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cording to which the houses are laid
The church in the fort is roofless, through bad workmanship; yet divine service was performed in it at half past six o'clock in the morning, till the persons attending were fairly dri ven out by frequent wettings, and went to the government-house, where
the pitiless shower still trickled on them through a worn-out though not fallen roof. The spacious hall of this building, Mr. C. observes, "was often decorated as a ball-room, and served, at one time, both as a court of judicature and a church; 800 soldiers frequently attended divine service in it. Psalms and anthems were played and sung by the bands of his Majesty's regiments, which still supply both vocal and instrumental musick."
The interment of Governor Van Anglebeck, by torch-light, Sept. 3, 1799, attended by a group of mourners in black gowns, all the European gentlemen of the settlement, and a crowd of natives, took place without any funeral ceremonies or prayers; and when the body was deposited in the vault, by the side of his wife, whose skeleton appeared through a glass in the lid of her coffin, a crier, elevated on a tomb, " proclaimed that nothing more remained to be done, and that the company might retire." This we suppose to be the result of the then prevailing opinions in France, of death being an eternal sleep, &c.
A remarkably neat Plan of Columbo faces p. 40.
The manner in which the females use cow-dung as an ointment for their faces, necks, and arms, and their spreading it on the floors of the ve randas with their hands, gives a disgusting picture; but we feel great pleasure in transcribing the following paragraph: "The dwellings of the poorer classes, both on the coast and in the interior of the island, are larger, better constructed, and more comfortable, than those of the indigent inhabitants of any other country within the Tropicks. Many of the hamlets around Madras exhibit the human species in a stale of greater poverty and more apparent wretchedness than a person in Europe can easily imagine. Their buts are formed of straw, or leaves, in the shape of a tent, so small that they must bend to creep into them, and can then only remain in a sitting or sleeping posture. Their situation, is still more uncomfortable, in the midst of a sandy plain, without a friendly tree or blade of grass to allay the intense fervour of a burning sun."
We should far exceed the limits of a review. were we to notice every interesting
teresting circumstance related in these very excellent volumes, which have evidently been the result of close observation, tempered by a strong judgment. Perhaps there is no part of them which more decidedly deserves attention than the account of the progress of religion and learning under the government of the Dutch, who gave a noble example, in those points, to the British, now happily followed and improved upon. Mr. Cordiner thus speaks of a visitation of the schools in his diocese by a Dutch pastor: "On the occasion of his visitation the pastor was welcomed by the natives as a messenger of glad tidings, and treated with marks of real hospitality, as well as of high veneration and respect. A temporary building, of simple structure, was erected for his accommodation, and a table spread with fruits for his refreshment. Sheets of white calico were laid upon the ground before the door, and all the way leading from the resting. house to the school or church; and on each side an extensive curtain of palm leaves, in the form of a fringe, was suspended from the boughs of trees. White muslin covers were like wise thrown over the desk and pulpit, and the stand for holding the baptismal water. A large congrega tion attended in their best apparel. The children were ranged in the front lines. The minister began the business of the day by worshiping Gon, and preaching to the people. Then took place the examination of the school; a business which was conducted by the catechist of the district, under the direction of the pastor. The higher classes answered questions relative to the Catechism of D'Outreir, and the Twelve Artieles of the Creed. The lower classes repeated the Catechism and Prayers, The elder boys read a portion of the printed Cingalese Bible, and wrote with a stylus on slips of the palmyra leaf. The younger boys wrote with their fingers in sand spread upon a bench; and, as they formed the different characters, they sung their names and particular marks by which they are distinguished. The girls are neither taught to read nor write; but they must be able to repeat a certain number of Prayers, and to explain the Catechism and Creed before they obtain permission to be married,
After the examination of the youth was finished, the catechist questioned grown persons who desired baptism and as many of them as were found qualified were admitted to the benefit of that sacred institution. At the same time a great number of infants were baptised. The marriage ceremony was performed to a large circle of parishioners. All those who had been duly prepared received the holy com munion. The registers were written, The usual salutations again passed between the minister and his people, and the visitation ended."
On the neighbouring coasts of Point de Galle large quantities of white coral is found, and "great part of the fortification is built of it; and we often discern, beneath our feet, a va riety of beautiful specimens forming part of the pavement, On rocks close to the shore are seen trees of coral, in complete perfection, as large and elegant as any where produced. But their texture is so delicate that the utmost care is necessary in packing them to be conveyed without injury from one place to another."
