« EdellinenJatka »
heard of; and I make no doubt, there are* numerous other places of private resort, equally honourable to religion, and favourable to virtue!
By the kind care of my friend Delomond, I am provided with a very convenient lodging, in the street which leads to the King's palace. This palace is, in truth, but a mean building, very unlike the Durbar of an Eastern Monarch.
I have spent the greater part of the week, in taking a survey of the town, and examining its temples, and other public buildings.—The extent of this metropolis, though it shrinks into insignificance, when compared with the Imperial residence of our ancient Rajahs, the celebrated birth place of Rama*, or the Ganga-wafhed walls of Canonge f; is yet sufficiently great, to strike with astonishment the insignificant mortal, who has beheld only the modern cities of Hindoosian. The foot-paths which are raised at the sides of every street, are filled with a busy throng, where it is curious to behold women, as well as men, apparently intent upon business, entering into the shops, and making purchases, with the undaunted mien of masculine assurance. Far from walking along the streets with that tjmid air of shrinking modesty, which distinguishes the females of our race *, when they venture into the walks of men, their fearless eye undaunted meets the glances of every beholder j and happy is it for the men of the country, that it doth so; for if modesty was super-added to their other charms it would be impossible to guard the heart from their fascinating influence.
* Oude, said in the Mahhabaret, to have been the first regular imperial city os Hindooftan, and extended, if we ma/ believe the Bramins, over a line of ten Yogans, or about forty miles; and the present city of Lncknow, was only a lodge for one of its gates.
f Canouge, a celebrated ancient city of Hindooftan, on the banks of the Ganges; whose walls are said in the Mahhabaret, to have been one hundredmiles in circumference.
Having heard that the first day of the week, Audeetye-warf, was appointed for attending the worship of the Deity in public; I expressed to Delomond, my wish of being present at the solemnity. He declined accompanying me; but seat to a Lady os his acquaintance, to beg she would accommodate me with a feat in her pew.—These pews, are little inclosures, into which the greatest part of the temple is sub-divided. We walked up to that which belonged to this Bibby, preceded by one of her servants, who opened the door of the pew, and followed by another in the feme livery, who> carried the hooks of prayer; with which* having presented us, he retired. I have already observed to you, how scrupulously: the English. Christians adhere to those precepts of their Shatter, which, seen* to discountenance the outward appearance- oi a religious sentiment; and so rigorously do they abstain from the display of these delightful embtioes, that they who will thanksiilly acknowledge the most urifiiag obligation conferred upon them by the. meanest of their feUow-creatUjres, Woul14 blush to be suspected of gratitude to-the beneficent Governor of the Universe * Instead of behaving in this temple, as if they had assembled together to send up their united tribute of praise, thanksgiving, and humble supplication, to the Most High, so successfully did they affect the concealment of their devotional sentiments, that no one could have suspected they had met together for any other purpose, but that of staring at each
* See the elegant engravings, illustrative of Mr. Hodges's remarks on this subject, in his Travels in India.
t It is very remarkable, that the days of the week are named in the Shanserit language, from the same planets to which they were assigned by the Greeks and Romans.
other's dress! I must, however, make an exception in regard to a small number of people, very plainly habited, who stood during the service, in a part of the church called the aisle, these appeared not to have arrived at such a state of perfection. They could not affect indifference, as they joined in the petition for averting the punishment of fins; nor conceal the interest they had in the glad tidings of eternal happiness. They listened with peculiar complacency to the accounts of him, who " came to preach the gospel *' to the poor,"'' and the hopes of his favour seemed to irradiate with joy the bofom of resignation. A female of advanced life, in whom all these emotions were difcernable, particularly arrested my attention- The paleness of her countenance, spoke her want of health, and the lines which sorrow had traced in it, accorded with the fable weeds of widowhood, tvhich she wore. 'She appeared ready to faint from the fatigue of long standing, and made a modest application to a person, who seemed to act as porter of the pews, for admittance into one of them. To my astonishment, she met with a refusal; nor did any one of the gorgeously apparelled Christians who fat in them, appear to be any way concerned for her situation; indeed, they all seemed to regard those who worshipped God from the aisle, as if they had been beings of an inferior race. I was, however, well convinced, that Christianity admits of no such distinctions; and supposing the Christian Lady who sat by me, though her eyes were roving to all parts of the temple, was, in reality, too much engaged in her devotions, to observe what passed, I took the liberty of acting for her, and opening the door of the pew, invited the poor sick stranger to a seat. At that moment, the priest was preferring a petition, in favour of all " fatherless chil"dren, and widows, and all who au. « desolate and oppressed? to which the great Lady had just uttered the response of, "We beseech thee to hear us, good L^d I"—when observing the poor woman by her side, her face instantly flushed a deep crimson; rage and indignation darted from her eyes, and, telling the fainting stranger, that "she was very "impudent, for daring to intrude herfeli "into her presence," she turned her out into the aisle. I was weak enough, to be shocked at the behaviour of this welldressed votary of Christianity. Ah. thousht I, can it be, that this woman stiould be so conscious of her superiority, in everything which constitutes distinction in the eye of the Omnipotent, as to