Page images
PDF
EPUB

the successive progression of the files, all clothed in red.' At length, however, the leading stag, vir gregis ipse," striking the ground, snorted, and immediately rushed forward across the ranks, followed by the whole collection, to the utter dismay and confusion of the sol. diery : thus running into the very danger one naturally supposes they must have at first been anxious to avoid. The men, who were apprized by the sound of their approach, stopped, and made way for them. Over the heads of the others, who were heedless and inattentive, they bounded with wonderful agility, and fed over the plain.

Driving one evening along the road in a phaeton, and pretty fast, I perceived a young heifer running near the carriage, with her eyes intently fixed upon one of the hind wheels ; by the whirling of which the anirnal seemed completely struck and affected. Thus pursuing her object for about a quarter of a mile, she, by a sudden impulse, rapidly darted forward towards the wheel, which then striking her nose, the attention of the creature became interrupted by the violence of the friction, and was, of course, withdrawn: she then immediately stood stock still, and presently after turned about slowly and made off.

Beyond all other animals, however, serpents possess most emi. nently this occult power : frequently are they seen revolved on the branches of trees, or on the ground, meditating their prey, either birds, squirrels, rats, mice, bats, frogs, hares, or other animals.' P. 21.

Of the sports of the field, in Hindustan, by the same author.' This article also does not admit of abridgement. English hounds lose their scent after about a year; and they are liable, as well as European spaniels and pointers, to frequent disorders in the bowels, which soon destroy them.

- Accounts of feats of strength, activity, and legerdemain, in Hindustan, by colonel Ironside.' The Hindus, in these feats of activity, seem to excel the Europeans.

• An inquiry into the nature of the winds which prevail in the Indian seas, from colonel Capper's work, has been already noticed. The narrative of a voyage, however, to Cochin China has never yet been printed, and is peculiarly important and interesting. It includes a sketch of the geography of the country, with some particulars of the manners, customs, and history, of the inhabitants, by Mr. Chapman. The object of the tract before us is to recommend a settle. ment in this part of Asia, where the internal contests of the inhabitants furnish the highest probability of success. We suppose the proposal has been reviewed by those best able to judge of its propriety. The adventures of the author we cannot abridge, but shall add a short account of the country.

“The breadth of the country bears no proportion to its length. Few of the provinces extend further than a degree from east to west, some less than 20 miles: Donai, which is properly a province of Cambodia, is much larger. . • The whole country is intersected by rivers, which, although not Crir. Rev. Vol. 38. June, 1803.

M

farge enough to admit of vessels of great burthen, yet are exceedingly well calculated for promoting inland commerce.

The climate is healthy, the violent heat of the summer months being tempered by regular breezes from the sea. September, October, and November, are the season of the rains ; the low lands are then suddenly overlowed by immense torrents of water which fall from the mountains. The inundations happen generally once a fortnight, and last for three or four days. In December, January, and February, there are frequently rains brought by cold northerly winds, which distinguish this country with a winter different from any other in the East. The inundations have the same effect here as the overflowings of the Nile in Egypt, and render the country one of the most fruitful in the world. In many parts the land produces three crops of grain in the year. All the fruits of India are found here in the greatest perfection, with many of those of China.

No country in the East produces richer or a greater variety of articles proper for carrying on an advantageous commerce, cinnamon, pepper, cardemoms, silk, cotton, sugar, Agula-wood, Japan-wood, ivory, &c. Gold is taken almost pure from the mines; and before the troubles great quantities were brought from the hills in dust, and bartered by the rude inhabitants of them for rice, cloths, and iron. It was from them also the Agula and Calambae woods were procured, with quantities of wax, honey, and ivory.

The animals of Cochin China are bullocks, goats, swine, buffaloes, elephants, camels, and horses. In the woods are found the wild boar, tyger, and rhinoceros, with plenty of deer; the poultry is excellent, and the fish caught on the coast abundant and delicious. The Mesh of the elephant is accounted a great dainty by the Cochin Chinese. The breeding of bullocks is little attended to; their flesh is not esteemed as food, and they are made no use of in tilling the land, which is performed by buffaloes. They are totally unacquainted with the art of milking their cattle.

