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not be time enough, in the short space of human life, for any one to reach to that perfection of which you speak.
BR. Of that fact I am well aware, and I believe that most modern philosophers of the Sanchya school admit that the present life is not sufficient for the purpose of arriving at a transcendental perfection : therefore you perceive that a wider field is opened for the operation of the principle, and therefore you will probably be somewhat more ready, or at least less reluctant, to receive the Sanchya theory.
EUR. Nay, indeed, I must freely and fairly tell you, that I can never be brought to an acquiescence in such extravagancies, which do violence to all feeling and reason.
BR. Exactly so; you acknowledge that your prejudices against the Sanchya philosophy are insuperable even by reasoning, and that therefore the force of affirmation on which your own philosophy rests is the most convincing proof to you of that which you believe. Now, permit me to ask you, do you not admit that the future state of being is endless in duration ?
Eur. I do admit it.
BR.. And do you not also admit that improvement in wisdom and power may be continually progressing in that state?
Eur. I see no reason to deny it.
Br. Furthermore, do you regard infinite power and wisdom as stationary or progressive ?
Eur. Clearly, it must be admitted that they are stationary, for it would be a contradiction in terms to say that infinity could receive addition or accession.
Br. If then the mind is continually making progress in wisdom and power, must it not be approaching nearer and nearer to infinite wisdom and infinite power, that is, to what you call omniscience and omnipotence?, .
Eur. The mind may make approaches, and may be susceptible of vast improvements, but still it may fall far short of omniscience and omnipotence.
Br. But if the mind is making progress towards infinitude of wisdom and power, and yet never reaches or never can reach that point, this inability must arise from some impediment to its progress. You say, that the mind may make continued progress in wisdom and power--you say, that it may make this progress in a state of being which has no end; now, how can it fail of arriving at infinitude in an infinity of duration, unless some stop be put to its progress ? And what is it that makes the interruption ? And at what period does improve. ment cease?
Eur. We cannot speak positively of a future state.
BR. You bave spoken so positively as to affirm of it that its duration is infinite, and that it is a state of progressive improvement. I wish you then only to say, what prevents the mind from arriving at omniscience and omnipotence, if it be continually making progress thereunto ?
Eur. If I were to admit that the mind of a created being could ever attain unto infinite power and wisdom, I should make a concession that it was possible for man to become god, and so I should virtually uphold a system of atheism.
BR. You are not the first that has affirmed that the Sanchya doctrines are essentially atheistic; but I can assure you that there are many who hold those doctrines who are very far from atheism : indeed, I will say that your views of philosophy are far more atheistic than mine; for though you admit the existence of a deity having infinite wisdom and power, yet your notions of infinite wisdom and power seem to be very limited and imperfect.
Eor. My notions are that omniscience and omnipotence belong only to one supreme being, and that they are unattainable by any created being.
Br. But notwithstarding that you deny the attainableness of omniscience and omnipotence, you acknowledge the existence of those principles on which they are manifestly attainable. There is somewhat in this that is inconsistent, and that is quite as perplexing as the affirmation that it is possible for the same thing to be and not to be at the same time. Either the mind goes on increasing in wisdom and power, or it does not. If it goes on increasing to all eternity, in must arrive at infinity of power and wisdom; but if it does not arrive at omnipotence and omniscience, how, when, and where, is its progress interrupted ?
Eur. Truly, I must say that to answer you in this matter is not in my power. I cannot suppose that the created should ever attain unto the power of the uncreated. And now, after all that we have said on this topic and on others connected with the Sanchya philosophy, I am of opinion that the discussion has not produced any, even the slightest, assimilation of sentiment between us, We leave off nearly if not quite as we began. I must, however, be permitted one remark, and that is, that I do not know any one system of philosophy, or, if I may so speak, of antiphilosophy, which may not be pushed into absurdity by an ingenious arrangement of questions. And I think that when we quit sense we talk nonsense.
BR. So do I.
MEDICAL RETIRING FUNDS. The Bengal and Bombay medical establishments are petitioning the Court of Directors for permission to form retiring funds, to grant annuities to their seniors, in order to facilitate their retirement and to expedite promotion, upon the principle which has been not only sanctioned, but liberally assisted, by the Honourable Court for upwards of twenty-five years in the Madras presidency.* !The Court, in reply to the Bombay petition, have expressed their approbation of the general principle, and have recognized the vast advantage to the service of seniors being enabled to retire'ere exhausted by age and climate, in the efficiency thereby obtained at the head of the department, and the spirit of hope and energy thereby infused through the inferior grades; but they have observed that, at Madras, the Medical Fund contains within itself a charitable branch for provision of widows and orphans, distinct from the Military Fund; whilst, at Bengal and Bombay, the surgeons are incorporated in the Military Charitable Fund, and consequently, the Court conceive that they should in like manner join the Military Retiring Fund about to be organized, and under that impression have refused their sanction to‘a' separate fund. This ultra consideration for the supposed claims of the military upon their medical brethren appears to have gratified neither side: a correspondent of the Bombay Courier, under the signature of “The Grey-haired Captain," has exposed the fallacy of the union being supposed a benefit to the military; whilst the medical establishment have renewed their applications, with the strong support of Lord Clare's government, that they may be allowed a separate fund, for reasons which appear to be conclusive.
The Bombay petition first states that their subscribers (upwards of one hun. dred) have, with one exception, joined in the prayer for a separate fund; that, among other discrepancies betwixt the 'military and medical establishments, viz. age at entering the service, professional habits, and periods of
* The Madras Retiring Fund gives two annuities of £400 cach and one of £200 annually to retiring members.
† Copy of the Bombay pctition is given in our .isiatic Intelligence.
retirement, the two branches of service differ so strangely in the proportion in which rank is assigned them, that no arrangement could equitably proportion their monthly subscriptions and eventual claims. The military, in fact, enjoy the proportion of fifteen per cent. field-officers, and only sixty per cent. subalterns; whilst the medical services of Bengal and Bombay are allowed only four and two-thirds per cent. field-officers, whilst they have upwards of seventy per cent. subalterns, and that too in a body of which the junior, when he joins, is not a lad of sixteen, as the military cadets are, but a professional man, who must be twenty-two years of age, and member of a royal college, after six years' preparatory education.
It is impossible to conjecture what new modification the medical establishment may eventually undergo, but it may reasonably be hoped that a greater liberality in the distribution of rank will be extended in favour of the senior surgeons, of whom there are very many, at each of the three presidencies, who, after twenty-five years' service, and six years' preparatory education, which brings their claim for consideration parallel with military servants of thirty-one years' service,-have still no higher rank than surgeons or captains ; the new rank of staff-surgeon, with the rank of major, and eligibility to the best appointments, might be formed for these unfortunate gentlemen, whose situation deserves commiseration and relief.
As respects the Retiring Fund,—the Civil Fund is now working, and the Court possess grounds on which to calculate how far the life-assurance system, which they have organized for their civil servants, is likely to pay its own way; and to what amount and where the debit or credit may probably be. In India, it is generally argued that Government will derive a very great advantage, and that more liberal terms might be afforded to their civil servants; but admitting the balance to fall, as it probably will, to the credit of Government, then it may be suggested that a medical fund for all India, based upon the rules and provisions of the Madras Fund, might be safely, and most advantageously for all parties, established by Government,
The medical servants for all lodia exceed 700,; the union of their subscriptions into one fund, as is done with the Civil Fund, would insure its perfect stability, and would simplify and economize its working; or perhaps the very establishment now existing for the Civil Fund, with a very trifling addition, would suffice for both.
Supposing this practicable, then five annuities of £400 each for Bengal, three to Madras, and two to Bombay, would be nearly the fractional proportion; and admitting the Civil Fund to be an equitable adjustment for both parties, and twenty-five years' experience having shown the Madras Retiring Fund to be a successful scheme, then it may safely be assumed that Government would suffer no pecuniary loss, whilst the benefit to the service would be incalculable. Government would, at the same time, abundantly secure their aim of being efficiently served by the comparatively early retirement of their officers ere the worn-out veterans had become worse than useless through age and climate. Thirty years' wear and tear is too much for those who land in India at twenty-two; very few are good for much after the age of fifty, of which twenty-eight years have been spent betwixt the tropics. · But without a Retiring Fund, in the present and probable future state of the service and of the money-market, affecting interest and exchange in India, no man can be supposed likely to be able to quit the service under thirty years, however fortunate or prudent he may have been, and supposing he has rigorously imposed upon himself the penalty of celibacy.
SKETCHES OF INDIAN SOCIETY.
No. VIII.-THE JUNGLES. The term jungle is very ill-understood by European readers, who generally associate it with uninhabited forests and almost impenetrable thickets, whereas all the desert and uncultivated parts of India, whether covered. with wood or merely suffered to run waste, are styled jungles; and junglewallah is a term indiscriminately applied to a wild cat or to a gentleman who has been quartered for a considerable period in some desolate part of the country. Persons who are attached to very small stations in remote places, or who reside in solitary houses surrounded only by the habitations of the natives, are said to be living in the jungles.
