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With regard to lecturers there stirely must be sufficient amongst the Euro. peans and Ceylonese : and as to auditors, the many government and mes. cantile clerks who toil through the heut of the day at their desks, rould I am confident, quit in the evening all light and frivolous relaxations to hear amusing and instructive lectures on History, Commerce, Geography Botany, the Mechanical Arts, Music &c. &c. Hoping that these few hasty observations may lead to some good result,
I romain, your's truly,
Lanka. Colombo, January 1st, 1841,
[We think that “ Lanka's" lints should be considered. None would rejoice
more than we at the consummatiou of his wishes : when the time arrives, that Ceylon can boast of a “ Mechanics' Institute" we shall be found among the first to promote its' welfare by every means in our power,-Ep. C. M.)
BRIEF NOTICES OF THE POETS, PAILOSOPHERS &c.
OF THE TAMILS.
BY SIMON CASIE Cutty, Esq.-(Continued.)
30. Kumara Guru. This individual was born at Striryguntam, in the Tinnivelly district, about two hundred years ago. He establisbed his famio as a poet while yet a child; for it is reported that when he was only are he composed a hymn called Kuli Venba, in praise of Subramanya, the deity of the temple at Trichendvor. Like most of his countrymen, he was of the Saica profession and having entered the Matum, or monastery at Dharmapuram at a very early ago, he assumed the habit of Tumbiran, on head ascetic, in which capacily he continued till his death. Besides the juvenile production alread; alluled to, he was the author of thirteen poeins, of which his last one entitled Nidi neri l'ilakkam, consisting of 102 stanzas on moral sub.. jects, is considered the best, and has been translated, into English by Mr Stokes, of the Madras Civil Service.
The following selections from bis Midi neri Vilakkam may not be found uninteresting.
“Learning at first painful, will afterwards afford pleasure. It will destroy ignorance and extend knowledge. But the pain which succeeds to the short.' lived pleasure of immoderate lust, is great, I thou adorned with perfect jewels !
“ Learning, however extensivo, will be useless, unless there be discretion to dist
it in the proper place; and even then, without the power of lan. guage, of what avail is it? With that, it is a duwer of gold that possesses fragrance.
" The learning of those whose frape trembles with diffidence before the assembly,– the frivolous loquacity of the ignorant who feel no ave in the assembly, the wealth of those who do not conscientiously bestow alms before they eat,-and the merit of a poor man, are things, the absence of which is better than their existence.
“The learned need no other ornament than the excellence of learning, Nothing is wanting to acorn an ornament perfectly set with erery precious stone. Who would beautify beauty itself?
“ Contemplate those who are poorer than yourselves, and rejoice in the grłatness of your possessions. Contemplate those who are more learned than yourselves, and destroy all self-conceit, exclaiming what is all our learn ing to these ?
“ To praise oneself in order to attract admiration, is like feeding the fame with pure water. Is not tbe absence of self-admiration that which is to be admired? Is not happiness freedom from the desire of pleasure ?
“For him wha dreiges much notice from others, there is one act of pe. nance which he must never forget to practise : continually to dwell upon all che merits, and conceal the defects of others; and to address all with humility,
“ There are none who understand erery thing. Exult not in the idea that your learning is universal. The rock will give way to the small chisel of the mason,"
31. Täyumâna Swami, so named fron the deity of the temple at Trichi. nopoly, in which city he was born about one hundred and fifty years ago in the reigu of the King Chokalinga Naiker. In his childhood he was con, signed to the care of a famous preceptor named Mauna Tcsigar, who bestowed on him a learned education besides initiating him into the mysteries of the Vedas. On the death of his father, who was minister of state, the King pro, moted him to his post; but becoming religious as he advanced in life ho. quitted it and rotired into the Ramnad country, where he fixed bis residence and spent the remainder of his life in derotion. Amongst bis poetical como positions, the most reputed is a collection of metaphysical pieces under the title of T'iruppadel.
32. Arunasala Kavirayer. a dramatie poet was born at Tilliady, near Tranquebar about 1705. From his fifth to his twelfth year he studied Tamil at the school of his native village and afterwards, in consequence of the death of his parents, he placed bimself in the Matam of Dharmapuram, wbere under the tuitiou of several ascetics he acquired a knowledge of the sans krit and Telegu languages. Being married in his thirteenth year, he com. menced business as a banker; but soon after abandoned that profession to devote bimself to dramatic poetry, and produced the Drama of Rama Chandra, which has secured for him a lasting celebrity. He died at Sheerkaly in bis sixty seventh year.
COMPILED BY THE EDITOR
Beau Brummell. The Militia. Anecdote of Sir W. Curtis.
Ministerial fears. Visit to Vidocq. Parisian Thieves. The French Galleys, and their morale.
