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these sons that they look for enjoy. ment and importance in life; a wife is often neglected, but a mother is always respected.
A Desperate Resource.—Mr Leo. nard, author of a recent Voyage to the Cost of Africa, tells us that some of the skippers stationed in that quarter, have been in the habit of compelling their crews, under a heavy penalty, to catch, each man, one pair of sucking fish (Remora) every day, in order, as the profound naturalists thought, to thin the ocean of these creatures, which it is well known are thought, by adhering to ships' bottoms, to delay them in their course.
Geological Discoveries.-At Blea don, the Rev. Mr. Williams recently discovered a cavern of fossil remains, which consist of the bones of the mammoth, horse, hog, elephant, and hyena.
Interest for America.—It is a curious fact that the students of the
University of Edinburgh have subscribed to raise a sum of forty gui. neas, which is to be given to the author of the best essay on the influence of the discovery of America on the nations of Europe.
Sale of Beer.—According to a very recent parliamentary document there are at present in England 50,796 licensed victuallers; out of which numbers 24,293 brew their own beer. The total number of licensed brewers in England, are 1753, and the number licensed for the general sale of beer merely, and who brew their own beer, is 13,102. The number of brewers in Scotland and Ireland is, curious enough, exactly on a par, there being 216 returned for each country. The annual export from the United King. dom, of beer, at present, is 70,136 barrels, of which 28,881 barrels are carried to the East Indies, and 23,161 barrels to the West Indies.
ART. I.-Fragments of Voyages and Travels. By Captain
Basil Hall, R.N. F.R.S. Third Series. 3 vols. 12mo. Edinburgh: R. Cadell. London: Whittaker & Co. 1833.
There is scarcely a writer of the present day whom we should with greater cordiality encounter, in the literary highway, than Captain Hall—that is to say, when he chooses to appear in his own proper costume, and to act in his most natural character of an honest, gallant, gentlemanly, fascinating sailor.
The Captain is not to be endured in the political literary character in which he is so fond of appearing. In that ill-selected part, his identity is cruelly misrepresented; and he is the only man in the world who does not see that it is so. However, we forget every thing of an unpleasant nature to which the Captain's late political extravagance may unhappily give rise, and come at once to the third, and, it is with disappointment we add, the last series of these Fragments.
The first of the volumes before us has so odious a resemblance to one of the tedious articles in the Quarterly Review, that whilst attempting to read it, we found the most powerful sternutatories altogether too weak to resist the force of the narcotic principle with which it is tinctured. This volume is entirely occupied with an account of the rise, progress, and present state of the East India Company, with such details as seemed to the author best calculated to illustrate the proceedings of our distant fellow-countrymen in war, in peace, and in diplomatic arrangements with the native powers. Those who know the political principles and feelings of Captain Hall, will not be at a loss to conjecture the nature of the conclusions to which he comes respecting the East India question. They will be certain that his advocacy must be devotedly given to the things that be, and that whatever be the character of the accusations against the government of India, Captain Hall can see in
vol. II. (1833) . II.
that government nothing more or less than one of the most felicitous of the contrivances of human wisdom to promote human improvement. With that show of moderation, which excessive zeal is always sure to simulate, the meek Captain is disposed to acknowledge that the administration of British India, under the direct management of the present Company, is not perfect; but then he adds the expression of his sincere conviction that there is not the slightest hope of any body ever seeing devised a system which shall be more practically efficient than the present one for India.
Leaving the politician to his hobbies, we shall most gladly accompany the worthy tar and intelligent traveller in his rambles in the Eastern Islands, and on the continent of India ; for in this capacity we shall find him in the full possession of all those bright and attractive qualifications of which he afforded such undoubted proofs in his early publications.
The series of adventures through which we have now to follow our interesting and amusing guide, had their origin, for the most part, in the fervid activity of that excellent man and gallant Admiral, Sir Samuel Hood, the commander of a squadron on the Indian station in the years 1812, 1813, 1814, and 1815. Captain Hall served as lieutenant in those years in the flagship of the Admiral ; and it appears that the latter was never happy unless when he was engaged in some excursion through the country, of pleasure or of antiquarian curiosity. This disposition in a man of such influence as Sir Samuel, furnished numerous opportunities to those around him for seeing all the strange sights which so singular a part of the world as India presented. An excursion to Candelay Lake is the subject of the first of the animated narratives with which Captain Hall treats us in the second volume. Passing along the smooth harbour of Trincomalee, the party soon lost themselves amid innumerable small islands, which appeared to be merely floating on the surface of a lake. They next had to row the boats through a forest of mangroves, growing in the water; the trunks and branches of the trees were covered with clusters of oysters and other shell-fish, a fact which explains at once the notions of the older voyagers when they described fish as growing in these places from trees like fruit. But before entering this aquatic forest, the party encountered a knot of pearl-divers, whose capacity of diving without air Sir Samuel was determined to take this opportunity of putting to the test. He had often heard of the wonderful exploits of these men; but having now hit upon an opportunity of witnessing the truth, he caused the best of the divers to descend, and, timing him with a watch, which he held in his hand, he found that in no case did the diver remain a minute complete under water. The method used by these divers in their descent and return, is to place between their feet a basket loaded with one or two large pieces of coral, which, by its weight, makes them go readily to the bottom. Letting go the corals, the diver places the oysters in his basket, and returns
to the surface either with the basket, or the end of a line attached to it, by which it can be afterwards easily drawn up.
The party having passed through the village of Tamblegan, continued their route in their palankeens, accompanied by the government collector, to whose knowledge of Indian cooking Captain Hall states that his companions and himself were altogether indebted, except on account of a certain delicious curry which was provided for them by their cook. The Captain watched the palankeen bearers so repeatedly in the preparation of this delicious repast, that he believes he has come into possession of the true secret of making it, and the following is accordingly the receipt which he supplies for the purpose :-Pound well together twelve parts of coriander seed, two of black pepper, one of cayenne, three of cummin (cumin), and five of pale turmeric ; then add a few cloves, a bit of cinnamon, half a nutmeg, and two or three onions. The liquid, or the gravy added to this mixture, consists of ghee, a sort of boiled or clarified butter. The ghee is an article of popular consumption throughout Hindoostan, and the best is made from the milk of the buffaloe. In the north of India, a little milk, or dhye, which is curdled milk, is added; and, amongst the Malays, the custom is to use the ground kernel of the cocoa nut as the gravy of curries. A great many varieties of rice are used with curry, and such is the power of the instinctive attachment of man to the place of his nativity, that the inhabitants of a given district will, under no possible circumstances, be induced to consume any rice but that which is grown in their own territory.
The party left Trincomalee in a sailing vessel, and proceeded to Ceylon, where Sir Samuel Hood was determined, as in the case of the pearl divers, to bring the reputation of the island for its treasure of precious stones to the test. He had a quantity of the earth dug up from a particular part of the bank of a river which was in much repute as a source of precious stones ; and when this was properly examined after being cleansed, a number of valuable materials, such as rubies, garnets, and crystals of corundum, were obtained.
It appears to have been the fashion in Colombo, the capital of Ceylon, to dine at half-past three o'clock, in order that the inhabitants might be able to command as much of the evening as possible for riding or lounging about in the open air. At night came the Governor's parties and balls, which were usually attended by Europeans only. In the apartments of the Governor's house, the Captain had his attention directed to a very efficient contrivance for ventilation, to which the name of punkah has been given. The punkah is a large fan suspended from the roof, and extending nearly the whole length of the room; by its continued waving it keeps up throughout the apartment a most delightful breeze. This invention is ascribed to the ingenuity of the Bengal officers who served under Lord Cornwallis, in the war of Mysore against Tippoo, in 1791-92; it was then employed by the English residents of all sorts in the
inte value of their Indieasy transitiche climate opis, we are
Madras and Bombay presidencies ; and, finally, it was introduced into Java. The natives, however, do not appear to have understood the value of the innovation, for they have not been known to adopt it in any part of India.
The author, by an easy transition, passes from the consideration of the punkah to the effects of the climate of the country; and from the facts and observations which he records, we are enabled to make the general inference, that it is in the power of a European, under ordinary circumstances, to secure himself, by care and attention, from any supposed malignity which the climate may possess. In describing the arrangements which are usually made in the sleeping apartments, with the view of rendering them perfectly cool, the Captain gives a very pleasant and graphic account of the means of defence employed in these rooms against the invasions of the terrible mosquito:
Round each bed is suspended a gauze curtain, without which sleep would be as effectually murdered as ever it was by any tragedy king. For, if even one villainous mosquito contrives to gain admission into your fortress, you may, for that night, bid good-by, not only to sleep, but to temper, and almost to health. I defy the most resolute, the most serene, or the most robust person that ever lived between the Tropics, to pass a whole night in bed, within the curtain of which a single invader has entered, and not to be found, when the morning comes, in a high fever, with every atom of his patience exhausted. Temper, under such circumstances, is really out of the question; the most placid creature on earth, even old Uncle Toby himself, would be driven into a rage !
The process of getting into bed in India is one requiring great dexterity, and not a little scientific engineering. As the curtain is carefully tucked in close under the mattress, all round, you must decide at what part of the bed you choose to make your entry. Having surveyed the ground, and clearly made up your mind on this point, you take in your right hand a kind of brush, or switch, generally made of a horse's tail; or, if you be tolerably expert, a towel may answer the purpose. With your left hand you then seize that part of the skirt of the curtain which is thrust under the bedding at the place you intend to enter, and, by the light of the cocoa-nut-oil lamp (which burns on the floor of every bed-room in Hindoostan), you first drive away the mosquitoes from your immediate neighbourhood, by whisking round your horse-tail ; and, before proceeding further, you must be sure you have effectually driven the enemy back. If you fail in this matter, your repose is effectually dashed for that night; for these confounded animals—it is really difficult to keep from swearing. even at the recollection of the villains, though at the distance of ten thousand miles from them—these well-cursed animals, then, appear to know perfectly well what is going to happen, and assemble with the vigour and bravery of the flank companies appointed to head a storming party, ready in one instant to rush into the breach, careless alike of horse-tails and towels. Let it be supposed, however, that you have successfully beaten back the enemy. You next promptly form an opening, not a hair'sbreadth larger than your own person, into which you leap, like harlequin