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with the blazing sun, rent by the ravages of war ; his helmet, his mantle, his armour, and the foot of his throne, as well as his waistcoat, a handkerchief, and a fragment of the slab of stone upon which he was wont to kneel in offering up his adorations. His helmet is made of cork, covered with silk ; his mantle bears an inscription in Persian, setting forth that it had been dipped in the holy well at Mecca, and rendered invulnerable. Desperate was the attack made on Seringapatam by the British and Native troops, and desperate the defence of Tippoo, his guards, and his tiger grenadiers : had not a stray shot severed the chain of the draw-bridge, the siege might have been prolonged. Tippoo had French engineers ; he fought bravely, and his body was found under an archway, covered with slain.
This musical tiger is a proof of the tyrant's ferocity. It was a favourite pastime with Tippoo to turn round the handle of this machine, that the tiger might spring on the prostrate soldier, as if to tear out his heart; the piteous moans of the soldier, and the yell of the tiger, were sweet music to him. The machine or organ—for such it may be called—is getting much out of repair, and does not, altogether, realize the expectation of the visitor.
I have been looking at the ship made of cloves, the spinning-wheel used by the ladies of Cash· mere, and the Chinese tomb-stones ; each has an interest of its own. The day may yet arrive, when the walls of ignorance and superstition that gird the cities of China shall fall flat before the ram’s-horn blast of the gospel of peace, and Chinese tomb-stones bear the Christian inscription, “Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.”
The paintings, up above there, are not likely to be taken for Claude Lorraine’s ; and yet, as Chinese pictures, they are not without interest. They represent events that correspond with the different seasons. The feast of lanterns, in spring; the Chinese wedding, in summer ; the funeral, in autumn; and the mandarin hall of audience, in winter. Some visitors seem much taken with these paintings, while others pass them by as things of no consequence.
The dagger with the inlaid hilt, the sword of a Gorkha chief, and the khookri, or pioneer's knife, remind one of desperate deeds, when the cold steel and the heart's warm blood hold fearful communion. The sight of them conjures up scenes of oriental contention; and the fierce attack, the death grapple, and the last gasp of the expiring combatant, succeed each other.
Those who have recently witnessed the splendid collection of classified birds in the British Museum, will perhaps think that these cases of Bombay and Java birds have but a sombre appearance; but the true lover of natural objects,
under all circumstances, will admire the varied form and plumage of the feathered race. The animals, the birds, and the butterflies of the museum, will not be disregarded. What a sweet and encouraging thought is that of the poet respecting birds of passage, when applied to the weakest believer in the gospel of Jesus Christ !
“ Birds, through the waste of the trackless air,
Ye have a guide, and shall we despair ?
With what force must the sword-fish have darted forward through the briny deep to pierce the ship’s timber to this extent! Whatever was the cause of quarrel, the finny combatant had cause to rue its displeasure. The loss of its formidable weapon must have been irreparable.
The antiquary will not pass by the handwriting of Oliver Cromwell unheeded; he will ponder, too, on the Chinese abacus, or counting board ; and still longer will he linger over the Babylonish bricks, and the arrow-headed characters in stone, which have hitherto baffled the attainments of the linguist and the learned. No one has yet been able to decipher this ancient inscription.
These bricks and stones are from the banks of the Euphrates, and are relics of ancient Babylon, and some would fain regard them as portions of the Tower of Babel ; but without investing them
with so remote an antiquity, they take us back to the days when “ Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came unto Jerusalem, and besieged it ; * when“ Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand ; ” and when Daniel was “cast into the den of lions.”
And am I in reality gazing on what was then in existence ? Were these fragments of perishable earth coeval with great and mighty Babylon ? Yet why should I gaze astonished at the lesser wonder, and remain unimpressed by the greater ? The sun that is even now gilding the roof above me, the moon and stars that to-night will adorn the canopy of the skies, were in existence before Adam walked erect upon the earth, and ever since have they performed their daily and nightly courses, issuing through the boundless immensity the voiceless proclamation, “ The Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”
“ And what, in yonder realms above,
Is ransom'd man ordain'd to be?
No seraph more adorn'd than he.
Man shall his hallelujah's raise;
And swell the chorus of his praise.”
The pillow used in the Friendly Isles is enough to put luxurious ease to the blush, while the Chinese rock-work in bronze-wood casts a spel
over the curious visitor. These ivory temples, these mother-of-pearl and embossed-silver men, and trees, and birds, are beautifully executed, and the admirer of art will be in no haste to leave them.
These punkahs, or large fans, must be very useful in the sultry clime of Hindoostan. Their waving to and fro must give a breeze like that occasioned by a winnowing-machine ; but we in England can hardly estimate their value. The cup of water that we throw away here, would be precious in the sandy desert of Africa ; and the punkah, which in England is useless, is a necessary appendage in the bungalows of Bombay, Madras, and Bengal.
I have been looking at the head and tusks of an elephant, with the idols and warlike weapons in the adjoining room. The houdah and splendid canopy, richly overlaid with silver, are from the rajah of Bhurtpoor, and they conjure up imaginary scenes. Ghauts, jungles, and tiger hunts, elephants, rajahs, and rupees, are rising before me in strange confusion ; painted budgerows are gliding on the river, ornamented palanquins are borne along its banks. Coolies, sepoys, Malays, and soldiers, are mingling with Hindoos, Parsees, and Turks, moonshees and merchants, dark Ethiopians and fair Europeans. Loosely flowing robes, turbans as white as snow, and fringed panjammahs; armlets, bangles, ear-rings, and nose-jewels, are seen in all directions ; while, in the distance, pagodas, temples, and joss-houses, are diversified