The History of British India, Vol. I, by James Mill

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: The History of British India, Vol. I, by James Mill

Postby admin » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:27 am

NOTE B. p. 289.

Another and a very remarkable account of the creation of living creatures is found in the Vedas, and translated by Mr. Colebrooke. “This variety of forms was, before the production of body, soul, bearing a human shape. Next, looking round, that primeval Being saw nothing but himself; and he first said, I am I. Therefore his name was I: and thence even now, when called, a man first answers, it is I, and then declares any other name which appertains to him.—Since he, being anterior to all this which seeks supremacy, did consume by fire all sinful obstacles to his own supremacy, therefore does the man, who knows this truth, overcome him, who seeks to be before him.—He felt dread; and, therefore, man fears, when alone. But he reflected 'since nothing exists besides myself, why should I fear?’ Thus his terror departed from him; for what should he dread, since fear must be of another?—He felt not delight; and, therefore, man delights not when alone. He wished the existence of another; and instantly he became such as is man and woman in mutual embrace. He caused this his own self to fall in twain; and thus became a husband and a wife. Therefore was this body, so separated, as it were an imperfect moiety of himself: for so Yajnyawalcya has pronounced it. This blank, therefore, is completed by woman. He approached her; and thence were human beings produced.—She reflected, doubtingly; How can he, having produced me from himself, incestuously approach me? I will now assume a disguise. She became a cow; and the other became a bull and approached her; and the issue were kine. She was changed into a mare, and he into a stallion; one was turned into a female ass, and the other into a male one: thus did he again approach her, and the one-hoofed kind was the offspring. She became a female goat, and he a male one; she was an ewe, and he a ram: thus he approached her, and goats and sheep were the progeny. In this manner, did he create every existing pair whatsoever, even to the ants and minutest insect.” See a curious Discourse of Mr. Colebrooke on the Vedas, or Sacred Writings of the Hindus, Asiat. Research. viii. 440, 441.
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Re: The History of British India, Vol. I, by James Mill

Postby admin » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:27 am

NOTE C. p. 341. daily ceremomies of the brahmens.

As he rises from sleep, a Brahmen must rub his teeth with a proper withe, or a twig of the racimeferous fig tree, repeating prayers. Should this sacred duty be omitted, so great a sin is incurred, that the benefit is lost of all religious rites performed by him. The next circumstance of importance is, the deposit of the withe after it has done its office. It must be carefully thrown away in a place free from impurities; that is, where none of those religious stains, which are so multiplied among the Hindus, and must infect so many places, have been imprinted. When the business of the teeth and of the twig is accomplished, ablution next engages the attention of the Brahmen. The duty of the bath, particularly in the months of Magha, Pholgima, and Cartica, is no less efficacious than a rigid penance for the expiation of sin. Standing in a river, or in other water, the worshipper, sipping water, which is a requisite preliminary to all rites, and sprinkling it before him, recites inaudibly the gayatri, or holiest text of the Veda, with the names of the seven worlds. He next throws water eight times on his head, or towards the sky, and at last upon the ground, to destroy the demons who wage war with the gods, reciting prayers, of which the first may be received as a specimen: “O waters, since ye afford us delight, grant us present happiness, and the rapturous sight of the supreme God.” When these ceremonies and prayers are performed, he plunges three times into the water, and each time repeats the expiatory text which recites the creation, and having then washed his mantle, the morning ablution is finished. If he is an householder, it is his duty to bathe again at noon, and if he belongs to an order of devotion, both at noon and in the evening, with ceremonies, differing somewhat in the words and forms, but the same in spirit and substance.760

An important part of the worship of the Brahmen then succeeds. Coming out of the water, and putting on his mantle, he sits down to worship the rising sun. This great duty is performed by first tying the lock of hair on the crown of his head, while he holds much cusa grass in his left hand, and three blades of it in his right, or wears a ring of it on the third finger of that hand, reciting at the same time the gayatri. He then sips water three times, repeats the mysterious names of the seven worlds, recites again the gayatri, rubs his hands as if washing them, touches with his wet hand his feet, head, breast, eyes, ears, nose and navel, and again three times sips water. If, however, he should sneeze, or spit, he must obey the text which says, “after sneezing, spitting, blowing his nose, sleeping, putting on apparel or dropping tears, a man should not immediately sip water, but first touch his right ear.” The sipping, however, being at last performed, he passes his hand filled with water, briskly round his neck, while he prays: “May the waters preserve me!” He then shuts his eyes and meditates in silence. Till we got better information, very wonderful ideas were formed of the sublimity of the Brahmen's meditations. On this, one of the most sacred and solemn of all occasions, while he meditates in silence, with his eyes shut, and every mark of intense thought, we are informed, that he is only “figuring to himself, that Brahma, with five faces and a red complexion, resides in his navel; Vishnu, with four arms and a black complexion, in his heart; and Siva, with five faces and a white co lexion, in his forehead.” Nor is this the whole of his meditation. He ponders next on the holiest of texts; and this sublime duty is performed in the following manner. Closing the left nostril with the two longest fingers of the right hand, he draws his breath through the right nostril, and then closing it with his thumb, and suspending his breath, he repeats to himself the gayatri, the mysterious names of the worlds, and the sacred text of Brahme; after which, raising his fingers from the left nostril, he emits the breath which he had suppressed, and thus ends one part of his meditation. The same process is repeated three times and the whole is then concluded. This meditation, says Yajnyawalcya, “implies, Om, (aum,) earth, sky, heaven, middle region, place of births, mansion of the blessed, abode of truth. We meditate on the adorable light of the resplendent generator which governs our intellects, which is water, lustre, savour, immortal faculty of thought, Brahme, earth, sky, and heaven.”761 He then stands on one foot, resting the other against his ancle or heel, and looking towards the east, while his hands are held open before him in a hollow form, and in that posture he recites prayers to the sun, of which the following is one of the most remarkable: “Thou art self-existent, thou art the most excellent ray; thou givest effulgence, grant it unto me.” When all these ceremonies are performed, the oblation or offering is the next part of the service. It consists of tila, flowers, barley, water, and red sanders wood; it is put into a vessel of copper in the shape of a boat, and placed on the head of the votary, who presents it with fresh prayers, and holy texts. In the last place comes the invocation of the gayatri. It is first addressed in these words: “Thou art light; thou art seed; thou art immortal life; thou art effulgent; beloved by the gods, defamed by none, thou art the holiest sacrifice.” It is then recited measure by measure; next the two first measures are recited as one hemistich; and the third measure as the other; lastly, the three measures are repeated without interruption. It is addressed again in the following words; “Divine text, who dost grant our best wishes, whose name is trisyllable, whose import is the power of the Supreme Being; come, thou mother of the Vedas, who didst spring from Brahme, be constant here.” It is then, along with the triliteral monosyllable, and the names of the three lower worlds, pronounced inaudibly a hundred, or a thousand times, or as often as practicable, while the repetitions are counted upon a rosary of wild grains, or of gems set in gold. Additional prayers are recited, and the morning worship of the sun is thus terminated.762

The religious duties which fill up the remaining portion of the day are chiefly comprised in what are denominated the five sacraments. In a passage of the Institutes of Menu these are thus described; “Teaching and studying the scripture is the sacrament of the Veda: Offering cakes and water, the sacrament of the manes; An oblation to fire, the sacrament of the deities; Giving rice or other food to living creatures, the sacrament of spirits; Receiving guests with honour, the sacrament of men.”763 I shall endeavour by a very short illustration to convey an idea of each.

Preparatory to the study of the Veda must ablution be performed. Of this some ceremonies not yet described may be here introduced. “Let a Brahman at all times perform the ablution,” says the law of Menu, “with the pure part of his hand, denominated from the Veda, or with the part sacred to the Lord of creatures, or with that dedicated to the gods; but never with the part named from the Pitris: The pure part under the root of the thumb is called Brahma; that at the root of the little finger, Caya; that at the tips of the fingers, Daiva; and the part between the thumb and index, Pitrya. Let him first sip water thrice; then twice wipe his mouth, and lastly touch with water the six hollow parts of his head, [or his eyes, ears, and nostrils,] his breast and his head. He who knows the law, and seeks purity, will ever perform the ablution with the pure part of his hand, and with water neither hot nor frothy, standing in a lonely place, and turning to the east or the north. A Brahmen is purified by water that reaches his bosom; a Cshatriya, by water descending to his throat; a Vaisya, by water barely taken into his mouth; a Sudra, by water touched with the extremity of his lips.”764 Having concluded this part of the ceremony, and walked in a circle beginning from the south, he proceeds to the pronunciation of the syllable Aum. “A Brahmen, beginning and ending a lecture on the Veda, must always pronounce to himself the syllable Aum; for unless the syllable Aum precedes, his learning will slip away from him; and unless it follow, nothing will be long retained. If he have sitten on culms of cusa grass, with their points toward the east, and be purified by rubbing that holy grass on both his hands, and be further prepared by three suppressions of breath, each equal in time to five short vowels, he may then fitly pronounce Aum. Brahma milked out, as it were, from the three vedas, the letter A, the letter U, and the letter M, which form by their coalition the trillteral monosyllable, together with three mysterious words, earth, sky, heaven.”765 Turning his face towards the east, with his right hand toward the south, and his left hand towards the north, he then sits down, having the cusa grass before him, holding two blades of it on the tips of his left fingers, and placing on them his right hand with the palm turned upwards, and in this sacred position he meditates the gayatri. He then recites the due prayers and texts, and is thus prepared to begin the daily perusal of the Veda.766

The sacrament of the manes, which occupies the second place in the above text of Menu, is described at great length in that sacred volume. “Let the Brahmen smear with cow-dung a purified and sequestered piece of ground; and let him with great care select a place with a declivity toward the south. Having duly made an ablution with water, let him place with reverence the invited Brahmens, who have also performed their ablutions, one by one, on allotted seats purified with cusa grass, honouring them with fragrant garlands and sweet odours, and bringing for them water, with cusa grass and tila; then let him pour the oblation of clarified butter on the holy fire, and afterwards proceed to satisfy the manes of his ancestors. Having walked in order from east to south, and thrown into the fire all the ingredients of his oblation, let him sprinkle water on the ground with his right hand. From the remainder of the clarified butter having formed three balls of rice, let him offer them, with fixed attention, in the same manner as the water, his face being turned to the south: Then having offered those balls, after due ceremonies, and with an attentive mind, to the manes of his father, his paternal grandfather, and great grandfather, let him wipe the same hand with the roots of cusa, which he had before used, for the sake of his paternal ancestors in the fourth, fifth, and sixth degrees, who are the partakers of the rice and clarified butter thus wiped off. Having made an ablution, returning toward the north, and thrice suppressing his breath slowly, let him salute the gods of the six seasons, and the Pitris. Whatever water remains in his ewer, let him carry back deliberately near the cakes of rice; and with fixed attention let him smell those cakes, in order as they were offered, and give part of them to the Brahmens. Having poured water, with cusa grass and tila, into the hands of the Brahmens, let him give them the upper part of the cakes, saying Swadha to the manes. Next, having himself brought with both hands a vessel full of rice, let him, still meditating on the Pitris, place it before the Brahmens without precipitation. Broths, potherbs, and other eatables accompanying the rice, together with milk and curds, clarified butter and honey, let him first place on the ground after he has made an ablution: let him add spiced puddings, and milky messes of various sorts, roots of herbs and ripe fruits, savoury meats and sweet-smelling drinks: then being duly purified, and with perfect presence of mind, let him take up all the dishes one by one, and present them in order to the Brahmens, proclaiming their qualities. Himself being delighted, let him give delight to the Brahmens, and invite them to eat of the provisions by little and little; attracting them often with the dressed rice and other eatables. Let all the dressed food be very hot. Let not a chandala, a town boar, a cock, a dog, a woman in her courses, or an eunuch, see the Brahmens eating.”767 These, with a variety of prayers, and several other observances, are the obsequies to the manes of ancestors.

The oblations to fire, which are a most important part of the duties of the Hindu, are dignified with the title of the sacrament of the gods. I shall here premise the ceremonies attending the consecration of the fire, and the sacramental implements, though to all religious rites these may be regarded as introductory. In order to prepare the ground for the reception of the holy fire, the priest chooses a level spot four cubits square, free from all ceremonial impurities, covered with a shed, and this he smears with cow-dung. Next, having bathed and sipped water, he sits down with his face towards the east, and placing a vessel of water with cusa grass on his left, dropping his right knee, and resting on the span of his left hand, he draws, after an established rule, five consecrated lines, and gathering up the dust from the edges of them, throws it away toward the north-east, saying, “What was herein bad is thrown away.” Having, also, sprinkled the lines with water, and the ground being now prepared, he takes a lighted ember out of the vessels wherein he preserves the fire, and throwing it away, cries, “I dismiss far away carnivorous fire: May it go to the realm of Yama, bearing sin hence.” Then, placing the fire before him, he exclaims, “Earth! sky! heaven!” and adds, “This other harmless fire only remains here; well knowing its office, may it convey my oblation to the gods.” He now bestows upon it a name, conformable to the purpose for which he prefers it, and concludes this part of the ceremony by silently burning a log of wood one span long, smeared with clarified butter. The placing of the superintending priest is the next part of the duty. On very solemn occasions this is a real Brahmen; but in general a substitute is made for him of a bundle of cusa grass. He by whom the sacrifice is performed takes up the vessel of water, and keeping his right side towards the fire, walks round it: then he pours water near it, in an eastern direction, and spreads on it cusa grass: then he crosses, without sitting down, his right knee over his left; then takes up a single blade of grass between the thumb and ring-finger of his left hand; next throws it away towards the south-west, saying, “What was herein bad is cast away:” then he touches the water, resting the sole of his right foot on his left ankle, sprinkles the grass with water, after which he places on it his Brahmen made of cusa, saying to it, “Sit on this seat until thy fee be paid thee;” he then returns round the fire the same way by which he went, and sitting down again with his face towards the east names the earth inaudibly. If no profane word should hitherto have been spoken, for which atonement is requisite, he must next spread leaves of cusa grass on three sides of the fire; he begins with the eastern side, and lays three rows of leaves in such a manner that the tip of the one shall cover the root of the other; after this he blesses the ten regions of space, and rising a little puts some wood on the fire with a ladleful of clarified butter, while he meditates in silence on Brahma, the lord of creatures: next he takes up two leaves of the grass, and with another cutting off the length of a span, and saying, “Pure leaves be sacred to Vishnu,” he throws them into a vessel of copper, or other metal; he then takes up other two leaves, and holding the tips of them between the thumb and ring finger of his right hand, the roots between the thumb and ring finger of his left, he takes up, having the one hand crossed over the other, clarified butter in the curviture of the leaves, and throws some of it three several times into the fire. He then sprinkles the leaves with water, and throws them away; next, having sprinkled the vessel containing the clarified butter, he puts it on the fire and takes it off again three several times, when, having recited the proper prayers with cusa grass in both his hands, the ceremony of hallowing the butter is finished. That of hallowing the wooden ladle is performed by describing three times with the tip of his fore finger and thumb the figure 7 on the inside of it, and the figure 9 on the outside, by sprinkling water, having first dropped on one knee, from the palms of his hands, on the whole southern side of the fire, from west to east; on the western side from south to north, on the northern side, and then all around the fire, reciting prayers and sacred texts. Having next recited an expiatory prayer with cusa grass in both his hands, and having thrown the grass away, he has then finished the consecration of the sacrificial implements. It is only after all this is accomplished that he is prepared to begin the oblation to fire, of which the following is one of that variety of forms which it receives according to the rite intended to succeed. First, the priest burns silently a log of wood, smeared with clarified butter: next, he makes three oblations, by pouring each time a ladleful of clarified butter on the fire, and pronouncing severally the following prayers; “Earth! be this oblation efficacious.”—“Sky! be this oblation efficacious.”—“Heaven! be this oblation efficacious.” On some occasions the oblation is made a fourth time, and he says, “Earth! sky! Heaven! be this oblation efficacious.’ An offering of rice, milk, curds, and butter, is next performed, and the oblations accompanied with the names of the three worlds are repeated.768 “In his domestic fire, for dressing the food of all the gods,” says the law of Menu, “let a Brahmen make an oblation each day to these following divinities; first to Agni, god of fire, and to the lunar god, severally; then, to both of them at once; next, to the assembled gods; and afterwards to Dhanwantari god of medicine; to Cuhu, goddess of the day, when the new moon is discernible; to Anumati, goddess of the day after the opposition; to Prajapati, or the lord of creatures; to Dyava and Prithivi, goddesses of sky and earth; and lastly, to the fire of the good sacrifice. Having thus, with fixed attention, offered clarified butter in all quarters, proceeding from the east in a southern direction, to Indra, Yamu, Varuna, and the god Soma, let him offer his gift to animated creatures.”769

The fourth sacrament, or that of spirits, in the Institutes of Menu, is thus described: “Let him, saying, I salute the marats or winds, throw dressed rice near the door: saying, I salute the water gods, let him throw it in water; and let him throw it on his pestle and mortar, saying, I salute the gods of large trees. Let him do the like in the north-east, or near his pillow, to Sri, the goddess of abundance; in the south-west, or at the foot of his bed, to the propitious goddess Bhadracali; in the centre of his mansion, to Brahma, and his household god; to all the gods assembled, let him throw up his oblation in open air; by day, to the spirits who walk in light; and by night, to those who walk in darkness; in the building on his housetop, or behind his back, let him cast his oblation for the welfare of all creatures; and what remains let him give to the Pitris with his face toward the south.”770

Of those diurnal sacraments, which constitute so great a part of the duty of the Hindus, receiving guests with honour, which is denominated the sacrament of men, is the fifth. This is commonly, by English writers, interpreted “hospitality.” But we shall form a very erroneous notion of this sacramental service, if we confound it with the merely human and profane duty of receiving strangers beneficently from motives of humanity. This is a duty purely religious, confined to the twice-born and consecrated classes; and principally contrived for the benefit of the Brahmens; that for them, in all places, and on all occasions, every door may be open, and every table spread. “A Brahmen, coming as a guest, and not received with just honour, takes to himself all the reward of the kousekeeper's former virtue, even though he had been so temperate as to live on the gleanings of harvests, and so pious as to make oblations in five distinct fires.”771 A guest, in the Hindu sense, is not every man who may claim, or may stand in need of your hospitalities: A guest, according to the commentator, whom Mr. Colebrooke follows as his guide, is “a spiritual preceptor, a priest, an ascetick, a prince, a bridegroom, a friend.”772 “In the house of a Brahmen,” says the law of Menu, “a military man is not denominated a guest; nor a man of the commercial or servile cast;”773 so that a Brahmen, to whom are devoted the hospitalities of all the classes, is bound to return them to Brahmens alone. Among the religious ceremonies with which this sacrament is celebrated, a cow is tied on the northern side of the apartment, and a stool and other furniture placed for the guest, when the householder, rising up to bid him welcome, recites the prayer; “May she, who supplies obligations for religious worship, who constantly follows her calf, and who was the milch cow when Yama was the votary, abound with milk, and fulfil our wishes year after year.” The guest then sits down on the stool or cushion prepared for him, reciting the text of the Yajurveda, which says; “I step on this for the sake of food and other benefits, on this variously splendid footstool.” His host next presents to him a cushion made of twenty leaves of cusa grass, holding it up with both hands, and exclaiming, “the cushion! the cushion! the cushion!” which the guest accepts and places it on the ground under his feet, reciting prayers. This done, a vessel of water is presented to him, the host thrice exclaiming, “Water for ablutions!” Of this the guest declares his acceptance, and looking into the vessel cries, “Generous water! I view thee; return in the form of fertilizing rain from him from whom thou dost proceed.” He then takes some of it in the palms of both hands joined together, and throws it on his left foot, saying, “I wash my left foot, and fix prosperity in this realm;” in the same manner on the right foot, with a similar declaration; and lastly, on both feet, saying, “I wash first one and then the other; and lastly, both feet, that the realm may thrive, and intrepidity be gained.” With similar formalities is next presented and received, an arghya; that is, a vessel shaped like a boat, or a conch, filled with water, rice, and durva grass; when the guest pouring the water on his head, says, “Thou art the splendour of food; through thee may I become glorious.” The host, again presenting water, three times exclaims, “Take water to be sipped!” the guest, accepting it, says, “Thou art glorious, grant me glory!” These ceremonies being finished, the host fills a vessel with honey, curds, and clarified butter, and, covering it with another vessel, presents it to his guest, exclaiming three times, “Take the Madhuparca!” He, receiving, places it on the ground, and looking into it, says, “Thou art glorious, may I become so:” he tastes it three times, saying, “Thou art the sustenance of the glorious; thou art the nourishment of the splendid; thou art the food of the fortunate; grant me prosperity:” and then silently eats until he be satisfied. When this is done, he sips water; and touching his mouth and other parts of his body with his hand, he says, “May there be speech in my mouth; breath in my nostrils; sight in my eyeballs; hearing in my ears; strength in my arms; firmness in my thighs: may my limbs and members remain unhurt together with my soul.” Presents are then presented to him, suitable to the rank of the parties; and a barber who attends for the purpose, now exclaims, “The cow, the cow.” The guest then pronounces the following text: “Release the cow from the fetters of Varuna. May she subdue my foe. May she destroy the enemies both of my host and me. Dismiss the cow that she may eat grass and drink water.” At this intercession she is released, and thus the guest addresses her; “I have earnestly entreated this prudent person, saying, Kill not the innocent, harmless, cow, who is mother of Rudras, daughter of Vasus, sister of adityas, and the source of ambrosia.”774 Such is the mode in which the ceremonial duty of entertaining guests is celebrated, and such is an idea of the ceremonies which are included in the five daily sacraments of the Hindus.

As the daily ceremonies, however, in their full detail, are sufficient to engross the whole time of the votary; for those on whom the functions of society devolve, some alleviation of the burthen, or rather, in the Hindu notion, some restriction of the privilege, was necessarily devised: and while the sanctity of entire accomplishment is reserved for the holy men who maintain perpetual fires, those who are engaged in the affairs of life are obliged to content themselves with a rite, called Vaiswadeva, in which all the daily sacraments, excepting that of the Veda, are comprised. It consists of oblations to the manes, to the gods, and spirits, and of donations to guests, all out of the food prepared for the daily meal; and is thus performed. Sitting down in a place free from impurities, and setting a vessel containing fire on his right hand, the worshipper hallows the ground by throwing away a lighted piece of cusa grass, while he recites the appropriate text,775 and then places his fire on the consecrated spot, repeating the prayer which is used, when the household and sacrificial fires are lighted by the attrition of wood.776 He next lays cusa grass on the eastern side of the fire, with its tips pointed towards the north, exclaiming, “I praise divine fire, primevally consecrated, the efficient performer of a solemn ceremony, the chief agent of a sacrifice, the most liberal giver of gems.”777 He spreads it on the southern side, with its points towards the east, reciting the commencement of the Yajurveda. 1. “I gather thee for the sake of rain. 2. I pluck thee” (at this he is supposed to break off the branch of a tree) “for the sake of strength. 3. Ye are” (he touches calves with the branch he had pulled off) “like unto air. 4. May the liberal generator of worlds make you” (here he touches, or is supposed to touch, milch-cows with the same branch) “happily reach this most excellent sacrifice.”778 In like manner he lays grass on the two other sides of the fire, on the western side with the tips to the north, crying, “Fire! approach to taste my offering; thou who art praised for the gift of oblations; sit down on this grass, thou, who art the complete performer of the solemn sacrifice;”779 and on the northern side with the tips pointed to the east, saying, “May divine waters be auspicious to us, &c.780 When all these ceremonies are completed, he stirs the fire, and sprinkles water upon it, after which, having his hands smeared with clarified butter, he offers food three several times, repeating, “Earth! sky! heaven!” Five similar oblations are next performed: one to the regent of fire; one to the god of medicine; one to the assembled deities; one to the lord of created beings; and one to the creator of the universe. Six more oblations are then offered with six prayers, every oblation having its separate prayer. 1. “Fire! thou dost expiate a sin against the gods; may this oblation be efficacious. 2. Thou dost expiate a sin against man. 3. Thou dost expiate a sin against the manes. 4. Thou dost expiate a sin against my own soul. 5. Thou dost expiate repeated sins. 6. Thou dost expiate every sin I have committed, whether wilfully or unintentionally: may this oblation be efficacious.” He next worships the fire, making an oblation with the following prayer; “Fire! seven are thy fuels; seven thy tongues; seven thy holy sages; seven thy beloved abodes; seven ways do seven sacrificers worship thee: thy sources are seven: be content with this clarified butter: may this oblation be efficacious.” As the sacred lamp was lighted for the repulsion of evil spirits, before the oblations to the gods and the manes were presented, it is now extinguished, while recitation is made of the following text; “In solemn acts of religion, whatever fails through the negligence of those who perform the ceremony, may be perfected solely through meditation on Vishnu.” The oblations to spirits are next offered: the performer depositing portions of food in the several places prescribed for it, having previously swept each place with his hand and sprinkled it with water. Near the spot where the vessel of water stands, he makes three offerings, saying, “Salutation to rain! to water! to the earth!” He makes them at both doors of his house to Dhatri, and Vidhatri, or Brahma, the protector and creator. He presents them toward the eight points of the compass, adding salutation to them, and to the regents of them. To Brahm, to the sky, and to the sun, he makes oblations with salutation in the middle of the house. He then offers similar oblations to all the gods; to all beings; to twilight; and to the lord of all beings. After the sacrament of spirits thus performed, the worshipper, shifting the sacramental cord, and looking toward the south, drops upon one knee, and presents an oblation to the manes of ancestors, saying, “Salutation to progenitors: may this ancestral food be acceptable.” Having performed a lustration, he should then present food to his guests. “When he has thus,” says Mr. Colebrooke, “allotted out of the food prepared for his own repast, one portion to the gods, a second to progenitors, a third to all beings, and a fourth to his guests, he and his family may then, and not before, consume the remaining portion of the food.” This ceremony must be regularly performed in the forenoon, by those to whom the full celebration of the five sacraments is impracticable; and by some persons it is repeated again in the evening.781

After this tedious though greatly abridged account, of the daily ceremonies of the Hindus, we come to those which are performed at certain great and chosen epochs. On these, however, I shall content myself with some very general notices.

The Brahmans wait not for the period of birth to commence the ceremonis which pertain to each individual. “With auspicious acts,” says the holy text, “prescribed by the Veda, must ceremonies on conception, and so forth, be duly performed, which purify the bodies of the three classes in this life, and qualify them for the next.” Oblations to fire are required during the mother's pregnancy, and holy rites are commanded on the birth of the child. “Before the section of the naval string, a ceremony is ordained on the birth of a male child: he must be made, while sacred texts are pronounced, to taste a little honey and clarified butter from a golden spoon.”782 The ceremony of giving a name is ordained to be performed on the tenth or twelfth day after the birth: “or on some fortunate day of the moon, at a lucky hour, and under the influence of a star with good qualities.”783 The ceremony of the tonsure, which is one of the distinguishing marks of the first three classes, is a rite of great solemnity, commanded to be performed in the first or third year after birth.784 But of all the ritual ordinances of the Hindus none are reckoned more essential or important than those relating to the investiture. “In the eighth year from the conception of a Brahmen,” says the law of Menu, “in the eleventh from that of a Cshatriya, and in the twelfth from that of a Vaisya, let the father invest the child with the mark of his class: Should a Brahmen, or his father for him, be desirous of his advancement in sacred knowledge, a Cshatriya of extending his power, or a Vaisya of engaging in mercantile business, the investiture may be made in the fifth, sixth, or eighth years respectively. The ceremony of investiture, hallowed by the gayatri, must not be delayed, in the case of a priest, beyond the sixteenth year; nor in that of a soldier, beyond the twenty-second; nor in that of a merchant, beyond the twenty-fourth. After that all youths of these three classes, who have not been invested at the proper time, become vratyas or outcasts, degraded from the gayatri, and contemned by the virtuous. With such impure men let no Brahmen, even in distress for subsistence, ever form a connexion in law, either by the study of the Veda, or by affinity.”785 The investiture, or institution, is usually denominated the second birth; and it is from this ceremony that the three highest classes are denominated the twice-born.786 It consists chiefly in bestowing upon the object of the rite, a mantle, a girdle, a sacrificial cord, and a staff, with numerous ceremonies, prayers, and holy texts. “Let students of the Veda,” says the law of Menu,787 “wear for their mantles, the hides of black antelopes, of common deer, or of goats, with lower vests of woven sana, of cshuma, and of wool, in the direct order of their classes. The girdle of a priest must be made of munja, in a triple cord, smooth, and soft; that of a warrior must be a bow-string of murva; that of a merchant, a triple thread of sana. The sacrificial thread of a Brahmen must be made of cotton, so as to be put on over his head in three strings; that of a Cshatriya, of sana thread only; that of a Vaisya, of woollen thread.788 A priest ought by law to carry a staff of Bilva or Palasa: a soldier, of Bata or C’hadira; a merchant, of Venu or Udumbara. The staff of a priest must be of such a length as to reach his hair; that of a soldier to reach his forehead; and that of a merchant to reach his nose. Let all the staves be straight, without fracture, of a handsome appearance, not likely to terrify men, with their bark perfect, unhurt by fire. His girdle, his leathern mantle, his staff, his sacrificial cord, and his ewer, he must throw into the water, when they are worn out or broken, and receive others hallowed by mystical texts. The ceremony of cesanta, or cutting off the hair, is ordained for a priest in the sixteenth year from conception; for a soldier, in the twenty-second; for a merchant, two years later. Such is the revealed law of institution for the twice-born, an institution in which their second birth clearly consists, and which causes their advancement in holiness.”

The ceremonies of marriage, which next call for our attention, are extremely numerous. The bridegroom is first of all received by the father of the bride with all the ceremonies of hospitality which we have already described; and during this time the bride is bathed.789 When these rules are finished, the hand of the bride is placed in that of the bridegroom, both having been previously rubbed with some auspicious drug, and a matron binds them with cusa grass amid the sound of cheerful music. The father of the bride then bidding the attendant priests begin their acclamations, pours water from a vessel containing tila and cusa grass, upon the hands of the united pair, and uttering the words, “God the existent,” and pronouncing the names and designations of the bridegroom, the bride, and himself, says, “I give unto thee this damsel, adorned with jewels, and protected by the lord of creatures.” The bridegroom replies, “Well be it.” The bridegroom then having received from the father of the bride a piece of gold, and recited an appropriate text, the parties are affianced, and walk forth, while the bridegroom thus addresses the bride; “May the regents of space, may air, the sun, and fire, dispel that anxiety which thou feelest in thy mind, and turn thy heart to me. Be gentle in thy aspect, and loyal to thy husband; be fortunate in cattle, amiable in thy mind, and beautiful in thy person: be mother of valiant sons; be fond of delights; be cheerful; and bring prosperity to our bipeds and quadrupeds.”790 A libation of water is afterwards made; and the father of the bride, having meditated the gayatri, ties a knot with the skirts of the mantles of the bridegroom and bride, saying, “Ye must be inseparably united in matters of duty, wealth, and love.” The bridegroom next attires the bride with a variety of ceremonies, of which the following are the most remarkable. Going to the principal apartment of the house, he prepares a sacrificial fire, and hallows the implements; when one friend of his bearing a jar of water, walks round the fire, and stops on the south side of it; and another, performing the same ceremony, places himself on the right of the first. The bridegroom then casts four double handfuls of rice, mixed with leaves of Sami, into a flat basket; and placing near it a stone and mullar, which with formality he had previously touched, he causes the bride to be clothed with a new waistcloth and scarf, while he himself recites a variety of prayers. This being done, the bride goes to the western side of the fire, and recites a prayer, while she steps on a mat made of virana grass, and covered with silk. She then sits down on the edge of the mat, and the bridegroom makes six oblations of clarified butter, reciting a prayer with each.791 After this he names the three worlds separately and conjointly, presenting oblations; and makes four or five oblations to fire and to the moon. After these he rises up with the bride, and passing from her left to her right makes her join her hands in a hollow form. The rice, which was previously put in the basket, being then taken up, and the stone which was laid near being placed before the bride, she treads on it with the point of her right foot, while the bridegroom recites this prayer, “Ascend this stone; be firm like this stone; distress my foe, and be not subservient to my enemies.” He then pours on her hands a ladleful of clarified butter; another person gives her the rice; two ladlefuls of butter are poured over it; when she separates her hands, and lets fall the rice on the fire, while a holy text is recited. She treads again on the stone, again makes an oblation of rice, again a prayer is recited, again walking is performed round the fire, again four or five oblations are made with similar ceremonies and prayers, when the bridegroom pours two ladlefuls of butter on the edge of the basket, and then rice out of it into the fire, saying, “may this oblation to fire be efficacious.” After the ceremony of ascending the stone and throwing the rice into the fire, the bride is conducted to the bridegroom, and by him directed to step successively into seven circles, while seven texts are repeated. This is the most emphatical part of the ritual; for no sooner is the seventh step of the bride performed, than the nuptial bond is complete and irrevocable. The bridegroom then in appropriate texts addresses the bride and the spectators, dismissing them; after which his friend, who stood near the sacrificial fire, bearing a jar of water, advances to the spot where the seventh step was completed, and, while a prayer is recited, pours water on the head, first of the bridegroom and then of the bride. Upon this, the bridegroom, putting his left hand under the hands of his bride, which are joined in a hollow posture, takes her right hand in his, and recites six holy texts; after which he sits down with her near the fire, and makes oblations, while severally and conjointly he names the three worlds. On the evening of the same day, when the stars begin to appear, the bride sits down on a bull's hide of a red colour, placed with the neck towards the east, and the hair upwards; and the bridegroom, sitting down beside her, makes oblations, naming the three worlds as usual; then six other oblations, pouring each time the remainder of the clarified butter on her head, and reciting prayers.792 After rising up, and contemplating the polar star as an emblem of stability, matrons pour upon them water mixed with leaves, which had been placed upon an altar prepared for that purpose, and the bridegroom again makes oblations with the names of the worlds. He then eats food, prepared without factitious salt, reciting prayers during the meal: and when he has finished, the remainder is given to the bride. During the three subsequent days the married couple must remain in the house of the father of the bride, must abstain from factitious salt, must live chastely and austerely, sleeping on the ground. On the fourth day the bridegroom carries her to his house, reciting texts when he ascends the carriage, and when they come to cross roads. Leading her into his own house he chants a hymn, when matrons hail, and seat her on a bull's hide as before, and the bridegroom recites a prayer. They place next a young child in her lap, putting roots of lotus, or fruits, into his hand; when the bridegroom takes him up, and, preparing a sacrificial fire with all the usual ceremonies, makes eight different oblations, with as many prayers. The bride then salutes her father in law, and the other relations of her husband. The bridegroom prepares another sacrificial fire, and sits down with the bride on his right hand; when with the usual preliminary and concluding oblations to the three worlds, he makes twenty oblations, with as many prayers, throwing the remainder of each portion of the consecrated butter into a jar of water, which is afterwards poured on the head of the bride.

