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or columns. The interstices are filled up with oil colours, which are all of European preparation.—The manner of making this false gilded paper is as follows. Take any quantity of lead, and beat it with a hammer into leaves, as thin as possible. To twenty-four parts of these leaves add three parts of English glue, dissolved in water, and beat them together with a hammer, till they be thoroughly united; which requires the labour of two persons for a whole day. The mass is then cut into small cakes, and dried in the shade. These cakes can at any time be dissolved in water, and spread thin with a hair brush on common writing paper. The paper must then be put on a smooth plank, and rubbed with a polished stone, till it acquire a complete metallic lustre. The edges of the paper are then pasted down on the board, and the metallic surface is rubbed with the palm of the hand, which is smeared with an oil called Gurna, and then exposed to the sun. On the two following days the same operation is repeated; when the paper acquires a metallic yellow colour, which, however, more resembles the hue of brass, than that of gold. I. p. 74, 75.
The following sketch of the Sultan's character, will fit almoft all defpotic fovereigns poffeffed of more than ordinary talents.
The apartment most commonly used by Tippoo, was a large lofty hall, open in front after the Mussulman fashion, and on the other three sides, entirely shut up from ventilation. In this he was wont to sit, and write much; for he was a wonderful projector, and was constantly forming new systems for the management of his dominions, which, however, he wanted perseverance to carry into execution. That he conceived himself to be acting for the good of his subjects, I have no doubt; and he certainly believed himself endowed with great qualities for the management of civil affairs, as he was at the pains of writing a book on the subject, for the instruction of all succeeding princes. His talents in this line, however, were certainly very deficient. He paid no attention to the religious prejudices of the greater part of his subjects; but every where wantonly destroyed their temples, and gloried in having forced many thousands of them to adopt the Mussulman faith. He never continued long on the same plan; so that his government was a constant succession of new arrangements. Although his aversion to Europeans did not prevent him from imitating many of their arts; yet this does not appear to have proceeded from his being sensible of their value, or from a desire to improve his country; it seems merely to have been done with a view of showing his subjects, that, if he chose, he was capable of doing whatever Europeans could perform: for although he made broad-cloth, paper formed on wires like the European kind, watches, and cutlery, yet the processes for making the whole were kept secret. A French artist had prepared an engine, driven by water, for boring cannon; but so little sensible was the Sultan of its value, that he ordered the water-wheel to be removed, and employed bullocks to work the machinery. One of
his favourite maxims of policy was, to overthrow every thing that had been done in the Rája's government; and in carrying this into practice, he frequently destroyed works of great public utility, such as reservoirs, and canals for watering the ground. I. p. 70, 71. The following extracts give a very uncomfortable idea of the oldest inhabited and policied region in the universe.
During the whole time that they are absent, the Goalas never sleep in a hut; but, wrapped up in their blankets, and accompanied by their dogs, they lye down among the cattle within the folds, where all night they burn fires to keep away the tigers. This, however, is not always sufficient; and these ferocious animals sometimes break through the fence, and kill or wound the cattle. The men have no fire-arms, the report of which would terrify the cattle; and for driving away the tiger, they trust to the noise which they and their dogs make. They are also much distressed by robbers, who kill or carry away the sheep and goats; but, unless it be a numerous rabble that call themselves the army of a Polygar, no thieves can annoy their black cattle; for these are too unruly to be driven by any persons but their keepers; and the most hardened villain would not dare to slaughter an animal of this sacred species.' II. P. 11, 12. I went into the forest about three cosses, to a small tank, farther than which the natives rarely venture, and to which they do not go without being much alarmed on account of wild elephants. In this forest these animals are certainly more numerous, than either in Chittagong or Pegu. I have never seen any where so many traces of them. The natives, when they meet an elephant in the day-time, hide themselves in the grass, or behind bushes, and the animal does not search after them; but were he to see them, even at a distance, he would run at them, and put them to death. It is stragglers only from the herds, that in the day-time frequent the outer parts of the forest. The herds that at night destroy the crops, retire with the dawn of day into the recesses of the forest; and thither the natives do not ventare, as they could not hide themselves from a number. It is said, that at the above-mentioned tank there was formerly a village; but that both it and several others on the skirt of the forest have been lately withdrawn, owing to an increased number of elephants, and to the smaller means of resistance which the decrease of population allows.
The soil of these forests is in general very good, and much of it is very black. In places where the water has lodged, and then dried up, such as in the print of an elephant's foot, this black soil assumes the appearance of indurated tar. The country is by no means steep, and is every where capable of cultivation; but of this no traces are to be seen in any part of the forest. Near Hejuru, the trees are very small; for so soon as any one becomes of a useful size, it is cut. As the distance and danger increase, the trees gradually are allowed to attain a larger growth; and at the tank they are of considerable dimensions. Farther on, they are said to be very
stately. The forest is free from underwood or creepers; but the whole ground is covered with long grass, often as high as a man's head. This makes walking rather disagreeable and dangerous, as one is always liable to stumble over rotten trunks, to rouse a tiger, or to tread on a snake. These latter are said to be found of great dimensions, and have been seen as thick as the body of a middlesized man. The length of this kind is not in proportion to the thickness, and does not exceed seven cubits. Although I passed a great part of these three days in the forest, I saw neither elephant, tiger, nor serpent, and escaped without any other injury than a fall over a rotten tree. II. 122, 123.
