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« This cruel and most unnatural sacrifice it has long been the endeavour of the British government to induce its vassals and allies to abandon. Major Walk. er, when Resident at Paroda, thought he had succeeded with the greater part of them, but it is believed by most officers on this side of the country, that the number saved was very small in proportion to that of the victims. Unhappily pride, poverty, and avarice are in league with superstition to perpetuate these horrors. It is a disgrace for a noble family to have a daughter unmarried, and still worse to marry her to a person of inferior birth, while they have neither the means nor the inclination to pay such portions as a person of their own rank would expect to receive with them. On the other hand, the sacrifice of a child is believed, surely with truth, to be acceptable to the evil powers,' and the fact is certain, that, though the high-born Rajpoots have many sons, very few daugh. ters are ever found in their palaces, though it is not easy to prove any particular instance of murder, or to know the way in which the victims are disposed of. The common story of the country, and probably the true one, for it is a point on which, except with the English, no mystery is likely to be observed, is that a large vessel of milk is set in the chamber of the lying-in woman, and the infant, if a girl, immediately plunged into it. Sir John Malcolm, however, who supposes the practice to be on the decline, was told that a pill of opium was usually given. Through the influence of Major Walker, it is certain that many children were spared, and previous to his departure from Guzerat, he received the most affecting compliment which a good man could receive, in being welcomed at the gate of the palace, on some public occasion, by a procession of girls of high rank, who owed their lives to him, and who came to kiss his clothes and throw wreaths of flowers over him as their deliverer and second father. Since that time, lidwever, things have gone on very much in the old train, and the answers made by the chiefs to any remonstrances of the British officers is, 'Pay our daughters' marriage portion, and they shall live !' Yet these very men, rather than strike a cow, would submit to the cruellest martyrdom. Never may my dear wife and daughters forget how much their sex is indebted to Christianity ?"
Bombay and its dependencies were extensive and fruitful fields of observation, upon which the Bishop entered with undiminished zeal and intelligence ; and likewise Ceylon, the journal of his tour in which, (written by his accomplished widow,) forms a most interesting chapter. The Visitation to Madras, has the same attractive and edifying qualities. It was in that presidency, as we have said in the beginning of our article, that this almost incomparable personage, was destined to finish his earthly career. We extract the subjoined account of his death, from an elegant and tender biographical sketch, contained in the seventieth num. ber of the London Quarterly Review :
“On Good Friday, he preached at Combaconum, on the crucifixion; and on Easter Sunday, at Tanjore, on the resurrection. The day following he held a confirmation at the same place; and in the evening delivered an address to the assembled missionaries, as he stood near the grave of Schwartz, a name which he had ever venerated. He arrived at Trichinopoly on the 1st of April, 1827.".
“Next day being Sunday, he again preached and confirmed, a rite which be administered once more on Monday morning in the Fort Church. He returned home to breakfast ; but before sitting down, took a cold bath, as he had done on the two preceding days. His attendant, thinking that he staid more than the usual time, entered the apartment, and found the body at the bottom of the water, with the face downwards. The usual restoratives of bleeding, friction and inflating the lungs, were instantly tried, but life was gone, and, on opening the head, it was discovered that a vessel had burst on the brain, in consequence, as the medical men agreed, of the sudden plunge into the water whilst he was warm and exhausted. His remains were deposited, with every mark of respect and unfeigned sorrow, on the north side of the altar of St. John's church at Trichinopoly.
“True it is, that an apparent accident was the immediate cause of the abrupt termination of the Bishop's life, but it may well be thought that his constitution was becoming more frail and susceptible of injury through his unremitted exertions-exertions which he was led to make by habits formed in a more temperate climate-by a fear which beset him of sinking into that supineness which a residence in India is so apt to engender-and by a spirit thoroughly interested in the pursuit of the great object before him.”
Heber was only in the forty-third year of his age, when he thus perished. No man seemed to be more constantly swayed by the maxim of the old poet
“ Virtue, if not in action is a vice,
And when we move not forward, we go backward." An old Hindoo, who accompanied him on his first circuit, besought him not to take so much exercise, saying it was that which had turned his hair so gray, since his arrival in India. No exertion was too formidable, no enterprise too bold, when the official objects of his journeys were to be promoted, or the sphere of his general knowledge to be enlarged. He enjoyed very much, to use his own phrase, the wild travelling in India, and the spectacle of so strange and numerous a people. He sanguinely meditated second and more minute surveys of the immense regions which he explored, and even more extensive and perilous pilgrimages. The knowledge which we had, in opening his narrative, that he was to fall in the midst of his noble and enthusiastic anticipations, saddened, as it were, the pleasure which his pages conveyed. A sense of the catastrophe must weigh upon every reader capable of appreciating usefulness so brilliant, and so rare a union of the finest properties of the head and heart. We discern a vein of pious resignation to the will of God, throughout his journals, but no indication of fear or distrust with regard to his life. Under the worst circumstances,-in his most painful exposure to the dangers of the climate,-no regret, no lament, except for his separation from his wife and children. The solace for all, is, that they may have another meeting where the dread of parting will never intrude. Truth there is, as well as beauty, in the lines of one of his favourite poets:
“ They sin who tell us love can die,
With life all other passions fly,
All others are but vanity.
