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The sollowing contains still more particular directions.
“Your letter of the 14th Behari was received this day; and has informed us of Dowlet Khan's being ill of the stone in the bladder: We have, in consequence sent by the post an emetic to be taken the first day, together with other proper medicines for the seven subsequent days. These are all seperately made up in cloth, and sealed.
“The way of taking an emetic is this,” &c. “The following morning a dose of the other medicine is to be taken in eight tolahs of syrup" of abshakh and radish leaves. This course is to be pursued for seven days, during which the patient need not abstain from acids, but must avoid eating black and red pepper, and other heating and flatulent things. The diet should be curry of radishes with boiled rice; and his drink an infusion of muskmelon seeds, cucumber seeds, and dogthorn, of each half a tolah weight.”
To enable our readers to appreciate more fully the justice of the Sultan's pretensions to universal science, we subjoin his observations on that most important instrument, the barometer.
i “The barometer which you sent us in charge of your Harcara, is in all respects very complete, ercepting in the article of the quicksilver, which, owing to its oldness, does not move up and down. It is therefore returned to you; and you must send another good one in its stead, that has been made in the firesent year.”
To the effects of despotic authority on the mind, we are also inclined to attribute his extreme severity, on the slightest deviation from any of his regulations, however trivial, or however justifiable; and his aversion, on all occasions, to adopt the suggestions of others.
“You suggest,” says Tipu to one of his commercial agents, who had at the same time disclosed the failure of a favourite plan of the Sultan, “the establishment of banking-houses on the part of govern: ment, and the appointment of a banker with a salary to superintend them. You also propose, with our permission, to open warehouses for the sale of cloths at Bangalor, Ousestra, and other places. It is comprehended. There is no regulation issued by us, that does not cost us, in the framing of it, the deliberation of five hundred years. This being the case, do you perform exactly what we order; neither exceeding our directions, nor suggesting any thing further from yourself.”
The letter we have just cited illustrates a trait which undoubtedly is solely referable to personal character, the Sultan's avarice. He had already established a monopoly of wholesome commerce in the most important articles; and the plan, of which the failure had just been communicated, was no less than an attempt to introduce a similar monopoly in the retail trade, by the esta
blishment of shops in various places, on his private account. Proofs of the most sordid parsimony, indeed, occur throughout his correspondence. We find his brother-in-law actually cornmanding an army on service, obliged to make a formal application to him for money to purchase clothes, and a very scanty sum reluctantly issued for that purpose. The Sultan appointed ambassadors, in 1785, to proceed to Constantinople, and eventually to prosecute their journey to Paris and London. On their arrival at the place of embarkation, they found the supplies of necessaries for the voyage altogether inadequate ; and in Tipu's reply to their representation, they are informed that “they must compel” some unhappy man on the spot ‘ to provide what is absolutely necessary;-but that, even though there should be some small deficiency, that should not be an excuse for their delay in setting off.” The coolness and activity of his mind are strongly evinced by the following letter. “He was,’ says General Kirkpatrick, “at the date of it, not only deliberating on the measures to be pursued with respect to Shanur; in planning the future operations of the war in which he was engaged ; and in providing for the safety of Burhaneddin's army; but he was, in fact, on the eve of a general engagement with the Mahrattas. Yet, all these important and urgent considerations united, were not capable of diverting his attention from any of the minor objects of his interest. Thus, in the bustle of a camp, and in the face of an enemy, he could find leisure, and was sufficiently composed, to meditate on the rearing of silk worms ” The singularity of the circumstances induces us to insert the letter itself, as highly illustrative of the mind of the writer. It is addressed from his camp to the commandant of his capitol.
“Behaeddin and Casturi Ranga, who were sent some time since to Bengal for the purpose of procuring silk worms, are now on their return. On their arrival, you must ascertain from them the proper situation in which to keep the aforesaid worms, and provide accordingly. You must, moreover, supply for their food leaves of the wild mulberry trees, which were formerly ordered to be planted for this purpose. The number of silk worms brought from Bengal must likewise be distinctly reported to us. We desire, also, to know, in what
kind of place it is recommended to keep them, and what means are
to be pursued for multiplying them. “There is a vacant spot of ground behind the old palace, lately used as a storehouse, which was purchased some time ago with a view of building upon it. Prepare a place somewhere near that situation for the temporary reception of the worms.”
