ePub 版

After the crowd were admitted, there the quaint, was well adapted to the task "tottered in ancient representatives of the she has attempted of giving the world a twelve apostles, clothed in long violet satisfying glimpse of this most curious robes, bound around the waist with white city. bands striped with red, with violet caps One passage in her pleasant volume on on their heads: on they came, feeble, wrin Woman's Rights breathes such a healthkled, with white locks falling over their ful spirit, that we cannot forbear closing violet apparel, with palsied hands resting our article with it: on the strong arms that supported them, " The longer I live,” says Anna, “the the oldest a hundred and one, the young less grows my sympathy with women who est eighty-seven years of age. There was a are always wishing themselves men. I deal of trouble in mounting them upon their cannot but believe, that all in life that is long, snowy throne; that crimson step was truly noble, truly good, God bestows upa mountain for those feeble feet to climb. on us women in as unsparing measure as A man in black pulled off a black shoe

upon men.

He only desires us to stretch and stocking from the right foot of each. forth our hands and gather for ourselves And now the king, ungirding his sword, the rich joys of intellect, of nature, of approaches the oldest ap tle, receives the study, of action, of love, and of usefulness golden ewer, bends himself over the old which He has poured forth around us. foot, drops a few drops of water upon it, Let us only cast aside the false, silly veils receives a snowy napkin from the prin of prejudice and fashion which ignorance cess, and lays it daintily over the honored has bound about our eyes ; let us lay bare foot; again he bows over the second, and our souls to God's sunshine of truth and so on through the whole; a priest, with a love; let us exercise the intelligence which cloth round his loins, finishing the drying He has bestowed on worthy and noble of the feet.” (p. 259.)

objects, and this intelligence may become Then, dinner is served to these twelve keen as that of men; and the whalebone antiquities, by twelve footmen, with twelve supports of drawing-rooin conventionality trays, twelve rolls, and twelve bottles of withering up, we shall stand in humility wine: the principal part of which they before God, but proudly and rejoicingly are expected to carry home for domestic at the side of man! Different always, use-besides a small purse of money hung but not less noble, less richly endowed ! around the patient neck of each by the “ And all this we may do without losing hand of his gracious Majesty.

one jot of our womanly spirit, but rather Munich is the most artificial of all the attain to these blessed gifts through a cities of the world, its customs the quaint prayerful and earnest development of est, its realities the most unreal, and, in those germs of peculiar purity, of tenderall its aspects it forms the strongest con est delicacy and refinement, with which trasts to what we are accustomed to in our Father has so specially endowed wothe New World. Here art is pursued as Let us emulate, if you will, the a business, but there even business is an strength of determination which we adart-life is a sort of holiday, the build mire in men, their earnestness and fixedings are toys, the government a kind of ness of purpose, their unvarying energy, make-believe, religion is a ceremony, and their largeness of vision; but, let us never men and women seem to be all engaged sigh after their so-called privileges, which, in making tableaux rather than attending when they are sifted with a thoughtful to the serious concerns of human exist mind, are found to be the mere husks and ence. Miss Howitt, with her girlish, trust chaff of the rich grain belonging to huing nature, her love of art, her cager search manity, and not alone to men.” (p. 455.) after the romantic, the picturesque and




JOHN MAUNDEVILLE is not India ; some of them sad Western innovafar wrong when he says, “In the land tions. Railroads have already been be of Prestre John ben so many mervelles gun.

Coaches have been established on that it were to combrous and to long to some routes, and the best conveyance of putten it in scripture of bokes.” Ro all, the most truly Indian of all, -the pamance is there mingled with reality in lankeen,-is being gradually driven out such delightful proportion, that it seems of use by the fast spirit of the age. But like a dream come true. The stories which one who would see native life, and would charmed us when we were boys are re really enjoy the East, should remember produced in life, and we ourselves become the Bengalee saying, “ It is better to walk actors in them. The rosy glow of our than to run, it is better to stand than to morning associations and recollections walk, it is better to sit than to stand, transmutes even common things into plea but to lie down is best of all.” He should sures, and for the time we are children in not hurry up the Ganges on one of the our delight.

