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were waiting amidst the funeral piles till their turn should come. Never, never can the horrid impression be removed, and the stench for two or three miles was almost intolerable. The more tality has probably been increased by the prevalence of the cholara morbus; but I could not help attaching much of it to the temple, which is constantly visited by crowds of emaciated pilgrims.
During our stay at Talee-Gúnj, a bramhŭn, sick of the above disease, was brought to the canal, and placed in the water up to the middle, while his friends called on the gods, and urged the dying man to follow their example. I stood near while this
was going forward, and watched their motions with much interi est.
Several young men of a very respectable appearance were I engaged in these last offices. A female or two were preseát, who
seemed somewhat affected, but I did not see either in them, or in the young men, or even in the son of the old man who also was present, any real sorrow. The woman apparently most sorrowful; really smiled while she sat over the dead body half immersed in the canal. All the young men, four or five, appeared eager to enter upon the funeral ceremonies. They sent to the village for wood, for a new garment, for red lead, and for a morsel of gold. When it was observed, that there was no gold in the house, a pere son was directed to break a knob from the nose-ring of some fem male member of the family. Four roopees were given to meet the present expenses. One of the young men complained that he had not had time to perform his daily ablutions, and, that asohe had touched the body and could not be purified till the whole was over, it was then too late. Another of the young men said, “ Pshaw, there are twelve months in the year; never mind one omission.” The whole exhibited the appearance of hurry and bustle in passing through the ceremonies, without the least honourable feeling in any of the parties : a decent man among the spectators obsery. ed to me, that in this way we were all passing away. Respecting the old man just expired, one or two said, it was a happy death, for he died quite sensible ; he had the benefit of the Ganges, and
repeated the names of the gods with his last breath. Another of served, that the day and the lunar sign were inauspicious, but that it was of no consequence, as the old man had enjoyed the benefit a of dying in the Ganges. Veneration for whatever is conạected his with Greece and Rome has made some persons think favourably of this mode of interment : but the universal want of feeling on these occasions, is a strong presumption that the process of burning a body, like that of cutting off limbs, or slaying cattle, deadens the sensibility of the parties ; and extinguishes those feelings which a more decent mode of interment might excite. The persons assisting on these occasions are the male children or other near relations; the eldest son sets fire to the pile ; after which all engage in supplying fuel, keeping up the vigour of the flame, or adjusting the parts of the body as they lie on the pile, and ensuring the speedy destruction of every part. It might be thought, that these persons so nearly related to the deceased these children dandled on the father's knees, or fed from the mother's breasts, would, in thus silently watching, for nearly two hours, the destructhon of a frame once so dear to them, exhibit the strongest emotions of grief ; but the very contrary is the case, and in no family ceremony, that of marriage excepted, is there more the appearance of thorough apathy than in this : no signs of grief whatever; the time in general is spent in conversations on the most common to. pics, and the only concern is to compleat the business as rapidly as possible, and in a manner which shall be strictly conform able to the customs of the country. Could the lowest order of Europeans ever be brought to break the limbs of a father or a mother before interment; and so soon after death, to throw the body into the river, perhaps to be devoured by dogs, or to throw the unburnt bones into the river? -What a contrast does a Christian funeral present to this—the closing of the coffin-the departure of the corpse, and the last farewell at the grave ! Ah! Christian parents, you can best describe what is felt at these moments, ando how calculated all these awful ceremonies are to awaken the tenderest sensibilities of the heart.
Romans preserved the ashes of their parents in urns, but a Hindoo washes them all into the river-adjoining the funeral pile, and would consider his house polluted by the presence even of his father's ashes.
III. EXTRACTS OF LETTERS TO THE EDITORS.
Extract of a letter from a Gentleman in Hindoost'han, to the Red.