Mr. Cordiner gives a most animated account of the elephant hunt, which we strongly recommend to the perusal of our readers. "The grandeur of the sight here displayed seems principally to proceed from the crowd of elephants assembled in so confined a compass, the enormous size of those noble quadrupeds, the danger of subduing them, and the striking specimen which it affords of the wonders that can be accomplished by human genius. No description, no engraving, can produce the singu lar impressions which proceed from the original spectacle. Even a just conception of so magnificent a sight cannot be conveyed by representing the whole process in one view." This we in some measure deny; and prove our denial by referring to Mr. C's beautiful drawing, engraved by Med land, and inserted in vol. I, p. 233,
The long account of the pearl fishery is very amusing, and affords much information. "About the end of October, in the year preceding a pearl fishery, when a short interval of fine weather prevails, between the breaking-up of the South-west and the setting-in of the North-east monsoons, an examination of the banks
takes place, In this service nine boats are employed; in each of which is one pilot, or arripanaar, two divers, and about eight sailors, The English superintendant, or in spector of the banks, takes his station in the boat of the head arripanaar, who has exercised this profession from his infancy, and received it, like almost all occupations in India, in hereditary succession from his father. These boats repair in a body to each bank, and having, by frequent diving, ascertained its situation, they take from it 1000 or 2000 oysters as a specimen, Persons conversant in this business are able to tell, from external appearance, whether the oysters are of a proper age to yield the usual quantity of pearls. But, in order to ascertain their produce with certainty, the oysters are opened, the pearls carefully collected, sorted, and valued, If the produce of 1000 oys ters be worth £.3 sterling, a good fishery may be expected; for the examination of one or two thousand oysters of a particular bank and crop is sufficient to afford a correct idea of the produce of all the others on that spot. In going over the pearl-banks, oysters are found coming forward, in different crops, from the age of one year to that of seven, the period of their maturity. An oyster of the former class is not larger than the nail of a man's thumb; but one of the latter is nearly as large as the palm of the hand, At the age of from four to five years the tool or small seed pearls only are found in the oyster; after that period they rapidly increase in size, until the oyster arrives at maturity; in which state it remains but a short time, and then sickens and dies. The result of the inspection is published in such a manner as to enable persons intending to speculate in the concern to judge of the probability of success." manner of diving for the oyster is extremely curious. "The boat-people are raised from their slumbers by the noise of horns and tom-toms (drums), and the firing of a fieldpiece, generally before midnight, when the land-wind is favourable, The noise and confusion of collecting and embarking upwards of 6000 pecple in the darkness of night may be imore easily conceived than described. After going through their various
ablutions and incantations, they set their sail, guided by the pilot-boats; and when they have approached the bank, they cast anchor, and wait the dawn of day. With the first appearance of light they again get under weigh, and every boat chuses its own ground, and drops its anchor around the sloop and the different flags. About half past six or seven o'clock, when the rays of the sun begin to emit some degree of warmth, the diving commences, A kind of open scaffolding, formed of oars and other pieces of wood, is projected from each side of the boat; and from it the diving-tackle is suspended, three stones on one side, and two on the other. The diving-stone hangs from an oar, by a light country rope and a slip-knot, and descends about five feet into the water. It is a stone of 56ib. weight, of the shape of a sugar-loaf. The rope passes through a hole in the top of the stone; above which a strong loop is formed, resembling a stirrup-iron, to receive the foot of the diver. The diver wears no cloaths, except a slip of calico about his loins; swimming in the water, he takes hold of the rope, and puts one foot into the loop ou the top of the stone, He remains in this perpendicular position for a little time, supporting himself by the motion of one arm. Then a basket, formed of a wooden hoop and network, suspended by a rope, is thrown into the water to him, and into it he places his other foot. Both the ropes of the stone and basket he holds for a little time in one hand. When he feels himself properly prepared, and ready to go down, he grasps his nostrils with one hand, to prevent the water from rushing in; with the other gives a sudden pull to the runningknot suspending the stone, and instantly descends,"
The prints in these volumes are chiefly aquatints, by Medland, and beautifully executed; the subjects are uniformly interesting; but the following are particularly so, and serve as indexes to the most attractive matter: Cingalese dresses; Cingalese alphabet; Candian dresses; temple of Buddha, af Arandera; the statue of Buddha; Cingalese temple; Mulgeereleuna, a rock; the talipot tree; carrying the sacred book; Trinco malce; Fort Ostenburg; a column of
rock resembling a statue; banyan tree; pagoda of Ramisseram, and the hanging-bridge,
We shall pass over the military details, and the account of the embassy to Candy, with merely recommending them to the notice of our Readers, as it is impossible to do justice to those articles within our limits. We cannot, however, conclude without expressing the pleasure we have experienced in performing the duty of Mr. Cordiner's work, which we candidly acknowledge seems far beyond the well-founded exceptions of the critick, and entitled to great praise.
MR. PARSONS, the author of these interesting Travels, was the son of a Captain in the Navy, and educated for the same service. In his earlier days he commanded several different merchant-vessels; and, in the course of the voyages he made in, them, had an opportunity of gratifying a mind naturally pleased with novelty, and of an inquisitive turn. He afterwards became a merchant at Bristol, where he carried on considerable business; but not meeting with the desired success, this pursuit was resigned; and he obtained, in 1767, the appointment of Consul and Factor-Marie at Scanderoon, in Asiatic Turkey, from the Turkey Company. I health, caused by the climate, compelled him to retire from this employment; and he commenced a voyage of commercial speculation, the occurrences during which are narrated in the volume before us. Mr. Parsons died at Leghom, in the year 1785, soon after the conclusion of his tour.