If the ceremonies prescribed for marriage are thus multiplied, trivial, and tiresome, those allotted to funerals are in point of number still more exorbitant and oppressive. After a specimen, however, of the Hindu ceremonies, there is something exceedingly monotonous in the detail of the rest; and hardly any thing is more ungrateful than to be obliged to go through them. The reader is, therefore, spared the task of studying the funeral rites of the Hindus, of which, notwithstanding, he may form a sufficient conception, as, in point of character, they exactly resemble those which have already been described.793

Of the monthly ceremonies, one may suffice to afford an idea of the whole. “From month to month,” says the law of Menu, “on the dark day of the moon, let a twice-born man, having finished the daily sacrament of the Pitris, and his fire being still blazing, perform the solemn sraddha.”794 Of the sraddha's, which are numerous but very similar, the following is exhibited as a specimen. The person who is to perform the ceremony having purified the place by smearing it with cow-dung, raises on it an alter of sand of certain dimensions and form, washes his hands and feet, sips water, and puts a ring of cusa grass on the ring finger of each hand. He then sits down on a cushion of cusa grass, and lights a lamp, reciting a prayer. He next places the utensils and materials in order, sprinkles water on himself and all around, meditates on Vishnu, surnamed the Lotos-eyed, meditates the gayatri, and after some ceremonies proceeds to invite and to welcome the assembled gods and the manes. Two little cushions, of three blades of cusa grass, he places on one side of the altar for the Viswadevas, and six in front of it for the Pitris, and strewing on them cusa grass, he asks, “Shall I invoke the assembled gods?” Do so; is the answer: upon which he exclaims, “Assembled gods! hear my invocation: come and sit down on this holy grass.” After scattering barley and meditating a prayer to the gods, he invites the manes of ancestors with similar invocations; and welcomes the gods and manes with oblations of water, &c. in vessels made of leaves. He puts cusa grass into the vessels, and sprinkles them with water, while he recites the prayer, beginning, “May divine waters be auspicious to us;” he next throws barley into the vessels intended for the gods, and tila into those intended for the manes, with a prayer appropriate to each. The vessels are then taken up in succession, a prayer being repeated for each; the cusa grass placed on the vessels is put into the hand of a Brahmen; that which was under them is held in the hand of the person by whom the sraddha is performed; and he pours through it, on the hand of the Brahmen, the water which the vessels contained, then piles up the empty vessels in three sets, and overturns them, saying, while he reverses the first, “Thou art a mansion for ancestors.” Taking up food smeared with clarified butter, he next makes two oblations to fire, with two corresponding prayers. The residue of the oblation, the performer having consecrated it by prayers and other ceremonies, having sweetened it with honey and sugar, and having meditated the gayatri with the names of worlds, is distributed among the Brahmens; and when they have eaten till they have acknowledged that they are satisfied, he gives them water to rinse their mouths. He then offers the cakes, consisting of balls or lumps of food, mixed with clarified butter, observing the requisite ceremonies. In the next place he makes six libations of water from the palms of his hands, with the salutation to the seasons, then places with due ceremonies and texts, a thread on each funeral cake, to serve as apparel for the manes. After this he takes up the middle cake and smells it, or his wife, if they are desirous of male offspring, eats it, while they recite a correspondent prayer. He takes up the rest of the cakes, and smelling them one after another, throws them into a vessel; which done, they are given to a mendicant priest, or a cow, or else cast into the water. He then dismisses the manes, reciting a holy text, and having walked round the spot, and recited a prayer, departs.795 “Formal obsequies,” says Mr. Colebrooke, “are performed no less than ninety-six times in every year.”796

END OF VOL. I.
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Re: The History of British India, Vol. I, by James Mill

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Part 1 of 6

Notes:

1. The difficulty arising from this source of false information was felt by the very first accurate historian.
Thucyd. lib. i. c. k. Other excellent observations to the same purpose are found in the two following chapters.
2. Il y avoit plus de choses la dessus qu’on ne le croyoit communement, mais elles etoient noyées dans une foule de recueils immenses, en langues Latine, Espagnole, Angloise, et Hollandoise, ou personne ne s'avisoit de les aller chercher; dans une quantité de routiers tres-secs, tres ennuyeux, relatifs à cent autres objets, et dont il seroit presque impossible de rendre la lecture interressente. Les difficultés ne touchent guère ceux qui ne les essuyent pas. Hist. des Navigation aux Terres Australes, par M. le President de Brosse.
3. L’on ne sent que trop, says Mr. Gibbon, combien nous sommes portés à mêler nos idées avec celles que nous rapportons. Memoire sur la Monarchie des Medes, Gibbon's Miscel. Works, iii. 61. Ed. 8vo. This infirmity of the human mind, a fact of great importance, both in speculation and in action, the reader, who is not already acquainted with it, will find very elegantly illustrated in one of the chapters of the second volume of the work of Mr. Dugald Stewart, on the Philosophy of the Human Mind. See p. 72, vol: ii. of the present work. Many examples of it will present themselves in the course of this history; for as it is a habit peculiarly congenial to the mental state of the natives, so a combination of circumstances has given it unusual efficacy in the minds of those of our countrymen by whom India has been surveyed.
4. The idea of a critical history is not very old. The first man who seems to have had a distinct conception of it, says, “Je traiterai mon sujet en critique, suivant la rogle de St. Paul, Examinez toutes choses, et ne retenez que ce qui est bon. L’histoire n’est bien souvent qu'un melange confus de faux et de vrai, entassé par des ecrivains mal instruits, credules, ou passionez. C’est au lecteur attentif et judicieux d’en faire le discernement, à l'aide d'une critique, qui ne soit ni trop timide, ni temeraire. Sans le secours de cet art, on erre dans l’histoire, comme un pilote sur le mer, lorsqu’il n'a ni boussole, ni carte marine.” Beausobre, Hist. de Manichee, Disc. Prelim. p. 7.
The same writer has also said, what is not foreign to the present purpose, “Une histoire critique ne pouvant être trop bien justifiée, j'ai eu soin de mettre en original, au bas des pages, les passages qui servent de preuve aux faits que j'avance. C’est un ennuyeux travail, mais je l'ai cru necessaire. Si l’on trouve les citations trop amples et trop abondantes, c’est un superflu qui n'a coῦté qu'a moi, et le lecteur peut bien m’en pardonner la depense.” Id. Ibid. Pref. p. 24.
A great historian of our own has said: “It is the right, it is the duty of a critical historian to collect, to weigh, to select the opinions of his predecessors; and the more diligence he has exerted in the search, the more rationally he may hope to add some improvement to the stock of knowledge, the use of which has been common to all.” Gibbon's Miscel. Works, iv. 589.
5. Even those strictures, which sometimes occur, on institutions purely British, will be all found, I am persuaded, to be not only strictly connected with measures which relate to India, and which have actually grown out of those institutions; but indispensably necessary to convey complete and correct ideas of the Indian policy which the institutions in question contributed mainly to shape. The whole course of our Indian policy having, for example, been directed by the laws of parliamentary influence, how could the one be explained without adducing, as in the last chapter of the fourth volume, and in some other places, the leading principles of the other? The result of all the judicial inquiries, which have been attempted in England, on Indian affairs, depending in a great degree on the state of the law in England, how could those events be sufficiently explained, without adducing, as in the chapter on the trial of Mr. Hastings, those particulars in the state of the law of England, on which the results in question appeared more remarkably to depend? The importance of this remark will be felt, and, I hope, remembered, when the time for judging of the use and pertinence of those elucidations arrives.
6. The Indians themselves have a striking apologue to illustrate the superiority of the comprehensive student over the partial observer.
“One day in conversation,” says Mr. Ward, “with the Sŭngskritŭ head pŭndit of the College of Fort William, on the subject of God, this man, who is truly learned in his own Shastrŭs, gave the author, from one of their books, the following parable:—In a certain country, there existed a village of blind men, who had heard of an amazing animal called the elephant, of the shape of which, however, they could procure no idea. One day an elephant passed through the place: the villagers crowded to the spot where the animal was standing; and one of them seized his trunk, another his ear, another his tail, another one his legs. After thus endeavouring to gratify their curiosity, they returned into the village, and sitting down together, began to communicate their ideas on the shape of the elephant, to the villagers: the man who had seized his trunk said, he thought this animal must be like the body of the plantain tree; he who had touched his ear was of opinion, that he was like the winnowing fan; the man who had laid hold of his tail said, he thought he must resemble a snake; and he who had caught his leg declared, he must be like a pillar. An old blind man, of some judgment was present, who, though greatly perplexed in attempting to reconcile these jarring notions, at length said—You have all been to examine the animal, and what you report, therefore, cannot be false: I suppose then, that the part resembling the plantain tree must be his trunk; what you thought similar to a fan must be his ear; the part like a snake must be the tail; and that like a pillar must be his leg. In this way, the old man, uniting all their conjectures, made out something of the form of the elephant.” A View of the History, Literature, and Religion of the Hindoos. By the Rev W. Ward. Introd. p. lxxxvii. London Ed. 1817.
7. Aux yeux d'un philosophe, les faits composent la partie la moins interressante de l’histoire. C’est la connoissance de l’homme; la morale, et la politique qu’il y trouve, qui la relevent dans son esprit. Gibbon, Mem. Sur la Monarchie des Medes, Misc. Works, iii. 126. Ed. 8vo.
8. The following words are not inapplicable, originally applied to a much more limited subject. De quibus partibus singulis, quidam separatim scribere maluerunt, velut onus totius corporis veriti, et sic quoque complures de unaquaque earum libros ediderunt: quas ego omnes ausus contexere, prope infinitum mihi laborem prospicio, et psa cogitatione suscepti muneris fatigor. Sed durandum est quia cœpimus: et si viribus deficiemur, animo tamen perseverandum. Quinct. Inst. Or. lib. 4. Proœm.
9. No. 1. Appendix to the Fifth Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons, on the Affairs of the East India Company, in 1810. This passage the Committee have thought of sufficient importance to be incorporated in their Report.
10. Observations of Lord William Bentinck, printed in the Advertisement, prefixed to the “Description of the Character, &c. of the People of India,” by the Abbé J. A. Dubois, Missionary in the Mysore. If any one should object to the testimony of this Ruler, as that of a man who had not been bred in India, it is to be remembered that the testimony is adduced, as expressing his own opinion, by the translator of that work, whose knowledge of India is not liable to dispute; and given to the world as the opinion of the Court of Directors, to whom the manuscript belonged, and under whose authority and direction, it was both translated and published.
11. Fifth Report, ut supra, p. 534, 562. “It is a fact,” says another enlightened observer, “which, however singular and unfortunate, is yet founded in truth, that those persons from whom correct information on these subjects might justly be expected, are generally the least able from the peculiar circumstances of their situation, to supply it; I mean the Company's servants.—During the early period of their residence in the East, every hour must be employed, in the acquisition of the languages, in the study of the laws of the country, and the manners of the natives: whilst the latter years of their service are still more unremittingly engrossed, in the discharge of the irksome and arduous duties of their profession.” Considerations on the Present Political State of India. By Alexander Fraser Tytler, late assistant Judge in the Twenty-four Pergunnahs, Bengal Establishment, Preface, p. xii. See other passages to the same purpose, Introduction, p. iv, v, xi; also i. 77, 357, 415. And Mr. Tytler quotes with peculiar approbation the passages already given from the Minute of Lord Teignmouth.
“I must beg you always to bear in mind, than when an English gentleman undertakes to give an account of Indian manners and habits of private life, he labours under many disadvantages. The obstacles which prevent our ever viewing the natives of India in the ir domestic circles are great and insuperable; such as the restrictions of caste on their side, rank and situation on ours, &c. We do not int ermarry with them, as the Portuguese did: nor do we ever mix with them, in the common duties of social life, on terms of equality. What knowledge we have of their domestic arrangements has been gained chiefly by inquiry, &cc.” Letters written in a Mahratta camp, &c. by T. I). Broughton, Esq. p. 3.
See to the same purpose, Sir John Malcolm, Sketch of the Political History of India, &c. p. 449.
After adverting to certain erroneous notions on Indian subjects, Lieutenant Moor, the well-informed author of the “Narrative of the Operations of Captain Little's Detachment,” observes, “Other opinions, equally correct and entertaining, are indulged by the good people of England; which it is vain to oppose, for the party ‘was told so by a gentleman who had been in India; perhaps a voyage or two but these, however respectable in their profession, are surely not the persons to receive information from, on the subject of the political characters of the East; no more (nor indeed much less) than some gentlemen who may have resided a few years in India; for we can easily admit the possibility of a person spending many years of his life in the cities of Calcutta, Madras, or Bombay, without knowing much more of the politics, prejudices, &c. of interior states or countries, than if he had never stirred out of London, Dublin, or Edinburgh,” p. 196.
12. Bayle, Eclaircissemens, sur le Dictionnaire.
13. Rambler, No. ii.
14. Some considerable reputations have been acquired, by praising every thing in one's own country. And there are many persons who sincerely insist upon it, that a writer ought always to contrive to put his country in the right: and that it is a proof of his not being a friend to it, if he ever puts it in the wrong. This is a motive which I utterly disclaim. This is the way, not to be a friend to one's country, but an enemy. It is to bring upon it the disgrace of falsehood and misrepresentation, in the first instance; and, next, to afford it all the inducement, in the writer's power, to persevere in mischievous, or in disgraceful courses.
15. Anderson's History of Commerce in the reign of Elizabeth, passim. See also Hakluyt's Voyages, ii. 3, 96. Ibid. iii. 690. Guicciardini's Description of the Netherlands. Sir William Temple. Camden, 408.
16. Hakluyt, iii. 4. Rymer's Fœdera, xii. 595. Anderson's History of Commerce, published in Macpherson's Annals, ii. 11. Robertson's History of America, iv. 138.
17. Hakluyt, iii. 129. Harris's Collection of Voyages, i. 874.
18. Hakluyt, ut supra.
19. Ibid. 131.
20. Hakluyt, i. 226, &c.
21. Anderson's History of Commerce in Macpherson, ii. 166.
22. Hakluyt. Anderson, ut supra, ii. 145, 158, 159.
23. Hakluyt. Anderson, ut supra, ii. 175, 180, 185.
24. Anderson, ut supra, ii. 171.
25. Purchas, b. iii. sect. 2. Anderson, ii. 210.
26. Hakluyt, iii. 440. Harris's Collection of Voyages, i. 14. Camden's Annals, 301, &c.
27. Harris is not satisfied with the merit of those productions, which reached not, in his opinion, the worth of the occasion; and seems to be rather indignant that no modern poet has rivalled the glory of Homer, “by displaying in verse the labours of Sir Francis Drake:” i. 20.
28. Her Majesty appears to have been exquisitely gracious. The crowd which thronged after her was so great that the bridge, which had been constructed between the vessel and the shore, broke down with the weight, and precipitated 200 persons into the water. As they were all extricated from their perilous situation without injury, the Queen remarked that so extraordinary an escape could be owing only to the Fortune of Sir Francis Drake. Harris, i. 20.
29. I am sorry to observe that no great respect for human life seems to have been observed in this proceeding; since, directly implying that the guns had been charged with shot, and levelled at the men, the historian of the voyage jocosely remarks, “that 'tis ten to one if any of the savages were killed; for they are so very nimble that they drop immediately into the water, and dive beyond the reach of all danger, upon the least warning in the world.” Harris's Collect. of Voyages, i. 27.
30. Monson's Naval Tracts. Hakluyt. Anderson's Hist. of Com. published in Macpherson's Annals, ix. 169, 198. Rymer's Fœdera.
31. This is not a conclusion merely drawn from the circumstances of the case, which however would sufficiently warrant it; but stated on the testimony of Cambden, who related what he heard and saw. Cambden's Annals. Anderson's Hist of Commerce.
32. Anderson's Hist. of Commerce in Macpherson's Annals, ii. 201.
33. They returned to London in 1591. Anderson, ut supra, ii. 198.
34. Harris's Voyages, i. 875.
35. This Memorial is preserved in the State Paper Office, and a short account of it has been given us by Mr. Bruce Annals of the East India Company, i. 109.
36. Anderson's Hist. of Commerce in Macpherson's Annals, ii. 199. Harris's Voyages, i. 875.
37. Anderson, ut supra, ii. 209. Harris's Voyages, i. 920.
38. Minutes, &c. (Indian Register Office.) Bruce's Annals, i. 112.
39. Minutes of a General Court of Adventurers, preserved in the Indian Register Office. Bruce's Annals, i. 128.
40. Bruce's Annals, i. 129–136. Anderson's History of Commerce in Macpherson's Annals, ii. 216. Harris's Collection of Voyages, i. 875.
41. Bruce's Annals, i. 146. “But forasmuch,” says Sir William Monson (Naval Tracts, iii. Churchill's Collection of Voyages, 475), “as every innovation commonly finds opposition, from some out of partiality, and from others as enemies to novelty; so this voyage, though at first it carried a great name and hope of profit, by the word India, and example of Holland, yet was it writ against.” He then exhibits the objections, seven in number, and subjoins an answer. The objections were shortly as follows, the answers may be conceived:
1. The trade to India would exhaust the treasure of the nation by the exportation of bullion.
2. It would consume its mariners by an unhealthy navigation.
3. It would consume its ships by the rapid decay produced in the southern seas.
4. It would hinder the vent of our cloth, now exported in exchange for the spices of the foreign merchants.
5. It was a trade of which the returns would be very slow.
6. Malice to the Turkey Company was the cause of it, and jealousy and hatred from the Dutch would be the unhappy effect.
7. It would diminish the Queen's customs by the privilege of exporting bullion duty free.
These objections, with the answers, may also be seen in Anderson's History of Commerce, ad an.
42. Harris, i. 875. Anderson, ut supra, ii. 217, 218. Bruce's Annals, i. 151, 152.
43. Bruce's Annals, i. 152–163.
44. Bruce's Annals, i. 164.
45. Bruce, i. 165.
46. Bruce, i. 166.
47. Bruce, i. 171, &c. Sir Thomas Roe's Journal and Letters. Churchill, i. 770–809.
48. Churchill, i. 106–108. He gives another account of his endeavours to injure the Dutch, in the following words:— “The 10th, 11th, and 12th, I spent in giving the king and prince advice that a Dutch ship lay before Surat, and would not declare upon what design it came, till a fleet arrived; which was expected with the first fit season. This I improved to fill their heads with jealousies of the designs of the Dutch, and the dangers that might ensue from them; which was well taken: and, being demanded, I gave my advice to prevent coming to a rupture with them, and yet exclude them the trade of India.” Ib. 774.
49. Bruce, i. 174, 178.
50. Bruce, i. 188.
51. Sir Jeremy Sambrooke's Report on East India Trade (MS. in East India Register Office) quoted by Bruce, i. 193.
52. Bruce, i. 199.
53. Memorial of the Dutch East India Company to King James, and Reply of the London East India Company thereto, in the year 1616, (East India Papers in the State Paper Office) quoted, Bruce, i. 202.
54. Rymer's Fœdera, xvii. 170. Bruce, i. 212.
55. Bruce, i. 213.
56. Bruce, i. 223.
57. Bruce i. 237, 238.
58. Accounts in the Indian Register Office. Bruce, i. 225, 234, 241.
59. The Dutch, in their vindication, stated that the English intrigued with the Portuguese, and underhand assisted the natives in receiving the Portuguese into the islands. See Anderson's History of Commerce, in Macpherson's Annals, ii. 305.
60. East India Papers in the State Paper Office. Bruce, i. 241.
61. The English had not been so long strangers to the torture themselves, that it needed to excite in their breasts any emotions of astonishment. “The rack itself,” says Hume in his History of Elizabeth, v. 457, “though not admitted in the ordinary execution of justice, was frequently used upon any suspicion, by authority of a warrant from a secretary or the Privy Council. Even the Council in the Marches of Wales were empowered, by their very commission, to make use of torture whenever they thought proper. There cannot be a stronger proof how lightly the rack was employed, than the following story; told by Lord Bacon. We shall give it in his own words: ‘The Queen was mightily incensed against Haywarde, on account of a book he dedicated to Lord Essex, thinking it a seditious prelude to put into the people's head holdness and faction: [to our apprehension, says Hume, Haywarde's book seems rather to have a contrary tendency; but Queen Elizabeth was very difficult to please on that head.] She said, she had an opinion that there was treason in it, and asked me if I could not find any places in it, that might be drawn within the case of treason?. .....Another time when the Queen could not be persuaded that it was his writing whose name was to it, but that it had some more mischievous author, she said, with great indignation, that she would have him racked to produce his author.’ ...Thus, continues Hume, “had it not been for Bacon's humanity, or rather his wit, this author, a man of letters, had been put to the rack for a most innocent performance.”—The truth is, that the Company themselves, at this very time, were in the regular habit of perpetrating tortures upon their own countrymen, and even their own servants—of torturing to death by whips or famine. Captain Hamilton (New Account of the East Indies, i. 362,) informs us, that before they were intrusted with the powers of martial law, having no power to punish capitally any but pirates, they made it a rule to whip to death, or starve to death, those of whom they wished to get rid. He produces (Ib. 376) an instance of a deserter at Fort St. George, “whipt,” as he expresses it, “out of this world into the next.” The power too, of executing as for piracy, the same author complains, was made use of to murder many private traders. “That power (he says, Ib. 362.) of executing pirates is so strangely stretched, that if any private trader is injured by the tricks of a Governor, and can find no redress—if the injured person is so hold as to talk of lex talioni, he is infallibly declared a pirate.” He gives an account of an attempt of an agent of the Company, and a creature of the Governor of Fort St. George, to swear away his life by perjury at Siam. (lb. ii. 183.)—These parallels are presented, not for the sake of clearing the one party at the expence of the other; but, by showing things as they were, to give the world at last possession of the real state of the case.
62. East India Papers in the State Paper Office. Bruce, i. 256.
63. Bruce, i. 258.
64. Bruce, i. 252.
65. Ib. 252, 265, 271.
66. East India Papers in the State Paper Office. Bruce, i. 272.
67. Bruce, i. 262, 264, 268.
68. Bruce, i. 264, 269, 290.
69. Bruce, i. 276, 277, 282. Anderson in Macpherson's Annals, ii. 351.
70. Bruce, i. 285, 287.
71. Ib. i. 278, 293.
72. Bruce, 293.
73. Bruce, i. 296, 304, 300, 302.
74. Papers in the Indian Register Office. Sir Jeremy Sambrooke's Report on the East India Trade, Bruce, i. 306.
75. Bruce, i. 306, 320, 323.
76. Bruce, i. 306, 320, 324, 327.
77. Ib. 325, 334.
78. Bruce, i. 329, 387.
79. Ib. 342.
80. Bruce, i. 345, 349.
81. Ib. 349, 350, 353.
82. Bruce, 353, 354.
83. Ib. i. 355, 361, 362.
84. Ib. 363.
85. Preamble to a subscription for a new joint-stock for trade to the East Indies, 28th January, 1640, (East India Papers in the State Paper Office,) Bruce, i. 364.
86. Ib.
87. See Bruce, i. 371. The quantity was, 607, 522 bags, bought at 2s. 1d. per pound, total 63,283l. 11s. 1d.; sold at 1s. 8d. per pound; total 50,626l. 17s. 1d.
88. Bruce, i. 379, 380.
89. Piece Goods is the term which, latterly at least, has been chiefly employed by the Company and their agents to denote the muslins and wove goods of India and China in general.
90. Bruce, i. 377, 393.
91. Ib. 385.
92. Bruce, 389, 390.
93. Ib. 407, 412, 423.
94. Bruce, i. 423.
95. Ib. 434
96. Bruce, i. 435, 436.
97. Ib. 437, 438.
98. Ib. 439, 440.
99. Ib. 440.
100. Ib. 441.
101. If we hear of committees of the several stocks; the bodies of Directors were denominated committees. And if there were committees of the several stocks, how were they constituted? were they committees of Proprietors, or committees of Directors? And were there any managers or Directors besides?
102. Bruce, i. 406, 463.
103. Ib. 454, 462, 484.
104. Bruce, i. 458, 482, 484, 485.
105. Ib. 48.
106. Bruce, i. 491.
107. The reasons on which they supported their request, as stated in their petition, exhibit so just a view of the infirmities of joint-stock management, as compared with that of individuals pursuing their own interests, that they are highly worthy of inspection as a specimen of the talents and knowledge of the men by whom joint-stock was now opposed. See Bruce, i. 518.
108. Bruce, i. 492, 493.
109. Ib. i. 494.
110. Bruce, i. 503.
111. Bruce, i. 503, 504.
112. Bruce, i. 508.
113. Thurloe's State Papers, iii. 80. Anderson says, “The merchants of Amsterdam having heard that the Lord Protector would dissolve the East India Company at London, and declare the navigation and commerce to the Indies to be free and open, were greatly alarmed, considering such a measure as ruinous to their own East India Company.” Anderson's History of Commerce, in Macpherson's Annals, ii. 459. See Bruce, i. 518.
114. Bruce, i. 514–516.
115. Ib. 522–529.
116. Bruce, i. 529.
117. Bruce, i. 529, 530.
118. Bruce, i. 532.
119. Ib.
120. Ib. 533.
121. Bruce, 539, 540. The state of interest, both in India and England, appears incidentally in the accounts received by the Company from the agents at Surat, in the year 1658–59. These agents, after stating the narrowness of the funds placed at their disposal, recommend to the Directors rather to borrow money in England, which could easily be done at 4 per cent., than leave them to take up money in India at 8 or 9 per cent. Ib. 542.
122. Ib. 544.
123. Ib. 549—551.
124. Ib. 555.
125. Bruce, i. 553, 554.
126. Ib. 557.
127. Anderson's Hist. of Commerce in Macpherson's Annals, ii. 495, 605.
128. Bruce, ii. 108, 119, 152, 186.
129. Bruce, 110, 138, 157, 158, 174.
130. Ib. ii. 130, 159.
131. Bruce, ii. 104, 106, 126, 134, 141, 155, 168, 199. Macpherson's Annals, ii. 503.
132. Bruce, ii. 132, 161, 184, 198.
133. Bruce, 144, 145, 284.
134. Ib. ii. 179, 245
135. Bruce, i. 560; ii. 110, 131.
136. Ib. ii. 107—109.
137. Macpherson's Annals, ii. 493.
138. Raynal, Hist. Philos. et Polit. des Etabliss. &c. dans les Deux Indes, ii. 183. Ed. 8vo. Geneve, 1781. Bruce, ii. 137, 150, 167. Macpherson's Annals, ii. 516.
139. Letters from the Agent and Council of Bantam (in the East India Register Office), Bruce, ii. 163.
140. Bruce, ii. 178, from a letter from the President and Council of Surat.
141. Sir William Petty, who wrote his celebrated work, entitled Political Arithmetic, in 1676, says; 1. The streets of London showed that city to be double what it was forty years before; great increase was also manifested at Newcastle, Yarmouth, Norwich, Exeter, Portsmouth, and Cowes; and in Ireland, at Dublin, Kingsale, Coleraine, and Londonderry. 2. With respect to shipping, the navy was triple, or quadruple what it was at that time; the shipping of Newcastle was 80,000 tons, and could not then have exceeded a quarter of that amount. 3. The number and splendour of coaches, equipages and furniture, had much increased since that period. 4. The postage of letters had increased from one to twenty. 5. The King's revenue had tripled itself. See too Macpherson's Annals, ii. 580.
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Re: The History of British India, Vol. I, by James Mill

