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and the long black bair combed back from the copper-coloured face, and twisted into a thick knot, close down to the pole of the neck, sticking out beneath the head-dress. In each ear were three gold rings, studded with coloured stones; these earrings were about thirteen inches in diameter, resting upon the shoulders, and a square piece had been cut out of the lobe of the ear, to allow the insertion of these ponderous ornaments. He wore a white cotton jacket, open in the front, exhibiting his copper-colour. ed, hairy chest, although to one side of the vest were attached innumerable jewelled buttons ; round his loins was longitudinally rolled several yards of white cotton, forming a petticoat or comboy, the end being brought round the body, where it hung down the front; this petticoat was confined round the waist by a silk handkerchief folded crossways, the points of which hung down angularly behind, forming a novel caudal extremity. In his hand was a Chinese umbrella made of black varnished paper, with a bamboo stick. The comboy reached to his ankles, which appeared below naked, as well as his unshod broad splay feet, in all the native ugliness of brownness, and pristine simplicity of dirt.
Many were the remarks, and hearty were the laughs, as our party of grif fins looked at this specimen of humanity. Some wanted to catch him, and forward him by the next steamer to the zoological gardens-others to put him into a bottle of spirits, and send him to the College of Surgeons ; but all agreed “ that they had never seen so ruin a looking cove before."
We cannot dwell upon the impression produced on those fresh from home and Europe, as they looked at the crowd of Asiatics and unclothed natives who thronged around them, stimulated by the desire of gain, striy ing to induce the “ steam-boat gentle. men" to buy their wares, whilst others, from mere curiosity and indolence, would stand staring, open-mouthed, gawking at them; the children, with no other covering of any kind save that which nature has bestowed on all, their long black hair streaming down their backs, would clamorously ask for pice.
“ Can you tell me where I shall find
the agent's office, as I want to make some inquiries about the fare to Cal. cutta, and if I am likely to find a berth vacant on board the steamer ?"
This was said by a gentlemanly man who had been making a tour in the island.
“ If you come with me I will shew you—it's close here," said one of the passengers, who had just landed, and who seemed perfectly acquainted with the locality ; and up they mounted some stairs, and entered an open door.
“Can I speak to the agent ?"
“I go see," said the burgher clerk, in his abominable patois. And away he leisurely walked to a portion of the room which was screened off, where voices were heard mumbling. The clerk came back, saying
“Go inside_master can see.”
In our gentleman walked, and stood in presence of a square-built, sour-visaged man, of perhaps fifty years of age, who was seated at a table, in an easy chair ; looking over his spectacles at the intruders, as he evidently considered them.
“I wish to learn what is the fare to Calcutta ?"
“ There's the bill," said the agent, pushing one of the printed bills of the * Peninsular and" Oriental Steampacket Company" across the table; never asking the gentleman to sit down, although he retained his own seat.
“Am I likely to find a vacant berth on board ?".
« Don't know."
“ You can go on board, and ask the captain."
1 What quantity of baggage shall I be allowed to take ?"
« The bill will tell you."
The gentlemen turned on their heels in disgust, and quitted the office, one observing
“ Well, I think the fellow might be more courteous and civil, considering the company pay him handsomely to give passengers the necessary information."
“Yes," replied the party addressed, “but I suppose the bear thinks he can be uncivil with impunity, as England is a long way off, and those who go home are too much overjoyed at being there again, and too much occupied
with their own affairs, to make com- state, that the aforesaid hotel is the plaint of his rudeness.
only house of public entertainment in “ Is he not a pluralist ?"
the whole Island of Ceylon where de“ Yes, for he is harbour-master as cent or good accommodation is to be well as the steam-company's agent." had-all the others, including the Rest
“Well, I wonder the government House at Colombo, being literally “am. allow a civil servant to act in the ca blums,” or rest-houses, where you met pacity of agent to any company or with wretched accommodation, worse merchant. John Company manages food, and high charges invariably, and these things better.”
too frequently with insolent, presuming “ Bother the old grumpy, he is not vulgarity. The Royal Hotel at Galle worth talking about ; nevertheless, he is conducted by a young Englishman, is a rare specimen of the genus homo." respectably connected ; and it is from
“Say, rather, of the ursa major." kindly feelings that we refrain from
“ Very good-very good, indeed," giving his name, fearing to cause pain was the rejoinder, as they walked off to to his family, as he is honourably seekenter the town, or, as it is there called, ing to gain his bread in a position the fort of Galle, joined by the party which they might consider infra dig. who had left the steamer.