• The aborigines of Cochin China are called Moys, and are the people which inhabit the chain of mountains which separate it from Cambodia. To these strong holds they were driven when the present possessors invaded the country. They are a savage race of people, very black, and resemble in their features the Caftrees.' P. 85. · The Moys are evidently the Malays; and the present race,

is very clearly of Chinese origin. Cochin China affords numerous articles required by the Chinese; and the possession of this country would, in our author's opinion, secure the trade of China, with peculiar benefits, when we consider the connexion of the emigrant Chinese with every part of the parent country. The vicinity of Japan and the Philippines would give us considerable advantages in commerce; while Turon Bay would be a secure asylum for the Indiamen who lose their passage to China. On this subject we can offer no opinion, but have often urged the utility of a sett!cment in the neighbourhood, or on the cast of China, to coul

inand the commerce of that very cautious nation, which so unwillingly admits strangers to its own ports.

Observations on the monsoons, so far as they regard the commerce and navigation of the port of Bombay,' are e chiefly nautical; and not interesting to general readers.

A curious mode of process, among the Hindus, in trials for witchcraft.' The absurdity of these processes is equaled only by our own vulgar and obsolete superstition of throwing a reputed witch into the water, who, if not drowned, was formally condemned to be hanged. We shall select the Indian proofs.

i The natives of India observe three modes of incantation, in order to prove the crime. First, in the day time, by planting in water branches of the Saul tree, in the name of every woman in the village, from the age of ten years and upwards; for if, after remaining in the water a certain period of time, a branch withers, the woman in whose name it is placed is deemed a witch.

. Secondly, by lamp light in the night, by dropping oil of mustard into water contained in the hollow of a certain leaf, and with each drop calling on the name of every woman of the village ; and if the shadow of the woman in whose name the oil is dropped appeared in the water, she was immediately pronounced a witch,

• The third mode is by placing small parcels of rice, tied in bags, in a nest of white anis, in the name of each woman of the village; when as many of the bags of rice as were destroyed by the ants, each of the women, in whose names such bags were placed, were declared witches. All these several processes were performed before the selfcreated tribunal as above described, and which generally consisted of a pretty numerous assembly.' P.91.

· Letters from the emperor Aurengzebe to his sons, with an authentic copy of his will, translated from the Persic originals, by the late Joseph Earles, esg. now first published.' These letters display much superstitious bigotry, and show that the most unteeling heart may be still susceptible of parental tenderness. Two paragraphs from the will we shall selcct.

7th. There is none better calculated for a minister of state than a Persian. In war also, from the reign of his majesty of blessed memosy, till the present time, none of this nation eves fled from the field of batile, or slipp'd from their feet of firmness ; nor have they ever been refractory or perfidious : but as they require much attention and respect, it is difficult to satisfy them, though by all means highly necessary, and more so, not to treat them with neglect.

i Sth. The Tartars are undoubtedly a race of excellent soldiers. They are very expert and judicious in plundering and devastating a country, and in making night attacks and prisoners; nor do they account it any disgrace to retire from action fighting; being in this respect far remote from the gross ignorance of the Hindustanians, whose heads may go 'ere they will go themselves. It is by all means necese

sary, therefore, to treat these people with regard, as they will be ser viceable upon many occasions where others will not *.' P. 95.

From the letters, which are often highly curious, we shal} add a short extract.

- The emperor Jehangier says, in his Jehangier Namé–“ divisions daily arising from the commencement of our reign, we deemed repose unlawful for ourself; and in order to protect and defend the people of God, we never slept with the eye of a friend :

. To give rest to every body beside,

We inured our own to the want of it.' “ By the favour of God, our custom by degrees became such, that sleep never plundered more of the wealth of our time than two astronomical hours in the space of a day and a night; whence we derived these two advantages, a thorough knowledge of the attairs of the enpire, and wakefulness in the remembrance of God.”

. It is a shame that this life, of an imperfect day, should be passed away in sloth and forgetfulness, when the long sleep of death is before it: Deeming it precious, one should not, on the contrary, be the twinkling of an eye divested of the thoughts of God.

· Be wakeful, a strange sleep is just before you.' P. 96. ( Vindication of the liberties of the Asiatic women, by Mirza Abu Taleb Khan. This learned native of Oude has been for nearly two years in England, and has composed a poem, in the Persic language, descriptive of London, its amusements, the adjacent country, and English manners. This little tract is written in consequence of a conversation on the subject with an English lady, and designed to show, that the real possession of liberty and power is in the Asiatic. and not in the English, ladies. The discussion is truly curious, though we think the Hindu fails somewhat in his proofs. One of the superiorities of the Asiatic ladies will not be allowed an exclusive advantagemviz, a prescriptive power of teasing their husbands by every pretext.

Among the poctic pieces, we were greatly entertained with the literary characteristics of the most distinguished persons of the Asiatic Society, by John Collegins, esq.' It contains some curious accounts of authors, who have distinguished themselves in that collection, but is not remarkable for animated description or poetic imagery. Two little odes

•* Those nations in the two preceding articles, which have been translated Persians and Tartars, are expressed in the original by the words Iran and Toran. The former is Generally understood for the kingdom of Persia, comprehending all those regions extending from the Oxus to the Persian Sea on the south, and the Tigris on the west; and the country beyond the Oxus is called Turar; but all the higher Asia, excepting India and China, is comprehended by Eastern historians under thcsc (wo Aumes.'

from Hafiz, irith the originals, conclude this department, which, we think, might have been extended further.

The works noticed are, captain Turner's Account of his Embassy to Thibet; colonel Symes's Einbassy to Ava; Persian Lyrics, from the Diwan-i Hafiz; Dr. Howison's Dictionary of the Malay Tongrie; a continuation of Colebrooke's Digest of Hindu Law; Observations on the Report of the Directors of the East-India Company respecting the Trade between India and Europe, by Mr. Henchman, with a Letter to Sir William Pulteney, on the same Subject, by Sir George Dallas; the Tooti Nameh, or Tales of a Parrot, in the Persian, with an English Translation ; Dr. Hager's Explanation of the Elementary Characters of the Chinese. The volume conchides with correspondence on literary subjects, chiefly announcing Mr. Drummond's Grammar of the Malabar Language, with a short analysis of that work.

Art. III. - Travels in Portugal, and through France and

Spain. With a Dissertation on the Literature of Portugal, and the Spanish and Portugueze Languages. By Henry Frederick Link. Translated from the German by John Hinckley, Esq. with Notes by the Translator. 8vo. 98. Boards. Longman and Rees. 1801.

OUR very intelligent author describes his journey, through France and Spain, to Portugal, in the course of which he accompanied count Hoffmansegg, whose object it was to examine the natural history of this last kingdom, and who wished for a companion, in some degree acquainted with mineralogy and botany. While the count is preparing his great work, the Fauna et Flora Lusitanica, our author has published his travels.

On my return I read all the accounts I could procure of travels in Portugal, and found that no one had seen so much of that country as ourselves. I also perceived that most of the authors of these work's were grossiy ignorant of the language, and gave many false accounts, or such as were only applicable to the inhabitants of the metropolis, but which they erroneously extended to the whole kingdom. In short I tead of nothing but complaints against the lazy bigotted and thievish Portugueze, and saw with grief, that no one had described the des lightful vales through which the Minho flows, the cultivation of which vies with that of England herself; that no one had bestowed due praise on the tolerant spirit of the common people, of which I had many pleasing proofs, (I speak not of priests, who have a character of their own, and are alike in all countries where the government favours them); that no one had proclaimed the security enjoyed in a country where in my botanical excursions I laid myself down by the road-side

« PreviousContinue »