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of France retained a considerable share of admiration for the English government. This is quite inexplicable. But this is nothing to the treason of the Encyclopedists, who, instead of attributing the merit of the experimental philosophy and the reasoning by induction to a Frenchman, have shown themselves so lost to all sense of the duty which they owed their country, that they have attributed it to an Englishman,* of the name of Bacon, and this for no better reason than that he really was the author of it. The whole of this passage is written so entirely in the genius of Mr. Fievée, and so completely exemplifies that very caricature species of Frenchmen from which our gross and popular notions of the whole people are taken, that we shall give the passage at full length, cautiously abstaining from the sin of translating it.
“Quand je reproche aux philosophes d'avoir vanté l'Angleterre, par haine pour les institutions qui soutenoient la France, je ne hasarde rien, et je fournirai une nouvelle preuve de cette assertion, en citant les encyclopédistes, chefs avoués de la philosophie moderne.
“ Comment nous ont-ils présenté l'Encyclopédie ? Comme un monument immortel, comme le dépôt précieux de toutes les connoissances humaines. Sous quel patronage l'ont-ills élevé ce monument immortel ? Est-ce sous l'égide des écrivains dont la France s'honoroit ? Non, ils ont choisi pour maître et pour idole, un Anglais, Bâcon; ils lui ont fait dire tout ce qu'ils ont voulu, parce que set auteur, extraordinairement volumineux, n'étoit pas connu en France, et ne l'est guère en Angleterre que de quelques hommes studieux ; mais les philosophes sentoient que leur succès, pour introduire des nouveautés, tenoit à faire croire qu'elles n'étoient pas neuves pour les grands esprits ; et comme les grands esprits Français, trop connus, ne ce prêtoint pas à un pareil dessein, des philosophes ont eu recours à l'Angleterre. Ainsi, un ouvrage fait en France, et offert à l'admiration de l'Europe comme l'ouvrage par excellence, fut mis par des Français sous la protection du génie Anglais. O honte! Et les philosophes se sont dit patriotes, et la France, pour prix de sa dégradation, leur a élevé des statues! Le siècle qui commence, plus juste, parce qu'il a le sentiment de la véritable grandeur, laissera ces statues et l'Encyclopédie s'ensevelir sous la même poussière."
When to this are added the commendations that have been bestowed on Newton, the magnitude and the originality of the discoveries which have been attributed to him, the admiration which the works of Locke have excited, and the homage that has been paid to Milton and Shakspeare, the treason which lurks at the bottom of it all will not escape the penetrating glance of Mr. Fievée ; and he will discern that same cause, from which every good Frenchman knows the defeat of Aboukir and of the first of June to have proceeded—the monster Pitt, and his English guineas.
* Gaul was conquered by a person of the name of Julius Cæsar," is the first phrase in one of Mr. Newberry's little books.
An Account of the Island of Ceylon. By ROBERT PERCIVAL, Esq., of his
Majesty's Nineteenth Regiment of Foot. London : C. and R. Baldwin. it T is now little more than half a century since the English first began
to establish themselves in any force upon the peninsula of India ; and we at present possess, in that country, a more extensive territory, and a more numerous population, than any European power can boast of at home. In no instance has the genius of the English, and their courage, shone forth more conspicuously than in their contest with the French for the empire of India. The numbers on both sides were always inconsiderable ; but the two nations were fairly matched against each other, in the cabinet and the field; the struggle was long and obstinate ; and, at the conclusion, the French remained masters of a dismantled town, and the English of the grandest and most extensive colony that the world has ever seen. To attribute this success to the superior genius of Clive, is not to diminish the reputation it confers on his country, which reputation must of course be elevated by the number of great men to which it gives birth. But the French were by no means deficient in casualties of genius at that period, unless Bussy is to be considered as a man of common stature of mind, or Dupleix to be classed with the vulgar herd of politicians. Neither was Clive (though he clearly stands forward as the most prominent figure in the group) without the aid of some military men of very considerable talents. Clive extended our Indian empire ; but General Lawrence preserved it to be extended; and the former caught, perhaps from the latter, that military spirit by which he soon became a greater soldier than him, without whom he never would have been a soldier at all.
