Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

COUNTRIES AND RACES OF INDIA./ The Presidency of Bombay lies on the W HOEVER thinks of India as one west coast of India, and has a population VV country, occupied by a homogeneous

of ten millions. The Presidency of Madpopulation, errs quite as much as he would ras includes the eastern coast and the in taking all Europe to constitute a single whole southern portion of the Peninsula, nation, in ignorance of such varieties of and numbers a population of twenty-two race as the Saxon, the Sclavic, the Magyar millions. Adjoining these two provinces and others. There is in India quite as are several dependent kingdoms, governed much diversity of native governments, re- by native princes, who are substantial ligions, social institutions, and popular rulers to a certain degree, maintaining characteristics.

armies of their own, and keeping up a But, in the first place, let us take a brief contingent for British service. The most glance at the territorial divisions of the important of these is that of the Nizan, region now under British sway. Most are with its capital Hyderabad, and a populafamiliar with the fact that their possessions tion of ten millions. This kingdom is the include the three Presidencies of Bengal, chief remaining fragment of the old MohamBombay, and Madras—each having its medan empire, and is in the Deccan, or Governor—but the whole being under the central portion of Southern India. As we Governor-General, who is Governor of go north, we come to Nappoor, another of Bengal, and resides at Calcutta. Of Ben- | these dependencies, with five millionsgal, the most extended and populous of Gwalior, with three millions—the Rajpoot these provinces, there are four great sub- states, with eight millions--the Sikh states, divisions. Bengal proper, lying about the Cashmere and Nepaul. The ancient bounlower Ganges, and reaching from Calcutta daries of these kingdoms have been blotted to Benares, has a population of more than out, except so far as might suit the convefifty millions, and is the centre of Britishnience of the British government. We power in India. The North-western Pro- | have enumerated only a part of what, in vince, belonging to the Bengal Presidency, some time in the past, constituted different embraces the regions of the upper Ganges, I countries, as we usually understand the and has a population of twenty-five mil- word, inhabited by different races, indilions. This province, having Agra for its genous or foreign, and characterized by capital and Delhi for its arsenal, is the diverse dialects, governments and religions. seat of the recent mutinies, and was sub- In looking to the present population of stantially held, at the last accounts, by the British India, we are met with great direbel Sepoys. The ancient kingdom of versity of estimates. Hamilton put it Oude is in the same province. Still further down at 134,000,000, and Elphinstone at to the north-west, in the rich region of the 140,000,000. As these estimates were five convergent rivers which form the In- | made before the acquisition of Scinde and dus, is the Punjaub, with an exceedingly the Punjaub, we may safely assume the vigorous population of five millions. The entire population at 150,000,000. Of these, territory on the east of the Bay of Bengal, the Mohammedans number, according to including the recent acquisitions from various estimates, from 10,000,000 to 18,Burmah, completes the sub-divisions of 000,000. All the rest are Hindoos, exthe Bengal Presidency. But it should be cepting two or three millions of the borne in mind that they are mainly En- | indigenous races, known by the most glish divisions, and cover what were once frequent name of Coolies, and 75,000 Parmany ancient kingdoms of unrelated dy- | sees. The latter are the "fire-worshippers,” nasties. The entire population of this an intelligent and enterprising race, who Presidency is not less than seventy-six came into India from Persia. The Coolies, millions.

or natives proper, under many names,

have their history in obscurity, and it is thus thoroughly probed, but social usages not known whether they were originally no less. one people or several. The Hindoos, with For example:-intemperance, that montheir singular institution of caste, came ster curse, coeval well nigh with the globe into India from the north-west, twelve or itself, which has nearly decimated every fourteen centuries before Christ, overcamel successive generation of the race for a the natives, and set up distinct sovereign-doom bitterer than death, and whose ravties. The Mohammedans invaded the ages men had almost ceased to resist, even country or rather began their series of in the case of their best beloved or theminvasions in the tenth century, A. D., selves, so palsied were they by its terrors from Persia, Afghanistan, and Arabia. It -even this has been bravely, and in a is estimated that about one-half of the multitude of instances, triumphantly aspresent Mohammedans are descendants of saulted, and thus assaulted, too, not only these invaders, and the remainder of prose- | by the people at large, but by its own selflyted Hindoos. They are most numerous emancipated slave, and the old, parched in the valley of the Ganges, where their earth grows green in expectancy of evenpower was first established. The Nizam

