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188 MISSIONS IN SOUTH INDIA.
Each person was furnished with a dagger in one hand, and a pocket-handkerchief in the other. The machines, to some of which were yoked six, eight, ten, or twelve bullocks, were now driven at full speed round the pagoda three times, while the deluded wretches were brandishing the dagger, and waving the handkerchief, occasionally resting their weight on the lower bar of the frame, but often suspending their entire weight on the hooks. Sometimes six or eight of these machines were driven round at the same time. On inquiring why the deluded beings submitted to this punishment, some told us it was in fulfilment of vows made to the goddess; others, that they were hired by persons standing by, and received one or two rupees for their trouble. Among the trees were stalls and booths, in which were sold sweetmeats, victuals, trinkets, &c. Here were jugglers, beggars, and parties of pleasure; but very few took any notice of those horrid scenes which most attracted our attention. Never were we before so powerfully impressed with the importance of missionary exertions. Truly the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty / Oh that the people of England could have witnessed this spectacle, so truly infernal ' ' Who could have remained indifferent to missionary exertions, or withheld his support from those noble societies which propose to make known the merciful religion of Jesus, to enlighten the heathen, and to put a stop to these dreadful cruelties 7 -
We left Cuddapah for Bellary on the 3d of March (1827), and went by way of Gooty, where is another hill-fort of great strength. A few weeks after we had passed through this district, that dreadful scourge, the cholera morbus, broke out in it and carried off great numbers. The governor, sir Thomas Monro, passed that way at the time, and fell a victim to its awful ravages. Several other Europeans were also
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carried off by it. The governor was universally beloved, and his death is deeply lamented by the whole country. He was just about to return to England, loaded with years, riches, and honors. He was esteemed a great man by all. We had enjoyed several pleasing and interesting interviews with him before we left Madras, and received from him every kind attention, and every facility in travelling through the presidency. How great has been the goodness of God to us ! The awful plague did not break out till we had passed. The country continues barren and of an inhospitable aspect; but a small proportion of it is capable of cultivation; yet it somewhat improves as you approach Bellary, where we arrived on the 7th of the same month, and where we were received by our missionary friends and others with the most affectionate attentions. Bellary.—This town is situated in lat. N. 15° 5', long. E. 76° 55'. It is sometimes spelt Balhary. It stands on level ground, and is laid out in wide and regular streets, lying parallel with each other, or crossing at right angles. Though the houses are generally built with mud walls, and have a poor appearance, yet they are more neat and cleanly than are observable in Indian towns in general. The fronts of many of the houses are ornamented with broad white and red vertical stripes, as well as the steps at the doors, and the raised platforms under the verandahs. The trees, growing in rows in the streets, in this and many other towns, are colored and ornamented with similar stripes, but carried horizontally round their stems. The main streets are kept in neat and good repair. Here is an extensive bazaar. In the town are eighteen or twenty pagodas, some of which are well built, but in general they are small; and also several mosques. To the eastward the town is inclosed by a ditch, and has two entrances from the country on this side, where there are gateways of stone. Beyond this boundary are several poor and wretched villages. On the west side of the town is a hillfort of considerable strength. The hill is a mass of sienitic rock, the summit of which is fortified. A fort and ditch extend along the eastern side of the bottom of this hill, and stretch to the southward. Within this part of the fort are the barracks, some European shops, the government-chapel, &c. The cantonments extend round this hill, on which are many good houses, and in which the officers of the military establishment, and the civilians, reside, who are con
190 MISSIONS IN SOUTH INDIA.
nected with the government. Within the cantonments, and on the south side of the hill, and half a mile to the west of Bellary, is the Coul Bazaar, containing a population equal to that of Bellary itself. Here is a mixed multitude, generally camp-followers. They are mostly Malabars, and of course speak the Tamil language, while the native population of Bellary speak the Canarese. These two places, taken together, contain a population of about 36,000, one fifth of whom are Mahommedans; the rest of course are Hindoos, or, as they are called here, Gentoos. A spacious tank lies between Bellary and the Coul Bazaar. The mission-premises are well chosen, and most advantageously situated, being close to Bellary, and between it and the fort. They contain about seven acres of land, a principal part of which is occupied as garden-ground, neatly laid out, and in high cultivation. Here is a good house, of considerable size, occupied by Mrs. Hands and family, with upper rooms. Near it is another, of less dimensions, occupied by Mrs. Beynon. A third, still smaller, accommodates Mr. Paine, the printer; adjoining it are the printing and other offices. On the premises the mission-chapel stands, and near to a public street. This is a large and handsome building, and neatly fitted up inside, with a comfortable vestry. This chapel was erected by subscriptions raised in the country, and cost 7,000 rupees. In it are two public English services every Lord's day, when congregations of from seventy to one hundred and fifty persons attend, partly English, civil and military, and partly country-born. A Christian church has been for some years organized here, on the Independent principles of church-government, into which two hundred and thirty members have been admitted, many of whom appear to have been brought to the knowledge of the truth here. Some of them have gone to their rest, others have been removed to other parts of India or to England, and twenty-four communicants still remain. Most of these persons have done great honor to their profession. Mr. Hands preaches early on Lord's day mornings at the jail, to about three hundred prisoners, in Canarese. In the chapel is a week evening English service, when but few attend except the mission-families. In connection with this mission there are twenty-two schools of native children, containing about one thousand. Many of these schools are at a great distance, and are visited
schools AT BELLARY. 191
about once in six weeks by Mr. Walton, the assistant. But on examining several of the distant schools, we found that the children had made but little progress, from the negligence of the masters, and the impossibility of extending to them that frequent superintendence which is essential, owing to , their distance, some of them being twenty miles from Bellary. Perceiving that the advantages accruing to the children were not adequate to the expense of the Society, we have advised that, for the present, all these distant schools should be abandoned, and that other schools should be raised at a moderate distance, and where they can receive the necessary superintendence. This will allow the missionaries to direct their energies to objects nearer home with greater hope of success. In all the schools the Scriptures and other Christian books are read. They are wholly conducted, indeed, on Christian principles. Here is but one girls' school, consisting of six Malabar children, under the care of Mrs. Hands. The prejudices in Bellary against female education, among the Canarese population, are at present very strong. Mr. Hands preaches to the Canarese in the chapel on Lord's day mornings, when about ten adults and seventy children attend. He preaches occasionally in a school-room in the town, when seventy or eighty persons gather around to hear. He also meets the native converts weekly, at his own house, for conversation and prayer. Mr. Walton, the country-born assistant, appears to be a pious and devoted young man, and is very usefully employed in the mission. On Lord's days he preaches, in Malabar, on the mission-premises; on Mondays, in Canarese, in the pettah, or town; also, on Wednesdays, in the evening, in the school-rooms; Thursdays, in the fort, in Tamil; Friday mornings at a village, in Canarese; on Saturdays, in the town again, in Teloogoo. Every month he visits half the schools; the one month he goes to those in the eastern division, the other to those in the western; devoting one week to each division. In recommending the abandoning of the distant schools, we have advised that Mr. Walton should take up his residence in the Coul Bazaar, where there is a population equal to that of Bellary, but on which no missionary labor has been yet bestowed, beyond that of establishing one small school, and an occasional transient visit to it by Mr. Walton. This place, we have advised, should be the
192 MISSIONS IN SOUTH INDIA.
place of residence, and the immediate sphere of Mr. Walton's labors. There are four natives who have given satisfactory evidence of a converted state. Thirty-eight adults have been baptized, and sixteen children. Ten or twelve more, included in the number of the baptized, are in a hopeful state. One man had been long employed in the mission to read to those natives who come casually to the mission-house, and had given great satisfaction. But when his baptism was proposed, and when, of course, he must lose caste, he excused himself on the ground of the opposition of his wife, who, he stated, had been so exasperated by his intention to be baptized, that she had thrown herself into a deep tank, with an intention of drowning herself. This story was entirely a fabrication of his own, and his hypocrisy was detected. The love of money was the root of the whole evil, both of his hypocrisy and his awful attempt to hide it and deceive the missionaries. He was well paid for his services while connected with the mission. Here is a Bible, a Missionary, a Tract, and a School Society, all of which are flourishing, and the means of much good, and meet with encouragement and support from the Europeans in the neighborhood. The charity-school is doing well, and we were much satisfied with an examination of the children. There are at present thirty children in the school, boys and girls, mostly country-born, with one or two English, and as many natives. Between three hundred and four hundred have been educated in this school since 1811, when it was established. A pious man is the schoolmaster, and it is under the immediate superintendence of the missionaries. It is supported by subscriptions raised in the neighborhood. ' Mr. Hands has been engaged for many years, together with Mr. Reeve, in translating the Scriptures into the Canarese language; and we are happy to state that he has at length brought this great work to a close. At a meeting of the committee of the Bible Society at Madras, this translation was spoken of in terms highly flattering. Mr. Hands is about to proceed to the printing of it at the mission-press. He has also written several tracts. Mr. Hands has been very useful to the English at Bellary. Many officers as well as privates in the army, and civilians, also, in the Company's service, we have reason to believe,