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navigable streams, still they are but little calculated to facilitate communications between the shores and the inland places. This is accounted for by the accumulations of earth to which the mouths of rivers on this side of India are peculiarly liable, all of them being obstructed by a bar, a delta, or a portion of land thrown across them. Through the whole line of shore, from the most easterly mouth of the Ganges, to Cape Comorin, there is not a harbour to accommodate any kind of large vessel, nor is there a roadstead near it where a ship of large burden might ride with any chance of safety during the south monsoon. Those who have undergone the perilous ordeal of a landing at Madras, per the Catamaran, can alone have an idea of the impracticable nature of the Indian shore in those parts. The western coast is of a very different character, and the harbour of Bombay, which is so well supplied with water as to be a very convenient place for building and repairing vessels, may be taken as a specimen of the accommodating character of the western shore.
We have an excellent account in these volumes of the Rivers of India, which, in their number and influence on the vegetation of the country, form one of the most striking peculiarities of that interesting region. They all rise from great elevations, they are copiously increased by floods, and, on these accounts, produce the very maximum of atmospheric influence on the productive power of the soil. This effect has been at all times so palpable, that it is no wonder the untutored hearts of the Hindoos should have rendered that tribute of grateful adoration to these senseless agents of a protecting providence, which was due only to Providence itself. The Mineralogy and Soil receive a due share of our author's attention, and what he says of the former is well worth consideration, if it were only because it seems at once to dissipate the vulgar notion that India abounds in the precious metals. Its great peculiarity is, that it is free from volcanoes. The chapter on Climate
, and Seasons is remarkable for a very extensive acquaintance with the changes and peculiarities of the atmosphere of India; and, under the head of Scenery and Vegetation, we have a very excellent selection of some of the most characteristic growths by which the Indian soil is distinguished. The whole produce, abundant and rich as it is, may be said to be the spontaneous offering of the earth itself ; for there, industry does but little, and art still less, to afford to nature that assistance in her productions, which in every part of the world she never fails to repay. The author, indeed, acknowledges that he sinks under the effort to convey even an idea of the wonderful capabilities of India, -as a forest, a field, an orchard, and a garden. To the geologist—the naturalist-the philosopher-who is curious about the history of the earth, physical India offers an inexhaustible fund of materials for his wonder and admiration, calculated sometimes to confirm theories which the observation of the European world has given rise to, but oftener tend
ing to involve him in perplexity and doubt. From the consideration of its physical aspect, we turn to the living peculiarities of India. Too great a share of space is allotted to the elephant, not because that animal is not of sufficient importance and interest to justify a very lengthened description, but his history and habits are now so well known, that our author might have very properly devoted to a description of other zoological specimens, a good number of the pages which he has sacrificed to the elephant. The selection, however, of objects of notice, in general, is extremely judicious. In no quarter of the world are birds more ingenious than in India. It is necessity that makes them so, for no where have they so many and such vigilant enemies. The unceasing persecution of the snakes in particular, has been the means of producing, amongst the winged community, a perfection in the architecture of their abodes which is truly surprising.
