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shrubs and canes, called jungles. These are the retreat of various wild animals.

The animal kingdom is greatly diversified. Elephants are numerous, both wild and tame; and from time immemorial they have been trained to the service of man, as well for war and the chase as for the more quiet and peaceful purposes of draught and travel. The royal tiger, little inferior to the lion in strength and size, is peculiar to India. The rhinoceros, lion, bear, leopard, chetah, or hunting leopard, panther, fox, antelope, various kinds of deer, the nylghau, wild buffalo, the yak, or grunting ox-are among the more prominent quadrupeds. The forests abound in monkeys, and the marshes in huge crocodiles and serpents of great venom and large size. Birds of infinite variety and surpassing richness of plumage are found in the jungles and amid the forests.

Hindostan abounds in minerals. Iron, copper, and lead are abundant, though the mines are little wrought. Diamonds are obtained by washing in several localities on the Kistna and Godavery. Golconda, where diamonds and other gems are cut, has long been famed as a market for those rare and cherished productions.

At the southern part of Hindostan is the fine island of Ceylon, three hundred miles long and ninety to one hundred wide. The coast is low and flat; the interior is filled with mountains, of moderate elevation. This island produces fine fruits, and is famous for its cinnamon. The chief town, Colombo, has fifty thousand inhabitants. The natives, called Cingalese, inhabit the mountain country; those called Candians occupy the interior. The island belongs to Great Britain. Missionaries have been successful here: many English have settled in the country, and have introduced European improvements. There are many good roads, and even railroads. The Maldives, on the western coast of Hindostan, are forty or fifty small islands, with some inhabitants, under a chief who resides in the largest island, three miles in circuit. The Laccadives, farther north, are a group of shoals and islands: the people are governed by a chief, subject to the British.

Hindostan is politically divided as follows:

1. KINGDOM OF NEPAUL, independent.

2. PORTUGUESE INDIA, a small territory on the western coast, around Goa.

3. FRENCH INDIA, consisting of small tracts around Pondicherry, on the eastern coast.

4. DANISH INDIA, comprising little more than Serampore, in Bengal.

5. BRITISH INDIA, containing the provinces of Ben-
gal, Madras, Bombay, &c.; Sinde, lately con-
quered and annexed to the British dominions,
and the Punjaub country, or Kingdom of Lahore,
recently conquered from the Sikhs, and also
annexed to the British dominions.

The following states are tributary to the British:
Travancore and Cochin, Coorg,


Nizam's dominions,



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It will be seen from this view that nearly

the whole of Hindostan is, at last, subject to British sway.

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British India is under the government and control of the mightiest corporation ever known- the English East India Company. This has nearly all the functions of a sovereign state-a governor-general, an army, revenue, judiciary, &c. The territories which they have wrested from the native princes, or of which they have usurped the control, are over a million of square miles in extent, and having at least one hundred millions of inhabitants. The country is divided into two parts: first, those territories governed entirely by the Company's servants, and divided into the provinces of Bengal, Madras, Bombay, &c. and second, the territories of the allied states, which, though nominally governed by the native and local princes, are subject to the British Company. The laws and usages of the Hindoos are generally respected, but the princes have little left them but the pomp and pageantry of a court; the real power being in the hands of the Company's agents, stationed in the several states. The Company has strong garrisons in various quarters, and an army of two hundred and fifty thousand men; most of them native soldiers, called sepoys, paid and trained to keep their country in slavery. If any of the princes become restive under the tyranny which oppresses them and their people, they are treated as rebels, and revolt is sure to be fearfully punished. The whole course of the British Company in India is utterly hostile to the justice and humanity professed by the British people.

The Hindoos are nearly black, but are of the Caucasian race. They are an ancient people, and their history is full of interest. Their country has witnessed the invasions of Alexander and Tamerlane; it has been the scene of the gorgeous empire of Aurungzebe and Acbar. It has displayed human nature in a strange, though humiliating aspect, as degraded and oppressed for ages by a religious system, which divides the people into castes, and subjects the whole mass, from the prince to the peasant, to the bondage of a vicious and superstitious priesthood. It has, moreover, furnished in modern times a theatre for the display of mercantile avarice and tyranny, proceeding from a Christian country, not less greedy, though more cautious and measured, than the military ravages of Zingis Khan and his successors.

