Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

a cup, upon a small

on fire.

DESCRIPTION
Of the Ceremony of the Gentoo Women burning themselves with the Bodies

of their Husbands.

[From the Narrative of D. CAMPBELL, Esq.]
" This day I went to see a dire&tion contrary to the fun; and
Gentoo Woman resign herself to afterwards other three times in a
be burned along with the corpse direction with the sun, all the
of her deceased husband.

while muttering incantations, and
“The place fixed upon

for this at each round or circuit they made, tragic scene, was a small inlet on they untwisted, and immediately the bank of one of the branches again twisted up the small long of the river Cavery, about a mile lock of hair which is left unshaven to the northward of the fort of at the back of their heads. Tanjore.

66 Some other Bramins were in
" When I came to the spot, I the mean time employed in sprink-
found the victim, who appeared to ling water out of a green leaf,
be not above sixteen, sitting on the rolled up

like
ground, dressed in the Gentoo heap of dry cow dung, with which
manner, with a white cloth wrap the pile was afterwards to be set
ped round her, some white flowers
like jessamine hanging round her “ An old Bramin sat at the
neck, and some of them hanging north-east corner of the pile upon
from her hair. There were about his hams, with a pair of spectacles
twenty women sitting on their on, reading, I suppose, the shafter,
hanis round her, holding a white or their scriptures, from a book
handkerchief, extended horizon- .composed of Cajan leaves.
tally over her head, to shade her “ Having been present now
from the sun, which was excef- nearly an hour, I inquired when
lively, hot, it being then about they meant to set the pile on fire :

they answered in about two hours.
" At about twenty yards from As this spectacle was most mel-
where she was sitting, and facing ancholy, and naturally struck me
her, there were twenty Bramios with horror, and as I had only
bufy in constructing a pile with gone there to affure myself of the
tight feet long, and four broad. truth of such sacrifices being made,
They first began by driving fome I went away towards the fort.
upright stakes into the ground, and After I was gone about five hun-
then built up the middle to about dred yards, they sent some one to
the height of three feet and a half tell me they would burn immedi-
with billets of wood.

'ately ; on which I returned, and “ The dead husband, who, from found the woman had been moved

appearance, seemed to be about from where she was sitting to the fixty years of age, was lying close river, where the Bramins were by, stretched out on a bier, made bathing her. On taking her out of of Bamboo canes.

Four Bramins the water, they put some money walked in procession three times in her hand, which she dipped in round the dead body, first in; a the river, and divided among

the Bramins ;

noon.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

his

Gg

Bramins ; she had then a yellow billets of wood from presling or cloth rolled partly round her.“ them; they then poured on the They put some red colour, about pile above where the woman lays the size of a sixpence, on the cen a pot full of something that aptre of her forehead, and rubbed peared to me to be oil; after this something that appeared to me to they heaped on more wood, to be clay. She was then led to the the height, of four feet above piłe, round which flie waiked three where the bodies were built in, times as the sun goes ; she then fo that all I now saw was a stack mounted it at the northeast cor of fire wood. ner, without any allistance ; and 66 Onie of the Bramins, I obsat herself dowri on the right side ferved, stood at the end of the of her husband, who had been pile next the woman's head, was previously laid upon tire pile. She calling to her through the interthen unscrewed the pins which ftices of the wood, and laughied faftened the jewels of lilver rings several times during the converfaon her arms; after the had taken tion. Lastly, they overspread them off, the litut them and screw- the pile with wet straw, and tied ed the pins again ; and gave one

it on with ropes.

A Bramin to each of the two women who then took a handful of straw were standing by her ; the an which he set on fire at the little screwed the ear-rings and other heap of burning cakes of cow, toys with great compofure, and durig, and standing to the winddivided them among the women ward of the pile, he let the wind who were with her. There seen drive the fame from the straw ed to be fome little squabble aboåt till it catched the pile ; fortunately the diftribation of her jewels, at this instant, the wind rose which the settled with great pre- much higher than it had been any cision ; and then falling gently part of the day; and in an instant backwards, pulling a fold of the the flames pervaded the whole yellow cloth over her face, turned pile, and burnt with great fury. her breaft towards her husband's I listened a few seconds, but could lide, and laid her right arm over not distinguish any shrieks, which his breait, and in this posture the might perhaps be owing to my remained without moving.

being then to the windward. IA « Just before the laid down, a very few moments, the pile bethe Bramins put

some rice in her came a heap of afhes. lap, and also some in the mouth During the whole time of and on the long grey beard of this process, which lasted from her husband; they then sprinkled first to last above two hours before fome water on the head, breast we loft tight of the woman, by and feet of both, tied them gently her being built ap in the middle together round the middle with a . of the pile, I kept my eyes almost flender bit of rope ; they then constantly on her; and' I declare raised as it were, a little wali of to God that I could not perceive wood, lengthways on two sides either in her countenance or limbs of the pile, so as to raise it above the leaft trace of either horror, the level of the bodies; and then fear, or even hesitation; her counput cross pieces, so as to prevent tenance was perfectly compofed ;

and

and she was not, I am positive, this hellish facrifice, and did not either intoxicated or stupified. fecm at all displeased that Eu. From several circumstances I ropeans should be the witnesses of thought the Bramins exulted in it,"

THE BLACK PRINCE : Being an Account of the Life and Death of NAIMBANNA, an African

King's Son, who arrived in England, in the ? Çar 1791, and set Sail on his Return, in June, 1793.

[From the Misonary Magazine.} In Africa, the country where this time, that there were none the negroes live, and from which but bad people in England ; for, Naves are taken, there was a king to use his own words, he had nevwho was not a Christian, but who er before seen any Englifbnen wla was a better man (to their shame were not bad people ; but he now be it spoken) than many who call found, that though there were themselves Christians.' Though many wicked people in England, he could neither read nor write, there were many good people also, he had good sense enough to grieve Being informed that what made the for the misery and ignorance of people in England good was the his poor countrymen, and he was Christian religion, he resolved to. desrous of doing them good if he fend thither his son, about 23 but knew how.

years

of

age, who was put under At length a number of English the care of the Sierra Leone Com. gentlemen, who had at heart the pany's agent, and by him brought same thing, formed themselves in to England, the Company readily to a company for the purpofe of undertaking the charge of his eduputting a stop to the trade in çatian. Naves, and spreading in Africa Naimbanna (for fo he was calthe blessings of the gospel. led) arrived in England, in a vela

Their plan was to form a set- fel called the Lapwing, in the tlement in the river Sierra Leone, year 1791, and proper persons where the above-mentioned king were chosen to inftruet him in lived ; and they accordingly sent reading, writing, and other parts over an agent to talk with the of education ; but before we proking, and to procure his consent, ceed to give an account of the

The good old king was very progress he made during his stay glad when he heard of their in in this country,

it
may

be

proper tentions ; he easily saw that such to make the reader acquainted a settlement would produce great

with his character at the time of benefit to his country; he there. his landing. His person was not fore became the staunch friend of handsome, but his manners were the company; and also of the fet extremely pleasing, and his dispoțlement, which was soon after sition kind and affectionate ; at formed, and he continued fo to the the same time, his feelings were day of his death.

quick and jealous, and he was very The king had thought, before violent in bis temper, as well as

proud

proud and disdainful. Though, and what was wrong; and that he' laboured under great disadvan- he likewise found in it good extages from the want of early edu- amples to encourage him to do cation, yet he shewed signs of a' what was right, and bad examples good understanding, and he appears to deter him from doing what was ed to be very sharp-sighted in find- wrong. In short, he was not one ing out people's real character. ?: of tho ho re the Bible, and

He had not been long in Eng- think little or nothing about what land before a thirst of knowledge they read, but he considered it as was found to be a leading feature the rule of his life ; and if at any in his character. His teachers time his behaviour was amiss, and have said that he would often urge . a'.text of scripture was mentioned, them to prolong the time employ- which proved it to be so, he would ed in reading, and that he was immediately submit to its authoralways thankful to any one who ity. Nor was his regard for the would allist him in learning any Bible merely of an outward kind; thing that was useful. He was it plainly affected his heart. He never led into company where had tried, when in Africa, (to the time was wafted in idle talk use his own words) to make himwithout being sorry, and when self as proud as he could, and he left to himself, he would employ thought it greåt to revenge himnot less than eight or ten hours self on any one who had done of the day in reading.

him an injury; but from the BiAs it was the main object of ble he acquired such humble views the gentlemen to whose care he of himself, that he was led to see had been entrusted, to give him his need of Christ as his Saviour, right views of Christianity, pains and the necessity of relying on were taken to convince him, that him as the ground of acceptthe Bible was the word of God, ance with God. Humility was and he received it as fuch with a quality, which he found it great reverence and fimplicity: hard to attain ; but before his de“When I found,” said he, “all parture from England, not only good men minding the Bible, and his pride, but also his revengeful calling it the word of God, and fpirit had become hateful to him. all bad men disregarding it, I was The progress he had made in fubthen sure that the Bible must be duing his passions, during his short what good men called it, the word stay in this country, considering of God.” But not content with the natural violence of his temper, the report of others, he read the was considerable. He always exBible for himself. He would pressed forrow when he had been sometimes complain of being 'fa- hasty or passionate in his conduct ; tigued with other studies ; but as he became more acquainted even when he was most fatigued, with Christian principles, he acif asked to read a little in the quired more courtesy and delicaseriptures, he always expreffcd cy of manners, some degree of his readiness by fome emotion of which was indeed natural to him, joy. He used to say, that' he was and the superstitious belief in sure of meeting with something in witchcraft, to which Africans are the Bible which fuited every case, so prone, gradually left him. and shewed him what was right,

He paid great respect to the

teachers

teachers of Christianity, whom he as sacred, nor was he ever known wished much to invite over to his to violate it. country; took great delight in Soon after he came to Lon. the exercises of devotion, and don, he was taken to see St. Paul's, would talk on religious subjects the grandeur of which it was with much openness and simplici- thought would astonish him ; but ty, and without any mixture of to the furprise of the gentleman enthusiasm. Love and gratitude who went with him, in getting to : tó God, who had delivered him the upper part of the building, tér. from the state of darkness in which; ror seemed to swallow up every in common with millions of his other feeling ; he made the utmost countrymen, he had been till late- hafte to descend, nor did he stop ly plunged, were strongly impress till he found himfelf fafely landed ed on his mind, and had a strong in the church-yard, when, in a and abiding effect on the whole very earnest manner, he thanked of his conduct.

God for having spared him. When His tenderness of conscience asked the reason of his strange was very striking, and it seemed conduct, he said, that on looking to have become his desire, on all down from the top of St. Paul's, occafions, to know what line of he was so struck with the nearness conduct was most agreeable to the of death and judgment, that he word of God: when he could lost fight of every other object ;' determine that point, he would' that he never felt before how not hesitate about refolving to pur- much he deserved punishment at fue it.

the hands of God, and that he The reader will have a better only thought of escaping, left such view of the character of this black a signal punishment as that of fall. Prince, from the following stories ing from the top of St. Paul's of him, the truth of which is well should overtake him. established.

He was present once in the His father had seen so much House of Commons, during a de: drunkenness' among the English bate on the slave trade. He' ilave traders on the coast of Afri- there heard a gentleman, who ca, that he concluded drunkenness spoke in favour of the trade, fay was very common in England, some things very degrading to the and in order to prevent his son's character of his countrymen. "Ho falling into that abominable prac was so enraged at this, that on tice, he laid a command on him, coming out of the House, he cri(stating at the same time the ed out with great vehemence, “I ground of his fears) that when he will kill that fellow wherever "I came to England, he should not meet him, for he has told lies of be prevailed upon to drink fpirits my country:" he was put in mind of any kind, nor to drink more of the Christian duty of forgiving than a glass or two of wine at a his enemies ; on which he anmeal.

fwered nearly in the following When young Naimbanna found words :-“'If a man should rob how strongly obedience to parents me of my money, I can forgive is enjoined in the Bible, he re him; if a man should shoot at me, garded this command of his father I can forgive him; if a man should

fel!

« ZurückWeiter »