The Rev. John Berjew, of Bristol, brother-in-law to the Author, received the manuscript as a legacy, from whom it devolved to his only, son the present Editor, who, in com
Mr. Berjew closes his Preface, dated from Bristol, April 1808, with declaring that "the only liberty which the Editor has taken with the narrative has been confined to the correction of verbal or grammatical inaccuracies, and, in some very few instances, to the altering of the arrangement of sentences, which in the original appeared rather obscure. Though much has been done, the Editor is aware that, if farther opportunity had been afforded him, much more might have been effected. He has been severely scrupulous not to alter the simplicity of the original composition; and, aware that the first duty imposed on him was fidelity, he has been peculiarly solicitous neither to add to, nor diminish from, any circumstance or description in the narrative. He has preserved it in its native form as far as was possible, conscious that rhetorical ornaments were not to be expected in a writer who, from the nature of his education, must necessarily be unacquainted with the elegances of composition. To a candid Publick he trusts the narrative, with all its imperfections, not without some hope that, though the region has been often before explored, it may furnish some original and instructive information in points but lightly touched on by former travellers; and that, though some of the details may appear tedious, they may afford a more clear and natural view of the state of society and manners in the Last than many more elaborate and fiorid publications."
We are pleased to find Mr. Berjew" entertained a just conception of the qualifications of his relative to give an accurate account of what he observed in the progress of his dangerous travels, as we are convinced that a person possessed of sirong natural intellects, with a plain useful education, may afford a much better account of places than one who has in
dulged in all the caprices of literature, and caught ideas from twenty diferent sources, which are retailed, and by some believed to arise from subjects pernaps merely glanced at. Viewing Mr. I arsons's work as the production of a man who had no other aim than to give a true and sin ple narrative of the occurrences attending his commercial tour, we cannot but congratulate the Publick on this addition to their stock of valuable unsophis icated information.
The first chapter gives a description of Scanderoon and the adjacent country. The former is so situated as to receive the heated air reflected by the mountains near it, which acting violently on the marshes extending almost four miles before the town, a vapour is generated that produces feveis so rapid in their effects as to reduce a robust man in six days to a mere skeleton; if he survives that period, he may probably recover; but all the varieties of the ague and the dropsy are frequently the attending cons quences. The Europeans resident at Scanderoon, or Little Alex andria, have the precaution to retire to the mountains between Spring and Fall, the summits of which may be attained in half an hour's walk from the town. There, at a place called Bylan, ten miles from canderoon, they enjoy a salubrious air, and escape all the horrors of the pestilential vapours in which the latter is enveloped. Provisions of all kinds are excellent, and at reasonable prices; nor do the Turks hesitate to hunt and shoot the wild hogs of the mountains, for the use of their Christian visitors, though they take care not to offend other good Mussulmen by exposing those unclean animals to their view; they therefore cut them up, and carry the parts to Scanderoon in sacks upon horses.
Mr. Parsons gives a short but pleasing account of Jacob's well, or rather fountain, which gushes out of a hill through a channel in a rock nearly level with the plain, eleven feet in length, fourteen inches in breadth, and thirty deep, that appears to have been excavated by art; the water rises as it flows, twenty-five in hes of the depth, and passes with great rapidity. It is of superior excellence, and so highly valued that a governor of Aleppo is said to have
kept sixty camels for the express purpose of conveying it to that city, for the use of himself and family. The inhabitants of Scanderoon receive it by asses, which bear four jars on their sides, and are so attached to it that they will drink no other water. Turkish and Grecian ships are also invariably provided with it, for the prosecution of their voyages, when at is town. The spring has never been known to fail or vary in the quantity; and the Jews insist it is the precise spot where Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, watered his rocks, and pitched his tents; but, with all its advantages as a pure and salutary beverage for man and cattle, Jacob's well is the actual origin of the merasses whence disease and death are derived in the neighbourhood,
Our Author's account of the celebrated passes from Asia Minor into Syria does credit to his memory, as it is plain he felt the sublimity and magnificence of the elevated spots he describes, and their historical import
In the road to Bylan are those natural and artificial passes through which Darius and his Army fled after the battle of Issus; they are four in number; the first and third are artificial; and the second and fourth are natural. The first and least difficult entrance is a path about twenty yards long, made in a chasm of a mountain, by the introduction of earth and stones, which are removeable at pleasure; and as, even with this advan¬ tage, but one camel can pass at a time, the place, reduced to its origi nal state, would become utterly impassable, and oblige the traveller to make a detour of considerable distance and difficulty, The second is formed on the left, by a steep mountain faced with rocks, and a precipice on the right; the latter Mr. Parsons found to be 27 yards in depth; the path on this dreadful ridge is about 100 yards in length, and not more than seven feet wide in the broadest part; and it is supposed no other horses and camels could be found, except those of the neighbourhood, which would venture over it. "Three loaded camels fell down the precipice, and were killed on the spot, within my remembrance; and, what is very remarkable, in less than thirty hours after their loads were taken off, there was not a piece of flesh left, but all