The authentic history of Hindostan does not go back to a remote date. The Greeks had not heard of it till Alexander reached Babylon in his expedition against Persia. It was then, and long after, called India; the term including the whole region between China and the Arabian Gulf. Subsequently it was divided by geographers into India beyond the Ganges and India within the Ganges. To the latter part, the title of Hindostan, or land of the Hindoos, was applied in more modern



In the early periods, Hindostan was divided into numerous small kingdoms and principali


ties, and so it has continued for ages, except that the empire of the Moguls, for a period, embraced the whole country in its dominions. Even then, the old divisions, for the most part, remained, the kings and chiefs acknowledging the supremacy of the emperor by contributions and military services. At the same time, the Hindoos are one people, and though divided into castes and tribes, hereafter to be noticed, yet there is a striking homogeneity in the race, amid great diversity in the political divisions of the country.


3000 B. C. to 1000 B. C.

Early History of Hindostan - Extravagant Chronology of the Hindoos - Character of their Early Traditions and Records.

INDIA, doubtless, began to be inhabited at a very early stage of the peopling of the world. Its first inhabitants, ignorant and rude, wandered for ages in the immense plains and valleys of this fertile country, living on fruits, and the produce of their flocks and herds. A long time must have elapsed before they began to associate in political communities. When the people had multiplied so far as to compose a body too large and unwieldy to be managed by the simple expedients which bind together the members of a family or a tribe, the first rude form of a monarchy or political system was devised. Though we have no materials from the Hindoos which yield us any assistance in discovering the time which elapsed in their progress to this point of social maturity, yet we have no reason to think the progress a rapid one. Perhaps the Hindoos acquired the first rude form of a national polity at as early a period as any part of the human race. If we may trust their own writings, a great monarchy existed in this country five thousand years ago. This monarchy comprised many different tribes or nations. The reigning sovereign was styled Maharajah. The inferior princes held a sort of feudal power, and exercised the full attributes of monarchy in their several governments. Diodorus Siculus informs us that they were absolute proprietors of the land in their several jurisdictions. They claimed affinity with the sun and moon: they were assisted in the administration of affairs by the counsels of the Brahmins, who, like the Magi of Persia, were both priests of religion and political officers by hereditary right.

The domestic history of these ancient dynasties of princes is entirely lost. The names of the sovereigns alone remain, a dead letter, on the tablet of history, exhibiting an instructive lesson upon the vanity of human grandeur, and the pride of sublunary distinction. The people of India were then, as at present, divided into various tribes or castes, never intermarrying, never uniting at entertainments, nor associating in any intimate manner whatever. It is impossible to conjecture at what point of time those singular institutions were devised which have been distinguished by a durability so extraordinary, and which present a spectacle so instructive to those who would understand the human mind, and the laws which, amid all the different forms of civil society, invariably preside over its progress. At that early date, also, the Hindoos were distinguished for their ingenuity in all the mechanical arts; by their


genius for commerce, which they carried on to a considerable extent with Egypt and Arabia; for hospitality, love of truth, temperance, and frugality; and, above all, for the profound learning, and lofty precepts of morality which were inculcated by the ancient Brahmins.

The Hindoos have always shown themselves strongly averse to disclosing the facts of their national history, and the doctrines of their ancient religion. Notwithstanding this, they have taken great pains to record what they have known respecting these matters. Rude nations seem to derive a peculiar gratification from pretensions to a remote antiquity. A boastful and turgid vanity distinguished in a remarkable manner the Oriental nations, and they have consequently, in most instances, carried their claims to antiquity extravagantly high. The present age of the world, according to the system of the Hindoos, is distinguished into four grand periods, denominated yugs. The first is the Satya yug, comprehending one million seven hundred and twentyeight thousand years; the second is the Treta yug, of one million, two hundred and ninety-six thousand; the third is the Dwapar yug, of eight hundred and sixty-four thousand years, and the fourth is the Cali yug, which will extend to four hundred and thirty two thousand years. Of these periods the first three have passed; and in the year 1849 of the Christian era, four thousand nine hundred and eleven years of the last. From the commencement, therefore, of the Satya yug to the year 1849, is a space of three million eight hundred and ninety-two thousand nine hundred and fortythree years the antiquity to which the Hindoos lay


