« PreviousContinue »
ered in many a young artist (both engravers and painters) to the notice of the world who might else have gone on struggling in obscurity. They have also been the means of rewarding the 1alents of our most eminent engravers in a way which no other publications could bave done.--The Annuals for 1841, äre, if we may believe the London critics, in no ways inferior to those of last year, either in an artistical or literary point of view, and that is, saying not a little for them.
In standard literature there are some novelties announced, amongst which we fird a new edition of Swifi's works with a Lise by Roscoe ; a new edution of Pilkington's Dictionary of Painters, under the auspices of Allen Cunningham ; a fresh issue of the Penny Magazine on a more convenient scale and on belter paper. Captains Marryalt and Basil Hall bave each prodnced a work of a miscellaneous nature, the former one entitled • Olla Podrida," the latter “ Patchwork," they appent not
to have created any great sensation. Some account of My Cousin Nicholas, by Ingoldsly.; Compton Audley, by Lord William Lennox; Greville, or a Season at Paris, by Mıs. Gure; The Monied Man, or the Lesson of a Life, by Horace Smith ; Narrative of a three month's mareh in India. The Princess Royal, a Satire. Satan in Love, a Poem and a host of others which, as that great Orafor. George Robins would say, are 100 numerous for insertion ; all these have issued from the Press within a few weeks: Amongst them is a smah volume of “ Poems,” by Lady Flora Hastings, which, however interesting and imesceptionable in themselves (and we are told that they are “ marked by a tone of ferveni, yet cheersul piety,") had better, we think, never have been published under all the circumstance of her case.
Among the many literary novelties at home, we must notice a Journal devoted to Indian affairs, bearing the title of the “ British Indian Advocate," the first number of which made its appearance with the new year.
We shall be glad to receive a copy of it. The only Theatrical novely of importance is Bulwer's Play of “Money" which, it would seem, is drawing plenty of that commo dity to the treasury of the Haymarket. The London journals speak jít very high terms of the Paptomimes produced this year, some ad
which appear :o have been got up with great splendour and with more than usual mechanical skill in the tricks.- We regret having to record another failure attending the efforts of the supporters of our National Opera. After a short and unsatisfactory concern the company of the Princes' Theatre have terminated their performances.
“ Master Humplirey's Clock” continues to be wound up every week in the Strand, with great pananality, and has just struck " sisty," The opinion which we formed of this work, upon the perusal of the first lex chapters, has certainly been borne ont by the succeeding portion of it. Boz is evidently “ making a book" rather than writing a work :- laboring for himself more than the public; and the artist, when he engraved the ornamental wrapper 10 the work, seems to have had some prophetic warnings, for he has made the hands of the clock point towards “ Number One." We
do not question the right of Buz to make as much as he can by bis pen, but as readers we grumble at having a work of genius (for such it is after all,) diluted with wearying puerilities to about six times its proper bulk. We dislike the style, the incidents, and with some exceptions, the character of “ Master Humphrey's Clock :" ils harsh, rusly clickings sound in umatural contrast with the merry chimes of the Pickwicķ and Nickleby lours.
In the Eastern world literature is not allogether neglected, one of the hest signs of which is the publicatiou of numerous journals aud magazines for the special justruction of the natives of India, some of them, 100, couducted by Asiatics, Half a dozen such bave been started within as many months; and in our own little island we bave seen three rising and prospering. A fourth is to appear this month.- But where is the “ Ceylon Review ?” The “ldes of March" are passed : the deed remains undone. Are we to have no Big Brother? Is Lauku to possess no Quarterly clad in Buff or Blue? We recollect seeing a fair proportion of names subscription list, as many we opme, as we started with. Doubtless its obstacles are of a literary natille. We know from experience the ditliculty of collecting original matter in a small society.
If we have not the “ Review” however, we have the Ceylon Almanac," a very useful publication which has appeared with its accustomed contents and regularly. While admitting its utility, we
could also suggest there are several things wanting in it. A Chronological Table,-a sort of “ Tablet of Memory" of the differe ent events connected with our Ísland—the Cinghalese weights and measures converted into British,—and an account of the lavd disa posed of by Gorernment, are among the information we in vain look for in the Almanac.
The Geography and Statistics of Asia by “ Major Jervis" will fill up a great void in the bistory of our Eastern possessions. From the Prospectus it promises to be a most valuable acquisition to Colonial literature. We fully concur with the Projector in the great want of sound statistical information relative to our Colonies ; the little that has been written about them is either by casual observers or by parties at a distance, wbo are unable to judge of the real character of their information. If the absence of statistical data be felt any where, it surely must in Ceylon, of wbich perhaps less is known than of any of the British possessions. We believe bowever, that we may say a work npop this Island, of a some. what similur nature to the alove, is already under consideration.
TO A LADY ON THE BIRTH CF HER FIRST BORN.
It is a glad and joyous time, when first the snowy blow
It is a glad and joyous time when ripen'd love is felt
It is a glad and joyous time, when at the Altar side
But purer joy than pen may trace, or words alone may speak
Ob! sweet sust be a mother's task, to watch each opening grace
A TRIP TO MATURA.
Name -- Antiquities-- Customs and manners-Religion- Animals,
birds, fish, insects, serpen/s-- Face of the Country, soil, agriculturo -Cominerce, Coral slones, &c.- Climate, Monsoons.
There are but few things worthy the observation of the traveller from the Town of Colombu up to the extensive t'innamon gardens of Morottoo, Leaving Galle-face, and passing through Colpelly, Wellawalte, Mount Lavinia, Pantura, Callura, Bentole and (alle, amidst the Cocoa groves and bread-fruit trees which surround every village, hamlet and dwelling house, we come lo Matura, a beautiful and healthy, but a scantily peopled district. At the distance of font miles from Malura is Dondera' Head, vi, as it is generally called, Dehundere.
1. Dondera Head, the Southern Cape of Ceylon, like many other tlaces in this Island, is known by several names. The English call p Dondera Head or Cape Dondera. Deccandere or Dekundere (the Island's end) is the nanie by which this place is known amongst the natives. In the Nompotle which is the only spelling book extant among the Singhalese, it is called Dewi-nuwere (the Godly city) either from the circunstance of its having once betil then it of Kaluna Dalussa's government; a prince to all intents and para poses (who reigned about A. D. 648) but one 10 whuiu divine perfections are attributed by the natives, or from the existence vi å beautiful temple dedicated to Derol God.
2. The most remarkable of the antiquities still extant at Dondră Head, is a beautiful temple of Buddha. The next in importance are a few slabs of marble, which have on them inscriptions in clinracters wbich are now almost unknown. At the distance of a few yards from the Buddhist temple, are the remains of a very large buiding. Upwards ui 300 pillars and a door, neatly made of marble,
stand on the spot. “That is a miracle of our God," said one of the natives, pointing out to the door above mentioned. I asked him how he could call it a wiracle? To which he replied: “the tree mendus slab, of marble which is laid over the 1st'o dour-posts, is not in any way fixed to them, and as long as we helieve on onr God it will not come down!!" Why, I don't belerve on your God, and will it therefore come upon my lead?" asked I, “ were I 10 cross iis ihresh-hyld?” My friend uttered vot a single word in reply. I thence went and examined the door-posts, and the slab wbich stood upon ibem. They were exquisitely well made. “Captain Forbes" 'demonstrated that the Singhalese a few centuries ago had used the wedge and the chisel for splitting and shaping those koge blocks of Darbles, after the manner introduced into Briinin ju ibe nineteenida ceniliry: This demonstration' will fully be borne out by a careful observation of the numerous monuments suill visible on The soutli west of (evlon, not to menpoh south-east. * Besides the pillars and the door mentioned above, there is a small temple (dedicated to Decol God), made wholly of marble. It is very nearly made. It is shared wiih trees, Ibe. Avoris covered with weeds; and at present 11 is tlie abyvdy of serpents. The temple of Buddha has jately becul repaired at the experise of the Buddhists. It is a beantiful but dark building. Alamp is constantly burning in this temple. 'l he image of Buddka, svbich is 27 feel in lengib, is made in a sloping posture. The only commodions and substantial building of the watives, is a Bungalow of the Dondra Modliar.
3. The manners of the intelligent portion of the community are gentle and mild; but those of ibe less informed are more easily conceived than expressed; for there is a striking similarity betweta all semi-barbarous nations. Que of the principal leatures in the character of the natives is their “extrenie apathy." The people who live about the country are still barbarous Most of then, are wretchedly poor, astonishingly ignorant, and grossly superstitious.
They are destirule of murind feeling-ure babitual druukards and gamblers; and notorious robbers, Many of tben are neither Buddhists nor Christiaðs; and are quite indifferent about their Sal.. vation. "ibey would olien buldly suy — "What care we of Hell or Heaven ? Ji we are to go to tell, we will; for Hell too nust have some one in it,” Some of the people about the interioare SO stupid, ibal often in a couri of justice upon being asked the day on which a certain occurrence took place, they bave replied
we dou't know." 11 au ignorant native be asked a bal was tha distance from such un object 10 such a place ? he would say
. In the District of Nelligamme about 20 miles south of Galle, is a
of an aucient King-excavaled from the side of a buge mass of warble. It is ahout 10 feet bigb, and looks very beautiful. It is called Kulleruje-galle stalue of the
king, very probabis from the cir, cumstance of its having some eruptions on its feet. The watives who lako s journey through Welligainme, are foulisha as now-and-ben lo utter muney, rice, &c., to this statue.