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defeated, and the proud court of Ava sued for peace to an army of little more than three thousand men, advancing on its capital. The conclusion is well known. Ava was probably saved, and the soldiers were most grievously disappointed, for they had formed high expectation of the riches of the golden-footed monarch, and looked to the plunder of his capital as the reward of all their toils.
To the military reader, and especially to those who have served in India, this work cannot fail to be acceptable; it is a soldier's journal, and, in the early parts more especially, written as a soldier's journal ought to be—in a manly and unpretending style. There is one defect, however, which we must notice, and that more particularly as the information withheld must have been within the author's reach; there are no official returns of killed and wounded, nor of the losses by sickness; these are material points, and ought not to have been overlooked.
The general reader may perhaps be disappointed in finding so little of individual anecdote of our own troops, and so imperfect an account of the manners and habits of the people of the country; it is probable that he will be amply supplied from other sources, and that to the account of Colonel Symes, Colonel Francklin, Mrs. Judson, Dr. Buchanan, and Mr. Hough, will soon be added other sources of information as to this curious race of half-civilized savages. Our own impression, indeed, is highly in their favour; they no doubt have vices, but they are the vices of their state; to compensate these, they are hardy, brave, patient, enterprising, gay and witty. Our gallant author, indeed, does not appear to relish the style of Burmese oratory, and is even so unjust as to withhold his approbation of their wit. The following concise exposé excites the major's anger; to us it appears to contain the very essence of political wisdom.
“ On the evening of the 31st, a Burmese came out of the fort, with a piece of dirty canvass, containing the following laconic epistle from the Bandoola :— In war we find each other's force; the two countries are at war for nothing, and we know not each other's minds.'” As to the dirty canvass, we will say nothing in its justification ; gilt vellum, hot-pressed and wirewove, would have been infinitely more genteel and diplomatic; but we doubt whether all the collective wisdom of all the European congresses, would have contrived so true, so comprehensive, or so philosophical a note. Perhaps there may have been a little jealousy in the case; for in the next example which we shall quote, the gallant secretary, who no doubt prided himself on the delicate finesse of his disatch is thrown completely into the back ground by the witty answer of his barbarous adversary. At the taking of Melloone, cash to the amount of from thirty to forty thousand rupees was found in the house of Prince Memiaboo ; « but what was of still more consequence, as affording undeniable proof of the treacherous and perfidious conduct of the prince, Wongees, and their government, during the late proceedings, both the English and Burmese copies of the treaty were also found in the house, just in the same state as when signed and sealed at the meeting of the 3d.”
Memiaboo and his beaten army retired from the scene of their disasters with all possible baste, and the British commander prepared to follow him up without delay; before, however, commenciug his march, he despatched a messenger with the unratified treaty, to the Kee Wongee, as well to show the Burmese chiefs that their perfidy was discovered, as to give them the means of still performing their engagements; but merely telling the latter, in his note, that in the burry of departure from Melloone, he had forgotten a document which he might now find more useful and acceptable to his governinent, than they had a few days previously considered it. The Wongee and his colleague politely returned their best thanks for the paper, but observed that the same hurry which had caused the loss of the treaty, had compelled them to leave behind a large sum of money, which they also much regretted, and which they were sure the British general only waited an opportunity of returning.
We will quote a third example from a different authority. “ They [the Burmans) are slaves of the Emperor, and it is viewed as a mark of treason to dissent in this respect (religion) from his will. Thus, when the keen reasoners and disputants among their doctors could not gainsay the zeal, talents, and Christian doctrine of Mr. Judson, and applied to the liberal-minded Maywoon Mia-day-mim to interfere, and send him away, asserting that, by means of Moung-shway-quong, a convert, every endeavour was making “ to turn the priests' rice-pot bottom upward,' he calmly replied, "What consequence? Let the priests turn it back again.' Happy had it been for mankind, for Enrope in all ages, for France and Ireland in the present, if all rulers had been as wise as Maywoon Mia-day-mim, and had left the clergy to take care of their own provision, which no doubt they would have done without the aid of the civil or military arm.
Let us add one short maxim to the wisdom of the Burmese Viceroy: Rice-pots are never so apt to turn bottom upwards as when they are over-full and flowing over.” We only give the text, the Church of Ireland must supply the commentary: but before we quit the subject, we must take the occasion of doing the Indian government the justice to that with all their mismanagement, they have had the prudence to leave the rice-pots to themselves in spite of the Evangelicals, who would fain dip their fingers in the pan, though they should throw an empire into hot water by overturning it. Our settlements in Ava will afford tempting occasion to these gentry; the people, by all account, hold their religious opinions by as slight a tenure as the clergy, who in the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary and Elizabeth, changed their religion at the will of the sovereign, then not much less despotic than the golden-footed monarch. It was not in Birmah only, that to dissent from the opinions of the Prince was viewed as a mark of treason, or that “ then he is worthy of death,” was the appropriate sentence of an unauthorised convert from the existing, or an obstinate adherent to the late established, religion ; before we condemn the indifference of the semi-barbarous Burmese, let us re-peruse a page or two of our own history. In another point Ava will suit the missionaries well—the inhabitants are accustomed to a begging priesthood. How they will like the law, that the Rhahan must make no noise when he comes for his offering, * is a different question.
* “ The Rhabans are allowed to eat every thing they receive as a present, provided it be ready dressed; for they never kindle a fire, for fear of destroying some insect. On professing, the phongie, or novice, is told, that his first duty consists in eating that food only which is procured by the labour and motion of the muscles of the feet. What is meant is this : Every morning, as soon as they can distinguish the veins on their hands, the Rabhans issue from their convents, and spread themselves all over the neighbouring streets and villages; as they pass along, they stop at different doors, but without saying a word. If the people of the house are disposed to be charitable, or
We are obliged to conclude somewhat abruptly, leaving many interesting points untouched ; on some of these the reader will find incidental information in the Narrative of Major Snodgrass ; a connected account of the Burmese empire is, however, still a desideratum. Should it ever appear, it is more than probable that we shall return to the subject, and make amends for our present omissions.
THE BLUE MAN.
And why should not there be a blue man as well as a blue woman? If there be a blue stocking in one sex, why should there not be a blue gaiter in the other? Blue is an epithet hitherto always applied to women ; but when did nature ever confine a species to one sex? if there be a female blue, of course there must be a male blue, and they generally herd together, and are always to be found together; and every body is acquainted with a blue man, though no one as yet has known him by that name. When I say there are men blues, of course I do not mean a great he-guardsman, who never wrote a book in his life, or even contributed to an album. Still less do I mean a real literary man, who has written a readable book, and may contribute to some magazine. The man I mean is something above a mere collector of autographs for ladies, though, of course, he possesses a collection ; and beyond a mere copier of Lord Byron's poetry into an album, though he undoubtedly contributes his “ original stanzas," or impromptu sonnet. A female blue can hardly exist without a male blue, to whom she looks up for her daily bread of flattery; and admires his talents in proportion as he exaggerates hers. But if a female blue cannot exist without a male blue, certainly there could be no male blue without a female blue, because from her, and from no other, does he derive his very existence, name, and fame. He is completely out of the pale of any other society, being much too shallow for men of talent and thought, too deep for those who have none. He has no pursuit or conversation in common with the generality of young men, who either think him a bore or a coxcomb (I think him both); his element, then, is the drawing-room of a literary lady. There you may see him about the hour of nine in the evening, (he is not often asked at the more valued hour of seven,) before the gentlemen have come up from the dining-room, and about a quarter of an hour after the ladies have left it, stationed with his back against the mantel-piece, his general position, either playing with the chimney ornaments, or the pages of a magazine, or with a new book, or a scrap of poctized paper he is going have not already given away all that have been prepared for the purpose, a person, generally the mistress of the house, comes out, puts the ready-dressed provisions into the subiet, and the Rhahan goes on in silence, without returning thanks, nor does he ever solicit for any thing, should it not be convenient or agreeable for the family to bestow alms : but after standing for a few minutes, proceeds on his rounds. So nice are they in this particular, that it is deemed sinful for a Rhahan, on such occasions, to cough, or make any signal by which he might be supposed to put the laity in mind of their duty.”
to read from, but generally beating emphatic time to his words with a mother-of-pearl paper-cutter. There he stands, with a levee of ladies clustering about him, like the Pleiades, the object to which each languishing or eager eye is turned ; that is, when it is not turned upwards, in eloquent admiration of his “ beautiful sentiments.” He talks to them like an encyclopædia, (which book, by the bye, is a very favourite and convenient study of his,) but for the most part disdaining the common everyday topic of “the beautiful character of so and so in Scott's last novel;” takes his stand on the reviews, as common a position certainly, but a higher one in the sphere of ladies' literary conversation. It is a received rule with blue men to get up the Reviews, for there they are always safe; they are an easy abstract of the literature of the day; a short cut to knowledge, and always afford a ready subject for conversation. However the Blue Man at the mantel-piece, whenever I have strayed into the drawing-room and observed him, does not always give his fair auditory a dissertation on this and that article, or a refutation of this or that argument ; that might be very dull to them, and very unsatisfactory to himself. He may, perhaps, eulogize a sentiment, or refer to a “ beautiful passage,” or repeat a good thing of Sydney Smith's, which he has got up, but chiefly does he tell to his inquiring and admiring crowd who wrote this and who wrote that; what are the numbers, and the names, and the talent, in the new dynasty of the Quarterly; or, perhaps, the alterations be suggested to young Macaulay in his “ really very tolerable article" in the Edinburgh. Being fond of great names, which give him the semblance of a great man, he opens yet wider the starry eyes of his constellation of listeners, making them fixed stars, as he tells them how his friend Southey called on bim at breakfast the other day, and hurried him off without his second cup of tea to , in order to look over a manuscript of
-'s. He tells them how often and how vainly Colburn, and, indeed, Campbell himself, bad begged he would give them another article for the New Monthly; but indeed he had no time pow. He hints that a man may pick up a good deal, and with very little trouble, by contributing to “ these magazines.” He used to do so when he first came to town, but now other and higher matters (he must not say what just at present) prevented him thinking of these things. Sinner and slave that he is, not one penny of any body's money did he ever touch. Not one line of his ever appeared in print, save in “ poet's corner," or a letter to the editor of some newspaper; but in his drawers, if any body would take the trouble to look, they would find sundry rolls of Ms., tied up with tape ; and in his desk would be found (if he has not burnt them, but kept them as autographs of celebrated editors and publishers,) various notes, which run in the following casy, unformal, and friendly style :“ The Editor of the - presents his compliments to Mr.
and is obliged by his polite offer of the accompanying article. There are objections, however, as regards its suiting the pages of the
so well as some others which have preceded it, and of which an abundant stock remains on hand. It is, therefore, returned with acknowledgments.” This letter is no fiction, but a real verbatim copy of one, which a blue cousin of mine showed me with a little degree of pride, at what he deemed the attention and politeness of the editor of one of the magazines, to whom he was about to offer another ar
ticle, which he was sure, from the civility of that note, would be favourably received.
It will be seen, from what has been said, that the Blue Man mast be an accomplished liar, and that's a pity, because, as to his profession, he is generally a popular preacher; sometimes, indeed, a young barrister. But I am inclined to think there are more blue popular preachers than blue barristers ; the former are more in the habit of living upon ladies' smiles, sometimes, indeed, upon their tears. The complexion of a Blue Man is generally fair, blue eyes, of course, and light hair ; though I have known them dark, with dark hair, and then they are generally very sallow, and the cast of their countenance melancholy, that is, interesting.
Perhaps a history of the early education, habits, and manners of a Blue Man may not be uninteresting to the philosophic reader. I can give it partly; yet perhaps it will be thought I take too much upon myself, and write too fluently on a subject I am not acquainted with: but I am acquainted with it, and know all about the matter. I have been behind the scenes; I will tell you how. I have a cousin, of whom 1 hinted somewhat, who is a decided Blue Man, and a very fine and fair specimen of the species in question. I was at the same school with him when he was about ten, and I a year and a half older. He was a pale, rather sickly and sallow boy; with that hasty, peevish expression of countenance, and mistrustful, unsociable manner, which made me and other boys always long to lick him; and so we did, though he was my cousin. He had the character of muzzing a good deal; but after all, it was not at his lessons; there we did him wrong; but I found out afterwards it was at those abominable efforts of juvenile genius which mothers delight in so much. Copies of bad verses ; most heroic essays about Jupiter, Hannibal, or the Trojan war; and sometimes a play, according to his notions of one. As to his mother, it was the old story over again. She showed this nonsense to her friends in the boy's presence, gave him sweetmeats for his precocious compositions, and paid him a penny a line for his poetry. Thus encouraged, all these proofs of genius accumulated in his brain and on his paper, so much as, in a great measure, to push Latin and Greek from their stools. I lost sight of him after the space of two years, being taken away from school, where I left him to his literature and lollipops.
The next time I fell in with him was at College, where he contributed to the Cambridge Chronicle; drank nearly a dozen of white wine during his three years; consumed a great deal of tea; read magazines, and wrote for them without success ; filled albums with rhymes aud beautiful extracts in prose; visited a banker's family, with whose daughter he commenced a literary flirtation, and taught her the principles of Spurzheim ; gave literary tea-parties, with wax candles and lemonade; got up speeches for the Union, and shirked the replies ; wrote a five-act tragedy, consequently complained of the stupidity of managers; wore out a great many caps and gowns, for he seldom sported heaver; wrote for all the prizes, and wrote to all his friends to come and hear him recite them—always, unfortunately, was very near getting them; was joint editor of a wretched weekly pamphlet, which died a miserable death three weeks after its birth; took a poor degree, took his leave, and, finally, took orders.