Page images

to his greatest height, measured from the fore-foot to the point that corresponds with the withers of a horse. By long practice, and perfect acquaintance with the formation of the foot of the animal, the most expert native huntsmen can, by closely examining even a small section of the impression that it leaves, calculate his height, and nearly approximate to the truth.

The elephants of Asia are said to be larger and fiercer than those of Africa. Those of Ceylon are undoubtedly equal in size and strength to any on the Indian continent, but I never saw any of these animals that exceeded ten feet in height, nor do I believe that they ever attain in any part of India more considerable dimensions. Even this may be pronounced the extreme maximum, for an elephant eight or nine feet high is by no means a contemptible specimen of his kind.


Capt. Burt, of the Engineers, has discovered, upon a hill near Byrath, six kos from Bhabra, three marches from Jeypore, on the road to Delhi, an inscription in the oldest Lath character (No. 1), engraven on a hard granite block, less than two feet square, which proves to be another of the edicts of Asoka, differing somewhat in language from the others. The fac-simile copy of the inscription made by Capt. Burt has been, with the aid of the Pundits Kamala Kanta and Sarodha Prushad, rendered into Sanscrit by Capt. Kittoe, and translated into English. It is as follows:

Piadasa (the beloved) Raja, unto the multitude assembled in Magadha saluting him, speaks (thus) :

That the sacrifice of animals is forbidden, is well known unto ye; spare them: for those who are of the Buddhist faith such (sacrifice) is not meet; thus (spake he). The offering of upussad (a mixture of ghee, milk, teil seed, and rice) is best of all. Some there are who kill-that which the Supreme Buddha spake at the conclusion (of his commandments) was well spoken: those who act thus, follow in the right path; they will remain healthy in their faith for a length of time to come.

There are some who make blood-offerings, (but) of these there are few; this is right and proper (the Buddhist creed); these (of the faith) I protect, (likewise) those who keep company with the righteous and uncovetous.

The Scriptures of the Munis (the Vedas) are observed by their disciples; their future state is to be dreaded.

The texts of the Vedas, in which the sacrifice (of animals) is enjoined, are mean and false (obey them not); follow that which the lord Buddha hath commanded; do so (practise) for the glorification of the faith (dhurma). This I desire, that all of ye, priests and priestesses, religious men and religious women, yea, every one of ye, ever hearing this, bear it in your hearts! This my pleasure I have caused to be written; yea, I have devised it.

The original Palì and the Sanscrit version are given in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, No. 102.

It is evident that the assembly here mentioned is the great convocation which is recorded to have taken place at Pataliputra, the modern Patna, the then capital of Magadha, and of the Indian empire, in the seventeenth year of the reign of Piadasa Dhurmasoka, B.C. 309, for the suppression of schisms in the priesthood.-Turnour's Buddhistic Annals.


WHATEVER diversity of opinion may exist upon the subject of missionary labours amongst the heathen-and such diversity is not incompatible with a fervent desire to see the spiritual and secular blessings of Christianity diffused over the earth-few, indeed, can refuse their tribute of admiration to those meritorious individuals, who conscientiously devote themselves to the painful, perilous, and often thankless offices of a missionary. It would seem that none but the purest and most exalted motives could dispose a man, for the sake of remote benighted nations, to court perpetual banishment from his native land; to exchange the sweets of home-pleasures for the horrors of savage life; to sacrifice the dazzling visions of youth, the soberer dreams of manhood, and the calm repose which should wait upon declining years, to incessant and apparently unrequited toil; and could fortify him to witness with resignation his family, one by one, fall victims to the devouring climate, and to sustain the dismal prospect of dying in the midst of strangers, and leaving his remains in an ungrateful spot, watered by the unavailing tears of anxiety and disappointment. Such is often the fate of the missionary, and we believe, in many cases, the sentiments, with which he undertakes the office, are as little alloyed by the vanity of worldly views, and as deeply imbued with genuine philanthropy, as any that can actuate a human bosom. Being still but men, it is not a necessary consequence of the purity of their motives that all the actions of missionaries should be directed by the soundest judgment, and regulated by the most consummate prudence; errors of conduct may even be traced to a conscious rectitude of intention; but, taken as a body, the English missionaries have exhibited remarkably few examples of abuse of that influence which their character and functions acquire for them amongst an ignorant people.

