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May the Almighty Preserver, whose omnipotent arm hath safely guided me across the world of waters to this remote corner of the habitable globe, He, whose essence pervades all space shed the dews of his mercy on the dwelling of my friend may his choicest blessings rest on the child of my affections ! the blossom of my heart 1 and may the sweet buds of hope, peace, and contentment, continue to expand in the virtuous bosom of my gentle Zamarcanda |
What can I say more ?
AT length, Maandaara, behold me in the metropolis of England, the celebrated city of London. My heart bounds within me at the idea of the new scenes I am about to behold. The pulse of expectation beats in every vein.—I was all impatience to deliver my letters of introduction; but, unluckily, we arrived at the very season of a solemn festival, which is very properly celebrated by the Christians in commemoration of an event which opened to their view the glorious hopes of rising from the bed of death to the regions of eternal glory !—You may well imagine that a festival originating in such a source is celebrated throughout the Christian world with appropriate solemnity. With them, the forms and ceremonies of their religion, remain not merely as a testimony of the superiour piety which produced
them. These institutions have not become a reproach to the degeneracy of succeeding ages They have not, with them, become a solemn mockery a satire upon a trifling and frivolous generation 1 No; at the time of these holydays, most of the families of distinction retire into the country, that they may there enjoy the heart-purifying benefit of solemn meditation, uninterrupted by the business or pleasures of the world. Ah! how edifying their devotion —How exemplary their conduct —How happy for the community must it be, if the lower orders are induced to tread in their footsteps 1 The few people of rank who remain in town, are equally sedulous in preparing their minds for this devout solemnity.— They frequent no places that are not private :-private theatricals, private concerts, private phaso-banks, I have already heard of ; and I make no doubt, there are numerous other places of private resort, equally honourable to religion and favourable to virtue ! WOL. II, 5 *
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 publick 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-washed walls of Canouge;# is
* Oude, said in the Mahhabaret to have been the first regular Imperial city of Hindostan, extended, if we may believe the Bramins, over a line of ten Yogans, or about forty miles; and the present city of Lucknow was only a lodge for one of its gates.
# Canouge, a celebrated ancient city of Hindostan, on the banks of the Ganges; whose walls are said in the
yet sufficiently great to strike with astonishment the insignificant mortal who has beheld only the modern cities of Hindostan. 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 timid 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; 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.
Mahhabaret to have been one hundred miles in circumfe
rence. * See the elegant engravings, illustrative of Mr.
Hodges's remarks on this subject, in his Travels in India.