• To guard against that enemy, a little feathered inhabitant of the neighbourhood of Bombay,--a thing not much bigger than a cockchafer, fixes its tiny nest to the pointed leaves of the palmyra palm, which the snake cannot reach, and there rears its brood in safety. But of all the winged architects of India, or, perhaps, of any other country, the Indian grossbeak (loxia philippina) is one of the most ingenious. The bird is rather bigger than the one last mentioned. In bulk, it exceeds the common sparrow of our gardens, and, therefore, its nest would weigh down the tip of a leaf till it came in contact with others, and, therefore, brings the treasure which that contained within reach of the enemy. To prevent this, it has recourse to a very ingenious contrivance. It builds in a variety of trees, but it prefers the Indian fig; and making choice of a very slender twig, it plaits a rope of grass and vegetable fibres, at least a foot and a half long, and to the end of that it fastens its snug and very ingeniously constructed nest. Externally that nest is formed of the same materials as the cord by which it is suspended, and plaited in the manner of a basket. Internally it differs from most nests, in containing a suite of three apartments, which are partially separated from each other, and yet have one common entrance, and a communication with each other. The first apartment is for the male, who keeps watch there, while the female is performing her incubation, and as his beak is powerful in proportion to his size, he offers a bold defence against ordinary winged foes, while the rope by which the nest is suspended is a sufficient protection against the snake. The second apartment is for the female; and the third, and inošt secure, for the young. This nest is, in itself, most abundantly ingenious, but those who are fond of heightening vature with their own fancies, render it a good deal more so. The male has, generally, a light in his apartment; and thus it is easy for fancy to endow him with the lantern as well as the vigilance of a watchman. In one corner of his apartment, there is generally a little bit of moist clay, upon which there are fastened one or more glow-worms, which partially illuminate the little apartment. These insects use them in preference to any others, simply because their light betrays them, and they can be caught in the twilight, and they are a supply of food for the young grossbeaks in the nursery behind ; but there are, in all departments of natural history, more violent
and improbable strainings of the fact than the supposition that they are placed there for the purpose of giving light; and certainly there would be something very wonderful in a bird lighting up its apartment, as it would be an instance without a parallel in animal history.'-vol. i. pp. 370372.
We could have wished that the writer had been a little more copious on the Fishes of India. The Land of Waters, as India deserves well to be called, must surely have furnished some curious specimens of fish, which claim a place in the enumeration of its peculiarities. We are likewise surprised at his silence as to the insects of that country.
The out-settlements of India are next described, in succession ; they consist of Ceylon, Prince of Wales's Island, Singapore, the Andamans, and Canton. The latter can hardly be called a settlement, but it is the only port of China where permission to trade is granted to Europeans.
The second volume introduces us to the population of India, opening upon us a long train of most interesting reflections, touching the moral condition and the future destiny of this people. A summary of the history of India before and since our connexion with it, is given, and we believe a more satisfactory sketch of those singular annals could not be confined in so'small a compass, as that to which it is limited in these volumes: This historical retrospect, we think, fully bears out the assertion that the Indian population have all along shown a remarkable degree of indifference to the particular government, under which it was their lot to live om time to time; that they evinced no preference even for their own leaders in war, and that with no other motive to govern them but self interest, they obeyed or deserted a native Peshwa with just the same readiness, as they did a Christian or Mahometan chief. The author calculates the total amount of the Indian population, which is immediately under British controul, at one hundred and twenty-six millions. The population which is indirectly influenced by the terror of British arms, amounts to ten millions more. of this immense community, forming as it does such a grand division of the human inhabitants of the globe, by far the most singular characteristic is the steady unchangeableness of moral condition, which it has always maintained. In every part of the world, under every diversity of government, it seems to have been a law that the people should undergo some change, except in India, and there the mass of the population has remained to this hour just the same as it was when Darius crossed its frontier. Several causes have contributed to this state of things, and perhaps none of them more effectually than the despotic principle which has always formed the groundwork of their government. How far the legal and religious policy observed in Hindostan has had to do in keeping the people in this stationary position, we do not now intend to inquire ; but it is sufficient to say, that at all
times, up to the present day, those who have had the destinies of the Indian people in their hands, have uniformly alleged the inutility of attempting to reform them, whilst Brahma was adored, and a system of castes prevailed amongst them. Our author enters pretty much at large into this subject, but as far as the improvement of the Indian population depends on the extirpation of their national religion, and on the abolition of the distinction of castes, we confess that there is very little ground for the hopes of the philanthropist to rest on. Some excellent men in our own days have indulged the belief that the Hindoos are not so irrecoverably wedded to their habits, as to allow of no expectation of improvement, The strong and hearty zeal for their good, with which Bishop Heber contemplated the inhabitants of Hindostan, no doubt had great influence on his judgment, when he placed such little reliance on the immutability of Hindoo customs. Such is the obstinacy of these people, that notwithstanding the encouragement they have so long received to avail themselves of British commodities, yet the consumption of these articles amongst them seems to be quite in a hopeless state. To be sure their poverty goes a great way in depriving them of the use of what may be called luxuries; but with that reason there is also another
operating, which we shall describe in the language of the author.
