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being of any avail, and, if any person should be hurt, to undergo the punishment of the knout. A coach and four having trespassed against this law, coachman, postillion, footman, carriage and horses were immediately seized. The emperor heard of this seizure before he could have received the report from the police. When the officer, whose business it was to make this report, came to Gatschina, the monarch asked whether the attendants of the carriage had undergone the punishment of the knout, and the officer in the hurry of the moment answered in the affirmative. Hardly had he returned to Petersburgh when he took the necessary steps to have the punishment inflicted. Notwithstanding it happened to be holiday-time, the court was obliged to hold an extraordinary sitting. Its sentence was, that the coachman should be lashed with the knout, the postillion, a boy of ten, whipped with rods, and the footman discharged; as the latter, having stood behind the carriage, could not possibly have had any share in the guilt. But this did not agree with what the officer had reported to the emperor, he therefore insisted upon the knout being dealt out to all three. In vain did the court remonstrate; in vain did it represent the injustice of punishing the innocent; nothing could move the man with the steeled breast; the court was forced to pronounce an unjust decree.
When it was announced to the unfortunate footman, he fell senseless on the floor, and awoke to ineffable misery. He was flogged with the knout, his nostrils were torn open, and in that state he was sent to the mines of Siberia. All the
court could obtain was that the boy should be whipped only with rods, as by law no minor can be castigated with the knout.
An interesting anecdote of the English ambassador at Petersburgh, at the period, affords a pleasing contrast. He was walking on the banks of the Neva, his carriage slowly following at a distance. When he wanted to reascend, his coachman briskly drove up, but a police officer stepped forward, stopped the carriage, and declared that he was under the necessity of taking coach and horses to the police office, that he would however allow the minister to be first drove home. This the British nobleman declined. He quietly saw his elegant English chariot and six beautiful blood-horses led away, and returned to his house on foot. no sooner heard of the circumstance than he ordered the carriage and horses to be immediately restored, with a proper apology. The ambassador, however, refused taking his equipage back. “I cannot,” said he,“ ride in an equipage which has been at the police. I beg it may be sold, and the money given to the Foundling-hospital.”
The Talmudists say that Adam had a wife called Lilis, before he marryed Eve, and of her he begat nothing but devils. The Turks Alcoran is altogether as absurd and ridiculous in this point.
Burton's Anat. Melan. v. 1, p. 55.
MONSIEUR DE BOUILLY relates that the Russian ambassador at Paris made the Abbé de
l'Epée a visit in the year 1780, and offered him a present in money proportioned to the customary magnificence of the empress. This the Abbée declined to accept, saying, he never received gold from any one; but, that since his labours had obtained the esteem of the empress,, he begged she would send deaf and dumb person to him to be educated, which he would deem a more flattering mark of distinction. De l' Epée's Educ. of Deaf and Dumb. Trans. pref. p. xi.
A seal for love letters might be engraven with this device, a boy's head, with wings representing the wind, blowing on a weathercock : its motto, if thou changest not, I turn not.
A Malabar Bramin once played off a curious trick upon his flock. He raised money enough an mong them to make a golden snake and twelve golden eggs, which he carried to the pagoda in solemn procession, and there deposited, telling the people that in six weeks time the snake would be vivified, hatch the eggs, and disappear with its young, to become the tutelary divinities of their country. They disappeared accordingly at the time appointed, to the infinite joy of the believers.
In those parts of Malabar where snakes are worshipped, convenience overcomes prejudice. The natives are by no means displeased when a Moor or Christian rids them of one of these venomous gods; perhaps they enjoy a double satisfaction in having the reptiles destroyed, and in believing the infidel will be dained for destroying it.
Ophites in Malabar,
The Burmas suppose the earth to be a circular plane, in the centre of which rises the mountain Mienmo. Opposite to the four cardinal points of Mienmo, are placed in the middle of the ocean four great islands, the habitations of men and of other animals. That on the north is called Unchegru, the inhabitants of which' neither practice agriculture, commerce, nor any other profession. There grows in their island a tree called Padezabayn, on which, in place of fruit, hang precious garments of
kind: : so that from these trees the inhabitants are supplied with all manner of cloathing. Neither have the inhabitants of Unchegru any need to cultivate the ground; as the same Padeza-bayn produces a certain excellent kind of rice, which has no husk. Some of this rice, when the natives are hungry, they put on a certain kind of stone called Zotrassa, which immediately of itself emits fire, and dresses the rice: and as soon as this is done, the fire dies away. Whilst these people are eating their rice, various meats of the most exquisite flavour, according to the particular taste of each person, appear on the leaves and branches of the Padeza-bayn. This food is of such a nature, substance, and nourishment, that what is prepared for one person, would abundantly serve many: and after being eat, it takes away all sensation of hunger for seven days. When the repast is finished, the remains of their own accord disappear. From such a diet the natives of Unchegru never suffer any sickness; nor have they any inconvenience from old age, but live for a thousand years happy and tranquil in continual
virour, always in their persons resembling youths of eighteen years.
The manner in which these islanders contract marriage, is remarkable. Women there are not subject to the common sexual infirmities, and bear their children without any pain. When their time comes, they bring forth their children in the streets, and there leave them. The children, though thus forsaken by their parents, do not die: for the passengers put the extremities of their fingers into the mouths of the infants, who from thence suck a most exquisite nectareous liquor, by which they are refreshed and nourished for seven days, in which time they become full grown. No one then knows his own relations; not only for the above-mentioned reason; but also because all the inhabitants of the northern island are of the same form and colour. Whenever therefore a man and woman struck with mutual love wish to contract marriage, they retire under the shade of a certain most agreeable kind of a tree. If they be not nearly related, this tree bends down its branches and leaves, covering them with a delightful bower, where they consummate their marriage: but if they be very nearly related, the tree neither bends down its branches nor leaves: and they then knowing their consanguinity immediately abstain from any farther connection. These islanders are not amorous : for they never perform the conjugal rites more than ten times : many abstain from them during their whole lives; and many, after having performed them six or seven times, become, as if it were, perfect men and holy, who have overcome all their passions, and all the desires