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that it was dirided hy a rirer; and that the ancient inhabitants were rick. er in gold and large pearls than the Indians “ Onesicratus classis ejus praefectis, elephantos ibi majores bellicosioresqne, quam in
India gimni Beripsit: Megasibenes flumine diridi, incolasque Palæogonos appellari, auri margaritarumque grandium fertiliores, quim Indos." The Elephanis oi Cey. dou are. I believe, confessedly larger than any in India, or in any part of the world, perhaps, except
Africa. Rivers are
to all countries, The description is vague in this respect; but the geography of the interior could not be correctly ascertained by strangers. Gold perhaps there was in former times in tae island of Ceylon. But the pearls are
& more peculiar produce: and the pearl fishery is a principal source of revenue at this day. Sumatra, being a part of the Aurea Chersonesus, doubtless pro. duct gold. But there are no pearls in those seas; nor is Sumatra celebrated for its elephants. This onestion is fully, and I think satisfactorily, discussed by Dr. Robertson in his “ Historical disquisition concerning ancieut' India." He comes to the conclusion, “ That the Taprobane of the ancients is the Island of Ceylon; and not only its vicinity to the continent but the general form of the island as delineated by Ptolomy, as well as the position of several places in it, mentioned by him, establishes this opiniop with a great degree of certainty." (p. 81, 84, 8vo. London 1809.) See sono very excellent remarks on the ancient Taprobane in Histire et Memoires de ? Justitut Koral de France. Classe d'Histoine et de Literature Ancienne Tond. I. p. 117. Paris 1815.—See also Tom. X. p. 222, et seq. and Gibbon's Roman Empire, vol. iv. p. 142, note 6, 8vo. Edit.
We begin with the Kandian boundary, as the commencement of the Interior. Up to this point, however, the country improves at every step from Colombo. The Kandian boundary is nearly forty miles; about half way be... twetu colombo and kandy. The road,-formed under the Government of Sir Edward Barnes, and under the direction of Captain Dawson, to whom & nonument is erected on the road side not far from Kandy,-is as good as can be constructed. But the houndary of Colombo is no sooner passed than there is a visibly rapid improvement in the scenery. The boldness of the Kandian country at commences. Except in Switzerland, and Bbe more elevated regious of Europe, and the Hymalaya mountains, bolder scenery, within so small' a circle, can scarcely be found than in the terri. tories of the late king of Kandy.
Warakapoli hill is the first striking object. It meets the 'eyo immediately on pissing the boundary. It hrealis abruptly from the base. It is in fact a vast black rock. One side is abrupt and bare; the other is covered with jungle. The blackness appears to be the effect of the humidity of the atmosphere, and of the rain ; the stone being apparently surt und porous.
# The Talipot tree was of frequent occurrence, and we saw one specimenti of it in blossom. This noble palm has been the subject of a good deal of fabulous story. It has been called the glant of the forest, but, like the Cocoanut tree, it is never found wild. Its blossom is said to burst forth suddenly, with a loud explosion ; but it expands gradually and quietly. When its flower appears, its leaves are said to droop and barty down, and die; but they remain fresh, erect, and rigorous till the fruit is Dearly ripe, and their drooping precedes only the death of the tree, which speedily takes place after the ripening of the fruit. Een the disugreeableness of the smell of the flower has been exaggerated greatly. This palm, Lituala spinosul, the largest of the order, has a circular fan leaf, from twen. ty to thirty feet in circumference. Its flower, which it bears once only in its life, is a conical spoke, occasionally thirty feet high.” Davy's; inlerior of Ceylon, p. 416.
To this account it need only be added that of the leaf the natives make fans, and construct light airy, rustic ceilings to houses. The flower shoots out and upward from the top of the tree, and fornis one of the most beautiful objects imaginable. I saw two or three in the road on my first jouruey to Kandy.
Kadeganava is a noble pass. In one part it is cleft through the rock. A lofty ridge of mountains and rock is on one side, sometimes precipitous and perpendicular; the other, deep and dark dells beneath, frowning with jungle and forest, which the eye cannot penetrate. It reminded me,-by the vastness of the objects and the cleft rock,-of the fine mountain gorge of Ollioules, near Toulon. But at Ollioules there are scarcely any, if any, trees; and the grandeur arises from the nakedness and desolation of the scene. Here, the de'ls are darker, deeper, and more mysterious from the shadowy effect of the jungle, and forest trees. In these deep valleys or dells, there are, I am told, some of the more valuable woods with which this beautiful island abounds, such as ebony. A thunder storm made the
more impressive, jas I descended from the carriage and walked up
I have said that twenty years, had intervened between the periods when I saw the throne of the king of Kandy, and first visited his capital. I find it about nineteen years. The Throne was sent to England, I am informed in 1819,--and it was, I think, in that year that I saw it in the armoury at Chariton bouse. I first visited Kandy in 1834. It is now 1810,
ON THE AFFINITY BETWEEN THE MALDIVIAN AND
TO TAE EDITOR OF THE CEYLON MAGAZINE.
SIR-My object in sending you the subjoined list of Maldirian and Sim gbalese words is to invite the autention of Singhalese Scholars to the affinity existing between the two languages that the subject may undergo afuil investigation by them. I therefore trust you will not refuse it a place in your furthcoming periodical and oblige.
Yours Faithfully, SIMON CASIE CHITTY.
SIR,—In a periodical for which the designation of the Ceylon Maoszine bas been selected, discussions during for their object the illustration of the Antiquities and the ancient classical literature of Ceylon could not, at any time, it contined within due bounds, be deemed inappropriate; while at the preseut moment these researches derire an especial importance, and excite an extent of interest among orientalists and aatiquaries, produced by the recint discorery of the ancient alphabet, of India, of which few persons,
who are not themselves engaged in the same pursuits, are yet aware.
Mr. James Prinsep, the distinguished orientalist to wł the literary world owes this remarkable achievement, as well as many other important services rendered in the wide field of Asiatic research, was ivterrupted, in the midst of his brilliant and successful course of discoveries, by: loss of health Qocasioned by too intense application of his mental powers. He was compelled consequently last year to return to Europe--whither bis fame had long preceded him ; and the last overland mail has brought the mournful intelligence of the final close of that promising career. Those alone can form an adequate conception of the magnitude of the loss which the cause of oriental research has sustained by the death of Mr. James Prinsep, who have had the direct benefit of being instructed and aided in their own inquiries by the comprohensive attainments, in science as well as literature, of his active mind. I believe I may safely say that by no one has that loss been more sensibly felt than by myself. It is, however, to that accomplished scholar Sir William Jones that the honor is due of having laid the foundation of oriental research locally among our countryioan in India. But his own labors, as well as those of many eminent orientalists who succeeded him, all tended,, in the most disheartening manner, to prove that in a country, which even at a remoto period of antiquity had attained an advanced state of refinement in literature as in the arts and sciences, and which still protessed to possess historical records extending back to the earliest ages, every essential evidence of authen-, ticity, as well as all coherence based on chronology, had been obliturated; and that in their place an inexplicably mystified compilation, purporting to be historical annals of great antiquity, had been substituted. European inquirers, in this perplexity, naturally turned to those pages of. the western authors which comprise the narration of the events of the fourth century before the Christian era, for the purpose of discovering whether any coincidence existed between the names and the events of the reign of the particular monarch who swayed the Indian sceptre at the time of Alexander's invasion of India, and to whose court held at Palibothra, Megasthenes, Am-, bassa dor of Seleucus was deputed, and ary Indian sovereign mentioned in Hindu authorities. Such a coincidence, both in name and in personal chafacteristics, was not wanting. The name of the Sandrocottus of the Greek and of the Chandragupta of the Sanscrit authors presented no other nor greater difference than the peculiarities, which those two languages would ordinarily prodace. In personal history the identity was indisputable, both having, under similar circumstances, usurped the Indian empire. Beyond this iden-, tity, however, this interesting discorery, made by Sir William Jones, furnish ed po nseful result. It ought, if the Indian chronology had not been deranged, to have afforded a connecting link between the two chains of Asiatic and European chronologies. But no such parallel could be established -- as cording to the Indian chronology, Chandragupta tourished nearly twelve hundred
goars before Alexander! I need hardly add that such ritiated records possessed no value, as containing historical data, in the estimation of European investigators
Oriantalists next sought, but sought equally in vain, to decypher the exten. sire ani nunerous inscriptions which were still preserved, with singular distinctness, and nearly all in the same character, engraven on suonuments of antiquity scattered over various and widely separated parts of India. Not only had all attempts to decypher those inscriptions beon bafiled, but no information could be obtained even as to the age in which that alphabet bad been knowu to surrounding natimus. From a Nialıomedan writer it was ascertained that in the reign of leeroz Show, in the fourteenth century, they “ were literal characters which the most learned in all religions had been, unable to explain.” It was clearly proved, therefore, that the knowledge of this alphabet had been lost long anterior to that age.