All this is sufficiently extravagant; yet the legendary tales of the Hindoos are not to be altogether disregarded, because, without a knowledge of them, much of what has been written concerning the people of India cannot be understood. We must relate, therefore, that, according to these legends, at the commencement of the Satya yug, or three million eight hundred and ninety-two thousand nine hundred and fortythree years ago, lived a person called Satyavrata, or Vaivaswata, or the seventh Menu. He escaped with his family from a universal deluge, which destroyed the rest of the human species. His descendants comprised two royal branches, the one denominated the children of the sun, and the other, the children of the moon. The former reigned at Oude, the latter at Vitora. These families, or dynasties, subsisted till the thousandth year of the present yug, at which time they both became extinct. A list of the names of the successive princes is found in the Sanscrit books.

The extravagant claims to antiquity set up by the Chaldeans and Egyptians have been treated with contempt by the learned of Europe. Yet the love of the marvellous is curiously illustrated by the respect which they have paid to the chronology of the Hindoos. This is partly explained by the fact that we have received our information respecting these latter people, not from the incredulous historians of Greece and Rome, but from men who had seen the people, and whose imagination had been powerfully affected by the spectacle of a new system of manners, arts, institutions, and ideas. These were naturally expected to augment the opinion of their own consequence by the greatness of the wonders which they had beheld. The Hindoo statements, if they have not, in any instance, gained a literal belief, have almost univer



sally been regarded as very different from the fictions of an unimproved and credulous people, and entitled to very serious and profound investigation. Yet they are utterly extravagant and incredible.

The wildness and inconsistency of the Hindoo accounts evidently place them beyond the sober limits of history; still, it has been imagined that if their literal meaning must of necessity be renounced, they at least contain a poetical or figurative delineation of real events, which ought to be studied for the truths it may disclose. The labor and ingenuity which have been bestowed upon this inquiry, unfortunately have not been attended with an adequate reward. The Hindoo legends still present a maze of unnatural fictions, in which a series of real events can by no artifice be traced. The internal evidence which these legends display, afforded, indeed, the strongest reason to anticipate this result. The offspring of a wild and ungoverned imagination, they mark the state of a rude and credulous people, delighting in the marvellous. The Hindoos, in fact, are destitute of historical records. Their ancient literature contains not a single production to which the historical character belongs. The works in which the miraculous transactions of former times are described, are poems. Most of them are books of a religious character, in which the exploits of the gods, and their commands to mortals, are recorded. In all these, the actions of men and deities are mixed together. The Brahmins are the most audacious, and perhaps the most unskilful, of all fabricators.

The people of Hindostan and the ancient nations of Europe came in contact at a single point. The expedition of Alexander the Great, began, and in some measure ended, their connection. Even of this event, so recent and remarkable, the Hindoos have no record. They have not even a tradition that can, with any certainty, be traced to it. The information which we have received of this invasion, from the Greeks themselves, is extremely defective. It was not until the moderns had studied the Hindoo language, that they acquired the means of full and accurate information.


2000 to 428 B. C.

Northern Origin of the Hindoos The Brahmins-The Maha-Rajah Dynasty - Reign of Feros-ra-Sinkol- Conquest of India by Bacchus - Rama's Monkey Army - Conquests of Sesostris - Expedition of ScylaxConquests of Darius Hystaspes.

ALL the Hindoo traditions unite in representing the neighborhood of the Ganges as the cradle of their race. Their most ancient records intimate that the first kingdoms in this sacred territory were founded by persons who came from the north; and the existing temples and monuments, both above and below ground, furnish a species of chronicle of the progressive extension of an immigrating and highly civilized race from north to south. The Brahmins appear to have exercised an indirect sovereignty over the other classes of society, from the beginning. The kings were selected from the caste of warriors; but the priestly caste restrained the power of the sovereign by religious enactments and institutions, which brought both public and private affairs under their cognizance. How this influence was obtained is a matter of conjecture; but it evidently existed before the appearance of the two great Hindoo epics- the Rawayana and the Maha Barata, both of which contain several instances of the awful veneration in which the Brahmins were held by the kings themselves.

In the ancient Hindoo drama entitled the Toy Cart, which was written before the Christian era, and refers to events many centuries antecedent, we find a notice of a strange revolution effected in the government of Ougeir by a Brahminical intrigue. It describes how the Brahmins, taking offence at a slight put upon them by their sovereign Palaka, managed to overturn the government, by employing a hermit and a cow-boy as their instruments.

As far as we can discover by the Hindoo writings, there were, at this time, two great dynasties in Hindostan, north of the River Kistna. These were termed the Solar race and the Lunar race. The former held its capital at Ayadda, or Oude, and the latter occupied the district in the west, about Delhi. The Hindoo poems contain references to the war between the Pandoos and the Kooroos, both branches of the Lunar race. This war was to the Hindoos what the Trojan war was to the Greeks, by its influence upon their poetry, literature, and arts. It forms the subject of the Maha Barata, which contains one hundred thousand distichs. Like the Iliad, this poem is supposed to be founded on historical facts, though much of it is invention. Of the date of the events which it described we know nothing.

From the scattered hints contained in the writings of the Greeks, the conclusion has been drawn, that the Hindoos, at the time of Alexander's invasion, were in a state of manners, society, and knowledge, very similar to that in which they were found by the modern nations of Europe. It is no unreasonable supposition that they have presented a very uniform appearance during the long interval from the visit of the Greeks to that of the English. Yet, with regard to the ancient history of India, we are not without resources. The researches of modern Europeans, who have explored the institutions, the laws, the manners, the arts, occupations and maxims, of this ancient people, have enabled them to draw the picture of society, which they have presented, through a long The family of Maha-rajah is said to have possessed series of years. We cannot describe, with an accu- the throne of Hindostan for seven hundred years. The racy fully to be relied on, the lives of the kings, or Hindoos were for a long time secluded from any imthe particulars of their political revolutions. But we mediate intercourse with the neighboring countries, can show how they lived together as members of the by the peculiarity of their customs and religion. But community and of families, how they were arranged about the close of the dynasty of Maha-rajah hapin society, what arts they practised, what tenets they pened an invasion of their country by the Persians. believed, what manners they displayed, under what One of the Hindoo princes quarrelled with the reignspecies of government they existed, and what charac-ing sovereign, and fled to Persia, where the celebrated ter, as human beings, they possessed. This is by far the most useful and important part of history.

Feridoun was upon the throne. This monarch espoused the cause of the fugitives, sent an army into Hindostan, and carried on a war with that empire for en

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years. The country suffered exceedingly during these | ogy and legends, and adapted them to their own hostilities, and the Hindoo sovereign was, in the end, country. compelled to cede a part of his dominions to the fugitive prince. A tribute was at the same time exacted by the Persian monarch, and the empire of Hindostan seems, ever after this, to have depended, in some measure, upon that of Persia.

In the year 1209 B. C., the throne of India was occupied by Feros-ra, who is celebrated for his deep knowledge of the Hindoo sciences of the Shaster, and for his attachment to the society of literary men. He entirely neglected the art of war, and expended the public revenue in building temples and maintaining religious devotees and enthusiasts. The dynasty of Feros-ra comprehends one hundred and thirty-seven years. It was overthrown by Rustem, the celebrated Persian hero, who invaded India from the north, and drove the reigning monarch into the mountains on the confines of Bengal and Orissa, where he died. The whole empire of Hindostan fell into the hands of Rustem, who placed on the throne Suraja, a man of abilities, who soon restored the power of the empire. This dynasty commenced 1072 B. C. The Brahmins affirm that the worship of emblematical figures was first introduced during this period. The Persians affirm that they introduced the worship of the sun, of the heavenly host, and of fire. But the mental adoration of the divinity as our Supreme Being was still followed by many. The great city of Kinoge, which was long the capital of Hindostan, was built by one of the Surajas, on the banks of the Ganges. Its walls are said to have been one hundred miles in circuit. Sinkol, a native of Kinoge, raised a rebellion, defeated the imperial army, and mounted the throne. He proved a warlike and magnificent sovereign. He built many noble cities, among which was Goura. This city is said to have been the capital of Bengal for two thousand years; its ruins, which are still visible, prove it to have been a place of astonishing magnificence. Sinkol, by withholding the tribute from the king of Persia, provoked an invasion from that monarch. The country was wasted with fire and sword. Sinkol was compelled to submit to the conqueror, who carried him captive to Tartary, where he died 731 B. C.

According to these legends, Bacchus led his armies from Egypt to India, where he found the natives wandering over their mountains and plains in all the simplicity of pastoral life, and the innocence of a primeval age. Yet an immense multitude of these people tumultuously flocked together, to oppose the progress of the invading army. Bacchus, it is said, was accustomed to retain at his court a certain number of female devotees, who, by their frantic outcries and extravagant behavior, exhibited the appearance of divine inspiration. These females accompanied the invading army, and, under the impulse of a holy frenzy, ran up and down the mountains, and made the forests resound with cries of "Io Bacche ! Io Triumphe! The priestesses, as well as the soldiers of the army, were furnished each with a thyrsus, or spear wrapped in vine-leaves, to amuse the simple Indians, and make them believe that no hostilities were intended. When the rude but innumerable Hindoo host had assembled and prepared for the assault, with their elephants arrayed in front, these furious Bacchæ, as they are called, flew, in a transport of wild enthusiasm, among the affrighted Indians, clashing their cymbals and brandishing their leafy weapons in the air. Their horrid shrieks and yelling so terrified the elephants, that they fled from the field, and the whole Hindoo host was speedily routed.

Bacchus spent three years in the conquest of India ; and, according to some accounts, his march to the south was arrested only by the ocean. He set up pillars and other monuments of his victories in many places. His skill in legislation and agriculture is much praised. He planted vineyards and fig-trees, and erected many noble cities. He reigned over India fifty-two years, and died at a very advanced age, leaving a numerous family of children, who continued for many generations to sway the imperial sceptre. There is good reason for believing that he is the same personage that is celebrated in the Hindoo poems under the name of Rama, and who is regarded as having established the first regular government in this part of Asia. Rama is described as the sovereign of Ayodha, a city of wonderful extent and magnificence. He is celebrated as a conqueror of the highest renown, and the deliverer of the nation from tyrants. One of his exploits was performed in commanding an army of monkeys. By the wonderful activity of these creathe continent to Ceylon. Such is the Hindoo tale, founded, probably, on the fact that the Island of Ceylon is connected with the main land by a ledge of rocks, now called Adam's Bridge. The monkeys or satyrs are supposed to have been a race of wild mountaineers, whom Rama had civilized. Such is the opinion of Sir William Jones. As to the chronology of these events, or how far they are founded upon any real occurrences, it is impossible to speak with confidence.

The Greek writers have celebrated the conquest of India by Bacchus, a personage whose existence has been called in question, and who, at all events, has been represented, both in history and mythology, under a great variety of forms. It is not improbable, how-tures, a bridge of rocks was built over the sea, from ever, that a person eminently endowed with the important qualifications ascribed to Bacchus in the early ages, actually did exist, not only a great hero in war, but a zealous promoter, in peace, of the liberal and useful arts. He seems to have been known and adored under the name of Bacchus, Dionysus, Osiris, or Rama, in almost every part of the ancient world. The vanity of the Egyptians and Greeks in transferring to their own deified heroes whatever they had learned by tradition or heard from report, concerning the illustrious exploits of eminent men in the Sesostris, king of Egypt, is also mentioned by the neighboring countries, is the fruitful source of nearly ancient historians among the conquerors whose arms all the difficulties which attend the investigation of this penetrated to India. Diodorus Siculus informs us that part of history. A very close intercourse existed, in he built a fleet of four hundred large ships on the Red early times, between Hindostan and Egypt. The Sea. The Sea. One of these was magnificently constructed of Egyptians multiplied their theological fables, by in- cedar, two hundred and eighty cubits long, richly ornagrafting upon them those of the Hindoos; and the mented on the outside with devices in gold, and Greeks, in their turn, imported the Egyptian mythol- adorned on the inside with plates of silver.


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