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requires no farther explanation, and that an)' attempt to exhibit the substance of it in our pages would be frustrated by the quantity and diversity of information it contains.
Passing over the description of events usually occurring on the voyage to the Cape, we transcribe a few sentences relating to that settlement.
'Many of the farms, within the compass of a morning's ride, are well worth seeing ;, not as objects of imitation, but as displaying much novelty, and tending to afford a just idea of the character of a Dutch agriculturist in that quarter. The vineyards, and depots of wine at Constantia, are certainly curious; especially when it is considered, that the soil which produces that luscious wine, is confined to a very few acres, I believe not more than forty, beyond which, sets from the same vines, under circumstances of perfect equality, in regard to site and culture, produce a very different liquor, little superior to that sold at the several wine-houses at sixpence per quart, and possessing a peculiar terraceous flavor, which does not diminish by keeping. The stranger not habituated to the use of the Cape wines, either white or red, should be extremely cautious on his first arrival to avoid them j drinking port in their stead. A neglect of this precaution will produce considerable inconvenience, and may be attended with habitual diarrhoea.' pp. 80, 81.
• Nature has been truly liberal in the profusion of flowers she has scattered throughout this part of Africa: the plains are covered with heaths, or heathers, of an exquisite fragrance, of boundless variety, and of the most delicate coloring and formation. The whole country, where the soil is not absolutely barren, teems with all that could enrich a pleasure garden; among these, the wild geraniums bear a large proportion: the plain beyond the camp at Wine-Burg absolutely resembling a rich carpet.' pp. 81, 82.
The following descriptions are not very creditable to the proficiency of the boors in agricultural mechanics. Our readers are doubtless aware, that the mode of thrashing is very similar to that, which has prevailed from the earliest times in the East.
« The lumber-waggons are made in the rudest manner, generally with large truck wheels; some are boarded, or even thatched, above, and absolutely look like moving houses. Whether owing to the awkwardness of their construction, or to the badness of the roads, or to that incorrigible thing called custom, may not be easy to decide; though, possibly, their joint operation may be reasonably considered the cause; it is certainly true, that, even with six or eight pairs of rather stout, but highboned, oxen, such a waggon rarely travels more than twelve or fifteen miles within the day. Nor is the plough a whit better managed. This stupendous machine, which appears calculated to turn up whole mountains in its progress, rarely gets through more than two roods daily, though drawn by six oxen, all in a line, and aided by three men ; one of whom holds the plough stilt, (there being but one,) another drives with - the usual enormous whip, and the third guides the leading ox.
'The operation of thrashing is commonly performed in the open air, within an enclosed circle, about twenty yards in diameter, surrounded by a stone, or mud wall, about four feet high: the floor is made of clay, and lime, rammed very hard. The sheaves being scattered withi,n the4 circle, the farmer's horses are turned in, and driven about by a slave, who, being provided with a whip, stands in the centre, and chases the cattle about; while two, or more, of his associates in bondage, stir the sheaves with forked sticks, in order that every part may be equally trodden by the galloping steeds. The winnowing .is done in the same area; the horses being sent into another circle, to repeat their labors, while several men, first removing the straw, sweep the thrashings towards the, windward side, and there toss it up, that the wind, which is commonly rather forcible, may blow the chaff to the lee side, while the corn falls nearly centrical; of course, as the latter goes with little further preparation to the mill, the flour may be supposed to contain no small portion of grit. The quantity of grain bruised, and left in the straw, must be considerable.' pp. 86—88.
The propi-r cautions are given to new comers against the artifices of the various tribes of miscreants by which they are likely to be assailed, and against the degradation which in India attaches to frequenting a tavern.
* The ordinary mode in which a European is attacked, on his first arrival at Calcutta, is by the tender of a bearer, carrying a large umbrella, to shelter master from the sun, or rain. There is something about a stranger, in that quarter, which instantly announces him to all the predatory tribe, who wait at the wharfs in expectation of living booty: but, if such were not the case, his total ignorance of the language would be sufficient to determine their conduct. The bearer, who is in league with that numerous horde of miscreants, called sircars, abounding, not only at Calcutta, but throughout the lower provinces, speedily conveys the hint to his associates, when a smooth faced chap, who speaks English well enough to be understood, and who comprehends more than he will acknowledge, advances, and making a respectful obeisance, called a salaam, by bending his head downwards, and placing the palm of his right hand to his forehead, makes an offer of his services to the stray Briton.' p. 163.
In the course of describing the various classes of native servants and agents, Capt. W. mentions the cranny or clerk. He is so fond of his joke, that we own it requires all our faith in his veracity to admit as a serious fact the writing of a letter which he thus refers to.
* The use these gentry make of English words, is often highly diverting: they study synonimes very industriously; poring over Johnson's dictionary, and carefully selecting such terms, as appear to them in least use; thinking that such must, of course, make finer language. The following may serve as a specimen: it was written by a cranny to his master, in consequence of an exterior window shutter having been blown down by a severe north-wester. "Honorable Sir, yesterday vesper arrive great hurricane; valve of little aperture not fasten ; first make great trepidation and palpitation, then precipitate into precinct. God grant master more long life, and more great post. I remain, honorable sir, in all token of respect, Master's writer, Bissonaut Metre. P. S. No tranquillity in house since valve adjourn.—I send for carpenter to make re-unite." pp. 210, 211.
The following is a good account of the. duties of a mohout, when actively employed.
'He is to eit upon the neck of his elephant, bare-footed, and furnished with an instrument, called a haunkus, (or driver,) wherewith to guide the animal. This is commonly about twenty, or perhaps twentyfour inches in length, generally made of iron, though some have wooden hafts; the tip is pointed, and, about six inches below it, is a hook, welded on to the stem, forming nearly a semi-circle, whose diameter may be four or five inches. At the butt of the shaft, a ring is let through, for the purpose of fastening the haunkus to a line; the other end of which is fastened to some soft cord, about half an inch in diameter, passing very loosely eight or ten times round the elephant's neck, and serving, in lieu of stirrups, to keep the mohout from falling over to the right or left, on any sudden motion, as well as to retain his feet in their due direction.
'When the elephant is to be urged forward, the point of the haunkus is pressed into the back of his head, while the mohout's tow press under both the animal's ears: when it is to be stopped, the mohout places the hook part against the elephant's forehead; and, throwing his weight back, occasions considerable pain, which soon induces to obedience: when it is to turn to the left, the mohout presses the toes of his right foot under the right ear of the elephant, at the same time goading him about the tip of the right ear; thereby causing the animal to turn its head, and to change its direction; to turn to the right, vice versa. When the elephant is to lie down, in order to be laden, the haunkus is pressed perpendicularly upon the crown of the head: but most elephants, after a year or two, become very well acquainted with the words of command; obeying them readily, without being mounted, or even approached.' pp. 248^250.
The cahars, or palanquin bearers, in and near Calcutta, who are self-incorporated for their own regulation and protection, have a curious method of ascertaining the justice of a com'plaint made by any of their body, and the propriety of bringing it into a court of law.
* They put the case, very fairly, before a fictitious tribunal, consisting of sircars, writers, Sec. who, having been employed by gentlemen of the law, have picked up a smattering of that profession, and are perfectly acquainted with all the forms attendant upon most civil causes. These • base epitomes of legal greatness' possess wonderful shrewdness; and, by means of two fictitious advocates of a corresponding description, who ■jvith an acuteness scarcely to be equalled, argue their respective sides of <!)<• question, i. e, plaintiff and defendant, are enabled to decide, on the Case with strict propriety* The fact is, that this mock court, being instituted for the purpose of preventing any native who chooses to have his cause pleaded before it, from being entangled in that glorious net of perplexity, the supreme court, every endeavour is made to sift the several turns and arguments, that may be resorted to by the defendant. The sages give their opinions the same as in our courts; but are very cautious never to decide in favor of a plaintiff, unless the case appears fully established. It is a well-known fact, that, with the exception of a few haughty, opinionated individuals, who, relying on their own judgment, and thinking such a resort would degrade them, or perhaps discover that chicanery on which they rely for success, omit the above very sagacious caution, scarcely an instance is to be found where a native, residing in Calcutta, has failed to gain his cause against an European.' pp. 302, 303.
