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sults a council of nobles. There are no hereditary honors or offices, but all offices cease on the demise of the king. Nobility is graduated by strings, three, six, nine -or twelve, while the prince alone wears twenty-four. 736. Language and Literature. The language of Birman must be nearly allied to that of Hindoostan. Literature is cultivated by certain classes of men, and their libraries are filled with books on various subjects, chiefly on divinity. The royal library contains at least 1OO chests of books, classed, and the contents of each chest written on the lid in letters of gold. The Birmans write from left to right, like the Europeans, and their books are neatly executed. 737. Manners and Customs. The Birmans are a lively, inquisitive, impatient, irascible race of men. Females are not secluded from public notice, as in some eastern countries, but they are degraded in condition; their testimony in a court of justice being of less weight than that of men, and being forbid to enter a court, they are obliged to deliver their testimony on the outside. The lower classes often sell their wives and daughters to strangers, a practice which is said to proceed from their poverty. A bankrupt and his family become the slaves of the creditor. The Birmans are fond of poetry and music, and among their instruments is the heem, like the ancient pipe of Pan, formed of several reeds, united and sounded by a common mouth-piece. 738. Chief Cities. The ancient capital was Ava, which has declined since the building of Ummerapoora. This city, now the royal residence, is on the eastern side of a large river which flows into the Irrawady, with a lake on the opposit side. It is ornamented with tall groves of mango, palmyra and cocoa trees. It contains a lofty obelisk, numerous spires and turrets, a square fort with a gilded temple at each corner, nearly 100 feet high, and in the center is the royal palace, which has a wide court in front, and a council hall on 77 pillars in eleven rows. The population is not known. 739. Pegu. Pegu, formerly the capital of the kingdom of that name, and a most magnificent city, is also in ruins, since the conquest of that kingdom. It is, however, the residence of a viceroy, and decorated with a vast pyramid, a sacred edifice or temple, standing on a double terrace, one side of the lower one being 1391 feet, and of the upper one 684. It is composed of brick and mortar, octagonal at the base, and spiral at the top. On the summit is an umbrella of open iron work, 56 feet in circumference, and the whole edifice is 361 feet high. There are many large cities in this empire, as Rangoon, a commercial port containing 30,000 inhabitants, and others little known. 740. Manufactures and Trade. The Birmans excel in gilding and other ornamental manufactures. Their war boats are of singular construction, formed out of the solid trunk of the teak tree, and from 80 to 100 feet in length. Their barges and their edifices are built and finished with singular taste and elegance. In Chagain is a manufacture of idols from a fine and almost transparent marble. With the Chinese in Yunan, the Birmans trade in cotton, amber, ivory, precious stones, and betel nuts, receiving in return silks, velvets, gold leaf, hardware and paper. Vast quantities of rice are transported on the river to the capital from the southern provinces. Cloths, hardware, muslims, porcelain and glass are imported by foreigners. The Birmans, like the Chinese, have no coin, but uncoined silver and lead are current as money. - HINDOOSTAN. 741. Wame and Situation. Hindoostan, or Hindustan, is not the primitive name of this country, but seems to have been given to it by the Persians. The name is, like India, derived from the celebrated river Indus, with the termination Tan or Stan, which in Persian signifies sountry. This extensive and populous region of Asia is situated between the 8th and 35th degrees of north latitude, and between the 65th and 92d degrees of east longitude. Its utmost length north and south is 1880 miles, and its bredth 1600. On the west it is bounded by the Ocean *nd by Persia; on the north by chains of mountains sep
o: arating it from Tibet; on the east by the Birman empire, Asam and the Ocean, and on the south by the Ocean. 742. History. The earliest correct accounts of this country are given us by the historians of Alexander the Great, who conquered some part of Hindoostan. In that age, the state of society in India was nearly the same as at present. In subsequent periods, this country has been repeatedly overrun or conquered by the more hardy inhabitants of the north, and in particular by the Monguls in 1525, and by Aurunzeb in 1678. The death of the latter, in 1707, was soon followed by a rapid decline of the Mongul power. The Portuguese, Dutch and French successively established factories, and made conquests in several parts of Indoostan. The French power ceased with the loss of Pondicherry in 1761. The English, who long had factories in the country, began their conquests in 1749, and have extended their dominion over a large portion of Hindoostan. 743. Mountains. The principal mountains in Hindoostan are those which border Tibet on the north, called Himmala, which signifies snow. It is supposed that this chain is a part of what was called by the ancients Imaus. Two other chains, called gauts, are distinguishable, one about 70 miles from the western coast of the Deccan, the other at a distance from the eastern coast. These rise abruptly, forming, as it were, walls supporting a wast elevated tract of intermediate country. On the east of the Burrampooter are also considerable chains of mountains. 744. Rivers. The Ganges. The noble Ganges, a river held sacred by the Hindoos, originates in the Tibetan Alps, and receiving a great number of subsidiary streams, from the north and west, it runs a south easterly course of about 1400 miles, to the head of the bay of Bengal. Before it arrives at the sea, it is joined by the Burrampooter, and forms several channels, around a Delta and a number of islands. The annual inundations of this large river spread the water over the adjacent lands to the extent of 100 miles.
