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Mahommed!' he continued, these men are neutral—now let the cause be judged: I do affirm that if the Kenchen* bear upon her left foot the mark of a cross, she hath been stolen from my wife.'
“ The child, in whose lovely countenance terror had given place to innocent wonderment, as she viewed the splendour of the presence hall, contentedly yielded her little foot for inspection, returning archly the encouraging smiles of Seva and Akbar, in whom, with intuitive perception, she recognized those natures most correspondent to her own, and responding by a burst of laughter to their triumphant ejaculation, when the inquisitor declared that the blue lines of a puncture, tipifying the Egyptian symbol of futurity,+ were visible.
“ The proceedings of the judge were arrested by the action of Aurungzebe; he stood up and exclaimed 'Who in my dominions hath dared to do this wrong?'
“Staff of the wanderer, and scourge of the blasphemer!' said the Cunja, touching the ground with the back of her right hand, and drawing the long finger across her forehead, thy wisdom will discern whether truth abideth with the Christian or thy slave. Thirty months ago I joined a kafilah from Bengal to Allahabad ; this Franguy & woman, with her husband, journeyed in the train ; I knew her once, and ques. tioned her concerning a male child committed to her care by one high in rank and power; her words, swollen by the waters of indignation, were like an angry torrent; she reviled thy brother, Suja, as the robber of the boy; thee, likewise, star of nations ! thy people, and the land.-Zemani,' -pointing to the nach-girl, 'was at that time in her trust, given to her care by the parent of the boy.'
“ As the Cunja uttered the last sentence, the Arab bent forward, and seemed greedily to drink in her recital. The attention of Aurungzebe became more completely rivetted, and the searching eyes of the Armenian were also fixed upon the speaker.-She continued.
“ One day the caravan halted near a mighty forest; the train dispersed amid the shades of the palm and tamarind; I followed the Franguy woman, because I loved the child.—To the Cunja there is no pollution in the breath of infidels, for since our forefathers were driven by thine from Hindostan, we have been doomed to the contamination of the Christian's touch.-She went along a pathway which led to a thick jungle; the tiger and the jackal lurked therein. I spoke of danger, but she heeded nothing. The sun-ray struck upon our heads, the sky slept in flame. A nullah crossed the path ; it branched from the great river: the bamboo dropped upon the water, its shadows rested on a sheet of fire. The child was parched-she wept-we sat beneath the treemI spoke of former years, and other lands; once more I dared to ask her of the boy. - The Franguy did again revile, the Moslem and the Pagan were the children of the dark one; theirs was the soil of the heavy curse !-Rage stained the current of her mind:- The Hindoo mother leaves her thriveless babe to perish,' she exclaimed, so will I leave this luckless creature, lest she dwell with the heathen and blasphemer !'-Zemani was frightened ; she crept into my arms :- the child had only numbered forty moons, yet was she shrewd, and very beautiful !-I would have bought her with my store of riches-a golden toman and a sapphire ring - The fury of the white woman increased ; she seized the child; the finger of the mighty one pressed upon her brain ; her bosom was the den of evil spirits,-they prevailed-she flung the child into the nullah! she fled ! - I was bold and vigorous: I had wrestled with the wave before: I tore a branch from the bamboo, and sprang to save the innocent. The river monster glared, its horrid jaws were opened for the babe! her little cry gave fearlessness to courage; I battled with the current-I stretched the * Dancing girl.
+ The cross. # A caravan.
Frank or Franguy, European.
branch towards her ; she caught it-she was saved !-Say, is she not mine, great king !-I bore her through the tangled jungle and the tope.An evil dewtah veiled the day ; the sun was dimmed, the dread typhoon was up, its roar was mingled with the tiger's cry; the forest quaked, the limbs of mighty trees were driven like their leaves ; I heeded not the curdling of my heart's blood! the vulture screamed: I would not despair! I clasped the child ; we shrunk within the jungle grass.—The eye of the unseen, alone, was on us; we were saved !-Messenger of the Unchangeable, is she not mine?'”
