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Cornell University Library 
PJ 27.C98 


" A knowledge of the commonplace, at least, of Oriental literature, philo- 
sophy, and religion is as necessary to the general reader of the present day 
as an acquaintance with the Latin and Greek classics was a generation or so 
ago. Immense strides have been made within the present century in these 
branches of learning ; Sanskrit has been brought within the range of accurate 
philology, and its invaluable ancient literature thoroughly Investigated ; the 
language and sacred books of the Zoroastrians have been laid bare ; Egyptian, 
Assyrian, and other records of the remote past have been deciphered, and a 
group of scholars speak of still more recondite Accadian and Hltcite monu- 
ments ; but the results of all the scholarship that has been devoted to these 
subjects have been almost inaccessible to the pviblic because they were con- 
tained for the most part In learned or expensive works, or scattered through- 
out the numbers of scientific periodicals. Messrs. Tbubnbr & Co., in a spirit 
of enterprise which does them infinite credit, have determined to supply the 
constantly-increasing want, and to give in a popular, or, at least, a compre- 
hensive form, all this mass of knowledge to the world."— ITimcs. 

Second Edition, post 8vo, pp. xxxii. — 748, with Map, cloth, price 21s. 


By the Hon. Sik W. "W. HUNTEE, K.C.S.I., C.S.I., C.I.E., LL.D., 

Member of the Viceroy's Legislative Council, 

Director-General of Statistics to the Government of India. 

Being a Revised Edition, brought up to date, and incorporating the general 
results of the Census of 1881. 

"It forms a volume of more than 700 pages, and is a marvellous combination of 
literary condensation and research. It gives a complete account of the Indian 
Empire, its history, peoples, and products, and forms the worthy outcome of 
seventeen years of labour with exceptional opportunities for rendering that labour 
fruitful. Nothing could be more luold than Sir William Hunter's expositions of the 
economic jind political condition of India at the present time, or more interesting 
tban his scholarly history of the India of the past."— TAe Times. 



Third Edition, post 870, cloth, pp. xvi.— 428, price i6s. 




Late of the Universities of Tubingen, Gottingen, and Bonn ; Superintendent 
of Sanskrit Studies, and Professor of Sanskrit in the Poona College. 
Edited and Enlarged bt Dr. E. "W. WEST. 
To which is added a Biographical Memoir of the late Dr. Haug 
by Prof. B. P. Evans. 
I. History of the Researches into the Sacred "Writings and Religion of the 
Parsis, from the Earliest Times down to the Present. 
II, Languages of the Parsi Scriptures. 

III. The Zend-Avesta, or the Scripture of the Parsis. 

IV. The Zoroastrian Religion, as to its Origin and Development. 

" ' Essays on the Sacred Language, "Writings, and Religion of the Parsis,' by the 
late Dr. Martin Haug, edited by Dr. E. W. West. The author intended, on his return 
from India, to expand the materials contained in this work into a comprehensive 
account of the Zoroastxian religion, but the design was frustrated by his untimely 
death. "We have, however, in a concise and readable form, a history of the researches 
into the sacred writings and religion of the Parsis from the earliest times down to 
the present— a dissertation on the languages of the Parsi Scriptures, a translation 
of the Zend-Avesta, or the Scripture of the Parsis, and a dissertation on the Zoroas- 
trian religion, with especial reference to its origin and development." — Times. 

Post 8vo, cloth, pp. viii. — 176, price 7s. 6d. 


With Accompanying Narratives. 

Translated from the Chinese by S. BEAL, B.A., Professor of Chinese, 

University College, Loudon. 

The Dhammapada, as hitherto known by the Pali Text Edition, as edited 
by Fausbbll, by Max Miiller's English, and Albrecht "Weber's German 
translations, consists only of twenty-six chapters or sections, whilst the 
Chinese version, or rather recension, as now translated by Mr. Beal, con- 
sists of thirty-nine sections. The students of Pali who possess FausboU's 
text, or either of the above-named translations, will therefore needs want 
Mr. Beal's English rendering of the Chinese version; the thirteen above- 
named additional sections not being accessible to them in any other form ; 
for, even if they understand Chinese, the Chinese original would be un- 
obtainable by them. 

"Mr. Beal's rendering of the Chinese translation is a most valuable aid to the 
critical study of the work. It contains authentic texts gathered Irom ancient 
canonical books, and generally connected with some incident in the history of 
Buddha. Their great interest, however, consists in the light which they tlirow upon 
everyday life in India at the remote period at which they were written, and upon 
the method of teaching adopted by the founder of the rehgion. The method 
employed was principally parable, and the simplicity of the tales and the excellence 
of the morals inculcated, as well as the strange hold which they have retained upon 
the minds of millious of people, make them a very remarkable study." — Times. 

"Mr. Beal, by making it accessible in an English dress, liEls added to the great ser 
vices he has already rendered to the comparative study of rehgious history." — Acodmiy 

'•Valuable as exhibiting the doctrine of the Buddhists in its purest, least adul- 
terated form, it brings themodern reader face to face with that simple creed and rule 
of conduct which won its way over the minds of myriads, and which is now nominally 
professed by 145 millions, who have overlaid its austere simphcity with innumeiubie 
ceremonies, forgotten its maxims, perverted its teaching, and so inverted its leading 
principle that a religion whose founder denied a God, now worships that founder as 
a god himself. "—Scotstnan. 


Second Edition, post 8vo, cloth, pp. xxiv. — 360, price los. 6d. 



Translated from the Second German Edition by JOHN Mann, M.A., and 
THi;oDOK Zaohabiae, Ph.D., with the sanction of the Author. 

Dr. BuHLEE, Inspector of Schools in India, writes: — "When I was Pro- 
fessor of Oriental Languages in Blphinstone College, I frequently felt the 
want of such a work to which I could refer the students." 

Professor Cowell, of Cambridge, writes :— "It will be especially useful 
to the students in our Indian colleges and universities. I used to long for 
such a book when I was teaching in Calcutta. Hindu students are intensely 
interested in the history of Sanskrit literature, and this volume will supply 
them with all they want on the subject." 

Professor Whitney, Yale College, Newhaven, Conn., U.S.A., writes :— 
" I was one of the class to whom the work was originally given in the form 
of academic lectures. At their first appearance they were by far the most 
learned and able treatnjent of their subject ; and with their recent additions 
they still maintain decidedly the same rank." 

" Is perhaps the most comprehensive and lucid survey of Sanskrit literature 
extant. Tlie essays contained in the volume were originally delivered as academic 
lectures, and at the time oi their first publication were acknowledged to be by tar 
the most learned and able treatment of the subject. They have now been brought 
up to date by the addition of all the most important results of recent research."— 

Post 8vo, cloth, pp. xii.— 198, accompanied by Two Language 
Maps, price 7's. 6d. 



The Author has attempted to fill up a vacuum, the inconvenience of 
which pressed itself on his notice. Much had been written about the 
languages of the East Indies, but the extent of our present knowledge had 
not even been brought to a focus. It occurred to him that it might be of 
use to others to publish in an arranged form the notes which he had collected 
for his own edification. 
" Supplies a deficiency which has long been telt."— Times. _ 

" The book before us is then a valuable contribution to philological science. It 
passes under review a vast number of languages, and it gives, or professes to give, in 
every case the sum and substance of the opinions and judgments of the best-informed 
writers." — Saturday Ileview. 

Second Corrected Edition, post 8vo, pp. xii.— 116, cloth, price 58. 



Translated from the Sanskrit into English Verse by 
Ralph T. H. Gbieeith, M.A. 

" A very spirited rendering of the Kumarasambhava, which was first published 
twenty-six years ago, and which we are glad to see made once more accessible."— 

" Mr Grifath's very spirited rendering is well known to most who are at all 
interested in Indian literature, or enjoy the tenderness of feeling and nch creative 
ixoBemdiion oi lis authov."— Indian Antiquary. ,„ , „ .~„ , j • „ 

"We are very glad to welcome a second edition of Professor Gnffitli s admirable 
translation. Few translations deserve a second edition hetter."—At!Lencenm. 


Post 8vo, pp.' 432, cloth, price i6s. 





Late Professor of Hindustani, Stafi College. 

" This not only forms an indigpensable book oJ reference to students of Indian 

literature, but is also of gi-eat general Interest, as it gives in a concise and easily 

accessible foi-m all that need be known about the personages of Hindu mythology 

whose names are so familiar, but of whom so little is known outside the limited 

" It is no sUght gain when such subjects are treated fairly and fuUy in a moderate 
space ; and we need only add that the few wants which we may hope to see supplied 
n new editions detract but little from the general excellence of Mr. Dowson's work. 
— Saturday Review. 

Post 8vo, with View of Mecca, pp. cxii. — 172, cloth, price 9s. 



Translator of " The Thousand and One Nights ; " &c., &o. 

A New Edition, Revised and Enlarged, with an Introduction by 

Stanley Lane Poole. 

"... Has been lon^ esteemed in this' country as the compilation of one of the 

greatest Arabic scholars of the time, the late Mr. Lane, the well-known translator of 

the 'Arabian Nights.' , . . The present editor has enhanced the value of his 

relative's' work by divesting the text of a great deal of extraneous matter introduced 

by way of comment, and prefixing an introduction." — Times. 

" Mr. Poole is both a generous and a learned biographer. . ■. . Mr. Poole tells us 
the facts ... so far as it is possible for industry and criticism to ascertain them, 
and for literary skill to present them in a condensed and readable form." — English, 
man, Calcutta. 

Post 8vo, pp. vi. — 368, cloth, price 14s. 


By mooter WILLIAMS,' D.C.L., 
Hon. LL.D. of the University of Calcutta, Hon. Member of the Bombay Asiatic 
Society, Boden Professor of Sanskrit in the University of Oxford. 
Third Edition, revised and augmented by considerable Additions, 
with niustrationa and a Map. 
*' In this volume we have the thoughtful impressions of a thoughtful man on some 
of the most important questions connected with our Indian Empire. . . . An en- 
lightened observant man, travelling among an enlightened observant people. Professor 
Monier WilHams has brought before the public in a pleasant form more of the manners 
and customs of the Queen's Indian subjects than we ever remember to have seen in 
any one work. He not only deserves the thanks of every Englishman for this able 
contribution to the study of Modem India — a subject with which we should be 
specially familiar — but he deserves thje thanks of every Indian, Parsee or Hindu, 
Buddhist and Moslem, for his clear exposition of their manners, their creeds, and 
their necessities." — Times. 

Post 8vo, pp. xliv. — 376, cloth, price 14s. 


With an Introduction, many Prose Versions, and Parallel Passages Horn 

Classical Authors. 

By J. MUIR, CLE., D.C.L., LL.D., Ph.D. 

** . . . An agreeable introduction to Hindu poetrv." — Times. 

"... A volume which may be taken as a fair illustration alike of the religious 
and moral sentiments and of the legendary lore of the best Sanskrit writers."— 
Ediniurgh Daily Review. 


Seoond Edition, post 8vo, pp. xxvi.— 244, cloth, price ids. 6d. 

Translated for the First Time into Prose and Verse, with an Introductory 
Preface, and a Life of the Author, from the Atish Kadah, 
By EDWARD E. EASTWICK, C.B., M.A., F.E.S., M.R.A.S. ' 

" It is a very fair rendering of the original. "—Times. 

" The new edition has long been desired, and will be welcomed by all who take 
any interest in Oriental poetry. The SiMstm, is a typical Persian verse-book of the 
highest order. Mr. Eastwlok's rhymed translation . . . has long established itself in 
a secure position as the best version of Sadi's finest work."— Academy. 

" It is both faithfully and gracefully executed."— Taftiei. 

In Two Volumes, post 8vo, pp. viii. — 408 and viii. — 348, cloth, price 28s. 



Late of the Bengal Civil Service ; Corresponding Member of the Institute ; Chevalier 
of the Legion of Honour ; late British Minister at the Court of Nepal, &c., &o. 


Section I.— On the Kocch, B6d6, and Dhimdl Tiibes.— Part I. Vocabulary.— 
Part II. Grammar.— Part III. Their Origin, Location, Numbers, Creed, Customs, 
Character, and Condition, with a General Description of the Climate they dwell in 
— Appendix. 

Section II. — On Himalayan Ethnology.^I. Comparative Vocabulary of the Lan 
guages of the Broken Tribes of N^pdl. — II. Vocabulary of the Dialects of the Kirant 
Language.— III. Grammatical Analysis of the V^yu Language. The Viyu Grammar. 
— IV. Analysis of the BAbing Dialect of the Kirunti Language. The B^hing Gram- 
mar. — V. On the Vayu or Hayu Tribe of the Central Himalaya. — VI. On the Kiraiiti 
Tribe of the Central Himalaya. 

Section III. — On the Aborigines of North-Bastern India. Comparative Vocabulary 
of the Tibetan, B6d6, and Gar6 Tongues. 
Section IV. — Aborigines of the North-Eastem Frontier. 
Section V. — Aborigines of the Eastern Frontier. 

Section VI. — ^The Indo-Chinese Borderers, and their connection with the Hima- 
layans and Tibetans. Comparative Vocabulary of Indo-Chinese Borderers in Arakan. 
Comparative Vocabulary of Indo-Chinese Borderers in Tenasserim. 

Section VII. — The Mongolian Affinities of the Caucasians, — Comparison and Ana- 
lysis of Caucasian and Mongolian Words. 
Section VIII.— Physical Type of Tibetans. 

Section IX. — The Aborigines of Central India. — Comparative Vocabulary of the 
Aboriginal Languages of Central India. — Aborigines of the Eastern Ghats. — Vocabu- 
lary of some of the Dialects of the Hill and Wandering Tribes in the Northern Sircars. 
— Aborigines of the Nilgiris, with Remarks on their Affinities. — Supplement to the 
Nilgirian Vocabularies.— The Aborigines of Southern India and Ceylon. 

Section S. — Route of Nepalese Mission to Pekin, with Remarks on the Water- 
Shed and Plateau of Tibet. , 

Section XI. — Route from Edthmdndii, the Capital of NepM, to Darjeeling in 
Sikim. — Memorandum relative to the Seven Cosis of Nep^l. 

Section XII. — Some Accounts of the Systems of Law and Police as recognised in 
the State of Nepal. 

Section XIII. — The Native Method of making the Paper denominated Hindustan, 

Section XIV. — Pre-eminence of the Vernaculars ; or, the Anglicists Answered ; 
Being Letters on the Education of the People of India. 

*' For the study of the less-known races of India Mr. Brian Hodgson's ' Miscellane- 
ous Essays ' will be found -^^r^ valuable both to the philologist and the ethnologist." 


Third Edition, Two Vols., post 8vo, pp. viii.— 268 and viil.— 326, cloth, 
price 2ia. 



The Ways to Neibban, and Notice on the Phongyies or Burmese Monks. 

By the Eiam Rev. P. BIGANDET, 

Bishop of Ramatha, Vioar-Apostolio of Ava and Pegu. 

"The work is furnished with copious notes, wnich not only illustrate the subject- 
matter, but form a perfect enoyolopsedia of Buddhist lore." — Times. 

' ' A work which will furnish European students of Buddhism with a most valuable 
help in the prosecution of their investigations."— StimSwrpA Daily Reniew. 

" Bishop Bigandet's invaluable work." — Indian Antiquari/. 

" Viewed in this light, its importance is sufBcient to place students of the subject 
under a deep obhgation to its author." — Calcutta Review. 

" This work is one of the greatest authorities upon Buddhism." — Duilin JUview, 

Post Bvo, pp. xxiv.— 420, cloth, price i8s. 




Author of "China's Place in Philology," "Religion in China," &c., &c. 

" It contains a vast deal of important information on the subject, such as is only 
to be gained by long-continued study on the spot. "^Atkenaum. 

" Upon the whole, we know of no work comparable to it for the extent of its 
original research, and the simplicity with which this complicated system of philo- 
sophy, religion, literature, and ritual is set forth." — British Quarterly Review. 

" The whole volume is replete with learning. ... It deserves most careful study 
from all interested in the history of the religions of the world, and expressly of those 
who are concerned in the propagation of Christianity. Dr. Edkins notices in terms 
of just condemnation the exaggerated praise bestowed upon Buddhism by recent 
English writers." — Record. 

Post Bvo, pp. 496, cloth, price los. 6d. 


Written prom the Yeae 1846 to 1878. 

Late Member of Her Majesty's Indian Civil Service ; Hon. Secretary to 

the Royal Asiatic Society; 

and Author of " The Modern Languages of the East Indies." 

" We know none who haS' described Indian life, especially the life of the natives, 
with so much learning, sympathy, and hterary talent." — Academy. 

" They seem to us to be full of suggestive and original remarks. " — St. James's Gazette. 

" His book contains a vast amount of information. The result of thirty-five years 
of inquiry, reflection, and speculation, and that on subjects as fuU of fascination as 
of food for thought." — TaJblet. 

" Exhibit such a thorough acquaintance with the history and antiquities of India 
as to entitle him to speak as one having authority," — Edinburgh Daily. Review. 

" The author speaks with the authority of personal experience It is this 

constant association with the country and the people which gives such a vividness 
to many of the pages." — Athincsum. 1 


Post 8vo, pp. civ,— 348, cloth, price i8s. 


The Oldest Collection of Folk-lore Extaut : 


For the first time Edited in the original Pali. 

By V. FAtrSBOLL ; 

And Translated by T. W. Rhys Davids. 

Translation, Volume I. 

"These are tales supposed to have been told by the Buddha of what he liad seen- 
and heard in his previous births. They are probably the nearest representatives 
of the original Aryan stories from -which sprang the folk-lore of Europe as well as 
India. The introduction contains a most interesting disquisition on the migrations 
of these fables, tracing their reappearance in the various groups of folk-lore legends. 
Among other old friends, we meet with a version of the Judgment of Solomon. " — Times. 

" It is now some years since Mr. Rhys Davids asserted his right to be heard 011 
this subject by his able article on Buddhism in the new edition of the ' EncyclopEedia 
Britannica. ' " — Leeds Mercury. 

" All who are interested in Buddhist literature ought to feel deeply indebted to 
Mr. Uhys Davids. His well-established reputation as a Pali scholar is a sufficient 
guarantee for the fidelity of his version, and the styio of his translations is deserving 
of high praise." — Academy. 

' • No more competent expositor of Buddhism could be found than Mr. Rhys pavids. 
In the Jataka book we have, then, a priceless record of the earliest imaginative 
literature of our race ; and ... it presents to us a nearly complete picture of the 
social life and customs and popular beliefs of the common people of Aryan tribes, 
closely related to ourselves, just as they were passing through the first stages of 
civilisation."— £'£. James's Gazette. , 

Post 8yo, pp. xxviii. — 362, cloth, price 14s. 


Or, a thousand and one extracts FEOM the TALMUD, 


Compiled and Translated by PAUL ISAAC HERSHON, 

Author of " Geuesla According to the Talmud," &o. 

■With Notes and Copious Indexes. 

" To obtain in so concise and handy a form as this volume a general idea of the 
Talmud is a boon to Christians at least." — Times. 

" Its peculiar and popular, character will make it attractive to general readers. 
Mr. Hershon is a very competent scholar. . . . Contains samples of the good, bad, 
and indifferent, and especially extracts that throw hght upon the Scriptures." 
British Quarterly Review. 

" Will convey to English readers a more complete and truthful notion of the 
Talmud than any other work that has yet appeared." — Vaibj News. 

"Without overlooking in the slightest the several attractions of the previous 
volumes of the ' Oriental Series.' we have no hesitation in saying that this surpasses 
them all in interest." — Edinburgh Daily Review. 

" Mr. Hershon has . . . thus given English readers what is, we believe, a fair set 
of specimens which they can test for themselves." — The Record,, 

" This book is by far the best fitted in the present state of knowledf e to enable the 
general reader to gain a fair and unbiassed conception of the multifarious contents 
of the wonderful miscellany which can only be truly understood— so Jewish pride 
asserts— by the life-long devotion of scholars of the Chosen Veo^ls."— Inquirer, 

" The value and importance of this volume consist in the fact that scarcely a single 
extract is given in its pages but throws some light, direct or refracted, upon those 
Scriptures which are the common heritage of Jew and Christian alike."— /oAjt Bull. 

" It is a capital specimen of Hebrew scholarship ; a monument of learned, loving, 
light.'giving labour." — Jewish Herald. 


Post 8vo, pp. lii. — 228, cloth, price 7s. 6d. 


By basil hall chamberlain, 

Author of " Yeigo Heilkaku Shirafl." 

" A veiy curious volume. The author has manifestly devoted mucli labour to the 
task of studying the poetical Hterature of the Japanese, and rendering characteristic 
specimens intoEntjliflh verse." — yDaUy News. 

" Mr. Chamberlain's volume is, so far as we are aware, the first attempt which has 
been made to interpret the literature of the Japanese to the Western world. It is to 
the classical poetry of Old Japan that we must turn for indigenous Japanese thought, 
and in the volume before us we have a selection from ttiat poetry rendered into 
graceful English verse." — Tablet. 

"It is undoubtedly one of the best translations of lyric literature which has 
appeared during the close of the last year." — Celestial Smpire. 

"Mr. Chamberlain set himself a difficult task when he undertook to reproduce 
Japanese- poetry in an Enghsh form. But he has evidently laboured con amore, and 
his efforts are successful to a degree." — Lotion and China Express. 

Post 8vo, pp. xii. — 164, cloth, price los. 6d. 

THE HISTORY OF ESARHADDON (Son of Sennacherib), 

KING OF ASSYRIA, B.C. 681-668. 

Translated from the Cuneiform Inscriptions upon Cylinders and Tablets in 
the British Museum Collection ; together with a Grammatical Analysis 
of each Word, Explanations of the Ideographs by Extracts from the 
Bi-Lingual Syllabaries, and List of Bponyms, &c. 

Assyrian Exhibitioner, Christ's College, Cambridge. 

" Students of scriptural archaeology will also appreciate the ' History of Esar- 
haddon.' " — Times. 

" There is much to attract the scholar in this volume. It does not pretend to 
popularise studies which are yet in their infancy. Its primary object is to translate, 
but it does not assume to be more than tentative, and it offers both to the professed 
Assyriologist and to the ordinary non-Assyriological Semitic scholar the means of 
controlling its results." — Academi/. 

"Mr. Budge's book is, of course, mainly addressed to Assyrian scholars and 
students. They are not, it is to be feared, a very numerous class. But the more 
thanks are due to him oil that account for the way in which he has acquitted himself 
in his laborious task." — Tablet. 

Post 8vo, pp. 448, cloth, price 21s. 


(Usually known as The Meskeviti Shbeif, or Holt Mbsnevi) 

Book the First. 
Together with some Account of the Life and Acts of the Author, 
of his Ancestors, and of his Descendants. 
Illustrated by a Selection of Oharaoteristio Anecdotes, as Collected 
by their Historian, 
Mbvlana Shemstj-'D-Din Ahmed, el Eelaki, el 'Aeipi. 
Translated, and the Poetry Versified, in English, 
" A complete treasury of occult Oriental lore."— Saturday Review. 
"This book will be a very valuable help to the reader ignorant of Persia, who is 
desirous of obtaining an insight into a very important department of the literature 
extant m that language." — Tablet. 


Post 8vo, pp. xvl.— 280, cloth, price 6s. 


Illustrating Old Tboths. 

By Rev. J. LONG, 

Member of the Bengal Asiatic Society, r.E.G.S. ■ 

" We regard the book as valuable, and wish for it a wide circulation and attentive 
reading." — Record. 

*' Altogether, it is quite a f^ast of good things." — Globe. 
*' It is full of interesting matter." — Antiqua,ry. 

Post 8vo, pp. viii. — 270, cloth, price 7s. 6d. 

Containing a Kew Edition of the " Indian Song of Songs," from the Sanscrit 
of the "Gita Govinda" of Jayadeva ; Two Books from "The Iliad of 
India" (Mahabharata), " Proverbial Wisdom " from the Shlokas of the 
Hitopadesa, and other Oriental Poems. 
By EDWIN ARNOLD, C.S.I., Author of "The Light of Asia." 

" In this new volume of Messrs. Trubner's Oriental Series, Mr. Edwin Arnold does 
good service by illustrating, tlirough the medium of his musical Enghsh melodies, 
the power of Indian poetry to stir European emotions. Tlie ' Indian Kong of Songs ' 
is not unknown to scholars, Mr. Arnold will have introduced it among popular 
English poems. Nothing could be more graceful and deUcate than the shades by 
which Krishna is portrayed in the gradual process of being weaned by the love of 

' Beautiful Radha, jasmine-bosomed Radha/ 
from, the allurements of the forest nymphs, in whom the five senses are typified." — 

" No other English poet has ever thrown his genius and bis art so thoroughly into 
the work of translating Eastern ideas as Mr. Arnold has done in his splendid para- 
phrases of language contained in these mighty eyica." —Daily Telegraph. 

" The poem abounds with imagery of Eastern luxuriousness and sensuousnt-ss ; the 
air seems laden with the spicy odours of the tropics, and the verse has a richness and 
a melody sufficient to captivate the senses of the dullest." — Standard. 

" The translator, while producing a very enjoyable poem, has adhered with toler- 
able fidelity to the original iex.t."— Overland Mail. 

" We certainly wish Mr. Arnold success in his attempt ' to popularise Indian 
classics,' that being, as his preface tells us, the goal towards which he bends his 
efforts." — Allen's Indian Mail. 

Post 8vo, pp. xvi.^296, cloth, price los. 6d. 




A Systematic Digest of the Doctrines of the Chinese Philosopher 

Translated from the Original Text and Classified, with 
Comments and Explanations, 

By the Rev. ERNST FABER, Rhenish Mission Society. 

Translated from the German, with Additional Notes, 

By the Rev. A. B. HUTCHINSON, C.M.S., Church Mission, Hong Kong. 

" Mr. Faber is already well known in the field of Chinese studies by his digest of 
the doctrines of Confucius. The value of this work will he perceived when it is 
remembere(J. that at no time since relations commenced between China and the 
West has tJie former been so powerful — we had almost said aggressive — as now. 
For those who will give it careful study, Mr. Faber's work is one of the most 
valuable of the excellent series to which it belongs. "-=-Wff-iure. 

A 2 


Post 8vo, pp. 336, cloth, price i6s, 


Bt a. babth. 

Translated from the French with the authority and assistance of the Author, 

The author has, at the request of the puhlishera, consideralaly enlarged 
the work for the translator, and has added the literature of the subject to 
date ; the translation may, therefore, be looked upon as an equivalent of a 
new and improved edition of the original. 

** Is not only a valuable manual of the religions of India, wMch marks a distinct 
step in tlie treatment of the subject, but also a useful work of reference." — Academy. 

" This volume is a reproduction, with corrections and additions, of an article 
contributed by the learned author two years ago to the ' Encyclop^die des Sciences 
Religieuses.' It attracted much notice when it first appeared, and is generally 
admitted to present the best summary extant of the vast subject with which it 
deals." — Tablet. 

" This is not only on the whole the best but the only manual of the religions of 
India, apart from Buddhism, which we have in English. The present work , . . 
shows not only great knowledge of the facts and power of clear exposition, but also 
great insight into the inner history and the deeper meaning of the great religion, 
for it is in reality only one, which it proposes to describe." — Modern Review. 

" The merit of the work has been emphatically recognised by the most nuthoritative 
Orientahsta, both in this country and on the continent of Europe, But probably 
there are few Indianists (if 'we may use the word) who would not derive a good deal 
of information from it, and especially from the extensive bibliography provided in 
the notes." — Dublin Review. 

" Such a sketch M. Barth has drawn with a master-hand."— C^'if-ic (New York). 

Ppst 8to, pp. viii. — 152, cloth, price 6s. 



An Exposition of the System of Kapila, with an Appendix on the 
Nyaya and Vais'eshika Systems. 

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XXIX.— Analysis of Iron Ores from Tavoy and Mergui, and of Limestone from 
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XXXV. — Catalogue of Mammalia inhabiting the Malayan Peninsula and Islands, 
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XL. — Note, by Major-General G. B. Tremenheere. 

General Index. 

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Translated from the Sanskrit 

By the Rev. B. HALE "WORTHAM, M.R.A.S., 

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fellow-men. Treatises of this kind have been popular in all ages, and have 
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OEiGiifAL Sanskrit Text, with Critical Notes. 
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AND ASTROLOGY (about A.r>. 1031). 

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With a Preface containing an account of the Works of I-TsiNG. 


(Triu. Coll., Camb.); Professor of Chinese, University College, London- 

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Author of " Buddhist Records of the Western World," " The Romantic 

Legend of Sakya Budda," &c. 
When the Pilgrim Hiuen Tsiang returned from his travels in India he 
took up his abode in the Temple of " Great Benevolence ; " this convent had 
been constructed by the Emperor in honour of the Empress, Wen-te-hau. 
After Hiuen Tsiang's death, his disciple, Hwui Li, composed a work which 
gave an account of his illustrious Master's travels ; this work when he com- 
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previous to his death he revealed its -whereabouts to Yen-tsung, by whom it 
was finally revised and published. This is " The Life of Hiuen Tsian"." It 
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WRITTEN FROM THE YEAR 1846 to 1878. 





'• Omnis 
YotivA pateat velutl descripta tabelli 
Vita Senis." 




\_All rights reserved.} 


// 301^-^ 


/ CORfiEL 









3rf)ig Ffllume 


London, July 1880. 


I CANNOT plead the conventional excuse of the solicitation of 
unduly partial friends for the appearance of this volume; 
nor, on the other hand, can I be charged with a desire to 
rush into print, as all these Essays have been published long 
ago (some more than a quarter of a century), in the pages of 
an esteemed Periodical, with a much wider circulation than 
they are likely to attain in a collective form. Two of them 
have appeared in a French garb in Paris. 

;N"or do I much care for praise or blame; I should be 
satisfied, if one or two sympathetic readers, after making 
allowance for many blemishes, would admit, that the Author 
dearly loved the people of India, and desired their best 
interests. I should also be glad, if one or two young men, 
in the morning of their career, were helped onward in the 
acquisition of Oriental knowledge, and fired with an interest 
in the wellbeing of our Indian fellow-subjects. How grateful 
should I have been, if such a volume had been placed in 
my hands in 1842, for I have had to work slowly, to the 
attainment of the knowledge, such as it is, contained in this 
volume ! 

Some of the Essays are Photographs taken on the spot. 
Such a one, as the Indian District during a Eebellion, could 

viii PREFACE. 

not have been written before or since, or by any one, but 
the Magistrate, who succeeded to the charge, just as the 
Eebellion was being suppressed, who came with a calm mind 
fresh from England, and had access to the correspondence. 
Some, like Sikhland and the Eamayana, are the results of 
a knowledge of Sanskrit and the Vernacular of Northern 
India, combined with a residence at particular spots, and 
a taste for legendary lore and geographical inquiry. Both 
these have been repeatedly quoted. 

The Tour in Palestine, Mesopotamia, the Countries Be- 
twixt the Satlaj and Jamna, and the Oriental Congresses 
and Scholars, represent personal studies of particular 
countries, and gatherings of distinguished men, such as are 
not always to be made under such favourable circumstances. 

Such Essays, as those on Egyptology, the Phenician 
Alphabet, Monumental Inscriptions, the Eeligions and 
Languages of India, are condensations, more or less correct, 
of a long course of reading of scores of volumes, perused vrith 
a pencil in the hand. No doubt they are full of errors, and 
will be a subject of scorn to the specialist, who knows little 
beyond his own subject, but they represent a certain stratum 
of knowledge aboye the average level, and a study of thera 
will start a fresh inquirer off on his voyage of discovery at a 
point more advanced than the one, from which I set out. 

To me they represent thirty-five years of inquiry, reflec- 
tion, and speculation. Many pages recall scenes in India, 
and friends. Natives and English, loved and valued, whom I 
shall see no more. The first Essay was written, when I was 
acting as private secretary to Sir Henry Lawrence in the 
camp of Lords Hardinge and Gough at the gates of Lahore, 
the capture of which is an old story now. The Indian 


District during a Eebellion was written in the camp of Lord 
Canning at Allahabad, while Sir Colin Campbell was still 
beleaguering Lakhnau. The Civil Judge decided his cases 
in one part of North India; the Collector got in his Land 
Eevenue in another, at a distance of many hundred leagues 
from each other; but for any success in either vocation I 
was indebted to the rare good fortune of having sat at 
the feet of Lord Lawrence, and learnt my lesson from the 
greatest of administrators. Some were written in the tent 
under the shade of the mango-grove, or in the solitary 
staging-bungalow. Notes for others were jotted down on 
a log in a native village, or in a boat floating down one 
of the five rivers on the track of Alexander the Great, or in 
an excursion in the mountains of the Himalaya. The mate- 
rials for others were collected in Palestine, Italy, France, 
Germany, and Eussia, and pillaged from men and books 
in many languages, European and Asiatic. Such as they 
are, they reflect the turn of thought, the employment, 
the studies, and no doubt the weaknesses of the writer, viz., 
an ardent love for the people of India, a fearless spirit of 
inquiry into the history of the past, and a tendency to cast 
off all conventional shackles in the search for truth, and to 
look upon men of all ages and countries, as stamped in the _ 
same ihould, deformed by the same weaknesses, and elevated 
by the same innate nobility. 

Some of the last words of my master, Lord Lawrence, in 
India were, " Be kind to the natives." I would go even 
further, and say, " Take an interest in, and try to love them." 
They are the heirs (perhaps the spendthrift heirs) of an 
ancient, but still surviving, civilisation. And how far 
superior are they to the modern Egyptian, or the dwellers of 


Mesopotamia, the bankrupt heirs of a still more ancient, but 
exhausted, civilisation ! How superior are they to the Equa- 
torial and Tropical African, who never had any civilisation 
at all ! It seems a special privilege to have lived a quarter of 
a century amidst such a people as the inhabitants of Northern 
India, who are bone of our Arian bone, if not flesh of our 
Occidental culture: a people with History, Arts, Sciences, 
Literature, and Eeligion not to be surpassed, if equalled, by 
the Chinese and Japanese, who, like the Indians, for so many 
centuries sat apart from, and uninfluenced by, the long 
splendour of the Greek and Eoman civilisation, which had 
overshadowed the rest of the world. 

And in spite of the puerile vagaries of the Sciolist, the 
unseemly bickeriugs of really great Scholars, the untimely 
death of some great Genius, to whom the world looked for 
enlightenment, and the strange lingering on in galvanised 
life of some old-world prejudice, some oft-exploded error. 
Knowledge is seen to advance slowly : " E pur si muove." 
We shall know something in the next generation of the early 
history of the Eeligions, Languages, and Eaces of Mankiad. 

London, Jvily 1880. 


















INDEX, ...•••• 






Page 95. J'^ " „ "dasyu." 

„, • "dasyud .. / „ 

„, " mleohliatt ,. , „ 

II ''^' " . , .> " Aranvato. 

112 „ "Araynaka „ '"* ^ 

.. i'^' " ^ „ "Csoma. 

" '^ ' " ;j • «>- "Hadnan." 

.> 3°°' " , , „ "Axum." 

„ 380, „ "Axaimtes „ 




The KLalsa army no longer exists, and the integrity of tlie Panj4b, 
the kingdom created and ably governed by Ranjit Singh, has been 
destroyed. We are now no longer menaced by a licentious army 
threatening, at every turn of Durbar politics and factious intrigue, 
the peace of our provinces : a succession of victories, unequalled in 
the fierceness of the conflict and the magnitude of the issue, has 
lowered the spirit of the last native power of India, which, though 
for the space of forty years bound to us only by the brittle chains 
of friendship and amity, had never before crossed swords with us, 
but during a period of temporary failure to our arms had proved 
our faithful ally. Irresistible circumstances, however, hurried on 
the conflict at a time, when universal peace enabled us to concen- 
trate the strength of our empire, and annihilate the armies of the 

The campaign of 1 845-46 will neither be soon nor easily forgot- 
ten : it will be remembered by many a widow and orphan, as the 
era from which their worldly distress commenced : it will be 
remembered by those engaged in it with feelings of triumph at the 
bravery and determination exhibited, and with humiliation, when 
we reflect upon the difiiculty, with which the means of our vast 
empire are made available, and the slender hold, which, after 
the lapse of a centiiry, we can be said to have upon India. We 
have indeed much to be proud of, and much to regret in the 
events, which have greatly crowded one upon the other : pride, at 
the display of the stiU indomitable valour of the British soldier ; 
regret, at the number of those gallant men, whose services have 
been lost to their country. The soldier and the statesman will find 


no unprofitable lesson in pondering the progress and the issue of 
the campaign of the Satlaj. 

But, for the present, we must waive the discussion of this sub- 
ject Our remarks apply to the battlefield, not to the battle, and 
we would draw attention to the scenes, upon which these stirring 
events have been passing, the plains of Sarhind and Malwa, the 
countries betwixt the rivers Satlaj and JamnA. 

From the earliest times, going back to a period of dim tradition, 
these plains have been the battlefield of India. It is here, and in 
the country immediately adjoining the opposite banks of each river, 
that the fights of races and religions have been fought : who shall 
venture to state how often the rich vaUey of the Ganges has been 
lost and won on these plains ; how often the conqueror from the 
West, once established on the threshold of India, has found himself 
the irresistible master of the riches and resources of the country 
beyond ? From the days of Alexander the Great to those of Eanjit 
Singh the tide of conquest has flowed through this channel, bringing 
down a succession of the hardy and fanatical tribes of the West to 
colonise and deteriorate under the baneful influence of the East : 
(ince, and once only, in the history of ages has the order of things 
been reversed, and this century has beheld the often-conquered 
Hindu carrying on these plains in triumph a sufficient trophy^ from 
the tomb of the first, the most fanatical, and still most hated, of 
their Mahometan conquerors. 

A cursory glance at the map of Asia wiU show, how justly the 
plains of Sarhind are, as their name indicates, entitled to be con- 
sidered the head, or threshold, of India : the great Himalaya range 
presents an unbroken frontier on the east from the confines of 
Arakan to the valley of Kashmir : on the west the vast desert of 
Central India extends from Gujarat, and gradually narrowing may 
be said to terminate in, or adjoining, the districts of Hari4na and 
Bhattidna. European art and arrangement have in these days 
rendered this desert a safe and practicable route for those on 
friendly terms with the countries on both sides, and the caravans 
of the Lohini merchant have for ages traversed its sands in secu- 
rity ; but to a hostile force advancing from the west these deserts 
present an ample and sufficient barrier. It is only, therefore, 
through this narrow neck of country, intervening between the line 
of hill and desert, that India has ever been open to invasion from 
the tribes inhabiting Central Asia, who had overwhelmed Hin- 
dustan with periodical inundations. 

We have said that even from the days of tradition these plains 

have been the battlefield of India, and our readers, learned in the 

lore of the Hindus, will scarcely require to be informed, that our 

allusion is to the battle of the Kurukshdtra, the contest between 

> The gates of Somndth, brought back by our armies froia Oiiazni in 1842. 


the sons of Kiini and Pdndu for the throne of Indraprastha, in 
-which the Hindu poet, with a vehemence and variety of imagery 
not unworthy of him, who sang the wars of Troy, asserts, and boldly 
maintains, that the gods themselves took a part, and, disguised in 
mortal garb, directed the battle of the victors. With that strange 
inconsistency and gari-ulousness, which distinguishes the Hindu 
poets, Krishna himself is represented as inculcating moral doctrines 
of a most diffuse and exalted kind, with his armour buckled on, 
and all but engaged in the fight. Unknown as the circumstances 
of these battles may be to the European lords of the soil, insignifi- 
cant as they may appear to be from their results having perished, 
they are well known to, and intimately blended with, the religion 
of the Hindus. Let him that doubts repair to Thanesar in these 
plains, and visit the sacred lake, that bears the name of the field, 
of which it is the extreme corner ; let the sceptic see the crowds 
that resort to bathe in its holy waters ; let him count the gold, that 
is poured into the lap of Brahmans, who swarm there beyond cal- 
culation ; let him hear one of the learned of their number quoti 
with enthusiasm the lines of the MahdbhArata, which tell of the 
valour of Arjana and the pride of Bhima Sena, and he might well 
suppose, from the fervour of the reciter, that the aged man was nar- 
rating some victory in which he himself, when a youth, had gloried 
to have taken a share. Such, in all ages and in all climes, is the 
power of legendary lore, intensely increased, when associated with 
religion, and such a religion as Hinduism. The neighbourhood of 
Kaithal, uninteresting in any other respect, notorious for the wild and 
savage nature of its inhabitants, unhealthy in its climate, and unfertile 
in its productions, has, in the eyes of the Hindus, a sanctity not sur- 
passed by any other district in India. Here the devotee wanders 
from Tirtha to Tirtha in quick succession ; he bathes in the waters 
of the Saraswati, the stream connected with the goddess of Wisdom. 
Intensely ignorant as he is of the object of the circuit he is taking, 
of the events, for the occurrence of which the scenes he visits are 
renowned, he still fancies that he derives some feeling of imbibed 
sanctity, and the satisfaction attending the performance of a pious 
and edifying deed, in completing the prescribed bathings and puri- 
fications at Peh6a and Thanesar in the field of the Kuruksh^tra. 

Who will venture to fix the dates when the battles alluded to 
above were fought ? Handed down to us in mystic tradition, we 
take them at the value they may seem intrinsically to possess. 
There may have been, there must have been, many a battle of 
which we have no record. Many a brave man may have lived and 
fought before Arjana and Alexander, but they had no bard to cele- 
brate their victories or record their virtues ; happy may those be 
considered, to whom this favour has by fate been accorded, and 
valued by us ought the legends of the early state of a people to be ! 


We pass over a period of years, perhaps of centuries, and we arrive 
at the days of Alexander the Great. This period seems to be one, 
upon which tradition and history meet upon neutral ground, and 
contend for empire. Who can doubt that the hero of Macedon did 
really penetrate to the PanjAb, that his vessels did in truth ride 
upon the Indus % but we see all, as it were, through a hazy dark- 
ness : we can neither fix with exactness the site of the cities, which 
he founded, nor the tribes which he conquered ; we can neither 
recognise the traitors, nor the patriots, who fought with or died 
against the enemy from the west Antiquarians squabble and 
commentators differ, as to whether MultAn was the capital of the 
Malli, or Porus of the family of the Pouravi, who, as the Maha- 
bh^rata and the drama of SakuntalA tell us, were seated on the 
throne of India. Be it what it may, a great power penetrated in 
the third century before our era to the neighbourhood of the Satlaj, 
but, turning off ere they reached the plains of Sirhind, they con- 
veyed to Europe the origin of those vague rumours of the wealth, 
the power, and magnificence of Hindustan, on the threshold of 
which they had stood, and of the inhabitants of which they had 
collected some varied and distorted information. 

We now pass over in a breath a period of thirteen centuries : 
how many dynasties may have risen and fallen in that period, if 
Indian dynasties were then liable to the same vicissitude, to which 
they have since been subject ! We have no landmark to direct uS, 
no sure ray of light to attract our attention, between the days of 
the son of Philip and the son of Sebektegin. We may conclude, 
that the peninsula of India, if not free from internal broU, was at 
least unassailed by foreign invaders. We give up that period to 
the respective supporters of the Buddliist and Brahmanical theo- 
ries : this must have been the time, when those vast structures were 
raised, which still astonish us, when the Hindu people were 
governed by sovereigns of their own race and religion ; it must 
have been a time, when the temple was crowded with worshippers 
and the shrine heaped with rich presents ; these must be the good 
old days, to which the pious must still look back with regret, when 
kine were not killed, and when Brahmans were worshipped through 
the land ! But a bitter, an uncompromising, a fanatical enemy to 
Brahmans and to all, who bowed down to wood and stone, 
had sprung into existence in the deserts of Arabia. The fiery 
tenets of Mahomet had resuscitated the slumbering energy of 
the races, which had been once great and powerful, between the 
Euphrates and the Mediterranean, and sent forth hordes of warriors 
prepared to conquer and die in the name of the Almighty, the in- 
divisible and the eternal. From the Straits of Gibraltar on the 
west to the mountains which overhang the Indus, from the Oxus 
to the Nile, the sons of Islam overcame all that opposed them. 


New kingdoms were established, and new dynasties grasped at sove- 
reign power, till 'the eleventh century of the Christian era found 
Mahmiid, the son of Sebektegin, seated upon the throne of Gh^zni, 
and prepared to carry out the bold but unfinished attempts of his 
father to add the plains of Hindustan to his dominions. Burning 
with the lust of conquest, he assumed the cloak of religion, and started 
forth on an expedition to plunder and convert. Twelve times did 
he, with different degrees of success, pour his hordes into India ; 
and on several occasions over the plains of Sarhind did he carry fire 
and sword, breathing vengeance against kings and idolaters, seeking 
and destroying cities, defacing and polluting shrines. At Than&ar, 
then the seat of a rich and powerful kingdom, and a place of resort 
to the pious Hindu from all quarters, was fought by one of his suc- 
cessors a great and bloody battle, and not one only, for a partial 
defeat of the invader was merely the forerunner of a more complete 
victory, which laid open to him the road to Delhi and the other 
kingdoms of India. Still, Mahmiid was but the rod, his descen- 
dants and successors were the destroying serpents. A PathAn 
monarchy was established at Delhi, and thence ramified over India. 
But as one dynasty succeeded or rather destroyed the other, as the 
Ghorians, the Slave Kings, the Lodis struggled for conquest, on 
each, on every, occasion the plains of Sarhind were scoured and 
ravaged, as the Pathdn born in the mountains descended with a 
fresh horde of needy adventurers to demand his share of the com 
mon prey from his more effeminate brethren of Hindustan. 

But the success, which had attended the irruptions of Mahmiid 
and his successors, the vast and incalculable wealth in specie and 
jewels, with which the kingdom of Gh4zni had been enriched, 
attracted the attention and excited the avarice of a needy and war- 
like race of warriors, with whom the countries beyond the Oxus 
were teeming. The first irruption of this people under Jenghis 
Khan swept like a mighty tempest along the borders of India, and 
overspread Asia from the Pacific to the Caspian ; but although the 
mountains of K4bul fell an easy prey to the invader, the rich pro- 
vinces of India were spared, and the court of the emperor of Dellii 
became the refuge of kings and princes, over whose dominions the 
tempest had burst. When, however, in the succeeding century, a 
fresh storm gathered from beyond the Oxus, and the invincible 
Timiir was commencing his career of victory, which was destined 
to embrace the Celestial empire on the east and the Sublime Porte 
on the west, India was his first and most coveted prey. Nor were 
there the means of resistance, either in the people of the country or 
their degenerate rulers, to stem the tide of this new invasion. The 
institutes of Timiir would represent him as possessed of every 
virtue : his acts stamp him as the perpetrator of every crime, human 
and inhuman. If the massacre of helpless prisoners, and the 


licensed plunder and slaughter of unresisting citizens, can hold up 
the name of any conqueror to the execration of posterity, that con- 
queror is Timiir, whose course from the Indus to the Ganges was 
literally marked by carnage and devastation. Content with having 
displayed his vast powers as the scourge of the Almighty, Timiir 
made no attempt to establish his dynasty in Delhi, but, satiated 
with the blood and wealth of India, he recrossed the Indus, and 
entered upon the grand expedition which, stupendous as it was, he 
executed, that of planting his standard on the farther shore of the 
Bosphorus. India was left to the government, or rather the mis- 
government, of the remnant of the Pathdn dynasties, till, in the 
person of Baber, his lineal descendant, arose the star of the impe- 
rial house of Delhi, miscalled the house of the Moghals. Baber's 
own pen has left us an interesting account of his adventures and 
his wanderings, and we can follow him from the time, when he was 
an exile from his paternal heritage, when he seemed the butt of 
fortune, and, though often defeated, was never known to despair. 
We accompany him to the battle of Sarhind and Panipat, where he 
accomplished the downfall of the house of Lodi, and established 
his own family at Delhi. Scarcely, however, had the energetic 
founder of the dynasty, which so long occupied the pageant throne 
of Delhi, breathed his last, ere the sceptre was snatched from the 
hands of his less-gifted son, who was driven into exile across the 
Indus. Thence returning with recruited strength, the plains of 
Sarhind again became the theatre of the struggle for empire, and 
the road by which the hardy but undisciplined sons of the north 
plundered their way to the capital of Hindustan. The field of 
Panipat a second time decided the fate of India, and the struggles 
of the Path4n and the Tartar ceased finally under the able rule of 
Akbar. This, however, did not bring rest to these devoted regions. 
Armies were incessantly pouring across them to reduce rebellious 
provinces, or more completely to bring into subjection half-subdued 
districts. Sometimes they proceeded to victory, sometimes to 

"With the exception of these expeditions, the countries between 
the Indus and the Jamnd enjoyed comparative repose during the 
reign of Akbar and his three illustrious successors. It was then 
that the arts of peace were cultivated, that the stately serai sprun" 
into existence, as it were by the wand of the enchanter, in the 
centre of the desert plain ; it was then that the magnificent cities 
were erected with their mosques, their tombs, their garden houses, 
and all the accompaniments of luxury and grandeur, which still in 
their ruins excite feelings of astonishment and admiration. The 
plains of Sarhind then became the route, along which the court of 
Jahctogfr and Shah Jah<^,n travelled in luxurious pomp from Delhi 
to the happy valley of Kashmir. The invaluable memoirs of the 


scientific Bernier give us an accurate and amusing picture of sucli 
imperial progresses, and the multitude of miseries and discomforts 
■which attended them. Any traveller in the North-West Provinces 
can sympathise vfith him in his woful description of the waters, 
much troubled by the drinking of cattle and washing of followers ; 
we can feel for him in the dire necessity of eating the filthy bread 
of the bazaar, and having his whole day consumed in pitching and 
striking tents, in knocking in pegs and abusing servants, in being 
suffocated with dust, and so shut in on aU sides by ropes and 
canvas-screens as neither to be able to advance nor retreat. His 
picturesque descriptions speak for themselves, and show that the 
habits of the people of India are stiU unchanged. These periodical 
processions of the emperors must have been splendid and stately 
affairs, but bringing with them devastation and ruin to the villages 
on the line of march.' Even in our own days, with all the system 
and arrangement of our district-jurisdictions, the passage of a gover- 
nor-general or commander-in-chief is like that of a destroying spirit. 
The great man is himself only dimly seen in the early morning 
march, but the camp-followers plunder the whole day, verifying 
the Persian proverb, that, if one egg be required for the prince, one 
thousand chickens are spitted by his servants. Eedress is vain, as 
before the morrow's dawn the camp itself, and 'the means of identi- 
fying the parties, are gone : if such exists even now, what must 
have been the state of things in the days of the Mahometan 
empire ? The Kos-Min4rs still mark the royal way from Agra to 
Lahore, and many of the halting-places are still distinguishable by 
the remains of gardens and buildings devoted to the temporary 
accommodation of the court in its transit. A perusal of the auto- 
biography of Jehdngfr gives some more particulars of such journeys, 
as tiiey appeared to royalty itself, and supply us with an amusing 
anecdote of truly Oriental justice, which took place by order of the 
emperor in the .gardens of Sarhind. The death of Aurangz6b again 
brought war and confusion, intrigue and assassination, into the 
north of Hindustan. During the years immediately succeeding, we 
read of armies advancing to and from Lahore, of the empire being 
sold for money or purchased by blood. We find the petty district 
authorities availing themselves of the times to assist their inde- 
pendence, and PathAn, Moghal, and Hindu each seizing what they 
could lay hold of, and rendering the countries between the Satlaj 
and the Jamn^ a scene of anarchy and confusion. 

But the attention of all was suddenly directed from objects of 
selfish aggrandisement, and the instinct of common danger united 
all once more upon the unexpected arrival of the terrible NMir, 
king of Persia. Once more the countries beyond the snowy moun- 
tains, which bound India on the north-west, had sent forth an iron 
race of warriors, who under one leader swept down with irresistible 


violence upon the unprotected plains of Hindustan : all the mush- 
room potentates of India were struck with astonishment at this 
new and invincible invader. Even far in the Dakhan its influence 
was felt, and it urged Bajf Eao, the Mardtha Peishwa, to invite 
his bitter enemy, the NizAm, to form a general league for the 
defence of India against a common foe. The plunderer and de- 
stroyer swept on to Delhi, and the spot is stiU shown in the 
mosque of Rakn-iid-daulah, where he seated himself to indulge 
his insatiable bloodthirstiness in the slaughter of the citizens of 
the first city of the empire. 

The stream was too violent to be lasting, and we find that it soon 
rolled back, and an inglorious death ere long terminated the career 
of NAdir Shah ; but, as his invasion gave the finishing-stroke to the 
power of the house of Timiir, so also it brought to a perfection the 
confusion and anarchy prevailing in the unhappy country, whose 
history we are touching upon. What was its condition ? Harried 
by successive inroads of savage and relentless plunderers, pressed 
by their nominal rulers, spoiled by the actual invader, the inhabi- 
tants had acquired the ferocity of the wild beast ; leaving their 
fields to be overrun with jungle, they fortified their villages ; each 
man was a soldier in defence of his paternal acre, each well was 
protected by a tower, each village rendered itself secure by a ditch 
and impenetrable hedges at least against the inroads of marauding 
horse. Up to the time of the invasion of Nddir, either from hope- 
lessness or from indifference, they bore their evils with patience or 
at least in silence ; but at length the cup of Mahometan tyranny 
was full, and the spark was applied, which set the whole country 
in a flame. About the year 1742 the Jat agriculturists, from sheer 
desperation, took up arms, and, resigning their former peaceful 
avocations, took to rapine and plunder as a means of existence. 
This ebullition might and would in all probability have been put 
down by the superiority of skill in arms, which the provincial ruler 
still possessed, but at this critical moment the revolting Hindus 
adopted, as a bond of union, the dormant tenets of Guru Ndnak, 
which, though crushed, had never been exterminated, and, assuming 
these as their watchword, they found that strength and consistency, 
which religious fanaticism alone can supply. 

From this period we date the existence of the Sikhs, as a distinct 
people and professors of a distinct religion ; from this date they 
commenced their career of arms, and eventually of conquest. They 
then entered upon and finally carried out the great work, efifected 
in the south of India by the Mardthas, the rising of the oppressed 
Hindu races against their Mahometan conquerors and tyrants. 
It was a war of religion and extermination, and, but for the inter- 
ference of a European power in the politics of India, every vestio-e 
of Mahometan rule would have been swept from the co\intry. 


Th.0 struggle for the empire of Hindustan -would have been be- 
tween the Mar^tha and the Sikh; and as the Mardtha had so 
far been the first in the field by the occupation of Delhi, the 
theatre of tlie contest would have been these very plains of which 
we now write. 

It was thus that the precepts of KAnak were adopted by the 
■warrior and the rebel. Far other was the intention of their peaceful 
and benevolent founder. Beholding and pitying the miseries pro- 
duced by fanaticism and religious strife, his object was to blend 
the Hindu faith and Mahometan creed into a compound, and to 
lead both to lay aside their rancour, and worship the one invisible 
Being. His peaceful ministry was continued in the persons of his 
immediate successors, Angad, Amar DAs, Eara DAs, and Arjan ; 
though the numbers of the professors of the new faith increased, 
still there was nought to distinguish them from the other ascetic 
and religious sectarians, with which India still abounds: they aimed 
at no political existence, and in all probability would never have 
obtained one, had not, in an ill-fated moment, the Mahometan 
ruler of the district, from pique, from prejudice, or wanton cruelty. 
Imprisoned and put to death the last mentioned of these teachers. 
This was in the year 1606. Fired by this outrage, the son of the 
murdergd priest, Har Govind, took up arms, and, exciting the pas- 
sions of his followers, commenced a system of petty reprisals. But 
what was the power and means of a few and unorganised devotees 
against the consolidated power of the empire of Delhi? Fresh 
persecution only produced increased hate ; the sect was weUnigh 
crushed, its professors were scattered; it would have ceased to 
exist had not the murder of Tegh Bahddar, the son of Har Govind, 
called forth the talents, the energy, and the vengeance of Guru 
Govind, the tenth and the last of the successor's of NAnak. A man 
of superior abilities, of enthusiastic eloquence and indomitable 
courage. Guru Govind entirely altered the constitution and habits 
of his followers. He imbued them with military ardour, and taught 
them to devote themselves to the pious duty of wreaking vengeance 
upon the Mahometans. The aspect of the times w^as now more 
favourable ; the power of Aurangz^b was occupied in the disastrous 
wars of the Dakhan ; the sect grew and multiplied ; they opposed, 
sometimes with success, and sometimes with reverse, such force as 
the officers of the emperor sent out against them. They established 
themselves at Anandpiir-Makhowal and ChamkOur, south of the 
Satlaj ; and, though Guru Govind was at length driven from the 
latter place, and his wife and children barbarously murdered at 
Sarhind, while he himself- perished in exile, the cause w^s not 
deserted : his disciple and follower Banda, the Bairdgi, took advan- 
tage of the confusion and tumult following the death of Aurang- 
z6b, and planned and executed t.>ie daring deed of the capturing 


and sacking of Sarhind, the principal city 'between the Satlaj and 
the Jamnl Animated with the spirit of demons, rather than of 
men, they wreaked their vengeance to the full upon this devoted 
city, and, encouraged by their success, spread their ravages beyond 
the JamnA into the districts of Sahdranpilr. But the strength of 
the Delhi empire, though weakened by dissension and strife, was 
still strong against these irregular combatants ; the field of Panipat 
saw them defeated, and, their leader being shortly afterwards 
taken and barbarously murdered, the flames of this religions war- 
fare were to a certain extent allayed. 

Driven like wUd beasts before their exterminating enemy, cut 
down in hundreds, with a price set on theii heads, some strong 
spirits stUl clung to the tenets of their Guru, refused to cut their 
beards and resume the peaceful life of cultivators, and concealed 
themselves in the hUls to await a suitable time for again wreaking 
their vengeance. That at length arrived : the utter annihilation 
of the power of the Delhi emperor enabled the Hindu peasantry, 
exasperated by centuries of oppression, to rise up in great 
strength. Assuming the tenets of a faith, associated in theii 
memories with deeds of vengeance upon the Mahometan, and 
successful resistance against the oppressor, they converted the 
country between the rivers Eivi and Jamn4 into a theatre for 
the struggle of a nation fighting for its liberty, of enthusiasts 
contending for the unrestrained profession of their peculiar 
tenets, with that zeal and energy which can only be awakened 
in such a cause. This was the distinction of their present out- 
break from those preceding it under Har Govind, Guru Govind, 
and Banda; those were the struggles of religious fanatics alone, 
breathing vengeance for the loss of their leader, and the oppression 
of themselves ; to this cause was now superadded the accumulated 
vengeance and righteous indignation of a people, who had been 
insulted and persecuted for centuries. 

Their strength was now such, that they opposed with success the 
arms of the Viceroy of Lahore, and would probably have soon 
established for themselves some permanent position, when an 
enemy appeared from the west, whose force of overwhelming mag- 
nitude carried everything before it, and threw back the progress of 
the Hindu revolution for a quarter of a century : this was Ahmed 
Shah AbddU, the founder of the dynasty of KAbul. As a youth 
he had accompanied NMir Shah in his inroad into Hindustan ; he 
had witnessed the capabilities of the country to yield plunder and 
its inabUity to defend itself, and he resolved to take advantage of 
its distracted state, and after plundering Central Hindustan to 
annex the provinces of Lahore and Sarhind permanently to his 
dominions. Seven times did he enter these unfortimate provinces, 
and overrun them like a destroj'ing whirlwind. In his first inva- 


sion, in 1 747, the neighbourhood of Sarhind was the scene of a 
tremendous conflict between the Moghal and the Abd41i. The fol- 
lowing year saw the invader return, and, in 1751, an engagement 
took place under the walls of Lahore, after which the power of the 
emperor of Delhi ceased even nominally to predominate north of 
the Jamn4. In 1755, the Abddli proceeded without opposition 
and took temporary possession of Delhi, but contented himself 
with making the Jamn^ the southern boundary of his domiaions. 
But his power, though great, was not consolidated, and one of the 
Mahometan District-Governors, whom the change of supreme power 
had deprived of his province, invited the common enemy of the 
faith to avenge him upon his opponent. That enemy was the Ma- 
rdtha, whose arms were then irresistible from Delhi to Cape Comorin, 
Ready for plunder, and burning to annex new provinces to the empire 
of the Peishwa, Eagonath Rao, son of the late B^jf Eao, readily 
accepted the invitation, and poured across the countries between 
the Jamnd and Satlaj the hardy race which had fought its way 
to the north from the fastnesses of the Western Ghats of Southern 

Resistance on the part of the Afghan Governor was vain : he 
was driven across the Indus, leaving the whole country between 
that stream and the Jamni to be desolated and plundered. Short, 
however, was the period of the new rule. Roused by the insult 
offered to his religion and his power, the Abddli returned with 
an overwhelming force, and utterly destroyed the Mar^tha army 
on the plains of Panipat. This was the last great religious battle 
in India ; it was the last struggle between the Hindu and Maho- 
metan, as on this occasion all the great Mahometan chiefs of 
India were ranged under the standard of the northern invader. 
Great however as was the victory of the Mahometans, they 
were unable to take advantage of it, and it proved their last and 
final struggle, for since that date they have ceased to be the 
dominant power in India. 

Twice more, however, did the AbdAli descend from the mountains, 
but it was rather for the purpose of wreaking his vengeance upon 
his revolting subjects, than with any view of permanent conquest. 
From the date of the battle of Panipat, the whole country between 
the rivers RAvi and Jamn4 became the property of the insurgent 
followers of Guru Govind ; they now openly collected in plunder- 
ing bodies, they erected forts, and the fearful carnage and defeat 
which they suffered in 1762 in the neighbourhood of Sarhind, only 
exasperated them more deeply, and led to their collecting again in 
the following year, , annihilating the army of the governor and 
utterly destroying all that remained of the city of Sarhind. Return- 
ing once again to avenge this open insult, the AbdAli saw that all 
efforts to retain these provinces were useless, and he retired across 


tlie Indus, and, for the rest of his reign and that of his son, the 
Sikhs remained undisputed masters of the soil 

This people originally came before us, as the unobtrusive pro- 
fessors of doctrines peculiar for their simplicity and their peaceful 
tendency. Excited by the cries of a son breathing vengeance for 
the slaughter of his father and their priest, we have seen these 
peaceful devotees take up arms and commence a religious warfare 
against this persecution. Crushed, crushed to the ground by an 
overwhelming force, they had betaken themselves to the lair and 
adopted the habits of wild beasts, till the oppression of centuries 
excited the vengeful passions of the population of a whole country, 
and urged them to rise against the oppressor, adopting the tenets of 
a faith all but forgotten as the watchword of their warfare. We 
have seen them defeated and scattered to the four winds, but still 
returning when the tempest had ^own over, and at length, when 
anarchy had reached its crisis, when the empire of Delhi on the 
south had been annihilated, and on the north the empire of KAbul 
was paralysed by internal convulsions, occupying and portioning 
out among themselves, as sovereign possessors, the soH, for the 
peaceful possession of which they had struggled, as cultivators. 
Cradled as they were in oppression, fighting only for plunder and 
existence, led on by no one mastermind, ignorant, reckless, possess- 
ing the solitary virtues of bravery and independence of character, 
we cannot expect to find with them any system of government, or 
any of the organisation, which constitutes a state. The coast being 
clear, there being no ruler in the land, each band of plundering 
marauders under their respective chieftain lighted, like a cloud of 
locusts, on the soil To each Sirdar, to each horseman, his share 
was allotted ; and in that space of ground each individual assumed 
and exercised rights, to which no term can be applied but that of 
sovereign. The social structure of the village community remained 
unchanged, the conquering Sikh did not intrude himself into the 
number of the village shareholders, but he claimed from them, and 
exacted when he was able, that portion of the produce of the soil 
which the custom of ages in India has set aside to the maintenance 
of government, and which passed now into the hands of an indivi- 
dual, perhaps a cultivator himseK in the adjoining village, biit who 
had relinquished the ploughshare for the sword, and had enrolled 
himself among the followers of some successful freebooter. 

This state of things was too anomalous to last: the stronger 
swallowed up the weaker; the peasant brethren united and 're- 
fused, unless coerced, to pay the share to those who had not the 
power to exact it. The common enemy having retired, dissensions 
arose among the liberated chiefs themselves, and a field was found 
for the display of individual talent and enterprise. So, for the 
space of thirty years, from 1764 to 1794, though no foreign in- 


vader molested these countries, no destroying army plundered the 
ripening harvests, still feud and internal dissension reigned through, 
out the land : villages were prosecuting hereditary quarrels with 
their neighbours. Secure iu his petty fort, the Sikh chieftain was 
sometimes besieged by the peasants, at another time collecting his 
share of the produce with the assistance of hired ruffians. The 
owners of villages with strong natural defences threw off aU con- 
neotion with their 'nominal masters, wliile ambitious and enter- 
prising chieftains were daily, by successful expeditions of plunder, 
increasing their possessions and reputation. Distinguished among 
these were the ancestors of Eanjit Singh, who were paving the 
way for the more comprehensive designs of their successor. 

Ere we allude to these events, and the influence, which the 
English Government was soon to exert in these countries, we must 
mtroduce the history of the last invader, who descended from the 
mountains of Kdbul to conquer Hindustan. Between the years 
1795 and 1798 the youthful Shah Zemdn, who had but just suc- 
ceeded to the throne of K4bul, looking upon all the provinces up 
to the Janmd. as his lawful dominions, three times invaded the 
PanjAb and occupied Lahore. It was, however, the last expiring 
effort of the chivalry of the "West. For 700 years, since the days 
of Sebektegin, these plains had been considered the lawful spoil 
of the hardy tribes who occupied the mountains, but their lease 
had now expired, and Shah Zemdn was the last of the long line of 
Mahometan invaders. Let us pause for one moment, and con- 
sider the eventful history of him, whose name has just fallen from 
our pen. Born the heir to a throne then the most powerful in 
India, brought up amidst the prestige of the victories and successful 
invasions of his illustrious grandfather, who lorded it unrestrained 
over Hindustan, and had overpowered the united army of the 
Hindu race, himself during the lifetime of his father a successful 
warrior and the governor of a province, he seized the first oppor- 
tunity of reasserting his claims to the provinces as far as the Jamnd, 
and, leaguing with Tipii Sultan, the distant tyrant of Mysore, he 
conceived the magnificent project of re-estabHshing the power of 
the Crescent in Hindustan, of subduing the rebellious Hindu, and 
driving into the sea, whence they came, the intrusive Christians. 
Nor was the project chimerical, nor the danger slight, nor consi- 
dered so by Lord WeUesley, then Governor-General of India. It 
was partly with reference to this projected invasion of Shah Zemdn, 
the rumours of which alarmed the Council Board of Calcutta, that 
measures so decisive were adopted against Tipii, that half his 
dominions were rent from the sovereign of Oudh as payment of a sub- 
sidiary force, and other means of defence devised to defeat the 
hopes of the youthful invader. Vain hopes ! a few years saw him 
deprived of his kingdom and his sight, an exile, and a wanderer. 


For twenty years the sport of fortune and the sharer of the evU 
fate of his ill-starred brother Shah Shiija, he at length found a 
refuge at Liidiana, and a maintenance from the spontaneous gene- 
rosity of that very people, whose expulsion from India had been 
one of his dearest objects. As if fate were not content with the 
vicissitudes of his youth and manhood, he was doomed in his old 
age to leave his peaceful asylum to return in a species of mock and 
illusory triumph to the capital of the kingdori, which forty years 
before had been his own. Ejected thence, he once more returned a 
fugitive to die in the place of his former exUe. The writer of 
these pages, in 1845, saw and spoke to him in the last year of his 
eventful life, and will not soon forget the blind and aged monarch, 
on whose forehead time and care had written many a wrinkle, who 
in the midst of squalor and poverty seated himself on his old bed 
as upon a throne, and still spoke in the language and assumed the 
air of a sovereign, whose whole troubled life was a memorable 
example of the instability of human greatness,^ the last of the 
great DurAiji dynasty. 

But to return to the history of these countries. Although the 
army of the Peishwa was entirely defeated, and with incredible 
slaughter, at the battle of Panipat, the power of the Mardthas was 
in no degree diminished : it seemed to have received new vigour 
from the blow, and to possess a hydra-headed vivacity. The power 
of the Peishwa himself was broken, but under the guidance of 
Holkar, the Bhiinsla, and Scindia, the MarAtha arms still con- 
tinued paramount in India, and the regular battalions of the latter 
under De Boigne, Perron, and Louis Bourquet were in possession of 
Delhi and the country up to the JanmA ; nor did their arms cease 
there. Every chief of note south of the Satlaj was a tributary to 
the Mardtha, and we find the youthful Eanjit Singh at the com- 
mencement of this century, while his power was stUl scarcely 
superior to that of a petty Sirdar, entering into a treaty with 
General Perron, the substance of which was the assistance of a 
force of regular battalions to establish his power in the country, 
and the payment of a share of the revenue to the MarAtha of the 
provinces brought into subjection by such means. This was indeed 
never acted upon, but the empire of the Mar^thas was acknow- 
ledged by Eanjit Singh, and indisputable up to the Satlaj, though 
the puzzled antiquary will scarcely recognise in " Louis Saheb," 
the name under which Louis Bourquet is familiarly known among 
the Sikh states, the formidable lieutenant of Scindia, and the gallant 
opponent of the EngUsh arms at the battle of Delhi. StUi more 
puzzled would the antiquary be, if he heard mention made of the 

1 Fourteen years later the writer saw and spoke to the old king of Delhi, 
seated amidst the ruins of his palace at Delhi, the last of the great Moghai 
dynasty. ° 


viotories of " JaliAzi Sahib," of the chiefs whom he set up, and the 
heavy fines which he exacted. He would scarcely recognise George 
Thomas, a name much dreaded and renowned among the Sikh 
peasantry. This remarkable man, a sailor by profession, whence 
his Indian name, availed himself of the state of affairs into which 
he was thrown, and by dint of perseverance, military skill, and 
great personal valour, carved out for himself a small principaUty, 
and had he had only natives to contend with would have held it. 
In .him was most remarkably displayed that energy of character 
which distinguishes the European from the Asiatic. We find him 
refusing to desert the cause of his friends, daring his foes to do 
their worst, bringing into subjection a district previously uncon- 
trollable, building forts, casting cannon, and training levies. Ap- 
pealed to by the widow of Eoy IHas, a Mahometan chief, whose 
territory bordered upon the Satlaj, to support her against her 
oppressors, he marched from Hansi, his capital, to Eai Kote, 
through a hostile country, being himself in open warfare with the 
chiefs of the intervening space, whom he defeated more than once 
in battle. He was the first Englishman on the Satlaj, though to 
Lord Lake that honour is usually ascribed. What would have 
been his fate, had he been enabled to maintain himself in his prin- 
cipality of Hansi, till, by the fall of the Mardtha power, he came 
into contact with the army of his own countrymen, can scarcely be 
guessed at ; his power fell before the arms of Louis Bourquet, and, 
though permitted to retire to our provinces with the wealth which 
he had amassed, he died before his arrival at Calcutta. His 
memoirs, however, which were published at the time, furnish an 
interesting example of what the energies of an imeducated man 
can do. 

We have now arrived at the commencement of our own century, 
and we find the plains of Sarhind and the country adjoining occu- 
pied by independent Sikh chieftains, each man holding his village 
or his district by the sword, at deadly war with his neighbour, 
ready to take any and every advantage to improve his position, 
bound by no feelings of honour, no ties of blood, no sentiments of 
religion, when his own selfish interest interfered. Still all were 
nominally or really under the paramount sway of Scindia. The power 
of that chieftain fell before the arms of the Duke of Wellington, then 
Sir Arthur WeUesley, and Lord Lake, and all the coimtry north 
of Jodhpdr and Jaipur were, by the treaty, ratified in Decem- 
ber 1803, ceded without reserve to the English. Our right, 
as successor to Scindia, of supremacy to the Satlaj was indisput- 
able, and was never renounced by us ; and, had the mastermind 
which then ruled the destinies of India been uncontrolled, that 
supremacy would doubtless have been exerted and maintained. 
Eut for a time prudential considerations and an exhausted 


treasury held us back from tlie supremacy of Hindustdn, which 
circumstances soon forced upon us. Accordingly at the close^ of 
the year 1805, we find Lord Lake crossing the plains of Sarhind 
and Malwa, driving before him the discomfited Holkar, who had 
left the flower of his infantry and artillery on the plains of Dig, 
and of his cavah-y under the walls of Fathgarh. Lord Lake 
pressed on to Liidiana, nor did he hesitate to cross the Satlaj and 
traverse the district of the Jalandhar D6ab; and on the banks 
of the Beas he dictated his terms to Jeswant Eao Holkar, and 
formed a treaty of friendship with Eanjit Singh. Ten thousand men 
were in those days considered sufficient to oppose any force that 
could be found between the rivers Indus and JamnA. By the genius 
of one chieftain, aided by the science of French officers, a military 
power was allowed, since that date, to spring up since then of 
so formidable a character, that twenty thousand men, backed by 
the whole army and resources of British India, were required to 
hold, and without entire success, that line of frontier wMch Lord 
Lake's comparatively smaU. force crossed vnth impunity, and three 
regiments held unsupported, nearer than KarnAl, in defiance of all 
comers. One veteran hero^ lived to cross the Satlaj a second time 
after an interval of forty years, and to show us right well how 
the men of LaswAri and Dig could fight, where a handful of 
English were considered sufficient to oppose a host, and it was not 
deemed necessary for the attainment of victory to approximate in 
number our opponents. 

The commencement of the year 1806 had seen our conquering 
army fall from the advanced line of the Satlaj, and our Govern- 
ment refusing to exercise those rights of supremacy, which we had 
fairly won, or extend our protection to those chiefs who craved it 
of us in person at Delhi. But there was a shrewd observer intently 
watching our movements, a young and successful chieftain, who 
had convinced himseH of our superiority in arms, but was tempted, 
by seeing the backward position which we held, to snatch the 
rich prize of the territories of the numerous unprotected chiefs 
of Sarhind and Malwa. This was Eanjit Singh. UnwiUing to 
offend the mighty power, which had prostrated everything from 
the sea and the Ganges to the BfimAlaya, he was astonished at find- 
ing us uninfluenced by the lust of territorial aggrandisement, 
which was the one mainspring of his own actions, and he was 
thus tempted to try how far our forbearance would extend. In the 
autumn of 1806 he dashed across the river Satlaj, under pretence 
of adjusting some differences betwixt parties who had referred to 
him, and after laying hands upon and distributing among his. 

1 We allude to Major-General Gilbert, who crossed the Satlaj with Lord 
Lake at Liidlana in 1806 as baggage-master, and with Sir Hugh Gough at 
Ferozepore in 1846 as General of Division. 


friends the territories of the defenceless widow of Roy Ilias, he 
returned in triumph to Lahore. So successful and profitable, hoth 
in plunder and reputation, had been this trip, so perfectly un- 
noticed by the English Resident of Delhi, that Eanjit Singh was 
tempted on a similar excuse to cross a second time in the autumn of 
1807, and to overrun the whole country with his cavalry, to levy 
fines from the chief of ManimAjra, adjoining the vaUey of Pinjore, 
and bestow away on one of his followers the fort and district of 
Nar^yangarh, almost on the banks of the river JamnA. This last 
act startled the Council Board at Calcutta, but it is doubtful, 
whether even this would have aroused the offended dignity of the 
British lion, had it not occurred at the same time that the supposed 
designs of the ruler of France on the north-west frontier of Hin- 
dustan urged the adoption of a Hne of poHcy, which brought the 
EngUsh more immediately in collision with the Napoleon of the 
East, as his talents, his sagacity, military skill, and the vast empire 
which he gained and ably governed entitle Eanjit Singh to be called. 
Even then, could he only but have known and played his true 
game, the chief of Lahore might have gained in entire sovereignty 
the whole country up to the JamnA, as the price of his friendship 
with us and jealous resistance to a common foe from the West. 
But a third expedition, which he daringly ventured upon in 1808, 
in spite of the warnings of the English Resident, decided the Gov- 
ernment on the course they must adopt. Sir David Ochterlony 
crossed the Jamnd at Biirea in 1809, and, followed at an interval 
by an army of reserve, he estabHshed without opposition the post 
at Liidfana, by which our position up to the Satlaj was fully con- 
firmed, though Ranjlt Singh was allowed, by a conciliating policy, 
to keep the revenues of the districts, which he had appropriated 
in his two former expeditions, on condition of disgorging those 
obtained in his last. 

Since those days these plains have enjoyed permanent peace and 
security from foreign foe and domestic broil.' It was soon found out 
and impressed upon the English Government, that it was necessary 
to protect our dependants from the effects of their own evil habits, 
as well as from the grasp of the invader ; they had to be taught 
to respect the rights of others, as well as to be maintained in their 
own. The result has proved the soundness of the policy which 
led us to advance to the Satlaj. By that step we effectually re- 
strained the ambitious Sikh ruler from interference in the affairs 
of Hindustan ; we laid our hands on and held firmly these plains, 
which are justly called the threshold of India, and for thirty years 
we had neither occasion nor desire to advance our frontier or our 
influence. Circumstances in 1846 changed; but we may dwell 
with satisfaction on the wisdom of our rulers, which led to our 
occupying the advanced line of the Satlaj, instead of, as was ori- 



ginally contemplated, falling back upon the Jamnd. The inhabi- 
tants of the country may also well rejoice at the change of views 
of the English Government. Cultivation has extended, security 
of the roads has been restored, the solitary tower disappeared from 
the village or the well, of which it was once the guardian and the 
oppressor. In those portions held immediately under the English 
Government this is more remarkable, as a strong Government, 
such as our own, is free from those evils, which are ever inherent 
in native ones ; but still the thriving condition of the subjects of 
the MaharAja of Patidla may vie with those of any native poten- 
tate in India. Only a few generations himself removed from the 
plough, that chieftaiu has feelings and prejudices in union with 
his people : he is wealthy enough to have no necessity for petty 
oppression, ana. to enable him to secure able, if not honest, advisers ; 
and his government may justly be called a paternal one. There 
may, indeed, be some inconveniences attending our rule ; there may 
be some of our regulations beyond the comprehension of the 
ignorant chief ; there may be some hardships, such as the arbitrary 
absorption of whole villages into our vast cantonments, under 
which we can imagine the exasperated Sikh, as he was being 
turned out of the homestead, valued by him far above the ample 
price offered for it, exclaiming with Melil)oeus — 

" Impius hseo tarn culta novalia miles habehit ? 
Barbarus has segetes ? " 

But in. the long run the people are the gainers. They are 
secured both in property and person, the value of the productions 
of their soil has increased tenfold, and the country generally has 
enjoyed the blessing of a continuous peace, which it can scarcely 
be said to have ever tasted since the days of Mahmiid of GhAzni. 

Such events, as those to which we have alluded, write their 
own history on the country, where they have been enacted : all of 
the masters, to whom these plains have been subject, have left 
some trace for good or evU of their occupation. The pious Hindu 
will find few remnants, spared by the hand of time and man, to 
recall to him the former splendour of the princes of the country, 
who first opposed the torrent of Mahometan invasion; but to 
him the face of the country, the streams and plains, are sacred 
as the cradle of the Indian branch of the Arian family and of the 
Vedic literature, and possess an interest, which no time can efface, 
no succession of invaders destroy. To the Mahometans this 
whole country teems with mournful reminiscences of the empire 
and magnificence of their countrymen, lost to them for ever. A 
taste for erecting costly structures appears to have been one of 
their great characteristics, and at every step the eye rests with 
surprise upon some magnificent memorial of the emperors of 
Delhi or their satraps. It must, however, be allowed, that these 


buildings were all erected, from motives of selfish luxury or osten- 
tatious vaingloriousness. The wide and capacious serai was not 
raised for the protection of the friendless traveller, or the recep- 
tion of the wares of the enterprising merchant ; the garden was 
not planted and the weU was not dug for the wayfarer ; but 
for the use of the emperor and his nobles, when their occasional 
presence honoured and laid waste the unfortunate villages on the 
route. The stately dome and cloister, which attracts the eye, was 
erected. for no patriotic or exalted purpose ; it was neither a refuge 
for the destitute, nor a retreat for the learned and wise, nor a 
receptacle of those arts and sciences by which empires, not liable to 
vicissitudes of fortune, are erected, and monuments imperishable 
are raised. For no other purpose than a temporary and vain- 
glorious exaltation of an iadividual, and an unknown and un- 
honoured name, provinces were plundered, and with the sums 
thus collected a massive pile of buildings was erected, which has 
lasted and will last for centuries. But the name of the builder 
has often perished ; the purposes for which they were erected 
have been forgotten; some have been defiled and desecrated by 
becoming the residence of a race of men, whom their founders 
hated and detested ; others have been destroyed to furnish materials 
for the buildings of the new lords of the soil. 

No stately buildings, no royal cities, mark the era of Sikh supre- 
maqy, but desolation, ruin, and destruction have ever been the 
principles of his creed, both religious and political. In the 
plundering of cities and sacking of towns has been his chief 
dehght, and the wide extent of ruins, that mark the site of many 
a former metropolis, testify how well he has fulfilled his destroying 
mission. A wretched village marks the spot where the cruelty of 
the oppressor was avenged at Sarhind after the lapse of a century, 
and a large and populous city was sacked and levelled to the ground 
by wrathful fanatics. Even to this day the pious Sikh thinks, 
that he is performing a religious duty in conveying to the waters 
of the Ganges one brick from the ruins of a city, by the hand of 
whose impious rulers the wife and children of their last Guru was 

As described in the foregoing pages commenced our connection 
with the Sikhs. With a part of that nation we entered into treaties 
of friendship ; over a part we threw the mantle of our protection, 
and included them within the limits of our empire. It has been 
often remarked, that the princes of India, with whom we have 
contended in arms, have none of them boasted of dynasties ex- 
tending back further than the commencement of the preceding 
century. Many, such as Holkar, Scindia, and Hyder Ah, were 
merely successful military adventurers ; others, such as the nizdm 
of the Dakhan and the sovereign of Oudh, were satraps of the empire 


of Delhi, who had taken advantage of the times to assert their 
independence. But there is a striking resemblance in the history 
of the Sikh people to that of our own Indian empire. Both were 
created vinder the same influences, and the crises of their fates 
happened at the same periods. At the time that the successors of 
the peaceful NAnak were inculcatiug their conciliatuig doctrines 
among a few and unknown fo]J.owers, the founders of the Anglo- 
Indian empire were engaged in the equally peaceful avocations of 
commerce. At Surat, at Patna, at' Hiigli, they were wholly en- 
gaged in the absorbing occupation of money-making ; nor did they 
dream of empire. Towards the close of the seventeenth century 
we find Guru Govind, organising his followers into a military 
confederation, establishing himself in the fortresses of Anandpiir- 
Makhowal and Chamkour, and preparing to meet in arms the 
forces of Delhi ; on the banks of the Hiigli oppression was working 
out the same ends, and at the same time converting the peaceful 
trader into the energetic soldier. Admiral Nicholson was preparing 
to commence war with the Subahdar of BangAl, and Mr. Chamock 
was throwing up entrenchments at Hidjili to receive the property 
and persons of British settlers. The next fifty years were passed 
by both people in various fortunes, influenced by the personal 
character of the Government of the province, whom the decadence 
of the empire had now rendered absolute. But the middle of the 
century was marked to both people by a tremendous outrage, 
followed by an immediate retribution. The Sikh stiU remembers 
with a lively hatred of his former persecutors the decapitation of 
the early martyrs in the Shahid Ganj at Lahore ; neither has he 
forgotten the amuhUation of the Khalsa Dal at the field of the 
Ghillo Ghara near Sarhind; and the finger of execration still 
points in Anglo-Indian history to the Black Hole of Calcutta and 
the massacre at Patna. 

The outrages were speedily avenged, and the year succeeding 
each saw, on the one hand, the oppressed and proscribed votaries 
of Guru Govind exulting over the dead body of their former ruler, 
and plundering and destroying the fair city of Sarhind ; on the 
other, the victorious Clive on the field of Plassy disposing of the 
province of Bengal. These events, which happened within a few 
years of each other, were the turning-points of the history of each 
nation. Since then a career of victory has approximated the con- 
fines of the two nations, which at the commencement of last century 
were separated by many a hundred league ; and the commencement 
of the present century for the first time brought the two nations 
into collision, and beheld a Sikh chief contending against us with 
an armed demonstration for the countries between the rivers Jamn4 
and Satlaj. 

A few notices may be added of the military operations, which 


have been carried on in tliis country since the above period. At 
that time the line of hills was the boundary on the north-east ; 
but shortly after we had to take the field against the Gurkhas, 
and annex the Eajpiit hill-states betwixt the rivers Satlaj and 
JamnA. From that time till 1832 little interest has attached to 
these countries ; but the scheme to open the navigation of the 
river Indus' and its tributaries, and finally Eussophobia, attracted 
and fixed the attention of all India upon the north-west frontier. 
The contemplated invasion of the French had tirged Lord Minto, 
much against the policy of the age in which he Uved, to push on 
the frontier to the Satlaj. Thirty years afterwards, his grandson. 
Lord Auckland, was induced by similar apprehension of the designs 
of the Russians to extend British influence to the confines of Persia. 
Since that policy was decided upon, the countries between the 
Satlaj and the Janin4 have been traversed in every direction by 
large armies, and the force stationed there has been yearly increased, 
tUl, during the last twelvemonth, the flower of the army of India 
may be said to have been cantoned within its limits. The year 
r838 saw the army of the Indus proceed across these plains to 
penetrate new regions, and plant the British standard on the walls 
of Gh^zni. The year 1841 saw another gallant force hurry onward 
to redeem our national character and avenge our slaughtered 
countrymen ; the close of that same year beheld the magnificent 
pageantry, and show, with which the army of reserve welcomed 
their gallant companions on their triumphant return. Since then 
the whole country between the two rivers has been held, and, as it 
were, in military occupation. And the events, which crowded one 
upon another in 1845-46, the four bloody battles, fought actually 
within our frontier, the villages plundered and left desolate, 
the fields robbed of their green honours, ere yet ready for the 
sickle, the oppressions of various forms and incalculable number, 
which have in spite of the precaution of our rulers taken place, may 
indeed have caused the old greybeards, who remembered in their 
childhood the invasion of the AbdAli and the struggle of the Sikh 
people for liberty, to curse their ill-fate, that ,they had lived to see 
the evil days of plunder and confusion, of war and inroads, return 
to their devoted fields. 

"We write too near the events to judge with impartiality; 
but if rulers have ever engaged in a just war, then this one, into 
which we were hurried against our wishes, and agaiust what are 
justly to be pronounced our true iaterests, may and must be con- 
sidered such a war. Still, it cannot be said to have come upon us 
without many a long and loud note of preparation. For two years 
a feverish excitement had prevailed throughout the country, and 
the anticipation of war had become so general, that it was openly 
discussed, and private arrangements had been made confessedly in 


connection with it ; it liad been wished for in every military 
circle in the north of India. Various statements of a somewhat 
provocative and inflammatory tendency had also appeared from 
time to time in different journals, both at home and abroad. And, 
when it is considered, that many of these statements found their 
way to Lahore, and the general topics of conversation south of the 
Satlaj were conveyed in a garbled form to the ears of a Government, 
who had no other way of getting at the mainspring of our actions ; 
when they heard the note of war trumpeted through the land, and 
were ignorant of the pecuhar relations of society with us, and how 
entirely unconnected with Government are the opinions of indi- 
viduals and of the press, can we wonder that a people, highly sensi- 
tive of their national independence, proud of their freedom, which 
they had purchased with the struggle of a century, fresh from an 
iiniuterrupted career of victory, who had seen our arms fail against 
the Afghans, over which they had repeatedly triumphed, though 
they could not appreciate the causes, which led to our failure, 
should boldly take the initiative, and prefer being the assailants to 
the assailed ? 

These remarks were penned, in the momeht of victory, before 
the capital of a country, to whose rulers the terms of peace and war 
were being dictated, and the sincerity of our former friendship was 
being proved by our fallen foe. But even in the flush of victory, 
at the close of a just war, no one can hesitate to pronounce war the 
greatest of human evils, inasmuch as it is the widest spreader of 
misery among the human race. Let him who sighs for war, and 
the glories and distinctions which it brings to the survivor, think 
only how dearly those laurels have been bought. Let him consider 
the history of this unfortunate province, for the last seven centuries 
the theatre of unceasing war ; let him reflect upon the scenes of 
plunder and oppression, which every village on or near the Hue of 
march presented, the peasant driven from his rifled habitation and 
his blighted fields, converted by desperation into a ruffian and 
plunderer ; and, finally, in many cases, cut down as a wild beast. 
Let him, when the excitement of victory is gone, walk over the 
field which, a few hours before, had been so nobly won, and pause 
to reflect upon the vast carnage by which victory's ends are consum- 
mated : here fell the bold dragoon, checked in his impetuous career 
as he cleared the embrasured rampart; there the course of the 
steady column of infantry is too clearly indicated by the bodies of 
the slain ; here lies, with the cold steel passed through his breast, 
the gigantic foe, with his outstretched arms and wild-flowing locks, 
still breathing defiance; there, dabbling in his blood, the fair- 
haired boy of eighteen summers, who had but a few months before 
left his Highland valley to rot upon a foreign soil. Let him turn 
from this scene to the hospital, and walk leisurely amidst the 


hideous lazarliouse of wounds and ills, not the spontaneous result 
of OUT weak nature, but the offspring of the black passions of man- 
kind. Let him consider the blighted prospect of that limbless 
though, still living carcase, but a few hours before exulting in the 
pride of manhood and strength ; let him gaze on that manly coun- 
tenance, from which the gift of sight has been for ever withdrawn, 
and consider to how many, among the two thousand sufferers, upon 
whom his gaze will fall in succession, life has become an encum- 
brance rather than a blessing, cut off for ever from their friends and 
profession, or doomed to return as useless logs to their country. 
Let him mark the long line of desolation, that follows the track of 
an army, listen to the sad tale of the outraged peasantry, and visit 
the ruined spot, from which their household goods, all their worldly 
gear, the savings of the past harvest and the hopes of the future, 
have by rude hands been sacrilegiously torn; and beyond these 
visible woes, let him consider the destitute case of the orphan and 
the widow, struck down in a few brief moments from affluence to 
penury ; ^ let him accompany the harbingers of grief to his native 
land, where many an eye glistened, many a heart broke, many a 
fond hope was dashed to the ground ; let him think of all this, and 
weigh it against the value of the brevet-rank and ribbon which some 
few gained, and, despite the solid advantages to the empire, which 
could scarcely come under his consideration, nor were ever present 
in his thoughts, will he not allow that these distinctions have been 
dearly bought, and that war in its mildest form is one of the greatest 
evils of the human race ? 

Lahobb, March 1846. 

1 The writer, having been present throughout the campaign, was employed, 
after the taking of Lahore, in settling the compensation to he paid to the 
owners of the soil for the wholesale destruction of their villages and crops. 

( 24 ) 



Thirteen years ago, when the Sikhs were our enemies and the 
Sepoys of Hindustan our sword and shield, the writer of these 
lines described the countries betwixt the rivers Satlaj and 
JanmA, the most easterly province of the Sikh nation. Time has 
wrought a wondrous change. Like the seven sleepers, he rubs his 
eyes, as if awakening from a dream, for he finds that friends 
and foes have changed places, and that we are holding the PanjAb 
with the assistance of Sikhs against those, who helped us to con- 
quer it. 

By a mere chance, by the fancy of a great man, by a fatality of 
circumstances, the writer found himself, after a lapse of seven 
years, again among a people, whom he loved so well, and in a posi- 
tion to study the character of the residents, and visit the great 
cities of that rich tract which lies betwixt the rivers ChenAb and 
Beas, the original Sikhland, the cradle of the faith, the nursery of 
the chivahy of the followers of the Guru, which, containing three 
millions of men and more than five thousand villages, from the 
commencement of our rule composed the great Lahore Division. 

Under the PanjAb system of government the limits of a Com- 
mission, or what in France would be called a Prefecture or Depart- 
ment, are necessarily more narrow than in other parts of India. 
The Lahore Division was ever the smallest in area, but it was 
populous, rich, studded with villages, and inhabited by a martial 
population ; in wealth and population it was about one-fourth of 
the Panjdb, and in the piping days of peace which succeeded 
the decadence of Eanjit .Singh's dynasty, the people increased 
and multipHed, cultivation extended, towns expanded, all the 
affairs of mankind trebled and quadrupled, the burden on one 
man's shoulders of controUing all became intolerable, and this led 
to its subdivision in 1858. 

But in truth it was a glorious country, sloping down from the 
everlasting snow-capped mountains to the frowning desert, inter- 
sected by vast rivers, rich in com and sugar and oU, revelling in 
plenty, overflowing with population, proud of its royal cities and 
its numberless villages, proud of its stalwart and sturdy people, 


who were at the same time great in arms and agriculture, witli 
hands, like the old Eomans, good for the sword or the plough. 
They were no effete race with only the faint tradition of the actions 
of their remote ancestors ; within the memory of man they had had 
a living faith, a vivid nationality, and an independent kiagdom. 
Fortune was against them, for they came into collision with a race, 
not more brave, hut more perfectly furnished with the appliances 
of war ; hut they submitted neither abjectly nor without a struggle. 

The great city of Lahore had from time immemorial been the 
seat of the empire. It was no obscure conglomeration of huts, 
scattered here and there under palm-trees, with a row of thatched 
shops, such as suffices for a town and the headquarters of a station 
in the jungles of BangAl. It was a great city before Mahtmid 
crossed the river Indus ; it had become greater under the Maho- 
metans. It is stiU girt with red trick walls, gateways, and forti- 
fications presenting, with its one hundred thousand inhabitants and 
lofty houses, the appearance of old Eome, or one of the mediaeval 
free cities of the German empire. 'Tradition has it, that the twin 
sons of the great Eama, sovereign of Ayodhyi, Kusa, and Lava, 
founded two cities, and called them after their names, Kasiir and 
Lahore ; in that case Alexander the Great must have stood within 
her walls. To the end of last century the city was vaguely known 
in Europe as Lahore of the Great Moghal, never visited by 
European, but connected with Delhi by a royal road, marked at 
intervals by lofty Kos-MinArs and magnificent serais. 

On the side of the city, overhanging the river EAvi, is the 
royal fortress, built with all the stateliness of Agra and Delhi, a 
jjalace and an arsenal, with haUs for public and private reception, 
ranges of apartments for the seraglio, bastions, and gateways, 
decorated in the ornate style of the Imperial period ; and from the 
highest point is commanded a sweet prospect of the river E^vi, 
winding through rich and verdant lowlands, with the lofty minarets 
of the tomb of the Emperor Jahdngfr at Shahd^ra. But in 
truth the modem city covers but a tithe of the space occupied by 
the houses and gardens, tombs and mosques, of the ancient city, and 
for five miles on the road towards the Shalimar gardens he scattered 
the ruined dome and crumbling arch, which had been raised by 
some proud but unknown Mahometan to mark his empty state, 
or record a tale of idle love. 

Such is Lahore, a city with a pedigree of centuries, one of the 
memorial cities of the world. Within thirty miles has sprung up 
in the last century a new city, the child of religion and commerce, 
exceeding Lahore in population, rivalling her in splendour, a,nd 
holding a position in the commercial republic of India, which 
Lahore never attained; in spite of the distance of twelve hundred 
miles from the sea, it corresponds direct with Paris and London, 


and is the seat of a manufacture peculiar to itself and KasLmir, 
of wliich. it is the entrepot; having relations of exchange with 
every city of note in the whole of India. Such is Amritsar, the 
child of the' Sikh faith, which has thriven amidst the decadence 
of empire, the confusion of civil war, and the assaults of foreign 
invasion ; to whom every event appears to have hrought some 
advantage, for the fall of the nationality and religion of the Sikhs 
hurt her not, the sack of Delhi brought her hundreds of fresh 
citizens, and the opening out of new hnes of road brought her 
new commerce, the railway connects her with Lahore, with Delhi 
on. the river janmi,, and Multto on the waters, which unite in 
the river Indus. 

Let us now take a survey of the province, of which these cities 
are the twin-capitals and markets. From Amritsar the lofty 
ranges of the Himalaya are visible at a distance of eighty miles, 
but, if we travel northwards, the grandeur of the scenery develops 
itself at every stage, and at any part on the line of thirty miles 
from the mountains the scene" is one which words cannot describe. 
All the grandest views of Alpine scenery in Europe dwindle into 
nothing, for here on a clear day after rain we have before our eyes 
an extent of eternal snow, reaching from Pir PanjAl, the entrance 
. of the valley of Kashmir, to the distant snowy ranges in the king- 
dom of Busihir behind Simla. Range towering above range, of 
varying altitude and broken outline, rising up sometimes in sheer 
precipice to sixteen thousand feet, and cutting the horizon with a 
broad even ridge ; at other points, where the rivers at the time of 
the great primeval cataclysm have forced themselves through in 
deep channels, we look, as it were, into the bowels of the moun- 
tain kingdom, through transverse ranges, as far as solitary snow- 
capped peaks, the position of which wearies the intellect to 
imagine. Still it is something to thint, that only thirteen years 
ago the English Government bought and sold those vast moun- 
tains for a sum which appears paltry. As far as the river R4vi 
we retained some thousand square miles under our own rule, 
because they were there ; and from the river E4vi up to Kashgir 
and YArkand, regions then unknovm to the surveyor and never 
trodden by the feet of men who make maps, we handed over to 
the uncontrolled rule of a successful soldier, on the condition that 
he paid the lordly tribute of five goats, which has since been com- 
muted into three pairs of Kashmir shawls for Her Majesty. The 
majestic mountains look on contemptuously, as they are thus passed 
from hand to hand, for they may defy all the powers of the earth 
to extract one rupee from their surface, or to cross over their 
unapproachable heights. 

Enthroned on one of the lower ranges in the mountain, betwixt 
the rivers E4vi and Chen4b, is the hUl town and fortress of Jamii, 


■which the craft and fortune of this one man have converted into 
the capital of a kiagdom, large enough in area to swallow up the 
narrow limits of many a European potentate. When the rebellion 
of 1857 was at its worst, ere Delhi had fallen, when the wisest 
were pondering which side should be taken, the crafty old fox had 
to obey a messenger, who brooks no excuse, and who cannot be 
outwitted ; and, as his army descended to lend doubtful assistance 
to the assaulters of Delhi, the old Maharfija felt his kingdom depart 
from him : all his schemes and intrigues did not save our honour- 
able ally, and the sceptre passed into the hand of one bom in the 
purple, one who had never known the hard experiences of life. 
The writer saw him in 1858 in all the bravery of his court, his ele- 
phants with silver howdas, his troops, guns, and all the external 
ceremonials. He sat in his father's hall in the silver chair of 
state, and around him and behind him were the pillars of his state, 
the nobles of his clan, distinguished by the heron's plumes in their 
turbans. He himself, in the splendour of his appearance, the 
nobility of his look, the dignity of his manner, seemed not un- 
worthy of the place, and by his side sat his only son still a child, 
the heir of his throne. At sunset, as the bells of the temples 
sounded'for the evening sacrifice, he rose from his seat, and stood, 
tin the solemn moments had passed. Some remarked that on this 
occasion, as on aU, ia his rich girdle he wore an English double- 
barreUed pistol of the simplest manufacture, and no doubt the 
most approved make ; the wonder ceases, when it is known that a 
few days later his life was attempted, and one of the intended 
assassins was his own half-brother, who stood on this occasion 
respectfully behind his chair, and was yet in league with his first 
cousin, the only other male but one of the family. Such are 
native dynasties, whether founded on long hereditary right, or 
built up by the talents of one individual The sovereignty of 
Kashmir may be again in the market, and a source of weakness, 
instead of strength, to the great English Government, which sold 
five miUions of men for so many bags of silver to create it. 

But let the spectator turn his back on the mountains, and look 
out on the wide territory spread before him; let him transport 
himself to the sacred heights of Trik6tra, and, sharpening his sight 
by imagination, grasp in the whole of the tract, which it is our 
object in these lines to describe. No such kingdom met the en- 
raptured gaze of the prophet from the top of Mount Pisgah ; no 
such promised land fell into the possession of the followers of 
Moses as this, which, about one hundred years ago, was partitioned 
among the twelve tribes of the Khalsa, the followers of Guru 
Govind. From the mountains to the distant desert slopes down 
the rich and fertile land, teeming with villages and towns, with 
men and cattle, with cereals, oils, and saccharines, with dyes and 


cottons. From the mountains, supplied from the eternal fountains 
of snow, flow forth the rivers VipAsa, Airavati, and Chandra 
BhAga, into which a hundred streams, not known to fame, drain 
their over-abundant waters. WeU may the ignorant rustic strive 
to conciliate the favour or appease the wrath of these river gods ; 
well may he ofler up at the shrine of Noah the patriarch, to whom 
he blindly attributes power over inundations, for his cattle and his 
homestead are at the capricious mercy of the river, which one year 
causes him to laugh and sing, while he contemplates the fatness of 
his land, at another carries away his home, his oxen, his groves, 
and his acres, and scatters them miles along his silvery course, 
while the owner appeals to all his gods in vain. 

Within a line of forty miles from the mountains is such richness 
of soil, such cultivation, both in highland, along the dorsal ridges 
of the tracts betwixt the rivers, and in the lowland vidthin the 
affluence of their waters, as the rest of India may equal, but not 
surpass. A sturdy and strong race have made the most of their 
opportunities ; have, by weUs, compelled the earth to give out 
water from her bowels, and let it percolate along the surface. 
And in the country betwixt the rivers Beas and Rfivi art has 
lent her assistance, and as by the process of ages, since the day, 
when the Edvi first issued from the mountains, her bed has 
deepened under the attrition of the current, and her waters now 
flow so far below the surface as to be useless for- irrigation, the 
skill of the engineer has not been wanting to seal up her mouth, 
and direct her course into new channels. Fhmg, like a silver 
necklace strung with pearls, from mountains to desert, wound the 
beauteous Hasli Canal, strong without rage, full without over- 
flowing, deep and rapidly rushing, overhung with foliage and trees 
like the Jordan, fringed with luxuriant crops and beautiful peeps 
of truly English scenery. Gardens sprang up along its course ; 
groves planted on its banks looked green ; their leaves did not vsdther, 
nor did their fruits in due season fail But, like scenes that are 
brightest, like beauty that is fairest, it had to give way to the 
giant limbs, and broad, lazy, but regulated flow of the new canal. 
Bridged, fettered, regulated, the wild waters of the river Rdvi 
are subdued, and made to answer like a horse to the bridle, to go 
whither they are told, to be stored up where they are ordered, to 
keep an even depth, to be doled out, like grain, hy the measure, 
and to carry burdens like a pack-horse. A bridled stream is the 
greatest triumph of man, for no longer can it, with capricious, 
course, eat away villages and overwhelm the ripening harvest, no 
longer waste its fertilising waters and .perplex and irritate the 
husbandman. A canal is a greater triumph than a railway, as one 
of the great natural and all but living features of the country is 
subdued and brought under control for the benefit of man. 