After a minute description of various vehicles and modes of conveyance, we come to what is perhaps the best part of the work—a long account of the private life of the natives, especially the females,-furnished to the author, as he tells us, by a learned friend. The several orders of women are carefully specified; and in doing this, our captain manifests the true Bengal indifference to the homely principles of morality and decorum which still prevail in England. We may observe, once for ail, that the scepticism so generally entertained, as to the tendency of the military profession and a residence in India to promote piety and virtue, is not by any means likely to be diminished by Captain Williamson's publication.
The propriety of attending, in almost every country, to many of the customs which experience has taught its inhabitants to adopt, would seem obvious to any intelligent traveller. Prejudice and vanity, however, are often such powerful antagonists of prudence, that we do not wonder to hear some of our countrymen charged with a preposterous contempt and fatal neglect of habits, which they at first regard as luxurious and effeminate.
'Several may be seen annually walking about withoutchattahs, (i.e. umbrellas,) during the greatest heats; they affect to be ashamed of requiring aid, and endeavour to uphold, by such a display of indifference, the great reliance placed on strength of constitution. This unhappy infatuation rarely exceeds a few days; at the end of that time, sometimes only of a week, (nay, I have, known the period to be much, shorter,) we too often are called upon to attend the funeral of the selfdeluded victim ! The first attack is generally announced by cold shiverings, and bilious vomiting j delirium speedily ensues, when putrefaction advances with such hasty strides, as often to render interment necessary so aoon as can possibly be effected,' Vol. II. pp. 2, 3.
A considerable portion of this work is completely out of place. The author seems quite to have lost Sight of his original intention, when giving us long descriptions of the various kinds of timber, and methods of building. This, however, we shall not very severely censure. The information he supplies is not without its use, though superfluous in a Vade-mecum. Of this description, also, is the account of the . substitution of talc for glass, when the latter is very dear, or difficult to be obtained.
* Very extensive dealings are carried on in this article, by persons resident chiefty at Lucknow, Benares, and Patna, who import it from Thibet, and. the countries on the north of the Punjab, or Seik territory, in masses, often as large as a quartern loaf. The masses of talc commonly sell for about a rupee and a half, or even up to two rupees per seer ,of about two pounds avoirdupoise): when good, it is of a pure pearl color, but it has, ordinarily, either a yellowish, or a faint blue cast: by means of proper tools, this mineral may be split into very thin leaves, which often present smooth surfaces, but are apt to have little scaly blisters, that greatly deteiiorate their value. However, a seer of talc, that splits well, will sometimes yield a dozen or more panes, of about 12 inches by 9, or of 10 by 10; and thus, according to the form of the lump; which can only be split in the direction of its laminae. These panes are so far diaphanous as to allow ordinary objects to be seen at about twenty or thirty yards tolerably distinct; and, of course, present an excellent substitute for glass.
« I am surprized that the very simple process whereby talc may be vitrified, has not encouraged some ingenious person to establish a manufactory for that purpose. When combined with alkaline salt, (everywhere attainable in India,) it is fusible in a strong heat, and forms a transparent, handsome, greenish-yellow glass. If equal portions of tale and of chalk be melted together, with one-fourth part of borax, (ihe soehaugah, or tincal, so abundant throughout the East, 1 the mixture will produce a fine pellucid, greenish glass, of considerable lustre and' hardne s; gypsous earths, t which, though not brought into use, are supposed to abound in some parts of Bahar, and of the upper provinces,) may be advantageously substituted for chalk, whence the result will be a rich, pellucid, yellow glass, of equal brightness and durability.' pp. 47,48.
The following passage, marked with the usual faults of the author's style, refers to a subject of importance. Having described the wretched construction of the boats employed by the natives, ha says,
'Were a vessel fitted up on European principles to be wrecked, the whole family would impute the accident to the sin engendered by such adoption of the customs of a race held in abomination by even the lowest casts, (or sects,) throughout the country. Nevertheless, we sometimes see the manjy and dandies grievously put out of their way, by some shrewd native, who resolutely breaks through the general prejudice, and imitates that which his faculties convince him is founded upon science. Not that he will understand the how, and the wherefore: no; he sees the practice is good, and he adopts it: whereas, if any regulation were to be framed to enforce bis compliance with our system,