Page images



that I cannot ?"_"Why, since you force me to say,” answered the other," I think there are three things I can do which you cannot.” Polidori defied him to Dame them. " I can," said Lord Byron, “swim across that river-I can snuff out that candle with a pistol shot at the distance of twenty paces-and I have written a poem* of wbich 14,000 copies were sold in one day.”


Page 128, article 91, of this collection, I had alluded to my friend Lord Clare in terms such as my feelings suggested. About a week or two afterwards, I met bim on the road between Imola and Bologna, after not having met for seven or eight years. He was abroad in 1814, and came home just as I set out in 1816.

“ This meeting annihilated for a moment all the years between the present time and the days of Harrow. It was a new and inexplicable feeling, like rising from the grare, to me.

Clare too was much agitated---more in appearance than was myself ; for I could feel his heart beat to bis fingers' ends, unless, indeed, it was the pulse of my own which made me think so. He told me that I should find a note from him left at Bologna, I did. We were obliged to part for our different journeys, he for Rome, I fo: Pisa, but with the promise to meet again in spring. We were but five minutes together, and on the public road; but I hardly recollect an hour of my exist. ence wbich could be weighed against them. He had heard that I was comiog on, and had left his letter for me at Bologna, because the people with whom he was tra. velling could not wait longer.

“Of all I bave ever known, he bas always been the least altered in every thing from the excellent qualities and kind affections which attached me to him so strong. ly at school. I should bardly have thoug be it possible for society (or the world, as it is called) to leave a being with so liitle of the leaven of bad passions.

“ I do not speak from personal experience only, but from all I have ever heard of him from others, during absence and distance."


It is useless to tell me not to reason, but to believe. You might as well tell a man not to wake, but sleep. And then to bully with torments, and all that! I can. not help thinking that the menace of bell makes as many devils as the severe penal codes of inhuman humanity make villains.


I am always most religious upon a sunsbiny day, as if there was some association between an internal roach to greater light and purity and kindler of this dark lantern of our external existence.

The Corsuir.


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

(From the MSS. of a late Traveller.) Delhi, the ancient capital and its environs seem now to exhibit in miniature the prominent features of an important change which is taking place in the habits and disposition of the natives of this vast country. The widening stream of European Improvement, importing innovations, while it gradually saps the foundation of oriental customs aud institutions, produces in the meantime a mixture of indigenous wreck and foreign novelty which is no doubt big with ridicule to the scoffer, but full at the same time of happy anticipations to a reflecting mind. The founder of Shajehanabad, were he restored to earth, could not after all the mutations that it has undergone within these last thirty years recognize the seat of his pomp and power.

The traveller, in approaching from the North is first reminded of Shah Jehan by the name of Shalimar, all that really remains, of the gay mansions, cypress avenues, fountain, and bowers, on which that tasteful monarch is said to have lavished a million sterling, or a crore of rupees. The situation of the vanished gardens is now occupied by a group of European houses which formed a favorite villa of Sir Charles Metcalfe and afterwards of Sir David Ochterlony. Advancing nearer, along the road that once extended from Lahore shaded by a continuous canopy of Mango trees of which no vestige exists, the Military Cantonment appears couched under a ridge of sandstone rocks called Mejnoon Pahar like an army in ambuscade amidst it's Parkensonias. It contains lines for three regiments of Sepoys and their officers who till lately were stationed in the city. More to the West in a locality almost equally faulty and liable to unhealthiness the new suburb of Trevelyanpore is now building, under the village of Paharee, to supply habitations for the entreasing population of Delhi. The plan is at once simple and elegant. The centre is a spacious Quadrangle, called Bentinck square, into which four streets ninety feet in width enter in two lines wbich, if extended, would intersect one another at right angles in the middle. The whole extent of both streets and square presents an unbroken front of Doric columns supporting the roof of an open verandah, or I may say, constituting a Piazza, behind which the shops and dwelling houses are ranged with equal regularity. The four triangular spaces lying outwardly between

the arms of the cross, formed by the streets, are to be converted into stable and court yards for the cattle and Hacke.

ries of the traders. A prolongation of the colonnades is contemplated, to form approaches from all the cardinal points. The avenue of Pillars will open to the West on a Mosque and to the East in a Peristyle, or circus of the same columns, cresting an eminence. The space thus enclosed is to be adorned with a a cenotaph to Lieutenant William Hislop, a young man of much promise and a friend of the founders who died two years ago. On the declivity fronting the Lahore Gate of Delhi a native Gentleman is constructing a magnificent gateway of corresponding architecture which will terininate the approach here. All this is the creation of an individual zealous to improve the physicial and moral condition of the people. Considering their singular want of originality and proneness to indiscriminate imitation, Trevelyanpore is a model from which those ambitious of building native towns in time to come may

learn to unite beauty and convenience in a superior degree to any thing known among them at present. From Mount Mejnoon, over which a fine road now passes, the city of Inherited Empire,* is seen for the last time in an aspect truly Asiatic." The turbid waters of the Jumna gleam beautifully in the distance as they insulate Selemgurh from the rest, and disappear behind the Imperial Palace which still frowns over them like a mountain of red granite. The whole space within the walls crowded with trees appears an ever green forest, while the Domes of Mosques and higher cupolas of Gates and minarets, towering above, might be compared by an oriental to rocks of Pearl rising out of an Emerald sea. The high walls and flanking turrets of Mogul days have been metamorphozed into the low ramparts and massive bastions of a western fortress. The Palace of the Emperors “the halls of the Peacock throne” exhibit inside every characteristic of desolation, but it's grandeur. The mansion of Shah Jehan's eldest son, Dara " the magnificent and good” doomed to reverses like it's unfortunate owner, after becoming a neglected ruin was long ago demolished entirely to build a Magazine on the same spot for the Military stores of the merchants who now rule the Empire of his fallen race. An adjoining house belonged to Ali Murdan Khan, a nobleman of splendid enterprize and resources, who, amongst other great undertakings re-opened Feroze Shah's canal. His habitation, bearing the alterations of every succeeding occupant since the Battle of Delhi, indifferently amalgamating with the original structure, is now the British Residency. In the town almost every street displays some imitation of the conquerors, in which an attempt is made by the inhabitants themselves to unite the

* Darul Califat.

architectural styles of the East and West. This equivocal taste, of which Europeans partake freely, has not always a bad effect. A Grecian colonnade, porticoes, and pediments, frequently form an elegant exterior to the usual inner apartment of a Hindoo or Mussulinan family. The Horse and Buggy are seen supplanting the Bullock Rut,h, and even the Elephant among men of moderate fortune. English broad cloth is worn by many in the cold weather, and citizens at all seasons appear dressed in the chintzes of Manchester and Glasgow. Their shops contain all sorts of European manufactures and a few dealers in various wares have adopted sign-boards on which their names and callings are duly blazoned over the doors in Roman characters. The credit of introducing this useful custom into Delhi is due, I believe, to Burruddeen Khan an ingenious person of great fame in his art, whom his present Majesty Akbar the second, hasennobled for unequalled proficiency in engraving seals with the devices and letters, of any or all nations. But the instances of imitative improvement which I have to record in the family of the Great Mogul himself, will perhaps prove the most interesting Prince Baber, the King's second surviving son, laudably emulous of George the Fourth, has provided himself with an English chariot in which he takes the air, after the fashion of Europeans and at the same hours, drawn often by eight horses. His highness likwise admiring the dress of a former Resident, assimilated his outer vestment to a General's coat ; and to improve the original in his own way, adorned each breast (Juwab Suwal) with the Grand cross of the Bath ; Mirza Selim a younger son of His Majesty, who wears the Frock Turband, and ai. grette, of his Tartar ancestors, a person of very princely appearance though his stud be less nunerous, has also a carriage of the same kind in which he drives about occasionally with his favourite wife, a great beauty it is said, becomingly shrouded from the public gaze by cheecs or venetian blinds. This descendant of Timur made some efforts a few years ago to learn the English language, but I am sorry to hear that the stubbornness of oriental organs at the age of thirty was found a serious obstacle to his progress. The attempt however, is a sign of the times, indicating a desire for the acquisition by no means singular. It has indeed prevailed for some years amongst the Delbians, and that it continues is now testified by numbers of lads throughout the town who answer the stroler in quest of Lions, in his own tongue, or at least add, as the case may be “Good morning !" or “How do you do sir ?” to the common salutation of the natives. These are the students in a college which the Government lately established to meet the wishes of the inhabitants for instruction in English Literature. They had previously formed a class in the Mudrussa founded by Gaze O'Deen Khan for the common education in Arabic and Persian, but becoining too numerous there to the scandal of Reverend Moulvis who prized not profane learning, it was deemed expedient to remove them to an independent Establishment when their number amounted to 150. By a subsequent order, however, emanating from the General Committee of Instruction at the Presidency, no more than one hundred students are in future to receive stipends or subsistence money. This allowance which under different forms has been required, I believe, to introduce literature into every Country of Europe, is for reasons to be mentioned hereafter, essentially necessary in Upper India. In this Institution the sum given to each boy varies from two to five Rupees according to his standing and proficiency. But further to excite and reward emulation tifty Rupees of what is allotted for teaching, has been assigned to the ten best scholars for instructing their juniors on the Lancastrian Plan. These accordingly have each ten Rupees monthly, which it is thought will suttice to prevent them from seeking inferior employment elsewhere before completing their studies. There are besides two European or Eurasian teachers who act under the direction of a superintendent, and the whole Institution together with the Mudrussa is subject to the control of a Local Committee consisting at present of two Civil Servants and the Residency Surgeon. The last are unpaid : and the superintendent receives a salary for performing the same duties in both of these seminaries. The entire monthly expense of the English College amounting to 800 rupess is defrayed by Government from the sum devoted to the education of natives in conformity with an act of Parliament. To estimate fairly the attainments of these youths, in a language so different from their own. We ought to compare their acquirements with those of our students of Latin or rather of Greek, after an equal period of study. The boys are divided into various classes, those in the senior or most advanced of which have been learning English about three years. They now read and translate it with facility at the opening of a book previously unknown to them. With orthography, Walker's orthopy, and Murray's Grammar they seem to me surprisingly, and in the case of the latter perhaps too minutely familiar. They know the Geography of Europe, comprehending the forms of Government in its different divisions and the History of England according to Goldsmith, as well, I really believe, as nine-tenths of English lads at the same age, that is to say, under 18. I cannot refrain in this place from lamenting the unfitness of our histories “ for the use of Schools” to impart useful knowledge or moral instruction. Battles, pageants, and the vices of conspicuous characters are

« EelmineJätka »