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the verge of ruin ; but they are at present a formidable nation. Their government is democratical; they boast of their liberty, and own no supremacy but in their prophet. We will add a short account of them froin a memoir quoted in this volume.
• The Sicques are in general strong and well made; accustomed from their infancy to the most laborious life, and hardest fare, they make marches, and undergo fatigues that really appear astonishing. In their excursions they carry no tents or baggage, except, perhaps, a small tent for the principal officer : the rest fhelter themselves under blankets, which serve them also in the cold weather to wrap themselves in, and which, on a march, cover their saddles. They have commonly two, some of them three, horses each, of the middle fize, strong, active, and mild tempered. The provinces of Lahore and Moultan, noted for a breed of the best horses in Hindoftan, afford them an ample supply; and indeed they take the greatest care to encrease it by all means in their power. Though they make merry on the demise of any of their brethren, they mourn for the death of a horse : thus fhewing their love of an animal so necessary to them in their professional capacity. The food of the Sicques is of the coarsest kind, and such as the poorest people in Hindoftan use from neceflity. Bread, baked in alhes, and soked in a math made of different sorts of pulse, is the best dish, and such as they never indulge in but when at full leisure ; otherwise, vetches and tares, haftily parched, is all they care for, They abhor smoaking tobacco, for what reason I cannot discover; but intoxicate themselves freely with spirits of their own country manufacture. A cup of the last they never fail taking after a fatigue at night. Their dress is extremely scanty : a pair of long blue drawers, and a kind of checkered plaid, a part of which is fastened round the waist, and the other thrown over the shoulder, with a mean turban, form their clothing and equipage. The chiefs are distinguished by wearing some heavy gold bracelets on their wrists, and sometimes a chain of the same metal bound round their turbans, and by being mounted on better horses : otherwise, no distinction appears amongst them. The chiefs are numerous, some of whom have the command of ten or twelve thousand ca. valry; but this power is confined to a small number, the inferior officers maintaining from one to two thousand, and many not more than twenty or thirty horses; a certain quota of which is furnished by the chief, the greater part being the individual property of the horsemen. Vol. i. P. 289.
In April 1983, Mr. Forster reached Kashmire, the earthly paradise.' Before we attend him in his survey of that delightful spot, we will extract his general remarks on the country through which he had passed.
From Lall Dong to the Ganges, the face of the country
forms a close chain of woody mountains, and did not one or two miserable hamlets. feebly interpose, you would pronounce that division of Siringnashur fitted only for the habitation of the beasts of the forest. Elephants abound there, in numerous herds; but are not to be seen, it is said, on the west side of the Jumna. In the vicinity of Nhan, the country is interpersed with low hills, and frequently opens into extensive vallies; which having, perhaps, ever lain waste, are overgrown with low wood.
From thence to Bellaspour, the scene is changed into piles of lotty moun. tains, whose narrow breaks barely serve to discharge the descending streams. From Bellaspour, fertile vallies, though not wide, extend to Bissouly, where the country is again covered with high hills, which, with little variation, stretch to the limits of Kashmire.' Vol. i. P. 305.
• The road from Lall Dong to Kashmire, as accurately as could be ascertained, from an observation of the sun's course, tended generally to the north-west, west-north-west, and west by north ; except where the deviation is otherwise noted. The sides of the inhabited mountains produce wheat, barley, and a variety of the small grains peculiar to India. The cultivated spaces project from the body of the hill, in separate flats, in the form of a range of seInicircular stairs : with a broad base and a narrow fummit. The ground, which is strong and productive, has been propelled, it Mould seem, into these projections by the action of the rains, which fall among these mountains with great violence, froni June eill O&tober; and is now preserved in this divided and level state by buttresses of loose ftones, which bind in the edge of every flat. Rice is also cultivated in the narrow vallies, but not in a great quantity; nor is it the usual food of the inhabitants, who chiedy subfift on wheat, bread, and pease made into a thick foup. From Nhan, the northern sides of the hills produce the fir, in great plenty; and in the country between Jumbo and Kashmire, are seen many pines, but I observed they only grew on the north face of the mountains. I have frequently eat my meal under the Made of a spreading willow, which here, as in Europe, delights in hanging over a stream. The climate is not favourable to fruits and vegetables, being too hot for the Persian products, and not fufficiently warm to mature those of India : though the white mulberry must be excepted, which, at Jumbo, is of a large size, and of an exquisite flavour. The villages of the mountaineers, or rather their hamlets, stand generally on the brow of a hill, and consist of from four to six or eight small scattered houses; which are built of rough stones, laid in a clay loam, and usually flat roofed : 1 have also seen, though not often, floping roofs of wood. The resinous parts of the fir, cút in slips, fupply the common uses of the lamp, in all the places where that tree abounds ; but the method of extracting its turpentine, or tar, does not seem to be known.
The natives of these mountains are composed of the different classes of Hindoos, and little other difference of manners exists between them and those of the southern quarters of India than is seen amongst a people who occupy the high and low lands of the same country. The fcarcity of wealth, by deprelling the growth of luxury, has given them a rude simplicity of character, and has impeded the general advancement of civilization. They have no spacious buildings for private or public use, nor in the perforınance of religious offices do they observe those minuter or refined ceremonies that are practised by the southern Hindoos. Vol. i. P. 306.
The women of these parts have an olive complexion, and are neatly shaped. Their dress consists of a petticoat, a close jacket, and a loose stomacher. They are free in their mana ners, but not immodest or licentious.
(To be continued.)
