Page images
PDF
EPUB

....................................

[ocr errors]

....................

......

........................................

..................................................................

........................

..........................................

............................................................

............

......

............

...............................................

............................................................

Page

Transactions of Asiatic Societies

260

Advice to Invalids ................

267
The Universal Testator

269

Miscellanies, Original and Select

...... 80, 135, 203, 278

Critical Notices ............

.....

83, 138, 207, 283

Literary Intelligence

140

New Publications

... 210

College Examinations :—East-India College, Haileybury-Military Semi-

nary, Addiscombe

... 211

Pant II.

ASIATIC INTELLIGENCE.

Calcutta

1, 42, 56, 65, 153, 221, 233, 303

Madras

14, 44, 102, 182, 261, 277, 304

Bombay

15, 45, 106, 185, 262, 305

- Ceylon.........

20

Penang

21, 118

Singapore

21, 118, 187, 263

Malacca

22, 263

Birman Empire

121

Netherlands India

120, 194, 263

Siam

22, 195, 266

China

24, 45, 190, 265

Cochin-China

36, 121, 194

Australasia

36, 122, 196, 222, 267

Polynesia

37, 124, 195

Mauritius

119, 188

Cape of Good Hope

39, 195, 222, 267

Johanna Islands

39

Arabia...........

... 267

Persia

121,189
St. Helena

40, 196

Turkey

Syria

268, 277, 305

REGISTER.

Calcutta .......

47, 55, 125, 197, 269, 305

Madras

50, 55, 131, 201, 272, 305

Bombay

52, 135, 204, 274, 306

Ceylon

137, 205, 276

Penang

137, 205, 276

Singapore

137, 205, 276

Malacca

54, 205, 276

Netherlands India

137, 276

China

54, 276

Australasia

137, 206, 276

Mauritius

54, 206, 306

Cape of Good Hope

54, 137, 206, 277

St. Helena

206

Arabian Gulf

54

Debates at the East-India House on 18th June and 9th July, 1834 ... 207, 278

Imperial Parliament

138

Privy Council-Appeals from India

142

Home Miscellaneous Intelligence

56, 146, 222, 306

Prices of European Goods in the East

60, 150, 229, 312

India Securities and Exchanges

61, 151, 230, 313

Shipping Lists, London Markets, &c. &c.

62, 152, 228, 314

List of the Directors of the East-India Company for 1834 ....

227

..............

.......................

[ocr errors]

............

......................................................

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

THERE is no place in British India, which the intellectual traveller approaches with feelings more strongly excited than the ancient seat of the Moghul empire. The proud towers of Delhi, with its venerable reliques of Hindoo architecture, its splendid monuments of Moslem power, and its striking indications of Christian supremacy, cannot fail to impress the mind with sensations of mingled awe, wonder, and delight. In no other part of our Eastern possessions do the natives shew so earnest a desire to imitate European fashions, and though, at present, the mixture, in which convenience more than elegance is consulted, produces a grotesque effect, the total overthrow of many Oriental prejudices may be safely predicted from the tolerance of all sorts of innovations manisested at Delhi.

The modern capital of the Moslem kings, which is called by the natives Shahjehanabad, stands in the centre of a sandy plain, surrounded on every side with the ruins of old Delhi, curiously contrasted with a new suburb, the villas belonging to Europeans attached to the residency, and with the cantonments lately erected for three regiments of sepoys. The celebrated gardens of Shalimer, with their cypress avenues, sparkling fountains, roseate bowers, and the delicious shade of their dark cedars, on which Shah Jehan, the most tasteful monarch in the world, is said to have lavished a crore of rupees (a million sterling), have been almost wholly surrendered to waste and desolation : the ravages of the Mahrattas have left few wrecks behind, and amidst these arise the palaces of the Christian rulers of the soil. A favourite retreat of Sir Charles Metcalfe, afterwards inhabited by Sir David Ochterlony, arrests the stranger's eye, as he seeks in vain to recognize, from the description handed down to us, the paradise of flowers and foliage which once adorned these arid tracts. Asiat.Journ.N.S.VOL.14.No.53.