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Part 2 of 6

142. Bruce, ii. 201, 206, 209—224, 227, 230—256, 258, 259—278, 281, 282, 283—293, 296, 297—312, 313—327, 328, 331.
143. Ib. ii. 210. The words of this order are curious, “to send home by these ships 100 lb. waight of the best tey that you can gett.”
144. Ib. ii. 211.
145. Ib. 302.
146. Ib. 232, 334.
147. Bruce, ii. 337, 342, 366.
148. An anonymous author, whom Anderson in his History of Commerce quotes as an authority, says, in 1679, that the Dutch herring and cod fishery employed 8,000 vessels, and 200,000 sailors and fishers, whereby they annually gained five millions sterling; besides their Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland fisheries, and the multitude of trades and people employed by them at home. Macpherson's Annals, ii. 596. See in the same work, ii. 547 and 552, a summary of the statements of Child and De Witt. For ampler satisfaction the works themselves must be consulted.
149. Anderson's Hist. of Commerce. Macpherson's Annals, ii. 579.
150. Bruce, ii. 356, 360, 361—375, 379—392, 393, 395—406, 409, 410—435, 438, 439—446, 451, 453—459, 465, 468.
151. Bruce, ii. 367, 466, 396, 404.
152. Ib. 405.
153. Bruce, ii. 355, 374, 449, 453.
154. Bruce ii. 275.
155. Bruce, ii. 476, 481—496, 506—528, 531.
156. Anderson's Hist. of Commerce Macpherson's Annals, ii. 579
157. Supra, p. 95.
158. Bruce, ii. 482, 499.
159. Bruce, ii. 492
160. Ib. 502.
161. Ib. 496.
162. Bruce, ii. 512. Governor Child is accused by Hamilton of wanton and intolerable oppressions; and that author states some facts which indicate excessive tyranny. New Account of the East Indies, i. 187—199.
163. Bruce, ii. 515.
164. Bruce, ii. 526, 540, 584, 591. It was debated in the Privy Council, whether the charter of incorporation should be under the King's or the Company's seal. The King asked the Chairman his opinion, who replied, “that no person in India should be employed by immediate commission from his Majesty, because, if they were, they would be prejudicial to our service by their arrogancy, and prejudicial to themselves, because the wind of extraordinary honour in their heads would probably make them so haughty and overbearing, that we should be forced to remove them.” Letter from the Court to the President of Fort St. George, (Ib. 591). Hamilton, ut supra (189—192). Orme's Historical Fragments, 185, 188, 192, 198.
165. Mr. Orme is not unwilling to ascribe part of the hardships they experienced to the interlopers, who, seeking protection against the oppressions of the Company, were more sedulous and skilful in their endeavours to please the native governors. Hist. Frag. 185.
166. These events occurred under the government of the celebrated imperial deputy Shaista Khan; “to the character of whom (says Mr. Stewart, Hist. of Bengal, 300.) it is exceedingly difficult to do justice. By the Mohammedan historians he is described as the pattern of excellence; but by the English he is vilified as the oppressor of the human race. Facts are strongly on the side of the Mohammedans.”
167. Bruce, ii. 558, 569, 578, 594, 608, 620, 630, 639, 641, 646, 650. The lively and intelligent Captain Hamilton represents the conduct of Sir John Child at Surat as exceptionable in the highest degree. But the Captain was an interloper, and though his book is strongly stamped with the marks of veracity, his testimony is to be received with the same caution on the one side as that of the Company on the other. New Account of India, i. 199—228.
168. Bruce, ii. 655.
169. Ib. iii. 75, 87, 122, 139, 181, 203, 231.
170. Bruce, iii. 78.
171. Ib. 120.
172. See, in Gibbon, viii. 357 to 360, a train of allusions, as usual, to the history of the Armenians; and in his notes a list of its authors.—The principal facts regarding them, as a religious people, are collected with his usual industry and fidelity by Mosheim, Ecclesiast. Hist. iii. 493, 494, 495, and 412, 413.
173. Bruce, iii. 88.
174. Bruce, iii. 81; Macpherson's Annals, ii. 618; and Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, iii. 132, who with his usual sagacity brings to view the causes of the principal events in the history of the Company.
175. Bruce, iii. 82.
176. Macpherson's Annals, ii. 648.
177. Bruce, iii. 102.
178. Ib. iii. 103. Sir Josiah Child, as chairman of the Court of Directors, wrote to the Governor of Bombay, to spare no severity to crush their countrymen who invaded the ground of the Company's pretensions in India. The Governor replied, by professing his readiness to omit nothing which lay within the sphere of his power to satisfy the wishes of the Company; but the laws of England unhappily would not let him proceed so far as might otherwise be desirable. Sir Josiah wrote back with anger:—“That he expected his orders were to be his rules, and not the laws of England, which were an heap of nonsense, compiled by a few ignorant country gentlemen, who hardly knew how to make laws for the good of their own private families, much less for the regulating of Companies, and foreign commerce.” (Hamilton's New Account of India, i. 232.) “I am the more particular,” adds Captain Hamilton, “on this account, because I saw and copied both those letters in Anno 1696, while Mr. Vaux [the Governor to whom the letters were addressed] and I were prisoners at Surat, on account of Captain Evory's robbing the Mogul's great ship, called the Gunsway.” Bruce, iii. 233.
179.Bruce, iii. 133—135. Macpherson's Annals, ii. 649.
180. Ib. 142.
181. We know not the terms of that contract, nor how a participation in its privileges could be granted to individuals without a breach of faith toward the Armenian merchants.
182. Bruce, iii. 167.
183. Macpherson's Annals, ii. 652, 662; 10,000l. is said to have been traced to the King.
184. Bruce, iii. 146, 186. “Sir Nicholas Waite [Consul of the Association] addressed a letter,” says Mr. Bruce, “to the Mogul, accusing the London Company of being sharers and abettors of the piracies, from which his subjects and the trade of his dominions had suffered, or, in the Consul's coarse language, of being thieves and confederates with the pirates.” Ib. 337.
185. Anderson's Hist. Macpherson's Annals, ii. 694 Bruce, iii. 252, 253.
186. Bruce, iii. 253, Macpherson, ii. 694.
187. Bruce, iii. 253. Anderson's History of Commerce; Macpherson, ii. 694, 695.
188. Bruce, iii. 253, 254. Anderson's History of Commerce; Macpherson, ii. 695.
189. Bruce, iii. 253. Macpherson, ii. 696.
190. Statute 9 & 10 W. III. c. 44.
191. Macpherson's Annals, ii. 699. Bruce, iii. 257, 258. Preamble to the Stat. 6. A. c. 17.
192. Anderson's Hist. of Commerce, Macpherson, ii. 700.
193. Bruce, iii. 256, 257. Macpherson, ii. 700. Smith's Wealth of Nations, iii. 133.
194. Bruce, iii. 257.
195. Ib. 259, 260.
196. Ib. 285.
197. Bruce, 264, 268, 300
198. Ib. iii. 293, 326, 350.
199. Bruce, 260 to 370, 374 to 379, 410.
200. Bruce, iii. 290, 293, 355.
201. Bruce, 124.
202. Anderson's Hist. of Commerce, Macpherson, ii. 705.
203. Bruce, iii. 424 to 426. Of the subtleties which at this time entered into the policy of the Company, the following is a specimen. Sir Basil Firebrace, or Firebrass, a notorious jobber who had been an interloper, and afterwards joined with the London Company, was now an intriguer for both Companies. At a General Court of the London Company, on the 23d April, 1701, this man stated, that he had a scheme to propose, which he doubted not would accomplish the union desired; but required to know what recompense should be allowed him, if he effected this important end. By an act of the Court, the committee of seven were authorized to negotiate, with Sir Basil, the recompense which he ought to receive: and after repeated conferences with the gentleman, they proposed to the Court of Committees, that if he effected the union, 150,000l. of the stock of the Company should be transferred to him on his paying 80l. per cent. In other words, he was to receive 20 per cent. on 150,000l. or a reward of 30,000l. for the success of his intrigues. Ibid. See also Macpherson, ii. 663.
204. Bruce, iii. 486 to 491.
205. Bruce, iii. 635 to 639; Stat. 6. A. c. 17.
206. Ib. 667 to 679. Macpherson, iii. 1, 2.
207. Mr. Gibbon remarks, (Hist. Decl. and Fall of the Roman Empire, i. p. 350,) that the wild Irishman, as well as the wild Tartar, can point out the individual son of Japhet from whose loins his ancestors were lineally descended.—According to Dr. Keating (History of Ireland, 13), the giant Partholanus, who was the son of Seara, the son of Esra, the son of Sru, the son of Framant, the son of Fathacian, the son of Magog, the son of Japhet, the son of Noah, landed on the coast of Munster, the 14th day of May, in the year of the world 1978.—The legends of England are not less instructive. A fourth or sixth son of Japhet named Samothes, having first colonized Gaul, passed over into this island, which was thence named Samothia, about 200 years after the flood; but the Samothians being some ages afterwards subdued by Albion, a giant son of Neptune, he called the island after his own name, and ruled it forty-four years. See the story, with some judicious reflections, in Milton's History of England (Prose Works of Milton, iv. 3. Ed. 1806). “The Athenians boasted that they were as ancient as the sun. The Arcadians pretended they were older than the moon. The Lacedemonians called themselves the sons of the earth, &c. such in general was the madness of the ancients on this subject! They loved to lose themselves in an abyss of ages which seemed to approach eternity.” Goguet, Origin of Laws, v. i. b. l. ch. 1, art. 5. See the authorities there quoted.
208. Eusebii Chronicon, p. 5. Syncelli Chronograph. p. 28. Bryant's Ancient Mythology, iv. 127. 8vo. edit.
209. Syncelli Chronicon, p. 51. Herodotus informs us, (lib. ii. c. 2,) that the Egyptians considered themselves as the most ancient of mankind, till an experiment made by Psammetichus convinced them that the Phrygians alone preceded them. But the inhabitants of the further Peninsula of India make the boldest incursions into the regions of past times. The Burmans, we are informed by Dr. Buchanan, (As. Res. vi. 181,) believe that the lives of the first inhabitants of their country lasted one assenchii, a period of time of which they thus communicate an idea: “If for three years it should rain incessantly over the whole surface of this earth, which is 1,203,400 juzana in diameter, the number of drops of rain falling in such a space and time, although far exceeding human conception, would only equal the number of years contained in one assenchii.”
210. Sir William Jones's Discourse on the Chronology of the Hindus, (As. Res. ii. 111, 8vo. Ed.) also that on the Gods of Greece, Italy, and India, (Ibid. i. 221)—See too Mr. Bentley's Remarks on the principal Eras and Dates of the ancient Hindus, (Ibid. v. 315); and the Discourse of Captain F. Wilford on the Chronology of the Hindus, in the same volume, p. 24.—Consult also Mr. Marsden's Discourse on the Chronology of the Hindus, (Phil. Trans. lxxx. 568.) These authors, having all drawn from the same sources, display an appearance of uniformity and certainty in this part of the Hindu system. It is amusing to contemplate the wavering results of their predecessors. Mr. Halhed, in the preface to his Translation of the Code of Gentoo Laws, thus states the number of years, and thus spells the names of the epochs; 1. The Suttee Jogue, 3,200,000 years; 2. The Tirtah Jogue, 2,400,000 years; 3. the Dwapaar Jogue, 1,600,000; 4. the Collee Jogue, 400,000.—Colonel Dow marks the Suttee Jogue at 14,000,000; the Tirtah Jogue at 1,080,000; the Dwapaar Jogue, 72,000; and the Collee Jogue, 36,000 years. (History of Hindostan, i. 2.)—M. Bernier, whose knowledge of India was so extensive and accurate, gives, on the information of the Brahmens of Benares, the Satya yug at 2,500,000 years, the Treta at 1,200,000, the Dwapar at 864,000, and assigns no period to the Cali yug. (Voyages, ii. 160.)—Messrs. Roger and le Gentil, who received their accounts from the Brahmens of the coast of Coromandel, coincide with Sir William Jones, except that they specify no duration for the Cali yug. (Porte Ouverte, p. 179; Mem. de l'Academ. des Sciences pour 1772, tom. ii. part 1. p. 17.)—The account of Anquetil Duperron agrees in every particular with that of Sir W. Jones; Recherches Historiques et Geographiques sur l’Inde, Lettre sur les Antiquités de l’Inde.—The four ages of the Mexicans bear a remarkable resemblance to those of the Hindus, and of so many other nations. “All the nations of Anahuac (says Clavigero, History of Mexico, B. vi. sect. 24,) distinguished four ages of time by as many suns. The first, named Atonatiuh, that is, the sun (or the age) of water, commenced with the creation of the world, and continued until the time at which all mankind perished in a general deluge along with the first sun. The second, Tlaitonatiub, the age of earth, lasted from the deluge until the ruin of the giants, &c. The third, Ehécatonatiuh, the age of air, lasted from the destruction of the giants, till the great whirlwinds, &c. The fourth, Tletonatiuh, commenced at the last-mentioned catastrophe, and is to last till the earth be destroyed by fire.”
211. The reader will by and bye be prepared to determine for himself how far the tales of the Brahmens deserve exemption from the sentence which four great historians have, in the following passages, pronounced on the fanciful traditions of early nations. “The curiosity,” says Mr. Hume, “entertained by all civilized nations, of inquiring into the exploits and adventures of their ancestors, commonly excites a regret that the history of remote ages should always be so much involved in obscurity, uncertainty, and contradiction.∗ ∗ ∗ The fables which are commonly employed to supply the place of true history ought entirely to be disregarded; or, if any exception be admitted to this general rule, it can only be in favour of the ancient Grecian fictions, which are so celebrated and so agreeable, that they will ever be the objects of the attention of mankind.” (Hume's History of England, i. ch. 1.)—“Nations,” says Robertson, “as well as men, arrive at maturity by degrees, and the events which happened during their infancy or early youth cannot be recollected, and deserve not to be remembered.∗ ∗ ∗ Every thing beyond that short period, to which well-attested annals reach, is obscure; an immense space is left for invention to occupy; each nation, with a vanity inseparable from human nature, bath filled that void with events calculated to display its own antiquity and lustre. And history, which ought to record truth, and teach wisdom, often sets out with retailing fictions and absurdities.” (Robertson's History of Scotland, i. b. 1.)—Mr. Gibbon, speaking of a people (the Arabians) who in traditions and antiquity bear some resemblance to the Hindus, says, “I am ignorant, and I am careless, of the blind mythology of the Barbarians.” (History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. ix. 244, 8vo. edit.) Of a people still more remarkably resembling the Hindus, he says, “We may observe, that after an ancient period of fables, and a long interval of darkness, the modern histories of Persia begin to assume an air of truth with the dynasty of the Sassanides.” (lb. i. 341.)—“Quæ ante conditam condendamve urbem, poeticis magis decora fabulis quam incorruptis rerum gestarum monumentis traduntur ea nec affirmare nec refellere in animo est.” Livii. Prefat.
212. The coincidence in the tradition respecting Satyavrata and the history of Noah are very remarkable, and will be further noticed hereafter.
213. Sir Win. Jones, As. Res. ii. 119, 120, 127.
214. Sir Wm. Jones, Ib. 126. He was the son of Surya, (or Sol), the son of Casyapa (or Uranus), the son of Marichi (or Light), the son of Brahma, “which is clearly,” says Sir Wm. Jones, “an allegorical pedigree.” The Hindu pedigrees and fables, however, being very variable, he is, in the opening of the fourth book of the Gita, called, not the son of the Sun, but the Sun himself. Sir Wm. Jones, Ib. 117. In a celestial pedigree the Hindus agree with other rude nations. There is a curious passage in Plato respecting the genealogy of the Persian kings. They were descended, he says, from Achæmenes, sprung from Perseus the son of Zeus (Jupiter.) Plat. Alcib. i.
215. Compare the list of princes in the several yugs, exhibited in the Discourse of Sir Wm. Jones, As. Res. iii. 128 to 136, with the assigned duration of the yugs. The lineage of the lunar branch, who reigned in Pratisht’hana, or Vitora, during exactly the same period, is in all respects similar, excepting that the number of princes, in the first two ages, is in this line fewer by fifteen than in the line of solar princes. From this it has been supposed, that a chasm must exist in the genealogy of those princes; but surely without sufficient reason; since, if we can admit that eighty-five princes in the solar line could outlive the whole third and fourth ages, amounting to 2,160,000 years, we may, without much scruple, allow that seveaty princes in the lunar could extend through the same period.
216. The reigns of those princes, therefore, must have been fifty years at an average.
217. As. Res. ii. 137 to 142.
218. According to the Brahmens, 4911 years of the Cali yug were elapsed in the beginning of April, A. D. 1817, from which deducting 2648, the year of the Cali yug in which the reign of Chandrabija terminated, you have 2263, the number of years which have intervened since that period, and which carry it back to 446 years before Christ.
219. As. Res. ii. 142, 3.—We have been likewise presented with a genealogical table of the great Hindu dynasties by Captain Wilford, (As. Res. v. 241,) which he says is faithfully extracted from the Vishnu Purana, the Bhagavat, and other Puranas, and which, on the authority of numerous Mss. which he had collated, and of some learned Pundits of Benares whom he had consulted, he exhibits as the only genuine chronological record of Indian history which had yet come to his knowledge. But this differs in numerous particulars from that of the learned Pundit Radhacant, exhibited by Sir William Jones, and which Sir William says, “that Radhacant had diligently collected from several Puranas.” Thus it appears that there is not even a steady and invariable tradition or fiction on this subject: At the same time that the table of Captain Wilford removes none of the great difficulties which appear in that of Sir Wm. Jones. The most remarkable difference is exhibited in the line of the solar princes, whose genealogy Captain Wilford has taken from the Ramayan, as being, he thinks, consistent with the ancestry of Arjuna and Crishna, while that given by Sir William Jones and Radhacant, he says, is not.—The reader may also compare the Rajuturungu, a history of the Hindus compiled by Mrityoonjuyu, the head Sanscrit Pundit in the College of Fort William; translated and published in the first volume of “An Account of the Writings, Religion, and Manners of the Hindus,” by Mr. Ward, printed at Serampore, in four volumes 4to. 1811.
220. Sir Wm. Jones, As. Res. ii. 142.
221. Mr. Halhed seems, in his pref. to Code of Gent. Laws, to be very nearly reconciled to the Hindu chronology: at any rate he thinks the believers in the Jewish accounts of patriarchal longevity have no reason to complain, p. xxxvii. He has since, however, made a confession at second hand, of an alteration in his belief as to the antiquity of the Hindus. See Maurice's Hist. of Hindostan, i. 88.
222. See Sir Wm. Jones, Discourse on the Gods of Greece, Italy, and India, As. Res. i. 236. The similarity between the Hindu description of the four yugs, and that of the four ages of the world by the Greeks, cannot escape attention. We shall have occasion to notice many other very striking marks of affinity between their several systems.
223. I have followed Mr. Halhed in the number of years (see Preface to Code of Gentoo Laws), though a derivative authority, because his statement is the highest, and by consequence the least unfavourable to the consistency of the Hindu chronology. In the Institutes of Menu, (ch. i. 83,) human life for the Satya yug is stated at 400 years, for the Treta yug at 300, the Dwapar 200, and the Cali yug at 100 years.
224. There is a very remarkable coincidence between the number of years specified in this Hindu division of time, and a period marked in a very curious fragment of the Chaldean History. The Cali yug, it appears from the text, amounts to 432,000 years, and the aggregate of the four yugs, which the Hindus call a Maha yug, or great yug, amounts to a period expressed by the same figures, increased by the addition of a cipher, or 4,320,000. Now Berosus informs us, that the first king of Chaldea was Alorus, who reigned ten sari, that a sarus is 3,600 years; that the first ten kings, whose reigns seem to have been accounted a great era, reigned 120 sari, which compose exactly 432,000 years, the Hindu period. See Eusebii Chronic. p. 5, where this fragment of Berosus is preserved; Syncelli Chronograph. p. 28. See also Bryant's Analysis of Ancient Mythology, iii. 95 to 126, for a most learned and ingenious commentary on this interesting fragment.
225. A learned author pronounces them inferior even to the legends of the Greeks, as evidence of primeval events. “Oriental learning is now employed in unravelling the mythology of India, and recommending it as containing the seed of primeval history; but hitherto we have seen nothing that should induce us to relinquish the authorities we have been used to respect, or make us prefer the fables of the Hindus or Guebres, to the fables of the Greeks.” Vincent, Periplus of the Erithrean Sea, Part i. 9. It may be added, that if the Greeks, the most accomplished people of antiquity, have left us so imperfect an account of the primitive state of their own country, little is to be expected from nations confessedly and remarkably inferior to them.
226. That propensity which so universally distinguishes rude nations, and forms so remarkable a characteristic of uncivilized society—of filling the ages that are past with fabulous events and personages, and of swelling every thing beyond the limits of nature, may be easily accounted for. Every passion and sentiment of a rude people is apt to display itself in wild and extravagant effects. National vanity follows the example of the other passions, and indulges itself, unrestrained by knowledge, in such fictions as the genius of each people inspires. Datur hœc venia antiquitati, ut nuscendo humana divinis, primordia urbium augustiora faciat. (Liv. Pref.) Of an accurate record of antecedent events, yielding lessons for the future by the experience of the past, uncultivated minds are not sufficiently capable of reflection to know the value. The real occurrences of life, familiar and insipid, appear too mean and insignificant to deserve to be remembered. They excite no surprise, and gratify no vanity. Every thing, however, which is extraordinary and marvellous, inspires the deepest curiosity and interest. While men are yet too ignorant to have ascertained with any accuracy the boundaries of nature, every thing of this sort meets with a ready belief; it conveys uncommon pleasure; the faculty of inventing is thus encouraged; and fables are plentifully multiplied. It may be regarded as in some degree remarkable, that, distinguished as all rude nations are for this propensity, the people of the East have far surpassed the other races of men in the extravagance of their legends. The Babylonians, the Arabians, the Syrians, the Egyptians, have long been subject to the contempt of Europeans, for their proneness to invent and believe miraculous stories. Lucian deems it a sarcasm, the bitterness of which would be universally felt, when he says of an author, infamous for the incredible stories which he had inserted in his history, that he had attained this perfection in lying, though he had never associated with a Syrian. (Quom. Cons. Hist.) The scanty fragments which have reached us of the histories of those other nations, have left us but little acquainted with the particular fables of which they compose their early history. But our more intimate acquaintance with the people of southern Asia has afforded us an ample assortment of their legendary stories.
227. “There is no known history of Hindoostan (that rests on the foundation of Hindu materials or records) extant, before the period of the Mahomedan conquests.” Rennel's Memoir, Introduction, xl. The Hindus have no ancient civil history, nor had the Egyptians any work purely historical. Wilford on Egypt and the Nile, As. Res. iii. 296.
228. If the authority of a Sanscrit scholar be wanted to confirm this harsh decision, we may adduce that of Captain Wilford, who, in his Discourse on Egypt and the Nile, As. Res. iii. 29, thus expresses himself: “The mythology of the Hindus is often inconsistent and contradictory, and the same tale is related many different ways. Their physiology, astronomy, and history, are involved in allegories and enigmas, which cannot but seem extravagant and ridiculous; nor could any thing render them supportable, but a belief that most of them have a recondite meaning; though many of them had, perhaps, no firmer basis than the heated imagination of deluded fanatics, or of hypocrites interested in the worship of some particular deity. Should a key to their eighteen Puranas exist, it is more than probable that the wards of it would be too intricate, or too stiff with the rust of time, for any useful purpose.”
“The Hindu system of geography, chronology, and history, are all equally monstrous and absurd.” Wilford on the Chronol. of the Hindus, As. Res. v. 241.
Another Oriental scholar of some eminence, Mr. Scott Waring, says, in his Tour to Sheeraz, p. iv. “that the Hindu mythology and history appear to be buried in impenetrable darkness.”
229. Dr. Robertson (Disquis. concerning Anc. India, note viii. p. 301.) says, “that some traditional knowledge of Alexander's invasion of India is still preserved in the northern provinces of the Peninsula, is manifest from several circumstances.” But these circumstances, when he states them, are merely such as this, that a race of Rajahs claim to be descended from Porus, or rather from a prince of a name distantly resembling Porus, which European inquirers conjecture may be the same. The other circumstance is, that a tribe or two, on the borders of ancient Bactria, are said to represent themselves as the descendants of some Greeks left there by Alexander. The modern Hindus, who make it a point to be ignorant of nothing, pretend, when told of the expedition of Alexander, to be well acquainted with it, and say, “That he fought a great battle with the Emperor of Hindoostan near Delhi, and, though victorious, retired to Persia across the northern mountains: so that the remarkable circumstance of his sailing down the Indus, in which he employed many months, is sunk altogether.” Major Rennel, Memoir, p. xl.
230. It affords a confirmation of this, that the Greeks have left us no accounts, in any degree satisfactory, of the manners and institutions of the ancient Persians, with whom they had so extended an intercourse; or of the manners and institutions of the Egyptians, whom they admired, and to whom their philosophers resorted for wisdom.
231. Hume's Hist. of England, i. 2.
232. Toute homme du bon entendement, sans voir une histoire, peut presque imaginer de quelle humeur fut un peuple, lorsqu’il lit ses anciens statuts et ordonnances; et d'un meme jugement peut tirer en conjecture quelles furent ses loix voyant sa maniere de vivre. Etienne Pasquier, Recherches de la France, liv. iv. ch. 1. The sage President de Goguet, on a subject remarkably similar, thus expresses himself:—“The dates and duration of the reigns of the ancient kings of Egypt are subject to a thousand difficulties, which I shall not attempt to resolve. In effect, it is of little importance to know the number of their dynasties, and the names of their sovereigns. It is far more essential to understand the laws, arts, sciences, and customs of a nation, which all antiquity has regarded as a model of wisdom and virtue. These are the objects I propose to examine, with all the care and exactness I ara capable of.” Origin of Laws, Part I. Book I. ch. i. art. 4.
233. There is a remarkable passage in Plato, at the beginning of the third book De Legibus, in which he describes the effects which would be produced on a small number of men, left alone in the world, or some uncultivated part of it. He is describing the situation of a small number of persons left alive by a flood, which had destroyed the rest of mankind.— Ἱι τοτε περιφυγντες την φϑοαν σχεδον ορειοι τινες αν ειεν νομεις, εν κορυφαις που σμικρα ζωπυρα του των ανθρωπων γενους δια σεσωμενα.—Και δη τους τοιουτους γε αναγκη που των αλλων απειρευς ειναι τεχνων, και των εν τοις αςεσι προς αλληλους μηχανων.—Ουκουν οργανα τε παντα απντα απολλυσϑαι, και ει τι τεχνης ην εχομενον σπουδαιας ἑυρημενον, η πολιτικης, η και σοφιας τινος ἑτεοας, παντα ερρειν ταυτα εν τψ τοτε χροθψφησομεν. (Plat. p. 804.) The Hindus appear to have had similar opinions, though without the reasons.
“We read in the Mahad-himalaya-c’handa, that after a deluge, from which very few of the human race were preserved, men became ignorant and brutal, without arts or sciences, and even without a regular language.” Wilford on Egypt and the Nile, As. Res. iii. 394.
There is nothing more remarkable in the traditions of nations, than their agreement respecting the origin of the present inhabitants of the globe. The account of the deluge in the religious books of the Jews may very well be taken as the archetype of the whole. On this subject I willingly content myself with a reference to a book of singular merit, The Analysis of Ancient Mythology, by Jacob Bryant, in which, after making ample allowance for some forced etymologies, and much superstition, the reader will find an extent of learning, a depth of research, and an ingenuity of inference, unrivalled among the inquirers into the early history of the human race. Sir William Jones, who regretted that Mr. Bryant's knowledge of Oriental literature had not enabled him to bring evidence more largely from its stores, and that he had not pursued a plan more strictly analytical, has prosecuted the same inquiry, in a series of Discourses, addressed to the Asiatic Society, on the Hindus, the Arabs, the Tartars, the Persians, the Chinese, &c., and on the Origin and Families of Nations; and by a different plan, and the aid of his Oriental literature, has arrived at the same conclusions.
All inquirers have been struck with the coincidence between the story of Noah, and that of the Hindu primeval sire Satyavrata. We may suspect that there has been a little Brahmemcal forcing to make it so exact as in the following passage:—Mr. Wilford says, “It is related in the Padma-Puran, that Satyavrata, whose miraculous preservation from a general deluge is told at length in the Matsya, had three sons, the eldest of whom was named Jyapeti, or Lord of the Earth. The others were C’harma and Sharma, which last are, in the vulgar dialects, usually pronounced C’ham and Sham, as we frequently hear Kishn for Crishna. The royal patriarch (for such is his character in the Puráns), was particularly fond of Jyapeti, to whom he gave all the regions to the north of Himalaya, in the snowy mountains, which extend from sea to sea, and of which Caucasus is a part. To Sharma he allotted the countries to the south of those mountains: But he cursed C’harma; because when the old Monarch was accidentally inebriated with a strong liquor made of fermented ice, C’harma laughed: and it was in consequence of his father's imprecation that he became a slave to the slaves of his brothers.” (As. Res. in. 312, 313.) The following statement by the same enquirer is confirmed by a variety of authorities:—“The first descendants of Swayambhava (another name for Satyavrata) are represented in the Puranas as living in the mountains to the north of India, toward the sources of the Ganges, and downward, as far as Serinagara and Hari-dwar. But the rulers of mankind lived on the summit of Meru, towards the north: where they appear to have established the seat of justice, as the Puranas make frequent mention of the oppressed repairing thither for redress.” Wilford on Chron. of Hind., As. Res. v. 260. “The Mexicans,” (says Clavigero, Hist. of Mexico, b. vi. sect. 1.) “had a clear tradition, though somewhat corrupted by fable, of the creation of the world, of the universal deluge, of the confusion of tongues, and of the dispersion of the people; and had actually all these events represented in their pictures (their substitute for writing). They said that when mankind were overwhelmed with the deluge, none were preserved but a man and woman, named Coxcox and Xochiguebzal, who saved themselves in a litttle bark, and landing upon a mountain, called Colhuacan, had there a great many children, who were all born dumb; but that a dove at last, from a lofty tree, imparted to them languages; all, however, differing so much, that they could not understand one another.”
234. The cautious inquirer will not probably be inclined to carry this era very far back. “The newness of the world,” says the judicious Goguet, (vol. iii. dissert. 3,) “is proved by the imperfection of many of the arts in the ancient world, and of all the sciences which depend upon length of time and experience.” By the newness of the world, he means the newness of human society. In examining the remains of organized bodies which have been extricated from the bowels of the earth, vegetables are found at the greatest depth; immediately above them small shell-fish, and some of the most imperfect specimens of the animal creation; nearer the surface quadrupeds, and the more perfectly organized animals: lastly man, of whom no remains have ever been found at any considerable depth. The inference is, that compared with the other organized beings on this globe, man is a recent creation. See Parkinson's Organic Remains.
235. There is scarcely an exception to this rule. Minos often retired into a cave, where he boasted of having familiar conversations with Jupiter: Mneues, the great legislator of Egypt, proclaimed Hermes as the author of his laws: it was by the direction of Apollo that Lycurgus undertook the reformation of Sparta: Zaleucus, the legislator of the Locrians, gave out that he was inspired by Minerva: Zathruspes, among the Arimaspians, pretended that his laws were revealed to him, by one of their divinities: Zamolxis boasted to the Getes of his intimate communications with the goddess Vesta: the pretensions of Numa among the Romans are well known. (See Goguet, Origin of Laws, part II. book I. ch. i. art. 9.) The Druids, among the ancient Britons and Gauls, were at once the legislators, and the confidants of the Divinity. Odin, who was himself a Divinity, and his descendants, who partook of his nature, were the legislators of the Scandinavians. “The legislators of the Scythians,” says Mallet (Introd. to Hist. of Denmark, ii. 43,) “represented God himself as the author of the laws which they gave to their fellow-citizens.”
236. This is a necessary supposition, as the generation to whom the Vedas were first presented must have known that they had no previous acquaintance with them, and could not believe that they had remained familiar to mortals from the period of their first revelation.
237. There is an instructive passage in Plato (De Repub. lib. ii.) in which he ascribes the origin of political association and laws, to the division of labour; Γιγνται πολις, ως εγ’ μαι, επειδαν τνγχανειμωνκαςοςουκ αυταρκης, αλλα πολλων ενδεης. From this cause, he says, men are obliged to associate, one man affording one accommodation, another another, and all exchanging the accommodations which each can provide, for the different accommodations provided by the rest. It is curious that, in limiting the simplest form of a political association, he makes it to consist of four or five classes of men. Αλλα μεν πρωτη γε και μιγιςη των, ἡ της τροφñς παρασκευη, δευτερα ὶε οικησιως, τριτη εσθητος καιτων τοιουτων. ∗ ∗ ∗ Ειη δ’ αν η’ γε αναγκαιοτατη πολις εκ τ[WW] That sagacious contemplator of the progress of society, Millar, describing the ancient state of the Anglosaxons, remarks, that the people of England were then divided into four great classes, the artificers and tradesmen, husbandmen, those who exercised the honourable profession of arms, and the clergy. He adds, “From the natural course of things it should seem that, in every country where religion has had so much influence as to introduce a great body of ecclesiastics, the people, upon the first advance made in agriculture and in manufactures, are usually distributed into the same number of classes or orders. This distribution is accordingly to be found not only in all the European nations, formed upon the ruins of the Roman empire; but in other ages, and in very distant parts of the globe. The ancient inhabitants of Egypt are said to have been divided into the clergy, the military people, the husbandmen, and the artificers. The establishment of the four great castes, in the country of Indostan, is precisely of the same nature.” (Millar's Historical View of the English Government, book I. ch. xi.) In Egypt the people were divided by law in the same hereditary manner as in Hindostan. It is highly worthy of observation that, notwithstanding all the revolutions and changes to which Egypt has been subject, some remains of the division into castes are yet visible. “La distinction par familles se retrouve encore dans les villes; l’exercise des arts et metiers est hereditaire, le fils imite les procedés de son pere, et ne les perfectionne pas.” (Le General Reynier, De l’Egypte, p. 59.) It is worthy of observation that the Colchians and Iberians were also divided into four castes, whose rank and office were hereditary and unchangeable. (Herodot. lib. ii. cap. civ. cv. Strabo, lib. ii. 765. See also Bryant's Ancient Mythology, v. 102, 107.) In some situations this step in civilization, natural and simple as it may appear, is not easily made. How long have the wandering Arabs remained without it? What an improvement would the bare institution of the Hindu classes be upon their condition? and what merit would the legislature have, who should introduce it? The same observation is applicable to the Tartars.
There is a passage in Herodotus which leads us to conclude, that the distinction of castes existed among the Medes, at the commencement of the monarchy. He says (lib. i. cap. ci.) [WW] He says nothing to fix the meaning of the word [WW]. But we know that the [WW] were the priests, and hence there is matter of proof to make us suppose, that the other names, in like manner, express separate castes, or hereditary classes and professions.
The Persian Monarch Jemsheed is said to have divided the Persians into four classes. Malcolm's Hist. of Persia, i. 205.
In like manner among the Peruvians, “Les citoyens,” to use the language of Carli (Lettres sur l'Amerique, let. xiii.) “furent distribués en classes ou tribus. ** Il n’etoit pas permis, ni par mariage, ni par changement d’habitation, de confondre une classe avec l'autre.” In Let. xiv, it is added, “L’education consistoit à apprendre aux enfans rôturiers le metier que chaque père de famille exercoit,” &c. Clavigero, too, respecting the Mexicans, tells us, (Hist. of Mexico, book vii. sect. v.) “The sons in general learned the trades of their fathers, and embraced their professions,” &c.
In Plato's Timæus, (p. 1044, Ed. Ficin. Francof. 1602), is a curious passage, which asserts that the same division of professions, which still existed among the Egyptians, existed, at a period long antecedent, among the Athenians: [WW]
238. It was in the dark ages that the Romish priesthood usurped so many privileges. Our ancestors were barbarous when the Druids exercised over them an unlimited authority. The soothsayers and priests among the Greeks and Romans lost their influence as knowledge increased. Among the rude inhabitants of Mexico and Peru, the authority of the priest equalled or superseded that of the king, and was united in the same person.
239. Laws of Menu, ch. i.
240. Ib. x.
241. Ib. vii.
242. Ib. viii. 271, 2. “From his high birth alone, a Brahmen is an object of veneration even to deities; his declarations to mankind are decisive evidence; and the Veda itself confers on him that character.” Ib. xi. 85.
243. Ib. x. 1.
244. Ib. x. 206.
245. Laws of Menu, ch. xi. 31, 32, 33.
246. Ib. ix. 313–319.
247. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 380.
248. Ib. viii.
249. Ib. vii. 133.
250. Halhed, Preface to the Code of Gentoo Laws.
251. The Druids among the ancient Britons, as there was a striking similarity in many of the doctrines which they taught, so possessed many similar privileges and distinctions to those of the Brahmens. Their persons were inviolable; they were exempt from taxes and military service; they exercised the legislative, the judicial, and, with the exception of commanding armies in the field, almost the whole of the executive powers of government. Cæsar, De Bell. Gal. lib. vi. 13, 14. Henry's Hist. of Great Britain, i, 302, 317.
252. See the Laws of Menu, passim. “The organs of sense and action, reputation, a heavenly mansion, life, a great name, children, cattle, are all destroyed by a sacrifice offered with trifling presents: let no man therefore sacrifice without liberal gifts.” Ib. xi. 40. “Let every man, according to his ability, give wealth to Brahmens detached from the world and learned in scripture; such a giver shall attain heaven after this life.” Ib. xi. 6. “Having reckoned up the persons whom the Brahmen is obliged to support, having ascertained his Divine knowledge and moral conduct, let the king allow him a suitable maintenance from his own household; and, having appointed him a maintenance, let the king protect him on all sides, for he gains from the Brahmen whom he protects a sixth part of his virtue.” Ib. xi. 22, 23. “Of that king in whose dominions a learned Brahmen is afflicted with hunger, the whole kingdom will in a short time be afflicted with famine.” Ib. vii. 114.
The Brahmens are occasionally exhorted to observe some decorum and measure in their pursuit of gifts. Laws of Menu, iv. 186. “Should the king be near his end through some incurable disease, he must bestow on the priests all his riches accumulated from legal fines; and, having duly committed his kingdom to his son, let him seek death in battle; or, if there be no war, by abstaining from food.”
“The influence of priestcraft over superstition is no where so visible as in India. All the commerces of life have a strict analogy with the ceremonies of religion; and the Brachman has inculcated such a variety of strange persuasions, that the Gentoo finds himself every hour under the necessity of consulting his spiritual guide. The building of a pagoda, and maintaining within it a set of priests, is believed the best action which human virtue is capable of. Every offence is capable of being expiated by largesses to the Brachmans, prescribed by themselves according to their own measures of avarice and sensuality.” Orme, On the Government and People of Indostan, 432.
“Since the Brahmen sprang from the most excellent part, since he was the first born, and since he possesses the Veda, he is by right the chief of this whole creation.
“Him, the Being, who exists of himself, produced in the beginning from his own mouth, that having performed holy rites, he might present clarified butter to the Gods, and cakes of rice to the progenitors of mankind, for the preservation of this world:
“What created being then can surpass him, with whose mouth the Gods of the firmament continually feast on clarified butter, and the manes of ancestors, on hallowed cakes?
“Of created things, the most excellent are those which are animated; of the animated, those which subsist by intelligence; of the intelligent, mankind; and of men, the sacerdotal class;
“Of priests, those eminent in learning: of the learned, those who know their duty; of those who know it, such as perform it virtuously; and of the virtuous, those who seek beatitude from a perfect acquaintance with scriptural doctrine.
“The very birth of Brahmens is a constant incarnation of Dherma, God of Justice; for the Brahmen is born to promote justice, and to procure ultimate happiness.
“When a Brahmen springs to light, he is born above the world, the chief of all creatures, assigned to guard the treasury of duties, religious and civil.
“Whatever exists in the universe is all in effect, though not in form, the wealth of the Brahmen; since the Brahmen is entitled to it all by his primogeniture and eminence of birth.” Laws of Menu, i. 93–100.
253. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. The law is laid down somewhat differently in Halhed's Code: when a man finds any thing belonging to another, the magistrate is to be informed, and if the finder is a Brahnen, he keeps the whole; from others a part goes to the magistrate; and from a Sooder all but two twelfths. Halhed's Gentoo Laws, ch. 21, sect. 2.
254. Laws of Menu, ch. ii. The mendicity of the priests seems to have been a general instrument of priestly imposture. It was so among the Romans; and no unproductive one. See Apuleius, Metam. l. viii. p. 262. Cicero, in his Book of Laws, proposes to restrain the begging trade of the priests.—Stipem sustulimus, nisi eam quam ad paucos dies propriam Idæ Martis excepimus: Implet enim superstitione auimos, exhaurit domos. Cic. de Legib. 1. ii. 9, 16. The Popish mendicants are a notorious instance. See Middleton's Letter from Rome, in Works of Dr. Conyers Middleton, iii. 116.
255. See the Laws of Menu, passim.
256. To this observation I know not that any exception can be adduced, which is not resolvable into the influence of a government purely or chiefly military. This, however, is the effect of art, or of forced circumstances, not of nature, or of reason. It is Mandeville, I think, who remarks, that fear is the origin of the admiration which has been generally bestowed upon the profession of arms; and in confirmation of this observes, that it is the most timid sex by whom the military character is the most admired. Mr. Hume has remarked, that it is the most timid sex, also, who are the most devoted to superstition, and the priests.
257. Halhed's Code, ch. xv. sect. 2. “If a man of an inferior caste,” says the Gentoo code, “proudly affecting an equality with a person of superior caste, should speak at the same time with him, the magistrate in that case shall punish him to the extent of his abilities.”—Ib.
258. See the Laws of Menu, and Halhed's Gentoo Code, passim. The case of theft is an exception to this, the higher classes being punished the most severely.
259. See the Laws of Menu, and Halhed's Gentoo Code, passion.
260. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 413.
261. Ib. x. 129.
262. Ib. viii. 417. If he be distressed for subsistence, says the gloss of Culluca.
263. Ib.
264. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 80, 81. “If,” says the Gentoo code, “a man of the Sooder reads the beids of the Shaster, or the Pooran, to a Brahmen, a Chehter, or a Bin, then the magistrate shall heat some bitter oil, and pour it into the aforesaid Sooder's mouth; and if a Sooder listens to the beids of the Shaster, then the oil, heated as before, shall be poured into his ears, and arzeez and wax shall be melted together, and the orifice of his ears shall be stopped up therewith. If a Sooder gets by heart the beids of the Shaster, the magistrate shall put him to death. If a Sooder always performs worship and the jugg, the magistrate shall put him to death. If a Sooder gives much and frequent molestation to a Brahmen, the magistrate shall put him to death.” (Halhed's Code of Gentoo Laws, ch. xxi. sect. 7.) It is among the most barbarous tribes, that we in general find the principle of subordination abused to the greatest excess. Perhaps no instance is equal to that which exhibits itself among the Hindus. “Among the Natchez,” (says Robertson, Hist. Americ. ii. 139,) a powerful tribe now extinct, on the banks of the Mississippi, a difference of rank took place, with which the northern tribes were altogether unacquainted. Some families were reputed noble, and enjoyed hereditary dignity. The body of the people was considered as vile, and formed only for subjection. This distinction was marked by appellations which intimated the high elevation of the one state, and the ignominious depression of the other: the former were called Respectable; the latter, the Stinkards.”—“To be a servant” (says Millar, Distinction of Ranks, ch. v. sect. 1.) “in these primitive times, was almost universally the same thing as to be a slave. The master assumed an unlimited jurisdiction over his servants, and the privilege of selling them at pleasure. He gave them no wages beside their maintenance; and he allowed them to have no property, but claimed to his own use whatever, by their labour, or by any other means, they happened to acquire.—Thus the practice of domestic slavery appears to have been early established among the nations of antiquity; among the Egyptians, the Phœnicians, the Jews, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans.—The same practice obtains at present among all those tribes of barbarians, in different parts of the world, with which we have any correspondence.”
265. Laws of Menu, ch. x. passim. Mr. Colebrooke on the Indian Classes, Asiat. Researches, v. 63.
266. Vide Halhed's Code of Gentoo Laws, preface.
267. Colebrooke on the Indian Classes, Asiat. Research. v. 53. On this subject, however, that intelligent author tells us, that Sanscrit authorities in some instances disagree. Classes mentioned by one are omitted by another; and texts differ on the professions assigned to some tribes. It is a subject, he adds, in which there is some intricacy.
268. “Avoid,” says the Tantra, “the touch of the Chandala, and other abject classes. Whoever associates with them undoubtedly falls from his class; whoever bathes or drinks in wells or pools which they have caused to be made, must be purified by the five productions of kine.” Colebrooke on the Indian Classes, Asiat. Research. v. 53. From this outline of the classification and distribution of the people, as extracted from the books of the Hindus, some of the most intelligent of our British observers, appeal to the present practice of the people, which they affirm is much more conformable to the laws of human welfare, than the institutions described in the ancient books. Of this, the author is aware: so inconsistent with the laws of human welfare are the institutions described in the Hindu ancient books, that they never could have been observed with any accuracy; it is, at the same time, very evident, that the institutions described in the ancient books are the model upon which the present frame of Hindu society has been formed; and when we consider the powerful causes which have operated so long to draw, or rather to force, the Hindus from their inconvenient institutions and customs, the only source of wonder is, that the state of society which they now exhibit should hold so great a resemblance to that which is depicted in their books. The President de Goguet is of opinion, that a division of the people into tribes and hereditary professions similar to that of the Hindus existed in the ancient Assyrian empire, and that it prevailed from the highest antiquity over almost all Asia, [174] book ii. Chap. 2.(part I. book I. ch. i. art. 3; Herodot. lib. i. cap. 200; Strab. liv. xvi. p. 1082; Diod. lib. ii. p. 142.) Cecrops distributed into four tribes all the inhabitants of Attica. (Pollux, lib. viii. cap. 9. sect. 100; Diodorus Siculus, lib. ii. p. 33.) Theseus afterwards made them three, by uniting, as it should seem, the sacerdotal class with that of the nobles, or magistrates. They consisted then of nobles and priests, labourers or husbandmen, and artificers; and there is no doubt that, like the Egyptians and Indians, they were hereditary. (Plutarch. Vit. Thes.) Aristotle expressly informs us, (Polit. lib. vii. cap. 10.) that in Crete the people were divided by the laws of Minos into classes after the manner of the Egyptians. We have most remarkable proof of a division, the same as that of the Hindus, anciently established among the Persians. In the Zendavesta, translated by Anquetil Duperron, is the following passage: Ormusd said, There are three measures [literally weights, that is, tests, rules] of conduct, four states, and five places of dignity.—The states are: that of the priest; that of the soldier; that of the husbandman, the source of riches; and that of the artizan or labourer.” Zendavesta, i. 141. There are sufficient vestiges to prove an ancient establishment of the same sort among the Buddhists of Ceylon, and by consequence to infer it among the other Buddhists over so large a portion of Asia. See a Discourse of Mr. Joinville on the Religion and Manners of the People of Ceylon, Asiat. Research. vii. 430, et seq.
269. Laws of Menu, ch. vii. 3.
270. Ib. ch. vii.
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Re: The History of British India, Vol. I, by James Mill