This extract, though long, is apposite, as it evinces the power of the authoress. We will merely state that the child, which was thus energetically and eloquently pleaded for, was carried off, on an Arab courser, from before the eyes of the whole court, which was fortunately, in the literal sense, an open one, by the Raja Sevagi, of whom we have before made mention. This is one of the improbabilities with which we could well dispense; but though we might, perhaps the plot of the story could not, so we are fain to be content, with perhaps a real fact, which certainly looks like a fiction of the most brazen description.
He is pursued, this Mahratta and child-stealing Raja; but, of course, as it did not suit the tale that he should be overtaken, he gets safely through the crowded, narrow, and caravan-impeded streets of Delhi unscathed, with his precious burthen; and at length finds security among his own retainers. Aurungzebe, now finding that his determined enemy is in some force in his immediate neighbourhood, and in the heart of his dominions, very naturally dispatches numerous troops to annihilate or bring them to him in chains. They go, and are defeated. We cannot here detail all the intricacies of the plot, which is more involved than that of an old Spanish play. Suffice it, that Seva, the nephew, and Akbar, the sultan, and eldest son of Aurungzebe, fall into the hands of Sevagi. This chieftain now entertains projects the most ambitious; he aspires to the entire authority throughout India, and the making the Hindu faith the dominant, perhaps the sole, religion. The extirpation of all the Europeans, both private and legitimate, comes within the scope of his plans. To effect this great object, he wills it to be believed that Zemani, the abducted child, is his daughter, whom he intends to marry to the captured Akbar, who has already Hinduized. Akbar is a weak prince, and a coward. He is to depose his father Aurungzebe, and to be allowed to live and to appear to rule India under the guidance of Zemani and himself. All these fine-spun schemes, like the wreathing mists of a summer morning, vanish into thin air. Then comes love scenes, and romantic adventures, the tug of war, the assassin's dagger, and the poisoned bowl. We have also the abhorrent rites of the suttee described, and all the imposing pomp of priestcraft is paraded before us. We must not omit to mention a beautiful and most touching delineation of a pariah, that pariah the fair sister of Sevagi himself, and the mother of Zemani. The developement of this many-complexioned plot, we shall refrain from giving.
As a whole, these volumes must tend to establish a high and enduring reputation for their author. She has a fertile imagination, a high sense of the sublime and beautiful, a cultivated mind, and no small share of that appreciation of the ridiculous, that is called humour. She is naturally eloquent, and, from the reading displayed in this work, must be indefatigably industrious. Her few faults are trivial, but, we fear, not easily remedied. They are interwoven in the very tissue of her mind. One of those blemishes, which, in vulgar minds, always becomes garrulity, in her assumes the shape of amplification. She leaves a favourite subject with reluctance, she dwells upon it long, she does more than exhaust it, she exhausts her readers. As a proof, we instance the ascent of Korrily to the mountain-hold of Sevagi. She is also too minute. She gives us grand pictures, but she finishes all of them too highly. But for these slight failings, with how many beauties does she indemnify us! She is also that most rare thing—very original. Her creation of the Imp Goojah may grin ambitiously beside the boldest of Sir Walter Scott's inventions. We have given the review of this novel in the body of our work, because we honestly thought that it was deserving of the distinction.
BY THE AUTHOR OF “ LONGINUS," A TRAGEDY ; “THE ANGLO-POLISH
TARICE welcome, genial month! whose balmy wing
Fans into fresh expansion the rich show
And, in the fructifying sunbeams, glow-
And thine are robes immaculate to wear,
The starry promise of the luscious pear;
Each lowlier smiling flower, and loftier tree,
The soothing, happy humming of the bee!
LETTERS TO BROTHER JOHN. —No. V.
15th May, 1836. MY DEAR John, I HAVE now to speak of the principal actions concerned in the nutrition of our bodies – that is, in converting our food into ourselves. These are four in number-ABSORPTION, CIRCULATION, RESPIRATION, and SECRETION.
If you have read attentively what I have already written concerning the absorbent vessels, and concerning those arteries which, when convoluted and conglomerated into those little balls called glands, perform the office of secreting the several juices of the body, as the saliva, &c.—if, I say, you have read all this with attention, you will now have no difficulty in understanding what is meant by the terms ABSORPTION and secretion. I shall now, therefore, briefly describe the circulation of the blood, and the effect which respiration has upon it; and then I shall endeavour to exhibit to you these important phenomena of ABSORPTION, CIRCULATION, RESPIRATION and SECRETION, in active operation, by tracing a given portion of food through all the changes wrought upon it by virtue of these four actions, until it has become assimilated to the body..
First let us trace the CIRCULATION OF THE BLOOD.
The blood, of a bright vermilion hue, and richly laden with the elements of living matter—the new materials for repairing the wasted body-starting from the left side of the heart, enters the aorta. From the aorta it is distributed into branches of the aorta, and hence into the branches of these branches, being divided and subdivided into smaller and smaller streamlets as it proceeds from branch to branch. In this manner it proceeds until it has been subdivided into as many minute hair-like streamlets as there are points in the body, there being no point of the body which is not supplied and nourished by one of these scarcely conceivably minute streamlets of blood.
While these countless myriads of currents of blood are thus traversing the body, each, as it were, intent on reaching some one particular point or other as the end of its journey, they may be appropriately likened to an innumerable swarm of bees laden with stores, and hastening onward in order to deposit, each his particular share, at some point or other of the honey-comb which they are all mutually engaged in building or repairing.
When the blood has thus arrived at every point of the entire body, and each streamlet has fulfilled its office of renovation, by parting with the new materials which it contained, and depositing them in the place of the old and worn-out materials which have been removed
1 Continued from p. 66. June 1836.-VOL. XVI.-NO. LXII.
the instant before, by the absorbents - when, in a word, the function of nutrition has been performed, the little hair-like arteries, which brought these several minute streamlets of blood from the heart to the several points of their destination, bend back upon themselves, lose the structure peculiar to arteries, assume that peculiar to veins, and commence their journey back to the heart.
The little streamlets of blood, which fill these little backward-running veins, having now parted with those living elements, those fresh materials - which they brought for the renovation of the body, may be likened, not inaptly, to the same swarm of bees mentioned before ; who, having deposited their precious burdens in various parts of the honey-comb, are now hastening back for a fresh supply.
The blood, therefore, having fulfilled its function, quits the arteries and enters the veins.
I have said that when the arteries cease to be arteries, and become veins, they bend back upon themselves. The veins, therefore, in their passage towards the heart, run alongside the arteries, and parallel with them; and wherever you find an artery bringing arterial blood from the heart, you will also find, by the side of it, and enclosed in the same sheath with it, a vein carrying back venous blood to the heart. Thus the several streams of venous and arterial blood pass each other on the road, as it were-like two trains of carriages moving side by side, but in contrary directions--the one train going out, the other returning home.
As the terminations of arteries form the beginnings of veins, it follows that the number of the veins, at their commencement, is equal to the number of the arteries. But these numerous minute veins, as they travel towards the heart, are every now and then uniting together to form larger ones, and consequently the streams of venous blood, as they approach the heart, are constantly becoming larger and larger also, and thus the whole quantity of venous blood is eventually collected into two large veins, which empty themselves into the right cavity of the heart, like two Fleet ditches into the Thames.
We have now completed what is called the greater circle of circulation, that is, we have traced the vermilion nutritious blood from the heart to every point of the body. We have seen it there part with its nutritious particles, in order to repair the waste of the body; and thus deteriorated in quality, altered in colour, and rendered oppressive and unwholesome in its properties, we have traced it back to the same organ from which it set out, viz. the heart. But although we have brought it back to the same organ from which it started, we have not yet brought it back to the same side of that organ. It set out from the left side of the heart, and we have only traced it back to the right. Let us therefore proceed.
When the black deteriorated blood has been brought back from every part of our structure, collected into the two large veins, which I have denominated Fleet ditches, and poured by them into the right cavity of the heart, the walls of that cavity contract upon it, and propel it into a large vessel termed the pulmonary artery, by which it is conveyed to the lungs. In the lungs the pulmonary artery is divided, and divided, and subdivided into an infinite number of infinitely mi