Page images
PDF
EPUB

the plant by the paper-makers, who commonly use the peelings when fresh from the plant; but that is not indispensable. With these “ appliances and means to boot,” suppose you take four seers of ashes of oak; put them into the basket above mentioned, place the earthen receiver or vessel beneath the basket, and then gradually pour five seers of clear water upon the ashes, and let the water drip slowly through the ashes, and fall into the receiver. This juice of ashes must be strong, or a dark-like red colour, and in quantity about two lbs., and if the first filtering yield not such a produce, pass the juice through the ashes a second time. Next, pour this extract of ashes into the metal pot, already described, and boil the extract; and so soon as it begins to boil, throw into it as many slips or peelings of the inner bark of the paper plant as you can easily grasp; each slip being about a cubit long, and an inch wide in fact, the quantity of the slips of bark should be to the quantity of juice of ashes, such that the former shall float freely in the latter, and that the juice shall not be absorbed and evaporated with less than half an hour's boiling). Boil the slips for about half an hour, at the expiration of which time the juice will be nearly absorbed, and the slips quite soft. Then take the softened slips and put them into the stone mortar, and beat them with the oaken mallet, till they are reduced to a homogeneous or uniform pulp, like so much dough. Take this pulp, put it into any wideinouthed vessel, add a little pure water to it, and churn it with a wooden instrument, like a chocolate mill, for ten minutes, or until it lose all stringiness, and will spread itself out, when shaken about under water. Next, take as much of this prepared pulp as will cover your paper frame (with a thicker or thinner coat, according to the strength of the paper you need), toss it into such a sieve as I have described, and lay the sieve upon the paper frame, and let both sieve and frame float in the cistern: agitate them, and the pulp will spread itself over the sieve; the grosser and knotty parts of the pulp will remain in the sieve, but all the rest of it will ooze through into the franie. Then put away the sieve, and taking the frame in your left hand, as it floats on the water, and pulp smartly with your right hand, and the pulp will readily diffuse itself in an uniform manner over the bottom of the frame. When it is thus properly diffused, raise the frame out of the water, easing off the water in such a manner, that the uniformity of the pulp spread shall continue after the frame is clear of the water and the paper is made.

To dry it, the frame is set endwise, near a large fire; and so soon as it is dry, the sheet is peeled off the bottom of the frame and folded up. When (which seldom is the case) it is deemed needful to smooth and polish the surface of the paper, the dry sheets are laid on wooden boards and rubbed, with the convex entire side of the conch-shell; or in case of the sheets of paper being large, with the flat surface of a large rubber of hard and smooth grained wood; no sort of size is ever needed or applied, to prevent the ink froin running. It would, probably, surprise the paper-makers of England, to hear that the Kachar Bhoteals can make up this paper into fine smooth sheets of several yards square. This paper may be purchased at Kathmandú in almost any quantity, at the price of 17 annas sicca per dharni of three seers; and the bricks of dried pulp may be had* at the same place, for from 8 to 1o annas sicca per dharni. Though called Népálese, the paper is not in fact made in Népal proper. It is manufactured exclusively in Cis-Himalayan Bhote, and by the race of Bhoteahs, denominated, in their own tongue, Rangbo, in contradistinction to the Trans-Himalayan Bhoteahs, whose vernacular name is Sokhpo.f The Rangbo or Cis-Himalayan Bhoteahs are divided into several tribes (such as Múrmi, Lapcha, &c., &c.), who do not generally intermarry, and who speak dialects of the Bhote or Tibet language so diverse, that ignorant as they are, several of them cannot effectually communicate together. They are all somewhat ruder, darker, and smaller than the Sokhpos or Trans-Himalayan Bhoteahs, by whom they are all alike held in slight esteem, though most evidently essentially one and the same with themselves in race and in language, as well as in religion.

• The pulp is dried and made up into the shape of bricks or tiles, for the convenience of transport. In this form it is admirably adapted for transmission to England. See the P.S.

+ The Néwår language has terms precisely equiralent to these. The Rangbo being called in Newárí, Paloo Sen; and the Sokhpo bere spoken of is not really a different being from the Soglipoun nomade, the name ordinarily applied in Bhote to the Mongols. But this word bns, at least, a different sense in the mouths of the Tibetans, towards this frontier, on both sides of the mnow..

To return to our paper-making,—most of the Cis-Himálayan Bhoteahs, east of the Kali river, make the Népálese paper; but the greatest part of it is manufactured in the tract above Népál proper, and the best market for it is afforded by the Népálese people; hence probably it derived its name: a great quantity is annually made and exported southwards, to Nepál and Hindustan, and northwards, to Sokya-Gumba, Digarchi, and other places in Tramontane Bhote. The manufactories are mere sheds, established in the midst of the immense forest of CisHimalayan Bhote, which affords to the paper-makers an inexhaustible supply, on the very spot, of the firewood and ashes, which they consume so largely; abundance of clear water (another requisite) is likewise procurable everywhere in the same region. I cannot learn by whom or when the valuable properties of the paper plant were discovered; but the Népálese say that any of their books now existent, which is made of Palmira leaves, may be safely pronounced, on that account, to be 500 years old: whence we may, perhaps, infer that the paper manufacture was founded about that time. I conjecture that the art of paper-making was got by the Cis-Himalayan Bhoteahs, via Lhassa, from China; a paper of the very same sort being manufactured at Lhassa; and most of the useful arts of these regions having flowed upon them, through Tibet, from China; and not from Hindústan.

