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these badges is given by Mr. Gutzlaff; the inscriptions principally refer to the promised restoration of the Ming dynasty.
On the occupation of Chapoo by the English in the late war, a party of the Triad Society offered to side with the English, and turn against the garrisonmany of whom belonged to the association. Their offer was not accepted; but they left the army, and created a disturbance in the city. Mr. Gutzlaff thinks the power of the Triad Society on the increase ; and that it is not un. likely they may one day or other fraternize with many of the politico-patriotic societies now forming in every part of China, for the purpose of upholding every thing ancient against barbarian encroachment.
More detailed accounts of the Triad Society are to be found in the Transactions and Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society: but they agree, in the main, with the foregoing.
It will be seen from our last Historical and Critical Review (p. 456), that a party belonging to this secret association had been seized at Hong-Kong, and that one of the objects of the obnoxious Registrative Ordinance was to exclude from the colony persons connected with the association.
A short account of the present state of Aden, by J. P. Malcolmson, Esq., civil and staff surgeon at that place, was then read. Mr. Malcolmson has been six years at Aden, and adds his testimony to the importance of the station, both as a coal depôt and a naval post. He explains the geological formation of the Peninsula, which he states may be considered throughout as one mass of volcanic and pseudo-volcanic rock. The town is situated in a valley, which is evidently the crater of an extinct sub-marine volcano. The ridges of hills around it are composed of lava in its various forms, from the compact basalt to the pumice stone. Nearly all these rocks have such an excess of alkali in their composition as to be unfit for building purposes, the stone peeling off into thin laminæ after a brief exposure to the air. Mr. Malcolmson discovered one peak only, composed principally of iron and silex, chemically combined with felspar and garnet, which is capable of resisting the influence of atmospheric air; and this stone is now being used in government erections. The Peninsula is attached to the main land by a low, sandy isthmus, not exceeding six feet in height above the level of the sea, and not more than three-quarters of a mile in breadth. The animals indigenous to Aden are a few monkeys and hyænas. A beautiful kind of fox exists in great numbers : they are very destructive among the poultry of the inhabitants.
Rats are numerous. Snakes, lizards, and scorpions are the only reptiles found. The snakes are not venomous; but the bite of one kind of scorpion is productive of considerable pain and tumefaction to the injured part. Mr. Malcolmson is of opinion that, as the ruins become cleared away, these vermin will be greatly reduced in numbers. A few flowers are found on the hills, and when the English first occupied Aden, some trees of stunted growth were to be seen in the ravines and valleys ; but, unfortunately, the latter were used for fire-wood by the camp-followers and townspeople, when the supplies from the interior were stopped.
The climate may be divided into two seasons, the hot and cold; the former commencing at the end of April, and continuing to the end of October. During these months, the S. W. monsoon continues to blow with great violence, commencing daily about eight a. m., and generally subsiding at sun-set. About eight p. 2. a cool, invigorating breeze usually sets in from the north-east. Hot nights, such as are experienced in India, are of rare occurrence in Aden; buit during the prevalence of the S.W. monsoon, clouds of dust are carried into every house, and even into boxes and drawers; the thermometer frequently ranging at the time as high as 104°. Sickness, however, is less prevalent dur. ing the hot, than during the cold season. Rain occasionally falls, with tropical violence, in November, January, and February. There are but few cloudy days in the year ; consequently the glare from the barren, heated rocks is distressing to the eyes : nevertheless, ophthalmia is of very rare occurrence. In Aden, as at other places, it is remarkable that a great difference exists between the sensible heat, and that indicated by the thermometer. The population of the place has increased rapidly. In 1839, when the British took possession, the inhabitants did not exceed a thousand poor, squalid, half-naked creatures, living chiefly on dates and fish: the aggregate population of the place, exclusive of troops, may now be taken at 20,000. The trade of Aden has attracted many wealthy merchants from Mocha, Jidda, and other parts of the Red Sea; and were it not for an impression among these people that the British, from not having yet erected any building of consequence at the place, do not intend to keep possession, the number of settlers, Mr. Malcolmsou thinks, would have been greater. The dwellings at Aden are of a very fragile nature,-merely wood and reed, covered with sedge rooss. Excepting from the risk of fire, they are, however, well adapted to the climate. Food and clothing are plentiful and cheap; and the writer states that he had witnessed more instances of longevity among the natives of Aden than in any part of India. There is no disease peculiar to the place; and the inhabitants inay be said to enjoy almost unvaried good health. The water of Aden is of a very superior quality; and is furnished by upwards of 350 wells, that have been cut through the solid rock, generally at the foot of the hills, to an average depth of 40 feet. The water generally remains stationary at the height of 20 feet, at all seasons. Strangers visiting Aden generally detect a slightly saline taste in the water, and find that it sometimes acts as a gentle aperient. Some attempts have been made to bore for water in the western bay, where the steamers take in coal; which Mr. Mal. colmson thinks will ultimately be successful.
Mr. Malcolmson concludes liis notice of Aden, by expressing his belief that, as a naval and military station, it will, at no distant period, be one of the most important posts in the East belonging to Great Britain.
Among the presents to the library, Jaid before the members at this meeting, was a thick folio volume, beautifully lithographed at Hyderabad, comprising a treatise, in Persian, on perspective, illustrated by numerous drawings and diagrams. The work is entirely the production of the Nuwaub Shumsool Oomra, a learned Mahomedan attached to the Nizam's court; and it was presented to the society in his name, through Major J. A. Moore.
Dr. Hugh Falconer, A.M., F.R.S., late superintendent of the Hon. E. I. Company's Botanic Garden at Saharunpore, was unanimously elected a nonresident member of the society.
Another meeting was held on the 1st of March ; the Earl of Auckland in the chair. Major-General William Morison, M.P., was elected a resident member of the society.
The Secretary read a letter from J. D. Campbell, Esq., presenting to the society a small package of Assam tea, the freshest that had ever reached this country. The letter stated that 190,000 lbs. of superior tea had been produced by the Assam Company in 1844; that the produce of 1845 is expected to reach 250,000 lbs., at a considerable reduction in the charges ; and that there is
every Asiat.Journ.N.S. VOL.IV.No.24,
reason to expect a great improvement in the quality and manufacture of the tea.
Mr. Norris, assistant secretary to the society, read a paper to the meeting giving an account of the progress he had made in his examination of the Kapurdi-Ghari inscription, mentioned in our last report (p. 536). He stated that, having observed a certain combination of letters to be often repeated in the inscription, he applied the late Mr. J. Prinsep's interpretation of the Bactrian alphabet to it, and found that the combination read Deva-Nampiya ; and as this word commenced the small separate tablet, engraved on the rock (seemingly as a title to the whole), he concluded it to be a proper name.
With this clue, and aided in his researches by his friend, Mr. Dowson, he had succeeded in identifying the purport of the whole inscription with those religious proclamations found at Dhauli, in Cattack, and Girnar, in Guzerat, engraved on rocks by order of the Buddhist monarch, Asora, in the third century before Christ. Mr. Prinsep's translations of these curious and interesting remains of Indian antiquity were printed in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, in 1837 ; and the present discovery, though in a different character, and a dialect slightly varying from the former inscriptions, will doubtless clear up many doubtful readings in them, besides affording the means of fixing the powers of the Bac. trian letters more completely than has hitherto been done ; and thereby enabling many of the yet undeciphered coins to be read. Mr. Norris had carefully examined that portion of the inscription which contained the names of the western kings, and found that it clearly gave those of Antiochus, Ptolemy, Magas, Antigonus, and Alexander. Some chronological difficulties here pre. sented themselves, which he had not yet had time to investigate. He hoped soon to be able to prepare a copy of the whole inscription for publication in the society's Journal, together with a new alphabet of the character.
A carefully collated copy of the smaller tablet referred to was laid upon the table. It forms the seventh division of the Girnar rock, which reads thus, in Mr. Prinsep's translation :
“The heaven-beloved King Pixadası everywhere ardently desireth that all unbelievers may be brought to repentance and peace of mind. He is anxious that every diversity of opinion, and every diversity of passion, may shine forth blended into one system, and be conspicuous in undistinguishing charity ! Unto no one can be repentance and peace of mind until he hath attained supreme knowledge, perfect faith which surmounteth all obstacles, and perpetual assent."
We understand that the corresponding tablet in the Kapur-di.Ghari monument slightly differs in sense from the foregoing.
Mr. Norris's copy, on paper, of that portion of the Kapur-di-Ghari inscription taken on cloth by Mr. Masson, was exhibited in the Society's room. There was also unrolled, for comparison, a fac-simile of the Girnar rock in. scription, made with great care and labour, by Dr. John Wilson, of Bombay, in 1838, subsequent to Mr. Prinsep's publication, and which that lamented scholar's ill health and departure from Calcutta had prevented him from using. Dr. Wilson, who happened to be present at the meeting, was much gratified at finding that the roll was in the safe keeping of the Society, as he had understood it had been sent Calcutta.
The thanks of the meeting were voted to Mr. Norris for the trouble he had taken in examining the inscription, and for the able method he had pursued in ascertaining the purport of its contents,
Before the close of the meeting, Dr. Wilson addressed the members present on the subject of the Himyaritic inscriptions, and stated that he had succeeded in finding a key to them.
ORIENTAL TRANSLATION COMMITTEE.
