網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

tic;

prehended." The tsalwé (a Burman Company's jack; the Envoy (Major badge of nobility, derived from the Phayre) in a tonjon, attended by the Brahminical triple cord, and having Nan-ma-dau Woon and the Woondouk three, six, nine, or even twelve threads, on elephants; the British superintendaccording to the distinction conferred ing surgeon in Pegu, and the Taraon the wearer), and a trumpet-shaped Thoogyi; a British special deputy comear-tube of gold, complete the official missioner for the frontier, and one of costume.

the Tsa-re-dau-gyis, or Royal Scribes; The royal presents from England, and all the rest of the British officials, guarded by the British-Indian cavalry each paired with a Burmese thoo-gyi or escort, had been sent forward over a “great man,” in a Burmese howdah.* long bridge which spanned the south- The route lay through the street ern end of the Toung-ah-mah, to await called Ambassador's Row, – the very on the other side the arrival of the En- one by which the Chinese Envoys envoy. There was a superb carriage for tered Amarapoora sixty years before, the King, which, being too wide to toward the western central gate of pass the bridge, was towed across the the city. From lake to palace the way lake on a raft.

was fenced with troops ; but such That was a brilliant scene, the pas- troops! - fishermen and convicts, old sage of the lake ; and the picturesque men and boys, — probably old women elements almost surpassed the fantas- too, and girls, — the he and she

the jolly-boats of the steamers, Warts, Mouldys, Shadows, Feebles, leading the way with the men of her and Bullcalfs of the Immortal City. Majesty's 84th, followed by the Zeno- At every cross street were officers bia's gig, bearing the Governor-Gen- on elephants, “men in gilt Mambrieral's letter, with the Honorable East no helmets and mountebank costumes, India Company's jack saucily flaunt- decked out with triple buckram capes, ing at the bow; then other gigs and and shoulder lappets, and paltry emcutters, with the Envoy's suite ; and, broidery.” But there were men in red lastly, a gorgeously gilded war-boat, jackets and papier-maché helmets accarrying the Envoy and the Woons, companying the procession, who apwith fifty Burman oarsmen rowing to peared to be more at home with their a wild chant. The white spire and arms than these motley musketeers. pinnacles of the Ananda temple, with Inside the city the streets were flooded its grove of noble cotton - trees and with water from a heavy rain the night tall palms, sharply defined against the before, and here the soldiers were boldly diversified ranges of the Shan propped on little stools of bamboo, to Mountains, formed the background of keep them out of the mud, while the the picture, which derived rich color officers occupied higher perches, each and grotesque action from the Bur- with his spittoon and his box of betel. mese soldiers of the Envoy's guard A great rabble of spectators, of whom lining the banks, and the hurly-burly many were women, not all uncomely of half-naked, splashing villagers, waist- or shabbily attired, - peeped through deep in the lake, - salvages coupés. the endless white lattice, or thronged

First in the procession went the the cross-streets, — all still and silent, cases of royal presents, borne by Bur- with wonder or suspicion. mese porters on bamboo litters, and

Just as the escort, with fixed bayofollowed by four Arab horses and an nets and martial music, turned up the English carriage for the King; next street leading to the eastern gate of came the cavalry and infantry of the the palace, and, halting, faced inward Envoy's Anglo-Indian escort, preceded for the party to pass, the procession by a band; behind these, the Secretary

* Narrative of a Mission to the Court of Ava, in of the mission on an elephant, with

1855 By Captain Henry Yule, Secretary to the the Governor-General's letter under the

Envoy.

a

[ocr errors]

of the Ein-shé-men, or heir apparent, as they advanced to the inner gate, (Lord of the Eastern Palace,) came they even dropped on their knees, and suddenly up from another road, and shikhoed, with their faces in the dust, crossed before them to enter the en- toward the palace; and again Burmah closure,-a stale trick of Burmese pressed Bull to take part in the pious jealousy and insolence to keep them services, but the obstinate infidel Kalá * waiting at the palace gate. Precedent, would not ; for you see the world has which is a god in Burmah, has be- moved, and Anglo-Saxon backbones stowed a sort of respectability upon have stiffened, since Fleetwood wrote, this exploit in bad manners, every Brit- in 1695 : “ As the palace gates were ish envoy having been treated so, from opened we fell down upon our knees, Fleetwood to Phayre. The prince him- and made three bows (shikhos), which self was conspicuous in a massive gild- done, we entered the garden, the presed litter, borne by many sturdy fellows ents following; and having gone about elaborately tattooed, while eight long- half-way from the gate to the place where shasted gold umbrellas flashed over his the king was seated, we made three head. When he had entered the gate, bows again as before. When we got and it was closed behind him, his reti- within fifteen yards of the king, we nue, consisting of several hundred sol- made three bows again, and were ordiers, performed some intricate and dered to sit down." Between Fleettedious evolutions, countermarching wood and Phayre are two wars, several round an open circle, with the mani- annexations,“ a lot” of custom-houses, fest purpose of magnifying the appar- and “no end” of bomb-shells. ent strength of the force, as well as of The gilded colonnade, and the manyprolonging the detention of the unwel storied spire, conspicuous from all sides come strangers.

