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Full text of "The illustrated history of the British Empire in India and the East, from the earliest times to the suppression of the Sepoy mutiny in 1859"

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SIR DAVID BAIRD DISCOVERING THE BODY OF TIPPOO SAIB 



l;#Ml)j0B. 



LANE. 



THE 



ILLUSTRATED HISTORY 



OF 



THE BRITISH EMPIRE IN INDIA 



AND THE EAST, 



FROII THE 



(BmM Ciincs to tjjc Suppression of % Stpo^i Itiiftia in 1859. 



BY 



E. H, NOLAN, Ph.D., LLD., 

ALlllUB OF Tnt; "HlsTOKY OF THE WAR AGA1X3I RUSSIA." 



ILLUSTRATED WITH STEEL ENaRAVINGS AND MAPS. 



IN TWO VOLUMES. vT ' 

VOL. I. ' 



LONDON : 
JAMES Sc VIRTUE, CITY ROAD AND IVY LANE. 

NEW YORK : 26, JOHN STREET. 



I%S% 



TO 

JOHN HOLLYEE, ESQ., 

CADET DEPARTlIENTj INDIA OFflCE. 

Dear Sir, 

Having received from you much valuable information, and many important 
introductions, by which my composition of this large and laborious Work has been facilitated, 
and having from my youth enjoyed your generous, enduring, and faithful friendship, it is 
appropriate that this Book should be dedicated to you, as a token and tribute of that esteem 
which shall ever be cherished by 

Your obliged and faithful friend, 

EDWARD H. NOLAN, 

Kensington. 



PEEFACE. 



The Introduction to this Work is so written as to render a long preface neither 
necessary nor desirable. Proljahly, a History of the British Empire in India and the 
East is one of the most laborious works Avhich could.be undertaken^ hoAvever popular 
the form which may be given to it. This circumstance, so well known, furnishes the 
Author with a plea for the indulgence of his readers, whose support has been so 
extensively given to his productions. 

The Author will merely use this Preface as the medium of expressing his 
obligations to those whose assistance he has found so valuable. He is indebted to 
INIr. J. Eugene O'Cavanagh for his aid in the portion which treats of India in 
the heathen and Mohammedan periods. To John Hollyer, Esq., of the India 
Hoiise, to whom this AVork is dedicated, the Author is especially under obligations 
for coimsel and aid in various ways, although entertaining, on many points, differences 
of opinion in reference to Indian affairs. The advice of H, T. Prinsep, Esq., of the 
Council for India, and the coiu'tesy of Sir Proby Cautley, also of the Council, claim 
the Author's grateful thanks. In the selection of the best books as guides and text- 
l)ooks, and for the enunciation of important critiques, he expresses his acknowledg- 
ments to Dr. Hayman Wilson, Professor of Sanscrit in Oxford University, and 
Librarian to the India House. From every person connected with the Company ^s 
Library attention and courtesy have been received. The Author is also ranch 
indebted for the opinions expressed to him in reference to India and Indian affairs 
by Major- General Sir Fenwick Williams, Bart., of Kars, and Behram Pasha 
(Lieutenant- General Cannon), when, in the earlier period of his labours, the judg- 
ment of men of eminent parts and experience was of tlie highest valu3. 

Throughout this Work, as in all his other historical labours, the Author has 
been guided simply by a love of truth, and has held himself uninfluenced by party, 
political, or personal considerations. He has written neither in the interest of the 
Board of Control, the East India Company, nor of any other class either in England 
or India. His patrons are exclusively the Public, to whose good opinion he aspires, 
and to whom he now commends this "Work, — whatever its merits or defects, — as 
an impartial Histori/ of the British Empire in India and the East. 

KKXSlNGTOy. flLO^^ (%()% 



CONTENTS OF VOL. I. 



Introduction 



PAGE. 



1 



ClIAP. I. 



India : —Geographical position — Geology —Climate 
— Productions ] 

Chap. II. 

Population— Religion— Languages— Literature . , 36 

Chap. IH. 
Provinces— Chief Cities yO 

Chap. IV. 

Cities and Districts {Confimted)—}ioT[h.western 
Provinces gg 

Chap. V. 

Districts and Cities (Cb«^i««^(/)— Non-regulation 
Provinces of the Bengal and North-western Go- 
vernments JQQ 

ClIAP. VI. 



Chap. XIV. 



PAGE, 



The Government of the British Indian Empire 
\,tontinued) or)- 



Chap. XV. 

The Governmeut of the British Indian Empire 
Ktontiniied) 317 

Chap. XVL 

The Government of the British Indian Empire 
{Lontmued) ^ 005 

Chap. XVII. 

The Government of the British Indian Emi,ire 
\tontinued) ' 030 



Geueral Description of the Deccan— Presidency „. 
Madras— Collectorates and Cities . , , . .124 



or 



Chap. VII. 
Districts and Cities- The Bombay Presidency . . 138 

Chap. VIII. 

Ceylon : —Geology— Productions— Population— Re- 
hgion— Literature— Chief Towns 15y 

Chap. IX. 
Independent States jgo 



Chap. XVIH. 
The importance of a Knowledge of the Languages of 
India by Government Officers— Communications 
between England and India 355 

Chap. XIX. 

The Commerce of India :— Ancient Intercourse be<~~-- 
tween India and the West ,360 

Chap. XX. 

Commerce l,Conthmed)~ Commercial Intercourse 
between India and the Western Nations from the 
Invasion of Alexander to the Settlement of the 
British or.| 

Chap. XXI. 

Commerce {Continued)— 1\q^% of trausactinc^ Busi- 
ness in ludia-Thc Currenay- Weights and Mea- 
sures—Import of Silver— Import and Export of 
General Merchandize gr-y 

Chap. XXII, 

Commerce {Conlm7{ed) —Chief Articles of Indian 
Commerce ogn 

Chap. XXIII. 

Independent Countries which have been Theatres of ' Commerce {Coi/fhmed)— Commerce of outlyina^ Set- 
War during the Progress of our Eastern Dominion 205 i Elements 4jg 



Chap. X. 

Maritime Settlements:— The Eastern Straits-Bor- 
neo — Aden . . . 



199 



Chap. XI. 



Chap. XIL 

Independent Countries which have been Theatres of 
^Ur during the Progress of our Eastern Dominion 
\Contitiued) 



9;- 



57 



Chap. XIII. 



(! 



The Government of the British Indian Empire . ij 282 



Chap. XXIV. 
Science and Art of the Hindoos 434 

Chap. XXV, 
The Social Condition of India 453 

Chap. XXVI. 
%e. Social Condition of India {Contimied.) . , .483 



CONTENTS. 



CiiAi'. xxvir. 

The Social Coiiilitiou of India (tW///.'?/«/) . . . 502 

CiiAP. XXVIll. 

Ancient India — Chronolojry — Historical Record — '~' 
13rahma — Menu — The Great War 523 

Cii.ve. XXIX. 
Ancient History : — Tlic Kingdoms of Magada and 



Cashmere 



532 



Chap. XXX. 



Invasion of the Greeks — Alexander the Great — Se- 
leucus Kicator — The Bactrian Greeks .... 537 



Cjiaf. XXXI. 
Alexander crossing the Indus, and subsequent Opera- 



i 



tions 



5iS 



Chap. XXXII. 
The Return of Alexander 556 

Chap. XXXIII. 

Christianity iu India, from its Introduction to tlic 
time of the arrival of the English 509 

Chap. XXXIV. 
The Jlohammedaus iu India 587 

Chap. XXXV. 

The History of the Kings of the Houses of GJiizui 
{CuHcluiled) . 601 

Chap. XXXVI. 
The Dynasties of Glioor and Khilji 60-1 

Chap. XXX VII. 

The Dynasty of Toghluk — Invasion of Tamerlane — 
The Dynasties of Syud and Lodi 013 



PAGE, 

Chap. XXXI X. 
The Reign of Akbar 63S 

Chap. XL. 
The Reign of Jehanghire 648 

Chap. XLI. 
The Reigus of Shah Jehau and Aui'ungzebe . . . 660 

Chap. XLII. 

From the Death of Aurungzebe to the Dissolution of 
the Empire 683 

Chap. XLIII. 
Review of the Mohammedan Period 701 

CiiAP. XLIV. 
The Parsees : — Their relation to ladiau History . . 719 

Chap. XLV. 

Russian Intercourse, Commercial and Political, with 
Eastern Asia 735 



Chap. XLVI. 
The Portuguese iu India and Eastern Asia 

Chap. XLVII. 



7-11 



Chap. XXXVIII. 



The Afl'glians and Moguls 



623 



Advcut of the British iu India— British Eastern Ex- 
peditions iu the Sixteenth Century 755 

Chap. XLVIII. 

Proceedings of the London East ludia Company from 
the beginning of the Seventeenth Century to tlic 
Settlement of Factories under Treaties of Com- 
merce in India audthe Eastern Seas .... 707 

Chap. XLIX. 
The Dutch in India and the Eastern Seas .... 785 




LONDON 




W HutrhgA- 



"^ ;.; . viRTui; 



INTRODUCTION. 



Colonel Gurwood, in his important worlv:, tlie Despatclics of the DuJce oj Wellington, 
makes the following remark : — " The great end of history is the exact ihustration of events as 
they occurred ; and there should neither be exaggeration nor concealment, to si;it angry feelings 
or personal disappointment. History should contain the truth, the whole truth, and nothing 
but the truth." In the subject of this work the temptation to deviate from the principle laid 
down by the writer just quoted is very great. The government of India has long been the 
theme of party politics in the legislature and throughout the British empire, and recent events 
have not diminished the tendency to debate the matter, even where the information possessed 
but little qualified the adventurous disputants. Foreign nations have entered into this 
discussion, and, prompted by envy or by an adverse policy, have subjected the settlement, 
progress, and government of the British in India to the most searching, stringent, and severe 
criticism. The commercial classes in England were, to a considerable extent, in conflict with 
the home government and the Honourable East India Company, so long as the latter was 
a trading company. The missionary societies, representing the religious public, have been in 
collision with the directors on their religious ptolicy in India, and upon numerous social 
questions of the deepest concern. Military authorities of eminence have expressed very 
serious differences of opinion with one another and the committee in Leadenhall Street, as to 
the constitution and direction of the army. Political economists have complained of the 
management of Indian resources, and mooted schemes of great magnitude in reference to 
their future development. The crowTi and the company have not always worked in harmony, 
and both have been denounced by native rajahs, parliamentary orators, and popular writers, as 
unjust and negligent ; while men of profound experience in Indian affairs and Indian character 
have represented the government as adapted to the people with wondrous suitability, and 
maintained with unswerving justice. Under these circumstances, to avoid a partizan feeling 
in any direction, keeping in view the old but much neglected maxim, audi alteram j^ortem, is 
an honourable task for a Avriter to propose to himself, but one of extreme difficulty to perform. 
It is, however, essential to a correct and honest History of India, not only that a general 
impartiality should be observed, but that fair account be taken of every conflicting interest 
and party, and their views, and the argxmients by which they have been supported, correctly 
represented to the general reader. The laborious investigations which this duty imposed 
have been faithfully executed, and in the following chapters the injunction shall be obeyed — 
"Nothing extenuate, nor set down aught in malice." 

That there have been misgovernment and neglect in the administration of India is too 
true ; but no Englishman can make himself acquainted with all the circumstances of our 
Indian acquisitions, and the character of the native instrumentality which has been of 
necessity employed in the army, the collection of taxes, and the dispensation of justice, 
without feeling that the English nation might take as a motto, descriptive of its Indian 
rule, the title which Bulwer Lytton gives to one of his works — " Not so bad as we seem." 
That evils of terrible magnitude exist in the social condition of India, which the govern- 
ment have not made adequate efforts to eradicate, or even to mitigate — and that some have 
attended the progress of English power and government — is so obvious, and so certain to be 
the ease under any form of government, that it is astonishing how intelligent persons are 

b 



II 



INTRODUCTION. 



found to feel or affect surprise. It is still more a matter of wonder that those who have so 
keen an eye for the detection of misrule, and for the errors and mischiefs which have been 
permitted to remain, and even to grow up under our supervision, should be so dull in noting 
the benefits conferred, and which have been mingled with the measures most generally 
reo-arded as injurious. The great dramatist repvesent-s Henry V. as discovering amidst the 
perils of Agincourt that there is 

" Some soul of goodness in things evil 
Would men observiugly distil it out." 

This is the spirit in which all criticism on Indian affairs, and, in fact, all historical criticism, 

should be made. 

The importance of the subject demands that the attention of the British public should be 
dispassionately given to the present condition of India, and to the measures in reference to 
her government which must occupy the legislature for very many years to come. This cannot 
be done but by an intelligent acquaintance with the country, its resources, history, and the social 
condition of its inhabitants. No time could be nrore favourable for elucidating these topics in a 
manner adapted to popular perusal, yet also in a manner comprehensive and in harmony with 
the progress of the jDcople of this country in the knowledge of social, economical, and political 
science. India is the brightest gem in the most glorious crown that was ever placed upon a 
queenly brow. William, Prince of Orange, is represented to have said of Ireland, when 
looking down from an elevated position upon one of her beautiful landscapes, " This is a 
country well worth fighting for !" and who could look upon the glorious " Ind," teeming with 
fertility — rich in all the natural luxury of the tropics — glowing beneath the brightest sunshine 
that smiles on even the landscapes of the East — bounded by the old historic lands of remotest 
antiquity — curious alike in the phenomena of nature and the mental peculiarities of the races 
that dwell there, and containing unworked resources sufficient to tempt the ambition of the 
greatest and richest empire — without feeling that it is worthy to be kept by those who con- 
quered, and still nobly hold it. Surely, if ever country were worthy the valour of the brave, 
the study of the learned, the exploration of the philosopher, the observation of the traveller, and 
the holy enterprise of the Christian, this is it. There genius of every order may find scope. 
The languages, literature, religion, and customs of the people, — the scenery, soil, mines, 
material resources, and geographical position of the country, — all iuAnte the brave in arts and 
study, as much as the brave in arms, to confer upon it the benefit of their enterprise, and tlius 
enlarge the sphere of human advantage, as well as open up for themselves a track of fame and 
honour. It is scarcely possible for the English student, at all events now, to devote too much 
attention to this subject. 

For the future welfare of India, and for English dominion and renown, there is hope. 
The hurricane which has passed over llindoostan will purify the political and social atmosithere, 
and leave a brighter and more benign calm than prevailed before. "VVe must not regard 
political any more than natural convulsions as simply evils. It is necessary that the mind of 
a nation shoidd be disturbed, to awaken it from supineness, even although the process be 
alarming. Agitation prevents social evils from setthng into a sediment; the more they 
are stirred, the greater the probability that they will evaporate and pass away. The lightning, 
Avhich dazzles in the distance, shaking the heavens with thunder, blasting the forest tree, and 
shattering the sacred temple or the stately palace, also rends the cloud, and scatters its pent- 
up treasures on the thirsty soil ; so in the dealings of Providence, when the voice of his 
reproof reverberates through the nations, and the lightning of his power smites and over- 
throws the proudest monuments of human sagacity and dominion. He at the same time 
replenishes the earth with his goodness, and prepares, by the very processes which fill the 
peoples with dismay, seasons of fair tranquillity and brightening joy. The breeze which sweeps 
the stagnant lake carries onward its pestiferous odour, but it also passes over park and 
pasture, bearing on its laden wing the fragrance of blossom and of flower. It is thus that a 
philosophic mind regards the operations of the Divine government. So long as the heart 



INTRODUCTION. iii 

of a nation is sound— so long as tnere are principle, self-examination, and courage — disasters 
Lear within tliem the elements of political resixscitation. This has been singularly the case in 
the history of great nations. They have seldom emerged from an inferior position to a 
new and higher one, without having experienced some rude collision from without or con- 
vulsion within, as in a geological catastrophe, Avlien an inferior organisation breaks up to 
give place to one of superior type. Frequently great changes take place in the inner life of 
a nation by slow degrees, less observed by other nations, but not less felt by the people who 
are the subjects of the change ; but it is ([uestionable if even these are ever painless — old 
customs, laws, religions, do not expire, nor are old policies changed, as the western sunset 
passes softly away, or as the dawn noiselessly advances with bright feet along tbe heavenly 
way : the bird wdiich shakes off its old for a new and gayer plumage finds the process painful 
as well as gradual, although the result is renewed strength and beauty. 

Tlie events which have lately occurred in India, and by which all humane minds have 
been horror-stricken, are the certain although terrible means by which India is to be opened up 
to better government and European civilisation. The obstacles which stood most in the 
Avay of such happy changes were caste and Mohammedanism ; the former must cease to 
obtain any official recognition, and the latter must be kept down by the only means possible — 
the point of the sword. As to caste, there never existed on earth any barrier to human 
progress so effectual ; imagination, however depraved morally, while intellectually active, 
never conceived anything by which pride, oppression, and an immutable ignorance, might 
be so efficiently conserved. The government of India has been blamed and defended A^ith 
equal zeal for treating it with respect. Colonel Sykes has irrefutably proved the impossibility 
of refusing to recognise it, either in the organisation of the army or the administration of the 
law : it was at once a religious and social institution, possessing a traditional and positive 
force in relation to society in India whicli could not be ignored. But the time has gone by when 
it is safe or possible to humour it, or allow it to impede the aims of government, the discipline of 
the army, or the progress of society. A waiter in the Kortliern Daily Express thus notices 
the necessity which circumstances now impose upon the Indian government to declare boldly 
that they will no longer allows this distinction to make the government of India one of 
sufferance, or to constrain it to appear as if conniving at an institution so abhorrent to reason, 
justice, and civilisation : — " We see at last the downfall of a horrible superstition, not 
Brahminism, but of a superstition more revolting and insane — namely, an unprincipled 
deference to superstition — in' a word, the superstition of the Indian civil service. Consider 
whether the infamy is greater in the poor ignorant creature who burns an old woman for 
witchcraft, in the full belief that she has formed a compact with the devil, or in him who, 
believing neither in w-itchcraft nor devil, attends the fire, and contributes with his own hands 
a fagot, on the principle that it is better not to disturb inveterate prejudices and long- estab- 
lished customs. This is the pica, and has been the policy, of those who emphatically call 
themselves ' old Indians.' This is what they oracularly call the traditional policy." Although 
the passage is too severe, if considered as a description of the motives and principles of the 
whole civil service of the East India Company, it yet fairly depicts the conduct of the extreme 
men, civil and military, who abetted a time-serving and timid policy towards the superstitions 
of India generally, and towards that of caste especially. There is now, however, an end to 
this; the great military revolution which has startled and fixed the attention of the -world has 
swept aAvay, as with a whirlwind, the very institution it was one of its objects to preserve, 
England will now provide for the government of India in spite of caste, and with no other 
recognition than the tolerant spirit of the religion and character of the British people teaches 
her rulers to observe to all creeds and conditions of men. Here there is a vast advantage gained, 
at a great expenditure, it is true, both of blood and treasure, and at some cost of prestige ; but for 
the bloodshed a terrible retribution has already been exacted, the treasures plundered will soon 
be replaced by the improved condition of the country under a better governmental adminis- 
tration ; and even the prestige of England will be increased, not only by the glorious fortitude 
called forth on the part of her suffering soldiers, civilians, and women, or by the new victories 



IV 



INTRODUCTION. 



wliicli crowii the reconquest of upper ludia, but Ly the moral power she has put forth in 
proving herself equal to the emergency of so great a crisis, as well as aLle to make use of it 
for her OAvn honour and the lasting good of the \anquished. As the mariner, \Aho proves 
his seamanship and his courage in the storm, as well as tests the quality of the ship in which 
he sails, gaining experience of her and of himself^so England, amidst this tumuh, has estab- 
lished the unbending character of her courage and the resources of her empire, while 'experi- 
ence is fleaned in reference to her Asiatic dominion which will serve for generations. 

The limitation of Mohammedan power and influence must be one of the results of the 
recoBstitution of British authority in India, and such a change must affect the whole social 
condition of that country. Mohammedanism and a high degree of civilisation cannot co -exist 
amonf the same people. The Koran is not only the Bible of the Mussulman, it is his book of 
science and of fovernment. Its laws and doctrines extend to the whole individual and social 
life of the Prophet's followers. On all scientific subjects its contents are absurd, puerile, and 
superstitious ; on subjects of public law and policy it is despotic and fanatical. Discoveries 
in science or social economics are adverse to the fixed principles of this standard, they are 
therefore rejected by the true behever as infidel. Turkey exhibits the impossibility of a 
IMohammedan state advancing in the arts and in good government, even under the most favour- 
able conditions : all development of commerce, agricidture, and science in the Turkish empire is 
to be ascribed to Christians, and is regarded with either disdain, hatred, or horror, according to 
the individual character of the Turk, or the degree of fanaticism with which he is imbued. It 
is true that when the light of science does find entrance to the mind of the Mohammedan 
his religion is destroyed, for if the Koran be confuted in one point, it is confuted in its 
entirety. Infallible in its pretensions on all subjects, as soon as it is found to be in error, 
its authority perishes. The pjublic schools in India, and the missionaries, have infused 
just philosophical notions among the better classes of Mohammedan youth, and where this 
has been the case they have invariably become sceptics to their creed. A perception of this 
fact has roused the fanaticism of all Mohammedan India against the English. Alarmed 
lest intercourse with them, an acquaintance with their literature, or observation of their 
scientific knowledge, should supplant the doctrines of the Koran, the religious par excellence 
have become maddened with rage against the presence of Europeans in India, and a desire 
grew up to attempt their expulsion at any risk. This was one of the sources from which 
sprang the movement by which revolt and slaughter were so recently carried over all Northern 
and North-western India. For a considerable time the members of various orders especially 
devoted to the service of the Prophet have been urging on the population and the soldiery to 
insurrection and revolt in the name of religion ; while the more politic among the rajahs and 
public men have been counselling them to wait for an inviting opportunity. The people were 
as desirous as the soldiery for a movement against the government, or even more desirous ; 
but it was felt that upon a revolt of the united Brahmins and Mussulmen soldiery, at least 
partially successful, depended whether the j^eople coidd effect anything, and accordingly suspense 
and an anxious, importunate expectation for the moment that shoiild decide the exjieriment per- 
vaded jNIohammedan India. It is probable that this hatred would have been long nursed, without 
any more open display than desultory outbursts at public festivals, if chances of success had 
not offered, by the fewness of the British troops, the extraordinary confidence placed in the 
sepoys, and the marvellous want of vigilance on the part of the authorities, notwithstanding 
innumerable warnings. Lord Brougham, when investigating the greater probability of crime 
in proportion to the chance of impunity, remarked — " All the chances which a man has of 
escajte naturally affect his mind when he is meditating whether he shall commit an offence or 
not." There is no doubt that whatever amount of provocation existed in the fact that 
cartridges glazed with fat of oxen or swine were served out to the men, by using which caste 
would have been forfeited, yet the chances of exemption from ultimate failure, presented by the 
circumstances named above, decided the minds of the soldiery upon revolt. Hereafter no such 
temptations will be in the way of either Hindoo or Mohammedan. The discii^iue of the 
Indian army will be placed on such a footing, and that army so constituted, as to afford 



INTRODUCTION. v 

ground for security, and in tlic i)ublic tranquillity a guarantee for progress in civilisation, 
and the prosperity of the country. According to the religion of the i\Ioliammedau, Christians 
arc not necessarily devoted to death, but only to slavery under certain forms and conditions ; 
while the hatred to heathenism inculcated by that creed is never mitigated — it dooms the idolater 
to death without mercy. In the future of India, therefore, when Brahmin and Mohammedan 
perceive that there is no prospect of overthrowing the "kumpany sahib," they will exercise 
towards one another, unchecked, the antipathies of their hostile religions, and a second coalition 
against Europeans will be extremely unlikely, if not impossible. It is not probable that 
attempts to conciliate the Mohammedan population or soldiery will again be made ; all such 
efforts would fail — Mohammedans cannot be conciliated : the surrender of the country to 
their control would alone satisfy them. The conciliation of a bigoted sect, whose most 
cherished religious principle is ascendancy, is bad policy ; concession adds to their strength — 
they attribute it to weakness or an act of homage to their rights, and are proportionately 
emboldened. This has always been the case Avith all bigoted and fanatical superstitions ; it 
is in the nature of things for it to be so : and therefore the true policy of the future will be to 
curb the licentiousness of all fanaticisms in India, and assert the liberty of all, whatever their 
creed, despite the long-cherished superstitions, or the prescriptive assumption of castes. That 
this will be the genius of our government in India hereafter public opinion in Great Britain 
has already indicated ; and the noble heir of the house of Derby well expressed the experience 
of later tim^s when he remarked — " Independent of public opinion, no m-an and no institution 
in this country is, or (and thank God for it) can be." That the government of India will be 
adapted to the moral and political phenomena there, and the newly-awakened interest 
taken in Indian affairs by the United Kingdom, there can be no doubt ; yet, on the 
whole, it is false to represent India as having been unjustly treated in a religious point of 
view. The Rev. Dr. Ilo.bert Lee, of Edinburgh, has put this assertion in a just light in these 
words: — "We incurred no guilt by not having used our power to make converts of the 
natives, because, as a government, we could not make them Christians, even if we would. If 
we had the power to do this, we had not the right ; a foreign government, as ours is, had no 
right to take the taxes of the people to compel them to adopt a religion of which their 
consciences disapproved. Instead of promoting Christianity, such a course would be the most 
effectual way of retarding it, because it would raise iip prejudices against the religion thus 
forcibly established, which probably nothing would be able to remove." It is true that the 
early government of the East India Company was hostile to missionary establishments 
in India, but of late years all discouragements have been withdrawn. It is also true that the 
company contributed to the support of heathen temples, which was wrong in conscience, and 
false in policy, but this has altogether ceased. The tolerance of infanticide and Sutteeism 
was a necessity ; the company dared not have attempted their subversion much sooner than 
they accomplished it. Every step, however, in the direction of religious freedom, and the 
protection of the helpless members of the community from superstitious cruelties to which they 
were exposed, exasperated the Brahmin devotees ; in fact, all the movements of " the party of 
progress," as cei'tain sections of British and Hindoo society are called, inflamed the resentment 
of large portions of the population of India in proportion as these movements were successful. 
There is nothing so hateful to Islam and to Brahma as religious liberty, therefore the defence 
of Christian proselytes by the government from all the consequences to which unprotected 
they would be exposed, created an amount of disloyalty in India which cannot be computed 
in this country by any that have not studied the history, religions, and social life of India. 
The particidar action in the various legal imj^rovements made in harmony with " the party of 
yu-ogress" has not always been judicious, nor mai-ked by forethought. As an example, the 
interference of government with the lex loci in reference to property may be cited. The 
government, impelled by public opinion both in India and in England, so modified the action 
of the local law, as to give i;mbrage to the whole native population of India, All through the 
East, from the Bosphorus to Calcutta, the local custom dominates. In India it is inexorabl}'- 
rigid : Christian proselytes suffered from it ; by becoming Christians they lost caste, and 



vi INTRODUCTION. 

forfeited tlicir interest in tlie family propert}'. The liardsliip and injustice of this, as well as 
the impediment it created to the spread of the Christian religion, created an agitation among 
missionaries and other pious and philanthropic men in India, which communicated itself to 
the same classes in England, and resulted in the abrogation of the lex loci, so far as proselytes 
were concerned. A choice was given to adopt that principle, or to claim a full participation in 
the privileges of English law. The practical effect was that while by the local law the 
property must pass from the heathen to the proselyte, he, by adopting the law of England, 
left the property to whom he pleased — it did not pass back again by right into the hands of 
liis heathen kindred. Thus the proselyte acquired, by his conversion, an absolute right in 
property, in which otherwise he could only have had a life interest when permitted to pass 
into his possession. The natives considered such an interference with the lex loci as not 
merely intended to protect the religious liberty of the convert, but devised as a bonus on 
proselytism. Even in reference to the first and just provision of the enactment, which 
secured to the new Christian his rights in connection with the family inheritance, a powerful 
native hostility would have existed; but in the second feature of the provision, which virtually 
confiscated the property from his heathen kindred to himself, the people saw an intention to 
make war upon their religion. Few men connected with the government of India approved 
of such a measure, but the opinion of certain classes in India, and of the majority of the British 
public, constrained the course which was adopted. 

That there has been injustice and impolicj' in the administration of India will be admitted 
by both the people of England, the East India Company, and the crown ; but it is impossible 
to deny that the words of the Rev. Dr. Lee, of Edinburgh describe the facts, when he says — 
" Of course, if you set up an ideal standard, every nation — Great Britain even — is badly 
governed ; but if you compare it with other countries, I say India is not badly governed. It 
is incomparably better governed than any coiintry in Asia, and than most countries in Europe. 
To what conclusion, then, are we to come ? have we any right to be in the country at all ? 
This is a question of great delicacy, and opens up many nice points of casuistry. In the 
beginning, doubtless, much sin was committed; great empires are never acquired Avithout 
crimes, and our empire in India has been no exception to the general rule. You are now in 
possession, and cannot quit your post. To give it up would be to surrender the country to 
anarchy,, rapine, and civil war; or to leave it a prey to Russia, which would be to abandon it 
to an uttermost despotism. The duty, then, devolves upon you to do the best you can to 
promote its good government and improvement." 

The importance of our Indian empire can hardly be over-estimated ; for although the 
assertions of continental censors, that the severance of India would leave England a third or 
fourth -rate power, is simply ridiculous, the loss would be severe. In every district of the 
British Isles there are persons who have acquired a competency, or been enriched by India ; 
her productions enter largely into our commerce ; her civil and military services afford remu- 
nerative occupation constantly for many thousands of Englishmen, besides those who realise 
fortunes, and return home to enjoy them ; the revenue she renders exceeds that of most of the 
continental kingdoms; her occupation affords a position of power and influence to Great 
Britain which are felt all over the eastern world ; and the possession of so vast a dominion 
gives a prestige and glory to the name of England which is recognised by all nations, and 
\\hich will shed lustre on the page of English history for ever. What India may be made in 
tlic way of benefit to herself and to the whole British empire has been strikinglj^ exemj^lified in 
the annexation of the Punjaub. That fertile province has become still richer ; her people 
prosperous, peaceable, and loyal ; her revenues a source of advantage to herself and to the 
government of India : and all this has resulted from a complete, instead of a partial conquest, 
a thorough disarming of the seditious and suspected, the impartial administration of justice, 
and adoption of laws and a financial system based upon correct principles of political economy. 
The Blue-books which have been issued respecting the government of the Punjaub, and the 
reports of trustworthy travellers and residents, place the prosperity of the whole Sikh districts 
beyond doubt, and prove that since the entire destruction of the Khalsa army, and the organi- 



INTRODUCTION. 



vu 



sation of a separate, efficient, and economical government, tkc v,\\o\e country of the five rivers 
has become a source of strength to the government of India. The readiness witli whicii Sikh 
vohmteers were formed, from Ferozepore to Peshawur, during the recent terrible revolt of the 
Bengal sepoys, and the efficiency with which the old soldiers of the maharajah served in 
our ranks, impose the conviction that, notwithstanding the impracticable nature of Brahminism 
and Mohammedanism, all India may in time be governed as well as the Punjaub, and made 
even more productive of advantage to its own people as well as to its rulers. As already 
remarked, the great revolt of the sepoys seems providentially to hasten and facilitate such 
results. So long as a native army constituted as was that of Bengal, and two other native 
armies so far similarly constituted as those of Bombay and Madras, dictated to the govern- 
ment, or were as much a source of apprehension as power, it was impossible to carry 
out those improvements of which India is susceptible, and which the British people desire. 
Even in the Punjaub it was the Bengal army that created our only danger. Should 
the armies of Bombay and IMadras be jDcrmitted to remain as they are, or a Bengal army 
similar in any great degree to the former, be re -constructed, the perils which have so long 
hung over English rule in India will still imjDend. Present events, however, have deter- 
mined the future for us, and the military and civil regime will henceforth guarantee the 
solidity of our dominions, its more thorough usefulness, and its greater honour and 
renown. The words of Sir Henry Russell, written in 1842, are strikingly appropriate to 
such considerations : — " Our tenure of India must, under all circumstances, be a military one. 
If we do not hold it by the exercise of our arms, at least we do by the impression of them. 
If ever we are thought to have lost our military supremacy, I am afraid no other will remain 
to us ; by our army we must either stand or fall. The most fearful of all disasters that we can 
dread, therefore, is disaffection among our native troops. When it does occur, and occur it 
will, unless it be preceded and anticipated by some other, it will be the work of some one bold, 
able man of themselves, who obtains influence among them. Such a person has never yet 
appeared, it is true, but it would be a delusion for us to assume that no such person vail 
appear. The natives of India are not an unlikely stock for such a shoot to spring from, nor 
is the mass ill-suited to the rising of such a leaven. The event, if ever it do come, will be 
abrupt. It will be an explosion. It will give no warning, but will be upon us before there is 
time to arrest it. The mischief will have been done before its approach has been discovered. 

It is only by being foreseen that such a danger can be averted The more busily the 

troops are employed, the more they may be relied upon. In our own territorj^, as well as in 
the territory of our allies, we must be provided against every emergency. Forces equipped 
for rapid movement and effective service must be maintained within reach of each other. No 
point on our border, no quarter of our territory, must be suffered to feel itself at liberty. No 
incursion will be attempted from abroad, no rising will l^e adventured at home, if it is not 
encouraged by the appearance of impunity. Even if these preparations should not be required 
to repel attack or suppress insurrection, the very appearance of them will serve the purpose of 
preventing it." The recent revolt fulfilled the jKedictions of Sir Henry, except in the particular 
of a man of eminent military jiarts arising among the sepoys, which, however, he regarded 
as a possible or not very improbable event rather than one likely. The danger he depicted 
as existing in 1842 will exist in 1862, or at any other time, if we continue the old military 
system of absolute confidence in the sepoy ; the preventive care, pointed out in the above 
quotation as essential, must be the policy of our future rule. The explosion has occurred, and 
the occasion is furnished not only of testing such predictions, but of profiting by such counsels. 
If we do. take up the government of India with a resolute and just hand, the day will not be so 
distant as some imagine when over her vast area rich cities shall flourish ; fertile fields bloom 
with the beauty and luxuriance of her glorious clime ; peace smile within her borders over 
many millions of contented people ; surrounding nations look upon our power as a beauty 
and a glory ; and the grandeur of empire appear as the consequence and accompaniment not 
merely of our heroism or our skill, but of our virtue. "Where the blood of English victims has 
left its stain the sanctuaries of English piety shall rear their imposing structures; and where 



viii INTRODUCTION. 

the groan of tlic murdered Englisliwoman cried aloud to Heaven, the prayer and the psahnody 
of native worship shall be heard. It is the genius of truth and justice to propagate themselves. 
Every righteous act in legislature, or voluntary benevolence performed by a people, begets its 
like, and ^^rtue increases and multiplies, spreading its offspring all around ; as some prolific 
eastern tree, not only graces by its beauty the sjjot from which it springs, but scatters the 
seeds of its productive life aro^ind it in ever-multijilying energy within the limits adapted to 
its condition. 

The study of the History of India by the British j^eople is conducive to the happy results 
we contemplate. There is no age of the progress and life of India that is not interesting and 
instructive. In the for mythic past we learn how the infancy of an oriental people was nursed, 
and how that nurture affected its future growth. From the remotest antiquity to the conquests 
of Alexander, from the marvellous achievements of that conqueror until IMohammedan invaders 
overran those realms, tliere is in the very sameness of Indian life, and the monotony of Indian 
story, a lesson of interest and practical utility. The genius of the people through a long 
period, or series of periods, is so indicated as to facilitate the study of their character in all 
subsequent times to the present hour. The Mohammedan era of India opens up a new view 
of the existence of her peoj^le. Even then she offers a peculiar aspect in the very high places 
of her JNIus-sulman conquerors. Mohammedans in India, while possessing the common charac- 
teristics of the followers of the Projihet, so adapted themselves to Hindoo custom, and so 
imbibed the Hindoo spirit, that they assumed a peculiar character, in which they differ from 
all other Mohammedan nations. In the development of this fact there are also historic lessons 
of value bearing upon the 2:)resent. 

The story of English power and progress in India, and of the wars waged with Persia, 
China, and other contiguous countries, is probably the most romantic and curious ever 
unfolded. What deeds of heroism I what unforeseen and unexpected conquests I what 
striking and singular providences I over rvhat variety and extent of realm the flag of Britain has 
been unfurled ! through what remote glens, and passes, and defiles, her sound of bugle and 
tap of drum have echoed 1 on what historic, and yet far-off, fields and mountains the sheen of 
her bayonets has gleamed in the blazing light of the Eastern sun ! even when progressing only 
by her commerce and her laws, and the reverberation of her cannon ceased among the hills 
and valleys of the vanquished, how largely she has entered into what Sir Archibald Alison 
ha-3 designated the everlasting war between East and West ! how the opinions and feeling of 
Britain have percolated the moral soil of Asia, to spring up again in renewing and fertilising 
streams ! The people of England must become better acquainted with all this if they will 
impress their own image upon the Eastern world, and leave it for posterity to recognise. They 
must study these records of their own fame, as well as of earlier times, if they perform the still 
nobler task of impressing the image of their God and Saviour upon the oriental heart. If we 
rise to the greatness of our opportunities and apparent destinies, ^ye need have no fears for 
our work or for ourselves, but, confident of success, exclaim, — 

" Sweep on ! sweep ou ! mjstorious as sublime. 
Ye never-resting waves of Change and Time ; 
Ye heed not human toil, or tears, or groans, 
O'crwhelming races, dynasties, and thrones; 
Mhat was, what is, and what, alas! shall be. 
Ye waft alike to one eternal sea." 



THE ILirSTRATED HISTORY 



OF THE 



BRITISH EMPIRE IN INDIA 



AND THE EAST. 



CHAPTER I. 

INDIA:— GEOGRAnilCAL rOSITIOX— GEOLOGY— CLIMATE— PRODLXTIONS. 



It is essential to an efficient study of the his- 
torj' of onr empire in India, that a correct notion 
should be entertained of the extent, area, and 
characteristics of the territories now subjected 
to us,— the countries adjacent, — and those into 
which war has been carried more or less in 
connection with British Indian policy. Dr. 
Arnold M'ell expressed the importance of geo- 
graphical study in connection with the mate- 
rial and political condition of a people, when 
he observed, " Let me once understand the 
real geography of a country — its organic 
structure, if I may so call it ; the form of its 
skeleton — that is, of its hills ; the magnitude 
and course of its veins and arteries — that is, 
of its streams and rivers ; let me conceive of 
it as a whole, made up of connected ]iarts ; 
and then the position of man's dwellings, 
viewed in reference to those parts, becomes 
at once easily remembered, and lively and 
intelligible besides." 

India is perhaps more variously described, 
and with more discrepancy, than any other 
country in the world erpially well known. 
It is customary to write of India, " on this 
side the Ganges," and " India beyond the 
Ganges ; " the former includinar British India, 
with the tributary and allied principalities ; 
the latter, the Birman empire, 8iam, Malacca, 
Cambodia, Cochin China, Tonkin, &c. The 
country more properly and strictly designated 
India, is the central peninsula of Southern 
Asia. Its boiindaries are generally distinctly 
marked by natural limits — such as the Indian 
Ocean on the south, east, and west ; the two 
gi eat arms of that ocean — the Bay of Bengal 
and the Arabian Sea — washing the eastern 
and western shores respectively. The line 

VOL. I. 



of coast com^mses about 3200 miles, of which 
liOO are touched by the Bay of Bengal. 
The peninsula extends from Cape Comorin, 
its southern point, to the north of Cashmere— 
a length of nearly 2000 miles ; and from 
Assam to the river Indus it measures about 
1800 miles. Along its northern limits rise 
the range of the Himalaya IMountains ; on the 
north-west, the mountains of Afghanistan : 
the north-eastern limits are less marked, still 
the conformation of the country gives a dis- 
tinct boundary. Assam, Chittagong, and 
Arracan, are the frontier lands in that direc- 
tion. The superficial area is variously esti- 
mated, and cannot with exactness be stated ; 
it is probably more than 1,300,000 square 
miles. 

Insular India includes Ceylon, the Laca- 
dive group, and the IMaldives. Ceylon is 
separated from the south-eastern extremity 
of continental India by the Strait of Palk, and 
the Gulf of Manaar. The Lacadive Islands 
are off the Malabar coast, and the Maldives 
south of these. 

Beyond the limits of India Proper, Great 
Britain possesses vast territories, most of them 
of very recent acquisition. She has made 
conquests from the Birman empire — Assam 
is hers, and Pegu has been ceded to her. 
Prince of Wales's Island (better known as 
Penang), IMalacca, Singapore, Borneo, Hong- 
Kong (lately a portion of the Chinese em- 
pire), are British possessions. In the Straits 
of Babelmandel, Aden has been secured and 
fortified, enabling England to command the 
passage of the Red Sea, and to offer, in case 
of necessity, serious menace to the once proud 
and mighty dominion of Persia. 

B 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. I. 



It will facilitate the progress of description 
to notice first Insular India. 

Ceylon is about 270 miles long, by 140 
broad. Its conformation is oval, generally 
rising to the centre from the coast, the high- 
est point being more than 8000 feet above 
the level of the sea ; it is called Pcdrotalla- 
galla. The chief river, the Maharillaganga, 
takes its rise in the principal highlands, and 
finds its disemboguement in the harbour of 
Trincomalee. The coast -line of the island is 
interesting, and the harbour just named is 
excellent as a place for shipping, and exceed- 
ingly picturesque. The island, generally, is 
lovely : rich in soil, genial in climate, its 
foliage and flowers luxuriant and beautiful, 
a ]>erpetual summer smiles upon the favoured 
residents of that hospitable isle ; the language 
of Heber is appropriate to it : — 

" Where ev'ry prospect pleases. 
And only man is vile." 

The island is remarkable for its production of 
rare spices ; the cinnamon grows more abun- 
dantly than in any other country. Beautiful 
wood, in great variety, is obtained, which is 
not only elegant and useful to the resident, 
but an important article of commerce. Ebony, 
satin-wood, and iron-wood, are exported in 
considerable quantities. The pearl fisheries 
on the coast are sources of profit; thence 
chiefly the much prized pearls are brought 
to other parts of the world. The con- 
chology of the Indian Ocean is the most 
splendid of any body of waters on the globe. 
Ceylon shares this attribute ; and on her 
coasts, and near her shores, shells of superior 
beauty, in vast numbers, are foiind. From a 
very remote antiquity Ceylon exported her 
products to remote parts ; her spices, silk, 
and pearls, were known and appreciated many 
ages back ; and an embassy from her i^rince, 
with especial reference to commercial objects, 
visited the court of the Roman emperor 
Claudius. Indeed, the antiquities of Ceylon 
are as remarkable as her climate and produc- 
tions, and prove that it was once inhabited 
by_ a superior race. Magnificent works for 
irrigation, temples, mausolea, and palaces of 
great magnitude and singular architectural 
beauty existed there when in England men 
knew not how, for architectural jiurposes, to 
lay one stone upon another. When the 
English wrested the island from the Dutch, 
they were astonished at its beauty, fertilit}^ 
ruined cities, and pagodas; its commercial 
importance had been long known to them, 
and its possession eagerly coveted. 

The channel which separates the island 
from the mainland is about sixty miles. The 
name of Talk attached to the strait is derived 



from a celebrated Dutch navigator. Tlie 
Gulf of Manaar is represented to derive its 
name from a little isle on the Ceylonese side, 
but the origin of the term given to the isle and 
gulf is lost in obscure antiquity. A ridge of 
small banks completely obstructs the chan- 
nel for large vessels : this is called Adam's 
Bridge, from a tradition that the island of 
Ceylon was the paradise of primeval inno- 
cence from which the first pair were banished. 
In the Hindoo mythology the divine hero 
Rama is said to have crossed to the conquest 
of the island Ijy this ridge. In future pages 
of this History it will be necessary to give 
further description of the island ; a general 
notice is all that is suitable here. The popu- 
lation is not much less than 2,000,000. They 
are a superstitious and servile race ; yet when 
roused by an adequate appeal to their i:)reju- 
dices and passions, they are not destitute of 
spirit, and are capable of cruelty and treachery 
to a degree in common with most Asiatic 
peoples. They make good soldiers ; and the 
battalions of the Ceylon rifle regiment fre- 
quently serve ■\A"ith willingness and efficiency 
in the Madras presidency. The ancient 
capital, Kandy, is in the interior ; the British 
capital, Colombo, is on the coast. 

The Lacadives are a group, seventeen in 
number, and are not in any way remarkable. 

The Maldives, as the name implies, com- 
prise more than a thousand isles and reefs. 
The word mal means thousand — a definite 
number put for an indefinite, which is com- 
mon in the Malabar language ; diva means 
an island. These isles and reefs run in a 
chain of 500 miles from north to south ; they 
are never „more than fifty miles in breadth." 
Generally they are rocky and barren, but 
there are lovely spots dispersed among them, 
covered with rich tropical verdm-e, and crowned 
with the Indian palm. 

Continental India is variously designated : 
"the East Indies," "British India," and 
"Hindoostan," ai-e the names most generally 
applied to it. Hindoostan is properly the 
name of a portion of India only. This name 
was originally given by the Persians, to indi- 
cate the dark comi:>lexion of the inhabitants. 
It is difficult to trace back any name given 
by the Brahmins to the coimtry over which 
their doctrines prevailed, whole sentences of 
different signification having been emploj^ed 
for this purpose. The Avord Medhijana, 
which means central, was sometimes used by 
them, because, according to their mythology, 
the world was sujDported on the back of a 
tortoise, and India, it was supposed, occupied 
the middle place. The term Puni/ahlunii 
was also used to designate it, as the land of 
virtue, or more probably as meaning the land 



Chap. I.] 



IN IXDIA xVND THE EAST. 



ceremonially clean. According to one of their 
most treasured stories, a prince named Bharat 
was appointed bj^ his father, called " conqueror 
of the universe," to reign over the peninsula, 
and hence the name of Bharat Kund was 
applied to it. At present the whole country, 
from the Cabul frontier to the Birman empire, 
from Thibet to Cape Comorin, is known by 
the general name of India, the word Hindoo- 
stan being generically employed to name the 
same territory, and specifically to distinguish 
the country in Northern and North-western 
India, of which Delhi is the capital. 

Before describing the physiognomy of the 
country, it is necessary to notice its chief 
political divisions, as reference must be made 
to them in the descriptions necessary to pre- 
sent the general features of the country. 

The territorial arrangements for purposes 
of government comprise three great provinces, 
each having certain dependencies, which are 
partly distinct — such as Scinde, the Punjaub, 
Oude, &c. Bengal, Bomba}^, and Madras, 
are the names of these pro\dnces. The first- 
named is very large, and is upon the east of 
British India. It is bounded on the north 
by Nepaul and Bhootan ; to the south by the 
Bay of Bengal; on the east by Assam and 
Birmah ; on the west by Bahar. To this pro- 
vince, for military and civil purposes, the Pun- 
jaub is attached as a sub-government. The 
alluvial plains of the Ganges and the Brahma- 
pootra are included in the Bengal presidency. 
Bombay occupies the west coast from the 
Gulf of Cambay, near to Goa. The capital 
of this presidency is situated on the island of 
Bombay, which is about ten miles long, and 
three broad, and is connected with the island 
of Salset by a causeway. It is separated by 
a narrow channel from the mainland. Ma- 
dras extends along the east coast to the 
borders of Bengal. The southern point of 
the peninsula is comprised in its coast range, 
and also a portion of the most southern part 
of the west coast. To these three presi- 
dencies all the sejiarate governments and 
provinces of India are attached, by arrange- 
ments peculiar to each, according as the cir- 
cumstances varied by which the territory was 
acquired. 

The peculiar geographical features of India 
are striking and interesting. Its great extent 
of coast marks it in a very peculiar manner, 
and affords to a maritime people like the 
British facilities for maintaining their sujU'e- 
macy, and for readily turning the resources 
of the country to account. 

The mountains of the peninsula are nume- 
rous, and afford extraordinary scope for in- 
vestigation in various branches of natural 
acience. The Himalayan range forms the 



boundary on the north between India and 
Thibet. This is the loftiest and grandest 
range in the world. The highest peaks 
attain a height of 28,300 feet, a ^Joint of 
elevation reached nowhere else by any land. 
The appearance of this range is peculiar, re- 
vealing a succession of peaks, rising pointed 
to the heavens, and crowned with eternal 
snows, huge masses of ice hanging from 
their declivities — 

"Torrents, nietlunis, that heard a mighty voice, 
And stopped at ouee amidst their maddest plunge." 

Vast bodies of cloud collect upon the sides of 
these high moimtaius in many places, while 
in others they lift their bold brows, un- 
clouded, to the heavens. Every form of 
grandeur is presented amidst the scenes 
created by the sublime and picturesque ar- 
rangement of these mountains. In some 
places they are clotiied with verdure and 
woods far up their steeps— a vast sea of' 
foliage, agitated by the mountain breeze, 
seems to flow along their sides, and to leap the 
precipices. In other regions the bald granite 
glitters in the sunshine, as if an ocean of bur- 
nished gold. Every conceivable shape and 
grouping of form is taken in endless modifi- 
cation, offering to the wearied e3'e a never- 
ceasing and ever-changing variety of outline 
as well as of costume. Within their own con- 
fines the scenery is still more wonderful. 
The adventurous traveller is amazed by the 
extent of tract, variety of mountain arrange- 
ment, and grotesqueness of grouping ; the 
disposition of the valleys ; their richness of 
dress and luxuriance of climate in many 
places ; their murky and unhealthy character 
in others : their tropical fertility beneath a 
burning sun in the lowest ranges ; their 
changing appearance and decreasing tempera- 
ture in the scale of ascent through every 
degree of the temperate zone, imtil the 
regions where Winter assumes his rigid 
sway, and looks with cold and stern eye 
upon the sunny 2:)laius, or comparativelj' 
modest highlands, which stretch far away to 
the waters of the Indian Ocean. The range, 
including the Hindoo Koosh, or Indian Cau- 
casus, stretches away from Affghanistan to 
the western provinces of China. It is nearly 
uniform as to its course, but occasional inter- 
ruptions as to the main direction occur from 
the lateral extension of some of its compo- 
nents. The name Hmialaija is from a native 
designation, which signifies snowy, and indi- 
cates the general impression jDroduCed by its 
appearance upon the native mind. 

The King of Prussia, who is alleged to 
take great interest in India in a religious 
reference, conceived the idea, some few years 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. I. 



ago, proLaLly suggested Ly Hiim]>oklt, of 
sending a scientific mission tlirongh Asia, 
preparatory to operations of a religious nature, 
for the benefit of its vast populations. In 
1854 this mission penetrated through India 
to Upper Asia, under the auspices of the 
East India Company. The proceedings of 
the gentlemen who fulfilled the important task 
were reported to the French Academy of 
Sciences, and were substantially ats follows, 
30 far as the high table -lands and mountain 
ranges of India were concerned, especially 
the Himalaya. The report of these Prussian 
travellers gives generally different elevations 
to those usually received. They represent 
the great central table -land of India as much 
lower than it has been hitherto computed, 
and there are various reasons, based upon 
climate and other phenomena, to believe that 
their representations are correct. The height 
of the most elevated portion of the Himalaya 
range is given on a previous i^age from the 
best modern standards, but, according to the 
pajier sent by these German explorers to the 
Academy of Sciences, that elevation would be 
oOO feet below the real one. The members of 
the mission consisted of three brothers — IMM. 
Herrmann, Adolphus, and Robert Schlagent- 
weit, two of Avhom, MINI. Herrmann and 
Robert, returned in June last ; the third, M. 
Adolphus, is still among the Himalayan 
iMountains, and is expected soon to return, 
vid the Punjaub and Bombay'. During the 
winters of lSo4:-55 these enterprising tra- 
vellers visited the region lying between 
Bombay and jVIadras ; in the following sum- 
mer IM. Herrmann explored the eastern parts 
of the Himalaya, the Sikkim, Bhootan, and 
Kossin Mountains, where he measured the 
altitude of several peaks. The highest of all 
the summits knoA\n throughout the world 
ajipears, by his measurements, to be the 
( iahoorishanka, situated in the eastern portion 
of Nepaul — the same announced as such by 
Colonel Waugh, but called by him Mount 
Everest, because he had been unable to ascer- 
tain its real name in the plains of Hindoostan, 
where he effected his measurement. This 
peak is somewhat more than 29,000 English 
feet in height, and bears another name in 
Thibet, where it is called Chingoparnari. 
The other two brothers, MM. Adolphus and 
Robert, penetrated by different roads into 
the central parts of the Himalaya, Kumaon, 
and Gurwalil; they then visited Thibet in 
disguise, entered the great commercial station 
of Gartok, explored the environs of Lake 
Mansarowe, and that remarkable crest which 
separates the waters of the Indus from those 
of the Debong, often erroneously called the 
Burrampooter. Thev ascended the Ibi-Gam- 



nine, 22,2G0 feet in height, that being an 
altitude never before attained in any part of 
the world. After having been separated 
from each other for a space of fourteen 
months, during which M. Robert ascertained 
that the table -land of Amarkantak, in Cen- 
tral India, which is generally stated to be 
8000 feet above the level of the sea, is not 
more than 3300 feet in height, the three 
brothers again met at Simla, previous to 
commencing the operations intended for the 
summer of ISoG. M. Adolphus, on leaving 
that place, crossed the Himalaya, went over 
Thibet, Baltistan, and visited the interesting 
spot where several mountain crests meet, and 
the Hindoo Koosh joins the range lying to 
the north of India. He then returned to the 
Punjaub, through the valley of Cashmere. 
MM. Herrmann and Robert proceeded to 
Ladak by different routes. Under good dis- 
guises they were enabled to penetrate into 
Turkistan, by crossing the Karakoroom and 
the Kuenluen IMountains, and descending 
into the great valley of Yarkand, a region 
never visited before, not even by Marco Polo. 
It is a vast depression of between three or 
four thousand feet, separating the Kuenluen, 
on the northern frontier of India, from the 
Syan Chane, or mountains of Central Asia, 
on the southern of Russia. They then re- 
turned to Ladak, and entered the Punjaub by 
different routes through Cashmere. After a 
two years' negotiation, M. Herrmann was, at 
the commencement of 1857, admitted into 
Nepaul, where he determined the altitudes 
of the Machipoora and Mount Yasso, which 
have hitherto been vaguely called the Dlia- 
walagery, whicli means " snowy crests," and 
is applicable to all snow-capped mountains. 
M. Robert jn'oceeded to Bombay thruugli 
Scinde, Kutsch, and Gujerat, where he sur- 
veyed the chain called the Salt Range, and 
determined the changes effected during cen- 
turies in the course of several rivers. Before 
returning to Europe, he stayed three months 
in Ceylon. M. Adolphus visited various parts 
of the Punjaub and Cabul previous to return- 
ing to the LLimalaya. The chief results ob- 
tained from this careful exploration of Asia are 
the following : — The Himalaya jMountains 
evervwhere exercise a decided influence over 
all the elements of the magnetic force ; the 
declination everywhere presents a slight de- 
viation, causing the needle to converge to- 
wards the central parts of that enormous 
mass, and the magnetic intensity is greater 
than it would be elsewhere in an equal lati- 
tude. In the south of India the increase of the 
magnetic intensity from south to north is ex- 
tremely rapid. The lines of equal magnetic 
intensity have a remarkable form, similar and 



Chap. I.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



perhaps parallel to those of certain groups of 
isothermal lines. The three travellers have 
collected all the materials necessary to ascer- 
tain this important fact. Irregular local 
variations in terrestrial magnetism are rare 
in those regions. In the Deccan and Behar 
the rocks are magnetic. On the Himalaya, 
at altitudes of 17,000, and even 20,000 feet, 
the daily maximum and minimum variations 
of the barometer occurred nearly about the 
same hour as in the plains beluw. Again, at 
the above altitudes the inversion of the curves 
of daily variation, which is met with on the 
Alps, does not take place. At the altitude of 
17,000 feet the diminution of transparency 
produced by a stratum of air of the thickness 
of 3000 feet is no longer distinguished by the 
eye. During the dust storms which fre- 
quently occur in India the disk of the sun is 
seen of a blue colour ; if small bodies are 
made to project their shadows on a white 
surface, under such circumstances the shadow 
is of an orange colour, that is, complementary to 
blue. The expression, in the paper read before 
the Academy of Sciences, as given by Galig- 
nani, that the brothers Schlagentwcit were the 
first to penetrate the Yarkand, is not correct. 
jNI. Hue, in his Avork entitled Chrisfianitj/ in 
China, relates that, a.d. 1G03, Benedict Goes, 
a Iioman missionary, determined to solve the 
then mooted question whether Cathay and 
China were the same coimtry, and the capital 
of Mongul Tartary, the Khanbalik, i<lentical 
with Pekin. After unheard of eftbrts he at 
last reached Yarkand, his journey from 
Lahore having consumed ten months of con- 
tinuous toil. 

The intercourse with Thibet is maintained 
by passes of very high altitude, wliich are 
also difticult, intricate, and dangerous. The 
Tungrung Pass is at an altitude of 13,730 
feet ; the Booreudo, 15,100 ; the Nitti, nearly 
17,000 ; the Churung, 17,350 feet ; the 
^lancrung, 18,G00 ; while the Pass of Nako, 
near the source of the Sutlej, the highest in 
the world, attains the level of nearly 19,000 
feet. The greatest height ever reached in 
the Himalayas previous to that ascended by 
the gentlemen of the Prussian mission Avas 
10, 111 feet, attained by Captain Gerard, 
October 18th, 1818, on the Tarhigang, near 
the Sutlej, north of Shepke. These terrible 
passes, notwithstanding all their dangers from 
land-slips, precipitated masses of ice and 
snow, precipices, and the extreme cold, by 
which persons are sometimes frozen to death 
at mid-day, are the only media of communi- 
cation between India and 'J'hibet. and are 
used far more extensively for commercial 
purposes by Eastern merchants than would in 
Europe be supposed likely or even possible. 



The natural curiosities of these regions are 
various, and to the traveller and man of 
science interesting. Mineral waters arc 
found at very great elevations, and in regions 
of perpetual t^now. Near the source of the 
Jumna are the springs of Jumnotree ; these 
have a temperature of more than 190'^ and 
issue from snow caverns I The point of ele- 
vation is more than 10,000 feet. Rice has 
been boiled in the Avater of another spring 
on the same level as it gushed h\>u\ its source. 
In many places petrifactions of rare beauty 
may be seen in every stage of formation, as 
the deposits previously held in solution by 
the Avaters dripping from the rocks, are laid 
upon the A'Cgctablc productions Avhich sprout 
from the ledges beneath. Vegetation has 
been found at the following heights : — 

Feet. 

Ilorsc-elicstiiut 10,363 

Maple 10/J06 

Klmbarb and black curnuit ] 1,000 

Polyaiilluis 11,360 

Gooscbci-ries 11,418 

Fields of I've and biiH'k wbeat 11,7S2 

Holly . .* 12,000 

Strawberries 12,642 

Euttercups and dandelions 18,000 

Spikenard 13,100 

Goa, a species ol' bajlev 13,622 

Rye ■ 13,700 

Apriculs and beans 14,000 

Birch 14,600 

Firs and ureensward 14,700 

Earley ." 14,710 

Campannla, in seed 10,800 

Small bushes 10,945 

The other mountain ranges of India are 
A'ery inferior in altitude to the Himalayas, 
and are generally called by the natives 
gliauts. The AA^ord fjliant means a pass; and 
by being applied to the A^ery elcAated pas- 
sages of the Himalayas, became gradually 
also to be given to any highlands not alto- 
gether impassable. 

In reference to oleA-ation, the AAdiole penin- 
sula might be described as a table -land, broken 
by lines of vast highlands, and divided by 
them into river valleys of great richness and 
extent. 

Parallel to the eastern and Avestern coasts 
run two ranges, named, resiiectively, the 
Eastern and Western Ghauts. Neither of these 
approaches the coast, both being separated 
from the sea by low-lying skirts of country 
of considerable extent. The Western Ghauts 
are considerably higher than those which 
face the eastern coast, sometimes rising to a 
point GOOO feet above the level of the sea. 

The high table -land thus hounded Avas ori- 
ginally called the Deccan, to distinguish it 
from Northern India, the Avord being of 
Sanscrit parentage, signifying south. Thia 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. I. 



extensive plateau rises gradually from north 
to south, ending in a range stretching across 
the country, and called sometimes the Soxith- 
crn Ghauts, but better knoA\ni as the Nil- 
gherry. At the northern extremity of this 
plateau there ai'e two ranges, known as the 
Aravalli and the Vindaya, both going under 
the general name of the Northern Ghauts. 

Thus the mountain panorama of India is 
composed of six ranges : the Himalaya being 
the northern boundary of the peninsula ; the 
Western Ghauts, ranging southward from 
the river Nerbuddah and the Gulf of Cam- 
bay, terminating in Cape Comorin, the ex- 
treme southern point of the peninsula. From 
nearly this point the Eastern Ghauts tend 
northward, preserving a tolerably equal dis- 
tance from the sea. The Vindaya range is 
next to the Himalaya, coming southward, 
and running from east to west ; they cross 
the country from the Ganges to the Gulf of 
Cutch, sending out a spur far into the great 
desert towards Ajmeer. From the southern- 
most range (the Nilgherry) the land gra- 
dually, but not unbroken, descends to the 
sea. The other range, already named, bears 
various other designations, and is less im- 
portant. 

Various portions of these ranges, separated 
by conformation, and broken by immense 
ravines, receive especial designations ; and 
the whole plateau of the Deccan is called by 
the natives Bala Ghaut, or the country above 
the ghauts (or passes). 

These mountain ranges naturally divide 
India. The Viudayas, passing from east to 
west between the twenty-third and twenty- 
fifth parallels of north latitude, form the 
grand basis of the orographical divisions of 
India into districts. North of the Vindayas, 
towards the Himalayas, are situated the 
deltas of the Ganges and the Indus, and 
what is called Central India. South of the 
Vindayas is the Deccan, as already described. 
Those portions of the Deccan south of the 
river Kistna is especially styled Southern 
India. 

Tlie various mountain chains, and features 
of highland, form an infinite number of natu- 
ral territorial divisions, which are so differ- 
ently^ named, as to make it often difficult to 
identify tliem when noticed by different 
writers. The way in which the chains of 
hill separate the river courses conduces to 
great variety of climate, notwithstanding the 
low latitudes of the whole country ; and while 
a peculiar uniformity and regularity is pre- 
served in the way in which the series of 
natural boundaries and divisions of territory 
are created, yet there is great diversity of 
outline and variety of scenery. Thus' the 



courses of the rivers Nerbiiddah and Tapty 
are divided by the chain often called the 
Sautpoora ; and the courses of the Ta])tv 
and Godaveiy are divided by what is some- 
times styled the SechachuU Mountains ; but 
notwithstanding this regularity of division, 
and the general uniformity of climate, the 
aspects of the country are diverse exceed- 
ingly, and whatever variety river or moun- 
tain scenery can afford may in these districts 
be found. 

In the north of India a vast lowland tract 
extends in a curve from the mouths of the 
Ganges to those of the Indus. This curve 
converges to the west of Delhi, 

Southward of the Nilgherries the country 
to the sea is diversified ; a low valley runs 
from the Pass of Coimbatore, as its narrowest 
width is called, across the whole country. 
The land thence rises and falls, not in a grace- 
ful or undulated manner, but by scattered 
hillocks and abrupt depressions, until it touches 
the eastern and western highlands that ap- 
proach nearest the sea. 

These mountain lands contain many lovely 
and sanitary situations, where the most taste- 
ful connoisseurs in landscape beauty might 
find delight, where the climate affords cool 
and refreshing breezes, and is not only com- 
paratively safe, but healthy and bracing. 
That portion of the Western Ghauts opposite 
to Bombay, called the Mahabalipoora ]\Ioun- 
tains, rising to the height of 5060 feet, fur- 
nishes an excellent site for the sanitorium of' 
the presidency, at a spot called Mahabelesk- 
war. On the Nilgherry Mountains have 
been placed the sanitary stations of Ootaca- 
mund and Dimhutti. These stations are 
well known for the salutary effects upon 
those who are exhausted by the burning 
climate of the lower lands. All the other 
mountain districts afford situations adapted to 
those who have siaftered from the heat of the 
plains, and every climate knoAvn in the world 
may be found from the base of Cape Comorin 
to the peak of the Himalayas. 

The rivers of India are truly magnificent, 
and in such a . climate are naturally prized 
for their cooling and fertilising joower. Su- 
perstition has taken advantage of this appre- 
ciation, and converted them into deities. The 
Ganges, especially, is an object of worshij). 

The three principal rivers are the Ganges,, 
the Brahmapootra, and the Indus. These all 
originate in the snow-clad bosom of the 
Himalaya. The former two descend from 
different slopes, and pi;rsue separate courses 
through a vast and varied extent of country, 
until meeting near their embouchure in the 
Bay of Bengal. Indeed, they can hardly be 
said to flow together, for soon after their 



Chap. I.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



junction they diA-ide into many currents, 
forming what is called tlie delta of the 
Ganges. The Ganges has two sources, both 
bursting forth from the glaciers of the Hima- 
laya in swelling torrents : one from the vici- 
nit}' of a temple built high up in a region 
which might have been supposed inaccessible. 
This Temple of Gungootrea is situated more 
than 13,000 feet above the level of the ocean. 
The Ganges, thus formed, rushes from the 
mountains near Hurdwar, running through 
the great plain of Bengal, south-east. In its 
course it receives many tributaries, several of 
these larger than' the Thames, or even the 
Shannon. The Jumna flows into it at Allah- 
abad, and there, 800 miles from the sea, it is 
a mile in width. The delta commences 220 
miles from the sea. The river there throws off 
several branches to the west ; these, mingling, 
form the arm called the Hoogly, which passes 
Calcutta, and which is the channel generally 
navigated. The main stream is joined by 
the Brahmapootra. The coast of the delta 
stretches 220 miles. The islands formed by 
the courses which struggle through the low 
marshy land are called the sunderbunds, or 
woods, because of the jungle by which they 
are covered. The waters which embrace 
these islands nurture crocodiles, and other 
dangeroiis amphibious creatures. The rhino- 
ceros is to be seen in the marshes, and the 
far-famed species of tiger known as Bengal 
finds many a prowling place within this wild 
district. 

The Brahmapootra runs a shorter course 
than the Ganges, but rolls in a mightier flood. 
Its sources are also in the Himalaya, and it 
is fed by rivers which chiefly flow from the 
Birman empire. The width, before its junc- 
tion with the Ganges, is between four and 
five miles. 

The Ganges and Brahmapootra, impelled 
by the vast bodies of melting snow descend- 
ing from the mountains, rise, and inundate 
immense districts of countrj^ In the four 
rainy months, according to the estimate of 
the Hev. Mr. Everet, the discharge of water 
per second is 494,298 cubic feet. During 
the fine winter months the discharge is 
71,200 feet per second, and in the three hot 
months it sinks to 36,330 in that space of 
time. 

The Indus falls from the northern slopes of 
the Himalaya, but finds a passage throiigh 
the mountains to the south, and rolls its flood 
onward to the Arabian Sea. It rises near to 
the Lake Manassarora, which is sacred in the 
Hindoo mythology ; the name signifies " the 
mental or spiritual lake." The Sutlej is an 
ofishoot from it. The principal confluent is 
the Chenab, which itself unites in its course 



the other four rivers of the Punjaub.* These 
are the Sutlej, the Beeas, the Ravee, and the 
Jhelum.-j- The delta of the Indus presents 
to the coast an area of 120 miles. The river 
is irregular in that part of its course, and 
deficient in depth, offering various difficulties 
to its navigation. 

The waters of these rivers are much dis- 
coloured. Having their sources in elevated 
springs, much earthy matter is borne down 
to the plains. These plains are alluvial ; 
and the rivers passing through no depres- 
sions in which lakes might be formed, and 
their alluvial freight deposited, they are 
necessarily much loaded with soil and minute 
fragments of rock. The Ganges is probably 
most tainted in this way, giving colour to 
the sea six miles from the coast. The Rev. 
Mr. Everet represents that river as discharg- 
ing nearly six millions and a half cubic feet 
of earthy matter during the year, a quantity 
almost too enormous to suppose possible. 
That gentleman's statements have, however, 
been corroborated. The members of the 
Prussian scientific mission, already referred 
to, tested the clearness of these rivers by let- 
ting down a stone into them, which generally 
became invisible at a depth of from twelve to 
fifteen centimetres (five to six inches), show- 
ing that they are overcharged vriih earthy 
particles ; for in the sea, near Corfu, a sto-ne 
is visible to the depth of fifty feet, and in the 
seas under the tropics it remains visible at a 
depth of thirty feet. 

There are other rivers of great importance. 
Some of these traverse the eastern part of 
India, and are emptied into the Bay of Bengal. 
The Mahamuddy falls into the bay near 
Cuttack. Further south, the Godavery flows 
into the sea near the mouth of the Kistna, 
after receiving as affluents the Manjeera, the 
Wurda, and the Baumgunga. The Godavery 
springs from the Western Ghauts. Still 
further sotxth, the Kistna has its birth, in 
the same range. Confluences are formed 
Avith it by the Beema and Toombudra : its 
disemboguement is at iMasulipatam. The 
Pennar flows into the waters which wash the 
eastern coast, above the city of Madras. The 
most southern of the rivers which stream 
eastward is the Cavery, which, rising in 
the same ghauts, passes Tanjore, and empties 
itself by several mouths from the coast oppo- 

* In tbe neigliboiu-hood of Attock, in the Punjaub, 
Alexander the Great is supposed to have crossed the 
Indus in his invasion of India. Tamerlane and Nadir 
Shah are reported to have crossed in the same place or its 

viciuitv. 

t The Sutlej is the Zarodras of Ptolemy ; the Beeas is the 
Hyphasis of Arrian ; the Ilavee was designated by Arrian 
the Hydrastes. The Chenab received in classic descrip- 
tion the name of Acesiues, and the Jhelum, Hydaspes, 



8 



mSTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[CUAP. I. 



site the island of Ceylon. On the western 
side of the peninsula there is the Ban, which 
flows south of the Indus into the inlet of 
Rin, an extensive salt lake. The Bunvas 
empties itself into tlie Gulf of Cutch. TJie 
Mhye is discharged into the Gnl? of Cambay. 
Laro-er than any of these are the NerLuddah 
and the Tapty. The Tapty joins the ocean 
near Surat. The Nerbuddah is the largest 
river which disembogues itself into the waters 
on the Avestern coast, except the Indus, and 
is GOO miles long — a third of the lengtli of. 
its great competitor; it enters the sea at 
Baroche. 

The general features of the peninsula may 
be inferred from a description so extended of 
its mountains and rivers. For the most part 
the soil is alhivial, and rendered fertile by the 
overflowing of the great rivers. Along the 
course of the inferior rivers there is great 
richness, and cultivated country appears in 
every direction. In some j^laces there are 
large tracts of jungle, especially near tlie 
liilly country of the Punjaub. The Run of 
Cutch, north of the gulf of that name, is low 
and flat, and extends east of the Indus, so as 
to form a district ])robably one -fourth tlie 
size of Scotland. It nourishes only a few 
tamarisks, and is for the greater part of the 
year dry or fruitless. During tlie monsoon 
the sea is di-iven over it ; and when the 
«-aters evaporate, a strong saline deposit is 
left — hence it is often called the Salt Desert. 
This remarkable district was formed by a 
sudden operation of nature. In June, ISl!), 
the land sank down, and became a salt-water 
marsh, and a large mound, called the Ufla 
Bund, arose, and cut off one of the mouths 
of the Indus from the sea. Tliere is 
evidence that this district has, during the 
probable liistoric period, been subjected to a 
series of alternate depressions and ujjheavings : 
a large space east of tlie Indus, which is now 
dry laud, Avas, in the tune of Alexander, 
covered by the waves. Indian traditions 
testify that over all that district, and a con- 
siderable distance inland, the sea swept. 
There arc, near tlie Run of Cutch, two other 
salt lakes, or marshes, called Null and Boke, 
which appear to have been formed by sudden 
convulsion. India is remarkable for the 
fewness of its lakes of any kind ; the only 
other considerable lake is in the centre of tlie 
Deccan. It is about 350 feet below the level of 
the surrounding country. The water it contains 
is nearly saturated with sub-carbonate of 
soda. Lava abounds in the neighbourhood, 
and other proofs exist that the dej»ression is 
of vulcanic origin. About one-eighth of the 
whole peninsula is a desert, covering 150,000 
6rp;are miles. It is not, however, entirely 



unproductive. Numerous oases arc to be 
found, often of considerable extent, and of 
various degrees of cultivation. After the 
rains fall, jungle and coarse grass spring 
up in most parts of this otherwise sandy 
waste. The hot season soon reduces this 
fitful verdure, parching up all vegetable 
beauty, and nearl}- all vegetable life, through- 
out the great wilderness. The plain of the 
Ganges has more unifurmity than that of the 
Indus. The former is low, rich, and teeming 
with vegetable and animal life — the richest 
part of India. Tlie plain of the Indus is varied 
very much, some })ortions consisting of hard 
dry clay, some of barren rock, while others 
almost rival in fertility the Gangetic yalle3^ 
In the Punjaub, where the country is in some 
places very productive, there are stony wastes, 
and rough uneven tracts, which are covered 
with low brushwood. Beyond the Punjaub, 
nearly environed by the western portion of 
the Himalayas, the beautii'ul valley of Cash- 
mere rivals the fairest realms in the ■\\"orld, 
and almost justifies all that fable has rehited, 
or poets sung, of its productiveness and 
beauty. 

Along the banks of the CliumbiU, Bunas, 
Betwah, and Keane, tributaries of the 
Jumna, there are picturesque spots ; and on 
the south side of the Ganges, near the junc- 
tion of the Sive, there are specimens of low 
river landscape very attractive of their kind. 
The coast views of the peninsula are not 
attractive. On neither the east nor west 
ranges of shore are there many striking 
views; the ghauts are sometimes near enough 
to be picturesque, but there are few bold head- 
lands or jutting points to mark the coast-line on 
either side of Cape Comorin. On the west, com- 
monly called the coast of Malabar, there are 
Maundvee Point, Diu Head, Salsed Point, 
and IMount Delly. On the east, usuall}' named, 
the coast of Coromandcl, there are Ramen 
Point, Calymere Point, and Point Palmyras. 
The Malabar territory does not extend along 
the entire western coast, although the name 
is given to the whole sea-board, leading the 
general reader frequently into this error. 
Short distances from that coast the country 
assumes a varied character. At first it is a low 
sandy plain, which extends for miles : then oc- 
casional hillocks rise abruptly ; these increase 
in number until the country becomes roughh^ 
undulated, the hillocks taking a ruder and 
bolder form, and, covered with dense jungle, 
at last connect themselves with the sjujrs of 
the Western Ghauts, which are clothed with 
the grandeur of native forests of teak and 
satin-wood. 

The ghaut scenery along the Coroniandel 
coast is not dissimilar in character to that of 



Chap. I.] 



IX INDIA AND THE EAST. 



MalabiTi', but generally tlie line is low and 
swampy, and the extensive space comprised 
in the delta of the Ganges is as dreary as the 
Sahara of Scinde. 

The newly -acf[uired countries of Tenes- 
serim and Pegu, on the eastern shores of the 
Bay of Bengal, formerly portions of the 
Birman empire, do not possess much variety of 
general aspect. Near the coast they are low, 
level, and tedious to the eye, except in some 
particular spots ; and the rivers flow through 
flats of sandy or alluvial country. In the 
interior the land rises, and good hill prospects 
are ^jresented. 

On the whole, although India possesses 
some of the most glorious scenery in the 
world, it is very much indebted to the bold 
mountain confines upon the north and north- 
west, and the hill countries of the provinces 
in that direction, for its distinction in this 
particular. This is especially exenij:tlified 
alona,- the frontiers of Beloochistan and Aff- 
ghanistan, where the traveller finds almost 
every form of bold and wild prospect inter- 
spersed with cultivated and beautiful scenes. 
In the province of Peshawur — the Punjaub 
boundary of Affghanistan — the little retired 
valleys in the mountains are often very 
lovely ; and as the province is watered by 
numerous streams, and by the Cabul River, 
which bursts from the Khyber ^Mountains at 
Michnee, there is irrigation and extensive 
culture in the }ilaius, from the I'ertility of 
which the traveller cannot but regard with 
interest the bold and grotesque outlines of 
the mountains. Indeed, nearly all the land 
boundaries of India are interesting to the 
lover of the picturesque ; while in the Dec- 
can, and in Central India, there are many 
places to vie in beauty with tlie famous 
resorts of travellers in Europe. 

Of late years much attention has been 
paid to a more scientific acquaintance with 
India, its dependent territories, and its coasts. 
Nor are the laudable desires of the govern- 
ment to make itself accpiainted with the area, 
soil, and facilities of the peninsula merely of 
recent origin : the jNIarquis of Wellesle}', 
and the Duke of ^^'ellington, displayed a 
strong desire for a tliorough survey of the 
peninsula. This great work, which has pro- 
ceeded for more than half a century, not- 
withstanding all the vicissitudes of Indian 
history during that period, is an honour to 
the East India Company. Under the aus- 
pices of Lord Metcalfe, Sir A. Burns, with 
a suitable staff, while ostensibly on a mission 
to Runjeet Singh, effected a survey of the 
Indus, and drew up a report of its navigable 
capacities. 

Dr. Buist, and other scientific gentlemen, 

VOL. I. 



have enlarged the public knowledge of the 
geology of the peninsula. The transactions 
of the Bombay Geograjjliical Society, and of 
the Agricultural and Horticultural Society of 
India, have brought to light a multitude 
of facts important to the government and to 
conmierce, as well as most interesting to the 
scientific world. The talented editor of the 
Bombai/ Times has contributed very valuable 
acquisitions on the meteorological j^lienomcna 
of India, the result of many years' observa- 
tion. The editor, also, of the 2?o?»7vay Gazette 
has, by his papers on economical science, 
benefited commerce. The survey of the 
Malabar coast, by Lieutenant Selby, has 
proved of utility in many respects not con- 
templated in the objects lield in view in 
directing the survey. 

For governmental, military, and commer- 
cial purposes India has been much investi- 
gated of late years ; while geologists, agri- 
culturists, horticulturists, botanists, zoologists, 
entymologists, cfec, have taken their share in 
the work of inquiry. Nor has the population 
been left unstudied; the missionary, ethno- 
logist, philologist, and politician, have pursued 
with zeal the courses of research and st\idy 
opened up to them. Still India must be 
much more explored for all these purposes, 
and by the light of all these sciences, before 
Great Britain can realise the full value of her 
Indian empire, or be thoroughly acquainted 
■\^•itll its resources and its people. 

The geological chai'acteristics of the coun- 
try, although tolerably well known, require 
considerable investigation. The mineral pro- 
ductions are varied, and found over a vast 
area. There are extensive beds of coal, both 
bituminous and anthracite. In the Punjaub 
large de]>osits of rock-salt, a very valuable 
commodity in India, luive been discovered. 
Iron is much diffused. In the beds of the 
rivers precious stones of almost every variety 
are found, and diamonds in alluvial soil. 
One of the most useful products connected 
with the geology of India is Jcanlcen. This 
seems to have been extensively spread through 
India by the beneficent hand of the Great 
Architect of the universe, to compensate for 
the general deficiency in limestone fit for the 
kiln. The kunken contains upwards of 
seventy-two parts of carbonate of lime in its 
composition. It is usually mixed with the 
soil with little appearance of stratification. 
Except in the higher portions of the Nil- 
gherry Hills, it is to be met with everywhere 
throughout India. The natives burn it into 
lime, and also use it in blocks or masses for 
building tanks, huts, &c. Statuary marble, 
clay slate, and roofing blue slate, are seldom 
met with. Geologists describe the strata of the 



10 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[CiiAr. I. 



peninsTila as affording peculiar ]iIienomena. 
The superior strata of southern India are for 
the most part hypogene schists, broken up by 
vast uiiheavings of jjhitonic and trappean 
rocks. In the Eastern Ghauts they are 
capped by sandstone, limestone, and laterite ; 
in the Western Ghauts by laterite. They 
also form, -with little deviation, the basis of 
the plains from Naggcry to Cape Comorin. 
They are associated with granite in the hills 
which break over the valley of the Cavery, 
and north of the plain of the Cavery, in the 
table -lands of Mysore, Bcllary, Hyderabad, 
and Southern Mahratta. Towards the north- 
west, from Nagpore to Rajapore, to the 
western coast, the hypogene and plutonic 
rocks cease under a vast sheet of trap, one of 
the largest extensions of that formation in the 
world. Gneiss is found lowest in the series ; 
next to it mica and hornblende schist, actino- 
lite. chlorite, talcose, and argillaceous schist. 
This succession does not always prevail, as 
all of these have been foimd lying upon the 
granite. 

The fossiliferous remains of India are com- 
paratively scarce, and have not yet been suf- 
ficiently investigated, nor have the results of 
the investigations and classifications made, 
been given in a sufficiently popular form to 
the public. In the country between the 
Kistna and the Godavery, and in the South 
Mahratta country, sandstone and limestone 
rock ajjpear. North of the Salem break, on 
the high table -land, they are found to a con- 
siderable extent, and in these the fossil remains 
are interesting. 

Shelly limestone beds of some extent are 
found at Pondicherry. In these there are 
beautiful fossil remains, which have afforded 
considerable discussion to the learned in this 
branch of science. 

The laterite is a formation which, if not 
peculiar to India, presents itself there to such 
an extent as to attract especial attention. 
According to Dr. Buist, in his papers on the 
geological characteristics of Bombay, this 
rock extends along the whole Avestern coast 
from the sea to the base of the ghauts, from 
Cape Comorin to the north. It is not so 
continuous on the eastern coast, but is there 
also to be met with to a great extent ; and on 
the summits of both ranges of ghauts it is 
discoverable. Everywhere in the Deccan it 
appears. Sandstone of the late tertiary is 
found on the south coast, extending to Ceylon 
by "Adam's Bridge," which is composed 
of it, 

A sedimentary rock called hegur, or Uach 
cotton day, is supposed to cover nearly onc- 
half of Southern India. It is peculiarly 
absorbent, and makes the most fertile soil in 



the M'orld. It is spread over the great table- 
land of the Deccan, and is the source of its 
2n"oductiveness. No manure or fertiliser is re- 
quired where it is, and no efforts of cultivation 
exhaiist it. The late editor of the Ceylon 
Examiner observes of the granite and its 
congeneric rocks — " They are abundantly 
developed throughout the hypogene area. 
The former shows itself iinder every variety 
of aspect. It starts up from the surface of 
the table -land in bold and sharply hewn 
peaks, or rises in dome -shaped bosses, or 
appears in jirofuse but distinct clusters and 
ranges, which affect no general line of eleva- 
tion, but often radiate irregularly as from a 
centre. Some of the insulated peaks are ex- 
ceedingly striking in outline and structure. 
The rock of Nundilrug, for instance, which 
rises 17,000 feet above the surface of the 
plain, looks almost as if it were formed of 
one entire mass of rock, and the rock of 
Sivagunga is still higher. The most remark- 
able of the insulated clusters and masses of 
granite on the table -land of the peninsula are 
those of Sivagunga, Severndroog, and Octra- 
droog ; some in Mysore, Gooty, Reidrooj, 
Adoni ; and others in the central districts. 
But there are nnmeroiis masses almost equally 
remarkable scattered over all the southern 
part of the peninsula table-land, as well as in 
the maritime district of Ooromandel. The 
greater part of the central table-land is also 
formed by it, and it crojos out continually 
over an extended area in the more elevated 
districts." 

In the reports of the meetings of the Bengal 
Asiatic Society there is voh;minous informa- 
tion as to the volcanoes of India. Sir Charles 
Lyell and Mrs. Somerville had not examined 
these papers, or far more information would 
have been obtained by them on this interest- 
ing subject. In the Transactions of the 
Bomljay Geograpliical Society the volcanic 
phenomena of the peninsula have been fre- 
quently made topics of inquiry and elucida- 
tion. The press of India has also rendered 
good service on the subject, so that much 
has become known of late years as to the 
history of earthquakes and volcanoes in those 
lands. Papers on the connection between 
earthquakes, volcanoes, and meteorological 
phenomena, published in the reports of the 
Bombay Society, throw a light on the past 
and present condition of India and the adja- 
cent islands, as to their geological history 
and climate, which will repay the researches 
of all who desire to study these important 
and interesting regions. Mrs. Somerville, 
Arating of the volcanoes in the Bay of Bengal, 
observes — " One of the most active groups 
of volcanoes in the world begins with the 



CUAP. I.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



11 



Banda group of islands, and extends through 
the Sunda group of Timor, Sumbawa, Bali, 
Java, and Sumatra, separated only by narrow 
channels, and altogether forming a gently 
curved line of 2000 miles long ; but as the 
volcanic zone is continued through Barren 
Island and Narcandam, in the Bay of Bengal, 
and northward along the whole coast of Arra- 
can, the whole length of the volcanic range is 
a great deal more." The band extends beyond 
Arracan, northward, to Chittagong, latitude 
22^, or 600 miles beyond Barren Island. 
The volcanic fires are active chiefly during 
the south-west monsoon. About the middle 
of the last century, which has been said 
to be the great epoch of earthquakes all 
over the world, volcanic islands were cast up 
in the Bay of Bengal; and rocks and shoals, 
which disappeared again, remained there so 
long, that they were entered on the charts. 
At Calcutta an earthquake took place in the 
year 1737, by which 20,000 vessels of various 
descriptions were sunk, and 30,000 lives lost. 
Violent eruptions of this or greater magnitude 
seem to have been of frequent occurrence 
in India and the neighbouring countries. Dr. 
Thompson, in a paper on the geology of 
Bombay, published in the Madras Literary 
Transactions, relates — " The island of Vaypi, 
on the north side of Cochin, rose from out 
the sea in the year 1344 : the date of its 
appearance is determined by its having given 
rise to a new era among the Hindoos, called 
Pxuluvepa, or the new introduction. Con- 
temporary with the appearance of Vaypi, the 
waters which, during the rainy season, were 
discharged from the ghaut, broke through the 
banks of the channel which usually confined 
them, overwhelmed a village, and formed a 
lake and harbour so spacious, that light ships 
could anchor where dry land had previoiisly 
prevailed." 

During the earthquake of 1672 sixty square 
miles of the lowlands along the shores of 
Arracan were laid under water. One of the 
Neug Mountains entirely disappeared; an- 
other remained only with its former peak 
visible. A very high mountain sunk to the 
level of the plain ; several fell, blocking up 
the course of rivers. Between May, 1834, 
and May, 1835, no less than twelve earth- 
quakes occiirred in Assam. Colonel Connoley 
af&i-ms that the region of recent volcanic 
action terminates with the delta of the 
Ganges ; but there are evidences across the 
whole country to show that at periods not 
remote these recrions were shaken bv subter- 
ranean concussions. Dr. Falconer affirms of 
Cashmere that a singiilar field of fire exists 
there of considerable dimensions ; the soil is 
comjjletely burnt, and in some places vitrified. . 



The igneous action of this locality has con- 
tinued for more than 200 years. Extraordi- 
nary irruptions of pestilential gas have of 
late years risen to the surface of the sea on 
various parts of the coasts. Within two days 
sail of the port of Kurrachee, a group of mud 
volcanoes appears within 100 yards of the 
sea ; these stretch far inland. Captain Ro- 
bertson described the whole district, for an 
area of 1000 square miles, as covered with 
mud cones, either active or quiescent. Brim- 
stone, in large quantities, is found in the 
neighbourhood, and one considerable hill is 
called the Sidjihur Mountain. Captain Vicary, 
in his account of the geology of Scinde, de- 
scribes the course of the Indus as directed 
extensively through country of volcanic origin, 
where hot wells abound, to the surface of which 
sulphuretted hydrogen constantly ascends, 
tainting large districts with its odour. 

The opinion is very prevalent that gi'eat 
and opulent cities have been buried by earth- 
quakes or volcanic eruptions in Central India. 
Sir John IVIalcolm, and the scientific gentle- 
men wdio accompanied him in his expedition 
to Central India, have chiefly given currency 
to these opinions ; but they seem to have 
relied too much on the traditionary tales of 
the natives. Lyell, in his Principles of Geo- 
logy, adopts these representations, and so 
treats the evidence supplied, as to ensure 
the general acceptance of the theory. He 
ascribes the destruction of the two mighty 
cities of Oujein and Mhysir to this cause. 
Subsequent investigations lead to a different 
conclusion ; and although there are signs of 
violent volcanic action in the vicinity, the 
ruined cities, in all probability, sank into 
decay from other causes. It is, however, 
true that Central India, within the period of 
history, has suffered signally from violent 
operations of nature. 

The climate of India is supposed to be well 
known, yet, like everything else connected 
with the peninsula, it has been too little 
studied, and no adequate advantage has been 
taken of the facts ascertained. It is generally 
regarded in England as a country almost 
unendural)ly hot, with situations somewhat 
cooler on the higher lands, but, on the whole, 
an unhealthy and uncomfortable land to live 
in. India, being situated in or near the tro- 
pics, is of course hot. The lowdands of the 
IMadras presidency to the south experience 
the greatest heat, the thermometer standing 
100 degrees in the shade, and 120 in the sun, 
at certain seasons. On the lowlands of the 
north-west, where the soil is generally dry 
and sandy, although situated beyond the tro- 
pics, the" heat is also very great. On the 
hii?h table-land of the Deccan the heat is not 



12 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH E:\IPIRE 



[Chap. I. 



so intense, and in tlie liilly regions water 
freezes in the winter — only a tliin ice, however, 
covers it ; whilst high \\p in the Himalayas, 
everlasting glaciers and never-ceasing accu- 
mnlations ot snow are to be seen. There are 
various parts of Northern and North-western 
India which are well inhaltited, where the 
elevation is considerable, in which, during the 
short winter, the thermometer is below the 
freezing-point. Tlie year, however, is every- 
Avhere divided by the wet and dry seasons. 
During the former, torrents of rain fall over 
the country, laying it under water ; the great 
rivers, swollen into broad floods, overflow the 
country, and all operations, civil or military, 
are nearly suspended. Some seasons are 
remarkable for these inundations, inflicting 
wide -spread damage. During tlie pursuit of 
the Sikh army by Sir Walter Gilbert, at the 
close of the last war in the Punjaub, this was 
the case, the pursuers having been seriousl}' 
checked in their enterprise from this cause. 
Durintr the rainv season the celebrated city 
of Mooltan, which had been so gallantly de- 
fended by Moolraj, and which seemed of such 
stui)endous strength as to defy all the art of 
Avar, was swept away by the inundation, 
which, rushing along the river, rose around it. 
In July and August, 1851, the rains were 
so heavy in Scinde, that a vast amount of 
injury was inflicted upon the cultivators ; and 
the subsequent decomposition of vegetable 
matter spread disease over considerable areas 
of otherwise healthy country. In some of 
the towns lying low, near the Indus, where 
the people were accustomed to dig holes in 
the earth, over which they raised their habi- 
tations, the deluge caused fearful havoc by 
the sickness it bred. In 1852 Mr Frere, the 
commissioner of Scinde, obtained pa))ers from 
the assistant commissioner and collectors of 
the Kurrachee coUectorate, concerning this 
disaster. The districts of Leman were repre- 
sented as almost entirely overwhelmed by 
the torrents from the hills, the overflowing 
of the Indus, and the inter-current Narra. 
The wliole country appeared, long after the 
overflow and when it had in a great measure 
subsided, as a vast lalA;, surrounded by an ex- 
tensive swamp ; the villages and high grounds 
were like so many islands. Between the 18th 
and 20th of July, the fall of rain and the rush- 
ing floods from the high lands were incon- 
ceivably great. By the 28th the pheno- 
menon reached its climax. On that day the 
inhabitants exclaimed, " The clouds of heaven 
were broken, and fell." This torrent from 
above was accompanied by vivid and inces- 
sant flashes of lightning, wliiie thunders roared 
among the adjacent hills, as if the earth were 
in agony, and found utterance for its woes. 



About midnight the hubbub of the elements 
was hushed, but then the torrents burst from 
the mountains, flooding the highest inhabited 
grounds four feet in depth, and carrying, by 
a .j'esistless impetus, habitations, cattle, trees, 
and whatever was in its course, along with it. 
In the Pergunnah Mullar alone, thirty -nine 
villages, with their surrounding cultivation, 
were destroyed : supposing the like propor- 
tion in other districts, a picture of ruin is 
presented truly appalling. The roads Avere 
rendered impassable for camels throughout 
the Avhole collectorate. Kurrachee itself Avas 
damaged, although the river Learee, Avhicli 
runs into its harbour, is but a little mountain 
torrent. Central and LoAver Scinde suffered 
more than otherwise Avonld have been the 
case, from the construction of the houses, and 
the material of Avhicli they Avere built. 

The autumnal moisture of the air is com- 
plained of A-ery much by European inhabi- 
tants of India, even in the higher regions. 
At the latter end of June, although the sun 
is not hotter than in the two previous months, 
there is little motion in the air, and but little 
evaporation from the body. During the hot 
winds which precede the moist season, Euro- 
peans suffer from the heat ; but the air being 
dry, they do not experience the inconve- 
nience Avhich ensiTes Avhen it is saturated Avith 
moisture in the latter end of June and in July. 
Indeed, in many places, that period is more 
trying to health than during or after the rains, 
not\Aithstanding the eva])oration Avhicli arises 
from so great an area of flooded surface. 

At Hyderabad the rainy season is not un- 
healthy. The city is not surrounded by much 
cultiA'ation, nor by any great groAvth of jungle, 
and is itself situated on tlie crest of a lime- 
stone range, so that A\dien the rains fall, they 
are speedily absorbed, the surplus passing 
into the nullah from the Fullallee. Other 
cities are as faA' ourably situated as this, AA'hich, 
for illustration sake, is particularised ; but 
generally the moist, as well as the Avet sea- 
sons, are more unhealthy to E'lropeans than 
the hot season. Of late years pluviometers 
have been very generally kept by the com- 
missioners, collectors, and their assistants, by 
missionaries, merchants, and other Europeans: 
and the laws by which this class of pheno- 
mena are regulated have been obserA'ed, and 
no doubt practical benefit Avill result, not only 
to cultivation, but to the health, at all events, 
of British residents. 

A distinguishing characteristic of the climate 
is the monsoons — winds Avhich blow north- 
east and south-west, each for six months in 
the year, and regularly succeed each other. 
The north-east monsoon begins aboiit the 
close of October, in fitful squalls: these occur 



//", 




Cir.vr. I.] 



IX INDIA AND THE EAST. 



13 



until the end of November, Avlien the mon- 
soon regularly sets in, and continues until 
the beginning of Aiiril. The advent of this 
wind upon the Coromandel coast is accom- 
panied by rain. Soon after the north-east 
monsoon ceases, that from the south-west 
begins. Its advent is attended by rain upon 
the Malabar coast, which prevails some dis- 
tance southward, the clomls breaking upon 
the Western Ghauts. Heavy rains fall with 
the monsoon on the Gangetic valley, sweeping 
with the wind up the Bay of Bengal from the 
Indian Ocean, i;ntil arrested by the moun- 
tains of Tliibct. 

India and the coasts of the peninsula have, 
from time immemorial, been ravaged by storms 
so furious, and of such frequent recurrence, 
as to be characteristic of the climate. In the 
Bay of Bengal and the China Seas north of 
the line, and the seas aroimd the Mauritius, 
and towards the Cape, hurricanes are fre- 
quent, as is well known to the general reader. 
It is remarkable that north of Ceylon, on the 
Malabar coast, or in the Arabian Sea, such 
hurricanes are comparatively seldom felt. Dr. 
Buist, of Bombay, who devoted extraordinary 
attention to this subject, expresses the opinion 
that while in the Bay of Bengal and the other 
seas mentioned as subject to hurricanes, or 
cijdoucs, as this description of atmospheric 
disturbance is scientifically called, they make 
their appearance about once a year : in the 
Arabian Sea they are not felt more than once 
in ten years. This statement hardly agrees 
with a careful observation of the existing lists 
of general atmospheric disturbances of this 
nature, and of those by which the western 
coasts of India have been especially affected, 
throuL>h a verv consideraljle number of vears. 
Lists collected by the industry of Dr. Buist 
himself do not seem to bear out the as- 
sertion. 

From 1830 to ISoi sixty-one hurricanes 
occurred in the Bay of Bengal, and as hir 
eastward as Canton, many of them raging 
over a larger space. The months in which 
they occurred most frequently were October, 
November, and June. In the first-named 
month there were twelve, and in each of the 
others nine. September ranks next in tlic 
scale, there being eight occurrences of the 
kind in that month. April, xVugnst, and 
December, each are numbered five. Four 
are supposed to have taken place in July, 
two in June, and one in March. Janu.ary 
and February were exempt. The greatest 
number of these visitations happening in any 
one year was six, which was only in the year 
1812. Several years were altogether free 
from them, as 1830, 1831, 1838, 1813, 1811. 

The following list of storms occurring on 



the land and seas of the peninsula during a 
century, drawn from the same statistical col- 
lections, will interest the reader, and afford 
material for a judgment as to the climate of 
India in this particiilar : — 

17J^6. — Violent storm at ^Fadrns, by which a Freiicli 

jioct of war was driven out of the loads, and wrcc kcd. 

At I'ondichcrry the tempest was not felt. 
ITTi. Jjiri/ 6. — Coromandel visited by a hurricane. 

Three British ships of war lost, many men perishint;. 
1780. Jiih/. — A typhon in the Chinese Seas, by which 

100,000 persons are supposed to have perished. 

1782. Jpri/.— In the Gulf of Cambay, accompanied by a 
dreadful inundation. 

1783. Noccniber 3-7.^Violent linrricane from .Jclli- 
cherry north to Bombay : great loss of shippini; 
and lives — proving fatal to almost every ship within 
its reach. 

1787- -1/",'/ 19. — III the upper part of the Bay of Bengal, 
inundation at Coringa ; sea rose nearly liftecn feet ; 
20,000 people and 500,000 cattle supposed to have 
perished. 

1789. — In the north-west part of the Bay of Bemral ; 
three enormous waves, following in slow succession, 
deluged Coringa, the third of them sweeping every- 
thing before it. 

1790.— In the China Seas. 

1792. Oc/obcr 20, 27.— Madras. 

1797. Jityie 18-20.— Madras. 

1799. JVoremliei- '3-1 . — Frightful hurricane from Calicut 
north ; her majesty's ship Ui'sohitlon, with about one 
hundred small craft, and 400 lives, lost in Bombay 
Harbour. 

1800. Odobcr 19. — Furious hurricane and earthquake at 
Ougele, and so round by Masulipatam. 

ISOO. Octoher 28. — Hurricane at Coringa and Jlasnli- 

patam. 
1803. Seidemhei- 20-28.— China Seas, 20 N., 117 E. 
1805. Januarij 7. — Trincomalee, Coromandel ooa.5t, and 

so across to Jellicherry, on the Malabar coast. 
1805. March 16. — Calcutta and Lower Bengal. 
1807. June 2-1. — Furious linrricane oil Alangalore. 

1807. Decemher 10.— IMadras. 

1808. December 12. — Madras and southern Coromandel 
coast ; great loss of life and shipping. 

1808. Xovember. — The London, Nelson, Ej-perimenf, 
and Glorij, East Indiamen, parted from the fleet, and 
never more heard of; supposed to have gone down 
in a hurricane, and all hands perished. 

1809. March. — Duchess of Gordon, Cedent ta, Bevgal, 
and Lady Jane Dundas, parted from the fleet in a 
liurricane, and supposed to have foundered ; all hands 
perished. 

1809. 3Iarch 28-30.— China Seas. 

1810. Septemler 20-30.— China Seas, 17 N., 115 E. 
iSll. Jjiii/ SO. — iladras: destroyed nearly every vessel 

in the roads ; ninety native vessels wrecked at their 

anchors; the Dover frigate, and the store-ship J/aw- 

Chester, run ashore, and were wrecked. 
1,S12. Sepf ember 8 10.— China Seas, 16 N., 11 1 E. 
1S16. J/d// 10.— Singapore; 200 lives lost. 
1816. — ^lahicca : thirty houses blown into the sea ; thirty 

or forty vessels lost, and at least 400 peoiile drowned. 
1818. October 2'3, 24. — Madras: severe revolving gale. 

1818. October 24. — Madras : centre passed J-ight over 
the town; fearfully destructive. 

1819. — Mauritius (no particulars): rain fell for thirty 
hours continuously, and swam])ed the whole country. 

1819. September 25.— Cutch and Kattiwar : lasted a dey 
ami two niL;hts. 

1819. October 28. 29.— China Seas, 89 N., 119 E. 

1820. iMarch 29, 30.— Maikas. 



14 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. L 



1820. May 8. — Madras : two square-rigged vessels 
wrecked, aud an immense quautiiy of ualive erat't : 
stretched across to the Arabian Sea, and occasioned 
some loss of shipping southward of Bonihav. 

1820. Norember 29.— China Seas, 12 N., 109 E. 

1820. December 2. — Madras, Poudicherry, and Coro- 
mandel coast. 

1821 . October. — China Seas. 

1822. Jtuie. — ilouth of the Gauges and Berliamputra : 
storm travelled at the rate of about two miles an hour 
— fifty-three miles in twenty-foiu" hours : 50,000 
people perished in the inundation. 

1822. September 14, 15.— China Seas, 20 K, 114 E. 

1823. June 2. — Chittagong and delta of the Ganges. 

1823. May 26. — Violent hurricane in the Bay of Jiengal : 
sis large English ships \\Tecked. 

1824. February. — The Mauritius: very severe. Her 
majesty's ship Deliyld, with 120 slaves, wrecked. 

1824. June %. — Chittagong: hea\'y inundations. 

1826. September 27. — China Seas. 

1827. October 2G, 27.— China Seas, 9 N., 118 E. 

1827. December 20.— Bombay. 

1828. December. — jMauritius. 

1829. August 8.— China Seas, 18 N., 14 E. 

1830. March 27 and April 3. — Bourbon; did not reach 
the Mauritius. 

1831. September 23. — China Seas. 

1831. Oc/oi<?;- 22, 23.— :\ranilla : 4000 houses destroyed. 
Barometer fell from 2990 to 2870. 

1831. October 31. — Lower Bengal: inundations swept 
away 300 villages, aud at least 11,000 people ; famine 
followed, and the loss of life is estimated at 50,000. 

1831. December^. — Pondicherry and Cuddalore : of few 
hom\s' dm-ation only, but fearlully destructive. 

1832. May 21. — Delta of the Gauges : eight to ten thou- 
sand people drowned. 

1832. August 3. — China Seas. 

1832. Auc/ust 4:. — Furious hm-ricane at Calcutta; baro- 
meter 28-8. 

1832. September a. — ^lacao, China: 100 fishing-hoats 
lost ; of cotton alone 1405 bales picked up. 

1832. October 8. — Furious storm aud disastrous inunda- 
tion at and around Calcutta ; great suiferings iu con- 
sequence at Balasore. Barometer fell from 2970 to 
27'80 in sixteen hours. 

1832. October 22 and I^ovember 8.— China Seas. 

1833. May 21. — Ti-emendous hm-ricane oft' the mouth of 
the Hoogly. Barometer fell from 29-090 at 8 a.m., 
to 26' 5 at noon. 

1833. August 26-29.— China Seas, 22 N., 113 E. 
1833. October 12-14.- China Seas, 16 N., 117 E. 
1833. November 29, 30.— Ceylon : violent fail of rain, 
and disastrous river inundation. 

1835. August 6-8. — China Seas. 

1836. ./«/y 31.— China Seas: £250,000 lost by ship- 
wreck. 

1836. October %^. — Madras: did enormous mischief on 
shore. Barometer sunk to 273. Centre passed over 
the town. 

1837. June 15. — A tremendous hun-icane sT>'cpt over 
]3onibay : an immense destruction of property, aud 
loss of shipping in the harbour, estimated at nine aud 
a half lacs (£90,000) ; upwards of 400 native houses 
destroyed. 

1837. November 16-22.— China Seas, 15 N., 116 E. 

1839. June. — In the Bay of Bengal, and off Coriusa. 

1839. November. — Off Coringa and ^Madras : a storm- 
wave lays the shore eight feet under water ; seventy 
vessels and 700 people lost at sea ; GOOO said to have 
been drowned on shore. 

1839. October 7-10.— China Seas. 

1840. November 28-30.— China Seas. 

1840. April 27 and May 1. — Violent in the Bay of 
Bengal. 



1840. 3Iay. — Hurricane off Madi'as and the southern 
coast. 

1840. September 24-27. — In the China Sea, in which 
the Golconda, with a detachment of the 37th Madras 
native infantry, 200 strong, on board, is supposed to 
have been lost. 

1841. 3lay \^ — Madras: great loss of shipping. 

1842. September. — China Seas. 

1842. May. — Dreadful storm prevailed in Calcutta on 
the 3rd and 4th, by which every ship, boat, and 
house, was more or less injured. 

1842. June 1-3. — A frightful hurricane visits Calcutta, 
injuring almost every vessel iu the river, and house in 
the town and neighbourhood. The barometer attains 
the unprecedented depression of 28'278. 

1842. October 5, 6. — HmTicaues between. Cuttack aud 
Pooree. 

1842. October 22. — Severe hurricane over Madras, aud 
across the Arabian Sea as far as Aden. 

1842. November 1. — In the Arabian Sea. 

1843. April 20. — Hurricane at the Mam-itius : nine 
vessels driven into Port Louis, more or less injured. 

1845. February 22-27. — Violent hm-ricanes at the I\Iau- 
ritius. 

1845. November 27-28. — Two hurricanes in the China 
Seas occurred to the north and south of the line, 
almost simultaneously, 13° apart. 

1845. — Bay of Bengal. 

1846. November 25-26. — Violent bnrricane at Madras, 
aud so across to Mangalore aud Cochin. 

1847. Apjril 19. — Terrific hurricane from the line north 
to Scinde, in which the East India Company's ship 
Cleopatra is lost, Vt'ith 150 souls on board. The 
!Maldi\e Islands submerged, and severe want and 
general famine ensues. 

1848. Ajiril 23. — Violent hurricane off Ceylon, in which 
her majesty's brig Jumna, from Bombay, where she 
had been built, was nearly lost ; she had an obelisk, 
and other valuable Assyrian marbles, on board. 

1848. September 12-14. — Violent hurricanes in the Bay 
of Bengal. 

1849. July 22-26. — A violent storm and rain burst 
all over India; a hurricane swept the Jullundbur, 
carrying everything before it. The barracks of her 
majesty's 32nd regiment, at Meerut, and those at 
Ghazeepore, were destroyed. On the 25th ten inches 
of rain fell at Bombay, and iu the course of fom* days 
twenty-six inches fell at Phoonda Ghaut, and forty 
inches at Jlahableshwar (?). 

1849. December 10. — Severe hurricane at Madi-as : the 
ships Lady Sate, Indu.ttry, and Princess lloyal, lost. 

1850. i)^rtf;«i(?7-4.— Hurricane at Madras; two Eiu-opeau 
ships and eighteen country craft wrecked. 

1851. May 1. — A furious hurricane raged off Ceylon: a 
second prevailed at Madras on the 6th, sweeping across 
the peninsula, and sending up a tremendous swell 
towards Scinde. The ship Charles Forbes, of Bombay, 
lost in the Straits of Malacca. 

1851. October 20.— The hurricane that visited Calcutta 
and its neighbourhood on the 22ud and 23rd of Oc- 
tober did great damage to the shijjping off Diamond 
Harbour and below Saugor. Two vessels, the Ben- 
ffalee, outward bound, aud the Srovrfielcl, inward 
bound, were wrecked — the former on Sangor Island, 
and the latter near Buit Palmyras ; crews of both 
vessels saved. 

1852. May 14. — A terrific hm-ricane burst ovci- Calcutta. 
Barometer 29362: more severe than any that had 
been experienced since the 3rd of June, 1842, when 
the barometer sunk to 28"278, the lowest ever known 
in C^dculta, aud almost every vessel in the river, and 
dwelling-house on shore, was more or less injured. 
I")uriug the gale there were destroyed in Calcutta 
2657 thatched and 526 tiled houses, with forty sub- 



Chap. I.] 



IX IXDIA AND THE EAST. 



stantial buildings ; eleven persons were killed, and 
two wounded. On the Sih of August, 1842, the 
barometer at Calcutta fell, during a hui-ricane, to 
28-800. 
1852. Mill/ 17. — A severe gale experienced at the Cape ; 
barometer fell to 2942 (60° Tahr.), the lowest known 
since the 21st of April 18-±8, when, without any 
change in the weather being experienced, it sunk 
to 2'J'38, the lowest on record at Capetowu. 

1852. Becemher 16. — Very violent at JIacao — scarcely 
felt at Hons-Kong — from Canton all alorig the north 
coast of China. 

1853. March 26-28. — Furious hurricane all over South- 
ern India : some fifty vessels sunk or wrecked on the 
Coromandel coast to the southward of Jladras. 

1853. October 10. — Hurricane in the China Seas : large 
steamer dismasted, and narrowly escaped shipwreck, 
betwixt Hong-Kong and Singapore. 

1854. April 10-12. — A tornado swept Lower Bengal, 
from W.S.W. to E.N.E., sweeping villages and great 
trees before it, and destroying, it is said, 300 people. 

1854. Jj)ril 21-2'3. — A violent hiu'ricane at Rangoon; 
twenty-five boats, with the head-quarters of the 
30th regiment of iladras native infantry, wrecked 
in the Irrawady ; the barracks on shore unroofed. 

1854. J/«y 22-24. — Hm-ricane in the China Seas; the 
Peninsula and Oriental Company's steamer Douro 
lost her funnel, and was driven ashore a wreck 

1854. September 27. — A severe hurricane in the China 
Seas, 19 N., and 117 E. 

1854. October 6. — Hurricane south of Ceylon. 

1854. November 2. — Hurricane at Bombay ; a thousand 
bumaa beings and half a million-worth of property 
supposed to have perished in four hours' time. 

The occurrence of hail- storms iu India, is 
frequent, and they are on so vast a scale as 
to be a characteristic of the climate. From 
the knowledge possessed concerning the great 
heat of that country, few general readers 
would imagine that it was a land remarkable 
for such i^henomena ; indeed, writers on 
meteorology and 2:)hysical geography have 
frequently represented such storms as seldom 
occurring ^^ithin the tropics. Dr. Thompson, 
in his work on meteorology, jjublished in 
1849, makes that assertion. Mrs. Somerville, 
Avriting in 1851, saj's — " Hail is very rare on 
the tropical plains, and often altogether un- 
known, though it frequently falls at heights 
of 1700 or ISOO feet above them," The 
same gifted lady observes — " It occurs more 
frequently in countries at a little distance 
from mountains than in those close to them 
or further off." Mr. Milner, in his Universal 
Geograjjhij, lately published, is more accu- 
rate, but he also asserts that hail seldom falls 
in the tropics at the level of the sea. In India 
facts contradict these doctrines. In the neigh- 
bourhood of Calcutta, and along the western 
shores of the Bay of Bengal, hail-storms are 
of frequent occurrence. Colonel Sykes, in a 
paper read before the British Association for 
the Promotion of Science, established this, 
and other writers have confirmed his asser- 
tions. The colonel, however, erred in sup- 
posing that on the same line upon the coast 



of IMalabar it also occurred, whereas hail 
seldom falls there, although frequent on the 
shores of Cutch and Scinde. The colonel's 
statement, as appears in the society's reports 
for 1851, is, that the phenomenon is not seen 
south of latitude 2QP. This is true of the 
western coast of the peninsula, but not of the 
eastern. Dr. Buist has shown that in 1852 
a violent storm of hail fell at Pondicherry, 
south of Madras ; and he affirms that others 
were recollected by him on the south-eastern 
shores of the peninsula. In Ceylon hail- 
storms are well known both in the higher 
and lower grounds. The occurrence of such 
storms in contiguity Avith the mountainous 
region of that island, and \dt\\ various parts 
of the Himalayjj range, confute the theory of 
Mrs. Somerville and other modern writers on 
such subjects, that hail seldom falls close to 
mountains. On several occasions, Avithin a 
few years, hail-stones of enormous size, and 
immense masses of ice, have fallen both in 
the high lands and on the sea-shore, on the 
table-land of the Deccau, and at the foot of 
the mountain ranges. In April of 1855 a 
hail-storm did mticli damage to Lahore ; and 
in May of the same year there were terrific 
hail-showers at Patna, Xynee Tal, and 
various other places at great distances from 
one another. It would appear that in April, 
just before the time of greatest heat, the 
jieninsula is visited most frequently by falls 
of hail. The statement which has sometimes 
been made, that May was the month most 
noted for this phenomenon, is an error. 
March stands next to April, and February 
to March in this particular. May is con- 
siderably beneath March, but much above 
every other month, except February, in the 
computation. 

Europeans chiefly object to the climate of 
India on account of the great heat. The 
hottest parts of India are not the most debi- 
litating. The low moist land on the northern 
portions of the eastern coast, and the marshy 
plains near the foot of the Himalayas, are 
more unhealthy than the southern portions 
of the peninsula. Exposure to the sun, pro- 
vided the head be w-ell turbaned to protect it 
from sim-stroke, is not dangerous nor un- 
healthy. Experiments have been made in 
connection with the marching of Euro])ean 
troops in time of peace, and it was proved 
that more men were lost by night-marches 
than by those conducted A^ath suitable care 
during the hottest portion of the day. In 
the disastrous conflicts of 1857, between the 
mutineers of the Bengal army and the go- 
vernment forces, similar results were expe- 
rienced. General Havelock, in his marches 
and counter-marches during his eft'orts to 



IG 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. T. 



relieve Cawnpore and Lucknow, declared that, 
so far as exposure to the weather was concerned, 
his men suffered no injury. General AVilson, 
during his command of the forces l)efore 
Delhi, reported that the troops had hetter 
health tlian in cantonments. When these 
operations commenced, tlie fiercest portion of 
the hot season had passed, but the heat was 
still intense. The haliits indulged by Euro- 
peans, rather than the climate, have liitlierto 
made India sickly ; althougli, of course, some 
situations are exposed to miasmatic influ- 
ences, and certain portions of tlie year must 
be always trying to the health of natives of 
our high latitude. As tlie climate is more 
studied, and facts connected with this subject 
are more carefully weighed,.- Europeans will 
be enabled to encounter the heat by such 
sanitary and personal arrangements as those 
experiences will dictate, and India will be- 
come a sphere of enterprise more generally 
acceptable to the British peojile. The range 
of temperature is so great, and the climate 
so varied, notwithstanding its general tropical 
character, that there is abundant scope for 
the settlement and the energies of Europeans. 
The territory of British India is marked by 
a great variety of geographical features, and 
extends through twenty -three degrees of 
latitude, these are circumstances which must 
render many places practicable for the health- 
ful settlement of Englishmen. 

Local peculiarities so affect the prevailing 
winds, as also to conduce to the same result. 
The south-west monsoon, which in ^lay is 
felt at IMalabar, tloes not travel to Delhi nntil 
a month after, nor to the Sikh territory and 
the Affghan frontier until some weeks later, 
Avhen its effects are comi)aratively mild. 
From October to April, six months of the 
year, the weather is cool enough for Euro- 
pean enjoyment ; the remainder of the year 
is rendered unpleasant, and comparatively 
nidiealtliy, by the heat and rains. At Cal- 
cutta the thermometer stands at Gi')'^ in Janu- 
ary, and rises to Sf)^ in April. At Bombay, 
on the other side of the peninsula, the climate 
is more various. At Madras tlie heat is less 
oppressive than in Bengal, although the tem- 
perature ranges higher ; but the cool season 
is more refreshing in the latter than the 
former. The minimum in the city of Madras 
is 75°, the maximum OP. The climate of 
the Blue Ghauts, especially in the neighbour- 
hood of the sanitorium, is esteemed as one of 
the most erpiable and delightful in the world, 
where it is never so cold as in England, and 
never so hot, the glass in summer ranging in 
London thirteen degrees higher than it does 
there. The rain-fall is much greater in liic 
Blue Ghauts than in this country, but it | 



happens at particular periods, refreshing the 
soil, and cooling the air, thus tending to 
render the district still more agreeable to 
Europeans, and affording many more fair 
days than are enjoyed in England. 

The diseases of the country are numerous. 
That which is chiefly dangerous, 'alike to 
Europeans and natives, is cholera. India 
has been generally supposed to be the birth- 
place of this pestilence, but there is reason to 
believe that its first incidence was in Persia. 
In India it first ajipeared in the iMadras ju-esi- 
dency, certainly not in the route from Persia, 
and may have had a separate origin there 
from similar causes. At its commencement it 
displayed its destructive energies, sweeping 
away multitudes of the natives, and many 
Europeans. Since then, three-quarters of a 
century, it has prevailed and sent forth 
its pestiferous influences along the great 
thoroughfares of the world, both by sea and 
land, to every country, at all events, within 
the bounds of civilisation. 

The natives are liable to peculiar disorders, 
under aggravated forms, such as lepi'osy, 
ele])hantiasis, smallpox, dysentery, fevers of 
various kinds, rheumatism, and a peculiar 
form of dropsy. Neither this complaint, nor 
elephantiasis, is ever communicated to Euro- 
peans ; and some of the fevers by which sad 
ravages are made upon the lives of the 
natives, are seldom taken by persons born 
in Europe, however long resident in this 
country. 

British residents suffer from intermittent and 
congestive fevers, rheumatism, ajioplexy, sun- 
stroke, dysentery, diarrhoea, debility, and 
various diseases of the liver, enlargement 
and induration of that organ being vei-v 
common. 

Peculiarities of climate, and their effects 
upon health in different regions, will receive 
additional notice as the great natural and 
political divisions of tlie country are more 
particularly described. 

The productions of India are, generally 
speaking, tropical, and in great variety and 
luxuriance. 

Forests naturally claim first attention, as 
the most striking products of the soil in 
almost every country. Perhaps no land 
possesses timber in greater variety and 
beauty. The hardy oalc, ash, and elm of 
our climate are not found there, nor are 
there any resemblances to the pine-forests 
of America; but the variety of kind, and 
diversity of adaptation, are greater than 
in either Euroi)e or America. For the ])ur- 
poses of fuel, fences, hut constructions, and 
small articles of- garden, stable, or horisehohb 
uses, there is great abundance of wood of 



Chap. I.] 



IN IXDIA AND THE EAST. 



17 



many difterent species. For house -building 
and engineering work there is the saul-wood, 
wliieh grows abinidantly in Central and 
Northern India. This tree grows to a con- 
siderable height, and the dimensions of the 
trunk are often nine feet or more. The teak- 
tree wood is excellent for ship -building. It 
grows to the north of ]\radras, and in the Coro- 
mandel district. The Bombay government 
encourages the planting of this useful tree. 
It also flourishes in the provinces ceded by 
Birmah, where a revenue of £12,000 a year 
has been derived by government from licences 
to cut it. The tamarind, palm, and cedar, 
grow in profusion in some districts : black- 
wood is also abundant. 

There are many useful kinds of wood, and 
beautiful as well as useful, unknown to 
Europe, which the natives and European 
residents greatly prize. It is astonishing 
that these have not been made articles of 
commerce ; for although the situations where 
they grow are remote, they could be brought 
to the principal ports by the rivers. Expor- 
tations of ebonj', satin-wood, and a few other 
hard woods, susceptible of beautiful polish, 
are conveyed to England and America. 
There is much room for an enterprising- 
commerce between England and India in 
these valuAble commodities. 

The appearance of the timber growth of 
India is sometimes devoid of the picturesque : 
jungles, which harbour savage beasts and 
poisonous reptiles, stretch away over large 
spaces. In some cases the Indian forest is 
commanding, and the trees which are culti- 
vated for ornament are graceful in form and 
foliage, and afford a welcome shade from the 
torrid climate. 

Indian fruits are such as are best adapted 
to the inhabitants of a tropical country. 
The cocoa-nut is very fine, especially in 
Malabar. ^Melons, gourds, plantains, custard - 
apples, figs, guavas, jujubes, &c., abound in 
the more southern portions of the peninsula, 
and afford a grateful refreshment to the 
people who inhabit the sultry plains. In 
the more northern portions the fruits of 
Europe grow luxuriantly, grapes and peaches 
especially. Figs, pine-apj^les, and mangoes, 
also grow in rich abundance in the northern 
parts of Central India. In no country are 
these varieties of fruit more necessary, and 
Providence has provided India with an ex- 
tensive assortment adapted to the necessities 
and desires of her people. 

Her spices are also celebrated. Cinnamon 
is not of so fine a quality in Continental as 
in Insular India. Ginger, pepper, cloves, 
cassia, cardamums, and capsicums, are like- 
wise produced. 

VOL. I. 



Oils are among the important products of 
the country. Vegetable tall(jws and butters 
exude from trees and plants, and serve as 
food, or for manufacturing purposes. From 
the seed of the tallow-plant oil for lamps is 
extracted. Many other seeds, when ex- 
jiressed, yield oils for commerce or domestic 
use. The oils of the poonja, cadja-apjile, 
kossumba, poppy, poomseed, &c., are valu- 
able for various purposes. JManj- articles of 
this nature, peculiar to India, are produced 
within her territories. 

Wheat is grown in Northern India, where 
an increasing preference for it to rice is 
noticeable. In the south it is seldom seen, 
and the peoi^le prefer rice or jiulse. jNIaize 
and millet are cultivated in many places 
where irrigation is obtainable. Rice is, 
however, the great staple of the Indians' 
food ; many subsist on it. Its cultivation is 
extensive, especially in the valley of the 
Ganges. The quality is not always good, 
but the produce is abundant. Sago, sago 
meal, cassava starch, arrowroot, and other 
starches, are produced in great c^uantities, 
and in fine perfection. 

The grasses of the peninsula are very 
numerous, and nourish large herds of sheep 
and goats ; but there is no pasturage such as 
is to be foiind i;pon the undulated land- 
scapes of the British Isles, where a temperate 
climate and frequent showers produce per- 
petual verdure. 

Cattle are fed upon cotton and other seeds ; 
coarse grain, peas or beans, are also used as 
fodder. New grasses have been introduced, 
and have flourished. 

There are many plants valuable as afford- 
ing articles of commerce. Hemp, flax, aloe 
fibre, the fibres of the cocoa-nut, pine -apple, 
and plantain, are known to English traders, 
as also a few others; but there are many, 
of which no use is made in Britain, to which 
scientific men have called attention. 

The medicinal properties which are pos- 
sessed by certain vegetable products in 
India are important to the natives, and are 
also of commercial value. Senna, rhubarb, 
and castor-oil, are the most in demand by 
Europeans. 

Allied in some respects to the medicinal 
products are the gums of India, which are 
very numerous, and excellent in their respec- 
tive qualities. Arabic, olibanimi, benjamin, 
mastic, shellac, and ammoniacum, are spe- 
cimens. Gamboge and asafootida are ex- 
ported in large quantities. Caoutchouc (In- 
dian-rubber) and kattermando, the former for 
many years, the latter from a recent date, are 
in demand by the merchants of Europe and 
America. 



13 



HISTORY OF THE BlilTISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. I. 



Tobacco is grown in most parts of tlie 
country, from extreme north, to soiitli, but 
can hardly he prononuced good anywhere. 
The natives do not use it merely for its nar- 
cotic and soothing effects, hut for various 
purjioses. 

The dyes of India have a just as well as 
wide -spread celebrity. Indigo-planting has 
long been a profitable branch of cidtivation, 
and many have grown rich in a short time 
by that means. Indian madder is one of the 
most valuable commodities in the dye-works 
of Lancashire and Yorkshire. Turmeric, saf- 
flower, &c., are well known to Great Britain ; 
but in the native manufactures dyes of much 
beauty are employed which are as yet iin- 
known to English dyers. 

India is supposed to be very rich in barks. 
Various qualities, which have not been 
brought as yet into use, have been tested by 
scientific men, and recommended for medicinal 
or tcxnning purposes. 

Cotton grows in various parts of India, 
and of late much inrpiiry has been made 
concerning the capabilities of the j^eninsula 
to meet the wants of the spinning-mills of 
England. 3[r. George Hadfield, the inde- 
fatigable member for Sheffield, brought this 
subject under the attention of the House of 
Commons during the session of 1857, when 
the country was mourning over the tidings 
of blood and dishonour brought from the pro- 
Annces of the Bengal presidency, where revolt 
was raging. The discussion was so obviously 
inopportune, that no attention was given to 
it. Meetings were held in IManchester, the 
great capital of the cotton manufacture, but, 
for the same reasons, produced no public im- 
pression. Experiments, however, have been 
made, and sanguine expectations entertained, 
that India will yet yield a supply' by which 
England may be rendered independent of 
the Southern States of the North American 
Union. Other fields of enterprise, such as 
Africa, have been also contemplated ; and the 
Rev. Dr. Livingstone, a missionary of the 
London Missionary Society among the Bec- 
huanas, accomplished by skill and fortitude 
such an exploration of interior Africa as in- 
spires the hope that if India fail to meet the 
demands of the cotton manufacture for its 
staple, Africa may become the great cotton - 
field of the world. India, however, has not 
yet been made the subject of a fair and 
sufficiently extensive experiment. That the 
legislature will take up this great question, 
and conduct it to a satisfactory issue, there 
can be little doubt. Lancashire only requires 
that government remove the existing ob- 
stacles to private enterprise, and the doubt as 
to the cotton -growing capability of India will 



be eventually set at rest. In a work entitled 
the Culture of Cotton in India, the natives 
are represented as consiuniug 600,000,000 lbs. 
weight annually, and that 110,000,000 lbs. are 
exported to England, \\\\\\ a like amount to 
China. The natives of all ranks are clothed 
with it ; their light garments for .the hot 
season, and their thicker garments for the 
cooler and for the rainy seasons, ai'e all com- 
posed of cloth made from this material. 
Formerly the cotton growth of India was 
very great. The name calico, now univer- 
sally known, is Indian, the Portuguese hav- 
ing adopted it from Calicot, where they first 
found the cloth. The name muslin is also 
Eastern, derived from Moussul, where its 
manufacture was first known. 

The cotton of India is inferior to that of 
the United States ; and the efforts made to 
improve its quality, by new methods of culti- 
vation, and by importing American seeds, 
have been but partially successful. The 
great difiiculty appears, so far as the process 
of preparation is concerned, to be in the 
cleaning. Indian cotton is not sent from 
the plantation so clean picked and Avell 
packed as is American cotton. This arises 
partly from the methods of labour practised 
by the natives, from the fact that they are 
wedded to their old customs, and from the; 
damage sustained in sending it to the sea- 
board. It is necessary that the plantations 
should be near large navigable rivers or 
railroads, and possessed of a fine alluvial 
soil. The native cultivators complain of the 
operation of the land tenure, the want of 
capital, and the crushing effect of the usu- 
rious dealings of the native money-lenders. 
Under the most favourable circumstances, 
Indian cotton has seldom been produced of 
the leno-th of fibre and cleanness of American 
cotton. 

The common cotton-plant of India is a 
triennial, and is foimd almost everywhere. 
There is a variety of it which is annual. 
The Dacca cotton is gro-\A-n in the district of 
that name, in the Bengal presidency, and 
is finer and softer than the common plant. 
The Berar description is tlie best, but is 
neither so long nor so soft as the best cotton 
of America. These varieties require dif- 
ferent soils and treatment. 

It is alleged by Mr. Boyle, in his treatise 
on the subject, that the soil of the American 
plantations differs from that Avhere good 
cotton is grown in India, chiefly in its peaty 
quality. This has also attracted the atten- 
tion of other persons conversant with the 
culture of cotton, who attribute the superiority 
rather, to this circumstance of soil than to 
any peculiarity of climate. 



Chap. I.] 



IN mDlA AND THE EAST, 



19 



In auother part of this work, more appro- 
priate for the full discussion of the subject, 
the practicaljility of making India a cotton - 
growing country, to such an extent and pro- 
ducing staple of such quality as will compete 
with the American plantations, will be con- 
sidered. It is here only necessary to add 
that the imjiediments to the production of 
good cotton in India are not merely such as 
soil or climate, or want of roads and canals. 
There are moral causes at Avork to create 
obstacles far more formidable. The ryots, or 
cultivators, are almost Avithout enterprise ; 
they are still more destitute of capital, and 
are obliged to obtain advances from native 
money-lenders, a class of men the most 
grasping, relentless, and unprincipled in the 
world. When good seeds have been imported 
from the United States, the native capitalists, 
under the pretence of a religious abhorrence 
of an innovation, have offered every opposi- 
tion to the use of them; and Avhen the 
seeds have been sown, men have been hired 
to root them up, or otherwise damage the 
culture, so as to balk the experiment, and 
wear out the patience of the ryot, if his pre- 
judices were not sufficiently acted wpon to 
make him abandon the attempt. 

The moral and social difficulties in the 
way of tlie successful cultivation of the supe- 
rior qualities of cotton may be best judged 
by observing how tliey are regarded from an 
American point of view. The following is 
from no unfriendly pen, but extracted from a 
memorial addressed to the Madras govern- 
ment by a gentleman aa'cII acquainted with 
the cotton culture of southern North Ame- 
rica and of British India : — " The cotton is 
produced by the ryot. He is always in his 
banker's books as deep, in proportion to his 
means, as his European master, and can do 
nothing without aid. The brokers, or cotton- 
cleaners, or gin-house men, are the middle- 
men between the chetty and the ryot. The 
chetties being monied men, make an advance 
to the broker. The broker is particular in 
classifying the seed-cotton, and pays for it 
according to cleanliness, and then he has 
much of the trash and rotten locks picked 
out, not to make the . cotton better, but be- 
cause the rubbish chokes the churka, and 
prevents it from working. The good cotton 
is then separated from the seed, and the bad 
stuff which had been taken away from the 
good is beaten with a stone to loosen up the 
rotten filjre from the seed, and then it is 
passed through the churka. The good cotton 
and this bad stuff are both taken into a little 
room, six feet by six, which is entered by a 
low door, about eighteen inches by two feet, 
and a little hole as a ventilator is made 



through the outer wall. Two men then go 
in with a bundle of long smooth rods in each 
hand, and a cloth is tied over the mouth and 
nose ; one man places his back so as to stop 
this little door completely, to prevent waste, 
and they both set to work to whi]) the cotton 
witli their rods, to mix the good and bad to- 
gether so thoroughly, that a very tolerable 
article is turned oxU ; even after all this be- 
devilling, if the people get a living price ibr 
it, they let it go as it is. But, as is usually 
the case, they are shaved so close, that they 
are driven to resort to another means of 
realising profit. They add a handful or 
two of seed to ever}^ bundle, and this is 
delivered to the chetties, and the chetties 
deliver it to their European agents, and the 
European agents save their exchange, and 
their object is gained. The cotton is taken 
by the manufacturer at a low price, because 
he knows not what he is buying." 

The sugar-cane has been from the remotest 
times a product of India. When the English 
first visited the country, they found it there ; 
and four hundred years before their advent 
reliable testimony was given to its abundance. 
The natives were unable to manufacture 
sugar from the cane, so as to send to market 
the crystalline product so valuable to com- 
merce ; their modes of expressing the juice 
were rude and wasteful, but they extracted 
large quantities from their cane -fields, and 
very extensively used it in cakes, or with 
rice and other food. The English introduced 
the Jamaica system of culture with success, 
and of late years the East Indian sugars have 
lost much of their previous bad reputation, 
as compared with those of the West Indies. 
The great anti -slavery agitation in England 
brought East-India sugar into much mure 
general use, and, as a consequence, stimu- 
lated the cultivation of the cane there, 
especially in Bengal, which is well adapted 
for it. While sugar-cane has been for so 
many ages a growth of the Indiaii soil, to 
the English may be attributed the great im- 
portance of this article in the present agricul- 
tural statistics of our eastern possessions. 

The tea-plant is in some places as well 
adapted to the climate of India as the sugar- 
cane. In China it is found to thrive best 
where the climate is most temperate : but 
even in the warmest latitudes of that em- 
pire it is cultivated. At an early period it 
appeared to some of the servants of the East 
India Company that India was, in many of its 
northern and eastern districts, likely to prove 
suitable for the plant. It was not until the 
year ISoI that any attempt to introduce it 
was made — at all events on such a scale as to 
attract notice, although at least seven yeax'3 



20 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. I. 



previously the company's botanists had pro- 
nounced the slopes of the Himalaj^as, not far 
from tlie Nepaul frontier, as well adapted for 
such an experiment. Some districts in the 
neighbourhood of Delhi, and in Assam, were 
pointed out by other scientific men as likely 
to prove suitable places. 

Under the auspices of Lord William Ben- 
tinck, deputations were sent to Ciiina, various 
specimens were obtained, a knowledge of tlie 
culture and subserpient manipulation was 
gleaned, and a nurscrj^ fur lt),000 plants 
formed at Calcutta. The experiment pros- 
pered, and some of the specimens were sent 
to the Madras presidency, where the heat of 
the climate killed them ; others were trans- 
planted in Bengal proper, but their extreme 
delicacy demanded more attention than was 
conceded, and the experiments all failed. A 
portion was sent northward, to certain dis- 
tricts of the Himalayas. These were for the 
most part destroyed on the way, through the 
carelessness with which their transmission 
W'as conducted. Such as arrived at their 
destination throve, and in 1838 were in seed. 
The seeds were sown in situations for the 
most part judiciously chosen, and thus new 
nurseries were formed nearer to the region 
favourable for successful cultivation. 

During the progress of these measures it 
was discovered that the plant was indigenous 
to Assam, and several specimens gathered in 
a wild state were sent to Calcutta, and pro- 
nounced good by competent practical judges, 
as well as by the company's botanists. Fur- 
ther researches were made, and it was found 
that in districts of Assam where the climate 
was most temperate, on the hill slopes, and 
along the undulations of the low country, 
near the rivers, the plant would flourish on 
many varieties of soil. The result was that 
plants of greater strength and size, more 
prolific and yielding tea of finer flavour than 
any imported from China, were produced. 
The East India Companj', after incurring 
much expense in this enterprise, generously 
surrendered the cultivation to private enter- 
prise, and gave over to the Assam Tea Com- 
pany their nurseries, and their valuable con- 
tents. The crop in Assam has lately reached 
nearly 400,000 pounds, selling, as is well 
known, at a much higher price than the 
Chinese specimens. 

"While the Assam experiment found so 
much public favour, attention to the Hima- 
laya gardens was not permitted to flag ; high 
up on the slopes above Kumaon the plants 
multiplied rapidly, and yielded richly. A 
black tea, rcseniljling souchong, but of supe- 
rior flavour, has thence reached England in 
increasing ((unntities. 



Since the conquest of the Sikh country, 
the tea plantations have been extended in that 
direction. The East India Company voted 
for some years a grant of £10,000 to nurture 
these experiments. 

In 1850 the comi:)any dispatched an agent 
to China to procure fresh seeds, skilful culti- 
vators, and to make himself well acquainted 
with the processes of cultivating and curing. 
The advantage of this mission, which was as 
successful as could be expected, has been 
very decided to the plantations of the north- 
west. 

At Cachar, Munneei^ore, and Darjeeling, 
the cultivation and manufacture of tea have 
been very successful. During the year 1855 
superior specimens were sent from these 
jilaces to the Horticultural Society of India, 
which afforded great satisfaction and encou- 
ragement. It would appear that the tea-tree 
is indigenous also to the Cachar district, for 
natives who had been employed in Assam by 
the Assam Company, declared the wild speci- 
mens found in the one district, identical with 
those which had been found in the other.* 
Cachar is easy of access, a fine river opening 
up communication with it; and the tea-]ilant 
was found by Captain Verner, the superin- 
tendent of Cachar, growing in luxuriance in 
the jimgles. The most recent reseai-ches of 
that gentleman have led him to think that 
the Assam quality is different fi'omthe newly- 
discovered growth of Cachar, but Dr. Thomp- 
son, of the Honourable Company's Botanical 
Gardens, at Calcutta, has pronounced them 
identical ; the truth which reconciles these 
conflicting statements seems to be, that the 
last discoveries of the captain have been of 
another species, more resembling the green 
tea imported into this country from China. 
The Munneepore and Darjeeling specimens 
were pronounced by experienced " tea- 
tasters" as of a good quality, and deserving 
culture. These were also found in wild 
luxuriance. 

In the report of the Agricultural Society 
of India, published last year, in Calciitta, 
further discoveries of the tea-plant are re- 
corded. At Sylhet, Mr. Glover, the officiat- 
ing collector, drew up a report to the com- 
missioners of revenue (Dacca), in which he 
gives minute details of the discovery of the 
plant growing extensively on the slope of 
small detached hills in various districts not 
remote from those where the previous dis- 
coveries had been made : — " The greatest 
distance of the furthest discovered tea plan- 
tations from Sylhet does not exceed sixty 
miles as the crow flies ; by the only practic- 
able route it would probably be one hundred 
* Report of P. Skipwith, Esq., judge at Svlbct. 



CiiAi'. L] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



21 



miles, but for three parts of this distance 
water-carriage ■would be avaihable thi-ough- 
out the year, while in the rains, boats of large 
burthen could go up to the place. The tea- 
fields in Pergunnahs Punchkhund, Chapghat, 
and Piuffeonuggur, arc close to the rivers 
Soorna and Baglia, so that there would be 
no difficulty in the matter of carriage in any 
of tliese places." * 

It must not be forgotten that, notwith- 
standing the tea-plant is indigenous to these 
regions, it requires cultivation and care. In- 
deed, this is the case with all the productions 
of India, and tliat from a caiisc Avhich popu- 
larly might be supposed to render cultivation 
scarcely necessary. The soil, which is jiro- 
lific in rich and useful productions, is also 
prolitic in weeds, which encumber and choke 
the former, and the hand of the cultivator 
needs to be directed with especial care. The 
language of the poet is applicable to India in 
her indigenous and wild productions, as well 
as in her ciUtivated products : — ■ 

" Redundant growth 
Of vines, and maize, and bower and brake, 
Which Nature, kind to sloth. 
And scarce solicited by human toil, 
Pours from the riches of the teeminar soil." 

There can be little doubt that if railway 
enterprise open up the interior of India to 
the seaports and presidential capitals, the tea 
farms of Ui^per India and of Assam will 
become of great importance to England, and 
rapidly promote the wealth and civilisation 
of these regions. The tea plantations are 
picturesque, and the processes of growing, as 
practised both in Assam and in the ojiposite 
coi;ntries, toAvards Nepaul and the Punjaub, 
aftbrd lively and interesting scenes of human 
occupation. 

Coffee has for a long time been grown by 
the natives in various districts, but the quality 
was so inferior as to find no European market. 
English planters have, however, succeeded in 
obtaining excellent berries. In the island of 
Ceylon coffee of a superior kind has been 
obtained from the plantations established by 
English settlers. The success of the experi- 
ments made there, induced extensive enter- 
prises of like kind to the south of the Western 
Ghauts, where the rich soil and warm climate 
favour the object. Good coffee is now jiro- 
duced from these plantations, and from others 
in various parts of the country. 

Opium is cultivated to a vast extent under 
the immediate auspices of the company. The 
producers are natives, who grow it under the 
company's licences, which are only extended 
to two districts, Patna and Benares, — the 

* Report of F. A. Glover, Esq., to the Agricultural 
Society of India. 



former producing the better quality, owing to 
some peculiarities in the soil and situation. The 
growers of the pojipy are not allowed to sell 
the jii'oduce of their fields ; they are merely 
the company's farmers, to whom, at a fixed 
price, they must surrender what they grow. 
This is removed at certain seasons to Cal- 
cutta, where it is sold by auction at stated 
times to European or native merchants, Mho 
make it an article of ex))ort. binder the head 
of the commerce of India it will be necessary 
to return to this subject. 

The silkworm has long been bred in India, 
silk having been one of the oldest productions 
of the peninsula known to us ; its progress 
and extent will be more properly a subject for 
the heading of manufactures and commerce. 
It is here only necessary to say that, in addi- 
tion to the mulberry, or China species of tlie 
woi-m, there are other species peculiar to the 
peninsula, especially in Assam, Bombay, and 
Madras. The mulberry worm is more com- 
mon in Bengal than elsewhere. 

The flora of India is such as might be 
expected from the general richness, yet widely 
extending variety, of her climates. The ferns 
of the peninsula have obtained great celebrity 
among botanists, as the largest and finest in 
the world. Near the smaller rivers and 
streams the country is spangled with these 
beautiful offspring of the soil. There also, 
and near the larger rivers, flowers of richest 
odour spring up in wonderful and glorious 
luxuriance. Along the slopes of the Nil- 
gherries, and the Eastern and \Yestern 
Ghauts, the fair flowers of the mountain 
kiss every glittering rill, and spread their 
fragrance on the balmy air with which these 
regions are blessed. The Persian rose, pas- 
sion-flower, and Gloriosa superha, grow luxu- 
riantly in the wild jungles, as if the ruder 
and lovelier forms of nature were struggling 
for victory. Nowhere in the world are such, 
specimens of the water-lily and the lotus 
found as along certain portions of the Ganges, 
the Indus, the Jhelum, the Godavery, and on 
the Lake of ^Yular, in the stormless valley of 
Cashmere. In the hills which form the 
northern limits of the Deccan, and among 
those which rise beyond the districts of 
Delhi and the Punjaub, rhododendrons, and 
other shrubs of that species, grow to perfec- 
tion. In many places on the mountain 
slopes, and in sheltered valleys, wherever 
springs are near Avitli their refreshing influ- 
ences, extensive areas of flowers are pre- 
sented, clad in every tint of beauty, asso- 
ciating every conceivable harmony of hue, 
and breathing overpowering perfumes. If 
N^ight reveals to the traveller glories which. 
" Heaven to gaudy day denies," 



22 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 



[ClIAP. I 



Day discloses beneath lier briglit smile in 
India a variety of beauty wliicli the brightest 
night never displays. However dazzling 
the latter, as the mind wanders amidst its 
bright immensity, it cannot yield the soft 
and placidly pleasurable emotions which the 
flower-clad landscape of the fairer portions of 
Indian lands communicate. Kot only are 
the flowers of India beautiful in tint, and of 
luxurious odour, but they are of exquisite 
form — even the blind have caressed them; 
sensible of the exquisite beauty of their struc- 
ture, they could not but feel with the blind 
girl in the Last Days of Fompeii : — 

" If earth be as fair as I 've heard them say, 
These flowers her children are." 

Could we suppose the sorrowing but beautiful 
peris of Eastern fable to take forms most 
befitting their celestial origin, but earthly 
home, we might suspect their dwelling- 
place to be in some of the lovely valleys 
which, from Cashmere to Thibet, are to be 
found sheltered among the mountains ; and 
we might, in the form, and tint, and odour of 
the far-famed flowers of these vales, recog- 
nise the graceful exjDression of their exiled 
being. Perhaps among all the flowers of 
Ind, the roses of Cashmere are the most 
lovely, as they are the most famous ; and 
amidst the choice perfumes thrown oft' by so 
many of these " blossoms of delight," or ex- 
tracted from them by the ingenuity of man, 
the richest is the attur ghiil, so renowned 
through a large portion of the Eastern Avorld, 
from the shores of the Bay of Bengal to those 
of the Caspian Sea, and even to the Bos- 
phorus. One of the most curious little flowers 
of India is the Scrpicula verticilata, which 
grows in the great Indian tanks. Dr. Carter 
describes it as a " little gentle flower stretch- 
ing itself up from the dark bottom on its 
slender pedicle, to spread its pink petals on 
the surface of the water to the air and light. 
"Wonderful little flower ! What economy of 
nature, what harmony of design, what strik- 
ing phenomena, what instinctive apprehen- 
sion, almost, is exhibited by this tiny, humble 
tenant of the lake ! Would we wish for a 
process to render water Avholesome, the little 
serpicula supplies it ; would we wish to pro- 
vide food for the other scavengers of the 
tank — the shell fish — the little serpicida, with 
its leaves and stems pregnant \vith starch 
granules, affords them a delicious repast; 
they browse with greediness on the tender 
shoots." Dr. Buist remarks that this little 
plant not only maintains the tank or pond in 
whicli it lives in the most perfect purity, but 
that even a few sprigs of it will render a 
large vessel of water pure for culinary pur- 



poses. In describing its birthplace, and the 
effect of its presence in keeping water pure, 
he says, " On looking into the tank, a magni- 
ficent marine landscape presents itself, with 
snow-white rocks and valleys, and rich green 
miuature forests, iu all directions." 

India has not received that attention from 
botanists and floriculturists which so wide, 
prolific, and in other respects interesting a 
field deserves. The East India Company 
have established a botanical garden at Sahara - 
mapore, at an elevation above the sea of 1000 
feet. The climate and vegetation are tropical, 
notwithstanding the height, but the site is well 
chosen, the elevation and other circumstances 
tempering the heat which prevails. At Bom- 
bay some efforts have been put forth of late 
years to improve our acquaintance with the 
botany and flora of India ; and in Calcutta 
the government has expended money in these 
objects. 

The Agricifltural and Horticultural Society 
of India has brought out valuable contribu- 
tions from the pens of official persons all over 
India, and many rare plants and flowers have 
been examined and classified. Agricultural 
and floricultural exhibitions have taken place 
under the auspices of the society -^^-ithout any 
great success. The flower-shows from lSu2 to 
I806, have gradually fallen away in the niun- 
ber, rarity, and excellence of the specimens. 
Many English flowers and flowering shrubs 
have been introduced to the society's gardens, 
as well as to those belonging to government, 
and Avith considerable success, although many 
plants and seeds perished through negligent 
carriage or unskilful transmission. The pub- 
lications issued under the auspices of the 
societv above named are calculated to im- 
prove the British residents in India in their 
knowledge of these interesting departments 
of its resources.* Many useful, and also a 
large class of ornamental plants, have been 
introduced very lately from China to the 
north of Assam, and to the Punjaub, in 
which i^laces they are likely still further to 
enrich the gardens and the general landscapes. 
The United States of America, and the Bri- 
tish colonies of the Cape and Australia have 
contributed to the treasures of India in new 
plants, shrubs, and flowers. 

The mineral products of India are con- 
siderable. Common salt is found, but not 
very extensively. Saltpetre, or nitrate of 
potash, is to be met with in mai'shes, and in 
caves. Sir Laurence Peel, in a paper on the 

* The " Joiirnar' of the society, printed in English, is 
full of matter interesting to the British public at home 
and in India. The " jMisctllauy " is published in Bengalee, 
and is calculated to direct the more educated natives to 
the resources of their country. 



Chap. I.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



23 



" Natural Law by wliicli Nitrate of Soda, or 
Cubic Saltpetre acts as a Manure, and on its 
substitution for Guano," lias attempted to 
sliow that to its saltpetre India is indebted for 
mucb of its fertility. " These substances — the 
ordinary and the cubic saltpetre — consist of an 
acid, the nitric acid, and an alkali, either 
potash or soda ; nor could any one, viewing 
the effect of these individual salts, decide 
■whether the acids or the alkalies were the 
source of their manuring action." Sir Laii- 
rence proceeds to establish, by a detail of ex- 
l^eriments, the proposition that the former 
are the fertilising powers which these salts 
contain. Having argued for his doctrine at 
considerable length, he declares that to its 
native saltpetre India is indebted for its pro- 
lific land, and illustrates the qualities of the 
black soil of India b}?' an analysis of similar 
soils in other regions, and by facts demon- 
strative of their great fertility. 

Gold is found in very small quantities in 
the streams which issue from high sources in 
the Himalayas. 

Lead, copper, zinc, and iron, are obtained 
in various districts, but not in any very large 
quantities. Indian iron is especially well 
adapted to the manufacture of steel ; and 
some of the modern improvements in this 
manufacture in Sheffield were originally sug- 
gested to an English gentleman in India 
while observing the processes adopted by the 
natives. 

Tin is foimd in the recent British con- 
quests on the east of the Bay of Bengal ; and 
in the hills which separate British from im- 
perial Birmah it is supposed, by mineralogists, 
that extensive mineral treasures exist. Excel- 
lent specimens of lead (rich in silver), copper, 
tin, nitre, salt, quicksilver, alum, iron, &c., 
have been brought away from those hills. In 
fact, whatever be the extent of these treasures, 
their variety is not surpassed in anj- country 
in the world. India proper is far inferior in 
metallic wealth, so far as is at present known, 
to the boiindary regions of Tenesserim and 
Pegu. Precious stones are also found in 
these hills — rubies, sapphires, jaspers, and in 
some instances diamonds. 

On a former page, when noticing the 
Himalayas, the reader was informed en pas- 
sant, that gems were frequently found there. 
But not only there, in all the hill countries of 
the peninsula the most valuable precious 
stones are picked up. 

The diamond mines of Golconda are well 
Imown, and descriptions of their wealth are 
familiar to the general reader. In the red iron- 
stone, clay, and gravel of Pauna, in Bundel- 
cund, diamonds of great beauty are frequently 
discovered. There are probably no countries 



in the world so rich in gems and precious 
stones as India and the neighbouring pro- 
vinces of Tenesserim and Pegu. Of late 
years various projects have been set on foot 
for utilising the valuable mineral resom-ces of 
India. 

The animal kingdom has representatives 
in India of very many species. Of the large 
quadrupeds the elephant, camel, buffalo, rhi- 
noceros, and horse, are most extensively to 
be met ■with. The elephant is wild in many 
districts, and frequentlj^ damages the cul- 
tivated country. \'Mien tamed his useful- 
ness is only to be exceeded by that of the 
horse, and his sagacity is equalled by no 
other animal kno^uai to man. As a beast of 
burden he is very efficient, from his pro- 
digious strength united to unrivalled docility. 
He -^^-ill drag guns over difficult country, and 
•with his trunk raise them up and free them, 
when bj^ any accident they are entangled in 
rutty or rockj^ land, or amidst jungle. The 
princes of India use the elephant for purposes 
of carriage in peace and war. Seated in 
palanquins, raised upon his back, they go 
forth to battle, to the tiger hunt, or in pro- 
cessions of peaceful state. 

The buftalo is much used in particular 
districts, he draws the clumsy native carts, 
slowly and quietly, but efficiently. 

The camel also is veryusefid when domes- 
ticated, which he is in many j^arts of India. 
The British have used camel expresses, from 
the fleetness with which he travels. The3diave 
also used camel batteries in war.* In the 
sandy regions of the north-west the camel 
and wild ass roam at large. 

The rhinoceros is found in the north-east, 
in the more remote and secluded forests. 

The horse is to be found eveiywhere in 
India in the ser\dce of man. The native 
princes rise it very extensively for jDurposes of 
war. This animal is not bred in every part 
of India of equal value. In a j^aper commu- 
nicated by the Chamber of Commerce of 
Calcutta to the government of India, the 
following remarks occur as to the diverse 
qualities of the horse in various parts of the 
peninsula and surrounding coiintries : — " The 
Kungpore and Thibetian horse possess very 
close assimilation, when compared with that 
of the plains lying westwardly, viz., of the 
Deccan, Scinde, Persia, and Arabia, notwith- 
standins: the variations found in the animals 
of each of these last-named countries. The 
main characteristics of the two races are so 
obviously marked as to admit of no dispute 
aboiit their distinctiveness ; the former ex- 
hibiting the primitive rudeness of nature, the 

* There is a beautiful specimen of a brass camel gun 
in tlie museum of the East India House, 



2-1 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. I. 



latter tlic graces and amenities consequent 
on improved training and better chosen 
localities." 

The Asiatic lion, althongh not so strong 
an animal as the African, is nevertheless a 
noble creature, and in the northern provinces 
of India he roams at large in the many 
retired situations adapted to his habits. 

The tio-er, as alreadv noticed when de- 
scribing the delta of the Gauges, has his 
haunts in the marshy and jungle -covered 
districts of the Bengal coast. Tigers of infe- 
rior strength inhabit the jungles thence to 
the glaciers of the Himalayas. 

Panthers, leopards, ounces, and various 
other species of the feline, as well as several 
of the canine, abound throughout India. 

The varieties of Indian deer are beautiful, 
and are nimierous in all the less populous 
regions of the peninsula. The red deer, 
renowned for the sweetness of its flesh, seeks 
the herbage high in the mountains. 

The famous shawl-goat inhabits elevated 
ranges of the Himalayas. There are seve- 
ral varieties of this animal. The goat of 
Cashmere, which browses on the slopes of 
the beautiful hills that begirt the valley, is 
best known. The wild goat of Nepaul is a 
beautiful and agile creature, his head and 
limbs being exceedingly well formed. 

Monkeys are deified in Indian siiperstition, 
they therefore do not decrease M'ithin the 
limits of human habitations as do other wild 
animals. Numerous tribes of them may be 
heard chattering and screaming in every 
direction suitable for their increase. 

The jackal is one of the most useful as 
well as dangerous animals in India. He 
prowls about the villages, committing depre- 
dations after his nature ; but he at the same 
time acts as a village scavenger, entering the 
streets at night, and removing the offal and 
filth which are so often permitted to collect 
near oriental dwellings. 

Hunting the lion, tiger, leopard, panther, 
ounce, (fee, are favourite sports with adven- 
turous Anglo-Indian gentlemen, and many 
perils are incurred in these wild sports of the 
East. 

Birds coiiimon to Europe are also well- 
known in India, such as peacocks, crows, 
eagles, falcons, the common sparrow, cuckoos, 
cranes, wild geese, snipes, bustards, vultm-es, 
&c. The birds peculiar to the tropics are in 
India remarkable for their magnificent plu- 
mage ; this is especially the case with parrots 
and paroquets. The laughing-crow is one of 
the most remarkable species of the country. 
They fly in flocks of fifty or a hundred, and 
make a noise which resembles laughter. The 
adjutant and some species of crane, also act 



as street-scavengers, carrying off carrion and 
offal ; they are therefore never molested 
The pheasants of the Himalayas are probably 
the finest in size, form, and plumage, of any 
in the world. The Himahiyan bustard is also 
a beautiful bird. The Avild-fowl of India is 
the stock from which our ordinary barn-door 
fowl has sprung. In the provinces conquered 
from Birmali there is probably greater variety 
of birds than anywhere in India proper. 
\^ aterfowl are there especially abundant, and, 
in the opinion of Indian epicures, are of sur- 
passing flavour. The peacock of Pegu is the 
most beautiful in the world, and the peahen 
comes nearer in gaudy plumage to her lord 
than elsewhere characterises the females of 
her class. The most remarkable of the birds 
in Tenesserim and Pegu are the swallows, 
who build edible nests. These nests are ex- 
ported to China, where there is an eager de- 
mand for them, they being considered a great 
delicacy of Chinese fare. The government 
realises a revenue from their export. 

Ornithologists have recently sought for 
objects of study in India, and progress in 
this department is rapidl}- being made. 

The insect-life in India is as varied as 
nature is in almost every other aspect which 
she presents in that wonderful land. Enty- 
mologists will not, however, find so wide a 
scope as in tropical Amei-ica. Perhaps the 
A'ast country comprehended in the Brazilian 
empire is the most prolific in this department of 
any country on the globe. The locust of the 
East is often a dangerous enemy to vegetable 
life in India. Vast clouds of these insects, 
darkening the air, pass over an extent of 
country, and then suddenly descend uj^on the 
verdure, which they utterly consume. The 
natives use them for food, having fried them 
with oil, and regard them as palatable. 

Mosquitoes are a terrible infliction, but are 
not felt so severely as in the West Indies. 
Scorpions are numerous, and much dreaded 
both by the natives and Europeans. Centi- 
pedes are also formidable, and universally 
dreaded and detested. Ants and other harm- 
less insects abound. There are various sjiecies 
of insects peculiar to India, or more fre- 
quently found there, and in especial varieties, 
than elsewhere. The " stick-insect " has the 
appearance of dried stick. The "leaf-insects " 
are of many kinds, and take the hue of the 
leaf they feed ujDon, so as not to be easily 
identified ; thej' are thus preserved from the 
too eager rapacity of other creatures which 
make them a prey. The "bamboo-insect" is 
a very curious specimen of the entj'mological 
world. It resembles a small piece of bamboo 
so exactly that at a little distance it could 
not be distinguished from such. Not only has 



Chap. I.] 



IX INDIA AND THE EAST. 



2G 



its long sliglit body a strong resemblance to 
the bamboo, but each of its six legs, and 
every joint, bears distinct markings of the 
samo kind. 

Spiders of various descriptions are very 
numerous. Socicil spiders exist in Bengal ; 
tlieir colour is a darkish grey, striped down 
the back with white.* In Bombay they are 
more common, " their nests being seen in 
every tree; the boora (Zisijjhns lattas, or 
j'ccjah) is the favourite, and servants cut off 
branches containing webs, and hang them up 
in the cook-room, wliere the spiders entrap 
and destroy the flies." 

The mason -wasp of India is an insect of 
peculiar habits. Dr. Buist of Bombay de- 
scribes the male as twice the size of the 
common wasp, and of nearly the same colour, 
the slender portion Avhich connects the abdo- 
men with the thorax being an eighth of an 
inch in length, and scarcely thicker than 
horse -hair. The female bears no likeness 
to the male, being about one -eighth of an 
inch in size, and in colour of a bright bottle- 
green. Early in October the male begins to 
build with mud, until his edifice assumes a 
nearly spherical form, the opening at the top 
being contracted like the neck of a bottle, and 
turned over at the entrance Avitli a flat lip, 
leaving an aperture of about one -eighth of an 
inch in diameter. He generally builds three 
of these nests. Wlien the building is dry 
the female hovers about it, and drops a few 
ovales in each, which she attaches to the sides. 
The male then aj^proaches, bearing a green 
caterpillar as large as himself. This he 
repeats, thrusting them down the aperture 
with as little injury as possible, so that they 
may live until the incubation of the ova has 
taken place, and the larva is liberated ; the 
latter then, in the shape of a maggot, feeds on 
the caterpillar until it is sufficiently fattened 
to pass into the pupa or chrysalis state. 
When the animal is fully developed, the 
orifice is closed with a little ball of mud, and 
the parent-wasp troubles himself no further. 
In due time the edifice is burst through, and 
the insect comes forth in its full power. 

Various kinds of fire -flies in India are 
remarkable for their briUianey by night ; 

* Bengal IlurJcaru : Transactions of the Bomlay 
Geot/raphical Socleti/. 



while by day, objects of insect life float on 
gossamer wing, tiny and beautiful specimens 
of being, reflecting in the vivid sun -rays 
innumerable hues. 

The rivers and bays are the resort of many 
sjiccies of excellent fish. These are not all 
used by Europeans, the natives delighting in 
many sorts to which the English have not 
yet become accustomed. The Indian mullet 
mango, kawall, rowball, umblefish, whiting, 
perch, sole, herring, pomfret, salmon, moun- 
tain mullet, &c., are all well-known and 
jipjjreciated by the British residents. On 
the eastern coasts of the bay of Bengal, 
there are several species that do not frequent 
the waters near tiie western shores. The 
climbing -2)ereh, which makes its way far up 
the rivers, and the barbel, are specimens of 
these. The latter is of great beai;ty ; its 
scales, when the fish is newly caught, glisten 
like brilliants. 

In India reptiles of very diverse kinds are 
nurtured by the warm climate and the abun- 
dant sustenance obtainable by them. Some 
of these are as harmless as they are beautiful, 
and others are of deadly venom. Those of 
minute size are found, and others of huge 
dimensions strike with terror the natives 
who meet with them. The boa arrives to 
an immense growth, and attacks the largest 
animals. The rattlesnake is as common as 
it is unwelcome ; and the cobra di ca2:)ella 
may be seen lifting its crest for the spring 
by any who venture near the silent spots 
where it reposes. 

Extensively as the products of India have 
been detailed in this chapter, the account 
given of them is but a mere sketch. Unless 
a Avoi'k, comprising as much space as these 
volumes, were devoted exclusively to the sub- 
ject, imperfect justice would be done to it. The 
brief review here taken will, however, enable 
the general reader to comprehend the fertility, 
beauty, and resources, of that land for which 
the arm of England has so successfully con- 
tended against native rajahs, foreign invaders, 
and desperate military mutineers ; and which 
it is to be hoped the genius and piety of 
England will rescue from superstition, bless 
with civilisation, and adorn by numerous 
churches, dedicated to Him by whom its 
riches and its beauties were imparted. 



VOL. I. 



26 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH E:\rEIRE 



[CuAr. II. 



CHAPTER II. 

POPULATION— RELIGION— LANGUArxES-LITERATUHE. 



It is extremely difficult, as may well be sup- 
posed, to obtain exact statistics of the popu- 
lation of India, and tlie territories v/liicli are 
comprised under tliat general uame. The 
most approved publications, and the volumi- 
nous documents to which access may be 
obtained at the India-House, under the per- 
mission of the directors, canuot, however, 
collated and arranged, afford precise informa- 
tion. 

It has been noticed on a previous page 
that, for purposes of government, British 
India is divided into three presidencies — 
Bengal, Bombay, and Madras. It is neces- 
sary that the reader be informed that the 
Bengal presidency has three great divisions, 
— one imder the immediate control of the 
governor -general of India, another under the 
directions of the lieutenant-governor of Ben- 
gal, these being regarded as one ; the third 
comprises the north-west provinces, under 
a separate lieiitenant -governor. A recent 
statistical arrangement of the different pro- 
vinces, with a view of showing their area and 
population, gives the following result, as 
matters stood up to 1852 :* — 

The BENGAL REGULATION DISTRICTS are 
seven, viz. : — 

1. The Jessore Division, containing the districts or 
collectorates of Jessore, the twenty-foui- Pergiinnahs, 
Bui'dwan, Hoogly, Nuddca, Bancoorah, and Baraset. 
Area 14,853 square miles. Population 5,345,473. 

2. The Bu.^UGULPORE Division, containing the districts 
or coUectorates of Bhaugulpore, Dinapore, ^Monghir, 
Poorneali, Tirhoot, and Malda. Area 26,464 square 
miles. Population 8,431,000. 

3. The CuTTACK Division, containing Cuttaclc with 
Pooree, Balasore, Midnaporc and Ilidgellee, aud Koordah. 
Area 12,664 square miles. Population 2,793,883. 

4. The MooRSiiEDABAB Division, containing Moor- 
shedahad, Bagoorah, Rnngpore, Rajshaliye, Pabna, aud 
Beerblioom. Ai'ca 17,566 square miles. Population 
C,B15,876. 

5. The Dacca Division, containing Dacca, Furrecd- 
pore, — Dacca Jclalporc, filymeusing, Sylhet, including 
Jyntca, and Bakcrgunge includiug Deccan Shabazpore. 
Area 20,942 square miles. Population 4,055,800. 

6. The Patna Division, containing Shahabad, Patna, 
Behar, and Sarun with Chumparan. Area 13,803 sqnare 
miles. Popidation 7,000,000. 

7. The CniTTAGOxG Divisiim, containing Chittagong, 
and Tipperah and BuUoah. Area 7,410 square miles. 
Poimlation 2,406,950. 

The NON-REGULATION PROVINCES widiin the 
limits of the Pi-esidency of Bengal, subject to the authority 
of fuuctiouarics a])poiiitcd by the Governor-General or 
Goverument of Bengal, are nine, as follow : — 



* M'Kenna. 



1. Saugok and Nerbudbah Province,- containing 
Jaloun and the Pergrmnahs ceded by Jhansie — area 1873 
square miles ; population 1 76,297 : the Sanger and Ner- 
buddah territories, com])risiug the districts of Saugor, 
Jubbulpore, Hoshungabad, Seonee, Dumoli, Niu-singpore, 
Baitool, and British" IMhairwarrah. Area 15,670 square 
miles. Population 1,967,302. 

2. Cis-SuTLEJ* Province, contaiuingUniballa, Loodiana 
including Wndnee, Kythul and Ladwa, Perozejiore, aud 
the territory lately belonging to Sikli chiefs who have been 
reduced to the condition of British subjects, in consequence 
of non-performance of feudatory obligations dnriug the 
Lahore war. Ai-ea 4559 sqnai'e miles. Population 
619,413. 

3. North-East Prontier (Assam) Province, con- 
taining Cossya Hills, Cachar, Qov/er) Camroop, Newgoug, 
Durrung, — and (upper) Joorhat (Seebpore), Luckimi)ore, 
and Sudiya, iucludiua: Mutruck. Aixa 21,805 square 
miles. Population 780,935. 

4. GoALFARA Province, containing an area of 3506 
square miles. Population 400,000. 

5. Akracan Province, containing an area of 15,104 
square miles. Population 321,522. 

6. Tenesserim Provinces, containing an area of 
29,168 square miles. Population 115,431. 

7. South -AVest Prontier Provinces, containing Suui- 
bulpore, Ramghur or Hazareebah, Lohm-dugga, Chota 
Nagpore, Pahunow, — Singbhoom, Maunbhoom, Pachete, 
and Barabhoom. Area 30,589 square miles. Population 
2,627,456. 

8. The PuNJAUB, inclusive of tlie Jullunder Doab and 
Kooloo tcrritorv. Area 78,447 square miles. Popula- 
tion 4,100,983.' 

9. The SuNDERBUNDS, from Saugor Island on the 
west, to the Ramnabad Channel on the east. Area 0500 
square miles. Population unknown. 

The REGULATION PROVINCES of tlie Agra Divi- 
sion of the Bengal Presidency, subject to the jurisdiction 
of the Lieutenant-Governor of the North-Western Pro- 
vinces, are divided into six Regulation Divisions and seven 
Non-Regulation Districts, as foUovr: — 

1. Delhi Province, containing the districts of Paniput, 
Hurreeanah, Delhi, Rotnck, and Goorgaon. Area 84G3 
square miles. Population 1,569,501. 

2. Meerut Province, containing Sahai'unpore, IMusaf- 
firnu2;?ur, jMeerut, Booluudshuhur, and Allighur. Area 
10,1 18 square miles. Popidation 3,384,433." 

3. RoHiLCUND Province, containing Bijnour, Morada- 
bad, Budaon, Bareilly and Phillibheet, and Shahjehanpore. 
Area 12,659 square miles. Population 4,399,865. 

4. Agra Province, containing Muttra, Agra, Purruc- 
kabad, 31einpooric, and Etawah. Area 9059 square 
miles. Population 3,505,740. 

5. Allahabad Province, containing Ca\nipore, Futtch- 
pore, Ilumeerpore and Calpee, Banda, and Allahabad. 
Area 11,839 square miles. Population 3,219,043. 

6. Bfxares Province, containing Goruckpore, Azim- 
ghur, Jounpore, jNIirzapore, Benares, and Ghazepore. 
Area 19,834 square miles. Population 7,121,087. 

The NON-REGULATION PROVINCES are as 

follow : — 

The Bhattie Territory, including Wuttoo, the Per- 

* The whole country of the Punjaub is now British 

territor}'. 



Chap. II.] 



IX INDIA AXD THE EAST. 



giinnali of Kote Kasim province, (he Jauiisar and Bawur 
province, the Dehra Doou province, Kumaon (iiichiding 
Ghurwal) province, Ajmeer province, and British Niniaiir 
province. Area 13,590 square miles. Population 
600,881. 

MADRAS is divided for Reveiiiie pnrposes into twenty- 
one Divisions, or Coilectoratcs, of which eighteen are under 
the regulations of the JMadras government. They are as 
follow : — 

1. Rajahmundry Collcctorate, containing an area of 
6050 square miles. Population 887,200. 

2. Masulipatam CoUectorate, containing an area of 
5000 square miles. Population 5-14,072. 

3. GuNTOOR, including Pauhiaud Collcctorate, contain- 
ing an area of 4960 square miles. Popidatiou 483,831. 

4. Nellore CoUectorate, containing an area of 7930 
square miles. Population 421,822. 

5. Chingleput CoUectorate, containing an area of 3020 
square miles. Population 404,368. 

6. Madras, included in Chingleput, containing a popu- 
lation of 462,951. 

7. Arcot, South Division, including Cuddalore, con- 
taining an area of 701 square miles. Population 873,925. 

8. Arcot, North Division, including Cousoody, contain- 
ing an area of 5790 square miles. Population 023,717. 

9. Bellary Collcctorate, containing an area of 18,050 
square miles. Population 1,200,000. 

10. CuDDAPAH Collcctorate, containing an area of 
12,970 square miles. Population 1,228,540. 

11. Salem CoUectorate, including Vomundoor and 
MuUapandy, containing au area of 8200 squai-e miles. 
Population 940,181. 

12. CoiMBATORE CoUectovatc, containing an area of 
8280 square miles. Population 821,986. 

13. Triciiinopolt CoUectorate, containing an area of 
3000 squai'e miles. Population 034,400. 

14. Tanjore CoUectorate, including Najore, containing 
an area of 3900 square miles. Population 1,128,730. 

15. Madura CoUectorate, including Dindigul, contain- 
ing an area of 10,700 square miles. Population 570,340. 

16. TiNNivELLY Collcctorate, containing an area of 
5700 square miles. Population 1,065,423. 

17. Malabar CoUectorate, containing au area of G060 
square miles. Population 1,318,398. 

18. Canara CoUectorate, containing an area of 7720 
square miles. Population 995,656. 

The three NON- REGULATION DISTRICTS are 
under the control of the agents of the Governor. They 
are as follow : — 

1. Gangaji, containing an area of 0400 square miles. 
Population 438,174. 

2. YiZAGAP.ATAJi, containing au area of 15,300 square 
miles. Population 1,047,414. 

3. Ki'RNOUL, coutaiuiun; an area of 3243 square miles. 
Population 241,632. 

The BOMBAY PRESIDENCY is, for Revenue pur- 
poses, divided into thirteen- Regular Divisions, or Coilec- 
toratcs, with three Non-Regulation Provinces. They are 
as follow ; — 

1. SuuAT CoUectorate, containing an area of 1029 
square miles. Population 433,200. 

2. Broach CoUectorate, containing an area of 1319 
square miles. Population 262,031. 

3. Ahjiedabad CoUectorate, containing an area of 
4356 square miles. Population 590,754. 

4. Kaira CoUectorate, containing au area of 1809 
square miles. Population 500,513. 

5. Candeish CoUectorate, containing an area of 9311 
square miles. Population 685,619. 

6. Tannah CoUectorate, containing an area of 5477 
square miles. Population 764,320. 



7. PooNAU CoUectorate, containing an area of 5298 
square miles. Population 004,990. 

8. Aii-^iEDNUGGUR CoUcctorate, including Nassick Sub- 
Collectorate, containing au area of 9931 square miles. 
Population 929,809. 

9. Sholapore CoUectorate, containing an area of 4991 
square miles. Population 013,803. 

10. BELG.4.UJ1 CoUectorate, containing an area of 5405 
square miles. Population 860,193. 

11. Dharwar CoUectorate, containing an area of 3837 
square miles. Population 647,196. 

12. RuTNAGiiERRY CoUcctorate, containing an area of 
3964 square miles. Population 625,782. 

13. Bombay Island, including Colaba, containing an 
area of 18 square mUes. Population 500,119. 

The NON-REGULATION PROVINCES, under the 
control of the Bombay Government, are three, as 
follow : — 

1. CoLABA (formerly Angria's), containing an area of 
318 square miles. Population 53,453. 

2. SciNDE, containing Shikarpore, Hyderabad, and 
Kurracliee. Area 52,120 square miles. Population 
1,274,744. 

3. S.ATT.ARA,* containing an area of 10,222 square 
miles. Population 1,005,771. 

The EASTERN STRAITS SETTLEMENTS arc four, 
as foUow : — 

1. Penang, containing an area of 100 square miles. 
Population 39,589. 

2. Province AVellesley, containing an area of 140 
square miles. PopiJation 51,509. 

3. Singapore, containing an area of 275 square miles. 
Population 57,421. 

4. jNIalacca, containing au area of 1000 square miles. 
Population 54,021. 

The NATIVE STATES, which, although not under 
the direct rule, being stiU within the limits of the political 
supremacy of the East India Company, require to be 
classed with reference to the British authority, by which 
they ai'c immediately controlled. They are as follow : — 

I.— BENGAL. 

The Government of Bengal keeps — 

A Political Resident at Hyderabad,! in the Deccan, 
at the com't of the Nizam, whose territories extend over 
an area of 95,337 square miles, with a population of 
10,606,080, and a subsidiary alliance. 

A Political Resident at Liicknow, :}: at the court of the 
King of Oude, whose territories extend over an area of 
23,738 square miles, with a population of 2,970,000, and 
a subsidiary aUiancc. 

A Political Resident at Katmandoo, for the Rajah of 
Nepaul, whose territories extend over au area of 54,500 
square miles, with a population of 1,940,000. This state 
is not under British protection ; but the rajah is bound 
by treaty to abide, in certain cases, by the decision of the 
British government, and is prohibited from retain- 
ing in his service subjects of any European or American 
state. 

A Political Resident at Nagpore, M-ith the Rnjah of 
Berar, whose territories extend over an area of 70,432 
square miles, with a population of 4,650,000, and a sub- 
sidiary alliance. 

The Governor-General's Agent for Scindiah's Domi- 
nions, Biindelcnnd, Saugor, and Nerbuddah territories, has 
the protection of Gvvalior, containing a territory of 33,119 

* The deposition of the rajah has altered the relations 
of his territory to tiie Company. 

t Recently annexed to the Company's territories. 

J The King of Oude dejiosed, and his country annexed. 



28 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chai-. II. 



square miles, with a population of 3,228,513, and a sub- 
sidiary alliance,— and also of Bundelcuud, comprising the 
small states of Adjyghur, Allypoora, Bijawur, Baouce, 
Behnt, Bijua, Berouuda, Bhysondah, Behree, Chirkaree, 
Chutterporc, Dutteali, Uoorwai, Gurowlee, Gorihar, Jhansi, 
Jussoo, Jignee, Khuddee, Kampta, Ijogasee, Miikrce, 
Mowagoon, Nyagaon, Oorcha, Punna, Baharcc, Pnhrah, 
Paldeo, Poorwa, Sumptlmr, Surehlah, 'Pohree Futtehpore, 
and Taraou — the Saugor and Nerbuddali territory, com- 
prising Kothee, }*Iyheer, Oclieyrali, Beua, and Mookund- 
po'/e, Sohavvul, and Siiagliur, containing an area of 
5G,311 square miles, with a population of 5,871,112. 

The Resident at Indore has the protection of Iiidorc, 
containing an area of 8318 square miles, with a population 
of 815,164, and a subsidiary alliance, — and also of Am- 
jhcrra, AUe ^lohun, or Bujpore Ali, Buruaucc, Dhar, 
Dewas, Jowra, and its Jaghiredars, Jabooa, Rutlam, and 
Seeta Mhow, exteuding over an area of 15,680 square 
miles, with a population of 1,415,200. 

The Bhopal Political Agent, under the Resident at 
Indore, has the protection of Bhopal, Rajghur, and Nur- 
singhur, and Koorwaee, extending over an area of 8312 
square miles, with a population of 815,360. 

The Governor-General's Agents for the states of Raj- 
POOTANA have the protection of the states of Alwur, 
Bhurtpore, Bikanecr, Jessulnieer, Kishenghur, Kcrowlee, 
Tonk, and its dependencies, Dholepore, Kotah, .Shallawur, 
Boondee, Joudpore, Jeypore, Odeypore, Pertabghm-, 
Doongerpore, Bansvvara, and Serohee, extending over an 
area of ll'J,t!59 suuare miles, with a population of 
8,745,098. 

The Agent in RotiiLCU.vD has the protection of Ram- 
pore, exteudiug over au area of 720 square miles, with a 
population of 320,400. 

The Superintendent of the IliLi. St.vtes has the pro- 
tection of Bhagul, Bughat, Bujee, Bejah, Bulsun, Bus- 
sahir, Dhamie, Dhoorcattie, Durwhal, Hindoor, or Na- 
laghui', Joobul, Kothar, Koomyhar, Keonthul, Koom- 
harsin, Kuhloor, ^Mangul, ?.Iuhlog, jNIauee Meyrali, 
Sirmoor, ]\Iundi, and Sookeit, extending over an area of 
11,017 square miles, with a population of 673,457. 

The Dkliii Agency has tlie protection of Jhujjur, Balia- 
dooi-ghur, Bullubghnr, Patowdee, Deojana, Loharoo, and 
Purruekuuggur, extending over an area of 1835 square 
miles, with a population of 217,550. 

The Comnussiouer and Superintendent of the Cis- 
SuTLEJ States has the protection of the following 
Sikh states (protected since April 25, 1809), Puttiala, 
Jlieend, Furreedkote, Rai Kote, Boorech (Dealghur), 
;Mundote, Chiehrowlee, Nabha, and Mulair Kotla, extend- 
ing over an area of 6740 square miles, with a population 
of'l,005,154. 

The Political Agent on the South-'West Frontier 
has the protection of Korea, Sii-jooja, Jnshpore, Odey- 
pore, Suctee, Sohnpore, Burgun, Nowagm', llyghur, 
Patna, Gangpore, Keriall, Bouei, Phooljee, Sarunghur, 
Bora Samba, Bombra, Singbhoom, Kursava, and Serickala, 
extending over an area of 25,431 square miles, with a 
po])ulation of 1,245, 655. 

The Superintendent at D.\r.jeelixg protects and super- 
intends Sikkini, containing an area of 2504 square miles, 
with a population of 92,648. 

The Board of Administration for the affairs of the 
Plwjaub has the charge and protection of the Nabob of 
Bhawnlpore, whose territories extend over au area of 
20,003 square miles, with a population of 600,000— and 
of Gholab Singh, with his territory (including Cashmere), 
extending over an area of 25,123 square miles, with a 
population of 750,000. 

The Governor-Geueral's Agent for the Nortii-E.\.st 
Frontier has the charge and protection of Cooch Beliar, 
Tuleram Senaputty, and of the Cossya and Garrow Hills, 
comprising the Garrows, Ram Rye, Nustung, Muriow, 
Molyong, Mahram, Osimla, and Kyriin, and other petty 



states, with an area of 7711 square miles, and a popula- 
tion of 231,605. 

A Political .\gent protects !Munneepore, containing an 
area of 7584 square miles, with a population of 75,840. 
— Tipperah, an independent jungle country, containing an 
area of 7632 square miles, with a population of 7632, — 
and the Cuttack ]\Iehals, viz. : — Dlienkanaul, Antgur, 
Berumbah, Tiggreah, Banky, Nyaghur, K'undiapurra, 
Runpore, lliudole, Angool, Nursiugpore, Talchur, Neel- 
gur, Koonjerry, ilohurbuiige, Boad, Autmallic, ami Dus- 
pidla. Area 10,929 square miles. Population 761,805. 

II.— MADRAS. 

The NATIVE STATES, subordinate to the MADRAS 
Government, are as follow : — 

A Resident has charge of Cochin. Area 1988 square 
miles, with a population of 288,176, and a subsidiary 
alliance. 

A Commissioner manages ^Iysore. Area 30,886 
square miles, with a popidatiou of 3,000,000, and a sub- 
sidiai-y alliance. 

A Resident has charge of Tk.vvaxcoke. xVrca 4722 
square miles, with a population of 1,011,824, and a sub- 
sidiaiy alliance. 

A Government Agent for the District of Vtzagapatam 
has charge of the Jeypore and Hill Zemindars, with their 
territories, extending over au area of 13,041 square miles, 
with a popidati(m of 391,230, as they are protected. 

III.- BOMBAY. 

The NATIVE STATES, subordinate to the BOMBAY 
Government, are as follow: — 

The Political Resident at B.vroda superintends the 
Giiicowar's doniinlons, comprising an ar:a of 4399 square 
miles, with a population of 325,526, and a subsidiary 
alliance. 

The Political Agent at K.vttywar superintends several 
petty chiefs, with a territory of 19,850 square miles, and 
a jiopulation of 1,408,900. 

The Political Agent at Pahlunpore controls Pahlun- 
pore, Radhuupore, Warye, Thurraud, Merwara, "Wow, 
Soegaum, Charcut, Therwarra, Doddur, Baubier, Thurra, 
Kankrej, and Chowrar. Area 5250 square miles. Popu- 
lation 388,500. 

The Collector of Kaira has the protection and charge 
of Cambay and Ballasinore, containing an ai'ca of 758 
square miles, with a population of 56,092. 

The Agent to the Governor at Surat protects Dhur- 
rumpore, Bansda, and Suekccn, containing an area of 850 
square miles, with a population of 62,900. 

The Collector of Aiiiieunuggur has the charge of the 
Daung Rajahs, Peint, and Hursool, containing au area of 
1700 square miles. Population 125,800. 

A Political Agent protects and manages Kolapore, 
containius an area of 3445 square miles, with a population 
of 500,000. 

A Political Superintendent manages Sawunt AVakkee, 
with an area of 800 square miles, and a popidation of 
120,000. 

A Political Agent in Mviiee Caunta controls ^Fyliee 
Caunta, Daunta, Edur, Ahraednuggui-, Peit, and other 
petty states, Rewa Caunta, Loonawarra, Soauth, Barreea, 
Odeypore (Chota), Mcwassee States, Rnjpee])la and other 
])etty states, and ^Vusravee, and adjacent country. Area 
5329 square miles. Poi)nlation 394,346. 

A Political .\geut superintends CuTtir, with au area of 
6704 square miles, and a population of 500,536. 

The Sattara Jaghiredar of Akulkotc, with au area of 75 
squai-e miles, and a population of 8325, is under the 
superintendence of the Collector of Sholapore ; and the 
remainiug chiefs of Bhorc, Juth, Ound, Phidluu, and 
Wyhee, are under the protection of the Commissioner iu 
Sattara. 



Chap. II.] 



IN IXDIA AND THE EAST. 



29 



The Southern Mahratta Jaghiredars of Sanglce, Koon- 
war, Meeruj, Jhuinklnnulce, :Mood]iolc, Nurgooiid, llablee, 
aud'Savano'or, arc under a political agent iu the South kkn 
MAHKAriA country, and are protected. Area 3700 
square uiilcs. Population 410,700. 



The foreign possessions in India are now reduced to 
those of two powers, viz. : the I'kexch and the Poutu- 
GUESE. The I'reuch possessions were often taken, but 
restored by the treaties of peace in 1703, 1783, 1802, 
and 1815. lor several years during the war iu the 
be"-inniug of the present century, the Portuguese settle- 
ments were occupied and protected by British troops. In 
182-1 the Dutch exchanged their possessions forthe British 
settlements in Sumatra ; and the Danes sold Serampore 
and Tranquebar iu 18-14. 

FRENCH SETTLEMENTS. 

PoSDiCHEURY, with an area of 107 square miles, and 
a population of 79,743. 

Cauical, with an area of 63 square miles, and a popu- 
lation of 49,307. 

Yanaox, with an area of 13 square miles, and a popu- 
kition of 6881. 

Mahee, with an area of 2 square miles, and a popula- 
tion of 2616. 

CnANDERNAGORE, With an area of 3 square miles, and 
a population of 32,670. 

poRTUGrESE settle:ments. 

GoA, and the Island of Dam.\un and Diu, with an area 
of fcOO square miles, of which the population is said not 
to exceed 360,000. 

Various alterations have occurred iu the 
arrangemeuts of districts, resulting from the 
annexation of new provinces, such as the 
Nizam's country, the kingdom of Oude, terri- 
tory connected with Scinde and the Pun- 
iaub, and the recent provinces conquered 
"from Birmali — Tenesserim, and more lately, 
Pe^'U. It is probable that new arrangements 
of territorial division will depend upon the 
means taken for the pacification of the country 
upon the suppression of the great military 
revolt. The readjustment of provinces alters 
the relative amount of superficial area, and 
of population. The above, however, is the 
nearest available approximation to accuracy 
of detail, and will at least furnish the reader 
with such a general knowledge of the extent 
and population of the presidencies, their dis- 
tricts, and dependencies, as will enable him to 
approach the subject with some ade<pate idea 
of the greatness of our Indian empire. 

Colonel Sykes, M.P., called for returns, 
which were furnished by the Board of Con- 
trol, and which, in some respects, correct the 
ahove details, giving a considerably higher 
estimate of the numbers of the population, 
and a somewhat larger estimate of the area 
in square miles. According to the papers 
furnished to the House of Commons, the 
gross total area of all the governments of 
India is 1, 4:60,570 square miles ; the British 
states occupying 837,412 ; the native states, 



027,910; and the French and Portuguese 
possessions, 12o4:; and that the gross total 
population is 180,884, 2'J7 souls — namely, 
13LU0O,0Ol in the British states, 48,370,247 
in the native, and 517,149 in the foreign pos- 
sessions of France and Portugal. The Bri- 
tish states, under the governor-general of 
India in council, cover an area of 240,050 
square miles, and are peopled by 23,255,972 
souls ; the states under the lieutenant-gover- 
nor of Bengal occupy 221,909 square miles, 
and are peopled by 40,852,397 souls; the 
states under the lieutenant-governor of the 
north-west provinces occupy 105,759 miles, 
and are peopled by 33,055,193 souls ; the 
states under the ]\Iadras government occupy 
132,090 miles, and are peopled by 22,437,29Y 
souls ; and the states under the Bombay 
government occupy 131,544 square miles, 
and are peopled by 11,790,042 souls. The 
native states in the Bengal presidency occupy 
515,533 square miles, and are peopled by 
38,702,200 souls ; those in the Madras presi- 
dency occupy 51,802 miles, and are peopled 
by 5,213,071 souls ; and those in the Bom- 
bay presidency occupy a space of 00,575 
square miles, and are peopled by 0,440,370 
soids. The French territory in India covers 
an area of 188 square miles, and is peopled 
by 203,887 souls ; while the Portuguese ter- 
ritory occupies an area of 1000 square miles, 
and is peopled by 313,202 soitls. 

Even parliamentary returns cannot be ac- 
cepted as absolutely correct, either as to the 
number of population, or the area of territory, 
concerning which this chapter affords the 
most probable estimate. As official reports 
they are, however, entitled to all the weight 
which superior opportunity for acquiring 
information possesses. How vast the multi- 
tude of human beings who inhabit the wide, 
fertile, and picturesque regions comprehended 
under the generic designation, Ixdi.i I What 
civilised empire ever before possessed a num- 
ber of subjects at all approaching that which 
peoples the Indian dominions of Britain ? 

The races which inhabit these regions are 
various — Hindoos, Chinese, Tartars, Aftghans, 
Persians, Arabs, Beloochees, and other tribes 
of lesser influence, swell the human tide which 
has ebbed and flowed in so many revolutions 
\^ithin the boundaries of those coveted realms. 
The Hindoo race foiiiis me mnjority '^f the 
people ; its origin is lost in extreme antiquity. 
In the outline that will be given of ancient 
Indian history, the question of race will come 
more properly under review ; it is here only 
necessary to say that numerically this is the 
prevailing tribe of the inhabitants of the 
peninsula. The Mohammedan conquerors of 
India overflowed the country from Affghan- 



30 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. II. 



istan, Persia, and Central Asia. They are 
numerically much inferior to the Hindoos, 
but have maintained an impression of autho- 
rity and power which, apart from their reli- 
gion, distinguishes tliem from the Hindoo 
population. 

The religious history of India is curious 
and interesting, and will fall within the scope 
of the political history, for the one is too 
intimately blended with the other for separate 
record. In describing with accuracy the 
doctrines and practices at present prevailing, 
an intimate knowledge of the early religious 
history of the country is important, for it is 
not possible to know thoroughly the moral 
influence of a religion without penetrating its 
philosophy, and that involves a knowledge of 
its origin and progress. The difficulty of 
ascertaining the origin of Hindooism is great, 
not only from the remote anticpiity into which 
investigation must penetrate, but from the fact 
that the Greeks, in their accounts of India (and 
they are the most reliable historians of 
ancient India), so associate the gods of Hiu- 
doostan with those of Greece, and tise the 
names of their own deities interchangeably 
with different Hindoo gods, that the theology 
of Hindooism has been confused, and its early 
history often as much clouded as illustrated, 
by Greek vanity, prejudice, and liberality, 
strangely blended. 

The Hindoo people do not appear to have 
been the earliest inhabitants of the country 
now recognised as theirs. Another race, and 
perhaps other races, were spread over the 
territory before its possession by the Hindoo. 
Dr. Cook Taylor considers that they were 
barbarous tribes, who fell away before the 
superior knowledge of a peaceful people, 
■who, by their science, morality, and religious 
propaganda, obtained the ascendancy which 
other peoples have acquired by arms, — that 
they were rather settlers than invaders. He 
seems to rest this oj^inion upon the fact of 
their having a language so perfect as the 
Sanscrit, and a priesthood so elaborately 
organised as the Brahminical. Neither of 
these grounds seems sufficient for the hypo- 
thesis. There is no proof that the early 
settlers, or victors, whichever they were, 
had an elaborately constructed hierarchy, or 
ritual, — nor are there any traditions among 
the descendants of the race who originally 
encroached upon the territory now called Hin- 
doostan, to ])rove that they came simply as 
peaceful settlers ; while there are many indi- 
cations, even in their own traditions, that they 
PU])erse(led races, or a race, less aggressive 
and subtle. The cruel distinctions of caste 
which prevailed among the Hindoos of early 
times, although far less rigorous than that 



which their descendants now observe, forbids 
the idea of their having been a peculiarly 
gentle sept, leaning for power upon their 
moral, religious, and intellectual superiority 
in a propagandism of peace. They are gene- 
rally supposed to have come originally from 
Central Asia, by way of Affghanistan and the 
Punjaub, rapidly multiplying in numbers, 
but not by fresh accessions of the original 
stock. The whole tribe seems to have moved 
at once, and gradually to have advanced, 
seeking more fertile lands, until it finally 
settled in the country now known as Hin- 
doostan Proper. 

The Hon. IMountstuart Elphinstone, ex- 
amining the laws of caste, as laid down in 
the book of Menu, concluded that the lowest 
caste was a vanquished one, and the descen- 
dants of the original inhabitants, while the 
privileged castes were the descendants of the 
conquerors. " It is impossible not to con- 
clude that the ' twice born ' (the higher 
castes) were a conquering people ; that the 
servile class were the subdued aborigines ; 
and that the independent Sudra towns, which 
were in each of the small territories into 
which Hindoostan was divided, still retained 
their independence ; while the whole of the 
tract beyond the Himalaya l^iountains re- 
mained as yet untouched by the invaders, 
and unpenetrated by their religion." Mr. 
Elphinstone then suggests a doubt, whether 
the conquerors, instead of being a foreign 
people, Avere not a native tribe, or a sjoreading 
and aggrandizing sect of superior intelligence 
and energy. After giving a summary of the 
arguments for this view, while his own lean- 
ing is obviously to tlie former, he says, 
" The question, therefore, is still open. There 
is no reason fov thinking that the Hindoos 
ever inhabited any country but their present 
one ; and there is little for denying that they 
may have done so before the earliest trace of 
their records or traditions." Mr. Elphinstone's 
own mind seems to have wavered as he wrote 
— the conflictins; CAddences noted bv his own 
pen caused his opinions to fluctuate. It 
seems, however, from the evidences presented 
by himself, that the Hindoo people were 
wanderers from another region, bringing with 
them a religion more simple and more con- 
formable to truth than that which is pro- 
fessed by their descendants ; and as their 
religion gradually became corrupt, their insti- 
tutions became more unjust, and Avere per- 
vaded by more of a class spirit. The question 
of race is so far mixed up with the origin of 
their reli^'ion as to render this reference to it 
here necessary. There can be no doubt that 
tlie tribe entered North-western India with 
religious ideas but little tincturedwitli super- 



Chap. II.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



31 



stitioii, at all events comparatively little. 
The simple bxit sublime faith which was 
borne from Ararat with the first wanderers, 
after the Deluge subsided, was that which 
niainly inspired the hope and moral life of 
the better instructed among the ijrimitive 
Hindoos, however impotent it might be upon 
the hearts of the masses, who, in obedience to 
the migratory character of the earl}' nations, 
went forth in qxiest of lands adapted to their 
wants and dispositions. 

The rehgion of a people may be ascer- 
tained by their sacred books or written creed, 
if they have such — by the opinions they avow 
in their intercourse — by their objects and forms 
of worship, and by their moral feeling and 
practice. The Hindoos recognise two classes 
of books as of divine authority, which con- 
tradict one another — the Vedas and the 
Paranas. The former are consistent with 
themselves ; the latter self-contradictory. The 
former has a tinctiire of the same philosophy 
pervading them all ; the latter are incom- 
patible with one another. The former may 
be accepted as a Avhole — as constituting to- 
gether one authority on matters of religion ; 
the latter propound opinions mutually so 
adverse as to necessitate the rejection of all, 
or the existence of a number of sects accord- 
ing to the portion of the proposed revelation 
which obtains the confidence of the students. 

The Yedas are of great antiquity, and are 
written in a very old form of Sanscrit. Much 
discussion exists as to the date which should 
be ascribed to them, but the opinion of Sir 
W. Jones is that which has generally been 
accepted, — that they existed about fourteen 
hundred years before Christ. Our knowledge 
of them is very imperfect, only a small por- 
tion ha\-ing been translated into English or 
any other European tongue. 

Each of these Yedas is divided into two 
parts at least, some into three. The first is 
invariably devotional, containing prayers and 
hymns ; the second moral and didactic ; the 
third (when there is a third division) is theolo- 
gical, argumentative dissertations on the doc- 
trines propoiindod being comprised. "Where 
there is not a third division, the second con- 
tains the theological. 

Concerning God the Yedas are polytheistic, 
although nothing can be more clear and dis- 
tinct than the doctrine of a supreme Deity. 
Mr. Colebrook, the eminent oriental scholar, 
represents the Indian Scriptures as teaching 
" the i;nity of the Deity, in whom the 
universe is comprehended ; and the seeming 
polytheism Avhich it exhibits, offers the ele- 
ments, and the stars, and planets, as gods. . . 
The worship of deified heroes forms no part 
of the system, nor are the incarnations of 



deities ouggested in any part of the text, 
although such are hinted at by commen- 
tators." This statement is scarcely consistent 
with itself, for if it "offers the elements, and 
the stars, and planets as gods," it is poly- 
theism, even although, in the language of 
jMr. Colebrook, " the worship of deified heroes 
is no part of the system." 

Professor AVilson, who is at least as com- 
petent a judge as Mr. Colebrook, does not 
alfirm the monotheism of the Yedas, although 
he denies that they teach idolatry, by which 
he means the worship of images created by 
the hands of man. His words are, " It is true 
that the prevailing character of the ritual of 
the Yedas is the Avorshipof the personified ele- 
ments ; of Agni, or fire ; Seedra, the firma- 
ment ; Yaya, the air; Yaranee, water; Adi- 
tya, the sun ; Soma, the moon ; and other 
elementary and planetary personages. It is 
also true that the worship of the Yedas is 
addressed to unreal personages, and not to 
visible types." Dr. Cook Taylor quotes por- 
tions of those passages under the heading, 
'•'Unity of the Deity Taught." Mr. Capper, 
usually so accurate in his representations, 
quoting Elphinstone, says, " The leading doc- 
trine of the Brahminical worship is the unity 
of God. Their books (the Yedas) teach that 
there is but one deity, the Supreme Spirit, 
the Lord of the Universe, whose work is the 
universe." Mr. Capper also gives Colebrook 
as his authority, but that gentleman repre- 
sents the doctrine of the Yedas concerning 
the universe to be, that it is a part of God. 
This is probably his reason for considering 
that, after all, they teach the worship of one 
god only, as they regard the elements to be 
portions of the divine nature. Professor Y'il- 
son, however, states that they personify the 
elements, and Avorship these personifications. 
The Hon. Mr. Elphinstone says, that while 
the primary doctrine of the Yedas is the 
divine unity, yet, " among the creatures of 
the Supreme Being are some superior to man, 
who should be adored, and from whom pro- 
tection and favours may be obtained through 
prayer. The most frequently mentioned of 
these are the gods of the elements, the stars, 
and the planets, but other personal powers 
and virtues likewise appear." 

It is evident that it became the fashion for 
writers on India, especially those having any 
connection M'ith the country, to make the 
most of its early literature and theology. The 
Yedas proclaim one god, who is supreme, and 
many that are subordinate and derived from 
him. This was the form of all ancient polythe- 
ism, and scarcely any polytheistic rehgion, 
however degraded and dark, but recognises 
one supreme being, Lord of all, who is unity ; 



32 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. 



LCHAr. II. 



althoTigli tlie most suitaLle inscription tliey 
could place npon his temple would be that 
which the Athenians inscribed on an altar in 
the days of the Apostle Paul — " To the un- 
known God." According to Sir W. Jones, 
certain learned Brahmins represent the lan- 
guage of the Vedas as not only positive on the 
subject of the divine unity, but strikingly ex- 
pressive and beautifid. Some specimens which 
he gives would adorn the pages of a Christian 
theological professor. Assuming the correct- 
ness of these translations, there can be no 
reason to (piestion the accuracy of those given 
by Colebrook, Professor Wilson, and others, 
which represent the doctrine of an inferior 
degree of worship, or of several degrees of 
inferior worship, as belonging to creatures 
real or imaginary. It is asserted by some 
that the Hindoos in their migrations brought 
the Vedas with them ; other writers contend 
that they are the exj^ression of the popular 
opinion committed to writing in the land of 
their conquest or adoption. However this 
may be, the doctrines described are such as 
had their origin at Babylon, and thence spread 
over every nation of the earth. Humboldt 
and Prescott found them in Mexico. The 
Saxons brought them to Britain. The Celts 
of every tribe in the British Islands substan- 
tially held them, and over all Asia they pre- 
vailed. Babylon was the parent of polytheism 
before it became the capital of that other form 
of idolatry, which, with stricter accuracy of 
term, bears the name. Colonel Kenned_y, 
known as a Sanscrit scholar, represents the 
Brahmins as having come from Babylon.* 

Our knowledge of the Vedas is generally 
deduced from the Institutes of IMenu, and 
these Sir W. Jones considers to have been 
compiled about the twelfth century before 
Christ ; but the Hon. Mr. Elphinstone, with 
better reason, assigns a date three hundred 
years later. It is "an ojjen question" whe- 
ther Menu -was a real or dramatic personage ; 
the amount of evidence is in favour of the 
former opinion. It is probable that the name 
is derived from a root which signifies to 
number, and may have reference to the 
arrangement of times and laws, to the Hindoo 
calendar of religious festivals and ceremonies. 
The religion, as well as the code of jurispru- 
dence of the earliest Hindoos settled in Hin- 
doostan, is supposed by the learned in Hin- 
dooism to be found in tlie code of ]\Ienu, 
although some departure from the purity of 
the Vedas, both in theology and ethics, is 
believed to characterise the Institutes. The 
doctrine of a Trinity is indicated in the 
Vedas — Fire, Air, and the Sun,-|- " into some 

* Ri'searc/ies, p. S-iS. 

t Mr. Howitt represents the Claistian doctrine of the 



one of which the others are resolvable." * 
Genii, good and evil, nymphs, demons, super- 
natural beasts and birds, are described as be- 
longing to the class of existences excelling 
man in })Ower. Man is described as body, 
soul, and spirit, nearly in the phraseology of 
the Apostle Paul. Communion wdth the gods 
is to be maintained by personal expiations of 
sin, prayers, and ritual observances. 

It is curious that while Elphinstone writes 
of the divine unity as a doctrine of the 
Vedas, he, in the following passage, describes 
the worshij) prescribed by them: — " The gods 
are worshipped by burnt -offerings of clari- 
fied butter and libations of the juice of the 
moon -plant, at which ceremonies they are 
invoked by name ; but though idols are men- 
tioned, and in one place desired to be re- 
spected, yet the adoration of them is never 
mentioned but with disapprobation." 

According to various aiithorities, five sacra- 
ments are enjoined by the Vedas, which, 
according to the strange expression of El- 
phinstone, the devotees " must daily perform." 
It is difticult to understand what these 
writers mean by a sacrament, for the five 
mentioned do not answer to any definition of 
the term accepted among theologians, nor to 
the derivation of the word.f The five great 
cardinal duties referred to by this term are — 
studying the Veda, making oblations to the 
manes, and to fire in honour of the deities, 
giving rice to living creatures, and receiving 
a;uests with honour. The modes in which 
some of these, especially the first, are to be 
accomplished, are very perplexing, being as- 
sociated with so many difficulties as to render 
the performance no pleasure, and A'ery often 
altogether impracticable. 

The morality of these sacred books is, on 
the whole, rather better than the theology. 
This is the case in all polytheistical systems 
in general terms, but the purer ethics so ex- 
pressed are generally lost in a selfish and 
evasive casuistry. 

The odious principle of caste is maintained 
in these earlier and purer writings of Hin- 
dooism. According to the Vedas there were 
four castes ; first, the Brahmins, or priestly. 
All Brahmins were not necessarily priests, but 
all priests should be Brahmins. The office 
of the priesthood was not one of dignity, 
although it was one of sacredness. This is 
not usually the case in the hierarchy of reli- 

Trinity as derived from this sourte. la a work entitled 
Recehition the Suiirce of all that is Good in other 
Si/steiiis, the author of this History has shown tliat the 
polytheistic theories of remote antiquity derived this tenet 
from primitive revehatiou, which was ohscured and defaced 
by superstition and vain philosophical speculation. 

* Elphinstone, vol. i. ch. iv. 

t Sacrai//ei/t/!i», an oath. 



Chap. II.] 



IN INDIxV AND THE EAST. 



33 



gions, biit it is so occasionally in otlier tliau 
the Bralimiuical. The Brahniiu was inter- 
dicted from phicing himself on a level with 
the ranks below his own, in a great variety 
of particulars. The austerities prescribed as 
necessary to the religious course of a Brahmin 
were numerous, foolish, and severe. His 
life was divided into four periods, the last 
only was exempt from penances and mortifica- 
tions ; constant contemplation was its work. 
The privileges of this order were also very great. 
They alone possessed the right to explain, or 
even read, the Vedas. Under certain restric- 
tions the next two classes were allowed their 
perusal. As these books are the source of 
theology, religious light was the prerogative 
of the Brahmin ; being the source of law, the 
judges mi;st belong to the class v>ho alone 
had unrestrained access to them, and the pri- 
vilege and power to expound them. All 
sickness being considered as the result of sin, 
the Vedas alone prescribed the proper treat- 
ment of the invalid ; the Brahmin was neces- 
sarily the only physician. All other classes 
were bound to treat Brahmins with the most 
pious reverence. A Sudra, the lowest class, 
must submit to the most contumelious treat- 
ment from them, and feel honoured by any 
notice, even if it consisted in personal chastise- 
ment. The Veysias were bound to make pre- 
sents to the Brahmins, and see that they wanted 
for nothing ; the Kshatryas, to support their 
cause and defend them. For a man of any 
other class to overpower a Brahmin in argu- 
ment, subjected him to a fine. To kill a 
Brahmin was an inexpiable sin. Kings Avere 
bound not to reprove, but to entreat them, 
even when obviously in the wrong. Their 
p-rsons and property were free from impost, 
and if they required anything, none from whom 
they asked it should refuse, " for to refuse them 
anything is impiety." If a Brahmin com- 
mitted the most heinous offence against the 
law, or against nature, he must not be pun- 
ished capitally ; yet for the smallest infraction 
of their own caste obligations the heaviest 
2:)enalties wei'e imposed. They had power 
over the gods, and it was dangerous for a 
deity to refuse a Brahmin's prayer. The 
second order was the Kshatryas, or military 
class. To this kings and governors belonged, 
although not unfrequently in the earlier ages 
these offices Avere held by men of the first 
class. The Brahmins were jealous of this 
caste, and the jealousy was mutual. The 
third was the Veysias, or merchant class, who 
were bound to devote themselves to trade 
and husbandry. This caste was more nume- 
rous than both the former together. Tlie 
fu iirth was the Sudras, or servile class. These 
wore to seek service with a Brahmin, failing 

A OL. I. 



to obtain which, they were to seek it with a 
Kshatrya or a Veysia, and if able to obtain 
it with none of them, they were to find sub- 
sistence as they best could. Elphinstone, 
Capper, and other writers, affirm that the 
condition of villains under the feudal system 
was much worse than that of the Sudra, be- 
cause the 2)orsonal independence and jiro- 
perty of the latter were secured. But of 
what avail was this recognition when he was 
brought lip under the conviction that he had 
no moral right to acquire property ; that the 
ambition to do so was sinful ; that he was 
born to be a servant, and ought in all things 
to seek conformity to this destiny ; and that 
his chief hope of a happy transmigration 
hereafter depended upon fidelity in his service 
to a Brahmin ? No class of human beings 
were ever imbued with so humiliating an 
appreciation of themselves both for time and 
eternity. To submit to all manner of hard 
treatment and contempt was the virtue most 
inculcated upon them ; and at every step, 
from the cradle to death, the cei'emonials of 
Hindooism stamped the Sudra, spiritually and 
morally, as well as physically and socially, a 
degraded being. The Veda was not to be 
read in his presence, and " it was pollution to 
teach him its sublime doctrines." He was to 
be fed with the leavings of his master. Should 
any one kill a Sudra, he was to be fined, or 
i;ndergo a penance, the same in amount or 
degree as if he had killed a dog. Such are 
the doctrines of the much lauded Vedas con- 
cerning him ; and the constitution of Menu, 
based upon these Vedas, was designed to ren- 
der stringent practically every invidious tenet 
of the sacred books. 

There was one peculiarity of his degrada- 
tion which perhaps pressed harder on the 
Sudra than all the rest. Members of the 
three superior castes were, at a certain age, 
in virtue of certain ceremonies, invested with 
the sacred cord, upon which occasion they 
were said to be born again. The term, "a 
twice-born man," is a generic phrase, which 
comprises members of all castes except that 
of the Sudra. Tlie effect of this distinction 
was to lower the Sudra almost to a level with 
the brute — at all events to place liim on the 
verge of the unholy world, to which Hindoo 
sanctity and privilege could not be extended. 
If it did not place him out of the pale of sal- 
vation, it was, in the phraseology of certain 
modern bigoted schismatics, to " hand him 
over to the nncovcnanted mercies of God." 

The origin of this custom of the twice 
born is a subject of inquiry very interesting 
to Christians, as the expression occurs in the 
third chapter of St. John's Gospel, in our 
Lord's conversation with Nicodemus, — " Ve- 



34: 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. II. 



having 



rily, verily, I say unto yon, unless a man be 
born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of 
heaven." There can be little doubt that the 
idea was derived by the Hindoos from Baby- 
lon, whether the theory of Colonel Kennedy 
be correct or erroneous as to their 
themselves come thence. 

That the doctrine of regeneration of the 
heart by the instrumentality of truth, under 
the gracious influence of God, was a doctrine 
of the patriarchal world, is obvious to all per- 
sons acquainted with the Scriptures, however 
ignoi'ant of this tenet the generality of the 
Jews were, even of the better instructed, in 
the days of the Saviour. That Noah taught 
it to his children and their descendants is 
equally ]:)laiu to the Bible student. But this 
truth, like all others propagated by him, 
became clouded by human speculation. Men, 
Avise in their own conceits, became fools, 
"turned the truth of God into a lie,'" and 
j)erverted alike the theory and facts of pri- 
meval religion. Babylon became the great 
centre of corruption, and the germs of human 
apostasy may all be found in the theogonies 
and philosophies which emanated thence, and 
spread throughout the world. The original 
doctrine of revelation, here noticed, was j)er- 
verted among the rest; that which was spiritual 
in essence and in operation was perverted into 
the mere ceremonial, while to the ceremony 
itself was attributed supernatural power. 

In the Babylonian mysteries the comme- 
moration of the Flood, of Noah, and of the 
Ark, was mingled with idolatrous worship. 
Noah was deified imder the titles of Saturn, 
Osiris, or Janus, " the god of gods," in most 
of the early nations. In Babylon all this had 
its birth. Noah, as ha^dng lived in two 
worlds, was called Dephnes, or " twice born." 
It was believed that all who went through 
the prescribed ceremonial would become like 
Noah — regenerate, made anew, made righ- 
teous by the i^rocess throiigh which they 
passed — "twice born."* Humboldt and 
Prescott found this idea prevailing in Mexico 
as it prevailed at Babylon. There would 
be no difficulty in tracing it through all the 
superstitions of nations, as an original doc- 
trine of revelation perverted to pagan pur- 
poses. 

It is not necessary to dwell further upon 
the ancient religion of the Vedas, and the 
Institutions of Menu; for although in these 

* In a work entitled the Moral Identifi/ of Babylon 
and Rome, the author mentions that the uaine Shinar, 
given to }3abylon in the Scriptures, is expressive of this 
idea. Read without points, Sliinar is Shenor, whieh he 
derives from sJiene, to repent, and noer, childhood. 
"The hind of Shiuar" is thus made "the land of rege- 
neration." 



rests the basis of Hindooism, that religious 
system became greatly modified through the 
lapse of so vast a period of time as has 
passed since the Book of Menu developed, 
and, as it were, consolidated, the laws and 
tenets of the older writings. 

The simple polytheism of the Vedas, which 
was itself a corruption of the primitive doc- 
trine of God, became clouded and polluted by 
innumerable superstitions, and, except in the 
institution of caste, the Hindoo religion of 
the present day bears but little resemblance 
to that of the age of the Vedas or of Menu. 
Even caste is not maintained in its primitive 
simplicity. As the doctrines became less 
pure, the ritual became more strict : prayers, 
^lenances, sacrifices, increased with the num- 
ber of the gods ; and the rigidity of caste, in 
certain ceremonial acts, became more stern 
as the morality upon which it professedly 
rested ceased to be observed with primitive 
exactness. 

The deterioration of the Hindoo religion 
was gradual. From the personification of 
the elements, the people descended to the 
representation of the personifications in works 
of hi;man skill. They made to themselves 
the likeness of things in the heavens above, 
the earth beneath, and the waters imder the 
earth ; they bowed down to them, and wor- 
shipped them, until the thing represented 
was itself lost sight of in the visible emblem. 
The images themselves were made more and 
more grotesque, hideous, and absurd, as the 
imagination became less pure, the understand- 
ing less vigorous, and the moral j^urpose less 
determinate. The grossness of the image 
re -acted upon the ideal of the deities, until 
the satire of Augustine upon another people 
became applicable — " The same gods are 
adored in the temple, and laughed at in the 
theatre." Hindooism sunk from its philoso- 
l)hical and theistical speculations to a filthy 
and sanguinary idolatry. Nothing became 
too mean out of which to make a god, and no 
conce2:)tion was too hideous as the ideal of its 
fabrication. In the shaded groves of that 
bright land — by the retired inlets of its roll- 
ing rivers — on the shores of every placid 
and silent lake — within the public and sump- 
tuous temple and the retired and picturesque 
sanctuary — stand the frightful forms of innu- 
merable gods, before whose presence licen- 
tious orgies, self-torture, and human sacrifice, 
are no less acts of devotion than meaningless 
forms, mutterings, and ablutions. Hindooism 
has had its a^iologists, even among modern his- 
torians of reputation (for what form of apos- 
tasy has not its apologists among the learned 
and the great ?) ; but the religion of modern 
Hindooism is no better, and in many respects 



Chap. II.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



35 



m\icli worse, than tlie forms of idolatry against 
whicli the anathema of sacred Scripture is 
pronounced, and to it as well as to them the 
curse of Jehovah goes forth — "Confounded 
be they who serve graven images, that boast 
themselves of idols." 

The deterioration of Hindooismis strikin^'ly 
marked in the writings of the Paranas. The 
Brahmins profess to believe, and the mass of 
the people really do believe, that the Paranas 
were written by the authors of the Vedas. 
Evidence is not Avanting to prove that they 
are the productions of various periods, some 
of these writings being scarcely three hundred 
years old, although others may possibly be a 
thousand. These books were, however, the 
arrangement and embodiment of the pojmlar 
belief. The coiTuptions formed material for 
the Paranas. These too faithfully reflected 
the general opinion, not to be received with 
popular favour. The causes which produced 
the general declension of religion are thus 
ingeniously set forth by Dr. Cooke Taylor : — 
" The simple and primitive form of worshij^ 
was succeeded in some remote and unknown 
age by the adoration of images and types, 
and of historical personages elevated to the 
rank of divinities, ■\\hich swelled into the 
most cumbrous body of legend and mythology 
to be found in any pagan nation.* It is pro- 
bable that the religious revolution was the 
woi'k of the poets ; the story of the Rama 
Yana, and the Mhaha Bharrat, turns wholly 
upon the doctrine of incarnation, all the lead- 
ing personages being incarnate gods, demi- 
gods, and celestial spirits. We know that a 
similar change was wrought in ancient Greece 
by Homer and Hesiod, for previous to the 
appearance of their theogonies the objects of 
worship were the Titans, wdio were properly 
elementary deities, like the gods of the Asiatic 
nations. The legends which now constitute 
the Hindoo mythology are collected in the 
Paranas, works believed to have been written 
or compiled in the tenth century of our era, 
when the original religion had been corrupted, 
and the ancient system of civilisation had 
fallen into decay." It is remarkable that the 
best things under heaven become the worst 
when abused. No arts have contributed so 
much to the solace and civilisation of man 
as poetry, painting, sculpture, and music, — and 
these have been the grand instruments in 
creating and sustaining idolatrous sj'stems. 
It may, however, be doubted whether his 

* The Hon. Moimtstuart Elphinstone denies that the 
number of gods accepted by the orthodox Hindoos is by 
any means so numerous as is generally represented, and 
accounts for the misapjjrehensiou. It is doubtful whether 
the gods and the legends of Greece and Rome were not 
more numerous thau those of India. 



love of classic analogy did not lead the learned 
doctor to attribute too great an influence to 
the poets of the Hindoos. At aU events, the 
Paranas de^iict faithfully the religion of 
heathen Hindoostan, and the study of these 
writings, and of the worship and opinion of 
the people, presents a religion which only in 
some of its fundamental ideas resembles the 
ancient faith of the Vedas. 

The present system of Hindoo religion is 
glaringly polytheistic and idolatrous. In the 
progress from early polytheism it would 
appear that three principle deities engaged 
the popular Avorship — Erahma, Vishnu, and 
Siva. The first is the Creator, the second 
the Preserver, the third the Destroyer. Al- 
though Vishnu is second in the order of the 
triad, he was before Brahma in order of being. 
Vishnu, the Preserver, slept upon the face of 
the waters which submerged the ruins of a 
former world. While thus in repose, a lotus 
sprang from his body, from which Brahma, 
the Creator, was produced. He created the 
elements and the world, and, among his other 
great works, produced Siva, the Destroyer, 
and the race of man. From his head he 
created the Brahmins (sacerdotal and noble) ; 
from his arms, the Kshatryas (warriors) ; 
from his thighs, the Veysias (merchants) ; 
from his feet, the Sudras (labourers). Brahma 
is but little reverenced, Vishnu and Siva re- 
ceiving the worship formerly paid to the whole 
triad. Brahma is represented with four 
heads, on each a mitre resembling that worn 
by a Latin or rather Greek prelate. He has 
four hands, in one of Avhich is held a spoon, 
in another a string of beads, in the third a 
water-jug, and in the fourth the sacred Vedas, 
His image is painted in golden and vermillion 
colours. Vishnu is generally figured as re- 
posing on a lotus, or on the many-headed 
serpent Amanta (Eternity). His image is 
painted of some dark colour or black. Siva, 
although in the unamiable character of a 
destroyer, is a greater god than those from 
whom he sprang. Eternity (Maha Kali) is, 
however, represented as his conqueror. He 
is depicted upon a throne, or riding on the 
bull Naudi, and painted in white or bright 
colours. His image is occasionally made 
with five heads, but more generally with one 
head, having three eyes, the third in the 
centre of the forehead. These eyes sym- 
bolically express his omniscience — time past, 
present, and future, being open to his glance. 
These deities have had various incarnations 
and manifestations, are the subjects of many 
absurd legends, and the parents of numerous 
offspring of gods and men. Siva is most 
generally represented with his consort Par- 
vadi, who was a very warlike lady or divinity, 



3G 



HISTORY OF THE BrxTTISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. II. 



having enconntered and killed a great giant, 
and performed many other exploits equally 
bellicose. 

In the doctrines of the triad there is evi- 
dently a vague conception of the original 
doctrine of a Trinity in Unity. In the early 
ages of apostasy, after the Deluge, Noah and 
his three sons were transformed into the su- 
preme being, and a triune offspring. The story 
of Vishnu, the Preserve!', resting on the face 
of the "waters, after the destruction of a pre- 
vious world, when Brahma, the Creator, came 
forth, is evidently a tradition of the Scripture 
passage — "' The Spirit of God moved upon 
the face of the waters," when creation came 
forth from the chaos of a iwevious state. 
With that tradition is mixed up the story of 
Noah in the Ark floating upon the Deluge 
above the wreck of the submerged world, and 
coming out of the Ark to re -people and re- 
j)lenisli the earth. The serpent -throne of 
the god is a vague traditionary notion of the 
great serpent of Paradise, over whom the pro- 
mised seed was ordained to triumph; the ser- 
pent, first dreaded, became at last worshipped. 

Many of the other gods were, in earlier ages, 
only different forms and names of these three 
gods, but came at last to be regarded as sepa- 
rate deities. Thus, the Preserver, Vishnu, en- 
throned on the lotus leaf, and floating on the 
troubled seas, is rej^resented under another 
name, as part man, part fish, the same attri- 
butes being attributed to him. 

There is in all this, additional proof of the 
Chaldee origin of the Indian polytheism. In 
the Babylonian triune God, tlie tliree persons 
were — the Eternal Father, the Spirit of God 
incarnate in a human mother, and a Divine 
Son, the fruit of that incarnation. 

Many of the legends concerning the other 
gods mix up ideas of the first promise in 
Eden Avith the earliest forms of Babylonian 
polytheism. Thus, Surya, or the Sun, is 
represented as becoming incarnate for the 
purpose of subduing the enemies of the gods, 
Avho must be subdued, according to the divine 
destinies, by one human born. The Baby- 
lonian polytheism made Taumuz the god in- 
carnate, the Child of the Sun, the great 
object of Babylonian homage. 

The form of half-man, half-fish, is precisely 
that of the Dagon of the Philistines, and the 
origin of that god Avas Ba1)ylonian. Bunsen, 
in his Egijpt, quotes Barossus, the Chaldean 
historian, to show that the worship of this 
deity was founded upon a legend, that when 
men were very barbarous, there came up a 
beast from the Red Sea, half man, half fisb, 
that civilised the Babylonians, taught them 
arts and sciences, and instructed them in 
politics and religion. 



The C[ueen-wife of Vishnu is also wor- 
shipped under the name of Lakshmi. Her 
Avorship and her name are supposed by cer- 
tain antiquarians and philologists to be of 
Chaldean origin. 

The worship of a woman as a great queen 
pervades all early polytheistic nations. This 
is traced to Semiramis, the Queen of Nim- 
rod, the first great conqueror. It is main- 
tained by a writer of great ability that, as 
Shemir is the Persian name of Semiramis, 
and Lhaka means beautiful, Lhakshmi means 
" the beautiful Shemir," or Semiramis. It is 
remarkable that the services of the Babylonian 
Shemir Avere conducted AA'ithout sacrifices; 
her Avorshippers jioured out drink-offerings, 
burnt incense, and offered cakes before her. 
This is the precise character of the services 
to the great Indian goddess.* 

There is a god Rama, Avho is the offspring 
of Vishnu, and AA*as King of Oude, an historical 
personage, Avho is by many of his Avorshippers 
confounded with Vishnu, or declared to be an 
incarnation of that god. Rama had a son, 
Chrishna, Avho is the faA^ourite deity of modern 
Hindooism. He is the boy-god of India. 
This is plainly another version of the Baby- 
lonian god Taumuz. 

The doctrine that the seed of the Avoman 
should bruise the head of the serpent, taught 
by Noah and his offspring, insjured the ambi- 
tion of the infamous but beautiful and intel- 
lectual Semiramis to set up her son Taurnnz 
as that promised seed, aa'Iio became Avorshipjied 
through her influence and his OAvn exploits, 
and finally the mother, as Avell as the son, Avere 
made objects of adoration. That is the pro- 
bable origin of the confused traditions of CA^ery 
ancient land, leading them to set up some beau- 
tiful ideal queen as the object of worship, and 
her son the incarnation of the supreme deity, 
the deliverer of gods and men, as also to be 
adored. It is the kernel-thought of primi- 
tive apostasy — the great blasphemy Avhich 
runs through all heathen religions — the delu- 
sion AAdiich Satan has propagated and kept up 
to divert men from the doctrine of the true 
jMessiah. Ea'cu the Jews were denounced by 
the prophets for AA-andering into this all-pre- 
A'alent oriental idolatry. That the children 
gathered the sticks, and the Avomen baked 
cakes to offer to the qiieen of heaven — that 
all classes joined in her adoration on occasion 
of a very general apostasy to this idolatry, is 
the complaint of the great prophet of the 
HebrcAvs. The picture is a fair portrait of 
the jieoplc of India at this day. 

It Avould require more space than can bo 
afforded in this Avork, to describe at greater 

* " No sanguinary sucriliccs are oiTcrcJ." — Coleman's 
Jualic llesearches. 










O 



^ 


^ 


^^ 


0'^ 


Cj 


IT: 


B 


o 


p 


(L 



o 
ft 



Chap. II.] 



length the objects of idolatrous worship in 
India. Let it snflfice to say, tliat wliilo Colonel 
Kenned}', in his rosearclies, recounts seven- 
teen chief gods, and admits that the lesser 
ones are legion, some have ventured to 
affirm that 3,000,000 deities are -worshipped. 
Amongst the material terrestrial ohjects 
adored, the river Ganges has the chief place. 
Its waters cleanse from sin, and sanctify manv 
dubious deeds. The chief doctrines treat of 
the modes by Avhich the gods are to be ap- 
peased and worshijiped, which are innimie- 
ral)le and horrible. All conceivable methods of 
self-inflicted torture are deemed necessary or 
desirable. The devotee will sit in a particular 
posture, with uplifted arm, until it stiffens 
and remains fixed; the hands are clenched 
and pressed until the nails grow through the 
flesh ; hooks are placed in the muscles of 
the back, and the wretched sufferer is swung 
round with fearful rapidity, by ropes from 
poles fixed at a suitable elevation. 

"The world beyond the grave is portrayed 
in a manner calculated to affect the oriental 
imagination with supreme terror or delight. 
Each chief god has a heaven for his especial 
votaries — some arc composed of gold and 
precious stones ; and all the attributes of 
wealth and grandeur await the beatified. 
Others are fields of flowers, where pellucid 
waters roll through the fairv land ; fragrant 
airs breathe eternal perfumes ; light beams 
with unclouded gljvy, but with no fervid 
ray; exulting multitudes witness the achiev- 
ments of gods and genii, and behold their 
enemies chased through worlds of despair by 
j)ursuer3, whose looks and instruments of 
vengeance inspire immortal terror. By trans- 
migrations in certain successions the spirits 
of the departed are blessed or punished ; 
some are at last assimilated to the divinity, 
while others, losing all consciousness of a 
separate existence from deity, live and move 
and have their being in him. The most 
horrible acts of cruelty are deemed acceptable 
to God, even self-immolation. Thus the 
Hindoo mother leaves her female child by 
the waters of the Ganges, to be devoured by 
the alligators, or borne away by the rising 
waters. The contempt for female life, com- 
mon to all superstitious creeds, uncivilised 
countries, and nations which, although having 
attained a high civilisation of circumstance, 
have a low civilisation of feeling, enables the 
Hindoo woman to forget her maternity, and 
tear from her bosom that which had its being 
there, to leave it to perish by the dark river 
and beneath the solitary heaven. Aged rela- 
tives, felt to be a burden, are, in their sick- 
ness, doomed to a similar fate. 

The East India Company, by its humane 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 

and 



37 



exertions and authority, has succeeded in 
suppressing infanticide, and desertion of the 
sick and the aged ; but their interference in 
the^ cause of humanity excited the super- 
stitious animosity of the various castes. 

The most terrible of all the religious cruel- 
ties of India is the Suttee. The poet Camp- 
bell has described this barbarous custom in a 
single couplet — ■ 

" The widowed Indian, when her lord expires, 
Jlouuts the dread pile, aud braves the funeral fires." 

An eminent writer thus notices this prac- 
tice : — " Of the modes adopted by the Hin- 
doos of sacrificing themselves to the divine 
powers, none however has more excited the 
attention of the Europeans than the burning 
of the wives on the funeral piles of their 
husbands. To this cruel sacrifice the highest 
virtues are ascribed. ' The wife who com- 
mits herself to the flames with her husband's 
corpse, shall equal Arundhati, and reside in 
Swarga ; accompanying her husband, she shall 
reside so long in Swarga as are the thirty - 
five millions of hairs on the human body. As 
the snake-catcher forcibly drags the serjtent 
from his earth, so, bearing her husband from 
hell, with him she shall enjoy the delights of 
heaven while fourteen Indras reign. If her 
husband had killed a Brahmana, broken the 
ties of gratitude, or murdered his friend, she 
expiates the crime.' Though the widow has 
the alternative of leading a life of chastity, of 
mortification, denied to the pleasures of dress, 
never sleeping on a bed, never exceeding one 
meal a day, nor eating any other than simple 
food, it is held her duty to burn herself along 
with her husband."* 

This atrocity is not to be supposed as 
confined to the ignorant. " The Hindoo legis- 
lators," says jMr. Colebrooke, " have shown 
themselves disposed to encourage this barba- 
rous sacrifice." 

The institutes of Akbar were translated 
under the patronage of the Honourable East 
India Company, and they contain the follow- 
ing passage : — " If the deceased leaves a sou, 
he sets fire to the pile, otherwise his younger 
brother, or also his elder brother. All his 
wives embrace the corpse, and notwithstand- 
ing their relations advise them against it, 
expire in the flames with the greatest cheer- 
fulness. A Hindoo wife who is burnt with 
her husband, is either actuated by motives of 
real affection, or she thinks it her duty to 
conform to custom, or she consents to avoid 
reproach, or else she is forced to it by her 
relations. If the wife be pregnant at the 
time of her husband's death, she is not allowed 
to burn till after her delivery. If he dies on 

* Mill's India, vol. i. pp. 274, 275. Quarto edition. 



38 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. II. 



a journey, tlie wives burn tliemselves along 
Avitli his clothes, or anything else that be- 
longed to him. Some women %vho have been 
prevailed iipou by their relations, or have 
persuaded themselves against burning with 
the corpse, have found themselves so un- 
happy, that they have cheerfully submitted 
to expire on the flames before the next 
day." 

The East India Company has succeeded 
in nearly suppressing Suttee in their terri- 
tory, but in several of the native states it is 
still, to a limited extent, practised. This 
interposition excited much opposition on the 
part of the natives ; but success followed. 
Their noble exertions deserve the aj^plication 
of the 23oet's words — 

" Children of Brahma ! then vras mercy nigh 
To wash the stain of hlood's eternal dye ? 
Did peace descend to triumph and to save, 
When free-born Britons cross the Indian wave?"* 

Whatever the faults or errors of our Indian 
administration, these beautiful lines are appro- 
priate. So far as India is rescued from her- 
self, from her own sins, and laws, and customs, 
and religious rites, it was well for her that 
Britons crossed the Indfen wave. No evil of 
temporary misgovernment is a feather in the 
scale against the ponderous crimes and op- 
pressions of the native creed and custom. 
The words of the prophet may be truly ad- 
dressed to the people of India as they were 
of old to Israel — " The prophets prophecy 
falsely, and the priests bear rule by their 
means, and the people will have it so, saith 
the Lord of Hosts." 

The services of Juggernaut are attended 
l)y terrible immolations. All the battles 
fought by England in Hindoostan, or for 
Ilindoostan, could not furnish returns of slain 
crpial to those crushed beneath the ponderous 
car of this horrid idol. It has many shrines, 
but the principal one is at Orissa. On occa- 
sion of the festival the god is drawn forth — a 
colossal idol thirty feet high : men, women, 
and children, yoke themselves to the heavy 
car upon which it is placed, shouting with 
frantic fanaticism. Many, alas ! also fling 
themselves beneath the huge wheels, and are 
crushed in an instant to death, their blood 
and brains being scattered upon the surviv- 
ing devotees, whose maniacal devotions are 
rendered more fanatical and exulting by the 
sanguinary scene. Surely the philosophy of 
sacred Scripture is vindciated in the History 
of India — " The dark places of the earth are 
the abodes of cruelty." 

The extravagance of rich devotees on 
occasions of the public festivals is incre- 
dible : a wealthy native has been known to 
* Campbell. 



expend as much as £20,000. It is not m\- 
common for these feasts to cost men of pro- 
perty at least £1000. The feast of the 
goddess Durga Parja is one of expensive 
magnificence. 

As is the case with all superstitious reli- 
gions, the fanaticism of the people is kept up 
by men who either profit by being entirely 
set apart for religious services, or give them- 
selves wholly up to such, under the impres- 
sion of thereby securing their own salvation. 
Men of this sort blend infatuation with impos- 
ture, and, with the assumption of superior 
spirituality, display carnal feelings and per- 
secuting animosities. What the Celtic Irish 
call voteens (small and contemptible devotees) 
abound in India, and do much to infuriate 
the zealotry of the people, to sow sedition, 
and, by their idleness, mendicity, filth, and 
horrid personal exposures, to demoralise and 
impoverish the poorer classes. The fakeers, 
by submission to extraordinary penances, by 
which they are maimed, crippled, and other- 
wise deformed, are regarded by the people as 
persons of peculiar sanctity. They live by 
begging, and carry disease and infection with 
them throughoiit the counti-y. 

There are various monastic orders con- 
nected with the temples and services of par- 
ticular gods. These orders are regarded as 
circles of holiness, and their members as en- 
dowed with peculiar sanctity. They arc a 
curse to the country, and do more to promote 
the common degradation than any other class 
or cause, always excepting the institution of 
caste. There is no visible head of the Hindoo 
religion, nor are there always chiefs or prin- 
cipals of the monastic institutions. In some 
cases there are leaders or presidents, who 
maintain their position by prescriptive right. 