In the second belt of country, ranging from forty to eigtty or a 
hundred miles from the hills, is the struggle betwixt the sturdy 
soil and sturdier cultivator. In vain saltpetre crops out of the 
uninviting surface and renders brackish all the wells ; in vain rich 
crops of reeds, wild grass, or stunted copse encumber the surface, 
as the spontaneous gifts of the earth. The husbandman wages 
unequal and yet not unsuccessful war with decreasing f ertihty. 
What science might do has never been tried, but the man and his 
stock and his miserable implements do wonders. All the weary 
watches of the night the oxen revolve round the well; all the 
weary day the surface is scratched with plough, stamped by cattle, 
sparsely manured, and miserably weeded ; and yet, year after year, 
comes the glad harvest ; population increases, and grain is so cheap 
that the complaint is of abundance, not of scarcity. With the 
canal new regions come under the plough, and new villages spring 
into existence. 

Not ungrateful is Hfe in scenes such as these amidst a manly and 
contented population. For eight months in the year the tent is the 
proper home of the English civil official, who loves his duties and his 
people. Thus he comes to know and be known of them ; thus per- 
sonal influence and local knowledge give him a power not to be won 
by bribes or upheld by bayonets. The notables of the neighbourhood 
meet their friend and ruler on his morning march ; greybeards throng 
round his unguarded door with presents of the best fruits of the land, 
or a little sugar, spices, and almonds, according to the fashion of their 
country, and are never so happy, as when allowed to seat themselves 
on the carpet and talk over old times and new events, the promise 
of the harvest, and the last orders of the rulers. From his fort 
comes down, with diminished state, the representative of the old 
feudatories, who are now gradually being absorbed. He no doubt 
regrets the time, when murders and plunder were more fashionable, 
and feels himself out of place in the new order of things ; and in a 
few more years his race will have passed away, like that of the 
wolves and the tigers. Often the morning march is varied by the 
crossing of some stream, or the wading of a sudden torrent, or by 
some adventure by flood and field. Storms occasionally beat round 
the canvas home at night; black care, tied up in the postman's 
wallet behind the horseman, finds him out daily, however obscure 
and- distant from the hum of cities may be his retreat. Still, in 
spite of the hard riding at sunrise and sunset, and the hard work 
during the brief winter dsiys, happy and peaceful are the hours 
spent in camp, too often alone, in the north of India, and sadly 
and fondly to be looked back upon. 

But to the south extends another and stranger belt of country, 
the great solitary desert jungle, which occupies the vast spaces be- 
twixt the rivers of the Panjslb. The guide leads the way to the top 


of a lofty tower, and, spreading out his hands, announces, that this 
sombre forest extends unbroken and unvaried above one hundred 
and fifty miles to Multdn. We look over a sea of jungle and 
grass tufts, with grass enough to feed aU the cattle in the world : 
we wonder what object the Creator had in view, when He left such 
vast expanses of trees which bear no fruit, and are so beautiful in 
outline. Far ofif we can trace the silvery line of the rivers, fringed 
with trees and cultivation. Here there is no human habitation ; 
no animal save the fox, the deer, or the partridge shares the empire 
with countless herds of cattle, sheep, and camels ; here the camel 
seems to be at home, and we catch glimpses of him enjoying him- 
self in a way, which he certainly does not do elsewhere. Broad 
roads traverse the waste, and , at stated intervals are the serais, the 
weUs, the storehouses, the trough for cattle, and the police station. 
Along this road in 1858 plied conveyances peculiai to the 
country, and the incipient civilisation, and long trains of camels, 
laden with military stores from England, and merchandise ; relieved 
at stages of forty miles, the bullock train used to creep at the rate 
of one mile to the hour, whether laden with packages or six soldiers 
crushed into a cart, and rolling and jolting aU. the weary day and 
weary night, except where the halt was sounded at fixed stages for 
refreshment. Still more eligible, more fast, and more dangerous 
as a conveyance was the truck, drawn by two horses, dashing along, 
when once the horses started, abandoning the road, or pretence of 
road, and taking the easiest course among the brushwood. On the 
truck was fastened a litter with canvas sides, and in the litter were 
stowed away ladies, and children, and invalids, who, if they had 
good nerves and good luck, arrived safe at their destination. But 
for speed, for delight, and for danger in this wild track, try a 
seat by the driver in the mail-cart ; strong, springy, high-wheeled, 
sufficiently weighted with official correspondence and overland 
letters. This vehicle was dragged by two horses, one being fastened 
outside the shafts, after the manner of the Grecian chariot or the 
outrigger in the Eussian sledge. Away ! away ! hold hard by the 
iron bar, and gird your loins tight, and you wiU enjoy all the 
pleasure of being run away with, without being deprived of the 
danger, ten mUes an hour skimming along the roads with heaven- 
ward jolts, in spite of the straw which is liberally strewed over 
the ruts. You heard peculiar phraseology and had strange com- 
panions, and learned for the first time, that a Hindu would not 
blow a Mahometan bugle. But stranger still were the horses : 
wiU they start, or will they not ? that is the question. Over and 
over again came the same dumb show, the same proportion of 
deceit, the same amount of force applied to get these strange 
beasts into motion. The coaxing is tried first — " Mera jan," " My 
life;" " Mera bahddar," " My fine feUow." Gradually the seductive 


line verged into the authoritative, and at last, when Jehu's patience 
was exhausted, a boundless flow of Panjiib stable-abuse was poured 
out, frightful to hear, and comprehending in one condemnation tlje 
recusant nag's ancestors in the remotest degree, and all his female 
relations. It was an iuteresting study of very indifferent horse- 
flesh. Their tempers were born with them ; for some went off like 
lambs, some stood out for a few minutes, as a point of honour ; 
some spun round with the cart ; in vain the wheels were moved 
behind, and their forelegs puUed onwards with ropes ; in vain they 
were patted, kicked, and stabbed ; but they generally went at last, 
ELnd we suppose they died at last ; but though we often, along the 
road, met the dead body of a camel (for that is their proper burial- 
ground), we never remember coming on a dead mail-cart horse. 
With the railway all these local features have departed, and are 
alluded to as traditions of a past epoch. 

Sometimes the ruins are passed by of an ancient city : streets 
and houses stiU to be traced, destroyed on some former invasion or 
period of destruction, which recurred so frequently in India. The 
wretched huts of the modem village have been built from the vast 
debris, and are huddled round the protecting tower, or have Shrunk 
into the old serai, with the gates closed at night, for there are 
strange necessities and strange people in these wastes. Bitter are 
the waters that have to be drunk. Or, during the night, the traveller 
came suddenly on the line of march of a European regiment, the ad- 
vance guard of camels, and suttlers, and baggage cattle, and an army 
of servants. At length was heard the heavy tramp, and distinguished 
the dark column, the occasional glistening of a bayonet in the torch- 
light, and the officers at the head, while the mail-cart drew aside 
to lei pass in a cloud of dust those thirsty, footsore Britons. 
And nowhere down the Hne did the faithful milestone desert the 
traveller, and the stiU more faithful telegraph pole, which raised its 
head as a protest against the absence of civilisation ; and the driver 
used to point out wonderingly two furrows turned up, the one the 
stam p of the iron horse, and the other the line of the canal, and in a few 
years both canal and rail ran side by side through this waste. A 
slight geological subsidence of a few feet would change all into 
fertility, and even now, as a branch of the river is neared, a bright 
oasis gleams out, and the grateful sound of the revolving wheel tells 
of the earth being forced by sturdy man to yield its abundance. 

Such are the tracts, of which we try to offer a faint description. 
They should be seen in their fertility and in their barren solitude 
to be appreciated. And so situated are they on the threshold of 
India, so narrow is the space betwixt mountain and desert, that 
aU the invaders of India must have thronged through it. The 
darkness of night has closed over the period, when the Aiian races 
advanced from the great cradle of nations, but they must have 


threaded the defiles of Afghanistan, they must have lifted their 
eyes to the mountains, and perhaps thought with regret of their 
native snows; they must have crossed by raft, or skin, or by 
ford, one and all of the great five rivers, contending at each stage 
with the rude aborigines. Thus came the Brahmans, the Kathaei 
or Khatri, the Getse or Jats, bringing with them their old tra- 
ditions, laniguage, and nature-worship. There were brave men 
no doubt before Alexander the Great, but we know nothing 
about them, so they may as well not have existed ; but when 
Alexander raised the curtain, he found in these regions a highly 
civihsed people. He came, he saw, and he conquered ; but some- 
where on the east of the river Hyphasis he paused, and there must 
have been erected the pillars with the original of the famous 

" Ego Alexandke huc pebveni." 

"When centuries had effaced the memory of the visit of the 
strange Western conqueror, there came a new invader. Great 
events had taken place in that thousand years. Eome had risen 
and fallen ; the religion of Christ had been superseded in the East 
by the creed of Mahomet ; and the time had come, when India 
was to be introduced into the comity of nations. Far up in the 
interior of the Celestial empire, in those tracts where the great 
rivers leave the mountains, there are tablelands with cities, popu- 
lations, languages, customs, and religions, of which we still know 
little; but from the day, that the first lances of Malmwid 
gleamed in the passes of Peshiwur, we have had a flood of 
light thrown upon the country betwixt the rivers Chenib and 
Beas, and Lahore became the capital of Northern India. Dynasty 
after dynasty ruled there, and new settlers appropriated the soil. 
We know nothing of the process, under which land changed hands ; 
the cry of the despoiled never reaches us. We know nothing of 
the cause by which the new faith was propagated, how in each 
village younger sons, or unsuccessful litigants, were tempted to 
abandon the faith of their ancestors and for love of money adopt 
the new idea. The bitter feelings, the domestic feuds, which 
accompanied these events, have been forgotten ; but the fact re- 
mains, and Hindu and Mahometan share together their inheritance 
without grudge, a standing comment on the absurdity of a Chris- 
tian Government permitting even for a day the existence of the old 
disuiheriting Brahmanical laws. Cities and towns were built, their 
names were changed, and, when the time came, they dwindled 
away, and their materials were made use of to build other towns ; 
the Mahometans pulled down temples and built mosques, and 
with retributive j^ustice at a later period the Hindus pulled down 
mosques wherewith to rebuild temples; the palace and fort, the 


garden and the proud tomb sprung up, hereafter to be converted 
to strange uses, as forts, zantoas, and English churches, but the 
memory of the builder was soon forgotten. Nothing is permanent 
in the East. Still the country flourished, poured forth its annual 
tributes of the kindly gifts of the earth, was ever the prey of the 
strongest, for the fatal gift of her beauty rendered her ever desir- 
able, and her physicat position rendered her always defenceless, 
ever at the mercy of her powerful neighbours at Kdbul and Delhi ; 
ever oscillating on the seesaw of alternate dominion towards 
the north-west and south-east, occupying the same position as 
Palestine betwixt Egypt and Assyria, and Lombardy betwixt 
Austria and France. Let politicians say what they like, let them 
talk of the blessings of national independence, and descant on the 
miseries of a foreign, and therefore a bad. Government, and the 
advantages of a good one : these things are not felt so keenly or 
appreciated so fully by the people in their villages, as the little 
tyrannies of the petty landowner, and the goodnatured fatherly 
kindness of the local Government. Lahore may have been, and 
has been, for centuries the centre of intrigue : heads may have 
fallen like poppies ; houses may have been plundered, and females, 
decked yesterday in sUks and jewels, the plunder of provinces, 
may have been turned out in rags ; but far away — far away in the 
peaceful valleys, the long Indian day has worn itself out quietly 
and happily to the imconscious peasant, with no thought beyond 
his petty cares and vulgar joys. So long as his local ruler dwelling 
in the neighbouring castle, so long as the moneylender of the 
adjoining market, were not imusually disagreeable, what mattered 
it to him, the hewer of wood and drawer of water, who rose and 
who fell at Delhi or Kibul % The blast of the triumphant trumpet, 
the echo of the funeral waU, reached him not. The cattle came 
home lowing from the pasture-ground, as the shades of evening 
fell ; without fail Jiis meal was prepared ; the revolving month 
brought round to him in due succession the annual festivals and 
the half-yearly harvests, glad season of rejoicing, for which he did 
not forget to trim a lamp on the steps of the old temple, and to 
worship with offerings of butter the Lares and Penates, as his 
fathers had done before him. His children grew up strong and 
hale ; some took service, and fell in some famous victory, but the 
old man neither knew, why it was fought, or what good came of 
it to the country ; his only marks of time were some wedding or 
some birth, the only reminders of age were the grey hairs in his 
beard. As his physical strength failed him, he abandoned the 
duties of the field and the forest to younger hands without repining ; 
he had fed his whelps when he was strong, and they must feed Mm 
now. He settled down in the comer of the hut, and looked calmly 
forward to the time, when he would be reduced to ashes on the 



funeral-pile, without any feeling of shame for evil actions, of 
regret for misspent days, unconscious of ever having committed 
any sin, and fearless and careless of any future judgment. This 
life had been one of hardship to him, and the future might be so 
also ; he could not help it, and did not much care. Thus, since the 
virorld began, many millions have worked out their destinies; if 
but Httle better in intellect than the beasts that perish, at least 
not so debased by the consciousness of crime, persisted in in spite 
of knowledge, imabandoned in spite of warning, as the more civil- 
ised portion of mankind. 

But, as time roUed on, it appeared, that a greater destiny was 
prepared for this tract. It was to be the theatre of a new nationality, 
and the cradle of a new religion. Within these confines was bom 
one of those gifted spirits, who are destined to teach millions a 
new mode of groping after God, if haply they may find Him. 
There v/as a man — we dare not say — sent from God, but on whom 
so large a portion of the divine af&atus had fallen, that to him the 
great gift of welding the hearts of men, and of developing a new 
idea, was conceded. He stood on the confines of a new dispensa- 
tion and recognised his position ; he mounted a high tower in his 
mind, and looked out on the spiritual state of his countrymen, and 
beheld one-half sunk in the sloth and degradation of a ceremonial 
worship, and the other half, possessed indeed by a great spiritual 
truth, but blinded by fanaticism and false zeal. The name of this 
man was Ndnak. Humble was his position; butter and honey 
were his words ; he preached peace and love and mutual con- 
cession ; he taught that men were the sons of one father, and he 
laughed to scorn the show of ceremonials ; he was as meek as 
Moses, as full of wisdom as the author of Ecclesiastes ; he sought 
to bring the world into subjection by the influence of his mild 
doctrines. But after him came another prophet, with a sword like 
Gideon's, who wrote his words in flame, and rivalled in the 
intensity of feehng and bitterness of vengeance the prophet-kings 
of the Maccabees. If Ndnak was the Moses, Govind was the 
Joshua, of the new people. 

Both have left written legacies, known in their language as " the 
book," which greyheaded men still chant in the gateway of the 
castle, or the adytum of the temple, accompanied by the twang of 
rude barbitons. The elder prophet arrived at one of those eras, 
when the ancient religion of the people was being exposed to a 
severe trial in the presence of a propagandist and dominant rival. 
The Hindu is essentially a quietist, and the sublime conceptions, 
which form the substratum of the faith, which the Arians had 
introduced into India, had, after the expulsion of the Buddhists, 
degenerated into gross and sensual forms. In vain from time to 
time had risen up schools under great prophets with the noble 


design of internal reform ; religious equality had teen preached ; 
it had heen proposed to level caste by faith; the vulgar tongue had 
heen licensed as a vehicle of religious thought ; images had been 
denounced, but the founders of the new sects had not cared to make 
social improvement an object, or to connect propagandism with a 
national feeling : they had in them too much of the ascetic and 
too little of the practical element. At a certain stage all internal 
reforms are hopeless ; tliey go too far or not far enough : it is neces- 
sary to return to the original fountain, and draw a new inspiration 
from the great source of ideas. The presence of Mahometanism 
was a great fact ; the ignorant people could no longer be imposed 
upon, that Brahmanism was a necessity of existence. On the 
contrary, the power no longer existed to punish heretics with worldly 
penalties, and the feeling of the people had outstripped the stereo- 
typed form of their ritual. They understood as little what they 
heard, as the peasantry of England do the dogmas of the Atha- 
nasian Creed or the anathemas of the Commination ; a bull-headed 
conservatism prevented the priesfhood from anticipating the intel- 
lectual storm ; but, as the appearance of Mahomet took place at the 
time of the deep degradation of the Greek Church, and as Luther 
protested against the errors of the Eoman, so stood fSrth at this time 
Ndnak. His influence spread irresistibly on a people not open to 
conviction in argument, and dull to appeals to the conscience ; it 
maintained and will maintain its place, until a new fermenting take 
place of the theological Idea, and he be superseded by a new picture; 
of the Divinity, believed in as blindly, and laid down as positively, 
as any of its predecessors, and the foolish multitude in their foolish 
heart cease to care for the doctrines and tenets of N4nak. 

And one hundred years later, when the second prophet appeared, 
there arose among the agricultural population of this country a 
wondrous yearning for political liberty, a wondrous desire on the 
part of the poor to appropriate the wealth of the rich, a wondrous 
feeling, that freebooter and sovereign were of the same or kindred 
origin. This led hundreds to abandon the plough and take to the 
road, which in those days led them to palaces instead of prisons^ 
A halo then encircled the petty, as it stiU does the imperial, 
robber : the hireling page of the historian was all that was required 
to make them great ; for their ambition was only bounded by what 
they could lay hold of, their valour was only limited by their 
tenacity of life. The foolish fellow, who robbed in the jungle, 
might atone his guilt on the gallows; the noble creature, who 
sacked a city, would create a principality, and his descendants 
would be honoured by the British Government and styled an- 
cestral fief-holders. 

" lUe crucem sceleris pretium tulit, He diadema,'' 


The Kfe of Ninak is so intimately connected with the provinces 
•which he betwixt the Chendb and Beas, that we must briefly detail 
it. There he was bom, and there he died ; there he formed his 
school ; there dwell his descendants and followers, and the very 
name by which they distinguish their nationality is that of being 
his " Sikhs " or disciples. The proper name by which the country 
ought to be known is " Sikhland." Many a shrine has sprung up 
* to mark the spots, which he visited during his mortal pUgrimage. 
His tenets have been gradually debased, and his own personal im- 
portance has been magnified. Hero-worship has converted the 
teacher into a god ; the chronicles, which are faithfully read and 
prodigally adorned with paintings, the walls of the temples on 
which every act of his hfe is depicted, the oral legends which are 
handed down from father to son, the feeling of the people : all have 
declared him to have been an emanation of the Deity, sent down 
by the Creator to take the form of man, when sin was ripe in the 
world. He has been invested with the gift of miracles and other 
divine attributes, and is supposed even now to have the power of 
conferring blessings. To none of these did he lay claim ; he asserted 
no divine mission, he sought to found no new polity, he admitted 
aU foregoing teachers, he only taught his disciples the result of 
his own experiences, exhorted to moral virtues, and recommended 
practical excellence, as preferable to profitless asceticism. 

We have carefully perused those chronicles, only in late times 
accessible to Europeans ; we have listened to the treasured words, 
which fell from the teacher's lips ; we have visited with a reverend 
feeling the place, where he was born, where he Uved, and died ; we 
have sought in easy conversation with the people to catch the 
living feeling and the popular sentiment. We wished to solve the 
mystery of the origin of this belief, for Ndnak is not, like Ka,ma, 
or Krishna, or Buddha, a fabulous individual, round whom the 
lapse of centuries has thrown a mythical halo ; he is not, hke 
Mahomet, the denizen of a far country, whose doctrines have been 
translated among strange people in strange languages. He was 
a contemporary of our Protestant reformers, he lived and died 
among his own people; his descendants are still among usj the 
forms of hfe haVe in no way changed since he completed- his 
mission. Painful feehngs are forced upon us, as we think of such 
things, feelings such as arise on the perusal of the life of a modem 
Eoman Catholic saint; for the people, who believe these fables, are 
of ourselves, of the nineteenth century, understanding fairly aU the 
range of human science and appliances, but in this matter Uivd : 
for a lying spirit has beguiled men, otherwise sensible and shrewd, 
to believe that NAnak raised the dead to life, healed the sick, flew 
through the air, walked the sea, blessed and cursed, and had power 


over the elements. Not that they saw it themselves, but they had 
tradition handed down orally, and in Scripture collected by his 
immediate followers from those, who accompanied him in his travels, 
men poor and illiterate, with no object to lie, and no claim to 
power. We turn away with a sickening feeling, for these things 
are believed of millions ; they were not done in a corner. This is 
a portion of that divine gift of faith, which forms the basis of all 
religions. These fables, though of modern date, have unhappily 
gained such credence, that the Sikhs believe them dogmatically, 
and wUl die for their truth ; the Hindus believe them historically ; 
the Mahometans even admit the facts; and, when we try to 
raise the veil, we find that the man, in whom they believe, was good, 
virtuous, chaste, free from passion, pride, or avarice, worthy of our 
admiration as one of the lovers of mankind. 

To the south-west of the city of Lahore in the subdivision 
Sharakpiir, in the extreme comer of the district, where the jungle 
adjoins on the domains of agriculture and civilisation, stood, as it 
stands now, the little village of Talwandi. With the neighbour- 
ing villages it belonged to a wild tribe of Mahometans, who had 
immigrated from the countries beyond the Satlaj, the Bhattis, 
whose tastes were for cattle-rearing and cattle-lifting, and whose 
habits were nomadic, a contrast to the Hindu Jats, who were 
gregarious and agricultural, and not friendly to the newcomers. 
The village was thus on the confines of the forest, and the field and 
the debatable land of two races and two religions. In this village 
and in the house of One K^lu, the village accountant, a member of 
the Bedi tribe of the great Khatri caste, in the year of our Lord 
1469, was born a male child. Prodigies attended him from the 
first : on entering the world he looked round and smiled ; the nurse 
stated, that at the moment she heard sounds resembling the cries of 
salutation and welcome, with which a great man is received on his 
arrival. Signs of greatness, of wisdom, and of bounty displayed 
themselves early : his mother in a dream beheld the gods worship- 
ping and praising him; at the age of five he distributed among 
beggars aU. the property, that he could lay hold of ; the spot is still 
shoivn where he was bom, and close by another favoured shrine 
marks the scene of the sports of his childhood. Lands are set 
apart for the maintenance of these, and many other similar institu- 
tions. As the child grew up he acquired learning without any 
effort, and argued with and convinced his teachers; but nothing 
would induce him to attend to the duties of life, and his father was 
too poor to maintain him in idleness. While in charge of cattle 
he allowed them to injure a neighbour's field, but when complaint 
was made, lo ! the injury had been miraculously remedied. On 
another occasion he fell asleep, and as the day advanced and the 
rays of the sun fell upon him, a deadly cobra spread its hood over 


his tead, and passers-by were awestruck at the sight of him, as he 
slept on 

" Non sine Diis animosus infans." 
On another occasion, when similarly asleep, the boughs of a tree 
were miraculously deflected from their natural position to screen 
him from the heat. The spots, where aU these wonders took place 
are shown, and aU the villagers, including Eai Bholar, the Maho- 
metan lord of the soU, were conviaced of the coming greatness of 
the lad, and tried to shelter him from the anger of his father, who 
took a more material view of his son's conduct. At length, at the 
age of sixteen, K4lu sent his son out on a trading expedition with 
a companion from the same village, and a sum of forty rupees. On 
their road in the jungle they met a company of mendicants, and, 
entering into conversation, young Ndnak found that these men had 
no occasion for houses, or clothes, or luxuries, that they were free 
from the cares as weU as the joys of life. They refused his offers 
of money as being useless to them, and so worked on his excitable 
nature, that he iuvested the whole of his capital in food and fed 
the party ; he returned to his village, and Hd himself under the 
boughs of a large tree, which is still venerated. Discovered by his 
exasperated father, he urged that he had been directed to do a good 
business, to realise a good profit, and he maintained that in laying 
up treasures in heaven he had done so. The spot is stiU known by 
the name of the " Profitable Investment." It must be remembered, 
that mendicants then, as now, abounded in the land, and that 
there was much real worth, as weU as odious deceit, in the pro- 
fession. It was, as it is still, the only outlet for the irregular 
youth ; they had no sea, no colonies, no India, to which parents 
could relegate their prodigal children. When, then, a young man 
was too truthful to swallow the conventional lies of the home 
circle, too catholic-minded to keep within the narrow groove of 
the domestic dogma, there was nothing for him but to strip off 
his clothes, and join a troop of mendicants, who so far differed 
from the religious orders of Eome, that they were reaUy free, and 
were a standing protest against the tyranny of the regular clergy, 
the Brahmans. 

It so happened that a sister of Ndnak's had married a corndealer 
at Sultdnpdr in the Jalandhar DoAb, and to her Kdlu consigned 
his son. At that city resided NawAb Daulat Khan Lodi, a 
relation of the reigning family of Delhi, and himself a man of great 
power, though he fell a few years later before the rising power of 
the Emperor Baber. Nanak, by the interest of his brother-in-law, 
was employed as controller of the stores of the Nawdb's household ; 
so boundless were his charities, that he was accused to his master 
of wasting his goods, but when the accounts were taken a large 
surplus came out in his favour; a practical illustration, that the store 


of the charitable man is indeed Messed. At this time, on the 
earnest solicitations of his family, he married, and two sons were 
horn to him. 

The leaven, however, within him had now fermented, and 
civilised life became intolerable. He felt it his duty, his calling, 
to cast off aU the ties of family, of kindred, all links of habit, and 
start on his heaven-inspired mission of preaching. In vain did his 
relations remonstrate ; his father and father-in-law never would, or 
could, realise the necessity, and when he actually prepared to take 
the fatal step, they appealed to the NawAb for his assistance. It 
appeared, that Ndnak had passed three whole days with the water 
up to his neck in the neighbouring stream of the Bein, and had 
thence proceeded to take up his abode in the jungles, abandoning 
the habitations of men. The spot is still shown, where he entered 
and left the stream, and the credulous chronicler narrates, how he 
'visited, during his immersion, the god who presided over the 
waters. When the Naw^b summoned him, he replied, that he 
knew no earthly master, that he was the servant of God ; he was 
persuaded, however, to return to the city, and finding that he was 
shaken as a Hindu, the Naw^b fondly hoped to make him a Maho- 
metan, and persuaded him' to accompany him to the mosque. 

Here occurred a memorable scene, and a lesson was read by the 
young devotee, which applies to all nations and all religions. 
When the long line of Mahometans Isnelt down and prayed, 
!Ndnak stood up in silence ; when the Naw^b remonstrated with 
him, he said, " Nawdb, you were not praying, your thoughts 
were wandering, and you were at KandahAr buying a horse." The 
Mahometan noble, struck with awe, confessed that it was so ; not 
so the wily Kdzi, who charUenged 'NAnak to convict him. Ninak 
composedly replied, " You, Kdzi , were thinking of your 
daughter, who has just been brought to bed, and fearing lest your 
colt should fall down the open well.' The conscience-stricken 
K4zi could not hold up his head, and Ntoak was allowed to 
retire, amidst the applause both of Hindus and Mahometans. 

His companions in his forest life were Bala, a Hindu Jat of his 
own village, who was with him from his childhood to his death, and 
assisted to compose the marvellous chronicles of his life, and Mar- 
dhdna, a Mahometan musician, who played on that fantastically- 
shaped instrument which is called a " rabib." Strange stories are 
told of this instrument, which was brought down from celestial 
regions, and which refused to give utterance to any other cadence 
but the praise of God, the Almighty, the Creator alone. When 
the strings of the instrument were sounded, forth burst the sounds 
" Tu H Narayan kar kirtdr : Wanak banda tera." 
"Thou art God the Creator : Nanak is thy slave." 

Hearing this, Ntoak used to faU into a trance, regardless of all 


human things, and remain whole days wrapt in meditation of God, 
while the unfortunate musician, who was exceedingly weak in the 
matter of fleshly wants, was exposed to fatigue and exhausted by 
hunger. When he spoke, he is represented, as always enclosing his 
meaning ia brief and sententious rhymes, which were treasured up 
by his disciples and incorporated in the sacred volume. 

He now commenced lus wanderings. That they extended all 
over India is probable ; that he visited Mecca in Arabia is certain ; 
but the vast mass of rubbish, which his chroniclers have heaped 
together on the subject of these travels, the wonders of the countries 
which he visited, and the wonders which he himself performed, 
pass all belief. In the PanjAb and adjoining countries we find the 
teacher getting over the ground by the use of those vulgar and 
familiar modes of conveyance, the legs ; but when he visited the 
lofty mountains, the pole star, and other constellations, he took to 
his wings ; and, when he visited Arabia, he wished himself there, 
and saved himself the trouble of moving by directing Mecca to 
come to him. We may divide his travels into three classes. I. 
Those in the PanjAb, where we can follow him clearly. II. Those 
in Hindustan and Central Asia, where we can trace his course 
generally. III. Those in Space, where it is hopeless, but still not 
unprofitable, to foUow him, as we can thence acquire a measure of 
the geographical knowledge and reasoning powers of the people, 
who believe the facts recorded as gospel. 

He is described as visiting his home at Talwandi several times, 
as attending at the great festival of Achal near Batdla, as lodging 
under a tree and near a tank at Sialk6t, where his memory is still 
cherished. On one occasion he went to P4k Patau on the river 
Satlaj to the south, and on another to Hasanabdal, not far from 
Attak on the river Indus, at which place he has left the impres- 
sion of his hand in a piece of marble. He repeatedly returned to 
SuMnpiir to visit his sister Ndnaki, to whom he was tenderly 
attached, and, when old age came upon him, he built a retreat for 
himself on the right bank of the river EAvi, and named the place 
Kirtarpiir ; there he died, and the place has been swept away by 
the stream, but over against it has sprung up the town called after 
him "D6ra Baba NAnak," where the great mass of his descen- 
dants still reside. 

He more than once visited the large and famous city of Emina- 
bAd, half-way betwixt Lahore and Vazlrabdd, and a slirine to this 
day, called Eori Sahib, marks the spot, where he slept on a bed of 
gravel. He lodged with the poor always, and when food was 
sent to him by the governor, he declined to taste it, as being 
purchased by deeds of tyranny and oppression. While lodging 
there, the Emperor Baber attacked and sacked the town in his 
famous invasion of India,' He was seized with others, and forced 


to carry burdens and grind grain. Popular report has it, that the 
burdens stood suspended a foot in the air above his head, and that 
the millstones went round of themselves ; at any rate his appear- 
ance and language attracted the attention of the emperor, who had 
a friendly interview with him, and was gratified by a prediction, 
that his empire would last seven generations, which in effect it did. 
While conversing with the emperor, servants brought him a plate of 
bhang, an intoxicating drug, in which the invaders indulged. The 
Gtiru declined the offer, stating that his bhang was to take the 
name of God, with the drinking of which he was always in a state 
of intoxication. 

As regards the second portion of his travels, we have every well- 
known city and country in India known by report or alluded to in 
the sacred books of the Hindus brought into use. Every Maho- 
metan country, the names of which were familiar from the descrip- 
tion of travellers, is introduced, such as Sindh, KA,bul, Eiim, and 
Arabia ; but the mention of all is so vague, that no profit is derived 
from the enumeration. That he visited Mecca and Madlna was 
both possible and probable, considering the numbers who used in 
those days to flock in pilgrimage and in fact do so now. What 
happened at Mecca is characteristic ; that he defeated the MiiUas 
in argument would be expected, considering that his disciples were 
the narrators, but he exposed the fact, that the sacred Kaba was 
only a black stone, and had once been a Lingam of the Hindu 
god Siva, and that the Mahometans worshipped idols. There is 
no doubt, that it is a remnant of the pre-Mahometan worship of 
Arabia, and.utterly unconnected with the unitarian and iconoclast 
doctrines of the Prophet. The Guru slept with his feet turned 
towards the temple, and, on being reproved for it as a disrespect 
to God to turn his feet towards Him, he asked in which direction 
he could turn his feet without finding God. This is the spiritual 
version of the story, but the vulgar legend is, that, whichever way 
his feet were dragged by the Mahometans the temple followed him, 
and at last the minarets got loose from their foundation, and so the 
Miillas let him alone. They asked him whether he respected God 
and the Prophet ; he replied that God had sent many prophets to 
instruct men in the right way, those who obeyed the orders went 
to heaven, and the others to heU ; that Hindus and Mahometans 
all came from the same five elements, did not differ in their actions 
or words, and that people who fought about mere words had lost 
their way. At Madlna the tomb of Mahomet bowed to him. 

He visited MathurA, BanAras, Jagamath, Lanka, and Hardwdr. 
The wildest stories are told about the inhabitants, but everything 
that happened conduced to the honour of the Guru. Those who 
believed in him received blessings, and those who opposed him 
were brought to their senses. The doctrine of metempsychosis is 


introduced to give variety to the tale, and we find that Ndnak was 
one of the actors of the heroic period, and a great many monsters 
and giants found an end to their penance on his arrival, and went 
oif to Swarga. This is an obvious adaptation of the machinery of 
the Eam"4yana. Bala and MardhAna accompanied him in aU these 
wanderings, but the latter was always getting into trouble. He is 
the low-comedy actor of the drama, always hungry, getting into 
the power of magicians and monsters, and rendering the interfer- 
ence of the Guru necessary to save him from being swallowed up, 
or release him from the form of a goat. 

They walked on the sea without difficulty. This was convenient 
for the purpose of visiting the islands within the limited know- 
ledge of the compiler's geography. Yet they had ships at that time, 
for on one occasion when N4na,k was at home, his mother sent a 
female servant to call him to his meal, for he was asleep ; the maid 
touched his foot, and her eyes were opened, and she became aware 
that the Guru, though present in person, was far away in the act 
of saving the ship of one of his devotees, which was in a storm in 
the Indian Ocean. This is a grand conception ; and one day the 
writer of these pages, when conversing with a descendant of the 
Guru on this subject, was informed thai he had the power himsdf, 
only the devotee must have faith, and the relief would be granted ; 
to those who had not that faith there can be no visible illustration 
of the power. 

They came to a city of gold, where no prices were required for any 
articles, and workmen asked for no pay ! Mardhdna was stuffed 
gratuitously with sweetmeats; there was no crime, and no merchants; 
all the people, including the king, were virtuous, their only fault 
being that they were rather conceited. They came 'jo another city, 
where people acted just in the contrary way to the rest of mankind, 
wept at births, and laughed at funerals. NAnak took the oppor- 
tunity of attacking the Brahmans on all occasions ; at the Kuru- 
ksh^tra he cooked animal food just at the critical moment of an 
eclipse, with a view of scandaKsing them ; at HardwAr he openly 
called on the people to beware of these scribes and Pharisees. He 
nobly filled the part of a prophet of truth and common sense 
against the imtruth and folly of the age. He, accused a Pandit 
of having improper thoughts in his mind, whUe repeating his 
prayers; he told the Brahmans, that aU. ritual observances were 
vain so long as the heart was not pure , when they stood up and 
looked towards the East, and poured out water to their ancestors, 
he mockingly stood up and poured out water, looking to the "West ; 
when they asked him his reason, he remarked, that he was watering 
his field in the PanjAb ; when they urged that the water would not 
reach so far, he asked how they then expected, thai their water 
would reach to the otlier wwld. 


A thief met him, and the Guru remonstrated with him on his 
•way of living. He pleaded the necessity of supporting his family. 
" Will they," said the Guru, " agree to share the penalty of your 
misdeeds in a future state % " They aU declined, and assured the 
thief that he alone would be responsible, upon which he abandoned 
his dishonest profession, and became a disciple of the Guru. 

On another occasion he stopped by the ashes of a funeral-pile, 
and sent a follower to get a light. The eyes of this man were 
opened, and, as he approached the pile, he beheld the angels of 
death dragging olf the person, who had been burnt, to "hell, and 
beating and tormenting him. As he returned from the pile he 
found these same angels of death changed into palanquin-bearers, 
and carrying off this same man to Heaven in aU the pomp and 
comfort of Indian wealth. He inquired the reason, and he found 
that the deceased was an atrocious sinner, had well deserved hell 
imd torments, but N^nak's gaze had fallen on his pile ; God had 
forgiven him his sins, and he was now going off in a palanquin 
to Heaven. It is difficult to say, whether this story is more quaint 
or solemn ; there is a vast amount of spiritual truth enveloped in 
fanciful Oriental dress. In many instances also strangers, convinced 
by his words, asked, "What shall we do to be saved ? " The answer 
was, " Worship NarAyan." 

The third portion of the travels of NAnak is a strange mixture 
of Hindu cosmology as drawn from the Pur^nas, combined with a 
knowledge of the Himalaya mountains, which are always before 
the eyes of the natives of these regions, and a touch of the sectarian 
views of the Sikh denomination of the Brahmanical religion. The 
snowy ranges in their unapproachable height and beauty, tinted 
with roseate hues under the glow of an evening sunset, present a 
region worthy to be considered the dwelling-place of the Immortals. 
When once this idea had been formed, each peak would have its 
own deity, and the chronicler, plunging into ethereal space, could 
very much have his own way as regards gods and mountain-tops, 
concerning which very little was known with certainty by the 
vulgar. At an earlier date the changes would have been lung 
upon the earlier deities of old Hinduism, but even in this mass of 
rubbish we find signs of progress of the human intellect ; for when 
Ndnak and his two companions flew up to these heights, where 
there was nothing but .snow, and where the birds could not reach, 
they found seated there amidst his disciples the great sectarian 
teacher G6rakhnAth, who had immediately preceded N^nak in the 
work of freeing the Hindu intellect. This downward step of theo- 
gony can only be illustrated to European notions by supposing a 
Protestant Heaven ruled over by Luther and Cranmer, or a Non- 
conformist Mount Hermon occupied by Wesley and Eobert Hall. 
Of course, in this truth-loving narrative every other Guru was neces- 


sarily placed in a position of inferiority ; their arguments are made 
futile, their miracles ridiculous ; all tried to make Ndnak their dis- 
ciple ; as Pharaoh's magicians all strove in vain to rival the miracles 
of Moses. Here, however, again the dogma of theological schools 
peeps out, showing that the intellect had gained a step, for the 
superiority of KAnak was not conceded even by the chronicler on 
account of some innate divinity, as Krishna, or from fo-iife power, 
as Siva, but from the gift of a more excellent understanding and 
a deeper knowledge of things unknoion. Gdrakhn^th and his fol- 
lowers in vain submitted the Guru to a rigid examination, for- 
mularised into questions. IST^nak passed the highest standard, 
resisted all their blandishments, out-argued all their arguments, 
proved himself to be perfect, and compelled them to give way. 

Mardhdna remarked that he could see no sun. NAnak informed 
him, that that luminary was far below them ; he then explained to 
him in detail the position of the celestial bodies. They passed on 
from peak to peak, and found eremites living on fruits and wor- 
shipping God ; they saw wonderful animals, and especially tigers, 
who were suffering from hunger on account of crime ; the Guru 
received honour from all, for in this strange narrative animals are 
invested with caste, customs, and modes of thinking, nor were 
they considered unfit objects of divine illumination or of becomiug 

At length in their upward flight they reached Dhru, or the pole 
star. The Bhagat, or saint, who was seated alone in that soli- 
tary height, told them, that only one person had been there before 
NAnak : that was Kablr, the greatest of the modem teachers, who 
had in fact shown the way to the reformation of Ndnak. At that 
point Ndnak left his two followers, and proceeded alone to the 
residence of the Almighty, which was in sight from this place, and 
they beheld NAnak enter the palace gates, and stand before the 
throne of Nardyan, over whose head Kablr, the only other person 
present, was waving a fan. The Lord of the universe asked him, 
whether the work, for which he was sent into the world, was 
done, viz., the reformation of mankind. Ninak replied, that he 
had instructed many sinners in Jambudwipa or India, but that he 
had all the rest of the world to go to. Nariyan smiled, and was 
pleased, and the teacher returned to the scene of his duties. 

Think not that ought of impiety was meant in this narrative ; it 
is a type of the school to which Ninak belonged. The old Hindu 
ascetic of the heroic age was a moral Titan, who attempted to 
scale heaven by heaping works upon works, and making the titular 
gods tremble for their sensual supremacy. These sages ate, like 
Prometheus, so fully of the forbidden Tree of Knowledge, that the 
gods feared, lest they should become one of thejn, and so they were 
expelled from Paradise ; or they tried to erect a tower, which would 


reach, to heaven, and so dissension was sown in their camp, and they 
were scattered ; they piled Pelion on Ossa, and they were suhdued 
hy Kghtning. But the Hindu sectarian of a later date taught, that 
heaven was to be won hy purity, by knowledge, and faith, and on 
the path that leads thither he stationed the different teachers and 
their schools, in the degree in which they possessed those attributes, 
while a passionless, but refined, Deity superintended the work, in- 
capable of jealousy, as he was unapproachable in dignity. 

At length, when old age had dimmed his eye and whitened his 
hair, N^nak settled down in the midst of his disciples at Kirtar- 
piir on the banks of the river E4vi, as poor, as simple, as bene- 
volent, as when, fifty years before, he had abandoned his home and 
the ordiuary ways of men. His primary object had been to reconcile 
Mahometans to Hindus, and form a united religion. Here he had 
failed, but he had formed in the bosom of Hinduism a sect, which 
was destined to take root, though the oppressions of the Maho- 
metans gave it a development far different from the intentions of 
the founder. He was determined to avoid the snare of an heredi- 
tary priesthood, and specially excluded his two sons from the suc- 
cession to his oflB.ce, laying hands on one of his disciples, of a meek 
disposition Hke his own, and giving him the name of Angad, or his 
own flesh. The anecdotes connected with this event are worth 
recording. When the mother remonstrated against the superses- 
sion of her sons, the Guru made no reply : at that moment a cat 
flung a dead mouse at his feet ; the Guru directed his sons to re- 
move it ; they drew back in all the pride of ceremonial purity, but 
Angad, who was of the same caste, at once obeyed the orders of his 
spiritual teacher, who turned to his wife, and gravely asked, which 
was his real son. On another occasion he foimd himself with his 
disciples in a jungle, and they stumbled on a corpse. " Whoever 
is my disciple," said the Guru, "let him eat of that body." All 
drew back in horror but Angad, who, lifting up the sheet to obey 
the order, found only sweet provisions. NAnak blessed him, and 
told him, that he would be above all, and gave him aU power and 
wisdom, and enjoined his disciples to obey him ; and' they did so, 
and Angad was the second of the teachers, or kings, of the Sikhs. 

Soon after one of his disciples met in the jungle a heavenly 
messenger, who sent word by him to NAnak, that he must come 
away. He prepared his own funeral pile, spread the sacred Eiisa 
grass, and sat down. Bound him were assembled all his disciples, 
and crowds of the minor deities ; the spirits of just men made per- 
fect, eremites, saints, and 'holy men of promiscuous repute, assem- 
bled to witness the solemn ceremony of the teacher putting off the 
mortal coil, and being absorbed into the great essence of Divinity. 
He gave advice to all, told them that death was inevitable, but 
that they should take care that their end might be, like his, happy, 


All wept, but his sons were still absent. As tlie sun rose, the 
Guru placed his sheet over his face, and, wliile the Pandits 
chanted hymns on the uncertainty and shortness of life, and the 
deities sung out "Victory," he appeared to expire. At that 
moment his sons came in, and, thiakiug that he was really dead, 
fell at his feet ia an agony of penitence, craved pardon and one 
hour's delay. The Guru had sufficient strength to look up and 
bless them, and then his spirit passed away. This took place in 
the year 1539 a.d. 

Many Mahometans were present, and declared, that they would 
bury him as their co-religionist ; the Hiudus however prepared to 
bum him, and a great disturbance was apprehended, when, hap- 
pening to look Tinder the sheet, they found the body gone, having 
Iseen mysteriously removed. The two factions divided the sheet, 
and one-half was buried and the other burnt. The river E4vi 
in its summer floods has swept away all trace of both the tomb and 
the cenotaph, but the most profound veneration still attaches itself 
to every record, however trifling, of the great teacher. Scattered 
over the country are shrines where his shoes, or his stafi^, or his 
couch, are religiously preserved ; his words have been collected 
into a volume, and three hundred years, which have elapsed since 
his death, have only sanctifled the memory of his mild virtues, 
though the object of his mission entirely failed, and a more intense 
hatred sprung up in this part of India betwixt Hindu and Maho- 
metan than elsewhere. Of his two sons one founded the monastic 
institution of the tlddsis, whose converts are rich and of high 
estimation throughout the PanjAb, and are not without their religi- 
ous and secular advantages. The other son is the ancestor of that 
presumptuous and worthless tribe, the Bedis, who, trading on the 
great name of their ancestor, put all the disciples under contribution 
with the object of supporting their own useless selves, while their 
hands have been dyed for centuries with the blood of their female 
children, to such an extent that the sweet names of daughter, 
sister, and aunt were unknown among them, before the com- 
mencement of English rule. It is hard to say the descendants 
of which son have most entirely set at nought the precepts of their 
ancestor, for, while the tlddsis seek virtue by shunning the 
duties and pains of life, the B^dis cloke their abominable sin 
under the garb of hereditary sanctity, and try to draw to them- 
selves from the simple people that homage which is due only 
to God. 

We have stated that NAnak was contemporary with Baber, the 
founder of the great Moghal dynasty. Angad succeeded him in his 
spiritual rule, and died in 1552, transmittmg his staff to his dis- 
ciple Amar DAs, who reigned till 1574, and to him succeeded in 
peace Earn Dds, who founded the great city of Amritsar, or Eam- 


daspiir, his predecessors having dwelt in political obscurity at 
Govindwal on the river Beas. To Earn Dds in 1581 suc- 
ceeded the fifth king, Arjan, who was imprisoned at Lahore 
hy the local governor, and died in 1606. These were the 
great days of the Moghal dynasty ; to Baber had succeeded HumA- 
yiin, and to him Akbar and Shah Jah^n. Lahore had become the 
residence of Jahdnglr, who, occupied in his splendour and cares 
of state, thought little of the disciples of the Ntoak, as he made 
his annual progress along the Ijnperial Eoad to the passes of 
Pir, Panjdl, and the happy valley of Kashmir. On his road 
thither JahAnglr died, and his body is buried at Shahdera over 
against Lahore on the banks of the river E^vi. Under Aurang- 
zib began the reign of religious persecution, and, as the vigour of 
the Mahometan empire relaxed, the MarAthas in the south and 
the Sikhs in the north began to raise the sttindard of revolt, and 
the sacred tank at Amritsar became the centre of a religious and 
national movement, at the head of which was Hurgovind, the sixth 
king or Guru. His son T6gh Bah^dar, the ninth king, was be- 
headed at Delhi in 1675, an' act never forgiven or forgotten by the 
Sikhs, and never thoroughly expiated tiU 1857, when the Sikhs 
plimdered Delhi under Enghsh guidance, and put an end to the 
Moghal dynasty. Prophecies were current on this subject, and the 
general belief was that, under a sovereign named Dulip, the 
Khalsa was to take Delia. Somehow or other the thread of pro- 
phecy became hopelessly entangled, for when the emperor of Delhi 
asked the dying Guru what he was looking at so steadfastly : " I 
see," said he, " the Lai Kurtis, or men wearing red coats, who are 
on their road to destroy your palace." 

To Aurangz^b succeeded Bahidar Shah, and he met Govind the 
son and successor of T6gh BahMar face to face, spared his life, and 
let him return to his country to be the tenth, the last, and the 
greatest prophet and king. Sad was now the state of these pro- 
vinces amidst invasion, anarchy, and misrule. Sovereigns too 
weak to rule, a people too strong to submit ; religious intolerance ; 
national revenge, hounded on by a deep sense of wrong, and the 
unnatural energy of a new religious organisation. From the river 
Cheniib to the Satlaj, and beyond that river to the Jamnd,, the 
great heart of the people vibrated under a temporary madness; 
they saw their last prophet abandon his country in despair, his 
wife and his four sons being murdered, and lay down his weary 
life on the banks of the river GodAveri in 1 708. No one succeeded 
to him; the great office of teacher, or spiritual king, of which 
NAnak was the first, ended in Govind ; he came to restore peace 
to the world, but his descendants had become a sword. As if the 
fall of an empire and the intestine struggles of races, religions, and 
provinces were not enough, foreign invasion was now added. The 


countries beyond tlie river Indus poured forth their centennial 
swarm of locusts, and these unhappy provinces became the theatre 
of war betwixt the Afghan, the Persian, and the satraps of India, 
and the distant Maritha mingled in the strife, crossed the river 
Beas, and occupied Lahore. 

No historian has recorded the miseries of those periods. Eich 
countries situated on the highway of nations are particularly liable 
to be thus victimised. Such was Judea in the struggles of ancient 
days ; such are Belgium, the Danubian provinces, and Lombardy, 
in modem times. The battle of Panipat had the effect of clearing 
the atmosphere by exhausting both parties, and the grandeur and 
extent of the contest then carried on on these plains may be 
imagined, when it is recorded that the survivors of that great battle 
of the world retired to Kandahir and Piina, respectively; and it 
so happened, that in the year 1759, the inhabitants of the countries 
betwixt the river Chen4.b and the Jamnd found, when the dust of 
the storm cleared away, that the combatants had retired on both 
sides, and that they were free. That year was a wonderful 
year; they would have liked to have renewed the events of 
that year on its centenary ; they had the wish, the daring, 
and the hope, if we had given them the opportunity. It was 
then that they assembled their solemn council at the tank of 
Amritsar, and proceeded to partition the vacant country among the 
twelve camps and tribes, into which they were divided. They had 
been the cultivators and owners of the soil; they had taken to 
arms, and they now settled down as lords and petty chiefs, but 
not generally in their own immediate neighbourhood, and it often 
happened, that a petty shareholder in one village was the feudal 
chieftain at the same time of a large tract of country, but he stiU 
fondly cherished his ancestral property and village title. So 
exposed to their mercy was the country, when the Mahometans 
fell back on either side to Delhi and Peshdwiir, that single horse- 
men spread far and wide to take nominal possession of as many 
villages as possible by flingiag a belt or a turban into each, and 
then passing on to annex more. 

There is no doubt, however, that rude as was the Government, 
and uncertain the tenure of power, the country recovered itself. 
Villages were again restored, population increased; the curse of 
the foreign conqueror and the tramp of large armies were 
removed; the chiefs were too weak to be very tyrannical, and 
their general sympathies were with their subjects, from whom 
they were but little removed in education or feeling. They had 
no foreign support to back them up ; on the contrary, they had 
jealous and unscrupulous neighbours who were ready to absorb 
them. Nearly half a century passed away in this way, when the 
great absorber came ia the person of Eanjlt Singh, who, like the 


ogre in the story-book, deliberately ate all his petty neighbours one 
by ona If the chief had no children, he declared himself the 
heir ; if he had a daughter, he made himself son-in-law ; if he had 
intestine quarrels with his children, his brethren, or his wives, 
Eanjlt Singh appeared as mediator ; if his neighbours were strong, 
or of the Mahometan religion, he deliberately attacked them, till they 
gave in ; if they were weak and helpless, he ousted and pensioned 
them. Different causes however gave one and the same result, and 
by A.D. 1820 they became his subjects, and their territories became 
his. Still it was all in the name of the great Sikh nation, and the 
people felt themselves exalted in his aggrandisement. But with 
his death the great unwelded mass fell to pieces. As it happened 
to Judea, which was so many years the prey of her neighbours, 
the Assyrian and the Egyptian, a great and stem people, of whom 
they had known nothing, dwelling like the Eomans in countries 
far beyond the seas, came suddenly on the stage, and worked out 
the mighty programme, which had two thousand years before 
been sketched by Alexander the Great. 

The rule of the stsinger has been gentle in this country; the 
writer once heard a citizen remark, that they scarcely felt, that 
they were ruled, for they missed the scorpion rod and the arbitrary 
impost. They do indeed regret, that oxen are slaughtered and 
child-murder punished. Memory does gild with a romantic halo 
the good old time of raids and plunder, but as yet they have borne 
these calamities without rebellion, and, if we continue to be strong, 
they may continue to bear. The country fell into the hands of 
a particular school of public officials who, if they erred, always 
erred in favour of the people, a school greater in poHtics than in 
finance, for with one hand they alienated broadcast the sources 
of revenue to keep up a bastard aristocracy and a degraded priest- 
hood, and with the other drew on the revenues of British India 
with a lavish hand. For a period of transition this may have been 
a wise policy, and helped to weather the storm of the mutinies ; 
but for a permanency, which but for the stem interference of the 
head of the Government of India it would have been, it meant 
bankruptcy. This was foreseen by Lord Lawrence, and he pro- 
tested in time. Not that he cared not for the people ; not that his 
heart was not tender to the wants and woes of the millions. There 
was something in the brawny shoulders, and rough manners, and 
independent bearing of the Sikh peasantry, that was congenial to 
him. If the doctrine of transmigration were still believed, we 
might fancy, that he had been in some former state, or would be 
in some future, a Jat yeoman. But he felt that after aU money 
was the sinew of the State, and, if one quarter of the land-tax be 
alienated in perpetuity, and another quarter granted away in 
pensions, insolvency must foUow. How that wonderful feeling 


of sympatliy for the Assignee of the State Eevenue, and the 
pensioner, ever came into existence is a marvel. It would not 
be popular in England to pay taxes to support others in idle- 
ness ; nor, if an assignment had been made for the support of the 
family of one, who had done good service (as, for instance, the 
Duke of Marlborough, who receives a pension from the Post- 
Of&ce), would the people of England tolerate that, on the extinc- 
tion of his line, he should adopt others, or wiU away the State 
Eevenue. Yet this is the real truth of that great grievance, which 
so vexes Western and Southern India, which by early gathering in 
our harvest of resumptions in the North we have practically solved. 

The extent of land alienated for life, or lives, in the tract under 
description is stiU enormous. Death has been busy, and proved 
our best ally. The rapacious manager, who fattened on the land, 
has gone to his account ; he never rendered a true one in this 
world. The wily scribe, who aped the name and appearance of 
poverty while he rolled in wealth, is now poor indeed. The 
plunderers of proYuices, the haughty dissipated noble, the blood- 
stained soldier of fortune, the perjured Eaja, the slayers of their 
sovereigns and their own flesh and blood for their ambitious 
purposes, have aU passed away. Their Hkenesses stOl hang round 
the walls of the museum at Lahore, decked with earrings and the 
insignia of barbaric pomp, but their place knows them no more. 
One old man of the court of Eanjit Singh remained long after the 
rest, an adventurer from the British provinces, who by ways fair 
and foul raised himself to greatness, and sold the Sikh army to 
the English at Firozshahr, for which achievement he is handed 
down as a traitor in the legendary ballads of the people. So 
entirely has the scene changed in thirteen years, that those, who 
have known the country for that period, start when they think of 
it. It seems like the turning of a kaleidoscope since that brilliant 
court, glittering ;in jewels and silks, stained with every crime, 
human and inhuman, devoid of public or private virtue and 
decency, held here its butterfly pomp, ere the strong wind from 
the East swept them away. 

Since then these provinces have been marked by most unsuc- 
cessful mutiny, and most prodigious massacre. Mutiny appears 
to be indigenous in the soil, from the days that Alexander the 
Great's soldiers mutinied, because they wished to return to Mace- 
don and Thessaly, to the hour, when EngHshmen, forgetting 
their duty, jeopardised an empire. At Mi^n Mir, Mult^n, and 
Sialkot, in 1857 mutinies took place, which were met so 
promptly and punished so terribly, that future historians will 
draw their breath for a while, ere they accept as facts what is 
known to be true. From Sialk6t the mutineers were hurrying 
across the rivers Eiivi and Beas, intending to compel other 


regiments to join them, when they -vcere met at Trimu Ferry- 
on the former river by a force, which must have appeared to them 
to have sprung from the ground. They had forded the stream in 
the morning, but after the battle the river fought against them, 
for it had swollen since morning, and hundreds were carried away. 
No quarter was given, and for several days after shooting-parties 
were told off each evening to dispose of the fugitives captured 
during the day. A darker tragedy followed next month, when a 
regiment mutiaied and broke away from MiAn Mir. They were 
met on the river R4vi, captured and destroyed ; their destruction 
saved hundreds of lives, and was a stem, sad necessity, the occur- 
rence of which must ever be regretted; but, when the precise position 
of British affairs in the Panjib is considered, there were but two 
alternatives, to exterminate them or to submit to be exterminated 
ourselves. Let those who from a distance judge harshly, consider 
the position. Those who, long after passions have calmed, have stood 
upon the mound, which marks the grave of the mutineers, have 
arrived at the deep conviction that it was a merciful disposition of 
Providence that their career should end there. 

Of the century of Sikh rule, there are three memorials, which 
wiU enable us to form a judgment as to the manner of men, who 
preceded us in the empire of those provinces. All are falling into 
decay, and we trust, that in a few years they wUl have passed 
away. A few lines on each may not be an inappropriate conclu- 
sion. They are the pension list, the Assignee of the State 
Eevenue, and the temple at Amritsar. 

It has always been a wonder to contemplate the liberahty, 
the lavish, with which the Anglo-Indian Government provided 
for the refuse and degraded members and followers of former 
dynasties, and the niggardliness shown towards their own servants 
and Public Works. Millions have been spent on the most worthless 
of men : the adoptive father of N4na Sahib drew more than two 
millions, and his cousin in the Banda district drew two mil- 
lions beside. It may be urged, that these pensions were hastily 
granted for great public objects at a time, when we were not so 
strong, and that the grants, though upheld, were disapproved of. 
But when the Panj4b was annexed after fair fight, and when 
aheady financial difficulties were looming in the distance, the same 
prodigality marked our policy. We succeeded to a system of the 
most degraded and dissolute kind, and there was no necessity to 
provide for the attendants of such a Court. But the following are 
the kind of persons, whose precious existence was provided for with- 
out fail by the paternal Government, while it was borrowing nuUions 
and retrenching the salaries of its own servants : palanquin- 
bearers, chouri-Wavers, fardshes, umbreUa-carriers, families of 
deceased umbrella-carriers, keepers of chairs, famUies of deceased 


■waterpot-carriers, barbers, cooks, -wives and daughters of deceased 
cooks, commandants of cooks, falconers, beaters of bells, family 
of tbe late Maharaja's nurse, tomfools, fiddlers, painters, dog- 
keepers; sweepers, archers, double and triple wives of deceased 
chiefs, slave girls, aged courtezans described as favourite concu- 
bines of Maharaja Eanjft Singh, the daughter of another and the 
sister of a third equally disreputable, and unblushiagly described 
as such ; relations of the mistress of General AHard ; every kind of 
priest, friar, saint, Guru, Brahman, fortune-teller, of many of whom 
the pedigrees have to be preserved, some according to the flesh, as 
a far^sh or waterpot carrier or cook may be supposed to perpetuate 
his race in the flesh ; others by the spirit, as the saintly folk in 
the end of the list continue their race by the imposition of hands. 

But the particular pension list of the family of the late Mahardja 
was something appaUing. He appears to have had above twenty 
Eanis ; some of them were good enough to ascend the funeral pile 
in his company ; some were comforted in his absence. They be- 
long to aU castes and districts, and, at Lahore, they dwelt iu Httle 
pigeon-holes round the famous tower called the Saman Barj. 
Attached to each were slave girls without number, poor wretched 
females, who were sold from their homes in their youth, and had 
no relations or social position. Twice has the cruel fate of the 
female slaves of India been forced on our notice ; once in the Pan- 
jib, when an attempt was made to distribute the slaves in their 
respective villages, if their friends would take them back Eight 
wretched old women were thus consigned to us, not in any way 
realising the ideal of the " slave of the harem," but on inquiry in 
their villages they had been forgotten, there was no one to receive 
them, and the paternal Government had to cherish them from its 
own resources. On another occasion in Central India a mother 
and daughter had escaped from the walls of the palace of a Naw4b, 
and sought protection of the English magistrate. Their names 
were demanded and their parentage ; the elder female had had a 
father, but as to her daughter she stated calmly that she was a slave, 
and uncertain as to the precise parentage of her child ; it was born 
in the Nawdb's house. Still sympathy is felt by some for these 
royal and noble families, as they topple over and their impure inte- 
riors are exposed ; and in maintaining such establishments as these, 
more than forty thousand pounds sterling per annum was expended 
yearly at Lahore. Now that the salaries of the officers of the State 
are being clipped, is it too much to suggest to the financiers of 
India, that the assignments and allowances of the families of cooks 
might bear reconsideration 1 At any rate let the lavish hand for the 
future be stayed ; let us be just before we are generous. 

The Assignee of State Eevenue is a remnant of a former a^e a 
specimen caught alive of a former geological period. He may have 


been useful and a source of strength to former Governments • he 
is not so to the British Government, for his very existence is an 
anachronism ; he feels that he is an absorbing element, and that 
the grave is gaping for him. We have known them during the 
time of their empire, when fine feathers made them fine birds ; we 
have known them during the period of their absorbing process, and 
in prosperity and adversity to our minds they are the lowest type 
of that genus, which has usurped to itself in most couiitries the 
privilege of preying on the labours of others. Utterly devoid of 
public feeling, of care for anybody but themselves, rude, unlettered, 
low in mind, in acts, and habits, the drones of society, their extinc- 
tion wiU. be haUed by the people and by the Government. About 
them cluster the priest, the fortune-teUer, the dancer, the musician, 
the general panderer to the passions ; these worthies gather round 
their sensuous lord to extract money from his fears, his passions, 
and his gross delights. Ever hostUe in heait to the great Govern- 
ment under whose shadow he exists, his ears prick up and his eyes 
brighten when he hears of disaster, true or invented. But visit 
him in his rural home, ia his rude plenty, amidst his retaiuers, his 
cattle, and the garnered stores of his past harvests, listen to his 
hearty welcome in the gateway, his professions of devotion, and 
his patriarchal manner, but that we knew his antecedents we might 
carry away the impression, that he was the most charming .of old 
men, and wonder at th^ rude assault made by narrow-minded poli- 
ticians at the last of the barons. It is strange that the middle 
classes of England should supply the most determined champions 
of the pseudo-aristocracy of the East. 

But the great Temple wiU ever stand forth as the most remark- 
able monument of the Sikh people. In the heart of the city of 
Amritsar is the famous tank from which the name is derived, and 
here centre all the national pride and religious fervour of the 
people. In the early struggles with the Mahometans this sacred 
spot was more than once defiled by the slaughter of oxen in the 
hopes of putting down the nascent faith, but to no purpose; for no 
sooner had the storm blown over than the waters were again con- 
secrated, and again the faithful assembled. Thither the tribes 
went up, year after year, on their solemn feast days in the spring 
and the autumn ; there they took counsel in the hour of affliction, 
and there they gathered and divided their spoils when triumphant. 
A vast city has sprung up round about, and commerce, here as 
elsewhere, has waited as the handmaid of religion. The Sikh 
dweUing in villages, on the occasion of his annual pilgrimage, pur- 
chased those rude luxuries at the fair, and the excitement of plea- 
sure and sightseeing, the freedom from restraint, and the novelty 
of the journey, soon added that powerful zest to what was originally 
a duty as a pilgrimage. When Eanjit Singh had converted the 


great commonwealth into an empire, and centred in himself all 
the wealth and power of the nation, he affected the deepest reli- 
gious feelings, and the greatest enthusiasm for the holy place. In 
the centre of the tank rose a gorgeous temple of marble, the roof 
and minarets being encased in gilded metal; marble pavements, 
fresco paintings, added to the splendour of the scene, and round 
the outer circle spnmg up a succession of stately buildings for the 
accommodation of the sovereign and his court. The establish- 
ment of no noble was complete, who had not his bhilnga at 

The sight from the roof of the royal bhdnga is one of the most 
imposing in the world. The worship of the heathen lies before us 
in aU its glory. We have stood on the tower of Fort Antonia at 
Jerusalem, and tried to conjure up the appearance of the courts of 
the Lord's house in the days of the splendour of the Jewish hier- 
archy. From the roof of the ruined Parthenon we have looked 
over the inclosure of the Acropolis. But for neither of these, 
nor for the great fane of Diana at Ephesus, can we imagine a 
more venerable, a more brilliant appearance, either the time when 
the Passover, or the great Panathenaic festival, gathered the 
thousands of worshippers within their portals. It is a strange 
and solemn scene ; lofty minarets stand as sentinels on one side ; 
the umbrageous foliage of trees sets off the white radiance of the 
marble and the masonry; the rich gilding of the domes is re- 
flected in the waters ; pigeons without number fly over the open 
space ; and from below comes up a hum of men and women, bath- 
ing and praying, or reverently making the threefold circle of the 
sanctuary, from the interior of which comes forth the murmur of 
priests, chanting the sacred volume to the accompaniment of 
stringed instruments. 

No European shoe is allowed to violate the sacred threshold ; the 
visitor must either do so barefooted, or encase his feet in slippers 
prepared for the purpose. Up to so late a date as i860, the 
Viceroy of India reverently laid bags of silver as an offering of the 
British Government on the holy of holies. When the country 
was occupied, the profoundest respect was shown to the Temple 
and all connected with it; and even to this day its affairs are 
superintended by a council of Sikh notables, who take heed that 
the revenues set apart for the repairs of the building are pro- 
perly expended, and that the offerings of cakes and cash are fairly 
distributed among the tribes of hungry attendants, who have 
gathered round like vultures. These people appear to have 
acquired an hereditary right, but their conduct and bearing is that 
of the sons of Eli, and, ceasing to care for their religious character 
or for popular influence, they vex the local courts with their petty 
squabbles for a fractional share of the offerings; and into these 


nauseous details, into their distribution of unhallowed things, to 
■which the double meaning of " anathema" apphes, the servants of 
a Christian Government are constrained to enter. Strange names 
and strange offices thus became familiar. There is a body of 
Granthis, or readers of the sacred volume, corresponding with 
the prebends of a Cathedral, except that the principle of hereditary- 
succession has rendered much knowledge of the contents of the 
volume unnecessary. Beneath them come a most disreputable 
body of acolytes, or minor canons, who ought to perform the ser- 
vice of the Temple as the ministering Levites, but who have 
adopted secular habits, become moneylenders, extortioners, and 
give to the title of PiijAri anything but the odour of sanctity. 
Beneath them come the choir, or singing men, known as RAgis, 
who sing hymns and chant the text of the sacred volumes in a 
manner unintelligible to the understanding, and unpleasing to the 
hearing. These are all Sikhs, and may at least have the credit of 
believing what they practise ; but there is a fourth body, who are 
composed entirely of Mahometans, and who still are not ashamed 
to lend their vocal powers to the service of the ieathen. These 
compose the orchestra, and extract inharmonious sounds by sweep- 
ing the strings of fat-bellied barbitons, called EabAbs, whence they 
are called EabAbis. These men claim to themselves the honour 
of being descended from that Mardhina, who accompanied N^nak 
in his travels. Like their ancestor, they are a hungry lot. 

Such is the great temple of the Sikhs, protected and endowed 
by the paternal Government, the centre of the hopes and aspira- 
tions of a great people, and which may Some day prove the rallying 
point of our enemies. Leave it to itself and withdraw from it the 
patronage of the State, resume the lands set aside for the support 
of the brotherhood of Granthis, PiijAris, Rdgis, and RabAbis, 
and the splendour .of the institution will pass away. The gilded 
dome will lose its lustre, the marble walls will fall out of repair, 
the great Temple, with its assigned revenues and its stately esta- 
blishments, will no longer be a snare for the vulgar, who are ever 
deceived by outward show. To act thus would be to act impar- 
tially, and in accordance with the true principles of non-inter- 
ference. No necessities of State policy appear to justify the con- 
trary policy, nor do those necessities exist. 

Amritsar, 1859. 

( S6 ) 



GoERBSio has done a service of no ordinary nature to all admirers 
of Sanskrit Uteratvire, and his labours deserve honourable mention 
in India. There is very little taste nowadays for the Sanskrit 
language, yet it would be a shame indeed to pass over noble 
volumes, published by an Italian at the national press of France, 
without some notice. This is no duU volume of exploded and 
abortive philosophy, no vast commentary, which it makes the 
head ache only to open and glance at, but a noble epic poem, fresh 
and original, second only to the great epic of the Greek nation ; and 
the editor has done his duty weU. He has published volumes of 
text, which in beauty and elegance of execution cannot be sur- 
passed, and volumes of translation, into the Italian language. The 
critical notes are brief, but the prefaces contain much interesting 
information and a succinct but complete sketch of the history of 
the poem. 

It is singular that we should have had to wait so long for a com- 
plete edition of the text, and translation into a European language, 
of this great masterpiece ; still more strange, that we should be 
indebted at last to an Italian, a country in no way, either in times 
past or present, connected with India. In the years 1806 and 
1 8 10, Carey and Marshman published the text and English 
translation of two books and a halt out of the seven, which com- 
plete the story; and not only are these volumes very scarce, 
but they are very inferior as productions of literary art, though 
no blame attaches to the excellent men, who, in the very dawn of 
Oriental studies, pubKshed in part what none of their successors 
have found ability or spirit to complete. Schlegel, twenty years 
afterwards, gave to the world the text of two books, with a Latin 
translation of the first, both unexceptionable in merit and excel- 
lent as far as they go ; but his labours were interrupted and never 
resumed ; and another twenty years passed away ere Gorresio pre- 
sented to the public, at the expense of Charles Albert, King of 
Sardinia, the text, the printing of which cannot be surpassed in 
any country, and the translation, in Italian, which may be equalled, 
but not surpassed, in any other of the languages of Europe. In 


v7 iH*^^ jr^ ^^ 

.^:,^^tiaik tu 


shewing, route "^ 




M A 


R A M \ 




his translation he has carefully preserved a Dantesque idiom and 
form of expression, free from all local patois ; his rendering is most 
faithful, and his language elegant and spirited ; and so closely does 
classical Italian approach to the Latin language, that, though not 
written in the learned language of Europe, it will not be lost to 
the general public ; and no Oriental library wiU have any preten- 
sion to completeness without a copy of this magnificent work. 

The Ramiyana is essentially the great historic poem of India, 
the earliest in date, the most complete in design, and the most 
popular. In it are described the great acts and achievements of 
Rama, king of Ayodhy4, the modern Oudh, of the solar race of 
RAjpiits, from whom the numerous faniihes who style themselves 
Rdghuvansi, still trace their lineage. The other great heroic poem 
of India is the Mah^bhArata, which describes the deeds of the 
lunar race of R^jpiits, who ruled at Indraprastha, now Delhi, on 
the river Jamnd. This poem is confessedly of a much later date, 
and, though inordinate in length, it is deficient in completeness and 
unity of action, and clearly a large number of episodes have been 
inserted in it, by which the original plan of the poem is injured. 
Both these poems have a religious scope, and are as such the 
objects of the greatest veneration. The RamA.yana narrates the 
acts of Vishnu, the great Creator, in his seventh incarnation, that 
of Rama ; the latter is the chronicle of the acts of Krishna, the 
eighth incarnation of the same deity. The geography of India is 
divided between them. In the Ramdyana the poet conducts us 
from AyodhyA, the base of operations, beyond the river Satlaj, into 
the Panjdb, and thence returning, we are invited to cross the 
Vindhya range into the Dakhan, across the rivers Narbadd and 
GodAveri to the most southern point of India, and across the arm 
of the sea into the island of Ceylon. In the Mahdbharata, 
Hastinapiira is the basis of operations, but the scene of the battles 
is betwixt the rivers Satlaj and Jamni., near Thanesar. In some 
of the episodes, such as that of Nala, we are conducted into the 
country of Vidharba, or Birar, where Damay^ntl resided ; and the 
whole western portion of India is crossed to Dwarka, on the shores 
of the Indian Ocean, in the neighbourhood of Kach, at which place 
Krishna finally fixed his kingdom. The glimpses of geographical 
knowledge possessed by the poet are highly interesting to trace 
out ; and the insight gained into the habits and manners of the 
people at the time the poem was written is invaluable. 

By what combination of syllables was the poet known during the 
few days that he trod the earth, and left this deathless monument 
of his power over the feelings of mankind ! Is it but a myth or a 
shadow, or are we permitted, after this lapse of ages and the neglect 
of successive generations, to pronounce the name ? On this subject 
there is no doubt ; the poet's name was Valnn'ki, he was contem- 


poraneous with the heroes whom he describes, and he resided on 
the banks of the river Janmd, near its confluence with the Ganges 
at Allahab^. Of this fact his accuracy of geographical description 
of the countries betwixt Oudh on one side and the Vindhya range 
on the other, leaves no doubt. Faithful tradition has marked the 
spot. In the district of Banda, in British Bund^lkhand, about twenty 
miles from the right bank of the river Jamnd, where these lines 
are written, stands the hiU of Vabnfki, near the village of Bdg- 
r(5hi ; on the height is a fort, said to have been his residence. It 
has been the fortunate lot of the writer to visit more than one of 
the seven cities which claim the honour of the birth of the blind 
Maeonian. He has looked on Troy and at the heights of Ida, 
with feelings of reverence; and some such feelings have been 
engendered when he stood on the solitary hUl of Vakoiki, and 
drank in with eager gaze the wide view, which the poet must have 
contemplated, when he was dictating these sounding hues ; a view 
which comprehends a portion of the country mentioned in the 

It is sad to say that the poet began his life as a notorious 
highway robber ; but, repenting of his misdeeds, he betook himself 
to austerities on the hill, and eventually, when the spirit moved 
him, to versifyiug. This is his only work, that has come down to 
us, and an additional interest is attached to it from the fact that 
the poet received in his hermitage Sita, the faithful wife of the 
hero, when banished by her over-sensitive and jealous lord. There 
were bom her two sons, Kiisa and Lava, who were taught, as 
children, to repeat and chant the lines descriptive of the great 
actions of their unknown father, by which they were eventually 
made known, received, and acknowledged; and from them the 
proudest EAjpiits trace their lineage. "We have thus the poet 
blended with the hero of the piece, and the best proof that Valmflii 
was well acquainted with the history of Rama. 

Some critics place the date of these events long subsequent to 
the Christian era. The Hindus, on the contrary, erect a chrono- 
logical edifice of their own, of which thousands of years form a 
unit, and place the date of these transactions in the second age, 
consequently many hundred thousand years before the Christian 
era. The more moderate take & middle course, and by a careful 
comparison of the probable with the improbable, and a collation of 
facts, give to the Ramilyana a date, which must be anterior to 
the weU-estabhshed date of Buddha, to whose existence no allusion 
is made. No doubt many passages, iucluding all that attribute 
divinity to Rama, are the interpolations of a much later date, long 
subsequent to Buddha. Whether the poem was, for many ages, 
handed down by oral tradition by a race of bards, as Valmfki 
first communicated it to the sons of Rama, whose united names 


have passed into a term for rhapsodists, or wiiether these stately 
lines were pricked hy the author on the leaves of the palm ia that 
early form of Indian character of which we have specimens dating 
hack to the time of As6ka ; snch questions as these we ahandon to 
the curious. It is sufficient for us that the epic has descended to 
our times perfect, inasmuch as no portion of it has been lost. The 
only difficulty is to get rid of the redundancies which have been 
added to it. The poem consists of seven cantos, and the number 
of slokes or double verses amounts to twenty-four thousand, which 
is faithfully recorded. But the last canto is generally rejected as 
spurious, and it is clearly beyond the scope of the epic, for it 
describes events which happened after the return of Eama to his 
country, his exile being completed and his labours done. This 
canto may well be compared with the poems caUe4 ws'^oi, which were 
tacked on to the great epic of the Greeks. Another difficulty has 
puzzled editors and critics, that of this huge poem there are two 
distinct recensions, in both of which the same story is told with 
precisely the same details, nearly the same number of couplets and 
chapters, often corresponding word for word and line for line, but 
as often diflFering, the same sentiment being clothed in different 
expressions ; and so rich is the Sanskrit language, that it could 
produce a third version to tell the same story without repeating a 
single word, if required. These two recensions are known as the 
Bangali and North-country versions ; and by a singular accident 
both the distinguished German scholars, Schlegel and Lassen, have 
adopted the latter, while the Italian editor has in these volumes 
presented us with the former, each party speaking highly in favour 
of his own choice. If the disciples of Schlegel, as promised by him 
in his preface, finish the work commenced by their late master, we 
shaR have the singular literary phenomenon of two editions of the 
text, differing so very much as to be clearly distinct works, while 
the translations still closely resemble each other. 

As may be supposed, Indian commentators have found both the 
editions an ample field for their voluminous discussions ; but their 
remarks apply chiefly to the meaning of the expressions, and, until 
European editors approached the subject, no criticism had been 
applied to the text. How much more fortunate have been the 
Homeric poems ! Soon after their composition, they were collected 
under the orders of Pisistratus ; how highly they were valued, long 
before our era, is shown by the fact of Alexander of Macedon always 
carrying a copy of the Iliad with him in his campaigns : and from 
the days of the Alexandrian schools until now the text, has been 
submitted to the most rigid criticism, and placed beyond doubt. Not 
so the great epic of the Hindus. Both editors allow that they have 
used much discretion in omitting what appeared to be repetitioRs, 
and, though each adhering to the recension that appeared to liim 


tlie most genuine, they have not hesitated to adopt passages and 
corrections from the other; 

However, let us leave the critics and their rival editions, let us 
leave the poet and his rhapsodists, and pass to the poems and the 
hero. In Homer's poems we see too clearly, that the heroes are 
new men, and not sprung of ancient stock, as the parentage of 
many of the actors is imputed to the gods, a very convincing proof, 
that their mortal parents were either unknown or so obscure, as 
not to deserve being chronicled ; but the hero of the Indian poem 
is the descendant of a long line of ancestors, whose actions are 
chronicled, and he himself is the last of the line, who has any 
very great renown. The Eamiyana, as may be supposed, is not 
the only work devoted to the great heroic baUad ; in later days 
other poets drew their inspiration from the pages of Vahnlki, fore- 
most among whom are Kdlid^sa, one of the ornaments of the court 
of Vikramaditya, who composed the poem of the Raghdvansa, 
justly allowed to be the most poUshed specimen of the later 
Sanskrit style. The subject is one so naturally suited for scenic 
representation, that Bhavabhiiti, the great dramatist of the Augustan 
age of Sanskrit literature, adopted the subject, and has left us a 
drama fuU of beauty, thus occupying the same position to Valmlki 
that Euripides does to Homer. Nor are these the only instances, 
for, as may be supposed, the story of Rama is one of the stock 
pieces of the Hterature of the country, and Schlegel truly remarks, 
that the MahA,bMrata and the Ram^yana are to India what the 
Iliad and Thebaid proved to Greece. 

And when, a thousand years ago, the great vernaculars of India 
settled themselves into form, the earliest efforts of the wielders of 
the new power of conveying ideas to readers and listeners was to 
make use of the same grand old story ; thus one of the most famous 
records in the great Hindi and Bangdli languages is the Eam4yana 
of Talsi Dds. WTien in course of time Arian culture and religion 
were by a process, of which we have no record, extended to the 
great Dravidian races, non-Arian bards were found to refashion 
the legendary tale, clothing it in new language, not as a servile 
translation, but as new and original poems. And again, when 
the same culture was conveyed across the sea to the MaMyan 
population of Java and Bah, the people of these distant islands 
caught up the echo of the Indian melody, and we hear of poems in 
the Kiwi language, or old Javanese, ia honour of the great Rdjpiit 

That Valmlki was, or fancied himself to be, one of the earliest 
of Indian poets, is shown by his taking to himself the credit of 
having invented the peculiar stately metre, in which the poem is 
written, which metre is the one most generally used by all subse- 
C[uent authors. According to his own account, Valmiki was passin<' 


along the banks of the river Tanse, a stream in Bundelkhand, ^vhen 
he spied a pair of herons sporting together, unconscious of the 
neighbourhood of a hunter, who wantonly shot one of them ; the 
survivor, when it saw its mate thus cruelly killed, filled the air 
with its lamentations, and pierced the heart of the sage, who uttered 
two lines of grief spontaneously in this metre, which he subsequently 
adopted for the poem, and called it sl6ka, from a resemblance to 
the Sanskrit word for grief. This is the asserted origin of a metre 
which has been multiplied far beyond the numbers of the iambic, 
the hexameter, or other modern verse ; for this poem alone contains 
more couplets than both the Iliad and Odyssey together have lines, 
and this poem is but a portion of the voluminous mass of Sanskrit 

The EamAyana has three distinct parts : i. The description of 
the kingdom of Kama's father, the youthful days of the hero, his 
happy marriage, and his consecration as Crown Prince. 2. The 
unhappy circumstances that led to the exile of the hero, and the 
account of the exile. 3. The war with the giants, which closed 
the exile, and preceded his return to the throne of his ancestors. 
In the first portion the poet describes the state of Indian society, 
as he knew it, and scenes and places %vith which he was himself 
more or less perfectly acquainted ; in the second he conducts his 
hero to the immemorial forest, which once covered the whole 
country ; of that the poet could know but a small space, but he 
attempts to describe a state of things, which, to his notions, was 
probable ; his geography becomes more vague, as he crosses the 
Vindhya range, but he is still in the kingdom of reality and deals 
with mortals. In the third part the poet gives loose rein to his 
imagination ; amidst hundreds and thousands of persons brought on 
the stage, three only are mortals, the hero, his brother, and his wife, 
AU the rest are monkeys and giants; the most astounding per- 
formances are narrated, a machinery introduced transcending that 
of the fabled Titans. No tale of Jack the Giantkiller is more 
monstrous, no fairy legend to amuse children more absurd, than 
the achievements that are calmly narrated in these solemn and 
even-flowing lines. Here we have tales of Anthropophagi and 
monsters far exceeding in power and activity any creatures of 
"Western fancy ; we read of arms and weapons, compared to which 
the arms of the Olympic 'gods are but as tiny reeds ; slaughter 
takes place of thousands, leaps are taken of hundreds of leagues, 
and a resident of Europe, on perusal, would wonder what kind of 
people could ever have believed such follies, how a poet of such 
o-reat ability and powers, as proved by the two first parts of his 
poem, could risk his reputation by the impossibilities and absurdi- 
ties of the last. T1 i1 

But the strangest tale has now to be told. Not only did tho 


poet himself believe the legends, which he reduced to verse, not 
only did the audiences, before whom he chanted them, give them 
full credit in those far-off centuries, but three thousand years have 
passed away in vain as regards them ; in vain has the march of 
intellect introduced all over the world new schools of philosophy, 
new religions, new arts and new customs : the gods of Olympus are 
now only known to schoolboys : old Homer is admired, quoted, and 
loved as a glorious myth : Delphi has long ago lost its tripod and 
kept silence; but these fables, or caU them what you will, these 
gross absurdities are still beheved as Gospel by many millions, old 
and young, rich and poor. With them it is an article of faith. 
Although for half a century the island of Ceylon has been ruled by 
the same people as the peninsula of India, though the communica- 
tion is rapid and certain, yet stUl it is firmly believed by millions 
of the people of India, that that island is peopled by Edkshas, or 
giants, and paved with gold. 

For tradition has been woven with religion, the magic power of 
verse has preserved the one and strengthened and perpetuated the 
other ; for a deeper mind and meaning is contained in the history 
of Eama, to understand which we must foUow up the vagaries to 
their earliest source. Man, poor weak man, from the earliest date, 
has felt the conviction of the existence of a higher power, and has 
vainly groped about for God, but, without the light of inspiration, 
has sought in vain. The Hindus early arrived at the idea of the 
All-powerful Divinity, whom they divided into three ; but of them, 
the first, Brahma, like old Saturn, soon became obsolete, and of the 
two remaining, one-haK the Hindu world place their faith in 
Vishnu, and the other in Siva, each party ascribing to their deity 
the full powers of the ruler of the universe. Having arrived, pain- 
fully and uncertainly, at the idea of a God All-powerful and All- 
wise, the necessity of his interfering in mortal affairs has appeared 
of daily increasing urgency, and the necessity of periodical incarna- 
tions of the deity to redeem the world, and restore it from some 
impending danger, has been written on the faith of a people, who, 
at an early date, discovered, that faith without works was vain. 
Thence has it happened, that the followers of Vishnu maintain, 
that on nine separate occasions that deity has descended to the 
earth, and performed the stated duty, and then returned ; that he 
is to descend once more and restore all things, is stiU their fervent 
belief. The earher incarnations are vague and uncertain, and the 
offspring of an age, which had not yet attained to the dignity of 
hero-worship. The incarnations are as follows : the fish, the 
tortoise, the boar, the man-lion, the dwarf, and Parasu-Eama ; then 
followed the celebrated incarnations of Eama and Krishna, who 
have superseded entirely the worship of the original deity ; and 
last of actual incarnations is the mysterious appearance of Buddha, 


himself the founder of a heresy, which developed into a separate 
religion. Still to come is Kalkl, but the time is uncertain. 

In addition to the great deities are a vast number of deified 
mortals, personified elements and attributes, and other fanciful 
creations of poor human intellect, when once it takes to idol-wor- 
ship, so prolific of absurdities. They all occupy the heavens, but 
appear to have been exposed to frightful dangers or inconvenience 
from evil spirits or overpowerful mortal ascetics ; the boundaries 
of the earth and the heavens appear to have been particularly 
undefined, for we hear of mortal sovereigns assisting the gods in 
their fight with demons, and we find these poor gods reduced to 
most pitiful straits before powerful mortals, compelling them to 
implore the assistance of the Great Ruler of the Universe, though 
sometimes this awful Power appears to have been obliged to 
descend to low tricks to efi'ect his purposes. Thus it happens, that 
the two worlds at one conjuncture, viz., the continent of India, 
Jambudwlpa, and the corresponding portion of the heavens or 
celestial regions, were oppressed to such an extent by certain giants, 
whose headquarters were at Ceylon, that they were driven to seek 
relief from Vishnu, and beg an incarnation of his power to rid the 
world of the evil. There is something grand and soul-stirring in 
this bold flight of unassisted human genius ; here is the confession 
of the dependence of poor weak man on a sole Creator, who is 
begged to send a portion of himself to the help of his creatures. 
In the poem before us this is narrated briefly, but in the later 
work of KAlid4sa, the Eaghiivansa, is the following noble descrip- 
tion of the Deity, which the writer of these pages has trans- 
lated to give an idea of the notions formed by a Hindu of the 
Godhead : 

He sat, that awful Deity, in state ; 

His throne encircling heavenly armies wait : 

Around His head celestial rays were shed, 

Beneath His feet His conquered foes were spread : 

To Him the trembling gods their homage brought. 

Incomprehensible in word or thought : 

" thou, whom threefold might and splendour veil, 

Maker, Preserver, and Destroyer, hail ! 

Thy gaze surveys this world from clime to clime, 

Thyself immeasurable in space or time : 

To no corrupt desires, no passions prone : 

Unconquered Conqueror, Infinite, unknown : 

Though in one form Thou veil'st Thy might divine, 

Still at Thy pleasure every form is Thine : 

Pure crystals thus prismatic hues assume, 

As varying lights and varying tints illume : 

Men think Thee absent ; Thou art ever near, 

Pitying those sorrows which Thou ne'er canst fear : 

Unsordid penance Thou alone canst pay : 

Unchanged, unchanging, old without decay : 


Thou knowest all things : who Thy praise can state ? 

Createdst all things, Thyself uncreate : 

The world obeys Thy uncontrolled behest, 

In whatsoever form Thou stand'st confest : 

Though human wisdom many roads foresee, 

That lead to happiness, all verge in Thee : 

So Gunga's waves from many a wandering tide 

TTnite, and to one mighty ocean glide. 

Though of Thy might before man's wondering eyes, 

The earth, the universe, in witness rise, 

Still by no human skill, no mortal mind, 

Can Thy infinity be e'er defined. 

And, if to bid Thy awful grandeur hail, 

Our feeble voices in mid tribute fail, 

'Tis not the number of Thy praises cease, 

But that our power, alas ! knows no increase." 

Surely there is somethiiig grand in these sentiments, something 
elevating in this description of the Deity, far different from the 
idol-worship of modem days, and the degrading adoration of the 
Lingam. The story goes on to say, that the Supreme Deity 
Ustened to the request, and allowed himself to be bom as Eama, 
the son of Dasaratha, the king of AyodhyA, with the view of extir- 
pating the race of giants, and restoring free worship; for this 
appears to have been the crying evil that, owing to the incursion 
of these monsters, devout men were unable to complete their 

What is the truth hidden under this myth we can only guess 
at. Whether it is merely the Hindu embodiment of the idea of 
the struggle betwixt good and evU, the Ormazd and Ahriman of 
the fire-worshippers, or whether the first conquest of the non-Arian 
races of Southern India by the more civilised Arians of the North, 
is darkly hinted at. That the dwellers of a country little known 
should be described as ogres and giants, is no new feature of 
history. Others, again, imagine, that they trace in this legend the 
great struggle betwixt the Brahmanical and Buddhist religions. 
That the latter once flourished over a great part of India, and by 
a reunited effort of the Brahmans was entirely extirpated, but 
still flourishes in Ceylon, as weU as other parts of -Eastern Asia, is 
a fact no longer disputed. These giants are described as parti- 
cularly the enemies of the ascetics, but from the account given of 
them we find, that their mode of life differed but little from that 
of the Hindus ; it may be, however, that the poverty of the poet's 
experience admitted of no other possible mode of domestic life 
than what he saw around him. 

Some events must have happened, the memory of which has 
impressed itself indeHbly on the fancies of the Hindu nation over 
the whole peninsula ; and, as the legends are entwined with the 
earliest history of the people, and are connected with rivers and 


mountains, giving them a sanctity and making ttem objects of 
pilgrimage, there is no possibiUty of this story ever dying, until 
some geological alteration of the natural features of the landscape 
come to pass. The conversion of thousands to the Mahometan 
religion has done nothing ; if the whole nation became Christians, 
they would not forget Eama, but would sing of him as a hero, 
whom they now worship as a god; or under a plastic form of 
Christianity, which admits of the worship of the old local deities 
under the disguise of saints, as has happened in Italy and the 
Levant, it might come about, that altars would be raised to him in 
Christian churches. It may indeed be said of Eama — 

' ' Dum stabunt montes, campis dum flumina current, 
Usque tuum nomen toto celebrabitur orbe." 

The part played by the monkeys in the poem has to be con- 
sidered. They were uniformly friendly to the hero and hostile to 
, the ogres. They occupied the mountainous regions of Central 
India. Ethnology and linguistic research teU us, that the Kolarian 
races of Central India are perfectly distinct from, and anterior to, 
the Dravidian races of the south. These Kolarians represent the 
earliest settlers in India, and their territories have been encroached 
upon by the Dravidian races. This represents the antagonism. 
Any one, who has seen these dark naked races, small in stature, 
ugly in feature, degraded in habit, living in forest, some of them 
clothed in leaves, shunning the haunts of men, and remembers, that 
these forests are inhabited by numberless herds of monkeys and 
apes, cannot be surprised, that the cultivated residents of villages, 
out of derision or intentionally, blended the savage and the 
monkey together. The monkey and ape are sacred to the Hindu, 
and strange fables, even so late as the time of the Emperor Shah 
JaMn, have connected themselves with Tulsi D4s, mentioned 
above as the author of the Hindi Kam4yana. When imprisoned 
at Delhi, he was- released by myriads of monkeys,, who demohshed 
his prison. Professor "Wilson truly remarks, that the vernacular 
versions exercise more influence on the great body of the popula- 
tion than the whole series of Sanskrit compositions ; they are 
found everywhere ; families with the most moderate means go to 
the expense of having a copy made, though it is large and bulky. 
Many copies are illustrated by pictures, and are an unfailing source 
of deHght to crowds of listeners in the evening. The art of Umning 
is not far advanced in India, and the representations of subjects 
so serious are so grotesque, that they caimot fail to excite the 
laughter of a European ; but they are gazed upon by the simple 
people with feelings of awe, and, indeed, their execution is quite 
as good as the prints of saints and hermits, that rouse the devotion 
of the Eomanist peasants. 



But it is not from books, nor from tlie garrulity of story-tellers, 
that the lower classes acquaint themselves with the history of 
Eama. Tear after year the whole scene is enacted before their 
eyes ; in large cities, such as Ban^ras, the spectacle is a magnificent 
one and the cost very considerable, but in all the larger villages 
over the country the Dasahr4 festival is celebrated with a zeal 
and earnestness scarcely to be described. Enormous figures of the 
rakshasi are raised, with the most hideous countenances, and of 
most startling proportions, scaring the passer-by at other times of 
the year, who, if ignorant of the customs of the country, would 
wonder with what object such gigantic idols were kept in per- 
manent repair. At the time of the festival hither resort aU the 
neighbourhood, both young and old, to celebrate, with due honour, 
the lAld of their hero; day by day, according to certain fixed 
stages, the pageant is enacted, and on the last day the giant 
E^vana is massacred in efiigy in every village, and blovm up with 
gunpowder on every Sepoy parade-ground in India, amidst the 
shouts of the delighted crowd. It is from these annual representa- 
tions, that the story continues so fresh and so popular to aU. 

And it is satisfactory to find that the story itself, to the narration 
of which we now approach, is singularly pure and heart-stining ; 
the triumph of virtue is certain and complete ; vice and impurity 
receive on all sides an utter discomfiture ; many are the traits of 
character drawn with the power of a skilled artist; the noblest 
sentiments of unselfishness, devotion, gentleness, and mercy por- 
trayed ; but, above all, we love to dwell on the pure and noble 
character of the faultless hero. Prom an Indian pen we might 
have expected a sensual monster, a selfish autocrat, a merciless 
tyrant, a narrow-minded bigot, such as now disgrace the puppet 
courts of India ; but from his earliest year Eama was a gracious 
youth ; as he grew his virtues expanded, rendering him the delight 
of his parents, his relations, and his future subjects. Elaborate 
and oft-repeated are the praises, which are bestowed on him by the 
poet ; they are drawn from a faultless model. Not Solomon in aU 
his glory was arrayed in so shining a vesture. When we remember 
his age, we wonder at his firmness and wisdom ; when we consider, 
that he was brought up the heir to an Asiatic throne, we are 
astonished at his self-control and pure-mindedness. That such a 
person existed may be doubted, and therefore these praises may be 
declared as extravagant ; but- that such a poem exists is a fact, and 
that a poet, with all the varieties of the human race before him to 
select, should choose such a character, and that it should be the 
object of the veneration and deification of millions, is a trophy, of 
which India may be proud ; f (5r Eama was gentle, forgiving, and 
merciful, incapable of envy or malice ; even when harshly addressed, 
he replied softly ; he ever delighted in the society of those, who 


■were advanced in learning, virtue, and age ; he was wise and gene- 
rous ; valorouS, but making no boast of his own valour ; open- '■'^ 
hearted, prudent, full of compassion, with his angry passions and 
senses in complete subjection ; not the least covetous of the king- 
dom, though he knew, that it was his rightful heritage, for he con- 
sidered the acquisition of wisdom as more desirable than that of 
earthly power ; he was a respecter of the truth, a keeper of his 
promises, one who could appreciate the merits of others, and who 
was firm in his purpose, preferring truth to life and happiness. To 
render the picture complete in Hindu notion, though hut of small 
merit in the eyes of a faithless generation like the present, he was 
a regular reader of the Vedas, and a respecter of cows and Brah- 
mans ; a miserable climax to such a description. But there stands 
the picture ; such are the traits considered worthy of an incarnate 
deity, and the greatest of warriors and princes, who not only con- 
quered India and the race of giants, hut effected a greater victory 
over himself. 

However, to our story. On the south bank of the river Sarju, 
now known as the Gogra, stood the celebrated city of Ayodhyi, 
represented to this day by the ruined mounds of Oudh, close to the 
town of Faizabal; it was the capital of the kingdom of Maha 
Kosala, which included the whole line of country betwixt the 
Himalaya and the river Ganges, from Pilibhit in the West to the 
river Gandak in the East, the modem kingdom of Oudh, and the 
district of Gorakpiir. The Gogra is still known by its ancient 
name in the hills of Kumaon ; and according to the legend duly 
chronicled in this poem, it takes its origin from the sacred lake of 
MansarAwar, in the Snowy Mountains ; and, in truth, the Gogra, 
though in no way connected with the lake, does arise in its neigh- 

On the throne of AyodhyA was seated the representative of the 
ancient Solar line of Eajpiits, who had for many generations ruled 
the land; his name was Dasaratha; he had three wives, one 
apparently of his own race and country, and thence called KausalyA; 
one from the distant Panjdb, called Kaikeyi, from her place of 
birth ; and the third, who is always called by her personal name, 
Sumitrd, was from the country of Magadha, the modern BehAr ; in 
addition to these ladies of family and distinction, he appears to 
have had an extensive zantoa, but had not been blessed with a son ; 
and to obtain this boon he was commencing a religious exercise of 
great difficulty, by which he hoped to conciliate the gods, the 
givers of favours. The sacrifice was that of a horse, known as the 
Asvam^dha, and was liable to frightful interruptions, and it 
appeared that a completion of the king's wishes depended on the 
assistance of a celebrated ascetic of the name of Rishyaringa. 

It so happened that in the neighbouring kingdom of the Angi, 


now known as the' district of Bliagalpiir, in the province of 
Bangal, there had been a great dearth, and the king, Lomapada, had 
been assured, that the only chance of getting rain was to entice this 
same ascetic from his retirement, and get him to marry the king's 
daughter, or rather the adopted child of Lomapada and real 
daughter of Dasaratha. This ascetic was the son of K^syapa, a 
sainted mortal of frightful power, and he had begotten this son 
apparently without a mother, and had brought him up alone in the 
wilderness, where he had never seen, nor even heard, of the exist- 
ence or fascinations of that interesting portion of the human race 
caUed woman. The plan was to send a party of young females, 
disguised as ascetics, and coax the great saint from his retreat by 
those wiles, which are aU powerful. The episode describing all this 
is most fantas'tic. The surprise and unsettlement of the mind, the 
entire interruption of devotions, and the heart's unrest, that befell 
the unhappy saint, when he received his new visitants, is most 
graphically described, and we might laugh at the conceit of such 
being possible, had not a modem traveller in the Levant assured us 
of the existence of a similar case in one of the convents of Mount 
Athos in the nineteenth century. He there found a monk in 
middle life, who had never set eyes on a woman, nor had any notion 
of them beyond what could be formed from a black and hideous 
altar-picture of the Virgin Mary. The cruel traveller, by an 
accurate description of -the many charms of the fair sisterhood, 
entirely destroyed the poor solitary monk's peace of mind for the 
future. In the Hindu story they went further, for they enticed the 
ascetic away from his woods, got him on board a vessel on the 
Ganges, married him to the king's daughter, and brought him on 
to AyodliyA to conduct the sacrifice, which terminated favourably, for 
in a very short period afterwards Kausalyd gave birth to Eama, 
called so as being the delight of the human species. Kaikeyi pro- 
duced Bharata, and Sumitrd had two sons, Lakshmana and Satrdgna. 
They were all incarnations of the deity, specially sent to earth for 
the destruction of the godless giants; they were endowed with 
every virtue; but conspicuous among all was Kama, in whom 
was centred a double portion of the divine essence, who was 
destined to be the hero of the tale, and round whom all other 
characters are grouped as satellites. 

We hear nothing further, until Eama reached his sixteenth year, 
when a saint of extraordinary power and esteem arrived at the 
court of Ayodhyl His name was Visvamitra ; he had been origi- 
nally a Eajpiit king of the country on the banks of the river Sona, 
the country now included in the district of Patna, then known as 
Magadha. The sage had one sister, who, from their ancestor Kusn, 
was called Kousiki, and was turned into a stream, flowing from tlie 
Him^aya, known now as the river Kosi, which flows into the 


Ganges thiough the district of Pamea. On one occasion Visvami- 
tra was hospitably entertained by an ascetic of great repute named 
Vasishta, who was possessed of a wonderful cow, which enabled 
him to entertain a vast army. The king and the saint quarrelled 
about this cow ; the warrior was obliged to yield, as the Brahman 
produced armies of Sakas, Yavanas, and Barbaras, and discomfited 
him. Under this legend lies some hidden meaning. Visvamitra 
took this matter to heart, and by the most unheard-of asceticism 
and long penance, determined to be exalted to the rank of a Brah- 
man. The unfortunate gods in those days had a hard time to hold 
their own, and they did everything they could to interrupt the 
integrity of these devotions by sending fair damsels to call back his 
thoughts to the world, or by rousing him to fits of anger ; it was of 
no use, the tough ascetic was too much for them ; he obtained the 
complete control of all his passions, and when the gods refused to 
accede to his wishes he began creating a new universe, new 
heavens, and new gods, and had already brought some stars into 
existence, when the heavenly host gave in and made him a 
Brahman. The object of this legend, to exalt the priestly caste, is 

Such was the wonderful iadividual, who one day arrived at 
AyodhyA, and demanded the loan of the service of Rama to protect 
him and other ascetics in the performance of a sacrifice, which was 
constantly interrupted by the attacks of the giants. JSTot that the 
sage himseK was not all-sufficient to .control these wretches; a 
word, a look of his, could reduce them to ashes, but the slightest 
explosion to anger would utterly nullify the advantage of the 
sacrifice. It was necessary, therefore, that one of the Warrior caste 
should guard the Brahmans. The old king dared not refuse, but it 
was a great struggle to send his young son on a service of such 
danger ; the saint, accordiagly, accompanied by Eama and Laksh- 
mana, started on their journey, following the course of the river 
Gogra, through the Azimgarh and Ghazipiir district of the Allaha- 
bad Province to the point of junction of that river with the Ganges, 
on the confines of the district of Chapra, in the province of Bangdl. 
They passed the night on the bank of the stream, and Visvamitra, 
who proved a most garrulous and instructive companion, explained 
to Eama the cause of the noise, which' they heard, where the two 
great streams meet together. They lodged in a sacred grove, where, 
at a period still more remote, the Great Lord of the tJniverse was 
performing a penance, when the thoughtless deity, Cupid, winged 
an arrow at him, and was reduced to ashes by a frown, whence he 
was ever after called the " bodiless ; " and the spot even to this day 
is holy in popular tradition. 

Gorresio in his translation falls into an error by supposing, that 
they crossed the river Gogra ; this was not the case, they crossed 


the river Ganges, and landed near the fortress of Buxar in the 
district of ShahabM or Arrah. This was then known as the 
country of Magadha, and a legend is given to explain the name. 
Here Eama encountered and slew a hideous giantess, who ravaged 
the country ; biit it was only after long arguments, that he could be 
induced to injure and slay a female. No sooner was she killed, 
than the heavens opened and a loud applause was given by the gods, 
who rained flowers upon the hero, and caused strains of celestial 
music to be heard, and gave poor erring mortals a momentary 
glance of the celestial danciitg girls. This is the conventional mode 
of description, and nothing is more remarkable than the constant 
communication with the gods, which appears to exist. They are 
represented as living only on the sacrifices offered to them by 
mortals ; the idea which Aristophanes in his " Birds " threw out 
only as a wicked joke, with the Hindus is an article of faith ; sub- 
ject to mortal passions and frailties, without the hecatombs offered 
by pious men, the unhappy denizens of heaven would starve ; and 
hence the lively interest, which they felt in the destruction of the 
wicked race, which interrupted the just completion of the sacrifice. 
There is something of this feeling to be traced in the Latin poets, 
where we find a goat or a hog promised in return for favours 
solicited. The idea of an expiatory sacrifice had not been con- 

After the slaughter of the giantess, the sage invests Kama with 
the gift of the heavenly and mysterious arms. No words can fully 
describe them ; they are not like the arms in the IHad or .^Eneid, 
accoutrements or weapons such as mortals wear, but of divine 
excellence; but these weapons are spiritual, to be exercised by 
meditation, a most fanciful creation of the poet. Proceeding 
onwards, they arrive at the spot, where the sacrifice was to be per- 
formed, " the grove of perfection," in the district of ShahabAd. It 
was here that Vishnu under a previous Incarnation, as the Dwarf, 
had dwelt, when he came down to earth to save the world from the 
tyrant Bali ; it was now occupied by numberless ascetics, who were 
awaiting the arrival of the hero to complete their sacrifice. No 
sooner were the holy rites commenced, the sacred flames v^ere 
burning, than an unholy troop of giants rushed upon the inclosure ; 
but they were soon routed and destroyed by Eama, and their chief 
Marichi, who was destined to take another part in this history, was 
hurled by an arrow into the ocean. When we consider the nearest 
point of the sea-coast to the district of Shahab4d, we can form- an 
idea of the power of the hero's weapons. 

The saoriffce was completed, when the news reached them that 
the king of Mithila was about to have a grand assemblage of holy 
men, on the occasion of the choice of a husband for his daughter 
Sit4, who was to be the prize of the lucky man, who could string 


an enormous bow, -which had long heen an heirloom of the family. 
Visvamitra proposed to go thither, as, indeed, it was on his road 
home, since he resided in the hiUy country on the hanks of the 
river Kosi, in the territory of Nepal. The royal youths assenting, 
they crossed the river Sona, from the district of Shahah^d into 
that of Patna, which, as mentioned above, had once been the king- 
dom of Visvamitra. Never at a loss for something to say, he tells 
them the origin of the name of the celebrated city of Kany^-kubja 
or Kanouj, and the next day, when they advance to the banks of 
the Ganges and encamp there, a magnificent but lengthy episode 
is introduced as to the origin of this sacred river. There may, 
perhaps, be some deep geological truth in the myth of the sea 
having once washed the base of the Himalaya, whence, by deposits 
and elevation of the land, it has been pushed back many a hundred 
leagues into the Bay of Bangui. There must have been a time 
when this noble river first began to flow, when the range of the 
Himalaya was iipheaved and became the resting-place of ice and 
snow, which, in turn, supplied the waters. There must have been 
a time when, betwixt the Himalaya and the Vindhya ranges, flowed 
an. arm of the sea, and the fertile Gangetic valley, the rich plain of 
the North-Westem Provinces, lay deep beneath the bed of the 
ocean. Geology teUs us clearly, that this may have happened not 
only once, but repeatedly, and points to marine fossils scattered 
over the lofty ranges. Bearing this in mind, the Hindu tradition 
loses much of its strangeness, and the tale is nobly told, and has 
been forcibly translated by an English poet. Dean Milman, in the 
same metre as the original. We are, tempted to give an extract: 

' ' High, on the top of Himavan, the mighty Maheswara stood ; 
And 'Descend !' — he gave the word to the heaven-meandering water. 
Full of wrath, the mandate heard Himavan's majestic daughter. 
To a giant's stature soaring, and intolerable speed, 
From heaven's height down rushed she, pouring upon Siva's sacred head : 
Down on Sankara's holy head, down the holy fell ; and there, 
Amid the entangling meshes spread of his loose and flowing hail', 
Vast and boundless as the woods upon Himalaya's brow ; 
Nor ever may the struggling floods rush headlong to the earth below." 

Thus far the Ganges had descended, but had been caught in 
Siva's hair, a paraphrase for the woody defiles of the HimAlayi\ 
At length the bal'rier was burst : — • 

" Up the Rr-ja at the sign upon his glittering chariot leaps ; 
Instant Ganga the divine follows his majestic steps ; 
From high heaven burst she forth upon Siva's lofty crown, 
Headlong then, and prone to earth, thundering rushed the cataract down. 
The world in solemn jubjlee beheld these heavenly waves draw near, 
From sin and dark pollution free, bathed in the blameless waters clear ; 
Swift King Bhagiratha drave upon his lofty glittering car. 
And swift with her obeisant wave. bright Ganga followed him afar.'' 


Such, was the descent of the river Ganges at the earnest request, 
of King Bhagiratha, an ancestor of Rama, whence she is called 
BhAgirathi From the circumstance of her descent to earth, she was 
called Ganga, and, assuming as many thousands of years as we 
choose, since first she burst the barrier of the Siv41ik range and 
ploughed her deep and annually deeper furrow to the sea, building 
up new islands and peninsulas in the Bay of BangAl with the soil 
of Northern India, carried away by her majestic flood, through her 
hundred mouths, she has still followed the same track, and enjoyed 
a character for sanctity. Tradition has it, that her time will expire 
some day, that her waters wiU no longer have their heavenly 
attributes. But a heavier blow has been inflicted, for in these last 
days she has been fettered and confined, compelled to desert her 
ancient channel, compelled to forego her licentious meanderings, 
and to administer to the wants of man ; and we have yet to see, 
whether any power will arise, that will release her from the meshes 
and locks of the great Ganges Canal. 

Such and such were the tales, the old national legends, with 
which the garrulous sage entertained the royal youths during the 
long nights. At the close of each the poet describes them. as 
charmed and surprised; for ourselves we confess that, after a 
perusal of this poem, we have ceased to be surprised at anything ; 
the tales are so marvellous, so comprehensive ; the narrative is so 
self-satisfied and circumstantial, that if we did not know assuredly, 
that the whole were the wildest dreams and the grossest fabrica- 
tion, we should be inclined to say, that they ought to be true. 
Visvamitra was one, who kjiew everybody and everything, who 
could t^lk by the hour de omnibus rebus et quibusdam aliis, and 
who had a grand way of stunning his audience ; and we sometimes 
have thought, that some of his race, heirs of his mendaciousness 
and his assurance, are still to be met in India and elsewhere. 

Next morning they crossed the Ganges in a boat, leaving the 
kingdom of Magadha and district of Patna, and entering into the 
district of Tirhdt. The name of this province is derived from the 
Sanskrit word " Tirabhakti," as the three rivers, the Gandak, the 
Ganges, and the Kosi, are the boundaries ; but a still more ancient 
name is that of Vid^ha, the capital of which was Mithila, whither 
our pilgrims were now proceeding. They arrived the first night 
at VisAlil, the locality of which is unknown, and were hospitably 
entertained by King Pramati. The ancient history of this district 
is given by Visvamitra in full detail. On the next day they pro- 
ceeded to the hermitage of Ahalyd, concerning whom a most in- 
delicate story, in which Indra appears most unfavourably, is told, 
and Eama releases her by his presence "from a curse, which had 
lasted some indescribable period. Thence they arrived at Mithila, 
and were cordially received by King Janaka. This city is known 


by the name of Janakpiir, and is in the kingdom of Nepjil, just 
beyond the limit of the Tirhdt district. 

At the request of his guests the king orders the wonderful bow 
to be brought foiward, and eight hundred men stagger forward 
with it, so vast is its size ; and it seems ridiculous, that the slender 
lad of sixteen summers should attempt the feat. The Eastern 
poets always fall into the error of overdoing their miracles, and 
thus diminish the effect. How much more chaste and striking is 
the conception of Homer with regard to the bow of Ulysses ! It 
was a great bow, and one, which no other could string, but not so 
monstrously out of proportion. "With how much greater sympathy 
we read the issue of the trial of strength (Odyssey, xxi. v. 409) : — 

" fis a^a rep ffTrofS^s ra.vv(j^ iiiya, to^ov Odvfftrevs. 
Ae^trepyj S'&pa x^^P^ Xa^^v TreiprjffaTO vevp^^f 
' H S'CttA icaXiv &eure xf^iS6pi ei/cAi; adS^x, 
M.V!i(jTrip(!a> S'&p &xos yinero p^iya, iraa S'&pa x/xls 
ErpdireTO. Zeis 5e psydX 'iKTVTe, S'fip.aTa <l>oivav.'' 

We seem to hear the singing of the string under its unusual 
tension ; we see the dismay of the spectators ; we almost hear the 
thunder. Such is the more refined painting of the Western poet. 
Valmlki describes the scene forcibly, but extravagantly. Eama, 
with scarcely an effort, and with a single arm, raises the ponderous 
bow, and in stringing it snaps it asunder. Awful was the crash ; 
the whole assembly, with the exception of the king, the sage, and 
the royal youths, lost their perpendicular, and all were astounded. 
The hand of Sitd was the reward of such a display of superhuman 
strength. Royal messengers are sent by the direct road to bid old 
Dasaratha to his son's wedding, who hurries over the intervening 
space, three hundred miles at the least, in four days and nights, 
which is fast travelling, considering the immense escort of elei^hants 
and chariots, which he took with him, and the bad roads of Gorak- 
piir and Chapra, which he had to traverse. He comes, accom- 
panied by his other two sons, and the liberal host not only pro- 
duces a sister of Sitd as a bride for Lakshmana, but arranges to 
marry two nieces, the daughters of his brother Kusadwaja, the 
king of Sankasya, to Bharata and Satriigna. The wedding is 
described most particularly; the pedigrees of both families are 
tediously recounted by the family bards. The family of Dasaratha 
has certainly the advantage, for their names and their achieve- 
ments still, by the aid of the sacred bard, ring through India ; 
while the ancestors of Janaka, less fortunate, though, perhaps, not 
less worthy, must be entered, in the category of those brave ones, 
who lived before Agamemnon. The wedding presents are enume- 
rated and are most costly ; the Brahmans come in for a lion's share 
of the spoil. Each sovereign had with him a father-confessor, 
whose mouth had to be filled with good things ; but, as the offer- 


ings consisted of thousands of cows, tlie munificence must have 
been inconvenient. The four young ladies, like fiames of fire, are 
stationed at the altar ; the hands of each are placed in those of their 
respective bridegrooms ; blessings are invoked on them. "All of 
you," says the old father, " who are now united to consorts worthy 
of you, with unbroken fidelity perform the duties of matrimony, 
and may it be propitious." They then passed in solemn procession 
round the altar, and thence were conducted to their chariots amidst 
rejoicing crowds, not only of mortals, but of the whole heavenly 
host, who had come down to enjoy the spectacle, and who, by rain- 
ing flowers and other conventional signs, expressed their satisfac- 
tion, which is shared by ourselves at finding, at so early a date, 
religion, ^morality, and respect for the gentler sex so conspicuous. 

King Dasaratha and his sons and daughters-in-law return to 
AyodhyA. Visvamitra takes his leave to the Nepdl hills, where we 
hear no more of him ; for aU we know to the contrary, considering 
he had lived several thousand years before we made his acquaint- 
ance, he may be there stiU. As the royal cortege were proceeding 
homewards through the districts of Tirhiit, Chapra, and Gorak- 
piir, and had crossed the Gandak river, a new trial of strength 
was forced upon Eama, illustrating stiU more strangely the fanciful 
theogony of the Hindus. Rama was the seventh Avatar of Vishnu, 
who had appeared in his sixth incarnation as Parasu Eama, the son 
of Jamadagni, a Brahman, and had nearly entirely destroyed the 
Warrior caste. His work was done, and we must suppose, that the 
divine essence had left him, or we can scarcely understand his 
challenging the youthful Eama, another incarnation of the same 
deity, to single combat. In the neighbourhood of Sulimpiir, in 
the Gorakpiir district, is the traditional residence of Parasu Eama, 
and the tribe of Bisens claim descent from him. This neighbour- 
hood was traversed by the bridal procession on their way from 
Mithila to AyodhyA,, and here the ex-incarnation challenged his 
namesake, the incarnation for the time being, to draw his bow 
or fight him iu single combat. The youthful heir seizes the bow, 
and points an arrow at the heart of his antagonist ; but remember- 
ing, that he was a Brahman, he spared his life, but destroyed the 
fruit of his asceticism, and closed the gate of the highest heaven 
upon him, as a punishment for his former cruelty to the warrior race, 
and his present pride. The arrow was hurled, the crestfallen Parasu 
Eama returned to his hermitage, and we hear no more of him ; the 
gods, who as usual had come down, went off to heaven, chanting 
the praises of Eama, for they also were time-servers ; and the old 
king strained his hero son to his breast, and kissed his forehead, 
and proceeded on to his city, whither they arrived in safety, to the 
intense delight of the citizens, who had adorned the royal way with 
flags and flowers. The reception of the four daughters-in-law by 


their motliers-in-law, with good wishes and embraces, is feehngly 
told ; they are conducted, the first thing of all, to the altar of the 
family gods and the presence of the family priest. Every praise is 
heaped upon them, hut SitS,, the hride of Eama, is always con- 
spicuous, the fairest of women, the sweetest of consorts, making her 
husband so happy, that he seemed an immortal, for he had only her ; 
throughout his long Hfe he never thought or cared for any other 
but her, and the more stress is to be laid on this, as aU the mis- 
fortunes, which feU. on the head of his father, arose from the 
plurality of his wives. 

Thus closes the first book. Rama once more at home, Bharata 
had been despatchad to the Panjdb to visit his maternal grand- 
father, and the old king, feeling the infirmities of age growing 
upon him, determined to consecrate his son Eama, as the partner 
of his throne, corresponding to the appointment of Csesar in the 
dynasty of the Eoman emperors. The delight of all at this news 
was unbounded; all but the modest prince were beside them- 
selves with joy ; on his favoured head the honours fell thick, but 
were borne with a meekness, an unworldliness, that surpass descrip- 
tion. The day was fixed for the coronation, and the poet gives us a 
beautiful picture of the city of Ayodhy4 on the eve of the ceremony, 
such a picture as may be still realised in large Indian cities, when 
with the falling leaf comes round the anniversary of the great 
National Festival. All was joy and exultation, Eama and his wife 
were in prayers and in solemn fast, according to the precepts of 
their religion, when a dire calamity fell on the head of the king, 
and the people, and the faultless hero. 

It was the curse of that hated polygamy, that licensed concu- 
binage, that chartered Ubertinism, which, to our shame, is still 
tolerated in our Indian empire, that brought on the catastrophe. 
When shall we cease to talk of the ladies of the zanAna, the wives 
of the Eaja, in allusion to the poor victims of sensual lust, who are 
still immured in palaces ? "When shall "we learn to call things by 
their right names, and at least not countenance the abuse ? It was 
the curse, which has toppled dynasties and ruined families from the 
day, that Abraham banished Ishmael to clear the prospects of 
Isaac, from the day, that the feasting of Adonijah at En-rogel, 
beneath Mount Moriah, was interrupted by the cries of " God save 
King Solomon" from the valley of Gihon, under the heights of 
Mount Zion. As mentioned above, the old king had three con- 
sorts : to the eldest was born Eama ; to the second, a young and 
beautiful woman, was bom Bharata. A humpbacked female slave 
of the latter queen was walking on the roof of the palace, and 
beheld in the evening the stir in the streets and the embellishment 
of the highways, and on inquiry was informed of the cause of the 
preparations, the coronation of the son of the rival of her mistress. 


Fired with rage, slie rushed down with the news as a fiend incarnate. 
It would appear almost, that she was the same Alecto, that excited 
the mind of Turnus against the Trojans, disguised in the shapeless 
form of a hideous hag. At first her arguments were vain; the 
virtues of Rama had disarmed the stepmother ; she was delighted 
at the elevation of her son, for to her Eama was as Bharata, and 
she rewatded her slave with jewels for the news ; she knew no 
sense of jealousy, or fear, or amhition, tiU, goaded and poisoned by 
the words of her wretched attendant, the feelings of a mother, or 
rather of a lioness, were roused in her. She was told, that the 
elevation of Kama implied the death of Bharata, the exclusion of 
her children from the throne, her own disgrace, the elevation of her 
rival to power. The art of the poet is here shovra : to have painted 
Kaik^yi as an ambitious and wicked woman would have been a 
vulgar error ; but to describe a good and virtuous woman lashed 
wild with rage, and hurried away into crime by the feeling of self- 
preservation, shows a deeper knowledge of huin^n nature. A 
scheme was at once devised for compelling the king to alter his 
plans ; and it appears that on a former occasion he had promised 
Kaikeyi to grant her two boons. These were now to be demanded : 
the coronation of Bharata instead of Eama, and the banishment 
of the latter for fourteen years. Blind with anger, she tore off her 
jewels and her costly apparel, and threw herself prostrate on the 
bare ground, in the " Chamber of Anger," an apartment, which, if 
we can believe those, who have described Indian customs, is still 
maintained in Hindu families for naughty wives, when they are in 
a pet with their lord and master, to take refuge in. 

The good old king had made aU his arrangements, and, fuU of 
joy, full of hope, full of pleasing visions of seeing his dear son 
elevated, returned at nightfall to his chamber, as the poet absurdly 
describes it, like a Hon into his rocky den. He was anxious to 
teU his favourite queen, and make her a sharer of his joy, when he 
found her in this dreadful state ; he raised her up and coaxed her, 
but she vrith tears refused to rise, until he ratified the grant of his 
two former boons, which he in an evil hour, invoking all that he 
held sacred, did. No sooner had he done so, than she made known 
the purport of her wishes, and crushed the old man to the earth. 
The scene that follows is most harrowing, and the description is 
highly dramatic, and the contrast drawn between so much joy and 
such sorrow acting upon the father, the mother, the devoted brother 
Lakshmana, the faithful wife, is most wonderful. Unmoved alone 
stands the hero. His father tried, by silence and evidence of con- 
straint, to induce his son to rebel ; his friends counselled open war ; 
he had but to speak, and all were on his side ; but the deep sense 
of duty, the awful feeling of obedience to his parent, and absolving 
htm from his rash vow, alone occupied the breast of Rama ; never 

THE RAM Ay AN A. 77 

for a moment, in the first surprise, in the later grief, did he hesi- 
tate; he stood like Coriolanus or greater Eegulus ; he knew the 
calamity, which had overwhelmed Mm, but calmly, with unchanged 
countenance, he bowed to his stepmother's order, he removed the 
crowd of relations obstructing his departure and the people, who 
would not have him go ; and long as the heart has passion, long as 
this life has woes, we can sympathise with that noble devotion and 
that hard conquest of himself. In all his future gigantic triumphs, 
in all his feats of superhuman valour, he never shone so truly great, 
so far above the crowd, as when, with the power of revenge and 
resistance, he submitted to his deep sense of duty. 

Calmly he had resigned his birthright, his power, the ease of 
royal life, to spend fourteen years in the wild forest; but to 
abandon those, whom he loved, and by whom he was adored, was a 
severer trial. The poet gives us the parting in the fullest detail. 
First came his mother. Poor KausalyA had been the previous day 
praying in her private chapel and meditating on the supreme Spirit, 
when she was interrupted by a party of eager friends, who had 
rushed in with the good news of his approaching consecration ; the 
grateful queen had distributed presents of cows and gold, blessing 
her son with tears of joy, for not in vain, according to the material 
view of worship and rewards, had she paid adoration to the gods, 
when she was thus rewarded. Then came the bitter contrast. 
Eama gently reasoned with her, dissuaded her from her proposal to 
accompany him, begged her to stay and take care of his old father ; 
he made her promise never to say anything unkind or to reproach 
him, for it was fate, that had worked out this eviL At length he 
had soothed her passionate grief, the grief of a mother who was 
losing her only son, and he turned to his brother Lakshmana. Here 
he found a new line of argument ; the fiery youth was urgent for 
resistance, indignant beyond control, ready to dare the world in 
arms in defence of his idolised brother ; on his troubled spirit fell 
the gentle words of Eama ; he made excuses for Kaik^yi, praised 
Bharata as being worthy of his fortune ; he softened and melted 
that hot spirit even to tears ; he forgot his anger, but not his love ; 
he forgave all, but he would not be left behind ; the same sentence 
that had banished Eama banished Lakshmana ; he would be his 
follower, his slave in the wild forest ; he would accompany him, 
and to this, after much remonstrance, Eama consented. 

, But there is a love, which exceeds that of a mgther, there is a 
devotion stronger than that, which warms the breasts of devoted 
brothers, and the next trial wrung the breast of the hero : the 
arrow entered into his soul, when he thought of parting from Sit^, 
the bride of his youth, the sole object of his affection. We follow 
him to his home, and we hear him announce, for the first time, 
with trembling accents, the news. He reminds her of her duty to 


comfort her motlier-in-law, to te kind to lier brother-in-law, and 
now her sovereign, Bharata, and to await liis return. But Sit4's 
character now, for the first time, develops itself. In the days of 
Solomon, at least, whatever it may be now, the Hindu people could 
appreciate female excellence. The poet has in a former part of the 
poem exhausted the subject of personal beauty ; he has described 
the faultless outline, the long lashes, the dark eyes, the swelling 
bosom, the sweet smile ; but here we see her little figure standing 
trembling before her lord, her eyes on the ground, and her husband 
in her has found a kingdom greater than the one, which he has 
lost. Her speech is a noble instance of female devotion ; after stat- 
ing that to every woman the husband is all in aU in any case, she 
speaks out for herself ; without him she cares not for Hfe ; without 
liim she would not care for heavenl She expresses her determina- 
tion to accompany him, to cherish him, and be protected by him ; 
Blie talks of her deUght in seeing the sylvan uplands and the 
strange forests, where howl the wild beasts : she talks of her pride 
of being protected by him, of bathing with him in the flood, of 
dwelling with him under the green tree, where India himself 
would not touch her. " Entreat me not, I wiU go with you ; 
your home shall be my . home, and your lot shall be my lot ! 
aE my thoughts are on thee ; thou art my light and my soul and 
my life." 

He stood entranced ; though the incarnation of a god, he had 
learned what the heaven of Indra would not have taught him : the 
true, the strong love of woman. He tried to dissuade her ; he told 
her, that his body only would leave her, that his heart was with 
her always ; he painted the horrors and danger of the jungle, the 
Bharp necessities of forest life to one nurtured so delicately, the 
intense heat of the sun, the severity of the cold nights, and the 
aspersions and evil words of men. But in vain : woman's love 
triumphs. He stood gazing at her ; he had not the heart to leave 
her, nor, when he thought of the rough way before him, the heart 
to take her with him. No poet, no writer, has told the story so 
truly and lovingly ; the worldwide passages of the lUad do not 
surpass this part of the Indian epic in pathos, nor will the range of 
European literature show a deeper and more refined devotion. She 
tells him, that the rough grass and the wild reeds will feel to her 
like silk ; she tipbraids him for thinking of leaving her : the bed of 
leaves will be like a couch of down ; the dust will be like sandal- 
wood, the wild fruits will taste like ambrosia ; finally she threatens, 
in the event of being deserted, that she will put an end to her exist- 
ence ; and then only is permission granted. 

There is nothing new under the sun, and certainly nothing new 
in female devotion, and the Hindu harp, swept by the mighty bard, 
has but been the first to touch a strain, which has echoed through 


all ages, and has found sympathy in the bosom of people of every 
nation, and ever will. The voice of the heart has spoken clearly 
in all times and in many languages ; the sting of separation, and 
the noble abandonment of home, of -wealth, of comfort, for the 
privilege of sharing sorrow and affliction, has found many chroni- 
clers since the days of Eutk But stiU. it is singular to find in one 
of the most beautiful of our old ballads the exact counterpart of 
the story of Eama and Sitd. We quote the following stanzas from 
the " jS[ut-brown Maid : " 

" Yet take good heed, for ever I dread, 

That ye could not sustain 
The thorny ways, the deep valleys,. 

The snow, the frost, the rain, 
The cold, the heat : for dry or wet 

We must lodge on the plain ; 
And us above, none other roof 

But a brake bush or twain, 
Which soon should grieve you, I believe. 

And ye would gladly, then, 
That I had to the green wood gone, 

Alone, a banished man." 

Thus spake the knight. The lady's reply, among other stanzas, 
ending all, as do his also, with the same couplet, has the fol- 
lowing : 

' ' Since I have here been partynere 
With you of joy and bliss, 
I must also the parte of your wo 

Endure, as reason is : 
Yet I am sure of this pleasure, 

And shortly : it is this : 
That where ye be, me seemes perJ5 

I could not fare amiss ; 
Without more speech I you beseech, 

That we were soon agone, 
For in my mynde of all mankynde 

I love but you alone." 

Eama's consent was at length given. They took off their royal 
dresses and jewels, and distributed aU that they had to the poor; 
they clothed themselves in the garments made of bark of trees, 
which is the conventional dress of hermits, and tied their hair so as 
to project like a horn over their foreheads, the well-knovrai " jata," 
as a token that the world has been abandoned, the characteristic 
of the Hindu fakir. The two brothers grasped their bows, and 
slung upon their backs the basket to hold alms and wild fruits, and 
thus accoutred, followed by Sitd, they set out on foot to the 
palace, to take leaver of the king. The grief of the citizens here 
bursts out beyond all control. Loud were the lamentations, when 
they saw the noble youths on foot ; when they saw Sit4, (on whom 


the eye of man had never fallen ; whom the sun, out of respect, 
scarcely ventured to gaze on unveiled) treading theroyal way, the 
whole city was pierced with the most poignant anguish. In this 
passage, and throughout the poem, we find, that seclusion was even 
then the fate of highborn women in India, and not a custom intro- 
duced by the Mahometans. At length the devoted three reached 
the palace ; the last farewell of the obedient son and fate-stricken 
father bars all description. "0 my son, my son," was all the 
old man could say ; and the only request made by the son to his 
parent was, that he would be kind to, and not neglect, his poor old 
mother. He hastily took leave of all ; not a harsh word escaped 
from his lips as he .bade farewell to his cruel stepmother; he could 
not bear the sight of the agony of his father and the tears of the 
people ; with his brother and wife he mounted the chariot ; his 
poor old father rushed out and bade the charioteer return, while 
Eama whispered to him to drive quickly ; but the news, that the 
great, the good, the just man was going, had spread abroad, and, 
as he drove through the gates of AyodhyA, he found, that the whole 
town was accompanying him : they would no longer inhabit a city 
deserted by vu'tue, which was personified in him. 

Thus ended the events of the day, for it had all taken place 
betwixt sunrise and sunset, events which happened three thousand 
years ago, but which have not been forgotten ; the noble sacrifice 
has been repaid by the applause of centuries and of millions. We 
must consider what it was. It is true, that Hindus looked forward 
in their old age, when they had exhausted every pleasure, and had 
had their fill of good things, to withdraw to the forest and die ; but 
our hero, in the glory of his youth, in the plenitude of his power, 
was cast down from the highest pitch of grandeur to roam in the 
jungle, while his heritage was given to another. Thirty centuries 
have passed since he began this memorable journey. Every step 
of it is known, and is annually traversed by thousands : hero-wor- 
ship is not extinct. "What can Faith do ! How strong are the 
ties of religion when entwined with the legends of a country ! 
How many a cart creeps creaking and weary along the road from 
AyodhyA to Chitrakfit ! The writer of these lines has met them 
and talked with the pilgrims ; some few of whom stand like heroes 
among their countrymen, as having followed the path of Eama 
from the Gogra to Ceylon. It is this that gives the Eamiyana a 
strange interest ; the story still lives. Who cares for the rape of 
Helen now? Some few students, smit with classic lore, may 
wander to Troy, and try to trace the course of the river Skaman- 
der, or stand with Ulysses at Corfu and Ithaka. But their legend 
is a dead one ; no one now puts faith in it, and its vitality is gone. 

On the first night they encamped on the bank of the river 
Tanse, the stream on which Azimgarh is situated. Hopeless of 


inducing the citizens to return, Eama roused his charioteer ia the 
middle of the night, quietly, while they were sleeping, crossed the 
river Tense, and pressed onwards' to the Gomti, and thence to 
the hanks of the river Ganges, at Saitgriir, in Pargana Nawah- 
gange, ia the district of Allahabad, then called Sriagav&a. Here 
was the limit of his father's kingdom ; beyond extended the path- 
less jungles : here he ordered the charioteer to return with his 
chariot, and sent a submissive and dutiful message to his father, 
urging him to send at once for the absent Bharata, and seat him on 
the throne ; he sent a message to Bharata also, begging of him, as 
a favour, to protect and be kind to his mother. So faultless was 
he to the last, that the faithful servant burst into grief, exclaiming, 
that hereafter it would not be believed, that so good a man should 
fall into such misfortune ; while the iiery Lakshmana burst forth 
into passionate rage, and sent messengers of defiance and reproach, 
and poor SitS,, scared by the novelty of the scene, and stunned by 
the weariness of the misfortune, sent to AyodhyA all that remained 
to her, her love and her tears. 

There dwelt at Sringav^ra Guha, king of the NishAdi, a wild 
race, who lived on the banks of the river, and were to a certain 
degree dependants of the king of Mahakosala. By him Eama was 
received affectionately, and he watched over the exiles, as they 
slumbered on the ground, at the foot of the spreading tree. In the 
morning Guha supplied a boat and ferried them across the stream. 
Arrived at the midst of the sacred river, Siti invoked the aid and 
the blessing of the divine nymph who presided over the Ganges, 
and prayed that she might live to return to her home after com- 
pleting the term of her exUe. Having reached the right bank, 
they entered the dense forest, and proceeded onwards, and spent 
the night under a pipal tree, on the banks within the limits of 
the district of Allahabad; on the morrow they resumed their 

In that sacred spot, where the sister-streams which spring from 
the snowy peaks of Gang6tri and Jamn6tri, after a long parallel 
course, at length ttiiy their waters, stands in these days one of the 
most noble cities of India. It is an article of faith with the Hindu 
people, that there is a third stream also, the Saraswati, which, flow- 
ing underground, here also joins the Ganges ; but, as it is not 
visible to the naked eye, it is one of those miracles which is as hard 
to believe as to disprove, and modem geography teUs us, that the 
Saraswati flows on the right bank of the JamnA, and after passing 
through Than&ar, loses itself in the sands of HariAna. This spot 
is known in Hindu circles as Prayag, or the place of the junction. 
Annual crowds visit the sacred spot, and tOl within a few j^ears 
the British Government partook of a large share of the unhallowed 


offerings of the bathers. Flanked by the two streams, at the 
exact point, stands the royal fortress of AUahabad, which is only, 
by an extensive system of embankment, prevented from being in- 
sulated in the midst of the waters ; and tradition has it, that the 
fortress was originally erected on the left bank of the Ganges, and 
transferred to the right by a royal caprice, which thought nothing 
of altering the course of the river. Here the steam-ship is con- 
stantly puffing up, laden with goods from Europe ; here the steam 
iron horse tramps over the flood, which is annually whitened with 
the sails of boats, carrjdng down the wealth of India to ungrateful 
England. The country, that surrounds the city, stands thick with 
sugarcane and corn, and is one of the most populous and wealthy 
districts of the North-Western Provinces; but, three thousand 
years ago, when the exiled princess trod this memorable path of 
duty, it was a vast interminable jungle, howling with wild beasts, 
and dense in fohage. On the edge of the forest, at the most 
sacred point of junction, dwelt the venerable sage Bharadwija, 
apart from the world and its cares ; and to his hospitality our 
pilgrims had now recourse. The old man met them and blessed 
them. By divine intuition he knew their story ; he made them 
share his lowly mat, and gladly pressed them to partake of his 
hermit's fare. He at first wished them to dwell with him, but the 
prudent Rama declined, for he remembered, that they were too near 
AyodhyA, and there was a fear lest his relatives and friends should 
throng to him. Upon this the mountain of Chitrakdt, about 
two days' march, and beyond the river JamnA, was proposed and 
agreed upon as fitting to be their residence, and early on the fol- 
lowing morning they followed the left bank of the Jamn^, until 
they came opposite to an ancient fig-tree, and there, on a raft which 
they constructed from fear of the alligators, they crossed the river 
Jamnd into the district of Banda, in the province of B\ind61khand. 
The spot is stiU shown in the Pargana of Mow. There, by orders 
of the sage, Sit4 worshipped the ancient tree, which had the power 
of granting requests, and, forgetful of aU the injuries inflicted on 
herself and her husband, invoked a blessing upon her old father- 
in-law and upon her rival Bharata. Proceeding onwards, they 
entered the pathless forest : temples and shrines now mark their 
steps. They passed under the hill of Vahnfki, who was destined, 
years after, to be the great historian of their actions. They saluted, 
and were hospitably entertained by, the old man ; thence they arrived 
at the sacred stream of the Mand^kini, the heavenly Ganges, at the 
foot of the detached hill of Chitrakdt, which is adjacent to the 
town of Tirohan, in the district of Banda. Here they erected a 
rude hermitage, and calmly resigned themselves to their new line 
of life. Their bows furnished them with inexhaustible supplies 
of game ; the unpicked fruit hung from the trees ; a pure stream 


flowed at their feet ; they were united and happy. Exile had lost 
half its terrors. 

The writer of these lines has often looked on that green hiH It 
is the holiest spot of that sect of the Hindu faith who devote them- 
selves to this incarnation of Vishnu. The whole neighbourhood is 
Rama's country ; every headland has some legend ; every cavern is 
connected with his name ; some of the wild fruits are still caUed 
sitaphal, being the reputed food of the exiles. Thousands and 
thousands annually visit the spot, and round the hiU is a paved 
footpath, on which the devotee, with naked feet, treads fuU of 
pious awe. The heights are clustered with monkeys and apes, who, 
as the remainder of the story will show us, are inseparably con- 
nected with Rama. Some poor devotees traverse the whole distance 
from Ayodhyd to Chitrakdt, creeping like snakes on their bellies, or 
alternately rising up and lying down, so that the whole journey is 
one continued prostration. 

The ancient forests of India have shrunk into themselves, and have 
retreated before the advancing footsteps of man. The axe and the 
plough, the destroyer and the restorer, have been busy since the 
days of Rama. Stiff regiments of maize and golden crops of wheat, 
acres of cotton and of herb and seed for the use of man, have 
now taken the place of pathless and profitless jungle. Where the 
hermitage once stood, is the temple that marks the footprint of the 
royal exile ; round it are the homesteads of men, the gamers of 
husbandmen; cattle come home lowing from the pasture ground; the 
busy merchant traverses the highway ; civilisation has triumphed. 

StiU in many parts of India, though not here, the forest primeval 
stands in all its glory ; the heavy-fruited tree droops, where there 
is none to pick ; the blossoms perfume a thankless air. The descrip- 
tions of the poet Heber coincide with those of Valmiki : the ancient 
pipal has defied the hand of man ; the giant creeper flings 
itself from tree to tree ; the as6ka tints the forest with scarlet, and 
the tamarind and the bamboo close the landscape with their 
luxuriant verdure. The solitary wanderer may see the tiger crawl 
down to the stream ; the deer with their speaking eyes are scarcely 
scared, as they have never known intrusion ; the hare darts Hke a 
shadow from the path ; the solemn stUlness is broken only by the 
plaintive cry of the kokila ; and, looking down from above, the 
traveller can spy the herons standing in pairs by the water, and 
can realise the vivid descriptions of the poet, and fancy the state of 
the country, as it appeared when traversed by the hero of the story. 

But even there Rama and his companions were not the only 
inhabitants of these wilds. According to the ancient laws of the 
Hindu faith, the life of man was divided into four stages, the third 
of which is that of a wanderer in the forest, and such abandon- 
ment of life and its cares and duties, and so-caUed devotion aud^ 


abstraction, have always been favourite resources for the broken- 
down, the unfortunate", and perhaps the criminal : it is a form of 
pseudo-reHgion, that has developed itself iii all countries. In the 
Christian rehgion it is confined in these days to monachism, but in 
the earlier centuries eremitism in its wildest form found followers 
in the Thebaid of Egypt, in Palestine, and generally in the East. 
Unlike the Mahometan, who so many times a day looks his 
Creator coldly and proudly in the face, and bandies words with Him, 
with a self-satisfied conviction of his own excellence, the Hindu early 
learned and admitted the necessity of faith and of works. Hence 
sacrifice to avert evU and conciliate blessings ; hence the feeliag, 
that the surest way to obtain happiness in heaven hereafter was 
to make the present life as disagreeable as possible. Men deserted 
the' haunts of their fellow-creatures, where their virtues could be 
tested and their crimes corrected, and, wrapping their talents in 
aapkins, retired to eke out their unprofitable existence in the odour 
of supposed sanctity. They could not see that a true constraint of 
the passions might be maintained in a city as well as in a jungle, 
and they too often found that even in the wilderness their passions 
got the better of them ; they were tempted to suicide, or fell into 
self-delusions, conjuriug up ia their imaginations images of the evil 
spirit, with whom they had imagiaary conflicts. The generality, 
however, led a peaceful and quiet, though an entirely useless, exist- 
ence, sinking from animal to almost vegetable Hfe. Occasionally 
they fell a prey to wUd beasts, or to wilder savages in the shape of 
men ; or they were interrupted in their sacrifices and rites by in- 
cursions of evil genii and giants, who delighted in molesting them. 
Such were the denizens of the forest, into which Eama now retired, 
as he was ordained by a special Providence to be the protector of 
anchorets, and the circumstances of his being disinherited and 
exiled was but the machinery, by which his high vocation was to 
be worked out. 

We must now leave the hero in his retreat, and return to the 
poor father at Ayodhyl That very evening he breathed his last ; 
the trial had been too much for his over-straiued affections. When 
the charioteer returned with the empty chariot from the Ganges, 
his spirit sank within him, and in his last moments he narrated an 
event, which had happened to him in his youth, how, that by an acci- 
dent, when following the chase, he had shot at and killed a Brah- 
man, who had come down to the stream to fetch water for his aged 
and sightless parents; how the agonised father had cursed him, 
and warned him, that he also would, before he died, know the 
misery of losing a son ; how, in the plenitude of his power he had 
forgotten the curse, but now it came back to him, and he submitted 
to his destiny. His only wish was to the face of his son 
returning from his exile ; but that was denied to him. His last 


thoughts were turned towards Eama, and his name was the last 
word, that he uttered before he passed away. 

The cries of the women soon published the event in the city. 
The elders and the priests assembled, and sat round the body, 
revolving what they should do, for Eama was banished and Bharata 
was absent. Not only was the throne empty, but the funeral rites 
could not be properly performed in the absence of the sons of the 
deceased. After much reflection, they determined to embalm the 
old man, and sent hasty messengers for Bharata, who were charged 
to bring the prince back with aU. speed, but not to break to him 
the news. " Send for Bharata !" was the cry. He was absent in 
the house of his maternal grandfather, in the city of Girivraja, in 
the kingdom of Kekaya ; but to fix this locality is one of the 
greatest difficulties. Both the route of the messengers and of 
Bharata himself is given with a great parade of names, but they 
cannot be recognised in their modern disguises ; and, by a singular 
perversity, there are fatal discrepancies between the two great 
versions of the poem, and though we are certain of the direction 
we cannot fix on the locality. Modem authors differ most strangely, 
and it is no great wonder, as, until the last few years, the countries 
beyond the river Satlaj were imperfectly known. The messengers 
started for Hastinapiir, where they crossed the river Ganges, and 
entered the district of Mirat, the ancient country of PanchAla. 
They passed on next into the KamAl district, and crossed, though 
it is not mentioned, the river JamnA, and thence to Thandsur, 
where they crossed the river Saraswati, somewhere in the Kuruk- 
sh^tra. Pushing on northward, they crossed the river Satlaj, into 
the Jalandhar Doab, and thence the river Beas, into the Bdri 
Doab, where, amidst a confusion of very irreconcilable names, we 
lose sight of the actual road, till we arrive at Girivraja, almost 
immediately afterwards. The messengers are said to have accom- 
plished this trip from Oudh to somewhere beyond the river Beas in 
seven days, and their horses are described as being tired ; and con- 
sidering they came the whole way, this might well be so. 

His return homewards is also given in fuU detail, but different 
names of places mentioned. However, he crossed the river Satlaj, 
and this is mentioned as one of the first things done, and in one 
version the name of the town at which he crossed the river is given, 
and is no other than AiMdhani, or Liidiana. But the mention 
of this town throws a doubt onthc whole passage, as there is much 
reason to believe that Liidiana was named from Ibrahim Lodi 
centuries after the time of Eama ; indeed, the mention of Kuruk- 
sh^tra on the messenger's route proves, that these lines were not 
written by a contempgrary poet, as there was a long interval 
betwixt Eama and Krishna, and it was iu. the time of the latter 
that that memorable field attained its celebrity. However, to 


return to the disputed locality of the country of the Kaik^yi, we 
think, that it may be placed in. the lower range of the hiUs in the 
B^ri Doab, near Nurpiir ; the general impression is, that it is in 
the hills, from the name and the present of dogs made to Bharata 
by his grandfather. The writer knows the country betwixt the 
rivers JamnA and Beas well, and would gladly have picked up any 
floating tradition, had there been any, but from the mouths of 
Pandits has been extracted nothing but the most intense absurdities. 
Lassen, who had no local knowledge whatever, connects the Kaik^yi 
with the Kathsei, who are mentioned by Arrian in his account of 
Alexander the Great, and also are clearly identical with the 
Khatri caste, who abound in the PanjAb. In a description of the 
countries beyond the river Indus, it is mentioned, that in the south- 
west corner of the valley of Banu are the towns of Kakki and 
Bharat, near a remarkable cluster of high mounds, the only points 
of eminence in the plains betwixt the Indus and the SuHm^ni 
range ; and the Hindus maintain that the town was founded by 
Bharata, the brother of Eama, and they may be right ; but this 
would not therefore be his mother's country which we are now 
looking for. It is mentioned in the Eaghuvansa that late in life 
Bharata founded a city on the Indus, and left his sons there. The 
country of Kekaya was beyond the river Beas, but not beyond the 
ChandrabhAga, or ChinAb, as that river is mentioned by Vahniki in 
concert with the rivers Ganges, Janmd, Beas, Satlaj, and Gogra, 
as one of the pure streams of India, on the occasion of the sacrifice 
of Dasaratha, but it is not mentioned in this journey, and therefore 
clearly was not passed ; it is therefore within a narrow limit, that 
we are reduced to mere speculation. 

To return to our story. Bharata had spent his time pleasantly 
and profitably with his maternal grandfather ; he had gone through 
a regular course of study, both in the Vedas and in archery, or 
science of arms, as then known ; he had sent seyeral messengers to 
ask after the health of his father and brother Eama, and on the 
night preceding the arrival of the party sent to recall him he was 
troubled by melancholy dreams ; he had fancied, that he saw the 
moon fall into the sea, the sun eclipsed ; he had also seen the like- 
ness of his father in such a position and under such circumstances, 
as fiUed him with the most mournful prognostics. He was narrat- 
ing this to his friends, when behold ! the men stood at the gate 
asking for him. They were introduced, and, according to their 
instructions, they told him no more than that his presence was 
required. To his earnest inquiries after the health of all they made 
a brief reply, and urged his immediate departure, which, with the 
permission of his grandfather, he at once set about. 

Speed, Bharata, speed ! with your horses and chariots and your 
Toyal retinue. We can fancy you traversing those wide plains in 

THE RAM Ay AN A. 87 

afterdays celebrated for so many battles, studded with suchroyal cities, 
the pride and glory of India; those plains which, though never 
reached by Alexander of Macedon, have been so often traversed by 
legions more conquering than his, ever going forth to victory, never 
returning from defeat : plains to which belong the rural reign, and 
the plenty that springs from unrestricted commerce, watered by 
noble yet obedient rivers, ploughed in deep furrows by the iron 
road, and spanned by the lightning line ! Speed, Bharata, speed ! 
but you will see the kind fond old man no more. You were the 
imwitting cause of his end ; you and yours brought his grey hairs 
in sorrow to the grave. Him you cannot recall, his ear is deaf 
to your voice; but justice can be done, and the trumpet of 
fame is prepared to record your true nobihty, or to pubHsh your 

The young prince was seven days on his journey, and passing the 
river Gomti he first caught sight of the city of his race. It struck 
him, that some change had taken place, aU seemed so silent as he 
entered the gates. He questioned his charioteers in vain, and in the 
palace he sought in vain for his father; it was his mother, who 
broke to him the news of his death, and heavy it feU on his ears. 
The dutiful son mourned the death of his father, but, when he 
heard of the banishment of Eama the grief of the noble youth was 
changed into indignation ; and, when he gathered that it had been 
effected by his mother for his sake, he was overpowered with horror, 
and burst forth into the most violent imprecations against her, as 
the cause of all his misfortunes, as one who had condemned him to 
perpetual dishonour. This passage is very fine indeed, and the 
dramatic efiect admirable : his mother had expected praises and 
congratulations. She had never calculated that virtue was so 
deeply planted in her son. Perhaps he was too hard upon her, and 
should have remembered, that it was for him and him alone, that 
she had done the evil deed, and, though all the world were against 
her, she was stiU his mother. While Bharata was prostrate on the 
ground overpowered with his feelings, Satriigna, his brother, had 
seized Manthara, the humpbacked servant, and was preparing to 
kill her, but Bharata reminded him, that it was forbidden to hurt a 
woman, that he had spared his mother solely on the grounds, that 
Rama would disapprove of the act, and that therefore no violence 
must be allowed. The two brothers then went to Kausalyd, the 
mother of Eama ; they threw themselyes at her feet and assured 
her of their devotion to Eama. Bharata invoked heavy curses on 
himself, and on everybody who could wish him harm, and it was 
determined, that the whole party should start at once to the forest 
and bring back the rightful lord of Ayodhyd. 

But the funeral rites of the old king were still to be performed. 
The family priest, by way of cheering Bharata, reminded him, that 


death was the natural consequence of life and the beginning of a 
new birth. He used much the same ingenious arguments, that 
Krishna used centuries afterwards to Arjana on the field of battle, 
and much the same as those, with which in all ages Job's com- 
forters, good, worthy creatures, harass and stir up the soul of the 
mourner in the first bitter moments of his anguish. The body was 
placed on the funeral pile ; no rite was omitted, but we hear nothing 
of the immolation of widows ; that atrocity had not yet come into 
vogue. The mourners purified themselves with the usual lustra- 
tions ; presents were given to Brahmans, who came in for some- 
thing on aU occasions, and, when the ten days prescribed by custom 
had passed, they set out with the whole family and an army towards 
the river Ganges. Sappers were sent forward to prepare the road 
and cut the jungle ; the number of the cavalcade is described with 
a liberality, justified more by the copiousness of the Sanskrit lan- 
guage than the possibility of its being true; and to make the 
punishment more severe Kaik^yi herself was to be of the party, and 
to undergo the penance of bringing back the noble youth, whom she 
had so grievously injured. , 

The march began in aU the pomp and state of war, and the sight 
of the dust as it approached the river Ganges aroused the indigna- 
tion and ire of Guha, the king of the NishMi, who imagined that 
they were proceeding with purposes hostile to Eama. "Wlien, how- 
ever, he met Bharata and heard the truth, he burst forth into 
praises, and was the first to tell him, that his name would live for 
ever for the good deed, that he was doing. During the night 
Bharata was unable to sleep from grief, and Guha pointed out to 
him the spot under the trees, where Eama and Sitd had rested ; he 
narrated all that Eama had said, and when Bharata and the queens 
saw the spot, they burst into tears and were quite overcome by their 
feelings. On the morrow they crossed the Ganges, and following 
Eama's steps arrived at the hermitage of BharadwAja at Allahabad, 
having halted the army at some distance in the deep jungle to prevent 
injury to the precincts of the sagfe. 

By the power of his asceticism, which had revealed to him every- 
thing, BharadwAja knew that the king was dead, and the object of 
the advent of Bharata ; yet he asked him, why he had brought so 
large a force into these wilds, and warned him against any medi- 
tated injury to Eama. With tears in his eyes, Bharata assured the 
sage, that he was innocent of such an act or such a thought, and he 
made known the object of his journey, which drew down upon him 
the greatest praises. He was entreated to stay one night at his 
hermitage and partake of his hospitality. In vain the prince 
excused himself, and by the power of his devotions and long morti- 
fications BharadwAja compelled the gods to supply at once a magni- 
ficent repast in the dense forest for the whole army. Obedient to 


his behests, a stately palace sprung into existence, furnished with 
every luxury, suitable to the sight and the palate : 

" In ample space, under the 'broadest shade, 
A table richly spread, in regal mode, 
With dishes piled, and meats of noblest sort 
And savour, beasts of chase, or fowl of game. 
In pastry built, or from the spit, or boiled, 
Gris-amber steamed ; all fish from sea or shore, 
Freshlet, or purling brook, of shell or fin." 

The poet revels in the description, which gives such ample room 
to the imagination ; he exhausts the' produce of the earth ; he 
represents the beauteous form of the attendants. We think of the 
garden of Aimida : 

" Era qui ci6, ch' ogni stagione dispensa : 
Ci6, che dona la terra, o manda il mare, 
Ci6, che 1' arte condisce, e cento belle 
Servivano al couvito accorte ancelle." 

All the garlands, all the dancing girls of Indra's paradise, were 
in requisition. Say what the Hindus wiU, wine and flesh were in 
abundance. To each of the soldiers and attendants five beautiful 
damsels attached themselves ; they assisted th:m to bathe in the 
stream; they supplied them with good things to such an extent, that 
these gentry, unused to such kinOLtiess, shouted, like the lotus-eaters 
of Tennyson, " We wiU return no more ; farewell, Ayodhyd !" they 
thought no more of their horses or duties, for they imagined them- 
selves in heaven. This lasted the whole night, but in the morning 
they found that it was a dream ; the baseless fabric had melted 
away, and all they had to do was to start on their journey forwards. 
Bharata went to take leave of the sage, and introduced his three 
mothers ; but when he spoke harshly of Kaik^yi, and pointed her 
out as the cause of all their woe, the old man reproved him, and 
bade him be reconciled to and forgive his mother, for that which 
she had done was ordained of old to be so done, and was for the 
glory and exaltation of Eama. 

They crossed the river Jamn4, and entering the district of 
Banda approached the mountain of Chitrakdt, and the noise of 
their followers soon roused and alarmed the exiles in their retreat. 
The fiery L'akshmana burst forth, under the idea that the pur- 
poses of Bharata were hostile; but Eama calmed him, and in 
a few moments, leaving his army and his followers, on foot, 
in the attitude of suppliants, Bharata and Satrugna stood before 

It was a moment of deep dramatic interest : on one side Eama, 
Lakshmana, and SitA, in their humble cabin, clad in the dress of 
hermits; on the other, their two younger brothers, in all the 


splendour of princes. Their eyes met. If for one moment a suspicion 
had occupied the pure heart of Eama ; if for one moment the eye of 
Lakshmana had flashed with rage, it was for no longer, for, over- 
powered with grief and shame at the sight of the degradation of his 
hrother and master, Bharata feU at his feet ; hut he was rq.ised and 
clasped with an embrace of warm aifection, such as has been the 
meeting of good brothers since the world began, and, while loving 
hearts beat, will continue to be so. 

The first inquiry made by Eama, when they regained the power 
of speaking, was about his father. " Is my father, is the old man, 
weU ? Is he still alive ? " And heavy on his ears fell the news, that 
he was dead, and had died from the loss of him. But when 
Bharata begged him to return to AyodhyA and rule over them, and 
save him and his mother from the reproach, he assured him, that 
it was impossible, that the promise of his father must be fulfilled, 
that the term of his exile must not be departed from. Then 
followed a noble contest between the two brothers, a rivalry in 
generosity. Every argument was brought forward to induce Eama 
to return, but in vain. It was a trying scene, for his own mother, 
the repentant Kaikdyi, the family priest, his brothers, the ancient 
servants of his house, all joined ia the entreaty. Much they dis- 
coursed on the right of primogeniture, of the iniquity of the promise 
granted to Kaik^yi ; there was a great deal of sophistry and a great 
deal of afi'ection, but it was of no avail. The just man felt, that 
his father must be absolved from the vow, which he had made ; the 
decree of fate must be worked out, and he could not, and would 
not, return. After having threatened to desert his home and come 
and share the exile of Eama, Bharata was at last induced to take 
charge of the kingdom, as a sacred deposit, during the term of 
exile, whither he returned, bearing on his head a pair of shoes, 
made of kusa grass, which had been worn by Eama as a token of 
his entire subjection ; and that he might not be tempted to change 
his mind, he refused to enter the city of Ayodhyd, but took up his 
abode in the neighbouring village of Nandigrama, awaiting the 
return of the lawful sovereign. 

Here ends the story of the poem, as regards probabilities and 
possibilities. In describing the passions of men the poet has shown 
the genius of a master. "We find thoughts which breathe and words 
that bum ; we are melted to compassion and warmed with admira- 
tion. With the scenery and the people the poet is at home : he 
describes things such as he saw them ; but now he takes us across 
the Vindhya range of mountains, which was clearly the limit of his 
personal knowledge, and draws liberally on his imagination and the 
credulity of his hearers. We leave the empires of reality and 
enter fairyland, and but that there are certain landmarks, which 
can be recognised, but that the legend is universally received in 


every part of India, amidst races differing in language and country, 
we might have put down all that we are now going hastily to touch 
upon, to fiction. "We regret it, as such follies take away from the 
vivid truth of the picture. Could hut the author have known that 
to possess such virtues, as those with which he has invested his 
hero, is better than to have aU. the arms that were ever fabricated 
in Olympus, and to subdue that passion, as these brothers did, was 
better than wearing the crown of Ayodhyd. 

The Vindhya range is the boundary of the North-West Provinces 
and of the great Gangetic valley, which was known as Madyadesa 
by its central position betwixt the two ranges of mountains, and 
was the scene of all the heroic stories of the Brahman and Warrior 
races. Beyond all was doubt ; and this prevails even to the present 
day, and the natives point uncertainly to the Dakhan or Southern 
Country, separated by these inhospitable moimtains, inhabited by 
strange tribes of the Kolarian.and Dravidian races, entirely distinct 
from the Arians. When Eama saw that his hiding-place was 
discovered, he determined to move to the south, to the great forest 
of Dandaka, which embraced the whole centre of India from the 
river Ganges to the river Goddvari. The first day took the exiles 
to the hermitage of Ansuya, a female ascetic of wonderful power, 
who received them with kindness, and presented Sitd with some 
beautifying ointment. Her cell is still shown on the bank of the 
river Paisuni, in the independent Biind^Ikhand states, on the edge 
of the district of Banda. Proceeding southward, they ascended the 
lower range of hills, and came into collision with a powerful giant 
of the name of Viradha, who was forthwith killed by Lakshmana, and 
buried, at the request of the deceased, to ensure him happiness 
hereafter. Throughout the poem the doctrine of a future state is 
exemplified ; we have various instances of beatified appearances of 
parties deceased, and the doctrine of rewards and punishments for 
good and evil deeds is religiously inculcated. No more striking 
instances can be found of this than in their next adventure. They 
were proceeding onwards to the hermitage of a celebrated ascetic, 
Sarabhanga, when they beheld a celestial light hovering over the 
grove, and no less a person than Indra himself, who, with all the 
attributes of the deity, with the umbrella over his head, and the 
waving fans, had descended to be present at the last moments of 
the old ascetic, who was preparing to mount the funeral pile and 
anticipate the arrival of death. Indra no sooner saw Eama and his 
companions approaching, than he retired back to heaven, and they 
found the old man taking leave of his disciples, and preparing, like 
the gymnosophist who accompanied Alexander the Great to Baby- 
lon, to depart ; but Fate had written, that he was to receive Eama 
ere his felicity could be achieved, which he had long sought by the 
most severe austerities. He hailed Eama as one long expected, 


gave Mm a gem, and talked of tiie never-fading bliss, which was 
now opening upon him, and then calmly mounted the pyre. But 
no sooner was his earthly tabernacle consumed, than he re-appeared 
out of the flames in a new and divine shape, having put on eternal 
youth and immortahty ; and thus he passed away into the regions 
of space, and was conducted to the kingdom of Brahma, who bade 
him welcome. 

The spot where this marvel took place is still known as the 
hermitage of Sarbhang, on the confines of the Banda district and 
Independent Biind^lkhand. Crowds of holy eremites, the residents 
of the Dandaka forest, now crowded round Eama and solicited his 
protection ; they described the havoc committed in their body by 
the inroads of the giants, as far as the lake of Pampa, on the banks 
of the river Tungabhadra, in the south of India. The scene is 
now shifting : hitherto we have traversed the Province of BangAl, 
the North- West Provinces, and paid a hasty visit to the Panj^b ; but 
now we are led across the river Goddvari, into the Province of 
Bombay, and across the river Krishna into the Province of Madras. 
So truly national is the great epic of India. Having promised 
security to the holy men, Eama crossed the river Tanse just above 
the famous faUs of Eewa, where a trace of him is faithfully pre- 
served, and journeyed onwards to the hermitage of Sutikshna, which 
is now known as Eamtek, in the neighbourhood of the city of 
NAgpiir. This spot is also known as the Hill of Eama, and it is 
doubly interesting to the admirer of Sanskrit literature as being 
the place of exile of the unfortunate Yaksha, who employed the 
cloud as the messenger of his tuneful woe to the ears of his lady- 
love, in mount Kailasa, to the north of the district of Kumaon, in 
the Himalfiya mountains, so sweetly sung by Kalid^sa, 

" Where Eamagiri's cool dark woods extend. 
And those pure streams, where Sita bathed, descend. " 

Here, and in this neighbourhood, wandering backwards and 
forwards, from one hermitage to another, through all the forest of 
Dandaka, living on the fruits of the trees, in friendly intercourse 
with the holy men, who had retired thither from the world, ten 
quiet and happy years glided away of the exile of Eama. Only 
one place is mentioned by name, of which we have been able to 
make no identification, and this was a lake named " Panch^psara," 
and they heard this origin of the name, which, being interpreted, 
means " the five nymphs." An ascetic of more than usual hardi- 
hood and sanctity had fixed himself here in ages bygone, and by 
living upon air had achieved the most astounding feats, so much 
that the gods, trembling for their power, despatched five heavenly 
dancers, tricked out with jewels, to seduce the sage from his deyp- 
tions. They succeeded, and he erected for their residence a secret 


cliamber beneath, the lake ; and as Eama passed by in the still of 
the evening, reflecting thoughtfully on the melancholy result of the 
holy man's attempt to win heaven with too liigh a hand, he heard 
the tinkling of the ornaments, and the singing of the damsels 
beneath the waters, which filled Mm with astonishment, — a senti- 
ment which, after the extraordinary sights he had seen, might have 
been spared. The easy quiet life of the exiles is lightly described, 
but we find that, that their morning and evening devotions were 
never omitted ; we find that, even in this humble state, SitA never 
ate with her husband and brother-in-law, but dutifuUy waited upon 
them, and then made the most of the remnants — a custom which, 
among Hindus, exists, time-honoured and unalterable to this day. 

At length they determined to move towards the west and visit 
the hermitage of the great Agastya, an ascetic of great repute in 
connection with the Vindhya mountains. By him they were 
graciously received, and Eama was presented with a bow, and 
they were advised to select a spot named PanchAvati, iu the 
country of Janasthana, on the river God^vari, as their retreat for 
the remaining time of their exile. There they built a cabin and 
dwelt in enjoyment of the beautiful scenery, in the description of 
which, during the spring-tide, the poet revels. This spot is now 
known as NAsik, a district in the Province of Bombay, and on the 
high-road betwixt Agra and Bombay. A long period had elapsed 
since they left their homes ; time had dried their tears ; they had 
forgiven their enemies, and forgotten their sorrows, but not their 
country and their friends ; and one day, as the brothers were bathing 
in the river Goddvari, a thought of home and aU its joys came over 
them ; they talked wonderingly, what their good brother Bharata 
was now doing ; perhaps he was, like themselves at this hour, bath- 
ing in the river Sarju. This led them to reflect on the purity of his 
character, who had refused to accept a kingdom forced upon him, 
and in a city had accomplished a greater feat of asceticism than 
others had done in the forest. A gentle remark from Lakshmana 
then followed, of wonder how Kaik^yi, the mother of so good a 
son and the wife of so good a husband, could have acted so difier- 
ently ; but Eama checked the rising indignation, and rebuked him 
for saying only so much against their mother, so truly chastened 
was his character, so incapable of thinking Ul of others. 

This part of the country was inhabited by a number of Eikshasa, 
detached by EAvana, king of Lanka, to guard his frontiers, under 
the orders of his brothers Khara and Dushana. Their sister was 
named Siirpanakhi, and she one day spied Eama, and was smitten 
with his beauty, and, forgetful of the privilege of her sex to be 
wooed and won, with unmaidenly boldness solicited the hero to 
be her husband. He tried by words to repel her, pointing to SitA 
as his wife. This merely awoke the feeling of jealousy, and led her 



to abuse SiU, and, as ste would not leave them, in a moment of 
thoughtlessness the brothers cut off her nose and otherwise dis- 
figured her, and from this circumstance the modem name of Pan- 
ch^vati is Ndsik. Fired with rage and smarting with pain, the 
disappointed rAkshasa fled to her brothers and told them that 
there were arrived two youths more beautiful than Gandharva ; 
whether they were gods or men she was uncertain, but they had 
thus mutilated her and she demanded vengeance. Khara first sent 
a smaU party, but they were utterly destroyed, and the same fate 
awaited himself and his brother and all his host, amounting to 
twenty thousand, who were slaiu by the wondrous arrows with 
which the hero had been furnished. The gods, as usual, came 
down to see. All nature was convulsed ; the struggle was desperate ; 
the numbers make it absurd; and Eama dwindles down to an 
ordinary Jack the GiantkiUer. At the end he remained alone, 
and SiirpanakhA fled away to announce the sad news and call stUl 
louder for vengeance on her elder brother EAvana. The plot now 
begins to thicken ; the object of this banishment of Eama is begin- 
ning to be worked out. 

While she hurried down the peninsula of India, from the banks 
of the GodAvari to Ceylon, the royal exiles lived as usual, but they 
made the acquaintance of Jat4yu, the king of the Vultures, who 
appears to have been an old friend of their father's, and who took 
a warm interest in their welfare. No sooner had Siirpanakhi 
reached Ceylon, than she announced the news of the destruction 
of his armies, and, to rouse his lust as well as his wrath, she 
painted the beauty of Sit^, as surpassing that of gods or mortals, 
and worthy only of being his bride. Her arts succeeded, and the 
rape of Siti was determined upon, who, like another Helen, was 
the cause of the destruction of the city of Lanka. Supposing that 
the date afiixed to the poem is correct, and that the poet was con- 
temporary with his hero, the rape of Helen and Sitd took place 
within a short interval of each other, and the two great epics 
flowed from the same source at the same period. 

Previous to starting on his enterprise EAvana consulted Marichi, 
a relative and dependant, who had a high reputation. This was the 
same individual, who had been hurled by an arrow of Eama from 
the banks of the river Sona to somewhere in the Southern Ocean, 
and, still aching from the blows then received, he warned his chief 
against entering into a contest with such a rival, and tried earnestly 
to dissuade him, but in vain. Blinded by lust and rage, E4vana 
would take no excuse, and they hit on the scheme that Marichi 
was to assume the form of a deer, with whose beauty Sit4 was to 
be so charmed that nothing would content her but that Eama 
should catch it for her ; by these means the fair one was to be 
separated from her protector, when EAvana would step in and 

THE ramAyana. 9s; 

bear her off. Their plan was followed ; tlie golden deer attracted 
the notice of SitA, and Eama started to catch, or kill it, but the 
chase was long and tedious. At length, struck by one of the iin- 
erring arrows, in the moment of death the rakshasa uttered pierc- 
ing cries, feigning the voice of Rama, which induced Lakshmana to 
start at once to the help of his brother, and Sit4 was left alone. 
Rdvana, simulating the form of an old man, entered the hermitage, 
and asked for hospitality, and then, seizing the moment, he 
summoned his chariot, and, like Proserpiue, the daughter of Ceres, 
or more highly favoured Europa, 

" Nuper in pratis studiosa florum, et 
Deditse Nymphia opifex coronse," 

he bore her off ia the air, notwithstanding her cries and her prayers 
and her threats of vengeance. 

This part of the poem is most beautiful. Sitd bids farewell to 
the flowers, to the streams, to the mountains ; she charges the 
genii of the place to tell Eama, that Eivana is carrying her off, 
and that she goes unwUlingly. She invokes heaven and earth in 
the most touching and piteous language. She was heard, though 
not succoured. All the gods had hurried to the spot, but they 
stood in awe of the ravisher, and they knew, that this was part of 
the deep-laid plan for the destruction of their enemy. All nature 
stood aghast ; the celestial denizens shed scalding tears ; the great 
evil was being wrought. A darkness overspread the heavens and 
the earth ; it was the short-lived triumph of evU over good. Even 
Brahma the Great Creator roused himself from his sleep on his 
lotus throne, where, regardless of human affairs, he was drowned in 
epicurean slumber, and exclaimed solemnly, " Fate is now work- 
ing." It must needs be that the offence should come, that the 
salvation of man should be wrought ; but the universe trembled at 
the outrage, though they admitted the necessity of the sacrifice. 

Old JAtayu, king of the Vultures, was sleeping on a rock, when 
the cries of Siti reached him, and, looking upwards, he saw her 
borne through the air in a chariot. Without loss of time he soared 
after her and pounced down on EAvana, and so violent was his 
blow, that he shivered the chariot, and hurled the driver, still bear- 
ing his prey, to the ground. There the fight was renewed, but the 
old vulture at length received a deadly blow, and was left to die. 
This spot is known as Dumagiidem in the Province of Madras. 
E^vana, again seizing Sitd, mounted in the air, and carried her by 
the straight road to Lanka, and lodged her in his palace. Her 
woman's wit did not desert her, for as she crossed the river Tunga- 
badra, she spied some monkeys on the trees, and dropped her 
anklets and armlets to them, as some trace to her lord, who, she 
knew well, would seek her to the ends of the earth. 


"Who shall paint the agony and despair of Kama and Lakshmana 
when they returned and found their beloved gone ? In the mo- 
ment of death the deer had assumed the natural form of a rik- 
shasa, and Eama apprehended evil, and blamed Lakshmana for 
having left Sit4 alone. They scarcely dared to call, for fear of not 
hearing an answer and being confirmed in the certainty of their 
loss ; and when they did at length call that fated name, the echoes 
of the mountain of Janasthana and the river God^veri returned it 
mournfully back. At length good fortune led them to the spot 
where poor old JatAyu was breathing his last; from him they 
learned the name of the ravisher, but all he could tell them was, 
that Lanka was his residence, that it lay to the South, and that in 
that direction SitA had been carried away. They consoled the 
dyiug hours of the Vulture-king, blessed him for the good work 
which he had done or tried to do ; and as soon as he expired, they 
reverently performed the funeral obsequies of the old and faithful 
friend of their father, who had died in their cause. 

They proceeded towards the South, but had not gone far, when 
they were themselves seized in the enormous arms of a headless 
fieud, one of those monstrous anthropophagi, whose heads are be- 
neath their shoulders, who haunted the forest. They quickly cut 
off the arms of this creature, and were proceeding to kill him, when 
he told them, that he was named Kabandha, that he was originally 
a denizen of heaven, but in a moment of rage he had cursed his 
master Indra, and had been condemned, many ages, to this horrid 
form, until released by the advent of Eama. He recognised his 
liberator, and in return for their kindness he told them to pro- 
ceed onwards to the hermitage of Savari, and to form a league 
with the king of the Monkeys, by whom their purpose would be 
assisted. Having said this, Kabandha assumed a celestial form, 
and departed. 

They went on their way wondering, and at length reached the 
lake of Pampa, near the banks of the river Tungabhadra, a confluent 
of the river Krishna, near the modem city of Anagundi, at the 
extreme southern poiut of the territory of the Mzam, not far from 
Bellary in the Province of Madras. Here a new prodigy awaited 
them, and it is beautifully described. On the banks of the lake 
they found the hermitage. Though its owners had long since 
departed, the flowers had not faded, the altars were ready ; every- 
thing was intact ; the sacred vessels were uncorrupted by rust, all 
was ready for his arrival, and one aged woman had been detained 
in life to greet and entertain him. She had long wished to put off 
her mortal coil, and join the rest of the ascetic body who. had pre- 
ceded her ; but she was left solely to meet Eama. She showed him 
the beautifid hermitage, she administered to his wants, she painted 
the happiness stored up for her, and her anxiety to depart, and 


then, haviilg b,sked permission, Savai'i tlirew off her earthly mansion 
and ascended to heaven. 

Throughout the poem we find that Eama was the one expected 
and awaited for from the beginning of things ; he was the " fatal 
man," on whoso coming the interests of thousands depended ; he 
was expected everywhere ; the penalties of some were to expire on 
his advent, and the happiness of others was to date from his com- 
ing. Old eremites had Hved just long enough to see his day, and 
then mounted the pyre rejoicing ; every act that he performed had 
been predicted, for he was the completion of prophecy. He bore 
his fate meekly ; it was to be always suffering, and yet always 
honoured ; his kingdom, his country, his wife, and eventually his 
children, he resigned all. He bowed to that fate, which he could 
not resist, but never abandoned his virtue. 

Leaving the hermitage, he proceeded onwards to the mountain 
of Eishyamiika hard by, and there he made acquaintance with 
Sugrlva, the king of the Monkeys, and the celebrated Hanumin, 
one of his followers. Here he found traces of his wife in the orna- 
ments which had fallen from her. On inquiring into the politics 
of the monkey nation, he found that there was a dire feud between 
the two brothers, Balin and Sugrlva, for the kingdom, and the latter 
was in exile. It was settled that Eama should assist him to the 
throne, and destroy his rival, and that then the whole of the power 
of the nation shoidd be directed against Lanka. Eama gave some 
proofs of his divine strength, and an alliance was formed, which 
ended in the death of Balln, and the establishment of Sugrlva, king 
of the Monkeys, at Kishkindhya, on the banks of the river Tunga- 
bhadra, in that strip of British territory that separates the kingdom 
of Mysore from the territories of the Nizdm. 

The people of India still firmly believe, that the creatures 
described as monkeys in the poem are those blackfaced apes, with 
white hair and whiskers and extensive tails, that are so common 
in all parts of the covmtry. Sociable and amiable creatures they 
are, and as they have never suffered injury from man, on the hill 
of Chitrak6t, or in other places of sanctity, they crowd round the 
pilgrim, eating from the hand, and prodigal of familiarities. If 
inquiries are made, how a race of diminutive, though active ani- 
mals were able to accomplish the feats of agility and strength 
described by the poet, we are reminded, that they were at that time 
incarnations of all the minor deities, who took these forms to assist 
Eama in the struggle against the common enemy. HanumAn him- 
self was son of the Wind. All reasoning is useless to convince 
minds incapable of weighing probabilities, and ready to give 
credence to any absurdity j but, as the fact of an expedition having 
taken place, conducted by a Eajpiit prince of the North of India, 
against some hostile power of the South, seems clear not only by 



the mentioii of places, which, can still be recognised, but by the 
constant voice of tradition, we must look for the prototypes of 
these monkey allies in the Kolarian races, who inhabited the moun- 
tains in the centre of India, whose appearance, religion, and lan- 
guage differed from that of the more polished Arians, who pos- 
sessed themselves of the Gangetic vaUey ; it was some tribe that 
assisted Eama, in return for services rendered them in an intestine 

For the few months of the rains nothing could be done, and 
Eama dwelt sorrowing in the society of the monkeys at Kishkindhya ; 
at the close of the season Sugrlva sent out parties to explore every 
part of the known world. East, West, North, and South. The extent 
of the geographical knowledge of the poet beyond the continent of 
India is whimsically displayed. The tliree first parties traversed 
the whole of the world in their respective directions, and visited 
every mountain and river known to the poet. "We doubt if three 
thousand years have added much to the knowledge of the Hindu 
nation on this subject, who have still the same notion of the round 
world, as was entertained by Valmiki, and Homer, when he sang of 
the shield of AchiUes. 

But the fourth party had not yet returned ; they were headed by 
Angada, and among their number was the celebrated HanumAn ; 
they knew that the ravisher had gone off towards the south, but 
they faUed in finding any trace, and were ashamed and afraid to 
return with their mission unfulfilled. They sat down in despair to 
take counsel, and it so happened that they were overheard by Sam- 
pA,ti, a near relation of Jat^yu, the king of the Vultures, who hap- 
pened to catch the name of his relative in their conversation, intro- 
duced himself, and was informed of the melancholy end of the 
sovereign of .the Vultures, at the hand of the very party for whom 
they were making vain search. Samp4ti most fortunately had seen 
E^vana pass over his head on the fatal day, and he was able, more- 
over, to furnish correct information as to the position of Lanka. 
Taking fresh heart at this unlooked-for information, the monkeys 
started again, but their course was suddenly arrested by the waves 
of the sounding ocean. 

They had passed through the territory of Mysore into the 
Southern portions of the Province of Madras, had crossed the 
river Kaveri, and passed by Madura, and found themselves at the 
town of EanmAd. All this country would have been described by 
our poet, but unluckily he was utterly ignorant of it. At EamnM 
the monkeys beheld before them the broE^d arm of the sea, which 
separates India from Ceylon ; they gazed with astonishment on the 
ebbing tide, listened with awe to the mysterious words which the 
wild waves kept continually saying; beyond they could see, or 
fancy that they saw, the poalvs of Lanka. How were they to 


cross ? That was the rub. When called to try their skill at leap- 
ing, all held back from the fearful enterprise. One boasted that 
he could leap fifty miles ; another eighty ; a third ninety ; one old 
man made the sage remark, that in his youth he would have accom- 
plished the feat, but old age had stiifened his joints. At length 
all agreed that HanumAn must do it, if any, and HanumAn accord- 
ingly, having taken a long breath, flung himself in the air. In the 
way he was met by two monsters, of whom he quickly got rid, and 
he rested for a while on a rock in the middle of the strait, and 
again, like winged Mercury, took to his airy way, and lighted upon 
the crest of the mountain which overhung the city. Below him 
was spread Lanka, beautiful Lanka ; the streets paved with bur- 
nished gold, surrounded by gardens and palaces. Disguising his 
form, he descended, and searched high and low for the fair one, 
whom he had never seen, and he was guided in his search only by 
descriptions of her beauty. But nowhere was she to be found, 
neither in the palaces of the nobles, nor in the palace of EAvana ; 
he seems to have had access everywhere, but he souglit in vain, 
and sat down exhausted and dispirited in a grove to think what 
was to be done. At length he spied a beautiful grove of as6ka 
trees, and climbing up the tallest tree, he looked round, and in aii 
instant he beheld a female form more beautiful than his eyes had 
ever seen, but with dishevelled hair and downcast eyes, refusing to 
be comforted by her attendants, who sat round her. It must be 
she. He approached stealthily, and was in time to witness a visit 
paid to his captive by K4vana, who tried to persuade her to forget 
Eama, and listen to his addresses. When we recollect that Edvana 
had ten heads, we wonder with which of his mouths, or whether 
with all, he made love. The pictures of him are inexpressibl)^ 
ridiculous, as he had but one neck, and his heads are fastened one 
behind the other, each profile just visible beyond that of the one 
above it. Sitd rejected him altogether; she laughed at his menaces, 
and reviled him most cruelly, for, on the very night of her arrival 
at Lanka, Indra had appeared to her in a dream to comfort her, 
and promised speedy release. No sooner was he gone, than Hanu- 
mdn introduced himself, showed the ring, with which Eama had 
furnished him, and told her what was in progress, how that her 
husband was inconsolable for her loss, and preparing to win her 
back at any price. Finally, he offered to conduct her in safety on 
his back across the ocean to her lord, but this proposal the modest 
Sit4 at once declined, and was contertt to wait her day of delivery 
at the hands of Eama only, to whom she sent her wedding ring, as 
a proof of the truth of Hanumin's tale and of her constancy. 
Armed with this, HanumAn prepared to return, but previous to 
starting, he tore up the whole of the as6ka grove, and slew a 
number of EAvana's followers. At length he was seized, and as a 
punishment his tail was set on fire, for being a messenger his life 


was sacred; however, the active monkey not only managed to 
escape but also to set on fire the town of Lanka ; then launching 
himself in the air, he rejoined his friends on the continent of India 
at Eamndd. 

It would be tedious to follow' the chain of absurdities, which 
impede and delay the story. Having regained the track of his 
beloved, no time was lost by Eama ; he moved down on KamnM, 
his hosts in numbers numberless, but his path was checked by the 
ocean also. Not to be daunted by this, Eama directs an arrow at 
the god of the waters, who, afraid of some new portents, promised 
to support a bridge, by which the army could cross the Lanka. 
The active .monkeys at once started in every direction to bring 
materials, and tear up rocks, and dash them into the flood. Some 
of the blocks, in the hurry of the transit from the Northern 
Himalaya to the Ocean, were dropped, and stiU remain as monu- 
ments of the feat. To this we owe the rock of Govardhana, near 
MathurA ; to this the whole of the Kaimur range in Central India ; 
so the Hindus wiU. liave it. Everywhere in India are scattered 
erratic blocks, the monuments of some great diluvium, and attributed 
by the geologists to the action of ice, but by a people zealous of 
their traditions to the bridge-buUders of Eama. 

Eama is said to have exclaimed proudly, that so long as the sea 
remained and the mountains did not move from their foimdation, 
so long would the bridge bear his name ; and his prophecy pro- 
mises to come true. There it stands, a natural barrier of rocks, 
extending from shore to shore, known in the European maps as 
" Adam's Bridge," known in India as " Eama Setu." In the midst 
of the arm of the sea is the island Eameswaram, or the Lord of 
Eama, of as great repute and renown as the pillars of the "Western 
Hercules. There to this day stands a temple dedicated to Siva, 
said to have been bmlt by the hero, the lingam of which is 
washed daily with water from the Ganges. From the highest point 
is a commanding view of the ocean, and the interminable black line 
of rocks stretching across the gulf of Manaar. Thither, from all 
parts of India, wander the pilgrims, who are smitten with the 
wondrous love of travel to sacred shrines. From Chitrak6t, near 
the Jamnd, it is roughly calculated to be no less than one hundred 
stages. The writer of these Hnes has conversed with some, who 
have accomplished the great feat, but many never return; they 
either die by the way, or their courage and strength evaporate in 
some roadside hermitage. Whatever may be its origin, there is 
the reefy barrier, compelling every vessel from or to the mouths of 
the Ganges to circumnavigate the island of Ceylon. 

They crossed this wondrous bridge ; they laid siege to Lanka. 
All descriptions of battles, human and divine, fall short, in variety 
and marvel, of the warlike scenes now enacted. Treachery was 
busy in the camp of the 'enemy; and at an early date Vibhlsana 


trotlier of Edvana, deserted tte cause of his country. Messages 
were sent to demand the restoration of SitA, and many counsellors 
urged upon EAvana to give in, but his pride and rage knew no 
bounds. The fight was long protracted, the slaughter was pro- 
digious. The heroes on both sides are brought out in strong relief ; 
none could contend against them ; like Hector and Achilles, they 
were only mated by each other. One by one the chiefs of the 
Eikshasa are killed, among them Kumbhakarna, the gigantic brother 
of E^vana, who not only killed his antagonists but devoured them. 
His is a favourite' figure in the village representation of the siege of 
Lanka, and he is represented asleep, as in mercy to the human 
race. He was in the habit of slumbering many years, and then 
awakening, and gorging his insatiable appetite, and falling to sleep 

Everything with Orientals is extravagant ; it is not enough to 
paint Eama as wounded. He is described as being actually killed 
with his brother ; but in this extreme agony he receives heavenly 
succour; angels minister to him; angels whisper in his ears, 
" Eem ember, Eama, who you are : you are Nar^yan, the lord of 
the world ; be not cast down, your mortality contains divinity." 
There is something awful in this conception. Eama recovered his 
strength, but he was again cast down and left for dead, when one 
of his friends remembered, that there was a peculiar medicinal herb 
growing on Mount Kaildsa, which contains a sovereign cure ; but 
who will fetch it? HanumAn, the son of the Wind, makes one 
spring through the air, from Ceylon to Kumaon, in the Northern 
Himdlaya ; he brings back a rock on which the herb is growing, 
and the hero recovers. At length Lanka is fired, and EAvana him- 
self issues forth to single combat, and at once kills Lakshmana. 
His friends again think of the medicinal herb, and HanumAn starts 
to fetch it with one leap through the air ; his course lay over the 
village of Nandigrama, in Oudh, where Bharata was mourning the 
absence of his brothers. Terrified by the sight, Bharata raised his 
bow, and was on the point of letting fly an arrow, when HanumAn 
called on him to stay, and descending from the air to firm land, he 
told the astonished prince all that was going on, the rape of Sit4 
and the besieging of Lanka. He then resumed his journey, and 
with great difficulty found the herb, but had to carry a large rock 
with him on his retrfrn. It had the desired effect, and Lakshmana 
recovered. But it appeared, that this rock was part of a most 
sacred locality ; moreover, several hermits were residing in caves in 
its side, and, as soon as they recovered their breath, they called oul 
lustily and loudly to be taken back ; and so HanumAn, from fear of 
offending these holy men, took another leap along the continent of 
India, restored the rock to its place, and returned. This is a con- 
ception truly Titancsque, but the idea of recalling Bharata to recol- 
lection is poetical. 


In the meantime, Eama had encountered Kdvana. Indra had 
sent his own chariot, and all the gods had assembled as spectators. 
The poet rises to his subject ; neither Homer, Tasso, nor Milton 
surpasses him. 

" Treman le spazioze atre caverne, 
El'aer cieco a quel rumor rimbomlaa." 

The evil spirits had assembled to back Eivana, and in the 
excitement of the moment they attacked the gods, and a celestial 
battle ensued ; it was the struggle of good and evil. At length Eama 
triumphs and decapitates his rival ; Lanka is taken, and a general 
crash succeeds. Sit4 is recovered and brought to Eama. 

Here comes the painful part of the story. The hero refuses to 
receive her. He has avenged her rape and vindicated his honour, 
but Site's long residence in the power of EAvana had made her an 
object of suspicion, and it was impossible for a Eajpiit to receive 
her back as his wife. He wished her no evil, she could go where 
she liked. But Sit4 would not bear this return for all that she had 
suffered, and she at once directed a funeral pyre to be prepared, and, 
calling upon the gods to witness to her purity, she proudly mounted 
it in the presence of her husband. But the flame refused to touch 
her. She was acquitted by the ordeal of fire, and Brahma at the 
same time, with all the heavenly host, descended, and with them 
the figure of the old King Dasaratha, radiant in glory. By their 
orders Eama received back his blameless and spotless wife. 

They are now to return to Ayodh||d. The land road would be 
decidedly tedious ; they knew not that watery way, by which hun- 
dreds are conveyed monthly from Ceylon to the banks of the river 
Ganges. The celestial chariot Pushpaka was placed at their dis- 
posal, which appears to have held an unlimited number, and sailed 
through the air. This famous tableau vivant of India has been 
handled by many poets. Valmlki treats it simply but effectively ; 
Kama is represented as describing to SitA the different spots that 
lie beneath their feet : the famous bridge, which he points to as an 
everla,sting memorial of his victory, the mountains where he met 
the monkeys, the hermitage of Savari, and the waters of Pampa, 
the sweet country of Janasthana on the banks of the river God&r 
vari, the forest of Dandaka, and the retreat of Agastya ; thence 
across the Vindhya range, and the twin snow-born rivers, Ganges 
and Jamn4, appear, and their ovm dear city of AyodhyA, on the 
limpid Sarju. 

Kalidisa, the great poet, who lived a thousand years after 
Valmiki, devotes a noble chapter to the subject, on which he 
dilates in stately and sonorous lines, painting the different scenes 
that fell under his eye, in the fantastic colouring in which he 
delighted, interspersed, however, with tender remembrances, worthy 
of Metastasio. The whole description is Indian, and India only 
could furnish the materials — the long rows of cranes wending their 


way to some unknown home, the stately as6ka tree, the lightning 
storm, the dense, dense forests, and the noble rivers. This same 
poet published another poem, descriptive of the coimtry betwixt 
NAgpiir and Mount KailAsa, called the Meghadilta or Cloud-Mes- 
senger. Bhavabhiiti, in his play of the Mahavira Charita, avails 
himself of this opportunity of displaying his limited geographical 
knowledge and unlimited power of description and fanciful diction. 
The authors of other plays are still more fanciful, for our travellers 
are taken everywhere, and anywhere, to the highest heavens, to 
Kailasa and the moon, destroying all the interest by making the 
whole a mere fancy picture. 

When they reached PrayAg the chariot halted, and Hanumdn 
was sent forward to announce the return of Eama, his exile being 
conchided. It was a proud moment for Bharata ; he could meet 
his brother with a joyful countenance, restore to him his kingdom, 
rejoicing to see him return, rejoicing to make over to him the accu- 
mulated treasure of his stewardship. It was indeed a proud and 
glad moment, when the chariot descended from the heavens over 
the city of AyodhyA. 

The four brothers were now united, and they entered together 
their father's city. This is one of the most striking parts of the 
representation in the annual festival of the Dusserah ; it is called 
the " Bharat MiMp ; " the royal youths are borne along in triumph, 
and the citizens flock after in the pride of their equipage, their 
elephants, and their horses. Even in the hour of triumph, Eama 
had a kind word for the mother of Bharata, and he praised her for 
being the cause of his father keeping his promise. 

The monkeys and the friendly EAkshasa, who had accompanied 
him, assisted at the coronation of Eama, and returned to their 
kingdoms laden with presents and smitten with the sight of such 
true brotherly love and such greatness of soul. On the walls of 
his palace Eama had the whole series of his achievements paiated, 
that in the moment of his power he might remember the trials 
which he had undergone. With Sitd, his pride and his joy, he 
could think of the last fourteen years, and rejoice at the part which 
he had taken. But a deeper and a heavier trial awaited him still. 
The man of fate was to have no happiness ; he was born to sorrow, 
to suffer, and suffer in silence. An evil rumour had reached him, 
no matter how, that the citizens thought it strange, that he should 
receive back his wife after a prolonged residence in the power and 
at the mercy of another man. It was in vain that Eama firmly 
believed in the purity of his wife, which had been attested in the 
most miraculous way ; yet so jealous was he of a spotless reputation, 
so weak was he on this one point, that he determined to repudiate 
his wife, now about to give him an heir to his throne, and to send 
her away to the hermitage of Valmlki. He announced the fact to 
his brothers, who could neither combat nor approve his determina- 


tion. As he had abandoned his kingdom, so, from a sense of right, 
he abandoned his wife ; and fearful was the struggle, for she was 
his only one, and her place was never supplied, except by a gold 
statue of her, which he had always by him. Lakshmana conducted 
the unconscious Sit^ to the hermitage of Valmlki, whither she had 
previously begged to go for change of scene, and there the news 
was broken to her. She uttered no complaint, though stricken to 
the heart by the aspersion. She begged that her child, when bom, 
might not be deserted, and prayed that she might speedily be 
released of life, and allowed to join her husband in another world, • 
where there would be no more cruel separations. She found with 
Valmiki, the friend of her father and father-in-law, a ready wel- 
come ; in the solitude she calmed her spirit's strife, and prayed 
that she might live to bear Kama's child, and then die. , Yet she 
lived many years. In the wilderness were born to her twins, Kusa 
and Lava ; in the wilderness they grew up to manhood, and she 
lived to see them acknowledged. 

It was a beautiful idea, that of rearing these abandoned and 
deserted children of the great hero as ascetics in the hermitage 
of the poet, yet bearing upon their persons the signs of their 
noble origin, ravishing beauty equal to the gods, voices fresh from 
heaven, notes borrowed from the choir of the angels ; and of teach- 
ing them the great poem, which they, after the manner of the 
rhapsodists of Greece, sang among the hermitages and the dweUinga 
of the forest, charming all audiences, and unconsciously perpetuating 
the fame of their own parents. In return for their song, they 
received at the hands of sages and beatified men such things, as 
were considered valuable in that rude society. Some gave vessels 
of baked clay, some choice fruits cuUed from the trees of the forest, 
some vestures of bark ; all gave their smiles, their applause, and 
their tears, as the noble epic wandered from grave to gay, leading 
the passions in gentle control, now melting to pity, now rousing to 
enthusiasm. Such was the earliest guerdon of the poet ; such 
was the reward in the halls of Alcinous. The tripod, the parsley 
wreath, the conscious power of swaying the feelings of hundreds, 
the magnetic influence over the souls of their countrymen, the flash 
of the dark eye, the mantling blush, the crowning smile, were the 
ample rewards of the Grecian Aoidos. In more luxurious Eome, 
the wreath of bays, and the honour of being pointed out by the 
passers-by, was stiU the sufficient prize of the poet. 

One day the steps of the noble youths were led to the royal city 
of Ayodhyl There, on his solitary throne, sat the widowed and 
childless hero, he that had conquered himself and his enemies ; 
round him were ranged his brothers, the faithful Lakshmana and 
the still more faithful Bharata, and the Brahmans and the citizens ; 
and, when in this noble crowd sounded the harmonious and majes- 
tic lines, from the voices of these boys, the great hero himself was 


overpowered bj the memory of his own achievements, thus nobly 
recorded, thus divinely rehearsed : strange feelings sprung up in 
his bosom towards these wondrous twins, in whom he could recog- 
nise his own lineaments, blended with those of the long-lost 
Vaid^hi. On the rest of the assembly so softly fell the notes that, 
when the boys ceased, all, old and young, thought them still speak- 
ing, and continued listening, as if entranced. They began to feel, 
indeed, what fame was, and blessed the poet, that could give immor- 
tality to the deeds of the hero. 

They met again once more. At the request of Eama, Valmlki 
brought Sitd and her sons to his presence, that in a solemn assembly 
she might state her own innocence before the people, and be excul- 
pated. She came, and called upon the earth to attest her purity 
by opening and receiving her in her bosom ; and, as she spake, her 
wishes were complied with, and she disappeared from their sight 
and from her husband for ever. Short was the domestic happiness 
of the hero. Both he and Sitd were born for a purpose, for the 
advantage of mankind, and not for the stale duties of house- 
keeping. In his banishment she had accompanied him like a 
shadow ; her rape had caused the destruction of the E^kshasa, and 
the liberation of the human race from the power of the evil one ; 
but she was no longer for him ; fond loving hearts were separated 
for ever : it was their destiny, and they submitted. Nor did he 
tarry long after her, for in a few years he was taken up into heaven ; 
and the spot near Ayodhyi is still shown, where his feet left the 
earth, and hard by the place where Lakshmana was miraculously 
removed from sight, leaving their children and their children's 
children to occupy their inheritance, and treasure their remem- 

Such is the story ; and we should be sorry to be of so cold a 
temperament, as not to warm on its perusal, however imperfect be 
the narrative. To the writer of these lines it is scarcely surpassed in 
the annals of history ; and the poem seems one of the great epics 
of the world. He has read, and he loves them all. It has been 
his lot to follow with reverence on the track of the poets, feeling 
oppressed with the genius of the place, when he looked upon Troy, or 
measured with wondering eye the tomb of Achilles. He has followed 
J^lneas and Ulysses in their travels by land and by sea, and stood 
with Tasso on the walls of liberated Jerusalem. But he has still 
enthusiasm left for the fifth great epic, which holds its place with 
a story as grand, and marks of a genius as comprehensive. The 
poet himself lays down what are the characteristics- of an epic : it 
must be just ; it must teach both the useful and the charming ; 
the profound art of ruling people, and the essence of the sacred 
books ; it must have in it that which will rouse all the affections, 
love, valour, awe, proud disdain, trepidation, smiles, and pity ; it 
must excite wonder, and yet not disturb the placid quiet of the 


mind. This is the task -which Valmlki laid before himself, and 
which he has completed. 

He may, indeed, be charged with vain repetitions and redun- 
dancy of style : hundreds of lines might be pruned ; but still we 
love his stately flow, his simple confiding description, his large 
allowance for the credulity of mankind, and we wish we could lend 
our belief. But in these days everything is reduced to facts and 
figures ; we require our distances to be measured by the wheel, and 
we will not credit the list of the slain, unless attested by the 
despatch, or supported by our notions of probability. How different 
was Yalmfki ! he is not weaving a curious fiction ; he spake as he 
saw ; he wrote as he believed ; it is the voice of a contemporary of 
Solomon and Homer. The earth is a round flat plain ; the firma- 
ment is made of brass, pierced with loopholes for the stars, some- 
where behind which, or on the peaks of highest mountains, dwell 
the gods, only a little better than mortals, but subject to the like 
passions and exposed to the like perils. Such lore he drew from 
his fathers and the old men, on whose knees he had sat as a child ; - 
but he had seen with his own eyes those deep Indian forests, un- 
trodden by foot of man, unpierced by solar ray, and he believed 
that they were inhabited by monsters. Over and over again he 
exhausts the names of the wild beasts which roamed therein ; of 
the strange trees which bloomed there unvalued ; of the wondrous 
fruits, the sweet-smelling grasses and flowers. He had heard the 
humming of the insects and the ceaseless chirping of the birds. 
Whoever the author is, he must have been a dweUer of the forest, 
from his wonderful appreciation of the beauties of nature. He wrote 
for crowds familiar with such scenes, and, while he tires us with 
his conventional descriptions, we are struck with his vividness and 
his life-like reality. With truth the old hermits, who first heard it, 
exclaimed, that things, that happened long ago, were brought, as it 
were, before their eyes. 

And three thousand years have passed away since then, and we 
wonder that it is stiU the legend of the nation and the poem of the 
country. Year after year the whole story is acted in all the cities 
of India ; not in the narrow walls of a theatre, not by the gestures 
of hired actors, but by the people themselves, under the light of 
heaven, in their streets, and in their villages ; and vain is the idea 
that such customs will be abandoned. Even when the whole 
nation is converted to Christianity, it may be doubted, whether 
they will forget their national poem, or discontinue their national 

BaNDA in BuNDIiLKHAND, 185^. 

( 107 ) 



Imagine a person to drop down from tlie moon into England, and 
to inquire generally into the religion of the inhabitants of the 
British Islands. Some would tell him one thing, some another. 
Scholars would treat the subject historically or philosophically ; 
divines would treat it theologically ; the statesman would say that 
it was merely a machine to maintain order ; enthusiasts would 
maintain that it was a spiritual lever to move the world ; all might 
agree that it had its origin among the people of the Jews, and in 
the country of Syria in Asia ; but they woidd agree about nothing 
else, except the practice of using hard words to aU that differed 
from them. It would be hopeless to find the subject treated with 
impartiality, truthfulness, or brevity. 

Our countrymen drop annually, as from the moon, into British 
India, and become aware, in spite of themselves, that they are 
among a people who ignore and hate the religion of Europe, but 
have a great diversity of religious beliefs of their own. A general 
notion is arrived at that there are two main divisions, Brahmanism 
and Mahometanism, to which a third, that of Buddhism, might be 
added ;. that extreme antiquity is ascribed to certain sacred books ; 
and that magnificent buildings and enormous crowds of worshippers 
evidence the importance and popularity of the worship. It is pro- 
posed to pass the whole subject under a brief review, referring to 
the important books on each branch of the subject. Many points 
bristle with controversy ; therefore no new views are expressed. 
The scholar wiU no doubt find fault with the incompleteness and 
incorrectness ; the missionary may take offence at the cynical im- 
partiality or indifference, with which the subject is handled ; the 
native of India may, with more justice, complain of the hard mea- 
sure, with which his country and religions are measured. But the 
subject is approached with the deepest feeUngs of reverence ; and 
the object is to allow an Englishman, in a short period, to obtain a 
general view of the whole prospect, and to indicate the quarters in 
which he can obtain further information. Volumes have been 


written, but they do not pass under the eyes of those for whom 
these pages are intended. 

The word religion implies the binding of the soul to God, and 
is in itself a holy thing. The first effort of the savage is to feel 
after the unknown powers of nature, and propitiate them. The 
first cry of the inquiring spirit, when free from the shackles of the 
flesh, will be to ask Pilate's question, " What is truth ? " However 
imperfect may be the ideal and the concrete expression of the 
dogma and the cult, they express the longings of the human soul, 
shaped in its highest possible form, and should be regarded with 
reverence. It is idle and wicked to denounce the ancient cults 
and faiths of the world, and entangle hopelessly the questions of 
civilisation and morality with that of religion, as if some of the 
most depraved of God's creatures were not Christians, and some 
members of European communities little better than heathens. 
All depraved and decaying religions assume the same type. Kitual 
instead of piety, ignorant superstition instead of reasonable belief. 

We must use the word Hindu in its etlinical sense only, as a 
"native of India" without reference to the religion, although the 
word Brahmanical is not a sufficient substitute in the Vedic period. 
We must accept the term Arian in sharp contrast to those forms 
of non- Arian cult, which existed in India before the great Arian 
immigration, and so greatly modified by contact the Vedic religious 
conceptions, and some remnants" or representatives of which still 
survive in the many millions of non-Arian pagans in Central India 
and on the south-eastern frontiers. We must reserve our notice of 
the non-Arian cults until we have disposed of the Arian and all 
its numerous offshoots. To the Vedic Arian succeeded, in due 
course, the Brahmanical system ; but that was, long before the 
Christian era, superseded by the great Buddhist conception, and 
never reigned alone again. For, although at a later and unceri;ain 
period, the new developments of Vaishnavism and Saivism, iinder 
which the Brahmanical priesthood again rose to power, sprang into 
existence, and drove Buddhism fairly out of Arian and Dravidian 
India ; still the vigour of the old pre-Buddhist system was never 
restored; and Jaina, Mahometan, Christian, Jew, Fire-worshipper, 
Lingaite, Silch, and many other sects, stood out in strong contrast 
to each other, and in open antagonism to the religion of the majo- 
rity, which ceased also, after the Mahometan invasion, to be the 
State-religion, and lost its power of direct and indirect persecution. 

Let us now consider the period, the place, and the earliest docu- 
ments of the Arian religion. As regards the period, there is but 
one ascertained date anterior to the Mahometan conquest, and upon 
that peg hangs all chronological theories. A famous sovereign, 
na,med Chandragupta, is identified beyond all reasonable doubt 
with that Sandracottus, king of Palibothra, who is recorded by 


Greek historians to have received the amhassadors of the successors 
of Alexander the Great. His grandson, As6ka, is identified with 
Piyadasi, who raised monuments in different parts of India, existing 
to this day, enforcing the observance of Buddhist practices. By 
another process the date of the birth of Buddha is fixed with gene- 
ral consent at B.C. 622. The theories of scholars, based upon these 
facts, are most moderate. Colebrooke, resting upon certain astro- 
nomical data, which are not accepted by modern science, fixes 1400 
B.C. as the date of the Vedas ; Max Miiller by another process 
arrives at iioo B.C. ; making in one case the sacred books of the 
Arians contemporary with the Exodus, and in the other with the 
establishment of the Jewish monarchy. Admitting some such date 
as the latest possible, we must leave ample room for the develop- 
ment of the magnificent language, which, in its earliest documents, 
shows unmistakable signs of many centuries, of wear and tear. 
The grammatical forms are not the simple primary position of roots, 
such as are presented in the hieroglyphic texts of the earliest Egyp- 
tians at a period anterior by a thousand years at the least. Our 
oldest documents of Hebrew, as of Sanskrit, which can safely be 
placed at iioo B.C., present us with a highly-finished synthetic 
language, which does not represent the earliest efi'orts of even a 
cultivated nation, far less of pastoral immigrants. We must, how- 
ever, leave it to the license of speculation to fix the epoch of the 
great Arian immigration and the gradual compilation of the Vedic 
Psalter, which may, like the Jewish Psalter, comprise poetic 
snatches with the difference of nine centuries ; for not less a period 
of time separates the Waters of Babylon from the Psalm of Moses. 
But it is not for its antiquity, but for its continuity of hold upon 
the human race, that the Vedic conception stands pre-eminent. 
The elder religions of the world, the Egyptian, the Proto-Baby- 
lonian, the Assyrian, the Syrian, and the beautiful creations of 
Hellas, have perished many centuries. Delphi is silent ; great Pan 
is dead ; the great institutions, founded by Moses and Zoroaster, 
have shrivelled up to a fragment of a nation, and they have been 
for centuries in exile, without a country or language. The great 
propagandist systems of Christ, Buddha, Mahomet, Confucius, and 
Laoutzee are of historical dates. Alone, out of the hoary mist of 
antiquity, stands the Vedic conception, still revered by millions 
in the country of its birth ; and out of its loins has proceeded a 
still greater religious idea, which, in various forms of Buddhism, 
dominates over countless millions of non-Arian races. No such 
marvellous phenomena has the world elsewhere seen. 

With regard to the place there can be no doubt. In the Pro- 
vince of the Panjilb, to which the heart of the writer of these 
pages will ever look b^ok with feelings of the tenderest love and 
deepest regret, those Vedic hymns were composed by rishis, or 


wise men, not necessarily Brahmans, amidst a pastoral population, 
which had at some not far-distant period left the original home of 
the Arian race on the river Oxus, from which, at a still more 
remote period, had struck off Westward the Celt, the Teuton, the 
Grseco-Latin, the Letto-Slavonic, and Southward the great Iranic 
stem. The language must have been formed after the parting ; as, 
though resembling in some particulars, it is essentially different. 
Attempts have been made to collect all the words, which are the 
common property of the undivided Arian family, and reconstitute 
the mother-language, and from those dry bones to arrive at some 
idea of proto-Arian or pre-Arian religion and customs. That reli- 
gion speedily took new development ; in. the Iranian branch it was 
refined into Fire-worship ; in the Indian it degenerated into Pan- 
theism. We find the PanjAb alluded to as a country of seven 
rivers : probably the Saraswati forms the seventh. We find un- 
mistakable allusions to the great Ocean, which pushes us on to 
the conclusion, that the way had been found down the Indus at 
that early period ; though they had not as yet possessed themselves 
of the valley of the Ganges, which river is only once mentioned. 
They found tribes already in the land of a darker colour, with 
whom they waged perpetual war, and they appear to have warred 
among themselves. 

