« ПредишнаНапред »
dung is universally applied to the may appear the best clue by which part affected ; and I have seen the to trace out their origin; but it same remedy applied to a man only serves to involve our conjecin a high fever, when his whole tures in greater obscurity. Their body was daubed over with this language appears almost comointment. Leprosy appears to be pletely peculiar to this island. It very prevalent among them, and is spoken by none of the Malabars the streets of Columbo swarm with or other nations on the continent Cinglese beggars labouring under of India ; nor can any of them be this distressing disease. I have seen instructed in it without considerasome of these objects with their skin ble difficulty. If I might be alparty-coloured, half black and half lowed to offer an opinion on a subwhite; for this disease leaves white ject that requires the profound inblotches and spots in all those places vestigation of the learned, I should of the skin where it breaks out, and say that it appears to me most It is not uncommon to see one limb nearly allied to the Maldivian. I completely white while the other had an opportunity of observing retains its natural black colour. the similarity both in this and in
“The disease which particularly other respects between these peoexcites their apprehension is the ple and the Ceylonese, while I was small-pox. It is looked upon as stationed at Columbo; it being a the immediate instrument of God's custom with the king of the Malvengeance, and therefore they do dive islands to send an ambassador not venture to use any charms or yearly with presents to our goverincantations for their recovery, as nor at Ceylon, in order to maintain they are accustomed to do in all a friendly understanding with us. other diseases. If any one dies of The Maldivians of his retinue both it he is looked upon as accursed, in shape, complexion, and habit, and even his body is denied the approached much nearer to the rites of burial. It is carried out Ceylonese than to any of the Mato some unfrequented place, and labar race: and their language apthere left with a few bushes or peared to me to follow the same branches of trees thrown over it. Tule. It is to be hoped that an intercourse “ There are in fact two dialects with our countrymen will in time of the Ceylonese language, differdo away these gloomy notions of ing very considerably from each fatality, and that the effect of re- Other, and having each a separate medies on the Europeans will inc grammar. The poetic or court duce the natives also to adopt them. language is also styled the Candian It would be an object worthy the Sanscrit, or more properly the attention of government to cause Paulee, or Mangada. This dia. to be introduced among them the lect, which is retained in those inoculation for the cow-pox, which parts of the interior, where the has lately been discovered for the language may be supposed to be deliverance of mankind from a most preserved in its greatest purity, fatal pestilence. The governor contains a considerable mixture might insist that all the children of Arabic, and is accounted the within our jurisdiction should un most elegant as well as the most dergo this operation.
smooth and sonorous. The learn. të The language of the Ceylonese ed will judge of the inference to be
F 2 drawn
drawn from the Arabic forming emphatic ye or ah, which forms the so considerable a portion of the last syllable of a great number of Ceylonese language in those parts their words. where it is spoken in its original “ They divide their time nearly purity. The current opinion a- as we do, only their year com mong the natives is, that Arabic mences on the 28th of March, is their original language, and that The manner in which they make some mixture of the Sanscrit was allowance for leap-year, and the introduced by a colony who came odd portions of time which are not over by Adam's bridge from the reduceable to the regular calcula. continent of India. Among the tion, is by beginning their year Cinglese on the coasts, the vulgar a day sooner or later, or in other dialect, distinguisbed by the name words by adding a day to the forof the Cinglese, is spoken : it has mer year. The first month of the been greatly corrupted by the in- year they name Wasachmahayė, the troduction of foreign words, and second Pomahayė, and so on; every that melody and force which is one ending in the favourite syllable attributed to the language of the aye. Their months are, like ours, interior is here no longer discerni- divided into weeks of seven days. ble. If I may judge from the im. The first day of the week, which pression made upon me during my corresponds with our Sunday, they residence on the island, the Cinc call Fridahé, then, Sundudahé, Onglese spoken on the coasts is much ghorudahé, Bodadahé, Braspotininferior to any of the other Indian dahé, Secouradahé, Henouradahé. languages which I have heard. Wednesday and Saturday are the
• The hyperbolical strain of days on which they perform their compliment and adulation which is religious ceremonies.
