« PreviousContinue »
dominions, in order to divert him from his inroads into the Carnatic. The conduct of the general is severely censured by our author, who thinks that the fatal draught was intended to punish conduct derogatory from the true courage of the loldier and the liberality of the man. Other officers, captured after a fair contest, were treated differently. Though the conduct of Tippoo may in this way be palliated, the explanation does not meet the whole of the tyrant's behaviour; and we are inclined to believe, that he was chiefly influenced by revenge, at being called back from his favourite object, when he had almost achieved it.
The Malabar coast, itrictly considered, commences in the neighbourliood of Bangalore; and from Cannanore the achievements of general Abercrombie hegan, followed in another campaign by the most brilliant success. Other places on the coast are described, with accounts of the events of which they were the scenes, and of the natural productions of the country. The latter we cannot particularly notice ; but the * catalogue comprises almost every thing that is noble in the vegetable kingdom, with various objects of luxury, curiosity, and use.
- The kingdom of Travancore-belli teterrima causa-is accurately described, as is the country about Cape Comorin. We find, in this part of the work, nothing more interesting than the description of the Nayrs,
· The difgrace which Tippoo suffered,' (before the lines of Travancore) was owing to three battalions of Nayrs, and five hundred archers, in all three thousand men, who, stimulated by the cause of their country and of their religion, were crowned with victory. The Nayrs are the nobility of Malabar, the ancient dominions of the Zamorins, and in times of their prosperity formed the body guards. On the first appearance of Cabral at Calicut, the Zamorin sent two of his Nayrs to compliment him on his arrival. They have at all times been famed for their valour and love of war. They are of the great military casts the Khatre, and support to this day the spirit of their ancestors. They are excelfively proud, and are never known to laugh. They are besides fo very insolent to their inferiors, that it is said, if a person of the lower order dare to look at a Nayr, he may be put to death on the spot with impunity. Among the good qualities of the Nayrs, may be reckoned their great fidelity. It is customary for them to undertake the conduct of Christian or Mahometan travellers, or strangers, through their country. The latter never venture without taking a single Nayr with them, who makes himself respon Gible for their fafety; even an old decrepit man, or a boy is sufficient for the purpose. Should any misfortune befall the charge, it is related, that the Nayrs, unable to bear the disgrace, have frequently been
known to put themselves to death. Notwithstanding this, at other times they are notorious robbers, and even will murder the traveller unprotected by one of their caft.
In their persons they are well made, and of great strength : their complexion more black than olive, their hair crisp, but longer than that of the Negro; their ears enormously long; they think that custom graceful, they lengthen them by art, and hang on thein and their noses numbers of baubles. They at times load their arms and necks with silver bracelets and chains of pearl. In time of war, on their head, they wear a' most ungiaceful clout hanging down, pointed on each side, and a short wrapper round the waist, with a dagger stuck in a fash ; all the reit of thein is naked. In one hand is a sword of vast length. Such is the figure of one given by captain Byron, engraven by Vivares. In religion they are of the Hindoo; in marriage strict monogamists.' Vol. i. P. 177
The island of Ceylon, the Taprobana of antiquity, was extended, by the ancient geographers, much beyond its real magnitude, either because navigators, when, in imitation of the boldness of Hippalus, they stretched across the Indian Ocean, mistook the coast of Malabar for Ceylon, or because a part has since been submerged. Mr. Pennant thinks that it once was united to the continent on the west, where the water is still shallow, and that the Lacadive, perhaps the Maldive, Ifands, might have been a part of the main land.
The traditions of our great progenitor Adam, in all parts of this island, are remarkable.
« The inhabitants are the Cingalese; these are aboriginal, and differ totally in language from the people of Malabar, or any other neighbouring nation. Their features more like Europeans than any
other. Their hair long, most commonly turned up. They are black, but well made, and with good countenances, and of excellent morals, and of great piety. Their religion is derived from Buddo, a profelyte of the great Indian Foe: his doctrine spread over Japan and Sian, as well as that of Foe. It consists of the wildest idolatry, and the idols, the objects of their worship, are the most monstrous and phantastic. The pagodas are numerous, and many of them, like several in India, of hewn-stone, most richly and exquisitely carved. The Cingalese believe Buddo to have come upon earth; and that to him belonged the salvation of fouls: all human happiness, fay they, proceeds from him : all evil, from the devil, to whom he permits the power of punishment. When fick, they dedicate a red cock to that being, as the Romans did one to Esculapius. During the time he inhabited the earth, they tell us, that he usually fare under the shade of the ficus religiosa, which, in honor of him, is called in the Cingalese tongue, Budaghaha. His religion is the established religion of the island.
He was a
Vol. i. p.
The civil government is monarchical. The emperor, in the time of Knox, was absolute, and clamed the most undisputable right over the lives and fortunes of all his subjects, most barbarous tyrant, and took a diabolical delight in putting his subjects to the most cruel and lingering deaths. Elephants were often the executioners of his vengeance, and were directed to pull the unhappy criminals limb from limb with their trunks, and scat, ter them to the birds of the air, or beasts of the field. The emperor's residence was at Candy, nearly in the center of the island; but he was, in Knox's time, by the rebellion of his subjects, obliged to desert that city. The government is said, by Wolff
, p. 235, to be at present very mild, and regulated by the statute laws of the land, the joint production of divers wise princes, and are confidered as facred by the Cingalese. It is possible that the tyrant, in the days of Knox, had destroyed the liberties of his country, which were afterwards restored.'
190. The Portuguese first discovered Ceylon; but the Dutch possessed it for many years. The harbour of Trincomalè, on its eastern side, has been contested in the late wars, as a fecure retreat from the monsoons, which raise so dangerous a surf in the roads of Madras.' The Cingalese are not the only inhabitants of the island. A sace of wild men, called Wedas, inhabit its fastnesses, and live on meat or on roots. They are dexterous in the use of the bow, but are unable to forge the points of their arrows; have a lighter complexion than the Cingalese, and are unwilling to affociate with them; live without subordination, and seem to have no religion.
Ceylon nourishes, among other quadrupeds, the elephant, the tiger, and the bear; and many of the most poisonous ferpents are also found on the island. Of the birds, the principal iş the peacock, which is a native of India. The thips of Solomon first brought these birds to our continent; and his Tarshish was probably in India, or had comercial connections with it. "Among the inhabitants of the waters, we thall only notice the great sword-fish, the enemy of the whale, which has driven its formidable weapon through the bottom of a ship, mistaking it for a whale, and died unable to extricate it.
The Flora is uncommonly rich. Spices of every kind abound here. The bread-fruit tree, the bamboo, the mango, the whole cribe of nutritious palms, the pine, the cotton-tree, the Barringtonia, the orange, the nepenthe, the morus Indica, and many other trees and plants, are found in the ifland.
The plates of the first volume are nine, representing places, objects of natural history, &c. We cannot, in every infiance, cominend the choice or the execution of them.
(To be continued.)
The Works of Horatio Walpole, Earl of Orford. (Concluded
from Vol. XXIII. p. 256.)
THE last volume of this collection consists wholly of letters to different persons, written during a very interesting period. It is pleasing to discover Mr. Walpole's real opinions of public occurrences, and of the merits of different writers; opinions generally judicious, and probably candid; for these are the effufions of friendship, not the studied criticisms of an author, The letters are written in that light familiar style, which is calculated to render them, in a manner, the copies of a rational pleasing conversation. To some of the most celebrated French epistles they bear a resemblance; but we prefer the effusions of Mr. Walpole to those of the French, as they appear to us to contain a greater variety of natural and interesting reflections.
The letters to field-marshal Conway, the firit of the fifth volume, comprise a period of fifty-five years, from 1740 to 1795. From a correspondence with a character so exalted in times of great political exertions, we must be allowed to make confiderable extracts. These we shall introduce with a just account of the epistles from the pen of the intelligent editor.
• These letters are the careless effusions of unbounded confidence on all subjects, between two persons, both eminent for their abilities, during the unbroken duration of a friendship which almoit began, and only ended with their lives. Such letters were certainly never originally intended for publication ; but as from that very reason they become doubly interesting, affording indubitable proofs, not only of the liveliest wit and the happiest expression, but of the most disinterested attachment, the foundest integrity and the most anxious affection; to suppress them would be to suppress one of the best eulogies on both their characters, and would deprive the world at once of a bright example, and of a consoling instance of real, rare, uninterrupted friendship.
Indeed so arbitrary is the distribution even of posthumous fame, that it may, perhaps, be chiefly from these letters, and other works of his friend, that the character of marshal Conway will be best known to posterity. The pure, tried, undhaken integrity of his soul, his cool determined valour, the mild domestic virtues of his heart, his unwearied search after knowledge, his admirable taste and various accomplishments, were accompanied by such modeft, such philosophic diffidence of his own opinion and acquirements, and were exalted by such noble and extraordinary fimplicity of character, as rendered him inattentive to the acquisition of popular applause, while satisfied with the consciousness of deserving it. Vol. i.
The following letter of advice to Mr. Conway, who was fecond in command in the expedition against Rochefort, is worthy of selection :
If you have received mine of Tuesday, which I directed to Portsinouth, you will perceive how much I agree with you. I am charmed with your sensible modesty. When I talked to you, of defence, it was from concluding that you had all agreed that the attempt was impracticable, nay impossible; and from thence I judged that the ministry intended to cast the blame of a wild pro. ject upon the officers. That they may be a little willing to do that, I still think--but I have the joy to find that it cannot be thrown on you.
As your friend, and fearing, if I talked for you first, it would look like doubt of your behaviour, at least that you had bid me defend
your friends, I said not a word, trusting that your innocence would break out and make its way. I have the satisfaction to find it has already done so. It comes from all quarters but your own, which makes it more honourable. My lady Suffolk told me last night, that the heard all the seamen faid they wished the general had been as ready as Mr. Conway But this is not all; I left a positive commission in town to have the truth of the general report fent me without the least disguise; in consequence of which I am solemnly assured that your name is never mentioned but with honour; that all the violence, and that extreme, is against fir John Mordaunt and Mr. Cornwallis. particularly sorry for the latter, as I firmly believe him as brave as poffible.
This situation of things makes me advise, what I know and find I need not advise, your saying as little as possible in your own defence, nay, as much as you can with any decency for the others. I am neither acquainted with, nor care a straw about, fir John Mordaunt; but as it is known that you differed with him, it will do you the greatest honour to vindicate him, instead of disculpating yourself. My most earnest desire always is, to have your character continue as amiale and respectable as poflible. There is no doubt but the whole will come out, and therefore your justification not coming from yourself will set it in a ten times better light. I thall go to town to-day to meet your brother; and as I know his affection for you will make him warm in clearing you, I shall endeavour to restrain that ardour, of which you know I have enough on the least glimmering of a necessity: but I am fure you will agree with me, that, on the representation I have here made to you, it is not proper
solicitous about you. • The city talk very treason, and, connecting the fufpenfion at Stade with this disappointment, cry out, that the general had po. sitive orders to do nothing, in order to obtain gentler treatment of Hanover. They intend in a violent manner to demand redress, and are too enraged to let any part of this affair remain a mystery. Vol. v, P. 53,
friends to appear