Tipu Sultan was, umdoubtedly, a prince of a vigorous underVol. VIII, 2 N
standing, unceasing activity, and undaunted courage. Ambition was the leading passion of his mind, to which every thing else was subordinate. Fanaticism might possibly be another; yet we find it, on most occasions, subservient to his ambition. An enlightened policy would have dictated the encouragement of agriculture, and the enforcement of a strict system of equal laws, as the surest means of becoming a great and powerful sovereign; but the gigantic schemes which agitated his breast, could not wait for the slow returns derived from a course of gradual improvement. His peasantry were harassed with ever-changing modes of extortion, which his neglect of the works erected by former sovereigns, to supply the means of artificial irrigation, rendered them annually less able to satisfy. The favourite measure of his reign, of which he never lost sight, was a general confederacy of the Mohamedan nations, to expel, extirpate, or convert the unbelievers. Fortunately for the world, none of them were in circumstances to co-operate efficaciously in his designs. The monarchs of Turkey, of Persia, of Cabul, and of Dehli, with difficulty supported their own tottering sway; whilst the Nizam, the Vizier, and the Nuab of the Carnatic were numbered amongst his opponents; and, in his estimation, little better than infidels. The talents, activity, and courage of Tipu, all sunk before the disciplined valour, and enlightened combination of an European army; yet it appears probable, that if the English had possessed no dominion in India, this restless and enterprizing prince might have founded an empire, vast as his ambition. Cruelty and avarice were the worst features of his mind. Had the reign of this tyrant been of long duration, or had he established a dynasty, it must have added much to the labour of future geographers and chronologers. In his reign, the old Mohamedan era was set aside, and another substituted, which although from its name it should date from the birth of the prophet, yet as, on that supposition, only thirteen years must have elapsed between the birth of Mohamed and his flight, appears rather to refer to his mission, or the period when he first announced himself as the messenger of God. A new calendar was introduced, and afterwards changed; and, in the course of his reign, the months twice received new Arabic names. The Indian appellations of most of the considerable places in his dominions were also set aside, and new ones substituted, chiefly derived from Moslem ‘tradition. These acts may possibly have flowed from unmeaning caprice, or childish vanity; and to these they have usually been attributed. We confess, however, that they appear to us to have formed a part of his general plan for rekindling the latent flame of Moslem valour, and again leading forth the soldiers of Islam, fired with the same enthusiasm which carried the follow
ers of the first Khalifs to conquest and victory. His dreams, his omens, and latterly his pretensions to inspiration, all seem to us to flow from the same source. The turbulent spirit of the Sultan, and the mystery in which he enveloped his proceedings by cutting off all communication with the territories subject to the East India Company, rendered him during a long period, an object of constant solicitude to their. governors. Although no way distrustful of the event, should war become necessary, they found themselves obliged, by his imposing attitude, to delay the execution of reforms, which required for their success a certainty of peace with all the considerable states. Hence every thing that had relation to him acquired an unusual importance in the minds of our Indian statesmen. His present measures, and his future views, both wrapped in equal obscurity from the want of all authentic intelligence from Moisur, sometimes baffled, and always exercised their sagacity. On the other hand, the tremendous events which, during his reign, convulsed Europe, have probably prevented him from engaging that portion of attention in this country, which his character, designs and resources, really ought to have secured him,
Political Essay on the Kingdom of JNew Spain. By Alexander de Humboldt. With physical Sections and Maps. Translated from the original French, by John Black, 8vo. Vols. III. and IV. Price 11, 18s. Longman & Co. 1812,
SO long an interval had been suffered to elapse after the apo: of the first portion of this translation, that we began to ear lest a penury of encouragement on the part of English readers, might occasion the delay in completing it. By the publication of the volumes before us, however, the undertaking is at length brought to a close; and we resume our report of it with great satisfaction.
Such of our readers as have honoured our former article with their attention, may recollect that M. Humboldt has distributed his Essay into an introduction and six sections. The introduction is principally geographical, indicating what the author conceives to be the most eligible means of completing an accurate and comprehensive survey of New Spain, and presenting a detailed account of the materials employed in constructing the maps and drawings which accompany the Essay. Of the books or sections, the first consists of general considerations on the . extent of the country, and its geological constitution as influenc.
ing the climate, agriculture, commerce, and defensive parts of the coast. It is in this part of his work, too, that M. Humboldt examines, at considerable length, the various points by which a communication between the two seas might possibly be effected, The second book treats of the population of New Spain, pointing out its rapid increase of late years, tracing the causes which have hitherto proved most destructive to the inhabitants, and affording a variety of interesting observations on their division into castes. In the third book the author presents a minute statistical view of New Spain, as distributed into provinces and intendancies, with the amount of their population in 1803, and the extent of surface in square leagues. The fourth book is devoted to the consideration of agriculture and the metallic mines; while the fifth relates to manufactures and commerce, and the sixth contains researches into the revenues of the state, and the military defence of the country. The second volume of the translation took us about half wa through the subject of agriculture, comprehending, together J. introductory remarks on its improved state, a description of those vegetable productions of New Spain on which the inhabitants chiefly subsist—the banana or plantain tree, the cassava root, maize, and several kinds of European grain. The portion of the translation which we now proceed to consider, opens with an account of plants supplying raw materials for manufactures and commerce. The cultivation of these colonial commodities appears to be considerably on the increase; not fewer than half a million of arrobas of sugar (the arroba is equal to something more than 25 lbs.) being annually exported from Vera Cruz. Besides giving a short account of the importation of the sugar cane from the Canary Islands into St. Domingo, and thence into Cuba and New Spain, M. Humboldt adverts to those circumstances of elevation and temperature which, in this latter country, render its cultivation more or less flourishing; and expresses his conviction that the small West India islands, notwithstanding their favourable position for trade, will not be long able to sustain a competition with the continental colonies. This conviction is founded, partly, on the Mexican sugar being almost entirely manufactured by free Indians, instead of Negro slaves; and partly on the enormous capitals possessed by the Mexican proprietors. At present, however, by far the greatest part of the sugar produced in New Spain is consumed in the country: the quantity so consumed being estimated at more than 16 millions of kilogrammes (upwards of 35 millions lbs. avoirdupois) while the quantity exported does not much exceed six millions of kilogrammes, a sum which does not amount to a thirtieth part of what is exported from the whole of the American islands.