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fly to the queen, and she would always use her influence on the part of the poor and oppressed, and was the only source of mercy or justice in the kingdom.
“ One day, when the king was in a very good humour with her, he told her to ask of him whatever she wished for, and promised to give it to her. She prayed hiin to give her one day's transit duties at the toll-gate of Oomraj. The king, covetous as he was, was half angry at the smallness of her request, and said, * That's always the way with her! instead of asking for something really useful, she is for ever begging for something that can do her no earthly good.'
“ However, he was comforted by thinking that she had asked for the tolls of a wretched village in the mountain, where they hardly covered the pay of a single toll-keeper, when she might have begged for the customs of Surat or Lahore. So he gave the order, and it was proclaimed that his majesty, of his royal liberality, had granted to his beloved consort one whole day's toll of the village of Oomraj.
“ The day fixed was far in advance, so that though not one in five millions of his people knew where Oomraj was, when the edict was proclaimed, all had inquired and discovered, many months before the day came, that it was among the hills near Poona and Chakun.
“ Every trader and cultivator in the kingdom had some cause to bless the queen's name, and wish her well ; so with one accord, they agreed, in every village throughout the land, that, as the king's rapacity left little else in their power, they should every man go, with his cart or his bullocks, and pay toll to her on that day. So to Oomraj they went ; and though there was no Bhore Ghaut road in those days, they all found their way to the place; and from sunrise to sunset, filed through the village by thousands and millions, each paying his four pice for one hundred head of cattle, and when the wearied toll-keeper counted the heaps of money after the day was done, the total was 900,000 rupees (£90,000), and the village has been called Oomraj of the 900,000, ever since. His majesty was so struck by this practical illustration of the financial benefits of a character for justice and mercy, that he reformed his administra: tion, and the good queen had the pleasure of seeing his people happy and prosperous ever after."*
Here we stop-Chow-Chow is not a book of high pretensions ; but it is the lively production of an intelligent, amiable woman, and well accomplishes all that it professes. We are indebted to its author for the pleasant employment of some hours; and have much pleasure in recommending it to our readers.
Sakoontala ; or the Lost Ring, an Indian Drama, translated into English Prose and Verse, by Monier Williams, 3rd Edition, 1856.
POETRY in a foreign tongue ought to be translated by poetry. If this applies to such poems as the Lusiad, Tasso's Jerusalem, the Henriade, how much more is it the case with oriental poetry, whose language is a reflexion of the gorgeous clime of the East. Professor Williams is doing for Sanskrit what Socrates professed to do for morals—bringing them down from the clouds to the level of common humanity. The Belles Lettres and poetic beauties of Sanskrit have been greatly overlooked. Mr. Williams has rendered full justice to the beauties of the original, and as his preface opens out the subject to general readers, we shall give extracts from it:
* Another story of royal domestic life in the palace of the Delhi emperors, is told in connection with zodiacal gold mohurs, each of which bears the impress of some sign of the zodiac. I do not vouch for it as an historical fact. It was told me, I think, of Noor Mahal, who, when her husband bade her ask a favour of him, begged that, for one day, money might be coined in a woman's name. So the emperor ordered all his mints, for one day, to coin in her name: and I have seen a very beautiful gold mohur, which was shown me as Noor Mahal's. I believe there are coins with her name on them. The story is told with variations : some affirming that the emperor allowed her to reign supreme for one day and that the coinage was only one of her acts of sovereignty."