of the city; the great inner court, with When Colonel Burney, who was sent its groups of tumblers, jugglers, and as Resident to Ava in 1830, was de- dancers, performing in the corners for tained by the same manæuvre at the the entertainment of privileged spectastockade which encircles the palace tors; the dirty grand-staircase, where, wall, some of his party were sharp to their lively disgust, the distinguished enough to discover that many of the strangers, Envoy and all, had to leave retainers, as well as of the elephants their shoes; the long wings of the and bands of music, after passing in structure, curiously resembling the tranthe suite of one prince, made a sly septs of a cathedral ; the choir-like cencircuit to the rear, and appeared as tre ; the altar-like throne ; the tall, lacpart of the tail of another prince.

quered columns, picked out in red at As the Envoy and his suite dis- the base, and all ablaze with gilding;mounted, noon was struck by alternate by these the great Hall of Audience was strokes on a great bell and a great known; and here, on a carpet in the drum, mounted on

a square tower centre, facing the throne, the Envoy and within the gate called “ Ywé-dau-yoo- his party seated themselves, doubling Taga,” or the Royal Gate of the their legs behind them. Chosen, because it is guarded by On a broad dais blazed the high picked troops. By this gate they throne, in all its barbaric gorgeousness entered ; but first the Envoy took the of carving and gilding, — competing in Governor-General's letter from the splendor with the awful seats of Guadma Secretary, and carried it himself. The in the temples, and surpassing the gloNan-ma-dau-Phra Woon and his au- ry of the pulpit from which the High gust •colleagues now threw off their Poonghyi † chants the beatitudes of shoes, and the Woondouk strove in- the Boodh. On the top it was luxueffectually to induce the representa- riously mattressed with crimson velvet, tive of Great Britain to follow their

* Western foreigner. loyal example. At four different points, + Priest; literally, “Great Glory."

and on the left was a tall elbow-cushion Ministers of the Interior (Household) for the king. A carved portal, with Council, and some Nekhan-daus, “ Roygilded lattice doors, opened from be- al Ears," besides other officers of the hind to the top level of the throne, Palace and Hlwot-dau. which was wrought in a sort of mosaic The Envoy, on taking his seat, had of gold, silver, and mirror-work. A deposited the salver with the Govfew small figures, representing the pro- ernor-General's letter on a gilt stool genitors of the human race, occupied covered with muslin, which had been niches in the central band, while on the placed there to receive it. Little gilt edge of the dais stood five royal em- stands, containing trays of tobacco, blems, in the shape of gilded shafts, pawn, hlapet, or pickled tea, and other with small gilt labels or scrolls, like curious confections, neatly set out in flags, attached to them.