The documents are known as the Vedas, and are fourfold ; all 
of them are now accessible in both text and translation. Round 
the latter there is a great controversy, whether the traditional inter- 
pretation should be followed, or whether the same should be 
extracted by strict exegesis of scholars. These venerable documents 
are of unquestioned genuineness. No copy has come down to us 
earlier than the ninth ■ century of our e'ra, and no lapidary inscrip- 
tions of any antiquity ; and in that respect the religions of India 
are in a far less favourable position than those of Egypt and Meso- 
potamia, which are both represented by original documents of 
between looo and 2000 years before the Christian era, free from 
the risks of the careless copyist or the designing manipulator. 

The Vedas are made up of hymns, upwards of one thousand. 
They are what we ought to have expected, yet which no one of 
later generations could have designedly composed. There is an 
antique simplicity of thought; the sentiments are - childlike, the 
first sobbing and plaintive cry of a human family to their Great 
Father, who made them, and to nature and the elements, the great 
mother, who nourished them ; and with the childhood of our race 
and religion every true heart must sympathise. There is no attempt 
at cosmogonies and universal knowledge ; there is no self-conscious- 
ness, and nothing is found, which will ■ in any way support the 
gigantic abominations of Vaishnavism and Saivaism. There is no 
mention of Rama or Krishna. Vishnu is indeed mentioned by 


name, as the one who 'takes three steps, symbolical of the rising, 
midday, and setting suns, or by another interpretation, light on 
earth as fire, light in the atmosphere as lightning, light in heaven 
as the sun ; and Siva is supposed to be identical with Eudra, men- 
tioned in some of the hymns. There is no allusion to the great 
Hindu Triad, or to transmigration of souls, or to castes, or to the 
pantheistic philosophy of the wise, or the gi'oss polytheism of the 
ignorant. There is no mention of temples, or of 'a monopolising 
Brahmanical priesthood, and not the slightest allusion to the 
lingam. The sun is worshipped, but there is no mention of the 
planets ; the moon is noticed, but the constellations never. The 
blessings asked for are temporal; the worship was domestic, 
addressed to unreal presences, not represented by visible types, and 
therefore not .idolatry. The physical forces of nature were wor- 
shipped, which appeared as possibly rival, certainly irresistible, 
deities. Those that struck the mind most were fire, rain, and wind, 
the sun ; and thus Agni, Indra or V^yu, and Siirya, constituted 
the earlier Vedic Triad. With them were associated the dawn, 
the storm-gods, the earth, the waters, the rivers, the sky, the 
seasons, the moon, and the manes of ancestors. Sacrifices were 
offered both by warriors and priests, as food to the deities, hymns 
were sung, and handed down orally, and a ritual was established. 

The growth of religion is necessarily as continuous as the growth 
of language. The soul of man appears to possess as its congenital 
attributes an intuition of a great, just, and wise God ; a sense of 
human dependence, as evidenced by want, sickness, and death ; a 
rough but true distinction of good and evil ; a hope of a better 
life, though a very carnal and material one. Two causes were at 
work to assist the development of the simple Vedic faith and 
cult : first was the artifice of the Brahmanical priesthood, who 
sought to secure and increase their power ; and second the involun- 
tary local streak of non-Arian religion. Thus gradually anthro- 
pomorphism grew, and demonolatry. It is possible, that the 
priests believed in the unity of the Godhead, and that these separate 
fanciful creations merely represented different phases of the divine 
nature, the different attributes and spheres of operation of the 
Creator ; but the vulgar mind could not comprehend this, and thus 
pantheism sprang into existence, from a too gross conception and a 
too material practice. 

We can only allude to the theory of the tree and serpent worship 
of pre-Arian India, as it lies outside the subject-matter of our dis- 
cussion. It is asserted that Buddhism is but a revival of the 
coarser superstition of the non-Arian races, in which the tree and 
serpent played so great a part among the NAgas. We are not 
justified, moreover, in attributing the entire work of civihsation to 
the Arian immigrants ; the remains left by the Bhars, unquestion- 


ably non-Arians, indicate an advanced civilisation, from whicli tlie 
Arians may have borrowed in arcliitecture as well as in religion.. 
If time be just, we shall find at length how much Semites and 
Arians, all over Asia and Europe, are indebted to their non-Arian 
and non-Semitic predecessors. 

It has been the fashion to look upon the Brahmanical system as 
one which admitted no proselytes. That it was at one time essen- 
tially propagandist, is evidenced by the spiritual domination, which 
it has assumed over the non-Arian Dravidians of Southern India, 
and by the famous colonisation of Java and other islands of the 
Indian Archipelago; but from the earliest days it has gone on 
absorbing inferior races. The name " siidra" was applied to those 
who settled down in nominal submission ; the terms " dasyud" and 
"mlechhad" were reserved to those who remained hostile and un- 
subdued ; and with this absorption of heterogeneous elements has 
followed a modification of cult and ritual. In spite of the Veda 
and of the Brahman, or perhaps with the connivance of the latter, 
there has ever been an undercurrent of pagan usages; and the 
slightest examination will demonstrate the existence of local objects 
of worship in every part of India, of which the sacred books make 
no mention. " Semper, ubique, et ab omnibus," may be the 
cuckoo-cry at BanSras as it is at Eome, but it is equally unfounded. 
Just as the Eomau Catholic visits local shrines and gives way to a 
low form of worship iij connivance with, or in spite of, his priest ; 
so in every part of India there is a d6vi on the mountain top, 
there are holy lakes, there are volcanic fires, such as those of JwAld, 
Mukhl in the Panj4b, there are floating islands, such as those at 
Mandi, and other local celebrities and sanctities. 

While on the one side the simple nature-worship of the Arians 
was being diluted by the admixture of non-Arian elements, on the 
other side it was becoming developed and exaggerated and stiifened 
by the Brahmans. The Veda gave birth to the Br4hmana, the 
Araynaka, and the Upanishad, and a vast crop of dogma and 
ritual. The object of these compositions, which are now more or 
less well known to us, was to work out and to record the working 
out of the mysterious thoughts of a succession of men, who had the 
widest range of mind, of which man is capable. They sought and 
sought in vain, by a process of speculation and introspection, for a 
fitting object of worship, and a fitting base, upon which they could 
erect a moral standard ; if unassisted reason could have brought 
down God from heaven, they would have achieved it. To these 
books succeeded the philosophic period at unknown intervals ; 
whether of centuries or of decades it is impossible to say, as the 
magnificent language, in which the aphorisms are clothed, shows no 
Such divergences as to enable a parallax of time to be discovered. 
At any rate they did not considerably precede the Grecian schools 


of pMosopliy ; as Buddha, who manifestly was the last in time, 
was contemporary with Pythagoras, as well as with Confucius in 
China, and possibly Zoroaster in Persia. There must have heen 
at that period of the world's history a great searching of hearts. 
The six Indian schools of philosophy, represented by Kapila, 
Patanjali, _ Jaimini, VyAsa, Gautama, and Kandda, sprang into 
existence in the deep longiag of the perplexed heart to solve the 
sad mystery of existence : What am I ? whence came I ? whithei, 
do I go? Under different names and by different processes they 
shadowed out some force other than their own soul, whether as 
Visvakarmd, or Purusha, or Brihaspati, or BrahmA, or ^tman, or 
Paramitman, the one eternal, the one universal soul. They dis- 
covered, at least what savages never knew, that each one had 
within his own individual seM a germ of the Eternal, and they 
proceeded on to investigate, how he could free the eternal element 
from the miserable perishable integuments, in which it was enfolded. 
It was the old struggle of Pneuma and Sarx ; and one feels the 
deepest sympathy with those ancient far-away half-naked sages, for 
it is the real question, which has ever baffled schools and nations, 
and lies close to and perplexes the 'heart of man. The Veda in 
their simple psalmody had avoided the sad question of the origin 
and object of pain, sorrow, sickness, and death, the reason of birth 
and death, the existence of a future state, and the inequality of 
human fortunes. But these wonderful philosophic aphorisms indi- 
cate the yearning of -the poor heart of man after the unknown. 
The intelligent Brahman would, no doubt, then as now, say, that 
the various symbols and idols were only manifestations of the one 
God. The sun is one in the heavens, yet he appears in multiform 
reflection on the water of the lake. The various schools and sects 
ai-e but different doors to , enter the same city. But the Eitualists 
of those days could do no more than the Eitualists of modem times. 
In proportion as the philosophers became more atheistical, the 
ignorant classes became more superstitious. Books of elaborate 
ritual sprang up by the side of books of daring free-thinking, and 
outward form was found to be but an opiate of the conscience, 
which might deaden the pain, but could not eradicate the evil. 
TheTesult was the creation of an esoteric and exoteric religion : a 
mass of grovelling superstition crowned by an apex of philosophic 
atheism. The philosophers of these schools, like the French abb^s 
of the last century, had not the honesty and boldness to recede 
from the State-worship. This step was reserved for the bolder 
spirits who preached Buddhism. 

In the meantime the Arian race had pushed down the valley of 
the Ganges, and reached the river Sona and the Vindhya range ; the 
non-Aiians had been incorporated or pushed to the right in the 
mountains of Central India, or to the left into the skirts of the 


Himalaya. Up to a certain time, as to the fixing of which a grand 
controversy exists, the sacred hooks had heen handed down orally 
from generation to generation ; hut a time came when an offshoot 
of the great Phenician Alphabet found its way to India, whether 
by sea from Arabia, or by land from Persia, is the subject of 
another great controversy. The two Asoka alphabets represent 
the oliest character of writing in India. Of indigenous character, 
either ideographic or syllabic, there is not a trace ; nor would so self- 
conscious a people have failed to notice the steps, by which they 
reached the wondrous art of expressing sounds by symbols, if they 
had themselves passed through that great intellectual process, which 
we see evidenced in the documents of the Chinese, Egyptians, and 
Assyrian nations, none of which attained the sweet simplicity of 
Such an Alphabet as' the Phenician. The Brahman had advanced 
in power and arrogance, and had codified the scattered laws and 
customs in a form such as the world has never seen equalled. The 
law of caste was laid down with a rigorous hand. Intermarriage of 
the warrior and priestly caste, which seems to have been possible 
in Vedic periods, was now impossible. If these laws had ever 
practical efiect, the Siidra must have suffered intolerable hard- 
ships ; but safe inferences can be drawn from anecdotes in the 
garrulous heroic poems that they were not so enforced. The life 
of the ordinary citizen is mapped out into portions with a ridiculous 
precision. The most respectable fathers of families were expected 
at a certain period to leave their home, tak« to the woods, live the 
life of a hermit, giving up their property in a way which a greedy 
heir would no doubt strictly enforce. The savage custom of chil- 
dren of eating their old parents with salt and lemon, which prevails 
among the Batta in the island of Sumatra, seems to be more 
merciful than to turn the old couple into the jungle as ascetics after 
the comfortable life of householders. The baneful snare of penance 
and asceticism, the greatest scourges of mankind, physically and 
spiritually, began to spread in one of its most arrogant forms. The 
heavens were peopled by fiction with gods, who were not gods ia 
power. God identified with the universe made up a pantheism. 
The vast immemorial forest, on which the settlers were ever en- 
croaching, was peopled with ogres. Holy men made a merit of 
retiring to these solitudes, and by a life of chastity, self-denial, 
prayer, sacrifice, and physical suffering, obtained such, power as 
shook the gods ia their celestial seats, and compelled them to have 
recourse to unworthy expedients of tempting these holy men to 
.commit some breach of their asceticism in the society of lovely 
damsels sent by the celestials to tempt them. The kingdom of 
heaven was taken by violenca Fervent prayer had then, as in 
the minds of some excited fanatics still, the power of fulfilling, 
itself. When poor humanity deals with its relations with the 


Godhead, it is sure to lapse into some absurdity. Fancy and fiction, 
falsehood and credulity, had their fuU play -with tales of miracu- 
lous fights with the ogres, who interrupted the sacrifices, the victory 
being followed by the descent of showers of heavenly flowers, the 
sounds of heavenly music, and the sight' of heavenly dancers ; thus 
we find ourselves in the heroic period. 

At whatever period the conception of any " avatdra " or " God in 
the flesh " was first arrived at, it marks a wonderful progress in 
reUgiOus development. There must be some deep truth underlying 
the strange intellectual phenomenon, that God should descend from 
heaven and assume the form of a creature for the purpose of saving 
the world. Such a notion was unknown to the Semitic and the 
non-Arian races until, in the fulness of time, the Word was made 
flesh. The Brahmanical system records nine such manifestations, 
the earlier ones being animals, or partly so ; the later heroes, — thus 
again marking progress. The tortoise was succeeded by the fish, 
the bear by the man-lion ; then followed the dwarf who made the 
three great steps ; the two Eamas, ELrishna and Buddha : aU were 
manifestations of Vishnu, and are therefore the creations of a period 
when the worship of that deity had become paramount. With 
regard to the earlier avat^xa, we can do nothing but speculate ; but 
in the story of Parasu-Eama, we recognise the struggle and the 
victory of the priest over the warrior class ; and in Eama, the son 
of Dasaratha, we recognise a real person, who has undergone a 
double transformation, first into a legendary hero, and centuries 
afterwards into a powerful god. Bacchus and Hercules certainly, 
and probably the other deities of Hellas and Latium, mounted the 
same staircase. Our feet seem here to touch ground; we have 
arrived at something which resembles history ; legend interwoven 
with religion, but with a large substratum of possible fact. 

The grand epic poem, the Eamiyana, gives the narrative of the 
life of this great hero. It has been remarked with truth that both 
Eama and Krishna come before us in two capacities, as men and 
gods, but that it is in a certain portion only of the two great poems 
that indications of the latter capacity appear ; and that they have 
been added for the purpose of illustrating the divine character, as 
an incarnation of Vishnu, the fond idea of an after age, and can be 
omitted without interrupting the flow of the heroic song. The 
mere mention of Eama and Krishna in an early book wUl not carry 
with it the admission of the early worship of these heroes as 
divinities ; they were known characters in fabulous history, but 
later ages have elevated them, very much as by lapse of years the 
Virgin Mary has been growing into a divinity, or something more 
than mortal, Joan of Arc into a saint, and the fancy of a future 
superstitious age might convert King Arthur and Eoland into gods. 
We must treat them as they appear in the eyes and ears of the 


people, though it partakes of an anachronisin. Tlie great poem of 
the EamAyana has been followed by numerous other Sanskrit 
poems singing over again the same favourite strain. Not only 
have the Sanskritic vernaculars repeated the same story with varia- 
tions, but the Dravidian poets have caught up the melody after 
their own fashion; and far away in Java, Bali, and Lompok, 
islands of the Malayan Archipelago, the same story is found, not 
servilely translated, hut as original compositions in Kiwi and 
Javanese. In the midst of aU the rich confusion of ideas, where 
fancy runs riot in sonorous lines and harmonious polyphones, where 
the wUd magnificence of the diction vies with the wild conception, 
of which Oriental languages alone can be the sufficient and skilfully 
wielded exponent ; in the midst of gorgeous descriptions of power, 
scenery, cities, and miraculous events, towers up the grand knightly 
form of the great national hero, whose idyls have not yet been 
written, a miracle of chastity, devotion, and self-abnegation. 

In a previous essay the writer of these lines gave a full account 
of this hero, tracing his steps from AyodhyA, the capital of his king- 
dom north of the river Ganges, through the great and pathless 
forest, which then separated Northern from Southern India to 
Lanka or Ceylon, and identifying the geographical landmarks. 
These detaUs He outside our present object, which emb:faces th6 
religious aspect of the narrative. Let us reflect on the lofty char- 
acter, which either existed or which was conceived to have existed ; 
how unlike what might have been anticipated : monogamy, chastity, 
filial obedience, conjugal fidelity, self-abnegation, self-control, humi- 
hty, are not the ordinary characteristics of an Oriental hero. As 
regards the underlying meaning of the legend, there have been 
various interpretations : it may represent the struggle and victory 
of the Arian over the non-Arian races of Southern India, although 
of that struggle there are no traces in Dravidian literature ; it may 
indicate the struggle of the Brahmanical party against the Buddhists, 
Jains, heretics, and atheists ; or it may mean the great mystery of 
the struggle betwixt good and evil ; or, lastly, the struggle between 
Vishnu and Siva. Some would faU back upon the irrepressible 
Solar theory, and in the giants and ogres see darkness or winter. We 
prefer to believe that such a hero really existed. 

Unquestionably it has a reality with the people of India, both 
national and religious. In it we find the germs of the religious 
conception of bhakti or faith, the reliance of the worshipper on the 
tutelar divinity for protection, the origin of the ordinary social 
salutation of the people, a component part of a large portion of 
their names, and finally the motive of their greatest national festival 
In the aurora of all religions, the theatre, which at a later period 
is so far separated from aU connection with the worship of the 
divinity, is intimately associated with, and is part and parcel of, 


the idea of devotion. Thus annually in every city, and in every 
cluster of villages, this popular legend is enacted bj' living actors 
in the eyes of a sympathetic, devout, and exulting people. Temples 
and shrines are scattered over the land. The art and zeal of the 
statuary, the poet, the painter, and the priest, have vied with each 
other to extend the worship of Eama and Siti, and through them 
of the great member of the second Triad, Vishnu. The legend, no 
doubt, developed in the hand of the chronicler very much after the 
manner of the legend of Arthur and the " Chanson de Eoland " in 
mediseval Europe ; but it was to the absorption of this legend into 
the service of religion at a comparatively late date that it owes its 
wide expansion. And how this came about we have no informa- 
tion; that it is post-Buddhist, and therefore after the Christian 
era, there is no doubt. 

Measuring by the gauge of reUgious development, there must 
have been a considerable interval betwixt the promulgation and 
acceptance of the dogma of the avatdra of Vishnu as Eama and the 
avat4ra of the same deity as Krishna. Both were of the warrior 
class ; both were earthly potentates ; to both were ascribed miracu- 
lous powers and martial prowess ; but one was the type of virtue 
and modesty, the other of licentiousness and shameless immoralities. 
The hand of the priest appears moie clearly in the latter legend ; 
and the conception of faith, or bhakti, is largely expanded, and 
with it comes love, love spiritual as weU as earthly. If penance 
be the leading feature of Saivism, and duty of Eama, love, an ocean 
of love, is the element in which Krishna reigns. He is the god 
present in many places at once, the object of the love of thousands, 
the satisfier of that love, while each thinks that that love is special 
and pecuHar. No one can read the Gitd Govinda, the Indian song 
of songs, and the Bhagavad Git^, the grandest effort of unassisted 
human iatellect, without feeling that he is entering into a new order 
of ideas, and has advanced in the diapason of the human intellect 
far beyond the Vedic, the philosophic, and the heroic periods. 

The documents, from which we are informed of this great per- 
sonage, are the great heroic poem, the Mahibhdrata, the Bh^gavata 
PurAna, the GitA Govinda of Jayadeva, and many other works 
going over the same ground. The portions of the great poem 
which relate to Krishna are manifest interpolations of a much 
later date. The war betwixt the kindred tribes, which took place 
on the banks of the river Saraswati in the Panjdb, was possibly 
anterior to the story of Eama, where we find the Arians settled 
peacefully far down in the valley of the river Ganges. There may 
have been a chief of the name of Krishna engaged in the conflict, 
but he is represented as sovereign of Dwdrkd on the shores of the 
Indian Ocean in the Peninsula of Kattywar, south of the Vindhya 
range. His historic period may have been 1300 B.C., but his 


apotheosis cannot date earlier than 700 A.D., and was clearly sur- 
rounded by an atmosphere of controversy. We see his superiority 
asserted over every other deity, and each in his turn is exposed to 
ridicule and defeat : Siva and Brahmi, his partners in the new- 
Triad, Agni, Indra, Varuna, and Yama, the old Vedic deities^ are 
all placed at a disadvantage in the legends composed to elevate the 
worship of Krishna. The attack upon Indra seems to have heen 
specially an intellectual movement, a rebellion against the worship 
of the elements. At that stage of human progress the hearts of the 
worshipper seem to yearn for a personal deity. Indra could at the 
best only punish or protect in this world, but the new religious 
conception could protect in a world beyond the grave. The Egyp- 
tians had arrived at this idea of Osiris two thousand years earlier. 

The question as to the degree, in which the Judeo-Christian 
religious tenets, and the Brahmano-Buddhist, operated upon each 
other in the ante-Mahometan period, requires to be handled with 
great severity of judgment, and by a cold, impartial mind. That 
they fell within the same periods of history, and that contact was 
possible in the time of the Ptolemies, and subsequently, is beyond 
all doubt. The early navigation of the Eed Sea, the Persian 
caravans from the river Euphrates to the Indus, might have im-' 
ported or exported doctrines, thoughts, and ideas, which cannot 
be forgotten, words which once spoken live for ever, as well as 
articles of Oriental and Occidental product. But on which side was 
the balance of exchange ? Much learning has been wasted in this 
great controversy. There is a resemblance between Krishna and 
Bacchus ; between Krishna and Apollo, the lord of Hfe, of poetry and- 
light, the object of admiration of love-stiicken maidens ; between 
Krishna and Hercules and Orpheus, and a strange and weird con- 
gruity of circumstances exists in the legend of the Indian hero-god 
and — we write with reverence — the Founder of the Christian religion. 

It is possible that pictures of the Virgin-Mother of God and the 
legends of the false Gospels may have reached India by means of 
the Nestorians, and details may by a subtle sympathy of religious 
consciousness have been incorporated in the nascent legend of,the 
young Krishna. Indignation is felt, as for an injiiry done, against 
those who have asserted that the story of the Evangelists was 
borrowed from India ; yet those, who without a shadow of proof 
would have it that the Indian legend was derived from Syria, must 
not complain if the Brahmans turn the argument round, and point 
out how much of European paganism has been incorporated in Chris- 
tianity. The comparative mythologists may probably derive the two 
kindred legends from the same common origin of the Solar myth. 

The resemblance of the names is fortuitous. There was an alleged 
necessity of Vishnu being born again in the flesh to rid the world 
of Kansa, king of Mathur4 on the Jamnd, who became aware that a 


son of Vasudeva and Devaki would destroy him. He therefore 
imprisoned the parents, and slew their first six children; but 
destiny was not thus to be baffled, and the seventh was miracu- 
lously transferred from the womb of his mother to that of another 
woman, and born as Bala Rama, while the eighth, Krishna, so 
called because of his dark hue, was by favour of the gods, in spite 
of walls and guards and rivers, conveyed by his father to the care of 
the wife of Nanda a shepherd, whose child was conveyed back in 
exchange. The child was thus brought up in a stable and among shep- 
herds. In the legend there is mention of a star, and a payment of 
tribute. Then followed the attempts of Kansa to destroy the young 
infant, followed by miraculous feats, and a most lascivious life, in 
which Krishna surpassed Solomon, if not in his wisdom, at least 
in the number of his wives. Add to this, that he raised the dead, 
not a usual type of Indian miracles, cured a deformed hunchback, 
and removed the stain of sin by a single look. The Bh^gavata 
Purina has been curiously analysed, and numerous passages selected, 
as manifest loans from the Evangelists. It is forgotten by such 
critics, that mere coincidences of language go for nothing ; and 
coincidences of thought may be explained by reflecting on the com- 
mon fount of Oriental maxims and ideas and conceptions, which 
can be traced back to a period long anterior to the Christian era. 

Others have traced in the legend the struggle of the Brahmanical 
system against the Buddhists, or of the Vaishnavists against the 
Saivites. Others have found in the strange license a reaction against 
the severity of Buddhist manners. The lascivious and carnal fancy 
of the poet dwelt on the love of the shepherdesses to their lord, 
while the more cautious theologians asserted that these shepherdesses 
were but incarnations of the V-edic hymns. The song of Jayadeva 
is strangely parallel' to the Song of Solomon ; and the instructed 
reader is expected to understand by Krishna the human body, by 
the shepherdesses the allurements of sense, and by EMha, the 
favourite, the knowledge of divine things ; or the whole is said to 
be an allegory of God and prayer, the human soul and the Divine 
Being typified in the lover and beloved. Amidst the mysticism of 
the Sufis, and siich approximation of good and evil, it requires to 
advance with a very firm step ; and with such doctrines in the 
sanctuary, disguised under the semblance of heavenly love, we may 
expect to find the greatest licentiousness among the ignorant multi- 
tude, every Anomian abomination, and a justification of admitted 
crimes committed by a divinity under the convenient theory of 
illusion or mdyd. The downfall of morals, religion, and conscience 
is not then far ofi'. 

Perhaps something of the same character has wandered through 
all religious history, and crops out in the allegories of the bride- 
groom and the espousal, and the dreams of young women like St. 


Catherine and St. Agnes, that they are espoused to their Lord, and 
the same feeling underlies the idea of nunneries. The Prems^gar 
of Krishna is but the Ocean of Lore of Kehle; love in heaven 
and heaven in love: there is. a bitter and dangerous contrast of 
word and sense, and more dangerous among an Oriental people. We 
read the lines of Sadi, the Persian poet, with startled amazement, 
when we are told that the wine-cup and the sweetheart represent 
something so totally different from their usual meaning; the 
Hebrew prophets are not free from these dangerous ambiguities and 
figures of speech. The incongruous mingling of things human and 
divine is far less felt in Greek mythology ; for the Indian theologians 
had worked out such sublime ideas of the Divinity, that the con- 
science is shocked, when a justification is put in for the gross 
immorality of God incarnate in the flesh, by the assertion that the 
actions of Vishnu must be believed, and his mode of procedure not 
questioned, as it was a mystery, and the Supreme Being could not 
be liable to sin. Blasphemy can go no greater lengths than this, 
and we shall see the consequences in the vagaries of the Vallabha. 
But the conception of faith was marvellous, as illustrated by the 
story in the Vishnu Purdna of the sage, who, having gone through 
certain stages of transmigration, could recollect the events of a pre- 
ceding birth, and remembered also immediately after his last death, 
as he lay half unconscious, overhearing the King of Death charging 
his servants not to lay their hands on any who had died with faith 
in Vishnu. 

" 'Touch not, I charge thee, any one 

Whom Vishnu has let loose ; 
On Madhu-Siidan's followers 

Cast not the fatal noose. 
For he who chooses Vishnu 

As spiritual guide, 
Slave of a mightier lord than me 

Can scorn me in my pride.' 
' But tell us, Master,' they replied, 

' How shall thy slaves descry 
Those who with heart and soul upon 

The mighty lord rely ? ' 
' Oh ! they are those who tnily lore 

Their neighbours ; them you'll know, 
Who never from their duty swerve, 

And would not hurt their foe.' 
Such were the orders that the King 

Of Death his servants gave ; 
For Vishnu his true followers 

From death itself can save." 

It is singular that the authors of the Ehagavad Gitd should 
have selected the middle of the battle, as the moment for conveying 
instruction on the highest philosophic topics that man can conceive, 
and still more singular that in the " Chanson de Eoland," in the 


middle of a figM betwixt Eoland and his antagonist, the monkish 
author, influenced by the spirit of his age and order, interpolates a 
long theological discussion. 
_ We have been compelled to treat the heroic and divine concep- 
tions of Eama and Krishna together, carefully guarding that there 
was a lapse of ten centuries at least betwixt the two conceptions, 
and in that interval appeared on the stage a man greater than them, 
the greatest of mortals that ever trod the earth. He was known to 
his contemporaries and successors by the names of Sakya, Sidd- 
hirtha, Gautama, Tathdgata, and Buddha. He was of the Warrior 
tribe, and the son of a king in Transgangetic India. His date is 
fixed by general consent at about B.C. 622. No man has left a 
deeper footprint on the sands of time. His followers and the 
believers in his doctrines count by millions, far beyond the number 
of Christians or Mahometans, and are spread over the whole of 
Farther Asia, including Ceylon, Barma, Tibet, Siam, Kambodia, 
Kochin China, China, Mongolia, Manchuria, and Japan, though 
totally expelled from the country which gave him birth, after a 
domination of several centuries. Buddha invented, or at least first 
openly practised, universal propagandism by argument, destroying 
caste, setting aside the priesthood, ignoring the Veda and all the 
sacred books, abolishing sacrifice, dethroning the gods from heaven, 
appealing to the highest ideal of morality, holding out as an incen- 
tive the absorption into the deity. He was in fact the apbstle of 
nihilism and atheism ; for ■ behind the preceptor there is nothing, 
and beyond death there is nothing but extinction. A literature so 
voluminous has been handed down in Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, 
Burmese, Peguan, Siamese, Cambodian, Annamese, Shan, Javanese, 
Chinese, and Mongolian, that another generation must pass away, 
ere an adequate conception can be formed of its contents. Akin to 
Buddhism (but whether anterior or subsequent to Buddhism, there 
has lately sprung up a great controversy) is Jainism, with a litera- 
ture of proportions equally colossal and as imperfectly known ; and 
the brain reels under the burden of unravelling aU that has become 
entangled, and comprehending all the cobwebs that the subtle 
intellects of generations of men have spun ! The Jains appear to 
have had their career of supremacy in Southern India, but they 
have dwindled away to an inconsiderable sect ; they admit caste, 
and if they abandon their heresy, can be admitted back into fuU 
privileges, from which they are only partially excluded. They 
carry their respect to animal life to very extravagant lengths. 

It is difficult to disconnect the historical facts from the legends 
which have grown round the fascinating story. Fortunately we 
have documents which, by their abundance and character, are 
above suspicion of fabrication. We have inscriptions on pillars 
and rocks of a date not later than 250 B.C., and we have two dis- 


tinct families of written documents, the separation of which must 
have taken place before the Christian era, hut which can both be 
traced back to Magadha, or Bahir, where Buddha hved and died. 
The Northern school is in the Sanskrit and Tibetan languages, as 
when the reaction of Brahmanism took place, the Buddhist fled to 
the adjoining mountains of NepAl, whither by an irony of fate they 
were followed by the Brahmans flying in their turn from the 
Mahometans. The Southern school is~ in the Pali language, the 
Magadhi Prakrit, in which the knowledge of the tenets was con- 
veyed to Ceylon, where the religion stiU. flourishes, whence it has 
spread to the Indo-Chinese peninsula, though here also there exists 
a controversy. No religion is fortified by such a multiplicity and 
genuineness of documents as the Buddhist. 

Siddhdrtha was a Eajpiit, son of the Eaja of Kapilavastu, a 
state small in dimensions, somewhere betwixt Oudh, Gorakpur, 
and NepiL His birth was accompanied by miracles, which are 
striking from their strange resemblance to gospel story, though the 
event to which they are attached happened centuries earlier. 
They are striking also in themselves. We mention one only. 
Immediately after his birth the child took seven steps to each 
quarter of the horizon, using the following words : — " In all this 
world I am very chief, from this day forth my births are finished" 
Up to the age of twenty-nine he lived a virtuous, but an ordinary 
life, married, and had a son. One day in his drive he encountered 
an old man, and on inquiry was informed that old age and decre- 
pitude were the lot of aU. On a se'cond day he met a man oppressed 
with disease, and was informed that sickness was the lot of all. 
On a third da,y he met a dead body being carried out amidst 
mourning and lamentation, and was informed that death was the 
lot of aU. Overwhelmed with the sense of the calamities of poor 
humanity, he returned to his palace, loathing its splendour and 
comfort, and dwelling on the mutability of human happiness. It 
is the old sad story, and is told in the diiferent versions of the 
legends with romantic beauty, and in itself would form the theme 
of 'a poet or the saw of a moralist. But he was an actor, not a 
dreamer. Once again he went forth and met a beggar, serene of 
countenance, simple in habit, one whom the world had left and 
who had left the world ; who moved free from anger, lust, and 
sorrow, and in him he recognised the type of his new development. 

He left his father's house, and for fifty years he wandered about 
within a restricted circle. After much meditation he became a 
"Buddha," or "enlightened," and founded a new society. His 
pecuharity was, that he adopted the method of itinerary preaching 
in the vernacular dialect to all classes without respect of casta 
He admitted the existence of no God, and therefore abolished 
sacrifice, but instituted the practice of confession. There being 


no God, there could be no idol or image or priesthood. His fol- 
lowers congregated in monasteries, with the power of leaving at 
pleasure, or the risk of heiag expelled for some fault of a moral 
nature. Each year they itinerated to preach their doctrines ; those 
who were unwilling to enter for the high prize of hecoming Buddha, 
could remaiu in the paths of ordinary life, practising virtue, and 
looking for higher things iu a future hirtk At the age of eighty, 
in the, year 543 B.C., the great master passed away at Kusinagara in 
Bahdr. He died as he lived, conscious of the approach of death, in 
the midst of his disciples, and his last words were : " No douht can 
he found in the mind of a true disciple, heloved ; that which causes 
life, causes also decay and death. Never forget this; let your 
minds be filled with this truth. I called you to make it known to 
you." Such dignity in leaving life, as an office filled with honour, 
for the benefit of his fellow-creatures, will not fear a comparison 
with that of Socrates or John the Evangelist. 

After his death, councils were held to collect his precepts, and 
establish his church and propagate it beyond the confines of India. 
The volumes, which contain his doctrines, are known as the Tripitaka 
or three baskets ; the first being the Siitra, which contains the 
doctrinal and practical discourses ; the second is the Vinaya, or 
ecclesiastical discipline; the third is the Abhidharma, or meta- 
physics and philosophy. "We may presume, that as fixed by the 
council they have come down to us, as the entire separation of the 
Northern and Southern Buddhists has this advantage, that we are 
able to contrast the documents by critical juxtaposition. While 
free allusion is made to other of the Brahmanical deities, there is 
no mention of Krishna, which fixes the period. The foundations 
of his doctrine have been summed up in the very ancient formula, 
probably invented by the founder himself, which is called the Four 
Great Truths. I. Misery always accompanies existence. II. AU 
modes of existence result from passions and desires. III. There is 
no escape from existence except destruction of desire. IV. This 
may be accomplished by following the fourfold path to Nirvana. 
These paths are the following : First comes the awakening of the 
heart : the second stage is to get rid of impure desires and revenge- 
ful feelings ; the third and last stage is to get free from evil desires, 
ignorance, doubt, heresy, unkindliness, and vexation, culminating 
in universal charity. 

How it came to pass, that this passionless, hopeless form of 
atheistic morality should have touched the heartstrings of one-fifth 
of the human race, is a great mystery ; it is as if the Bible consisted 
of the single book of Ecclesiastes. "Vanity, vanity," said the 
Preacher ; " all is vanity." And yet the world is a beautiful world, 
and the faculties of man are capable of goodness and greatness and 
virtue, and the immortality of the soul seems to be an inherent 


idea of mankind. Eeligion, as a great author has written, cannot 
be without hope. To worship a heing, who did not speak to us, 
love us, recognise us, is not religion : it might be a duty, might he 
a merit, but man's instinctive notion of religion is the soul's re- 
sponse to a God, who has taken notice of the soul; it is a loving 
intercourse or a mere name. At any rate, whatever opinion we 
may form of this strange system, which has taken such very deep 
root in the affections of jnen, there can be no doubt, that Buddha 
stands out as the greatest hero of humanity, and that the more 
mankind are made acquainted with this exalted type of what the 
human race can unaided attain to, the better it will be. 

There are strange analogies betwixt Buddhism and its founder 
and Christianity. We mark the same progress of the human in- 
tellect in the total abolition of sacrifices. "When Brahmanism 
recovered its power, the old method of vicarious sacrifice, except in 
very rare instances, was not renewed ; it was felt that this concep- 
tion had had its day. In Mahometanism it had totally disappeared. 
"We then come to the wonderful fact, that Buddhism, like Chris- 
tianity, was totally and entirely expelled from the land which gave 
it birth, to the genius of which it was not adapted. The questions 
may fairly be raised : "Was Buddhism expelled ? when was it ex- 
pelled? It is more probable that strict Buddhism relaxed in 
India, and that Brahmanism modified itself by the wondferful 
assimilation of contact. Buddha was himself promoted to the 
position of an avatdra of Vishnu. In the seventh century the 
Chinese traveller found the two cults side by side, as they are now, 
in the island of Bali Traces of assimilation of cult and adapta^- 
tion of temples and idol-forms are found in many places. At 
length it ceased to be the State religion ; then the popular feehng 
set against it ; Sankardch4rya rose to preach the worship of Siva 
and the new conceptions. The irreconcilables fled to Nepil ; the 
worship died out. "We have no distinct record of what happened, 
but the deserted monasteries and temples of Ajanta.ghow no signs 
of wanton destruction. The cult or rather persuasion totally dis- 
appeared in the seventh century of the Christian era, and there is 
hardly one indigenous Buddhist in India. The Buddhism of 
BokMra and Kdbul gave way to the worship of Zoroaster ; but in 
those countries, in which there had been no layer of Brahmanical 
civilisation, the triumph of Buddhism was complete. No doubt 
it underwent great modifications from contact with indigenous 
paganism. It was spiritualised into Lamaism in Tibet ; degraded 
into Shdmanism in Central Asia ; blended with Confucianism and 
Taouism in China ; and fossilised into a dead idolatry in Ceylon 
and Barma. The story of Buddha, by a strange freak of fortune, 
appears as St. Barlaam and St. Josaphat in the legends of the 
saints of the Eoman Catholic Church, ITo human religion has 


done more good work for the improvement of the human race than 
Buddhism. What Christianity did for Europe, this strange dogma 
did for the regions of Farther Asia, elevating mankind and driving 
out or modifying abominable pagan customs. 

One strange doctrine, which does not date back to the Yedic 
period, but which was the intellectual outcome of a later age, lived 
through the Buddhist into the neo-Brahmanical system. We 
allude to that of the transmigration of souls. It is more hopeful 
than the doctrine of Fate, which ruled the earlier world. Under 
the influence of this doctrine, a man who is poor, afflicted, and 
unfortunate, is not so, because cruel hard fate has so decided, and 
because he has no remedy, past, present, or future. On the con- 
trary, he feels that his present state is the result of his moral 
deliaquencies in a past life, for which he is atoning, and though he 
cannot change the present, he is master of the future, and by a 
good life he can secure being bom again in a better state. All the 
philosophic schools agree in this ; no one was hardy enough even 
to question the doctriue. The Buddhist, who denied every other 
of the proto-Brahmanical doctrines, admitted this; and yet it is 
not a self-evident problem of the human mind, and no European 
intellect, however debased or uninstructed, coiild be induced to 
accept it. It is, however, the faith of one-fifth of mankiad. 
Accepting this doctrine, the schools of Indian philosophy proceed 
to inquire in their own way, how this painful wandering of the soul 
from body to body can be terminated, and mokhsa or Uberation be 
attained. Not to exist is, then, the highest reward. It was in fact 
an attempt to solve the hard puzzle : Why in this world the wicked 
are so exceedingly prosperous, and the righteous so mysteriously 
oppressed ; how came it to pass, unless it had reference to causes 
which arose in a previous existence, and led to consequences which 
will develop themselves in a future ? This is the riddle, which the 
Book of Job tried to solve ; and after all, the author evades the 
question : he fails to see that nobleness and goodness have nothing 
whatever to do with what men have, not even with happiness, which 
thousands of good men have never possessed. The immenseness of 
the intellectual contrast between the followers of the Mahometan and 
Brahmanical systems can only be grasped, when the Semitic con- 
ception of the immortality of the soul is placed side by side with 
that of transmigration, with eventual absorption or nihilism. 

We come now to the development of the second Triad : Brahm4 
the creator, Vishnu the supporter, and Siva the destroyer. There 
is an artificial look about this arrangement, and it is clearly a 
theoretic compromise. BrahmA goes for nothing ; he has but one 
or two temples, and scarcely a worshipper. The Brahmanical 
religion in its post-Buddhist stage is a congeries of parts derived 
from several very discordant systems. Fashion and taste have 


their play. Some prefer Siva; some Vishnu ; a third part import 
a female element — ^ " Dieu M§re," representing that expression 
of religious feeling, which is gratified by rendering semi-divine 
honours to the Virgin Mary. Such was the case in the old heathen 
world : Egypt, Hellas, Syria contributed gods, as Spain, Italy, 
and France now contribute saiats to the fervent adoration of a 
superstitious populace. Nations still hunger after their local saint, 
as they do after a national' flag. In this manner was developed a 
wife for each of the second Triad : Saraswati, or the goddess of 
eloquence, for Brahmd; Lakhsmi or Sri, the goddess of fortune, for 
Vishnu ; and for Siva, the multiform and awful consort, known 
as Devi, K4H, Gaurl, Umi, Durg4, Pdrvatf, Bhawdnl, entaUiug a 
depth of degradation at the brink of which we pause. 

Siva-worship is alluded to by Megasthenes, and must, therefore, 
date back to a period anterior to Buddhism, though unknown to the 
Veda. The Brahmans may have opposed it, but the popular 
current was tdo strong. We know as a fact, that at the time of 
Mahmiid of GhAzni, there existed twelve celebrated lingam-shrines, 
one of which was SomnAth, which was destroyed by that icono- 
clast. The Ungam or phallus, with its usual accompaniment, is 
now the universal and sole emblem of Siva-worship. But there is 
an uncertainty, whether the connection of the two always existed. 
Some have asserted, that the cult was of non-Aiian origin ; but to 
this it is replied, that no trace of it is found in any existing non- 
Arian people, and that there is no proof of such a derivation. 
There is nothing indecent, meant or understood, in this symbol; 
no rites of a lascivious or degrading character are necessarily con- 
nected with the stone idoL We have the same worship in Egypt 
and Hellas, and Egyptologues have traced the obelisk to the same 
soTirce. The symbol appears among the Egyptian hieroglyphics 
without any reserve or evil intent ; in fact, it was part of the great 
Nature-worship. The worshippers of Siva, though found all over 
India, predominate in the south, where the cult was le-estabHshed 
by SankarAchArya on the expulsion of the Buddhists about the 
eighth or ninth century a.d. The worship was, as above stated, 
ancient ; but just as the hero-worship of Eama and Krishna deve- 
loped into Vaishnavism, even so the revival of the worship of the 
lingam developed into Saivism. The worship of the tulsi plant 
and SAlagrAma stone occupied a prominent position with' the 
Vaishnavites. The two worships of rival, iadependent, supreme 
and omnipotent deities were not necessarily mutually antagonistic, 
though they became so in the heat of ignorant partisanship ; and 
in the inflated language of, the rival Purina we find Arjana 
described as addressing a silent prayer to Siva, and then fixing his 
inflexible faith on Krishna. It is some time before a single pre- 
ference for a particular divinity, analogous to the liking of a Eoman 


Catholic to a particular saint, passes to the assertion, that the par- 
ticular divinity is the supreme and only God. The female principle, 
or Sakti, was a still further and grosser development, especially 
■with regard to Durgd, the reputed wife of Siva, and set forth in 
the Tantra, of which we have no perfect knowledge, except that 
there is much that is degraded and obscene. The progress of 
degradation had become rapid. The study of the Veda had 
become quite neglected ; a repetition of meaningless words was the 
extent of their study; aU-sufficient faith in the popular divinity 
took the place of knowledge, ritual, and morality. If we wonder 
at the constant change of dogma and practice, we must reflect, that 
it would have been more wonderful, if, contrary to the order of 
human affairs, it had stood stiU. The pantheism of the proto- 
Brahmanical period was degraded into a polytheism in the neo- 
Brahmanical period. 

There was a time in the world's history, when Christianity might 
have spread into India, had the Eternal Disposer of human affairs 
so wOled it, either through the means of political domination or 
evangelical preaching. It cannot be too often asserted by the 
philosophic historian, or too deeply pondered over by the right- 
minded theologian, that Christianity was and is the religion of the 
great Roman empire and those countries which have received their 
civilisation therefrom, and nothing more, whatever other may have 
been the design or assertion of its Syrian propagators. In the time 
of the Antonines it became clear, that the river Tigris must be 
for ever the farthest limit of the Eoman empire. The religion of 
Zoroaster imposed an impassable barrier to Christianity, but a few 
centuries afterwards disappeared like burnt hay before the flaring 
meteor of the dogma of Mahomet. Thus India never had the 
chance of becoming Christian by political domination. A second 
chance was afforded by the peaceful efforts of the Ifestorian mission- 
aries, who found themselves unable to do for the Far East what 
the Buddhist missionaries accomplished, and unable to stand up 
against the new development of Saivism and Vaishnavism. The 
opportunity was a good one. The Brahmanical system had been 
shaken to its foundations, and somehow or other the Buddhist 
system had not taken root. It was a time of shaking of old foun- 
dations and of embracing new ideas, and the friends of civilisation 
and humanity must regret that such gross and debased conceptions 
as those of the Vaishnavist Krishna and Saivite liagam should 
have prevailed. It must be recollected, that they were bom of the 
soU, were cast in the mould of the sentiments of the people, inter- 
twined with their heroic legends, pressed on by an hereditary 
priesthood. We have not yet made ourselves sufficiently masters 
of the secret springs of the world's history to be able to analyse the 
motives and circumstances, which render the adoption by a nation 


of a new faith possible or impossible. Cbina, Indo-Cbina, and 
the Far East accepted the reUgion which India rejected. Europe 
accepted that Christianity which Asia and Africa would not allow to 
remain within their boundaries. The doctrines of Mahomet swept 
over the Eastern world, took captive the islands of the Indian 
Archipelago, but never took root in Europe. No foreign religion 
has ever taken root in India, or acted upon the masses of the Arian 
people, siaca the time of the immigration of the Vedic fathers. The 
Mahometan population of India consists either of domiciled aliens 
or non-Arian converts. 

There was a time also, when the sister-religion of the Iranian 
people might have spread into India. We have stated above, how 
that the two nations were branches from the same root, that the 
■ languages and religions were near akin. The genius of the Iranians 
preferred ethical conceptions and moral ideas to the grosser and 
more material conceptions of the Indians, who worshipped the 
elements of Nature. Still further refined by Zoroaster, it became 
the purest of all the early cults, and most akin to that of the Jews ; 
and the kindness of Cyrus and Darius to their Semitic subjects is 
attributed to their recognition of the resemblance of their views on 
religious conceptions, though doubtless the Jews would not have 
admitted the resemblance. Many centuries afterwards a remnant 
of the fire- worshippers escaped from the persecutions of the Maho- 
metans and took refuge in India, taking with them their sacred 
books and ancient faith, though they subsequently lost their lan- 
guage. The name of Parsi is synonymous in India with wealth and 
energy and respectability ; but their faith has never extended, and 
their religion is entirely devoid of propagandism. The same remark 
applies to the Jews, of whom there are in India ancient settlements, 
but they have never made the slightest impression on the country. 

But while the Christian and the fire-worshipper and the Jew 
neither attempted, nor were able to introduce a foreign ■ religious 
element into India, either by domination or persuasion, a bright 
light suddenly sprung up from Arabia, and illumined the whole of 
Western Asia and North Africa as far as the PiUars of Hercules. 
The doctrine promulgated was so simple, that it could be under- 
stood at once, never forgotten, and never gaiasaid, so consonant to 
the unassisted reason of man, that it seemed an axiom, and so com- 
prehensive, that it took ia all races and ranks of mankind. " There 
is no God but one God." Simple as was the conception, no Indian 
and no Iranian had arrived at it. There were no longer to be 
temples, or altars, or sacrifices, or anthropomorphic conceptions, 
but a God incapable of sin and defilement, merciful, pityin", Kinc 
of the day of judgment, one that hears prayers and will forgive so 
long as the sun rises from the East; a God not peculiar to any 
nation or language, but God of aU, alone, omnipresent, omniscient 


omnipotent. Mucli of this was borrowed from tlie Jews and Cliris- 
tians, but had never been so enforced, had never been so extensively 
and endurably promtdgated ia such gleaming phraseology. 

There had passed twelve hundred years siace the birth of Buddha. 
Mahomet was bom ia historical times, and laid no claims to powers 
of working miracles or to divinity. He was a preacher, and wrote 
the Koran. It cannot be supposed that such a mighty actor could 
have appeared on the theatre of the world without the special design 
of the Almighty. The promulgation of his doctrines, 622 a.d., is 
one of the greatest landmarks in history. Human sacrifices, idolatry, 
abominable customs, savage rites, cannibalism, sank before the 
approach of Islam. In the wholesale abuse heaped upon every 
reUgion by Christian authors, it is forgotten how much the cause of 
civilisation has been advanced by every one of the great Book- 
Eeligions. How low and degraded are the pagan races even to this 
day, who have not come under their influence ! About 1000 A.D. 
Mahometanism reached India, accompanied by the sword, and its 
history is well known. The sword has long been sheathed, but the 
religion has extended peacefully over the non-Arian races on the 
skirts of India. In the government of Bangui millions have accepted 
civilisation and the great leading dogma of Mahomet in spite of 
all the extravagant absurdity of the Mahometan hell and heaven. 
There is found in Islam an expression of an everlasting truth, a 
rude shadow of the great spiritual fact, and beginning of all facts : 
" the infinite nature of duty ; " that man's actions never die or end 
at all ; that man with his little life reaches up to heaven or down 
to hell, and in his brief span holds an eternity fearfully and wonder- 
fully hidden. It has been given to this rehgion to reach countries 
and districts, to which the Christian faith never has reached. The 
Arab merchant carries it backward and forward in the deserts of 
Africa, giving it to black races as the first germ of civihsation ; the 
Malay pirate carries it to the cannibals and savages of the Indian 
Archipelago, and tells them of the equality of man, the aboHtion of 
priestcraft, the certainty of a day of judgment. In North- West China 
it has established itself, and has been strugghng against Buddhism 
for empire. It may have lost its potential vitaHty, but not its 
truth. Without any attempt at forcible proselytism or any mis- 
sionary exertion, it receives large additions, for there is nothing in 
its simple formula to stagger reason or make large demands on 
intelligence and faith. It has supplanted dreadful superstitions, 
and many of its greatest blemishes may be traced back to the 
remnants of paganism which cling to its skirts. We cannot close 
this brief account of the rehgions of Brahma, Buddha, and Mahomet 
without recording our opinion, that they have been benefactors to 
the human race, permitted by the Great Disposer of human events 
to play their part in the education of mankind, teaching men the 



decencies of life, to cease from man-eating and head-hunting, to live 
in houses and villages and submit to the tie of matrimony, and the 
duty to parents : to learn to till the soil, plough the ocean, and found 
royal states, build magnificent cities, and bequeath to posterity 
marvellous literature both as to quality and quantity. 

Doubtless the very existence of the Mahometan power and religion 
influenced for good the religions of the non-Mahometan people ; at 
any rate it was a standing protest against polytheism. We come 
now to the time of the Purdna, which are sometimes called the 
Fifth Veda, and the Sects. The Purina are unmistakably modem 
works, compiled for a sectarian object, fuU of ignorance and con- 
ceit ; but we find in them extracts and references to .older docu- 
ments, as they existed as far back as the Christian era, and this 
gives them a value, independent of the fact of their having sup- 
planted the Veda in the affections of the people. The sects are 
either Vaishnavite or Saivite. The followers of Eamaniija and 
Mddhava, who lived in the twelfth or thirteenth century, constitute 
the great Vaishnavite sect. They have two subdivisions, which 
are worthy of notice, as illustrating the marvellous coincidences of 
the efforts of the human iutelLect. These two branches of the 
same sect reproduce the controversy betwixt the Calvinists and 
Arminians. The one insists on the concomitancy of the human 
will for securing salvation ; the latter maintain the irresistibility of 
Divine grace. Characteristically of India, the one adopts what 
is called the Monkey-argument ; for the young monkey holds on to 
and grasps its mother to be conveyed to safety, and represents the 
hold of the soul to God. The other uses the Cat-argument, which 
is expressive of the hold of God on the soulj for the kitten is 
helpless until the mother-cat seizes it and secures it from danger. 

After Eamaniija, who lived in South India, came Eamanand, 
who settled at Bantos. Both these were devoted to Vishnu in the 
person of Eama. Chaitanaia founded a sect in Bangui devoted 
to Vishnu in the person of Krishna ; but the Vallabhacharya or 
Mahdraj sect, devoted to Krishna in his boyish form, is worthy 
of a special notice. The spiritual preceptors of this sect have had 
the audacity to assert that they were themselves incarnations of 
the youthful Krishna, and burned with like passions and desires 
towards their votaries. Under the blind control of faith this has 
led to the grossest immorality, which has been fully exposed in a 
trial at Bombay, and the sound principle brought home to the 
people that what is morally wrong never can be theologically right. 
Faith with works was the early cry, but faith without work's, or 
in spite of works, was the later cry, and degenerated into rank 

Among the Saivite sects the most remarkable is that of the 
Lingaites, as illustrating the wonderful elasticity of the Indian 


religious community. This sect was founded in the twelfth century 
by Basava, a native of the Dakhan. They reject caste and Brah- 
manical authority, and all idolatry, except the worship of the 
lingam, a model of which they carry about on the arm and tied to 
the neck. No Brahman officiates in such temples ; they deny the 
transmigration of the soul, do not burn their dead, and allow the 
remarriage of women. One of their peculiarities is the considera- 
tion shown to women. They call themselves Jangam, and are 
abhorred by both Saivite and Vaishnavite. They dwell either in 
convents or wander about as beggars. And yet in the census they 
are enumerated as Hindu. The Basava Purina and other books 
detail their doctrines. 

A still more remarkable sect in the north of India is that of the 
Sikhs of the PanjAb. Indian reformers have ever been springing 
up, using the vernacular language of the people, and conveying 
prophetic messages in opposition to the Brahmanical priesthood. 
Their messages have generally been vague and unsubstantial, specu- 
lative rather than practical, making a deep but temporary impres- 
sion upon the people. Some of them have, however, touched the 
sensitive chord of their countrymen, and led to the foundation of a 
new church and new civil polity. Of these Kabir and Nanak 
stand forth as examples. Kabir was one of the twelve disciples of 
Eamanand, the Vaishnavite reformer, who in the fifteenth century 
A.D., with imprecedented boldness assailed the whole system of 
idolatrous worship, ridiculed Brahilians and the Veda, and address- 
ing himself to Mahometans also with equal severity attacked the 
Koran. He was a man of the weaver caste, and some assert that 
he was a Mahometan. Legends have gathered round him, one of 
which has an air of verisimilitude, that he vindicated his doctrines 
in the presence of Sikandar Shah. He left a sect behind him 
called the Kabir-Panthi, who never obtained any great importance, 
though they have entirely withdrawn in the essential point of wor- 
ship from the Brahmanical communion ; and a voluminous litera- 
ture in different dialects of the modem Arian vernaculars, which 
made a great impression on the popular mind. He lived and died 
near Bandras, the centre. of Brahmanisin, and his liberal doctrines 
never had fair play. Par other was the fate of his successor, 
Ndnak, who drank deep of his doctrine, and quoted freely his say- 
ings. He was bom at Talwandi, in the neighbourhood of Lahore, 
in the fifteenth century. The Emperor Baber had there founded 
a new dynasty, and the Brahmanical system was crushed by the 
weight and impetus of a permanent Mahometan polity in the 
Panjdb, the very cradle of Vedic conception. Many years ago the 
writer of these pages with a loving hand narrated the life of the 
great founder of the Sikh religion, or rather Sikh sect of the Brah- 
manical religion, following his steps from the village which gave 


him birtii to the town where he died. N^nak may have attempted 
a fusion of the two great religions, but he certainly did in no way 
succeed. He may have wished to abolish caste, but he has failed. 
He appealed to the people in the vernacular, and his doctrines have 
come down to us in the Adi Granth, which has lately been trans- 
lated into Enghsh, and which by no means must be placed on 
a level with the Vedic or Buddhist books, and is far more modem 
than the Koran or the PurAna. He and his sect would probably 
have disappeared, had not the unwise persecution of the Mahome- 
tans lashed his followers into madness, who, under his spiritual 
successor in the tenth degree, Govind Singh, founded a new reU- 
gious and civil polity, the temporal glory of which has now passed 
away, and the angles of the sect are rubbing off under the peaceful 
influence of an accommodating and absorbing Brahmanism. 

The even pressure of an overpoweriag foreign government, which 
neither condescends to persecute nor to sympathise, is not favour- 
able to the development of new sects, even of a peaceful and doc- 
trinal nature ; all that is indecent, or cruel, or disturbing of civil 
order is quietly stamped out. The Sikh enthusiast has disappeared 
under the entire freedom of latitudinarianism ; the Wahilbi or 
Mahometan reformers are put down, because they disturb the peace 
of the empire ; the roving bands of pious beggars, who might have 
developed new avatdra, are dispersed by an unsympathisiug police ; 
the withdrawal of endowments impoverishes local institutions for 
supporting lazy religionists. No one, who has lived among the 
people, can have failed to remark with interest and respect the 
conventual establishments scattered about the country, playing the 
part of the monasteries in Europe in the Middle Ages. We find 
the small grant of land from the State, the shrine, the home of the 
abbot and his spiritual disciples, the hall for the reception of 
strangers, and some scanty educational and medical appliances. 
Of these the Bairigi are the most respectable, and present a striking 
contrast to the disgusting Sanyisi, and the ferocious Nihang. The 
writer of these lines has often lodged in their neighbourhood, and 
found scant learning and piety, but much urbanity, and the appear- 
ance of a quiet, moral, and unoffending community. An aged Bair^gi, 
who was counting his beads and repeating his prayers, once asked 
whether Europeans also worshipped any God, and of what nature 
He was. Their way of life is simple. Early in the morning they 
repeat by the river side at sunrise the famous Gayatri, " Let us 
meditate on the sacred light of that divine sun, that it may illu- 
minate our minds." This one link reaches over four thousaiid years, 
and connects them with their Vedio 'forefathers. Then comes the 
worship of the shrine, and the daily prayers, as degraded as dogma 
and ritual can make them. So little do these besetting sins of 
the human race differ in externals, that when at Troitza, near 


Moscow, the reverend BairAgi of the Russo-Greek Church go ' 
through the meaningless ritual, those, who are familiar with the 
customs of India, know what he is about, from their experience 
of Brahmanical ritual. 

Festivals and pilgrimages make up the greater part of the 
religion of the vulgar. It may be laid down as an axiom, that the 
more debased is the faith the greater number wiU be the days 
dedicated to gods and saiats, and the greater number of shrines to 
be visited. The Brahmanical calendar of deities and shrines was 
swollen by many loans from the non-Arian local superstitious 
observances ; and the fellowship of all mankind may be evidenced 
ia the blessing of cattle at Rome on the day of St. Anthony, and 
the same ceremony at the Pongol festival of Treb^ni near Madras. 

Another singular resemblance exists betwixt the appearance of the 
tenth and last AvatAra and the predictions in the Eevelation. At 
the end of the KAH-Yuga, when mankind has become hopelessly 
evil and the Veda is forgotten, and the average age of man has 
dwindled down to twenty-three, Vishnu wiU again appear in the 
flesh as Kalkl, and be seen riding on a white horse with a two-edged 
sword in his hand ; and as such the vision is depicted, and can be 
seen by all on the walls of palaces and temples. He will destroy 
all that are not of the Brahmanical fold, and reduce them to 
the paths of probity. It is fair to remark that this prophecy 
cannot be traced back to a period antecedent to the Mahometan 

In the south of India the Brahmanical religion did not extend to 
the lower classes more than in name ; it is always difficult to find 
out how far a new cult has extinguished or uprooted its predecessor. 
It is notorious that in Java there is only a skin-deep Mahometanism 
spread over the former religion ; so in India generally the pilgrim- 
ages to the local shrines of the devi tell an unmistakable tale ; and in 
South India it is understood that the worship of Kail, the wife or 
female energy of Siva, is but an assimilation of a local devi ; and 
in the great temple of Madura, side by side with Siva, is seated a 
local goddess, adopted from the non-Arians by the astute Brahmans. 
In every village there is a devi, the remnant of their old cult ; and 
one remarkable temple supplies a date valuable in chronology, for on 
the most southern point of India is a temple dedicated to one of the 
female energies of Siva, asKum^ri, which is mentioned in the Periplus 
of the Erythraean Sea at a date not later than 100 a.d., and is now 
known as Cape Comorin. Beside this is the devil-worship, which 
is essentially the same as the ghost-worship of the Western coast. 
The devil-dancer whirls round in frenzy, and, when under full con 
trol of the demon, is worshipped as a present deity by the bystanders, 
and consulted with regard to their wants. Such were the Bacchantes 
and the priests of Cybele in olden times. Of a kindred origin, and 


imported into the Mahometan religion, are the dervish-dancers, and 
the ceremonies of the Shamanites in North Asia. We find the 
old Adam cropping out in aU the religions of the second stage. 
The Brahmanical religion is spread like a thin veneer over aU, but 
the old affections of the lower classes survive. Notoriously in 
Northern India the lowest classes, who have no place assigned to 
them in the Brahmanical system, have their own deities, and 
indeed are incorrectly called Hindu in the census. The great bulk 
of the residents of the Himalaya valleys are Brahmanical only in 
name ; they are still Nature-worshippers. Every remarkable peak, 
or lake, or forest has its deity, to which sacrifices of goats are made ; 
temples abound, the keepers of which are not always Brahmans, 
and such customs as polyandry exist. 

But outside the Brahmanical fold are the millions of non-Arian 
pagans in Central India and on the slopes of the Himalaya, who 
have been so strangely overlooked, or counted in the census, as a 
kind of Hindu, with the grim irony by which we might imagine 
an Anabaptist reckoned as a Eoman CathoHc. For three thousand 
years they have fought a lifelong battle against the Arian immi- 
grants, who have driven them from their ancient possessions, and 
have incorporated so many in the lower strata of their religious 
system. We are not informed as to the nature of their cult and 
ancient customs. Temples, priests, or literature they have none ; 
but from them we may imagine what the inhabitants of India 
were before the Arian immigration. No doubt their days are 
numbered. Prosperity, education, and civilisation cannot co-exist 
with paganism, and it will be an interesting sight to watch what 
proportion adopt the rival Book-Eeligions which are ready to receive 
them. Buddhism, Mahometanism, and Brahmanism have already 
absorbed thousands ; it remains to see whether Christianity cannot 
enter the lists with success. 

As the Jaina religion is an admixture of Buddhist and Brahma- 
nical doctrines, and as the Sikh religion has the credit of being an 
attempt to blend Mahometanism and Brahmanism, so in these last 
days we have a new development, and an admixture of Christianity 
and Brahmanism, which presents itself under the name of Brah- 
moism. We look with extreme sympathy and interest on those, who, 
like Earn Mohan Eai, were tempted to try, if they could remount 
the stream of time, and make a revival in the nineteenth century 
of the ethics and ritual of the Yeda. It is but an exaggerated 
form of the attempt of the Eitualist party in England to galvanise 
into life the sentiments of the Middle Ages, forgetting that time 
has passed on, and that the glass, through which a religion is seen, 
is the feeling of the age. But we have scant sympathy with those 
who, uniting with Unitarians, pillage freely the divine truths of 
the New Testament, and deny the divinity of their Author ; how- 


ever, this is the latest and most interesting of the religious move- 
ments in India. 

It may be asserted with confidence that through the long annals 
of Vedic, proto-Biahmanical, Buddhist, and neo-Brahmanical 
periods of the religion of India, independence of inquiry, extreme 
latitudinarianism, philosophic atheism, and unbounded tolerance, 
have been the rule and practice. "We cannot but remark the constant 
attempt to get rid of the trammels of caste ; vrhether the reformers 
are Buddhist, or Lingaite, or Sikh, the first social reform is to get 
rid of this artificial inequality, and to eat and drink together. In 
the shrine of Jagarn4th, one of the great seats of the worship of 
Vishnu, no caste exists ; for the time and place it is suspended. 
These facts ' are important subjects of reflection. Moreover, the 
lower and more degraded the caste, the stricter appear to be the 
caste rules, and all breaches can be atoned by money payments. 
The sectarian and the Guru have always played the part of prophet 
in antagonism to the hereditary priesthood ; and the modern con- 
ception of bhakti or faith to the spiritual adviser and to the special 
divinity, has accentuated this formidable hberality of sentiments, 
and this has been the case under most unfavourable circumstances. 
And now that education and entire freedom of thought and religion 
have become the inheritance of the people, and the veiled shrine of 
the Veda has been exposed to view, we cannot but anticipate 
farther expansion. 

Let us reflect calmly and dispassionately what is the position of 
Englishmen as regards the followers of the Brahmanical religion. 
In our proud and insular seclusion we are too apt to look upon the 
professors of that religion as our inferiors, not only in accidental 
civilisation, but in natural and intellectual capacity, and to brand 
as demi-savages a people, who were highly advanced in civilisation 
at a time when Julius Csesar found the inhabitants of Britain stiU 
clothed in skins. In considering their shortcomings we must not 
measure them by the standard of the nineteenth century, but rather 
that of the sixteenth, when in Europe the floors were still strewed 
with rushes, and glass was rare ; when printing was in its infancy, 
and spread of knowledge was checked by the absence of material ; 
when princes and bishops rode through towns on jackasses, or were 
carried in litters on the shoulders of men ; when he was considered 
a travelled man who had visited Paris, and a learned man who 
could read the Vulgate and write without much mis-speUing, and a 
wise man who could interpret the stars, and a just man, who could 
sentence an old woman to death as a witch, and a dangerous man, 
who dared to think for himself, and an irreligious man, who 
deiiied the divine right of priests and kings and the absolute per- 
fection of the State-religion. The strictures, which are heedlessly 
passed on the natives of India, apply with greater force to our 


ancestors. We indeed have only lately reached that level of Im- 
perial tolerance in matters of religious belief, which they, if un- 
molested, have ever professed and practised towards others, heing 
hy nature and by creed entirely free from the baneful lust of 
violent propagandism, which has been the curse of the world since 
the breaking-up of the Eoman empire. 

The consideration of religion from any point of view is an awful 
subject ; one not to be lightly entered upon nor superficially dis- 
cussed. Not one person in a million chooses his own religion, 
or even his own distinguishing streak of a recognised persuasion. 
It is UteraUy sucked in with his mother's mUk ; and the impression 
made upon his infant mind, stUl too weak to distinguish false from 
true, is made so deeply and durably, that nothing but a moral and 
intellectual convulsion or deluge can so shake or efface it, as to give 
the judgment free play to choose again. These impressions are 
mixed up with the hoHest ties of the family, and entwined with 
the golden thread of the affections. If we could catch the children 
of a nation alone, and reiliove them from the contact and influence 
of the elder generation, we might convert India in a quarter of a 
century. The profession of no faith can be thrown in the teeth 
of a behever as a scorn and reproach, for he is as his Maker and the 
circumstances which surround him in his infancy have left him. Nor 
is it a wonder that an ancient people should cling to the ritual of 
their ancestors, sanctioned by the observance of generations, and 
intimately connected with their household customs and their very 

We may thank ourselves for having been the recipients or im- 
bibers in infancy of a faith, of which we need not be ashamed in 
manhood, and to rest in which, after the vagaries, the doubts, the 
intellectual longings of youth are past and forgotten, we may turn 
back rejoicing. But we must not hghtly tread on a rehgion, which 
existed long long before the great plan of human redemption was 
worked out, before the Mystery of Mysteries had been made clear 
to the understanding of the most unlearned, the written documents 
of which are anterior to the Psalms of David, and the professors 
and hearty beHevers of which, and its developments, exceed in 
number united Christendom. The reasons which still hold back 
such millions of souls from contemplating and beUeving what we 
confidently beheve to be the only means of salvation, is one of 
those still-unrevealed mysteries which God only knows. We may 
well meditate on the words " when the fulness of time came," and 
ask "what fulness?" "for whom?" "for the whole world, or only 
the Eoman empire ? " Why were the millions of India left out 
in the cold for so many centuries ? At the time when the message 
came to Jews and Gentiles of Western Asia, there was no debased 
worship of Siva ; the religion of the Brahmans was fresher, younger, 


and purer ; the intellect of the nation was in its youth, and more 
ready to receive impressions ; it is too late, too late ; they cannot 
enter now. 

Nor should we despise that form of religion which inculcates on 
its professors the strict ohsBrvance of outward form, and connects 
itself with the purifying of the person and the abstinence frqm 
things ceremonially unclean. Such was the feature of the eldei 
religions of the world, and specially of the one, which contained 
the seedplot of our own freer faith. If the washing of pots and 
vessels, if the keeping of moons and festivals, if the purifying of 
the hody, and the separation of tribes, were subjects not below the 
legislative consideration of the lawgiver of Mount Sinai for the 
instruction of the chosen people, we may spare the smile so ready 
to be raised by the contemplation of the minute observances of the 
devout Brahman. The sanction of ages and generations of such 
duration, that our annals are but as a span long in comparison, 
have given sanctity to these observances, and the inward spirit, 
which they once possessed, is not altogether gone. 

It cannot escape the notice of those, who think seriously of the 
subject, how much the religion of a nation receives colour from the 
temperament of the people, their comparative state of advancement 
in knowledge and civilisation, and, to a certain extent, the physical 
features of the country. The history of Christianity, past and 
present, may illustrate this assertion. However much it is the 
tendency of each age to consider their own views on the subject as 
final, and their conclusions as exhaustive, and the door closed upon 
aU future inquiry, the coming age and future generation can laugh 
at such precautions ; for by the law of progress each age will insen- 
sibly adopt its form, and remould its dogmas in the manner best 
suited to its present wants. We may fairly conclude, that the 
advancement and degradation of the rehgious views of a people 
will follow their progress or falling back in general civilisation ; 
and as we can trace in the Veda signs of a much higher and more 
elevated character than are now possessed, it may be true, that the 
religion has deteriorated with the fall of the nation, and we may 
hope that their manifest advance in present civilisation may in 
God's time lead to better things. 

If the Brahmanical religion stuns us by its prehistoric antiquity, 
the Mahometan surprises us by its novelty; if the one religion 
repels by its cold immobility (which is, however, more apparent 
than real), the other awes by its avowed cosmopolitan propagandism. 
People talk of these two great faiths in one breath as pagan, for- 
getting that they are separated by a chasm of centuries, a dead 
wall of ideas, and the whole religious diapason. While we are 
disgusted with the idolatry of the Brahman, we are struck with 
the immaculate simplicity of the Mahometan worshipper, who so 


many times a day proudly seeks the presence of his Creator, 
bandies words with Him with a perfect belief in a future state, 
perfect ignorance of his own innate depravity and need of a 
Saviour, perfect confidence in the wisdom, power, and justice of 
God. We praise the vast tolerance of the Brahmanical system 
which, if left alone, will let aU alone ; and we censure the fanatic 
intolerance of the Mahometan ; forgetting that, until checked by 
rationalism and worldly policy, Christianity has been a greater 

And this faith is able to sustain under the trials of life and give 
peace at the last. A pasha, degraded to poverty, said, " AJlah is 
great and good ; He gave aU that He once possessed, and had a 
right to take it away." A son came to tell of the death of his 
father, who, when he felt that he was dying, held the Koran in his 
hand, covered his face with a sheet, and breathed his last with 
dignity and composure. 

Mahometanism has been deeply degraded by contact with the 
Brahmanical, Buddhist, and Pagan religions, and local superstitions 
have grafted themselves on the -exotic plant ; but the Mahometan 
never forgets that the inheritance of the world was promised to 
him ; he remembers his past greatness, and looks with scorn at any 
attempt to reason him out of his convictions, and with eagerness 
at the prospect of making converts. 

The young missionary who has been brought up in a complacent 
system of theology cannot comprehend this, but it is as well that 
at the outset he should try to do so. 

The position of the non-Arian pagans is different and more 
hopeful; they are much as our ancestors were, when the first 
missionaries came from Eome to Britain in the time of the proto- 
martyr, St. Alban. Conscious of their inferiority to their neigh- 
bours, their ignorance, their savagery, their freedom from caste 
and any Book-Keligion, they are willing to receive civilisation and 
religion at their hands, and for centuries they have been slowly 
and insensibly moving on lines which must lead to Mahometanism, 
Brahmanism, or Buddhism, according to their geographical position 
or the circumstances of the period. Thousands of their ancestors 
have preceded them on this process of peaceful absorption ; here, 
then, there is room for the Christian missionary ; a work for the 
simple earnest evangelist, who can bestow on a rude people the 
double blessing of civilisation and Christianity. 

We forget at what a great disadvantage this great people of 
India has been ; no revelation came near them ; they had to 
work out, unassisted, their own conceptions of right and wrong, 
solve the problem of a future state and judgment by the law 
that was in themselves. God, who in sundry times and in 
divers manners spake to other members of the Aiian and to the 


Semitic family, never spake to them ; they sat apart from the 
great spirit-revival of the Augustan era. No message came to 
them, and they were left to themselves for another eighteen 
centuries. It is a mistake to suppose that a religion, which we are 
pleased to call false, necessarily arose from imposture or enthusiasm, 
or a comhination of hoth. A more careful analysis of the origin of 
religion will show that other causes have helped, viz., an honest 
hypothesis propagated to account for the great physical facts which 
surround mankiad, for the mysteries of life and death, the idea of 
which presses on the thoughtful miad, and lastly a feeling after God 
Such an honest hypothesis strengthens the relaxed ties of moral 
duties by giving them a superstitious sanction, and satisfies the 
longiQg in the human heart to indulge in reverence and worship. 

We owe our civilisation to Christianity, and by its help we 
ceased to be savages. Through the dim light of the Middle Ages 
we look back with reverence, the result of the tradition of centuries, 
to Rome and Jerusalem. But the people of India have a civilisa- 
tion and tradition and literature of their own; they would ask 
the same question over and over again, " Why were we not told 
of these things thirty generations ago ? If they make up truth of 
universal application now, like the 'Seasons and the Celestial Signs 
and life and death, why have so many millions lived and died 
without the chance of being saved ? " It is elevating to perceive 
how naturally devout the mind of man is ; all old inscriptions in 
ever;f country attribute worldly success to the favour of the gods ; 
all the early religions appealed to the better side of human nature, 
and their essential strength lay in the elements of good which they 
contained. The footsteps of God can be traced in these early 
superstitions. No nation felt so earnestly after God, got so near 
Him, as the Arian. Poor tmassisted human intellect felt its 
orphanage, and went groping painfully, devoutly, unceasingly, 
humbly, with a profound sense of sin and weakness, after its 
Creator ; as far as we can judge from the documents, they were 
more worthy than the Jews of being the trustees of the oracles of 
God. A complicated and ancient religion, like the Brahmanical, 
is a congeries of human conceptions, human aspirations, human 
wisdom, and human folly. When closely examined, it appears to 
have its material and spiritual aspect, subjective and objective, 
pure and impure ; it is at once vaguely pantheistic, severely mono- 
theistic, grossly polytheistic, and coldly atheistic. The professors 
of this religion are proud, not ashamed of their ancient worship. 
It satisfies their wants, and they do not wish to recommend it to 
others. They would say to the missionary, "Go to the cannibals, 
the dwellers in caves, the savages who eat raw meat, the men 
without temples and priesthood, and literature and ritual and 
traditions ; we have them aU and are satisfied ; leave us in posses- 


sion of an ancient religion and civilisation. If you have long lists 
of martyrs and saints, so have we ; if you have rituals, so have we, 
and of date compared to which your oldest is as of yesterday." 
As a fact, no Hindu temple of any celehrity- has been abandoned ; 
vast sums have been expended on repairing old edifices and con- 
structing new. 

That Christianity in one of its forms, or in a new form, will 
eventually triumph, we cannot doubt ; it has common sense, 
worldly wisdom, purity of morals, and elevated aspirations on its 
side ; it is, in fact, the highest development yet known of human 
wisdom, but it is sadly overlaid by the debris of the Middle Ages ; 
and if the grand old story is to be believed, a fresh start must be 
made from the Cross and the Sepulchre : the eternal truths of the 
Bible must be appealed to, not the perishable institutions of rival 
Churches. We await in wonder the effect of education, the press, 
and locomotion. N'either Brahmanism, nor Buddhism, nor Maho- 
metanism, nor the non-Arian cults, have ever before been exposed 
to the scorching glare of a dominant, hostile, and critical civilisa- 
tion until now. There can be but one issue of such a struggle 
for life. Brahmoism is but the advanced guard, the first column 
of dust, which heralds the coming storm. Let us consider the con- 
sequences to the human intellect of the unveiling of the sacred books 
of India, Persia, China, and Egypt. Up to this time the Scriptures 
of the Jews have had the monopoly of antiquity ; but we have 
now unquestionable evidence of the earliest lispings of the human 
race, and we feel that we breathe a purer air, where there is no 
priestcraft. We pity the thoughtful man, who can have read the 
classic authors of Greece and Rome without feeUng that man had 
made great progress in the path of morals, that Plato and Cicero, 
Juvenal and Seneca, had left us something worth giving before 
and independent of Christianity ; but now we have the full flood 
of Brahmanical, Buddhistical, Zoroastrian, Babylonian, Talmudic, 
and Mahometan knowledge from independent sources. The trans- 
lation of the Bible led to the Eeformation. We may expect that 
the early documents of each religion wUl be studied ; inquirers 
wiU consider the age, the spread, the dogmas of each religion, and 
the great question, how do they help men to live and how to die ? 
We are arriving nearer and nearer to the correct statistics of the 
population and religions of the world, and the sad thought oppresses 
us : can it be that the Heavenly Father of aU mankind, who num- 
bers the hairs of the heads of His creatures, can have condemned 
such countless millions to uncovenanted perdition, that not only 
has the one saving faith been never revealed to great regions, but 
large portions who once possessed it have been aUowed to abandon 

We have passed that stage when the people of India, or any 


other non-Chiistian Asiatic people, can be painted in disgusting 
colours. Those who have Hved a quarter of a century in intimate 
relations with them, know that they are neither better nor worse 
than Oriental and semi-Oriental Christian populations; there is 
the same proportion of rude domestic virtues, patriarchal simplicity, 
purity of morals, and respect for law and truth, in the village com- 
munities, as is found elsewhere. The great towns in no part of 
the world are fair samples of a nation ; if the lowest classes have 
failed to attain to a moderate degree of civUisation or morality, we 
at least cannot throw stones. 

What, then, wHllbe the future of the Indian Christian churches ? 
That they will adhere to the narrow shibboleths of the Western 
churches, no one who ha;s pondered over the European development 
of Christianity can expect, and that is the great reason, why the 
native and European churches should be kept separate. The mis- 
sionary societies admit that Oriental Christianity already shows 
signs of desiring for herself a church with less of Anglo-Saxon 
rigidity, and modified to suit Oriental notions. A late Viceroy of 
India expressed his opinion, that the people of India would work 
out some new development of the Christian religion' — a view which 
has been long entertained by others. It wiU be well if the minor 
question of church government only be opened. These new Chris 
tians wiU have the Bible in every vernacular — a thing unknown to 
the elder world-^and it is possible that they may extract new truths, 
and re-mint and re-coin the soHd ore of which it is composed. We 
may expect new developments, with a large ■ admixture of Indian 
instead of Eomance and Teutonic heathen superstitions ; but if the 
new Christians cut back to the Bible, and use the same stones for 
their new fabric, what need of fear is there with regard to the 
mortar used for connecting the stones? If Christianity is the 
object, and not a particular church system, it is well that the fabric 
should be built of indigenous, and not of foreign, materials, if it is 
to retain the attachment of the people ; for the gift does not come 
to them, as to us, accompanied by the first germ of civilisation 
and literature. Besides, the diversity of our own practice must 
engender stiU greater diversities in the native churches. Already 
we have a score of difi'erent forms of Christianity in India, and 
many of them mutually hostile forms ; some meeting Mahome- 
tanism and Brahmanism on a common platform of the unity of the 

We have attempted to treat this great subject historically and 
impartially, and we would invite to it the opinion of the young and 
thoughtful of the educated classes. It is hard to imagine the 
existence of national life and civU polity without some form 
of belief, without some religious sanction to law ! And yet where 
does the follower of the Brahmanical religion find himself? He 


has outgrown tlie geography, the history, the physical science, and 
religion of his forefathers. Education cannot co-exist with the 
observance of the ritual of religion in the degraded state at which 
it has arrived ia India. AU religion presupposes the idea of dealing 
with God face to face, the consciousness of weakness and sin, and 
the necessity of a rock higher than the suppliant. No mere animal 
ever got so far, and the most degraded types of humanity are found 
to possess some perception of such necessity. But the educated, 
man must feel the necessity of a standard of virtue to assist him iu . 
this life, some support ia the hour of departure which he cannot . 
avoid, and some hope in the future life, the existence of which he 
cannot deny. He must therefore make his choice. 

The thoughtful Christian must feel a profound pity for those 
who cannot handle and appreciate the ancient religious books of 
the elder world, and at the same time rest with confidence on the 
Eock (and that Rock is Christ) on which their own faith is built. 
The Bible has, indeed, up to this time, been the narrow window, 
through which men have caught a glimpse of the state of ante- 
Arian Asia ; but other windows have now been opened, and we are 
informed for the first time of the doubts that troubled the heart of 
man thousands' of years ago. But who can look without sadness 
upon middle-aged men, like unto their fellows in all other matters, 
but who have made a wreck of their belief, and have sailed out on 
the wide ocean of Thought and Free Inquiry without a rudder % 
After each period of theological storm there are the remains of 
wrecks stranded on every shore, while the bolder spirits have 
sailed out into deep water, have foundered, and left no trace, not 
a spar, not an eddy, to mark the sunken rock on which they struck. 
And yet aU must die ; aU must stand before the great Judge, and 
aU have need of an Advocate. "We gather from the Eitual of the 
Dead, that the ancient Egyptian hoped to appear before Osiris with 
something ia his hands. He, that has least in him of Christian 
belief, must stiU hope that the reflect shadow of the Cross may fall 
across him. The special characteristic of this age is to discuss first 
priaciples, to feel the way to the origin of mankiad, to watch the 
dawning iatellect of the human race, and the seeking after God, 
which is so strongly illustrated in the written documents of the 
Egyptian, Assyrian, and Indian nations. Let the gauntlet be at 
once thrown down to those, who say that there was no good in 
man before Christianity, and that at the present no good exists in 
nations, who are not yet Christian. God sends His blessed rain, 
over the bodies and souls of aU, and would not that any one should 
perish. But with Christianity came a blaze of light and civilisa- 
tion, a higher standard of morals, an elevation of thought, which 
could not tolerate the idea of the abominations, to which the non- 
Christian world are, and always have been, unquestionably prone ; 


and at the same time guides were supplied to teach men how to 
live, and examples to teach them how to die. 

In British India the missionary of every sect moves about with 
a freedom and security unknown in any other part of the world. 
No uncontrolled populace molests him in any way; no penalty 
attaches to conversion ; the life led by nominal Christians is the 
great stumblingblock against the acceptance of Christianity ; little 
there is seen of the new Uf e, which the inquirer is solicited to begin. 
The missionary should have knowledge of his own religion ; not 
merely the church system and party cries, but of the great story, 
how Judaism sprang out of Semitism, how Christianity sprang out 
of Judaism, how it assimilated Arian and non-Arian elements, 
shook off its Semitic form, and became a great Arian faith, based 
on monotheism, salvation by a Mediator, and monogamy. Next to 
this knowledge he must have an accurate knowledge of the citadel, 
which he intends to storm, whether Brahmanical, Buddhist, Maho- 
metan, or Pagan. Next to these qualifications comes the grace of 
charity. The excited prophet denouncing the wicked city, and 
telling his hearers (as we have heard) that their gods are cow-dung ; 
the one-sided moralist, who inveighs against immorality as a speci- 
ality of the people of India, forgetting Europe ; the chatterer about 
railways and telegraphs and Occidental civilisation, wUl not convert 
men's hearts. It may fairly be assumed that aU believe in a future 
state, all recognise the abstract advantage of virtue, and all seek 
salvation ; that is to say, if they think at aU. If they do not think 
they must be roused, not by abuse or contentious argument, not by 
boasting of European civilisation and power (for the Gospel was 
true when aU. that was Vise and powerful was against it), but in 
love and earnestness and truthfulness the way must be shown. 

London, 1878. 

( 144 ) 



In the Book of Esther we read how, in. the fifth century before the 
Christian era, before As6ka had carved his inscriptions on the 
pillars of Allahabad and Delhi,, and on the rocks of Gimar, Dhanli, 
and Kapiir di Giri, the great king Xerxes (son of that Darius, who 
has left his imperishable inscriptions on the rock of Behistun, in 
languages of three separate and distiact families) issued his orders 
to the deputies and rulers of the provinces, which are from Ethiopia 
to India, a hundred and twenty-seven provinces, to every province 
according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their 
language, and to the Jews according to their writing and their lan- 
guage. This last language has survived to our days, but the char- 
acter then used can be found only in the manuscripts of the 
Samaritans ; and in the characters and languages of Egypt, Meso- 
potamia, Phenicia, and Asia Minor, as revealed to us by modem 
science, we can find some vestiges of the forms of speech and writ- 
ing used by the scribes of Shushan to convey the imperial edicts, 
on slips of bark, papyrus, metal tablets, or baked clay, to the rivers 
Nile and Indus, Araxes and Cydnus. 

Had the document, which was transmitted to India, survived and 
come down to us, it would have been of more value than the Book 
of Esther, or a contemporary Egyptian papyrus or Greek lapidary 
inscription ; for it would have settled the question as to the lan- 
guage then spoken, or at least understood by the people of Afghanis- 
tan and the Panj4b, and solved many problems which are now 
hopeless. The earliest written document in India is the inscription 
of As6ka, which is subsequent to the invasion of India by Alex- 
ander the Great, and the language, in which the inscription is 
written, is one of the Prakrits, which are manifestly of Arian and 
Sanskritic origin. The Prakrits have long ago died themselves, 
and given place to a new crop of vernaculars, but the discovery of 
these Arian inscriptions on the Western coast at Gujardt, on the 
Eastern coast at Kattak, and on the Ganges at Allahabdd, supports 
the hypothesis, that the present ethnical distribution of the Arian, 
Dravi(£an, Kolarian, and Tibeto-Barman people must have settled 


itself before the time of "Alexander. More than two thousand 
years have elapsed since then, and it is proposed to pass under 
review the languages spoken by the people of Nearer and Farther 
India and the Indian Archipelago at the present moment, which 
languages are the lineal descendants, in uninterrupted succession, of 
those spoken at that distant period. 

No such review of the languages of the East Indies is found 
in the pages of any Indian periodical or treatise. We dehbe- 
rately use the phrase East Indies, as by that general term wo 
understand the whole of those two great peninsulas of Nearer and 
Farther India and the islands of the Indian Archipelago, over 
which, from the time of the Greeks and Eomans, a halo of mystery 
and magnificence has been cast, which for the last three centuries 
have been the dreamland of European nations, and which are now 
unequally partitioned among the English, French, Dutch, Spanish, 
and Portuguese nations ; for no portion of this vast field lies beyond 
the possession, protection, or political iafluence of one . of these 
European powers. Parts of this great field have been described by 
different writers at different times, and from different points of 
view. There is no lack of material, but it is scattered in the pages 
of periodicals and in books not readily accessible. Moreover, it is 
only within the last ten years that, even as regards British India, it 
has been possible to make a Language-Map, and to feel with some 
confidence that no race or language has been omitted. Buchanan, 
Leyden, and Colebrooke wrote to the extent of the knowledge avail- 
able at their time. Marsden and Crawfurd added enormously to 
the general stock from their local and personal researches. Sfax 
Mtiller and Latham, who had never seen India, arranged and popu- 
larised the knowledge of others. In every part of the field new 
workmen seemed to spring up, with a divine gift, and devoted 
years to tedious and often unremunerated investigations. Logan, 
in the Indian Archipelago ; Hodgson, in the Nepilese mountains ; 
Dalton, in the Central Provinces and Assam ; John "Wilson and 
Stephenson in the west of India, are but types of a class. After 
all, missionaries have done the most good work, from the time of 
Carey and Marshman of Serampore, whose zeal outran their dis- 
cretion, as they wrote grammars of, and translated the Bible into, 
languages of coimtries which they had never visited, and of the 
inhabitants of which they knew nothing, down to Gundert, Pryse, 
Trumpp, and Skrefsrud. A good grammar or dictionary, such as 
each of the four last-mentioned have left, is a permanent addition, 
and a solid brick added to the tower of knowledge. Following in 
the wake of the army of linguistic skirmishers, who deal with a 
single language, come the great grammarians, who deal with a class 
or a family of languages, who are represented by Beames and CaJd- 



well ; and indeed Trumpp and Gundert have so handled their books 
on one language as to give them a value as partaking of the com- 
parative method. Yet, after all that has been done and is being 
done, we feel that we are still only on the threshold of knowledge, 
and one great object of throwing together the facts contained in 
these pages is to point out to the linguistic aspirants now in the 
field how much remains to be done. 

The field of the East Indies is a peculiarly interesting one to a 
linguist, and contains representatives of aJl the morphological strata 
of languages, some in a state of high civilisation, others, though 
closely allied, stiU in their natural simplicity. The action of the 
language of the subdued non-Arians on the Arian conquerors, and 
of an inflected language, the vehicle of religion, on agglutinative 
and monosyllabic languages, is most marked. The extent to which 
dialectal variations prevail upon the borders of two linguistic areas, 
has not yet been fully examined into. In some cases the borderers 
may be .bilingual, and in others a rude amalgam of two wholly 
unsympathising languages has resulted in a mixed patois, or jargon, 
analogous to the pidgeon-English of China. Some languages, like 
the Hindustani, the Tamil, and Malay, have risen to the position 
of a lingua franca, with a usage far exceeding their natural terri- 
torial limits. Others are being choked, or trodden out, or driven 
fairly out of their ancestral inheritance. 

In the space assigned to us we can only go lightly over the whole 
field without attempting to define boundaries, or state populations 
of linguistic fields. Nor shall we stop to indicate all the grammars 
and dictionaries of each language, and to descant upon their lin- 
guistic peculiarities, nor shall we describe the literature, as either 
of these subjects would supply materials for a separate and inte- 
resting volume, the former describing the material of which the 
language, whether literary or not, is composed, and the latter, 
where the language is literary, describing the nature and extent of 
that literature. Our object is to take care that no form of speech 
escapes our search; to distinguish dialects from languages, and to 
bring the latter under such of the former as they belong to ; to 
group the languages into classes and families, and to treat the sub- 
ject in a general historical and geographical way, rather than on a 
scientific method. 

"What is a dialect and what a language ? Now, there is room for 
difference of opinion, but so long as an intelligible principle is laid 
down and adliered to, no great confusion wUl arise. Italian and 
Spanish are separate languages, and Venetian and Tuscan are 
separate dialects of Italian, the latter being the standard or dominant 
type of the langiiage. A dialect differs from another of the same 
language in grammar, vocabulary, and phonetics, in all three, in one 


or in two of these particulars, and of course, in some cases, it is a 
nice question, whether they are sister-languages, as we have now 
classed Panjdhi and Hindi, or only a Western and Eastern dialect of 
one great language, as will probably be found to be the case. But 
the case is not so clear as regards non-literary languages, where 
there is obviously no standard of purity, and where the struggle for 
life, or linguistic supremacy, which has been fought out in every 
European country, has still to be decided. Where the language 
has a special name, such as Tamil, it is easy to enter that name as 
the language, and group aU the dialects under that name ; but 
where a cluster of languages is represented by general tribal names, 
of which Httle is known beyond scant vocabularies, which show 
dialectal divergence among themselves, it is difficult to decide by 
what name the group is to be entered. Of this the Naga group in 
the Assam hills is an instance. 

Of the Semitic family, there are no representatives in the East 
Indies. The influence of Arabic is felt through the Persian, in 
many of the Arian vernaculars, and directly in the Malayan family, 
and Hebrew and Syriac are used as religious languages, possibly in 
a debased form, by small colonies of Jews in Bombay, Calcutta, 
and Kochin, and the small church of Nestorian Syrians on the 
west coast. Arabic is the religious language of the Mahometans 
throughout. There are also considerable colonies of resident Arabs, 
who must be deemed to be aHens. 

The Indo-European family is amply represented. We merely 
notice the English, French, Dutch, and Portuguese languages as 
those of settlers for long periods or for life. The influence of the 
former is felt only by the loan of words. But the Portuguese has 
gone far to make up a mixed dialect by combination with the Ian, 
guages of the country. The Dutch has nearly died out of Ceylon- 
but in the Indian Archipelago Dutch and Spanish are the languages 
of the ruling classes. Italian and Latin came in with the Eoman 
CathoHc clergy; Danish, Norse, and German with Protestant 
missionaries. Persian is the court and polite language over the 
whole of British India, and has left traces of itself in the vocabulary 
and grammar of many of the vernaculars ; and Pahlavi is the sacred 
language of the Parsi fire-worshippers. Armenian is the language 
of a rich and industrious colony of the highest respectability. The 
Chinese is spoken by the numerous immigrants of that nation in 
Calcutta, the seaports of the Indo-Chinese peninsula, and the islands. 
One Turki language crops out among the Dard tribes, the Khajuna, 
as neither Turk nor Moghal were ever able to colonise India, how- 
ever much they might dominate the subject population, and leave 
their mark in the name of the great lingua franca, the Urdu. Of 
the great Slavonic family, as yet at least, not one word has ever 
been uttered by a native of India. 


We now proceed to classify the fixed and indigenous population. 
There are eight families : — 

I. TheAiian. V. The Khdsi 

II. The Dravidian. VI. The Tai. 

III. The Kolarian. VII. The Mon-Anam. 

IV. The Tibeto-Barman. VIH. The MaMyan. 

Our task lies mainly with languages living and spoken to the 
present day ; hut there are certain dead languages, which have so 
largely influenced certain members of some families that they 
deserve a notice. The first of these dead languages is Sanskrit, 
the influence of which is felt in all the Indie branches of the first 
family, escept the two first, which must be considered pre-Sanskritie. 
The first four of the Dravidian languages also are deeply afieoted 
by Sanskritic influence. It is also felt in the Java group of the 
MaMyan family, having been introduced with the Hindu religion 
into that island from India at a period which is quite uncertain. 

The influence of the Prakrit is in some particulars greater. The 
Magadhi, better known as the Pali, became the vehicle of Buddhist 
teaching, and has deeply affected the Singhalese, itself the offspring 
of another Prakrit, the Barmese, the Mon, the Kamb6jan, and 
Siamese. Prom other Prakrits some of the Aiian vernaculars are 
traced in direct descent, and another has become the religious lan- 
guage of the Jains. Another important dead language, of which a 
vast literature has survived, is the Kiwi or archaic Javanese. 

Of the Arian family there are two branches represented in the 
field : I, The Iranic ; 2, the Indie. The Iranic is represented in 
part by two languages. The Indie is represented in its entirety by 
fourteen languages. We must notice them individually, but briefly. 

The two languages of the Iranic family are Pushtu and Baliichi, 
both spoken by the troublesome border tribes, which vex the Govern- 
ment of India by their lawlessness, beyond the river Indus, in that 
so-called neutral zone which divides British India from Persia and 
Russia. The Pushtu is the language of the Afghan nation, who 
are Mahometan, actual or nominal subjects of the ruler of Kdbul, 
or totally independent. It is one of the languages, which the ser- 
vants of the State are bound to know, and there are several excellent 
grammars and dictionaries. As was to be expected in a language, 
which occupies a position between India, Persia, and Turkistan, 
there are several dialects, but enough is not known to analyse the 
differences. They have a certain literature in the Arabic character. 
The Baliichi is the language of the race, which occupies the tract 
that intervenes betwixt Afghanistan and the sea. The Baluchi are 
Mahometan, and generally under the chieftainship of the Khdn of 
Kelat, but the Sindhi seems to encroach upon them on the East, the 


Persian on the "West, and the Pusttu on the NortL Moreover, 
intermingled with them in their villages, in one portion of their 
territory is a totally different race, speaking a totally different 
language, the Brahiii. The BaMchi are totally illiterate. If any 
written character is used, it is the Arabic. The> language has lately 
become one of the standard languages for the officers of the State. 
There are several dialects. The MukrAni, or Western, shades 
gradually off into Persian ; the language of the centre tract is the 
purest type, and there is a strongly-marked dialect used by the half 
independent tribes, whose frontier marches with that of the dis- 
tricts of the Panjib. 

We pass on to the Indie branch of the Arian family. It occupies 
a larger linguistic platform, with a larger population in a ring fence, 
than any group of languages in the world, with the exception of 
Chinese, regarding the internal divisions of which we are imper- 
fectly informed. The highly-developed type of this lordly language 
has left its mark on several languages of the Dravidian, Tibeto- 
Barman, Tai, Mon-Anam, and Malayan families. Two of the 
languages of this branch are pre-Sanskritic. They represent the 
Arian type, before it blossomed on Indian soil. These are the 
languages of the Siah-posh Kafir and the Dard. In the lofty 
mountain-gorges and elevated valleys, which lie in the angle formed 
by the contact of the Himalaya range with the Hiadu-Kush, dwell 
the stout-hearted pagans, who have defied Hindu and Mahometan 
for centuries, and kept their rehgion, language, and liberty in a safe 
retreat, which no European has ever visited. These are the Kafir. 
Their language has been analysed by Trumpp, and pronounced to 
be Arian. Between these and the river Indus in Yaghestan, and 
beyond the river Indus in the territory of the Maharaja of Kashmir, 
dwell the Dard, who are for the most part Mahometan, with a mere 
handful of Buddhists. We know more of their language^ which 
has several dialects, and is pronounced by Trumpp to be Arian. 
Both these languages are savage and without Hterature. The next 
on the list is Kashmiri, the speech of the inhabitants of that valley, 
chiefly Mahometan of a degraded type, but with a sprinkhng of 
remarkable Hiadu Brahmans, distinguished for their appearance 
and their ability. There is no question that this language is Arian, 
but we know far less of it than we ought to do. We have nothiag 
beyond meagre vocabularies and grammatical notes. There is reason 
to believe, that the vaUey must have been peopled by a reflux of the 
Arian wave over the outer range of the Himalaya, as there are 
evidences of culture in both the language and the customs of the 
people far beyond that of their neighbours beyond the snowy range, 
the Dard. There is a special form of the Indian character belong- 
ing to the Kashmfrians, but it is little used. The Persian language 
and the Arabic character are used for purposes of State and private 


lorrespondence. The PaMri and Kishtwdri, spoken by the moun- 
taineers of the middle range of the Himalaya, are provisionally 
grouped as dialects of Kashmiri. 

The PanjAhi occupies a much larger linguistic field, hut with less 
decided claims to an independent position as a language. It is 
bounded on the west by the Pushtu and Baliichi, on the east by 
the Hindi, somewhere in the neighbourhood of Sarhiad; on the 
north by Kashmiri and its dialects; on the south it passes by 
gentle transition into Sindhi Thus it embraces the country of 
the five rivers, hill and plain, and is spoken by a population partly 
Hiudu and partly Mahometan. It differs from its sister Hindi in 
its phonetics, in much of its vocabulary, and some of its gramma- 
tical inflections, and yet no one but a pedant, who knew Hindi 
would pretend to arrogate the knowledge of a second language by 
learning PanjAbi, in the same sense as he certainly would, if he 
acquired a knowledge of Bangdli or Sindhi. No additional test is 
imposed on public officers. There is no separate literature, public 
or private. Public business is transacted in Hindustani, and private 
correspondence in that language or in Persian. Even the sacred 
books of the Sikhs, when examined critically by Trumpp, have 
revealed a singular fact, that the last Granth of Govind Singh's is in 
Hindi, and that the first Granth of Baba N^nak is replete with 
quotations from archaic Hindi, and is certainly not in PanjAbi as 
now known. The character used by the Sikhs, called Gurmiikhi, 
is obviously a variation of the Indian, as is also the mercantile 
character of the bazaar. Treating PanjAbi as a language, it may be 
said to have many dialects, the most marked being the Dogri and 
• Chibhili of the outer or lower range of the Himalaya, and the 
Mult4ni of the extreme south, which is transitional to Sindhi. An 
uncertain patois varies from river to river among the agricultural 
class, unregulated by any standard of purity or literature. 

The Brahiii may be dismissed in a few lines, as so little is known 
of it. It is spoken by a race of Mahometans, who are blended in 
their villages with the Baliichi-speaking population of Baliichistan, 
from whom they differ totally in language and race. The chief 
himself is a Brabiii, but he and his nobles speak both languages. 
Caldwell, on a review of the scanty grammar of Leech and Bellew, 
has expressed an opinion, that it is, in its structure, of the same 
stock as Sindhi, though with strong Dravidian affinities. There 
the matter rests for the present, and, as officers now pass a test in 
this language, and a book has been published in it at the Kurdchi 
press, it will not be long before it wiU be classed with certainty. 

The Sindhi language is spoken by a Mahometan population 'in 
the delta of the Indus, and somewhat beyond the delta, on both 
sides ; for the population of Kach Gandava in Baliichistan and of 
the peninsula of K^chh in the province of Bombay speak well- 


defined dialects of SindH. Trumpp's grammar has told us all, that 
is to be known of this markedly Prakritic language. It has no 
recognised and established character. Trumpp has adopted a 
modified Arabic alphabet, which is objected to by the Sindhi- 
speaking Hiadus, who had a variety of bad forms of the Indian. 
The confusion has been intensified by an attempt on the part of the 
educational officers to introduce a new and unscientific form of 
the Indian alphabet, and of some of the missionaries to introduce 
the Gurmiikhi of the Panj^b. There are distinct dialects of 
upper, middle, and lower Sindh, and of the desert, in addi- 
tion to the two above mentioned and two other dialects, the 
JadgALi and Mendh, spoken in Mukran and on the sea-coast of 

The great Hindi language would require a volume for itself. 
ShaU. we be far from the truth in hazarding the assertion that it is 
spoken by eighty millions, in upwards of fifty-eight dialects ? It 
impinges on all of its great sisters, the Panjabi, the Sindhi, the 
Gujariti, the MarAthi, the TJriya, and the Bangdli. It reaches 
north and south, from the Himalaya middle range to the river 
Narbadd, and far beyond, and east and west from the mountains 
of Nepiil to the deserts of Sindh. By many, both Panjabi and 
Nep4li would be classed, not without reason, as dialects of Hindi ; 
for the present they are excluded. Its great mixed dialect, which 
sprang from the Turki Urdu, or Camp, at Delhi, in the Mahometan 
period, and is known as Hindustani, has almost attained the status 
of a separate language, with its boundless Arabic and Persian voca- 
bulary, its readiness to adapt itself to new words and new ideas, 
its harmonious sounds, and its elegant idioms. This language uses 
two distinct but well-adapted characters, the Indian and the 
adapted Arabic, and to this must be added a third rival, the 
adapted Eoman alphabet. The Hindi has all the attributes which 
go to make up a strong vernacular ; one of the dozen which will 
eventually divide the world among them. It would be too long a 
task to describe the dialects of Hindi. "We must bear in mind, 
that the Arian race were immigrants from the north-west, and, as 
they advanced from the Himalaya to the Vindhya, they absorbed 
numerous non-Arian races who had occupied the soil before them. 
In so vast a field as that possessed by the Hindi-speaking races, 
we can remark obvious subdivisions : — i. The outer ranges of the 
Himalaya ; 2, the Upper Dodb ; 3, the Lower DoAb ; 4, the tracts 
East of the river Ganges; 5, Bahar; 6, Bundflkhand and Bhag^l- 
khand ; 7, Marwar, Mewar, and Malwa ; 8, the Narbadd valley ; 
9, the tract south of the river Narbadd. Some of the dialects 
are transitional from one neo-Arian language to the other. Other 
dialects are poisoned,' as it were, with Kolarian and Dravidian 
vocabulary. Some are free from, others are hopelessly tainted 


with, tlie Mahometan importations; but generally all keep the 
strong backbone of Hindi structure. 

The Nepali is classed as a language, but we know little of its 
linguistic features, and it will probably fall to the position of a 
dialect of Hindi. It is also called Khas or Parbatya, and" is the 
language of the court and dominant tribe of Giirkha in the valley 
• of S'ep^l. As will be seen hereafter, the language of the great 
mass of the subjects of the Eaja of Nepill belongs to a totally 
distinct family, and the majority of those, who speak this Arian 
language, are obviously non-Arian in race, or, at the best, of a 
mixed race, though professing the Hindu religion in a degraded 
form. The language is totally without literature, and the people 
are without culture. A form of the Indian- character is used for 
writing. Two dialects are assigned to this language, but the boun- 
daries are quite uncertain. 

The BangAli is a language spoken by thirty-six millions in the 
delta of the river Ganges, pretty equally divided betwixt Maho- 
metan and Hindu, and probably one^half are by race non-Arian, 
having even now only a veneer of Hinduism over their pagan 
superstitions and practices. Shut in on the north by the Hindi, 
and to the south by the Ocean, and on the south-west by the Uriya, it 
has still wide room for expansion among the wild hill-races, speaking 
languages of the Tibeto-Barman family on the east, and the Dra^ 
vidian and Kolarian mountaineers on the west. It uses a variation 
of the Indian character. It is impossible, that it should not have 
very distinct dialectal variations, considering the linguistic in- 
fluences at work and the constant immigration of aliens both on 
the eastern and western flanks ; but there are no weU-established 
names, with the exception of the Mahometan dialect,' which 
applies rather to individuals than to regions, and the literary 
dialect, which applies rather to words written than words spoken. 

The Asamese was by some deemed to be a dialect of BangiK, 
but its claim to independence as a language has been strongly 
maintained by those who know it best. It is akin to the Bang^h, 
but quite distinct, and has maintained its individuality in spite of 
the domination of the ShAn, speaking a language of the Tai 
family, in spite of the numerous Tibeto-Barman savage races sur- 
rounding and often overrunning the valley, and in spite of the 
Mahometan invaders. There is no literature, though there is a 
written character, another variety of the Indian. It has loan 
words from Sanskrit, but with modified meaning and pronunciation, 
and, as the Province is now entirely separated from Bang41, will 
doubtless maintain and amplify its independence. 

Adjoining Bang^H is the Uriya language, which is spoken by a 
population of eight millions in the provinces of Bangui and Madxas 
and the Central Provinces. They are chiefly Hindu, and use a 


separate character, wMch, though, primarily a modification of the 
Indian, has undergone that change, which is the feature of the 
characters of Southern India and of Farther India, arising from the 
fact, that the use of the palm-leaf and the iron style has compelled 
the writer to substitute circular for straight strokes. The Uriya 
language is inclosed amidst Dra vidian and Kolarian languages, 
touching Telugu and Gond, and inclosing Khond of the former, 
and touching upon Kol and Juang of the latter. No, dialects are 
dignified by a special name, but they must exist. . The best known 
and the standard form is that of the littoral betwixt the mountains 
and the sea, but the language extends far into the interior, into 
the territory of semi-independent chiefs, lying off any high-road, 
and in very unhealthy localities, and therefore very little known. 

In speaking of the MarAthi language-field, we must carefully 
distinguish betwixt the limits of the Mar4tha political domination 
and the boundaries of the MarAthi-speaking population. In the 
upheaving of races, which followed the decadence of the Moghal 
empire, the Mardtha people overran vast tracts occupied by popu- 
lations who spoke Hindi and Gond. Gondw^na, originally occupied 
by the Gond, was overrun by immigrants from the north, and 
thus an extensive enclave of Hindi, the Chatisgarhi dialect, 
separates the Uriya language field from the Mar4thi. This lan- 
guage is spoken in. the central and southern portion of the Bombay 
province, a portion of the NizAm's dominions, 'and the eastern 
portion of the Central Provinces. It is bounded by the Ocean on 
the west, impinges on Gujardti to the north, and on the east and 
south comes in contact with Telugu and Malay^lam of the 
Dravidian family. The population is reckoned at ten million 
Hindu and Mahometan. Several well-defined dialects are named, 
the Khandesi, the Dakhini on the plateau, and the Goad^si and 
Kdnkani in the littoral betwixt the mountains and the sea. There 
is an excellent dictionary, but no sufficient grammar. It uses the 
Indian character. 

Last of the neo-Arian languages of Northern India and complet- 
ing the circle round the central Hindi, is the GujarAti, which 
impinges on the west on Sindhi, on the south and east on Mar4thi, 
and is the only one of the great family entirely free from contact 
with alien languages. It ^s spoken by a population within its 
proper language-field of six millions, but it has a currency also as 
the mercantile language of Bombay, especially of the Parsi popu- 
lation, who have lost the use of their ancestral Iranian vernacular. 
A character is used, which is an unsightly variation of the Indian, 
the top line being omitted. The area of this language is limited, 
and, though dialects are mentioned, none are well marked. To- 
wards the north, the Marwdri dialect of the Hindi is, as it were, 
transitional betwixt the sister languages. There is no good 


dictionary or grammar. This language-field is in the BomlDay 
province and the territory of certain independent chiefs. 

One more Arian language remains', and we find it where least 
we expected, in the Sinhalese, the vernacular language of the south 
portion of the island of Ceylon. Long deemed to he a Dravidian 
language, it has heen tested by competent scholars, and pronounced 
to be Arian. Nor does the history of the island at aU render this 
improbable. It has come down in the ancient legends of the 
island that Ceylon was colonised by one Vijaya, son of SinhAla, 
from BahAr, in the sixth century before the Christian era. Bud- 
dhism was introduced by Ananda from the same quarter two 
centuries later. The language spoken by Vijaya and his followers 
was one of the Prakrits. The iavaders absorbed the wUd natives. 
Inscriptions are found in Sinhalese of a date of at least two 
thousand years. This places this language upon a much more 
ancient platform than any of the neo- Arian languages of Northern 
India, none of which have an antiquity of more than one thousand 
years. The boundaries of Sinhalese and Tamil are a line drawn 
from Ghilaw on the East • coast to Batticaloa on the West. The 
population is about one and three quarter millions, who are Buddhist. 
Elu is the high poetic dialect, and an archaic form of the language. 
Another dialect is that of the Veddah, the pagan aborigines. A 
third is that spoken by the inhabitants of the Maldive Islands who 
are Mahometan. ' 

Thus far we have described the sixteen living Arian languages 
of India. By far the largest portion of the area and of the popular 
tion of India is comprised within this category. Moreover,, the 
Hindustani dialect of Hindi has a stUl further extension as the 
lingua franca of Southern India. We pass on now into new lin- 
guistic worlds, replete with new names and new phenomena. 
Languages are divided morphologically into three types : — i, the 
monosyllabic; 2, the agglutinative ; 3, the inflective. We have 
now, in reviewing the languages of India, to deal with those of the 
two elder and simpler types. The Chinese is the well-known 
representative of the monosyllabic type, where each monosyUable 
is an independent root, unalterable, and incapable of adhesion to 
another. The paucity of vocables under such a system is made up 
by the use of tones, and the grammar pf the language consists of 
syntax only. The agglutinative type, of which the Turki is the 
great representative, consists of an unchangeable root, to which 
suffixes and affixes are attached by a mechanical process. In the 
inflective type the union of roots and particle is by a chemical pro- 
cess ; tones are no longer required in view of the unlimited facility 
of building up compounds to express every new idea. It may be 
added to this brief description, that no language adheres to its type 
mthout some modification. Even in Chinese the use of empty 


words, ■whicli have no meaning when they stand alone, appears to 
he a transitional stage to agglutinative ; and in the most highly 
developed languages Oif the second type there is an evidence of a 
transitional stage to inflective ; and in inflective languages there is 
a constant use of monosyllabic and agglutinating methods. 

The second family of languages in India is the Dravidian, and 
the type is agglutinative. There are fourteen living languages, 
four of which are highly cultivated. The Dravidian races entered 
India from the West, prohahly by the Bolan Pass, as they have left 
traces of their languages in that of the Brahiii above noticed, and 
there are affinities betwixt this family and that form of speech 
which has survived to us on the second, proto-Median, tablet of 
Behistun. This family even now extends from the river Ganges 
at Kajmahil to the centre of Ceylon. At one time it occupied a 
wider field, for the Arian immigrant has for centuries invaded and 
occupied the inheritance of the Northern Dravidians ; while, on the 
other hand, Arian culture and Arian rehgion have added to the 
strength and consistency of the Southern and cultivated members 
of the family. First in order comes the Tamil, on the Eastern 
coast of the peninsula, below Pulicat in the Madras presidency, 
and in the northern half of the island of Ceylon. A population of 
fourteen and a half millions, chiefly Hindu, speak the language, 
of which there are two marked types, the literary and the vulgar, 
in addition to dialects spoken by wild moimtaiaeers. The Telugu 
language is spoken by a population of fifteen and a half millions, 
chiefly Hindu, along the east coast above Pulicat, in the province 
of Madras, and in the interior, in the dominions of the ISTizAm, and 
across the river Godavari in the Central Provinces. The boundaries 
of this language-field are not weU defined in the Nizam's territory. 
The language makes its way in a debased form into the savage 
wUds of Bastar in the Central Provinces, but no other dialects are 
recorded, though on the sides where it impinges on the Uriya, the 
Khond, the Gond, and the MarAthi, dialects of a transitional char- 
acter doubtless exist. Each of these languages has a character of 
its own, a rounded variation of the Indian alphabet. 

Two other of the Dravidian languages are cultivated, the Kana- 
rese and the Malay^lam. The former is the speech of the centre 
of the peninsula, the latter of the East coast. The former is spoken 
by a population of three and a half millions, chiefly Hindu, in the 
province of Madras and the territory of the Eaja of Mysore. Its 
character is separate, and nearly resembles the Telugu. Archaic 
dialects still are found among the wild mountaineers. The latter 
is spoken by a population of nine and a quarter millions, chiefly 
Hindu, in the province of Madras, and the territory of the Eaja of 
Travankdr and Kochin. It uses the same character as the Telugu. 
A remarkable dialect is that of the Mappila of Kannanor, which 


extends also to the Lakkadive Islands, the ancient inheritance of 
the chief of that place. Among the forest tribes is found a still 
more primitive dialect. 

The fifth Dravidian language is the Tulti, on the west coast, 
adjacent to the Malayilam, and three languages spoken by small 
clans of mountaineers in the NilgLri mountains, about whom much 
more has been written than their interest warranted, the K6rg, 
the Toda, and the Kota. The two former, the Tulu and Kiirg, are 
Hindu, with a certain amount of civilisation; the two latter are 
shy, savage races. The number of all four is very limited. Had 
they happened to have lost their languages and adopted that of 
their conquerors, not a word would have been heard about them. 

Four more Dravidian languages are spoken in Central India : — 
I, The Gond; 2, the Khond; 3, the Orion; 4, the EajmahAli. 
The Gond exceed one million in number, and are the remnant of a 
much larger population of the old province of Gondwdna, which has 
been iuvaded from every point of the compass by Hindi, Maritha, 
Uriya, and Telugu immigrants. They are now divided into two or 
more enclaves. The Northern Gond, on the river Narbadi, formerly 
attained to sovereignty, were independent, and enjoyed a rude 
civilisation, but never had a written character. The Southern Gond, 
extending down to the river GodAvari, are wild and shy savages. 
Some are Hinduised ; the iliajority are pagan ; aU reside in the 
Central Provinces. The Khond inhabit the plateau of low hiUs, 
where the provinces of Bangui and Madras meet, the debatable 
country being held by petty Uriya chiefs, ruling subjects who are 
pagan, and who, untU lately, indulged in human sacrifice and female 
infanticide. They are in a very low state of civilisation. To the 
north of these come the industrious Orion, the Dhingar or day- 
labourers of Bangui. They inhabit districts of Chiitii Nigpiii. 
They are pagan. 

Still farther north, in the hiUs overhanging the river Ganges at 
Rajmahil, are the EajmahiU Pahdii, or Maler, who, though tamed 
by the exertions of Cleveland in the last century, have still main- 
taiQed their wild habits and their primitive Dravidian language, 
though encroached upon by the more hardy and industrious Aiian 
and Kolarian races. These are the twelve Dravidian varieties, as 
laid do'wn by Caldwell, though two additional vocabularies exist, 
the Yerukali and Keikidi, which have not as yet been assigned 
their proper position. The whole population amounts to forty-six 
millions, which anywhere but in India would have been deemed 

Next in order comes the Kolarian family, which incloses the 
vocabularies of those remaining rude tribes of Central India, which 
the Dravidian authorities could not accept into their family, from 
the great difference of vocabulary and structure, though stiU of the 


agglutinative type. The Government of Bangui has commissioned 
the Eev. Mr. Skrefsrud to prepare a comparative grammar of this 
family, which is not large, with a total popidation of less than one 
million, and some of .the languages of ■which will scarcely survive 
much longer. We have provisionally registered ten names : — 
1, The Santal ; 2, the MundAri, Bhomij, Ho, or Kol ; 3, Kh4ria ; 
4, Juang; 5, Korwa; 6, Kur; 7, Sav^ra; 8, Mehto; 9, Gadaba; 
ID, Mal-Pahdria. The Santal is a beautiful and elaborate lan- 
guage, though without literature or written character, yet as sym- 
metrical and richly suppHed with agglutinated word-forms as the 
Turki. It is spoken by an industrious and thriving people of 
agricultural pursuits in the province of Bang4L They are pagan, 
and in a low state of civilisation, but neither their race nor their 
language runs any risk of being extinguished. Equally fuU of 
vitality is the language of the MundAri, Bhomdj, Ho, or Kol, who are 
an industrious and thriving people in the Chiiti4 Ndgpiir districts 
of the province of Bangui, amounting to eight or nine hundred 
thousand. Of the Santal and MundAri we have sufficient grammars 
from the pen of Skrefsrud and Whitley, both in the Eoman 
character, and among both races there are established energetic and 
thriving Christian missions. The circumstances connected with 
the four next languages are very different. The Kh4ria is a small 
tribe in the district of Singhbhum, of the province of Bangui 
Dalton in his Ethnology gives a vocabulary, but does not state the 
number of the population. The Juang are even more savage. 
They inhabit the forests of Orissa, and wear no covering to their 
bodies beyond leaves of trees ; they are said to number three 
thousand. The Korwa are found in the forests of ChiitiA N^gpiir ; 
their number is not stated, but a vocabulary is supplied. The Kur 
or Kurker are found in detached enclaves in the Central Provinces, 
and their number is not stated. The SavAra are found in the 
Bang^ province, but have lost their ancient language. In a 
comer of the Ganjam district of the Madras province they are 
found stiU speaking their peculiar language, and their language- 
field is marked off in the Language-Map of the census. Vocabularies 
of the Mehto, Gadaba, and Mal-PahAria have been brought for- 
ward, but the habitat of the speakers has not been pointed out. 
Other tribes, evidently Kolarian in race, have lost their ancient 
language, or retain only a few words grafted on a dialect of a neo- 
Arian language, such as the Bhil and others. We may leave this 
language-family with the conviction, that in the struggle for linguistic 
life these venerable fragments of ancient languages wiU scarcely 
survive under the strong light, which is now brought to bear on 
them. But their existence is of intense interest, as they are no 
doubt anterior to both Arian and Dravidian families, and the 
Kolarian immigrants found theii way to Central India from the 


East, over tlie passes of tlie Himalaya down the valley of the. 
river Brahmaputra. The streams of the Arian immigrants 
descended, the river Ganges, and, absorbing many iato the lower 
grades of Hinduism, pushed back a remnant into the hiUs, where 
. they have maintained a miserable existence up to the present 

A wider and more important field lies before us, that of the 
Tibeto-Barman. Here we have eighty distinct languages, divided 
for the sake of clearness of description into eight geographical 
groups, extending along the north-east frontier of India from the 
Pamir mountains, behind Kashmir, to the confines of China and 
Siam. The great majority of these are savage languages, but still 
their existence cannot be overlooked. The work of the botanist 
lies with wild flowers, and their peculiarities subserve more to true 
science than the regular beauties of the cultivated specimens ; so is 
it with languages. Out of this large number of languages, some 
of which have numerous dialects, or are themselves but the selected 
type of a. group of several kindred languages, two only have at- 
tained to the dignity of literary languages, the Tibetan and the 
Barmese, and a few more have a written character ; the rest are 
merely oral means of communication betwixt persons in. the lowest 
rank of agricultural and pastoral civilisation, or outside the pale, in 
a state of migratory savagery. Our knowledge of them is still very 
imperfect. Much that we know is duo to the labours of one or 
two pioneers of science, such as Brian Hodgson and William 
Eobinson, who made local researches, and Dalton and Max Miiller, 
who arranged and collated the collected material. 

We proceed now to notice the groups in regular order. 

I. The Nepil group, consisting of thirteen languages : — i, Sun- 
war; 2, GuTung; 3, Murmi; 4, Magar ; 5, Kusiinda; 6, Chepang; 
7, Pahri; 8, ISTewar; 9, Bhiamu; 10, Kiranti; 11, Vayu; 12, 
Limbu; and, 13, Thaksya. 

We have already mentioned that the language of the court and 
dominant tribes of NepAl was of the Aiian family, but in the 
valleys and middle and higher ranges of the Himalaya, which 
constitute the kingdom of JSTepAl, dwell non-Arian tribes, speaking 
these different languages. Owing to the zealous seclusion main- 
tained by the Giirkha State, and the gross ignorance of the people, 
no approximate idea can be formed of the population, but their 
location is known. Of the Kiranti, there are no less than seven- 
teen dialects. In fact, where there is no literature and no standard, 
each valley acquires a distinct patois. They are Buddhist or semi- 

The second group consists of a single language, the Lepcha, 
spoken in the kingdom of Sikhim, and of some promise, as it has 
a character, and a missionary literature is developing itself. Colonel 


Main waring has, in 1877, published a grammar of this language, 
which is called the Eong. The population is mountaiueer and 
Buddhist, low down in the scale of civilisation. 

The third group, the Assam group, is one of the most remarkable 
in the world, consisting of sixteen languages. The river Brahma- 
putra flows through the whole length of the valley of Assam ; on 
the north side is the main range of the Himalaya, separating the 
valley by an impassable barrier from Tibet ; on the south is a lower 
range of hiUs, separating it from KacMr and Sylhet. As already 
stated, the valley itself is occupied by Arian immigrants from 
Bangui, intermixed with semi-Hinduised non-Arians, who have 
descended from the hills and accepted civilisation ; but round the 
valley, dwelling in the hills at different elevations, are a series of 
savage tribes who have shown no inclination to be civilised or good 
neighbours. In addition to the Asamese above described, there 
are sixteen distinct non- Arian languages, and, in some cases, groups 
of languages spoken in the amphitheatre of hills which surround 
the valley. The, i, Dhimal; 2, Kach^ri; 3, Deoria-Chuti4 ; and, 
4, Pani-Koch, are spoken by agriculturists actually settled in the 
vaUey; but the following hang upon the skirts of the cultivated 
area, and, in some cases, receive from the State annual grants in 
compensation for the loss of their vested right to levy blackmail 
at time of harvest. Commencing from the confines of the Lepcha, 
we have the, 5, Aka ; 6, Dophla ; 7, Miri ; 8, Abor ; 9, Mishmi, 
with several dialects; 10, Singpho; 11, Jili; 12-14, Naga; 15, 
Mikir;and, 16, Garo. The majority are pagan, and those that 
come into contact with the territory of British India are but 
portions of a much larger community which lies behind. "We 
have scanty vocabularies and grammatical notes of most of 
these languages, and a grammar of the Garo language. It must 
be observed that, what is called the Naga is in reality a cluster 
of several totally distinct languages, each having dialects. Naga 
is a tribal rather than a linguistic name, and under the term 
are three languages and eleven dialectal variations. There is no 
written character in any one of the languages of this group. The 
labours of Brian Hodgson and Dalton have done much, but much 
more remains to be done. The linguistic problem is one of ex- 
ceeding interest ; the ethnical problem perhaps still more so. A 
grammar of each language, and a comparative grammar of the whole 
group, are the ends which should be aimed at. Through the 
Mishmi country, sooner or later, a road to Tibet and China will be 
worked out. Through the Singpho or Kakhyen a road wiU be 
thrown open to peaceful commerce over the Patkoi range to the 
headwaters of the river Ir^wadi. These same Kakhyen occupy 
the mountains betwixt Bhamu and Momien in China. The Garo 
and Mikir wiU subside into peaceful agriculturists ; with the fierce 


Naga, a pressure on both sides from Assam and KacMr must lead 
to eventful submission or migration. 

Tbe f ourtb group, the Manipiir-Chittagong, comprises twenty-four 
-languages, and is of the same character as the preceding group. _ It 
appears to be but a list of names, hard to pronounce, and carrying 
with them no geographical impression. Yet still these names are 
facts, almost unknown twenty-five years ago, dimly understood now, 
but which will come forth into the clear light of day during the 
next quarter of a century. The names are as follows, and dialects 
are excluded :—i, Manipiiri ; 2,Liyang; 3, Maring; 4,Mar4m; 5, 
Kupui; 6, Tangkhul; 7, Luhupa ; 8, Tipura; 9, Khungui ; 10, 
Phadung; 11, Champhung; 12, Kupome; 13, Andro; 14, Seng- 
mai; 15, Chairel; 16, Takuimi; 17, Anal; 18, Namfau; 19, Kuki; 
20, Shendu; 21, Banj6gi; 22, Pankhu; 23, Sak; 24, Kyau. Of 
these, Manipiiri and Tipura represent the languages of well-known 
priucipahties, and Kuki has been brought into pronnnence by a 
military expedition of some importance conducted a few years ago 
against the Lushai, one tribe of this great community, called by 
their neighbours, but not by themselves, Kuki. Few servants of 
the State can claim to be acquainted with the Manipiiri language, 
which has a character and a dictionary ; but of the others we have 
only vocabularies, and a tolerably exact geographical allocation, 
thanks to the labours of M°CuUoch, Stewart, and Lewin. These 
tribes occupy the mountains extending from Assam to Chittagong, 
which are in fact the frontier of India Proper, of Hinduism, and of 
the Arian race. Far beyond we come upon Farther India, or Indo- 
China, the Buddhist religion, and a non-Aiian race, both among the 
governing and governed classes. These mountains appear to have 
been always an impenetrable barrier, and it is doubtful whether 
any Englishman ever travelled by the land route from Dacca to 
Eangoon. In leaving these two remarkable groups of Assam and 
Manipiir-Chittagong, we may venture to repeat, that in this quarteif 
lies the work of the philologist during the next quarter of a century. 

With the fifth group, that of Barma, we find ourselves outside 
the province of Bangdl, and in the province of British Barma and 
Independent Barma, peopled by a proud, warlike, and civilised 
nation. The Barmese is the head of the group, which comprises 
nine languages, all in close relationship. The Barmese is a highly- 
cultivated language, with a character derived from the Indian, and 
a literature, much of which is derived from, and the whole imbued 
with, the Pali, the religious language of the Buddhists. Thus the 
agglutinative language is deeply influenced in its vocabulary by 
loans of inflected words from an Arian language, i. The Barmese 
is known as the Hugh, or Eakheng, and has dialects, the Ara- 
kanese, the Tavoyi, and the Yo. The following are. the minor 
languages of thLs group : — 2, Khyen ; 3, Kumi ; 4, Kami ; 5, Mru ; 


6,' Karen J 7, Kui; 8, Eio; 9, Mu-tse. Of tliese the Kardn Lave 
attained a world-wide reputation owing to tlie labours of the 
American missionaries. They are numerously scattered hoth in 
hills and plains, and divided into separate clans, who speak the 
weU-defined dialects of Sgau, Bghai, Pwo, Tounghthu, Kardni, 
and others. There is no character, and they are pagan and back- 
ward in civilisation. The other six are uncultivated languages 
spoken by wild mountaineers in the Yoma mountain-range, or in 
the hills beyond the river Salwen. 

The sixth group consists of eight languages, spoken by popula 
tions who reside in the trans-Him41ayan mountains and valleys 
beyond the great watershed. They are the — i,Gyarung; 2, Thochu; 
3, Manyak ; 4, Takpa; 5, Horpa; 6, Kuniwari; 7, Bhotia of Lo; 
and, 8, Tibetan. The first five are but linguistic and geographical 
expressions, as little is known about them beyond their existence 
and the direction of their habitat ; but the last two require a more 
particular notice. The district of KunAwar is part of the territory 
of the Eaja of Bussahir, a tributary and dependant of the province 
of the Panj^b, though beyond the snowy range and the river Satlaj. 
The people are non-Arian and Buddhist mountaineers, backward in 
civilisation ; but the language has three dialects : the Melchan, 
spoken in Eampiir; Tibarskad,inKuniwar; and Bunan, in the petty 
subdivision of Lahul in the Kangra district of the Panjdb. These 
last two dialects, according to Jaschke, the Moravian missionary of 
Lahiil, are something more than dialects, and really represent an 
archaic language, which is both pre-Arian and pre-Tibeto-Barman ; 
or, in other words, is the language of a race which existed before the 
immigration of the first from the JSTorth-West and the second from 
the North-East. If such be the case, the vocabulary wiU be one of 
the highest interest, and, like the discovery of the proto-Babylonian 
language in Mesopotamia, gives us a peep into the mysteries of an 
elder world. For the present we have classed them as dialects of 
Kimdwari. We now approach the great language known in India 
as Bhotia, and to the Persians as Tibetan. It is spoken in one 
small district only of British India, viz., Lahiil or Spiti in the 
PanjAb, and in portions of the territories of native chiefs under 
British influence, viz., the Mahardja of Kashmir and Jamii, the 
Eaja of Bhotan and Towang. It is the language of that great and 
unknown country beyond the Himalaya named Tibet, of which the 
capital is Lhassa, the religion Buddhist, and which "forms an integral 
part of the Chinese empire. It is a highly-cultivated language, with 
a character borrowed from the Indian, and a literature, wliich has 
been circulated by native block-printing for many centuries. The 
Tibetans borrowed their religion and their religious terminology 
from India, and Sanskrit has made a profound impression on their 
literature, This language has not been studied in Europe as it 



ought to be. It is doubtful whether there are ten living English- 
men, who know the language. Grammars have been compiled by 
Hungarians, Germans, and Frenchmen, and a dictionary is now in 
the press, which has been prepared by Jaschke after many years' 
residence in LahiU. The extent of country, over which the Tibetan 
language is spoken is enormous. Little as we know of Tibet, we 
can estimate the prodigious expansion of its frontier from the con- 
fines of Dardistan on the river Indus to the neighbourhood of the 
wild tribes of the Assam frontier on the river Brahmaputra. There 
are many dialects. In the territory of the Mahardja of Kashmir we 
find the Balti spoken by the Mahometan population of Iskardo or 
Baltistan, who are non-Arian in race, and the Dah spoken by the Bud- 
dhist Dard, who are Arian. Farther up the Indus we come to the 
Ladakhi, Zanskari, and Champas, spoken by Buddhist non-Arians, 
who are Polyandrist. On the high waters of the river EAvi we come 
on a dialect of Tibetan spoken ih SpitL Farther on the unknown 
regions of NepAl intervene betwixt Tibet and British India, peopled 
by non-Arians, speaking a score of independent Tibeto-Barman 
languages. In the independen tkingdom of Bhotan we come on 
another dialect of Tibetan, the Lhopa or BhotAni, and the Twang 
of Towang. There are doubtless many others, which will be made 
known, when in the fulness of time the course of the river Sampo 
is traced up from the head of the Assam valley to Lhassa, and 
becomes the river Brahmaputra. 

There remains the seventh group, that of China, in which, owing 
to the paucity of our knowledge, six languages only are entered, 
the — I, Lolu; 2, Mautse; 3, Lesaw; 4, Kato; 5, Honhi; and, 6, 
Ikia. These are scarcely more than linguistio and geographical 
expressions, and, as our knowledge extends, the group is capable of 
infinite expansion, and as it lies wholly beyond the frontier 
and civilisation of the East Indies, it might have been omitted 
hut for the convenience of devising a group to comprehend aU. that 
remains of the great Tibeto-Barman family. Future linguists must 
fill up the vacuum. 

Many authors still persist in describirig the two great typical 
languages of this family as monosyllabic. We incline to class 
them in the agglutinative category, but in the earliest stage of 
that method. When as much is known about them as of the 
Arian and Semitic families, we shall be able to speak with 
certainty, but not till then. We may hazard the opinion, that the 
seedplot of this great family was in the Central Plateau of Asia, 
near the fountain-heads of the great rivers, the IrAwadi, the 
Salwen, and the Mekong ; and the descent of this family to the 
plains was subsequent in date to that of the Mon, who will be 
noticed further on. We may also hazard the hypothesis, that the 
Kolarian family of Central India were at some period connected with 


this family, and it is remarkable that the descent of the powerful 
Arian race down the basin of the river Ganges separated them for 
ever more than two thousand years ago. 

The eighth group, called the Island Group, comprises ten lan- 
guages of the Andamans, Nicobar, and Mergui Archipelago. 

The fifth family, the Khdsi, will not occupy us long. It consists 
of one single language, the Khdsi, which has four dialects. This 
monosyllabic family has Arian neighbours on its North and South, 
and Tibeto-Barman on its East and West, occupies a most inconsider- 
able area, and yet has maiatained its individuality. An admirable 
grammar and vocabulary was published in 1855 by Pryse. It 
is the language of a single tribe, numbering about 200,000 souls, 
living on the range of the hills to the South of the Assam vaUey, 
with the Garo tribe on the West, and the Naga on the East. They 
have no literature, no written character, and there is a great variety 
both of vocabulary and pronunciation : the dialect of Cherapunji is 
considered the standard. The Eoman character has been adopted 
in the grammar above mentioned and the Anglo-KJiasi Dictionary, 
published by Eoberts in 1875. 

The sixth family, known as the Tai, or more commonly as the 
Sh4n, is a remarkable one for several reasons. It extends geo- 
graphically fifteen degrees of latitude in a narrow column from the 
upper end of the valley of Assam in British India, through the 
valley of the Upper Irdwadi in the independent kingdom of 
Barma, along the river Mekong, in the empire of China and the 
kingdom of Siam, and along the river Menam to Bangkok on the 
Gulf of Siam. It contains seven languages : Siamese, Lao, Shdn, 
Tai-Mow, Khamti, Minkia, and Ai-ton. It gives^a liigh idea of 
the civilisation of the speakers of this family of languages, 
that nearly each language has a separate character, a modifi- 
cation of the Indian. The Tai race must have descended from the 
Central Plateau at a date anterior to that of the Tibeto-Barman, 
and subsequent to that of Mon-Anam, through the field of which 
they pass, like a distinct geological stratum, dissevering that 
family from its component parts. The Siamese is the language of 
a proud, haughty, and civilised people, who hold subject other 
races, and have preserved their own independence. The whole of 
this family are Buddhist, and with their religion came into their 
language a great influx of Arian vocabulary ; but the genius of the 
languages is monosyllabic. In the dependent province of Lao, pro- 
ceeding ^Northward, we come upon another language in a rude 
state; farther onward we pass the frontier of ShAn and enter 
Independent Barma, and find the ShAn language, of which 
we have a grammar by Gushing. The Tai-Mow are sometimes 
called the Chinese Sh4n. They extend over the debatable 
frontier of China and Banna to the banks of the river Mekong ; 


of their language little is known. At a time when the power of 
the Tai was very great, anterior to the rise of the Barmese kingdom, 
they invaded the valley of the Assam across the Patkoi range, and 
a branch of the race, known by the name of Ahom, founded a 
djmasty and gave their name to the valley. The Arian immigrants 
from the side of India had a hard struggle to hold their own 
against these powerful immigrants of the East. The Ahom gave 
way, and their language, as left behind them, is dead, but a power- 
ful clan still holds a portion of the hills, called the Nora, of which 
there are two branches, the Ai-kham, or Khamti, and Ai-ton. 

The seventh family, or Mon-Anam, contains four languages 
regarding which we have some information, and sixteen regarding 
which we know nothing beyond the probability of their existence. 
The known languages are the Peguan, or Mon, the Kambojan, the 
Annamite, and Paloung ; the unknown ones are the languages of 
those wild tribes in the basin of the Upper Mekong, of which 
Lieutenant Garnier, in his- voyage of exploration, brought home 
scant vocabularies. The inspection of a Language-Map wiU. show 
how the Tai family and the Tibeto-Barman have poured like a 
stream of lava through the language-field of the Mon-Anam, and 
separated it into fragments, which have no longer any communica- 
tion with each other. The Mon of Pegu were once powerful, but 
the Barmese overthrew them ; and the nation and language were ia 
course of extinction, when the cession of the delta of the river 
L:Awadi to the British power gave both a new term of existence. 
A very large number of Peguan exUes settled in the kingdom of 
Siam at the time of the Barmese oppression, and have not returned. 
The number of, speakers of this language may amount to one him- 
dred and eighty thousand. They have a character of their own, 
and a certain amoimt of Hterature derived from the Pali, their 
sacred language. The whole of the Mon-Anam family are Buddhist, 
and the language is monosyllabic. It is singular that in the same 
manner, as the interference of the British power has saved the Mon 
nation and language, the interference of the French has saved the 
Kambojan, who occupied the delta of the river Mekong, and had 
enjoyed an ancient civilisation anterior to, and parent of, the 
civilisation of the Siamese. They have an archaic language and 
character distinct from the modern, and remains of magnificent 
temples; but the national life was weakened by the constant 
attacks of its powerful neighbours to the right and the left, the 
Siamese and Annamese, who would have divided the territory or 
fought for possession but for the arrival of a stronger power, the 
French, who bought the neutraUty of the Siamese by the cession 
of a portion, annexed a portion, and maintained a reduced kingdom 
of Kambodia under their Own protection. The number of speakers 
of this language amounts to one and a half millions. It has a cer- 


tain number of dialects. For all tlie information ■whicli we possess 
we are indebted to the French, and we may anticipate a consider- 
able addition. At this point we reach the extreme limit of the 
great Arian civilisation, which through the dead and sacred lan- 
guages of Sanskrit and Pali has permeated the literature of the 
Indo-Chinese languages. But with the Annamite language we 
find ourselves in a new world. It is asserted (and we accept the 
assertion provisionally) that the language of Annam or Kochin- 
China is of the Mon-Anam family ; but the civilisation, the form of 
Buddhism, and the written character are borrowed from China. 
The country lies along the littoral of the China Sea, consisting of 
three provinces, Tonquin, Annam, and Saigon," which latter has 
now become a French colony. The French have long had a footing 
in this country, and have supplied us with grammars and dictionaries. 
The fourth language of this family is the Paloung, a wild race, 
isolated in the midst of the Barmese and Shdns, and we know little 
of it beyond scant vocabularies. 

The eighth family consists of ten groups, and we enter entirely 
a new world, though the influence of the civilisation of India is 
to a certain extent felt in a portion of the field. By some it is 
included in the general category of Polynesian, but it is more con- 
venient to limit the subject to that portion only which may be 
described as " Malayan." The field consists of an archipelago of 
greater and smaller islands, extending from the coast of China to 
that of Africa. EthnologicaUy speaking, we come upon two races, 
one with a brown skin and straight hair, and a second with frizzly 
hair and of a negritic stamp. Many parts of this language-field are 
but imperfectly known, and the races occupying it are in the lowest 
and most abject state of savagery, and yet the whole of it has 
been more or less under the control and influence of the English, 
Dutch, Spanish, and Portuguese nations for more than two hun- 
dred years. 

The first group is that of Sumatra-Malacca, with eleven lan- 
guages, (i) The Malay has a double capacity, being the special 
language of a certain region, and the lingua franca of the whole 
archipelago. Its special region is the peninsula of Malacca ; of the 
mainland, partly in the kingdom of Siam, partly under independent 
chiefs subject to the control of the British Government ; a portion 
of the island of Sumatra, the islands of Banka, Billiton, the Ehio 
Lingga Archipelago. The speakers of this language are reckoned 
at two millions and a half, and are Mahometan. The character 
adopted is the Arabic. There is an abundant literature, and the 
language is one of the great vernaculars of the world, with a capa- 
city for absorption of alien elements, a freedom from grammatical 
restraints, a readiness to adapt itself to new civilisation, and a 
power of expression only equalled by the English and Hindustdni. 


In the forests of the peninsula of Malacca are savage races, in a 
wild state, who are provisionally classed under the Malay. They 
are known as the (2) Orung Biawah, the men of the soil. Some 
of them, the Jakan, are clearly Malay in a savage state, but the 
Samang are obviously Negrito. In the island of Sumatra we find 
six languages — (3) Achinese; (4) Batak; (5) Eejang; (6) Lam- 
puag ; and (7) Korinchi. The speakers of the first name are Maho- 
metan, with a certain amount of civilisation, using the Arabic 
character, and waging a war of independence against the Dutch 
nation. The speakers of the other three are pagan. The first are 
in so backward a state, that they practise cannibalism of so mon- 
strous a character, that they eat their aged relations, and yet the 
Batak have three distinct dialects, a character peculiar to them- 
selves, and some literature on palm-leaves. This language has 
been studied and illustrated by the Dutch scholar. Van der Tuuk. 
The Eejang and Lampung have also separate indigenous characters. 
Lying off Sumatra are small islands, the inhabitants of some of 
which speak languages akin to those spoken on the coast of the 
greater island, while the inhabitants of others are totally unintelli- 
gible. (8) Nassau ; (9) Nias ; and (10) Enganoe. In the interior of 
the island of Sumatra also are other savage races, known as (11) 
Orung Binwah. 

In the third group, that of Java, we come once more on traces of 
the great Arian civilisation of India ; for, many centuries ago, some 
adventurous Brahmans from the Telugu coast, or from Kambodia, 
conveyed to Java their religion, their sacred books, and their civili- 
sation ; and Java became the seat of a great and powerful Hindu 
monarchy. When the Mahometan storm feU upon the island, the 
renmants of the Hindus fled with their manuscripts to the snmU 
island of Bali, where they have survived to this day. Together 
with the ruins of magnificent temples, an archaic language has 
come down to our times, known as the Kiwi, which for some time 
was considered to be an Arian language and a debased form of 
Sanskrit, but which is now thoroughly understood to be of the 
MaMyan family, and an archaic Javanese, heavily charged with 
Sanskrit loan-words. In this language is a copious and most 
interesting literature written in a character of Indian origin, and 
entirely of an Indian type, being in fact the old legends of the 
EamAyana and MahAbMrata, freely handled by native authors. 
The islands of Java, Bali,. and Lompok belong to the Dutch. On 
the greater island there are three distinct but kindred languages, 
aU illustrated by excellent grammars and dictionaries — (i) the Sun- 
danese, spoken by a population of four millions ; (2) the Javanese, 
by a population of thirteen and a half millions ; (3) the Madurese, 
by a population of one and a half millions. AU use the same 
(iaracter, and are Mahometan. In the island of Bali, and on the 


littoral of the island of Lompok, the vernacular spoken is the (4) 
Balinese. The island population of half a million is Hindu. But the 
interior of the island of Lompok is occupied by a totally different 
people, who speak a different language called Sassak. They are . 
Mahometan, and amount to three hundred and eighty thousand. 

We pass across the Java Sea to the Celebes group. The Dutch 
are paramount here, as in the rest of the archipelago, and to their 
scholars we are indebted for a knowledge of the eight languages 
which we record, though no doubt there are many more, i, Makas- 
sar; 2, Bouton; and, 3, Bugi, are weU-defined languages, spoken 
•by a Mahometan population of a certain civilisation and great com- 
mercial activity. To these must be added — 4, Mandar ; 5, Salayar ; 
6, Garontalo; 7, Menado; and, 8, Tomore. There is a distinct 
written character, and elementary works have been published. The 
Bible has been translated into this and other of the languages of this 
family. The Dutch missionaries are pioneers of hnguistic know- 
ledge, and worthy rivals of their brethren in British India. In the 
north of the Celebes we come on the Alfurese, or Harafura, which 
is merely a Portuguese term for the tribes " outside the pale," a 
mixed compound of the Arabic article and the word " fuori," or 
" outsider." In these general terms are included numerous imper- 
fectly-known pagan savage tribes, who have the practice of " head- 
hunting," and testify their prowess by the number of hea'ds of their 
fellow-creatures which, by means fair or foul, they are able to accu- 
mulate. Of the languages of these savages httle is known with cer- 
tainty. The existence of such savages here shows, how great the work 
has been in the cause of civilisation that has been done by the profes- 
sors of the Hindu, Buddhist, and Mahometan religions elsewhere. 
. Over against the island of Celebes lies the fourth group, the 
island of Borneo, on the Equator, one of the largest in the world. 
The httoral fringe is colonised by Malay, Bugi, Javanese, and 
Chinese, according as the coast of the island is exposed to those 
different nationalities. The Dutch are now paramount over a 
portion, and the remainder is independent. Malay is the language 
of the httoral fringe, and the interior can be divided roughly into 
Dhyak and Kyan. Numerous other tribal and language names are 
on record, but they mean nothing in the present state of our know- 
ledge. The number amounts to twelve. 

Turning to the north, we come upon the fifth group, the Philip- 
pine Islands, discovered and still possessed by Spain. Out of 
twelve which are imperfectly known, four well-defined languages 
stand out as representative : — i, TagAl ; 2, Iloko ; 3, Pampanga ; 
4, Bisayan. The Philippines consist of two larger and a great 
many smaller islands; but the interior of the larget and many 
of the smaller are unexplored and unpossessed by the Spaniards, 
either from weakness or indifference. The Spaniards have pub- 


lislied numerous grammars, and the bulk of the co mmuni ty is 
nominal Eoman Catholic. Of the dialects of the known languages 
and of the populations we have no certain knowledge ; such tribes 
as are beyond the Spanish influence, are either pagan or Mahometan. 

The sixth group comprises the Molucca or Spice Islands. Por 
practical purposes Malay is the language of this group, for it is a 
medium of communication betwixt native tribes, as weU as between 
the natives generally and Europeans. Attempt has been made by 
Dutch scholars to study and report the different languages spoken 
in the islands, and we may hope for further information. Ten are 

The seventh group is the greatest linguistic puzzle. On the map 
we see a long string of islands stretching out from Java towards 
Papua. These are deep-sea islands, with a fauna and flora totally 
distinct from those of the continent of Asia ; and in these islands 
the Negrito population, akin to the Papuan, is found, though they 
are totally absent from Sumatra, Java, Celebes, and Borneo, having 
either never existed, or more probably been killed out. They exist, 
however, on the peninsula of Malacca, as we have already noted. 
In this Timur group we have noted eighteen languages. On some 
of the islands there are Malay or Bugi settlements ; on some there 
are Dutch or Portuguese establishments ; but the impression, con- 
veyed by an inspection of the populations of this group, is that of 
unmitigated and hopeless savagery. The areas are too small, and 
the population is too insignificant, to afford hope for improvement, 
under a deadly climate, and with the absence of all specially valu- 
able products or culture. In the West of the island of SumbAwa, 
the language is the same as that of the adjoining Sassak mentioned 
above. In the East of Sumb4,wa and the West of Flores it is Bima. 
In the centre of Elores, it is Endeh. In the East of the island of 
Elores and the adjacent Solor and Allor Islands, the people speak 
languages kindred tg Endeh. The same remark applies to the lan- 
guage of the island of Sumba, as far as anything is known at aU. 
The language of the West of the great island of Timur is called 
Timurese ; that of the East end is called Teto. The best-known 
language in the island of Serwati is the Eissa. The languages of 
the islands of Savoe and Rothi have a distinct individuahty. The 
influence of the Dutch is paramount throughout this group, save 
in the small Portuguese settlement of Dih, aU that remains to 
them of their great conquests in the East. Of the languages above 
enumerated we have nothing beyond vocabularies, and the number 
of distinct languages may prove to be much greater, or they may 
resolve themselves into dialects of two or three leading languages. 
The linguistic interest of a proper study of this virgin soil is won- 
derful. As we approach New Guinea, we may expect the appear- 
ance of new elements. 


"We must travel far to the north-east to find the eighth group. 
North of the Philippines is the island of Taiwan or Eormosa, 
witliin the dominions of the Emperor of China. Half that island, 
the littoral and the plain, is occupied by Amoy Chinese, hut the 
mountainous portion is peopled by a race of Malay extraction and 
Malay speech. We find them in two stages of civilisation, either 
half civilised or downright savages, in both cases pagans. At what 
period the early settlers were blown over from the Philippiaes we 
can only speculate; but the absence of Arian words from the 
vocabulary indicates a date anterior to the arrival of the Hiadu 
colonists in the archipelago. 

For the ninth group of the great MaMyan family we must sail 
over the Indian Ocean many degrees of West longitude tiU we 
reach Madagascar, not very far from the coast of South Africa. 
The circumstances of this island are now very well known. 
Several English and French societies have established missions; 
education is being prosecuted under a most enlightened ruler; 
the Bible has been translated, and is now under revision. It 
cannot therefore be said, that information is wanting, and the 
balance of evidence is decidedly in favour of there being one gene- 
ral language of the whole island, with certain well-defined dialects. 
Grammars and dictionaries have been published by French and 
English scholars, and the Dutch scholar, Van der Tuuk, has applied 
his mind to the question as to the family, to which the Malag^si, 
the sole representative of this group, belongs ; and his opinion, 
coinciding with that of Cousins, who is charged with the trans- 
lation of the Bible, is in favour of its belonging to the MaUyj^p. 
family. What chance wind, blowing from the East, brought the 
early settlers from the west coast of Sumatra we know not, nor do 
we know the precise relation of the language to the Papuan divi- 
sion of the great Polynesian kingdom; but these are problems 
which are rapidly preparing themselves for solution, as the lines 
of operation of Van der Tuuk in the Malayan field, Whitmee 
in the Polynesian, and Cousins and others in Malagdsi, gradually 
converge to one point. 

In the tenth group of the Malayan family have been provision- 
ally collected the eleven languages of the Alfnrese and ISTegrito 
races, who certainly are not of Malayan race, and are only grouped 
here that they may not be lost sight of. Little is known of them. 

We have thus gone over the ten great families of languages 
spoken at the present time in the East Indies, in its widest sense, 
and in those outlying regions and islands, which by the linguistic 
necessity of the subject have been caught into our net. We have 
exhausted our readers, but have by no means exhausted the sub- 
ject. There are two hundred and forty-three languages, and, if we 
-touch the subject of dialects, we must indeed enlarge our tent- 


ropes, for the Hindi has upwards of fifty-eight dialects, and the 
ohscure Kiranti of the Nepil group of the fourth family is credited 
with seventeen. It is wonderful, how each year makes some con- 
tribution to the common stock, by correcting errors, or adding posi- 
tive information from original sources. 

Pliny mentions, that there were one hundred and thirty dialects 
spoken in the market-place of Colchis. This must be taken with 
some reserve, the same reserve with which we read of the number 
of languages, of which Cardinal Mezzofanti had a good practical 
knowledge. The immense variety of languages which exist has 
forced itself on the notice of aU thoughtful persons. "We find the 
earliest attempt to explain the problem in the story of the Tower 
of Babel. A much more expansive conception of the bound- 
lessness of the subject is conveyed in the passage of the Revela- 
tion : " I looked, and' behold a great multitude, which no man 
could number, of all nations, and peoples, and kindreds, and 

We are far from having arrived kt finality on the subject in 
British India. Not very long ago the Government of India did not 
admit that the Brahiii language was distinct from the Baliichi. In 
a late administrative report of the Panjib, it was stated that the 
Urdu was one of the languages spoken in every district of that 
province. That Urdu is spoken in the public offices is possible, 
and in that sense English might also be entered as one of the 
languages. A transfer of District officers must be difficult ia 
the Central Provinces, where Marithi, Telugu, Uriya, Hindi, and 
Q-ond, are spoken in different districts, not to make mention of 
such dialects as Chatisgarhi and Nimiri, which are unintelligible 
to a scholar of ordinary Hindi Do the wild Kolarian races, the 
Santil and K61 of Central India, the Kachdri, Mishmi, Khamti, 
and KhAsi get justice done to them in their own languages ? Are 
there paid interpreters, or are the people of those parts gradually 
becoming bilingual ? It is of no use shirking the question. Since 
the abolition of the Native Army, and the admission of civil 
servants by competition, it is notorious, that the standard of 
knowledge of the language of the country has greatly fallen even 
as regards the ordinary lingua franca. There are still a few 
scholars in India, but the question stiU remains unanswered, Can 
the English officers understand what is said by the people, who 
have business to transact with them? and if they cannot, is there 
any provision for interpreters ? 

Thirty years ago, how little was known of linguistic science in 
general, and of the languages of India in particular ! . Cosma di 
Koros had indeed revealed the secret of Tibetan. Leech had 
written Grammatical Notes of Brahiii, Kashmiri, and Pushtu, 
and both of these scholars had died — too soon, alas ! for science. 


Tlie veteran Brian Hodgson was collecting and collating vocabularies 
of -what lie tlien called the Tamulic, and enunciating as discoveries, 
what are now admitted as facts. Eawlinson had just passed 
through Calcutta on his road to Baghdad, with a fixed determina- 
tion to copy, decipher, and translate the trilingual inscriptions of 
Behistun. But of any classification of the languages of India, of 
the existence of the Kolarian group, of the number of the Dra- 
vidian languages, nothing was known; nor had the missionaries, 
• and the few servants of the State, who had a taste for such things, 
furnished the materials for generalising. If, after the lapse of 
another thirty years, this account of the languages of the East 
Indies shonld fall under the eye of the administrators or educa- 
tionalists of that epoch, and they should, from the standpoint of 
knowledge fhen attained, remark that the writer of this paper was 
very ignorant indeed in assigning only two hundred and forty-three 
languages to the East Indies, when in fact they exceeded six 
hundred, exclusive of dialects and some gronps still nnattached to 
their proper family, he will not turn in his .grave at the imputa- 
tion, if hut the cautious rules of science, sound judgment, and a 
careful diagnosis, be adhered to. He wishes he could live long 
enough to read a more correct and more detailed account of the 
languages of the East Indies. He has done his best, and left a point 
of departure for future scholars. 

London, 187S. 

( 172 ) 



What is the meaning of the -word " Collector " t What are the 
duties of the Indian official, who bears that name 1 If we are to 
trust Lord Macaulay, the Collector is a little satrap, on whose 
personal qualities the happiness or misery of a district depends. 
Miserable, indeed, would be the situation of our subjects, if their 
social position depended on so slight a security ! Another class of 
writers treat the District-officer merely as a coUeotor of taxes, of 
the race of publicans, and, by the courtesy of the public, sinners 
also. The overdrawn magnate of Macaulay dwindles into the 
hated form of the man with the pencil and book, who periodically 
impounds the cattle, or cuts off the water, of the defaulting house- 
holder. People wonder then at the sudden transfer of men of this 
stamp from the money-table of Matthew to the Judgment-seat of 
Pontius Pilate, and rave at the Indian Government, which pays so 
weU the Collector, and yet stints the Judge. 

There is more than is supposed in a name, and if the stumbling- 
block of the word Collector were removed, and in its place were 
written the Executive District-Authority, and Revenue-Judge of 
first instance; if some attempt were made to form a just appre- 
ciation of the duties of this Office, no parallel to which exists in 
European countries, — ^much misunderstanding would be removed ; 
and it is with a view of contributing to the already existing means 
of information that these pages are written. It must be borne in 
mind, that the duties of the Office are very distinct and separate in 
different parts of India, and that these remarks apply mainly to those 
great provinces, which lie betwixt the rivers KaranmAsa and Indus, 
which are known as the North-Western Provinces and the Panj^b. 

The office of Magistrate is joined to that of Collector, and 
public opinion seems now to be fixed, that the union is not only 
desirable but necessary. 

The machinery and routine are quite distinct, and for his official 
acts the Magistrate has to answer to the higher judicial Courts ; 
any notice of them is foreign to our present subject, but the benefit 
of the imion of the two Offices can only be fully appreciated by 


those, who are acquainted with the state of afiairs in the rural pro- 
vinces, where the powers of the Magistrate strengthen the hands of 
the Collector, and the intimate local knowledge of the Collector 
gives double vigour and effect to the orders of the Magistrate. ]^o 
indecent clashing of authority can occur, where the reins are held 
in one hand, and any possible abuse is prevented by the fact that 
the District-oflEicer has to explain his proceedings in the two depart- 
ments to^ two entirely independent authorities. The police are never 
allowed to iuterfere in the collection of the Eevenue, but the 
Eevenue establishments are available, in extreme cases of riot and 
disturbance, to assist the police ; the boundary of the two jurisdic- 
tions is well understood, and no practical difficulty ever has arisen, 
or is likely to arise. 

The Collector is vested by law with certain, powers iu five dis- 
tiact capacities, as 

1. Collector of Govemment-Eevenue. 

2. Eegistrar of landed property ia the district. 

3. Eevenue-Judge between landlord and tenant. 

4. Mioisterial officer of courts of Justice. 

5. Treasurer and accountant of the district. 

The slightest consideration of these few words will show how 
poor an idea has been formed of the office by those, who have 
painted an Indian Collector as a man with a bag, a hard heart, and 
a ruthless countenance. The district over which these powers 
have to be exercised contains several thousand villages, several 
hundred thousand inhabitants, and several hundred square miles ; 
and the amount of Eevenue to be annually collected varies in differ- 
ent districts from ten lakhs to twenty lakhs ; i.e., from _;^ioo,ooo 
sterling per annum to _;^2oo,ooo. How small, when compared 
with these princely agencies, is the management of an English 
estate, for which the agent is so highly paid ! How insignificant 
the few parishes which, scattered here and there, form a ducal 
estate, and pay a rent of thousands, when compared with the vast 
expanse of in-field and village, of out-field and waste, which has 
paid, and wiU continue to pay, its tens of thousands, with only 
the slightest coercion, and scarcely a particle of balance ! There 
must be some merit in a system, which apparently answers so well 
the requirements both of the rulers and the people. 

Under the CoUector-Magistrate is a most ample establishment. 
He himself is always a member of her Majesty's Civil or Military 
service, and under hi-m are generally two or three officers, exerting 
powers in both departments, both English and Native. The extent 
of the powers of these Officers varies according to their capacity or 
standing. At the central station are the English and Kative Offices, 
amply furnished with clerks, writers, and record-keepers, and the 
whole district is subdivided into compact portions, containing from 


one to two hundred villages each, and placed under the Eevenue 
management of a responsible native officer, who again has under 
him subordinate establishments to keep his accounts and conduct 
the details of the Office. Eesponsible and subordinate to this officer, 
in every village, is the native accountant, and the hereditary or elec- 
tive head of the towAship. So complete, and so well adapted to 
the customs of the country, is the system of centralisation, that 
measures of the greatest detail can be effected -without an effort ; 
from the Governor of a province down to the village-accountant 
is an unbroken chain, rendering communication from the seat 
of government to the extremest coiner of the provinces merely a 
work of time ; the most accurate statistics can be furnished without 
expense and without trouble, as evidenced by the census which is 
conducted entirely by the Eevenue-officers, without the necessity 
of entertaining any extra hands ; and, from the mode in which the 
details of the census were conducted, there is reason to place con- 
fidence in its trustworthiness. It is true, that in a free country 
such a degree of centralisation is not desirable, and the evU effects 
of such a system are shown in France, where liberties are periodi- 
cally lost by the overweening power of the Executive Government ; 
but no such objection can be made in India, where the Government 
is allowed to be absolute, and the grand object is not to govern the 
people constitutionally, but to govern them well. It is a fact, 
which it may be as weU to admit, that a really efficient and respon- 
sible form of absolute Government is the best system for the rule 
of an Asiatic country. 

Let us follow the Collector in his first capacity, whence he derives 
his name, the collection of the Govemment-Eevenue, which con- 
sists of three items only, viz. : — 
\ Land-Eevenue. 

2. Excise on spirituous liquors and drugs. 

3. Sale of Stamps. 

The latter two items are inconsiderable in amount, and require 
no further notice, as they occupy but a small portion of the thoughts 
of the Eevenue authorities. Not so the first item, the great Land- 
tax, which in India and in all Asiatic countries is the mainstay and 
support of the Government. 

It is of little use questioning or impugning the policy of this tax. 
Immemorial custom, and the ancient constitution of India, have 
sanctioned its maintenance. Its place could be supplied by no other 
possible cess, and its withdrawal would lead to the break-up of the 
Government which might be foolish enough to abandon it ; nor is 
it in the abstract an unjust tax when urged in moderation. It is 
the excess, not the principle of the demand, that is to be denoimced. 
Land is in all countries, and has been in all ages, the most prized 
possession of man. In the early history of a nation it is the only 


possession, and at all stages it is the most valued. The reasons are 
obvious. It is a tangible and possessible good. When newly 
acquired, it has charms which no other new acquirement can give ; 
when inherited from a long line of ancestors, it suggests feelings 
second only in intensity to the love of blood relations. There is an 
attachment to the soil which has maintained an ancient lineage, and 
a reverence for the magnificent trees which were planted by his 
forefathers, and are a link to connect him and his children in a 
remote generation. Partiug with land, whether voluntarily, or under 
compulsion, cannot be done without some pangs. The feehng is 
natural, and any legislation tampering with possession and title- 
deeds is charged, and not unjustly, with spoliation. 

As a necessary consequence, land naturally is the earhest object 
of regular taxation, and unquestionably the most legitimate. To 
be maintained in possession against the assaults of violence, and to 
reap where you have sowed, is a benefit so palpable that some com- 
pensation is the fair claim of a Government strong enough to insure 
the enjoyment of such a blessing. The question is, how far should 
such a demand of the State be allowed to extend ? and this is the 
great bone of contention between the rulers and the ruled in an 
Asiatic country. 

Land must be cultivated to be of value, and as in lg,rge estates it 
would be obviously iuconvenient, except under very peculiar cir- 
cumstances, for the proprietor to till the whole of his acres, first, 
from sheer physical iuabiJity, and, secondly, from motives of interest, 
it comes to pass that a third class of interests are introduced, those 
of the cultivators. The peculiarities of these vary with the climate, 
the religion, the customs, and the relative physical strength of the 
parties ; but they exist, and though crushed, suspended, or isolated, 
must be taken into consideration. The Government has a direct 
interest in the cultivation of the soil, and must guarantee the rights 
of the cultivator under certain conditions. 

Taxes, Eent, and Wages thus spring into existence on every Estate, 
and, when a stranger is introduced to manage by farm those interests 
which the proprietor cannot or does not choose to superintend, a 
share of the harvest has to be set aside for Profits, which is in 
fact but a deduction from Eent; and under some circumstances these 
four distinct interests exist simultaneously. The limit of Taxes 
varies according to the constitution of the country. In an absolute 
monarchy they are bounded only by the power of the taxpayer to 
give, or the policy of the Government to exact. The mode of col- 
lection also varies. In a rude Government a portion of the actual 
crop finds its way to the barns of the provincial ruler. As civilisa- 
tion extends this is commuted for annual, periodical, or perpetual 
settlements of money payments. This is the great question, on which 
Indian statesmen have been pondering duriug the last half-century. 


It is a pleasant fiction witli some to suppose the landowner mucli 
better oflf in the independent Native States than under English rule; 
but those only can fairly judge, who have watched the working 
of both. In the latter at least the system is based upon Pro- 
perty. The best interests of Government are connected with the 
dearest interests of the landowner and the landtiller ; a moderate 
rate of taxation is fixed for a long period, embracing at least one 
generation ; Rents are allowed to adjust themselves under certain 
conditions, and the expectation has been realised that betwixt the 
Rent drawn and the Revenue paid there exists a broad margin, as 
the heritable, transferable, and desirable property in which the 
Government guarantees the landowner. On the other hand, the 
ruler of the petty native state starts on the assumption, that he is 
himself the lord of the soil. By constantly interfering in village 
arrangements he sets aside the class who are justly entitled to the 
name- of landowner, and makes his collection direct from the culti- 
vator, allowing some miserable percentage ; or perhaps the estate is 
made over to a farmer, to rack-rent at his pleasure. Under such a 
state of things, property is protected by no law, is undefined, and 
consequently valueless. 

In the different provinces the parties engaged in. the inquiry 
have arrived at different results, to which each fondly clings as 
his notion of what is right. In Bangui a number of vast land- 
holders were created by the Government of the time, and aU existing 
subordinate rights jeopardised. The Revenue is there collected in 
the gross from great and powerful Zamindars; and, rightly or wrongly, 
great oppression is said to exist, which the Government ofiicials are 
powerless to prevent, leading occasionally to great outrages. In 
the Madras province the opposite extreme has been followed, and, 
setting aside every intervening interest, possible or probable, the 
Collector deals with the individual cultivator ; and, if we can trust 
reports, a very peculiar state of things has been produced ; and 
though the existence of the evil is admitted, the cure appears 
not so easy. Undue interference appears the defect of this system. 
In the Bombay province also the same system exists, but in a 
mitigated form ; the principles of freedom of cultivation and 
moderate assessment have been maintained, and if ever the system 
could thrive, it will be there ; but we look in vain for the existence 
of property valuable and transferable ; whole classes of the com- 
munity are apparently treated as taxpayers, not as yeoman land- 
owners, and large provinces viewed in the narrow light of great 
Revenue- preserves. 

Each body of officials is naturally partial to the system, under 
which they have been trained, and the founders of which they 
venerate; but there is one merit which, amidst all its errors, 
the system of the Northern Provinces lays claim to — that 


it alone is founded on the maintenance of the status of property, 
as it existed on our occupation of the country, and is specially 
adapted to maintain it. Can this be said of the Zamindar of 
Bangui, where new rights of property, like new titles, have been 
created by authority ? Can it be said of the Madras system, where 
property in land, such as existed previous to our rule, has perished 
and is extinct, and is scarcely hinted at ? Can it be said of the 
Bombay system, where, though the existence is admitted, the 
rights are foreshortened and are not made the basis of the 
Eevenue superstructure? It may be urged, that the pecidiar 
viUage-tenures, which are the characteristic feature of the Iforth 
India Settlements, belong only to the Upper Gangetic valley, 
and are not found elsewhere, but such is not the case ; we 
find their remains, more or less perfect, in the K6nkan on the 
West, and in Orissa on the East coast. A careful analysis has 
given certain known laws, by which village communities are 
governed, and in any village between the rivers Karamnasa and 
Jhilam inquiry wiU show, that the position of the landowners 
toward the Government and to each other, would resolve itself 
into some of the several forms. The annexation of the Panjib 
afforded an excellent opportunity of testing the correctness of 
the deductions of the Eevenue authorities ; the district officers, 
trained in the North- West Provinces, found no new features. Every 
village at once recorded its constitution, not the work of a moment, 
but the immemorial custom of the country ; a correctly conceived, 
and correctly expressed, opinion was delivered by a Sikh landowner 
during the first few months of English occupancy, when the Assess- 
ment was being fixed. " We are owners," said he, " of the soil ; 
to the Government belongs the Eevenue, and, so long as we pay the 
Eevenue, we cannot be disturbed." Would the Collector from Ban- 
gui have found room in such a district for his great landlord to 
crush the village rights ? Would the Madras or Bombay Collector 
have satisfied the sturdy spokesmen of the vOlage communities, 
that their rights could be justly set aside, and the collection be 
made direct from the cultivator ? The Government could do so, 
and native Governments had done so, but it was contrary to the 
feelings of the country, which hailed with delight, and at once 
adopted, the principle of village-Settlement and self-managing 

But, if the Assessment be excessive and uncertain, the system, in 
itself good, would have failed and will ever fail. The second 
clause of the charter must be, that the Assessment should be light, 
leaving a wide margin for profit, and should be fixed definitely 
and guaranteed for a long number of years. This has been done ; 
the Assessment is fixed upon well-understood principles. By an 
Act of the Legislature it cannot be increased, and, such as it is 


thus definitely fixed, it is the duty of the Collector to collect it 
by fixed instalments, and, failing which, he is authorised by law 
to apply certain processes; and in the judicious application of 
them, so as to cause as little suffering as possible, and maintain the 
integrity of the system, is displayed the capacity of the Collector. 

It could have been wished, that the necessities of the State had 
permitted the Assessment to be conducted upon more liberal 
principles. Ostensibly one-half of the net Rent is demanded by 
Government, leaving the other to the proprietor, from which also 
the expenses of management are to be defrayed. It is true, that 
the Assessment is allowed to be a question more of judgment than 
of actual calculation from given data ; and the relief granted has 
been great, and is highly prized ; but it is to be regretted, that the 
share of the net Rent allotted to Government should be equal 
to that of the owner. What would the grumbling landed interests 
of England say, were the Chancellor of the Exchequer to propose 
to sweep half of their net Eent into the public treasury ? Perhaps 
some would say, that it is done already, but by a circuitous route, 
as, in addition to the moderate land tax, are the ittcome tax, the 
excise, the tithes, the poor rates, the county rates, and the local 
charities, from which none but the niggard can hold back. When 
these are deducted, it may, perhaps, come out, that but one-half of 
the real Rent is adhering to the palms of the landlord. 

The Collector has then to collect the Revenue, fixed for a long 
period, for which certain persons, defined and registered, are 
responsible. The days, when Collectors showed their efiiciency by 
augmenting the resources of the State at the expense of the people, 
are gone. They could not add a rupee to the Government demand, 
if they wished, and they would get no thanks, if they did ; nor 
have they, on the other hand, any discretion to remit the demand, 
or even without sanction to suspend it. In this matter their powers 
fall far short of those entrusted to the Officials in the Madras and 
Bombay Provinces, whose discretion is annually exerted, or suffered 
by courtesy to be exerted, in making up the rent-rolls of every 
village, and remitting what cannot be collected ; the number of the 
items, and vagueness of the reasons preventing the liigher authori- 
ties from being able to express any intelligent opinion on the sub- 
ject. The Collector has in his books so many recorded Revenue- 
paying villages, represented by their proprietors, or their head- 
men, who have entered into engagements with the Government, 
and from them the Revenue must be collected within prescribed 
periods, or such f uU and detailed accounts furnished to the superior 
authorities, as will enable them to decide, whether extreme measures 
should be had resort to, or under circumstances of drought or other 
calamity the demand be suspended as an act of grace, or remitted 
as an act of discretion. 


Various and efBcient are tlie processes with whicli the Collector 
is armed ; different diseases require different remedies ; the consti- 
tution of the patient must he ascertaiaed, and his pulse felt ; the 
treatment must he gentle, hut firm. That default should some- 
times occur, that some parties will not pay till they are made, is 
no new feature in the economy of human affairs ; hut a Eevenue 
defaulter is not an ordinary dehtor, whose ruin, so long as the 
amount is paid, is a matter of iadifference to the pitiless creditor. 
The demand of Government is an ever-recurring demand, and the 
hest interests of the State are concerned, that the landowners 
should not only he solvent, hut flourishing ; not living from hand 
to mouth, hut amassing capital, extending cultivation, and exulting 
in the field for improvement afforded hy a long lease. Here again 
the same thoughtful care for existing rights, which secured to vil- 
lage proprietors the privileges of their tenures, has carefuUy guarded 
the village constitution from injury in the reahsation of the assess- 
ment. Processes have heen devised, specially adapted for each 
requirement ; and it is the duty of the Collector, as well as his 
manifest interest, to see them properly appUed. 

But hefore enunciating these processes, the great feature of the 
prevaOing land tenures, to which they have heen adapted, must he 
noticed. ALL existing tenures, however disguised or modified, can 
he reduced to three great leading characteristics, a correct apprecia- 
tion of which is indispensahle : 

1. Those estates, where the property is held collectively without 
any territorial division. The estate may he in the hands of one 
man or many ; hut when thus situated it is styled " Undivided 

2. Those estates, where the property is partially or entirely 
divided, and held separately hy the coparceners ; this division heing 
the result of a known law, inheritance, or otherwise; such are 
styled " Shareholdings." 

3. Those estates held hy coparcenary communities, where actual 
possession has overhome law, and the possession of the fractional 
share, not the recorded right to a portion of the unit, is the test of 
a man's property ; such are called " Brotherhood " communities. 

At the time of the Settlement every pecuharity of tenure, with 
the name of every proprietor, was duly noted, and the amount of 
responsihUity of each individual placed heyond a douht ; and at the 
close of each agricultur il year, the suhsequent changes hy death, 
private transfer, or decree of Civil Court, have been duly recorded ; 
thus the old discretion of Collectors has been narrowed, and not only 
is the amount fixed, which it is incumbent upon them to demand, 
but the parties are also indicated, from whom alone it can be 
demanded; and, lastly, the legal processes are determined and 
fixed, should coercion be necessary. In a constitutional country a 


greater security could not be afforded, tlian is here spontaneously 
granted by an absolute Government to its subjects. 

These processes are seven in number, and in applying them the 
Collector is vested with a summary jurisdiction, independent of the 
Civil Court ; but he is liable to be prosecuted in those Courts for any 
abuse of the summary powers conceded to him — 

1. Writ of demand. 

2. Personal imprisonment. 

3. Distraiat of personal property. 

4. Annulment of lease, and sequestration of profits. 

5. Transfer of defaulting share to a solvent shareholder of the 

same community. 

6. Annulment of lease, and farm of the estate to a stranger. 

7. Sale of the defaulting estate at public auction. 

Of these, the first is only a gentle reminder that the instalment 
is due, and entails a very slight charge for the service of the 
notice : it may be repeated at the interval of six days ; and the 
second is of the nature of a summons, and the third is of the 
nature of a warrant, and the defaulter is brought up before the 
native Collector to explain his delay. In hundreds of villages no 
process at all is issued, and in ordinary cases this process is suffi- 
cient to check the procrastination and unbusiness-like habits of the 
rural community. 

The second process, personal imprisonment, is but rarely had 
recourse to, and is discouraged by the superior authorities. If the 
defaulter be poor and ruined, it is an act of folly to incarcerate him ; 
if wealthy, other processes are available. But cases of fraud can 
only be met in this way, and the insolvent laws do not extend to 
this kind of liability. 

The third process, distraint of personalities, " is also sparingly 
applied. It has the disadvantage of exposing the Eevenue autho- 
rities to much trouble in defending actions brought against them by 
fictitious owners of the distrained property ; and as the usual 
defaulters are small landed proprietors, who would pay if they 
could, to sell their petty chattels is profitless to Government, and 
harassing to them. Still there are special cases, where it must be 

The fourth process is the touchstone of the system, which is 
based on the assumption, that the Government have guaranteed to 
the actual owners of the soil a valuable property, and a real Kent 
remaining to them for their own enjoyment, after the payment of 
the Government demand. If a turbulent community do not adhere 
to the conditions of the lease granted to them for thirty years, and 
default, and at the same time, by their violent proceeding, deter 
others from taking their estate in farm (for the sale of such estates, 
though legal, is impolitic), then the Government-official steps in. 


All rigMs of management are declared in abeyance, aU profits are 
sequestrated, and the owners of the soil placed on the same footing 
as the non-proprietory cultivators. The merits of the Assessment 
of the State-demand are then brought to a rigid test. If practi- 
cally and really one-half of the net produce has been abandoned by 
Government, and a just Assessment has been made, it is manifest, 
that in ordinary cases a considerable surplus should be collected 
under direct management, thus enabling the Collector to realise his 
balances, and, if expedient, severely punish the recusant com- 
munity, as by law they can be excluded for fifteen years. If, on 
the other hand, the Assessment cannot be collected under direct 
management, and there are no special reasons explaining the cir- 
cumstance, it is clear that the Assessment is excessive, and must be 
reduced. This is one of the great checks, by which continued over- 
assessment is absolutely prohibited. Practically so much trouble is 
entailed upon the Eevenue-estabUshments by this measure, that it is 
rarely ever had recourse to but as a necessity. 

The fifth process, transfer of share to a solvent shareholder, is 
peculiar to those village communities, aptly called village republics, 
which are the distinguishing feature of the North- West Provinces 
and the Panj^b, and, we may add, their glory ; for they are the best 
proof, that an absolute Government has not destroyed the existing 
rights of property. There they are, not so intact as could be wished, 
but still the mainstay and strength of the country, equally incom- 
prehensible to those who have only been in the habit of collecting 
Eevenue from wealthy landowners, and those who have been 
exacting rent from the miserable owners of a pair of buUocks. At 
the Settlement the rights of every shareholder were faithfully 
recorded, and the annual changes noted, the Assessment was fixed on 
the whole, and distributed among the community, which was treated, 
and justly so, as a joint-stock community. Owing to the per- 
plexity of the tenure, and the blending of the fields of the different 
shareholders, there was no middle course, but direct management, or 
joint responsibility ; and this is by law established, and from this 
principle is deduced the process under consideration, that on the 
occasion of the default of one shareholder the whole community 
can be called on to pay, and in return the share of the defaulter is 
transferred, for a period or for ever, to the parties who have paid 
the balance. This partakes of the nature of a forcible mortgage in 
one case, and amounts to sale in the other ; this latter alternative 
is had sparing recourse to, and practically fifteen years is the Umit 
of exclusion, during which time the excluded owner sinks to the 
position of a cultivator. 

The sixth process, farm to a stranger, like the fourth, is based 
on the principle, that there is a margin of profit between the net 
Kent and the Eevenue demanded, which it is worth the while of 


the owner to retain, or of a stranger to possess himself of, by taking 
a farm on condition of paying the balances of the defaulting land- 
lord. So long as estates have a marketable value, and capital is 
available for agricultural speculations, so long this process wUl be 
sufficient to insure a ready payment of the Government demand. 

The seventh and last process is that of sale by auction of the 
estate on which the balance arose, and subsequently of other 
estates belonging to the defaulter. It is unnecessary to say, that 
such a forcible alienation of property to satisfy a demand of 
Government can only be justified by the most extreme case of 
necessity ; but this is the keystone of the Eevenue arch ; and but 
that the sword of Damocles is known to be suspended over their 
heads, and can be made to fall, the Indian landowners would be 
unable to shake off the habit of procrastination, which is their 
bane. For large shareholder-communities this process is so 
impolitic that it is never applied. 

Such are the legal processes, by the exertion of which, or rather the 
existence of which, annual millions are collected from many thousand 
villages, without a struggle and with scarcely a balance. There may 
be a temporary exception in particular districts, where a state of 
disorganisation may have been brought about by different causes ; 
but the annually published Eevenue-Eeports acquaint the public 
with the result, and the means by which it has been brought about. 
If success is a test of the soundness of principles, at least that is 
not wanting ; but the increasing prosperity of the country is the 
best criterion, and may safely be referred to. 

When so long a lease has been concluded, as for thirty years, on 
equitable principles, it is but fair and reasonable that the losses of 
one year should be counterbalanced by the profits of another, that 
the people should be taught, not only to be industrious, but to be 
provident ; and, as a general rule, this principle is acted upon ; 
but there are exceptional cases, and a deaf ear is never turned to 
a case fairly made out. And in this the efficiency and judgment 
of the Collector is tried ; for, on the one hand, to abandon the rights 
of the State, without sufficient reason, would be weakness and 
dereliction of duty ; on the otl;er, to show no mercy under peculiar 
circumstances of misfortune, to drive a community from their 
fields, or compel the capitalist to abandon his investment, is short- 
sighted indeed. The climate of Northern India is most uncertain : 
drought, when it does come, is deadly; the heavens are turned 
into brass, and the seed cannot be thrown into the ground, which 
is like iron. Then again untimely hail beats down the ripening 
crop, or countless flights of locusts consume the green herb ; mur- 
rains seize the cattle ; the smallpox or cholera decimates the popu- 
lation ; the noble rivers sweU beyond their banks, and carry away 
acres of arable land, discharging them many a league distant. 


Who can war against the seasons and the elements? In such 
contingencies the Government is never wanting in generosity, but 
demands facts and figures to warrant suspension or remission. It 
is a mournful task for a Collector taking his annual tour in a bad 
year ; complaints greet him at every village, and deep murmurings 
of a deeply suffering population. Thoughtless, imprudent, careless 
of the morrow, except when starvation looks them ia the face, like 
children, they must be controlled by the hand of power; like 
infants, they must be forgiven when they err. They gather round 
his horse, vilipending their noble acres, which, unassisted by art, 
unrefreshed by fallows, unrenovated by manure, scratched by the 
plough, and thanklessly reaped by children, have for the last two 
thousand years maintained an annual crop, from a period when the 
rich fields of England were still covered by primeval forest. There 
is no medium in their state. " "We die, we die, we are dead ; 
there is no ram ; our crops are ruined ; our children have been 
sold," and, while the Collector is still pondering upon means of 
relief, and mourning over their condition, these self-immolated 
corpses are next week dancing the livelong night at some wedding, 
or brought in wounded and bruised in some hard, stand-up fight, 
about these very dirty acres of which they talked so lightly. The 
discontented agriculturist has his eyes always on the clouds, and 
his ears open to the prices current. If it rains, he grumbles at the 
injury inflicted on his cotton ; if the weather is fair, he invokes all 
his gods to enable him to sow his spring crop ; if prices range low, 
he tears his hair, and vows that he cannot pay his rent ; if they 
range high, he is equally ruined, for he has not wherewith to pur- 
chase seed for the next harvest, or to feed his children. Thus is 
it ever. 

If the Collector's duties were limited strictly to what is implied 
by the name, his task would now be done ; but ia practice the real 
duties have not yet been noticed. In most districts the collections 
scarcely cost a thought ; so complete the machinery, so prosperous 
the provinces, so well adjusted the Assessment, that the golden 
shower falls uninterrupted, and the ordinary individual, who has 
without an effort of his own transmitted a royal ransom half-yearly 
to the pubHc treasury, is scarcely aware of the financial feat, which 
he and his subordinates have performed, and, in many cases, is 
most innocent of all knowledge of the means, by which it has been 
realised. And for four months only of the year, May, June, 
November, and December, is there a semblance of these duties ; 
then, indeed, there is a chinking of rupees in the Treasury-ante- 
chamber, and a weighing of bags in the actual sanctuary ; some 
one is heard talking of a remittance of many thousands being 
brought in on the backs of mules ; a difference of a rupee in the 
accounts, perhaps, necessitates a reference, and reminds the Col- 


lector that he really has to make collections; or perhaps some 
shameless landlord has dared to be in balance for twenty-four 
hours, and a process is talked of, perhaps issued. Beyond this, the 
Collector can do nothing, for the Government and the people have 
anticipated his bloodthirsty purposes, the former by limiting abso- 
lutely and positively its demand, the latter by flinging their instal- 
ments into the overflowing treasury days before they fall due. 

But the other duties of the Collector last all the year round, and 
year by year they are multiplying, and the fashion of the day is to 
invest him with new and miscellaneous duties. Some portion of 
the attributes of the Judge are pared away, and conferred on the 
officers supposed to know the people ; even the wing of the Magi- 
strate is plucked to feather the nest of the Collector. Everything 
that is to be done by the Executive must be done by him, iu one 
of his capacities, and we find him. within his jurisdiction, publican, 
auctioneer, sheriff, roadmaker, timberdealer, enlisting sergeant, 
sutler, slayer of wild beasts, bookseller, cattle breeder, postmaster, 
vaccinator, inspector of schools, discounter of bills, and registrar 
general, in which last capacity he has also to tie the marriage knot, 
for those who object to the Thirty-nine Articles. Upon every sub- 
ject the most extraordinary reports are daily caUed for, leading to 
the loading of the Post-office wallets and the rubbish baskets of 
Government. Every new measure of Government places an extra 
straw on the Collector's back. Whatever happens to be the pre- 
vailing hobby, the Collector suifers. One day specimens are called 
for the Exliibitions of London and Paris ; the next day the cry is 
for iron and timber for the railroad, or poles for the telegraph. 

These are his miscellaneous duties, but his regular duties require 
some further notice. The •second on the list is that of " Eegistrar 
of landed property." This, in itself, is a task of no slight impor- 
tance, as registration is carried out to an excess of detail scarcely 
surpassed in any other part of the world. Enter the record room 
of the Collector, and you will find a map of every one of the 
thousand villages, showing distinctly the size and position of every 
field, with a number, which facilitates reference to the accompany- 
ing deed, by which the name of the owner, of the cultivator, of 
the area and the crop, is at once ascertained. And, moreover, to 
correct the errors and changes, which may creep in by lapse of 
time, annual papers are prepared in each vUlage, showing with 
reference to the record prepared at the time of Settlement what 
changes have taken place. Although these returns are not always 
trustworthy, and ,a bad superintendence, with a perfunctory mode 
of discharging business, has allowed the truthfulness of those 
papers in many districts to become much questioned, still the 
machinery is always at hand, by which a few months' labour would 
restore the correctness which time may have impaired. Without 


claiming infallibility to sucli registers, still to have arrived thus 
far is no sHght feat, but one -worthy of imitation and indispensable 
■with reference to intricate village constitutions. And now that 
property has acquired a real value, the superintendence of the con- 
stant alteration is a labour of no slight importance. In every 
subdivision of the district there are native officers, specially in- 
trusted with these duties, and under them is the invaluable village- 
accountant in every village. Countless and various as are the 
interests of the community, are the changes to be made in the 
register, so as to maintain it as a correct reflection of the exact 
state of possession and nothing more. Some estates are being 
divided according to legal procedure; others again are being 
united ; death is busy in the community ; sons succeed to fathers, 
and the bell of mortality rings its various changes, and leaves its 
trace on the register ; sales, mortgages, gifts, voluntary or forcible, 
attest that the limitation of the demand of the State has maintained 
the value of property. Nor is the Civil Court idle, and would that 
it were as discriminating as active ; but since war, tumult, and 
affray have been checked by a strong Government, it must needs 
be that the evil passions of mankind find a vent in the Courts of 
law, and no wonder that that vent is fouL 

Allusion has been made to the village-accountant. He is one of 
the indigenous Office-bearers of India, known by different names in 
different parts of the country ; he is useful and trustworthy in pro- 
portion as he is supported and controlled and kept in his proper 
position. "When this is not done, his appointment had better be 
vacant, for in some villages a sharp, pushing man makes himself a 
tyrant ; in others he sinks down to be a miserable slave, often of 
one party or faction. Great attention is paid to this important 
office; it is the last and smallest joint of the ever - lengthening 
telescope, through which the searching gaze of the governor can pry 
into the affairs of the humblest individual connected with the 
landed interests. A security is given to the integrity of the regis- 
ters by the circumstance of there being three copies, one kept by 
the Collector, one by the native officer in charge of the subdivision, 
and a third weU-thumbed copy is with the village-accountant, liable 
to be referred to, challenged, and impugned by any member of the 
village community, in the bosom of which the accountant resides. 

There may be too much centralisation in all this ; the people may 
be reduced to a state of languid helplessness by the overpowering 
influence of bureaucracy. It may be urged that a system so intri- 
cate wiU never be maintained, and that it is not desirable that it 
should be so. Among a free people certainly not. Such interfer- 
ence would be resented by the sturdy squires of an English county. 
They would not surrender without a struggle the secrets of their 
estates, and the powerful landowner would no doubt resist the 


wholesome control imposed upon him in favour of the classes helow 
him ; but this intricate system of registration, faithfully maintained, 
is part of the system which cannot be abandoned, and the record of 
rights is justly considered the greatest of the feats of the Settlement, 
Rights, when ill-defined, are a constant source of heartburning ; and, 
if they are not to be overborne or swept away, they must be analysed 
and recorded. The third capacity of the Collector is that of Judge 
between landlord and tenant. The jurisdiction has grown up by 
degrees, and has forced itself on the Legislature. The same ever- 
recurring pressure of the land tax, that renders it of vital interest 
to the Government, that the state of property should be accurately 
recorded, and has vested the Collector with summary jurisdiction to 
realise balances of Land Revenue, that same outward pressure has 
rendered it necessary, that he should have summary processes to 
assist the landlord to collect his rent, and to assist the cultivator 
to resist the oppression of the landlord. Remove the pressure, sup- 
pose a state of things where taxes are paid with a smile and a bow, 
and the acceptance of rent pressed by the tenant upon the landlord ; 
imagine relations existing between landlord and tenant and landlord 
and Government exactly contrary to the actual state of things, and 
the summary jurisdiction, that grew up in the Judge's Court, and at 
length was transferred to the Collector, might be abandoned. It 
may seem an anomaly, but it is not. Such cases are more rapidly 
and satisfactorily disposed of by the Collector than were possible in 
the CivO. Courts ; and the institution of suits is by law made to 
depend upon compliance with the rules discussed above for main- 
taining correct annual registers. In this capacity the Collector 
becomes a Judge, with fuU and plenary jurisdiction ; but his deci- 
sions are liable to review, the necessity of which is scarcely apparent, 
as the least important cases may now be tried twice over. The 
summary Courts of the Collector furnish models, to which the regular 
Courts might with advantage adapt themselves. There a man meets 
his antagonist face to face, and is confronted with the viUage- 
accountant. The issue is a narrow one, and is soon decided The 
rent is due, or it was not, and on that must turn the merits of the 
case, whether it be for rent on the part of the landlord, or for 
replevin, exaction, or ouster on the part of the tenant. 

In his next capacity the many-sided Collector, from being an 
independent Judge, sinks down to that of the Ministerial Officer of 
the Courts of Justice in matters relating to land. And most wisely 
has this been so arranged, as who so capable- of giving effectual and 
immediate execution to the orders of the Court, as the Officer who is 
also the registrar of the district ? When the trumpet of the Judge 
speaks clearly, he must be obeyed ; but wherever the order is incon- 
sistent with the constitution of the estate or the rights of others, 
the Collector is bound to remonstrate, and his remonstrance will 


usually le attended to. All sales of land in execution of the orders 
of Court must take place in the Collector's office, whose hammer, now 
no longer required for the realisation of the rights of Government, 
is busy once a month in effecting forcible transfers and giving new 
titles. There is no doubt great injury inflicted upon landed interests, 
when the easy transfer of property on good and unquestionable title 
is shackled ; but there is an evil of an entirely opposite nature, which 
appears to be gaining ground, viz., too great a facility of effecting 
transfers for clearly fraudulent purposes. 

The last of the recorded functions of the Collector is that of 
accountant and treasurer of the district. Under his keys are the 
bags of silver coin which he has collected, and which it is his duty 
also to disburse. He overlooks the testing and weighing of the 
coin, for counting is out of the question. Month after month the 
military and civil establishments have to be paid ; the pensioners 
of the State come with unfailing regularity for their pensions ; 
every item of disbursement, of whatever kind, must pass through 
his hand and be entered on his account, and his signature is ac- 
knowledged for thousands in any of the hundred State-Treasuries, 
and drafts drawn, upon him from all quarters of India have to be 
honoured. AU this entails some degree of responsibility, and the 
due discharge can only be effected with some trouble ; and even with 
the greatest care and the greatest consideration shown by the 
supervising authorities, it must needs be, that the hapless disburs- 
ing o£E.cer is sometimes mulcted, and, until he has rendered full 
accounts and gained a discharge in fuU, he cannot leave the 
country without providing a security. A great deal of work is no 
doubt done by a Deputy, and in a well-arranged Office it is wonder- 
ful how the work is gone through; yet the Head Officer is constantly 
reminded that he is responsible for all, and not to one master but 
to legion. Sometimes the Accountant calls for explanation of some 
account, the mere look of which gives a headache. Sometimes the 
Commissioner aggravates by censures, or harasses by calling forreports. 
The daily post covers his table with a heterogeneous mass, exempli- 
fying the multifarious nature of the duties confided to him: a memo- 
randum about opium, a reminder about stamps, letters of advice, 
which he cannot refuse, from every part of India ; some references 
are in English, some in the Vernacular. As he goes to his Office, 
the chances are that his hands wiU be filled with petitions, perhaps 
his bridle puUed by some audacious suitor, or his legs firmly clasped 
by some pertinacious litigant. All has to be done at once : letters 
to be answered, orders to be passed upon reports, or endorsed upon 
petitions ; the rivers are eating away their banks, and the area has 
to be remeasured ; the tanks are drying up, the streams require bridg- 
ing, a man has lost his wife, a cavalry officer his troop-horse, an 
old woman her cow ; aU write to him, aU bother him, sometimes 


caressing, sometimes abusing, by every kind of appellation, in many 
languages and styles. 

And for aU this he receives the salary of ;^2 7oo per annum, and 
is voted generally to be a monstrously high-paid Officer ! Let us 
consider only his pure Collectoral duties, the mere gathering of cash, 
the faithful rendition of accounts, independent of the judicial, magis- 
terial, and miscellaneous functions ; how woiild a land-agent be 
paid in England who managed and collected the rents of an estate 
paying _;^i 60,000 per annum? Fortunately we can apply the 
test of comparison, and we know gentlemen who do not consider 
themselves overpaid, on a salary of _;^iooo per annum, for managing 
estates with a j^ental of ^40,000 ; and this in their own country, 
and among their friends, and not in a bad cKmate, and in exile. 

It is not to be supposed that the labour falls equally on aU the 
CoUectorates of Northern India ; the system is the same in all, 
but circumstances vary, and duties, which are nominal in one 
district, are weighty and troublesome in others. Some happy 
tracts are highly favoured by nature, and were blessed with 
discriminating managers at the time when the Settlement was 
being made. In others art may have done, or be doing much, 
and canals may be placing their prosperity upon a surer basis ; 
some are renowned for their cereals, others for their sugar, 
and a third class for their cotton. In some the ancient com- 
munities have been preserved intact, and a stout independent 
yeomanry themselves cultivate and possess the soil; in others, 
during the early years of British rule, a mingled class of land- 
speculators sprang up, and, by fraud or force, dispossessed the 
ancient proprietors, who curse the intruders, whom they are 
now powerless to oust ; there may stiU. be some districts which, 
owing to the inclemency of the seasons, former misrule, and over- 
assessment, are depressed ; but such are the exception. One feature 
prevails in aU ; the Assessment is fixed beyond the caprice of new- 
comers, and aU the complicated matters, connected with that Settle- 
ment, have been finished and consigned to the tomb, into which 
those honoured individuals, who designed, carried forward, and 
completed the great work, have all now descended. 

In North India the year has but three seasons, the hot weather, 
the rains, and the cold season ; for the two former the Collector is 
necessarily confined to the principal town of his District. In the 
months of April, May, and June the heavens are brass, and the 
earth is scorched by burning ; tanks dry up, men exposed to the 
mid-day sun drop down dead, the leaves of trees become parched ; 
with eyes inflamed, hair resembling tow, and throats like open 
sepulchres, life becomes endurable only behind screens of damp 
grass and beneath waving fans. The great desert has its own way, 
and stifles mankind with its heated air ; but the great Ocean before 


long has its revenge. Everything in this country, from mountain 
ranges and rivers down to perjury, is on a grand and inordinate 
scale. It may be that these strange contrasts are necessary for the 
fructifying of the seed and the production of the good gifts of the 
earth, or that it is an original part of the Divine dispensations, that 
the elements of fire and water should contribute annually their 
quota of miseries for the tribulation of mankind. But so it is ; 
towards the end of June the clouds are brought up by the monsoon, 
and the windows of heaven are opened, and down comes in a few 
days more rain than damp foggy England receives in the course of 
the twelve months. The labours of the Indian Official continue all 
the same ; and let those who doubt follow him daily into that con- 
fined space, where smeUs indescribable and heat beyond descrip- 
tion render any post in England preferable to that of Collector in 
India. However, with the departure of the rains, prospects 
brighten; the white tents are brought forth, and, quitting the 
principal town, the Collector starts with his migratory camp into 
the interior, to see and be seen of the people in their fields and 
amidst their homesteads. Gladly and unreservedly the poorest and 
the lowest crowd round his encampment, which is shifted day by 
day, by the banks of many a stream, under many a stately grove. 
There is no fear of the people of India suffering in silence ; the 
least injury, real or supposed, is at once told ; but a kind word is 
often sufficient. Much can be done by those who win to them- 
selves a personal influence over the people ; and in his rides, or 
seated on a log in the village, the Collector can discover secrets 
shrouded in darkness in his Office. Much talk is there with the 
headmen about grain and the prospect of the season ; long dis- 
cussions on the culture of the sugar-cane or the picking of cotton ; 
but an interest shown on such subjects cannot fail to attract the 
well-disposed, and many is the little favour that can be granted. 
A simple people hang upon the words of their ruler, laugh 
heartily at his jokes, and remember with pride his gracious 

EoUow him in his morning ride. "With delight he contemplates 
the abundant harvest or signs of material improvement ; with regret 
he rides through ruined homesteads, or stunted crops, bowing to 
the inclemency of the seasons, but meditating remedies, where 
ignorant man has been the cause of the ruin. Sit with him during 
the livelong day, niark the multitudinous references, the over-taxed 
patience, the indignation at some outrage, the satisfaction at some 
enterprise accomplished ; he is now instructing his trained subordi- 
nates in the narrow rules of Office, now reasoning on the broad 
grounds of expediency and proprietory and mutual advantage, with 
half-clothed and uneducated rustics, who will take delightingly 
from his hand and mouth what they would resent from any other. 


By the scattering of a little dust from that hand the village tumult 
subsides; by a few timely words from that mouth many heart- 
burnings are charmed away. It is the privilege of those in power, 
that even punishments, justly and intelligently administered, are 
not resented ; that a few kind words will send away smiling the 
peasant smarting under some injury, and lamentations are forgotten 
amidst the suggestion of better and brighter things. Simple and 
short are the annals of the poor ; let them only be listened to. 

And, after all, these are the English, who come into inter- 
course with and give to the people something more than an abstract 
idea of their rulers. On their discretion and knowledge of the 
language, feelings, and prejudices of the rural population, much 
must ever depend ; of the Governor the people know nothing ; he 
is a myth, more obscure than one of their cloud-enveloped deities. 
On his tour he is dimly seen in the morning on the public road, 
and his path is sometimes like that of a hurricane. The visits 
of the Provincial Higher Officers are as angels' visits, few and far 
between ; they are here, and again they are gone. The Indian army 
is a bright sword, but it is earefidly sheathed in the scabbard, until 
■war bid it be drawn; the peaceful inhabitants are indeed aware of the 
existence of the large military cantonments, and may with awe and 
wonder have watched the evolutions of the regiments on the parade 
ground. Many the wild tale or the good joke they have among 
themselves with regard to the habits and manners of their con- 
querors, but in no way are they thrown into connection with them ; 
the Collector and his assistants furnish them with their notions of 
the Englishman ; they are the only members of the Stranger Nation, 
who hold personal conference with the subject people, who can 
ascertain their wants, make allowance for their prejudices, and, 
learning to like them, may receive the reward of being liked ; and 
how soon they begin to love the green fields, to know the villagers 
by name, especially when the time draws near when they are to be 
left for ever ; when, as the best and only return of long labours, 
unbidden crowds flock out to touch the feet of their ruler, and 
lament his departure ! Such moments wiU never be forgotten ! 

In these migratory Courts we find none of the pomp and circum- 
stance of European justice. No Judge in ermine chUls the unfor- 
tunate litigants with portentous frown ; no crowd of javelin-men 
obstruct the entrance ; the matter at issue is soon disposed of, freed 
from the load of official technicality. Beneath the wide-spreading 
trees, the memorial of the times of the Moghal Emperors, the carpet 
is spread. No places are reserved for the privileged great, where 
all are equal. The village communities are there, the grey-bearded 
veteran, who had fought for his ancestral acres, acknowledges and 
appreciates the better order; round him are his sons and his "grand- 
sons, his kinsmen and belongings. Spirits, which would have 


exhausted themselves in bloodshed and outrage under a native rule, 
or debased themselves to chicanery in the Civil Courts, stand 
abashed in the presence of the Genius of Order, unpretending, yet 
absolute, as no king was before. A murmuring in the crowd, or 
a sudden move among those interested, shows how closely the 
proceedings are watched and understood. Truth, unknown in 
the closed and stifling Office, is spoken without an effort, since 
immediate conviction from the lips of the whole community would 
follow every falsehood. 

Such, we may fondly imagine, was the judging of God's own 
people, when they settled in Canaan ; such were the simple Courts, 
which we read of in the earlier ages of mankind ; thus Abraham 
among his shepherds, Samuel among the twelve tribes, managed the 
affairs of simple communities. To some such source must be traced 
all the judicial systems of the "West, ere the increase of population, 
and the growth of cities, complicated the relations of mankind. 

Let any one ride through the deserted and ruined provinces of 
another ancient Asiatic empire. The writer of these lines made 
a tour through some of the Districts of Turkey, with the object 
in view of seeing how subject provinces are governed. He often 
reined up his steed at the unbridged stream, lodged the night in the 
half-ruined village, heard complaints all around him, was an unwill- 
ing witness of oppression in the city, of oppression on the plains. 
He found unbridled, unprincipled rulers ; a reckless, weak, and care- 
less Government. No voice was lifted up to admonish; no hand raised 
to save ; no public opinion thundered through the Press. How much 
a thoughtful and benevolent man would wish that he had power to 
remedy some if not all of these evils, to pour oil and wine into the 
gaping wounds, to make straight the roads, to bridge the stream, 
to shorten the hand of the oppressor, strengthen the hand of the 
Judge, and scatter plenty over a hapless land ! Transfer such a man 
at once to an Indian Collectorate. Bid him nourish those generous 
sentiments, and he will have a wide and noble field for usefulness ; 
for, if philanthropy be the object, what trade so noble as ruling men ! 
There are those who come to India merely to wear out an inglorious 
and unprofitable existence, and accumulate a competency; who 
look upon subject millions as so many black bodies without 
souls, for the treatment of whom by their rulers no heavy ac- 
count will be demanded hereafter. These words are not for them. 
No system is without its defects. No men are born Judges or 
Collectors ; but with a benevolent disposition, a trained experience, 
a kind heart, and a fearless independence, much may be done. 
And there is no fear of reproof from an Indian Governor of the 
present day to a subordinate for suggesting reforms. Let no wild 
theories, but practical schemes of amendment, be brought forward, 
and they will be welcomed. Progress is all around. Let the 


servant of Government float on the foremost wave, fearlessly attack- 
ing every existing abuse, warmly entering into and carrjring out 
every new measure of amendment, uniting the true interests of the 
ruler with those of the ruled, and feeling that he serves his country 
best when he restores a ruined district to prosperity, or diminishes 
one of the hundred miseries to which man is heir. 

There may be times and circumstances when such prospects 
appear desperate. Wonderful in an Indian climate is the power of 
passive resistance in defence of some cherished abuse, and many a 
plan of improvement is baffled by unsympathising antagonists, 
crushed by official delay, or put off tQl better times ; but when a 
system is worked upon, such impediments are but mounds of dirty 
earth, which retard but do not stop the progress of the irresistible 

And after many years thus spent among the people, on terms of 
much greater intimacy than that of the English landlord with his 
tenantry ; after years of devotion to the cause, cannot the Indian 
Official smile, when the tourist or newspaper correspondent, newly 
imported by the last steamer, pours out his diatribes, setting at 
nought carefully and dearly bought experience, talking about 
matters which he really does not understand, spanning the abyss of 
his own ignorance with the broad arch of assumption, and denounc- 
ing shortcomings, the causes of which he cannot fathom. It would 
be amusing, were the subject not so serious, for sometimes such critics 
dogmatise as legislators, and sometimes stand forth as champions of 
constitutional freedom among a people conquered by the sword. 
What care they for the sable mOlions ? When their tour is completed, 
they take the first ship to the Southern Colonies, and, forgetful of 
the oppressed Hindu, are loud about the rights of the New Zealander, 
or rampant on the Constitution of Victoria. It is clear that the 
duties above described require men to be trained to do them, and, 
when trained, it matters not, whether the man was originally a 
soldier or a civilian. But the sword is not turned into a plough- 
share in a day, the gallant captain often appears to disadvantage in 
the Civil Office ; and when such vast interests are involved, such 
enormous sums of money at stake, can it be wondered that a 
Government insist upon some guarantee of capacity ? India has no 
occasion for the checks of political wisdom, the elaborate Civil 
Court, or the popular representation, but a strong, weH-informed, 
and independent Executive power, prompt to visit at once and 
severely the least oppression on the part of a subordinate, ready to 
support the really good motive, and to control and correct the 
wavering and timid. We want also an intelligent and able Press, 
to be the Argus-eyes of the Government, to expose temperately, 
denounce consistently, and stand fearlessly on the good ground. 

ShaU it be said that those, whose earlier and maturer years are 


occupied in duties such, as these, are passing a useless and unpro- 
fitable existence ? Such labours are rewarded, not by official com- 
monplace, but by the unsolicited approbation of the parties chiefly 
interested. Nor are the subjects so widely different from those, 
which interest and occupy the thoughts of the European world. 
It is only the mode of application that really differs, for simple are 
the real and essential elements of government, identical are the 
duties of every conscientious ruler to the people placed under him. 
The same general questions, which in England agitate the com- 
munity on account of the entanglement of vested rights, are here 
calmly and dispassionately considered by a Government of absolute 
yet responsible power. The secular education of the people is ad- 
mitted to be a foremost duty, and, as far as the finances permit, is 
extended to the whole community. Public attention is directed here, 
as in England, to the improvement of the judicial system, the simpli- 
fication of its forms, the straightening of the channels, by which 
justice is to find its way to the people. In such investigations 
the Indian Officials have not been backward, and the least cumber- 
some, least expensive system is being sought after : the depth of 
European learning is to be combined with the simplicity of Asiatic 
practice. In questions of taxation, the Indian Collector, who has any 
due appreciation of his position, is led to reflect and form a judgment 
of the comparative expediency, or inexpediency, of fiscal measures. 
Next foUows the question of expenditure, and the Collector is 
daily called upon to consider, what should be the charges, which 
can properly be defrayed from the public chest, of which he is the 
guardian. No false sympathy is extended to the sinecurist or the 
courtier ; no family influences or prejudices are allowed to operate ; 
no drones can fatten on the honey collected by the community ; 
the principles of the school of economists have been reduced to 
stern reality. 