The New Annual Register, or General Repository of History,
Politics, and Literature, for the Year 1797. Po which is prefixed, the History of Knowledge, Learning, and Taften in Great Britain, during the Reign of King Charles II. Part I. 8vo. 1os. 6d. Boards. Robinsons. 1798.
THIS is the eighteenth volume of a work which has been honoured with public approbation, as a faithful record of the events and transactions of the times, particularly of those which have occurred in Great Britain. By the increasing importance of its contents, the work has graduaily been extended in bulk; and, indeed, the present volume is of inconvenient magnitude. We are not inclined to admit the necefsity of such extraordinary extension. A history even of a very remarkable year, sufficiently copious for readers in general, might, without injury to the subject, be compressed with in moderate limits.
The introductory part treats of the character of Charles II. the conduct of his minister the earl of Clarendon, and the merits of the theological writers of that period. These are not ill characterised; and, in the delineation of their portraits, the author has taken an opportunity of censuring, with just severity, the infidels with whom many of those divines fo.ably contended.
After a short but pertinent exordium, the writer enters upon the affairs of the new parliament, which assembled in the autuinn of 1796. In giving the substance of a debate upon the address, he dwells on the eccentric harangue’ of earl Fitzwilliain longer than was necessary, as the protest of
that nobleman (which is incorporated with the historical de tail) amply explains his sentiments. The proceedings of the two houses for the better defence of the kingdom, are concisely related : those which regard the pecuniary supplies are recounted at much greater length. The debates upon the expediency of peace are sufficiently comprehensive, without being tedious.
There is nothing striking or spirited in the account of the mutiny among the seamen; but the statements appear to be correćt.
The chapter which relates to the suspension of pecuniary payment at the bank, is particularly copious. The subject is introduced with dignity.
! While the tranquillity of the nation was disturbed, and its existence endangered by the mutinous disposition of its most effective defenders, an evil which at first appeared of scarcely inferior magnitude, threatened at once to overwhelm its financial arrangements, and to bury in one prodigious ruin the pecuniary resources, and even the commerce, of the country. By the continued sanction of public opinion, the bank of England had been long.considered as the palladium of Britain; and the confidence which was attached to this object of national veneration approached, it must be confelfed, to the nature of idolatry. Like other popular fuperftitions, its proceedings were enveloped in mystery ; its existence was connected in idea with the existence of the state; its influence on the commercial prosperity of the country was highly exaggerated ; and its importance, in every point of view, was magnified by the operations of fancy on the basis of ignorance.
• The year 1797, which has been more productive of political wonders than any given period during the present century, has added this to the nuinber, that the bank of England has failed to fula fil its engagements, and yet public credit has remained unshaken. At the same time the veil of mystery which concealed its proceedings from the public is rent in pieces; its powers and its competency are now no longer secret; and that confidence which before rested on an ideal bafis, is now supported by legislative fanction, and by a developement of the affairs of this great monied corporation.' P. 124
Before the writer gives a detail of the concerns of our bank, he traces the origin of similar institutions.
! The rise and progress of paper-currency and of banks of depofit in Europe is a subject deeply interesting to the politician ; but it has never been treated with that accuracy of research, and that freedom of inquiry which its importance deserves. If we are not mistaken, the bank of Venice is the oidest of these institu-, tions; for it was established so early as the twelfth century, by an,
act of the state, as a general deposit or treasury for all the merchants and traders of that opulent and commercial city. The banks of Genoa, Hamburgh, Nuremberg, and Amsterdam, were all, we apprehend, of a date considerably anterior to that of the bank of England; but that of Anisterdam, which was established in 1609, was the most important of them all, and its circulation the most extensive. Its object was to counteract the abuses arising from the clipping and diminishing of the various coins which were then current in Holland. It therefore received both the light foreign coin, and the diminished coin of the country, as its real and intrinsic value in good standard money, deducting only the sum necessary for its recoinage ; and for the fum deposited afrer this deduction a credit was opened with the proprietor in the books of the bank, and the revenues of the city of Amsterdam were made responsible for the amount. The bills of credit upon the bank thus came to be distinguished by the name of bank money; and effectually to remedy the evils arising from the defacing of the coin, it was enacted, that all bilis of exchange of the value of 600 gilders or upwards were to be paid in bank money; which, as it represented money exactly according to the standard, was always at par, or of equal value with good standard currency. Certain other objects of no inconsiderable moment to commercial men were achieved by means of this establishiment. The money thus deposited was fecure from fire, robbery, and other accidents; and large fums could be paid by a fimple transfer, without the trouble of counting, or the risk of counterfeit coin.
• In England, after the fatal contests between the houses of York and Lancaster were composed, the opulent citizens were accustomed to deposit their gold and silver in the royal mint, as a place of safety, whence they occafionally drew fupplies of current coin, as their necessities required; but when the unfortunate Charles I. feized the bullion in the Tower, in the year 1640, this sanctuary was violated, and all confidence in the government was at an end. In the course of the civil war, that unnatural state of commotion, which corrupts and depraves even the best of the human race, ren-, dered it unsafe to the merchants and traders to trust their clerks, or apprentices, with the charge of their treasure; and about the year 1645 they began first to lodge their money in the hands of certain goldsmitlis, who undertook to be answerable for their payments upon drafts, under the signature of the respective principals : and this appears to be the first establishment of regular banks in the city of London.
• The institution of a bank upon more extensive and liberal principles was projected by some merchants and traders of the city of London, foon after the revolution, and was countenanced by the court and ministry ; and though, as bishop Burnet informs us, the opposition to its establishment was considerable, aa act was nevertheless passed in 1693 for its incorporation, under the name of