Gratifying as these reflections upon our prowess in India are to national pride, they bring with them the painful reflection, that so considerable a portion of our strength and wealth is vested upon such precarious foundations, and at such an immense distance from the parent country. The glittering fragments of the Portuguese empire, scattered up and down the East, should teach us the instability of such dominion. We are (it is true) better capable of preserving what we have obtained than any other nation which has ever colonised in Southern Asia; but the object of ambition is so tempting, and the perils to which it is exposed so numerous, that no calculating mind can found any durable conclusions upon this branch of our commerce and this source of our strength.
In the acquisition of Ceylon, we have obtained the greatest of all our wants-a good harbour. For it is a very singular fact, that, in the whole peninsula of India, Bombay is alone capable of affording a safe retreat to ships during the period of the monsoons.
The geographical figure of our possessions in Ceylon is whimsical enough; we possess the whole of the sea-coast, and enclose in a periphery the unfortunate King of Candia, whose rugged and mountainous dominions may be compared to a coarse mass of iron, set in a circle of silver. The Popilian ring, in which this votary of Buddha has been so long held by the Portuguese and Dutch, has infused the most vigilant jealousy into the government, and rendered it as difficult to enter the kingdom of Candia, as if it were Paradise or China ; and yet, once there, always there; for the difficulty of departing is just as great as the difficulty of arriving; and his Candian Excellency, who has used every device in his power to keep them out, is seized with such an affection for those who baffle his defensive artifices, that he can on no account suffer them to depart. He has been known to detain a string of four or five Dutch embassies, till various members of the legation died of old age at his court, while they were expecting an answer to their questions and a return to their presents :* and his Majesty once exasperated a little French ambassador to such a degree, by the various pretences under which he kept him at his court, that this lively member of the Corps Diplomatique, one day, in a furious passion, attacked six or seven of his Majesty's largest elephants sword in hand, and would, in all probability, have reduced them to mince-meat, if the poor beasts had not been saved from the unequal combat.
The best and most ample account of Ceylon is contained in the narrative of Robert Knox, who, in the middle of the 17th century, was taken prisoner there (while refitting his ship) at the age of nineteen, and remained nineteen years on the island, in slavery to the King of Candia. During this period, he learnt the language, and acquired a thorough knowledge of the people. The account he has given of them is extremely entertaining, and written in a very simple and unaffected style : so much so, indeed, that he presents his reader with a very grave account of the noise the devil makes in the woods of Candia, and of the frequent opportunities he had of hearing him.
Mr. Percival does not pretend to deal with the devil ; but appears to have used the fair and natural resources of observation and good sense, to put together an interesting description of Ceylon. There is nothing in the book very animated, or very profound, but it is without pretensions; and if it does not excite attention by any unusual powers of description, it never disgusts by credulity, wearies by prolixity, or offends by affectation. It is such an account as a plain military man of diligence and common sense might be expected to compose'; and narratives like these we must not despise. To military men we have been, and must be, indebted for our first acquaintance with the interior of many countries. Conquest has explored more than ever curiosity has done; and the path for science has been commonly opened by the sword.
* Knox's Ceylon.
We shall proceed to give a very summary abstract of the principal contents of Mr. Percival's book.