It- is common for members of the order to 
shave the head in a manner similar to the 
monks of Europe. The Buddhists (a sect to 
be noticed hereafter) are especially noted for 
this observance. The origin of the i;sage 
was purely Babylonian. It was the symbol 
of inauguration of those who were thus 
shaven in the priesthood of Bacchus, the son 
of the queen of heaven. The high priest of 
"the mysteries" was a tonsured personage. 
From the Babylonians other oriental peoples 
of antiquity derived it. Thus, it is related 
by an ancient historian that " the Arabians 
acknowledge no other gods than Bacchus and 
Urania,* and they say that their hair is cut 
in the same way as Bacchus's is cut ; they 
cut it in a circular form, shaving it aromnl 
the temples." f The priests of Osiris, the 
Egyptian Bacchus, were also distinguished 

* The mother of Bacchus, 
t Herodotus, lib. iii. 8. 



Chap. II.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



39 



by i\\\s tonsure* The custom was cer- 
tainly imported into India with the same 
ideas. When the usage began to be ob- 
served it is not easy, perhaps not possible, to 
trace, but Gotama Buddha, the founder of 
the sect or religion of the Buddhists, is repre- 
sented as having more strictly enjoined it 
than others. It is not confined to his fol- 
lowers ; but one of the Paranas, or new Indian 
scriptures, thus writes of Buddha and his 
followers : — " The shaved head, that he might 
the better perform the orders of Vishnu, 
formed a number of disciples, and of shaved 
heads like himself." This circle was intended 
to rejiresent the sun, and the seed of the pro- 
mise — the sun, or light incarnate. The hope 
of the promised seed was, as shown on a 
former page, thus blasphemously used by 
Semiramis and her abettors, to make of her 
son the fulfilment of that prophecy, and to 
have him deified. The following by a popu- 
lar writer in the British Messenger, places 
the origin of the Hindoo tonsure in its tn;e 
light, and serves to illustrate what is written 
in this chapter concerning the Babylonish 
origin of the practices as well as doctrines of 
the Hindoo religion : — " It can be shown that 
among the Chaldeans the one term 'Zero' 
signifies at once ' a circle ' and ' the seed.' 
Suro, 'the seed' in India, was the sun divi- 
nity incarnate. "When that ' seed' was repre- 
sented in human form, to identify him with 
the sun, he was represented with the circle, 
the well-known emblem of the sun's annual 
course, on some part of his person. Thus, 
our own god Thor was represented with a 
blazing circle on his breast. In Persia and 
Assyria the sun -god was marked out nearly 
in the same way. In India the circle is 
represented at the tip of his finger. Hence 
' the circle ' became the emblem of Taumuz, 
or ' the seed,' and therefore was called by the 
same name. ' Zero.' Moreover, bv a maiwellous 
providence, the circle is still called by the 
same name in everyday speech among our- 
selves ; for what is Zero, the cipher, but just 
a circle ? This name Zero has indubitably 
come to us from the Arabians, Avho again 
derived it from the Chaldeans, the original 
cultivators at once of idolatry, astronomy, and 
arithmetic. The circular tonsure of Bacchus 
was doubtless intended to point him out as 
' Zero,' or ' the seed,' the Grand Deliverer ; 
and the circle of light round the head of 
the so-called pictures of Christ was evi- 
dently just a different form of the very same 
thing, and borrowed from the very same 
source." 

In few respects is the degeneracy of the 
Hindoo religion more seen than in the midti- 
* Macrobius, Sahinialia, lib. i. cap. 23. 



plication of castes. According to the Vedas, 
as already shown, there were but four castes. 
The members of these different classes, as 
Mr. Elphinstone j-jvcfers to call them, inter- 
married, and questions of nice casuistry began 
to arise as to what class the offspring of these 
marriages belonged. Hence new castes arose, 
and these were multiplied as human pride 
and exclusiveness found scope, until trade 
castes were established, and men were here- 
ditarily confined to the calling of their an- 
cestors, however special and peculiar those 
callings. Thus, water-carriers are to remain 
water-carriers, and grass-cutters to continue 
grass -cuttei's, from father to son for ever. 
The ceremonies, abstinences, privileges, and 
disqualifications peculiar to each are so 
numerous, that to state and explain them, 
trace their origin, and mark their effects, 
Avould fill a volume as large as one of those 
devoted to this History. The Brahmins de- 
clare that the other three classes have become 
extinct from various causes, but this the others 
refuse to admit ; even the Sudras are desirous 
to maintain the purity of their derivation 
from the original servile Sudra stock. 

Mohammedanism has been a means of 
breaking up old castes, and introducing new 
ones. The English and other foreigners, 
even when most unwilling to interfere with 
the national customs, have, by the introduc- 
tion of new habits, wants, and ideas, influ- 
enced the process of caste revolution. But 
however broken i;p by internal changes or 
foreign influences, the thing still lives ; like 
the severed Avorm, each part has its own vita- 
lity, whatever repugnance to the beholder 
is excited by the process of the phenome- 
non. The more the tree of caste is " slipped," 
the wider its kind extends, however diversi- 
fied the qualities of the various shoots. With 
all its corruptions, dismemberment, and con- 
fusion, the caste system of Hindoostan, as to 
its spirit, and prejudice, and moral mischief, 
is as potent and persistent as ever. The pre- 
scribed calling of the several castes has not 
provided its members with uniform subsist- 
ence, and many are glad to find an oppor- 
tunity of exercising skill or labour in avoca- 
tions ceremonially beneath them. Even the 
mean and proud Brahmins, who considered 
labour degrading, and begging sacred and 
respectable, now follow various professions 
and trades, and are to be found in the ranks 
of the common soldiers, in the service of the 
company and of native chiefs. The Sudras 
have in many cases become respectable occu- 
piers of land ; very many of them are mer- 
chants and officials; and in the Mahratta 
states they espouse the w\irrior class, where 
generals and rajahs are often of the Sudras 



40 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[ClKVP. II. 



caste. In the Bombay army tliey are often 
enlisted in the ranks. 

The Gosayens, and other orders of monas- 
ticism, are supplanting the Brahmins in their 
influence over the people in the Gangetic 
provinces. In fact, it is as in the middle 
ages in Eurojie, when the regular almost 
deposed the secular clergy in their influence 
over the consciences of individuals and the 
affairs of families. It must not be supposed 
that the influence of the Brahmins has much 
declined ; their spiritual influence has, but 
their caste precedence is still maintained by 
themselves, and recognised by all others. 
The Rajpoots and Mahrattas regard them 
with less respect than they are regarded 
elsewhere. 

So sternly, however, are the requisitions 
of caste maintained at the present time, 
that a general oflicer, famed through the 
world for his deeds of policy and arms, has, 
in private conversation, assured the author of 
this History that he has seen the Brahmin 
dash away his cooking apjiaratus, and his 
nntasted meal, because an unfortunate Sudra 
happened to be ordered to perform some 
military duty within an uncanonical proximity 
to the spot. 

The loss of caste is the most terrible thing 
known to the Brahmin. It is temporal and 
eternal death in some cases ; it is in all cases 
legal and civil death. The evidence of such 
a man cannot be received ; his property is 
confiscated ; his parents, children, and wife, 
must repudiate him, or be subjected to 
penalties the heaviest that can be conceived 
by Hindoo imagination. Loss of caste may 
in most cases be expiated, but in some it 
cannot. 

The number of castes now existing it would 
be imjiossible to tell. In the Asiatic Re- 
searches estimates of different writers are 
given, but these are contradictory and un- 
reliable. They have increased to a very 
great number, although the four original 
classes may be said to comprise generically 
all the species into which caste is divided. 
Among them all the same oppressive or 
abject spirit prevails, according to the ex- 
tent of their debasement. The interests of 
the -many are sacrificed to the prejudices of 
the few. Inexorable tyranny is met by 
reptile -like deceit and treachery. Supersti- 
tions, changing in everything else, are immu- 
table in their cruelty and darkness. Such 
are the effects of caste. In some cases per- 
sonal slavery is engendered by it. Accord- 
ing to the Vedas and the Institutions of 
McT.a, and, probably, even in accordance 
with the Paranas, all castes are free, so far 
as personal freedom is concerned, aiul the 



legal right to offer their services to whom- 
soever they please, but, practically, men of 
the Sudra class in some ]jlaces are subjected 
to bondage. In the south of India there are, 
or were until lately, predial slaves. In some of 
the mountain and forest districts Elphinstone 
records that, in 18i9, there were bondsmen. 
It is tolerably certain that there are such 
now. Some years earlier they were still more 
numerous in the south of India. A gentle- 
man well acquainted with Madras and Bom- 
bay says — " There are six sorts of Chemurs, 
or slaves, like the Pariar of Madras, and 
no other caste is bought or sold in Malabar. 
They are said to have been caught and 
domesticated by Parasu Rama, for the use of 
the Brahmins, and are probably the descend- 
ants of the aborigines conquered by the Chola 
kings, and driven into the jungles, but at last 
compelled to prefer slavery and rice to free- 
dom and starvation. They are generally, but 
not always, sold with the land, two slaves 
being reckoned equal to four buft'aloes ; they 
are also let out and pledged. Their pay is 
an allowance of rice and cloth. They some- 
times run away, but never shake off their 
servile condition ; and if reclaimed, the chil- 
dren they may have had during their wan- 
dering are divided between the old master 
from whom they fled and the new one lo 
whom they resorted." This description 
would suit the subject of the social condition 
of India as fitly as the religious, but so closely 
are the religious and social conditions of every 
people associated, that the characteristics of 
the latter may be predicated from a know- 
ledge of the former. Caste is at once a reli- 
gious and social institution ; it is at one and 
the same time an exhibition of religious doc- 
trine, and its practical social effect. 

Th-e same careful writer describes the 
Cuniun, or Cunishun, as a caste of Malabar, 
whose profession is astrology ; " besides," he 
relates, "they make umbrellas, and cidtivate 
the earth. In many parts of India the astro- 
loger, or Avise man, whatever his caste may 
be, is called Cunishun. They are of so low 
a caste, that if a Cuniun come within twenty- 
four feet of a Brahmin, the latter must jjurify 
himself by j^raj-er and ablution. They are 
said to possess powerful mantras (charms) 
from fragments of the fourth Veda, which is 
usually alleged to be lost. The towns along 
the sea-coast are chiefly inhabited by j\Iop- 
lays, who were originally imported from 
Arabia, and probably have traded to the Red 
Sea since the time of Alexander the Great. 
They were early converted to the Moham- 
medan faith, and are fanatics ; yet they have 
retained or adopted many original ]\lalabar 
customs, which seem at variance with the 



Cn.vr. IT.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



41 



maxims of the Pro])liet. Tlicy are cunning 
tradoi's, desperate robbers, serve as irregular 
infantry, ]ios.scss land, and tarn tln^r hands 
to anything. They hate the Hindoo idolaters, 
and are reciprocally detested. The Tiars 
and Mucnars are very industrious classes — 
the first on shore, and the latter afloat — as 
boat and fishermen ; there are no weavers or 
manufacturers deserving of notice." 

These glimpses of Hindooism, penetrating 
by its caste influence a circle of religionists 
who hate idolatry, strikingly illustrate how 
adapted caste is to the tyranny, pride, mean- 
ness, and servility which are curiously blended 
in the native mind, and how ingeniously the 
social theory of the Hindoo religion was 
formed to harmonise with the psychological 
and habitual sympathy of the Hindoo race. 
Mr. Hamilton, in his description of the castes 
of IMalabar, gives the following graphic and 
particular account : — 

" The region of Malabar being intersected 
by many rivers, and bounded by the sea and 
high mountains, presented so many obstacles 
to invaders, that it escaped subjugation by 
the Mohammedans until it was attached by 
Hyder, in 17GG ; the original manners and 
customs of the Hindoos have consequently 
been preserved in greater ]mrity than in most 
parts of India. The other inhabitants of this 
province are IMopIays (or Mohammedans), 
Christians, and Jews ; but their number col- 
lectively is inferior to that of the Hindoos, 
some of whose most remarkable manners, 
customs, and institutions, shall be here de- 
scribed. 

" The rank of caste on the Malabar coast 
is as follows : — 

" First. Namburies, or Brahmins. 

" Second. The Nairs, of various denomi- 
nations. 

" Third. The Teers, or Tiars, who are cul- 
tivators of the land, and freemen. 

" Fourth. The Malears, who are musicians 
and conjui'ors, and also freemen. 

'■' Fifth. The PoHars, who are slaves, or 
bondsmen, and attached to the soil. 

" The system of distances to be observed 
by these castes is specified below : — 

" 1. A Nair may approach, but must not 
touch a Brahmin. A Tiar must remain 
thirty yards off. A Poliar ninety -six steps 
off. 

"2. A Tiar is to remain twelve steps dis- 
tant from a Nair. A Malear three or four 
steps further. A Poliar ninety-six steps. 

" 3 A I\Ialcar may approach, but not touch 
a Tiar. 

" 4. A Poliar is not to come near even to 
n Malear, or to any other caste. If he wishes 
to speak to a Brahmin, Nair, Tiar, or Malear, 

VOL. I. 



he must stand at the above prescribed dis- 
tance, and cry aloud to them. If a I*oliar 
touch a Brahmin, tlie latter must make exjiia- 
tion by immediately bathing, reading much 
of the divine books, and changing his Brah- 
minical thread. If a Poliar touch a Nair, or 
any other caste, bathing is sufficient. In 
some jiarts of the province Churmun is a 
term applied to slaves in general, whatever 
their caste be, but it is in some other parts 
confined peculiarly to Poliars. Even among 
these wretched creatures the pride of caste 
has full influence ; and if a Poliar be touched 
by another slave of the Pariar tribe, he is 
defiled, and must wash his head, and pray. 

" The Parian, in the plural Pariar, belong 
to a tribe of Malabar below all caste, all of' 
whom are slaves. 

" In IMalabar the Pariars acknowledge the 
superiority even of the Niadis, but pretend to 
be higher than two other races. This tribe 
eat carrion, and even beef, so that they are 
looked upon as equally impure with the 3Io- 
hammedans and Christians. 

" The Niadis are an outcast tribe, common 
in IMalabar, but not numerous. They are 
reckoned so very impure, that even a slave 
of caste will not touch them. They have 
some miserable huts, built under trees, but 
they generally wander about in companies of 
ten or twelve, keeping a little distance from 
the roads, and when they see any passenger 
they set up a howl like dogs that are hungry. 
Those who are moved by compassion lay 
down what they are inclined to bestow, and 
go away ; the Niadis afterwards approach, 
and pick up what has been left. They have 
no marriage ceremony, but one man and one 
woman always associate together. They kill 
tortoises, and sometimes alligators, both of 
which they eat, and consider most excellent 
food. 

" The Brahmins here are both fewer in 
number, and less civiHsed, than in the other 
]n'ovince3 of India south of the Krishna. 
They subsist by agriculture, priestcraft, and 
other devices, but are not employed as 
revenue servants, this being probably the 
only pi'ovince of the south where the Brah- 
mins do not keep the accounts. 

" The next most remarkable caste are the 
Nairs, who are the pure Sudras of Malabar, 
and all pretend to be born soldiers, but they 
are of various ranks and professions. The 
highest in rank are the Kirit, or Kirum Nairs, 
who on all public occasions act as cooks, 
which, among Hindoos, is a sure mark of 
transcendent rank, for every person may eat 
food prepared by a person of higher rank 
than himself. The second rank of Nairs are 
more particidarly named Sudras, but the 



42 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. II. 



whole aclvuowledge themselves, and are 
allowed to be, of pure Sudra origin. There 
are altogether eleven ranks of Nairs. This 
caste formed the militia of Malabar, directed 
by the Brahmins, and governed by rajahs, 
before the country was disturbed by foreign 
invasion ; their siibmission to their superiors 
was great, but they exacted deference with 
an arrogance rarely practised by Hindoos 
in their state of dependence. A Nair Avas 
expected instantly to cut down a Tiar (culti- 
vator) or Mucua (fisherman) who presumed 
to defile liim by touching his person ; and a 
similar fate awaited a Foliar or Pariar who 
did not turn out of his road as a Nair passed. 
The peculiar deity of the Nair caste is Vishnu, 
but they wear in their forehead the mark of 
Siva. The proper road to heaven they de- 
scribe as follows : — The votary must go to 
Benares, and afterwards perform the ceremony 
in commemoration of his deceased ancestors 
at Gaya. He must then take np water from 
the Ganges, and having journeyed over an 
immense space of country, pour it on the 
image of Siva, at Rameswara, in the Straits 
of Ceylon. After this he must visit the 
principal places of pilgrimage — such as Jug- 
gernaut, in Orissa, and Tripetty, in the Car- 
natic. He must always speak the truth (to a 
native a hard penance), give much charity to 
poor and learned Brahmins, and, lastly, he 
must frequently fast and pray, and be very 
chaste in his conduct." 

The state of things described in the fore- 
going quotations has been modified, so far as 
slavery, personal or predial, is concerned, the 
powerful hand of the East India Company 
having been put forth on behalf of the un- 
happy and oppressed ; but so far as the spirit 
of caste operates, it is still the same — re- 
morseless, vain, and spiritually assuming. 

The influence of this feature of the religion 
of India may be seen perhaps in the cha- 
racter of its soldiery as much as in any other 
way. From the pride and exclusiveness of 
caste, it must be obvious that it woidd prove 
a serious impediment to the good discipline of 
a native army. Mutinies have frequently 
occurred in consequence of the rules of a 
soldier's duty interfering, or ap]:»earing to 
interfere, with the prerogatives and obhga- 
tions of caste. The recent revolt of the 
Bengal army had its origin in such a cause. 
It is unnecessary in this place to enter into 
the question Avhether the greased cartridges 
distributed to the men was the sole cause, or 
whether a Mohammedan conspiracy had not 
existed, which found a fortunate occasion in 
the cartridge question for enlisting the sym- 
pathy of the ]>rahmins. This matter was 
itself sufficient to inflame the bigotry of the 



' whole Bengal army, and it ought to have 
been known to the officials that it was so. 
Among the prejudices of the Brahmin is a 
conviction that to taste the fat of kine is 
ceremonially unclean, and deprives him of 
caste, although abstinence from it is not 
enforced by the Vedas. The Muss'ulmen of 
every caste (for the Mohammedans of India 
have to a certain extent adopted the distinc- 
tions and rules of caste) regard swine's flesh 
in the same light. The cartridges distributed 
to the Bengal army were, or, which is the 
same thing in the matter, were supposed to 
be, greased with both these objectionable 
materials, and when the allegation that such 
was the case became known to the troops, 
they revolted, preferring death to loss of 
caste ! 

Many ingenious arguments have been used 
to prove that the objection of the Brahmins 
W'as assumed rather than real, but it is clear 
to any impartial person that this single cause 
was sufficient for the revolt. The argument 
chiefly used to prove that it was not, is the 
use of these very cartridges by the revoltcrs 
against the British. This admits of two 
replies — first, in all superstitious creeds, that 
which is siipposed to be wrong ceremonially, 
and even morally, ceases to be so when the 
church or religion of the devotees is served 
by tlie infraction; the end sanctifies, or justi- 
fies, or at all events excuses the deed. To 
use the unclean cartridge in the service of 
the infidel would be loss of caste — death — 
worse than death ; to use it in the name and 
service of religion against the infidel, and 
against the infidel in the very matter of 
an attempt to enforce its use upon the faith- 
ful, would expiate the deprivation of caste 
involved, and restore the unwilling delin- 
quent.: in the one case he would be re- 
garded as an apostate, in the other a con- 
fessor. But, independent of that reply, there 
is a second — the revolters did not use the 
teeth, nor taste the forbidden thing ; they 
used the hand, a less expeditious way of 
loading, but it saved caste. The niles of 
the British service compelled the use of the 
teeth ; the soldier could not, therefore, load 
with the regulation cartridge without vio- 
lating conscience, which the Honourable East 
India Company promised to respect. The 
sepoy ujjon whom this violation of conscience 
was enforced, regarded the compact between 
him and the company as broken, and, as a 
persecuted man, he revolted. He was not in 
his own opinion false to his salt, but the 
government was, as he believed, false to 
him. The words of the military regulation 
for loading are as follow : — " First bring the 
cartridge to the mouth, holding it between 



CnAr. II.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



43 



tliG forefinger aiul tluinib, ^Yitll the ball in 
the hand, and bite off the top elbow close to 
the body." AVhen the suspicions of the sepoj's 
had been excited, in consequence of the car- 
tridges being greased, General Ileresey re- 
commended the adaptation of " a new mode 
of drill," recommended by Major Bonitenx, 
commanding the depot of musketry at Dum 
Dum. His words were, "breaking the car- 
tridge witli the hand instead of by biting 
it." * It is remarkable that the native artil- 
lerymen never objected to 7i«Hf??i'H^ the grease 
applied to the gun-wheels. Had there been 
a regulation order for them to put it to their 
teeth or lips, they would have revolted in 
consequence, as certainly as did the infantry, 
and portions of the cavalry, from the like 
cause. It was in sympathy with the infantry 
that the cavalry in some cases, and the artil- 
lery in many cases, joined the revolt. The 
artillery made no complaints nor demands, 
and no murmurs were heard among them. 
They joined in the struggle, so far as they 
did join, for the aid of their persecuted 
brethren, as they regarded them, and in 
defence of their religion. 

The mutiny of Vellore, which figures so 
largely in the history of India, was not pro- 
voked by a cause so intensely irritating as 
the question of the greased cartridges, and 
yet no one now denies that that revolt was 
caused by an apprehension that the govern- 
ment desired to tamper with the religion of 
the soldiers. At first the cry of conspiracy 
was raised then as now, but it was soon dis- 
sipated, and the language of Professor Wilson 
sets the question outside the circle of argu- 
ment : — " Upon considering, therefore, the 
utter improbability of any combined co-ope- 
ration of the Mohammedan princes of the 
Deccan with the sons of Tippoo, the absence 
of all proof of its existence, the extension of 
the discontent to places where no political 
influence in their favour could have been 
exerted, the prevalence of disaffection among 
the Hindoos as well as the Mohammedans, 
and, finally, admitting the entire adequacy of 
the cause to the effect, there can be no reason 
to seek for any other origin of the mutiny 
than dread of religious change inspired by 
the military orders. Here, hovv^ever, in fair- 
ness to the question of the conversion of the 
natives of India to Christianity, the nature 
of the panic which spread amongst the sepoys 
requires to be candidly appreciated. It is a 
great error to suppose that the people of 
India are so sensitive upon the subject of 
their religion, either Hindoo or Moham- 

* Appendix to Papers, Src, pp. 36 — 38; Letter from 
the Governor general in Coiiucil to the Court of Directors, 
April 8, 1857; Mutinies hi the East Indies, pp. 3, 4. 



medan, as to suffer no approach of contro- 
versy, or to encounter adverse opinions with 
no other arguments tiian insurrection and 
murder. On the contrary, great latitude of 
belief and jn-actice has always prevailed 
among them, and especially among the troojis, 
in whose ranks will be found seceders of 
various denominations from the orthodox 
systems. It was not, therefore, the dis- 
semination of Christian doctrines that ex- 
cited the angry apprehensions of the sepoys 
on the melancholy occasion which has called 
for these observations, nor does it appear that 
any unusual activity in the propagation of 
those doctrines was exercised by Christian 
missionaries at the period of its occurrence. 
It was not conversion which the troops 
dreaded, it was compulsion ; it was not 
the reasoning or the persuasion of the 
missionary which they feared, but the arbi- 
trary interposition of authority. They be- 
lieved, of course erroneously, that the govern- 
ment was about to compel them to become 
Christians, and they resisted compulsory con- 
version by violence. The lesson is one of 
great seriousness, and should never be lost 
sight of as long as the relative position 
of the British government and its Indian 
subjects remains unaltered. It is not suf- 
ficient that the authority of the ruling 
power should never interpose in matters 
of religious belief; it should carefully avoid 
furnishing grounds of suspicion that it even 
intends to interfere." * Had the warning- 
given by the astute and learned professor 
been heeded, the question of the greased 
cartridges would never have arisen, and the 
Bengal army Avould not have been lost. 
That Mussulmen conspiracies existed in 
various places is probable, and that a general 
impatience of the authority of the Christians 
prevailed among the Mohammedans, is as 
indisputable as that they took the earliest 
occasion of turning the revolt to their own 
account ; but that the inexorable rules of 
caste, placed in opposition to an imprudent, 
stupid, and unintentional attempt to violate 
it, caused the revolt, is a verdict to which 
most men must come who read the records 
of the military rebellion of 1857 in the 
Bengal presidency. The rapid spread of 
disaffection does not require the theory of a 
pre-existing conspiracy to account for it. In 
the nature of things the like would occur 
when the revolt in the first instance had a 
caste origin. The philosoi^hy of its rapid 
extension Avas expressed by Sir Charles 
Napier in a single paragraph when writing 
of the probability of military insurrection in 
India : — " In all mutinies some men more 
* India, IMiU and "Wilson, vol. vii. p. 140. 



44 



HISTORY OF TIIF ];R1TLSH EIMI'IRE 



[Ciixv. II. 



darinor than otliers arc allowed to take the 
lead, while the more wary prejiarc to i^rofit 
Avhen time suits. A few men in a few corps, 
a few corps in an army, begin ; if successful, 
they are joined by their more calculating and 
by their more timid comrades." 

The imprudence and oversight of British 
officials made the occasion of the revolt, the 
operating j^rinciple Avas caste. The following- 
extract from the deposition of a jemadar of 
native infantry depicts the state of mind of 
the soldiers, the despair of preserving their 
fealty with their honour and their caste, and 
the cruel vindictiveness which a sense of the 
greatest injury conceivable by them inspired : 
" On the night of the 5th instant (February, 
1857), soon after eight o'clock, roll-call, two 
or three men (sejDoys) came to me, and made 
me accompany them to the parade-ground, 
where I found a great crowd assembled, com- 
posed, to the best of my belief, of the men of 
the different regiments at this station. They 
had their heads tied up with cloths, having 
only a small part of th-.. face exposed. They 
asked me to join them, and I asked them 
wdiat I was to join them in. They replied 
that thej'' ■were willing to die for their reli- 
gion, and that if they could make an arrange- 
ment that evening, the next night, February 
Gth, 1857, they would plunder the station, 
and kill all the Europeans, and then go where 
they liked." The institution of caste must 
always be a source of insubordination in the 
army, and danger to the state. 

The native princes, Hindoo and Moham- 
medan, are so much under caste prejudices, 
and so enslaved by superstitious observances, 
that they lead lives as puerile as their re- 
tainers, and exhibit a judgment on matters of 
conscience and religion utterly feeble. Even 
princes of the Sudra caste have crouched to 
the Brahmin, and subjected themselves to the 
most abject ceremonies. The following spe- 
cimen of the superstitious thraldom of a 
jnince rendered infamous by his cruelties, will 
exhibit the weak and absurd reli''ious cha- 
racter even of men of vigour in other relations 
of life. This ]ucture is drawn by no un- 
friendly hand, but by one rather disposed to 
palliate and soften down the inexcusable folly 
and hard features of the superstition. The 
sanguinary Nana 8ahil), whose butcheries at 
Cawnpore have filled the world with horror, 
is the subject of the sketch. Ex una disce 
omncs. " Here sat the maharajah on a 
Turkey carpet, and reclining slightly on a 
huge bolster. In front of him -were his 
hookah, a sword, and several nosegays. His 
liighness rose, came forward, took my hand, 
led me to the carpet, and begged of me to be 
seated on a cane -bottomed arm-chair, which 



had evidently oeen placed leaJy for my 
especial ease and occupancy. A hookah is 
called for by the rajah, and then at least a 
dozen voices repeat the order — ' Iloohali lao 
sahib Ice waste' (bring a hookah for the 
sahib). Presently the hookah is brought in ; 
it is rather a grand affair, but old, and has 
evidently belonged to some European of ex- 
travagant habits \Yhile I am pulling 

away at the hookah, the mensahibs, or fa- 
vourites of the rajah, flatter me in very 
audible whispers. ' How well he smokes I ' — 
'What a fine forehead he has!' — 'And his 
eyes I how they sparkle I' — 'No wonder ho 
is so clever I'- — 'He will be governor-general 
someday.' — ' Khuda-Kuriu' (God will have 

it so) Native rajah {in a loud voice). 

' ]\Ioonshee ! ' — 3Ioonshee (icho -is close at 
hand). ' Maharaj, protector of the poor!' 
— Native rajali. ' Bring the petition that I 
have laid before the governor-general.' The 
moonshee produces the petition, and, at the 
instance of the rajah, reads, or rather sings it 
aloud. The rajah listens -with pleasure to its 
recital of his own wrongs, and I afi'ect to be 
astounded that so much injustice can possibly 
exist. During my rambles in India I have been 
the guest of some scores of rajahs, great and 
small, and I never knew one who had not a 
grievance. He had either been wronged by 
the government, or by some judge wliosc 
decision had been against him. In the 
matter of the government it was a sheer 
love of oppression that led to the evil of 
which he complained ; in the matter of the 
judge, that functionary had been bribed by 
the other party. It was with great difficulty 
that I kept my eyes open while the petition 
— a very long one — was read aloud. Shortly 
after it was finished I craved permission to 
retire,. and was conducted l)y a bearer to the 

sleeping-room The maharajah invited 

me to accompany him to Cawnpore. I ac- 
quiesced, and the carriage was ordered. The 
carriage was English built— a very handsome 
landau, and the horses were English. But 
the harness I It was countrj^ made, and of 
the very commonest kind, and worn out, for 
one of the traces was a piece of rope. The 
coachman was filthy in his dress, and the 
whip that he carried in his hand was an old 
broken buggy whip, which some European 
gentleman must have thrown away. On the 
box, on either side of the coachman, sat a 
warlike retainer, armed with a sword and a 
dagger. In the rumble were two other 
retainers, armed in the same manner. Be- 
sides the rajah and myself there were three 
others (natives, and relatives of the rajah) in 
the vehicle. On the road the rajah talked 
incessantly, and among things that he told 



Chap. II.] 



IN IXDIA AND THE EAST. 



mc was tliis in reference to the praises that I 
bestowed on his equipage : — ' Xot long ago I 
had a carriage and horses very superior to 
these. They cost me 25,000 rupees, hut I 
had to burn the carriage, and kill the horses.' 
— ' Why so ?' — ' The child of a certain sahib 
in Cawnpore was very sick, and the saliib 
and the mcnsahib were bringing the child to 
Bithoor for a change of air. I sent my big 
carriage for them. On the road the child 
died, and of course, as a dead body had been 
in the carriage, and as the horses had drawn 
that dead body in that carriage, I could never 
use them again.' The reader must under- 
stand that a native of any rank considers it a 
disgrace to sell property. 'But could you 
not have given the horses to some friend, a 
Christian or a Mussulman?' — 'No; had I 
done so it might have come to the knowledge 
of the sahib, and his feelings would have been 
hurt at having occasioned me siich a loss.' 
l^uch was the maharajah commonly known as 
Nana Sahib. He appears to be not a man of 
ability, nor a fool. He was selfish, but what 
native is not ? He seemed to be far from a 
bigot in matters of religion ; and although he 
was compelled to be so very particular about 
the destruction of his carriage and horses, I 
am quite satisfied that he drank brandy, and 
that he smoked hemp in the chillum of his 
hookah." 

Terrible as was the practice of Suttee, 
which was abolished by tlie government in 
December of the year 1820, and oppressive 
as the bondage of India was, which continued 
with little mitigation until August, 1838, 
Avhen the government suppressed it, neither 
of these aspects of the character of the reli- 
gion of the Hindoos surpassed in barbarity 
the robbery and assassination which, under 
the name of Thug, and various other desig- 
nations, exist to this day. Caste, which is 
not merely a social institution or an enactment 
of Hindoo civil law, but a religious institu- 
tion, dependent upon the creed of those who 
observe it, is answerable for these foul deeds. 
" The Hindoos have some peculiarities that 
do not admit of classification. As they have 
castes for all the trades, they have also castes 
for thieves, and men are brought up to con- 
sider robbing as their hereditary occupation. 
Most of the hill tribes bordering on cultivated 
countries are of this description ; and even 
throughout the plains there are castes more 
notorious for theft and robbery than gipsies 
used to be for pilfering in Europe. In their 
case hereditary professions seem favourable 
to skill, for there are nowhere such dextrous 
thieves as in India. Travellers are full of 
stories of the patience, perseverance, and 
address with which they will steal, unpcr- 



ceived, through the midst of guards, and 
carry oft" their prize in tlie most dangerous 
situations. Some dig holes in the eartli, and 
come up within the wall of a Avell-closed 
house ; others, by whatever way they enter, 
always open a door or two to secure a retreat, 
and proceed to plunder, naked, smeared with 
oil, and armed with a dagger, so that it is as 
dangerous to seize as it is difficult to hold 
them. One class, called Thugs, continually 
travel about the country, assuming diftercnt 
disguises — an art in which they are perfect 
masters. Their jiractice is to insinuate them- 
selves into the society of travellers whom 
they hear to be possessed of property, and to 
accompany them till they have an opportimity 
of administering a stupifying drug, or of 
throwing a noose over the neck of their un- 
suspecting companion. He is then murdered 
without blood being shed, and buried so skil- 
fully, that a long time elapses before his fate 
is suspected. The Thugs invoke Bhawani, 
and vow a j^ortion of their spoil to her. This 
mixture of religion and crime might of itself 
be mentioned as a peculiarity, but it is paral- 
leled by the vows of pirates and banditti to 
the Madonna ; and in the case of IMussulmen, 
who form the largest portion of the Thugs, it 
is like the compacts with the devil, which 
were believed in the days of superstition. It 
need scarcely be said that the long descent of 
the thievish castes gives them no claim on 
the sympathy of the rest of the community, 
who look on them as equally obnoxious to 
punishment, both in this world and the next, 
as if their ancestors liad belonged to the 
most virtuous classes. The hired watchmen 
are generally of these castes, and are faithful 
and efficacious. Their presence alone is a 
protection against their own class, and their 
skill and vigilance against strangers. Gujerat 
is famous for one class of people of this sort, 
whose business it is to trace thieves by their 
footsteps. In a dry country a bare foot 
leaves little prints to common eyes, but one 
of these people will perceive all its pecu- 
liarities, so as to I'ecognise it in all its circum- 
stances, and will pursue a robber by these 
vestiges for a distance that seems incre- 
dible." * 

Tlie religious condition of considerable 
numbers of the people in the remoter parts 
of India, and in places less accessible, is not 
so much influenced by caste prejudices as 
that of the people in the rich and cultivated 
portions of the country, or near the great 
cities and centres of native or English govern- 
ment. This circumstance has led many public 
men to state that the distinction of caste was 
altogether on the wane. The Rev. Mr. Jliall, 
* Elpliinstouc, lib. in. cap. xi. p. 191. 



46 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap, II. 



tlie talented editor of the Nonconformist 
newspaper, and late member for Rochdale, 
boldly affirmed, at a public meeting in 1857, 
that caste -was perishing all over India, and 
would have died out before now, but for the 
support given to it by the government of the 
East India Company. This view receives a 
seeming support from the fact that the mem- 
bers of i^articular castes, soldiers of native 
regiments in the company's service, have 
sometimes agreed to dispense with the cus- 
tomary observances which their caste pre- 
scribed. It is, however, a delusion to suppose 
that, in the main, the power of the institution 
is shaken, however inconsistent the casuis- 
try of particular bodies of men may appear, 
Avhen acting under a strong temptation to 
set some of its rules aside. JSTo person well 
acquainted ^^dtll the condition of India, as a 
whole, or Avith the mental habits of the races 
which people it, would support the opinion 
expressed by Mr. Miall, and which, upon the 
faith of his statement, many not conversant with 
India are likely to receive. The vast multi- 
tudes of Hindoostan cling tenaciously to the 
jirescriptions and distinctions of this institu- 
tion. There are, however, in Central India 
more particularly, predatory tribes who, un- 
less they consider themselves of the thief or 
of the Thug class, do not observe caste at all, 
but who are sunk in the grossest idolatry, 
brutality, and crime : — " The hills and forests 
in the centre of India are inhabited by a 
people differing widely from those who occupy 
the plains. They are small, black, slender, 
but active, with peculiar features, and a quick 
restless eye. They wear few clothes, arc 
armed with bows and arrows, make open 
profession of plunder, and, xmless the govern- 
ment is strong, are always at war with all 
their neighbours. When invaded, they con- 
duct their operations with secrecy and cele- 
rity, and shower their arrov>'s from rocks and 
thickets, whence they can escape before they 
can be attacked, and often before they can be 
seen. They live in scattered, and sometimes 
movable hamlets, are divided into small com- 
munities, and allow great power to their 
chiefs. They subsist on the product of their 
own imperfect cultivation, and on Avhat they 
obtain by exchanges or plunder from the 
l^lains. They occasionally kill game, but do 
not depend on that for their support. In 
many parts the berries of the mahua-tree 
form an important j^art of their food. Besides 
one or two of the Hindoo gods, they have 
many of their own, who dispense j^articular 
blessings or calamities. The one who pre- 
sides over the smallpox is, in most places, 
looked on with peculiar awe. They sacrifice 
fowls, pour libations before eating, are guided 



by inspired magicians, and not by priests, 
bury their dead, and have some ceremonies 
on the birth of children, marriages, and fune- 
rals, in common. They are all much addicted 
to spirituous liquors, and most of them kill 
and eat oxen. Their great abode is in the 
Vindaya IMountains, which run east and west 
from the Ganges to Gujerat, and the broad 
tract of forest which extends north and south 
from the neighbourhood of Allahabad to the 
latitude of Masulipatam, and, with interrup- 
tions, almost to Cape Comorin. In some 
places the forest has been encroached on by 
cultivation, and the inhabitants have remained 
in the plains as Aallage watchmen, hunters, 
and other trades suited to their habits. In a 
few places their devastations have restored 
the clear country to the forest, and the re- 
mains of villages are seen among the haunts 
of wild beasts." * 

These representations of the low condition 
and sanguinary habits of the native popula- 
tions are not overdrawn. Our knowledge of 
the various rude tribes, and of the castes in 
the more civilised districts, is imperfect ; but 
the more we are acquainted with them, the 
better authenticated and the more enlarged 
our means of information, the more docs 
it become obvious that the condition of the 
people is barbarous and horrible — as when the 
geologist brings to light some fragment of an 
antediluvian monster, men are astonished at 
the proportions, but it is only when the other 
fragments are found, and the huge skeleton 
stands to view in its completeness, that the 
idea of its monstrosity can be thoroughly 
realised. 

Whatever be the moral condition of the 
Hindoo people, however sui^erstitious their 
ideas of religion, and of religious services, 
they have been munificent in erecting shrines 
to their idolatry, and their temples greatly 
add to the picturesque features of the land. 
Some of the religious edifices are called Cave 
Temples. They are generally excavations 
from the rock, and assume proportions of 
magnitude and grandeur. They are extremely 
numerous ; the rocks of Cashmere contain, it 
is alleged, more than twelve thousand of 
them. Notwithstanding their number, the 
vastness of many of them is sublime. They 
are not all devoted to the Hindoo religion, 
many being temples of Buddha, as arc those 
of Ellora. 

The caves of Ajunta are more vast, and 
there is a solemnity in their apjiearance which 
amounts to awe. These caves are not mere 
excavations, they are architecturally hewn in 
the Ghauts. Indian columns and pillars of 
vast size and elaborate design support, divide, 
* Elpliinstouc, lib. iii. cap. xi. p. 193. 



Chap. II.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



47 



find decorate the spacious compartments. 
On these pillars protruding and receding 
angles, rich carvings and elaborate ornaments, 
show the taste and devotion of the Hindoo 
devotees. The walls are profusely ornamented 
in some instances, partly by chiselled work, 
partly in stucco, and in some cases rather 
extensively in painting, both in oil and water 
colours. Mr. Cap]:ier, quoting the authority 
of an officer of the company's service, who 
made drawings of many of these sacred caves 
in Cashmere, represents the human figure as 
especially well executed; while ]\Ir. Elpliin- 
stone, relying upon the Asiatic researches, 
and the testimony of gentlemen skilled in 
architectural science, declares that the human 
figures are more deficient in taste than any 
other decorative forms, and that the total 
ignorance of j)erspective, and of the faculty 
of artistic grouping, is remarkable. Fruit, 
flowers, ornament, and mythical designs, are 
more successfully depicted. 

The same criticism may be applied to the 
decoration of the suporstructural temples; al- 
though of them, as well as of the cave sanctu- 
aries, it is affirmed by some admirers of every- 
thing Indian, that they far surpass in perspect- 
ive, grouping, and richness of ornament the 
architecture and architectural paintings and 
carvings of Europe of corresponding antiquity. 

It is becoming a more general opinion, that 
the temples in a complete state which moat 
attract the notice of Europeans for their 
beauty and extent, are comparatively modern ; 
although they have been so frequently re- 
ferred to as illustrating the very early de- 
velopment of the arts and of sacred architec- 
ture in India. There is perhaps no exception 
to the rule that the temples display a faculty 
of minute detail and richness of ornament, on 
the part of their constructors, rather than the 
bold and general comprehension and design 
of European genius. There are no specimens 
of Indian temples to be compared for simple 
but comprehensive boldness and dignity with 
the temples of pagan Greece or Rome, for 
solemn grandeur with the swelling domes of 
the best mosques of the Mohammedans, or 
for chaste sublimity with Christian churches. 

The temples of Cashmere are the finest in 
India, using the term India in its broad sense ; 
but these have such evident traces of Greek 
origin, as to deprive the native architects of 
the credit of original conception in their 
design. The columns are what is called 
Arian, and very unlike any of the many 
varieties found elsewhere in the Indian 
temples. 

The general architecture of places dedi- 
cated to the gods bears a nearer resemblance 
to that used for the same purpose in Egypt 



than to any other, yet the diversities are con- 
siderable. There is much difference in the 
size of the Hindoo temples. Hometimcs only 
a single chamber, ornamented by a portico, 
covered with a pyramidical roof, curiously 
surmounted hy metallic decorations, consti- 
tutes the temple. The devotee approaches a 
door, which alone opens into the inner sanctum, 
and presents his offerings. In other instances 
the sanctuary is surrounded by many courts, 
approached by passages and colonnades, lesser 
sanctuaries, devoted to minor gods, being 
comprehended within those courts. In one 
instance the circumvaling buildings comjaise 
a space of foiir miles. 

The general effect of the larger temples is 
imposing. They are frequently built in great 
cities, which they adorn. Sometimes they 
are erected in the retirement of forests, in 
lonely places on the banks of great rivers, 
esj^ecially the Ganges, and high up on pla- 
teaux of the Ghauts or Himalayas. The 
lonely grandeur of these isolated dwellings 
of the gods can hardly fail to impress the 
oriental imagination ; and there is generally 
a tasteful keeping between the style of the 
edifice and the scenery in which it is placed, 
whether nestled amidst forest foliage, casting 
its shadow over the river murmuring round 
its walls, or lifting its tall towers from the 
mountain rock high up into the blazing light, 
as if alike inviting gods and men to meet 
^^dthin its solemn i^recincts. Alas ! Avhat horrid 
rites disfigure these costly altars ! upon what 
dreadful scenes might these pictorial gods 
and heroes look, were they animated to be- 
hold for a moment the worshippers that gaze 
upon them I How the great enemy of man 
triumphs over prostrate reason, and deluded 
hopes, and fears, and feelings, within the 
spaces enclosed by those wreathed columns 
and stuccoed walls ! He that studies her 
worship must, d priori, know that India is 
debased — that avarice, liist, and slaughter, 
are the passions which rage within the 
Biindoo heart, as flame^from different sacri- 
fices on the same altar are ever conflicting, 
yet blending as they rise. While the sacred 
Scrijjturcs tell us that an " idol is nothing in 
the world,"— a thing to be counted nothing,- — • 
yet they also depict the degradation, passion, 
cruelty and crime Avhich may be inspired by 
the associations with Avliich the imagination 
surrounds the senseless block. India, in her 
state and in her history, confirms Avith start- 
ling A^erification the philosophy of idolatry 
which the Christian Scriptures reveal. It is 
the religion of India, but more especially the 
idolatrous religion of India, that make its 
jieople alike servile and tyrannical, weak and 
wicJved, The following is perhaps as faithful 



48 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. II. 



a moral picture as was ever drawn of any 
original. He Avho would understand India 
must compreliend that the sources of her 
degradation lie thus deep : — " To what cause, 
then, shall we attribute that prostration of 
mind and depravity of heart which haxe s\;nk 
a great people into wretchedness, and ren- 
dered them the object of political contempt 
and of moral abhorrence '? The answer is 
readily obtained — to superstition, to the pre- 
valence of a mighty system of religious im- 
posture, as atrocious as it is extravagant, 
which in the same degree that it dishonours 
the Supreme Being corrupts and debases his 
rational creatures ; which, upon the most 
outrageous absurdity, engrafts the most abo- 
minable vice, and rears a temple to folse and 
filthy deities upon the ruins of human intel- 
lect and human virtue. It were criminal to 
conceal or palliate tlie real cause of Hindoo 
degeneracy. It is false religion, and nothing 
else. The gods whom the Hindoos worship 
are impersonations of all the vices and all the 
crimes which degrade human nature, and 
there is no grossness and no villany Avhicli 
does not receive countenance from the ex- 
ample of some or other of them. The vilest 
and most slanderous impurity pervades their 
mytliology throughout, is interwoven Avith all 
its details, is at once its groundwork and its 
completion, its beginning and its end. The 
robber has his god, from Avhom he iuA^okes a 
blessing on his attempt against the life and 
l^rojierty of his neighbour. Revenge, as avcU 
as robbery, finds a kindred deity ; and cruelty, 
the never-failing companion of idolatry, is the 
essence of the system. The rites and cere- 
monies are worthy of the faith ; they may be 
simimed up in three Avords — folly, licentious- 
ness, and cruelty. Penances, silly and re- 
volting, are the means of expiating sin. 
Crossness the most horrible, both in nature 
and in degree, from Avhich the most aban- 
doned characters- in the most abandoned 
parts of Europe Avould recoil, enters into 
public Avorship, and the higher festivals 
are honoured by an increased measure of 
profligacy. That unhappy class of females 
Avho everywhere else are regarded Avith 
contemptuous scorn, or Avith painful com- 
miseration, are in India appendages to the 
temples of religion. The Hindoo faith, in 
perfect conformity Avith its character, demands 
barbarous as Avell as licentious exhibitions, 
and torture and death are among its most 
acceptable modes of service. From such 
deities and such modes of Avorship Avhat can 
Ave expect but AA'hat we find? If the sub- 
lime example of perfect purity Avhich true 
religion places bef(jre its followers be calcu- 
lated to Avin to virtue, must not universal con- 



tamination be the necessary consequence of 
investing jjoUution and crime Avith the garb 
of diA'inity ? If men find licentiousness and 
cruelty associated Avith the. ceremonies of 
religion, is it jDOssible that they should belicA'e 
them to be Avrong ? Can they be expected 
in private life to renounce as criminal, prac- 
tices AA'hich in public they have been taught 
to regard as meritorious ? Will they abhor 
in the Avorld that Avhich they reverence in 
the sanctuary ? It Averc absurd to believe it. 
The Hindoo system prescribes the observ- 
ance of frivolous ceremonies, and neglects to 
inculcate important moral duties. But its 
pernicious intluence does not terminate there ; 
it enforces much that is positively evil. By 
the institution of castes it estranges man 
from his felloAA^s, and shuts up avenues of 
bencA-olence ; iuA'csts one part of society Avith 
the privilege of unrestrained indulgence, 
casting OA'er them the cloak of sanctity, 
hoAA'CA'cr uuAvorthy, — shielding them from 
the consequences of their actions, hoAvever 
flagitious, and condemns another to hopeless 
and perj^etual debasement, Avithout the chance 
of emancipation or improvement, A system 
more mischievous or iniquitous, better calcu- 
lated to serve the interests of \'ice, or destroy 
those of virtue, seems beyond the poAver of 
the most perverted ingenuity to frame." * 

Ilindooism or Brahminism is not the only 
form of ancient religion prevailing in Hin- 
doostan and the neighbouring countries. Bud- 
dliism approaches nearest to it in antiquity, 
and is far more extensively jirofessed. The 
religion of Buddha is not of much influence 
in India proper, but in Thibet, China, Tenes- 
serim, Pegu, Birmah, Japan, and other 
countries of Eastern Asia, it is the prevailing 
religion. In the island of Ceylon it is the 
religion of nearly the AA'hole population. 
The founder of this ncAV creed AA'as born 
late in the seventh century before Christ, 
and Avas, or at all events is reputed to have 
been, the son of a Hindoo king. His name 
Avas Sakya, or Gotama, by both of AA'hich 
designations he is knoAvn, but is more gene- 
rally called Gotama Buddha. The term 
Buddha seems to be a title exju'cssive of 
liis attainments and exalted being, fur it 
means intdligence. Early in the sixth cen- 
tury before Christ he set up for a projihet 
and teacher, and for half a centur}^ exerted 
himself in the propagation of his doctrines, 
Avhich rapidly spread through Hindoostan 
and the neighbouring countries. ItAvas ulti- 
mately nearly extirpated in India by j^erse- 
cntion on the part of the Brahmins, but it 
continues to this day, and is the faith of 

* India : Us Stale and Prosjiccis, by Edward Thora- 
ton. 



Ciur. IL] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



49 



multitudes in China, Birniali, British Birniah, 
Japan, Ceylon, and in portions of Nepaul and 
Tliibet. There are more votaries of this 
belief than of any other religion, true or 
false, in the world. Gotama was originally a 
very pious Hindoo, of the caste of the Ksha- 
tryas, and the Brahmins allege that he was 
moved to become an apostate by envy of the 
superior caste of the Brahmins, whose privi- 
leges he could not attain, although being the 
son of a king. His votaries say that, by a 
life of austerity and contemplation, he attained 
to the true philosophy, and reformed the 
errors of mankind. His creed is atheistical 
materialism. The being of a god is denied, 
the eternity of matter and its essential and 
inherent power to produce all organisations 
v.ithout any external action upon it is af- 
firmed. Yet there is not unity of opinion 
among the followers of Buddha ; for while in 
China and parts of Tartary they are athe- 
istical, in Nepaul, Thibet, and other parts of 
Tartary they are theists, but deny the crea- 
tion, government, and providence of God. 
They represent him as a being whose apathy 
to all external things constitutes his happi- 
ness, and they regard the attainment of a 
similar apathy by themselves as the perfection 
of life. Some sects of the Buddhists believe 
that God and matter arc the same ; that 
matter is the exterior of God, and its pro- 
ductive and reproductive power they describe 
as the involuntary, and, some of them say, 
unconscious action of the Deity. In some 
parts of the East they are polytheists, but 
this view is confined to the vulgar. In the 
industriously compiled and clever book on 
Christianity in Ceylon, written by Sir Emer- 
son Tennant, errors of statement have arisen 
from a want of perception of this sectai'ian 
discrepancy. 

There are in the system of Buddha various 
orders of superior intelligences — i. e. glorified 
men, who have made themselves what they 
are by penances and wisdom. The ])rocess 
by which such high attainment is reached is 
transmigration, which goes on through various 
worlds, and has gone on in various worlds 
before the subject of the mysterious changes 
was an inhabitant of this earth. The Buddhas 
•are the highest order of intelligences; of 
them there are many, sixteen chief Buddhas 
having reached the highest state of felicity ; 
the last of them was Gotama, by whom the 
mystery was revealed. The religious exer- 
cises consist of penances and bodily mor- 
tifications, which are systematised. The 
most intense devotees unite themselves into 
associations, as monks and nuns in Roman 
Catholic Christendom. Buddha is not osten- 
sibly worshipped; he is the prophet, exemplar, 

VOL. I. 



and guide of men, who may, like him, be finally 
absorbed into the deity, so as to have no 
separate existence. Those who refuse to 
adojjt any terms recognising the existence 
of deity in any sense, hope to attain an 
intellectual existence perfectly passionless, 
and which is happy in a serene tranquillity, 
which allows of no action, nor permits any 
action upon itself from any form of existence 
beyond it. 

Ilcligious houses for women have gradually 
disappeared, but extensive confraternities exist 
wherever Buddhism flourishes. The priests 
or monks wear robes of yellow cloth, go 
barefooted, live by alms, abstain from animal 
food, or at least from killing animals for food, 
and most religiously shave the head in the 
form of the Iloman tonsure. Many wear a 
thin gauze on the lips and nostrils, to prevent 
insect life from touching them. They profess 
a high standard of morality — as high as 
that of the Vedas — probably higher than that 
contained in those books ; but, as in the case 
of the Brahmins, and other professors of the 
Brahminical religion, a subtle and corrupt 
casuistry eludes the standard, and the fol- 
lowers of Buddha exhibit all the cruelty, 
treachery, licentiousness, and avarice pre- 
vailing in China, in which vices they are 
nearly as deeply sunk as the worshippers of 
Brahma. 

Dr. Cooke Taylor defined Buddhism as 
being a philosophical, political, and religious 
reformation of Brahminism. It is not clear 
whether the learned gentleman meant that it 
professed to be so, as one might suppose he 
would, after a comparison of the two systems — 
for it assuredly was no improvement upon 
the religion of the Vedas, as it existed six cen- 
turies before Christ. The political and moral 
philosophy of the Vedas, and the religious 
theory of those books, with all their defects, 
are superior to the cold abstractions and 
miserable materialism of Buddha. When 
the same historian describes the new system 
as substituting sanctity for sacrifice, it would 
appear as if the pleasing alliteration of the 
sentence in sume degree concealed the fact 
from the cognizance of the writer. The 
Hindooism of Gotama Buddha's day taught 
humility, reverence, and the necessity of 
sinful creatures approaching the divinities 
by media that were intercessory and expia- 
tory. The ''sanctity" of Buddhism is a 
frigid self-righteousness, in which, according 
to Mr. Hodgson, " the ascetic despises the 
priest, the saint scorns the aid of medi- 
ators." * The sentence of Mr. Hodgson is 
only applicable, however, to what he calls 
"genuine Buddhism," for no race of devotees 
* Asiatic Researches. 

H 



60 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EJIPIRE 



[Chap. II. 



•were ever more priest-ridden by their monks 
than the followers of this sect ; and with 
all their vague notions of deity, they, in 
some of the many nations where their belief 
is received, offer sacrifices both expiatory and 
eucharistical. Offerings of various kinds are 
also presented to deceased men whose Aartues 
merited especial reverence, and sometimes 
even to demons, who are always represented 
as capable of good actions, and of ultimately 
purifying themselves, until they also are 
absorbed into the divine essence. 

Dr. Taylor rather obscurely intimates that 
the extravagance of princes, and the popular 
disposition to attribute to them virtue in 
proportion to their lavish excesses, suggested 
to Gotama Buddha the idea of a reformation, 
by which contempt of human affairs and self- 
denial would become the great tests of virtue. 
There is no proof that such was the case. It 
is plain, from the Buddhist system, that, like 
the Brahmiuical, it had its origin in the 
Babylonian philosophy, each adoi^tiug promi- 
nently the features of that system which the 
other neglected — the Brahmin regarding the 
theological aspect of Babylonianism, the Bud- 
dhist looking rather to the philosophical. The 
founder had evidently studied that philosophy, 
and pointed it out to the people as a neglected 
portion of the doctrines of their fathers. He 
found traditions in existence which facilitated 
the progress of his propagandism. 

Notice has been already taken of the ton- 
sured jiriests or monks of Buddha, the tonsure 
being Babylonian in its origin. The Bud- 
dhists of Tartary use the sign of the cross as 
a charm to dispel invisible dangers, and reve- 
rence the form of the cross in many waj's, 
proving the Babylonish origin of the system. 
The mystic Tan, the initial of the name 
Taumuz (or Tammuz) was originially written 
•i"". This was marked on the foreheads of 
the worshippers when they were admitted 
to the mysteries. The Tan was half the 
labarum, the idolatrous standard of early 
pagan nations — the other half being the cres- 
cent. The former was the emblem of the 
Babylonian Bacchus — the latter of Astarte, the 
Queen of Heaven. In every nation possess- 
ing a creed or a philosophy the same sign 
has been used, having the same derivation. 
At Nineveh it was found among the ruins as 
a sacred emblem.* In Egypt it was simi- 
larly used, as is well known, f The Spanish 
priests were astounded to find the cross wor- 
shi^jped in Mexico. :{: Those were all streams 
from the same fountain — Babylon, The mo- 
nasteries which are so numerous among the 
Buddhists, and the nunneries which, although 
fallen into disrepute in India proper, still 
* LayarJ. f Bryant. | Prescott. 



exist in Buddhist countries, were purely 
Babylonian in their origin. The monasteries 
of Babylon were devoted to the Babylonian 
IMessiah, and the nunneries to the Madonna. 
The vestal virgins of Rome, the Scandinavian 
priestesses of Freya, who vowed perpetual 
virginity,* and the lady virgins of Peru, -]• 
were all copies of the same original. Pres- 
cott, in his Peru, expresses his astonishment 
at finding that the institutions of ancient 
Rome were to be found among the South 
American Indians, It is still more surpris- 
ing that both are not traced more generally 
to their real source, that from which the 
Buddhists derived theirs — ancient Babylon. 

The Buddhists are not considered idolaters 
by any writers of reputation, yet it would be 
an error to sujipose that they are free from 
the superstitious US9 of idols. The original 
idolatry of Babylon, consisted in paying a 
relative honour of a sacred kind to the images 
of the divine beings or attributes thus repre- 
sented. The primitive idolatry of the Brah- 
miuical religion was the same. Buddhism 
adopts practically the same theorJ^ It reve- 
rences its chief ascetics, as the Brahmins do 
their minor gods ; and it makes images of 
the Buddhas, and images emblematical of the 
transmigrations and chief facts in the spiritual 
history of its saints, A recent correspondent 
of the Times London newspaper relates the 
surprise he felt at discovering idolatry and 
a species of atheistical materialism as prevail- 
ing together, and jjrofessed even by the same 
jjersons, in the year 1867. Indeed, atheism 
of the Buddhist order is strangeh'- mixed up 
in the minds of most of the Chinese with 
idolatrous superstitions of Babylonian origin, 
and probably by way of Hindoostan. The 
following letter from the China correspondent 
of the journal just mentioned confirms the 
above remarks as to the genius and practical 
character of Buddhism. The letter is dated 
village of Seehoo, August 14th, 1857 : — 

" Our days were passed in the great Bud- 
dhist temples and in the monasteries of the 
Bonzes. They take us to the Temple of the 
Great Buddha — a mighty bust forty feet 
high, carved out of the rock, and gilt ; thence 
to a still larger temple, where a moving 
pagoda and forty-nine colossal idols comme- 
morate the forty-nine transmigrations of 
Buddha. These temples, however, great as 
they are in size and gorgeous grotesqueness, 
are but as little Welsh churches compared to 
the wonders of the ' Yun Lin,' the ' Cloudy 
Forest.' This is not so much a temple as a 
region of temples. It is suggestive of the 
scenes of those ancient pagan mysteries where 

* IMaillet's Northern Antiquities, vol. i. p. 120. 
t Prescott's Peru, vol. i. p. 103. 



Chap. II.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



«1 



ilie faith and fortitude of neophytes were 
tried, and their souls purified by successive 
terrors. It is a limestone district, abounding 
in caves and far-reaching dark galleries, and 
mysterious internal waters. These natural 
opportunities are improved by a priest and 
an altar in every cave, gigantic idols cut 
into the rock in unexpected places, rays of 
heavenly light which only the faithful votary 
ought to be able to see, but which, as they 
come through holes bored through the hill, 
sceptics sometimes catch sight of; inscrip- 
tions two thousand years old,* but deepened 
as time wears them. The place is a labyrintli 
of carved rocks, a happy valley of laughing 
Buddhas, and queens of Heaven, and squat- 
ting Buddhas, and hideoiis hook-nosed gods 
of India. There is a pervading smell of 
frankincense, and the single priest found here 
and there in solitary places, moaning his 
ritual, makes the place yet more lonely : 
and through this strange scene you pass 
through narrow paths to the foot of the 
colossal terrace steps which mount to the 
great temple itself. The wild birds are 
flying about this vast echoing hall of Buddha ; 
the idols are still bigger, and still more richly 
gilt. In the great 'gallery of five hundred 
gods' all that can be done by art, laborious, 
but ignorant of beauty, reaches its climax. 
The cowled but tonsured bonzes come foi'th 
to greet us. Excellent tea and great choice 
of sweetmeats await us in the refectory. 

" The wonders of this Hangchow Lake 
deserve better description than the object 
of these letters will allow me to attempt. 
The temple and tomb of the faithful minister 
of state, Yo Fei, occupy acres of ground and 
thousands of tons of monumental Avood, stone, 
and iron. The imperial palace upon the 
lake, with its garden of rock-work and green 
ponds, its large library of unused books, 
its dim metal mirrors, richly embroidered 
cushions, and ricketty old chairs, opened to 
us with great difficulty, and under the im- 
mediate pressure of the almighty dollar. I 
hope some one under less imperative obliga- 
tion to eschew the merely picturesque, and to 
seek only for facts which may have a practic- 
able bearing, may yet describe these objects. 
My favourite eventide occupation was to 
ascend one of these hills, and sit at the 
foot of one of these half-burnt pagodas 
which stand about like blasted cypress -trees, 
and look down upon the Hangchow. The 
famous city lies like a map beneath me. Not 
a curl of smoke — not a building more lofty 

This is probably an error ; Buddhism has been proved 
incontestably to be no older than the date ascribed to it 
in this History. These temples were erected since Anno 
Domini, 



than the orthodox two-storied joss-house. I 
can see not only pubUc temples, but also 
many of those private ancestral temples, 
which are to a Chinese gentleman what the 
chancel of his parish church is to an English 
squire. Little gardens, perhaps not forty feet 
square, full of weeds, and rockwork, and little 
ponds ; an oblong ])aviIion, with tablets upon 
the walls, descriptive of the names and 
achievements of the ancestors, — a kneeling- 
stool, an incense vase, candlesticks, a brazier 
to burn paj^er made in imitation of Sycee 
silver, and a sacrificial tub — such is a China- 
man's private chapel. Here he comes on 
solemn days, and, the garden being weeded, 
and all things painted and renewed for the 
occasion, he prays and sacrifices to his an- 
cestors, and feasts witli his friends. If the 
Chinaman has a superstition, this is it. His 
Buddhism is a ceremonial to the many, and a 
speculative philosophy to the adept, no more. 

" j\Ir. Edkins' object in visiting the temples 
of the lake was to hold controversy with the 
priests, so I had more opportunity of hearing 
what they really believe than lisually falls to 
the lot of travellers who cannot read the Pali 
books. They did not feel his arguments 
against idolatry. They treat their grotesque 
gods with as much contempt as we do. They 
divide the votaries into three classes. First 
come the learned men, who perform the 
ritual, and observe the abstinence from ani- 
mal food, merely as a matter of discipline, 
but place their religion in absolute mental 
abstraction, tending to that perfection which 
shall fit them to be absorbed into that some- 
thing which, as they say, faith can conceive, 
but words cannot describe. Secondly come 
those who, unable to mount to this intellec- 
tual yearning after purification from all human 
sentiments, strive by devotion to fit them- 
selves for the heaven of the western Buddha, 
where transmigration shall cease, and they 
shall for all eternity sit upon a lotus-flower, 
and gaze upon Buddha, drawing happiness 
from his presence. Thirdly follow the vulgar, 
whose devotion can rise no higher than the 
sensital ceremonies, who strike their foreheads 
upon the steps of the temples, who burn in- 
cense, offer candles made from the tallow-tree, 
and save up their cash for festival days. So 
far as my experience goes, this class is con- 
fined almost entirely to old women, and the 
priests say that their one unvarying asjiira- 
tion is that at their next transmigration they 
may become men. 

" Such is Buddhism as we see it in China. 
But this is not all. A Chinese poet, who 
eight hundred years ago built an ugl}' 
straight-down in this beautiful Lake of See- 
hoo about the same time invented the Ten 



S2 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. II. 



Gods of Hell, and grafted tliein upon the 
Buddhist faith to terrify men from crime. 
There is also a reformed sect of Buddhists, 
•who call themselves 'Do-nothings,' and who 
place the perfection of man in abstaining from 
all worship, all virtue, and all vice. When 
the Jesuit missionaries saw the mitres, the 
tonsure, the incense, the choir, and the statues 
of the Queen of Heaven, they exclaimed that 
the devil had been allowed to burlesque their 
religion. ^Ye Protestants may almost say 
the same. These reformed Buddhists deduce 
their origin from a teacher Avho was crucified 
in the province of Shantung some six hundred 
yeai's ago, and they shock the missionaries 
by blasphemous parallels. I have heard that 
the present Bishop of Victoria investigated 
this sect, and sent home an account of them, 
but, for some reason, the statement was sup- 
pressed. 

" Then we have the Taoists, or cultivators 
of perfect reason, which is a philosophy 
having also its temples and its ceremonies. 
We have the worship of Heaven, which is 
the prerogative of the emperor, and we have 
the state religion, the philosophy of Con- 
fucius, which is but metaphj'sics and ethics. 

" All these may form good subject of dis- 
cussion to laboriously idle men, but they are 
of very little practical importance. They are 
speculations, not superstitions. They are 
thought over, they are not felt. They in- 
spire no fanaticism, they create no zeal, they 
make no martyrs, they generate no intoler- 
ance. They are not faiths that men will 
fight for, or die for, or even feel zealous for. 
Your Chinese doctor is a man of great sub- 
tlety, of great politeness, but of the coldest 
indifference. He is a most pachydermatous 
beast, so far as the zeal of the Christian mis- 
sionary is concerned. ' Do you believe in 
Jesus Christ?' asks the missionary after long 
teaching, patiently heard. ' Certainly I do,' 
coldly answers the hearer. ' But why do 
you believe ? Are you couA-inced — do you 
feel that what I have been sayino- is true?' 
■ — ' I believe it because you say so,' is the 
polite and hopeless answer. 

" It is this which makes the earnest mis- 
sionary des])ond. A Chinaman has no super- 
stition.* He has nothing that can be over- 
thrown, and leave a void. He will chin his 
joss, burn crackers before he starts on a 
voyage, or light a candle for a partner or a 
useful clerk who may be in danger of death. 
But it's only hope of 'good luck,' or fear of 
' bad luck.' The feeling is no deeper than 
that which in religious and enlightened Eng- 

* The writer furnishes abiindaut proof that the Bud- 
dliist is almost as much a slave to superstition as the 
Brahmins, although there is less of heart in his relieion. 



land causes so many horse -shoes to be nailed 
up to keep out witches, or which makes 
decent housewives, who can read and Avrite, 
separate crossed knives, throw pinches of salt 
over their shoulder, and avoid walking under 
a ladder. 

" Clustered upon this hill, within the walls 
of Hangchow, are temples of all these varied 
forms of paganism, and perhaps within the 
year the same idolater has bowed in all of 
them. Two lofty green mounds are perhaps 
too large for mere private tombs, and mark 
the spot of some j^ublic hero-worship ; but in 
other cases the architecture of the sacred 
and public edifices is all alike, and you 
cannot distinguish temples from custom- 
houses or mandarin offices." 

The illustration of Buddhism afforded by 
the foregoing extract is very remarkable. 
Xo modern traveller has probably possessed 
similar opportunities of witnessing the Bud- 
dhist religion in its full practical exhibition 
as the writer, and it affords a singular and 
striking exhibition of what Buddhism is 
where its power is unchecked. 

Another religion of Hindoostan is that of the 
Jains. Dr. Cooke Taylor calls their religion a 
branch of Brahminism ; it might with more 
propriety be termed a branch of Buddhism. 
In most of their doctrines these two religions 
agree, and in very many of their practices. 
Yet the Jains adopt and multiply the Hindoo 
gods. They, however, regard all the gods 
of Hindooism — even the dies majora — as in- 
ferior to certain saints of their own, whom 
they call Tirtankeras, of whom there are 
seventy-two.* They erect temples, and 
have colossal images of their Tirtankeras 
placed in them, also marble altars, and like- 
nesses of their saints above them in relief. 

There is one peculiarity which strikes Eu- 
ropeans, and particularly Roman Catholic 
Europeans, — the practice of auricular con- 
fession. This prevailed in ancient Babylon, 
like all, or nearly all, the chief superstitions 
of heathen nations. The Tartars are repre- 
sented as using the confessional by Humboldt, 
and the Mexicans by Prescott. Humboldt 
did not seem to be aware that the Tartars 
whom he represents thus were of the sect of 
the Jains ; some of them were probably Bud- 
dhists, or professing a mixture of Jainism 
and Buddhism. Dr. Stevenson, of Bombay, 
has proved that the Jains extensively adopt 
this exercise. Dr. Cooke Taylor represents 
them as having no priests ; Mr. Elphinstone, 
on the contrary, describes their religious 
leaders by that name. There are no bloody 

* Dr. Cooke Taylor represents them as twenty-four, 
but this is an error ; there are three sets of Tirtankeras, 
each Iwcntv-four in number. 



Chap. IT.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



6S 



sacrifices among them, but bloodless offerings 
are presented to their saints, and to the 
gods of the Hindoo Pantheon, by officials 
sacredly set apart for such inirposes. They 
are as much priests as those of the Hindoo 
religion. 

The Jains' religion originated about the 
sixth century of our era. It attained the 
acme of its elevation and influence in the 
twelfth, and, after maintaining its por-ition for 
about one himdred and fifty years, rapidly 
declined. Their chief seats of power are in 
the west of India. They are much addicted 
to commercial pursuits and banking. Several 
very rich bankers are numbered among them. 
The Brahmins persecuted them, as they did 
the Buddhists, and with similar success; in- 
deed, with the exception of the Moham- 
medans, the followers of Brahma are the 
most bigoted and persecuting of any sect in 
India. 

Brahminism, Buddhism, and Jainism, are 
represented as religions of Hindoo origin, but 
other systems which have existence in India 
are generally described as of foreign origin. 
Buddhism and Jainism certainly originated 
in Hindoostan, but Brahminism, in its ancient 
and peculiar characteristics, was known in 
Persia * in times as remote as any of which 
Ave have an account in Hindoo history. 

Grheberism was imported into Hindoostan 
from Persia, of which country it is supposed 
to have been the most ancient form of reli- 
gion. Its votaries are known in India by 
the name of Parsees. These people are scat- 
tered through various parts of India, and are 
few in number as compared with the other 
sects. The object of their adoration is the 
sun, and fire as supposed to come from that 
source. Their prophet is Zoroaster. The 
origin of fire-worship is Babylonian; it is 
another stream of idolatry from the great 
source. 

The Ghebers trace their doctrines to " Ma- 
lek Gheber" (the mighty king); and he is 
undoubtedly identical with Nimrod, the first 
who began to be mighty (Gheber), and the 
first Molech, or king. The title which Be- 
rosus, the Chaldean historian, gives to Nim- 
rod is Al-orus (the god of fire). During the 
lifetime of Nimrod he assumed to be the Bol- 
ken, -j- or priest, of the sun, or priest of Baal. 
Fire being the representation of the sun, it was 
also worshipped as emanating from the one 
god, which the sun was then considered to be. 
When Taumuz, the son of Nimrod, was 
deified, Nimrod himself was made a god. 
The story of Phaeton driving the chariot of 
the sun, and the consequent catastrophe, is 

* Sir John :^^alco]m. 

t Hence the Uomaii ViJcan. 



but the story of Taumuz, his sudden death, 
and the temporary cessation of the worship 
of the sun and the heavenly bodies. Zoro- 
aster was Taumuz — the word being originally 
Zero-ashta, the seed of the woman, referring 
to the promise in Eden. The Zoroaster who 
lived in the time of Darius Hystaspes must 
not be confounded with the primitive Zoro- 
aster.* 

The author of the Moral Iihntuy of Rome 
and Bahyloii thus writes on this subject : — 
" The identity of Bacchus and Zoroaster is 
easily proved. The very epithet Pyrisporus 
bestowed on Bacchus in the Orphic Hymns 
(Hymn xliv. 1) goes far to establish that 
identity. \Mien the primeval promise of 
Eden began to be forgotten, the meaning of 
the name Zero-ashta was lost to all who knew 
only the exoteric doctrine of paganism ; and 
as ashta signified the ' fire ' in Chaldce as 
well as ' the woman,' and the rites of Taumuz 
had much to do with fire-worship, Zero-ashta 
came to be rendered ' the seed of fire,' and 
hence the epithet ' Pyrisporus,' or Ignigena, 
'fire-born,' as applied to Bacchus. From this 
misunderstanding of the meaning of the name 
Zero-ashta came the whole story about the 
unborn infant Bacclms having been rescued 
from the flames that consumed his mother 
Semele, Avhen Jupiter came in his glory to 
visit her. Now there was another name by 
which Zoroaster was known, which is not a 
little instructive, and that is Zoro-ades, or 
' the only seed.' The ancient pagans, while 
they recognised supremely one only (^od, 
knew also that there w'as one only seed, on 
whom the hopes of the world depended. In 
almost all nations not only AA'as a great god 
known under the name of Zero or Zer, ' the 
seed,' and a great goddess under the name of 
Ashta or Isha, ' the woman,' but the great 
god Zero is frequently characterised by some 
epithet that implies that he is the ' only one.' 
Now what can account for such names and 
epithets? Genesis iii. 15, can account for 
them; nothing else can. The name Zoro- 
ades also strikingly illustrates the saying of 
Paul — ' He saith not, And to seeds, as of 
manv ; but as of one, And to thy seed, which 
is Christ.' " 

In Persia, and portions of Central Asia, 
Affghanistan, and Thibet, the worshij^i^ers of 
fire are scattered as a persecuted sect. Those 
who bear the crescent as their ensign pursue 
with vindictive sword those whose ensign 
and idol are the sun. The Mohammedans 
seem to have been raised up in the retributive 
providence of God to execute his wrath upon 
all forms of idolatry, and the votaries of fire 
have not been spared. 

* "Wilson's Fu/sce Helic/ii>n, p. 398. 



54 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. II. 



Tlio Piirsees hold tenaciously by tlieir 
creed and deity — 

" As the sunflower turns to her god when he sets 
The same look which she gave when he rose." 

Among the Parsees of India are many 
wealthy men, as merchants and bankers. As 
a class, they are much superior to the other 
natives, and are more loyal and faithful. 

The Sikhs are confined to the Punjaiib ; 
their religion is modern, and is a mixture of 
Mohammedanism and Brahminism. The Sikh 
people hate both, and are ever ready to arm 
against the Hindoos and Mohammedans, 
whose ascendancy they dread much more 
than that of the British. Before the conc|uest 
of the Punjaub, the Sikh country was go- 
verned by a sort of theocracy. The nation 
Avas the Khalsa, or church. The maharajah 
Avas head over both. The IMaharajah Dhuleep 
Singh is now in England; and since the con- 
quest of his territory for crimes in which he 
had no part, he has been a loyal British sub- 
ject, as also he is an accomplished gentleman 
and sincere Christian. Dr. Sir ^Yilliam Logan 
is the agent of the East India Company to 
whose care in this country the maharajah is 
committed, and who participates in those en- 
lightened principles which his illustrious and 
amiable charge has happily espoused. 

Such are the heathen systems of India. A 
writer in a recent nimiber of Blackwood' s 
Magazine remarks — " Polytheism, and its 
never -failing attendant, idolatry, Avhich in 
modern times disa2jpeared so much from the 
face of the earth, still exist in pristine vigour 
in the Indian peninsula." Unhappily there 
are large portions of the face of the earth 
Avhere polytheism and idolatry still prevail ; 
but the opinion is a just one, that it is in the 
Indian peninsula that both polytheism and 
idolatry j^revail in pristine force. However 
erroneous the doctrine may be that the Avor- 
fihip of idols necessarily attends polytheism, 
it is a sequence so general as to justify 
the inference that Avhere the one prevails the 
other AA'ill probably exist. The same Avriter 
justly observes that had the JcAAUsh people, in 
the days of monotheistic orthodoxy, known 
the idolatry of India, their prophets Avould 
have uttered still more terrible anathemas 
against it than they uttered against the 
systems of surrounding nations. " The low- 
lands of Tyre and Philistia might boAV to the 
false gods of Dagon ; the banks of Abana and 
Pharpar, and the groves of the Orontes, 
might be gay Avith the licentious rites of 
Ashtaroth ; memories of the gods of Egypt 
stood recorded in the Pentateuch ; and in 
the dark hours of the captivity the HebrcAVS 
looked with heightened hatred upon the 



nobler symbol -AA'orship of Assyria; but not 
Assyria and Egypt combined Avould have 
equalled that stupendous development of 
paganism and idolatry Avhich still exists as a 
spectacle for man's humiliation in India." 
It is, hoAA-ever, some relief to this picture 
that the progressive character of Hindoo ido- 
latry seems to haA^e ceased. The doctrine of 
development, so great a favourite Avith the 
doctors of the Christian Church AA-hen desirous 
to defend or commend some faA'ourite heresy, 
was a prevalent one among the ministors of 
Indian idolatries. The systems accoiJingly 
Avent on de\'eloping themselves, until the 
cumbrous structures of ethics and devotion, 
raised by the adventurous casuists and theo- 
rists, became too ponderous to bear fur- 
ther acciunulation. There are few neAV 
temples erecting for any of the systems of 
idolatry in India ; and the existing tem- 
ples, of AA'hatever style — AAdi ether the rock 
temples of the ghauts, or the lofty domed 
topes of Ceylon, dedicated to Buddha, or 
the "tall elliptical temples of Orissa," the 
glory of Juggernaut — are barely preserved 
in repair. No new accessions of gods or 
shrines seem to be noAv made ; and there is 
in this a sign strikingly indicative that the 
idolatry of India has reached its culminating 
point, and that the depraA'ed imagination of 
its people has reached the extent of its crea- 
tive power in the department of polytheistic 
idolatry. Indeed, the land is covered with 
temples : in Conjenoram alone there are one 
hundred and twenty-five edifices devoted 
to idols, of Avhich the horrid god Siva has 
one hundred and eight. 

Lono- since there seemed to be a cessation 
of progress in the inA'ention of gods and 
erection of temples, there yet continued a 
minor activity of the imagination in dcA'is- 
ing rejjresentations of the preA'iously recog- 
nised deities. The makers of idols Averc 
numerous ; in all the cities and A-illages the 
craftsmen might be seen idol-making. The 
manufacture Avas as varied as extensive. Gods 
for an English hahpenny or an Indian rupee 
could be obtained, according to the quality 
of the imaQ:e ; but if the idols obtained conse- 
cration, then the price AA'as rather according 
to the quality of the god. Consecrated, and 
CA^en unconsecrated idols, AA-ere purchased by 
the rich at a great cost. The consecration, 
as to its costliness, depends upon the popu- 
larity of the deity, AAdiich generally involves 
a greater number of texts, prayers, and cere- 
monies in proportion as the god has a great 
reputation. The idol finaUy, in most cases, 
receives a sort of baptism in the Ganges, and 
becomes a proper household god. Deities of 
this sort, made of gold and silver, executed 



Chap, II.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



55 



in a suporior manner, and richly decorated 
with precious stones, are to be found in the 
houses of tlie wealthy. It is observable, 
however, that the progressive character of 
this god-manufacture, wliich produced such 
countless varieties of representations, has 
received a cheek. The carving, sculpture, 
and architecture of Hindoo, Jain, Buddhist, 
and Gheber, have to a great extent lost their 
originality, — nor is there the same inclination 
to bestow large sums on household images. It 
is impossible not to regard this fact as hopeful, 
in forming an opinion of the prospects of the 
heathen religions of India. 

In all the pagan superstitions of the penin- 
sula the doctrines of penance, as an expiation 
of sin, and of self-torture, for the purpose of 
raising human nature to the divine, are held. 
To such an extent is this carried, that, whether 
Buddhist, Jain, or Brahmin, all hope to rise 
to a god-like existence hereafter, by making 
their existence, for the most part, miserable 
here. A clergyman well acquainted with 
India describes this process as leading to the 
following absurd and degrading exhibitions : 
— " Some were interred, others, with the head 
downwards, the legs, from the knees, remain- 
ing above ground ; some sat on iron spikes ; 
others performed the penance of the five fires, 
being seated in the midst of four, while the 
burning sun poin-ed its rays upon the naked 
head." * 

Another feature common to the heathenism 
of India is licentiousness. The doctrines of 
Buddha, as professed by Buddhists proper 
and by Jains, are adverse to this, but so also 
are the doctrines of pure Brahminism. The 
practice over all India, and xmder all its 
superstitions, is, however, at variance with 
the better ethics of the religious theories 
which are professed. Various superstitious 
reasons are found for a licentiousness the 
most abominable ; whatever the moral philo- 
sophy pervading the creeds, the low charac- 
ter of the deities degrades the worshi2:)pers 
and the worship, and inspires impurity. In 
Bruce's Sights and Scenes in the East, a de- 
scription is given of the voluptuous dances 
before the idol of the goddess Durga, such as 
ought to silence the European apologists for 
the "innocent superstitions of the East." In 
the hills, among the Khonds, intoxication is 
indulged as a stimulus to lasciviousness, which 
is supposed to be acceptable to the " earth 
goddess," who beai's various names. 

Among the false religions of India, Mo- 
hammedanism holds a prominent place — 
not so much from the numerical proportion 
of its votaries, as from their relative power. 

* The Land of the Fedas, by the Rev. P. Per- 
ceval. 



In another publication * the author of this 
History gave a summary of the history and 
rehgion of Mohammed, so concise and com- 
plete as to suit this account of the religions 
of India. 

Mohammedanism is summed up in this 
sentence — " There is one God, and j\Io- 
hammed is his prophet." Early in the 
seventh century an Arabian enthusiast con- 
ceived the idea of a reformation among his 
pagan countrymen. It appears that he was 
moved by patriotic and conscientious motives. 
In his inquiries and reflections he became 
tolerably acquainted with the Christian and 
Jewish scriptures, the inspiration of which 
he did not fully recognise, or formed only 
vao-ne notions of its nature and character. 
To the Jews he took an aversion on account 
of their venality, intolerance, and pride of 
race. The Christians did not exemplify their 
religion any better than the Jews did theirs ; 
and as he became estranged from the idolatry 
of his fathers, he was increasingly shocked 
by the idolatry of the Christians, and con- 
cluded that theirs could not be the ultimate 
faith of the servants of God in this world. 
Thus reasoning, he became as zealous to 
overthrow the idolatry of the Christian altars 
as that of the pagan, which once he served 
and finding some to sympathise with him \u 
his views of the simplicity of worship and 
the miity of God, he conceived the idea of a 
great reformation. So plain did the amount 
of truth he had gathered appear to him, that 
he could not believe in any sincere resistance 
to it ; and reasoning like other bigots before 
and since, that he who opposed truth opposed 
God, and ought to be punished, the doctrine 
of force became an essential part of his 
system. He soon found obstacles from pagans, 
Jews, and Christians, not to be surmounted 
without address, and he resorted to jjolic}'' 
and i)ions frauds akin to such as he jierceived 
to be so successful in the hands of pagan and 
Christian priests, and Jewish rabbis. Here 
the faithful historian becomes baffled in his 
attempts to discover where sincerity ends 
and imposture begins, and where the strong- 
man's mental vision becomes itself deranged 
in the tumults of his imaginations, his pro- 
jects, and his sufferings. And as success 
crowned his deeds and misdeeds, his sincere 
iconoclasm, love of justice, and earnest pro- 
mulgation of fundamental religious truth, 
become more inextricably mingled with signs 
of mental aberration, all-devouring ambition, 
and cunning imposture. 

* Nolan's Illustrated History of the War against 
Russia. London; J. S. Virtue, City Road and Ivy 
Lane. Dedicated by permission to His Royal HighneoS 
tte Duke of Cambridge. 



56 



HISTORY OF TPIE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. II. 



It is the habit of writers to treat of the 
life of Mohammed witli as much of the odivm 
theolog icmn as Avoiild season the keenest 
ecclesiastical controversy ; and he is jjraised, 
and the Koran, which he professed to give 
by inspiration, is lauded as a literary and 
ethical miracle, or he is denounced as an un- 
mitigated impostor, and his book as a farago 
of nonsense and fraud. The book, however, 
was very much in character with the man — 
with a man of strong mind, of ambitious 
enterprise — a religious reformer in a dark 
age, ignorant of the Gospel, willing to do a 
supposed good by deceptive means, feigning 
an inspiration he did not feel, and fancying 
an inspiration that was not real. Thus con- 
stituted and actuated, he propoiinded, as the 
book of a prophet, that which was only the 
dream or the device of a fanatic. It is likely 
that Jewish and Christian aid were afforded 
him in its composition, and that aid none of 
the best. He succeeded among an imagina- 
tive people by the overwhelming force of his 
imagination, among a simple people by the 
amazing directness of his object, among a 
brave people by his unexampled intrepidity, 
amongst a roving people by his passion for 
adventure, and in a superstitious and ignorant 
age by the display of superior knowledge 
and more sacred j^retensions than other men, 
and withal by a deep sympathy Avith the 
current prejudices of his race and of huma- 
nity. He taught that IMoses was a prophet, 
the forerunner of Christ, and Christ a pro- 
phet, the forerunner of himself; he supposed, 
or affected to believe, that he was the pro- 
mised Comforter — the Paraclete foretold by 
Christ as the teacher of all things, and the 
consummator of divine revelation. 

The ecclesiastical system of Mohammed is 
simple. Other religions are tolerated, this is 
established. It is a religion without a priest- 
hood ; no sacrifices bleed within its temples, 
and no altars are reared. Its ministers are 
rulers and doctors ; they govern the faithful 
according to the Koran, offer devotions, and 
instruct. Within the mosque all believers 
may pray, even aloud, but only believers 
must enter. To proselyte to the true faith is 
a virtue, if disdain for the infidel does not 
operate as a bar to the effort. To abandon 
the true faith is sacrilege, and its penalty 
deatli. Even the proselyte who apostatizes 
dies. 

The social condition of the people Avho 
profess it is formeil by their religion and 
their political institutions, as, indeecl, is the 
case with all nations, whatever tlieir creed. 

The IMohammedans of India differ very 
much from their brethren in Western and 
Northern Asia, as well as from those in 



Europe and Africa. Everywhere else, excojit 
so far as sectarian differences divide, the fea- 
tures of IMohanimedan faith and character 
possess a clear identity ; in India they are so 
modified by caste, and by the heathenism 
which holds so tenaciously its position, that 
Indo-Mohammedanism has a distinctive cha- 
racter. The various inroads of the Prophet's 
followers were followed by extensive efforts 
at proselytism; force, guile, and gold, were 
all freely used to bring over the heathen to 
Islam ; and all were so far successfid, that 
multitudes joined, bearing into their new 
circle of religious fellowship the love, and, as 
far as possible, the practice of their old super- 
stitions. The result has been that while the 
Mohammedan and heathen populations hate 
one another, and the monotheism of the fol- 
lowers of the Prophet is rigid and uncompro- 
mising, they yet adopt castes and customs 
that are Brahminical, and which give to the 
social life of the Indo -Mohammedans pecu- 
liarities of character very dissimilar from 
those of their fellow-disciples elsewhere. 
The Patans and Affghans retain the simpler 
and sterner service of the old faith, but in 
Southern Hindoostan so strong a leaven of 
2)agan custom has insinuated itself into the 
social life of Mohammedans, that but for their 
pure theism they might be mistaken for 
Hindoos. The festivals of Mohammedan 
India strikingly illustrate this; no Turk, or 
even Aftghan, would take part in scenes of 
such levity. Even fasts and solemnities (so- 
called) assume much of the wild and exube- 
rant gaiety which characterises the festivals 
of the Hindoos. Processions, garlands, pyro- 
technic displays, &c., mark these occasions. 
The boat processions on the Ganges by night 
are scenes of remarkable beauty and bois- 
terous mirth. On these occasions rafts are 
towed along, bearing fantastic palaces, towers, 
pagodas, triumphal arches, all hung with 
brilliant lamps, while rockets shoot up in 
glittering flight, and the ruffled waters gleam 
in the broken reflections of the many -coloured 
lamps and artificial fires. The Hindoos 
crowd the river's bank, utter their joyous 
acclamations, beat their rude drums, and 
express their excited sympathy.* It is the 
political action, and what they deem cere- 
monial uncleanness of the Islamites, tliat 
excite in the high caste Hindoos repugnance 
to IMohammedans. \Yhere the latter, by 
conformity to caste, and adoption of Hindoo 
customs, relax their antipathies to Hindooism, 
even the Brahmins give a certain countenance 
to their religious rites, especially their festivals. 
Whatever of their general character the IMo- 
hammedans of India have lost, they retain the 
* Missionary reports. 



Chap. II.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



fierce intolerance wliicli tiiey everywhere 
else exhibit, and the desire to attain power as 
a religious duty, by means no matter how 
repulsive and sanguinary. Tyrants every- 
where, they are in India as despotic as the 
genius of their creed might be supposed to 
make them, and their history on every stage 
e.xliibits them. 

Besides heathens and Mohammedans, there 
are Jews in India. The Beni-Israel consti- 
tute an interesting class. They are a rem- 
nant of the ten tribes carried away in the 
great and final captivity. They are, how- 
ever, too inconsiderable in number or influ- 
ence to require notice at any length in this 
place. 

Tiiere are Christians of various oriental 
sects among the population of the peninsula. 
Most of these hold opinions obscured by 
superstition. There are Armenian, Copt, 
and Syrian Christians. The last-named are 
most numerous, and allege themselves to be 
disciples of St. Thomas the apostle. , 

There are many Roman Catholics among 
the natives, in the portions of the country 
where the Portuguese and French settled. 
The Jesuits of the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries put forth extraordinary efforts to 
make proselytes. Many of their modes of 
procedure were most praiseworthy ; they 
studied the languages of the people with 
indefatigable industry, and exposed them- 
selves fearlessly to the climate, and to every 
hardship necessary to their great task. Some 
of their proceedings cannot be too much cen- 
sured. They pretended to be Brahmins of 
the highest caste, having in their own coun- 
try enjoyed the religion of the Vedas. They 
accordingly assumed the dress and modes of 
living of the " Suniassi," the most perfect 
order of the Brahmins in those days, and 
united with them in ceremonies which no 
enlightened and honest conscience could 
allow its possessor to participate. Where 
guile failed, force was resorted to, and the 
history of the inquisition at Goa is as hor- 
rible as that of Juggernaut at Orissa,— at all 
events, when we recollect that the cruel and 
sanguinary deeds done in connection with 
the former were in the name of the all-mer- 
ciful Saviour. The native Roman Catholic 
population, except at Pondicherry, where 
they are under the instruction of enlightened 
French j^riests, is as degraded as that of the 
ilohammedans and heathens. The Portu- 
guese erected many fine churches, the ruins of 
which alone remain. At Goa, Bassein, Chaul, 
and various other places, extensive ruins of 
this descrijition exist. Dr. Taylor affirms 
that such remains at Bassein are comparable 
to those of Pompeii, 

VOL. I. 



The early Protestant missionaries do not 
appear to have been very successfid, but they 
refrained from all deceptive methods, such as 
the Jesuits adopted to make proselytes. The 
' Dutch, however, although they avoided the 
affectation of sympathy with the Brahmins, 
which the Jesuits assumed, yet, like them, 
they resorted to persecution, but of a much 
milder form. Bribery, however, they prac- 
tised in common with the Jesuits, refusing 
all civil offices, however unimportant, to 
natives, unless they submitted to baptism. 
Numbers complied, and made an ostensible 
profession of Christianity for the advantages 
which they derived, but fell away as soon as 
these temporal benefits were withdrawn. A 
writer, who imparts his own religious pre- 
judices into his relation of the missiunary 
history of India, remarks with an air of 
triumph — '•' The descendants of the Jesuit 
and Presbyterian converts have long since 
disappeared from the land, and are only 
remembered in musty ecclesiastical records." * 
To whatever extent this may be true of the 
descendants of the proselytes made by the 
Dutch, it is not correct as to those made by 
the Jesuits, whose numbers are still consider- 
able. 

The first Protestant missionary was sent 
to India in 1705, under the ausjiices of the 
King of Denmark. He established himself 
at Tranquebar, then a Danish settlement, 
where he foi;nded a church and school, and 
laboured with assiduity and zeal, which were 
attended with partial success. Schwartz, 
and other like-minded men, under the aus- 
pices of Denmark, jireached the gospel in 
India, and promoted Christian education, 
with gradually -increasing advantage, during 
the first half of the eighteenth century. At 
the close of that period, Kiemander was em- 
ployed by the Society for promoting Chris- 
tian Knowledge, He established a school at 
Cuddapore, in the i^residency of Madras, and 
laboured there for eight years, with some 
fruits attending his ministry ; but found that, 
at every step, caste was the grand obstruction 
to the gospel. In 1758, he proceeded to 
Calcutta, and organised there more efficient 
means of conducting his enterprise. In 
1770 he erected a church, and soon had 
several hundred native children, and some 
adults, in attendance. Towards the close of 
the century, ^^'illianl Carey, a native of 
Northamptonshire, a baptist minister, pro- 
ceeded to Calcutta, where he attempted to 
preach the gospel and establish schools : but 
so fierce was the opposition of the East India 
Company to him, that he was obliged to take 
refuge in Serampore, under the protection of 
* Capper, p. 442. 



58 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



rCflAP. II. 



DenmavK — tlie government of that country 
was then more favoiiraLle than that of Eng- 
land to rehgious efforts for the enlighten- 
ment of the heathen, and Mr. Carey received 
protection, encouragement, and support. Mr. 
Carey being a man of most determined will, 
and belie%ang that he was in the path of duty, 
persevered in his efforts to do good to the 
natives, and to conquer the opposition of the 
East India Company. His educational efforts 
at Serampore were very successful, and he 
was so ujDheld by the religious community in 
England, that the company became partly 
ashamed and partly afraid in connection with 
their hostility to missions. Mr. Carey be- 
came even an influential man at Calcutta, for 
the gifted Marquis of Wellesley was so sen- 
sible of his moral worth, knowledge of India, 
remarkable good sense, and extensive ac- 
quirements, that he appointed the invincible 
missionary to a professorship in the College 
of Fort A'Sllliam. 

At this juncture, the East India Compan}^ 
supported the Hindoo idolatry by public 
grants of money, and in every conceivable 
way trimmed to the Brahmins. Even in the 
educational institutions of the company there 
seemed a greater desire to foster the religion 
of the Hindoos than of Christ : happily, such 
a spirit has passed aAvay from that body, but 
it was long and obstinately fostered, and, at 
the period when the Serampore mission 
began its work, and for long after, remained 
in full force. In the year 17'J3, the renewal 
of the company's charter came before the 
Houses of Parliament, and a formidable oppo- 
sition to the religious policy of that body was 
organised. IMr. Wilberforce, altliough bigot- 
edly hostile to the repeal of the corporation 
and test acts, was a strenuous friend to the 
baptist missions, and to all evangelical efforts 
among the heathen. He succeeded in passing 
a series of resolutions, that missionaries and 
schoolmasters should be provided for the 
Christian instruction of the natives of India. 
The resolutions were, however, impracticable. 
They were not cordially supported by the 
religious public of England, nor by the 
" voluntary " missionary societies. All per- 
sons who had an extensive acquaintance with 
India, declared that such measures " went 
too fast and too far," and would, if practically 
attempted, excite opposition on the part of 
the natives of a formidable character, espe- 
cially as the agents of Roman Catholic 
powers would not fail to represent the move- 
ment to the natives in the light of a forcible 
interference with their religion. These views, 
the want of unanimous support on the part of 
the friends of missions, and the remonstrances 
of the company, caused the government to 



hesitate in adopting such a policy, and the 
resolutions remained in abeyance. It was 
generally believed that the government 
yielded to the influence of Mr. Wilberforce 
in the Commons, but never intended to act 
upon his views. It soon became known in 
India that the resolutions of Wilberforce 
were not to be carried out, and a renewed 
and fierce persecution against the Serampore 
mission was the result. Its tracts were 
called in and burnt by order of the governor 
in council, who also prohibited the printing 
of any books whatever in the Danish settle- 
ments by English subjects. The British 
Christian missionaries were not understood 
by the governor or council ; and they might 
as well have sought to prohibit by law the 
blowing of the monsoons. The Serampore 
mission took no heed to the interdicts of the 
anti -gospel confederacy at Calcutta, and the 
few Christian ministers in that city pursued 
their labours with unabated zeal The go- 
vernor and council became enraged at this 
obstinacy, and prohibited all preaching to the 
natives, and. the issuing of aU books or tracts 
having a tendency to make proselytes to the 
Christian religion. The conduct of the 
government was more befitting a club of 
atheists, than a coimcil of men professing to be 
Christians. The person then presiding over 
the councils of India was Lord Minto. He 
was not only the bitter enemy of the exten- 
sion of the Christian religion by even the 
most fair, honourable, and politic means, but 
he was the patron of Hindoo "laws, litera- 
ture, and religion." He was a bad politician, 
and a worse Christian, As devil-worship is 
a part of the religion of India, it is no exag- 
geration to say that the noble lord would have 
patronised the worship of the devil to promote 
his ill-conceived policy. The government at 
home was not, however, much more honest, 
earnest, or enlightened on religious subjects 
than his lordship : he, on the whole, very 
fairly represented them. 

In 1799, the Serampore mission was re- 
inforced by a fresh accession of missionaries ; 
money, printing-^iresses, and various other 
instrumentality of usefulness were liberally 
sent to it from England, and the edicts of the 
governor-general and his council produced 
no more effect upon its plans and purposes 
than ripon the waters of the Indian Ocean. 
The good work went on, and the moral influ- 
ence of the friends of the missionaries in 
England became too powerful for the govern- 
ment. In 1813, the consent of parliament 
was obtained for ecclesiastical establishments 
accordinsr to the English and Scottish churches. 
In the reign of William III. pi'omise had been 
made that chaplains should be provided, and 



Chap. II.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



69 



tliat they sliould he instructed in the lan- 
guages of the people, in order to facilitate 
their usefulness. The government in 1813 
Avas only returning to the principles espoused 
a century and a quarter before by the hero of 
the revolution. 

The first bishop of the Church of England 
Avho Avas appointed in virtue of the new order 
of things -was Dr. Middleton. At the close of 
1814, he accepted all India as his diocese. 
On his arrival there he found fifteen chap- 
lains in Bengal, twelve in the presidency of 
Madras, and five in that of Bombay. He 
immediately appointed an archdeacon for 
each presidency, and increased the mimber 
of clergymen in them all. He patronised 
the Society for promoting Christian Know- 
ledge, and that for the Propagation of the 
Gospel. Under his auspices a mission college 
was founded in Calcutta. He died on the 
8th of July, 1822, having laid the foiindation 
for the modern episcopal church of British 
India. 

It was not difficult to find a suitable suc- 
cessor to Dr. Middleton, although many at 
the time believed it impossible. Eminently 
qualified men abounded in England then, as 
now, for any enterprise ; and provided there 
were impartiality in their selection, there coidd 
be no difficulty in obtaining such. The choice 
fell upon the amiable and gifted Heber, who 
arrived in Calcutta in October, 1823. In 
1824: he proceeded thence on a tour of inspec- 
tion through the upper provinces, returning 
by Bombay, Ceylon, and Madras. These 
journeys were of much importance to the 
religious interests of India, as information 
was obtained by which subsequent religious 
operations were guided. On April 2, 182G, 
while heated, this remarkable man took a 
cold bath, by which his life was suddenly 
terminated. His genius, piety, and useful- 
ness will ever be cherished in the memory of 
his country and the church of God. 

Heber was succeeded by Dr. Turner, who 
arrived at Calcutta in 1820, and died the 
year following. On the 7th of April, Dr. 
Daniel Wilson, rector of Islington, was ap- 
pointed Bishop of Calcutta, and reached the 
sphere of his labours early in October folkw- 
ing. He had been a man of great popularity 
and usefulness as a parochial minister, and 
the promise which was thus excited as to his 
activity and zeol in India was fulfilled ; he 
laboured for many years, visiting nearly 
every part of India, and, by his example and 
wisdom, stimidating and directing the zeal, 
not only of the ministers of his own church, 
but of the various other evangelical commu- 
nities, by all of whom he was respected and 
loved.. If Dr. ^Yil3on lays down his labours 



from ill health, he will, it is alleged, be suc- 
ceeded by his son, who has also held the 
rectory of Islington since his father's promo- 
tion to the bishopric of Calcutta. 

Wlien the East India Company's charter 
was altered in 1834, it was arranged that two 
additional bishops should be appointed, one 
for Madras and one for Bombay. Dr. Corrie, 
the archdeacon of JNIadras, Avas nominated to 
that bishopric, after nearly thirty years' resi- 
dence in India. He held his newly-acquired 
honour scarcely a year, when he died, regret- 
ted by all the European inhabitants, not only 
of the i:)residency, but of India. Dr. Carr, 
the archdeacon of Bombay, was apjjointed to 
the new diocese in that presidency : he was 
installed in Febriiary, 1838, and resigned 
from ill health in 1851. 

In the arrangements of 1813, it was agreed 
that two clergymen of the Church of Scot- 
land should be appointed as chaplains in each 
presidency. This number has been since 
increased. 

The renewal of the company's charter 
opened the way for all Christian missionaries 
in India, for the free circulation of the word 
of God, and of religious tracts and books. 
After forty years' experience, it has been 
proved beyond controversy that the fears of 
free discussion entertained by the govern- 
ment Avere groundless, and that good has 
been produced, in proportion as the efforts of 
the missionaries Avere unconnected Avith go- 
vernment in any form. As Professor Wilson 
has clearly shoAvn, the natives haA'e no uncon- 
querable jealousy of the voluntary labours of 
missionaries; it is of the action of goA'ernmcnt 
in that AA'ay that they are iuA'ariably jealous 
and Angilant. 

Missionaries noAV labour unimpeded by 
government in every part of India, and they 
ha\'e established educational institutions in 
AAdiich the young are trained in the know- 
ledge of Christ. This is the more important, 
as in the schools and colleges instituted by 
gOA'ernment the mention of Christianity is 
prohibited. No book is allowed Avithin them 
in Avhich Christ is named. If any of tlic 
pupils become couA^erts to Christianity they 
are dismissed.* According to one authority, 
if any officer of a government college pen an 
article for a religious periodical, he is sub- 
jected to censure, perhaps to dismission. It 
is important, hoAvever angry the protests of 
many zealous men, that the goA-ernment 
should refuse to identify itself Avith prose- 
lytism ; but if a native, Avhether in its col- 
leges, serving in its army, or numbered 
among its ciA'il serA^ants, chooses to aA'OAv 
Christianity, it is unjust to lay him therefore 
* Government Education in India, by W. Knighton, A.M. 



60 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. II. 



under disqualifications. While the censors 
of the East India Company are eager to fix 
upon it the consequences of any error in its 
regulations to secure the appearance and 
reality of impartiality to the natives, they 
omit to show the many instances in which, of 
late years, missionary societies have been 
favoured and aided by the company, even at 
the hazard of a charge of partiality from 
other quarters. This has been more particu- 
larly the case in connection with the missions 
of the Established Church : the aid afforded 
to the Church IMissionary Society in their 
educational efforts among the Santals is an 
instance. Soon after the suppression of the 
Santal insurrection of 1855, the director of 
instruction in Bengal addressed a letter to the 
corresponding committee of the Church Mis- 
sionary Society in Calcutta, stating that the 
government were willing to give liberal 
assistance for tlie establishment of schools 
anions: the Santals, if the society would un- 
dertake their establishment and management. 
The corresponding committee accepted the 
offer. After various communications respect- 
ing the jiroposed ])lan, the secretary to the 
government of India officially announced to 
the society, under date of November 28th, 
1856, the ])rinciple upon which all such 
grants would be made ; and the communica- 
tion furnishes a complete refutation of the 
alleged hostility of the company to the reli- 
gious education of the natives. What the 
comj^any protests against is, even the sem- 
blance of proselytism in the government 
schools. 

'•' The governor-general in council, viewing 
the proposed measure as a grant-in-aid to a 
missionary body for the secular education of 
an uncivilised tribe, considers it entirely in 
accordance with the views expressed in the 
honourable court's despatch of the 19th of 
July, 185i, and differing in degree only, not 
in kind, from the grants already made to 
individual missionaries for like purposes with 
the honourable court's full aj^probation and 
sanction. His lordship in council is of opi- 
nion that if the Church IMissionary Society, 
or if any respectable person or body of per- 
sons, undertakes to establish good schools 
among the Santals, the government is bound 
to render very liberal assistance, in proportion 
to the extent to which the work may be 
carried, subject only to the inspection of the 
officers of the education department, and upon 
the condition that the government in no way 
interferes with the religious instruction given, 
and that the expense of such instruction is 
borne by those who impart it. His lordship 
in council accordingly sanctions the proposed 
echeme as a wise and perfectly legitimate 



ap])Hcation of the principle of grants-in-aid, 
and authorises the lieutenant-governor to 
carry it out forthwith." 

The efforts of several of the missionary 
societies to commit the company to a course 
which the natives would regard as one of 
official proselytism have been frequent. Such 
a course the people of England are not pre- 
pared to sujiport. The company goes as far 
as public o})inion in England would justify, 
as the above official letter shows. That the 
conduct of the company in this matter is 
appreciated by the religious community of 
India attached to the C'lmrch of England is 
evident from the charge delivered by the 
Bishop of Madras, September 20th, 1856 : — 
"The government 'grants-in-aid' will be of 
great service to the cause of missions. When 
it is considered that there are little less than 
twenty thousand young people under religious 
instruction, and how much the societies are 
crippled for want of means in imparting a 
thoroughly good education to tliese young 
people, I think you will agree with me that 
it will indeed be a seasonable and happy 
help." * 

As soon as freedom of missionary effort 
was recognised, many societies sent forth 
labourers into the vast field. The following 
is a list of the principal associations for this 
purpose : — 

Tlie Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. 

The Church JJissioiiary Society. 

The London Missionary Society. 

The Baptist Missionary Societ_y. 

The General Baptist I\Iissionary Society. 

The Scotch Church IMissionary Society. 

The Free Church of Scotland Missionary Society. 

The Wesleyan Missionary Society. 

The American Missionary Society. 

The German jMissionary Society. 

Dn Cooke Tajdor thus describes the cha- 
racteristics of the labourers, and their labours : 
— " The chief characteristic of the mission- 
aries is the love of maximising and belauding 
all their own efforts, in order to secure the 
advantages of their position. Yet their suc- 
cess as preachers is not great, for it is difficult 
to induce the natives to adopt the systems of 
men who have no princijile in common with 
themselves. The natives stand aloof, or if 
they ai:)proach the European padre, it is to 
receive a present — a bribe — or some particle 
of instruction on points of Avhich they were 
previously ignorant." 

Very seldom has a more unjust verdict 
been jn-onounced than this u]ion any men 
honestly engaged in a good work, and 
it can only be reconciled with the integrity 
of Dr. Taylor by supposing that he had given 
very inadequate attention to the subject upon 
* Church iHssionary Record, July, 1857. 



Cii.vr. II.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



61 



wliicli he thus so tleciiledly pronounced. 
Tlmt there have heen agents of some of the 
societies Avho effected little in India, and who 
clung- to their positions there bccaiise they 
■would never have obtained an equally respec- 
table ministerial position at home, is, unhap- 
pily, certain. That such men should be 
tempted to colour their reports to the home 
directories is natural. No one will deny that 
this has occurred many times during the 
labours of the last half- century. But that it 
should have occurred so seldom is surprising, 
and that it should at all occur hereafter, is 
next to impossible, from the number in the 
field, the mutual contact of the agents of dif- 
ferent societies and sects, and the absolute 
certainty that the press of India \vo\dd detect 
and expose misrepresentations of any kind. 
To describe as " the chief characteristic of 
the missionaries" a desire to belaud them- 
selves or their labours — to distort or mis- 
state them in any way — is as gross a slander 
as ever was written by one who attained the 
reputation of impartiality. Many missionaries 
in India have taken too desponding a view of 
things. It has actually been " the chief cha- 
racteristic of the missionaries" sent there to 
minimise, not to "maximise" — adopting Dr. 
Taylor's own phraseology. A careful perusal 
of missionary letters and statements will prove 
this. Tlie compilation of the home reports 
does not rest with the missionary, but with 
committees and secretaries in London ; the 
missionary does not determine how few or 
how many of his own letters shall be given 
to the public, nor what extracts from any 
letter may be given or withheld. No doubt 
the peculiar constitution of the man, or his 
view of things on the whole, will influence a 
secretary in making these selections. He may 
deem it necessary to exclude the less hopeful 
views of his correspondent in the field of 
work, and in his own more sanguine tempera- 
ment select the more buoyant anticipations of 
the faithful labourer for the perusal of the 
members of the society. But the charge 
wonld not be just as against societies any 
more than as against missionaries, that there 
existed a disposition to give a false colour- 
ing, for venal or other personal purposes, 
to the experiences gleaned in the scene of 
religious effort. A perusal of the reports of 
all the societies engaged in the noble cause will 
leave with any impartial man the conviction 
that the charge of Dr. Taylor, reiterated by 
so many others, is without foundation in fact. 
The amount of effort put forth by the 
religions societies previous to the revolt is a 
subject of great interest, not only to the 
Christian Church, but to the political and 
commercial world, influenced as governments 



and as commerce must ever be by the moral 
condition of the governed. 

The fifty-seventh report of the Church 
Missionary Society for Africa and the East 
affords the following interesting statistics : — 

BOMBAY AND ^YESTERN INDIA MISSION.* 

MISSION ESTABLISHMENT. 

13 Ordained European j\Iissionaries, 

4 Ordained Native Missionaries. 

2 European Catechists and 'J'eachers. 

1 Euro])can Female Teacher. 

2 East-Indian Teachers. 

5 Native Catechists and Readers. 
26 Native Assistants and Teachers. 

At Nasik there is a native Christian colony 
and an industrial institution. Several young 
natives of education have been converted, 
and are disposed to be useful to their fellow- 
countrymen. 

SUMMARY OF THE BOMBAY AND WESTERN INDIA 

MISSION. 

Stations 6 

Communicants 73 

Native Christians 260 

Schools, including the Robert-Money School . 2!{ 

Scholars 1780 

CALCUTTA AND NORTH INDIA MISSION.! 

MISSION ESTABLISHMENT. 

45 Ordained European Missionaries. 

1 Ordained Native Jlissionary. 

C European Catechists and Teachers. 

2 European Female Teachers. 

5 East-Indian Catechists and Teachers. 
33 Native Catechists. 
66 Native Scripture-Readers. 
307 Native Teachers and Schoolmasters. 
26 Native Schoolmistresses. 

The North India mission field occupies the 
greatest extent of country, and numbers the 
largest staff" of European missionaries of any 
of the societ3''s missions. The distance be- 
tween its extreme stations is fifteen hundred 
miles ; but by the wonderful facilities of 
modern intercommunication the whole district 
will soon be traversed in a few days, as a 
message is even now sent in a few minutes. 

SUMMARY OF THE CALCUTTA AND NORTH INDIA 
MISSION. 

Stations 27 

Communicants 1119 

Native Christians 7409 

Seminaries and Schools 119 

Seminarists and Scholars 7027 

MADRAS AND SOUTH INDIA MISSION. + 

MISSION ESTABLISHMENT. 

33 Ordained European IMi.'^sionaries. 

3 Ordained East-Indian Missionaries. 



* European missionaries first arrived in 1S20. 
t European missionaries first arrived in 1816. 
X European missionaries first arrived in 1 14. 



62 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. II. 



15 Ordained Native Missionaries. 

8 European Catecliists and Teacliers. 

2 European Printers and Agents. 

2 European Female Teacliers. 

8 East-Indian Catechists and Teachers. 

2 East-Indian Female Teachers. 
70 Native Catechists. 
171 Native Scripture-Readers. 
374 Native Teachers and Schoolmasters. 
106 Native Schoolmistresses. 

The statistical tables of the South India 
missiou at the close of the year 185G exhibited 
a very gratifying result; while there was a 
steady increase in the number of the baptised 
converts, and in the number of communicants, 
there had also been a large accession of more 
than two thousand to the number of those 
who had renounced idolatry, and placed 
themselves under Christian instruction. The 
whole number of converts, baptised and un- 
baptised, had risen from 33,121 to 35,709. 
The communicants had increased from 5201 
to 5344. In the number of school children 
there had been a small decrease, from 11,017 
to 11,294, in consequence of the introduction 
of fees, 

SUMMARY OF THE MADRAS AND SOUTH INDIA MISSION. 

Stations 27 

Communicants 5,344 

Seminaries and Schools 451 

Seminarists and Scholars ....... 11,060 

Natives under Christian instruction — 

Baptised 23,398 

Unbaptised 12,401 

33^799 

CEYLON MISSION.* 

MISSION ESTABLISHMENT. 

9 Ordained European Missionaries. 

2 Ordained Native Missionaries. 

3 European Catechists and Teachers. 
31 Native Catechists. 

4 Native Scripture-Readers. 

78 Native Teachers and Schoolmasters. 
28 Native Schoolmistresses. 

SUMMARY OF THE CEYLON MISSION. 

Stations 7 

Communicants 3G4 

Schools, including Cotta Institution ... 87 

Semiuarisis and Scholars 2959 

Native Christians 2344 

The London Missionary Society, chiefly 
sustained and served by congregationalists, 
was among the earliest in the path of mis- 
sionary labour, and selected India as one of 
the fields of its benevolent enterprise. At 
present its efforts there may be statistically 
represented by the following statement : — 

NORTHERN INDIA. 

Churches 8 

Communicants 200 



* European missionaries first arrived in 1818. 



Juvenile Day and Boarding Schools, and other 

Educational Institutions 28 

Scholars receiving Education in the Society's 

Seminaries 2211 

PENINSULAR INDIA. 

Churches '12 

Communicants 551 

Schools, &c 95 

Scholars 4118 

TRAYANCORE. 

Churches 7 

Communicants 937 

Schools 211 

Scholars 7000 

The missionaries are not quite so numerous 
as the churches, but ministers and native 
teachers, computed together, considerably 
exceed the members of such Christian assem- 
blies. The society, by its constitution, cannot 
receive government support even for its edu- 
cational agencies, but individual members of 
the government have been its liberal contri- 
butors. Mr. Colvin, late governor of the 
north-west provinces, Avas a supporter of the 
schools at Benares, and Lord Harris, the 
governor of Madras, presided at the last 
annual examination of the society's educa- 
tional institution in the capital of that presi- 
dency. 

The Wesleyan Missionary Society conducts 
important operations in India. According to 
its last annual report, it extensively employs 
native Christians as catechists, and even as 
ministers. 

The Baptists, as previously shown, were 
the first British missionaries to dcA'ote atten- 
tion to India. Smaller in numbers, and weaker 
in resources than the great bodies whose 
labours are shown in the foregoing tables, 
they do not employ so many agents as either 
of them; but their work has been most ho- 
nourable ; they bravely pioneered the way for 
others, and the names of Carey and Marsh - 
man (father-in-law of the gallant Havelock of 
Lucknow) will ever be held in honour as 
amongst the best benefactors of India. 