slow boats of the Ganges Steam NavigaBut the country needs little help from tion Company, from Calcutta to Allahathe imagination to make it interesting. bad, with the steam whistle waking There is the rich variety of its tropical na him out of every dream,—but he should ture, from the palms of Coromandel to rather travel quietly, with all the repose the pines of the Himmalayas; there are and dignity of travel, in the slow, delightthe remains of an antiquity which no re ful palankeen. Then when he approaches search has penetrated, -wrecks of a civil the Ganges, and first beholds the sacred ization that claims to date from a period stream that flows from Paradise, and secs when “ the pyramids built up with newer the banyan trees dropping their pendent might” lay unhewn in the quarry; there branches into the waves, or a grove of are the ruined palaces of forgotten kings; dark-leaved mangoes reflected in its the old dark caves and temples of a dark smooth waters, he will recall the legend er and still existing superstition; there of the 3,500,000 holy places on its banks, the later exquisite works of the Mussul and will remember that he who only looks man dominion, hiding in the beauty of on Gunga will obtain all the fruit that their ruins the cruelty and tyranny that might be gained by visiting each of these built them; there are the marks of former holy places. conquests cut deep in memorial institu The palankeen is the land gondola of tions, and there is the great complex sys the East. It is a light black box, about tem, so interwoven with what is ancient six feet long, nearly three wide, and three as to seem almost a part of it, by which in height, with sliding doors on each side, the present masters of India have linked to be open or shut according to one's fanthemselves to its people. And in addition cy or the weather. In front are two narto all these sources of interest is that still row windows. It is fitted within with a greater one afforded by the native char leather-covered mattress, cushion and pilacter, habits of life, and the contrasts be lows, and a rack for the feet. Beneath tween them and those of the Anglo-Indi this rack is a box for biscuit, ale, candles,

It is to be remembered, moreover, and other such articles. while above the that the native races of India differ from feet is a drawer, in which lie your teleeach other not less than the different peo scope, your map, and your portfolio, and ples of Europe. The bold, dashing, proud, over this is a shelf on which stand your Rajput of the Northwest is a different coffee pot, your travelling case, and the being from the subtle, pliant, and timid few books you cannot do without. On Bengalee. The wild tribes of the moun the outside, strapped upon the top, is tains on the East and the West,—the your gun case, and perhaps a tin box conColes and the Bheels,-are not even of taining the things that could not be packed the same blood and stock as the soft Mus away within. From the middle of each sulmen of the South, or the tough Tartar end projects a stout black pole, tipped tribes of the Northern hills, All these with silver plates, which rests upon the differences of race lead to contrasts of shoulders of the bearers, who jog along, customs and manners which open before two before and two behind, at a steady a traveller an unbounded field of enter pace of about three miles an hour. Aset taining and curious inquiry.

of bearers generally consists of twelve There are many modes of travelling in men. Eight to carry the palkee, four


and four by turns; two, called banghy on the side by which he runs, you catch, burdars, to carry the deep tin cases with through the other, uncertain glimpses of pyramidal tops which serve instead of the roadside. Sometimes the light loses trunks, and two mussalcher to carry the itself in the thick jungle, sometimes mussals or torches by which the way is streams away over the open plain, somelighted in the night. The men wear a times falls on the encampment of a party cloth about their loins, and this, with a of native travellers, or shows the solitary pad for their shoulders and a tight-fitting figure of a wandering mendicant. At skull-cap, sometimes exchanged for a tur each station the scene is picturesque. ban, is their only clothing in warm wea The fresh bearers are standing ready to ther. When it grows cold they put on a transfer the palkee, without letting it rest close jacket, and short coverings for their on the ground, from the shoulders of the legs, and wrap a stout cloth about their old relay to their own; or, if not quite shoulders. Each set of bearers is expect prepared to start, are sitting under a ed to go about ten miles.

spreading tree, upon the platform of hardThe whole system of travelling, in the ened earth raised round its trunk, passing English portion of India, is in the hands their gurgling goorgooree from mouth to of the government, and is connected with mouth. Even at a late hour of the night the post-office department. Before set a party of curious villagers are assembled ting out on a journey one must “lay a to watch their start. A salaaming moondawk,” as it is called ; that is, arrange shee or clerk of the post-office, with his with the government for a supply of bear paper and inkstand and reed pen comes, ers along the road, and you give yourself touching his forehead, to beg you to sign up, a kind of animated parcel, to be for for him the quittance for the past stage; warded according to direction. For this and a little naked boy creeps close up to service the charge is eight annas, or about the palankeen and says in his most insina quarter of a dollar a mile, of which per uating manner, half whining half smiling, haps hall a cent a inile goes to each of Sahib, Sahib, bucksheesh, bucksheesh, the bearers, and the rest is devoured by and on all the torchlight falls, deepening the rapacious post-office. At the end of the shadows, and flickering with various each stage the bearers gather round the door effect over the faces and figures of the of the palkee to beg for bucksheesh, and crowd. if they have gone steadily, and have not Again you set off, having got pretty jolted you by getting out of step, you well woke up from your midnight nap. give them a four-anna piece to be divided The bearers start briskly, with a shout. among them, while the new bearers start The pariah dogs come running out to off briskly with you, hoping to come in at bark, and going through the dark line of the end of their stage for a similar re village huts, in front of which the carts ward.