The immense accessions of territory which the English have acquired in the East Indies since the American War, rendered it absolutely necessary that some effort should be made to obtain possession of a station where ships might remain in safety during the violent storms incidental to that climate. As the whole of that large tract which we possess along the Coromandel coast presents nothing but open roads, all vessels are obliged, on the approach of the monsoons, to stand out in the open seas; and there are many parts of rhe coast that can be approached only during a few months of the year. As the harbour of Trincomalee, which is equally secure at all seasons, afforded the means of obviating these disadvantages, it is evident that, on the first rupture with the Dutch, our countrymen would attempt to gain possession of it. A body of troops was, in consequence, detached in the year 1795, for the conquest of Ceylon, which (in consequence of the indiscipline which political dissensions had introduced among the Dutch troops) was effected almost without opposition. Ceylon is now inhabited by the English ; the remains of the Dutch,
; and Portuguese, the Cinglese or natives, subject to the dominion of the Europeans; the Candians, subject to the king of their own name ; and the Vaddahs, or wild men, subject to no power. A Ceylonese Dutchman is a coarse, grotesque species of animal, whose native apathy and phlegm is animated only by the insolence of a colonial tyrant; his principal amusement appears to consist in smoking; but his pipe, according to Mr. Percival's account, is so seldom out of his mouth that his smoking appears to be almost as much a necessary function of animal life as his breathing. His day is eked out with gin, ceremonious visits, and prodigious quantities of gross food, dripping with oil and butter ; his mind, just able to reach from one meal to another, is incapable of further exertion; and after the panting and deglutition of a long-protracted dinner, reposes on the sweet expectation that, in a few hours, the carnivorous toil will be renewed. He lives only to digest, and, while the organs of gluttony perform their office, he has not a wish beyond ; and is the happy man which Horace describes :
-in seipso totus, teres, atque rotundus. The descendants of the Portuguese differ materially from the Moors, Malabars, and other Mahometans. Their great object is, to show the world they are Europeans and Christians. Unfortunately, their ideas of Christianity are so imperfect that the only mode they can hit upon of displaying their faith, is by wearing hats and breeches, and by these habiliments they consider themselves as showing a proper degree of contempt, on various parts of the body, towards Mahomet and Buddha. They are lazy, treacherous, effeminate, and passionate to excess; and are, in fact, a locomotive and animated farrago of the bad qualities of all tongues, people, and nations, on the face of the earth. The Malays, whom we forgot before to enumerate, form a very considerable portion of the inhabitants of Ceylon. Their original empire lies in the peninsula of Malacca, from whence they have extended themselves over Java, Sumatra, the Moluccas, and a vast number of other islands in the peninsula of India. It has been many years customary for the Dutch to bring them to Ceylon, for the purpose of carrying on various branches of trade and manufacture, and in order also to employ them as soldiers and servants. The Malays are the most vindictive and ferocious of living beings. They set little or no value on their own existence, in the prosecution of their odious passions; and having thus broken the great tie which renders man a being capable of being governed, and fit for society, they are a constant source of terror to all those who have any kind of connection or relation with them. A Malay servant, from the apprehension excited by his vindictive disposition, often becomes the master of his master. It is as dangerous to dismiss him as to punish him; and the rightful despot, in order to avoid assassination, is almost compelled to exchange characters with his slave. It is singular, however, that the Malay, incapable of submission on any other occasion, and ever ready to avenge insult with death, submits to the severest military discipline with the utmost resignation and meekness. The truth is, obedience to his officers forms part of his religious creed; and the same man who would repay the most insignificant insult with death, will submit to be lacerated at the halbert with the patience of a martyr. This is truly a tremendous people! When assassins and blood-hounds will fall into rank and file, and the most furious savages submit (with no diminution of their ferocity) to the science and discipline of war, they only want a Malay Bonaparte to lead them to the conquest of the world. Our curiosity has always been very highly excited by the accounts of this singular people ; and we cannot help thinking, that, one day or another, when they are more full of opium than usual, they will run a muck from Cape Comorin to the Caspian.
Mr. Percival does not consider the Ceylonese as descended from the continentals of the peninsula, but rather from the inhabitants of the Maldive Islands, whom they very much resemble in complexion, features, language, and manners.
“ The Ceylonese (says Mr. Percival) are courteous and polite in their demeanour, even to a degree far exceeding their civilization. In several qualities they are greatly superior to all other Indians who have fallen within the sphere of my observation. I have already exempted them from the censure of stealing and lying, which seem to be almost inherent in the nature of an Indian. They are mild, and
means captious or passionate in their intercourse with each other; though, when once their anger is roused, it is proportionately furious and lasting. Their hatred is indeed mortal, and they will frequently destroy themselves to obtain the destruction of the detested object. One instance will serve to show the extent to which this passion is carried. If a Ceylonese cannot obtain money due to him by another, he goes to his debtor, and threatens to kill himself if he is