The Scottish missionary societies are also 
inferior in resources to the great English 
societies ; but Dr. Duff and other eminent men 
have gone forth from them, and rendered great 
service to the cause of Christian education. 

The churches of the United States of 
America have been also zealous in efforts to 
extend the gospel in India. The Presbyte- 
rian board of foreign missions alone has thirty 
missionaries there, and several hundred native 
families are attached to their communion in 
the north-west provinces. 

For a considerable number of years, ver- 
sions of the Bible, and of portions of the Bible, 
in the various languages and dialects of India 



Chap. II.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



63 



have been in circniation, and lately, renewed 
and vigorous exertion has been ])ut forth 
to secure correct transUitions by men eminent 
in their reputation for knowledge of these 
languages. The following is the society's 
report as to the auxiliaries in India, and 
the number of copies which each has distri- 
buted: — 

Calcutta Bible Society, instituted 1811 . 919,350 

Seram2)ore Missiouarics 200,000 

North ludia Bible Society, at Agra, in- 
stituted 1845 75,528 

Madras Bible Society, instituted 1820 . . 1,028,996 

Bombay Bible Society, instituted 1813 . 222,718 
Colombo Bible Society, instituted 1812, 

with various Branches in Ceylon . . 42,605 

Jaffna Bible Society. 113,115 

The Eeligious Tract Society has sent 
gratuitously, or sold at reduced prices, copies 
of works in the various languages of India, 
which are supposed to be written on subjects 
most calculated to draw the attention of the 
natives to the great themes of the Christian 
religion. It is remarkable that all these 
societies work in the most complete harmony. 
British, Americans, and Germans, whatever 
their nationality ; churchmen and dissenters, 
Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Congregation - 
alists, IMothodists, whatever their sect, are 
one in spirit for the great work of evange- 
lising the heathen. That an extensive in- 
fluence is being produced is obvious to all 
observers capable of forming an opinion. 
Many of the natives are beginning to inquire ; 
and there are symptoms in the decay of old 
institutions, that the cumbrous fabrics of idol- 
atry are beginning to give v^-ay. Christianity 
is operating among them in two ways; it 
exhibits its own glorious life amidst the de- 
cadence of antique idolatries, they grow old, 
and are stricken by the touch of ever-chang- 
ing time, while Christianity puts forth the 
vitality and vigour of perennial youth; and 
while it is itself lifeful, and healthful as it 
is beautiful, it is gradually contributing to 
the decay of all the old superstitions that yet 
stand in ponderous and gloomy magnitude 
around it. The beautiful banyan-tree grows 
and thrives amidst ruins, the dilapidation 
of Avhich it hastens ; flourishing in its 
bloom above the time-smitten temple or 
pagoda, it strikes its roots beneath their foim- 
dations, and at last brings the proud trophies 
of past ages in rubbish around it. Such will 
be the history of Christianity in India. The 
idol-cars and temples will be shattered, and 
known only in the memory of the mischiefs 
they created, while the imperishable truth of 
God triumphs. It is the decree of God for 
India and for every land, "Magna esi Veritas 
^rcvalebit." 



LANGUAGES, LITERATURE, &c. 

The languages of India are numerous, 
and in the hill countries, among the wild 
and but partially subdued tribes already 
noticed, those spoken are scarcely known to 
Europeans. There are no books extant in 
those tongues, nor are they even organised, 
their character and construction being as Httle 
known to intelligent Indians as to English. 

The ancient language of India, at all events 
of the prevailing race, was Sanscrit, which, as 
all scholars are aware, is one of the most 
ancient in the world. It is probably as old as 
the date of the confusion of tongues at Babel. 
From the Sanscrit the Indo-European family 
of languages is mainly derived. The lan- 
guages of southern India are not, however, 
dei'ived from that stock. The Tamil is sup- 
posed to be the oldest of these. There are 
Sanscrit derivatives in them all, but not to a 
great extent. The great antiquity of the 
Sanscrit may be illustrated by the circum- 
stance that the E[ymns of the Rigveda are 
asserted by the great Sanscrit scholar. Pro- 
fessor Wilson, to have been written at least 
fifteen centuries prior to the Christian era, 
so they may be even as ancient as the writings 
of jMoses. A more complete and compre- 
hensive study of the languages of India and 
the neighbouring countries is a desideratum 
not only for the enrichment of philological 
learning, but as important to ethnological 
incjuiry. One of the greatest ofhving philo- 
sophers has written : — " Languages compared 
together, and considered as objects of the 
natural history of the mind, and when sepa- 
rated into families according to the analogies 
existing in their internal structure, have be- 
come a rich source of historical knowledge ; 
and this is probably one of the most briUiant 
results of modern study in the last sixty or 
seventy years. From the very fact of their 
being products of the intellectual force of 
mankind, they lead us, by means of the ele- 
ments of their organism, into an obscure dis- 
tance, unreached by traditionary records. 
The comparative study of languages shows us 
that races now separated by vast tracts of 
land are allied together, and have migrated 
from one common primitive seat ; it indicates 
the course and direction of all migrations, and 
in tracing the leading epochs of development, 
recognises, by means of the more or less 
changed structure of the language, in the 
permanence of certain forms, or in the more 
or less advanced destruction of the formative 
sj'stem, which race has retained most nearly 
the language common to all who had emi- 
grated from the general seat of origin."* 

* Cosmos: Ottc's translation, vol. ii. p. 471. 



Gi 



HISTORY OF THE BRFriSH EMPIRE 



[CHAr. II. 



Of tl)2 three distinct families into Avhich 
tLe languages of the world are divided by 
philologists — the Semitic, the Japhetic, or 
Indo-European (called also Iranian and 
Arian), and the Hamitic — the Sanscrit is 
identified -with the second. Most profound 
philologists concur in deriving these three 
families of languages from a common origin, 
which is su23posed to be lost. The Chevalier 
Bunsen describes the Iranian " stock," or 
family of languages, as having eight more or 
less extensive branches. The first and most 
ancient he considers to be the Celtic ; the 
second, the Thracian or lUyrian; the third, 
the Armenian ; the fourth, the Iranian or 
Arian ; the fifth, the Greek and Roman ; 
the sixth, tlie Sclavonic. 

The class to which the most eminent lan- 
guages of India and Persia belong is, accord- 
ing to the chevalier, only fourth on the list as 
to antiquity. His remarks on this subject 
are as interesting as apj^ropriate. " The 
fourth formation we i3ropose to call the Arian,* 
or the Iranian, as presented in Iran 2")roper. 
Here we must establish two great subdivi- 
sions : the one comprises the nations of Iran 
proper, or the Arian stock, the languages of 
Media and Persia. Its most primitive repre- 
sentative is the Zend. "We designate by this 
name both the language of the most ancient 
cuneiform inscrij^tions (or Persian inscriptions 
in Assyrian characters) of the sixth and fifth 
century, B.C., and that of the ancient parts of 
the Zend-Avesta, or the sacred books of the 
Parsees, as explained by Burnouf and Lassen. 
We take the one as the latest siiecimen of the 
western dialect of the ancient Persian and 
Median (for the two nations had one tongue), 
in its evanescent state, as a dead language ; 
the other as an ancient specimen of its eastern 
dialect, i)reserved for ages by tradition, and 
therefore not quite pure in its vocalism, but 
most complete in its system of forms. The 
younger representatives of the Persian lan- 
guage are the Pehlevi (the language of the 
Sassanians) and the Pazend, the mother of 
the present, or modern Persian tongue, which 
is represented in its purity by Ferdusi, about 
the year 1000 [of our era]. The Pushtu, or 
language of the Affghans, belongs to the same 
branch. The second subdivision embraces 
the Arian lang;iages of India, represented by 
the Sanscrit and its daughters." f 

Dr. ]Max dialler considers the languages 
which are spoken by many of the nations 
around India as derived from the Chinese. 
He describes the Tartaric branch as having 

* He uses the words Arian and Ir;uiiaii both in a 
generic and specific sense. 

t Outlines of the Philosopluj of Vnkersal II. lory 
applied to Language and Religion, vol. ii. p. 6. 



spread in a northern, and the Bhotya in a 
southern direction : " the former spreading 
through Asia towards the European penin- 
sula, and the seats of political civilisation ; 
the latter tending toward tlie Indian penin- 
sula, and encircling the native laud of the 
Brahmanic Arians." Upon this the Cheva- 
lier Bunsen observes : — " The study of the 
Tibetan or Bhotya language, and that of the 
Burmese, offers the nearest link between 
the Chinese and the more recent formations ; 
but even a comparison of Sanscrit roots is 
indicated by our method. For it is the cha- 
racteristics of the noblest lant^uaccos and 
nations, that they preserve most of the 
ancient heirlooms of humanity, remodelling 
and universalising it at the same time with 
productive originality." 

The Sanscrit is exceedingly perfect, and, 
at the time of the invasion of Alexander the 
Great, was sjioken by a large j^roportion of 
the people, certainly by all the superior 
classes. The names of places and objects, 
handed down by the Greeks, are all of San- 
scrit origin. It is that in which the Brah- 
minical books are written. Sir William Jones 
considered it the most finished of all the dead 
languages, more complete, copious, and re- 
fined than either Latin or Greek. 

The Pali is the sacred language of the 
Buddhists. The Sanscrit and Pali have been 
frequently represented as bearing a relation 
to one another, similar to that which the Greek 
and Latin now do in Euro2:»e. 

The chief languages of India derived from 
the Sanscrit are — "Bengali, Assamese, Orissan, 
andTirhutiya, spoken in the eastern provinces; 
Nepalese, Cashmiri, and Doguri, prevailing 
in the north ; Punjabi, Multani, Sindi, Kutchi, 
Guzerati, and Kunkuna, found on the western 
side ; Bikanera, ]\Lirwara, Jayapura, Udaya- 
pura, Haruli, Braja Bhaka, Malavi, Bundelak- 
handi, Maghada, and ^Mahratta, all spoken in 
the south." In the central provinces the 
Hinduwee is the parent of a class of dialects, 
provincial and local, such as the INIenwa and 
other dialects of Rajpootana ; ]NL'ihratta is the 
vernacular in the whole of Candleish, Aurun- 
gabad, and some remote districts into which it 
was introduced by the incursions of the Mah- 
rattas. Hindustance is the principal of the 
Hinduwee family of dialects, and it is spoken 
throughout the whole of Northern India, and 
generally by those even who use more fre- 
quently some provincial or local dialect. The 
languages in Southern India, not derived 
from the Sanscrit, are, as to their origin, 
subjects of keen discussion among philologists. 
It is contended by many who have given 
much attention to the philosophy of language, 
that they are not derivable from any existing 



Chap. II.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



65 



language. The Tamil is tlie vernacular in the 
Carnatic ; the Teloogoo prevailing coastwise 
from Madras toOrissa; Kamata (or Canarese) 
extending from the basin of the upper Ca- 
very to the Mangera arm of the Godavery ; 
Tuluva on the Canara coast ; and Malayalim 
along the coast from Car.ara to Cape Co- 
morin, and is commonly called the Malabar 
tongue. 

The Prakrit, which appears to have been 
the first corruption of the Sanscrit, is a dead 
language ; there is a Prakrit literature as well 
as a Sanscrit, and it is popularly more read, 
but the Brahmins cultivate acquaintance more 
intimately with the parent language. 

The literature of India is interesting. 
Beside the sacred books in the Sanscrit and 
Prakrit, there are poems of considerable value, 
sacred and heroic epics, and hj-mns to the 
deities. Concerning the poetry of the Hin- 
doos, oriental scholars difter very much in 
their estimate : some praising them as rival- 
ling the works of Homer ; others describing 
them as ornate and tasteless^ abounding in 
vapid thoughts and puerile repetitions. Some 
of the specimens translated into English de- 
serve a higher reputation than IMr. Colebrooke 
and others are disposed to concede ; nor are 
there wanting passages of exquisite beauty, 
written with rhetorical effect and artistic 
arrangement. 

There are few translations of the choice 
works of Indian literature in the English 
language. The French, Germans, Italians, 
Russians, and even the modern Greeks, have 
translations of various productions of merit, 
originally written in the old tongue of India, 
of which there is no English translation. 
There are many scraps, and detached por- 
tions of these works, in various periodicals 
published in Calcutta and Bombay, but the 
government of India has done scarcely any- 
thing to promote in England a knowledge of 
Indian literature. The Honourable East 
India Company throws the blame of this 
neglect ujion the royal government. The 
Board of Control, it is alleged, has system- 
atically opposed all pecuniary outlay for such 
purposes. England is indebted to the enter- 
jn'ise of individuals for what she knows of 
Sanscrit literature, and to no one more than 
Professor Wilson. 

There are two great epic poems in the 
Sanscrit which have obtained the jiraise of 
oriental scholars — the Rama Yana and the 
Mahahliarat. Rama was son of the King of 
Oude, and possessed of extraordinary i">hy- 
sical strength and audacious courage. His 
MTfe, Sita, was abducted by a sorcerer king, 
whose kingdom was the island of Ceylon. 
Rama, having formed an alliance with Hanu- 

VOL. I. 



man, chief of the monkeys, made war upon 
the sorcerer ; they constructed a bridge of 
a miraculous nature across the sea from the 
peninsula to Ceylon. Over this, the allied 
Hindoos and monkeys being joined by celes- 
tial spirits, proceeded, and attacked the sor- 
cerer and his army of demons with complete 
success. Marvellous achievements were ne- 
cessary to this triumph, and these are narrated 
with so much power in some places, and pue- 
rility in others, that it might be doubted 
whether it was not the work of various 
minds. 

The drama is better known to the English 
literary public than other portions of Hindoo 
literature. The learned librarian of the India- 
House has translated several of the best 
specimens. The chief piece, Sacoutala, was 
translated by Sir William Jones. The num- 
ber of the dramatic compositions known to us 
does not exceed sixty. Some of these are of 
very ancient date, and some are modern. It 
would appear tliat each play was performed 
but once — on occasion of some great festival — 
in the hall or court of a palace ; the people, 
generally, probably from this cause, know 
nothing of tliis department of their literature, 
the most learned Brahmins being acquainted 
only with certain portions, which do not 
appear to have been remembered for their 
literary merit so much as from circimistantial 
reasons. There is no longer any taste for 
this description of literature among the 
Brahmins. 

Almost all classes of the people are familiar 
with passages from the Rama Yana, which 
they seem never tired of repeating. This has 
been adduced as a proof of its great literary 
merits, but the fact arises mainly from the 
sympathy of the native mind with the super- 
stitions, absurdities, and atrocities which are 
the subjects of the poem. 

There are some good pastorals, and a few 
descriptive pieces that have peculiar merits ; 
but generally the specimens of poetry Avhich 
remain, and almost all of modern composition, 
are devoid of energy, imagination, or deli- 
cacy of taste. 

It is observable that while the Hindoos 
have obtained a character in Europe for gen- 
tleness, or had prior to the late horrible revolt 
acquired such, the passages in their poetic 
works which are chiefly, if not exclusively, 
marked by energy, are those which give ex- 
pression to revenge. It would be hardly 
possible to cull from any language more pro- 
found and eager utterances of vengeance than 
may be selected from the Hindoo poetry. 
In one of the dramas, Rakshasa, a Brahmin, 
is thus made to exult in the destruction of 
Nanda : — 

K 



66 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. II. 



" 'Tis known to all the world 
I vowed the death of Nanda, aud I slew hira ; 
The current of a vow will work its way, 
Aud cannot be resisted. What is done 
Is spread abroad, aud I no more have power 
To stop the tale. Why should I ? Bo it known 
The fires of my wrath alone expire, 
Like the fierce conflagration of a forest. 
From lack of fuel, not of weariness. 
The flames of my just anger have consumed 
The branching ornaments of Nanda's stem. 
Abandoned by the frightened priests and people, 
They have enveloped in a shower of ashes 
The blighted tree of his ambitious councils ; 
And they have overcast with sorrow's clouds 
The smiling heaven of those moon-like looks, 
That shed the light of love upon my foes." 

The spirit of vengeance whicli fires every 
sentiment, suggests every image, and entwines 
itself in every graceful and delicate turn of 
expression, in this elegant and poetical pas- 
sage, generally pervades the productions of 
Hindoo authors of any ability. 

The efforts of the government to promote 
the education of the native youth of India 
have been referred to when describing its 
reliQ'ious condition. It is more than a 
hundred years since the first attempt w'as 
made, by voluntary Christian benevolence, for 
the education of indigent Christian children 
in India. Out of this effort arose the free 
school of Calcutta. In 1781 Mr. Hastings 
founded the Mohammedan college of Calcutta. 
In 1705 a Sanscrit college was founded at 
Benares, by an act of the imperial parliament. 
The educational efforts of the Baptist mission- 
aries were pursued steadily at Serampore 
during the latter part of the last century, and 
the foundation was laid for subsequent and 
more efficient efforts of the same kind. In 
1821 the Hindoo college of Calcutta was 
established. Government grants and indi- 
vidual benevolence contributed to make this 
an institution worthy of the object. A few 
wealthy natives took an interest in the 
undertaking, and one of some celebrity, Ram- 
mohuu Roy, became its benefactor. In 1830 
the Rev. Dr. Duff, a missionary, oi:)eued a 
school or college for the instruction of the 
natives, under the auspices of the General 
Assembly of the Church of Scotland. This 
institution professed to give instruction on 
Christian principles, which was not permitted 
in the government college. The friends of 
each censured the other, but both were right 
in the courses respectively adopted. The 
government acted wisely in ab.staining from 
all interference in religious matters, thereby 
not only avoiding the jealousy of the natives, 
but the mutual jealousies of different Christian 
denominations. Dr. Duff, as the representa- 
tive of a particular religious community, and 
his mission to India being essentially of a 



religious character, acted wisely in basing the 
education imparted upon the Gospel. The 
government at Calcutta soon after organised 
a general committee of public instruction, 
which did not work so well as was expected. 
In 1832 "the council of education" was ap- 
pointed, instead of the previous committee of 
instruction. The persons composing the 
council were civil officers of high rank, the 
judge of the supreme court, two natives, and 
a paid secretary; the secretary, being the 
officer of the government, really administering 
the department of education, the council 
being merely nominal. The duties imposed 
upon this officer, who was a professor in the 
Hindoo college, physician to the fever hos- 
pital, government book agent, inspector of 
schools, &c. &c., were so numerous, as to 
throw around his office an air of the ludicroiis. 
The impression naturally left upon an impar- 
tial observer was, that the government never 
seriously intended a man with such a multi- 
tude of appointments to do anything ; in I'act, 
the secretary of the council appeared to be a 
sort of autocrat, from whose decisions there was 
no ajipeal. The result was what might be ex- 
pected, very considerable dissatisfaction among 
the professors of the college and the public 
generally. In 1835 Lord William Bentinck 
inaugurated a new educational policy— that 
of encouraging the English language, and 
education mainly, if not exclusively, through 
its medium. This has influenced the cha- 
racter of the instruction communicated in the 
government colleges, so as to revolutionise 
the whole system. The natives do not favour 
the plan; they cling to their vernacular lan- 
guages, or are ambitioiis of becoming Sanscrit 
scholars, and moi-e conversant with the litera- 
ture of that language. Many are, however, 
desirous of learning English, as opening a 
way to their political advancement. In 1830 
the Mohammedan college of Hadji Mohammed 
Moksin was made available for general in- 
struction. It is delightfully situated on a 
bank of the Ganges, thirty miles from Cal- 
cutta, and in the midst of a considerable 
population. The system is the same as in 
the chief colleges at Calcutta and Benares. 
About the same time the college at Dacca 
was established. Since then, at Kishnagur, 
Agra, and Delhi, other institutions of a simi- 
lar nature have been founded. Schools have 
also been oi^enetl there by government, but 
in many cases too much prominence has been 
given to the English language. There are 
nearly two himdred government educational 
institutions in the Bengal presidency, and the 
north-west provinces connected with it. The 
amount of money exj^ended \\\>o\\ them is not 
far short of £100,000 annually. This includes 



Chap. IT.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



f'.T 



the medical college of Calcutta, which is the 
best managed and most successful in the 
presidency, perhaps in India. 

The educational efforts of the government 
in the Bombay presidency are considerable, as 
compared with the other presidencies and the 
proportion of popxdation. Tlie Elphinstone 
Institution, comprising a college and high and 
low school ; the Grant IMedical College ; and 
the Poonah Sanscrit College, — are all highly 
respectable, and jirofessors of eminent reputa- 
tion ai-e employed in them. The district and 
village vernacular schools are about two him- 
dred and fifty in number. About £20,000 
per annum is spent for educational purposes 
in the Bombay presidency. 

Madras is less pro^^ded with means of 
superior instruction than the sister presiden- 
cies, so far as government is concerned. 
The University High School m the city 
of Madras, is the only institution where 
education in the English tongue is afforded. 
There are but few vernacular schools in 
the presidency, and scarcely £6000 a year 
is expended for educational purposes. It is, 
however, a pleasing fact, that where the 
government has done least, voluntary effort 
has done most. If in Madras only a few 
thousand pupils receive instruction under 
the patronage of the state, the voluntary reli- 
gious and educational societies have estab- 
lished one thousand schools, and are educating 
one hundred thousand children. Bombay 
has rather less than one hundred voluntary 
schools, in which there are about six thousand 
five hundred scholars, not quite half the num- 
ber to which the government affords instruc- 
tion in that presidency. Bengal has not 
many more voluntary schools than Bombay, 
but they are better attended, the proportion 
being about three to one. Besides these 
general schools, there are boarding schools 
for the orphans of native Christians, especially 
recent converts, who endure much persecution 
if of the higher castes. 

The education in all these schools is con- 
fined to boys. The nature of the institutions, 
and the habits of the people, confine the 
attendance upon them to male children and 
youths. The prejudice against female educa- 
tion is very strong in the native mind. 
Woman is held in contemj^t throughout India, 
as in all other heathen countries. In this con- 
temptuous feeling woman hei'self is acqui- 
escent. The voluntary societies have insti- 
tuted nearly four hundred schools throughout 
India for female children, exclusive of about 
one hundred boarding schools. The females 
in the orphan schools have been generally 
either the daughters of converts, or children 
saved from famine, or from the destruction to 



wdiich female infants are subjected in various 
parts of India. These humane exertions for 
the female population liave been chiefly made 
in Soixthern India, within the presidency of 
Madras. Few efforts have as yet been made 
to imjiart religious or other intelligence to 
the adult female population : the difficulties 
in the way, arising from oriental jealousy and 
prejudice, are great, yet not altogether insur- 
mountable. 

The system of education adopted in the 
government schools is obsolete, and the jiro- 
gress made by the scholars not very encourag- 
ing. INIauy of the teachers are natives, and 
few appear to take to their w'ork heartily. 
The same may be said of the native profes- 
sors in the higher schools. Impartial ob- 
servers have described them as listless, and 
exercising but small beneficial influence. 

Since the introduction of the government 
colleges and high schools, many of the natives 
educated in them have become infidels. It 
would not be very difficult to make a Jain a 
deist, or a Buddhist an atheist ; the Brahmin 
is not so ready a convert to any form of infi- 
delity. The education of the more respect- 
able natives in European knowledge has 
hitherto not improved them much in any 
way, except the acquisition of English, 
French, and a smattering of science. Their 
vanity and assumption of learning would be 
incredible, if not so well attested. The 
merest nonsense is published, by " Yo\mg 
Bengal " especially, as if the creations of un- 
rivalled genius. In a much less degree a 
similar effect is observed upon the pupils of 
the schools, not one in twenty of whom make 
any acquisitions of a solid kind. In the volun- 
tary schools there is this advantage, that the 
elements of the Christian religion are com- 
municated, how^ever little may be received of 
whatever else is taught. 

It is a remarkable fact, that few native 
youths educated in the government colleges 
remain loyal to the government. As all lite- 
rature of a religious complexion is necessarily 
prohibited by the authorities, the young men 
find no access to such ; but infidel books of 
the worst character are obtained, as the libra- 
ries are not regulated with sufficient strin- 
gency in this respect. " Young India," as 
they leave their Alma IMater, — great English 
and French scholars in their own esteem, — are 
generally concealed infidels and open rebels. 
At the various associations of which they are 
members, subjects of discussion are constantly 
selected for the purpose of displaying the 
indignation which they profess to feel that 
foreigners should govern their country. The 
si^eeches made on these occasions betray the 
most inflated self-conceit, gross ignorance of 



68 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. IT. 



moral and political philosophy, and a spirit 
and principle thoroughly adverse to British 
rule. The following graphic sketch by an eye- 
witness will enlighten our readers as to some of 
the causes which operate in rendering of httle 
value the school and college system of India: — 
" On any ordinary day the visitor will see, 
on a table in the midst of a small room, one 
of the ' professors ' sitting in oriental fashion, 
after the manner of tailors ; his head is bare, 
his shoulders are bare ; the day is hot, and 
the roll of muslin which envelops his body 
out of doors has been removed ; the ample 
rotundity of the stomach heaves regularly 
above the muslin folds which encircle the 
loins and thighs. The shaven crown of the 
worthy 'professor,' and his broad quivering 
back, glow with the heat ; whilst a disciple, 
standing behind him, plies the fan vigorously 
to and fro, and produces a current of wind 
that keeps the huge mass partially cool. 
Around the table are squatted numbers of 
dirty -looldng youths, carefully enveloped in 
their muslin dresses, as prescribed by the 
rules, and droning, one by one, over a manu- 
script page, whicli is handed from one to 
another in succession. The majority are 
dozing, and well they may, for it is sleepy 
work — the same verses nasally intoned by 
one after another with unvarying monotony, 
and doubtless with similar errors. The 'pro- 
fessor ' seldom speaks, for he too is dozing 
heavily on the table, anxiously awaiting the 
bell that is to release him to liberty and 
dinner. The same scene is being repeated 
in other similar rooms, where other 'profes- 
eors' are similarly dozing and teaching, and 
other youths similarly shut up from the light 
of God's sun, which shines without ; and of 
his spirit, which should shine within them." 

The newspapers and other periodicals 
printed in the native languages are con- 
ducted in a manner iri perfect keeping with 
the state of " Young India," as above de- 
scribed. Furious and bitter attacks upon 
the government are circulated through such 
media all over the land. These seldom 
possess satire, for which the native mind does 
not seem to have relish or capacity; in- 
deed, so little are the people generally capa- 
ble of comprehending it, that the keenest 
satire upon their own gods and su2:>er- 
stitions are listened to with imperturbable 
gravity, and treated as if serious argumenta- 
tions. The false statements, appeals to the 
pride of race, and to the superstitious feeling 
of the people, — with which the infidel writers 
themselves had no sympathy, — which have 
appeared in the vernacular press, did much 
to sow suspicion in the minds of the soldiery, 
and to inflame the passions and ambition of 



the native princes, preparing both for the 
revolt which has recently poured such a tor- 
rent of disorder and havoc over the country. 
Whatever administrative alterations may be 
effected in India resulting from that event, a 
radical change in the system of education 
ought to be among the most prominent. 

Happily, there is a new native literature 
now springing up, which, although it may 
not as 3'et have had time to work much good, 
is, like leaven, silently and gradually oper- 
ating in the mass. The Religious Tract 
Society has issued various works, prepared 
by persons well acquainted with the people, 
and these, distributed in most of the lan- 
guages spoken in the country, are beginning 
to be objects of curiosity. The Roman 
character is now adopted in printing these 
works, and persons of great authority in such 
matters maintain that much facility to the 
extension of knowledge will result from the 
plan. The experiment has, however, yet to 
be tried ; the benefit expected is doubtful. 

The British and Foreign Bible Society, like 
the Tract Society, is diffusing knowledge 
through the medium of the vernacular lan- 
guages, making the sacred Scriptures a stan- 
dard book in every tongue. Dr. Yates' 
version of the Bengalee Bible, with Mr. 
Wenger's revisions, and a carefully revised 
Hindui version, are now being actively circu- 
lated in Bengal. Last May the printing of 
20,000 copies of the Gospel, in the Hindui - 
Kaithi, was commenced under the superin- 
tendence of the Rev. A. Sternberg of Mozuffer- 
pore. The Hindui-Nagri Old Testament has 
been completed and issued at Allahabad, by 
the Rev. J. Owen, of the American Presby- 
terian Mission, imder the auspices of the 
Agra Bible Society. The Old Testament, in 
Pwo-Karem, is in progress. It is being con- 
ducted by the American missionaries in 
Pegu ; a grant of £500 to the object has 
been voted by the London Society. What- 
ever be the character of the education given 
in the existing schools, the people are being 
taught to read, and can therefore use the 
books circulated. In view of this fact the 
North India Bible Society issued, a few 
months ago, the following remarkable and 
spirited address : — " Education is making con- 
siderable advance. The people are be- 
coming better able to read our books, and 
we hope more interested in searching into 
our religion. The country is also rapidly 
filling up with missionaries, who are the main 
instruments in spreading our books among 
the people. The past year has given us 
considerable accessions, and we have now 
within what may be called the bounds of our 
society, about 100 missionaries of various 



CiiAP. TT.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



r,o 



denominations, most of whom will look to 
this society for their supplies. It is also 
gratifying to be able to state, that there are 
scattered over the coimtry an apparently in- 
creasing nnmber of laymen, who are desirons 
of distributing the Bible, and who are fre- 
quently making demands upon our stock. The 
field of our operations also, though already of 
vast extent, is continually widening. During 
tbe past year, Oude has given to us three 
millions of immortal souls, and the course of 
events shows that it cannot belong before the 
gates of Aftghanistan will be thrown open 
for the entrance of the Gospel." 

The district in which this society operates 
is immense, reaching from the undefined limit 
in the east, where the Bengalee language meets 
the Hindoo, stretching thence across the centre 
of India to the Marathai speaking tribes, and 
thence including Rajpootana to the northern 
bounds of India, comprising a population of 
not less than sixty millions. 

Mr. Hoerule has just finished the revision 
of the Urdu New Testament, in the Arabic 
character. An edition of the New Testa- 
ment in the same language, in the Roman 
character, published in 1845, has been re- 
vised by Messrs. Mather, Smith, and Leu- 
polt, the original translators. The Bombay 
auxiliary Bible Society has just issued a com- 
plete edition (5000 copies) of the Scriptures 
in the Marathai. Of the Gujurati New Tes- 
tament they have lately issued 6000 copies, 
and since then 5000 copies of the whole Bible 
in that dialect. 

A gratifying exemplification of the way in 
which the progress of education, and the cir- 
culation of books of a useful character, act 
upon one another, has occurred in connection 
with the labours of the friends of education 
and Bible distribution in Ceylon. During 
the years 185G-7, the issues of the Singhalese 
and Indo -Portuguese Scriptures amounted to 
3342. A person writing from Colombo, 
says : — "Much attention is paid to the native 
educational establishments, and it is the wish 
of the committee that all the schools should 
be furnished with the entire New Testament. 
The Central School commission has purchased 
500 copies of the Gospel of St. Luke and the 
Acts of the Apostles, recently printed for the 
use of the government vernacular schools." 
In Ceylon it is not so necessary for the go- 
vernment to avoid the charge of interfering 
with the religion of the people. The pre- 
vailing superstition being that of Buddba, 
there does not exist the same popular jealousy 
of government propagandism. The labours 
of these voluntary associations in Ceylon have 
so impressed the present governor, that he 
has become the patron of the auxiliary Bible 



Society. Sir George Grey has ordered the 
remission of duty on paper, and other mate- 
rial sent out for the auxiliaries' use. The 
local committee, encouraged by these tokens 
of appreciation and support, recently passed 
a resolution to present as a gift from the 
society a Bible, in the vernacular, to every 
newly-married couple among the native Chris- 
tians. 

The countries around India proper are 
receiving similar benefits from the operation 
of educational and book societies. An edi- 
tion of 5000 copies of the Gospel according 
to St. Luke has been completed in Punjabee, 
and an edition equally large of the Gospel 
of Matthew is issuing in the same dialect. 

The Persian language being understood 
by many in the north-west provinces as well 
as in Persia, the Bible in that language is dis- 
tributed in those countries as op^wrtunity 
allows. The Gospel of Matthew has been 
translated into Thibetian. Types have been 
prepared at Secundra, and the interesting 
country of Thibet will be penetrated by ad- 
venturous men, desirous to circulate the wortl 
of God in its remote regions. The Rev. Mr. 
Clarke, of Peshawur, has translated into 
Pushtoo the Gospel of St. John, and the 
society has ordered two thousand copies in 
lithograph. A committee of gentlemen ac- 
quainted with the language has been formed 
».t Peshawur, for the purpose of jircparing 
translations of other portions of the Bible. 

Both the Bible and Tract Societies have 
extended their operations to Assam, Tenes- 
serim, and Pegu, where, from various circum- 
stances, the people are likely to welcome 
books. In the Tenesserim provinces the 
poonjies (a poonjie is a sort of priest and 
schoolmaster) teach the people reading, writ- 
ing, and arithmetic for the payment of a little 
labour in the rice -field. Nearly every village 
has its hiouvg, or school. The government 
has established schools of a superior cha- 
racter, and the missionaries, especially the 
American, have supplemented them, and 
teach the Christian Scriptures. The Ame- 
rican Baptists have opened eight boarding 
and day-schools at Monlmein, with an ave- 
rage attendance of five hundred scholars. In 
the other ^^rovinces eighteen similar schools 
have been established, and a very consider- 
able number of rudiraental schools taught by 
natives. Throughout the interesting terri- 
tory of Pegu the Baptist American IMission 
is labouring, not only to preach the Gospel 
to the people, but to elevate them by educa- 
tion. Native preachers and teachers are em- 
ployed with success, and a new vernacular 
literature is being rapidly supplied. 
The British press in India is acquiring rapidly 



70 



HISTOTIY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap, III. 



increasing influence. If the measiire of Lord 
Canning, in restricting the liberty of the press 
during the late revolt, were a necessary policy, 
it proves that the English language must 
have made great progress among the natives. 
Not many years ago it would have been of no 
consequence whatever to the government 
what the English jjress in India published, 
so far as any influence it might exercise upon 
the natives might be taken into consideration. 
If, however, as many allege, the real object was 
to stifle discussion as to the acts of the go- 
vernment, it proves that the English press is 
no longer the subservient tool of any Indian 
administration, as it was wont to be con- 
sidered, but that its independence and power 
are felt at government house. It is likely 
that both the motives glanced at operated 
with the governor-general and council ; it is 
no longer a matter of indifference to them 
either as regards the public opinion of Eu- 
ropeans in India, or that of the natives, 
what the Anglo -Indian press contains in its 
columns. 

There are now many papers in India of large 
circulation, guided by great talent, and main- 
taining high principles ; such as the Calcutta 
Englishman, Friend of India, Indian Char- 
ter, Bonihay Times, Bomhaij Gazette, Madras 
Spectator, the Mofussilite of Meerut, &c. 
The following estimate of the press of India 
by a gentleman who had himself been editor 
of the Ceylon Examiner, is, it may be hoped, 
to be received with favourable qualifications, 
as the language employed is severe : — " If 
the press of India cannot be said to rank 
either in talent or tone with that of the 
parent country, it must be confessed by im- 
partial witnesses that it is as good as it can 
afford to be ; and looking at all the circum- 
stances of the case, as good and as moral as 
could be expected. If it is not quite so intel- 
lectual, nor nearly so high-minded, nor yet 
so independent, as journalism in England, let 
the Anglo-Indian public ask who they have 
to thank but themselves. The Indian press 



is as worthy a reflex of the state of society in 
that part of the world, as is the condition of 
English society mirrored in the journals of 
this country. The Times or Daily News, 
published in the presidencies, would be as 
much out of place as would the Quarterly 
among the Esquimaux. Papers' are not 
usually established for any higher motive 
than profit ; and in such a question of pounds, 
shillings, and pence, no man having any 
knowledge of India would attempt to print 
such a paper as the London Examiner or 
Spectator, even had he the ability at his 
command to enable him to do so. Editors 
in India know their readers pretty well ; 
they generally understand the sort of writing 
which is acceptable to them, and minister 
accordingly. One of the most successful 
journals throughout India is the 3Iofitssilite, 
a bi-weekly journal, published at Meerut, in 
Bengal. It was established some dozen years 
since, and, by a judicious catering to the 
reading wants of the community, it has 
reached the highest position amongst Indian 
papers, both as regards circulation and in- 
come. Few topics escape its notice, yet 
these are all handled in such a light and 
pleasant manner, that even the most uninter- 
esting matters rivet the attention of the 
Anglo-Indian, whilst in England its columns 
would possibly be voted ' frivolous.' " 

In this chapter considerable space has been 
occupied with the religion, languages, and 
literature of India ; no subject connected 
with its vast pojjulation could deserve more 
attention. The state of religion and educa- 
tion in any country forms the bases for legis- 
lation and government. Even commerce 
must keep in view the principles, conscience, 
and intelligence of a people whose shores are 
sought in the friendly and profitable ex- 
changes of trade ; certainly, at the present 
juncture, no theme connected with India 
could more earnestly require the attention of 
the British people than that which has occu- 
pied this chapter. 



CHAPTER III. 
TROVINCES— CHIEF CITIES. 



Before describing the state of the arts, the 
antiquities and customs, the commerce and 
government of the country, it is proper that 
some notice should be taken of its different 
tracts, and of its chief cities. In the general 
view given of India in the first chapter a de- 
.scription of its leading natural divisions, as 



sepai'ated by mountain or river, was neces- 
sary, and this was conducted to a sufficient 
extent to render a very particular account of 
the provinces and districts undesirable. 

Bengal is the chief presidency. It is 
divided into three provinces — the lower, 
central, and upper, or western. The climate 



^ D) i I 



E BENGAL PRESIBENfY 




Chap. III.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



71 



and natural productions vary with tlie lati- 
tude, soil, and local peculiarities. The whole 
presidency lies between longitude 74P and 
yG° east, and latitude lG°and 31° north. The 
three provinces comprise as the chief divisions 
and districts Calcutta, Patna, Moorshedabad, 
Dacca, Benares, Bareilly, xVssam, &c. 

The general appearance of the lower pro- 
vince is flat and uniform. Sameness and 
richness characterise the face of the country. 
There are elevated tracts, but they are only 
exceptions to the general level aspect. The 
inundations which take place in tlie districts 
watered by the Ganges show the general 
descent. Hamilton derives the name Bengal 
from the fact that the tract of annual inunda- 
tion was anciently called Bcng, and the 
upper parts, which were not liable to inunda- 
tion, was called Barendra. The presidency, 
from its western boundary to the sea, is 
watered by the Ganges, and is intersected in 
every direction by navigable rivers, the 
courses of which frequently change, in con- 
sequence of the loose nature of the soil — 
for if any new obstacle or large accumulation 
of deposit create an obstruction, the river 
easily forces for itself a new channel. This 
has been a cause of difficulty to geographical 
and topographical explorers, especially as the 
natives continue to give to the neglected 
channel the old name, and as long as any 
water remains they perform their religious 
ablutions in what they deem the sacred flood. 
These changes are attended by loss, the 
neighbourhood of the new courses being fre- 
quently flooded to a great extent from the 
shallowness of the bed through which the 
current rolls ; and the old courses becoming 
marshes, spread disease, as well as leave the 
country around without irrigation. 

The banks of the rivers, especially of the 
Ganges, notwithstanding the flatness of the 
country, exhibit considerable variety of ap- 
pearance. Sometimes the cixrrent, sapping 
away the soft earth, the banks appear preci- 
pitous ; but it is dangerous to approach them, 
as they frequently give way. Af other 
parts the river washes into the land, form- 
ing deep bays, and giving a picturesque 
aspect to the neighbourhood. The lesser 
rivers of Bengal have a more -wanding course 
than the larger, and where the banks are 
narrowest, the current is more winding, lying 
along the level country like a beautifid ser- 
pent basking in the Indian sun. By this 
more devious flow a large extent of country 
is irrigated. The Ganges appears to have 
the least circuitous course of any of the rivers, 
yet, within one hundred miles it increases by 
its windings the distance one -fourth. That 
part of the river which lies in a line from 



Gangautic, where it flows in a small stream 
from the Himalayas, to Saugor Island, below 
Calcutta, is jiarticularly sacred. The Hoogly 
river is, therefore, in the native esteem, the 
true Ganges ; and the great branch which 
runs eastward to join the Brahmapootra, is 
by them called Puddah (Padma), or Padma- 
watti, and is not worshipped, although it is, 
in Hindoo imagination, invested with some 
sacredness. Wherever the Ganges runs from 
the south to the north, contrary to its or- 
dinary direction, it is considered more holy 
than generally in other parts of its current, 
and is called Uttarbahini. But the most sa- 
cred spots to the worshippers of the " Ganga," 
are those where other rivers form a junction 
with it ; thus, Allahabad, where the Ganges 
and Jumna unite, has a pre-eminent sanctity, 
and is called, by w"ay of distinction, Prayag. 
At Hurdwar, where the river escapes from 
the mountains, and at Saugor Island, at the 
mouth of the Hoogly, it is also the object of 
especial adoration. In the Hindoo mytho- 
logy the Ganges is described as the daughter 
of the great mountain Himavata ; she is called 
Ganga on account of her flowing through 
Gang, the earth. She receives various other 
designations, some of which are nearly as 
popular, and all of mythical derivation. The 
Brahmapootra contributes to the irrigation 
of Bengal ; it derives its name also from 
a myth, as it signifies the son of Brahma ; 
but some Hindoo mythologists trace its deri- 
vation in a different manner, which illustrates 
the impurity of the Hindoo imagination under 
the influence of idolatry. 

The great river surface in Bengal, and the 
low -lying, marshy coast, cause fogs and pene- 
trating dews in the cold weather, which are 
unfavourable to health. Some persons, how- 
ever, maintain that they are rather conducive 
to salubrity, being not more than sufficient 
to supply moisture equivalent to the daily 
exhaustion by the sun. 

The staple productions of Bengal are 
sugar, tobacco, silk, cotton, indigo, and rice. 
The different sjDecies of the last-named are 
almost beyond enumeration, so varied are 
the influence of soil, season, and mode of 
cultivation. The poppy is also produced in 
the upper portions of the presidency. Ben- 
gal is not considered so favourable to orchard 
produce as other portions of India, yet the 
natives are fond of this cultivation, and regard 
with reverence trees planted by their fathers. 
Orchards of mango-trees diversify the aspect 
of the country everywhere throughout the 
presidency. In Bahar. the palm and the 
date are abundant. The cocoa-nut, so useful 
and refreshing to the Bengalees, grows in 
the southern portions of the territory. In 



72 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. III. 



the central districts plantatioBS of areca are 
common. The northern parts nurture the 
bassia, which is very useful ; its inflated corols 
are nutritious, and yield an excellent spirit 
on distillation ; the oil expressed from its 
seeds is used as a substitute for butter. 
Clumps of bamboos, which are useful for 
building and profitable for sale, are noticeable 
by the traveller in many directions. In a 
single year the bamboo grows to its height ; 
in the second year its wood acquires the 
requisite hardness. "It is probable," ob- 
serves an old writer, "that a single acre of 
bamboos is more profitable than ten of any 
other tree." 

English vegetables do not grow in Bengal 
so luxuriantly as in England, and are noticed 
by English persons on their arrival for their 
insipidity. The potato, at least some species 
of it, thrives better than most other foreign 
vegetables. 

Cattle are a considerable portion of the 
peasant's wealth. The buffalo, which is grazed 
at a very small expense, is a valuable animal, 
on account of its milk. As the flesh of kine is 
not available for food, in consequence of the 
religious prejudice against it, cattle are not so 
valuable as otherwise would be the case. 
Coarse blankets are made from the wool of 
the sheep, which is not valued in the market 
as an article of commerce. The Bengalee 
sheep are small, four horned, and of a dark 
grey colour ; their flesh is much prized by 
Europeans. 

In the woods apes and monkeys abound, 
and in the evening the jackalls, leaving their 
jungles, howl around the cities and villages. 
The monkey ti'ibes enter the villages immo- 
lested, bear away fruit, and do much mischief. 

The population of Bengal has been already 
given on another page. The most recent 
computation to which the author has access, 
fixes it at seventy millions : this includes the 
population of the north-west provinces. Ever 
since the settlement of the English, the people 
have increased in numbers at a ratio before 
unknown. It met with some severe checks 
during that time. In 1770, it is alleged that 
one -fifth of the population perished by famine. 
In 1784, one in fifty persons fell a victim to 
a similar calamity. In 1787, an extraordi- 
nary inundation carried away a vast amount 
of property, and destroyed many lives in 
Eastern Bengal. In the following year, and 
consequent upon the disaster last named, 
there was a famine in the districts where it 
had prevailed. For nearly fifty years after 
that period, famine, or even scarcity, was 
unknown. Since then the rice harvest has 
been several times beneath its average, and 
there has been consequent suflcring ; but it 



does not appear that any important check 
has been put by those seasons of distress to 
the increase of population. 

The following computations of the popula- 
tion at different periods, made by competent 
authorities, will indicate the rate of 2:>rogress, 
partly by natural increase, and partly by tbe 
annexation of new territory. 

In 1772, the British provinces of Bengal, 
then consisting of Bengal and Bahar, were 
stated to contain twenty millions of inhabit- 
ants.* In 1789, they were believed to con- 
tain twenty -four millions. f In 1793, includ- 
ing Benares, the people of the Bengal pro- 
vinces were supposed to number twenty-seven 
millions.:}: In 1814, the result of several 
investigations b}' government, reports were 
published, which stated that the population 
amounted to thirty-nine millions. § In 1820, 
more than forty millions were said to consti- 
tute the population. II 

During the last thirty-five years, the ratio 
of natural increase has been greater than 
during any period of the English occupancy, 
and the annexation of territories has added 
many millions more ; and now the population 
of Bengal exceeds that of the whole Russian 
empire, the Turkish empire, or the German 
federation. 

There are many large and populous cities 
within this presidency, and a great number of 
small ones. The large villages are almost 
incredibly numerous, forming as it were 
chains of towns along the banks of the 
rivers, especially of the Ganges, as numerous 
and populous as are said to be observed along 
the banks of rivers in China. A writer, who 
knew Bengal nearly half a century since, 
thus described them : — " While passing them 
by the inland navigation, it is pleasing to 
view the cheerful bustle and crowded popula- 
tion by land and water ; men, old women, 
birds, and beasts, all mixed and intimate, 
e\'incing a sense of security, and appearance 
of hapj^iness, seen in no part of India beyond 
the company's territories." This picture, so 
well drawn for a remoter period, answers to 
what existed previous to the late military 
revolt, which entailed most disaster in those 
very districts. 

It will promote the clearness of the narra- 
tive, and facilitate the memory of the reader, 
to notice the chief cities of old Bengal, before 
describing those which belong to provinces 
which, of late years, have been added to the 
I^residency. 

The chief city of India, the seat of the 
supreme government as well as of the presi- 



* Lord Clive. f Sir W. Jones. I Mr. Colebrooke. 
§ Dr. Francis Buchanau ; Mr. Bajky. 
1 WaltLT Hamilton. 



( 



. II.U'. 



III.] 



IN INDIxV AND THE EAST. 



73 



deiitial guveriiiiiciiL of Bengal, is Ciilcuttti, 
one of the largest and. most j^ic^turcsque cities 
in the world, deserving the epithet applied 
to it in Europe and America — " the City of 
Palaces." 

The rise and i:)rogTess of the city of Cal- 
cutta have been very rapid. Previous to the 
l']n,L;-lish settlement it could scarcely be said 
to exist, except as a village.* In 1717 it 
was a village belonging to the Nuddca dis- 
trict ; the houses were in small clusters, scat- 
tered over a moderate extent of gi'ound, and 
the inhabitants were the tillers of the sur- 
rounding country, and a few native traders 
or merchants. In the south of the Cheind- 
saul Ghaut a forest existed. Between it and 
Kidderpore there were two tolerably populous 
villages ; their inhabitants were invited by 
the merchants at Calcutta to settle there. 
These merchants appear to have consisted 
chiefly of one family, named Seats, and to 
their enterprise the city is indebted for its 
first step to opulence. Where the forest and 
the two villages stood, Fort William, the 
British citadel, and the esplanade, now stand. 
Where now the most elegant houses of the 
English part of the suburbs are seen, there 
were then small -sdllages of Avretched houses, 
surrounded by pools of water. The ground 
between the straggling clusters of hovels was 
covered ^^ith jungle. A quarter of a century 
later it appears to have made fair progress ; 
there were seventy English houses, the huts 
of the natives had increased, and several rich 
native merchants had good residences, f The 
town was then surrounded by a ditch, to i^ro- 
tect it from the incursions of the Mahrattas. 
About a century ago, the ground on which 
the citadel now stands, and on which some of 
the best portions of the town are built, was 
dense jungle. The town was then divided 
into four districts — Dee Calcutta, Govindpore, 
Chutanutty, and Bazaar Calcutta, and con- 
tained I'lol houses, under the protection of 
the company, and o2G7 houses, with portions 
of land, possessed by independent projn-ietors. 
On the land occupied by those houses there 
were smaller tenements, sub-let by the pro- 
l^rietors, wliich would extend the list of 
habitations to nearly fifty thousand. Writers, 
Avhose accounts were given soon after, esti- 
mate the number of inhabitants at four hun- 
dred thousand,! which appears to be in con- 
siderable excess of the fact, notwithstanding 
the great increase of jiopulation. Towards 
the close of the last century the power and 
population of the town were of much greater 
magnitude. According to government re- 
ports, the houses, shops, and other habita- 

* Hamilton. t Onne. 

t Ilolwell. 
VOL. I. 



tlons, not the jiropt-rty of the East India 
Comjmny, were In number as follow : — 

British subjects 4, .300 

Armenians, Greeks, and Christians of otIu>r 

sects and nations 3, 290 

jMohanimedans '. 14,700 

Hindoos 5(5,460 

Chinese 10 



Total 78,7G0 

From the beginning of the present century 
the population and resources of the town have 
augmented. In 1802 the reports made to 
government represented the popidation as six 
hundred thousand, and the neiirhbourina: 
country as so thickly populated, that a circle 
of twenty miles from government house 
would com])rise two and a quarter milHons 
of persons. Half a century since the exten- 
sion of the superior parts of the city, and its 
increase in wealth, were remarkable. Calcutta 
had become the great capital of a great em- 
pire. Mr. Hamilton describes its condition at 
that time in the following general terms : — 
•' The modern town of Calcutta extends along 
the east side of the river above six miles, but 
the breadth varies very much at different 
places. The esplanade, between the town 
and Fort William, leaves a grand opening, 
along the edge of Avhich is jilaced the new 
government house, erected by the Marquis 
Wellesley, and continued on in a line A\ath 
that edifice is a range of magnificent houses, 
oi'uamented with spacious verandahs. Chou- 
ringhee, formerly a collection of native huts, 
is now a district of palaces, extending for a 
considerable distance into the country. The 
architecture of the houses is Grecian, which 
does not appear the best adapted for the 
country or cHmate, as the pillars of the 
verandahs are too much elevated to keep 
out the sun during the morning and evening, 
yet at both these times, especially the latter, 
the heat is excessive within doors. In the 
rainy season this style of architecture causes 
other inconveniences. Perhaps a more con- 
fined style of building, Hindoo in its cha- 
racter, would be found of more practical com- 
fort. The black town extends along the river 
to the north, and exhiljita a remarkable con- 
trast to the part inhabited by the Europeans. 
Persons who have only seen the latter have 
little conception of the remainder of the city ; 
but those who have been there will bear wit- 
ness to the wretched condition of at least six 
in eight parts of this externally magnificent 
city. The streets here are narrow, dirty, and 
impaved ; the hoiises of two stories are of 
brick, M'ith flat terraced roofs, but the great 
majority are mud cottages, covered with 
small tiles, ^^'ith side Avails of mats, bamboos. 



74 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Ohap. III. 



and other combustible materials, the whole, 
^^^thin and Avithout, swarming with popula- 
tion. Fires, as may be inferred from the 
construction, are of frequent occurrence, but 
do not in the least affect the European 
quarter, which, from the mode of building, 
is completely incondjustible. In this divi- 
sion the houses stand detached from each 
other in spaces inclosed by walls, the general 
approach being by a flight of steps under a 
large verandah; their whole appearance is 
uncommonly elegant and respectable." 

The increase in the wealth and power of 
the great Indian capital advanced with the 
century. In 1810 the population was com- 
puted at a milHon by the chief judge,* but 
he professed to include the environs in this 
enumeration, and as he did not make a very 
distinct report as to the principle upon Avhich 
he added the population of various surround- 
ing villages, the report must be held as a 
very loose return. About the same period 
General Kyd calculated the inhabitants of 
the city as not more than five hundred thou- 
sand, but admitted that the population of 
the suburbs was very numerous. 

The present aspect of the city is magnifi- 
cent ; it's population, wealth, the number and 
magnitude of its public buildings, the shipping 
in the river, the increase of commerce, the 
.grandeur and luxury of rich natives, of Euro- 
peans, and of the government, throw an air 
of splendour over the place which fascinates 
all who -come within its influence. The 
modern town of Calcutta is situated on the 
east side of the Hoogly, and extends along it 
about six miles. The approach by the river 
from the sea is exceedingly interesting, the 
Hoogly being one of the most picturesque of 
Indian rivers, and its most beautiful- spots 
are in the vicinity of the great city, both on 
the side upon which the city is built, and on 
the opposite bank. The course of the river 
•is somewhat devious, a distance of sixty miles 
by land being by the river's course nearly 
eighty. As upon tlie Ganges proper, the 
water in niany places washes into the land, 
forming deep bays, and sometimes bold jut- 
ting promontories, wdiich, clothed with oriental 
foliage to their sunniiits, arrest the traveller's 
attention. The beauty of the trees which 
flourish in Bengal is seen to singular advan- 
tage along the Hoogly. The bamboo, with 
its long and graceful branches ; the palm, of 
many species, towering aloft in its dignity ; 
the peepid, finding space for its roots in the 
smallest crevices of rocks, or in the partially 
decayed walls of luiildings, displays on high 
its light green foliage ; the babool, with its 
golden bafls and soft rich perfume ; the beau- 
* Sir Ilcury Kusscll. 



tiful magnolia, and various species of the 
acacia; — all find their suitable places, cast 
their shadows upon the sparkling river, and 
wave, as it were, their welcome to the adven- 
turous voyager who has sought their native 
groves from far-off lands. If the traveller 
disembarks anywhere, and passes into the 
surrounding country, he will find it clothed 
in eternal verdure ; for even while the sun of 
India pours its vertical rays upon the plains 
of Bengal, so well watered is it. that the 
verdure still retains its freshness. All persons 
passing on the river are much struck with 
the pleasant ghauts, or landing-places. These 
consist of many steps, especially where the 
banks are precipitoits, and there is architec- 
tural taste displayed in the'r construction. 
The steps are wide, with fine balustrades. It 
is found convenient to build temples or 
pagodas near them, because the natives can 
"'lide alona: in their boats from considerable 
distances without much fatigue or trouble, 
when the sun pours his fierce and burning 
radiance on river, Avood, and plain. The 
small Hindoo temples, called mhuts, are very 
commonly erected near these ghauts, in groups 
Avliich are picturesque rather from the skilful 
grouping than from their individual form, 
Avhich is beehive. The IMohammedans, as 
well as the heathen, have erected their temples 
by the ghauts of the Hoogly. Their beauti- 
ful domes and minarets may be seen glisten- 
ing in the vivid Indian light through the 
feathery foliage of the palm and bamboo. 
Both Mohammedans and heathens take great 
pains to make the neighbourhood of these 
temple-crowned ghauts ])icturesque. The 
stairs to the water's edge are strcAAai with 
flowers of the richest perfumes and the 
brightest hues ; the balustrades bear entwined 
garlands of the doiible -flowered Indian jessa- 
mine, and other graceful creeping plants AA'hich 
serve as pendants ; and, floating along the 
shining riA^er, these fair ofterings to false 
gods, or Avreaths in honour of the prophet of 
Islam, spread their odours, and adorn the 
current. Thus the banks of the Hoogly seem 
fairy land, and its stream fairy waters; the 
most gloAving light, the sAA^eetest perfumes, the 
most gracelul forms of architecture and of 
the forest, the richest profusion of colour 
reflected from foliage, flowers, and blossoms 
of infinite variety, the riA'cr itself at intervals 
so covered AA'ith these last-named offspring of 
beauty, that one might suppose they drew 
their life from its bosom. Such is the scene 
by day, and as night approaches there is still 
beauty inexpressible, hoAvever changed its 
aspects. The setting sun throAvs xipon llic 
foliage and river the richest tints ; the first 
! sliadoAA"s of night fall upon iununicral>le circles 




.r 



4 






e^ 










Chap. III.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



75 



of fireflies, wliioli, with tlieir golden and 
emerald light, play amid the trees, and flash 
along the margin of the waters ; and the in- 
numerable lamps, gleaming from temples, 
pagodas, and mosques through the thick trees 
and brushwood, give an air of enchantment 
to the night scenes of the Hoogly. Happy is 
he whose leisure admits of his working up or 
gliding down the Hoogly in the slow-sailing 
budgerow, for in few lands can scenery so 
soft, soothing, and calmly beautiful be found. 

When the European visitor approaches 
Calcutta, it is not discerned for any consider- 
able distance ; hidden by the thickly cluster- 
ing trees, the course of the river, and the 
level site, it is not seen from the river until it 
suddenly bursts upon the view in all its 
splendour. The cou]i d'ccil is most impres- 
sive, and the excitement of the stranger is 
increased every moment as one object of in- 
terest and grandeur after another comes 
rapidly in more distinctness before him. The 
pleasant gardens which descend to the river 
from the mansions of the merchants and supe- 
rior officials cannot fail to arrest attention, 
even in view of the noble public edifices. 
]Much attention is paid to these gardens, 
which are decorated by the magnificent trees 
and flowers of India, and enriched by its 
exquisite fruits. The garden's are nearly 
all on the left bank of the river, for the 
right is occupied by the botanical gardens 
of the Honourable East India Comj^any, 
which are perhaps the most interesting of 
their kind in the world. In these gardens 
exotics from the Cape of Good Hope, the 
Mauritius, China, Australia, the United States 
of America, and Europe, are carefully culti- 
vated. There the palm, the bamboo, the 
peepul, and the banyan are to be seen of the 
loftiest height, and in all the spreading pomp 
of the Indian forest tree. There are some 
larger banyan trees in other parts of the 
peninsula, but one remarkable specimen may 
be seen in these gardens, several acres being- 
covered by the overbranching shadow of this 
king of the oriental forest. 

The ghauts at Calcutta are as elegant> as 
they are convenient, and impress the stranger 
as he passes them, and when he lands, with 
the idea not only of the grandeur of the city, 
hut of its good government. 

The grand arsenal of Fort "William is dis- 
tant from the city about a cpiarter of a mile. 
This noble structure deserves special notice ; 
it has an historic interest as w^ell as a political 
importance. It has been generally regarded 
as stronger, and, as a fortress, more regular 
than any other in India. It is octagonal, five 
of the faces being regular; the other three 
next the river are not so. A militarv man 



described it some years since in the following 
terms : — " As no approach by land is to be 
apprehended on this side, the river coming 
up to the glacis, it was merely necessary to 
guard against attack by water, by providing 
a great superiority of fire, which purpose has 
been attained by merely giving the citadel 
towards the water the form of a large salient 
angle, the faces of which enfilade the course 
of the river. From these faces the guns con- 
tinue to play upon the objects until they 
approach very near to the city, wdien they 
would receive the fire of the batteries parallel 
to the river. This point is likewise defended 
by adjoining bastions, and a count erguard, 
which covers them. The five regular bastions 
are towards the land ; the bastions have all 
very salient orillons, behind which are retired 
circular flanks, extremely spacious, and an 
inverse double flank at the height of the 
berme. This double flank would be an ex- 
cellent defence, and would serve to retard the 
passages of the ditch, as from its form it 
cannot be enfiladed. The orillon preserves it 
from the efi"ect of ricochet shot, and it is not 
to be seen from any parallel. The berme 
opposite to the curtain serves as a road to it, 
and contributes to the defence of the ditch 
like a fausse-bray. The ditch is dry, Avith a 
cunette in the middle, which receives the 
water of the river by means of two sluices, 
which are commanded by the fort. The 
counterscarp and covered way are excellent ; 
every curtain is covered with a large half- 
moon, without flanks, honnet, or redoubt, but 
the faces mount thirteen pieces of heavy 
artillery each, thus giving to the defence of 
these ravelins a fire of twenty -six guns. The 
demi-bastions which terminate the five regular 
fronts on each side are covered by a counter- 
guard, of which the faces, like the half-moons, 
are pierced with thirteen embrasures. These 
counterguards are connected with two re- 
doubts, constructed in the place of arms of 
the adjacent re-entering angles; the whole is 
faced and palisaded with care, kept in admi- 
rable condition, and capable of making a 
vigorous defence against any army, however 
formidable. The advanced works are exe- 
cuted on an extensive scale, and the angles of 
the half-moons, being extremely acute, project 
a great waj', so as to be in view of each other 
beyond the flanked angle of the polygon, and 
capable of taking the trenches in the rear at 
an early period of the approach." The above 
description will in the main suit for tiie present 
condition of the fortress. Some alterations 
have been made of late years, more with a 
view to convenience than defence. It is the 
general opinion of military men that it has 
been planned on too extensive a scale to 



76 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[CiiAr. III. 



answer its original intention, which was 
merely to serve in an extremity as a place of 
retreat. The nnmber of men required to 
garrison it would be sufficient to keep the 
field against any enemy Avhich India could 
furnish. Lord Olive, who designed it, is 
blamed for this ; but Olive was not an edu- 
cated soldier, he was rather one by intuition, 
and ought hardly to be held responsible for 
imperfections of military engineering. After 
the battle of Plassey it was natural for Olive 
to think that Calcutta might have to be 
defended, not merely against native, but 
European enemies, or both combined, and an 
army which could make head upon the plains 
against any native force, might not be strong 
enough to keep the field in the presence of 
native forces and European auxiliaries. Ten 
thousand men Avould be required to defend 
the place, and fifteen thousand can be gar- 
risoned within it. Its cost to the company 
has been two millions sterling, a sum which 
is very far beyond its worth. The barracks 
are handsome, spacious, and well adapted for 
their purpose. 

Between the fort and the town there is an 
extensive level space, called the esplanade. 
On the edge of this stands the government 
house, erected by the IMarquis Wellesley. 
Oontinued on in a line with it is a range of fine 
mansions, with stuccoed fronts, and pleasant 
green verandahs. The government house is 
the most striking building in Calcutta ; its 
appearance is much more imposing than Fort 
\Villiam, Avhich has very little elevation. In 
the eyes of the natives, government house is 
of great importance, and the English residents 
of Calcutta are not a little proud of its splen- 
dour. It is a very extensive pile, and has 
four wings, one at each corner of the building, 
which contain the private apartments; the 
council-i'oom, which occupies the north-east 
corner, is a splendid room, wortliy of the 
building, and the purpose for which it is set 
apart. In the centre of the pile there are 
two rooms of very great magniticence : the 
lowest is paved with marble of a dark grey 
tint, and supported by Doric columns, chu- 
named, resembling marble ; above this is 
the ball-room, floored with dark polished 
Indian wood, and supported by Ionic pillars. 
These rooms are lighted by superb cut glass 
lustres, and the ceilings are joainted in a 
very superior style. Competent and severe 
critics allow that the decorations of these 
rooms are most tasteful. AYhat scenes of am- 
bition, blighted fortunes, baffled hopes, eager 
aspirations, unprincipled intrigue, fortunate 
policy, and humiliated greatness, have been 
witnessed within these gorgeous apartments 1 
How often have detlironed princes passed 



with unshod feet, the token of defeat and 
extorted homage, across those iiags of marble 
and choice Indian floors ! Short as is the 
time since that palace has been opened for 
the reception of the British riders of India, 
events have trans])ired within it full of ro- 
mantic interest, and replete with the fate of 
thrones and dynasties, and of the mightiest 
empire upon which the orient sun ever shone I 

Government house does not stand alone in 
beauty. The custom house is a good build- 
ing. Bishop's College is a Gothic structure 
of c[uadrangular form ; on the north side is 
a tower, which is sixty-five feet high, and 
twenty-five feet deep. The town hall is 
spacious, and accommodates large jniblic 
meetings, which frequently assemble there, 
not only for civic bi;siness, but to celebrate 
the anniversaries of religious, philanthropic, 
and scientific societies. Public dinners and 
balls are given in it also. The courts of jus- 
tice are not only important, but impressive in 
their exterior effect. There are a jail, an 
hospital, a club-house for the Bengal Club, 
the adjutant-general's and quartermaster- 
general's offices, the Jesuits' college, Hindoo 
and Mohammedan colleges, and manv other 
notable edifices, among the most remarkable 
of which are the Metcalfe Hall, the mint, and 
the medical college. The Metcalfe Hall is a 
building which may be justly called magnifi- 
cent. It contains an extensive public library, 
and the library and museum of the Asiatic 
Society — a society planned by Sir W. Jones 
on his way out to India. It also affords accom- 
modation to the Agricidtural Society of Ben- 
gal. This noble building was raised in com- 
memoration of Lord IMetcalfe, whose admin- 
istration of government in India was so re- 
nowned. The mint is a vast building — one 
of the largest piles of buildings in existence 
for civil administrative purposes. Tliere the 
'•'circulating medium" of India receives its 
form and impress. There are few specimens 
of architectural skill and taste in Calcutta 
which equal the medical college, which is as 
useful as its outline is attractive. 

Architectural taste is not confined to build- 
ings for educational, governmental, or other 
secular jiurposes ; Hindoo temi^les and mos- 
ques have their peculiarities of style, and all 
the religious sects of Christianity have their 
churches, many of which are of lai'gc size 
and superior structure. The grandest Chris- 
tian edifice in the city is the English cathe- 
dral. It owes its existence to the zeal of 
Dr. Wilson, Bishop of Calcutta, and cost 
£50,000. Her majesty presented the com- 
munion service, which is superb. She also 
sanctioned the bestowal of the jjainting of the 
Crucifixion, by West and Forrest, originally 



CH.vr. III.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



I i 



designed for St. George's Chapel. Windsor, 
by his majesty King George III. Tlie 
Honourable East India Company showed a 
profuse liberality in this undertaking, granting 
the ground on -which the building stands, 
appointing two chaplains, to be paid from 
its treasury, and bestowing nearly one-third 
of the whole expense of the erection. It is 
thus described by one who has seen it : — 
" The style of the architecture is the English 
Perpendicular Gothic, with a few variations, 
occasioned by the climate ; it is, in fact, 
Indo, or Christian Gothic. The tower and 
spire are built after the model of the 
admired Norwich Cathedral, with improve- 
ments suggested by that of Canterbury. Most 
of the details of the ornaments, externally 
and internally, are taken from the finest spe- 
cimens of York Minster. The building is 
constructed of a peculiar kind of brick, spe- 
cially prepared for the purpose. It is dressed 
with Chunar stone, and well covered and 
ornamented inside and out with clmnam, 
which takes a polish like marble." * 

The portion of Calcutta occupied by the 
native population lies along the river to the 
north. It is an extremely wretched place. 
Much as Europeans are accustomed • to con- 
trasts in their capitals between the quarters 
occupied by the rich and the poor, they can 
have no conception of the antithetical force 
of contrast in this respect presented by Cal- 
cutta. The streets are narrow— so narrow, 
that they are frecpiently only just broad 
enough for an elephant to pass through. 
They are as dirty as they are confined, and, 
being unpaved, are, at certain seasons, in a 
condition the most abominable, and sometimes, 
from the nuisances which abound, altogether 
impassable for Europeans. The better class 
of houses in "the native town" are built of 
brick, two stories high, with flat terraced 
roofs ; these, however, bear a small proj^ortion 
to the mud huts, Avith tiled roofs, the sides 
being sometimes of bamboos, often only con- 
sisting of mats. Such fragile and inflam- 
mable buildings often take fire, and fearful 
conflagrations spread through that part of 
the town; the European portion, in conse- 
quence of the site, composition, and style of 
the buildings, and their frequent isolation, 
escapes on these occasions. The si;fferings 
of the natives are very great at such times ; 
for although all the materials for building arc 
plentiful, the people are extremely poor, and 
the division of labour occasioned by preju- 
dices of various kinds makes all building ex- 
pensive. If fires do not ravage the mansions 
of the Europeans, the white ant is as sure, if 
a slower enemy, and buildings often become 
* Stocqiieler. 



insecure by its devouring energy, the beams ai.d 
other timbers being com2)lctely sapped when 
there is no exterior appearance of mischief. 

The bazaars constitute one of the peculi- 
arities of an oriental town, and Calcutta 
abounds in bazaars. There the native mer- 
chants, and vendors of all conceivable com- 
modities, practise their ingenuity ; and there 
the most crafty European Jews would find 
their match in the expert operations of deal- 
ings less ingenuous than ingenious. The 
bazaar affords a lounge to the European dis- 
posed to pass time there ; and if acquainted 
with a fair number of the languages of India, 
he may hear, and participate in, a great deal 
of gossip quite beyond the conception of occi- 
dental imaginations, either as to subject or 
manner. 

The country around Calcutta is, as before 
noticed, champaign, rich, verdant, but little 
varied, except by the grouping of the woods. 
The rice culture makes the country swampy 
in many parts. The river's banks, above as 
well as below the town, are pretty. 

About twelve miles distant, at Dum Dum, 
are the artillery barracks, which are spacious, 
pleasantly situated, and an agreeable resort 
from Calcutta. At a distance of sixteen miles 
Carrackpore is situated, where a number of 
native regiments, mustering the strength of a 
division, have cantonments. This place is 
also much visited from Calcutta. There are 
villas, and commercial settlements for various 
purposes, scattered over the flat country for 
an equal distance, to which the European 
residents of Calcutta make occasional joiirneys; 
but Barrackpore is perhaps the pleasantest 
resort, and the most frequently selected. 
Being partly situated on the river, its site 
is picturesque ; the Avay to it by land lies 
through a beaidifid demesne of the governor- 
general. From the river the landing is made 
by a magnificent ghaut, and in sailing past, 
the residence of the governor-general is 
visible through openings in the clumps of tall 
trees which crown the banks. 

On the opposite side of the river is Seram- 
pore, the citadel of Christian missions in India. 
This place is very little resorted to from Cal- 
cutta, although to good taste more atti-active 
than Barrackpore : but the residence of offi- 
cers and their families at that station, and the 
frequent ])resence of the governor-general, 
give it an interest denied to its prim but plea- 
sant neighbour on the other side of the river. 
The esplanade at Serampore is very fine ; the 
buildings which range along it deserve all the 
appellations of connnendation usually applied 
to them. There is no town in India where 
order, cleanliness, and good taste, prevail as 
in Serampore. This superior taste extends 



78 



HISTOEY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. III. 



to the boats wliicli belong to it. and Avliicli 
glide so gracefully past the rougher craft of 
the English settlements. The morality and 
social order of this city of the Danes is in 
keeping with its exterior beaiity and the 
glory of its architecture. Truly, our Scandi- 
navian brothers who founded this elect of the 
cities of India, deserve all honour for the 
skill, enterprise, perception of the beautiful, 
and value for the true, which, in their mate- 
rial and spiritual labours, they proved them- 
selves to possess. There are many natives 
of consequence residing at Serampore ; they 
also live in some state, their habitations 
displaying much grandeur, although less 
elegant than those of Europeans. The 
native dwellino's are constructed more with 
a view to seclusion ; they can, however, 
be seen from the river, peeping through the 
trees in which they are embowered, as open- 
ings are left for glimpses of the sacred flood 
as it rolls its heavy current along. 

Calcutta and its neighbourhood constitute 
a subject so large, that many chapters might 
be exhausted upon it. Under the heads of 
government, commerce, customs, and manners, 
it will be necessary again to refer to its im- 
portance, and to the influence of those who 
reside within its confines upon the destinies 
of India and of all the East. Far over the 
oriental lands which bound the dominions of 
the East India Company, Calcutta, its beauty, 
pomp, and power, are tallced of. In the 
populous cities of China, in the mountains 
of Nei^aul and Thibet, among the Birmans, 
away to the west and north-west, to Teheran 
and Central Asia, to the shores of the Cas- 
pian, the Euxine, and the Bos^^horus, men 
eagerly listen to fabulous tales of the gran- 
deur, greatness, and resources of the govern- 
ment of India. Calcutta is associated in 
men's minds in all these wide -spread realms 
as a city of lavish splendour and exhaust- 
less wealth. 

One of the divisions of the province 
of Bengal is called the Sunderbunds. This 
is to the south of the presidency, and 
stretches one hundred and eighty miles along 
the sea-coast. It is a region of salt marshes 
and forests. The glance given of this district 
in the general description of India is suffi- 
cient for the purposes of this History. It is 
here only to necessary to state that all at- 
tempts to reduce this woody and marshy 
region to cultivation have been only partially 
successfid. It still continues to be a wild 
and inhospitable region, only inhabited by a 
few fakeers, whose habitations are wretched, 
and whose lives are in constant peril. Wood- 
cutters resort to the forest and jungle of this 
district, where they frerpiently perish in their 



adventurous occupation, devoured by alli- 
gators or beasts of prey. Tigers, as noticed 
in another page, abound in this region ; they 
attack the woodcutters and fakeers, often 
making a prey of them. Even when these 
unfortunate men navigate the channels of 
water which intersect this wild place in every 
direction, the tiger is so ferocious, that he 
will swim after the boats, and frequently suc- 
ceeds in the destruction of those on board. 
The Ganges has eight mouths in this region, 
and all the rivers and channels that so 
drearil}'- intersect it arc filled by its waters. 
There are two large currents, one called the 
Sunderbund passage, and the other the Ballia- 
ghaut passage. The former takes an exten- 
sive circuit, passing through the widest and 
deepest of the minor streams, and finally 
empties itself into the Hoogly. The Ballia- 
ghaut opens into a shallow lake to the east of 
Calcutta. These rivers, or passages, as they 
are called, flow for two hundred miles through 
thick forest. So narrow in some jJaces are 
the channels of the rivers, and so dense the 
forests, that the masts of the vessels touch 
the branches of the trees. At other places 
the channels expand into broad marshy lakes, 
which, notwithstanding the woods within 
view, arc monotonous and dreary. 

Saugor Island, which is about tvrcnty miles 
long and five broad, is situated on the east 
side of the Hoogly River, about latitude 
2P 40' north. It is a healthy station for the 
crews of ships, and formerly it had a higher 
reputation in this respect, when the upper 
part of the Hoogly was more siibject to 
disease, arising from the rapid decomposition 
of vegetable matter on its banks. Various 
circumstances, natural and artificial, have 
contributed to the better sanitary condition 
of the part of the river near to Calcutta. 
This island is celebrated in India as a place 
of pilgrimage. Hindoos resort to it, because 
there the most sacred portion of the Ganges 
forms its junction with the sea. Here old 
persons, far advanced in life, and children, 
are offered to the river deity, and the bar- 
barities of heathenism, and of the Hindoo 
form of it in particular, are exemplified. 
The few persons resident on the island at 
the beginning of this century worshipped a 
sage named Capila. The place seems to 
have had some importance in ancient Hindoo 
history, and remains of tanks and temples 
are still to be seen. The jungle and forest 
of the island were the cover of a peculiarly 
ferocious breed of the Bengal tiger. A com- 
pany of Europeans and natives, iinder the 
direction of Dr. Dunlop, cleared and settled a 
large portion of the dry country, and drained 
the marshy lands. 



CiiAr. HI.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



79 



Tlie district of Backergonge is marked on 
Wylde's large map as first in his list of civil 
stations in the Bengal presidency. It is situ- 
ated to the north-east of the Sunderbunds. 
At tlie close of the sixteenth century a com- 
bined incursion of the Mughs and Portuguese, 
then settled at Chittagong, laid the country 
waste, and it has never fully recovered from 
the effect of that predatory inroad. The 
country is, nevertheless, fertile, producing 
two rice crops. Wild beasts, and men whose 
habits woiild justify the designation of wild 
being applied to them, prowl about a consider- 
able portion of this territory. The Dacoits, 
or river-pirates, have been of late years 
chased and punished severely, but are not 
exterminated. Half a century ago gangs of 
Dacoits committed every species of depreda- 
tion, and perpetrated horrible cruelties, and 
the Bengal tiger roamed about, a formidable 
enemy to the peaceful settler. The popula- 
tion consists of Hindoos, Mohammedans, and 
Portuguese. The first, in proportion to the 
second, is as five to two. The Portuguese 
colonies are in the southern part, and the 
colonists are generally inferior, mentally and 
physically, to either Hindoos or IMoham- 
medans. They are spare and feeble, and 
blacker than the native races, by Avhom they 
ai*e much despised. This circumstance strik- 
ingly illustrates the power of a tropical climate 
to deteriorate Europeans in colour and phy- 
sical capacity. 

The district of Hoogly, which takes its 
name from the Hoogly River, is not remark- 
able in any way, its principal characteristics 
being similar to those of Bengal generally. 
The city of Hoogly is, however, worthy of 
notice. It is situated on the west side of the 
river, twenty-six miles above Calcutta, lati- 
tude 22^ oi' north, longitude 88° 28' east. 
During the reign of the SEoguls this city was 
one of great importance. Several European 
powers had factories there, and the commerce 
Avas considerable. In 1632, about eight years 
before the English settled there, and when 
the Portuguese were in possession of it, a 
Mogul army besieged and sacked it, a few 
only of the Portuguese escaping by means of 
their ships. In 1G8G an accidental quarrel 
arose between the English and the IMogul's 
people. The garrison of the English factory, 
aided by a ship of war, inflicted a severe 
chastisement upon the place, and spiked all 
the cannon of the Mogul garrison. Five 
hundred houses were consumed in the con- 
flagration caused by the conflict. Tliis was 
a remarkable incident, being the first battle 
fought by the British in Bengal. The power 
of the Mogul was, however, such that the 
English were glad to consent to terms of 



peace which were humiliating. The town is 
not now one of great consideration, but has 
still a tolerably large trade and a numerous 
population. 

NuDDEA is a district north of Calcutta, 
between the twenty-second and twenty-fourth 
degrees of north latitude. There is nothing 
to distinguish it so particularly from the 
general features of Bengal as to call for sepa- 
rate description. It is, however, remarkable 
in the British History of India as comprising 
within it the town of Plassey, where Clive 
decided in battle the fate of Bengal, and ulti- 
mately that of India. 

The district of Moorshedabad is only re- 
markable as containing the city of the same 
name, which was the capital of Bengal imme- 
diately before the British established their 
power. It is situated about one hundred and 
twelve miles north of Calcutta. It stands on 
a very sacred branch of the Ganges, called 
the Bhagirathi, or Cossimbuzaar Piver. In 
1701: Moorshed Cooly Khan transferred his 
seat of government to it, and gave it the 
name it bears instead of its previous one, 
Mucksoosabad. It is a miserable, filthy, and 
unhealthy place, containing one hundred and 
seventy-five thousand inhabitants. There is, 
however, a great deal of inland traffic, and 
the river is usually crowded with sailing 
craft, except during the long dry season. 
The town of Cossimbuzaar may be considered 
a part of Moorshedabad, and the port of it, 
as at that spot the river traffic centres: it 
is only a mile from Moorshedabad. The 
population is very considerable, perhaps as 
numerous as in any inland trading town of 
the Bengal province. Its manufacture and 
commerce are considerable, silk being the 
staple commodity. 

The town of Berhampore is only six miles 
distant from the former places, on the eastern 
bank of the same river. A brigade of troops 
occupies fine cantonments there, and, com- 
paratively, many European gentlemen are 
resident there. According to competent 
authorities, the situation is pleasant and 
salubrious. 

About thirty miles N.N.W. of Moorshed- 
abad is the town of Sooty, remarkable for the 
defensive preparations against the English 
made there by Soorajah-ad-Dowlah, who 
believed that their ships could come up the 
eastern branch of the Ganges to the northern 
point of the Cassemba Island, and then go ac- 
down the Bhagirathi to Moorshedabad. He 
cordingly directed piles of vast magnitude and 
strength to be driven into the bed of the river : 
this work was so effectually accomplished, 
that the river has ever since been unnavigable 
for any craft except boats, and in the dry 



80 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[CuAr. III. 



seasons the passage is obstructed against even 
tliem. In 1763 a Lattle was fought here 
between the troops of Meer Cossim and the 
English, and the Latter had their usual fortune 
— victory. 

Chittagoxg district is on the south-east of 
the Bengal province, between 21'-' and 23" north 
latitude. It has long been noted for its wildness, 
and a large poi'tion of it is an exception to 
the general flatness of the province. The 
Mughs, driven from Birmah, inhabit it, and 
are physically a finer race than the feeble 
Bengalees of the district, but are remarkable 
for their irregular features and bad expression 
of countenance. Various conflicts at the 
latter end of the last centurv, and beuiunino- 
of the present, of a desultory nature arose 
there between the Birraans and British, in 
conseqi;ence of violation of territory by the 
former. The town of Islamabad, a place of 
some commercial importance, is in this dis- 
trict. It is also the habitation of the Kookies, 
a small but muscular race of robbers, who in 
features resemble the Cliinese. Sundeep Isle * 
is situated in this district, at the mouth of the 
great jNIegna, formed by the united current 
of the Ganges and Brahmapootra Rivers. At 
the close of the sixteenth, and beginning of 
the seventeenth century, it was the abode or 
rendezvous of a set of daring pirates, chiefly 
Portuguese, headed by a common sailor of 
that nation, named Sebastian, who carried on 
war with surrounding princes, repeatedly de- 
feating them, and spreading the terror of his 
name for a great distance in those j^arts of 
Eastern Asia. Beincj a coarse and brutal 
tyrant, he Avas at last an object of hatred to 
his own followers, who forsook him, and he 
finally fell before one of the native rulers whom 
before he had despised. 

Dacca -Jelalpore district is situated be- 
tween the twenty -third and twenty -fourth 
degrees of north latitude. This district suffered 
horribly in the memorable famine of ITbT. At 
tluit time extensive tracts — such as Bawul, 
Cossimpore, and Taliabad— were utterly de- 
populated, and during the first half of the 
present century continued in a wild state, 
overgrown with jungle, and infested with 
elephants. Great progress in improved cul- 
tivation has been made in Dacca; large tracts 
have been cleared, villages have sprung up, 
temjiles and obelisks have been erected. 
Bcliools have been instituted by the natives 
themselves, in which the Bengalee is gram- 
maticallv tauo-ht, and the relia,ion and law of 
the Hindoos. ^Muslin fabrics have been 
manufactured extensively, but the cheap pro- 
ductions of England now compete with tliem 
on their own ground. This district was 
* Somadwipa — the isle of tlie moon. 



notorious, during the first quarter of the 
present century, for the public sale of slaves ; 
on these occasions regular deeds of sale were 
executed. Up to a recent date the whole dis- 
trict was remarkable for crime of almost every 
kind ; violence, murder, robbery, and perjury, 
seemed to be the chief offences. The j\Io- 
hammedans were far more frequently offenders 
than the Hindoos in cases of violence, the 
latter in cases of fraud and perjury. 

The town of Dacca is both a civil and 
military station, and is a place of much im- 
portance. It is built on a branch of the 
Ganges, named the Booree Gunga, or Old 
Ganges, which is a mile wide before the 
town. The water communication with the 
interior offers great commercial advantages, 
and the finest muslin which perhaj^s has been 
ever manufactured at one time formed the 
staple trade. By road it is one hundred and 
eighty miles from Calcutta. The neighbour- 
hood is remarkable for its perpetual verdure. 
It is not one of the ancient cities of Bengal, 
although third in point of population and 
importance, and was at one time the capital of 
Eastern Bengal. In the reign of Aurung- 
zebe it reached the acme of its splendour, 
vesti2:es of which remain in its varied and 
extensive rains of public edifices. Remains 
of great causeways and bridges, caravanserai, 
gates, palaces, and mosques, are in wonderful 
profusion. Its vicinity appears to have been 
always prolific, verdant, and beautiful, for the 
remains of vast gardens — such as are to be 
foiind in the neighbourhood of few cities of 
the greatest magnitude — may be traced 
through the jungle by Avhich their sites are 
now overnm. The city is not now inhabited 
by so rich a class of natives as formerly, but 
it is increasingly populous with the indus- 
trious classes, and is greatly expanding. It 
is deemed one of the most wealthy cities in 
India. During the reign of the Mogxds it 
was a rendezvous for a large fleet, as many 
as seven liundred and sixty -eight armed 
cruisers having belonged to it. The super- 
stition of the people assumes a gayer form 
here than in other parts of Bengal. They 
render most homage to river-gods, and per- 
form various aquatic ceremonies of a pictu- 
resque and joyous kind. The ]\Iohammedar.s 
adopt similar customs in honour of Elias, the 
propliet, whom they believe, or pretend, was 
a patron of rivers. In the Dacca district, at 
Changpore, the most delicious oranges in the 
world are produced. 

SvLHET district is very unlike the southern 
and westei-n parts of Bengal. It lies between 
the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth degrees of 
north latitude. It is bounded on the north 
and east by an elevated mountain ridge, where 



ClIAP. III.] 



m INDIA AND THE EAST. 



81 



tlie iiiliabitauts are in a very wild state. It 
lias no town of much importance, Sylhet 
being its capital, tlie neighbourhood of which 
is studded with picturesque conical hills, 
crowned with wood to their summits. The 
district is remarkable for its varied natural 
productions. As shown on another page, 
tea-plants of an excellent quality have been 
discovered on the hill-sides. It contains the 
largest orange groves in the world, and they 
are only excelled by those of Changpore in 
excellence. Chunam (lime) is found in the 
mountains. Large quantities of wax, and 
some ivory, are also produced. Elephants 
are wild in some portions of the luicultivated 
territor}\ Coal has also been found near the 
surface. The district is well Avatered, and 
the streams, fed in the rainy season from the 
mountains, deluge the lower lands, so as to 
ensure good rice crops. Between Sylhet and 
China only a few hundred miles intervene, 
but the country is utterly wild and inhos- 
pitable. 

IluxGroRE district is situated between the 
twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth degree of north 
latitude. It contains little to characterise it 
as a district. In the neighbourhood of the 
town of Goalpara there are some descendants 
of the Portngiiese settlers, who were thiis 
described a few years ago by a gentleman 
acquainted with their condition : — " Here they 
are termed Choldar, which seems to be a cor- 
ruption of soldier. None of them can either 
read or write ; onlj' two or three know a few 
words of Portuguese, and they have entirely 
adopted the dress of the natives. The only 
European customs they retain are that the 
women courtesy, and the men show, by the 
motion of the hand as they pass, that they 
would take off their hat if they had one. 
Notwithstandinu,' the want of this distin- 
giiished covering, the men retain some portion 
of European activity, and are much feared by 
the natives, who employ them as n.essengers 
in making a demand, such as the payment of 
a debt, to a compliance with which they think 
a little fear may contribute. The females 
gain a subsistence chiefly by sewing, and dis- 
tilling spirituous liquors, of which last article 
the men consume as much as tliey can aftord, 
and retail tlie remainder. Concerning the 
Christian religion they appear to know little 
or nothing, nor have they any priests. Some- 
times they go to Bawul, near Dacca, in order 
to procure a priest to marry them, but in 
general this is too expensive, and they con- 
tent themselves Avith the public acknowledg- 
ment of their marriages." The districts and 
towns thus described are all that can, within 
the limits of a work like the present, be 
selected for notice in the Bengal province. 

VOL. I. 



Within the jirusldency of Bengal is another 
province, that of Bahar, called "Cooch Bahar," 
to distinguish it from the province of wdiich 
Patna is the capital. The natural character 
of the province, and the social character of 
the people, differ too little from those of the 
province of Bengal and its inhabitants for 
particular detail. The old capital of Bahar 
was once the metropolis of both provinces ; it 
is called Gour. The present town is insignifi- 
cant, but the ruins of the once great city are 
extensive and interesting, and deserve notice 
here. They have been thus described by one 
who had the best opportunity for ascertaining 
the accuracy of what he wrote : — " The ruins 
of this town extend along the banks of the 
Old Ganges, and probably occupy a space of 
twenty square miles, which, as Indian cities 
are usually built, would not contain any very 
enormous population. Several villages now 
stand on its site, and eight market-places, 
sufficiently contiguous to form a town, have 
been estimated to contain three thousand 
houses, many of which are of brick, procured 
from the debris of the ancient city. Some 
progress has also been made in bringing the 
surface under cultivation, but the undertaking- 
is much impeded by the great number of 
dirty tanks, swarming Avith alligators, mus- 
quitoes. and all sorts of vermin, and choked 
up with pestilential vapours. The soil is of 
extraordinary fertility, and well suited for 
the mango and mulberry. The principal 
ruins are a mosque, built of a black stone, 
called by former visitors marble, but Dr. 
Francis Buchanan considered it to be the 
black hornblende, or indurated pitstone, as 
he could not discover one piece of marble, 
either of the calcareous or of the harder kind. 
The bricks, which are of a most solid compo- 
sition, have been sold, and carried away to 
iMaldah, and the neighbouring towns on the 
Mohamanda, and even Moorshedabad has 
been supplied Avith bricks from this mass. 
The situation of Gour is nearly central to the 
populous part of Bengal and Bahar, and not 
far from the junction of the principal rivers 
which form the excellent inland navigation. 
Lying to the east of the Ganges, it AA'as 
secured as'ainst anv sudden invasion from the 
onh^ quarter Avhere hostile operations might 
be apprehended. No part of the site of 
ancient Gour is nearer to the present bank of 
the Ganges than four miles and a half, and 
some parts AA'hich Avere originally Avashed by 
that river are noAV twelve miles from it. A 
small stream that runs past it communicates 
Avith its Avest side, and is naA-igable during 
the rainy seasons. On the east, and in some 
places AA-ithin two miles, it has the Mahamuddy 
Piiver, Avhich is always navigable, and com- 

M 



82 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. III. 



mnnicates ■witli tlie Gan2:es. The name of 
Gouv id apparently derived from guv, wliicli 
both in the ancient and modern languages of 
India signifies raw sugar, and from the San- 
scrit term for manufactured sugar (sarcara) 
are derived the Persian, Greek, Latin, and 
modern European names of the cane and its 
produce. Goura, or, as it is commonly called, 
Bengalese, is the language spoken in the 
country of which the ancient city of Gour 
Avas the capital, and still prevails in all the 
districts of Bengal, excejiting some tracts on 
the frontier, hut it is spoken in the greatest 
purity througliout the eastern, or Dacca divi- 
sion of the province. Although Goura be 
the name of Bengal, yet the Brahmins who 
bear that appellation are not inhabitants of 
Bengal, but of Upper Hindoostan. They 
reside chiefly in tlie province of Delhi, while 
the Brahmins of Bengal are avowed colonists 
from Kanoje." 

The province of Bahar, in distinction from 
Avhich the district of Bahar in the Bengal 
province is called " Cooch Bahar," lies to the 
north and north-west of the Bengal province, 
and within the Bengal presidency. It is 
situated between the twenty-second and 
twenty-seventh degrees of north latitude. 
It is one of the most fertile and populous 
portions of the Bengal presidency. Its prin- 
cipal rivers are the Ganges, the Sone, the 
Gunduck, the Duramodah, the Garamnassa, 
and the Dewah. The inhabitants are more 
robust than those of the Bengal province. 
The productions of the soil are also more in 
harmony with European wants and tastes, 
arising from the higher latitude. The reli- 
gion of the people is Brahminical. Gaya, the 
birtliplace of Buddha, is within the province, 
but the Buddhists were either driven out by 
the Brahmins, or made to feign conversion to 
their teaching. Pilgrims, however, repair to 
Gaya from great distances, whose zeal for 
Buddhism prompts them to seek the birth- 
place of the founder of their religion. The 
Jains also take an interest in that place, AA-here 
they allege their religion flourished before 
that of the Buddhists, Avhich is not probable. 
In South Bahar the language spoken is called 
Magodha ; it appears to be derived from the 
Sanscrit, and has a close affinity also to 
Bengalee and Ilindoostanee. One-fourth of 
the population profess the Mohammedan 
religion. 

The district of Tyrhoot is situated in the 
north -AA-est corner of the Bahar province. It is 
chiefly AA'ithin the twenty -seventh and twenty- 
eighth degrees of north latitude. The country 
is hilly, and the tea-plant has been recently 
discovered on the slopes of the hifls as an 
indigenous production. The country is 



well Avatered, but portions of it are subject 
to terrible inundations from the too rapid 
increase of the Gunduck River in the rainy 
season. SeA'eral instances haA'e occiirred 
Avithin a feAV years in AA-hich the sudden rush 
of the flood has swept away the strongest 
dykes and barriers erected to resist it, carry- 
ing desolation oA'er a large area. The ordinary 
depth of AAater in the riA'ers is insufficient for 
commercial j^urposes. The district is remark- 
able for its excellent breed of horses, in Avhich 
the loAver parts of Bengal are so deficient. It 
is considered much healthier than Bengal 
projier, or CA-en the loAver grounds of Bahar. 
The Gunduck RiA^er, by Avliich it is chiefly 
Avatered, is, near its source, called the Sal- 
grami, from the schistous stones, containing 
the remains or traces of ammonites, being 
found in the bed of the stream. These are 
small round stones, about three or four inches 
in diameter ; they are perforated sometimes 
in several places by Avorms. The spiral re- 
treats of antediluvian moUuscas, being taken 
by the superstitious Hindoos for "A-isible 
traces of Vishnu," are AA'orshipped under the 
designation of Salgrams. Some of these 
bring a great price, as much as £200 having 
been given by Avcalthy natives for one. The 
folloAving is the account AAdiich Hindoo legend 
giA^es of their title to the high reverence in 
Avhich they are held : — Vishnu, the PreserA^er, 
created nine planets, to regulate the destinies 
of the human race. Sane (Saturn) commenced 
his reign by projiosing to Brahma that he 
(Brahma) should submit to his influence for 
twelve years. Brahma referred hi)n to Vishnu, 
but he Avas equally averse to the baleful in- 
fluence of this planet, and therefore desired 
him to call next day. On Saturn's departure, 
Vishnu meditated hoAv he coiild escape the 
misery of a tweh'e years' subjugation to so 
inauspicious a luminary, and the result Avas 
that he assumed the form of a mountain. 
Next day Saturn Avas not able to find Vishnu, 
but soon discovered that he had become the 
mountain Gandaki, into A\-hich the persecuting 
Saturn immediately entered in the form of a 
Avorra, called Vagra Kita (the thunderbolt 
Avorm), and began to perforate the stones of 
tlie mountain, and in this manner he perse- 
vered in afflicting the animated mountain for 
the twelve years, the space of time comprised 
in his original demand. At the end of this 
sufi"ering the deity Vishnu resumed his OAA-n 
form, and directed that the stones of the 
moimtain Gandaki should be in future Avor- 
shipped. On being asked by Brahma how 
the genuine stones might be distinguished, 
he said they AA'oidd have tAventy-one marks — 
the same number that were on his body. 
Since that time the Salgrams of the river 



Chap. III.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



83 



Giinduck * Lave been revered with idolatrous 
veneration. During the hot months the 
Brahmins suspend a pan, perforated with a 
hole, through which the water drops on the 
stone, and keeps it cool, and being caught 
below in another pan, is in the evening drank 
by them as an act of great piety and sanctify- 
ing efticacy. The Brahmins sell these stones, 
although trafficking in images is generally 
held by them to be dishonourable. It is for- 
bidden in the sacred books to bathe in this 
river, ■\ all devout Hindoos, therefore, abstain 
from ablutions there. 

Of tlie Bahar province the principal district 
is the central one, which is called by the 
name of the province ; there is not sufficient 
distinctive interest in the other districts to 
require separate notices in this general out- 
line. The greater part of the district is level 
and fertile, but there are many hills, rudely 
broken, and naked. These are frequently 
insulated, rising abruptly from the plain, and 
producing an effect upon the landscape more 
peculiar than picturcsqiie, but relieving the 
level sameness of the country. The heart of 
the district contains three distinct clusters of 
these hills, but they are all of little elevation. 
The Ganges w-aters the lower regions of the 
district, and is generally deeji, nowhere ford- 
able, and of considerable expanse, the average 
width bein<:^ a mile. There are other rivers 
which also contribute their irrigating influ- 
ence to the fertile plain- — as the Sone, the 
Punpun, the Mai'ahar, the Dardha, the 
Phalgu, the Loeri, the Panekene ; nume- 
rous branches of these rivers flow in various 
directions. The climate of the Bahar district 
is much cooler than even the nearest neigh- 
bourhoods to the south, so that in winter the 
natives kindle fires to sleep by. In the eai-ly 
summer hot parching winds dry up every 
vestige of vegetation. The district is remark- 
able for its places of pilgrimage. There are 
the river Punpun, the toA^Ti of Gaya, Raja- 
griha, Baikuntha, on the Pangchane, Loha- 
danda, near Giriyak, and Chuyaban Muni. 
The first four X3f these are much more fre- 
quented than the last two named. 

Patna is the modern capital of Bahar. It is 
situated on the right bank of the Ganges, three 
hundred and twenty miles north -Avest of Cal- 
cutta, eight hundred from Bombay, and nine 
hundred and ten from Madras. The population 
numbers about three hundred and twenty thou- 

* In Northern Hindoostan tlie name Guuduck is a 
general appellation for a river. 

t Some interesting papers have lately appeared in the 
journals of the Bombay Geographical Society in reference 
to the som'ce and current of the river Gunduck, and the 
formation of the idolised stones, hut these papers are too 
minute in their topographical notices, and too much in 
detail to give even an abstract of them in these pages. 



sand. This city is in many respects well situated, 
and of importance. The Ganges is there five 
miles wide, and during the rainy seasons it 
seems to spread into a sea, the opposite shore 
being scarcely discernible. Beyond the 
suburbs the river divides into two branches, 
forming an island nine miles in length. The 
town and neighbourhood are by no means 
amongst the most pleasant in India for the 
residence of Europeans, for in the rainy season 
the whole vicinage is a A'ast mire, such as our 
troops found the Crimea in the Avinters of 
their campaign ; Avhereas in summer, like the 
Crimea also, the dust is blinding, and inces- 
santly AA'hirled about by eddying Avinds. The 
ghauts are aa'cII constructed and imposing, 
and the stores are extensive. Being a great 
centre of the opium traffic, it is a busy place, 
and it has also considerable trade AA-ith the 
interior, especially Avith Nepaul, Avheuce the 
Patna merchants bring wax, gold-dust, bull- 
tails, musk, woollen cloth named tush, and a 
variety of medicinal herbs. Saltpetre is sent 
down to Calcutta. There used to be consider- 
able manufacturing activity — muslin, dimity, 
(fee, Avere made to a considerable extent, but 
since the poppy became the chief exjiort, the 
produce of the loom has fallen off: the manu- 
factures of Eno-land also come into successful 
competition. 

The city of Gaya is a riA'al of Patna ; it is 
the sacred capital of the district, as Patna is 
the commercial. It is divided into an old and 
new toAvn. The former, inhabited chiefly by 
priests and other sacred persons, is built on a 
rock, AA-hich is elevated betAA'cen a hill and the 
river Fulgo. The commercial portion lies in 
the plain by the river. Like Patna, dust in 
the hot Aveather, and mud in the rainy weather, 
render the lower town, at all CA'ents, intoler- 
able. The heat is excessive, the population 
dense, the pilgrims numerous, noisy, and 
filthy, and the inhabitants seem to have a 
partiality for being cooped up in the narroAvest 
streets and most unpleasant dwelling-places. 
The morality of the place is no better than 
its physical condition ; it reqiiires all the 
A'igilance of the police to prcA^eut the pilgrims 
from being plundered, many of Avhom arrive 
Avearing jewels, and in possession of otlier 
Avealth. The AA'orst class of inhabitants are 
the priests, Avho arc openly dissolute, and 
every AA'ay dishonest. 

Buddha Gaya is a neighbouring place, and 
may be called a city of ruins. Buchanan de- 
scribed it as, in his time, " situated in a plain 
of great extent Avest of the Nilajan River, and 
consisting of immense irregular heaps of brick 
and stone, Avith some traces of having been 
formerly regularly arranged, but vast quan- 
tities of the interior have been removed, and 



84: 



HISTORY OP THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. III. 



the rest appear almost shapeless. The number 
of images scattered aromid this place for 
fifteen or twenty miles is astonishing, yet 
they appear all to have belonged to the 
great temple or its vicinity. Buddha Gaya 
was probably at one time the centre of a reli- 
gion, and residence of a powerful king ; the 
most remarkable modern edifice is a convent 
of Samryassies." 

The town of Dinapore is also in the district 
of Bahar, and will, unfortunately, be memo- 
rable to Englishmen as one of the centres of 
mutiny in the great military revolt of 1857. 
It is situated on the south bank of the Ganges, 
eleven miles west of Patna. Previous to the 
late revolt, the military buildings were very 
fine, being much superior to those even in 
England. Both the officers and men, espe- 
cially in the European regiments, were quar- 
tered in large airy apartments. There are 
many private houses of convenience and 
beauty occupied by military men and civilians. 
Good roads, well cultivated country, and 
pleasant gardens, exist all around. During 
the military insurrection much damage was 
done to the cantonments, and to private pro- 
perty in the neighbourhood. 

The division of Cuttack, attached to the 
Bengal government, is an interesting portion 
of the territory, lying Avithin the province of 
Orissa, which is included in the ancient 
boundaries of the Deccan; for although Orissa 
was not included by name in the Mogid 
Deccan, it geographicall}" pertains to it, and 
is regarded by the natives as part of it. The 
general character of the British possessions 
in tlie large province of Orissa resembles that 
of the Deccan at large, a description of which 
is not appropriate here. It may be observed, 
however, that the account given by an old 
"writer of its commercial disadvantages is still 
applicable, although the inllaence and exer- 
tions of the Bengal and ]\[adras governments 
have effected a great improvement in the 
means of internal communication and traffic : 
— " The rivers are too impetuous for naviga- 
tion when they are swollen by periodical 
rains, and in the hot season too shalloA^-, 
except near their junction with the sea, 
which is invariably obstructed by sand-banks. 
Under these circumstances, the transportation 
of grain from one place to another became at 
an early period an occupation of considerable 
importance, the roads being nearly as impass- 
able for \Aheel carriages as the rivers were for 
boats. The whole of this great interchange 
has in consequence been always transported 
on bullocks, the property of a class of people 
named Bunjarics, not aboriginal natives of 
the country, but mostly emigrants from Raj- 
pootana,'' 



The condition of a large portion of the 
province of Orissa is unfavourable. The 
coimtry is Avild, and the peojDle still nrore 
wild. The territory has been of late years 
much attended to l)y the government of Cal- 
cutta. Balasore, in Northern Cuttack, is a 
civil station. This place is situated on the 
south side of the Booree Bellaun River, about 
one hundred and twenty -five miles south-west 
of Calcutta. The river has considerable 
de23th, but its channel is narrow, and its 
banks marshy. At the mouth there is a bar, 
over which no vessel can pass, even at spring- 
tides, which draws more than fifteen feet of 
Avater. The Portuguese and Dutch had fac- 
tories at Balasore, and the place was noted 
for its manufactures, Avhicli have fallen away 
before European competition. The native 
vessels employed in coasting are small but 
well built, and well adapted to the employ- 
ment in which they are engaged. Cuttack 
town is also a civil station of the Bengal 
government. It has fine militarj'' canton- 
ments, and is remarkable for its emltaidc- 
ments, faced Avith cut stone, to resist the 
inundations of the 31ahamuddy and Cutjoury 
Rivers. 

The district is most remarkable as contain- 
ing the shrine of Juggernaut. The town 
adjacent is called Pooree and Pursottam. It 
is more than three hundred miles from Cal- 
cutta. In 1813 voluminous parliamentary 
papers Avere published concerning the pil- 
grimages to the temple of Juggernairt, Some 
of the missionaries — Dr. Carey, the celebrated 
Baptist missionary, among the number — have 
considered that more than a million persons 
annually A-isited this chief resort of fanaticism. 
The folloAA-ing account of the place, and the 
scenes enacted there, is as appalling as it is, 
unhappily, correct : — 

'"The temple containing the idol is an ill- 
formed shapeless mass of deca3-cd granite, no 
Avay remarkable but as an object of Hindoo 
veneration, situated about one mile and a 
half from the shore. The country around is 
extremely sterile, the tower and temple being 
encompassed by Ioav sand hills. From the 
sea the temple or pagoda forms an excellent 
landmark on a coast AA'ithout any discrimi- 
nating oliject for navigators. It is surrounded 
by a large, populous, filthy, ill-built toAvn, 
called Pooree, inhabited by a bad-looking, 
sickly Hindoo 2:)opulation, composed mostly 
of tlie officiating priests, and officers attached 
to the A'arious departments dependent on the 
idoL For ten miles in circumference round 
the temple on the land-side, taking the temple 
for the central point and the sea-shore for 
the chord, the space enclosed thereby is called 
the holy land of Juggernaut, its sanctity 



CuAr. III.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



85 



beiucT esteemed such as to ensure future beati- 
tude to the Hindoo who dies within its 
bounds. By Abuul Fazel, in 1582, this pLace 
is described as follows : — ' In the tower of 
Poorsottem, on the banka of the sea, stands 
the temple of Jagnauth, near to which are 
the imaq-es of Kishni, his brother, and their 
sister, made of sandal-wood, which are said 
to be foiir thousand years old.' 

" With respect to the origin of this image, 
wc have the following legend, narrated in 
various mythological histories : — Augada, a 
hunter, while engaged in the chase, discharged 
an arrow, but, instead of hitting the prey for 
which it was intended, it pierced Krishna, 
who happened to be sitting under a tree, so 
that he died, and some unknown person hav- 
ing collected the bones of that incarnation, 
he put them into a box. 

" About this time a king named Indra- 
dhuwua was performing austere worship to 
Vishnu, who directed him to form the image 
of Juggernaut, and to put the bones into its 
belly, by the doing of which action he would 
obtain the fruit of his devotion. The king 
asked Avho would make the image, and was 
told Viswacarma, the architect of the gods. 
To this deified mechanic he in consequence 
began to perform a\istere worship, which had 
such efficacy, that Viswacarma undertook to 
finish the job in one month, provided he was 
not disturbed. He accordingly commenced 
by building a temple upon an elevation called 
the Blue jlountain, in (Ji-issa, in the course of 
one night, and then began to form the image 
in the temple ; but the king was impatient, 
and after fifteen days went and looked at the 
image, in consequence of which Viswacarma 
refused to go on, and left it unfinished. The 
king was much disconcerted, and in his dis- 
tress offered up prayers to Brahma, who told 
him not to grieve too much, for he would 
make the image famous even in its present 
imperfect shape. Being thus encouraged. 
King Indradhuwua invited all the demigods 
to attend the sitting of it up, on which occa- 
sion Brahma gave it eyes, and, by performing 
worship to it, established its fame. Accord- 
ing to report, the original image lies in a pool 
at Juggernaut Kshetra, and it is always said 
that every third year the Brahmins construct 
a new one, into Avhich the bones of Krishna 
are removed, and that while performing this 
exchange the officiating Brahmin acts with 
his eyes bandaged, lest the eifulgence of the 
sacred relics should strike him dead. The 
image exhibited at present is a carved block 
of wood, having a frightful visage, painted 
black, with a distended mouth of a bloody 
colour, the eyes and head very large, without 
legs or hands and only fractions of arms, but 



at grand ceremonies he is supjjlied with gold 
or silver arms. In tl>e interior the attending 
Brahmins bathe, wipe hira, and carry hini 
about like the stump of a tree. The other 
two idols of his brother and sister are of a 
white and yellow colour, and each have dis- 
tinct places allotted them within the temple. 

" The ralli, or car, on which these divinities 
are elevated, sixty feet high, resembles the 
general form of Hindoo pagodas, supported 
by very strong frames, placed on four or five 
rows of wheels, which deeply indent the 
ground as they turn under their ponderous 
load. He is accompanied by two other idols, 
his brother Bubraw, and his sister Shubudra, 
who sit on thrones nearly of equal height. The 
upper part of the cars are covered with English 
broadcloth, supplied by the British govern- 
ment, and are striped red and white, blue 
and yellow, and decorated with streamers and 
other ornaments. Both the walls of the 
temple and sides of the machine are covered 
with indecent sculptures. During the Ruth 
Jattra, the celebration of which varies from 
the middle of June to the middle of July, 
according to the hmar year, the three images 
are brought forth with much ceremonv and 
uproar, and having mounted their carriage, 
the immense machine is pushed and dragged 
along, amidst the shouts and clamour of a 
prodigious multitude, to what is called the 
idols' garden-house, or coimtry residence, 
distant from the temple only one mile and a 
half, but the motion is so slow, that the get- 
ting over this space usually occupies three or 
four days. On these occasions scenes of great 
horror frequently occur, both from accident 
and self-devotion, under the wheels of the 
tower, Avhich, passing over the body of the 
victim, inflict instant death, by crushing the 
body to pieces, and their bruised and lace- 
rated carcasses are frequently left exposed 
on the spot for many days after their destruc- 
tion. 

" The appellation of Juggernaiit (Jagat 
Natha, lord of the world) is merely one of 
the thousand names of Vishnu, the preserving 
power, according to the Brahminical theology. 

" The concourse of pilgrims to this temple 
is so immense, that at fifty miles distance its 
approach may be known by the quantity of 
human bones which are strewed by the way. 
Some old persons come to die at Juggernaut, 
and many measure the distance by their 
length on the ground ; but, besides these 
voluntary sufferings, many endure great 
hardships, both when travelling and while 
they reside here, from exposure to the 
weather, bad food and water, and other evils. 
Many perish by dysentery, and the surround- 
ina- countrv abounds with skulls and human 



86 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. IV. 



bones : biit tlie vicinity of Juggernaut to tlie 
sea, and the arid nature of the soil, assist to 
prevent the contagion which would otherwise 
be generated. When this object of their 
misplaced veneration is first perceived, the 
multitude of pilgrims shout aloud, and fall to 
the ground to worship it." 

The government used to keep the temple in 
repair, and levied a tax upon the pilgrims ; the 
revenue derived exceeded the expenditi;re ; 
but public indignation was aroused against a 
connection of any kind existing between the 
Sfovernment and a source of crime and ruin 
to the bodies and souls of such mvdtitudes, and 
the government deferred to public opinion in 
this matter. 

In the Bengal provinces there are the fol- 
lowing civil stations :— Backergunge, Bala- 
sore (North Cuttack), Baraset, Beerbhoom, 
Behar, Bhaugulpore, Bogoorah, BuUooah, 
Burdwan, Calcutta, Chittagong Cuttack, Cut- 
tack (tributary mehals), Dacca, Dinajepore, 
Hoogly, Jessore, Khoonda (South Cuttack), 
Maldah,I\Iidnapore,Monaghyr, Moorshedabad, 
Mymensing, Noakhalu, Nuddea, Patna, Pubna, 
Purneah, Rajshaleye, Rungpore, Saruu, Shah- 
abad, Suuderbunds, Sylhet, Tyrhoot, Tijjpc- 
rah, twentv-four Pera'unnahs. 



The military stations of the Bengal army ex- 
tend through the north-west provinces as well 
as those of Bengal proper. They are as follow ; 
— Agra, Akyab, Allahabad, Allyghur, Ally- 
pore, Almorah, Bancoorah, Banclah, Bareilly, 
Barrackpore, Beaur, Baitool, Bisnauth (As- 
sam), Benares, Bhopawar, Bhurtj^ore, Bhau- 
gulpore, Burdwan, Berhampore, Buxar, Cawn- 
pore, Chenab Poonjie, Chinsurah, Chittagong, 
or Islamabad, Chunar, Dacca, Delhi, Deyra 
Dhoon, Dorundah (Chotab Nagpore), Dina- 
pore, Dum Dum, Etawah, Fort William, or 
Calcutta, Futtehghur, Ghazepore, Goruck- 
pore, Gorvahati (Assam), Gurrawarrah Am- 
ritsir, Dera Ishmail Khan, Gurdaspore, Fero- 
zopore, Jailum, Hosungabad, Hazarbaugh, 
Hansi, Hawaulbaugh, Juanpore, Jubbulpore, 
Jumaulpore, Kurnaul, Kuttack, Loodhianal, 
Lohooghaut, Lucknow, Muttra, Meerut, IMid- 
napore, Mynpooree, Mirzaj^ore, Moorshed- 
abad, Moradabad, JMliow, Mullye, Mundlaisir, 
Neemuch, Nusseerabad, Patna, Petoraghur, 
Saugor, Secrole (Benares), Sutapore (Oude), 
Seharunpore, Shaghehanpore, Syler, Sultan- 
pore (Benares), Sultaupore (Oude), Khyouk 
Phyoo, Peshawur, Rawil Pindee, Wuzeer- 
abad, Attock, Lahore, Mooltan, Sealkote, 
Mutala. 



CHAPTER IV. 

DISTRICTS AND CITIES r'Cow^m?'^^^'— NORTH-WESTERN PROVINCES. 



It has been explained that the north-western 
l^roviuces, although connected with the Ben- 
gal presidency, have a separate administration 
from the Bengal provinces, under a lieutenant- 
governor. The militarj" stations are occupied 
by the army of Bengal, and are included in 
the list which closes the last chapter. The 
civil stations of the north-western ju'ovinces 
are as follow : — x\gra, Allahabad, Altyghur, 
Azinghur, Bandah (South Bundelcund), Ba- 
reilly, Benares, Bolundshuhiir, Cawnpore, 
Delhi, Etawah, or Mynporee, Furruckabad, 
Futtehpore, Ghazepore, Goorgaon (South 
Delhi), Goruckpore, Humeerpore (North 
Bundelcund), Juanpore, IMeerut, Mirzapore, 
Moradabad, Mozufternugger, Muttra, Pilli- 
bheet, Seharunpore, Saheswan, Shahjehan- 
pore, Hurreanah (West Delhi), Panipnt 
(North Delhi), Butaulah, Gogaira, Gujerat, 
jhung, Pindee Daden Khan, Shahpore, 
Shaskhpoora. 

Referring to the north-western provinces, 
the Times contained the followino: statement 
in a recent article : — " This government em- j 
braces the richest and most favoured countries I 



of Hindoostan, and comprehends a fourth of 
even the enormous population of India. It 
represents a presidency in itself, and, indeed, 
had at one time been so constituted, thousch 
the idea was never actually carried out, and 
Agra still remains a dependency of Calcutta." 
Allahabad is the province of the north- 
western government which lies nearest to 
Bengal, and is situated between the twenty- 
fourth and twenty-sixth degrees of north 
latitude. Watered b,y the Ganges, Jumna, 
Geyn, Seroo, Bii-mah, Arana, Caramnassa, and 
smaller rivers, the irrigation is adequate. It 
is a ver}'' productive province, the lands near 
the Gausses and the Jumna beino: exceedinarlv 
fertile ; the upper parts are rocky, hilly, and 
bold. Opium, sugar, indigo, cotton, salt- 
petre, and diamonds, are the chief produc- 
tions. The district which bears the general 
name of the province j)roduces excellent 
wheat, barley, peas, beans, and plants of 
various kinds, yielding oils and dyes. It was 
at one time famous for its manufacture of 
cotton cloth, and still a considerable quantity 
is made there. 