B

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

From the road which, it is said, formerly extended to Lahore, shaded all the way by the meeting branches of mango trees, of which not a bough remains, the military cantonments appear, couched under a ridge of sandstone rocks, called Mejnoon Pahar: some writers have likened this military array to an army in ambuscade, and the rocky screen favours the idea. The loss of the rich umbrageous foliage of the tamarinds and cedars of Shah Jehan, has been inadequately supplied by a foreign introduction before noticed, the Parkinsonias, which thrive in an arid soil, but which require the relief of leaves to soften the effect of their gaudy blossoms. They are, when planted in groupes, quite as offensive to the eye as a grove entirely composed of laburnums in full flower would be; yet, in the cantonments of Delhi and of Agra, little else is to be seen.

Modern Delhi, or Shahjehanabad, is enclosed by a splendid rampart of red granite, and entered by gateways the most magnificent which the world can boast. The walls were formerly so lofty as to conceal all save the highest towers; but these dead blanks, with their flanking turrets, like the eyries of the eagle, high in air, have been exchanged for low ramparts strengthened by massive bastions. From the outside, the view is splendid; domes and mosques, cupolas and minarets, with the imperial palace frowning like a mountain of red granite, appear in the midst of groves of clustering trees, so thickly planted that the buildings have been compared, in Oriental imagery, to rocks of pearls and rubies, rising from an emerald

In approaching the city from the east bank of the Jumna, the prospect realizes all that the imagination has pictured of Oriental magnificence; mosques and minarets glittering in the sun, some garlanded with wild creepers, others arrayed in all the pomp of gold, the exterior of the cupolas being covered with brilliant metal, and from Mount Mejnoon, over which a fine road now passes, the shining waters of the Jumna gleaming in the distance, insulating Selimgurh, and disappearing behind the halls of the peacock-throne, the palace of the emperors, add another beautiful feature to the scene. It is well known that the line, quoted by Mr. Moore, in Lalla Rookh,

Oh! if there be an Elysium on earth,

It is this, it is this !is to be found in the audience-chamber of the King of Delhi, and though the glory of the Moghuls has faded away, and their greatness departed, the superb edifices and luxuriant gardens of this splendid capital would still render it an Eden of delight, were it not for one terrible drawback, the besetting sin of all Indian cities,—dust. In Delhi, this plague is suffocating, choking, stifling, blinding, smothering, --in fact, perfectly unbearable. The visitors see all they can see in as short a time as possible, and hasten away to some retreat, where the parched and thirsty ground is watered, and where they may respire freely, without being forced to inhale some ounces of commingled sand and dirt whenever they venture to open their lips.

The Chandery Choke, or principal street, is wide and handsome, one of the broadest avenues to be found in an Indian city. The houses are of

sea,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

various styles of architecture, partaking occasionally of the prevailing fashions of the West; Grecian piazzas, porticos, and pediments, are not unfrequently found fronting the dwelling of the Moslem or Hindoo; balconies are, of course, very common, and form the favourite resort of the gentlemen of the family, who, in a loose deshabille of white muslin, enjoy the pleasures of the hookah, while gazing on the passing crowd below, totally regardless of the dust which fills the air. The shops are crowded with all sorts of European products and manufactures, and many of them display sign-boards, on which the names and occupations of the inhabitants are emblazoned in Roman characters : a novel circumstance in a native city. The introduction of this useful custom is attributed to Burruddeen Khan, an ingenious person patronized by the reigning emperor, Akbar the second. This accomplished artist is celebrated for his seal-engravings, and so much delighted his royal master by the specimens he produced, in cutting gems

