SHOULD future readers have opportunity of peruſing a printed copy of the MS. volume of the OUTLINES OF THE GLOBE, which treats of Arabia and Perſia, they will find that we left behind the province of Sind, rent from the Hindooſtan empire by the uſurper Kouli Khan, who, as nature ſeemed to have pointed out, made the mighty river of that name the boundary between the Perſian and Indian dominions.
THE Sind, or the Seindhoo of the Sanſcrit, [Note: THE INDUS.] was called by the antients, Indus, a name retained by the moderns. It riſes from ten ſtreams ſpringing remote from each other, out of the Perſian and Tartarian mountains, one of which originates in Caſhmere. The rivers of the Panjab, and thoſe which riſe from the weſt above Candahar and Cabul, are the great contributory ſtreams, but the parent one ſeems to be that which flows out of Caſhgar, in Lat. 37° 10′ N. The name Sind is native, and of great antiquity, and mentioned by Pliny and Arrian as the Indian appellative; [Page 2] the one writes it Sindus, the other [...]. We learn by the Nubian Geographer, that the Arabians call it Mehran. I mean to proceed down to its Delta, where it is diſcharged into the ſea, and briefly point out the moſt remarkable places, antient or modern, which occur in my courſe.
THE Indus, [Note: PENINSULA OF INDIA.] or rather the ſtreams which fall into it from the eaſt, particularly the Ihylum or river of Caſhmere, and the Ganges near Latak, in Little Thibet, to the north of Caſhmere, approximate, and then run diverging till they reach the ſea, and peninſulate the mighty empire, ſo that they give the name to Hindooſtan, of the Peninſula of India. India or Hindooſtan is not of vernacular derivation, antient as it is; the name Hind was given it by the Perſians, who tranſmitted it to the Greeks, and they formed from it the word India; for we are aſſured by the ſcientific linguiſt Mr. Wilkins, that no ſuch word is to be found in the Sanſcrit Dictionary; for the aborigines of the country knew it by no other than that of Bharata *. The diſcovery is new, but we have preſerved the antient name of Hindooſtan, given it by the Perſians, and that of India by the Grecians, who gave that of Hindoos to the aboriginal people of the country, and Stan a region.
THIS vaſt peninſula was formerly divided into two parts, Hindooſtan Proper, which was bounded on the ſouth by the rivers Nerbudda and Soane, and the ſouthern borders of Bengal, and by the Barrampooter on the eaſt.
THE other diviſion is the Deccan, which ſignifies the ſouth, and under that meaning comprehends all the reſt of the peninſula, as far as Cape Comorin. This name and this diviſion ſeem at preſent ſcarcely known, except in the mention of the great Soubahſhip, poſſeſſed by Nizam al Muluck and his ſucceſſors. [Page 3] This is now greatly altered in its limits, and abridged in its extent.
Hindooſtan tends to a conoid form. The northern part ſpreads into a large irregular baſe. Hurdwar, the moſt northern place in the province of Delhi, is nearly in Lat. 30°, Long. 78° 15′. Cape Comorin is the moſt ſouthern extremity, the point in Lat. 8°, Long. 77° 36′ 50″ E. The length therefore of this country is thirteen hundred and eighty three Britiſh miles; the breadth at the baſe from Tatta, in the Delta of the Indus, to Silhet, on the eaſtern extremity of Bengal, is thirteen hundred and ninety.
IT is neceſſary to be obſerved, that India is bounded on the north by a range of moſt lofty mountains, rocky, and frequently precipitous and inacceſſible. Theſe were the Haemodus and Paropamiſus of the antients; and thoſe which are interrupted by the Indus forcing its way through the chain, are called the Imaus or the ſnowy; but the flatterers of Alexander in compliment to him, beſtowed on the weſtern part of that out-let the name of Caucaſus, as if, ſays Arrian (Exped. Alex. p. 318) they had been a continuation of his dominions: in maps they ſtill are called the Indian Caucaſus. Pliny, Lib. vi. c. 17. gives authority for this, by ſaying they were Caucaſi partes.
THE earlieſt notice we have of commerce with this great empire, was in the book of Geneſis, Ch. 37, where we find mention of the Iſhmaelites carrying on a trade with Egypt, [Note: PATRIARCHAL.] in ſpices, balm, and myrrh; the two laſt might have been productions of Arabia, or of Gilead, but the ſpices were conſined to India. They travelled at that time in caravans, and carried [Page 4] their goods on the backs of camels in the very manner that their deſcendants the Arabs continue to do from that period. They took the ſame route as the patriarch Jacob did, and delivered their articles of luxury at the proud Memphis. As ſoon as they became a naval people, much of the commerce of Arabia, as well as of India, was conveyed to Muza *, a port not remote from the modern Mocha, and from thence ſhipped to Berenice or to Myos hormos, and placed on the backs of camels, conveyed to the Egyptian markets. But in reſpect to the Iſhmaelites who had met with Joſeph and his brethren, it is highly probable, that it was prior to the time of their knowlege of navigation. They had therefore performed the whole journey to and from India by land. On their return they increaſed their caravan by the addition of the myrrh and balm, the produce of their own country, or of Gilead; which they had left not long before they met with the patriarchs at Dotham, a place in the middle of Paleſtine, not far to the weſt of the ſea of Tiberias. They then proceeded on their journey to Egypt, with the addition of another article of commerce, a ſlave, in the perſon of Joſeph, whom they had juſt purchaſed from his envious brethren.
THIS communication with India was carried on for a great length of time. To uſe the authority of HOLY WRIT, our ſafeſt guide on all occaſions, we find that SOLOMON gave it every encouragement. He founded Hamath in the country of Galilee, and Tadmor in the wilderneſs, or Palmyra, and many other cities of ſtore †, or emporia, for the commerce of India, and Tyre, Sidon, and all the ſurrounding nations.
[Page 5] I SHALL now mention the route for which the ancients were indebted to the Macedonian hero, who, after paſſing the paropamiſan Caucaſus, founded a city on the ſouth-eaſt ſide of the Ghergiſtan mountains, or Hindoo Kho, or the Indian Caucaſus, and called it Alexandria, in honor of himſelf. [Note: ALEXANDRIA.] Alexander paſſed this way in his purſuit of Beſſus, and returned by the ſame road on his invaſion of India. It is probable, that Alexandria was founded on the firſt expedition, in order to ſecure his return into a country, the conqueſt of which he had ſo much at heart. According to Mr. Rennel, it appears to have been in Lat. 34°, oppoſite to the modern Bamian, which ſtands on the north-weſt ſide of Caucaſus. Here, according to Quintus Curtius, lib. vii. c. 3. he left ſeven thouſand old Macedonian ſoldiers, and a number worn out in the ſervice. Arrian, I. p. 230, ſays that he appointed Proexes, a noble Perſian, Governor, and Niloxenus, Commiſſary of the army. Alexandria continued long an emporium of the goods of India, the termination of the commercial views of the Europeans, till it was ſuperſeded by the riſe of Candahar, and Cabul. It ſeems to have had to it two roads; the one direct, and the ſame with the courſe taken by Alexander in his way from the Caſpian ſea to his purſuit of Beſſus and his Indian conqueſt, through Aria, the modern Herat, [Note: HERAT.] which was, till the latter ages, a place of great ſtrength and great commercial note. In courſe of ages, it ſuffered all the calamities to which the cities of the eaſt are peculiarly incident; but it often emerged. Abdulkurreem * ſaw it in 1740, on his return, in a moſt diſtreſsful ſtate: the very ground floors of the houſes were ploughed up, and ſown with grain; but he ſpeaks [Page 6] of the magnificent ruins, which ſhewed its former ſituation. The country was uncommonly rich, but the whole road from Candahar to this city, was a ſcene of deſolation, marked by the march of Kouli Khan on his return from India. From Herat the ancients directed their courſe to the ſouthern part of the Caſpian ſea. This journey muſt have been performed by caravans of camels or horſes, as the road was deſtitute of navigable rivers. The route touched on the ſhore where Aſtrabad now ſtands, which, perhaps, was the port.
THE ſecond way, and which was much frequented, was towards the north-weſt. The merchants went by Champan Drapſica, the modern Damian, Bactra, now called Zariaſpa, Nautica the modern Nekebad, and from that town by a ſhort ſtage to Maracunda or Samarcand, [Note: SAMARCAND.] ſeated in a moſt beautiful valley. All theſe cities roſe, and were ſupported by the paſſage of the caravans. As to Samarcand, it had long been a vaſt city, known by the name of Maracunda. It was garriſoned by Alexander the great, after the capture (at Nautica) of Beſſus the murderer of Darius. The Scythians laid ſiege to it, but it was relieved by the Macedonian hero. It is ſaid to have been, even then, a city of vaſt opulence, ſtrength, and ſplendor.
FROM Samarcand the articles of commerce were conveyed to the Oxus, [Note: THE OXUS.] the modern Amu, which runs at no great diſtance to the ſouth. That famous river riſes far to the ſouth-eaſt, in the Caucaſan chain. It becomes navigable for barks at Termed, in Lat. 37° 30′ N. long before it comes near Samarcand; it is ſingular, that ſo diſtant a route ſhould be purſued before the commodities were embarked. In the days of El Edriſi, or the Nubian Geographer (p. 138) we find that it was frequented on [Page 7] that account; the Geographer mentions Termed among other ſtations near that great river. When the goods were ſhipped from Samarcand, they fell down the ſtream, which, in the time of Herodotus, paſſed through a marſhy tract, the paludes excipientes araxem, now the Aral lake, out of which it flowed, and, going ſouth-weſt, fell into the Caſpian ſea in the bay of Balchan. This paſſage has been deſtroyed above two centuries ago, and its ancient channel is ſcarcely to be traced. Maſter Anthonie Jenkinſon, a moſt authentic traveller, gives the following account of the cauſe, in his travels into thoſe parts in 1558, as related by Purchas, (ſee p. 236): ‘The water that ſerueth all that countrey, is drawne by ditches out of the river Oxus vnto the great deſtruction of the ſaid river, for which cauſe, it falleth not into the Caſpian ſea, as it hath done in times paſt, and in ſhort time all that land is like to be deſtroyed and to become a wilderneſſe for want of water, when the river of Oxus ſhall faile.’
I WILL now briefly enter on ſome other ways pointed out by the ancients as commercial routes into India. [Note: OTHER ROUTES.] One is that mentioned by Pliny, (lib. vii. c. 17.) who probably ſpeaks on good authority; his account is founded on intelligence delivered down by Pompey, when he was purſuing the mithridatic war. It was then certainly known, that it was but ſeven days journey out of India to the Bactryan country, even to the river Icarus, which runs into the Oxus, by means of which, the Indian commerce may be tranſported by the channel of the Caſpian ſea, and again by the river Cyrus, the modern Kur, [Note: CASPIAN SEA.] on the weſtern ſide as far as Phaſis, the Rione or modern Faſz, a large and navigable river, which falls into the head of the [Page 8] Euxine ſea, and appears to me a communication of great practicability.
I MAY alſo mention Batnae, [Note: BATNAE.] a large commercial city, built, (according to Ammianus, lib. xiv. c. 3.) not remote from the Euphrates in Meſopotamia, by the Macedonians. It was filled with rich merchants; an annual fair was held there in the beginning of September, and it was then the reſort of multitudes of people, for the ſake of the commodities brought from India, and even Seres or China, and various other places, both by land and water; the laſt, by the channel of the Perſian gulph, and ſo up the Euphrates.
THE Seres reminds me of the laſt communication I ſhall mention, [Note: THE SERES.] which was to the north, leading to the diſtant country of China. The Chineſe merchants deſcended from their country, and leaving the head of the deſert of Gobi to the weſt, reached little Bucharia, and got the conveniency of the river Ilak for part of their journey.
THE ancient Comedae, [Note: COMEDAE.] the ſame with Caſhgar, ſeated in Lat. 40° N. in the Caſia Regio of Ptolemy, lay at the foot of mount Imaus. The Indian and Chineſe trade carried on through this city, is ſtill conſiderable. The river Sir, the old Iaxartes, is not far to the weſt of Caſhgar, and might, by its falling into lake Aral, be an ancient channel of communication with the Caſpian ſea. This city was the rendezvous, even in early times, of the merchants trading with the country to the north and to the ſouth. This, I dare ſuppoſe, was the ‘ receptaculum eorum qui ad Seras negotii cauſa proſiſciuntur penes Imaum montem’ of Ptolemy; and near it, to the eaſt, was the Lithinon [Page 9] Purgon, and Turris Lapidea of Ammianus *, which, by the name, [Note: TURRIS LAPIDEA.] could be no other than a beacon, ſixed on a ſtone tower.
Hierken, to the ſouth of Caſhgar, [Note: HIERKEN.] was another celebrated mart, and is ſtill the centre of commerce between the north of Aſia, India, Thibet, and Sibiria. When the merchants reached the Indus, they fell into the tracts before deſcribed.
THE Seres, above ſpoken of, were the inhabitants of the north of China, remarkable for their ſilk, which the ancients believed was combed from the leaves of trees, and, when ſteeped in water, was corded and ſpun, and after their manner wove into a web. Theſe Seres had ſome intercourſe with the Romans; for Florus tells us that they ſent ambaſſadors to Auguſtus, who were four years on their journey. They were a moſt gentle race, and ſhunned mankind: yet carried on a traffic, in the ſame manner as the weſtern Moors do at preſent, with people they never ſee. The Moors go annually in caravans, [Note: SINGULAR TRAFFIC.] laden with trinkets, to an appointed place on the borders of Nigritia. There they find ſeveral heaps of gold depoſited by the Negroes; againſt each of which the Moors put as many trinkets as they think of equal value, and then retire. If, the next morning, the Negroes approve the bargain, they take the trinkets and leave the gold; or elſe they make ſome deduction from the gold duſt; and in this manner tranſact the exchange, without the leſt inſtance of diſhoneſty on either part †.
[Page 10] Candahar, [Note: CANDAHAR.] ſeated in Lat. 33° o′ N. Long. 67° 15′ E. is the capital of a recent kingdom, formed by the convulſion given to this part of the eaſtern world. It was founded by Ahmed Abdalla, an Afghan prince, compelled by Kouli Khan to join his army in 1739. On the aſſaſſination of the tyrant, he appeared again among his ſubjects, and added to his dominions Candahar, Caſhmere, and ſome other ſmall diſtricts. His ſucceſſors reſide at Cabul; he has an army of two hundred thouſand men, once clothed with Britiſh manufactures, which were ſent up the Indus, and thence to Cabul by the leſſer river.
Candahar is a city of vaſt ſtrength, by nature as well as art, being ſeated amidſt fens and rocks. The Governor, Hoſſein Khan, defended it eighteen months againſt all the attacks of Kouli Khan. At length, reduced to extremity, he ſallied out at the head of his men, and fell, bravely fighting in defence of his country!
Candahar and Cabul were conſidered of high importance in a political light. The firſt was eſteemed the gate of India in reſpect to Perſia, and Cabul that in reſpect to Tartary, and both were in the middle ages the great emporia for Indian goods, which were tranſported into Weſtern Tartary, and from thence by the Caſpian and Euxine ſeas to Conſtantinople, and from that city to all parts of Europe. Candahar was the magazine of the Indian and Perſian goods, and Cabul of the ſpices. They were conveyed in caravans, north-weſtwards, to the famous city of Samarcand, in Lat. 40° N. and from thence the goods were put in boats, and ſent down into the Oxus or Amu, which falls into the Caſpian ſea, as I have before related, and there ſhipped for their different deſtinations; thoſe for Ruſſia, up the Volga; thoſe for Conſtantinople, up the river Cyrus, the modern Kur, [Page 11] which deſcends a great and rapid river from mount Caucaſus, and is navigable very far up, ſo as to form an eaſy communication with the Euxine ſea. Venice and Genoa received the Indian luxuries from Conſtantinople, and their own port of Caffa, and diſperſed them over the other parts of Europe.
BOTH theſe cities continue the emporia of Perſia, India, Tartary, and all the circumjacent nations. The commerce is ſtill conſiderable, notwithſtanding it has been leſſened by that of the European nations, who have eſtabliſhed factories in almoſt every part of the Indian empire.
Cabul is ſeated in Lat. 34° 36′ N. Long. 68° 58′ E. [Note: CABUL.] at the foot of the Indian Caucaſus, and in ſo happy a climate, as to produce the fruits of both the temperate and torrid zones, notwithſtanding it is bordered by mountains capped with eternal ſnow. The Indian hiſtorians ſpeak of it in the moſt rapturous terms. It ſtands on the river Kameh, which falls into the Indus at Attock, but poſſibly is interrupted by rapids, as it is only navigable by rafts.
Cabul is the reſidence of the Kings of Candahar, and the preſent capital. The Nubian Geographer (p. 66.) ſpeaks of Cabul as a noble city; that its mountains abounded with the ſineſt aromatic woods, Neregil and Myrobalans; the firſt may be Nellila Phylanthus emblica; the others the Spondias purpurea, &c. All the Myrobalans had once a name in our ſhops as gentle purgatives; among other purpoſes they are uſed in the tanning buſineſs.
OF late days, Cabul has been noted for its vaſt fairs of horſes and cattle; the firſt brought there by the Uſhec Tartars. Slaves are alſo a conſiderable article of commerce. Merchants reſort to theſe markets from Perſia, China, and Tartary. It was taken [Page 12] by Kouli Khan by ſtorm, who put great part of the garriſon to the ſword, and made himſelf maſter of a vaſt treaſure in arms, ammunition, and jewels. Kouli Khan ſhewed here a ſtrong ſpecimen of oriental juſtice, by ripping up the bellies of eighty Kuzzlebaſh, or ſoldiers, for only being preſent when ſome of their comrades forced one of the country women.
THE Genoeſe, [Note: CAFFA.] thoſe once enterprizing people, made themſelves maſters of Caffa, a noted city and port on the Euxine ſea, in the famous peninſula of Krim Tartary. This they ſeized in 1261, and made the emporium of the commodities of India and Perſia, which were brought down the Oxus, and the other routes mentioned in the preceding page. They colonized Caffa with their own countrymen, and gained prodigious wealth during the time they were in poſſeſſion. It was wreſted from them in 1475, by Mahomet the great, and with it ſoon expired the mighty power of that city of merchants. Genoa, for centuries the rival of Venice, equally potent, and equally brave, waged long and fierce wars with each other, incited more by avarice, than the ambition of glory.
Bochara, [Note: BOCHARA.] not far to the ſouth of Samarcand, was another great emporium, and communicated the eaſtern articles to all the neighbouring parts of Tartary. It traded with India, China, and Perſia, and partook of thoſe of Muſcovy, by the caravans which went from that empire to Cathay. This city ſeems to have been of more modern date: it is not mentioned, as far as I recollect, before the days of the Nubian Geographer, who wrote ſome time prior to the year 1151, but it appears to have been in the next century a moſt flouriſhing place.
[Page 13] Anthonie Jenkinſon (Purchas, iii. 241.) gives a very curious account of the ſtate of Bochara and its commerce, as it was in the year 1558. This has been uninterruptedly continued from the earlieſt time to the preſent, for the northern parts of Aſia have their wants and luxuries to ſupply even from India and China. The diſcovery of the paſſage by the Cape of Good Hope, gave a great check to this inland commerce. No more commodities were conveyed that way to the greateſt part of Europe, yet ſtill the trade is very conſiderable to the places I mentioned, and even to the Ruſſian empire. Catherine has, as yet, no ſhare in Hindooſtan, no Indian fleets; her ſplendid courts, and all the luxuries of her vaſt cities are ſupplied either from Aſtrakan, or from the other Caſpian ports; Aſtrakan is the great Ruſſian ſtaple of the Indian commerce. Gurjef and Kiſlar are the ſame. Perſia has its Derbend, Niezabad, Baku, and others. The Tartars have their bay of Balchan and Manguſhlak, through which, Bochara ſtill pours its Indian articles of commerce. It is foreign to the plan of out-line to enter into minutiae. I muſt therefore refer to the ſecond Volume of my friend the Reverend Wm. Coxe's valuable Travels. The 4th Chapter will ſatisfy the moſt ardent curioſity.
In reſpect to the antient Ruſſian commerce with theſe diſtant parts, [Note: RUSSIAN COMMERCE.] I ſhall conclude the ſubject with obſerving, that after the various commodities of India had arrived through the channel of the Oxus into the Caſpian ſea, they were ſhipped for the Volga, the Rha of the antients. That river was ſo little known to the antients, that they have not left us the name of a ſingle place in its whole courſe. The merchants aſcended that great river. After navigating it a very conſiderable way they entered [Page 14] the Kama, and arrived through the Kokra at Tcherdyn, ſeated in Lat. 60° 25′ North, in thoſe early times a mighty emporium. From thence the ſeveral eaſtern articles of commerce were diſperſed over all the arctic regions. The Nortmans and the Sueons, people of the Baltic, had great intercourſe with them through the Nova, and Ladoga, another vaſt emporium, ſeated on the lake of the ſame name. As a proof of the antiquity of its commerce, coins of Greece and Rome, of Syria and Arabia, have been found in the antient burying places, evidences that the people of the eaſt and of the weſt had met there to ſupply their ſeveral wants; even at Tcherdyn, coins of the Arabian Caliphs have been diſcovered. Notwithſtanding the immenſe wealth of both Tcherdyn and Ladoga, ſcarcely a trace is to be ſeen of thoſe great emporia. The commerce of the firſt extended even within the artic circle. The Beormas, the people of the old Permia, aſcended the Petzora with their furs, exchanged them for the products of the torrid zones, and falling down that northern river diſperſed them over all their chilly regions.
I INTRODUCE again the Paropamiſan Alexandria. No place could be fixed on with greater judgment whether as a place d'armes, or an emporium of the mighty empire he deſigned, from which he could form the vaſt commerce he meditated; for in his lucid intervals, a more able monarch never exiſted. As from a head quarter, from hence he directed his expedition to Bactra and Sogdiana, the modern countries of Balk, Bucharia, [Page 15] and Samarcand. Having fulfilled the objects of his march he returned, and from this place ſet forth on his great deſign, the conqueſt of India. I will attend his march acroſs the country to the banks of the Indus.
THE conqueror took a north-eaſtern courſe, and paſſed by the tract of the modern towns of Killaut, Tazee, Meerout, Jomrood, and Gundermouk. He croſſed ſeveral rivers in his way, ſuch as the Cophenes, or Cow river, or Nagaz, and the Choe, which falls into the Guraeus, or modern Kameh. On the upper part of the Cophenes, which is called Dilen, ſtood Ghizni, [Note: GHIZNI.] once the capital of a mighty empire of the ſame name, which conſiſted of the tract lying between the Indus and Parthia, to the ſouth of the Oxus, and part of the antient Bactria. The city is now a heap of ruins, and ſcarcely mentioned in hiſtory. Its emperor Mahmood I. ſurnamed Ghizni, firſt invaded India in the year 1000; his firſt conqueſts extends only to Moultan. He in 1024 conquered the kingdom of Guzerat; at that time all Hindooſtan was inhabited by the aborigines. With true Mahometan zeal he exerciſed all ſorts of barbarities againſt the Hindoos; and in order if poſſible to exterminate their religion, levelled with the ground their favorite Pagoda Sumnaut, and every other object of their worſhip. The Ghiznian empire continued 207 years. Mahomed began his reign in 977, and it became extinct in 1184.
THE city of Attock ſtands oppoſite to the junction of the Kameh with the Indus. In the diſtrict of Bijore, not remote from hence, ſtood the Aornos Petra, and inacceſſible mountain, [Note: AORNOS PETRA.] towering into a conical form, with a caſtle on its ſummit, which gave ſo much trouble to Alexander, and which he took merely [Page 16] by an unexpected panic of the garriſon. M. D'Anville ſuppoſes it to have been the modern Renas, ſituated in about Lat. 38° North. Our countryman, the gallant Captain John Jones, in 1773, maſtered by open ſtorm Dellamcotta, a fort equally ſtrong, and ſeated in a manner equally ſingular amidſt the Boutan mountains.
AMIDST the ſavage mountains of Sewad and Bijore, [Note: OFFSPRING OF THE MACEDONIANS.] inhabits a tribe who aſſert, that they are deſcended from ſome of the followers of Alexander the Great, who were left behind when he paſſed through the country: poſſibly the garriſon of Alexandria, and of the other garriſons he left behind, might alſo contribute to this mixt ſpecies of population. The tribe of Sultani aſſumes the honor of being the deſcendants of a daughter of that conqueror, who came from Cabul, and poſſeſſed this country; and to this day carry with them their pedigree *. They call their great anceſtor Sultan Secunder Zûlkerman, which Mr. Rennel, p. 163, obſerves, ſhould be printed Zul Kernine, or the two-horned. This is certainly a moſt remarkable alluſion to the prophecy of Iſaiah viii. 8, in which Alexander the Great is foretold under the deſcription of the Goat, with this difference only, that they double the number of the horn, with which he had deſtroyed the power of the Perſians and the Medes †.
Taxila ſtood on, [Note: TAXILA.] or near the ſpot, where the city Attock now ſtands. Here Alexander croſſed the Indus on a bridge of boats, which his favorite Hepheſtion had ſome time before been ſent to prepare. In 1398 the famous Timur Beg, or Tamerlane, paſſed this river on one of the ſame kind. In our days Kouli [Page 17] Khan (who may complete the ſanguinary triumvirate) croſſed the Indus at Attock in the ſame manner. This, by reaſon of the great rapidity of the ſtream in all other parts, was fixed on as the moſt convenient place, which long after induced the emperor Akbar to build the caſtle of Attock for its defence againſt ſimilar invaſions.
OPPOSITE to Attock ſtood a very antient city, the Nilaube of Ptolemy. This place is mentioned by two of the oriental hiſtorians, quoted by Major Rennel, p. 95, under the name of Nilab, by which the river Indus itſelf was generally known by the old writers *.
Alexander, after ſucceding in his paſſage, [Note: PANJAB.] got clear of the mountains, and arrived in the rich plains of Panjab, or the Five Rivers, each immortalized by being a great ſcene of action of the Macedonian hero. The Hydaſpes, the modern Behut, or Chelum; the Aceſines or Jenaub, or Cheenaub, and the Hydraotes, or modern Rauvee; all which, after a long courſe, unite in one channel, which retains the name of Cheenaub, and after the junction, paſſes through the country of the Oxydracae, beneath the north ſide of Moultan, and at the diſtance of about twenty miles from that city, falls into the Indus about two hundred miles below Attock, in magnitude equal to the Indus itſelf.
ON the banks of the Hydraotes ſtood the city of the Malli, [Note: MALLI.] who with the Oxydracae, after a moſt gallant reſiſtance, made ſubmiſſion to Alexander. In the ſame neighborhood ſtood (the ſite now unknown) Sangala, inhabited by the Cathaei of Arrian, ii. 357, 364, Exped. Alex. and the Catheri of Diodorus Siculus †. [Page 18] They are ſuppoſed to have been the ſame with the valiant caſt the Khatre, to this day renowned for their deſperate valour. Alexander beſieged them in their city: their defence was brave and obſtinate: but they fell before the fortune of the Macedonian hero, who deſtroyed the nation, and levelled their city with the ground. A nameleſs city, as Mr. Rennel ſtyles it, was to be found higher up the river, on the oppoſite ſide. This deſerved to have been immortalized, as having been the place where that hero endangered his life by one of the raſh actions he was very ſubject to fall into. [Note: ALEXANDER WOUNDED.] He leaped into the city, was beſet by enemies, and received a deſperate wound in his ſide by an arrow, which had transfixed his breaſtplate. He fainted, but recovered the moment he felt an Indian going to ſtrip him, and drawing a dagger pierced his aſſailant to the heart. I leave the reader to conſult Arrian, Exped. Alex. i. 396, about the event; and Mr. Rennel, p. 128, as to reaſons for fixing the ſite of the momentous affair in the place he does, about ten miles above the conflux of the two rivers.
GOLD is found in ſome of the rivers of Panjab. [Note: GOLD.] In reſpect to gold, we are informed by Herodotus, THALIA, c. 95, that the Indians paid their tribute to Darius in that pretious metal; and tells us, that it is procured out of the rivers, and alſo dug out of the earth, and ſmelted by them into ingots before they make with it their donative. One of the epithets the Poets beſtow on the Hydaſpes is Aurifer, poſſibly as being peculiarly rich in gold. Herodotus, Thalia, c. 102, relates, and ſeems to credit, the ſtrange ſtory of its particles being thrown up with the ſand of the vaſt deſert, probably that of Regiſtan, by ants as big as foxes, and that the Indians went with three camels to collect the grains which [Page 19] they found in the hillocks. As ſoon as they had filled their bags, they returned with all poſſible expedition to avoid the fury of the ants, which purſued them with incredible ſwiftneſs. It is reaſonable to ſuppoſe, that the hiſtorian had heard of the monſtrous neſts of the Termites, or white Ants, which his informants thought proper to ſtock with moſt monſtrous inhabitants.
ON the banks of the Hydaſpes was fought the deciſive battle between Alexander and the Indian monarch Porus, [Note: BATTLE WITH PORUS.] both equal in valour; but the former, by his great ſuperiority in the art of war, obtained a complete victory with a handful of men. Porus employed not fewer than two hundred elephants, which, terrific as they might have been to the Macedonian horſes, were, with their garriſoned towers, totally deſtroyed by the victorious army.
I CANNOT reſiſt the introduction into this place of the following curious anecdotes of the two famous Monarchs, [Note: PERSIAN HISTORY OF.], as communicated to me by Major Ouſeley, the ingenious author of the Perſian miſcellanies. He informs me, that two Perſian writers mention the invaſion of Hindooſtan by Alexander the great. Ferduſi in his Shah Nameh, or Chronicle of Kings, written about the latter end of the 10th century and beginning of the 11th.; and Nezami, another celebrated poet, who flouriſhed in the 12th. The firſt enumerates the various troops of Perſia, Greece, and India, and the camel loads of preſents which Alexander received from Keid, the Indian Prince. Nezami, in his Skander Nameh, or Hiſtory of Alexander, ſays, that forty elephants were loaden with the various productions of the country, among which ſeveral carried Indian ſteel. Porus is mentioned under the name of Four. The poet adds, he brought two thouſand elephants into the field; which, by a contrivance of Ariſtotle (Alexander's Secretary) were completely routed, and Four himſelf [Page 20] killed by Alexander, who found in his caſtle of Canooge immenſe treaſures!
ON the banks of this river, [Note: NICOEA, AND BUCEPHALA.] oppoſite to each other, he built, on the bloody ſcene, two cities, Nicoea and Bucephala. Nicoea ſo named from the victory, the laſt in honor of his celebrated horſe, which died of old age at the time of this action. Alexander gratefully paid it the higheſt funeral honors, erected a magnificent ſepulchre, and called the city after its name.
I SHALL not trace the ſieges, battles, and ſlaughters of this ambitious character; of his marches and his paſſages over the rivers that form this part of the Panjab, but leave my readers to conſult his original hiſtorians, Arrian and Quintus Curtius. It is very certain the hero did not, amidſt his deeds of arms, neglect the ſtudy of natural hiſtory. It is well known that he cauſed every ſpecies, objects of that ſcience, to be collected for the uſe of his Tutor Ariſtotle. Q. Curtius relates ſome few remarks on the zoology of the neighborhood. He met here with the Rhinoceros, [Note: RHINOCEROS, &c. &c.] with the great Serpent Boa conſtrictor, Gm. Lin. iii. 1083, with parrots, or birds which could ſpeak, and with great flocks of wild peacocks. Aelian, in his Hiſt. An. lib. v. c. 21. relates, that the conqueror was ſo ſtruck with their beauty, that he forbad his ſoldiers from killing them under the heavieſt penalties.
Pſittacus is a name derived from Sillace, the Indian word for a parrot. Linnaus, Gm. Linn. i. 321, gives to one ſpecies, long known, the trivial of the Maccdonian hero, Pſittacus Alexandri, as if in honor of the ſpecies diſcovered by his admiral Nearchus.
THE ſame great officer mentions alſo the vaſt ſpotted ſerpents, [Note: THE BOA.] which he ſays were about ſixteen cubits long. Arrian, i. 538, Rev. Indic. His veracity has been called in queſtion; but ſince [Page 21] the Ariſtotelian cubit is little more than an Engliſh foot and a half, we may give full credit to his having ſeen a ſerpent of the length he gives, or one of twenty-four feet. The antients are often abuſed for their credulity: but let me remark, that incredulity is more frequently the offspring of ignorance than the former! At this time inſtances may be adduced of ſpecies from twenty to thirty-ſix feet in length, in Hindooſtan, Ceylon, Java, and ſeveral other iſlands. Bontius, p. 76. a moſt reſpectable writer, bears witneſs to the exiſtence of ſome of thirty-ſix feet being found in Java.
AMONG the trees the Ficus Indica, [Note: FICUS INDICA.] the Varinga Latifolia of Rumphius, could not fail engaging his attention, which formed a grove of itſelf, by the rooting of its pendulous branches.
THE mountains bordering on the Hydaſpes were part of the Cachemerian chain, clothed with foreſts of trees of vaſt height and ſize. He committed to the care of certain officers the falling the timber, and floating it down the river to the place he had appointed for the rendezvous of the veſſels, which he had uſed in his expeditions up the other rivers. At this place, which was between the forks of the Indus and Aceſines, he founded another Alexandria, [Note: ANOTHER ALEXANDRIA.] and there formed his docks and ſhip yard. He built ſeveral new ſhips, rebuilt and repaired others, and with a fleet which conſiſted of eighty Triremes, or ſhips with three banks of oars, and with leſſer veſſels, probably collected from the ſeveral rivers of the country, in all amounting to two thouſand of different kinds, he fell down the Hydaſpes. On his arrival at the junction of that river with the Aceſines (which preſerves its name till it is loſt in the greater river) his navy underwent the utmoſt danger by the violent colliſion of the two waters. Several [Page 22] of his ſhips were daſhed to pieces, and himſelf, and his admiral Nearchus, with difficulty eſcaped. The ſides and channel are filled with rocks, and Alexander, through ignorance of the climate of India, undertook his expedition in the rainy ſeaſon, which, beſides the ſwelling of the rivers (which impeded his march) made dreadful havoke among his troops by the diſeaſes of the country.
THE other two rivers, which complete the Panjab, are the Beyah, once the Beypaſha, and the Hyphaſis of Alexander. The fifth and laſt is the Setlege or Suttuluz, the Zaradruz of Ptolemy, and Heſudrus of Pliny. Theſe riſe in the mountains that divide Thibet from India, and unite near Firoſepour. Soon after which they divide, and inſulate a pretty conſiderable tract into ſeveral iſlands; then re-unite, and, turning ſoutherly, fall into the Indus fifty-three miles below the mouth of the Chenaub, according to Mr. Rennel's great map. Between the inſulated part and the Hydraotes, was the ſeat of the Malli and the Catheri, objects of the deſtructive ambition of Alexander, who, in his expedition againſt thoſe people, ſeemed more intent on ſlaughter than uſeful conqueſt. It was on the banks of the Hyphaſis, ſays Quintius Curtius, that the hero joined his forces with thoſe of Hepheſtion, after each had performed ſome bloody exploit. Here he concluded his expedition; and after the diſplay of his vanity, by erecting twelve altars near the junction of the Hyphaſis and Heſudrus, commenced his voyage down the Indus. The altars were equal in height to the loftieſt towers of war. On theſe he performed ſacriſices after the manner of his country. He then entertained the Indians with athletic and equeſtrian games, and concluded with inveſting the vanquiſhed Porus [Page 23] with the ſovereignty of the whole country, as far as the Hyphaſis.
IT does not appear that ever he ſaw the Heſudrus, which, according to Pliny, was a diſcovery of Seleucus Nicator, one of his ableſt officers, and his ſucceſſor in part of his dominions, and particularly of thoſe between the Euphrates and the Indus: He ſeems to have ſucceeded alſo to the ambition of his maſter, for he meditated the conqueſt of India, or at leſt of re-conquering thoſe provinces beyond the Indus ſubdued by Alexander, but which, ſoon after his retreat, were recovered by Sandracotta, [Note: SANDRACOTTA.] an Indian of mean birth, but who, by his abilities, had rendered himſelf maſter of all India. Seleucus found this new monarch ſo very powerful, that he did not venture to attack him. He entered into a treaty with him, and agreed to retire, on condition Sandracotta would ſupply him with five hundred elephants; and thus covered his diſgrace with a ſpecious pretence.
Alexander began his voyage down the Indus about the end of the month of October, and was nine months in the completion; not from the difficulty of navigation, for it might have been performed in a very ſhort time, but from his ambitious rage of conqueſt and ſlaughter on each ſide of the river. His army marched, divided in two parts, on the eaſtern and weſtern banks, ready to execute his orders, attended by his vaſt fleet.
ONE motive to this voyage was a ſuſpicion Alexander had entertained, that he had found out the head of the Nile, and [Page 24] that this was no other than the celebrated river of Egypt, becauſe he ſaw in it crocodiles and beans, the Nymphoea Nelumbo of Linnaeus, ſimilar to thoſe of that kingdom. Arrian adds, that Alexander had even written to his mother an account of his diſcovery.
WE afterwards come down to Sindomana, [Note: SINDOMANA.] the capital of the Sindomanni; poſſibly it took the name from the tract being poſſeſſed of a conſiderable manufactory of Sindones, or fine cloths; [...] being the name applied to certain kinds, the produce of the Indian looms. I muſt not call them linens, for I underſtand that India produces no ſort of Linum or flax. It appears by Arrian, [Note: MUSICANUS.] to have been in the dominions of a prince called Muſicanus, and that it opened its gates to Alexander on his paſſage down the Indus. Muſicanus had deſerted that hero, who cauſed him to be crucified, and all the Brachmins he could find to be put to death, as our Edward I. did the Welſh bards for the ſame reaſon, ſuppoſing the enthuſiaſtic ſongs of both to have inſpired their countrymen to the defence of their country againſt the ambitious invaders.
THE next antient place of note is the Praſiane inſula of Pliny, [Note: PRASIANE INSULA.] formed by the dividing of the Indus. About twelve miles below, ſtood Manſura, a city mentioned by the Nubian Geographer, p. 57. That town was the ancient Minnagara of Arrian, ii. 163. Mar. Eryth. Its port was the Barbaricum emporium of the ſame, [Note: IMPORTS.] near the moſt weſtern mouth of the Indus. Here were brought, in ſhips from different places, quantities of plain veſtments, [Page 25] and a few colored, alſo Polymitae or embroideries, Chryſolites, Coral, Styrax, a reſin, the produce of the Clutia eluteria, Burm. Ind. 217, incenſe, glaſs veſſels, ſculptured ſilver, money, and a ſmall quantity of wine; all theſe were ſent up the river to the royal reſidence.
THE exports were Coſtus, the root of the Coſtus Arabicus, [Note: EXPORTS.] Merian. Surin. tab. 36, till of late in our diſpenſaries. Bdellium, Bauhin, Pinax, 503, a concrete reſinous juice, brought from Arabia and India, once in our medical liſt. Lycium, appertaining to ſome ſhrub of that genus. Nardus, hereafter to be mentioned. Callaina Gemma, related (Plin. lib. xxxvii. 10.) to the ſapphire of his days. Sapphirs; furs from the Seres or northern China, a proof of intercourſe. Othonium, a certain cloth or ſtuff, of which vaſt quantities were ſent in particular to the great commercial port of Barygaza. Silk, in the hank, or thread ready for the loom; Indicum nigrum, that is the Indian indigo, Rumph. Amboin. v. p. 220. tab. 80.
LET me here mention, [Note: INDO SCYTHIA.] that all the lower and middle parts of the weſtern boundary of the Indus, went by the name of Indo Scythia. The Scythians, chiefly the Getae, had expelled the Greeks, who continued long after the retreat of Alexander, and re-peopled it with colonies of their own nation. The Getae were the moſt brave and moſt juſt of all the Scythians, and continued to preſerve this character in their new poſſeſſions.
A FEW miles lower begins the Delta of the Indus, [Note: PATTALA.] named after the Egyptian, or that of the Nile, and was called by the Indians, Pattala, which in their language ſignifies the ſame thing. There is a greater and a leſſer Delta. It is near the [Page 26] ſea interſected by numbers of unnavigable channels and creeks. The iſles formed by theſe, were the Inſulae ſolis of Mela, lib. ii. c. 11, contra Indi oſtia, "fatal," ſays he, ‘to all that enter them, by reaſon of the violent heat of the air.’ There is not, at preſent, in all India, a place more fatal to Europeans. Pattala was the firſt Indian emporium frequented by the Romans; but the paſſage from the Red ſea was greatly infeſted with pirates, for which reaſon the ſhips always took on board a certain number of archers for their defence *.
THE tide comes up with a vaſt bore or head, [Note: VAST TIDES.] and is very dangerous, at certain times, to veſſels which are in its way. The fleet of Alexander, when he had arrived near the mouth of the river, was ſurprized with one of theſe bores, and loſt great numbers of ſhips. Thoſe which lay on the ſand banks were ſwept away by the fury of the tide; thoſe which were in the channel, on the mud, received no injury, but were ſet afloat †.
THE mention of this, occaſions me to return to the concluſion of the expedition of the Macedonian hero. When he reached Pattala, he found the city deſerted: the fame of his barbarity had induced the prince, who had before ſubmitted, to retire with all his ſubjects. Alexander, finding the neceſſity of repeopling the place, ſent out light troops, who made ſome of the late inhabitants priſoners. Thoſe he treated with the utmoſt kindneſs, diſmiſſed them, and promiſed them protection, if they could induce their fellow-citizens to return. He ſucceeded in his deſign; he formed a haven, and made docks, in [Page 27] order to refit his fleet; which, being accompliſhed, he ſailed down into the ocean. The dangers which might occur in an unknown ſea, and the preſſing inſtances made by his friends, induced him to return. He landed his forces, and took the rout towards Gedroſia, and at length arrived at the city of Babylen, with the remains of his faithful army, reduced by the toilſome march, by famine, peſtilence, and every calamity which his phrenetic ambition had involved it in.
HE had committed the care of his fleet to Nearchus, a man of firſt rate abilities, who engaged to conduct it through the ocean to the Perſian Gulph and the Euphrates. He performed his engagement, after many difficulties. When he had arrived at Harmozia, the modern Ormus, he heard that his maſter was not remote. He landed, with a few of his companions, and in five days reached the army, but ſo ſqualid and miſerable in their aſpect, that Alexander, ſhocked at their appearance, took Nearchus aſide, and aſked, Whether he had not loſt his fleet? On being aſſured of its ſafety, he gave way to the moſt unbounded joy, and crowned both him and Leonnatus with golden crowns; Nearchus for having preſerved the fleet, Leonnatus for a victory obtained over the Oritae; and the whole army ſaluted the former with flowers and garlands ſcattered over their celebrated admiral *.
I MUST not quit the hiſtorical part of the Indus, [Note: SEMIRAMIS.] without mention of the expedition undertaken by the heroine Semiramis, many ages before that of Alexander. Certainly hiſtorians muſt [Page 28] greatly have exaggerated the preparations; they make her army conſiſt of three millions of foot, and two hundred thouſand horſe, and a hundred thouſand chariots, and multitudes of ſhips, ready framed, and carried in pieces by land, to be put together in order to croſs the Indus. I ſuſpect that theſe veſſels were no more than ſo many coracles, or vitilia navigia, made of bamboos, like thoſe uſed by Ayder Alli in our days, on the waters of Malabar. In order to ſupply her wants of real elephants, ſhe cauſed a multitude of fictitious ones to be made, out of the ſkins of three hundred thouſand black oxen, which were placed on camels backs, guided by a man within this ſtrange machine. [Note: STABROBATES.] Stabrobates, king of India, received advice of her preparations, and, by a prudent embaſſy, endeavoured to divert her from her intentions. The Queen rejected his remonſtrances, croſſed the river, and defeated the fleet of the Indian monarch; that perhaps was not difficult, notwithſtanding it conſiſted of four thouſand boats; but as they were formed only of the bamboo cane, they never could reſiſt the ſhock of timber ſhips. The victory proved fatal to her; ſhe ſucceeded in croſſing the river, but was deceived by the pretended flight of Stabrobates; ſhe purſued, and overtook him; the battle was fought: The Indian monarch diſcovered the fictitious elephants, and Semiramis was totally defeated. She re-paſſed the river with precipitation; ſhe loſt great part of her troops, and returned covered with ſhame into her own country. So many fabulous circumſtances attend this expedition, that we may well doubt the veracity of the hiſtorian, and poſſibly of the very exiſtence of the heroine. What credit, as the learned Bryant juſtly obſerves, [Page 29] can be given to the hiſtorians of a perſon, the time of whoſe life cannot be ſettled within 1,535 years?
LONG after this dubious expedition, Darius Hyſtaſpes, [Note: DARIUS HYSTASPES.] induced through the curioſity of aſcertaining the place where the Indus met the ocean, built, ſays Herodotus, in his Melpomene, ſect. xliv. a large fleet at Caſpatyrus, in the Pactyan territories, on the borders of Scythia, high up the river, and gave the command of it to Scylax, a Grecian of Caryandra, a moſt able ſailor. He was directed to be attentive to diſcoveries on both ſides; and when he reached the mouth, to ſail weſtward, and that way to return home. He executed his commiſſion, paſſed the Streights of Babel Mandel, and in thirty months from the time he ſailed from Caſpatyrus, landed ſafely in Egypt, at the place from whence it is ſaid that Necho ſent his Phoenicians to circumnavigate Africa, by its now well known promontory the Cape of Good Hope. This expedition took place in the twelfth year of Darius, and in the year 509 before the Chriſtian aera.
I SHALL now give a ſhort topographical review of the celebrated river, from the ocean to its moſt remote part, and alſo of the rivers which ſwell its ſtream. That which receives this mighty river is the Mare Erythroeum, or modern Arabian ſea. I have given ſome account of the Delta; let me add that it is, [Note: DELTA OF THE INDUS.] as it was in the time of the antients, unhealthy, and hot to the extreme: all its fertility cannot compenſate thoſe inconveniencies. There is a greater and leſſer Delta; the greater begins a [Page 30] few leagues from Hydrabad: the branch called Nala Sunkra, forms the eaſtern ſide; the leſſer is included in the former, and its northern point is at Aurungabander. The Delta is of great extent, each ſide being a hundred and fifteen miles. From the ſea as high as Moultan, is a low and level country, enriched with the water annually overflowing like the river Nile. The Indus, from the beginning of the Delta, almoſt as high as Moultan, runs through a flat tract, bounded by a parallel range of mountains, diſtant from the banks of the river from thirty to forty miles. That on the weſtern ſide is rocky, that on the eaſtern compoſed of ſand. The laſt, when it approaches the Delta, conforms to its ſhape on the eaſtern ſide, and diverges till it reaches the ſea.
BEYOND the eaſtern chain is a vaſt ſandy deſert, [Note: SANDY DESERT OF REGISTAN.] extending the whole way above a hundred miles in breadth, and in length reaches from near Lat. 23° N. almoſt as high as the fertile Panjab, or Lat. 29° 30′. This is the part of which Herodotus (Thalia, c. cii.) ſpeaks, when he ſays, that the eaſtern part of India is rendered deſert by ſands. [Note: THE CAGGAR.] Through it runs the river Caggar, but the lower part with uncertain courſe, loſt in the ſands of the deſert, and render the place of its diſcharge at this time very uncertain. It ſlows from the north-eaſt, and riſes in the Damaun chain, which ſeparates it from the diſtant Jumna, and not far from the origin of that great river. On its banks, in Lat. 25° 40′, ſtands Ammercot, a ſtrong fort, the birth place of the great Emperor Akbar, when his father Humaion took refuge there on his expulſion from his throne by the uſurper Shir Khan, the famous A [...]ghan. Humaion loſt moſt of his faithful [Page 31] followers in the march over this dreadful deſert; beneath a vertical ſun, on burning ſands, and want of water, tortured with violent thirſt, they were ſeized with frenzies, burſt out into piercing ſcreams and lamentations, they rolled themſelves in agonies on the parched ſoil, their tongues hung out of their mouths, and they expired in moſt exquiſite tortures *.
THE wind Samiel, or the Angel of Death, [Note: THE WIND SAMIEL.] as it is called by the Arabs, or the Smum, paſſes over theſe deſerts; and with its ſuffocating vapour † proves inſtantly fatal to every being it meets. The only means of eſcape is to fall prone on the ſands the moment it is perceived, for, fortunately, a diſcolored ſky is a ſign of its approach. It is very frequent about Bagdad, and all the deſerts of Arabia; extends to the Regiſlan, and even to the neighborhood of Surat ‡.
THE moſt remarkable place we are to take notice of, [Note: BRAMINABAD.] in firſt remounting the river, is Braminabad, once the capital of the Circar of Tattah, at a ſmall diſtance from Tatta. Its name was taken from its having been ſanctified by the chief reſidence of the Brahmins, or perhaps where there might have been peculiar worſhip paid to the God Brama. It had been the antient capital of the country, and its fort was of vaſt extent, being ſaid to have had fourteen hundred baſtions. At the time of compoſing the Ayeen Akberry, were conſiderable veſtiges of this fortification. It is mentioned in Vol. ii. p. 142.
AT Tatta we once had a factory; [Note: TATTA.] perhaps may have to this day, notwithſtanding the exceſſive unwholeſomeneſs of the place. [Page 32] There are ſeaſons in which it does not rain during three years *. The heats are ſo violent, owing to the vicinity of the ſandy deſerts, that the houſes are contrived to be ventilated occaſionally, by means of apertures in the tops like chimnies; and when the hotteſt winds prevale, the windows are cloſely ſhut, and the hotter current excluded, and the cooler part, being more elevated, deſcends through the funnels to the gaſping inmates †. The object of the ſettlement was the ſale of our broad cloths, which were ſent up the Indus to the northern parts of India. The broad cloths and all other goods were landed at Laribunder, a town on the Ritchel, a branch of the Indus, about five miles from the ſea, and ſent to Tatta on the backs of camels. Hamilton, i. p. 122, ſays, that in his days it was almoſt depopulated by the plague, which carried off eighty thouſand of the inhabitants. The vaſt extent of buſineſs carried on in the Delta was ſurpriſing, for Abulfazel (ſee Ayeen Akberry, ii. 143.) aſſures us, that the inhabitants of the Circar Tattah had not leſs than forty thouſand boats of different conſtructions. In 1555 this city was attacked by Franciſco Bareto Rolen, viceroy of India. Provoked by the treachery of the king of Sind, he ſhewed relentleſs cruelty; he put above eight thouſand people to the ſword, nor did he ſpare the very animals. He then burnt the place, and with it immenſe riches; notwithſtanding this, the plunder was very great, all which was ſwallowed up by a furious tempeſt ‡.
[Page 33] BEYOND the Delta, on the weſtern bank, is Chockbar, [Note: HYDRABAD.] placed not remote from the diviſion of the river. Above that, on the Indus itſelf, is the fort of Hydrabad, and the city of Nuſſerpoor. Hallegande, Sanſchwan, Nurjec, Durbet, Hatteri, and Sukor, all ſtand on the weſtern ſide, places without any attendant ſtory; Hydrabad excepted, which is a uſual reſidence of the princes of Sindi, who, with the whole province, is tributary to the king of Candahar. We may alſo except the Nomurdis, a tribe which, like their anceſtors, the Scythian Nomades or ſhepherds, are perpetually changing their place, for ſake of paſturage, and from whom this tract took its name *.
I MENTION here the impoſthume of the liver, [Note: LIVER DISEASE.] not as a local diſeaſe, but on account of a peculiar ſuperſtition preſerved in this country, the Sircar of Tatta, reſpecting the diſorder. The real cauſe, ſays Bontius, p. 30. Engl. edit. ariſes from intemperance; an impoſthume is often formed in that part, and on opening it after death it is often found eaten, or honey-combed. The ſide is not unfrequently laid open to get at the part infected: The impoſtume is cut, and the liver cleanſed. I have heard, from the credulous, ſtrange ſtories on this head. The Indians of the Sircar firmly believe, that the diſeaſe is inflicted by a ſet of ſorcerers, called Jiggerkhars, or liver eaters. [Note: JIGGERKHARS.] ‘One of this claſs,’ ſays the Ayeen Akberry, ii. p. 144, ‘can ſteal away the liver of another by looks and incantations. Other accounts ſay, that by looking at a perſon he deprives him of his ſenſes, and then ſteals from him ſomething reſembling [Page 34] the ſeed of a pomegranate, and which he hides in the calf of his leg.’
‘THE Jiggerkhar throws on the fire the grain before deſcribed, which thereupon ſpreads to the ſize of a diſh, and he diſtributes it amongſt his fellows to be eaten, which ceremony concludes the life of the faſcinated perſon. A Jiggerkhar is able to communicate his art to another, and which he does by learning him the incantations, and by making him eat a bit of the liver cake. If any one cut open the calf of the magician's leg, extract the grain, and give it to the afflicted perſon to eat, he immediately recovers. Theſe Jiggerkhars are moſtly women. It is ſaid, moreover, that they can bring intelligence from a great diſtance in a ſhort ſpace of time, and if they are thrown into a river with a ſtone tied to them, they nevertheleſs will not ſink. In order to deprive any one of this wicked power, they brand his temples, and every joint in his body; cram his eyes with ſalt, ſuſpend him for forty days in a ſubterraneous cavern, and repeat over him certain incantations. In this ſtate he is called Detcherch. Although, after having undergone this diſcipline, he is not able to deſtroy the liver of any one, yet he retains the power of being able to diſcover another Jiggerkhar, and is uſed for detecting thoſe diſturbers of mankind. They can alſo cure many diſeaſes by adminiſtering a potion, or by repeating an incantation.’ Many other marvellous ſtories are told of theſe people.
THE Delta has not on it a tree, but in the dry parts is covered with bruſh wood. In the time of Abul Fazel, the inhabitants [Page 35] hunted here the wild aſs, or Koulan, Hiſt. Quad. i. p. 8. The ſame author aſſures us, that the camels were ſo numerous, [Note: CAMELS.] that ſeveral of the inhabitants were poſſeſſed of herds of ten thouſand each, a number exceeding the ſtock of the patriarch JOB, on the return of his proſperity. Multitudes of camels ſtill are bred on this tract; the reſt conſiſts of noiſome ſwamps, or muddy lakes. The Ritchel branch is the uſual way to Tatta; as high as the lake reaches it is a mile broad, at Tatta only half a mile. The tide does not run higher than that city, or about ſixty-five miles from the ſea.
Bakhor is an antient city and fortreſs; in its neighborhood, [Note: BAKHOR.] on the banks, were obſerved, by a modern traveller, who went up the river as far as that city, ſeveral of the moveable towns, built of wood, ſuch as are mentioned by Nearchus, and in the Ayeen Akberry. They are inhabited by fiſhermen or graziers, who conſtantly change their ſituation like perſons encamped. There were other towns, ſays Arrian, Rer. Indic. i. p. 528, on the higher grounds, and conſiſted of houſes built with bricks and mortar. Beyond Bakhor, on the eaſtern bank of the Indus, are Dary and Ken, and Bibigundy-check, and Sitpour, each known to us only by name.
IN Lat. 29° 8′, on the eaſtern ſide of the Indus, [Note: THE STTLEGE.] we meet with the conflux of the Setlege, or Heſudrus, with that river. The town of Veh is at the forks. It is remarkable, that it is the only river we meet with from the diſcharge of the Indus into the ſea to this place, a tract of above five hundred and twenty miles. It is the ſouthern boundary of the Panjah, [Note: PANJAB.] or the region of five rivers, ſo much celebrated for the bloody actions [Page 36] within its limits, by the deſtroyers of mankind, Alexander the great, Timur Bek, or Tamerlane, and Kouli Khan. It is a moſt fertile tract, often plain, but towards the north and north-eaſt interſected by a chain of hills. The Setlege runs in one channel for ſome way, then divides, and embracing a conſiderable iſland, re-unites for a ſhort ſpace, and at Feroſapour ſeparates again. The ſouthern branch retains its name; the northern aſſumes that of the Beyah, or Hyphaſis. Theſe diverge conſiderably from each other, then converge, ſo as almoſt to meet at their fountains, at the foot of mount Imaus, or Himmaleh. This tract is called Jallindar, and has in it Sultanpour, and a few other towns.
NEAR the fountain of the Beyah ſtands the famous temple of NAGERKOTE, [Note: NAGERKOTE.] greatly frequented by the Hindoo pilgrims, out of veneration to the goddeſs Noſhabo. This place out-miracles all miracles: cut out your tongue, and in a few days, ſometimes a few hours, it will, with due faith in the ſaint, be again renewed *! This temple was immenſely rich, being paved with gold. It was guarded by the fort Kote Kangrah. It was taken by Feroſe III. in 1360 †: To ſuch a patron of literature, he found a treaſure in a library of books of the Brahmins. He cauſed one, which conſiſted of philoſophy, to be tranſlated in the Perſian language, and called it the Arguments of Feroſe. Goropim, as quoted by Purchas, vi. p. 35, ſays, that Nagerkote mountain is the higheſt in the world.
NOT far from Nagerkote, [Note: JELLAMOOKY.] is Jellamooky, a temple built over the ſubterraneous fire. Poſſibly the country may be inhabited [Page 37] by the Ghebres, or worſhippers of fire, or Perſees, deſcendants of thoſe who had eſcaped the horrid maſſacre of Timur Bek.
ABOUT fifty-five miles above the diſcharge of the Setlege, [Note: THE CHUNAUB.] the Chunaub, or Aceſines, joins itſelf with the Indus, and continues a ſingle channel about the ſame ſpace, equal in ſize to that river. On the ſouthern banks, nearly midway, ſtands Moultan, [Note: MOULTAN.] capital of a province of that name. The country is very productive in cotton; and alſo ſugar, opium, brimſtone, galls, and camels, which uſed to be tranſported into Perſia. The galls indicate oaks, which I did not before know grew ſo far to the ſouth. The fineſt bows are made in this country; and it produces the moſt beautiful, and moſt active female dancers in all India, who were in the higheſt eſteem, particularly in the kingdom of Perſia.
THE air is exceſſively hot, and very little rain falls in theſe parts. This is a circumſtance which attends remarkably the lower part of the Indus, eſpecially the Delta, where it has been known to have wanted rain for the ſpace of three years.
THE city of Moultan ſtands in Lat. 30° 34′, is ſmall, and ſtrongly fortified. It has a celebrated pagoda, a moſque, with a beautiful minaret, and the place of interment of many pious Shiekhs. Abulfazel, ii. 137, ſays, that it is one of the moſt antient cities in India. It was not the capital of the Malli, which Mr. Rennel ſuppoſes to have been near Toulumba; but they inhabited the circumjacent country.
Moultan was taken by one of the generals of Tamerlane. Since the ravages made in this province, after the invaſion of India by Kouli Khan, a conqueror equally barbarous, the trade [Page 38] of the place has received a conſiderable check. Thevenot adds another reaſon, that in his time, about the year 1665, the river was choaked up, which obſtructed greatly all commerce from Lahore, and other places to the north-eaſt.
THIS city is the great reſidence of the Banians, [Note: BANIANS.] or merchants and brokers of India. They are of this country, and have here their chieftain. They are of the great commercial caſt of the Bhyſe, created, ſay the Hindoos, by their Brimhas, or Supreme Being, from his thighs and belly; but I ſhall ſay more of the CASTS hereafter. Theſe form ſettlements in all the commercial towns in India. They alſo ſend colonies, for a certain number of years, to the trading towns of Arabia and Perſia, and we find them even as far as Aſtrakan. In the beginning of the preſent century, about a hundred and fifty or two hundred of this community went from Moultan to that city, and carry on a great trade in pretious ſtones; they live in a large ſtone Caravanſery. As they die away, or incline to return home, a ſupply is ſent from India by their chief, ſelected from among their young unmarried relations. As they have no females from their own country, they keep, during their reſidence at Aſtrakan, Tartarian women, but the contract is only during that time. They are a ſine race of men, and are highly eſteemed for the integrity of their dealings * Theſe ſupport the moſt important trade of Aſtrakan, by carrying it through Aſtrabad to the inland parts of the Mogul empire. This points out a more ſouthern inland road than was known in the middle ages, when the merchants went by the way of Bochara and Samarcand, to the northern cities of India, Candahar and Cabul.
[Page 39] AT the diſtance of about ſixty miles from its mouth, the Chenauh divides into two branches, which flow from the northweſt from their origin, at the foot of the Himmaleh chain. The moſt ſouthern is the Rauvee, the old Hydraotes. [Note: THE RAUVEE.] About twentyfour miles from its mouth, on the ſouthern ſide, ſtand the fort and town of Toulamba. They lay in the route of Tamerlane, [Note: TOULAMBA.] and were plundered, and the inhabitants enſlaved by that monſter of cruelty, juſtly called in India ‘the deſtroying Prince.’ He excelled even his brother hero Alexander in the ſlaughter of mankind. Tamerlane, in his march into India, had collected above a hundred thouſand priſoners: theſe happened to ſhew ſome ſymptoms of joy, at a repulſe the tyrant had received before the citadel of Delhi; he inſtantly ordered all above fifteen years of age to be maſſacred in cold blood. The ſum was a hundred thouſand.
THE city of Lahore is next, [Note: LAHORE.] about a hundred and fifty miles diſtant from Moultan. It is the capital of the Seiks, a people which ſtarted up in the fifteenth century, under a Hindoo of the name of Nanuck, born in 1470. They are a ſet of religioniſts, tolerant in matters of faith like the Hindoos, but, unlike them, [Note: THE SEIKS.] admit proſelytes. They require a conformity in certain ſigns and ceremonies, but in other reſpects are pure monotheiſts; they worſhip God alone, without image or intermediation. They may be called the reformers of India. They retain alſo a calviniſtical principle, and take an oath ever to oppoſe a monarchical government. They eat any kind of meat excepting beef, for like the Hindoos they hold the ox in the utmoſt veneration. Their general food is pork, probably becauſe it is forbidden by [Page 40] the Mahometans, whom they hold in abhorrence. Their army conſiſts wholly of horſe; they can raiſe a hundred thouſand cavalry, and make war in the moſt ſavage mode. They kept long concealed or unnoticed, at length became formidable by their courage and enterprize, and extended their conqueſts over Lahore, Moultan, and the weſtern parts of Delhi.
Lahore is a city of great antiquity, and was the reſidence of the firſt Mahometan conquerors in India, before they were eſtabliſhed in the central parts. In 1043, in the reign of Mahmood, it was cloſely beſieged by the confederated Hindoos, who were compelled to retire on a vigorous ſally made by the garriſon. It is alſo a Soubaliſhip of conſiderable extent. Humaioon, father of Akbar, kept his court here part of his days. Its length, ſuburbs included, was at that period three leagues. It had a magnificent palace, and ſeveral other fine buildings built of brick. Poſſibly its trade is declined ſince the obſtruction of the bed of the river, by the banks of ſand or gravel. Here begins the famous avenue which extended five hundred miles, even to Agra. It conſiſts, according to Thevenot, Part iii. p. 61, of what he calls Achy trees. It was planted in 1619, by Jehangìr: He alſo erected an obeliſk at the end of every coſe, and at the end of every third coſe was ſunk a well for the refreſhment of travellers.
THE peſtilence firſt appeared in the Panjab in 1616, [Note: PESTILENCE.] ſpread to Lahore, and then broke out in the Duab and Dehli. It never before was known in Hindooſtan, if the memoirs of Jehangìr are to be depended on; but Mr. Gibbon, iv. 328, aſſures us, that the dreadful plague which depopulated the earth in the time of [Page 41] Juſtinian and his ſucceſſors, extended even to the Indies. The people whom it raged among at this time, according to Procopius, Bell. Perſ. lib. ii. cap. 23, were the Barbari, or inhabitants of the neighborhood of the Emporium Barbaricum, in the Delta of the Indus *. Doctor Mead, in his elegant treatiſe de Peſte, p. 64, relates, that India was viſited with a peſtilence in 1346: whether it was the ſame with that which, from the earlieſt times, took its origin between the Serbonian bog, and the eaſtern channel of the Nile, or whether it might not have been the dyſentery or bloody flux is uncertain. Bontius † has diſcuſſed the point, and given his opinion that it is the latter, which at times carries off numbers equal to the plague itſelf. Certainly there have been many inſtances of ſome dreadful diſeaſe carrying its terrors through Hindooſtan, but diſtinction muſt be made between the WIDE WASTING PESTILENCE deſcribed by Procopius, and the local diſeaſe, the conſequence of famine; ſuch, for example, as that which has raged in the northern Circars within theſe very few years.
THE province of Lahore is celebrated for its fine breed of horſes. [Note: FINE HORETS.] The Mogul Emperors uſed to eſtabliſh ſtuds in different parts, and furniſh them with their lamed ſtallions of the Perſian and Arabian kind, for the farther improvement. It was the north of India which ſupplied them with the beſt cavalry. I wiſh the reader to conſult Abulfazel, i. 167. 239, relative to the magnificent eſtabliſhment of the domeſtic ſtables, and the oeconomy of the military cavalry in the time of his great maſter.
Abulfazel, ii. 223, ſpeaking of the rivers of this country, ſays, [Note: METALS.] that the natives, by waſhing the ſands, obtain Gold, Silver, [Page 42] Copper, Rowey, Tin, Braſs, and Lead. Rowey is unknown to me; braſs is factitious. I am doubtful as to ſome of theſe metals being found in India. Farther enquiry may aſcertain the metallic productions of India in the courſe of this volume.
A VAST mountain of rock ſalt is found in this province, [Note: ROCK SALT.] equal to that of Cardonna, and, like the ſalt of that mountain, is cut into diſhes, plates, and ſtands for lamps. Ice is an article of commerce from the northern mountains, and ſold at Lahore throughout the year.
THE famous canal of Shah Nehr begins at Ragipour, and is continued almoſt parallel to the Rauvee, and ends at Lahore, a diſtance of above eighty miles. The intent of this canal ſeems to have been to ſupply Lahore with water in the dry ſeaſon, when all the Indian rivers are from twenty to thirty feet below the level of their banks. Three other canals, for the purpoſe of watering the country on the ſouth and eaſt of Lahore, were drawn from the ſame place. Theſe, formed in a diſtant age, are ſtrong proofs of attention to rural oeconomy, and the benefit of the ſubject.
THE Chunaub, [Note: CHUNAUB, UPPER.] for a few miles, is continued from its forks in a ſingle channel. Near Zuſſerabad, the Jhylum, or Behut, falls into it with vaſt rapidity and violence. This was the place where Alexander ſo nearly loſt his fleet in the paſſage through this turbulent conflux. The Chunaub flows in a ſtrait channel from the foot of the Himmaleb or Imaus, and there originates from two ſtreams which quickly re-unite. Gujerat, and Jummoo and Mundal, are town and forts on its banks. From the origin of the Chunaub to that of the Rauvee, is a plain tract, [Page 43] bounded to the eaſt by mount Imaus, bounded on the weſt and ſouth by the chain of the Panjah hills. There is another plain ſimilar, from the upper part of the Setlege as far as the Ganges, where it flows through the province of Sirinagur.
I NOW aſcend, from its union with the Chunaub, the Behut, [Note: THE BEHUT.] the moſt celebrated of the five rivers, the Fabuloſus Hydaſpes, which flows in two magnificent meanders, and iſſuing from a narrow gap between exalted mountains, from its origin in the romantic Caſhmere; partly along a plain, partly at the foot of mountains cloathed with foreſts of trees of ſize magnificent, many of which are periſhing continually through weight of years, and others ſucceeding them in the full verdure and vigor of youth. Would my pen could be inſpired like that of M. Bernier, who in 1664 attended in quality of a phyſician, and philoſophic friend, to a great Omrah of that time, a follower of Aurengezebe in his ſplendid progreſs to Caſhmere for the recovery of his health, by a change of the burning clime of Hindooſtan, for the ſalubrious air of the former. I leave to the reader the peruſal of Bernier, the firſt traveller, I may ſay, of his, or any other age. I ſhall in a very abridged form take up the account from the departure of the court from Agra. His ſuite was an army. He was alſo attended by his ſiſter, which gave ſplendor unſpeakable to the train of ladies. He left Agra in the moment pronounced fortunate by the imperial aſtrologers. To this day nothing is done without their auſpices. He took the road to Lahore, hunting or hawking on each ſide as occaſion offered. Among the nobler game, a lion preſented itſelf. In croſſing the rivers bridges of boats were uſed for the purpoſe. The heats on the march were dreadful, [Page 44] cauſed by the lofty mountains of Caſhmere, keeping the cool air of the north from refreſhing the parched plains. Between the Chenaub and the Behut is the vaſt mountain Bember. [Note: MOUNTAIN BEMBER.] It ſeems like a purgatory to be paſſed before the entrance into the PARADISE of Hindooſtan can be accompliſhed. It is ſteep, black, and burned. The proceſſion encamped in the channel of a large torrent, dried up, full of ſand and ſtones burning hot. "After paſſing the Bember," ſays the elegant traveller, ‘we paſs from a torrid to a temperate zone: for we had no ſooner mounted this dreadful wall of the world, I mean, this high, ſteep, black and bald mountain of Bember, but that in deſcending on the other ſide, we found an air that was pretty tolerable, freſh, gentle, and temperate. But that which ſurpriſed me more in theſe mountains, was to find myſelf in a trice tranſported out of the Indies into Europe. For ſeeing the earth covered with all our plants and ſhrubbs, except Iſſop, Thyme, Marjoram, [Note: EUROPEAN TREES.] and Roſemary, I imagined I was in ſome of our mountains of Auvergne, in the midſt of a foreſt of all our kinds of Trees, Pines, Oaks, Elms, Plane-trees. And I was the more aſtoniſhed, becauſe in all thoſe burning fields of Indoſtan, whence I came, I had ſeen almoſt nothing of all that.’
‘AMONG other things relating to plants this ſurprized me, that one and a half days journey from Bember I found a mountain that was covered with them on both ſides, but with this difference, that on the ſide of the mountain that was ſoutherly, towards the Indies, [Note: INDIAN.] there was a mixture of Indian and European plants, and on that which was expoſed to the North, I obſerved none but European ones; as if the former had participated [Page 45] of the air and temper of Europe and the Indies, and the other had been meerly European. ’
I NOW enter the kingdom of Caſhmere, [Note: KINGDOM OF CASHMERE.] and immediately reſume the words of the elegant traveller. ‘Thouſands of caſcades deſcend from the ſurrounding mountains of this enchanting plain, and forming rivulets meandring through all parts render it ſo fair and fruitful, that one would take this whole kingdom for ſome great Evergreen garden, intermixed with villages and burroughs, diſcovering themſelves between trees, and diverſiſied by Meadows, Fields of Rice, Corn, and divers other Legumes, of Hemp and Saffron; all interlaced with ditches full of water, with Channels, with ſmall Lakes and Rivulets here and there. Up and down and every where are alſo ſeen ſome of our European plants, Flowers, and all ſorts of our Trees, as Apples, Pears, Prunes, Apricots, Cherries, Nuts, Vines; the particular Gardens are full of Melons, Skirrets, Beets, Radiſhes, all ſorts of our Pot-herbs, and of ſome we have not.’
THIS HAPPY VALLEY, this PARADISE OF HINDOOSTAN, [Note: ONCE A LAKE.] of the Indian poets, is of an oval form, about eighty miles long and forty broad, and was once ſuppoſed to have been entirely filled with water; which having burſt its mound, left this vale inriched to the moſt diſtant ages by the ſertilizing mud of the rivers which fed its expanſe. This delicious ſpot is ſurrounded by mountains of vaſt height and rude aſpect, covered with ſnow, or enchaſed in glacieres, in which this enchanting jewel is firmly ſet. At the foot of the exterior chain is an interior circle of hills, fertile in graſs, abundant in trees and various ſorts of vegetation, and full of all kinds of cattle, as Cows, Sheep, Goats, [Page 46] Gazelles, and Muſks. The approach to Caſhmere is alſo very rugged and difficult. We have mentioned the mountains of Bember; beſides thoſe is one on which the pioneers of Aurengezebe were obliged to cut through a glaciere, or a great maſs, as Bernier calls it, of icy ſnow *.
THE capital of this happy ſpot is ſometimes called Caſhmere, ſometimes Sirinagur, and ſometimes Nagaz †, is ſeated in Lat. 34° 12′ North, on the banks of the river, which runs with a current moſt remarkably ſmooth. At a little diſtance from it is a ſmall but beautiful lake, with a communication with the river by a navigable canal. The town was, in Bernier's time, three quarters of a French league long, built on both ſides, and ſome part extended to the lake. Villas, Moſques, and Pagodas, decorate ſeveral of the little hills that border the water. The houſes are built of wood, four ſtories high, ſome higher; the lower is for the cattle, the next for the family, the third and fourth ſerve as warehouſes. The roofs are planted with tulips, which in the ſpring produce a wonderful effect. Roſes, and numberleſs other flowers ornament this happy clime. The inhabitants often viſit the lake in their boats for the pleaſure of hawking, the country abounding with cranes, and variety of game.
THE river, [Note: RIVER BEHUT, OR IHLUM.] which riſes at Wair Naig, near the ſouthern part of the ſurrounding mountains, flows with a north-weſtern courſe by the capital, and falls into lake Ouller, which is fifty-three miles in length, and lies in the northern part of the valley, not remote from the kingdom of great Thibet, then paſſes through the outlet at Barehmooleh, between two ſteep mountains, and [Page 47] from thence, after a long courſe, to its junction with the Chunaub. This river is large and navigable, even within the limits of Caſhmere. Bernier, p. 84. ſays, it carries boats as large as thoſe on the Seine at Paris. Many ſmall lakes are ſpread over the ſurface, and ſome of them contain floating iſlands. Among others, Bernier, p. 118. viſited one, which he calls ‘A great lake amidſt the mountains, which had ice in ſummer, and looked like a little icy ſea, having heaps of ice made and unmade by the winds.’ This reminds me of the coalition and ſeparation of the ice in the Spitzbergen ſeas. This in queſtion may be like the Ouller, for I ſee none of any ſize in the maps, excepting that expanſe of water.
AMONG the miraculous waters of the natives, he reckons a periodical ſpring, or the ebbing and flowing well of Sandbrarc, which has near to it the temple of the idol of Brare. The reader may amuſe himſelf with the account, from p. 105 to 110 of this favorite writer, and at p. 117 thoſe of another, much of the ſame nature.
THE author of the Ayeen Akberry dwells with rapture on the beauties of Caſhmere; whence we may conclude, that it was a favorite ſubject with his maſter Acbar, who had viſited it three times before Abulfazel wrote. Other emperors of Hindooſtan viſited it alſo, and ſeemed to forget the cares of government during their reſidence in the HAPPY VALLEY. By the ſalubrity of the air, and the chearing beauties of the place, they collected new vigor to reſume the cares of government. The remains of the palaces, pavilion, and gardens, exhibit proofs of their elegance and ſplendor. It appears, that the periodical rains, which almoſt deluge the reſt of India, are ſhut out of Caſhmere [Page 48] by the height of the mountains, ſo that only light ſhowers fall there; theſe, however, are in abundance ſufficient to feed the thouſands of caſcades which are precipitated into the valley from every part of the ſtupendous and romantic bulwark that encircles it. Amidſt the various felicities of the Caſhmerians, one dreadful evil they are conſtantly ſubject to, namely, earthquakes; but to guard againſt their terrible effects, all their houſes are built of wood, of which there is no want.
THE Caſhmerians are eſteemed a moſt witty race, and much more intelligent and ingenious than the Hindoos, and as much addicted to the ſciences and to poetry as the very Perſians. They have a language of their own: but their books are written in the Shanſcrit tongue, although the character be ſometimes Caſhmerian *. They are alſo very induſtrious, and excellent mechanics. The various articles of their workmanſhip are ſent into all parts of India †. This race is famous for the fineneſs of their features, and their admirable complexions. They look like Europeans, and have nothing of the Tartarian flat-noſed face, and ſmall eyes, like thoſe of Caſchguer and their neighbors of Thibet. It is certainly quite right, that this PARADISE, THE REGION OF ETERNAL SPRING, ſhould be peopled with females angelic: they are uncommonly beautiful. The courtiers of the time of Bernier were moſt ſolicitous to obtain for their Zenanas the Caſhmerian fair, in order that they might have children whiter than the natives of Hindooſtan, in order that they might paſs for the true Mogul-breed, congenerous with their monarch.
[Page 49] THE religion of the Caſhmerians is the ſame as that of the Hindoos; poſſibly the pardonable ſuperſtition of the inhabitants, warmed by their romantic ſituation, may have multiplied the places of worſhip of Mahadeo, of Beſchan, and of Brama. Here is a ſect of religioniſts, free from idolatry, which worſhip the Deity alone. They are remarkably benevolent, and abſtain from the other ſex. They muſt therefore be continued by diſciples. As to the Mahometans, they are not numerous, and thoſe ſplit into ſects *.
THE Caſhmerians ſeem to have had an idea of the deluge, for, ſay they, in the early ages of the world, all Caſhmere, except the mountains, was covered with water. One Kuſhup brought the Brahmins to inhabit the country as ſoon as the waters had ſubſided †. Neither were they ignorant of the hiſtory of Noah, for the Indians ſpeak of him under the name of Sattiaviraden, who, with his wife, was by the god Vichenou, who ſent to them an ark, preſerved from deſtruction in a general deluge ‡. The firſt monarch of the country was Owgnund, who was elected, ſays Abulfazul, 4444 years before his time 33.
HERE are numbers of hermits in places nearly inacceſſible. They are highly venerated, ſome being ſuppoſed to have power to excite the fury of the elements. Bernier, p. 104, found an antient anchoute, who had inhabited the ſummit of the lofty mountain Pire-penjale ever ſince the time of Jehangire, who was here in 1618. His religion was unknown. To him was attributed the power of working miracles. He cauſed at his pleaſure great [Page 50] thunders, and raiſed ſtorms of hail, rain, ſnow, and wind. He looked ſavage, having a large white beard uncombed, which, like that of our Druid, "ſtreamed like a meteor to the troubled air." The ſage forbid the making the leſt noiſe, on pain of raiſing furious ſtorms and tempeſts.
Caſhmere is famous for its manufacture of ſhawls, [Note: SHAWLS.] made of the wool of the broad-tailed ſheep, who are found in the kingdom of Thibet; and their fleeces, in fineneſs, beauty, and length, ſays Mr. Bogle, in Ph. Tranſ. lxviii. 485, exceed all others in the world. The Caſhmerians engroſs this article, and have factors in all parts of Thibet for buying up the wool, which is ſent into Caſhmere, and worked into ſhawls, ſuperior in elegance to thoſe woven even from the fleeces of their own country. This manufacture is a conſiderable ſource of wealth. Bernier relates, that in his days, ſhawls made expreſsly for the great Omrahs, of the Thibetian wool, coſt a hundred and fifty roupees, whereas thoſe made of the wool of the country never coſt more than fifty.
Akbar was a moſt particular encourager of the manufacture. He not only paid a great attention to thoſe of this province, but introduced them into Lahore, where, in his days, there were a thouſand manufactories, ſays Abulfazul, of this commodity. The natural color of the wool of the Tools aſſel, the name of the animal, is grey, tinged with red, but ſome are quite white. Akbar firſt introduced the dying them. The wool of another animal uſed in the manufacture is white or black, out out of which were woven white, black, and grey ſhawls. Poſſibly two ſorts of animals may produce the material; one [Page 51] indiſputably the ſheep I mention, the other I have heard called a goat.
THE domeſtic animals of this country are horſes, ſmall, hardy, and ſure-footed. Cows, black and ugly, but yield plenty of milk and excellent butter. Here is alſo a ſheep, called Hundoo, which is uſed to carry burdens. No deſcription is left to vindicate me for imagining it to be either the camel, (Llama, Hiſt. Quad. i. No 73.) or the Chilihucque (No 74.); the firſt of which is uſed for burdens in Peru, the laſt, formerly in Chili. Certain it is that India has a tall ſheep, which, ſaddled, actually can carry a boy twelve years old. It is found about Surat. Whether it could bear the ſnows of the Caſhmerian Alps, I leave for the ſubject of future inquiry.
Abulfazul, p. 155, vol. ii. mentions the elk as one of the wild animals of the country; and adds, that the hunting leopards are made uſe of in the chaſe of that enormous deer. The Chittah, or hunting leopard, muſt be brought from the ſcorched plains of Bengal. The elk may be a native of the woods at the baſe of the ſnowy mountains, for they are impatient of heat, and require foreſts, for they ſubſiſt both by browzing and by grazing.
Caſhmere, ſays its hiſtorians, [Note: PRINCES.] had its own princes four thouſand years before its conqueſt by Akbar in 1585. Humaioon caſt a longing eye on this rich gem, but by different accidents the acquiſition was reſerved for his ſon. Akbar would have ſound diſſiculty to reduce this paradiſe of the Indies, ſituated as it is within ſuch a fortreſs of mountains, but its monarch, Yuſof Khan, was baſely betrayed by his Omrahs. Akbar uſed his conqueſt with moderation, and allowed a penſion to the conquered [Page 52] Khan and his gallant ſon. From that time this happy valley enjoyed the moſt perfect tranquillity.
THAT 'devouring prince,' [Note: TAMERLANE THERE.] as Tamerlane was called by the Hindoos, encamped at a place called Gebban, on the frontiers of Caſhmere. During his ſtay in that delicious country, he ſeems to have forgot his cruelty, and left without doing any injury to the innocent inhabitants *. This fair gem is at preſent poſſeſſed by Timur Shah, ſucceſſor to Ahmed Abdalla late king of Candahar.
Marco Polo, [Note: MARCO POLO THERE.] in his travels over the eaſt, between the years 1271 and 1295, viſited Caſhmere, which he calls Cheſimur. He agrees, in ſeveral reſpects, with the account given by Abul-fazul and Bernier. Mentions that the inhabitants have a language of their own; that they are idolaters; that they are very ſuperſtitious: and deſcribes their hermits, and the powers they had of raiſing tempeſts, and darkening the very air †.
I REJOIN the Indus at the mouth of the Chenaub. [Note: INDUS CONTINUED.] A little higher, on the weſt ſide, it receives the Lucca, an obſcure river, which flows from the north-weſt, riſing in the kingdom of Candahar. It is the only one which falls into the Indus in all the extent of the weſtern ſide. Above that, on the ſame ſide, is the Cow, or Cophenes, which leads to Ghizni and to Bamia, at the foot of the Paropamyſan Caucaſus; beyond that we paſs the mouth of the Kameh, or Guraeus, which flows from Cabul. The principal places in the vicinity of theſe rivers have already been noticed.
I NOW return to Attock, [Note: MR. FORSTER'S JOURNEY.] where the river aſſumes the name of that city, till it reaches the conflux of the Chenaub, below [Page 53] Moultan. Attock ſignifies the forbidden, it having been the original boundary of Hindooſtan on this ſide, which the Hindoos were prohibited from paſſing. Here the river is three quarters of a mile broad, the water very cold, rapid, and turbulent, and a great deal of black ſand ſuſpended in it. A little above Attock is Bazaar, where Mr. Forſter croſſed the Indus. The extraordinary journey of that gentleman merits notice. In the diſguiſe of an Aſiatic he left Calcutta in 1783, croſſed the Ganges between Loldong and Hurdwar, and the Jumna near Meiro; proceeded on the ſouth ſide of the mountains to Jummoo, and then ſeems to have made a tour of curioſity to Caſhmere. From thence turned towards the ſouth-weſt, to Bazaar; went northward to Cabul, where he found the bills of Calicut, ſeventeen or eighteen hundred miles diſtant, negociable: from thence went to Candahar, and croſſed the modern provinces of Seiſten, Koraſan, and Mazanderan, to the ſhore of the Caſpian ſea; took ſhipping at Baſruſh, reached the Volga, and arrived ſafe at Peterſburg. From Oude, the laſt Britiſh ſtation, to the Caſpian ſea, was twenty-ſeven hundred miles. His ſecurity lay in his concealment of his country; he travelled with Aſiatics, he was obliged to conform to their manners, to content himſelf with the cookery of every place he paſſed through, ſubmit to every accommodation, and generally to ſleep in the open air, even in rain and ſnow, and this he endured in a journey of a whole year. He returned to India, and ended, of late years, at the court of the Nizam, in a public capacity, his active and moſt enterprizing life.
AFTER reaching Bazaar we are very little acquainted with the courſe of the Indus. Mr. Rennel informs us, that the higheſt [Page 54] point to which this river can be traced, is Shuckur, two hundred and thirty miles diſtant from Attock; and from Attock to the ſea is ſix hundred and ſorty. By the excellent map of the world publiſhed by Mr. Arrowſmith, it appears to paſs through a long and narrow gap, between two chains of mountains, and to terminate at its origin in the middle of Caſhgar. What that diſtance is from Shuckur I cannot with certainty pronounce: perhaps a hundred miles. Adding this to the two other numbers, we may fairly call the whole length a thouſand miles.
MR. RENNEL ſays, that it has an uninterrupted navigation from the ſea for flat-bottomed veſſels of near two hundred tons, as high as Moultan and Lahore; the laſt about ſix hundred and fifty miles diſtant. The current of the Indus muſt be rapid; for Captain Hamilton (i. p. 123.) informs us, that the veſſels frequently fall down the river from Lahore to Tatta in twelve days; but the paſſage up the ſtream requires ſix or ſeven weeks. It once had a vaſt trade carried on along its channel, but by reaſon of troubles, and conſequential bad government, it is greatly reduced.
I NOW return to the ocean. The eaſtern branch of the Indus falls into the bay of Cutch, which runs far inland, and receives the river Puddar, bounded by the rugged country of Cutch. Part of the gulph is infeſted with piratical tribes, called Sangarians, who infeſt the ſea from hence to the entrance of the gulph of Perſia. M. D'Anville * ſuppoſes them to have been the ſame as the people of Sangada (Arrian, Rerum Indic. i. p. 551.) which the hiſtorian places near the [Page 55] river Arabius. This may have been the caſe on ſuppoſing, which might have been probable, that they had removed from the weſtern to the eaſtern ſide of the Indus, and from thence to the ſhores of the gulph of Cutch. The banks of the river are poſſeſſed by reguli; moſt of its ſides are low, fenny, and liable to annual inundations. This gulph was the antient Canthi-colpus and Sinus Irinus. Arrian, ii. 165, alſo calls it Barices Sinus, and mentions its having a group of ſeven iſles, which appear in modern charts.
THE Puddar falls into the gulph of Cutch, [Note: THE PUDDAR.] and has a courſe to the north-eaſt as far as near lat. 26° ſoon after which it divides into two ſtreams, which originate in the country of the Rathore Raipoots, inclining to the ſouth. This river is not bordered by any places remarkable. In the middle ages the famed emporium, Nehrwaleh, ſtood on the banks of the Surutwutty, a ſmall river which flows into it from the ſouth, in lat. 23° 47″, E. long. 72° 30″. It ſtood on the ſite of Puttan; and flouriſhed in the middle ages. It was reckoned the moſt fertile country in India, and was at that time capital of Guzerat. Mahmood I. (Feriſhta, i. p. 77.) made a conqueſt of it in 1024. Above a century after that, El Edriſi, p. 62, ſpeaks of it under the name of Nahrvara, and as a place of vaſt trade, and the great reſort of merchants. Its monarchs were ſtyled Balahare, i. e. KING OF KINGS, for all the neighboring reguli acknowledged his ſupremacy. The time of its deſtruction is not well known. The ſeat of empire was afterwards removed to Amedabad.
RAIPOTANA was once a moſt extenſive government. [Note: RAIPOTANA.] Mr. Rennel ſays, equal to half of France. Part became ſubjugated. Still the hardy tribes maintain ſome of their old domains, amidſt rude and almoſt inacceſſible mountains. Mahometan perſecution [Page 56] and intolerancy, confirm and heighten the zeal for the old religion of their country, added to a pride of deſcent, and the boaſt of being formed from the arms of the great deity Brahma. They are called Kehteree, or Khatre; they are enjoined the performance of thirteen great duties *. The protection of religion and the art of war are two, and thoſe they obſerve to the fulleſt extent. They ſeem like our knighterrant, performing all the duties of chivalry. Boullaye la Gouz gives a good figure of a Raipoot Chevalier on his 234th page.
THEY were once a powerful people, but notwithſtanding they are now much reduced, they ſtill are feared and reſpected by all Hindooſlan. They frequently hire themſelves to other ſtates. Under the emperor Akbar, they received the blow which put an end to their greatneſs. [Note: THEIR CAPITAL, CHEITOR] In 1567, he marched to the capital, Cheitor, ſtrongly ſituated in a lofty mountain, and garriſoned by the Raja with eight thouſand choſen Raipoots, and headed by a general of tried valour. Akbar effected a breach, but by ſpringing a mine loſt numbers of his own men. Unfortunately for the beſieged; the emperor ſaw the governor buſied in giving orders for filling up the breaches: when, calling for a fuſil, he ſhot the faithful commander through the head. The garriſon ſunk under the loſs. [Note: ITS SAD FATE.] In deſpair they determined on the horrid ceremony of the JOAR. They put to the ſword all their wives and children, and burned their bodies, with that of their governor, on a prodigious funeral pile. The citizens of Saguntum illam fide, et aerumnis inclytam †, 530 years before CHRIST, like them driven to deſpair, performed the ſame dreadful rites. [Page 57] By the light of the fire the imperial army ſaw the barbarous rites, and entered the deſerted breaches, led on by Akbar. The Raipoots, devoting themſelves to death, retired to their temples. The victor ordered three hundred elephants of war to be introduced to tread to death the gallant victims. The ſcene became now too ſhocking to be deſcribed. Brave men, rendered more valiant by deſpair, crouded round the elephants, ſeized them even by the tuſks, and inflicted on them unavailing wounds. The terrible animals trod the Indians like graſshoppers under their feet, or winding them in their powerful trunks toſſed them into the air, or daſhed them to pieces againſt the walls and pavements. Of the garriſon and of the inhabitants, who amounted to forty thouſand, thirty thouſand were ſlain; a few only eſcaped in the confuſion, by tying their own children like captives, and driving them through the royal camp *.
SIR Thomas Roe paſſed through it in his way to Agimere, in 1612, and gives the following melancholy account of it's then ſtate: ‘ Cytor is an antient ruined city, on a hill, but ſhews the footſteps of wonderful magnificence. There are ſtill ſtanding above a hundred churches, all of carved ſtone, many fair towers and lanthorns, many pillars, and innumerable houſes, but not one inhabitant. There is but one ſteep aſcent cut out of the rock, and four gates in the aſcent before you come to the city gate, which is magnificent. The hill is encloſed at the top for about eight coſſes, and at the ſouth-weſt end is a goodly caſtle †.’
LET not this, or ſeveral other inſtances of unprincely barbarity, be attributed to the influence of climate. The greateſt [Page 58] monarchs, bred under the ſevereſt ſkies, have ſhewn themſelves monſters of cruelties, notwithſtanding they have been held up to us as models of greatneſs. Among thoſe of the North are Baſilovitz II. and Peter the Great. And in Hindooſtan, the favorite Akbar, and others, ſucceſſors or predeceſſors. Their enormities are the reſult of education; indulged firſt in every infant-paſſion, then in thoſe of youth, till they become ungovernable; and every oppoſition to their will appears criminal, and brings on the moſt dreadful revenge, and the frequent havoke of the human race. Compare then the manners of the princes of this country with thoſe of the myriads of the meaneſt of the Hindoo ſubjects; education has produced monſters of the former: climate has ſoftened into gentleneſs, reſignation, and the fulleſt ſubmiſſion in the minds of the latter to every evil, to famine, ſickneſs, and tyrannic fury.
Akbar erected his conqueſt into a ſoubahſhip, [Note: AZIMERE.] and named it that of Agimere or Azimere. At preſent Audapour, Joodpour, and Jeinagur, antient principalities of the Raipoots, remain in their deſcendants. Moſt of the reſt of the Soubahſhip is poſſeſſed by the Mahrattas, or by Sindia. Mr. Rennel thinks the capital, Agimere, to have been the Gagaſmiru of Ptolemy. It is built in about lat. 26° 32″, at the foot of a lofty mountain, crowned with a fortreſs of great ſtrength. Little is ſaid of the city. It ſeems holy ground, and productive of holy men. Akbar, in want of an heir, made a pilgrimage to this place to the ſhrine of Chaja Moin, in conſequence of a vow he had made in caſe he was bleſſed with a ſon, which his favorite Sultana preſented him with juſt before *. To inſure ſucceſs, he had [Page 59] left the lady, for a conſiderable time, with the ſaints of Sikri! The pilgrimage was made from Agra. On this occaſion he erected at the end of every coſs, or mile and a half, a ſtone; and at every tenth coſs, a Choultry, or Caravanſera, for travellers *. The whole diſtance from Agra to Agimere, is a hundred and thirty Britiſh miles. Theſe were imperial works!
Jehangìr kept his court at the latter, [Note: SIR THOMAS ROE.] at the time that Sir Thomas Roe was ſent by our James I. on his intereſting embaſſy to the great Mogul. No monarch ever did more good to his ſubjects, by his attention to commerce, at that time in its infancy, than our deſpiſed prince. Sir Thomas landed at Surat, in September 1615; continued following the court to different places till 1618, and received every mark of exterior favor, notwithſtanding the Eaſt India Company, with mercantile meanneſs, furniſhed him with preſents ill-ſuited to the grandeur of the Britiſh nation. The embaſſy proved, on the whole, fruitleſs, and he returned home, after doing all that a perſon of his abilities could to ſerve his country. He was fruſtrated by the deceit, meanneſs, and rapacity of an eaſtern court *.
THE approach to the coaſts we left, [Note: SEA-SNAKES.] is ſignified by the appearance of ſea-ſnakes; the hiſtorian deſcribes them of a duſky color, and thicker than the Lana ſerpents. As to their ſiery eyes and dragon-like heads, I ſmile at his credulity: the reſt is true. Sea-ſnakes are very frequent in the torrid zones. M. Voſmaer gives, in one of his faſciculi, figures of two of the ſeaſerpents: one is faſciated with brown and white; the other has a brown back and white belly. The tail of each is flat, exactly [Page 60] reſembling that of an eel, ſuited to a ſpecies which is entirely deſtined to the watery element. They are met with off moſt of the coaſts of India, at the diſtance of twenty or thirty leagues from land; are never ſeen alive on the element of earth, but frequently caſt by the ſurges dead on the ſhore. M. D'Obſonville, who has given an account of them, ſays, they are from three to four feet long, and reputed to be very venomous. M. Bougainville gives an inſtance of a ſailor who was bitten by one, in hawling a ſeine on the coaſt of New Ireland. He was inſtantly affected with moſt violent pains in all parts of his body. The blood taken from him appeared diſſolved; and the ſide on which he was bitten became livid, and greatly ſwelled. At length, by the aſſiſtance of Venice treacle, with flower de luce water, he fell into a great perſpiration, and was quite cured *.
ON the weſtern ſide of this gulph was the Syraſtrena regio of Arrian, [Note: SYRASTRENA REGIO.] fertile in wheat, rice, oil of Seſamum, or Seſamum orientale, Burm. Zeyl. 87. tab. 38, and Gerard. p. 1232, Butyrum, or Ghee, as it is called in India; Carpaſus is a word I cannot tranſlate, but it appears to have been ſome vegetable that was uſed in making the Indian webs.
FROM Cape Jigat, [Note: GULPH OF CUTCH.] the ſouthern extremity of the gulph of Cutch, the land trends to the ſouth-weſt, as far as Diu point. At the former, [Note: GUZERAT.] commences the better known peninſula of Guzerat. The weſtern parts of which are mountanous and woody, the reſt extremely rich, and once famed for a very conſiderable commerce in their productions. The Ayeen Akberry, ii. p. 76, ſpeaks thus of its manufactures:
It is famous for painters, [Page 61] carvers, and other handicraftſmen. They cut out letters in ſhells, and inlay with them very curiouſly. They alſo make beautiful inkſtands, and ſmall boxes. They manufacture gold and ſilver ſtuffs, velvets, &c.; and they imitate the ſtuffs of Turkey, Europe, and Perſia. They alſo make very good ſwords, Jemdhers, Kewpwehs, and bows and arrows. Here is likewiſe carried on a traffic in precious ſtones. Silver is brought hither from Room and Irak.
THE famous Pagoda Jumnaut ſtood cloſe to Puttan, [Note: PAGODA JUMNAUT.] on the weſtern ſide of Guzzerat. It was deſtroyed in 1022, by the bigotted Mahmood * The Hindoos believed that the ſouls of the departed went to this place, to be transferred into other bodies, human or animal, according to their deſerts. The riches in gems, gold, &c. would be incredible, did we not know the power of ſuperſtition in thoſe remote and unenlightened times.
ON the Baeonus inſula ſtands Diu, [Note: DIU.] which long flouriſhed under its native owners. The judicious Albuquerque had caſt his eye on this iſland as a fit poſt to enſure ſafety and permanency to the Portugueſe empire in India. He endeavoured to obtain leave from the monarch of Cambaya to erect a fort, but the governor, as wiſe as himſelf, obſtructed the deſign. In 1535, Nugno d'Acugna ſucceeded, and in forty-nine days made it ſo ſtrong, as to baffle the attempts of the prince, who, repenting of his conceſſion, endeavoured to wreſt it from the [Page 62] Portugueſe, and periſhed in the ſiege. His ſucceſſor called in the Turks, and, with an army of twenty thouſand men, renewed the ſiege. The gallant governor, Meneſes, repelled all their aſſaults, and obliged them to retire with great loſs. In 1546 it underwent a third ſiege, and with the ſame ill ſucceſs. After this, every attention was paid to a place of ſuch importance. Its fortifications were eſteemed the fineſt in India, to which it was deemed the key; they were ſeated on a rock, and had a vaſt foſs cut through the live ſtone. It became a place of immenſe trade, and was the harbour in which the fleets were laid up during winter. The ſplendor of the buildings, and the luxury of the inhabitants, were unſpeakable. Surat was deſtroyed to favor its commerce, but when that city was reſtored, the former declined faſt, ſo that at preſent it has not only quite loſt its former conſequence, but, according to Nicholſon, is in a manner a heap of ruins.
THE governor, Don John Maſcarenhas, was, after a moſt gallant defence, reduced to great diſtreſs He was relieved by the great Don John de Caſtro, [Note: DON JOHN DE CASTRO.] governor of the Indies, then at Goa, who firſt ſent his ſon Ferdinand, with ſuch force he could ſpare, to ſtrengthen the garriſon: After which, collecting all the troops he could in Aſia, followed his ſon, landed his army, and joined the beſieged. He reſolved to attack the enemy, numerous as they were. He ſallied forth, and gained a complete victory.
THE manner in which the fortreſs of Diu was reſtored, is ſingular. Coſlro was poſſeſſed of little more than his ſword and his helmet. He tried every method to raiſe money, but in vain. At length he offered to depoſit, as pledges for the ſum, the bones of his ſon Ferdinand, who had fell during the ſiege. [Page 63] His army, who idolized the gallant youth, prevaled on him to reſtore them to the grave. He then ſent to the inhabitants of Goa one of his muſtachos as ſecurity for the ſum required. They knew his rigid honor, and advanced the money. He died at Goa, in 1548, aged forty-eight. He had the conſolation of dying in the arms of the apoſtle of the Indies, Xavier. His body was interred in that city; but his bones were removed to the convent at Bemſica, near Liſhon, beneath a monument, which records the actions of his glorious life *.
THE great bay of Cambay, [Note: BAY OF CAMBAY.] the Barygazenus ſinus of the antients, now opens between Cape Diu and Cape St. John, on the oppoſite ſhore, diſtant a hundred and eighty miles; it runs far inland towards the north, and ends with the river Mihie, the antient Mais. Cambay, [Note: CAMBAY.] once the capital of a kingdom of the ſame name, ſtands on the weſtern ſide, near the bottom, in N. Lat. 22° 20′. It is a vaſt city, walled round with brick, and may be called the mother of Surat, which it ſupports by its various rich articles of commerce, ſtill conſiderable, notwithſtanding the retreat of the ſea near a mile and a half. Cambay is a great manufacturing country, and furniſhes the coarſe unbleached cloths, much in uſe in Perſia, Arabia, Egypt, and Abeſſynia; alſo blue pieces for the ſame countries, and for the Engliſh and Dutch trade in Guinea; blue and white checks for mantles in Arabia and Turky, ſome coarſe, others enriched with gold; white pieces woven at Barochia, called Baſtas; muſlins with a gold ſtripe at each end, for turbans; gauzes; mixed ſtuffs of ſilk and cotton; ſhawls made of the Cachemirian wool; beſides immenſe bales of raw cotton, ſent annually to Surat, Bengal, China, Perſia, and Arabia, for their ſeveral manufactories. [Page 64] Add to theſe, rich embroideries of various kinds, and a great trade in various works in agate and cornelians, found in the rivers, which are turned into bowls, handles for knives, ſabres, and various other things.
NEAR Cambay are the veſtiges of another antient city called Nagra, [Note: NAGRA.] perhaps the Comanes of Ptolemy. Almeyda, when he viſited the coaſt of Cambay, obſerved a very antient town, with a large moſque, and near it a ſpatious place, covered with tumuli *. The moſt learned of the natives informed him, that they underſtood by their records that Hercules, in his expedition to India, had here two great engagements with an Indian prince, and was defeated, and that the tumuli were the graves of the conquered. I mention this part only to ſhew how exact the Indians have been to preſerve their hiſtory, founded, as part may have been, upon fable. Arrian, i. Exped. Alex. p. 306. ſuſpects that he was never in India, but that the inhabitants, hearing of his fame, adopted him among the gods of their country †.
GREAT numbers of the inhabitants of the city of Cambay are Hindoos, who retain all their cuſtoms, and all their ſuperſtition, in the fulleſt primoeval manner. One tenor of their religion is to pay the utmoſt attention to the brute creation; this they obſerve with a charity that would be incredible, was it not ſo well atteſted by travellers. The account given by Pietro de la Valle, who viſited this city in 1623, cannot but be acceptable to readers of curioſity.
"THE ſame day of our arrival," [Note: HOSPITAL FOR BIRDS.] ſays he, p. 35, ‘after we had dined, and reſted a while, we cauſed ourſelves to be conducted [Page 65] to ſee a famous hoſpital of birds, of all forts, which, for being ſick, lame, deprived of their mates, or otherwiſe needing food, and cure, are kept and tended there with diligence; as alſo the men who take care of them are maintained by the public alms; the Indian Gentiles (who, with Pythagoras, and the antient Egyptians, the firſt authors of this opinion, according to Herodotus, believe the tranſinigration of fouls, not only from man to man, but alſo from man to brute beaſt) conceiving it no leſs a work of charity to do good to beaſts, than to men. The houſe of this hoſpital is ſmall, a little room ſufficing for many birds: Yet I ſaw it full of birds of all ſorts which need tendance, as cocks, hens, pigeons, peacocks, ducks, and ſmall birds, which during their being lame or ſick, or mateleſs, are kept here; but, being recovered and in good plight, if they be wild, they are let go at liberty; if domeſtic, they are given to ſome pious perſon, who keeps them in his houſe. The moſt curious thing I ſaw in this place, was certain little mice, who, being found orphans without fire or dam to tend them, were put into this hoſpital, and a venerable old man with a white beard, keeping them in a box amongſt cotton, very diligently tended them, with his ſpectacles on his noſe, giving them milk to eat with a bird's feather, becauſe they were ſo little that as yet they could eat nothing elſe; and, as he told us, he intended when they were grown up to let them go free whither they pleaſed.’
"THE next morning," (p. 36) adds he, [Note: FOR GOATS, &c.] ‘we ſaw another hoſpital of goats, kids, ſheep, and wethers, either ſick or lame; [Page 66] and there were alſo ſome cocks, peacocks, and other animals needing the ſame help, and kept altogether quietly enough, in a great court: nor wanted there men and women, lodged in little rooms of the ſame hoſpital, who had care of them. In another place, far from hence, we ſaw another hoſpital of cows and calves, ſome whereof had broken legs, others, more infirm, very old or lean, and therefore were kept here to be cured. Among the beaſts there was alſo a Mahometan thief, who, having been taken in theft, had both his hands cut off; but the compaſſionate Gentiles, that he might not periſh miſerably, now he was no longer able to get his living, took him into this place, and kept him among the poor beaſts, not ſuffering him to want any thing. Moreover, without one of the gates of the city, we ſaw another great troop of cows, calves, and goats, which being cured and brought into better plight, or gathered together from being diſperſed, and without maſters, or being redeemed with money from the Mahometans, who would have killed them to eat, (namely, the goats and other animals, but not the cows and calves) were ſent into the field to feed by neat-herds, purpoſely maintained at the public charge; and thus they are kept, till, being reduced to perfect health, 'tis found fitting to give them to ſome citizens or others, who may charitably keep them. I excepted cows and calves from the animals redeemed from ſlaughter; becauſe in Cambaia, cows, calves, and oxen are not killed by any; and there is a great prohibition againſt it, by the inſtance of the Gentiles, who upon this account pay a great ſum of money to the prince; and ſhould any, either [Page 67] Mahometan or other, be found to kill them, he would be puniſhed ſeverely, even with death.’
THE country around is remarkably flat, [Note: VAST TIDES.] and in parts overflowed with the moſt rapid and ſudden tides in the world. They riſe four or five fathoms, and ſweep before them every thing in their way. Some miles of this tract muſt be paſſed in the way from Surat. Pietro de la Valle gives, at p. 35, a curious account of the dangers attending the journey.
THE kingdom of Cambay was firſt ſubdued by Mahmomet I. in 1024, and after ſeveral revolutions, by the great Akbar in 1572. In later days it fell under the power of the Mahrattas, and in 1780 brought on the Mahratta war, which ended much to our glory, and much to our loſs. This gave riſe to the celebrated march of the Bengal brigade, under Colonel GODDARD, [Note: GODDARD'S MARCH.] from Calpy, on the Jumna river, in Lat. 26° 7′ N. Long. 80° 4′ E. to Amedabad, a march of about fifteen hundred miles: we were victorious; but in the end, finking under the expence, were obliged to give up moſt of our vaſt conqueſts.
Amedabad is ſeated in 22° 58′ 30″ N. Lat. [Note: AMEDABAD.] It is the beſt fortified city in Hindooſtan. It ſtands on the banks of a ſmall navigable river, and is remarkable for its beauty. Its port is Cambay, fifty miles to the ſouth. Thevenot, p. 12, part iii. ſpeaks highly of this city, and its magnificent moſque, its ſplendid palace, and fine Meidan; and alſo its vaſt commerce in ſattins, velvets, and tapeſtries, with gold, ſilk, and woollen grounds, and in the ſeveral productions of almoſt every part of India. It was founded, ſays the Ayeen, ii. 92, 96, by Tatar Ahmed, one of the fourteen Mahometan princes, ſucceſſors to Sultan Mahomet. The [Page 68] moſque and tomb of the founder are entirely built of marble and ſtone. The laſt is of exquiſite workmanſhip, and, notwithſtanding it has ſtood above four hundred years, remains uninjured by the length of time. Amedabad was founded out of the ruins of the Hindoo cities. The walls ſtill remain, and are ſix miles in circumference, in which were twelve gates. Such was its ſtate in the days of Aurengzebe. At preſent, not a quarter within the walls are inhabited, and nothing but the veſtiges of the ſuburbs, which once extended three miles round the outſide of the walls, are to be ſeen. The Mahrattas made a conqueſt of it. Goddard attacked and took it by ſtorm on February 15, [Note: TAKEN BY STORM.] 1780, after a moſt vigorous reſiſtance. It was garriſoned chiefly by Arabs and Sindians, the braveſt of troops. Numbers periſhed in the rage of the ſtorm. No act of humanity was omitted by the general to the ſurvivers. The gratitude of the vanquiſhed was equalled to the generoſity of the victor *.
HEROES muſt not entirely engroſs my pen: as a naturaliſt, I muſt deſcend to ſpeak of inferior ſubjects, of the little ſpecies of finch, [Note: AMEDABAD FINCH.] which takes its name from Amedabad, ſee Latham iii. 311. Edw. tab. 335. It is the leſt of the genus, remarkable for its beauty, and for a ſweet but ſhort note. They are often imported into Europe. The elegant ſquirrel, called the FAIR (Hiſt. Quad. ii. No 343.) is alſo an inhabitant of the woods of Guzzerat.
THE flying MAUCAUCO (Hiſt. Quad. i. No 156.) is co-tenant of the ſame foreſts. It wholly inhabits the trees. In deſcending [Page 69] it ſpreads its membranes, and balances itſelf till it reaches the place it aims at; but in aſcending, uſes a leaping pace. Its food is the fruit of the country. This is the animal which Abulfazul calls a cat which will fly to a ſmall diſtance *.
THIS Sircar, ſays the Ayeen, ii. 76, is remarkable for the number and ſize of the mango trees, and the ſize of the fruit. There is an avenue of theſe trees from Puttan to Berodeh, a hundred coſes, or a hundred and ninety Britiſh miles in length. The country is almoſt a foreſt in ſeveral diſtricts, which gives ſhelter to multitudes of leopards.
FROM the river Mihie the coaſt waves to the ſouth. After paſſing the ſmall ſound of Amood, ſucceeds that of Barochia, [Note: BAROCHIA, THE ANTIENT BARYGAZA.] at the end of which ſtands a city of the ſame name, derived from Barygaza, famed, in old times, as far the greateſt port and emporium in all India. In 1616 the Engliſh, by the intereſt of Sir Thomas Roe, had permiſſion to eſtabliſh in this city a factory, which continues there till this day. By the year 1683 it had flouriſhed ſo greatly, that the inveſtment for England was not leſs than 55,000 pieces of baftaes, &c. of different ſorts, manufactured in the neighborhood, and in quantity and fineneſs ſuperior even to Bengal itſelf †.
HERE was born Zarmonachagas, [Note: ZARMONACHAGAS.] who was in the train of the embaſſadors ſent by a king of the title of Porus to Auguſtus, when he was at Antioch. Strabo, lib. XV. p. 1048, informs us that this perſon, who had all his life experienced the greateſt [Page 70] felicity, determined to quit the ſtage before a change ſhould happen to embitter his laſt days. At Athens, according to the cuſtom of his country, he devoted himſelf to the funeral pile, and, with a ſmiling countenance, ſaw the flames ſurround him. On his tomb was inſcribed — " [...]. Here lies ZARMONOCHAGAS an INDIAN from BARGOSA, who, according to the cuſtom of the country of the INDIANS, put an end to his exiſtence."
NUMBERS of antient drachmae have been found here, [Note: COINS.] inſcribed with Greek letters, and the names of Apollodotes, and of Menander, king of Bactria *, who alſo reigned in this part of India, and had, among other conqueſts, added Pattalena to his former dominions. He was ſo beloved by his ſubjects, that on his death there was a violent conteſt among ſeveral cities, which of them ſhould have the honor of poſſeſſing his body. The matter was compromiſed by burning it, and dividing the aſhes among the rival parties.
THE internal commerce of Barygaza in early times was as great as its naval. [Note: TAGARA.] It carried on a vaſt trade with a great city, called Tagara, the preſent Dowlatabad, or Dioghir, about ten days journey, or a hundred miles to the ſouth ſouth-eaſt of the former †. To this city was brought, from all parts of the Deccan, every object of commerce, and from thence in carts conveyed to Barygaza, over ſteep and lofty mountains, meaning the eaſtern or Balagaut chain. About two thouſand years ago it was the metropolis of a vaſt diſtrict, called Ariaca, which [Page 71] comprehended the modern Aurangabad, quite to the ſea at Bombay, and the ſhores of Concan. Nor was this kingdom or Rajaſhip totally extinguiſhed till the time of Shah Jehan, who terminated his reign in 1658 *.
PLUTHANA was another coeval town of commerce, which had conſiderable intercourſe with Barygaza: The roads to it were over the ſame mountains, but the diſtance greater, being a journey of twenty days, or two hundred and ſeventeen miles. This city was on the ſite of the preſent Pultanah, a little to the north of the river Godavery, in Long. 76° 2′ weſt, and Lat. 19° 5′. Barygaza was alſo a port to Nehrwaleh, a place I have deſcribed at p. 55. I ſhall here add nothing more than that the intervening was a carriage road, and quite level.
THE city of Barochia ſtands on a riſing ground, ſurrounded with walls; it is waſhed by the Nerbudda, the antient Namadus. In the wars waged by Aurengzebe, in 1660, againſt his brothers, it ſided with the latter. After a ſtout reſiſtance, he took the place, put part of the citizens to the ſword, and raſed part of the walls, which he afterwards reſtored. It is now inhabited by weavers, and other manufacturers of cotton; the neighborhood producing the beſt in the world. [Note: FINE COTTONS.] Nature ſeems to have furniſhed the hot climates with the cotton plant, in preference to flax or hemp; the manufacture of the former being far preferable in the torrid zone to linen. Cotton quickly absorbs the perſpiration. Linen is notorious for remaining long wet, uncomfortable, and dangerous.
[Page 72] THE Mahrattas were maſters of this city till July 1773, when it was taken by our Bombay army, commanded by that moſt able and popular officer Colonel Wedderburne, who fell before the walls by a ſhot from a murdering ſpecies of muſquet, called a guinàl; it is heavier and longer than the common, and has a larger bore, and placed on a reſt for the ſake of a ſurer aim [Note: * Wars in Aſia, i. 504.]. The natives can hit an orange with it at a hundred and fifty yards diſtance. The place was immediately after taken by ſtorm, and the moſt horrible exceſſes committed by the troops in revenge of the death of their commander. Barochia was added to the Britiſh empire by the treaty of Poonah, but in 1782 was ceded to Madajee Sindia, a Mahratta chieftain †, in reward for his aſſiſting us to make an advantageous peace, of which we were very undeſerving.
THE Nerbudda flows in Lat. 23° 10′, [Note: THE NERBUDDA.] Long. 82° 10′, out of the ſame lake with the Saone, and after running full ſeven hundred miles with a courſe nearly due weſt, falls into the ſea near Barochia. The Saone flows out of the eaſtern end of the lake, and taking an eaſtern courſe, falls into the Ganges, in Lat. 25° 40′, and ſo forms a complete iſland of the ſouthern part of Hindooſtan. It is alſo the ſouthern boundary of the diviſion called Hindooſtan Proper, as it is the northern of the Deccan. That word ſigniſies the ſouth, and is corrupted from the antient Hindoo word Dachanos, which has the ſame interpretation. Arrian, in his Mar. Erythr. ii. 171, mentions a great tract, ſtretching from Barygaza ſouthward, called Dachinabades.
[Page 73] FARTHER on is the port of Swalley, [Note: PORT OF SWALLEY.] where the European ſhips, bound for Surat, frequently anchor, being the port of that city, three leagues to the north of that river. There the articles of commerce are landed, and the exports ſhipped; but the entrance, without a pilot, is very hazardous, by reaſon of the ſhoals. Mr. Herbert, afterwards Sir Thomas, the accompliſhed attendant on Charles I. the laſt two years preceding his murder, found here, in November 1616, ſix Engliſh ſhips; three of a thouſand tons each, the other three of ſeven hundred each; a proof of the vaſt extent of our trade, ſo early after the commencement of our commerce.
I MUST not quit this place without dropping a tear over the grave of poor Tom Coryate, [Note: OF TOM CORYATE.] the moſt ſingular traveller Britain, or perhaps any other country, ever ſent forth. He lies on the banks of the ſhore, near Swalley, where he finiſhed his long peregrinations in December 1617, during the time that the pious miniſter, the reverend Edward Terrie, chaplain to Sir Thomas Roe, was there. Tom was born in 1577, at Odcomb, in Somerſetſhire. After publiſhing, in 1611, his moſt laughable travels, ſtyled Coryate's Crudities, prefaced by above forty copies of verſes, by the waggiſh wits of the time (amongſt which is one in the antient Britiſh language) he ſet out on his greater travels.
IN his European travels, he tells us that he walked nineteen hundred and ſeventy-five miles in one pair of ſhoes, and had occaſion to mend them only once. On his return to Odcombe, he hung them up in the church, as a donarium for their bringing him ſafely home to his natal ſoil.
[Page 74] Encouraged by Sir Paul Pindar, whom he met with at Conſtantinople in 1612, he ſailed for the Levant, viſited Greece, Troy, Smyrna, and Egypt; made his pilgrimage to Jeruſalem; had his arm tattowed with the mark of the croſs; ſaw the Dead ſea; from thence got to Alexandrette, from thence to Aleppo; arrived at Nineveh and Babylon; reached Iſpahan. From thence he proceeded to Candahar, Lahor, and Agra; there he entertained the great Mogul with an el quent oration, in the Perſian language, ſo much to the content of that monarch, that he beſtowed on him a hundred roupees. Having a wonderful facility in languages, he had a trial of ſkill with our embaſſador's laundreſs, the greateſt ſcold in all Agra. Tom attacked her in her own tongue, the Hindoo, at ſun-riſe, and ſilenced her by eight o'clock in the morning. He now haſtened to the final concluſion of all his travels: he deſcended to Surat, where he was ſeized with a flux, that was increaſed by a treat of ſack, given him by ſome Engliſh merchants. He was a very temperate man, but could not reſiſt a favorite liquor, ſo unexpectedly falling in his way. More of him may be ſeen in Mr. Terry's Voyage, printed in 1665, a book of much entertainment. [Note: HIS DEATH.] But here poor Tom fell, in 1617, and here he lies beneath an Indian ſoil, a ſecond Archytas.
Quanquam ſeſtinas, non eſt mora longa; licebitInjecto ter pulvere curras.
THE road of Surat is before the mouth of the river Tapteè; [Note: ROAD OF SURAT.] there ſhips anchor two leagues from ſhore, in ten fathoms, and on a muddy bottom. The tide riſes about ſix yards. The [Page 75] mouth and channels of the river are intricate and dangerous; the goods which are brought are conveyed to Surat in hoys, yatchs, and country boats. Thoſe from Swalley are carried by land, and waſted over oppoſite to the city.
THE city of Surat ſtands in N. Lat. 21° 11′. [Note: SURAT.] The Abbe Raynal ſpeaks of it as a paltry fiſhing village, in the thirteenth century. I ſuſpect it to have been of far earlier origin, and am confirmed in my opinion by the Ayeen Akberry, ii. 79, which informs us, that in antient times it had been a large city. Raneer, on the oppoſite ſide, is a port dependent on Surat. The Portugueſe poſſeſſed Surat ſoon after their arrival in India. The firſt fort was built in 1524, but its increaſe and great proſperity aroſe from the ſettlements made there in 1603, by the Engliſh and Dutch. The Portugueſe gave them every oppoſition poſſible. They once made a vigorous attack on the Engliſh, but were defeated with prodigious ſlaughter on their part, and a very trifling loſs on that of our countrymen. It became the firſt trading city in India, and, in conſequence of wealth, the firſt in luxury. In the latter end of the laſt century, the inhabitants were computed at two hundred thouſand.
BESIDES the greatneſs of its commerce, it was celebrated for being the place at which the Mahometan ſubjects of the Mogul embarked, on their pilgrimage to Mecca, for which reaſon, in the archives of the empire, Surat is called the Port of Mecca *. [Note: PORT OF MECCA.] A ſhip, one of the two which annually ſail from Surat to Arabia, [Page 76] filled with devotees of the higheſt rank, and ſome of the firſt perſons of the court of Aurengzebe, was taken in its paſſage, in the latter end of the laſt century, by the infamous pirate Avery. Among the paſſengers was a lady ſaid to have been the daughter of the emperor. It proved a prize invaluable, in great ſums of money, veſſels of gold and ſilver, jewels, and rich habits; for uſually they are as much laden with merchandize upon account of the Mogul, as upon that of the pilgrims; and their returns are ſo rich, that they make a part of the European trade for the merchandize of Arabia Felix. Avery, after plundering the ſhip of its wealth, diſmiſſed it and all its paſſengers. This piracy for a time embroiled us with the Mogul; but the affair being explained as the act of a robber, he diſmiſſed his anger againſt the Engliſh nation. In the beginning of the laſt century only one ſhip, great and clumſy, was employed on this religious-commercial buſineſs. It carried fourteen or fifteen hundred tons, and the richneſs of its lading, both in going out and in returning, was immenſe *. This is the moſt antient factory we have in Hindooſtan, and all our veſſels made for Swalley, or the road of Surat, for at one or other of thoſe places all our countrymen landed, who intended to penetrate into the interior of the country. We find the illuſtrious names of Roe, Herbert, and Shirly, among the firſt of our countrymen who landed on theſe weſtern ſhores.
SIR Thomas Roe, ſoon after his arrival, took his journey to the court of Jehangìr, then at Azimere, as we have related at p. 59. Some very remarkable places occur in his route, in [Page 77] which we ſhall attend him, till we rejoin him again at Cheitor. After leaving Surat he viſited Burhanpour, a great city, [Note: BURHANPOUR.] in Lat. 21° 30′, Long. 76° 19′ E. about two hundred and thirty miles eaſt of Surat, on the Tapteè, the capital of Candeiſh, in the Soubahſhip of Malwah, ſtill a large and flouriſhing city. He took a northern courſe, paſſed a high range of hills, and croſſing the Nerbudda reached Mundu, or Mundoo, ſeated on the Sepra, [Note: MUNDU.] a river riſing due north, near to Cheitor. This city was once the capital of Malwah; it is ſeated on a plain on the top of a lofty and ſteep mountain. It has many remains of antient magnificence; among others, the tombs of the Kuljyan Sultans. Here alſo is the tomb of the parricidal tyrant, Maſſireddeen. He is ſaid to have peopled a city with women, and that all his officers were of that ſex *. About two miles from thence the Moguls had a palace, which Sir Thomas Roe viſited, when Jehangìr was there.
Ougein is a large city, ſeated on the banks of the ſame river, [Note: OUGEIN.] ſome miles above. Abulſazul ſays it ſometimes flows with milk. It probably flows through a ſtratum of white clay, which in floods might tinge its waters with white, like ‘The chalky Wey that rolls a milky wave†.’ It is ſuppoſed to have been the Ozene of Arrian's Periplus Maris Erythraei, the capital of a Civitas Regia. It is mentioned by Arrian as a place of vaſt commerce, not only in the productions of its own country, but of thoſe of other parts; all which were tranſported to Barygaza, that vaſt emporium, near the mouth of the Namaſus. Among other articles were [Page 78] Onyxes, Murrhini, or the ſtone from which the Vaſa Myrrhina, or drinking cups, which the Romans ſet ſo great a value on, that T. Petronius had one which coſt him £.3,415 of our money, were made *. Theſe cups received their value from their rich ſculpture. Add to theſe muſlins, Molochinae, cottons dyed of the color of mallow flowers, and a great quantity of common Othonium, or courſe Dungarees. Some articles, which we cannot interpret, were brought through the neighboring Scythia, or the Indo-Scythia, bordering on the Indus. I ſhall, in another place, give at one view the various articles mutually exchanged by the merchants of India and of Europe in antient times. I ſhall here only ſelect a few ſingular gifts, ſent as preſents to the monarch of Ozene, ſuch as muſical inſtruments, ſilver veſſels, and beautiful virgins for his majeſty's Zenana. Even in thoſe early times the merchants had their courſe of exchange, and made great profit by the change of the golden and ſilver denarii, for the money of the country †.
THE kingdoms of Ougein, [Note: MADAGEE SINDIA.] Agemir, part of the Malwah, and Candeiſh, is now in poſſeſſion of the enterprizing Mahratta, Madagee Sindia, who makes the capital of the firſt his reſidence. He was originally a Jaghiredar of the Poonah Mahrattas: a Jaghire means a grant of land from a ſovereign to a ſubject, revokable at pleaſure, but generally, or almoſt always, for a life rent. Sindia flung off his dependency, and makes quick advances to conſiderable ſovereignty.
WE have the evidence of Jehangìr, [Note: LIONS.] and the reverend Edward Terry, that in their days the province of Malwah abounded with lions. Jehangìr records, that he had killed ſeveral; and [Page 79] Mr. Terry mentions his having been frequently terrified by them, in his travels through the vaſt woods and wilderneſſes of the country *; whether they exiſt at preſent is doubtful, being animals at leſt very rare at this time. But to return.
SURAT is a city of toleration, all ſects are indulged in the free exerciſe of their religion. Fanaticiſm, in all its extravagance, reigns here, amidſt the various caſts of Hindoos; and here are practiſed all the dreadful auſterities, and ſtrange attitudes of the ſelf-tormentors we have ſo often read of. Here the Perſees exert their zealous worſhip to the pure element of fire, [Note: THE PERSEES.] according to the doctrine of their great founder. Near the city they have their repoſitories for the dead. They admit not of interment; they place the corpſes on a platform, on the ſummit of a circular building, expoſed to birds of prey. The friends watch the bodies, and wait with eagerneſs till one of the eyes is plucked out. If the right is plucked out, they go away, ſecure of the happineſs of the departed ſpirit; if the left, they deplore its eternal miſery.
I SHALL not attempt to enumerate the articles of commerce of Surat. In its moſt proſperous ſtate it was the emporium of all the produce of India and Arabia, and of all the produce of Europe and Aſrica, wanted by the luxurious Aſiatics. [Note: GREAT MERCHANTS.] A Mahometan merchant, living in 1690, had at once twenty large ſhips, from 300 to 800 tons; none freighted at leſs expence than ten thouſand pounds, many as high as twenty-five thouſand. The extent of the Indian or country trade is evident here, by the numerous fleets which frequently turn in. Nicbuhr, who was at Surat in 1764, ſpeaks in high terms of its flouriſhing ſtate, [Page 80] which probably may have revived equal to that of its beſt days *.
WE have ſtill a conſiderable factory here; [Note: ENGLISH FACTORY.] and to this great emporium of trade, on the weſtern ſide of India, are ſent, by different routes, the rich manufactures of Cachemere, particularly ſhawls. Unwrought cotton is the principal article of exportation; beſides this, numberleſs kinds of manufactured cotton, made in the neighborhood, and the various manufactures of Cambay, Barochia, Brodera, &c. centre in Surat, and are included in its exports. I know of no medicinal articles, either the produce of, or exported from Surat. The ſurrounding country abounds with wheat, equal in goodneſs with that of Europe †. This valuable grain ſeldom grows farther South than this latitude, and I think never exceeds that of 20°. Our factory there conſiſts of a Chief, (who is always one of the council of Bombay) two or three gentlemen, as counſellors to him, and four or five inferior ſervants of the company, as clerks; in all, perhaps, eight or ten Europeans. Our trade to and from Surat is very extenſive, and our political influence is very conſiderable, ſince we got the government of the Caſtle by a grant from the Mogul; we likewiſe receive, jointly with the Mahrattas, and the Nabab, or governor, the amount of all the import and export duties; and, for the maintenance of two or three companies of ſepoys, to garriſon the caſtle, we have a Jaghire in lands which yields a handſome revenue. The country in the neighborhood of Surat, is partly ſubject to the Mahrattas, and partly to ſome ſmall tribes. The Nabab's authority extends little beyond the city.
THE ſhips are built of the Teek-wood, [Note: TEEK WOOD.] the Tektona grandis of Linnaeus, Suppl. p. 151, Hort. Malab. iv. 57. tab. 27, Plant. Coromandel, i. p. 10. No 6. a vaſt tree, both in height and bulk, of the Pentandria Monogynia claſs. It grows in extenſive foreſts, along the hills, at the foot of the Ghaut mountains, and to the north and north-eaſt of Baſſein, and is readily brought down the various ſtreams that flow from them, on the river Goodaverie, on the Coromandel coaſt; in Barmah, north of Pegu; in the iſle of Sumatra, and poſſibly in many other places. The property of this timber, in reſiſting the worm, renders it invaluable; yet it has been neglected by the non-application of it for the building our ſhips of war. The words of that very intelligent writer Mr. Rennel, will beſt convey the idea of the importance of this invaluable tree.
‘I CANNOT cloſe this account without remarking the unpardonable negligence we are guilty of, in delaying to build teek ſhips of war for the uſe of the Indian ſeas. They might be freighted home, without the ceremony of regular equipment, as to maſts, ſails, and furniture, which might be calculated juſt to anſwer the purpoſe of the home paſſage at the beſt ſeaſon; and crews could be provided in India. The letter annexed, which was written with the beſt intentions, nine or ten years ago, will explain the circumſtances of the caſe. [Note: VAST DURATION.] Teek ſhips of forty years old and upwards, are no uncommon objects in the Indian ſeas; while an European built ſhip is ruined there in five years. The ſhips built at Bombay are the [Page 82] beſt, both in point of work manſhip and materials, of any that are conſtructed in India: and although fourth rates only are mentioned in the letter, there is no doubt but that third rates may be conſtructed, as there is a choice of timber. The Spaniards build capital ſhips in their foreign ſettlements. The Eaſt India Company have a teek ſhip on her fourth voyage at preſent, which ſhip has wintered in England, therefore any objection founded on the effects of froſt on the teek timber, is done away.’
‘FREQUENT have been the opportunities I have had of obſerving how very rapid the decay of ſhips built of European timber is in the Eaſt Indies; and, on the contrary, how durable the ſhips are, that are built of the wood of that country; namely, the teek, which may not improperly be ſtyled Indian oak. The number of ſhips of war that were ruined in thoſe ſeas during the late war (1757 to 1762) may be admitted as a proof of the former remark; and the great age of the ſhips built in India may ſerve to prove the latter. What I mean to infer from this, for your Lordſhip's uſe is, that ſhips of war under third rates may be conſtructed in India, and with moderate repairs laſt for ages; whereas a ſhip of European conſtruction can remain there but a very few years; to which diſadvantage may be added, that of loſing, in the mean time, the ſervices of the ſhips that are ſent to relieve the worn out ones.’
THE Poon tree, Uvaria altiſſima of Koenig, [Note: POON, OR MAST TREE.] ſerves for the maſts; its chief excellence is its ſtraightneſs, and its lightneſs; it is tolerably ſtrong, but unleſs great care is taken to keep the ends dry, it is apt to rot. It grows to the height of ſixty feet? My good old friend Doctor Patrick Ruſſel * ſhewed me a branch of this ſpecies, and told me it was called in India the Maſt tree. M. Sonnerat, ii. p. 233, tab. 131, gives a figure of it, under the name of L'Arbre de Mâture.
Surat for a long time was open to every attack; nor was the fortification attended to till after it was taken and plundered, in 1664, by the famous Sevatjee. [Note: SEVATJEE, FOUNDER OF.] The Engliſh and Dutch ſtood on the defenſive, and were left unmoleſted. The Governor deſerted the place, and retired into the caſtle; beſides that, it had no other protection than a mud wall. After the retreat of the free-booters, the citizens requeſted of Aurengzebe, that he would ſeoure them with a wall; accordingly one was built, taking in a ſpace of four miles in circuit. It was of brick, eight yards high, with round baſtions, and on each were five or ſix cannons.
Europeans are ſurpriſed to hear of the extent of an Indian city, but they muſt be told that, beſides their towns being very populous, every houſe conſiſts but of one floor, which makes [Page 84] them occupy more ground; beſides that, every houſe is attended with a great garden, a requiſite, as moſt of the food of the Indians is vegetable.
Sevatjee was founder of the Mahratta kingdom we ſo often hear mentioned. [Note: THE MAHRATTAS.] The name is derived from Mahrat, the province in which he firſt eſtabliſhed his independency. This hero derived his lineage from the Rajahs of Chietore, who pretend that their deſcent is from Porus. He took advantage of the troubles which aroſe in his time in the kingdom of Viſiapour, and again, during the wars between Aurengzebe and his brothers. He extended his conqueſts from Baglana, near Surat, to the Portugueſe diſtricts near Goa, a little beyond the foot of the Ghauts. His capital was Poonah, an open town, but he kept his archives at Poorundar, a place of vaſt ſtrength, a fortreſs on the ſummit of a mountain; he died in 1680. His ſucceſſors extended their conqueſts, or rather their inroads, all over Hindooſtan; and even compelled the great Mogul to pay them a chout, or tribute, to ſave his ſubjects from future calamities.
FROM time to time they extended their dominions to a vaſt magnitude, [Note: THEIR GOVERNMENT.] and divided them into two empires, that of Poonah, or the weſtern, and Berar, or the eaſtern. The firſt is divided again among a number of chieftains, who pay juſt as much obedience as they like to a Paiſhwah, or head, whom Mr. Rennel juſtly compares to the emperor of Germany, and the chieftains to the princes of that great body; they often quarrel with him, and often among themſelves, and never are united, but by the apprehenſion of a common danger. Their empires extend from Guzerat to near the banks of the Ganges, and ſoutherly to the [Page 85] northern borders of the dominions of Tippoo Sultan. Their forces conſiſt of two hundred thouſand foot and horſe, and the ſame number in garriſon *. In their inroads they come in clouds, and ſpread deſolation far and wide.
A NEW empire is ſpringing out of theſe people; Madajee Sindia, a Jaghiredar of the Mahratta ſtates (of Poonah) or mere landholder, is now ſucceſsfully conquering for himſelf. Since the year 1783 he has extended his frontiers from Malwa towards the Jumna, poſſeſſed himſelf of the ſtrong fortreſs of Guallior, and even gives a penſion to the unhappy Mogul Shah Allum, who fled to him for protection, after having his eyes put out by a ſavage Rohilla chieftain, on whom Sindia revenged the cruelty by putting him to a moſt excruciating death. Such is the ſunk ſtate of the repreſentative of the mighty emperors of Hindooſtan. Sindia reſides at Ougein, in Lat. 23° 14′, a little north of the Nerbudda river.
ABOUT the year 1740 Ram Rajah, a weak prince, ſucceeded to the throne of the Mahratta empire †. His two miniſters agreed to divide his kingdom; after which it became ſeparated into two, in the manner we have deſcribed †. The ſame ſpecies of war was continued, and for a long time they carried their plundering excurſions to a great diſtance. At one time they ſent forth two armies of horſemen, conſiſting of eighty thouſand each ‡. They poured like a deluge, in 1743, over the low countries weſt of the Ganges, and exerciſed their gothic rage againſt every thing animate, and inanimate; the moſt elegant works of art fell before their brutal fury. The Engliſh were often involved [Page 86] in war with them. In 1783 peace was concluded, at the expence of all the conqueſts made by Goddard. We retained only the iſle of Salſette, and a few iſles within the gulph of Bombay.
THE marches of theſe barbarians are admirably deſcribed by the author of the memoirs of the late war in Aſia, p. 281, vol i. It relates to the armies of Ayder Alli, but applies equally to the military of all the powerful chieftains of India. "It may," ſays the ingenious writer, ‘perhaps afford ſome meaſure of gratification to European curioſity, to be informed that the undiſciplined troops of Aſia, generally inflamed with bang, and other intoxicating drugs, pour forth, as they advance, a torrent of menacing and abuſive language on their adverſaries. Every expreſſion of contempt and averſion, every threat, fitted to make an impreſſion of terror, or to excite ideas of horror, that cuſtom readily preſents, or inventive fancy can ſuggeſt, accompanies the utmoſt ferocity of looks, voice, and geſture. A murmuring ſound, with clouds of duſt, announce their approach, while they are yet at the diſtance of ſeveral miles. As they advance, their accents are more and more diſtinctly heard, until at laſt, with their eyes fixed and weapons pointed at ſome individual, they devote him, with many execrations, to deſtruction, giving his fleſh, like the heroes in Homer, and the Philiſtine warriors, to the dogs, and the birds of the air, and the beaſts of the field. The numbers of the Aſiatic armies, the ferocity of their manner, and the novelty of their appearance, would unnerve and overcome the hearts of the ſmall European bodies that are oppoſed to them in the field of battle, if experience had not ſufficiently [Page 87] proved how much the ſilence of diſcipline excels barbarian noiſe; and uniformity of deſign and action, the deſultory efforts of brutal force, acting by ſtarts, and liable to the contagion of accidental impreſſion.’
THE land, from the mouth of the river of Surat, [Note: CAPE ST. JOHN.] makes a ſlight curvature as far as Cape St. John, or the Baryagazenum Promontorium. From this Cape, as far as Bombay (according to our Eaſt India pilot) the coaſt is ſkirted with iſlands, divided from the continent, and from each other, by very narrow channels. To the north of it is Damoon, a ſtrong place, poſſeſſed, [Note: DAMOON.] in the laſt century, by the Portugueſe, but now in a moſt ruinous ſtate. It was once beſieged by Aurengzebe, who had determined to take it by ſtorm, and fixed on a Sunday for the attack, thinking that the Chriſtians, like the Jews, would on that day make no reſiſtance. The Governor, an old ſoldier, cauſed maſs to be ſaid at midnight; then made a ſally with all his cavalry, and a ſtrong body of infantry, into a quarter guarded by two hundred elephants; he knew the dread thoſe animals had of fire: he aſſailed them with fire-works. The diſtracted beaſts, in the darkneſs of the night, and without their governors, ruſhed on their own forces, which put the army into ſuch diſorder, that before morning, half was cut to pieces by the Portugueſe, and, in conſequence, the ſiege raiſed.
THE tract that borders on the ſea, [Note: CONCAN.] from Bombay even as far as Soonda, in Lat. 15°, is called Concan. This was the Lymirica of Arrian, ii. 171, a coaſt full of ports, of which he enumerates ſeveral; it once formed part of the kingdom of Viſiapour. At the partition teaty it was confirmed to the Mahrattas, who now [Page 88] poſſeſs a line of coaſt of three hundred miles in extent; out of which the Engliſh poſſeſs Bombay and its adjacent iſles, and the ſtrong hold of Victoria: and the Portugueſe, Goa, and the antient domain belonging to that once famous emporium. The part of the Concan next to the ſea is low, but at a ſmall diſtance inland riſes into vaſt ſtrength. It is guarded by the celebrated mountains the Ghauts, which riſe to a ſurpriſing height, and oppoſe to the weſt a mural front with Ghauts, [Note: THE GHAUTS.] i. e. paſſes. They are the ſame which the Welſh call a Bwlch. From the word Ghaut the whole chain derives its name. They give entrance into the lofty, fertile, and populous plains of boundleſs view, which they ſupport in the manner as buttreſſes do a terrace, formed on an immenſe ſcale. Theſe run not remote from the ſea from Surat to Cape Comorin, at ſome places ſeventy miles diſtant, but generally forty, and in one place they advance to within ſix. They have leſſer hills at their baſes, clothed with foreſts, particularly of the valuable teek. The plains are bleſt, from their ſituation, with a cool and healthy air. From the ſides of the mountains precipitate magnificent cataracts, forming torrents, the means of facilitating the conveyance of the timber, and giving a thouſand pictureſque ſcenes amidſt the foreſts.
THE Ghauts are diſtinguiſhed into the weſtern and the eaſtern. [Note: EASTERN, &c.] The firſt extend, as I have deſcribed, uninterruptedly from Surat to the paſs of Palicaudchery, when near Coimbetore they ſuddenly turn, deeply undulating to the north. Then, at the paſs of Gujethetty, wind north and north-eaſterly as high as Amboor and Mugglee, the laſt about eighty miles due weſt of Madras. From hence they are not, by reaſon of the numbers [Page 89] of branches, ſufficiently marked on the maps: they ſeem to take a northerly courſe, to comprehend Aurungabad, to croſs the Tapteè, and continue weſterly, at irregular diſtances from the river, till they arrive at a certain ſpace from Surat.
THE whole chain, eſpecially in the Concan, ſeems a connected wall, inacceſſible to the ſummit, unleſs by paths worked by the hand of man, and is not to be aſcended even by a ſingle traveller, without the fatiguing labor of many hours; horrible precipices, roaring cataracts, and frequent reverberating echoes, terrify the paſſenger on each ſide; often violent guſts ariſe, and hurry men and cattle into the black immeaſurable abyſs. Having attained the ſummit, the trouble is repaid by the magnificent proſpect to the weſt, of the far ſubjacent country, broken into hills, and clothed with beautiful vegetation; the coaſt, the iſlands, and the immenſity of ocean.
THESE Indian Appenines mark with preciſion the limits of the winter and ſummer, [Note: SEASONS.] or rather the wet and dry ſeaſons, in India. They extend thirteen degrees of latitude, from Surat to Cape Comorin. They arreſt the great body of clouds in their paſſage, and, according to the Monſoons, or periodical winds from the north-eaſt or ſouth-weſt, give, alternately, a dry ſeaſon to one ſide, and a wet one to the other; ſome clouds do paſs over, and give a rainy ſeaſon, but at a very conſiderable diſtance to the leeward; being too high and too light to condenſe and fall in rain, within a ſmall diſtance of this great range.
IN Lat. 18° 58″ is a very conſiderable bay, filled with iſlands, [Note: BAY OF BOMBAY.] well known by the name of Bombay, which forms the beſt and moſt ſecure harbour in India. This, as well as every part of [Page 90] this coaſt, was the uſurped property of the Portugueſe; but the greateſt part of this extremity was wreſted from them by the Mahrattas; a few places they retained for ſome time, but at length all fell under the power of the new uſurpers. Among the places was Baſſein, [Note: BASSEIN.] which had been taken by Nugns d'Acugna, viceroy of India, in 1555, and by him ſtrongly fortified. It was in our days ſeized by the Mahrattas, and again, in 1780, by the Engliſh, under General Goddard, who reſtored it to its late maſters by the treaty of 1782.
DOCTOR Fryer, who viſited this city about the year 1670, when it was in poſſeſſion of the Portugueſe, ſpeaks of it as a very conſiderable place, having ſix churches, four convents, a college of Jeſuits, and another of Franciſcans.
ABOUT twenty miles from Baſſein, [Note: VISRABUY.] inland, is Viſrabuy, famous for its hot wells, which are in high eſteem for their medicinal virtues, and accounted, by the Hindoos, of great ſanctity.
THE principal iſle is that of Salſette, [Note: ISLE OF SALSETTE.] which is divided from the continent by a very narrow channel; it is about fifteen miles in circumference, and rich in fruits and vegetables. General Goddard included this iſland in his other conqueſts. It was wiſely retained on the concluſion of the peace, and confirmed to us by the laſt peace, together with ſome little iſles or rocks that lay within the important bay. Salſette was gallantly defended by an old man of ninety-two, who, being ſummoned to ſurrender, anſwered, "He was not ſent for that purpoſe." It was not till he was ſlain in a bloody aſſault that the place was taken, but at the price of four hundred of our grenadiers. [Page 91] The capture gave freſh ſecurity and importance to the iſle of Bombay.
THAT iſland was part of the portion given to Charles II. [Note: ISLAND OF BOMBAY.] with his Queen, in 1662. His Majeſty ſent, in 1661, James Ley, Earl of Marlborough, a moſt experienced ſailor, with a ſtrong fleet, to receive it from the Portugueſe. This nobleman was killed ſoon after his return, in the bloody ſea fight againſt the Dutch in 1665. "He was," ſays Clarendon, ‘a man of wonderful parts in all ſorts of learning, which he took more delight in than in his title *.’ Charles, in 1668, granted the iſland to the Eaſt India Company, under a rent of ten pounds in gold, payable annually at the Cuſtom-houſe at London.
ITS length is about ſeven miles; it is flat, and at firſt was extremely unwholeſome, inſomuch, that ‘two monſoons at Bombay is the age of a man,’ became here a proverb; but by draining, and by prohibiting the uſe of putrid fiſh for manuring the coco trees, it is rendered tolerably healthy, and is become the great port and ſhip yard of the Engliſh in India; three hundred ſail can at one time lie here in ſafety.
ON the iſle is the town, the docks, and arſenal, [Note: TOWN, DOCKS, &c.] ſeated in Lat. 18° 58″ N. Long. 72° 40″ E. ſtrongly fortified; and behind them the Dungeree town for the natives. When the Portugueſe ceded this place to us, it had only ten thouſand inhabitants. By our mild government, in 1764 it increaſed to ſixty thouſand. Abbe Raynal gives this iſland a hundred thouſand inhabitants, of which ſeven or eight thouſand are ſailors. Mr. Ives calls it the grand ſtorehouſe of all the Arabian and Perſian commerce. The [Page 92] Arabs ſtill keep up a conſiderable trade in ſhips of a thouſand tons, either Indian built, or old Indiamen bought from the company. One article is the Kaſmiſh raiſin, a ſpecies without ſtones, brought from Kaſmiſh, an iſle in the Perſian gulph. The exports from India are chiefly cottons, &c. to a great amount; but the trade between theſe parts and the Perſian and Arabian gulphs, has of late been much injured by caravans croſſing the iſthmus of Baſſora, conducted by the Syrians themſelves. The whole bay is full of ſhoals or rocks, yet with channels of ſufficient depth of water for the ſkilful pilate to bring in ſecurely the largeſt ſhips; and here, even our military fleets find conveniencies for heaving down and refitting. Admiral Watſon, and again Admiral Hughes, found here every ſpecies of naval ſtore; here his Majeſty's ſhips winter and refit.
ALTHOUGH Bombay is a place of very great trade, it is wholly as a magazine; its native productions are nothing in the account, [Note: SHIP-BUILDING.] unleſs you reckon ſhip-building. There the fineſt merchant ſhips in the world are built, and all of Teek. The durability of this timber is beyond belief, greater than that of our beſt Engliſh oak; it reſiſts the worm longer than any other; but whether this be owing to the nature of the timber itſelf, or to the cement with which the plank is joined and covered, I cannot tell. Surat or Bombay built ſhips will certainly laſt threeſcore years (ſome ſay many more), in which time, however, they are generally doubled once or twice, ſo that the ſides of an old ſhip are as thick as the walls of an houſe. Much is likewiſe ſaid of the number of years they ſometimes run without having occaſion to uſe a pump; but of this I cannot ſpeak [Page 93] with certainty. All the repairs are effected by native carpenters, and all the ſhips, even the largeſt, are built by them, and in a ſimplicity of manner which would aſtoniſh an European workman. M. Sonnerat, i. tab. 18, repreſents the Indian with all the powers of his art. The neighboring mountains ſupply them with teek-wood, Bengal with iron and hemp, and the adjacent foreſts with pines for maſts.
Bombay is alſo the great depôt of artillery, arms, and ammunition, and all the means of furniſhing an army. Here is alſo a conſiderable military eſtabliſhment, at preſent under the command of Sir Robert Abercromby, K. B. Preſident of Bombay, Governor and Commander in Chief. From hence marched the force deſtined to aſſiſt in the reduction of the tyrant Tippoo Sultan, and to give peace to the ſouthern part of this vaſt continent.
A MOST unfortunate expedition took its departure from this place in 1779; [Note: EXPEDITIONS FROM BOMBAY.] at which period it had not the happineſs of being under the rule of a HASTINGS. A little time before, Roganaut Row, a Mahratta chieftain, fled from his country, and put himſelf under the protection of this preſidency. He had been guardian to the young Paiſhwa, Naron Row, his own nephew. In the numbers of intrigues that infeſted the ſtate of Poonah, a conſpiracy was formed againſt the youth. A band of aſſaſſins were employed to murder him. Roganaut, better known by the name of Ragobah, was at the time confined in priſon. The nephew flew to ſeek ſafety in his arms. In that caſe he would have been ſafe, but he could only fling himſelf at his feet. The youth was murdered. The uncle exchanged his priſon for the Paiſhwa-ſhip. Freſh conſpiracies aroſe, and Roganaut [Page 94] forced to fly to the Engliſh for protection *. Aſpiring to the office, he flattered the Engliſh with vaſt advantages in caſe they eſpouſed his cauſe; and ſoon prevaled on them to commence hoſtilities. Salſette, Baroach, and other places fell before them. The treaty of Poorunder, in 1774, ſecured thoſe places to us for a time. In a little ſpace war broke out again, fomented by Roganaut, aſſiſted by our fears of the French, who were buſy in their intrigues at the court of Poonah. In 1778 a ſmall army, [Note: UNDER EGERTON.] under the command of Brigadier General Egerton, aſſiſted by a field committee, ever embarraſſing, from the days of the Duke of Marlborough to the preſent, was ſent with him to adviſe, or rather to perplex the commanders. The army, which conſiſted of not quite four thouſand men, croſſed the bay to Uptah river, marched by Panwel, Campooly, and up the Bhore Ghaut to Candolah, which we found unoccupied: the object was Poonah. They reached the once fair city of Tullingaum, on January 1779. It had been burnt the night before, by the Mahrattas themſelves, who appeared covering the plains, numerous as the ſands of the ſea. They made frequent attacks on our army, and deſtroyed ſeveral gallant officers, and numbers of our European ſoldiers, and Sepoys. We made a quick retreat to the village of Worgaum. From thence our field committee ſent a flag of truce, and offer of treaty. It was accepted, on condition that we were to relinquiſh our paſt conqueſts of Salſette, and other places; to give up Roganaut and two of the field committee as hoſtages, and to ſend orders to General Goddard, on full march with the Bengal army, to return inſtantly home. Goddard [Page 95] received the humiliating orders, [Note: UNDER GODDARD.] but rejected them with indignation, and continued his route, marked in every place with glory and victory *.
IN January 1781, after the conqueſt of Baſſein, that able officer aſſembled his troops at Vizrabuy, and in order to make a diverſion in favor of Madras, then in imminent danger, advanced to Campooly, and from thence to Candolah, which the enemy had poſſeſſed themſelves of in great force, but they ſoon were driven from their arduous ſtation. It ſhould ſeem that Tullingaum had been rebuilt ſince the laſt expedition, for the General found it juſt burnt, and Poonah filled with combuſtibles, ready for the ſame fate. He found an army of ſeventy thouſand horſe and foot, ready to oppoſe his little body of ſix thouſand; yet ſuch was the terror of the foe, that they again burnt the town of Tullingaum. An Indian town is as ſoon rebuilt as deſtroyed; and every preparation was made for burning Poonah, by filling the houſes with ſtraw, and removing the inhabitants to the ſtrong hold of Sattarah. Thus circumſtanced, our General thought proper to retreat, in order to aſſiſt, with part of his forces, his friends then beſieged in Tellicherry, by Sardar Khan, a general of Ayder Alli's. This movement was conducted with ſuch ſecrecy and ſkill, that the whole of the artillery and heavy ſtores reached the foot of the paſs in ſafety, and without the ſmalleſt interruption from the enemy, who were aſtoniſhed, on [Page 96] the morning of the 18th of April, to find that our poſt at Can dolah had been deſerted during the preceding night. Ten thouſand of the braveſt undiſciplined infantry in Hindooſtan, followed him to the ſubjacent country; they conſiſted of Arabs and Sindies, who attempted to haraſs him in his march, but in vain: He repelled every attack with great ſlaughter. His own loſs conſiſted only of a few camp followers and common ſoldiers. I obſerve at this time Hurry Punt, afterwards our friend in the campaigns in the Myſore, in 1792, among the hoſtile commanders. Goddard returned with freſh laurels to Bombay, which even want of ſucceſs could not ſere.
BESIDES the two iſlands I have mentioned, [Note: ELEPHANTA, &c.] ſcattered over the found are ſeveral others, ſuch as Caranja, Elephanta, Hog, Butcher, and Green iſland; moſt of them very ſmall; but all of them riſing in one part or other into a lofty hill.
OPPOSITE to Caranja ſtood the antient Calliana of Arrian, [Note: CALLIANA.] ii. 171, a famous and much frequented emporium. It had been a common port to all nations till the Romans made a conqueſt of Egypt: after which they prohibited every country from entering the Red ſea, and monopolized all the trade of India: every port on this coaſt was ſhut againſt foreigners, and that of Calliana is particularized by Arrian. The remains of that city were obſerved by Doctor Fryer. But what gives this neighborhood great celebrity, is the vaſt caverns, the works of very old times, diſcovered in the iſles of Salſette, and of Elephanta, and of certain other places hereafter to be pointed out. [Note: FAMOUS CAVERNS.] The celebrated M. NIEBUHR, who viſited thoſe caves, and thoſe in Salſette, in 1764, has given numbers of [Page 97] elegant plates of the various figures, attended with deſcriptions. See his ſecond volume of Travels, p. 25 to 33. Mr. Gough has alſo publiſhed a moſt elaborate account of theſe wonderful caves, printed by John Nichol, in 1785.—Finally, deſcriptions may be found in the viith and viiith volumes of the Archaelogia, by the pen of Meſſrs. Mackneil, Hunter, Pyke, and Boon. The accounts are of conſiderable length, drawn up with great accuracy, and attended with figures of the principal antiquities. Vaſt hills have been excavated by human art, moſt probably for religious purpoſes. Mr. Ives gives the ground plan of that at Elephanta, by which it appears to be a hundred and eighty feet, by a hundred and fifty in dimenſions: part is ſupported by vaſt pillars, of a rounded form, ſwelling at the middle, reſting on a ſquare baſe: on the ſummit of which, at each corner, is a ſitting ape. In the entrance are left pillars, nearly ſimilar, but plain, and without figures.
THE inſide is divided into ſeveral ſquare apartments, the greateſt propt by the pillars above deſcribed, and is a hundred and four feet ſquare. At each angle it is divided into three ſmall ſquare rooms; and at one of the entrances within (for there are three) is another, all, perhaps, chapels. Theſe are expreſſed in Mr. Pyke's plan.
IN every cave, deſcribed by theſe curious travellers, are moſt amazing numbers of ſculptures, all cut out of the live rock, of human figures, extravagant deities, monſters, animals, foliage, and all that can aſtoniſh and bewilder the imagination. Many repreſent idols of the Indian mythology, figures half beaſt and half man; many faces and many hands to the ſame ſculpture; [Page 98] and often the Cobra de Capello, that dreadful ſnake, which is attendant on ſeveral of the incarnations of Viſtchenou. A fiſh is one, which aſſiſts to explain the object of the ſculptures and uſes of the excavations.
THESE caverns are the haunts of monſtrous ſerpents. Hamilton, i. 239, tells us, that on firing his fuſil, to enjoy the thundering echo of the report, he diſturbed a Boa, fifteen feet in length, and two feet in girth, from its antient ſeat, which put the traveller to ſpeedy flight, and an end to his curioſity.
MOST of the figures are coloſſal, from twelve to twenty-three feet high. Some of them, with all their extravagancies, are ſaid to be finely executed: many are croſs leg'd, in their attitude of prayer; many have roſaries, which prove that theſe places were objects of devotion.
THE woman with three faces and four arms is engraven in Mr. Pyke's account. I beg leave to make a few remarks on that figure: round her neck are five necklaces, rich in pearls and gems, with pendent jewels; her hair is long, and hangs in beautiful ringlets; her ears (not her ear-rings as they are called) hang to a vaſt length, exactly in the Malabar mode; and her headdreſs is conic, in the Chineſe faſhion, which might have been in uſe in early times. The laſt is dropt; the ſtrange deformity of long ears are ſtill retained: ſo far is certainly of eaſtern ſculpture.
BUT what can be ſaid to the figures found in another cave, in the neighborhood of Bombay, not expreſſed by name: they are engraven in volume vii. of the Archaelogia; ſome have the ſauſage curl, others the cochlear twirl, in the hair, and others [Page 99] the rich braid of pearl; all reſembling, in ſome degree, the fantaſtic variety in the head-dreſſes of the Roman ladies, without the leſt trace of oriental faſhion.
I SHALL conclude with ſaying, that the cave of Elephanta takes its name from an elephant, with a leſſer on its back, cut on the outſide of the cave; and in a paſſage is the rude figure of a horſe, called that of Alexander the Great, to whom the Indians attribute theſe mighty works, as we Welſh do every thing ſtupendous to our favorite Arthur. I mention this tradition to ſhew its great antiquity, as well as that of the excavations themſelves. Arrian, in his Periplus maris Erythraei, ii. 166, ſays that there were near Barygaza, foundations of camps, antient chapels, altars, and [...], great wells, all attributed to the Macedonian hero.
THE idols mentioned here are quite diminutive to ſome in the Soobahſhip of Caſhmere, in receſſes excavated in the mountain, which are called (ſays the Ayeen, ii. 208) Surnmii, and are pretended to have been the winter retreat of the antient inhabitants; one of the figures was eighty ells high; there was a woman of fifty, and a child of fifteen. In one of theſe Surnmii was found a tomb, and in that a coffin; in which was a corpſe preſerved by medical preparations: one would ſuppoſe that the cuſtoms of the Tartars had been obſerved in this place, and burning the bodies at that time not in uſe.
THE method of travelling which begins at Surat, [Note: TRAVELLING IN INDIA.] and is continued through moſt parts of India, is by oxen. The ox ſupplies the uſe of the horſe; the ſmaller ſort ſerve as pads, the larger are uſed in drawing a kind of carriage called a hackerie. [Page 100] The beaſts are commonly white, have black noſes, and large perpendicular horns: they are alſo remarkable, like moſt other Indian and African cattle, for a hunch riſing between the ſhoulders. Thoſe of Guzerat are moſt remarkably large, and in great requeſt through moſt parts of India. The hunch is highly eſteemed as a delicacy, ſalted and boiled. When they are fitted for the ſaddle or the draft, a cord, and ſometimes a piece of wood is paſſed through the noſe from noſtril to noſtril, and a cord extended from each end, as a bridle. M. Sonnerat, vol. i. tab. 7, gives a print of the Hackerie, or Gari, as it is called in India, and all its apparatus. In England, if theſe creatures are forced out of their uſual ſlow pace, it is too well known that they will faint, or lie down under their burthen; but at Bombay, they trot and gallop as naturally as horſes, and are equally as ſerviceable in every other reſpect, except that, by their being ſubject to a looſe habit of body, they ſometimes incommode the traveller by the filth thrown upon him by the continual motion of their tails. Whenever they get to the end of the journey, the driver always alights, and puts the near bullock in the other's place; then he puts his hand into both their mouths, and after pulling out the froth, mounts his box again and drives back. It ſeems this precaution is abſolutely neceſſary, for as they travel at the rate of ſeven or eight miles an hour, they would otherwiſe be in danger of ſuffocation.
BESIDES the large ſpecies which I have engraven in vol. i. tab. ii. of my Hiſt. Quadr. is a diminutive ſpecies, tab. iii, common at Surat, not bigger than a large dog, which has a fierce look, but is trained to draw children in their little carts. I have been [Page 101] informed, that a bull and cow from, I believe the Tanjore country, have been imported into England, the height of the firſt not exceeding nineteen inches, and of the laſt not eighteen.
BEING on the ſubject of animals, [Note: SHEEP.] I ſhall mention a ſpecies of the next genus, the ſheep. That called Cabrito by the Portugueſe, is a very long legged kind, and of a very diſguſting appearance. At Goa it is ſometimes ſaddled and bridled, and ſerves inſtead of a poney, and will carry a child of twelve years of age.
I MUST now digreſs to a very different claſs. [Note: SERPENTS.] The tribe of ſnakes is very numerous in India. I think their great hiſtoriographer, M. de la Cepede, enumerates forty-four ſpecies already known. I ſhall only mention the moſt curious: I am uncertain whether they are quite local. Mr. Ives ſpeaks of ſome found in this iſland or neighborhood; the Cobra Capello I ſhall deſcribe ſome time hence. Mr. Ives relates, that the Cobra Manilla is only a foot long, of a bluiſh color, haunting old walls. Its bite is as fatal as that of the Cobra Capello, which kills in the ſpace of a quarter of an hour. The Cobra de Aurellia is only ſix inches long, and not thicker than the quill of a crow; it is apt to creep into the ear, and occaſion death by madneſs. The ſand ſnake is ſmall, but not leſs fatal than the others. The Palmira, with a viperine head, and varied body, is four feet long, yet in no part thicker than a ſwan's quill.
[Page 102] AMONG the variety of beautiful ſhells found on the coaſt, [Note: TURBO SCALARIS.] is the noted Turbo Scalaris, or Wentle-trap, a ſhell ſeldom an inch and a quarter long, of a pearly color, and with about ſeven ſpires, each having ſeveral elegant ridges, croſſing them from the firſt ſpire to the laſt; a ſine repreſentation of the winding ſtaircaſe. A painter I knew, filled with the Concha-mania, once gave fifty-ſix guineas for three of them, one alone he valued at twenty-five.
SOME few other things, reſpecting the natural hiſtory of Bombay and its neighborhood, may be here taken notice of. The diſeaſes of India begin to ſhew themſelves in this place, [Note: BARBIERS, A DISEASE.] but I ſhall only attend to the Barbiers, which is more prevalent on this ſide of the peninſula of India than the other. It is a palſy, which takes its name from Beriberii, or the ſheep, as the afflicted totter in their gait like that animal when ſeized with a giddineſs. Its ſymptoms are both a numbneſs, a privation of the uſe of the limbs, a tremor, and an attendant titillation uſually not fatal, but extremely difficult of cure. It comes on ſlowly, and uſually in the rainy ſeaſon; but if a perſon drinks haſtily, when heated, a large draught of Toddy, or the liquor of the coco nut, the attack of the diſeaſe is very ſudden. Bontius, (Engliſh edition, p. 1), treats largely of the cure. He recommends ſtrongly baths or ſomentations of the Nochile of the Malabars, or Lagondi of the Malays, or the Jaſminum Indicum.
THE phoenomenon of ſmall fiſh appearing in the rainy ſeaſon, [Note: FISHES FALLING ON LAND.] in places before dry, is as true as it is ſurpriſing. The natives begin to fiſh for them the tenth day after the firſt rains, [Page 103] and they make a common diſh at the tables. Many are the modes of accounting for this annual appearance. It has been ſuggeſted that the ſpawn may have been brought by the water fowl, or may have been caught up by the Typhons, which rage at the commencement of the wet ſeaſon, and be conveyed in the torrents of rain. I can only give an explanation much leſs violent: That theſe fiſhes never had been any where but near the places where they are found. That they have had a preexiſtent ſtate, and began life in form of frogs; that it had been the Rana paradoxa of Gm. Lin. iii. p. 10. 55. Their tranſformation is certainly wonderful. I refer the reader to Seba, i. p. 125, tab. 78; and to Merian's Surinam, p. 71, tab. 71, in which are full accounts of the wonderful phoenomenon of theſe tranſmuted reptiles, which complete their laſt transformation in the firſt rains.
ALL kinds of reptiles appear about that ſeaſon, among others, [Note: TOADS, VAST.] toads of moſt enormous ſizes. Mr. Ives mentions one that he ſuppoſed weighed between four and five pounds; and meaſured, from the toe of the fore to that of the hind leg, twenty-two inches.
I NOW leave the bay, after ſaying that the tides here, and at Cambay, riſe to an amazing height; this muſt be underſtood, when they are pent up in bays or gulphs, for on the open ſhore they do not riſe above a foot and a half. Into the eaſtern ſide flows the river Pen, with ſtoney and ſteep banks. Immediately beyond the mouth, the land reſumes its courſe. [Note: ISLES OF KANARA AND HUNARY.] The iſles of Kanara and Hunary, appear at no great diſtance from ſhore, ſmall and lofty. Sevatjee ſeized on the firſt, in defiance of every effort [Page 104] of the Engliſh at Bombay. He fortified this little ſpot. Finding ourſelves too weak to remove ſo dangerous a neighbor, we ſtirred up againſt him the Siddee, or admiral to Aurengzebe. This brought on ſeveral ſharp naval actions *. The Siddee ſeized on the neighboring Hunary; and each party carrying on a cruel war, gave importance to theſe inconſiderable ſpots.
Choule and Victoria, [Note: CHOULE.] and ſeveral other ſmall places, are given in the charts on this coaſt. Dunda Rajapore was a port, the rendezvous of Aurengzebe's fleet, under the command of his Siddee. The Siddee was an office formed at the time when the Mogul empire firſt extended itſelf to theſe coaſts. Its duty was like that of the Comes Littoris Saxonici, on the French and Britiſh ſhores, and was here intended to repel the inſults of the Malabar or Portugueſe cruizers; as the Roman Comes was thoſe of the Norman rovers. In the year 1682 there were a hundred and twenty Gallivats, and fifteen Grabs; and a vaſt army encamped in the neighborhood.
Correſpondent to them, were Nitrias, the modern Newtya, Tynadis, Muziris, and numbers of other ports mentioned by the Greek and Roman hiſtorians. [Note: PIRATE COAST.] This is the Pirate coaſt, and extends almoſt from Bombay till we have arrived very near to Goa. The Romans were obliged to put on board their merchantſhips a number of archers to defend them againſt the attacks of the pirates †, which, according to the Univerſal Hiſtory, x. p. 267, are ſaid to have been Arabians. Mr. Rennel gives an admirable deſcription of this extent of free-booters.
[Page 105] ‘PERHAPS there are few coaſts ſo much broken into ſmall bays and harbours, and that at the ſame time have ſo ſtraight a general outline. This multitude of ſmall ports, uninterrupted view along ſhore, and elevated coaſts, ſavourable to diſtant viſion, have ſitted this coaſt for the ſeat of piracy; and the alternate land and ſea breezes that prevail during a great part of the year, oblige veſſels to navigate very near the ſhore. No wonder then that Pliny ſhould notice them in his time as committing depredations on the Roman Eaſt India trade; and although a temporary check has been given them in the deſtruction of Angria's fleets, &c. yet we may expect that they will continue the practice while commerce laſts. They are protected by the ſhallowneſs of their ports, and the ſtrength of the country within. As pirates, they have greater natural advantages than thoſe of Barbary, who, being compelled to roam far from their coaſts, have expenſive outſets; here the prizes come to their own doors, and the cruizers may lie ſecure in port until the prey is diſcovered.’
THE veſſels uſed by theſe pirates are of two kinds. [Note: GRABS.] The larger are called Grabs: a few have three maſts, and carry three hundred tons; the leſſer have only two maſts, and are of the burden of a hundred and fifty tons. On the main deck, under the fore-caſtle, are mounted two cannons, nine or ten pounders, pointing forwards, and firing over the prow *, which is conſtructed like that of a Mediterranean galley. The cannons on the broadſide are from ſix to nine pounders.
[Page 106] Gallivats are large row boats, [Note: GALLIVATS.] built like the Grabs, but do not exceed ſeventy tons. The larger carry ſix or eight cannons, from two to four pounders: the leſſer only petteraroes: but both are furniſhed with forty or fifty ſtout oars, which are rowed at the rate of four miles an hour: both Grabs and Gallivats are crowded with men. Eight or ten of the latter, and forty or fifty of the former, compoſe Angria's principal fleet for attacking ſhips of force. They ſcruple not to make prize of every one which does not condeſcend to purchaſe their paſſports.
As ſoon as they deſcry a ſail they ſlip from port, and ſail as faſt as the wind: or, if it is calm, ſoon reach the object with their oars: the Gallivats taking the Grabs in tow. They then aſſemble on the ſtern of the chace within cannon ſhot, and attempt to diſmaſt her. As ſoon as they ſucceed, they ſurround and batter her on all ſides. If the ſhip makes an obſtinate defence, a number of Gallivats, with two or three hundred men in each, board her ſword in hand from all quarters, and in the ſame inſtant. I am obliged to Mr. Orme's claſſical hiſtory for this account.
IN our days many of the ports of the modern pirates have been brought into notice, by the attempts to extirpate theſe neſts of thieves, and with a temporary ſucceſs. Their principal faſtneſſes were in Victoria, Severn-droog, Sunderdoo, Vingorla rocks, in Lat. 15° 22′ 30″, ſix or ſeven miles from the ſhore; and I ſhould have given particular pre-eminence to Gheriah, [Note: GHERIAH.] the port of the chief pirate Angria, nearly midway between Bombay and Goa.
Victoria is the name we beſtowed on one of theſe faſtneſſes. The Indian one was Bancoote. This we retain, not only becauſe [Page 108] it has a good harbour, and great trade in ſalt, but becauſe the neighborhood abounds with cattle, with which we can ſupply the garriſon and navy at Bombay. The country is peopled with Mahomctans, who have no ſcruple to part with them, as the Hindoos have *.
THE reduction of theſe piratical powers added greatly to the glory of the Britiſh arms. [Note: SIR WILLIAM JAMES.] Severn-droog, and five other of the forts on this coaſt, were taken in April 1755, by Commodore James, commander of the Eaſt India Company's marine forces in India †. The Mahratta fleet made a ſhew of aſſiſting us, but never once came within reach of the guns. Mr. James acquired immortal honor, and was among the very few who have, of late years, made the title of Baronet the praemium virtutis.
THE firſt of the name was Conagee Angria, [Note: ORIGIN OF THE NAME.] an adventurer in the time of Aurengzebe, entruſted by the Mahrattas with the fort of Severn-droog. He not only kept poſſeſſion of that fortreſs, but extended his territories a hundred and twenty miles along the coaſts, and as far inland as the Ghauts. Mahrattas, Indians, renegado Chriſtians, and Negroes, flocked in vaſt numbers to the piratical ſtandard, which became at laſt as formidable in theſe ſeas, as that of Algiers in the Mediterranean. All his ſucceſſors retained the name of Angria, even to the laſt, whoſe deſtruction we have related.
I HERE mention Dabul, a neighboring place, [Note: DABUL.] to contraſt the conduct of the Portugueſe, who, in 1555, took it with uncommon inſtances of barbarity. They ſet fire to it in four places. The male inhabitants eſcaped; but the ſavage heroes (for we cannot deny the character of heroiſm) put to the ſword the defenceleſs ſex and innocent children *. After various other barbarities along the coaſt, the wretched conqueror, Brandan, was received at the capital, Goa, with every mark of approbation.
THE important city of Goa ſtands on an iſland of the ſame name, [Note: ISLE OF GOA.] in Lat. 15° 28′ 20″, in a fine bay, a few leagues lower. The city was for a great length of time the moſt magnificent in India. The churches and palaces of the inhabitants were of [Page 110] great grandeur and ſplendor. It ſtands elevated, in form of an amphitheatre, on the banks of a moſt beautiful bay. The country riſes gently into hills, finely wooded, and the ſcene is varied with churches, convents, and villas, and the diſtance bounded by the Ghauts, ſoaring with aweful majeſty. The Algoada fort defends the entrance on the northern ſide. All this is ſhewn in Mr. Dalrymple's elegant views. Two rivers flow from the Balagat mountains, and their mouths nearly meet oppoſite to the harbour. On one, which was called the Ganges, a few leagues from the ſea, ſtood the Nelcynda. Arrian, ii. 173, ſays, that the ſhips which took in part of their lading there, fell down, and received the reſt while they lay at anchor before Barace, a town near its mouth, or in the modern canal of Bardez.
THE Indian name of Goa was Tricurii, or the iſle of Thirty Villages; it is ſaid to have been peopled by Mooriſh merchants, who had been baniſhed from different ports of Malabar, and formed ſoon a very flouriſhing ſettlement. This is ſaid to have happened at no very diſtant period before the arrival of the Portugueſe.
WHEN the great Albuquerque entered on his vice-royalty, [Note: SEIZED BY ALBUQUERQUE.] it was a moſt opulent place, and ſtrongly fortified. It was at that time ſubject to Zabaim, a potent monarch, who was then engaged in war with divers tributary princes. Timoia, a neighboring pirate, who had ſubmitted to the Portugueſe, ſtrongly adviſed the Chriſtian General to ſeize the opportunity of attacking Goa, repreſenting its great opulence, and the honor and wealth that would attend his ſucceſs. Albuquerque liſtened to [Page 111] his advice, and after ſeveral aſſaults made himſelf maſter of the city by an agreement with the inhabitants. This happened on February 16, 1510. The citizens took the oaths of allegiance to Emmanuel; he found in the place immenſe quantities of ammunition, forty great cannon, and in the docks forty men of war, and in the ſtables numbers of fine Perſian and Arabian horſes *. He himſelf reſided in the royal palace: the fame of his valor and prudence ſpread far and wide. He received embaſſies from ſeveral of the Indian monarchs, and even was encouraged to ſend an envoy to the ſophy of Perſia.
Unfortuately a mutinous ſpirit pervaded his army, and even his principal officers. This naturally infected his new ſubjects, who, repenting their diſloyalty, and diſguſted with their ſudden ſubmiſſion to a foreign and Chriſtian yoke, conveyed their ſentiments to their late ſovereign. He aſſembled a mighty army on the continent, and notwithſtanding every endeavor of the able Albuquerque, effected a landing on the iſland. The Portugueſe defended themſelves with great valor, but finding the place no longer tenable, their commander determined to retire. He embarked with great ſecrecy every thing that was neceſſary; when, on the 30th of May of the ſame year, after a ſharp conflict, he made good his retreat to Rapander, a neighboring town, where he reſolved to winter †. Zabaim proved a brave and active enemy: Albuquerque was more than once obliged to remove his quarters: at length, receiving a ſtrong reinforcement of Portugueſe, and other ſupplies, he renewed his attempt on Goa, [Page 112] and, after ſeveral ſharp actions, made himſelf again maſter of the city, by a moſt fierce and bloody aſſault; the defence being equally obſtinate as the attack.
FROM that moment the able Vice-roy determined to make Goa the capital of his maſter's new acquired dominion in India: he gave it every ſtrength his military ſkill could ſuggeſt, and every encouragement that his wiſdom and commercial knowlege could invent. The ſucceſs was, for a long ſeries of years, equal to the greatneſs of the deſign, and it flouriſhed with unrivalled ſplendor. It became the center of the riches of India, and one of the greateſt marts in the univerſe. At length the common conſequences of wealth, pride, luxury, effeminacy, and every ſpecies of fraud, cruelty, and oppreſſion poſſeſſed the minds of theſe once brave and gallant people; they degenerated into every vile action; and thought nothing wrong that brought in advantage. They eſtabliſhed here an inquiſition to enſlave the minds of the people. They perſecuted the poor natives in every ſhape, and in every place. The Abbe Raynal, in moſt animated terms, deſcribes the ſad change. To him I refer the reader. After the fall of the Portugueſe empire in India, a prieſt of Goa being aſked, when he thought his nation might again reſume its power, ſenſibly replied—"As ſoon as your wickedneſs ſhall exceed that of my people." Let me only ſay, that the meaſure of their iniquity being filled, they were beaten, and expelled from the very ſeats conquered by the intrepidity and chivalry of their anceſtors; and that by a ſmall nation, who, ſallying from the fens of Holland, by temperance, wiſdom, and fortitude, drove from almoſt every part of India [Page 113] that nation, whoſe monarchs ſo long had tyranniſed over them in Europe. Goa, and ſome few places on the Malabar coaſt, were left to them. Moſt of them are now deſerted, and fallen to ruin. Goa barely keeps up its head: a Vice-roy, a man of rank, is ſtill ſent here; a ſhew of ſtate is kept up, but nothing of territory is left, except the iſland, and the two peninſulas that form the harbour. The port of Goa is one of the fineſt in India, and in the hands of the Engliſh or Dutch would be a wealthy and flouriſhing ſettlement; but its commercial conſequence is ſunk to nothing: and ſuch is the ſtate of Diu and Damoon if they ſtill remain in their hands.
IT was at this place that the Apoſtle of the Indies, [Note: ST. FRANCIS DE XAVIER.] St. Francis de Xavier, landed, when he undertook his great miſſion for the converſion of the Hindoos. He was born at the caſtle Xavier, at the foot of the Pyrenees, in 1506. He became the friend of Ignatius Loyola, and, in concert with him, laid the plan for the ſociety of Jeſus. John III. of Portugal, by his embaſſador, requeſted of Loyola the recommendation of certain miſſionaries, whom he would ſend to India on the pious errand. Xavier was named as one. He landed at Goa on May 7, 1542. His ſucceſs was correſpondent to his zeal: he made numberleſs converts at Goa, Comerin, Malacca, in the Molucca iſles, and in Japan. At length, in 1552, he paid the debt to nature, in an iſle off the coaſt of China. He had the honor of canonization in 1622. The citizens of Goa boaſt of having his body in the church of Bon Jeſus, in a magnificent chapel, dedicated to the ſaint. His tomb is of black marble, brought from Liſhon, with the hiſtory of his [Page 114] life cut on the ſides, which Mr. Franklin * ſays is admirably executed. Legend ſays that the body was found fifty years after his death, uncorrupted, on the ſpot he died, and by them conveyed to this city. To diſbelieve the account would be highly penal, and a crime worthy of the notice of the holy office.
I HERE mention a zoological anecdote, [Note: OF THE TURKEY.] to diſprove the opinion that very reſpected friend, Mr. Barrington, had taken up, that the turkey was a native of Hindooſtan; (ſee his Miſcellanies, p. 133). In the Memoirs of Jehangìr † we are told, that they were firſt ſeen at Goa, introduced by the Portugueſe, and bought by Mocurreb Khan, embaſſador of Jehangìr, as a curioſity neither he or his maſter ever had ſeen before.
A FEW leagues ſouth of Goa is Cape Ramas. [Note: CAPE RAMAS.] Between Cape Ramas and Carwar, [Note: KINGDOM OF CANHARA.] in Lat. 15°, begins the province of Canhara, the cis-ghautian part of Bednore, which extends along the coaſt two hundred and thirty miles, and ends at mount Dilla. Before Ayder Alli made himſelf maſter of this important tract, it was little known; its numerous foreſts, its precipitous chains of mountains, and the inhabitants, a wild race, under Polygars who never before had ſubmitted to any yoke. At the partition treaty, at Seringapatam, this whole province was left to Tippoo. This, ſays Mr. Rennel, is to be lamented, but unhappily we could not retain it, as we had our full ſhare without this aſſumption ‡. In theſe parts that precipitous range comes within [Page 115] ſix miles of the ſea, but is never more diſtant than twenty. Below the Cape is Carwar Bay, [Note: CARWAR BAY.] with a town of the ſame name at the bottom, on a river capable of receiving ſhips of three hundred tons. The Engliſh had a factory here in the latter end of the laſt century. In our preſent war with Tippoo Saib (while I write this) Carwar was wreſted from him by a detachment of our army, under Major Sartorious. All the interior part is an immenſe foreſt, which extends far to the ſouth. It is full of animals, both the deſtructive, and thoſe which are of the veniſon kind, and other objects of food. Tigers, and all the pantherine tribe, and jackals ſwarm there; as do great variety of elegant antelopes and deer; wild cattle, boars, and various of the feathered tribe.
THE BUFFALO, Hiſt. Zuadr. i. No 9, [Note: BUFFALO.] is very frequent in this country, and chiefly in a ſtate of nature, and is a chace permitted to every one. It is fond of wallowing in the mud, and will ſwim over the broadeſt rivers. It is often ſeen during the inundations to dive ten or twelve feet deep, to force up with its horns the aquatic plants, and eat them ſwimming. It is a very fierce animal, and will with its vaſt horns cruſh to pieces any perſon whom it attacks; the horns have been known to grow to the length of ten feet each.
NEAR to the bay of Carwar, cloſe to the coaſt, [Note: ISLES OF ANCHEDIVE.] are the ſmall iſles of Anchedive, important in former times for being the place where Cabral, Albuquerque, and other illuſtrious commanders were uſed to put in to refit their ſhips and refreſh their crews after long voyages, or repulſes in their attacks of ſome of the more powerful enemies. The brave Almeyda built near the [Page 116] ſhore a ſtrong fort. It obſervable that he found in this iſland, amidſt the ruins of certain buildings, ſeveral red and black crucifixes, the marks of antient chriſtianity in India.
ABOUT thirty miles to the ſouth of Carwar Bay, [Note: MERJEE.] is Merjee. This is ſuppoſed to have been the Muſiris of Arrian, ii. p. 172, and of Pliny, lib. vi. c. 23, which the latter adviſes his countrymen to ſhun, as its neighborhood was infamous for its piracies. It was an emporium; but not abounding in articles of commerce. In our days it has been made remarkable for having been the place in which Brigadier General Matthews landed, in January 1783, with his forces from Bombay, on an expedition which terminated ſo fatally to himſelf, and ſo diſgracefully to the Engliſh nation. Tippoo Sultan had, in the latter end of the year 1782, made a moſt deſtructive inroad into the Carnatic. To divert the ravages of the tyrant, was the object of the preſidency of this coaſt. [Note: [...] GEN. MAT [...]EWS LANDS THERE.] When the General had arrived ſo far, he landed his troops, and ſent orders to the ſouthern army, under the colonels Macleod and Humberſton, to march and join him. Before their arrival he, on January 5, attacked and took a few places of ſmall conſequence. He then directed his views to the richeſt parts of Ayder Alli's dominions, to which he was encouraged by the diſtance they were at that time from relief. He carried the opulent town of Onore, [Note: ONORE SACKED.] which lay on the coaſt, by ſtorm. "Every man," ſays an actor in the tragedy, ‘in Onore was put to the ſword; the carnage was great; we trampled thick on dead bodies that were ſtrewed in the way. It was rather ſhocking to humanity; but ſuch are but ſecondary conſiderations to a ſoldier whoſe boſom glows with heroic glory, and [Page 117] are thought only accidents of courſe *.’ Notwithſtanding this ſage reflection of our hero, it is ſaid that the Kilidar, or governor, and twelve hundred men were taken priſoners †; theſe probably had retired till the boſoms of our ſoldiers had exhauſted their heroic ardour. Fortunately for the ſouthern army, it had not made its junction with the general, and ſo eſcaped the diſgrace of the maſſacre, which probably the generous commanders, had they arrived, might have diverted him from.
THUS ſtrengthened, [Note: ASCENT OF THE GHAUTS.] he began his toilſome aſcent up the Huſſein Ghurry Ghaut, with all windings, not leſs than three miles in extent, and ſtrongly fortified at every turning. ‘Luckily it happened,’ ſays Mr. Sheen, ‘that the commander knew nothing of this defile, otherwiſe it would have been madneſs for him to have attempted it; for if the enemy had made any tolerable defence, it would have been impregnable: but it was defended only by the wild undiſciplined troops of the native Polygars. ’
‘HOWEVER, the General's want of information was the cauſe of our ſucceſs; for in the evening, part of the eleventh battalion, which I belong to, the light company of the Bombay Europeans, and part of the fifteenth battalion of Sepoys, began the attack, and took the firſt barrier with very little oppoſition.’
‘WHEN we came to the ſecond, we were alarmed at the prodigious number and ſtrong poſition of the enemy; but finding it no leſs dangerous to retreat than to advance, we charged home in all quarters, when the motley crew gave way and fled, leaving about five hundred killed and wounded. [Page 118] Our ſmall body, fluſhed with ſucceſs, immediately proceeded with the bayonet, and never ſtopped till they gained the ſummit of the Ghaut, under a heavy cannonading all the way.’
Bednore, [Note: BEDNORE.] the great object of the fatal expedition, ſtands on the vaſt plains of the ſame name, at about nine miles diſtance from the edge of the Ghauts. It is the preſent capital of the country, but ſince it is come into poſſeſſion of Ayder Ali, the name is changed, in honor of him, to Ayder Nager, or the royal city of Ayder. In the hiſtory of Ayder, i. 83 *, as a place of uncommon ſplendor, beauty, and magnitude, with ſtreets two leagues in length, every houſe in the centre of a luxuriant garden, filled with trees, and watered with limpid ſtreams. It was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Canhara, [Note: RANA BIDDALURA.] and was called Rana Biddalura. Ayder poſſeſſed himſelf of this place, and the whole of the rich province, [Note: ITS HISTORY.] by the following accident. The ſon of the reigning Queen of Canhara fled to Ayder, imploring his protection and his aſſiſtance to put him in poſſeſſion of his kingdom, which his mother kept from him in a moſt iniquitous manner. Ayder acceded to his petition, marched againſt the uſurpreſs, defeated her army, and, in the end, reconciled the contending parties. She received Ayder with every mark of reſpect, and even lodged him in the royal palace. Under this maſk ſhe, in concert with her huſband (for ſhe had married a ſecond, a Brahmin) determined on his deſtruction by the moſt horrid means, that of blowing him up in the palace with gunpowder. A ſubordinate Brahmin diſcovered [Page 119] the plot: he appeared before Ayder in preſence of the Queen, the King, and whole court, and charged the conſpirators with their crime. The trial commenced on the ſpot, the charge was proved, the Queen and her huſband put to death, and the king confined. Poſſibly the complaint of the ſon was unconſtitutional, for the throne of Canhara is ſaid to have always been filled with a female, who had the privilege of marrying whom ſhe pleaſed, but exempted herſelf from the cruel rite of burning with the body of her huſband, in the manner that the affectionate ſpouſes of her ſubjects were accuſtomed to do. [Note: SEIZED BY AYDER.] Ayder Alli ſeized on the kingdom, and all the immenſe treaſure of the capital; but, what he thought of more importance, was a line of coaſt, which flattered his ambition with the hopes of becoming as invincible by ſea as he had hitherto been by land.
FROM the time of the ſtorming Onore, the General's conduct was totally altered. He grew irreſolute reſpecting his proceedings, paid no attention to the plan he was to execute by the orders of the Preſidency, and neglected every communication with them. Before this, he was held in high eſtimation, as an officer * and a man. He remained a long time in a ſtate of deſpondency. At length, actuated by a paſſion before latent, he ſuddenly took the reſolution of performing the ſervice he was appointed to. He aſcended the Ghaut, in the manner related. He appeared before Bednore, at that time wholly defenſeleſs. [Note: BEDNORE SURRENDERED.] It was then governed by Hyat Saib, a perſon of conſummate abililities, and firm fidelity towards his maſter. He reflected on the [Page 120] impoſſibility of reſiſtance, and the danger of having both the province and city deſolated by the rage of the conqueror. He ſecretly ſent to Matthews, as ſoon as he had entered the plains, to offer to ſurrender the place, and to deliver to the Engliſh all the treaſures; on condition, that the perſons and property of the inhabitants ſhould be ſecured, and himſelf continued in the government under the Engliſh, with all the power he had under Ayder.
Matthews, now in poſſeſſion of the treaſures of ages, and dazzled by the heaps of the gems of Hindooſtan, ſuch ſtrong temptations roſe in view as inſtantly to diſſipate every virtuous idea he might before have poſſeſſed. Avarice and rapacity occupied their ſeats, and he roſe like the fiend Mammon with all his attributes. The General ſeized on all the treaſures, and impriſoned Hyat Saib. He as ſuddenly releaſed him, and made to him a pretended reſtitution of all his wealth *. Strong ſuſpicions of the General's conduct pervaded the army. To allay their murmurs, he prevaled on Hyat Saib to preſent the troops with about the value of twenty thouſand pounds in pagodas. He had alſo quarreled with Macleod, Mackenzie Humberſton, and major Shaw, after the capture of Bednore, on the ſubject of precedency with the company's troops. They quitted the army, and haſtened to Bombay, to lay their complaints before the Preſidency. Their abſence was moſt fatally miſſed. The General now, for the firſt time, ſent diſpatches to the Preſidency, filled with falſe ſtatements of affairs, and complaints againſt the army, from the generals to the very common men.
[Page 121] AT Bednore he found (to a patriotic commander) a more important acquiſition than any treaſures. [Note: VAST MAGAZINES, FOUNDRY, &c.] All Ayder's principal magazines, a very fine foundry for braſs cannon, a powder manufactory, and immenſe ſtores of every kind *. Matthews did not make a true eſtimate of this ſpecies of treaſure; his avarice made him neglect his ſecurity, yet he weakened his army by making detachments to every place where the proſpect of plunder could allure him. He neglected the ſtrong paſſes into the Myſore, which, ſecured, he might have reſted ſafely againſt all the efforts of the returning Tippoo. Among other places he ſent a detachment to Annampour, a ſtrong fort, adjacent to Bednore, [Note: ANNAMPOUR.] which Ayder had made the depôt of the reſt of his treaſure. The place was taken by ſtorm. Let Lieutenant Sheen relate the diſgraceful event.—‘When a practicable breach was effected, orders were iſſued for a ſtorm, and no quarters; which was immediately put in execution, [Note: HORRID CRUELTIES.] and every man put to the ſword, except one horſeman, who made his eſcape, after being wounded in three different places. A dreadful ſight then preſented itſelf; above four hundred beautiful women, either killed or wounded with the bayonet, expiring in one another's arms, while the private ſoldiers were committing every kind of outrage, and plundering them of their jewels, the officers not being able to reſtrain them †.’
‘THE troops were, however, afterwards, ſeverely reprimanded for it. I had almoſt forgot to mention, that ſome of the women, rather than be torn from their relations, threw [Page 122] themſelves into large tanks, where they were drowned.’ The pretence for theſe brutalities was, that the garriſon, an uncivilized people, had acted in contradiction to the rules of war among civilized nations. After the ſpecimen we gave here, I fear the idea of the civilization the Britiſh had arrived at, will not riſe to any great height. Matthews ſuppreſſed in his diſpatches all accounts of this or ſimilar tranſactions, and alſo of the vaſt treaſures. We are beholden to private letters for the hiſtory. One officer was ſo ſhocked at one he had written, that he tore it to pieces! Lieut. Sheen was not ſo delicate! All theſe ſhameful relations have been contradicted; yet ſtill, as Sir Thomas Brown expreſſes, they are among thoſe ‘verities we fear, and heartily wiſh there was no truth therein.’
THE General, [Note: MANGGALORE TAKEN.] now in imaginary ſecurity, deſcended the Ghaut, to effect new conqueſts in the maritime country. He laid ſiege to Mangalore. A practicable breach was ſoon effected, which the gallant governor, Ruſtan Alli beg, could not perſuade hid timid garriſon to defend, ſo he was compelled to ſurrender. A few years after, he unjuſtly loſt his head, in ſight of the city, by order of his cruel maſter, Tippoo Sultan.
AT Mangalore the General received intelligence, that Tippoo was in full march from the Carnatic to relieve his country. After the receipt of the news, his mind grew quite diſordered. He re-aſcended the Ghaut, and re-entered Bednore. In a few days the enemy appeared. His forces were ſo numerous, that they not only covered the adjacent plains, but even every hill, and more remote than the eye could reach. Matthews, in a frenzy, marched out with his handful of men, and [Page 123] met the expected fate; was at once defeated, with the loſs of five hundred men. He made his retreat into Bednore, which he bravely defended ſeventeen days: but finding the garriſon reduced by ſickneſs, and the number of ſlain, [Note: BEDNORE RETAKEN.] he capitulated on honorable terms. The garriſon to be allowed the honors of war: but to pile the arms on the glacis; to retain all private property, and to reſtore all public, &c. &c. Tippoo took poſſeſſion of the city. Notwithſtanding his ſituation, the avarice of the General overcame every conſideration. He ordered the officers to make unlimited drafts on the paymaſter, who had before been greatly exhauſted by various contrivances. It was currently believed, that he had ſent by his brother to Goa, three hundred thouſand pounds, and a great quantity of diamonds, to be remitted to Bombay; and that, even on the point of his departure, he had cauſed the bamboos of his palanquin to be pierced, and filled with pagodas. When Tippoo examined the ſtate of his treaſury, he grew enraged at this infamous fraud; he declared the treaty void: put the officers and their Sepoys, faithful to them to the laſt, indiſcriminately in irons, and marched them in that condition, in a burning ſun, to priſons at Scringapatam and other places. Numbers fell dead on the road, the remainder arrived at the place of their deſtination in the utmoſt miſery, and that increaſed by the wretched dungeons they were confined in. Thoſe who periſhed, were nightly flung over the walls, and in Chitteldroog the ſurvivors heard the tigers gorging themſelves with the corpſes of their happier friends *.
[Page 124] THE General was confined at Seringapatam: [Note: THE GENERAL POISONED.] where he was not ſuffered to linger long. Various are the accounts given of the manner of his end, but the moſt probable is, that it was by poiſon. Numbers of his officers ſuffered in the ſame manner, in different places, and died in the greateſt agonies. His brother, [Note: ALSO OTHERS.] who unfortunately returned from his journey to Goa, and a Mr. Weldon, were taken into the jungles, and had their throats cut. Numbers of the unhappy men, fated to die by the poiſonous draught, abſtained from food for many days, till deſpair and hunger compelled them to take the fatal draught. Others, who by delay made the executioners impatient, had the poiſon forced down their throats. My pity is ſuſpended for as many as might have been guilty of the barbarity at Annampour, was it poſſible they could have been acceſſary to the ſavage fury of their troops, ſtained in every part of the expedition with ſlaughter, cruelty, fraud, rapine, and avarice *.
IT is evident that the ſeverities exerciſed by Tippoo, after this victory, was here the determined reſolution of inflicting a juſt puniſhment; but, unhappily, he included in it the innocent, as well as guilty. After his defeat of Colonel Braithwaite, on the banks of the Coleroon, how different was his conduct; he conſidered Matthews as the ſordid adventurer, Braithwaite as the generous enemy, and treated him and the wounded captives with a humanity that ſhewed his coolneſs, and capacity of diſtinguiſhing between the one and the other.
I AM uncertain what the poiſon was; [Note: KIND OF POISON.] probably a vegetable, [Page 125] in which India is extremely fertile; ſome ſpeak of the juice of the Milky hedge, Euphorbia Tiraculli, Syſt. Pl. ii. 438. Oſſifraga lactea, Rumph. Amb. vii. 62, tab. xxix. Comm. hort. i. 27, tab. xiv. This emits moſt copiouſly a milk of ſo cauſtic a nature, as is likely to produce a moſt agonizing death. The juices of other Euphorbia are very deadly, as are thoſe of the root of that beautiful flower the Glorioſa Superba, Syſt. Pl. ii. 49, Lilium Zeylan. Comm. hort. i. 69, tab. xxxv. In one place I find another unintelligibly mentioned, under the title of the milk of the coco nut buſh *.
I NOW purſue the event of the complaints laid before the Preſidency of Bombay, by the ſeceding officers. Their information appeared well founded. Matthews was ordered to be ſuperceded, his misfortune being then unknown. Macleod was appointed to ſucceed him in the command, and Humberſton and Shaw to ſerve under Macleod. The ſequel is tragical. The new officers, on April 5, ſailed in the Ranger ſloop of ten guns, Lieut. Ornen commander, to be landed for the purpoſe of joining the army. On the 7th they fell in with the Mahratta fleet, a powerful ſquadron, which attacked them without the leſt notice. Major Shaw was ſhot dead, the General and Col. Humberſton through the lungs, and ſeveral other officers killed or wounded. After a defence, far too obſtinate againſt ſo very ſuperior a force, the ſurvivors ſtruck, and were carried into Gheriah; the Governor diſowning any knowlege of the peace, which had actually been proclamed a very few days before. Such [Page 126] is the account given on the authority of the Eaſt India Company. The author of the War in Aſia, i. p. 483, makes our General a Quixote, who, rather than be carried into Gheriah for a ſingle day, was above coming to an explanation, and madly fought the unequal force of the barbarians. Humberſton died of his wounds on April 30, of whom the author * gives a character that ſhould not be ſuppreſſed. ‘He died in the twentyeighth year of his age. An early and habitual converſancy with the heroes of antient, as well as modern times, nouriſhed in his mind a paſſion for military glory, and ſupported him under unremitting application to all thoſe ſtudies by which he might improve his mind, riſe to honorable diſtinction, and render his name immortal; he being not only acute, but profound and ſteady in his views, gallant without oſtentation, and ſpirited without temerity and imprudence.’ At his early age he was great in the cabinet as in the field †. He laid the fineſt plan for the overthrow of our great rivals, Ayder and his ſucceſſor: and as far as they were attempted, they ſucceeded. He was honored with the command of a ſmall body of troops, oppoſed [Page 127] to the able Tippoo. By a fine retreat with two thouſand men againſt thirty thouſand Myſorians, he eluded his fury; and ſoon after, in conjunction with Macleod, repelled the attack of Tippoo on his lines, which forced that chieſtain to the mortifying neceſſity of ſeeking ſafety beyond the river Paniani. How oppoſite to the merits of ſo brave a youth was his fate!
A SMALL iſle, or rather rock, about a mile from Onore, [Note: TAKEN BY THE ENGLISH.] was made remarkable in the war againſt Tippoo, by being ſtrongly fortified by him, being intended for a magazine of all ſorts of naval ſtores for building and repairing ſhips. He had reſumed his father's deſign of becoming a naval power. Thoſe Engliſh frigates fruſtrated his plan in October 1791, and, by the deſperate valour of a few marines, made themſelves maſters of the place.
WE omitted to ſay, that at Onore, [Note: ONORE AND BARCELORE.] the ſon of Francis Almeyda burnt the fleet of the prince of the place, deſeated his army, and burnt, but did not think it worth his trouble to take the town. Barcelore, in Lat. 13° 25′, is the next town of note, and the parts adjacent are very productive of rice, that great food of the Orientaliſts.
Mangalore is a conſiderable city, ſeated in Lat. 12° 50′, [Note: MANGALORE.] upon a riſing ground. This alſo has belonging to it very conſiderable rice grounds. It has the conveniency of three rivers, which unite a little above its ſite. The Portugueſe ſupply you with rice [Page 128] from theſe two towns, and even ſend it to the coaſts of Arabia. As late as 1695 the Arabs of Maſcat were in ſuch ſtrength as to come with their fleet, plunder the country, and burn the two towns, notwithſtanding the Canharians have a line of earthen forts, each garriſoned with two or three hundred men, as a defence againſt free-booters. The Portugueſe had a factory here, notorious, as I fear all their colonies are, for the exceſſive debaucheries of both clergy and laity.
Ayder Ali, [Note: AYDER'S OREAT FORT.] with all his abilities, entertained a moſt grand, but viſionary plan, not only of becoming ſovereign of the Indian ſeas, but of even retaliating on the Engliſh, the ſeveral invaſions they had made into India. In order to become a naval power, he invited ſhipwrights from all countries, and under them trained a number of his own ſubjects. He had in his own dominions abundance of materials; and he fixed on Mangalore as his great dock, and military naval port. He has hitherto been unfortunate. In 1768, the place was taken by a ſleet ſitted out from Bombay, and nine great ſhips and ſeveral leſſer were brought away *. Ayder ſoon recovered his port: and, irritated at the diſgrace, redoubled his efforts to reſtore his navy, and carry his great deſign into execution. By the year 1781 he had almoſt finiſhed ſix ſhips of the line, and ſeveral frigates and ſloops. He had heard ſomething of the ſolidity and ſtrength of the waters of the European ſeas, ſo under the notion of combatting with oceans of ice, he ſtrengthened his ſhips with planks of great thickneſs †. But we did not permit [Page 129] Ayder to make the experiment. General Matthews, ſecure as he thought himſelf in poſſeſſion of Bednore, deſcended on this city, and in a little time made himſelf maſter of the place, with three large ſhips on the ſtocks, and ſeveral leſſer, which totally put to flight the naval viſion of the great Ayder.
IN 1783 Mangalore was inveſted by Tippoo Sultan in perſon, with an army of a hundred and forty thouſand fighting men, aſſiſted by the French. The governor, Colonel Campbel, made a moſt gallant defence, and ſuffered every extreme of famine, till the place was given up, on honorable terms, at the concluſion of the war, when it was found a mere heap of rubbiſh. It had been aſſailed in the ſtrangeſt manner, bombarded by great maſſes of ſtones, flung out of mortars, which did infinite miſchief: the poor ſoldier who was ſtruck on the body, had a ſudden relief; thoſe who received them on the extremities ſuffered a long and agonizing termination of life. Mangalore remains in poſſeſſion of the Sultan, with the whole province of Canhara, the only maritime part allotted to him in the glorious partition treaty.
NEAR this river begins that vaſt extent of coaſt, [Note: MALABAR COAST.] called the Malabar, Le Royaume de Melibar of Marco Polo, p. 148, comprehending the ſeveral places, diſtricts or principalities I ſhall mention. It reaches to Cape Comorin, and owned the Zamorin, or King of Calicut, as Lord Paramount.
MOUNT Dilla, or Deli, is the next place of note, [Note: MOUNT DILLA.] it is a ſmall promontory in Lat. 12° 1′, and within is a bay, on which probably [Page 130] ſtood the Elancon emporium of Ptolomy. Marco Polo, the celebrated traveller of the thirteenth century, viſited the place in his journey through part of India. He calls this tract Le Royaume d'Eli, and Albulſeda, Ras Heili, or the Cape of Heili. Polo ſays, it abounded with pepper, ginger, and other ſpices. He adds, that if a ſhip happened to be driven into their port by a tempeſt, the king immediately confiſcated it, ſaying—‘You never intended to come here, but God and fortune diſpoſed it otherwiſe; ſo we will profit of what they have been pleaſed to ſend.’
Cananore ſtand a little to the ſouth of Mount Dilla. [Note: CANANORE.] In 1501 it was viſited by Cabral, on an invitation from the monarch of the place, who treated him in the kindeſt and moſt affectionate manner. The Portugueſe obtained leave to erect a fort near the city, which was their firſt and uſual ſtep towards the enſlaving the natives. The friendly monarch died. The new king, provoked by the barbarity of one Goes, who had taken an Arabian ſhip, ſewed up the whole crew in the ſails, and flung them into the ſea. Exaſperated at this cruelty, the ruling prince laid ſiege to the fort. The garriſon were reduced to the laſt extremity by famine, when they were relieved, by the ſea flinging on ſhore great quantities of ſhrimps *. Triſtan de Cunha arrived with his fleet, and relieved the garriſon. The city afterwards was taken by the Portugueſe, who continued maſters of it till it was beſieged, in 1660, by the Dutch.
IN December 1790, [Note: GENERAL ABERCROMBY.] in the beginning of the campaign of that year, againſt Tippoo Sultan, Major-General Robert Abercromby [Page 131] opened it with the reduction of Cananore and Nurrcarow, which he inſtantly effected in the ſight of Tippoo. Leaving garriſons behind, he took poſt, on March 1, 1791, on the head of the Ghauts, at Pondicherrim, oppoſite to Cananore. He then proceeded to Periapatam, along the plains of Myſore, about eighteen miles from the edge of thoſe vaſt heights. He reached that fort on May 16. It was deſerted by the garriſon, after blowing up ſome of the baſtions; and only eighteen miles intervened between him and the grand army, commanded by Lord Cornwallis, ready to inveſt Seringapatam, the reſidence of Tippoo. The Sultan exerted every reſource of a great mind to avert his fate. He fought a pitched battle with the Britiſh General, and ſuffered a complete defeat. The Lord of Hoſts interfered, and deferred his deſtruction. The time of the Monſoons came on. The victor was obliged to deſtroy part of his train, and fall back to Bangalore. The ſwell of the Cavery forced Abercromby to retire ‘who had, with infinite labor, formed roads, and brought a battering train, and a large ſupply of proviſions and ſtores, over fifty miles of woody mountains, called Ghauts, that immenſe barrier, which ſeparates the Myſore country from the Malabar coaſt. Part of General Abercromby's train alſo fell a ſacrifice to the neceſſity of the times: and his army, who thought they had ſurmounted all their difficulties, had the mortiſication to find their exertions of no utility, and had to return, worn down by ſickneſs and fatigue, expoſed to the inceſſant rains which then deluged the weſtern coaſt of the penmſula *.’
[Page 132] IN the following year, he again aſcended the toilſome paths to fame, ſucceſsfully joined his great commander, and received the moſt pleaſing reward to noble minds, praiſe well deſerved, and earned with hardſhips, perſeverance, and judgment.
VIEWING the immenſe range of mountains from below, [Note: HFIGHT OF THE GHAUTS.] in height a mile and a quarter from the ſea? covered with foreſts, the tops often hid in the clouds, they appear to form an unſurmountable barrier between the Myſore country and the Malabar coaſt *.
ALL this tract was, in Arrian's time, noted for its rich productions and great commerce, particularly in the article pepper. The Piper cottonaricum was famous in all parts, but the hiſtorian limits the growth to one ſpot. The country was far from being confined to that ſingle article: It ſupplied the merchants with numbers of the fineſt pearls, [Note: OTHONIA.] ivory, and Othonia ſerica, a certain mixed manufacture of cotton and ſilk.
Arrian, i. 539, ſpeaks of the beautiful white linens of India, probably the ſame with the modern calicoes. Theſe formed, as they do at preſent, a great part of their clothing. This trade is probably continued, to the preſent day, to the emporia of Tartary. When Anthonie Jenkinſon was at Bochara, in 1558, the Indian caravans brought great quantities of this ſpecies of linen, which was much uſed by the Tartars to form their headdreſs, [Page 133] inſomuch that they rejected our kerſies and cloths, which Jenkinſon offered to ſale *.
Nardos Gapanica, or Nardus, [Note: NARDUS.] from a certain part of India called Gapana, is another article of commerce. The Nardus was in high repute in former times, but now is out of faſhion. It was much uſed in form of a pomatum, with which the Romans perfumed their hair. Horace ſpeaks of it frequently, on feſtive occcaſions, and in one exemplifies the antient cuſtom of bringing their pretious ointments in a box of Onyx or Alabaſtrites: ‘Nardi parvus Onyx eliciet cadum.’ Old Gerard, p. 1081, ſpeaks of its medical virtues in his days. I cannot aſcertain the plant.
THE Malebathrum was another valuable drug from this region. Pliny, lib. xii. c. 12, and lib. xiii. c. 1, [Note: MALEBATHRUM.] ſpeaks highly of it as a perfume, in which it ſeems to have been an ingredient among many others. The Unguentum Regale was compoſed of not fewer than twenty-ſix. That of Syria was alſo in high requeſt. Horace ſpeaks of his ſitting with his old friend, Pompeius Varus, at a feaſt, crowned with wreaths of flowers, and highly perfumed:
Pliny gives a very long liſt of the perſumes uſed by the Romans. They were moſtly pomatums, and conſequently not the moſt [Page 134] delicate. The variety was endleſs, and ſome of the ingredients would ſeem now very ſingular. They anointed themſelves with ſome kinds, to ſuppreſs the rank ſmell of their bodies, and often to prevent the effects of their intemperance and exceſs in meats and drinks, being too ſenſibly perceived. Dioſcorides and Pliny ſay, that the vegetable which yielded this perfume was a certain water-plant, that floated on the ſurface, like what we call duckmeat. Gerard, p. 1534, called it Talapatra, or Indian leaf, and gives the figure of a ſhrub, related to the clove.Saepe diem meroFregi, coronatus nitentesMalebathro Syrio capillos.
THE Hyacinthus, [Note: HYACINTH.] a pretious ſtone, mentioned by Arrian as an article of commerce. That of the artients approached the Amethyſt in value and color. [Note: AMETHYST.] "Emicans," ſays Pliny, "in Amcthyſto fulgor violaceus, dilutus eſt in Hyacintho." Thoſe of India were the moſt valuable.
THE Teſtudo Chryſonetiotice was a ſmall ſpecies of land-tortoiſe, [Note: TESTUDO.] another export: it was ſo called by the Greeks, being marked as if with threads of gold; this is a faithful deſcription given by the antients: Linnaus calls it Teſtudo Geometrica; La Cepede gives a good ſigure of it in tab. ix.
THE imports here (for it is well to know the antient wants of the country) were, [Note: IMPORTS.] a conſiderable quantity of ſpecie; hence we may account for ſinding in India the coins of Europe; chryſolites, an Aethiopian gem of a golden color; a few plain cloths; Polymcta, or embroideries of different colors; Stimmi; Coral, probably the red, from the Mediterranean ſea, all others abounding in the eaſtern ſeas; rude glaſs, braſs, tin, lead, a little wine, Sanaarac, or red arſenic, Arſenicum, or the common, wheat for the uſe of the ſhips only, being ſcarcely an article of commerce.
[Page 135] ALL this coaſt, the Lymirica Regio, or modern Concan, was greatly frequented by the Roman merchants. ‘Originally they performed only coaſting voyages, from harbour to harbour, failing from Cana, the modern Cava Canim, on the coaſt of Arabia Felix, till Hippalus *, an adventurous ſeaman, having conſidered the ſituation of the harbours, and the form of the ſea, found out a navigation through the ocean, at the ſeaſon in which the winds blow with us, ſays Arrian, from the ſea, and the weſt ſouth weſt wind prevails in the Indian ocean: which wind is called Hippalus, from the firſt diſcoverer of that navigation. From that time till now, ſome fail in a direct courſe from Cana, others from the harbour of the Aromati †, they who fail for Lymirica make a longer ſtay: others who ſteer for Barygaza or Scythia, ſtay not above three days; they ſpend the reſt of the time in completing their uſual voyage.’
A FEW leagues to the ſouth of Mount Dilla, [Note: TELLICHERRY.] ſtands Tellicherry, in Lat. 11° 48′, an Engliſh ſettlement, of late years defended by lines, of a weakening extent, formed againſt the attacks of the late Ayder Alli. The place had been for years beſieged by his forces, under the command of his General, Sadlk Khan: a vigorous ſally, in January 1782, ended all his plans, which was conducted by Major Abingdon, a brave and able [Page 136] officer *, ſent from Bombay by General Goddard, with a detachment of the army for its relief. The army was defeated, the camp taken, and the General wounded and made priſoner. He ſoon died of a broken heart, and was buried near the fort with due honors. A tomb was erected over his grave; lamps are continually burning, and the Muſſelmen in numbers pay reſpectful viſits to the place †. Ayder had a ſtrong fortreſs near the Engliſh limits; but if the lines were forced Tellicherry muſt fall.
THE ſituation of the town is extremely beautiful; backed by hills finely broken, and wooded, interſperſed with valleys, and watered by a fine river; but its extreme healthineſs is a recommendation beyond all other beauties: it is equal to that of England, and is, on that account, the great reſort of invalids. Pepper is the great article of commerce; but coffee is alſo cultivated there.
Tellicherry once belonged to the French, but we made ourſelves maſters of it, I believe, in King William's time. Hamilton ſpeaks of the punch-houſes: this reminds me of a pleaſant miſtake of M. Bernier, iii. 154, who taking the veſſel for the contents, ſpeaks of a fatal liquor much drank by the Engliſh, called Boule-ponge.
Mahé, [Note: MAHÉ.] a French ſettlement, is contiguous to Tellicherry, ſeated among moſt delicious wooded hills, and near the mouth of a river. The French ſettled here about the year 1722; we took it in 1760, and, before we evacuated it, completely diſmantled the town, but did no other damages. To this day we prevent [Page 137] them from reſtoring the fortifications, or augmenting their forces.
THE great ſquirrel of Malabar, Sonnerat, [Note: NEW SQUIRREL.] ii. tab. lxxxvii. is found near Mahe; it is as large as a cat, the ears ſhort and tufted, the tail longer than the body, the upper part of the body reddiſh. It frequents the coco-trees, is fond of the liquor of the nut, which it will pierce to get at; has a moſt ſhrill and ſharp cry.
THE great ſtaple of this country is, [Note: PEPPER.] as it was in the days of Arrian, pepper. They cultivate here, and indeed far inland, the Piper nigrum and album; alſo the P. longum, or long pepper, Rumph. Amboin. v. 333, tab. 116. All theſe are climbing plants, and require ſupport. The white is only the fruit in an unripe ſtate. Raynal ſays, we draw annually from this neighborhood fifteen hundred thouſand pounds weight.
THE interior of the Malabar coaſt is filled with foreſts of trees, [Note: GREAT TREES OF THE MALABAR COAST.] many of which are of majeſtic ſizes, and what the author ſtyles vaſlae magnitudinis. I have formed a collection of the ſpecies, moſt of which Linnaeus was unable to aſcertain. In thoſe caſes I refer to our great RAY, and give the Malabar names, with references to the Hortus. The trees that are not to be found in this catalogue, may be met with in that of the Ceyloneſe. The name of Rhecde prefixed, will evince them to be common to both countries.
- Katon Maragam Rheede Mateb. p. iv. tab. 13, Raii hiſt. ii. 1463
- Idon Moulli Raii hiſt. ii. 1482
- Kara Nagolam—iv. tab. 18. 1483
- [Page 138] Commotti — v. tab. 45. Raii hiſt. ii. 1496
- Angolam — iv. tab. 17. 1497
- Kara Candel — v. tab. 13. 1498
- Mail Elon — v. tab. 1. 1557
- Katon Mail Elon — v. tab. 2. 1558
- Thoka — iv. tab. 27—Teek, ſee before, p. 81. 1565
- Caleſiam — iv. tab. 32. 1597
- Nyalel — iv. tab. 16. 1606
- Niruala — iii. tab. 42. 1644
- Cratoeva Tapia, Syſt. pl. ii. 419.
- Panitsjica Maram — iii. tab. 41. 1666
- Syalita — iii. tab. 38. 1707
- Tongelion Perimaram 1753
- Tondi Teregam — iii. tab. 60. 1787
- Panam Pulka Nux Myriſlean, & iv. tab. 5. 1524
- Tſiem-tani—iv. tab. ii. Raii hiſt. 1556—Rumphia Amboinenſis, Syſt. pl. i. 92.
- Dillenia Indica, Syſt. pl. ii. 624.
Abundance of coco trees, [Note: COCO TREES.] the Cocos nucifera, Calappa, and Tenga of the Indians (not cocoa) are planted along this coaſt. Of the body of the tree the Indians make boats, the frames for their houſes, and rafters. They thatch their houſes with the leaves; and, by ſlitting them lengthways, make mats and baſkets. The utility of the nut of this tree is great, for food, and for drink, and for the oil extracted from it; of the thready rind is made cordage, called Kaiar, and I think it is woven into coarſe linen. From the branches exudes, on being cut, a [Page 139] liquor called Toddy; the Indians hang, to the part left adherent to the tree, an earthen pot, in which is collected from a pint to a quart a day. From this liquor, fermented, is diſtilled an excellent Arrack, and a very fiery dram called Fool, with which our ſeamen too frequently intoxicate themſelves.
Arcca Cathccu, or Pinanga, Rumph. i. tab. iv. to vii. is, from the univerſal cuſtom of chewing the nut with Betel, a moſt uſeful tree, and greatly cultivated in every part of India. The Pliny of India gives ſeveral plates of it, with the form of the nut, and fructification, and of the cultivated and wild kinds *. The nuts are uſually of the ſize of a hen's egg: they are therefore broken and prepared for chewing, wrapped in the bitter leaf of the Betel, mixed with Chunan, or ſhell lime, and in that form taken all over India by people of every age, ſex, and condition. Rumphius, i. p. 32, is moſt particular about the uſe, and the great pomp and ceremony with which the Indian monarchs beſtow it on the embaſſadors they receive from foreign ſtates. It is the compliment of the country to offer this at viſits, or whereſoever people meet: it is an emblem of peace and friendſhip, is ſuppoſed to exhilarate the ſpirits, to ſtrengthen the ſtomachs (but at the expence of the teeth), and is particularly in repute with ladies of intrigue, as it is ſuppoſed to improve the powers of love. The Arabs call the Areca tree Faufel. Gorard, p. 1520, has cauſed it to be engraven.
[Page 140] THE uſe of this nut is, in many parts of India, greatly abuſed; they are made the inſtruments of philtres, charms, and incantations by the fair ſex, and often the medium of a fatal poiſon. The firſt is intended to conciliate the affection of their lovers, a practice in all ages and in all countries. They are even ſaid to poſſeſs the powers of changing affections, to diſſolve that between man and wife, and tranſfer them to other objects. They are next uſed as means of revenge, for the ſpretae injuria formae. They are ſaid to be capable of preparing the nuts in ſuch a manner, as to bring on the offending parties the completeſt imbecility; or, if they prefer another mode of revenge, death itſelf, lingering, and diſtant; even to any time theſe demoniac fair chuſe. The lover falls into an atrophy, and waſtes away in the claſſical manner, deſcribed by the Greeks and Romans, when the waxen image was made the fatal incantation. Rumphius records the Indian tales, and ſeems to believe them. He certainly was a man of abilities, and nothing credulous.
THE Betel, [Note: BETEL.] its concomitant, is a ſpecies of pepper, Piper Betel, a climbing plant, native of all India, and cultivated by props or poles, like the reſt of the kind. Neither this, nor the Areca, hath eſcaped our old friend Gerard: at pages 1520, 1521, he hath given good figures of both kinds.
I MAY mention other ſpecies of the vegetable kingdom that are articles of commerce from this coaſt. [Note: WHITE SANDERS.] Such is the Santalum album, Rumph. Amboin. ii. 42, tab. 11, which grows to a great ſize. This wood has a ſtrong aromatic ſmell, and is burnt in all the houſes of the Orientaliſts for the ſake of its ſalubrious [Page 141] and fragrant ſcent. A paſte is alſo made of the powder of the wood, with which the Indians, Chineſe, Perſians, Turks, and Arabs, anoint their bodies, uſing their perſumes as the Romans did of old. Gerard, p. 1585, ſays, that the Indians uſe a decoction of the wood in fevers, and various diſeaſes.
RED SANDERS, Santalum rubrum, [Note: RED SANDERS.] the Pterocarpus ſantalinus, Linn. ſuppl. pl. 318, Fl. Zeyl. No 417. Draco arbor, Commel. hort. i. p. 213, tab. 109, Raii hiſt. pl. iii. arbor. 113, grows here. It has a place in our diſpenſaries, and its wood is made uſe of in various works, and all the different forts of houſehold furniture, benches, tables, &c. * and toys, on account of the agreeable ſeent. Blocks of the wood of this tree are of a ſtoney hardneſs and weight †. The gum and ſap are of intenſe redneſs ‡.
THE Amomum Cardamomum, or Minus, [Note: CARDAMOMUM.] of Rumph. Amboin. v. 152, tab. 65, grows here na [...]ly, particularly in places covered with the aſhes of plants burnt on the ſpot. Conſult Gerard, p. 1542, for the form of the fruit. The ſeeds are uſed in the Indian made-diſhes; and, mixed with Areca and Betel, chewed to help digeſtion, and ſtrengthen the ſtomach. We retain it in our diſpenſary.
As to the Amomum Zinziber, our common ginger, [Note: GINGER.] Rumph. Amboin. v. 156, tab. 66, Woodville, i. 31, the beſt in all India is cultivated in this country, and univerſally uſed to correct the inſipidity of the general ſood, rice; and is alſo mixed in the diſhes of perſons of rank. [Note: SPICY EXPORTS.] This was one of the imports of the Romans, as was the Cardamomum, Piper, Myrobalanus, Calamus [Page 142] aromaticus, Nardus, Coſtus, Xylocinnamomum, Aſpalathos, and Seſama, or the oil extracted from its ſeed.
BASTARD cinnamon, [Note: CASSIA.] the Caſſia of the ſhops, and Laurus Caſſia, Burman. Zeyl. 63, tab. 28, grows here in great plenty, and the bark is a great article of commerce in India: ſome little is ſent to Europe, but the conſumption is very ſmall, as we preſer the true ſpecies: the bark is more red, and has a leſs flavor. It is ſaid, that the foreſts of Malabar produce annually two hundred thouſand pounds weight.
IT is endleſs to enumerate the plants or trees of India; the knowledge of its vegetable kingdom can only be learned from the number of books expreſſly written on the ſubject; yet, in the courſe of this topography, I ſhall incidentally give a brief account of the moſt ſingular, or the moſt uſeful. In this place I ſhall detain the reader a little longer than uſual, to mention the uſeful Bamboo, [Note: BAMBOO REED.] a reed which is found frequent in the country. It is the retreat of tigers, panthers, bears, and other beaſts of prey; and the haunt of infinite numbers and varieties of the monkey tribe. Botaniſts ſtyle it Arundo Bambos, and Arundo arbor; it is an evergreen. The ſtem is of a vivid green, but as it grows older, becomes of a duller color. I refer to the Syſlema Plantarum for the ſynonyms. Rumphius, iv. 8, deſcribes, but does not give its figure. In the Hortus Malaharicus, i. tab. 16, it is found under the title of Ily. Bamboo is not the Indian name, but one impoſed on it by the Portugueſe, from the violent exploſion the hollows give on being ſet on fire, occaſioned by the confined air, little inferior to that of a piece of artillery. This plant grows to a prodigious height, ſo as to over-top all trees of [Page 143] the foreſt; and its circumference ſo great, as to occaſion hyperbolical exaggeration. Pliny ſays, that the joints of thoſe which grew about the Aceſines, are ſo large, that a ſingle one is ſufficent to make a boat. ‘Navigiorum etiam vicem praeſtant (ſi credimus) ſingula internodia.’ Pliny ſeems to credit the relation; and Acoſta, (Aromatum liber) an author of credit, informs us, that he had frequently ſeen them in uſe on the river, near Cranganor, on this coaſt, and that they were capable of carrying two Indians; one ſate on each end, with their knees joined, and each carried a ſhort oar, or paddle, with which they rowed with vaſt rapidity, and even againſt the ſtream. The honorable Edward Monkton, who had been at Goa, has aſſured me, that the above muſt have been a miſtake. The largeſt joint he ever ſaw (which always grows at the bottom of the plant) was not two feet in length, and about the thickneſs of a ſtout man's leg.
THE bamboo is ſubſervient to other uſes ſimilar, but far more important. The reed, formed into a frame, and covered with ſkin, becomes a boat of the ſame ſort with the Britiſh coracles, or rather the vitilia navigia, in which the Britons even croſſed our narrow ſeas *. Ayder Alli had great numbers, which he carried with him in his campaigns: thoſe frames were carried by two men, and the ſkins by two more; and in a quarter of an hour they were ready for uſe; one of theſe veſſels was capable of containing twenty-five men, or a piece of cannon, with which they croſſed any rivers they found in their march †. As to the horſes, they ſwim by the ſide of the coracle, held by the horſeman (who is in the boat) by the bridle, in the ſame [Page 144] manner as the Scots paſs their nags over the narrow arms of the ſea *.
IT is pretended, that theſe canes are ſo diſliked by the crocodiles, that they never ſeize on the navigators, as the ſharks in Greenland do on the poor Greenlanders, whom they bite in two, ſecured as they ſeem to be, in their canoes.
AT the ſiege of Mangalore, Tippoo Sultan mounted his ſpears on light bamboos, a hundred and forty-ſeven feet long, and made his deſperadoes mount the breaches, and under the fire of his artillery aſſail the brave garriſon, inflicting diſtant and unexpected wounds or death †.
IN China, the joints perforated ſerve as pipes for conveyance of water, and in the ſame country, by macerating them, the Chineſe make their paper, both coarſe and fine; ſplit into ſlender lengths, this cane is of much uſe in making mats. In ſhort, its uſes are innumerable.
THEY are greatly ſearched after, as poles to carry burthens, but particularly for the poles of Palanquins; for this purpoſe they are bent while growing, to give them a proper curvature; and when richly carved, as they often are, are ſold at a vaſt [Page 145] price in the luxurious Coromandel, and other parts.Linſcofan, and M. Sonnerat, give prints of the effeminate great men of India, attended by their ſlaviſh train, and making their fellowcreatures their beaſts of burden, who go at the rate of two leagues an hour: I obſerve ſome of their attendants in the faſhion of the high toed ſhoes, prohibibited in England in the reign of Edward IV *. Some I obſerve attended with a dwarf or two, a cuſtom formerly very frequent, even in the Europeancourts.
THIS reed is alſo called Mambu, and was celebrated in early times by the Arabian phyſicians, for producing from its joints a ſort of inſpiſſated juice, of a ſweet taſte, called Tabaxar, [Note: TABAXAR.] and Sacar Mambu. It often grows dry, and is diſcovered by its rattling within the hollow of the reed [Note: † Acoſta, in Eluſ. Exot. 164, 246.]. It was a famed medicine with all the Orientaliſts, in outward and inward heats, bilious fevers, and other diſorders of that nature, and in dyſenteries; and it was reckoned peculiarly efficacious in diſcharges of coagulated blood, ſo frequently left in internal wounds. Theſe uſes made it once a great article of export from the Malabar ports. The Brahmins alſo uſe this Sacar in their medical preſcriptions.
IN this hot country, the reed is often applied to another uſe, adapted to refreſh the exhauſted native; it is bent ſo as to form arbours and cool walks of conſiderable length, delicious retreats from the rays of the vertical ſun. Finally, the application of it as an inſtrument of puniſhment (in China at leſt), of the moſt [Page 146] ſevere nature. It is uſed as the baſtinado, and often till death enſues, in the moſt cruel manner.
SUGAR was originally brought from India, [Note: SUGAR.] by the introduction of the plant, the Saccharum Officinarum. I ſhall here give ſome account of this uſeful article, and its various removals from its native place into Europe, where it was for ſome ages cultivated with great ſucceſs. "Arabia," ſays Pliny, lib. xii. c. 8, "produces Sacearon, but the beſt is in India." It is a honey ‘collected from reeds, a ſort of white gum, brittle between the teeth: the largeſt pieces do not exceed the ſize of a hazel nut, and it is uſed only in medicine.’
THE cane was an article of commerce in very early times. [Note: ANTIQUITY OF.]The prophets Iſaiah *and Jeremiah † make mention of it: "Thou haſt brought me no ſweet cane, with money," ſays the firſt: and the ſecond, ‘To what purpoſe cometh there to me the ſweet cane from a far country?’ Brought for the luxury of the juice, either extracted by ſuction or by ſome other means. In the note on the elegant poem, the Sugar Cane ‡, Doctor Grainger informs us, that at firſt the raw juice was made uſe of; they afterwards boiled it into a ſyrup, and, in proceſs of time, an inebriating ſpirit was prepared therefrom, by fermentation.
SUGAR was firſt made from the reed in Egypt, [Note: ITS REMOVALS.] from thence the plant was carried into Sicily, which, in the twelfth century, ſupplied many parts of Europe with that commodity; and from thence, at a period unknown, it was probably brought into Spain, by the Moors. From Spain the reed was planted in the Canary [Page 147] iſlands, and in the Madeira, by the Portugueſe. This happened about the year 1506. In the ſame year, Ferdinand the Catholic ordered the cane to be carried from the Canaries to St. Domingo. From thoſe iſlands the art of making ſugar was introduced into the iſlands of Hiſpaniola, and in about the year 1623 into the Brazils; the reed itſelf growing ſpontaneouſly in both thoſe countries. Till that time ſugar was a moſt expenſive luxury, and uſed only, as Mr. Anderſon obſerves, in feaſts, and phyſical neceſſities.
I SHALL here anticipate the account of the ſtate of ſugar in Spain, where in Europe it firſt became ſtationary, [Note: INTO SPAIN.] borrowing it from the ninth volume of my Outlines of the Globe. It was, till of late years, cultivated to great advantage in the kingdom of Granada, and great quantities of ſugar made in the ingenios, or mills. In the year 1723, in the city of Meſril, were eight hundred families: Their principal commerce was in ſugars and ſyrups, made in four ſugar works, from the plantations of canes, which reached from the ſouth ſide down to the ſea ſide; but theſe and the other ſugar works are greatly decayed, by reaſon of the exceſſive duties. This, with the increaſed demand for ſugar, on the prevaling uſe of chocolate in the kingdom, which requires double the quantity of that article, has occaſioned a drain of a million of dollars out of the country, in payment for ſugar, preſerves, and other confectionaries. This is very extraordinary, conſidering that Spain is poſſeſſed of ſome of the ſineſt ſugar iſlands, beſides the power of manufacturing it within its home dominions *.
I NOW digreſs ſeveral leagues to the weſt, [Note: LACCADIVE ISLES.] to the Laccadive iſles, a conſiderable group, the centre of which is nearly oppoſite [Page 148] to Tellicherry. They extend from Lat. 10° to 12° 50′ north, are low, and not to be ſeen farther than ſix or ſeven leagues. Theſe are ſuppoſed to be the iſles intended by Ptolemy, by the title of Inſulae Numero XIX. but, in fact, they are thirty-two, all of them ſmall, and covered with trees, and rocky on their ſides, moſtly as if laid on a bottom of ſand, attended with reefs, and the channels between them are very deep. They are commonly navigated by our ſhips, in their way to the Perſian Gulph, or the Red Sea. That called the ix½ degree channel, or the paſſage between the moſt ſouthern of the Laccadives, the iſle of Malique, and that called Mamala, or the viii. degree channel, between the iſle of Malique, and the moſt northern of the Maldive iſles, are thoſe which are in uſe. Each iſland has its name: Captain Cornwal ſays, that called Calpenia has a river, where ſhips of two hundred tons may float and clean.
THE principal traffic of theſe iſles, is in the products of the coco trees, ſuch as the oil, the cables, and cordage; and in fiſh, which is dried and ſent to the continent of India, from whence they get rice, &c. in return. They alſo trade to Maſcat, in large boats, and carry there the ſame commodities, and bring back dry and wet dates, [Note: AMBERGRISE.] and a little coffee. Ambergriſe is found often, floating off theſe iſles. Hamilton mentions a piece in poſſeſſion of a certain Rajah, valued at £.1,250 ſterling. It is now generally ſuppoſed to be a mineral; Cronſted, at leſt, ranks it among them: the beſt is of a grey color, is a ſtrong perfume, and is alſo much uſed in medicine. It is highly eſteemed as a cordial, and in nervous complaints; and, in extremities, is adminiſtered often as a perſuaſive to the ſoul not to quit its earthly tenement.
[Page 149] A Captain Coffin, engaged in the ſouthern or Guinea whale fiſhery, found in a female ſpermaceti whale, three hundred and ſixty ounces of ambergriſe. This is ſaid not to be unuſual, but then it always is in fickly emaciated fiſhes. Theſe inſtances do not prove that it was the production of the ſpermaceti whale, the food of which is ſquids, or the ſepia: many of the horny beaks were found adhering to the ambergriſe, or immerſed in that ſoft ſubſtance. It appears to me, that the whales ſometimes ſwallow it, that it diſagrees with them, and acts as a ſort of poiſon, bringing on a decay, and death; and that the parts of the ſepia found lodged in it, are the undiſſolved remains lodged in the ambergriſe. Mr. Coſſin ſold his prize at nineteen ſhillings and nine pence per ounce. This is related in Phil. Tranſ. lxxxi. p. 43.
MIDWAY between theſe iſles and thoſe of the Maldives, [Note: ISLE OF MALIQUE.] is the iſle of Malique, a ſmall, low, and ſolitary ſpot, ſurrounded with breakers, ſeated in Lat. 8° 20′ north. It is inhabited, and dependent on a Rajah on the Malabar coaſt. A large ſhallop of twenty-two oars came off to a French India ſhip in 1770: among the people were three who appeared of rank, and who very politely offered their ſervices to the European officer.
THE Maldive iſlands are to the ſouth of the laſt. [Note: MALDIVE ISLANDS.] They extend from north to ſouth, inclining a little to the ſouth-eaſt, from Lat. 7° 25′ to a little more than Lat. 1°. Theſe are the moſt ſingular and numerous groups of iſles in the world: From their number Ptolemy names them Inſulae MCCCLXXVIII. The Nubian Geographer calls theſe iſles Robaihat.
[Page 150] THE two Mahometan travellers of the ninth century, make them amount to nineteen hundred; and the ſea which ſurrounds them, and lies to the north-weſt of them, they called the Harchend ſea. The natives make the number of their iſles amount to twelve thouſand. They were diſcovered in 1508, by the younger Almeyda; and conquered by the Portugueſe from the Moors, who had uſurped the ſovereignty of them from the natives, who probably came originally from the adjacent Malabar. The Europeans did not long maintain poſſeſſion. The Portugueſe had obtained leave to erect a fort on one of the iſles; but they were ſoon cut off by the Maldivians, and their fort demoliſhed.
THEY are divided into thirteen Attollons, or provinces, and are governed by one king; but each Attollon has its particular governor, who rules with great oppreſſion. The ſubjects are miſerably poor, and none dare wear any cloathing above the waiſt, except a turband, without a particular licenſe. The king aſſumes the magnificent title of Sultan of the Maldives, king of thirteen provinces, and twelve thouſand iſles. From Mr. Dalrymple's chart of the Maldives, they ſeem divided into thirteen groups, each pretty nearly equidiſtant, and each with their proper name: their form is moſt ſingular; they are repreſented as reefs of ſmall and very low iſlands, regular in their form, and ſurrounding a clear ſpace of ſea, with a very ſhallow portion of water between them. The chief is called Atoll Maldivas: they have only four ports, in which their few articles of commerce are collected.
[Page 151] ONE article is the Cowry, a ſmall ſpecies of ſhell, [Note: TRADE IN COWRY SHELLS.] the Cyproea Moneta of Linnaeus, D'Argenville, tab. xviii. fig. K. It is very ſingular that many parts of the world ſhould for ages paſt be obliged to theſe little and remote iſlands for their ſpecie; and that the contemptible ſhells of the Maldives, prove the price of mankind, and contribute to the vileſt of traffic in Negro-land; but ſo it is! Theſe ſhells are collected twice in the month, at full and new moon. It is the buſineſs of the women, who wade up to their middle to gather them. They are packed up in parcels of twelve thouſand each, and are the current money among the poor in Bengal. A Cowry is rated there at the hundred and ſixtieth part of a penny, ſo that it is impoſſible to find a coin ſo ſmall as to be of uſe to the poor in a country where proviſions are ſo exceedingly cheap; eighty Cowries make a pun, and from fifty to ſixty puns, the value of a roupee, or four ſhillings and ſix-pence Engliſh. They are re-exported to England, France, &c.; and from thoſe places again to Guinea, as the price of the unhappy natives. Hamilton, i. 347, miſtakes the manner of gathering them, when he ſays—‘The natives fling into the ſea branches of coco trees, to which the ſhells adhere, and are collected every four or five months.’ The exchange for them from Bengal, is rice, butter, and cloth, which is brought from that country in ſmall veſſels, fitted for the ſhallow navigations.
THESE iſlands, as well as the Laccadives, have beſides a briſk trade with the weſtern coaſts of India, chiefly in coco nuts, and the ſeveral manufactures from that uſeful article. Among which, the Kaiar, or cables and ropes, made of the filaments of the nuts, have a vaſt ſale on all the coaſt of India.
[Page 152] FISH is another article; [Note: IN FISH.]the ſpecies is ſaid to be chiefly the Bonito, or Scomber Pelamys. Theſe annually migrate among the iſles, in April and May. They are caught both by hook and net, are ſplit, and the bone taken out, ſprinkled with ſea water and ſet to dry; then put into the ſand, wrapt up in coco leaves, and placed a foot or two below the ſurface, where they become as hard as ſtock-fiſh. Veſſels come from Atcheen in the iſle of Sumatra, with gold duſt, to purchaſe this neceſſary, which is again ſold there at the rate of £.8 per thouſand.
THE coco tree is the only one which theſe iſles do produce, for they are univerſally ſandy and barren. Of this the inhabitants build veſſels of twenty or thirty tons. The cables, ropes, ſails, and every individual part is made of this tree; which even ſupplies the ſire-wood, and proviſion, oil for their kitchens and lamps, ſugar, and candied ſweetmeats, and ſtrong cloth.
Ali, Rajah of Cananore, and High Admiral of Ayder Alli, made a conqueſt of theſe iſles, took the king captive, and cruelly put out his eyes. In this ſtate, he preſented him to Ayder, who highly diſapproving of the barbarity, deprived the Rajah of the command of the fleet, and treated the unhappy prince with the utmoſt humanity, gave him a palace, and ſettled on him a revenue to ſupply him with every pleaſure he was capable of taſting *. The poets of Ayder's court added to his title on this [Page 153] occaſion, "King of the iſlands of the ſea;" and in their poems placed him above Alexander and Tamerlane. Let me here ſay, that he had his poet-laureat always reſident, who had a ſtipend of a thouſand roupees a month, and the rank of a general of a thouſand men *.
PART of the inhabitants profeſs Paganiſm, part Mahometiſm, the firſt retained from the original. Their language is Cingaleſe, or that of Ceylon †,which points out their primoeval ſtock. As to Mahometiſm it is a more modern religion, derived from the Moors. Some bury their dead, others burn them, like the Hindoos: but Knox, our beſt authority, ſays, that the poor only inter; the rich commit them to the funeral pile ‡. Hamilton ſaw, on one iſland, certain tombs, "ſculptured," ſays he, "with as great variety of figures as he ever ſaw in Europe."
To return to the continent. A few leagues below Mahè, [Note: SACRIFICE ROCK.] at a ſmall diſtance from the coaſt, is the Sacrifice Rock, ſuppoſed to have received its name from certain Portugueſe, taken by ſome of the neighboring cruizers of Cottica, and on that rock made victims to the revenge of the Indians 123.
THE city of Calicut, ſeated in Lat. 11° 18′, [Note: CITY OF CALICUT.] ſtands about eight leagues to the ſouth of the Rock of Sacrifice. This place is celebrated as being the firſt land in India which the Europeans ever ſaw, after the long interval of the Roman commerce. Here the great Gama, on May 18, 1698, firſt ſaw the fertile riſings and plains of Malabar, backed by the lofty Ghauts, riſe before him. Mr. Dalrymple, in one of his plates, gives a view of what it now [Page 154] is, and, in reſpect to its natural ſituation, what it muſt have been at that time. The works of art are too minute to be perceptible, amidſt the bold and eternal operations of nature.
Calicut was at that time the greateſt emporium of all India. [Note: ITS ANTIENT TRADE.] The commerce of the Arabs with this port was prodigious. Pretious ſtones, pearls, amber, ivory, China-ware, gold and ſilver, ſilks and cottons, indigo, ſugar, ſpices, valuable woods, perfumes, beautiful varniſhes, and whatever adds to the luxuries of life, were brought there from all parts of the eaſt. Some of theſe rich commodities came by ſea; but as navigation was neither ſo ſafe, nor purſued with ſo much ſpirit as it hath been ſince, a great part of them was conveyed by land, on the backs of oxen and elephants.
ALL its ſplendor and all its opulence was owing to commerce, yet the houſes were mean, but not crowded, detached from each other, and ſurrounded with delicious gardens; none were built of ſtone, but the royal palace, which roſe with great magnificence above the other buildings. The town was very extenſive, and very populous.
AT the arrival of the Portugueſe it was governed by a monarch, [Note: THE ZAMOREEN.] called the Zamorin, who, like a lord paramount, had all the other princes of Malabar as tributaries. The account, as related by the Portugueſe hiſtorians, is, that ſix hundred years before the arrival of Gama, or about the year 898, Perimal reigned ſupreme over the whole country. In his old age he became a convert to Mahometiſm, and determined to reſign his dominions to his relations, and finiſh his days at the holy city of Medina. His ſucceſſors retained the antient religion, and are conſidered as chief of the Nayrs. I will relate the tale in the [Page 155] elegant language of Camoens, who gives a faithful recital of the event, dreſſed in poetical numbers, by the elegant pen of Mr. Mickle.
GREAT Samoreen, her lord's imperial ſtyle,The mighty Lord of India's utmoſt ſoil:To him the kings their duteous tributes pay,And at his feet confeſs their borrow'd ſway.Yet higher tower'd the monarch's antient boaſtOf old, one ſovereign ruled the ſpacious coaſt.A votive train, who brought the Koran's lore,What time great Perimal the ſceptre bore,From bleſt Arabia's groves to India came:Life were their words, their eloquence a flameOf holy zeal; fir'd by the powerful ſtrain,The lofty monarch joins the faithful train;And vows at fair Medina's ſhrine to cloſeHis life's mild eve, in pray'r and ſweet repoſe.Gifts he prepares to deck the Prophet's tomb,The glowing labors of the Indian loom;Orixa's ſpices, and Golconda's gems:Yet ere the fleet th' Arabian ocean ſtems,His final care his potent regions claim,Nor his the tranſport of a father's name:His ſervants now the regal purple wear,And high enthron'd the golden ſceptres bear.Proud Cochin one, and one fair Chalé ſways;The ſpicy iſle another lord obeys;And Cranganore to various lords he yields;While theſe, and others thus the monarch grac'd,A noble youth his care unmindful paſt;Save Calicut, a city, poor and ſmall,Tho' lordly now, no more remain'd to fall:Griev'd to behold ſuch merit thus repay'd,The ſapient youth the king of kings he made;And honor'd with the name, Great Samoreen,The lordly titled boaſt of power ſupreme;And now great Perimal reſigns his reign,The bliſsful bow'rs of Paradiſe to gain.Before the gale his gaudy navy flies,And India ſinks for ever from his eyes.And ſoon to Calicut's commodious portThe fleets, deep edging with the wave, reſort;Wide o'er the ſhore extend the warlike piles,And all the landſcape round luxurious ſmiles.And now, her flag to ev'ry gale unfurl'd,She tow'rs the empreſs of the eaſtern world.Such are the bleſſings ſapient kings beſtow,And from thy ſtream ſuch gifts, O Commerce, flow.
Gama was at firſt well received at Calicut, but the jealouſy of the Arabs, prevented his friendſhip with the Zamorin from being of any duration. The Portugueſe never could make themſelves maſters of the place; but at length Albuquerque, in [Page 157] 1503, [Note: SEIZED BY ALBUQUERQUE.] prevaled on the reigning prince to permit him to build a fort not far from the city. This gave him the command of the commerce, notwithſtanding the city remained under the line of its antient rulers, who very frequently were engaged in wars with their European neighbors. The Engliſh had their factories here, but, I believe, have long ſince deſerted the place. As to the Portugueſe, they became ſo diſtreſſed, by the union of the Dutch with the Zamorin, that they blew up their fortreſs, and entirely quitted the neighborhood. It was afterwards either undermined with the ſea, or overthrown by an earthquake, for Hamilton ſays, that in 1703 his ſhip, which drew twenty-one feet water, ſtruck on its ruins.
Ayder Alli advanced towards this town. [Note: BY AYDER ALLI.] It was voluntarily ſurrendered to him by the Zamorin, who proſtrated himſelf at his feet, and preſented him with two baſons of gold, one filled with pieces of gold, the other with pretious ſtones; and two ſmall cannons of gold, with golden carriages of the ſame metal. Ayder raiſed him from the ground, and promiſed to reſtore to him his dominions, on condition of paying a ſmall tribute. The two princes parted, ſeemingly in perfect amity. The next day the palace appeared on fire. In deſiance of all attempts to ſave it, it was wholly deſtroyed, and with it periſhed the prince, his family, and vaſt treaſures. The Zamorin had juſt received letters from the Hindoo Rajahs of Travancore and Cochin, bitterly reproaching him with betraying his country to the Mahometans, and becoming apoſtate to his religion, declaring him degraded and expelled from his caſt. So affected was he with the [Page 158] diſgrace, that he determined on the fatal JOAR, ſee page 56, and by that rite made the horrible expiation *!
IN the year 1782, [Note: BY MAJOR ABINGTON.] this city was taken by Major Abington. He was ſuperſeded in his command by Colonel Humberſton. The environs were at that time in poſſeſſion of the enemy, under Mugdum Saheb, a general of Ayder's. The youthful hero, panting after glory, ſallied forth with a handful of men, and gave him a total defeat. Mugdum, ſeveral principal officers, and between three and four hundred men, fell in the action. His forces conſiſted of three thouſand foot and near a thouſand horſe. "I am aſhamed," ſays the modeſt victor, ‘to name the number of my troops: they were ſo few, that you will think me raſh to have ventured an action. In conſequence the enemy evacuated all the country, which belonged to the Zamorin, whom I reſtored to his poſſeſſions †.’
THE river Paniani riſes from the north-eaſt in the Coimbotore country, [Note: COIMBOTORE COUNTRY.] and paſſes through the breach, and in the rainy ſeaſon is navigable for ſmall boats, to the foot of the Ghauts. Its ſource is from an elevated plain, ſixty miles in extent, riſing ſuddenly out of the ſurrounding country like a vaſt terrace, and faces the great gap: Such are common in India, and are features almoſt peculiar to the country.
TWENTY-five miles ſouth of Paniani is Cranganore, [Note: CRANGANORE.] the northern frontier of the Rajahſhip of Travencore. When Gama arrived on this coaſt he was ſurpriſed with a viſit of certain deputies from that city, informing him, that they were, like him, Chriſtians, and requeſting to be taken under the protection of his great maſter, Emmanuel. Gama received them with the utmoſt affection, and aſſured them, he ſhould recommend their intereſts to the Portugueſe Admirals *, whom he ſhould leave on the coaſt. After his departure, a quarrel happened between them and the Zamorin. A ſhip loaden with ſpices was on its way from Calicut to Cranganore; ſuch was the avarice of the Portugueſe, that they could not reſiſt making it a prize. The nephew of the Zamorin, who was their warm [Page 161] friend, repreſented to them the danger of offending his uncle; and at the ſame time aſſured them, that the cargo was deſigned to be diſpoſed of to them. All was in vain; they took the ſhip, and ſlew ſome of the crew. The nephew demanded ſatisfaction, but his remonſtrances were received with contempt.
Lopez Soarez, a Portugueſe admiral, came into India about this time with thirteen ſhips. He found that the Zamorin, and the citizens of Cranganore, were preparing to revenge the injuries done them. He ſailed for that port, landed his men, and, aſſiſted by the King of Cochin, attacked the Indian army, gained a complete victory, and purſued the fugitives into the city, and ſet it on fire. [Note: BURNT.] It was to no purpoſe that the Chriſtian inhabitants entreated the conquerors to ſpare their churches. They did indeed attempt to quench the flames, but to no purpoſe, for very few of the places of worſhip eſcaped. This happened in 1504. The Portugueſe built a ſtrong fort near the ſpot, about a league up the river, or channel, which is not above a quarter of a mile broad, but very deep, yet on the bar, at ſpring-tides, had not above fourteen feet of water. A new city aroſe, but the Indians rebuilt it at ſome diſtance from the antient ſite, and it became one of the ſineſt in India. A channel divides it from another narrow iſle, which is about four leagues long, and runs north and ſouth, parallel with the main land. Another channel divides it from that of Cochin. The Dutch, under Commodore Goens, made themſelves maſters of Cranganore in 1660, without meeting the leſt reſiſtance. The Portugueſe, enervated with luxury, and deteſted for their cruelty, [Page 162] in a ſingle year loſt every one of their poſſeſſions in Malabar to their antient foes, who ſucceeded to their wealth and power, ſupported by wiſdom, oeconomy, and valor. As ſoon as they were maſters of the place, they prohibited all boats or veſſels from entering at the two channels, determined to prevent ſurpriſe, and illicit trade.
THIS city was diſtinguiſhed by two moſt remarkable circumſtances: [Note: JEWS IN INDIA.] the one (to begin with the moſt antient) was its having been the reſidence of a republic of Jews, part of the tribe of Manaſſch, who had been carried into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar, who ſent numbers of them to this diſtant place. Their hiſtory ſays, that they amounted to twenty thouſand, and that they were three years in travelling to this place, from the time of their ſetting out from Babylon. When they arrived they were treated with great humanity by the natives, and allowed every indulgence in both religious and temporal concerns. In proceſs of time, they grew ſo wealthy as to purchaſe the little kingdom of Cranganore. Hamilton, i, p. p. 321, 322, makes them increaſe to eighty thouſand families, but in his days they were reduced to four thouſand. They eſtabliſhed a commonwealth, and ſelected the two ſons of one of the firſt families, eminent for their wiſdom, to govern them jointly. One of them, inſtigated by ambition, murdered his brother: after which the commonwealth became a democracy; and their territory, many centuries ago, returned into the hands of the natives. Powerful as they were, they are at preſent very poor, and few. Numbers of them had removed to God, where they were greatly encouraged by the Zamorin of the time. They have to this [Page 163] day a ſynagogue, near the king's palace, at a ſmall diſtance from Cochin, where are preſerved their records, engraven on copper plates, in Hebrew characters, and when any of the characters decay, they are new cut, ſo that they can ſhew their hiſtory from the reign of Nebuchadnezzar to the preſent time. The Maecenas of Malabar, M. von Rheede, cauſed theſe records to be tranſlated into low Dutch: The peruſal would be very deſirable. I truſt that theſe plates were not forgeries to impoſe on the curious governor, as the famous inſcription on the death of the Daniſh monarch, Hardicanute, at Lambeth, was by a witty wag, which ſo capitally deceived the firſt antiquaries of our days *.
THAT St. Thomas preached the Goſpel in India, [Note: CHRISTIANS IN INDIA.] I make no doubt. He firſt viſited the iſle of Socotora; after performing the orders of his Divine Maſter, he paſſed through the ſeveral kingdoms which intervened between that iſle and Jeruſalem. From Socotora he landed at Cranganore, where he continued ſome time, and made numbers of proſelytes, and, in all probability, eſtabliſhed a church government. From thence he viſited the eaſtern parts of India, and met with martyrdom at Meliapour; where we ſhall reſume the hiſtory of this great Apoſtle.
THOSE Chriſtians on the Malabar coaſt grew into a potent people; but, if we may credit Marco Polo, p. 135, there was in the centre of India a country called Abaſia, divided into ſeven kingdoms, three of which were Mahometan, the other four [Page 164] Chriſtian. The Chriſtians diſtinguiſhed themſelves by a golden croſs worn over their forcheads; but the Jews who were among them were marked on their checks with a hot iron.
BUT what weighs greatly with me concerning the truth of the exiſtence of the Indian Chriſtians, [Note: OR CHRISTIANS OF ST. THEMAS,] or Chriſtians of St. Thomas, as they are uſually called, is, that the knowlege of them had reached England as early as the ixth century; [Note: KNOWN IN ENGLAND IN 883.] for we are certain that our great Alſred, in conſequence of a vow, ſent Sigh [...]m II. in the year 883, Biſhop of Sherbourn, firſt to Rome, and afterwards to India, with alms to the Chriſtians of the town of Saint Thomas, now Mcliapour, who returned with various rich gems, ſome of which were to be ſeen in the church of Sherbourn (according to William of Malmſbury, lib. ii. 248) even in his days. I have not extent of faith to favour the legend of the place of the martyrdom of the ſaint, which was fixed by pious hiſtorians to have been at St. Thomas on the Coromandel coaſt; of which the reader will find an account in the following volume.
THE rites and cuſtoms of theſe Chriſtians differ in ſeveral reſpects from thoſe of the church of Rome. [Note: THEIR RITES.] In ſome they accord, which makes me imagine there might have been ſome accidented communication of the nature of that I have mentioned above. Oſorio, i. 212, gives an account of their ceremonies. Speaking of the Chriſtians of Cranganore, he thus goes on—‘The Chriſtians who reſide here, are generally very poor, and their churches of a mean appearance. They keep the ſabbath in the ſame manner as we do, in hearing ſermons, and performing other religious duties. The high prieſt, whom [Page 165] they acknowleged as the head of their church, had his ſeat near ſome mountains, towards the north, in a country called Chaldaeis. He has a council compoſed of twelve cardinals, two biſhops, and ſeveral prieſts: With the aſſiſtance of theſe, he ſettles all affairs relating to religion; and all the Chriſtians in theſe parts acquieſce in his decrees. The prieſts are ſhaved in ſuch a manner, as to repreſent a croſs on their crowns. They adminiſter the ſacrament in both kinds, making uſe of the juice of preſſed grapes, by way of wine, and allow the laity to partake of both; but no one is admitted to this ſolemn ordinance till he has made a confeſſion of his iniquities. They baptized not their infants till they were forty days old, except in danger of death. When any one amongſt them is ſeized with a fit of ſickneſs, the prieſt immediately viſits him, and the ſick perſon is greatly animated by the holy man's ſupplications. When they enter their churches, they ſprinkle themſelves with holy water. They uſe the ſame form of burial as in other catholic countries: the relations of the deceaſed give great entertainments, which laſt a week, during which time they celebrate his praiſes, and put up prayers for his eternal happineſs. They preſerve the ſacred writings in the Syrian or Chaldaean language, with great carefulneſs; and their teachers are ready in all public places to inſtruct every one. They keep the Advent Sunday, and the forty days of Lent, with great ſtrictneſs, and obſerve moſt of the feſtivals which we have in our church, with the ſame exactneſs. They compute their time likewiſe in the ſame manner as we do, adding a day to every fourth year. The [Page 166] firſt day of July is kept as a holiday, in honor of St. Thomas, not only by theſe Chriſtians, but many of the Pagans alſo. There are likewiſe convents for the prieſts, and nunneries for their women, who adhere to their vows of chaſtity with the utmoſt probity. Their prieſts are allowed to marry once, but excluded from taking a ſecond wife. Marriages amongſt other people cannot be annulled, but by the death of one of the parties. When a woman becomes a widow, ſhe forfeits her dowry if married within a twelve-month after the death of her huſband. Theſe are the cuſtoms and manners which the Chriſtians in Cranganore, as well as many other parts of India, have obſerved with the utmoſt fidelity, from the time of St. Thomas. ’
WHEN Gama arrived on this coaſt, there were about two hundred thouſand of them in the ſouthern parts of Malabar; during thirteen hundred years they had been under the Patriarch of Babylon, who appointed their Metarene or Archbiſhop. They were extremely averſe to the doctrine of St. Francis de Xavier, when he came among them, and abhorred the worſhip of images, which they conſidered as idolatry. They refuſed to acknowlege the Pope's ſupremacy, and at length were perſecuted as heretics, with all the horrors of the inquiſition, newly eſtabliſhed at Goa. Xavier had never troubled his new converts with any inſtruction, nor ever inſtilled into them any knowlege of the principles of the Chriſtian religion, any farther than implicit obedience to the head of the church. He gave them crucifixes to worſhip, and told them, they were then ſure of heaven. His preaching was ſubſervient to the political intereſts [Page 167] of his country; his abilities, and his labors for that end were amazing. In him appeared all the powers which, in after times, gave to his order that vaſt importance in the affairs of the univerſe. I will conclude this article with ſaying, that out of the fifty thouſand inhabitants found in Bednore when Ayder Alli took poſſeſſion of it, thirty thouſand were Chriſtians, "who," ſays his hiſtorian, i. p. 83, ‘were endowed with great privileges.’
Cranganore, and a fort on the oppoſite ſide of the river, named Jacotta, gave riſe to the important war of the Myſore. They had been taken from the Portugueſe by the Dutch, and poſſeſſed by the laſt a hundred and fifty years. Ayder Alli, ſeeing the conveniency of Cranganore to his Myſorean kingdom, in 1780, ſeized and garriſoned it. In the enſuing war, the Dutch repoſſeſſed themſelves of it. In 1789 Tippoo Sultan, the ſucceſſor of Ayder, determined to make himſelf maſter of it, in right of his father. He raiſed a mighty army, which ſo alarmed the Dutch, that they reſolved to diſpoſe of the two forts to the Rajah of Travancore, an ally of the Engliſh, in order to divert the ſtorm from themſelves. Tippoo marched with his forces, and attacked the lines of Travancore. The battle between his army and that of the Rajah, the latter in defence of Cranganore, on May 1, 1790, was the ſignal of the general war, on which commenced the firſt campaign in June following. The concluſion of that glorious war was the putting us in poſſeſſion of the whole coaſt, from Caroor as far as mount Dilly, a tract of a hundred and twenty miles. This is the reſult of the partition treaty.
[Page 168] Cochin lies in Lat. [Note: COCHIN.] 9° 58′ N. on the ſouthern ſide of the channel, on an iſland oppoſite to another that ſtretches to the ſouth. It is a Rajahſhip, poſſibly dependent on that of Travancore, who ſeems to have undertaken the defence of the whole tract ſouthward, by erecting the famous lines of Travancore, which begin at Cranganore and extend almoſt to the foot of the Ghauts. The coaſt is very low, ſcarcely diſcernible, except by the trees. The ſoundings are gradual, and are, at the diſtance of two miles from ſhore, ten or eleven fathoms. Ships uſually lie three or four miles from land; a dangerous bar is an obſtruction to entering the harbour; and a moſt furious ſurge at times beats on the ſhore.
THIS was one of the firſt places viſited by the Portugueſe, after their arrival at Calicut. It was at that time governed by a prince, tributary to the Zamorin, but who ſhewed every act of friendſhip to the Admiral, Cabral, and his companions. At his time the harbour was capacious and open. While he was there, two of the Chriſtians of St. Thomas came and requeſted him to convey them to Portugal, that from thence they might viſit Jeruſalem, and the Holy Land. Gama himſelf afterwards viſited Cochin, and received every mark of reſpect. The prince continued faithful to his new allies, and aſſiſted them with a conſiderable army againſt the Zamorin. At length fortune declared againſt him; the Zamorin burnt his capital, and made himſelf maſter of his dominions. The Portugueſe under Francis Albuquerque, ſays Laſitau, came, in 1503, to their aſſiſtance, expelled the Zamorin, and Duarte Pachcco, whom Albuquerque had left behind, by his aſtoniſhing valor and prudence, reinſtated [Page 169] Triumpara, the reigning prince, but only to fit him for a new mortification. In the tranſports of his gratitude he permitted the Portugueſe to build a fort. This gave them full power over their faithful ally; and, under pretence of reducing his rebellious ſubjects, made a conqueſt of the whole country. In a little time the poor prince found himſelf enſlaved. Cochin became, under its new maſters, a place of great commerce, till the year 1660, fatal to the Portugueſe power in this part of India. It was attacked by the Commodore Goens. The garriſon made a moſt gallant defence, nor was it taken till after great loſs on both ſides. The Dutch found the city much too large for their purpoſe; they reduced it conſiderably. The titular king did not find any improvement in his ſituation, and it is ſaid, that the preſent prince lives near Cochin, with an income of little more than ſix hundred pounds a year. Some of the race of the Jewiſh captives, and ſome of the Chriſtians of St. Thomas, reſide here. The laſt are miſerably poor and ignorant; but the church of St. Andrea, not far from hence, is ſerved by their clergy.
IN this city breathed his laſt the great Vaſco de Gama, [Note: OF VASCO DE GAMA.] the diſcoverer of India, and, with the illuſtrious Albuquerque, the founder of the Portugueſe empire in that inexhauſtible region of wealth. Gama was born at Sines, a port in the province of Alentejo, in Portugal, of a family rendered illuſtrious by the valour of the individuals. Vaſco was only the fifth in heraldic hiſtory, which does not even acquaint us with the time of his birth. He had ſerved in France, and he was Gentleman of the Bedchamber to the great Emmanuel, when he was appointed, in [Page 170] 1497, to the important command of the fleet deſtined for the diſcovery of the Indies. We have ſucceſſively mentioned his name, on ſeveral glorious occaſions; our buſineſs now is only to trace him to his end: He ſurvived to the reign of John III. to be appointed to a third voyage, and to finiſh his days on that ſhore, where he had begun his career of glory. He ſailed from Liſbon on April 10, 1524. Prodigies attended his voyage; on his arrival off the coaſt of Cambay, in the ſtillneſs of a calm, a dreadful ſwelling of the ſea, the then unknown ſymptons of an earthquake, appalled the boldeſt. Gama diſcovered the phoenomenon: "Courage!" ſays he, "India trembles at our approach!" Another danger followed this. From the deſcription, his ſhip was nearly foundered by the fall of a water-ſpout. He arrived, at length, at this port, where he gave up his great ſoul, on December 24, 1525, to be judged according to unerring juſtice; for, amidſt all his fine qualities, he was deeply tainted with the character of his nation, cruelty. His body lay depoſited at Cochin till 1538, when it was brought to Liſbon, where it was received with greater honor than was ever before paid to any perſon, excepting thoſe of the blood royal.
A FATE ſimilar to that of Gama attended Alphonſo Albuquerque, [Note: OF ALBUQUERQUE.] deſcended illegitimately from the blood royal of Portugal. He was ſent out by his prince, for the firſt time in 1503, and in ſucceſſive voyages ſhewed himſelf to have been ſuperior to any one of his nation, before or after him, both in the military and political line: he was fitted by his talents to be the founder of a great empire. We trace him almoſt every where from the Red Sea to the utmoſt limits of his Indian expedition, as far as Sumatra, [Page 171] and the diſtant Malacca: on his laſt voyage he was ſtruck by the hand of death. He directed his pilot to ſteer for Goa, the ſcene of many of his glorious actions. He was informed on the way that he was recalled, and two perſons, moſt diſagreeable to him, were to ſucceed to the government of India. "Lopez Soarez," exclamed he, ‘Governor of India!— it is he! it could be no other! Don James Mendez, and James Pereyra, whom I ſent priſoners for heinous crimes, return, the one governor of Cochin, the other ſecretary! It is time for me to take ſanctuary in the church, for I have incurred the King's diſpleaſure for his ſubjects' ſake, and the ſubjects' anger for the King's ſake. Old man, fly to the church, it concerns your honor you ſhould die, and you never omitted any thing that concerned your honor.’
HE died in 1515, aged 63, off the bar of Goa, [Note: DIES.] and was interred there, but his corpſe was not removed to its native country for numbers of years, as is ſaid, at the inſtances of the citizens of Goa, who venerated his memory. He died with the higheſt ſentiments of piety; even the Gentoos and Moors, through devotion viſited his tomb, ſo highly and univerſally was he eſteemed. He was an inflexible lover of juſtice, and of moſt poliſhed manners; yet his actions at Ormus, at Calajate *, and other places, ſhew how impoſſible it is to ſuppreſs an inborn and national barbarity.
ALL the tract of country from Cranganore almoſt to Anjenjo, a tract of about a hundred and twenty miles, conſiſts of multitudes [Page 172] of very low wooded iſles, formed by a thouſand rivers, that tumble from the Ghauts. This flat country extends thirty miles inland, and has intermixed a great aſſemblage of lakes, rivers, and foreſts, the whole marſhy, and moſt unwholeſome: it abounds with fiſh and game, which makes Cochin, in that reſpect, a moſt luxurious reſidence.
A diſtemper prevales in theſe parts, [Note: SWELLED LEGS.] ſuppoſed to ariſe from the badneſs of the water, or from an impoveriſhed ſtate of blood from poor living. Its ſymptoms are a violent ſwelling in one, and ſometimes in both legs, ſo that it is not uncommon to ſee them a yard in circuit round the ancle *. It is not attended with any pain, but with an itching; the ſwollen leg is not heavier than the unaffected. The diſtemper is called the Cochin-leg, and, from the ſize, the Elephant-leg; no remedy has yet been diſcovered. The Dutch procure their water in boats from a diſtant place, yet Hamilton ſays, that he had ſeen both men and women of that nation afflicted with the malady. This deſtroys the hypotheſis of its being the effect either of the water or of poor living.
FROM Cochin to the termination of the iſlands, the coaſt is flat, and ſo low, as to be diſtinguiſhed only by the trees, or by the flags on the enſign ſtaffs; the ſea clear of ſhoals, and with good ſoundings. [Note: PORCAH.] Porcah, on the iſland beyond Cochin, is a ſmall Dutch ſettlement. [Note: COULANG.] Quilon, or rather Coulang, is another, now ſunk into an inconſiderable place. On the firſt arrival of the Portugueſe it was governed by a Queen-Regent, who ruled [Page 173] over a ſmall principality. The city was ſeated on a navigable river, had an excellent harbour, and its buildings were very ſplendid; but its commerce had declined on the riſe of Calicut. Numbers of Chriſtians of St. Thomas were found ſpread over the country. It was taken from the Portugueſe by the Dutch, in 1662. The country was at that time alſo governed by a Queen, who reſided at Calliere, an inland town. Nieuhoff was intruſted with a commiſſion to her, and found her a woman of majeſtic mien, and excellent underſtanding *.
To this place there continues a ſimilarity of low, and moraſſy country. At a few miles diſtance, to the ſouth of Coulang, the coaſt immediately alters, the land riſes into high and precipitous red cliffs; near them is good freſh water; at Anjenga, [Note: ANJENGA.] a ſmall ſettlement (with a fort belonging to the Engliſh) it is very bad and ſcarce. The fort was built by the Eaſt India Company, in 1695. They pay for the ground rent to the queen of the country. By my frequent mention of the Queen, it ſhould ſeem, that a female reign in theſe parts was not uncuſtomary. The trade of the neighborhood is pepper, and a fine long cloth. Mr. Franklin, p. 7, remarks, that this is the beſt place in India for intelligence, and that very lately a poſt to ſeveral parts of India has been eſtabliſhed. "A regular poſt," ſays Mr. Rennel, p. 317, ‘is eſtabliſhed throughout the parts of Hindooſtan ſubject to the Eaſt India Company, and alſo from Calcutta to Madras. The poſtmen always travel on foot. Their ſtages are commonly from ſeven to eight miles; and their rate of [Page 174] travelling, within our own diſtricts, about ſeventy miles in the twenty-four hours.’
CAPE Comorin, [Note: CAPE COMORIN.] the moſt ſouthern part of Hindooſlan, is in Lat. 8°. It is level low land at its extremity, and covered with trees, and not viſible from the deck more than four or five leagues. Mr. Thomas Daniell * to whom I am indebted for numbers of informations, informs me, that the loſtieſt part is the highland of Comorin, which is twelve hundred and ninetyfour yards high: and quite ſmooth and verdant to the very ſummit. Near the baſe, burſts forth a moſt magnificent cataract: and near that is a Choultry for the accommodation of travellers.
A LITTLE to the northward is the termination of the Ghauts, which may be ſeen nine or ten leagues at ſea. This was the Comar of Arrian, ii. 175, where there was a caſtle and a port. The ſea adjacent was ſuppoſed to have been endued with peculiar virtues; it was a great reſort for the purpoſes of ablutions, and luſtrations, by all ſuch perſons who had determined to paſs a religious and ſolitary life. The female ſex performed the ſame rites. Written hiſtory had, even in Arrian's time, delivered a legend of a certain goddeſs having here performed the ablutions every month. The diſtrict was called Comari Regio; but this holy water reached, ſays Arrian, as far as Colchos, the modern Mingrelia. Al. Edriſi ſpeaks, p. 31, of a Comr. Inſula, and gives it a vaſt extent. There is a little [Page 175] hill to the north of the cape, which from the ſea appears inſulated: poſſibly the Nubian Geographer might have received an account of that eminence, miſtaken for an iſland, and its ſize exaggerated.
CAPE Comorin is the termination of the kingdom of Travancore, Which extends along the weſtern coaſt, [Note: KINGDOM OF TRAYANCORE.] from that of Cranganore, as far as this headland, a hundred and forty miles. In 1730 it began to riſe into importance, by the abilities of its monarch, who reigned forty years. In giving audience to two embaſſadors, whom he foreſaw would weary him with prolix harangues, he cut the firſt ſhort with this ſenſible remark; "Be not tedious," ſays he, "life is ſhort." He raiſed a fine army, and well diſciplined, and meditated the conqueſt of Malabar. Amidſt all his great talents, he mingled the weakneſs of being aſhamed of his caſt or tribe. He wiſhed to be a Brahmin; he ordered a golden calf to be made, he entered at the mouth, and came out at the oppoſite part; this was his Metempſychoſis; and he dated all his edicts from the days, ſays Abbé Raynal, of this glorious regeneration.
THIS kingdom begins in Lat. 10° 18′, near Cranganore. The breadth is greatly contracted, by reaſon of the approach of the Ghauts towards the ſhore. Interſected by rivers, and covered with thick woods, it ſeems almoſt unconquerable. The Rajah, whom I have mentioned, gave his country additional ſtrength, by which he ſaved his ſucceſſor from the oppreſſion of the riſing uſurper, Ayder Alli. ‘Around his capital, and chief province,’ ſays the author of the War in Aſia, i. p. 266, ‘he ſuffered the woods to grow for a number of [Page 176] years, till they formed an impenetrable belt of great depth. This, cut into labyrinths, afforded eaſy egreſs to his people, and rendered all attacks from without impracticable. Immured within this natural fortification, he encouraged the cultivation of the arts and ſciences: he invited the approach of men of genius and knowledge; he cultivated the friendſhip of the Brahmins, and was himſelf admitted into their ſociety, by the ceremony of paſſing, (as Raynel ſays) through a golden cow, which became the property of the Brahmins, the cow being ſacred in India, as formerly in Egypt; and by preparing his own military ſtores, caſting cannon, making gunpowder, &c. he rendered himſelf independent of foreign aid. The ſubjects of his remoter provinces, who, to avoid the ravages of war, had taken refuge within the woody circle, now returned with their families and effects to their former habitations.’ This mode of fortification he evidently copied from his wild neighbors, the Polygars; but they live in almoſt a ſavage ſtate, while he adopted their plan to ſecure the cultivation of the mild arts of peace!
EVEN the approach to this difficult retreat was impeded by the famous lines of Travancore, [Note: LINES OF TRAVANCORE.] which extend from the fouthern banks of the river of Cranganore, cloſe to ſea, to the foot of the Ghauts, ſtrongly fortified in their whole extent: Theſe proved the firſt check to the ambition of Tippoo Sultan. He wiſhed to provoke the Rajah to begin hoſtilities, in order that he might not be charged with being aggreſſor. For ſeveral days, from the 23d to the 28th of December 1789, the Sultan's horſemen rode up to the Rajah's lines, and made uſe of [Page 177] every inſulting expedient to draw the firſt act of hoſtility from the Travancore troops; but finding them aware of his artifice, and that a detachment of Engliſh troops was ſtationed at ſome diſtance, he at laſt gave way to his rage, and on the 29th of December attacked the lines by ſtorm. His troops had filled the foſs with cotton. They paſſed by that means into the interior of the lines, when, by ſome accident, the cotton took fire, and the whole formed a tremendous blaze. In their rear were the flames; in front a furious enemy. Actuated by deſpair, they fought with incredible valour: out of fifteen hundred men, only forty were taken, the reſt fell victims to the rage of the Travancorian defendants *. Tippoo, from the outſide of the lines, was a ſpectator of the horrid carnage of his ſoldiers. The Nayrs preſſed on him on all ſides, and being repulſed with diſgrace, and himſelf thrown from his horſe in the retreat, he is ſaid to have made an oath, that he never would wear his turban again, till he had taken the Rajah's lines, and accordingly he prepared to attack them by regular approach †. On April 12, 1790, he completely executed his menaces. He attacked the lines with ſuch vigour, that he made himſelf maſter of them, totally deſtroyed this famous barrier, and laid Cranganore in ruins, carried deſolation through the country, and put every opponent to flight ‡.
THE diſgrace which Tippoo ſuffered, [Note: OF THE NATRS.] was owing to three battalions of Nayrs, and five hundred archers, in all three thouſand [Page 178] 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 antient dominions of the Zamorins, and in times of their proſperity formed the body guards. On the firſt appearance of Cabrial 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 exceſſively proud, and are never known to laugh. They are beſides ſo 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 ſidelity. 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 reſponſible for their ſafety; 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 138. Notwithſtanding this, at other times they are notorious [Page 179] robbers, and even will murder the traveller unprotected by one of their caſt.
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 them 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 ungraceful clout hanging down, pointed on each ſide, and a ſhort wrapper round the waiſt, with a dagger ſtuck in a ſaſh; all the reſt of them 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.
PARALLEL to Mount Dilli and to Mahé, [Note: COORGA NAYRS.] a ſmall dominion, called Coorga, extends beyond the Ghauts, unfortunately into the Myſore. It conſiſts of mountains and vaſt foreſts, ſheltering tigers and elephants innumerable, being one of the few places in which the laſt are at preſent found in a ſtate of nature. The late Ayder Alli in vain attempted to ſubdue the brave inhabitants. Family ſend between the Rajah and his brother, enabled him to effect his purpoſe. He deſtroyed one family, made priſoners of the other, and poffeſſed himſelf of the country. The preſent Rajah, then a boy, was ſon to the younger of the conteſting brothers. This youth was by Ayder compelled to become a Muſſulman, with all the ſhameful ceremonies of initiation *. [Page 180] He was enrolled among the Chelas, or corps of ſlaves, and continued ſo till he made his eſcape, in 1785, into his own dominions. His faithful ſubjects flocked to him. The firſt act was the ſlaughter of a brigade of Tippoo's troops. The Rajah inſtantly offered his ſervice to the Engliſh: It was accepted, and he proved a moſt uſeful ally. Mercara, his capital, was in the hands of the enemy. We offered our aſſiſtance to reduce it. This he declined: but, after ſome prudent delay, beſieged it with his own people, took and diſmantled it, that in future his ſubjects might depend on their own valour in the field for the defence of their country. At the treaty of Seringapatam, Marquis CORNWALLIS generouſly ſtipulated for the ſecurity of the gallant Rajah. Tippoo Sultan grew irritated to a degree of phrenzy at the demand, and broke off the actual negotiation with our General, who began to renew hoſtilities. Tippoo, finding a reluctance in his troops to defend the capital, was compelled to accept the dictated terms †, and the laurels of humanity and fidelity added new glories to the head of the conqueror.
THIS account I have ſelected from the curious relation of the Myſore campaigns, by Major Dirom: that of the natural face of the Coorga country ſhall be delivered in his own words ‡.
THIS little dominion ‘affords not only the Sandal, and moſt valuable woods in India, but teems alſo with the ſpontaneous productions of all the richeſt ſpices of the Eaſt. Enjoying a [Page 181] fertile ſoil and temperate climate, this mountainous country is a fund of wealth, that requires only peace and commerce to render inexhauſtible. It is a beautiful ſcene to contemplate; a delightful journey to the traveller; but a moſt arduous march, and formidable barrier to an invading army.’
FROM Cape Comorin I take my departure for the iſland of Ceylon, [Note: ISLE OF CALPENTYN.] the neareſt part of which, the iſle of Calpentyn, is about a hundred and fifty miles diſtant. The intervening ſea is the gulph of Manaar, which grows narrower and narrower till it reaches the fragments of the prior junction with the continent, of which Cape Koiel, a large promontory of the Marawars, and various rocks, are parts. The Cape will be deſcribed in my progreſs from Cape Comorin along the eaſtern coaſts of Hindooſtan.
BEFORE Cape Koiel is the inſula-ſolis of Pliny, lib. vi. 22, [Note: RAMANA KOIEL.] the iſle of Ramana Koiel, or the iſle of the temple of the god Rama, founded near the edge of the water, and on vaſt ſtones, to break the force of that element. Rama had a right to a temple oppoſite to Ceylon, for he killed the giant Ravanen, king of that iſland, and placed his brother, Vibouchanen, on the throne. Rama was highly venerated in this country. The capital of the Marawars, and the reſidence of the prince, was named, in honor of the deity, Ramana-dabaram. The paſſage between this iſland and the continent is called Odioroa paſſage. It is extremely ſhort, about five miles broad, and not exceeding in depth three feet.
FROM the eaſtern end of the iſle of Ramana Koiel, is a chain of rocks which runs quite acroſs the narrow channel to the iſle [Page 182] of Manaar, almoſt adjacent to the Ceyloneſe ſhore: the length is about thirty miles, but the whole chain is frequently interfected by narrow paſſages, ſo very ſhallow, ſays d'Apres, in his Neptune Oriental, p. 85, as to be navigable only by the ſmall craſt of the neighboring ſhore, and that only in calm weather, ſo diſturbed is the channel in gales by a dreadful ſurf. The little veſſels that wiſh to make the paſſage, go under Manaar, where they muſt unload, pay duty to the Dutch, get their veſſel dragged through the paſs, and take in their cargo on the other ſide. It is very probable, that this ſucceſſion of rocks was part of an iſthmus, which in very early times had united Ceylon and the continent; for the water on each ſide of this chain, does not exceed thirteen or fourteen feet. Pliny, in the paſſage before cited, takes notice of the greeniſh caſt of this part of the channel, of its being filled with ſhrubs, that is, with corals; and of its being ſo ſhallow, that the rowers often bruſhed off the tops with their oars.
THIS chain of rocks is called Adam's Bridge; [Note: ADAM'S BRIDGE.] the tradition is, that our common father, after his tranſgreſſion, was caſt down from Paradiſe, and fell upon Ceylon; but that afterwards, this bridge was made by angels for him to paſs over to the continent.
Manaar is, as the name implies, ſandy. The little channel is on the eaſtern ſide, and defended by a ſtrong fort, garriſoned with a hundred men, notwithſtanding it is impaſſable for any veſſels which draw more than four or five feet water. It had on it ſeven churches, built by the Portugueſe. The natives were converted by St. Francis de Xavier, and ſtill continue profeſſors [Page 183] of Chriſtianity, notwithſtanding they have labored under many perſecutions. The pearl muſſel is found in great abundance on this coaſt, and the fiſhery has, at different times, been attended with good ſucceſs, ſince the Dutch have become maſters. Pliny ſays, that the greateſt plenty were found in his days on the coaſts of Tabrohana, and Toidis, and Perimula, on the peninſula of Malacca.
A SPECIES of Manati is certainly found here. Baldaeus, [Note: MANATI.] a learned clergyman, who reſided long in Ceylon, deſcribes it (Churchill's Coll. iii. 793) ſo exactly, that we cannot miſtake the animal he intended. ‘Here is a peculiar fiſh (properly a ſea-calf) of an amphibious nature; the females have breaſts, and give ſuck, and the fleſh, when well boil'd, taſtes not unlike our ſturgeon, and might eaſily be miſtaken for veal.’
FROM Manaar is the very ſhort paſſage into the great iſland of CEYLON, known to the antients by the name of Tabrobana. [Note: CEYLON.] I will not attempt to expoſe their miſtakes in reſpect to extent, and ſome other particulars, as long as the identity of the iſle is aſcertained. Strabo mentions it in lib. xv. p. 1013, [Note: STRABO's ACCOUNT OF.] noticing the aukwardneſs of the inhabitants in failing, and fitting their maſts in their veſſels. Along the coaſts are obſerved various amphibious animals, among which he plainly includes Manati; ſome he compares to oxen, others to horſes, and other land animals; the Dugung, (De Buſſon, xiii. 374, tab. lvi.) may poſſibly have [Page 184] been among them. This Strabo delivers from the account left by Oneſicritus, a follower of Alexander the Great, who ſent him on a voyage to India, where he informed himſelf of many things, among which is no ſmall ſhare of fable, or miſrepreſented accounts.
Pliny, [Note: PLINY's.] lib. vi. c. 22, gives us a large chapter on the ſubject of this iſland: he not only gives the authority of Megaſthenes, who had written a hiſtory of India, and of Eratoſthenes, a famous geometrician, who pretended to give the circumference of Ceylon, but has drawn many lights from the four embaſſadors actually ſent from this iſland to Rome, in the time of Claudius. By accident, a freed ſlave of a farmer of the Roman cuſtoms in the Red Sea, was driven to the coaſt of Ceylon by a ſtorm; ſuch an impreſſion did he make on the king of the iſland by his favorable report of the Romans, that determined him to ſend theſe envoys. From them many particulars were learned; they were not ſparing of any thing which tended to exalt the glory of their country: they ſaid that it contained five hunded cities; the chief was Paleſimundum, that had two hundred thouſand citizens. For other particulars I refer to the old hiſtorian; more is beyond my plan.
Ptolemy comes next, [Note: PTOLEMY's.] who is particular as to the productions of this great iſland. He mentions rice, honey, ginger, beryls, hyacinths; and gold, ſilver, and other metals; and he agrees with Pliny about its producing elephants and tigers. He alſo ſays, the antient name of Ceylon was Symondi, but in his days it [Page 185] was called Salice, ſtill in ſome meaſure retained in its Indian appellative Selen-Dive. The principal places named by the geographer, are Anurogrammum, [Note: ANUROGRAMMUM.] of which the Cingaleſe ſay there are great remains in the veſtiges of the antient city Anarodgurro.
Maragrammon, the capital town, which anſwers to the modern Candy; Talacoris emporium, and Nagadiba, Praſodis ſinus, and numbers of other places *, which ſhew how well known this iſland was to the Romans, either by their fleet from the Red ſea, or their coaſting traders from the weſtern ſide of India. I will only mention Malea Mons, or the modern Yale, famous for the Paſcua Elephantum † Bumaſani, [Note: PASCUA ELEPHANTUM.] the great haunt of elephants, and which were driven, and probably ſhipped, at a port ſtill called by the Dutch, Geyeweys of Elephants van plaets, and tranſported in vaſt ſhips to Calinga ‡, probably the ſame with the modern Calingapatam, a city and port on the coaſt of the northern Circars.
El. Edriſi, p. 31, [Note: EL. EDRISI.] ſpeaks of this iſland under the name of Serandib, and Marco Polo under that of Seilam. It is celebrated by each for its rich gems. By miſtake the Nubian Geographer places the diamond among them; but all the reſt it produces in high perfection, and ſeveral kinds of aromatics or ſpices. Silk was alſo exported from hence in his days. He ſpeaks highly of the ruling monarch, who had ſixteen privy counſellors, four of his own people, four Chriſtians, four Mahometans, and four [Page 186] Jews; ſuch was the moderation of this excellent prince! He loved good wine, which he procured from Parthia and Perſia, and diſperſed among his ſubjects. He was indulgent in this gift of heaven, but a moſt ſevere enemy to incontinence.
THE Portugueſe were the firſt of the European nations who viſited Ceylon. [Note: CEYLON VISITED BY LAWRENCE ALMEYDA.] It was diſcovered by Laurence Almeyda, in 1505, who was driven accidentally from his cruize off the Maldive iſles, by the violence of the currents, into a port called by the natives Gabalican *. The ruling prince was, as he is now ſtyled, emperor, and is lord paramount over the leſſer kings; he is ſtyled moſt great, invincible, and tailed †, the firſt of his race coming from Siam, with a tail a foot long, pendent from behind; his poſterity in due time (according to lord Monboddo's ſyſtem) ſhed their tails, and became as capable of the arts of government, as any European monarch whatſoever. Almeyda was received by the governor with the utmoſt courteſy. He ſent Pelagio Souza, one of his officers, to the royal reſidence at Colombo, where he was introduced to the emperor. He met with a moſt favorable reception, formed a league with his imperial majeſty, who agreed to pay Emmanuel annually two hundred and fifty thouſand pounds weight of cinnamon; on condition, that the fleets of Portugal ſhould defend his coaſts from all hoſtile invaſions. It is well known that the Portugueſe ſoon after made themſelves maſters of the principal ports, and engroſſed the whole trade of the valuable bark. The Moors, or Arabs, exerted every effort to prevent them from eſtabliſhing [Page 187] themſelves in Ceylon. This highly concerned the Arabs, who before that time were the ſole venders of the cinnamon, which they carried to Suez, from whence it was conveyed over the iſthmus, and from Alexandria to all parts of Europe; all their endeavors were to no purpoſe; that rich trade became monopolized by theſe new rivals.
THE Dutch firſt landed here in 1603, [Note: DUTCH LAND HERE.] and viſited the emperor. In 1632 they received a formal invitation from the ruling monarch, and in conſequence appeared off the coaſt with a potent fleet. They confederated with the king of Ceylon, and after a ſtruggle of ſeveral years, and after great bloodſhed, they expelled the Portugueſe, whoſe power ended in the taking of Colombo, in 1656, after a ſiege of ſeven months, in which the Portugueſe exerted all that ſpirit and valour which originally made them lords of the Indies. The emperor repaid the Dutch all the expence in cinnamon, and other productions of the iſland; and inveſted them with many privileges; and in return found himſelf exactly in the ſame dependent ſtate as he was before his victories. The Dutch fortified every one of his ports. They have beſides a grant of coaſt round the iſland, twelve miles in breadth, reckoning from the ſea *. His majeſty maintains a magnificent court at Candy, but at any time his good allies, by the ſole interdiction of the article ſalt, may make him and his ſubjects to ſubmit to any terms they are pleaſed to dictate †.
[Page 188] THE form and extent of the iſle of Ceylon, [Note: FORM OF CEYLON.] are very much undetermined. The figure which is generally adopted in the roaps, is that of a pear, with the ſtalk turned towards the north. The length, from Dondra-head ſouth, to Tellipeli north, is about two hundred and eighty miles; the greateſt breadth, or from Colombo to Trincoli, is about a hundred and ſixty. The latitudes of the two extremes in length, are between 5° 50′ 0″, and 9° 51′. Its extremes of longitude are 79° 50′, and 82° 10′.
THE iſland riſes from on every ſide to the mountains, which run in chains, principally from north to ſouth. The higheſt and rudeſt tract is the kingdom of Conde Uda, [Note: CONDE UDA.] which is impervious, by reaſon of rocks and foreſts, except by narrow paths, which are alſo impeded by gates of thorns, cloſely watched by guards. At the weſtern ſkirt of theſe mountains ſoars Hamalell, and, [Note: ADAM'S PEAK.] in the European language, Adam's Peak. It riſes pre-eminent above all the reſt, in form of a ſugar loaf. Le Brun, ii. p. 81, gives a view as it appears from the ſea. On the ſummit is a flat ſtone, with an impreſſion reſembling a human foot, two feet long, it is called that of our great and common anceſtor. The Cingaleſe, or aborigines of Ceylon, ſay that it is of Buddo, their great deity, when he aſcended into heaven, from whom they expect ſalvation. The Mahometan tradition is, that Adam was caſt down from Paradiſe (we make his Paradiſe an earthly one) and fell on this ſummit, and Eve near Judda, in Arabia. They were ſeparated two hundred years, after which he found his wife, and conducted her to his old retreat; there he died, and there he was buried, and there are two large tombs. To this day many votaries viſit his imaginary ſepulchre; the Mahometans [Page 189] out of reſpect to our common father; the Cingaleſe under the notion I have juſt mentioned. Is there not a trace of Chriſtianity in the opinion of the Cingaleſe reſpecting Buddo, of the neceſſity of a mediator, which they might have collected from the Chriſtians of St. Thomas? Here they light lamps, and offer ſacrifices, which, by antient cuſtom, are given to the Mooriſh pilgrims. All the viſitants are, in places, obliged to be drawn up by chains, ſo rude and inacceſſible is the way to this mount of ſanctity.
