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and earth oil, the produce of Ava and Arracan. The demands of the Burmah Kaeng*, and the numerous exactions, with the expenses of a long and dangerous voyage, were, however, thrown with such severe but necessary weight upon the original prices of the several commodi‘ties imported, that none but the rulers of the land would venture to evince a disposition to become possessed of them. _ Property has now become comparatively secure ; a stimulus has been given to industry by the freedom allowed to the exportation of produce ; with ‘an increase of production there will be an augmentation of capital, and the agriculturist may look forward to the attainment of those articles of comfort and luxury hitherto denied to him. Still this change for the better will, of necessity, be very gradual. It is as it were a newly discovered land, and as such it will require the united efforts of capital and labour (joined with skill), to bring its resources into play. As is well known, the staple produce of the soil is rice. Great quantities of this grain are annually exported to Madras and Penang : the returns being generally made in kind, and consisting chiefly of Madras cloths and Europe muslins, which are either sold in Arracan or retained for importation into Ava. I am not aware that any other article of agricultural produce is exported from Rambree. Both cotton and indigo are, however, grown upon the island, the former on the mountain side after it had been cleared of the jungle; tobacco is also produced in the ravines and clefts of the hills, subsequent to the accumulation of alluvial soil deposited therein by means of a dam so constructed, as to oppose its escape with the torrent. But neither of these are produced in such abundance as to permit of a large exportation ; the quantity grown being little more than sulficient for consumption in the province. A want of capital, and perhaps a want of confidence in the Government, prohibiting agricultural speculation, the production is generally confined to what may be deemed sutlicient for domestic purposes, or be grown with the sure prospect
of ultimate reward. The morning was bitterly cold, and I was glad to dismount from the
elephant and walk. Snipe were very numerous on a piece of marshy ground, through which the road lay, and further on, I observed two deer of the same species as the Ratwa deer of Nipal ; I could not give a better description of this animal than referring my readers to the account given of it by Mr. Honoson along with the drawing, both of which appear in Part 2, vol. xviii. Asiatic Researches. I had before seen one that had been caught in a net, and brought unto me. The
* Collectors of customs. The duty levied was usually as much as ten per cent.
and not unfrequently paid in kind.
Mughs call the animal GM, and say, that they are very abundant upon the island, residing in the recesses of the forest. The two deer abovementioned were seen at the skirts of the jungle, and were evidently returning to their haunts after a night's ramble through the plains.
There was nothing peculiar in the geological features of the country between Ladong and Oogah. The soil was, as usual, composed of a. rich clay, mixed with a small proportion of sand, and sandstone the prevailing rock. The dip of the stratum, wherever a stratification could be observed, being still to the S. S. W. and S. W. parallel to the bearing of the hills.
Leaving the stubble fields of Ladong, I came once more upon the beach, and could see the village of Oogah beyond me, very prettily situated on a bight of the sea. It was surrounded with tamarind and mango trees, and was on the whole a neat and comfortable looking village. The prospect from Oogall was remarkably fine; beyond it, on the land side, lay Jeeka, the highest mountain in the island, and ‘immediately opposite to it, separated only by a small channel of the sea, was the island of Cheduba, with its blue hills and undulating plains. A Godoo was at anchor between the islands, and from the reports of the crew who were on shore for water, it appeared that she had come last from Chittagong, and was bound to Bassem, laden with betel-nuts and sundries. The So0gree* of the village had come out to escort me to his house, a snug looking building surrounded with a strong bamboo fence. In front of the house, and under the tamarind trees, a nice michaun had been constructed for the accommodation of travellers, and upon this I lay down and slept until a room with a mat, &c., should be got ready in the S00gree’s house for my reception at night. I should have been very well pleased to have slept out in the open air upon the michaun, but for the rernonstrances of my host, who pointed out the danger of doing so in a place so much infested with tigers. It was perhaps as well thatl did not sleep outside, for a tiger came into the village during the night, and so much alarmed one of the elephants that he broke loose. The old Soogree appeared to be in very good circumstances ; he had a large house, abundance of poultry and cattle, and in addition to these evidences of prosperity, he had two wives. Polygamy is common enough in Arracan. There appears to be no limitation ; a man may keep as many wives as he can aflbrd to maintain. The consent of the first wife should, however, be obtained previous to the conclusion of a second contract. It is seldom that a refusal is given, and equally seldom that attention is paid to it.Retaining the privileges of a mistress, and probably aware of her
" The head man of the vircle ; he collect! the revenue. '
inability to enforce a compliance with the restriction she wishes to im-pose, the elder wife usually signifies her readiness to receive into the family a second helpmate for her husband. This new alliance is seldom resorted to before the first wife shall have ceased to retain the charms of her youth, and have become incapable of performing the several domestic duties incumbent upon her.
The system of betrothing children to each other at a very early age, so common with natives of India, does not obtain with the Arracanese. Instances will occur when their marriage has been the result of a preconcerted arrangement on the part of the parents so soon as the female shall have attained the age of maturity (15 years), and not preceded by mutual attachment of the parties united. The young people are not, however, unfrequently, permitted to form their own choice, and where no great disparity of age exists, the consent of the parents is generally obtained. As there is no seclusion of the females there can be no want of opportunity for the display of those little attentions, which in the eyes of the female sex distinguish a lover from a mere observer. The lifting of a pitcher from the well or tank to his mistress’s head, or the present of a bouquet of early flowers to adorn her hair, are but few of the many ways by which the passion of her lover_ is exemplified. Should such attention he pleasing to the fair one, she will probably intimate as much by the gift of a neatly madebundle of cheroots manufactured by her own hand. The attachment between the parties: being known to theirparents and their consent obtained, the astrologer (Hoora-dye), is consulted : the day, month and year of their children’s birth is made known to him, and if the result of his calculations are favourable to the union, every thing is arranged for its completion. In the first place, a present of a fine silk dress ; some gold and silver ornaments, with a little tea mixed up with spices, are sent to the young lady by her lover, who will perhaps follow in the evening of the same day preceded by the young unmarried men of the village : these advancing before him as he approaches the house of his intended bride, extend to the right and left, and oppose his further progress until he has satisfied them with as many rupees as he can afford to lose. He now draws near to the threshold of his mistress’s house. She, on her part, is attended by the young maidens of the village, and these oppose his entrance to the dwelling until he has paid a fine similar to that imposed upon him by his male companions. The lover now enters the house ; and seated at his mistress’s side, flowers and water are scattered over both by the hands of the oldest and most respectable person present.
This done, they both sit down to a meal prepared by the parents of the girl, receiving the food from each other’s hands. The meal ended,
_ the hands of the bride and bridegroom are laid upon each other, (the
hand of the bridegroom uppermost,) and washed by the same person who had sprinkled the Water and flowers over the parties. The father of the bridegroom then takes a ring from off his son's hand, and places it upon the third finger of the bride's left hand. The marriage ceremony being now completed, a nantoh and entertainment is held at the bride's house. The bridegroom retires with the bride, and remains seven days in her parent’s house, preparatory to his taking her to his own home. This wil.l be found to be the general practice of the people on the occasion of their nuptials, but it is not uncommon for a man to take to himself a wife without going through any part whatever of the ceremony above described, nor is there any discredit attached to the parties so united. The woman is viewed in the light of a wife, and treated, in every respect, in the same manner as if she had been united to the man in the manner I have detailed. A prostitute was a being unknown to the Mughs before the country had fallen into the hands of the British. Among the blessings attending the change of rule and marking the progress of civilization in Arracan, is the introduction of a gradual increase of that unhappy class of people, and with it the miseries that are consequent to an unrestrained and promiscuous intercourse. To the honour of the Mugh women Imust declare, that instances of prostitution on their part are still of rare occurrence; the reputation for this vice is still more generally attached to their more civilized neighbours the Bengalees.
So much liberty being allowed to the sexes in early youth, it may be supposed that an unlicensed intercourse will, in many instances, be found to exist between them previous to their union. It would be unreasonable to aflirm that a passion which is so often known to break through the bounds imposed by religion and morality upon a people who claim for themselves a superior degree of civilization, should not in this country be known to exist in an equally unbridled state, and produce the evils consequent to an unrestrained intercourse and the shame of an avowal. Instances of abortion or bastardy are not, however, of frequent occurrence, the good sense of the parents,. to whom the attachment in its several stages is generally known, preventing by a timely union of the parties, the evil which must originate from an intercourse unsanctioned by custom and authority.
When it is considered how easily a divorce is obtained, and how ‘seldom sought for, we may naturally conclude that marriage is conducive to the happiness of the people. Separation may be effected (privately) ‘by a deed drawn out by husband and wife, and witnessed by two or more respectable neighbours; or both parties may appear before the
meeo-woon or magistrate, and a separation is instantaneously efl'ected on their compliance with the rules laid down for observance in such cases. If the wife objects to remain any longer with her husband, and. he shall be found to have repeatedly ill treated her, she is at liberty to depart, receiving from him the whole of her property, as well as the children (both male and female), that may have been born to her. The children are, in maturer years, allowed to reside with either parent as choice directs. If, on the contrary, the wife shall be found to have behaved ill, she pays a certain sum of money (generallyiabout 25 or 30 rupees), to her husband, who also retains possession of the male children; the wife receiving no part whatever of the property. In cases where no criminality is attached to either party, and both desire to be separated, afair division of property is made, each receiving what he or she may have possessed before marriage, with an equal share of the produce of their united labours; the husband retaining the boys, and the wife the girls. The case being investigated and decided upon, a pawn is broken into two pieces, one of which is given to each as the emblem of separation. This done, the divorce has been effected, and they are both at liberty to contract any new alliance.
III.—Descripti0n of the (so called) Mountain Trout of Kemaon. By Dr. J. M'C1.E1.1.ANn, Assistant Surgeon, 30th Regt. N. I.
From among the treasures of natural history of Kemaon that have not hitherto been indicated, the following notice of a new species of fish, which aflbrds a plentiful article of food to those who reside in the vicinity of small rocky streams, may not be uninteresting. From the appearance of this species, it has commonly been considered by Europeans to whom it is familiar as'a common mountain trout ; a closer examination however, soon detects the mistake, and except that it belongs to the class of abdominal fishes and inhabits fresh-water streams, there
is no natural connexion between this fish and the species to which it
was supposed to belong. The following are its distinguishing characters.
Body compressed ; mouth situated under the head, lunate, retractile, toothless. Dorsal fin consisting of eight rays. Two ventral fins situated on the centre of the abdomen, caudal fin bifid.
The colour of the back is bluish-black,‘ diminishing in intensity on the sides, which are each marked as usual with a lateral line, and the belly is pale bluish-white. The scales are so small as to be scarcely perceptible, and there is a slight golden lustre or iridescence about the head; the length is from three inches to nine.