But love is indestructible.
Too oft on earth a troubled guest,
It here is tried and purified,
It soweth here with toil and care,
But the harvest time of love is there." We should wrong both our author, and the subject of India, if we did not cité more of his general statements and opinions respecting the people and concerns of that vast empire. It will be the easiest course for ourselves, and sufficiently profitable for our readers, to present a series of his broad remarks taken from the two volumes,-Narrative or Correspondence,-according to our original memoranda. The excess in the number of our pages, which we have already consumed, prevents us from executing our original design, to advert particularly to those parts of the Bishop's text, which affect the questions of the proper system of British rule, the conduct of the scheme of propagating Christianity, the government of the British subjects, British colonization, the freedom of the press and of trade, in India ; and then to quote and collate with them, the opinions expressed in the Political History of India, by Sir John Malcolm, one of the most clear, sensible, and satisfactory treatises which we have ever perused on any comprehensive and difficult matter, and of which the author is repeatedly extolled in the Bishop's Narrative, as an unrivalled authority. We must be satisfied, at present, with earnestly recommending it to all who would understand the whole case embraced in his inquiries. We submit our excerpts from the Bishop's evidence, which cannot but serve to recommend further the whole of this posthumous publication.
What is called the Aorid eastern style is chiefly to be found in translations the characteristics of the originals are often rather fatness and vapidity than exuberance of ornament. Nothing seems more generally mistaken than the supposed prohibition of animal food to the Hindoos. It is not from any abstract desire to spare the life of living creatures, since fish would be a violation of this principle as well as beef ; but from other notions of the hallowed or the polluted nature of particular viands. Thus many Brahmins eat both fish and kid. The Rajpoots, besides these, eat mutton, venison, or goat's flesh. Some castes may eat any thing but fowls, beef, or pork ; while pork is with others a favourite diet, and beef only is prohibited. Intoxicating liquors are forbidden by their religion; but this is disregarded by great numbers both of high and low caste; and intoxication is little less common, as I am assured, among the Indians, than among Eu. ropeans. Nor is it true that Hindoos are much more healthy than Europeans. Liver-complaints, and indurations of the spleen, are very common among them, particularly with those in easy circumstances, to which their immense consumption of Ghee,' or clarified butter, must greatly contribute. To cholera morbus they are much more liable than the whites, and there are some kinds of fever. which seem peculiar to the native race.
The tradesmen of Calcutta have few opportunities of obtaining wives of European blood and breeding. Even ladies going out are not always permitted to take white maids, and always under a bond, that in a year or two they shall be sent back again. The consequence is, that the free mariners, and other persons who go out to India, are induced to form connexions with women of the coun. try; yet I never met with any public man connected with India, who did not la
ment the increase of the balf-caste population, as a great source of present mis.
The Indians feel a great admiration for corpulency, and frequently contract liver complaints by their anxiety to fatten themselves.
We did not conquer the Hindoos, but found them conquered; their previous rulers were as much strangers to their blood and their religion as we are, and they were notoriously far more oppressive masters than we have ever shown our. selves.
All persons experienced in this clinate, deny that any of the country fevers are contagious. During a great part of the year, the climate is sufficiently disagreeable ; it is by no means pleasant to be kept a close prisoner to the house from soon after sunrise to a little before sunset, at the peril of a fever, or of a stroke of the sun, if one ventures to brave bis terrors. It is a poor comfort to a person suffering as I am at this moment, under wbat is called prickly-beat, exactly resembling the application of red-not needles to different parts of the body and limbs, to be told that this is a sign of health, and that while it continues, he is not likely to have the cholera morbus. Nor is it comfortable at night, during the rainy season, to have the option between utter sleeplessness, if you choose to shut the window, and having one's bed, and every thing in the room, soaked through by the storm beating in if you think fit to leave it open. Nor can any comparison be formed between the degrees of fatigue occasioned by clerical duties in England and India, when I come out of the pulpit, as was the case but yesterday, with my lawn sleeves as if they had been soaked in water. All these are easy to be borne so long as Providence gives health and strength, and many of them are only confined to particular seasons ; and in all seasons considerable difference exists in different parts of India. The northern stations are, I think, most favoured, enjoying a longer continuance of cool weather, an air at all times drier and more elastic, and, except during the hot winds, by no means uncongenial to an English constitution. I have been greatly struck with the difference in muscle, complexion and apparent strength between persons stationed in the upper provinces and those resident in Calcutta or Bombay. Yet so impartial is death in his visits, and so much may prudence and good management effect towards obviating natural inconveniences, that it is not found that on the whole there is greater mortality among the European inhabitants of these last-named cities, than among those of Delhi, Meerut and Bareilly.
