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SIKE or SIECKE, HENRY, an Oriental scholar of some repute, who lived in the latter half of the seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth centuries. He was a native of Bremen, and a professor of Oriental languages at Utrecht, and afterwards at Cambridge. It appears that owing to some misdemeanor he was to be subjected to punishment; and in order to escape from this disgrace, he put an end to his life by hanging himself in 1712. The only work of any note which he published is the 'Evangelium Infantiæ Christi, adscriptum Thomæ, 1697, 8vo., a very curious apocryphal gospel. It is reprinted in Fabricius's Codex Apocryphus Novi Testamenti,' tom. i., pp. 127-212, Sike also founded with L. Küster, at Utrecht, the literary periodical called Bibliotheca Novorum Librorum,' to which he contributed several papers.

(Saxii Onomasticon Literarium, v., 490, &c.)

SILENA'CEÆ, a natural order of plants, belonging to the syncarpous group of the Polypetalous subclass of Exogens. This order is a part of the larger order Caryophyllem [CARYOPHYLLEE] of Jussieu, and was originally separated by De Candolle. It has since been adopted by Bartling and Lindley in their systematic works. It differs from the remaining portion of the order Caryophylleæ, which are now called Alsinacem, in the possession of a tubular calyx, and petals with claws,

SILE'NE, the name of an extensive genus of plants be longing to the natural order Caryophyllacea. It is known by its having a tubular, naked, 5-toothed calyx; 5 bifid unguiculate petals, which are usually crowned in the throat with 5 bifid scales, 10 stamens; 3 styles; capsules 3-celled at the base, ending in 6 teeth at the apex. The species are in general herbaceous, many of them are annual, very few shrubby. Their stems are leafy, jointed, branched, and frequently glutinous below each joint. The calyx and leafstalks are also frequently viscous. The leaves are oppo. site, simple, and entire. The petals are mostly red and white. sometimes greenish or yellowish. Some of them give off a delicious perfume, especially at night. The extent of this genus is very great, and constant additions are being made to it by the collections of travellers. The greatest proportion are inhabitants of the South of Europe and North of Africa. Don, in Miller's Dictionary, enumerates 256 species of this genus; of these we shall give a few examples of the more common and interesting forms.

S acuulis, stemless Catchfly, or Moss Campion whole plant glabrous, cespitose; leaves linear, ciliated at the base; peduncles solitary, 1-flowered; petals crowned, slightly notched. It is a native of Europe, and is found abundantly on the Alps. It is found on nearly all the Scottish mountains, and also on Snowdon, and the highest hills of Devonshire. Chamisso also gathered it on the islands of the western coast of North America. The flowers are of a beautiful purple colour, and it forms one of the greatest ornaments of our Alpine flora. Several varieties of this plant have been recorded, varying chiefly in the form and existence of parts of the flower.

ed; leaves lanceolate, lower ones obtuse; calyx very villous, with short teeth; petals roundish, entire, with toothed appendages. The petals of this plant are of a deep crimson with pale edges, giving them the appearance of having been stained with blood in the centre; hence their specific name. It is a native of Spain, France, and Italy, and has been found in the county of Kent in Great Britain. It is frequent in gardens, but loses by cultivation much of the colour of its flowers.

S. muscipula, Spanish or Fly-trap Catchfly: plant smoothish, clammy; stem erect; branches alternate, long; lower leaves lanceolate, upper ones linear; flowers panicled; calyx clavate, netted; petals bifid. It is a native of Spain, with intensely red petals. It is exceedingly clammy, so that when flies alight on it they are caught; and hence the name Catchfly, which is given to the whole genus, though few of the species possess the property.

S. fruticosa, shrubby Catchfly: stem shrubby at the base, much branched, tufted; flowering stems simple; leaves obovate, dark-green, permanent, ciliated, particularly towards the base; flowers crowded; calyx clavate; petals deeply emarginate, obtuse, with 4-parted appendages. This plant is a native of Sicily and of the island of Cyprus, and grows among rocks. It is frequently cultivated in gardens, and makes a handsome ornament.

S. compacta, close-flowered Catchfly plant glabrous, glaucous; stem erect, branched; leaves ovate-cordate, ses sile; flowers crowded into dense corymbs; calyx very long; petals entire, obovate, crowned. It is a native of Russia, and very nearly resembles the S. armeria, but is distinguished by its entire petals. It is one of the most beautiful of the genus, and deserves a place in every collection of flowers. In the cultivation of the species of Silene no great art is required. The hardy kinds may be planted in the open border, and the smaller species are well adapted for rock work. The seeds of the hardy annual kinds may be sown in the beginning of the spring, where they are to remain The perennial kinds are best increased by dividing them at the roots in the spring. The greenhouse kinds thrive best in a rich light soil; the cuttings of shrubby species should be placed under a hand-glass.

SILE'NUS (2ɛλnvóc), a Greek deity. The traditions of his birth are various he is said to be son of Pan, of a nymph, of the earth, and to have sprung from the blood of Uranus. He was the instructor of Bacchus, a lawgiver and prophet, sometimes confounded with Bacchus himself, of the family of Satyrs, whom he resembled very much in appearance and habits. He is represented as an old man, bald, with a beard, and depressed nose, sometimes with a tail, at times holding the infant Bacchus in his arms, or with a wine-skin on his shoulders. He has a conspicuous place in the Bacchic chorus, and occurs in various combination with fauns and nymphs. Though endowed with supernatural wisdom, he is of a comic disposition; his whole character is a mixture of jest and earnest; he is harmless, sportive, fond of children, addicted to wine; sometimes he rides on his ass reeling and supported by a satyr; is said to have conducted Bacchus from Thrace to Phrygia; and to have been ensnared by Midas in a garden, and compelled to exert his marvellous power of speech. His discourse was of the second world, of the land of Meropis, and of its strange men, beasts, and plants, of the origin of things and birth of the gods, and he showed the miserable condition of this present life. In all that he uttered was an irony consistent with his motley character. The ass by which he is accompanied has given rise to many conjectures; the Bacchic myths and those of Apollo speak of this animal as sacred to both deities. It may therefore be considered as the link uniting the two worships, and we find accordingly Apollo called the son of Silenus. (Porphyry, Vit. Pythag, p. 10, ed. Rome, 1630.) Attempts have been made by Bochart and others to connect Silenus with the name Shiloh in Scripture, and his ass with that of Balaam. Other imaginary resemblances are noticed by Creuzer (Symbolik), founded on the theory that the ass is the symbol of prophecy in the East. The myth of Silenus has been further thought by Creuzer to have reference to cosmogony. He quotes Porphyry (Euseb., Pr. Ev., iii., p. 110, Cologne, 1687) in support of this opinion, and considers Silenus as the half-embodied soul of the universe, the struggle of the shapeless into shape, or, to speak physically, the moist breath which, according to the EgypS. quinquevulnerata, five-wounded Catchfly.stems branch-tian and old Ionian philosophies, nourishes the stars.'

S. inflata, bladder Campion or Catchfly: stems branched; flowers numerous, panicled; calyx inflated, netted; petals deeply eloven, scarcely any crown; leaves ovato-lanceolate. This is a very common plant throughout Europe, and is met with in almost every field and wayside in Great Britain. Like most plants that are widely and largely diffused. many varieties of it have been recorded. This plant has been recommended to be cultivated in the garden on account of its edible properties. The shoots gathered young, when about two inches high, and boiled, are a good substitute for green peas or asparagus. They are thus eaten by the natives of Zante, and in 1685 the inhabitants of Minorca are said to have been saved from famine, oceasioned by a swarm of locusts, by using this plant as food.

S. noctiflora, night-flowering Catchfly: panicles forked; petals bifid; calyx with long teeth, oblong in fruit, with ten connected ribs; leaves lanceolate, lower ones spathulate; whole plant clammy, pubescent. It is a native of Sweden, Germany, and Great Britain; it resembles very much the common red and white campion (Lychnis dioica). It is not a common plant, and is remarkable for opening its flowers at night only, and in warm weather, when they exhale a powerful and delicious scent.


This theory is made still further to interpret the connection | 4950 feet above the level of the sea, the Glatz Mountains, &c. between Silenus and Bacchus, and the various modes in In the interior there are some ranges unconnected with the which he is represented on antient monuments: the argu- great chain-the principal of which is the Zobtengebirge, ments on which it rests are however too numerous and in- 2318 feet above the level of the sea. On the right side of the tricate to be here entered upon. Oder, from the part where its course is to the northward, the high land disappears, and those immense plains begin which characterise this part of Europe. The Oder, called by the common people the Ader, that is, the vein,' comes from Moravia, and receives all its rivers, with the exception of some on the frontiers. The principal are the Elsa, the Klodnitz, the Slober, and the Bartsch, on the right side; the Oppa, the Neisse, the Ohlau, and the Katzbach, on the left. There are few lakes, and those which are so called are rather large ponds. The largest are the Koschnitz, Moswitz, and Schlawer lakes. The last is however four miles in length, but nowhere above a mile in breadth. The climate varies very much in the different parts of the province. The air on the whole is very mild, except in the mountainous tracts; but in proportion as we approach the southern frontier, the temperature becomes lower, and the winter longer and more severe, which is owing to the elevation of the country, to the extensive forests, and partly to the lofty Carpathians and the winds that come from them.

The distinction between Sileni and Satyrs does not appear very clearly made out. According to authorities quoted by Creuzer, the Sileni are the older of the two. The terms were certainly not co-extensive; that of Satyr may be considered as the genus. They were mostly represented in the same manner, with beards, tails, and pricked ears like beasts. In the procession of Ptolemy Philadelphus (Athen., v. 197) they were dressed differently from each other, and the Sileni have sometimes a more human form. See Creuzer's 'Symbolik,' and Grüber's Worterbuch der Mythologie,' for representations of Silenus; Millin's Galérie Mythologique,' and the various works on gems, sculpture, vases, and other monuments of classical antiquity.

SILESIA. This country, which is now divided between Prussia and Austria, was once inhabited by the Lygii and Quadi, who, in the sixth century, were forced to yield to the pressure of a Slavonian tribe from Poland, by which event Silesia became subject to that country. Under the dominion of Poland, the Polish language and manners, which still remain in the eastern parts of the province, and the Christian religion, were introduced. To promote the latter a bishopric was founded in 906, at Schmogor, which was afterwards transferred to Breslau. The country being in course of time divided and subdivided among the descendants of Boleslaus III., king of Poland, numerous small principalities arose. Being weakened by these divisions, and by the dissensions between the princes, it was subdued by the king of Bohemia in the fourteenth century. Under the dominion of Bohemia the doctrines of Huss, Luther, and Calvin gained ground, and their adherents obtained the partial exercise of their religion. With the Polish princes Polish manners and customs disappeared; everything was placed on the same footing as in Germany; trade, manufactures, arts, and sciences flourished. The prosperity of the country would have been greater in former times, had not the Protestants been so much oppressed under the Austrian government. Austria, which obtained possession of Silesia, together with Bohemia, in the early part of the sixteenth century, retained it undisturbed till the death of the emperor Charles VI. in 1740, on which Frederic II. of Prussia revived a dormant claim to the western part of Silesia, which he immediately invaded; and the greater part was eeded to him in 1742, and confirmed to him by the treaties of Dresden, in 1745, and of Hubertsburg, in 1763. Austria retained the smaller portion.

