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never eat any thing but fruit, or at any time drink any thing but water. In the evening they return to the temples, and perform their devotions as in the morning ; the intermediate time, except what is spent at dinner, is employed in the education of youth, in reading books containing their doctrines, and in walking abroad at certain fixed hours.

The Talapoins never offer any bloody sacrifice; and it is a favourite charity with them, to buy animals, and give them their liberty.

There are devotees among them, who lead the most austere and solitary lives; and almost entirely refrain from speech, in order, they say, that their thoughts may not be disturbed from contemplating the Almighty. These wander about the country; they have neither monasteries, nor any other habitation; the people imagine that they are protected from the beasts of prey, with which the woods abound, by a sacred influence that surrounds their per

sons; and wonderful stories are told of the fiercest of these animals, coming with the gentleness of lambs, and licking their hands and their footsteps.

Like the Hindūs, the Siamese reject the idea of eternal punishment, believing that the professors of any religion may be saved, by observing its precepts, and practising the duties of morality; and, like them, they also pretend, that some holy men have the peculiar power in their transmigrations, to look back upon their former state of existence. Many of the superstitious prejudices that are to be found among the Hindūs, prevail equally with the people of Siam. They observe the feasts of the new and full moon, and think the days that from the change precede the full, more fortunate than those which follow it. Their almanacks are marked with lucky and unlucky days; nor will any one who has the means of applying to astrologers, undertake any thing without first consulting them. They look upon the cries of certain birds, the howlings of animals, a serpent

crossing the road, or any thing falling without an evident cause, as unfavourable omens; and such occurrences are sufficient to prevent them from setting out on a journey, and to induce them to put off any business, however urgent it may be.

Many of the musical instruments of Siam are the same with those used in the temples of the Hindus, and were probably introduced with their religion.

The Siamese, in general, bury the dead : the bodies of persons of distinction, are however, burnt with much show and ceremony: but if it was ever the custom for the widow to burn herself with the corpse of her husband, it is no longer observed. The bodies and ashes of the dead are generally buried under small pyramids, that are built round the temples; sometimes the ashes are thrown into a sacred river, on a supposition that it will be propitious to the soul of the deceased. All offer sacrifice to the manes of their relations. They imagine that they sometimes appear to them in

dreams; and, as often as this happens, the funeral sacrifices are repeated, and offerings made at the temples, for the expiation of their sins.*

* See Sketches on the Hindus, by the author of the present work, vol. ii. p. 117, et seq.



THE ancient authors that have treated of India, whose works are yet extant, and chiefly merit to be consulted, are Strabo, Pliny, Ptolemy, and Arrian. They lived at no great distance of time from each other: Strabo must have written not more than sixty years before Pliny, the latter about as much before Ptolemy, and the latter about twenty before Arrian. It appears that they had some works to assist their inquiries, which no longer exist. Though Diodorus Siculus wrote his history in the time of Julius Cæsar, a few years before Strabo, it does not appear that either he, or the other three authors we have mentioned,

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