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bers. A dead silence was rigidly observed, not a syl. $lable articulated, nor a laugh exploded during the
INHABITANTS OF INDIA.
“ The poppy, and each nummirig plant dispense
Their drowsy virtue and dull indolence.
No problems puzzle his lethargic brain.” GARTH. .... There are numerous works which treat of the in- , hus habitants of India, and whence much important know
ledge may be extracted. The “ Asiatic Researches' hold the first place, as in these volumes the learning and genius of the east may be said to be combined. Amongst the works of Sir William Jones, his translation of “The Institutes of Menu,' will be found the most advantageous. They make you acquainted with laws congenial to the dispositions and habits, to the religious prejudices, and approved immemorial usages of the people for whom they were enacted; and conformable, as far as the natives are affected by them, to the opinions and manners of the natives themselves; an object which cannot possibly be obtained until those manners and opinions can be accurately and fully known. Halhed's translation of the Ordination of Brahmens,' contains knowledge very essential in our enquiry into Oriental habits and laws. "Maurice's Indian Antiquities' afford very extensive instruction; and much rational information may be collected from the Arabian Nights,' and other eastern tales, which probably afford
the truest picture of Asiatic manners we have in our possession. This work, which, as children, we have all heard with such fixed attention and rapturous delight, on account of the pleasing and interesting narration, is well worthy our notice as men, as disclosing to curious observation the inmost recesses of Indian cus. toms and belief. The more minute our investigation, the more fruitful shall we find the soil, the produce of which must always afford a recompence equal to the labour we employ in reaping it.
of riche .... When writing on the progress of national refinement, how is a standard for civility to be fixed? It artifices has been generally accounted, that those countries alone are civilised, where laws have been framed for the pro- pasions tection of life, and for the safety of property. That country, therefore, can never be called civilised, where thee of the priest stands before the altar of his idol with his hands reeking with the blood of the newly-slaughtered victim; 'whose laws permit the son to expose to the flood the being who gave him birth, when oppressed by years, and unable to labour for the support of life; pasion, where the youthful widow is compelled to finish a short life upon the pile of her deceased husband, or else must survive his loss in ignominy or servitude; where human sacrifices are offered up to appease the - demon of destruction; and where the woman, who has been long barren, offers her first born to her god, by sérce, exposing it to the birds and beasts of prey, or suffering The it to be carried away by the flood of the Ganges. . le luxe
The Indians at present under the British dominion, ws, fro particularly those near the seats of government, appear inclined to dismiss many of their prejudices. The
potence sicher Hindoos, in particular, affect to despise many of their former customs, to which the destructive persecution of the Mahomedans only served to rivet their affections. They, however, rather copy the follies than the virtues of the Europeans, and endeavour to excel them in luxury and expence, rather than in knowi ledge. They have acquired the same freedom of behaviour without their generosity and independence spirit, and they are more eager in the acquirement of riches, without the same enterprise and honesty of principle. To over-reach the stranger by the lowest artifices of despicable chicane and intrigue, is considered by the trading Hindoo as his calling. If the passions have not the same influence over him as over the more vigorous and impetuous European, the influence of the virtues is still less. If he is less quick in resenting injuries, he is utterly insensible to every feel. ing of gratitude. To vegetate in sloth is the delight of the Hindoo; and he is never roused to exertion, but by the calls of necessity, or to gratify his ruling passion, avarice. He is dastardly in spirit, and will seldom stand a contest with an open foe; but is rather inclined to injure his enemy secretly. When transported with anger, he vents his rage with feminine impotence in the vilest and foulest reproaches; but his fury is quickly damped, if likely to be resented by force,
The Hindoo has a strong propensity to indulge in the luxury of the palate. Though prohibited, by his laws, from feeding on the flesh of animals, he feasts luxuriously on ghee and spices, and quaffs with delight
the drugs with which he gives fresh relish to the naturally-powerful effects of tobacco.
It has been the fashion to dwell with rapture on the humanity and mildness of the Hindoos; but can that people be called humane' or mild, who can, with un. moved countenance and unfeeling hearts, behold the tortures of their nearest relatives perishing in the flames, or drowning in the Ganges? Friendship, indeed, appears to have little power over their hearts; and the tender ties, which bind an offspring to a parent, are frequently forgotten. The ambition of the Hindoo is moderate, and he bears a stain on his honour with great calmness, provided he has thereby increased his wealth. The generous spirit of independence never warms his cold and timorous breast; he crouches with the most abject servitude and flattery to his superiors,
and is treated in the same manner by his dependents, · over whom he takes every opportunity to tyrannize.
This, indeed, has been ever so much the character of the Hindoo, that the Mahomedans always found him the best instrument for oppressing his own countrymen. The chief consistency of conduct in the Hindoo is his strict observancy of the tenets of his religion; the daily ceremony of ablution and prayers he never neglects, and there is no penance which he will not undergo to appease his angry gods. Different tribes differ much in their dispositions and in their superstitions; the Bengalese, perhaps, of all the other tribes, are the least enterprising and bold, and more the slaves of prejudice. The Poligars of the Peninsula, the Mahrattas, Nairs, and Sheiks, are all different classes of ; Hindoos, bound by laws peculiar to themselves, and
are resolute and warlike tribes.
« In days of old, when Arthur fill'd the throne,
The king of Elfs, and little Fairy queen,
The grass unbidden rose, and mark'd the ground.
At Britain's court, in Arthur's days,
For knights of prowess fam'd,
'Bove all Sir Albert claim'd: