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letter. Macaulay has given us a fine instance of this in his admirable Essay on Warren Hastings. How beautifully solemn and impressive is the description of the execution of Nuncomar! How surprised then are we to read that “it is a remarkable circumstance that one of the letters of Hastings to Dr. Johnson bears date a very few hours after the death of Nuncomar. While the whole settlement was in commotion, while a mighty and ancient priesthood were weeping over the remains of their chief, the conqueror in that deadly grapple sat down, with characteris. tic self-possession, to write, about the Tour to the Hebrides, Jones's Persian Grammar, and the history, traditions, arts, and natural productions of India.”*
In some eastern lands, we believe, it is still the custom to “talk in flowers.” The lover, instead of sending the ominous “ Love Letter," his affection held forth on the most superb note-paper, merely presents his love with a bunch of beautiful flowers, each with a peculiar meaning of its own. We question niuch whether this pleasing mode of writing an eastern Love Letter, could ever be acceptable to the English in India. The bouquet is well enough to adorn the bosom of the fair one; but here familiarity stops. “ Thus far shalt thou go, and no further!" The endearing expressions must be written in good black or blue ink, before she can fairly accomplish the “ bold stroke for a husband." When time has rolled on a little, the wedded pair often glance at these “billets” of their early acquaintance, and ruminate on the vanities of life, when they think how much happier they then were; and with what pleasure, every morning, reciprocally, they wrote and received the letter.
The natives of India, among themselves, cannot be called a letterwriting people. Their best epistles appear to us to savour more of form than sincerity: and when they write to Europeans, their highsounding titles, their studied humility at the commencement of a letter, are enough to make us vain of our power and position as the aristocra. cy of India. “ They flatter'd me like a dog; and told me I had white hairs in my beard, ere the black ones were there. To say ay, and no, to every thing I said !-Ay and no too was no good divinity." So said Lear to his flatterers. So should we say to all natives ; especially those who seek to gain protection and advancement, from sensible men, by means of flattery.
“ No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp ;
And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee,
Where thrift may follow fawning." But, on the other hand, perhaps no people in the eastern world possess points of interest so many to write about as the natives of this country. Letters by intelligent Europeans written in India, if full of unaffected description and just comparison, cannot fail to interest the reader. We hare a few letters by us, published upwards of fifty years ago, in which we find some admirable instances of this. They are to be found in the appen.
* " Critical and Historical Essays."-Vol. 3, p. 367.
dix to an English translation of the Char Durwesh, published, we believe in Calcutta, about the above period. The letters are illustrative of “ Asiatic Manners and Customs;" and are written from Lucknow, in 1794-95, after the author's return from a four month's excursion with Asuf-úd-Dowlah, the then Nawab of Oude.
We admire, and are amused by, the following passage : “ Women are in this country considered merely as a piece of necessary furniture to ornament the Haram, and the birth of a daughter • occasions no joy to the father. Judging from his own conduct, he • foresees the treatment bis child will experience, when she is consign•ed to the animal love of another; that they will be merely slaves in
purple and fine linen; loaded with jewels to please the eyes of their
tyrants, and never allowed to step beyond the precincts of the • Zenana or Haram, except on occasional visits to some female friend ;
nor ever suffered to behold the face of any man besides their masters, • for they cannot be called husbands without outrage to the term, except ' through the latticed windows of their high walled prisons, called • Zenanas or Harams to mollify the name. How different this, my • dear Eliza, from the life and freedom of a British Fair! Bless God • that you were not born in the unfeeling land of Hindustan, and • cherish more the country which gave you birth; a country which is • equally renowned for beauty as for freedom and delicacy of sentiment; • where the fair tyrannise over the wounded hearts of their admirers, • and where they often wear the breeches, and sometimes comb the • heads of their pliant busbands with a slipper.”
In a letter containing an historical sketch of the Nawab, we have a splendid specimen of the extravagance of eastern princes, in those days when gold mohurs and rupees were plentiful in the land; and the inclination to imitate the English in every thing—not in the fabrication, but in the possession—was just coming into fashion. Hear how the author writes about the Nawab of Oude, in 1794 :
“ He is mild in manners, generous to extravagance, affably polite, • and engaging in his conduct; but he has no great mental powers, • though his heart is good, considering the education he has received, ' which instilled the most despotic ideas; he is fond of lavishing his
treasures on Gardens, Palaces, Horses and Elephants; and above all
on fine English Guns, Lustres, Mirrors, and all sorts of European • Manufactures, more especially English ; from a two-penny deal board • painting of ducks and drakes to the elegant paintings of a Lorraine • and a Zopbani; and from a little dirty paper lantern to Mirrors and · Lustres, which cost two or three thousand pounds each. Every year he
espends about two hundred thousand pounds in English goods of all
sorts. He has above a hundred gardens, twenty palaces, twelve • hundred elephants, three thousand fine saddle horses, fifteen hundred
elegant double barrel guns, seventeen hundred superb lustres, and
thirty thousand shades of various kinds and colours; some hundreds • of large Mirrors, Clocks and Gerandoles.
“He lately bought four Mirrors, which were the largest that had ever been made in Europe, of course in the world; they were
' ordered expressly for him, and were made in London, where they
cost eight thousand pounds; they were twelve feet long and six • feet broad within the frame, of single sheets of glass, in elegant gilt ' frames ; he bought them and sent them to his Repository, where • they will repose in peace and unnoticed until the time of the Religious • Fête called the Mohurrum, when they will be displayed with • the rest of his Mirrors, Lustres and Gerandoles, &c. in the Grand • Hall of a Grand Religious Edifice called the Emaumbarra, which • cost a million sterling in building, and which is the largest building ' in Lucknow. Some of his clocks are curious, and richly set in precious ' stones, which play tunes every hour, and have figures within them in • continual movement, a pair of these clocks cost him thirty thousand
pounds. His Museum is curious, rich, and ridiculously displayed.
You see a wooden cuckoo clock which perhaps cost a crown, along. • side of a rich superb clock which perhaps cost the price of a crown; • an elegant Landscape of Lorraine, beside a deal board daub of ducks • and drakes; a superb lustre of forty or fifty lights, which cost • perhaps four or five thousund pounds hung up near a paper lantern • of two pence."
Such was the taste of Asuf-ud-Dowlah in the fine arts; one of the most capricious and stupid of eastern princes, and as magnificent an eastern baby as ever was
" Pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw." Nothing so well as examples of this description, can hold forth to native minds the uselessness of wealth, unaccompanied by a sound education. Extravagance, misgovernment, and oppressions, form the leading features of the administration of Asuf-ud-Dowlah. This was the prince who, while his subjects were treated with the greatest cruelty and neglect, sat down to play like a child with his baubles of jewels. Pleased at one time with the sight of British officers marching along with his infantry ; tired of them soon after, and tickled with the magnificent idea of having a new clock, a new horse, or a new beauty, -all princely ideas vanish, and nothing is left but as empty treasury and increasing debt, -increasing till “ tired he sleeps, and life's poor play is o'er.”
At the present time it is curious to observe the desire of wealthy natives to possess English articles in their houses. This desire is as harmless as it is praiseworthy; and we believe the native taste to be considerably improved as regards selection and arrangement. Time will work wonders in this respect, as we hope it may in every other. Soon may the time come when every wealthy native shall have a well furnished house, aad be able to write a good letter. To do the latter, he must first have a well furnished head; or, at any rate, a well furnished heart, on the proper state of which the real value of all head furniture depends. But we must now conclude. We have wandered into a rambling series of remarks on a subject of some little interest, especially in India, where letters and letter-writing pleasantly and profitably beguile a considerable portion of our time.
Annual Report of the Medical College of Bengal. Twelfth
year. Session 1846-47. THERE is no institution, connected with the physical or material welfare of the people of this land, whose success we have viewed with more unfeigned satisfaction, than the Medical College of Bengal. As it is our purpose, in the course of time, to furnish a full and detailed account of its rise and progress, we strictly limit ourselves, for the present, to a mere notice of the last Report.
During the session of 1846-47, the number of pupils in the English class was 75, of whom 11 are Brahmans : in the Military class, 119, of whom 109 are Mussulmans, and 10 Hindus.
The numbers of lectures delivered on the following subjects were :Anatomy and Physiology, 124; Demonstrations of Anatomy, 67; Practice of Medicine, 80; Surgery, 104 ; Midwifery, 75; Chemistry, 96; Botany, 70; Materia Medica, 86; Medical Jurisprudence, 39.