with the letters and devices of all nations, that he raised him to the rank of a noble, one of the few privileges still enjoyed by this shadow of a king. The English placards have a very curious appearance, mingled with the striped purdahs or curtains, which, in many instances, supply the place of doors, and the variegated screens, where animals of blue, red, or yellow, sprawl upon a green ground, which shade the windows. The houses are, for the most part, white-washed, and the gaiety of their appearance is heightened by the carpets and shawls, strips of cloth of every hue, scarfs and coloured veils, which are hung out over the verandah or on the tops of houses to air, the sun in India being considered a great purifier, a dissipator of bad smells, and even a destroyer of vermin, though its claim to the latter quality must be equivocal. The crowd of an Indian city, always picturesque, is here particularly rich in showy figures of men and animals; elephants, camels, and horses, gaily caparisoned, parade through the streets, jingling their silver ornaments, and the many-coloured tufts and fringes with which they are adorned : the suwarree of a great personage sweeping along the highways, little scrupulous of the damage it may effect in its progress, forms a striking spectacle when it can be viewed from some safe corner or from the back of a tall elephant. The coup d'ail is magnificent; but to enter into details might destroy the illusion; for, mingled with mounted retainers, richly-clothed, and armed with glittering helmets, polished spears, and shields knobbed with silver, crowds of wild-looking half-clad wretches on foot are to be seen, increasing the tumult and the dust, but adding nothing to the splendour of the cavalcade. No great manand Delhi is full of personages of pretension, --ever passes along in state without having his titles shouted out by the stentorian lungs of some of his followers. The cries of the venders of different articles of food, the discordant songs of itinerant musicians, screamed out to the accompaniment of the tom-tom, with an occasional bass volunteered by a chetah, grumbling out in a sharp roar his annoyance at being hawked about the streets for sale, with the shrill distressful cry of the camel, the trumpetings of the elephants, the neighing of horses, and the grumbling of cart-wheels, are

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

sounds which assail the ear from sunrise until sunset in the streets of Delhi.
The multitude of equipages is exceedingly great, and more diversified, per-
haps, than those of any other city in the world. English carriages, altered
and improved to suit the climate and the peculiar taste of the possessor,
are mingled with the palanquins and bullock-carts, open and covered, the
chairs, and the cage-like and lanthorn-like conveyances, of native construc-
tion. Prince Baber, the second surviving son of the reigning monarch,
drives about in an English chariot drawn by eight horses, in which he fre-
quently appears attired in the full-dress uniform of a British general officer,
rendered still more striking by having each breast adorned with the grand
cross of the Bath. Mirza Salem, another of the princes of the imperial
family, escorts a favourite wite in a carriage of the same description; the
lady is said to be very beautiful, but the blinds are too closely shut to allow
the anxious crowd a glimpse of her charms. Regular English coaches,
'drawn by four horses, and driven by postilions, the property of rich natives,
appear on the public drives and at reviews, and occasionally a buggy or
cabriolet of a very splendid description may be seen, having the hood of
black velvet embroidered with gold. The chetahs and hunting-leopards,
before-mentioned, are led hooded through the streets; birds in cages, Per-
sian cats, and Persian grey hounds are also exposed in the streets for sale,
under the superintendence of some of those fine, tall, splendid-looking
men, who bring all sorts of merchandize from Cashmere, Persia, and Thi-
bet to the cities of Hindoostan, an almost gigantic race, bearing a noble
aspect in spite of the squalidness of their attire, and having dark clear com-
plexions without a tinge of swarthiness. Beggars in plenty infest the streets ;
and, in addition to the multitudes brought together by business, there are idle
groups of loungers, Mussulmans of lazy, dissipated, depraved habits, gau-
dily decked out in flaunting colours, with their hair frizzled in a bush from
under a glittering skull-cap, stuck rakishly at the side of the head.

Such are a few of the distinguishing features of Chandery Choke, which abounds in hard-ware, cloth, pāān, and pastry-cooks' shops, the business, as usual, carried on in the open air, with all the chaffering, haggling, and noise, common to Asiatic dealings. How any thing of the kind is managed, amidst the bustle and confusion of the streets, the throng of bullock-carts, the strings of loaded camels, the squadrons of wild vicious horses, the trains of elephants, and the insolent retainers of great men, only intent upon displaying their own and their master's consequence, by increasring the uproar, seems astonishing. The natives of India form an extraordinary compound of apathy and vivacity. In the midst of noises and tumult, which would stun or distract the most iron-nerved European in the world, they will maintain an imperturbable calmness; while, in ordinary matters, where there appears to be nothing to disturb their equanimity, they will vociferate and gesticulate as if noise and commotion were absolutely essential to their happiness. By a very little attention to order and comfort, the Chandery Choke might be rendered one of the most delightful promenades in the world; the famous canal of Delhi, shaded by fine trees,

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »