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yes, every hour the proprietors of East India Stock are receiv. ing from an Idolatrous traffic the paltry sum of half a pice !!!
not enough to buy their salt! Amongst the number too there are twenty-seven clerical holders of Stock and pious laymen, females, and others who, we are confident, were it fully known to them, would not crown the brows of their guardians with an immortal laurel for such an addition to their incomes.
We are most anxious to eschew every thing which would involve us in political discussion on the subject; yet as re have advocated the dissolution of the connexion and now urge it on monetary principles, it is but fair to point out what we may deem a probable means of replenishing an exhausted exchequer. We cannot away with the impression that, if increased facilities for colonization and for drawing forth the latent resources of this “ land of milk and honey" were afforded, if the Government would but employ the number of agents now employed in the idolatrous service, for effecting such objects, and endeavour to introduce improvements in manufacture and agriculture, they would soon obtain a much larger and more honorable revenue than this, coupled with the happiness of seeing the people elevated instead of debased, and of making them more attached to their western rulers, by infusing into their minds and habits a taste for western science and literature, modes of commerce and trade. Let us suppose for instance, the Government should bend their attention to the one province of Arracan-a province in which they lose annually about one and a half lakhs of rupees. Arracan is become a proverb for disease and death-to send a man to Arracan is like sending him to his grave; and what is the cause of its unhealthiness? Its fecundity—it is a country rich in woods, minerals, rice, and every thing capable of yielding immense interest for the investment of capital. Arracan is especially adapted for the manufacture of salt of the finest and most pungent quality; it can be manufactured and brought to Calcutta at a much lower rate and of better quality than from almost any other station. Besides, if the Government would establish one central spot for the manufacture of salt in Arracan, it would at once strike at the root of a system of smuggling which entails great misery on all connected with it, and robs the Government of a large revenue. We are confident that if the Government would bend their attention to this province alone, not only would they save the amount now annually sunk in its support, but they would easily bring into their exchequer a large and honorable supply of gold and silver ; and might add to this, too, the prevention of an illicit traffic and secure the daily increasing healthiness, from agricultural improvements, of one of the (at present) most unhealthy provinces in their pos session.
We think that on the principles of commerce we have made out a case for the entire relinquishment of the justly reprobated connexion with idolatry,—both on account of the smallness of the advantage derived from it, and the means which are at hand for filling up the blank in the exchequer which would be occasioned by its dissolution.
With ourselves such arguments have no influence in questions of moral obligation ; they are addressed, not to Christian principles, not to Christian merchants, but to mere bonâ fide merchants, the mere monetary advocates of the system. We shall in future papers touch on the civil, moral and religious bearing of this subject upon the character of the Company, the British nation, and the Church of Christ.
II.-Analysis of Native Bengáli Worls. No. 1. TAE BATRISH SINHA'SAN, OR TALE OF THE 32 IMAGES. Vikramaditya or, the sun of valour,' is a cognomen common to several monarchs of Hindu story. The most celebrated however was a king of Oujein or Oude, who is reckoned to have begun his reign about the year B. C. 57, from which date the Hindu era, called the Sambat, is computed ; bence also named, from him, the era of Vikramaditya. This king is celebrata ed as the most perfect example of all royal virtues and qualifications, being renowned for wisdom and valour, for justice, benevolence and piety: as such he has been long the theme and boast of the Native writers of India.
The work now before us is a translation from a Sanskrit original made by Shri Mrityunjay Sharmañá, a Bengáli Paņdit, who may be classed as the Addison of his country. His work is a model of the simple and the chaste, in Bengáli composition. His style is sententious, laconic and elliptical, abounding in short sentences of easy and unlaboured construction. His language is pure, musical, flowing and perspicuous ; and we know of no bouk in the language fitter to be made a patern for imitation, in its kind. This work possesses another recommendation also, in a degree greatly above many others, that it rarely exhibits any of those diffusive details of sensual impurity in which the pru. rient imagination of Eastern writers is so generally prone to indulge. Hindu morals, it is not to be denied, are both as to compass and principle defective, while Hindu theology is eminently impure and most corrupting alike to the imagination and the heart; it is little therefore to be wondered at if the writings of Hindus generally, even those in which the subjects though little elevated in themselves are yet relieved and adorned by a graceful and poetical fancy, are but too largely vitiated by much that is as revolting to a refined imagination as it is offensive to a moral taste. There are few Bengáli books indeed which could be put indiscriminately into the hands of females or the young : certainly none with more safety than the Batrish Sinhásan, the plan of which we shall now proceed to detail, and then present the reader with a few extracts in illustration both of its style and sentiments, concluding with some philological notices. We say nothing of the Sanskrit original, because
our present object is limited to an exhibition of the Bengáli works of Native authors, whether original compositions or translations ; under which latter class must be ranged most of the prose and nearly all the poetical literature of the province.
The gods, in adniration of the piety and many royal virtues of Vi. kramaditya, had presented him with a splendid throne or royal seat supported by thirty-two figures in relief, and richly ornamented with gold and precious stones. After the departure from this life and ascen. sion to heaven of that renowned monarch, his successors being every way inferior to himself in all kingly excellencies, and therefore deemed unworthy to occupy his god-given throne, it was buried in the earth. In process of time even the place of its concealment passed from the memory of a degenerate posterity, and continued undiscovered till the reign of Bhoj, the eleventh in descent from Vikramaditya, of the monarchs of Oujein, when it was brought to light under the following circumstances.
A spot of ground at some distance from the capital, belonging to an agriculturalist in easy circumstances, had been enclosed by its owner, and formed into what was at once an orchard and a en, a park and a pleasure-ground. It was planted with every species of useful and orna. mental tree: shrubs and Aowers, in profusion, mingled every shade of leafy verdure with every variety of rich and pleasing hue, from the chaste and modest whiteness of the humble jasmine to the more dazzling beauties of the gay and stately ashoka. In the meandering walks and shady bowers of this earthly paradise the tasteful proprietor was wont to rove at pleasure, when the sultry heat of noon rendered so delightful a retreat doubly a source of enjoyment. There gentle and cool breezes breathed a grateful refreshment, and came perfumed with delicious odours exhaled from its beds of sweet-scented flowers and fragrant shrubs,
But alas ! at a small distance from the confines of this garden of delights frowned a dense and extensive forest, from which, from time to time, issued elephants, tigers, buffaloes, rhinoceroses, wild-boars, bears, deer, apes and other mischievous or destructive animals, cruelly laying waste the beautiful domain and infesting its sweetest retirements.
Its owner, vexed at the frequent damage to his property and danger to himself, at length erected a pillar-shed, or small covered seat upon an elevated platform, answering the purpose of a garden-lodge or watch. tower, to which he might betake himself at once for safety to his person and security to his grounds, as from thence he might readily shoot his arrows upon the mischievous depredators.
No sooner was he seated thereon than he became the subject of a sudden, most remarkable, and mysterious influence : an influence under which his mind expanded in wisdom, courage, energy and aptitude for command, and which, it is implied, gave him instant control both over the savage wasters of his domain and the people of his household, but which lasted only so long as he continued in his elevated position. Instantly on descending from it, he lost at once his extraordinary powers and was simply, as before, a plain man of mere rustic intelligence and ordinary qualifications.
His retainers, filled with a very natural astonishment, bruited the unaccountable circumstance abroad, till it reached the ears of the monarch of Oujein, who, as we have stated, bore the name of Bhoj. This king, always at once eager in the pursuit of amusement and prompt to indulge an ever-restless curiosity, repaired speedily to the spot, and having made his inquiries as to the efficacy reported to reside in the pillar-shed, put its reality to the test by directing one of his ministers to seat himself thereon ; who had no sooner done so than the same sudden transformation that had before appeared in the owner of the domain, was at once effected in him likewise, enabling him to give indubitable proofs of a very unwonted measure of intelligence, ability and valour. The reflecting monarch, readily conceiving that so singular an efficacy could not belong intrinsi. cally to any ordinary seat constructed of common materials, any more than that so instantaneous an acquisition of talents and endowments of a truly royal character could ever be supposed natural in persons so inferior, especially when made under such singular circumstances, rightly inferred that more was at bottom than was apparent; and judging that some adequate cause might be discovered beneath the surface of the earth, on the spot where the stage had been erected, commanded search to be made accordingly. The ground was opened and dug down till, after some time, the workmen arrived at the long-lost and now forgotten throne ! Su resplendent, when laid open, was it, from the blaze of innumerable rubies, emeralds, sapphires of all hues and other precious gems, that the king and his attendants were absolutely blinded with the glare, and compelled to turn away their dazzled eyes from beholding it !
Delighted with his good fortune, king Bhoj gave orders for the removal of the discovered treasure to his capital ; but lo! the utmost exertions of his attendants failed even to move it from its position ! At length a voice as from heaven was heard directing oblations to be presented and a solemn religious reverence to be paid to the miraculous throne, which being done, it was readily removed, and finally placed in the royal hall of audience, or council chamber of the palace, itself sufficiently splendid, and rich in every precious ore and pearl and gem of price.