• The customs of the people are such, that they do not desire the commodities of England, or, rather, they are ignorant of those commodities; and it is well for them that they have not the desire, for assuredly, they have no means whatever of gratifying it. As for a mart for English merchandize among the natives of India, in their present state, in any state in which we are informed of any thing about them, or in any state into which there is at present any rational hope of seeing them brought : why, it might as well be sought at Monte Video again, in the north-west passage, or in the moon. The revenue in England, is, including the expense of collection, and futile prosecutions for deficiencies, after the rate of about three pounds per annum upon every man, woman, and child in the country; which is, in itself, fifty per cent. more than the total maintenance of the native population of India ; and to say that consumers could purchase goods that were produced under the pressure of more taxation than the whole living of the consumers, and after having been carried for nearly twenty thousand miles, would be saying a very foolish thing. The purchase they could not possibly make, and to tantalize them would be cruel. In the present state of things, therefore, the idea of an extensive export trade to India, even at a considerable loss, is a palpable absurdity, and never can enter into the head of any person, that understands any thing about India. A rich man may want a bit of broad-cloth, or, it may be, when he associates with, or rather lives near Europeans, he may want .a crystal lamp, and, once in ten years or so, there may be a covering wanted for the car of Juggernauth; but were it not that they have to carry out military stores and equipments, and necessaries for Europeans, the outward-bound ships of the Company would be more frequently empty than full. Out of this there naturally arises more argument, but all tend
ing to the same purpose. The Company have, from their political influence, certainly had more facilities for carrying on an extensive trade, than those who did not possess such an influence could have; and yet the whole amount of British produce and manufactures exported by them, in the year ending 22d April, 1829, was, according to the official return, one million ninety-eight thousand eight hundred and ten pounds, of which four hundred and sixty-two thousand three hundred and sixty-nine pounds .consisted of military stores, which leaves only six hundred and thirty-six thousand four hundred and forty-one pounds in saleable commodities. There are about seven thousand British in the country, who are not in the army; and of those in the army, we may safely set down two thousand as purchasers of British articles, to the amount of eighty pounds each a year ; so that, upon a very moderate computation, the demand for British articles, by the British alone in India, would amount to five hundred and sixty thousand pounds, leaving only seventy-six thousand four hundred and forty-one pounds, for the whole quantity sold to the natives. The profit upon that, allowing ten per cent., and it does not perhaps amount to five, or as a trade with the natives to one, and the whole of the Company's profits upon their exports, cannot by possibility amount to more than seven ihousand six hundred and forty-four pounds a year. But the estimate of consumption by the British is taken too low, taking nine thousand as the number that purchase British commodities; and it must be borne in mind, that, as a great part of the army consists of officers, the British demand must take up the greater part of all the European and American imports; and the value of India, as an outlet for the manufactures of England, dwindles into absolutely nothing, and is really not worth petitioning or even speaking about. Of the manufactures of Europe, there never can be much more consumed in India, than there are Europeans there to purchase them; because the people of the country really have no funds to give in return for them; and the Europeans have no funds but what they must either get from Europe, or levy upon the country, in the only way that disposable funds have ever been obtained in India-having the power of making the natives give up without a price, and as revenue or rent, a certain portion of the produce of their land and labour.'-vol. ii. pp. 291 -295.
And lest it should be asserted, that this limited consumption of British articles in India was owing to any fault in the management of the Company itself, our author takes care to recall to mind the fact, that the Americans, who must be as anxious as most nations, to extend their trade, and who have some advantages too, in the port of Canton, are gradually losing their commerce in the Eastern
But these reflections belong to a question, with which at present it is not our purpose to meddle, as a much more fitting opportunity for considering it, will hereafter occur ; and we proceed to the remaining part of this volume, which comprehends a great deal that is amusing and instructive, respecting the domestic manners and character of the Hindoos. Of the personal appearance of the Hindoo, we bave the following description :
• The face of the Hindd is oval, with reasonable but not very large forehead; the eyes have a tinge of yellow in the white, and the black of the