are standing, while the cattle lie at their But get into the palkee; put your bag side, you are again on the solitary road. of four-anna pieces under the pillow to be In the quiet pauses of the night, when at hand; the bearers list you up and jog the voices of the bearers are still, you gently along, with a low grunt at each may hear, if you are awake, the yelp of step, the palankeen swaying slightly on the jackal, the lowing of the herds, or their shoulders; the heat of the day is the beating of the tomtom before some disover and the sun is going down in a cloud tant shrine, or on occasion of some social less horizon; the long shadows fall across festivity. the way; it is too near twilight to read; The first glimmer of morning has hardit is too early to sleep; and so, leaving ly shone, when the deserted road begins the doors of the palkee wide open to the again to be animated by native passenevening air, you lie and watch the night gers. The poor, lean husbandman, with come on, while fancy mingles strangely à shred of cloth round his waist, is going together the wonders of this new East, to his morning's labor. As he passes you, with the remembrances of the old West. he stoops down to take up some dust, There is no other way of travelling like and touch his forehead with it, in token this for the placid quiet of meditation, and of his humble respect. Now and then the steady pleasant flow of thought. you meet parties of sepoys, soldiers of the

As the darkness thickens, and the pass East India Company's service, distining scenes fade into dimness, the mussal guishable by their air, or some piece of chee lights his cotton torch, which he red cloth finery, going home on leave of keeps wet with oil poured from a hollow absence. Some of them are mounted on bamboo joint, and the broad smoky flame small, scraggy ponies, with their worldly glares over the road. Closing the door goods done up in a bundle that dangles at

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

their side ; others toiling along on foot, these camels, is a huge elephant, his immense their old shoes carefully saved, and car bulk almost hidden under a load of sugarried on a stick over their shoulders, and cane, which he is bringing from the field. the rest of their property tied in one end Every now and then his trunk is turned of their turban, and hanging down their upward to pull out a cane for his private backs. They salute you as you pass, use; or should he be passing by a hut, mistaking you for one of th masters. in front of which is a little plat of cultiThere are men going along the road, car vation, he neglects his sugar for the sake rying loads of split bamboo, or bearing of pulling up a fine, tall, juicy stem of burdens on their heads; and you may the castor oil plant, which he relishes as chance to meet a doli, or light native pa an ambrosial delicacy. Or perhaps you lankeen, whose close-drawn curtains hide may meet, as it comes creaking slowly the occupant within, while two attend along, a clumsy, two-wheeled cart, laden ants, with drawn swords, running at its with the poor coal from the Burdwan side, only serve to prove that the burden pits, or with kunker for mending the must be precious, to be so well guarded. roads, and drawn by two gray buffaFrequently, a whole family, or two or loes, with spreading, bent-back horns, three families travelling together, will like the buffaloes of the Roman Camcome by. The women carry the little pagna. children on their hips, or both are riding But of all the passengers along the on sleek, hump-backed, slender-legged road in the autumn, as the cold season cows, who are decked with collars of comes on, the most numerous are pildried grass, ornamented with cowrie grims. The harvest has been reaped, the shells; while the men, wrapped during seed is sown for the crop of the coming the cool morning in a long sheet of cotton spring, and it is the season of leisure. cloth, and with the ends of their white The land owner or laborer, who has turbans tied under their chins, so that, in vowed to make an offering to his tutelar the gray dawn, they look like ghosts who deity, or wishes to secure the favor of have caught cold, walk along, driving Vishnu or Siva, sets out on his journey, bullocks laden with all the earthly pos sometimes alone, sometimes accompanied sessions of the household. The women by a part or the whole of his family. cover their faces all but their eyes, and Many of the pilgrims make their way to the men salaam as you pass. A clanking Ilurdwar, where the Ganges, fresh from of chains heard coming towards you, the foot of Vishnu, bursts out through warns you of a gang of convicts chained the rocky barrier of mountains that surtogether, and kept at labor on the roads. round its source, and pours fresher and A blind beggar sits under a tree, and less polluted waters than in its course be hearing the measured tread of the bear low. Hurdwar is a town of great sancers, calls to you, Ghureeb-purwan, Pro tity in the eyes of all good Hindoos. tector of the poor, may peace rest on Temples line the bank of the river; and your cap.-—Oh, beggar! may your salu- happy is he, who, having bowed at the tation return to you in nty Near a