For a short period, a sojourn amidst the untamed wildernesses of Hindoostan is very desirable, and with the exception of the fixed inhabitants of Calcutta, all persons visiting India must have had more or less experience of the delights of savage life in their passage through those unreclaimed. tracts which continually occur during a long march. But though, perhaps, as much as may appear to be desirable may be seen in a journey of two or three months, it is necessary to occupy the same spot for a considerable length of time, in order thoroughly to understand the ways and modes of spending the day in the solitary districts of a foreign country; for, in constant movement through wilds, however monotonous, the incidents of the march and the change of scene afford a salutary relief to ennui, which is not to be found in a fixed residence. If our fellow-sojourners in the wilds do. not happen to be congenial spirits, if the boar of the neighbouring cate (plantation) happen to be as agreeable a companion as the bore of the adjacent bungalow, the misnamed society of the place becomes an additional grievance.
There are perverse persons in the world who refuse to accommodate themselves to the circumstances in which they may be placed, and who, by carrying the formalities and observances of large communities into the jungles, effectually prevent the easy sociability which can alone render constant intercourse desirable. Where the circle is extremely circumscribed, the evil is without remedy; the efforts of one individual, or even of one family, must be unavailing, and the minority are condemned to lead the most irksome life imaginable, thrown entirely upon their own resources, and those resources miserably contracted by the peculiarities of the climate, and the difficulty of procuring the materials necessary to carry on any little ingenious art by which they may hope to beguile the time. To descend to particulars, we may imagine a small station (there are many such in India, though it would be invidious to name them), in which the number of Europeans does not amount to more than a dozen individuals ; this station at least a hundred miles from the head-quarters of the district, and the inhabitants depending entirely upon each other for society, with the exception of any chance traveller who may happen to pass through. Where the persons thus congregated together are of cheerful, obliging dispositions, ready to fall into any rational plan for the benefit and advan
tage of the whole, a residence in the jungles of India may be rendered exceedingly delightful, and those who have enjoyed its freedom from worldly cares and worldly vanities, its quiet sober existence, will look back upon it as the most enviable portion of their lives. Conversation will supply the place of books, and the few books which the station may boast will furnish topics for conversation, if those who are fond of reading can be induced to enter into discussions upon what they read. When this is the case, the value of a book is enhanced to a degree scarcely conceivable to those who can command a well-furnished library at home: the commentaries elicited may not be very profound, but if lively and entertaining, they form admirable substitutes for the Edinburgh and Quarterly, and where anything like talent is brought into play, the absence of many of those prejudices, which can scarcely fail to bias opinions concerning new works in the places of their production, renders decisions formed in the jungles of India more just and impartial than those which are so peremptorily pronounced by the leading reviews of the day. The bachelors of a station usually bestow all their tediousness
each other, and unless one should be more studious than the rest, whether their tempers and habits should assimilate or not, will be constantly together, frequently taking no sort of pleasure in that daily intercourse which they cannot live without. With the ladies it is different; they will not be at the trouble of leaving their houses except upon formal invitations, unless inclination should lead them into society; in this event, neither rains nor hot winds can prevent them from traversing the short distances which divide the bungalows from each other; and when kindness of heart or mutual tastes bring them into constant association, the gentlemen follow in their train, very few preferring the jovialities of their own exclusive circle to the attractiveness of a feminine coterie. The fruits of domestication amid the ladies, where the harmony is not interrupted by any mal-accident, are of incaloulable value; so much, indeed, depends upon the wives and sisters of the residents, that there ought to be an Act of Parliament to prohibit the exportation of any lady, who is not qualified to lighten the dreariness of an Indian jungle.
It has been before remarked, that there is little scope for feminine industry in our eastern possessions. Charity bazaars, which put so many fair fingers into motion in Europe, are unknown out of Calcutta. Where there is no theatre, no fancy ball in perspective, requiring dresses and decorations to be fashioned out of such materials as only a bold and imaginative spirit would consider applicable, invention flags; people like to fancy that they are manufacturing something useful, and though nothing in India is unprofitable which affords employment for the fingers, preventing the miserable tedium resulting from utter inactivity of body and mind, encouragement is necessary to induce perseverance, and it must be confessed that the gathering together of ladies, in the days of tapestry-hangings or of eleven-sided pincushions, has always tended to the production of a thousand stitches where one would suffice. The climate in India is unfortunately adverse to needle