In the dawn of life what visions float before the youth, at that 
halcyon time, when his intellect is expanding and the treasures 
of his mind are being unlocked ! The world with all the good 
things, to be dug out by perseverance, to be ravished by talent, 
and proudly won by success, is at his feet. At one moment float 
before his fancy the quiet and lettered retirement of the manse, 
the porch covered with honeysuckle, the loving helpmate — Ms 
in his youth., before years have added to his material wealth, but 
diminished the intensity, the foolishness, of affection, for we love 
not in after life as we loved then. A vision rises before him of 
children, like olive branches round his table, his pride and his 
care ; of labours of the week among his people in their homes, or 
in the church on the Sabbath ; of a quiet, world-forgetting path, 
leading under the shade of trees to happiness and to God. 

Or he may labour to win applause in the senate, or gain a name 



in the forum ; dearly, sadly bought : how many an hour of hope 
deferred, of drooping melancholy, of painful labour, of penurious 
want! But all forgotten? No ! all" fondly, thankfully remembered, 
when the name is won, or the eye is closing in death. Or he may 
abandon his native country, and go forth, as many have gone 
before him, to rule people and subdue them, to spread England's 
arts, and England's laws, and England's virtues. Thrice happy, 
could he but appreciate at its real value such a glorious vocation ! 
We read in Tacitus and in Pliny of those Eomans, who abandoned 
the smoke and wealth of imperial Kome, let faU the toga from 
their shoulders, flung the pUa from their hand, turned their back 
on the Baths and the Circus, and went forth to rule the Daoians 
and the Egyptians, the dwellers on the far Euphrates and the 
Orontes ; who bridged streams and composed the strife of nations, 
taught subject peoples to bow to the rod and find it a blessing. 
To have done thus, and died immaturely, was better far than to 
have spent long days lolling in their Biga down the Alban Way, or 
drinking wine before sunset at Tibur or Baise ! 

Such are they who now labour in India. They envy not their 
contemporaries, who fill the curule chairs at home, or return exalted 
by bloody triumphs ; for their profession is to iDe missionaries of 
Order and Peace. From their earliest day they learn 

" Certare ingenio, contendere nobilitate, 
Noctes atque dies magno certare labors, 
Ad summas emergere opes, rerumque potiri." 

From their youth upwards they are in possession of that amount 
of moral and material power over their fellow-mortals, which falls 
to few in Europe. Power, patronage, the means of favour and 
disfavour, are thrust into their hands, under such circumstances, 
and over a people socially and politically so widely separated from 
themselves, that the meanest is never tempted to use the sacred 
trust to his own paltry benefit, and the more enlightened are able 
to indulge in the proud ambition of striving to be the benefactors 
of their species ; for the elevation of their position enables them to 
look on power from a philosophical point of view, and to desire it 
for no other purpose than to be of use to their fellow-men, and no 
longer than when that advantage can be permanent. Man — vain 
man — dressed in brief authority, may indulge in capricious tricks ; 
but such is not the case when, from the dawn of manhood to the 
period when the faculties commence to decline, that authority has 
been wielded, not as a thing desired, but as a necessity. 

Thus is taught the art — the noble trade — of Rule, the power of 
swaying subject millions, the faculty of surmounting every obstacle, 
of meeting every difficulty, from the clamorous strife of a petty 
village to the dismantling of an imperial fortress ; thus is acquired 


the readiness to open out any question, the grasp of details, the 
self-reliance and proud confidence, that a man in the full power of 
his intellect can sway and rule thousands. While his contempor- 
aries in England are rejoicing in horses and dogs, the youth, sent 
out to India, has already held a responsible charge, and tried his 
own metal ; he has felt his heart melt with pity for unredressed 
woe ; his ambitions burn high, and has planned schemes of bene- 
volence and reform, which sooner or later it may be his to carry out. 
There are moments of depression, hours of sickness and sorrow, 
disappointed plans, unrequited merits, the feeling of insufiiciency 
for such things. But, on the other hand, even when yet in mid- 
career, and xmattained as yet the half-way houfee of life's journey, 
he can feel that he has done something, that he has left some 
trace in the sands of time, and that in some distant Indian district 
his name is quoted affectionately as a household-word ; that he has 
stood forth to hundreds, as the representative of his nation, as the 
embodiment of a great idea — the idea of Justice, the genius of Order; 
that he has been the teacher of equality betwixt man and man. 
While those things are most valuable, he has tasted the sweets of 
a proud independence, has emancipated himself from the shackles 
of parental economy ; his eye has glistened with the power of the 
stern order, the rapid execution, the tremulous obedience, the feel- 
ing of control over other and weaker minds, the superiority of the 
intellectual and educated being over his fellow-creatures, untaught 
and unrefined. 

Many have fallen by the roadside, though strong and eager for 
the fight ; they have perished early, and sleep in some forgotten 
grave, marked by some voiceless obelisk ; they were of the same 
English seed, but their flower was not given to blossom. Others 
have spent the best of their lives, and then fallen, as they were 
about to enter into their reward. Sleep they soundly, for their 
work is done ; at the great judgment-seat it will be known, whether 
they have judged the iolk righteously, who were prostrate at their 
feet, whether they allowed mercenary feelings, or prejudice of 
nation, prejudice of caste, prejudice of dogma, to warp the pure 
dictates of justice ; whether they mistook their duty and allowed 
self to obscure them from the people, whose interests were confided 
to them. Eound us, as we advance, the battlefield of life is strewed 
with the memorials of the departed. By that trophied urn lies one 
who was embalmed in the conventionally expressed regrets of the 
Government; beneath that thorn-covered mound sleeps one who 
made his solitary moan in the jungle, fuU of noble promise, which 
it was not his to fulfil Busy memory recalls many sad tales : 
the assassin's blow at Delhi, the beleaguered hospital at Lakhnau, 
the stream, where with his young wife and child fell poor George 
Christian; the solitary outhouse, where Englishmen solemnly 


shook hands, and were led out to be shot like dogs ; the nameless 
sack at the bottom of the Ocean. 

Some few, strong in purpose and frame, climb to the summit and 
grasp the sceptre of Government, because no lordling from England 
happens to be available at the moment, or because the post appears too 
dangerous to be pleasing. But to them the elevation has often proved 
to be a burden too heavy for them to bear, a vanity and vexation of 
spirit, ending in an untimely retreat or an immature grave. Some 
return home, their labours done, the work of their lives exhausted, 
and find their contemporaries, their school friends, stiU on the lower 
rounds of life's ladder, as rising advocates and promising divines, 
and life appears to have moved snaU-pace at home, while in India 
it has advanced with the speed of a railroad. They return home to 
wile out the remnant of their days, the residue of their faculties, 
ingloriously at the London club, or obscurely in the Highland valley ; 
but often and often, in dreams of the day and dreams of the night, 
win they live over their past Hves, and think of the dark people 
whose fortunes they have swayed for good or for evil, will regret 
much that they omitted to do, and much that they might have 
done better, and long for renewed vigour and fresh youth to devote 
to the same cause. 

One man^ — one only — in these last days retired amidst the 
plaudits of England and India, and, as on the eve of his departure 
the great Proconsul of the Panjib resigned his sceptre, he received 
from his fellow-labourers an Ovation far transcending the vulgar 
strut up the Sacred Way, or the blood-stained triumph of the 
Capitol. He had no more favours to bestow, no more patronage to 
dispense ; but he was the pilot who had weathered the storm, and 
he deserved the acknowledgments which he received. There he 
stood, firm on his legs, square in his shoulders, dauntless in his 
aspect, buUt in the mould of a Cromwell, ready to look friends or 
foe in the face, incapable of guile, real or implied, and yet so strong 
in his simplicity and straightforwardness that he was not easily 
deceived. Age had silvered his hair and dimmed his eyesight since, 
thirteen years before, the writer of these lines met him, as he crossed 
the river Satlaj, but nought had been diminished of his energy or 
of his firmness of purpose. Good fortune and a wonderful coincid- 
ence of events had seconded his exertions, and rising from the ranks 
of his profession, he had in his own rough way carved out a 
European reputation, received every honour which a citizen could 
wish for — the great civil Order of the Bath and the thanks of the 
Houses of Parliament ; but -amidst the applause of aU parties he 
had not contracted one spark of conceit. Elevation had not spoiled 

He was equal to aU things ; a good man and true, who did the 
1 John Lawrence. 


work that was set before him strongly and thoroughly ; who, when 
experience failed, drew on his own judgment, trusted to his own 
firmness, and was never found wanting. Indomitable in adversity 
and restrained in prosperity, he has left a train of followers, who are 
proud to be deemed of his school. In the United States such a 
man would have been President of the people ; in England, had the 
aristocratic element been less exclusive, he might have been, like 
the elder Pitt, a great War Minister ; in the Middle Ages he would 
have carved out for himself a kingdom. He knew and remembered 
after a lapse of years the minutest details of the administrative 
system ; stiU. he grasped and at once adopted the general view of 
a subject which so many bureaucrats miss. UnrivaUed in rapid 
despatch of business, he never tolerated delays in others, but he 
kneW;When to relax and when to slack the rein ; and he was the 
master, not the slave, of his work, and never sacrificed ends to 
means. So great was his prestige that all, military or civil, older 
or younger, tendered to him the willing homage of obedience. 

Such men have been, and doubtless circumstances will produce 
many such another, for we have confidence in the English character ; 
and especially in India, no sooner is the want felt than the right man 
appears. It is a feature of the Indian Services, that so many have 
devoted themselves with success to scientific, literary, and anti- 
quarian pursuits. In botany, numismatics, philology, and other spe- 
cialities, there have been worthy representatives, and such labours 
are highly to be encouraged ; but, when individuals devote their 
whole time and talents to such studies and neglect their prosaic 
duties, for the discharge of which they are paid, there can be no 
hesitation in saying, that they depart from the strict path of honour, 
and forget the reason of their being vested with power and 
guaranteed with salary. 

Banda, 1854. 
Lahobe, 1859. 

( 198 ) 



People in. England are becoming wondeTfully intelligent with regard 
to India, but they are still apt to treat this vast conglomerate of 
nations, languages, religions, and systems as a unit, and to deduce 
conclusions with regard to one part of the country from facts ascer- 
tained of another. Some degree of inaccuracy may be excused, when 
we find the Government of India giving orders with regard to the 
disposal of certain Mahometan Sikhs imprisoned in the Port of 
AUahabAd. The Secretary should have been called upon to point 
them out, and he would probably excuse himself on the plea, that 
he had never left Calcutta, and was unaware, that a Sikh was as 
necessarily a Hindu, as a Baptist is a Christian. 

It might be supposed at any rate, that the Laws Civil and Criminal, 
being imposed by the Conqueror, would at least be in some degree 
the same ; but such is not the case, as may be illustrated by the 
following anecdote : — Two college friends entered the Civil Service 
at the same time, and had sat at the feet of the same Gamaliel, but 
chance had separated them, and one drifted oif to the Northern 
Provinces of India and the PanjAb, while the other settled down on 
a judgment-seat within a hundred miles of Calcutta, and the follow- 
ing correspondence might have passed between them. The BangAl 
Judge would report, that he had been two weeks trying one civil case, 
with the assistance of barristers from Calcutta pleading on either side. 
Each lawyer had ten pleas, each plea ten subdivisions, each sub- 
division ten points, and each point ten headings. All current work 
was suspended, the lawyers dined alternately with the Judge and the 
Magistrate, talked against each other all day, joked with each other 
aU the evening, and returned together to Calcutta after pocketing 
thousands of rupees of the unhappy litigants, perhaps to play over 
the same game in the Court of Appeal. The PanjAb Commissioner 
would report, that in the same interval he had decided fifty cases, 
civil or criminal, in Appeal ; had held his Court of Assizes ; had in 
his capacity of Special Commissioner hanged or transported to the 
Andamans ten mutineer sepoys ; corresponded on every possible 
sort of subject with every possible sort of person, from the Govern- 


ment down to a poor fellow whose house had heen plundered during 
the Eebellion ; he had traversed in circuit some two hundred miles, 
disposed of many EeTenue cases, and visited many spots requiring 
his personal inspection; he had allowed no lawyer, English or 
Native, to cross the threshold of his Court, and yet the cases, which 
were thus disposed of involved large sums ; the Courts were popular, • 
the people not ill-governed or complaiairig, and the Code of Law was 
in small compass and accessible to all Such striking differences 
savour more of different races and kingdoms than of two Sister- 
Provinces of the same Empire. 

What has caused this difference ? People at home have never 
realised the vast expansion of the Empire. The same sword con- 
quered, and it was imagined, that the same Laws might control 
the whole country ; and so, when Lord Wellesley conquered the 
Northern Do4b from the Mardtha and appropriated half of the 
Oudh apple, the Eegulations, cast in an antique mould for Bangui, 
were re-enacted for Hindustan as far as the Jamnl Now the 
measure of esteem, in which anything from the swamps and jungles 
of BangAl is held by the residents of the imperial cities of Delhi, 
Agra, and Lahore was never very high ; and it was very much, as if 
the laws of the Scotch settlers of the new plantations in Ulster had 
been re-enacted for the use of the people of Surrey and Middlesex, 
and in the twenty-five years following their introduction the burden 
of these alien Codes became intolerable, and all idea of extending 
them to newly conquered provinces was abandoned. They had 
been formed on the most narrow type of English Law, as it existed 
in the courts of Westminster before the days of Eomilly and 
Brougham. In practice their object was to keep the plaintiff' from 
meeting the defendant, to involve the issues, and to decide, if pos- 
sible, on irrelevant and technical grounds. Their result was to spin 
out the case tediously, expensively, perversely, and fraudulently, 
and to make the Courts of Justice a curse and a lottery. Nor were 
the Judges unworthy of the machine, over which they were called 
to preside. The rejected Collector of Eevenue, the dangerous Magis- 
trate, the sickly man with a few years more to serve, the hard bar- 
gains of the Company, were avowedly the staple of the occupiers of 
the judicial bench, and it cannot be wondered at that the Courts 
had lost credit. Erom time to time the Legislative Council produced 
some new measure, some new variety of technical manipulation, and 
thus when the science was daily becoming more involved and the 
results more uncertain, the want of something in the way of a Code 
was universally felt. Thus fit happened, that in all the provinces 
not under the yoke of the Eegulations there were little flirtings with 
codification ; but the object was laudable, being the confronting of 
the parties, the precise definition of issues, and decision on the 
merits. The Eegulation-authorities looked on pityingly and sarcas- 


tically, until the great blow was struck in the Panj4b, and a Code of 
Positive Law enacted, which was adopted by all the newly-conquered 

Since then a Code of Procedure has been enacted for British 
India,, and the Regulations repealed. The Panj^b authorities did 
not resuscitate wholesale defunct Codes of the Hindus and Maho- 
metans, which had no more Hving influence than the laws of 
Justinian ; these laws were allowed just weight, when local custom 
did not run counter to them, or when they were not themselves 
opposed to the principles of an enlightened government. They 
consulted the wants of the people and their feelings, collated their 
customs, and on open subjects adopted the approved principles of 
English or Roman jurisprudence. 

All laws are modified by an equity,^ which is another word for 
" the common sense of the majority." Custom is the soul of aU 
law in India, as it is of Agricultural Law in England. It had 
long been felt, that, unless the Regulation Courts were reformed, 
we must have Equity Courts, and this gave birth to the Special 
Commissions, and Settlement Courts, to do the pressing work, of 
which the unwieldy Civil Courts were incapable; for we had chosen 
to go back to the letter of the old Hindu and Mahometan law, 
which had long been practically modified by the consent of the 
people. It is more than probable, that these Codes were never in 
their most palmy days so rigorously carried out, as they have been 
in the framework of the Regulations ; thus harsh law had in the 
new Code to be tempered by the equity of Custom, not in different 
Courts, indulging in different procedures, and surrounded by fresh 
shoals of sharks, but by the same Judge, who, after informing him- 
self fully, could decide on reason and equity. As English Common 
Law is formed of the debris of civil law, so the Common Law of 
the Panj4b was formed of the debris of the Hindu and Mahometan 

The Legislative Council of India had set up giants of their own 
invention, merely for the sake of knocking them down. How 
much has been written on the subject of the remarriage of Hindu 
widows ! In practice it has always been the case among the 
ruling tribes in the PanjAb, and the new law quietly sanctions 
it. Then again, as regards the disinheritance on account of change 
of religion, and all the assertions about property in land being 
dependent on the fulfilment of funeral rites, notoriously in India 
land is the only real and tangible property, and owing to the weight 
of the land tax, and the interference of the ruler, that property 
is but a limited one ; and yet it was presumed, that these puni- 
tive conditions were practically in force as regards land. The fact 
is, that they have not, since the invasion of the Mahometans, been 
^ Jus tacito et illiterato hominum consensu et moribus ex-prcssum. 


in force any more than the laws of Leviticus among the Jews, or 
the canons of the Church among the Protestants of England. The 
Legislative Council prided themselves on the abolition of all penal- 
ties in consequence of the change of religion, and the heathen 
furiously raged together within the cities of Madias and Calcutta; 
but in Upper India thousands of Mahometan Eajpiit, Jat, and 
other tribes, enjoy their shares of their ancestral villages in undis- 
turbed harmony with their Hindu brethren, with no remnant of 
any feeling of rancour, no reproach, and no debasement ; on the 
contrary, they rejoice with each other on the occasion of their 
weddings, and mourn together at their funerals. A Hindu father 
would regret, if his son were to abandon the tenets of his ancestors, 
as an English father would to see his heir become a Mormonite; 
but the voice of the neighbourhood, and now the written law of 
the Code, would not tolerate his disinheritance. 

If any traveller were to visit the Panj^b, and to ask, on what 
basis the civil rights of all inhabitants, of whatever lineage or per- 
suasion, were grounded, a small volume, which he might peruse in 
one day, would be placed in his hands, and he would be informed, 
that this volume ia English or the Vernacular was accessible in every 
district from the Khaibar Pass to the river Jamnd, where the servants 
of the Queen of England represented English power and English 
justice to the people of the country. 

The writer of these pages has during his wanderings stood in many 
Courts of Justice in different countries and cities, from the venerable 
haUs of Westminster to the Athenian Areopagus, from the practical 
Courts of France to the disreputable and disorderly justice-shops of 
Turkey, and he states without fear of challenge, that in no Courts in 
the world have the poorer classes such ready access to their rulers, 
such a certainty of being heard, and of something being done to 
right them, as in the rude and sternly rapid Courts of the Panjib. 
Much of this is owing to the unbroken chain of responsibility, which 
connects the head of the Government with the smallest Official of 
the lowest grade, but much more to the existence of the Code. 
What a picture of native life does the perusal of such a Code afford, 
for it must be remembered that it deals with realities, not with 
fictions. We picture to ourselves first the Court crowded with the 
parties themselves, the strange contrast of physiognomies, the end- 
less variety of demeanours according to the age, the sex, «r the 
religion and residence of the litigants. Mark the traits of indivi- 
dual character which come out. Some weak old woman takes up 
a cause, perhaps not her own, and with undying energies carries it 
day by day through every Court in the provinces, and has exhausted 
the bounds of justice before her fancied injury has been atoned. 
Some haunt the Courts and take a melancholy delight in processes. 
Some sue, as paupers, for fabulous sums, to which they have no 


manner of right, iDut to which their ancestors once laid an unfounded 
claim. In comes the sturdy yeoman fresh from his retired vUlage, 
from his oxen and his jungles, and so oblique is his vision, so 
entirely convinced is he of his own right, that he denies everything, 
which seems to teU against it, and proves a great deal too much ; 
in come the sharp-witted town-people, the disreputable fellow with 
curls down his back, the red-turbaned banker with books kept in a 
dishonest ambiguity and trimmed this morning for a purpose, and 
the rascally notary, reminding us of his ty|)e and representative in 
England by the cringe of his gait and the speciousness of his 
delivery. There sits a young wife with her boy, who has wheedled 
a dying old man to disinherit his children by the elder wife ; and 
as a fair pendant, there is a trio of greybearded shopkeepers, who 
have a scheme to defraud a baby-brother, the offspring of their 
father's old age, of his share of the inheritance. Over the hubbub 
of voices is heard from time to time the form of solemn asseveration, 
which passes the comprehension of the rustic witness, for he will 
not repeat 'after the Court-Officer, and interrupts the form of words 
by blurting out the facts of the case with which he is full charged. 
Some, reminded that they are to speak the truth, repudiate as an 
insult the notion, that they could do otherwise. Sometimes by a 
mistake a Hindu is sworn as a Mahometan, or a heavy Sikh, who 
has been stolidly repeating, suddenly brightens up, when the form 
ends with the words of his own national salutation — " Health to 
the Guru," which he shouts out, as if he now thoroughly understood 
what he was after. Hundreds leave the court with a curse on their 
lips at not obtaining what they sought ; but worse than the curse, 
which falls lightly, like a spent shot, to the ground, is the fawning 
blessing of the party, who wins, but who fails to recognise the stern 
justice of the decision, and only fancies that he detects the goodwill 
or the partiality of the Judge. Alas ! alas ! weary days, and some- 
times weary nights, for the mind has to take in all the details of 
each complication in an intellectual grasp, and often in dreams will 
the odious skein of thought untwine itself again, and the night's 
rest be lost in trying to solve hopelessly involved intricacies, and to 
arrive at a decision which conscience can call just. 

But the scenes suggested by these pages of the Code are not con- 
fined to the narrow walls of the Court. Busy fancy carries the 
thoughts into boundless space, and, as each class of cases or rule of 
law develops itself, the whole is enacted in the retina of the eye, 
for the actors and the local features are well known. "We see the 
crowded bazaar, the very store, where the cloth was bought for the 
price of which the action is now laid ; there : there is the house, 
where the foolish old man took home his second wife to be a very 
Helen to his family ; those men sitting in council on the steps of 
the temple of Siva are planning the very scheme of fraud, which the 


morning was spent in traversing ; in tliat shop the witnesses are 
affixing their seal to a deed ; a few steps on two greybeards are 
trying to settle a string of disputed items betwixt two partners, who 
knew each other too well ; that belted messenger has just served a 
process, and that crowd in the lane yonder is assembled for a sheriff's 
sale of the property of a defaulter ; and far away from the busy 
market-place, in some distant village, beneath the branches of a 
wide-spreading pipal-tree, a contract of marriage between two chil- 
dren is being made. Seated on benches consecrated for that purpose 
by old custom are the notables of the villages ; there are the dignified 
salutation, the conventional phrases, the distribution of sweetmeats, 
and aU. the details which custom may have sanctioned. A few years, 
and another scene is being acted. The parents of the betrothed refuse 
to adhere to their pledge ; then come the wordy war, the appeal to 
their gods and the whole village, the vain attempt at reconciliation, 
the old greybeards trying to reason, the loud laugh of impetuous 
and contemptuous youth, the mutual abuse and recrimination, and 
then the rushing off of one or other to buy a stamped paper and file 
a petition in Court. 

No wise man despises the customs of a great people, and no 
foreign Government can afford the waste of power in doing so ; 
still the rulers of the Panj^b find themselves compelled to give 
decisions opposed to public opinion, and in fact try to moidd it to 
a more enlightened form. Thus it happens, that many a respect- 
able suitor goes home dejected, for we cannot restore wives forcibly 
to their husbands, or allow them to be sold Hke cattle ; and it is a 
great blow to a man 'above fifty years of age to find for the first 
time of Ids Hfe, that it is of no use being a Brahman, where all 
in the eyes of the Law are equal. Often are heard melancholy 
regrets on the part of those, who were a little elevated above their 
fellows, that the new Government had no respect .for the respect- 
able class and the respectable customs of the country. During 
the first year of occupation, a native friend was asked of what 
the people chiefly complained under the new regime. The answer 
was remarkable: "that we allowed the village trees to be cut by 
the camp-followers, that we did not compel every runaway wife to 
return to her husband, and, thirdly, that we did the evil deed," by 
which dark phrase he afterwards explained, that we allowed cows 
to be kiUed. On the other hand, at the assembly of the agri- 
cultural classes for the purpose of settling the land tax, the head- 
men of each village were told that, whatever Codes might sub- 
sequently be adopted, they must abandon three objectionable 
customs, which were " the killing of their infant daughters, 
the burning of their widowed mothers, and the burying alive 
of lepers." The promulgation of these dogmas, which each 
headsman was obliged to repeat, as a creed of faith, created a 


great sensation, and the landholders went home to their vOlages, 
chuckhng at the considerable reduction of the Government demand, 
and chanting the first rudiments of the sixth commandment. As 
a further illustration of the depth of moral degradation to which 
the people, in spite of their valour, wealth, and independent char- 
acter, had sunk, it may be mentioned, that the descendants of the 
founder of the Sikh faith gravely petitioned, that to them might 
be preserved the time-hallowed privilege of killing their daughters ;i 
and, as if to show, how ridiculous poor human nature can be, while 
the Hindu petitioned loudly and longly that the slaying of cattle 
by the Mahometan might be interdicted, the Mahometan, in the 
flush of his newly-regained liberty, requested that the Hindu 
might be forbidden to cut off the heads of goats according to their 
practice, and be restrained to the more orthodox Levitical mode 
of cutting the throat of the poor beast, accompanied by a prayer. 

A threefold decision of Civil suits has been humorously made 
among the natives, to which, being very comprehensive, we may 
conveniently adhere : money, women, land. We propose to notice 
each class separately. The cases under the first class are of end- 
less variety, embracing the petty parole debt or loan, and the com- 
plicated accounts of bankers and merchants, extending over a series 
of years. The great system' of credit in India is a real wonder, 
and the most strikiug proof of the high civilisation of the people, 
and the best reply to those, who accuse them of barbarism. Civi- 
lised they are, but in the Oriental type, and the extent to which 
credit is given, is partly owing to the laxness of their habits of 
business, and partly to the restriction of the monetary currency. 
In India, as in other Oriental countries, there is no recorded price 
to anything but grain, for everything else a bargain has to be made. 

^ It is scarcely necessary to add, that this privilege was not conceded to the 
Bedis, the lineal descendants of Baba Ndnak ; on the contrary, they were 
warned that the practice would be continued at the peril of their lives and 
estates. At the commencement of English rule there was not^ single female 
in the Bi5di tribe ; the relation of sister, aunt, and daughter was unknown. 
Year after year the census was taken. During the autumn tour in_,i8s8 the 
writer of these lines held a review of all the little Bedi girls, amounting to 
nearly two hundred, who have been bom under British rule at the single town 
of Dera Baba Nanak ; the children varied from eight years to a few months, 
and, should the British power be swept away, these ransomed lives would 
remain as a monument of our humanity. The males of the family were com- 
puted at two thousand, and the females scarcely exceeded three hundred; 
thus it would take thirty years or more to bring the two sexes to the proper 
equilibrium. Some of the little girls had been married, tut no Bedi had yet 
attained to the honour of being a maternal grandfather. Yet these were the 
most sacred, the most powerful of the Sikh tribes, at whose feet Maharaja 
Banjit Singh bowed, who were loaded with presents, and had become the curse 
of the country. Facts like these indicate the character of the people for 
whom we had to legislate. When the order was conveyed to the head of the 
tribe, Baba Bikrainan Singh, he remarked that he should never enter his 
female apartments again ; and lie kept his word, and remained childless. 


In England the wholesale dealers have settled the price, and no- 
thing remains to the honest retailer but to sell ; in India every 
settlement of acconnt is a complication, and there is a painful feel- 
ing in the mind of the Judge, that either party is trying to get an 
undue advantage over his adversary. Endless are the varWies of 
trades, the wholesale dealer, the travelling merchant, the banker, 
the broker, the tradesman, the great commercial houses, and their 
agents and correspondents, and step by step we descend to the 
miserable retail dealer of comestibles, or costermonger, but all give 
credit, and all fight to the last farthing. Money is the one and 
only fulcrum, on which Indian society turns ; the revolution of the 
wheel of fortime has raised peasants to thrones, and reduced princes 
to the streets ; the line between the unsuccessful felon, who is 
chained in the jaU, and the successful freebooter, who, clothed in 
silks and shawls, is honoured by the British Government, is a 
dubious one. Rank therefore, or virtue, without money, go for 
nothing. No sooner does a man, of whatever degree he may be, get 
a little money, or a post under Government, than he improves his 
food and clothing, buys a horse, and goes about with a train of 
followers, raises his house a story, shuts up his wife behind brick 
walls, plants a garden, and becomes in common parlance " a great 
man ; " the position of his children is altered, and, when the for- 
tune is exhausted or the employment ceases, their future is embit- 
tered. A man of low caste, when he gets rich, tries to improve 
himself in that respect also. It is said that a ChamAr, on whom 
fortune smiles, passes up into a Kal&l, but with Hindus this is a 
matter of difficulty. Among the Mahometans it is wonderful, how 
the race of the man betters itself with his clothing ; the poor needy 
Shaikh dealer in grain, in which denomination most converted 
Hindus merge, becomes a Koreshi or AnsAri, and, if the market be 
favourable, he expands into a Saiyad. Of this there was a notori- 
ous case in the family of Niinlddln, a man of great note at the 
court of Eanjlt Singh, who first cloaked his origin as a barber 
under the affected humility of fakir. As his descendants became 
wealthy, they became Saiyads. In the same manner Nawab 
Im^miiddin, after plundering the fairest provinces of the PanjAb, 
discovered, that his Hindu ancestors were Eajpiit, and not dealers 
in wine. 

The Civil Court becomes the favourite arena of the whole popu- 
lation ; every kind of claim is brought forward ; debts, that have 
run on for years in books of the rudest kind, are cooked up and 
entered with new dates ; the release of mortgages is sued for, which 
have gone on for generations, while the house has been rebuilt 
frequently in the interval ; one man sues for money lent by his 
deceased father to the deceased relation of another ; claims of in- 
heritance, according to law or custom, whichever suits the claimant; 


claims for jewels deposited or pawned ; claims for arrears of wages, 
balances of account, injuiy to caste or honour ; are all thrust in. 
The wonder is at first, how these matters were under the former 
rule disposed of, but a little reflection wUl show, that they were not 
disposed of at aU. The Courts are at once a novelty and a curse ; 
the period of limitation of suits has been reduced from twelve to 
six years, and, except for bonds, to three years, and eventually it 
may be still further reduced to six months iu some cases. As 
liberty may degenerate into license, so too great facility for litiga- 
tion rouses the worst passions. Like strong drink, it overpowers 
weak heads, and demoralises the whole population by the rancour 
and perjury which it produces. 

The second great class of civil actions relates to women. It has 
been broadly asserted, that there is no case brought forward in the 
Criminal Courts, which cannot be traced directly or indirectly to that 
after-thought of the Creative Power, whose special vocation it has 
been to bring woe to man. There is no doubt, also, that a very large 
proportion of Civil actions arises in every country from this cause, 
simply because there has been from the beginning of human affairs 
an attempt to keep them down, and debar them from the equaUty, 
to which they are entitled. It is self-evident, that the Old Testa- 
ment was written by a man ; the tenth commandment was clearly 
reduced to that vehicle for ideas, which we call " words," by one of 
the male sex. Had Miriam been commissioned to legislate to the 
Israelites, she would probably have expressed herself otherwise. 
However unjustly trodden down, Nature will raise its head, and is 
generally triumphant ; any unjust law of repression against the 
equity of things is sure to strike in the rebound. Thus it has 
happened as regards the law of women both in England and India. 
The wife has often been the ruin of the house in both countries. 
In England, though denied a legal existence while under coverture, 
though her property has been at the mercy of her tyrant, though 
unjust laws have prevented her being heard iu the case, which affects 
her honour, her fortune, and her status, she has generally won ia 
the end, or made her victor rue his success. 

So also in India. From her earliest hour she has been oppressed ; 
no congratulations mark her birth ; her poor mother's heart fails 
her, and her groanings recommence, when she hears that a female 
child has been born ; no care watches over her childhood to mark 
the budding beauty and to develop the dawning inteUeot. If by 
the mercy of the British Government, or the humbleness of her 
caste, she escape the opium pill, or the sly piach of the juigular 
vein, designed for her to preserve the honour of the family, she 
grows up unattended, unwashed, uneducated, and very often un- 
clothed. In infancy she is disposed of by betrothal, and so much 
cash, so much grain, so many trays of sweetmeats find their way to 


the family dwelling, as the price of her charms, and the barter of 
her affections. In her non-age she is married, but no honour awaits 
her even on this occasion ; the bridegroom is the great object of 
the ceremony, but where is the ' bride ? Hired courtezans are 
dancing for the gratification of the men, while the women of the 
family are huddled away in closets, or allowed to peep through 
screens. Poor hapless daughter of Eve ! Love has no existence 
for her ; she never listened to honeyed words ; she knows nothing 
of the wild throb of being wooed, or of the glory of being won ; 
not for her the indistinguishable throng of hopes, and fears, and 
gentle wishes till the hour arrived, when in granting favours she 
was herself thrice blessed. Nobody asked her opinion on the 
subject : her father arranged the transaction with the boy's father ; 
her family-barber looked at him ; his family-barber examined her, 
noting her defects and her merits; the male relations ate, and 
the Brahmans prayed, muttered, and ate also, and she had a ring 
thrust through her nostril, and was a bride. A few years after- 
wards, when she had arrived at a nubile age, amidst the conven- 
tional howling of- all the females of the house, she was deported 
with a proportion, fixed by custom, of cooking-pots, clothes, and 
jewels, to the house of the bridegroom — a beardless lad, whom then 
for the first time she saw ; and she was thrust into another labyrinth 
of dark passages, murky yards, and musty closets, resembling so 
far the paternal mansion, amidst a crowd of mothers-in-law, stern 
aunts, child-mothers, and widowed girls, who represent and make 
up the hidden treasures of an Indian home. 

Nor in married life was her situation much improved. Owing 
to the universal habit of whole families herding together, and the 
comfortless arrangement of dwelling-houses, for years she never 
saw her husband, except by the light of the chaste moon on the 
flat roof of the mansion, or by an oil lamp in a closet. He was 
often absent for months and years ; to the end of her days she 
never appeared unveiled in his presence before a third person, not 
even her children ; she was never addressed by her proper name ; 
if she proved a mother, she had at least the blessing of her chil- 
dren, and taught them to fear their father ; but, if her husband's 
lust of the eye feR elsewhere, she had a hateful colleague thrust in, 
with whom life became one continued jostle of persons, choking of 
choler, and conflict of children, and, if she were childless, she 
mourned her hard fate and submitted. Her sin was not forgiven in 
childbearing, and she even cherished the child of her rival for the 
want of something to love. We pass over in silence the angry 
words, the neglect, the cuffs and even blows, that must be the 
case in some households in a country, where no shame attends the 
act of striking a woman. We pass over such outrages in silence ; 
for in England not many years ago, a mother, in bringing a charge 


against her son, stated, in BTidence, that he beat her as much, as if 
she had been his wife. In England there are savages still ! 

But the Indian wife has her revenge : the time comes, and the 
won;ian. In the declining and obese period of life, when passion 
is lulled, and the only object of the male animal, who has become 
seedy and weedy, is to be respectable, when the wife has become 
haggard, wrinkled, toothless, and hideous, she can wring his heart- 
strings, she can expose him to the gossip of his neighbours and to 
the tittle-tattle of the Court. She sues him for alimony, or main- 
tenance, or (that fertile source of vexation) dower, or for jewels, 
which she declares to be her separate property. She carries her 
wrinkled face into Court, and even lays bare her chaste bosom, 
rivalling a sun-dried mud bank more than the conventional snow- 
drift, denounces her husband, discloses his weaknesses, and derides 
his defects. She thus revenges herself and her sex for many a 
slight, many a cuff; and this must go on, and he must bear it, 
much as he looks forward to the day, when it will be his special 
privilege to expend a few copper coins in faggots to consume the 
carcase of the woman, who had been his torment, unless she outlive 
him, when she will not be behindhand in each detail of conven- 
tional woe. Still, in spite of all these disagreeable circumstances, 
the Courts are pestered with ridiculbus claims of brothers-in-law, or 
cousias, to possess themselves of the persons of widows, in whom 
they imagine, that their family has invested capital, of which they 
wish to enjoy the interest. Many long fights have arisen, with 
regard to the hand of very undesirable ladies, betwixt the party 
who considers that he has a legal remainder and the party who is 
in actual possession, the one pleading a species of tenure of tail 
female, and the other a tenure " in corde." 

The wicked novelist, Balzac, has somewhere written, that a man 
should not venture to marry, until ^'^ ^S'd ^t least dissected one 
woman. We would warn the Hindu to witness one such Civil 
action, ere he add to his family. As far as the writer of these 
pages personally knows such ladies (from acquaintance in the Court- 
house), they are apt to be unamiable, unguarded of speech, rather 
spiteful, and very unreasonable, certainly not the ministering 
angel, with whom he could wish to share the Arab tent. None 
so earnest in Appeal, none so unruly and obstreperous, and the 
Judge is fortunate to have a table and rail between himself and the 
litigants, and not to have a long beard to tempt insult, for the Sikh 
lady is apt to run to bone in formation, and would be a powerful 
enemy in conflict. Nor do they persecute their husbands or their 
male relations only ; none so pertinacious against the world and its 
institutions at large, as the wretched widow, who has been tempted 
by some devil to waste so many weary days and weary nights for 
the possession of some miserable hovel, the value of which would 


never equal such an expenditure of temper, credit, words, or hard 
cash. A personal experience of some terrible widows, clasping the 
knees at every unguarded opportunity, shrieking at every comer, 
vexing the spirit at uncertain hours, has tempted many a Public 
officer to sympathise somewhat with the unjust Judge, who has 
been held up as an example to avoid. 

And all this has arisen under English rule, all this trouble is autho- 
rised in the Code, and it exists in the necessity of things. It is 
dangerous to insult the feehngs of a people, yet here we must run 
athwart their most deep-rooted prejudices, and the Judge, though 
satisfied that with a conscience and principle of rectitude he could 
not decide otherwise, returns daily to his home deeply conscious 
that he has wounded their feelings on the tenderest point. Their 
whole practice with regard to betrothals is iniquitous. Women are 
transferred Uke cattle ; circular contracts are made, by which a whole 
series of marriages is arranged ; grown-up women are tied to boys 
of tender years ; little girls made over to old men ; brothers sue for . 
forcible possession of the widow of their deceased brother; the 
woman is treated as a chattel or a domestic animal, of which the joint 
property is vested in the whole family. The conscience of our juris- 
prudence is opposed to all such transactions, and they cannot be 
upheld. Great is the wrath and loudly muttered the dissatisfaction 
of many a middle-aged country gentleman, who from his age and 
turn of mind cannot see the drift of the policy. Moreover, the 
evil has been aggravated by the novelty of our rule, for no sooner 
had the British army crossed the river Satlaj, than it got about, that 
we were governed by a Queen, and that the East India Company was 
beHeved to be a female of some description. This gave birth to a 
feeling of independence among the womankind of the country; hence 
a quarrel and a miniature rebellion in every house. The astonished 
Sikh, worsted at the battle of Sobraon, at least honourably, had in 
his own home to carry on a disgraceful contest with a loud tongue, 
cased in a body which he no longer dared to chastise, craving for 
more jewels, more clothes, and threatening to avail itself of its 
newly-acquired liberty. 

This dislocation of the domestic relations is brought about by poly- 
gamy and child-murder, which, by destroying the numerical equality 
of the sexes, has given women a money value in the market, as a 
thing to be sold, and when bought to be kept possession of. Poly- 
gamy may be dismissed in a few words. None of the respectable 
middle classes tolerate it. In extreme cases of childless husbands 
the privilege may be under a protest made use of, for to a Hindu it 
is a dishonour and sorrow to be childless. The poor cannot afford 
it. It is only among the wild beasts of the pseudo-aristocracy that 
the custom prevails to any extent, and they as a class are being 
extinguished. A law to place polygamy under civil disabihties 


might be passed without exciting a remark, for it is as unsanctioned 
by the feeling of the people as excesses of the same character, though 
developing themselves in the European form of profligacy and 
adultery, are against the feelings of the people of England. Indeed, 
now that the power of the whip and the fetter has been removed, 
the custom is not likely to be much practised. It is all very well 
for a chieftain residing in a fort with four bastions to indulge in the 
luxury of a separate wife in each tower, or a banker with two or 
three dwelling-houses might find it feasible, but for a man with 
limited means the experiment would be dangerous. In ordinary 
snarriage-contraots tricks are often played. The barber of the 
b. idegroom is bribed, and at a time, when it is too late to recede, 
the bride is found to be one-eyed, marked hideously with the small- 
pox, or imperfectly developed in mind or body. A contract based 
on misrepresentation and fraud is but a sorry start in life for the 
young couple. 

Female infanticide lies deeper, as it is based not on individual 
passion, but family pride. It must have taken some years, or per- 
haps generations, to stamp the iniquity in its present complete form, 
to drown all feeling of humanity, shame, and manliness, and it wiU 
take some time to restore them. The subject has been misunder- 
stood. It is not only the undue expenditure at weddings, that led 
to the crime, as this would not have induced the wealthy in some 
particular tribes to adopt a practice which their neighbours equally 
wealthy revolted at. The facts are these : Indian society is divided 
into castes, and each caste into tribes infinite. A man must marry 
one of his own caste, but never one of his own tribe. As long as 
these tribes are relatively equal, no trouble would arise ; but as in 
process of time one tribe became conventionally more honourable 
than the other, and as it is a point of honour never to give a 
daughter to one of a lower tribe, there must be certain tribes who 
may have equals, but can have no superior ; and if there should be 
no equal, as in the case of the B6di tribe of the Khatri caste, there 
is no alternative but dishonour or female infanticide, and of course 
they choose the latter. Let us illustrate this position further. Sup- 
pose that the great caste of Smiths had from times beyond the 
memory of man being divided into tribes, the William Smiths, the 
John Smiths, and Andrew Smiths, and so on. Now by the neces- 
sity of the case a Smith must marry a Smith, but not one of his 
own cognates, and all would go on well, until the disturbing cause of 
relative rank happened to interfere. Unluckily one of the ances- 
tors of the Andrew Smiths was said to have been a bishop, a lord 
mayor of London, a popular Low-church preacher, or a personage 
of some such distinction, as would lead his descendants, who were 
apparently equal, to consider themselves relatively better than the 
"William Smiths. The sad consequences of this absurd distinction 


would be that the Andrew Smiths as a tribe, sooner than give their 
daughters to the WUHam Smiths, or the other inferior tribes, would 
habitually practise female infanticide. " Hinc iUse laorymse." 

But ever and anon, amidst this wilderness of the affections, 
flashes out on the part of that sex, who can forgive their tyrants 
every fault, even infideMty, with a bright light, some instance of 
the tenderest, because unrequited, love. The voice of the country, 
and tradition of the golden age, are against such treatment of the 
weaker vessel, and generation after generation have sympathised 
with the pictures of truth and fidelity, which have been portrayed 
so vividly and with such sweetness by Vabnlki and VyAsa, the 
great heroes of epic poetry, and gathered round many a fireside have 
young and old alternately wept and smiled at the tale of the 
sorrows and triumphs of Sit^ and Damayanti. Still in spite of 
their social degradation lives the proverb, that, though a hundred 
men form only an encampment, one woman constitutes a home ; 
still inconsistently the dearest affections and nicest honour of the 
great people of India are interwoven in the veil which shrouds 
their females. They plunder provinces to load them with jewels, 
and then complain, when restitution is demanded ; they worship 
their mothers and elder relations, treat their wives as so much dirt, 
and ignore their daughters, yet will those wives travel long dis- 
tances to visit them in prison, and sacrifice aU to get theni released, 
and. scenes often occur, which reconcile us to the Oriental develop- 
ment of humanity. The neglect on the part of the selfish lord 
often displays itself in as ludicrous a manner as the devotion of the 
wife. It is the custom for a Hindu on the loss of a relation to 
shave his beard by way of mourning, and the writer of these lines 
once asked a Eajpiit, who had lately lost his better half, why he 
had neglected this attention. The reply was, that a man would as 
soon think of shaving his beard for the loss of a pair of old shoes. 
On the other hand, he once overtook a lone female on his road 
towards the river Ganges, and she informed him, that she was 
journeying many a league to commit the remains of her lord to 
the sacred stream. He looked back, expecting to see some modest 
conveyance, on which these melancholy reUcs were deposited, but 
there was nothing ; on inquiry she undid a knot in the corner of 
the sheet, in which she was clothed, and showed a tooth and a 
bit of calcined bone, which she had picked up from the cinders of 
the funeral pile, and which she considered to be a sufficient repre- 
sentative of her husband. 

The third great class of cases relates to land. Ordinarily such 
cases are much involved, and in Bangui their decision is sur- 
rounded with almost insurmoxintable difficulties. But a wise 
policy has in the Panjdb set all these matters at rest, and from the 
confusion, which prevailed, order and certainty have been extracted. 


Many and conflicting were tlie rigMs to tte possession of the fruits 
of the soil, and to the soil itself ; all have now heen reduced to 
three great heads : the rights of the cultivator, the rights of the 
owner in fee-simple, and the rights of the Assignee of the Govern- 
ment-share of the Eent. The amount of the share demanded 
by Government having been limited, property at once acquired a 
new value, and special officers were deputed to carry out the 
details of this great work ; but, though the machinery is different, 
the Code of law is the same, and the right to enjoy and the power 
to alienate are guaranteed and defined. 

The leading features of the Code are liberal and practical, opposed 
to useless form, and trusting rather to a strong and honest execu- 
tive than to judicial check. The fiscal and executive officers of 
the Government are free from the molestation of civU actions, but 
lot them abuse the power confided to them, and the strong hand, 
which set them on the curule chair, will be raised against them and 
destroy them. It is an absurdity, that the business, which is done 
by one department, should be reviewed and reconsidered by 
another; it sounds constitutional, but it is merely vexation of 
spirit. A sharp and strict appellate court prevents aU abuse ; a 
simple people are mystified by the conflict of departments, and 
wisely therefore in the PanjAb all functions are united. India 
has not yet got beyond the patriarchal period. Even the older 
provinces would gain by a return to the simpler types of Asiatic 

Every kind of evidence is received at its worth, and the Court 
judges of the value. Parties may be witnesses in their own cases, 
and the Court may itself seek for evidence from whatever source 
it likes ; it will not accept at secondhand what can be obtained 
more directly. The rigour of the old written law is tempered by 
the equity of the custom of the locality and the tribe, the interpre- 
tation of which is neither left to venal arbitrators, to law-officers, 
or to Ul-instructed Judges, but is embodied in leading principles, 
which are open to revision from time to time ; and by degrees it is 
hoped, that this unwritten law may be codified, and a more precise 
line drawn betwixt the mutual confines of conflicting customs. 

It would be rash in a word to condemn the ancient civU Code of 
the Hindu, and the more modern and wider-spread Code of the 
Mahometan. They represent the wisdom and experience of many 
generations, and were drawn from the same fount as the Levitical 
code and the Eoman civil law, but are tinctured by the age and 
the clime, in which they were committed to writing ; in some things 
they are in advance of even English legislation. In England we 
are but progressing by slow steps to the promulgation of the 
doctrine; admitted hundreds of years ago by the Hindu, that the 
wife's savings are her own. In India a natural settlement protects 


every woman. We are the savages and barbarians in this matter. 
On the other hand, the Hindu law is loaded with an intolerable 
weight of disqualifications, of which we have now purged it, and 
the courts are freed from the absurdity of making a man take 
an oath, which is not binding on his conscience, and the iniquity 
of depriving a man of privileges, because he happens not to be of 
the dominant persuasion. 

In the Panjdb exist the time-honoured domestic institutions of 
polygamy and polyandry, though on the latter the Code is silent. 
Each is based on a similar iniquity, and is derived from the old 
patriarchal habits of licensed concubinage. There exists also that 
right of divorce, which the opponents of this measure dignify witli 
the name of successive, as opposed to contemporary, polygamy. Of 
the laws of inheritance there exists every variety, every vagary of 
poor human nature, except the unnatural preference of one child 
among many, which European nations call Primogeniture ; that law, 
denounced by English jurists as the most unnatural that legislation 
ever saw, but to which custom has hardened Englishmen, is in India 
confined to the succession to thrones, and as such unknown to this 
Code. But here we find legalised the Mosaic law, by which a man 
may marry the widow of his brother, and this liberty is outwardly 
symbolised by the casting of a sheet, as Boaz did three thousand 
years ago over Euth. Obedience to parents is inculcated, but as a 
moral obligation only, and though a child of tender years will be 
restored to the possession of the parent, at the age of eighteen entire 
liberty is conceded ; and if the child, although a legal minor, be of 
a matute and competent understanding, and a free moral agent, 
with the single exception of married girls, the power is conceded of 
making an election with regard to place of abode, mode of life, or 
religious persuasion. Such is the law, and, though no case has as 
yet occurred, such would be the practice. Liberty of conscience 
can go no further. On the other hand, the duty of mutual support 
between parents and children, and elder and younger relatives, is 

The right, which Orientals claim of killing their infant children, 
deserting them, selling them, and aU the harsh features of the 
"jus paternum," is distinctly negatived. Where the Code is weak, 
is in the matter of marriage ; the religious sanction has been rudely 
torn away from the tie, and is in effect reduced to the status of an 
ordinary contract, without the formality of registration, which in 
civilised countries has been always introduced at this stage : this, 
coupled with the unlimited power of divorce, the admitted license 
of concubinage, and the absence of any reproach attached to general 
profligacy, has led to a great increase of immorality. Marriage in 
the eye of the law has thus sunk down to a voluntary and tempo- 
rary cohabitation, and the advantages of legitimacy over illegitimacy 


are scarcely appreciable. One of the greatest nobles of the PanjAb, 
and a member of the late Eegency, is the issue of a Jat father by a 
cast-off Eajpiit wife of Maharaja Eanjlt Singh, and yet he succeeded 
to his inheritance. Adultery is indeed punishable criminally, not 
from any abhorrence of the crime, but to anticipate the vengeful 
sword of the injured husband ; and civil damages are also granted, 
and a neat distinction drawn betwixt breaches of contracts of 
marriage before or after the solemnisation of actual marriage. The 
root of the evil is in the practice of marrying children without their 
consent, and, as long as this exists, the evils described must follow 
in its train. What is really required is the estabhshment of a 
court of conciliation, that, when anybody complains that a breach of 
contract or of the marriage vow is about to take place, the offenders 
may be summoned and warned of the consequences, or, should the 
complaint be a ridiculous one, the law be explained. 

Sad is the position of orphan minors in a rude state of civilisa- 
tion, with rights undefined, and possession every point of the law. 
Homer must have been an orphan himself to have been able to 
tell so well the sad passes, to which the orphan even of a rich man 
may be reduced, with none to fight his battles but the widowed 
mother, who generally in such cases is fired with an unconquerable 
spirit. Over minors the Code has flung its protection most com- 
pletely ; but, as if to show more completely, how entirely matrimony 
is ignored, the well-known maxim of European law is reversed, and 
the Code adopts a strange but justifiable course of making over an 
illegitimate child to the parent most able or most willing to bring 
it up properly. A most difficult subject indeed it is in practice, 
how to deal with these little Ishmaels, who certainly ought never 
to have existed, yet they are found in most respectable families, 
have a status in native courts, and, as stated above, inherit. We 
have known instances of' the child of a Mahometan mother taking 
up his position as a Hindu. 

Another result of early marriages is, that the sons grow up to 
their prime, and their sons again, while the father is still in his 
manhood; children by different wives, long since deceased, press 
on their parents for subsistence ; who, on the other hand, has just 
married a young wife, and is entirely under her influence, and is 
perhaps concocting schemes, by which the portion of his elder 
children may be reduced, for he cannot disinherit them. Then is 
the time for Wngiag forward obsolete family customs, so as to 
enable the father to divide " per stirpes," instead of " per capita," 
that is to say, to distribute his fortune in shares according to the 
number of his wives, and not of his children ; oftentimes the father 
is induced, for the sake of peace, to make a distribution of his pro- 
perty before death, and this, under certain limitations, is recognised 
by the Code. 


The law of adoption has in India a peculiar weight owing to the 
earnest longings on the part of a Hindu for a son to carry on his 
name, and to perform certain religious ceremonies. In the Code 
of course the law is recognised as regards all chattels and allodial 
property, but not as regards Assignments of the State-revenue or 
pensions. It is painful to see how entirely this subject is misun- 
derstood by the loud declaimers against certaiu orders of the 
Government. In Europe all successions in sovereign families are 
governed by peculiar laws, while the ordinary law of inheritance 
among the community remains untouched. In Genn^ny and 
France daughters are excluded. In England, contrary to the 
common law, the eldest daughter inherits ; so in India the eldest 
son succeeds to sovereignties, and among Mahometans the kingdom 
goes to the one most capable of rule. Following this analogy, it 
has been wisely ruled, ihat the succession to Assignments of Revenue 
should be ruled by its own peculiar laws, and adoption excluded ; 
so in England, when pensions are granted for one or two lives, 
they are limited to lineal heirs, and in the rare instances, where 
the liberality of former Parliaments has granted permanent assign- 
ments on the revenues to distinguished servants, adoption is never 
dreamt of. 

The way, in which natives of India live huddled together in one 
enclosure, sometimes sharing their food, sometimes separate, passes 
all description ; no distinct accounts are kept of their domestic or 
their business expenditure. Jealous of any inquiry into their 
means, they throw a mist over every transaction, and, when a com- 
plication arrives, when a young widow and child are left to take 
their chance against the other greyheaded sons, who have long 
been in possession, then comes the struggle as to what is joint pro- 
perty, how much belonged to the elder sons as their personal 
profits. Sometimes a virgin widow, who by the code inherits all 
the property of her lord, is made use of as a weapon of offence by 
her own needy relations, to torment a wealthy relative. Generally 
speaking, there is no innate sense of right in any one ; litigants 
can rarely be brought to one common standard ; their pleas will be 
inconsistent with each other, each party will demand more than 
they have a right to, and support the same by appeals to God, to 
men, and the market-place. 

The Code is free from that blemish, which pervades the practice 
of aU the other Courts in India, and which from time to time is 
evidenced by acts of the legislature. No person or class of per- 
sons is exempt from the law or the processes of the Court. It 
would be hoped that Lord Macaulay, in his preface to the draft of 
the Criminal Code, had exposed this crying sin of the Indian 
legislation. Are the Courts evils in themselves, that the rich should 
be exempted ? Is it any honourable distinction to be above the 


laws of the country, or an outlaw? and yet in all the towns of 
Northern India before the Mutinies, existed families who vaunted, 
of being able to incur debts without running the risk of being 
compelled to pay them. It is worthy of remark, how much the 
old class of public servants took up the cause of the Indian aris- 
tocracy, when their sympathies would naturally have been with 
the middle classes ; but the fact is, that the rajas and chiefs could 
lend elephants, give shooting-parties, and be generally useful, while 
the annals of the poor in India, as elsewhere, are generally very 
dull, an(^ their persons very dirty. 

With regard to contracts, owing to the lax way in which busi- 
ness is conducted, the Code has been obliged to abandon aU form, 
and writing is not even required. The Judge is required to look to 
the spirit of the contract, and the absence of consideration is not a 
defect. The Code has shirked the subject pf fictitious holdings, 
which vex the souls of aU honest men in the North of India, and 
yet are so akin to estates in trust in. England, that the favour of 
the Legislature is on their side. On the much-disputed subject of 
pre-emption the Code is quite distinct, and has the merit of being 
the first to develop this doctrine, the creation of Indian jurists, to 
its fuU and logical conclusion. It is very true, that aU such restric- 
tions on the free transfer of property are utterly opposed to political 
economy, but they are approved by public feeling,' and have a 
strange political significance, when we contemplate the state of 
the land-tenures. A man who ■fishes to sell, or mortgage his 
share of a hereditary coparcenary landed estate, must make the first 
offer to his partners, and can only call in strangers on their refusal, 
and to prevent collusion with strangers by fixing a fictitious and 
exorbitant price, the value of the share is to be ascertained by a jury. 
It is, moreover, extended to cases of sale of shares of houses in cities. 

On the other hand, the Code is quite sUent on an equally impor- 
tant subject. Th« Eoman civil law lays down, that a man's right 
in his own property is limited by all the rights possessed by other 
persons, and what the law of pre-emption does for the neighbours, 
when a man quits his property, the law of servitudes or easements 
does, while a man occupies it. Houses in Indian cities are clustered 
together as they were at Eome. By the action of the law of 
inheritance they, become divided and subdivided, the upper story 
falling to one share and the ground floor to another.; hence arises 
a complication of rights of light, of access, of waterspouts, of 
gutters, and other details innumerable, and excellent grounds of 
quarrel they make, and weU they are fought out. The same thing 
happens with regard to the shares of landed property, when the 
rights of water-course, of pathway, of driving cattle, are fertile 
sources of dispute. Every description of property is liable to its 
urban and suburban servitudes. 


On the law of mortgage also the Code appears to be very defec- 
tive ; it seems at first glance but fair, that no lapse of time should 
be a bar to the recovery of a property lent, deposited, pawned, or 
mortgaged; but, on the other hand, it is in the interest of the 
community, that there should be some bounds to litigation, and, 
when it is considered how terribly vague and lax the people are in 
their proceedings, how narrow the bounds betwixt pledge and 
mortgage, mortgage and sale, what confusion prevails on the fact 
of possession or non-possession, what difficulty there is to prove 
the deed, and to decide whether it was a condition, that the usu- 
fruct should clear the interest only, or go towards extinguishing 
the capital, whether the mortgage was a simple or a conditional 
one, we arrive at this conclusion, that lapse of time and publicity 
are elements in such transactions, and that periodical settlements 
publicly registered should be required, or the right allowed to die, 
for nothing is thought of mortgaging a miserable tenement for its 
full value, leaving the mortgagees for generations in possession, 
with right to repair and rebuild, and the time of the Court is 
possibly wasted on the suit of some distant descendant to recover. 

In the law with regard to agency, bailment, and partnership, 
the object is to protect the public, and Notice is the hinge, on 
which the whole practice turns. Everybody is to suffer for his 
own negligence or fraud. If the partners give out one thing, and 
really are another, they suffer. Limited liability is allowed, if 
notice be given ; if in spite of notice the public choose to think 
otherwise, the public suffers. So in bailment, greater or less care 
depends on the advantage gained by either party, and the duties of 
the agent to his principal and the public, and the responsibilities 
of the principal, are defined. The rules with regard to insolvency 
and disruption of partnership are good ; the only difficulty arises 
from the absence of any pubKc medium of notifying the fact, fur- 
nished in European countries by the Gazette. A great drawback 
to aU. settling of accounts is the careless way, in which the books 
are kept, the good-humoured confidence in the whole world's 
honesty, and in their own, which is evidenced. Procrastination is 
the order of the day, but, when a dispute arises, the most violent 
passions burst out, and the undue confidence is at once converted 
into unjustifiable suspicion, and leads to most reckless charges. 
Men, who yesterday believed everything, wiU to-day believe 
nothing. Such cases are most difficult to dispose of, but the 
Courts are armed with power to check all fraud and any kind of 

The existence of a correspondence of bankers over the whole 
of India, in the form of bills of exchange, is one of the greatest 
proofs and greatest triumphs of the ancient civilisation of the 
country, and it is a marvel to contemplate, how well the system 


works, and how seldom bad faith is complained of. At first sight 
nothing is so easy as to effect a forgery, but in practice nothing is 
so diificult, for security is demanded before payment, and that is 
the keystone of the system. The responsibility of the drawer is 
maintained beyond what seems just in European acceptance, and 
he is bound to ascertain the fate of the bill, which he has drawn, 
and get the receipt of payment. This chapter of the Code is espe- 
cially interesting, as it is the result of oral conference with the 
merchants of Aioritsar, a city which rose to be the greatest mart 
in Northern India, in spite of Sikh rapine and misrule. Although 
the firms of this city have correspondents in Europe, yet they are 
stUl so far Asiatic, that they always keep a certain amount of specie 
buried in their houses to meet emergencies, as it would be the ruin 
of their credit to have to go out to borrow, and there is no great 
National Bank, in which they can lodge their reserve. 

In favour of the heirs of deceased the severity of the patriarchal 
system is modified, and the liability of children for the debts of 
their ancestors is limited to the amount of assets received. In the 
matter of interest, which is positively prohibited by Mahometan 
law, and which has to a late period been restrained by usury laws 
of European creation, the Code has followed the prevailing senti- 
ments of the age, that a trade in money should be as much un- 
shacklfed by any legislative interference as the trade in any other 
commodity; but the Courts will not allow excessive interest, for 
under the old system the moneylender used to credit every pay- 
ment to interest, and year by year brought out the same, or an 
increasing balance, while the unfortunate debtor, like the daughter 
of Danaus, found himself continually fiUing with water a bottom- 
less vessel. The law of libel is based npon the most novel and 
liberal legislation of Europe, but in a country, where the tongue is 
quite unbridled, where men have no more sense of honour, and are 
as little restrained in what they say as women, the law is inopera- 
tive; the most scandalous and unfounded assertions are listened 
to, and apparently not resented. Side by side with such provisions 
as these, savouring of the most advanced stage of society, and next 
in order in the Code to the law of insurance and the law of copy- 
right, by which the efforts of the brain and the results of learning 
are condensed into a posseission and formed into a property, we 
come to two rights, the most ancient in the Asiatic system, and 
which flourished, and in some cases perished, before the existence 
of European society. In the dawn of civilisation the priest was 
the lawgiver, and it is not likely, that he would forget to provide 
for his own class, and the fees and offerings now sanctioned by the 
Code are of the same family as those, which were instituted by 
Moses in the deserts of Arabia. No sooner had mankind ceased to 
be migratory, and begun to dwell in cities, than some fervent or 


ill-regulated spirits were urged by some hidden fire to abandon the 
haunts of man, the honest modes of living, and the domestic law 
of nature; thus was founded the hermitage, which eventually 
expanded into the monastic institution. The relation of disciple 
to spiritual teacher, the spurious imitation of the natural relation 
of son to father, prevails extensively in both the great religions 
of India, and the idea of that relation can be traced back to the 
time, when Elijah left his cloak to Elisha. Nor has the Code for- 
gotten to include caste, and, though excommunication for cere- 
monial defilement could not be legally recognised, the existence of 
the institution is recognised by securing a remedy to the party 
injured against the party who has injured him. 

The rulers of the Panj^b, by departing from the cold and philo- 
sophic convenience of absolute neutrality, have here involved them- 
selves in obvious inconsistencies. At the close of the Mutinies 
the missionaries were authorised to encourage their converts to 
qualify themselves for small posts in Government employ, as if 
sincere men would be tempted in this way, and forgetting that 
under the Eoman emperors the early Christians looked forward to 
no prospect of provision in the court of the Praetor. On the 
other hand, we find the judicial ofiicers taking sweet counsel 
with a band of half-naked or fantastically clad Bairdgi, as to the 
appointment of a spiritual leader, discussing with grave earnestness 
whether the deceased had a right to marry or not, and whether 
the precious blessing of the burnt Guru had fallen on this disciple 
or that. Such are the grave inconsistencies, into which all must 
fall, who swerve from the great principle of absolute neutrality 
of the civ/1 government from all religions of every kind. "Why 
should not the religious affairs of the heathen be treated by 
our Courts in the same cold contempt, that the Eomans adopted 
towards the disputes of the early Christians'! They are but 
questions of names and of law, and the servants of a Christian 
government should not be Judges of such matters ; let us drive 
them from the judgment-seat, and, Gallio-like, take ho care for such 
things. Who settles the afiairs of the Jewish synagogues or Jewish 
institutions in Europe, or of the numberless Christian communities 
in Turkey ? for the latter in civil matters would never have recourse 
to a Mahometan tribunal, and indeed Christians are specially for- 
bidden to do so. The laws should not recognise the corporate 
existence of institutions, which it did not itself create ; pleas should 
not be permitted, which are contrary to the conscience of the Judge 
and the Judicature. The existing municipal law as regards marriage, 
inheritance, and civil rights, is unobjectionable, but the line should 
be drawn there. Temples, shrines, and conventual establishments 
should be considered in the light of buildings of an ordinary nature. 
None of the preceding Governments recognised the existence of 


hostile religions, but they left such matters to be settled by the 
people themselves. But such is the liberality of modern times, 
that the erection of a mosque or a temple, used a few years back 
to be chronicled as a work of public utility, and public officers 
were found gradually to Hinduise, for, while one officer subscribed 
in a public-spirited way to the erection of a temple of Siva near 
his own office, another was not deterred from recommending to a 
Christi3.n Government to endow a temple with a grant of land in 

The writer of these lines is deliberately opposed to the propagan- 
dist poHcy of that party, which strives to bring the children of 
the people of India under their influence in the guise of State- 
Education, but he is at the same time the staunch advocate 
of the entire dissociation of the executive or judicial Courts 
from aught, that is connected with non-Christian Eeligions. 
It is admitted, that there exists a conscience in our laws, 
and that they refuse to notice certain contracts as contrary 
to public policy and morals ; yet not only have we endowed 
the communities of the Sanydsi, UdAsi, Yogi, JSTAnakputra, 
Bairdgi, Nirmala, Naga, and other euphonious bodies of very dis- 
gusting individuals, with large grants of land, but their status is 
recognised, the inheritance of the spiritual teacher is conveyed to 
the disciple, and the strong arm of the Courts is found supporting 
them. The Code recognises also the office of the pur6hit or family 
priest, and the guardian of the mosque, or shrine of a Mahometan 
saint. These gentry are always talking of feeding the poor, as did 
the monks of the mediaeval period, but in fact they are lazy drones, 
and, if report is true, lead loose Hves. Some marry, so^e practise 
celibacy; if wealthy, they are quarrelsome, proud, and graspina 
We found the Panjdb eaten up with the devotees of the Sikh 
sect, and we have secured to them their ample revenues. No 
doubt, when the Sikh power rose, aU the ruined mosques and tombs 
of the Mahometans were flourishing and richly endowed. The 
Sikhs were wise enough in their generation to sweep them aU away, 
and, when the long steps of Ban^ras, and the gorgeous tank of 
Amritsar, are falling to ruin, when people no longer visit shrines on 
account of the bad repute of the manager, when the priesthood loses 
its hold on their people, then wiU be the dawn of a new religion ; 
but not while, as is provided by the Code, a man entering a religious 
order forfeits his property, while Christian Judges are called upon 
to decide upon points of ceremonial of entering Hindu monastic 
institutions, and while the corporate existence of those bodies is 

It must not be supposed, that the practice of the Courts, in which 
this Code is enforced, has approached in any degree to perfection ; 
they are confessedly rough institutions, have as j'et scarcely taken 


root, are lax, irregular, and just what may be expected of the con- 
glomerate, ' of wliich the judicial body has been formed ; the young 
civilian, the captain of infantry, the country-bom and half-caste 
Englishman, the Persian, Armenian, Sikh, Mahometan, Kashmiri, 
Bang^H, Bdbu, Banj^bi, Hindustdnl, a motley crew, who, according 
to the exigencies of the local Government, are always changing. 
Still progress is being made, and progress makes perfect. 

Rapid are the decisions : sometimes too rapid, but the good, easy 
man, who has got his decree must not suppose, that he has got to 
the end of his journey ; wilds immeasurable spread, and mountains 
upon mountains appear to start up. The bane of the PanjAb system is 
the license of appeal, which is unlimited, and the extraordinary, fact, 
that many of the appellate courts are in the Himalaya, far removed 
from the cities and villages, where dwell the unhappy litigants. 
However, spurred by pique and a spirit of rivaby and a passion 
for the fight, the defeated litigant hopes to catch his antagonist in 
a net of appeals, remands, and modifications. He knows, that by 
a voyage to the cold regions at certain seasons he runs a chance of 
fever, ague, or cholera ; but the spirit of litigation is like a taste 
for gambhng, and, when it has once seized its victim, it does not 
leave him until exhausted and ruined. Should, however, the 
decree-holder turn the corner of appeal, a new arena is entered, for 
the defeated party tries by claims and counter-claims to defeat the 
execution of the decree. Cases of objection spring up hydia^ 
headed, and nothing but a keen sense of the spirit of the game, 
like a foxhunter, would carry him through the toil, the weary 
delay, the daily disappointment; and sometimes, when he has 
his enemy fairly in his power, and is preparing to devour him, 
the vermin dodges, and wrings from a soft-hearted Judge an order 
to pay by instalments. 

The contemplation of a machine formed for the express purpose 
of ruling men,- controlling their bad passions, and defining their 
rights, such a machine as a civil Code, is always, interesting, more 
especially among such a people as the people of India. It is 
dangerous to legislate beyond the requirements, or against the 
public feeling, of a people ; for such laws will either be oppressive 
or a nullity. And it is a striking reflection, that so many can live 
together and yet difier so widely. The public officer in his tour 
is conducted to their boundaries by the headmen and notables, 
with whom he has been discoursing, and he is welcomed by 
another set, who use different phrases of salutation, call ordinary 
things by different names, believe different dogmas, name their 
children on different principles, have different notions of right 
and wrong, and invoke different deities ; but all are equally devoid 
of a sense of equity, and utterly without God in the world. Some 
bum their dead, others bury. The Hindu wUl go out of his way 


to burn a dead Hindu stranger ; the great horror of a Mahometan 
is to be burnt. The Hindu would not marry a member of the 
same tribe as himself, considering it incest ; the Mahometans habi- 
tually marry first cousins. Their law of inheritance proceeds on 
entirely different principles, yet there is no sting, no recrimination, 
but friendly intercourse, and a courteous avoidance of certain sub- 
jects, and neither can cry back to the abstract rights of man, for 
both religions appeal to a Code, one made many thousand years ago 
for another state of society, the other made thousands of miles off 
for a very different kind of people. 

StUl in the Panjab, in outward matters, the process of assimila- 
tion was going on. The Hindu might be taunted as being haK 
Mahometan, as the Afghan taunts the Mahometan with being half 
Hindu ; their dress and trimming of the beard are so similar, that 
aU distinction of outward appearance had perished. The Hindus 
entrusted all their children to Mahometan teachers, and their 
infants habitually to Mahometan wet-nurses, which, considering 
their extreme particularity about cooking and eating among adults, 
is a singular phenomenoiL The Mahometan character and forms 
of writing had been adopted, and phrases used in correspondence 
which sound ridiculous from a party, who did not believe in 
Mahomet. The offspring of Mahometan concubines were some- 
times Hinduised by their parents, and some of the PanjAb nobles 
are so situated. In fact, the grand idea of the founder of the Sikh 
religion was in some small degree being worked out, a progress 
was being made towards the destruction of caste, and the social 
blending of the people, when the passage of the Christians across 
the Satlaj rolled the tide back. "We have given a new life to Hin- 
duism in its most ultra development; the Sikhs are gradually 
faUing back into orthodox Hinduism, and all the irregularities, 
sanctioned by royal lust, or the license of powerful chiefs, and the 
general independence of sectarians, are now checked. It has been 
our unhappy privilege to give a new lease to customs, which were 
wearing out, and by the presence of our army of pure Hindus, and 
our numerous Hindu followers, to recrystaUise into a compact form 
the fabric of ceremonial rites and spiritual dogmas, which had been 
gradually melting away. 

For the PanjAb and its dependencies, the Code, which we have 
now noticed, is a great fact pregnant of promise, enlightenment, 
and order. Whoever wrote the Code, be he old or young, 
deserves the thanks of the people, for already fifteen millions 
of men submit to it, and it combines a wise tenderness for the 
common law of the people with a resolute opposition to anti- 
quated, unjust, and time-dishonoured prejudices. When the 
Viceroy declined to give this Code the sanction of law, there 
was fortunately found a man in the Panjdb ready to give it a trial. 


and the name of Lord Lawrence must be inseparably connected 
with it ; for we know from the long delay of the Criminal Code 
drawn up by Lord Macaulay, that the best of Codes are useless, if 
there be a deficiency of nerve and force of character in the rulers 
to take the responsibility of promulgating it. Li the PanjAb a 
Justinian and Napoleon were not found wanting. Since then the 
Code has been introduced into Oudh and other newly-conquered 

It is a warning to the rulers of those provinces, which still, in 
spite of experience and failure, remain under the yoke of the old 
system. They were urged and implored to, cut boldly and be free, 
but to this they were unequal. Many an action of our European 
officers, many a proceeding of our Civil Courts, have in time past 
come under observation, which were calculated to rouse a people, 
who had any spark of spirit, into righteous indignation, but they 
bore it in silence ; their cup was not full, and they bided their 
time, tiH at length a mutiny of the sepoy army gave room for an 
expression of the feelings of the mass, which had been pent up too 
long. It was then that the deep-rooted national dissatisfaction of 
half a century; the sullen rancour of a crushed aristocracy, mindful of 
the state of their ancestors but unconscious of their own degeneracy ; 
the furious hate of despoiled priesthoods; the imprescriptible 
rights of dethroned and dishonoured dynasties ; the honourable 
importunities of wounded self-respect and hopeless ambition ; the 
plaintive lamentations of ousted landlords, and the causeless re- 
criminations of ruined famihes; the scoundrelism of large cities 
and the scum of military bazaars : all these collected in one black 
cloud and overshadowed Northern India. On this generation fell 
the accumulated vengeance for the misdeeds of our forefathers ; 
the people hated us with a hate exceeding the hate which they bore 
to each other ; they abominated our rehgion as evidenced by our 
outward customs, and they writhed under our pride. 

But it is past. Every nerve has been strained ; the storm is 
blown over, and left the Government of British India materi- 
ally more powerful than before ; the strong man is himself 
again, has seen the struggle, tried his strength, and knows that 
his countrymen, if true to themselves, can stiU conquer and rule 
millions. But, in the hour of victory, let us think of justice, 
and if we wish to govern the country, we must learn much and 
forget much, and bear in mind, that no slavery is so wretched as 
that, where the law is capricious and uncertain, and where justice 
is obstructed by chicanery. 

Ameitsae, 1859. 

( 224 ) 



Numberless have been, the accounts of the general features of the 
rebellion which has devastated the Northern Provinces of India. 
The despatches teU us of the military disasters and successes. 
Private letters have told us of the hairbreadth escapes, the perils 
by land and by water, through which some escaped, and the noble 
manner in which some died. The object of these pages is to 
draw a more confined picture of the eventftd details of one par- 
ticidar district, over which the storm burst heavily, but which 
was never abandoned by those, to whose charge it had been con- 
fided ; but stm in the history of that small tract the amazing 
features of the revolutionary crisis came out with a marked effect. 
Much there is to thank Providence for, much to regret, much that 
we rejoice to think that they were our countrymen who did it, much 
that we wish, for the sake of human nature, had not been done. 

The district aUuded to is that of Allahabdd, one of the largest 
and finest in the North- West Provinces. It is situated at that 
point, where two of the greatest rivers of India unite their vast 
fioods, and thus form one of the grandest streams in the Old World. 
It contains more than one thousand villages and towns, divided by 
the rivers into three great natural divisions : that to the left and 
right of the united floods, and that included between the two before 
their junction. It contains a population of nearly a miUion souls, 
and pays an annual Eevenue to Government from the Land alone 
of two hundred thousand pounds sterling. 

Conspicuous among its towns and villages is an ancient and 
venerable city, bearing, as is the custom of India, a separate Hindu 
and Mahometan name ; for from the earliest period of traditionary 
legend this place has been associated with the history of the greatest 
of the Hindu demigods, whom they stiU delight to honour ; and in 
the time of the Moghal emperors at the point of junction rose a 
noble fortress, which, since the time of British occupation, European 
skill has made one of the strongest in India ; yet notwithstanding 


that it contained vast mvmiments of war, at the time of the outbreak 
there was in that fortress not one single European. soldier. 

To add to its importance, the development of inland steam-navi- 
gation had made this city the emporium of liver-horne commerce, 
and at this place goods were transferred from the steamer to the 
bullock-train. Nothing could reach the cities of the North but 
through this outlet, for at this point river-navigation ceased j at 
this point the great trunk road was conducted over one vast river 
by a bridge of boats and a tramway more than a mile in length ; 
and at this point had actually commenced the railway, and engineers 
were preparing to span the current of the second stream with a 
bridge of permanent construction. This city had once been the 
seat of Government, and has since become so again. It was the 
emporium of our inland commerce, the basis of our military opera^ 
tions, which failing this must have fallen back on Calcutta. It 
was a place of pilgrimage to millions of Hindu; it was looked 
upon with fond regret by that neighbouring Mahometan power, 
from whose ancestors it had been wrung by one of our peaceful 
Governors-General by a diplomatic juggle. Yet in spite of this, 
within a circle of one hundred miles from it as a centre, there was 
only one European regiment, destined itself to be beleaguered in a 
still greater and more powerful Mahometan Capital. And yet there 
are those, who still say that the Government of India has not failed 
in its duty ! 

The native force consisted of one regiment of that army which we 
had recruited from the provinces of Oudh and Bahdr, which had 
helped us to win all our battles, which had hitherto maintained a 
character for soldier-like bearing in the field, and for tractability 
and general usefulness in the cantonment. No suspicion of their 
fidelity had ever entered human breast ; they were encamped three 
miles from the fort, leaving one company as garrison ; under their 
charge was the civil treasury, containing one hundred and eighty 
thousand pounds sterling in cash, opium, and stamps. They were 
officered by members of that Indian army, which has been justly 
described by no mean authority as a most accomplished service, and 
which never has been wanting in its supply of men suitable to the 
duties of the State. They were commanded by one of those Anglo- 
Indian anomalies, an officer, who had spent the best years of his 
life in the peaceful duties of paying pensions, till he was forced by 
his rank to resume his forgotten duties as a soldier. This regiment 
has obtained a disgraceful superiority even among the mutinous 
regiments of Bangui, for it put on a semblance of fidelity with a 
view of drawing its employers into a heavier disaster ; they mutinied 
at the worst time and with the worst effect ; their mutiny caused 
the abandonment of many stations ; it hurried on the greatest of 
our catastrophes. They slew their officers, they plundered the 


treasure, but they did not gain possession of the fortress ; and so 
great was the plunder, that they were obliged to call in the mob to 
assist them. They broke up, dispersed, and ceased to be a regiment. 
Their number is never heard among the legions fighting against us. 
They threw away their arms to carry away bags of rupees ; in their 
turn they were plundered and murdered by the villagers, or caught 
with their spoil and hanged by the Magistrates of adjoining districts. 

If this regiment under its commanding officer did its best to shake 
our hold on India, there was another regiment of another race of 
men, commanded by an officer of another stamp, to whom we are 
indebted for the safety of the fortress, and the averting of an evil 
greater than any that we have suffered. This regiment was com- 
posed of that long-legged, hairy, brave, and rough human material, 
which ten years ago had fought against us desperately to secure the 
independence of the Panj4b, but, once defeated, had enlisted under 
our banners and aided us in our further march of conquest. The 
fidelity of these men was trembling in the balance ; their conduct 
was guided by the bearing of their captain and a keen sense of their 
own interests ; upon plunder and drunkenness they were determined ; 
whichever side they took they hated the race, of which the other 
regiment was composed more than they hated the European ; and 
so they continued faithful for one twenty-four hours beyond the 
other regiment, and that interval determined the fate of the fortress. 
Fortunately also for India, there were at that station men in civU 
employ and in the civil departments of the army who were brave, 
fertile of resource, and determined, whose lives and health were spared, 
tin the crisis was over. They did what was to be done, and did it 
well, and at their gate one day stood a man of men in command of 
European troops, and from that day, in spite of cholera, in spite of 
climate, in spite of every difficulty, all went well ; the Sikhs were 
ejected, and the fortress became the basis of our future operations. 

We now narrate how the crisis was heralded, how on the i ith of 
May the idea of their danger flashed on the European residents, 
who were doing their best to get through the long summer-day, and 
in the evening were driving languidly down the beautiful avenues, 
for which the station is celebrated, listening perhaps to the band of 
the faithful native regiment. Ifo signs had warned the soldier of 
the coming mutiny of his men ; not one man had stood forth to 
whisper a hint of the coming storm, yet it must have been a noto- 
rious fact in the ranks. The civUians were grinding at their accus- 
tomed millstone ; the Judge, had he not happened to be absent on 
two months' leave, would have been dispensing indifferent law on 
facts still more indifferently discovered. The Magistrate and Col- 
lector was with one hand gathering in his Eevenue-instalments then 
faUing due, with the other was flogging petty thieves or wrangling 
with some other authority. The administrative machine of the 


paternal Govemmeiit was in full play. Had any one suggested to 
these gentlemen, civil or military, that their service would be soon 
required in the full blaze of the mid-day sun, they would have 
remonstrated ; if a voice had warned them, that a volcano was burst- 
ing beneath them, they would have scoifed. In the city was quiet, 
for the people were as ignorant as the rulers. 

On the 12th of May the dread whisper of what had happened 
at Mirat came flashing along the lightning-line, and was talked 
over incredulously at the dinner-table. On the 14th, full particu- 
lars reached the European, and magnified and lying accounts 
reached the native portion of the community. Amazement and 
horror fell on the former, but a wild excitement raged in the city. 
Every man was conversing with his neighbour. Everything was 
believed by a notoriously credulous people, nor were there wanting 
the malicious dispensers of premeditated slander. A belief gained 
ground, that the Government had determined to tnake the whole 
community Christians, and that the personal servants of the 
civil authorities had already assumed Christian names to show 
non-resistance ; a proclamation was issued to say, that this was 

On the 15th this excitement abated, but the corn-market in 
India, like the stocks in England, is affected by every vibration of 
popular feeling, and the price of grain rose terribly, adding a real 
feature of alarm. By the i8th, the news of the progress of the 
mutiny at Delhi, of the political phase, which the mutiny had 
assumed by making use of the venerable name of the King of 
Delhi, had aroused the demon of anarchy and rebellion in the 
people, had convinced the soldiers of the regiment, that the time 
had arrived to act, and a meeting that day was held by the Euro- 
pean residents to organise plans of defence, and to arrange on a 
signal for assembly. It is in such critical hours that the real char- 
acter of men is displayed. Selfishness, weakness, cowardice, if 
they exist, then show themselves. Not every man bearded like 
the pard then displays the true qualities of a soldier ; not every 
officer of character previously established for talent and efficiency 
comes unscathed through this ordeal. Men faU back then on the 
original metal, of which they were made ; the adventitious circum- 
stances of rank and age then fail them. Let us be tender in deal- 
ing with those who have failed, for who can say, how he would 
pass through the fiery furnace himself. 

"Worse and worse news daily arrived ; it was proposed to move 
the treasure into the fort ; fortunately that measure was opposed 
by those, who saw matters clearer, that the only chance for the 
fort was to keep the treasure away from it, and to array the feeling 
of plunder against that of rebellion ; not to unite them. A small 
party of European invalids, rejoicing in the name of the " Old 


pripples," were trought over from the neighbouring station of 
Chundr, more as a semblance of a European force : — 

"Non tali auxilio, non defensoribus istis 
Tempora nostra vacant " 

The storm was evidently approaching nearer, and on the 22d of 
May it was determined to send the women and children into the 
fort. Let it here be recorded to the honour of Englishwomen, 
that in this struggle there are no accounts of their hearts failing. 
Many have risen above the circumstances, and want but the pen 
of the historian to be considered heroines, but patient endurance, 
religious resignation, unselfish abandonment, have distinguished 
them all. 

"With a strange but noble infatuation, the Officer commanding 
the sepoy-regiment, and his subordinates, still trusted in their 
men ; he behevfed what he wished, and determined to transfer his 
head-quarters to the fort ; this caused a regular panic, and a flight 
of men, women, and children, removing articles of property, in- 
cluding even baskets of dirty linen. At the earnest request of the 
civil authorities this plan was abandoned, and a volunteer corps of 
Europeans formed to patrol the city and station. It was the con- 
clusion of the Mahometan festival of Ramzin, and it was a known 
fact, that the Sikhs, and the sepoy-regiment, were plotting to seize 
the treasury. To the last some dying sparks of loyalty were exhi- 
bited by both corps, and spies exciting to mutiny were given up, 
and men promoted for so doing. The telegraph was still uninter- 
rupted, but the news from the North-West was bad. The news 
from Calcutta was nothing. 

There was however a lull, and the most sanguine hoped, that the 
storm might still be weathered. One or two European regiments 
would have saved the valley of the Ganges. The small parties, 
that were available, were pushed on as fast as possible, and the 
minds of Europeans were accustoming themselves to the new order 
of things, and the strong were nerved to the struggle. On the 
27th, the civil offices were reopened, and the pension-paymaster 
recommenced paying his pensioners ; for it so happened, that the 
station was crowded with upwards of one thousand loyal pensioners, 
men who had eaten the Company's salt during their whole lives, 
who in their own persons had had experience of the fidelity and 
honour of the Government, and yet not one of these came forward 
to assist morally or physically the representatives of their benefac- 
tors. They at least must have known, that their interests were 
bound up with the existence of the present Government, as no new 
dynasty would recognise their past services ; but their eyes were 
blinded ; it had pleased God to send forth false prophets, and to 
confound the wisdom of the wise. As the taint of infection cor- 


rupts the tody, so had a moral epidemic corrupted the minds of 
men. There was no hope until the plague had worn itself out. 

News came on the 31st of May of an 6meute successfully put 
down by a strong and master hand at Lakhnau, and ahout this 
time the peace of the city was jeopardised by the wanton act of a 
railway official in deliberately shooting a cow. The offence seems 
to our notions ridiculously small, but it might have cost us a 
province, for it gave a handle to the Mahometans to rouse the 
Hindus on their side. The existence of a Mahometan conspiracy 
to exterminate the English was now a matter of notoriety. The 
lower rabble were excited by desire of plunder. The friends of 
the prisoners in the vast central gaol were anxious to liberate them ; 
the quiet and well-intentioned were cowed ; but the policy of the 
authorities was a sound one ; to stave off the mutiny'and the out- 
break as long as possible, so as to allow of European reinforcements 
to find their way up, and to sacrifice the treasure rather than the 

Thus commenced the month of June, the most intensely hot 
period of the year, but the excitement kept men up to the mark, 
and exposure to the heat had wonderfully little efi'ect on them. 
At length, on the 4th of June, came a message by telegraph from 
the next cantonment in the North-West, Kanhpiir, to stop aU 
further despatch of Europeans. This was the last faint echo of 
the last words of a noble band of Britons to their countrymen, for 
the telegraph made no further sign ; that same evening hot mes- 
sengers brought in the news, that a great city and cantonment 
to their East was in flames, and that the mutinous sepoys were 
marching on them. The isolation from the world was now com- 
plete ; the hour was come; the volunteer force was found to 
amount to sixty-four, and the "old cripples" to sixty; having 
cut the bridge of boats, every European went into the fort on 
the 5th of June, never expecting to leave it alive. 

The night passed quietly away, and in the morning the doomed 
officers returned to the lines of their faithful regiment, then about 
600 strong ; fortunately the civil authorities were less confident, 
and at nine o'clock in the evening the sound of a volley of musketry 
announced to them, that a mutiny had broken out, and one or two 
survivors on fleet horses, or by circuitous routes, told them that all 
was over; nor did their word require confirmation, for soon the 
rabble of the town burst out ; the whole of the native Police and 
Eevenue-establishments joined the mutineers ; the vast gaol was 
thrown open, containing two thousand desperate criminals, some of 
whom had been captured after the outlay of hundreds of rupees, and 
the labour of a succession of Magistrates. The inhabitants of 
several adjoining villages, men renowned for lawlessness and 
plunder, sprang forth, and the work of incendiarism, riot, and 


plunder commenced. God in His mercy had limited their power 
and opportunity for murder, for with the exception of one or two 
Eurasians, who in spite of warning had not repaired to the fort, 
and the unhappy officers, who stuck gallantly to their ship till it 
went down, no Christian perished. But they went through the 
whole, and more than the bitterness of death ; from the walls of the 
fortress they all night long beheld the lurid light of their burning 
houses ; ever and anon a new pinnacle of fire dashed on high, as 
a fresh thatch, dry as tinder in the month of June, caught fire ; 
they had indeed escaped for the moment, but they felt like men 
under a sentence, for in the gateway was a company of the very 
regiment which had mutinied, and the whole regiment of Sikhs, 
upon whose conduct they could not depend, as their brethren in 
two neighbouring cantonments had joined the mutineers. It was 
in this crisis, that three brave men prepared a train to the great 
powder magazine, and silently and solemnly determined, that at 
the last moment no European should fall ahve into the hands of 
the rebels, and that the blackened ruins of the Imperial fortress 
should record the annihilation of English power. 

From the 7th to the nth of June the crisis stiU. continued. 
The company of the mutinous regiment was disarmed and expelled ; 
the fort was closely invested ; but be it recorded, that some few 
true-hearted natives stiU kept up some communication, in spite of 
the danger of being shot from the walls by the fiery volunteers. 
Oil the afternoon of the nth two or three small boats brought across 
the great river Neill and his fortunes, and up the river-gate of the 
fortress entered the man, who has the glory of first stemming the 
tide of rebellion. The writer of these pages has visited since then 
the spot, and pictured the feelings, with which the beleaguered and 
stUl doubting Europeans met the bronzed and way-worn hero, who 
in a few weeks had transported himself and his men from a distant 
province, had already taught the lesson of disarming, and had discom- 
fited thousands with hundreds. They felt that the battle was won, 
and it was so. The wild confusion and drunkenness, which had 
been going on in the fort among the Europeans and Sikhs, owing 
to the stores of plundered Commissariat liquor in their possession, 
was put a stop to. The Sikhs, by a union of force and manage- 
ment, were ejected from the fort and located in a native hospital 
under the walls. Daily attacks were made on the town and 
suburbs, which were at length entirely cleared of the rebels. The 
fanatic weaver, who had erected the green flag of Islam and 
assumed the Government, took to his heels ; the civU authorities 
came out and re-established the externals of English power, but it 
was like standing on the edge of a crater of a volcano juat after an 

It was in one of these sallies, that two Christian men were resciied 


from the hands of the rebels. Their history is one, that should he 
written in letters of gold_; it is one of those deathless stories which 
will he handed down in the tradition of the Indian Christian Church. 
At the time of the massacre of their officers by the mutinous regi- 
ment there were six young officers just arrived from England, who 
were doing duty with the corps, until opportunity offered itself to 
them to join their regiments. On the night of the 6th June, when 
the officers were murdered on the Parade, these lads, who ought to 
have been in the fort, were left in the Mess-House, and there bar- 
barously murdered ; their screams were heard at some distance by 
those, who escaped from the Parade-Ground. Poor boys, they per- 
ished from the folly of their commanding officer ! One of them, 
mortally wounded, crept down to a neighbouring ravine, and there 
prepared to make his soHtary moan and meet his Creator. He was 
found there by some peasants, who conveyed him to the Mahometan 
fanatics in the town. In the place, where he was confined, was a 
native Christian minister and his wife, converted Hindus : the 
former a good, excellent Christian, long loved and honoured. But 
human flesh is weak. The Mahometans were urging him with 
threats and tempting him with promises to deny his Saviour ; 
■ indignities oifered to his wife were added to threats of mutUation 
to himself. He might have fallen, but God was watching over 
him ; as an angel from heaven the dying youth was brought in, and 
hearing and seeing the good man's struggle, he successfully exhorted 
him not to buy his hfe at the price of his soul. Past aU hopes of 
earthly honour — past, alas ! aU dishonour-^pierced to the heart by 
the missiles of his enemies, dying among pitiless strangers, this 
young St. Sebastian made before God his Christian confession. He 
was still in the sacred innocence of boyhood ; not as yet had the 
sweet unction of the blessing of his parents been swept away from 
his brow by the rude contact of his fellows ; not as yet had he for- 
gotten or learned to be ashamed of the prayers, which he had lisped 
kneeling by the side of his sister. Hard reason had not yet tempted 
him to doubt, indulged passions had not compelled him to abandon, 
the precepts of revealed rehgion. Of the many great and the few 
good men, who have passed away in this struggle, and who now 
stand trembling at the Judgment-seat, who can say that to this boy 
will not be assigned the first place in the kingdom of heaven, even 
before that Christian soldier, that Puritan hero, who died in the 
hour of victory ? ^ Other parents may hear of their sons in India 
having climbed to the proud pinnacle of popular favour, of having 
saved great provinces, taken great cities, and having produced, as 
with an enchanter's wand, great armies ; others may think tearfully 
and proudly of those, who fell nobly for their country, but the 
parents of this boy may say with old Ormonde, and thank God for 
' Sir Henry Havelock. 


being able to do so, that they •would not exchange their dead child 
for a thousand living heroes. 

Our power in the fortress and city was re-established, and the Euro- 
peans returned to the smoking ruias of their houses. All thatched 
houses had hopelessly perished, and by heaping furniture together 
the mob had set fire to the rafters of the flat-roofed houses. The- 
lofty church tower and spire had alone escaped. When order began 
to be re-established, when the villages most active in plunder and 
notorious for ferocity had been levelled to the ground, v^hen it burst 
upon the people, that the English stiU maintained their ground, all 
became anxious to get rid of European plunder, and night after 
night the roads were covered with furniture, clothes, and stores, 
which had been plundered from the European community, hastUy 
thrown there under the cover of darkness by villagers hoping to 
anticipate the search for arms and plundered property. There 
was much difficulty in restoring property thus scattered to the 
lawful owners, and many things got into the wrong place. 
Among others we may mention, that for many months sub- 
sequently the communion-table was used by the copyists of 
the Magistrate's office, and in the vestry of the church was 
a chest of drawers, clearly belonging to a lady. We must not 
suppose that plunder was the distinctive feature of the rebels. 
None were more distinguished in this art than the loyal Sikhs and 
the Europeans. One of the most surprising features of this rebel- 
lion was the complete moral debasement, which it brought with it, 
with regard to offences against person and property. Men counted 
their scalps, and boasted of their successful freebooting, but it 
remained tq one most gallant corps from the Western frontier to 
earn the distinctive honour of returning to their homes from Delhi, 
taken by storm, " with every man a damsel or two." Thus it hap- 
pened, that early in the day the Government-Stores, and the ware- 
house of goods, brought up by the steamers to be forwarded by the 
bullock-trains to the North- West Provinces, were plundered by 
loyalists. Property to the value of twenty-five thousand pounds 
sterling in this way changed hands ; but the amount of property 
plundered and destroyed, during the interval of the 6th and 20th 
of June, by the united exertions of the rebels and loyalists, ex- 
ceeded three hundred thousand pounds sterling. Among the 
plunder secured by the loyalists, were the supplies of law-stamps, 
which happened to be in great quantities waiting for opportunities 
of transmission to the North- Western districts. In this plunder 
and that of Government-stationery the crews of the river-steamers 
joined, for it was officially reported by the Magistrates of dis- 
tricts, that stamp paper was being sold at one hundredth of its 
value on board these steamers, the sale being superintended by an 
European; and, to illustrate, how far the moral contagion has 


infected our system, there is the recorded opinion of the head 
of the police in Calcutta, that the crew of the steamer could no 
more be prosecuted for plundering the stamps, than could the Eegi- 
mental and Commissariat officers at the cantonment, whose history 
we are giving, for taking possessioa of the property of others. It 
was also stated by a worthy missionary, that his house escaped the 
rebels, and was sacked, ia spite of his protests, by the loyalists. 
One ludicrous instance is also on record, of a gallant colonel on 
the retired list being charged with the appropriation of the pictures 
of a neighbour ; his explanations, and the restoration of the goods, 
acquitted him under the circumstances of the time. 

The city being under orders, the civil authorities had time to sur- 
vey the state of the district. "We have mentioned above, that there 
were three distinct portions, divided by large rivers. In that por- 
tion, which was situate betwixt the two streams, no vestige of 
Police remained. Every village had commenced the career of 
plunder, and shown such aptness, that it appeared incredible, that 
fifty years of peace and order had made no impression on their 
character. AU those, who had lived in the days of confusion, 
which preceded our rule, had passed away or were in extreme old 
age ; yet every vUlage fell back on the customs of their forefathers, 
and, led on by notorious criminals who had escaped from gaol, com- 
menced reprisals on their neighbours, paid out old scores, removed 
old boundary-marks, and ejected purchasers of land Europeans 
were universally hunted down as wild beasts. No spark of attach- 
ment to our Government or our institutions, was shown; no instance 
is recorded of personal attachment to any individual officer. A 
small party of railway employes took refuge in a masonry reservoir, 
and, when the villagers found, that they could not capture them by 
force, they proceeded to roast them by setting fire to the building. 
The telegraph posts were torn up ; the iron sockets converted into 
rude cannon ; the wire into slugs, but the permanent way defied 
their efforts to raise it or to injure it. And this is a part of our 
dominions, on which our rule has fallen very lightly, which has 
had opportunities of seeing our power, for our European regiments 
and our guns have traversed this province year after year ; and yet 
so determined was their hostility, that for a long time our power 
was not re-established in some of its villages, though the whole of 
our European reinforcements had passed within ten miles, and 
though the daily trains rushed through almost in sight of them. 
This gives rise to serious reflection, and shows, how alien our rule 
is to the feelings of the people, how entirely our vaunted justice, 
and the undoubted mildness of our administration, have failed to 
conciliate the aff'ections or rouse the fears of our subjects. 

Very different was the aspect of affairs in the portion of the dis- 
trict South of the united ' streams. One or two large proprietors 


there exerted great and deserved influence, and they were wise enough 
to see, that a servile ■war, an uprising of the lower against the 
higher classes, as the war confessedly was, would not answer their 
purpose. "When the estahlishments of Government joined the muti- 
neers or dispersed, these great men offered to undertake the protec- 
tion of their own villages, if subsidised by Government. We can 
see through their double policy, but the Magistrate accepted their 
offer, and it answered in every way; for, though the mutinous 
regiments of Dinapiir passed like a cloud of locusts through the 
villages, they ravaged but never shook our authority, and in due 
course of time the Magistrate reintroduced his own Police, and 
those, who served us well, were thanked, and remunerated, as loyal 
subjects. This opens out another and a serious question, whether 
our established policy of cutting off the heads of all the tallest pop- 
pies, and leaving nothing betwixt the Imperial Government and 
the cultivating owners of the soil, is a wise one. For we have 
been taught in this rebellion, that ignorance and credulity £|re two 
of our greatest enemies, and that we require a class between our- 
selves and the children of the soil, which is sufficiently wise to 
think, before it believes every report. 

The situation of the districts North of the great river was totally 
different They were adjacent to the frontier of Oudh, which was 
once an independent kingdom, and the annexation of which had 
fired the train, which had aU but destroyed us. The feelings of 
the landed proprietors and inhabitants generally were in sympathy 
with those of their relatives and friends across the boundary, which 
was purely an arbitrary one ; and, when the people of that kingdom 
determined to rise against their new masters in a national contest, 
and add a rebellion to a mutiny, the inhabitants of these districts, 
although they had been fifty years under our rule, made common 
cause with them. At one time they attempted to interrupt our 
communications with our rear, and, though that failed, they were 
long in open revolt ; they were hopelessly committed against us, 
and taught us, how distasteful our rule must be to them, when, 
after fifty years of peace, they preferred a yoke, which was infamous 
for rapine and misgovernment, but which still had a hold on the 
affections of the people. 

While the authorities were struggling for dear life in the dis- 
turbed provinces, the Council in Calcutta was forging legal weapons 
for the chastisement of the rebels, and was arming, with vast and 
irresponsible powers, those, whom they had hitherto jealously 
restrained by forms and hampered by appeals. We shall herafter 
notice individually these Acts of the Legislature, as they are 
strongly characteristic of the times. The Magistrate went into the 
fort a fugitive, with the ordinary powers of inflicting three years' 
imprisonment on certain offences, but he came out a full-blown 


Despot ; and not he alone, for, since there was so mucli vengeance to 
be taken, it was not sufficient to arm the Commissioner, the Judge, 
the Magistrate, the Deputy-Magistrate, the Assistant-Magistrate 
with power of life and death ; but two private individuals and the 
civil surgeon (Heaven save the mark !) were invested with this awful 
authority ; and, when it is remembered, that these gentlemen had 
seen their houses plundered and burned, their wives and children 
hurried off to the fort in fear of their Hves, when each of them 
had experienced domestic treason and household treachery, when 
aU of them had been harrowed by a month of watching, of anxiety 
and anguish, we cannot be surprised, if they were not all in a 
judicial frame of mind, if every black man did seem an enemy of 
themselves, their country, and their religion. 

"We make every allowance for their excited state of feeling, and 
blame the Government for placing in their hands at such a moment 
the powers of a giant. No doubt severe examples were required, 
but it was stUl more important, that the right persons should be 
punished, that with so wide a field we should hit the great offenders. 
Zealously did the three volunteers use their new powers, and in the 
short time, which elapsed before their recall, one of the private 
individuals had sentenced sixty, the second sixty-four, and the 
civil surgeon fifty-four to the gallows. No record remains of the 
crime or the evidence, but we gather, that one man was hung for 
having a bag of new copper coin in his possession, presumed to have 
been plundered from the treasury, or most probably abandoned by 
the mutinous sepoys, who were surfeited with silver. More than 
a month after our power had been restored in the city, we find 
fifteen sentenced one day, and twenty-eight the next, for rebellion 
and robbing the treasury ; but it does not appear that they were 
sepoys. Thirteen were hung another day for a similar offence. 
Six were hung for plying a ferry for the convenience of the rebels. 
The investigations of the Officers of Government, men trained to 
the consideration of evidence, and conscious of the necessity of 
supporting the character, as weU as vindicating the authority of 
Government, were more deliberate. Forms were very properly set 
aside, careful lists and memoranda were kept of every offence and 
every offender on the day, that the occurrence was reported; and, 
when we consider the number and intensity of the crimes com- 
mitted, we cannot be surprised that, in the course of the six months 
following the ^meute, one hundred suffered death on the gaUows by 
order of the Judge, and about fifty by order of the Magistrate ; and 
it is characteristic of the times, that on one occasion the Lieutenant- 
Governor called upon the Magistrate to justify himself for not having 
sentenced one person to death, and having only condemned him to 
perpetual imprisonment. In fact, when death is the punishment of 
every felony, as it is by the specisd Acts, a man's life depends not 


on the intensity of his criminality, but on the feelings of the party 
trying him. A gigantic permanent gallows was erected in this, as 
in every town of the North-West Provinces, and we find, that the 
civU auditor retrenched the salary of a permanent hangman and 
sweeper to remove bodies, which necessitated a special reference to 
Government, and the explanation of the Magistrate, that it would 
be a saving in expenditure over the cost of ten rupees for each 
man hung. What a singular blending of red tape and red blood ! 

