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husband leaves her there, and need visit cient dialect of those holy books is uninher only once or twice a year. The re- telligible to the reader. By reading and sult of this system, notwithstanding the committing them to memory, all sin may severity of ancient laws, is seen in an be expiated. But, at this day, the ancient utter dissoluteness of morals in the higher, piety declines, and with it the old respect as well as in the lower castes.
for ceremonies and sacred books. A It is usual for a rich householder to modern Brahmin hurries irreverently keep his children to the second genera- through his devotions, forgetting to make tion under his own roof; so that families expiation for daily and hourly violations of one household have sometimes one of the law. A few only remain entanhundred members, each contributing to gled in so close a net of superstition, the common stock.
every motion entangles them in a penHousehold matters and cooking, are ance, and their days are wholly consumdone by the married women ; for a Brah- ed in prayers and ablutions. But the min must not eat food from the hands of escape from ancient superstition, leaves a slave. In their division of the day, the the Hindoo fitter for the disregard of all Brahmins are superstitiously regular. morality. Thrice they bathe and cleanse themselves, It is asserted in their histories, that worshipping the lingam, a little idol originally all Brahmins were of one orwhich they make upon the instant, out der, and were equally pure; but that by of clay taken from the bank of the river, loss of caste, the greater part have sunk and, for the greater merit, endeavor to in honor, until the lowest are on a level shape it with one hand. Before this idol with Soudras. The Priests of India, unthey kneel at the noon bathing, and tell like those of Egypt, have no philosophitheir beads, a prayer for each. The cal mysteries, or grades of initiation, manner of bathing and worship is mi. ending in a knowledge of the one God, nutely prescribed in the Shastras. A bit and of the one state. If such a system of clay must be placed upon the head of was at any time established in India, it the lingam, Jest the spirits and demons of was probably done away with, or lost, the air may worship it, and thus steal its at the epoch of Buddha ; after whom the efficacy; and after bathing, it must be kings of Delhi were Buddhists for many thrown as an offering into the river. By generations. Brahminical theology dean act of contemplation, stopping the clined from its ancient purity, under that breath and fixing attention, the worship- form of materialism, nor did it seem to per conjures a god into the lingam, and profit by the many philosophical sects worships it as a real presence. After which originated during the Buddhist each ablution, the devout bather must controversy ; but these, like their probamark his forehead and other parts, with ble offspring, the philosophy of Greece, mud, in the sign of his patron deity; and rather weakened the religion they were various sects, in this spirit, brand them- invented to defend. Since that period, selves with the mark of their god.* and perhaps for centuries previous, the
Every motion in the process of bathing Brahminical order has been divided into and cleansing, even to the use of a green a number of sects and opinions, according stick for the teeth, and the snapping and to the Idea they worship, or the philosocontorting of the fingers and limbs in phy they avow. These have often perseveral difficult ways, is laid down in the secuted each other with wars of extermiShastras; but the worshipper performs nation, and to this day discover a perfect them easily, because habitually. A por- hatred for each others' gods. Siva's wortion
of each day is given to business, and shippers, a murderous and bloody sect, the remainder to the sacred duties of hos- delight in blood and self-torture; and in pitality (reckoned among sacraments, their rites and orgies, resemble the anand to reading, smoking and chewing the cient Bacchanals. The votaries of Vishbetel-nut. A large quantity of rice is nu compensate in indecency for what eaten at each meal, and a portion of meat they want in cruelty; they are the preafter sacrifices. The householder scatters vailing sect, and their immoralities defile a handful of rice before each meal to the the nation. Their temples are described winds and waves, and pours a libation of as brothels, and their priests as capable water, as of old. Reading in the Vedas of any wickedness. These priests are is highly meritorious, even when the an- not of the higher caste, and there is a marked distinction between them and the before it animates a human body. The more learned and respectable Brahmins. apes that cling about the banyan trees, The wiser among them, it is said, confess and on the roofs of temples in Benares, and deplore the ruin of their nation ; but are peculiarly sacred ; and serpents, with their peculiar subtlety and learning ren- a singular propriety, are classed for sancders them almost inaccessible to argu- tity among Brahmins. To destroy any ments against the ancient system. animal, except for sacrifice, is a sin, and
* “ The mark of the Beast,” mentioned in Revelations ?
That honesty and purity are esteemed requires expiation. Prayers and offerings among them, may be guessed by the quals are appointed in the Vedas for the inad. ifications of a Kooleena Brahmin, estab- vertent destruction of insects and small lished by king Ballasana, the founder of animals. The lives of cattle are reckon. their order; these were, dutiful observ- ed as sacred as those of Brahmins, and to ance, meekness, learning in the law and slay them, except for sacrifice, or to muscripture, character, the disposition to tilate them in the least, or even to dress holy pilgrimages, aversion from the gifts and prepare leather of their skins, is a of the impure, honesty, austerity and lib- defilement that requires extreme penance, erality.
and is punished by loss of caste, or by a Funeral ceremonies in India are those penance worse than death. Every part of burning and interment, practiced by of a cow is sacred, and the housewives different sects; or the bodies of men, and of India are not ashamed, for the sake of of sacred animals, are cast into rivers. purification, to smear their thresholds The Hindoos associate the idea of death with the sacred dung. The statue of a with the passage of a river, and worship sacred bull may be seen in the grotto water and rivers, as a peculiar presence temple of Ellora ; and one of the incarof divinity. The holiest places are those nations of Siva was in the body of a bull. included by a bend of the Ganges, or by That a superstition of this character its junctions with other streams. Myriads should have originated among pastoral of persons resort to these places to die; tribes, seems impossible, nor is it enterand the waters become putrid with the tained by other nations of Asia ; and the multitude of floating human corpses. A probability is, that the Egyptians brought Hindoo at the point of death, is hurried it with them into India ; for the worship by his relatives to the river side, and im- of animals prevailed in Egypt, before the mersed to his waist, that his soul may building of the Pyramids. enjoy the sacred influence of the stream. The manners of this people are deThe death of old and wealthy persons is scribed as bland and social in the exoften hastened in this manner by their treme. Notwithstanding caste, leagues heirs, under pretext of piety. In some of amity are made between superior and districts widows are burned, and in others inferior, with a view to mutual benefit; buried, with their husbands ; but this is a compact greatly needed in a society so rare, and was never universal. Burials broken and limited. Friendships between are attended with songs and music, in equals seem less interested, and the honor of Crishna, and the name of that friends call each other by endearing digod is written upon the forehead of the minutives. In this, as in other traits, corpse. Burning is a very solemn cere- the Hindoos resemble a nation of chil. mony in honor of the soul, and is con- dren, for simplicity and naughtiness. nected with a belief that fire brings about Friends testify regard by trifling gifts. a speedier union of the soul with its To remove a doubt of his sincerity, an creator.
aggrieved friend will lay a burning coal The superstition of this people is in upon his hand, and suffer it there until nothing more evident, than in the sacred- the other begs him to take it off. ness which they attribute to cows, mon- They are quarrelsome, and excessively keys, serpents and other animals. The litigious. If blows are given, the injured Thibetans, who are Buddhists, and proba- party touches the feet of the bystanders, bly received their civilization from India, saying, “ You are my witness”; and declare their origin from the marriage of their common courts are crowded with a monkey with a demon, as though man plaintiffs in petty suits. were midway in nature between demon They are as dexterous in trade as in and brute ; and the Hindoos, though they theft, and he is a shrewd customer who trace their ancestry to Brahma, believe escapes them with a fair bargain. the soul of man to be of a brutish nature, Their markets are great fairs, about and subject to inhabit plants and animals the shrine of an idol, where myriads con
gregate for traffic and for worship: the cringing to superiors and insolent to deuproar of their trafficing may be heard pendents; and assuming an air of calmafar off. At certain times they go in ness and composure under injury, wait a crowds to the famous idol sites, making time for a more thorough revenge.” the long pilgrimage an occasion of gain. Family quarrels are very frequent, esHere are sold animals for the monthly pecially between the wives of one hussacrifice ; and products of the soil are band, and the children of different wives; given in exchange for trinkets and foreign and the first wife is commonly hated by merchandize.
the others when, according to custom, Coins were very anciently used in In- she takes precedence of them, in the dia ; and by a shell called cowrie, Hindoo management of the household. These dealers divide the value of a mite into quarrels engender suits at law concerning copper intoseveral parts.
the division of estates, by which great At these fairs, the Indian Jugglers ex- numbers are impoverished. hibit their astonishing feats, and in thau- Hindoo notions of beauty are agreeable maturgy, as in subtlety of doctrine, the to the constitution of the race. The face Hindoos excel all nations. In all things of a handsome man is compared in Hinthey discover cunning, and the finest per- doo poetry to a full moon: the forehead ceptions; qualities that do not jar with broad and prominent, the eyes mild and sensuality or faithlessness.
lively, with a nose slightly aquiline, and The women of India, “until their a sensually moulded mouth; a very dark thirtieth year, are stout and vigorous; complexion, straight black hair, glossy but after that period decline faster than skin, and soft, rounded, and slender the women of Europe. Early marriage, limbs, are the marks of the Bengalee; but labor, and diseases, exhaust their consti- many of the Rohillas and Afghans have tutions. They are lively, active and a noble and powerful form. tractable ; acute, and fond of conversa- The women of Bengal are admired for tion; using florid expressions, and a a rolling gait, and a body glittering with phraseology abundant in images. They ornaments. Their poets describe them deliberate much, and are inquisitive, but with a waist as slender as a lion's, taper modest, in discourse : but their disposi- limbs, and a face radiant with smiles, tion is fickle and inconstant, and though that discover teeth as ruddy as the seeds full of promises, they easily break them.” of the pomegranate. “They are importunate, but ungrateful,
SONG OF A COUNTRY TO A CITY BIRD.
Come, my love, for the flowers are springing;
Come, my love, away.
Hither, my love, away.
Come, my love, away.
“I AM SIR ORACLE.”
“I am Sir Oracle,
SHALL we create or criticise? Shall the embarrassing responsibilities of a juror; we be the biters, or the bitten? Shall we never could have made up our mind, we carp, or be carped at ? The latter, and should have proposed to draw lots certainly! The death of a martyr is for our verdict. As regards literature, we more honorable than the life of a tyrant. find something to please and something to We are determined not to be a dog by displease us in every work, from the Iliad the wayside, barking at authors, or au- down to the Farmer's Almanac for 1845. thorlings, to scare them back in their road We find it impossible to decide the reto the · Shining Pinnacles. We have al- spective merits of the various worthies ready become quite expert in the business of the pen. The exact opposite of what of conveyancing,' and need no farther we admire in one author, excites our adlessons in that furbishing and disguising miration in another. We praise the simart, which, in the hands of industrious plicity, the brevity, the strength of Deworkmen,
mosthenes or Webster: we praise the
embellishment, the amplification, the rich“Gars auld clothes look amaist as weel as
ness of Cicero or Chalmers. We comnew."
mend the easy style of Addison, and the So long as we have a good supply of chaste severity of Hume: we commend, work, we shall make no remarks on the also, the balanced, folding-door sentences quality of the materials, or the style of of Johnson, and the elaborately-melodious workmanship, visible in the productions periods of Gibbon. We admit the valiof our brethren-in-trade—the literary tai. dity of the rhetorical statute that language lors. So long as our honesty remains should always be definite and perspicu. unimpeached, we shall never, unless com- ous: yet we zealously admire the dark pelled by the necessity of idleness, peep expressions of Shakspeare : into their gardens, or inquire whether they raise their own cabbage. But if any
“ To lie in cold obstruction, and to rot, of the thievish fraternity indict us for
This sensible, warm motion to become
A kneaded clod," etc. light-fingering, it shall go hard; but we will turn state's-evidence. At all events, language, which can be analysed and in* Greek will meet Greek,' and like the Kil. terpreted only by the feelings. We fully kenny cats—we forbear to be original in agree with the critics, that ideas ought to comparisons.
be expressed briefly, rapidly, and simply; We confess we are a little afraid to yet, after reading some pages in the wricriticise. Our reason is, that we never tings of John Quincy Adams, and still know when we are right. We have a more of Chalmers and Burke, we find thousand and one conflicting tastes of our that force of thought does not always own; how, then, can we lay down a consist in brevity of style, and that ideas, uniform law to regulate the tastes of oth- presented under all their various phases ers? In reference to very many subjects, with comprehensive amplitude, may somemost men, and we preëminently, are as times leave a clear, and powerful, and Young said, and Byron after him, permanent impression.
But if we find it difficult to digest our “A pendulum betwixt a smile and tear.”
own opinions into a code of critical docWe could never tell for our lives whether trine at once catholic and true, still harder we preferred tragedy or comedy, solitude is it to frame one corresponding to the my. or society, marriage or celibacy, industry riad sentiments of others. The tastes of or indolence, books or oratory, eating or men are as different as their natures, or sleeping, hope, memory, or fruition. On rather, they are none other than the all these matters we either hang in quies- active developments of their original concent indifference, or swing from side to stitution, modified by education, accident side in frequent and fitful oscillations. and habit. It were, therefore, absurd to We are glad we were never placed under wonder that all do not, or to expect that
all should similarly and equally appreci- are nothing compared with the sine of an ate the beautiful and the ugly, the seemly angle. An ancient castle has no charms and the unseemly, whether in the mate. for him except trigonometrically. It is, rial or the moral world, whether in life perhaps, pentagonal, and he finds by calor in books. Were our minds, like our culation that the old tower is ninety feet eyes and ears, all constituted on the same and five inches in height! The botanist fixed principles, we should all, in like would not give a new species of thistle for circumstances, think and feel, and act the Alexandrian library; and the entomol. alike. The construction of the healthy ogist would scarce exchange a new variety eye is always the same; the rays of light of moscheto for all the roses of • biferous fåll similarly refracted on its faithful mir- Paestum. For the grammarian, Homer ror; and, by consequence, the impressions and Virgil are heretics, save in so far as received in respect to color, form, and they give him to talk of middle and depodimension, are alike in all. But the mo- nent verbs, digammas, heteroclite, explement those organs become the media of tives, ellipses, and enclitics. For the metaany moral or intellectual impression, how physician, Shakspeare is a witling; Moore different are their office and operation– is excommunicate; and thus it goes just how unlike the tale they tell! In the according to nature, education, and habit. sweet face of Nature the hopeful boy sees All are, in some sense, right in their mirrored the heaven of the future—the tastes ; for there is pleasure in everything. regretful man the heaven of his boyhood. It is delightful to attach the affections to Two individuals look forth on the sunrise any object. It is grand to dine with Locke of a calm June morning--the one, inno- --it is grand to soar with Milton. It is cent and happy, from his own window; pleasing to study the laws of language, the other, a blood-stained wretch, self- and of the mind which made and employs ruined, from the bars of a felon's cell. it. It is charming to investigate the prinThe one greets the birth of a new day, ciples of nature, and the history of man. crying in the ebullient gladness of his It is delightful to behold, still more deheart
lightful to possess, the beautiful and “ Hail, holy Light! offspring of Heaven habits have led him to observe and love
everything is beautiful for him whose first-born !”
it. It is beautiful to make money-it is The other gazes on the splendid pageant, more so to expend it. Women and wit, that shines for others, and cries with the wine and war, storms and stars, land and gnashing teeth of rage, and the staring ocean, midnight and midday, are all beaueyeballs of despair
tiful. Opposites are beautiful in the eyes “ To thee I call,
even of one and the same person, aye, at But with no friendly voice, and add thy one and the same time. Thus the whole name,
round of life, and the entire furniture of Oh, Sun! to tell thee how I hate thy beams!" the world become all things to all men.'
How, then, can criticism be erected into To the quiet farmer how delightful is the a science, when its very foundations are aspect of a country smiling beneath a laid in the fickle and conflicting judgments cloudless sky! To the fiery son of Mars of men ? We certainly shall not attempt this is all insipid ; his eyes long for the it-unless we change our mind. smoke of cannon and the din of battle- It is better to be a poor author than a the shock, the tumult, the terror, the des. had critic. The former makes humble pair! To the delicate nursling of luxury, pretensions. He writes and publishes in a life amid the wild fastnesses of nature the simplicity of his heart. Mistaking, presents a scene of horror, while to the perhaps, a desire for an ability to write, hardy mountaineer it is a perennial well- and thinking the thoughts, which shine spring of health, and peace, and self- so brightly for him, will also dazzle the renewing joy. To him, whose spirit has eyes of others, he prints, and if he fail, always been absorbed in money, refine- he had not measured his strength-he ment and feeling are a non-existence. has erred, not sinned. But the false To the bare mathematician poetry is a critic is chargeable not only with vanity dead letter. It proves nothing. His num- in overrating his powers, but with im. bers are of a different nature, and his pertinence, in meddling, with what he figures of a more literal complexion. The knew nothing of, and with petty malice only tangent to his feelings is the tangent in attempting to detract from his superiof a circle, and all the signs of the times' How contemptible a figure is an