The discovery of motives - whether produced by religious or political causes--of sufficient importance to occasiou the systematic mustification of the histo-, rical annals of such a civilized country as India has manifestly been, would be the solution of an important philosophical question; and, though less important, the rational explanation of the circumstances by which the know. ledge of any particular alphabet could be lost by 2 people, who lrave always bousted of their punilits or learned men, woo frono generation to generation Lad lived among these inouumenis, and who had preserved uninterruptedly a knowledge of the various dialects of the language (though the forin of the Jetlers ud:rwent a succession of changes) in which these inscriptions are composou, would not be much less interesting.
It is not my intentior, nor do I consider myself competent to enter upon either of these inquiries. Connecteil with them, however, I may here. briefly introduce a few historical facts, which are accessible to every reader however supericial, and which will serve to leal me back to the ancient classical literature of Ceylon. anil to an illustration of the inportance of Mr. James Prinsep's discovers, from which I have digressed.
From a remote anriquity, involved in the obscurity alluded to in the pre. coliny reinarks, Asia has been distracted by a struggle for religious supremacy betwo?) the bralmans on the one hand, and the buddhists on the other. While the bralımans were in the possession of that supremacy in the sixth century before the birth of Christ, a prince of the name (in Páli) of Siddhatto, the son of a suborlinaie reigning sovereign, Suddhodano, of that portion of Inilia which borders on the Ganges, then called Magadha, assumed the charactor of the last Bullhi)--whose religion it is which now prevails in Ceylon. ile promulgated his doctrines in that dialect of tre Sanscrit language which was peculiar to his own country--bence calleil the Magadhi, and, also, frova the high state of refinement it had attained in that age, the Páli language.
From that period buildhism gralually gained ground, until the close of the fo:vih century before Christ, when Asoku the emperor of all Indja, called also Piça lassi, the grand son of Alerunder's cutemporary Sandrocottus became & convert to that faith. Ile immediately depuiel, in the fervor of recent apos. taev, missionaries to all parts of Asia, to propagate his new creed ; and in the samo capacity of a buddhist, ordained, missionary he sent to Ceylon, Mahindo one of his own sons, who arrived here in the year before Christ 307. Asoko erected also in rarions parts of India, religious edifices and monuments; on many of which he inscribed the doctrines of his new faith, and recorded the acts of his piety and religious munificence.
The succeedling emperor of India, however, reverted to brahmanism, and gradually the bralınanical faith resumed its supremacy in continental India--. leaving buddhism predominant, as the religion of the state, in Ceylon, and in the regious to the northward of the Uimalayan chain, and to the eastward of the Burhampura river. The religious aninosity of the brahmans made them spare no pains in continental Inlia in vilifying all that appertained to buddhisin, as well as in disparaging, as a provincial jargon, the Pali language in which its doctrines were written. Their own sacred and classical language was the