“ The earliest Hindoo drama, with which we are acquainted, ' The Toy-Cart,' translated by Professor H. H. Wilson, is attributed to a regal author, king Sudraka, whose reign is generally fixed in the second century B.C., and it is not improbable that others, the names of which only have been preserved, may be. long to a previous century. Considering that the nations of Europe can scarce. ly be said to have possessed a dramatic literature before the fourteenth or fifteenth century of the present era, the great age of the Hindu plays would of itself be a most interesting and attractive circumstance, even if their poetical merit were not of a very high order. But when to the antiquity of these pro. ductions is added their extreme beauty and excellence as literary compositions, and when we also take into account their value as representations of the early condition of Hindu society-which, notwithstanding the lapse of two thousand years, has in many particulars obeyed the law of unchangeableness ever stamped on the manners and customs of the East—we are led to wonder that the study of the Indian drama has not commended itself in a greater degree to the attention of Europeans and especially of Englishmen. The English student, at least, is bound by considerations of duty, as well as curiosity, to make himself acquainted with a subject which illustrates and explains the condition of the millions of Hindus who owe allegiance to his own Sovereign and are governed by English laws.
“ Of all Indian dramatists, and indeed of all Indian poets, the most celebrated is Kálidása, the writer of the present play. He comes next in date to the author of the Toy.cart;' and although little is known of the circumstances of his life, yet there is satisfactory evidence to prove that he lived in the time of King Vikramaditya I., whose capital was Ujjayini, now Oujein (a sacred and very ancient city situated to the north-east of Gujarat), and who flourished in the middle of the century preceding the commencement of our era.
“ Indeed, the popularity of this play with the natives of India exceeds that of any other dramatic, and probably of any other poetical, composition. But it is not in India alone that the Sakoontala' is known and admired. Its excellence is now recognized in every literary circle throughout the continent of Europe ; and its beauties, if not yet universally known and appreciated, are at least acknowledged by many learned men in every country of the civilized world. The four well-known lines of Goethe, so often quoted in relation to the Indian drama, may here be repeated : “ Wouldest thou the young year's blossoms and the fruits of its decline,
And all by which the soul is charmed, enraptured, feasted, fed ? Would thou the earth and heaven itself in one sole name combine ?
I name thee, O Sakoontala ! and all at once is said."
Augustus William von Schlegel, in his first Lecture on dramatic literature, says : Among the Indians, the people from whom perhaps all the cultivation of the human race has been derived, plays were known long before they could have experienced any foreign influence. It has lately been made known in Europe that they have a rich dramatic literature, which ascends back for more than two thousand years.”
“ The need felt by the British public for some such translation as I have here offered, can scarcely be questioned. A great people, who, through their empire in India, command the destinies of the Eastern world, ought surely to be con. versant with the most popular of Indian dramas, in which the customs of the Hindús, their opinions, prejudices, and fables, their religious rites, daily occupations and amusements, are reflected as in a irror."
The Merchant Abroad in Europe, Asia and Australia. A series of
Letters from Java, Singapore, China, Bengal, Egypt, the
It is only in virtue of the word Bengal in the above title, that it falls within our province to notice Mr. Train's book. It is a fair specimen of the class of literature to which it belongs, containing 512 closely printed pages, written and printed in hot haste, disfigured by probably 1,024 typographical, and 1,536 material, mistakes, but containing also a good deal of information, which would be valuable if only it could be depended on.
Mr. Train arrived in Calcutta on the 1st of March, 1856, and left it on the 9th. It seems to have been a " felt want" that induced hiin to give to the public his letters from Bengal. The following estimate of the literary labors of his predecessors in this field is characteristic :
“A year of constant reading would hardly finish the works on India, for the volumes would crowd a library--memoirs, journals, sketches of the multitude of civil servants of the Honorable Company-histories and reports of Governor Generals from Lord Clive to Lord Canning-annals, records and accounts of the Board of Directors—biographies, historical reminiscences, despatches, and pretty volumes of clever military officers, who, during years of service, had little to do but write, draw bills, smoke, play cards and shoot tigers from off an elephant's back; and others, who were in action, fought, gave their own account of the battle, and won medals and eulogies for their bravery.