But ere taking possession of a seat of such stupendous magnificence and endued with so miraculous a power of conferring upon its occupant the highest qualifications befitting a ruler of nations, king Bhoj resolved to undergo a solemn service of inaugural consecration, or royal unction and inthronization. A fortunate juncture or lucky hour being fixed by the calculations of the astrologers, the valuable drugs and scented unguents required for the ceremonial being duly prepared, and the state umbrella, the tiger-skin marked with seven streaks corresponding to the number of the Dwipas or great divisions of the world, and other insignia of royalty, mirrors to be borne by chaste females in procession, and weapons of every various form, in readiness, the monarch, attended by his court-chaplains and priests, with many other learned brahmins, his counsellors, officers of state and commanders of armies, was about to ascend the steps of the throne, when at that precise moment, one of the two-and-thirty images which, be it remembered, formed its ornamental supporters, suddenly opening its before immoveable lips, addressed the startled sovereign, in the hearing of the whole astonished assembly, in a speech which forms the introduction to the tales that follow.
The intention of the work is to instruct sovereigns in the duties of their high station, and to incite them to the practice of virtues becoming those entrusted with the welfare of nations. With this design the author introduces the model of kingly excellence, the renowned Vikramáditya ; setting forth, in the introductory chapter, his eminent qualities and almost inimitable virtues, his acceptance and favour with the gods, (one of whom, Indra, it was, who had bestowed upon him the celebrated throne,) his happy life and ultimate beatification; and each of the 32 succeeding tales severally illustrating, from the example of his unrivalled character and acts, one or other of the prominent duties and excellencies of royalty.
The history of Vikramaditya is succinctly this : Offended at some real or supposed slight offered to him at the coronation of his elder brother Bhartrihari king of Oujein, he left his country for distant travel and was
for some years unheard of. Bhartrihari meanwhile ruled his subjects as a father his children, a protector to the good, terrible only to the wicked. Alicted by a discovery, made from a courtezan, of the unfaithfulness of his wife and the treachery of his favourite minister, who had secretly supplanted him in her affections, he conceived a disgust with the world and betook himself to a life of contemplation in the solitude of a desert, and so, being childless, left his kingdom without a ruler. As might be expected therefore, it was speedily overrun with marauders and was fast hastening to desolation.
At the same time a cannibal or body.demon, (a species of malignant spirit who takes possession of the fresh corpse of some newly defunct man) took up his abode in the now defenceless country of the mistaken ascetic, and successively devoured, on the very nights of installation, every young person of the Khyatriya or warrior caste, whom the ministers, anxious to remedy the anarchy and confusion which were ruining the country, had one after another raised to the vacant throne.
At length, the travelled Vikramaditya appeared, but in disguise ; and his inquiries drawing the attention of the ministers, now desponding and at their wit's end, was chosen sovereign of Oude. By his providence and wit he not only contrives to preserve his own life, but also first deceives and then does battle with the sprite, and, worsting him, effects his removal from the country, obtaining from him besides, as the reward of his own valour, the promise of his presence and supernatural aid whenever they should be required. By timely forewarning from another of the same class of demons, whom his patient perseverance had disarmed of hostility, his life is a second time secured from a treacherous brahmini and obtain. ing possession of a magical image of gold, he derives from it an inex. haustible supply of wealth.
In these occurrences originated Vikramáditya's fabled magical powers, which he was enabled to exercise by the ministry of these corpse-demonspowers analogous to those attributed, in times of ignorance, to persons of other climes as possessed of superhuman energy through compacts with the devil. Unenlightened by true religion, the wanderings of the natural mind are alike every where and in all ages.
Thus at once immeasurably rich and able to command the services of powerful sprites to effect purposes beyond his own unaided ability to accomplish, and possessed of all the other sources of enjoyment which royal elevation and the most unrestrained license to self-gratification could secure, Vikramaditya was opportunely warned by a prudent brahmin against the abuse of his dangerous position. “O king,” said the prudent sage, “ wealth (or prosperity in general) is a woman ; she is yours. But, if she have arisen from yourself (or personal exertions), then is she your daughter: if from your father (as an inherited patrimony) in that case she is your mother: but if from another (obtained by gift), she is the wife of another! Reflect hereon, and you will perceive that it is never in any case allowable for a man to retain his wealth for his own enjoyment only (any more than it is lawful for a man to wed his sister, his mother, or the wife of another.) Therefore, when good men obtain wealth, they distri. bute it to others. See then your duty.”.
Led by this address to reflexion, the king decided in his own mind that “ to inhabit a splendid mansion, to ride on noble elephants and high-priced horses, or to enjoy the society of beautiful and accomplished females, will render no man really great: whereas he is truly great and worthy to be extolled, who, as little appropriating bis own wealt as another's, freely distributes it.'
From that time forward therefore, he exercised himself in acts of inces