But a most lamentable, as well as ludicrous, record of the times 
is the correspondence, wliich then passed between the Authorities 
of the district and others. We find a violent letter from some 
one, accusing the Magistrate of having been the cause of the death 
of his mother and other female relations, who chose to stay behind, 
when the Europeans entered the fort. We have a pathetic and 
subdued letter from another, begging for some information with 
regard to a lost brother. We read of a Christian clerk turning 
Mahometan, and accused of siding with the rebels, on which the 
Government-Authority leaves him to settle his faith with the 
Creator, but calls him to account for his mundane acts ; on which 
the delinquent reports, that he had only renounced Christianity as 
a temporary expedient. Occasionally we come, as it were, face to 
face with those, who have seen their families massacred, and who 
will listen to no reason, and accept no consolation. We have one 
Eurasian clerk betraying another about jewels plundered from a 
neighbouring city. We hear of an unclaimed girl forwarded in 
for medical treatment. We find an American missionary, when 
called upon to take out a passport under the new " Foreigner's 
Act," indignantly maintain, that he was an Irishman, and thank God 
for it. We find the European British subject, in spite of the 
massacre of women and children, standing on his constitutional 
rights, and daring the Magistrate, even under martial law, to send 
his wife and family, by the orders of Government, down to Cal- 
cutta ; and, when the Magistrate used his powers under the Act for 
impressing artisans for the barracks of English soldiers, who are 
the stay of our empire, we find a cabinetmaker wishing the civil 
power to inform him, how he (the cabinetmaker) was to support 
himself, mother, wife, and two children, if his men were daily seized 
by the barrack-master. 

Then, again, whenever the Magistrate could persuade the com- 
manding officer to place a small force at his disposal, an attack was 
made by the civil authority on some village, which had been par- 
ticularly obnoxious in the slaughter of some European fugitive, or 
the plunder of a mail-cart. In these forays it often happened, that 
tribes, hostile to the village, assisted the Officers of Government. 
On one occasion they surrounded a village and seized the rebels, 
but refused to allow them to be taken to head-quarters to be 


executed, and the Magistrate was obliged to compromise the affair 
by sending out a party of Sikhs to hang them on the spot. On 
another occasion, a military officer, lately arrived from England, 
was conducting a party of European soldiers up the trunk-road, 
when he was informed, that in a neighbouring village a rebel chief 
was entrenched with guns and sepoys. The intelligent officer 
planned a night attack, stormed the position, and captured the 
native Superintendent of Police and Eevenue, who held his post, 
thinking on his side that he was attacked by mutineers. It is 
astonishing, how Orientals adopted customs of their country, of 
which they could have had no personal experience hitherto ; for 
not only were European heads sent in as trophies to rebel chiefs, 
but occasionally the heads of rebel chiefs were sent in to the 
Officers of Government. The necessity of burning some villages 
was obvious, but the expedient was carried too far, for, when a 
village was surrounded at night with a view to secure the males, 
and fired, it is a sad truth, that the women and children were burned 
in the confusion. Moreover the destruction of a village maddens 
the peasantry, and throws the land out of cultivation, and this 
circumstance was most properly commented on by the Governor- 
General in his much-censured proclamation. 

By subsequent special Acts the punishment of death was 
adjudged to all violent crimes, the only alternative being stripes, 
as many as one hundred lashes being freely administered. One 
woman was hanged for treason. No mercy was shown to mutineer 
sepoys by the civil authorities, and, as fast as they were caught, 
they were strung up ; but at one time a strange difference existed 
between the practice of the military and civil authorities, and par- 
ties apparently in the same category were paid up, and discharged 
at the fort, instead of being hung up at the Magistrate's Court. So 
deep-spread was the disease in men's minds, so wide the contagion 
of revolt and thirst of plunder, that the guards plundered their 
own treasure, the record-keepers set fire to their own records, the 
table-servants of Europeans broke their own master's china, and 
stole their silver plate. All records of the past, English or ver- 
nacular, were hopelessly destroyed. Many timid persons, writers, 
and native doctors were, no doubt, hurried into rebellion by the 
example, and from fear of bolder spirits, and in one instance the 
whole of the native establishment of a sub-CoUectorate were hanged 
for appropriating the cash ; yet be it recorded to the honour of the 
natives of Calcutta, who have monopolised the English offices in 
the North- West Provinces, that, timid and pusillanimous as they 
notoriously are, no one instance of their having failed in their 
loyalty is on record. 

All this time the whole district was supposed to be under Mar- 
tial Law, and the natural impression was, that the functions of the 


civil power had ceased, instead of being magnified and multiplied, 
as was the case ; one native Police officer petitioned to bo furnished 
with a copy of Martial Law. All power seemed to be centred in 
the Magistrate, and he had, at the same moment, to strive to keep 
the lethargic Judge up to the proper pitch of hanging, and his own 
fiery subordinates down to the pitch of acquittal. On one occasion, 
just as a secret party was starting for a night attack on a notorious 
vUIage, a couple of rockets from the city told them, that they were 
betrayed, and the alarm given. The Magistrate met this by imposing 
an enormous fine on the city, which led to the surrender of the 
otfenders. On another occasion, European soldiers were charged 
with bayoneting wretched grooms, whom they mistook for muti- 
neers, or for firing on some townspeople, who remonstrated with 
them for shooting their pigeons. The story is current, though we 
cannot vouch for it, that a European missed his water-drawer, and 
found his body next day on the gaUows, as the peculiar cut of his 
whisker and moustache had led him to be mistaken for a mutineer. 
It was dangerous to have a martial bearing, or a whisker cut 
straight from the ear, for a long time afterwards. 

In such times individual character came out, and the weak 
spirits gave way to the stronger. In some stations we find the 
Magistrate taking the lead ; in another the Judge assumed the com- 
mand, for which nature marked him out as the fittest. In a third 
District the Commissioner, by force of character, assumed entire 
military as weU as civil control. So it was among the native em- 
ployes of Government. The Magistrate soon found out, which of 
his subordinates could be depended upon, and in one remarkable 
instance the native Civil Judge, by capacity and valour, brought 
himself so conspicuously forward, as to be known as the Fighting 
Munsiflf. He not only held his own defiantly, but he planned 
attacks, he burned villages, he wrote English despatches thanking 
his subordinates, and displayed a capacity for rule and a fertility of 
resource very remarkable for one of his nation. As a general rule, 
the higher officials were faithful, but there were lamentable excep- 
tions. Old native Judges were bitten by religious fanaticism, for 
they could not allege ignorance of our laws as their excuse. On 
one occasion the Deputy Collector, the son of an Englishman and 
well acquainted with English, was hurried into rebellion ; in fact, 
the line of separation betwixt right and wrong became at such 
moments very narrow. In one district the Police and Eevenue dis- 
trict establishments insisted upon having two months' pay served 
out, and they were hanged for it. In another district a high 
Government-Officer served a rebel chief six months in the saniB 
capacity, and could not see, that he had done wrong. In another 
village the landed gentry appropriated the cash in the Government 
local treasury, and diifided it among themselves according to their 


shares in the estate, and recorded the same in the books of the 

In addition to flogging and the extreme penalty of the law, the 
Magistrate was armed with the power of confiscation of property- 
real and personal, and, as this applied to those who had absconded, 
had died, or escaped other punishment, the extent of property 
which changed hands was considerable. Gardens, houses, shops, 
were attached; chattels, grain, and perishable articles were sold. 
Hindu temples and Mahometan mosques were blown up by gun- 
powder, as some return for the desecration and destruction of every 
church in the North-West Provinces. Bells were articles, which 
changed hands freely, for during the disturbance a Brahman appro- 
priated the bell of the Presbyterian church, and gongs and bells 
were reserved as plunder on the destruction of Hindu shrines. 
Another feature of the rebellion had been the general employment 
of native Christians in the Government Offices ; catechists had 
been transformed into orderly horsemen, and native preachers into 
evidence-writers. It cannot but be admitted, that during a reign 
of terror, which a suspension of the regular Courts naturally im- 
plies, the worst passions of men come out. Stories are told of 
false treasonable letters being tied up in the clothes of an adversary 
to secure his conviction, and it is notorious, that no one dared to 
file a suit in the Civil Court before the Judge, while the defendant 
had the power and will at once to charge his creditor with treason 
and rebellion before the Magistrate. 

In a neighbouring district the rebels determined to destroy the 
church, the bell of which swung on a Httle cupola ; as they were 
cutting down the beU, it f eU and killed two of the plunderers ; 
this awed the remainder, and saved the church. To the church of 
another station the writer of these lines had presented a large copy 
of the Scriptures, given to him when he left Eton ; the church had 
been destroyed, but, when temple and tower went to the ground, the 
book escaped uninjured, and stiU occupies its old place. Two ladies 
were in the power of the rebels ; at a time, when their hour was 
darkest, they petitioned a mutinous native doctor to give them 
some medicine ; it was brought wrapped in a page of a mutUated 
Bible, and their wondering eyes read the message delivered by Isaiah, 
chap. li. vers. 12, 13, 14. A few days after they were rescued by a 
successful act of daring on the part of two officers. In another 
district the State-prisoners in the gaol rose up at night and kiUed 
their gaoler and his guard. The Magistrate summoned the troops 
to his aid ; the gaol was taken by assault, and the ringleaders 
seized ; in the dead of night a drumhead Court-Martial sentenced 
them to death by hanging ; but no ropes are allowed in a gaol, so 
the sentence was commuted to shooting, and the piTenders were 
massed in a triangular-shaped block against the wall in the 


limited space of the prison, and tlien and there killed by repeated 

All this time the Executive oflScer of the district was not idle 
in his duties of Collector. Money poured in by every steamer 
from Calcutta, and poured out like water, leaving the tale of un- 
adjusted items to be told in tens of thousands of pounds. There 
was constant payment of sums for saving European life or distin- 
guished bravery, for it was then no light service for a native to 
stand by an Englishman, as he was liable to attack by the rebels for 
so doing. The terrorism of the rebels is scarcely appreciated hy us 
to its full extent. There were compensations for losses or for 
wounds, or advances made to starving Christians or faithful natives, 
driven with only the clothes on their backs from out-stations. 
There were rewards to be paid for the arrest of notorious rebels and 
criminals escaped from gaol; spies and messengers to be paid 
handsomely for their services generally, by dipping their hands 
into a bag of silver, and securing as much as they could grasp,; 
advances to be made to officers engaged in raising regiments of 
low-caste men; and reward for the restoration of Government 
horses, cattle, and stores. State-prisoners had to be maintained. 
Supplies of cash had to be furnished to every advancing column, 
or placed at the disposal of the commissariat and the ordnance 
department. No wonder that in these hasty remittances the tale of 
rupees ran short, that boxes of treasure were found violated, and, 
iu one instance, a box of five hundred pounds was found missing. 
In the general moral debasement, we cannot be surprised, that the 
European sentry was not always trustworthy. In the treasure 
chamber also was stowed away the plunder belonging to the army, 
the spoO. of captured cities, valued at hundreds of thousands of 
pounds, and fastened down in beer barrels until the end of the 
war. Among these spoils were the crown jewels of sovereigns, the 
gold plate of princes, earrings, and nose-rings, and jewels of 
women, ornamented daggers, and diamond necklaces, all the pomp 
and wealth of Oriental monarchs, wrung from a plundered and 
oppressed people, and now captured by the Enghsh army. 

At the same time the Collector had to look after the Revenue of 
those parts of the district, in which his orders were respected. He 
had to suspend collections from such villages, as had been plun- 
dered, burned, or deserted. He had to determine, where he should 
remit, and where enforce the demand ; as it is a grave moral ques- 
tion, how far a Government is justified in demanding the payment 
of taxes, when it has notoriously failed in its duty of protection, 
owing to no fault of the people. JSTo sooner was the danger past, 
than red tape raised its head again, and a gentleman, sitting in 
comfort and ease at Calcutta, reminded the excited Collector of 
imattended-to forms and discontinued returns. With hundreds of 


boxes of stationery and stamps in his cliarge, directed to districts 
in the hands of the rebels, the Collector, -without a pen or sheet of 
paper belonging to him, dared not use the consignment of his 
neighbour without special authority. As he returned to his half- 
ruiued home from his morning-duty of hanging rebels, flogging 
rioters, and blowing up temples, he found letters from the Head 
of the Finance Department, remindiug him, that he was personally 
responsible for every rupee missing in a treasury guarded by 
European soldiers in a fort three miles off. On his table he found 
notes from an Officer with the force of Jang BahAdar, requesting a 
daily supply of a hundred he-goats for the hungry Girkha ; from 
the Postmaster, requesting him to hunt for a missing mail-cart; 
from the Commanding Officer, requesting him to close the grog- 
shops ; from a Cavalry-Commandant, to know whose grass was to be 
cut, and where a farrier was to be found ; from the Pension-Pay- 
master, requesting him to attend a committee on the confiscation 
of pensions. Telegraphic messages up and down were tumbling in 
all day long, sometimes announcing a victory, sometimes heralding 
a traveller, for, in addition to his other duties, he had to keep a 
Eed Lion tavern for strangers, examine the passport of every native 
traveller, and ascertain the contents of every native letter. 

Thus passed six months away, and if some grey hairs had shown 
themselves in his beard (for since his razors were plundered, he 
had remained perforce unshorn), if his heart sometimes palpitated 
from over-excitement, and his liver sometimes troubled him, no 
wonder. If his temper was somewhat soured, if he hated the 
natives vidth a deep hate, if he talked too lightly of cutting the 
thread of human life, and scoring the backs of poor devils, no 
wonder. He had had much to bear, and the rebellion had fallen 
heavily on his estate, his family, and his health. He was men- 
tioned in no dispatches; the thanks of Government reached him 
not; and, when he saw that the tide had turned, and that the 
country was saved, he hurried to England, on the chance of quiet 
restoring tone to his body, and change of scene bringing back 
equanimity to his mind. During the past months he had seen a 
solemn procession of heroes pass by him, and he had met and held 
converse with all. Some had returned crowned with laurel ; for 
others had been destined the cypress, and they had remained 
where they went. Henry Lawrence, NeiU, Havelock, Outram, 
Peel, Clyde, and hundreds, who had lived and died in this struggle, 
had he seen. For this city being the gateway of Northern India, 
through it had hurried on the avenging force of Europeans, first in 
hundreds, and latterly in thousands ; not by the usual stately 
marches, the daUy parasang by parasang, with tents and camels, 
pomp and externals, but dragged by bullocks, pulled along by 
ponies, carried by elephants, at the rate of fifty miles per diem. 



But the man and the mnsket came alone, and provision had to be 
found him at each halting-place; so the local authorities had 
to prepare two hundred beds at each hut, lay in supplies of 
coffee, milk, tea, beef, mutton, biscuit, means of cooking, and 
means of eating. The road groaned and creaked night and 
day with trains of ammunition and stores, drawn by oxen, 
camels, and elephants, who themselves ate and drank, and re- 
quired at each halting-place mountains of provender. The fol- 
lowers of the army ate and drank also, and the carts were at length 
counted by thousands, and bullocks by tens of thousands. The 
Magistrate and the Commissariat Of&cer, sometimes in concert, some- 
times in competition, bought up homed cattle by hundreds for 
slaughter. It was officially reported, that all the rams of the year 
were exhausted, and the ewe with its lamb was served up as a sub- 
stitute : tough eating no doubt, but strong were the teeth and keen 
was the appetite of the British soldier, longing to be at them, 
enchanted with the new way of marching, and, in their hatred to 
the natives, scarcely keeping their hands off the camp-servants who 
ministered to their wants, detecting a rebel in each miserable groom, 
and a mutineer in each waterdrawer. In the march of the earlier 
column men were strung up to the trees on the roadside, and 
familiarly called acorns by the soldiers. Black life was never so 
cheap as then. The vast supplies of food for man and beast, the 
hundred thousand mauds of forage, the thousands of tent-pegs, the 
hundreds of blankets, the scores of elephants and other beasts of 
burde^, were the result of systematic labour. The resources of half- 
occupied districts were developed, and admirable indeed were the 
arrangements made and the instructions issued by the Government, 
calculated to secure the comfort of the soldier and the protection of 
the people. And while the avenging army was marching upwards, 
convoys of ladies and children, who had escaped the massacre of the 
innocents, the inmates of garrisons, which had held out beyond 
hope and gained imperishable glory, women who had fled with 
their children on foot under the fuU heat of an Indian sun, leaving 
the bodies of their slaughtered husbands rotting in some ravine, or 
eaten by dogs under the eyes of insulting crowds, — these had to be 
sorrowfully and respectfully conveyed down. These were they, who 
had gone through much tribulation, whom the hand of God had 
selected to expiate by their sorrow the sins of our nation. On them, 
though not more guilty than their neighbours, the tower of Siloam 
had fallen, and crushed their domestic happiness j for the power of 
England will spring up again, stronger from the blow, that was meant 
to dash it down ; but the young, the strong of heart, the wise of 
council, the brave, the weU-beloved, are treasures, which no time 
can restore ! "Who is there, who would not gladly buy back 'at the 
cost of half his fortune the life of one of those, whom, though 


unconnected by ties of blood, he had loved and respected, who had 
grown up with him from his youth, to whose loss he can still hardly 
reconcile himself ? Who is there, who does not sometimes ask him- 
self, why his own life had been spared, when many so much worthier 
— when Havelock, Lawrence, NeiU, and Nicholson, and so many 
other noble spirits — ^had been called away ? 

And when the campaign -vpas over the soldier had to be housed. 
Barracks had to be erected in unusual numbers and with rapidity. 
Every carpenter and every mason, all the timber, all the thatching 
grass of the district, had to be impressed and impounded. Contracts 
had to be made for beds for those brave fellows, who had not known 
what the thing meant for nearly a twelvemonth, from the time that 
they were blown out of the harbour of Portsmouth by the first blast 
of the Indian whirlwind. Vegetables had to be sown for these brave 
fellows' dinners ; the grog-shops had to be closed that they might 
not make themselves drunk ; foraging caps, accoutrements, knap- 
sacks, left behind on the upward march, had to be stored and taken 
care of. Long discussions and wordy wars had to be carried on 
about the price of grain and supplies. The Commissariat Officer 
attacked the native Police as obstructing purchases ; they retorted 
on him as a wholesale plunderer, and very often he was so, though 
they were not in a position to bring the charge. !N"o English trans- 
action can be carried through without a good fight. This has been 
sadly exemplified in the late rebellion, for while England was talk- 
ing of our beleaguered garrisons as bands of brothers, we find in 
every instance, that violent feuds obstructed the public interests, 
that poor weak men, even in the hour when it seemed least valu- 
able, grasped at power — 

" Iliacos intra mm-os pugnatur, et extra." 

"We now turn to what may be called the Eebellion-Legislation, and 
take a glance at what the Parliament of India did, or thought that 
they were doing, to assist the Executive in the death-struggle with the 
mutineers and the rebels. The Government of India has from the 
earliest days shown the greatest tenderness for human life and the 
greatest jealousy of its Executive officers, and by legal forms and 
apellate courts has fenced round' the lives, the liberties, and the 
property, of its meanest subject. Be it handed down to its honour 
that, unlike most Asiatic conquerors, its Code has never been written 
in blood, and that it has always recognised the equality of all it& 
subjects in the eye of God and the law. No blood has ever fallen 
to the ground unavenged ; the Courts are open to the meanest and 
the poorest, and the Government has fairly won the title of the 
mildest despotism that the world ever saw. It had been carried 
too far, especially in the army, where the power of the Commanding 
Officer had been paralysed. On the first tidings of the mutiny 


reaching tlie Council Chamber, summary and full power was given 
to Courts-Martial to deal with, offenders on the i6th of May. By 
the 30th of May the respectable gentlemen, who composed the 
Council, only one of whom had been so far up-country as Banaras 
(for the representative of the North-West Provinces was shut up as 
a prisoner in the Agra fort), discovered that the mutiny was akin 
to a rebellion, and an Act revolutionised the country, for it swept 
away all the barriers raised up by the wisdom of our predecessors 
against hasty judgment ; it did away with all appeals, all records ; 
it placed the power of life and death in the hands of any one, to 
whom in the hour of confusion it might falL It was like giving 
strong liquor to babes. Many, who used these vast powers, have no 
one to answer to but God and their consciences ! Early in the day 
the Government tried to check their Commissioners.' In the Pro- 
vinces of Bangui, where the fire of rebellion was less violent, they 
succeeded ; they asked not for forms and checks, for vernacular 
proceedings or depositions, but for fuU. English notes of the trial to 
be kept for future reference, and for a monthly return of the num- 
ber executed. But of many in the ITorth-West Provinces, who were 
launched into eternity under a semi-judicial process, not one note 
remains to say why : a brief statement in the monthly return is their 
only epitaph. We ask no questions with regard to those, who fell 
in the battle or the siege, for their presence on the spot accounts 
for their death ; and for those, who came within the compass of the 
halter, we doubt not, that they fell justly, for a rebellious epidemic 
had seized the community; but we wish that, after the excitement 
of the first weeks had passed, there had been more discrimination, a 
more leisurely and solemn judgment, and none have more denounced 
indiscriminate and hasty and unrecorded executions than those who 
in peril were vigorous and unsparing, but merciful in the hour of 
victory. The first, who began to strike, were the first to leave off 

It was not enough to pxinish the mutineers and the rebels, but 
those, who seduced and stirred up the native army or others, had to 
be met by special punishments ; and on the 6th June another Act 
gave such powers, and on the 13th of the same month another Act 
made death the legal punishment of every heinous offence, down to 
receiving stolen property in districts where Martial Law was pro- 
claimed. On the 20th June an Act brought the whole of the muti- 
neers and deserters under the Civil Magistrates, and armed them with 
the power of life and death contained in the Articles of War. On 
the 8th August, confiscation of property was added to the penalty 
of death in all the above cases. This completed a Code unequalled 
since that of Draco, for every line is written in blood, and all pro- 
tection to Hf e, liberty, and property was removed. It is with wonder 
and awe that we peruse the unlimited powers conveyed in these 


enactments. Better, far better, -would it have been to have sus- 
pended all the existing laws, and to have placed unlimited power in 
the hand of the Military or Civil Governor, than thus to let it go 
forth to the world, that death and confiscation of property were at 
one period, though a Hmited one, the legal punishment of every 

It is an illustration, how completely unrepresented the people of 
India were either in Council or in the Press, that these five Acts 
have elicited no remonstrance ; no petitions were sent home to 
England praying for some better guarantee for life and property, 
though posterity wiU wonder what kind of men they were, who 
enacted such frightful laws. Were they fierce men of the school of 
the French Marshals, or the dragooning Governors of Austrian Italy, 
who thus by the stroke of a pen' transformed King Log into King 
Serpent, who gave every white man the power to inflict, and every 
dark man the risk of suffering, death without appeal ? But against 
one Act, which affected the interests of the Fourth Estate, and 
placed the Press under the control of the executive, was raised a 
howl, which reached, but was not re-echoed by, the Sovereign-Press 
of England. There were among the representatives of the Indian 
Press gentlemen, who had made it their profession, who united great 
ability to long experience and a lofty independence. Against such 
there were no law; they were important elements in the Indian 
constitution ; they pointed out abuses unsparingly ; they placed 
distant districts into contact with each other; they suggested 
amendments, and were instruments of unbounded good. Against 
such there should have been no law, and the mistake committed by 
the Government was, that they did not communicate to these gentle- 
men that the yoke, which the Council had forged, was meant for the 
necks of a very different class, which was not wanting in India. 

On the 18th. of July was passed an Act to regulate the organisa- 
tion of volunteer corps, which became the germ of a permanent and 
more extended legislation, by which in the hour of danger every 
Christian can at once be made available to the Government. Living 
among strangers, and knowing now, that every hand is ready to be 
raised against us, every Christian should carry arms, be able to use 
arms, and belong to a legalised armed Association. But, as a com- 
plement to this Act, was required the disarming of the natives of 
the country; and on the nth September was passed an Enactment 
which, if we were only true to ourselves, may be the saving of 
India. It has always beeh subject of amazement to thinking minds, 
that the Government of India permitted the unrestrained use of 
arms to its subjects, not only arms of defence, but of offence and of 
military organisation. Private individuals were allowed to possess 
forts, cannon, and companies of trained soldiers armed with musket 
and bayonet. No restriction was placed on the making of powder 


or the importation of Englisli firearms. In every town the Ar- 
mourer-Smitli held a recognised position, and the meanest servant 
carried his weapon. "We sowed the whirlwind and we reaped the 
storm, and a mutiny of soldiers expanded into a vast rebeUion. 
Wiser far were the authorities of the Panjib. From the earliest 
day of occupation the population was effectually disarmed, and 
heavy penalties attended the possession of an unlicensed weapon. 
Every fort was dismantled ; the manufacture of powder," the impor- 
tation of sulphur and saltpetre, were controlled. In the hour of 
peril the people found, that their fang had been drawn ; they could 
not, even if they would, play with edge tools. This had now to be 
done for Hindustan, and until done thoroughly the possession of 
the kingdom was not complete. No one, who knew the country, 
wondered whence came the cannon and the munitions of war, which 
seem endless. Every district had its shadow of royalty, the debris 
of ancient dynasties, bearing the name of the great town, with 
imprescriptible rights, sanctioned by usage and popular favour, 
always ready to spring up in hostUity, to whom was allowed the 
privilege of being above the jurisdiction of oui courts, who were 
thorns in the sides of the magistracy, who headed the disturbances 
on the annual festivals, and whom a pernicious system allowed to 
usurp the titles, the privilege, and the rank of the Sovereign of 
England. Englishmen looked on them disdainfully and pitifully, 
and smiled at their mock Courts ; but to the people they were the 
reality, and the Sovereign of England was a myth. 

By the z8th of November the Government were satisfied, that 
the number of mutineers exceeded their power of extermination, 
and an Act was passed for branding those, who escaped the extreme 
penalty of the law, reviving a practice which, only ten years pre- 
viously, had been erased from the statute book. On the 5th of 
December an Act was passed to prevent any foreigner landing or 
travelling in India without a passport, the object being to prevent 
European adventurers of the free-lance profession introducing them- 
selves among the rebels, and giving organisation to their efforts. 
One by one the characteristics which distinguished the dominions 
of England were effaced; and on the 23d of January a small par- 
ticle of the great Habeas Corpus Act, which by accident had clung 
to the island of Bombay, and enabled a State-prisoner to appeal to 
the High Court of Judicature, was ruthlessly wiped out. There 
remained but to legalise the Slave-colonies, formed of convicted 
sepoys, in the Andaman Islands, and the Government of British 
India could take its place with Eussia on the Caucasus. 

As the storm of rebellion rolled back, and possession was re- 
covered of the Province, new necessities for legislation occurred. 
Twenty thousand prisoners had escaped from gaol and were 
scattered over the country. Some were the most malignant criminals, 


whom nothing but the weakness of the Courts, and the idiosyn- 
cracies of the Judges had kept from the gallows, professional 
poisoners, hereditary murderers, druggers, and notorious highway- 
men. An Act was passed, by which death or transportation for 
life was legalised for certain recaptured convicts, and a very 
necessary provision this was. At the same time the destruction 
of the gaols rendered it expedient to substitute corporal punishment 
for every variety of felonious crime, thus making another necessary 
though retrograde step in legislation, as it was only twenty-five 
years before, that stripes were legally forbidden as a punishment, 
though by subsequent enactment partially re-introduced for juvenile 
offenders and petty thefts. 

Then came four Enactments, characteristic of the rebellion. 
Forced labour has been the prevailing sin of all despotic countries ; 
it is alluded to in the New Testament ; it is found to prevail every- 
where, where the lower classes are in debasement ; the poor man 
has but his broad shoulders and manual dexterity, but the rich and 
the powerful seize him for the erection of their palaces, the making 
of their roads, the carrying of their goods. It was thus, that the 
Pharaohs of Egypt made their Pyramids, and the Pashas of Egypt 
made their canal and their railway ; it was this cause, that roused 
the French population against the old Feudal regime. The Indian 
Government has struggled against it, but the evil was rampant ; it 
had been forbidden by legal enactments, but every officer of 
Government knows, that on every march that he took the evil 
existed in some form or other, either as impressment or purveyance. 
But the necessity of erecting barracks for the European troops 
compelled the Indian Government to legalise this enormity, and to 
sanction the impressment of labour, adding every possible condi- 
tion of remuneration, and every check on abuse. 

The second Enactment was to protect the interests of Govern- 
ment. Land Tax, Excise, and Stamps were the three sources of the 
Government revenue ; and as vast amounts of stamp-paper were 
plundered, an Act was passed to restrict the sale of such paper, and 
by the introduction of a second stamp on the paper in store, prac- 
tically to destroy the value of the plundered paper. No doubt the 
European captains of river-steamers, who enriched themselves at 
the expense of the Government, were deep though not loud in 

The third Enactment was intended to secure the severe and dis- 
criminating punishment of the inhabitants of those villages notorious 
for plunder, and the destruction of European life and public build- 
ings. Fine and confiscation were the penalties imposed and most 
justly incurred. If there was one duty more incumbent on Govern- 
ment than another, it was to punish severely the agrarian outrages 
of certain localities ; for communities, who had for fifty years known 


nothing but peace and abundance, burst forth full armed into rapine 
and murder, sparing neither property nor person, neither age nor 
sex. Certain tribes were more conspicuously notorious, and some 
had already suffered ; in one case aU the males in a vUlage, sixty 
in number, were hung on the trees in front of their own houses ; a 
punishment frightful to record. 

The fourth and last Enactment was to facilitate the recovery of 
land, of which possession had been wrongfully taken during the 
disturbances. Hereby hangs a long tale of Indian and English 
misgovernment. In the early days of British rule land was freely 
and often unjustly brought to the auction-hammer for balances of 
Land-Eevenue, and decrees of the CivU Court. Before the attention 
of the Government was roused, a great part of the land of this pro- 
vince had changed hands, and the ancient communities of resident 
proprietors had been ousted of their rights by the stranger capitalists, 
and had subsided into the subordinate position of hereditary culti- 
vators, paying a fixed rent. Smarting under a confused sense of 
injury, and of actual dishonour, ever and anon the brotherhood 
would rise up, and in a violent affray attempt to oust the intruder ; 
but the strong hand of the civil power would then vindicate its 
own decree, and consign the offenders to gaoL But the disturbances 
opened the floodgates of passion long repressed, and the opportunity 
was too tempting. The stranger was ejected, or even slain, and 
the old community reinstated themselves. Eor long the Govern- 
ment was powerless to vindicate the rights guaranteed by their own 
acts, and, though deeply regretting the cause of the alienation, there 
was nothing but to restore possession, and this was the object of 
this special Enactment. 

Lastly came an Act inflicting special penalties on parties found 
in possession of arms and other property belonging to Her Majesty, 
This was especially aimed at the recovery of the thousands of 
muskets, the hundreds of horses, the stores and the ammunition, 
which had been appropriated by the mutineers in the first blush of 
the outbreak. These Enactments formed the Code of Mutiny- 
legislation ; it is but just to add that their term was limited. 

We have finished our narrative, but the reality exceeds all 
description. Those only, who see with their eyes, and hear with 
their ears, can realise the extent of the social disorganisation. It 
is an instructive lesson, and it is good for those, who learn it 
earnestly and thoughtfully. Let the rebels be called patriots fight- 
ing for their country, enthusiasts fighting for their religion, op- 
pressed sovereigns fighting for their independence, stiU they were 
emphatically the enemies of civilisation. The dark night of the 
Middle Ages would have closed upon this country, if in the end their 
cause had triumphed. After the Eilglish rule comes the deluge. 
In this unhappy province the Magistrates lived in an almost savage 


state, with a tBiee-hooked gallows always ready rigged, and a plat- 
form always ready to drop. Along the road, formerly the highway 
of commerce, leading to the Northern Capitals, everywhere ruin 
was visible; unroofed houses, schools, hospitals, police stations, 
revenue offices. Courts of justice, gaols wantonly destroyed. Every 
monument raised to civilisation and order had been destroyed ; the 
rebels had leagued themselves with confusion and disorder, and 
selected murderers as their chosen associates and leaders. 

And let it not go forth, that the tyranny of English rule deserved 
this bitter chastisement, that there were none who cared for the 
people. This was not the case. There were missionaries spiritual 
and missionaries lay, men who devoted their lives to the great duty 
of caring for the people, who fed the starving, looked after the sick, 
succoured the oppressed, and protected life and property. And let 
it not be said, that the English were a godless people, and that 
nothing was done to promote the cause of Christianity, or that 
they were ashamed of their creed. In every district rose the Chris- 
tian church ; in nearly every one was the Christian mission, accom- 
panied by its schools, its village preaching, and the dispersing of 
God's word. The Public Servants of the State in India have often 
been judged harshly as to their efficiency and their training, but in 
two particulars they have been conspicuous, in official integrity and 
in devotion and love to the people under their charge. 

In the preceding pages the duties of the Collector of Eevenue in 
the North of India are described. To a true philanthropist there is 
no more suitable destiny than that of being the earthly Providence 
of so many thousands. But how sadly altered is the position now ! 
Every Englishman is not only a free man, but a missionary of 
liberty, and though the servant of a despotic Government, there 
was the consolation, that the Government was paternal, that poli- 
tical offences were unknown, and that the position of the subjects 
v/as happy. This can be asserted no longer. The waters of the 
Ganges will not wash away the blood ; years will not efface the 
memory of 1857. Hundreds have perished violently. We have 
been surrounded, attacked, insulted, slain, and, in return, we have 
used a giant's strength and crushed them ; but no longer can we 
hope to have friendly meetings and friendly greetings. No longer 
can we dwell among the people, like parents among their children. 
They have all, we have all, tasted blood. We fear them, and they 
hate us to the death. ^ 

It is a dreadful feature in this war of races to contemplate the 
destruction of all pity, aU sympathy, all the precepts of Christianity. 
Those, who arrived fresh from England, were amazed to hear gentle 
ladies talking of slaughter, of hanging, of revenge, devoting whole 

^ It is a comfort to record that the fear expressed in 1858 has not proved 
true, and that all things have settled down as before. 


tribes, whole classes, to tte gallows. The common ground of 
humanity was cut away from under them. They talked of the people 
as wild beasts, and yet had to live among them for the best years 
of their lives, to eat from their hands ; and it wiH be well, if con- 
tinuation of pressure does not convert them into assassins. It wa,» 
well for India, that the leaven of English feeling gradually worked 
into the mass, and that a milder policy took the place of that indis- 
criminate revenge, which would have lowered us in the scale of 
civilised nations. The next generation will honour at its full value the 
clemency of Lord Canning, and the self-restraint of Lord Lawrence. 
In our firm and undisputed Constitution at home, we know 
nothing practically of the necessity of chajity and forgiveness, 
which every rebellion entails. A Frenchman, who has known the 
horror of a revolution in his own country, would see the necessity 
of shortening the sword of revenge. The people of India had seen 
us rise wonderfully and suddenly, like a star from afar, and they 
had worshipped us. They had admitted our prestige, and king- 
doms had sunk before us ; but now a lying rumour had gone forth, 
that our power was gone, that our time was up. We find this in 
every intercepted letter, not meant for European eye, that both 
friends and enemies had conceived a firm belief, that such was the 
case, and they acted according to the best of their judgment for 
themselves. Some sided with us, because certain hostile tribes in 
their neighbourhood had taken the other part. Some respectable 
landholders stood up at first for order, not for us, but their timidity 
at last compelled them to give way and join the stream. Many 
revolted imwillingly, having much to lose; many were compro- 
mised by their relations, or forcibly carried away by their dependants. 
Many shrunk from massacre or private crime ; they considered the 
empire vacant, as effectually it was, when our native army revolted, 
and our European army was nowhere; and they tendered their 
allegiance according to their family predilections ; or, if their local 
position permitted it, stood aloof to watch events ; or, if they were 
wise, temporised with both parties. Their situation was peculiar, 
but history supplies parallels. Besides, their situation was critical, 
the representatives of effete dynasties were busy and active, the 
propagandists of violent religious wars were loud and powerful ; 
and, as one potent landholder, who has the proud honour of having 
protected English life, and now reaps the fruit, remarked to his 
guests in the hour of doubt and uncertainty, " You may send ships 
and men and reconquer the kingdom, but they may arrive too late 
to save the lives of me and my family ; it is that which I must 
think of." But for every Sepoy, who met us in the field, or who 
has fallen into our power, the sword, the cannon's mouth, and the 
rope, have been adjudged without mercy and without discrimina- 
tion. Many went defiantly, like Spartans, to death, and looked 


about at the last moment with an air of triumph. The s^eat 
Searcher of hearts alone knows what strength sustained them. 
None have craved life, or seemed to care to purchase it ; reckless 
with the lives of others, they have not cared for their own. The 
writer of these lines, in April 1858, was passing through Kanhpiir, 
at eventide, on his road to Lahore, when his vehicle was arrested 
by a crowd, and at length drawn up in front of the gallows. On it 
were three Sepoys in the act of expiating their offence. As the 
rope was placed round their necks, they made a military salute 
with their right hands, uttered the words " SaMm S4hih," and 
were launched into eternity with no sign of fear, or shrinking, or 
religious excitement, or exclamation of defiance. Thousands con- 
tinued in rebellion, because there was no alternative, no loophole 
for escape, until an Amnesty ^ could be passed. 

Let our rulers pause and reflect, that they have a great and not 
uncivilised people under them, congregating in rich cities, scattered 
in innumerable villages : a people cunning in art, courteous in 
maimer, brave in battle, fearless in death, and inflexible in reli- 
gious convictions. It may be, that they have risen in righteous 
indignation against us, for our feelings are not their feelings, our 
gods are not their gods, the question of right and wrong is not 
decided in the same way by them and by us. We cannot exter- 
minate this people, who count by millions, and re-colonise with 
Anglo-Saxons ; we cannot make India a solitude, and then call it 
peace. Let us then confess, that we have committed great errors ; 
that it is the hand of God, that has saved us, and still saves us ; that 
He meant to chastise, and not to destroy us ; afid, confessing our 
own shortcomings, in spite of our power, our learning, the wisdom 
of our counsellors, and the vastness of our physical force, let us be 
indulgent and forgiving to the weak, the ignorant, the deluded, the 
BO-called rebel. 

Lahoee, August 1858. 

' A few months subsequently the Queen published an Amnesty, and the 
rebellion subsided. 

( 2S2 ) 



Books are not wanting, some of great merit, written by 
learned and pious men, with the not unwarrantable pride of 
pUgrims, who have achieved the object of their lives, and who 
desire to communicate to others, and to rouse up in them the deep 
interest which they themselves have experienced. Each year 
adds new facilities to the performance of what, half a century ago, 
was considered a feat to be "talked about. Men, who had stood on 
Mount Ohvet, or knelt at the tomb hard by Calvary, were proud 
to be pointed out during their Hves, and to have this fact recorded 
on their tombs. 

It is with no intention to add to this abundance that the pen 
is taken up by one who has realised his heart's desire in. visiting 
the sacred spots of the Nativity and Passion of our Saviour ; it is 
not to enter into the dreary field of polemics as to the correctness 
or incorrectness of the different localities. The object is simply to 
describe the Holy Land, to point out the facilities for visiting it, 
to awaken an interest in those scenes, and perhaps to tempt some 
one of those, who hurry from India through Egypt on their home- 
ward journey, to tarry awhile and devote two months to a pilgrimage, 
the memory of which will rest to his dying hour. Some of those 
who are driven to seek health in the Himalaya, may be induced to 
avail themselves of the privilege to visit Judea, and seek for health 
in one of the sanataria of Lebanon. 

There must be many to whom distant countries present a mere 
blank and void in their ideas ; and the narrator is obliged to pre^ 
mise a (iescription of the peculiar features of the soU, the ancient 
history of the inhabitants, their laws, customs, and religion ; but 
who among us has not heard of Palestine ? Whose earliest ideas 
of mountains and -trees are not connected with the hiUs and goodly 
cedars of Lebanon ? Who knows not of the hill country of Judea, 
to which Mary went in haste to salute Elizabeth, and the plain of 
Esdraelon, which has been the battlefield of nations from the time 
of Sisera to that of Napoleon ? 

It will be necessary to add, that it is with feelings of awe, and 
a kind of mistrust of the natural senses, that the traveller first 


places his foot on the shore of the Holy Land; that he first 
connects places of an historical and all but fabulous interest with 
the prosaic routine of his daily movements. Is it possible that I 
am to rest this night at Tyre ; that I shall to-morrow stand with 
Ehjah on Mount Carmel ; that with my servants and mules I shall 
tread the sands between Csesarea and Joppa, once trod by St. 
Peter, and go up with St. Paul from Lydda to Jerusalem ? Such 
must be the feelings of the scriptural pilgrim ; it is good for him to 
be there. Nor do the fatigues of the journey, or the discomforts 
necessarily attending travellers, diminish aught of his enthusiasm, 
while he plodes his way along 

" Those holy fields 
Over whose acres walked those blessed feet, 
Whleh eighteen hundred years ago were nailed,. 
For our advantage, on the hitter cross." 

It is some advantage to have travelled in Oriental countries 
previous to landing on the shores of Palestine, as there are many 
features of Asiatic life, which are common all over the Eastern 
world, but which astonish and perplex travellers on their first 
arrival from Europe ; and in every work pages are devoted to a 
minute description, and to scriptural illustrations, of manners and 
features, which are not peculiar to Palestine, but are the charac- 
teristics of Asiatic life elsewhere. There is a tendency also on the 
part of devout and untravelled men to straia the prophecies of the 
Eible, to see the hand of God (unquestionably existing everywhere) 
in the minutest features in this country, and to arrive at un- 
warrantable conclusions. A volume published by some ministers 
of the Scotch Church particularly illustrates this. These excel- 
lent men had probably never left the jurisdiction of the General 
Assembly, until they started upon the mission entrusted to them. 
They saw everything through a microscope of their own. The 
Arab woman drawing water at the well to them was Eebecca, 
when met by Eliezer ; every white-bearded and turbaned old man 
reminded them of Abraham; they found a scriptural interest in 
every object, which they saw and every word which they heard ; 
their pages teem with scriptural quotations; the very mountains 
to them spoke outwardly of the avenging hand of the God of 
Israel : the stem bare hUls of Judah, the wUdemess-girt shores of 
the Sea of Galilee, the harsh and stem look of the vaUey of Jeho- 
shaphat : yet these outward features of nature were the same in 
ancient days as now. The Eiver of Jordan flowed down the same 
dreary bed into the Dead Sea, what time the walls of Jericho 
crumbled at the sound of the trumpet of Joshua ; Jerusalem was 
encircled by the same hills, stood on the edge of the same natural 
chasms, when David danced before the Ark, when Solomon in the 


height of his glory received the Queen of Sheba, and when Tilu3 
razed the Temple. The face of nature does not change. Desola- 
tion certainly shows itself conspicuously, and we see reminiscences 
on all sides of a time, when the inhabitants of the country were 
numerous, rich, and flourishing; the mountains were once in 
Judea, as now in Lebanon, terraced with the vines and the mul- 
berry ; gardens once bloomed where now there is nought but the 
ruined weU; broken columns mark the site of old cities now 
desolate ; and the shattered arch shows, where once the torrent was 
spanned by the royal highway; but the traveller in Greece, in 
Asia Minor, in Mesopotamia, and all over India, knows that such 
are the features of all the ancient countries of Asia : ancient, since 
they saw the first civilisation of man, who learned to be rich, 
powerful, and ambitious, while the less fortunate countries of the 
West were occupied by savages and overgrown by forests. Thus 
to the resident of India all the features of Syria are at once familiar : 
the hedges of prickly pear, the sandy ill-defined roads, the large 
groves of pine-trees, the walled towns, the bazaars, the flat-roofed 
houses, the tapering minarets, the peciiliar natural products, the 
people themselves, with sandalled feet, loose garments, flowing 
beards, and turbans, the trains of mules, and laden camels : all 
these things enchant the travellers of England, but to the Anglo- 
Indian they excite scarcely a passing remark, and he has leisure 
for the uninterrupted contemplation of what is remarkable and 
peculiar to the soil : the completion of prophetical denunciations ; 
the mighty events, which have there happened ; the traces of the 
different races and peoples, which have contended for, possessed, 
and lost, this narrow strip of land, between the Jordan and the 
Mediterranean; for Egyptians, Syrians, Assyrians, Babylonians, 
Persians, Greeks, Komans, Arabs, Turks, and Christians have all 
thrown away time and treasure for the possession of a country, in 
itself valueless, but ever destined to be the highway of nations. 

And no feature is more striking than the comparative insignifi- 
cance of the country in all the attributes of power, wealth, or 
means of support of a great population. David and Solomon at 
their best never could have been more than a petty Raja in British 
India. Jerusalem could never by its physical position have been 
a city of importance, nor could the Temple have in any way rivalled 
the great Pagan structures of antiquity. To those who, like the 
writer of these pages, have been in the habit of dealing with the 
details of the; management of newly-conquered provinces, and con- 
sidering practically the requirements of fiscal and police administra- 
tion, the annexation of such a petty kingdom as Palestine seems a 
small matter, and the whole country from Dan to Beersheba would 
scarcely make up two districts of the size of the twenty-seven 
districts of the Panjdb. To the Jews were committed the Oracles 


of God, and from this cause an importance, quite unwarranted by 
any other consideration, has surrounded them. Not a coin, not an 
inscription on stone or metal, has survived the wreck of ages ; not 
an article of pottery or metal, not a brick tells of Hebrew art ; and 
yet of the contemporary kingdoms in Egypt and Mesopotamia we 
have an abundance of evidence of departed greatness. God chose 
the weak things of the world to confound the things which are 
mighty, and was glorified in the insignificance of His chosen 

Let us commence then our pilgrimage, and traverse the length 
and breadth of the land from Dan to Beersheba. From whichever 
direction we come, the most convenient point of disembarkation is 
Beiriit. Arrangements have been made for steamers to touch at 
Joppa and at Khaifa, beneath Mount Carmel ; and the Holy Land 
can be approached from Suez and Cairo by the long and short desert 
routes ; but both entail fatigue, loss of time, and the risk of a 
quarantine in an obscure comer of the country. The traveller 
landed at Beinit, if from Egypt, may have a quarantine in an excel- 
lent establishment, but he finds in that large and flourishing town 
the means of providing himself with the materials for his journey. 
Beiriit can conveniently be made the starting-point and the goal of 
his pilgrimage, and should he have time for a sojourn in Lebanon, 
all the sanataria on the mountain are within twenty mUes, and over- 
Lang the town, which is the commercial capital of the country. 

Let us imagine ourselves thus prepared to go up to Jerusalem, 
with our baggage laden upon mules, our Arab servants (includiag 
interpreter) accompanying, and ourselves bestriding the 'strong 
hacks of a country, in which wheel carriages of any description are 
utterly unknown. The first stage is Saida, the ancient Sidon, and 
the road lies along the shore of the tideless Mediterranean ; on the 
left rises the magnificent range of Lebanon, sparkling with villages, 
monasteries, and chapels, thickly sprinkled along its declivities. 
This is the country of the Pagan Druze and Christian Maronite, 
who live blended together, resembling each other in little but 
their character for independence and unmanageableness. Wonder- 
fully picturesque and enchanting is this ride, between the green 
mountains and the deep-Jblue ocean, which, sweeping in on the 
coast, forms bays and headlands fringed with white foam to break 
the sameness of the landscape. The signs of life on the road are 
few, the road itself is but a pathway, and the mountain streams 
have to be waded through, though broken arches show where 
once, in better days, bridges had been ; and crossing these streams 
is sometimes, when the volume of the water is swollen, at the risk 
of life and property : at no time is it pleasant . to stem a rapid 
torrent just at the point where it rushes into the sea, knowing 
what the consequences of one false step would be. Travellers 


have been known to have heen delayed weeks on the banks. 
Sidon, when reached, presents little to admire, but much to 
interest ; we remember that we are now in the land promised to, 
but never possessed by, the twelve tribes ; that to the tribe of Asher 
was allotted the coast of Sidon, though, their strength being 
weakened by disobedience, the children of Israel never fully ob- 
tained their promised heritage. Hence went forth Jezebel to swell 
the crimes of Samaria ; here were planted the first germs of com- 
merce and navigation. 

The next day's journey is to Tyre, now called Sur. The road is 
much the same as that of the preceding day, except that the moun- 
tain-ranges become lower and the coast more rugged. The river 
Leontes, which drains the vaUey of Coelo-Syria between the Leba- 
non and Anti-Lebanon, is crossed by an old-fashioned bridge, which 
is fortunately in repair, or all communication would be cut off. On 
the road we pass Zarephath, the place of refuge of EHjah, where 
the barrel of meal and the cruise of oil did not fail, and the man of 
God raised the son of the widow. The houses of Tyre are seen far 
out in the sea, and the once famous island is now a narrow penin- 
sula in the midst of ruins and desolation. Here, for the first time, 
we come upon the steps of our Kedeemer, for it is in these coasts, 
that He miraculously healed the Syro-Phcenician woman ; here St. 
Paul landed on his return from one of his apostolical voyages, and 
knelt down on the sands and took leave of his disciples in prayer 4 
here, three thousand years ago, Hiram, whose reputed sarcophagus 
is stiU shown on the neighbouring height, shipped off cedars for the 
Temple at Jerusalem ; and to the men of Tyre was Zerubbabel 
indebted, under the grant of Cyrus, for materials for the second 
Temple also. There are no cedars now within one hundred miles. 
Here flourished idolatry in all its abomination. Against this city 
were uttered some of the direst threats of the prophets, and never 
does prophecy appear more literally fulfilled. Tyre is indeed laid 
waste ; her waUs and towers are destroyed and broken down ; she is 
made Uke the top of a rock, and a place for spreading nets in the 
midst of the sea. No place was more particularly selected by the 
inspired writers of the Old Testament as an object of their prophetic 
wrath than this queen of cities, and none is more prostrate. Still 
there is an interest attached to its very name, that cannot fail to 
attract. EecoHections of all time press upon us ; of Dido, in the 
earUest mist of traditional history, ladening her vessels to fly from 
her brother, and to found an empire on the coast of Africa ; of the 
purple of Tyre, famous aU over the world ; of Alexander the Great. 
The name seems never forgotten. "We find it in the early history 
of the Church and the romances of the Crusades, and it is only, 
when we stand amongst its ruins that we are aware, how indeed 
it has fallen. And to this city we are indebted for the greatest 


discovery wrought out by human intellect, a purely Phonetic 

From Tyre the sea-coast is followed until the last and most 
southern spur of Lebanon obstructs the passage, and it is only by a 
dangerous but most picturesque mountain pathway round the head- 
land of Cape Bianco, called the Ladder of Tyre, that entrance is 
actually made into the Palestine of the Israelites. Before us lie 
the undulating plains of Asher, described in the Book of Judges as 
on the seashore ; to the left is the long range of the mountains of 
Galilee, the prospect being terminated by the heights of Mount 
Carmel. We pass by the celebrated fortress city of St. Jean d'Acre, 
the keystone of Syria, and destined to be three times the glory of 
England ; thence, winding round the beautiful bay, the waters of 
that ancient river, the river Kishon, have to be crossed, and so deep 
is the bed and so rapid the current of this bridgeless stream, that 
the traveller has to urge his unwilling steed into the sea, describing 
a semicircle round the estuary of the torrent which swept away the 
host of Sisera. Thence we pass through Khaifa, ascend the side of 
Mount Carmel, and enter the Eoman Catholic convent, over which 
waves the tricolour of Prance. It stands on the brow of the rock, 
and commands an unequalled view of earth, air, and sky. On this 
range Elijah vindicated the power of God over the priests of Baal, 
but the convent is dedicated to the Yirgin, who is traditionally 
reputed to have visited the cave of Elijah from the neighbouring 

The road still lies due South along the sea-coast, shut in to the 
East by the mountainous country of Samaria, until the traveller 
arrives at the deserted town of Csesarea. Never was ruin so perfect, 
so solemn in its desolation, telling so distinctly its history, as these 
remains. What was the object of those massive fortifications, those 
castellated gates, that deep entrenchment ? History tells us, that 
Caesarea was the military capital of the province under the Eoman 
emperors ; and we find on the sea-coast a strongly entrenched 
military camp, looking for succours beyond the sea, and able to 
defy all attacks by land. When this power feU, their camp fell 
also, and became a ruin without an inhabitant. But time has 
fallen gently on the work of the Romans ; the stones are fastened 
by cement as fresh, as if placed there yesterday ; the towers, the 
gateways, the trench, and the roads are as clearly defined, as they 
were when Claudius Lysias despatched St. Paul by night from 
Jerusalem to the most excellent governor Felix. Tradition does 
not point out the Judgment Hall, where Felix trembled at the 
apostle's reasonings ; but we know that it must have been within 
this fortified space, that St. Paul spoke of righteousness and judg- 
ment, and that here the Holy Ghost descended upon the first Gentile 
converts, in the house of the centurion Cornelius. 



At Csesarea the road passes round another headland, and enters 
the plain of Sharon, and up far Eastward are the mountains of 
Judea ; the sea is still on the right hand, until the traveller takes 
a final farewell of it at Joppa. At this place again is a variety of 
conflicting associations. We are shown where the sheet was three 
times let down in the vision of St. Peter, where Jonah embarked 
to start for Tarshish (the whale disgorged him between Beirut and 
Sidon) ; hard by is the rock, from which Andromeda was liberated 
by Perseus, and the hospital where perished the wounded soldiers 
under Napoleon. Joppa has always been the seaport of Jerusalem ; 
the cedars of Lebanon were here landed, and dragged up the inter- 
vening space of hill and valley to the foot of Mount Sion ; here, in 
the days of the Crusades, the pilgrims used to disembark ; and with 
such natural advantages, we cannot be surprised, that it is a busy 
and flourishing place, and under the new aspect of the country will 
daily become larger and more important. From here there is a regu- 
lar service of steamers, and a regular communication with Beiriit 
and Alexandria ; and as the majority of pilgrims come for Jeru- 
salem, and its environs, alone, Joppa is the favourite point of 

The seventh day is arrived, the line of coast between Joppa and 
Beiriit has been traversed, our faces are now turned Eastward, and, 
we rejoice to think, that this night our feet will rest in Jerusalem ; 
but long and tedious is the way, footsore is the weary pilgrim, ere 
he salutes the Tower of David. The eye falls upon Lydda, where 
Peter' healed the palsied .ffineas : but we look in vain for the far- 
famed rose while traversing the plain of Sharon. Passing through 
Arimathea, now Eamleh, the residence of that stout-hearted disciple, 
who was not ashamed to acknowledge his Master even on the cross, 
we enter the rugged defiles of the hills of Judah, and struggle along 
a bad road, passing a succession of ranges with weary Hmbs, and 
eyes straining to catch the first sight of the hallowed walls ; but it 
is not until he is within half a mile, that the anxious pilgrim first 
sees the long low wall of the Southern face of the town, and the 
heights of Mount Olivet towering immediately above it. 

How many a weary frame and fainting heart has stopped and 
taken fresh courage at this point ! How many a devout spirit has 
poured itself forth in song and prayer of thankfulness at having 
arrived thus far on the pilgrimage, the object of a life ! Yes ! 
knees unused to kneel have been bent at this place, tears have 
streamed from the eyes of hard and worldly men. Toil by land, 
danger by sea, hunger and thirst, captivity and separation, are all 
forgotten, and the heart exults at the thought of drinking in the 
natural features of a landscape on which fell the dying gaze of the 
Saviour, and achieving a pious task, the memory of which will live 
to the latest hour : the joy, which each man would feel at entering 


his home after long absence ; the interest, which each man would 
feel at treading on the stage of the most illustrious events ; the 
awe, which he would feel at entering the holiest of the holy ; — such 
are the sentiments of him, who stands with a right mind in thy 
gates, Jerusalem. Fifty generations have passed away, and the 
spirit of pilgrimage is stiU young ; the hundreds of past times are 
now swelling to thousands. The passage of Tasso still charms, 
teUing how the hardy Crusader reiaed steed, and the mail-clad 
warrior knelt at the sight of these time-honoured waUs ; but it is 
more aflfecting, more striking, to see the crowds of peaceful pilgrims, 
to hear their joyful shout, and mark their exulting eye ; and the 
traveller, whom steam has wafted hither without fatigue, with all 
the comforts, the luxuries of wealth, should not disdain to kneel. 

But do not now enter the city ; rather pause, mark well her 
bulwarks, count the towers thereof, like the watchmen of Solomon ; 
go about it, and see into how small a space it has shrunk, how its 
ancient greatness has perished. We are standing at the Southern 
gate, the gate of Joppa, under the Castle of David ; turning to the 
right we come upon Mount Sion, the mount which God chose for 
His own possession ; part of it is enclosed within the modern walls, 
but the chief portion is covered with olives, vineyards, and tomb- 
stones. Into that building on the left no Christian can enter, but 
within are the tombs of David and Solomon, deeply venerated by 
Mahometans. Our path lies still to the right, hard by the burial- 
ground of the Christians ; and surely it were a privilege to sleep 
the last sleep on Sion. Thence we descend upon Mount Moriah. 
On that mountain-platform stood the Temple of Solomon ; there in 
ages gone by Abraham is traditionally reported to have offered up 
Isaac ; there the pestilence was stayed at the threshing-floor of 
Araunah ; there the Most High was pleased to dwell in temples 
made with hands, whUe the cedar of Lebanon, the gold of Ophir, 
and the choicest things of the earth, were scattered in profusion. 
The old men, who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice, 
when they saw the foundations of the second. The disciples heard 
incredulously the denunciation of their Master, that not one stone 
should be left on another ; the Saviour himself wept, when he stood 
and gazed upon it from the Mount of Olives, on the opposite side 
of the valley of Jehoshaphat ; thither for one thousand years the 
tribes of Israel went up, exulting in their being thb chosen people, 
the sons of Abraham, confident in the inviolability of their Temple, 
their city, and their nation. How would those old priests of the 
first Temple weep now ! Would those incredulous disciples believe 
their eyesight now, if they beheld the abomination of desolation in 
the holy place, the mosque of Omar occupying the site of the 
Temple, to mark the spot whence Mahomet, the son of Abdallah, 
is believed to have started upon his mysterious steed Borak, on his 


night visit to the Seventh. Heaven ! No Christian was until lately- 
allowed, to enter the confines ; the Jew, though privileged, dares 
not do so unpurified. 

We have arrived at the South-Eastern comer of the city, where 
the corner of the temple-substructure, remarkable for the vast 
stones of which it is composed, everhangs the valley of Jehosha- 
phat, and the brook of Siloam still flows fast by the Oracle of God ; 
opposite to us is^ the mountain of offence, where Solomon built a 
palace for his idolatrous wives ; did we continue along under the 
Eastern face of the city, we should pass the golden gate, and find 
ourselves at St. Stephen's gate ; but it is better to descend by the 
rugged path into the vaUey of Jehoshaphat, cross the stream of 
Sdoam by the pillar, which Absalom built in the King's Dale, 
climb to the heights of that mountain, which crowns the whole 
city, and bore in the time of David, as it does now, a name derived 
from the trees, which thickly clothe it even to the top. 

It is the delight of aU enthusiastic travellers arriving at any 
place of interest, to spek an eminence in the immediate neighbour- 
hood, whence the whole scene can be commanded, whence the 
temple and the palace, the works of man, are brought by distance 
into their proper relative proportion to the surrounding hUls, the 
work of God. There are those, who in the search over the world 
for the Beautiful have gazed upon the ruins of Athens and the 
Parthenon from the heights of Lycobettus ; have seen an Italian 
sunset over the hills and ruins of Eome, with the Sabine hills in 
the distance ; who have looked on Paris from Mont-Martre, on the 
romantic capital of Dunedin from the Calton Hill, with unbounded 
interest ; but all earthly views, the Golden Horn of Istambiil, the 
network tracery of Venice, the Bay of Naples, yield to the interest 
— ■ interest heartfelt and overpowering — the deep feelings of 
emotion, with which the view from Mount OHvet first seen is 

Carry your eyes across that awful chasm, the valley of Jehosha- 
phat ; and, seated majestically with a curtain of black hills in the 
distance, you see all that time, war, human malevolence, and 
divine vengeance have allowed to stirvive of old Jerusalem ; look 
down upon that embattled city, with its waUs, its towers, and its 
gates, so beautifully stem, so romantically desert ; the courts of the 
Lord's house are stUl exposed to view, as when they were traversed 
by long procession of Levites, when they sounded to the footfall 
of the rejoicing tribes at the annual festival ; those courts echoed" 
to the sounds of the Hosannah; that corner, where stiU stands 
the house of the civO. governor, gave back] the shout of " Crucify 
Him! crucify Him!" On that platform is now erected the mosque 
of Omar, of most beautiful and graceful proportions, covering the 
portion of rock projecting from the surface, on which Abraham is 


Relieved to have offered up Isaac. Those who have looked iipoiL 
the most beautiful specimens of Mahometan architecture, allow that 
this mosque of the second Kaliph yields to none in elegance and 
symmetry of structure ; round it are smaller buildings of light and 
fantastic shapes, interspersed with a few stately cypresses ; at the 
extreme end is the mosque of El Aksa, a Christian church of the 
Crusaders, appropriated by the Mahometans. So clear is the 
atmosphere, so immediately does the Mount of Olives overhang the 
sacred court, called " El-har4m Es-sher{f," that every action of 
the Faithful can be watched, and the contemplation of the white- 
robed figures glancing across the shining floor, or solemnly ranged 
in the attitude of prayer, adds to the interest of the scene. Out- 
sides the walls of the sacred enclosure the whole of Jerusalem is 
exposed to the view ; each minaret, each dome, the church of the 
Sepulchre and church of the monasteries, rise up distinctly and 
separately deUneated, and in the extreme background the frowning 
Castle of David, by the Joppa gate, on the hill of Sion. 

AH, all the works of man have undergone repeated and entire 
changes since those feet stood on this hill, and those eyes wept at 
the contemplation of the scene, knowing .by divine perception the 
miseries which were coming and have come. It is in vain, that 
monkish fiction points out with exactitude spots and buildings con- 
secrated to the ignorant by holy associations. Reason rejects it. 
History tells us too clearly and distinctly what was repeatedly the 
fate of Jerusalem under Titus, under the Persians, under the Kaliphs. 
Sieges and sackings innumerable, religious persecutions without end, 
have been the portion of Jerusalem. Prophecy and divine revela- 
tion remind us, that one stone was not to be left on another. We 
cannot rest with satisfaction on any work of the hands of man, or 
say with confidence that " this is old Jerusalem." But different are 
the feelings with which, seated on Mount Olivet, we can look at 
the physical features which surround this moimtain-city. Man and 
time have written no wrinkle on that stem circle of hiUs within 
which our redemption was worked out. Conquering armies have 
passed no ploughshare down the deep precipice of the valley of 
Hinnom ; the fountain which gushes forth at Siloam is still blended 
with the perennial sources of Kedron. Though the descendants of 
Abraham have been uprooted, and severed from the land of their 
forefathers, we know that the olive which decks the slope of the 
mountain is of the stock of those trees which furnished branches to 
spread in the way of Him who' came in the name of the Lord. 
Fancy carries us further back. We people the scene with forms 
and figures long since slumbering in the adjacent burial-grounds. 
That footpath which, like a slender line, leads down from the corner 
of the Temple, and the pool of Bethesda to Gethsemane, and cross- 
ing the brook Kedron climbs up the side of Olivet, and across its 


slioulder, conducts to Bethany and Jericho, in the days of Melchi- 
zedek, in the days of David, in the days when the High Priest went 
out with the Urim and Thummim to meet Alexander the Great, in 
the days when Ctesar Augustus commanded the world to be taxed, 
that footpath must have followed the same line as now down the 
natural declivity. We see in imagination the aged king flying 
before his rebellious Absalom, walking with his head covered and 
barefooted up the ascent of Olivet, and the people weeping as they 
went up with him. We see him return in triumph, encircled by the 
tribe of Judah. How many a time has .the valley rung with the 
shouts of the exulting tribes as the shining pinnacle of the first and 
latter house first caught their sight ! In all times, seasons of war 
or of peace, how many a solemn procession of elders and relatives 
have filed out to accompany some deceased son of Abraham to his 
last home in the Hebrew cemetery over against the Beautiful Gate 
of the Temple, to be in readiness for the sound of the trumpet in 
the last day, bidding him enter his heavenly Jerusalem ! How 
often did our Saviour in His short ministry traverse that valley on 
His road from the city to the house of Martha and Mary at Bethany ? 
We see Him standing to weep over the fate of the devoted city, 
and now descending the hill-side, over a path strewed with olive 
branches, amidst the hosannahs of His disciples. Tears obscure 
our sight, but the sad procession seems to be before our eyes, wind- 
ing up the narrow pathway betwixt Gethsemane and the gate of 
St. Stephen. We see the menials of the High Priest, with swords 
and staves, dragging the Saviour of the world like a thief to igno- 
miny and death, betrayed by His disciples and deserted by His 
followers. Darker visions press themselves forward, and these 
quiet hills resound with the martial clamour of a beleaguering 
army, and the smoke of the captured and burning city goes up in 
the dark cloud, which has enveloped the Temple and the people of 
tlie Jews. Eebuilt, redestroyed, a place of pilgrimage, a place of 
martyrdom, a new city springs up on Sion, but no peace within the 
walls, no plenty within the palaces. The Jew armed against the 
Christian, the Christian against the Jew, the heathen against both. 
In vain the piety of Constantine and Helena erected temples on 
Mount Calvary, and lined the tomb with marble. With the power 
of the Greek Empire fell Christianity, and the abomination of 
desolation again stood in the holy place when the Kaliph Omar 
took possession of Jerusalem, and placed his signet upon Mount 
Moriah. Then followed persecution, till the wrath of outraged 
Christendom was roused, and Jerusalem was again beleaguered ; 
her streets ran again with blood. For a few years the symbol of 
the Cross floated on the Tomb and on Mount Olivet ; a few short 
years and the reign of Antichrist was again restored, and the 
Crescent again >triumphed over the Cross. And it adds no little to 


the solemnity of the scene to bear in mind, that a time will come, 
when the most awful events will take place in the stern vaUey at 
our feet, that the heathen will be wakened, and come up to the 
valley of Jehoshaphat to be judged, for there will the Lord sit to 
judge countless multitudes in the valley of decision ; that on the 
very mountain on which we now sit, which is on the left of Jeru- 
salem to the East, He will stand, and the mount shall cleave in the 
midst from the East to the "West, and there shall be a great valley, 
half of the mountain removing to the North, and half to the South. 

If such can be the feelings of the Christian, what must be those 
suggested to the sincere-thinking and devout Hebrew, as he drinks 
in the landscape, as he looks wistfully and mournfully on his lost 
heritage, on the courts of the ruined Temple, which he may not 
enter, on the streets of the city of his ancestors, in which he finds 
himself insulted and scouted? Anguish inexpressible, burning 
shame, and murmuring against the inscrutable decrees of Provi- 
dence, a doubting of the justness of the dispensation of so long 
and lasting a punishment against a race once so favoured. StUl, 
though they are judicially blind to the whole series of prophecies, 
extending from Genesis to Malachi, against their nation and their 
religion ; though they cailnot open their eyes upon the curse, which 
fell upon them, they cherish a fervent conviction, that God has not 
entirely deserted them ; that the time will come, and even now is at 
hand, when they will be restored from their second captivity ; that 
the promised Messiah will stUl come, and in the form of an earthly 
potentate gather them from the isles and restore them to Judah 
from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates, to the land of the 
promise, which God promised to Abraham and his seed " for an ever- 
lasting possession." Despised and contemned by the Christian, 
persecuted and robbed by the Mahometan, as avarice or fanaticism 
tempts him, they still proudly feel, that to the Hebrew the reli- 
gions of both their persecutors are indebted for their doctrine and 
much of their ritual ; they still look on Sion as their own loved 
and lost possession ; willingly they pay to be permitted to approach 
the walls of the Temple-basement, so as to touch with their hands 
the desecrated stones, and to wail over their disinheritance ; and, 
as age creeps over them, they leave country, comfort, and kindred, 
to sojourn awhile in the holy city, to bear persecution in sight of 
Sion, and leave their mouldering bones to rot in the valley of 

And what is the present state of this celebrated, this holy city, 
which lies stretched at our feet, no corner of which can escape our 
gaze, as our eyes travel round the walls that enclose it ? Who are 
the people who inhabit this sacred spot! Surely the very air 
must be purifying of the evU affections of the human heart ; this, 
at least, is not a place for pride or for enmity, for religious rancour. 


where the hand of God has heen felt so visibly, where men have 
suffered so heavily. Alas ! it is a city divided against itself ; 
within this small space are gathered together, are fondly nourished 
to a degree of intensity unknown elsewhere, the worst passions of 
mankind : envy, hatred and malice, religious pride and intolerance, 
slanderous imputations and corrupt intrigues. One quarter of the 
city is inhabited by the Mahometans, who are masters of the 
country, and whose religion is dominant ; but their power and 
prestige have perished, their buildings are tottering and out of 
repair ; the spirit of intolerance is as strong and willing as ever, 
but the fleshly arm of persecution is weak ; they are inferior in 
number, wealth, and influence to their Christian fellow-citizens ; 
and it is with difficulty that they can preserve the inviolability of 
their sanctuaries from the profane step of the Giaour. This city 
is almost as sacred to them as to the Christians ; it contains the 
tomb of David, and his son Solomon : the throne of the latter, 
that subject of a hundred legends, was once established there. 
Within that city is the rock of Es-Sukhrah, whence Mahomet, 
according to their legend, started on his celestial journey. The 
city is called by them El-Kuds, or the holy place. As the pilgrims _ 
enter the city, they cry out " Allah Akbar ! " It is not uncommon 
to meet Indian pilgrims, who have wandered so far ; they have 
their own hospice, and by a very singular coincidence, the trade of 
pedlars of smaU goods, including Christian relics, at the very 
door of the holy sepulchre, has fallen into the hands of the natives 
of India, who claim, and are admitted to the privilege of being, 
subjects of the British Empire. 

Another quarter of the city is occupied by the Jews, who have 
two great divisions, the Sephardim or Spanish, and Iskanazim or 
German Jews. In their own city they axe despised and insulted. 
As an instance of petty annoyance, it may be mentioned, that the 
shambles of the city are forcibly located in the midst of these 
houses, in the same spirit which has led to a house immediately 
adjoining the Sepulchre being converted into a tanner's yard, 
merely to annoy the Christians. But few of the Jews are settled 
or born there : the majority are those who come on the pilgrimage, 
or who come to die, and leave their bones in the valley of Jeho- 
shaphat. Much of the former persecution, which assailed them, 
has been stayed, and to England they are indebted for political 
protection. Missionaries labour for their conversion, schools are 
opened for their education, and hospitals imder an English surgeon 
for the many who arrive on their long and last pilgrimage sick and 
in beggary. Every means is taken to conciliate them ; those who 
minister to their wants are chiefly Jewish converts ; the male wards 
of the hospital are named after the patriarchs ; the female wards 
after the wives of Jacob. Still they generally spurn the, hand 


which wishes to minister to their wants ; they dread the spirit of 
conversion, a proof of which may he found in their address to the 
head of their faith, Sir Moses Montefiore, praying him to found 
schools and hospitals to counteract the baneful effects of the Anglo- 
Protestant estahhshment. 

Another quarter of the city is occupied by the Armenians. 
Though Christians, they are distinguished as being Asiatics from 
their fellow-rehgionists, who are generally known as Franks, and 
occupy the fourth quarter, divided among themselves into Greeks, 
Roman Catholics, and Protestants, as religion here usurps the place 
of nationaUty elsewhere. Each denomination has its churches or 
convents, hospices, hospitals, schools, its priests, and its pilgrims, 
and, in late days, its Consuls to protect it against the civil power, 
and its printing press to wage polemical war against rehgious 
antagonists. So bitter is the feeling, that parties live for years 
witlun a few paces of each other without acquaintance, without 
even mutual acknowledgment, who elsewhere would have, in a few 
days, ripened from acquaintance into intimacy. Travellers, who 
are welcomed by aU, and who flutter like butterflies from patriarch 
to bishop, from the monastery to the synagogue, from the shrine of 
the Virgia to the seraglio of the Pasha, are surprised to find, that 
at each door they enter a distinct world, that the few yards of the 
Via Dolorosa, down which they have paced, is indeed a wide gulf 
of worldly and spiritual ideas between fellow-men. It is not the 
language only that is changed, but the social and moral sentiments, 
the rooted ideas of right and wrong, the prejudices and dogmas of 
centuries. The traveller sits smoking the pipe of a kind and hearty 
Christian, discussing the locality of a sacred spot, but his views of 
the Trinity are such that without doubt he must perish everlast- 
ingly according to the rooted and proclaimed creed of the equally 
amiable and obliging fellow-religionist, whose hand has just been 
clasped, and who is openly alluded to as an idolater, as the Anti- 
christ, as a deceiver of men's souls, by the next preacher of the 
words of peace, who may be called upon. The Mahometan, with 
a smUe on his face and cringing civility in his manner, curses the 
Nazarene dog in his heart : the Hebrew, in the bitterness of his 
spirit, prays earnestly and deeply for the time when he may wreak 
his cherished vengeance on all whom the city contains, for to him 
they are all persecutors as well as insidious benefactors, unclean 
Gentiles, and an abomination. 

Turn back, ere you leave the mount, and survey the country in 
your rear, and ask yourself, if your eyes have ever fallen upon a ' 
scene more desolate. The most striking objects are the grey waters 
of the Dead Sea, and the awe-inspiring hills of Moab and Ammon, 
as if the dark features of the history of the inhabitants of the 
plain, and the unnatural origin of the inhabitants of the hills 


were written and indelibly engraved on the natural features of 
the country as a lesson to mankind. To the North is the deep 
valley of the river Jordan, which winds the length of two hundred 
miles through a wild and uninhabited country, from the lake of 
Tiberias to the Dead Sea, into which it pours a perennial stream, 
without any visible increase to the body of collected waters. All 
the hills have a desolate and solemn appearance, no forest verdure, 
no trace of the habitation of man, but all lifting up their bare heads 
in a sad and melancholy appeal to the spectator to ponder upon the 
works of the chastening hand of God in ancient time. We turn 
away oppressed by the sight, and we again feed our vision upon the 
beautiful outline of tower, minaret, and dome, and ask whether the 
old inhabitants of Jerusalem, ere the chastening hand of God feU 
upon them, ever stood to look on the signal memorial of the ven- 
geance of the Almighty on the inhabitants of the cities of the plain, 
before the race of Abraham began, whUe Sarah was yet childless ; 
whether they ever reflected upon the possibility of the threats con- 
veyed by the voice of Moses and the prophets being fulfilled ? 

But it is time to descend, to enter the gates of the holy city, and 
to kneel at the Sepulchre, to pass from the contemplation of Jewish 
misfortune to the scene of Jewish crime. But ere we descend let 
us remember that we stand near the spot, where the mission of the 
Son of God was completed, where, for the past, prophecy having 
been completed, for the future a new dispensation announced, the 
stone being cut out of the mountain without hand, Jesus, son of 
Mary, parted from His apostles, and was taken up into heaven. 
The place is not fixed by any passage of the Evangelists, but we 
have universal and uninterrupted tradition 'and strong probability ; 
and the place thereof is worthy of the event. Look, therefore, once 
more on the physical landscape, on the union of mountain and 
vaUey, on the green terraces of Sion, on the platform of Moriah, on 
the solemn circuit of undulating and olive-crowned hills ; picture 
to yourself the glorious edifice of the second Temple, the fortress of 
the Eomans, the palaces of old Jerusalem, as they presented them- 
selves to the Saviour, when the cloud received Him out of the sight 
of His apostles ; then descend, and following the path which leads 
down the hiU, remark without scorn, if without belief, the different 
spots between the Mount and the Sepulchre, which pious tradition 
has sanctified. It is the peculiarity, perhaps the defect, of enthu- 
siastic piety, to desire to give to every act, every discourse of the 
object of veneration, a local habitation and a name ; and thus it 
happens that the short space to be traversed presents a succession 
of traditional memorials for the edification of Christians. "We are 
shown the spot where the Lord's prayer was first pronounced, 
though it would be inferred from the Gospel of St. Matthew, that 
it was in the neighbourhood of the Sea of Galilee that Christians 


■were first taught after what manner to pray. Farther down the 
hill-side we are shown, with no confirmatory proofs, the ruin, in 
which the Apostles assembled to compose the Creed which still 
bears their name. Lower down we come on the spot whence Jesus 
looked and wept over Jerusalem, and where, a few years after, the 
tent of Titus was pitched, when he came and cast a trench, and 
compassed the devoted city on every side, leaving not one stone on 
the other ; an awful coincidence, supported so far by probability 
as well as tradition, inasmuch as it commands a view of the whole 
city, on the turn of the road from Bethany, and history tells us, 
that it was the place of encampment of the Eoman legions. 

We are now on the edge of the Jewish burial-ground, which 
contains the ashes of the multitudes and multitudes, awaiting the 
sound of the last trump in the valley of Jehoshaphat, over against 
the Temple, where, according to Mahometan legend, at the last day 
Mahomet is to stand. Opposite to us, but separated by the deep 
ravine, is the golden gate leading to the Temple, but kept jealously 
closed; as tradition has it, that by that gate the Christian will 
enter and take final possession of the city. Below us the eye falls 
upon the pillar in the King's Dale, built by childless Absalom, to 
keep his name in remembrance, and which every devout Hebrew 
still curses, on account of his rebellion against David. And now 
we are at the bottom of the valley, on the brink of the brook 
Kedron, standing amidst eight time-honoured and venerable olive 
trees, which compose the garden of Gethsemane; we look up on the 
Mount of Olives on one side and the walls of the Temple on the 
other ; the whole scene comes visibly before us, the holy calm, the 
prayer in agony, the sleeping disciples, then the confusion of the 
capture, the glare of torches, the clamour of rude voices, the 
treacherous salutation of Judas; worse than the maledictions of the 
priests, and the vulgar sneers of the rabble, exulting in their 
triumph. This is indeed the spot on which was committed the 
most grievous of human crimes. The crucifixion, the scourging, 
the insults, were the acts of foreigners, of hirelings, in a moment 
of excitement, on the person of a supposed criminal ; they emphati- 
cally knew not what they did ; but for the apostle to betray the 
Master, to whom he had spontaneously attached himself, who had 
been witness of His acts of benevolence, for the priests to capture, 
and on no just cause make over to slaughter, one of their own 
kindred, religion, and royal race, one who had done such mighty 
works, would surpass belief, as being beyond human baseness ; but 
it was written, and it must needs be fulfilled. Standing here, we 
feel the agony of the moment, but we cannot wish that the cup 
had passed away, for upon it hangs our salvation. We see the 
blow of the enthusiastic Peter, giving birth to the last of a long 
course of miracles, an act of kindness to an enemy ; we see the 


shepherd stricken and the sheep scattered ! The venerable olive 
trees in the garden are, by some, supposed to be the very trees of 
Gethsemane; they are certainly anterior to the Mahometan conquest, 
and sprang from the same roots. 

A few paces on we enter upon a spot hallowed by tradition, 
as sanctified by miracles not recorded in the Bible, and from some 
circumstances unique in the world. The tomb of Abraham at 
Hebron, the tomb of David and Solomon at Sion, and the Temple 
of Jerusalem, are spots at which Jew, Mahometan, and Christian 
would kneel side by side ; but the latter are prevented by religious 
fanaticism, and the first are debarred by ceremonial impurity, from 
entering the precincts. Close to the garden of Gethsemane is the 
supposed tomb of the Virgin, the mother of Christ ; not that her 
body rests there, for those who believe in the tomb, believe also 
that on the day of her death she was miraculously taken up into 
heaven. Her cenotaph is one of the most holy spots to the Greek, 
Eoman Catholic, Syrian, Copt, and Armenian Christians, and, 
strange to say, the same roof covers a Mahometan shrine dedicated 
to " Siti Miriam am i Nabi Esa," the Lady Mary, the mother of 
the Prophet Jesus ; and pilgrims from India do not think their 
pilgrimage completed without visiting the rock of Es-Sukhrah and 
the tomb of the Virgin. There is, perhaps, no parallel in the 
world. Who would imagine that a place existed, where the 
worshippers in St. Peter's at Eome, and St. Sophia at Constanti- 
nople, could kneel side by side ? 

We now ascend the steep side of Moriah, and passing by the 
graveyard of the Mahometans, arrive at the spot, where was shed 
the blood of the earliest martyr of Christianity. The entrance of 
the city is on the edge of the precipice, in a line with the straight 
wall of the Temple, and must be identical with the Eastern gate 
at any period since the time of, Solomon. This gate is still known 
as that of St. Stephen, and here standing he saw the heavens open ; 
here they stoned him, while calling upon his Master and praying 
for their pardon ; here, from the ashes of his devotion and holiness, 
rose up, like a phoenix, the great Apostle of the Gentiles. 

Bow your head, and enter the sacred precincts, and you stand on 
the edge of the pool of Bethesda ; no angel, as traditionally reported, 
now troubles the pool; no sick are healed. The angel of ruin 
and desolation has passed over it ; the sheep-market and the porches 
have perished. Pass along the road in silence ; even to look to the 
left exposes the Christian to insult ; to attempt to pass down the 
three narrow ways, through which a peep is gained of the courtyard 
of the Temple, used to bring down a shower of stones and outrage 
from the guardians of the enclosure and the loiterers among the 
faithful; but these days have passed away. At the farthest 
extremity of the Temple is the house of the Pasha of Jerusalem, 


occupying, unquestionably, the site of the Turris Antonia, erected 
in order to overlook and command the Temple, the oificial residence 
of Pontius Pilate, the Civil Governor of Judea. Here commenced 
the series of outrage and insult, which terminated in the Cross ; it 
was but an affair of a few hours, though the consequences were to 
he the condemnation of one nation for centuries, and the redemp- 
tion of the world unto eternity. It was not till the evening of 
Thursday that the feast of the Passover was eaten (the room is 
supposed to have been on Mount Sion, and is still shown) ; after 
which came the scene in Gethsemane. The capture was at night, 
and until morning, when the cock crew, counsel was held in the 
house of the High Priest on Sion, which ended in the Prisoner's 
being conveyed to the Civil Governor, at the house where we now 
stand ; here took place the scourging (marked by a small chapel), 
the indignity of the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Tradi- 
tion even points out the spot, where Jesus was shown to the 
people, where Barabbas was preferred to Him, where Pilate washed 
his hands of the blood of the Just, which remains, as invoked, on 
the head of His persecutors and their children. It is sad to think, 
how soon the innocent are condemned ; when the account of the 
rapid condenmation, the absence of charges and of witnesses, the 
brutality of the Eoman guards, and the recklessness of the Civil 
Governor, are thought of on the spot where these outrages took 
place, the blood boils with indignation and sorrow at the iniquity 
of human rulers in the case of any man, any innocent man ; and 
how much more so in this case ? 

It was stLU early in the morning, when the order to crucify was 
given, and the melancholy procession commenced from the palace 
of the Governor to the place called Golgotha, outside the walls of 
the town ; so artfully had the priests arranged, that between sunset 
on Thursday and nine o'clock on Friday, their plans were carried 
out and completed, before even the news of capture had reached the 
hundreds of Galilee and of the villages of Judea, who had known 
and seen His works. The street between this point and Calvary 
is called the Via Dolorosa, and a superstitious piety has marked 
out as many as twelve stations, at which the cortege stopped and 
at which some action took place. Many a town in Europe still 
exhibits specimens of the piety of the Middle Ages in commemora- 
tion of this mournful procession. The pilgrim is shown the spot, 
where, at the meeting of the Damascus road, Simon the Cyrenian, 
coming out of the country, was laid hold of to carry the cross ; 
farther on, where the Saviour stumbled, where He met and accosted 
the daughters of Jerusalem, for, be it recorded, even then He was 
followed by a great crowd of people and women, who also lamented 
Him; at length He approached Calvary, and on that spot He was 
crucified, and buried in a garden near unto the place. 


It is mournful to think that learned and good men should have 
waged such bitter war on the identity of this spot. Eighteen 
hundred years have elapsed since, on a mound outside the gate of 
Jerusalem, a then obscure religious enthusiast, as He was deemed, 
accompanied by two malefactors, was put to an ignomiaious death. 
His followers, undismayed, formed themselves into a society, in- 
creased and multiplied in spite of opposition, and were scattered in 
distant parts of the Roman Empire, when a storm burst upon the 
city of their persecutors, which ended in the utter destruction of 
their Temple and city, and violent uprooting and dispersion of the 
nation. But the Eomans saw no distinction between the Jew and 
the Christian, and, when the city was rebuilt under the name of 
M\\a. Capitolina, a statue of Venus was erected over the Tomb of 
the Saviour, and some other mark of insult on the site of the Temple 
of the Jews. But the stone, that was cut out without hands, became 
a great mountain ; and the lapse of three centuries saw stately edifices 
rise to cover Calvary, and the Tomb "w^as lined with marble. How 
much more edifying, could we stoop down and look in, as the dis- 
ciples did, and that no gorgeous ornament had violated the quiet 
beauty of the garden ! Since then Jerusalem has been sacked, 
plundered, and burned by Pagan, Mahometan, and Christian armies ; 
not, perhaps, one stone stands on another of the building erected by 
the mother of Constantiue. But are we to set aside, on the casuistry 
of modern travellers, who cannot reconcile the contour of ancient 
cities to suit their notions, the uninterrupted tradition of fifteen 
hundred years, based upon careful investigation, made by the Ruler 
of the time into the history of the past three hundred, with regard 
to the identity of a spot, the most cherished, most honoured by a 
sect of increasing power, number, and importance ? Yet there are 
those, who wish to uproot the history of the past, to remove the 
tomb anywhere or nowhere, by a capricious fancy, in spite of the 
tradition of centuries; but with them we have nought to do. 
Entering Jerusalem as pilgrims, we stand before the door of the 
building, which contains under one roof the Mount of Calvary and 
the Tomb hewn out of the rock. On these let our attention be 
fixed in pity, not in ridicule. Let us pass by the numerous spots, 
which enthusiastic piety has marked out for observation upon little 
or no authority, without any physical peculiarity. So entirely trans- 
formed is the whole scene from what could have been expected, that 
it is some time ere we recognise Calvary in the elevated chapel to 
which we rise by wooden stairs, and the Tomb in the narrow stone 
chamber hard by, into which we enter with difficulty, amidst crowds 
of weeping Christians. Of aU churches and chapels in the world, 
this is the one the most interesting, but suggesting the most painful 
reflections, both as to its past history and present position. The 
style is barbaric, but magnificent. A circular opening in the dome 


like the Colosseum of Rome, allows the sun and rain to descend 
upon the Tomb ; but our eyes are pained by seeing, that the church 
is in the possession of Mahometans, that the gorgeous processions 
of Christians, which sweep with banners, and pictures, and trappings 
round the Tomb of the Prince of Peace, are guarded by infidel 
attendants to protect them from the attacks of sectaries of the same 
faith. The whole building is portioned into fragments, possessed 
and guarded jealously by priests of the Greek, Syrian, Eoman 
Catholic, Abyssinian, Armenian, and Coptic Churches, some mem- 
bers of whom are locked in every night by the Mahometan guards, 
to prevent surprise or outrage upon the shrines in their possession. 
The Protestant Church, in all its various sects, may be proud in not 
being mentioned in this category, in having no visible portion in 
this partitioning. Having no square feet of pavement to protect, 
or altars to lament, as torn away from them, or to guard jealously 
as having been lately surreptitiously taken possession of, Protestants 
can give themselves up to the religio loci, and kneel without reserve 
on Calvary and in the Tomb, mindful of the sufferings undergone 
on the former and the triumphs won in the latter. 

Yes, let them not hesitate to kneel. All around are kneeling, 
all in prayer, save those two Anglican or Trans- Atlantic Pranks, 
who, like the Pharisee, are too proud to confess themselves sinners, 
and, like the impenitent thief, can be sarcastic and splenetic on 
Calvary. They stalk round and about, but they excite no atten- 
tion, for the humble-minded crowd are kneeling and in prayer. 
Look around, as perhaps your eyes never fell upon Christian pilgrims 
in such guise before ; in a more holy place you will never see them 
again. Whence do they come ? Many a far-distant shore, many a 
mountain unknown to fame, the sunny climes of Italy, the fair 
islands of Ionia, the vast steppes of Russia, and the snowy moun- 
tains of Caucasus, have sent forth their hundreds to undergo perils 
by land and by sea, hunger and fatigue, to obtain the privilege of 
kneeling at the Tomb of the Saviour. Look around, tender women, 
fair-haired children, old men built after the moidd of Abraham, 
young men such as were the sons of Jacob, maidens such as Euth 
and Rebecca, differing in language, in dress, in country, and in 
ritual, they kneel side by side, actuated by the one common feeling 
of veneration for the scene of the Passion and Resurrection of their 
Redeemer. And will not each of that numerous crowd, on their 
return to their distant hamlet and humble home, to their latest hour 
talk with fervour and pride of their successful pilgrimage 1 And 
though we cannot sympathise with the spiritual advantage which 
they are supposed to gain, we can in sincerity believe, that none 
return without a strengthening of their religious impressions, and a 
firmer faith in the Christian dispensation. 

And what is the state of Christ's Church, catholic and undivided. 


as represented in tlie Metropolitan Clmrcli of the earliest bishopric 
of Christendom? Each Church has its representatives in the city; 
they keep their high days and holidays ; according to their means 
and the number of their communicants, they lead forth their pro- 
cessions, and follow out their rival rituals, to the scandal of Chris- 
tendom, and to the delight of the followers^of Islam. Unless seen 
and admitted by all, the fact vfould appear incredible, that the 
different sectarians should perform their rituals in the same circum- 
scribed building, in hearing and sight, and to the manifest disturb- 
ance of each other. As the stately Armenian bishops and vener- 
able clergy in their magnificent trappings are proceeding round and 
round the Tomb, they have, escorted by the Mahometan guards, to 
manoeuvre and file off at the sides to prevent collision with the 
rabble procession of the Greek Church, issuing suddenly with tapers, 
censers, banners, and pictures from the chancel, which is their 
private possession, to go through some prescribed ceremony in the 
Tomb of our Lord, which is common to all The organs and musical 
instruments of the rival religionists clamour in irreverent confusion 
in competition with each other : a Nunc dimittis of the Latin 
Church, perhaps rudely interrupting the Kyrie Elelson in the 
responsive litanies of the Greek ; while again at the next solemn 
moment of the elevation of the Host, in the Eoman ritual, while 
■ aU are silent to the tinkling bell, a dense crowd are driven violently 
over the kneeling worshippers by the passage of a Greek column 
sweeping triumphantly by with pipes and cymbals. And such to 
be the state of things in the church of St. James the Apostle, who 
was the first to inculcate the mild precepts of mutual forbearance 
and concession in religious differenpes ! 

It may be not uninteresting to detail the separate Churches 
which are represented in Jerusalem. First in rank and in anti- 
quity is the ancient Greek Church, the mother of Churches, the 
Patriarch of which still, in spite of the claims of Eome, sits with an 
uninterrupted spiritual succession on the throne of St. James. The 
members of this Church are numerous, and scattered over Greece 
and its islands, the Empire of Turkey and Russia, to which last it 
looks for political support ; but to what a pitch of degradation and 
ignorance have the professors of this ancient religion fallen ! — a 
low, ignorant, and stubborn priesthood; the great mass of the 
worshippers uneducated and superstitious ; the services in Greek, 
aU spirituality having long since given way to empty and vain 
ceremony, to chanting of litanies, lighting of tapers, and kissing of 
pictures. It is true that, owing to the fervour of the iconoclasts of 
former times, nothing approaching in shape to the conformations of 
the human body' is allowed, no statue, or even alto-relievo, is seen 
in their churches ; but the redundancy in number, and the degrada- 
tion of the worship of pictures, appears to have been inflicted as a 


special punishment upon the followers of this Church, especially 
encouraged by the priesthood : it is, indeed, the outward and visible 
sign of their worship. 

And here, in sorrow, shame, and sinking of heart, a statement 
must be made with regard to this and the other Syrian Chijrches. 
It must be allowed that the purest and most elevated of faiths 
become degraded and distorted in proportion to the ignorance and 
social degradation of the worshippers. Let those, who have been 
accustomed to witness the Christian religion, as practised by an 
educated and civilised people, with aU the prestige, that wealth, 
station, and learning can bestow, seek an obscure village in the 
Syrian mountains, inhabited by Christians of a degraded Church, 
in extreme social depression under a non-Christian government ; 
let them converse with the minister of that religion, enter the spot 
dedicated to the service, and witness the ritual and worship of the 
crowd, the hideous and unsightly paintings or images of the 
Virgin and of the Saviour, the grovelling prostrations of the igno- 
rant worshippers, the kissing of the ground, of the hand of the 
priest, the superstitious and senseless adoration of the idol, which 
are paralleled, but not surpassed, by anything seen in a Hindu 
temple. Take those worshippers apart, and inquire of them 
searchingly concerning their feehngs with regard to the past, their 
faith, their hopes or fears for the future, and it will be found, that 
the purest faith can be corrupted into a reseniblance to the degraded 
superstitions of heathenism. Nor is Jerusalem itself free from this 
reflection, when we see the mitred archbishop lie down prostrate 
to salute the supposed stone of the Unction, and pilgrims blindly 
led round to kiss each spot in methodical routine, and lay down 
their copper coins, according to the usages established by a rapacious 

Next to the Greek is the Armenian Church ; the hierarchy and 
ritual of a people who have been swept from the Hst of nations, 
and whose existence, like that of the Jews, is only perpetuated by 
the pecuHarity of their tenets, and who, like the above-mentioned 
people, are scattered among all nations, but are universally wealthy, 
thriving, and respected. Their original country is now included in 
the Empire of Russia, imder whose protection the Church flourishes 
at Erivan in Armenia, and at Jerusalem. They seceded, in early 
days, from the Greek Orthodox Church, and are now a distinct and 
acknowledged Church. As wealth pours in, they have become 
more enlightened, their worship is less degraded, their priesthood 
more respectable. • Without seeking for converts, they encourage 
education, and have a printing-press at Jerusalem, to distribute the 
Scriptures and religious tales to the pilgrims of their faith, who 
crowd in thousands to their spacious and magnificent hospice and 
convent on Mount Sion. 


In comnmnion with the Armenian Church, as being opposed to 
the Orthodox Greek Church, are the three National Churches of 
the Syrians, the Copts, and the Abyssinians, all poor, degraded, 
and ignorant ; but they are ancient and numerically important 
Churches. The head-quarters of the Syrian are at Mardin in 
Diarbekr, in the Turkish provinces of Central Asia ; of the Coptic 
at Alexandria, and of the Abyssinian somewhere in that province. 
Under the dome of the Holy Sepulchre shrines are shown, served 
by the dusky priests of each ritual, and they have their convents, 
their chapels, and their relics outside. Two other Eastern 
Churches, though not represented at the tomb of their Saviour, 
must be mentioned to complete the category of the ancient and 
degraded Churches, the Maronites and Nestoriaus. 

These are the Asiatic Churches ; it is among the followers of 
these Churches, that the AngHcan and American missions have 
commenced a crusade, being restricted by the law of the land, 
which makes death the punishment of the renegade Mahometan. 
For the last three hundred years these Churches have had to 
resist the attacks, more or less vigorous, in late years, systematically 
and ardently prosecuted, of the Church of Eome. At the time 
when the Crusades first gave thg Latins an ascendancy in Syria, 
the dissent of the Protestants had not come into existence ; the 
religious hold, obtained by Eome through the agency of the arms 
of Europe, has never been waived, and has always been under the 
special protection of France, and has of late years been converted 
into a ground of political antagonism against Eussia, the patron of 
the Greeks. In no place is the attitude of the Eomish hierarchy 
more dignified than at Jerusalem. Eepresented by a Patriarch, 
a man of learning, dignity, and intellect, supported by a chosen 
body of devout and devoted missionaries, furnished by the Pro- 
paganda, there under the dome of the Sepulchre sits in pride 
the unchanged, unchangeable Church of Eome, smUing at the 
divisions, the doubts, and differences of its adversaries, and affect- 
ing the externals without the reality of universal dominion. One- 
half of the Nestorians have seceded from their own Church, and, 
acknowledging the See of Eome, are knovni as the Chaldeans. A 
portion of the Syrian Church has seceded in the same manner, 
forming a Syro-Eoman establishment. The Maronite Church was 
from the commencement under the guidance of Eome ; and the 
Greek Church has been more than decimated by a seceding Greek- 
Catholic Church in every town. All over Syria and in many parts 
of Asia are scattered Eoman Catholic monasteries, at which mis- 
sionaries are stationed for certain periods of years, each the centre 
of educational measures. The printing-press of the Franciscan 
convent at Jerusalem throws off selections from the Bible, tracts, 
treatises, and catechisms in Arabic and Italian; and the girls' 


schools at Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Jerusalem show that the 
importance of female education is rightly estimated. But much as 
we wonder at the steady and silent determination of these arrange- 
ments, we find greater cause for wonder in the plastic adaptation of 
their methods to all degrees of civilisation; unto the Jews they 
hecome Jews, to them that are without the law as without the law. 
In the Eastern Churches we find no celibacy enjoined upon the 
priesthood, no denial of the cup to the laity; they are allowed 
their own liturgy in their own language, their own ministers and 
forms of worship ; the only indispensable necessary is the acknow- 
ledgment of the supremacy of the Pope, as head of the Church, and 
the rejection of the error of the Greek Church as to the Procession 
of the Holy Ghost. But a formidable rival has sprung up to the 
Papal power, and is now wrestling with it for the remainder of the 
old Churches, and even for its own flock, in the Evangelical Mis- 
sions of England and the United States, who in late years have 
begun to develop themselves, and have thrown down the gauntlet 
deliberately against Eome. The unhappy local Churches, which 
have survived the domination of the Mahometans, will probably 
disappear in this struggle. 

This renders necessary a short mention of the different Protestant 
denominations, which are represented in Syria. First in order 
stands the Anglican bishop. The anomalous position of this Epis- 
copate is scarcely sufficiently understood; here we have a bishop 
without a clergy, a flock, or a diocese, in the usually received 
meaning of those words. The first bishop was a converted Jew, 
and many imagined, that this ought to be a necessary qualification 
for the ofiice. However, the second was a Gentile, a native of 
Calvinist Switzerland, Employed many years as a missionary in 
Abyssinia, he was appointed to the see by the Lutheran King of 
Prussia, the joint patron of the Episcopate. To enable the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury to consecrate him to this so-called Anglican 
bishopric, he was naturalised as an Englishman. His cathedral 
church is considered a portion of the British Consulate, and is only 
tolerated in that light by the Turkish authorities. The building 
was erected at the expense of the Society for the Conversion of the 
Jews. One of the subordinate clergy was ordained in the English 
establishment ; but, as a portion of the Protestants connected with 
the mission were Lutheran Germans, there has been also a Lutheran 
minister under the nominal orders of the bishop, but not under his 
ecclesiastical control. Services are performed in Hebrew, English, 
and German. The Church Missionary Society occupies several 
points in the country. The Presbyterian American Mission has 
long been established, and has been prosecuting the labours of 
education and proselytism from the ancient Churches with success. 
They are labouring consistently and well, and are extending their 


operations; they liave normal schools to supply pastors and teachers, 
boys' and girls' schools, and churches, and are preparing to found 
local independent Churches, as the number of their congregations 
increases. It is an interesting and edifying reflection, that the 
pious Christians of the distant United States are labouring to repay 
the debt of gratitude they owe to the land of the Gospel. 

Jerusalem is so small, that ia one short hour the traveller can 
walk leisurely round its walls ; from any one point he can survey 
the whole city ; yet it is emphatically a city divided against itself. 
Let us pray for the peace of the Holy City, that no_ religious fury 
may pollute the streets with the blood of Christians, that the 
Saviour be not crucified again on Calvary ; but it cannot be doubted, 
that the withdrawal of the Mahometan rule would be foUowed by 
outrage; that in proportion as the privileges and immunities of 
the Christian sects have increased, so have the bitter rivabies, the 
smothered hatred of centuries, begun to burst out; the chosen 
battlefield, the tomb of the Saviour; the chosen season, the anni- 
versary of Easter. Let us pray, then, for the peace of Christian 
Jerusalem, and leaving the sacred waUs proceed on our journey. 

Every spot round Jerusalenj has its story and its associations, 
and days would be consumed in visiting them. The history of 
former days is written on the face of the country ; and on entering 
Syria the traveller is at once aware, that he is upon the theatre of 
great actions ; the rocks gape with tombs ; the heights are crowned 
with stone sarcophagi; the roads are tesselated with pavement; 
ruins of ancient cities, solitary arches of long-disused aqueducts, 
broken bridges, fields teeming with columns of granite, standing 
amidst the waving com, old reservoirs of magnificent proportions, 
harbours choked viith sand, walls covered with seaweed, — all tell 
the same tale, and hold up their silent hands in. confirmation of the 
truth of History. At one narrow pass, where the' Dog Eiver flows 
into the Sea, there are memorials carved on the rock, recording 
some of the numerous .conquerors : there is the Latin Inscription 
of the Proconsul, as fresh as when Antonine widened the road ; 
the Arabic Inscriptions to record the building of the bridge ; and 
far above, dimly delineated, the figures of Assyrian and Egyptian 
monarchs. Eound Jerusalem the interest becomes more intense. 
The pilgrim visits the tree under which Isaiah was sawn asunder, 
the cave of Jeremiah, the tombs of the kings, the field of blood, 
still called Hakal-dama, and used within a few years for the pur- 
pose of biTrying strangers. The tombs in the gardens round about- ' 
have a melancholy interest ; there no superstition or piety inter- 
rupts the chain of preconceived notions. You run with Peter and 
the other disciple — you stoop down — you look in ; there is the stone- 
shelf, where the body but just now was lying ; there is the outer 
chamber, where the angels announced that " He is not here, He is 


risen." Do you not turn round in awe ? do you not expect to meet 
the women on their mournful mission, or to be confronted witli 
your newly-risen Master ? 