“ The printing press has been always active in introducing distinguished civil and military officers to the literary public, and books on “our Eastern Empire” are to be found everywhere but where you most want them. Some of the writers have become rich, others poor, and some won a name ; others sunk into obscurity with the first edition ; but most of them lost their hair, their lungs, and, in one or two solitary instances, their conscience, in the honorable service of the Honorable Company. Tourists, too, poetical and prosaic--some falling into hysterical composition when standing on the summits of high mountains, or resting in their palanquins on the banks of grand rivers, watching the innocent gambols of Hindoo maidens, whose ablutions attracted them, while other writers tell of brave hunts, where they have luxuriated in the exciting embraces of a wounded female tiger; and missionaries who have grown inspired in describing the horrors of the opium trade—the thrilling scenes of the jungle, the revolting customs of heathen worship, and the prayers* which they have made in the evangelization of the native races, prayers* somewhat doubted by many of the company's servants, who, living in the same localities, have seen few instances of a fruit the seed of which was planted long ago, but somehow or other refuses to ripen under an Indian sun, missionaries whose life of exile commands admiration, and far be it from me to speak lightly of their labors, for their motives are the best, although success seldom crowns their life of toil and absence. Others have written, and many who never saw the Indian shore have written, and many of their works show astonishing research and careful compilation. Moore's knowledge of the Orient is sprinkled along the great three thousand guinea poem, like pearls in a diamond necklace, and yet he never saw the country. Lalla
* Query" progress," - ED. C. R. SEPT., 1857.
Rookh is full of Eastern painting. Burke, and Fox and Sheridan enchanted Par. liament with their startling pictures of Indian life, when the American nation was in its cradle, and yet they were not in India.
From such a mass of composition one is fairly disheartened in reading upon such a country. No digest like Goldsmith's History of England has yet been thrown together. Yes--I am wrong—MacFarlane, who wrote on Japan, has published a valuable summary, which gives one taste for more. Yet his travels never extended to the East. Bishop Heber's “ Indian Journal," " Wellington's Despatches,” P. Auber's “ Rise and Progress of British Power in India." James' “ Military Transactions of the British Nation in Hindostan"-- a work of more than ordinary merit ; Mills' “ History of British India,” which I think, passed under Macaulay's favorable criticism in the Edinburgh Review ; Scott's “ History of Bengal,” Gleig's “ Warren Hastings,” are among some of the more prominent writings ; but only in proportion as the letter A is to the alphabet. In volume four--the last of the brilliant series that has been issued from the press from the pen of England's great historian-you will find an occasional page of England's progress in the East, and as you read the eloquent description of the birth and infancy of the empire you long for another chapter, and wait with impatient anticipation to see something of its youth and manhood."
We presume it was with a view to the supply of this want, to furnish “ a digest, like Goldsmith's History of England,” that Mr. Train undertook the composition of " a retrospective view of India," which he thus concludes :
"I have now ran over the history of India since commerce opened the country from Capt. Lawrence to Josiah Child; from Child to Clive, and from Clive to Hastings and Mornington, past Dalhousie to Canning, who is next in turn—'tis a strange and interesting history, the formation of the East India Company. Merchants wish to trade, and call in political power to assist them; then jealousy arises, ambition, conquest and a standing army, now numbering 300,000 men in round numbers, 30,000 of which are Queen's troops-all paid by the Company. For two centuries the natives have been brought in contact with the Christian race--and what is there to show for it? Ancient and modern writers assure us that the products of the soil, the peculiar mode of irrigation, the strange fancy for copper utensils, the simple cotton cloth about the loins, the brilliancy of their colors and dyes, their extravagant love of jewelry - wearing them in ears, nose, on their toes, their ancles, their fingers, their necks, and their arms, the custom of eating alone, the religious seclusion of their women, the cutting off of goats' heads for the sacrifice, the training of elephants, and the extraordinary divisions of caste remaining unchanged; habits and customs of a thousand years ago are the habits and customs now. The Hindoo talent, then, of quick observation, perseverance, dexterity, tact, against the vices of greediness, servility and treachery, have gone through trifting changes for centuries. The European vices have been carefully studied ; but the European's virtues don't flourish in the Hindoo's mind. Of course, there are some exceptions ; but I have yet to learn that the merchant, the missionary or the soldier have been able to break up prejudices which have for so long been handed down from generation to generation.'
