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this distinction that their's are generally the offspring of over refinement,
Ram Chunder to Krishen Churn Gooroo. The sight of a spring of water to the thirsty Arab in a desert, or the view of the high Towers of Mecca to the holiest votary of Mahomet bave never been productive of more delight than the letter from my venerable teacher, which assured me of his health and welfare.
While the instruction you have afforded me excites me to the inprovement of my mind and the attainment of further knowledge, I shall also trust that the moral principles you have conjoined with them may lead me to a right application of what I acquire ; which indeed as you have often told me, is the part of education most generally neglected, though in reality the most essential of the two.
The date of my letter will acquaint you that I am still a sojourner within the walls of Shahjehanabad. When I reflect upon the former grandeur of this seat of the Moslem Power, and the ruins which now cover a spot the residence in former days of so much homage and dig. nity, and the centre of so great an Empire, I cannot help calling to mind the inefficiency of a Government which has been reduced from so much splendor to its present insignificance, and the wisdom which must guide the counsels of that people by whom so small a power could obtain its present superiority over so great a multitude. Of the evils which existed under the former dynasty it is likely that there are still many remaining in the present age; and since the constitution of the Government and the laws of a country impart so great bias on the character and habits of the people, it would be no difficult task to trace the most remarkable features in their present state of life to that dispotic thraldom under which they were once held. To this may in great measure be ascribed the servile obsequiousness which so long bowed before the Yoke of foreign oppression--and the duplicity and cunning which where first called into action to evade the rigour of their laws. To this also is partly owing that strict and bigotted adherence to ancient forms and customs which has gained strength from the opposition it met with, and increased under the very measures taken to oppose it. In like manner it will be found that most of the paculiarities in the character of this as well as of other nations, may be traced to the principles of the Government under which they have lived. This reflexion too obviously suggests the remedy. That which tyranny and oppression has established or strenghtened the most, gentle means will most effectually remove. The delicacy of the succeeding govern. ment in admitting only a partial interference with the laws which were already established, has not as yet perhaps effected so visible a change as might at first have been expected from the introduction of a Government in all respects of so very different a character. But by
Buch prudent and conciliating counsels it is supposed that such change, when it does appear, though not so striking will be more durable, and more purely established than the hasty revolutions which preceded it.
But not till the time shall arrive when my countrymen are them. selves more deeply impressed with the value of this change, when the love of their country and a zeal for its improvement, feelings altogether incompatible with their present thoughts, shall have been introduced by the study of European letters and European principles, and when they themselves shall lend their aid to what a foreign hand has begun; then and not till then will the improvement which has advanced so slow ly, acquire a more vigorous character and wider growth.
This amor patriæ then is the principle which must precede the way to most improvements among the inhabitants of India. But in respect to this and other noble qualities of the mind, it is curious to observe that the more they are encouraged and instilled into the minds of the people by tae present Governors, the more uncertain will be the tenor of their dominion over them; so that in such respect this country presents the very singular feature of a Government whose individual interests and the progressive improvement of the people they govern, are at variance with each other. I think, therefore, it will be à point of no small interest to future historians and politieians to observe what degree of assistance has been given by them to the advancement of a people who in all probability when arrived at a maturer intellect, will separate themselves from their dominion.
* On this score, however, England if she proceeds in her present course will not have much to fear from the censure of posterity ; but will rather enjoy the glorious reputation of paying but little regard to such mercenary interests, which is a good deal to say of the measures, of a body of men who first established themselves and are still recog pised under the name of merchants.
From Ram Chunder to Krishen Churn Gooroo. Of all the means by which the improvement of this country will afterwards be carried on, there will be none probably of greater avail than the advantage of printing, and a free liberty of the press. By which I would understand not that unrestrained and licentious freedom which gives men permission to breed dissensions among the state, or to woand the peace of private society, but that which admits and promotes fair discussion without abusing the means, which makes known Oublic worth with the view of recommending it to others, and points out the evils of life for the sole purpose of amend ng them. It is by this engine, when thus directed, that purity of principle and high feel. ings of honor are instilled into the character of a people. For as men know that their misdeeds may be easily detected, so they may be assured that there will be always in every state a sufficient number of discontented and captious spirits, who will be ready to take advantage of their errors, and bring then to public notice. It may be observed too, however pernicious such detractors may be in private life, they will seldom be found to do much injury in public. In the former caso the individual has seldom the means of justifying himself. In the latter he may generally meet the accusations, and excuse himself if he is innocent. But these benefits of the liberty of the press will make
very little way where some degree of good principle and sense of character is not planted before hand: for it is only a keen sense of the honor of merit, and the sting of public disgrace that can give any effect to the remarks thrown out by others; and where such feelings are not previously known the praises or animadversions of the crowd will pass unheeded. The want of such principles among the people of this country is too well known, and therefore the press, as the nurse of public virtue and patriotism, which is by far its most essential character, will not probably for many years to come be of much avail in India.
In another department however its advantages may be sooner developed. As its effect in the moral world is to elevate all its best principles, and give a higher tone and refinement to the virtues of the mind, so in the natural world its efficacy has been wonderfully felt in every civilized country in the encouragement it gives to arts and sciences, and especially in bringing together the ideas and projects of different persons on those points, where individual skill or knowledge would have served them to little effect. The usefulness of a press in this particular, if it can be widely circulated, will in all likelihood very soon shew itself in India. In all the arts of life, in agriculture especially, there may be many contrivances adopted in one part of the country which, without some such assistance, might never be known in any other; and though the inhabitants of India are not very willing to adopt any new methods or practices, yet it is to be supposed that this prejudice will be soon gradually overcome ; particularly as the progress of education shall introduce among the rising generation a more extensive knowledge of natural Philosophy, and the usages to which it is made applicable for all the purposes of life. And such knowledge will in all probability be sooner acquired, than those moral attainments which have so much greater obstacles to meet with in the present system of superstition and idolatry.
The blessing of a free press will I have no doubt in future ages, in this as well as in many other countries, be looked back to with pride and wonder by the people, as the great engine from which arose the civilization and improvement of their ancestors. Its effects will perhaps be first seen in the objects of the natural world—but will then take a wider range, and through the blessing of heaven introduce, though slowly yet gradually, truer notions of moral excellence, till the puerilities of their own idolatry give way before the pure and exalted practice of Christian virtues.
I have often thought it matter of regret that the periodical papers now issued from the native press, should be so much taken up with trifling anecdotes, and a succession of puerile remarks and information. These indeed are perhaps more suited to the infant powers of mind of the present mass of Hindoos, than more learned controversies or dissertations; but we are inclined to regret that they should not rather assume somewhat of the style of European writers, and have more rational objects in view than those we find them now employed on. Indeed I have often wondered that some learned native has not undertaken to translate regularly one of the best European papers-especially the part dedicated to Asiatic news, which would go a great way to introduce a better style of composition, and impart a taste for obtaining that useful and agreeable information, which presents itself in such a variety of shapes in the newspapers of the present day.
(To be Continued.)
LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE.
PHYSICAL COMMITTEE that branch of science, to which they
may belong, or to award a proporOF THE
tionate and well earned credit to ASIATIC SOCIETY.
those, who impart them. For these,
amongst its other purposes, the PhyIt is with great pleasure, that we sical Committee has re-assembled ; announce the re-establishment of but in order to effect its objects it this Committee, which was original- must make them generally known, ly formed by the Asiatic Society, and for this reason we are glad to as a subdivision of itself in 1808. Its
Its observe, that at its first meetobject, as stated in the 13th vol. of ing it was resolved to address the Asiatic Researches, was the a circular letter, explanatory of its promotion of every branch of views to different Members of the knowledge comprehended under Asiatic Society, and other Gentlethe general term Physics, includ- men resident in India. ing especially Natural History, In reference to the Constitution Medicine and the Improvement of of the Physical Committee it may Art. The Committee entered on be well to remark, that all the its duties with zeal, and continued Members of the Asiatic Society are during many sittings to receive Members of the Committee. and discuss a great variety of interesting communications, but ulti. Proceedings of the Physical mately fell into disuse, from the
Committee. difficulty of finding a sufficient num
On Wednesday evening the 9th ber of co-laborers, to keep up a
of February, the Physical Comspirit of connected and useful
MITTEE held its first revived meetenquiry by frequent intercourse.
ing at the Rooms of the Asiatic So, More promising appearances hay
CIETY, when the following Gentleing of late disclosed themselves, in an extensive manifestation of zeal
men being present :for science, amongst the European JAMES CALDER, Esq. in the Chair. Inhabitants of British India," the H. H. Wilson, Esq. Sec. to the Asiatic Society have re-established Asiatic Society. the Physical Committee under the Dr. ADAM, conviction, that they thus promote Dr. PATERSON, the interests of knowledge by pro Mr. Ross, viding a central receptacle for the Dr. ABEL, Sec. to the Committee. numerous important scientific, but It was resolved, that the ordicomparatively insulated facts, which nary Meetings of the Commitare every day collecting in different tee should alternate monthly with parts of India. A large proportion of those of the Asiatic Society, that these facts have been continually a circular letter be addressed to lost, from there being no institution different Members of the Society to receive and record them; or and other Gentlemen in India, whose object has been to ascertain soliciting their promotion of the their relative situation in the scale of objects of the Committee ; and
with a view to one very impor- that it is necessary to keep entiretant branch of inquiry, that an ap- ly out of view the effects of hea. plication be made to the Surveyor vy rain, as noxious from quan. General for copies of his metereo- tity, it being only to the effects logical reports.
of a peculiar kind, produced by As this was the first Meeting. rain water, to which he looks. Dr. after an interval of several years,
Carey was led to make the enquiry it went into the examination of by the effects, which he had seen the former proceedings of the produced by recent rain water on Physical Committee, and found some vegetables, and on the human in its records several notices body. The former especially the on interesting subjects. Amongst
Passerina filiformis, and Colutea those, which do not appear to have
arborea are often destroyed by a been before the public, were,
heavy shower of rain, which gives 1. A Letter from Calicut by
an appearance to the leaves of bayMr. J. Thompson On the Cobra
ing been scorched or frozen. A
painful disease, common in Bengal, Manilla, and two venomous sea
resembling chilblains, occurring snakes, accompanied by a figure
principally about the ears, eyes or of each. It appears from this
cheeks, is universally attributed by communication, that the late General Gillespie was bitten by the
the Hindoos to bathing in recently
e fallen rain water. Cobra Manilla, when in the act of gathering a peach, and that
3. An analysis by Dr. Hare of he was in consequence deprived in a brick from the ruins of Babylon, two or three minutes of all sensa- presented by Mr. Home, tion, but recovered by the free use
Gave specific gravit: 2,6666. of Eau-de-Luce, externally and internally. The two sea snakes are
Silica, ....... called Manyla or sand snake, and
Alumina, ........ the Chabi, or mud snake of Mala
Lime, ..... bar, are stated to be the terror
Oxyd of Iron, .. of fishermen, and to have generally the name of Kada-pompa or
200 sea snake. The Manyla is said to have the fang teeth of venomous 4. A very interesting communiland serpents, and to have been
cation by Mr. Wilson, On different fatal to a fowl in ten minutes. Ac
chemical substances, known to the cording to the drawing of the Ma
natives of India, opens a very imnyla, this snake offers an exception
portant branch of enquiry, in referto one of the general characters
ence to the purposes, for which they of venomous serpents, in having
may be employed, and to their chethe scales of the head, larger than mical constitution. The subjects those of the body; the reverse be
of Mr. Wilson's examination were ing usually the case. The Cobra
the Rus Kupoor, Hire Kass, and Capello, however resembles it in this
two varieties of Soorma. The Rus respect, but it would be desirable to
Kupoor, which bears a close ascertain how far the rule extends. analogy to calomel, has a specific
gravity of 8. 8, and consists accord2. An Enquiry (addressed to the ing to Mr. W. of 80. 8 of mercury, Physical Committee, by Dr. Carey), 10.2 of oxygen, and 9 of acid in whether there be any difference in 100 parts. In this respect the Rusthe quality ofrecently fallen rain Kupoor differs from the other water in different places, and if combinations of chlorine with merthere be, wherein it consists." In cury, and therefore merits further this inquiry Dr. Carey observes, investigation, in reference to the doc