In Malabar, there are more memorials of an antient intercourse with Europe than in any other part of India. A few years ago, an earthen pot, filled with Roman coins of Augustus and Tiberius, was dug up near Palachy; and the Malabar Christians (or Nazareens, as they are called) report, that they have been settled there for 1740 years. Their pope, or priest, Dr Buchanan says, was of a very fair complexion, with high Jewish features. His account of these venerable believers, however, is in every respect very meagre and unsatisfactory.
The intercourse of the sexes, throughout all those countries, is on the most extraordinary footing. We quote the following, as one out of an immense multitude of examples of the most absurd and unnatural institutions.
The Nairs marry before they are ten years of age, in order that the girl may not be deflowered by the regular operations of nature; but the husband never afterwards cohabits with his wife. Such a circumstance, indeed, would be considered as very indecent. He allows her oil, clothing, ornaments, and food; but she lives in her mother's house, or, after her parents' death, with her brothers, and cohabits with any person that she chooses of an equal or higher rank than her own. If detected in bestowing her favours on any low man, she becomes an outcast. It is no kind of reflection on a woman's character to say, that she has formed the closest intimacy with many persons; on the contrary, the Nair women are proud of reckoning among their favoured lovers many Bráhmans, Rájás, or other persons of high birth. In consequence of this strange manner of propagating the species, no Nair knows his father; and every man looks upon his sisters' children as his heirs. A man's mother manages his family; and after her death his eldest sister assumes the direction. Brothers almost always live under the same roof; but, if one of the family separates from the rest, he is always accompanied by his favourite sister. Even cousins, to the most remote degree of kindred, in the female line, generally live together in great harmony; for, in this part of the country, love, jealousy, or disgust, never can disturb the peace of a Nair family.' II. 411, 412. G 2
We must close our extracts with the following account of an entertainment given to Dr Buchanan by the Biby, or Lady of Cananore, or Canura, a Mussulman princess of Malayala.
The succession goes in the female line, as usual in Malabar; the children of the son will have no claim to it; and he will be succeeded by the son of his niece, who is the daughter of his sister. This young lady has lately been married: and in the evening I was conducted by Mr Hodgson to a grand dinner which was given, on the occasion, to all the European ladies and gentlemen in the place. We were received by the Biby in her bed-room, and the ladies were admitted into the chamber of her grand-daughter. The diningroom was very large, and well lighted; and the dinner was entirely after the English fashion. The quantity of meat put on the table, as usual in India, was enormous, and the wines and liquors were very good. The young chief, with the father and husband of the young lady, who have no kind of authority, received the company in the dining-room; but did not sit at table. When dinner was served, they retired to a couch at one end of the hall, and smoked Hookas, until the company rose to dance. Appropriate toasts were given, and these were honoured by salutes of guns from the Biby's ships. Many fireworks were displayed, and there was music both European and native. The house of the Biby is very large, and, though not so showy as some of the Sultan's palaces, is by far more comfortable, and is in fact by much the best native house that I have seen. II. 553, 554.
Upon the whole, those who will take the trouble to peruse Dr Buchanan's book, will certainly obtain a far more accurate and correct notion of the actual condition and appearance of India, and of its existing arts, usages, and manners, than could be derived from all the other books relating to it in existence; but they will frequently be misled as to its religion, literature, and antiquities; and must submit to more labour than readers are usually disposed for, in collecting and piecing together the scattered and disjointed fragments of information of which these volumes are composed. If the work come to a second edition, we earnestly entreat Dr Buchanan either to make some arrangement of his materials, or to employ a redacteur for that purpose.
Observations on the HYPOTHESES which have been assumed to account for the Cause of GRAVITATION from Mechanical Principles. By the Rev. S. Vince, A. M. F. R. S. Plumian Profeffor of Aftronomy and Experimental Philofophy. Cambridge, 1806.
HE importance of the matter treated, and the name of the author, entitle this little tract to more confideration than a pamphlet of twenty-fix octavo pages can ufually claim. The appearance alfo of a fcientific memoir, in fo detached a form, is a circumftance that excites fome curiofity. This circumftance is accounted for in the preface, where we learn, that the memoir was read in the Royal Society of London as the Bakerian Lecture; though, for reafons that are not explained, but in which, as might be expected, the author is not difpofed to acquiefce, it was not inferted in the Philofophical Tranfactions. The prefent publication is therefore to be confidered as an appeal to the public, from a fentence of the Council of the Royal Society. Feeling, as reviewers muft naturally do, fome jealoufy of thofe tribunals, which, by interpofing a veto between literary productions and the public, interfere with them in the lawful exercife of their profeffion, our prejudices, on the prefent occafion, are unavoidably in favour of the author. We will endeavour, however, to conduct our investigation with the utmost impartiality; and fhall proceed to give our opinion, happy in the reflection, that we have no authority nor jurifdiction that can carry our fentence into execution, whether it be right or wrong; that we muft affign the reafons of every judgment we pronounce; and are therefore only ftrong to do justice, but weak, whenever, from prejudice or ignorance, we attempt to do the contrary. The most enviable fituation in which a judge can be placed, is, when he has the power of doing good, and wants the power of doing evil. A reviewer has his charge to give to the grand jury of the public before he can pronounce fentence; and has, by that means, a better fecurity for his own impartiality, than any thing but abfolute infallibility could give. But, as we neither know the degree of merit that is required, nor of demerit that may be tolerated, in a Bakerian Lecture, our judgment has no direct concern with that of the Royal Society. We have feen feveral of thofe lectures that contained
*It may seem a minute criticism, but it is too obvious to escape remark, that there is an inaccuracy in this title; the hypotheses referred to not having been contrived to account for the cause of gravitation, but for gravitation itself, or, to state the thing more correctly still, for the phenomena of gravitation.