[ocr errors][ocr errors]

especially, to the eating of eggs, by the rains] the more plentiful the crop, and those who are subject to bilious dis- generally the less sickly does the season orders.

prove. The latter point will appear self

established, when we consider that ampliWe recollect no traveller that has

tude of inundation serves not only to di. described the annual inundation vide the sceptick matter contained in the which overflows India, more par water, but likewise to accelerate its action ticularly than the present writer; a and cause its proceeding with added impart of his description we shall set petus to discharge itself into the bay. At before our readers.

this season, rivers are only known by the
currents, and consequent swells, which

appear amidst this temporary ocean! The “ The inundation which overflows Ben: navigation, for several months, assumes a gal, especially in the districts of Nattore,

new appearance. Vessels of great burthen, Dacca, Jessore, the southern parts of perhaps of two thousand maunds (each Rungpore, and a part of Mahomed-Shi, is, 801b.) equal to nearly one hundred tons, perhaps, one of the most curious of na

are seen traversing the country in all dia ture's phenomena! The wisdom of our

rections, principally with the wind, which Creator is most conspicuously shown in the

is then within a few points on either side appropriation of sustenance, both for the

of south. Noted cities, exalted mosques, human and for the brute species, suited to

and populous gunjes, or grain markets, on meet thịs annual visitation of the waters.

the river's bank, are not objects of attenHowever copious the rains may be in the tention. The boatman having set his enor. southern provinces, though they might

mous square sail, proceeds by guess, or, become boggy, and be partially inundated perhaps guided by experience, through where the lands were low, yet, without the the fields of rice, which every where raiso influx of these immense streams, which, their tasseled heads, seeming to invite the owing to the declivity of the surface, pour reaper to collect the precious grain. As down from the upper country, Bengal to depth of water, there is generally from would, at such seasons, be but a miry ten to thirty feet, in proportion as the plain, or a shallow morass, The great in country may be more or less elevated. undation does not generally take place till “ It is curious to sail among these insua month after the period when the rains lated towns, which, at this season appear have, according to the phrase in use," set almost level with the surrounding element, in.” The thirsty soils of Oude, Corch, Al: and hemmed in by their numerous dingies, lahabad, Benares, Gazypore, Patna, Rung: or boats, whichi, exclusive of the necessity pore, Boglepore, Purneah, and all beyond for preparing against an over-abundant in the 25th degree of latitude, require much undation, are requisite for the purposes moisture to saturate them, as do also those of cutting the paddy; rice being so called parched plains into wþich they ultimately while in the husk. pour their streams, before any part of the “ So soon as what is considered the final soil can be covered. Indeed, such is the

secession of the inundation is about to state of the southern provinces after the commence, the whole of the boats are in cold season, that that sich friable soil in motion, and the paddy is cut with astonishwhich they abound is seen cake-dried and ing celerity. It is fortunate, that, owing cracked by fissures of many inches in to the country on the borders of the sea breadth, as though some great convulsion being higher than the inundated country, of nature had been exerted to rend the şur. the waters cannot draw off faster than they face into innumerable divisions.

can find vent, by means of the rivers “ Under the circumstances of a flood, which discharge into the bay of Bengal, which lasts for many months, fluctuating else the growing rice would be subjected from the middle or end of July to the be. to various fluctuations unsuited to its naginning of October (though the water does ture, and occasioning the straw to bend; not drain off before the middle of Decem- whereby its growth would be injured, even þer in low situations) the inhabitants might if it should recoves from its reclined state be supposed to suffer under all the mise so as again to assume a vigorous appearries of a general ruin and subsequent ance on the surface. scarcity. The reverse is, however, the “ The waters of the inundation, it will fact; for, provided the rains do not fall in be seen, are a mixture of all the streams such torrents as to wash away their habi. flowing from every part of the extensive tations, and to occasion so rapid a rise in valley formed by the ranges of mountains the fluid plain as to overwhelm the grow. stretching from Chittagog to Loll Dong, ing rice, the more ample the bursaulty [i. e or Hurdwar, on the east and northeast,

[ocr errors]

and from Midnapore to Lahore on the west from the same stones, appears now a comand northwest, a course of not less than plete mass of rock, capable of resisting fifteen hundred miles, and generally from the ravages of all time to come. This bund, two to four miles in breadth.