The day, common to all the Asiatic nations, which is reckoned from sun rise to is found no where in greater per. sun-set, is divided into fifteen fection than in the island of Cey, hours, and the night into as many, lon. There is here a degree of which forms a pretty regular divi. punctilious minuteness with which sion of time, as the length of the the phraseology employed is exact. day and night varies very little in ly adjusted to the rank of the per- this latitude. son addressed, that altogether asto- ' “ In their state of society, the nishes an European. There is no exact measurement of time is not impropriety which a man can be of particular consequence, and guilty of more unpardonable in therefore we find them very little deir eyes, than addressing a supe. solicitous about dealing out scrurior in language that is only fit for pulously an article of which they an equal or an inferior.
do not understand the value. It " There is something very pecu- does not appear that before the arliar in the pronunciation of the rival of Europeans on the island Ceylonese. They scem to steal the Ceylonese had contrived even out the first part of the sentence the rudest species of dial. On any in such a manner as scarcely to particular occasion, they employed catch the attention, and then dwell a vessel with a hole in the bottom with a loud and long accent on the that let out the water with which concluding syllables. They are it was filled in one hour according particularly fond of closing with an to their division. This rude in
štrument was sufficient for all their ed steel pencil, like a bodkin, and purposes ; and was even seldom set in a wooden or ivory handle, employed unless at court ceremo- ornamented according to the taste nials.
of the owner, is employed to write “ The learning of the Ceylonese or rather engrave their letters or consists chiefly in some pretended characters on these talipot slips skill in astrology. It appears, in- which are very thick and tough. deed, that they were formerly pos- In order to render the characters sessed of some literature, as well more visible and distinct, they rub aś of some refinement in the arts, them over with oil mixed with At Adam's peak, their principal charcoal reduced to powder, and place of worship, and in the ruins this has the effect also of rendering of some of their temples, certain them so permanent that they can inscriptions have been discovered never be effaced. When one slip which they are now unable to deci, is not sufficient to contain all that pher. The Dutch repeatedly sent they intend to write on any parti. some of the most ingenious Mala- cular subject, they string several bars, as well as persons from the together by a piece of twine passed various continental tribes, to exa- through them, and attach them to mine these inscriptions ; but, al-'a board in the same way as we file though they were accompanied by newspapers. the natives, and assisted by all their “ Palm leaves are sometimes traditions, no interpretation could employed for the same purpose ; be effected. In the neighbourhood but those of the talipot, both from of Sittivacca 1 had an opportunity their breadth and thickness, are preto see several of these inscriptions ferred. Few of the natives, and among the ruins of a pagoda, those only of the higher order who
“ To read and write are no ordi- have much connexion and long ac, nary accomplishments among the counts to keep with the Europeans, natives of Ceylon. These arts are employ any other materials in among the Candians chiefly con- writing than those which I have fined to the learned men of the sect just described. There is also a sort called Gonies, who are retained by of paper, made of the bark of a the king to execute all the writings tree, sometimes used. of state, and those which respect “ I have seen several of those religious affairs. The Arabic is talipot books or files, called by the the character which they employ natives oliges, richly ornamented on these occasions.
and bound in thin lacquered boards “ For writing, as they do not un, of ivory, or even silver and gold. derstand the art of making paper, They are particularly dexterous they employ the leaf of the talipot and accurate in their mode of writ. tree. From these leaves, which ing. In those letters or dispatches are of an immense size, they cut which were sent by the king to the out slips from a foot to a foot and Dutch government, the monarch a half long, and about a couple seemed particularly anxious to dis, of inches broad. These slips are play his magnificence in the rich, smoothed, and all excrescencesness and splendour with which they pared off with a knife, and are then, were executed. The writing was without any other preparation, inclosed in leaves of beaten gold in ready to be used. A fine point the shape of a cocoa-tree leaf. This
was rolled up in a cover richly or- let off, and they are ploughed namented and almost hid in a pro- anew. The water besides nourishfusion of pearls and other precious ing the rice serves the purpose of stones. The whole was enclosed rotting the weeds. The only good in a box of silver or ivory, which trait in their husbandry is the care was sealed with the emperor's great with which they guard against seal. The same splendour has weeds: this indeed costs them little been observed in the letters sent to labour where they have an opporour governor since we have had tunity of flooding the grounds. possession of the island.
The other tools they employ in “. The progress of the Ceylonese agriculture are a board for smoothin the other arts of life is propor- ing their fields, which they drag tionate to their literature. Their over them edgewise with their agriculture is still in the rudest oxen ; and a piece of board fastenstate ; and perhaps there is no ed to the end of a long pole, which other part of India where the lands serves them in place of rakes. are cultivated with more negli “ When the season for plough. gence. The Ceylonese are natu- ing arrives, each village makes it rally, like other tribes who inhabit a common concern, and every one a mountainous country, and have attends with his plough and his been accustomed to the habits of oxen till the whole of the fields bepastoral life, indolent in the ex. longing to that society be finished. treme. Their soil, where it can The same method is followed in be watered, yields them a sufficient reaping the corn;' and both the quantity of rice to maintain their seed-time and harvest become in existence, and this scems almost as this manner the seasons of genemuch as they desire. The exam ral industry and good fellowshipple of the Europeans in the culti - Each person of the society affords vation of the cinnamon has not yet provisions to the whole during the awaked a spirit of emulation among time they are cultivating his fields. the natives, nor has any improve. The women are not employed in ment of their rude agricultural in- either of these laborious operations; struments been as yet introduced. their business is to gather the corn Their plough consists merely of a after the reapers, and assist in sav. crooked piece of wood, shaped in ing it. such a manner that the one end “ Oxen are employed both in serves for a handle, while the other ploughing and in treading out the which is shod with iron to prevent corn. This method of separating the wood from wearing, ploughs, the rice from the straw, is in reality or rather tears up the ground. much more expeditious than our This very rude instrument, how- method of threshing out corn ; and ever, serves their purpose, as it is as it is also attended with much not required to make regular fur- less labour, a consideration always rows, but merely to loosen the of the highest importance to a Ceyearth so as to allow the water with lonese, it is probable that the prac. which they inundate it to drench tice will be continued. For unit completely. After a first plough- husking their rice, the mode they ing with this instrument, the fields employ is to beat it in a mortar, or are flooded; and after they have more frequently on a hard floor; lain some time under water, it is or if the rice be of a brittle sort,
and likely to break in pieces, they cessary for the support of their exboil it previous to beating it out. istence, enables them throughout Water is the only manure which the greater part of the year literally they think requisite.
to live without doing any thing. “ It is evident, from this sketch Small as is the labour required for of their agriculture, that the lands the cultivation of their rice fields, of Ceylon do not produce a crop many of them let their grounds to at all equal to what by proper cul- their neighbours, who are not altotivation they might be made to gether so lazy, for a certain propor. bear. The introduction of a more tion of grain, generally about one improved method would, in all pro- third of its produce. There are a bability, soon render the island ca- number of deductions which prepable not only of supporting its vent them from receiving a larger present inhabitants, but also of af- proportion: a considerable quanfording resources sufficient for a tity is carried off by the priests for much increased population. the service of their temples, or
“ The extreme indolence into is offered up for protection and which the Ceylonese are at present thanksgiving, both on account of sunk, makes them employ every the blessings they have received, expedient to escape labour, and the and in the hope of further assissmall quantity of food which is ne- tance."
RELIGION of the CEYLONESE.
[From the same Work.] THE religion of the Ceylo. their opinion of its good or bad
nese is one of the most pro- luck, they prognosticate whether minent features in a description of the business they go about shall be them, and mixes with every cir- prosperous or unsuccessful. A cumstance of their lives and man- white man or a woman with child ners. There is no people who la. are looked upon as omens particu. bour more under the influence of larly fortunate; but to meet with superstitious fears. Omens regu- a beggar or a deformed person, they late their whole conduct, and even account a grievous mischance, and decide upon their destiny from will not proceed for that day on their birth. When a child is born, their intended business if they can the first step is to call the astrolo- avoid it. I have in my morning ger, and inquire of him whether it rides seen a string of Cinglese, cauis destined to be fortunate or unfor- tiously treading in one another's tunate. If the astrologer declares footsteps, and anxiously expecting, that it was born to misfortune, from the omen that should occur they frequently anticipate its future to the foremost, their good or bad evils by destroying it.' On going success for that day. I, as an Eu.. out in a morning, they anxiously ropean, was always a glad sight observe the first object which oc to them. curs to them, and according to “ The excess of trembling super