« EdellinenJatka »
try is also woody, and the soil appears to be rich: we found the milk in some places very good indeed, which shews that the pasturage is better than in your parts. I have, in fact, been highly delighted with many of these scenes, and I think this journey is far more pleasant than yours; for you had nothing to look at for many days together but high banks; here the country is open on both sides, and is shaded with trees in a most diversified and pleasing manner. The number of betle-nut trees is astonishing; one would think the produce could never be consumed. A husbandman planting sugar-canes informed me, that the rent of his piece of ground was one roopee eight anas, and that he should obtain forty roopees for the canes when ripe, at the end of a year. Another who was weeding cotton told me, that the ground which cost him in rent four roopees would produce twenty, if the crop were good. We yesterday passed, so far inland as this, a Pegue boat of a curious construction. We arrived here this morning, and I am sending books into the town.
“ After leaving Burrisal on Monday morning, we entered on a much wider river, and, as the wind was contrary, we spent much time in tacking. At Burrisal I enquired of a gentleman respecting a community of Portuguese at or near Bakur-gunj. Here is a chapel, and the revenues arising from lands, granted, I believe, by government many years back, not only support the priest, (salary thirty or forty roopees monthly,) but a large sum is remitted annually to support the establishment at Bandel. This gentleman is a large land-holder, and derives, I fancy, not less than 15 per cent from his lands. — We were from Monday till Saturday in coming from Burrisal to Chittagong. For the two or three last days, in passing Hatiya and Sundeep, we found the river very wide ; and the waves ran very high.
In passing Sundeep, we observed a range of hills, on one of which is a spring called Sêēta-koondů, the water of which, when it rises to the surface, is covered with flame. I was advised to visit this place, which is about twentyfour miles from Chittagong.
“The entrance to Chittagong from the river is certainly strik
ing, and the town itself is the most romantic inhabited spot I have seen in this country. It is built on a number of sand (not stone) hills of different heights. The ascent to the house in which I reside, is about two hundred yards. It is common here to have six bearers, two of whom, on ascending the hills, push the palanqueen from behind. From this house I can count, on different hills, about twenty-four houses or bungalows, but mostly houses. Almost all the Europeans reside on the hills; the native inhabitants dwell in the vallies, which are full of huts and gardens (or rather jungles). If these could be cleared, and made into flower or kitchen gardens, interspersed with a few trees, the scenery would be greatly heightened. As it is, the wildness of nature is preserved; and, with all its imperfections, it is certainly the most romantic place in these parts: it strongly reminds me of the scenery in Yorkshire, from Halifax to the seat of my youthful studies and first labours as a village preacher. Yet the scenery at Matlock Bath is more awfully grand and majestic, especially when we add to it the terrors of winter; and more sweet and captivating, when the valleys are clothed with the verdure of the latter end of spring. When I had driven through the circuitous roads for nearly a mile from the river side to this house, and had ascended the hill, and gazed on the prospect all around, I was in raptures :-Onone side is the sea, on another a fine plain containing a meandering river, (the Körnăphooliya,) and beyond it, as far as the eye can stretch, ranges of hills, in two heights, leading the mind to Himalăyů. On another side, hill on hill fills the sight, while those immediately around are capped with houses, some resembling castles or palaces, the delightful abodes of my countrymen.
“ The native houses are much more decent than in your parts ; and the people in general seem in better circumstances, that is, they appear to have more comforts. They build the walls of their houses with platted split bamboos, which are very cheap and exceedingly strong.
Bamboos were formerly one hundred for the roopee, but are now dearer, The roof is made of split bamboos, and covered with long grass. The houses are generally surround,
ed with a mat wall, made of these bamboo's split. The inhabitants drink spring water, clear as chrystal. The roads in the town are very sandy, very narrow, and very circuitous, so that to visit your next door neighbour, you may have to go a quarter of a mile, though you may stand on the top of one hill and almost make yourself heard at the top of the next, if you speak somewhat loud. In carrying water, &c. the bearers throw a very short stick across the shoulders, and the koolsees are therefore much more elevated than in the way water is carried by the natives near Calcutta. The cattle are very small, and tame buffaloes are quite common. A great quantity of salt is made on the sides of the river near Chito para tagong. I see very few Hindoo temples, but the mosques are numerous, and the proportion of Măsălman inhabitants is large. The Hindoos bathe and perform their daily ceremonies in tanks. I see many Mugs in the streets. Here are two Portuguese chapels, and two divisions of the town are occupied by the Portuguese. This morning (the 11th) we had a fine ride through what is called
the Pass :' the hills on each side rising almost perpendicularly, and producing a grand and very pleasing effect. I should like to see a topographical description of Chittagong. I fancy it was formerly in a great measure in the hands of the fukeers : it is now coming fast into the hands of the native head-servants, dewans,&c. belonging to the station. There are many hills to the north of the town uninhabited, and tygers have now and then been seen at a small distance.
“ March 11. I have sent for the elders or readers from Harbung, &c. and if possible shall go with them on Monday to their town, two days' journey. I intend after this to assemble at Chittagong as many Mug christians as possible, and give them up to brother P. advise with them, and settle them as well as I can, and after visiting Sēēta-koondŭ, I hope to proceed to Dacca, and then to return home.
“ March 16. Last week I preached to Dr. M's. sail-makers, (Portuguese) and on Friday evening to Capt. W's people, that is to about two hundred of them. On Saturday afternoon I preach
ed at the house of a Portuguese: but at the close, after prayer I found
my whole congregation in a state of painful levity. When I asked the cause, the reply was, that the Portuguese had never
seen such a thing for generations as a person thus engaging in e prayer, and that the singularity made them all laugh. bud: these Roman Catholic christians : they do not even know what
prayer means. Ten of the Mugs are arrived from Harbung. I have din been to see them at De Bruyn's; they seem very pleasant, wellI dressed, intelligent men.
“ Yesterday morning I preached in English. We had about a CE dozen of our countrymen present.
In the afternoon I preached in Bengalee, where we had a number of Portuguese brought by az Reveiro, with the Mugs, &c. I persuaded Kshepoo to pray in Burki man, or rather Arakanese ; and after worship I sat with the Mugs
for some time. I can understand their broken Bengalee tolerably well. They sung a Bengalee hymn, I JA OTTA Star fayl, &c.; and by adding the Burman accent, it became quite interesting. I am going to-day to Harbung with them, where I expect to baptize six or seven candidates : a Mug woman at Chittagong also wishes to be baptized. At Kaptai over the hills to the east of Chittagong are a number of baptized Mugs, who have not been heard of for a year. Kshepoo went once to see them, but the land owners met him, and threatened to shoot him if he advanced, declaring that he should not come to take away the cast of their ryots. He held out his book, requesting that they would examine it, and if it contained good words, to let him proceed; but if not, to shoot him. They would listen to nothing, and he was obliged to return."
III. Jugunnatha's Car.
On the 5th day of July, the annual drawing forth of JugunDatha's car, took place at Muhesha near Rishera. On these occasions, Jugunnat'ha is placed in his car, and drawn about two miles to Bullubhpoora ; when he islet down from the car by means of Topes and carried to the temple of his brother Radha-bullubh about
two miles distant. There he remains eight days, enjoying, according to the natives, the delightful society of his brother and sister. The influx of worshippers on these days is immense. Women who never appear in public on other occasions, visit the temple and present offerings according to their circumstances. Three or four hundred boats may be seen on the river, passing and repassing with crowds of females, some of them from a distance of two or three days' journey. On the ninth day Jugunnatha leaves his brother, remounts his
car, and is drawn to his own temple, amidst the enthusiastic shouts of the people.
The rich native to whom the car belongs, (the idol is the property of the lord of the soil on which the temple stands,) had recently built a house near the temple, for the convenience of his family on these occasions. The earth before it had been turned up, and having imbibed the rain which fell incessantly a day or two before the festival, was exceedingly soft. When therefore the car arrived at this spot, the wheels sunk into the earth, and every effort to extricate them proved ineffectual. A heavy shower which fell at the same time, dispersed the crowd, and the car instead of proceeding nearly two miles as usual, remained only fifty yards from its original station. The proprietor of the car, standing before it, lamented in bitter terms the ruin which this event entailed on his ancestor who had built the car. The Hindoos imagine, that a man continues immortal, as long as any great or important work he may have achieved, continues to flourish : thus the Hindoos ese teem Valmiki as still enjoying immortality, because his work is now in constant circulation among them. The stopping of the car, defeated the purpose for which it was built, and plainly indicated that his ancestor had fallen from his immortality.
On the second day the people again applied their shoulders to the ropes in vain ; the car was immoveable, and the whole multitude exa claimed that nothing but the presence 8f his brother Radha-bullubh would induce Jugunnat'ha to move. Messengers were immediate