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ETHICAL LECTURE AT THE PATSHALAH.
On the 2nd February, Ramchunder Vidabagis, the head pundit or professor of the Patshalah, delivered, in Bengalee, his first ethical lecture, to a very crowded audience, composed chiefly of the students of the Patshalah and of the Hindu College; but among these were several native gentlemen, distinguished for the encouragement they give to the cause of education.
The professor commenced by announcing the subject, which he termed "Neetu Dursun," or the knowledge which leads to morality. He defined it, in the first instance, to consist in doing good and avoiding evil, and dilated upon the necessity and advantages of studying this science. He observed that the performance of moral acts, and the avoidance of those that are immoral, was the duty of mankind in every country, in every profession, and under every possible circumstance of life. Hence he drew the inference, that the study of morality was requisite for all; but for none more than those who, like the people of this country, were habitually disposed to be prodigal of their means in acts of folly, and parsimonious in those which were of real advantage. Among other illustrations, he mentioned the large sums his countrymen expended on their weddings, and the very little they bestowed on a good education of their offspring. But suppose, he proceeded, it were objected that men of good moral conduct are as liable to misery and misfortunes as those who follow a contrary course; and hence the study of morality is not necessary for the happiness of man. He would reply, that the great distinction between the brute creation and the rational being consisted in the latter possessing a moral sense of good and evil, and the former being deprived of it, inasmuch as beasts of prey turn even upon their own feeders and keepers, to destroy the very source of their sustenance. If men of moral principles and correct conduct were sometimes unsuccessful in the acquirement of wealth, it was seldom that such men did not, at least, command the esteem and respect of their fellow-creatures; and even if these were wanting, it could not be argued that moral education did not supply them with the means of being happy: all it could prove was, that such men, possessing the power of being happy, were prevented for a time from the enjoyment of happiness by fortuitous causes, over which they had no control.
Moral laws the lecturer divided into three classes. First, those that were of nature, and universally received in all countries and in every age; such as the prohibition against lying, robbing, murder, &c. The second he denominated conventional laws, or those by which the private relations of life were regulated; such as the laws of marriage, &c. The third class of laws was made by the ruling power for the protection of the weak against the oppression of the powerful. All these definitions and points the learned pundit illustrated and supported by quotations from the Vedas, the Smriti, and the other Shasters of undoubted authority. From these records, he also pointed out that the ruling power was either vested in a prince, or it emanated directly from the people themselves, and was exercised by their representatives. This latter form of government he proved to have existed among the people of India, where the legislative and the executive authorities were vested in distinct and separate bodies. The professor then proceeded to consider the different periods of human life, with reference to their fitness for the acquirement of moral and general knowledge. According to the Shasters, these were divided into five. First, the period of infancy, which extended from the birth to the fifth year: during this period, the mind was too incipient to acquire knowledge. The second period extended from the fifth to the sixteenth year, called boyhood: this was the best period for the study of all kinds of knowledge; in it the mind was vigorous, and yet Asiat. Journ, N, S. VOL.35. No.137.
undisturbed by the potent causes which influence it in after life. The third period, youth, extended from the sixteenth to the thirtieth year: during this interval, the sensual passions were predominant; they either distracted the mind, and so blinded reason as to lead man to the commission of various irregularities, or fixed him to the ardent pursuit of any particular object to the exclusion of all other acquirements, so that even if he had the inclination to pursue any of them, he scarcely found time to do so; this, therefore, was not the fit period for study. Manhood was the next, which extended from the thirtieth to the fifty-fifth year: in it man was burdened with the cares of an increasing family, and was constantly distracted with the thoughts of making a provision for it. The closing period of human existence was from the fifty-fifth year onwards, called old age, the unfitness of which for study did not require many words to point out. The lecturer now proceeded to impress upon the minds of his youthful auditors, that they were now in that period of life which was best adapted for the acquirement of knowledge, and that it was their duty to take advantage of its passing moments. After various remarks and illustrations on the foregoing important points, he laid down the following as the heads of the lectures he intended to deliver on ethics :
1. Introductory discourse, showing the necessity and advantages of moral instruction (now delivered). 2. On the reciprocal rights and duties of parents and children. 3. On the necessity and advantages of education. 4. On truth and falsehood. 5. On gratitude. 6. On friendship and its duties. 7. On benevolence. 8. On the passions. 9. On modesty. 10. On patriotism. 11. On Revenge. 12. On the institution of marriage and the disadvantages of polygamy. 13. On adultery. 14. On the disadvantages of gambling. 15. On charity and its proper objects. 16. On the advantages of historical studies. 17. On travelling. 18. On commerce. 19. On peace and war. 20. On the origin and the necessity of government, and the principal forms thereof now prevalent in the world. 21. On the necessity of obedience to the lawful authority, and the liberty of the subject. 22. On the origin and the institution of law. 23. On international law. 24. The concluding lecture.-Friend of India.
