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acknowledged as an independent port. In the treaty of 1842, there is a clause, which provides that all British subjects offending against the laws of China, shall be amenable only to the jurisdiction of British Judges; this clause was subsequently declared by Sir H. Pottinger's ordinance [No. I., of 1844] to include Macao. The Portuguese Court demanded an explanation of this document; to which Lord Aberdeen, who at that time held the seals of the Foreign office, returned a somewhat ambiguous reply. It satisfied the Court of Lisbon, however; and they considered the ordinance as null and void, with respect to their own possessions in China. Captain Keppel, very probably, had not seen this document: and he consequently acted up to (what he believed to be) the spirit of the instructions furnished by his own Government. It was a case of the black and white sides of the shield, and would have been insignificant enough in itself, but for the high character of Governor Amaral, who was known in Macao only as a stern and uncompromising reformer.
A more tragical event, however, soon after cast this international question into the shade, and added greatly to the already complicated state of affairs in China. The Governor of Macao had long been bitterly detested by the Chinese around, who were annoyed at his reforms: and some of the desperate characters, who appear to batten upon the European settlements, murdered him, when out on a ride beyond the barrier, and retained his head and hand. These were, it appears, handed over to the Chinese Viceroy, Seu. The Portuguese inhabitants determined on retribution. They made an assault upon a small fort outside their city, and captured it, with the slaughter of seventyfive of the guards. A Provisional Government was formed, with the Bishop Jeronymo at its head; and a very sharp correspondence with the Viceroy took place. Seu at first coolly refused to deliver up the head; and, when further pressed, asserted that he was afraid of the populace. To this the Bishop replied, that he should consider the Governor of Canton as an accessory before the fact, and that the consequences must rest on his own head. Seu now tried to offer some partial reparation: an individual, probably some condemned criminal, was beheaded, and the Viceroy informed the Provisional Government, that this was the assassin: but he still refused to restore the mutilated members of the body.* The Provisional Government have summoned Troops from Goa and from Portugal. These, however, have not arrived: but it is difficult to see how the matter can end
The head and hand have since been restored.
without bloodshed, as Portugal dares not draw back, and, low as that country has fallen, it is still able to inflict a signal retribution on the Chinese.
Lately there appears to have been something like a renewal of energy in our transactions in China. The southern coasts of the country have always been much exposed to the attacks of pirates; this collection of all the desperadoes of the maritime provinces commit the most shocking atrocities in the vessels they obtain possession of, apparently for the wanton pleasure of cruelty. So formidable have these pirates become, that some of their associations have grown into towns; and they are enabled to equip war junks of an enormous size, and make any terms they please with the regular authorities. Two war steamers, the Fury and Columbine, under the command of Captain Hay, after an intermitted battle of two days, destroyed twenty-three of these junks, averaging 500 tons, and mounting from 12 to 18 guns, three junks, still on the stocks, and, finally, the dockyards with their apparatus, machinery, and timber. On the 13th of October, the same officer attacked another piratical fleet of 64 vessels, mounting 1220 pieces of cannon, and manned by 3000 desperadoes. The whole were commanded by a pirate named Shap-ingstai, a man who had for months been the terror of that coast. Fifty-six junks were destroyed, 1700 men slaughtered, upwards of 1200 guns captured, and the pirate himself escaped with difficulty, with three or four of the smallest junks. These enterprises may be productive of more important effects, than merely delivering the coast from the piratical squadron. The Chinese have now for the first time seen the British in their true character, as possessed of irresistible strength, and employing it for the benefit of others. They will gradually fall into the habit of regarding the English as their natural protectors; and between this, and actual submission, the interval is brief indeed.
We now turn to another colony of the Crown in the East. The Great Rebellion of 1848 in Ceylon excited, from the first, very considerable interest in England; and even the British Parliament contrived to acquire something like definite information as to the real subject matter in dispute. Perhaps, of all the departments of Government, the Colonial office is deservedly the most unpopular. One man (who, however able and zealous he may be, is but mortal) is expected to stand in the relation of a second Providence to Forty-five colonies, of which three are embryo Saxon Empires, and the rest filled with a population of turbulent natives, and discontented Europeans. The affairs of Ceylon for 1849 are best narrated in the pages of Hansard for
its history is comprised in fierce Parliamentary attacks, and heavy onslaughts, directed against the Ministerial party, under the pretence of attacking Lord Torrington. We have so recently discussed the merits of this question, that we have now only the result to chronicle. Lord Torrington was accused of tyranny and the only proof, brought forward, was, that he did not believe Ceylon to be quite so far advanced in the career of civilization as Paris, or that the abolition of the punishment of death for political offences was expedient. He was accused of gross dereliction of duty and the assertion was supported by evidence that he had suppressed a rebellion, and saved the European residents from massacre. Lastly, he was accused of exciting the rebellion by the imposition of taxes, which had been ordered by the Colonial office, and of shooting a Buddhist priest in his robes, instead of shooting him naked. Lord Torrington was acquitted of every charge save one, by no means the least important, viz. that he had been a Lord of the Bedchamber; and the records of the island have ever since exhibited a picture of progressive improvement. The expenditure has been reduced by £34,000; and the Governor has announced his hope of being able to effect still further reductions. The expenditure, however, is still far too large. The Honourable Company, within whose territories Ceylon geographically lies, would certainly govern the island for £200,000 a year, and relieve it at once of its ornamental Governor, and burdensome Military Staff. A Brigadier would govern the Military departments of Ceylon; and four Commissioners for the four districts, with their assistants, would be found to be much more useful than the present costly establishments. The characteristic of Ceylon, during 1849, has been profound quiet; the island can scarcely be said to have presented a single event worth recording unless the dull squabbles of the colonists, and the duller diatribes about them in the local press, may be deemed such.
ART. V.-1. Samáchar Darpan. Serampore. 1818. 2. Sambád Kaumadi. Sanskrit Press. 1821.
3. Bráhman Sebadi. Calcutta. 1821.
4. Samachar Chandriká. Calcutta. 1822.
5. Banga Dut.
THE publication of Elliot's Muhammadan Historians of India, and of Du Tassy's History of Hindustani Literature, together with other valuable works of a similar class issued of late years, indicates that a taste is springing up for Bibliographical studies, and that the statistics of Literature are considered to be worthy of investigation, even in this age so fond of seeking after mere material objects. In this field, as in others, France and Germany have taken the lead. What works has England ever produced of a Bibliographical kind, equal to the writings of Mabillon and the Fathers of St. Maur?
While notice has been taken at different periods of Sanskrit and Arabic Works, very little attention has been paid to a history of the rise and progress of the different Vernacular Literatures in India. We should be glad, for instance, to see a synopsis and sketch of the books published in Tamul, Canarese, and Mahratta. Monsieur du Tassy has supplied the desideratum for Hindustani ; and we are glad to learn that his work is being translated from French into Urdu; it will form as excellent a guide for the study of Hindustani, as Horne's Introduction does for Biblical pursuits. We purpose in the present article to take a cursory range over the state of early Bengali literature, particularly with reference to the periodical press, which is indirectly exercising a considerable influence on the Hindu mind; we shall also give a short notice of Bengali works, printed previously to the era of the Bengali Newspapers.
It is difficult to gain any precise information respecting the language that was used at the Courts of Gaur and Nadiya; -nor is this surprising, when we reflect on the cloud of obscurity, that hangs over the ancient history of Bengal. It is true we have certain landmarks. Dacca and Satgan flourished, as commercial emporia, in the days of Pliny; Gaur, according to Rennel, was the capital of Bengal, 750 B. C.; Tamluk, or Tamralipta, was the Benares of Budhism
in Bengal, eighteen centuries ago;* and a temple was erected in honor of Kapil Muni in Sagar Island, as far back as A. D. 430. We therefore conclude, on this and various other grounds, that the hypothesis, started by Ram Komul Sen in the very able preface to his Dictionary, is utterly without foundation, viz. that a considerable portion of Bengal, as for instance the district of Jessore, has been reclaimed from the sea within the last three centuries. So far from the Sunderbund districts being of such recent origin, we believe that evidence can be adduced to shew that they formed a cultivated tract of country, at a period when England was only emerging from a state of barbarism. We ourselves saw a couple of years ago, in the Bibliothéque Royale at Paris, through the kindness of Monsieur Jomard, a map of Bengal, made in the fifteenth century, in which we observed five large cities marked off on the borders of the sea, in what are now the Sunderbunds: but these have been subsequently laid waste through Portuguese buccaneering, the effects of inundations, and a sinking of the land owing to volcanic agency. We conclude therefore that Bengal was a civilized country long before the light of refinement dawned on Britain. And there are various data to confirm this position; for instance, the notice of Bengal in the Raghuvansa-the long standing fame of Tribeni, near Hugly, as a place of pilgrimage-and the mention of Ganga Sagar in the Ramayana and Mahabharat. Kali Ghát is referred to as existing in the days of king Bhagirath. The Vrihat Katha alludes to various events of a very ancient date connected with Bengal; and, in one of the stories contained in that highly interesting work, the scene is laid in Tamluk, and one of the chief dramatis persone is a Budhist priest.
Mention is also made of Bengal in the Raghuvansa. At the period of the composition of that work, probably the whole body of the Ganges flowed down by way of Satgan, Sankhrál Reach, and Báripur to the sea, instead of taking its present course, viz.
* In proof of this, we would refer to an excellent volume, published under the patronage of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, "The Pilgrimage of Fa Hian, from the French, with additional notes. Calcutta. 1848." Professor Wilson has commented very favourably on this work in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, and Colonel Sykes in his valuable "Notes on the Ante-Muhammadan period of India." In Fa Hian's days, viz. A. D. 399, Tamluk is described as near the sea, and as a place of great traffic; 1,000 Budhist monks lived in it. At the close of the 5th century before the Christian era, Dharmasoka, sovereign of all Jambudwipa, is said to have sent to the King of Ceylon an Ambassador, who embarked from Tamluk; and, as late as the 7th century, it was a town of considerable importance. We have a lively recollection of the danger we encountered lately in passing it, owing to the sands and shallows, with which the river is now filled. Like Satgan, it has fallen into decay, partly owing to that silting process of the river, which may eventually block up even the port of Calcutta.