tual complete redemption. is at present the most important remnant Madness, too, that hideous mystery, in of their power, which, for a long period which former generations, bewildered and ruling all of India that was deemed worth horror-stricken, beheld a veritable diabolic ruling, began to fall to pieces on the death possession, and around which, in their irof Aurungzebe, in 1760.Boston Journal. rational agitation, they multiplied fetters

and dungeons, and barbarous stripes-even “THE AGE OF REFORM.”

this has been found to melt like snow in TN fact the reform-call may be pronounc- the sun, beneath the irresistible warmth

I ed absolutely universal. One malfeas- of simple kindnsss ; and “the sweet bells. ance and defect after another has been

jangled out of tune,” have responded acvigorously assaulted, till there is no moun

cordingly to the striking key-note of love ! tain slope but has echoed back, and no

Nor has the “ prisoner,” in bonds, been remotest valley that has not been startled forgotten. The cordon, once rigorously by the vehement challenge of new and bet

drawn around the judicially doomed, as if ter life-conditions.

tainted with leprosy or plague, and thereThus Governments, which once kept fore communicating death by their contact afar the inquiries of the popular mass into or proximity, has been broken through or their procedures by pompous awes and overleaped by the spirit of philanthropy. terrors, have at last felt the veritable pres

| The principle has been affirmed, that the sure of the common hand upon their shoul

criminal is yet a man, retaining entire the ders, and have so been compelled to render

responsibilities, and destinies, and hopes at least some plausible reason for their ex

of a man; and that society owes him the istence and authority.

duty of making his incarceration a means The Church too--no longer, in the pop- of fitting him to issue forth healed (if posular faith, bearing a character, like that

sible,) of the moral malady, that gave ocof the Hebrew Ark, which it was death

casion for it, and qualified for the efficient even to touchhas been not only gener service of God and Humanity. Most marally, but even rudely handled, and has

| vellous, indeed, the change in the prisonbeen constrained to admit, that its sole er's state, commencing with that hero of title to veneration, or to existence must be

philanthropy, Howard! It might almost its palpable bestowment of great and con- seem as though that penitent, doomed one tinuous blessings upon the world.

of old, who, on the cross proffered allegiNor have social institutions alone been ance to the “King of the Jews,” who had

been rejected by the world's “honorable means of communication and transportaones,” had bequeathed a blessing to those tion between sections of the same country, afterwards to share his lot. For as he found and between ocean-sundered countries, and the “freedom of the soul" even in the hid- | for the kindred purposes, has also been ap. eous confinement of the “accursed tree,” plied to a great variety of objects, greater so has many a prison of our day witnessed and smaller, in almost every sphere of life. its bondman delivered from the “ bondage In Fire, Marine, and Life Insurance Comof corruption" into the glorious liberty of panies-in associations like the “Odd Felthe children of God.”

| lows,” the “Good Fellows,” the “Sons of This spirit of reform finds, perhaps, its Temperance,” the “Recbabites," and numculmination in the Missionary enterprises | erous others, that might be named, we have of the age. These, within the last half- examples of the principle in question. By century, bave assumed a magnitude and these means the evil effects of casualties, of completeness of organization, which make sudden reverses, and of those manifold cathem an exceedingly imposing spectacle. | lamities and disappointments to which all Their projectors undertake, not merely to are alike subject, are greatly mitigated, if reform one or another class of people, or not entirely remedied. to amend this or that institution or usage, In all these associations we witness but to regenerate the whole formative prin- simply the extension of that fundamental ciples, religious and secular, with their re- natural principle, which not only prompted sultant institutions and life-customs, of but constrained men to unite their forces, entire nations and continents! Witness the and thus constitute neighborhoods, commissionary crusades to Asia, Africa and munities and nations. Not merely is it the multitudinous isles of the seas, and “not good for man to be alone,” but it is pote too the higher than chivalrous quali- | not possible for him thus to be-at least to ties of the actors therein! What knightly any of the principal ends for which he was enterprise of either ancient or medieval manifestly created. times can be named, which parallels, in For ourselves, we believe that for extirboldness and persistent hardihood, not to pating the evils of all kinds, which, after mention philanthropic disinterestedness, 6000 years experience, still so burden and that of the modern Missionary to a sav- infest, and darken man's earthly condition, age, a barbarous, or a semi-civilized popu and for ushering in that “better day,'' lation! To break assunder the ties of | which all wish and hope, and which revehome and kindred, and “fatherland"—tolation would seem to predict as lying in the surrender all the prerogatives of civiliza- future, our principal secular reliance must tion and refinement—and without the be upon association-upon the union of “pride, pomp and circumstance” inflaming numbers, alike to remove evils, and to prothe senses, or dreams of glory dazzling mote ends of good. the imagination, to wage wearisome, life- That mistakes have been made—and that long conflict with grossest ignorance and mistakes will be made—and visionary vice in all their repulsive varietieshere a things attempted by this means, neither spectacle is exhibited which no feats of do nor can invalidate the importance and arms, how brilliant soever, can either utility of the principle. It still remains match, or even approximate.

true, that to combination, wisely made and One interesting feature in the Reform under the Divine guidance, we must look movements of the age, is the largely va- for the redemption of man's estate. rious application of the principle of associ- Be it frankly conceded, it was a noble ation or combination. The principle which impulse, that urged the crusading hosts to had been found so useful in building turn- the rescue of their Christian brethren in pike and railroads and canals, in creating Palestine from Saracen oppression. From

those brethren, however, at all events, they | A tattered hood covers her head with its might count on sympathy and cordial wel- / scanty white locks, and the cloak about come; whereas the missionary toils for her seems a remembrancer of defunct those who regard him, at best as a stranger, fashions. Life must long since have beand sometimes as an enemy. He must come a sad pilgrimage to such as she; and brave the arousing of that most pitiless of yet the world, or some objects that the human passions, religious hate. He must world contains, must still retain a strong ofttimes “do his devoir," not in the pre- hold on her affections. Perhaps it is for sence of applauding peers, but of covert others that she defies the dark atmosphere ill-willers, or patent contemners. With and threatening skies. Perhaps, the stern his sweat and his tears, and not unfre-demands of hunger allow her not to pause. quently his blood, he must moisten a soil Alas for poverty and helpless age! Alas which, after all, may not, to his eye, show for those who outlive the delight, but cana solitary green blade in remuneration of not escape the miseries of life! his toils. Amid all imaginable sacrifices Following her is a brisk shopman, in and privations, obstacles and discourage- comfortable costume, with umbrella, cloak ments—in perpetual jeopardy of falling and furred gloves. “ Action seems," inuncompassionated and unsung—this peace- deed, "the condition of his being;” and if ful" soldier of the cross" must fight his action be more unpoetic than that of through his long battle-day, content if he | the noble lord whose language we have hear, not the inspiriting shouts of his fel

here quoted, yet the probabilities are that low men, but the low whispers of approv- it is more useful. He has the look of being ing conscience! Nor are men the sole

over on the alert, of losing no time, and of actors in this stupendous undertaking. | " getting on," as the saying is. Well! he Women also-yea, delicate, cultivated and

certainly gets forward famously through refined women-are, in large numbers,

mud and rain. the full participants in whatever is done

But a wan child succeeds him, and on and endured therein.

that object the eye of compassion turns,

remembering his words, who said, “Of WHAT WE SEE FROM THE WINDOW. I such is the kingdom of heaven." Child.