Népál Residency, November 1831.

P.S.-Dr. Wallich having fully described the paper plant, it would be superfluous to say a word about it. The raw produce or pulp (beat up into bricks) has been sent to England, and declared by the allest persons to be of unrivalled excellence, as a material for the manufacture of that sort of paper upon which proof engravings are taken off. The manufactured produce of Népal is, for office records, incomparably better than any Indian paper, being as strong and durable as leather almost, and quite sinooth enough to write on. It has been adopted in one or two offices in the plains, and ought to be generally substituted for the flimsy friable material to which we commit all our records.

A. CAMPBELI.

SECTION XIV.

PRE-EMINENCE OF THE VERNACULARS; OR,

THE ANGLICISTS ANSWERED:

BEING FOUR LETTERS ON THE EDUCATION OF THE

PEOPLE OF INDIA.*

PREFACE.

Three of the four following letters were first published several years back, and lest it should be supposed that the course of time has antiquated their reasonings, I beg leave to suggest that arguments so general are not so rapidly affected by time, and that in point of fact the Macaulayism of one cycle is but the Trevelyanism +

• “In Alsace and Lorraine the peasantry after two centuries of subjection to France do not know one word of French. In Wales, in Sleswic, and everywhere in Austria and Russia, we see all efforts to force the ruling language on a subject race resented, even when light, civilisation, and enjoyment of equal rights follow in the train of this denationalising schoolmaster."--Times, April 25, 1872.

There are in almost every department vaxt hoards of truth which do not exist in an available form, and which, however necessary for us, form po part of our ordinary teaching. When our school-books have been rewritten, and when the prored results of research have been incorporated with them, the benefit will be in every way immense.”--Article on Mr. Gladstone's Address to the King's College Students, Times, July 1o, 1876.

“ Hitherto the English people have begun at the wrong end, and have been educating downwards instead of upwards. What is of real importance is to teach the poor man to do the best for himself, to enlighten the ignorance, and to dissipate the prejudices which make his life so much harder than it need be. We have confidence in English good sense, and expect the training-school to do much goodl." - T'imes, May 25, 1874.

+ These words are used with all honour and respect as the readiest means of speaking of well-known acla el scripla of well-known men, of whom the genius of the one and the benevolence of the other command my upseigned homage. Mr. dlacaulay's Minute is but a second edition of Dir. Trevelyan's Treatise.

of another, and that the recent practical measures of Lord Hardinge are but the effectuation of the doctrines contended against in these letters. I admit the sagacity and decision with which Lord Hardinge has carried out the most accredited educational maxims of his predecessors; I admit the possibility of these measures of our revered Governor-General supplying the public service with a superior class of native functionaries, though I confess the apprehension that this new class of functionaries may prove competent in our special acquirements only by losing all competency in their own! But I contend that anything worthy the name of national education, as being addressed to remedy the intellectual and moral wants of the inass of the people, is not comprised in these measures which address themselves only or chiefly to the wants of the public service; and I would add with submission that the principles and reasonings upon which rest that avowed preference for English, which dates its present ascendancy from the days of Lord Bentinck and Mr. Macaulay, are very far inferior in philosophic comprehensiveness, as well as in benevolence and expediency, to the principles and reasonings whence were deduced, according to the wants of that age, the educational maxims of a Hastings (Warren) and a Wellesley. I confess an unlimited preference for the latter, not only because it is infinitely more practicable to make Europeans familiar with the words and things of India, than to make Indians familiar with the words and things of Europe, but also because the former course tends perpetually to rebuke and subdue, the latter course to excuse and foster, those peccant idiosyncrasies of the haughty island race to whom God has committed this land, which half neutralise the blessings derived from the no less characteristic integrity and energy of that race. The vivifying spirit of our sound knowledge, which it is so desirable to diffuse throughout India, is no way inseparably connected with its lingual vehicle; and, whilst every step we make in the grand project of idigenating that knowledge in India by means of vernacularisation will prove a bond of blessed union between ourselves and the mass of our subjects, and a safe, a sure, and an universally operative agent of the desiderated change in them, the contrary project of Anglicisation will help to widen the existing lamentable gulf that divides us

from the mass of the people, and put into the hands of the few v among themselves an exclusive and dangerous porer, quite similar

in essential character to that power which for ages past the scribes and priests of the East have wielded, to the deplorable detriment

« PreviousContinue »