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Part 3 of 6

271. Kœmpfer, in his History of Japan, book i. chap. v. says, “The whole empire is governed in general by the Emperor, with an absolute and monarchical power, and so is every province in particular by the prince, who, under the Emperor, enjoys the government thereof.”—For the similarity of the institution in the Ottoman government, see Volney's Travels in Syria and Egypt, ii. 376.
272. Laws of Menu, ch. vii. 113–117. There is a very remarkable similarity between this mode of subdividing authority among the Hindus, and that adopted by the Incas of Peru. “The Incas,” (says Garcilasso de la Vega, part i. book ii. ch. v.) “had one method and rule in their government, as the best means to prevent all mischiefs and disorders; which was this. That of all the people in every place, whether more or less, a register should be kept, and a division made of ten and ten, over which one of the ten, whom they called the Decurion, was made superior over the other nine; then every five divisions of this nature had a lord over them, to whom was committed the charge and care of fifty; then over two divisions of fifty, another lord, who supervised 100; so five divisions of 100 had a magistrate who commanded 500; the divisions of 100 had a leader over 1000,” &c. The highest officer under the Inca was the governor of a province. Each inferior officer accounted for his conduct to the superior next above him. See, further, Acosta, Nat. and Mor. Hist. of the Indies, book vi. ch. xiii.; Carli, Lettres sur l'Amerique, let. xiii. The analogy of the Anglosaxon institution of tythings, or ten families; of hundreds, or ten tythings; and counties, will suggest itself to every imagination.
273. Laws of Menu, ch. vii. 118, 119. The first of these provisions, that for the lord of one town, is not accurately ascertained; the two or five plough-lands are sufficiently distinct; but the produce of a village or large town must have been extremely uncertain and ambiguous.
274. Laws of Menu, ch. vii. 120–122. A similar officer formed a similar part of the Peruvian establishment. He was denominated Cucuy Kwc, which is to say, “Eye of all.” Carli, Lettres sur l'Amerique, let. xiii.
275. Menu, ut supra, 123, 124.
276. Ibid. 54.
277. Laws of Menu, ch. vii. 56. Another precept to the king, respecting the mode of consulting with his ministers, is very expressive of the simplicity of the times; “Ascending up the back of a mountain, or going privately to a terrace, a bower, a forest, or a lonely place, without listeners, let him consult with them unobserved.” Ib. 147.
278. Ib. 58.
279. Orme on the Government and People of Indostan, p. 417. The same accurate and intelligent observer immediately adds; “The infantry consists in a multitude of people assembled together without regard to rank and file,” &c.
280. Laws of Menu, ch. vii. 70.
281. Ib. 74.
282. Ib. 103.
283. Laws of Menu, ch. vii. 89.
284. Ib. 88.
285. “The forces of the realm must be immediately regulated by the commander in chief.” Ib. 65.
286. Ib. 113–120.
287. Halhed's Gentoo Code, preface.
288. Laws of Menu, ch. vii. 14–22.
289. Ib ch. viii. 1.
290. Ib. ch. viii. 20. To learned and righteous Brahmens the magistrate shall give money, and every token of respect and consideration in the judgment seat, to have them near him; but he shall not retain fewer than ten of such Brahmen. Gentoo Code, ch. iii. sect. 1. The more sacred books of law the men by denomination holy were alone permitted to read. Thus the law of Menu (ch. ii. 16.) “He whose life is regulated by holy texts, from his conception even to his funeral pile, has a decided right to study this code, but no other person whatsoever.” The more profane commentaries, however, were less confined, and the man versed in these might suffice for the common business of administering justice.
291. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 9. 10. The Gentoo Code, translated by Mr. Halhed, directs, that when the king in person cannot examine a cause, he substitute a learned Brahmen; if a Brahmen cannot be found, a Cshatriya, &c. but in no case a Sudra. Gentoo Code, ch. iii. sect. 1.
292. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 9, 10.
293. Gentoo Code, ch. iii. sect. 5.
294. Orme on the Government, &c. of Indostan, p. 451.
295. This publicity of judicial proceedings is common to rude nations. In the country and days of Job, the judge sat at the gate of the city, ch. ix. ver. 7. Moses alludes to the same practice, Gen. xxiii. 18; and Homer tells us it was the practice in the heroic ages of Greece, Il. lib. xviii. ver. 497.
296. Orme on the Government and People of Indostan, p. 444–446. Another of our most instructive travellers, Mr. Foster, in the Dedication prefixed to his Journey from Bengal to England, p. vii., calls Hindustan, “A land whose every principle of government is actuated by a rapacious avarice, whose people never approach the gate of authority without an offering.”—This is a subject to which he often adverts; he says again, (i. 7,) “In Asia, the principles of justice, honour, or patriotism, as they confer no substantial benefit, nor tend to elevate the character, are seldom seen to actuate the mind of the subject.”
297. Laws of Menu, ch. vii. 37.
298. Even under a system, where the power of the altar was from the beginning rendered subservient to the power of the sword, the right of interpreting a code of sacred laws is found to confer an important authority. Hear the opinion of a recent, and penetrating observer:—“L’expression vague des preceptes du Koran, seule loi ecrite dans les pays Musulmans, laisse aux docteurs une grande latitude pour les interpretations, et bien des moyens d'augmenter leur autorité. Quoique cette religion ait peu de dogmes, le fanatisme qu’elle inspire est un instrument que les prêtres savent employer avec succés.” De l’Egypte, par le Gen. Reynier, p. 62.
299. See what is observed by three great authors, Hume, Blackstone, and Paley, on the influence of the crown in England. See also what is observed by Lord Bolingbroke on the same subject, in his Dissertatior on Parties.
300. Examine that important specimen of an original Hindu book of law, the Institutes of Menu. See too the confession of Mr. Colebrooke in the preface to his translation of the Digest of Hindu Law on Contracts and Successions; a work compiled a few years ago, under authority of the English government, by some of the most learned and respectable of the Brahmens.
301. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. The division and arrangement of the same subject, in the compilation translated by Mr. Halhed, are very similar, as will appear by the following titles of the chapters:—1. Of lending and borrowing; 2. Division of inheritable property; 3. Of justice; 4. Trust or deposit; 5. Selling a stranger's property; 6. Of shares; 7. Ahenation by gift; 8. Of servitude; 9. Of wages; 10. Of rent or hire; 11. Purchase or sale; 12. Boundaries or limits; 13. Shares in the cultivation of land; 14. Of cities, towns, and of the fines for damaging a crop; 15. Scandalous and bitter expressions; 16. Of assaults; 17. Theft; 18. Violence; 19. Adultery; 20. Of what concerns women; 21. Of sundry articles. In the elaborate Digest on the subject of Contracts and Inheritances, which has been translated by Mr. Colebrooke, the titles of the books, as far as they extend, coincide exactly with the titles in the Institutes of Menu; thus, Book 1. On loans, and their payment; Book 2. On deposits; Book 3. On the nonperformance of agreements; Book 4. On the duties of man and wife. The part of the work which relates to inheritance is included in one book, and is the same with the 17th title enumerated in the Institutes of Menu.
302. The Romans, by the ambiguity of their word jura, which signified either rights or laws, were enabled to use, without manifest impropriety, such expressions as, jura of persons, and jura of things: for though it was absurd to talk of the rights of things, things having a right to nothing, yet it was not absurd to talk of the laws of things. In their expressions jura personarum and jura rerum, there was, therefore, only confusion of ideas, and ambiguity. The English lawyers, from two of their characteristic properties, blind imitation, and the incapacity of clearing confused ideas, have adopted the same division; though in their set of phrases, rights of persons, and rights of things, there is not only confusion and ambiguity, but gross absurdity.
303. A very odd attempt at a further generalization upon the first nine titles appears in Mr. Colebrooke's Digest. His first book, On Loans, corresponds exactly with the first title in the Institutes of Menu. His second book, On Deposits, is divided into four chapters, which are exactly the 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th titles in the list of Menu. His third book, which is entitled, “On the Nonperformance of Agreements,” is divided into four chapters, and these are the same with the four succeeding titles in the classification of Menu.—1. Loans, 2. Deposits, 3. Nonperformance of agreements: These, according to the logic of the Digest, are the grand classes of contracts, and the titles which belong to them. The last of the titles, it is evident, cannot belong to any particular class: Nonperformance is incident to all classes of contracts. Either, therefore, this is an improper title altogether, or it ought to stand as the title of the whole subject of contracts: and then Nonperformance of Agreements would include, loans, deposits, and every thing else. Under Deposits the Digest includes the following sub-titles: 1. Deposits, and other bailments; 2. Sale without ownership; 3. Concerns among partners; 4. Subtraction of gifts: of which the last two have no more to do with deposits than they have with loans, or any the most remote branch of the subject; and the second is either a part of the first, and ought to have been included under it, as relating to the sale of things deposited, or that also has no connexion with the title. Let us next contemplate the sub-titles included under Nonperformance of Agreements. They are, 1. Nonpayment of wages or hire; 2. Nonperformance of agreements, chiefly in association; 3. Rescission of purchase and sale; 4. Disputes between master and herdsman: As if these included all the agreements of which there could be nonperformance. The first and last of them, moreover, are the same thing, or the last is a portion of the first. It is needless to carry the criticism farther.
304. It is curious, though some what humbling, to observe how far great men may let authority mislead them. “The articles,” says Dr. Robertson, “of which the Hindu code is composed, are arranged in natural and luminous order.” Disquisition concerning India, Appendix, p. 217.
305. Lord Kames, Historical Law Tracts, p. 123, 154. Grotius de Jure Belli ac Pacis, lib. II. cap. ii. 2. Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, book II. c. i. The annotator on some of the late editions of Blackstone differs from the doctrine in the text. But that writer seems to have mistaken an important circumstance, carefully attended to by the great lawyers quoted above, that when the commodities of the earth began to be appropriated they were not without owners, but the common property of the race at large.
306. L. L. Ethel. 10, 12. L. L. Edg. Hickes. Dissert. p. 30.
307. Ch. viii. 202.
308. A curious enumeration of the cases in which the property of one man is so incorporated with that of another as to be inseparable, is given in the Roman law, under the head of Accessio: Inclusio, adferruminatio, intextura, inædificatio, scriptura, pictura, specificatio, commixtio, et confusio.
The English law (a few special cases excepted) gives an absolute right of property to the bona fide purchaser, by whatever means the commodity may have come into the hands of the vendor. If the English law, however, takes care of the purchaser, it must be owned that it is deplorably defective in the care which it takes of the party by whom the commodity is lost.
309. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 222, 223. See also Halhed's Code of Gentoo Laws, ch. xi. and Mr. Colebrooke's Digest of Hindu Law, book III. ch. iii.
310. Ib. 401, 402. It is worthy of remark that this was a regulation too among the ancient Britons. Leges Wallicæ, lib. iii. 247. Henry's Hist. Brit. iv. 202.
311. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 224 to 227.
312. See Laws of Menu, ch. viii.; Halhed's Gentoo Code, iv.; Colebrooke's Digest, book II. ch. i.; Heineccii Pandect. pars III. lib. xvi. tit. 3, on the subject of deposits, and the importance of this class of transactions in the early days of Rome, with the causes of that importance.
The reader may see one of the few attempts which have been made to let in the light of common sense upon the law of England, in the Essay on Bailments, by Sir William Jones.
313. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 189.
314. The language of English law in the case of this contract is defective, and a source of confusion. In the case of other contracts, it has one name for the act of one of the parties, another name for that of the other. Thus, in the case of exchange, one of the parties is said to sell, the other to buy; in that of a loan, one of the parties is said to lend, the other to borrow. In the present case, it often uses but one name for the acts of both parties; he who gives, and he who receives, the use, being both said to hire. The Civilians are saved from this inconvenience by the use of the Latin language; in which the act of the one party is termed locatio, that of the other conductio. To let and to hiro, if uniformly employed, would answer the same purpose in English.
315. Institut. Justin. lib. in. tit. 25. Locatio et conductio proxima est emptioni et venditioni, iisdemque juris regulis consistit.
316. The simplicity of some of the enactments provokes a smile; “If a person hath hired any thing for a stipulated time he shall pay the rent accordingly.” (Gentoo Code, x.) Again, “If a person, having agreed for the rent of the water of a pool, or of the water of a well, or of the water of a river, or of a house, does not pay it, the magistrate shall cause such rent and hire to be paid.” Ibid.
317. If a hired servant perform not his work according to agreement, he shall be fined, and forfeit his wages. What he has been prevented by sickness from performing, he is allowed to execute after he is well; but if he leaves unfinished, either by himself or a substitute, any part of the stipulated service, however small, he is deprived of the hire for the whole. One branch of this subject, the obligations between masters, and the servants who tend their cattle, is of so much importance, denoting a state of society approaching the pastoral, as to constitute a whole title of Hindu law. The principal object is to define those injuries accruing to the cattle, and those trespasses committed by them, for which the keeper is responsible. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 214 to 218, and 229 to 244. Halhed's Gentoo Code, viii, ix. Colebrooke's Digest, book III. ch. ii. and iv.
318. Laws of Menu, ch. vii. Halhed's Gentoo Code, ch. i. sect. 2. Colebrooke's Digest, part I. book I. ch. iii.
319. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. Colebrooke's Digest, part I. book I. ch. iv. Halhed's Gentoo Code, ch. i. sect. 3.
320. It was perfectly familiar to the Jews at the time of their departure from Egypt; Deuteron. ch. xxiii. 20.
321. Laws of Menu, viii. 151.
322. Halhed, Preface to the Code of Gentoo Laws, p. 53.
323. “Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother, usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury. Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury.” Deuteron. xxiii. 19, 20.
324. The tribes of Burren Sanker, that is, all the mixed classes, pay at the rate of one in sixteen (or rather more than six per cent.) per month. Halhed's Gentoo Code, ch. i. sect. 1.
325. It is curious that this too was a law of Egypt, at least in regard to loans upon security. Diod. Sic. lib. i. cap. 79. Goguet's Origin of Laws, part III. book I. ch. iv.
326. For the details respecting the law of interest, consult Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 140 to 154. Halhed's Gentoo Code, ch. 1. sect. 1. Colebrooke's Digest, part I. book I. ch. ii.
327. This mode of personal seizure had place at an early age among the Egyptians; but they made sufficient advancement to abolish it. A law of king Bocchoris permitted the creditor to seize only the goods of his debtor for payment. Diod. Sic. lib. i. p. 90.
328. Colebrooke's Digest, part I. book I. ch. vi. sect. 240, 241.
329. For the laws respecting recovery of debt, see Laws of Menu, ch. viii. Halhed's Gentoo Code, ch. i. sect. 5. Colebrooke's Digest, part I. book I. ch. lvi.
330. Laws of Menu, viii. 139.
331. See an account of the practice of sitting in dherna, by Sir John Shore (Lord Teignmouth), Asiat. Researches, iv. 330 to 332. He tells us that, since the institution of the court of justice at Benares in 1783, the practice has been less frequent, but that even the interference of that court and of the resident had occasionally been unable to check it. He tells us, too, that some of the pundits, when consulted, declared the validity to such claims as are just: others denied its validity, except where the party confirmed the engagement after the coercion is withdrawn. But it is evident that these restrictions are inconsistent with the facts which Lord Teigumouth records, and are mere attempts of the pundits, according to their usual practice, to interpret their laws into as great a coincidence as possible with the ideas of the great persons by whom the questions are put to them. A regulation was made by the Bengal government in 1795 for preventing this practice. See papers, ordered to be printed by the House of Commons, 3d June, 1813, p. 431. See also Broughton's Mhratta Camp, p. 42.
332. “Among barbarians in all parts of the world, persons who belong to the same family are understood to enjoy a community of goods. In those early ages, when men are in a great measure strangers to commerce or the alienation of commodities, the right of property is hardly distinguished from the right of using or possessing; and those persons who have acquired the joint-possession of any subject are apt to be regarded as the joint proprietors of it.” Millar on the English government, i. 190.
333. The whole too of that Title of law, “Concerns among partners,” refers not so much to a joint-stock property, contributed by certain individuals for carrying on any particular business, as to the property of a number of persons, most commonly brothers or other near relations, who agree to live together, and to have all their effects in common. The multitude of the laws proves the frequency of the transactions.—The old law of inheritance among the Romans was altogether founded upon the same ideas. Fundamentum successionis veteris erat conservatio familiarum. Familia enim universitas quædam videbatur, cujus princeps est paterfamilias.—Quum ergo proximi in familia essent liberi vel sui heredes, tanquam vivo patre, quodammodo domini et [WW] legibus xii. tabularum cautum fuerat; SI INTESTATO MORITUR CUI SUUS HERES NEC ESCIT, AGNATUS PROXIMUS FAMILIAM HABETO. Heinec. in lnst. lib iii. tit. i. sect. 690.
334. Laws of Menu, ch. ix. 105.
335. Colebrooke's Digest, part II. book V. ch. iii. sect. 114.
336. Halhed's Gentoo Code, ch. ii. sect. 11. Colebrooke's Digest, part II. book V. ch. ii. Mr. Halhed has remarked that the demand of the prodigal son in the Gospel for his portion, affords proof of a similar state of things among the Jews. The attentive reader will perceive many other strokes of resemblance. All the more cultivated nations of Asia appear to have reached a stage of society nearly the same.
337. Colebrooke's Digest, book V. ch. i. sect 2, subsect. 34. Halhed's Gentoo Code, ch. ii. sect. 12.
338. Colebrooke's Digest, part II. book V. ch. 3, subsect. 115, 116, ch. i. sect. 2, subsect. 34.
339. Laws of Menu, ch. ix. 214.
340. “When there are two sacred texts, apparently inconsistent, both are held to be law, for both are pronounced by the wise to be valid and reconcileable. Thus in the Veda are these texts: Let the sacrifice be when the sun has arisen, and before it has risen, and when neither sun nor stars can be seen: The sacrifice therefore may be performed at any or all of those times.” Ib. ii. 14, 15.
341. Laws of Menu, ch. ix. 188.
342. Ib. 189.
343. Colebrooke's Digest, part II. book V. ch. v. sect 320, 321, 325, 329, 331. In Halhed's Gentoo Code they are thus enumerated; one born an eunuch, blund, deaf, dumb, without hand or foot, or nose, or tongue, or privy member or fundament, and one who has no principle of religion, as well as the victims of various diseases. Gentoo Code, ch. ii. sect 5. The law is thus stated in the Institutes of Menu; eunuchs and outcasts, persons born blind or deaf, madmen, idiots, the dumb, and such as have lost the use of a limb, are excluded from a share of the heritage. But it is just, that the heir who knows his duty should give all of them food and raiment. Laws of Menu, viii. 201, 202.
344. Laws of Menu, viii. 149, &c. Halhed's Gentoo Code, ch. ii. sect. 2. Colebrooke's Digest, part II. book V. ch. vii.
345. The appearance of accuracy given by minuteness of detail has sometimes been quoted as a proof of refined knowledge; but it is a proof of the very reverse. Henry tells us (Hist. of Britain, i. 320) that the laws of the Druids provided with great care for the equitable division of the effects of the family according to the circumstances of every case. The ancient laws of Wales descend to very long and particular details on this subject, and make provision for every possible case with the most minute exactness. Leges Wallicæ, lib. ii. de mulieribus, cap. i. p. 70. The refinement and niceties of the Mahomedan law of succession are perhaps still more remarkable. See Mahomedan law of succession, Works of Sir William Jones, iii. 467, and the Al Sirajiyyah, with Sir William's Commentary, Ib. 505. In fact, the want of skill to ascend to a general expression, or rule, which would accurately include the different ramifications of the subject, is that which gives occasion to this minuteness of detail.
346. Those who are unmarried at the death of the father are directed to receive portions out of their brothers’ allotments, Laws of Menu, ix. 118.
347. Three persons, a wife, a son, and a slave, are declared by law to have in general no wealth exclusively their own: the wealth which they may earn is regularly acquired for the man to whom they belong.” Ib. ch. viii. 416.
348. Ib. ch. ix. 192 to 197. Colebrooke's Digest, part II. book V. ch. ix.
349. Kames's Historical Law Tracts, i. 162.
350. Impressed, when I began to study the history and character of the Hindus, with the loud encomiums I had been accustomed to hear on their attainments, and particularly their laws; which were represented as indicating a high state of civilization; this fact, which is broadly stated by Mr. Halhed, (Preface to the Gentoo Code, p. liii.) very forcibly struck me. Rude as the Arabs were at the time of Mahomed, their ideas of property included the right of devising by will. See Koran, chap. 5.
351. Historical Law Tracts, i. 159. How like is this regulation of the Burgundians to the rules among the Hindus for division of property to the sons during the father's life-time?
352. Halhed's Gentoo Code, ch. vii.
353. Gibbon's History of the Decl. and Fall of the Roman Empire, ch. xliv.
354. See the Books of Moses, passim.
355. Diod. Sic. lib. i. p. 88.
356. Wilkins, Leg. Sax. p. 2. to 20. Mr. Turner, History of the Anglo-saxons, says, book XI. ch. viii. “The most popular of the legal punishments were the pecuniary mulcts. But as the imperfection and inutility of these could not be always disguised—as they were sometimes impunity to the rich, who could afford them, and to the poor who had nothing to pay them with, other punishments were enacted. Among these we find imprisonment, outlawry, banishments, slavery, and transportation. In other cases, we have whipping, branding, the pillory, amputation of limb, mutilation of the nose and ears, and lips, the eyes plucked out, hair torn off, stoning, and hanging. Nations not civilized have barbarous punishments.”
357. Charge to the Grand Jury of Calcutta, Dec. 4, 1788, Sir Wm. Jones's Works, iii. 26. Of this feature of their laws, a few examples will impress a lively conception. “The most pernicious of all deceivers,” says the law of Menu, “is a goldsmith who commits frauds; the king shall order him to be cut piecemeal with razors.” Laws of Menu, ch. ix. 292. “Should a wife, proud of her family and the great qualities of her kinsmen, actually violate the duty which she owes to her lord, let the king condemn her to be devoured by dogs in a place much frequented; and let him place the adulterer on an iron bed well heated, under which the executioners shall throw logs continually, till the sinful wretch be there burned to death.” Ib. viii. 371, 372. “If a woman murders her spiritual guide, or her husband, or her son, the magistrate, having cut off her ears, her nose, her hands, and her lips, shall expose her to be killed by cows.” Halhed's Gentoo Code, ch. xxi. sect. 10. “Of robbers, who break a wall or partition, and commit theft in the night, let the prince order the hands to be lopped off, and themselves to be fixed on a sharp stake. Two fingers of a cutpurse, the thumb and the index, let him cause to be amputated on his first conviction; on the second, one hand and one foot; on the third, he shall suffer death.” Laws of Menu, ix. 276, 277. “A thief who, by plundering in his own country, spoils the province, the magistrate shall crucify, and confiscate his goods; if he robs in another kingdom he shall not confiscate his possessions, but shall crucify him. If a man steals any man of a superior caste, the magistrate shall bind the grass beena round his body, and burn him with fire; if he steals a woman of a superior caste, the magistrate shall cause him to be stretched out upon a hot plate of iron, and, having bound the grass beena round his body, shall burn him in the fire. If a man steals an elephant or a horse, excellent in all respects, the magistrate shall cut off his hand, and foot, and buttock, and deprive him of life. If a man steals an elephant or a horse of small account, or a camel or a cow, the magistrate shall cut off from him one hand and one foot. If a man steals a goat or a sheep, the magistrate shall cut off one of his hands. If a man steals any small animal, exclusive of the cat and the weasel, the magistrate shall cut off half his foot.” Halhed's Gentoo Code, ch. xvii. sect. 3. “If a man sets fire to the tillage or plantation of another, or sets fire to a house or to a granary, or to any uninhabited spot where there is much fruit or flowers, the magistrate, having bound that person's body in the grass beena, shall burn him with fire.” Ib. xviii. “For boring the nostrils of cows belonging to priests, the offender shall instantly lose half of one foot. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 325. The same system of mutilation prevailed in Persia. Xenophon, describing the Persian punishments, says, . Xenoph. Cyropæd. lib. i. p. 92. The common mode of hanging is thus described by an eye-witness: “A hook is fixed to one end of the rope, and this hook the executioner forces with all his strength into the flesh below the criminal's chin; he is then hoisted up, and the other end of the rope is made fast to the gallows.” Bartolomeo's Travels, book II. ch. v. “If a magistrate has committed a crime, and any person, upon discovery of that crime, should beat and ill-use the magistrate, the magistrate shall thrust an iron spit through him and roast him at the fire.” Halhed's Gentoo Code, ch. xvi. sect. 1.
358. “The inhuman and unequal principle of retaliation,” says Mr. Gibbon, Hist. of Decl. and Fall of the Rom. Emp. ch. xhv.
359. Strabo, lib. vi. p. 398. Potter's Antiq. book I. ch. xxvi. Blackstone's Commentaries, book IV. ch. i.
360. Diod. Sic. lib. i. p. 88, 89.
361. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 279. In a style characteristically Hindu, the following, among other cases, are specified; when a man spits on another, when he urines on him, and when he breaks wind on him. The penalties I choose not to describe. See the same chapter, 280 to 284.
362. Halhed's Code of Gentoo Laws, ch. xvi. sect. 1.
363. Ib.
364. Ib.
365. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 270 to 273.
366. Laws of Menu, ch. viii, 268.
367. Ib. 334.
368. Ib. 374.
369. Ib; ix, 279.
370. There is in one passage of Menu, ch. viii. 126, an incidental exhortation to the judge, not to be regardless of the ability of the sufferer in the infliction of corporal or other punishment; and it is impossible but some regard must have been paid to it in practice: but defined sums are in almost all cases affixed to specific crimes, without the smallest reference to the ability of the payer.
371. The orthodox judge, Blackstone, as Mr. Gibbon very significantly denominates him, (See Hist. Decl. and Fall, &c. ch. xliv. n. 145) is quite an advocate for the superior criminality of an injury to a man of a superior rank. “If a nobleman strikes a peasant,” says he, “all mankind will see, that, if a court of justice awards a return of the blow, it is more than a just compensation. The execution of a needy, decrepid assassin, is a poor satisfaction for the murder of a nobleman, in the bloom of his youth, and full enjoyment of his friends, his honours, and his fortune.” Commentaries on the Laws of England, book IV. ch. i.
372. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 260, 267.
373. Code of Gentoo Laws, ch. xv. sect. 2. Vide supra, p. 166.
374. Ib. xvi. sect. 1.
375. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 123.
376. Ib. 337, 338.
377. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 124, 125.
378. Halhed's Gentoo Code, ch. xvii. sect. 3.
379. Halhed's Gentoo Code, ch. xvi. sect. 1.
380. Preface to the Translation of the Institutes of Menu, Sir Wm. Jones's Works, iii. 62.
381. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 120, 121. Where the language of the text specifies the fine by naming it technically in the order of amercements, I have stated the sum, that the reader might see at a glance the proportions.
382. See the Chapter on Manners.
383. Historical Law Tracts, i. 49, 50.
384. See the Article Assault in the Code of Gentoo Laws, ch. xvi. sect. 1. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 279 to 301.
385. See Kames's Historical Law Tracts, i. 63, and the authorities there quoted.
386. Supra, p. 218, 219.
387. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 344 to 348. Code of Gentoo Laws, ch. xviii.
388. Mr. Halhed makes so curious an apology for this article in his preface to the Code of Gentoo Laws, p. lxiii. that I am tempted to transcribe it: “The nineteenth and twentieth chapters,” says he, “present us a lively picture of Asiatic manners, and in them a strong proof of their originality. To men of liberal and candid sentiments, neither the grossness of the portrait nor the harshness of the colouring, will seem improper or indecent, while they are convinced of the truth of the resemblance; and if this compilation does not exhibit mankind as they might have been, or as they ought to have been, this answer is plain, ‘Because it paints them as they were.’—Vices, as well as fashions, have their spring and their fall, not with individuals only, but in whole nations, when one reigning foible for a while swallows up the rest, and then retires in its turn to make room for the epidemic influence of a newer passion. Wherefore, if any opinions, not reconcileable to our modes of thinking, or any crimes not practised, and so not prohibited among us, should occur in these chapters, they must be imputed to the different effects produced on the human mind by a difference of climates, costoms, and manners, which will constantly give a particular turn and bias to the national vices.—Hence it would be a weak and frivolous argument for censuring the fifth section of this nineteenth chapter, to object that it was levelled at an offence absurd in itself, not likely to be frequent, or supposing it frequent, still to be deemed of trivial consequence; and to make this objection merely in consideration that the offence may not be usual among us, and has certainly never been forbidden by our legislature, such cavils would betray a great ignorance of the general system of human nature, as well as of the common principles of legislation; for penal laws (except for the most ordinary crimes) are not enacted until particular instances of offence have pointed out their absolute necessity; for which reason parricide was not specified among the original institutes of the celebrated lawgiver of Sparta. Hence we may with safety conclude, that the several prohibitions and penalties of this fifth section were subsequent to, and in consequence of, the commission of every species of enormity therein described.”—Mr. Halhed here maintains with very cogent reasons, though rather an unskilful style, that the Hindu morals are certainly as gross as the Hindu laws; that the latter grossness is, in fact, the result of the former.
389. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 356, 357.
390. Ib. 352 to 386. Code of Gentoo Laws, ch. xix.
391. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 3.
392. Ib. 52.
393. Ib.
394. “Let him fully consider the nature of truth, the state of the case, and his own person; and next, the witnesses, the place, the mode and the time.” Ib. 45. From these circumstances it is probable that the emendation of the commentator has been added from the more enlarged knowledge of later times.
395. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 60. The same law is stated still more generally and absolutely, in the Gentoo Code, ch. iii. sect. 8.
396. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 77.
397. Halhed's Gentoo Code, ch. iii. sect. 8. “If the plaintiff or defendant, at their own option, appoint a single person only, not fraudulently inclined, &c. he may be a witness.”
398. Ibid.
399. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 62.
400. Laws of Menu, ch. viii, 64 to 67.
401. Ib. 68.
402. Ib. 69, 70, 71.
403. “If,” says Mr. Hume, “the manner of punishing crimes among the Anglosaxons appear singular, the proofs were not less so: and were also the natural result of the situation of those people. Whatever we may imagine concerning the usual truth and sincerity of men who live in a rude and barbarous state, there is much more falsehood, and even perjury, among them, than among civilized nations: Virtue, which is nothing but a more enlarged and more cultivated reason, never flourishes to any degree, nor is founded on steady principles of honour, except where a good education becomes general; and where men are taught the pernicious consequences of vice, treachery, and immorality. Even superstition, though more prevalent among ignorant nations, is but a poor supply for the defects in knowledge and education: Our European ancestors, who employed every moment the expedient of swearing on extraordinary crosses and reliques, were less honourable in all engagements than their posterity, who, from experience, have omitted those ineffectual securities. This general proneness to perjury was much increased by the usual want of discernment in judges, who could not discuss an intricate evidence, and were obliged to number, not weigh, the testimony of witnesses.” History of England, Appendix I.
This subject will, one day, when the papers of Mr. Bentham are produced, be presented to the world, in all the light which full knowledge, a minute analysis, and philosophy, can bestow upon it.
Menu, ch. viii. 72.
404. Code of Gentoo Laws, ch iii. sect. 6, p. 107.
405. Laws of Menu, ch. viii.
406. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. sect. 104.
407. Halhed's Gentoo Code, ch. iii. sect. 9.
408. Ib. 6.
409. We know that grants of land by their princes were made in writing; and sunnuds, pottabs, and other writings, of legal import are numerous in modern times. That so little of them is indicated in the more ancient books of law, implies a ruder period of society; though, doubtless, we cannot be sure of their being as destitute of legal writings as the few, which we possess, of their ancient monuments would give reason to suppose.
410. For a full account both of the law and the practice respecting the trial by ordeal, see a discourse “On the Trial by Ordeal among the Hindus, by Ali Ibrahim Khan, chief magistrate at Benares,” in the Asiat. Researches, i. 389. See too the Institutes of Menu, ch. viii. 114, 115, 190; Mr. Halhed's Code of Gentoo Laws, ch. iii. sect. 6, ch. ii. sect. 15, ch. xvii. sect. 4, ch xviii., and the Translator's preface, p. 55, 56. Dr. Buchanan informs us of a shocking species of ordeal in use, in some places, in regard to those, “who, having had sexual intercourse with a person of another cast, allege that it was by mistake. If the criminal be a woman, melted lead is poured into her private parts; if it be a man, a red hot iron is thrust up. Should they be innocent it is supposed that they will not be injured.” Journey through the Mysore, Canara, and Malabar, under the orders of Marquis Wellesley, i. 307. According to Kœmpfer, the Japanese too use a species of ordeal for the discovery of guilt: History of Japan, ch. v. 236.
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Re: The History of British India, Vol. I, by James Mill