STATE OF THE CURRENCY IN THE NIZAM'S DOMINIONS.
A writer in the Friend of India, February 4th, describes the " monstrous evils" attending the currency in the Nizam's dominions. "There are," he says, 66 fourteen currencies tacitly authorized by the Nizam's government at Hyderabad, on all of which, except five, called the Bhag Chulnee,' which are alone received at the Company's treasury at Secunderabad, the native souca:s and shroffs exact batta, and even from these five, if they can possibly make the coin out to have a hole in it, to be clipped, or in any way abused. They will not do this, perhaps, if a European gentleman, or native ameer, wishes to exchange a rupee for copper; but let the poorer native attempt to change his money, and I have myself observed that it is always said to be clipped, or of the currency that is not at that time in circulation. The country to the south of Hyderabad is full of nominally independent jagheedars and rajahs, tributary to the Nizam, amongst whom caprice and the necessities of the ruler guide every thing; and as each jagheerdar and rajah has a mint in which he coins every kind of money for his dependent, deteriorating the value of the coinage according to his present difficulties, it becomes almost hopeless to say, after the end of every six months, what may be the real value of a certain rupee. The Nizam's minister levies a tax, takes nuzzurana, and grants a sunud to each of these mints. Now, as each jagheer is about the size of one of the Company's smallest pergunnals, and these petty chiefs particularly prohibit their neighbours' coinage from passing current in their dominions, the state of suffering to which the unfortunate ryots are brought may be easily fancied, they being almost all obliged to sell their farm produce in the jagheer to which they belong, whether at a profit or loss; otherwise assured, if sold two miles from their homes, but under a different rule, that they must expect to get twelve and even eight annas for their rupee, besides paying frontier duty."
It seems that the British resident (General Fraser) has called the attention of his own and of the Nizam's government to this subject; but, according to the writer, " he is opposed in almost all his measures for the amelioration of the poorer classes by a faction, consisting of wealthy Hyderabad bankers, who, along with the Nizam's government, reap the harvest of the present rascally system of currency, and therefore wish for no change." The writer connects this faction with the articles published in the Englishman, to which reference was made in our last volume, p. 285.
The Friend of India says:-" From all we have been able to learn, the conduct of our resident at the Hyderabad durbar has been calculated to promote the welfare of the people, and to maintain the dignity of the British Government. In pursuing this course, he has necessarily come in contact with private interests, and these have found an advocate in the public papers. In a government like that of Hyderabad, in which full play is allowed for the development of the native character, and in which the principles by which the resident is actuated have no fair play, many grievances must necessarily exist; but they ought not to be laid at the door of those who have so little power to remove them, till more impartial evidence is before the public than we are yet in possession of."
THE NICOBAR ISLANDERS.
The Calcutta papers contain an account of the capture of the whaling barque Pilot, and the massacre of most of its crew, by the natives of the Nicobar islands, who have been hitherto represented as a quiet and inoffensive people.
It appears that the Pilot, of London, with a crew of thirty-three men, armed with four guns, muskets, cutlasses, &c., anchored at Noncowry, one of the Nicobar islands (from Copang, in Timor), on the 22nd December, about a cable's length from the shore, to refit and obtain refreshments, the crew having the scurvy. The natives told them that it was Noncowry harbour, and previous to going in, a Malay came on board, speaking broken English, calling himself "captain," and producing certificates from vessels of various nations. He offered to supply pigs, fowls, coconuts, &c. He had rum, tobacco, and a shirt, given him, and went away in his canoe, telling the master to send a boat a-head, and sound the entrance of the harbour, which was done, one of the canoes preceding. At the same time another canoe came up, in which was an European, who spoke some English, and called himself a Portuguese. It was afterwards found that the harbour was not that of Noncowry, but the bay of Ho-ho, about a mile to the north of it. Some of the officers and crew of the Pilot went on shore, to a village, and were received in a very friendly manner, and several canoes visited the Pilot. Next day was employed in refitting and watering; many canoes came off to the ship, returning with a greater number of men, but no arms, and some were painted red, which had not been observed the day before; but no hostile disposition being suspected, no precautions were taken to prevent their coming on board. In the afternoon, Mr. Clarke, the third mate, the second mate, surgeon, and nine of the crew, with the captain's permission, went on shore unarmed; another of the boats left also for a different vilThere were then forty or fifty natives in the ship. About half an hour after the landing of Clarke's party, the natives appeared to be arming themselves, and one of the crew (Robinson), who spoke Malay, asked them "what they were going to do?" They replied, “They did not know." Almost immediately, a yell was heard from the ship, and they were instantly attacked on all sides. The second mate was killed at the first onset, by a spear through the body; as he fell, a native pinned him to the ground with another. Robinson was expostulating with them, when he was speared and pinned to the ground in like manner. Mr. Clarke received a spear through his body, and the boatswain (Burt) was wounded by another. They succeeded, however, in regaining their boat, and immediately shoved off, assailed by spears on all sides, for the ship. When they got within two or three boat's lengths, they discovered she was in possession of the natives, who appeared in all parts, armed with the ship's whale-spears, lances, &c. All this had taken place within an
hour. Seeing the natives in great numbers, and that all attempts to regain possession of the ship, unarmed as they were, must prove fruitless, they resolved to pull out to sea, and, although pursued until dark by three or four canoes (one or two pulling sixteen paddles of a side), they succeeded in getting away, and continued pulling during the whole night. Next morning, they rowed into an island about thirty miles off (Chowry) for a few coco-nuts, and obtained twenty-six. They now observed two canoes pulling towards them, as they supposed in pursuit; they therefore pushed off, and got away out to sea. After suffering severely from hunger and thirst, having existed upon three coco-nuts daily, with a tea-spoon or two of water, which they occasionally saved during the night, but not to the extent of a quart during the whole time, and the little milk from the nuts, they discovered a sail on the 29th December, and were received on board H. M. S. Cruizer, on her voyage to China, with the new commander of the expedition on board.
The commander of the Cruizer proceeded to the Nicobars, and on the 31st December entered the bay of Ho-ho. The boats were despatched to the shore, but the natives had fled into the jungle. The Pilot was found at anchor, but plundered of every thing, except masts, yards, and standing rigging, the copper being stripped from her outside, all the iron work taken away, and even the bust of the figure-head cut off. Evident marks of blood were discovered on the upper deck; prints of the head and legs of some individual, who had met his fate, were clearly visible, and the blood from the seams, on pressing, oozed out perfectly clear; a complete hand in finger-marks was on the ship's side, where some one had wiped his hand.
The boats of the Cruizer proceeded to the different villages, or clusters of huts, which were deserted, destroying them all, and carrying off the plunder from the ship with which they were stocked. The number of villages destroyed in the bay and its vicinity was twelve; every one was found deserted, all the people having fled far into the jungle, or to the adjacent islands of Katchall, as many canoes were seen pulling in that direction. In some of the houses, marine stores were found which did not belong to the Pilot; French glazed hats, and parts of books, &c., leaving a strong impression that this is not the first vessel they have cut off in this manner. Capt. Giffard, with the boats, visited the proper Noncowry harbour, but every village was completely deserted and houses emptied, leaving no doubt but they must all have been alike implicated.
The persons saved in the whale-boat are Mr. Clarke, the third mate, Mr. Black. well, the surgeon, six men, and two boys.
Another account states that the Cruizer, on reaching the spot, anchored in a very slovenly manner, with a view to put the natives off their guard, one of whom went on board; but before he could be seized, he had seen enough to induce him to warn his countrymen, and he accordingly contrived to jump overboard, and escape to the shore. The boats were immediately manned and armed, but when the party landed, they found the whole island entirely deserted by its inhabitants. In the huts, however, they discovered a vast variety of articles, including planks of boats, and logbooks in all languages, which the inhabitants had evidently plundered from vessels which they had been able to seize, or had been wrecked on the coast.
The Indian Government, adopting a suggestion of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce, that measures be adopted to explore thoroughly the Nicobars and Andamans, proposes to address the Naval authority in these Seas, with a view to obtain some accurate information respecting the present feelings and habits of the people of the Nicobars, towards the trading vessels that may visit their islands, and has inquired of the Chamber," first, whether any foundation exist for the supposition, that the Pilot is not the only ship that recently has been cut off and plundered by the inhabitants of the Nicobars; and secondly, whether the Nicobar islanders have received any provocation for the savage and inhospitable proceedings now alleged against them."
We have a copy of a communication from Mr. McFarlan, the chief magistrate, to the secretary to Government, conveying the results of an examination, conducted by the former, in conjunction with Mr. J. P. Grant, Mr. W. Frank Dowson, and Baboo Russomoy Dutt, of a number of coolies recently returned from the Mauritius, touching the treatment which such coolies have experienced both in transitu, and during their residence on the island. As far as the testimony of these individuals goes, we are bound to say that it presents a very satisfactory result. These returning emigrants do not complain of any severity of punishment, much less of cruelty, during their sojourn in the Mauritius. Many of these coolies return with between two and three hundred rupees in hand, after an abode of five or six years in the Mauritius. Now, a cooly going back to his native inland village, with three hundred rupees in his girdle, will be a species of millionaire in the eyes of his fellow. villagers, who remember him a “poor forked animal" like themselves, with barely a rag to cover his nakedness. The effect of this return from El Dorado, as it will be regarded by his native compatriots, will, undoubtedly, be great, and will operate marvellously to enkindle a spirit of enterprise, and to produce a yearning towards emigration, among the labouring classes of this country; and herein, we imagine, exists a very powerful reason for the Government's exertion of particular vigilance and caution in legislating upon the permissive principle, as regards cooly emigration from this country.-Hurkaru, Jan. 28.
The Friend of India, after saying that the testimony of the forty-seven returned coolies does not contain anything to justify a repeal of the prohibition upon their immigration, very innocently observes and asks, “Neither must it be forgotten that, according to the evidence printed in the Cooly Report, there were twelve hundred coolies, whose indentures of five years had expired on the last day of November last; of these, forty-seven only have returned. Where are the other eleven hundred and fifty?" The only reply can be, that they are contented to stay where they are, and to enter into fresh engagements at a double amount of wages.- Cour., Feb. 4.
Another batch of Coolies, who have arrived in the Graham, were examined by the Chief Magistrate on Friday. The replies given were much the same with the previous ones. They all seemed pleased at their return, with so much money:-" they were beaten, when they did not perform their work, as al! men should be, in their opinion, but never severely." When asked if they had anything to complain of, they replied, "no; what is past, is past." Some of the men had about Rs. 300 and the greater number not less than Rs. 100. They were gaily dressed and had quite a Frenchified creole appearance. - Englishman, Mar. 2.
AGRICULTURAL AND HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY.
The anniversary dinner of this society was held on the 20th January, the president, Sir E. Ryan, in the chair. In the course of the evening, Sir Edward stated that, during the past year, the increase among the members has been considerable. At the last anniversary, the number of members was 486; it is now 564; no less that 110 new elections took place during the year. The number of members among the civil service was 27; of the mercantile body, 19; indigo planters, 27; among the military body, 18; the increase of the native portion of the members has exceeded that of last year. As regards the state of the funds, the balance in hand was Rs. 13,932. Its operations during the past year have extended not only to cotton, hemp, and tea, but also to sugar, which is likely to become an important article for export.
The secretary (Dr. Spry), in proposing the health of Captain Bayles and the American cotton planters, referred to the prospects which this experiment opened to India, and mentioned a fact, stated by one of the leading Manchester manufacturers, that East-Indian cotton, when mixed with American cotton, gives to the manufac