745. Burramflooter. The Burrampooter has its sour, •es near those of the Ganges, north of the Himmala chain of mountains, but directing its course eastward, it leaves the Ganges at the distance of 1200 miles; then winding to the west and south, it unites with the Ganges, This river is nearly as long as the Ganges, and for 60 miles before it joins the latter, it is from four to five miles wide. The head stream of this river in Tibet is called by the Tibetans Sanpoo. 746. Subsidiary Streams. The Gagra from Tibet has a course of 700 miles, and joins the Ganges above Patna, The Cosa and Teesta proceed from the same country, and fall into the Ganges below the Gagra. The Jumna on the west has a course of 500 miles, and falls into the Ganges at Allahabad. The Chumbul, Sichery, and other rivers, swell the Jumna, and the Soan, and numerous smaller streams augment the Ganges below the Jumna. 747. The Indus. The celebrated Indus, called by the inhabitants of the country Sinde, or Sindeh, proceeds from the mountains of Bucharia, in the north, where its head stream is called Nilab, or blue river, and running a southerly course, it enters the sea by many mouths. Its whole course is estimated at 1000 miles. Like the Ganges, the Nile and the Missisippi, it forms islands by the channels which discharge its waters into the ocean. It has several large tributary streams, as the Kameh and Comul from the west, and the Chunab, the Rauvee and Setlege on the east. 748. Secondary Rivers. The large rivers of secondary size in Hindoostan are the Pudda, Nerbudda and Taptee, which enter the gulf of Cambay on the west; and the Godaveri, the Kistna and Caveri on the east. The three last have their sources on a chain of mountains near the western side of the great promontory of India, and pervade almost the whole bredth of the country. 749. Forests and Desert. Hindoostan contains large forests, especially near the mouth of the Ganges, which *bound with trees and plants of a luxuriant growthCreeping plants are said to extend from tree to tree, till they form an impenetrable cover, on the west of the
Indus is a sandy desert of 4 or 500 miles in length, and - from 60 to 150 in bredth, - 750. Trees. The fertile soil and genial climate of India are adapted to produce a most luxuriant vegetation. Here grows the lofty palm, with a single stem, without branches, but terminated by a tuft of leaves; the cocoa-nut tree, with its nutritious fruit, whose fibrous covering is formed into the most elastic cables; the areca palm, whose nuts are mixed with betel leaves, and chewed as tobacco is in other countries; the fan palm, whose broad leaves are used for paper and for thatching, and whose juce is distilled into toddy ; and another species bearing leaves, of which three or four will roof a cottage. 75 H. Grain and Fruits. Rice is the grain chiefly cultivated, and the principal food of the people. Maiz and the sugar cane are also cultivated in great quantities, as is cotton. The fruits, shrubs and herbaceous plants which grow in Hindoostan are too numerous to be specified, but almost all that can delight the eye, or gratify the taste of man, are there produced in the richest abundance. 752. Animals. The horses of Hindoostan are numerous, but the best breeds are from Persia and Arabia. Here are also seen the pied horses of Tibet. The wild ass and wild mule are seen in herds upon the mountains. The cattle are often large, with a hump on the shoulders. The elephant is common, and the Arabian camel with a single hunch. The forests abound with wild boars, -bears, wolves, foxes, jackalls, hyenas, leopards, panthers, lynxes, apes and monkeys. Lions are found near Cashmir; but the tiger of the Ganges is terrible for size, strength and ferocity. The rhinoceros with one horn is found in the swamps. The birds and insects are innumerable, and the common hen is found wild in that country. s 753. Minerals. Hindoostan has for ages been celebrated for producing the diamond, which, tho found to consist of coal, is the most hard, transparent and brilliant of all minerals. The best of this species of precious stones are found in rivers, or under rocks, in Visa