Mustard seed, in the shape of oil, is an indispensable necessary in a Hindoo family. It is considered as useful as rice. Among the Hindoo cottagers, seclusion of the women does not prevail. The sexes work and sit together.
Nobody in Bengal, can do any thing without a leader, the Sirdar or master of the gang, without whom they would not work, and whom they allow (voluntarily) to receive their wages, and draw poundage on them, in consideration of his superintendence.
We met in the Ganges a number of beggars, who were all a caste of beggars, from father to son. In the hills of Salsette, there is a peculiar caste of burners of charcoal, who dwell in the woods, have neither intermarriage nor intercourse with the Hindou inhabitants of the plain, and bring down their loads of
charcoal to particular spots, whence it is carried away by these last, who deposit in its place a payment settled by custom, of rice, clothing, and iron tools. This is the account given me by Mr. Elphinstone, the governor of Bombay, who has made several attempts to become better acquainted with this unfortunate tribe, but has only very imperfectly succeeded, owing to their excessive shyness, and the contempt in which they are held by their Hindoo neighbours.
A traveller falls down sick in the streets of a village, (1 am mentioning a fact which happened ten days ago, in Bengal,) nobody knows what caste he is of, therefore nobody goes near him, lest they should become polluted; he wastes to death before the eyes of a whole community, unless the jackalls take courage from his helpless state, to finish him a little sooner, and perhaps, as happened in the case to which I alluded, the children are allowed to pelt him with stones and mud. The man of whom I am speaking was found in this state, and taken care of by a passing European, but if he had died, his skeleton would have lain in the streets till the vultures carried it away, or the magistrates ordered it to be thrown into the river.
The honesty of the Hindoo law officers is spoken very ill-of; they seem to become worse the nearer they approach the seat of justice. The reason per. haps is not hard to discover ; they are in situations where they may do a great deal of mischief ; their regular salaries are wretchedly small, a part even of these arise from fees often oppressive and difficult to obtain, and they are so much ex. posed to getting a bad name even while they exact merely what is their due, that they become careless of reputation, and anxious by all underband means to swell their profits. Much evil arises in India from the insufficient manner in which the subaltern native servants of Government are paid.
Chunar, or "Chunar-Gurh,' that is Chunar Castle, used to be of great importance as a military post before the vast extension of the British frontier westward. It is one of the principal stations for such invalids as are still equal to garrison duty; and on them at the present moment, owing to the low state of the Company's army, and the demand for men in the east, all the duty of Chunar depends, which, from their health, they are barely equal to, though they are, Europeans and sepoys together, above a thousand men. The sepoy invalids have mostly grown old in the service, and are weather-beaten fellows, with no other injury than what time has inflicted. Some of the Europeans are very old likewise ; there is one who fought with Clive, and has still no infirmity but deafness and dim sight. The majority, however, are men still hardly advanced beyond youth, early victims of a devouring climate, assisted, perhaps, by carelessness and intemperance ; and it was a pitiable spectacle to see the white emaciated hands thrust out under a soldier's sleeve to receive the sacrament, and the pale cheeks, and tall languid figures of men, who, if they had remained in Eu. rope, would have been still overflowing with youthful vigour and vivacity, the best ploughmen, the strongest wrestlers, and the merriest dancers of the vil. lage.
At Benares I was curious to know what Governors of India had stood high.. est in their good opinion, and found that they usually spoke of Warren Hastings and Lord Wellesley as the two greatest men who had ever ruled this part of the world, but that they spoke with most affection of Mr. Jonathan Duncan. “Dun. can sahib ka chota bhaee,' 'Mr. Duncan's younger brother,' is still the usual term of praise applied to any public man who appears to be actuated by an unusual spirit of kindness and liberality towards their nation. Of the sultan-like and splendid character of Warren Hastings, many traits are preserved, and a nursery rhyme, which is often sung to children, seems to show how much they were pleased with the Oriental (not European) pomp which he knew how to employ on occasion.
“ Hat'hee pur howdah, ghore pur jeen,
Juldee bah'r jata Sahib Warren Husteen! !" of Lord Hastings I have not found that they have retained any very favourable impression. Yet the extent of his conquests, and his pleasing manners during his short visit, must, I should think, have struck them.