Chap. IV.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



87 



The gateway is a tasteful Grecian 
The government house is a fine 



The town of Allahabad is very famous in 
its religious, military, and commercial im- 
portance, although less so in the last-named 
respect than in the other sources of celebrity. 
Mr. Hamilton remarks : — " In every district 
subordinate to the English authority through- 
out Hindoostan the state of the police is the 
most important feature of its history, and its 
jail the most imposing edifice." This can 
hardly apply to the city of Allahabad, which 
is more noted for its splendid fort than for 
any other building. It is placed on a tongue 
of land about a quarter of a mile from the 
city ; one side of the site is washed by the 
Jumna, and on the other the Ganges flows 
very near. The tliird side, near the land, is 
regidar as a fortification, and exceedingly 
strong, 
erection. 

S2)acious, convenient building. There is also 
a superior barrack. The river site of this 
town adapts it to internal trade and military 
defence. Except the river scenery, the im- 
mediate neighbourhood is not fertile nor 
picturesque. The population is not nume- 
rous. The distance from Calcutta is a little 
less than five hundred miles, from Bombay 
seven hundred, and from ]\[adras eight hun- 
dred and fifty. It is eminently holy to Hin- 
doo associations ; this arises from the conflu- 
ence of the Ganges and the Jumna ; and the 
natives allege that there is a subterranean 
river, named Lereswati, which forms a junction 
with both. Those who perform the prescribed 
ceremonies at this spot have, therefore, treble 
merit, and accordingly great numbers, having 
visited Gaya and Benares, here also pay their 
tribute of devotion to the gods. Some of the 
ceremonies are of a nature singularly to ex- 
hibit the prostration of the native mind luider 
the debasing power of idolatry. One of these 
is to sit by the river's brink while the head 
is shaved, the devotee and the operator taking 
care that every hair shall drop into the river, 
as the result ensures a million of years in 
heaven for every hair thus received by the 
sacred confluence. Another ceremony, having 
more serious concomitant.*, is jDcrformed in 
the centre of the stream, the devotee having 
three water-bottles attached to his girdle, 
plunges into the deep, and is swept away ; 
this is his passage to immortal bliss. Life is 
often sacrificed in the struggle of competitive 
pilgrims for the most sacred spots, and at the 
most canonical junctures of time. 

BcNDELCuND is a wild district of great ex- 
tent and comparatively small population ; it is 
liillv- — the hills ruo-ged and rough, but covered 
in most places with low coppice. This dis- 
trict is celebrated for its diamond mines. 
These are situated in the plain of Punnah, 



which extends for several miles round the 
town of that name. This elevated level is 
gravelly, and a great variety of beautiful 
pebbles are to be found there, among them 
diamonds. These "diamond mines" are al- 
leged to be the Punassa of Ptolemj-. The 
profits of Avorking them are insignificant, yet 
some fine diamonds are occasionally found. 

The town of Punnah occupies a very ele- 
vated site in latitude 24° 45' north, longitude 
80° 13' east. It is not very populous, and 
has few good houses. Its temples and idols 
are out of proportion numerous. Many of 
the former are of superior architecture, and 
the latter are generally adorned with precious 
stones ; one idol had some j'cars ago an ej'^e 
which consisted of a diamond of the highest 
brilliancy, and very great value. Ruins of 
forts, tombs, a palace, and other ancient works 
are picturesque, especially as being in keep- 
ing with the barren plain which stretches 
away in every direction. 

Cawxpore is a district which formerly 
belonged to Gude, and is for the most part 
comprehended in the Doab* of the Ganges 
and the Jumna. The soil is productive : 
wheat, barley, Indian corn, and most Euro- 
pean vegetables thrive. Many Euro])ean 
fruits also come to perfection there. The 
town of Cawnpore has obtained a horrid noto- 
riety in connection with the massacre perpe- 
trated there in 1857 by the Bengal mutineers. 
It stands on the west side of the Ganges, lati- 
tude 26° 30' north, and longitude 80° 13' east. 
It has been considered an important military 
station, capable of affording quarters in bar- 
rack to more than ten thousand soldiers. The 
officers nevertheless live in their own bun- 
galows, wdiich are convenient and hand-- 
some. The dust is intolerable during the 
summer season over a large area in the neigh- 
bourhood of the town. In history Cawnpore 
is noted as a field of many battles, but none 
will be remembered Avith such interest by 
British readers as the defeats sustained by 
the infamous Nana Sahib from the arms of 
Ilavelock and Neill in 1857, during their 
efforts to relieve the garrison, women and 
children, afterwards so cruelly massacred. 

Benares was the name of an important 
district in the Allahabad province ; now it is 
a separate division or province. It is remark- 
able for fertility ; and also for the forest -like 
appearance of the landscape, affording shelter 
to men and cattle from the burning sun of 
the summer months, which is very intense, 

* This is a name given by llie Hindoos to a tract of 
land lying between two rivers. Tlie Doab of the Ganges 
and the Jumna is the most noted, and is comprised partly 
in the province of Allahabad, and partly in the provinces 
of A'-cra and Delhi. 



88 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. IV 



altliougli in tlie ^vintel■ fires are not disagree- 
able to Europeans, and are eagerly enjoyed 
by the natives. The diseases of dysentery 
and rheimiatism prevail much in the district, 
and Europeans are also much affected by 
them. The city of Benares is one of the 
most celebrated in India : it is situated 25^^ oO' 
north latitude, and 83^ 1' east longitude. Tlie 
population is about three-quarters of a mil- 
lion. The Ganges flows past it in a sweep of 
about four miles, and the city is built on the 
external curve, where the ground is elevated, 
and slopes up from the river. The city is 
therefore visible for a great distance, and to 
the river and the opposite banks presents a 
beautiful appearance, the streets and buildings 
rising in tiers from the water's edge to the 
summit of the high bank which they crown. 
On a small scale, Algiers might give some 
notion of the picturesque effect of this ar- 
rangement ; or to those who are untravelled 
beyond our own isles, the towns of Youghall 
and Cove, in the county of Cork in Ireland, 
may, on a very minute scale, afford the idea. 
The streets are narrow, just admitting the 
free passage of a horseman. In many places 
passages over the streets exist from the win- 
dows or terraced roofs of the high houses, 
Avhich are built of stone or brick ; formerly, 
the Brahmins allege, thc}^ were built of gold, 
but turned into stone in consequence of the 
deficient respect shown by their possessors to 
the Brahmins ; and also in consequence of 
some other deviations from tlie supposed right 
way, less creditable to the delinquents. Ac- 
cording to the traditions of the Brahmins, 
the city does not belong to the earth- — the 
earth resting upon Amanta, the many-headed 
serpent (eternity) ; but Benares is borne up 
by Siva upon his trident, so that no earth- 
quake ever sends its vibrations through the 
foimdations of the great city. This is the 
more obliging of Siva, inasmuch as his proper 
vocation is destruction. The city is inhabited 
chiefly, as to the better classes of its inhabit- 
ants, by Brahmins, who are represented to 
live there in numbers out of all proportion to 
the rest of the inhabitants. These Brahmins 
have, in many cases, private property ; and 
in many instances also they enjoy stipends 
allowed them by rich Hindoos and princes in 
all parts of India, for the purpose of perform- 
ing in their behalf such religious ceremonies 
as must be performed on the spot. There 
are numerous Hindoos of wealth, rank, and 
political consecpience, who take up their 
abode there becaxise of the facilities offered 
by so holy a place for "making their salva- 
tion." According to the Brahmins, Benares 
is "the Holy City :" even a European dying- 
there may go to heaven — a privilege ako 



extended to Juggernaut. Tlie religious in- 
stitutions, of every description — temples, 
shrines, sacred ghauts, schools, etc. — are 
amazingly mmierous. Schools and ghauts 
have been endowed by rich Hindoos as acts 
of piety or penance, so that the youth of the 
place are instructed in Hindoo religion, law, 
and literature with great zeal ; and the beau- 
tiful apitroaehes from the river to the streets 
of the cit}' are niunerous beyond all compari- 
son with those of other towns. Nearly in the 
centre of the city there is a mosque, built by 
the Emperor Aurungzebe. It is placed on 
the higliest point of land, and open to the 
river, so that it is in view of the Avhole sur- 
rounding country, and from the Ganges and 
its opposite bank. The Mohnmmedans are 
not numerous— they are generally computed 
at one to twenty as numerically compared 
with the Hindoos ; but this is probably too 
high a proportion to give them. The mosque 
was built by them in the day of their power, 
upon the site of a heathen temple, removed 
for the purpose, and as an act of defiance to 
tlie Ilincloos. There is now a splendid tem- 
ple, which was built in the last century. 

Although Benares depends much for its 
wealth and population upon its reputation 
for sanctity, pilgrims in vast numbers con- 
stantly visiting and expending their Avealth 
there, yet there are natives who grow rich by 
commerce ; and it is a depot of Indian manu- 
factures, and for the diamonds wliich are 
brought do^^'n from Bundelcund, for the lower 
provinces. It is also celebrated for its lapi- 
daries and workmen in gold. More jewels 
are polished in Benares than in any city of the 
East. A good modern writer describes it as 
"more eastern in character than the general 
run of Hindoo towns;" but all the Hindoo 
towns are thoroughly eastern in character, 
except where their existence is merely mo- 
dern, and dej^endent upon military canton- 
ments. Even the sea-board cities of Bombay 
and Madras, and the capital where the seat 
of erovernment is. are oriental in their clia- 
racter, notwithstanding the presence of Euro- 
pean officials,, merchants, and troops. 

For more than half a century Benares has 
belonged to the company ; and although 
fcAver Europeans reside within it than any 
other great city in India, it has been most 
peaceable. There is a general appreciation 
among the wealthy natives of the security of 
person and property afforded by the company, 
as contrasted with the insecurity in the native 
states ; and this feeling is much upheld by 
the pilgrims whose journeys through the 
British possessions are safe, but insecure in 
the dominions of native princes, \Ahere they 
are often plundered of their jewels, ornaments. 




4 

is 



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'^jStefe 



Chap. IV.] 



IN INDlxV AND THE EAST. 



89 



and money, -wliicli it i.s well known many of 
them carry to a large value. During the 
great mutiny of Bengal troops, it was gene- 
rally supposed that the peojjle of Eenares, 
excited by fanaticism, would fly to arms ; but 
for the reason here given, it was not found 
ditHcult to preserve the post w-ith a mere 
handful of troops. 

Benares is at once the most intelligent and 
superstitious town ia India. In proportion 
to the intelligence in native law and literature 
will be fount! the infatuation of idolatry. The 
native education of a Hindoo gives no strength 
to his understanding ; he is made acquainted 
with a greater number of absurd legends, 
which it would be impious to doubt, and he 
becomes debased in superstition in proportion 
to the Brahminical culture he receives. The 
city is not quite three hundred miles from 
Calcutta : it is nearly eight hundred from 
Bombay and Madras. The sacredness of 
the city extends to a distance of ten miles 
around it. 

The district of Mirzapore is not important, 
except on account of the town which bears its 
name. This town is situated on the banks of 
the Ganges, about thirty miles from Benares. 
There are few inland tow'ns in India where 
the people have shown more activity and 
enterprise. The houses are of superior struc- 
ture, and built of solid material; and the 
])ublic buildings are numerous and resjjectable. 
Viewed from the Ganges it has a thriving 
and bustling appearance, which no other 
town on the river exhibits. The population 
can hardly be less than a hundred thousand. 

OuDE is a jirovince of Hindoostan to the 
north of Allahabad, on both sides of the 
Ganges, occupying, Avith the exception of the 
district of Kanpore, all the flat country 
between that river and the northern moun- 
tains, as well as the principal part of that 
fertile tract lying between the Ganges and the 
Jumna, known by the name of the Doab, to 
Avithin forty miles of the city of Delhi. Oude 
and its de2)endencies are three hundred and 
sixty miles in length from east to west, and 
in breadth from one hundred and fifty to one 
hundred and eighty, and contain five million 
inhabitants. The capital is Lucknow. The 
sovereignty Avas taken aAA'ay from the reign- 
ing family, and it Avas annexed to Great Bri- 
tain by Lord Dalhousie in 1856. 

Oude, noAv a decayed town in the province 
of that name, is saitl to haA^e been the capital 
of a great kingdom twelve hundred years 
before the Christian era. It is mentioned in 
the Maha Bharrat, a famous Hindoo Avork 
Avritten in Sanscrit. It is situated on the 
Goggra, nearly adjoining Fyzabad. Various 
districts tributary to Nepaul, ranges of hills, 
vol.. I. 



and forests bound this province on the north 
Avhich led to the ajiprehension that it Avould 
be liable to predatory incursions when British 
authority Avas established. On the contrary, 
the hill-men have respected the Ihiglish 
name, and the Aviso goA-ernment of the prince 
noAV ruling Nepaul preserved security and 
peace in that direction. Oude is Avatered by 
the Ganges, the Goggra, the Goomty, and the 
Lye. The inhabitants of this province are 
probably the most manly, and l:>est adapted 
for soldiers of any in India. It has been the 
chief recruiting ground for the Bengal army, 
and the men obtained far surpass, in average 
height, even the grenadier companies of our 
line regiments. A distinguished general 
officer, remarkable for his fine stature, ob- 
served on one occasion to the author of this 
History — " In the royal army I am a large 
man, but I Avas a pigmy beside the Bengal 
grenadiers enlisted in the upper provinces." 

The distracted state of Oude at all times 
AA'ithin British acquaintance Avith it, rendered 
it the reproach of India even among native 
governments. The history of that kingdom 
for a great number of years, and cA'en centu- 
ries, has been one of violence and corruption. 
On the 10th of November, 1801, extensive 
cessions of territory AA'cre made to the com- 
pany, yielding a revenue of thirteen and a 
half millions of Lucknow silver rupees. Some 
of the ceded districts, as Rohilcund, had been 
conquered by the nabob, Avith English assist- 
ance, not more than twenty-six years previous 
to their cession. In 1813 the revenue had 
greatly increased, being seventeen and a half 
millions of rupees : the subsequent increase 
AA'as also considerable. 

It is remarkable that during the revolt of 
Oude, and the concentration there of the 
Bengal mutineers in 1857, Nepaul afforded 
A-aluable aid to the British ; yet in October, 
1814, Ghaze-ad-Deen, the nabob, granted a 
loan to the British government of a crore of 
rupees (ten millions), to aid it in the Avar it 
AA'as then AA-aging Avith Nepaul. Finding that 
the contest Avitli Nepaul necessitated a second 
campaign, the nabob lent a second crore* of 
rupees. One of these loans AA'as afterwards 
redeemed by territory conquered from Nepaul 
being transferred to the nabob. 

In a AA'ork issued June, 1820, and dedicated 
to George Canning, then President of the 
Board of Control, there is the foUoAving pas- 
sage, AA'hich Avas almost prophetic, and is 
singularly pertinent to recent events. The 
context referred to the tyranny and fiscal 
mismanagement of the nabobs, and their bad 
faith Avith the English government. '"' As 
might be expected under circumstances so 

* A crore of rupees was equal to a miUion sterling. 



90 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. IV. 



adverse to external tranquillity among con- 
tumacious or oppressed zemindars, many 
gtirries, or native fortifications, were levelled, 
the wliole requiring the interference and 
active agency of the British military, at a 
time when their services were xu-gentlv wanted 
elsewhere. The just and fair construction of 
the terms of subsisting treaties, as referring to 
the nature and extent of the vizier's autho- 
rity, did not appear to warrant any more 
effectual interposition on the part of the Bri- 
tish government. In construing these it is 
required, by ever}^ principle of justice, that 
the most liberal and comprehensive meaning 
should be given to such articles as are in 
favour of the party whose weakness presents 
no security for him but the good faith on 
which he relied. Much is also gained by 
escaping the chance of that extremity, which 
should force the British government to with- 
draw the nabob's authority, to substitute its 
own within his territories ; for such a necessifij, 
although it might morally exist, could never 
he made out to the icorld, and the seizure of 
his possessions woidd be universally stigm,a- 
tised as tyrannical and rapacious, a p>reme- 
difated vsurpation, the offspring of a, base 
and sordid cupidity. One emergency alone 
can be supposed capable of driving the British 
government to a conduct so repugnant to its 
wishes, wliich is, the discovery tliat the nabob 
had secretly leagued himself with their ene- 
mies, and with them was clandestinely practis- 
ing its overthrow. An extreme case of this sort 
could only occur, however, in such a state of 
absolute desperation, that the nabob thought 
the most unpromising conspiracy preferable 
to a continuation of submission. Under such 
a condition of affairs, although he might have 
no troops, he covdd give much trouble ; for 
having a vast command of money, he might 
create great mischief by secretly furnishing 
supplies, and might involve the British govern- 
ment in the trouble and exp>ense of a war, 
leaving it infinitely difficult to trace his 
having any concern in the machinations which 
led to it." 

In 1831, the annoyance experienced by the 
British government from the disturbed state 
of Oude, and the violation of treaty as to its 
government, especially in fiscal matters, was 
such that Lord W. Bentinck made peremptory 
demands upon the nabob for the reform of his 
administration, and the melioration of the 
condition of his people. This demand was 
followed by a temporary amendment on the 
part of the Oude government, but it soon 
relapsed into its old ways. In 1847, Lord 
Hardinge repeated the demands of Lord 
W. Bentinck, and threatened in two years a 
decisive interposition, if the requisitions of 



the British government were not complied 
with. It was not until 185G that the step 
was taken which it had been predicted in the 
passage above quoted would be universal!}^ 
stigmatised — a i:)rediction too truly fulfilled. 
As it has had so important an influence on 
the late revolt in the Bengal army, and the 
late conflicts in Oude, it is desirable here to 
give some outline of the circumstances, and 
the subsequent condition of Oude ; a more 
particular detail must be reserved for an 
appropriate page in the historical portion of 
this work. 

Taking the Blue-books as our guide,* the 
process of annexation appears to have been as 
follows : — The papers presented to the legis- 
lature open with a letter from Lord Dalhousie, 
Governor-General, on July 3rd, 1855, to the 
Court of Directors, transmitting papers rela- 
tive to the condition of Oude, and a minute 
setting forth his propositions for the future 
government of Oude. The first enclosure 
is the minute of the governor-general of 
November 21st, 1851, to Colonel Outram, 
being instructions to the latter gentleman on 
assuming his appointment as British resident 
at the court of Lucknow. This minute was 
signed by three of the supreme council, and 
the fourth appended a minute giving it his 
cordial support. It states, " that the govern- 
ment of Oude is in a state of probation, in 
which it was solemnly placed by Lord Har- 
dinge in 1847;" that Lord Hardinge told 
the King of Oude in that year, that if he did 
not amend the condition of his people "within 
two years," "it would be the duty of the 
British government to have recourse to those 
extreme measures which, sixteen years before, 
Lord William Bentinck had declared must 
be enforced, for the protection of the people 
of Oude ; " and that this was made as a 
" peremptory demand, by Lord Hardinge, in 
pursuance of the treaty of 1801." It further 
states, that the warning to the king was not 
acted upon by the government of India at 
the expiration of two years, in consequence 
of " the occurrence of successive wars, and 
an unfeigned reluctance to have recourse to 
those extreme measures." Lastly, it instructs 
Colonel Outram " to inquire into the present 
state of Oude, with a view to determine whe- 
ther its affairs still continue in the same state 
in which Colonel Sleeman (the late resident) 
from time to time described them ; and whe- 
ther the duty imposed upon the British 
government by the treaty of 1801, a duty 
recognised bj^ Lord William Bentinck in 
1831, and reiterated by Lord Hardinge in 
1847, would any longer admit of indulging 

* " Papers relating to Oude," presented to parliament 
in 1856. 



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Chap. IV.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



01 



the ' reluctance' al)Ove referred to."' Major- 
general* Outrain applied himself to the task 
committed to him with the vigonr, deter- 
mination, and sagacity for which he is so 
remarkable; and the result of his inqui- 
ries may be tlius summed up in his own 
words: — " I have no hesitation in declaring 
my opinion that the duty imposed on the 
ih-itish government by the treaty of 1801 
cannot any longer admit of our honestly in- 
dulging the reluctance which the government 
of India has felt, heretofore, to have recourse 
to those extreme measrires which alone can 
be of any real efficacy in remedying the evils 
from Avhich the state of Oude has suffered so 
long." His report was transmitted to Cal- 
cutta, on which there appeared a minute by 
Major-general Low, a member of the council, 
stating that these papers should, of course, be 
sent to the governor-general, and that he 
"entirely occurred in the opinions" recorded 
by Major-general Outram in the above ex- 
tract from his despatch. 

Lord Dalhousie communicated to the go- 
vernment at home the inf|uiries and opinions 
of Major-general Outram, and the opinions 
and recommendations of the leading officials 
at Calcutta. His lordship urged upon the 
government the step, admitted that it must be 
attended by odium, but expressed his readi- 
ness to incur whatever obloquy might ensue. 
The marquis had been encouraged, in the 
audacious and unjust policy he had previously 
followed, by Sir Robert Peel, who justified in 
parliament a less strict regard to treaty, and 
a less elevated principle of honour, in dealing 
with the native princes than would have 
been tolerated in maintaining relations with 
European sovereigns and governments. Eew 
statesmen were less scrupulous in resorting to 
an expert and sophistical casuistry to support 
a departure from principle, or a desertion of 
party, than Sir llobert. Lord Dalhousie 
copied him in this respect, as well as fol- 
low^ed his general policy. The disingenuous, 
tyrannical, and dishonest government of that 
nobleman alienated the confidence of native 
princes, capitalists, and military, and sowed 
broadcast the seeds of resentment and revolt. 
The company did not thoroughly approve 
of the scheme, but the Board of Control 
favoured it, and the committee at Leadenhall 
Street threw irpon the governor-general the 
responsil)ility which he was so willing, a;id 
even ambitious, to incur, as the following 
paragraph of their despatch shows : — 

It is on every account to be desired that the great 
measure which we have authorised should be carried into 

* He had been promoted to that rank during the pro- 
gress of h.is investigations. 



elTcct under the auspices of the nobleman who has so 
long, and with such eminent ability and success, adminis- 
tered the allairs of the British empire in India; who has 
bestowed such attentive and earnest consideration on this 
particular subject ; and whose acts may carry a weight of 
authority which might, perhaps, not in the same degree 
attach to the first proceedings of a new administration. 
Entertaining full reliance on the ability and jndgment of 
t!ie Maiquis of Dalhousie, with the suggestions of tlie 
other members of your government before him, Ke 
ahsialn from fetierbig his lorchhip's discretion by any 
further instructions ; and feel assured that, whichever 
mode of attaining the indispensat)le result may be resolved 
on, the change will be carried into effect in I'lc manner 
best calculated to avert collisions of any kind, and with 
every proper and humane consideration to all persons 
whose feelings have a jutt claim to be consulted. 

"We are, &c., 

E. Macnaghten. 
\V. H. Sykes. 
&c. &c. &c.* 

At the close of 1855 General Outram was 
ordered to assemble a large military force at 
Cawnpore, and to enter into negotiations with 
the Oude government, "for the purposes 
mentioned in the despatch of the honourable 
court." On the 30th of January General 
Outram summoned the prime-minister of 
Oude to the residency at Lucknow, to inform 
him of the decision of the governor-general. 
On the 1st of February the king addressed 
"the resident," protesting in mild but digni- 
fied language against the subversion of his 
rightful authority. The resident declined all 
discussion, informing his majesty that the 
determination of his government was in- 
flexible. He gave the king three dai/s to 
decide. The army and people of Oude were 
as one man in the desire to raise the standard 
of resistance, and the sepoys of the Bengal 
army — being soon made acquainted with the 
danger to the independence of Oude, their 
native territory — heartily but secretly sympa- 
thised with its king and people. His majesty 
did not dare, however, to encounter the supe- 
rior power of the British ; he disarmed his 
troops, and dismounted his guns. On the 
•tth of February General Outram demanded 
that the king should sign a declaration that 
his " infraction of the essential engagements 
of previous treaties had been continued and 
notorious.'' His majesty, giving way to 
vehement grief and indignation, refused to 
sign this condemnation of himself, and ex- 
pressed his determination to lay a memorial 
of his wrongs at the feet of the Queen of Great 
Britain. In 1858 he is, by his agents, en- 
deavouring to obtain from her maiestv redress 
of the grievances of which he complains. The 
king also refused to sign a new treaty, abro- 
gating that of 1801, sttbmitted to Ii^m by 
General Outram. On the Tth of February 
the general issued a proclamation, declaring 
* Oude Blue-book, p. 236. 






HISTOrtY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[CilAP. IV 



that '•' the British, government had assumed 
to itself the exclusive and permanent admin- 
istration of the territories of Oude." From 
that moment the soldiery and people of the 
kingdom were resolved to take the first op- 
portunity of re -asserting the independence 
of their country, and taking vengeance upon 
those whom they considered its oppressors. 
General Outram compelled many nobles to 
give bail for their good behaviour, and many 
were placed under surveillance. 

In September, ISoH, only seven months 
before the revolt of 1857 began. Sir Henry 
Lawrence expressed himself in clear and 
decided terms as to the condition and pros- 
pects of the newly-annexed country. The 
opinions and warnings of such a man are so 
valuable, as to give to the following a deep 
interest in connection with the dark and san- 
guinary deeds which have since been perpe- 
trated in Oude, and chiefly by natives of 
Oude at Cawnpore : — " Oude has long been 
the Alsatia of India. In that province were 
to be met, even more than at Hyderabad or 
at Lahore, the Afreedee and Durukzye of the 
Khyber, the Beloochee of Khelat, and the 
Wuzeeree of the Sulimani range. There also 
congregated the idle, the dissipated, and the 
disaffected of eA'ery native state in India. 
Added to these were many deserters from 
the British ranks, yet the contingent of 
t\velve thousand men has been almost wholly 
iillcd from the old Oude army. The reason 
assigned for the different line of conduct is 
that the Punjaub was conquered, but that 
(Jude fell in peace. In this there is a fallacy, 
little imdcrstood, but not the less a fallacy. 
Proportionally, few of the instigators of oj^po- 
sition at Lahore and in the Sikh army were 
Sikhs ; they were British subjects — many of 
them British deserters, Tlie general feeling 
of the Sikhs was hardly hostile. ^lany of 
tlie Sikhs were friendly — decidedly so, com- 
pared with the Hindoostanees in the Punjaub 
service. The King of Oude emj^loyed fifty- 
nine thousand soldiers ; his chiefs and officials 
at least as many more. Of these vast num- 
bers, one-fifth at the iitmost have found em- 
ployment in the police and irregular corps. 
Yet these levies, with half a dozen regular 
corps, form the whole array of occupation. 
This seems a grave mistake. ^\hy not, at 
least, make a change ? ^Vhy not move some 
of the Punjaub regiments that have been keep- 
ing constant watch and ward on the Indus for 
seven years to Oude, and send soine of the 
king's people to the north-west ? The king 
had some eight thousand artillery ; of these 
about five hundred may have obtained em- 
ployment, the rest, young and (jld, are on 
tlie world. Surely, if there was danger in 



employing Sikhs in 1849, it would be well to 
remove some portion of the Oude levies from 
Oxide, where such materials for mischief still 
remain. In the province are two hundred 
and forty-six forts, besides innumerable 
smaller strongholds, many of them sheltei-ed 
within thick jungles. In these forfs are four 
hundred and seventy-six guns. Forts and 
guns should all be in the hands of govern- 
ment, or the forts should be razed. Many a 
foolish fellow has been iirged on to his own 
ruin by the possession of a paltry fort ; and 
many a paltry mud fort has repulsed British 
troops. The eighty or ninety thousand dis- 
banded Oude soldiers are the brethren of the 

British sepoys A paragraph in the 

Delhi Gazette, annoimcing that the Oude 
authorities are disposed to dispense with the 
service of the regular regiments for Lucknow, 
tempts a few further words of caution, though 
we do not altogether credit the newspaper 
report. The earliest days of annexation are 
not the safest. Be liberal, considerate, and 
merciful, but be prompt, watchful, and even 
quietly suspicious. Let not the loose cha- 
racters floating on the surface of society, 
especially such a society as Lucknow, be too 
far tempted or trusted. Wellington's maxim 
of ' keeping the troops out of sight ' answered 
for England ; it will not answer for India. 
There must be trusty bayonets within sight 
of the imderstandings, if not of the eyes, of 
Indian subjects before they will pay willing 
obedience or any revenue. Of late j^ears the 
wheels of government have been moving very 
fast ; many native prejudices have been 
shocked. Natives are now threatened with 
the abolition of polygamy. It would not be 
difficult to twist this into an attack on Hin- 
dooism. At any rate, the faster the vessel 
glides the more need of caiition — of watching 
the weather, the rocks, and the shoals. 

'■' ' Felix qucm faciunt aliena periciJa cautum.' " 

The advent of the greased cartridge irritation 
thus found the army of Bengal already disaf- 
fected, and precipitated revolt. 

Fyzabad (beautiful residence) Avas the 
capital of Oude during the last century, until 
ITTo, when Luclaiow was promoted to that 
honour. The situation of Fyzabad is favour- 
able for pleasure and sanitary advantages, 
having a good site upon the south bank of 
the Goggra. The town is large and popu- 
lous, but few Europeans reside or visit there. 
The ruins of the palace of Shujah-ad-Dowlah 
yet remain ; there are also ruins of a fortress 
which was of considerable strength. The 
attention of Europeans has been much directed 
to this city, from the circumstance of its 
having been the residence of the once ccle- 



Chap. IV.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



03 



brated Eliow Begum, widow of Sliujali-ad- 
Dowlah, and mother of Asuph-ad-Dowlali. 
"When the ^Tavquis of Wellesley was gover- 
nor-general, the begum announced to hmi her 
intention to leave to the British government 
the whole of her property, and to make the 
government also her sole executor. No do;ibt 
existed of her right to do so, bat her purpose 
becoming known to the court and jieople of 
Oude, great astonishment and disapprobation 
was excited. The English government, un- 
willing to take advantage of her highness's 
favourable intentions, endeavoured to induce 
her to leave the property to the royal house 
of Oude, under certain stipulations, alike 
beneficial to it and to the country ; but the 
importunities and representations made by 
the governor-o'eneral and his accents failed 
for a long time to produce the effects desired. 
Ultimately the royal lady relented towards 
her family in some degree, but displayed her 
partiality for the British government, or her 
resentment arainst her own connexions, bv 
leaving a large portion of her property to the 
former. The Bhow Begum died in 1815, and 
durina: the foUowincr vear the resident at 
Lircknow proceeded to Fyzabad, and carried 
into effect the will of the deceased. Her 
wealth was passing great — in money, laud, 
jewels, shawls, robes, cattle, and other pro- 
perty. A large sum was set apart to erect 
and preserve a siiitable mausoleum, and for 
religious offerings ; the nabob inherited about 
a quarter of a million sterling per annum, the 
British government receiving about three- 
quarters of a million sterling, which Avas dis- 
tributed in Oude on political grounds, pen- 
sions being given to various members of 
the royal family. 

Lucknow has obtained celebrity by the 
resistance of its heroic garrison during the 
revolt of 1S57, and by the successful and 
chivalrous efforts of Generals Outram, Have- 
lock, and Campbell to relieve it. The town 
is situated on the south side of the Goomty, 
which is navigable for boats of considerable 
size even during the dry season. The 
Goomty falls into the Ganges between Be- 
nares and Ghazepore. It is in latitude 
2t;° .51' north, and longitude 80^ 50' east, 
and is about six hundred and fift}^ miles from 
Calcutta. The native portion of the city lies 
low, and the streets are filthy and narrow. 
The European portion is elegant raid pictu- 
resque, villas after the English fashion being 
mmierous. The architecture is striking. The 
mosques and mausolea are built in a decora- 
tive style, and have gilded roofs. The Imaum 
Barra and Iloumi Durwaz are the two chief 
public edifices. Of the Imaum Barra the fol- 
lowing description has been given : — " This 



grand mosque consists of two courts rising with 
a steep ascent, one above the other. It con- 
tains besides the mosque a college for instruc- 
tion in Mussulman law, apartments for the 
religious establishment maintained there, and 
a noble gallery, in the midst of which, under 
a brilliant tabernacle of silver, cut-glass, and 
precious stones, lie buried the remains ol' its 
founder Asuph-ad-Dowlah. The Avhole is in 
a very noble style of Eastern Gothic, and is 
remarkable for richness and variety, as well 
as for the proportions and general good taste 
of its principal features." * The tomb of 
Sandut Ali is very magnificent. When the 
city is seen at a distance, domes and minarets 
gleam in the bright clear sun, producing an 
aspect of much splendour. The Bomhai/ 
Gazette represents Lucknow as bearing in its 
situation and its salient points a strong resem- 
blance to Delhi : — " As Delhi is bounded on 
one side by the Jumna, so Ijucknow is bounded 
liy the Goomty; and the wall of Delhi is re- 
presented sufficiently for our purpose by a 
canal which skirts the opposite side of Luck- 
now. The palace at Delhi and the fort of 
Sclimghur are in the position of the residency 
and the IMuchee Bawan at Lucknow. In 
that division of Lucknow which is represented 
at Delhi by that which lies between the palace 
and the .Jumna Mnsjid on one side, and the 
Delhi, Turcoman, and Ajmeer gates on the 
other, are a number of extensive buildings, 
occupying probably large walled enclosures — 
the tSecunderbagh, Motee Mahal, the barracks, 
mess-house, &c. Opposite these, on the outer 
side of the canal, are the Dilkhoosha Park 
and Palace, and La IMartiniere, a large school 
for Christian children, maintained on funds 
beqiieathed by General Claude JNIartin. This 
school is situate at the junction of the canal 
above-mentioned with the Goomty, and the 
Dilkhoosha adjoins it. The Alumbagh, so 
often mentioned lately, stands in relation to 
Lucknow topographically much as the Flag- 
staff Tower does to Dehi, and about two miles 
from the Itridge over the canal Avhich loads 
into the city, and Avhich at Delhi Avould Ijo 
the Cashmere gate. The residency lies due 
north from the Alumbagh, and the positions 
AA-hich Ave ha\'e mentioned are to the east- 
Avard of the residency, occui^ying a suburban 
district betAA'een the Goomty and the canal, 
about tAvo miles in length, and A^arying in 
breadth from a mile to a mile and a half. 
Secunderbagh is the furthest and most east- 
Avard end from the residency. Then come 
the barracks and mess -house, and then the 
iMotee Mahal (Pearl Palace), Avhich is close 
upon the bank of the Goomty, and a few 
hundred yards from the residency." 
* Caijtaiu Stocqucler. 



9i 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. IV 



Agra is a considerable province of Nortli- 
weetern India. It is bounded by Delhi on 
the north, on the south by Malwa, on the 
east by Oude and Allahabad, and on the west 
by Ajmeer. It is generally flat, and where 
irrigated it is fertile ; there are, however, 
few rivers to confer that advantage. Indigo, 
sugar, and cotton, are the crops best adapted 
to it ; these are produced prolifically in the 
Doab. The Ganges, Chambul, and Jumna, 
afford the chief supplies of water to the pro- 
vince. Good horses are bred in several dis- 
stricts. Elephants, tigers, bears, buffaloes, 
and rhinocei-oses, are numerous in the places 
best suited to their habits. There is also a 
great variety of birds, some of which arc 
delicious eating. The inhabitants are well 
formed and handsome, generally Hindoos, 
although the Mohammedans also are nume- 
rous. In the district of Agra stands the city 
of Agra, the capital not only of the province, 
but of North-western India, the residence of 
the lieutenant-governor. It was once the 
most splendid of all the Indian cities, and now 
exhibits the most magnificent ruins ; it was 
taken by the British in the war Avith the 
Mahrattas in 1803. It stands on tlie right 
bank of the Jumna, a branch of the Ganges, 
one hundred miles south by east of Delhi, 
seven hundred from Calcutta, six hundred 
and forty from Bombay, and nine hundred 
and eighty from jNladras. The houses are 
built like those of Benares, in several stories, 
and are sometimes raised to a great eleva- 
tion. The fort is of large dimensions, and 
very strong, built of I'ed stone, possessing the 
colour and hardness of jasper, dug from the 
quarries of Futtehpore. It has a ditch of 
great depth, and a double rampart, the inner 
one being of enormous height, with bastions 
at regular distances. 

The Taj Mehal is erected near the city, 
and is esteemed by many to be the most gor- 
geous monument in Hindoostan. The Mogid 
emperor, Shah Jehan, erected it in commemo- 
ration of his empress, Xoor Jehan, '■ the light 
of the world." According to Mohammedan 
accounts she was supremely beautiful, and 
liad great power over her lord ; she requested 
that he would build a tomb which would 
perpetuate her fame, and this great monu- 
ment was the result of her command. It is 
inscribed as belonging to the Ranoo Begum, 
" ornament of the palace." Its cost was 
nearly three and a quarter millions sterling. 
Twenty thousand workmen Avere employed 
for more than twenty years in its completion. 
The architect was a Frenchman, " Austin de 
Bordeau." The building occupies the north 
side of a large quadrangle over the river 
Jumna. The entrance to the quadrangle is 



through a gateway of colossal proportions, 
and great architectural beauty. The area is 
laid out in pleasant parterres, containing 
choice flowers and shrubs, the emblematic 
cypress having the chief place. The paths 
are laid down with freestone slabs, and have 
"running along the centre a basirr, with a 
row of jets-d'eau in the middle from one 
extremity to the other." The quadrangle 
measures nine hundred and sixty -four feet 
by three hundred and twenty. 1'he mauso- 
leum, the terrace upon which it is placed, 
and the minarets, are all formed of the finest 
white marble, inlaid with precious stones. 
PiUars and cupolas of white marble crown 
the red stone wall which surroimds the quad- 
rangle. The inside of the mosque, and of 
the apartments built in the walls and erected 
upon them, are lined with white marble. The 
remains of the emperor, as well as those of 
the empress, lie Avithin a vault beneath the 
building : the descent to this vault is by a 
flight of tastefully-constructed steps. " Their 
remains are covered by two slabs of marble ; 
and directly OA-er these slabs, upon the floor 
aboA'e, in the great centre room under the 
dome, stand two other slabs, or cenotaphs, of 
the same marble, exqiiisitely AA'orked in mosaic. 
Upon that of the ciueen, amid Avrcaths of 
flowers, are worked in black letters passages 
from the Koran. Upon the slab oA^er the 
emperor there are none, merely a mosaic AA'all 
of flowers and the date of his death." 

A fcAV miles from Agra, at Secunda, there 
is another magnificent tomb, that of Akbar. 
" It stands in a square area of about forty 
English acres, enclosed by an embattled Avail, 
Avith octagonal toAvers at the angles, sur- 
mounted by open pavilions, and four A-ery 
noble gateways of red granite, the principal 
of Avhich is inlaid Avith marble, and has four 
high marble minarets. The space Avithin is 
planted Avith trees and divided into green 
alleys, leading to the central building, AAhich 
is a sort of solid pyramid, surrounded exter- 
nally Avitli cloisters, galleries, and domes, 
diminishing gradually on ascending it, till it 
ends in a square platform of Avhite marble, 
surroimded by most elaborate lattice -Avork of 
the same material, in the circle of AAhich is a 
small altar-tomb, also of AAdiite marble, caiA'ed 
Avith a delicacy and beauty AA-hich do full jus- 
tice to the material and to the graceful forms of 
Arabic characters which form its chief orna- 
ment." The actual place of the monarch's 
sej3ulture is in a A-ault of AA'hite marble at the 
bottom of the building. 

The plain all around Agra, more especially 
in some directions, is marked by ruins of 
palaces, mosques, temples, and tombs, shoAving 
the imposing grandeur of the city of Agra in 



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CUAP. IV.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



95 



days passed away. Its present population is 
considerable, but not what it once was. The 
high stone houses, the gardens, the canal, and 
the general position, must have aftbrded pecu- 
liar advantages to the revolted sepoys who 
resisted the imited forces of Campbell and 
Havelock in 1857 ; and the way in which, 
notwithstanding these advantages, they were 
vanquished, displays one of the proudest 
triumphs of British military skill and heroism. 

I\lathura, situated on the west bank of the 
Jumna, is thirty miles from Agra, and is 
remarkable, with Bundralbund in its neigh- 
bourhood, for the ruins of ancient idolatrous 
shrines which it contains. The vicinity is 
more especiallj'' celebrated as the scene of the 
birth and early days of Krishna, the boy-god 
of the Hindoos. Sacred monkies of a large 
species used to be fed by the priests and 
votaries — Mahhajee Scindia left a simi of 
money for that purpose ; but the money is 
not forthcoming when wanted, nor are the 
monkies protected as once they were. Still, 
however, the superstition is preserved. 

Gwalior is a fortress in the district of the 
same name, in the province of Agra, situated 
on a rock about four miles in length, but 
narrow and nearly flat on the top, with sides 
almost perpendicular, from two to three hun- 
dred feet above the surrounding plain. The 
rampart conforms to the edge of the precipice 
all round; and the only entrance is by steps 
running up the side of the rock, defended on 
the side next the country by a wall and bas- 
tions. The area within is full of noble build- 
ings, reservoirs of water, wells, and cultivated 
land ; so that it . is a little district within 
itself. At the north-west foot of a mountain 
is the town, which is well built. This for- 
tress is considered as the Gibraltar of the 
East; but in 1780, ]\Iajor Popham took it by 
an imexpected night escalade. Before it 
became subjected finally to the British, it was 
repeatedly attacked and taken. In the occu- 
pation of British troops it would be impreg- 
nable, at all events to a native army, wliatever 
its force. 

Delhi is called the imperial province, the 
city of that name having been the seat of the 
Mogul empire. It is' to the extreme north- 
west of the government of the north-west 
provinces, and is one of the most temperate 
portions of Hindoostan. The chief rivers are 
the Ganges and the Jumna, which, during 
the rainy season, inundate the country, and 
conduce to its fertility. This division is, 
however, thinly inhabited compared with the 
lower provinces. 

The chief object of interest in the province 
is the city of Delhi, famous as the capital of 
the IVIogids, as the rendezvous of the revolted 



sepoys of 1857; infamous for the cruelties 
perpetrated by the revolters upon women 
and children ; and finally deriving celebrity 
from the extraordinary siege, conducted to a 
successful issue by a small force of British 
troops and native soldiers under General 
^Yilson, against the obstinate defence of the 
revolters. ur engraving pi-esents with fidelity 
and effect the site, architecture, and military 
position of the place. It is built in the form 
of an oblong square, is bounded on the south 
by the river Jumna, along which all the prin- 
cipal buildings, including the king's palace, 
stand. It is surrounded by an old wall of 
red granite, which was erected long before 
the invention of artillery. As is common 
with eastern cities defended by walls, a large 
portion of the enclosure is occupied by gar- 
dens. These run from the king's palace to 
the Lahore gate. Modern Delhi lies to the 
east and beyond the walls, and in that direc- 
tion, for some miles, the ruins of the old city 
extend. It is not only the ancient capital of 
the Patau and Mogul empires — it is the 
natural capital of Hindoostan. It contains 
the grandest architecti;re of the East — palaces, 
tombs, mosques, and towers of unrivalled 
splendour are grouped within it. Its situa- 
tion for commercial and i^olitical purposes is 
eminently advantageous, and was every way 
a suitable site for a grand, imperial, and domi- 
nant city. On taking the census of 1846, it 
was ascertained that Delhi contained 25,611 
houses, 99i5 shops, mostly one-storied, 261 
mosques, 188 temples, 1 church, 678 wells, 
and 196 schools. The total population con- 
sisted of 137,977 souls, of whom 69,738 were 
males, and 68,239 females. Of these 90 fami- 
lies, or 327 persons, were Christians ; 14,768 
families, or 66,120 persons, were IMoham- 
medans; and 19,257 families, or 71,530 per- 
sons, were Hindoos. In the year 1846 there 
were born 1994 males, and 1910 females. 
The marriages were 953 in number, and 
4850 deaths occurred. Of the last, 1320 
took place before the age of twelve months, 
493 between twelve months and two years, 
843 between two and twelve years, and 2194 
above that age. The census of the thirteen 
villages forming the suburbs of Delhi comes 
down to 1847: they then contained 22,3U2 
inhabitants — namely, of Hindoos, 709 culti- 
vators, 14,906 non-cultivators; and of Mo- 
hammedans, 495 cultivators, and 6192 non- 
cultivators. Previous to the revolt of 1857 
it was the great arsenal of the British govern- 
ment in India, and garrisoned by Hindoo and 
Mohammedan troops. The following brief 
but complete outline of its defensive capabili- 
ties, by an engineer officer,* shows the import - 
* Captaiu Lawrence. 



OG 



HISTOIIY or THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. IV 



auce of tlie city luidGr the British govern- 
ment, when the Lite ontbreak tested that 
importance in so sanguinary a manner :• — 
" I)ellii is a strongly fortified city, more 
than seven miles in extent, having a citadel, 
to he taken hy escalade or by regular ap- 
proaches The defences are described as 
beino: second onlv to those of Mooltan, which 
cost us a long and sanguinary siege. Tlie 
walls are built of solid masonry, of no great 
height. The ditch is narrow, and not very 
deep, and the flanking works, as frequently 
happens in oriental fortresses, do not properly 
enfilade the curtain, ivlartello towers, how- 
ever, exist at intervals : they are semicircular 
in form, and loopholed for musketry. Spiral 
staircases lead from the to]i of the walls down 
through the towers to chambers on a level 
with the ditch, and those are loopholed for 
infantry fire, most galling to an escalading 
party crossing the ditch. The bastions de- 
fending the curtains are also furnished with 
banquettes for riflemen; but these may be 
kept down by shelling. Fortunately the 
extent of the wall forbids the belief that the 
whole of them can be effectually manned, and 
much may be done by siirprise and concen- 
tration that would otherwise be diflicult to 
attain. Delhi was gari-isoned by the 30th, 
54th, and 7-lth native infantry, and a battery 
of native artillery ; but that which rendered 
its possession still more important was its 
value as an arsenal. The arsenal in the inte- 
rior of the city contained nine hundred thou- 
sand cartridges, two complete siege trains, a 
large number of field guns, and ten thousand 
muskets. The powder magazine had been 
long since removed, at the desire of the 
inhabitants, from the city to the cantonments 
outside Delhi, and contained not less than 
ten thousand barrels." 

For a long time previous to the outbreak, 
the descendant of the great mogul was a 
mere puppet in the hands of the British poli- 
tical agents. He was a pensioner, receiv- 
ing from the company £9G,000 per an- 
num ; he affected the parade, without the 
power, of a king. The officers of the company, 
civil and military, treated him with all the 
exterior deference due to a crowned head. 
"VMien " the king " went abroad, he was at- 
tended by armed escorts, and followed by a 
crowd of retainers. All Europeans, however 
distinguished their position, imcovered as "his 
majesty passed;" while he, bearing himself 
in kingly state, remained covered, no matter 
by whom saluted. The troops presented 
arms, and the people ostentatiously showed 
reverence to the king and the ccmrt. The 
envoys or representatives of the governor- 
general, when admitted to an audience, 



approached " the king and j)adishaw " with 
folded arms, the attitude of petition. "Within 
the precincts of the i)alace, over his own 
retainers the company conceded to the king 
soverein'n rjo-hts, but these did not extend 
farther; in the citv he received the homaofc 
due to a king, but could claim no service or 
obedience. The members of the royal family 
were remarkable for their low intellectual capa- 
city, and their ungovernable passions. Of the 
three hundred princes and princesses of whom 
the roj'al family was composed, there were pro- 
bably not three of average intellectual power. 
The conduct of all these persons during the 
late revolt was atrocious beyond description. 
The men perpetrated crimes at the mention 
of which all Europeans shudder, and the 
women excited them to these deeds, although 
their own sex and helpless infants were the 
victims. Most of the male members of the 
royal family met the doom which men inflict 
upon murderers, and some of the monsters had 
no other consolation in dying than the re- 
membrance of the atrocities they committed 
u23on the defenceless. The royal state, the 
palace, and the general grandeur of the city 
have been recently described in an English 
periodical, published in India, in terms which 
bring the whole in one general and striking 
pictxire to the mind. 

^"Few are aware of the remains of former 
magnificence still existing in this old imperial 
city, whose ruins extend over a larger space 
than our own metropolis, and display greater 
architectural glories than the latter would if 
reduced to a like state. A competent autho- 
rity has said that the former possessors of 
Delhi built like giants, and finished their 
work like jewellers. The buildings are mostly 
of a fine red granite, inlaid with tracery and 
flowers of ^^'hite and coloured marbles and 
precioiis stones ; but such a fine artistic taste 
pervades these ornaments, that they are never 
out of jDlace, nor produce a tawdry effect, but 
constitute a fine whole, like the decorations 
of our Gothic cathedrals, grand in the ex- 
tended glance, yet striking in the close exa- 
mination by the beauty of individual parts. 
However, when wc know that what is called 
Gothic architecture was the invention of the 
Spanish Arabs, and by architects educated in 
their schools carried to most parts of Europe, 
in the middle ages, Ave shall cease to wonder 
at the similarity of structure in buildings so 
far apart as Delhi and York Minster. The 
Jumna Musjid, or grand mosque of Delhi, is, 
in fact, one of the finest Gothic edifices in the 
world, and, except in the broad and high 
flight of steps leading to the entrance, a pic- 
ture of it might be taken for the cathedral front. 
This magnificent place of worship Avas bi;ilt 



OiiAr. IV.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



07 



by the Empovor Jelianghur, at the cost of ten 
lacs of rupees. Two minarets at tlie sides 
alone distingnish its structure from that of our 
own churches. These rise to a height of one 
hundred and thirty feet, constructed of marble 
and red stone, used alternately, to produce a 
finer eft'ect. In our damp climate and 
smoky towns the beauty of this combination 
would soon be lost by an accumulation of 
moss and soot, but in tlie pure sky of India 
it is unimpaired for ever. The pillar-like 
minaret is not, however, an invariable charac- 
teristic of 3Iohammedan architecture, as in 
Morocco mosques are seen, especially those of 
an old date, with the massive square tower, 
by many imagined characteristic of Christian 
temples. In the days of Moorish science 
these were xised as astronomical observatories. 
The Jumna Musjid is two hundred and sixty- 
one feet in length ; the front is covered with 
marble of sur})assing whiteness ; the cornice 
has ten compartments, which are inlaid ^^•ith 
Arabic inscriptions in black stone of the same 
kind, which, from the elegant form of the 
oriental letters, produce the finest effect; the 
inner pavement is of white marble slabs, orna- 
mented wdth black borders, and is exceedingly 
beautiful ; and the coolness ])roduced by lining 
the walls and roof with white marble slabs is 
in delicious contrast to the suffocation of an 
Anglo-Indian church. But until Ave copy 
from the natives the principles of building 
adapted to the climate, as well as many other 
things, we must always expect to be in India 
like an unskilful rider on a headstrong horse 
— in constant fear of a fall. The pulpit is of 
marble, and the kibla is adorned with delicate 
fringe -work. The summit of the minarets 
gives a wide view over the city and sur- 
rounding country. Besides this fine edifice, 
there are other mosques ; but it is unnecessary 
to particidarise them, further than to say they 
are all beautiful in their kind, and some show 
traces of what we call the early Norman 
school of architecture. The imperial palace, 
the pride of Delhi, and wonder of the early 
travellers, was built by Shah Jehan. It is of 
red granite, and far surpasses the Kremlin in 
magnificence, being a structure in all respects 
worthy of the governors of one of the mightiest 
and most splendid empires which the world 
has seen — that of the Indian Mohammedans. 
The entrance gate surpasses anything of the 
kind in Europe, and is so high, that a man 
can ride through it mounted on an elephant. 
But this fair outside is not all : on entering, 
the visitor proceeds down a long aisle, like 
that of a cathedral, ornamented with inscrip- 
tions from the Koran and flowers, all beauti- 
fully cut, with that delicacy and patience for 
which Eastern workmen are so famed. In 

VOL. I. 



the middle of this is an octagon court. The 
aj)artments are all ornarnented in the same 
manner with inlaid flowers and foliage of 
]ireciou3 marble. IMany of the rooms are 
lined with white marble, inlaid with flowers 
and leaves of green serpentine, lapis lazuli, 
blue and red porphyry, so arranged as to give 
the appearance of natural plants creeping over 
the walls. Some of the flowers have as many 
as sixty separate ])ieces of shaded stone used 
in their structure, that a more natural appear- 
ance might be jiroduccd. The private hall of 
audience, where, in former times, the Great 
Jlogul used to receive particular persons, and 
confer titles of nobility, is a pavilion of white 
marble, opening on one side to a large garden, 
and on the other to the palace. Round the 
frieze is the motto which IMoore has translated 
in Lalla Rookli : — 

" ' If there be an elysiuiii on cartli, 
It is tliis! it is this!' 

The pillars and arches are inlaid with gold 
and carved flowers, exquisitely delicate, and 
inscriptions in the most elaborate Persian 
character. The floor is of marble, beautifully 
inlaid. The piiblic hall of audience, where 
the shah used to sit in state to hear the com- 
plants and receive the jDctitions of his sub- 
jects, is in the outer coi;rt of his palace. 
This, like the other, is of marble, but larger. 
Three sides are opened, and the fourth is 
closed by a black wafl, clothed with inlaying 
and inscrijitions. The throne is in the centre, 
raised ten feet from the ground, so that the 
monarch could see and be seen by any one 
who wished to address him, but who might be 
impeded by his attendants. That splendid 
peacock throne, which we have all heard of 
from our infancy, was carried off by Nadir 
Shah, and now graces the palace of Teheran. 
But still, even in its present state, that of 
Delhi is the most noble palace the world can 
boast, excelling anything which the poverty 
of a European imagination could ever pro- 
duce, cither in ancient or modern times." 

Since the fall of Delhi, under the besieging 
army of General Wilson, in 1S57, great pains 
have been taken to render its future govern- 
ment effective, and to appoint officials of in- 
telligence, and likely by their force of cha- 
racter to awe the disaffected. 

HuRREANAH is a large district of the Dellii 
province. It derives its name from its ver- 
dure, the word liurija in Hindoostanee mean- 
ing green. It is, however, only verdant by 
comparison with neighbourhoods of less fertile 
character, as it is not on the whole a bloom- 
ing territory. The Sultan Ferozc conveyed 
by a canal the waters of the Jumna to Hissar, 
but the canal becoming choked up through 

o 



98 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. IV. 



neglect, the irrigation to which it so much 
contributed was reduced, and the Land fell 
away from its previous pi'oductiveness and 
cheerful aspect. A road through Hurreanah 
to the Punjaub was formerly a highway of 
traffic between Hindoostan and Cashmere, 
Candahar, Cahul, and Persia. The district 
contains extensive pasture -grounds, and for- 
merly it Avas remarlcahle for the haunts of 
lions in those vicinities. The lion of Upper 
India is a less formidable creature than 
the tiger of Lower India, hut the former 
infests neighbourhoods where more mis- 
chief can be effected by his presence. 
Horses, camels, and bullocks, are reared for 
the other provinces. Previous to the influ- 
ence of the East India Company being estab- 
lished in these parts, the people were turbu- 
lent, and exceedingly divided by tribal and reli- 
gious animosities ; this was especially the case 
in the pergunnah of Rotuck, where village 
contended a2,'ainst villas'e in incessant warfare. 
Rotuck and Bhowavery are considerable towns 
in Hurreanah, but the most interesting histori- 
cally are Hansi and Hissar. The remains of 
the last-mentioned town are of vast extent ; it 
is, indeed, difficult to define their limits. 
Hansi is situated near to Hissar, and contains 
many vestiges of ancient works and buildings. 

The district of Rotuck is chiefly remark- 
able for the town of Rotuck, which is situated 
within its confines. It A\as once a very large 
place ; it is now a city of ruins. 

The division or province of Meerut was 
formerly a part of the Delhi province. There 
are few things to characterise this divnsion. 
It has several good towns, but none of great 
extent or numerous population. The chief 
towns are IMeerut, Sirdhana, Katouli, and 
llustinapore. 

Meerut is the capital town of the division, 
and has obtained an unenviable notoriety as 
the focus of revolt (or at all events the first 
place in which the revolt was developed) of 
the sepoy army in 1857. The town is a small 
one, Imt the mihtary cantonments in its 
neighbourhood greatly increase its import- 
ance. They ai-e situated north of the town, 
and, extending for two miles, afford accom- 
modation, it is alleged, for nearly twenty thou- 
sand men. The town is only thirty miles from 
Delhi, which lies south-west. The neigh- 
bourhood is a rich grassy plain, somewhat 
resembling the prairies of the western world. 

Sirdhana, or, as some write it, Seerdhuna, 
is situated N.N.E., of Delhi, in latitude 29° 12' 
north, and longitude 77^ 31' east. This is 
also a small town. At one time it was noted 
in India as the capital of " Somroo," and 
afterwards of his widow, Somroo Begum, 
The real name of Somroo was Walter Reini- 



hard. That adventurer was a native of 
Treves. Early in life he became a French 
soldier, and took the name of Summer, which 
the natives of Hindoostan pronounced Som- 
roo. Having come to Bengal, he entered a 
Swiss corps in Calcutta, from which he de- 
serted, and fled to the upper provinces, and 
served under Sirdar Jung as a private soldier. 
Cossim Ali was then Nabob of Bengal, and 
he had a favourite, an Armenian, named 
Gregory, into whose service "Somroo" en- 
tered. It was by this adventurer that the 
English captives at Patna, in 1763, were 
massacred. He was unfaithful to the master 
whom he in that way unworthily served, and, 
choosing many masters, was unfaithful to 
them all. He, however, rose in the service 
of Nujuff Khan, who assigned to him the 
city, and at his death gave it over to Som- 
roo's widow, or rather concubine, in condition 
of her maintaining a certain military force for 
the khan's advantage. This remarkable per- 
son lived long, was faithful to the company, 
received from them especial marks of favour, 
and managed the territory, the administration 
of which had been committed to her, with as 
much ability as she conducted her affairs with 
the company's government. 

llustinapore (or Hustinanagara) is situated 
fifty miles north-cast from Delhi. It is built 
on a branch of the Ganges, formerly the bed 
of that river. The place is now very small, 
but at one time it was a great city, for its 
remains are spread over a wide surfiice, or 
rather the vestiges of its foundations, for ant- 
hills cover the extensive site. 

SEHAUuxroRE is a district of the Meerut 
division. It lies between the Jumna and the 
Ganges, where they run parallel, more than 
fifty miles apart. It is not inundated, like 
other river districts, vet has, without that 
fertilising influence, been ah^'ays esteemed most 
productive. The extremes of heat and cold 
are felt in this district — the summer burning 
up the verdure, the winter being cold enough 
for fires. 

Ilurdwar is a town of small size but much 
bustle and activity in this district. It is also 
an emporium for a considerable extent of 
country, and was formerly much more so. 
Horses, mules, camels, tobacco, antimony, 
asafop.tida, dried fruits, — such as apricots, figs, 
prunes, raisins, almonds, pistachio nuts, pome- 
granates, &c., — from Cabul, Candahai-, Mool- 
tan, &c., are brought to this mart. From 
Cashmere and Amritsir pattoos and dootas 
are also conveyed to this active little place. 
Here also may be seen turbans, looking- 
glasses, toys in brass and ivory, and various 
articles in metals and bone, from Jeypore ; 
shields from Rohilcund, Lucknow, and Sylhet; 



Chap. IV.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



99 



and rock-salt from Luliorc. Half a century 
ago, bows and arrow from the Doab and 
iMooltan miglit also be seen exposed for sale 
in Hurdwar. A vast concourrfe of people, 
arriving by caravans, crowd the town, and 
]iitch their tents in the neighbourhood, during 
the fairs. A qiiarter of a million of persons 
was some time ago computed as the average 
intlnx of dealers on the two great occasions 
of commercial assemblage. The assemblages 
of devotees are as numerous as those cf the 
traders, for at this jjlace tlie Ganges bursts 
out from the upland and rocky country into 
the plains of Hindoostan. Numerous bodies 
of fakeers make ostentatious professions of 
piety, and multitudes of their disciples per- 
form their sacred ablutions in the river. 
These congregated multitudes present an 
extremely picturesqiie aspect. There is 
as much variet}' of costume and personal 
appearance as may be seen in Tiflis or other 
frontier towns in Georgia and Imeritia. when 
the Caucasian tribes repair thither for curio- 
sity or commerce. The various sects wear 
colours upon their foreheads, made with 
ochre or paint, as tokens of the god they 
serve. Some of these sects never shave the 
head or beard, but allow the latter to flow 
down upon their breasts, and bind the former 
in tresses round their heads as a turban. 
The fairs at llurdwar were formerly as cer- 
tainly associated with religious feuds, as an 
Irish fair is marked Ity a faction figlit or a rov^^ 
Many perished in these sanguinary sectarian 
disturbances. The company's government 
has imposed regulations which effectually 
preserve the peace and promote the secure 
transaction of business. 

Allyghuk is a district situated in the Doab 
of the Ganges, in about the twenty-eighth de- 
gree of north latitude, bounded by that river 
and the Jumna. It is well watered and fer- 
tile. Allyghur, the chief town of the dis- 
trict, is only remarkaljle for its verv strong 
fort. 

liouiLCL'XD is marked as a province in the 
lists given from M'Kenua in our second 
chapter, but the name of Bareilly, v.hich is 
inserted as a district of that province, has 
been lately given to the name of the province 
itself. The territory included in Bareilly, 
Rohilciind, and the other districts connected 
with them, is, with the exception of Benares, 
the most populous in the regulation provinces 
of the Agra government; but the topogra- 
phical and social peculiarities of the province 
are not so distinguished fi'om those of the 
provinces in this government already de- 



scribed as to require especial notice. The 
town of Bareilly is of some importance, as 
there is a population of seventy thousand 
persons, and a strong fort. The pojnilation 
is one-third Mohammedan, a large proportion. 
The Ganges flows on the western boundary. 

As the chief disturbances during the revolt 
of 1857 took j^lace in these provinces, the 
following general sketch of the sphere of 
revolution will be i;seful : — " The scene on 
which the active operations of our Indian 
forces ai'e now concentrated, assumes, in com- 
parison with the territorial proportions of the 
empire, very narrow dimensions, and admits of 
being readily brought imder a comprehensive 
view. The Ganges and the Jumna Elvers 
measure in their course the entire lenerth of 
the plains of Hindoostan. To the north-west 
of the sources of these streams lies the Punjaub, 
constituting the extreme province of the Ben- 
gal presidency, and at Allahabad, where the 
two rivers unite, commences a succession of 
districts terminating with Lower Bengal, in 
which insurrection has either never broken 
out, or has been successfully put down. It is 
between the two points thus definable, or, as 
may be more precisely expressed, between 
Allahabad to the south-east, and Umballah to 
the north-west, that the disturbed ierritories 
lie. They comprehend the central seats of 
the old Mogul power, Oude and Bengal in 
those days being governed by viceroys, and 
the Punjaub having passed into the hands of 
the Sikhs. In the usual territorial nomencla- 
ture of India, they are described as the north- 
western provinces, having become attached, as 
new districts, in the extension of our empire, 
to the already settled dominions of Bengal. 
It is in this great district that the revolt, in 
its worst and most dangerous features, has 
been raging ; and if the city of Agra be 
taken as a centre, a comparatively small cir- 
cuit will include all the spots at which opera- 
tions of immediate importance took place. 
Here the insurgents-in-arms yvero joined by 
all the villains and marauders representing 
the scum of an oriental population, in the fer- 
ment of a revolt. The chief hold of this 
murderous swarm was Delhi. There are but 
two other points at which the insurgents 
mustered in any considerable numbers — 
Bithoor and Lucknow. The former of these 
is the residency of the treacherous and cow- 
ardly assassin Nana Saliib, who, after his 
butchery at Cawnpore, intrenched himself 
near his own abode, with a force computed at 
twenty thousand men. The latter attracted 
the bulk of the mutineers in Oude." 



100 



HISTORY OP THE BRITISH EiAIPIRE 



LCiiAP. V. 



CHAPTER V. 

DISTRICTS AND CITIES (Cw;/;w?/«/)— NON-REGULATION PROVINCES OF THE BENGAL AND 

NORTH-WESTERN GOVERN.MENTS. 



Is the second cliaj^ter lists of the territo- 
ries described as non-regidation provinces 
will be found. To give a minute particular- 
isation of their topographical character, re- 
sources, and climates, -svould demand larger 
space than the extent of this work allows, bi;t 
a general sketch may be supplied sufficient to 
intei-est the reader, and increase his informa- 
tion concerning the vast regions which are 
more or less subjected to the control of 
Britain. 

Amongst the provinces now under consi- 
deration the PcxjAiB deserves a prominent 
place. The whole country extending from 
the north-western frontier to the borders of 
Aftghanistan and Thibet is comprehended 
under this general name. The capital is 
Lahore. Loodiana, Umritsir, Peshawur, and 
other large cities, surrounded by flourishing 
districts, are also centres of extensive influ- 
ence, having all the importance of capitals in 
their respective regions. Upon the final con- 
quest of the Sikhs, the Puujaub Avas settled 
us a separate government subsidiary to Ben- 
gal, and i;nder the administration of Sir 
Henry and Sir John Lawrence it has attained 
to very great pros})erity. So ably has the 
distinguished man last named maintained the 
authority of his government, that during the 
fearful revolt of 1857, which extended to his 
territories, he was enabled to quell the mutiny 
of the insurgent sepoys with promptitude, 
preserve the loyalty of the people, and even 
organise auxiliary forces for the re-establish- 
ment of order in the north-western provinces. 

The Panjaub is divided for purposes of 
government and revenue into divisions and 
districts, w'hich are as follow : — 

Lahore Division. — Gordaspore ; rmritsir; Sealkote; 

Goojrauwalla ; Lahore. 
MooLTAN Divisiox. — Jliuiig ; Googaira ; Mooltan. 

Lkia Division. — Kaiighar; Dera Gliazee Khan; Dera 
Ismail Khan ; Leia. 

Jhelum Division.— Shalijiorc; Giijcrat; Jhelum; Rawul 
Pindee. 

Peshawur Division. — lluzara; Peshawur; Kuhat. 

The general reports upon the administration 
of the Pnnjaub, especially for the years 1849-51, 
being the two first years after annexation, 
furnish a mass of intelligence concerning the 
country, which proves the value of the con- 
quest, and the possibility, by good govern- 
ment, of bringing the whole British territory 
of India to a condition of agricultural, com- 



mercial, and fiscal wealth, such as affords the 
brightest hope. The following document 
shows that this is the view taken by the 
directors of tlie company : the summary it 
contains of the great effects pi'oduced by the 
skilful administration of Sir Henry Lawrence, 
and the prospects, since partly realised, of 
prosperity to the territory, is so precise and 
comprehensive, that it will much abbreviate 
our review" of the condition of this province. 

The Court of Direct ors of the East India Compainj to tic 
Governor-General of India in Council. 

Voliiical Department, 26/7; Octoher, 1853. 

1. Your letter in the foreign department, dated 2iid 
July, 1853, transmits to us a general report on the 
administratiou of (he Punjaul), nominally for the years 
1849-50 and 1850-51 (being the lirst two years after the 
annexation of the province to the British doniiiiions), but 
bringing down all the main results to the close of the 
third year. 

2. The various divisions of the report, and of its enclo- 
sures, will be taken into special consideration iu the seve- 
ral departments to which they relate. We will not, how- 
ever, delay to express to you the high satisfaction with 
vvliieh we have read this record of a wise and eminently 
successful administration. 

3. In the short period which has elapsed since the 
Punjaub became a part of the British dominions, results 
have been achieved such as could scarcely have been hoped 
for as the reward of many years of well-directed exertions. 
The formidable arnij^ which it had required so many bat- 
tles to subdue has been quietly disbanded, and the turbu- 
lent soldiery have settled to industrious pursuits. Peace 
and secm'ity reign throughout the country, and the amount 
of crime is as small as in our best administered territories. 
Justice has been made accessible, without costly formali- 
ties, to the whole population. Industry and commerce 
have been set free. A great mass of oppressive and bur- 
densome taxation has been abolished. ]Money rents have 
been substituted for payments in kind, aud a settlement of 
the land revenue has been completed in nearly the whole 
country, at a considerable reduction on the former amount. 
In the settlement the best lights of recent experience have 
been turned to the utmost account, and the various errors 
committed in a more imperfect state of our knowledge of 
India have been carefully avoided. Cultivation has already 
largely increased. Notwithstanding the great sacrifices of 
revenue, there was a surplus, after defraying the civil and 
the local military expenses, of fifty-two lacs in the first, 
and sixty-four and a half lacs in the second year after 
annexation. During the next ten years the construction 
of the Baree Doah caual and its branches, and of the great 
net-work of roads already in i-apid progress, will absorb 
the greater part of the surplus ; but even during this 
interval, according to the board's estimate, a balance will 
be left of more than double the amount of the cost of two 
coi-ps, at which the governor- general computes the aug- 
mentation of the general military expenses of India due to 
the acquisition of the Punjaub. After the important works 
in question arc com])leted, the board of administration, 
apparently on sound data, calculates on a permsacul Eur- 
plus of lil'ty lacs per annum applicable to geL'eral piu'posc?. 



CriAT. v.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST, 



101 



4. Results like llicsc reflect flic highest honour on the 
iidiuinistration of your lordship in council, and on the 
system of Indian government generally. It is a source of 
just pride to us that our services, civil and military, should 
have allorded men capable, in so short a time, of carrying 
into full effect such a series of enlightened and beneficent 
measures. The executive functionaries in the subordinate 
ranks have proved themselves worthy of the honourable 
career which awaits them. The members of the board of 
administration. Sir Henry Lawrence, Mr. John Lawrence, 
]\Ir. Mansell, and !\Ir. Montgomery, have entitled them- 
selves to be placed in the foremost rank of Indian admi- 
nistrators. 

5. We approve your intention of printing and publish- 
ing the report for general information, and, as we shall 
take the same course in this country, it wili be unneces- 
sary for you to send us any copies. 

We are, &c.. 

E. Ei-i.iCE. 
J. Olipiiant. 
&c. <S:c. 

The Punjaul) proper is di.stinguislied from 
the Cis and Trans-Sntlej states. The first of 
the three departments in this classification 
comprises that portion of Runjeet Singh's 
country not included in the two latter. The 
Cis-Sutlej is that portion of the coimtry 
bearing the general name of Punjaub, which 
formed the borders of the Sikh state — con- 
quests made by the wild and predatory 
horsemen of the Khalsa army. The Trans - 
Butlej is comprised in the Julb;ndur Doab, 
and the mountain region of Kangra. The 
entire Punjaub is in the form of a vast 
triangle, containing five doabs lying between 
the five rivers which give to the whole region 
its name. The Cis-Sutlej states comprise a 
tract of country which lies between the Bri- 
tish north-western frontier and the river 
Siitlej. The Trans-Sutlej states were sur- 
rendered to the British in 184G : they are 
comprised, as already stated, in the Jullundur 
Doab and the hill region. The former 
portion of country is situated between the 
Beas and the Sutlej : the hill country ranges 
between the Eavee and the Beas. 

The PrN.TAUB Proper will first receive 
notice. This territory contains four out of 
the five doabs already referred to, and com- 
prehends the historic portions of the country ; 
as Sir Henry Lawrence said, "all those tracts 
most difficult to defend, most arduous to 
govern, and most requiring physical, social, 
and moral improvement." In its greatest 
breadth it reaches from the seventieth to the 
seventy -fifth meridian of longitude, and in its 
greatest length from the thirty-fourth to the 
twenty-ninth parallel of north latitude. The 
apex of the triangle is found at the extreme 
south, where the five rivers mingle, the 
mighty Indus receiving the others into its 
bosom. The eastern side is washed by the 
Sutlej. and the Beas, which forms a junction 
with the Sutlej. The western side is marked 



by the Sulimanee range, and the mountains 
which extend to the valley of the Cabul 
River. In the north-west angle the base rests 
on the hills Avhich overlook the valley of 
Peshawur and Iluzzara; thence proceeding 
eastward it touches the lower boundary of the 
country allotted to Gholab Singh U]»on the 
conquest of the Sikhs — the region of Jummoo 
and Cashmere. The four doabs which con- 
stitute "the Punjaub proper" are still recog- 
nised by the designations which they obtained 
under the JMogul reign: — Baree Doab lies 
between the Beas and the Eavee; Rcchmah 
Doab is between the Pavee and the Ghenab; 
Chuj Doab is situated between the Chenab 
and the Jhelum ; the Scinde Saugor Doab, 
which is also called "the Ocean of the Indus," 
is enclosed by that river and by the Jhelum. 
The Baree Doab is the most celebrated, as 
being the home of the Sikh nation, and con- 
taining the three greatest cities — Lahore, 
LTmritsir, and IMooltan. 

The whol,e of this country is most valuable 
and productive. There is a strange regularity 
of physical character in all the four doabs of 
which it is constituted. The centres of these 
doabs comprise large tracts covered with 
brushwood and jungle, inhabited by the 
aborigines of the country, an ignorant, bar- 
barous people, who lead a nomad life. They 
cultivate small spots around their dwellings, 
which are like oases in the desert. The water 
lies deep, but the soil is rich, and repays any 
toil expended in digging M-ells for irrigation. 
In these wild regions herds of fine cattle 
are nurtured : oxen, buffaloes, sheep, goats, 
camels, and horses are bred in great numbers. 
The camels of the Cabul caravans are sup- 
plied from these wild strips of country. Fi-om 
these woody regions all the great cities derive 
their fuel; and thence grass is obtained for 
the cavalry cantonments and the horses of 
private persons. " Portions of it will become 
the scene of gigantic undertakings, which Mill 
tax the skill and resources of the state, but 
which Mill, ultimately, yield an ample return 
for the outlay of ca])ital. Indeed, the Pun- 
jaub could ill spare its Avastes; they are 
almost as important as the cultivated tracts." * 
This opinion, although uttered by so 
eminent a person, that any country, how- 
ever situated, could not spare its wastes, is 
not to be entertained; the productions of 
these Avastes would, in a more scientific way, 
be produced elsewhere, or the increased 
wealth of extended and profitable cultivation 
enable the cultivators to bring from a distance 
what now occupies the place where advan- 
tageous culture should reign. Between these 
central strips and the rivers by which each 
* Sir Ilenrv Lawrence. 



103 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[CuAr. V. 



doab is bounded, fertile lands, amply irri- 
gated, spread away, teeming with the natural 
Avealth of northern Ind. These lands are not 
picturesque, and but seldom undulated; but, 
like the wida prairies of the western hemi- 
sphere, oifer boundless agricultural resources. 
The husbandmen by whom these rich plains 
are tilled, are brave, skilful, and industrious; 
a robust, hardy, self-reliant race, ready to hold 
the plough or wield the sword, as occasion 
requires. In the higher parts of the country 
innumerable rills distil their fertilising influ- 
ence upon the soil as they trickle from the 
mountains : about eighty miles of the upper 
part of the Punjaub contains a net-work of 
these rivulets, which, like veins in the animal 
system, spread over the whole surface. In 
the Scinde Saugor Doab, the central s(rij) is 
but little wooded, and is a trackless, sandy 
vx'aste. This doab is somewhat undulated, 
and therefore, notwithstanding its desert and 
salt tracts, is more picturesque. The salt 
range lies east and west from the Jhelum to 
the Indus, then, reappearing on the opposite 
bank of the latter river, extends to the Suli- 
manee hills. The veins of rock-salt in this 
region are of great A'alue, and its produce 
much prized in India, where the prejudice 
against sea-made salt is very great, partly 
arising from the way in which it is adulterated 
for the markets of the interior. The upper 
and lower Scinde Saugor are wild, sterile, and 
monotonous, except where the land, breaking 
into abrupt glens, and sweeping into waves 
of unequal surface, relieves the sameness of the 
general waste. 

The population of " the Punjaub proper " 
is chiefly Jat. Many of them are Moham- 
medans in religion, but the great majority 
inherit tire Sikh faith. The Gujurs are also 
numerous and nomad; they are good agri- 
culturists, but better shepherds. They are 
far superior to the Gujurs of Hindoostan in 
industry, integrity, and civil order. The 
Rajpoots have so often made successful pre- 
datory incursions, that they have, in course of 
time, become numerous ; they are indif- 
ferent cidtivators, but good soldiers. There 
are various sects of Mohammedans, of Aff- 
ghan, Persian, and Central Asia origin ; but 
they are in bad reputation, and are generally 
sulky or dejected. The Pathans have, how- 
ever, acquired consequence : Mooltan is their 
chief residence. They are a bold, energetic, 
and persevering race. Runjeet Singh had 
much difficulty in effecting their subjugation. 
Major Edwardes found in them important 
auxiliaries against the Sikh army when before 
Mooltan; and when, during the second siege. 
General Whish conducted his operations 
against that place, it was with Pathans and 



Affghans chiefly that Edwardes and Lake kept 
open the communications in the rear of the 
besieging army. Raens, Dogras, and other 
tribes less noted are scattered over the coun- 
tr3% The Raens, although not num.erous as 
a whole, take up their residence in the neigh- 
bourhood of every great city as market- 
gardeners, and are unrivalled either in Asia 
or Europe in this department of cultivation. 
All the tribes above named furnish the sol- 
diers and cultivators : the merchants and 
traders are of other tribes; they are chiefly 
taken from the Khutrees. This class is 
despised by all the other races ; traders and 
accountants being supposed to be effeminate 
persons. This contempt is not justified by 
I'acts, although some occasion for it seems to 
exist in the peaceable deportment of the 
Khutrees, who are not disposed to appeal to 
arms like their ruder brethren, on every occa- 
sion of difference, personal or national. This 
class has often exemplified superior courage, 
and always maintained a social status superior 
in civilization to the agricultural and soldier 
tribes. Of late years the Brahmins have 
usurped many positions of importance, and 
increased the natural hatred to their caste 
and relic-ion. From the Cheuab to the Indus 
the Hindoo race is numerous, and they are 
mostly Mohammedans. It may be seen from 
these classes into which the population is 
divided, that the elements of social antagonism 
are active and numerous. With the sino-le 
exception of the Sikhs, it is remarkable that 
the Hindoo races, whether converts to a 
foreign creed, or professors of their ancestral 
faith, consider themselves as subjects by 
nature, and born to obedience. They are 
disposed to regard each successive dynasty 
with equal favour or equal indifference; 
whereas, the pure Mussvdman races, descend- 
ants of the Arab conquerors of Asia, retain 
much of the ferocity, bigotry, and independ- 
ence of ancient days. They look upon empire 
as their heritage, and consider themselves as 
foreigners settled in the land for the purpose 
of ruling it. They hate every dynasty except 
their own, and regard the British as the 
worst, because the most powerful, of usurpers. 
East of the Indus, then, the vast majority of 
the population are our natural subjects ; 
beyond that river they are our natural anta- 
gonists. 

The climate of "the Punjaub proper" is 
uncertain, bi;t much more temperate than that 
of Hindoostan. Forest and fruit-trees are 
not abundant, except in the neighbourhood of 
Mooltan, Avhere dense groves of date and 
palm are picturesque to the eye, and bene- 
ficial to the people. 

Under the Sikh administration, before tlie 



Chap. V.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



103 



British conquest, the state of tlie country as 
to the repression of crime, or the redress of ' 
wrongs, Avas unsatisfactory. '"' Written law 
there was none : still, rude justice was dealt 
out. Private property in land, the relati^•c 
rights of landholders and cultivators, the cor- 
jiorate capacities of village communities, Avore 
all recognised. Under the direction of the 
local authorities, private arbitration was ex- 
tensively resorted to. The most difficult 
questions of real and personal property were 
adjudicated by these tribunals. The adjust- 
ment of affairs in a commercial emporium like 
Umritsir, reqrared no further interposition 
than this : the arbitrators would, according 
to their respective faiths, consult the Mussul- 
man Shureh, or the Hindoo Shaster; the 
kazees and .kanoongoes exercised, privately 
and indirectly, those functions which had 
descended to them since the imperial times. 
The former continued to ordain marriage 
ceremonies, to register last testaments, and 
attest deeds; the latter to declare recorded 
facts, and expound local customs. The maha- 
rajah constantly made tours through his domi- 
nions : he would listen to complainants during 
his rides, and he would become angered with 
any governor in whose province complaints 
were numerous. At court, also, he would 
receive individual appeals." * 

When the French General Avitabile ob- 
tained influence with Eunjeet Singh, he intro- 
duced European modes of punishment, and 
especially hanging. Previously fine, mutila- 
tion, or death by being blown from a cannon's 
mouth, were the penal inflictions exclusively 
in use. When the British inflicted uj3on the 
Sikhs their penultimate defeat, reform under 
the influence of the Lawrences Avas vigorously 
carried out. The following summary of their 
eff'orts, and of the successes attending them, 
were given by the commissioners of the Pun- 
jaub in their report to the government: — 
" The overgrown army was reduced ; the 
discharged soldiers were paid up ; the troops 
Avere paid, disciplined, and worked Avith regu- 
larity ; the finances were scrutinized ; the 
arrears justly due from the tax-gatherers 
Avere demanded Avitli rigour; efforts were 
made, by the enforcement of economy, to free 
the exchequer from its long accruing liabili- 
ties. In the fiscal department, arrangements 
Avere made to fix and limit both the demand 
on the people and the remuneration of the 
revenue officers. Summary settlements of 
the land revenue were made, and a liberal 
salary was allowed to the kardars. It was 
hoped that by these means the people would 
have to pay less, Avhile the state received more. 
The multi^ilicity of indirect and miscellaneous 
* Blue-book. 



taxes Avas simplified, and the budget AA-as so 
framed that the rcA'enue, Avhile restricted to a 
fcAV fixed duties, should not be diminished. 
Here again, it Avas believed that a relief Avould 
)je afforded to the people Avithout any sacrifice 
to the state interests. Individuals of cha- 
racter and repute AA'ere appointed as separate 
administrators of civil and criminal justice. 
The penal code was reduced to Avriting, and 
rendered more severe and just, and yet more 
humane. Heinous crimes Avere referred to 
the council of regency, and appeals from all 
the local rulers Avere regularly heard. Official 
misfeasance AA'as systematically prosecuted. 
European officers AA'ere deputed to visit tlie 
out-lying districts. All the chiefs, Avho 
might be considered to represent the intelli- 
gence, the honesty and influential interests of 
the countrj% Avere summoned to Lahore, for 
the purpose of framing rules and regulations 
for the future; and an assembly of fifty Siich 
elders, heads of villages, under the guidance 
of Sirdar Lena Singh, sat for some months at 
Lahore, in the autumn of 1847, to frame a 
code of simple law for the guidance of the 
Sikh people. The resources of the kingdom 
AA'ere examined, and their development Avas 
studied. Plans AA-ere formed for the construc- 
tion of ncAV canals, the repair of old ones, the 
re-opening of ruined aa^cUs, and the re-peopling 
of deserted villages. An engineer of rank 
and experience Avas appointed from the Bri- 
tish service; and three lacs from the rcA-e- 
nue A\'ere set apart by the council for public 
improA'ements." 

This gloAA'ing picture AA'as not OA'^er coloured. 
All these improvements Avere attempted Avith 
CA'cry prospect of complete success, in conse- 
quence of the affairs of the Punjaub liaAang 
been committed to competent and A'igorous 
men, Avhose intellectual attainments and ad- 
ministrative talents secured feasibility of plan 
and promptitude of execution. 

These bi'ight prospects Avere darkened by 
the thunder-cloud of Avar. The mother of 
Dhuleep Singh carried on a course of political 
intrigue such as Avould not haA^e been possible 
in any other part of India. Women hold a 
higher place in the social regulations of the 
Khalsa than AA'ould be possible in a Moham- 
medan or Brahminical community. What- 
eA'er adA'antage the Sikh people derived from 
this in the happiness of their homesteads, 
they suff'ered much from it politically, for the 
chief plotters of the court, and the most 
reckless and unprincipled, Avere the royal 
ladies. Their capacity to comprehend the 
interests of their country, and its great poli- 
tical relations, Avas small; but their ajititude 
for finesse AA'as extraordinary, and, at last, 
their intrigues invoked the fall of their 



104 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EIMPIRE 



[Chap. V. 



country licfore an injured and superior power. 
The labours of the British agents in 1847 
were interrupted by the revolt of Moolraj, 
the resistance of his soldiery, and the rapid 
succession of revolts, until all the cliiefs of 
note, except Gholab Singh, were in arms. 
The bolt of battle smote the whole land ; the 
avenging arms of England penetrated every 
defile and fastness from Mooltan to PeshaAvur ; 
the power of the Khalsa perished, and the 
sceptre of Lahore was trodden in the dust. 
English power became ascendant without any 
intermediate accessories of rajahs, or chiefs, 
or governments ; the cause of reform and 
administrative efficiency, so well begun, was 
resumed, and the genius of the Lawrences 
and Major (now Colonel) Edwardes had full 
scope in their noble counsels and operations. 
The good work has gone on, and whoever 
desires to study this interesting country, its 
2")eop]e, its extraordinary advancement in 
prosperity and civilization ^nthin the last 
eight years, must compare its present con- 
dition with Avhat it was when the Lawrences 
and Edwardes began their labours.* 

The frontiers of tlie country thus briefly 
described are extremely interesting in most 
directions. 

The district of HrzzAnA is in the north- 
west angle of the Scinde Sangor Doab. It 
consists of a hilly country ; and nestled among 
the hills are valleys bright and beautiful with 
verdure and wild flowers, or covered with 
huge masses of disjected rocks, between 
which spring up a great variety of the wild 
products of hilly regions in tropical latitudes. 
Three-fifths of the whole of this district are 
rock and hill. The plain of Huzzara is the 
only vale of any extent : in this the district- 
capital, Ilurreepore, is situated, and also the 
cantonment of Burookate. In the wild 
mountains which bound this district a brave 
and indomitable race have long maintained 
their independence. They set at defiance the 
Moguls; and Runjeet Singh and his Sikhs, in 
the acme of their glory, failed to subjugate 
them. Every crag and ravine A^'as a fortress 
for freedom — 

" 'Twas sweeter to bleed for an age at her shrine, 
Than to sleep for one moment in chains." 

\Miat arms could not effect, British moral 
influence accomplislied. i\Lijor Abbot, having 
been placed in charge of the district before 
and subsequent to the last Sikh war, con- 
ciliated the gallant mountaineers by his justice 
and moderation. The country offers to its in- 
habitants so many means of defence against 
disciplined forces, and such facilities for 
eluding pursuit, that except under judicious 

* Indian Blue-books ; Edwardes's Tear in the Pictijaub. 



management the allegiance of these tribes can 
never be secured. 

Peshawur is situated to the north -Avest of 
Huzzara on the right bank of the Indus. It 
contains four divisions — Eusufzye, Hust- 
nuggur, Doaba, and Peshawur proper. The 
valley of Peshawur has become almost as 
famed for its beauty as the vale of Cashmere. 
It forms the extreme western corner of the 
British empire in India. On one side only it 
is open to the j)lain of the Indus ; it is in all 
other directions begirt by hills — the Khy- 
ber, ^Mohmunnd, Swat, and Khuttuk. The 
Cabid River and its tributaries Avater the 
valley effectually, ensuring its irrigation and 
fertility. The total area is two thousand four 
hundred square miles. There is historic 
interest connected Avith this vale, for the great 
road over which all invaders of India have 
passed lies through it. It is thus the key of 
India. PeshaAA'ur jjroper is divided into tAvo 
portions, one lying i;pon the right bank of 
the Cabul River, and adjoining the Khuttuk 
and Afreedee hills ; the other is a triangular 
territory not unlike in form to the whole 
Punjaub. This triangle is bounded by the 
Cabul RJA-er and the Bai-a River on either side, 
and the base by the Khyber hills. This is the 
loA'eliest and most fertile spot in the AA'hole 
A'alley, and the city of PeshaAvur stands in 
the midst of it. Tlie inhabitants of PeshaAvur 
proper belong to mixed races, Afreedees, 
Hindoos, and certain aboriginal tribes being 
the most numerous. Previous to the last 
Sikh AA-ar Gholab Singh, iinder the guidance 
of Colonel G. LaAA'rence, effected much im- 
proA'ement in the condition of the people. 
After the annexation, a strong garrison of 
more than ten thousand men occupied Pesha- 
Avur ; but tills force Avas gradually Aveakened 
after 1853, and was considerably reduced at 
the jieriod of the mutiny in 1857. The 
peace, if not the security, of the Punjaub 
proper, depends upon the relations Avith the 
tribes on the PeshaAvur frontier. Some of 
these are held in siibjection to the British, 
some in friendly alliance. To the south of 
Peshawur is Kohat, a A'alley thirty -fiA'e miles 
long, four miles broad. Of this and the 
surrounding neighbourhood, aa'c select the 
folloAA'ing descrijDtion officially giA'en to the 
Directors of the East India Company : — 

'•■ It is important to the Britisli government 
as connecting PeshaAvur Avith our other 
Trans-Indus possessions. Kohat is only 
approachable from PeshaAvur by two passes, 
both passing through the Afreedee hills ; the 
shortest and most practicable is a dangerous 
defile of fourteen miles, Avith little AA-ater ; 
the second is a more difficult and more cir- 
cuitous pass, held by the Jauckhol Afreedees 



Chap. V.] 



IX INDIA AND THE EAST. 



105 



and called after their name. From the Indus 
it is also approached by two ])asses, that of 
Koolshalgurh, and that of Kalabagh, both 
passing through the Khuttuk hills. A like 
number connect it with Bunnoo, the Soorduk 
pass, seven miles long, direct between Baha- 
door Kheyl and Luttummer, and the Koonk- 
i-gao, a circuitous but safer route from Nurree 
to Khurruck. The revenue is fixed at a low 
rate, as the villagers are refractory, and, if 
pressed, betake themselves to the hills. 
Those portions, however, which are held by 
the hill tribe of Khuttuks are usually quiet. 
The Khuttuks indeed have, in this neighbour- 
hood, been uniformly faithful and obedient, 
and their chief, Khevaja Mohammed Khan, 
who holds in farm the southern hill portion, 
deserves well of the government for various 
acts of fidehty and good service. The valley 
is famous for its salt mines, the chief of which, 
at Bahadoor Kheyl, is guarded by a fort. At 
Kohat itself there is also a force, with a can- 
tonment and a fort. 

" In continuation of the Kohat valley, 
there runs the valley of Hungoo, twenty 
miles long by two or three broad, and opens 
into the plains of Meeranzye. The latter 
plain, about nine miles square, and bounded 
on the south-west by the Khoorun River, 
scarcely twenty miles distant from wdiere it 
emerges into the Bunnoo plain, is held by 
seven fortified villages, which, by order of 
the most noble the governor-general, have 
been taken under British protection. Each 
village is an independent commonwealth, but, 
unfortunately, the communities have ranged 
themselves imder two opposing factions. 
This internal strife is fomented by the Wuzee- 
rees and other tribes, Avho, by interference 
and encroachments, have contrived to appro- 
priate some of the choicest lands in the 
valley." 

South of Kohat lies the valley of Bunnoo, 
only accessible by the two passes of Soorduk 
and Koonk-i-gao. " The lands are chiefly 
rich and fertile, intersected by the Khoorum, 
and irrigated by water-cuts. The only un- 
cultivated portion is the ' Thul,' or pasturage 
ground, at the base of the hills. During the 
winter months the Wuzeerees pasture their 
flocks and herds, and erect patriarchal huts of 
skins with wooden frame-work. In the sum- 
mer months they retire to the cold mountain 
heights, taking their cattle and dwellings 
with them. This tribe formerly wrested a 
portion of the cultivated lands from the Bun- 
noochees, and have been confirmed in their 
possession. The villages are well built, and 
were once walled in, but all fortifications have 
been now dismantled. There is a substantial 
fort at Dhuleepghur, the capital, and a mili- 

VOL. I. 



tary road leading to it. A cantonment has 
lately been added. Notwithstanding the ef- 
forts that have been made for their ameliora- 
tion, the people are still evil disposed and in- 
different to human life, though some improve- 
ment in their habits is certainly perceptible. 
However, much of their demoralisation is 
owing to the injudicious combination of weak- 
ness and severity with which the Sikhs used 
to treat them." * In Ih-iT Lieutenant (now 
Colonel) Edwardes was dispatched with a 
Sikh force to collect revenue, but did not 
succeed ; the next j'ear the same officer, 
entrusted with more authority, conducted a 
similar force into the valley, and, by his con- 
ciliation and firmness happily blended, suc- 
ceeded in removing dissatisfaction, and or- 
ganising a revenue system. 

A series of valleys stretch away in these 
boundary regions, accessible only by passes, 
irrigated by mountain streams, and peopled 
by races exceedingly diverse in their habits 
and character, but all robust and brave. 

Shah Nawaz Khan farmed the government 
revenue, and preserved the peace of some of 
these districts. The Sikhs, jealous of his 
attachment to the English, deposed him 
before the last Sikh war, but Major (Colonel) 
Edwardes reinstated him when the annexa- 
tion took place. 

The defiles of the Sulimanee range, the 
" three Tokes," and the champaign of the 
Derajat, are w'ild regions, generally sterile, 
difficult of access, infested by robbers, the 
agricultural inhabitants dwelling in fortified 
villages. 

The cultivated line of the Indus, descend- 
ing from the hills, is exceedingly picturesque 
in some places. Dera Ghuznee Khan is a 
spot of peciiliar loveliness, remarkable for its 
beautiful and prohfic groves of dates. 

The whole of the Huzzara and Trans-Indus 
frontier is inhabited by tribes who have by 
their courage and depredations sustained a 
certain notoriety for ages. It would occupy 
too much space to give a minute notice of 
them. The following list comprises the chief 
tribes, and the forces which they can bring 
into the field : — 

Turuoulees 6,000 

Afreedees 15,000 

IMomiiuds 12,000 

Khuttuks 15,000 

Eusufzyes 30,000 

AVuzeerees 15,000 

Kusranees 5,000 

Belooch tribes 25,000 

Sbeerauees 10,000 

BhutteLee3 5,000 

Nearly one hundred and fifty thousand men 
could be summoned to arms against the Bri- 

* i\Iajor (now Colouel) Edwardes. 

P 



106 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. V. 



tish along the frontier hills from Peshawur 
and Huzzara to Scinde. JMotives of jilunder 
keep some in arms almost constantly, a rest- 
less and reckless disposition influences others ; 
but the chief sources of apprehension from 
the incursions of these predatory races are 
their indisposition to taxes, which they regard 
as tribute to the stranger, and an indignity ; 
and their religious fanaticism, by which their 
reluctance to pay tribute is aggravated. They 
are all Mohammedans, entirely under the in- 
fluence of their religious teachers, and some- 
times goaded almost to madness by the fena- 
ticism which such of their instructors as lay 
claim to extraordinary conmiunications with 
Heaven are generally able to inspire. As a 
sjiecimen of the faith and feeling disseminated 
among these tribes, and the more martial 
races of India and Affghanistan generally, 
the following, which was widely diffused 
during the revolt of 1857, will suffice to show 
the stimuli which these rough, brave races 
may receive whenever it is deemed necessary 
to incite them to disloyalty : — 

" 111 the name of llie merciful and compassionate God. 
After the praises of God and laudutiou of the Chief of 

Prophets, 
[Be it known that] this t)-act which the pen is inditing 

refers to waging war against the infidels. 
To fight for the Faith, and not through greedy desire 

of capturing cities. 
This is called by the people of Islam, in their religious 

code, a Jihad. 
What is told of the excellence of the Jihad in the 

Ku'rau and the traditions. 
That we are about to recount, impress it a little on 

your memory. 
God enjoins that ye, if ye be indeed of the true faith, 
Should str^iight prepare for this war of Islam against 

the misbelievers. 
He, on whose feet falls the dust in the ranks of war 

against the intidels. 
Has escaped hell, and is safe from penal fires. 
The Moslem, who has fought the good fight but for an 

instant, 
Tlie garden of eternal bliss has become his due. 
O brother ! hearken to the saying of the Prophet, 
The garden of Paradise is under the points of your 

swords. 
He that in this cause gives heartily his worldly wealth, 
God will give him seven hundred fold in the day of 

judgment. 
He that gives both his gold and the strokes of his 

sword, 
God will return him a seven thousand f(jld reward. 
He that with his wealth supplies arms to the Ghazi, 
To him also God will give the recompense of a com- 
batant in the Jihad. 
He that neither goes himself to the war nor expends 

wealth in the cause, 
God will hurl on him chastisement — ay ! even before 

his death. 
They who fall in the holy cause, though several in 

pieces, 
Die not, but live ever happy in the garden of bliss. 
Lo ! for base greed the thousands ofsoldiers ye behold. 
Quitting their homes, lose life without uttering a 

groan. 



Strange that ye call yom-selves the followers of Islam, 
Yet with false excuses tuni aside from the jiath of 

God. 
Ye truly have long forgotten to tread this righteous 

way : 
lu the love of wives and children ye have forgotten your 

God. 
How long, wrapped up in this love, will ye slumber at 

home ? 
Tell how long will ye be safe from the clutches of 

deal h ? 
To-day if, of free will, ye surrender life for God, 
To-morrow ye shall revel in the Eden of bliss. 
If for God ve relinquisii the pleasures of the world, 
Y'e shall wrap yourselves for ever with heavenly joys as 

with a robe. 
Is it better to die abject and wretched in yonr homes, 
Or to devote your lives nobly in God's holy cause? 
Ye will rue it if ye give not your lives for the cause. 
And sav, now, how will ye show vour faces to the 

Prophet ? 
There is but one condition, that ye obey your imam 

with heart and soul ; 
Else 'twill be in vain even to draw the sword. 
He that begins to fight in the Jihad, according to tlie 

dictates of his own will. 
His labour is fruitless — his blood v,-\]\ stream in vain. 
They who knovv their God and Mohammed aright 
Obey from their heart the commandments of their 

leaders. 
To the people of Islam it sufllces to give a summons 

thus far. 
Let us now bring this invitation to a close. 
O God of the heavens and the earth! Lord of thy 

creatures ! 
Give now to Moslems the power of commencing the 

Jihad with great might. 
Give thine own strength, and succour thy faithful 

people, 
And fultil the promise thou hast made of victory to 

them — 
Eultil thy word, O King ! to Islam in such wise, 
That not a word may be heard save AUah, Allah ! " 

In the reports made to the directors of the 
Honourable East India Company, these tribes 
are represented as incapable of combination, 
but formidable in desultory attacks. Under 
a strong religious excitement they might, 
however, act simultaneously, if not in com- 
bination, and a very considerable force would 
be required to resist their prowess. It is of 
the utmost importance that the city and pro- 
vince of Peshawur be sufficiently guarded, 
and that its administration be such as to 
secure the contentment of its inhabitants. 
According to a very old Persian work, written 
in the time of Sultan Baber, the province re- 
ceived its name from Mahmoud of Ghuznee, 
when he undertook his first expedition beyond 
the Indus. The former name was Bagram: but 
Mahmoud, dissatisfied with its site, directed a 
new town to be erected on an advanced piece 
of elevated groiind. The Persian verb " to 
bring forward " is " pesh-awurdan," — hence 
" Peshawur," or the " advanced." The city 
is about forty -five miles from the right bank 
of the Indus. It is in form an irregular 
oblong, and is surrounded by a brick wall 



Chap. V.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



107 



twenty feet in lieiglit, strengthened by round 
towers, or bastions at the angles. There is 
a large suburb called Sir Assoa, which has 
its own walls and gates. The circumference 
of the city and suburbs is five thousand five 
hundred yards, and there are thirteen gates. 
Troops or city police guard these gates. 
^Yith the exception of two elevations the 
city stands on a level space. A brook runs 
through part of the city, which Burns and 
other travellers rejjresent as sedgy and ne- 
glected, but which Mr. H. G. Raverty de- 
scribes as crossed by bridges. The higher 
parts of the city are picturesque ; the houses 
are large and gloomy, but considering the 
site and surroi;nding objects, these circum- 
stances contribute to that effect. In conse- 
quence of the frequent occurrence of earth- 
quakes in Peshawur and its neighbourhood, 
tlie houses, although built of sun -burnt bricks, 
are placed in wooden frames. Tlie Sir 
Assea is inhabited by Hindoos and Moham- 
medans, in equal numbers. In 1852 there 
were 7306 houses, of which 4"JS9 belonged 
to INIohammedans, and the remaining 2317 
to Hindoos, Sikhs, and Khutrees, There 
were, besides, 72o suburban houses, occupied 
by Cashmerians and natives of the Peshawur 
valley. The population is little short of 
60,000. AVhen the dust storms occur, and 
they are not infrequent, the houses, bazaars, 
streets, and every object in and around the 
city are covered with dust; at such times the 
gloomy appearance of the place is impleasant 
yet striking. Most of the accounts Avhich 
travellers have given of this city appear to 
have rested on report, for there are not at 
})resent any traces of the grandeur of edifices, 
which, if they had existed at the time when 
their splendour was affirmed, woidd be in ex- 
istence still. One mosque of superior archi- 
tecture raises its tall and tasteful minarets 
above the town ; but even this has been ex- 
aggerated as to its architectui'al pretensions. 
The city is surrounded by gardens, chiefly for 
vegetables, and there are the remains of seve- 
ral places called gardens, which were once 
beautifid, where persons of distinction for- 
merly enjoyed their summer retreats. Shrines 
and tombs are also common in the neighbour- 
hood, and beautiful cypress-trees are gene- 
rally planted in their vicinity. The Balla 
Hissar is a rude fort of no great strength ; 
there is a beautiful garden in connexion with 
it, which is called Shalah-i-Mah, or "the 
light of the moon." Throughout the pro- 
vince there are ruins of ancient temples and 
palaces, and, according to the Greek histo- 
rians, cities of importance existed there in 
their early acquaintance with it. 

The produce of tlie province is varied. 



Cotton and corn are cultivated, but neither be- 
yond what is wanted for the use of the inha- 
bitants. The orchards bring forth gf)()d fruits, 
but only of a few kinds, more especially pears, 
quinces, plums, peaches, pomegranates, and 
a species of sloe called amink, which grows 
in abundance. The vine flourishes ; a grape 
gleaned in June is small but of delicious fla- 
vour. In July rich and large -sized grapes are 
gathered ; many of the branches weigh four and 
five pounds each. The vegetable gardens are 
very prolific ; most of the species of vege- 
tables known in England and in India are 
cultivated with success. The flora of the 
province is rich. The violet, commonly 
called " the Prophet's flower," is to be seen 
everywhere, it is a sweet and beautiful 
flower; the daisy, also, lifts its "modest, crim- 
son-tipp'd" head in every field- — a welcome 
sight to our soldiers. There is no other part of 
India where an Englishman can live so cheaply, 
and at the same time so comfortably, and after 
his home manner. Eggs, fowl, meat, game, 
and river fish are in abundance. 

Having thus described the Punjaub pro- 
per, there remain two sections of the province 
to notice — the Cis-Sutlej, and the Trans - 
Sutlej. The Cis-Sutlej has been divided 
into five districts — namel}', Ferozepore, Loo- 
diana, Umballah, Thanusar, and Simla. 

Simla consists of hill dependencies, ceded 
to the British after the Nepaulese war of 
1814. Within its circle are fifty independent 
chiefships, and nine dependent states, also 
several hill rajahs and ranas, all of whom 
have jurisdiction within their own estates. 

The town of Ferozepore is on important 
military station ; it is about fifty-two miles 
S.S.E. from Lahore, the capital of the whole 
Sikh region, in latitude 30*^ 55' north, and 
longitude 74"* 35' east. INIr. Montgomery, 
the commissioner for the Lahore division, 
contemplated, before the breaking out of the 
revolt in 1857, the establishment of ])ontoons 
at Ferozepore, similar to those at Agra. They 
were to be manufactured in England, and 
landed at Bombay, to be brought up the 
Indus to Mooltan and Feroze2:)ore by steamers. 

The town of Loodiana occupies a site on 
the southern bank of a small branch of the 
Sutlej, in latitude 30° 4'J' north, and longitude 
75° 48' east. It is one hundred and fifteen 
miles south-east from Lahore, and one hun- 
dred and seventy N.N.E. from Delbi. It is 
an important military station. "When the 
British extended their authority to the Sutlej, 
in 1803, Lord Lake recommended the selec- 
tion of Loodiana as a fortified post, to provide 
against incursions from the Sikhs. The 
population is not numerous. The climate is 
remarkable for extremes of heat and cold ; 



108 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. V. 



the cold season lasts four montlis, and is more 
seA^ere than it is sometimes in much higher 
latitudes. 

The town of Umballah is only important 
strategically, in case of military o^Derations ; 
it was the rendezvoas of the armies collected 
by Lord Gongh to prosecute the last Sikh 
war. It is situated in latitude 30*^ 35' north, 
and longitude 7G^ 19' east. 

Thanusar is a very ancient town, eighty- 
three miles north by east from the city of 
Delhi, in latitude 29° 55' north, and longitude 
7G° 18' east. '' Near to this place stood the 
ancient city of Hustnapore." * 

The Traxs-Sutlej states were ceded to 
the British in 1846. The commissioners' re- 
port to the government of the India -house 
thus describes them: — "They consist of the 
Jullundur Doab, situated between the Beas 
and the Siitloj, and the hill territory, lying 
between the Ravee and the Beas. The ex- 
treme north-Avest boundary adjoins the Jum- 
moo territory ; the northern includes the 
snowy range of the Himalayas, and touches 
the limits of Ladakh and Thibet. The 
northern capital is Kangra, celebrated for a 
fortress which, during the period of Moham- 
medan ascendancy, was an important point in 
all political combinations. At the close of 
the Sutlej cam])aign, the governor of this 
stronghold, which had so long been deemed 
impregnable by all native powers, refused to 
surrender it. A force was assembled, but 
before the batteries were opened the garrison 
capitulated. In this alpine region are included 
the protected principalities of Mundi, Sookeit, 
and Cumba. In respect of physical features 
this hill tract is the finest district in the 
Piinjaub ; it is a succession of hills and 
valleys, many of which are overlooked by 
the snowy range. Among these valleys, the 
most fertile is that of Kangra, on the northern 
side of which the sanatorium of Dhurmsala is 
placed. It is jirofusely irrigated from the 
hill torrents, conducted by the husbandmen 
into countless channels. Its fertility is almost 
unrivalled. Three harvests are produced in 
the year. The rice is the finest in Upper 
India. To the north-east stretches the moun- 
tainous table-land of ^lundi, with an Euro- 
pean climate. Beyond that, again, arc the 
petty chiefships wliich adjoin the Simla hills. 
In many parts of this region there are mag- 
niiicent forests of timber-trees; fruit-trees 
and hedgerows are everywhere abundant." 
The people do not resemble the Trans-Indus 
population. The latter are fierce, wild, and 
predator}'^ ; the former are pure Rajpoots, 
and are honest and peaceable. Tiiey are, 
however, warlike, and during the insurrec- 
* xibul Fazel. 



tion of 184:8 were reluctant to lay down 
their arms. They are industrious and skilful 
agriculturists, but scientific agriculture is yet 
in its infancy in the Trans-Sutlej states. 

The JuLLUNDUR Doab is one of the fairest 
and richest provinces in all the Punjaub. The 
plain is interspersed with towns and villages, 
where the peo])le have many comforts, and 
display an aptitude for civilisation of a high 
order. The two chief towns of the Trans- 
Sutlej states are Hooshiarpore and Jullundur. 
Opposite Loodiana, on the other side of the 
river, is the fortress of Philoor, which was 
formerly considered the key of the Punjaub. 
It is now an ordnance store and magazine. 

There is one independent territory in this 
region — Katorethulla. It lies along the 
Beas, towards its junction with the Sutlej. 
This petty state is all that now remains of 
the great Sikh empire, the terror of which 
prevailed from Delhi to Teheran, and the 
name of which was a spell even in the high 
quarters of British power. The population is 
of great density all over the Jullundur Doab 
— " four hundred and twenty souls to the 
srpiare mile." * 

The Trans-Sutlej states are the most pro- 
fitable and most easily managed of any com- 
prehended in the general name of the Punjaub. 

These provinces, — the Cis-Sutlej, the Trans- 
Sutlej, and Punjaub proper, — taken as a 
whole, constitute one of the most important 
Asiatic possessions of Great Britain, as regards 
fertility, population, system of government, 
and present development of material re- 
sources. 

The capital of all these regions is Lahore. 
This is the military city of the Sikhs, and was, 
not many years ago, the haughty metro- 
polis of the Khalsa hosts. It is built upon 
the south side of the Ravee River, in latitude 
31° 36' north, and longitude 74° 3' east. The 
river is in width about three hundred yards, 
but neither deep nor rapid, except during the 
periodical rains. The town has an old and 
in many respects a dilapidated look, which is 
increased by its gloomy and decayed fort. 
During the Sikh reign persons of peaceable 
habits and reputed wealth sought Umritsir in 
preference, as the changes and revolutions of 
faction at Lahore rendered it insecure. ^Yith 
all its pride and power, it was neither a 
wealthy nor respectable city. The intrigues 
and corrujitions of the court injured it morally 
and commercially, impeding its prosperity, 
and distracting its social life. Its mosques, 
minarets, and mausolea, give it a peculiar in- 
terest. The mausoleum of Jehanghur, about 
two miles north of Lahore, is a very extensive 
and even magnificent building. The tomb of 
* Government report. 



Chap. V.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



109 



Noor Jehun Begum is rather more tluin lialf 
tlie dimensions of the former, and is an object 
of interest to the traveller. The travelling 
distance of Lahore from Delhi is considerably 
under four hundred miles ; from Bombay it is 
a thovisand, and from Calcutta at least a third 
more. The labours of jNlajor Macgregor, the 
British agent, to improve Lahore, and to in- 
duce the citizens to exert themselves for the 
same object, have been energetic, intelligent, 
and successful. He has caused many of the 
streets to be widened and paved by the con- 
sent of the people, and at their own expense. 
The verandahs, lately of grass, and therefore 
quickly inflammable, have been displaced by 
M'ood verandahs, prettily carved and painted, 
as individual taste guided the decorations, 
and the streets have assumed a light and 
graceful appearance previously unknown. 
The roads leading through the city gates 
have been "metalled," and a circular road 
round the city has been repaired and planted. 
An old palace, crumbling into ruins, near the 
Delhi gate, has, with its convenient grounds, 
been adapted to a large, and even handsome, 
market-place. The old market-places have 
been enlarged and paved. A system of city 
drainage has been been carried oi;t. Some 
suppose that the cleanliness and beauty of 
Umritsir is now rivalled by Lahore. The 
city police, " small, active, intelligent, and 
well armed, are an excellent detective as well 
as protective body." The most agreeable 
feature of promise connected with Lahore is 
the public spirit of the jieople, who are ready 
to take up every scheme of improvement 
which the resident civil officer recommends 
for their adoption. 

MooLTAN was once a vast and powerful 
country. When Abul Fazel composed the 
Institutes of Akbar, it was one of the largest 
provinces of the empire, extending to the 
frontier of Persia, and comprehended all the 
territories now designated Mooltan, Beloo- 
chistan, Scinde, Shekarpore, Sewistan, Tatta, 
and the doabs connected with Lahore. It is 
now a comparatively limited region; having 
been comprehended within the Sikh domi- 
nions, it is now regarded as a part of the 
Punjaub. The city of INfooltan has become 
notorious as the scene of the revolt and despe- 
rate resistance of Moolraj, the mnrder of the 
British political agents, the gallant conduct of 
Lieutenant (Colonel) Edwardes in shutting 
Moolraj np within the defences of the city, 
the treachery of Shere Singh, and the siege 
and conquest by General Whish. It is sup- 
posed to be the Malli of Alexander's histo- 
rians. The town is not large or populous. 
The fort was very strong, and withstood the 
artillery of General Whish for a long time 



before Moolraj surrendered. What arms 
failed to accom])lish, the elements subse- 
quently effected ; for during the rainy season 
the Chenab River, on the banks of wliich the 
fortress was built, rose and swept away its 
foundations, leaving nothing but a jiile of ruins. 
Mooltan stands in latitude 3U"' 9' north, lon- 
gitude 71° 7' east. 

The moral and intellectual condition of 
these states affords encoiiragcment, although 
there still exist many impediments to the 
progress of the people in these respects. The 
chief characteristic of crime in the Punjaub, 
as compared with other portions of India, is 
the proportion of offences against chastity. 
The position of women, as before observed, is 
socially far higher in the Sikh nation than 
in Hindoostan. The Hindoos and Moham- 
medans in the Punjaub are far from Avilling 
to concede to females the liberty allowed by 
their compatriots ; and it is to be regretted 
that the use made of this liberty is very bad. 
Nowhere in India is female licentiousness to 
be seen in so great a degree as in the Pun- 
jaub. Peshawur is probably, in this respect, 
the most jirofane city in the East; and few 
towns in Europe, of a population no greater 
in number, are sunk so low in this particiUar 
vice. Although this subject belongs to the 
social condition of India, reserved for another 
chapter, yet, as the state of religion, and 
necessarily of morals, has already been gene- 
rally treated in a separate chapter, this notice 
of the moral condition of the Sikhs is here 
given as a particular illustration of what has 
already been laid down, as to the specific 
operations upon the heart and life of the 
people, of the different religions they profess. 

The crime of Thuggee, in the territory com- 
mitted to their charge, is thus noticed in the 
report of the board of commissioners for the 
Punjaub, printed for the court of directors of 
the East India Company in 1854 :• — " It had 
been previously imagined that Thuggee had 
not spread west of the Sutlej ; but towards the 
close of last year the discovery of sundry 
bodies near the tj^rand trunk road led to 
inquiry, which disclosed that Thuggee, in 
some shape or other, existed in the Punjaub 
proper. The track was instantly followed 
up, and a separate establishment was ap- 
pointed under the directions of Mr. H. Brere- 
ton, who was know^n to have a natural turn 
for detective operations; eventually the ser- 
vices of Captain Sleeman were obtained. 
Much proof has been collected, and many 
criminals captured. The nature of the crime, 
and the general habits of the criminals, have 
been ascertained. The Punjaubee Thugs are 
not so dangerous as their brethren of Hin- 
doostan, The origin of the crime is of com- 



110 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. V. 



paratively recent date. These Thngs have 
none of the supple sagacity, the insidious 
perseverance, the religions faith, the dark 
superstition, the sacred ceremonies, the pecu- 
liar dialect, the mysterious bond of union 
which so terribly distinguish the Indian 
Thugs. They ai-e merely an organised body 
of highwaymen and murderers, rude, fero- 
cious, and desperate. They nearly all belong 
to one class of Sikhs, and that the lowest. 
The apprehension of these desperadoes has 
ensured greater security than heretofore in 
the desolate localities of the high roads, and 
has caused a decrease of violent crimes." 

There is a marked disposition on the part 
of the Sikhs to take the law into their own 
hands when any injury is inflicted upon them. 
" Blood for blood," " an eye for an eye, and 
a tooth for a tooth," are the maxims of the 
2)opulations that are spread over these re- 
gions, in whatsoever else they differ. The 
Hindoos are more ready to appeal to, or 
abide by, the tribunals, than are either the 
Mohammedans or the Sikhs. General Avi- 
tabile, the great commander and admi- 
nistrator of Runjeet Singh, fostered this 
revengeful spirit, or, at all events, so far 
comjDlied with it as to dispense jiistice upon 
this principle. This made him popular, and 
the people still speak of him as one utterly 
stern, unpityingly severe, but unswervingly 
just; ever ready to listen to the complaint of 
soldier or peasant himself, able to discrimi- 
nate, fearless to decide, and prompt to 
avenge. The British functionaries, however 
able and just, have not the same powers indi- 
vidually, nor would they be disposed to exer- 
cise them in the same way. 

" The Board of Administration for the 
Punjaub," in their comparative tables of the 
crime committed within their jurisdiction and 
that committed in the north-western pro- 
vinces, prove to demonstration the superior 
moral condition of the former ; but many 
formidable offences in the Sikh provinces are 
not regarded with that horror which would 
show that the heart of the peoi)le was right 
as to the maintenance of public virtue, what- 
ever the exceptional case of individuals or 
classes. This has been the case with refer- 
ence to Dacoitee, which was regarded with 
extraordinary tolerance, even by those who 
suffered from it. The determination of the 
government to extirpate it, and, by the modes 
of suppression, to mark its abhorrence of the 
offence, has not only greatly checked the 
crime, but much improved the public senti- 
ment. The terms in which "the Board" 
reports the successful war carried on against 
this crime are instructive, and give a good 
insight into the influence upon the Sikhs of 



the events of their own history as a people. 
*' In the Punjaub gang-robbery is a national 
crime, and is characteristic of the dominant 
race ; it is associated with historic remem- 
brances and allied with rude virtues. It is 
but too often dignified with qualities which 
command some respect even for criminals in 
civilized countries. In the days when the 
Sikhs rose into power, they were the Con- 
dottieri of Northern India ; the greater the 
chieftain, the greater the bandit. The violent 
seizure ot property, of villages, or of territory, 
was the private and political aim of all Sikh 
chiefs, mighty, petty, or middle class, accord- 
ing to their several capacities. The robber 
of to-day becomes the leader of armies to- 
morrow. Even when their power assumed a 
distinct form, and concentrated itself under 
one head, still the Sikhs frequently practised 
that rude art by which the tribe had risen 
from obscurity to empire. When this poli- 
tical ascendancy suddenly passed away, when 
warriors and adherents of the conquered 
government were Avandering about unem- 
ployed, recourse was had to the favourite 
crime, -which furnished the restless with ex- 
citement and the disaffected with the hope 
of revenge. The preventive and detective 
measiires adopted have been already noticed. 
It was deemed necessary to treat the cap- 
tured robbers with exemplary severity, when 
murder or serious wounding had occurred ; 
the prisoners, or at least all the ringleaders, 
were in many cases capitally sentenced ; and 
even when death had not ensued, yet the fact 
of a robbery with violence having been 
committed by men armed with lethal weapons, 
was considered to warrant capital prmishment. 
The rapid suppression of the crime which 
ensued on the combined measures of detective 
vigilance and judicial severity, proves the 
sad necessity which existed for stern ex- 
ample," 

The crime most appalling to contemplate, 
and, at the same time, most difficult of sup- 
pression, prevalent among the Sikhs, is in- 
fanticide. The following admirable paragra})h 
in a report of the administrators of the 
Punjaub opens up the philosophy of this 
offence, but unhappily does not hold out the 
hope of its sj^eedy extinction :— '' The Punjaub 
is not free from this crime, which disgraces 
so many noble tribes in Upper India. The 
government are doubtless aware that, in the 
north-western provinces, its eradication has 
been found most difficult, and has freqi;ently 
been the subject of grave deliberation. The 
board fear that the task will prove even more 
difficult here. This crime has become asso- 
ciated with the Rajpoot name, but the Raj- 
poots of the Punjaub have escaped the taint. 



OiiAr. v.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



Ill 



The dreadful distinction cliiefly belongs to 
the Bedees, or priestly class among the iSikhs. 
Other tribes must, however, bear a share of 
oi)i)r()brium ; such as some of the Mussulman 
sects, and some subdivisions of the Khutree 
caste. Their inherent pride and the supposed 
sanctity of their order make the Bedees 
nnwillin;'- to contract alliances for their 
daughters, who are consequently doomed to 
an earlv death. Now, the Rajpoots of Hin- 
doostan and Central India murder their 
daughters, not because they are too proud to 
give tliem in marriage, but because they 
cannot aftord the customary dowry and wed- 
ding expenses. In this case the incentive to 
the crime may be destroyed by the enactment 
of sumptuary laws, siich as those now pro- 
posed to be established with the po2:)ular 
assent of the north-western provinces. But 
what law can be framed to touch the origin 
of Punjaub infanticide, to humble the re- 
morseless pride of birth, station, and fancied 
sanctity? And yet, the board are persuaded 
that by carrying the people with us, by de- 
stroying the motives of the crime, by making 
its commission profitless and imfashionable, 
and by the gradual diffusion of morality, by 
such means alone can the vice be effectually 
put down. In our older territories, various 
preventive designs have been tried, but not 
always with good effect; such as the registry 
of births, the periodical mustering of the 
children, and general surveillance. But it 
may be doubted whether such means (unless 
most discreetly applied) are not more sus- 
ceptible of abuse than of advantcXge. The 
board will give the subject their best atten- 
tion, until a solution of the difficulty shall 
have been arrived at." 

The religious condition of the whole of 
the Sikh provinces is to be deplored. No 
part of India is less provided with evangelical 
Christian instruction in any form. Mosques 
and heathen temples are supported from the 
public revenues, and even priests and teachers, 
especially superannuated persons, of all va- 
rieties of faith receive government main- 
tenance. The extent of these disbursements 
is at once serious as respects the revenue, 
and shameful as regards the Cliristian con- 
sistency of the government. The principle 
upon which this is advocated is, that it is 
politic not too soon or too suddenly to abolish 
a previously existing state of things ; that, 
seeing the revenues are levied from the whole 
nation, some portion of them should be given 
back in a manner to please the people. How- 
ever reasonable and correct this may be as 
it regards pensions for civil and military 
service, and public works, it is both unwise 
and unchristian for the government to extend 



its open patronage to every variety of super- 
stition and idolatry, the votaries of which 
they find ready to receive it. Grants of 
public money in consonance witli jmblic 
rights and general utility, ought not to be 
confounded with its bestowment in vain efforts 
to gratify prejudice, bigotry, and idolatry. 
That the government commits this error the 
following extract will show : — 

"The endowments [writing of a particular 
class J are both secular and religious, for the 
support of temples, mosques, j)laces of jiil- 
grimage and devotion, schools, village inns 
for the reception of travellers, paupers, and 
strangers, generally of a monastic character. 
These institutions are ornaments to the vil- 
lages ; they have some architectural preten- 
sion, and being embosomed in trees, are often 
the only shady spots in the neighbourhood. 
They add much to the comfort of rustic life, 
and keep alive a spirit of hos})itality and piety 
among the agricultural people. The endow- 
ments, though occasionally reduced in amount, 
have on the whole been regarded with liber- 
ality, and in confirming them, the officers 
have mainly regarded the utility and efficiency 
of the institution. Such grants, when insig- 
nificant in amount, have been maintained, 
even though the original granter might have 
been the headman of the village. The grants 
to objects of charity or to persons of sanctity 
have frequently been paid in cash, and in such 
cases have been brought under the denomina- 
tion of pensions. In regard to the charitable 
grants, indeed with regard to all grants, the 
tenour of the government letter has been 
observed, and the rigour of the rules has 
been relaxed in favour of parties who, from 
'indigence, infirmity, age, or sex,' might be 
fitting objects of special indulgence." 

In the above extract the board informs 
the government and the public, that in con- 
firming previously existing endowments, the 
officers have chiefly regarded the utility and 
efficiency of the institutions so endowed. 
Tliey say that the institutions selected for 
" their utility and efficiency," are " temples, 
mosques, places of pilgrimage, and devo- 
tion." Of all the native "institutions" of 
India, " places of pilgrimage " are the greatest 
curse, yet they are endowed by the board of 
administration of the Punjaub as places of 
" utilitv and efficiencv." These institutions, 
they further tell us, keep alive a spirit of 
" piety " among the agricultural people 1 The 
schools and village inns are represented as 
generally of " a monastic character I " No 
wonder that the British public should be dis- 
satisfied with a system which not only en- 
dows Mohammedanism and heathenism, but 
which displays the spirit of its working by 



112 



HISTORY OF THE BraTISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. V 



tlie ostentatious commendation of heathen 
or Mohammedan monastic houses, temples, 
mosqnes, places of pilgrimage, &c., by the 
superior officers of the government. The 
men who sign the report which contains all 
this, and to whose talents so much that was 
really desirable was attributable, no doubt 
carried out with fidelity the policy of their 
employers. While " persons of sanctity," as 
the report terms the religious impostors by 
whom the different populations were so fre- 
quently incited to fanaticism, were jDCtted and 
pensioned, the Christian missionary was dis- 
countenanced, and the native converts perse- 
cuted by the dominant sects, with the con- 
nivance of the government: these converts 
were ineligible for any civil office I The ad- 
ministration of the Punjaub was in this 
respect less liberal than that of the north-west 
provinces. In a former chapter, when treat- 
ing of the religions of India, credit was given 
to the government and the company for the 
various encouragements which have of late 
years been afforded to the free exercise of 
Christian instrumentalities, and while govern- 
ment interference with the religion of the 
people was deprecated, attention was called 
to the mode in which the Church Missionary 
Society was found to extend religious educa- 
tion among the Santals. Since that chapter 
was written, the author has learned that the 
decrees which thus gave scope to the Church 
IVIissionary schools have been revoked. The 
Times Calcutta correspondent, in his letter 
dated the 23rd of November, 1857, thus 
wrote : — 

" You have recently argued that 'the court 
of directors are hostile to Christianity. The 
statement is impudently denied. Allow me 
to state the following fact : — On the termina- 
tion of the Santal campaign, the lieutenant- 
governor, finding that the complete barbarism 
of the Santals had become dangerous, pro- 
posed to civilise them. He handed them 
over to the Church IMissionary Society for 
education, selecting that body because two of 
its agents had won the confidence of the 
Santals. The tribe liked the arrangement, 
and began to fill the schools. The surround- 
ing classes did not care, regarding Santals in 
about the light in which we regard centipedes 
or other dangerous vermin. There was no 
doubt of success, when out comes an order 
from the court disallowing the whole arrange- 
ment, as the development of Christianity was 
'contrary to their policy I' Well, the Santals 
have a commissioner, a man known as no 
saint, a desperate hunter, always either in the 
saddle or inquiring into the complaints of his 
subjects. He was ordered to produce a new 
scheme. He quietly replied that he couldn't 



and wouldn't, and that he hoped soon to see 
the end of a ' policy which made us cowards 
in the eyes of men, and traitors in the eyes 
of God.' Similar ideas are coming up from 
every corner of India." The conduct of 
the government in that respect has, however, 
the apology of a principle — the non-endow- 
ment of Christian education, which may be 
justified, but the actual endowment of Mo- 
hammedanism and heathenism in every form 
— their worship, shrines, pilgrimages, and 
"persons of sanctity" — throughout the Pun- 
jaub, and the reverence ostentatiously shown to 
these endowed institutions, for their efficacy, 
utility, and adaptation to promote piety, in 
the most important public documents, is an 
indisputable offence against the religious feel- 
ing of Great Britain, the honour of the Chris- 
tian religion, and the tlirone of God. There 
are no features of God's revelation more 
strongly brought out than his displeasure with 
all who participate in any way with idols, 
and especially when those who profess to 
worship him as the one only living and true 
God give countenance to idolatry in any 
manner. Yet, in face of this, the board of 
administration of the Punjaub glories in the 
support given to idolatries, and the govern- 
ment at Calcutta and at home impress their 
sanction upon it. How is it possible for 
either the heathen abroad, or the masses of 
Christian people at home, to believe that the 
governing classes are not pervaded by infi- 
delity, when they perceive how the plainest 
precepts of the Bible can be set aside, and 
the most daring crime perpetrated, if a 
financial or political purpose is to be gained ? 
There is no offence which the criminal re- 
ports of the Punjaub reveal more debasing 
and ruinous in itself, more demoralising to 
society, and insulting and defiant to God, 
than idolatry ; and there is no part of their 
report in which the board of administra- 
tion take more credit to themselves than 
that in which they record their attentive con- 
cern to maintain teachers and places of idol- 
worship ! It is well, however, to see fruits 
meet for repentance. Under the administra- 
tion of the same John Lawrence who signed 
the Punjaub report the ban has been removed 
from entrance to official life on the part of 
native Christians, and the same R. Mont- 
gomery whose signature is to that report has 
put forth the following important document. 
It woidd, indeed, have come more gracefully 
years ago ; one cannot help now suspecting 
that it is not to the favour felt for Chris- 
tianity, or the impartial justice entertained 
towards the native Christians, that the change 
is to be attributed, so much as to the aroused 
feeling and opinion of the British people, and 



Chap. V.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



113 



their obvious determination to put an end 
to a state of things so disgraceful to their 
national and religious character as a people. 

The sulTerings and trials which (he Almiglity has pcr- 
niitlcd to come upon Lis people iu this land daring the 
past few months, though dark and mysterious to us, will 
assuredly cud in his glory. The followers of Christ will 
now, I believe, be induced to come forward and advance 
the interests of his kingdom and those of his servants. 
The system of caste can no longer be permitted to rule in 
our services. Soldiers and government servants of every 
class must be entertained for their merits, irrespective of 
creed, class, or caste. The native Christians, as a body, 
have, with rare exceptions, been set aside. I know not 
one in the Punjaub (to our disgrace be it said) in any 
employment under government. A proposition to employ 
them iu the public service six months ago would assuredly 
have been received with coldness, and would not have 
been complied with; but a change has come, and I believe 
there are few wlio will not eagerly employ those native 
Christians competent to till appointments. I understand 
that in the ranks of the army at Jladras there are native 
Christians, and I have heard that some of the guns at 
Agra are at this time manned by native Christians. I 
consider 1 should be wanting iu my duty at this crisis if 
I did not endeavour to secure a portion of the numerous 
appointments in the judicial department for native Chris- 
tians; and I shall be happy (as far as I can) to advance 
their interests equally with those of the Mohanimcdan 
and Hindoo candidates — their future promotion must 
de])end on their own merits. I shall therefore feel 
obliged by each missionary favouring me with a list of the 
native Christians belonging to them, who, in their opinion, 
are fit for the public service. 

The following suggestions will aid the missionaries in 
classifying their men. For burkundages (policemen iu 
the ranks) able-bodied men are required. It' the candidate 
can read and write, and is generally intelligent, he is 
pretty sure to rise rapidly to the higher ranks. For 
assistants in public offices, and for higher appointments 
in the judicial and police departments generally, it is 
imperative that candidates should read and write oorduo in 
the shikostele\vA\\i!i fluently, and be intelligent, ready, and 
trustworthy. Candidates must be prepared at first to 
accept the lower grade of appointments, in order that they 
may learn their duties, and qualify themselves for the 
higher posts. Arrangements can sometimes be made to 
apprentice a candidate for a few months, with a view to 
teaching him his work; but during this period the can- 
didate must support himself. It is suggested that no 
persons be nominated whom the missionaries do not con- 
sider, by their character and attainments, to have a good 
prospect of success ; better wait till a candidate qualifies 
himself fully than recommend an inferior man. 

R. Montgomery. 

"Who cotild ever suppose that the pen which 
panegyrised the pious iitility and efficiency 
of temples, mosques, and jilaces of pilgrim- 
age and devotion, and the propriety of" pen- 
sioning " persons of sanctity," as the fakeers 
and other impostors were termed by him, 
would so soon describe the duties of Chris- 
tians and the Christian Church in India, and 
exhort "the followers of Christ" to ''come 
forward and advance the interests of his king- 
dom and those of his servants !" If all refi- 
gions, Christian, IMoslem, and heathen, be not 
equally useful in the esteem of some of the 
governors of Indian provinces, for the pur- 

VOL. I. 



poses of political management, it is difficult 
to say which most meets the approbation of 
" the board of the administration of the Pun- 
jaub." Upon the effect of the change of 
policy indicated by the paper signed by j\Ir. 
Montgomery, the Times Calcutta correspond- 
ent remarked : — '■' That order was issued three 
months ago. It was received without the 
slightest animosity, and is being carried into 
effect ; that is to saj^ Sir John Lawrence, the 
one successful pro-consul in India, has in his 
own province decreed that caste shall cease 1 " 

In the chapter on the religions of India, 
the efforts making for the religious instruc- 
tion of the Punjaub were described. These 
efforts have been since increased, especially 
by the British and Foreign' Bible and the 
Tract Societies. 

The state of education iu the territories of 
the Punjatib assigned to the government of 
the commissioners, is an important suliject of 
inquiry. It appears to have been the policy 
of these gentlemen to assign funds for the 
instruction of youth in the different supersti- 
tions prevailing, accompanied by some in- 
struction in matters of utility also. The 
districts Avhere education of any kind least 
prevails are Peshawur and Leia. The fol- 
lowing comparative statement of education in 
the Punjaub, and under the Agra (north-west) 
government, will give a clear idea of the defi- 
ciency in both cases, and their relative posi- 
tion in this respect : — 

_^. . . One School to every — One Schol.ir to crerv — 

^'"='"°- luLabitaiits. Inliulntants. 

Lahore J,7S3-9S 214S.") 

Jhelum .... 1,441-90 ]93T0 

Moollau I,fi66-6C 210 88 

Agra Presidency . 2,912-20 320-14 

The kind of education is much belter in 
the Agra provinces. '' The Punjattb schouls are 
of three descriptions, viz., those resorted to by 
Hindoos, Mussulmans, and Sikhs, respectively. 
At the Hindoo schools, writing and the rudi- 
ments of arithmetic are generally taught in 
the Hindi character ; at the jMussulman 
schools are read the Koran in Arabic, and 
the didactic and poetical works of Sadi in 
Persian (the Gulistan and Bostan); at the 
Sikh school, the Gnmth, in Goormxd'chee, or 
the repository of the faith taught by Nauuck 
and Guroo Govind. In the Persian, Arabic, 
and Goormukhee schools, which form the 
great majority, the studies, being chiefly con- 
fined to sacred books written iu a classical 
phraseology, luiintelligible to both teacher 
and pupil, do not tend to develop the intel- 
lectual faculties of either. It is remarkable 
that female education is to be met with in all 
parts of the Punjaub. The girls and the 
teachers (also females) behuig to all of the 
three great tribes, viz., Hindoo, Mussulman, 

Q 



114 



HISTORY OF THE BEITISn EMPIRE 



[Chap. V. 



and Sildi. The number is not, of course, 
large; but the existence of such an educa- 
tion, almost unknown in other parts of India, 
is an encourao-ina; circumstance." The edu- 
cation given in these schools is often most 
pernicious, ajDart even from the erroneous doc- 
trines of a religious nature. Morally and 
socially the education conducted by the Brah- 
mins and the Mussulmans is injurious to the 
piipils, and dangeroiis to the state. The 
pupils of Hindoo common schools become 
more bigoted than the subjects of this educa- 
tion would have been "without it ; although in 
the high schools the faith of the j^upil is 
generally shaken in all religious, while his 
nationality becomes invidious and fanatical. 
In the Mohammedan schools, abhorrence of 
infidels is an essential portion of the tuition. 
No youth educated in a Jlohammedan school 
can ever be loyal to any but a Tilohanimedan 
government; yet in the reports of "'the board 
of administration," the gentlemen already 
referred to congratulated themselves that the 
endowment for tlie school afforded by the 
government was, in many instances, also vir- 
tually an endowment for the mosque. Their 
words are — " The school-house is here, as 
elsewhere, primitive; such as a private dwel- 
ling, the village town-hall, the shade of a 
tree, a tem.porary shed, or the courtyard of a 
temple. The Mussulman schools are nearly 
all connected vAih the village mosque. In 
such a case, the same endowment would sup- 
port both institutions. It is superfluous to 
observe, that wherever any land has been 
granted in rent-free tenure for such a i^ur- 
pose, either by the state and its representa- 
tives, or by the proprietary community, such 
foundations have been gladly maintained by 
the board. The remuneration of the teachers 
is variable and precarious. It frequently 
consists of presents, grain and sweetmeats, 
given by the scholars and their parents; but 
occasionally tlie whole community subscribe 
for the support of the school, each member 
contributing so much per plough, which is 
considered to represent his means: not un- 
frequently, also, cash payments are made, 
and sometimes regular salaries are allowed. 
Cash allowances are perhaps more usual in 
the Punjaub than in Hindoostan." Schools 
of a higher character have been instituted 
and fostered. City central schools, as in the 
Agra government, have been contemplated 
on an extensive scale, and in some instances 
instituted. At Umritsir a college of a respect- 
able order has been founded, where the 
learned languages of that part of Asia — such 
as Sanscrit, Persian, &c. — are taught, and 
many of the pupils learn English. Some of 
the plans recommended by the commissioners 



for higher schools of instruction and colleges 
have been carried out, and others are in 
embr_yo. The Punjaub population manifests 
a laudable desire for education, and at Lahore 
there is quite a rage for learning English ; and 
the usual branches of English education are 
pursued by some of the noble and wealthy 
classes. 

The development of the material resources 
of the country has been advancing to the 
present time. Trees have been planted for 
shade, ornament, and the future supply of 
timber and fircAvood. Eoads have been made 
in numerous directions : Lieutenant-colonel 
Napier, the civil engineer to the board, has 
rendered great service in this respect. Canals 
have been cut, and means of irrigation in- 
creased. Civic organisation has led to the 
improvement of manufactures, and the exten- 
sion of commerce. Practical science has 
been sedulously promoted. Dr. Jamieson 
has drawn uj^ rejDorts on the i^hysical fea- 
tures, the products, the botany, and the 
ornithology of the Punjaub. Dr. Fleming 
and Mr. Pindar have reported upon the salt 
range, and upon the mineral resources of the 
Scinde Saugor Doab, and the upper Trans- 
Indus territories. The trigonometrical sur- 
vey has been carried through the dominions 
of the late Gholab Singh, and other regions. 
An agri-horticultural society has been formed 
under the patronage of the board. Sanatoria 
have been established, and schools of medical 
instruction, and colleges of civil engineers, 
have been projected. Dispensaries have 
been formed, and are most useful. Postal 
arrangements, which improve upon tlie old 
daks, have been completed. Bridges, police- 
stations, and other public works have rapidly 
progressed. Yet the people feel the pressure 
of taxation, and while a good feeling to their 
conquerors is increasing, they still cherish 
their nationality. Their state of mind and 
condition in these respects have been thus 
described : — '•' In the other countries which 
we have conqriered in India, oiir advent has 
overturned a dynasty, and a party of chiefs 
favourable to its power; but it has brought 
relief to the mass of the people. Here, how- 
ever, we have overturned not a dynasty, but 
a nationality; and our ride is as galling to 
the mass of the Sikhs and Hindoos as to the 
chiefs." * 

It is cheering to think that the terms in 
which the following modest statement is 
made have been borne out in fact : upon 
the gentlemen who constituted the board 
Tested a great responsibility, and they have, 
except in the matters to which the strictures 
made upon their policy in this chajiter refer, 
* 3Iajor Lake. 



Chap. V.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



115 



rciulei'cd great service to tlieir country. 
" The board have endeavoured to set forth 
the administration of the Punjanh, since 
annexation, in all its branches, with as much 
succinctness as might be compatible with pre- 
cision and perspicuity. It has been explained 
how internal peace has been preserved, and 
the frontier guarded; how the various estab- 
lishments of the state have been organised; 
how violent crime has been repressed, the 
jienal law executed, and prison discipline 
enforced; how civil justice has been adminis- 
tered ; how the taxation has been fixed, and 
the revenue collected; how commerce has 
been set free, agriculture fostered, and the 
national resources developed; how plans for 
future improvement have been projected ; and, 
lastly, how the finances have been managed. 
The most noble the governor-general, who 
has seen the country, and personally inspected 
the executive system, will judge whether this 
administration has fulfilled the wishes of the 
government, AA'hether the country is richer, 
whether the people are happier and better. 
A great revolution cannot happen without 
injuring some classes. When a state falls, its 
nobility and its supporters must, to some 
extent, suffer with it; a dominant sect and 
party, ever moved by political ambition and 
religious enthusiasm, cannot return to the 
ordinary level of society, and the common 
occupations of life, without feeling some dis- 
content and some enmity against their power- 
ful but humane conquerors. But it is pro- 
bable that the mass of the people will advance 
in material prosperity and in moral elevation 
under the influence of British rule. The 
board are not unmindful that, in conductino; 
the administration, they have had before 
them the Indian experience of many succes- 
sive governments, and especially the excellent 
example displayed in the north-west pro- 
vinces. They are not insensible of short- 
comings ; but they will yet venture to say, 
that this retrospect of the past does inspire 
them with hope for the future." 

The government and finance of the Pun- 
jaub, also its commercial condition and pro- 
gress, must be reserved for chapters treating 
of those matters in' connection with India 
generally. 

Cashjiere, and the other territory of the 
late Gholab Singh, form an interesting country 
connected with the Punjaub ; for although an 
independent state, it is immediately under the 
lirotectiou of the British government, and is 
in various ways brought into connection Avith 
the board of administration of the Punjaub. 
The late Runjeet Singh asserted sovereignty 
over it, and the ranee, mother of Dhuleep 
Singh, rec;arded it with considerable interest 



during 



her regency. When the Sikh domi- 
nion fell before the arms of Lord Gousjh 
Gholab Singh was rewarded for his fidelity 
to the British government by the apportion- 
ment of Cashmere and the Junnnoo, over 
which, during the remainder of his life, he 
reigned with great prudence and wisdom. 
This sovereignty bounds the Peshawur pro- 
vinces, and roads and water communication 
have been opened up, tending to connect the 
provinces in the intimacies of friendly inter- 
course and profitable commerce. In the 
general descrij^tion given of India Cashmere 
was noticed : a further brief description is 
here appropriate. 

It is comprehended between the thirty - 
fourth and thirty -fifth degrees of north lati- 
tude, and surrounded by lofty mountains. 
The Peshawur territory lies to the south, and 
Little Thibet to the north. Considerable 
pains have lately been tahen to survey the 
whole country. At the last meeting of the 
Royal Geographical Society in London, at 
Burlington House, Sir Roderick Murchison, 
president, in the chair, it was announced that 
a letter had been received from Lieutenant- 
colonel Andrew Scott Waugh, surveyor- 
general of India, returning thanks for the 
society's gold medal, which had been awarded 
him on the completion of the great ti'jigono- 
metrical survey of India. Colonel Waugh 
stated that the Cashmere and Thibet surveys 
were progressing favourably, and would make 
a beautiful topographical map. Messrs. 
Montgomerie and Elliot Brownlow had fixed 
two peaks on the Karakorum, one of which is 
27,928 feet high, its distance being one hun- 
dred and thirty-six miles from the last stations. 
This would indicate the peak to be the third 
hio;hest yet measured. The Cashmere series 
has twice crossed the snowy range with two 
stations each time on it. 

The valley of Cashmere is of an elliptical 
form, and Avidens gradually to Islamabad. At 
that place it is forty miles broad. It is con- 
tinued to the town of Lampre, there being 
little variation in the width ; thence the 
mountains, by a regular inclination to the 
westward, come to a point, and separate 
Cashmere from JMuzifferabad. 



surrounding- 
estimated at 
Icno'th. and 



Including the 
be 



mountains. Cashmere may 
one hundred and ten miles in 
^v.., .v.... at its widest part sixty miles in 
width. The shape is nearly oval. The pro- 
vince can only be entered by passes, of which 
there are seven in number — four from the 
south, two from the north, and one from the 
west. The pass of Bembcr is the best, but 
that of Muzifferabad most used, ^^arious 
roads to Hiudoostan exist. 

The ancients made tv.'o divisions of this 



116 



HISTOIIY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[CiiAr, V. 



provlnco. — eastern and western ; the former 
they Ccalled Meraje, and the latter Kamraje. 
The earliest accounts represent it as, with the 
exception of the mountains, laid under water, 
and named Suttysir. Sntty is one of the 
names of the wife of the Hindoo deity Siva, 
and sir signifies a reservoir. "When the 
country assumed a more hospitable character 
history does not inform us, but there is still 
evidence, in the marshy character of some 
portions of the valley, that at no very remote 
period it was covered Avith water. The valley 
is as beautiful as the character given of it, 
and its productiveness greater than reputation 
allows. The mountain scenery is sublime 
beyond the power of pen or pencil to depict, 
and the grandeur is heightened by numerous 
and voluminous catai'acts, bounding from the 
huge rocks, flashing in the brilliant Eastern 
sunlight as floods and showers of diamonds. 
The water throughout the province is rc- 
marlvably clear, pure, and healthful. The 
beauty of the scenery is as striking as its 
sublinnty. The Avliole region blooms with 
flowers to a degree unknown in any other 
place upon the face of the earth. The shrubs, 
especially flowering shrubs, are infinitely 
varied, and the hues that are displayed in the 
clear light, and the odours wafted upon the 
gentle breezes that float through the valley, 
render exqitisite pleasure. 

The climate is as genial as the scenery is 
rich and varied with the sublime and beau- 
tiful. Although the mountain tops, and far 
tlown the declivities, are covered with eternal 
snow, the valley revels in perpetual summer. 
It is spring-like sitmmer, for no bitrning noon 
scorches within the jirecincts of this Eden. 
What is called the winter is simply a cooler 
season, in which man and nature are braced 
and invigorated, but severe weather in any 
form is unknown. The rude monsoons do 
not reach this gentle land; and when the re- 
current rains deluge India, a lew soft and re- 
freshing showers are all that fall within the 
mountain girdle of Cashmere. The rainy 
season of Persia and Thibet affects it more, 
but beneficially; and snow is also seen at the 
same season as in those other regions, but 
the valley is so protected by the close and 
lofty circle of mountains, that it is seldom 
stricken by the snow-fall. 

Rice is much cultivated in the plain, which 
is irrigated by streams from innumerable 
mountain rivulets and cascades ; but in the 
higher portions of the valley, upon the bases 
of the hills, cereal crops are grown, and yield 
uniformly abundant harvests. On the hill- 
slopes trees of every foliage flourish, almost 
all climates being attainable, according to the 
range of elevation. The fruits produced in 



Western Europe there grow in perfection 
and abundance. The best saffron in the 
world is grown in the valley, and various 
plants useful to commerce spring up indi- 
genous. 

The bodies of water which flow into the 
vale and mingle, forming navigable 'streams 
within its ellipse, in their general confluence 
form the ancient Hydaspes, now known as the 
Jhelum River, which rolls on its increasing 
volume towards Hindoostan. Among the 
picturesque waters of the valley, the Call, a 
considerable lake, is unrivalled for beauty. 
It extends from the north-east end of the 
city of Cashmere in an oval form, the circum- 
ference being about six miles, and lies in the 
verdant country as a choice gem set in eme- 
ralds. This collection of w^ater finds its vent 
by the current of the Jhelum. The lake is 
ciu'iously decorated, as if by a plan of orna- 
ment, by little islands near its margin all 
around at certain distances from each other; 
these are covered by natural clumps of flower- 
ing shrubs. From the head of the lake (the 
more distant one from the city) the ground 
gradually rises for twelve miles to the 
foot of the mighty mountains. In that par- 
ticular place they assume forms regxdar or 
grotesqtie, presenting a strange aspect of 
variety, iipon which one might gaze for ever 
without the impression of sameness. Half- 
way between the lake and the mountain base 
a spacious garden Avas laid out by one of the 
]\Iogul emperors. The gardens of Shalimar, 
as they are termed, ever Avatered by the 
munificent hand of nature, still bloom in their 
beauty beneath skies the serenest in the 
Avorld. To gaze from the bosom of the 
placid lake, Avith its still bright Avater, upon 
the encircling A^erdure of the plain, and up to 
the everlasting mountains, hoary in age and 
grandeur, extending, as it were, their embrace 
to protect this paradise, is to enjoy at once 
the most soothing and elevating effects Avhich 
natural scenery can shed upon the heart of 
man. 

The people are a fine race, both in form 
and feature. Vigorous and brave, they 
cherish a romantic attachment to their homes 
and liberties, Avhich no governor, hoAvever 
i^OAverful, can Avith impunity desi^ise. 

" Their beauteous clime and glorious land 
Freedom and nationhood demand, 
For oh ! Hie great God never plann'd 
For slumb'ring slaves a home so grand." 

Besides the valley described, there are 
various others within the mountain region of 
the province of a similar character ; and each 
of these, but one in particular, is even more a 
vale of flowers than that Avhich is alone known 
to fame fur its bcautv. The mountains are 



Chav. V.J 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



117 



believed Ly geologists find mineralogists to 
contain rich mineral treasnrcs. The natives 
dig out iron of a superior quality, and in 
abundance. Among the various objects of 
lieanty and curiosity with which the province 
abounds is the Ouller Lake. It is near the 
city, in an opposite direction to the Dall, and 
in its centre an island is entirely covered by 
a palace, built by Sultan Zein-ul-Abdeen. 
This lake gradually diminishes, the Jhelum 
ever craving its waters. 

The capital of the province is the city of 
Cashmere, the ancient name of which was 
Serinaghur. It is situated in latitude 33° 23' 
north, and longitude 7-P 47' east. The city 
is said to contain from one hundred and fifty 
to two hundred thousand inhabitants. These 
are cooped up in one of the most miserably- 
])uilt towns in the East, or anywhere else. 
The streets are narrow, and filthy from inade- 
rpiate drainage, and the bad habits of the 
people. Notwithstanding their dirty streets, 
they attend to personal cleanliness, and have 
beautiful ranges of covered baths along the 
banks of the Jhelum, which flows through 
the town. The houses are two and three 
stories high, strongly built of fine hard timber, 
and brick peculiarly prepared. The \;se of 
these materials is rendered necessary by the 
frequent shocks of earthquake felt all over the 
valley, and from which the capital has often 
severely, although not fotally, suffered. The 
roofs are flat. Notwithstanding that the 
fields, and river banks, and hill-sides, are 
covered with flowers, and everywhere is to 
be seen 

" The fairy gem bcneatk the forest-tree," 

yet the citizens of Cashmere so delight in 
them, that they turn their house-tops into 
parterres. It is difficult for any one who has 
not actually experienced it to conceive the 
effect upon the stranger as he walks or rides 
through this city of narrow lanes and pas- 
sages, to see the upper parts of the houses 
forming continuous flower-gardens, sending 
their rich odoiirs down in showers, while the 
passages below are filled with innumerable 
impurities, shedding abroad their stench and 
noxious influences. From this last-named 
circumstance alone the city is unhealthy; the 
country around it is salubrious. 

In the estimation of the Hindoos, all Cash- 
mere is holy land, and the most holy spot is 
Islamabad, a large town on the north side of 
the Jhelum, twenty-nine miles E.S.E. from 
the city of Cashmere, in latitude 33° 15' 
north, and longitude 75° 13' east. At this 
spot the Jhelum bursts through the narrow 
and circuitous gorges of the mountains on its 
way to the vast plains which it adorns au^i 



fei'tilises. Ausoden Biidgo crosses the river 
between two mountains, in a spot of wild and 
terrific sublimity.* The religion of the Cash- 
merians is a mixture of the Brahminical and 
iMohanimedan. Their language is derived from 
the Sanscrit. They claim to be the most 
ancient inhabitants of India and its neighbour- 
ing realms, and say that their peo]ile early 
penetrated into India, carrying with them 
religion, laws, and literature. The present 
Cashmerians give attention to all these matter-s 
with eager interest and siiccessful pursuit. 
Their love of oriental hellcs-lettres is great. 
The Sanscrit and Persian languages are 
studied, and books of light literature are 
much prized. 

The manufacture of shawls, from the hair 
of the Thibetian goat, has made the valley 
famous in all the East, and, indeed, in all the 
world. Notice of this will be taken when 
treating upon the commerce of our Indian 
empire. The zoology and ornithology of 
Cashmere do not require particular remark. 
The shawl-goat is not a native of it ; the 
material for manufacture yielded by that ani- 
mal is brought from Thibet to the city of 
Cashmere. The horses are small, but, like 
the little Neapolitan horses, hardy and spirited. 
The insect v\-orld is very active, and consti- 
tutes the great drawback to life in Cashmere. 
Bugs, the persecutors of London lodging- 
houses, are far more formidable in the cities 
of Cashmere and Islamabad. Lice are a still 
more loathsome pest, being as prevalent as 
fleas in the colony of Victoria. In the open 
air the enjoyment of the beauties of nature is 
sadly interfered with by the gnats, which 
seem at times to fill the whole atmosphere, 
and are tormenters that never tire. iJejitile 
life does not flourish in the province. The 
boast of Ireland, that she alone is exempt 
from poisonous creatures, is not well founded, 
for Cashmere shares with her in this un- 
doubted jjrivilege. 

Ajmeek, or EAjrooTAXA, is one of the 
non-regulation provinces connected with the 
north-west government. It is situated in the 
centre of Hindoostan, between the twenty - 
fourth and thirty-first degrees of north lati- 
tude. To the north it is bounded by the 
Sikh states, on the "north-east by Delhi, on 
the south by Gujerat and IMalwah, on the 
west by Scinde. The original length of this 
territory was three hundred and fifty miles, and 
its average breadth two hundred miles. The 
general appearance of this province is exceed- 
ingly cheerless ; a large i:)ortion of it is desert, 
and the soil generally sandy. The mirage is 
common in the desert. The inhabitants are 
few and wretched, and would be much more 
* Forstcr. 



113 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. V. 



so, liad not Provicleuce provided them ^vitll tlie 
water-ineloii, Avliicli grows iu astonishing pro- 
fusion amidst tlie sandy wastes. In some 
parts the great desert of Ajmeer is four hun- 
dred miles in hreadth, extending much beyond 
the limits of tliis province. 

The domestic animals which thrive in tlie 
less arid parts of this stern region are camels 
and bullocks. The wild animals which infest 
it are a squirrel-like rat, which is very nume- 
rous ; foxes of a very small sjDecies also breed 
fast. Antelopes are occasionally found, and 
less frequently the wild ass. This last is a 
remarkable animal ; it is of the size and ap- 
pearance of a mule, and can trot faster than 
the fleetest horses of Hindoostan : it is called 
goork-hur by the people of the desert. Not- 
withstanding the sandy character of the soil, 
the ass, antelope, camel, and ox, find food ; 
and under the influence of the stimulating- 
climate, and in consequence of the vast floods 
of water which in the rainy season deluge 
certain portions of it, crops of grain are raised 
for the support of man. 

The inhabitants are for the most part Jauts, 
a people who also have spread into the neigh- 
bouring province of the Punjaub. They are 
of low stature, very black, Avith repulsive fea- 
tures and figures ; they are generally emaciated 
and dejected. In the Punjaub these Jauts 
reveal qualities of great importance ; they are 
industrious and brave, and laborious agricul- 
turists. Fewer in number than these are the 
Rajpoots, Avho are a ftill-sized and handsome 
race, bearing a marked resemblance to Jews, 
and having prominent aquiline noses. They 
are haughty, indolent, and inveterate opium- 
eaters. The best portion of the province is 
in their hands. In the Punjaub these Raj- 
poots are brave and active, and clever agri- 
culturists, very unlike the Rhatore Rajpoots, 
in the jii-ovince of Rajpootana. 

The modern divisions are Judpore, Jay- 
sulmeer, Jaipore, Odeypore, and Bicaneer. 
The governmental peculiarities of the native 
states into which this great, but not very pro- 
ductive, province seems in all ages to have 
been broken up, resemble those of the feudal 
system in Europe. Each district, however 
small, was a sort of barony, and every town 
and village acknowledged a lord, or lliahoor. 
These feudal barons rendered nominal, and 
sometimes real allegiance, to the sovereign, 
or Avhoever else claimed presumptive autho- 
rity over them. It is supposed that the 
proportion of IMohammedans to Hindoos is 
one to eight. The number of the population 
cannot be accurately stated, nor within toler- 
able approximation to accuracy. Thirty years 
ago good authorities computed it at three 
millions ; since then it has been estimated 



considerably less, and somewhat more, at dif- 
ferent times, and by different persons. 

The Rajpoot cavalry, in the service of the 
Delhi emperors, were highly prized for their 
faithfulness and courage. No part of India 
was torn so much by internecine struggle as 
Rajpootana, until, in 1818, the whole of the 
chiefs were taken xmder the protection of the 
British, and bound to submit all their dis- 
putes to the English agents, as well as pay 
all their taxes into the Delhi treasury, for 
which the British government would account 
to each. This arrangement became highly 
acceptable to the kings and the people, but 
was bitterly hated by the aristocracy, whose 
power in their separate jajires was thus 
abridged, and who lost all hope of rising to 
the dignity and jiower of princes by success- 
ful raids and ambitious policy. The oppres- 
sions practised by the feudal tyrants, great 
and small, of this pirovince have been de- 
scribed as '''more systematic, unremitting, 
and brutal than ever before trampled on 
humanity." 

Ajmeepv is the name of a city and district, 
from which the designation is also given to 
the whole province. This territory is well 
known in England as the dominion of Scin- 
diah. The family of Scindiah are Brahmins, 
but have always manifested great respect for 
the j\[ohammedan religion. 

The city of Ajmeer possesses nothing- 
attractive but its Mohammedan remains. It 
possesses "a garden palace," built by Shah 
Jehan. The tomb of Khaja Maijen-ad-Deen 
is also an object of interest. He is a great 
reputed saint of Islam. The mighty Emperor 
Akbar made a pilgrimage to this tomb from 
Agra, two hundred and thirty miles distant, 
on foot. Scindiah bestowed a canopy of cloth 
of gold for this tomb, and also a superb pall. 
Although the town of Ajmeer is so small a 
place, there are more than a thousand j^ersons 
of a sacerdotal, or otherwise sacred character, 
who live by charity, so-called, but which may 
be more properly designated plunder, as it is 
extorted from the visitors to the saint's tomb. 
It is distant two hundred and thirty miles 
from Delhi, more than a thousand from Cal- 
cutta, and about tvro-thirds of that distance 
from Bombay. 

The country of the Bhatties is only inter- 
esting because of its inhabitants, who are sup- 
posed by many to be descended from the 
aborigines of Northern India, as distinguished 
from the Hindoo race. The women of this 
tribe go imveiled, and have greater liberty 
than is conceded by the Hindoo race or the 
Aftghaus. Bhatties inhabit also the border 
provinces of the Punjaub, and are said to 
have set the example for the superior social 



Ceap. v.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



119 



influence of woman in that province. In 
various hill regions of India this people are 
found. The Bhatties are predatory, and 
until lately were indomitable plunderers, 
finding shelter in their extensive and formerly 
impenetrable jungles when pursued by a 
superior force. 

BiCANUR is a rajalik of little importance, 
occupying the centre of the Ajmeer province. 
The capital is alleged to appear magnificent 
on approaching it, in consequence of the con- 
trast its temples, and minarets, and white 
buildings afford to the gloomy desert of sand 
by which it is surrounded.* According to 
some travellers, it is a miniature Palmyra ; 
according to others, it is almost as miser- 
able as the wilderness that extends to its 
walls. 

The Jeypore district is only remarkable 
for its handsome capital, which is situated in 
latitude 26° 55' north, and longitude 75° 37' 
east. The city from an ancient date was 
respectable, and it is still a place of some 
importance, Eajah Jeysingh having encou- 
raged education there, and built several ob- 
servatories for the advancement of astrono- 
mical science. At present it is considered one 
of the best built towns in Hindoostan. The 
houses are of stone ; the streets are spacious, 
and of imposing length, intersecting each 
other at right angles, like the city, of Phila- 
delphia, in the United States of America. 
The citadel is picturesqi;e — built upon a steep 
rock, and surrounded for four miles by a 
chain of fortifications. Jeypore is one hun- 
dred and fifty miles from Delhi, nearly equi- 
distant from Agra, a thousand from Calcutta, 
and three-fourths of that distance from 
Bombay. 

The dominions of Holkar, although wild, 
and inhabited by a predatory jDeople, possess 
some good towns. The vigilance of the Bri- 
tish keeps these regions in awe. During the 
mutiny of the Bengal sepoys in 1857, Holkar 
and Scindiah remained faithful, under strong 
temptations to swerve, in their allegiance to 
the British. Their troops and people, espe- 
cially the former, were heartily with the 
mutineers, and many joined their bands in 
the struggle which raged in the north-western 
provinces. 

BooNDEE, Odeypore, and Mewar, are in 
some respects interesting regions, and con- 
tain fertile territory. Odeypore especially 
has lands as rich as any in India. 

There is little in the remaining portions 
of tlie Ajmeer province to require more par- 
ticular detail. 

The south-western frontier provinces con- 
tain considerable variety, and a large area of 
* Elpliinstone. 



surface, with a numerous population. Con- 
tiguous territories have been so far minutely 
described as to comprehend the general cha- 
racteristics of these provinces. 

Pachete is remarkable for the good quality 
of its coal, and its general insalubrity. 

Chuta, or Chota Nagpore (Little Nag- 
pore), is an extensive tract, as hilly as Malwah, 
and covered with jungle. There is a vast 
quantity of decaying vegetable matter con- 
stantly emitting deleterious gases, causing 
jungle fever and other fatal diseases. The 
country produces iron ore, and, the natives 
allege, also diamonds. The aboriginal inha- 
bitants cling to the jungle, and are hated and 
persecuted by the Brahmins wlienever oppor- 
tunity allows. 

The north-eastern frontier provinces com- 
prise Assam, and several very wild regions. 

The chief province in this direction is 
Assam. It is situated at the north-east 
corner of Bengal, stretching i;p to the country 
of Thibet. The chief portion of the territory 
consists in the valley of the Brahmapootra. 
The average breadth of the valley is about 
seventy miles. In Upper Assam, Avhere the 
mountains recede more, the valley is much 
broader. The province is computed to be 
three hundred and fifty miles in length, and 
about seventy in average breadth. It is 
divided into three districts — Camroop in the 
west, Assam proper in the centre, and Lodiya 
at the eastern extremity. 

The rivers of Assam are probably more 
numerous, and larger than those in any other 
country of similar extent. In the dryest 
season they contain suflicient water for pur- 
poses of navigation. The number of rivers, 
exclusive of the Brahmapootra and its two 
great branches, the Deing and Looichel, are 
sixty. The course of many is very devious, 
irrigating a large extent of country. A striking 
instance of this is seen in the Dikrung, where 
the direct distance by land is only twenty- 
five miles, while the course of the stream is 
over one hundred. This river is noted for 
the quantity of gold found in its sands, which 
is also of the purest quality. Many of the 
Assam rivers wash down particles of auri- 
ferous metal from the great mountains. 

The vegetable productions are numerous, 
and such as might be expected in a rich allu- 
vial country. Piice, mustard-seed, wheat, 
barley, millet, j)ulse, black pej^per, ginger, 
turmeric, capsicums, onions, garlic, betel leaf, 
tobacco, opimn, sugar-cane, are all cultivated, 
and yield remunerative crops. The fruits 
chiefly eaten are oranges and pomegranates ; 
the cocoa-nut is highly prized by the inha- 
bitants, but, from the remoteness of their 
country from the sea, this excellent fruit is 



120 



HISTORY OF Tllf'] BRITrSII EMPIRE 



[CUAP. V, 



scarce. Cotton is produced, and silk still 
more exteiisiveh'. On another Yinge was 
noticed the indigenous teas of Assam, and 
the cultivation of the plants under the aus- 
pices of the Honourable East India Com- 
pany. 

Domestic animals are not in great variety. 
Buffaloes are reared in considerable numbers, 
and employed by the agriculturists. The 
wealth of the community in cattle, sheep, and 
goats, is small. Aquatic birds are surpris- 
ingly numerous, and of excellent flavour. 
The wild duck of Assam is highly prized by 
epicures. 

The religions of the Assamese are Erah- 
minism and Buddhism. So lately as the 
beginning of the seventeenth century they 
worsliipped a god called Chung, and the 
superstition associated with his service was 
exceedingly debased. About one -fourth of 
the population obstinately reject the religions 
of Hindoostan, and cherish more obscure 
rites. The Mohammedans attempted the 
invasion of the country, under Shah Jehan, 
in the early part of the seventeenth century, 
but were driven back by disease, the difti- 
cidties of the country, and the desultory war- 
fare of the natives. Ever since the Moham- 
medans of India have had a horror of the 
country, and speak of it as haunted by fiends 
and enchanters. 

The Assamese remained a warlike, spirited, 
and united people until the conversion of the 
court and the higher orders to Brahminism, 
since which time they have sunk into one of 
the most pusillanimous races of Asia. The 
introduction of caste created internal feuds; 
and the enervating influence of Brahminism 
immanned the jieople. 

Assam has suffered much, even since its 
subjection to British authority, by robbers 
from Hindoostan. 

The Assam province of Camroop contains 
many traces of great 23rospcrity, and once 
had a numerous population ; it is now in a 
poor condition. 

The island of Majuli, formed by the Brah- 
mapootra, is covered with temj^les, and in- 
habited only by persons of supposed sanctity. 

Rungpore is a town situated on the Dikho 
River ; it is the reputed capital, but possesses 
nothing to redeem it from contempt. 

Since the province fell under British au- 
thority, its improvement has been rapid. 

The inhabitants of the Garrow Mountains 
are a strange and ferocious race. An old 
writer * describes them as of great strength 
and daring ; a man, he alleges, can carry a 
M'eight over the mountains one-third heavier 
than a Bengalee can carry on the plains ; and 
* Buchanan. 



the women can carry a weight in the moun- 
tain country equal to what a Bengalee man 
can bear in the valley. According to the 
same authority, the culinary habits of 'his 
race are very extraordinary. They Avill feed 
puppies with as much rice as they can incite 
them to devour, and then throw them alive 
on a fire ; when cooked to their taste, they 
remove them, but do not eat the animals ; 
ripping them up, they partake of the rice 
which the dog had previo\isly swallowe<l I 
Their vindictiveness is unsurpassed. If de- 
prived of the smallest portion of property, 
they will commit murder ; and if they cannot 
resent an injm-y promptly, they will flee to a 
place of retreat, plant a tree called chatakor, 
which bears a sour fruit, and vow that with 
the juice of this fruit they will one day eat 
the head of their enemy. If the feud is not 
thus settled by the original antagonists, it is 
handed down as an inheritance to their chil- 
dren. A^Hien at last success attends the efforts 
to fulfil the horrid vow, the victor summons 
his friends to the repast ; the tree is then cut 
down, and the feud terminates. When they 
kill Bengalees, they decapitate them, and 
dance round their bleeding heads. They 
then bury them, and at intervals raise them, 
and renew the dance. Finally, they cleanse 
them, and hang up the skulls as trophies. 
These skidls are often filled with food or drink, 
of which they partake with their friends. Of 
late years the British police watch too well 
for these raids upon the Bengalees to be fre- 
quent, but so late as 1815 such practices were 
very common,* and for many years after con- 
tinued to be practised. Strange as it might 
seem to a native of any other nation under 
heaven, human skulls constituted in those 
days the circulating medium, as much as a 
thousand rupees being the equivalent of some. 
To avoid the possibility of his cranium be- 
comincr currencv, the friends of a Garrow 
man burn his body completely to ashes. The 
women are strong, ill-looking, join in the 
councils and raids of the men, work hard, and 
possess a position of importance unknown to 
the women of the plains. Polytheism is the 
religion of the Garrow hills. The people 
have no temples or idols, but Avorship animals 
and vegetables, the tiger and the bamboo 
being the favoiarites. 

McMronE, or Cassaye, is remarkable fer 
the soft features of its inhabitants, as couj- 
pared with surrounding tribes. They are of 
the Brahminical religion, and in this resj-ect 
are noticeable, as they are the last tribe east- 
ward by which it is embraced, the rcl'gion 
of Buddha prevailing thence throughouc the 
entire East. 

* Sisson. 



Cii.M'. v.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



121 



TKUUITOKIES OX THE IXDO-CIIIXESE 
PENINSULA. 

The veinainiiig territories included iu the 
non-reL,nilatiun provinces of Bengal are be- 
yond the India peninsula, on the eastern 
peninsula of Southern Asia. A glance at one 
of Wylde's excellent maps will show that this 
peninsula is bound on the north by the Chi- 
nese empire, on the east by the Chinese Sea, 
on the west by the Bay of Bengal, and on the 
south by the Straits of Malacca and the Gulf 
of Siam. The Indo-Chinese peninsula is 
computed to be above eighteen hundred miles 
in length, ami of breadth exceedingly various, 
being only sixty miles across where the 
peninsula of Slalacca is narrowest, and more 
than eight hundred miles in the north. Its 
superficial area is supposed to be nearly six 
hundred thousand square miles. The interior 
is so little known, that descrijition of it is 
impossible. "Its distinguishing aspect ap- 
pears to be determined by chains of moun- 
tains running uniformly in the direction of 
the meridian, inclosing distinct valleys no less 
uniform, each valley assuming a fan -like 
shape at the maritime extremity, and each 
the bed of a grand river-system. The three 
principal streams — the Irrawaddy westward, 
the Meinam central, and the Cambodia east- 
ward — descend from the highlands of Thibet, 
pour down immense volumes of water, and 
rank with the largest rivers of Asia. The 
first flows through the Birman empire to the 
Bay of Bengal, at the Gulf of Martaban ; the 
second waters Siam, and enters the gulf of 
that name ; and the third, which has the 
largest course, passes through the empire of 
Annam to the Chinese Sea. Few regions 
exhibit such an amount of vegetable luxuri- 
ance, vast tracts being densely clothed with 
underwood and timber-trees, comprising teak, 
the iron-tree, true ebony, the eagle-wood, the 
white sandal-wood, betel-palms, and a great 
variety of aromatic and medicinal plants. 
The mineral wealth of the country is also 
very considerable, gold, silver, copper, and 
iron occurring in the mountains, Avith many 
precious gems — rubies, sapphires, and ame- 
thysts. ]\Iost of the large quadrupeds of 
India are found among the native animals." * 

Irrespective of the British possessions, 
which cover a vast area, the following are 
its great divisions : — 



Populntiun. 
8,000,000 , 
2,700,000 . 
10,000,000 . 
Unknown 



Capitals and Chief Towns. 
Av.a, Rangoon, Pegu, 
liankok. 
Hue, Saigon, Cambodia. 



Slates. 
nil-man Empire . . . 
Kingdom of Siam . . 
Kmpire of Annam . . 
Country of the Laos . 
Malaya 300,000 

The Birmese empire comprises the north- 
west, about one-fifth of the whole peninsula. 
* The Rev. Thomas Jlilncr. 
vol.. I. 



I'he kingdnin of Siam .'^trctehcs round tlio 
head of the gulf which bears its name, .and 
roaches a considerable distance inland, with 
the up]ier portion of the jMalacca peninsula. 
The empire of Axxam lies along the eastern 
coast, and is divided into several regions, the 
principle of which are called Tonquin, Cochin 
China, and Cambodia, lying in that order 
from north to south. The country of the 
Laos is a mountainous realm in the interior. 
Malaya is the southern portion of the Ma- 
lacca peninsula. The British possessions are 
on the western shores of the peninsula, washed 
by the Avaves of the Bay of Bengal, and com- 
prise the provinces of Arracan, Pegu, and 
Tenessorim, stretching along the whole west 
coast, from the confines of Chittagong to the 
isthmus of KroAv. 

Arracan is one of the non-regulation pro- 
A'inces of the Bengal goA'crnment, situated on 
thewestern coast of the Indo-Chinese peninsula. 
It stretches aAvay from the boundaries of the 
Bengal regulation province of Chittagong to 
the limits of Pegu. The country is an undu- 
lated plain, gently sloping upAvards from the 
sea to a range of mountains, by Avhich it is 
bounded to the east along its Avhole extent. 
This ]ilain is noAAdiere more than a hundred 
miles in breadth ; and towards Pegu, the 
mountains gradually inclining to the sea, it 
is not more than ten miles in Avidth. Arra- 
can is, in fact, a continuation of the great 
Chittagong plain from the banks of the river 
Nanf. The Avhole country is Avcll Avaterod, 
and the great Arracan RiA-er forms a medium 
of great importance in commercial inter- 
course Avitli Chittagong and Bengal. It is in 
that direction the chief commercial connection 
is maintained. SoutliAA'ard to Pegu there are 
few exports, although a considerable import 
of teak-timber, Avhich is generally paid for in 
money. Of late years this has fallen off, the 
timber of their own Avell-clad mountains being 
brought into use by the iVrracanese. To 
Chittagong and Calcutta the exports arc 
A'aluable, consisting of elephants, elephants' 
teeth, cattle, goats, minerals, and many other 
commodities, to be noticed more fitly in a 
chapter upon the commerce of India. The 
province is exceedingly fertile, and Avas ex- 
tremely rich previous to the depredations 
committed by the Birmese, AA-hose conquests 
AA'crc attended liy the utter impoA-orishmcnt 
of the AAdiole region. Since its annexation by 
the British it has again assumed a prosjoerous 
aspect, and is noAv rapidly rising to its ancient 
condition of Avealth. 

■ There are many islands scattered along the 
coast, and it is a iieculiarity of them that each 
appears shaped like some animal. The larger 
islands are densely inhabited, and import rice 

R 



122 



HISTORY OP THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. V. 



from Bengal in large quantities. The com- 
merce of the region, and especially of the 
great Arracan River, is greatly impeded by 
exposure to the south-west monsoon. The 
inhabitants are very exj^ert in boat naviga- 
tion, but are indisposed to build or use large 
vessels, such as the increasing commerce of 
their coasts requires. Their love of aquatic 
pursuits, and of maritime life, is extreme — ■ 
much more so than is the case with their 
northern neighbours of Ohittagong, but scarcely 
so much so as "uith their soiTthern rivals 
of Pegu. They are a v\'ell-formed, hardy race, 
tenacious of purpose, robust in mind as well 
as body, and cherish an extraordinary anti- 
pathy to the Birmese, whereas to the British 
they are partial. Hindoos, of both the Brah- 
minical and Mohammedan religions, have 
settled in great numbers along the sea -board. 
The Arracanese themselves are Buddhists. 
To Europeans the people of this region are 
better known by the name of Mhugs. Their 
fierce resentments against the Birmese, their 
raids into the Ohittagong district, and the 
troubles with Birmali in which they involved 
us, created in the earlier part of this cen- 
tury an miwarrantable prejudice against them, 
which has not entirely worn away. Their 
language is purer than that of Birmah, and 
its roots are monosyllabic, like the spoken 
language of Ohina. Schools are common, 
such as in the chapter on religion and litera- 
ture were described as abounding in the 
Pegu and Tenesserim provinces. The exer- 
tions of the European missionary societies 
along the Arracan valley have been great 
and successfuL It is not so difficult to gain 
access to females for purposes of instruction 
as in the Indian peninsula, and female chil- 
dren are allowed to go to the mission schools. 
Considering its geographical situation, cli- 
mate, capacity for commerce of its great navi- 
gable river, natural productions, the energy 
of the inhabitants, and their willingness to 
receive instruction, it may be with reason 
predicted that the province will become one 
of the most valuable countries in our Indian 
empire. 

The town of Arracan, called by the natives 
Rakkong, is situated on the banks of the river 
Arracan, some considerable distance from its 
mouth, in latitude 20° 40' north, and longi- 
tude 93° 5' east. The Birmans made a boat 
expedition up the river in 1783, and easily 
captured it, plundering private and public 
property. Among other booty, they bore 
away a great brazen image of "Gaudma" 
(the Gotama Buddha of the Hindoos). This 
image was supposed to be an exact likeness 
of the great founder of their religion. There 
were also five colossal images of demons in 



brass, which surrounded that of Gaudma. 
Saint and demons were alike carried ca]>tive 
by the Birmans, and brought to their capital 
with wild demonstrations of joy and triumph. 
Previously Buddhists from every land were 
accustomed to repair to Arracan to do honour 
to those brazen images. A piece 'of cannon 
of enormous size, consisting of iron bars beaten 
into form, was also taken off by the Birmans. 

Pegu is another non-regidation province of 
the Bengal government on the same coast, 
stretching from the boundaries of Arracan on 
the north, to those of Siam on the south. 
The aborigines call themselves Mon : by the 
Birmese and Ohinese they are called Talleing. 
The name Pegu is a corruption of Bagoo, the 
common name given by the people to their 
old capital. North-east of Pegu the Birman 
territory ranges partly parallel, and partly at 
right angles, Avith the sea. To the east is the 
territory of Siam, and also to the south. The 
best parts of the proAance lie along the shores 
of the mouths of two great rivers — the Irra- 
waddy and Thaulayn. 

Agricxdture being in its infancy, much land 
is \;nreclaimed which is admirably adapted to 
the products of the climate. Dense thickets 
skirt the banks of the rivers, which abound 
wath game, and beautiful peafowl especially. 
Tigers also prowl there, similar in species to 
the celebrated tiger of Bengal. Except where 
thickets are allowed to grow close by the 
marshy land of the rivers, the country is 
clear for a hundred miles inland from the 
sea, and is exceedingly prolific in rice, sugar- 
cane, and various other products necessary 
to the people, or profitable for commerce. 
Like Arracan, it is a province in which 
horses are very scarce, and elephants abound. 
These descend in troops from the higher 
land, trampling down the rice and cane-fields, 
inflicting vast mischief, independent of what 
they devour. The inhabitants, however, 
prize the elephant exceedingly, and even 
regard it with superstitious veneration. The 
agriculture and commerce of Pegu have im- 
proved much since it fell into the possession 
of the English. 

The people were once famous in the East, 
having conquered the greater portion of the 
peninsula from the confines of Thibet to their 
own proper boundaries. Unfortunately for 
themselves, they courted the alliance of the 
Portuguese, Dutch, and French by turns, ex- 
citing thereby the jealousy of the more power- 
ful rival of those European powers — England. 
The consequence was, that the Birmese, en- 
couraged and aided by the British, revolted 
against their Peguan masters, and subjected 
them in turn. The country being everywhere 
intersected by rivers, the English found it 



CiiAP. v.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



123 



subsequently a useful base of operations 
against the Biniian eni])iro. 

The religion is Buddhist, and, like all other 
Buddhist communities, the people profess to 
be atheistical materialists, and worship Go- 
tama, or, as they call him, Gaudma, himself. 
They allow to woman far more importance 
in the social scale than the Hindoos and Mo- 
hammedans of the neighbouring peninsula, or 
than their eastern co-religionists, the Chinese, 
but not more so than the Birmans. The editor 
of an Indian journal says of them — " Perhaps 
their most remarkable departure from oriental 
customs is the social position in which they 
have placed their women. Although gene- 
rally without even the education afforded by 
the kioungs, or village schools, the mothers 
and wives of these countries occupy a promi- 
nent position in society, and take a share in 
the daily business of life rarely to be met 
with eastward of the Cape." The same writer 
does them justice Avhen he describes their 
general character in these terms : — " In their 
manners and general habits the Peguans and 
Talains of the Tenesserim and neighbouring- 
provinces are decidedly superior to the Hin- 
doo, though perhaps less industriously dis- 
posed. In all that relates to education, in 
their freedom from the ban of caste and the 
slavery of baneful superstition, in the supe- 
riority of their social system, these people 
form a remarkable exception to the state of 
debasement in which most of the Asiatic 
nations are plunged." 

The Peguans appear to have been civilised 
at an earlier period and in a higher degree than 
any nation of the Indo-Cliinese peninsula. 
At all events, as compared with the Birmans, 
their advancement in the arts of life and in 
civilisation of feeling, as well as circumstance, 
was much earlier, and more complete. They 
seem, like the Mhugs of Arracan, to have 
been always partial to navigation. The im- 
mense river-surface of their country, as well 
as the extended sea-board, conduce to this. 
A recent historian says of them what ap- 
pears to have been true ever since they were 
known to Europeans : — '•' A Birman or Peguan 
will never journey by land so long as he can 
go by water ; and so addicted are they from 
their earliest infancy to boat travelling, that 
the canoe enters into almost all their arrange- 
ments. Their cattle are fed out of canoes; 
their children sleep in them ; their vessels of 
domestic use are canoe-shaped; they travel 
by land in canoe-shaped carriages; and it 
may be almost said that their earliest and 
their latest moments are passed in canoes." 
The admirable teak timber, produced in such 
great abundance in the province, enables the 
people to make more progress in shipbuilding 



than other nations on that or the neighbouring 
2)eninsula. The Arabs of IMuscat, who were 
a maritime ])eople in their prosperity and 
power, repaired to the coasts of Pegu to build 
their ships of war, some of which were of 
considerable size. The commerce now carried 
on between Bengal and Pegu in teak for ship- 
building is very considerable. Like the neigh- 
bouring division of Arracan, Pegu is wonder- 
fully productive, and promises to be one of the 
most valuable territories under the British 
Indian government. While under the domi- 
nion of Birmah, no brick buildings were 
allowed to be reared, except for the use of the 
government, or for the worship of Buddha. 
The efforts of Christian missionaries, espe- 
cially from the United States of America, for 
the propagation of the gospel and the educa- 
tion of the i^eople, especially the rising female 
generation, have been crowned with success.* 
The language of Pegu is called Mon ; it is a 
very ancient language. The Birraese and 
Siamese deny that it has any affinity to 
theirs. Its roots are monosyllabic. The British 
have found northern Pegu a more healthy 
climate than any other part of that peninsula. 
During our conflicts Avith Birmah, troops that 
had sickened in the neighbourhood of Pan- 
goon rapidly recovered their health when 
stationed at Pronie, and on other portions of 
the Pesfuan coast. 

Pegu is the modern capital ; Prome is 
alleged to have been the ancient metropolis. 
The town of Pegu is situated in latitude 
17^ 40' north, and longitude 96"^ 12' east. 
It is less than a hundred miles above Ean- 
goon, which Avas until lately the commer- 
cial capital of Birmah. It was at a former 
period a place of considerable extent. About 
a century ago the Birmans sacked it, razing 
every dwelling-house, and carrying away 
captive its whole population. The public 
buildings were all destroyed, except the 
temples, which the conquerors respected. 
They did not, however, keep them in repair, 
and the buildings gradually fell to ruins. The 
pyramid of Shoemadoo Avas an exception to 
this. The measurement of this pile is one hun- 
dred and sixty -tAvo feet at each side of the 
base. " The great breadth diminishes abruptly 
in the shaije of a speaking-trumpet. The 
elcA^ation of the building is three hundred 
and sixty-one feet. On the top is an iron 
tee, or umbrella, fifty-six feet in circum- 
ference, Avhich is gilt. The conqueror in- 
tended to gild the Avhole building, but did 
not execute his purpose. On the north side 
of the building are three large bells of good 
AA'orkmanshij?, suspended near the ground, to 
announce to the spirit of Gaudma the approach 
* See Chapter ou Religion, Literature, &c. 



124 



IIISTOTJY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VI. 



of a suppliant, who places Lis offering, con- 
sisting of boiled rice, a plate of sweetmeats, 
or a cocoa-nut fried in oil, on a bench near 
the foot of the temple. After it is offered, 
the devotee seems indifferent what becomes 
of it. and it is often devoured before his face 
by crows or dogs, which he never attempts to 
disturb. Xumberless images of Gaudma lie 
scattered about." * The way in which the 
vast number of scattered images is accounted 
for by the writer from whom the foregoing 
account is taken is very singular, and pro- 
balily unparalleled in the East or anywhere 
else. It is substantially as follows : — A de- 
votee purchases an idol ; he then procures its 
consecration by the monks, and leaves it in 
one of the monasteries at hand, or places it on 
the open ground, Avliere he leaves it, as re- 
gardless of what may happen to it as another 
worshipper is of the viands which he places 
there. These images are sometimes valuable, 
composed of marble which takes a fine polish ; 
sometimes of bone or ivory, and of silver, but 
never of gold. The monks affirm that the 
building was begun two thousand three hun- 
dred years ago ; that it required many gene - 
rations to complete it, and was a task handed 
down by successive monarchs to those who 
inherited their power. There is but little to 
interest the traveller or the politician at the 
cit}' of Pegu, except its religious remains. 

Tenesserim is the last of the non -regula- 
tion provinces of the Bengal government upon 
this coast. It lies along the sea-shore, between 
the southern extremity of Pegu and the 
isthmus of Krow. It is, therefore, bounded 
by Pegu, the sea, and the country of Siam. 
There are not many respects in which it 
differs from Pegu, either in the character of 
its people or productions. The climate is 
warmer, and more moist, although the river- 



surface is not so great as it is in Pegu or 
Arracan. The country about Martaban is so 
similar to that of Pegu, as to come under the 
descriptions applicable to it. The resources 
of the narrow strij) of country which continues 
the British possessions from Pegu to the 
isthmus of Krow are various, and capable of 
great development. The people possess some 
of the Siamese characteristics, and the lan- 
guage also. Schools and ministerial instruc- 
tion are provided extensively by the Ame- 
rican board of missions ; and the labours of 
those devout and zealous men, especially in 
the education of female youth, have been at- 
tended with triumphant success.* " The 
animals of the Tenesserim province differ in 
few particulars from those of Hindoostan 
proper. Elephants, tigers, bears, and pan- 
thers abound, while species of the rhinoceros, 
the hare, the rabbit, the porcupine, are also to 
be met with in considerable numbers. The 
most interesting and valuable of all the ani- 
mals of this region is a hardy and swift-footed 
pony, highly esteemed throughout all parts of 
India, esiiecially for mountain journeys, where, 
from their being so sure-footed, they are in- 
valuable. The sheep and goat are rarely met 
with here, but buffaloes, oxen, and several 
varieties of the deer are plentiful." 

The non-regulation provinces of the Bengal 
government have received in this chapter 
as full a notice as our space Avill allow. It 
would require a book of larger extent than 
this History to give so minute a description 
of these fine regions as might be desirable 
and useful. The detail here given is, how- 
ever, sufficiently minute to unfold to the 
reader the great resources of the noble lands 
comprehended within the regulation and non- 
regulation provinces of Bengal and the Agra 
governments. 



CHAPTER VI. 

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OP THE DECCAN— PRESIDENCY OF MADRAS-COLLECTORATES 

AND CITIES. 



Before entering into any particular descrip- 
tion of Madras, it is necessary to notice one 
of the great natural divisions of India, called 
the Deccax. a portion of it only belongs to 
Madras ; a much larger section of it to Bom- 
l)ay ; a very small amount of its territory in 
the province of Orissa, as already shown, is 
comprised in Bengal, The largest area of 
tlie Deecan is under the control of native 
princes. By here noticing it as a natural 
* Symcs. 



division of India, facilities will be afforded in 
describing the presidencies of I\Iadras and 
Bombay. 

The country south of the Vindaya IMoun- 
tains receives the designation of " the Dec- 
can." ■{• A portion of this great division of 
the peninsula is called Soiithcrn India, which 
comprises the whole country south of the 
Kistna River. The late editor of the Ceylon 

* Sec Chajjtcr on Rcliijions, Literature, &c. 

t For relative geographical situation see pp. 5, 6. 




THE BOMBAY PI^ESIDENCT. 

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muMr - ; , /_ 



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'ryrtiip atitJn ' fort S* David , 



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Chap. VI.] 



IX INDIA AND THE EART. 



125 



Examiacr tlius cliaractcviscs tlie Deccan : — 
•■'The distinguisliin,2f feature of tlic Deccan 
consists of the loft}^ ranges of mountains 
whicli skirt it on every side ; they are named 
the Xortheru, Southern, Eastern, and West- 
ern Ghauts. The L\tter skirt the shores of 
the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal, at 
di^vtances varying from one hundred^ to ten 
miles, those on the eastern coast being the 
most remote. Their altitude varies from 
eight thousand feet downwards. On the 
southern extremity of the ^Ycstern Ghauts 
are the Nilgherry ]\rountains, stretching east- 
ward, and famed throughout Southern India 
for their fine climate and fertile tracts of 
table -land. On this range have been estab- 
lished the sanitary stations of Ootacamund 
and Dinihutty, Avhere Europeans enjoy the 
bracing temperature of alpine lands within a 
few days' journey of Madras. At the northern 
extremity of the western range, immediately 
opposite Bombay, are the Mahabalipoora 
iNIountains, rising to a height of five thousand 
and thirty-six feet, on which the sanitorium 
of Mahabeleshwar has been established for 
the benefit of that presidency. The Ally- 
gherry Mountains are an offshoot of the 
Southern Ghauts. In that portion of the 
Deccan known as Southern India are several 
independent states. The King of Travancore 
and the Rajah of Cochin are both allies of 
the Honourable East India Company, and 
offer every facility for the prosecution of 
commercial enterprise in their territories. The 
Deccan proper comprises all that portion of 
tlie peninsula whicli lies between the valley 
of the Nerbuddah on the north, and the deep 
pass known as the Gap of Coimbatore, run- 
ning from east to west at about 11° north 
latitude." 

A considerable portion of the Deccan proper 
is under the control of native chiefs or rajahs, 
protected by the com^iany. 

The British possessions in the Deccan, 
united to all the presidencies, do not com- 
prise at the utmost more than forty-five thou- 
sand square miles. 

The table -land, whicli comprises the whole 
natural division of the Deccan, is fertile. 
Tlie mountains are generally bare and barren, 
" except wliere their spurs form broken 
valleys, which arc covered with extensive 
forests." 

The people who inhabit the whole region 
bearing the general name of "the Deccan" 
are chiefly Hindoos, especially those who in- 
habit the provinces formerly imder the JMah- 
ratta chiefs. There is a considerable Moham- 
medan population, especially in the nizam's 
country; but those of them who are culti- 
vators of the soil have assmned the nian;;er3 



and customs of the Hindoos, so as scarcely to 
be distinguished from them. 

The principal modern sub-divisions of the 
Deccan proper are the following : — 



Gundwana. 

Orissa. 

The Northern Circars. 

Caiideish. 

Bcrar. 



Hccdcr. 
Hvdcralad. 
Auruugabad. 
Bfjaporc. 



The province of Gundwana extends from 
the eighteenth to the twenty-fifth degree of 
north latitude. On the north it is bounded 
by Allahabad and Bahar ; on the south, by 
Berar, Hyderabad, and Orissa ; on the east it 
has Bahar and Orissa; and to the west, 
Allahabad, IMalwah, Candeish, Berar, and 
Hyderabad, It is about four hundred miles 
in leno-th, and less than three hundred in 
breadth. This is the measurement of Gun- 
dwana in its most extensive signification, but 
Gundwana proper is of much smaller extent. 
Much of the country is wild, and covered 
with jungle, ruled by petty chiefs, Avho 
render imperfect allegiance either to the 
superior princes or the East India Company, 
to whom many of them pay a nominal tribute. 
The refjion is ill-watered, none of the few 
rivers that flow through it being navigable 
within its limits. Its mountains contain the 
sources of the Nerbuddah and the Sone. 
Some portions of these hill regions are wil- 
derness, and the inhabitants sunk in the 
lowest degrees of degradation. No one seems 
to have thoiight of them as objects of commi- 
seration or interest in any way except the 
missionaries, some of whom, from the Church 
Missionary Society, have gone amongst them, 
and called the attention of government to 
their debased condition. Those portions of 
the province which are at all fertile, or where 
any form of civilisation has prevailed, have 
been the scenes for many ages of the most 
sanguinary conflicts, their history being made 
up of intrigues of chief against chief, despe- 
rate raids from one principality to another, 
social oppression, anct filthy and abominable 
idolatry. Hardly a page of human history 
could be darker than that upon which should 
be recorded the story of these principalities. 

The province of Orissa extends froju the 
eighteenth to the twenty -third degree of 
north latitude. To the north it is boimded 
by Bengal; to the south, by the river God- 
avery ; on the east it has the Bay of Bengal ; 
and on the west, the province of Gundwana. 
Its extent is about four hundred miles, from 
north-east to south-Avest, by seventy, the 
average breadth. About half the province is 
now British territory, and attached to Bengal, 
as shown in a previous chapter ; the other por- 
tion is possessed by tributary zemindars. The 



12G 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VI. 



Britisli division lies along the Eay of Bengal ; 
it is fertile and low, but thinly peopled, and 
celebrated for the temple of Juggernaut, of 
which an account was given when treating of 
Bengal. The native division is a territory of 
hill, rock, forest, and jungle — a wild region, but 
yields more grain than its scanty population 
consumes, which is borne down to Bengal. 

The Northern Circars extend along the 
Bay of Bengal from the fifteenth to the twen- 
tieth degree of north latitude. They have a 
coast-line of four hundred and seventy miles, 
from Mootaj^illy, their northern extremity, to 
IMalwal, on the borders of the Chilka Lake. 
They are separated from Hyderabad by low 
detached hills, which extend to the Godavery ; 
and, north of tliat stream, from Gundwana, by 
a range of higher hills. " From hence the 
chain of hills curves to the eastward, and, 
with the Chilka Lake, forms a barrier of fifty 
miles to the north, except a tongue of land 
between that lake and the sea. Towards the 
south, the small river Gundegama, Avliich 
empties itself at Mootapilly, separates the 
Circars from Oragole and the Carnatic, below 
the ghauts." The climate of this region is 
intolerably hot. At the mouth of the Kistna 
River the glass rises to 110^, remaining for six 
or eight days at that elevation ; and it is re- 
lated that the heat has been at 112° two 
hours after sunset. Neither wood nor glass 
bears this heat — the one warps, and the other 
flies or cracks. The higher parts of the 
country are infested by pestilential vapours, 
and no European can resist them Avithout the 
imminent risk of '"'the hill fever," which also 
carries off great numbers of the natives. The 
Circars are very productive of grain, and 
Averc formerly the granaries of the Carnatic. 
Bay-salt and tobacco, both of superior rpiality, 
are exported largely. The forests pi'oduce 
excellent teak-trees, rivalling those of Pegu. 
A considerable commerce is carried on with 
the city of JMadras and with the island of 
Ceylon. The population are chiefly Hindoos, 
but there is a sprinlding of Mohammedans 
among them. Vizagapatam is a district of 
the Circars, and is classed for governmental 
purposes as one of the non-regulation pro- 
vinces of the Madras presidency. Masuli- 
patam, one of the regulation provinces of 
^Tadras, is included in the Circars ; also 
Guntore. 

Candeish is a province of the Deccan at- 
tached to the Bombay government. It is one 
of the original Mahratta provinces, a large 
l^ortion of it having been, with the adjoining 
province of Malwah, divided between Holkar, 
Scindiah, and the Peislnva. The whole coun- 
try is excessively wild, and inhabited by an 
insid->ordinate people: it is one of the least 



prosperous districts of India under regular 
government. 

Berar is a province of the Deccan between 
the nineteenth and twenty-first degree of 
north latitude, bounded on the north by Can- 
deish and Mahvah, on the south by Aurung- 
abad and Beeder, on the east by Gimdwana, 
and on the Avest by Candeish anck Aurung- 
abad. The soil is that called the black cotton 
soil, and is here, as elscAAdiere, A^ery proli- 
fic. Corn, peas, beans, A'etches, flax, &c., are 
groAvn in abundance. The Nagpore AA'heat 
used to be considered the best in India. 
Under the government of " the nizam," the 
country \A'as much oppressed and impover- 
ished, and its population remained far beneath 
Avhat it Avas calculated to support. The AA'hole 
region suffered from the most appalling fa- 
mines, partly from natural causes, but chiefly 
through misgovernment. 

Beeder is a province of the Deccan, aa'cII 
knoAvn as a portion of the nizam' s dominions, 
AA'hich shared the general fate of misgovern- 
ment. 

The province of Hyderabad is situated 
betAveen the tenth and the nineteenth degrees 
of north latitude : it measures two hundred 
and eighty miles by one hundred and ten. It 
is a productive country, Avell watered, and 
yielding fine wheat. Its riA^ers are not 
naA'igable, and this circumstance checks the 
production of many commodities suitable for 
export. The people of influence are chiefly 
Mohammedans. The capital is dcA'oid of 
interest, although relatively a place of some 
importance. 

Aurungabad is a proA'ince lying betAA'een the 
eighteenth and tAventy-first degrees of north 
latitude, bounded on tlie north by Gujerat, 
Candeish, and Berar; on the south byBejapore 
and Beeder; on the east by Berar and Hyder- 
abad; and on the AA^est by the Indian Ocean. 
This proA'ince is also knoAA'n by the name of 
Ahmednuggur, and is one of the regulation 
jn'ovinces of the Bombay presidency, AA-ithin 
Avhich the Bombay capital is situated. It 
Avill be more particularly noticed under the 
head of that presidency. 

Bejarore lies to the south of the pro- 
vince previously named. There is nothing 
to distinguish it from other proAdnces of the 
Deccan that requires a general description in 
this place. Sattara, noAv a non-regulation 
province of the Bombay ju'esidency, lies 
Avithin this province. The deposition of the 
Rajah of Sattara made much noise in Eng- 
land, in consequence of tlie eloquent advocacy 
of his interests by George Thompson, Esq. 

The forenamed territories belong to the 
Deccan projier. The other portions of the 
country to Avhich the general name is applied 



Chap. VI.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



127 



are comprehended in tLe natural division 
whieli many geogra pliers adopt — Sontliern 
India, or India south of the Kistna River. 
Tlie purj^oses for which a general view of the 
Deccan was introduced being answered, it 
is unnecessary to give a description of the 
provinces lying in this portion of the penin- 
sula, except under their proper presidential 
arrangement. 

The presidency of IMadras comprehends a 
large portion of Southern India. It is under 
the jurisdiction of the governor and council 
of Madras. It extends along the east coast to 
the confines of Bengal, and along the south- 
west coast to the limits of Bomba}'. 

The following lists will show the military 
stations occupied by the Madras army, the 
collectorates into which, for purposes of go- 
vernment and revenue, it is divided, and the 
zillahs (local divisions) : — 

MILITARY STATIONS. 



Avcot. 

Aruee. 

Bellary. 

Bangalore. 

Berliampore. 

Cannanore. 

Cicacole. 

Cuculajjah. 

Dincli£(iil. 

Ellore^. 

Prench Rocks, or Ycllore. 

Hurryhurr. 

Jaulaali. 

Madias, or Fort St. George. 

Moulmeyn (Bimiali). 

Mangalore. 

Masulipatam. 

Muddakayray. 



Nagpore, or Kamptee. 

Noagaum. 

Ootacamund. 

Palaverem. 

Pallamcottali. 

Paiilgautcherry. 

Poonamalee. 

Qiiilon. 

Russell Koonda. 

Samulcottah. 

St. Thomas's Mount. 

Sccunderabad. 

Trichinopoly. 

Yizagapatam. 

Vizanagram. 

Ycllore. 

AVallajabad. 



COLLECTORATES. 



,. ( North, C, S.C. 
'' '' i South, C, S.C. 
Bclhirv, C, S.C. 
Cuddapah, C, S.C. 
Chiuglc-put, C. 
Coimbatore, C, S.C. 
Canara, C, 2 S.Cs. 
Gangam, C, S.C, 
Guutore, C. 
IMadras, 4 Cs. 
Madiu-a, C, S.C. 



S.C. 



Malabar, C, S.C. 
IMasulipatam, C. 
Nellore and ) p 
Ongole, \ ^■' 
Rajahmundry, C. 
Salem, C, S.C. 
Tanjore, C, S.C. 
Tinnivelly, C, S.C. 
Trichinopoly, C. 
Yizagapatam, C, S.C, 



ZILLAHS. 



KOKTH DIVISION, 

Cicacole, J., R. 
Nellore, J., R. 
Rajahmundiy, J., R. 

CENTKE DIVISION. 

Bellary, J., R. 
Chingleput, 2 Js., R. 
Chittore, J., R. 
Cuddapah, 2 Js., R. 



WEST DIVISION. 

Calient, 2 Js., R. 
Canara. 
Mangalore, 3 Js., 11. 

SOUTH DIVISION. 

Combacoruai, J., R. 
Madura, 2 Js., R. 
Salem, 3 Js., 11, 



cnC ^; ^/"°*'t ^^"'^ctor; D.C. deputy-coUector; S.C, 
sub-collector; J. judge; R. recorder. 



The territories of Madras, regarded gene- 
rally, are a rich and valuable department of 
the British dominions ; but tlie provinces 
comprised in this division are not so prolific 
as those of the Gangetic valley. It is a 
region which severely tries European consti- 
tutions, at some periods of the j-ear especially. 
A gentleman, Avell acquainted with all the 
presidencies, thus describes its climate: — 
" The Madras seasons and temj^erature differ 
from those of the other presidencies. January 
and February are the coldest months of the 
year: the thermometer ranges between 75° 
and 78°. Eain falls in slight showers con- 
tinually, leaving a deposit of fractions of an 
inch. From March to June the range is 
between 76° and 87°. In July the rains 
commence, and the thermometer then falls to 
84°, It retains that position, with very little 
deviation, through August, and about four 
inches of rain fall. In September the ther- 
mometer falls to 83°, and the rain increases. 
In October the clouds begin to assume a more 
dense appearance than heretofore; the ther- 
mometer declines to an average of 81°, and 
the rainy season fairly commences, just as it 
has terminated at the other presidencies. 
During November the rains fall very heavily, 
not less than fourteen inches being deposited. 
The thermometer falls to 75° in December, 
and the rains abate. Of course every scheme 
that human ingenuity can devise to mitigate 
the discomfort of heat is resorted to. The 
punkah is continually kept swinging over the 
head of the European; the Avindow-blinds of 
the houses are closed to exclude as much 
light as may be consistent vdth convenience; 
matting of fragrant grass is placed at doors 
and windows, and continually watered ; and 
every possible attention is paid by the pru- 
dent to clothing and to diet. From November 
to March woollen clothes may be worn with 
advantage : during the rest of the year everj- 
body is clad in Avliite cotton. No one ven- 
tures into the sun without parasols of a broad 
and shady form, or in palankeens roofed with 
tuskas. Nevertheless, the European constitu- 
tion is exposed to the attacks of many diseases. 
Fevers, dysenterj^, affections of the liver, 
cholera morbus, and rheumatism, are com- 
mon ; and there are numerous minor dis- 
orders, the effect of climate acting upon a 
slight or an excessively robiist system, which 
few can escape. These latter consist of a 
troublesome cutaneous eruption, called prickly 
heat, boils, and ulcers. Boils grow to a large 
size, are excessively painful and disturbing, 
and the lancet is often necessary to the relief 
of the patient. Constipation is also a comm.on 
complaint, needing exercise and stimidating 
medicines." 



128 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VI. 



A very large region of the Madras territory 
is called the Oarnatic, containing the districts 
of Nellore and Ongode, North Arcot, South 
Arcot, Chingleput, Tanjore, Trichinopoly, 
Dindigid and Madura, and Tinnivelly. The 
Oarnatic was an ancient Hindoo geogra- 
phical division, which comprised the high 
table -land of Southern India situated above 
the Ghauts. By degrees the name became 
applied to the lower country extending to the 
sea-coast, and ultimately became confined to 
the country below the Ghauts, known noAv as 
the Oarnatic and Oanara. In remote periods 
of the history of India, the greater part of the 
south of India was comprehended in a power- 
ful empire bearing the name of the "Kamata." 
The common Oanara, or Kamataca, character 
and language are used by the peojile in all 
that reo-ion from Ooimbatore north to Balkv 
near Beeder, and between the eastern and 
western Ghauts across the peninsula. The 
Zelinga Mahratta and Kamataca (or Oama- 
taca) are all used in the neighbourhood of 
Beeder. 

The province of Oanara is a collectorate 
under the modern arrangements of the Sladras 
government. It extends from the twelftli to 
the fifteenth degree of north latitude, and is 
bounded to the north by Goa and the district 
of Gunduck, in Bejapore, on the south by the 
Malabar, on the south-east by Mysore and 
Balaghaut, and on the Avest by the sea. This 
region is not known to the natives by the 
naine we give it, nor did it at any past period 
in Indian history obtain that name. Geogra- 
phically, it is divided into north and south. 
The Western Ghauts approach the sea in 
several places, and in others rocky promi- 
nences branch off from the ghauts seaward. 
This configuration of country sometimes gives 
an impression of wildness, and sometimes of 
grandeur. It causes great ruggedness of 
surface, impeding in many directions the 
transport of articles of commerce, which 
circumstance compels the extensive use of 
manual labour, the peasantry carrying very 
heavy burdens upon their heads. A^'here 
tolerable roads exist, they are inferior to 
those in Malabar. The government does 
not appear to be blameworthy in this matter, 
as the peasantry use the water-courses for 
purposes of trade ; the government would 
alone be benefited by good military roads. 
Villages are not numerous in Oanara. The 
I^eople, as in Malabar, live in their own 
liomcsteads, on the ground they cultivate ; 
their abodes are humble, often wretched, but 
generally shaded by trees, in consequence of 
the intense heat, so that the miserable cha- 
racter of the habitations is concealed in great 
mcasm'c from the eye of the traveller. The 



people are, however, more comfortable in 
circumstances than their dwellings would in- 
dicate, being generally proprietors of the 
land they till, and this seems to have been 
the case from very remote periods. This is 
a very different condition of things from wliat 
generally exists in India, where the land 
belongs to ^-iUages or communities ; in Oa- 
nara, as in England, it is the propert}^ of the 
individual. There are, however, tenants-at- 
will and lessees, and sometimes suits -at -law 
and bitter jiersonal feuds arise out of the jiro- 
cesses of letting and sub-letting, similar to 
what so extensively prevail in Ireland. None 
of the raw materials necessary for manufac- 
tures are produced in any considerable quan- 
tities throughout this province. Its staple 
commodity is rice ; the ample rains and warm 
sun cause immense crops ; and Oanara is a 
great mart for rice grain to Arabia, Bombay, 
Goa, and Malabar, North Oanara produces 
sandal-wood, sugar-cane, teak, cinnamon, nut- 
megs, pepper, and terra japonica. South Oa- 
nara produces cocoa-nut, the calophyllum 
mophyllum, from the seed of which the com- 
mon lamp-oil is pressed oi;t, terra japonica, 
and teak. In this section of the province 
oxen and Iniffaloes are valuable. Generally 
it is rocky, and covered with loAV woods. 
The i^cople of the interior of the province 
belong to a caste bearing the local designa- 
tion of Buntar. The sea-coast is studded 
with villages of Brahmins. " Between Telle - 
cheny and Onore there are five different 
nations, who, although mixed together from 
time immemorial, still preserve their distinct 
languages, character, and national spirit. 
These are the Nairs, the Ooorga, the Tulavas, 
the Ooncanies, and the Oanarese." * The 
proportion of the different religions has been 
thus estimated : — The Jains and Buddhists 
are few, the latter especially; the native 
Ohristians are in considerable numbers — 
one -fifth of the Mohammedan popidation, 
which is about one third of the Brahminical. 
The Brahmins of Oanara are more tolerant 
to the Mohammedans than the latter are to 
them, or to any other sect ; but both Brahmin 
and jMohammedan are intensely bigoted and 
superstitious — all honour, truth, and principle, 
seem to be expelled from the hearts of the 
people by their bigotry. The following is o 
curious exemplification of the way in whicli 
they sacrifice truth in matters of fact to their 
])rejudices : — " A Brahmin of Oanara, who had 
written a narrative of the capture of Seringa- 
patam by General Harris, although he knew 
it happened on a Saturday, yet, because 
Saturday is an unlucky day, altered the date 
to JMonday in his history,"! ^^'^ ^^'^^ ^i^^" 
* Dubois. t BucLaucin. 



Chap. VI.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



129 



willing to let it appear that any prosperous 
event could happen on a day pronounced by 
Brahminical sui)er.stition to be unlucky, and, 
to save Brahminical credit, falsified the chro- 
nology. This circumstance shows how diffi- 
cult it is to rely on the truth or accuracy of 
native historians, or, indeed, of native wit- 
nesses to anything. 

The town of Carwar, about fifty-six miles 
south- cast from Goa, is one of the most con- 
siderable in the province. Having early been 
the seat of an English factory, its trade was 
stimulated. The Jains were formerly pos- 
sessors of the land, and imder their more 
sensible judgment of temporal affairs the 
neighbourhood flourished; but they were ex- 
tirpated, or nearly so, by the Brahmins, who 
resorted to assassination, as well as open at- 
tack, to rid the country of the hated sectaries. 

The isle of Angediva (Andgadwipa) is about 
two miles from the coast ; it is only a mile in 
circumference. 

Marjsow is in the northern section of the 
province. Some writers have described it as 
the ancient Meesiris, " from whence they ex- 
ported a variety of silk stuffs, rich perfumes, 
tortoiseshells, different kinds of transparent 
gems, especially diamonds, and large quan- 
tities of pepper." * Pepper is still abundant 
in that neiglibourhood ; all the precious ar- 
ticles have disappeared from its productions 
and its commerce, if ever they pertained to 
either, which is very questionable. Dr. 
Ivobertson's statements of this kind are fre- 
quently conjectures, having little basis in pro- 
bability. 

The seaport of Onore is a place of some 
little traffic; it was once an enhcpot of 
commerce. 

Along the sea coast, from Cavai to Urigara, 
South Canara,j" a sept of Mohammedans, called 
Moplahs, reside, the interior being inliabited 
by the Nairs. The Nairs belong properly to 
no caste, although generally spoken of as a 
distinct class, and are heathens, involved in 
utter darkness as to all religions. The Mop- 
lahs believe it a work of great merit in the 
eyes of the Projihet to catch a Nair. and cir- 
cumcise him by violence, if he will not become 
a proselyte to IMohammed by persuasion. 
The persecutions of the Moplahs were not 
confined to the timid and unresisting Nairs ; 
Brahmins, Jains, and native Christians, en- 
dured the most brutal injuries at tlieir hands. 
Their sanguinary propensities were carried 
out against Europeans also. This fanatical 
sept seems to exist under different names in 
different parts of India. At Malabar a sect 
of Mohammedans sprang up, known in Europe 

* Dr. Robertson. 

t Soutliera Canara is also called Tiilava. 
VOL, X. 



as Wahabees, and such as in Bengal is pro- 
fessed by the Ferazees of Dacca, Baraset, and 
Furreedpore. These men, forming themselves 
into a secret society, witli branches, went 
out singly or in bands, murdered rich and 
peaceable Hindoos and others o)i relic/ions 
grounds } they then not unfrequently retired 
into some temple, and resisted the authorities 
until captured or slain, always selling their 
lives as dearly as they could, that as many 
as possible of the infidels might perish witli 
them. The ordinary laws failed to put a 
stop to the murders thus perpetrated, and 
the administrators of the law were delicate of 
passing constitutional bounds, which would 
be regarded with jealousy at home ; but 
the evil continued, and even increased, until 
a measure was enacted called " the law of the 
suspect." By this enactment all Dacoits and 
Moplahs under reasonable susj^icion are ar- 
rested ; and if they resist the law their property 
is confiscated, and they are otherwise dealt 
with, so as to act upon the superstitions of the 
people, and detect the crime. 

In the south section of Canara the number 
of females born is much greater than that of 
males. In Southern India generally there is 
a similar disparity between the sexes, but it 
seems to obtain more in South Canara than 
elsewhere. 

In this division, also, in spite of the most 
malignant i^ersecutions on the part of both 
Brahmins and jMohammedans, the Jains con- 
tinue to maintain a considerable footiner. 
They are more numerous liere than anywhere 
else in the peninsula. They have two sorts 
of temples in South Canara ; one is covered 
with a roof, the other open to the heavens. 
In the open temples images of colossal size, 
representing a particular saint, are set up. 
At Carculla there is a very well formed image 
thirty-eight feet high, and ten feet in thick- 
ness, made from a block of granite ; it is 
upwards of four hundred years old. 

Mangalore is a seaport of some prosperity ; 
it is beautifully situated. Ten miles up the 
river is the town of Areola, of some celebrity, 
where a colony of Concan Christians settled 
at the invitation of the Ikeri rajahs. 

Hossobetta is another seaport, but not of so 
much imjiortance as JMangalore. It is remark- 
able as the residence of a very respectable 
class of persons, called Concanies — people de- 
scended from the natives of Concan. They 
fled to this neighbourhood from Goa, where 
they were j^ersecuted by the Portuguese for 
their reluctance to embrace the teaching of 
the Jesuits, they professing an ancient type of 
oriental Christianity. 

Malabar, although not the most extensive 
eollcctorate of the Madras presidency, is the 



130 



HISTOEY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VI. 



most populous. It extends along tlie western 
coast from Cape Comorin to the river Chan- 
dragiri, about two hundred miles. Under the 
direction of the East India Company, Lieu- 
tenant Selby, of the Indian navy, surveyed 
the Malabar coast, 1849-51. He represents 
the navigation of the coast as dangerous, 
currents and hidden reefs exposing to con- 
stant peril, while frequent storms render this 
danger more formidable. Writing of the 
Byramgore reef, called Cheriapiri by the 
natives, and the Laccadive Islands, he says : — 

" The Laccadive islanders frequent these 
reefs to fish, which they catch in great quan- 
tities, and, with the cocua-nut, is their staple 
and almost only article of food. 

" Chitlac — the northern island of the Lacca- 
dive group, south end in latitude 11° 41' 
north, and longitude 72° 42' 30" east — is a 
low sandy island, covered ^^^th cocoa-nut 
trees, a mile and a half long, and nearly half 
a mile broad, and may be seen from a vessel's 
deck ten miles. On the eastern side it is 
very steep too, there being no soundings two 
hundred yards off shore, but is surrounded on 
the western side with a barrier reef, off which 
a bank of soundings extends in places to a 
distance of nearly half a mile, gradually in- 
creasing from the edge of the reef to fifteen 
and twenty fathoms on edge of bank of 
soundings. Between the reef and island is 
a lagoon, into which, through a natural channel 
in the reef, their boats are taken, and where 
they are completely sheltered. The bottom, 
a fine sand, with coral patches. The best 
anchorage is off the south end of the island, 
in from seven to nine fathoms — coral rock 
about four hundred yards off shore. The 
rise and fall of tide we found to be seven feet 
high-water, full and change, at about ten hours. 
Chitlac contains a j^opulation of about five 
hundred inhabitants of the Moplah caste. Like 
all the inhabitants of this group, they are a very 
I~)Oor but inoffensive people, living entirely 
upon fish and cocoa-nut, the only produce of 
these islands, with a little rice, which they 
procure from the coast. They export to 
the Malabar coast large quantities of raw 
coir and coir-yarn. This is received from 
them by the collectors at Cannanore and 
Mangalore at a fixed rate. It is of a 
most excellent quality, and much better than 
that of INLalabar. The rope made by the 
islanders is, for strength and durability, far 
superior to that which is produced on the 
coast. From having had the weight of the 
gale at north, this island must have been on 
the western extreme of the hurricane, which 
passed up the Malabar coast in April, 1S47. 
It has, therefore, suffered comparatively little, 
when the ravages committed at Undewo, and 



others of the islands lying more to the east- 
ward, are remembered. It lost only about 
six hundred trees, but this, on an island which 
counts about three thousand five hundred 
altogether, was seriously felt, and the inha- 
bitants gratefully remember the assistance 
rendered them by government at a time 
when, from the loss of some of their boats, 
they were in great distress. Water and 
supplies may be procured here in small 
quantities, and at a very cheap rate ; and 
we invariably found the natives most civil 
and obliging. 

" Kiltan Island, south end in latitude 
11° 27' 30" north, and longitude 72° 59' 40' 
east, bears from Chitlac south-east J east 
twenty miles. It is about two miles long by 
a quarter to half a mile broad, and, like 
Chitlac, has a barrier reef all round the 
western side, with good anchorage off both 
the noi'thern and southern points of the 
island. Water may be procured here, and, 
indeed, at all the Laccadive Islands. As, 
however, it is merely the sea-water filtrated 
through the coral, it will not keejD very long ; 
it may, however, be Tised with safety, as we 
filled up both here and at Ameen, and found 
no ill effects resulting from its use. A few 
limes may also be obtained. With this ex- 
ception, it produces nothing but the cocoa- 
nut ; and it is from this island and Chitlac 
that the best coir is procured, and it would 
perhaps be worthy the attention of govern- 
ment that, in a late trial made between the 
rope manufactured at these islands and that 
from the coast for the naval service, the one 
from the islands, both in strength and tex- 
ture, proved very far superior to the other. 
This island having been nearer by twenty 
miles to the centre of the hurricane of April, 
1847, than Chitlac, has suffered in a much 
greater degree, and the northern part of the 
island, where its violence was most felt, has 
been entirely denuded of trees and vegetation, 
and on the eastern side, a belt of about one 
hundred and fifty yards broad, — by the whole 
length of the island of uprooted trees, and 
masses of coral rock, thrown up from the 
steep side of th-e island, — attests how great 
must have been the fury of the gale, and vio- 
lence of the waves. From a measurement 
which I took of some of these masses, I esti- 
mated their weight to be from one to two and 
a half tons, and many of them are now lying 
one hundred and fifty yards from the beach, 
left there by the receding waters. Two thou- 
sand trees are said to have been uprooted, 
and a channel of twenty yards in width, and 
ten feet deep, now remains to show where, on 
the gale decreasing, the sea, with which the 
island had been jiartially submerged, returned 



Chap. VI.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



131 



to its own level. In conclusion, I would only 
observe that, with respect to the characteristic 
features of this island, the remarks which I 
have offered on Chitlac, together with its in- 
habitants, their mode of life, &c., ec^ually 
apply here. 

" A succession of calms, and much bad 
weather, during the latter part of the season, 
prevented our surveying more of these islands 
than those I have described, but I have no 
doubt many other dangerous banks not known 
to us exist." 

The Malabar shore is sandy, the plain of 
sand extending inland about three miles. 
The low hills which separate the level coun- 
try from the Western Ghauts are wooded 
and picturesque, irregularly disposed, and 
forming, by their groupings, valleys which are 
fertile and beautiful. The hills themselves 
are cultivated, the summits being generally 
level, although the acclivities are steep; but 
these are productive, and are often cultivated 
in terraces. The downs near the sea are 
gracefully sloped, and rich, bearing the cocoa- 
nut tree in perfection. The rividets which 
wind around these hills, as they escape from 
the ghauts, are innumerable, irrigating the 
whole country, and in such a way as to re- 
fresh the atmosphere and conduce to salubrity. 
The palm-tree flourishes in the ujjlands. 
Black pepper is cultivated in large quantities 
for export. The land is private property, as 
in Canara, but held generally on more satis- 
factory terms by the cultivators. The origin 
of landed property in this province is lost in 
the obscurity of a remote antiquity. The 
moral condition of the heathen portion of the 
people is of the lowest description; among 
the Nairs, and even amongst natives of 
higher position, female virtue is almost un- 
known, and vice is systematised with public 
sanction and native law. 

There are more native Christians in Mala- 
bar than in any other part of India : very 
many of them belong to a primitive oriental 
church, and consider themselves to be the 
disciples of St. Thomas the Apostle. There 
are several sects who make this claim, but 
those professing the purest creed are fewest 
in number; they are supposed in the whole 
of Malabar to be about forty thousand per- 
sons. The Nestorian Christians are more 
numerous. The primitive sects of Christians 
in the whole province are supposed to be not 
less in number than a quarter of a million. 
The efforts of the Roman Catholic mission- 
aries to win over or to force these native 
Christians into the communion of the Church 
of Rome were imceasing during the influence 
of the Portuguese, and many were detached 
from the simpler worship of their fathers. 



The converts of the British Protestant mis- 
sionaries are considerable in number, and 
their success, especially in the department of 
education, is rapidly increasing. 

The Malabar villages are picturesque. The 
Brahmins reside chiefly in these viHages: the 
females of this caste are considered here the 
most beautiful in India ; they are elegant in 
manner and attire. The animals of this coast, 
of almost every species, are inferior. The 
province is well intersected by roads. 

CooEG is an ancient Hindoo principality 
situated in the Western Ghauts, and chiefly 
attached to the province of Malabar. The 
Cavery has its source in Coorg. In this 
region the people, although very uncivilised, 
are much fairer than those of the lower coun- 
tries : they are as fair as southern Europeans. 

On the Malabar coast there are several 
ports w^hich are important for their commerce, 
or interesting historically as identified with 
various European settlements. Cannanore was 
formerly a Dutch settlement. Tellecherry, 
about one hundred and twenty-six miles from 
Seringapatam, was for a long time the chief 
settlement of the English on that coast, but 
it declined Avhen the company transferred its 
settlement to Mahe (mahi, a fish). 

Calicut is a sub-division of the Malabar 
province, and the chief residence of the 
Nairs. The word calico, a name given to 
cotton cloth, is derived from this place, for- 
merly so celebrated for its manufacture. The 
moral condition of this district, like that of 
others where the Nairs predominate, is truly 
horrible. So perverted is the moral sense of 
the people, that it is deemed scandalous for a 
Avoman to have children by her own husband, 
with whom she never resides, always taking 
up her abode with her brother ; her children 
are the offspring of various fathers. The 
Brahmins generally claim a numerous pro- 
geny. In the town of Calicut, which is the 
capital of the province, the people are chiefly 
Moplahs. This was a noted Portuguese set- 
tlement. 

Cochin (cocJihi, a morass) is a native state 
in charge of a British resident under the 
Madras government. Description here is 
unnecessary. 

The collectorates of Bellary andCuDDAPAH 
are amongst the most p>opulous, but neither 
possesses features of such distinctive interest 
as to require separate notice. The diamond 
mines of Cuddapah have been' worked for 
several hundred years; they are not very 
valuable, and the diamonds found are very 
small. They are always obtained in alluvial 
soil, or in connection with rocks of the most 
recent formation. 

CoiMBATORE is a much less populous col- 



132 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap, VI. 



lectorate than either of the preceding. It is 
sitnated above the Eastern Ghants, bnt is 
very unequal in its surface, which consists of 
a series of npknds and lowlands in great 
irregnlarity, generally contributing to its 
picturesqi;eness, although sometimes it is 
simply wild and rude. There is much waste 
land, which is quite valueless either to the 
government or the inhabitants, except that the 
latter annually let loose cattle upon its scanty 
herbage. The culture of the cultivated por- 
tions vies with that of other districts of 
India. Large and luxuriant rice fields, 
Avatered from immense reservoirs, may be 
seen in every direction where the land is not 
too elevated and rocky. There are several 
good towns in the province, as Coimbatore, 
Caroor, &g. 

Salem is a collectorate nearly of the same 
area and population as Coimbatore; its gene- 
ral character presents few features which 
entitle it to separate notice. 

The town and fortress of Rvacotta (Raya 
Cotay) is well situated, being the key of the 
Carnatic. The country around is very well 
cultivated, and the climate mild, the glass 
seldom rising beyond SO^-'. Cherry, and other 
English fruit trees that will not bear in 
the hot climate of southern India, floiirish in 
this particular part. 

The town of Sautghur is also well situated, 
the rocky country around it being picturesque ; 
some of the most splendid trees in southern 
India spring up from the rugged land. The 
tamarind and banyan-trees are of gTcat age 
and size, rendering them objects of interest 
to botanists. The nabob of the Carnatic had, 
in the early part of the present century, an 
immense garden here, which, however, he 
farmed out to those who were willing to 
speculate in its prodi;ce. 

Several large coUectorates of the Madras 
presidency are comprehended in what used to 
be called the Carnatic. The northern bound- 
ary commences at the southern limit of Gun- 
tore, and stretches thence to Cape Comorin — 
a distance of five hundred miles, the average 
breadth of the territory being about seventy - 
five miles. The Northern Carnatic extends 
from the river Pennar to the river Gunda- 
gama on the borders of Guntore. This was 
once a region over which powerful Indian 
princes reigned. The Central Carnatic ex- 
tends from the river Pennar to the Colaroone, 
containing the collectorate of Trichinopoly, 
and part of the collectorate of Nellore. It 
also contains the French settlement of Pon- 
dicherry, the presidential capital of Madras, 
and the collectorate of Arcot. The South 
Carnatic lies south of the river Colaroone. 
The British colloctorotcs of ]\radur;i, and 



Tanjore, and part of Trichinopoly, are com- 
prised in this territory. The climate of the 
whole area of coimtry comprehended under 
the European designation, " the Carnatic," is 
extremely hot — the hottest in India. It is, 
however, tempered by the sea breezes, and 
by the diversity of the country. 

The Carnatic is studded with heathen tem- 
j)les, which are of large dimensions, with very 
little diversity of architecture ; they are 
generally surroianded by high walls, as if 
it Avere intended to conceal the greater 
portion of the sujierstructures. Sometimes 
several temples exist in these enclosures. 
The religion is Brahminical, but Moham- 
medanism exists. The number of native 
Christians is increasing, and is probably not 
less than one hundred thousand. The people 
are inferior in physical qualities to the natives 
of Upper India. The industrial pursuits of 
the province are chiefly carried on by Sudras, 
and formerly slaves were the cultivators. 
The Brahmins disdain to hold the plough, or 
engage in any work requiring toil ; they are 
clerks or messengers, assist in collecting the 
revenue, or are keepers of {choultries) way- 
side pilgrims' houses, or resting-places for 
travellers. These choultries are generally 
very filthy, but not too much so for native 
taste ; for in spite of their frequent ablutions, 
the population is not cleanly in its habits. 
The people take snuff, but, excepting some of 
the lower castes, who smoke cigars, tobacco 
smokins: is deemed irrelio-ious, and ciu'ars 
would deprive the Brahmins of caste. Hin- 
doo customs are retained with great purity, 
even in the vicinage of the city of INIadras. 
Fowls, AN'hich only ^Mohammedans would eat 
in Bengal, are in the Carnatic eaten b}^ all 
castes and religionists. By the lower castes 
asses are used; and some affirm that their 
milk is drank, and their flesh eaten, by one 
particular class, which is regarded as outcast. 
The white ant is a favourite article of food 
with them. 

IMadras, the seat of government of Southern 
India, is situated in the Carnatic, on the 
shore of the Bay of Bengal, in latitude 13° 5' 
north, longitude 80° 21' east. The shore is 
here low and dangeroi;s. Its Fort St. George, 
a place of considerable strength, may be 
easily defended by a small garrison. The 
population of Madras and its suburbs in 
1S3G — 7 was upwards of four hundred thou- 
sand. INIadi'as is eight hundred and seventy 
miles south-west of Calcutta, and six hundred 
and fifty south-east of Bombay. The popu- 
lation and extent of this city are supposed to 
be the greatest in India next to Calcutta, but 
Benares is alleged by many to have a more 
numerous population, as well p.b to cover ft 





Va 

4 



Chap. VI.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



133 



greater area, INIadras is certainly the next city 
to Calcutta in political importance, altlioiigli 
not iu commercial enterprise or extent of 
commercial transactions. This deficiency 
arises from the ineligible site upon -which the 
city stands — probably the most disadvan- 
tageous which any sea-board city could well 
occupy. Travellers and writers upon India 
are generally lavish in their censures upon 
the situation, and comparisons unfavourable 
to the English arc drawn in reference to the 
selection of places for their settlements. The 
French are more especially commended at the 
expense of the British in this respect; but at 
the juncture of the English settlement of 
Madras there were weighty reasons, even of 
a commercial nature, which decided their 
choice. 

The landing of passengers at Madras is a 
matter of considerable difficulty, and attended 
with some danger. This will be presented 
more vividly to the reader by the actual oh- 
servation of modern travellers. One writer, 
Avell informed on India, thus describes the 
mode of landing at Madras, and the incon- 
venience of the site : — " Landing at Madras 
is a service of danger. A tremendous surf 
rolls towards the shore, with so much force 
at certain seasons of the year, that if the 
greatest care were not taken by boatmen, 
their craft must inevitably be swamped. The 
passage between ships and the shore is effected 
in large barges, called Massoolah boats, rowed 
by three or four pairs of oars. They have 
awnings for the purjjose of enclosing jias- 
sengers, who sit deep in the boat. As the 
boat approaches the land, the boatmen watch 
the roll of the waves, and, pulling as near to 
the shore as possible, leap out of the craft, 
and drag it high and dry before the next 
breaker can assail it. There is a class of 
vessel called the catmnarmi, which consists 
merely of a log or two of wood, across which 
the boatman, if he may so be called, sits, 
paddling himself to and fro. If he is cap- 
sized, an event which seldom can ha])pen to 
his primitive vessel, he immediately scrambles 
on to the catamaran again, and resumes his 
work. These men, wearing conical caps, are 
very useful in conveying notes and parcels to 
])assenger3 when communication by larger 
boats is impossible." 

The commercial correspondent of the Neio 
York Herald gives the following description 
of the landing, and his general impressions of 
the place : — " We anchored in Madras Roads, 
five days from Calcutta, nearly three of which 
were passed in getting by the Hoogly, seven 
hundred and seventy miles. Twenty-four 
hours at Madras is amply sufficient for the 
most enthusiastic traveller, unless he is desi- 



rous of making excursions to the interior or 
the other coast. At any rate, the time on 
shore was all that I required to disgust me 
with the port. The exjilorer, the surveyor, 
or nautical man, or whoever selected the 
harbour, should have his name painted on a 
shingle. Is it possible that no better anchor- 
age, no better landing-place, no better port, 
could be found along the coast ? and if not, 
why was this place chosen ? A hundred years 
and more have passed away since then, and 
still you have the same facilities. An open 
roadstead, without the least point of land, or 
rock, or hill to shelter ; no breakwater, no 
wharf, no pier, no floating -frame, not even a 
landing-stage. Huge native surf-boats, thirty 
feet long, and eight feet deep, by as many 
broad, the tindiers bound together with rope 
and string, without a nail, or bolt, or spike, 
and manned by eleven naked savages, came 
alongside to take us ashore — no, I must not 
say naked, for there is an attempt at costume. 
You may, perhaps, better understand the dif- 
ference between the Calcutta and the Madras 
boatman in that respect, when I mention that 
the former appears with a small white pocket- 
handkerchief round about him ; the latter 
contents himself with a twine string. The 
day was perfectly calm, yet the surf washed 
over our boat once or twice, and ultimately 
the black, beggarly natives — I hate the sight 
of them 1 — took us on their shoulders to dry 
land. This is the only contrivance yet intro- 
duced for landing or embarking passengers. 
Our sex can manage it A-ery Mell, but I pity 
the women, who have to be carted round like 
so many bags of clothing. To order a supper 
at the Clarendon, and a carriage at the stable ; 
to read the latest dates from England, and 
eat an ice-cream, occujned our time for an 
hour ; and then we stai'ted off for a cruise, up 
one street, and down another ; through dirty 
alleys and clean thoroiighfares ; visiting the 
jail, the parade-ground, the place of burning 
the dead, the railway-station, and the Ben- 
tinck monument ; stopped a moment to Mit- 
ness the exercises of a Hindoo school ; hurried 
on to the depots, the market-place, and the 
cathedral ; drove some four miles into the 
country, and returned in time to meet the 
carriages on their way to the fort, for on 
Friday evenings the band holds forth. The 
fort Avas one of the first built in India. In 
1G22 the ground was bought of a native 
prince, and Mr. F. Day claims the honour of 
erecting the fortress, then named and now 
known as Fort St. George. Here the French 
and the English crossed swords so often — both 
nations alternate masters. At twelve o'clock 
we fired our guns, and turned our backs upon 
Madras, a place too barren and cheerless for 



134: 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH ElMPIRE 



[Chap. VI. 



even a penal settlement, not to mention it as 
the residence of a voluntary exile. I would 
rather be a clerk in England than the head 
of a department in Madras. Without their 
semi-monthly mail, life would be insupport- 
able. During the day of onr departure we 
kept the coast in view, but saw nothing but 
the highlands and sandy plains at their base." 
This description, as to general appearance, is 
more accurate than complimentary ; it is, 
however, instructive to mark what the im- 
pressions are which intelligent men of other 
countries receive when they visit our settle- 
ments abroad. Perhaps it is especially so 
where our American cousins are the critics, 
as there is in their general tone and style 
great frankness — no Avish to flatter lis ; and 
if there be some tokens of a desire to find 
fault, there is at all events a keen acumen, 
which enables them to discriminate our strong 
and weak points, and to seize vigorously the 
pecuharities actually exhibited by our govern- 
ment, commerce, or social life. 

