 120 or 130 members, who are bound by a solemn obligation to a life of celibacy, and on the death of any one of their number he is replaced by a person taken from some Hindú caste; the age is immaterial, above eight or nine years. When the new brother is introduced, the tuft of hair on the crown of his head is cut off and replaced by the peculiar cap of the order ; various other ceremonies are also performed. The temple dedicated to their divinity, in the town of Mhurr, is of great anti