inner shrine, may bathe from off their town, you may chance to meet a gaudy steps, and wash away, in the sacred looking ekka, or carriage for one, with water, the secret stains visible to the gods red curtains hanging from its cone-shaped alone. top, and little brass bells jingling from it, Here the pilgrims obtain bottles of drawn by two fine oxen of the beautiful the water, sealed up by one of the innuhump-backed breed, while within sits an merable priests, who are supported by oily, white-robed baboo. Under the trees the fees for this service; and placing these is a party of travellers cooking their bottles in light wicker baskets, which are meal. They have made a fireplace of carried slung from each end of a pole three stones, or bricks, and are baking that rests upon the shoulder, they depart their coarse cakes, while one has gone to for the temple, often one distant alike the well, not far off, to fill his bright brass from Hurdwar and from their homes, at jar with water. A long train of camels, which the offering is to be made. Beawkward, ungainly, splay-footed, evil sides these pilgrims, who make the joureyed creatures, comes along the road, ney for their own sake, there are others bearing the produce of the Punjab or Ca who are hired to perform, vicariously, the bool in their panniers. They are tied one duties and the vows of those whose to another by a cord fastened to their strength or whose inclination is not equal saddles, and the Northern drivers sit on to the effort; and still others, who go to their backs, or walk along in the shadow Hurdwar to get the holy water for sale. at their sides. Far more interesting than Those making the pilgrimage to accom


[ocr errors]

plish their own vows, are, however, the river ports, or bringing back other goods most numerous.

in return. Having reached the temple, generally The native who has seen such sights as one of special repute, where the vow was these, and who has talked in the roadside to be fulfilled, the water is poured over caravanserais with the strangers who the stone image or emblem of the god, an meet there, and has gone wondering offering is made to his priests, and through the bazaars at Delhi or Benares, then the pilgrims return home, after will return to his little, distant home, an absence often of months in length, with his apprehensions quickened, and his and a journey of many hundreds of faculties enlarged, and ready to say, to miles.

the envy of less travelled villagers, "Stand There are few families of which some aside, 0 man, for I am

more learned member has not travelled on this errand. than thou art, and have seen If one of the household is sick; if a mis things." fortune has fallen upon it; if the drought But besides such pilgrims as these, ruins the crops, or the insects eat them; there are others—the wandering and menif the cattle die, or are stolen, the offering dicant members of religious orders, like is vowed, and the pilgrimage is made. the friars of Europe. They chiefly beThousands upon thousands of pilgrims long to two great orders: one, formed of are travelling every year, and the water the worshippers of Siva, the most detestof the sacred stream is carried all over able of Hindu deities, and the other, folIndia, froin the foot of the Himmalayas to lowers of Vishnu, the most attractive of the Temple of Ramiseram, opposite the the gods. The first are called Gosains, hot coast of Ceylon.

and the latter Beiragees. These great reThese pilgrimages are one of the chief ligious orders are one of the most curious means of spreading civilization among the developments of Hinduism. A man of people. The ignorance and prejudice, any caste may join them; the service of which are the inseparable companions of the god breaks down the barrier between him who has passed all his days in one Brahmin and Sudra. In these societies, place, are, by degrees, shaken off and got and in these alone, they meet on equal rid of, as he goes away from the mud terms. Each member of the order is atwalls that inclose his native village ; and tached to some special temple, and is the when he comes back, he is surprised to disciple of some high priest. Under the find how small a portion of the world the direction of this spiritual guide, they wanfamiliar inclosure really contains. Not a der over India, from one holy place to anpilgrim can go to Hurdwar, without see other, visiting the temples of the god to ing there, beside the temples, and the im whose service they are devoted. Every ages, and the devotees, the head works of where they are received as holy men; the great canal, by which the English are they are entertained at the temples which about to employ five sixths of the water they visit; the gifts of the pious and the of the sacred stream in irrigating four timid, desirous of favor or of pardon, are million acres of land, thus securing the bestowed upon them; and they often repopulation of three times that extent of turn, after wanderings that extend over territory from the danger of famine, and years, with large accessions to the treasugiving to the current of the Ganges a ry of their peculiar shrine. They sometrue, in place of an imaginary sanctity. times travel three or four together; they Many of them must pass along the line have strings of beads round their necks, of the canal by Koorki, the most flourish rosaries in one hand, and a long staff in ing station in North Western India, and the other, and no clothing but a saffron must see the railroad upon which the ma cloth about their loins. The looseness of terials of construction of the works are the regulations of the orders, sometimes carried, and the fifteen great solid arches affords an opportunity for dissolute and of the aqueduct over the Solani River, and vagabond fellows to assume the profession must behold the peace and prosperity that of sanctity ; but, on the other hand, extend with the extending canal. Others Colonel Sleeman-and there are few men must go over the great roads (unfortu who know more about the people of India nately still too few), by which the Eng than he-says, that many of these menlish have linked some of the chief cities dicants are "intelligent men of the world,” of their possessions together, and may with stores of information acquired on meet travellers like themselves from oth their long journeys. er quarters of the land, and watch with There is still another class of religious them the trains of camels and bullocks travellers that one sometimes meets, the bearing the produce of the interior to the devotees to the most degrading and pain

[ocr errors][merged small]
« 上一頁繼續 »