The number of bodies dissected from November to March, amounted to 487.
At the commencement of the Report is brought to notice a subject of great practical interest, namely, the fact of a great falling off during the last two years in the number and qualifications of the native pupils who present themselves for admission into the English class of the Medical College. The result of enquiry on this subject is embodied in the following statement :
“Upon making strict enquiry among those competent to give a correct opinion, the following have been ascertained to be the chief causes which have operated in preventing the entrance of the first class students of Government and other Institutions, into the Medical College.
1st. The great hopes held out by the Governor General's resolution of October 1844, of a higher and more profitable class of appointments in the judicial and other branches of the public service.
2dly. The great demand for young men of education in mercantile and other offices, where salaries can be obtained without the time and labor required in the acquisition of a profession.
3dly. The scale of remuneration fixed for Sub-Assistant Surgeons being lower, than can be at once obtained by our first class students in other positions, not requiring any of the sacrifices so distasteful to natives of Bengal, such as proceeding to distant stations, &c.
4thly. The length of time which generally elapses between obtaining their diplomas, and being employed.
As most of these are causes likely to be in operation for some time to come, the following appear to be the best means of removing the existing objections to the study of the Medical Profession.
1st. Increase to pay to Sub-Assistant Surgeons after specified periods of service : e. g. Sub-Assistant Surgeons of 10 years' active service, lo receive Company's Rupees 150 per mensem, after examination by special Committees to ascertain their continued fitness and their having made good use of their time in acquiring additional practical information. After 20 years service Co.'s Rs. 200 per mensem, and after 30 years 300 per mensem, in each case to be preceded by a special examination, and the grades to be
denominated 1st, 20 and 3d grade Sub-Assistant Surgeoncies, according to the scale of pay.
In cases of very distinguished merit, from drawing up valuable topogra. phical and statistical reports ; investigating the properties of, and introdueing into practice efficient indigenous for European remedies; remarkable success in performing the great operations of Surgery, &c. &c., promotions to be made to the 2d and 1st grades, as the Government may deem deserved, without reference to the period of service of the individual.
Pensions to be granted upon the same terms as to other uncorenanted persons, viz. 3d of the existing salary after 20, and after 30 years of active service.
2dly. Attaching a Sub-Assistant Surgeon to each of the deputy Magistracies of Bengal.
This would bring them into immediate contact with the people, enable them to be employed in every direction where epidemic diseases were existing, and to assist in all judicial enquiries involving medico-legal knowledge, a subject now taught to the pupils, and in which they are examined, before, being presented with diplomas.
3dly. Appropriating one senior scholarship in erery Government College, to be held for five years in the Medical College, subject to the reports of progress from that institution being such as to entitle it to be retained.”
As this subject appears to be still under consideration, it may not be too late to remark on the exclusiveness of the preference indicated in the concluding paragraph. The Government institutions must even here monopolise every advantage to be derived from state patronage and support! Is this as it ought to be? Were Government more truly liberal and catholic in its aims and largesses, it might, by the partial but reasonable aid extended to other institutions, and at a comparatively trifling amount of expense, vastly extend the cause of sound education in this land. Looking at the East Indian population aloneare not these, the subjects of the British Government, as well as Mussulmans and Hindus? Have these no claim on its consideration and bounty ? Is the education of their children to meet with no attention at the hands of a paternal Government, holding the balance equally between all classes ? This is not the place for a disquisition on the subject. But we cannot help expressing our astonishment and regret that the British Government should hitherto bare dope so little for the East Indian community-a community so well fitted, if properly cherished and upheld, to exert a mighty influence for good on the future destinies of this land. It is a noble spectacle to see these manfully buffetting with the natural disadvantages of their position, and struggling, amid varied difficulties, to establish educational institutions of their own; while it is a saddening spectacle to behold a Gorernment, linked with them by peculiar ties and associations, coolly standing by, and, far from helping, scarcely condescending to take notice of their praiseworthy efforts. Why might not Government at least so far approvingly recognize these efforts, as to establisb, in the Parental Academy and other East Indian Institutions, a number of Scholars ships, which might enable the holders to prosecute their studies, or offer themselves as well qualified recruits for the Medical College ?
And are there not other Institutions besides the Government ones,