Abort this period (1803) my duties brought me in freqnent contact with the then celebrated Beau Brummell, the friend and companion of the Prince. I was much suruck with his eccentricity of mauner, which however, annidst all his peculiar nonchalance bever was other than courily in extreme, and in his dress he was certainly pre-emiuent both as regarded taste and variety, yet I could bot help regarding him as a species of Court Jester rather than as the friend of the heir apparent. Brummell was of very plebiau extraction and could not brook any allusion to his ancestry. His grandfather was originally a domestic of Lord North's who in his old age procured for him the situation of porter at the Treasury: His son' (the Beau's father) having a superior education obtained a clerkship in the Home office and amassed some
money by speculations. Young Brummell went into the army at an early age and by good fortune happened to be the officer on guard at Carlton House when the Prince wanted some one to accompany him to Windsor. No one was in the way and Brummell took the seat by desire of the Prince. His gentlemanly, graceful manner so won his royal companion's favor that from that night he was established in ihe friendship of the Prince, and soon took the lead at Court where he supplanted Lascelles the then Beau. When I became acquainted with Brummell he bad fallen into some slight disfavour with his royal friend in consequence of his inconsiderate behaviour and intolerable rudeness. A great deal more however, laid to his charge than the truth. One of the many exaggerated stories was that of his desiring the Prince to ring the bell. Brummell assured me that he did not say “George ring the bell,” as reported, but that when asked to do it by F. R. H. who was engaged in conversation, he very inconsiderately replied “it is close to you Sir." The Prince did ring it, but it was to desire the attendant 10 order Mr. Brummell's carriage.
From 1803 until the peace in 1814 I did not leave the Kingdom. During that period however I was far from idle. Political events, both at home and abroad, were thickening and throwing a gloom upon the prospects of England. Hostilities were recommenced
with France, novo 'an Empire ; Napoleon was every where victorious s.
Our head quarters were ou Clapham Common and it was pretty, sharp work for soine of us who had to fag at our desks from ten till four, and then ride ontlo evening drill, and back again to dinner, besides having to be on parade at day-break. There used to be considerable grumbling, particularly during bad weather, for it was no joke then. After the first year however, we got together a mess and were altogether more comfortable. We had rare festivities at times, when our Colonel invited a few choice spirits to juin iis, for we were mostly young nien.
It would be tedious 10 recount the many frolics and adventures of those days ; one anecdote, however, I misi relate for I do not think it has ever been made public. Sir William Curtis was one night the guest of our Colonel, ånd the conversation happening to turn, as it olien did, mpon drinking, the latter said that he was sure Sir William drank as much às any thiree of us and that what he took that night would fill a two gallon pail. The Kniglit merely laughed and said nothing, but the Colonel asked nie to have a pail placed under the sideboard and to desire his servant to watch Sir William and whenever he drank a glass of anything to throw a similar glassful into the pail. This was done, but before the evening was half spent we both observed that the man failed to put anything into the pail. The Colonel called him and asked why he neglected to do it. * Please, Sir," was the answer, “the pail has been running over these ten minutes past!"
During the disturbances in 1810–11 we were compelled to keep a guard under arms night and day, at our depôt where we had about 600 stand of arms and 20 or 30 barrels of gunpowder. Bát even that precaution was considered insufficient: and so little confidence in the militia did the government feel, and so alarmed were they at the riotous proceedings of the people, that on the eve of a unusually large meeting on Kennington Common, Mr. Beckett, Home Secretary, sent oor Colonel an order to remove the arms, &c. to Woolwich if possible,' or at any rate to take off the musketJocks and keep them in safe custody. Being on guard at the time I was commanded to put the order in execution. Removing
600 stand of arms to Woolwich was an impossibility and I at once gave up the idea. But in unscrew the lucks was a task equally difficult, particularly as I had not the armourers with me and but a few hours to do it in. I determined, therefore, on my own responsibility to coutent myself with miscrewing the cocks only, which had the double advantage of being equally to the purpose and of being accomplished in a very short space of time. They were put into powder kegs and marched off to the Colonel's house: but the anmunition he would bave nothing to do with. There was no time for debating, so I placed the 30 barrels of gunpowder in carts and taking a file of men in undress, escorted them to my own house in Vauxhall: there they were placed in a loft under the roof, no one, vot even my wise, knowing their contents. I kept them under bolt and bar but must confess I sometimes felt a little uncasy about thein. They remained there until things were a little more settled, when they were conveyed to Woolwich Arsenal, much to my joy. From that period to the disbanding of the Volunteer Corps in 1816,- we never kept more than a few rounds a-piece in our own depot.
During the hundred days of peace I determined to take a holiday and visit my old acquaintance Vidocq in Paris. Hitherto I had only met him in the hurry of business and longed to see and converse with him in the retirement of his family circle. Besides I might be able to gather from him some information which could be turned to account herealter. I arrived in Paris abont the end of July, in the very midst of the gay season. The capital was erowded with English who having been shut out so long by the war, were making amends for their absence by spending their money in the most profuse manner. I found Vidocq in very comfortable quarters, with a nice louse and an agreeable wise, and in the enjoyment of a very liberal income, --He pressed me to stay with him but I preferred living alone, and visited him when it pleased me. much amused with some of his exploits which he related to me, both in Espionage and Friponnerie, for he had begun his career in the cour de Miracles, and it was his astonishing talent as a thief which brought him to the notice of the police. Some of his achievements certainly appeared more like those of fabu, ous bistory, than of every day occurrence in the nineteenth century. The deeds of Dick Turpin and Jack Sheppard were mere child's games
of hide-and-seek compared to them. Fouché sooni saw the real value of the man and lost no time in buying him over. He was then in great and deserved favor with the Prefet, under whose orders alone he acted. The told me that his wife great service to him both in gaining secret intelligence and playing double to him, and that without her some of his best things would never have been accomplished. One night be took me a round of his old baunis where he was well known, and not less feared. We first bent our steps towards the environs of the Palais Royal, & densely populated quarter, resembling our Saint Giles's, or Kent