(TREET gazing has been called an idle hood should be innocent; but this face is W practice, and yet one may moralize marked by precocious cunning and susfrom an open window as well as in some picion. Fearful is world-hardened youth hermit cell. The day is heavy and sun- | --ominous its prophecy! Conjecture is at less. A small, thin rain comes silently, fault, when we attempt to follow that neperseveringly to the ground, slowly bath-plected and miserable child to his home of ing the wet pavement, and swelling the destitution—if, indeed, there is any obscure mud pools that deform the crossings, and spot in this great city which he can dignify roll turbidly along the gutters. Yet many with a name so hallowed. A waif, he are abroad this day, called out on affairs

seems, on the ocean of life-a chance atom which doubtless do not admit of procrasti in the world of humanity! Yet, we know nation.

that the sleepless eye of an ever-watchful An aged woman crawls past with infirm Providence notes even such as he. step and bending form. Carefully she se- ! But a gay young lady treads fast in his lects her way, for her feet are ill defended steps. It seems that rain, wind and clouds, from the water, and her weakness renders cannot deter her from her daily walk in the her liable to tumble over the least obstruc street, so accustomed is she to go forth, tion. Care and want are written on her gaily attired, and meet the admiring gaze shrivelled features. Her garments are of the crowd. True, there are not many like her countenance, time-worn and faded. | abroad on whom she can make an impression in such weather, yet there are some. fortunate pedestrians with the self-complaOne of these may chance to be a fashion-cency we are apt to feel when we find our. able friend, and therefore she must be selves in better condition than our neighdressed with her usual elegance. It is of bors. The driver enjoys his elevation little consequence that a rich silk dress, | above the crowd, and cracks his whip comabsurdly long, is dragged in the inky mire. | posedly above the heads of those ensconced What signifies the perfect destruction of a within, and splashing through mire withsuperb pair of French gaitere, besides the out. wetting of her feet, or the injury which al Plodding on in silence, yonder goes one tiny bonnet of exquisite materials sustains! on whom the plague-spot of poverty rests, She must have her walk, she must dress in that plague-spot from which men flee a certain style, and a fig for the conse- with such trepidation. To him is denied quences. She does not consider what a the cheerful light of day, and the majestic charm appropriateness adds to dress; al- charms of night. For him Spring blooms though this nameless grace is fully illus- in vain, and her bright winged birds trated by her successor — a pale, modest spread vainly their plumage in the clear looking girl, who wears a simple straw sunshine. He sees not, and many a long bonnet, a grey plaided shawl, and thick year has passed, perchance, since the night soled morocco bootees, cased in India rub closed around him that shall never be disber overshoes. — Consistency, good taste, pelled. A little boy leads him by the and prudence, we readily ascribe to the | hand. Note his exterior! An old hat, no latter, while the former impresses with the longer black, covers his head, and, partly, idea that we are contemplating a vain and thin grey hairs. Before his sightless balls reckless person-one who is willing to sa- is placed a pair of green spectacles, procrifice everything to appearances, yet has | bably to conceal the deformity of their asnot the discrimination to know what, after pect. Time-worn garments envelope his all, produces the best effect.

rather slender form. His face is placid, Here is an organ player, bending under wearing that peculiar look of resignation, the weight of his instrument, followed by said to belong only to the blind. Afflica woman thinly clad, bearing in her arms tions produce patience, and habit recona sallow child. All three have a foreign ciles man to almost any state of existence, aspect; and what their history, and how short of actual torment in this world. We they subsist, we know not. On they pass, thought, as the unseeing solitary went and a sturdy man with rubicund face, stout past, some of us might learn a lesson of woollen vestments, and boots of most pro calm endurance from his example. tective thickness, steps briskly forward, A troubled banker, with rapid strides, armed with door mats, strapped over his marches after the blind man. The skies shoulders and breast. He rings persever- are not more clouded than his brows. Apingly at every door, and, though often un- | prehension and dismay sit on his features. successful, yet sometimes effects a sale. He little recks of the stormy weather, for The day is one certainly demanding mats, a commercial storm wraps him in its fury. and the dripping condition of the steps on | Perplexed and vexed, his toiling mind which he stands while recommending a seeks to avert the crisis, which may strip purchase, adds force to his suggestions. him of power, crush his expectations, and He seems a very honest man, very much reduce him to a level with the insignificant in earnest, and we wish him success. passenger that precedes him.

A rumbling omnibus goes slowly and But they, and we, and all the world, are heavily over the stones with its cruwd of traveling ever to that dark inn, the grave, passengers, who, by force of contrast, en- where there is no more feasting and rejoy their snug quarters, and eye the less velry; where the voice of merriment and

« AnteriorContinuar »