The general situation of the town is com- 
manding, occupying the sea-shore. The 
houses are of white and yellow stucco, with 
verandahs and Venetian blinds. The sea- 
shell mortar of Madras makes an efficient and 
beautiful fronting, but is too dazzling in the 
vivid light of such a climate. This, taken in 
connection with the absence of shade, gives a 
glare to the appearance of the place most 
oppressive to the eye. The neighbourhood 
for a considerable distance is studded with 
tasteful private residences, which are built 
low, but of a pleasing and appropriate style 
of architecture. They are situated in what 
are called compounds, surroimded by pleasant 
gardens, and altogether picturesque and agree- 
able. Some of these dwellings are delightful, 
being overshadowed with luxuriant foliage, 
and surrounded by gardens producing every 
luxury of the tropics. 

The neighbourhood is well supplied with 
roads. One of these is very spacious and 
handsome ; it is called the Mount Road, 
because leading to St. Thomas's IMount. 

The most striking building is Fort St. 
George ; although less spacious and imposing, 
as well as less important, than Fort William 
at (Calcutta, it is more convenient, more easily 
garrisoned, and, on the whole, more efficient 
for its purposes. 

The government house is large, handsome, 
and impressive, with a great banrpieting house 
attached, in which supei'b entertainments are 
frequently given by the governor. The gar- 
dens of the nabob formerly intercepted the 
view of the sea, and othenf/Tse incommoded 
the site, but this inconvenience has been 
meliorated. 



The Madras club-hoi;se is commonly re- 
gar.led as the best building in the city. " It 
is a very extensive building, designed for the 
accommodation of a great number of persons, 
under admirable regulations, and at a mode- 
rate expense. It has entirely superseded the 
necessity for hotels ; such as are to' be found 
here are small, and miserably furnished antl 
attended. A statue to Sir Thomas jNIunro, 
formerly governor of Madras, and two statues 
in honour of the Marquis Cornwallis, attract 
the attention of visitors ; and those who are 
destined to remain at Madras soon become 
interested in the great number of useful and 
charitable institutions with which the town 
abounds. Among these are the Madras Col- 
lege, the Medical College (which contains one 
hundred and twenty pupils), the Orphan 
Asylum, the Mission, Charity, and Free 
Schools, the Philanthropic and Temperance 
Associations, the Masonic Lodges, the Mo- 
neygar Choultry (a species of serai), the 
private seminaries, the institutions for the 
education of native females, &c. The churches 
are numerous at Madras ; several excellent 
newspapers are published; and there are large 
establishments or shops, where everything 
that humanity, in its most civilised state, can 
require is to be had for the money. The 
prices at which the productions of Europe are 
sold are by no means high, considering the 
expense of carriage to India, warehousing, 
insurance, establishment, the interest of money, 
&c. Very large fortunes are made in trade 
in Madras ; and it is remarkable that, while 
Calcutta has experienced a great many vicis- 
situdes, some of which have scattered ruin 
and desolation throughout society, the Madras 
houses of business, by a steadier system, have 
remained unscathed." * 

The representations made in the foregoing 
extract as to the cheapness of the place are 
not generally borne out by other travellers. 
Calcutta is a better market both as to variety 
of supply and the quality and price of com- 
modities. This may partly arise from the 
commercial competition which is so fiercely 
maintained in the great Indian metropolis, 
but it is partly to be attributed to superior 
local advantages. Fuel is much more plen- 
tiful in the capital of Bengal than in that of 
Soiithern India. Except for cooking or for 
steam, it is but little required in either place — 
less at INladras than Calcutta. 

The Black Town stands to the north of the 
fort, from which it is separated by a spacious 
esplanade. It is less wretched than the 
native portion of Calcutta. 

Rather more than five miles on the 
road leading from Fort St. George to St 
* Captain Stocqueler. 



Chap. VI.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



135 



Thomas's INEouiit, there is a cenotaph, erected 
to the memory of the celebrated nobleman, 
tlie Marquis Cornwallis. The drive to that 
place is very ag-reeable, the road being 
"smooth as a bowling green," and planted on 
either side with white tulip-trees and the 
luxuriant banyan. It is customary for the 
fashionable portion of Madras society to drive 
out to the cenotaph and around it in the cool 
of the evening, and much social intercourse 
takes place on those occasions. Mid-day is 
too hot for persons to appear out of doors, 
except as necessity may dictate, and the fore - 
noon is much occupied in visits from house to 
house. 

The country around Madras, although not 
devoid of a certain picturesrpie effect, is sterile 
and uninviting. Good rice crops are obtained 
when the season is blessed with abundance of 
rain. The cattle are of the species common 
in the Deccan — small, but better than those 
reared in the southern portions of the Bengal 
presidency. The buffaloes are smaller than 
those of the last-named province, but are 
strong, and draw well in carts, for which 
purpose they are extensively used. 

An observer would be necessarily struck 
with the apparent encroachment of the sea on 
the Madras shore, but nature has provided 
against this by the sand -binding plants which 
abound, and fix the loose soil along the shore. 
About two years ago the military board had 
its attention directed to the encroachments 
of the tide, and gave orders to have the con- 
dition of the south beach examined between 
the saluting battery and St. Thome ; and the 
report was interesting, as showing the pro- 
cesses of these plants in retarding the advance 
of the ever-surging sea. The roots and stems 
of that class of shore -grown weeds shoot out 
in quest of nourishment to a great extent, and 
in doing so become interlaced, so as to form a 
sort of basket-work, by which the sand is 
held up as a barrier against the waters. " If 
it were not for the subterranean stems of these 
sea -side plants, which can vegetate amidst 
dry and shifting sand, the banks which man 
heaps up as a barrier w^ould be blown away 
by the first hurricane." * This subject has 
been since more investigated, and it appears 
that the encroachments of the ocean on some 
portions of the Madras beach arise from the 
lactof these sand-binders, especially the r/rojrHf? 
rattan, being burnt by the fishermen, as the 
weed impedes the spreading of their nets, 
and the spiny leaves injure their naked feet.f 
It is proposed to plant other specimens less 
objectionable to the men who fish on the 

* Hugh Clegliorn, M.l). 

t Journal of the Agricultural and Horticultural So- 
ciety India, 



coasts, and equally capable of resisting the 
landward wave. 

In the domestic life of the people of Madras 
they are well supplied with servants — the 
men being generally Hindoos, the women 
native Portuguese. 

The French from Pondicherry frequently 
visit Madras with fancy-work, displaying the 
taste of the lapidary, jeweller, and artificial 
flower-maker. Mohammedan pedlars offer 
tempting bargains of moco stones, petrified 
tamarind wood, garnets, coral, mock amber, 
and trinkets, which are sometimes curious and 
valuable, and often meretricious. 

The collectorate of Nellore is noticeable 
for the manufacture of salt. The town of 
Nellore is only remarkable for the frequent 
and obstinate defences which it has made. 
It is related by an old writer,* that in 1787 
a peasant, while guiding his plough, was ob- 
structed by a portion of brick, and digging 
down, discovered the ruins of a temple, and 
beneath them a pot of gold coins of the 
Roman emperors. Most of these were sold 
by him, and melted, but some were reserved, 
and proved to be of the purest gold; 
many of them were fresh and beautiful, but 
others were defaced and perforated, as if they 
had been worn as ornaments. They were 
mostly of the reigns of Trajan, Adrian, and 
Faustimas. 

The collectorate of North Arcot was once 
famous for its Mohammedan influence, espe- 
cially its Mussulman capital, bearing i\\Q same 
name, and the fortress of Chandgherry (Chan- 
draghiri), built on the summit of a stupendous 
rock, with a fortified city beneath. 

One of the most remarkable places in Arcot, 
the Carnatic, or, indeed, the Madras presi- 
dency, is Tripetty. The most celebrated 
Hindoo temple sox;th of the Kistna River is 
at that place. It is erected in an elevated 
basin, completely surrounded by hills ; and it 
is alleged that neither Mussulman nor Chris- 
tian feet have ever profaned the inner circle 
of these hills. The Brahmins secured this im- 
munity by paying to their Mohammedan, and 
afterwards to their European rulers, a certain 
portion of the revenue derived from the ido- 
latrous worship and pilgrimages to the holy 
place; for although both the IMohammedan 
conquerors of India and British Christians are 
decided iconoclasts, yet both found it possible 
to reconcile conscience to the receipt of such 
a tax. In 1758 the revenue thus derived 
by the government amounted to £30,000 
sterling. Since then it considerably declined, 
and in 1811 was not quite £20,000 sterling; 
it afterwards fluctuated, but never attained 
the magnitude of its earlier years. Vast 
* Orme. 



136 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VI. 



numbers of pilgrims visit tlie place from most 
parts of India, bringing offerings of every 
conceivable character — animals of various 
species, horses, cows, buffaloes, and elephants ; 
fruits, grain, silk, calico ; gold, silver, and 
jewels ; exquisitely wrought garments, and 
ornaments of the precious metals, &c. Even 
tribute is j^aid to the idols from regions as far 
as Gujevat. The deity presiding is supposed 
to be propitious to commerce when duly 
honoured. Several thousands of sacred jier- 
sons are supported in luxury, and a crowd of 
artificers, labourers, and servants, by the 
offerings presented. The impostures prac- 
tised are as shameless as the ceremonies of 
the religious services are reported to be absurd 
and vile. 

South Argot differs little in character 
from the collectorate just described. In it 
the French settlement of Pondicherry is pro- 
perly comprised, but not being a portion of 
British India, will not be described here. 

Chingleput is the smallest and least popu- 
lous collectorate in the Madras presidency ; it 
is also the most ancient possession of the 
company in the Carnatic. To the north it is 
bounded by the Nellore district; on the 
south, by the southern collectorate of Arcot ; 
on the east, by the Bay of Bengal ; and on 
the west, by Northern and Southern Arcot. 
The soil is generally hard and ungrateful ; 
low prickly bushes cover a large area, and 
huge crags of granite project in the fiehls, 
around which cultivation is carried. The 
palmyra grows well upon this soil, which is 
too dry to produce rice or good cereal crops. 
Tlie wild date flourishes in some places. The 
whole district Avas formerly known by the 
name of the Jaghire. 

In this collectorate the city of Conjeverara 
(cancliipura, the golden city) is of some inte- 
rest. It is not lifty miles from Madras. This 
town is built in a valley of six or seven miles 
in extent. The whole valley is populous. 
The city itself also contains a considerable 
population. The streets are broad, and well 
constructed, unlike the native cities of Central, 
Northern, and North-western India. Planted 
with cocoa-nut trees and bastard cedars, shade 
is afforded, which is refreshing in the bright 
hot climate. An air of beauty and taste is 
also imparted, especially as the width of the 
streets gives space for the trees to flourish. 
The streets cross one another at risrht ano-los, 
so that from the places of intersection the 
long rows of cocoa-nut trees and cedars pre- 
sent a beautiful aspect, such as few cities can 
boast. Round the whole town is a bound 
hedge, formed chiefly of the 0<jave Americana. 
The small river Wagawatty winds round the 
western portion of the town, adding to its 



beauty, while it conduces to the fertility of 
the whole vale. Formerly this town was 
noted for its manufactures : the weavers were 
reputed for their skill and taste all over 
Southern India. Cloths adapted to native 
wear, turbans, and red India handkerchiefs, 
were here made for many years, but British 
imports at Madras have nearly extinguished 
the native manufacturers of Conjeveram. The 
great pagoda is of some celebrity, resembling 
that of Tanjore. On the left, upon entering, 
there is a large edifice, like a " choultry," 
which is said to contain a thousand pillars. 
Hindoo deities are wrought upon them with 
artistic effect ; some of the pillars are covered 
with this description of w^ork. The sides of 
the steps leading up to it are formed by two 
large elephants drawing a car. The second 
court is held in such superior sanctity, that 
Europeans or native dissidents from Brah- 
minism are not permitted to enter it. From 
the toj? of the great gateway the view is ex- 
ceedingly beautiful — wood and water, hill 
and vale, the city and landscape, are spread 
out before the eye, and in the background a 
range of stupendous mountains bound the 
scene. 

The town of St. Thome is situated within 
three miles of Madras, in a fine plain, the sea 
washing iip into a bay, at the head of which 
the place is built. The plain behind the 
town is covered with cocoa-nut trees, which 
retain their verdure throughout the year. 
The inhabitants are Hindoos and Roman 
Catholics. There are also Nestorians and 
Chaldean Christians, Avho were formerly 
numerous, but decreased under the persecu- 
tions of the Portuguese. The Roman Ca- 
tholic portion of the population is descended 
from intermarriages of the natives and Por- 
tuguese settlers, and are blacker in complexion 
than any other class of the inhabitants. The 
Hindoos call the town JMailapuram, or the 
city of peacocks. This little town has been 
rendered remarkable in connection with its 
frequent change of masters. The English 
captured it in consequence of the Roman 
Catholic priests and people having given 
secret information of their movements to the 
French at Pondicherry.* This occurred in 
ITl'J, since which time it has remained in 
jjossession of the English. 

Mahabalipuram is a ruined towai of great 
antifjuity, thirty -five miles south of Madras, 
on the coast. The name means the city of 
the great Bali, who was very famous in Hin- 
doo tales. The town is also called " the 
seven pagodas;" there are not now that 
number there, but probably were when it 
obtained that designation. The Brahmins 
* Orme. 



Chap. VI.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



137 



say that the sea now covers the ancient site 
of Mahabalipuraui, which all native tradition 
represents to have been a city of vast extent 
and grandeur. The remains at present there 
are most curions, affording to the beholder 
the idea of a petrified town. A large rock- 
hill is covered with Hindoo inscriptions re- 
presenting the stories of the Maha Bharrat. 
Near the sea there is an isolated rock of enor- 
mous dimensions, out of which a pagoda has 
been cut ; the outside is covered with basso- 
relievo sculptures. On ascending the hill, 
there is a temple cut out of the rock, upon the 
walls of which are idols, also in basso-relievo. 
On another portion of this vast hill of rock, 
there is an immense figure, representing 
Vishnu asleep on a bed, with a large snake * 
wound round in many coils as a pillow. All 
the figures are hewn in the rock. A mile 
and a half to the southward of this hill are 
two pagodas, cut in the solid rock, each con- 
sisting of one single stone. Near to them is 
the figure of an elephant as large as life, and 
of a lion larger than the natural size. Mr. 
Hamilton, quoting Lord Valentia, says that 
the whole appear to have been rent by some 
convulsion of nature before the work of the 
contractors was entirely finished. In the 
same neighbourhood, nearer to the sea by 
about one hundred and fifty yards, is " a pa- 
goda, upon which is the lingam, and dedicated 
to Siva." 

Tanjore is a collectorate in Avhich, although 
the extent is not comparatively great, the 
population is very numerous. Malabar, Cud- 
dapah, and Bellary, of all the IMadras collec- 
torates, only contain a population of such 
numbers, and these exceed it by very little ; 
it may even be doubted whether they do ex- 
ceed it in the numbers of their inhabitants. It 
is extremely well cultivated, and yields in 
abundance all the productions of Southern 
India. It is remarkable for the number of 
its heathen temples, and their rich endow- 
ments ; notwithstanding which, the British 
government contributed largely for the sup- 
port of heathenism in the district ! Indeed, 
wherever heathenism is rich and influential, 
there the largest endowments have been given 
by the government I This province was also 
remarkable for the number of its Suttees. 

Tanjore is the capital. It is notable as 
containing a pagoda, which is regarded as the 
finest specimen of pyramidical architecture in 
India. Within this pyramid is the celebrated 
black bull, carved from a block of marble, and 
admirably executed. From one of the cava- 
liers a splendid prospect is afforded ; the town, 
temples, pagodas, forts, rice -fields, woods, and 
lofty mountains, form a rich landscape. 

• * The many-headed serpent Amantis, or Eternity. 
VOL. I. 



Combooconum is a town about twenty- 
three miles from Tanjore ; it was the capital 
of the ancient Chola dynasty, and numerous 
remains attest its pristine sj)lendour. Tem- 
ples and pagodas are numerous, and the 
Brahmins make it one of the centres of their 
influence. There is a lake which, in Brahmin 
esteem, is composed of holy water ; its virtues 
are always great, but every twelfth year it is 
supposed to overflow with healing and sanc- 
tifying efficacy, curing diseases, and washing 
sinners from the stains and defilements of all 
previous transmigrations. As may be con- 
ceived, when the periods of extraordinary 
efficacy occurs, multitudes of the diseased 
and conscience -stricken press thither in the 
hope of relief from its waters; and great 
numbers go away so free from sin in their 
own opinions, that they can with the less 
peril incur a very large amount to their 
future discredit, until the lake of expiation is 
again sought for its purification. 

The town of Tranquebar is well known to 
Europeans, as having been a prosperous 
Danish settlement, until it was wrested from 
that power by the hand of England. It 
would appear that it was better governed by 
the Danes than it has ever since been. It is 
about one hundred and fifty miles from 
Madras. 

The collectorate of Trichinopoly does not 
need especial description. The island of Serin- 
gham, in the river Cavery, is very remarkable 
for its sacred buildings.* The Seringham 
pagoda is composed of seven square enclo- 
sures, the walls of which are twenty -five feet 
high, and four thick. These enclosures are 
three hundred and sixty feet distant from 
each other, and each has four large gates, 
with a high tower, which are placed in the 
middle of each side of the enclosure, and 
opposite to the four cardinal points. The 
outward wall is nearly four miles in circum- 
ference; and its gateway to the south is orna- 
mented with pillars, several of which are 
single stones, thirty-three feet long, and five 
feet in diametei*. Those which form the roof 
are still larger. In the innermost enclosures 
are the chapels. There is another pagoda of 
less importance in the island. The Brahmins 
are numerous and rich, and live in the greatest 
voluptuousness. 

Madura collectorate does not require a 
separate notice. The city of the same name, 
and capital of the collectorate, is mean, 
filthy, miserable, and unhealthy, lying low as 
compared with the surrounding country : it 
is, however, noted for its temple, called 
Pahlary, consecrated to the god ^^elleyadah. 
To this god the worshippers bring singular 
* Ornie. 

T 



138 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VII. 



offerings, consisting of immense leather shoes, 
often profusely ornamented in the oriental 
style of slipper decoration. The explanation 
is, that the deity is always out hunting, and, 
as the jiingles ahoiinding in the neighbour- 
hood might hurt his feet, his admiring dis- 
ciples present him Math these appropriate 
gifts. This place is about three hundred 
miles from Madras. 

Opposite the coast between it and the 
Island of Ceylon is the sacred Isle of Rames- 
seram {Rameswaram, the Pillar of Ram). 
This island is aboiit eleven miles long and 
six broad.* A very celebrated pagoda, al- 
leged to be of remote antiquity, has its site on 
the island. The entrance is by a lofty gate- 
way, one hundred feet high, covered with 
carved work to the summit. The door is 
forty feet high, consisting of perpendicular 
stones, Avith horizontal stones of a similar 
description, the style resembling what is 
termed the Cyclopean. The square of the 
Avhole is about six hundred feet, and it has 
been regarded as one of the finest structures 
of the kind in India.f A large revenue is 
derived from wliat the worsluppers of the 



idol call his drink. This consists of the 
water of the Ganges, which is brought this 
great distance at considerable expense, and 
is poured over him every morning ; but the 
cost is sustained, and great profit acquired, 
by selling this water to devout persons. The 
sacred isle is guarded by a family named the 
Pandaram, the males of which are celibates, 
the succession of guardians being found in 
the descendants of its female members. 

The coUectorate of Tinnivelly may be 
briefly described. The coast is remarkable 
only for its salt marshes. The interior is 
picturesque, and tlie climate peculiar, formed 
by the positions of the hills, and the exposure 
of the land, over a considerable extent, to 
both monsoons. 

The remaining portions of the Madras 
presidency, with its non -regulation provinces, 
are so much in character "with the collec- 
torates described, as not to require any dis- 
tinct notice ; especially as places thus passed 
over have sometimes an historic interest con- 
nected with the progress of British conquest, 
which will bring them again upon the pages 
of this History, 



CHAPTER VII. 

DISTRICTS ANB CITIES— THE BOMBAY PRESIDENCY. 



In the last chapter the portion of India his- 
torically known as the Deccan received a 
general description : a small portion of it 
belonging to Bengal, a larger portion to j 
Madras, and a still greater extent of its terri- 
tory included in Bombay, it appeared expe- 
dient to define and describe that region 
before giving a detailed account of the 
Madras and Bombay pi'esidencies, as in the 
historical portion of the work freqiient men- 
tion must be made of the Deccan. On page 
27, the coUectorates and non-regidation pro- 
vinces into w'hich Bombay is divided for 
purposes of government are named. It is 
the smallest of the three presidencies, nor has 
it many large towns or cities. The principal 
seaports are Surat, Baroch, Cambay, Bhaw^ 
nuggur, Gogo, Poorbunder, and Mandavie, in 
Cutch. From these the best seamen of India 
are procured, especially along the west side 
of the Gulf of Cambay. The small islands 
of Salsette and Oorum, and the little strip of 
land attached to Forts Victoria and Vingula, 
in the Concan, furnish native vessels and 
native sailors of superior quality. The only 
naval force in the possession of the East 
India Company is stationed at Bombay — 
* Ward. f Lord Valentia. 



partly from the facility of obtaining naval 
supplies there in men and material, and 
partly from the influence of a navy in the 
Arabian Sea. It is watered by the Nerbud- 
dah, Tapty, IMahee, Mahindry, and various 
smaller rivers, wdiich empty themselves into 
the Gulf of Cambay and the Indian Ocean. 
The Indus also flows through the non-regu- 
lation province of Scinde, where its mouths 
discharge its voluminous waters into the sea. 
The commerce of Bombay is very consider- 
able W'ith Arabia, and up the Sea of Oman 
and the Persian Gulf. The military stations 
are Ahmedabad, Ahmednuggur, Asserghur, 
Balmeer, Baroda, Belgaum, Baroch, Bhoog, 
Bombay, Dapoodie, Darwhar, Deeza, Duru- 
ganam, Hyderabad, Hursole, Kadra, Kirkee, 
Ivurrachee, Kulladghee, Malligaum, Lackhann, 
Bukkur, Poonah, Ranjcote, Sattara, Surat, 
Seroer, Shikapore. 

The capital of the presidency is the city of 
Bombay: it is situated on a rocky island 
lying on the w^est coast of Hindoostan, in lati- 
tude 18° 56' north, and longitude 72° 57' east. 
There were originally some hilly islets, but 
these, by the influence of the high tides, have 
been joined to each other, and now the island 
is composed principally of two unequal ranges 



Chap. VII.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST 



139 



of w^liinstone rocks, extending from five to 
eiglit miles in length, and at the distance of 
about three miles from each other. Bombay 
is the most nnhealthj' of the presidencies. 
The Fort of Bombay is situated at the south- 
east extremity of the island, on a narrow neck 
of land. Cotton is the principal article of 
export. The population is about two hundred 
and fifty thousand, composed of Christians, 
Jews, Mohammedans, Hindoos, and Parsees. 
Bombay is one thousand and forty miles west 
by south of Calcutta, and six hundred and 
twenty-five from Madras. The electric tele- 
graph is complete to Madras, Calcutta, and 
Lahore. As a great centre of telegraphic and 
railway communication, Bombay is likely to 
hold an important place in the future of Iixdia. 
In an amusing but useful work, entitled 
Young America Abroad, the following opi- 
nions are given on this subject : — " You will 
be surprised to learn that India, during the 
last two years, bids fair to keep pace with 
the United States in the magnetic wire. Dr. 
O'Shaughnessy is the Professor jMorse of 
India. ^Yith the powerful machinery at his 
command as a servant of the company, he 
has distinguished himself by his energy and 
his works. I am glad to find him a fellow- 
passenger en route for home, with a view of 
running the wire from England to India — an 
undertaking which, no doubt, will shortly be 
accomplished, judging from what has been 
done. The first Avire, he tells me, was ex- 
tended November 1st, 1853. Twenty par- 
ties of workmen (soldiers) left Calciitta and 
Bombay, under English leaders, and in March, 
ISoi, the offices were opened at the half-way 
station of Agra; and, by the middle of June, 
the first message went through to Bomba}', a 
distance of sixteen hundred miles ; since which 
lines have been established from Bombay to 
I\Iadras, eight hundred miles; from Agra to 
Peshawur, on the borders of Afl'ghanistan, 
connecting the popidous cities of Delhi, 
Lahore, and Attock, on the Indus, some 
eight himdred miles; besides a line, two 
hundred miles, from Rangoon to Prorae and 
IVIeaday, connecting the seaport with the 
frontier of Ava ; and other smaller lines, 
making a total of some four thousand miles 
in two years' time. In less than five years 
ten thousand miles of electric wire ■will con- 
nect the chief points of the Indian empire, 
says the doctor. No. 1 galvinised wire, about 
half a mile to the ton, would give an aggre- 
gate of two thousand tons. The original 
posts were made of cheap wood, but subse- 
quently iron-wood from Birmah, solid granite 
posts, brick-and-mortar doors, and iron screw 
posts are those used; the cost is about two 
hundred and fifty dollars per mile. The wires 



are about sixteen feet from the gi'ound, suffi- 
ciently high to allow a loaded elephant to 
pass luuler. About thirty miles of submarine 
wires, costing one thousand dollars per mile, 
have been laid down across the rivers. About 
three hundred manipulators are employed, 
and two hundred more servants, making a 
staff of five hundred men. There are seventy 
offices already erected, in charge of Europeans 
and half-castes. The great difficidty, how- 
ever, has been in procuring proper workmen ; 
and Dr. O'Shaughnessy purposes visiting the 
States before returning to India, in order to 
procure a staff of American managers. There 
are no double lines laid down, nor will there 
be. The annual cost of the establishment is 
one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The 
only paying line will be that between Bombay 
and Calcutta, where one -third of the despatches 
are sent by natives. The object of the go- 
vernment in establishing such an agency 
throughout their wide extent of empire is, of 
course, to increase their political and military 
power, for the enterprise as an investment 
would prove disastrous. An instance of its 
advantage was noticed at the recent annexa- 
tion of Oude. A few hours after the despatch 
arrived from the home government, giving 
consent, the council met, troops were on the 
way, orders were given, and Oude was a part 
of the British empire — all done by the light- 
ning's flash. In times of war it must be of 
vast importance, imtil the native enemies 
learn to cut the wire, as speculators did when 
the Cunard steamers touched at Halifax. 
Railways do not progress so rapidly, yet 
something has been done in that way ; and a 
guarantee of five per cent, interest on the 
outlay for the enterprise is made by the 
honourable company; but who is to make up 
the loss between the annual expenditure and 
the annual receipts ? for profit and loss will be 
charged for many years with a serious ba- 
lance. R. M. Stephenson, the railway king 
of India, is also a fellow-passenger for Eng- 
land. His perseverance, his untiring industry 
in the accomplishment of so arduoiis an enter- 
prise, has won for him a public address. In 
his reply he shows how sanguine he is of the 
progress of his pet projects, for he expects 
that in less than ten years England may be 
reached in twelve days' time, and the mag- 
netic wire communicate with the mother- 
country in as many hours. I shall not be 
surprised at the latter residt, but the former 
appears formidable; for Asiatic, African, and 
European soil does not cultivate activity as 
does the American. The railway from Cal- 
cutta to Raneegunge, or to the Burdwan 
coal-mines, is one hundred and twenty-one 
miles — a single rail, costing about fifty thou- 



uo 



nrSTOPvY OF THE BlllTISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VII. 



sand dollars per mile. A company has been 
formed to connect ^Madras with the opposite 
coast, a distance of three hundred miles, 
passing through Wellington's and Brand's 
cattle -fields, via Arcot and Seringapatam 
(branching o\;t to Bangalore), on to Trichi- 
nopol}' and Coimbatore on the jMalabar coast 
— thus connecting the great cities of Southern 
India. On the other side, the Bombay, 
Baroda, and Central Indian Railway, and 
the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, ex- 
tend their branches some distance along the 
shore and inland. Another line is intended 
to join Bombay with the Madras frontier, 
via Belgaum, Sattara, Toona, &c. — from 
Kurrachee to the Indus about one hun- 
dred and twenty miles, and a section from 
Bombay, two hundred miles to Surat. This 
is the grand trunk line of the north-west, 
and is to extend to Lahore, a distance from 
Calcutta of thirteen hundred and fifty miles. 
Contracts already have been made as far as 
Agra. Railway enterprise in India com- 
mands much praise for its pi'ojectors, for 
many are the impediments to be overcome. 
As in England and America, those in the 
front rank will sink their monev, makinar 
room for those who follow later on, to 
profit by othei'"s losses. But, nevei'the- 
less, the steam-whistle must work a moral 
change in India." Since this was written, 
some of the writer's anticipations have been 
fulfilled. 

The buildings in Bombay are not so fine 
as those in Calcutta and Madras. The private 
houses are also inferior in general aspect, but 
formed more in keeping with the climate, 
both as to style and utility. The European 
inhabitants are fond of residino: at some dis- 
tance from the business part of the town, as 
they are at ^Madras, which, in each case, com- 
pels them to repair to the fort for the transac- 
tion of business. This, however, is becoming 
less the case, and the commercial arrangements 
of Bombay are as rapidly improving as its poli- 
tical position. The harbour scenery is very 
fine : Ish: Hamilton, thirty years ago, noticed 
this in his description. Mrs. Postans, in her 
lively little volume on "Western India, many 
years after, expressed in graceful terms her 
admiration of it. Many modern ^^^•iters have 
followed in their wake, and few have exaa:- 
gerated the claims of Bombay in this respect, 
although some have gone so far as to call it 
" the most lovely in the world," and to describe 
the island on which the city stands as the 
fairest of all 

" The isles that gem 
Old Ocean's purple diadem." 

It is certainly very lovely, the azure above, 
reflected in the wave below, tlie bright Indian 



sun shedding its glory over sky and sea, con- 
stitute a magnificent prospect from the veran- 
dahs of the inhabitants whose houses com- 
mand the view. The harbour is dotted with 
palm isles, and the conti-ast of their green 
feathery foliage with the bright blue water is 
strikingly picturesque. In the distance the 
ghauts tower to the heavens, presenting all 
imaginable forms, and covered with all ima- 
ginable hues ; in one direction tinged with 
the crimson sunset, in another as if clothed in 
a pale purple robe, elsewhere hung with 
fleecy drapery; and all these ever changing 
as day dawns or sets, as it pours its burning 
noon upon the gleaming rock, or as deep 
shadows sink upon them with the descending 
night. Heber, with his soft poetic pencil, 
has impressed the images of these scenes 
upon h's pages, so as no eye that has rested 
upon them can ever forget. The island of 
Elephanta and the island of Salsette arc 
covered with beautiful trees, which extend 
their boughs over the rippling waters, pre- 
senting every variety of graceful form, and of 
tint, such as oriental foliage only can exliiliit. 
Yachting being a favourite amusement, pretty 
pleasure boats may be seen gliding among 
"the palm-tasselled islets;" so that amidst 
the prospects of soft beauty, and in view of 
the glorious mountain distance, tokens of 
human life and pleasure are perpetually indi- 
cated, adding that peculiar charm which soli- 
tary scenery, however fine, cannot impart. 
From the harbour the appearance of the city 
is not attractive; it lies too low, the new 
town being lower than the old, most of tbe 
houses having their foundations on the sea 
level, and many still lower. The walls of tlie 
fort flank the water's edge, and first strikes 
the eye of the beholder; then the esplanade, 
with its clusters of tents ; and, stretching away 
to the west the island of Colabah, covered 
with palm-trees, and having the lighthouse at 
its extreme point. The landing-places are 
called bundaks in Bombay, and their neigh- 
bourhood is generally crowded with boats of 
different styles — some diminutive craft, filled 
with cocoa nuts for the market ; others stronger, 
used for conveying goods or passengers to 
and from the shipping: small barges, covered 
with awnings, the property of native mer- 
chants and bankers ; and pleasure-boats, taste- 
fully fitted up with cabins and Venetians, to 
carry parties on jiicnics, or other pleasure 
exjieditions. 

On shore, the first thing arresting attention 
is the palankeens, gaudily painted, and with 
silk hangings, in which the passenger is con- 
veyed to his destination. Crowds of coolies 
and runners infest the landing-places; these 
men are dirty, half naked, with savage expres- 



Cir.vr. VII.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



141 



sions of countenance; they speak a little 
English, and offer to perform an}-- service, in 
discharging -u-hich they are dishonest and 
faithless. This vile crew is generally com- 
posed of IMohammedans, and they look upon 
Christians as fair game to be plundered, if that 
can be accomplished with any chance of impu- 
nity. The moment the traveller lands, he per- 
ceives that he is in a great commercial city ; the 
signs of active business immediately surround 
him: bales of cotton especially attest that Bom- 
bay is the great emporium of that commodity. 
The road to the city is very fine, and 
conmiands a good sea-view, which makes 
it a pleasant promenade, Avhere refresh- 
ing breezes play upon the heated frame, 
and the soft sea views delight the eye. Every 
evening this road is thronged with carriages 
and cavaliers, gay ladies and rich natives, the 
sober-looking Parsee and the respectable 
Armenian being always conspicuous figures. 
Railed off from this road by a slight paling 
is an extensive lawn -like space, where the 
Parsees, Jews, and other orientals are fond of 
meeting to converse. This numbers of them 
Avill do while the road is covered with gay 
carriages, and European costumes, and even 
Avlien the military bands attract the English 
around them. The Persians and Parsees 
seem generally to avoid one another as much 
as their respective interests will allow; nor 
do the Arabs, or native Mussulmen, like the 
Parsees, M'ho are the most respectable orient- 
als, except the Armenian Christians, in Bom- 
bay. In the morning and evening the Parsees 
are fond of assembling on the esjjlanade and 
looking to their " fiery god," as he rises from 
the horizon, or sinks beneath it. The}^ bring 
their children on these occasions to learn the 
devout worship of their fathers, but the ladies 
do not accompany them. There is a fine 
statue of the Marquis of ^Yellesley, execi;ted 
by Chantrey, placed in the centre of a cause - 
Avay leading from the esplanade to the fort, 
which is much admired. It is customary in 
the hot season to erect bungalows by the 
esplanade, so as to obtain the cool sea breeze ; 
these are light temporary dwellings, but cost 
from sixty to eighty poiinds for the season. 
They are fitted up with exquisite taste, and 
are most delightful residences. AMien the 
rude monsoons beat upon Bombay, the Euro- 
peans seek the shelter of solid buildings ; but 
house rent is expensive, obliging persons of 
limited means to retire several miles from the 
port into the country among the cocoa-nut 
woods — dwelling places more picturesque than 
healthy, where fever and insects infest the 
liabitation, and render life miserable, or ter- 
minate it. The fort is divided from the 
esplanade by a moat ; over this several 



bridges conduct to the chief gates. "Within 
the fort are some fine houses, and a multitude 
of shops, in close, narrow, dusty streets. 
Almost everything is dear, except China and 
Indian silks, and Indian cotton cloths. The 
Parsees are amongst the most respectable 
shopkeepers, but it is remarkable that these 
devotees of the sim keep their shops pecu- 
liarly dark. From the fort the visitor emerges 
to "the Bombay Green." Several of the 
principal public buildings are there : the 
Town Ilall, Library, and Council C'hamber 
occupy one pile of considerable architectural 
pretensions. Mrs. Postans says, " with the 
exception of the British IMuseum, and the 
Bibliotheque du Roi, not inferior to any of 
the same description." Two statues by 
Chantrey adorn the interior of this building — 
one of Sir John Malcolm, and the other of 
the Hon. Mr. Elphinstone. 

Bombay has long been especially well oft' for 
literature, and the means of promoting its in- 
crease. Several newspapers of superior merit 
exist. The Boiiibay Gazette is managed by its 
talented proprietor, J. Conan, Esq., secretary 
to the Bombay Chamber of Commerce, a dis- 
tinguished political economist. The Bombay 
Times lately edited by Dr. Buist, who has ob- 
tained celebrity as a geologist, and also in 
other departments of science. " The Asiatic 
Society has an immense and well-chosen 
library and a museiun; but books may also be 
obtained at the ' Europe shops,' where every- 
thing else is vended. The bazaars are not 
very handsome, but well supplied; there is a 
theatre, where amateurs occasionally act ; 
enormous cotton screws, a spacious hotel, 
commercial houses and offices upon a grand 
scale, and an infinite variety of places of wor- 
ship. The Roman Catholic chapels and 
churches are more numerous here than in any 
other part of India, as the descendants of the 
early Portuguese visitors abound. r\Iosques 
and Hindoo temples are constantly found 
contiguous to each other; and the Parsees — 
the descendants of the Ghebers, or fire -wor- 
shippers — have their augiaree, or fire -temple, 
where the sacred fire is constantly kept uj) by 
the priests, who receive, fi'om pious Parsees, 
through the grating which encloses the silver 
stove, offerings in the form of sandal wood. 
There are few statues in Bombay, but the 
churches contain handsome monuments, and 
there are some busts and pictures in the Town 
Hall and the rooms of the societies and 
institutions." * 

At Malabar Point is a house which be- 
longed to Sir John ]\[alcolm, and which 
afterwards became the residence of the go- 
vernor when the heat became too great at 
* Ji H. Stoc<iiieler. 



142 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VII. 



Parcll, tlie usual abode of the chief magis- 
trate. The rocky headland of Malabar Point 
is a gorgeous situation. The sea-view is truly 
magnificent, and the inland prospect is beau- 
tiful ; an undulated country, covered -wath the 
pale bamboo, the deep-tinged palm, and the 
amber -tinted cocoa groves, meets the gazer's 
eye. Night is also beautiful around this 
chosen spot. The stars shine out with a 
lustre unlaiown to our hazy clime, and the 
moonlight spreads a chaste glory over the 
sparkling sea and dark woods. Frequently 
the Parse e may be seen beneath as the sun 
sets, paying his homage to the retiring god of 
his adoration ; and when the sun has gone 
down, the funeral pyres of the Hindoo show 
their red glare against the dark woods. Sir 
John Malcolm was a man of taste as well as 
genius ; the selection of this spot proves the 
one, as his writings and his deeds have long 
since attested the other. 

Five miles from the fort is Parell, the site 
of government house. It was built by the 
Portuguese for a monastery. The hoi;se is 
spacious, and the grounds well laid out ; and 
on occasions of public receptions and festi- 
vities it appears worthy of being a viceregal 
seat. 

The Horticultural Society's gardens are not 
far from the governor's chief residence. 

The Pilgrim's Pool is one of the most sin- 
gular places in Bombay. It is an asylum for 
aged and diseased animals I and well answers 
its purposes. Here horses, cows, dogs, &c., 
are fed and cared for as pensioners of the 
bounty of a tender-hearted native, who thus 
disposed of his riches. 

The Elphinstone College and Native Edu- 
cation Society's schools are also creditable to 
the city, and to the founders of those in- 
stitutions. 

The character of the population of Bombay 
depends upon the religion professed. The 
pi'ofessors of Brahminism are there what they 
are elsewhere, mentally and morally ; the de- 
scription given by the Rev. Mr. Milner is pre- 
cisely expressive of the facts : — " They have 
considerable skill in the mechanical arts, pro- 
duce cotton, silk, and woollen fabrics in high 
perfection, and are almost unrivalled in deli- 
cate working in ivory and metals. They have 
in general no standard of morality beyond 
convenience ; and hence their character is 
largely a compound of selfishness, deceit, 

cunning, impurity, and cruelty The 

mass of the population are idolaters. jMulti- 
l^lied forms and ceremonies, fatiguing ]3il- 
grimages, rigorous fastings, and acts of un- 
cleanness, are exacted ; while observances, 
amounting even to the wilful sacrifice of life, 
illustrate the connection proclaimed in the 



Scriptures between ' the dark places of the 
earth' and the ' habitations of crtielty.' " 

The Jains are a peaceful and laborious 
sect. Their temples are not imposing ; they 
resemble dwelling-houses, but are distinguish- 
able by excellent external carvings. Only a 
few Buddhists are to be found upon the 
island. 

The Mohammedans are not so numerous as 
in the Deccan, Central India, and Madras. 
They are morally and intellectually degraded. 
There are, however, some disciples of the 
Koran of respectability in the western metro- 
polis. 

The Parsees, or Ghebers, are very nume- 
rous ; they have at Bombay, as at Canton, 
the chief share in the opium trade ; they also 
take a resjDectable position as cotton mer- 
chants, bankers, and dealers in the bazaars. 
The richest inhabitants of Bombay Island are 
undoubtedly the worshippers of the sun. No 
inhabitants of the place — not even the most 
important European functionaries — can vie 
with them in luxurious living ; at government 
house alone entertainments are given which 
exceed theirs in splendour. Within the last 
thirty years, one of this fraternity rose from 
the humblest condition in life to be one of 
the richest merchants and capitalists in the 
world. His name was Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy, 
and his reputation as a merchant and a capi- 
talist reached England and the English court, 
where his benevolence and loyalty received 
honourable marks of distinction. His first 
occupation in life was that of a dealer in 
empty bottles ; these he used to purchase, by 
giving a rupee for so many to the butlers of 
English families. He accimmlated money 
rapidly, by selling them at a profit, opened a 
place of business in one of the bazaars, and 
became the wealthiest man in the presidency, 
pei'haps in India. 

Another gentleman of this sect, Hormarjee 
Boomanjee, occupied some years ago a man- 
sion near that of the governor, which in some 
respects rivalled it, and which was known by 
the title of LoA\'jee Castle. A visitor described 
it as spacious, built with architectural taste, 
and furnished richly and most elegantly. The 
drawing-room, decorated with princely ex- 
j^enditure and the propriety of a correct taste, 
and every apartment suitably provided with 
such costly articles as best became it. Luxu- 
rious couches and ottomans, covered with 
damask silk, arranged with gilded fautenih 
of the most commodious form ; good paint- 
ings, including full-length portraits of Lord 
Nelson and Sir Charles Forbes, ornamented 
the drawing-room ; and superb windows of 
painted glass cast the brilliantly-tinged rays 
of the departing sun on chandeliers of daz- 



Chap. VII.] 



IN INDIA AND THE &A8T. 



143 



zling lustre. " "When, after a lengtliened visit, 
we rose, intending to take our leave of Lowjee 
Castle and its amiable inmates, a servitor 
brought forward a large silver salver, covered 
with blooming bouquets, most tastefully ar- 
ranged. In presenting the choicest for my 
acceptance, Hormarjee gracefully expressed 
his hope that I would pardon the adoption of 
an Eastern custom, by which to denote the 
pleasure our society had afPorded him." 

Polygamy is seldom practised by the 
Parsees, and their general morality is gi'eatly 
superior to that of Brahmins, Buddhists, 
Jains, or Mohammedans. Their loyalty is 
imquestionable. Any portion of the native 
press that is not pervaded by bigotry or 
atheism, and by a disloyalty attending either 
phase of native opinion and feeling, is in the 
hands of the Parsees. They feel deeply grate- 
ful to the British for the protection afforded 
to their persons, religion, property, and com- 
merce, and regard with unaffected disgust 
and abhorrence the sanguinary intolerance 
and disloyalty which pervade the natives, 
especially the educated portion of them, 
known as " Young India." 

The beauty of the Parsees exceeds that of 
any other of the inhabitants of Bombay. The 
Parsee ladies are fair, with finely-formed fea- 
tures, and graceful, dignified mien. Many of 
the English and the Jewish ladies may be 
seen to vie with the loveliest of " the daughters 
of the sun," but there is a greater projjortion 
of fine specimens of the fair sex, perhaps of 
both sexes, among the Parsees, than among 
any other class, European or Asiatic, at 
Bombav. 

The Parsees of Bombay are said to have 
come thither from Gujerat, to which place 
they emigrated from Ormuz, in the Gulf of 
Persia. Very few of them brought wives, 
generally single men having ventured on the 
enterprise. They selected maidens of Guje- 
rat, their taste being for the fairest in com- 
plexion ; hence the race now inhabiting Bom- 
l)ay is not purely Persian, yet much fairer 
tlian the people of Hindoostan. 

In the fort there are two large fire temples, 
which are kept scrupvdously closed against 
foreign inspection. They contain spacious 
halls, with central arches, beneath which are 
placed the vase of sacred fire. The priests 
of the Ghebers resemble the Jewish priests 
in appearance and attire. They wear their 
beards long and flowing; and these being 
sometimes white, by reason of the age of the 
wearer, the turban colourless, and the vest or 
robe white and ample, their appearance is 
very venerable. They are not respected; 
whether this arise from the scepticism of the 
worshippers, or the general character of the 



sacerdotal class, it is difficult to conjecture, as 
the behaviour of the clergy is respectable, 
and that of the people devout. Some suppose 
that the origin of this contempt is difference 
of race, the people having landed without 
priests, and having employed a native race in 
Gujerat to adopt the clerical functions whose 
opinions were not remote from their own. 
Others attribute the feeling to the offices 
which devolve upon the clergy — chiefly that 
of bearing away the dead, whom they deposit 
in towers, where the corpse is exposed to 
birds of prey, which devour it. The thought 
of this inspires, it is alleged, even loathing in 
the breast of the Parsee to his spiritual leader. 
The chief jiriest, however, is not the object 
of such feelings, but receives reverence from 
the whole commimity. 

The Parsees are variously estimated in 
numbers, some computing them as a fourth 
of the whole population of the island, and 
others as lower than one -tenth. 

The Jews are comparatively numerous, 
and many of them very wealthy. The men 
are always on the alert as traffickers or 
money-changers; the women live in great 
seclusion. 

The Armenian Christians are much and 
deservedly respected ; their numbers are 
small, and their church in the fort is of 
mean dimensions. They are generally settlers 
from Bushire or Bussorah, who transact busi- 
ness in stuffs and gems. Some of the Arme- 
nians are horse-dealers: they are considered 
good judges of the animal, and fair sellers, 
but are not at all equestrian in their own 
habits. They wear the dress of Persia, and 
disfigure themselves with henna, dying beard, 
hair, and whiskers with it, any dark colour 
pertaining to any of these ornaments of the 
male head being an object of distaste. A 
European blessed Avith auburn or sandy hair, 
whiskers, or moustache, is supposed either to 
possess the secret of some exquisite dye, or to 
be endowed by nature with attributes of great 
beauty. The moral character of the Arme- 
nians is excellent ; their habits orderly ; their 
business talents eminent; their loyalty im- 
doubted, but not active. The people have a 
great respect for Protestantism, but the clergy 
prefer the Greek or Latin churches, and are 
extremely jealous of their people entering a 
Protestant place of worship, or perusing Pro- 
testant books, especially if written on any 
theological subject. 

The descendants of the Portuguese are ill- 
looldng, venal, bigoted, ignorant, and super- 
stitious — despised by every other class. 

There are a few Greeks, who differ in 
nothing from their compatriots all over the 
world. 



144 



HISTORY' OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VII. 



In a cliapter upon the social condition of 
the people of India, reference Avill be again 
made to the inhabitants of this city. 

Since the establishment of commnnicatiou 
■with Europe by the Red Sea route, Bombay 
has acquired importance, being the first point 
of India gained by the outward-bound vessels, 
and the last left on the homeward voyage. 
The following are the travelling distances 
from it to the most considerable cities and 
to\vns, according to Major Reunell : — 



Miles. 

Allahabad 977 

Ahniedabad 321 

Alimednug2;ur . ... 181 

Arcot . . .^ 722 

Aurungabad 260 

Baroch 221 

]5asseiu 27 

Bednore 452 

Bijauaghur 398 

Calcutta 1301 

Canege 889 

Cashmere 1233 

Cuttack 1034 

Cochin 780 

Delhi 880 

Dowlatabad 258 

Goa 292 

Golconda 475 

Gvvalior 768 

Hyderabad 480 



Miles. 

Juggeruaut 1052 

Iiidore 456 

Lahore 1010 

Lucknow 923 

Madras 758 

Masulipatani .... 686 

Mirzapore 952 

Moorshedabad . . . 1259 

]Mooltaii 920 

INIysore 630 

Nagpore 552 

Oiide 1013 

Oojeiu 486 

Patna 1145 

Pondicherry 805 

Poonah 98 

Seringapatam .... 622 
Sumbhulpore .... 826 

Surat 177 

Tellccherrv 615 



Should a canal be cut across the Isthmus 
of Suez, Bombay will become in all jjrobability 
a more important position than Calcutta ; it 
will at all events rival that city, now so much 
more wealthy, populous, and powerful. " The 
distance from the English Channel to Calcutta, 
by the Cape of Good Hope, following the 
route taken by the best sailing vessels, may 
be put down at 13,000 miles. By the jMedi- 
terranean, the proposed canal across the Isth- 
mus of Suez, the Red Sea, and Indian Ocean, 
the distance would be about SOOO miles ; as 
compared with the former, the latter would 
effect a saving of 5000 miles. By the Cape 
route to Bombay the distance may be com- 
puted at 11,500 miles, by the Red Sea route, 
6200 ; and here the gain Avould be 5300 miles. 
By the aid of this maritime canal, troops 
would arrive at Boml)ay from Malta in three 
Aveeks ; in Ceylon or IMadras in four ; and in 
Calcutta in five : and they would arrive fresh 
and vigorous, because unfatigued in body, 
and without experiencing that lassitude of 
the mind which a j)rotracted and wearisome 
sea voyage generally induces. With such 
facilities, it may fairly be concluded that the 
maintenance of a smaller number of European 
troops in garrison would be jjerfectly com- 
patible with security. Nor can it be doubted 
that when the natives became aware of this 
rapid mode of transit for man and munitions 



of war, the disposition to revolt would be 
greatly enfeebled. The mercantile marine, 
both of England and America, would be bene- 
fited by the shortening of distance. It would 
bring New York nearer to Bombay by 7317 
miles, and New Orleans by 8178. Con- 
stantinople would save 12,000, and St. Peters- 
burg 8550 miles. The countries on the coasts 
of the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, the eastern 
coast of Africa, India, the kingdom of Siani, 
Cochin China, Japan, the vast empire of China, 
with its teeming millions, the Phillipine Islands, 
Australia, and New Zealand, with the whole 
Southern Archipelago, would be brought 
nearer to the Mediterranean Sea and the 
north of Europe by almost 9000 miles : the 
whole world would be in proximity." The 
British government is ojiposed to the forma- 
tion of such a ship canal on grounds of policy. 
Possessing, as France does, a powerful naval 
arsenal in the IMediterranean, she miglit, by 
means of such a passage, seriously menace 
our Indian empire. It is with a full know- 
ledge of this that M. Lesseps and other 
Frenchmen have so perseveringly urged this 
scheme. Ijord Palraerston energetically and 
clearly placed the views of the British govern- 
ment before that of France on this subject, 
and the Emperor Napoleon admitted the 
reasonableness of the sensitiveness of the 
government of her Britannic majesty in refer- 
ence to such an enterj^rise. The scheme 
has, moreover, been pronounced by the most 
competent English engineers as impracticable ; 
and by eminent men, who pronounce that it 
is not absolutely impossible, it has been ad- 
mitted that the scheme is beyond private 
enterprise, and could only be executed and 
sustained by such a harmonious concourse of 
governments as is scarcely within the range 
of hope. The project finds, however, very 
general favour in Europe, perhaps as much 
from motives inimical to England as any 
other. Shoidd a ship canal, by any concur- 
rence of circumstance and combination of 
powers, be formed, it will in all probability 
tempt the British government into hostile 
operations from India and from the Mediter- 
ranean, involving wide-spread and sanguinary 
conflict. 

The neighbourhood of the city is very 
beautiful, the whole island being exceedingly 
picturesque. Excellent roads exist, and the 
citizens enjoy their drives to the surrounding 
districts very much. On Sunday these roads 
are most frequented, the esjilanade being 
comparatively forsaken. " The early riser, 
desiring to pursue his ride into the lovely 
scenes which skirt the town, will find these 
roads clear of all offence. The porters and 
artiznns then lie shrouded in their cundiee j 



Chap. VII.] 



m INDIA AXD THE EAST. 



145 



the market people have a wide path, as they 
bring in the fresh fruits of the neighbouring 
country ; the toddy drawers appear, crowned 
with an earthen vessel, overflowing with the 
delicious juice of the palm-tree ; and Hindoo 
girls, seated behind baskets of bright blossoms, 
strinsr frasfrant wreaths to adorn the altars of 
their gods. Thus fresh and tranquil remain 
tlie elements of the scene, until the hurry and 
the toil of life fill it with that suffocating heat 
and deafening clamour attendant upon the 
interests of eager trafific." 

The roads of the island are, from the un- 
dulated character of the surface, much curved, 
tliereby affording great variety of prospect ; 
now turning towards the sunlit bay, and anon 
presenting prospects of wooded knolls and 
palm forests. In the evening the dusty roads 
are trodden by bullock- drivers and the heavier 
description of vehicles, carrying produce for 
the early morning market of the city : this 
circumstance causes the drives through the 
island to be preferable at early dawn to the 
soft season of sunset. 

In tlie bay boating affords pleasant recrea- 
tion, and an ever-changing land and sea 
Bcenery. The little island of Colabah is a 
place of constant resort, and some Eui'opeans 
prefer it to any other place in its neighbour- 
hood as a residence. It is considered pecu- 
liarly healthy, and its situation is delightfully 
picturesque, aft'ording from its shores views of 
exquisite beauty. The lighthouse and the 
lunatic asylum are on this islet ; a good road 
runs through it, and it is connected with the 
island of Bombay by a causeway, over which 
formerly the sea rose at high tide, rendering 
the passage difficult and dangerous. 

The diseases are such as are produced by 
the high temperature of the climate, the low 
site of the city, and the prevalence of paddy 
fields on all the low grounds of the island. 
The guinea -worm is a dangerous niiisance to 
Europeans and natives ; many of the former 
suffer so severely from it, as to be obliged to 
return home. Fever and cholera often carry 
away Europeans who expose themselves too 
much to the climate, frequent the woods and 
paddy fields, or are in any other way brought 
within the influence of the malaria which in- 
fests the low grounds. Bombay has improved 
in health within the last ten years very rapidly, 
and there is every prospect that it will even- 
tually become one of the healthiest neigh- 
bourhoods in India. 

The collectorate of Surat is situated at the 
south-western extremity of the ancient J)Y0- 
vince of Gujerat. It is a part of that territory 
adjacent to die Gulf of Cambay, and is so in- 
tersected with the dominions of native princes, 
that it is difficult to define its limits. It is 

VOL. I. 



made up of lands taken from independent 
princes at various times. The neighbourhood 
was long noted for the plunder, by gidf and 
river pirates, of trading-vessels ; the vigilance of 
the police, the exertions of the Bombay marine, 
and the representations made by the British 
residents at the courts of native princes, have 
all conduced to put a stop to these piracies. 
The country is populous, and highly culti- 
vated, producing wheat, rice, jouree, hajeree, 
and other Indian grains, diversified by crops 
of cotton, hemp, tobacco, colouring plants, 
seeds, &c. The cotton of Surat has become 
an important article of commerce. 

The city of Surat is large, mean, and dirty, 
destitute of good public buildings, and con- 
taining few Europeans for so large a city. 
There was an hospital for animals at Surat, 
similar to that at Bombay, but remarkable for 
its " wards," containing rats, mice, bugs, and 
other noxious creatures ! The site of the city 
is unfavourable for trade, as large ships can- 
not ascend the river ; but the country behind 
is so fertile, and produces such vast variety 
of commodities, that the commerce of Surat 
is very extensive. Its moral condition is de- 
plorable. The Mohammedans are the perpe- 
trators of nearly all the violence committed 
in the place, except what is performed by 
imported bravoes and thieves, who are hired 
by the richer natives for purposes of revenge, 
and formerly for the object of plundering the 
houses of their own friends and connexions I 
The Parsees are so frequently made the 
objects of violence by the Mohammedans, 
that they are obliged in self-defence to inflict 
personal chastisement, for they are a brave and 
athletic race, physically and mentally superior 
to the followers of the false prophet. The 
Hindoos are sly, timid, treacherous, and fur- 
tively vindictive ; many perish by poison, 
which they administer upon slight provoca- 
tion — a mode of murder in which they are 
singularly expert. This offence is not so 
common as formerly ; twenty years ago its 
occurrence was awfully frequent. Opium 
intoxication is very common, and very de- 
basing. 

Caste is not so dominant as in most other 
places, and some "old Indians" attribute the 
laxity of morals to the " want of respect for 
their betters " which prevails among the 
native mob of Surat. Religious intolerance 
is carried to bitter extremities by Hindoos 
and Mohammedans, not only against one 
another, but against the Parsees, who offer 
no provocation to the insults and outrages of 
which they are the victims. The Brahmins 
are not so hostile to the Parsees as to the 
Mohammedans, nor are they so ready to per- 
secute the Parsees as the Mohammedans are. 

u 



146 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VII. 



The "worsliippers of the sun have grown so 
influential and wealtliy, that they are able to 
protect themselves ; and the British, although 
generally they lean to high caste men, and 
" hold up the aristocratic principle for the 
sake of order," are too generous to allow in- 
justice to be done to the quiet and manly 
Ghebers. 

The distance from Bombay is about one 
hundred and seventy miles. Before the 
English obtained possession of Bombay, Surat 
was the capital of the presidency. The popu- 
lation is still larger than that of the metropolis 
of Western India. The intervening shores 
are low, flat, and sandy, destitute of any in- 
teresting scenery, except the panorama of the 
distant hills. 

The scenes in the streets of Surat are 
peculiar, in some respects resembling those 
of Bombay, as to the quality and character of 
the native population. ISlot only are the three 
prevailing religious septs desci-ibed above to be 
met with, but also Jains, Jews, Syrians, Arme- 
nians, Greeks, and descendants of the Portu- 
guese. The most remarkable of all are the 
Arabs ; these at certain seasons pitch their 
tents upon the pleasantest spots on tlie banks 
of the Tapty, just as gipsies would in the 
neighbourhood of an English city. They are 
the most picturesque -looking of the dwellers 
in or frequenters of the great city ; their 
many-coloured turbans and showy vests can- 
not fail to attract attention, and their coun- 
tenances are often fiercely fine. 

There are many traces of the former opu- 
lence of this city in the remains of gardens 
and mansions, which once belonged to the 
merchant princes of Surat, before Bombay 
tore the wreatli from her brow; and these 
mansions and pleasure-grounds were easily 
placed on sites tastefully selected, for in the 
neighbourhood of the city the banks of the 
Tapty are very pleasant. 

The ghauts, or landing-places, do not, as 
in so many other cities of India, already 
noticed, lead to temples, nor are they con- 
structed with the lavish expenditure and 
richly creative taste of those flights of steps 
elsewhere. They are more frequently to be 
seen occiipied with dhobies than devotees. 
The dhobies are washerwomen, who ply their 
calling very much in the manner which Sir 
Walter Scott described his fair countrywomen 
in rural districts performing similar operations. 

Witliin six miles of the city there is a 
place of religious ablution, called Pulpunah. 
There sacred groves, altars, and temples 
abound. The groves are hung with wreaths 
of choicest flowers. The ghauts are sculp- 
tured and festooned, leading to temples, where 
domes and colunnis look down in their 



cold and stern majesty upon the bright and 
careering river. It is a noted place for 
funeral pyres ; the ashes of the dead are 
solemnly spread upon the holy current, which 
seems, as if a thing of life, to bear them wil- 
lingly away from the sacred scene. It is 
astonishing what crowds of fakeers, and other 
religious devotees, assemble among these 
clustering temples. Nowhere is this vaga- 
bond class so ripe in imposture as in this 
holy vicinity. Their control over the laity 
is astonishing, and their exercise of it rapa- 
cious, violent, and disgusting. Whatever 
these revered robbers choose to demand the 
people give them, a denial involving the peril 
of their soul's ruin. Among the chief curio- 
sities of the place are the herds of sacred 
bulls, which are kept by the Brahmins, and 
treated by the people with the greatest reve- 
rence. 

Pulpunah is not the only interesting suburb 
of Surat ; all its vicinity is as pleasant as the 
city itself is dirty, dreary, and decadent. 
Long shaded lanes, reminding the English 
visitor of the green lanes of England, surround 
the city, and the cultivated fields and river 
scenery cannot fail to arrest the attention. 
The wooded hills are the haunts of game. 
At Vaux's tomb, in the Gulf of Cambay, near 
the embouchure of the Tapty, the wild hog, 
often hunted by the Europeans of Surat, is 
numerous, and affords ample sport. The 
French town and gardens are objects of plea- 
sant interest, and within pedestrian distance 
of the city. 

The military cantonments are regarded as 
pleasant by the military : and Surat has long 
borne a reputable character among gentlemen 
of the Bombaj^ ^I'l^y. ^^ ^ sociable and cheerful 
place in which to be quartered. 

Baroch is another district of Gujerat, and 
is bounded on the west by the Gulf of Cam- 
bay. Few ports of the west of India are so 
well cidtivated or populous. The capital of 
the district, also named Baroch, is situated on 
an eminence on the north bank of the Ner- 
buddah, twenty -five miles from the entrance 
to the river. The town is as dirty and dreary 
as Surat : it is surrounded by a most fertile 
country, and its market is one of the best in 
India. The town was once the seat of a 
considerable trade, especially for cotton cloths, 
which were beautifully white, the river Ner- 
buddah having the propertj^ of bleaching. 
The neighboui'hood is picturesque, chiefly 
because of the superior cultivation. Many 
ruins of mosques and mausolea are scat- 
tered in the vicinity. About ten miles from 
the city there is an island in the river, where 
aged or sick Hindoo penitents bury them- 
selves alive, or are buried alive bv their rela- 



CUAP. VII.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



U" 



lives as an act of piety. On this island is a 
banyan -tree, said to be the most extraordinary 
in existence ; but it was formerly much larger 
than it is now, for the floods, rising, have 
washed away portions of the island, and with 
it the branching roots of the tree where they 
had extended themselves too far. The tree 
is still represented to be two thousand feet in 
circumference, measuring round the different 
stems; but the hanging branches, the roots 
of which have not yet reached the ground, 
measure a much wider area. The chief 
trunks of the tree number three hundred and 
fifty, each of these larger than an ordinary 
English elm; and the smaller stems, forming 
strong supporters, are more than three thou- 
sand. The natives allege that it is three 
thousand years old, can afford shade for seven 
thousand persons, and that it originall)^ sprung 
from the toothpick of a certain Hindoo saint. 
A writer on the productions of India states 
that " this is the tree alluded to by Milton in 
his Paradise Lost." 

The coUectorate of Ahmedabad is not 
remarkable for anything except the city and 
its vicinity. This city was once the capital 
of Gujerat, but it has long fallen into decay. 
So splendid w'as it in the reign of Akbar, 
that the ruins now cover an area the circum- 
ference of which is thirty miles. In fact, the 
country is covered with remains of palaces, 
serais, mosques, temples, tanks, aqueducts, 
and other works of grandeur and great public 
utility. Wild beasts now infest the neigh- 
bourhood. The city is noted for its jugglers 
and itinerant musicians, classes to which the 
natives of the villages of Gujerat give exten- 
sive encouragement. 

The coUectorate of Kaira is a large district 
in the Gujerat province : it is very wild and un- 
settled, and has been remarkable for the prac- 
tices of the Bhatts and Bharotts, a sjiecies of fana- 
tics who, if denied a demand, will inflict upon 
their own persons a gash with a knife, Avhich 
the natives suppose that the gods will here- 
after inflict upon him who, denying the 
request, occasioned the misfortune. If this 
does not intimidate, the Bhatts will murder 
an old woman or some outcast, and leave the 
crime at the door of the person who denied 
their request, which alarms the Hindoo more 
than if he had himself perpetrated the crime, 
which he would seldom fail to do if moved by 
what he considered to be an adequate reli- 
gious motive. If the Bhatts or Bharotts do 
not obtain their infamous end in that way, 
they will not hesitate to murder one of them- 
selves, or one of their relations, still more 
exciting the horror and the alarm of the 
unfortunate victim upon whom the demand 
is made. Should, however, the Hindoo have 



firmness to resist the demand after all these 
wild manifestations of cruel importunity, the 
Bhatts will probably murder the man Avho 
dares so persistently to refuse compliance with 
their wishes. Kaira, the capital of the dis- 
trict, is in no way noticeable. 

Caxdeisii is a province of the Deccan. of 
which ancient division of India a general 
descri]:»tion was given in the last chapter. 
The Mahrattas here held sway in the days of 
their power. A considerable portion of Can- 
deish belonged to the Holkar family, having 
been, like the adjacent province of Malwah, 
divided bet\veen the Peishwa, ScinJiah, and 
Holkar. The Tapty, Nerbuddah, and their 
tributaries water the country, which, how- 
ever, is not well cultivated. The interior 
is curiously cut up by ravines, from thirty 
to forty feet deep, winding along sometimes 
for miles. The ridges of the Western Ghauts 
extend along the Tapty. Among the hills, 
and along the courses of the rivers, many 
Bheel tribes reside, who became troublesome 
to the government immediately previous to 
the military revolution of 1857, and again 
during the progress of that crisis. Candeish 
proper comprises what in the reign of the 
Emperor Akbar comprehended the whole of 
Candeish. It is the most fertile and populous 
region of the territories which are known 
under that general designation. Berhanpore 
was the ancient capital : it is situated on a 
fine plain, fairly cultivated. This city was 
once ten miles in circumference, but it is now 
shorn of its glory. It is about three hundred 
and forty miles from Bombay, in latitude 
21° 19' north, and 7G^ 18' east longitude. 

Husseiuabad is a noted city in this province, 
being regarded as a good position in a mili- 
tary point of view, and the key of this por- 
tion of the Deccan. The town is neverthe- 
less neither well built nor populous. The 
water of the Nerbuddah is here peculiarly 
sweet and aa'reeable ; the valley through 
which it flows in the vicinity of the town is, 
notwithstanding the advantage of its pre- 
sence, badly cultivated, and covered in most 
places Avith jungle. During the month' of 
February the appearance of this jungle is 
very beautiful, in consequence of a shrub 
which bears flowers of the brightest scarlet. 
At the same season another flowering shrub 
fills the air with the richest perfume; these 
odoriferous flowers are gathered and dried, 
when they assume the ajipearance of berries, 
and are as sweet as raisins. The natives 
distil a sort of vinous spirit from tliem. 

PooxAH, now a coUectorate of Bombay, 
was once the metropolitan province of the 
Mahratta empire. The city is situated lati- 
tude lo° 30' north, longitude 7i° 2' east ; 



148 



HISTOEY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VII. 



about thirty miles to the east of the Ghauts, 
and one hundred miles from Bombay. The 
rank of this city is siiperior to its area or 
population. The streets are all named after 
mythological personages, and the gods of the 
Hindoo Pantheon are painted on the fronts 
of the houses : judging from the nomencla- 
ture of the streets, and other signs, it is the 
most religious city in the world. At this 
town the Moota River joins the Moola; their 
union is called the Moota Moola, and is 
emptied into the Beema, which afterwards 
forms a junction with the Kistna. By this 
route, during the rainy season, a river-voyage 
may be made from within seventy-five miles 
of the western coast of India to the Bay of 
Bengal, provided the passage be undertaken 
in a canoe. The ancient palace of Poonah is 
surrounded by high thick walls : a modern 
one was erected more to the taste of the 
peishwa. The native population probably 
exceeds one hundred and fifty thousand. 

Poonah is an important situation in refer- 
ence to the large portion of the Deccan sub- 
ject to the Bombay government. The mili- 
tary cantonments are not large, but are plea- 
santly situated, and very convenient. The 
neighbourhood is famous for hog -hunting, 
in which the officers of the cantonment min- 
gle with great zest, whatever may be the 
corps there stationed. This is a perilous 
amusement; it would be so in ground more 
favourable to horsemanship? than the Deccan, 
which, in these districts, is made np to a great 
extent of rock, hill, and ravine. The wild 
hog holds his retreat in rather elevated situa- 
tions, and can defend himself, to the peril of 
his pursuers, man and horse, of which both 
soon become conscious. 

Within a mile or two of Poonah the 
governor has a bungalow, which is beautifully 
situated ; the choicest plants, native and exotic, 
bloom in the gardens. The collection of 
geraniums is very fine, the soil of the Deccan 
being especially favourable to them. The 
scarlet species abound in the gardens, and are 
found wild in the neighbourhood. 

The Temple of Parbuttee is still an object 
of interest at Poonah, although shorn of its 
former glory. The Temple of Pawatti, the 
Mountain Goddess, is beautifully situated on 
a lofty hill, surrounded by luxuriant gardens, 
"rich in the empurpled clusters of the Dec- 
can vine, and the dusky fruit of the sweet- 
juiced pomegranate." In the neighbourhood 
of Poonah there is a remarkable grove of 
mango-trees, planted by the j^eishwa in ex- 
piation of the murder of his brother. The 
Ketuah Bang, a country seat, also a creation 
of the I3eishwa, is very beautiful— the building 
is supported on handsome Saracenic arches, 



the grounds are tastefully laid out in the best 
oriental style — cool kiosks, and niimeroiis jets 
of sparkling water, causing a freshness the 
most salutary and agreeable. About two 
miles from Poonah is the cavalry cantonment 
of Kirkee, where Sir Arthur Wellesley wooed 
fortune on the battle-field. 

Between the bridge of the Sungum near 
Poonah, and Kirkee, there is a beautiful 
cave -temple cut in the limestone rock. In 
the centre a circle of rude columns, in the 
simplest style of Hindoo architecture, sup- 
port a huge block of rock ; below this kneel 
the sacred bull of Siva (Nandi), uncaparisoned 
and rough hewn. At the other end is a 
number of square pillars, which support the 
roof. The whole structure is curious. The 
banks of the Sungum River in the neighbour- 
hood of Poonah are very pretty, but the 
beauty is of the ordinary descrijjtion of Indian 
rivers. 

In connection with Poonah, the district ot 
Sattara naturally claims attention. The 
peishwas by whom Poonah was governed 
virtually ruled Sattara for more than one 
hundred years. The rajah, however, was 
treated as supreme, the peishwa pretending 
allegiance, and offering an ostensible obedi- 
ence. The rajah was, in fact, a prisoner at 
his hill fort of Sattara. When the British 
expelled the peishwa, in 1818, tlie rajah was 
reinstated by them as sovereign over a consider- 
able portion of his dominions, bounded to the 
west by the Western Ghauts, to the south 
by the Warner and Kistna Rivers, to the 
north by the Beema and Neera Rivers, and 
on the east by the frontier of the nizam's 
dominions, the whole area occupying a surface 
of eleven thousand square miles. When of 
late the deposition of the Rajah of Sattara 
raised such a clamour in England, it was 
overlooked by his advocates that the rajahs 
would have continued the actual, although 
not nominal vassals, of the peishwas, had not 
British power resciied them from their thral- 
dom. The conditions then imposed were 
thankfully accepted. Whatever might be 
the opinion justly drawn as to the rajah's ful- 
filment of his engagements, these facts ought 
to be borne in mind in any discussion con- 
cerning his deposition. 

The hill fort of Sattara was so called (the 
word meaning seventeen) because possessing 
originally seventeen walls, towers, and gates. 
The fortress occujiies the highest pinnacle of 
a hill, the access to it being by a circuitous 
path of great difficulty. The cantonment is 
situated in a lovely valley, surrounded by 
magnificent hills, which are crowned in every 
direction available for defence by a fort. The 
scenery generally in the donnnions once those 



Chap. VII.] 



IX INDIA AND THE EAST. 



U9 



of the rajah more resembles that of Enghind 
than probably any part of India. The cot- 
tages are thatched — flowers and creepers in 
front and around them ; the cattle browsing 
in the fields, guarded by hedges, present quite 
an English home picture. There are, never- 
theless, tokens sufficient to convince the visi- 
tor that, however English such features of the 
landscape may be, the scenery is still that of 
India ; for the cottages are in the vicinities of 
grotesque temples, that tell of idolatry, and 
bring the long past and the j^resent together, 
and the fine English -like roads are skirted by 
avenues of bright tamarind -trees. The fol- 
lowing pleasing picture is from the pencil of 
a lady : — " The dak traveller, leaving Sattara 
in the evening, dawn sees him at the foot of 
the stupendous ghauts, on which has been cut 
the road leading to the Mahabeleshwar hills. 
Winding along the steep brows of lesser 
ghauts, piled, as it were, to oppose the dese- 
crating foot of man, the scene becomes rich 
in the features of sublime and fertile loveli- 
ness, each ghaut being thickly wooded, 
from its pale purple and sunlit brow, to where 
the gathering and snow-like wreaths of fleecy 
clouds conceals its union with the lowlands. 
On either side of the curving pathway rich 
and graceful trees, festooned with a variety 
of blooming creepers, charm the eye, while 
about the gnarled roots, as if hurled by the 
thunder-armed power of the great storm, lie 
massive fragments of time -stained rocks, 
crushing the verdure on \^hich they fell, until 
time has again, with teuderest touch, encou- 
raged fragile and flowery weeds to spring from 
their dark clefts, and sun their sweet heads in 
the glorious light." Continuing onwards, new 
heights sink into insignificance before other 
and towering elevations. These mountains 
are fantastic in form, bearing a sweet and 
glowing verdure, until the traveller reaches 
the summit of the Mahabeleshwar hills, and 
an atmosphere clear, cold, and invigorating. 
This spot is four thousand eight hundred feet 
above the level of the sea, and has been chosen 
as a sanatorium. In all the Deccan none more 
appropriate could have been chosen. Pretty 
bungalows are erected on eminences which 
command the most splendid combinations of 
scenery. These bungalows are interspersed 
Avith tents, variously formed and grouped, 
adding much to the picturesque aspect of the 
place. An obelisk to commemorate Sir Sidney 
Beckwick, many years commander-in-chief 
of the Bombay army, is expressive of the 
lasting fame which the brave and good re- 
ceive. Plants of fern and arrowroot, exceed- 
ingly pleasing to the eye, grow luxuriantly 
wherever the hills have soil; and from the 
clefts of the ragged rocks, plants, shrubs, and 



trees, shoot up in great diversity of beauty. 
The jungles conceal tigers, bears, wolves, elks, 
and other animals — some ferocious, and others 
beautiful and harndess. The points of view 
most inviting are Sydney and Elphinstone 
rocks. From these the rich scenery of the 
Concan lies stretched beneath the beholder's 
gaze. At a distance of about thixly miles the 
sea is visible, adding to the magnificence of 
the scene, and inspiring a sense of the vast 
and the sublime. From the gorges of the 
mountains innumerable cataracts flash in the 
sun's rays, leaping from crag to crag, as if 
in wild piu'suit of each other, to the plains 
below. In the lower grounds streams wind 
their way, seeking the ocean, and in their 
course blessing with irrigation the grateful 
soil. It is in this range that the Kistna Kiver 
has its sources, in the village of Mahabelesh- 
war ("the great and good God"). The 
sources are two in number, and are covered 
by arched and many -columned temples. In 
each the source of this river flows from 
the mouth of the sacred bull Nandi, and is 
received in a tank, whence it overflows, 
winding its way, until, the two streams unit- 
ing, and forming confluence with minor 
streams, the Kistna is formed. Viewed from 
the temples, the valley of the Kistna River is 
extremely lovely. A more fair and pastoral 
landscape could hardly be presented in the 
beautiful west of England, while the rich 
oriental woods, now dark, now bright, crown 
every upland, and bend over the waters of 
the descending current. The supplies of 
grain, fruit, game, beef, mutton, and all the 
necessaries of life, are abundant at the sana- 
torium, the whole country beneath being one 
beai;tiful garden. It has been confidently 
affirmed by the admirers of Indian scenery, 
who have also travelled much in Europe, that 
neither the Alps nor the Pyrenees possess 
scenery so lovely, and at the same time so 
grand, as these ghauts present. 

The fort of Portabghur, perched upon the 
peak of a ghaut which overlooks the Maha- 
beleshwar hills and the splendid scenery of the 
Southern Concan, affords a very magnificent 
prospect, and is in other respects interesting. 
Here there is a temple built to the goddess of 
destruction, in which luiman victims were 
annually offered by the Kajah of Sattara before 
British authority brought the horrid rites to 
extinction with the tyranny of the peishwa. 
Many deeds of terror and oppression were 
enacted in the blood-stained fort of Por- 
tabghur. 

The coUectorate of Tannah takes its de- 
signation from a town and fortress in the 
island of Salsette. The length of tiio island 
is eighteen miles by thirteen wide — the avy-ra^c 



ISO 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VIL 



breadth. It was formerly separated from 
Bombay, across to which a causeway has 
been made. The population is small. The 
island is picturesque, but badly cultivated, 
notwithstanding its proximity to Bombay. It 
is customary for the residents in that island, 
because of the agreeable voyage, to visit Sal- 
sette, although not a healthy place, from the 
prevalence of marsh and jungle. This island 
contains a collection of singular caverns, ex- 
cavated in the rocky hills. In one of these 
caverns the Portuguese built a church, and 
in order to make the place appropriate for 
such a purpose, defaced the heathen inscrij)- 
tions ; two gigantic statues of Buddha, how- 
ever, remain. 

In this collectorate the island of Elephanta 
is situated. It is in the Bay of Bombay, about 
seven miles from the castle, and is a place of 
constant resort from the great western capital. 
The isle is composed of two long hills, with a 
narrow valley between them ; it is about six 
miles in circumference. The caves of Ele- 
phanta have a world-wide celebrity. Notice 
was taken of them in the chapter on the reli- 
gions of India, to which the reader is referred. 
Opinions are very diverse as to the claims of 
the caves foimd in both these islands to supe- 
rior taste on the part of those by whose labour 
and ingenuity they were wrought — some tra- 
vellers extolling them as wondrous efforts of 
art, and others depreciating them as miich. 
The celebrated historian of India, Mill, thus 
wrote :— " The cave of Elephanta, not far 
from Bombay, is a work which, from its 
magnitude, has given birth to the supposition 
of high civilisation among the Hindoos. It 
is a cavity in the side of a mountain, about 
half-way between its base and summit, of the 
space of nearly one hundred and twenty feet 
square. Pieces of the rock, as is usual in 
mining, have been left at certain distances, 
supporting the superincumbent matter; and' 
the sight of the whole upon the entrance is 
grand and striking. It had been applied at 
an early period to religious purposes, when 
the pillars were probably fashioned into the 
sort of regular form they now present, and 
the figures, with which great part of the 
inside is covered, were sculptui-ed on the stone." 
Horace Hayman Wilson, Esq., the distin- 
guished editor of Mill's History, affixes the 
following note to the above quotation : — " The 
cave of Elephanta is not the only subter- 
ranean temple of the Hindoos exhibiting on 
a large scale the effects of human labour. In 
tlie isle of Salsette, in the same vicinity, is a 
pagoda of a similar kind, and but little infe- 
rior to it in any remarkable circumstance. 
The pagodas of Ellura, about eighteen miles 
from Aurungabad, are not of the size of those 



of Elephanta and Salsette, but they surprise 
by their number, and by the idea of tlie 
labour which they cost. (See a minute de- 
scription of tliem by Anquetil Duperron, 
Zendavesta, Disc. Prelim, p. ccxxxiii.) The 
seven pagodas, as they are called, at Mavali- 
puram, near Madras, on the Coromandel coast, 
is another work of the same description ; and 
several others might be mentioned." 

Dr. Tenuant expresses views in harmony with 
those of Dr. Wilson when he says — " Their 
caves in Elephanta and Salsette are standing 
monuments of the original gloomy state of 
their superstition, and the imperfection of 
their arts, particularly that of architecture." * 

Forbes, so generally recognised as an autho- 
rity, has these opinions : — ■" However these 
gigantic statues, and others of similar form, 
in the caves in EUora and Salsette, may 
astonish a common observer, the man of taste 
looks in vain for proportion of form and ex- 
pression of coimtenance." f "I must not 
omit the striking resemblance between these 
excavations (Elephanta, &c.) and the sculp- 
tured grottoes in Egypt," &c. "I have often 
been struck with the idea that there may be 
some affinity between the written mountains 
in Arabia and those caves." ;|: 

The general character of the collectorate 
does not merit any distinctive notice. 

The coUectorates of Dhakwak and Rut- 
NAGHERRY belong to the ancient province of 
Bejapore, and the characteristics are too much 
identical with other portions of the Deccan to 
require a separate descrijjtion. 

Attached to Bombay as a non-regulation 
district is that of Colara. This small terri- 
tory is a jjortion of the ancient province of 
the Mysore, a country in the south of India, 
nearly surrounded by the Madras ju-esidency. 
The natives of this district are fond of plant- 
ing hedges with aloes, of the leaves of which 
they make cordage. The language of the 
people is the Canarese. 

The capital of the district, called by the 
same name, is noted as the birthplace of 
Hyder, father of the notorious Tippoo, whose 
name is so signal in Indian history. The 
latter erected there a handsome monument to 
the former, and near it a mosque, or college 
of moullahs, inqu'operly called by most writers 
Mohammedan priests, as the Mohammedan 
religion has no priesthood. These moullahs, 
or ministers, exercised considerable influence 
there — even beyond what they obtained in 
other parts of India. 

SciNDE is a non-regulation ])rovince of the 
Bombay presidency : its conquest, after so 

* Indian Recreations, vol. i. p. G. 

t Forbes' Oriental Memoirs, vul. i. p. 423. 

+ Ibid. 



CiiAr. VII.] 



IX INDIA AND THE EAST. 



161 



severe a struggle, by Sir Charles Napier, 
gives an especial interest to it vith tlie 
present generation. It is also a valuable 
jirovince, l)otli from its area and population.* 
Its vicinity to the important province of 
Giijerat, and to the Punjaub, renders it of 
consetpience : through it properly lies the 
way from the Punjaub and Affghanistan to 
the sea. By way of Scinde from the west, 
direct and profitable commerce with Persia 
must be opened up from the Bombay presi- 
dency. Scinde Avas in ancient davs only a 
]>rovince of Mooltan, before that once great 
tlominion became itself a province of the 
liahore government. It occupies both banks 
of the Indus ; Mooltan and Affghanistan 
bound it on the north; Cutch and the sea 
bound it upon the south : to the east are 
Ajmeer, the Sandy Desert, and Cutch : and 
on the west it is contiguous to Beloochistan 
and the sea. 

Scinde lies along the plain of the Indus 
from the sea to Simgur. From the sea to 
Shikapore is called Lower Scinde : from 
thence to Sungur, Upper Scinde. East of 
the Indus the province is flat from its most 
northern limits to the sea. with the tri'flinsr 
exce])tion of a few low hills called the Gunjah. 
On the western bank of the great river, the 
country is much diversified — mountain, vale, 
and undulated surface are comprised within 
it. The soil is various: in some places pro- 
ductive — in others poor ; in most districts 
capable of high culture, and rerpiiring care 
and improvement in nearly all. The climate 
is good, except where marshy land creates 
miasma. In the months of June and July 
the thermometer ranges from 00° to 100°; 
but the air in northern Scinde is refreshed by 
cooling breezes from the west, so that the 
heat is seldom complained of by Europeans, 
even when the temperature ranges very high. 
About Hyderabad the climate is very agree- 
able, and in August, when other portions of 
India suffer much from heat, that region is 
most balmy and agreeable to those who can 
endure a high temperature. In no part of 
India is the air on the whole purer than in 
Scinde. 

The productions of this province, notwith- 
standing the low state of cultivation, the 
poverty of the soil in some districts, and the 
necessity for artificial irrigation over a large 
area, are extremely various. Rice, ghee, hides, 
shark fins, potash, saltpetre, asafcetida, bdel- 
lium, madder, indigo, oleaginous seeds as 
fodder for animals, frankincense, musk, alum, 
and gwms, are all exported in greater or 
smaller quantities to the neighbouring states. 
In the Bombay market the productions of 
* See page 27. 



Scinde are of great value, and constitute an 
important trade. 

During the reign of the Ameers, the coun- 
try retrogaded : that vile race plundered it, 
and discouraged in every way its progress. 
To the Brahmins these Mohammedan tyrants 
were tolerant, but the lower castes they loaded 
with oppression. The mass of the population 
are Hindoos, Jats, and Beloochees — the first- 
named of these being the oldest race of the 
present settlers, or, as some think, the abori- 
erines. The men of Scinde are not very tall, 
and seldom are of small stature ; to the other 
Indians they are, in this respect, like the 
Spaniards among Europeans. They are well 
formed and strong, much superior to the 
natives of India in the lower provinces of the 
three presidencies. They are very brown in 
complexion, with dark hair and brows. The 
females are both finely formed and featured ; 
they are not secluded like the women of the 
south, but are in this particular nearly as free 
as the Sikh ladies. 

The general resemblance of Scinde to Egypt 
must strike every one: a fertile plain bounded 
on the one side by mountains, and on the 
other by a desert; a large river dividing it, 
which forms a delta as it approaches the sea, 
and periodically inundates the country — 
constitute a singxilar resemblance. The 
districts or sub -districts into which Scinde 
is divided are Shikapore, Hyderabad, and 
Kurrachee. 

Hyderabad has been noticed in another 
page as remarkable for its peculiar situation, 
and its excellent climate. When treating on 
the climate of India generally, reasons were 
assigned for supposing that the locality was 
more favourable to health than any other in 
India. 

Shikapore is a district to the west of the 
Indus, lying between that river and Beloo- 
chistan; it is the southern province of Scinde. 
Near to the Indus the soil is fertile; it be- 
comes sterile as it approaches towards Beloo- 
chistan. The inhabitants are Jats, with a 
large sprinkling of Beloochees, especially to 
the west of the district; there are Hindoos 
scattered along the river portion. Formerly 
their reputation was very bad, and they 
continued the practice of Dacoitee and other 
delinquencies until the conquest of the British 
enforced order. The town of Shikapore 
stands in latitude 27° 36' north, and longitude 
G9° 18' east. The inhabitants are generally 
termed in Scinde Shikaporees ; they are 
Hindoos. The commerce of this city is con- 
siderable ; and before the British occupation 
of the country there were many rich bankers 
there, and a considerable trade kept np with 
the Punjaub, Affghanistan, and Bajpootana. 



152 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VII. 



From Sliikapore to Turkistan the bankers of 
this city were famous.* 

Kurrachee has of late years become ex- 
ceedingly important — its commerce being 
rapidly on the increase. The establishment 
of a fair there was expected to produce great 
consequences, but they were not realised. 
The commodities were various and valuable 
which were brought thither, but vendors 
rather than buyers made it their resort on 
these occasions. Notwithstanding the failure 
in this respect, its position is such as to jus- 
tify great ex2:)ectations concerning its future 
prosperity, and its utility to India and to 
Britain. " Kurrachee is a position of very 
great importance, whether regarded in a 
commercial, a political, or a military point of 
view. In a commercial point of view, it may 
be defined the gate of Central Asia, and is 
likely to become to India what Liverpool is 
to England. It has been officially reported 
that accommodation exists for the reception 
within the harbour, at the same time, of 
twenty ships of eight hundred tons (and any 
number of smaller craft). The climate of 
Kurrachee is cool in proportion to its lati- 
tude ; and under British auspices, the town 
must speedily become a most important 
place." f It is situated in latitude 24^ 51,' 
longitude 67° 2'. 

Mr. W. P. Andrews, chairman of the Scinde 
and Punjaub Railway, thus describes the port : 
" The port is protected from the sea and bad 
weather by Munorah, a bluff rocky headland, 
projecting south-eastward from the mainland, 
and leaving a space of about two miles be- 
tween the extreme point and the coast to the 
east. The harbour is spacioiis, extending 
about five miles northward from Munorah 
Point, and about the same distance from the 
town, on the eastern shore, to the extreme 
western point." 

The great obstacle to commerce, and also 
to the use of the harbour for military pur- 
poses, is a bar at the mouth. This bar, how- 
ever, admits at times of a depth of twenty-six 
feet of water, which allows vessels of con- 
siderable burden to come in, and also ships of 
war. Commodore Young, of the Indian navy, 
twice in the year 1854, took in the steam- 
frigate Queen in the night, and while the 
south-west monsoon prevailed. During the 
expedition to the Persian Gulf, consequent 
upon the Persian occupation of Herat, Com- 
modore Rennie, of the Indian navy, was con- 
stantly in the harbour, conveying troops, and 
reported that the bar-water was more than 
was indicated by the port-register. 

During the year 1855 the following ships, 

* Elphinstone. 

t Thoruton's Gazetteer. 



among others, entered the harbour of Kur- 
rachee : — 

Frcim London. Tons. Draught. 

Dec. 1. Mariou 684 ... 18 ft. 6 in. 

Nov. 23. Norwood 850 ... 15 ft. in. 

Oct. 19. El Dorado 841 ... 21 ft. in. 

Sept. 24. James Gibb 813 ... 21 ft. 6 in. 

Aug. ]2. Marmion 388 ... 16 ft. 3 in. 

„ 6. Kenilworth 582 ... 16 ft. 6 in. 

July 30. Granger 878 ... 19 ft. 6 in. 

,, „ Sir James 646 . . . 

„ 26. Alexander Wise ... 295 ... 15 ft. in. 

„ 2. Saxon 526 ... 15 ft. 2 in. 

„ „ Tamar 556 . . . ]? ft. 10 in. 

June 30. Semiramis ... large steamer. 

„ 14. Agamemnon 756 ... 16 ft. 3 in. 

Brigadier-general Jacob, C.B., officiating 
commissioner for Scinde, reported, imder 
date the 30th of April, 185G, that during 
the year 1854-5 vessels to the number of 
1086, of the burthen of 56,695 tons, entered 
the port of Scinde, thirty-nine of which, in- 
cluding steamers, w^ere square-rigged, of a 
burthen of 13,841 tons. The number that 
cleared outwards was 1103 vessels, burthen 
58,104 tons, including square-rigged ships 
and steamers. 

These statements bear upon the commerce 
of India as well as upon the capabilities of 
Kurrachee, but are necessary here to show 
the relative capacity and position of the pro- 
vince to which this section refers. 

The court of directors of the East India 
Company commissioned a skilful engineer to 
examine how far the harbour was capable of 
improvement. Lieutenant Grieve, of the 
Indian navy, was directed by the commis- 
sioner thus appointed to furnish detailed sur- 
veys. The result was a report favourable to 
the harbour : — " ' It is satisfactory to me to 
be able to state, at the outset, that I think 
the objects which the court of directors have 
in view — namely, the deepening, or even the 
entire removal of the bar, and the general 
improvement of the harbour of Kurrachee — 
are not of doubtful execution ; but that, on 
the contrary, there is good reason to expect 
through the application of proper means, the 
accomplishment of both— and this at a mode- 
rate exjiense, when compared with what I 
understand to be the almost national import- 
ance of a safe harbour at Kurrachee, capable 
of receiving and accommodating sea -going 
vessels of large tonnage ; ' and ' that Kurrachee 
is capable of being made an excellent harbour, 
and that there are no very great engineering 
or other physical difficulties to contend with 
in making it such.' The court of directors 
have sent out an experienced harbour engi- 
neer to assist in carrying out the plans of 
JMr. Walker. To that able and excellent 
officer, Captain C. D. Campbell, of the Indian 
navy, belongs the credit of having been the 



Chap. VII.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



lo3 



first to take in on his own ve.'^ponsibility a 
large armed steamer into the harbonr of Kiir- 
racliee." .... "Colonel Tnvner instituted a 
series of very careful experiments by boring, 
and showed most conclusively that there was 
not a particle of rock anywhere on the bar ; 
tiiat the whole was composed, to considerable 
depth, of soft sand. The establishment of 
tliis fact of course removed one principal 
lAfOuud of the fear which mariners before 
Jmd — of ajiproaching or toiiching on the bar." 
It would appear that the harbour is prac- 
ticable, and that for commerce and travel the 
jiosition is one of great consequence: — "The 
]iilgrims from the countries on our north-west 
l)order, en route to Mecca and other holy 
cities, would supply traffic to the railway and 
steam flotilla, and increase the intercourse 
already established between Knrrachee and 
tiie ports of the Persian Gulf." "From the 
Sutlej to the Oxus, whoever wishes to com- 
municate with any place beyond the sea must 
pass through Kurrachee. It occupies a posi- 
tion scarcely less fa vouveible to commerce than 
that of Alexandria." * 

The military importance of the port has 
been asserted in very strong terms by various 
officers of high standing, and by civilians, 
Avhose official connection with government 
and military affairs qualified them to form an 
ojiinion. " Of the harbour of Kurrachee I 
have always had the highest opinion." f " It 
can hardly be doubted that Kurrachee is 
destined to be the great arsenal of the Pun- 
jaub and North-western India — perhaps the 
emporium, and even the real capital, of Bri- 
tish India." ± Brigadier-general Parr, com- 
manding at Kurrachee, stated that, " by the 
facilities afforded for rapid communication 
Avith Suez and Mooltan, he hoped at no 
distant date it would positively take less time 
to move a brigade from Southampton to the 
Punjaub than it would at present take to 
move the Kurrachee brigade from this camp 
to jMooltan ; in other words, you mfghf have 
Southampton, instead of Kurrachee, the hase 
of your operations for any campaigns in the 
Punjauh, or any countries beyond it." 

The question as to how far Kurrachee 
may afford a suitalde port of debarkation for 
troops destined for the north-west provinces 
of India, whether under the government of 
Bombay or Agra, and for the non -regulation 
provinces (attached to those governments) of 
Sciude and the Punjaub, or in case of opera- 
tions against Eastern Beloochistan and Aft'- 

* Vide appendix to the reports of Colonel Jacob and of 
Jlr. Didzell, collector of customs, regaidiiis: the trade of 
tlic province durino; the year 1855-6. 

t Sir Henry Pottiiigcr. 

t Sir Jiijlin Slicil. 

vor,. I. 



ghanistan, is one of great concern to the Bri- 
tish government, and has obtained additional 
interest from the events of the revolt of lSo7. 
During that period the government availed 
itself for the first time, on a scale of any ma^-- 
nitude, of this medium. The following i.s^a 
list of vessels M-hich sailed for Kurrachee witli 
troops from the 14th of Jidy to the LOth of 
October, 1857 : — 



."ailed. 



Ju!v 


]4. 




19. 


>J 


19. 




21. 


3> 


21. 


>) 


21. 


)3 


21. 


J) 


21. 


Sc])t 


2. 


)» 


24. 


Oct. 


3. 


3> 


3. 




15. 



No. of 
Ship. Troops. 

Sir George Seymour 227 

Kamilics 212 

Castle Edeu 234 

Koman Emperor ] 93 

Seringapatani 218 

Bonihay 348 

Albuera 227 

Owen Glendower 263 

Alipore 208 

Ireland, S.S IJOl 

Bahiana, S.S 433 

Austria, S.S 718 

Southampton, S.S C24 



TROOPS DISPATCUED BIT THE OVERLAND ROUTE. 
S.iiIod. Ship. Men. 

Oct. 2. Sultan, S.S 117 

„ 14. Dutchman, S.S 122 

In connection with the rapid transmission 
of intelligence to and from India, the future 
of Kurrachee seems to promise much. During 
the rebellion of the Bengal sepoys, the want 
, of a rapid medium of imparting and receiving 
news and official communications was severely 
felt. Those who are sanguine of the prospects 
of Kurrachee dwell much on this point. jMr. 
Andrews, already quoted, thus argues : — " To 
be the nearest point to Europe of all our 
Indian possessions is important in many points 
of view, but more especially with reference 
to ' the Euphrates vallc}' route,' and every 
remark relative to the direct communication 
of Kurrachee is equally, if not more applic- 
able, to that with Bussorah, as materially re- 
ducing the sea voyage from India. The 
electric wire will soon connect Kurrachee 
with the Punjaub ; and when the proposed 
telegraph communication is established with 
Europe, whether it be by the Persian Gulf or 
the Red Sea, or, as it ought to be, by both 
routes, the advantage w\\\ be great, of being 
the medium of disseminating the political and 
commercial intelligence of Europe to the most 
distant parts of our Indian possessions, and 
giving in exchange the most recent events in 
India and Central Asia. Hitherto beyond 
the pale of the electric chain that spans the 
empire, Kiirrachee is destined, ere long, to 
become the chief seat of the telegrajih in 
India." 

Sir Henry Pottinger, so famous in the civil 
and militarv administration of India, regarded 
Kurrachee as the point between India and 



154: 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chai-. VII. 



Europe tlie best adapted for a port of com- 
munication. 

The facilities for the navigation of the 
Indus enter into the discussion in connection 
with this port. The difticuUies in the way of 
making the Indus navigable are great. Sir 
Henr}^ Pottinger pronounced it so, after giv- 
ing much attention to the matter under the 
most favourable opportunities. The reports 
vi'hich he prejiared for the directors of the 
East India Company were, unfortunately, 
lost. In conveying at a later period to the 
court his views of the adA-antages of Kurra- 
chee as a port, and the facility for railway 
enterprise afforded in the vaUey of the Indus, 
he observed : — " I had a ver}- complete journal 
of all the events and circumstances attending 
the first mission to Scinde in 1809, in which 
the daugei's and difficulties of the navigation 
of the lower delta of the Indus were fully de- 
scribed, and exactly tallied vrith what have 
now been brought forward. My journal and 
all my notes and papers were destroyed on 
the breaking out of the war in 1818, when 
the residency at Poonah was burned by the 
Mahratta army. AVhat I now state may be 
so far satisfactory, perhaps, to the directors, 
as showing the views which were early forced 
on me with regard to the important question 
now under discussion." * 

The advantage of a line of railway in the 
direction specified would be important in a 
military point of view, whatever might be its 
commercial value. Mr. Frere, the govern- 
ment commissioner, has used A'-ery conclusive 
arguments on the subject : — " The practical 
value of the railway was to increase the avail- 
able power of every ship, and of every man 
employed in militarj' and naval operations. 
In reference to the Pimjaub, the capacity of 
moviug troops to a given point was of immense 
importance. If they looked at the map they 
v.-ould see that they had a mountainous range, 
between which and our possessions the Indus 
formed a natural boundarj-, and the company 
proposed to make a line along its level plains. 
In a military point of view the ad\'antage 
would be this, that if the Khyber Pass should 
be closed to our forces, they could be moved 
vdth. rapidity to the Bolan Pass, and in either 
case the enemy would be taken in flank or in 
the rear. In the meantime the Euphrates 
Valley Railway would give them the com- 
mand of the sea -board of the Persian Gulf, 
and not only this, but the completion of that 
railway would practicall}'- make Chatham 
nearer to any point of action in the Persian 
territory than any military force which could 
be brought to bear upon it from Central Asia." 

* Lieutenant-general the EigLt Hon. Sir ITenrT Pot- 
tinger, Bart., G.C.B. 



Whatever may be the effects, militarv or 
commercial, of the Scinde Railway in connec- 
tion with that of the Punjaub, the improve- 
ment of the Kurrachee harbour may be made 
of vast use to India and to England irrespec- 
tive of it. A Scinde paper, ijublished at the 
close of 1857, contained the following : — 

" The camel train has commenced its work: 
eight hundred camels are laid on the line 
from Kurrachee to Rohree, and it is hoped 
that within another fortnight the line to 
IMooltan will be comjjleted. Twenty camels 
are stationed at each chowkee, and each 
camel carries a load of four maimds or three 
hundred and twenty pounds. A rather novel 
proposition has been made by Moorad Khan. 
contractor at this station. He engages to 
convey the regiments expected from England 
at Kurrachee, to Mooltan in twelve days. 
He proposes to la}' a dawk of one hundred or 
one hundred and fifty camels, at each of 
twenty-five chowkies, at intervals on the 
road. Two soldiers with arms, accoutre- 
ments, and ammunition, Mith water, will form 
the load for one camel, to proceed to the 
first halting -place, where fresh camels will 
carry them on to the next stage, aiid so on. 
The first lot of camels will return at nio-ht. 
and next day a fresh batch of soldiers will 
proceed; thus the whole of the regiments 
will be in advance together, in batches of 
three hundred each. The men on each 
camel will be provided with a cajawah, made 
quite convenient for them to lie down on. 
The contractor will only require government 
to supply biscuits and grog, he guaranteeing 
a regular and good supply of mutton, eggs, 
poultry, milk, butter, &c., the whole of the 
way. This we consider a much better plan 
than keeping up a large estabhshment of 
camels, with the delay of moving up troops 
b}- regular marches, the attendant casualties, 
etc. All this will be obviated by a fair remu- 
neration to the contractor, who stands all 
risks." 

The Indus also, whatever the difficulties of 
its navigation for commercial jiur^^oses, can be 
made available for military objects, as the 
following extract, taken, at the close of 1857, 
from the Scinde Kossid will show : — " The 
steamers Planet, Najiier, and Assyria, with 
the flats Etlierscy and Nifocris, have been 
ordered down from the Persian Gulf, and are 
expected here daily. The Indus, undergoing 
repairs at Gizree, ■n"ill be ready for work 
again at the end of next week. There will 
be no delay now in launching the first of the 
new steamers at Keamaree, as the Wings of 
the Wind has brought up from Bombay all 
the wood-work required in this operation, 
and ere long we may hope to see her afloat. 



Chap. VII.] 



IN INDIA xiND THE EAST. 



105 



With these vahiahle acquisitions to the exist- 
ing defective tlotilUx on the river, tlie naval 
authorities will be able to render invaluable 
service in the conveyance of troops and 
stores up the country. With this fleet, and 
the camel train, organised so efficiently by 
Colonel Hutt, we ought to be in a position to 
dispatch some thousands of soldiers for the 
relief of the upper provinces, in a shorter 
space of time than can possibly be done from 
the Calcutta side; and we think the public 
will agree with us in saying, that it is very 
much to be regretted that the home authorities 
did not order the greater portion of the re- 
inforcements now on their Avay out, to dis- 
embark at Kurrachee rather than in Bengal. 
Had this been done, the present rebellion 
would have been entirely supj^ressed much 
earlier than it can possiblj^ be by the ar- 
rangements already made in England for our 
succour." 

Finally, in reference to these views of Indian 
authorities in reference to this new emporium 
of commerce, and position of political resource, 
the Calcutta Englishman, so well qualified to 
offer an opinion, may be consulted : — " Kur- 
rachee, situated at the mouth of the Indus, is 
fast advancing in prosperity, and into notice 
as a seaport ; it Avili probably soon be known 
as the first in the emj^ire, being superior to 
Calcutta, Madras, or even Lombay. In a 
commodious harbour, and safe anchorage, it 
will become a depot for the commerce (expoi't 
and import) of all Northern India and Scinde 
with Europe." 

The modes of opening up communication 
through Scinde aftect also the commerce and 
military arrangements of the Punjaub ; but 
serious discussions exist as to whether the 
railway system or the river navigation is the 
better mode of accomplishing the object. 
Two different schemes, based upon different 
views, on this subject at present occupy the 
attention of practical men, the East India 
Company, and the government. One party 
proposes a railway of more than one hundred 
miles from Kurrachee to Kotree, on the Indus, 
so as to render imnecessary the circuitous 
route of the river through the delta. At 
Kotree the goods and passengers brought by 
the train are to be embarked on the Indus. 
and borne by steamers to Mooltan : another 
railway is to be constructed thence to Lahore. 
Originally it was supposed that a canal should 
connect Kurrachee (or rather Gizreebunder, 
which is very near it) with Kotree. For this 
plan the East India Company guarantee five 
per cent, to the investors. Upon this gua- 
rantee, however, the following critique has 
been made in a letter to Lord "Palmerston by 
Sir. S. H. Clarke, who has been for many 



years a merchant in Scinde and the Punjaul) : — 
" It would be impossible for any government 
to ensure to the persons embarking in a rail- 
way, or any other speculation, the receipt of 
a specific dividend, without contracting obli- 
gations to an indefinite amount. If the 
scheme does not pay, the loss must be sus- 
tained by some party or other, and that party 
is the government, until the limit of five per 
cent has been reached. But if the loss is 
more than five per cent., not only may the 
whole of the guaranteed interest be swallowed 
xiY>, but the company may be gradually run 
into debt, which debt, if contracted, the 
shareholders must necessarily pay. I believe 
that the misconceptions which have existed 
as to the nature of the East India Com^^auy's 
guarantee have had this mischievous effect, 
that they have taken away that inducement 
which would otherwise have existed to inves- 
tigate the intrinsic merits of any of these 
guaranteed projects before embarking in 
them — the shareholder resting on the convic- 
tion that he was sure of a five jier cent, 
return upon his money, however worthless 
and disastrous the enterprise might be." 

In favour of the united river and railway 
scheme, comprising the Punjaub as well as 
Scinde, the following eminent authorities are 
pledged, irres^^ective of those already quoted 
as approving of some railway and river com- 
munications being speedily opened up through 
these provinces : — 

" The railroad and the steamers may be 
said, with truth, to be the crying wants of the 
Punjaub." * 

" Wliat a glorious thing it would liave 
been, had the Euphrates Valley Railway and 
the Scinde and Punjaub Railway been accom- 
plished facts at the time of the present 
insurrection I" f 

" It is sufficient to say that the Punjaub 
section wn\\, in a military and political point 
of view, be of more consecpence than perhaps 
any other part of the railway. FolloAving 
generally the line of the present Grand Trunk 
iload, it will bind together the series of first- 
class military stations held by the very flower 
of the army, European and native. It will 
connect the whole of these with the most 
salient point (Peshawur) of the most impor- 
tant of the several frontiers, by which the 
British Empire in the East is bounded. It 
will render the whole power of the emjiire 
capable of being rapidly concentrated and 
brought to bear upon a spot of vital conse- 
quence to the politics of Central Asia and of 
the countries bordering upon Europe. Fur- 
ther, in a commercial point of view, the 

* Chief Couimissioner of the Punjaub. 
t Lahore Chronicle, August, 1857. 



loG 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[CiiAr. VII. 



I'unjanb section ^vi!l comniantl a portion of 
the commerce between India and Central 
Asia." * 

The survey of the conntry from Lahore to 
Peshawur has been recommended by the 
government of India, and authorised by the 
East India Com2')any, and its execution en- 
trusted to the engineering staff of the Scindc 
] Railway Company. 

Notwithf^tanding such high authority, and 
the guarantee given by the East India Com- 
pany above referred to, it is maintained by 
other persons of authority that the scheme 
can never answer the ends proposed. The 
railway from Kurrachee to Kotree, or to 
Hyderabad, must be carried, it is maintained, 
through a comparatively barren track, which 
■would itself afford no means of snjiport ; and 
■when vessels come down from tlie Punjaub 
to the point where the rail meets the river, 
it Avould be unremunerative to unload and 
consign the cargo to the more expensive con- 
veyance of the rail. By those who advocate 
this scheme, a company has been formed to 
navigate the Indus and its confluents by 
steamers and barges adapted to the depth 
and character of the streams. The autho- 
rities Avho maintain this view affirm that it 
will be long before Xorthern and Western 
India will be in a condition to support rail- 
ways, and if ever it be, it must arise from the 
increased wealth and commercial power and 
recpiirements fostered by the more adequate 
navigation of the great rivers. 

Admiral Sir Charles Malcolm, late Com- 
mander of the Indian navy ; Captain "\YoodIey, 
one of the most experienced captains of river 
steam-vessels in the Indian service; the late 
chief engineers of Bengal, IMadras, and Bom- 
bay; Messrs. Boulton and "Watt; Mr. Fair- 
bairn of Manchester; Mr. Penn, Mr. Miller, 
jMr. Summers, Mr. White, shijibuilder, of 
Cowes; Mr. Steele, shijibuilder, of Greenock; 
Caj^tain Hall, C.B., late of the JS'cmesis, one of 
of the most distinguished officers in the Eng- 
lish navy; Captain Hoseason, whose talents 
and scientific attainments are well known in 
professional circles ; Captain Cotton, brother 
of the celebrated Brigaclier Cotton of Pesha- 
wur, and of the equally distinguished Colonel 
Cotton, chief engineer of ^Madras ; Lieutenant 
"N^'ood, of the Indian navy, who surveyed the 
Indus, and organised the navigation of that 
river as it is now conducted under the govern- 
ment; — are autliorities in favour of the Indus 
navigation scheme to the exclusion of the 
.Scindfi railways. 

There is thus not only a wide field for 
action, but also for discussion, as to which 
plan will best suit the wants of Scinde, the 
* Report of runjaub Goverument on Railways. 



Punjaub. and Western India. Botli projects 
can hardl}^ exist long together : and as the 
railway system is patronised by the East 
India Company, it is certain to be tried. In 
a chapter on the commerce of India, the 
report of tlie commissioners of the Punjaub 
Avill be given, which will probably satisfy tlie 
reader as to the commercial value of the 
respective schemes. In this place it is only 
apju'opriate to notice it as it regards the 
geography and topographical relations of 
the countries in question, and of the port 
of Kurrachee in relation to Scinde, the Indus, 
and the countries above them. 

Scinde is not so rich in ancient remains as 
many other parts of India. One of the most 
interesting is the ancient city of Brahminabad. 
j\Ir. Bellasis has investigated the ruins, and 
brought to light various objects of value to 
the antiquarian and historian. The city is 
situated about fifty miles east of the Indus, 
near the bank of what then must have been 
the principal channel when it debouched 
at LuckpTit, and which now forms the Eastern 
Nurra, with its dry channel, and its strings of 
lakes, or dhunds. About the eighth century 
of our era, if we are to credit the ancient 
histories of Scinde, Brahminabad was large 
and flourishing. No histories written since 
the ninth century refer to it as an existing 
city, whence it is inferred that about one 
thousand years ago it was destroyed by 
an earthquake — no uncommon catastrophe in 
Indian cities, and Scinde has suffered ex- 
tensively from such convidsions of nature. No 
portion of the city was swallowed up, and its 
ruins can be easily traced. A wall surrounds 
it, which is provided Avitli gates at certain 
distances. This circumvallation is about 
four miles in extent, and probably enclosed a 
jiopulation of one hundred thousand persons, 
which is far below the amount that the old 
historians assign to it. The walls and houses 
are composed of well-made brick, and the 
building was well executed. Skeletons are 
foimd scattered in the ruins, as if the disaster 
came suddenly, leaving the people no oppor- 
tunity of escape. Glass and glazed earthen- 
ware were in use among the inhabitants, and 
their vessels of these materials were formed 
upon Greek models, and are exquisitely ele- 
gant. Carvings in cornelian and ivorv, and 
glass enamels, elegantly executed, have been 
discovered. It has been observed, as a sin- 
gular circumstance, that the art of dyeing the 
onyx was known to the dwellers in Brahmin- 
abad one thousand years ago, as it is practised 
in Germany at the present day, by boiling in 
oil, and then heating. This art was also 
known in India proper, but has been long- 
lost. Exquisite productions in ivory — toys, 



Chap. VII.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



157 



cups, and inlaid oniamont.al ^vol•k — have also 
been found, similar in style of execution to 
the inlaying for wliieli Bombay is so famous. 
Sets of ivory chessmen were among these 
delicate manufactures, similar in all respects 
to those now in use — confirming the opinion 
entertained by some Indian antiquaries,* that 
the game was known in India from very 
remote times. There is now proof that chess 
was a favourite amusement among the na- 
tions of India, not only when Europe was 
buried in the darkness of the early portion of 
■the middle ages, but long before Christianity 
shed its light upon western lands. 

Scinde and portions of Beloochistan are, 
like Egypt, almost without rain. That this 
was not formerly a condition of the climate of 
Scinde Mr. Bellasis thinks proven by the 
condition of the bricks in Brahminabad, and 
other ruined cities in the same neighbour- 
hood ; for it is remarkable that in rainless 
countries clay is seldom baked, the dryness 
of the atnios2)here rendering that pi'ocess 
unnecessary. In the ruined cities near the 
Indus the bricks were invariably baked, 
affording presumptive evidence that the cli- 
mate eleven hundred years ago was not what 
it is now ; indeed, there must have been some 
considerable alterations to cause the river to 
abandon its course, and form for itself another 
fifty miles distant. Whether or not the meteor- 
ological inductions of the learned antiquary 
be correct, it is at least certain that he has 
started an interesting inquiry, and supjilied 
data to guide it. 

It is supposed that the vestiges of for- 
mer generations discovered in the ruins of 
Brahminabad will throw light upon the in- 
terval between the Greek and Mohammedan 
periods of Indian history, aiding in filling up 
the historical gap which still exists. -j- One 
of the practical advantages at the present 
day of these antiquarian speculations has been 
the suggestion that by planting trees, and by 
cultivation, forced by irrigation, the climate 
of Scinde may be influenced so as to procure 
frequent rain. | 

It must not be supposed by the reader that 
Scinde is entirely without rain ; it occasionally 
falls, and sometimes in furious storms, which 
smite the earth like a deluge. On a former 
page, when referring to the rainy seasons of 
India, notice was taken of such rain -falls in 
Scinde. The last signal instance of the kind 
occurred in 1851, during the months of July 
and August ; there had been none other such 
for thirty years previously. The phenomena 
attending this exceptional season were re- 

* Sir "William Jones. 

t General Woodburn. 

t The Bomhaij Times, Jilarch, 1856, 



markalde. Reports were made to the com- 
missioner of Scinde concerning them, by whom 
they were commiuiicated to the Bombay Geo- 
graphical Society. One of the assistant col- 
lectors, while visiting the country between 
Ghorabbarree and Kotree, near Hyderabad, 
observed that, although a steady wind blew 
from the south-west, the clouds invariably 
came from the east and north-east, and jiasscd 
over the level country with a gyratory motion 
to the south-east, ajiparently turning off to- 
wards the latter direction by the western 
hills. "\"\'hen the wind blew only from the north, 
there was a cessation of rain. The effect on 
the delta of the Indus was to destroy cultiva- 
tion by the sudden and overwhelming rise of 
the river and the subsequent rains. The 
assistant commissioner had every reason to 
apprehend that, by the rising of the Oochta 
and Lewara Rivers, the low-lying town of 
Ghorabbarree would be entirel}' swept away.* 
In Kurrachee such effect was produced on 
many houses by the torrent of the Laree. 
The better class of the houses in Scinde have 
substantial stone foundations ; the frames are 
of the babool, or even better wood ; and to 
support a coating of prepared mud, with which 
they are covered, the short wood of the 
country, either tamarisk or mangrove, is 
made use of as lathes are in houses of English 
construction. The roofs are flat, and are pro- 
tected with mud only, f From the 10th of 
July to the 4th of August 9'99 inches of rain 
fell at Kotree (where a register was kept), 
whereas the usual fall of rain for the whole 
season at Hyderabad is about two inches. :j: 

In many portions of Scinde good water for 
drinking is scarce ; the village wells often 
yield an inadequate suj^ply ; and where there 
is no cultivation or jungle, the small quantity 
of rain that falls is insuflicient to yield a 
sujiply for any length of time. This is one 
cause of the limited population of large dis- 
tricts. 