ALL the reſt of the iſle, except ſome marſhy flats adapted to the culture of rice, are broken into thouſands of hills, beautifully cloathed with wood. The intervening valleys are often moraſſy, or conſiſting of a rich fat ſoil; but the fertility of the open parts is aſtoniſhingly great.
THE account given by Ptolemy of the mineral or foſſil productions, is, in a great meaſure, confirmed. [Note: MINERALS.] Iron and copper are found here, as is black lead. A gold mine is ſaid to be latent in one of the great mountains, but the working prohibited by the emperor. Of gems, the ruby, ſapphire, topaz, [Note: GEMS.] the electric tourmalin, Cronſledt. Ed. Magellan. ſect. 85; and the cat's eye, or Pſeud-opal, and hyacinth, are met with. But what occaſions the neglect of the mines, and of the gems, is the attention to the great ſtaple of the iſland, the important bark of the cinnamon. Doctor Thunberg is very exact in his account of the gems of Ceylon, Travels, iv. 215. They are dug up about Matura, and the liberty of ſearch is farmed for no more [Page 190] than one hundred and eighty rix-dollars a year. Amethyſts, and an infinite variety of cryſtals and cryſtalline gems, are found in that neighborhood. The account of my able correſpondent well merits peruſal.
THE inhabitants are the Cingaleſe; [Note: INHABITANTS.] theſe are aboriginal, and differ totally in language from the people of Malabar, or any other neighboring 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, [Note: RELIGION.] and of great piety. Their religion is derived from Buddo, a proſelyte of the great Indian Foe: his doctrine ſpread over Japan and Siam, 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 ſouls: all human happineſs, ſay they, proceeds from him: all evil, from the devil, to whom he permits the power of puniſhment. When ſick, 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 ſate 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.
THE civil government is monarchical. [Note: GOVERNMENT.] The emperor, in the time of Knox, was abſolute, and clamed the moſt undiſputable [Page 191] right over the lives and fortunes of all his ſubjects. He was a 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 ſcatter 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 conſidered as ſacred 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. [Note: ROBERT KNOX.] The author Robert Knox is a writer fully to be depended on; a plain honeſt man, who, in 1657, ſailed in one of the Eaſt India Company's ſhips to Madras; and on the return, in 1659, was forced by a ſtorm into Ceylon, to refit: when his father (who was captain) went on ſhore, and, with ſixteen more of the crew, were ſeized by the emperor's ſoldiers, and detained. The Captain died in a year's time. Our author lived nineteen years in the iſland, and ſaw the greateſt part of it. At length, with difficulty, he eſcaped, and arrived ſafe in England, in September 1680. His hiſtory of the iſland, and of his adventures, were publiſhed in 1680; and appears to be the only authentic account of the internal parts, and the only one that can be entirely relied on.
THERE is in this iſland a race of wild men, called Wedas, [Note: WEDAS, OR BEDAS.] or Bedas; they ſpeak the Cingaleſe language, but inhabit the depth [Page 192] of woods, and the faſtneſſes of the mountains, and are, in all reſpects, as ſavage as the domeſticated animals are in the ſtate of nature. [Note: OR BARBARI.] I ſuſpect them to be what Solinus * calls Barbari, to diſtinguiſh them from other Indians in a ſtate of civilization; for I think I have met with elſewhere, the diſtinction between a wild people, and others in a poliſhed ſtate of manners.
THESE Wedas wear their hair long, collect it together, and tie it on the crown of the head in a bunch. Their complexions are, comparative to the other Cingaleſe, light: they inhabit the depth of woods, and their ſkins, that way, eſcape the effect of the burning ſun. They live entirely on fleſh, or on roots; the firſt they either eat raw, or dried, or preſerved in honey. They live either in caves, or under a tree, with the boughs cut and laid round about them to give notice when any wild beaſts come near, which they may hear by their ruſtling and trampling upon them †. They are like them, without law, and, as Wolf, page 259, ſays, without religion. Knox, p. p. 61, 62, aſſerts the contrary. The wilder ſort never ſhew themſelves; the tamer will enter into ſome kind of commerce with their civilized countrymen. Their dreſs is only a cloth wrapped round their waiſts, and brought between their legs. A ſmall ax is uſually ſtuck in the wrapper. They are ſkilful archers, and very nice in their arrows. The heads are of iron, made by the ſmiths of the civilized people. They have no other means of beſpeaking them, than leaving near the ſhop a pattern, cut out of a leaf, with a piece of fleſh by way of reward: If he does the [Page 193] work, they bring him more meat, otherwiſe they ſhoot him in the night.
AFTER this account of the loweſt of the human race, [Note: ELEPHANT.] I fear I ſhall injure the half reaſoning elephant, on putting him on a level with ſuch of our own ſpecies as have ſcarcely any of the reaſoning particles left. This iſland was celebrated by Pliny, lib. viii. c. 9, for its race of elephants, which were larger, and more adapted for war, than thoſe of India. He alſo gives the methods of capture *. They are, at preſent, taken in different manners, and after being tamed, are ſent to the great annual fair at Jaffanapatam. The merchants of Malabar and Bengal, have notice of the numbers and qualities of the elephants to be ſet up to ſale; ſometimes a hundred are ſold at one fair. A full grown beaſt, twelve or fourteen feet high, will be ſold at the rate of two thouſand dollars.
THE manner of taking theſe huge animals is thus deſcribed by Doctor Thunberg, iv. p. 240, who undertook a journey up the country to ſee what the Dutch call an Elephant-toil, or ſnare, "which ſerved for capturing and incloſing a great number of elephants. The toil was conſtructed of ſtout cocoa trees, almoſt in the form of a triangle, the ſide neareſt to the wood being very broad, and augmented with ſlighter trees and buſhes, which gradually extended themſelves into two long and imperceptible wings. The narrower end was ſtrongly fortified with ſtakes, planted cloſe to each other, and held firmly together by ropes, and became at length ſo narrow, that only one ſingle [Page 194] elephant could ſqueeze itſelf into the opening. When the governor gives orders for an elephant chace on the company's account, which happens at the expiration of a certain number of years, it is performed in the following manner: A great multitude of men, as well European as Cingaleſe, are ſent out into the woods, in the ſame manner in which people go out on a general hunt for wolves and bears in the north of Europe. Theſe diffuſe themſelves, and encompaſs a certain extent of land which has been diſcovered to be frequented by elephants. After this they gradually draw nearer, and with great noiſe, vociferation, and beat of drum, contract the area of the circle; in the mean time the elephants approach nearer and nearer to the ſide on which the toil is placed. Finally, torches are lighted up, in order to terrify ſtill more theſe huge animals, and force them to enter into the toil prepared for them. As ſoon as they all have entered, the toil is cloſed up behind them. The laſt time that elephants were caught in this manner, their numbers amounted to upwards of a hundred, and on former occaſions has ſometimes amounted to one hundred and thirty."
"THE firſt care of the captors, is to bring them out of the toil, and to tame them. For this purpoſe one or two tame elephants are placed at the ſide where the opening is, through which each elephant is let out ſingly, when he is immediately bound faſt, with ſtrong ropes, to the tame ones, who diſcipline him with their proboſcis, till he likewiſe becomes tame, and ſuffers himſelf to be handled and managed at pleaſure. This diſciplinary correction frequently proceeds very briſkly, and is ſometimes accompliſhed in a few days, eſpecially as the wild elephant is at the ſame time brought under control by hunger."
[Page 195] THE horſes of the iſland are deſcended from the Arabian breed. [Note: HORSE.] Theſe are kept in a wild ſtate, in certain iſlands called Ilbas de Cavallos. They are at certain times forced into the ponds and rivers, and caught by people, who, in the moſt dexterous manner, fling over any part they pleaſe a nooſe. Theſe are ſent to a fair, immediately following the elephant fair, and ſold for large prices. The peaſants make no ſort of uſe of horſes; but in their place employ the buffalo, which they catch and tame for the cart, and all their rural work *.
THE ſpecies of deer are very elegant; [Note: DEER.] here are found the ſpotted Axis, Hiſt. Quad. No 56, the middle ſized, No 57, and the great, No 58, called by the Dutch, Elk, as tall as a horſe; and the rib-faced, No 60, with a tuſk from each upper jaw, pointing downwards.
MONKIES ſwarm here; [Note: MONKEY.] the Wanderow is a ſpecies mentioned by Knox, with a great white beard from ear to ear, a black face, and dark grey body. There is a variety of the above quite white.
[Page 196] THE Rillow or Rolleway, No 122, is diſtinguiſhed by the long hair on its head, lying flat and parted. They are as large as a blood-hound, and are able to catch hold of a child, and run up with it to the top of the loftieſt trees; and after admiring it for ſome time, they will lay it gently down on the place they took it from. Theſe are very numerous, and very audacious, and will rob the corn fields and gardens in the very face of the owners, and as ſoon as they are driven out of one end of the field, will come ſkipping into the other, and fill both their bellies and hands. Of late years it has been diſcovered, by a Ruſſian tanner, that their ſkins might be dreſſed, and made into ſhoes.
THE tiger, [Note: TIGER.] No 180, is too frequent in Ceylon. Theſe animals are ſhot with croſs-bows, placed in their haunts. Pliny ſays, that tigers and elephants were made by the people the executioners of their kings, whenever they had offended them. They appointed a ſolemn hunting match, and expoſed their monarch to the fury of thoſe beaſts.
THE Mungo, or Indian Ichneumon, No 255, is found here. This weeſel is famous for its antipathy to the Naja, or Cobra de Capello, and for its inſtant recourſe to the antidote to the fatal [Page 197] bite, on its receiving a wound from that dreadful ſerpent. The plants it ſeeks relief from, are the Ophiorrhiza Mungos, Strychnos Colubrina, and Ophioxylon ſerpentinum. The laſt is figured in Burman. Zeylan. 141. tab. 64, and in Rumph. Amboin. vi. 25, tab. xvi.
THE Naja is found all over the hotter parts of India, [Note: NAJA.] and is diſtinguiſhed by a mark on the back of the head, of the form of a pair of ſpectacles, alſo by the power of dilating the ſkin of the head into the form of a hood, from which it has gotten the name of the Cobra de Capello, or hooded ſnake. They grow from four to eight or nine feet in length, and are juſtly dreaded by the Indians. Their bite is generally mortal, yet there is a remedy (if timely applied) that has its efficacy. The mortal effect ſometimes takes place in a quarter of an hour, ſometimes in two or three hours. In its fatal ſacculus it ſeems to contain the poiſons of the Seps, one of Lucan's deadly liſt *. An univerſal gangrene takes place, and the fleſh falls from the bones; convulſions ſometimes bring on death, according to the degree of virus, on which the ſymptoms depend.
THIS ſpecies never diſtends its hood but when it is agitated by ſome paſſion, ſuch as fear, or rage, it then quits its creeping attitude, raiſes the fore part of the body a third of its whole length, ſpreads its hood, and moves its head around, darting a fiery glare to every part, often remaining in all other reſpects immoveable; or its motion becomes ſlow, ſteady, and cautious, [Page 198] ſo that in India it is held to be the emblem of Prudence; it is alſo held in veneration equal to a deity. The legends of the country are full of ſtrange tales relating to its actions; they call it Nella Pambou, or the good ſerpent; it is often repreſented twiſted round the deities, under the name of Calengam, in memory of the victory of one of their gods, over an enormous Naja.
THIS certainly is not the Deaf Adder. The Indian jugglers, eſpecially thoſe of Malabar, have a power of taming theſe dreadful animals, and inſtructing them to dance, after the inharmonious and ſlow air of their flagelets. The ſerpent firſt ſeems aſtoniſhed, then begins to rear himſelf, and ſometimes by a gentle motion of the head, and with diſtended hood, ſeems to liſten with pleaſure to the notes. This is ſaid not to be peculiar to thoſe which are accuſtomed to the exerciſe, but even the ſnakes newly taken, will ſhew the ſame diſpoſition, and fling themſelves into the ſame attitudes.
I SHALL mention here two or three Indian ſerpents, deſcribed by M. d'Obſonville, notwithſtanding I am uncertain of their native place; one is called, in French, le Javclot, a ſpecies of Jaculus, of a green color, five or ſix feet long, and moſt fatal in its bite. It generally lurks, extended or ſuſpended, among the branches of trees. So ſituated, that they either can dart on their prey, ſuch as little birds or inſects, or remove themſelves with * [Page 199] a ſpring from bough to bough. It does not appear that they attack mankind, but rather glide from his approach: but the Indians have the ſame notion as the Arabs have, of its being a flying ſerpent.
THE Poiſon-Snake is only two feet long, and very ſlender, [Note: POISON-SNAKE.] and freckled with pale brown or red. Its bite brings death as rapidly as Lucan's Volucer ſerpens. Our author ſaw a Gentoo bit by one. The ſufferer could only give a ſhriek, and advance a few ſteps, when he fell down dead.
THE Burning-ſerpent ſeems to poſſeſs the dreadful poiſon of three ſpecies: [Note: BURNING-SERPENT.] It gives by its bite the ſymptoms of raging fire, like the Torrida dipſas. It cauſes, at other times, the blood to flow through every pore, like the Hoemorrhoïs; at other times, to cauſe ſwelling like the Preſter, and to incite racking pains; at length, by a happy numbneſs, death brings kindly relief to the miſerable ſufferer. The Reverend Edward Terry * ſaw a criminal put to death at Amedavad, with all the effects of the bite of the Dipſas and of the Preſter. This ſpecies much reſembles the laſt in form; both inhabit dry, hot, and rocky places; and live on inſects full of ſaline and acrimonious particles, which cannot fail of exalting the virus of the ſerpents that make them their food.
[Page 200] THE vaſt Boa, [Note: BOA.] the Anacandaia of the Ceyloneſe, is common here, and is compared for ſize to the maſt of a ſhip *. Quintus Curtius mentions it among the monſtrous ſerpents which aſtoniſhed the army of Alexander in his march into India. This is common to Africa, and the greater iſlands of India. It is the ſerpent which Livy, Dec. ii. c. 16. feigns to have given Regulus ſo much employ on the banks of the Bagrada.
To what I have ſaid of the Cobra Manilla, at page 82, I may here add an inſtance of the rapid fatality of its bite: A gentleman reſident in India, ſent his ſervant on an errand into a cloſet; the man cried out, that ſomething had pricked his finger; before his maſter could reach him, he fell down dead on the floor! Perhaps the ſame with the poiſon ſnake?
THE Lacerta Gekko is a ſpecies juſtly dreaded for the poiſon, which exudes even from the ends of its toes, and which infects, to a degree of fatality, any thing it paſſes over; its urine and ſaliva are equally dangerous; its voice, which is acute, like that of a cricket, flings a whole company into conſternation. The Indians obtain from it a deadly poiſon for their arrows. They [Page 201] tie one of theſe animals pendent by the tail, and provoke it till it emits its deadly ſaliva on the point of the weapons, which kill with the ſlighteſt wound. This dreadful reptile ſeldom attains a foot in length.
THE Draco volans *, [Note: FLYING LIZARD.] the animal which bears the dreadful name of Dragon, is no more than an innocent little lizard, furniſhed with membranes, extending along the ſides in form of wings, with which it makes ſhort flights from tree to tree, chirruping as it goes. Beneath its chin is a long ſlender appendage; the tail is very long and ſlender, but the length of the whole creature is not more than nine inches; and this is the only animal that bears really the form feigned by poets and writers of romance for that of the tremendous dragon.
THE inſects of Ceylon are of uncommon ſizes: [Note: INSECTS.] ſcorpions have been found there eight inches long, excluſive of the legs; Scolopendrae ſeven inches in length; and of ſpiders, the Aranea avicularia, Seb. muſ. i. tab. 69, with legs four inches long, and the body covered with thick black hair, a ſpecies that makes a web ſtrong enough to entangle the ſmaller ſpecies of birds, on which it feeds.
THE creſted porcupine, No 314, is an animal of this iſland. [Note: PORCUPINE.] A bezoar is ſometimes found in its ſtomach: the reign of its pretended Alexipharmic qualities is now over. Tavernier gave five hundred crowns for one, which he ſold to advantage. It is [Page 202] a mere concretion like the human calculus, and of courſe of no kind of effect.
THE perfuming ſhrew, [Note: SHREW.] No 424, is a native of this and others of the Indian iſles. Its muſky odor is ſo ſubtil, as to pervade every thing it runs over. It will totally ſpoil the wine in a wellcorked bottle, by barely paſſing over the ſurface.
THE Talgoi is a ſpecies of ant-bear, [Note: ANT-BEAR.] or eater; we cannot aſcertain the ſpecies, unleſs it be the ſame with the Cape, No 466. A Mr. Strachan, in the Ph. Tranſ. Abr. v. 180, gives an account of one found in this iſland, with the ſame manners as the others, of its laying its ſlimy tongue before the ants' neſt, and pulling it into its mouth as ſoon as it finds it covered with thoſe inſects. If it is not the ſame it is a new ſpecies. In the Faunula Indica I have made two, this and the Obſcure *.
THE cordated bat, [Note: BAT.] No 499, with its heart-ſhaped appendage to the noſe; and the ſtriped, or Kiriwoula, No 507, inhabit [Page 203] Ceylon. The monſtrous ſpecies called the Ternate is very frequent here.
MANY of the above mentioned animals are, in all probability, common to the continent of India, and doubtleſſly many more which have eſcaped the notice of travellers: there is all the appearance of Ceylon having been united with the continent; and that the gulph of Manaar was once ſolid land. The Maldives, and Laccadives, ſeem likewiſe to have been fragments of the once far extended continent.
BIRDS, [Note: BIRDS.] which have the locomotive power ſo ſtrongly in their formation, have a leſs chance to be local than the preceding claſs. The ornithology of my friend Latham, is as unerring a guide, as human imperfection can produce. In reſpect to the birds, I ſhall here, and elſewhere, only point out thoſe on whom nature hath impreſſed any characters worthy of philoſophic attention.
To ſhun prolixity, I avoid giving (in general) deſcriptions of either beaſts or birds. In reſpect to the firſt, I refer entirely to the third edition of my Hiſtory of Quadrupeds, in which I flatter myſelf the reader will find them amply treated. As to the general enumeration of birds, it will be found at page 67 of my Indian Zoology, with references to Mr. Latham; or, in caſes where any ſpecies are common to Great Britain, to the Britiſh Zoology. The liſt of the known quadrupeds of India, its fiſhes, reptiles, and inſects, are alſo given in the ſame work.
[Page 204] THERE are ſeveral ſorts of falcons in this iſland, [Note: FALCON.] many of which are trained for the purſuit of game. There is a white ſpecies, with an elegant pendent creſt of two feathers. My friend Mr. Loten, long Governor in Ceylon, could not give any account of any part excepting the head.
Wolf ſpeaks of a white hawk, which is, with the Malabars, a bird of augury, for if they ſee him fly over their heads in a morning, they will not that day either undertake a journey, or any buſineſs of moment. This may be perhaps the ſpecies with a white creſt.
AMONG birds of elegance of color may be mentioned, [Note: INDIAN ROLLER.] the Indian Roller, Edw. 326, and the ſwallow-tail'd, 327, with its two ſingular external feathers in the tail, of vaſt length.
AMONG groteſque birds may be reckoned the two ſpecies of Buceros, [Note: BUCEROS.] or horn-bill; the Rhinoceros, Edw. 281, called from the ſingular recurvated acceſſary beak, by the Dutch, Dubbeld Bek; and the Wreathed, Latham, i. p. 358, called in Ceylon, the Year Bird, being ſuppoſed to have annually an addition of a wreath to its bill. They make a great noiſe when they fly, and have a ſluggiſh flight, perch on the higheſt trees, feed on berries, and are reckoned very ſweet food.
THE golden oriole, [Note: ORIOLE.] Br. Zool. ii. App. 626, is an European bird, is called in India the Mango bird, from its feeding on the fruit of that tree. The bee-eater, Merops Apiaſter, and the greater redſtart, Latham, i. p. 176, are alſo common to India.
[Page 205] THE faſciated Curucui, Ind. Zool. tab. iv. and the ſpotted, [Note: CURUCUI.] Brown's Illuſtr. tab. xiii, are elegant birds from Mr. Loten's Collection, as is the Zcylan Barbet, and the red crown'd, Brown's Illuſir. tab. xiv. xv.
THE European Hoopoo is frequent there. [Note: HOOPOO.] I may ſay that our common nut-hatch, and creeper, the wheat-ear, the wry-neck, the yellow wren, the houſe ſwallow, the woodcock, and ſnipe, are alſo natives of India. The creepers of this iſland, the Ceylon, Latham, ii. 712, and the Lotenian, 715, and the green-gold, 716, are elegant little birds.
Knox mentions a ſmall green Parrot found in Ceylon, [Note: PARROT.] but not remarkable for its loquacity. The Romans were very fond of the parrot kind, which they muſt have had from the eaſtern ſide. The Indians (Barbari) profited of this paſſion, and made them an article of commerce. The Wedas are moſt ſkilful archers, and probably do the ſame. Theſe birds inhabit the foreſts, in which, ſays Solinus, c. 65, the trees were ſo lofty, that they were beyond the reach of the arrows aimed at their inhabitants. Parrots were eſteemed by the Indians as ſacred, particularly by the Brachmans. *.
[Page 206] IT is impoſſible not to mention the tailor bird, [Note: TAILOR-BIRD.] Ind. Zool. tab. viii, a warbler; on account of its wonderful neſt; my own account of its oeconomy, taken from the Indian Zoology, page 44, deſerves attention. It is thus introduced:
‘HAD Providence left the feathered tribe unendowed with any particular inſtinct, the birds of the torrid zone would have built their neſts in the ſame unguarded manner as thoſe of Europe: but there, the leſſer ſpecies, having a certain preſcience of the dangers that ſurround them, and of their own weakneſs, ſuſpend their neſt at the extreme branches of the trees: they are conſcious of inhabiting a climate replete with enemies to them and their young; with ſnakes that twine up the bodies of the trees, and apes that are perpetually in ſearch of prey; but, heaven-inſtructed, they clude the gliding of the one, and the activity of the other.’
‘THE brute creation in the torrid zone, are more at enmity with one another, than in other climates; and the birds are obliged to exert unuſual artifice in placing their little broods out of the reach of an invader. Each aims at the ſame end, though by different means. Some form their penfile neſt in ſhape of a purſe, deep, and open at top; others, with a hole in the ſide; and others, ſtill more cautious, with an entrance at the very bottom, forming their lodge near the ſummit.’
‘BUT the little ſpecies we deſcribe, ſeems to have greater diffidence than any of the others; it will not truſt its neſt even to the extremity of a ſlender twig, but makes one more advance to ſafety, by ſixing it to the leaf itſelf.’
[Page 207] ‘IT picks up a dead leaf, and, ſurpriſing to relate, ſews it to the ſide of a living one, its ſlender bill being its needle, and its thread ſome fine ſibres; the lining, feathers, goſſamer, and down. Its eggs are white: the color of the bird, light yellow; its length three inches; its weight only three ſixteenths of an ounce; ſo that the materials of the neſt, and its own ſize, are not likely to draw down a habitation that depends on ſo ſlight a tenure.’
Two fly-catchers, of uncommon form, [Note: FLY-CATCHER.] attract the eyes of all ſtrangers: ſmall birds, with tails of enormous length, darting through the air like arrows. Both are engraved by Mr. Edwards, one in tab. 113, of a black and white color, with a cuneiform tail; the other with a rufous back and tail, and two feathers exceeding the others in length by near nine inches.
As theſe are remarkable for the length of their tails, a pie, engraven by Mr. Edwards, in tab. 324, is diſtinguiſhed for the ridiculous brevity of that part, and alſo for the beauty of its colors. Linnaeus calls it Corvus Brachyurus.
PIGEONS in India aſſume the moſt beautiful colors. [Note: PIGEON.] The pompadour pigeon of this iſland, Brown's Illuſtr. tab. xix. xx. the general color of which is a fine pale green; the male diſtinguiſhed by having the coverts of the wings of a fine pompadour color, is one proof. I mention this in particular, on account of its hiſtory; but more ſo for that of the magnificent tree on which it uſually alights to ſeed.
THIS ſpecies ſwarms in certain ſeaſons in the iſland of Ceylon, [Note: FICUS INDICA.] particularly when the fruit of the Ficus Indica, or broad [Page 208] leaved Waringen, is ripe. They alight in vaſt multitudes on that groteſque tree, and are caught with bird-lime by the natives, who prepare the twigs againſt their arrival. Mr. Loten informed me, that when he was governor in Ceylon, one morning at break of day he ſaw ſome hundreds entangled on the boughs of the great Waringen tree, before his window, and ordered one of his Ceyloneſe ſervants to take them off. They are excellent food, and are often ſhot by the Europeans. They are obſerved never to alight on the ground, but to perch on high trees, and give this the preference, on account of the fruit. It is for the ſame reaſon the haunt of various other birds; but notwithſtanding the ſweetneſs of the fruit, it is neglected by mankind.
THIS tree immediately attracted the attention of the antients. Oneſicritus, the philoſopher who followed Alexander the Great in his expedition into India, commanded his galley, and recorded his actions, firſt gives us an account of this wonderful tree. For this, at leſt, he does not merit the ſevere remark made on him by Strabo, lib. xv. p. 1022, who ſeems incredulous to all he ſays; poſſibly there may be other points in which he may be alſo defended. This tree riſes high in the air, then drops its boughs, which take root, and ſucceſſively create new ſtems, till a vaſt extent is covered with the arched ſhade. It is even ſaid to form of itſelf a foreſt of arched avenues, and a labyrinth of alleys, impenetrable by the rays of the vertical ſun; perhaps the extent may be exaggerated. We will content ourſelves with giving the dimenſions of one near Manjee, weſt of Patna; the diameter of which was from three hundred and ſixty three feet, to three hundred and ſeventy three: the [Page 209] circumference of the ſhadow at noon, eleven hundred and ſixteen; that of the ſeveral ſtems, which were no more than fifty or ſixty, nine hundred and twenty-one. Hundreds of people may find a comfortable retreat beneath its foliage. Such is the account given by the veracious Mr. Marſden, in page 131 of his excellent hiſtory of Sumatra.
Pliny, lib. xii. c. 5, gives the fulleſt deſcription; he was beſt qualified, for by the time he lived, the Romans got tolerably well acquainted with the country. His account is elegant and faithful: ſpeaking of the trees of India, he ſays—‘Ficus ibi exilia poma habet. Ipſa ſe ſemper ſerens, vaſtis diffunditur ramis: quorum imi adeo in terram curvantur, ut annuo ſpatio infigantur, novamque ſibi propaginem faciant circa parentem in orbem, quodam opere topiario. Intra ſepem eam, aeſtivant paſtores, opacam pariter, et munitam vallo arboris, decora ſpecie ſubter intuenti, proculve, fornicato ambitu. Superiores ejus rami in excelſum emicant, ſilvoſa multitudine, vaſto matris corpore, ut lx. p. pleraeque orbe colligant, umbra vero bina ſtadia operiant. Foliorum latitudo peltae effigiem Amazonicae habet: ea cauſa fructum integens, creſcere prohibet. Raruſque eſt, nec fabae magnitudinem excedens; ſed per ſolia ſolibus coctus proedulci ſapore, dignus miraculo arboris.’ He concludes with ſaying, that it was found chiefly about the Accſines, the modern Jenauh, which, falling into the famous Hydaſpes, the Behut, proves its growth in thoſe days, at leſt as far north as Lat. 30° 30′. It did not eſcape the notice of Alexander the Great, who, after his defeat of Porus, admired it on his march to farther ſlaughters. [Page 210] After the ſine deſcription given by the Roman naturaliſt, I ſhall not injure Quintus Curtius, by tranſcribing, from Book IX. ch. 1, the few very inferior lines he has written on the ſubject.
IT is now diſcovered to the very ſouth of India, and ſpreads through many of the iſlands, even to the Moluccas. They are frequently planted in market places, and are therefore called, Waringen daun Bazaar; their extenſive ſhade proving very grateful to all who frequent thoſe ſpots of buſineſs. The Portugueſe, from its multitude of roots, ſtyle it Arbor de raix. It is by the Engliſh uſually called the Banyans tree, or more properly Yogey tree, being that under the ſhade of which the religious of that fect uſually practiſe their ſenſeleſs auſterities. Pliny, lib. vii. c. 2, deſcribes them under the name of Gymnoſophiſtae. Philoſophos eorum, quos Gymnoſophiſtas vocant ab exortu ad occaſum praeſtare, contuentes ſolem immobilibus oculis: ferventibus harenis toto die alternis pedibus inſiſtere. Others again have ſuppoſed this tree to have been the tree of life, and to have furniſhed the leaves with which our firſt parents betrayed their ſenſe of ſhame after the fall. Milton adopts the laſt opinion, and gives us the following beautiful verſion of the Latin naturaliſt:—
SOON they choſeThe fig tree, not the kind for fruit renown'd,But ſuch as at this day to Indians known,In Malabar or Decan ſpreads her arms,Branching ſo broad and long, that in the groundAbout the mother; a pillar'd ſhade,High over-arch'd, and echoing walks between:There oſt the Indian herdſman, ſhunning heat,Shelters in cool, and tends his paſturing herdsAt loop-holes cut through thickeſt ſhade.
AUTHORS who have treated, or given figures of this magniſicent tree, are Rheede, in his Hortus Malabaricus, iii. p. 85, tab. lxiii.; Rumphius, in vol. iii. p. 127. tab. lxxxiv.; Boullaye de Gouz, at p. 194.; Linſchotan, in his curious travels, at p. 68, and Cateſby in his Hiſtory of Carolina, iii. p. 18, and tab. xviii.? Mr. Hodge's Travels, tab. p. 27. Finally, I may mention the figures in Cluſius's Exotics, p. 2, and that in Gerard, p. 1512, (copied from the former) but muſt obſerve that both ſeem more regular than nature will admit.
THAT magnificent bird the peacock ſwarms in Ceylon: [Note: PEACOCK.] Its legs are much longer, and its tail of far greater length in its native ſtate, than they are with us. This moſt elegant and ſuperb of the feathered creation, is confined (in the ſtate of nature) to India, and adds highly to the beauty of the rich foreſts of that vaſt country, and ſome of its iſlands. It inhabits moſt parts of the continent, even as high as Lat. 31° 14′ N. ſuppoſing it to be yet found on the Hydraotes, the modern Rauwce. It was imported from India into Greece, as Aelian ſays, by the barbarians, by which he muſt mean the natives of the country of that bird. A male and female were valued at Athens at a [Page 212] thouſand drachmae, or £.32. 5. 10. Samos poſſibly was the next place they were known at, where they were preſerved about the temple of Juno, being birds ſacred to that goddeſs: but their uſe was afterwards permitted to mortals, for Gellius, in his Noctes Atticae, c. 16, commends the excellency of the Samian peacocks.
BUT they were known in Judaea many years before the days of Alexander. The monarch, firſt in all human wiſdom, and who ſhined pre-eminently in the knowlege of natural hiſtory, imported them in his Tharſhiſh navies, which made a three years voyage to procure for Solomon the rich productions of the Eaſt, and the objects of the ſtudy he ſo fondly cultivated. There can be no doubt but that the birds imported were peacocks, not Aethiopian parrots, as has been conjectured, natives of a country nearly bordering on the very ſea from which his navies took their departure. Apes, ebony, and ſpices might have been procured from Africa, on one hand, or Arabia on the other; but peacocks and pretious ſtones, ſeem at all times the monopoly of India.
THE Habun Koekella, [Note: WOOD-FOWL.] or wood-fowl, Ind. Zool. tab. vii. ſecond edition, is found near Colombo, but is not common. It is at once diſtinguiſhed by its double ſpurs: in ſize it is equal to a common fowl.
AMONG the aquatic birds is the great white-headed Ibis, [Note: IBIS.] Ind. Zool. tab. xi, which makes a ſnapping noiſe with its bill; it loſes its fine roſeate color in the rainy ſeaſon. Allied to the wood curlew of the Arctic Zoology, ii. No 360, a native of the Braſils, and ſouthern parts of North America.
THE Anbinga, tab. xv, cloſes this brief ornithology. [Note: ANHINGA.] It is the terror of paſſengers; it lurks in thick buſhes by the water ſide, and, darting out its long and ſlender neck, terrifies them with the idea of ſome ſerpent going to inflict a mortal wound.
I WILL not attempt to enumerate the fiſhes of Ceylon; [Note: FISHES.] there do not ſeem to be any that are local. It appears to me, that thoſe of India ſpread from at leſt the parallel of Cape Comorin, over the vaſt ſea that comprehends the ſpace from thence to the Molucca iſles, fills the Bay of Bengal, and ſurrounds the great iſles which form the Indian Archipelago. In the courſe of this volume I ſhall point out thoſe which, in form or colors, exhibit the moſt wonderful proofs of the operations of nature.
I SHALL here only mention the few which I received from Sir Joſeph Banks and Mr. Loten, as authenticated ſpecies. The firſt is the tiger-ſhark, Ind. Zool. tab. xvi, fifteen feet long, finely marked with white bands on a duſky ground, ſaid to feed on ſhells and cruſtacea.
[Page 214] A VERY large ſpecies of ſword-fiſh, (different from that deſcribed in the Br. Zool. iii. No 68), is found in theſe and other of the Indian ſeas. There is a very fine ſpecimen of it in the Britiſh Muſcum, which is elegantly figured in Doctor Shaw's Naturaliſt's Miſcellany, vol. ii. tab. 88. It grows, as I have been informed, ſometimes to the length of thirty feet: It is at perpetual enmity with the whale tribe; and a moſt dangerous enemy, for it will ſink beneath thoſe monſtrous animals, and riſing with great force, transfix them with its vaſt ſnout. There have been inſtances of its miſtaking a ſhip for one of the cetaceous genus. An Eaſt India-man had its bottom pierced through by a ſword-fiſh, and the weapon quite embedded to the very baſe in the timber. The fiſh was killed by the violence of the ſhock; but had it been able to withdraw the ſword, the veſſel probably muſt have ſunk in conſequence of the leak. The timber, with the weapon lodged in it, is preſerved in the Muſeum, to authenticate the fact. This verifies the report of Pliny, lib. xxxii. c. 2, reſpecting the common ſword-fiſh, in caſes wholly ſimilar. XIPHIAM, id eſt, GLADIUM, roſtro mucronato eſſe: ab hoc navis perfoſſas mergi in oceano ad locum MAURITANIAE, qui gotta vocetur, non procul Lixo flumine. Oppian gives a true account of the Xiphias, in Book ii. L. 462, iii. 547. The laſt has a very entertaining deſcription of the manner in which the antient Maſſilians took theſe ſingular fiſhes.
[Page 215] WHILE I am in this element, [Note: MONSTROUS SEPIA.] I ſhall remark that the Sepia Octopodia, Br. Zool. iv. No 44, grows in the Indian ſeas to a moſt amazing ſize. A friend of mine, long reſident among the Indian iſles, and a diligent obſerver of nature, informed me that the natives aſſirm, that ſome have been ſeen two fathoms broad over their centre, and that each arm was nine fathoms long. When the Indians navigate their little boats, they go in dread of them; and leſt theſe animals ſhould fling their arms over and ſink them, they never fail without an ax to cut them off.
THESE may parallel the enormous Polypus, or Sepia, deſcribed by Pliny, lib. ix. c. 30, which made its nightly invaſions on the magazines of ſalt-fiſh at Carteia, and long put both men and dogs at defiance.
Ceylon is peculiarly happy in its Flora; [Note: VEGETABLES.] the trees and vegetables of India ſeem crowded within its limits. There may be local vegetables in this iſland, and others again on the continent; but I fear my deficiency in botanical knowledge will deprive me of the power of pointing them out. Ceylon has been likewiſe peculiarly happy in its floriſts, who have enumerated and deſcribed its vegetable treaſures. From their labors I ſhall mention thoſe of moſt ſtriking uſe, beauty, or ſingularity, with references to the authorities and figures. My chief guide will be the Flora Zeylanica, compiled by Linnaeus from the manuſcripts of Paul Herman, who from the year 1670 to 1677 had made ſeveral botanizing journeys through the iſland, with great hazard to himſelf, and at vaſt expence to the ſtates of Holland. Theſe had been loſt above fifty years, and then diſcovered and communicated, in 1745, by Auguſtus Gunther, apothecary [Page 216] at Copenhagen, to Linnaeus, who reduced the plants into ſyſtem, and publiſhed the Flora at Stockholm, in 1747. Burman favored us with his Theſaurus Zeylanicus in 1737, a quarto, enriched with 110 plates. The Hortus Malabaricus was publiſhed at the expence of the munificent Governor of the coaſts of Malabar, Rheede von Draakenſtein, in twelve volumes folio, between the years 1678 and 1693: And the Herbarium Amboinenſe, in ſix volumes folio, compoſed by the Pliny of India, George Everhard Rumphius, was publiſhed between the year 1741 and 1750, under the care of the able Burman. Theſe are works to which I ſhall frequently refer: the word Rheede will denote the ſpecies to be a native of Malabar; Rumph. that it is a native alſo of Amboina. But to proceed to the enumeration:
Arbor Triſtis, [Note: NYCTANTHES.] Gerard, 1527; Manjapumeram, Rheede, i. 35, Raii Hiſt. Pl. 1698. It has the appearance of an olive. It drops [Page 217] its boughs at the riſing of the ſun, and is only cheerful in the night. The Indian poets make it to have been the Daphne of India, once beloved by the ſun, whoſe embraces ſhe rejected like the Ovidian Daphne.
Grandiflorum, Merian, tab. xlvi, inhabits Malabar; [Note: JASMINUM.] this iſland and Sumatra are famed for the rich odor of their flowers. The J. Azoricum, Burm. Zeyl. tab. lviii, found its way from hence to the Azores.
Indica, Rumph. Amboin. ii. tab. xxiii, Balam-pulli, Rheede, [Note: TAMARINDUS.] i. tab. 33, Raii Hiſt. 1748. That noble tree grows to a vaſt ſize here. The Dutch clergy often pitch their pulpits beneath the ſhade, and deliver their diſcourſes to their great congregations ſecure from the ſun. Providence ſeems to have given this ſalutary and cooling fruit to the torrid zone, as the moſt refreſhing at all times, and moſt efficacious in ſevers, dyſenteries, and Cholera morbus, diſeaſes ſo frequent in India.
Coccinea is a beautiful ſhrub with ſcarlet flowers, [Note: IXORA.] engraven at page 169, of the Botanical Magazine, and in Burm. Zeyl. tab. 57. The flowers grow in rich rounded cluſters, and bright as a red-hot coal. It is therefore called by Rumphius, Flamma ſylvarum. It is frequent in Ceylon, where it inhabits watery places. Peacocks are particularly fond of the berries.
Turpethum, [Note: CONVOLVULUS.] Blackwall, tab. 397, Gerard; Turpeth is a name given to the root by the old Arabian phyſicians; it was much in uſe among them, and the Indian, in medicine. It was a ſtrong cathartic, and applied in dropſical, gouty, and rheumatic caſes, to expel the tough ſerous humours from the diſtant parts; it is not at preſent in our diſpenſary.
IT takes the generic name from its quality of opening its flowers at four in the evening, [Note: MIRABILIS.] and cloſing them in the morning till the ſame hour returns, when they again expand in the evening at the ſame hour. Many people tranſplant them from the woods into their gardens, and uſe them as a dial or clock, eſpecially in cloudy weather *.
Jalapa, v. tab. 89, is a climbing plant; notwithſtanding its trivial, its uſes are quite unknown. It is common both to India and Peru. The famous Jalap comes from an American plant, the Convolvulus Jalapa.
Inſanum, v. tab. 85. This is the commoneſt, [Note: SOLANUM.] but pooreſt food univerſally uſed in India. It has been long ſince introduced into Spain, where it is an univerſal ingredient in madediſhes, and called by the Spaniards, Berengenas. The Arabians ſay, that Mahomet found this plant in Paradiſe, which makes his followers particularly fond of it. S. Indicum is another ſpecies, figured in Burm. Zeyl. tab. 102.
Barbatum, Rumph. Amboin. 5, tab. 88, and C. Fruteſcens, [Note: CAPSICUM.] fig. 1, 3, 4, of the ſame table. Theſe Capſicums have a much more hot taſte and acrimony in the torrid zone, than even with us; and are univerſally uſed in the diſhes of the Indians, but the exceſs always renders them wrinkled and chilly, and brings on premature old age.
Nux Vomica, Rumph. Amboin. ii. tab. 38, [Note: STRYCHNOS.] grows to a large ſize; the kernel is ſlat, incloſed in a round fruit, ſee Blackwall, tab. 395. It was formerly kept in the ſhops of our apothecaries, [Page 220] but being a rank poiſon, and liable to abuſe, is now totally rejected, eſpecially as it was found to be of no ſort of uſe.
HERE are four ſpecies of RHAMNUS, [Note: RHAMNUS.] Lineatus, Burman. Zeyl. tab. 88, Napeca, Rumph. Amboin. ii. tab. 42, or Vidara Laut; the chief uſe is to detect wizards, to whom is given to drink an infuſion of the root; if it makes them ſick, they are ſuppoſed guilty, if not they ſtand acquitted; much as wiſe an experiment, as that of ſwimming of witches in our iſland.
Indica, [Note: MANGIFERA.] Rumph. Amboin. i. tab. 25, 26. This tree, valuable for its fruit, grows to a vaſt ſize, and aſſumes the habit of an oak, and is a tree of the firſt beauty. The fruit is oblong, and ſometimes grows to the ſize of a gooſe's egg. When ripe, it is of a yellow and red color, and contains a large kernel, which is covered with a moſt juicy pulp. It is reckoned (after the Ananas) the moſt delicious fruit in India, and very few other fruits are eaten in the hot ſeaſon. It is often dreſſed different ways in made diſhes. Of them is alſo made a mango-rob, moſt acceptable to ſick people. It is often brought over to England pickled. The timber is not of any value. This tree is not found in the Molucca iſles.
Manghas, [Note: CERBERA.] arbor Lactaria, ii. tab. 81. This alſo grows to a great ſize, and in the weſtern parts of the different iſles. The fruit is far leſſer than the Mango. It is of an oval form, with one ſide concave, as if a piece had been bitten out. This, the Cingaleſe ſay, was the fatal apple taſted by Eve, whom they [Page 221] feign reſided along with her mate in this iſland: They therefore call it Adam's apple. It lies under the repute of being of a moſt poiſonous quality; but that notion is effectually exploded by Rumphius. It is even taken, in form of an infuſion, internally. The kernel may be noxious when eaten to exceſs, and even fatal, which may be the caſe with the beſt things. In Malabar it is called Odallam. Rheede, i. p. 71, aſſerts, that it is a common poiſon, and that a very ſmall portion proves immediately fatal. The wood is of no value: if wounded, it plentifully exudes a milky liquor. The kernel is ſometimes preſſed for the oil, with which candles are made; but they emit a moſt rank ſmell.
THE BROMELIA Ananas, Rumph. Amboin. v. tab. 81, [Note: BROMELIA.] grows wild in many of the Indian iſles; ſuch as Celebes, Amboina, and even the Philippine iſles *: It was not, therefore, introduced from America. It is common to both worlds, and was originally brought from the Braſils into Spain. It is now frequent in Europe; but cultivated with greateſt ſucceſs in England. The natives of Macaſſar call it Pangram. The name Nanas, and Naſſa, which is uſed in ſome places, is caught from the Braſilian Nana, which was changed by the Portugueſe into Ananas, and conferred on the plant, which they found alſo in India. This is the moſt delicious fruit of the country, and long ſince cultivated with great attention, by transferring it into the richeſt ſoils.
Superba, [Note: GLORIOSA.] Com. Hort. i. tab. 69, Ind. Zool. tab. 3, well merits the pompous name. The Cingaleſe ſtyle it Najajala, poſſibly from the root being poſſeſſed of a poiſon equally potent with the fatal ſerpent Naja.
THE tuberoſe, [Note: POLIANTHES.] POLIANTHES tuberoſa, Rumph. Amboin. v. tab. 98, a flower of too exquiſite a ſcent for the majority of people. It emits its odor moſt ſtrongly in the night. The Malayans therefore ſtyle it Sandal Malam, or the miſtreſs of the night; comparing it to a frail fair, viſiting her lover in the dark, ſweetly perfumed, and highly dreſſed. It was introduced into England in 1664, and is mentioned by our Evelyn, that glory of his days, by the name of Tuberoſe Hyacinth, in the Auguſt of his Kalendarium Hortenſe.
Rotang, [Note: CALAMUS.] Rumph. Amboin. v. tab. 51 to tab. 56, are the varieties of plants which yield the canes which are uſed to diſtend the hoops of the fair ſex in Europe. They grow to lengths incredible, ſome creeping along the ground, others climbing to the ſummits of the higheſt trees, and form a moſt groteſque ſimilitude of cordage.
WE now are to touch on the glory of Ceylon, [Note: LAURUS.] perhaps of the vegetable kingdom. The LAURUS cinnamomum, Burman. Zeyl. tab. 27, Raii Hiſt. Pl. ii. 1554 to 1563, Woodville, i. 80, Gerard, [Page 223] 1532. This is an elegant ſpecies of laurel that grows to the height of twenty feet; the flowers ſmall, and of a yellowiſh color: the fruit pulpy, with an oblong ſtone.
THIS valuable tree grows in greater quantity in the iſle of Ceylon, than any other place. It grows wild in the woods, without any culture: every province does not poſſeſs it, there is none in that of Jaffanapatam, nor Manaar, but abound in moſt of the internal parts, and about Negumbo and Gale. A pigeon, I think the Pompadour, Brown's Illuſtr. tab. 19, is the ſpecies, which, by carrying the fruit to different places, is a great diſſeminator of this valuable tree. I do not believe it to be peculiar to this iſland; but the bark is infinitely ſuperior in quality to any other. Botaniſts enumerate numbers of kinds, but they only vary being taken from trees of different ages, or growing in different ſoils, and ſituations. It may be found in Malabar, Sumatra, &c. but is depretiated by another name, Caſſia, and Canella, to our unſpeakable loſs; [Note: CINNAMON, OR CASSIA.] Cinnamomum was a more dignified name. The antients ſpeak of it under that title, in ſuch high terms, that the Dutch wiſely retained the name, which gave it greateſt reſpectability. Our countryman, the late Taylor White, Eſq. in Ph. Tranſ. vol. l. p. 860, and Mr. Combes, reſident in Sumatra, in page 873, are entirely of opinion, that Cinnamon and Caſſia do not ſpecifically differ. Mr. White's account is accompanied with ſome very good figures of the leaves of the former.
THE celebrated bark is the inner, and is reckoned the moſt perfect when taken from trees of ſeven or eight years old, if they grow in a wet ſlimy ſoil; but thoſe which grow in the warm white [Page 224] ſand of the vallies, come to maturity in five years. Seba ſays, that the ages of the trees are fourteen, fifteen, or ſixteen years. It is the heat which gives the bark that quilled form in which it comes over to us, eſpecially the ſmaller and more delicate ſort, which is taken from the ſmaller branches. The bark is firſt freed from the external coat, when it is on the trees; is then cut lengthways, ſtripped off, dried in the ſand, and ſo becomes merchantable.
THE barkers of cinnamon are brought up to the trade, and are called Chialiaſes. The account given by Mr. Eſchelſkroon of the management, is moſt authentic; from him I ſhall tranſcribe what will be highly ſatisfactory to the readers. At page 339 of Wolfe's account of the iſle of Ceylon, he begins thus:— ‘The time for barking the tree commences in the months of June and July, and ſometimes even in Auguſt: now as ſoon as they come out of their villages for that purpoſe, every diſtrict ſends a detachment of Dutch ſoldiers, and another compoſed of the natives themſelves, called Laſcaryns, along with them, in order to guard the wood where they are to work, and this partly on account of the roving Cingaleſe mountaineers, which ſometimes fall on the barked cinnamon, and make it their booty; but ſtill more for the purpoſe of having an eye upon the Chialiaſes themſelves, that they may not be able to conceal any of the cinnamon, and afterwards carry it off.’
‘THE bark that is peeled during the day, muſt be carried every evening to the Dutch guard, belonging to their reſpective diſtricts; there cleanſed, well dried, and made up into bundles, and afterwards taken in cloſe caſes to the factory, where they [Page 225] are weighed, and received by the company as payment of the aſſeſſment or tax impoſed on theſe people by government. A man muſt be a very good hand indeed, that can gather thirty pounds of cinnamon in a day; whence it is eaſily calculated, how many perſons it will take to gather ten or twelve million pounds, and that too of the beſt; for what is brought in is looked over before it is weighed, and the refuſe of it burned.’
‘At the time for gathering this drug, the company are obliged to draw out a cordon of ſeventy-two miles in circumference; and as there are a great many of theſe corps de garde, it follows that the company muſt pay a great many Europeans, as well as Cingaleſe. Theſe cinnamon barkers are under the command of a captain, called a Malabadde, and are diſtributed into four different claſſes. All the Chiliaſes muſt be ready at all times to work at the Governor's command, for on him it depends how much is to be barked and delivered in; and this again depends on the demand for it from Europe. ’
THIS important article of luxury was well known to the antients. The Greeks called it [...], and ſometimes [...], or Caſia Lignea, and [...], to the bark, from the pipelike form it aſſumed by the rolling up. We have applied the word Caſſia to the inferior cinnamons of Malabar and Sumatra.
THE Romans called it Cinnamomum, but generally with ſome addition. The Xylo-cinnamomum, or the wood, we are told by Pliny, was ſold for twenty denarii, or twelve ſhillings and eleven pence per pound. The juice, or expreſſed oil, at one thouſand [Page 226] denarii, or £.32. 5. 10. The Daphnoides, or Iſocinnamon, ſeems not to be thought the genuine kind, yet ſold at the price of three hundred denarii, or £.8. 13. 9, the ſame price as the true cinnamon. The Cinnamomum camocans was the expreſſed juice of a nut, and perhaps a different article from the true cinnamon, was ſold for no more than forty aſſes, or two ſhillings and ſeven-pence. The antients, according to Pliny, eſteemed, as we do at preſent, the cinnamon of the young twigs. It was chiefly made uſe of as a perfume, either as an ingredient for their unguents, or to rub their bodies with, in form of oil. They appear to have been ignorant of the tree that produced it, as well as the country; they ſuppoſed that it came from that part of Aethiopia which bordered on the Troglodytes. Pliny ſays they bought all they could of their neighbors; but even Mr. Bruce, who would certainly do all the honor he could to Aethiopia, never mentions it among his botanical enumerations. Pliny talks confuſedly of a long voyage made with the cargoes of this pretious article, and of the croſſing of vaſt ſeas: of the cinnamon being under the protection of the god Aſſabinus, and of its never being cut without his permiſſion. I dare ſay that the Cinnamon and Caſſia came then as it does now, from the Malabar coaſt, and Taprobone or Ceylon, and that the merchants croſſing the Sinus Aethiopicus in ſearch of it, induced the Roman Naturaliſt to make Aethiopia its native country *.
THE antients give a moſt romantic account of theſe trees, that of their being guarded by a dire ſpecies of bat, fighting cruelly with their ſharp claws; and by flying ſerpents; one was [Page 227] the enormous bat of the torrid zone; the others, the winged lizard, before deſcribed.
ITS modern uſe for culinary purpoſes is unknown to none. Cinnamon-water is alſo a fine liqueur. From the leaves is extracted a thick and fragrant juice, appropriated for the candles of his imperial Majeſty of Ceylon; and from the roots is extracted the oil of camphire, and a ſort of camphire ſuperior to what we have in the ſhops, which likewiſe is reſerved for the Emperor, who eſteems it an excellent cordial. Seba, in Ph. Tranſ. abr. vi. 326, from whom we have the account, ſpeaks highly of its virtue in arthritic caſes. The bark, and eſſential oil, is an article in our diſpenſary.
I NOW naturally paſs to the LAURUS Caſſia, [Note: LAURUS CASSIA.] the rival to the laſt. It is the carna of Rheede Malab. i. 107, tab. 59, Burman Ind. 91, Blackwall, tab. 319. I leave to botaniſts the ſettling of the diſpute, whether it is diſtinct, or a variety of the laſt. The diſtinction between the bark of this and the real cinnamon, is, that this breaks ſmooth; the real, ſplinters. This has a ſlimy mucilaginous taſte; the true cinnamon, rough, and with a rich aromatic ſmell.
Heptaphylla,—iv. tab. 22, would be invaluable, [Note: SOPHORA.] was it not ſo common; it is the moſt admirable medicine in the cholera, and the choler a fluxus, bilious complaints, exceſſive vomiting, pleuriſies, and poiſon: it is remarkable for its links of berries, connected like beads.
[Page 228] Tomentoſa, [Note: BAUHINIA.] and Acuminata, Burm. Zeyl. tab. 18, and Raii Hiſt. ii. 1558, are found here. The true ebony, which grows plentifully in this iſland, is ſuppoſed to be a ſpecies of Bauhinia; yet this once valuable wood is not aſcertained.
Bilimbi, [Note: AVERRHOA.]—i. tab. 36, is ſingular for being loaden with fruit iſſuing from the knots of the body of the tree; the Av. Carambola,—i. tab. 35, for its long angular apples; and the Av. Acida,—vii. tab. 17, for ſmall rounded fruit, growing on the ſide of the ſtalk.
[Page 229] Malaccenſis,—i. tab. 36, 38, Nati Schambu, Rheede, [Note: EUGENIA.] i. tab. 18, Raii Hiſt. ii. 1478, is a pear-ſhaped fruit, growing to the bare ſtalk, a cooling and refreſhing kind.—EUG. Iambos, i. tab. 39, Malacca Schambu, Rheede, i. tab. 17, Raii Hiſt. ii. 1478, is remarkable for its crooked timber, uſeful for the ribs of ſhips. — EUG. Acutangula, iii. tab. 115, Tſieria Samſtravadi, Rhecde, iv. tab. 7, Raii Hiſt. ii. 1480, and—EUG. Racemoſa, iii. tab. 116, Samſtravadi, Rheede, iv. tab. 16, Raii Hiſt. ii. 1479, bear edible fruits.
Ceylon has four ſpecies of myrtle; M. Cumini, [Note: MYRTUS.] Rumph. i. tab. 41, ſmelling like cumin ſeed; M. Zeylanica, remarkable for its great fragrancy; M. Androſaemoides, M. Caryophyllata, from its aromatic ſmell; and M. Pimenta, or all-ſpice, common to both the Indies.
Gutta, Blackwall, tab. 393, Raii Hiſt. Pl. ii. 1661, [Note: CAMBOGIA.] grows to be a large tree, and bears a roundiſh ribbed fruit, of a yellow color. The wood yields a ſine yellow concrete ſolid juice, brought over in large cakes. It is in our diſpenſary, and acts powerfully both upwards and downwards. Some phyſicians hold it to be a dangerous medicine; others commend the uſe, but all recommend it with caution. It is preſcribed in dropſies, and leprous caſes. Painters know this drug as the richeſt of yellows.
Lotus, Alpin. Aegypt. 50, or water lilly, [Note: NYMPHOEA.] the Lotus Aegyptiaca of Pliny, lib. xiii. c. xvii, which appeared after the falling of the waters of the Nile. The old Aegyptians laid the fruit [Page 230] in heaps, to putrify, and after drying them made bread of the farina.
N. Nelumbo, Taratta, Rumph. vi. tab. 63. This elegant plant was the antient Faba Aegyptiaca. The flower is of a beautiful roſe color. The fruit is well figured in Gerard, 1552; it is like a poppy cut in two, and with twenty-four round cells, in each of which is a bean. The root was reckoned by the antients very delicious, either raw or dreſt. The figure is ſo ſtriking, that the Indians feign that Cupid was firſt ſeen floating down the Ganges on one of them, but the lovely floating flowers would have been a more ſuitable couch for the amorous deity. It has alſo a grateful ſmell, not unlike cinnamon. The antients feigned that this plant was ſhunned by the crocodiles of the Nile, on account of the prickly ſtalks. The Indians eat the beans.
Inophyllum, [Note: CALOPHYLLUM.] Rumph. ii. tab. 71. This grows to a vaſt ſize, and is a tree of amazing circumference; its leaves very large, of a ſine green, and yield a delightful ſhade. Rheede, iv. 76, tab. 38, informs us it grows to the height of ninety feet, and the circumference of twelve, and then it bears fruit three hundred years. The flowers ſmall, but of a moſt fragrant odor; the fruit round. The wood is excellent for wheels, and the greater mechanical uſes. Candles are made of the fruit. This magnificent tree adorns the ſhores of India. The Malabars call it Ponna-maram.
Scrrata, [Note: ELEOCARPUS.] iii. tab. 101, Rumphius calls it Ganitri, and ſays it is one of the talleſt trees of India, and proportionably thick. [Page 231] The fruit is perfectly round, of the ſize of a muſquet ball, and of a bluiſh purple color; the ſtones ſeem elegantly carved, are collected in ſacks, and ſold at a good price, and being ſtrung, ſerve for ornaments for the neck and breaſt, and for beads for the roſaries for the Mahometans. The timber is uſed for building; and is an inhabitant of watery places, and even mountains.
Indica, Poenoe, Rheed. Malab. iv. tab. 15, [Note: VATERIA.] Raii Hiſt. Pl. ii. 1482. This tree grows to the height of ſixty feet, and to ſixteen in circumference, at the bottom; and if wounded exudes a roſin; is an evergreen, and will continue to bear fruit three hundred years. The fruit is of the ſize of a walnut, and has a bitter kernel. Maſts are made of the younger trees. The Indians excavate the bodies into canoes, which will hold ſixty men.
Aliſmoides, Rheed. Malab. xi. tab. 46. Alpin. Aegypt. ii. 51, [Note: STRATIOTES.] tab. 36, 37, a water plant; found alſo in the Nile, mentioned by Dioſcorides and Pliny; is uſed in Egypt as a ſtyptic.
Champaca, Rumph. ii. tab. 67, [Note: MICHELIA.] a moſt elegant flowering ſhrub. The flowers are of the richeſt ſaffron color; and are uſed by the natives of India to ſtrew over their beds and furniture. The females ſtick the flowers in their hair, a fine contraſt to its jetty blackneſs.
A. Squamoſa, Rumph. i. tab. 46. Burm. Zeyl. 21. The [Page 232] fruit are of no value, and are chiefly devoured by the bats; ſometimes are gathered before they are ripe, and left to ripen under heaps of rice, and then eaten.
Indica, [Note: BIGNONIA.] Rheed. Malab. i. tab. 45. Raii Hiſt. ii. 1741, a lofty, but not ſpreading tree; loves ſandy places; its fruit of a great ſize, oblong and flat; the leaves uſeful in dying black.
Orientale, [Note: SESAMUM.] Burm. Zeyl. tab. 38, fig. 1. This is an annual, cultivated in Italy, in early times, on account of the ſeed, from which abundance of oil uſed to be expreſſed. It is thought, that no vegetable contains ſuch a quantity. Arrian frequently mentions the ſeeds or its oil *, as a great article of commerce from India, and the other eaſtern regions. It was uſed both as a food, and in medicine †. Rumphius, v. p. 204, tab. 76, deſcribes another Seſamum uſed for the ſame purpoſes, univerſally cultivated in India.
Pentandrum, [Note: BOMBAX.] Rumph. i. tab. 80. Pania Paniala, Rheede, iii. tab. 49, 50, 51, pod of the wool-bearing tree, Gerard, 1552, a tree that grows to the ſize of our walnut; bears long pods filled with ſeeds, wrapped in a fine ſhort down, too ſhort for ſpinning; but after being dreſſed is of great uſe in ſtuffing beds and the like. The wood is excellent for making palings, and other fences.
Populneus, [Note: HIBI [...]CUS.] Rumph. ii. tab. 74. H. Roſa Sinenſis, iv. tab. 8. This Flos Feſtalis, as it is called, is the ornament of every [Page 233] feaſt, and inſtead of the inviſa Cupreſſus, follows every unmarried youth to his grave, be they Chriſtians be they Gentiles.
Herbaceum, iv. tab. 12. and G. Arboreum, iv. tab. 13, [Note: GOSSYPIUM.] the laſt having a more ſhrubby ſtalk than the other, the firſt is ſown annually, but thrives better on the dry Coromandel coaſt than any other. This produces the great manufactures of the Indies, [Note: COTTON.] callicoes, and every other ſpecies ſo well adapted to the climate. Theſe plants are natives alſo of the hotter parts of America, and of Africa; and even cultivated with moſt profitable ſucceſs in Valentia in Spain; page 421, vol. vi. of the MS. part of this work, gives ſome account of the produce.
Ferrea, vii. tab. 11, [Note: MESUA.] is a low tree, remarkable for giving a pleaſant ſhade, and the rich mace-like ſcent of its flowers. Ferrea, Syſt. Pl. iii. 269, Baiulla Tſiampacum, Rheede, iii. tab. 53, Raii Hiſt. 1680.
THE ſuperb flower, BARRINGTONIA SPECIOSA, Lin. Suppl. Pl. 312; Cook's ſecond Voyage, i. p. 157. Butonica, Rumph. iii. 170. tab. 114, is found in this iſland, and in all tropical countries: Is a lofty tree, and of conſiderable thickneſs, but is ſeldom erect, bending ſo that the branches hang into the water, for it is univerſally an inhabitant of watery places. The fruit is large, and quadrangular, as repreſented in Cluſius's Exotic, lib. ii. c. 5. It is uſed, in Amboina as a remedy in the colic. In Ternate and Java, it is made into a paſte, mixed with other drugs, and uſed to intoxicate fiſh, as is done by the Cocculus Indicus.
Draco, ii. tab. 70, is a tree that grows to a vaſt height, [Note: PTEROCARPU [...] ▪ ] much eſteemed for the ſweetneſs of its flowers, and the beautiful redneſs of the wood, uniform or varied, ſo as to reſemble flames of [Page 234] ſire burſting out of the ſmoke. It is therefore in great repute for the making of cheſts, and furniture: when uſed as fuel it yields a ſcent, grateful as that of the ſandal or citron. It is alſo called the Dragon-tree, as it exudes a thick juice, of a bloodred, reſembling that which falls from that tree, which has been long ſamed for that quality.
Corallodendron, [Note: ERYTHRINA.] ii. tab. 76, a tree quite brilliant with its ſcarlet flowers. It grows uſually near the ſhores. It is pretended, that ſuch is the ſplendor of the long ſpikes, that during the flowering ſeaſon they actually terrify the fiſh from the coaſts on which they grow.
Vulgaris. [Note: PHASEOLUS.] Ceylon, and India in general, produce numbers of ſpecies of kidney-beans. The ſpecies juſt mentioned is the ſcarlet. The PH. radiatus and max. are engraven in Rumph. v. tab. 139, and 140.
Pruriens, [Note: DOLICHOS.] Nai Corann, Fl. Zeyl. No 539, is remarkable for its effects. The downy pile on the pods occaſions the moſt intolerable itching, far beyond that of the nettle. It is called at Surat, Cohuge, from which it was corrupted to the Engliſh name of Cow-itch; Ray, vol. i. p. 887, names it Phaſeolus Zurratenſis, and Cowhege; and ſays it has been proved a moſt efficacious remedy in the dropſy. Rumphius figures it in vol. v. tab. 142, under the title of Cacara Pruritus. It has been ſometimes applied for wanton purpoſes, to ſet people an itching. The author of Hudibras makes it one of the drugs uſed in his days to counterfeit the feats of witches. I ſhall give the whole liſt, ſince I may have occaſion to refer back to it:— [Page 235]
WITH drugs, convey'd in drink or meat,All feats of witches counterfeit;Kill pigs and geeſe with powder'd glaſs,And make it for inchantment paſs;With Cow-itch meazle like a leper,And choak with fumes of Guiney-pepper;Make lechers, and their punks with Dewtry,Commit phantaſtical advowtry;Bewitch hermetic-men to runStark ſtaring mad with Manicon.
Tinctoria, Rumph. Amboin. v. tab. 80, [Note: INDIGOTERA.] is common in all parts of India in a cultivated ſtate: but its native country is Guzerat, where it grows wild; but its name is derived from Indicus, a patronimic taken from the country it was originally brought from. It is alſo found wild in Madagaſcar. The rich blue dye is procured from it in all parts of Hindooſlan, and uſed in the various manufactures. Dioſcorides, lib. v. c. 68, ſpeaks of two kinds, one extracted from what he calls certain Indian reeds. Pliny errs when he ſays it is from the ſlime which adheres to thoſe plants. Dioſcorides mentions it medicinally: Pliny as a paint.
THE ſpecies of CITRUS are two, C. Aurantium Sinenſe, [Note: CITRUS.] or China orange, probably originally imported from that country, and the C. Decumanus, Rumph. Amboin. ii. tab. 64, the Shaddock, or Pumpclmoſe of the Weſt Indies, which is only cultivated in [Page 236] Ceylon, not aboriginal. Wolf mentions the lemon, and Burman, in his Theſaurus, gives a little lemon, the Limon Nipis, Rumph. ii, tab. 29, perhaps the common lime.
I NOW proceed to the wonder of the vegetable kingdom, [Note: NEPENTHES.] the famous Bandura, Burm. Zeyl. tab. 17, Canthariſera, or Daun Gundi, Rumph. Amboin. v. tab. 59, the NEPENTHES Deſtillatoria of Linnaeus. This is an herbaceous plant, with narrow leaves. From their ends iſſues a very long tendril, which finiſhes with a long cylindrical tube, ſometimes ſix inches in length, and furniſhed at the extremity with a circular valve, completely at times cloſing the orifice. This is filled with a pure limpid water, which continues during the time that the valve is ſhut; when it is open the liquor is dried up, but the ſtock is renewed at night, when the valve is again cloſed. Rumphius has ſeen a pint of water in thoſe of Amboina. They ſeem a variety of the Ceyloneſe, being thickeſt in the middle. Thoſe of Ceylon being truly cylindrical.
Pliny, lib. xxi. c. 21, gives an account of its effects. That wicked wag, Martin Folkes, in his witty deſcription of the Arbor Vitae, will have it to have been the all-conciliating fruit of this tree, the Panacea which Helen always kept by her, and uſed on all occaſions.
THE Cingaleſe ſtyle this plant Bandura, i. e. Priapus Vegetabilis; had Mr. Folkes known this, it would have furniſhed him with new arguments. That ſingular character drew up the humorous paper with wit, which all its obſcenity cannot deſtroy. It was intended as an impoſition on the good Sir Hans Sloane, and the reading was actually begun before a meeting of the Royal Society, when a member, more ſagacious than the reſt, diſcovered the joke, and put a ſtop to the ſecretary's proceeding. Martin Folkes himſelf ſucceeded in the preſident's chair.
IN Ceylon are found two ſpecies of the bread-fruit, [Note: BREAD FRUIT.] the Artocarpus of botaniſts. One, the Integrifolia, Lin. Suppl. 412; [Note: THE INTEGRIFOLIA.] the other, the Inciſus, 411. It is ſingular, that this bleſſing to the iſland ſhould paſs ſo long unnoticed: Yet Knox, page 14, informed us of (perhaps) both kinds, certainly of the firſt, and that above a century ago. The Integrifolia he calls by the Ceyloneſe name, Warragah, which is the ſpecies ſilled with great kernels: ſee the fruit expreſſed in different plates, entire and diſſected, by M. Sonnerat, in his voyage to New Guinea, at page 99. Theſe kernels are taken out and boiled by the natives, and often prove preſervatives againſt famine in ſcarcity of rice. Exteriorly the rind appears prickly, but the ſpines are ſoft, and [Page 238] give way to the touch. After the interval of a century, from the time of Knox, Doctor Thunberg * gives an account of both ſpecies. This he ſays is the Maldivian ſour ſack of the Dutch, that it contains two or three hundred great kernels, each four times the ſize of an almond; and that the fruit grows to the weight of thirty or forty pounds; that the taſte is unpleaſant, and cadaverous, yet that not fewer than fifteen diſhes are prepared from it. He adds, that the trees of both kind are replete with a milky juice, as tenacious as bird-lime itſelf; and Knox adds, that the boys apply it to that purpoſe. Rumphius, i. p. 104, calls the larger variety of this ſpecies Saccus Arboreus major, Nanha, and gives the figure in tab. xxx. The other he names Saccus Arboreus minor Tsjampedaka, ſee p. 107, tab. xxxi. both theſe are oblong; the laſt ſack-ſhaped. The leaves are entire and ovated. The fruit grow in a moſt ſingular manner, hanging by the ſtalk from the body of the tree, ex arbore trunco prodemata, ſays Bauhin, in his Pinax, p. 511. See alſo the figure in Rumphius, and alſo in Linſchotten, tab. 76, 77.
THIS ſpecies grows in moſt of the ſame places with the following. [Note: PLACES.] It is alſo frequent in the Maldive iſles, from whence, in about the year 1727, or 1728, ſome roots were brought, and planted in this iſland. From this circumſtance the ſpecies is called Maldiviſche Syr Sack.
DOCTOR Thunberg, in our Phil. Tranſ. vol. lxix. has publiſhed a long account of theſe fruits, under the name of Tſitodium, and particularly diſtinguiſhed the ſecond kind by the name of Macrocarpon, or long fruit. Both kinds have various names: [Page 239] The Portugueſe call it the Jacca, of which notice will be taken in another place.
THE ſecond kind is only mentioned by Knox under the name of Vellas, who ſays it is as ſoft as pap. [Note: INCISUS.] This is the ſame with the Seedleſs, or Apyrene of George Forſter, Pl. Aeſcul. Inſ. Oceani Auſtr. p. 25, which is of a globular form, and is univerſally cultivated in Otaheite, and poſſibly others of the South Sea iſlands. It is alſo deſcribed by Doctor Thunberg, and ſaid to grow as large as a child's head. This is ſilled with a ſubſtance like the crumb of new-baked bread; and is univerſally uſed in the iſlands of the South Sea, but leſs ſo in Ceylon. It is the Bread Fruit of Lord Anſon, p. 310; Ed. 1ſt of Captain Cook's firſt Voyage, i. p. 80. tab. 11; and of Mr. Ellis, in his Monograph. p. 11; and the Artocarpus inciſus of Lin. Suppl. 411.
THE varieties of the inciſus, which have kernels, are thoſe engraven by Rumphius, i. p. 110. tab. xxxii. under the name of Soccus lanoſus. The Granoſus,—p. 112. tab. xxxiii. and the Sylveſtris,—p. 114. tab. xxxiv. but theſe are all neglected in Otaheite *, in preference of the Apyrene. The leaves of every one of theſe are like that of an oak, and deeply lacerated, and of the length of two feet, and the fruit pendent from the boughs.
THIS, ſays Doctor Thunberg †, is common in Ceylon, [Note: PLACES.] and from Coromandel to Cape Comorin. It is found near Columbo, Gale, and ſeveral other places, both wild and cultivated.
IT ſeems amazing, that Mr. Bligh ſhould be twice ſent to the iſlands of the ſouthern ocean for theſe valuable plants, when it appears that they may be had with ſo little difficulty from Ceylon. Doctor Thunberg brought ſeveral hundred ſhrubs of [Page 240] both ſpecies, and quantities of ſeeds, all of which were deſtroyed by a violent ſtorm he met with, no farther off his port than the coaſt of Flanders *.
Sonnerat, [Note: HERMANDIA.] ii. tab. 85. The Indians call it Arbor Regia, as always certain plants are found under its ſhade or protection: it is alſo full of ants, which bite with great ſharpneſs: it bears a ſmall cluſtered berry. This tree is uſeful in medicine, yet is ſaid to contain a fatal poiſon. It has its bane and antidote, and is reported to be peculiarly eſſicacious againſt the poiſon of the Macaſſar arrows. I am reminded by this double quality (often incident in Indian plants) of the good Friar's ſpeech in Romco and Juliet:—
Within the infant rind of this ſmall flowerPoiſon hath reſidence, and medicine power;For this being ſmelt with that part, cheers each part;Being taſted, ſlays all ſenſes with the heart.
Niruri, [Note: PHYLANTHUS.] vi. tab. 17, is a ſmall plant, called both Herba Maeroris, and Amoris. When the Indians ſend a branch of it to any friend, it ſignifies they are oppreſſed with grief; when it bears the other name, it is for its being uſed as a philtre by the fair, to conciliate the affections of their lovers.
FOETIDA, Syſt. Pl. iv. 198, Karil, Rheede, iv. tab. 36, Raii Hiſt. ii. 1564, Clompanus major, Rumph. iii. 168, tab. 107, ad lit. A. This is one of the vaſt trees of India. Sonnerat, ii. 234, tab. 132, gives a good figure of it and its flowers. This and the above are remarkable for the exceſſive foetid ſmell of both the wood and flowers, which reſemble the ſcent of human ordure. Linnaeus therefore gives the genus the name of Sterculia, and the trivial of foetida, and the tree itſelf, Stinckbaum; and Sonnerat, the plainer title of Bois de Merde.
THE Croton Lacciferum grows in abundance in the ſand-pits near Columbo and other places, [Note: CROTON.] on which the Gum Lac is found in great plenty. It is ſometimes uſed for lacquering, after being diſſolved in ſpirits of wine *.
THE Pandanus Odoratiſſimus, Linn. Suppl. Pl. p. 424, [Note: PANDANUS.] Rumph. iv. p. 139, tab. 74. Bromelia, &c. Fl. Zeyl. p. 54, is a native of this iſland, and alſo of Egypt †. It is the moſt fragrant of flowers, and its ſcent ſo diffuſive, that a ſingle ſpike will perfume a whole chamber. It has the appearance of the Ananas, or pine apple. There are many varieties of it in Rumphius: The fineſt he diſtinguiſhes by the name of Venus. It is alſo known by the name of the Wild Pine. The Portugueſe call it Ananas Brava. The fruit is red, and of the ſize of a melon. The juice is uſed medicinally in the Eryſipelas, &c. &c.
[Page 242] Sativa, [Note: DIOSCOREA.] v. tab. 130. This ſpecies has a cluſtered root; grows wild in Jamaica, but is greatly cultivated in India as a food. D. Pentaphylla, v. tab. 127, and Alata, Brown's Jamaica, 359, Gerard, [Note: YAMS.] 925. The laſt the uſeful yams of the Weſt Indies; are of equal ſervice for their ſalutary roots as a food. Theſe, and numbers of other congenerous twining plants, aſſiſt to ſupport the Indian peaſantry, content with ſimple diet.
Papaya, [Note: CARICA.] Trew Ehret. tab. 8, is common to the Eaſt and Weſt Indies, and to Senegal. It is a ſingular tree, having the fruit growing out of the ſides of the ſtem, of the form of a melon, and ribbed, filled in the inſide with ſeeds, and is as large as a child's head: the ſtem is quite ſtrait, the leaves large, and divided into numbers of lobes. This tree is ſuppoſed to have been introduced by the Portugueſe from the Brazils into the Eaſt Indies; many other ſpecies, now common there, are thought to have been brought by them from the new world.
Paradiſiaca, [Note: MUSA.] v. tab. 60, Trew Ehret. tab. 18, 19, 20. This is the celebrated plant which the Jews believe to have been the tree of knowlege of good and evil, placed in the midſt of the Garden of Eden, which our great mother was forbidden to touch; and by her diſobedience brought ſuch heavy penalty on all her offspring. Milton does not attempt to deſcribe it; he only ſays—
[Page 243] Moderns do not ſpeak in raptures of the fruit. Sir Joſeph Banks gives the moſt favorable account, that they all have a pleaſant vinous taſte. Three ſpecies merit that praiſe; the others muſt be dreſſed by frying or boiling, and ſo eaten as bread. But the form of the plant is the moſt groteſque in nature, and moſt rich when loaden, as it is, with its ſplendid looking fruit. The ſtem grows to the height of ten or twelve feet, and to the thickneſs of a man's leg, yet can readily be cut through with a knife; neither does it live above two years. It cannot riſe to the dignity of a tree: Its leaves are the largeſt of any known vegetable; ſome are more than twelve feet long, and two broad; are very ſmooth, of an elegant green above, and yellow beneath; they more reſemble paper than a leaf, and give a moſt ruſtling ſound. The fruit grows in vaſt cluſters, and is of an oblong ſhape, and is filled with a pulp ſoft as butter. Doctor Trew, by the ſkilful hand of Ehret, gives of it the moſt comprehenſive idea.A BOUGH of faireſt fruit, that downy ſmil'd,New gather'd, and ambroſial ſmell diſſus'd.
THIS fine plant was not overlooked by the antients. [Note: PALA PLINII.] Pliny certainly means this ſpecies by his Pala, which he deſcribes in theſe words, lib. xii. c. 6,—‘Major alia pomo et ſuavitate praecellentior, quo ſapientes Indorum vivunt. Folium alas avium imitatur longitudine trium cubitorum, latitudine duûm. Fructum cortice emittit, admirabilem ſucci dulcedine, ut uno quaternos ſatiet. Arbori nomen palae, pomo arienae.’
THIS account agrees well, not only in the ſize of the leaves and fruit, and delicacy of the pulp, but it alſo gives us reaſon to ſuppoſe, that there had been ſome tradition delivered down to [Page 244] the Indians of its having been the Paradiſiacal tree, and that it continued the food of the wiſe men, or the Brahmins, as if it was ſuppoſed to ſtill have the power of imparting wiſdom to thoſe who fed on its fruits. Linnaeus gives the name of MUSA ſapientum, Trew's Ehret, tab. 21, 22, 23, to another ſpecies, with a ſhorter fruit. By the trivial he ſeems to think this to have been the tree of knowlege: but to decide on the important diſpute is far beyond my abilities.
Nodoſa, [Note: MIMOSA.] M. Bigemina. M. Entada, Jacq. Am. 265, tab. 183. M. Scandens, Rumph. v. tab. 4. M. Virgata, Burman. Zeyl. tab. 2. M. Caeſia, Fl. Zeyl. p. 217. M. Pennata, Burman. Zeyl. tab. 1, a moſt elegant ſpecies, with the flowers branching on the ſummit in the lighteſt manner. M. Tenuifolia, Syſl. Pl. iv. 353.
Religioſa is perhaps the Arbor conciliorum of Rumphius, iii. tab. 91, 92, Arcalu, Rheed. Malabar. i. tab. 27. This is alſo a very ſingular kind; the body rude to the higheſt degree, as if formed of the accretion of many trunks, angular, and in many places cavernous. The branches ſpread out moſt extenſively on the ſides, grow acroſs, interwoven with each other, and often [Page 245] growing together, ſo that the whole has the appearance of ſome Lithodendron: the leaves of a pleaſant green, and placed ſo cloſely, as to form the thickeſt ſhade: the fruit ſmall and round, of a faint taſte, but are quickly devoured by the birds.
THIS tree has been venerated in India from the earlieſt times. The god Rum, charmed with its groteſque appearance, directed that worſhip ſhould be paid to it. The ſuperſtition has been retained to this day. It is called the Pagod tree, and tree of councils: the firſt from the idols placed under its ſhade; the ſecond, becauſe meetings were held under its cool branches. In ſome places it is believed to be the haunt of ſpectres, as the antient ſpreading oaks of Wales have been of fairies: In others are erected, beneath the ſhade, pillars of ſtones, or poſts, elegantly carved, and ornamented with the moſt beautiful porcellane, to ſupply the uſe of mirrors. Near Tanjore is one of a moſt prodigious ſize.
Circinalis,—i. tab. 21, 22, Raii Hiſt. Pl. ii. 1360. [Note: CYCAS.] Fl. Zeyl. No 393, Kaempf. Amaen. Acad. p. 897, is a curious genus, related to the palms. Writers differ about the height. Ray, from the Hort. Malab. gives it that of forty feet *. Rumphius, i. p. 86. tab. xxii. xxiii. makes the utmoſt height but twenty-four, and moſt uſually twelve. The male plant flings out from the ſummit [Page 246] a ſubſtance, in ſhape like the cone of the Norway fir: the female, a ſtem about a yard long, out of the ſummit of which iſſues ſeveral upright pinnated leaves, and fruit of the ſize of a plumb: the laſt faſtened to a ſlender ſtalk, and pendent. Theſe contain two nuts.
THIS plant is of great uſe as a food in every country it grows in. The young ſhoots are dreſſed like aſparagus; the fruit is alſo commonly eaten, and forms an ingredient in broths. The ſoft wood is chewed with the Areca nut.
THIS ſpecies is not indigenous in Ceylon, [Note: NOT NATIVE.] and is only cultivated, and that rarely, in that iſland. In Malabar it grows on certain rocky and ſandy mountains, and is called there, Todda Panna; ſee Rheede, iii. p. 9, tab. 13. 21. It is ſaid to have a great ſympathy with iron, and that if dying, will revive on having an iron wedge driven into it. The fruit is eaten by the Malabars with ſugar, (Saccharo St. Thomoeo). The Thomiſts, or Chriſtians of St. Thomas, deck their churches with its branches.
RUMPHIUS, i. p. 91, denies that this is the genuine ſpecies, and we muſt allow his authority. At tab. xxiv. he gives the true kind, which is the ſame with the Cycas revoluta of Thunberg, Fl. Japon. p. 229, the pith of which is the famous Sago. In time of war the Japaneſe ſoldiers carry it with them in their campaigns; ſo ſmall a portion will ſerve to ſupport a ſingle man, that the emperor prohibits the exporting any of the trees to a foreign enemy, under pain of death, for fear of imparting to a hoſtile neighbour the ſame benefit Japan enjoys from this nutritive food.
THE Coffee tree has been introduced, [Note: COFFEE TREE.] and ſucceeds greatly. [Page 247] Nothing can equal the beauty of the plantations. The trees are placed thinly, and between them is planted that charming ſhrub the Erythrina Corallodendron, with its rich ſcarlet flowers, deſigned to protect the delicate coffee from the intenſe heat of the almoſt vertical ſun *.
Nucifera, Calappa, or Tinga, Rumph. Amboin. i. tab. 1, 2, [Note: COCOS.] is the nobleſt and moſt uſeful tree of this claſs. I have ſpoken of it at page 138; ſo ſhall proceed to the following, as next to it in importance, whether we regard its magnificence or utility.
Flabelliformis, Rumph. Amboin. i. tab. 10. [Note: BORASSUS.] The leaves are large and palmated, the edges of the ſtalks ſerrated; the leaves are four feet long, divided into ſeventy or eighty rays, like the ſticks of a fan, and may be folded up in the ſame manner. In Macaſſar they are made into umbrellas, but are ſo highly eſteemed there, that they are carried by none but by a few perſons of the firſt rank. The fruit grows in cluſters, and each is about the ſize of a child's head. Within is a very eatable pulp, [Page 248] and beſides are three leſſer nuts, of the ſize of a gooſe's egg containing when young a ſoft kernel, when old, a very palatable liquor. A bread, or cake is made from the kernel, which requires a conſiderable preparation: and a liquor greatly in uſe called Sura, is extracted from the body, with the uſual proceſs of tapping the tree. From that again is got, by boiling, a rich ſyrup, and a ſort of ſugar. The timber is elegantly veined, and ſtriated, and often made into cheſts.
THE aſcent to the ſummit of the tree is performed by a man, who attains the height by the aſſiſtance of a girdle, which ſurrounds his waiſt and the tree; his knees are fixed againſt the body, and he gains the height by alternately removing the girdle, which ſupports his body, and then with his knees gaining a new advance: A moſt dangerous operation; for ſhould the girdle break, his life is loſt.
Dactylifera has been ſpoken of before in vol. vi. p. 366. 410. and vol. vii. p. 209, [Note: PHOENIX.] of the M.S. outlines. It is ſo amply treated of by the learned Kaempfer, in his Amaen. Exoticae, page 661, that it is difficult to give any thing in addition. It grows not only in Ceylon, but in many parts of the peninſula of India, and is called (in Ceylon at leſt) Indi and Mahaindi. As the plenty and harveſt of India conſiſts in ſucceſs of the palm trees, it is ſuppoſed by Linnaeus that India might derive its name from that which theſe trees bear in that country. It muſt be the generical name, for Mr. Ives ſays that the dates do not ripen to perfection in the peninſula of India.
THE beautiful CORYPHA Umbraculiſera, [Note: CORYPHA.] i. tab. 8, is the moſt elegant ſpecies of the palm kind, from the regular expanſe of [Page 249] the leaf, which is quite circular, and terminating in the moſt beautiful rays, reſembling a glory, like that of the ſun, ſurrounding the whole. They are about three feet and a half in diameter, and are the fineſt umbrellas in nature, and in univerſal uſe in Ceylon, to protect againſt the rays of the ſun, or the fury of the rains. Knox, at page 14, ſhews the Ceyloneſe man under the protection of one of the leaves. They alſo ſerve for paper for the lapping of parcels. The wood is hard, and veined with yellow, and ſerves to make cheſts, like the preceding. The fruit is in the form of a cannon ball, containing within two other nuts, of the ſize of a muſquet ball, which are eaten by the poor. Theſe are of the richeſt ſaffron color, and give a moſt brilliant appearance to this elegant tree, and hang down in cluſters three feet long.
THIS palm is the Tal of Bengal, the Brab of Bombay, and the Talaghas, and Tala of Ceylon. Arrian, i. p. 522, mentions the bark of the Tala as a food uſed by the Indians, a particular not noted by modern writers.
Sylveſtris, Rheed. Malab. iii. tab. 22, et ſeq. [Note: ELATE.] This grows only to the height of about fourteen feet; is covered with a greyiſh cruſt, inſtead of a bark. The fruit, of the ſize and form of a ſmall plumb, is ſometimes made uſe of, by the poorer people, to chew with Betel, inſtead of the Areca. The ſtalks of the fruit are greedily ſought after by the elephants, for the ſake of the ſweet pith they contain.
Urens, Rumph. Amboin. i. tab. 14, [Note: CARYOTA.] grows to the height of a middling coco palm. The fruit grows in vaſt cluſters, adhering [Page 250] to the ſides of the twigs; are of a round ſhape, and of the ſize of a common plumb: each has within two nuts, of no ſort of uſe; the leaves are triangular, and grow in pairs. The timber is uſeful, eſpecially for ſhingles to cover houſes. Of the pith may be made a ſort of Sago, but far inferior to the true kind.
I AM ſo much indebted to my late worthy friend John Gideon Loten, [Note: JOHN GIDEON LOTEN.] Eſq. for my acquaintance with the zoology of Ceylon, and various particulars reſpecting its natural hiſtory, that it would be ungrateful in me not to pay the full tribute of praiſe to his memory. I became acquainted with him a few years after his arrival in England, in 1758, and long enjoyed the valuable friendſhip of a man of the ſtricteſt honor, integrity, liberality, ſimplicity, and gentleneſs of manners. He was by birth a Dutchman, a native of Utrecht. He went to India in the year 1732, where he exerciſed ſeveral of the higheſt offices at Batavia, and in the iſlands of Ceylon and Celebes, with the higheſt credit, he alleviating the cares of his important duties with the fulleſt cultivation of the liberal arts. At Colombo he eſtabliſhed a botanical garden; and in every place made the pleaſing ſtudy of natural hiſtory a principal object. He brought over with him a large collection of drawings, done with equal neatneſs and accuracy, ſome by the natives, others by Europeans whom he found in the country. I was indebted to his friendſhip for copies of ſeveral; but the greater part he at my requeſt liberally communicated to Peter Brown, an ingenious artiſt, a Dane by birth, who engraved not fewer than twentyone, and, with ſeveral others from different places, publiſhed a [Page 251] ſplendid work in 1776, with the title of 'NEW ILLUSTRATIONS OF ZOOLOGY,' under the patronage of my late worthy friend Marmaduke Tunſtal, Eſq. and myſelf.
FROM the ſame collection was formed my INDIAN ZOOLOGY, begun in 1769, and left a fragment. It was reſumed and publiſhed more complete in one volume quarto, in 1790. I refer the reader to the preface to that work for an account of its riſe and progreſs.
Mr. Loten returned into Europe in 1758, and coming into England, where he lived ſeveral years, in 1765 he married his ſecond wife, Laetitia Cotes, of the reſpectable houſe of Cotes, in Shropſhire, ſeveral years after which he returned into Holland, and died at Utrecht, on February 25, 1789, aged eighty, and was interred in St. Jacob's church in that city. During the whole of my acquaintance with him, at frequent periods he endured the moſt ſevere ſpaſmodic complaints in his cheſt, which for months together diſabled him from the uſe of a bed. I ſhould not have mentioned theſe circumſtances, was it not to add to his other virtues, thoſe of unfeigned piety, and reſignation unexampled amidſt the trial of ſevereſt miſery.
IN the north aiſle, weſtward of Weſtminſter Abby, is a moſt magnificent cenotaph, erected in 1795, to perpetuate the memory of this excellent man, the performance of THOMAS BANKS. A ſingle figure, repreſenting Generoſity attended by a lion, ſuſtains a medallion of his head; and on a pedeſtal is a brief hiſtory of his life and his character, in Latin. There is another inſcription, conſiſting of the fifteenth pſalm (excepting the laſt [Page 252] verſe) ſo expreſſive of the life of a good man, concluding with theſe words— ‘SUCH WAS JOHN GIDEON LOTEN.’
AFTER this account of my worthy friend, [Note: PONTA DE PEDRAS.] I reſume the view of Ceylon, beginning at the northern extremity of its coaſt, Ponta de Pedras, Lat. 9° 52′, the Boreum promontorium of Ptolemy, and taking the eaſtern ſide, ſurround the whole iſland. This northern extremity is broken into two, or perhaps more iſles, divided from the greater by a very narrow channel; the other ſide is faced by rocks and ſhoals, and affected by moſt variable currents.
THE city of Jaffanapatam ſtands on the weſtern ſide of one of the iſles; [Note: JAFFANAPATAM.] this retains its Cingaleſe name; moſt of the other places in the neighborhood have been changed to Dutch. When the city was taken from the natives by the Portugueſe, in 1560, they found in the treaſury the tooth of an ape, ſo highly venerated by the people of Ceylon, that immenſe ſums were offered for its redemption, but in vain. To deſtroy this piece of idolatry, the viceroy ordered it to be reduced to powder, and then burnt. Apes are in many parts of India highly venerated, out of reſpect to the God Hannaman, [Note: THE APE-GOD, HANNAMAN.] a deity partaking of the form of that race, with the addition of heads of bears, who rendered the god Vitchenou great ſervices in this very iſle, ſlaying giants, and performing ſo many wondrous deeds. In vol. iii. p. 863, of Churchill's collection, is a long detail of his exploits. There is a wonderful extravagance in the Indian mythology; the warmth [Page 253] of their climate creates ideas filled with the ſtrangeſt imagery. The tooth was probably worſhipped as one belonging to his godſhip.
MOST of the eaſtern ſide of Ceylon is guarded with ſand banks or rocks * [Note: TRINCOMALE.] Trincomale harbour is in Lat. 8° 30″, a fine and ſecure port, protected by a ſtrong garriſon, conſiſting of about four hundred men. Such was the number in fort Oſtenburgh, when it was taken by aſſault, on January 11, 1782, by our brave ſeaman, Sir Edward Hughes; which, on Auguſt 26 of the ſame year, was wreſted from us by his active and gallant rival Suffrein.
ON September 2d, the former came off Trincomale, and to his great ſurpriſe found the French colors flying on all the forts, Suffrein, with a ſuperior ſquadron, ſailed out of the harbour, ſecure, as he thought, of victory. Our brave admiral, and his officers, enraged at the loſs of the place, eagerly accepted the offer of combat. The contending admirals diſplayed every proof of courage and ſkill. Suffrein's ſhip was reduced to a wreck, and he obliged to remove his flag to another. By ſome neglect of ours we loſt the diſabled ſhip. Night alone terminated the battle. Suffrein retired into Trincomale, crowding in without order. Thus ſecured, Hughes left him reluctantly, and ſailed for Madras with his ſhattered ſquadron. Our loſs was inconſiderable, in common men, for it did not exceed fifty-one killed [Page 254] and three hundred wounded. In officers we ſuffered ſeverely. The captains Lumley, Watt, and Wood fell in the action. The loſs of the French was enormous. Four hundred and twelve men were killed, and ſix hundred and ſeventy-ſix were wounded. The carnage on board the gallant Suffrein's ſhip, the Hero, was unheard in any fight of any age, it was an unparalleled carnage. Many of the French captains had behaved ill, ſix were broke, and ſent priſoners to the iſland of Mauritius; and thus ended the unavailing ſlaughters in the Indian ſeas.
Barticalo is the next port, [Note: BARTICALO.] lying in Lat. 7° 40″. This alſo has a ſtrong fortreſs. Here the Dutch firſt landed in 1638, and took it by capitulation from the Portugueſe. The mountain, the Monk's-hood, ſome leagues inland, is a remarkable ſea mark. Barticalo may have been near the ſite of the town called by Ptolemy, Bocona; near it is a river which preſerves the name, being called by the natives Ko-bokan-oye, or the river of Bokan *.
FROM the mouth of Kobakan river, the land trends to the ſouth-weſt. Nothing remarkable occurs till we reach Malawe; between that place and Tangala, is a large plain, thirty miles in circumference, noted for the chace of elephants; their antient place of embarkation, the Geyrreweys of Elyphants van plaets, is a little farther to the weſt.
[Page 255] Dondra-head is next, [Note: DONDRA-HEAD. TANAWAR.] that point is the moſt ſouthern of any in the iſland. A little to the weſt is Tanawar, remarkable for having been the Daiana of Ptolemy, ſacred to the moon; the place ſtill has its temple, or Pagoda, highly venerated by the natives. Near it is one of the Dutch poſts, of which they have a ſucceſſion every ten or twelve miles, guards to the internal parts, and one may ſay, to the impriſoned Emperor. The garriſons are provided with flags, by which ſignals, either of internal commotions, or the appearance of ſhips, are conveyed all along the coaſts, even to Colombo, the ſeat of the Dutch government. Almoſt every one of theſe poſts are near the mouth of ſome river or torrent, which ruſh on all ſides into the ſea, at ſhort intervals from the lofty mountains.
Punta de Galle is a little to the north-weſt of Dondra-head, [Note: PUNTA DE GALLE.] in Lat. 6°, turning almoſt due north. The town is ſtrongly fortified, and is a place of great trade. The fleets return from hence to Europe, and generally ſail by December 25th. [Note: COLOMBO.] In Lat. 7° we find Colombo, the Dutch ſeat of government, and chief of their cities, built in a beautiful and magnificent manner; it was, as I have before mentioned, taken by them from the Portugueſe. The death of their gallant general, Gerard Hulſt, caſt a gloom over their ſucceſs, and cauſed their important acquiſition, for a while, to be loſt in their ſorrow.
Nigombo is a fortreſs ſome miles to the north of Colombo, [Note: NIGOMBO.] and is the great guard to the cinnamon country. The whole interval from Colombo is filled with beautiful villages, and [Page 256] open towns, [Note: ISLE OF CALPENTYN.] characteriſtic of Dutch neatneſs and induſtry. The long iſle of Calpentyn lies near the ſhore, about thirty-ſix miles farther north. [Note: ISLE OF MANAAR.] That of Manaar, ſee p. 182, concludes all I ſhall ſay of this magnificent iſland.