This “ digest” was written on board the steamer Nubia, while she was bearing our author away from us. We must therefore go back, and see the impression made on our visitor by the city of palaces and its inhabitants. Mr. Train's first visit was to the mint, which he admits to be “a remarkable picture," and where he informs us, with apparent seriousness, that the “ intense heat of the furnaces turns the black men white !" From the mint he went to the Asiatic Society's museum, where he found the model of the Taj Mehal “ most attractive.” Then there was a flower-show, which was « most refreshing." But " the public buildings did not especially offer attraction,
The Mission rooms, Metcalf Hall, the Hindoo College, where * English is so quickly learned by the apt natives; the $ 150,000 • English cathedral, were among the most prominent, after the • Government House.” Where the mission rooms are, we have not ascertained. Perhaps the Town Hall may be meant. We have heard of a "penny-pie," and a “two-penny-halfpenny piece of work ;"! but a $ 150,000 cathedral is original, and highly characteristic; as is also the designation of Lalla Rookh as “ the great three-thousandguinea poem."
But the great event of Mr. Train's sojourn here was a ball and supper at Government House, “ to meet Lady Canning.” His remarks on his hosts and his fellow-guests do not quite square with our notions of the obligations implied by the acceptance of hospitality ; but we shall not repeat them. The following piece of genealogical lore however, we shall submit to the criticism of those of our readers who are versed in these matters :
"I find peculiar interest in watching the motions of the State prisoners, and distinguished natives, who, dressed in the picturesque costume of their country, had been invited to partake in the festivities of those who had brought them to their present humiliating position. Kings, Princes and Rajahs, or their descendants, were there bowing and cringing under the iron rule of military power. There was the grandson of the great warrior chief who so long kept the English at bay in his alınost impenetrable fastnesses that nature had made for him, and also in that stronghold of which European architects must have drawn the plan-Seringa patam-Tippoo Sultan, the son of the great Hyder Ali, Ghoolam Mahomet, and his son Feeroz Shah, were the descendants of those great men who, three generations ago, were the terror of the Deccan ; and had his great ancestor lived to hold his power, Ghoolam would have been the most powerful and the wealthiest of all the Indian princes. These two have just re. turned from England, where they were courted and féted by crowned heads and noble peers, the most distinguished lions of the day—but at Government House they pass unnoticed, and are taught to remember that they are beggars only, dependent upon an English pension."
We should like very much if any one would tell us who was whose son, and who was whose grandfather. So far as we can make out, Tippoo Sultan was the son of Hyder Ali, Ghoolam Mahomet and Feeroz Shah; while Feeroz Shah is the son of Ghoolam Mahomet; and Tippoo Sultan, Hyder Ali, Ghoolam and Feeroz, are the descendants in the third generation, that is the great grandsons of Hyder Ali and Tippoo Sultan. As Paris is France, so
the Course” is Calcutta. And we cannot refuse our readers the treat of Mr. Train's description of it :
"I am no enthusiast, nor can I paint, my youth has been buried among the dry leaves of commerce-the cobweb realities of the counting house ---the invoice, the ledger, and the ship-and now, on the restless drifting of neverceasing change, I am purchasing dearly enough by absence from my family, my first draught of Oriental customs and Indian habits. The evening drive, how. ever, as delightful as it is strange, would make me forget my commission account,' were not the familiar names of clipper ships always before me as they range along the anchorage. All there is of European and Western life in Calcutta is reflected every evening on the course ; and as I lay off so lazily in my barouche, I can but contemplate the scene so singularly beautiful. Ik, Marvel should