Among what may be termed the phenomena 
of the climate of Scinde is a peculiarity referred 
to frequently by the people — that rain falls, at 
all events in Upper Scinde, in cycles of yeai's, 
so that there are series of dry years and of 
rainy years of from forty to fifty in each 
series. The natives declare that thirty years 
ago rain fell every year during the hot seaso)i, 
and they foretell that a similar scries of years, 
having their rainy months, is about to com- 
mence. There is abundant evidence in the 
remains of old bunds, and the marks of culti- 
vation along the western frontier, that the 
river streams at one time afforded a much larger 

* G. Elander, assistant to collector for land clearances, 
t II. B. Ellis, assistant commissioner. 
\ J. Craig, assistant civil surgeon. 



158 



HISTORY OP THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VIII. 



supply of water than they have done of late. 
The deputy -collector of Sewan informed Mr. 
Ellis, the assistant-commissioner of Scinde, at 
the close of 1851, that it was his impression, 
from his own ohservation, and what he had 
heard from the inhabitants, that snch cycles 
of rainy seasons were characteristics of the 
climate of Scinde. 

Reference has been made on former pages 
to the frequency of earthquakes in India, and 
in Scinde in particidar. On the frontier of 
Upper Scinde, in 1852, a disastrous instance 
of such a natural convulsion occurred. On 
the 21th of January, Kahun, the chief town 
of the Murrees, was totally destroyed. The 
people of Cutchee state that every three 
or four years shocks are felt in the Miirree 
hills. In a report made to the Right Hon. 
Lord Viscoimt Falkland, a list of earthquakes 
for the year 1851 was officially drawn up : — 

January J 7. — A slight sliock felt at many places in the 

PuDJaub. 
Feiruari/ 2. — At Pooljee, near Sewan. 
Tehrnarij 4. — At Lahore and Wuzcerabad. 
April 19. — Three shocks felt at Gwadh-, ia Melcran; 

several houses destroyed. 



April 23 and 27. — Earthquakes felt at Oothul and at 

Syaree, in Sup-Beila. 
JDecemhcrlZ. — Beloocliistan ; at Shahpore, iu Cutchee; 

at the foot of the Miirree hills. 

These statistics were communicated by 
Major John Jacob, CD. In his letter an 
inclosure from Lieutenant Merewether, of the 
Scinde horse, an officer who greatly distin- 
guished himself in the command of irregular 
cavalry, afforded more detailed information. 
That officer affirmed that the earthquake of 
the 9th of February, 1852, extended to Gun- 
dava, Dadur, Lakree, Pooljee, and Chiittur. 
About four o'clock in the morning, at the 
apj^earance of the false da\\Ti, the first heav- 
ings of the earth gave indications of the 
approaching catastrophe. Successive shocks 
threw the people of the whole neighbouring 
hill country into consternation, and consigned 
numbers, besides cattle and houses, to a com- 
mon burial. 

In any speculations which Englishmen in- 
dulge as to the cultivation and civilisation of 
Scinde, Beloocliistan, and the Punjaub, account 
must be taken of the peculiar natural laws to 
which these regions are subjected. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

CEYLON:— GEOLOGY— PRODUCTIONS— POrULATION— RELIGION— LITERATURE— CHIEF TOWNS. 



On the second page a general view of Ceylon 
was given, and it was then intimated that a 
more detailed description would aj^pear in its 
appropriate place. 

The island is situated between 5° 56' and 
9° 50' north latitude, and 80^ and 82= east 
longitude. From its shajie and position, it 
has been called "a pearl on the brow of the 
Indian continent." The superficial area is 
about two thousand four hundred square 
miles. It is bounded on the north-east by 
the Gulf of Manaar, by which it is separated 
from the mainland ; its other limit is the 
Indian Ocean. 

The sea-shore presents more diversity of 
scenery iu proportion than the contiuent. In 
many places it is marked by bare and bold 
rocks, which are for the most part pictu- 
resque ; generally the shores are wooded, 
especially with the cocoa-nut tree, and the 
scenes presented are characterised by rich 
oriental beauty. The interior is mountainous, 
the elevations ranging from six to eight thou- 
sand feet. The mountains form a sort of 
natural circular defence, of which the natives 
frequently availed themselves to resist foreign 
aggression. Primeval forests clothe the moun- 



tains, Avith few exceptions, to their summits. 
The cinnamon laurel, the coffee shrub, and 
other useful and agreeable trees and shrubs, 
flourish in or near these forests on spots where 
the situation favours their growths 

The geological character of the island is 
almost uniform, being, with little exception, 
constituted of primitive rock. The exceptions 
consist of new formations, and are to be 
found in a few places on the shore. The 
varieties of primitive rock are numerous. 
Dolomite, quartz, and hornblende, are often 
met with, but granite greatly predominates. 
This rock, with gneiss, is found in such 
varieties as to test severely the skill of the 
geologist in classification. Grey-coloured 
granite, tine -grained, is sometimes found. A 
clergyman well acquainted with the geology 
of the island says, — " I have seen very beau- 
tiful specimens from the sea -shore in the 
vicinity of Trincomalee, in Avhich the quartz 
is of a grey or blackish coloured rock-crystal, 
and the felspar of a vivid fleshy hiie." In 
the Kandian pi'ovinces gneiss and sienitc are 
found ; the former is considered very beau- 
tiful, formed of quartz and Avhite felspar, with 
black mica, and a multitude of garnets of a 



CiiAP. viir.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



159 



pale colour. HoniLlencle and greenstone 
abound iu tlie mountains ; the first is seldom 
seen in massive form, nor are the dolomite 
and quartz. Dolomite is to be met with as 
frequently as granite iu great variety, "gene- 
rally crystaline, and of a pure white coloiu- ; 
and very frequently it is formed of rhombs, 
which a blow of a hammer separates with 
facility." Embedded and in veins it is found 
in the neighbourhood of Kandy, and iu the 
lower hills in other districts. In the vicinity 
of Triucomalee there is a remarkable hill, 
formed of quartz. Sandstone exists all along 
the coast — sometimes of a dun colour, and 
more frequently of a dull yellow. In the 
north the limestone formation prevails ; it 
contains miiltitudes of shells, generally of a 
drab or grey colour. When this rock is 
broken the fracture is conchoidal. 

The minerals of Ceylon are chiefly iron and 
manganese ; others are obtained in scanty 
proportions. Iron exists all over the island 
in one or other of its forms — bog iron, mag- 
netic, red hematite, pyrites, specular iron, or 
blue phosphate. No large vein of iron ore 
has as yet been discovered. " Black oxide of 
manganese occurs scattered and imbedded in 
gigantic rocks in small quantities, but at so 
great a distance inland, that the carriage 
would be too expensive to admit of a profit- 
able export trade. It is very remarkable that 
no other metals have as yet been discovered 
in a country where the nature of the rock 
would indicate their existence. However, 
although some authors have asserted that 
gold and mercury are found native in Ceylon, 
such we believe to be most incorrect, and we 
have never heard that either lead, copper, or 
tin, has as yet been discovered. 

" Lanka-diva* abounds in every vai-iety of 
the quartz family — hyalite, chalcedony, iron 
flint, and rock-crystal, which latter is foimd 
crystalised and massive in great quantities, 
and of a variety of colours. This is made 
use of by the Cingalese, who form lenses for 
spectacles from it, and employ it for statuary 
and ornamental purposes. Rose quartz, 
phrase, amethyst, and cat's eye, are also 
abundant. The Ceylon cat's eye is the most 
valuable in existence, and is much more prized 
there than in Europe. Topaz and schorl are 
also found in Ceylon ; the former is commonly 
of a yellowish or bluish white colour, but 
perfect crystals of it are very rarely to be met 
with. Common schorl occurs very plentifully 
in granitic rocks, and in some places it is 
mixed with felspar and quartz ; tourmalin is 
occasionally to be met with, but of a very in- 
ferior descrii:)tion, and these are either of 
red, green, or honey colour. 

* The native name for C'evlon. 



the granitic alluvial, 
the Cingalese 



" In the granitic rock garnet, cinnamon stone, 
and pyropc abound, and the common gari\et 
is foimd diffused iu gneiss through the whole 
island ; the crystals, however, are diminutive 
and ill-defined. The precious garnet occurs 
in hornblende rock in the neighbourhood of 
Triucomalee, but of an inferior description. 
Cinnamon stone has heretofore been exclu- 
sively found in Ceylon, where it is very abun- 
dant, although confined to particular districts, 
and is principally met with in Matura. It is 
found in very large masses of many pounds in 
w'cight, and small pieces of irregular form in 

The zircon, called by 
Matura diamond,' which is 
found in the island, is considered to be the 
best in the world; besides zircon and hya- 
cinth there is another species in Ceylon, which 
is opaque, uncrystalised, and massive. Zircon 
is found both of yellow, green, red, and light 
grey colours, which the native merchants dis- 
pose of respectively for topaz, tourmalin, 
rubies, and diamonds. Ceylon has for a con- 
siderable period been renowned for its rubies, 
of which there are four species — namely, sap- 
phire, spinell, chrysoberyl, and corimdum, 
which are found in granitic rock. The prin- 
cipal varieties of sapphii'es — such as red, 
purple, yellow, blue, Avhite, and star stone — 
are met with, sometimes of large size, and in 
perfection, at Slatura, Saffragam, and other 
places. The j^urple, or oriental amethyst, is 
rare, and the green still more so. Spinell is 
very rare, and is occasionally met with in the 
clay -iron ore in the Kandian provinces, where 
gneiss is abundant. Chrysoberyl is peculiarly 
rare, and is said generally to come from Saf- 
fragam. Corundum is very plentiful at a 
place called Battagammana, where it is found 
on the banks of a small river called Agiri 
Kandura ; it is of a brownish colour, and is in 
the form of large six-sided prisms. 

" In the family of felspar Ceylon produces 
tablespar, Labrador stone, adularia, glassy 
felspar, compact felspar, and common felspar. 
The Labrador stone is found at Triucomalee, 
and adularia is plentiful in Kandy. Common 
hornblende is abundant, and glassy tremolite 
and pitch stone occur in the neighbourhood 
of Triucomalee. Mica, forming a component 
part of granite and gneiss, is very plentiful, 
and frequently is found enclosed in these 
rocks, where it occurs in very extensive 
flakes, which the Cingalese employ for orna- 
mental purposes. Green earth is rather xm- 
common, but is found in Lower Ouva of 
a green and pea-green colour. At Galle 
and Triucomalee common chlorite is found 
scattered through quartz. Talc, dolomite, 
carbonate of magniesia, and native carbonate 



of 



are occasionally discovered. 



IGO 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VIII. 



Sulpluii' and graphite also occur — tlie former 
rarely, but the latter is abundant in Sai^ragam. 
Nitrate of lime and nitre are very common, 
and the nitre caves appear to be formed of 
carbonate of lime and felspar. 

'■ Salt lakes exist to a large extent in the 
district called IMegamjjattoo, on the sea-shore, 
and which in all probability are supplied from 
the sea, as the saline contents of both prove 
to be of a similar nature. 

" All the soils of the island appear to have 
originated from decomposed granite rock, 
gneiss, or clay-iron stone, and in the majority 
of cases quartz is the largest, and frequently 
nearly the sole ingredient. It is very re- 
markable that the natural soils of Lanka-diva 
do not contain more than between one and 
three per cent, of vegetable substance, which 
may be attributed to the rapid decomposition, 
occasioned by a high degree of temperature, 
and heavy falls of rain. The most abundant 
crops are produced in the dark brown loam, 
which is formed from decomposed granite and 
gneiss, or in reddish loam, which is formed 
from Kabook stone, or clay -iron stone. The 
soils which have been found to produce infe- 
rior crops are those in which a large propor- 
tion of quartz is contained. The soil derived 
from clay -iron stone is of a reddish brown 
colour, and has the i^roperty of retaining 
Avater for a very long time, to which may be 
attributed its productive quality. To the 
practical and scientilic agriculturist Lanka - 
diva affords abundant opportunity for expe- 
riment and investigation where the soil is in 
a state of nature, and unimproved by the ad- 
mixture of any description of mamire."* 

Ceylon is very favourably situated as to its 
water supply, a most important condition to 
the prosperity of a tropical country. The 
streams flowing from the higher grounds are 
numerous and pure, and in most parts of the 
island excellent springs supply the people. 
The remains of tanks and reservoirs are fre- 
quently traced, and on a vast scale, showing 
that the whole island at a very remote period 
was brought under high cultivation. So stu- 
pendous were those formations for the pur- 
pose of irrigation, that it has been observed 
of them by a competent authority, " they were 
hardly surpassed by the kindred wonders of 
Egypt." The British government has ne- 
glected to restore these great works, although 
it must be obvious that the soil might be 
made vastly more productive, that many ages 
past the population was many fold what it is 
now, and the wealth of the island propor- 
tionate. Sir Thomas Maitland, half a century 
since, proposed the restoration of the tanks. 
" Giant's Tank," at Cattoe Kare, was espe- 
* CeijJoii and the Ciiit/alcse. 



cially made the subject of this recommenda- 
tion, but the estimated cost was £2o,000, and 
the time required to bring it back to some- 
thing like its former efficiency AA-as three 
years. These estimates were j^robably erro- 
neous, but they were sufficient to deter the 
government from the undertaking.- Some 
idea may be formed of the magnitude of 
that ancient work from the fact that villages 
have been formed tcithhi its limits, whose 
inhabitants have made several other tanks to 
irrigate their fields. Sir Emerson Tennant 
instituted inquiries, and urged the supreme 
government to undertake the matter, on the 
ground that it was " certain to repay the 
revenue the whole, and more than the whole, 
of the expenditure." 

The productions of Ceylon may be inferred 
from its geological character, climate, and 
amount of irrigation. Its most characteristic 
production is lemon-grass, which is so called 
by the English because it exudes a powerful 
smell of lemon. The natives call it Lanka - 
diva, and the botanical name is Andropogon 
schenanthus. It is excellent pasture for buf- 
faloes, and yields an essential oil, which would 
prove an exquisite perfume. This grass 
grows on all the Kandian hills ; its smell and 
taste are refreshing, unless too frequently 
used. 

The vegetables of Europe do not grow 
well, except in Newera Ellia, bi;t the indige- 
nous vegetables are luxuriant — such as sweet 
potatoes, yams, occus, bringals, &c. 

The chief cidtivation is rice. The paddy 
fields are the grand reliance of the Cingalese 
husbandman. The mode of sowing and till- 
ing is much the same as throughout the East 
generally. The plough is drawn by oxen or 
buffaloes, which also tread out the corn. The 
superstition of the people causes in various 
ways much loss to the agriculturist, especially 
loss of time. Some of the ceremonies con- 
nected with the harvest are eminently absurd. 
" The treading out of the paddy is performed 
upon a hard floor, prepared for the purpose 
by beating the clay ; before the natives begin 
the work, however, a mystic rite and incanta- 
tion are observed by the owner of the paddy, 
in the expectation of preserving the j^i'oduce 
from the evil spirits. The ceremony is per- 
formed by describing three circles, one within 
the other, on the centre of the floor, with the 
ashes of wood, which the owner scatters from 
a large leaf; the circles are equally quartered 
by a cross, the four points of which are ter- 
minated by a character resembling a written 
letter 31 ; within the inner circle the owner 
lays some paddy-straw, upon which he places 
a few pieces of quartz and a small piece of the 
kohomba-tree, the whole of which he covers 



CiiAr. VIII.] 



IX IXDIA AND THE EAST. 



IGl 



over with paddy -straw ; he then %valks round 
the cabaliritic tigure tliree times, and stops at 
one of the ends, salaams three times -with up- 
raised hands, and finally prostrates himself 
upon the earth, all the time repeating incan- 
tations. When this ceremony has been com- 
pleted, the paddy is ]iiled upon the concentric 
circles, and tlie buffaloes are immediately after 
urged to the task of treading the corn." 
Wheat and maize are also grown. 

Coffee is indigenous to the island (^Coffea 
Arahi'ca). The natives have used the decoc- 
tion of the berry as long as anything definite 
iu Cingalese history can be traced. The 
coffee now grown iu the island is, however, 
generally supposed to be an importation from 
Java, where it was obtained from 3Iocha. 
The wild coffee of Ceylon is very inferior. 
The appearance of the cultivation is most 
pleasing. The buslies in the flowering sea- 
son are covered with silvery blossoms, which 
contrast finely with the deep green leaves. 
When the shrubs are in fruit, the appearance 
is also striking, the berries, when ripened, 
being of a deep red colour, harmonise with 
the foliage. The ordinary appearance of a coffee 
plantation is that of an extensive garden of 
evergreens, with occasional forest trees among 
them, which are preserved to shelter the 
plantations. 

The sugar-cane is cultivated with some 
success. 

Various plants and shrubs, profitable for 
commerce, are also cultivated. Tobacco, of a 
quality highly valued in the Madi-as presi- 
dency, has for some years received attention 
from cultivators. 

Cotton has been neglected, but some fine 
specimens have been grown. The opinion 
of an experienced American planter was 
taken a few years ago as to the adaptation 
of the soil and climate to this article, and he 
made the following report: — "I am of opi- 
nion, from what I saw of the climate, tempe- 
rature, and soil, that Ceylon will produce 
cotton Cijual in qualifj/, and when the com- 
paratively small amount of capital required 
is considered, I doubt not it may even pro- 
duce the article cheaper than ice can in 
America, where a large sum must be laid out 
for labour, and where the expense of food 
and clothing is much greater than the cost of 
importing labour into Ceylon, independently 
of the risk of a mortality among the labourers 
after they had been purchased." 

Under the Dutch rule indigo was culti- 
vated, and considerable quantities exported ; 
since the British acquired the island that cul- 
tivation has fallen off. The plant is indige- 
nous, and the soil adapted to yield a superior 
quality under proper luauagenieut, 

VOL. r. 



One of the most curious ]n"oductions of 
Ceylon is the water-nut {Ambiiprasudana). 
The natives rub the nut over the interior of 
their " water chatties," by which means all 
impure and earthy matter which the water 
holds in solution is precipitated, rendering 
it healthy. Even muddy water, and water 
which, although a])parently clear, is known 
to be unhealthy, are purified by this nut. 

Various fine trees, which render luxurious 
and wholesome fruit, and some of which, by 
their foliage, bark, or timber, are valuable for 
commerce, are natural to the soil of Ceylon. 

The cocoa-nut tree holds a prominent place 
among these, encircling nearly the whole 
island. The appearance of this tree is very 
imposing everywhere, but viewed from the 
sea upon the shores of Ceylon it is especially 
so. Growing to a height considerably more 
than a hundred feet, its form, leaf, and fruit 
all picturesque, it is an attractive object, and 
groves of these trees present an aspect so 
tropical to Europeans, and so peculiar, as 
always to excite their interest, especially 
when first seen. Europeans, also, generally 
relish the arrack distilled from the juice of 
the flower, and the sugar, although deep- 
coloured and coarse-grained, which is pre- 
pared from the same source. The natives 
eat the pulp of the green fruit, and it yields a 
refreshing drink, which orientals and occi- 
dentals alike prize. With the ripe fruit, and 
the oil extracted from it, English j^eople are 
well acquainted. The refuse, or oil cakes, is 
also known in England to be good food for 
cattle. Cordage, matting, mattress -stuffing, 
&c., are used in Europe when beaten from 
the husks of the cocoa-nut. The young 
branches are \ised as brooms ; the fibre as 
cordage ; the leaves as thatch ; and when 
burned they produce a useful alkali. To the 
Cingalese, esi^ecially those living near the 
coast, the cocoa-nut tree is of unspeakable 
value in sickness as well as health, for the 
bark oil is an emollient in cutaneous diseases, 
and the root affords a decoction, the medicinal 
virtue of which is much relied upon. It is 
probable that articles of furniture made from 
the cocoa-nut tree will be ultimately used in 
England, for the wood takes a fine polish, 
and has a beautiful vein. 

The areka, or betel -nut tree {Arcica cate- 
chu), is also a useful growth of the island. It 
is a tall palm, with handsome feathery foliage, 
which is attached to the tree by a tough 
impervious bark, which is used by the natives 
for preserving drink or rice on their journeys. 
The nut is used for various native purposes ; 
and when exported is also turned to account 
by foreigners. 

The bread-fruit tree {Artrocarpvs incisa) 



162 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMRIRE 



[Chap. VIII. 



I'.as been too frequently described in popular 
works to require description here. The 
natives make a curry of the fruit, and the 
British boil it or fry it as a vegetable. 

The orange -tree is especially beautiful in 
Ceylon, and noted for the richness of its 
odour. 

The nutmeg, clove, and other sweet spice 
shrubs, are interesting in appearance, de- 
lightful in odour, and valuable as materials 
of commerce. 

The cinnamon (Laurus cinnainorum) is 
well known as a staple of Ceylon commerce. 
The anti-free-trade system, so long pursued 
by the government, has, however, oppressed 
the cultivation, and thrown the trade to a 
great extent into the hands of the Dutch at 
Java. By levying and maintaining an export 
duty for many years, the production has been 
repressed, to the permanent injury of the 
colony. The cinnamon laurel is not so beau- 
tiful as some others of the useful shrubs and 
trees noticed, but it is nevertheless pleasing 
to the eye. 

The jack-tree {Artrocarpus integrifolia) is 
one of the enormoiis species of trees indige- 
nous to Ceylon. This tree is elegant in 
form, most agreeable to the eye, and it extends 
a grateful shade by its far-spreading branches. 
The fruit is of enormous size, varying from 
six inches to two yards in circumference, the 
form being oval. Both the trunk and bi-anches 
of this tree bear fruit. " Their external cover- 
ing is rough, and of a greenish hue, and their 
section of a whitish colour, containing a number 
of kernels, enveloped in a yellowish coating, 
which is of a most luscious flavour, but pecu- 
liarly disagreeable to the olfactory nerves. The 
kernels are the size of a pigeon's qqq, and, when 
cooked, make good food, and excellent curry. 
The timber is of a yellow colour, but when 
polished with beeswax it approaches to a 
light- coloured mahogany, and all ordinary 
furniture is manufactured of it." 

The mulberry-tree flourishes in various 
parts of the island, but little use is made of it. 
The production of silk in Ceylon oiight to be 
considerable. 

The tala, or taliput {Carypha vmhra- 
culifera), is a magnificent palm, which grows 
to nearly a hundred feet in height. The 
appearance of this remarkable tree is very 
graceful, being about nine feet in circumfer- 
ence, measured near the ground, and tapering 
gradually away to the top. The leaves are 
often twenty -five feet in length, and more 
than half that breadth ; they droop, and 
spread out at the top, like a Siamese um- 
brella. The flower is very large, and of a 
bright yellow hue. This is enclosed in a 
pnd, or sheath, which, when the flower comes 



to maturity, bursts with a loud explosion. 
The expanded blossom displays its rich colour 
for three months, when it disappears gra- 
dually, and a plimi-like fruit ripens. The 
natives aver that the blossoms never arrive at 
full jjerfection until the tree is half a century 
old, when it begins to die, and at the age 
of about a hundred years withers away. The 
uses to which this splendid specimen of 
Ceylon palms is put are very various. The 
trunk contains a pith, which the natives dry, 
and make into sweet cakes of a delicious 
flavour. This pith is formed into a sort of 
meal, and also flour, which the natives employ 
for divers culinary purposes. The leaves are 
used for state fans by persons of dignity; 
they are also converted into a species of- 
papyrus, and, like the cocoa-nut leaf, form a 
good thatch for houses. 

The mee-tree is another of these huge 
siDecimens of the Ceylon forest. It bears 
minute white blossoms of an unpleasant 
odour. These are easily shaken down by 
the slightest breeze, and cover the vicinity 
like flakes of snow, so profuse are they. 
When driven into the tanks by a higher than 
ordinary Avind, they float for a short time on 
the surface, and then decomposing, spread a 
peculiar pestiferous influence. The fruit is 
chiefly used to express from it a pungent oil, 
which the natives apply to a great many 
purposes. 

The ebony {Dyopsiras ebonum) is a very 
notable tree of Ceylon. The jet black colour 
of the wood, together Avith its peculiar hard- 
ness, and the polish of which it is suscej^tible, 
make it valuable as an export. The foliage 
is nearly as black as the wood, but the bark 
of the trunk is a bright silver grey, almost 
white. The branches shoot out about thirty 
feet from the root, and droop, presenting a 
moiu'nful appearance. It might appropriately 
displace the cypress above the graves of the 
dead. 

The calamander {Dyospyrus Mrsuta) is a 
variegated ebony, and of great value. This 
tree has ceased to be so common in the forests 
as formerly, having been extensively sought 
after for exportation, and for the manufacture 
of furniture. The prevailing colour of the wood 
is black, but it is mottled with a rich brown. 
It takes as high a polish as the ebony proper, 
and is as close grained. The aj)peftrance of 
the tree is magnificent. 

The red sandal-tree, and the satin-Avood 
tree, are also still to be met Avith in the 
forests, but are becoming scarce, the satin- 
Avood being much used in the island for 
household articles of taste, and the sandal- 
Avood being in great request for exportation. 

The kabook-tree attains an immense growth. 



Chap. YIII.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST 



1G3 



The timber is liavd, and of a reddisli dun 
colour, not pleasing to tlie eye. It nearly 
always fastens its roots near springs, and 
with the condition of a supply of Avater 
Avill flourish in any situation whatever. It 
is found near the sea, in the interior, upon 
the level plain, and high up on the steep 
mountain. 

The bo-tree {Ficiis religiosa) is one of the 
most noted trees in Ceylon, because sacred to 
Buddha. It grows to a great elevation, is 
richly umbrageous, and its branches and 
leaves are excpiisitely formed. The last- 
mentioned are heart-shaped, and so sacred to 
the superstitious people, that it is sacrilege to 
carve their form on any article for common 
use, or on any building, except on temples 
and palaces, and their respective furniture. 
The blossoms are milk-white, except a golden 
tinge within the centre; they are bell-shaped, 
and extremely beautiful, both in colour and 
perfection of form. These trees grow to a 
great age, and are jealously guarded by the 
people. 

The stately tamarind and the glorious 
banyan are to be seen in insular as well as 
peninsular India. The citron, Avild jessa- 
mine, and a host of flowering shrubs, adorn 
the wood scenery of this beautiful isle, while 
the perfumes of these sweet offsprings of the 
forest constantly load the delicious air. 

The floral productions of the island rival 
those of most parts of the mainland. There 
are few places, except some spots in the 
Deccan and Cashmere, to be compared with it 
for flowering shn;bs; and only in the valley 
just named, and some spots at the foot of the 
Himalayas, can siicli floral wonders be seen 
as charm the eye, and captivate the sense, in 
Cej'lon. 

Trees in the Ceylon forests are very gene- 
rally attended by parasites. The pepper- 
vine, and many rich flowering creepers, cling 
to the trunks, and form their delicate tracery 
around them. 

The produce of the island of a European 
character does not abound, and the markets 
for such commodities are consequently dear. 
Mutton generally costs two shillings a pound ; 
fresh butter is dearer; kid, which is much 
used instead of mutton, bears about the same 
price as mutton in England. Ham, bacon, 
tongues, (fee, are imported, and are costly. 
Beef is easily procured at the price usual in 
England, but it is seldom good. Pork is 
plentiful, but good bacon is seldom cured. 
Poultry of all kinds is sold at rates similar 
to those in London, but it is inferior to that 
of England, unless kept some time and fat- 
tened by Europeans. There is game to 
requite the hunter or the fowler— deer, the 



wild hog, and various birds, all more or less 
suitable for food. 

The fisherman, who for sport or profit 
pursues the piscatory art in the waters of 
Ceylon, will find his labour requited. The 
seir fish is the most valued ; it resembles in 
colour and flavour the salmon, but is sup- 
posed to excel the fish so much prized in Bri- 
tain. Some weigh as much as twenty pounds. 

The bull's-eye pomfret is a beautiful fish, 
with head and body of a Vermillion tint — the 
scales being bright yellow, as if tangled with 
gold. Mackerel is very plentiful, and soles, 
whitino-, and other fish abound. 

The mullet is much valued; it is taken by 
a sort of small harpoon at night, the fishermen 
waving lighted torches, which bring the crea- 
tures to the surface in surprising numbers. 
The river fish also aboimd, and are delicious 
eating. 

The species of shell-fish along the coast 
are numerous, but few of them are fit for food. 
Only in one particular place are oysters 
edible, and for these divers descend and strike 
them with hammers from the rocks. 

The fisheries of Ceylon are neglected, and 
there is an actual importation of dry fish for 
food, while tlic rivers and seas are rich with 
finny treasures. No trouble is taken to dry 
and preserve such sorts as are suitable for the 
process. 

The animals mostly used by Europeans for 
food have been already noticed. The island 
abounds with wild animals, beasts, and rep- 
tiles of nearly every species known to con- 
tinental India, and some that are peculiar. 

The elephant of Ceylon is supposed to 
be a very superior creature of his species. 
The oldest naturalists and historians, who 
refer to the natural history of Lanka -diva, 
express themselves strongly as to the superior 
quality of the ivory of the elephants' tusks 
exjDorted thence. Both ancient and modern 
writers have affirmed that the Phcenicians 
shipped large numbers of elephants from this 
island to the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea; 
and it is alleged that those used in the 
Punic wars were obtained thence. It is in- 
disputable that the monarchs of continental 
India highly valued the Ceylon elephants for 
their superior strength, docility, and courage. 
Some modern writers affirm that the elephants 
of South Africa are much superior to those of 
Asia. The narrative of the great African 
hunter, Gordon Cumming, and that of the 
celebrated missionary to the Bechuanas, Mof- 
fatt, would certainly lead to such a conclusion. 
According to Cuvier, the Indian and African 
elephants manifest much diversity of form; 
he pronounces in favour of the former. 
Tauconier says that the African elephant 



IGi 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. YIII. 



recognises by tokens of extraordinary intel- 
ligence tlie superiority of tlie former. These 
creatures are now only to be found in tlie 
thickest forests of the interior. 

The elk, the finest of the deer tribe, bears 
a miniature resemblance to the fossil elk of 
Ireland. Mr. Sirr, in his work on Ceylon, 
notices the smallest of the species in the fol- 
lowing terms: — "It is called by some natu- 
ralists the musk-deer, the Linnrean name of 
which is Moschus incminna, the Cingalese 
walmeenya. These diminutive creatures, 
perfect in their proportions, are the most 
exquisitely lovely of all quadrupeds; the 
beauty of their delicate limbs, lustrous eyes, 
spotted skins, and graceful forms, baffling all 
description. We had a full-grown male, 
whose height did not exceed ten inches, and 
length fourteen; the throat, neck, and sto- 
mach where milk-white; the remainder of 
the body was grey, regularly striped with 
black, over which were equi -distant yellow 
spots. The head gradually tapered to the 
snout, whilst from either side of the mouth 
protruded a small but perfectly-shaped tusk ; 
the eyes and ears large and open, the tail 
short, and the weight under five pounds." 
The Kandians prize the albinos more than 
any other of the deer family. 

The wild buffalo is a fierce and vindictive 
animal, who often turns on the hunter with 
obstinate and ferocious courage. 

The leopard is said to be marked by this 
jieculiarity — that he cannot draw back the 
claws within the paw, as other varieties of 
the species. They are very powerful, attain- 
ing sometimes to the length of seven feet and 
a half. They are not willing to attack man, 
except in self defence ; but are destructive to 
cattle and dogs. This is the most formidable 
animal to the natives, because of the loss of 
property occasioned by it. The bear is, how- 
ever, more dangerous to man personall}% for 
although a small animal, his strength is great, 
and his courage daring : he never fails to 
attack man if he approach. 

The wild hog is powerful and ferocious — 
not only ready to defend himself against the 
hunter, but also to attack him, and almost 
any animal that enters the precincts of its 
haunts, which are the thickly-Avooded dis- 
tricts. The flesh is much prized by epicures. 

The jackal infests the jungles, as does also 
tne ichneumon. Monkeys, squirrels, sloths, 
weazels, porcupines, and flying foxes are nu- 
merous in the low woods and in the forests. 
The porcupine is injurious to the cocoa-nut 
tree, digging down to the tender roots and 
destroying the life of the tree. 

Rats are almost a plague in the island; 
thev are to be seen in the houses and in the 



fields, and display the greatest boldness in 
the jiresence of man. " The musk-rat will 
occasionally measure twelve inches from the 
snout to the tail; the head is slender, th.e 
upper jaw projecting considerably beyond 
the lower, the whiskers bushy, long, and 
white, the colour of the coat grey, but the 
feet are totally devoid of hair, and tlie tail is 
thick at the root. The effluvia of this crea- 
ture is most powerful; and, if it runs over 
any edible, the article becomes so impregnated 
with the peculiar smell as to be total!}' unfit 
for use." * 

Reptile nature is prolific in the hot climate 
of Ceylon. Crocodiles are very large, some- 
times measuring twenty feet in length: they 
differ much in the formation of the head from 
the crocodiles of the Ganges. Nothing can 
exceed in ferocity these monsters, who will 
invariably attack man when opportunity oc- 
curs. They swarm in the tanks as well as in 
the rivers, and after the rains take up their 
haunts on low inundated ground. In seasons 
of long-continued drought they become esjie- 
cially dangerous, as they make their way from 
the dried -up tanks to the rivers. 

The cobra-di-capello, or hooded snake, is 
regarded by the natives as sacred; and al- 
though its deadly sting is feared, they will not 
kill it. It can hardly be said to be wor- 
shipped, notwithstanding the reverence paid 
to it, but formerl}^ it was the object of adora- 
tion. There are two species of the cobra — 
one, of a light colour, is called by the natives 
high caste, and the other, of a dark colour, 
they call low caste. The tic-prolonga. 
although not so large, is more dangerous ; 
the attack is sudden, and the sting almost 
momentarily fatal. It attacks all creatures 
that come within range of its venomous 
power. 

The cobra has a foilnidable enemy, which 
is also numeroiis in the island. " The beau- 
tiful little creature, the ichneumon, is the 
declared foe to this snake, and is invariably 
the assailant : the animal springs upon the 
back of the snake and seizes the nape of the 
neck, and never uncloses its teeth until 
the snake is lifeless. Those who have wit- 
nessed the battle, say that the cobra always 
tries to escape; and that before commencing 
the fight the ichneumon runs to a particular 
jilant and eats a portion, and this serves as an 
antidote to the reptile's poison. We are 
rather incredulous upon this latter point, but 
are quite certain that the ichneumon will 
assail the snake in the open air, and as scru- 
pulously avoid the encounter in an enclosed 
space." f 

The monster snake of Ceylon is the 
* Ccijlon and the Cingalese. t l^iJ- 



CiiAP. YIIL] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



10^ 



jimaroiula (of the genus Python). It mea- 
sures from seventeen to twenty -five feet, and 
attacks jackals, deer, and young buffaloes — 
entwining itself round them like the boa- 
constrictor, it crushes its prey, and then 
ODvers it with saliva before devouring. It 
seldom attacks man. 

The insect world is very numerous, as 
might be expected in such a climate. The 
fire-flies are, as in continental India, brilliant 
and beautiful. Beetles exist in endless variety, 
and are much admired by Europeans. The 
white ants are as destructive as on the shores 
of the peninsula; and many other noxious 
insects toi'ment the inhaltitants and quadru- 
peds. The tick, which attaches itself to the 
loaves of trees, will, if shaken down, attack 
men or horses, drawing blood with painful 
voracity. These creatures will insinuate 
themselves into the soft flesh of horses and 
dogs, especially the latter, driving the animals 
mad with pain. 

The land-leech is one of the most torment- 
ing creatures in the island, every morass and 
jungle containing it. No clothing is imper- 
vious to its attacks: it insinuates itself through 
garments or between their folds, and, fasten- 
ing upon the flesh, gorges itself Avith blood. 
jMany Europeans suffer from inflammation and 
ulceration folloAving their bite, and loss of 
life sometimes ensues. Animals are often 
destroyed by them, especially sheep. They 
infest the grass and wooded heights. 

The birds of Ceylon rival those of the 
neighbouring continent. The wild peacock 
is a singularly beautiful creature. The Cin- 
galese starling has a plumage varied and 
l)leasing. The blue-rock pigeon, jungle crow% 
and rhinoceros -bird, are remarkable specimens 
of the ornithological characteristics of the 
island. It is contended by some authors on 
natural history that "Lanka-diva" is richer 
than any other country in birds of gay plum- 
age and fine form. " The Paradise flycatcher, 
or sultana bulbul of the Hindoos {Muscipita 
Faradisi), is met with in jungles, gardens, 
and shrubberies, from the warmer parts of the 
Himalayas to the most southern extremity of 
Ceylon. It is a peculiarly graceful bird, the 
body and long sweeping tail of the male being 
white, with the primaries black, edged with 
white. The body and tail of the female are 
of a reddish brown, with the breast-feathers 
clouded grey." * 

In the high regions of the island, a bird 
wliich is common in the Himalayas is occa- 
sionally found — " the monaul, golden fowl, 
<ir Impeyan pheasant {Lopliojihorus Impeij- 
anus). The male bird has a remarkal)ly 
beautiful plumage, its crest, head, and throat 
* The Birds of Mia. 



being of a rich bronzy green ; the middle of 
the neck is jmrple, glossed witli a coppery 
hue; back and wing coverts rich jmrple, each 
feather tipj)ed with bronzy green; the legs 
and feet are of a greenish ash, whilst across 
the lower part of the back is a band of pure 
white. Tiie female is buft'y-brown, mixed 
with black and white. A more beautiful 
object can scarcely be imagined than this 
gorgeously plumaged bird taking his lofty 
and sweeping flight through the air, full in 
the light of the noon -day stin, the rays of 
which are reflected in surpassing brilliancy 
from his brightly-tipped feathers." * 

All the birds of the island are not to be 
admired. The carrion crow is a common 
tormenter. These ravenous creatures will 
tear food from the hands of children, ravish 
a morsel from the teeth of a dog, and even fly 
into apartments, making prizes from the table 
around which Europeans are seated. 

"The devil bird" is remarkable for its 
"discordant and unearthly calls" in the 
evening. These are believed \>y the natives 
to be omens of evil to all who hear them. 

The Brahmin kite is an ill-looking creature, 
the relentless enemy of the tortoise, which he 
bears on high, and dashes down upon some 
jutting rock. He is also a fierce and effective 
foe of the snake and serpent. 

Ceylon has often been called " a land of con- 
tradictions" as to its animal haunts — beasts, 
birds, reptiles, and insects, being often found 
where jiersons acquainted Avith other tropical 
climates Avould never look for them, or cxi)ect 
to find them. Thus crocodiles often wander, 
as before shown, into the jitngles. Tiie black 
adder and scorpion are fond of entering human 
habitations, and coiling themselves up in the 
bed-clothes, or in garments that may happen 
to lie in their way. The leojjard a]>proaclies 
the village wells to drink, although the river 
may not be distant, and will walk quietly into 
the enclosures of houses or bungalows, and 
carry off dogs or poultry. The wild elephant 
will break his way into gardens, and, crush- 
ing down fences, take up his abode for the 
night close to a human habitation. The red- 
leg 2:)artridge is sometimes shot where aquatic 
birds miglit only be supposed to come Avithiu 
range of the sportsman's gun ; and the snipe is 
bagged in localities such as his species in other 
countries are supposed to avoid. This may 
possibly be accounted for by the fact that 
hill, dale, vale, river, and ravine — cultivated 
ground, morass, tank, paddy field, and sea- 
shore, are all found within a comparatively 
small compass. Whatever the rationale may 
be, it is unquestionably the fact that ani- 
mal life of all sorts seems to find means of 
* Tlie Birds of Asia. 



16G 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VIII. 



preserving itself within the island in spots not 
usually adapted to tlie sjiecies which, never- 
theless, resort to them. An exemplification 
of this occurs in the pages of a light and 
agreeable writer in the following instance : — 
" We had frequently camped in swamps of 
most ominous appearance, and had closed our 
mosquito nets with suspicious care, when, to 
our surprise, not an enemy appeared ; while 
here, on the banks of a dry stream, with not 
a drop of Avater to generate the race, we were 
attacked in the most cruel manner. Venus 
Anadyomene, rising from the sea, was the 
original type of the mosquito : like her, the 
insect springs ephemeral and beautiful from 
the water, leaving its shell behind ; and once 
fairly launched into this upper world, never 
ceases from stinging and tormenting miserable 
humanity when an occasion offers." * 

The tortoise, or land turtle, is found in 
great numbers in the beds as well as on the 
banks of rivers. 

The large size of most animals natives of 
Ceylon is remarkable. Generally, island 
animals are smaller than those of their species 
. inhabiting neighboiu'ing continents, but this 
is not the case in "Lanka-diva." The ele- 
phants, as already shown, grow to a great 
size ; so do leopards and wild hogs. The 
peacock is only equalled in size and beauty 
by that of Pegu and Tenesserim, but in 
Ce3don the bird is strong and fierce, attack- 
ing snakes, and even the cobra, with success, 
so that vast numbers of reptiles i^erish by 
them. These birds live in great flocks, and 
when in flight, their magnificent plumage 
reflecting the bright clear light in so pure 
an atmosphere, presents a spectacle of won- 
droiis beauty. The adjutant bird is larger 
here than elsewhere, measuring generally 
seven feet in height, and more than fifteen 
from tip to tip of the spread wings. They 
appear as if subjected to some stern disci- 
pline, as they are ranged motionless along the 
rivers in long line, watching eagerly imtil the 
appearance of a fish, when they promptlj' 
seize the prey. They are equally expert in 
seizing and killing cats, dogs, snakes, and 
even large serpents ; indeed, the adjutant bird, 
peacock, carrion crow, and Brahmin kite, by 
their incessant warfare upon reptiles, prevent 
the latter, in such a climate, and with such 
a superficial configuration as Ceylon, from 
becoming overwhelmingly numerous. It is 
astonishing, considering the vast number of 
them thus destroyed, that they remain so 
numerous in the island as they are. An 
experienced traveller writes of forest life in 
Ceylon, — '•' Hundreds of polijcliromatic birds 
(songsters would suit the sentence better, but 
* The Bungaloxo and the Tent. 



imfortunately, the birds in Ceylon don't sing) 
sjiort in the higher branches, and clouds of 
butterflies, ' the Cynthias of the hour,' that, 
large as larks, and as flaunting as dahlias, 

" ' ]\rake the rose's blush of beauty pale, 

And dim the rich geraniiun's scarlet blaze,' 

flit and hover about, and, in their ' frank lusti- 
nesse,' as Spenser has it, gambol amongst the 
gorgeous tropical foliage, and chase each other 
from mead to flower." The red ants, hornets, 
centipedes, leeches, land-lice, &c., are of ex- 
traordinary size, and the tick, although not 
bigger than the head of a large pin, when 
gorged with blood, will swell until it is 
nearly a quarter of an inch broad. 

The trees and foliage, like the animal life, 
are large in comparison with those of their 
species on, at all events, the neighbouring 
coasts of Coromandel and Malabar. Flowers, 
also, grow to huge size, as well as beau- 
tiful perfection. The red lotus, which is ex- 
tremely pretty, surprises by its magnitude, and 
the white lotus rivals it in magnificent appear- 
ance. 

Nature seems as if in a perpetual struggle 
to produce the beautiful and wonderful, but at 
the same time constrained to yield creatures 
most noxious in strange variety, and with all 
conceivable means of inflicting torture. These 
latter cause great drawbacks to the en- 
joyment by Europeans of the lovely scenery 
of the island. One '"' who has hunted in 
Ceylon" has expressed the pleasure and pain 
of country pastime there in a light at once 
hiimorous and instructive : — " What i^icture 
can be more delicious and enticing, and who 
would not give up the stale enjoyments of 
a smoky city for an hour of such an exist- 
ence ? But before the enterprising and en- 
rai^tured Londoner does give up the comforts 
and sports of his native land, let him first 
consider the reverse of the picture, and then 
decide. In the first place, three, probably, 
out of the four individuals of our party are 
sufi^ering from fevers, dj^senteries, agues, 
leeches, or land-lice ! The refreshing tea is 
probably sucked from a beery bottle ; the 
chicken, from too close contact with the 
heated body of some nigger, has become dis- 
agreeably lukewarm ; the cheroot, having 
been sat upon several times during the ride, 
can be made to answer no other purj^ose than 
that of exhausting the temper and lights of 
the smoker ; the tree is still imibrageous, but 
every shaking twig or leaf causes one to 
glance furtively upwards, to see that no snake 
or scorjiion is crawling above you, ready to 
plump on your nose at any moment. You 
may, indeed, close your eyes — in fact, that 
yo.i probably would do — to keep out the eye- 



Chap. A^III.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST 



1G7 



flies that swarm around you, but as for sleep- 
ing, or ruminating on anytliing peaceful or 
agreeable, the red ants, almost as large 
as wasps, or the soothing hum of Brob- 
dignagian hornets, of bat -like dimensions, en- 
tirely put that out of the question. It is my 
humble opinion that the annoyances, and 
heat, and dirt of an out -door existence in a 
tropical country far exceed any pleasure or 
benefit to be derived from it. I would rather 
shoot grouse on a hill-side in Scotland, or 
follow the fox across any tolerable country in 
England, than return a second Gordon Cum- 
ming in the matter of wild sports. Then, 
ambitious Briton, crede experto, trust one 
who has tried, and stay at home. Ceylon is, 
in truth, the paradise of insectivora. The 
■worms attain the length of three or ^our feet, 
the beetles are the size of mice, the ants of 
wasjis ; spiders' webs are tough enough to 
pull one's hat off, and the bite of a hornet 
or a wasp is sufficient to swell you up like a 
human toad. All these animals, and many 
others are most tender and imceasing in their 
attentions to strangers, and ' pasture on the 
pleasures of each place,' whether nose, eyes, 
mouth, or ears, with a zest and pertinacity 
that is anything but soothing to the owner of 
the soil" 

The climate of Ceylon has been exceedingly 
extolled, and in certain seasons and localities 
the praise seems merited ; but there is ex- 
cessive moisture in some portions, while 
others are dry, and subject to intense heat. 
On the whole, the climate is less healthy than 
on the neighbouring continent. The sana- 
torium of Sattara, in the Deccan, far surpasses 
in salubrity and rivals in beauty any part of 
the island. Europeans are much subject to 
cholera, especially in the evenings, after a 
full meal, and indulgence in the tempting and 
delicious fruits which follow that repast. 
They are also harassed with enlarged and 
indurated livers, and a very short residence 
leads to functional derangement of that 
organ. The peculiar yellow complexion of 
Europeans long resident in Ceylon strikes all 
new arrivals. Fever and ague are common 
in almost every part of the coiintry, and in 
several of the towns. A residence in the 
capital and its vicinity is almost sure to 
entail such complaints upon natives of Eng- 
land. Those who hunt in the jungles and 
forests are more in danger from the iuuc-le 
lever than from elephants, bears, leopards, 
cobras, adders, scorpions, and all the other 
l)owerful or dangerous creatures that make 
their haunts there. Europeans who superin- 
tend the great roads are frequently carried 
away by fever; and merchants and their 
agents who visit the interior and even such 



as reside in the healthiest coast towns, pay a 
severe penalty in exhausted strength or 
fevered veins for their pursuit of wealth. A 
competent witness thus describes the climate, 
which, with the characteristics of the country 
already described, will account for its general 
insalubrity : — " I am not aware of any country 
that presents such opposite jieculiarities of 
climate as Ceylon, or in which an admirer of 
continual moisture, or unbroken drought, 
coidd so easily suit himself. The island is 
swept alternately by the south-west and 
north-east monsoons, each of which remain 
in full force for six months ; but the south- 
west monsoon, saturated with the enormous 
evaporation from the tropical ocean and the 
supposed wet land of Abyssinia, brings far 
more rain than the north-east monsoon ; in 
fact, the rain in some parts of the island 
during the time it prevails is incessant. 
After discharging abundant moisture in its 
south-westerly course, it is at length inter- 
cepted at its rain-level by the mountains of 
the interior, and completely emptied of its 
moisture, and thence it continues its course 
indeed over the north-east part of the island, 
but with the material difference of having 
totally changed its nature from a cold and 
saturating to a dry and almost parching 
wind. In November the north-east monsoon 
commences to blow, and continues during five 
or six months, but, in consequence of its 
ha^■ing traversed far cooler seas and drier 
lands than the south-west monsoon, it bears 
comparatively little moisture ; and the rain 
does not extend beyond the mountains of the 
interior: so that whilst the soiith-west half 
of the island has six months' fine weather, 
and is saturated for the other six, the north- 
east portion has ten months' conseciitive, un- 
broken, fine weather, during which not a drop 
of rain falls, and only' two months' moisture. 
This peculiarity of the monsoon may account 
for the fact of all the tanks, the gigantic 
nature of which render Ceylon so interesting 
as telling of bygone wealth and prosjDerity, 
being situated in the north-east portion of 
the island. Standing on Lady Horton's Walk 
during the south-west monsoon, and looking 
towards the north-east, you can distinguish 
the line in the clouds distinctly marked where 
the rain ceases abruptly. And whilst the 
hills and mountains immediately around you 
are rank and reeking with excessive moisture, 
the background is filled up with mountains 
that for ten months scarcely see rain, display- 
ing those hazy roseate tints that constitute so 
peculiar a beauty in Indian scenery, and that 
tell plainly of a parched soil cropping out 
through a stunted and scanty vegetation." * 
* Edvwird Siillivan, Esq^. 



1G8 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[CiiAr. VIII. 



The scenery of Ceylon can be better appre- 
ciated by the hunter or fowler than by men 
engaged in other occupations. The pursuit 
of the elephant or ■wild boar will bring the 
sportsman into many situations of surpassing 
beauty, which can hardly be witnessed by 
])ersons under any other circumstances — unless 
jierhaps soldiers during a carajiaign, in which 
hostilities might be directed against insurgent 
natives. To pass round the island in a 
steamer or pleasure yacht, entering the bays, 
creeks, and harbours, from which prospects 
would be afforded differing from the 0})en 
sea -views, would also enable the lover of the 
jiicturesque to realise much of the beauty for 
which Ceylon is so celebrated. All. however, 
Avho visit it, and travel upon the public roads, 
will have opi^ortunity sufficient lor testing its 
claims to be the Elysium of the East. The 
roads are far superior to any in continental 
India. This arises from the system of forced 
labour adopted by the rulers of the island 
from very remote times. The native kings 
accomplished all their great public ^vorks, 
as long as history can conduct us back, by 
the labour of men constrained to work with- 
out requital. The British continued to enforce 
laboiir, but recompensed it : without adopting 
some compulsory method, labour could not be 
procured, so little industry is there in the 
natives. In continental India the governors 
of the presidencies have no such resources, 
hence the superiority of the great roads of 
Ceylon. If the traveller in quest of sublime 
and beautiful scenery passes along these 
roads, he will have his desire abundantly 
gratified, for they generally conduct through 
some of the finest country in the world. 

Point de Galle is usually the first place 
with which acc[uaintance is iormed on arrival 
irom Europe, and the great line or lines of 
road lead from that place to Colombo, thence 
to Kandy, and thence to Trincomalee. From 
each of these towns good roads branch in 
various directions. 

The road from Point de Galle to Colombo 
lies along shore, proceeding north on the 
south-west coast. A thin wood of cocoa-nut 
trees lies between the road and the sea. The 
distance is about seventy miles. Tlie line of 
country is populous, both sides of the road 
being studded with native huts, the appear- 
ance of which an English traveller compared 
to those which usually adorn the illustrated 
editions of Faul and Virginia. The cocoa- 
nut groves are so continuous, as to give an 
unjileasant impression of sameness; but the 
perpetual views of the sea are delightful and 
refreshing, sea and sky shining in the purest 
azure. Near to Colombo the cocoa-nut irroves 
])loasingly alternate with the cinnamon gardens 



of the government. This shriib, which is so 
profitable to commerce, grows to the height 
of between four and five feet, and resembles the 
dwarf lilac both in the hue and form of the leaf. 
The vicinity of Colombo is not so picturesque 
as that of Point de Galle ; and although there 
are many pleasant inland prospects along the 
road, it is much less agreeable than almost 
any other on the island, or at all events woidd 
be considered so but for its fine sea-views. 

From Colombo to Kandy the route lies 
through magnificent landscapes. The length 
of the road is over seventy miles. A few 
miles from the first-named town there is a 
fine bridge of boats, over which the traveller 
passes, which pays an enormous toll yearly. 
For a third part of the joiirney after leaving 
the coast the scenery is low, paddy fields and 
other cultivation affording their peculiar inte- 
rest. The appearance of the young rice is 
very agreeable, the plant being then of an 
exquisitely bright yet delicate green. At 
the distance of about eighteen miles the 
country changes in its aspect, the groves of 
cocoa-nut gradually disappear, and plantations 
of areka and suriya-trees are observed — the 
latter tall and stately as an English elm, dis- 
playing their beautiful yellow blossoms above 
rich foliage, like English fields covered witli 
the crowfoot. The road ascends all the way 
after the first stage to Kandy, and as the 
lower grounds are left behind, the scenery 
becomes commanding in the extreme. Tra- 
vellers are particularly struck by the pleasing- 
contrast presented between the bold promi- 
nent masses of black gneiss rock and the 
delicate, fragile, and gently-tinted flowering 
creepers that climb around them. 

One of the finest scenes on this road is 
obtained from '• the rest,"' or half-way house. 
The building is situated in a lovely and 
extensive vale, begirt with a magnificent 
amphitheatre of hills, richly wooded ; trees 
of many kinds clothe their sides and crown 
their summits ; the variety of colour j^resented 
by blossom and foliage, according to the sea- 
son, is wonderful and beautiful. The neigh- 
bourhood is, unfortunately, unhealthy, or no 
doubt independent settlers would take up 
their abode in a spot so surpassingly lovely. 
The next eighteen miles of the route is re- 
markable for the fair scenes of cultivation 
presented by the plantations of coffee, sugai-, 
and indioro. About two miles from Attooma- 
kandy the mountain zone opens wp before 
the traveller Avith a stupendous grandeur, 
which, except in the neighbourhood of the 
Himalayas, continental India does not exceed. 
The road so winds round the Kadagawana 
as to vary the prospects perjietualiy, new 
wonders iind glories of scenery being pre- 



ClIAP. VIII.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



1G9 



sented at cvcvy turn to tlio ravished eye. 
The road itself is a superior specimen of 
engineering skill. It required a long time 
to construct it, in consequence of the unwil- 
lingness of the natives to work, and the un- 
healthy character of the neighbourhoud. 
Jungle fever carried off many of the ofticcrs 
and non-commissioned officers who super- 
intended the labourers. 

The ascent of the mountain probably opens 
up finer views than any which the aljiine 
lands of Europe can yield : bold rocks, moun- 
tains coroneted with flowering trees, as if a 
siiccession of fairy bowers were constructed 
iilong their summits — the park-like declivities, 
interspersed with ravines, torrents, waterfalls, 
.streaming currents, winding through the low- 
lands, and the undulated country stretching 
far into the distance, all bathed in a mellow 
and golden light, constitute scenery which 
human genius has never pencilled or described 
in colour or language befitting its claims. 

"Writing of the road, and the scenery pre- 
sented from it, one who travelled it when the 
season most favoured his journey observes : — 
" As the steep sides of the mountain are 
climbed, ravines and fissures are wound round, 
and often a perpendicular mountain rears its 
lofty crest on one side, and descends in tlie 
same manner on the opposite. Sometimes a 
brawling waterfall ajjpears over the traveller's 
head, as if threatening instant annihilation, by 
hurling him intp the deep abj'ss below ; then 
the road will become so narrow, that there ap- 
pears to be scarcely room sufficient for the ve- 
hicle to stand on, and the strongest nerves may 
be shaken, as the eye glances below at the steep 
precipice, down which some crumbling earth 
is rolling, loosened by the coach-wheels. To 
this circumscribed path, upon turning the 
next angle, succeeds a wide road and view of 
the surrounding country, terminated by the 
Clue ^lountains in the distance, whose tower- 
ing heads blend with the azure heavens, 
Adam's Peak rearing his lofty crest above 
his fellows. The combination of sublime and 
beautiful scenery brought under notice during 
the ascent of the Kadaganawa Pass is nearly 
incredible ; roaring torrents, dashing down 
frightful abj'sses, from whose sides spring- 
enormous trees, and at whose base are lands 
teeming M-ith grain ; terrific chasms, and 
overhanging masses of rock, where bright 
coloured flowering shrubs have taken root, 
rapidly succeed each other : and, when the 
summit of the mountain is attained, and the 
boundless extent and beauty of the prospect 
fully perceptible, many beholders of this mag- 
nificent scene cannot find utterance to express 
their sense of the might, majesty, and glory 
of the Ahuighty's works, and the' humiliating 

VOL. I. 



feeling of their own littleness. The freshness 
of the atmosphere, and the splendour of the 
scenery, are admitted ])y all, and extolled by 
numberless Europeans who have ascended the 
Kadaganawa Pass." * 

The remaining portion of the road is re- 
markable for great variety of prospect, but 
more especially for its rich wood scenery. A 
description has been already given of the 
trees which flourish generally throughout the 
island, but in the neighbourhood of Kandy, 
which possesses several peculiarities of cli- 
mate, there is greater diversity, and some 
magnificent specimens unknown in the low- 
lands. The country around Kandy is like a 
vast garden — foliage, fruit, and flowers offering 
a variety beyond description ; for it is as yet 
imperfectly explored by botanists or florists, 
although a few devotees of their beautiful 
sciences have expended labour, time, and 
fortune in the research. The attention of 
the stranger is more engaged by the talipnt- 
]^a[m than by any other of the lords of the 
Kandian forest : it flourishes in various 
directions close to the city and by the road. 
One road-side specimen has been much 
noticed by naturalists. This palm {Cori/pha 
wnhraculifera, as named by some, or Licula 
spinosa, as others designate it) is a beautiful 
specimen of the high regions of Ceylon. The 
banyan, which flourishes everywhere in Cey- 
lon, is a glorious exemplification of the forest 
wonders of the highlan^ls. The mvrtle-trec 
(J/yr;»s), and the bay -tree (iai(?'i<s). are nume- 
rous and beautiful. The tick-seed sunflower 
is a gorgeous flower of the woods, being 
covered in the season by golden -tinted blos- 
soms. It is curious that near the yellow rock 
common in this region there spring up luxu- 
riant balsams, bearing a delicate white and a 
brilliant red blossom, forming a combination 
of colour which the most exquisite designer 
in art could hardly conceive. In the midst 
of these wooded scenes animal life is curious 
and picturesque. Monkeys peep and chatter 
from overhanging branches ; parrots, and 
birds of more delicate form and feather, 
appear in flocks, or crowd the clustering 
foliage, appearing as if themselves bright 
blossoms blooming there. Large carpenter 
bees, and beetles with wings beautiful as an 
Iris, hover about the flowers which spring up 
or the blossoms which bow down their grace- 
ful petals by the wayside. The tree-frog 
may be seen creeping into the distended cup 
of the rich blossoms, or the spotted or striped 
lizard glistening on the trunk. At times a 
huge serpent will reveal his speckled skin as 
he glides from the shaded jungle into the 

* Cei/Ioii. By Henry Charles SiiT, A.M., of Lincoln's 
Inn, Barrister-at-la\v. 



170 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VIII. 



warm ray. Sometimes the leopard may be 
seen stalking away into cover, or the elephant 
(more frequently tamed) lifting his huge pro- 
boscis as he proceeds on his heavy tramp. 

Within three miles of Kandy is Pendenia, 
with its celebrated bridge and botanical gar- 
dens. The former is built of satin wood : the 
waters of the Mehavelleganga, ennobled by 
flowing through the capital, pass beneath a 
magnificent arch, whose span is two hundred 
and seven feet. The botanical gardens owed 
much to the celebrated botanist Dr. Gardiner; 
and it is alleged that under his superintend- 
ence a specimen of every tree, shrub, and 
plant known to be indigenous to the island 
was under culture there. There are some 
very large tamarind-trees, but the finest of 
this species in the island is in the Moham- 
medan burial-ground at Putlam, which is 
appropriately called the giant's tree. The 
foreign plants and trees in the botanical gar- 
dens of Pendenia are numerous and beautiful. 

The route from Kandy to Trincomalee is 
much praised by European travellers and 
officers who are acqiiainted with it. About 
six miles on the road there is a singular susjien- 
sion bridge formed of cane, thrown across the 
Dederoo-oya. This was made by the natives, 
and is ingeniously constructed; but its frail 
appearance, and the dashing impetuosity of 
the stream "which bounds beneath, try the 
nerves of Eurojieans when they first attempt 
the passage. The following description of 
this bridge is given by the writer last quoted: 
" This structure is composed of cable-rattan, 
Avhich frequently grows to the length of two 
hundred yards ; and varies but little in thick- 
ness from one end to the other ; is extremely 
light, flexible, and tough. The bridge is 
commenced by entwining canes a few feet 
apart round the trunks of two large trees, 
that grow on the opposite banks of the 
stream, and Avhose branches bend over the 
river; when the reqiiired number of canes 
are securely fastened in this manner, jDortions 
of the same material are laid across to form 
the path, which is the same breadth as the 
circumference of the stems of the trees. Rat- 
tans are then placed at a sufficient height to 
form hand-rails, these being attached to the 
bridge by thin bamboos, or sticks, which 
alike support and retain the rails in their 
proper place. From the overhanging boughs 
are suspended cane or coir ropes, which are 
attached to the bridge, thus strengthening the 
structure, and lessening the vibration. The 
means of ascent are by a ladder composed of 
the same materials, which rests against the 
trunks of the oj^posite trees; and it is per- 
fectly astonishing to see the fearlessness with 
which women, cliildren, or men carrying 



heavy burdens, will cross one of these aerial 
structures." 

xibout half way is Dambool, the neigh- 
bourhood of Avhich is remarkable for ruined 
tanks, choked up with brushwood and rank 
vegetation, which at certain seasons send 
forth the noxious influences usually emitted 
from decomposing vegetable matter. In this 
vicinity, also, are the far-famed rock-temples 
of Buddha, similar in their character to those 
in continental India. The late deputy 
queen's advocate for the southern circuit of 
Ceylon says of these rock-temples, that they 
are " complete specimens of the ingenuity, 
skill, and perseverance of man, and may 
almost be classed among the wonders of the 
world." The late editor of the Ceylon Exa- 
miner uses language equally strong of the 
rock-temples of India, continental and in- 
sular: — "The pi'odigious extent of most of. 
these rock-cut temples astonishes the spec- 
tator not less than the elaborate finish of their 
complicated details delights him. The inge- 
nuity and skill, equally with the labour of the 
architects, must have been called into active 
demonstration in the excavation of these 
extraordinary places." Other writers have 
laboured to depreciate them. Dr. Bryant 
insists that they were chiefly formed by 
nature ; and, with extraordinary indiiference 
to the force of evidence, also alleges that 
the pyramids of Egypt owe their existence 
chiefly to nature I 

Knox says that the Cingalese had a passion 
for such structures, " as if they had been born 
solely to hew rocks and great stones, and lay 
them up in heaps;" and he denounces the 
folly of inferring from these excavations the 
civilization of the people. However judged, 
the cave -temples of Dambool are extremely 
interesting to the traveller, although they may 
not aiford the evidence of early and superior 
civilization ascribed by some to the people 
who formed them; and there can be no doubt 
that what the great Oxford professor of San- 
scrit says of the early Hindoos, is ti'ue of the 
early Cingalese, that they possessed but three 
arts — architecture, weaving, and jewellery. 

From Dambool to Trincomalee the Avay 
lies through forests, where the scenery is rich 
and beautiful, the foliage appearing at the 
same time in every stage of progress ; the 
fresh green tint of the young leaf, the dark 
green of the more matured, the mellow tinge 
such as is given by an English autumn, the 
bright bronze when the leaf has passed its 
prime, and the deep rich orange of its decay, 
are all present together, affording a beauty of 
sylvan scenery unknown to the occidental 
world. In these forests the ruins of ancient 
works are numerous, and on a scale to prove 



i 



Chap. VIII.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



171 



that the buildings they represent were mag- 
nificent temples and tanks, mingled with the 
vestiges of villages once extensive and popn- 
lons. Captain Aitchcson, who superintended 
the construction of the road, gives this ac- 
count of these remains : — " The ruins of 
icihares (temples), remains of deserted vil- 
lages, tanks, and other remnants of antiquity, 
prove that the vast wilderness of beaiitiful 
and valuable forest trees through which the 
new line of road passes, heretofore supposed 
a trackless desert, obnoxioiis to the existence 
of man, and destitute of water and inhabit- 
ants, once contained a considerable popula- 
tion, by whose labours an extensive tract of 
irrigated land was regularly cultivated." 

"Within seven miles of Trincomalee there is 
a range of wooded hills, from which spring 
the hot wells of Kanya. There are seven of 
these, of unequal temperature, ranging from 
100'' to 112° Each well has a low embank- 
ment, and the whole are encircled by a wall 
of kabook. The waters are iised for laving 
the person, and are supposed to possess 
restorative powers in various diseases, such 
as cutaneous irruptions and rheumatic pains. 
English medical men have admitted their 
valae in these complaints. It is remarkable, 
that notwithstanding the fine climate, rheu- 
matic affections are not imcommou either in 
insular or continental India. Rheumatism is 
incurred chiefly during the rage of the mon- 
soon. The Ceylonese regard these wells as 
holy, and under the protection of the Hindoo 
god of wisdom, Ganeesa. A temple is erected 
to this deity, containing a colossal stone 
statue to represent him. Approaching Trin- 
comalee, the scenery assumes a still nobler 
appearance as the ocean is descried; the 
vai'ied coast-line, bold shores, blue sea, pal- 
myra groves, and uplands covered with varie- 
gated forests, present rare combinations of 
the beautiful. 

The roads described in the foregoing pages 
are those over which persons travelling on 
pleasure, business, or duty generally proceed ; 
but there are several others which afford 
scenes worthy of being sought. One of these 
is the route to Newei'a Ellia, the sanitorium : 
it branches off from the Pendenia Bridsre 
already described, and runs through a moun- 
tainous region, celebrated in Cingalese and 
Hindoo history as the theatre of exploit con- 
nected with Rama, Rawana, and the beautiful 
Seeta, The road winds round deep pre- 
cipices, to which the English soldiery have 
given the namesof "the Devil's Punchbowls." 
The character of the scenery is much like 
that already noticed as belonging to the road 
approaching Kandy from Coiombo and from 
Trincomalee. About twelve miles en route 



there is a rest-house at a place called Gam- 
pala, where invalids and travellers often 
remain some time to enjoy the extraordinary 
prospects presented to the beholder at that 
place. It is also common to tarry there, in 
order to witness a mountain conflagration 
which, during the hot season, often occurs. 
The ambulance which overhangs Gampala is 
the most frequent theatre of such a display. 
The mountain is covered with large patches 
of lemon -grass, which is liable to spontaneous 
ignition. As the grass is often eight feet 
high, dry, and inflammable, when it takes fire 
the flames burst forth with fury, and rapidly 
pour their burning tide along the mountain 
slopes, even against the wind, as the breeze 
causes the long blades to bend towards the 
flames. Generally the fire rolls on irresistibly 
until some deep ravine checks its career; and 
sometimes it leaps the gulf, or sparks borne 
aloft fall on the prairies beyond, Avhen the 
roaring cataract of flame rushes down the 
mountain sides, and rolls in surging, strug- 
gling waves upwards to the summit. This 
process seems to benefit the vegetation, for in 
a single week after the hill sides are charred 
and blackened, the young blades sprout up, 
and the grassy slopes appear reinvigorated. 

In 1829 Sir Edward Barnes, then governor 
of Ceylon, established the sanitorium in these 
mountains, in what the natives call " the City 
of the Plain" — probably because it is in the 
neighbourhood of still greater elevations. 
When the traveller, in approaching this beau- 
tiful retreat, leaves Gampala, his attention is 
arrested by the cataracts of Rambodde, and 
the valley of Kattamale. The former rushes 
with noisy vehemence from a great altitude, 
pouring a large body of foaming water from 
rock to rock ; the latter is remarkable for a 
quiet and salutary stream, which flows peace- 
fully through its verdant circle, and which 
is celebi-ated for its curative efficacy; it is 
unfortunately the occasion of many puerile 
superstitions. From Rambodde a glimpse is 
caught of Newera Ellia. The remainder of 
the journey is only remarkable for the rapid 
alteration in the character of the foliage, and 
plants, and flowers. The trees and shrubs of 
the tropics disappear as if by magic, and 
those of temperate regions, familiar to Euro- 
pean eyes, are at first mingled with inter- 
mediate species, and then predominate. The 
rhododendron, the Avhite guelder, white and 
blush rose, peach, apj^le, pear, plum, cherry, 
and other European trees and shrubs abound ; 
the violet, sweet pea, cowslip, primrose, and 
daisy also cover the slopes. When in the vici- 
nity of Newera Ellia, gardens are formed : all 
European vegetables are produced in luxu- 
riance. "The plain" is situated six thou- 



172 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VIII. 



sand threo hundred feet above the level of 
the sea; the atmosphere is bracing, and in 
the mornings and evenings cold enough for 
domestic fires. The houses of the settlement 
have consequently chimneys, reminding the 
new comer pleasurably of home. At all 
hours the occupants of the sanitovium may 
roam about, and fowl or hunt, or enjoy 
equestrian or pedestrian exercise; so that a 
marvellous efficacy is exercised by the situa- 
tion in restoring invalids to health. Ice, half 
an inch in thickness, is sometimes found in 
the morning, and the thermometer frequently 
tails below 28^: it is seldom higher than do '. 
The scenery from the immediate site of the 
settlement is exquisitely lovely, and to the 
European eye perhaps not less so, because of 
the familiar objects which cover the face of 
nature— the wiki fields blooming with home 
flowers, and the hills graced with English 
foliage. The mountains rise on every side to 
avast height; the highest peak in view is 
two thousand feet above the sanitorium. 
Cascades are numerous, and add much to the 
beauty of the bold landscape ; while the pure 
water rushing into the plain occupied by the 
settlement, affords a wholesome supply for 
man and beast. 

Although reserving descriptions of the 
towns of the island until its general features 
are depicted, it is appropriate here to notice 
the sanitorium, as it can hardlj- be called a 
town, and possesses no distinctive native 
peculiarities. The governor, commander-in- 
chief of the forces, bishop, colonial secretary, 
and other government functionaries, have 
]>leasant residences, and gardens containing 
the choicest English fruits and flowers, with 
such of the productions of the East as will 
grow at that elevation. A church and schools 
have been built near the governor's house. 
A canteen, hospital, and excellent barracks for 
troops have been erected, and Eiu-opean sol- 
diers exhausted by the climate of the low- 
lands, speedily recover tlieir strength, and 
even complexion. Immigration of English 
farmers and farm-labourers has been contem- 
plated, and in some degree has already been 
tried. Certainly no more beautiful and health- 
ful situation could be chosen, and with every 
prospect of prosperity, so far as site, soil, and 
chmate may conduce to success. As emigra- 
tion is so important a question in this coim- 
try, it may afford satisfaction to the reader to 
have competent opinion as to tlie desirableness 
of preferring this region to Australia, the 
Cape, or America. Mr. Baker, an enterprising- 
traveller, says that the natives produce five 
crops of potatoes annually from the same land, 
BO prolific is the soil. The following is a 
summary of his statements as to the prospects 



of an English fitrmer settled there: — Covvs 
and buffaloes may be purchased fiom 2os. 
to 40s. per head ; sheeji from 'Ss. to 7s. : 
]-»igs from 3s. to 7s. ; fowls from 7s. ]ier 
dozen; ducks from 12t. ditto. IMr. Baker pro- 
ceeds to show that, notwithstanding the very 
low price of stock, fine meat is unknown in 
Ceylon, the lieasts being unfattened, and 
slaughtered without discretion. Although in 
many parts of the island the calf is per- 
mitted to take the whole supply from the 
mother, yet not a cheese has ever boon 
manufactured in Ceylon, and bittter sells 
for 2s. {')d. per pound. Notwithstanding 
the abtmdance and cheapness of pigs, hams 
and bacon have never been cured ; and yet 
all these articles are consumed in large quan- 
tities, and imported from England at an 
enormous price — cheese, hams, and bacon 
being generally sold at two shillings per 
pound. All these articles may be ju'epared 
at Xewera Ellia, with the same facility, and 
at one-fourth of the cost, of those produced in 
Eno-land; and would therefore sell at a lar^re 
profit both for home consumption and for 
exportation. The island is chiefly supplied 
by Bombay with potatoes, but those of a 
superior quality now produced at Newera 
Ellia sell at twenty-eight shillings per cwt. 
In three months from the planting of the 
sets they are fit to dig, and one set has fre- 
quently been known to yield fifty potatoes. 
Wheat has been experimented upon, and the 
quality ]u-oduced proved infinitely superior to 
the seed imported; and yet Ceylon is entirely 
dependant upon America for the supply of 
flour. Oats and beans thrive well, but have 
been neglected; consequently the horses in 
the island are fed expensively upon paddy 
and gram, the principal portion of which is 
imported from India : thus a most extensive 
market is open to supply the home market, as 
well as that of the ^Mauritius. ]Mr. Baker 
offers to the enterprising farmer of small 
capital, a comfortable and most profitable 
farm, free from those heavy taxes which bur- 
den his industry at home, where he may not 
only amass a considerable fortune, but may 
live a happy, luxurious life, with the advan- 
tages of residing in a comjiaratively civilised 
society, with a school for the education of his 
children, and the house of God within his 
reach. 

The grand difficulty in the way of success 
with the farmer and planter anywhere in 
Ceylon is want of labour. The Cingalese 
will not work if they can jirocure as mucli 
food as will enable them and their families to 
subsist. This is easily procured, and is an 
ahnost insnjierable impediment to obtaining 
continuous labour. ]Mr. Sifllivan, describing 



CiiAr. VII L] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



to 



tlio road oi route from Point de Galle to 
C;>lombo along the coast, says tliat lie saw tlie 
r.ien lying in the sun chewing betel root, the 
women performing the little work of which 
there Avas any sign, children and dogs pursu- 
ing the coach or diligence, alike unheeded hy 
the lazy beings who claimed a property in 
tliem. Coolies arrive periodically from the 
Jdalabar coast, as Irish reapers attend the 
harvest fields of England ; but as these 
visitors are satisfied if they can procure as 
much money as will lay in a stock of rice 
until the next season, which is easily accom- 
jilished, they, on acquiring that amount, or 
something near what they presume will en- 
able them to maintain themselves and fami- 
lies at home in their own way, will desert 
their work, violate their engagements without 
scruple, make their way to the sea -coast with 
surprising rupidity, and swarm like slaves in 
tlie middle passage on board any ship which 
will convey them to the continent. Many 
jdantcrs have been ruined in this way, and 
line estates have gone out of cultivation. At 
NcAvera Ellia the same consecpiences would 
ensue from the same causes, unless set- 
tlers could bring with them a supj^ly of 
laboiirers. 

A few miles from the sanitoriam there are 
also fine plateaux, which are called " the 
Ilorton Plains," constituting the highest table- 
land in the island. This vicinity is noted for 
'•'the jutcher plant" {^Xcpentlics disttUutoria). 
The name is derived from the blossom, Avhich 
is pitcher-shaped, and nearly a foot in length. 
This is not the only plant peculiar to tlie 
region which is an object of interest. The 
ndcc. or honey-plant, emits from its flowers 
an odour resembling that of honey, in which 
the natives take gi'cat delight: it flowers but 
once in eight years, and as the blossoms 
decay, bees swarm in multitudes around it, 
the odour being at that season strongest, 
which seems to attract them. This plant is 
further remarkable as being generally at- 
tended by a beautiful although leafless para- 
site, which bears a bell-shaped flower, ex- 
quisite in tint, having an amijer heart, 
the edges scarlet : these flowers, blendino; 
witli " the pitcher blossoms," afford an ap- 
pearance of most strange but captivating 
beauty. 

No race are prouder of their lineage than the 
Cingalese. According to them, thousands of 
years before our era the island was peopled 
by a civilised community, endowed with 
superior intellectual powers, and famous in 
arms. From these worthy occupants of their 
fair realm the present Cingalese declare that 
they are descended. They represent their 
island as inhabited from the remotest antiquity, 



Adam's Peak, the top of the Inghest moun- 
tain, having been the primeval abode of the 
human family — 

" Ere mail had f;iirii, or siii liad drawn 
"J'wixt man and licavcu lier cm-tain yet." 

They even profess to trace the footprints of 
the first man on his departure from the ]iara- 
dise of the peak, to the shores of the island 
from which he was expelled. 

Ancient historians do not assign to the 
aborigines of Ceylon a date as old as the 
creation, nor a descent direct from the first 
family. " The Chinese, from a remote period, 
were the masters of oriental commerce: and 
some of their vessels were driven upon the 
coast of Ceylon, near the district which they 
subsequently termed Chilau. The mariners 
and passengers saved themselves upon the 
rocks ; and, finding the island fertile, soon 
established themselves upon it. Shortly after- 
wards, the Malabars, having discovered it, 
sent hither their exiles, whom they deno- 
minated Galas. The exiles were not long in 
mixing Avith the Chinese; and from the two 
names was formed Chingalees, and afterwards 
Chingalais." * 

Some of the ancient Hindoo historians 
represent the island as originally the locality 
of demons and other evil beings, of an extra - 
human origin. Such a tradition rather tends 
to establish the antiquity of its population. 
Others state that one Singha, a prince of the 
neighbouring coasts of the continent, con- 
quered the island, and his people, mingling 
"with a wild aboriginal race, were designated 
Cingalese, and are the progenitors of the 
present population of Ceylon. 

The people bear no resemblance to the 
Chinese in complexion, countenance, or cha- 
racter; but they do exhibit a very strong 
resemblance to the inhabitants of the neigh- 
bouring shores of continental India. Thei'e 
is a race inhabiting the interior called Ved- 
dahs; these are literally wild men, living in 
caves and forest -huts; they are predatory and 
migratory, subsisting chiefly on game, which 
they kill with bows and arrows ; refusing 
all intercourse with the other natives, their 
language is unintelligible to the other people 
of the island. These are with reason sup- 
posed to be the oldest race in Ceylon. 

IMarco Polo visited the island in 1244, and 
from his account the tradition of a remote 
antiquit}', and of the island having been the 
home of our first parents, existed then as it 
does now. His words are : — " Both men and 
women go nearly in a state of nudity, only 
wrapping a cloth round their loins. They 
have no grain besides rice and sesame, of 
♦ Ribeiro's Ilisioria de Ilfjha de Zeilau. 



174 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VIII. 



wliicli latter tliey make oil. Tlieir food is 
milk, rice, and flesli, and they drink wine 
drawn from trees. The island produces more 
valuaLle and beautiful rubies than those found 
in any other part of the world; and likewise 
sapphires, topazes, amethysts, garnets, and 
many other precious and costly stones. In 
this highland there is a very high mountain, 
so rocky and precipitous, that the ascent to 
the top is impracticable, as it is said, except 
by the assistance of iron chains employed 
for that purpose; by means of these some 
persons attain the summit, where the tomb 
of Adam, our first parent, is reported to be 
found." 

Subsequent writers and travellers affirm, 
that the Malabars and Moormen of the oppo- 
site shores made frequent incursions, and 
fixed settlements, mingling with the inhabit- 
ants. The result was that the latter classes 
influenced in a great degree the character of 
the population of the Kandian districts of the 
island, who have a peculiar character. The 
Cingalese in the lower regions seem to be 
a mixture of races from China and India. 
Since the Portuguese and Dutch conquests, 
the population has become still more mixed, 
both of these nations having mingled more 
freely with the people than the English, and 
left their traces in the population to some 
extent. The population of the lowlands is 
more diverse than that of the hills, the Kan- 
dians having retained their independence 
long after the people along the shore were 
subjugated, and their race influenced by suc- 
cessive conquerors. 

The Kandians were thus described by 
Knox, who spent many years in captivity in 
the hill capital : — " In understanding, quick 
and apprehensive; in design, subtle and 
crafty; in discourse, courteous, but full of 
flatteries; naturally inclined to temj)erance, 
both in meat and drink, but not chastity; 
near and provident in their families — com- 
mending good husbandry; in their disposi- 
tions, not passionate — neither hard to be 
reconciled when angry ; in their promises 
very unfaithful — approving lying in them- 
selves, but disliking it in others; delighting 
in sloth — deferring labour till urgent neces- 
sity compel them; neat in ajjparel; nice in 
eating, and not much given to sleep." * 

On the whole, the following comparative 
estimate of the races, and judgment upon 
their probable , origin, as given by the late 
queen's advocate, bears the impress of accu- 
racy : — " Although it is affirmed by writers 
that the Kandians and Cingalese are both 
descended from the same parent stock, we 
disagree with them materially, as the Kan- 
* Knox's History of Ceylon. 



dians have all the distinctive marks of a 
nobler race and purer blood — being, in our 
oi^inion, the offspring of Malabars, who had 
intermarried with the Veddahs, or aborigines 
of Ceylon, whose blood has remained pure, 
owing to non-admixture with foreign con- 
querors ; as Kandy remained a free, warlike, 
and independent state long after the lowlands 
had experienced the yoke of numerous con- 
querors, of various nations : whilst the Cin- 
galese are the descendants of the followers of 
the Indian king, AVijeya, who conqiiered 
Ceylon long anterior to the Christian era. 
But the latter race has deteriorated, both 
phj'sically and mentally, by constant admix- 
ture with the various tribes and nations who 
have conquered, colonized, or visited the low- 
lands and maritime districts." 

The average height of the Cingalese is not 
more than five feet six inches, but they are 
well formed. The Kandians are rather more 
muscular, and, although living in an elevated 
region, tlieir complexion is darker. The 
women of both races are often attractive in 
ajjpearance, but their habit of chewing betel 
gives to the mouth a filthy colour : they chew 
much more than the men. The modus ope- 
randi is to select a betel leaf, then to take a 
small piece of areka-nut, and another of chu- 
nani.or prepared lime, and roll them in the leaf, 
forming a small ball the size of a boy's mar- 
ble; this is placed in the mouth, and the 
flavour is much enjoyed. Much saliva is 
secreted, and tinged by the betel as red as 
blood, staining the teeth and lips most for- 
biddingly. This practice, and the exhausting 
energy of the climate, dejjrive the ladies of 
all personal comeliness by the time they are 
thirty years of age. The Cingalese idea of 
beauty may be gleaned from the following 
extract from a native work: — 

"A woman's tresses should be abundant, 
as voluminous as the tail of a peacock, and 
as long as a palm leaf of ten moon's growth; 
her eyebrows should be arched like the rain- 
bow; her eyes long as the almond, and the 
colour dark as midnight -u'hen there is no 
moon. Her nose should be slender as the 
bill of the hawk ; her lips full, and the colour 
of red coral ; her teeth small, even, closely 
placed together, and the colour of the pearl 
when it is newly taken from the oyster, and 
cleansed. Her throat should be thick and 
round, like the stem of a plantain tree in full 
growth. Her chest should be wide ; her 
bosom full, and the form of a yoimg cocoa- 
nut ; and her waist small, round, and taper — 
so slender, that it could be clasj^ed within 
the two outstretched hands. Her hips should 
be large and round, her limbs slender, and 
the soles of her feet without any arch or 



Chap. VIII.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST 



175 



liollow ; and tlie surface of lier person slionld 
be soft, delicate, smooth, and ronnd, neither 
bones, sinews, or angles being visible. Not a 
blemish should be found on her skin, the tint 
of which should be bright and brown." 

The half-castes, or, as they arc commonly 
called, burghers, dress like Europeans, more 
particularly the men. They are generally 
of European descent, especially from Dutch 
or Portuguese, by Cingalese women. They 
are, like the Indo-Portuguese, darker in com- 
jilexion than any of the native races, and 
singularly unprepossessing in countenance. 
They are less intellectual than either Kan- 
diauB, Cingalese, Moormen, or Malabars, and 
are utterly grovelling and sensual. Their 
attire gives the men of this class a less effemi- 
nate appearance than the Cingalese proper, 
but in manner and spirit they are more so. 
The effeminacy of the Cingalese men is ren- 
dered much more striking than it otherwise 
Avould be by their extraordinary costume. 
They are clad in j^etticoats, carry parasols, 
and turn up their long black hair as women 
do in England, fastening it on the crown of 
the head by a very high comb. The petti- 
coats constrain their gait, and still more con- 
duce to a mistake of their sex. The women 
are frequently more masculine in features, 
wear shorter jackets, seldom carry parasols, 
and do not turn up the hair under tall 
combs. It is a curious sight to see the men 
sitting in groups, combing their long hair, 
and anointing it with oil. 

The religious condition of the inhabitants 
of Ceylon is such as might be expected from 
the influence of the Buddhist doctrines, which 
they i^rofess, the genius and character of 
which have been already shown in a previous 
chapter devoted to the religions of India. 
Buddhism, however, has its sects, and in 
every coiintry where it is professed it assumes 
diversities, theoretical and practical. In 
Ceylon the professors of this creed, more 
particularly than elsewhere, look forward to 
a further manifestation of their spiritual chief, 
"the Maitree Buddha." They aver that the 
surface of the earth had been destroyed by 
fire at a remote period, and was since revivi- 
fied by Avater. This doctrine seems more or 
less to pervade the philosophical theologies of 
most oriental nations, and is doubtless a tra- 
ditional influence of the Deluge. " The bene- 
ficial effects of water in the history of this 
world, and in the history of their gods, seems 
to be a very general impression in the East, 
and the ' Spirit of God moving upon the face 
of the waters ' is fully reahsed in all heathen 
mythologies. From the earliest days there 
aijpears to have been some very general 
system of worship of aquatic plants. The 



most ancient coins represent the tamara as 
sacred. The Japanese believe that Bromna, 
the eldest son of their chief god, was created 
on the tamara. The Egyptians represent 
Iris on the lotus. Krishna, the god of love 
amongst the Hindoos, is represented as float- 
ing down the Ganges on one of the nymplicea, 
occupied in the infantine amusement of suck- 
ing his toe !" 

The reverence of the Ceylonese for Buddha 
is carried to a great excess ; and nowhere are 
the disciples of that creed so bigoted as in 
Ceylon — not even in Birmah — and in no part 
are they so bigoted as in Kandy. That city 
is the Mecca of Buddhism. There arc the 
chief temple, the great idol, and the most 
holy relics. Among the latter is the alleged 
tooth of Buddha himself, for which the 
priesthood of Siam offered an enormous sum 
withoiit success. It is not, however, the real 
tooth of the great sectary, for Constantine de 
Berganza destroyed that, or what was then 
supposed to be such, in the year 1560. Six 
hundred of the followers of Francis Xavier 
having been put to death by the Buddhists, 
Berganza laid waste cities and temples, and 
took the most especial precautions to secure 
possession of the tooth. This, however, is 
denied by the Cingalese and Kandians, as 
the following accoimt of the capture of " the 
Dalada relic" (as it is called) by the English, 
during the Kandian rebellion of 1818, will 
show. Dr. Davy thus writes : — " Through 
the kindness of the governor, I had an 
opportunity^ of seeing this celebrated relic, 
when it was recovered, towards the conclu- 
sion of the rebellion, and brought back to be 
replaced in the Dalada Malegawa, or temple, 
from whence it had been clandestinely taken. 
. . . . Here it may be remarked, that when 
the relic was taken, the effect of its capture 
was astonishing, and almost beyond the com- 
prehension of the enlightened, for now, they 
said, the English are indeed masters of the 
country, for they who possess the relic have 
a right to govern four kingdoms ; this, for two 
thousand years, is the first time the relic was 
ever taken from us. The Portuguese declare 
that in the sixteenth century they obtained 
jiossession of the relic, which the Cingalese 
deny, saying, that when Cotta was taken, the 
relic was secretly removed to Saffragam. 
They also affirm that when Kandy was con- 
quered by \XB, in 1815, the relic was never 
surrendered by them to us, and they con- 
sidered it to be in their possession until we 
took it from them by force of arms. The first 
adikar also observed, that whatever the Eng- 
lish might think of having taken Pilimi 
Talawe, and other rebel leaders, in his opi- 
nion, and in the opinion of the people in 



176 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[ClIAP VIII. 



general, tlie taking- of tlie relic \Aas of infi- 
nitely more moment." 

From 1818 imtil 1847 this true or false 
relic was preserved by the English govcrii- 
ment, and cxhihitcd to the priests and fol- 
lowers of Buddha for the purpose of heing 
u-orshippcd ! On "the 28th of May, 1828, 
''the Halada" was publicly exhibited by the 
government, who caused the ceremony to be 
attended with great splendour. On the 27th 
of JMarch, ISIG, some Siamese priests arrived 
to see the relic, and there was another public 
display. In 1847 the home government sent 
orders to restore the tooth to the custody of 
the priests — a most impolitic act, as all the 
acts of our government have been, which 
were time-serving, and quasi -conciliatory to 
either Buddhist or Brahmin priests. Had 
the tooth been carried away, and deposited 
in the British Museiim as a curiosity, or had 
it been destroyed, the superstition of the 
people would have received a great check : 
in the one case they would have supposed 
that the power its possession conferred would 
have remained with the English ; in the 
other, that Ceylon was no longer under the 
especial obligation of worshipping Buddha, 
which it now feels. In either case the invi- 
dious nationality by which the Cingalese, 
especially the Kandian section of them, is 
characterised would have been depressed, 
and motives of disloyalty, which were che- 
rished, and led to conspiracy and insurrection, 
in 1848, would have been removed. In that 
year, on the 14th of August, the governor, 
Lord Torrington, sent the following despatch 
to the home government: — "As the posses- 
sion of the Buddhist relic, or tooth, has 
always been regarded by the Kandians as a 
mark of sovereignty over their country, and 
it was stolen and carried about in 1818, being 
used as a signal for rebellion, which only ter- 
minated with the recovery of it, it was judged 
right, by the commandant, to demand the 
keys of the temple, as well as of the shrine 
of the relic, which had been delivered by me 
into the charge of two priests and a chief, 
about a year ago. He then assured himself 
that this object of veneration had not been 
removed from its accustomed position, and 
converted into a signal of rebellion. But not 
trusting any longer to the integrity of the 
priests or chiefs, by whom the insurrection 
has been organised, the keys have, for the 
present at all events, been retained in the 
possession of the commandant." 

Great as is the folly of the Cingalese in 
respect to this holy tooth, the folly of the 
English government infinitely surpassed it. 
There was mistaken piety in the one case — an 
impious indifference to the claims of con- 



science and religious duty in the other. It is 
time that the English, nation should under- 
stand that the class of men from whom colonial 
governors and great ofiicers are selected care 
nothing what blasphemy or idolatry they swp- 
port, if motives of policy or revenue 'are jiro- 
moted. The)' M'ill endow cathedrals, mosques, 
temjiles ; publicly exhibit holy teeth or hairs 
for one idolatry to-day, and clothe in costly 
tra2)pings the idol of some rival idolatry to- 
morrow : like the ]n-esent commissioners of 
the Punjaub, commending mosques and hea- 
then temjiles as works of public utility, de- 
serving support from the government, in one 
public document, and wooing the influence of 
Christian missionaries in another. The ques- 
tion with the majority of governors has been, 
not what was right in the abstract, nor what 
was proper in respect to the rights and liber- 
ties of the people over whom they ruled, but 
how far the support of superstitions might 
facilitate the collection of revenue, or the 
temporary administration of government. The 
blame of such things has often been thrown 
exclusively on the East India Company, but 
it has rested in a greater measure upon the 
titled servants of the crown. Our cabinets 
have generally been comi^osed of men to 
whom such proceedings have been acceptable. 
The plea has been frequently set up for them 
that religious toleration was their motive, the 
spirit of Englishmen being abhorrent to jier- 
secution ; but so far from this excuse having 
foundation in fact, the men who thus shame- 
lessly betrayed the Christian religion in fa- 
vour of idolatry, were often noted perse- 
cutors of their fellow Christians at home and 
abroad, unless such had power through their 
representatives in the House of Commons to 
make their voice heard in the cabinet. All 
remonstrances and petitions in reference to 
such matters coming from Christian churches 
in England, however numerous, were treated 
with disdain, except action was taken in refer- 
ence to the parliamentary elections. As soon as 
the question of the public patronage of idolatry. 
Suttee, or any other atrocity found convenient 
by our public officers abroad, was made a 
matter of comment on the hustings, hurried 
orders were sent out to feign compliance 
with those popular demands; and, in propor- 
tion as constituencies were seen to be in 
earnest, cabinets became active, and the 
consciences of the representatives of British 
power abroad became enlightened in a manner 
edifying to behold. The religious feelings 
and principles of the masses of English citi- 
zens are obviously not participated by large 
sections of the higher classes, who, while 
punctual church-goers, and ostensible friends 
of the clergy and our home religious institu- 



CiiAr. VIII.] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



177 



tion^ (at least, sucli as are not imfasliioiiaLle), 
are iiotorigusly the zealous ])ati'ons of all 
exotic creed;! that may hajjiicn to liavo 
raimerous devotees, and the jealous enemies 
of Christian missionaries, of Avhatever evan- 
t,'elical church. Hajtpily, there are many 
hearinfr hit-'h honours in the state who feel 
it incumbent upon them to recognise the reli- 
gious liberty of the rudest idolaters, but wlio 
Avillhave no participation in their superstitious 
observances, and -would not, even to serve any 
object, commit the greatest of all known 
sins — partake of or patronise idolatry. 

The Dalada Malegawa, or depository and 
temple of the sacred tooth, is a bi;ilding 
erected in a style of architecture ajiproaching 
to that of the Chinese. The building is of two 
stories, the sanctum sanctorum being on the 
second. It has folding doors, with panels of 
brass; there are no windows, and the sun- 
light can never enter it by any means. The 
walls and ceilings are liung with gold brocade 
and white shawls, with coloured borders. A 
table, covered Avith gold brocade, bears two 
images of Buddha, one of gold and the other of 
crystal. The richest fruits, and the most sweet- 
smelling flowers, are presented as offerings 
to these idols. Four baskets, each twelve 
inches high, are also ]ilaced on the table ; 
these contain sacred relics. In the centre is 
the karandua, or casket, which contains the 
holy tooth. The casket is iive feet high, 
bell-shaped, and formed of silver, richly gilt. 
The chasing is simple, but most elegant ; a 
iaw gems surround it, and on the apex is set 
a cat's e,ye. Numerous costly offerings sur- 
round this bell-like covering of the relic. 
One of these is a bird, which is attached to a 
massive gold chain, elegantly chased. " The 
bod\- is formed of gold, and the plumage is 
represented by a profusion of precious gems, 
which consist of diamonds, emeralds, rubies, 
sapphires, and cats' eyes. Descri]ition is in- 
aderpiate to convej' a correct idea of the 
extreme and extraordinary effulgence and 
exfpiisite beauty of these elaborate decorations, 
which tlie limnei-'s art alone could faithfully 
delineate." The relic is wrapped in an ex- 
tremely thin sheet of virgin gold, which is 
deposited in a gold box, just sufticiently 
capacious to receive the tooth, which Euro- 
peans declare to be as large as that of an 
alligator, and to have been manufactured 
from the tusk of an elephant. The golden 
box is studded with precious stones, which 
are exrpusitely arranged. It is placed in a 
golden vase, decorated with diamonds, eme- 
ralds, and rubies, and wrapped in rich bro- 
cade. This is laid within a second vase, also 
of gold, which is enfolded by pure white 
muslin. This vase is placed in another 

VOL. I. 



similar to itself, and that in a fourth, more 
costly, for it is larger, and jn'ofusely, yet 
tastefully ornamented with chasing and gems. 
A gentleman long resident in Ceylon, and 
who, having official opportunities, was enabled 
to investigate this extraordinary sanctum. 
writes : — 

"When we saw the relic it was ])laccd in 
the centre of an exrpiisitely beautiful pink 
lotus, the flowers of the bo-tree being strewed 
around, and tastefully arranged on the shrine ; 
but it was most pitiable to behold the be- 
nighted Buddhists, many of them learned 
men and good scliolars, prostrating themselves 
before a piece of discoloured bone. There is 
also a smaller and most exquisitely beautiful 
casket, or karancluci; studded with precious 
stones, in which the relic is placed when it is 
borne in the religious processions, or when 
the chief priests, in troublous times of com- 
motion, or war, should think it nccessarj" to 
insure the safety of the Dalada by removing 
it from the temple. 

" ^ibove the slirine, and attached to the 
wall, are plates of gold, on which are inscribed 
sacred emblems and characters : on either side 
of the principal shrine there are smaller 
shrines, Avhich are covered with gold and 
silver cloths, on which are placed gilt lamps, 
and ofleriugs of flowers and fruit : and the 
effluvia arising from the cocoa-nut oil, with 
which the lamps are suprplied, combined witn 
the perfume of the votive flowers, renders the 
atmosphere of this unventilated apartment 
most ojipressive. 

" A contiguous staircase leads to a similar 
apartment, which is decorated in the same 
manner as the one we have described, where 
is to be seen the recxmibent figure of the 
god Gotama Buddha, the size of life ; the 
features are well delineated, and the figure is 
gilt, with the exception of the face and 
hands. Near him are placed figures of other 
gods and the a'oddess Patine, the shrine 
being decorated with golden ornaments, manv 
of which are studded with precious stones. 

'•'The god Buddha is represented by the 
Cingalese in three attitudes — namely, stand- 
ing erect, with one hand raised, as if prepar- 
ing to step forward; seated on a cushion, with 
the legs crossed; and reclining on his side, 
his hand placed imder his head, which rests 
upon a pillow. "We had two figures of Go- 
tama Buddha ])rescnted to us : one, in the 
act of advancing, is of ivory, about five inches 
in height, the hair, eyes, lips, and palms of 
the hands being coloured, to represent life, 
whilst the drapery is relieved by stripes of 
Vermillion ; the other figure is of bronze, 
about three inches and a half in height, and 
represents the god seated cross-legged. The 

A A 



178 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VIII. 



ornament, or sacred emblem, wliicli is placed 
on the cro^Yu of the head of each of these 
idols is used solely to designate Buddha, as 
the emblem of the other gods is of a totally 
different character. 

" In the IMalegawa a most valuable seated 
figure of Buddha was to be seen in 1847 
(and we presume it is there now), which had 
been j)rescnted by the Siamese priests ; it is 
nearly eleven inches in height, and was carved 
out of a cat's eye. Having had the good fortune 
to have been conducted over the Dalada Ma- 
legawa by a Kandian chief, we were shown 
all that was considered either curious or 
magnificent." 

The sacred relics of Buddha, generally a 
hair, or some shred of apparel, are deposited 
in monumental buildings, which are alwaj^s 
identical in construction — "a bell-shaped 
tomb surmounted by a spire." These are 
called dagohahs. Mr. Layard, father of the 
explorer of Nineveh, opened one of these at 
Colombo in 1820, of which he gives the fol- 
lowing description: — ''In the centre of the 
dagobah a small square compartment was 
discovered, lined with brick, and paved with 
coral, containing a cylindrical mass of grey 
granite, rudely shaped into a vase, or haran- 
dua, which had a closely-fitting cover or cap 
of the same. This vase contained an ex- 
tremely small fragment of bone, pieces of 
thin gold — in which, in all probability, the 
bone had originally been wrapped — pieces of 
the blue sapphire, and rubj^ three small 
pearls, a few gold rings, beads of cornelian 
and crystal, and pieces of glass, which resem- 
bled icicles in shape. In the compartment 
with the vase were also placed a brazen and 
an earthen lamp, a small truncated pyramid 
made of cement, and clay images of the 
cobra and other sacred objects of Buddhist 
superstition." 

The following exemplification of the super- 
stition of the Ceylonese is recorded by Mr. 
Sullivan: — "The Cingalese faith in metem- 
pyschosis is entire and unhesitating, and 
their confidence in its truth admits of no 
doubt w^hatever. A man, when oppressed by 
his superiors, or condemned by the judge, 
expresses his intention of returning in a 
future state, as a cobra, to bite his children ; 
or as an elei^hant, to ravage his crops. They 
even go so far as to form an opinion, from 
the nature and habits of any particular animal 
or insect, as to its character in a former state. 
A Pariah dog, for instance, whose presence 
is an abomination, and whose portion is 
misery, is supposed to have been some luxu- 
rious Dives, who is now in want and ill- 
treatment, expiating his indifference of the 
lazari of his human acquaintance ; and there 



is a little insect very common in the jungle, 
which, from its remarkable habit of surround- 
ing itself with a covering of small sticks, in 
the centre of which it moves, and from which 
it is almost impossible to distinguish it, is 
believed by the natives to represent indi- 
viduals who, during their earthly career, dis- 
played rather a marked partiality for their 
neighbours' firewood, and who are thus work- 
ing out an appropriate atonement." 

The Buddhists of Ceylon affect to despise 
the superstitions of the Hindoos, and even of 
their own brethren of Siam, where caste is 
recognised in the priesthood, contrary to the 
doctrines of Buddha, and the genius of his 
philosophy; but the observances of caste, 
and other si;perstitious practices, are usual 
among the Cingalese themselves, and are just 
as puerile as those they contemn in others. 
These are particularly obvious at their religious 
festivals. At the feast of the Pirahara, which 
seems to be the grand Kandian sacred festi- 
val, extending over a period of seven days, 
the most grotesque and absurd ceremonies 
are practised. A procession of seven ele- 
phants, decked out in a manner excessively 
provocative of mirth, each animal carrying 
an empty " howdah," followed by crowds of 
men bearing empty palankeens, and a long 
retinue of chiefs and headmen, gaily attired; 
the most horrid din of tom-toms and pipes, 
filling the air with discord, is the chief feature 
of " the solemnit}^" On one of these occa- 
sions, an English gentleman saw a fakeer in 
the procession, with a wire run through both 
his cheeks, and a lighted candle at each end, 
about six inches from the face. This man 
was regarded as performing a work of great 
merit, and as having attained to a saintly 
degree. These processions are conducted at 
night, so that the "voluntary humility" of 
the fakeer was in that instance not without 
its convenience to others. 

Evil spirits are especially worshipped, 
simply for the power which they are sup- 
posed to possess, and so willing to exercise, 
for mischievous jDurposes. When a demon is 
offended, dancing is supposed to be the most 
eflicacious mode of appeasing his wrath. If 
a member of a family come by any misfor- 
tune, or fall sick, a pi'iest of some particular 
devil is called in, offerings are presented, and 
the dance commences. If a village, or dis- 
trict, is visited by pestilence, or any national 
evil, pulpits are erected by the devil's priest, 
and decorated with flowers, wreaths, money, 
incense, &c. ; while various matters propitia- 
tory are offered by this sacerdotal official:, 
after " a devil dance," the grand incantation 
is read, and the ill-disposed demon is entreated 
to depart. 



Ciivr. VIIL] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



179 



The proceedings of fhc devil-dancers by no 
moans resemble those who enjoy the pastime of 

" The light fantastic toe ; " 

the whole ceremonj' is appalling to those who 
witness it, as it is degrading to those who 
practise it, and cannot be excelled in folly by 
any of the Brahminical superstitions of conti- 
nental India. A spectator of the orgies thus 
describes them : — " The kapua, or devil- 
dancers, are usually well-grown, active men, 
and wear on their arms and ankles several 
hollow brass rings : they keep time to the 
tom-tom beaters by shaking their head, whilst 
the clanking of the bracelets and anldets 
makes a species of accompaniment. The 
evolutions of the dancer are rapid; his ges- 
tures lascivious and indecent; as he becomes 
excited with the music and the dance, his 
flesh will quiver, his eyeballs become fixed 
and staring, as if he could, or would, discern 
the form of the offended demon; whilst in 
this state, he will predict the cause of the 
ai'oused wrath of the demon, the fate or for- 
tune of individuals. These dances are held 
at night, by torchlight ; and no scene can be 
imagined more painfully impressive than to 
A^dtness tlie frantic gestures of the devil- 
dancer, with his long, dishevelled hair stream- 
ing over his shoulders, the blue flame from 
the torches flickering and casting an un- 
earthly light on all around, whilst the dusky 
spectators remain motionless, gazing, with 
staring eyes, on the dancer; the huge tro- 
pical trees waving over the heads of all, as if 
calmly deriding, although compelled to wit- 
ness, the unhallowed rites and vicious orgies 
which invariably wind up a devil-dance." 

The moral condition of the people, as in 
all nations, may be inferred from their reli- 
gion. The Kandians and Cingalese are with- 
out principle : their highest rule of duty is 
convenience. Knox represented the women 
as, in his time, the most regardless of their 
infant female offspring of any in the world, 
and consequently the crime of infanticide was 
awfully common : the authority and vigilance 
of government have not been as yet sufficient 
to repress it. The object of this crime is to put 
females out of the way, lest they should grow 
up a burden. When learned Buddhists at 
Kandy have been reproached with this na- 
tional cruelty, they have replied, " But it is 
not so bad as in England, where a wife or 
child is poisoned for the sake of a few rupees : 
our female infants are not murdered, they are 
deprived of life upon a principle which has 
received public, social, and rehgious sanction." 
The character of the women of Ceylon is 
horribly impure; according to Knox, a Kan- 
dian woman will not often submit herself to a 



man of a lower caste than her own, but in all 
other respects their behaviour is utterly and 
shockingly immoral, and apparently without 
the least sense of shame. Caste is not osten- 
sibly recognised, but really reverenced. The 
practice of brother-husbands is extremely 
debasing. If in a family there are several 
brothers, and any one of the number marries, 
the bride becomes equally the wife of the 
other brothers, who may themselves be only 
half-brothers — the children of one mother by 
several fathers. The object of this extra- 
ordinary and demoralising community, is to 
preserve landed property in the same family, 
so that it should not be divided and sub- 
divided until it of necessity passed away from 
the lineage of those to whom it originally 
belonged. Thus an entail is socially en- 
forced without any legal recognition. Some- 
times the wife of several brother-husbands 
will take another husband out of the 
family, provided he joins his property to 
theirs. This, if it be considerable, is gene- 
rally an arrangement desired by the previous 
husband. It must not be supposed, from 
this domestic communism, that men are not 
jealous in Ceylon; they are certainly less so 
Avhere there are several husbands than where 
one only exists ; they are, however, very 
jealous, and perpetually receive just cause, 
if, indeed, in such a depraved social condition, 
the like would be recognised at all. When 
this feeling is aroused, they are exceedingly 
resentful; and as they generally carry a knife 
or dagger aboiit the person, concealed in a 
sheath or 'pocket, on such occasions they will 
draw it, and inflict death upon the offender. 
This is done even upon suspicion, and as 
cause for that is perpetually given, woimds 
and death frequently occur in brawls about 
women. Meanness, cowardice, and contempt- 
ible treachery, characterise the men of both 
the upper and lower country, but more espe- 
cially the latter; and they resort to every 
conceivable artifice to accomplish petty fraud. 
In their feelings towards other religions 
than their own, they are strangely tolerant 
and persecuting at the same time. The 
slightest disrespect towards one of their relics 
will cause a paroxysm of rage and animosity ; 
and it is astonishing how small a cause will 
move them to this bigoted resentment. 
A gentleman connected with the govern- 
ment, on one occasion was favoured with a 
sight of "the tooth," in the presence of a 
Kandian chief of note, and of the high priest 
of the temple. A small image of Buddha 
attracted his attention, and he took it up by 
the shoulder with one hand, contrary to the 
ritual of Buddhism, Avhich ordains that an 
image of Buddha should be raised by the 



180 



HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE 



[Chap. VIII. 



fcot, and witli Lotli tlie hands of the person 
M"ho touches it. The gentleman's inadver- 
tency tlirew hi.-3 guides into a state of de- 
spair and furious horror, they regarding him 
as a monster of iniquity, upon whom tlie 
judgment of heaven might be speedily ex- 
])ected to descend. Only after many apolo- 
gies and assurances of regret that his igno- 
rance should have exposed him to an unin- 
tentional act of irreverence, could he succeed 
in appeasing these men. "With all this in- 
tense sensitiveness of the respect demanded 
for their religion, they are not generally 
unwilling to tolerate the creed which may 
be preferred by strangers. They Avill enter 
a Roman Catholic cliapcl, and boAV to any 
images or pictures which may be there, and 
offer the most reverential respect to the offi- 
ciating priest; and Avill proceed forthwith to 
one of their own temples, and pay the same 
respect to the images of Buddha, the deities, 
and the devils. They will enter a Protestant 
assembly, listen to the instructions conveyed, 
and insist that the ultimate doctrines to which 
these refer are identical Avith Buddhism, 
assuring their interrogators that '•' it is all 
the same religion;" only of course regarding 
their own as the highest and most perfect 
development. The servants in an English 
iamily will readily join in evangelical wor- 
ship, but if they hear the tom-tom, and the 
cries of the devil-dancers, will jump up from 
tiieir knees, and hasten to participate in the 
ceremonial. They will freely give their 
assent to the most beautiful and truthful 
descriptions of a separate state, of the resur- 
rection of the body and life everlasting; and 
afterwards, if asked to define their own hopes, 
show that they look forward to a transmigra- 
tion the most degrading and absurd. A boy 
at the mission-school at Kandy, who was 
supposed to be peculiarly well instructed, 
when asked, out of the routine of his usual 
catechetical examinations, what he hoped for 
in the next world, promptly replied that he 
hoped he woidd become a snake, whicli seems 
to be the grand desideratum of Kandians, for 
whom a heaven of cobras is a prospect of bliss. 
Under these circumstances, the labours of 
missionaries are very discouraging; yet they 
are not entirely without success. Tlie Roman 
Catholics have many converts, and mission- 
aries of various evangelical denominations 
from the British Isles have laboured long and 
zealously, and with some requital for their 
pleasing and sacred toil. 

As early as 1820, schools were instituted 
in the province of Kandy by missionaries, 
and still earlier on the coast. In 1845, Cey- 
lon was constituted, by letters patent under 
the great seal of England, an episcopal see, 



under the title of Colombo; previous to that 
the island was included in the episcopate of 
]\radras. In 1S46, Dr. Chapman arrived as 
the first Bishop of Colombo, and zealously 
entered upon his charge, showing the utmost 
concern for the spiritual and moral welfare of 
Europeans and natives. 

The various voluntary missionary societies 
maintain missionaries, and the Bil)le and 
Tract Societies of England have given to 
Ceylon a large share of attention; copies of 
the Holy Scriptures, and portions of them, 
and also religious tracts and books, are sup- 
plied to whatever extent there is hcqie of 
their proving useful. 

However indifferent the Buddhists may be 
to the presence of other religions, they are 
hostile to proselytism, and regard the aban- 
donment of their ancient customs ns a crime. 
This is one reason why all Roman Catliolic 
and Protestant converts so strenuously keep 
up their old Buddha practices, especially at 
weddings, and the naming of chiklren. In 
this respect Romanists and Protestants among 
the natives are scarcely distinguishable from 
Buddhists, although the ]Moormen or IMoham- 
nicdans are somewhat strict in preserving 
themselves from contact Avith what they deem 
to be idolatrous. After the marriage an<l 
baptismal ceremonies of Protestants and 
Roman Catholics, even amongst the highest 
castes of natives, and Avho serve the govern- 
ment officially, the persons interested adjourn 
to their assigned rendezvous, and enact all 
the ceremonial of a purely Buddhist celebra- 
tion. The i^rospect of these rites becoming- 
less popular, through the influence of the in- 
creased energy of Protestant missionaries, has 
inflamed the bigotry of the Buddhist priests, 
if the ministers of the temples of Buddha can 
be properly so designated. In the Kaiuliau 
rebellion of 1848, these functionaries per- 
formed the most prominent part, and their 
animosity to the government had, in a great 
measure, its source in their jealousy of the 
influence of their old rites and observances, 
Avhich they feared would pass awa}', and 
with it their own prestige, under the moral 
influence of a powerful Cliristian govern- 
ment. 

The Cingalese language has the reputation 
of being euphonious : some oriental scholars 
aver that it is fundamentally allied to the 
Siamese ; others declare that it is of Sanscrit 
origin. As in continental India, there is a 
sacred language, which is the medium of 
literature — this is called in Ceylon, Elu : it is 
only understood by educated persons.*' Some 
suppose that it was the vernacular ianguage 
of the island before it was conquered by the 
* Clough's Ceyloncsc JJiclioiutri/. 



Chap. VII L] 



IN INDIA AND THE EAST. 



181 



continental toUowcrs of "NVijeya. Indepen- 
dent of tlie lunu'Uii^e of literature, there is a 
high and low Cingalese — the former spoken 
in Kanily. the latter in the lower provinces: 
the Kandians, however, generally under.'^tand 
both, while the Cingalese of the lower parts 
of the island cannot speak the high dialect. 
There are two written characters : the most 
ancient, the prevailing form of which is 
square, has become obsolete ; it is found in 
ancient inscriptions, but cannot be entirely 
deciphered, as the knowledge of it has 
died awav: it is called Nagara. In con- 
sequence of this, a great store of the ancient 
history of Ceylon is lost, and probably inte- 
resting facts concerning other peoples are 
thus buried in the gloom of the past. Mr. 
Priasep,* in 1837, published an account of 
certain inscriptions found on stones and rocks 
in continental India : some resemblance is 
recognised between these and the old Cinga- 
lese letters. The present Cingalese charac- 
ters are round in their general form. The 
higher castes write elegantly with an iron 
style upon the palmyra leaf: a composition, 
prepared chiefly of charred gum, being rubbed 
over the composition, brings out the letters in 
dark colour. 

The books of the natives are in MS., and 
written upon the leaves of the taliput-tree. 
These leaves do not perish, and the prepara- 
tion rubbed over them preserves them from 
insects; so that the books or MSS., which- 
ever they may be styled, of the Cingalese are 
preserved from a remote antiquity. It is 
alleged that the accredited historical records 
of the island, by such means, go back two 
thousand three hundi-ed years. f There are 
many such works in the Pali and Sanscrit, 
and treatises on grammar, medicine, astro- 
logy, music, natural philosophy, jurispru- 
dence, and theology. Their idea of fine 
writing is, however, puerile, and their poetical 
compositions fantastical. Graceful thought 
and pleasant conceits abound; but high con- 
ception is seldom or never to be met with. 
The poets of Cingalese antiquity seem to 
have been a vain and frivolous order, who 
studied to be artificial, and to disjday their 
learning. Their misfortunes at least equalled 
their vanity, and are much more rem