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the brahmans, and ever commiserating those in distress ; blandiloquent, not a detractor, void of desire after even his hereditary dominions, and esteeming the acquisition of wisdom beyond that of a kingdom ; pitiful towards all creatures, the asylum of all desiring protection ; munificent, the protector of the good, beloved of his dependents, ready to repay a kindness, grateful, engaging in only just wars, a discerner of good qualities, full of excellence, self-subdued, of decided (mind, not a procrastinator; able, prompt in action, gracious to his friends, easy of access, renowned; one ready to part with his life, his dignity, his dearest enjoyments, but never with truth ; sincere, munificent, amiable, humble, of excellent disposition, meek, just, of great promptitude, magnanimous, incomparably good, energetic, clement, grateful to the sight as the lunar orb; invincible in war, pure as the autumnal sun, attentive to the aged, having all his organs in subjection, in weighty affairs delivering his opinion with conciseness and modesty. although in eloquence equal to Vachusputi.'
If more is wanted, more may be had,' from a speech made to his father in his praise, by the Brahmins and other great people of the empire.
• We will mention, O divine one, the amiable, the joy-creating qualities of thy wise and god-like son. O lord of men, he transcends in excellence the whole of thy race; none can equal him, accomplished, courteous, of subdued anger, prescient, and magnanimous. Rama is the most excellent of men, faithful, a promoter of truth ; from Rama proceed virtue and prosperity. In diffusing happiness among the subjects of his kingdom, he resembles the serene queen of night; in forbearance and goodness the patient earth ; in wisdom a Vrihusputi' ; (preceptor of the Hindoo gods) "he is thoroughly acquainted with duty, steadily regards truth, is excellent ia disposition, void of detraction, forgetful of injuries, affected by the miseries of others, sincere, gratefal, of subdued desires, meek, calm, always attentive speaking with tenderness to every creature, faithful to truth. Such is Rama, revering the aged, the learned in the Vedas, and the brahmins. In conflict invincible, whether with gods, infernals, or men; skilful, in all weapons, divine and human; he is conversant with the Veda and its ungas, being immersed in knowledge, and the observance of sacred rites. In these and the polite arts, he is the chief one on the earth. This magnanimous one is the abode of prosperity, righteous, vast in mind, supplicated even by the twice born, transcendently great in the pursuit of virtue. When he, desirous of obtaining towns or cities, goes to war, he pever returns without conquest. Returning from battle, whether seated on an elephant, or in a chariot, he enquires after the welfare of the citizens, as though they were his own family; and as a parent tenderly asks bis offspring 'respecting those dear to him, he enquires, "Is it well with your song your sires-your consorts--your servants-your disciples ? Do your pupils, devoted to virtue, pay due attention to your instructions ? Thus, o chief of men, does Rama constantly address us. He is afflicted with the distresses of men, and shares, like a father, their public rejoicings. He is
konstantly observant of truth, attentive to the aged, a mighty archer, continent, prefacing his words with a benign smile. Rama, adorned with charming brows, with elongated eyes, of the colour of copper, appears like Vishnoo himself present to mortals,' &c. &c.
This formal panegyric extends still further, and these and similar epithets and attributes are incessantly repeated all along the story. The extract will be acknowledged to be exceedingly curious, when it is considered that this is à specimen of the most elaborate moral portrait-drawing of one of the two reputed greatest masters, if not the one greatest, that India has seen for thirty centuries. The childish repetition of the identical terms and phrases in the same paragraph or sentence, may prove that mere quantity, that absolutely the multitude of lines, was considered as mental fertility by this pre-eminent genius, and his millions of admirers. In the next place, the total want of all classification of ideas, the absence of the slightest perception that siınilar things should be distributed together, instead of being shaken into such a medley that cleverness at archery and respect to the aged are the virtues in 'immediate conjunction, will yield to our sages the strongest assurance of success in prosecuting, in these great oriental works, their search for the well-digested and systematic principles of a sublime philosophy.-- There needs no remark on the complete incapability of all discriminative and specific conception of character, evident in this assemblage of mere general qualities and their effects. It is in the power of a child to describe a great character, if it may be done by just writing out a list of all the recollected names of virtues, and other admired qualities; now and then, in the course of the enumeration, putting down, as if for employment, till another fine quality's name can be recollected, such perfectly general and unmeaning phrases as, excellent in disposition, great in the pursuit of virtue. It is not enough to bring together, in a crude mass, a number of uporganized moral elements; they must be so modified in combivation, so conformed into individuality, as to present themselves in the shape of a true moral person, with a living soul.
It will, at the same time be observed, that the enumeration contains several qualities which it is extremely remarkable to find anong the constituents of the heroic character, as represented by an ancient pagan poet. And however justly we despise the Hindoo style of poetic invention, as contrasted with the intellectual strength, discernment, and symmetry, displayed by the Greek and Roman epic poets,
it must be acknowledged that these latter had very little notion how “ humility,' meekness,' 'forgetfulness of injuries, and being "afflicted with the distresses of men,' could form any part of the character of a great hero.
Though this inmense heap of virtues, however, makes a clumsy exhibition in the poem, it must have made a very noble one as organized and animated in the person of the Prince Rama. The natural consequence was, that the subjects of the good old monarch Dusha-rutha could not help admiring him very much. During his minority, which indeed he could hardly yet be said to have finished, in point of time, he had displayed, though invariably with the most captivating modesty, great activity and energy in public affairs. That powerful influence which had first operated, through his example, on the contemporary youth in the Brahminical colleges, was soon extended into the council and the camp; and he found himself, involuntarily, become the most efficient person in the state, and recognized as their chief by all who were most zealous and upright in promoting the public welfare. Nobody, as far as appears, ever thought of charging these patriots with faction; and
that such principles did not incur such an imputation, implies a better state of the nation than has ever been heard of since, in any part of the world-except one. At length a sentinient had very extensively made its way among the people, high and low, that it would be an excellent thing if the old monarch would formally raise the prince to a share of the royal authority. The leading men in the state took upon them to suggest this idea to the venerable person; and happily it proved to be the very thing that his majesty had himself been thinking of ever so long. He expresses the most animated delight at this testimony to the virtues of his son; says that, having grown old amidst the cares and toils of government, he shall be glad of a little relaxation, or, as he more preeisely expresses it,'having passed many thousand years under the shadow of the royal umbrella, bis worn-out body desires rest;' and he iwimediately directs the two chief prelates or Brahmins of the en pire, Vusbishtha and Vapa-deva, to make a' magnificent preparation for installing the prince, under an auspicious aspect of the heavens, which was to take place in a day
The orders they issue in consequence, include the following among other matters.
• Prepare gold, and gems, oblations to the gods, white garlands, honey, and clarified butter ; fine and clean cloth, chariots, weapons of all kinds, a full army, an elephant distinguished by auspicious
marks, the white flag, and the royal umbrella ; a hundred vessels of gold, brilliant as the fire, a bull with golden horns, a golden tyger's skin. Place them all in the house appropriated to the sacred fire of the king. Adorn all the doors of the inner apartments, and of those in the whole town, with sandal wood, with garlands and incense, fragrant to the smell. Provide food duly dressed and seasoned, with curds, and milk equal to the desires of a hundred thousand of the twice born. Having early on the morrow paid homage to the chief of the twice born, let clarified butter be presented them, with curds, parched corn, and ample fees. Tomorrow, at the 'moment in which the sun rises, must be performed the Swasti Vachuna* ; let the brahmans be invited, the seat prepared, the Aags be elevated on the staff, and the chief roads well watered ; let those acquainted with musical time, and females beautifully ador.ed, occupy the second gallery of the king's palace; let rice, with other food, and brahminical fees and garlands, he placed separately in the temples of the gods, and beneath the largest trees sacred to religion ; let heroic warriors, armed with long scymeters, and clothed in clean raiment, enter the spacious area of the king.'
Childishly as all this sounds, we do not know that it is essentially more foolish than many of the ceremonies with which wiser nations, in later times, are accustomed to celebrate their public occasions. The ascendency and rapacity of the Brahmins, so strongly indicated in this passage, are conspicuous through every part of the divine performances thus far obtained from the Sanscrit.
Rama is brought to the king in a chariot, amidst another explosion of epic huzzas, --'famed throughout the world for valour, might, and Jength of arm, of fearless mien, an intoxicated elephant; in countenance like a jasper, beautiful to behold, captivating the eyes and hearts of men, and by his beauty, his frankness, and accomplishments, refreshing the people, as an interposing cloud refreshes those fainting with heat.' • The assembly, illuminated by Rama, resembled the star-bespangled autumnal atmosphere, irradiated by the clear moon The king receives his
a gracious and a splendid manner, announces to him the design, confers on him affectionate benedictions, and concludes with some most judicious exhortations relative to his future conduct, --only verging a little toward flatness of self-evident remark, where he signifies that the more upright the prince's government shall be, the better will his courties be pleased.
Rama is hardly got home, when he receives another message from the king, inviting him to the presence for a *** A ceremony by which the brahmans, taking rice (deprived of its hask without boiling) strew it on the ground, invoking the blessings of the devtag" on the ceremony about to commence.'
more private kind of interview,in which his father acquaints him that he has to-day seen dreadful and ominous visions; meteors falling in the course of the day, attended with mighty sounds, and the clashing of elements.' . My star, 0°Rama, is crowded with portentous planets, Soorya (the sun], Ungaruha [Mars), and Rahoo (the dragon's head). The diviners say, that appearances such as these generally portend the death of a sovereign: he will certainly be the subject of dreadful misfortunes. O Rama, before my senses be gone, be anointed; the minds of the living are inconstant. The very next day is appointed for the installation; and meanwhile, besides ihe bustle of public preparation, sundry rites are performed by the individuals immediately concerned. The most soleain of them, called Pranayunan falls to the share of Koushulya, Rama's mother, and is thus described by the translators :
• the ceremony of stopping the left nostril while the name of the deity contemplated is repeated sixteen times, and then stopping both nosurile whilst the same name is repeated sixty-four times ; and then opening the right nostril till it be repeated thirty-two times more."
To prescribe one of the ceremonies to be observed by Rama, the great arch-brahmin, Vushishtha, is sent in a chariot to the prince's palace (he has a separate establishment); for which official visit, (which might just as well have been saved by means of the two-penny post,) the least compliment the prince thought it handsome to make, was a present of a thousand cows. Supposing these to average at twenty pounds sterling, the reader, in pare good nature to the prince, will be glad the interval is to be so short as not to give opportunity for many such visits.
The interval proves, however, to be long enough for the occurrence of circumstances still more undesirable than this. Here it is necessary to state, that the old monarch bas gradually made an assortment of wives to the amount of about two hundred and fift.y, only three or four of whom, however, have contributed princes to the perpetuation and glory of the dynasty. Among these three or four, it appears that Kikeyee, on account of her youth and beauty, was decidedly the fa. vourite, and had the greatest ascendency over bis majesty though he nevertheless entertained a very constant affection for the mother of Rama, and for all the other illustrious queens. Some of them, however, appear to have been not a little aggrieved, by certain haughty airs naturally assumed by the favourite. This Kikeyee had a son, Bhuruta, prince of extraordinary promise. She had also a female servant or confidante, who is described as 'excessively ugly, shrewd, and malicious. The short history of this person confesses, though