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Part 4 of 6

410a. One of the most recent witnesses of the phenomena of Hindu society, who possessed extraordinary means of accurate knowledge, speaks in general upon the administration of justice among the Hindus in the following terms.
“Without any of the judicial forms invented by the spirit of chicanery in Europe; with no advocates, solicitors, or other blood-suckers, now become necessary adjuncts of a court of justice in Europe; the Hindus determine the greater part of their suits of law, by the arbitration of friends, or of the heads of the cast, or, in cases of the very highest importance, by reference to the chiefs of the whole casts of the district assembled to discuss the matter in controversy.—In ordinary questions they generally apply to the chief of the place, who takes upon himself the office of justice of the peace, and accommodates the matter between the parties. When he thinks it more fit, he sends them before their kindred, or arbitrators whom he appoints. He generally follows the last course when the complainants are Brahmans, because persons out of their cast are not supposed capable of properly deciding differences between them. When these methods have been ineffectual to reconcile the parties, or when they refuse to submit to the decision of the arbitrators, they must apply to the magistrates of the district, who decide the controversy without any appeal.
The authority of the Hindu princes as well as that of the vile emissaries whom they keep in the several provinces of their country for the purpose of harassing and oppressing them in their name, being altogether despotic, and knowing no other rule but their own arbitrary will, there is nothing in India that resembles a court of justice. Neither is there a shadow of public right, nor any code of laws by which those who administer justice may be guided. The civil power and the judicial are generally united, and exercised in each district by the collector or receiver of the imposts. This sort of public magistrates are generally known under the name of Havildar or Thasildar. They are generally Brahmans. This tribunal, chiefly intended for the collection of the taxes, takes cognizance of all affairs civil and criminal within its bounds, and determines upon all causes.” Description of the Character, Manners and Customs of the People of India, by the Abbé J. A. Dubois, Missionary in the Mysore, p. 493.
411. Laws of Menu, ch. vii. 130.
412. Laws of Menu, ch. vii. 131, 132.
413. Ib. 130.
414. Ib. 127, 128.
415. Ib. 137, 138.
416. Laws of Menu, ch. x. 118, 120.
417. Ayeen Akbery, p. 347.
418. An ancient Sanscrit poem of the dramatic form, translated by Sir William Jones: See the beginning of the fifth act.
419. The political economists of Hindustan, and those of the mercantile theory in modern Europe, proceeded on different views.
420. Halhed's Gentoo Code, ch. xxi. sect. 4. On sales of very small amount, or on those of young heifers, (the cow was a sacred animal) no tax was levied.
421. Suevorum gens est longe maxima et bellicosissima Germanorum omnium. Ii centum pagos habere dicuntur. ∗ ∗ ∗ Privati et separati agri apud eos nihil est; neque longius anno remanere uno in loco, incolendi causa licet: neque multum frumento, sed maximam partem lacte atque pecore vivunt, multumque sunt in venationibus. Cæsar. De Bell. Gal. lib. iv. cap. 1. Among some tribes of negroes on the coast of Africa, each individual must obtain the consent of the chief before he has liberty to cultivate a field, and is only protected in its possession till he has reaped the crop for which he has toiled. Histoire Generale des Voyages, tom. v. ch. vii. sect. 5. “Neque quisquam agri modum certum, aut fines proprios habet: sed magistratus ac principes, in annos singulos, gentibus cognationibusque hominum qui una coierunt quantum et quo loco visum est agri attribuunt; atque anno post, alio transire cogunt.” Cæsar. De Bello Gallico, lib. vi. cap. 20.
——— Rigidi Getæ
Immetata quibus jugera liberas
Fruges et Cererem ferunt,
Nec cultura placet longior annua;
Defunctumque laboribus
Æquali recreat sorte vicarius. Hor. lib. iii. Od. 24;
422. Histoire Generale des Voyages, tom. iv. ch. xiii. p. 203. Modern Universal History, vol. xvii. p. 322. I am induced to transcribe the following passage from Mr. Park; “Concerning property in the soil; it appeared to me that the lands and native woods were considered as belonging to the king, or (where the government was not monarchical) to the state. When any individual of free condition had the means of cultivating more land than he actually possessed, he applied to the chief man of the district, who allowed him an extension of territory, on condition of forfeiture, if the lands were not brought into cultivation by a given period. The condition being fulfilled, the soil become vested in the possessor; and, for aught that appeared to me, descended to his heirs.” Travels in Africa, p. 260, 261.
“All the land is said to belong to the king; but if a man chooses to clear a spot and erect a town, he may: the land is free for any of the people. If a stranger, indeed, that is, an European, should wish to settle among them, he must make a present of goods to the king.” Correspondence of John Kizell, on the state of the people on the river Sherbro, Appendix to the Sixth Report of the African Institution, p. 133.
423. Herodot. lib. ii cap. cix. says, that Sesostris, as he was told by the priests, divided all the land of Egypt among the people, and thence raised his revenues, imposing an annual tribute on each portion; και απο ττ τας προσοδς ποιησασϑαι, επιταξαντα αποφορην επιτελειν κατ’ δνιαυτον. See too, Strabo, lib. xvii. p. 1135. Diod. Sic. lib. i. sect. 2. cap. xxiv.
424. Volney's Travels in Syria and Egypt, vol. ii. p. 402, et passim. De l’Egypte, par le General Reynier, p. 66. 51.
425. For information on this point, see Herodot. lib. iii.; lib. iv. cap. xlii.; Sir William Ousely's Translation of Ebn Haukal, an Arabian geographer, who lived in the tenth century, p. 137; Institutes of Timur; Ayeen Akberry; Chardin's Travels.
426. Gov. Raffles Minute on Java, p. 6; also, p. 79, 108. The distribution of the land among the Peruvians was as follows: One-third part of it was dedicated to, and cultivated for, the gods; that is, the priests. Another third part the Inca reserved for himself, for the maintenance of his court and of his armies. The remaining third he distributed to the people, assigning an established portion to each family. “But no particular man,” (says Acosta, Nat. and Mor. Hist. of the Indies, book VI. ch. xv.) “possessed any thing proper to himself of this third portion, neither did the Indians ever possess any, if it were not by special grace from the Inca.” Garcilasso de la Vega tells us, (part I. book V. ch. i.) that it was only when there was more land than sufficed for the people, that the Inca and the Sun received their full thirds; when that was not the case, these portions were diminished to augment to the proper proportion that of the people. See too Carh, Lettres sur l'Amerique, let. xv. For great services land was given in full property; Acosta, book VI. ch. xviii: and this is another remarkable coincidence with what existed in Hindustan.
427. Abbe Grosier Descr. de la Chine; but Mr. Barrow's testimony is the most direct and satisfactory. “The emperor,” says he, “is considered as the sole proprietary of the soil, but the tenant is never turned out of possession as long as he continues to pay his rent, which is calculated at about one-tenth of what his farm is supposed capable of yielding; and though the holder of lands can only be considered as a tenant at will, yet it is his own fault if he should be dispossessed.” Barrow's China, p. 397.
428. Leges Wallicæ, Hoel, cap. 337.
429. Turner's History of the Anglo-saxons, vol ii. ch. iii.
430. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 39. I have here substituted the word supreme for the word paramount, used by Sir William Jones, which has no meaning but as it relates to the feudal institutions of Europe, and is calculated to convey an erroneous idea.
431. Laws of Menu, ch. viii. 243.
432. See a royal grant of land, engraved on a copper plate, bearing date twenty-three years before Christ; and discovered among the ruins at Monguir, translated by Mr. Wilkins, Asiat. Researches, i. 123. “Be it known,” says the inscription, (p. 126) “that I have given the abovementioned town of Meseeka, whose limits include the fields where the cattle graze, above and below the surface, with all the lands belonging to it, together with all the Mango and Modhoo trees; all its waters, and all their banks and verdure; all its rents, all its tolls and times for crime and rewards for catching thieves. In it there shall be no molestation, no passage for troops,” &c. It is here remarkable that the sovereign, as well as the proprietary, rights are given away; so indissolubly were these united in the minds and institutions of the Hindus. In the same manner in another grant of land found at Tanna, and bearing date An. Christi, 1018, the land is given away “with its herbage, wood, and water, and with power of punishing for the ten crimes.” Asiat. Researches, i. 364.
433. “Let a king, having given land, or assigned revenue, cause his gift to be written for the information of good princes, who will succeed him, either on prepared cloth, or on a plate of copper, sealed above with his signet; having described his ancestors and himself, the dimensions or quantity of the gift, with its metes and bounds, if it be land, and set his own hand to it, and specified the time, let him render his donation firm.” See the original, and the translation of Sir William Jones, Asiat. Res. iii. 50.
The Digest of Hindu law, translated by Colebrooke, (i. 460) declares, “By conquest, the earth became the property of the holy Parasu Rama, by gift the property of the sage Casyapa; and, committed by him to Cshatriyas for the sake of protection, became their protective property successively held by powerful conquerors, and not by subjects, cultivating the soil.” It further appears, from the same passage, that by agreement with the sovereign, and not otherwise, a tenure of more than one year might be required; but without such agreement, the cultivator might be turned away at the end of every year, if a larger rent was offered by any other. It was highly necessary to quote this passage, though it is affirmed by Col. Wilks, to be a law manufactured by the complaisant Brahmens, who made the Digest, on purpose to suit the opinions of the ruling power, at that time in love with the Zemindarry system. Col. Wilks affirms, that there is nothing whatsoever which the Brahmens cannot make to be law, on a similar occasion. And it is at least certain, that part of what they give as law has been proved to be at variance with all that appears either of their present or ancient institutions.
“That there were no hereditary estates in India; for that all the land belonged to the king, which he disposed of at pleasure.” Persian authority, quoted by Stewart, Hist. of Bengal, p. 132.
434. It is proper to adduce the more remarkable instances. The ancient Greeks who visited India expressly inform us, that the kings were the sole proprietors of the soil, and that a fourth part of the produce was usually paid them in kind as the rent or tribute. Strabo, lib. xv. p. 1030. Diod. Sic. lib. ii. p. 53.
“Diodorus, Strabo, the voyagers and travellers of later times, without any exception that has fallen within the scope of my limited reading, the authors of the Lettres Edifiantes, and the European travellers who visited the court of Aurungzebe in the latter part of the seventeenth century, Bernier, Thevenot, Chardin, Tavermer, and I believe, Manouchi, are unanimous in denying the existence of private landed property in India.” Wilks, Hist. Sketches, p. 114.
“In revenue the Emperor doubtless exceeds either Turk or Persian, or any eastern prince, the sums I dare not name, but the reason. All the land is his, no man has a foot.” Sir T. Roe to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Churchill, i. 803.
“Toutes les terres du royaume,” says Bernier, “estant en propre au roi,” &c. Suite de Mem. sur l’Emp. du Grand Mogol, t. ii. p. 10. See also, p. 150, 174, 178: at p. 189, he makes the following remark; “Ces trois etats, Turkie, Persie, et l’Hindoustan, comme ils ont tous osté ce Mien et ce Tien, a l’egard des fonds de terre et de la propriété des possessions, qui est le fondement de tout ce qu’il y a de beau et de bon dans le monde, ne peuvent qu’ils ne se resemblent de bien prés.” Montesquieu seems to have been fully aware of this important fact.—“Les loix des Indes, qui donnent les terres aux princes, et ôtent aux particuliers l’esprit de propriété, augmentent les mauvais effets du climat, c’est à dire, la paresse naturelle.” Esp. de Loix, liv. xiv. ch. 6.
“All the lands in India are considered as the property of the king, except some hereditary districts possessed by Hindoo princes.” Dow's Hindostan, preface, p. xiii.
“All the lands in the kingdom,” says Mr. Orme, (Fragments, p. 403) “belong to the king: therefore all the lands in the provinces are subject to the Nabob. With him, or his representatives, farmers agree for the cultivation of such an extent, on reserving to themselves such a proportion of the produce. This proportion is settled according to the difficulty or ease of raising the grain, and seldom exceeds a third.” One-third to the cultivator, and two-thirds to the proprietor, would be accounted a rack-rent in England. Mr. Orme says again, (Ibid. p. 414) “The king, by being proprietor of the lands, sells to his subjects their subsistence, instead of receiving supplies from them.” Mr. Holwell says, (Interesting Historical Events, i. 220), “The rents of the lands are the property of the emperor.” And again, “The tenures of the ryots are irrevocable, as long as they pay the rent; and by the laws of Hindostan, they must be twelve months in arrear before they can be ejected.” Ibid.
435. A Narrative of a Journey to the Diamond Mines of Sumbhulpoor, in the province of Orissa, by Thomas Motte, Esq. Asiat. Annual Register, i., Miscellaneous Tracts, p. 75. Mr. Motte further informs us that every man at Sumbhulpoor is enrolled as a soldier, and is allowed half a measure of rice in the day for his subsistence, while his wife cultivates the farm. He seems to say that this subsistence is given to him by the wife from the produce of the farm.
436. Buchanan's Journey through the Mysore, &c. i. 2, 3, 130, 194, 265. “This simple mode of rating lands for half their yearly produce is derived from the remotest antiquity in different parts of Hindostan, and still invariably prevails in such countries as were left unsubdued by the Mahomedans, like Tanjore, where the ancient Indian forms of administration are, for the most part, preserved entire.” British India Analysed, i. 195.
437. The Missionary Dubois, with his singular opportunities of correct information, says peremptorily; “Creditors can have no hold on the real estate of their debtors, because the Hindus have no property in the soil. The lands which they cultivate are the domain of the prince, who is the sole proprietor. He can resume them at his pleasure, and give them to another to cultivate. Even the huts in which they live, built of mud and covered with thatch, are not their own. All belongs to the prince; and if a man, for any reason whatever, quits his habitation in the village, he can by no means dispose of it to another, although it were constructed by his own hands. The only property they possess is their few cows and buffaloes; and upon these no creditor is allowed to lay his hands: because, if deprived of his cattle, he would be unable to cultivate the land; whence an injury would accrue to the prince.” Description, &c. of the People of India, by the Abbé Dubois, p. 496.
438. Fifth Report, Commit. 1810, p. 85. See, in “Considerations on the State of India,” by A. Fraser Tytler, i. 113, a description of a village in Bengal, which shows that the Indian continent was pervaded by this institution.
An association of a similar kind existed among the Mexicans. Robertson's America, iii. 283.
Some curious strokes of resemblance appear in the following particulars of the Celtic manners, in the highlands and islands of Scotland. “The peculiarities which strike the native of a commercial country, proceeded in a great measure from the want of money. To the servants and dependants, that were not domestics, were appropriated certain portions of land for their support. Macdonald has a piece of ground yet, called the bard's, or senachie's field. When a beef was killed for the house, particular parts were claimed as fees by the several officers, or workmen. The head belonged to the smith, and the udder of a cow to the piper; the weaver had likewise his particular part; and so many pieces followed these prescriptive claims, that the lard's was at last but little.” Johnson's Hebrides.
439. Fifth Report, ut supra, p. 723.
440. Fifth Report, ut supra, p. 81, 82.
441. By the same rule, the Turkish government would be ranked as excellent. It takes little: but the reason is, there is nothing more which it can take. The ancient assessment on the cultivator in Persia was one-tenth; but in the days of the Indian Emperor Akbar, he was by one means or other made to pay more than a half. Ayeen Akberry, Ed. in 4to. p. 348.
442. The population in India, through so many ages, must have been kept down by excess of exaction. Even in the richest parts of India one half of the soil has never been under cultivation.
443. It is remarkable that the king's tenants in ancient demesne were, in England, perpetual, on the same condition as the ryots in India. A gleba amoveri non poterint, quamdiu solvere possunt debitas pensiones. Bracton, lib. i. cap. ii.
444. The following quotations will show how completely these deductions accord with the facts which the late perfect investigation has elicited. Mr. Thackeray, in his general report, remarks, “All this peninsula, except, perhaps, only Canara, Malabar, and a few other provinces, has exhibited, from time immemorial, but one system of land revenue. The land has been considered the property of the Circar [government], and of the ryots. The interest in the soil has been divided between these two; but the ryots have possessed little more interest than that of being hereditary tenants. If any persons have a claim to participate with government in the property of the soil, it is the ryots.” (Fifth Report, ut supra, p. 992.) These ideas, and even the very words, have been adopted, in the Report of the Board of Revenue, Ib. p. 898. “Lands,” says Mr. Place, “cannot be alienated without a written instrument; because both the sovereign and the subject have a mutual property in them. Each, however, may alienate his own, and the other is not affected. The sovereign may part with his interest in them: but the usufructuary right remains with the subject. And all that the latter can sell, mortgage, or give away, is the enjoyment of the profit, after paying what is due to the sovereign.” (Ibid. p. 713.) Mr. Harris, in his report on Tanjore, informs us, “A meerassadar (ryot) disposes of his station in any manner he pleases. He disposes of it, too, and quits, without being bound to give, to any one, notice of his transfer and departure. Like him, his successor superintends its cultivation, and pays its revenue. Government know nothing of his relinquishment; and if they knew of it, they would not care about it here, as in Europe. The proprietorship of the land belongs to government or the landlord; and he who is entrusted with the duty of making it productive, lives upon it and cultivates it, so long as he pays its revenue, and no longer. But this occupation of it, while the superior is satisfied, has been converted by the meerassadar into a right. They have made the right a property; and they retain, sell, lend, give, or mortgage, according to their inclination, the whole or any part of it.” (Ibid. 829.) Even Mr. Hodgson, who is an advocate for raising the revenue through the instrumentality of Zemindars, affirms the rights of the cultivators to be incontestable. “I make,” says he, “the following inductions: 1st. that the cultivators have a right, every where, to pay a fixed tax for the land they occupy; 2dly. that they have the right, universally, to occupy this land, so long as they pay the standard rent; 3dly. that they have the right to sell or transfer, by deed, gift, or otherwise, the land they occupy, subject always to the condition of paying the standard rent; 4thly. that they exercise the right, stated in the third position, wherever the standard rent has not been increased, so as to absorb all the profit on cultivation, or arable land is sufficiently scarce to be of value in the acquisition.” (Ib. 979.)
If the writer means, by saying that the cultivator had a right to pay no more than a fixed rent, that it would have been right or good to pay only in that manner, I maintain the same doctrine; but if he means that the cultivator ever enjoyed this right, the proposition is far from true. In every other respect I assent to the propositions of Mr. Hodgson. I also agree with him, when he says; “Provided the property in private estates, that is, the standard rent, and no more, be paid by these owners of private estates, I hold it to be a matter of very secondary importance to them, whether the rent is demanded of them by the ancient rajahs or polygars, the officers of Byjnuggur or Bednore government, the rajah coorg, the tehsildars of the Company, or the (to be created) zemindars of the Company.” (Ib. 980.) The collector of Tanjore also thinks it not worth inquiring what ownership the sovereign has, provided the usufruct of the ryot is well defined and secured. (Ib. 831.) See Hodgson again to the same effect. (Ib. p. 926.) We are informed by Mr. Park, that in Africa, when a permission to cultivate a spot of ground has been granted by the sovereign, it is not resumed, while the revenue or rent is paid. (Travels, p. 261.) In China, Mr. Barrow assures us, that the cultivator, though in reality a tenant at will, is never dispossessed, but when he fails to discharge the stated engagements. “So accustomed,” he adds, “are the Chinese to consider an estate as their own, while they continue to pay the rent, that a Portuguese in Macao had nearly lost his life for endeavouring to raise the rent upon his Chinese tenants. (Travels in China, p. 397.) Dr. Buchanan says, “The ryots or farmers have no property in the ground; but it is not usual to turn any man away, so long as he pays the customary rent. Even in the reign of Tippoo, such an act would have been looked upon as an astonishing grievance.” (Journey through Mysore, &c. 1. 124.) “The genius and tendency of all Hindu institutions is, to render offices, as well as property, hereditary.” (Wilks's Hist. Sketches, p. 231.) “The king is the general heir of all his subjects; but when there are children to inherit, they are seldom deprived of their father's estate” (Dow's Hindostan, pref. p. xiii.) H χωρα της πολεως’ αλλ’ ὸεν ἠττον των κεκτημενων ίκαςος κυριος εςι των ἑμντ. (Dio Chrysostom. Orat. 31. in Rhodiac.) Anquetil Duperron was the first of the Europeans who maintained that the ownership of the land was vested in the ryots. He has written a discourse upon the subject, in his work entitled, Recherches Historiques et Geographiques sur l’Inde. He proves what is now acknowledged, that a man might dispose of his farm, and was seldom turned out of it, while he continued to pay his taxes or rent. There is a learned and able chapter, in support of the same opinion, in “Historical Sketches of the South of India, by Col. Wilks.”
445. See a Dissertation on the Principles of Taxation, the most profound, by far, which has yet been given to the world, by David Ricardo, Esq. in his work “On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation.”
446. Mem. du Sully, liv. xx.
447. Among the Mexicans, says Dr. Robertson, “Taxes were laid upon land, upon the acquisitions of industry, and upon commodities of every kind exposed to sale in the public markets. These duties were considerable, but not arbitrary or unequal. They were imposed according to established rules, and each knew what share of the common burden he had to bear.” History of America, iii. 295, 229. The political descriptions of this admired historian are, commonly, by far too general, and thence vague. We cannot suppose that the Mexicans were more skilled in the policy of taxation than the Hindus.
448. “As the use of money was unknown,” says Robertson, (Ibid. p. 296,) “all the taxes were paid in kind, and thus not only the natural productions of all the different provinces in the empire, but every species of manufacture, and every work of ingenuity and art, were collected in the public storehouses.” It is worthy of remark that the same mode of taxing handicrafts and labourers was adopted in Mexico as in Hindustan; “People of inferior condition (Ibid.), neither possessing land nor engaged in commerce, were bound to the performances of various services. By their stated labour the crown lands were cultivated, public works were carried on, and the various houses which belonged to the emperor were built and kept in repair.
449. It is remarkable that, in Persia, the use even of coined money was unknown till the time of Darius Hystaspes. The portion of tribute that was paid in gold and silver was received by weight. Herodot. lib. iv. cap. clxvi. Major Rennel, not aware that this was only a portion, and a small portion, of the Persian taxes, is exceedingly puzzled to account for the diminutive amount of the Persian revenues, and at last concludes that “the value of money was incredibly greater at that time than at present.” Rennel's Geography of Herodotus, p. 316.
450. Ebn Haukal, translated by Sir William Ousely, p. 136. Chardin's Travels in Persia.
451. Abbé Grosier, p. 76; Barrow's China, p. 499. Mr. Barrow informs us that a vast number of the vessels on the canals and rivers are employed in conveying the taxes to the capital. Ib. p. 508. In those countries on the Euxine Sea which early attained so high a state of civilization as to have a large export trade in grain, even the custom house duties, or the taxes on export and import, were levied in kind. We are informed by Demosthenes, Orat. adv. Leptinem, that Lencon king of Bosphorus, from which Athens derived her principal supplies, levied a duty of one thirtieth in kind upon all the corn shipped in his ports.
452. A crore is 100 lacs, and a lac is 100,000; so that thirty-three crore of deities is just 330 millions.
453. Three of these from the Vedas themselves by Mr. Colebrooke, (As. Res. viii. 404, 421, 452); another account, translated from the Puranas by Mr. Halhed, is published in Maurice's History, (i. 407); Mr. Wilford has given us another, derived from the same source, (As. Res. iii. 358.) An account of the creation is prefixed to the Gentoo code translated by Halhed; we have another, in the French translation, entitled Bagavadam, of the Bhagavat. The author of the Ayeen Akbery informs us that no fewer than eighteen opinions respecting the creation were entertained in Hindustan, and presents us three as a specimen, of which the last, taken from the Surya Sidhanta, he says, is the most common. Ayeen Akbery, iii. 6. The most important of all is that which I have referred to in the text, from the Institutes of Menu, ch. i. 5, &c.
454. See note A. at the end of the volume.
455. The length of a year of the Creator may be thus computed. A calpa, or grand period, containing the reigns of fourteen Menus, constitutes, Sir William Jones informs us (Asiat. Research. i. 237) one day of Brahma. This period comprises (see an accurate calculation, according to the books of the Hindus, in Mr. Bentley's Remarks on Ancient Eras and Dates, Asiat. Research. v. 316) 4,320,000,000 years; and such is the length of one day of the Creator. A divine year again contains 360 days; and the multiplication of these numbers produces the amount which appears in the text. Mr. Wilford (see Asiat. Research. iii. 382) makes this computation in a manner, and with a result, somewhat different. “One year of mortals,” he says, “is a day and a night of the gods, and 360 of our years is one of theirs: 12,000 of their years, or 4,320,000 of ours, constitute one of their ages, and 2,000 such ages are Brahma's day and night, which must be multiplied by 360 to make one of his years.”
456. In other words, he was hatched.
457. Vide the quotation from the Institutes of Menu, in Note A. at the end of the volume.
458. Asiat. Research. ii. 237 and 232.
459. See Note B. at the end of the volume.
460. Asiat. Research. viii. 352.
461. Ib. 432.
462. He states that the only practical inference the youth could draw from the accounts delivered by the poets concerning the gods was; to commit all manner of crimes, and out of the fruits of their villainy to offer costly sacrifices and appease the divine powers; αίικητεον και ϑυτεον απο των αὐικηματωυ De Repub. lib. ii. 593, 6.
463. Orphic. Fragm. vi. 366. Numerous passages might be produced:
Ζευς ετιν αιθηο, Ζευς ε γη, Ζεης ί’ ουρανος
Ζευς τοι τα παντα. Euphorion.
Ἑις θεος εν παντεσσι Orphic. Frag. iv. 363.
Jane pater, Jane tuens, Dive biceps, biformis,
O! cate rerum sator; O! principium Deorum.
Verses from an ancient Choriambic poem, which are
quoted by Terentianus Maurus de Metris.
Ζευς ό προ τριων Κρυνων. Ὁυτνς τη ὺλων ὶημιουργος Procl. in Platon. Tim. p. 95. It is almost needless to quote Homer's
Ζηνα τι μηιοειτα, Θεων πατεὑ ηίε και ανδοων
“The Araucanians [the native Indians of Chili] acknowledge a Supreme Being, the Author of all things, whom they call Pillan, a word derived from pulh or pilli, the soul, and signifies the supreme essence; they also call him Guenu-pillan, the Spirit of heaven; Buta-gen, the Great Being; Thalcove, the Thunderer; Vilvemyoe, the Creator of all; Vilpepilvoe, the Omnipotent: Mollgelu, the Eternal; Avnolu, the Infinite, &c.” Molina, Civil Hist. of Chili, book II. ch. v.
A passage of Empedocles, containing the language of a pure theology, may be seen in Harris's Philos, Arrangements, ch. viii. p. 162.
464. Cæsar. de Bel. Gal. lib. vi. cap. 13.
465. See Henry's Hist. of Great Britain, i. 149; and the authorities there adduced.
466. Regnator omuium Deus: cætera subjecta atque parentia. Tacit. de Mor. Germ. cap. xxxv.
467. See a translation from the Edda in Mallet's Introduct. Hist. Denmark, i. ch. 5, and ii. p. 7,8.
468. Plutarch. de Iside et Osiride.
469. Euseb. Præp. Evang. lib. i. p. 42.
470. Herodot. lib. iv. cap. 93, 94.
471. Robertson's Hist. Amer. ii. 197.
472. “Ces peuples (les Romains) adorent un Dieu supreme et unique, qu’ils appellent toujours Dieu tres-grand, et tres-bon; cependant ils ont bâti un temple a une courtisanne nommée Flora, et les bonnes femmes de Rome ont presque toutes chez elles de petits dieus penates hauts de quatre ou cinq pouces; une de ces petites divinités est la deesse de tetous, l'autre celle de fesses; il y a un penat qu’on appelle le dieu Pet.” Voltaire, Essai sur les Mœurs et l’Esprit de Nations, iv. 373.
473. Forster's Travels, ii. 256.
474. Among the similar proofs which might be produced, of sublime theological notions, may be quoted the following remarkable passage from Garcilasso de la Vega (Royal Commentaries, book II. chap. ii.) “Besides the sun, whom they worshipped for the visible God, to whom they offered sacrifice and kept festivals, the Incas, who were kings, and the Amoutas, who were philosophers, proceeded by the mere light of nature, to the knowledge of the true Almighty God our Lord, Maker of Heaven and Earth, as we shall hereafter prove by their own words and testimonies, which some of them gave of the Divine Majesty, which they called by the name of Pachacamac, and is a word compounded of Pacha, which is the universe, and Camac, which is the soul; and is as much as he that animates the world.∗ ∗ ∗ Being asked who this Pachacamac was, they answered that it was he who gave life to the universe; sustained and nourished all things; but because they did not see him they could not know him; and for that reason they erected not temples to him; nor offered sacrifice, howsoever they worshipped in their hearts and esteemed him for the unknown God.” And in book VIII. ch. vii. he gives us the following argument of an Inca, Topac Yupanqui, “Many say that the sun lives, and that he is the maker of all things: now it is necessary that the thing which is the cause of the being of another, should be assistant and operate in the production thereof; now we know that many things receive their beings, during the absence of the sun, and therefore he is not the maker of all things. And that the sun hath not life is evident, for that it always moves in its circle, and yet it is never weary; for if it had life it would require rest, as we do: and were it free, it would visit other parts of the heavens, into which it never inclines out of its own sphere; but, as a thing obliged to a particular station, moves always in the same circle, and is like an arrow which is directed by the hand of the archer.” The Mexicans too, as we are informed by Clavigero, Hist. of Mexico, book VI. sect. 1, besides the crowd of their ordinary Deities, believed in “a supreme, absolute, and independent Being, to whom they acknowledged to owe lear and adoration. They represented him in no external form, because they believed him to be invisible; and named him only by the common appellation of God, in their language Teotl, a word resembling still more in its meaning than in its pronunciation the Theos of the Greeks; but they applied to him certain epithets which were highly expressive of the grandeur and power which they conceived him to possess. They called him Ipalnemoani, that is, “He by whom we live:” and Tloque Nahuaque, “He who is all in himself.” Clavigero adds, “But their knowledge and worship of this Supreme Being was obscured, and in a manner lost, in the crowd of deities invented by their superstition.”
475. This is admitted even by those whom the occasional expressions of the Hindus have most strongly convinced of the sublimity of their sentiments. Mr. Colebrooke says, “There is indeed much disagreement and consequent confusion in the gradation of persons interposed by Hindu theology between the Supreme Being and the created world.” Asiat. Research. viii. 442. Even Sir William Jones is constrained to confess that the Hindu “scheme of theology is most obscurely figurative, and consequently liable to dangerous misconception; that it is filled with idle superstitions, abounds with minute and childish formalities, with ceremonies generally absurd and ofter ridiculous.” Pref. to Institutes of Menu.
476. Hume's Essays, ii. 470.
477. Bagvat-Geeta, p. 51, 52.
478. Bagavadam, p. 11.
479. I have merely abridged the account which is given by Sir William Jones in a literal translation from the Bhagavat, Asiat. Res. i. 230.
480. For an account of this avatar, see an extract from the Mahabarat, Asiat. Research. i. 154; Bartolomeo's Travels, book ii. ch. 7. The peculiar description of the boar is taken from a translation by Mr. Halhed, of a passage in the Puranas, published in Maurice's Hindustan, i. 407.
481. It is a passage translated from the Mahabarat, by Mr. Wilkins, in one of the notes to his translation of the Bagvat-Geeta, p. 145, 146, note 76.
482. A name of Vishnu.
483. Dew, written otherwise dewa, or deva, is a general name for a superior spirit.
484. By twisting the serpent about the mountain, like a rope, and purlling it out first towards the one end, and then towards the other; which affords us a description of their real mode of churning. A piece of wood so formed as best to agitate the milk, was placed upright in the vessel, and a rope being twisted round it which two persons pulled alternately, one at the one end, and the other at the other, it was whirled round, and thus produced the agitation required.
485. Asiat. Research. i. 154.
486. A name of Vishnu.
487. Asiat. Research. i. 187.
488. This is spelt Emuney in the French translation.
489. Bagavadam, p. 60. This indeed was but a trifle; for with his 16,000 or 17,000 wives he could perform the same feat. See Halhed's translation of the Bhagavat, in Maurice's Hind. vol. ii.
490. He means, the provinces where he then resided, Bengal, &c.
491. Asiat. Research. i. 260.
492. Ib. i. 261. He sometimes, however, met with severe repulses. “Calijun, a prince who resided in the western parts of India, was very near defeating his ambitious projects. Indeed, Crishna was nearly overcome and subdued, after seventeen bloody battles; and according to the express words of the Puranas, he was forced to have recourse to treachery, by which means Calijun was totally defeated in the eighteenth engagement.” Wilford, on Chron. of Hindus, Asiat. Research. v. 288.
493. Bagavadan, p. 313. “The whole history of Chrisna,” (says Anquetil Duperron, in his Observations on the Bhagavat, in the Recherches Historiques et Geographiques sur l’Inde) “is a mere tissue of Greek and Roman obscenities, covered with a veil of spirituality, which, among the fanatics of all descriptions, conceals the most abominable enormities.” Speaking of a temple of Vishnu, at Satymangalam, in the Mysore, Dr. Buchanan says, “The rath, or chariot, belonging to it is very large, and richly carved. The figures on it, representing the amounts of that god, in the form of Crishna, are the most indecent that I have ever seen.” Buchanan's Journey through Mysore, &c. ii. 237.
494. A name of Vishnu.
495. Another name of Vishnu, vide supra, p. 306.
496. Asiat. Research. ii. 121.
497. “As to Buddha,” says Sir William Jones, (Disc. on the Gods of Greece, Italy, and India) “he seems to have been a reformer of the doctrines contained in the Vedas; and, though his good nature led him to censure these ancient books, because they enjoyed the sacrifices of cattle, yet he is admitted as the ninth avatar, even by the Brahmens of Casi.”
498. A controversy has been started, whether the religion of Buddha was derived from that of Brahma, or that of Brahma from the religion of Buddha. There seems little chance that data will ever be obtained, to prove either the one or the other. Clemens Alexandrinus would lead us to believe, that the religion of Buddha, in his time, must have been in high repute: Εισι δε των Ινδων, says he, (Strom. lib. i. p. 359) ὸι τοις Βουττα πενιθομενοι παραγγελμασι, ὁν δι ὺπερβολην σεμνοτητος ὼς Θεον τετιμηκασι (See also Hieronym. Cont. Jovian. lib. i. cap. 26.) This divinity was not confined to the Asiatics. There was a Butus, or Buto of Egypt, a Battus of Cyrene, and a Bœotus of Greece. (See Bryant's Analysis of Ancient Mythology, iii. 170.) One of the primitive authors of the sect of Manicheans took the name of Buddas; another that of Manes; both of them names identical with the names of gods and sacred beings among the Hindus. Beausobre Hist. de Manichse, liv. i. ch. i.
499. Asiat. Research. i. 236. See also Ward's View, &c. of the Hindus, (i. 3. London Ed.) for an account of the ten avatars.
500. Asiat. Research. iii. 374.
501. One of the Puranas.
502. This means literally the goddess.
503. Bagavadam, p. 96, et seq.
504. Ib. 178.
505. One of the names of his wife.
506. A general name of the inferior gods.
507. One of the devas.
508. See this story as extracted from the Puranas, Asiat. Research. iii. 402.
509. Ib. vi. 474.
510. Mr. Paterson, in his Discourse on the Origin of the Hindu Religion, delineates a terrible picture of this Hindu controversy. The people separated, he tell us, “into sects, each selecting one of the triad, the particular object of their devotion, in preference to and exclusive of the others: the followers of Vishnu and Siva invented new symbols, each, to ascribe to their respective divinity the attribute of creation. This contention for pre-eminence ended in the total suppression of the worship of Brahma, and the temporary submission of Vishnu to the superiority of Siva; but this did not last long; the sects raised crusades against each other; hordes of armed fanatics, under the titles of Sanyasis and Vairagis, enlisted themselves as champions of their respective faith; the former devoted their lives in support of the superiority of Siva; and the latter were no less zealous for the rights of Vishnu: alternate victory and defeat marked the progress of a religious war, which for ages continued to harass the earth, and inflame mankind against each other.” Asiat. Research. viii. 45, 46. Dr. Buchanan informs us, “That the worshippers of the two gods (Vishnu and Siva,) who are of different sects, are very apt to fall into disputes, occasioning abusive language and followed by violence; so that the collectors have sometimes been obliged to have recourse to the fear of the bayonet, to prevent the controversy from producing bad effects.” Buchanan's Journey through Mysore, &c. i. 13. The missionary Dubois observes, that “we see the two sects striving to exalt the respective deities whom they worship, and to revile those of their opponents....The followers of Vishnu vehemently insist that he is far superior to Siva, and is alone worthy of all honour....The disciples of Siva, on the contrary, no less obstinately affirm that Vishnu is nothing, and has never done any act, but tricks so base as to provoke shame and indignation,” &c. Description, &c. of the People of India, p. 58. See too the Missionary Ward, View, &c. of the Hindoos. Lond. Ed. Introd. p. 27.
The preface to (Bhagavadam) the French translation of the Bhagavat, by M. D’Obsonville, says, “The Indians are divided into two orthodox sects, which, however, violently oppose one another; the one asserting the supremacy of Vishnu, the other of Siva. ∗ ∗ The Puranas,” it says, “differ in their interpretations of the Vedas, some of them giving the supremacy to Brahma, some to Vishnu, and some to Siva. These books are, properly speaking, pieces of controversial theology. The Brahmens, who composed them, disputing to which of their three gods the supremacy belongs, support the pretensions of each by an enormous mass of mythological legends, and mystical opinions, in favour of the God whom the author adopts. All are equally supported by the authority of the Vedas.”
Mr. Colebrooke, describing the different sects of the Hindus, informs us that “Sancara Acharya, the celebrated commentator on the Veda, contended for the attributes of Siva, and founded or confirmed the sect of Saivas, who worship Mahadeva as the Supreme Being, and deny the independent existence of Vishnu and other Deities. Madhava Acharya and Vallabha Acharya have in like manner established the sect of Vaishnavas who adore Vishnu as God. The Suras (less numerous than the two sects above mentioned) worship the sun, and acknowledge no other divinity. The Ganahatyas adore Ganesa, as uniting in his person all the attributes of the Deity.” Note A. on the Religious Ceremonies of the Hindus. Asiat. Research. vii.
511. The Oupnekhat, of which an ancient version into the Persian language has been found. Anquetil Duperron published first some specimens of a translation from this in the Recherches Historiques et Geographiques sur l’Inde, and has since published a translation of the whole in Latin. There is a translation of it likewise among the late Mr. Allein's manuscripts in the British Museum.
512. One of the many names of Siva, or Mahadeva.
513. Oupnekhat, ix.
514. Bagavadam, p. 8, 9.
515. Bhagvat-Geeta, p. 94: see similar strings of praises, Ibid. pp. 84 to 88; pp. 78, 79; p. 70. At p. 80 he is denominated, “The father and the mother of this world;” which affords another curious coincidence with the phraseology of other religions. The Orphic verses περι φυσεως make Jupiter the “father and mother of all things:”
∏αντων μεν συ πατηρ, μητηρ, &c.—Hymn ix. ver. 18.
Valerius Soramus calls Jupiter “the father and mother of the gods:”
Jupiter omnipotens, regum Rex ipse, Deùmque
Progenitor, Genetrixque Deúm; Deus unus et idem.
Apud Augustin. de Civitat. Dei, lib. iv. cap. xi. et lib. vii. cap. ix. Synesius uses similar language:
Συ πατηθ ση δ’ εσσι μητηο,
Συ δ’ αρσην, συ δε θηλυς. —Synes. Hymn. iii.
Even Martial, in a sort of a Hymn, or eulogy upon Mercury, beginning.
Hermes Martia seculi voluptas,
Hermes omnibus eruditus armis;
&c. &c., ends thus,
Hermes omnia solus, et ter unus—Mart. Ep. lib. iv. cp. 23.
“De Deo, ejusque cultu, ita Chaldæos tradidisse referunt; I. Esse Deum omnium regem, parentemque, cujus providentia universorum ordo atquc ornatus factus est.—Bruckeri Hist. Crit. Philosophiæ, lib. ii. cap. ii. sect. 18.
516. Another name for Siva.
517. Asiat. Research. i. 284, 285.
518. Institutes of Menu, ch. ix. 45.
519. Deo, quem summum maximumque venerantur, Adad nomen dederunt. Ejus nominis interpretatio significat unus. Macrob. Satur. lib. i. cap. 23. This reduplication Mr. Bryant, with good reason, supposes to be a superlative, but is wrong in supposing it an ordinal, i. 29.
520. Αδα ὴδονη• και ὑπο Βαβυλωνιων ὴ Ηρα Hesychius, ad verb. The Greeks gave it, for a feminine application, a feminine termination.
521. Zechariah, ch. xii. ver. 11. “As the mourning of Adad Rimmon, in the valley of Megiddon.”
522. Analysis of Ancient Mythology, i. 29.
523. Ἑις Ζευς, ις Αϊδης Ἡλιος εις Διονυσος Ἑις θεος ον παντεσσι. —Orph. Frag. iv. p. 364.
524. ∏λτων, ∏ερσεφονη, Δημητηϕ, Κυπρις, Ερωτες
Τριτωνες, Νηρευς, Τηθυς, και Κυανοχαιτης,
Ἑρμησθ’ Ἡφαιςος τε κλυτος, ∏αν, Ζευς τε, και Ἡρη
Αρτεμις, ηδ’ Εκαεργος Απολλων, ὲις θεος εςε—Hermesianax.
525. Orphic. Fragm. vi. 366.
526. Την ΜΟΝΑΔΑ τς ανδρας ονομαζειν Απολλωνα —Plutarch, Isis et Osiris, 354.
527. Orat. iv. p. 150. See note 2, in page 317, where Mercury is denominated the Thrice-one.
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Re: The History of British India, Vol. I, by James Mill

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Part 5 of 6

528. The belief of One God,” says he, “and of a future state of reward and punishment, is entire and universal among them.” Park's Travels in Africa, p. 273.
529. Sir W. Jones says, (Discourse on the Gods of Greece, Italy, and India,) “It must always be remembered, that the learned Indians, as they are instructed by their own books, in truth acknowledge only one supreme being, whom they call Brahme, or the Great One, in the neuter gender: they believe his essence to be infinitely removed from the comprehension of any mind but his own; and they suppose him to manifest his power by the operation of his divine spirit; whom they name Vishnu, the Pervader, in the masculine gender, whence he is often denominated the first male. ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ When they consider the Divine Power exerted in creating, or in giving existence to that which existed not before, they call the Deity Brahma, in the masculine gender also; and when they view him in the light of Destroyer, or rather changer of forms, they give him a thousand names, of which Siva, Isa or Iswara, Rudra, Hara, Sambhu, and Mahadeva, or Mahesa, are the most common.” Mr. Wilford (Asiat. Research. iii. 370) says that Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahadeva, “are only the principal forms, in which the Brahmens teach the people to adore Brahm, or the great one.”
530. Vide supra, p. 316.
531. Bhagvat-Geeta, p. 84. The term Para Brahme, or Great Brahme, is applied, not once, but many times to Crishna, in the Bhagavat. See Halhed's translation in Maurice's Hindostan, ii. 342, 351, 354, 360, 375, 377, 379, 380, 417, 444. “The Sri Vaishnavam Brahmens,” says Dr. Buchanan (Journey through Mysore, &c. i. 144), “worship Vishnu and the gods of his family only, and all over the Decan are almost exclusively the officiating priests in the temples of these deities. They allege Brahma to be a son of Vishnu, and Siva the son of Brahma. Vishnu they consider as the same with Para Brahmă” (thus Dr. Buchanan spells it instead of Brahme) “or the supreme Being.” Yet of this supreme Being, this Para Brahma, they believe as follows; “One of the Asuras, or demous, named Tripura, possessed a city, the inhabitants of which were very troublesome to the inhabitants of Brahma Loka, the heaven of Brahma, who attempted in vain to take the place; it being destined not to fall, so long as the women who resided in it should preserve their chastity. The angels at length offered up their prayers to Vishnu, who took upon himself the form of a most beautiful young man, and became Budha Avatara. Entering then into the city, he danced naked before the women, and inspired them with loose desires, so that the fortress soon fell a prey to the angels.” Ibid. Even Vach, the daughter of Ambhrina, is decorated with all the attributes of divinity. Mr. Colebrooke gives us the following literal version of a hymn in one of the Vedas, which Vach, he informs us, “speaks in praise of herself as the supreme and universal soul“[the title which, it is pretended, exclusively belongs to Brahme]—“I range with the Rudras, with the Vasus, with the Adityas, and with the Viswadevas. I uphold both the sun and the ocean [metra and varuna], the firmament, and fire, &c. ∗ ∗ Me who am the queen, the conferrer of wealth, the possessor of knowledge, and first of such as merit worship, the gods render, universally, present everywhere, and pervader of all beings. He, who eats food through me, as he, who sees, who hears, or who breathes, through me, yet knows me not, is lost; hear then the faith which I pronounce. Even I declare this Self, who is worshipped by gods and men. I make strong whom I choose; I make him Brahme, holy and wise. For Rudra I bend the bow, to slay the demon, foe of Brahma: for the people I make war on their foes; and I pervade heaven and earth. I bore the father on the head of this universal mind; and my origin is in the midst of the ocean: and therefore do I pervade all beings, and touch this heaven with my form. Originating all beings, I pass like the breeze; I am above this heaven, beyond this earth; and what is the Great One, that am I.” Asiat. Research. viii. 402, 403. Mr. Colebrooke says that Vach signifies speech, and that she is personified as the active power of Brahma, proceeding from him. Ibid. There is a curious passage, descriptive of the universal soul, translated from the Vedas by Mr. Colebrooke. Several persons “deeply conversant with holy writ, and possessed of great dwellings, meeting together engaged in this disquisition; what is our soul? and who is Brahme?” Going together for information to a profound sage, they addressed him thus; “Thou well knowest the universal soul, communicate that knowledge unto us.” The sage asked each of them, “whom he worshipped as the soul.” The first answered, “the heaven.” But the sage replied, that this was only the head of the soul. The second declared that he worshipped “the sun as the soul.” But the sage told him, this was only the eye of the soul. The third said that he worshipped “air as the soul;” and the sage answered, that this was only the breath of the soul. The fourth declared that he worshipped “the ethereal element as the soul.” But the sage replied that this was only the trunk of the soul. The fifth answered, that he worshipped “water as the soul.” But the sage rejoined that this was only the abdomen of the soul. The sixth informed him that he worshipped “earth as the soul.” But the sage declared that this was only the feet of the soul. The sage next proceeds to deliver his own explanation; and utters a jargon, which has not even a semblance of meaning. “He thus addressed them collectively: You consider this universal soul, as it were an individual being; and you partake of distinct enjoyments. But he who worships as the universal soul, that which is known by its manifested portions, and is inferred from consciousness, enjoys nourishment in all worlds, in all beings, in all souls: his head is splendid like that of this universal soul; his eye is similarly varied; his breath is equally diffused; his trunk is no less abundant; his abdomen is alike full; and his feet are the earth; his breast is the altar; his hair is the sacred grass; his heart the household fire; his mind the consecrated flame; and his mouth the oblation.”
532. Ib. p. 107.
533. Asiat. Research. v. 349.
534. An extract from a Sanscrit commentary by Mr. Colebrooke, Asiat. Research. v. 352.
535. Asiat. Res. viii. 417.
536. Ib. 456.
537. Extract from the Vedas by Mr. Colebrooke, Asiat. Research. viii. 455, 456.
538. Bhagvat-Geeta, p. 131, 132.
539. Sir W. Jones seems to have found proofs of a pure theism almost every where. Speaking of the Arabs, he says, “The religion of the poets, at least, seems to have been pure theism; and this we may know with certainty, because we have Arabian verses of unsuspected antiquity, which contain pious and elevated sentiments on the goodness and justice, the power and omnipotence, of Allah, or the God. If an inscription said to have been found on marble in Yemen be authentic, the ancient inhabitants of that country preserved the religion of Eber, and professed a belief in miracles, and a future state.” (As. Res. ii. 8.) Did Sir W. not know that the wildest religions abound most in miracles, and that no religion is without a belief of a future state? Did it want an inscription in Yemen to prove to us this? Sir W. finds proofs of a pure theism as easily among the Persians as among the Arabs. “The primeval religion of Iran,” he says, “if we rely on the authorities adduced by Mohsani Fani, was that which Newton calls the oldest (and it may be justly called the noblest) of all religions: A firm belief that one supreme God made the world by his power, and continually governed it by his providence; a pious fear, love, and adoration of him; a due reverence for parents and aged persons; a fraternal affection for the whole human race, and a compassionate tenderness even for the brute creation.” Yet under Hushang, who, it would appear, was the author of this primeval religion, he tells us, that the popular worship of the Iranians was purely Sabian. (Ibid. p. 58.) At the same time he assures us, that during his supposed Mahabadian dynasty, when this Hushangism and Sabianism existed, a Brahmenical system prevailed, “which we can hardly,” he says, “doubt was the first corruption of the oldest and purest religion.” (Ibid. p. 59.) By this account three different religions must have all been the prevalent religions of Persia, at one and the same time. Unless (which is not a theory with slight presumptions in its favour) we conclude that all three were originally one and the same.—Even on the most so-ber-minded and judicious men, the lofty language of a mean superstition is calculated to impose. The industrious and intelligent Harris, in his account of the travels of William de Rubruquis, states it as his opinion, “after all the pains that he had been able to take, in order to obtain some sort of certainty on this head,” that the religion of the Tartars includes these three points: “First,—that there is one God, the fountain of being, the creator of all things, the ruler of all things, and the sole object of Divine worship. Secondly,—That all men in general are his creatures, and therefore ought to consider each other as brethren descended from one common parent, and alike entitled to all the blessings he bestows; and that therefore it is great impiety to abuse those blessings, or to injure each other. Thirdly,—That in as much as the common reason of mankind hath taught them to establish property, it is necessary that it should be preserved, and that it is therefore the duty of every man to be content with his own.” (See Harris's Collection of Voyages, vol. i.) Les Moskaniens m’ont tous assurés unanimement, qui’ils n'avoient jamais eu d’idoles, ni de divinités subalternes, mais qui’ils sacrifioient uniquement à un être suprême et invisible. Pallas, Voyage, i. 126.
540. Gibbon's Hist. of the Decl. and Fall of the Rom. Emp. iv. 71.
541. The Hindu ideas are so extremely loose, vague, and uncertain, that they are materials unspeakably convenient for workmanship of this description. “The Hindu religion,” says an Oriental scholar of some eminence, “is so pliant, that there is scarcely an opinion it will not countenance. A Tour to Shiraz by Edward Scott Waring, Esq. p. 3, note.
542. Gibbon's Hist. of the Decl. and Fall of the Rom. Emp. i. 52.
543. Besides the invincible reasons afforded by the circumstances of the case, the artful pretences and evasions of the Brahmens are evidence enough. Mr. Wilford, having stated the general opinion, that the three principal gods of Egypt resolve themselves into one, namely, the sun, says, “The case was nearly the same in ancient India; but there is no subject on which the modern Brahmens are more reserved; for when they are closely interrogated on the title of Deva or God, which their most sacred books give to the sun, they avoid a direct answer, have recourse to evasions, and often contradict one another and themselves. They confess, however, unanimously, that the sun is an emblem or image of the three great divinities jointly and individually; that is of Brahme, or the supreme one.” Asiat. Res. iii. 372.
544. Bryant's Analysis of Ancient Mythology, iii. 104, 105.
545. Mr. Halhed very judiciously condemns the project to allegorize and refine upon the Hindu mythology. “Many conjectural doctrines,” says he, “have been circulated by the learned and ingenious of Europe upon the mythology of the Gentoos; and they have unanimously endeavoured to construe the extravagant fables with which it abounds into sublime and mystical symbols of the most refined morality. This mode of reasoning, however common, is not quite candid or equitable, because it sets out with supposing in those people a deficiency of faith with respect to the authenticity of their own scriptures, which, although our better information may convince us to be altogether false and erroneous, yet are by them literally esteemed as the immediate revelations of the Almighty. ∗ ∗ ∗ It may possibly be owing to this vanity of reconciling every other mode of worship to some kind of conformity with our own, that allegorical constructions and forced allusions to a mystic morality have been constantly foisted in upon the plain and literal context of every Pagan mythology. ∗ ∗ ∗ The institution of a religion has been in every country the first step towards an emersion from savage barbarism. ∗ ∗The vulgar and illiterate have always understood the mythology of their country in its literal sense; and there was a time to every nation, when the highest rank in it was equally vulgar and illiterate with the lowest. ∗ ∗ ∗ A Hindu esteems the astonishing miracles attributed to a Brihma, a Raam, or a Kishen, as facts of the most indubitable authenticity, and the relation of them as most strictly historical.” Preface to Code of Gentoo Laws, p. xiii. xiv. On the religion of ancient nations, Voltaire says with justice, On pourrit faire des volumes sur ce sujet; mais tous ces volumes se reduisent a deux mots, c’est que le gros du genre humain a été et sera tres long-temps insensé et imbecile; et que peut-etre les plus insensés de tous ont été ceux qui ont voulu trouver un sens à ces fables absurdes, et mettre de la raison dans la folie. Voltaire, Philosophie de l’Histoire, Œuvres Completes, à Gotha, 1785, tom. xvi. p. 22. Mr. Wilkins, reprobating some other attempts at refinement on the Hindu text, says “he has seen a comment, by a zealous Persian, upon the wanton odes of their favourite poet Hafiz, wherein every obscene allusion is sublimated into a divine mystery, and the host and the tavern are as ingeniously metamorphosed into their prophet and his holy temple.” Bhagvat-Geeta, note 114.
546. Even Mr. Maurice says; “The Hindu notions of the mundane system are altogether the most monstrous that ever were adopted by any beings, who boast the light of reason; and, in truth, very little reconcileable with those sublime ideas we have been taught to entertain of the profound learning and renowned sagacity of the ancient Brahmens.” Maurice, Hist. of Hindost. i. 490. I have met with nothing in Sanscrit literature in any degree to be compared with the following reflection of a Peruvian Inca, “If the heaven be so glorious, which is the throne and seat of the Pachacamac, how much more powerful, glittering, and resplendent must his person and Majesty be, who was the maker and creator of them all. Other sayings of his were these, If I were to adore any of these terrestrial things, it should certainly be a wise and discreet man, whose excellencies surpass all earthly creatures.” Garcilasso de la Vega, Royal Commentaries of Peru, book iv. ch. 19. There is a passage which I have read since this was written, (which however may well be suspected of flowing at a recent date from a foreign source) translated by Mr. Ward, from a work by Chirunjeevu, in which the inference that a God exists because the universe exists, is very distinctly expressed. Ward's View, &c. ii. 302. Lond. Ed.
547. In my researches concerning the religious ideas of the Hindus, I was much struck with the title of a chapter or lecture in the Bhagvat-Geeta, “Display of the Divine Nature in the form of the universe.” I seized it with eagerness! Here, I thought, will undoubtedly be found some reflections on the wisdom and order of the universe: I met with only the following monstrous exhibition: “Behold,” says Vishnu, in the form of Crishna, to Arjoon, “behold things wonderful, never seen before. Behold in this my body the whole world animate and inanimate, and all things. else thou hast a mind to see. But as thou art unable to see with these thy natural eyes, I will give thee a heavenly eye, with which behold my divine connection.”—After this Arjoon declares, “I behold, O god! within thy breast, the dews assembled, and every specific tribe of beings. I see Brahma, that deity sitting on his lotus-throne; all the Reeshees [saints] and heavenly Ooragas [serpents]. I see thyself, on all sides, of infinite shape, formed with abundant arms, and bellies, and mouths, and eyes; but I can neither discover thy beginning, thy middle, nor again thy end, O universal lord, form of the universe! I see thee with a crown, and armed with club and chacra, [the martial weapon of Crishna, a sort of discus or quoit.] a mass of glory, darting refulgent beams around. I see thee, difficult to be seen, shining on all sides with light immeasurable, like the ardent fire or glorious sun. Thou art the supreme being, incorruptible, worthy to be known! Thou art prime supporter of the universal orb! Thou art the never-failing and eternal guardian of religion! Thou art from all beginning, and I esteem the Pooroosh [literally man, but here meant to express the vital soul]. I see thee without beginning, without middle, and without end; of valour infinite; of arms innumerable; the sun and moon thy eyes, thy mouth a flaming fire, and the whole world shining with thy reflected glory! The space between the heavens and the earth is possessed by thee alone, and every point around: the three regions of the universe, O mighty spirit! behold the wonders of thy awful countenance with troubled minds. Of the celestial bands, some I see fly to thee for refuge; whilst some, afraid, with joined hands sing forth thy praise. The Maharshees, holy bands, hail thee, and glorify thy name with adorating praises. The Roodras, the Adityas, the Vasoos, and all those beings the world esteemeth good; Asween and Koomar, the Maroots and Ooshmapas; the Gandharos and the Yakshas, with the holy tribes of Soors, all stand gazing on thee, and all alike amazed. The winds, alike with me, are terrified to behold thy wondrous form gigantic; with many mouths and eyes; with many arms, and legs, and breasts; with many bellies, and with rows of dreadful teeth! Thus, as I see thee, touching the heavens, and shining with such glory, of such various hues, with widely opened mouths and bright expanded eyes, I am disturbed within me; my resolution faileth me, O Vishnu! and I find no rest! Having beholden thy dreadful teeth, and gazed on the countenance, emblem of time's last fire, I know not which way I turn! I find no peace! Have mercy, then, O god of gods! thou mansion of the universe! The sons of Dhreetarashtra, now, with all those rulers of the land, Bheeshma, Drona the son of Soot, and even the fronts of our army, seem to be precipitating themselves hastily into thy mouth, discovering such frightful rows of teeth! whilst some appear to stick between thy teeth with their bodies sorely mangled. As the rapid streams of full-flowing rivers roll on to meet the ocean's bed; even so these heroes of the human race rush on towards thy flaming mouths. As troops of insects, with increasing speed, seek their own destruction in the flaming fire; even so these people, with swelling fury, seek their own destruction. Thou involvest and swallowest them altogether, even unto the last, with thy flaming mouths; whilst the whole world is filled with thy glory, as thy awful beams, O Vishnu, shine forth on all sides!” Bhagvat-Geeta, p. 90, &c. Such is “the Display of the Divine Nature in the form of the universe!”
548. In the grant of land, translated from a plate of copper, (Asiat. Res. iii. 45.) among the praises of the sovereign, by whom the donation is made, it is said, “The gods had apprehensions in the beginning of time, that the glory of so great a monarch would leave them without marks of distinction; thence it was, that Purari assumed a third eye in his forehead; Pedmacsha, four arms; Atmabhu, four faces; that Cali held a cimeter in her hand; Rama, a lotos flower; and Vani, a lyre.” Sir William Jones, in the note says; “The six names in the text are appellations of the gods Mahadeva, Vishnu, Brahma, and the goddesses Durga, Lacshmi, Seraswati.” So that the three supreme deities, with their wives, were afraid of being eclipsed by an earthly king, and were obliged to assume new distinctions (of a very ingenious and imposing sort!) to prevent so lamentable an occurrence.
549. On the Gods of Greece, &c. Asiat. Research. i. 267.
550. Asiat. Research. i. 272.
551. Ib. viii. 397.
552. Vide supra, p. 323.
553. Asiat. Research. viii. 431, 432.
554. Asiat. Research. ii. 400.
555. Sir William Jones's Works, vi. 417.
556. This particular passage it is, which is pointed out by Mr. Colebrooke as the gayatri.
557. Asiat. Research. viii. 400.
558. Ib. 397.
559. Nations, not behind the Hindus in civilization (the most enthusiastic of their admirers, being judges) agree in these ideas. “Les nations savantes de l’Orient,” says Dupuis, (Origine de tous les Cultes, i. 4.) “les Egyptiens et les Pheniciens, deux peuples qui ont le plus influé sur les opinions religieuses du reste de l'univers, ne connoissoient d'autres dieux, chefs de l'administration du monde, que le soleil, la lune, les astres, et le ciel qui les renferme, et ne chantoient que la nature dans leurs hymnes et leurs theogonies.” The following is a curious passage: “Eutychius, apres avoir pris le Sabiisme en Chaldee, De la, dit il, il est passé en Egypte, de l’Egypte il fut porté chez les Francs, c’est a dire en Europe, d’ou il s’etendit dans tous les ports de la Mediterranée. Et, comme le culte du Soleil et des Etoiles, la veneration des ancestres, l’erection des statues, la consecration des arbres, constituerent d'abord l’essence du Sabiisme, et que cette espece de religion, toute bizarre qu’elle est, se trouva assez vite repandue dans toutes les parties du monde alors connu, et l’infecta jusqu’ à l’Inde, jusqu’ à la Chine; de sorte que ces vastes empires ont toujours esté pleins de statues adoreés, et ont toujours donné la creance la plus folle aux visions de l'astrologie judiciaire, preuve incontestable de Sabiisme, puisque ç’en est le fond, et le premier dogme; la conclusion est simple, que soit par tradition, soit par imitation et identité d’idees, le monde presqu’ entier s’est vu, et se voit encore Sabien.” Ib. 25. Memoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions, &c. xii. 25.
560. Adad, the name of the chief Assyrian deity, was held by ten Syrian kings in succession. Nicol. Damasc. ap. Josephum, Antiq. lib. vii. cap. 5. Even among Christians, kings and great men have received all the general titles of the deity, lord, majesty, highness, excellence, grace.
561. Asiat. Research. viii. 398, note.
562. Anquetil Duperron, Zendavesta, ii. 344.
563. Bhagvat-Geeta, p. 87.
564. Ib. p. 93.
565. Institutes of Menu, ch. i. 24.
566. A passage translated from the Veda by Mr. Colebrooke, Asiat. Research. vii. 251.
567. Hetopadesa, book I., Sir William Jones's Works, vi. 7. A personification, and mysterious deification of some very abstract idea, as Time, or Space, is by no means unnatural to rude nations. It is remarkable that the Scandinavians had a notion of some mysterious power, superior to their gods; for after the great catastrophe, in which Odin, Thor, and the other deities, lose their lives, “comes forth The Powerful, The Valiant, He Who Governs All Things, from his lofty abodes, to render divine justice. In his palace the just will inhabit, and enjoy delights for evermore.” (See extracts from the Edda, the Sacred book of the Scandinavians, in Mallet's Introduct. to the Hist. of Denmark, vol. i. ch. vi.) That historian observes in a style which almost appears to be copied by those to whom we owe the specimens of the Hindu religion, that a capital point among the Scythians was, the pre-eminence of “One only, all-powerful and perfect being, over all the other intelligences with which universal nature was peopled.” The Scandinavians, then, were on a level with all that is even claimed for the Hindus. But these same Scandinavians draw terrible pictures of this perfect One; describing him as a being who even delights in the shedding of human blood; yet they call him, the Father and creator of men, and say, that “he liveth and governeth during the ages; he directeth every thing which is high, and every thing which is low; whatever is great, and whatever is small; he hath made the heaven, the air, and man who is to live for ever; and before the heaven or the earth existed, this god lived already with the giants.” Ibid. But what this god was, whether matter, or space, or time, the Scandinavian monuments are too imperfect to determine.
568. Bernier, one of the most intelligent and faithful of all travellers, who spent a number of years in great favour at the court of Aurengzebe, formed an opinion of the religion of the Hindus, with which respect was little connected; for one of his Letters he thus entitles, “Lettre, &c. touchant les superstitions, etranges façons de faire, et doctrine des Indous ou Gentils de l’Hindoustan. D’ou l’on verra qu’il n’y a opinions si ridicules et si extravagantes dont l’esprit de l’homme ne soit capable.” (Bernier, Suite des Memoires sur l’Empire du Grand Mogol, i. 119.) He appears to have seen more completely through the vague language of the Brahmens respecting the divinity, (a language so figurative, and loose, that if a man is heartily inclined, he may give it any interpretation,) than more recent and more credulous visitors. After giving a very distinct account of the more common notions entertained of the three deities, Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, he says, Touchant ces trois Estres j'ai vu des Missionaires Européens qui pretendent que les Gentils ont quelque idée du mystere de la Trinité, et qui diseut qu’il est expressement portè dans leurs livres que ce sont trois Personnes un seul Dieu; pour moy j'ai fait assez discourir les Pendets sur cette matiere, mais ils s’expliquent si pauvrement que je n'ai jamais pu comprendre nettement leur sentiment; j’en ai meme vu quelques-uns qui disent que se sont trois veritables creatures tres parfaites qu’ils appellent Deutas; comme nos anciens idolatres n’ont à mon avis jamais bien expliqué ce qu’ils entendoient par ces mots de Genius, et de Numina, qui est, je pense, le même que Deuta chez les Indiens; il est vrai que j’en ai vu d'autres, et des plus sçavans, qui disoient que ces trois Etres n’estoient effectivement qu'un meme dieu consideré en trois façons, a sçavoir, en tant qu’il est Producteur, Conservateur, et Destructeur des choses, mais ils ne disoient rien des trois personnes distinctes en un seul Dieu. Ibid. p. 173.—“The history of these gods” (says Mr. Orme, Hist. of the Milit. Trans. &c. in Indostan, i. 3,) “is a heap of the greatest absurdities. It is Eswara twisting off the neck of Brahma; it is the Sun who gets his teeth knocked out, and the Moon who has her face beat black and blue at a feast, at which the gods quarrel and fight with the spirit of a mob.” In the Zendavesta, as translated by Anquetil Duperron, many passages are as expressive to the full of just ideas of the Divine Nature as any in the Vedas. The absurdities too, with which they are mixed, are certainly not greater, they are many degrees less, than those with which the sublime phrases in the Vedas are mingled. The ancient magi, we are told, had a most sublime theology.—Nunquam adorabant solem: et mox addiderunt, se non adhibere aliquam adorationem soli, aut lunæ, aut planetis, sed tantum erga solem se convertere inter orandum. Hyde, p. 5. Je vois, ma sœur, says the Guebre in Montesquieu, (Lettres Persanes, Let. lxvii) que vous avez appris parmi les musulmuns à calomnier notre sainte religion. Nous n'adorons ni les astres ni les elemens; et nos peres ne les ont jamais adorés.....Ils leurs ont seulement rendu un culte religieux, mais inferieur, comme à des ouvrages et des manifestations de la divinité. Beausobre, with his usual critical sagacity, said, in regard to the pictures drawn by Hyde, Pococke, and Prideaux, of the religious system of the magi, Rien de plus beau, rien de plus orthodoxe que ce systême. Je crains seulement qu’il ne le soit un peu trop pour ces tems-la. Hist. de Manich. lib. ii. ch. ii. Voltaire thus expresses himself; “On ne peut lire deux pages de l'abominable fatras attribué à ce Zoroastre, sans avoir pitié de la nature humaine. Nostradamus et le medecin des urines sont des gens raisonables en comparison de cet energumene. Et cependant on parle de lui, et on ne parlera encore.” He had however remarked a little before, that the book contained good precepts of morality, and asked, “Comment se pourraitil que Zoroastre eut joint tant d’enormes fadaises à cet beau precepte de s'abstenir dans les duutes si on fera bien ou mal?” Dictionuaire Philosophique, Mot Zoroastre.
569. See Note C. at the end of the volume.
570. That one campaign in the court is better than two in the field, has passed into a proverb under the monarchies of modern Europe.
571. The performance (e. g.) of the five daily sacraments, of which no one, not even that which is falsely rendered hospitality, has, properly speaking, any reference to the duties of humanity. A few general precepts respecting the acquisition of the means of subsistence, in the modes prescribed to the different orders of the Hindus, are in fact of the ceremonial and religious cast. Laws of Menu, ch. iii. and iv. where the duties of the householder are described.
572. Laws of Menu, ch. xi. 236, &c.
573. Ibid. ch. vi. 75.
574. Asiat. Res. v. 371.
575. Institutes of Menu, ch. v. 58.
576. Ib. 85, 87.
577. Ib. 73.
578. Ib. 87.
579. The Hindus, among whom the idea of delicacy, in regard either to physical or moral objects, appears never to have taken rise, describe these occasions of purification, in the plainest, or in other words the grossest terms. There is a long series of precepts about voiding the excrements, (Laws of Menu, ch. iv. 45 to 52): And for purification afterwards, “Let each man,” says the law, “sprinkle the cavities of his body, and taste water in due form when he has discharged urine or feces: First, let him thrice taste water; then twice let him wipe his mouth, but a woman or servile man may once respectively make that ablution;” (Ibid. ch. v. 138, 139.) “Having vomited, or been purged, let him bathe and taste clarified butter: for him who has been connected with a woman, bathing is ordained by law;” (Ibid. 144.) In one instance there is a curious contrariety: It is declared, (Ibid. 108.) “A woman whose thoughts have been impure is purified by her monthly discharge.” Yet this same peculiarity of the female constitution is a cause of impurity; from which she is separated by bathing. Ibid. 66.
580. Laws of Menu, ch. v. 134, 135.
581. Ibid. 143.
582. Ibid. xi. 200.
583. Laws of Menu, ch. v. 124.
584. Ibid. 115, 118.
585. Solon asks Cræsus why he interrogates him about human happiness— Ω Κροισε, επιςαμενον με το θειον παν εον φϑονερον και ταραχωδες;Herodot. lib. i. cap. xxxii.
586. “Tis evident we must receive a greater or less satisfaction or uneasiness from reflecting on our own condition and circumstances, in proportion as they appear more or less fortunate or unhappy; in proportion to the degrees of riches and power, and merit, and reputation, which we think ourselves possessed of. Now, as we seldom judge of objects from their intrinsic value, but form our notions of them from a comparison with other objects; it follows, that according as we observe a greater or less share of happiness or misery in others, we must make an estimate of our own, and feel a consequent pain or pleasure. The misery of another gives us a more lively idea of our happiness, and his happiness of our misery. The former, therefore, produces delight; and the latter uneasiness.” Hume's Treatise of Human Nature, ii. 174. If this principle have a real existence in human nature; and if the rude mind invariably fashion the divine mind after itself, the belief, so wonderfully common, that the Divine being is delighted with the self-inflicted torment of his worshippers, is sufficiently accounted for.
587. Institutes of Menu, ch. xi. 46.
588. Ib. 48 to 54.
589. Institutes of Menu, ch. xi. 91, 92.
590. Ibid. 97
591. Ibid. 132.
592. Ibid. 153.
593. Ibid. 165, 213.
594. See the Institutes of Menu, ch. xi. 171 to 179, where every species of sexual abomination is dehberately specified.
595. Institutes of Menu, ch. xi. 198. “When a twice-born man performs the penance prajapati, he must for three days eat only in the morning; for three days only in the evening; for three days food unasked, but presented to him; and for three more days, nothing.” Ibid. 212.
596. Ibid. 216.
597. Ibid. 221.
598. Ibid. 214.
599. Ibid. 262.
600. C’est une superstition tres dangereuse que le pardon des crimes attaché a certaines ceremonies. . . . . . Vous pensez que Dieu oubliera votre homicide, si vous vous baignez dans un fleuve, si vous immolez une brehis noire, et si on prononce sur vous des paroles. Un second homicide vous sera donc pardonné au meme prix, et ainsi un troisieme, et cent meurtres ne vous couteront que cent brebis noires et cent ablutions! Faites mieux, miserables humains, point de meurtres, et point de brebis noires. Voltaire, Diction. Philos, au mot Superstition.
601. Institutes of Menu, ch. vi. 3 to 8, and 16 to 32. There is a certain stage in the progress from extreme barbarity to some degree of intellectual improvement, in which worship by self-inflicted torments seems naturally to suggest itself. Thus, the priests and people of Mexico come next, perhaps, to the Hindus, though certainly at a prodigious distance behind them, in the devotion of pain and suffering. “It makes one shudder,” (says Clavigero, book vi. sect. 22.) “to read the austerities which they exercised on themselves. They mangled their flesh, as if it had been insensible, and let their blood run in such profusion, that it appeared to be a superfluous fluid of the body.” Their fastings, watchings, and other efforts of abstinence, were pushed to the greatest extremities. Ibid.
602. See a curious description in the Asiat. Res. v. 49, of a fakeer, seea at Benares by Mr. Duncan, who had used this bed for 35 years.
603. See Fryer's Travels, pp. 102, 103.—Sonnerat's Voyage, i. 121, 149, 153, 176.—Hamilton's Voyage to the East Indies, i. 274.—Voyage de Tavernier, iv. 118. Mr. Richardson, in his Arabic and Persian Dictionary, under the work Fakeer, says, “Every invention of perverted ingenuity is exhausted in deforming and distorting nature.” And Mr. Wilkins (Note 113, subjoined to his translation of the Bhagvat-Geeta) says, “The word zeal, in the vulgar acceptation, signifies the voluntary infliction of pain, the modes of doing which, as practised to this day by the zealots of India, are as various as they are horrible and astonishing.” Bernier who describes most of the penances alluded to in the text, mentions their standing on their hands, with the head down and the feet up; “D'autres qui se tenoient les heures entieres sur leurs mains sans branler, la tete en bas et les pieds en haut, et ainsi de je ne scai combien d'autres sortes de postures tellement contraintes et tellement difficiles, que nous n'avons de bateleurs qui les pussent imiter; et tout cala, ce semble, par devotion comme j'ai dit, et par motif de religion, ou on n’en scauroit seulement decouvrir l’ombre.” Lettre des Gentils de l’Hindoustan, p. 153, 154.
604. Sacontala, Act vii. in Sir William Jones's Works. One of the Mahommedan travellers, whose voyages are described by Renaudot, says of these recluses, “They for the most part stand motionless as statues with their faces always turned to the sun. I formerly saw one in the posture here described, and returning to India about sixteen years afterwards, I found him in the very same attitude, and was astonished he had not lost his eyesight by the intense heat of the sun.” Renaudot's ancient Account of India and China, p. 32. Bernier describes them thus; “On en voit quantité de tout nuds assis ou couchés les jours et les nuits surtes cendres, et assex ordinairement dessous quelques uns de ces grands arbres, qui sont sur les bords des Talabs ou reservoirs, ou bien daus des galeries qui sont autour de leur Deuras on temples d’idoles. . . . . . Il n’y a Megere d’enfer si horrible a voir que ces gens-la tout nuds avec leur peau noire, ces grands cheveux, ces fuseauz des bras dans la posture que j'ai dit, et ces longues ongles entortilles. Lettres des Gentils de l’Hindoustan,” p. 151. Orme accounts in part at least, and that very satisfactorily, for these astonishing efforts of patience and self-denial. “The many temporal advantages which the Brahmens derive from their spiritual authority, and the impossibility of being admitted into their tribe, have perhaps given rise to that number of Joguees and Facquires, who torture themselves with such various and astonishing penances, only to gain the same veneration which a Brahmen derives from his birth.” Orme's Hist. Milit. Trans. Indostan, i. 4.
605. Bhagvat-Geeta, p. 60, 63.
606. Ibid. p. 67.
607. Ibid. p. 76.
608. It is agreed among the Sanscrit scholars that the Puranas are modern, compared with the Vedas and other ancient monuments of the Hindus. Mr. Colebrooke is of opinion that the worship of heroes is altogether unknown to the author of the Vedas; though it was evidently part of the popular belief at the time the Puranas were composed. A sacrifice, therefore, enjoined in the Puranas, must have prevailed at a pretty late period.
609. See a translation of what is denominated “The Sanguinary chapter” of the Calica Purana, by Mr. Blaquiere, Asiat. Res. v. 371., and Wilkins's Hetopadesa, note 249, and p. 211. In the Bhawishya Purana, it is declared that the head of a slaughtered man gives Durga a thousand times more satisfaction than that of a buffalo. This sacrifice however is forbidden in the Brahma and the Bhagawat Puranas. Asiat. Res. iii. p. 260.
610. An instance of this, in which an old woman was the victim, was attempted at Benares, so late as the year 1788. See the account by Lord Teignmouth, Asiat. Res. v. 333.
611. Papers, relating to East India affairs, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, June 3, 1813, p. 427.
612. A distinct description of this human sacrifice, performed at the feas of Juggernaut, is to be found in the voyage, (i. 121) of Sonnerat, who was an eye-witness. It is also described by that faithful traveller Bernier, Lettre sur les Gentils de l’Hindoustan, p. 128. It attracted in a peculiar degree the attention of the Rev. Dr. Buchanan: see his work, entitled, Christian Researches in Asia. The Missionaries have given us several descriptions, published in the Transactions of the Missionary Societies.
613. Such was the instance witnessed by one of the Arabian travellers of Renaudot. See Ancient Relations, p. 80.
614. Orme, on the Government and People of Indostan, p. 434.
615. See Richardson's Dictionary at the word Fakeer.
616. The place where the Jumna and the Ganges meet, is a spot of peculiar sanctity. “Some of the victims of superstition,” says Dr. Tennant, “annually drown themselves at the junction of the streams; and this being the most acceptable of all offerings, it is performed with much solemnity. The rapidity with which the victim sinks, is regarded as a token of his favourable acceptance by the god of the river. To secure the good inclination of the deity, they carry out the devoted person to the middle of the stream, after having fastened pots of earth to his feet. The surrounding multitude on the banks are devoutly contemplating the ceremony, and applauding the constancy of the victim, who, animated by their admiration, and the strength of his own faith, keeps a steady and resolute countenance, till he arrives at the spot, when he springs from the boat, and is instantly swallowed up, amidst universal acclamations.” Indian Recreations, ii. 250.
617. The Brahmens are always audacious enough to form a peremptory opinion. We have seen, before, that they never hesitated to assign a fixed number to the veins and arteries of the human body, though they are totally unacquainted with dissection. They here assign, with perfect confidence, a determinate number to the hairs on the human body.
618. Sanscrit text, quoted by Mr. Colebrooke, in his discourse on the duties of a faithful Hindu wife, Asiat. Res. iv. 208. The custom of burning wives on the funeral piles of their husbands, was common to the Hindus with the northern nations. See Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary, ad verb. Bayle-Fire.—The principal among the wives of a Scandinavian chief accompanied him to the funeral pile. Mallet. Introd. Hist. Denmark, vol. i. c. 13.—The Scandinavians did not scruple to expose their children. Ibid.—Robertson, who informs us that the wives of the chiefs of the Natchez, an American tribe, were burnt along with them at their death, says that the custom arose from the excessive veneration in which they were held, as brothers of the sun, and representatives of the deity; and that from this impulse, the wives, as well as the domestics who shared the same fate, welcomed death with exultation. Hist. of America, ii. 140.
619. Asiat. Res. iv. 210. See the whole of that discourse, where a number of authorities are collected. The circumstances of the transaction can be so easily conceived; that, horrid as they are, I have not thought proper to describe them. The prayers and ceremonies are exactly of the usual character. See an account by Bernier, of several cases of which he was an eye-witness, (Lettre sur les Gentils de l’Hindoustain, p. 131); and a variety of cases in the works of the Missionaries, Ward, and Dubois.
620. Institutes of Menu, ch. vi. 91, 92.
621. Ibid. ch. xii. 3, 5, 6, 7.
622. Institutes of Menu, ch. iv. 202.
623. Ibid. 170 to 177.
624. Discourse on the Philosophy of the Asiatics, Asiat. Res. iv. 166.
625. Discourse on the Tartars, Asiat. Res. ii. 33.
626. Few states of society are more low and degraded than that of the Mussulmans in modern Egypt. Hear what is said of their ethics: “On remarque chez les principaux chefs de la religion, nommés en Egypte cheiks de la loi, l'astuce commune à tous les prêtres, qui, pour mieux dominer, cherchent à s’emparer de l’esprit des hommes. Leur conversation est remplie de belles sentences morales, et de grandes images poetiques qu’ils pillent dans les livres Arabes, c’est tout leur savoir; ou ne doit pas chercher en eux d'autres connoissances sur la politique, les sciences, &c.; ils n’en soupçonnent pas plus l’existence que l'utilité.” (De l’Egypte par le Gen. Reynier, p. 63.) Voltaire remarks, with that felicity with which he sometimes touches an important truth; “La religion de ce Siamois nous prouve que jamais legislateur n’enseigna une mauvaise morale. Voyez, lecteur, que celle de Brama, de Zoroastre, de Numa, de Thaut, de Pythagore, de Mahomet, et meme du poisson Oannes, est absolument la même. J'ai dit souvent qu’on jeterait des pierres à un homme qui viendrait prècher une morale relâchée.” Dictionnaire Philosophique, au mot Sammonocodom.
Garcilasso de la Vega gives us a list of the moral sayings of a celebrated Inca of ancient Peru, named Pachacatec, of which the following are a specimen:
“Better is it, that thou shouldst be envied by others for being good, than that thou shouldst envy others because thou art bad.
Envy is a cancer, which eats and gnaws into the bowels of the envious.
Drunkenness, anger, and folly, are equally mischievous; differing only in this, that the two first are transient and mutable, but the third permanent and continuing.
Adulterers, who take away the good reputation and honesty of another family, are disturbers of the common peace and quiet, and are as bad as thieves and robbers, and therefore to be condemned to the gallows without mercy.
A truly noble and courageous spirit is best tried by that patience which he shows in the times of adversity.
Impatience is the character of a poor and degenerate spirit, and of one that is ill taught and educated.” Royal Commentaries, book IV. ch. xxxvi.
627. Institutes of Menu, ch. iv. 204.
628. Ib. v. 52.
629. Ib. ii. 77, 82.
630. Ib. xii. 83.
631. Ib. vi. 70, 71.
632. Bhagvat-Geeta, p. 102.
633. Institutes of Menu, ch. vi. 81.
634. See a fanciful account of the origin of this worship by Mr. Paterson, Asiat. Res. viii. 54. His description of the moral effects of this superstition is more to our purpose: “It is probable,” says he, “that the idea of obscenity was not originally attached to these symbols; and, it is likely, that the inventors themselves might not have foreseen the disorders which this worship would occasion amongst mankind. Profligacy eagerly embraces what flatters its propensities, and ignorance follows blindly wherever example excites: it is therefore no wonder that a general corruption of manners should ensue, increasing in proportion as the distance of time involved the original meaning of the symbol in darkness and obhvion. Obscene mirth became the principal feature of the popular superstition, and was, even in after times, extended to, and intermingled with, gloomy rites and bloody sacrifices. An heterogeneous mixture which appears totally irreconcileable, unless by tracing the steps which led to it. It will appear that the ingrafting of a new symbol, upon the old superstition, occasioned this strange medley. The sect of Vishnu was not wholly free from the propensity of the times to obscene rites; it had been united in interest with that of Siva, in their league against the sect of Brahma, as was expressed by an image, called Har-Heri, half Siva, and half Vishnu. This union seems to have continued till the time when an emblem of an abstract idea, having been erected into an object of worship, introduced a revolution in religion, which had a violent and extended effect upon the manners and opinions of mankind. It was then that a gloomy superstition arose, which spread its baneful influence with rapidity amongst mankind; which degraded the Deity into an implacable tyrant; which filled its votaries with imaginary terrors; which prescribed dreadful rites; and exacted penances, mortifications, and expiatory sacrifices.” (Ibid. p. 55.) See also a picture of these religious immoralities by Bernier, Lettre sur les Gentils, pp. 129, 130. But the writer who, above all others, has furnished superabundant evidence of the immoral influence of the Hindu religion, and the deep depravity which it is calculated to produce, is Mr. Ward, in his “View of the History, Literature, and Religion of the Hindoos.” From the facts which he records in great detail, the following are the results: “The characters of the gods, and the licentiousness which prevails at their festivals, and abounds in their popular works, with the enervating nature of the climate, have made the Hindoos the most effeminate and corrupt people on earth. I have, in the course of this work, exhibited so many proofs of this fact, that I will not again disgust the reader by going into the subject. Suffice it to say, that fidelity to marriage vows is almost unknown among the Hindoos; the intercourse of the sexes approaches very near to that of the irrational animals. . . . But to know the Hindoo idolatry, as it is, a person must wade through the filth of the thirty-six pooranŭs, and other popular books—he must read and hear the modern popular poems and songs—he must follow the Bramnŭn through his midnight orgies, before the image of Kalēē, and other goddesses; or he must accompany him to the nightly revels, the jatras, and listen to the filthy dialogues which are rehearsed respecting Krishnŭ and the daughters of the milkmen; or he must watch him, at midnight, choking with the mud and waters of the Ganges a wealthy relation, while in the delirium of a fever; or, at the same hour, while murdering an unfaithful wife, or a supposed domestic enemy; or he must look at the Bramhŭn hurrying the trembling half-dead widow round the funeral pile, and throwing her like a log of wood by the side of the dead body of her husband, tying her and then holding her down with bamboo levers, till the fire has deprived her of the power of rising and running away . . . . . . This system of heathenism communicates no purifying knowledge of the divine perfections, supplies no one motive to holiness while living, no comfort to the afflicted, no hope to the dying; but, on the contrary, excites to every vice, and hardens its followers in the most flagrant crimes.” (Introductory Remarks, pp. 94, 95.)
635. Edward's Hist. of the West Indies, ii. 77. 4to. Ed.
636. Bryant's Analysis of Ancient Mythology, i. 323.
637. Lucian, De Syria Dea.
638. The priests of Egypt, says Herodotus, account it unholy to kill any thing which has life, saving what they use in sacrifice; Herod. Hist. lib. 1. cap. 140: and Porphyry informs us that it was not till a late period of their history that animal sacrifices were introduced. De Abstin. lib. ii. et iv.
639. Ab hoc antiqui manus ita abstinere voluerunt, ut capite saux erint, si quis occidisset. Varro. De Re Rustica, lib. ii. cap. 5.
640. See the satisfactory proofs adduced in the very learned and instructive, though erroneous work, of Dupuis, Origine de tous les Cultes. liv. iii. ch. viii.
641. “Although the killing an animal of this” (the ox) “kind is by all Hindus considered as a kind of murder, I know no creature whose sufferings equal those of the labouring cattle of Hindustan.” (Buchanan, Journey, &c. i. 167.) See also Ward on the Hindus, Introd. p. xliii. An hospital for the sick poor, says Dr. Tennant, was never known in India, before the establishment of the British; though there were for dogs, cats, &c. (Indian Recreations, i. 73.) The authors of the Universal History inform us gravely, on the authority of Ovington, that the Hindus have a care for the preservation of fleas, bugs, and other vermin, which suck the blood of man: for in a hospital near Surat, built for their reception, a poor man is hired now and then to rest all night upon the kot or bed where the vermin are put; and lest their stinging should force him to take his flight before morning, he is tied down to the place, and there lies for them to glut themselves with human gore.” (Modern Univ. Hist. vi. 262.) Anquetil Duperron, who describes a temple near Surat, full of those sacred animals, adds: “La vue de l’hopital des animaux, entretenu par des etres raisonables avec tout l’ordre, le soin, le zele meme que l’on pourroit exiger d’eux, s’il etoit question de leur semblable, et cela meme dans un pays, ou il n’y a d’etablissemens publics, ni pour les malades, ni pour les vieillards; la vu d'un pareil hopital auroit de quoi etonner, si l’on ne sçavoit pas que la nature se plait aux disparates en Asie comme en Europe. (Voyages aux Indes Orient. Disc. Prelim. Zendavesta, i. ccclxii.) “The Gentoos, though they will not kill their neat, make no conscience to work them to death, allowing them hardly food to keep them alive. Neither are they less inhuman towards their sick, a woman being brought to die among the tombs in my sight.” Fryer's Travels, ch. v. sect. 3. See to the same purpose, the Abbé Dubois, p. 132; Ward on the Hindoos, Introd. p. lv. It is worth observing that Milton, the universality of whose knowledge is not the least remarkable particular of his wonderful mind, was acquainted with the disgusting superstition of letting the vermin devour the man: “Like the vermin,” says he, “of an Indian Catharist, which his fond religion forbids him to molest.” Tetrachordon, Milton's Prose Works, ii. 122, 8vo. Edit. Tenderness to animals was a part of the religion of Zoroaster. We are informed in the Sadda, that he obtained from God a view of the regions of infernal torment, where he saw a number of kings, and among the rest one without a foot. He begged to know the reason, and God said to him; “that wicked king never performed but one good action in his life. He saw, as he was going to the chase, a dromedary tied at too great a distance from its provender, endeavouring to eat, but unable to reach it: he pushed the provender towards it with his foot. I have placed that foot in heaven; all the rest of him is here.” Voltaire, Essai sur les Mœurs et l’Esprit de Nations, ch. v. The following, Porphyry tells us, (De Abstin. lib. iv. p. 431) were laws of Triptolemus, 1. To honour our parents; 2. To offer nothing to the gods but the fruits of the earth; 3. Never to hurt animals. “The inhabitants of Miniana,” (a place not far from Sego, in the heart of Africa) “eat their enemies, and strangers, if they die in the country. They eat the flesh of horses. But such is their veneration for the cow, that she is never killed.” Park's last Mission to Africa, p. 166.
Mr. Richardson (see his Dissertation on Eastern Manners, p. 16) denies the authenticity of the fragments of the Zendavesta collected by Anquetil Duperron, on account of “the uncommon stupidity,” as he is pleased to express it, “of the work itself.” Yet it is in a strain remarkably resembling that of the Vedas; the same sublime praises bestowed upon the Divinity; superstitions equally gross; discourses equally childish. We must not however on this account question the authenticity of the Vedas and the Puranas, though we must renounce the vulgar belief of the great wisdom of the Brahmens. In truth, the stupidity, as Mr. Richardson calls it, of the Zendavesta, and its remarkable similarity to the sacred books of the Hindus, is the most striking proof of its authenticity. There is the strongest reason to conclude that the ancient Magi, and the ancient Brahmens, were people very much upon a level; and that the fame of Zoroaster for wisdom is no better founded than that of the Indian sages. There is a radical difference, he says, between the language of the Zendavesta, and the modern Persian (Ibid.) But the same is the case with the Sanscrit, which Sir William Jones thinks, from this circumstance, can never have been vernacular in Hindustan. (See Disc. on the Hindus, Asiat. Researches, i. 422.) The language, he says, of the Zendavesta has many words, which a modern Persian could not pronounce, but there are many words in the German language which an Englishman or Frenchman cannot pronounce, though the German is the basis of the languages of both. The Zendavesta, he says, contains Arabic words; but it contains Arabic only as the Greek contains Sanscrit. In fact, the identities which can be traced in all languages is one of the most remarkable circumstances in the history of speech. Of the Vedas, a man who had unrivalled opportunities of information informs us, “They contain nothing important or rational. In fact, they have nothing but their antiquity to recommend them. As to any thing further, they include all the absurdities of Hindu paganism, not only such as it has originally been, but also the pitiful details of fables which are at present current in the country, relating to the fantastical austerities of the Hindu hermits, to the metamorphoses of Vishnu, or the abominations of the lingam. The fourth of them, called Atharvana-veda, is the most dangerous of all for a people so entirely sunk in superstition, because it teaches the art of magic, or the method of injuring men by the use of witchcraft and incantation.” (Description, &c. of the people of India, by the Abbé Dubois, p. 102.) Even the gayatri, the most holy of all holy things, is an assemblage, says the Abbé, of unmeaning terms, “unintelligible to the Brahmens themselves. I have never met with any one who could give me a tolerable explication of it.” Ib. p. 79.
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Re: The History of British India, Vol. I, by James Mill

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Part 6 of 6

642. Dupuis, Origine de tous les Cultres, tom. ii. par. 2, p. 181; where the reader will find authorities to prove the antiquity and diffusion of this peculiar doctrine. See too the learned Beausobre, Hist. de Manich. tom. ii. liv. vii. ch. 5, sect. 4. For its existence among the Mexicans, see Clavigero, book vi. sect. 1.
643. Institutes of Menu, ch. xii. 24, 40 to 51.
644. Ib. 54 to 58.
645. Ib. 71, 72.
646. Institutes of Menu, ch. xii. 125.
647. “To this,” he says, “may be added, what must have forced itself on the observation of every thoughtful observer, that, in the absence of the religious principle, no outward terrors, especially those which are invisible and future, not even bodily sufferings, are sufficient to make men virtuous. Painful experience proves, that even in a Christian country, if the religious principle does not exist, the excellence and the rewards of virtue, and the dishonour and misery attending vice, may be held up to men for ever, without making a single convert.” Ward, “View, &c. of the Hindoos,” Introd. p. lxxxiv. Here, however, Mr. Ward ought to have explained what he meant by the “religious principle,” by which different persons mean very different things. This was the more necessary, that, having taken away all efficacy from the doctrine of future rewards and punishments, he strips religion of all power over the lives and actions of men, except in so far as good effects may be expected from the “religious principle,” which, whatever else it may not be, is at any rate, in his estimation, not the expectation of future rewards and punishments.
648. See Laws of Menu, ch. ii. iii. and vi.
649. See the account of this æra, p. 257 of this volume.
650. Institutes of Menu, ch. ii. 173.
651. Ib. ch. ii. 191.
652. “Let him carry water-pots, flowers, cow-dung, fresh earth, and cusa grass, as much as may be useful to his preceptor.” Ibid. 182.
653. “The subsistence of a student by begging is held equal to fasting in religious merit.” Ibid. 218. There are numerous precepts respecting the niceties of begging. Ibid. 48 to 50, and 183 to 190.
654. Institutes of Menu, ch. ii. 109, 112.
655. Ibid. 69.
656. Ibid. 70.
657. When the student is going to read the Veda, he must perform an ablution, as the law ordains, with his face to the north; and at the beginning and end of each lesson, he must clasp both the feet of his preceptor, and read with both his hands closed. “In the presence of his preceptor let him always eat less; and wear a coarser mantle, with worse appendages: let him rise before, and go to rest after his tutor. Let him not answer his teacher's orders, or converse with him, reclining on a bed; nor sitting, nor eating, nor standing, nor with an averted face: But let him both answer and converse, if his preceptor sit, standing up; if he stand, advancing toward him; if he advance, meeting him; if he run, hastening after him; if his face be averted, going round to front him, from left to right; if he be at a little distance, approaching him; if reclined, bending to him; and if he stand ever so far off, running toward him. When his teacher is nigh, let his couch or his bench be always placed low; when his preceptor's eye can observe him, let him not sit carelessly at his ease. Let him never pronounce the mere name of his tutor, even in his absence; by censuring his preceptor, though justly, he will be born an ass. He must not serve his tutor by the intervention of another, while himself stands aloof; nor must he attend him in a passion, nor when a woman is near: from a carriage or raised seat he must descend to salute his heavenly director. Let him not sit with his preceptor to the leeward, or to the windward of him; nor let him say any thing which the venerable man cannot hear.” Institutes of Menu, ch. ii. 70, 71, and 194 to 199, and 201 to 203. Even to the sons and wives of the preceptor must numerous tokens of profound respect be shown, Ibid. 207 to 218. For his general conduct “these following rules,” says Menu, “must a Brahmachari, or student in theology, observe, while he dwells with his preceptor; keeping all his members under control, for the sake of increasing his habitual devotion. Day by day, having bathed and being purified, let him offer fresh water to the gods, the sages, and the manes; let him show respect to the images of the deities, and bring wood for the oblation to fire. Let him abstain from honey, from fleshmeat, from perfumes, from chaplets of flowers, from sweet vegetable juices, from women, from all sweet substances turned acid, and from injury to animated beings; from unguents for his limbs, and from black powder for his eyes, from wearing sandals and carrying an umbrella, from sensual desire, from wrath, from covetousness, from dancing, and from vocal and instrumental music; from gaming, from disputes, from detraction, and from falsehood, from embracing or wantonly looking at women, and from disservice to other men. Let him sleep constantly alone.” Next are forbidden several acts of sensual impurity which are too gross to be described; and the holy text thus again proceeds; “Let him carry water-pots, flowers, cow-dung, fresh earth and cusa grass, as much as may be useful to his preceptor. Having brought logs of wood from a distance, let him place them in the open air; and with them let him make an oblation to fire, without remissness, both evening and morning. Let the scholar, when commanded by his preceptor, and even when he has received no command, always exert himself in reading. Let not the sun ever rise or set while he lies asleep in the village.” Institutes of Menu, ch. ii. 175 to 183, 186, 191, 219.
658. Institutes of Menu, ch. iii. 1.
659. Ibid. ii. 243, 244.
660. Ib. 247, 248. The following modes of living are pointed out to the Brahmen; 1. lawful gleaning and gathering; 2. what is given unasked; 3. what is asked as alms; 4. tillage; 5. traffic and money lending: even by these two last, when distressed, he may live; but service for hire is named dog-living, which he must always avoid, iv. 4, 5, 6. His hair, nails, and beard being clipped; his passions subdued; his mantle white; his body pure; let him diligently occupy himself in reading the Veda. Let him carry a staff of Venu, an ewer with water in it, an handful of cusa grass, or a copy of the Veda: with a pair of bright golden rings in his ears. He must not gaze on the sun, whether rising or setting, or eclipsed, or reflected in water, or advanced to the middle of the sky. Over a string to which a calf is tied, let him not step; nor let him run while it rains; nor let him look on his own image in water: this is a settled rule. By a mound of earth, by a cow, by an idol, by a Brahmen, by a pot of clarified butter or of honey, by a place where four ways meet, and by large trees well known in the district, let him pass with his right hand toward them, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39.
Let him neither eat with his wife, nor look at her eating, nor sneezing, or yawning, or sitting carelessly at her ease, 43.
Some precepts are ludicrous, “Let him not eat his food, wearing only a single cloth, nor let him bathe quite naked; nor let him eject urine or feces in the highway, nor on ashes, nor where kinc are grazing, nor on tilled ground, nor in water, nor on wood raised for burning, nor, unless he be in great need, on a mountain, nor on the ruins of a temple, nor at any time on a nest of white ants, nor in ditches with living creatures in them, nor walking, nor standing, nor on the bank of a river, nor on the summit of a mountain: nor let him ever eject them, looking at things moved by the wind, or at fire, or at a priest, or at the sun, or at water, or at cattle: But let him void his excrements, having covered the earth with wood, pot-herbs, dry leaves and grass, or the like, carefully suppressing his utterance, wrapping up his breast and his head: By day let him void them with his face to the north; by night, with his face to the south; at sunrise and sunset, in the same manner as by day; In the shade or darkness, whether by day or by night, let a Brahmen ease nature with his face turned as he pleases; and in places where he fears injury to life from wild beasts or from reptiles,” 45 to 51.
“Let not a man, desirous to enjoy long life, stand upon hair, nor upon ashes, bones, or potsherds, nor upon seeds of cotton, nor upon husks of grain,” 78.
An infinite number of things relative to food are to be attended to, 207 to 225.
661. A man is nevertheless forbidden to marry before his elder brother. Ibid. 172. But if among several brothers of the whole blood, one have a son born, Menu pronounces them all fathers of a male child, by means of that son. Ibid. 182. There is a singular importance attached to the having of a son: “By a son a man obtains victory over all people; by a son's son he enjoys immortality; and afterwards by a son of that grandson he reaches the solar abode.” Ibid. 137. Kinsmen, as among the Jews, were allowed to raise up seed to one another. Not only was a widow, left without children, permitted to conceive by a kinsman of her husband; but even before his death, if he was supposed to be attacked by an incurable disease. Ibid. ix. 59, 162, 164. A daughter, too, when a man had no sons, might be appointed for the same purpose. Ibid. 127. In Egypt, in the same manner, a widow left without children cohabited with the brother of the deceased. Recherches Philosoph, sur les Egyptiens et les Chinois, i. 70.
662. Institutes of Menu, ch. iii. 27 to 34. The crimes implied in the last two cases must have been frequent to make them be distinguished formally in books of sacred law as two species of marriage.
663. Ibid. 12, 13.
664. Institutes of Menu, ch. iii. 6 to 10.
665. This important subject is amply and philosophically illustrated by Professor Millar, in his Inquiry into the Distinction of Ranks, ch. i.
666. Histoire Generale des Voyages, tom. v. liv. x. ch. iii.
667. Ibid. tom. vi. liv. xiii. ch. iii. sect. 2, and tom. iv. liv. vii. ch. xiii. sect. 1.
668. See Inquiry into the Distinction of Ranks, ch. i. sect. 1. They were admitted to inheritance among the Jews plainly as a novelty; and an institution unknown to their neighbours. Numbers, ch. xxvii.
669. See the authorities quoted by Millar, Distinction of Ranks, ch. i. sect. 1; and Goguet, Origin of Laws, i. 25, 26.
670. Institutes of Menu, ch. ix. 2.
671. Ibid. 3, 6.
672. Ibid. v. 147, 148.
673. Institutes of Menu, ch. v. 154, 155.
674. Ibid. ix. 78.
675. Ibid. 46.
676. Ibid. ch. viii. 299, 300. Beating their wives is a common discipline. See Buchanan's Journey, i. 247, 249.
677. Institutes of Menu, ix. 16, 17.
678. Wilkins’ Hotopadesa, p. 54.
679. Ibid. p. 78. In Halhed's Code of Gentoo Laws, the character of women is depicted in terms which, were they not strong evidence to an important point, delicacy would forbid to be transcribed: “A woman,” says the law, “is never no more than fire is satisfied with burning fuel, or the main ocean with receiving the rivers, or the empire of death with the dying of men and animals: in these cases therefore a woman is not to be relied on.” (Gentoo Code; ch. xx.) “Women have six qualities; the first an inordinate desire for jewels and fine furniture, handsome clothes, and nice victuals; the second, immoderate lust; the third, violent anger; the fourth, deep resentment; the fifth, another person's good appears evil in their eyes; the sixth, they commit bad actions.” (Ibid.) Six faults are likewise ascribed to women, in the Institutes of Menu, but they are differently stated; “Drinking spirituous liquors, associating with evil persons, absence from her husband, rambling abroad, unseasonable sleep, and dwelling in the house of another, are six faults which bring infamy on a married woman. Such women examine not beauty, nor pay attention to age; whether their lover be handsome or ugly, they think it enough that he is a man, and pursue their pleasures. Through their passion for men, their mutable temper, their want of settled affection, and their perverse nature (let them be guarded in this world ever so well,) they soon become alienated from their husbands.” Institutes of Menu, ch. ix. 13, 14, 15.
680. See Institutes of Menu, quoted in note 1, p. 386.
681. Institutes of Menu, ch. ix. 18, 19.
682. Halhed's Gentoo code, ch. iii. sect. 8.
683. See ch. iv. p. 214; Menu, ch. iv. 43.
684. The Hindu women, says Mr. Forster, (Travels, i. 59,) are debarred the use of letters. The Hindus hold the invariable language, that acquired accomplishments are not necessary to the domestic classes of the female sex.
685. “The husband and wife never eat together; for the Indians consider it as indecent, and contrary to that respect which is due to the former.” Bartolomeo's Travels, book i. ch. 7. Sonnerat says, “The women are ugly, slovenly, and disgusting. The husband does not permit them to eat with him. They are honourable slaves, for whom some regard is entertained.” Voy. liv. iii. ch. i. “So indelicate are the men with respect to the women,” says Mr. Motte, speaking of the province of Sumbhulpoor, “that I have been introduced and obliged to show respect to a man of consequence in the morning, whose wife has in the afternoon brought a load of wood of her own cutting, as much as she could stagger under, and sold it me for a penny.” Motte's Journey to Orissa, Asiatic Annual Register, i. 76. In another part of the same Journey, p. 67, Mr. Motte says, “I was first struck with the sight of women ploughing, while their female children drove the oxen; but this is the practice through the whole mountainous country, while the men, strolling through the forests with a spear and hatchet, plunder every thing they can master. This abuse of the fair sex is characteristic of a barbarous people.”
The Hindus are quite accustomed to beat their wives. Buchanan, Travels in Mysore, &c. i. 247, 249. Women in Karnata carry out the dung to the fields, in baskets on their heads. Ibid. 135, 42. The Abbé Dubois describes the following, as the common, the standard condition of conjugal life: “the young wife, beaten by her husband, and harassed by her mother-in-law, who treats her as a slave, finding no remedy for ill usage but in flying to her father's house—recalled by fair promises of kinder treatment—the word broken—recourse had to the same remedy—but at last the children which she brings into the world, and other circumstances, compelling her to do her best, by remaining in her husband's house, with the show of being contented with her lot. . . . . The object for which a Hindu marries is not to gain a companion to aid him in enduring the evils of life, but a slave to bear children, and be subservient to his rule.” Description, &c. of the People of India, p. 145.
686. Halhed's Gentoo code, ch. xx.
687. See above, p. 386. Even after the death of her husband, if she did not sacrifice herself to his manes, she was held inviolably bound to his memory; and, besides other penances and mortifications of the severest kind, was expressly forbidden to accept of a second husband. Institutes of Menu, ch. v. 157, 158, 162, 163. The same mark of bondage and inferiority was imposed on the Athenian women during the barbarous times of Greece. Goguet, Origin of Laws, ii. 59. Mr. Richardson, who is one of the most nervous in assertion, and the most feeble in proof, of all oriental enthusiasts, maintains that the women enjoyed high consideration among the Arabians and Persians, nay among the very Tartars; so generally was civilization diffused in Asia. In proof, he tells us that the Arabian women “had a right by the laws to the enjoyment of independent property, by inheritance, by gift, by marriage settlement, or by any other mode of acquisition.” The evidence he adduces of these rights is three Arabian words; which signify a marriage portion, paraphernalia in the disposal of the wife, a marriage settlement. (See Richardson's Dissertations on the Languages, Literature, and Manners of Eastern Nations, pp. 198, 331, 479.) But surely a language may possess three words, of the signification which he assigns, and yet the women of the people who use it be in a state of melancholy degradation. In the times of Homer, though a wife was actually purchased from her father, still the father gave with her a dower. Iliad. lib. ix. ver. 147, 148. If the Tartars carry their women with them in their wars, and even consult them, “the north American tribes,” says Mr. Millar, “are often accustomed to admit their women into their public councils, and even to allow them the privilege of being first called to give their opinion upon every subject of deliberation. . . . . Yet,” as he adds immediately after, “there is no country in the world where the female sex are in general more neglected and despised.” See Distinction of Ranks, ch. i sect. 2. From insulated expressions, or facts, no general conclusion can safely be drawn.
688. Wilkins’ Hetopadesa, p. 248.
689. Institutes of Menu, ch. iii. 55, 57.
690. Ib. 59.
691. “Let no father who knows the law receive a gratuity, however small, for giving his daughter in marriage; since the man who through avarice takes a gratuity for that purpose, is a seller of his offspring.” Institutes of Menu, ch. iii. 51.
692. Ibid. 53.
693. Ibid. ch. ix. 93.
694. Ibid. viii. 204. Our travellers find direct and avowed purchase still in practice in many parts of India. See Buchanan's Journey through Mysore, &c. i. 247, 249. “To marry, or to buy a wife, are synonymous terms in this country. Almost every parent makes his daughter an article of traffic. This practice of purchasing the young women whom they are to marry, is the inexhaustible source of disputes and litigation, particularly amongst the poorer people. These, after the marriage is solemnized, not finding it convenient to pay the stipulated sum, the father-in-law commences an action,” &c. Description, &c. of the Hindus, by the Abbé Dubois, p. 137. “Apud plerasque tamen gentes dotem maritus uxori, non uxor marito offerebat. Ista sane consuetudo viguit inter Germanos, teste Tacito (de Mor. Germ. cap. 18)—Assyrios, teste Æliano, (Hist. Var. iv. 1)—Babylomos, teste Herodot. (i. 196)—et Armenios, ceu patet ex Nou. xxi. Heineccii Antiquit. Roman. lib. ii. tit. viii. sect. 2.
695. Institutes of Menu, ch. v. 152. The commentator Culiuca, after the words first gift, by his usual plan, of trying to graft the ideas of a recent period, improved a little by external intercourse, upon the original text, has foisted in the words, or troth plighted, as if that was a gift, or, as if, had that been meant, the legislator would not have rather said troth plighted, than first gift. See what I have observed on the interpolating practices of Culluca, Note A. at the end of the volume, p. 429.
696. Ibid. ch. ix. 88, 90, 93.
697. Mr. Forster declares himself to have been at one time of opinion, that the Hindoos had secluded their women from the public view that they might not be exposed to the intemperance of the Mahometan conquerors; but after perceiving, says he, the usage adopted among the sequestered mountaineers, and also among the various independent Mahrattah states, I am induced to think that the exclusion of women from society prevailed in India before the period of the Afgan, or Tartar invasions. Forster's Travels, i. 310.
698. See a translation of part of the Bhagavat by Mr. Halhed, in Maurice's Hist. of Hindostan, ii. 438.
699. See Sacontala in Sir William Jones's Works, vi. The rajah of Beejanuggur's harem was kept so close, that not even the nearest relations of the women received in it were ever again permitted to see them. Ferishta's Deccan, by Scott, i. 83. Nor is this mentioned as any thing unusual.
700. Institutes of Menu, ch. viii. 374 to 385.
701. Such is the account which Dr. Buchanan received from a number of the most respectable Nairs themselves, whom he assembled for the purpose of inquiring into their manners. See his Journey through Mysore, &c. ii. 411, 412. It was a practice, the continuance of which was highly convenient for the Brahmens, whose power among the inhabitants of that coast was peculiarly great. Ibid. 425. See also Mr. Thackeray's Report, Fifth Report of the Committee on India Affairs, 1810, p. 802.
702. The reader will find some observations, but evidently incorrect, taken from an Arabian author, by Mr. Duncan, Asiat. Research. v. 12, 13, 14. Dr. Buchanan too makes some remarks, on the modes of the Brahmens. Journey, ut supra, ii. 425; and mentions certain diversities between the manners of the Nairs themselves in the south, and in the north of Malabar, Ibid. 513. See too Bartolomeo's Travels, book ii. ch. ii. and Anquetil Duperron, Zendavesta, Discours Preliminaire, p. cxcvi. Vestiges of the same order of affairs are very widely diffused. Cecrops first instituted marriage among the Greeks; Menes among the Egyptians. Among the Lycians, and even among the ancient inhabitants of Attica, children took their names from their mother, and not from their father. The domestic community of women among the Celtic inhabitants of Britain was a diversity, to which something very similar is said to exist among some of the castes on the coast of Malabar. “There is in the province of Madura,” says the Abbé Dubois, p. 3, “a cast called the Totiyars, in which, brothers, uncles, and nephews, and other kindred, when married, enjoy the wives in common.” Indications of the same state are preserved by the Roman lawyers. In the island of Formosa, where the women contract a marriage for any stipulated period, the husband, during the time of the contract, passes into the family of the wife; a custom, likewise, found among the people called Moxos in Peru. In the Ladrone islands the wife is mistress of the family, turns off the husband when she chooses, and retains the children and property. In the ancient Median empire we are told that the women had several husbands; and the same is the case in some cantons of the Iroquois in North America. See the authorities quoted by Millar, Distinction of Ranks, ch. i. sect. 2. where this part of the subject is illustrated with the usual sagacity of that eminent author. See too Goguet's Origin of Laws, book i. ch. i. art. 1. We are told by Herodotus, that the Massagetæ had their women in common; and a man, when he desired to be private, hung up his quiver at the door of the waggon or travelling tent. Herodot. i. 216. A people in Africa, whom he calls Nasamones, were in like manner without the rite of marriage, and a staff stuck in the ground before the tent was the signal of retirement. Ibid. iv. 172. The reader will probably not be surprised to hear, that the tradition of the casual intercourse of the sexes was preserved among the Indians of Peru. “In short,” (says Garcilasso de la Vega, Royal Commentaries, book i. ch. vii.) “they were altogether savage,” (meaning the inhabitants in their ancient state) “making use of their women as they accidentally met, understanding no property or single enjoyment of them.”—A woman, not married to an individual, but common to all the brothers of a family, is described as the custom of Tibet. See Turner's Embassy.
703. Dr. Henry, in his chapter on the manners of the Anglo-Saxons, says, “It would be easy to produce many examples of rudeness and indelicacy, that were established by law, and practised, even in courts of justice, (if they were not unbecoming the purity which history ought to preserve) which would hardly be believed in the present age.” Henry's Hist. of Great Britain, iv. 344. He then quotes the following specimen in a note: Si mulier stuprata lege cum viro agere velit, et si vir factum pernegaverit, mulier, membro virili sinistrâ prehenso, et dextrâ reliquils sanctorum impositâ, juret super illas, quod is, per vim, se isto membro vitiaverit. Leges Wallicæ, p. 85.
704. Naked fakeers travel in pilgrimage about the country, and swarm around the principal temples. It is customary for the women to kiss, and as it were to adore, their secret, or rather public parts.
705. See the whole Section in Halhed's Gentoo Code, De digito in pudendum muliebre inserendo, or the various passages de concubitu virili, vel etiam concubitu bestiah.
706. Wilkins’ Hetopadesa, note 82.
707. A Tour to Sheerez, by Edward Scott Waring, Esq. p. 62. He further says; “The same may be observed of the inhabitants of India, nor will the plea, that the false delicacy of refinement, which disqualifies us from judging of the language of nature, exempt them from censure. If the nakedness of a prostitute be more disgusting than that of an Indian, it must be allowed that their language is infinitely chaster and more refined. There are certain images which must always create disgust and aversion; and although they are familiar in the East, it is by no means evident that they are the images of nature. There may be a refinement on grossness of vice as well as an excess of delicacy, and it does not follow that the one is natural, and the other unnatural. Ibid. See the Missionaries, Ward and Dubois, passim.
708. Dr. Forster, in a note to Father Paulini's (Bartolomeo) Travels, remarks a great similarity, in many respects, between the manners of the Hindus and those of the Otaheitans.
709. Ferguson's Essay on Civil Society, part ii. sect. 2. “The Russians” (says Mr. Forster, Travels, ii. 296) “observe to their superiors an extreme submission, and their deportment is blended with a suavity of address and language, which is not warranted by their appearance, or the opinions generally formed of them.” The common people in Russia, says Lord Macartney (Account of Russia by Lord Macartney, in Barrow's Life of that Lord, ii. 30) “are handsome in their persons, easy and unaffected in their behaviour; and though free and manly in their carriage, are obedient and submissive to their superiors, and of a civility and politeness to their equals, which is scarcely to be paralleled.” The following passage is from a work entitled “Travels into the Crimea, [and] a History of the Embassy from St. Petersburgh to Constantinople in 1793, by a Secretary of the Russian Embassy.” “In the course of my rambles I have had frequent occasions of experiencing the politeness of the Turks, which proves to me that this nation is extremely well-disposed and inclined to oblige, and that the climate alone is the cause of the idleness and indifference with which they are reproached. The Turk, when offended, or provoked to jealousy, becomes terrible, and nothing but the blood of his adversary can calm the passion which transports him. During my excursions in the environs of Constantinople I was frequently a witness of the obliging and hospitable propensities of this people. The first Turk 1 applied to when I wanted directions in regard to the road I was to take, always offered himself as a guide, and with the same readiness presented to me a part of his food or refreshment.” “The more the Turks are known, the more they are beloved for their cordiality, their frankness, and their excessive kindness to strangers. I am not afraid to assert, that, in many respects, they may serve as models to my countrymen.” Pp. 201, 237.
