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CHAPTER II.

Hydraulics. The great Veneration paid by the Indians to the aquatic Element, in great Part the Result of their physical Investigations into its Properties and Qualities. The Obligation they were under of forming vast Reservoirs, in various Regions of Hindoftan, re

. mote from the great Rivers, and of raising by Pumps and conveying by Canals the Waters to their Rice-Grounds, necessarily rendered them acquainted •with the Principles of this Science. Their Manufactures, also, especially their chemical Processes in Medicine, Distilling, and Dying, required Siphons and

other hydraulic Machines. Pneumatics.

•"-This Science intimately connected "with their mythological Superstition.Indra> Vavoo, and their stormy Attendants, only the AtmosPheric Phænomena personified. The great Vicifjitudes of Weather that take Place during the different Seasons in so vast an Empire and so varied a Climate; one Region chilled with the Snows of Caucasus, and the

other other parched with equatorial Fervors: The tremendous Tornado and the pestilential Blast rendered the ancient Indians too. well acquainted with those Pbanomena. Their metallurgic Operations required the Aid of vast Bellows for their Furnaces.Their Mines could not have been explored and wrought without Air-shafts and other pneumatic Machines, nor without greatly enlarging their Knowledge in this Branch of Sciencet which they made useful in the Mysteries practised in their subterraneous Caverns. Probably not unacquainted with ElecTricity and Magnetic Attraction. -—painting. The exquisite Beauty of the Flowers and the brilliant Plumage of the Birds of Hindostan bad the Effect to make the Indians Painters in very early Periods, as well as to give them a decided Superiority over all the ancient World in the vivid Lustre of their Dy"es. Their peculiar Method of Painting on Cotton described from Pliny and modern Authors. A short History of their Silk and Cotton Works. T— Their ancient Manufactures of PorceLain and Coloured Glass. Additional Observations on their Sculpture and ArChitecture.

Chitecture.—^-r Engraving On Gems.

The high Antiquity of this Art in India*

'The Kind of precious Stones principally selected for this Purpose, and the Devices engraved on them. The infinite Variety and Neatness of their Jewellery and Gold Work.

HYDRAULICS.

THE lotos, suspended aloft in a thousand temples of India and Egypt as the picturesque symbol of that humid principle, which the emanation of the eternal beam, piercing the darkest recesses of the chaotic waters, animated and rendered prolific, demonstrates the strong traditional veneration for the aquatic element, which descended down to the generations of Asia from the first speculative race of human philosophers. Their conceptions concerning the union of these two grand principles, and the consequent generation of all things, were sometimes exprefled by flames issuing from the calix of the lotos, sculptured in form of a

vase, which indeed its natural shape greatly resembles; and, at others, that calix is encircled with a radiated crown of flames, just mounting above the burnished edge, to mark the superior energy of sire over water. This is the invariable meaning of the ancients, when either Brahma, Seeva, Osiris, or Horus, are portrayed sitting upon that sacred plant: they are only emblems of the solar sire warming and invigorating the chaotic waters. This their constant and immemorial deification of the element of water, and their profound admiration of the astonishing qualities possessed by it of pervading, cherishing, and dissolving all things, the effect of philosophical investigation, must necessarily and naturally have induced an acquaintance with many branches of Hydraulic science.

Indeed the doctrine of Thalcs, that is, of the Ionian school, aquam ejse initium rerum, may be fairly said to have flourished in its vigour in the earliest post-diluvian sages. From the fame traditional fountains, whence they obtained their information, Moses also acquired his knowledge in regard to this wonderful element; and from the Mosaic and Egyptian school it was diffused among the

philosophers

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