The Committee held a meeting on the 28th February, Beriah Botfield, Esq., M.P., in the chair. Several sheets of a work prepared by the lamented chair. man of the Committee, Sir Gore Ouseley, put to press a short time before his decease, were laid upon the table. This work will comprise biographical notices of some of the most eminent Persian writers, compiled principally from original sources. Forty sheets of the fourth volume of Professor Flügel's edition and translation of Haji Khalfa Lexicon Encyclopædicum et Bibliographicum, were also submitted. A letter was read from Nathaniel Bland, Esq., offering for publication by the Committee a work on Persian poetical literature; and it was resolved to accept Mr. Bland's proposal. A letter was also read from the Rev. W. Cureton, proposing to translate for the Committee the “ Book of Religious and Philosophic Sects” of Mahammed-Al-Sharistání, the text of which is now being printed by the Oriental Text Society. The Committee likewise received an offer of a MS. translation, by Mr. Medhurst, from the Chinese, of an account of the Malayan Archipelago; the MS. was ordered to be referred to a subcommittee for examination.
BOMBAY BRANCH OF THE ROYAL ASIATIC SOCIETY. Ar the January monthly meeting of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, a very valuable paper was read by Dr. Bird, the secretary of the So. ciety, on the Hamaiyaric and Ethiopic alphabets and inscriptions, from some of which latter the Rev. Mr. Forster pretends to have made out a fragment of patriarchal history; terminating his observations with this remarkable conclusion: “ There is every moral presumption to favour the belief that, in the Hisn Ghorab inscriptions, we recover the alphabet of the world before the Flood ;” but in which opinion he is neither borne out by paleography or philology. Dr. Bird's paper makes it appear that Mr. Forster, in place of reading the Hamaiyaric inscriptions from right to left, should have read them from left to right, as in modern Ethiopic, to which the letters of the Hamaiyaric have a striking and remarkable resemblance, and constitute the character called by the Arabs Al Musnad, or the propped, from which modern Ethiopic took its origin, soon after the time of Frumentius, between A.D. 325 and 335; about which period the Abyssinians were converted to Christianity, and the Bible was soon afterwards translated into Ethiopic. The present article is about to be published in the October number of the Society's Journal ; and in a previous article of the same number, Dr. Bird has translated the Hamaiyaric inscriptions from Aden and Saba, proving them to be of Christian times. The whole subject of these papers is one of extreme interest, and will doubtless attract much attention from the literati of England and the Continent. It is a curious coincidence, that a similar class of speculations, perfectly in harmony with that of Dr. Bird, but entirely without knowledge, have been entertained by a wri. ter in the Dublin University Magazine for December, as well as by Mr. Norris, deputy-secretary to the London Asiatic Society,-Bombay Times.
Debate at the cast-india House.
East-India House, Feb. 28.
THE SUGAR DUTIES.
A special Court of Proprietors of East-India Stock was held this day, for the purpose of petitioning Parliament on the subject of the differential duty on white clayed sugar.
The Chairman (Capt. Shepherd) stated, that the Court had been specially summoned, in conformity with the provisions of one of their by-laws, to consider the recently-proposed financial plan of her Majesty's Ministers with respect to the alteration of the sugar duties. He wished, on the part of the East-India Company, to express the sincerest gratitude for the general measure for the reduction of the duties on sugar. There could be no doubt that, as a general measure, it would be most beneficial, and it was, therefore, with sincere regret that he had to call the attention of the Court to a matter of detail which might, if not rectified, materially prejudice, if not wholly destroy, the effect of that equalisation of the duties which was made a few years ago.
He referred to the proposition of an additional duty of 2s. 1d. per cwt. on certain qualities of sugar called “white clayed sugar," or such sugars as were rendered by any process equal to white clayed sugars. Now, a very large proportion of the sugars produced in the East Indies would be liable to this duty, by coming under the denomination of white clayed sugars. It was also known that, under the present system, the greatest portion of East-India sugar, from the peculiar process which it underwent, namely, the process of straining through wet grass, had that peculiar white colour which must bring it under the denomination of sugar "equal to white clayed.” After some remarks upon the evils and incon. venience which had formerly been experienced in reference to a discriminating duty of this kind, the Chairman stated that the Court of Directors had written to the Earl of Ripon, President of the India Board, on the subject; and, although their representations had been patiently listened to, the Government shewed no disposition to relieve their grievance. The letter was as follows :
East-India House, Feb. 26. "My Lord,-1. The attention of the Court of Directors of the East-India Company having been given to the proposed change in the law regarding the duties to be levied on sugars imported into this country, they are desirous of bringing to the notice of your Lordship, and of her Majesty's Ministers, the effect which they apprehend that change will have in regard to the sugar the produce of India.
“ 2. By the last act passed for granting to her Majesty the duties on sugar (7 and 8 Victoria, cap. 28), 24s. per cwt. is to be levied on the produce of British possessions, including those within the limits of the East-India Com. pany's charter, into which the importation of foreign sugar is prohibited, and this amount of duty is imposed without distinction upon all sugar of British origin not refined. In the resolution lately subınitted to the House of Com. mons as the basis of a new act, the Court regret to observe the introduction of a variation calculated to operate to the discouragement of the cultivation in British India. They refer to the distinction made between 'white clayed sugar, or sugar rendered by any process equal to white clayed, and brown sugar, being Muscovado or clayed, or any other sugar not being equal to white clayed,'