The memoir before us records the history of one of those pious, disinterested, and amiable men-one who, as he laboured in the same vineyard as Schwartz and Gericke, seems to have imbibed the same apostolical benignity of character. Charles Theophilus Ewald Rhenius was born 5th November, 1790, in the province of West Prussia. His father, an officer in the Prussian army, died when his son Charles was only six years of age, leaving him and three other children to the care of their mother, whose affectionate solicitude watched carefully over their welfare. Charles remained at the cathedral school of Marienwerder till fourteen, and at seventeen he went to reside with an uncle, whose estate he would have inherited, had he not rejected all worldly prospects to pursue a missionary career. At this early age, he underwent one of those sudden changes of sentiment and character, which is attributed to the transformation of the heart and mind by the immediate agency of the Almighty: Mr. Rhenius himself so considered it, and his biographer affirms that it was "such a change as could have been occasioned only by the operation of the Divine Spirit." His views were turned to missionary objects chiefly by reading,

• Memoir of the Rev. C. T. E. Rhenius, comprising Extracts from his Journal and Correspondence, with Details of Missionary Proceedings in South India. By His Son. London, 1841. Nisbet.

at his uncle's house, the publications of the Moravians, and in spite of the pathetic entreaties of his family, especially his mother, he was, in 1812, ordained at Berlin a minister of the established church of Prussia (the Lutheran) to be a missionary to the heathen. Having come to this country, where he passed a part of his term of residence (about a year and a half) in the house of the Rev. Thomas Scott, he was appointed by the Church Missionary Society, as one of their missionaries, to India, and in February, 1814, he sailed to Madras.

Here Mr. Rhenius entered upon his laborious career "with zeal and love and hope," and a resolution "to persevere to the end." The policy of admitting missionaries into the Company's territories (after the Charter of 1813) was doubted by some, and it required much caution on their part to disarm the prejudices of their antagonists. The volume before us contains a very full history of the labours of this excellent man, chiefly extracted from his own diary and papers, exhibiting the peculiar difficulties which beset the path of an Indian missionary, arising from the character of the people, the necessity of an intimate acquaintance with their languages and literature, the obstinacy of caste prejudices, and other local causes; whence it is evident that the standard of qualification, intellectual as well as moral, is high.

In 1834, Mr. Rhenius being then located in the Tinnevelly Mission, which manifested a high degree of prosperity, the Bishop of Calcutta (Dr. Wilson), in a Charge to his clergy, strongly censured certain irregularities of system in that mission, and inveighed with severity against Mr. Rhenius in particular, who was known to entertain opinions with regard to church forms not consonant with those of the society or of the English church. These opinions he developed in a pamphlet, which occasioned the dissolution of his connexion with the Church Missionary Society. This event, in the sequel, led to a long and bitter controversy on the subject of the Tinnevelly Mission, which is now, we believe, in the hands of the successors of Mr. Rhenius, who, with very slender aid, prosecute it successfully upon his principles. Into these painful discussions, which were not always carried on in a temperate tone, far less in a Christian spirit, we do not enter: the readers of our Journal have had the subject frequently before them.

His labours and his anxieties seem to have prematurely undermined vigorous constitution. "It is a sad fact," his son observes, "that the last record of his daily duties contains a memento of the disappointments, the trials, and the sorrows which were his portion. In that very career, on which he had from choice entered, and during which he had acquitted himself with no common degree of honour, he found, even at the very last, occasion for grief and shame: one of the native teachers he was obliged to eject from the office; the rest disappointed him in the performance of one of their duties." He died at Palamcottah, 5th June, 1838.

The general reader will derive from this unaffectedly-written volume much knowledge of the Hindu character, whilst he traces the "noiseless tenour" of this excellent man's career; the student of missionary biography will find it full of interest.



THE work from which the present tale is abstracted is called the Shih urh low, or 'Twelve Apartments;' and there is a copy of it in the library of the London University. The edition from which the tale is taken is in private hands. Each apartment contains a tale, and the present, which occupies the eleventh, is designated the Tung go low. In point of style, the Twelve Apartments is colloquial, although not apparently in any particular dialect, like the Hung low mun, or 'Dreams of the Red Chamber,' which is colloquial in the Pihking dialect. There is no particular designation to the tale, each chapter being preceded by a mere heading, and it may be designated Yin seaou low, or the Lost Child, as it is upon this pivot that the story turns. The scene is laid in the Hoo kwang, or province of the Extent of the Lakes,' which borders upon the Leang yue, the Chinese appellation for the provinces of Kwang tung and Kwang se. The present tale is abstracted, and not translated, the quotations being indicated by inverted commas, because, although not presenting any difficulty of serious moment, the Chinese author is frequently concise where the English would be diffuse, and vice versâ. In this respect, we have followed the advice of a celebrated English Chinese scholar, and some continental ones. Enough of the language and all of the spirit of the original will be found in the subjoined narrative.

Yin yuen, an inhabitant of the city of Chuhshan, is a person of considerable property, whose family has been addicted to the occupation of husbandry, rather than the acquisition of official emoluments. He is married to a lady distinguished for her domestic virtues, and the prosperity of their house is unruffled by any circumstance, except one-the want of issue. In the language of the Four Books, "Wealth established their house, virtue set up the conduct." Attributing the want of issue to something unlucky about the abode, he erects outside his paternal mansion a small chamber, where they dwell, and here a child is born to him, with a remarkable congenital mark in the birth. His fellow-townsmen nickname Yin, from this circumstance, Seaou low, or 'the little chamber.' He does not dislike it, and he passes under the name of Yin seaou low. When the child is between three and four years old, going out to play with some other boys, he does not return at night, and after several days' search, is not to be found. As the neighbourhood is at that time infested by a tiger, and cattle are daily lost, his disappearance is attributed to this circumstance. The father's acquaintances and neighbours endeavour to console him under this affliction, and point out to him that he may still hope for issue, or marry wives of the second rank. However, praying to Budh, and "wearing

• The "twelve apartments" allude to the same number of chambers in the palace of the moon, over which the Hang go, or lady of the moon,' presides. "The moon, contending with the starry lights of heaven, renders its twelve apartments, all glowing with light, very splendid,” occurs in one of the letters in the Che tuh, vol. iii. p. 2, dors. Each of the apartments has a name, in the same way as our continental neighbours call their saloons. No allusion to them occurs in the tales themselves, they being used as vehicles for the stories, like the thousand and one nights. Another region in the moon is the realm of frost, allusion to which occurs in the Se hoo shih wei; and the retiring step of a female is compared to the Hang go retiring to the realms of snow. The Chinese popular belief sees a rabbit, commonly called the Yüh too, or jade rabbit, in the moon; and the Kin ke, or golden cock, in the sun. Thus, of a bold, bad man, they frequently use this couplet:

He'd pluck the jasper rabbit from the moon,

And from the sun the golden cock tear down.

+ The Hung low, or 'red chamber,' is the Chinesc designation of the kwei, or retired apartments, the gynæcæum of rich women. There is a copy of it in the library of the Asiatic Society. Cf. Catalogue, by Rev. S. Kidd. 8vo. London, 1838. p. 51.

Asiat. Journ.N.S.VOL. 35. No. 137.


his mouth out," are all in vain, and they subsequently advise him to adopt a child, which the old gentleman refuses, with sundry grave reasons, instancing that the adopted child will never essentially become like his own; that he will raise his own family by the acquisition of his wealth; will never grieve for him as a father; while, on the contrary, he himself will never possess a true paternal authority over him, for that the sooner he dies the sooner the adopted child will become master of the household. "This," he observes, "constantly happens with regard to adopted children, and I, who have acquired my property by my blood and sweat, will not be thus daily making it a present to others. I will wait for a child who has a true affection for me, and will not adopt one before I have first received some proof of his affection, and satisfied my heart upon this point, that I have really secured it. I require a person of a different turn from one seeking advantage and establishment; and in becoming a father, more is requisite than to just cast a glance over the person selected." They are not able to overcome his scruples. One day, conversing with his wife, he observes, "The people of this city, knowing my property is not small (rich and thick), and that I have not yet decided upon adopting a child, and having discussed this point over with me, will not slightly let down their hooks and bait, and dissemble to deceive me. Would it not be better to leave this district and depart to some other kingdom, in order to endeavour to meet some one by land or water, and search for a person, who would manifest a true affection, for ten thousand to one but I may meet the lucky man, who, showing a sincere heart towards me, I can then receive him, and on my return back establish him for my son-is it a good scheme or not?" His wife assents to his proposal, and as soon as he has got ready his "travelling plums" (luggage), he starts off, and when out of the place assumes a disguise -tattered clothes, a rustic cap, hempen garments, coarse thick leather shoes, looking like an agricultural labourer or goatherd-takes a staff to support himself, and, in fact, very closely resembles a person who wishes to sell himself for a slave. Those who meet him reason with him on his advanced years, the little qualifications that he has to become a domestic servant or tutor. He replies, "It is very true that my years are many; that I have not a hair's usefulness; that I am spoiled for a servant or domestic, and not available as a tutor for youth; but why should I not seek out some wealthy orphan to whom I can act in the capacity of father, regulate his expenses, and, to the best of my ability, administer his household for him? This is my intention in offering to any one an old man to keep." The inquirers, however, regard all this as the speech of an "oily mouth," and he finds no one who feels inclined to buy him. He then purchases a roll of cotton, and writes upon a placard the following notice :

An elderly gentleman is desirous of selling himself to some one, in order to become his father. The price of his person is ten dollars. From the very day, he will enter into the most friendly relations, and the purchaser will not hereafter repent.

He distributes three or four of these about the houses; but although he passes from place to place, and when tired with walking sits down with crossed legs, and places the notice before his breast like a bonze, he is esteemed a madman or idiot. He goes from city to village, crosses the stream, ascends the hill, for a buyer, and for a long time all in vain. One day, he sits down at the head of a street in the city of Hwang ting, in the district of Lung-keang, and is, as usual, insulted by the ignorant mob, when a tall and fair young gentleman, with a benevolent cast of countenance, comes out of the crowd to look at

« PreviousContinue »