In this house the dining-room is large The fort of Galle is approached and airy, and the sea-breeze blows rethrough an ancient archway, which, freshingly upon you whilst you eat with the ramparts and town, was built your dinner, entirely obviating the neby the Dutch, after they had obtained cessity for a “punkah." The whole possession of Galle, A.D. 1640. It is of the belongings, as the Yankees say, generally garrisoned by a company of to the table, are clean and civilised, the “ Ceylon Rifles" (composed of Ma- and we are not disgusted and poisoned lays), and a company of whatever re- with dirt. The bed-chambers are cool, giment of the line is on service in well furnished, and la- But we Ceylon. The uniform of the Ceylon must stop our pen, which is running Rifles is dark green, and the Malays riot, as we cannot write a puff of this make tolerably good and efficient sols hottel free gratis for nothing. diers. Under the archway a sentinel Now, while the passengers are taking is stationed; the guard-house faces tiffin, we will sally forth and look the archway, as you enter, the duty round the fort of Galle, which encloses alternating between the regiment of three principal streets; and these are the line and the Ceylon Rifles : here intersected by several minor ones, with the soldiers are lounging about in the houses built on either side, consisting verandah-if our men, they are fre- of ground floors, the roofs tiled, and quently to be seen smoking cheroots projecting beyond the outer walls, supwith much gusto_if they are Malays, ported by wooden pillars, thus forming they are invariably chewing betel, a verandah, in front of which are sus. spitting about, and bespattering the pended tats, to subdue the glare of the whole verandah and ground near them sun, and shut out the gaze of the inwith the disgusting, filthy, red saliva, quisitive passers-by. These tats, or caused by chewing their favourite com blinds, are composed of split reeds, pound of betel-leaf, chunam, and areka attached together by the intertwining nut.
of thin coir or string, and are sus" But where is the Royal Hotel ?" pended from the roof of the verandah said one of the party, “for my inward by rope. The roofs of these domi. man wants refreshing."
ciles slope outwards from the centre “Soon there now," said the touter, walls, which are considerably higher “ only down there-hottel round the than the external ones ; the timbers corner."
rest upon the walls, leaving a space Round the corner they go, and, to between the wall-plate and the tiles the delight of their weary limbs, see for the admission of air-thus allowing inscribed in letters of gold on a green- a thorough current to pass through painted, semicircular board, « The the residence; and this arrangement of Royal Hotel," and they walked into a roof is generally met with in all tropicapacious, airy, well-furnished house; cal climates. The rooms are usually and now, for the beneficial informa. large, and instead of glazed windows, tion of would-be eastern travellers, we Venetian blinds are used, doors and
windows are kept wide open, with a white screen placed before them to prevent the actions of the inmates being observed by all who choose to look ; in short, all privacy is sacrificed to the great desideratum in a hot climate, namely, that of obtaining and being in as much cool air as practicable. The town of Galle is a clean little place, and looks like a crossbreed between a Dutch country town and an Asiatic one. One street is inhabited principally by Moormensome of them being very wealthy, although the external appearance of their dwellings indicates poverty combined with uncleanliness. These men trade in precious stones, rice, spices, cottons, prints, hardware, fruits, salt, saltpetre, poultry ; in short, in every imaginable commodity whereby money is to be made ; nay, they even trade in that valuable commodity itself, for if a military or civil servant is hard up before his month's pay becomes due, they will furnish him with the needful for a considera. tion, as there are not greater usurers on the face of the earth than these Moormen.
But stop-surely our passengers have finished their tiffin by this time. To be sure they have, for there they are all standing at the door of the mail-coach office. We will be with you directly, my boys.
“ Ha, ha! ha, ha, ha! This is a rich idea - European gentlemen, £2 10s. ; Moodliars and their descend ants, £1 10s. ; Proctors and natives, £1.'"*
“Then, by George, I will black myself, so as to look a native nigger. The idea's a rich one, to pay accord. ing to your colour."
« But, my friend," said a young, fresh-coloured, good-looking fellow, “how do you know that I am a European? Suppose I am a half.
“ They not high caste; all same me."
“ Your logic is queer, old fellow. A Cingalese gentleman is not a native, although, like an oyster, he was born and bred in one place; but a poor man is a native because he is not a gentleman, or, as you say, 'not plenty high caste.'”
“ But,” said another, “ have you ecclesiastical courts here ? if so, they must be at a discount, as a proctor ranks with a native. What is a proctor ?"
“ Proctor man go talk judge in court; he burgher."
“ My dear fellow, you will never make that chap understand you. Can't you understand plain English, you black nigger ?".
“ I no talk plenty English. Misser Christoffoletz inside, he talk plenty English ; I go call he.”
A nd out comes a portly, goodhumoured looking man, as black as a crow, dressed entirely in white clothing, smiling, and disclosing teeth which would be the envy of many a British belle.
Good morning, gentlemen ; is there anything I can explain to you?"
“ What is the meaning of proctor? I can't make out that fellow's lingo."
“A proctor, sir, here, is what I have heard say is called in England an attorney."
" Thank you; but about these different fares, what does it mean?"
“It is the custom here, sir, to pay like that."
« Well, if we must pay for our complexions, we must, that's all, as it is the custom. Can we have the whole coach ?"
“ Yes, sir ; I will put on an extra one to accommodate your party."
“ You are a very civil fellow; but how can you put on an extra coach?"
“I am the proprietor, sir."
“ Well, then, Mr. Chris-Chris Chris-proprietor (for I cannot pronounce your jaw-breaking name), what time will the coach start?"
- At gun fire."
“ Master too white."
“ And who in the world are Mood. liars and their descendants ?"
“ They head men ; plenty high caste."
“And who are the natives, then, to go at one pound?"
* This is a fact without the least colouring, as the printed bills, stating the fares by the mail-coach in Ceylon, are thus worded, verbatim.
“ Early work that; never mind, though, we must turn out early."
"I will send the coach round to the hotel for you, gentlemen. I have a favour to ask -- will you allow me to go on the seat with the driver, as I wish to return to Colombo in the morning?"
« Oh, yes, you may come; you shall be our cicerone."
“I beg pardon, sir, I did not understand that last word.”
“I don't suppose you did ; but it means that you shall point out all that is worth seeing on the road.”
“ With pleasure, sir.”
“In short you are to be bearleader," said another, as they walked off, laughing merrily.
CHAPTER II.--GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION—FERTILITY AND PRODUCE-TOGETHER
WITH A SUMMARY OF THE HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF CEYLON UP TO 1763.
Ceylon is situate between 5° 56', and 9° 50' north latitude, and between 80° and 82° east longitude ; and from the shape and position of the island, it has, with no less beauty than truth, been compared to a pearl-drop on the brow of the Indian continent. Its length is about 276 miles, its breadth about 103, and its circumference is about 760. It is bounded on the north-east by the Gulf of Mannar, by which it is separated from the main land, and the Indian Ocean bounds its other shores.
The sea-shore presents great diver. sity of scenery; in some places studded with barren rocks, in others wood. ed to the water's edge with cocoa-nut trees, which skirt the island, present. ing a scene of truly oriental beauty.
In the interior are mountains from 6,000 to 8,000 feet in elevation, which form a species of natural circular fortification, protecting the interior, by means of which the natives were enabled to defy European modes of war fare for more than three centuries.
Although the breezes passing over the ocean and these lofty mountains are at times refreshing, the oppression produced by the heated atmosphere is frequently extreme ; but the suffocating simooms experienced on the conti. nent of India are here entirely unknown.
The Wellánee, the Mahawelliganga, the Guidora, and the Kalluganga, are the principal rivers ; and the sources of these, together with those of some smaller and tributary ones, originate in the lofty mountains; and the ferti. lity of this verdant isle may be attri. buted to the plentiful supply of good water.
The temperature of the island varies considerably, as in the mountains, and
at Newera-Ellia, the thermometer will fall below freezing-point, whilst on the coast it will range from eighty-six to ninety-six of Fahrenheit.
From the earliest ages Lanka-Diva, or Ceylon, has been renowned for the wealth of its marine, vegetable, and mineral productions: the sea yield. ing costly pearls, and a plentiful supply of various and delicious fish, fit for the sustenance of man. The vegetable kingdom teems with riches of another nature, equally valuable—the coffeehush, from the berry of which the fragrant decoction is made ; the cinnamon-laurel, the bark of which furnishes delicious spice, and from whose leaves a pure oil is obtained ; the nutmeg-tree, with its aromatic spice; the clove-tree, with its fragrant blossoms; the sugar-cane, with its juicy pulp and spiral slender leaves; and the tobacco-plant. The graceful cocoa-nut. tree, which will spring into existence where there is scarcely soil sufficient to cover the root; the green fruit furnishes a cooling and delicious beverage, the ripened nut food, the shell fuel, the fibres are woven into coir or rope, and from the old nut a pure oil is extracted ; the leaves, when plaited, form a shelter from the elements; the trunk yields a juice from which, when fermented, a spirit is distilled, or sugar extracted; and the tree, when past bearing fruit, is cut down, and the beautifully-variegated timber is made into articles of furniture. The Jacktree, with its enormous fruit of an oval shape, measuring more than eighteen inches in diameter, affording nourishment; while its yellow trunk, when hewn, is made into articles for domestic use. The magnificent breadfruit-tree, with its splendid foliage and fruit; the orange, pomegranate, lime,
shaddock, and tamarind, with their luxuriant verdure, flowers, and deli. cious fruit; added to these, we find the Malay apple, cashew-nut, fig, papaw, jambo, almond, guava, custard. apple, rambatam, and mangoe trees, and all distinguished for their size and umbrageous foliage. Amongst the minor denizens of vegetation, we find the elegant banana or plantain-tree, with its broad, young leaves, folded trumpetwise one within the other ; the superb amethyst, bell-shaped flower, with yellow petals, and the pendant clusters of yellow, ripened, luscious fruit : the amber ananas, or pine apple, with its green crest, and the grenadilla melon with its mottled rind. Amongst culinary vegetables are bringals, yams, sweet potatoes, occus, a species of cucumber, pumpkins, and rice; whilst European vegetables and fruit, such as strawberries, peas, beans, potatoes, and cabbages, have been introduced into Kandy and Newera-Ellia since 1823. In the forests, the noble talipot, ebony, calamander, banyan, areka-nut, suriya and many other trees, whose names are totally unknown to Europeans ; but were we to attempt to give an account of all the riches of the botanical produce of Ceylon, it would occupy volumes.
The fruitfulness of the earth's womb is here developed in the production of the ruby, emerald, sapphire, onyx, amethyst, opal, moon-stone, cat's-eye, jacynth, and topaz. The precious gems here enumerated are found at the present day; and we have been informed by a Kandian noble of high rank, that gold was formerly found on the island.
From the foregoing facts, it is apparent
are the descendants. Certain it is, that the Cingalese, for centuries past, have been retrograding in the arts and sciences; as the antiquarian remains of public buildings, tanks, and temples of vast magnitude, found in the interior of the island, indicate the existence of a nation, which had nurtured and brought to perfection the nobler arts. These extraordinary remains will be noticed more particularly in a future paper devoted to the antiquities of Lanka-diva; but to proceed regularly, we must now glance at the early history of Ceylon, although the greater portion of it is involved in obscurity. Cingalese historians affirm that here was situated the Garden of Eden; from the top of the highest mountain in the island, called Adam's Peak, they say that the progenitor of all mankind was expelled, and that from this mountain's top the trace of his footstep is to be seen.
Classical writers have mentioned Ceylon, under various cognomens, from a very early period ; and Dionysius, the celebrated geographer of antiquity, calls it Trapabane, and treats of the elephants, and the value of their tasks. But even here a great diversity of opinion has arisen amongst writers, as to the identity of Ceylon with Trapabane; as it would be unprofitable to follow ancient or modern authors through their various disquisitions on this subject, we shall proceed to give an ac. count of the presumed origin of the Cingalese. Ribeiro writes, in his “ Historia de Ilgha de Zeilau :
“ What Heaven has done for this delicious land;"
and, by judicious and energetic go. vernment and management, the prolific and fertile isle might soon be rendered the most productive of our colonies, and the brightest colonial gem in the British diadem.
The Cingalese are extremely proud of the celebrity and antiquity of their isle ; and the native historians assert, that thousands of years before the birth of our Saviour, the island was peopled by a race whose mental powers were highly cultivated, and of whom they
"The Chinese, from a remote period, were the masters of Oriental com merce; and some of their vessels were driven upon the coast of Ceylon, near the district which they subsequently termed Chilau. The mariners and passengers saved themselves upon the rocks, and finding the island fertile, soon established themselves upon it. Shortly afterwards, the Malabars, har. ing discovered it, sent hither their exiles, whom they denominated Galas. The exiles were not long in mixing with the Chinese; and from the two names was formed Chingalées, and afterwards Chingalais."
The other statement is, that an In. dian king, called Singha, of renowned warlike propensities, wbo, the native authors assert, conquered the island,