A favourite excursion is to visit the convent of St. John in the 
Wilderness, where Mary saluted Elizabeth, and the babe leapt in 
the womb at the voice of the mother of its Lord. Here was trans- 
acted the first scene of the new dispensation. ' Farther to the South, 
through the mountainous country, is Eama, but a little way from 
Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. Here Eachel travailed; here, as 
her soul was departing, she named her second-bom Een6ni ; here 
she was buried, and her tomb is here unto this day. A few steps - 
onward the traveller enters Bethlehem, and understands why Eachel 
is poetically described as weeping for her children, and refusing to 
be comforted, for the servants of Herod must, have passed by her 
grave on their inhuman mission. 

Softly beautiful is the scenery of the environs of Bethlehem ; 
pleasantly situated is the village on the slope of the hUls. The ' 
Christian looks with delight on the fields in which Euth was 
gleaning when she was chosen to carry on the line of Judah, and 
where her ruddy and beautiful great-grandson was keeping his sheep, 
when he was called to be anointed by the aged Samuel. In those 
fields, one thousand years after, shepherds were still watching their 
flocks, perhaps beguiling their night-watch with the legends of that 
boy of Bethlehem who had exchanged the crook for the sceptre, 
perhaps murmuring at the fall of his dynasty, when a new wonder 
was announced to them, that in the village of Bethlehem, of the 
line of their hero, was born the Child, the Good Shepherd of the 
world, whose kingdom should know no end. Go with the rejoicing 
and wondering shepherds, go in haste, and gaze reverently, not doubt- 
ingly, on the spot where the Saviour was born. Marble and precious 
stones, and the wealth of this world, now decorate it ; golden lamps 
hang from the ceiling, incense overpowers. Think of the manger, 
as the shepherds saw the babe lying in it ; think of the meek and 
lowly-minded mother, as she heard their tale, and pondered upon 
what was going to happen. Scarce are the shepherds departed to 
spread the joyful news, when the star-directed Magi approach the 
same lowly abode, and fall down and worship the King of the Jews. 
A few miles on, the traveller enters Kirjath-Aiba, which is Hebron, 
the oldest home of the Jewish nation. Here settled the wanderer 
from Chaldea, on the plain of Mamre ; here was conveyed to him 
the first promise, that the land should be given to him and to his 
seed for ever ; here the faithful patriarch built the first altar to the 
Lord ; here he and his son, and his son's son, and their wives, sleep 
in the cave of Machpelah. At this point the three rival religions, 
for which the civilised world is indebted to the Semitic race, con- 
verge. Here David was crowned king, and reigned seven years 


over his o-wn tribe of Judali, ere lie took the hill of Sion from the 
Jebusites. It is still a flourishing town, and one of the especial 
residences of the Jews. Though debarred by Mahometan jealousy 
from visiting the field of Ephron, we can follow the simple-minded 
pilgrims to the ancient oak-tree, under which Abraham is said to 
have made the purchase of the children of Heth ; we can with much 
greater satisfaction climb up the heights overhanging the place, and 
look down on one side upon Gaza and Askalon, the country of the 
Philistines, and the blue dancing Mediterranean, or Eastward towards 
the dreary mountains, for here Abraham strove with his Angel 
visitants on behalf of the ten righteous in the midst of a wicked 
city; here, on the following morning, he saw the smoke of the 
cities of the plain go up like the smoke of a furnace. 

Our faces must be turned, like the Angel guests of the Patriarch, 
towards Sodom ; we leave the land of Canaan, and follow the herds- 
men of Lot towards the well-watered plain of Jordan. As we pro- 
ceed Eastward, crossing the intervening valleys and ridges, at one 
point .the embattled walls of Jerusalem come into sight ; another 
moment they are lost, like a fairy vision ; soon we enter the stern 
Wadi al Nar, or valley of fire, the continuation of the same valley 
of Jehoshaphat, which opens under Moriah, down which Kedron 
and Siloam pour their tribute to the Dead Sea. In the early ages 
of Christianity hundreds of pious men, having sold all and given to 
the poor, retired hither to devote their lives to prayer and ascetic 
privations. The most distinguished was St. Sabas, whose name is 
stiH recorded by the convent, which is conspicuous in the valley. 
The privations of these worthy religionists must have been very 
great, as the holes which they occupied, and with which the side of 
the rock is still pierced, are indeed receptacles only for foxes or 
wild beasts ; hundreds of them perished on the occasion of the 
invasion and capture of Jerusalem by the Persians, and the practice 
expired under the Mahometan rule. The same feeling of asceticism 
developed itself in the early history of the people of India. The 
great bell of the convent is almost the only sound heard, floating 
morning and evening over the dull dead waves of the accursed sea. 
It is a pleasing and yet melancholy sight to attend service in the 
chapel of St. Sabas ; old and white-bearded men carrying out day 
after day, night after night, the unbroken chant of Kyrie Eleison 
in the wilderness, where John preached the coming of the Saviour, 
hard by the most ancient visible testimony of the wrath of an 
avenging God. 

The dire signs of this wrath are written in the bare verdureless 
mountain, in the river chasms, in the desolate features of the land- 
scape, in the motionless dreary expanse of water, which now opens 
upon us. No bird flies across that space; no fish people those 
depths ; no boats skim the surface ; there is no habitation of man 


or beast on its borders ; no signs of the bounteous gifts of Nature ; 
no tokens of the laborious hand of man ; yet it once was a pleasant 
and well-watered plain, when Lot turned his steps thither, when as 
yet brimstone and hailstones had not rained from heaven. At the 
head of the lake are the supposed sites of Sodom and Gomorrah ; 
over against us are Zoar and the land of the Ammonites and the 
Moabites. "We turn away, for the prospect falls heavy on our sight, 
and we gladly descend upon Jericho and Jordan. This stream has 
been surveyed by a party from the United States, and to them we 
are indebted for the unravelling of the secret of the Dead Sea. 
Theirs was the first boat that successfully ploughed these waves ; 
they were the first who traced the waters of the Jordan from their 
fountain-heads in Lebanon until they lose themselves in this inland 
sea. Hard by is the spot, visited by pilgrims and travellers, which 
is pronounced by the voice of tradition to be the place, where the 
Israelites crossed, and St. John baptized; indeed, it is the only 
locality where the banks slope dovm to the water, and how many 
incidents of interest happened here ! Here was the end of the long 
Vi^anderings in the desert, of the longer captivity in Egypt ; here, by 
a miracle, the waters were held up to enable the people to pass over 
into their heritage : hard by, at the sound of the trumpets of Joshua, 
crumbled the walls of Jericho ; here David passed over in grief in 
his flight from rebellious Absalom, and again returned in triumph ; 
here Elijah was taken up into heaven, and Elisha smote the waters, 
which separated to allow him to pass over ; here Naaman the Syrian 
washed, and was clean. After the interval of centuries, here the 
voice of one crying in the wilderness was heard, proclaiming the 
baptism of repentance and remission of sins. A cleansing of the 
ills of the soul was here commenced, and the Son of Mary was 
acknowledged from heaven to be the Son of God, and announced 
by His precursor as the Redeemer, that was predicted from the 
beginning of the world. How can the interest of the Tiber or 
Hissus compete with the solemnity and sanctity of the Jordan ? 
All has been changed ; the destiny of the Jewish people has been 
worked out and accomplished ; the city of the Jebusites has been 
captured ; the Temple has been built and has been restored ; one 
religion has succeeded to the other ; one dynasty has subverted its 
predecessor, but the Jordan still pours down its volume from Gen- 
nesareth to the Dead Sea, as rapid, as muddy, as when the now 
deserted valley rang to the shouts of the tribes, or re-echoed the 
warnings of the Baptist. 

Of Jericho little remains but a ruined tower and a few huts of 
the Arab cultivators ; but the fountain of Elijah still gushes forth 
with sweet waters, and as yet no marble has violated the verdant 
turf. In such a spot we look with jealousy on the hand of man, 
for above is the range of hills guarding the wilderness, into which 


the newly-baptized Saviour was led up to be tempted j in the early 
days of Ciiristendom the spot was a resort of the Anchorites, but 
it is now a solitary waste, uninviting, untrodden by the steps of 
man. Thence we retrace our steps to Jerusalem, by a wild moun- 
tainous road, over which hf e and property are, as in the days of the 
good Samaritan, insecure without the payment of the prescribed 
blackmail to the Bedouins, who feed their cattle in the environs. 
Stop and glance at the circle of their black tents, the fine manly 
figures of these sons of Ishmael, the women ill-clothed, the children 
not clothed at all, but all busy in their encampment ; the she- 
camels with their young, the cattle, the sheep, the goats, scattered 
far over the hill-side amidst the flowery verdure ; and some hitherto 
unappreciated charms of this kind of life suggest themselves. 
Such was the life of Abraham, when he emigrated from the country 
of the Chaldees, the life which was predicted for, and is realised 
by, the roaming descendants of Hagar. As we again approach 
Jerusalem, we pass by Bethany, which contains the residence of 
Martha and Mary; and we descend into the deep and ancient 
cave-tomb, where Lazarus is supposed by tradition to have been 
laid ; thence passing over the Mount of OHves, and coasting the 
Holy City, we take the road to Samaria. One elevated knoU, about 
five miles on the road, enables the pilgrim to take his last view of 
the dome of the Sepulchre, and utter the deep heart-felt exclama- 
tion, " If I forget thee, Jerusalem ! may my right hand forget 
its cunning ; yea, if I prefer not Jerusalem in my mirth ! " and he 
then plods along the great road to Damascus. Jealous tradition, 
or topographical zeal, has not failed to note the village, where 
Joseph and Mary missed their Son on the return from the Passover ; 
Bethel, where Jacob saw in his dream the angels descending and 
ascending, and received the promise of the land ; and Shiloh, where 
the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle abode previous to the 
building of the Temple. We soon cross the boundary of Judea, 
and, entering Samaria, find ourselves in the village of Shechem, 
betwixt Ebal and Gerizim, in a beautiful valley, as rich with the 
olive, the vine, and the pomegranate, as when Jotham spoke the 
parable of the trees, as sweet to be dwelt upon in recollection, as 
when Joseph bequeathed his bones to be buried there in the parcel 
of land acquired by his father Jacob ; the eyes fall upon as yellow 
lines of an abundant harvest, as when Jesus discoursed with the 
woman of Samaria at the well of the Patriarch. AVe seem to hear 
in imagination the solemn voice of Joshua, the blessings and the 
curses floating in the air over the assembled Israelites in Ebal and 
Gerizim. Here were the altars erected ere Sion was chosen, while 
Jerusalem was stiU in the hands of the Jebusites ; that temple on 
Mount Gerizim, in which the Samaritans worshipped, has utterly 
perished j a heavier fate has befallen the rival Jerusalem ; the time 


has come, wlieii in neither place is the Father worshipped ; still 
round the threshhold of their fallen faith and greatness have clung, 
■with a pertinacity and a good fortune -which were denied to the 
Jews, some portions of the Samaritan people. Unchanged in their 
hatred to their rival sect, asserting to themselves the name of the 
Sons of Israel, they unfold with reverent hands the volume of the 
Pentateuch, said, in spite of all probability, to have been written 
by. the grandson of Aaron; for them the history of the last three 
thousand years has been enacted in vain. The restoration from 
the captivity in Egypt to them is the realisation of the promises of 
God. With them Scripture history ends with the Pentateuch, 
Joshua, the son of Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim, was the prophet 
to be raised up like unto Moses, who completed the restoration, 
and, like his ancestor Joseph, protected and saved the line of Abra- 
ham. They know, they expect, no other Messiah ; no mention is 
made of captivity in Assyria ; but as regards Jerusalem and its far- 
famed Temple, they are spoken of contemptuously as the result of 
the machinations and groundless claims of the tribe of Judah 
and rebellious Benjamin, against the lawful rights of Ephraim, 
representing Joseph, the eldest son of Rachel, and inheritor of the 
birthright of Jacob, forfeited by Eeuben. As to the dying pre- 
diction of Jacob with reference to the greatness of Judah, they read 
Shiloh. or Shelah to mean Solomon, and declare, that on the death 
of that monarch the sceptre was rent from Judah by Jeroboam 
the Ephrathite, for they have no portion in David or inheritance 
in the son of Jesse. To such arguments, meekly and deliberately 
delivered, no answer can be made, for, hearing such things in such 
a place, we exclaim, " "Verily, it is the land of miracle ! " 

Passing along this beauteous valley, we find, that it is indeed 
a land flowing with milk and honey. Sebaste, the ancient Samaria, 
though striking in position, and still reminding us of its ancient 
greatness, has little to arrest the traveller. Not so the grand view 
of the Mediterranean, the plain of Sharon, and the coast betwixt 
Joppa and Csesarea, which bursts upon the enchanted eye, when the 
highest ridge of Samaria is surmounted. A few hours and we have 
turned the lofty spur of Carmel, have emerged from the mountains 
of Samaria, and stand at the edge of the great plain of Esdraelon 
or Megiddo, ia Galilee of the Gentiles. In those distant hiUs 
is Nazareth; and we are on the path trodden by the Saviour 
on the occasions of His going up to the feasts at Jerusalem. On 
our right is Carmel, and in the centre of the plains is Esdraelon, 
the ancient Jezreel. The palace of Ahab and the garden of Naboth 
have both perished, but are not forgotten. Over this plain Elijah 
ran before the chariot of Ahab. Our horses stop to quench their 
thirst at a stream ; we learn that it is the ancient river, the river 
Kishon, Here, then, was the triumph of Deborah and Barak ; here 


the tent of Jael ; tut it appears tliat these plains were destined to 
be renowned in all ages, and in all times, for here was fought one 
of the fiercest fights of the Crusaders, and one of the earliest 
victories of Napoleon. If this plain, is traversed upon a bright 
sunny day, the effect of the light and shade falling on the side of 
the mountains, the clouds reflected on the plain, or shrouding the 
height of Mount Tabor, the varying and rich colour of the crops, 
the distant snows of Lebanon and Hermon, present such, a combina^ 
tion of interest and of the picturesque, as will not easily be efiaced. 
But the beauties of Nature are forgotten, the memory ceases to 
ponder upon battles and victories, the transitory triumphs and 
unstable pride of men, as we enter the quiet and peaceful dell, and 
are told that yonder village is Nazareth. Can any good come out 
of Nazareth ? Eather ask, could anything evU ever have approached 
this quiet and retired spot, nestled in the hills % We look with 
interest at the sweet faces of the Nazarene damsels, if haply one 
could realise the ideal features of the most blessed among women ; 
yet here, where peace should have vindicated her undisturbed 
reign, where at least Christians might have followed the principles 
of their Master, — here evil passions, fanned by religious fanaticism, 
have disgraced the Church Catholic. The Protestant and Romanist 
congregations have been led into outrage towards each other, and, 
to their greater shame, have had recourse to Mahometan tribunals. 
The painful sight has been witnessed of ministers of Christ's reli- 
gion pleading agaiost, perhaps calumniating each other, before a 
follower of Mahomet, who drove them from the judgment-seat, 
refusing, like the Proconsul Gallio, to be a judge of words, and 
names, and such matters. 

At Nazareth a Protestant Church has been planted. It is an 
affecting exercise in such a place to share the prayers of these 
simple-minded Christians. With their children and women they 
assemble in a large upper room, and read the Gospel in the lan- 
guage of their country with devoutness. It has been at no slight 
sacrifice of worldly comfort and reputation, that these worthy men, 
resembling the early Christians in their act, as well as character 
and appearance, have come out from what they conscientiously 
determined to be errors in the Churches to which they belonged. 
They have heard themselves formally excommunicated at the altar, 
where they had previously knelt ; their names have been written 
up as castaways and reprobates on the gates of that Church, which 
they must never again visit ; they have been debarred from those 
services which their religion and that of their persecutors alike pre- 
scribe ; their dead are not allowed to rest in the consecrated spot, 
where their forefathers have gone before them. UntU the inter- 
position of the English representative at Constantinople, they were 
subject to civil disqualifications and heavy oppression. Let a por- 


tion of that sympathy whicli is felt for the early followers of the 
Saviour be extended to those poor and lonely, but brave-hearted 
men, who have conscientiously taken up the Cross ; and may the 
blessing of God be with them ! 

And it will surely be ! for the hills around have known the 
feet of those, that bring good tidings ; here angel-messengers have 
saluted the most blessed among women, revealing mighty mysteries, 
and accomplishing things foretold from the beginning of the world ; 
the spot is still shown, where the "Word was made flesh. Over it is 
a Roman Catholic chapel, but the Greek Church, with a perversity 
scarcely intelligible, maintains that Gabriel met the Blessed Yirgin 
as she was drawing water from the well outside the town, and con- 
ducts her pilgrims thither. This is the last of a long series of 
shrines and places sanctified by the greatness of the acts tradi- 
tionally stated to have been performed there. Many of them are 
painful instances of unprofitable credulity or impious mendacity, 
which nothing but the degraded ignorance of the Oriental Churches 
could tolerate ; but there are in Judea some few spots, where events 
happened such as have never happened elsewhere, over which the 
tradition of centuries, and the piety and faith of millions, have 
uninterruptedly watched, in favour of which probability speaks 
loudly, and which the simple-minded Christian would wish to 
believe as true. There is sufficient evidence for a faithful and 
humble believer to warrant him to kneel at Bethlehem, Nazareth, 
and on. Calvary, to look with pious enthusiasm on Mount Sion and 
the Mount of Olives, and with wonderment, not immixed with awe, 
at the ruin of cities once flourishing, and the desolation of plains 
once teeming with abundance. 

Galilee is now before us, and Mount Tabor is in the centre of the 
plain, and from its verdant summit we can survey the kingdom of 
Israel. We are seated upon the throne, as it were, of Palestine, 
and the country is spread like a map at our feet, from the blue 
Mediterranean to the valley of the Jordan. The eye catches with 
rapture each object, now resting on the snowy front of the greater 
Hermon, now on the quiet waters of the Lake of Gennesareth. 
There is the plain of Jezreel ; hard by Endor recalls to our recollec- 
tion the offences of Saul, and the mountains of Gilboa his punish- 
ment. Tradition, but unsupported by Scripture writ, assigns this 
spot as the scene of the Transfiguration. It were a fit scene for so 
wondrous a drama, for Carmel on the right speaks of Elijah, and 
distant ITebo on the left of Moses ; all around of the beloved Son, 
His ministry and His power ; for at our feet is Nazareth, and Cana, 
the scene of His first, the Sea of Tiberias, of His last miracle. 
Crouching under the sides of little Hermon is Nain, where the son 
of the widow was raised ; and hard by is Solam, where many cen- 
turies before the son of the Shunamite was raised by the hand of 


tlie Tishbite. Along that plain, where the Arab and his oxen are 
faintly visible, like beetles on the face of the earth, how often, in 
His journeyings to and fro from ungrateful Nazareth to His own 
city of Capernaum, the Saviour must have passed with His dis- 
ciples; farther on there are thousands seated in the wilderness to 
be fed with food from heaven, or listening with strained eyes and 
fixed attention to the words, such as never man spake, on the 
Mount of the Beatitudes. 

But the whole Bible history explains itself, and is rendered clear, 
as we are here seated. Tabor and Hermon attest the wonderful 
history of this hapless and devoted land. Its whole breadth, from 
the sea to the Jordan, is laid open to us, and we watch with awe 
the solemn procession of nations, which have uninterruptedly poured 
themselves down this narrow strip of country, the scene of one 
eternal struggle in aU times and ages between Assyria and Egypt, 
the inhabitants of the valley of the Nile and the Euphrates. 
We hear of different races and names, of Assyria, Babylon, and 
Damascus, of Greeks, Persians, and Eomans ; at one time the 
phalanx of Alexander, at another the legions of Titus. As the 
battles of nations were to be fought here in the ancient world, so 
in later days were to be fought the battles of religions. If on one 
side we could have seen from Mount Tabor the triumph of 
Napoleon, on the other the heights of Huttin, the scene of the 
Sermon on the Mount, tell a sad tale of the last and final defeat of 
the Crusaders. In late years the struggle betwixt Egypt and' Asia 
again commenced, and this devoted country has but a few years 
back been reheved of the miseries of foreign occupation and civil 

Our pilgrimage is now drawing to a close, and we stand on the 
banks of the Lake of Gennesareth, and, looking into its smooth 
mirror and upon the mountains which surround it, we rejoice to 
take our farewell of the Holy Land at this place, where all our 
remembrances are of a soothing nature, all our associations are of 
peace. The thoughts naturally fiy back to the many miracles that 
took place there, the destruction of the swine on the opposite head- 
land, the stilling of the tempest, the Saviour walking on the waters, 
Peter sinking and upheld, the miraculous draught of fishes, as 
depicted in the cartoons of the , greatest of painters. The painter 
Eaphael seems to be with us everywhere, whether at the Beautiful 
Gate of the Temple, or at the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, 
with the fishermen on the Sea, of GalUee, kneeling with 
St. Peter to receive the keys at Csesarea, or standing boldly 
with St. Paul on the Areopagus at Athens ! Bethsaida and 
Chorazin have utterly perished ; it has already been more 
tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, for, though stricken, they still 
exist ; the feet of men tread their streets, the voices of men pro- 


nounce their names ; tut Bethsaida and Chorazin, wliich saw the 
mighty works and believed them not, are forgotten ; they are as 
Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities of the lower lake of the Jordan ; 
and where art thou, Capernaum? Thy fishermen have indeed 
caught men ; words spoken in thy houses, acts performed in thy 
streets, have echoed through the wide world; in many hundred 
languages the wondrous works are told which thou sawest ; but 
thou art not ! The scenery of the lake is stem, and, but for its 
associations, we should not find pleasure in it; but a poetry sur- 
rounds it far exceeding that of Loch Katrine, and a beauty which 
makes us forget Como. In one view, from the roof of the Eoman 
Catholic chapel, we take in the whole scene ; we people the shores 
with towns and villages, we see the fishermen toiHng in their boats, 
the crowds are collected on the banks to hear His words, and derive 
advantage from His miracles ; but He cometh not, for He is gone 
up to the Passover, and the heavy news is brought back from the 
feast, that He who spake as no man spake, to whose powers the 
devils had been witness, has been crucified, and they shall see His 
face no more. 

"We turn away mournfully, and ascending the hill to Saphet, the 
city that is built on a hiU, we take our farewell look of the Lake of 
Tiberias and the plains of Galilee. Every mountain now raises a 
familiar head ; we seem to know each village and trace the path of 
yesterday, and think with regret of the friends parted from at Naza- 
reth ; yes, friends, for with the gentle and sociable people of this 
country kind words soon ripen friendship, and their unpretending 
hospitality is open to alL With a simple dignity not unworthy of 
the patriarchs, the old man receives the traveller as an angel, after 
the manner of Abraham ; his knowledge of the surface of the globe 
is perhaps confimed to Galilee, and the history of his country is con- 
tained in his Bible. iN'o more shall we hereafter be received in this 
unpretending way ; the Arab tent or the terraced roof will be our 
resting-place no more ; never again perhaps ia our evening circle 
shall we recognise sweet winning faces, with manners free from the 
reserve of the West, or the social degradation of the farther East, 
or hear little voices read in lisping accents from the Arabic Bible, 
how Jesus came walking on the waters of the lake that flow beneath 
our windows ; no more tiny Miriams or Rachels to conduct us to 
some spot sanctified by tradition, and known to us by name from 
infancy, now for the first time seen in its reality. We seem waking 
from a pleasing dream ; we begin to wonder at the blessing .to us 
conceded, to have stood where we were but yestereven standing, and 
we take our last look of the mountains and the plains, as they fade 
away in the distance, with the feeling of one who watches a dying 
friend. We have much to inquire of those faithful testimonies of 
what they have seen done since the days that their foundations were 


established. Each dweller of those blessed fields seems one ■whom 
■we might envy. But the road descends into a deep valley, and the 
last height of Palestine is lost ; our pilgrimage is over, and perhaps 
in many an after day will the memory of it come back ; as often as we 
open the sacred book we shall be thankful for the opportunity granted 
to us, and gratefully admit that it was good for us to be there. 

The pilgrimage is indeed over. From Beersheba to Dan we have 
traversed the Land of the Promise ; we have stood at the point, 
where the Jordan flows into the Dead Sea. Here is its source on 
one of the green slopes of Lebanon, and through those double ranges 
and along the beauteous valley which they enclose must be our course 
to the Sea. We find ourselves amidst a hardy mountain people, 
confident in themselves and their mountain recesses, differing in 
religion, but generally united against the stranger. The line of 
hiUs, the villages, the soil, even the dress of the inhabitants, show 
but small distinctive signs ; but in these mountains we have speci- 
mens of every variety of religion which has agitated and disturbed 
the world. The Ansariyeh is said to worship the DevU, that 
primeval religion ; the Druze is an idolater, who worships he 
knows not what in high places, the remnant of the idolatrous tribe 
who troubled Israel ; the MetiwUeh is a Mahometan of the Shi4h 
sect ; the Maronite, an Oriental Church, subject to the Pope. These 
are the great sections, but interspersed are Jews, Mahometans of the 
Siinl sect, Greeks, Greek Catholics, and Protestants ; and on our 
road we pass the encampment of the Gipsies, and in these Syrian 
mountains are surprised at being able to recognise some [of the 
vocabularies of India. - The mountains are studded with churches 
and convents. It is pleasant in a Mahometan coTmtry to hear at 
sauset the Ave Maria bell sounding in each hamlet, to see the 
picturesque crowd of women mixed with men entering their 
village places of worship ; but the ritual is degraded, and renders 
Christianity doubtful. The highest ridge of mountains is covered 
with snow, and in the adjoining villages are springing up 
houses, in which the merchant and missionary from Beiriit take 
refuge in the summer. The mountains of Himalaya are more 
grand; the scale of Nature is more exalted; the mountains of 
Switzerland axe more romantic, and art has done more to render 
habitation agreeable; but neither have the blue Mediterranean 
washing their base, with such a breeze as would seem fit to bring 
back life to the dead, nor such a sky. On the Indian hills you 
would look in vain for the green rows of mulberries, and the 
luxuriance of the vine ; but it is sad to think that Lebanon has 
been robbed of the cedar, once its glory. In one only spot, in the 
neighbourhood of Tripoli, are these patriarchs of the forest to be 
found, and a visit to them is one of the many delightful excursions 
of the Lebanon summer. It requires a certain degree of activity 


to reach the highest pass of Jebel Sunnin, the loftiest point in 
liChanon; hut, when reached, it amply repa3'-s. All the lower 
ranges and the quiet sequestered valleys lie exposed to the view ; 
the mulherry-crowned hills, sloping gently from the clouds and the 
snow to the hlue sea, crowned with sparkling villages and con- 
vents' ; here and there a deep gorge hetrays the hidden course of a 
snow-fed torrent dashing down. As the eye becomes more accus- 
tomed to the scene, it follows the mountain paths along the declivi- 
ties ; now up to some rude headland, where Fancy sits gazing on 
the magnificent prospect, now down to some slender bridge spanning 
the foaming flood, which tears away to the sea, discolouring the 
waves for many a league with its purple waters, for the stream is 
the yearly wounded Tammuz. In these valleys Venus wept her lost 
Adonis. On the Eastern side of the range we delight again to see 
the" glittering Hermon, and the range of Anti-Lebanon overhanging 
Damascus, but separated from us by the fertile valley of the Bekda, 
along which we trace the river Leontes, like a silver Une, until the 
eye rests with astonishment on the Temple of the Sun at Baalbek. 
' Time, earthquakes, and religious rage have failed to destroy this 
wonderful and stupendous work. Christian churches have been 
erected from its materials ; they have perished ; mosques and the 
tomb of the great Saladin have been constructed in the same way, 
and have shared the same fate, but these ruins still raise their 
solemn front to heaven with much of their original grandeur. The 
granite columns must have been brought across pathless Lebanon. 
The mechanical means for moving the vast stones, which form the 
platform, can only be guessed at, but a visit to the neighbouring 
quarries proves that, wonderful as was the performance, the genius of 
the builder was planning greater things, and stones were being hewed 
out, destined to surpass any of the existing wonders of Baalbek. 

We turn with awe from these memorials of the power, wealth, 
and genius of men in ancient days, and our sight falls upon a few 
o-reen specks or shi-ubs far down below us on the side of the mountain. 
As we approach them through the snow, we find that they are the 
giant cedars, the last remnants of that family which furnished 
timbers to the Temple, the glory of the forest. Twelve venerable 
patriarch trees have stood the blasts of centuries, and we would 
willingly lend ourselves to the behef, that they are contemporary 
with those which were felled by Hiram. Some of them are forty 
feet in circumference, and they are surrounded by hundreds of their 
race younger and more beautiful. Whatever be their age, the 
Bight of these venerable trees is calculated to arouse the deepest 
emotions, and we forget the ruin of Baalbek, the triumph of human 
skill in contemplation of these, the work of God. 

We have faintly described the charms of a sojourn of a few 
months in this enchanting land. Other countries may have raised 


their heads higher in the history of war and empire ; more favoured 
climes have left us the legacy of breathing brass and living marble ; 
it is not here that we must look for the triumphs of the orator, or 
track the starry mazes with the divining rod of the astronomer ; 
but to this soil we are indebted for higher and better things, for 
the germs and for the triumphs of poetry, legislature, and history. 
What poems are lisped in earliest childhood, and murmured by 
failing lips, but the Psalms of the sweet songster of Israel ? What 
law forms the basis of every code of guidance for human conduct ? 
What history is entwined by a golden cord with our most secret 
thoughts and our earliest ideas ? Keflecting upon this, let the pil- 
grim start with" a devout and subdued spirit, the Bible his best 
companion and handbook of the way ; let him remember, that he is 
on the soil of miracles, and that it is a privilege for him. to_ be 
there, if he believes anything at all. On his road he wiU meet 
with men of all religions, nations, and kindred, and wiU derive, if 
he be willing to receive, instruction from aU ; he wiU hear subjects 
discussed calmly and clearly, which, in his own country, have been 
obscured by ignorance and prejudice ; he wiU. hear of ancient 
cities, known to him only in childhood's tales or dreaming fancy, 
spoken of as household words by those, who have there lived, and 
there hope to die. Chance may throw him for days in company 
with some unknown yet eloquent stranger, whose words, pregnant 
with truth, and rich in associations, will have charmed away the 
mountain-route in Judea, or lent a new zest to the beauties of 

Thus let him wander, and surely some blessing wiU be upon his 
track, some strengthening of Faith by treading the very scenes of 
the great mysteries of our salvation, some enlarging of charity, by 
seeing how degraded poor human nature, whatever' be the creed, 
can become. Thoughts wiH be suggested- by the place, which might 
ilever have risen in the mind — thoughts of holiness ; convictions 
may be strengthened, and attention drawn to subjects which the 
world had before shrouded from the view; the enthusiasm, the 
inspiration of the moment, will invest the doctrines of Christianity 
with a halo,r which will last many a year ; such recollections will, 
in after life, soothe the hour of grief. Such associations will ward 
off the fiends of infidelity and doubt, and bring peace at the last ; 
but if one link be added to the chain of his Faith, one particle to 
the drachm of his Charity, he wiU not have gone in vain ; for a 
simple Faith is better than riches, wealth, and rank ; and Charity 
never faileth. Thus let him go, and if a single slumbering spark 
of kindred enthusiasm is ignited, not in vain have been worn the 
sandal shoon and scallop shell ; these pages have not been written 
in vain. 

Ba^Ieas, 1852. 

( 289 ) 



In 1850 Colonel Chesney published the first volumes of his 
survey of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. They contain much 
more than their name implies, adding to the existing stock of 
knowledge, and containing a precis of all previous information. 
He does not confine himself to the narrow boundaries of Meso- 
potamia, but, as an active and intelligent traveller, he has run over 
great part of Asia. He began his career by traversing the battle- 
field of the Turks and Eussians in Bulgaria in 1828, and the 
publication of this book was delayed by his being ordered on service 
to China. The circumstances, which led him to Mesopotamia, were 
connected with India. When $rst the Overland route began to 
be more than a dream, and public opinion was still divided as to 
the advantage of the Eed Sea or Euphrates route, he was deputed 
to test the practicability of the navigation of the Euphrates. He 
had already dropped down the stream on rafts made of hurdles ; he 
was now to conduct two steam vessels from Aleppo across the 
desert to Bir, and thence by the Euphrates to Bussora. The expe- 
dition left England in February 1835, and commenced the descent. 
of the river in March 1836. We cannot gather from these volumes, 
when or how the expedition terminated, for the narrative of events 
was deferred to^^the last voluine ; the author narrates most piteously, 
how fortune and those in power appeared determined to oppose 
him. His lithographer played him false, and it was only after five 
years that a Court of Law restored him his plates. The Indian 
Government refused to make good their promised contributions. 
Just as the first portion was in the Press, the author was ordered 
to proceed for four years to China, and on his return an incident 
not narrated deprived him of a large portion of his manuscript. 
This was indeed hard, and the details of the loss are a warning to 
authors. With his papers in charge, he proceeded in a hired cab to 
caU upon a young lady. Forgetful of time, of place, of manuscript, 
and cab, Indico-pleustes urged a suit, which we trust was successful, 
but the cabman, indignant at the delay, and suspecting some trick, 
drove off exasperated, and, though diligently searched for, was 


never heard of again. Tbe place of these manuscripts had to he 
supplied, and hence another cause of delay. 

The first volume is geographicaL It contains a succinct but 
complete description of the natural features of the countries betwixt 
the rivers Nile and Indus, and a more particular account of the 
rivers Tigris and Euphrates. Mesopotamia, Armenia, Trans- 
Caucasia, Persia, Afghanistan, Asia Minor, Syria, and Arabia, all 
pass under review. No volume teUs so much, and teUs it so well. 
The accomplished traveller and the intelligent man of the world 
speak throughout ; not the duU book- writer or plodding , map- 
maker ; and attached to this volume is a most complete map, with 
all the information available up to the year 1850. 

But greater praise is due to the second volume, which is historical. 
There are signs .of the greatest research and the most praiseworthy 
industry in chronicling the annals of this country from the days 
of the Creation to the present time; for the tracts betwixt the 
rivers Euphrates and Tigris have the reputation of being the cradle 
of the human race. Twice is the world said to have been peopled 
from that narrow strip of land ; within its boundaries have risen 
and fallen three of the four great kingdoms of Daniel ; it has been 
for centuries the battlefield of the world, where dynasties, religions, 
and ideas were fought for. For three thousand years the struggle 
never ceased; city after city arose to be the capital of Western 
Asia, and then sank beneath the power of a younger rival ; con- 
querors from all points of the compass strutted their little time on 
this stage, until three hundred years ago a thick cloud fell over 
it : unknown, untraversed, uninhabited, the garden of the world 
relapsed into a howling wilderness. 

At length a great nation in the West thought that the naviga- 
tion of the Nile or the Euphrates miight suit their merchants as a 
means of transport of goods to a stUl greater dependency in the 
East. How are the mighty fallen ! It was not for themselves ; no 
iatrinsic excellence of these ancient rivers drew forth the exertion. 
The two great streams, on the banks of which mankind had learned 
to be strong and wise, to build vast cities, and raise lofty monu- 
ments, ia their old age were honoured by being looked at on the 
contingency of their being of use to transport piece-goods from the 
Thames to the Ganges ! If Kings Nebuchadnezzar and Pharaoh, 
when they met at Carchemish, could but have thought of this ! 
Their kingdoms are indeed departed for ever. 

There is something in the geographical features of the countries 
betwixt the Euphrates and the Tigris, that recalls the gi'eat Meso- 
potamia of Upper India, those rich and favoured plains watered 
by the riyers JamnA and Ganges, the prosperity of which is but 
stiU in its youth, and which have a great future before them. In 
both cases two sister streams spring from adjoining sources in the 


same range of mountains, funning parallel for many a league, until 
they meet in one broad stream, in the one case feeding the GuH of 
Persia, and in the other the Bay of Bangui. On the right of each 
river basitt is a dreary desert ; on the left a range of mountains. 
Along the banks of either stream had sprung up city after city, to 
give law to the surrounding countries ; but now little more than 
the memory of the great names remains, a shadow of former great- 
ness ; while fickle Fortune, or more fickle Commerce, has transferred 
her favours to other quarters, bidding new cities spring up, obedient 
to new interests. Canals have connected the two Indian streams, 
as they once did the Euphrates and the Tigris ; but here the resem- 
blance ceases, as the Doab of the Ganges is one of the most flourish- 
ing tracts in Asia, traversed by railroads, studded with cities and 
villages and a teeming population, while the unhappy Mesopotamia, 
described by Herodotus as exceeding in fertility any part of the 
world, has become a wilderness, is unsafe for the ordinary traveller, 
and beyond the walls of decaying towns has no inhabitants but the 
wandering Arab. 

Both the Tigris and Euphrates spring from the high ranges of 
Mojint Taurus in Armenia, the early part of their course being in 
the mountains, the latter through sandy plains. Tradition fixes the 
site of Paradise in those mountains, and the earliest seat of man- 
kind, whence they naturally spread into Mesopotamia. Eour rivers 
are noticed in the Bible narrative as going out of Eden, of them 
the Euphrates is recognised by name. . Concerning the identity of 
the Hiddekel and the Tigris there is no doubt, as it still bears the 
same name from its swiftness. The river Pison is identified with 
the river Halys, which flows northward into the Black Sea, and the 
river Gihon with the river Araxes, which empties itself into the 
Caspian, flowing'eastward. This, then, is the remarkable tract of 
land, in which niankind were first located according to the Hebrew 

Geology in late days has become a science, and, based upon careful 
induction, tells us in words, which cannot be gainsaid, that the 
earth has seen many a cataclysm, many a long subsidence of the 
outer crust beneath the Ocean, many a subsequent rearing of the 
mountain-ranges, during periods which can only be calculated or 
appreciated by geologists. The Deluge, chronicled in the Bible, 
lasted but one hundred and fifty days, and could have done little 
to alter the face of the tracts submerged. The words are, " The 
waters prevailed exceedingly oVer the earth, and all the high hills, 
that were under the whole heaven, were covered." It is unneces- 
sary to suppose, that the whole world was submerged, or even that 
all the portions inhabited by man were affected; nor does the uni- 
versal tradition of a Deluge in every part of the world necessarily 
prove, that the whole world was included, but only that all mankind 


drew tteir legendary tales from the same source ; for every nation, 
that chronicles the Deluge in their own land, tells us also of the man 
who was saved being their own countryman, and points to the 
mountains where he escaped, which would suppose so many 
different arks and so many separate famUies preserved from des- 
truction. Many difficulties are removed by supposing that the 
Deluge extended over Mesopotamia only. In the Acts- of the 
Apostles " every country under heaven " meant only a portion of 
Asia and Europe, and at a still earlier date the expression must be 
taken in a stiU more limited meaning. The Hebrew writer's con- 
ception of the physical features of the world was that which was 
shared by Homer, a flat surface surrounded by an Ocean, At the 
time of St. Luke it was well known, that the world was a sphere, 
and Strabo informs us precisely what the extent of the habitable 
portion of that sphere was. In both cases the expressions of the 
narrators must be accepted in the sense justified by contemporary 
knowledge. "Were it a fact that the whole terrestrial orb has been 
submerged to a sufficient height to cover so lofty a peak as Mount 
Ararat, we have to suppose gigantic miracles, first in the production 
of so much water, and then in its idtimate disposal ; for science has 
taught us, that the fountains of the deep are not unfathomable, 
that beneath the Ocean is the crust of the earth ; that the clouds 
are but receptacles of the condensed moisture extracted from the 
Ocean, and to be again restored. So vast an increase of the globe's 
diameter would have disturbed not only its rotation, but that of 
the other heavenly bodies and the whole Solar System; sovasl 
an addition of fresh water would have caused the destruction of all 
the salt-water fish, and the collection of animals from all quarters 
of the wodd would necessarily have caused the residents of the 
colder climates at once to perish, as to man alone and a few other 
animals is conceded the privilege of living ia aH climates. If how- 
ever the limits of the Deluge are considered to be more restricted, 
^U such difficulties vanish, and we cease to wonder that the Ark 
with its freight, instead of being blown about the world on a 
boundless sea, found itself, when the water subsided, in the slopes 
of the range, and not necessarily on the highest peak of Mount 
Ararat, not very far from the spot, where it had been launched j 
the waters produced by excessive raia, and obstruction of the 
mouths of the Euphrates and Tigris, were then drained ofif into the 
Persian Gulf, in the strata below which wiU be found the skeletons 
and material remains of the antediluvian creatures, and the plains 
of Shinar reappeared to be the scene of new events. 

According to the same tradition, the three families of Shem, Ham, 
and Japheth spread East and West, North and South, to multiply 
upon and people the earth. Some, in these days of speculation, are 
bold enough to claim for man, what is conceded for the animal 


creation, several distinct, separate, and local creations. Those, 
"who oppose this theory, must reconcile to their judgments the pro- 
cesses by which the children of Noah, during a few centuries, were 
bleached into Caucasians by the cold of the North, blackened to 
the swarthiness of the Negro, toned down to the yellow of the 
Chinese, or reddened to the tint of the American aborigines ; how 
some human forms have so advanced in beauty, as justly to be 
compared to angels, and others have become so degraded, as reason- 
ably to be mistaken for monkeys, while the ancestors of all were 
originally fashioned after God's own image : this is a mystery, which 
it has not been given to man to solve. Colour is only skin deep, 
and perhaps not even that, and we have therefore to imagine the 
slow steps, by which skulls were flattened or elevated, stature 
elongated or reduced; when did the straight profile first stamp 
itself as the characteristic of the Caucasian race, and when did the 
first instance of dorsal protrusion differentiate the Hottentot % Has 
the progress been one of improvement or degradation of type? 
That certain types were soon arrived at, and have not materially 
altered during at least thirty centuries, is proved by the Monuments 
of Nineveh and Egypt, and by the manner of men whose acquaint- 
ance we make on the first unfolding of a mummy. 

To avert the calamities of a second Deluge, the ambitious Tower 
of Babel was being erected on the banks of the Euphrates, when 
by the confusion of tongues (whatever was the great event thus • 
described) the builders were scattered. Of the history of one 
particular tribe, the Hebrews, we have information that their great 
ancestor, Abraham, left Ur of the Chaldees, now known as TJrfah, 
and proceeded to Haran, also in Mesopotamia ; thence, by a second 
impulse, he crossed the Euphrates, and proceeding "Westward 
across the Jordan, founded a nation at Hebron, to the annals of 
which we are indebted for the history of the world. Of the 
struggles of the favoured people during their long sojourn of four 
hundred years, on the banks of the Nile, of the reconquest of their 
heritage, of their division of the land, of their mode of government, 
we are informed ; but of the country beyond the Euphrates, for the 
space of one thousand years, from the call of Abraham to the death 
of Solomon, we know little or nothing beyond what is darkly 
gathered from the interpretations of Assyrian and Babylonian Inscrip- 
tions, except that they had already been afflicted with the curse of 
Tyranny, by which the happiness of the many is sacrificed to the 
few, as we find that iniquity started by Nimrod the mighty 
hunter. The Hebrews were long spared this chastisement, until 
of their own freewill they chose one of their own nation as king, 
of the nature of which they were warned by Samuel. That there 
were good men in Mesopotamia, who feared God, is disclosed to us 
by the Book of Job, who, from many convincing reasons, is shown 


jfco have been a resident of Upper Mesopotamia ; and tradition con- 
nects Lis name with the neighbourhood of Ur of the Chaldees. 
This book shows no mean state of civilisation. Arts and sciences 
are alluded to. Mankind, as therein described, had advanced far 
in artificial luxuries, and the intellect, that could produce such pro- 
found argument, had been not slightly cultivated. Babylon had 
Inng before come into existence ; Damascus, its sister, beyond the 
Euphrates, was a city before Isaac was married to Rebecca, while 
iShem, the son of Noah, was still living. By this time Nineveh 
had begun to raise her head on the banks of the river Tigris, and 
commenced her long struggle with her two e^der rivals. The 
ancient scroU of her history is now being unfolded, not written on 
the perishable leaves of papyrus, but carved on the walls of her 
palaces, and stamped with a pen of iron on her stone-monuments. 
They tell us but one tale, that kings were as selfish, as reckless, as 
inhuman, and as faithless then as they are now. Man, weak man, 
is as unfit to wield the sceptre of absolute power, or to be armed 
with the strength of a giant eighteen hundred years after Christ, 
as he was the same period before. The licentious and selfish Eaja 
in British India is not worse than his ancestors in the days of 
Eama. There is little to choose between the merits of the autocrat 
of modem days and Pharaoh ; it is the same monster reproduced in 
different ages, to strut his little time on the stage till the cup of 
vengeance is fiUed, and he is overthrown in the Eed Sea of his own 

The kingdom of Solomon extended to the Euphrates, but there 
is no. doubt that the Assyrians ruled Western Asia for many hundred 
years, and at the time that they had arrived at the summit of their 
glory, they built the magnificent palaces of Khorsabad, Kouyanjik, 
and Nimrud; and, availing themselves of the weakness of the 
Israelites, owiag to their intestine divisions, they crossed the 
Euphrates, swept away the kingdom of Samaria, laid waste Sheohem 
and Jezreel, and besieged Jerusalem. Both in Isaiah and the Book 
of Kings are affecting accounts of this memorable beleaguerment, 
the address of Eabshakeh and his haughty threats, the appeal 
of Hpzekiah to the Most High, and the scornful defiance, with 
which the Virgin, the daughter of Sion, met her antagonists. The 
whole of the Assyrian army was destroyed. Herodotus attributes 
it to the destruction of their arms by an irruption of field mice ; at 
any rate Sennacherib returned discomfited, and perished in his own 
palace. The spot where the army encamped, and the identity of 
the fountains stopped by Hezekiah, are now traced out in the 
outskirts of Jerusalem. 

The country of Palestine was invaded as a stepping-stone to 
Egypt. This was one scene of the long struggle for supremacy 
betwixt the inhabitants of the basins of the Euphrates and the 


Nile. Both these nations rose to power contemporaneously, and 
alternately conquered each other, making unhappy Judeathe scene 
of their contentious rivalry. ' Some of the Egyptian kings over- 
ran Mesopotamia ; Nebuchadnezzar defeated the Egyptian host 
at Carchemish, actually on the Euphrates. At length the tide 
turned, and Cambyses, son of Cyrus, subdued Egypt, which remained 
tributary, until both the conqueror and the conquered fell before 
Alexander the Great. 

The great secret of maintaining dominion over conquered pro- 
vinces in those days seemed to be to transport the inhabitants to 
another part of the enipire, and recolonise the land. This plan 
was tried extensively by the Assyrian monarchs, Shalmaneser and 
Tiglath-PileseT. The Israelites were bodily removed, and located on 
the banks of the river Chebar, the site of which is now satisfactorily 
identified ; and here Ezekiel saw his wondrous dreams. He had 
no doubt stood at the gateway of the Assyrian palaces, and had 
seen those gigantic monsters with the face of a man, the body of a 
bull, and the wings of an eagle, which astonish us in the British 
Museum. It was the wicked Nineveh, that Jonah cried against, 
having in vain tried to flee away to Tarshish, or anywhere from 
the presence of the Lord. In the Book of Tobit, we find the 
history of one of the captive and transported IsraeHtes ; it is a peep 
into the private life of those days, and a journey to Ekbatana, and 
the great city of Eages, in the neighboiirhood of Ispahan. But 
the Book of Judith gives stiU more interesting information. Here 
we have details of a great military enterprise ; the march is care- 
fully detailed, we can trace the steps of the host, we learn the 
mode of warfare of the Assyrians, the number of their forces, and 
their organisation. 

But the time of the First Kingdom was passing away, the great 
city on the Tigris was entirely destroyed, and the seat of empire 
was for a short period transferred to Babylon. Under Nebuchad- 
nezzar the Second Kingdom was established, the rising power of the 
Medes was for a time kept back, the Egyptians entirely discomfited, 
and the Jewish nation swept away into captivity ; and this last act, 
though perhaps little thought of at the time by the proud monarch, 
has given him an individuality in history, and made his name famihar 
to posterity. Daniel is the chronicler of the last days of the Baby- 
lonian kingdom. Before his eyes the golden head was dashed down, 
the threat written on the wall was worked out, and with the advent 
of Cyrus the country of Mesopotamia was transferred to the Persians. 

His destiny was an enviable one. Writers, sacred and profane, 
have handed the name of Cyrus down in letters of gold. The voice 
of prophecy had pointed him out as the restorer of captive Jeru- 
salem. He succeeded in whatever he undertook. He founded a 
greater Empire than the world had seen before, dividing it into one 


hundred and twenty provinces. Xenophon has painted his char- 
acter in colours too brilliant to be believed, and we cannot trust 
him, nor refuse credit to the story of the tragical end of Cyrus in a 
great battle on the borders of the Caspian Sea. His tomb still 
stands to this day at a place caUed Murghdb, in the neighbourhood 
of PersepoUs, known as the " Madri Suliman," but with the Inscrip- 
tion, " I am Cyrus, the King of the Achsemenians." It was plund- 
ered by a satrap as early as the days of Alexander the Great, and 
nought now remains but the walls. In the literature of his country, 
Cyrus has been as favoured as, in that of the Jewish and Grecian 
people, and the name of Kay Khusru is knoT^p. as one of the Paladins 
of ancient Persia. 

Cambyses followed Cyrus, and reduced' Egypt to subjection, 
destroying the temples and insulting the religion of that ancient 
people. To him followed Darius, known to us by the pages of 
Herodotus and in the Book of Daniel. In these last days the rock 
of Bisutun has been made to speak out, and tell us more distinctly 
of the achievements of this king, which had been forgotten in 
history. Not in vain did this proud man make the hard rock his 
tablet. Ormuzd has befriended his faithful worshipper. He first 
thoroughly organised the government of his vast dominions, ex- 
tending from the Nile to the Indus. Why did he covet the petty 
provinces and paltry cities of the Grecian peninsula ? In his reign 
we hear first darkly of India ; that wondrous country, shut in by 
lofty mountains and the unpassable Ocean ; rich in spices, in, gems, 
and costly productions, more magnificently thought of because s'o 
little known. Something had they heard of the noble rivers which 
flowed out, nobody knew where, of a people mighty, and strong, who 
shunned rather than sought communion with the rest of the world ; 
of vast plains peopled with animals, such as the tiger and rhino- 
ceros, unknown elsewhere. "Wishing to know further, Darius 
employed a Greek mariner to sail down the Indus. In this enter- 
prise he succeeded, and returned by sea to the Arabian Gulf, bring- 
ing back accounts of so marvellous a nature, that the Periplus of 
Scylax became in the next century the parent of the expedition of 
Alexander the Great. 

Under Darius the kingdom of the Persians reached its height of 
glory. He was the great King of the world ; to his kind offices the 
Jews were indebted for the restoration of the Temple. He ordered 
the original decree of Cyrus to be .searched for, and it was found at 
the Median Ekbatana ; and, as those decrees were written on cylin- 
ders of baked clay, and many have been found existing to this day, 
it would be no matter of surprise, if the original decree were stUl 
found, and add another confirmation to the truth of Scripture. Per- 
sepolis in all its glory sprang into existence under Darius ; he 
established a system of posts over the whole of his Empire, and 


defeated the Scythians on the Danube; but he unluckily came 
into contact with the Ionian Greeks, and suffered the defeat at 
Marathon, which led to the downfall of his Empire. 

He was succeeded by Xerxes, who has been handed down to an 
undesirable notoriety by his achievements at Salamis. He was the 
husband of Esther. Making allowances for the effect of climate 
and customs, and the lower standard of Asiatic morality, it could 
have been wished that a Jfewish damsel had possessed more self- 
respect than she showed. Owing to the chance of a fair face and 
a debauched sensualist's fancy, she became a Queen; but the 
path which she trod, the six months with oil of myrrh, the six 
months with sweet odours, after the manner of the purifying of the 
women, was not that which ought to have been trod by a daughter 
of the seed of Abraham and the tribe of Benjamin, and which would 
have been trod by her contemporary, the Eoman daughter of 
Virginius, who would have preferred death to a shameful life. It 
is too true that the Asiatic Prince, even to the present day, looks 
too much on his subjects as things that may at his pleasure be 
carved into eunuchs or polluted into concubines ; but even the 
safety of her father's house and her people was dearly bought at 
the price paid by Esther ; and the position occupied by Mordecai, 
when the subject is calmly considered, is still more contemptible. 

The offspring of this alliance was not destined to fiU the throne 
of Cyrus ; and internal dissension and palace intrigues transferred 
the throne to Arfcaxerxes Longimanus, the issue of another of the 
fair young virgins who had been sought for for Ahasuerus. On the 
death of Darius JSTothus ensued the mMuorable expedition of Cyrus 
the Younger, who, aided by the ten thousand Greek mercenaries, 
sought to win the throne, but lost his life at Kunaxa in Mesopo- 
tamia. There may have been others as brave as were these famous 
mercenaries, many expeditions may have been as hazardous, and as 
nobly achieved, but this alone has been recorded. The army of 
Cyrus crossed the Euphrates, and was advancing on Babylon when 
he perished in the moment of victory, and his valiant auxiliaries 
fought their way back through an unknown and wild moimtaiuous 
country in the depth of winter. Fortunately for them, Tissaphernes 
early in the day slew their leaders, and the command devolved on 
one who was equal to the occasion, as great an historian as he was 
a soldier. He followed the line of the river Tigris, encamping upon 
the slumbering ruins of Nineveh, but unconscious of them, little 
dreaming that two thousand years afterwards the dead would leap 
to life. He crossed the mountains of the Karduchi or Kurdistan, 
as wild now and indomitable as they were then ; piercing through 
Armenia, his followers came in sight of, and shouted loudly at the 
sight of the sea — the Black Sea — near Trebizond, whence they re- 
turned to their country, having exposed to the whole world the 


weakness of the great Empire, while Xenophon their leader fur- 
nished to posterity, in his Anabasis, one of the greatest lessons 
of military strategy. 

Artaxerxes Mn6mon finished his reign in peace, but the secret of 
the weakness of Asia had been divulged : the time and the man 
were not yet come. Agesilaus, the aged Spartan King, bid high 
to be the conqueror of Asia, defeating the Persians at Coronsea, 
which was the last field, on which the Ten Thousand fought. After 
haviag made the Ionian coast a battlefield for years, at the age of 
eighty he led a force against Egypt, and failed, more from dissen- 
sion among the invading force than the power of resistance of the 
invaded. It was clear to aU, that Greece had only to be united, 
and true to itself, and the insult of the last century would be 
avenged : but the question was, who would unite them ? 

It was at this time that Philip of Macedon, a new name and a 
King of a new kingdom, mounted a lofty tower in his mind, and 
looked out upon the shattered and defenceless state of the Asiatic 
Monarchy. He was a man of no ordinary capacity, and his efforts 
had been crowned with success. He had been thundered at by 
the greatest, orator of antiquity, and he thanked his antagonist, who 
had conferred on him immortality, for it must have been no common 
man, whom those burning words of Demosthenes could not daunt. 
Philip had marked the occasion, and was equal to it He had on 
his kuees a volume of Herodotus, the same charming traveller who 
has won hearts for the last two thousand years ; who, with speo- 
tacles on nose, had gone prowling about among the Pyramids, 
bothering the priests of Anubis, noting down everything that was 
curious and marvellous, spending hours in the caravanserai, to drink 
in the stores of the merchants, truth blended with fiction, about 
ants as big as dogs, and men with heads Of animals, a phenomenon 
which even he allowed to be doubtful. In the pages of Hero- 
dotus Philip found much about spices and myrrh, and no little 
about tyranny and weakness and effeminacy. He had also the 
same Homer, over which so many generations had poured, arousing . 
him to energy and action, whispering " what was Fame 1 " the name 
that would live for ever. His little son Alexander had learned all 
these things as a boy : from the window of his palace he could see 
across the straits, that separated him from Troy, giving a stem 
reality to the poem. Lastly, Philip had before him the great 
Anabasis, written by a soldier, showing the way, march by 
march, and parasaug by parasang, "The Handbook of Victory," 
telling so simply how a few had repelled the attack of thousands ; 
for Xenophon was the first of those three doubly blessed, who could 
do deeds worth recording, and record them in a manner worth 
reading, the forerunner of Julius Caesar and Wellington. 

The Macedonian monarch had, no doubt, seen and conversed 


■with, some of the old veterans, and heard from their lips the events 
of the campaign, and he was determined to repeat the attempt on 
his own account ; he knew the risk, that it was a choice between 
the laurel and the cypress, hut he accepted it ; and, when he had 
settled the affairs of Greece at the battle of Coronaea, the first of 
Alexander and the last of Demosthenes, he made ready; but at 
this moment he was cut down by the hand of an assassin, and his 
mantle fell on Alexander, to whom has been conceded the widest 
reputation in the world ; for, with the exception of Solomon, who 
is scarcely believed to have been a mortal, no name is so popular 
in Asia as that of Sikandar. Like the incarnation of the Almighty 
among the Hindu, he made three steps and conquered the whole 
world. The first was at Granlkus, where he met and defeated the 
provincial forces of the local governor, on the shores of the Dar- 
danelles. Advancing eastward through Asia Minor, on the confines 
of Syria, he overthrew Darius and aU his host at Issus, in the 
neighbourhood of Antioch ; thence he conquered Egypt and the 
whole of Syria, stormed Tyre and Gaza, and was hailed, as the 
founder of the Third Monarchy, by'tho' high priest at Jerusalem; 
but iir was in Mesopotamia that the great battle was to be fought, 
and, crossing the Euphrates, he went to meet his enemy on the 
banks of the Tigris. The result was, that Babylon changed hands, 
and Alexander became the lord of Asia. 

It has been the privilege of modern days to trace the route of 
his Bactrian and Indian campaigns, and to clear up the doubtful 
facts that had long been perplexing the heads of learned Grecians. 
The hill fortress of Aomos, the city of Taxila, the island in the 
river Hydaspes, are ceasing to be fabulous, and the truth of the 
great expedition is attested by landmarks, which the lapse of two 
thousand years has not changed. The notion of conquering India 
from Macedon, might seem then, as now, preposterous, but not so 
to a monarch at Susa and Persepolis, flushed by victory, and 
excited to future endeavours by the traditional legends of the con- 
quests of Bacchus and Hercules. His campaign in Bactria and 
Transoxiana was a wonderful one, though long and tedious, and he 
won little but the hand of Eoxana. Ever alive to the advantage 
of commerce and colonisation, he was planting cities in what he 
pleased to caU the Caucasus, and at length he turned the head of 
Bucephalus . towards the banks of the great river Indus, that had 
hitherto bounded the habitable world, and fixed his attention on India. 

On India, that great and unknown country, always retreating, 
where the inhabitants collected gold by steahng it from grifiins— 
(is the practice still entirely abandoned ?) — where the elephant, with 
turrets on its back, led the van of armies; where wisdom had 
obtained an eminence, sought in vain by Pythagoras, and divine 
ideas of an incarnation of the Creator, and a life beyond the grave, 


had been forged out of tlie brains of miaided man; tbat India, ruled 
by so many princes, boasting of poems as glorious as those so much 
prized by Alexander ; of cities, of forests, of rich fabrics, of gems ; 
the country of the palm-tree and the areka nut ; tb.e garden of 
cinnamon and spices, where a solitary ray of divine truth, with 
regard to the immortality of the soul, had shot down from Heaven 
to lighten the doctrines of the Gymnosophist, doctrines which the 
Athenians, in the pride of their philosophy, in their Stoa and 
Academus, feeling and groping for the unknown God, caught at 
rejoicing. Who, then, inhabited these tracts 1 Who showed the • 
way to the invader ? Alexander went boldly on ; he crossed the 
Indus, the Hydaspes in the face of the enemy, the Acesines, the 
Hydraotes, and halted only on the Hyphasis. Who showed him 
the way ? Who showed the way to the English, the Dutch, and 
the Portuguese? The lust of empire, the lust of commerce, the 
lust of propagandism. 

We know now, from the inquiry of our own countrymen, at what 
point of the Jhilam he crossed, and engaged with Poms, winning 
his most Eastern victory on nearly the same site as the battlefield 
of ChilHanwala. By the same guide we are led, step by step, to 
the fortress of Aornos. The ruins of Mcsea and Sangala, the 
country of the Kathsei, the tomb of Bucephalus, stiU baffle re- 
search, and the twelve towers, that marked the limit of his progress, 
have long since perished. He himself was prepared to advance on 
the river Ganges, and, sailing down that stream, to conquer an 
India unknown to the Indians. He wished to anticipate the feat, 
which was to be performed by the English two thousand years 
afterwards, and by them alone, to descend the great river of India, 
and sail round Africa, returning by the Pillars of Hercules. But 
the Macedonian bow had been stretched too far, and his conquering 
army mutinied on the banks of the river Hyphasis, not very far 
from the fortress of Amritsar, and the plain of Midn Mir, where 
it appears that mutiny is contagious and indigenous. 

The passages in AJrian, describing this crisis, are some of the 
most affecting in history. Alexander's trumpet-toned voice failed 
in rousing his exhausted countrymen ; it was true that they had 
conquered the known world, that they were paid as princes, that 
their brows were entwined with laurels, but before they became 
warriors they were men ; a burning love of home had seized them. 
Many a Macedonian valley, with its accompaniments of homesteads 
and greybearded fathers, many a Thessalian Daphne, or Glauk6, or 
Eurydike waiting, waiting for them in vain, came back to their 
fevered recollections on the dusty plains of the PanjAb. Such 
visions have not perished with that army. Such memories still 
entrance and unman. Old Ccenus, in his memorable speech, which 
he spake for others, and not for himself (for his age precluded all 


hope of his again seeing Macedon), expressed the feelings, not of 
his countrymen only, but of unwilling exiles in every age and 
cUme. The unconquered Alexander was conquered on the river 
Beas by the tears of his followers. 

But posterity has to mourn his decision, to heap reproaches, 
which wiU never reach those deaf ears, on those home-sick, those 
recreant soldiers. Had Alexander descended the Ganges, how 
many doubts would have been resolved ? Think what a mighty 
change would have come over India, had those legions not halted 
on the river Hyphasis ; how the flood of Greek literature, then at 
its full, the wisdom of Aristotle, the philosophy of Plato, woidd 
have spread over the new kingdom ! Apollo and Krishna might 
thus have struggled for possession of temples of Ionic structure 
dedicated to the attributes of both. Mars would have waged war 
on his rival Kdrttikeya, the deities residing on Mount Olympus 
and Mount KailAsa would have come into contention while their 
worshippers were both at their highest era of mental cultivation. 
India ran a risk of being tainted with the Grecian, instead of the 
Arabian, element. Oh ! what a mischief these mutinous soldiers 
did ! the position, which they lost, has only been in these days 
recovered. The English have only now taken up the broken 
thread of the Alexandrian skeiii, both of victory and commerce. 

The writer of these lines has often been on Alexander's track, 
and always with reverence : at Troy, the Granlkus, and Smyrna, 
Tyre, Jerusalem, and that great city in Egypt, which he left as 
his legacy and heir ; and again on the banks of the rivers Kophenes, 
the Hydaspes, and the Hyphasis. He has floated down the great 
river Indus and its confluents from Taksha-sil^ to Pattala, and seen 
those dreary banks towering above the boat, and heard the thunder 
of the disconnected masses falling into the water, and marked the 
spots where, one after another, the five streams are united together. 
He had Arrian in his hands, and thought of the great captain, how 
he had floated down so many years before,' with eyes wistfully 
turned to the East, which was not for him or his nation to see; 
how his horses on the boats astonished the simple and wild inhabi- 
tants as much as the beardless faces and strange habits of the 
English do at this day ; how the banks glistened with the detach- 
ments marching down on either side; those banks which have 
relapsed into silence again for centuries, or at least the echo of the 
sounds has not penetrated to Europe; how the news suddenly 
reached the army, that their young hero had perished in a petty 
fortress of the Maili, and from an unknown hand ; how his _aU but 
lifeless body was brought back to them (but he was not to die with 
an unfinished enterprise; he recovered, and was shown to his 
troops); how the vessel floated onwards through the unhappy 
TaUey to Sindomana, the kingdom Musicanus, and farther on, 


where the vast river pours itself by many mouths into a then 
unknown Ocean. 

All these things had been narrated faithfully by the companions 
of his way, but so marvellous, so strange did they seem, that in the 
days of the Emperor Augustus, when the cloud of obscurity had 
fallen on these countries, they began to be doubted ; the mendacity 
of Greek historians was more than hinted at ; but in modem days 
the route has been traced out, and the integrity of the narrators 
placed beyond doubt. How different are the graphic chapters of 
Arrian, or even the highly-coloured narrative of Quintus Curtius, 
to the mischievous rubbish contained in the SikandamAma, setting 
at defia,nce history, geography, and common sense ! It is difficult 
to us to realise the state of knowledge of the time of Alexander, 
the known portion of the world was then so limited; but the 
shape of the Continents is so dunned into us at school, that we 
cannot forget what was beyond and on both sides of the Indus ; 
we cannot for a moment believe, that the Indus flowing Southward 
was identical with the Nile flowing Northward. It was a happy 
age then, when men marched on right ahead, careless of the Com- 
missariat, and regardless of the Map. 

That the great enterprise succeeded, that it was not a myth like 
the conquests of Bacchus and Hercules, there can be no doubt. 
Nearkhus conducted the fleet along the coast of Baluchistan into 
the Persian Gulf, while Alexander led. the army through the sands 
of those inhospitable tracts, where they suffered incredible hard- 
ships. Nearkhus having left his, fleet in safety, went alone to meet 
Alexander encamped not far off, who, fancying that the whole fleet 
had perished, when he saw the admiral alone, wept aloud ; but his 
grief was turned into joy, when he heard the facts, and he exclaimed, . 
that the success of this voyage was more acceptable than the con- 
quest of Asia. 

Vast dreams now passed through his mind, when he returned to 
Babylon, which he proposed to make the capital of his kingdom; 
dreams of a world-embracing commerce, of forging links of interest 
to connect nations with nations. India was to be circumnavigated 
and conquered, fleets were to be built on the Euphrates, cities bearing 
the name of Alexandria were to be erected in every part of the world. 
No name but Victoria appears in such widely-separated regions, 
as those in which we find Alexandria. He was reorganising his 
army, reforming the customs of his country, committing the fatal 
error of blending the Asiatic and European, which must end in the 
deterioration of both, when a marsh fever brought him to the grave 
at the age of thirty-two, and with his death the intercourse of Europe 
with Eastern Asia was thrown back fifteen hundred years. The 
event took place in the same Babylon, which Nebuchadnezzar had 
built, in which Daniel had interpreted the great dream and seen the 


still unrevealed vision, in which Belshazzar had trembled, which 
Cyrus and Darius had besieged, against which he, the king of Grecia, 
had stood up, where he had ruled with a great dominion, and done 
according to his wiU, and was now dying in the flower of his youth, 
with his great schemes unaccomplished. He had been building a 
second Tower of Babel, but by a new confusion the nations were 
again scattered. In his last hours he was carried across the river 
Euphrates, where his army was ready, and his fleet awaiting the 
order to sail ; and when he died, his inheritance was not to his pos- 
terity. Within a few years, mother, wives, children, aU perished 
by violent deaths ; the world, but just pacified, was thrown into 
new confusion, and the Third Kingdom had passed away. 

It must have been with feelings of wonder and credulous awe 
that Ptolemy Lagus, the companion and historian of Alexander, and 
the other surviving followers, spoke a quarter of a century later in 
their old age of the achievements of their young master; how they had 
stood on the river Jaxartes, and floated down the river Indus. The 
loss of the contemporary journal of Ptolemy is irremediable. Of 
what deep interest would be such an account of the campaigns of 
Alexander as we have of the Ten Thousand ! Perhaps for his glory 
he did not die too soon. His sudden arrival and departure, the 
birth of none like or approaching him since, has cast such a radi- 
ance, such a iiniversality round his name, that the world can never 
see equalled. He might have lived a long and inglorious reign, and 
seen the fabric raised by himself melt away ; he might have tar- 
nished his reputation by the slaughter of more of his friends, or the 
burning of more of his palaces. 

His generals divided his kingdoms, and Greek was the language 
in which law was given to Asia ; and we find from contemporary 
writers, that the same albocracy, so striking in British India, flour- 
ished famously under the Ptolemies, the Antiochi, and the Seleu- 
cidae. Place and power were with the whitefaced, and the dusky 
Asiatic had nothing but to bow. It might be a heavy Boeotian, or 
a Mercurial Athenian, a saddle-maker from Macedon, or a fisherman 
from one of the ports of the Ionian islands, but he was a Greek, and 
of course a ruler of men, only to be addressed by petition, only to 
be approached ^s a superior. Men, who in their paltry tenements 
at home were jealous of liberty, railing against the Ephori in the 
Agora, and blustering to the Archons about the Demus, were sud- 
denly converted into little Asiarchs, dealing with men's rights in 
the gross, disposing of the lives and liberties of thousands. But 
the reaction soon took place ; one by one the Eastern kingdoms 
dropped off. The last notice of India is derived from the embassy 
of Megasthenes to Palibothra, on the river Ganges. We read in 
Arrian of the rivers Keyn, gone, Gandak, and Kosi, but we hear 
no more of India for centuries. With the Komans the name passed 


into a proverb. Of the Bactrian kingdom all trace had been lost, 
till the enterprise of travellers and the skiU of numismatists disin- 
terred their history from the Stupa of the Buddhist, and supplied a 
long-lost page. The Parthian kingdom sprung up, and Mesopotamia 
became the debatable land between the fierce Arsacides and the 
expiring power of the Greeks. Babylon perished, a new capital 
had been built on the river Tigris at Seleucia, and eventually the 
seat of power migrated to the neighbouring Ctesiphon. The time 
of the Fourth Kingdom had also arrived, and step by step the power 
of Rome was approaching, and the Parthian war commenced vrith 
the appearance of SyUa and Lucullus on the river Euphrates, The 
East appears to have been then, as now, the cradle of the young 
warriors of the West, and the post most desired by the ambitious 
statesman. The memorable defeat of Crassus by the Parthians took 
place in Mesopotamia. He crossed at Thapsakus, and followed the 
course of the river Euphrates, on the banks of which, with his son, 
he perished in one of the greatest defeats ever experienced by the 
Eomans. The name of the Parthian became a very bugbear on the 
Tiber, and their peculiar mode of fighting has, by the agency of 
Horace and Virgil, become known to every schoolboy in England. 
StiU, in spite of the checks received in Mesopotamia, the position 
occupied by the Eomans in the world has never been equalled since 
but by the English. We read of their generals leading the same 
legions over the river Euphrates into Mesopotamia, over the river 
Ehine into Gaul, or crossing Mount Hsemus into Dacia. So is it 
now. Every shore of the world is watered by English blood and 
civUised by their arts ; people of every colour are clothed with their 
cotton ; by a stroke of the pen re!giments and generals are transferred 
from the river Ganges to the Ister ; and the laurel-tree planted in 
the Dakhan of India has been known to blossom in the Peninsula 
of Spain, and bring forth its fruit in Belgium. 

Up to this period the history of one nation had been strangely 
connected with Mesopotamia, but it has now disappeared; a 
troublesome, stiffnecked, singularly unsociable, and remarkably dis- 
agreeable people, more insulated and exacting than the Hindu, and 
more fanatic than the Mahometan; to their chronicles we are 
indebted for much, that would have been otherwise lost. Their 
captivity in Egypt brought miseries on that unhappy country, and 
has left us the earliest accounts of its social state. Their prophets 
were continually denouncing either their countrymen or their 
neighbours ; and from these very denunciations we have obtained 
some clue of the greatness of Edom, Tyre, Mneveh, and Assyria, 
their wealth and their commerce. Thus we know the enterprise of 
Tyre, which reached from the Cassiterides to TaprobAne ; and of 
Babylon, which ruled the worlij. No such enterprise, no such 
power, has been again known, till the coming in these last days of 


a people, who possess a city greater than Bahylon, and a wider- 
spread commefce than that of Tyre. We find this Hebrew nation 
everywhere, and generally giving trouble. In the Books of Tobit 
and Judith we hear of them at Nineveh, in Daniel at Babylon ; 
with Esther and Mordecai we stand in the golden haU of Xerxes 
at Susa ; with Ezra we stand face to face with Cyrus, who was 
called and named for their special benefit long before ; they went 
out and met Alexander the Great as a guest, whom they had long 
expected ; even the great and fierce people, who were to annihilate 
their kingdom and nation, were written in their books, could they 
have read rightly. Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed, Cyrus and 
Darius restored, Alexander spared and respected, and Titus even- 
tually razed to the ground, their city of Jerusalem. Situated in the 
midst of the known world, they came into contact with every nation, 
that ruled in Mesopotamia. Their history was and is a key to the 
history of "Western Asia, for they struggled with, fell before, and 
have chronicled the Four Great Monarchies. Great neither in arms 
nor commerce, they saw other religions and institutions jikss away ; 
their wise men saw visions, and their old men dreamt dreams, and 
their prophets prophesied, but, Cassandra-like, in vain; for the 
eyes of the people were darkened, and they could not see that the 
circle of prophecies, in which they were enclosed, was fulfilling, 
and the hidden words, which had been true with regard to others, 
would be true with regard to themselves also. 

A calm and impartial review of their history, and a comparison 
of the greatness of their power with that of the neighbouring king- 
doms of Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt, has reduced them to more 
moderate proportions than fond and imperfectly informed theo- 
logians had assigned to them. Solomon was after all but a Raja 
of a moderately-sized kingdom. The fertility of Palestine can 
never be named in the same day with that of the basins of the 
rivers Euphrates, Ganges, Indus, and Nile. The Temple of Jeru- 
salem was a small and inconsiderable building compared with the 
splendid edifices of Greece, Ephesus, Baalbek, Nineveh, and Thebes, 
not to mention Persia, India, and the Indo-Chinese Peninsula. 
The capacity, and mental excellence, and learning of the Jews were 
as nothing compared to the grand unaided intellectual triumphs of 
the Hindu, Chinese, Assyrian, and Egyptian people. It is well 
that we should consider this, and reflect that the one single merit, 
which the Jews possessed, was, that to them was committed the 
Oracles of God. They scarcely showed themselves worthy of the 
trust. While their neighbours in Egypt, Nineveh, Babylon, 
Carchemish of the Hittites, and even petty Moab, were carving on 
the stone of their temples imperishable records of their religious 
views, their progress in human science, their aspirations after 
divine things, of the kingdoms of Judah or Israel not one scrap of 



Inscription has survived the wreck of ages, and the Holy Scriptures 
have only come down to us by a long succession of copies in a 
different form of character from the one originally used, and the 
oldest existing Hebrew manuscript does not go back much beyond 
the Norman Conquest. 

A few years after the fall of Judea, Mesopotamia also fell com- 
pletely before one of the greatest and best of the Eoman Emperors. 
Trajan descended the river Euphrates, crossing where all his pre- 
decessors had crossed, and took Ctesiphon the capital, which the 
kings of the dynasty of the Arsacides had built in the neighbour- 
hood of old Seleucia from the materials of stiU older Babylon. 
Some remains of this city are extant to this day. Under the next 
dynasty of the Sassanians, both the old names were superseded by 
the single word Madain, or the two cities, in which the dynasty of 
Niirshirvdn held their court. Under the next dynasty B4ghdM 
became the capital, built as usual from the ruins of all its prede- 
cessors. Trajan, on his visit, saUed down to Busrah, and seeing a 
ship ready to start for India, he expressed his sorrow, that he was 
too old to S,ttempt the journey, like the more fortunate Alexander. 
His successor, Adrian, withdrew within the line of the river 
Euphrates, and surrendered Mesopotamia to the Persians. 

The city of Nisibis, half-way betwixt Mosul and Diarbekr, now 
became the frontier city of Eoms in the East. War raged from 
time to time, and the declining discipline of Eome was unable to 
hold its own against the power of the Persians under such rulers 
as Sapor. The most memorable event was the defeat and capture 
of the Emperor Valerian. Modern travellers have discovered, 
among the rock sculptures in the neighbourhood of PersepoUs, the 
mournful figures of the Roman, wearing his toga, and the well- 
known insignia, kneeling to the haughty Sassanian, and tradition 
has it, that he and his fellow-captives were employed in the sculpture. 
How timely wise were these Asiatic monarchs not to trust their 
great deeds to perishable papjrrus or chance historians ! With 
prudent forethought Dariils Hystaspes laughed at the labours of 
the historian, which might be lost within a century, and wrote his 
history on the rocks of Bisutun, stamped his name on his golden 
Darics, and sculptured it on the walls of PersepoUs. 

For a while a new power sprung up at Palmyra betwixt the 
Eomans and Persians, and Mesopotamia, as usual, was the scene 
of the struggle ; that city and power passed away like the mirage 
of the desert, and but for the grove of stately columns we should 
scarcely know, that Zenobia had existed In the meantime the 
Fourth Kingdom was passing away also ; Eome had ceased to be 
the mistress of the world, and the stone, not mad,e with hands, had 
been set in motion ; the age of Paganism had passed away in the 
West; great Pan was dead; it was now a struggle between the 


Fire-worshipper and the Christian, the oldest Eitual and the 
youngest Eevelation. On the plains of Mesopotomia perished the 
last hopes of the Pagan world, the last maintainer of the exploded 
idea. The Emperor. Julian has been branded as an apostate; he 
■was simply a Conservative and an Anti-reformer, and has met 
unjust obloquy, as he was clearly sincere, simple-minded, and 
devout, which is more than can be said of that crowd of worldly- 
minded un-Christian bishops, who had gathered round Constantine. 
In the reaction of Julian the hand of God is clearly seen ; it was 
the last sigh of the world for the idols, which in its youth it had 
set up, not only on its altars, but in its heart. Julian remembered 
the beautiful, the poetic religion, so entwined with the history of 
his country, the gods, which to Ids notion had given the Eomans 
the Empire of the world, or had at least had the credit of so doing, 
which had raised such splendid fanes, and built up such structures 
of intellectual greatness. And aU this was to give way to the 
Cross, the emblem of the disgraceful punishment of a Syrian 
peasant. It was indeed from their limited point of view a fall for 
Home. What Julian felt was felt by the philosopher Libanius, 
whose golden words, inculcating' moderation in those critical times, 
were a lesson to future ages. The reaction was short, and the 
retrograde movement feU with Julian; on the plain of Mesopo- 
tamia, whither he had followed the steps of Alexander, he perished 
in conflict with the Persians, who thenceforward remained masters 
of the field of battle of the world. Under the celebrated Niir- 
shirvdn the Persians crossed the river Euphrates, and penetrated 
to Antioch, and, under the dreadful Khosru, the whole of Syria 
and Palestine was overrun, and Christian Jerusalem, that had 
sprung up again since Constantine, was agaia sacked and de- 
stroyed by nations from beyond the great Eiver. The Emperor 
Heraclius revenged this insult, and once more carried the army of 
Eome to the river Tigris, struggling for the Empire of Asia over 
the ruins of Nineveh. It was the last struggle of the old world ; 
for a new power, unheard of before, had drawn down lightning 
from heaven, and spread over the face of the East with irresistible 

While Ndrshirvdn the wise, the good, the just, still ruled in 
Madain — so just that his name aU over Asia is synonymous with 
justice ; and so good, that the Mahometan almost concedes to him 
Paradise, though not one of the faithful — Mahomet was born at 
Mecca. So degraded in its Oriental phase had Christianity become, 
and indeed now is, that it fell little short of the old Paganism, 
except in its pitiless fanaticism. The vain and empty disputes 
about the person of the Eedeenier, which had dried up all Christian 
charity, and the worship of the mortal sinning mother had so 
entirely superseded the worship of the Divine and sinless Son, 


that to many tie object of the followers of Mahomet appeared to 
be to restore the worship of God. It was indeed the effort of 
natural common sense, periodically made to clear the mass of fable 
and error accumulated by ages. In the East it developed itself in 
a worse error, and a more complete abandonment of Eevelation ; 
in the "West a few centuries later the same spirit gave birth to the 
Eef ormation ; but men had become wiser and more cautious ; they 
clung to Holy Writ, and that only, and thus escaped Infidelity, 
when they would shake off Idolatry. 

Christianity never had been established beyond the river Tigris. 
The most Eastern bishopric was that of Seleucia, which - gradually 
dwindled away under the Fire-worshippers, and perished utterly 
under the Mahometans. In this Church had sprung to existence 
the Manichean heresy, a mischievous dilution of the doctrines of 
Zoroaster, and the only remnant of the great Chaldean Church is 
that fragment nestled in the mountains of Kurdistan, called Nesto- 
rian, because it clings to the peculiar views of the Divine Essence, 
which caused Nestorius the loss of the Patriarchate of Constanti- 
nople. It deserves special notice as the Missionary Church of the 
far East in those days, a duty which has now fallen to the Churches 
of England. It is a matter of wonder and thoughtful consideration, 
how, while the Hun and Vandal and Goth, who spread into Europe, 
became Christians, and adopted the civU and religious institutions 
of their enemies, no progress was ever made of a permanent nature 
beyond the river Tigris. The untimely rise to power of the Sas- 
sanian dynasty paralysed the efforts of the Roman people, the un- 
conscious pioneers of Civilisation and Christianity, which was the 
religion of the Eoman Empire only. 

With the Mahometan dynasty of the Abbasides Kaliphs Meso- 
potamia again became the central province of a flourishing kingdom, 
as distinguished for arts as arms. Much of the learning of the 
ancient world was thus saved from destruction. At the time of 
Charlemagne, Hariin-al-Eashid held his court at Bighddd, and 
entered into friendly communications wjth the rising powers of 
Europe, then a'Waking from her Gothic slumber. The Arabian 
Nights have given a fantastic interest to the city on the river Tigris, , 
and ah importance to the monarch which, compared to others, he 
scarcely deserved The din of the Crusades scarcely reached beyond 
the river Euphrates, but one of its celebrated warriors, Salah-ud- 
din, sprung from the neighbouring Kurdistan, and it reaUy appeared 
that the importance of Mesopotamia was gradually dying away ; her 
latest capital was falling into ruins, but no new one was being 
erected from the materials; the glory of Chaldea had at length 
departed. She had outlived Egypt, Greece, Italy, and Byzantium, 
but she was at length to cease to be the centre of an Empire. 

It was at this time, that the countries beyond' the river Oxus and 


to the East of the Caspian Sea began to produce their terrific births 
of men— men in their natural strength and independence, produced 
somehow like locusts, and coming in long and endless lines, like the 
crane and the swallow. Always fresh, and strong, and irresistible, 
strong in sinews, strong in character, and strong in fight, as if Pro- 
vidence had placed among these Nomad tribes the fountain of manly- 
virtues to renovate and repair from time to time the enfeebled ener- 
gies of degenerate races. Down they came, tribe after tribe, at stated 
intervals, spreading not only over Mesopotamia and Persia to the 
West, but over India and China to the East, thus bringing those 
distant countries into connection, linking them together by the 
same band of servitude. The first were the celebrated Mahmiid of 
Ghizni and the Seljukian dynasty. Bdghd^d was taken, but the 
province of Irak, as it was then and is still called, became but a 
portion of the kingdom of KhorasAn. Jenghis Khan aimed at and 
achieved a universality of empire never reached since the time of 
Alexander the Great, and he repaid with interest the cruelties of 
the latter monarch during his Transoxian campaign. Upon his 
death, at the age of seventy-two, his dominions were divided, and 
new kingdoms were springing up, when another wave of Tartar con- 
quest, headed by the terrible Timiir, swept over Asia, leaving no 
trace of former landmarks. As usual, the people of Mesopotamia 
came in for their share of sufl^eriug, and a heap of ninety thousand 
heads was made at the gates of Bd,ghdM, as a warning to the 
inhabitants of the mistake which they had made in preferring the 
dominion of Cairo to that of Samarkand. Such is the hopeless lot 
of the residents of a country, which local features have made the 
highway of nations. Any wall, which might have separated India 
from the "Western Asia, was now broken down. The dieadful name 
is as weU known at Ephesus and Smyrna as at Delhi. Both Eastern 
and Western Asia must have shouted, when they heard of the death 
of Timdr. Backwards and forwards moved the terrible Tartar 
scourge, and his descendants untU 1857 filled the puppet Masnad 
of the great Moghal, while those of Bajazet, his defeated and encaged 
rival, are supported on the shppery throne of Constantinople, by 
the same strong though foreign arm, which swept away the Kingdom 
of Delhi. 

Under the sceptre of the Grand Turk Mesopotamia stiU exists, a 
shadow of its former self. The range of mountains to the East of 
the river Tigris appears to have become the natural boundary of the 
second Byzantine Empire. Compliments have from time to time 
been exchanged between the Persian and Turkish rulers, who repre- 
sent the rival sects of the Mahometan creed, in the way of inroads, 
invasions, and boundary disputes ; but no permanent impression 
appears to have been made by the greatest of the Turkish Sultans 
beyond the Zagros and Laristan ranges, which are, in fact, a spur 


of Mount Taurus niiming Southward, to the Ocean. The possession 
of Mesopotamia has always been much coveted by the Persians, as 
affording access to KarbalA, which to them is more than Mecca, and 
is situated near the ruins of the great Babylon. But in latter days 
the energy and power of both nations appear to have died away. 
Since the commencement of this century every Mahometan power 
in the world appears to have sunk into exhaustion. The days of 
their political power are numbered, but their religion is still a 
mighty factor in contemporary history. 

In the meantime a power more widespread than that of Timlir, 
more ambitious than that of Alexander the Great, has been slowly 
creeping round both sides of the Black Sea, and over the Caucasus, 
on one side to the river Araxes, to the Danube on the other, but not 
yet over the Balkan. The Caspian Sea has been seized from the 
Persians, and a little tongue of land at the South shore of that sea 
has been appropriated, which may some day be a great starting- 
point, for to it there is water carriage all the way from Moscow. 
Mount Ararat is the point of junction of the three Empires, and a 
pivot round which Russia intends to revolve. The map-makers 
are not quick enough to note her ' progress. The landmarch from 
Asterabad to Herat is comparatively a short one, and in the- event 
of Persia losing her independence, there might be Eussian fleets 
appearing in the Persian Gulf. It is not therefore too soon, that the 
mask has been dropped, and the contest has commenced. In the 
narrow kingdoms of Austria and Eussia, in Europe, the dispute 
■ may be limited to a few districts, but the English and the Musco- 
vite have clashing interests widely separated. In every part of the 
Northern Asia the Land-lion impinges on the Sea-Kon. We have 
our relations to maintain at the Turkish and Persian capitals, and 
our rival interests in Afghanistan and China. The secret treaty at 
Tilsit, given in these volumes, shows what was proposed by the 
Emperors Alexander and Napoleon, and how Asterabad was the 
basis of their operations against India. 

But a cloud has fallen upon Mesopotamia. Chesney with his 
steamers, Layard with his excavations, Eawhnson with his Inscrip- 
tions, the missionaries with their new churches, have failed to raise 
it. The desert and the Nomad Arab still press up to the very 
walls of B4ghdM. There are no regular communications kept up ; 
no steamer at fixed periods puffs into the harbour of Busrali ; the 
roads of commerce, which had remained permanent for centuries, 
have been finally abandoned. From the days of Cyrus to the days 
of Timiii, certain beaten tracks had been laid down, which must 
be followed, for mountains must be pierced through at certain 
defiles, and rivers spanned at certain ferries. War interrupted the 
passage for a time, but the stream soon returned to its natural 
outlet. The conqueror soon found it to be his interest to let the 


caravans cross the rivers, and to keep open the roads for his armies. 
The river Euphrates has been crossed at Thapsakus, and the river 
Tigris at Mosul in all ages. There has been a desire implanted in 
the breast of man to transport goods, which is as strong now in the 
men of Manchester as it was in the Kafilah of Ishmaelites, who 
bought Joseph out of the weU, the earliest notice of Trade being the 
purchase of a slave. But as the knowledge of the earth's sur- 
face increased, the dream of Alexander the Great was realised, and 
the circumnavigation of Africa was a deathblow to the commerce 
of Mesopotamia ; and when the time came, that this route was to be 
abandoned, fickle commerce did not return to its old channel, and 
it is over Egypt, and not Mesopotamia, that England stretches her 
arm to grasp her conquered India ; thence the blight, which has 
faUen on the plains of Shinar, which are now unproductive, though 
as capable of development, as the basins of the rivers Ganges and 
Indus. The same fate may await England, as we cannot boast of 
being the first leader of the camel, or layer down of the keel ; we 
are but following a track beaten by the Chaldean and Phenician. 
It is no new invention ; our hand is strong enough to grasp both 
the sword and the shuttle, but, if time be just, some day the dyeing- 
vats and looms of Manchester wUl be as silent as those of Tyre, ,the 
mouth of the river Thames as choked as that of the Euphrates, and 
modem Babylon the residence of owls and satyrs. 

The system of Government, introduced in the whole of the 
Turkish dominions, is supposed to extend to the Pashalick of 
B4ghd4d, but where the Executive is so weak, as to be imable to 
control the actual residents of the province, the nature of that 
Government may be imagined. No European power would tolerate 
such a state of things, and if order could not be restored, and the 
power of the law maintained, the country would be abandoned. 
Such is not the Asiatic system. India was never so thoroughly in 
hand under any native Governntent as it is now. In the best days 
of the Moghal Empire there were always tracts, in which the 
Justice's warrant would not run. "With the change of rulers in 
Mesopotamia, no actual change of the system has taken place. 
The Satrap of Darius is but the elder brother of the Pasha of 
modem days ; the people are always oppressed, the nobles always 
licentious. AU the paraphernalia of power exist, and all the misery 
of systematic depression of the lower classes, yaried by an occasional 
irruption of an enemy, or the rebellion of a local chief, the result of 
which would be, that several thousand bodies, that would ordinarily 
have gone through the regular routine of starving and beating, are 
suddenly decapitated and thrown into the river Tigris, or driven 
off to a foreign market. It is difficult to say, whether the world 
has really improved ; 'at any rate, the pages of the history of this 
country are written in characters of blood, enlivened by sparkling 


incidents of treachery, or rendered interesting by more intense 
immorality, or more atrocious crime. In the long train of so-called 
great men, who played their part here, there are hut one or two 
brilliant heathens, whose characters, appearing at intervals, reconcile 
us to humanity. 

Among the early European travellers who penetrated across the 
river Euphrates, Marco Paolo, the Venetian, was really the Hero- 
dotus of modern times, and the result of his travels, published at 
that time, had a great influence on Columbus. Ibn Batuta, a 
Mahometan of Barbary, as far back as 1324, made a most extra- 
ordinary voyage, and left his journals to posterity. He appears to 
have ingratiated himself with the powers that rule, wherever he 
went, and actually filled the office of Judge of the city of Delhi. 
He had another peculiarity, for wherever he went, with the liberty 
of the good Mahometan, he entered into matrimonial alliances, and 
on leaving the country, generously presented his divorced wives 
with the children, which they had born to him. He appears to 
have filled the office of Judge in the Maldive Islands, and to have 
married four wives there also, whom he divorced, when he resigned 
his civU functions, and proceeded onwards. What an intermixture 
of races such a peripatetic must have caused ! He . certainly was 
the most remarkable and eccentric of travellers. 
. Later than him considerably, an amiable and accomplished 
Italian visited BS,ghd4d, Pietro deUa VaUe ; and his letters are still 
charming. He also married, but at legitimate intervals, two ladies 
of the country, and left descendants at Eome. Before the close of 
the century, it was a feat to visit Mesopotamia, of which travellers 
spoke boastingly afterwards, but though the danger of coming to 
an untimely end is as great as ever, all credit for the risk is gone. 
The country is thoroughly well known, and the author of these 
volumes will be entitled to the title of the most painstaking, as 
well as the last of real travellers, for his book has left us little mora 
to learn. 

The Nestorians are not the only representatives of Christendom, 
for the remnants of the Syrian Church, known as the Jacobites, 
are scattered in the tracts between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris. 
Both are sadly depressed and degraded, and the first sight of their 
rites and their practices is startling. European Christians are 
accustomed to Christianity with very favourable externals, sur- 
rounded by aU that art, wealth, and respectability of life can give. 
The European minister wonders, how people could possibly have 
burned incense in censers to creeping things and abominable beasts ; 
how they could have wept for Tammuz, or worshipped the Sun 
with their faces turned to the East j he shudders at the idea of 
whole nations having burned sacrifices under every green tree. 
Now aU these things depend upon the degradation of the worshipper, 


and his means of knowing better. Those only, who have conversed 
with the ministers of the fallen Churches, and taken the measure 
of their intellectual capacity, can form an idea of the position of 
the flock, who through that most imperfect channel derive their 
only supply of religious truth. Christianity in Syria and Mesopo- 
tamia is little better than Idolatry. The idols worshipped are as 
shapeless and hideous, the prayers and prostrations as soulless, as 
those at Gya and Bandras. Who shall say whether the benefit is 
not as fruitless ? 

Banda, Bund^lkhand, 1855. 

( 3M ) 



The state of our knowledge on Egyptology is a subject of unusual 
proportions ; total ignorance implies a gap in. the portable equip- 
ment of a well-educated man. Pew persons are entirely ignorant 
of Egypt,, or would admit tbat they were ; the study of the Bible, 
the classic poets, modem history, and the Overland Eoute to India, 
have made them familiar with the name. Few would like to be 
closely questioned as to the extent of their knowledge ; and until 
the last few years, amidst a blaze of learned works in English, 
French, and German, there have been no popular accounts availablOj 
in a readable form, of the language, monuments, and history of 
Egypt. Such an excuse can no longer be offered. There are now 
excellent books, condensed, up to date, popular, and to be purchased 
at a most reasonable price. 

It would indeed seem, that we are arriving at the end of time, 
and that there were little of the world's external features and 
ancient history left for succeeding generations to discover. At the 
same time that we are tracking back with an unerring blood-hound's 
scent the dififerent tributaries of the Nile to their long-concealed 
sources, and revealing a secret, which escaped the penetrating in- 
quiries of the Roman and Greek two thousand years ago ; we are 
also, with an almost superhuman skUl and unparalleled success, 
compelling the soil of Egypt to give up from its bowels Inscriptions 
in the Egyptian language and character, on stone, wood, and 
papyrus, which had designedly been placed there by the ancient 
inhabitants of the country at a period anterior to the time of 
Moses. We cannot say, whether the Greek and Roman conquerors 
of Egypt were able, or careful enough, to inform themselves of the 
meaning of those Hieroglyphic Inscriptions, which met their eyes 
on every side, and the lengthy Hieratic papyri, which must have 
been at that time extant in countless numbers. We have at least 
this pregnant fact, that no Greek or Latin translation of the sacred 
books of the Egyptians, analogous to the Septuagint translation of 
the Hebrew Scriptures, has come down to us, or is alluded to as in 
existence by classic authors. An impenetrable veil fell upon the 


history and language of this most ancient people, -who filled a grand 
place in the early history of the world, and, hy bequeathing to man- 
kind the priceless germ of a Phonetic Alphabet, deserved a better 
fate. How much the world is indebted to them for other bene- 
factions to the human race, we cannot say with precision ; for the 
assimilating Greek has kept in the background, or totally out of 
sight, the long schedule of his indebtedness in Art and Science to 
the elder nations of the world. 

It is proposed to divide this great subject into the following 
heads, and remark on them separately : — 

1. The Ancient History. 

2. The Monuments which have survived to our time, and can 
be seen in a tour in Egypt and Nubia. 

3. The Language and Character. 

4. The Literature. 

5. The Scholars in the Field. 

I. The Ancient History has been the subject of endless debate, 
and no two writers agree in detail. Certain facts are beyond doubt, 
that nothing pretending to be a native history, analogous to the 
Hebrew Scriptures, has come down to us ; on the other hand, in 
those Scriptures constant allusion is made to Egypt from the time 
of Abraham, 1900 B.C., till the time of Christ. Thus, without a rival 
Egypt takes its place as the earliest of known kingdoms excepting 
that of Proto-Babylonia. The father of history devoted one book 
of his immortal work to the subject of Egypt, about 450 B.C. The 
Egyptian Monuments, however, contain no sort of continuous 
Chronology, and no safe materials for constructing one. The possi- 
bility of forming any edifice at all depends on the outline preserved 
by M4netho, an Egyptian priest of the time of the Ptolemies ; but 
this outline has only come down to us in a very imperfect state in 
two discrepant versions ; one in the works of Syncellus, a monk of 
Constantinople, who lived one thousand years later, and another 
in the works of the Armenian Eusebius, who lived a.d. 300. Both 
versions, however, give the same skeleton framework of thirty 
dynasties from Menes to Alexander the Great ; a period of about 
five thousand years. The Monumental Inscriptions, when inter- 
preted, testify to the historical nature of these lists, and render up 
the names of a long series of sovereigns, enclosed in the well-known 
oval rings. "We are therefore quite satisfied, that such kings did 
exist, but whether many were contemporaries of each other, ruling 
in different portions of Egypt, is quite uncertain. No scheme of 
Chronology can be formed from these Hsts, until it is clearly shown 
what deductions from the total should be made for contemporaneous 
dynasties. No lack of ingenuity and industry is evident in such 
works as Bunsen's "Egypt's Place in History," and Brugsch's 


" Histoire d'Egypte," which has the advantage over the work of 
his predecessor in being brought up to a quarter of a century's 
later date of knowledge. Many other scholars have made contri- 
butions to the same subject ; their views on Chronology and other 
points, bearing on the correctness of the narrative of the Hebrew 
Scriptures, are generally moderate and sober. We shall notice 
some of the more startHng theories presented to us by the bolder 
spirits ; some of which may well make us hold our breath for d 
time, as we see each ancient landmark^ each time-honoured tradi- 
tion, ruthlessly swept away. 

The main divisions are the Old Empire, the Middle Empire, and 
the New Empire, which are followed by the Persian, Grecian, and 
Eoman Conquests. The Old Empire is calculated (by the moderate 
party) to have commenced with Menes, about 3000 b.o. Consider- 
ing that the date for the Deluge is, according to the hitherto accepted 
books of theology, fixed at 2349 B.C., it will appear that this mode- 
rate date fixed for Menes requires a large expansion of ideas and 
latitude of time. A localisation of the Deluge, or an allowance of 
a larger period betwixt that event and the call of Abraham, might 
get over that difficulty ; but behind the fact of the commencement 
of the Old Empire with Menes lies a succession of necessary induc- 
tions. Menes is found to be the sovereign of the United Kingdoms 
of Upper and Lower Egypt, civilised and flourishing, possessed of 
the arts of building and of writing, which last fact presupposes the 
existence of a language possessing refinement, and a religion posses- 
sing stability. When we consider, how miserably slender the 
resources and capacities of uncivilised men are, we are lost ia 
wonder at the number of centuries required anterior to Menes to 
produce this degree of settled civilisation ; for one of the acts of 
Menes was to found Memphis, and to construct a great dyke to 
control the waters of the Nile. Bunsen has hazarded a demand of 
ten thousand years, biit it is obvious, that we have no measure, by 
which we can gauge the period required for the process of civilisa- 
tion, and the only safe course is to stand ready to give a fair hearing 
to safe and moderate speculations, or to rest contented with leaving 
this, like many other dark secrets, unsolved. 

In the fourth dynasty of the Old Empire the greatness of Egypt 
began to show itself. Though Pyramids had already been erected 
to cover royal remains, and war had been constantly carried on with 
neighbouring tribes, still we have been glad to pick up our know- 
ledge of the names of the kings from the Greek epitomists ; but 
now the Monuments still existing contain exact and contemporary 
accounts of the events which took place. And the date of this 
dynasty is, with great show of reason, fixed at 2400 B.C. And we 
have this remarkable fact forced upon us. Erom the fourth or pre- 
ceding dynasty the custom had commenced of assigning to each 



king, as he ascended the throne, an additional name. Thus, for 
each king appears two cartouches. The first was the solar or 
divine name, the second the family or birth name. The "Plant" 
and " Wasp " over the latter indicated the kingdoms of Upper and 
Lower Egypt. The words " Son of the Sun " were over the former. 
Now over the copper mines of "Wadi Magarah, in the Peninsula of 
Sinai, in Arabia, are found these signet-marks of Senefru, afBxed 
there centuries before the time of Abraham, and followed by a long 
succession of signet-marks of succeeding monarchs. Thus, when 
the Israelites fled from Egypt into the desert, they did not, as is 
generally supposed, pass into a strange land beyond the reach of 
the Egyptians, but into one of the dependencies of that Empire. 

His successor Khufu, or Cheops, buUt the Great Pyramid. The 
principle of the construction of Pyramids was this : Early in the 
reign of the king the surface was levelled, and a sepulchral chamber 
sunk in the rock ; over this a small Pyramid was erected. If the 
king died, the work remained thus, but for every year he subse- 
quently lived an additional layer of masonry was placed on the 
work of the previous year. When he died, the casing or outer 
surface was finished off ; their object was exclusively for the pur- 
poses of a tomb, and the idea of any astronomical connection may 
safely be exploded ; and it is doubtful, whether at that period the 
Egyptians knew anything beyond the simplest facts of that science. 
His successors, Shufra or Chephrenes and Menkaura or Mencheres, 
built the second and third Pyramids. The existence of these 
Monuments testifies to the science, skill, wealth, and civilisation of 
the people who could erect such imperishable structures. The 
Inscriptions, which have survived, show that the graphic system of 
writing, with the occasional use of a Phonetic Alphabet, was com- 
plete, and that the religion of the country was reduced to a system. 
The bas-reliefs of the tombs give us a full idea of the habits of the 
people and their advanced civilisation, and it must be recollected, 
that four thousand years from the present date is a moderate calcu- 
lation for the degree of their antiquity. Such as the Pyramids 
are, Abraham, Joseph, and Moses must have seen them ; as they 
were buildings, which had already existed for a century at least, 
when Abraham went down into Egypt. 

The kings of the fifth dynasty placed their signet-marks on the 
copper mines of the Peninsula ©f Sinai, and built their own Pyra- 
mids ; and to this dynasty is attributed the oldest existing papyrus, 
written in Hieratic character, marking another epoch ; as the 
Hieratic character is the cursive form of the Hieroglyphic, and the 
use of the frail material of the papyrus indicates, that the art of 
writing had been already transferred from Monumental works to 
the ordinary uses of life. Moreover, the contents of this papyrus 
are moral precepts as from a father to a son. Here we have some 


at least of the wisdom of the Egyptians, which Moses learned 
centuries afterwards. 

In the sixth dynasty lived the celebrated Nitocris, the Ehodope 
of the Greeks, who owed her elevation to her slipper being seized 
by an eagle and carried