which bears all the venerable marks of an.

tiquity, was originally thrown up to limit The rice extends its stalk (which the Goomty; a fine river that rises in the draws out, like a pocket telescope) Peelabeet country, and, washing Lucknow, as the water increases, so that in

the capital of Oude, passes through the twenty four hours, it will have city of Juanpore under a very lofty bridge,

built on strong piers, terminating in golengthened itself six feet, in order

thick arches. The want of due breadth in to keep its head on the surface of the arches occasions the waters to rise du the water. “ I have seen it,” says our ring the rainy season to an immense height author, “ do much more.”

creating a fall of which that at London

bridge, at its worst, is, indeed, but a poor “It has often been asked, as a matter of epitome!. The distance between the top surprise, how it happens that Bengal has

of the bridge and the water below it, in never been visited by the plague? The

the dry season, is something less than question has been founded on the suppo- sixty feet; yet it is on record, and in the sed affinity between that country and

memory of many inhabitants of JuanEgypt, in regard to the annual inundations; pore, that the river has been so full and to the narrowness, as well as the filth,

as to run over the bridge, which is flat of the streets in the great cities; which

from one end to the other, lying level bewould, if the conjecture were correct, in

tween two high banks, distant about three duce pestilence, as the same causes are

hundred and twenty yards. said to do in Turkey.

“Formerly, when the waters were high, “The case is widely different. In Egypt, they used, according to the tradition alalthough the lands are inundated, rain is

luced to, to overrun the country on the scarcely ever known to fall; the foods left bank; forming an immense inundation coming from the southerly mountains. Hence, throughout the country lying east of Juanthe inhabitants are under all the disadvan

pore, and extending down towards the tages attendant upon a hot atmosphere,

fertile plains of Gazypore. The hollow, or during eight months in the year, and are,

low land, by which they penetrated, was

about two miles in width; therefore the for the remaining four, exposed to the insalubrity arising from the inundation, es

bund was built to a suitable extent. It is pecially when it is draining off.”

now about two miles and a half long; in

most parts, about thirty feet broad at the To what geological events such

top, and double that width at the base inundations may give rise, appears

Its beight varies from ten to twenty feet.

The record states it to have proved effecstrongly from a circumstance men

tual in resisting the inundation, which, tioned respecting the great bund, or however, on account of the bund being at dyke, at Juanpore, with its accession right angles with the river, so as to oc. of land. It reminds us of the ancient cupy a favourable position, and cut off the tradition that Egypt was gained from

torrent, continued to flow annually as far

as its base. In time, the sediment deposit. a state of morass, by means of a new

ed by the water thus rendered stagnant, channel for its water, and by shut- filled up the hollow, raising its surface as ing up the old channel: others of high as the other parts of the river's captain W's remarks on the Soon- boundary, and creating a soil peculiarly derbunds (the Delta of the Ganges) valuable, now chiefly occupied by indigo are perfectly applicable to the originele many swamps left by the inundation, of the Egyptian Delta; although the

was at the same time averted, and the causes which influenced the deposi- dread entertained that the Goomty would tions of the Nile, may long since in time, force a new channel for the entire have ceased to exist.

body of its stream, removed. Large tracts,

befo of little value, acquired a deep “The great brend, or dyke, at Juanpore, staple of soil, which, at this date, yields was built about fifteen hundred years ago,

sugar, indigo, wheat, barley, &c. in abun. and having been made of a very obdurate dance and perfection." kind of kunkur, found in those parts, blend. ed with excellent lime, probably burnt

The rivers usually begin to rise,

a few inches only, in May; in June wild bees; it might be imported into they approach the summits of their Europe in sufficient quantities, and banks; the great swell takes place at a rate so reasonable as to “ give in August. When the rains abate a national.benefit equal to 3,750,0001. too suddenly in September, great and a revenue of 650,000l. arising mortality ensues.