golden cups and saucers, together with On each side of the dais were pew- water-goglets and gold drinking-cups, like recesses, with railings; and rows were then laid before the Kalá guests, of expanded white umbrellas, fringed the water being faintly perfumed with with muslin valances, (the royal insig- musk. nia,) were displayed along the walls be- At last, from some mysterious inner hind the throne. The central hall or court of the palace came a burst of aisle, in which the gentlemen of the music. From the verandas behind the mission sat, was laid with velvet-pile throne a party of musketeers filed in, carpet of Axminster or Lasswade; else- and, taking position between the pilwhere there was matting merely, except lars on each side of the centre aisle, where the more distinguished officers knelt down, with their double-barrelled of the court had their separate carpets. pieces between their knees, and their A double row of young princes, in sur- hands clasped before them in an atticoats of gold and silver brocade, with tude of prayer. gay silk putsos, occupied the centre As the last man entered the golden aisle in front of the Envoy; - on the lattice doors, the doors rolled back into right, four sons of the King ; on the left, the wall, and the King was seen, mountfour sons of the Crown Prince. Far- ing a stair leading from a chamber bether forward, near the steps of the dais, hind to the summit of the throne. He the Ein-shé-men himself was installed, ascended slowly, using his goldenin a sort of couch or carved litter, scarce- sheathed dhar as a staff to his laborly raised above the floor. In his robes ing steps ; and no wonder, for his jewof Benares gold brocade, and his superb elled robe alone weighed one hundred mitre set with precious stones, he sat pounds. Having dusted the gudhi with still as an effigy, never turning round, his own hand, by means of a small but betraying his curiosity by the use chowree, or fly-flapper, he had brought he slyly made of a small looking-glass. with him, he took his seat on the left Behind the pillars on each side, and a side of the throne, resting his elbow on little in advance of the Englishmen, the velvet cushion, which had been covwere the Woongyis, or principal minis- ered with a napkin. Then the Queen, ter of state, constituting the Hlwot-dau, who had followed him closely, seated the High Court and Council ; and near- herself by his side, – on the right, and er to the steps of the dais were several a little behind him, where she reelderly princes of the blood, “ men of ceived from the hands of female atsensual aspect and heavy jowl, like the tendants, who showed themselves but heads of some of the burlier Cæsars, – for a moment, the golden spittoon and or, with their stiff robes and jewelled other ungraceful conveniences, which, tiaras, perhaps recalling certain of the on all occasions and in all places, must old Popes.”* Close to the Envoy's be at the elbow of every Burmese digparty were two of the Atwen-woons, or nitary. Next, she fanned herself for a • Yule's Narrative.

few moments, and then she fanned the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

King; and finally, having been served (two of whom are court astrologers), in with a lighted cheroot by the shy fin- white stoles, and white mitres encircled gers of some mysterious maid of honor, with gold leaves, entered the screened she smoked in silent expectation. pew-like recesses near the throne, and

The Lord of White Elephants and struck up a choral chant in Sanscrit ; Righteousness is a portly man, with re- which done, one of them immediately fined features, an agreeable and intele followed in a solo hymn in Burmese, ligent expression, and delicate hands. which is thus translated by the Envoy, He wore a sort of long tunic, or sur Major Phayre : coat, so thickly set with jewels that the "May the dangers and enmity material, a kind of light-colored silk, which arise from the Ten Points be was overlaid and almost hidden. Tha calmed and subdued ! May the afflicra-poo, the crown, is a round tiara of tion of disease never attach itself to similar material, in shape like an In- thee; and in accordance with the blessdian morion, surmounted by a spire, ings declared in the sacred Pali, mayest like ornament several inches high, and thou be continually victorious! May expanding in flaps or wings over each thy life be prolonged for more than a ear.

hundred years, and may thy glory conThe Queen, who, like all her prede- tinue till the end of the world! Mayest cessors, is her husband's half-sister, thou enjoy whatever is propitious, and wore a perfectly close cap, covering may all evil be far from thee,- KING! hair and ears, and forming, as it rose, “Thy glorious reputation diffuses a conical crest, with the point curved itself like the scent of the sandal-wood, forward in a volute, like the horn of and exceeds the refulgence of the moon! a rhinoceros, or the large nipper of a Lord of the Celestial Elephant,

of crab's claw ; close lappets hung over the Excellent White Elephant! Masthe cheeks. The rest of her Majes ter of the Celestial Weapon! Lord of ty's dress was oddly Elizabethan ; the Life, and Great Chief of Righteoussleeves and skirt in “successive over- ness! Lineal descendant of Mahathalapping scalloped lappets"; around the mada and Mahadha-mayadza ! Like throat a high collar, also scalloped or unto the Kings of the Universe, who vandyked, and continued in front to governed the four great islands of the the waist, where blazed a stomacher, or solar system, and were versed in charms breast-plate, of great gems. Both cap. and spells of fourteen descriptions, may and robe were stiff with diamonds. The thy glory be prolonged, and thy life Queen's name is Tsoo-phragyi, and she be extended, to more than a hundred is the eldest daughter of her husband's years ! Mayest thou enjoy whatever is father, King Tharawadi.

propitious, and may all evil be far from On a pedestal between their Majes- thee, O King ! ties, in front of the throne, stood a 3. “Great Chief of Righteousness ! great golden figure of the Henza, or whose fame spreads like the fragrance Sacred Goose, – the national emblem. of sandal-wood, and exceeds the glo