W. Ward. “ Allow me once more with deference, to mention the great use of the Brij-Bhasha. It is much more extensive as a written than as á spoken dialect, and indeed I am inclined to think it is nearly the only one which can properly be called a written one. Though there are different bhash is or dialects in almost every province, yet few of them I believe have any books written in them, and they are by no means fixed or certain. There are in the Brij-Bhasha, two Gee. tas, one or two Ramayunas, the Bhagvůt, an abridgement of the Mihabharŭtă, and several books containing stories, (of Krishnă), all of which are commonly read by the native soldiers, and I believe by the inhabitants of this part of the country generaliy. There are also small works on prosody, and rhetoric, and Vocabularies, in imitation of the Súngskrit works, and though there is no book containing any grammar of the language, it would, I imagine, be no difficult thing for any one in the habit of compiling such things, to collect together a few general rules, &c. from the variouo books in the dialect, which are to be met with. When I first wished to become acquainted with it, in the space of six months, (three of which I was at Můthoora) I procured books containing together about 20,000 couplets, and imagine that it would be easy to double or triple this number in the same space of time : a large proportion of these certainly display but too correctly the horrid state of this people, but I think it proves that this dialect has been more cultivated than any other current in this part of India. A braha mån scarcely conceives himself able to read a Pooran in public, unless he can explain the meaning in Brij-Bhasha, and it is a com
mon saying among them, that among the Bhashas, it is Sångskrit. As it seems to have nearly the same relation to Súngskrit that Oordoo has to Persian and Arabic, I imagine, it would be easier to make a good translation of the scriptures, books on science, &c. into it, than into any other common dialect.*
66. I see in one of your former Periodical Accounts that mention is made of printing the Védas : this I suppose however, was never undertaken, and it would be an expensive and laborious business. Might it not however be of some use if some selections of, say two or three hundred octavo pages of each Véda, were to be printed, I mean in the Sångskrit:-would not such a thing be encouraged by the public? I think it would be beneficial in des. troying the excessive veneration that the brahmúns appear to have for sources of superstition, I often find that no argument has such effect on a brahmún, as making it appear that I know something of the Védas, by means of the little knowledge of the subject I have been able to gain from Mr. Colebrooke's essays: few things seem to excite their attention so much. I also think that when there is a sufficient number of scriptures in circulation among them, a more general knowledge of the Sủngskrit language particularly among the un-sacerdotal casts, might assist in diffusing knowledge. It may perhaps be said that would be enabling them to read their own vile works also, but I trust that when the word of God is more known among them, the contrast will be suck in favour of it, that they will be little inclined to reverence the Poorans : besides, through the agency of Satan, those abominable parts of their system, which by their sensuality and licentiousness are most ealculated to allure the multitude, are already but too well known; and taught by books in the common dialect songs, stories, &c. not to mention the representations at festivals, readings of the Poorans, and pictures.”
* The Editors are happy to say, that with a view to a translation of the Scriptures into this language, the Rev. Mr. Chamberlain in the year 1810, obtained the permission of Government to reside at Agra; and that lie has been ever since employed on this translation as he has had opportunity.
Extract of a letter from a gentleman on a visit there from India, to Dr. M. dated Jan. 11, 1818. “When I considered the comforts and enjoyments arising from Christian society and communion in India, it was not strange that I should feel very desolate, when it seemed that they were not in any corresponding measure to be found here. I should think this to be the darkest of all the British possessions; for in this wretched colony, no light seems to have broken in upon our own countrymen ; and of the Dutch the number of really pious is very circumscribed, and these are timorous, and do not boldly come forth in the cause of God! It seems as though a general dislike to the ways of God pervades the town, which is very extensive, and which must contain a large population of Whites as well as Blacks. The glorious gospel of the blessed God, has little liberty. The various missionaries of the London and the Methodist Society may not open their mouths in Cape Town. The whole town is dead!“ they sleep the sleep of death” and none disturb them. God has preserved a small remnant, but as C. Wesley says
“ Utterly conteyn'd they live,'
And unlamented die." The religion of Mahomet in the mean while, is making rapid strides amongst the deluded Blacks-their priests are permitted to spread their poison as widely as they can. One devoted Christian woman teaches privately to some, and others by sufferance in private houses, address the words of life to their depen, dants. The “ widow indeed” whom I have mentioned, told me only yesterday, that all was growing darker and darker. In the interior things may be better, however ; I have not been able to go far into the country, and cannot say what degree of light or warmth there may be there.".
IV. Anecdote of an African Youth.
The following anecdote of an African youth, extracted from the Christian Guardian for March 1817, has been transmitted to us