from the duty, at 40l. per ton, on Those of our readers who have the raw material.” The captain also, any intention of visiting India, will thinks that the wild vines of Bengal, do well to peruse these volumes &c. would, with a trifle of attention, with attention. They will perceive, yield if not wine, yet brandy and by them, that the Asiaticks are not vinegar, of good quality, to a great a whit behind the most ingenius amount. From these specimens, our Europeans in the arts of deception. readers will perceive that this gentleLet them learn never to trust to man has included in his observation, Asiatick descriptions of articles they many things entirely distinct from mean to purchase, whether it be a those with which he was by duty horse warranted sound and free familiar as an officer; and should his from blemish, and of a high caste;" suggestions prove useful, his country or a habitation replete with every

as well as individuals will have convenience, most delightfully si cause highly to esteem his ingetuated, and of the most captivating nuity. appearance.

We add for the consideration of It was our design to have intro- such captains whose ships may be duced some of those subjects of pestered with that troublesome and commercial speculation, on which destructive visiter, the weevil; “one this writer suggests a variety of

variety of or two live cray-fish placed on a hints; but we can only mention a heap of rice, by their effluvia quickly few of them. “ Talc may readily be expel the predatory tribe.” The vitrified with borax, or gypscous

cause of this our author recomearths, when it forms a rich, pellucid, mends to the consideration of natuyellow glass of equal brightness and ralists. durability.” Teak wood possesses

There are several incidental nosome principle distinct from hard- tices in these volumes which might ness, by which it resists the white be referred to biblical questions; ant, and the river worm; nails driven such as the fruit of the trees being into teak wood are never

always presented to the deity, i. e. roded as to decay the surrounding his priest, during their first three wood and to stand isolated. Coir years; but our author says scarcely rope, in salt water, floats; so that any thing on the subject of religion, while a hempen cable makes except as it affects the conduct of curve downwards, between the veş the natives toward Europeans, who, sel and her anchor, a coir cable of whatever rank, are universally makes a curve upwards; and a coir considered by the natives in their rope thrown from a ship to a boat service, as infinitely below them, may be caught by the latter, at a Indeed, his account of protestant considerable distance from the ves zeal is little to its credit; while he scl, because it does not sink. Capt. applauds, as it deserves, the ex. W. thinks such a cable might be of ertion of a Catholick, who built a use on board our men of war. Uno chapel, at his own expense. We happily, this material though seem have reason to believe, that on this ingly even refreshed by salt water, subject, captain W. is misled by speedily rots in fresh water. India his acquaintance with former times; abounds in wax, the production of and that the condition of Christianity,

So cor


throughout the British dominions in While we hope the best, and India is more hopeful than appears would by all means encourage wellfrom his publication.

intended endeavours, we cannot but How far the efforts made by the deal fairly with the publick by obmissionaries may have contributed serving, the number of gentlemen to this, we are not prepared to say; who have obtained, by personal inbut, our information leads us to spection, a competent acquaintance credit the fact, and we deem it too with the Hindoos, and whose testihonourable to our countrymen to be monies concur to moderate the passed unnoticed. As to any exten- sanguine expectations, indulged by sive advantages speedily to be de- that benevolence which directs the rived from the labours of the mis- aims of some of the most respectable sionaries, captain W, does not ex and ardent of British philanthropists. pect them. He recommends the This must be lamented at present; establishment of schools of various a future age may see obstacles redescriptions for the benefit of the moved, and congratulate itself on natives, and indulges himself in the enjoyment of such felicity. foreseeing the most favourable re We close this report by acknowsults from the communication of ledging our obligations to the inknowledge and information to them. genious writer for much informaWhether these predictions are cor tion and amusement; adding, that rect, time may show; but we doubt although gentlemen returned from whether the natives will ever con- India, are doubtless acquainted with sider the caste of Europeans as on a great part of what these volumes a level with themselves; and whe. contain, yet gentlemen designing to ther the knowledge which one in a visit that country will find them no million may be induced to value, unprofitable preparative, as to matwill possess any influence over the ters of familiar occurrence, conminds of the remainder of that nected with personal conduct, in that million; i. e. of the mass of the branch of the British empire. population.


Travels in Asia and Africa; including a Journey from Scanderoon to Aleppo and over

the Desert to Bagdad and Bussora; a Voyage from Bussora to Bombay, and along the Western Coast of India; a Voyage from Bombay to Mocha and Suez in the Red Sea; and a Journey from Suez to Cairo and Rosetta in Egypt. By the late Abraham Parsons, Esq. Consul and Factor Marine at Scanderoon. 4to. pp. 346. 11. 5s. Boards.

ALTHOUGH these travels have tion. On Mr. Parsons's death, the been recently published, they were MS. devolved, by bequest, to his performed between thirty and forty brother-in-law, the revd. John Ber. years ago, having been begun in jew, of Bristol. How long it remain1772, and brought to a close in 1778. ed in his possession we are not apIt is natural to inquire the causes of prised: but it does not appear that so unusual a delay; and the editor his labours in regard to editing went endeavours to anticipate the ques. farther than the easy task of recomtions of his readers by an explana- mending to his son to do what he tory notice, in which he mentions had not done himself. The son, “dethe decease of the author before he sirous to comply with the wishes of had prepared the MS. for the press, a much respected father," underas the original source of procrastina- takes the charge of editor, and la

ments that professional avocations this late period has convinced us of should have so long retarded the the propriety of publishing it, and fulfilment of his duty. To judge has afforded us a degree of satisfacfrom the period that has elapsed, tion of which we should have been we should naturally conclude that sorry to have been deprived. The some Herculean labour had devolv- observations of six years of traveled on the editor: but this, on the ling are here given to the world in other hand, we are prevented from the pains-taking way of a man of buthinking by his own explanations, siness, who notes down whatever he when he tells us that “the only li- deems worthy of recollection, and berty he has taken with the narrative conveys his information in plain and has been confined to the correction unambitious language. The book is, of verbal or grammatical inaccura- therefore, a journal of what the cies, and in some very few instances writer saw and did in the course of a to the altering of the arrangement progress through countries celebra. of sentences, which in the original, ted among former generations, and appeared rather obscure.” All this, is not devoid of interest to the prein our humble opinion, was practi- sent: but, while it possesses the fidecable in the course of a few months lity and perspicuity of a journal, it is instead of the twenty-three years marked by those deficiencies which which elapsed hetween the death of we may expect in so plain a species Mr. Parsons and the publication of of narrative. It contains few reflechis MS. Whatever, therefore, may tions of any length, and still fewer have been the veneration of Mr. P's comparisons between the opinions of relatives for his memory, we cannot the writer and the reports of former pay them the compliment of having travellers. Though Mr. Parsons felt a very ardent solicitude for the did not go so far as Kotzebue, in purdissemination of his fame as a tra- posely avoiding to read books on the veller and an author.

subject of the countries which he Mr. Parsons's history is given visited, his travels bespeak the man briefly in the preface:

of business more than the man of

letters, and afford us the result of “He was originally bred to the navy, actual observation without much bein which his father was a captain. In the earlier part of his life he commanded dit. nefit from disquisition or research. terent vessels in the merchants' service,

In reviewing a work so slightly chaduring which period he visited several racterized by original thought, and parts of the globe, a pursuit particularly consisting of a series of local obseradapted to the turn of a mind naturally vations without application to gener fond of novelty, and remarkably inquisi, ral conclusions, the critick finds littive. When he quitted the sea, he carried tle opportunity of entering on the on considerable cominerce as a merchant in Bristol, which not being attended with field of literary discussion; his functhe desired success, after some years, he tions being confined to an explana.. was obliged to relinquish. After this he tion of the plan of the book, and to was, in the year 1767, appointed by the an exhibition of specimens of its Turkey company consul and factor-marine execution, sufficiently varied to afat Scandervon, in Asiatick Turkey; a si- ford an idea of the value of the autuation which, after a residence of six years, he was obliged, from the unhealth. thor's matter, and of the style in iness of the country, to resign, when he which that matter is conveyed. The commenced a voyage of commercial spe. most interesting parts are the acculation; the narrative of which is contain- count of Syria; the journey to Alleped in the followirg pages. Soon after the po; and the navigation of the Eu. conclusion of this tour he retired to Leg. phrates; and from these we shall hom, where he died in the year 1785."

accordingly make our extracts: A perusal of the work, even at Modern Syria.Scanderoon was built

« 前へ次へ »