Sivut kuvina

to his grandfather, who seated at some distance, with only a red silk lungee round his loins, and a white muslin fillet round his head. When my hat was presented to his majesty he put it on his head, and kept it on for some time. He said, " this is a high proof of (he Resident's regard forme, he has given me the hat he has worn himself; he could not do more fur his own Sovereign." He then took it off, and gave it (o his grandson to have it laid by carefully: the hoy said, " I will wear this when I go in the war-boats." "No, no," said the king, " it is not for you."


February 12. At seven A. M. the rayhoon came to my bungalow, and informed me that the mayhoon had sent two war-boats, to convey me and my suite to the main, to visit the new pagoda.

The rayhoon requesied 1 would pull off my hat in passing the looto, as the whoongliees were there, a compliment which I betrged leave to decline paying, as being inconsistent with ray public situation. When we came aurcasl of the looto, (an open shed with a raised platform about four feet from the ground, and thatched), the rayhoon desired us to stop a little. The second whoonghee who is also generalissimo of his majesty's forces, was sitting in the looto in his undress. He sent for Mr. Moncourtuse and desired him to tell me, he hoped I would excuse a lit tie delay, as he had sent to know his majesty's pleasure as to what he wished I should be shewn: he added that 1 was a lucky man, that my conduct had given such satisfaction to every one, that his majesty regarded me as one of his own children. During this conversation, I was standing about fifteen yards from the looto, remarking the royal boats near the bank; in a few minutes the rayhoon joined me, and desired I would return to the steps ascending to the pagoda from the river front. These steps consist of three flights, about thirty feet broad at the lowest step, and twenty at the highest; of ordinary brickwork masonry, with a low parapet wall on each si;le, and led to the first terrace about fifteen feet above the ordinary level of the river in the rains. The revetement of the riverface of this terrace was of stones wrought to an equal surface on their exterior superfices: but rough and irregular on their interior, laid in com

Mosthly Mag. No. !!fi3.

mon mortar made of stone pounded, or lime and sand. At the lowest step we were requested to take off our shoes, which we immediately did: all our servants were allowed to attend us, and I was allowed to take my Hindoostanee punkah. We were not at any time desired to takeoff our hats. Immediately within the verge of the first terrace, on either side of the steps, are erecting two colossal figures of lions, or rather sphinxes, in positions rather couchant than rampant. They are of brick masonry, and seated on pedestals of the same materials; the surface of the pedestals are about two cubits above the level of the terrace, and the height of (he figures from the surface of the table to the crown of their heads is fiftyeight cubits; making altogether sixty Burmhan cubits of nineteen inches each, or ninety-live English feet. The body and limbs are of proportionate magnitude, according to the lturmhaN ideas of sculpture; the eyes and teeth are of alabaster, the eye-hall, which we had an opportunity of measuring, was thirteen feet in circumference. The aorthermost figure is finished to the plastering and ornamental parts, the sockets for the eye-balls are left vacant, and to place the eye-balls in them will require some exertions of mechanical ingenuity, which 1 should like to see. There are six terraces rising above each other, tlieir parapet walls equidistant, and reveteuientsof' the faces of e.ich of good brick masonry, with stone spouts ornamented with sculptured alligators'' Iieads, to carry off the water. Above these is a seventh terrace, on which is the plinth of the pagoda,and the eighth terrace is funned by the upper surface of the plinth. The seven lower terraces have not be.m wlkdly formed by art, but advantage taken of a little rniMint, the sid-es uf which have been cut down, and then reveled with masonry; the levels of the terraces so far, being left of the common soil, a sandy loam mixed with shingly stones. Upon the seventh terrace rises the expo-ed part of the base or plinth of the intended structure; the foundation of which is sunk of solid masonry still lower; how much I have not been able to ascertain. Within the plinth a hollow chamber is left, forming a quadrangle whose extent is sixty-one feet six inches, its depth eleven feet, and the walls being twelve feet eleven inches thick, make the exterior surface a square of eighty-seven feet four in4 E dies. rhes. The inferior of this chamber is plastered with while chunam, an.l decorated with painted holders and pannelled compartments, with trees and flower-pots in (hem. There are also rows of columns twenty-nine inches square, and pilasters, to support the leaden beams and terraces with which the whole is to be covered when the (led icated treasures are deposited there; with a number of quadrangular compartments, large and small, from ten feet to four feet five inches square to eontaiu them ; the smaller ones being lined with plates of lead three-fourths of an inch thick. The innermost quadrangles are intended for I he preservation of the treasures dedicated by his majesty, while the span around them is devoted to the oblations of his courtiers. Opposite each of the smaller compartments, whose depth is equal to that of the larger ones, and which appeared like so many wells, was placed on small Bengal carpets, little hollow temples, three feet square, with pyramidal root's ornamented in the Burmhan style; the interior frame being of painted wood covered with thin plates of silver, alloyed (o about fifty per cent, standard; in height from the base to the pinnacle seven feet, the eves ornamented with strings of red coral about six beads in each, terminated with heart-shaped pieces tf common window glass. Bound the solid part of the building and upon the terrace, were arranged piles of leaden beams, about five inches square, and of sufficient length to cover the respective chambers, with plates of lead of (he sa?ne length fourteen inches broad, and three-fourths of an inch thick for I he coverings: and besides these, a number of slates of a schistous granite were arranged in readiness to cover the whole. We were told that (here was another set of chambers of the same dimensions and structure, charged with treasure below these: how true this is 1 cannot pretend to determine. The invention of lining the chambers with lead for the preservation of the treasures, is an honour claimed by his present majesty, who has great skill in these matters. That the design has a divine sanction we had ocular demonstration, three piles of leaden plates gilt with gold-leaf being shewn us, which had been brought and arranged where we saw them at night by angels. Our conductors assured us that the building was surrounded at night by

watchful guards, so that no human agents could have transported such weighty materials unobserved: it is, therefore, justly considered and believed as a miracle of divine favour. All this I was particularly desired to note down in my pocket book, which I did on the spot, and added to it an observation of my own, that a good deal of melted wax, such as is used by the Burmhans for candles, had been dropt on the slabs; I, therefore, suppose the night must have been dark, and that the angels worked by candle-light. From the level of this terrace, a conical spire of solid masonry is intended to be erecled, the weight of which I am afraid will prove too great for the leaden beams; but it would be a dangerous piece of impertinence for a stranger to offer any advice on these sacred matters, otherwise I could easily secure the safety of the superstructure, by shewing them how to turn arches over the hollow chambers. From the summit of this terrace is commanded a very extensive and pleasant view of the meanderings of the Erawuddy, the valley it winds through, and the adjacent mountains; but my attention was too much occupied by the building, and the crowds of both sexes that flocked to gaze at us, to examine distant objects. Centrically, in front of the first terrace, is erected a shade of bamboos with an avenue in the centre,decorated with a double arcade of bamboo openwork, ornamented with flowers, for his majesty to perform his devotions in, and pass through when he goes to view the progress of the building. Round the summit of the rubbish also, are placed little open moveable shades for .him to sit in. To the right of the covered avenue is a small temporary theatre, of bamboo and thatch, where the dancers, tumblers, and musicians, exhibit on festival days before his majesty and the royal family. A number were collected for our amusement; we sat to see them for about half an hour, and then went to view the. dedicated ti easures; They were arranged on the platform of a bamboo shade, about seventy feet in length and thirty broad; they consisted of a great variety of Burmhan temples and keouns in miniature, covered with plates of fifty per cent, silver, and filled with little images of their idols, from three inches to a foot in height, of the same materials. Besides those in the temples. Sir., there were squadrons of

others others of the same kiwi and quality arranged on the floor; also many which they said were of solid gold, but on examination we found them less valuable; there were also two rows of about a dozen larger images of alabaster, from two to four feet in height, well gilt and burnished. These were of that remarkable kind which I have before noticed "in this diary; their cast of features and hair being precisely that of the Abyssinian negroes; all the others were of Indian origin (but I shall have occasion to discuss this subject more at large in another place.) There were also several gilt metal flat caskets, said to contain gold and precious stones; Mr. Burnett saw the contents of two or three, though I did not; in them were several coloured stones, none above ten or fifteen carats weight, set in gilt foil. There were also several piles of bricks, slabs of coloured glass, and white chattahs, such as are used by the royal family ; ~and, lastly one of Dr. Priestley's machines for impregnating water with fixed air. On the opposite side in another shade, was an image of a deity in a portable temple, with poles fixed to it for four bearers, which we were informed weie sufficient when his godship was in good humour, but when displeased, not all the power of the Burmhan empire could move it. Many miraculous cures are ascribed to the power of this deity; in pity to the multitude, it is therefore hoped that his majesty will not immure it in the vaults of the new temple. In a separate shade, in a moveable woodenhouse which travels on wheels, is a print of the foot of Gaudma, in a slab of marble, from the heel to the toe. It is about three feet in length and of a proportional breadth; but, the history of this impression I did not learn, as my conductors were in haste to go home. At the gate of this enclosure, the sanctified ground terminating, we again put on our shoes and descended towards the river, passing the looto in our way back to the boats. Round the looto were seated a great number of the country guards with their arms piled, their appearance much the same as the rabble infantry of the native powers in India. The rayhoon desrred permission to return to his own house, and we being embarked in the boats as we came, were soon landed at our own.


April 9. In the forenoon died one of the horses presented me by the whoon

gee, the carcase was begged by the Burin bans toeat. The tribe of smiths, including all the artificers in metals, are particularly fond of horse-flesh, supposing it best calculated to recruit the strength wasted by work i ng at their forges. Animals that have died from disease are, in general, eaten by the inhabitants of the country who are fond of flesh; but as uietempsychosists, they are prohibited from killing animals for food. In this they resemble their neighbours the Chinese; and I apprehend this filthy custom of eatiug the flesh of diseased animals is the cause of a dreadful disorder which attacks the extremities with ulcerous sores, which soon mortify, and leave those who survive disgusting and mutilated objects. The beggars of the country are chiefly composed of this class, and wander about the country in groups; assembling at the feasts of the principal pagodas, where they are relieved by the bounty of the devout and humane. Coming up the river we met two or three squadrons of little boats belonging to these wretched pilgrims, going with their families to the southward; except these it is rare to see a beggar in the Burmhan dominions. They seem to be licenced by their peculiar misfortune; the other poor, as far as I can learn, are subsisted at the baws or cottages of the poonghees of each monastery, make a procession early eveiy morning to appropriated quarters of the town, to collect the donations of the charitable, which, in general, consist of boiled, rice, vegetable curries, and fruit.


May 9. The general course of theweather is as follows, according to our reckoning by the civil day, which commences at midnight. After sun-set, or about eight P. M., a breeze springs up from the south-eastward, increases to a fresh breeze during the night, lulls in the morning about four o'clock. After sun-rise, or about seven A. M,, springs up again from the same quarter, freshens to a smart breeze during the day, gradually dying away to a calm about sun-set. This course occurred during these twenty-four hours. The weather was sultry, cloudy to the S.E.. with lightning at sun-set. Thermometer six A.M. 85°; barometer 29,38, twelve N.; thermometer 93°; barometer 29,44. six P.M.: thermometer 94" barometer 29,35. In the morning a procession passed by from the fort to the river, consisting of several sets of

country country inus;cians and dancers, two files, said to be 500 each of common ]>eople, wi(h little earthern-pots and sprigs of trees in (hem, closed by the officers of tlie prince's household, in their court-dresses and on horsebaek. They went down to the river, filled their pots with water, and returned in the same order. This ceremonial of washing the prince's head occurs twice a year, when all the great men pay their court, and prisoners for trivial offences are liberated. In the evening the Enga Tekaing's house-steward came, to ask me for a bottle of brandy for his master; as 1 was doubtful of bis authority, and the use of all intoxicating liquors or drugs being strictly prohibited, I declined giving it, until I had consulted the Enga Tekaing's wboon.

May 10. This being the day of fullmoon, several processions paraded the streets with votive offerings to the Burmhan deities; and I had a long visit from two distant relations of the royal family. In the morning I sent to ask the enga's wboon about the brandy business, and, with his advice, sent a bottle immediately. It is intended, I am told, to make a lotion, the virtues of which are such, that whoever washes with it becomes invulnerable. This magical liquor is dispensed by the Enga Tekaing to his particular favourites.


May 25. This being the day of the moon's change, is a holyday with the Burmhans; when they go to pay their devotions, and make offerings at the shrine of their divinities. Since the 10th of April I have regularly distributed alms every morning to 150 poonghees, according to the Burmhan custom; aud at every full and change of the moon have had twenty-one poonghees to partake, as it is called, of a charitable feast. This morning as usual, the appointed number came, my great hall was carpetfed, and wooden trays arranged the whole length of the room, four for each poonghee; the first contained fried fish, ballehong, turtle eggs, curries, &c, dressed after the Burmhan style, made up in little plates of leaves; the second pancakes, and Burmhan sweetmeats; the third, mangoes and other sweetmeats; the fourth bunches of plaintains, a green cocoanut, betel leaves and nut, tobacco, chinam, &c. &c. After the poonghees had been seated a few minutes, their servants and scholars brought in the

bowls which they carry in making tifeir daily collections of rice, &c; thesethe.y placed before them; the mewjerry, who is my master of the ceremonies, then presented to the head poonghee, who was seated in the centre, two cups of water. Out of the first he took water to wash his mouth and drink. He then puts the points of his fingers in the other, and prayed over it in a low voice; the mewjerry then took away the water, and my Burmhan attendants put the contents of the first row of trays into their bowls, which signified their acceptance of the feast. Their servants and scholars then took away the bowls, and the remainder of the trays to the outer verandah, to put the contents in baskets, and carry them away; the mewjerry, &c, then presented to the chief poonghee three trays, one with a pyramid of boiled rice on it, the otl>er with fruit, and the third with betel, &e.; these he touched with the points of his fingers, and appeared to bless "them; in turn they were presented to each of the poonghees, who performed the same ceremony; they were then pivt apart as consecrated, to be exposed near a temple, on an open altar, for the benefit of the crows and pian dogs; (ibis is one of the usages which his majesty ridicules and condemns.) On the^e occasions the neighbours assist at the house where the feast is made. Several men and women were assembled at my house; these now advanced and kneeled in two groups before the line of poonghees, the women to the right of the men: the mewjerry gave a few grains of parched paddy to each, which they held in their hands closed, with the palms together a little elevated, in a supplicating posture; they then repeated a prayer after the chief poonghee, in the manner of part of our service-; the chief poonghee then prayed, the other poonghees placing their fans of palm-leaves before their faces, accompanying him; after this prayer was finished, the chief poonghee delivered a kind of lecture in an audible tone of voice—a lesson I suppose from some of their books of divinity, and, if I might judge from the chanting tonev was a kind of meter. This lasted about ten or fifteen minutes, when they arose and walked off without ceremony.


June I. In the evening the king's jewel merchant visited me, his errand was to obtain some information respecting alchemy, in which the royal fa

fully, particularly the Enga, are dabblers: they have a high opinion of the medicinal virtues of the exploded elixirs, and conserves of precious stones and metals; I gave him some specimens of metallic salts, &c. and endeavoured, but in vain, to dissuade him from such illusive pursuits.


June 8. At one o'clock at night the pacaam whoongee passed by, on his way to the water-side, and sent word to inform me that his majesty would arrive early in the morning. At six A. M. I received advice that his majesty bad arrived at the upper landing-place, about two miles to the northward, there not being water enough for his boat at the lower one. About nine A. M. the Enga Tekaing passed by, on his way to meet his Ait her; at ten the gun fired as a signal for his majesty's landing. About half-past ten the head of the procession began to pass by: first, a string of his majesty's elephants; next a body of foot-soldiers, each with a rusty musket on his shoulder, clothed like the common people of thecountry; they marched, or rather walked, in two Indian files, without any regularity; next followed the king's grandson, on a very lofty elephant; he sat on the neck of the elephan?, and held the guiding-hook himself, but in fact the animal required no guiding. A welldressed mohaut sat behind him, and supported him in his arms. The young prince was naked from his waist upwards, having on only a silk luugee, and an embroidered handkerchief on his head, gold bangles on his ancles and wrists, and several chains set with stones, &c. on his neck. After him came several gilt palkees, with women of the palace, &c.; at a distance behind him followed a son of the king's by a favourite concubine, on a small elephant, which he guided himself; after him followed five of the king's elephants, with war-howdahs, having large shields on each side of the howdah, painted red and gilt; then followed his majesty's troopers in their war-diess, but very shabby, and on wretched, half-starved, small horses, of these there might be sixty or eighty; then several gilt brass three-pounders, on field-carriages, drawn by men, with several red painted and gilt ammunition carts, drawn by two horses each; on each side after these marched foot soldiers, armed and clothed as those before mentioned; then followed the

carriage I brought, drawn by men;" and immediately after it his majesty with the first queen, in his old carriage, drawn by four led horses, the blinds down. He laughed, and spoke out loudly while passing, seeming well pleased with my attention. I was seated in a chair at the door of the hall, and when he came in front I rose up, took off my hat, bowing and placing my hand on my breast; Mr. Burnett and Mr. Rowland standing on either side, and bowing at the same time. The rest of my suite were arranged on each hand of the verandah. Before the front of my house I had made a railing of bamboo lattice-work, covered on the outside with yellow cloth, and over it gold and silver tange was spread; immediately in front of the verandah was a portico forty-eight feet long, covered on the top with scarlet cloth, hanging down towards the front about three feet, with gold tange along the front, dropping about two feet below the red cloth. The bamboo pillars, &c. covered with, yellow silk, and a screen of yellow silk curtains along the front of the verandah, so as entirely to cover the piers, leaving the doors open. The house was also newly white-washed, aud the road levelled and sanded before the door; and just before his majesty passed I had the road strewed with gold-leaf; the crowd were kept clear of the front by a Burmhan peon; and on the whole, for this place, we made a very fine show. The intent, however, was every thing, and it being wholly unexpected. He was highly gratified, saying aloud to his courtiers, "Ah, this is the company, that is my Resident," and kept his eyes on me the whole time he was passing. On each side his majesty's carriage marched spearmen, and it was surrounded by a crowd of his courtiers, &c. &c.; immediately after it followed foot soldiers, troopers, and war-elephaDts, but the whole too irregular and insignificant to make any impression on me. After his majesty, came the Enga Tekaing on horse-back, preceded and followed" by foot soldiers and spearmen, and surrounded by his particular servants. He looked towards me till he came immediately opposite, and then he affected to turn his head another way; I rose and bowed to him as he passed. After him came a number of gilt palkees, with the queens and concubines, each with their pai t icular female servants; young princes carried on men's shoulders,

« EdellinenJatka »