710. It would be easy to produce many testimonies to the propensity of the natives to adulation. Bernier, who speaks of it in the strongest terms, gives us the following amusing instance: “Un Pendet Brahmen que j'avois fait mettre an service de mon Agah, se voulut meler, en entrant, de faire son panegyrique; et, apres l'avoir comparé aux plus grands conquerans qui furent jamais, et lui avoir dit cent grossieres et impertinentes flatteries, concluoit enfin serieusement par celle-cy: Lorsque vous mettez le pied dans l’estrier, Seigneur, et que vous marchez à cheval avec votre cavalerie, la terre tremble sous vos pas, les huit elephans qui la supportent sur leurs tetes ne poavant soutenir ce grand effort. Je ne pus me tenir de rire la dessus, et je tachois de dire serieusement à mon Agah, qui ne pouvoit aussi s’en tenir, qu’il seroit done fort a-propos qu’il ne montat a cheval que fort rarement pour empescher les tremblemens de terre qui causent souvent de si grands malheurs; Aussi est-ce pour cela meme, me repondit-il sans hesiter, que je m’en fais ordinairement porter en paleky.” Bernier, Suite des Memoires sur l’Empire de Grand Mogol, i. 12.
711. For a strong testimony to the extent to which dissimulation pervades the Hindu character, see Orme, on the Government and People of Hindustan, p. 428. “L’Indien qui vit sous ce gouvernment en suit les impressions. Obligé de ramper il devient fourbe.” Anquetil Duperron, Voy. aux Indes Orien. Zendav. i. ccclxii.
712. Sir Wm. Jones's Charge to the Grand Jury at Calcutta, June 10, 1787.
713. Id. June 10, 1785.
714. Id. 1787.—“La facilité que le peuple de l’Orient ont à mentir,” is given by P. Paulini, as the cause of the trial by ordeal, so common in Hindustan. Voyage aux Indes Orient. par le P. Paulini, (the French edition of Bartolomeo) ii. 103. Mr. Orme says, “The Gentoos are infamous for the want of generosity and gratitude in all the commerces of friendship; they are a tricking, deceitful people, in all their dealings.” (On the Government and People of Hindustan, p. 434.)
Dr. Buchanan ridicules the expression of Sir William Jones, when he talks of the simple Pandits: a race whose chief characteristic is deceit and cunning. (As. Res. vi. 185.)
“‘What is a Brahman,’ I was one day asked, in a jocular way, by one of that cast with whom I was intimately acquainted: ‘He is an ant's nest of lies and impostures.’ It is not possible to describe them better in so few words. All Hindus are expert in disguising the truth; but there is nothing in which the cast of Brahmans so much surpasses them all as in the art of lying. It has taken so deep a root among them, that so far from blushing when detected in it, many of them make it their boast.” Dubois, p. 177. On their propensity to adulation, see the same author, p. 178. On the fraud and perjury of the Hindus, consult Ward, ut supra, Introd. lix. and xciii.
715. Buchanan's Journey through Mysore, &c. i. 167.
716. Indian Recreations, ii. 329.
717. Stavorinus’ Voyage, 1768 to 1771; Wilcock's Translation, London, 1798, p. 153. Dr. Tennant explains more fully, that only species of assistance which, according to Stavorinus, a Hindu receives even from his relations. “When a sick person's life is despaired of, he is carried by his relations to the bank of the river; and there, exposed to the storm, or the intense heat of the sun, he is permitted, or rather forced, to resign his breath. His mouth, nose, and ears, are closely stopped with the mud of the river; large vessels of water are kept pouring upon him; and it is amidst the agonies of disease, and the convulsive struggles of suffocation, that the miserable Hindoo bids adieu to his relations, and to his present existence.” (Indian Recreations, i. 108.) Describing the apathy with which, during a famine, the Hindus beheld one another perishing of hunger, Stavorinus says, “In the town of Chinsuiah itself, a poor sick Bengalese, who had laid himself down in the street, without any assistance being offered to him by any body, was attacked in the night by the jackals, and though he had strength enough to cry out for help, no one would leave his own abode to deliver the poor wretch, who was found in the morning half-devoured and dead.” Stavorinus, ut supra, p. 153. It is highly worthy of attention, that the same inhumanity, hard-heartedness, and the greatest insensibility to the feelings of others, is described, as the character of the Chinese. (See Barrow's China, p. 164.)
718. Le Couteur's Letters from India, London, 1790, p. 320. When the exactions of government press hard, Dr. Tennant says, “the ryuts, (husbandmen) driven to despair, are forced to take up robbery for a subsistence; and when once accustomed to this wandering and irregular life it becomes ever after impossible to reclaim them to industry, or to any sense of moral duty. We had yesterday a melancholy example of the daring profligacy of which they are capable: An officer who rode out only a mile beyond the piquets, was attacked by a party of five horsemen; in the midst of a friendly conversation, one stabbed him in the breast with a spear, which brought him to the ground; then the others robbed him of his watch, his horse, and every article of his clothing. In this naked state he arrived at the piquet, covered with blood; and had he not been able to walk thus far, he must have fared worse than the man who, ‘between Jerusalem and Jericho fell among thieves,’ since here there is no one ‘good samaritan’ to pity the unfortunate.” (Indian Recreations. ii. 375.)
Buchanan, ut supra, i. 53; ii. 201, 202; iii. 300. Destitute persons, or persons in a famine, become the property of those who feed them. (Tennant's Ind. Recr. i. 131.)
719. See a celebrated passage of the Mahabarat, translated by Mr. Halhed, in Maurice's Indian Hist. ii. 468.
720. Wilkins’ Hetopadesa, p. 131.
721. Gentoo Code, ch. xxi. sect. 10.
722. Grant on the Hindus, p. 54. Printed by order of the House of Commons, 1812.
723. Gentoo Code, ch. xxi. sect 10. A very intelligent servant of the East India Company, speaking of the Hindus in a situation where they had hardly ever been exposed to the influence of strangers, Sumbhulpoor, says, “The men are low in stature, but well-made, lazy, treacherous, and cruel. But to these ill qualities of the tiger, the Almighty has also, in his mercy, added the cowardice of that animal; for had they an insensibility of danger, equal to their inclination for mischeif, the rest of mankind would unite to hunt them down.” (Motte's Journey to Orissa, Asiat. An. Reg. i. 76.) “Pestilence or beasts of prey,” says Dr. Buchanan, “are gentle in comparison with Hindu robbers, who, in order to discover concealed property, put to the torture all those who fall into their hands.” (Travels through Mysore, &c. iii. 206.)
724. Remarquez que les tems les plus superstitieux ont toujours été ceux des plus horribles crimes. (Voltaire, Diction. Philos. Article Superstition.)
725. La lacheté accompagne ordinairement la mollesse. Aussi l’Indien est-il foible et timide. (Anquetil Duperron Voyage aux Indes Orien. Zendav. p. cxvii.) This timidity admits of degrees. It is in its greatest perfection in Bengal. In the upper provinces, both the corporeal and the mental frame are more hardy. Those of the race who are habituated to the dangers of war acquire, of course, more or less of insensibility to them. Still the feature is not only real, but prominent.
726. Orme, on the Government and People of Indostan, p. 443.—In the committee of the House of Commons, 1781, on the petition of John Touchet, &c., Charles W. Boughton Rouse, Esqr. testified that “there cannot be a race of men upon earth more litigious and clamorous than the inhabitants of Dacca.” Mr. Park takes notice of the passion of the negroes in Africa for law suits, and adds: “If I may judge from their harangues which I frequently attended, I believe that in the forensic qualifications of procrastination and cavil, and the arts of confounding and perplexing a cause, they are not always surpassed by the ahlest pleaders in Europe.” Park's Travels in Africa, p. 20. Dr. Robertson was sadly mistaken, when he considered the litigious subtlety of the Hindus as a sign of high civilization. See Robertson's Historic. Disq. concerning India, p. 217. Travellers have remarked that no where is this subtlety carried higher than among the wildest of the Irish.
727. Tenanut's Indian Recreations, i. 123. The following character drawn by a missionary, a man who knew them well, unites most of the particulars which I have hitherto described of the character of this remarkable people. Les Indous sont agiles, adroits, d'un caractere doux, d'un esprit penetrant; ils aiment les phrases et les locutions pittoresques; ils parlent avec elegance, font de longs discours, se decident, dans leurs affaires, avec une lenteur extrême, examinent attentivement, et conçoivent avec facilité; ils sont modestes dans leurs discourse, inconstans dans leurs paroles, faciles a promettre et difficiles à tenir leurs promesses, importuns dans leurs demandes, et ingrats après qu’ils les out obtenu; humble et soumis quand ils craignent, orgueilleux et hautains quand ils sont les plus forts; paisibles et dissimulés quand ils ne peuvent se venger, implacables et vindicatifs des que l’occasion s’en presente. J'ai vu beaucoup de familles se ruiner par des procés devant les tribunaux, seulement par esprit de vengeance.” (Voyage aux Indes Orientales, par le P. Paulini, i. 293.) “Their utmost feuds,” says Fryer, “are determined by the dint of the tongue; to scold lustily, and to pull one another's puckeries or turbats off, being proverbially termed a banyan fight. Nevertheless they are implacable till a secret and sure revenge fall upon their adversary, either by maliciously plotting against their life, by clancular dealings; or estate, by unlawful and unjust extortions.” (Fryer's Travels, let. iii. ch. iii.)
728. Orme, on the Effeminacy of the Inhabitants of Indostan, p. 461 to 465. Stavorinus’ Voyages, p. 407. There is however considerable variety, as in the stature, so in the strength of the Hindus; and the one, as might be expected, follows the other. The following is a striking and important fact: “In Indostan, the common people of all sorts are a diminutive race, in comparison with those of higher casts and better fortunes; and yield still more to them in all the advantages of physiognomy. There is not a handsomer race in the universe, than the Banians of Guzerat: the Haramcores whose business is to remove all kinds of filth; and the buryers and burners of dead bodies are as remarkably ugly.” Orme, ut supra, p. 463. There cannot be a more convincing proof, that a state of extreme oppression, even of stunted subsistence, has at all times been the wretched lot of the labouring classes in Hindustan.
729. Orme, on the Government and People of Indostan, p. 470. Forster's Travels, i. 40. The demand of the American tribes for food was very like that of the Hindus, in point of quantity. Roberson's Hist. of America, ii. 63. The contrivances of the American Indians for food were far more ingenious; and productive of more variety, than those of the Hindus, Ibid. p. 118. It would appear from Sacontala, that anciently much scruple was not used in eating flesh. Madhavya, complaining of the hardships he sustained in the hunting party of the king, says, “Are we hungry? We must greedily devour lean venison, and that commonly roasted to a stick.”
730. Orme, on the Effeminacy of the Inhab. of Indostan, ubi supra.
731. Tennant's Indian Recreations, i. 15, 55, 102, 215. Forster's Travels, i. 193. “L’Indien est naturellement doux, mais d'une douceur de nonchalance et de paresse.” Anq. Duperron, Zendavesta, Disc. Prelim. p. cxvii.
732. The Birmans, robust and active, present a striking contrast with the feeble indolence of the Hindus. Vide Syme's Embassy to Ava. “Having witnessed,” says Mr. Forster, “the robust activity of the people of this country (Northern Persia) and Afghanistan, I am induced to think, that the human body may sustain the most laborious services, without the aid of animal food. The Afghan, whose sole aliment is bread, curdled milk and water, inhabiting a climate which often produces in one day, extreme heat and cold, shall undergo as much fatigue, and exert as much strength, as the porter of London, who copiously feeds on fleshmeat, and ale; nor is he subject to the like acute and obstinate disorders. It is a well known fact, that the Arabs of the shore of the Red Sea, who live, with little exception, on dates and lemons, carry burthens of such an extraordinary weight, that its specific mention to an European ear would seem romance.” Forster's Travels, ii. 142, 143.
733. There is a curious passage, quoted by Volney, (Travels in Syria, ch. xl.) from Hippocrates, in his Treatise de Aere, Locis, et Aquis. “As to the effeminacy and indolence of the Asiatics, says the ancient, if they are less warlike and more gentle in their manners than the Europeans, no doubt the nature of their climate, more temperate than ours, contributes greatly to this difference. But we must not forget their governments which are all despotic, and subject every thing to the arbitrary will of their kings. Men who are not permitted the enjoyment of their natural rights, but whose passions are perpetually under the guidance of their masters, will never be found courageous in battle. To them the risks and advantages of war are by no means equal. But let them combat in their own cause, and reap the reward of their victory, or feel the shame of their defeat, they will no longer be deficient in courage.” Volney remarks that the sluggishness and apathy visible among the Hindus, negroes, &c, is approached, if not equalled, by what is witnessed in Russia, Poland, Hungary, &c. Ibid. “The lower classes of people in India, says Dr. Buchanan, are like children; and except in the more considerable places, where they meet with uncommon encouragement to industry from Europeans, are generally in such a state of apathy, that without the orders of Government, they will hardly do any thing.” Buchanan's Journey through Mysore, &c. i. 270. “If we contemplate a savage nation in any part of the globe, a supine indolence and a carelessness of futurity, will be found to constitute their general character.” Gibbon, i. 356.
734. Tennant's Indian Recreations, i. 367.
735. Gentoo Code, chap. i. sect. 1. “So relaxed are the principles even of the richer natives, that actions have been brought by an opulent Hindu for money advanced solely to support a common gaming-house, in the profits of which he had a considerable share; and the transaction was avowed by him with as much confidence, as if it had been perfectly justifiable by our laws and his own.” Charge to the Grand Jury of Calcutta, Dec. 4, 1788. Gaming is remarked as a strong characteristic of the Chinese. See Barrow's Life of Lord Macartney, ii. 415. Travels in China, p. 157. It is a remarkable passion among the Malays. See Marsden's Sumatra.
736. Turner's Hist. of the Anglo Saxons, book viii. ch. vii.
737. See Barrow, and other travellers. Bell's Travels, ii. 30.
738. Clavigero, Hist. of Mexico, book vii. sect. 46.
739. Gentoo Code, p. 118.
740. Tennant's Indian Recreations, i. 367.
741. Story-telling is a common amusement among the negroes of Africa. “These stories,” says Mr. Parke, bear some resemblance to those in the Arabian Nights’ Entertainments; but, in general, are of a more ludicrous cast.” Park's Travels in Africa, p. 31.
742. Tennant's Indian Recreations, i. 367, and other travellers. Hunting, which delights other men chiefly in their ignorant and uncivilized state, seems to delight kings in all states.
743. Dr. Buchanan, who bears strong testimony to the prevalence of this disposition among the Hindus, says, the Nairs are a sort of an exception. He ascribes this peculiarity to the peculiar form given among them to the association of the sexes. Journey through Mysore, &c. ii. 411.
744. The following acute observation of Helvetius goes far to account for it. “Ce que j’observe, c’est qu’il est des pays ou le desir d’immenses richesses devient raisonnable. Ce sont ceux ou les taxes sont arbitraires, et par consequent les possessions incertaines, ou les renversemens de fortune sont frequens; ou, comme en Orient, le prince peut impunément s’emparer des proprietés de ses sujets.—Dans ce pays, si l’on desire les tresors de Ambouleasant, c’est que toujours exposé à les perdre, on espere au moms tirer des debris d'une grande fortune de quoi subsister soi et sa famille. Partout ou la loi sans force ne peut proteger le foible contre le puissant, on puet regarder l’opulence comme un moyen de se soustraire aux injustices, aux vexations du fort, au mepris enfin, compagnon de la foiblesse. On desire donc une grande fortune comme une protectrice et un bouclier contre les oppresseurs.” De l’Homme, sect. viii. chap. v.
745. Orme, on the Government and People of Indostan, p. 431.—“L’Indien qui vit sous ce gouvernement en suit les impressions. Obligé de ramper, il devient fourbe. ∗ ∗ ∗ Il se permet l'usure et la fraude dans le commerce.” Anquet Duperron, Zendavesta, Disc. Prelim. p. cxvii.—“The chief pleasure of the Gentiles or Banyans is to cheat one another, conceiving therein the highest felicity.” Frayer's Travels, let. iii. chap. iii.
746. Wilkins’ Hetopadesa, p. 63. The last of these maxims is not less expressive of that want of generosity, which is so strong a feature of the Hindu character. In the ethics, however, of the Hindus, as well as their jurisprudence and theology, contradiction is endless. In the same page with the foregoing is the following maxim; He who, in opposition to his own happiness, delighteth in the accumulation of riches, carrieth burthens for others, and is the vehicle of trouble.” Ibid.
747. Tennant's Indian Recreations, ii. 232. Lord's Banyan Religion, chap. xxii. The same or a similar mode of transacting bargains is followed in Persia. Chardin, Voyage en Perse, iii. 122. “The merchants, besides being frequently very dexterous in the addition and subtraction of large sums by memory, have a singular method of numeration, by putting their hands into each other's sleeve, and there, touching one another with this or that finger, or with such a particular joint of it, will transact affairs of the greatest value, without speaking to one another, or letting the standers by into the secret.” Shaw's Travels in Barbary, p. 267.
748. Sonnerat, Voyages, liv. iii. chap. 1.
749. Sonnerat, Ibid.; Fryer's Travels, let. iv. chap. 6.
750. P. Paulini, Voy. Indes Orient. liv. i. ch. 7. Fryer, who represents the houses of the Moors, or Musselmen, at Surat, as not deficient even in a sort of magnificence, says, humourously, that “the Banyans” (Hindu merchants, often extremely rich) “for the most part live in humble cells or sheds, crowding three or four families together into an hovel, with goats, cows, and calves, all chamber fellows, that they are almost poisoned with vermin and nastiness; so stupid, that, notwithstanding chints, fleas, and musketoes, torment them every minute, dare not presume to scratch when it itches, lest some relation should be un-tenanted from its miserable abode.” Fryer's Travels, let. iii. chap. i.
751. Forester's Travels, i. 32. Of Lucknow too, he remarks, the streets are narrow, aneven, and almost choaked up with every species of filth. Ibid. p. 82. Speaking of Serinagur, he says, “The streets are choaked with the filth of the inhabitants, who are proverbially unclean.” Ibid. See to the same purpose, Rennel's Description of an Indian Town, Memoir, p. 58.
752. Buchanan's Journey through Mysore, &c. ii. 14. He remarks, too, iii. 341, that the unwholesomeness of the water in many places is, “in part, to be attributed to the common nastiness of the Hindus, who wash their clothes, bodies, and cattle, in the very tanks or wells from which they take their own drink; and, wherever the water is scanty, it becomes from this cause extremely disgusting to a European.”
753. Tour to Sheeraz, by Ed. Scott Waring, p. 59, note.—“Their nastiness,” says Dr. Buchanan, “is disgusting; very few of the inhabitants above the Ghats being free from the itch; and their linen being almost always dyed, is seldom washed.” Travels through Mysore, &c. i. 135.—See, too, Capt. Hardwicke, Asiat. Res. vi. 330. The authors of the Universal History describe with pure and picturesque simplicity one pretty remarkable custom of the Hindus. “The women scruple no more than the men to do their occasions in the public streets or highways: for which purpose at sun-rise and sun-set, they go out in droves to some dead wall, if in the city; and in case any pass by in the interim, they turn their bare backsides on them, but hide their faces. When they have done their business, they wash their parts with the left hand, because they eat with the right. The men, who exoncrate apart from the women, squat like them when they make water. Ahhough their food is nothing but vegetables concocted with fair water, yet they leave such a stink behind them, that it is but ill taking the air, either in the streets, or without the towns, near the rivers and ditches.” vi. 263. Yet these authors, with the same breath, assure us that the Hindus are a cleanly people, because, and this is their sole reason, they wash before and after meals, and leave no hair on their bodies. Ibid. See to the same purpose, Fryer's Travels, let. iv. chap. vi.
754. See a curious description of the excess to which the minute frivolities of behaviour are carried both among the Moors and Hindus, by Mr. Orme, on the Government and People of Indostan, pp. 425 and 431. See, also, Laws of Menu, ch. ii. 120 to 139.
755. Gentoo Code, ch. xxi. sect. 10.
756. Ibid.
757. Tennant's Indian Recreations, i. 254.
758. Wilkins’ Hetopadesa, note, p. 269. The unceremonious Fryer says, the principal science of the Brahmen is magic and astrology. Travels, let. iv. ch. vi. Of the astonishing degree to which the Indians of all descriptions are devoted to astrology, see a lively description by Bernier, Suite des Memoires sur l’Empire de Grand Mogol, i. 12 à 14. “Les rois, et les seigneurs,” says he, “qui n’entreprendroient la moindre chose qui’ils n’eussent consultez les astrologues, leur donnent de grands appointments pour lire ce qui est ecrit dans le ciel.” Ibid. “The savages,” says Mallet, (Introd. to the Hist. of Denmark, i. ch. i.) “whom the Danes have found on the coast of Greenland, live with great union and tranquillity. They are neither quarrelsome, nor mischievous, nor warlike; being greatly afraid of those that are. Theft, blows, and murder, are almost unknown to them. They are chaste before marriage, and love their children tenderly. Their simplicity hath not been able to preserve them from having priests, who pass among them for enchanters; and are in truth very great and dexterous cheats.”
759. See an account of this shocking part of the manners of the Hindus in the Asiat. An. Regist. for 1801, Miscellaneous Tracts, p. 91.
760. Colebrooke on the Religious Ceremonies of the Hindus, Asiat. Research. v. 345, 346.
761. Colebrooke on the Religious Ceremonies of the Hindus, Asiat. Res. v. 348.
762. Colebrooke on the Religious Ceremonies of the Hindus, Asiat. Res. v. 347 to 358.
763. Institutes of Menu, ch. iii. 70.
764. Institutes of Menu, ch. ii. 58 to 62.
765. Ibid. ii. 74, 75, 76.
766. Colebrooke on the Religious Ceremonies of the Hindus, Asiatic Res. v. 363.
767. Institutes of Menu, ch. iii. 206 to 264.—Colebrooke on the Religious Ceremonies of the Hindus, Asiat. Res. v. 364.
768. Colebrooke on the Religious Ceremonies of the Hindus, Asiat. Res. vii. 232 to 239.
769. Institutes of Menu, ch. iii. 84 to 87.
770. Ibid. ch. iii. 88 to 91.
771. Ibid. ch. iii. 100.
772. Asiat. Res. vii. 289.
773. Institutes of Menu, ch. iii. 110.
774. Colebrooke on the Religious Ceremonies of the Hindus, Asiat. Res. vii. 288 to 293.
775. “I dismiss far away carnivorous fire,” &c. quoted above, p. 437.
776. “Fire! this wood is thy origin, which is attainable in all seasons whence, being produced, thou dost shine. Knowing this, seize on it, and afterwards augment our wealth.”
777. This is the first verse of the Rig Veda, with which it is customary to begin the daily perusal of that Veda.
778. A lecture of the Yajush is always begun with this text.
779. The text with which a lecture of the Samaveda is begun.
780. The prayer which precedes a lecture of the At’hervan.
781. Colebrooke on the Religious Ceremonies of the Hindus, Asiat. Res. vii. 271 to 275.
782. Institutes of Menu, ch. ii. 26, 27, 29.
783. Ib. 30.
784. Ib. 35.
785. Ib. 36 to 40.
786. “The first birth is from a natural mother; the second, from the ligation of the zone; the third, from the due performance of the sacrifice; such are the births of him who is usually called twice-born.” Ibid. 169.
787. Institutes of Menu, ch. ii. 41 to 48, and 64, 65, 68.
788. The Persians also had a cincture which was given them as a grand religious emblem, about the period of manhood. See the Sadda in Hyde, p. 441.
789. Three vessels of water are poured severally upon her head, and at each time one of the following prayers is in order pronounced: 1. “Love! I know thy name. Thou art called an intoxicating beverage. Bring the bridegroom happily. For thee was framed the inebriating draught. Fire! thy best origin is here. Through devotion wert thou created. May this oblation be efficacious”—2. “Damsel, I anoint this thy generative organ with honey, because it is the second month of the Creator: by that thou subduest all males, though unsubdued; by that thou art lively, and dost hold dominion. May this oblation be efficacious.”—3. “May the primeval ruling sages, who framed the female organ, as a fire that consumeth flesh, and thereby framed a procreating juice, grant the prolific power that proceeds from the three horned bull, and from the sun.”
790. The latter part of this address Mr. Colebrooke thinks proper to veil in a Latin dress, and certainly with good reason: for, if it be considered that this is a speech of a bridegroom to his virgin bride, while the marriage ceremony is yet in the act of performance, it is an instance of grossness to which there is probably no parallel: The speech is as follows. Illa redamans accipito fascinum meum, quod ego peramans intromittam in cam, multæ quâ illecebræ sistunt.
791. Of these the first may be taken as a specimen: may fire come first among the gods; may it rescue her offspring from the fetters of death; may Varuna king of waters grant that this woman should never bemoan a calamity befallen her children.
792. As these prayers have somethig in them characteristic, they had better here be presented: 1. "I obviate by this full oblation all ill marks in the lines of thy hands, in thy eye-lashes, and in the spots of thy body. 2. I obviate by this full oblation all the ill marks in thy hair; and whatever is sinful in thy looking or in thy crying. 3. I obviate by this full oblation all that my be sinful in thy temper, in thy speaking, and in thy laughing. 4. I obviate by this full oblation all the ill marks in thy teeth, and in the dark intervals between them; in thy hands and in thy feet. 5. I obviate by this full oblation all the ill marks on thy thighs, on thy privy parts, on thy haunches, and on the lineaments of thy figure. 6. Whatever natural or accidental evil marks were on all thy limbs, I have obviated all such marks by these full oblations of clarified butter. May this oblation be efficacious."
793. See a very full delineation of these funeral rites in Mr. Colebrooke's Second Essay on the Religious Ceremonies of the Hindus, Asiat. Res. vii. 239 to 264.
794. Institutes of Menu. ch. iii. 122.
795. Colebrooke on the Religions Ceremonies of the Hindus, Asiat. Res vii. 264 to 270.
796. Ib. 270.
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