When the awful pair had fairly en- rious light of the moon, – in whom is tered, the Englishmen for the first concentrated all glory and honor, time took off their hats ; but the en- who, with her Majesty, the Queen, the tire audience of subjects bowed their lineal descendant of anointed kings, faces to the earth, and clasped their happily governest all,

may thy rule hands before them. 66 The two rows of extend, not only to the great Southern little princes, who lay in file, doubled Island (the earth), which is tens of thouover one another like fallen books on sands of miles in extent, but to all the a shelf, and the two Atwen-woons, grov- four grand and five hundred smaller elled forward, in their frog-like attitude, Islands ! „May it equal the stability of to a point about half-way to the throne.” the mountains Yoo-gan-toh, Myen-mo,

Then some eight or ten Brahmins and Hai-ma-garee ; and until the end

[ocr errors]

mese.

of the world mayest thou and thy de- and usurpation in his cunning bit of scendants continue in unbroken line, looking-glass. unto the royal son and royal great- The chants concluded, the Taragrandson, that thy glory may endure Thoogyi read from a parabeik, or black for countless ages! And may thy roy- note-book, an address to the King, statal life be prolonged for more than a ing that the offerings his Majesty purhundred years, O KING!

posed making to certain pagodas at the 4. “May our king be continually capital were ready. “Let them be victorious! When the divine Buddha dedicated !” said one of the officials ascended the golden throne, all created solemnly; and the music was renewed. beings inhabiting millions of worlds This dedication, the chant of the Brahbecame his subjects, and he overcame mins, and the singular ceremony of all enemies. So may kings by hun. A-beit-theit (literally, a pouring out of dreds and thousands, and tens of thou- water on a solemn occasion), together sands, come with offerings of celestial constitute the formal inauguration of weapons, white elephants, flying horses, a royal sitting. Then the Governorvirgins, and precious stones of divers General's letter was drawn from its sorts, and do homage to the Golden cover, and read aloud by a Than-dauFeet, which resemble the germs of the gan, or Receiver of the Royal Voice, lotos, - O KING!

who also read the list of presents for Now, even for an exploit in poetical the King and Queen. A railway model, license, that is sublimely cool, consid- contributed by Sir Macdonald Stephenering that a mere yesterday of thirty son, was immediately produced and years has sufficed to strip the Throne exhibited in the Hall, the only one of of the Golden Foot of dominions which the presents uncovered there, — and exwere the gradual acquisition of more cited lively interest among the Burthan two bloody centuries of drunken

All the readings were intoned lust, and that the dread Lord of Life in a high recitative, like the English and Master of the Celestial Weapon Cathedral service ; and the long-drawn well knew that day that he no longer "Phrá-á-á-á !” (My Lord!) was delivhad access to the sea save through ered like the “ Amen” of the Liturgy. many leagues of British territory, – After this, his Majesty, without movconsidering that the chronicle of the ing his lips, but speaking by an AtwenBurmese kings is one of the bloodiest 'woon, who discharged for that occachapters in the book of Time, a record sion the function of Royal Tongue, of hell-engendered monsters, conceived condescended to address to the Envoy in incest, brought forth in insanity, three formal questions, prescribed by trained to the very sport of slaughter, custom and precedent, thus : and doomed to quick assassination or Royal Tongue. “Is the English ruler the most summary deposition and dis- well ?” grace, considering that even this Envoy. “The English ruler is well.” “just and humane” Mendoon-men Receiver of the Royal Voice (in a loud himself had deposed his cock-fighting tone). “By reason of your Majesty's brother, the Pagán-men, and sacked great glory and excellence, the English and burned his capital, and that even ruler is well ; and therefore, with obeinow he held him a close prisoner, poor sance, I represent the same to your and despised, in a corner of the forti- Majesty." fied city, — and finally, that even as Royal Tongue. “How long is it since that pæan of infatuation ascends to the you left the English country ? "

? besotted ears of the King, given up of Envoy." It is now fifty-five days God to believe lies, his own brother, since we left Bengal, and have arrived, the Ein-shé-men, possessed of a devil and lived happily, at the Royal City." of precedent, crouches like a tiger be- Receiver of the Royal Voice. “By realow the dais, and plots assassination son of your Majesty's great glory and

« 上一頁繼續 »