Page images

destruction of a part, the remainder might be persuaded or terrified into the profession of Mahomedism: but all' these sanguinary efforts were ineffectual; and at length, being fully convinced, that though they might extirpate, they could never hope to convert any number of the Hindoos, they relinquished the impracticable idea, with which they had entered upon their career of conquest, and contented themselves with the acquirement of the civil dominion and almost universal empire of Hindostan."

Letters from a Hindoo Rajah, by Eliza Hamilton.

Note 12. And brav'd the stormy spirit of the Cape. See the description of the Cape of Good Hope, translated from Camoens, by Mickle.

Note 13. While famish'd nations died along the shore.

The following account of British conduct, and its consequences, in Bengal, will afford a sufficient idea of the fact alluded to in this passage. After describing the monopoly of salt, betel nut, and tobacco, the historian proceeds thus: Money in this current came but by drops; it could not quench the thirst of those who waited in India to receive it. An expedient, such as it was, remained to quicken its pace. The natives could live with little salt, but could not want food. Some of the agents saw themselves well situated for collecting the rice into stores; they did so. They knew the Gentoos would rather die than violate the principles of their religion by eating flesh. The alternative would therefore be between giving what they had, or dying. The inhabitants sunk; ....they that cultivated the land, and saw the harvest at the disposal of others, planted in doubt; scarcity ensued. Then the monopoly was easier managed.....sickness

[ocr errors]

ensued. In some districts the languid living left the bodies of their numerous dead unburied."

Short History of the English Transactions in the East Indies, page 145.

Note 14. Nine times hath Brama's wheels of lightning hurl'd

His awful presence o'er the prostrate world! Among the sublime fictions of the Hindoo mythology, it is one article of belief, that the Deity Brama has descended nine times upon the world in various forms, and that he is yet to appear a tenth time in the figure of a warrior upon a white horse, to cut off all incorrigible offenders. Avatar is the word used to express his de


Note 15. And Camdeo bright, and Ganesa sublime. Camdeo is the God of Love in the mythology of the Hindoos. Ganesa and Seriswattee correspond to the Pagan deities, Janus and Minerva.

[ocr errors]


Note 1. The noon of manhood to a myrtle shade!
Sacred to Venus is the myrtle shade.


Note 2 Thy woes, Arion! Falconer, in his poem, The
Shipwreck, speaks of himself by the name of Arion.
See Falconer's Shipwreck, Canto III.

Note 3. The Robber Moor.

See Schiller's tragedy of the Robbers, Scene V.

Note 4. What millions died that Cæsar might be great. The carnage occasioned by the wars of Julius Cæsar has been usually estimated at two millions of men.

Note 5. Or learn the fate that bleeding thousands bore, March'd by their Charles to Dneiper's swampy shore.

In this extremity (says the Biographer of Charles XII of Sweden, speaking of his military exploits before the battle of Pultowa), the memorable winter of 1709, which was still more remarkable in that part of Europe than in France, destroyed numbers of his troops; for Charles resolved to brave the seasons as he had done his enemies, and ventured to make long marches during this mortal

cold. It was in one of these marches that two thousand men fell down dead with cold before his eyes.

Note 6. As on Iona's height.

The natives of the Island of St. Iona have an opinion, that, on certain evenings every year, the tutelary St. Columba is seen on the top of the church spires counting the surrounding islands, to see that they have not been sunk by the power of witchcraft.

Note 7. And part, like Ajut, never to return!

See the history of Ajut and Anningait in the Rambler

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »