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Ranee's success, brought on the confinement of her competitor; but after a short time, during which he experienced a lenient treatment, he was released. This dame of spirit, who hath evinced strong traits of a disposition fitted for conducting either military or civil schemes, and who hath hitherto been fortunate in them, is at this day enthralled by the force of love. Whether this passion is to be classed amongst the alloys of our virtues, according to the doctrine of the most rigid moralists, or whether it heightens the lustre of those already possessed, and even creates good qualities in us, as the elegant Yorick has advanced, are questions submitted, with a due deference to the intricacy of the subject, to those who are skilled in the extensive passion of love. The object of this lady's favour I saw, and the choice she has made is a proof of good taste. He is a young handsome Hindoo of a religious tribe, who, contrary to the usage of his sect, which is founded on rules almost as severe as those of the Carthusians, dresses gayly, and in the Mahometan fashion
From a certain levity, though politeness of manners, set off by the delicate fancy of his apparel, you at the first glance pronounce him a favourite of the women. . Such are the changes
power, wealth, or intrigue. In this note it may not be improper to mention, that the Hindoos use the epithet “widowed,” as de*riptive of futility, or of any contemptible and nugatory act.
which love can produce, even amongst a people" who observe their religious ordinances with a scrupulousness irreconcileable to common sense, and which in some instances border on gross absurdity". Thus much for the Ranee of Bellaspour, to whom be all success! I Now learned that my progress towards the Kangrah army, would, without the protection of an escort, be attended with much risk. In order to procure so essential an accommodation, I waited on the commander-in-chief, then sitting under a banian tree, and attended by his principal officers, the greater part of them clad in native buff. Some new levies were passing in review before him, that had come in from the country, or rather the woods; for they bore a strong resemblance to the description given in heathen story of the satyrs, fawns, and other branches of the sylvan race; nor do I think that all the powers of a Prussian drill-serjeant, extensive as they are, could have impressed on them a com petent knowledge of military discipline. On approaching the chief, I made an offering of a rupee, laid on the corner of my vest. You will be pleased to notice, that the piece of money is, not to be placed on the naked hand, but on a handkerchief, or some part of the garment held out for that purpose; and though the superior shall be disposed to favour the client, yet from motives of generosity or an attention to his condition, it often happens, that he does not take the offering, but touches it with his finger. The honour is then supposed to be conferred, and the hope of obtaining protection or assistance, if sought for, is entertained. The chief received me with civility, and complied with the request, that our party might be permitted to accompany the first messenger who should be dispatched into the Kangrah camp; and he also intimated that some letters which were preparing, would soon be forwarded. He looked obliquely at my offering, which he touched, but would not receive. A day or two afterwards, I discovered this mountaineer to be composed of the same materials, which, with few deviations, form the common disposition of the natives of India. On visiting him a second time, attended only by the cotewaul" (also the acting master of ceremonies), I was told that I might present my offering, which being an Alum Shahee rupee f, a coin of rather an inferior value in this quarter, I was received with a frown, and my money
* In the neighbourhood of Benares is a sect of religious Hindoos, who, it is said, forbear making any use of their hands, even on the most necessary occasions; but are fed and assisted by others.
underwent a strict-examination. Would you not imagine that I had been bargaining with a Jew pedlar, instead of conferring with the chief of a country? Though I was mortified at beholding among us so glaring a meanness and want of decorum, yet, as a trait of national character was disclosed, I received some satisfaction in obtaining so unequivocal a testimony of it. In further proof of the inconsistency of conduct, as well as a want of fortitude in the people of this country, I am induced to relate to you an event .(though foreign to the immediate purpose of thist letter) that came within my own knowledge. At the time when the Mahometans were driven from Kattuck, the chief of that territory fled to Bengal, where having expended the amount of the treasure and moveables that had been preserved, he went to the coast of Coromandel, and was received into the list of pensioners maintained by the Navaub of the Carnatic. During the regular payment of the allowance, this man enjoyed ease; and by the show of a palanquin, and a respectable retinue, he maintained a certain state. The provision which the Navaub at that time found it expedient to make for pensioners of a higher order, caused a deduction from the stipend of his Kattuck dependent, who then laid down his palanquin, and purchased asmallhorse. This was doubt
less a mortifying degradation; but the cup of his sorrow was not yet full: for on a greater reduction, and at length, a total abolition of the pension, this poor man losing sight of -the character he had supported, and blinded by a vanity which discouraged all industrious exertion for a livelihood, became notoriously addicted to fraud, and petty-thefts; and was scarcely saved from an ignominious end. I have quoted these examples, thinking them more conclusive in conveying to you a knowledge of character, than any speculative observation. But when the mind at an early period, is not accustomed to behold and admire examples of integrity and honour, or taught to shun with horror and contempt the habits of vice; on the contrary, when the instruction given to youth, tends to appreciate the duties of life by the performance of futile ceremonies, and the study of legends pregnant with fable, or violent prejudices, we are not to wonder at such acts of depravity.
The flies tormented me so much in the Bellaapour army, that I could not but with difficulty secure my f.od from their vile attacks. A certain quantity of poison I believe is contained in, the body of an Indian fly; for on swallowing it, a nausea and vomiting almost immediately succeed. I had imagined that the sickness might