Natural Productions.-The animals are-horses, horned cattle, sheep, goats, swine, game, fish, bees, and domestic poultry. Wolves are found on the Zobtengebirge, otters in the Bober, and sometimes beavers in the Oder. The vegetable products are-corn, pulse, garden vegetables, fruit, flax, tobacco, hops, madder, woad, leazle, and timber. The minerals are copper, lead, cobalt, arsenic, iron, and zinc. This last metal is found in Silesia and in the adjoining republic of Cracow in far greater quantities than in any other country in Europe. Other mineral products are sulphur, marble, alum, lime, and, above all, coal, of which from two millions to two millions and a half tons are annually obtained, which are worth from 100,000%. to 130,000%. sterling.

SILESIA (in German, Schlesien), the Prussian Province of, is situated between 49° 40′ and 52° 8′ N. lát., and between 14°25′ and 19° 15′ E. long. It is bounded on the north-west by Brandenburg; on the north-east by Posen; on the east by Poland; on the south-east by Cracow and Galicia; on the south by Austrian Silesia; and on the south-west by Bohemia. Including the county of Glatz, and the Prussian part of Upper Lusatia, its area is 15,600 square miles. The province is 210 miles in length from north-east to south-west, and from 70 to 80 miles in breadth from east to west. The river Oder, which becomes navigable soon after entering the Prussian boundary, divides the province in its whole length into two nearly equal parts, which are very different from each other. That on the left bank, which is called the German side, is mountainous, but has a very fertile soil, which amply rewards the labour of the husbandman, and supplies almost the whole province. That on the right bank, called the Polish side, is very different; it consists chiefly of a sandy and not very fruitful soil. There are however some sandy tracts on the German side, and some rich and productive spots on the Polish side. The country is highest on the south-eastern frontier, and declines more towards the north-western frontier, where it is the lowest.

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Where the frontiers of Silesia and Bohemia meet, a mountain-chain rises, which extends southwards to the Sources of the Breswa and the Ostrawitza, where it joins the Carpathians, divides the basin of the Oder on the one side from those of the Elbe and Danube on the other, and forms the natural boundary between Silesia and Bohemia and Moravia. This chain, called by the general name of the Sudetic chain, is divided into different parts, bearing different names, as the Isergebirge, the Riesengebirge, the loftiest and wildest part of the whole chain, the Schneekoppe, which is

Though Silesia is on the whole one of the most fertile and best-cultivated provinces of the Prussian monarchy, and produces much corn, so that in good years it can export a portion to Bohemia, yet, as it is very densely populated, it has not sufficient in unfavourable years for its own consumption, and is obliged to import. The cultivation of potatoes has become much more general of late years.

The manufactures of Silesia are of the greatest importance, and that of linen has existed from a very remote time. It is carried on with little aid from machinery, and chiefly by the country-people, though this branch of industry affords them but a scanty subsistence; it is however their chief occupation. Dieterici says:- A third part of all the looms at work in the Prussian dominions, viz. 12,799 out of 36,879, is in Silesia. The linen annually manufactured in Silesia is estimated at between eight and nine millions of dollars (1,333,000l. to 1,500,000Z.). Uncertain as such estimates are, the quantity exported may be assumed to be worth between three and four millions of dollars. Woollen cloths are manufactured in some towns, and cottons at Reichenbach. There are sugar-houses in several places; tanneries at Breslau and Schweidnitz, and breweries and brandy-distilleries in most of the towns. With respect to spinning and weaving, we may observe that machinery is beginning to be introduced into some larger manufactories. The population of the province, which at the end of 1837 was stated at 2,679,473, had increased, at the end of 1840, to 2,868,820. They are mostly Germans, and some Slavonians of Polish origin. About half the inhabitants are Protestants, and the remainder Roman Catholics, besides about 18,000 Jews: all have the free exercise of their religion. The province is divided into the three governments of Breslau, Öppeln, and Lieg nitz; and has twenty towns with above 5000 inhabitants, as noted in the statistical table in the article PRUSSIA. All the most important of these towns are described under their respective heads.

AUSTRIAN SILESIA is that part of the province which was retained by Austria in the treaty of Hubertsburg in 1763 It is united with Moravia, with which it forms one province. It is bounded on the north-west, north, and north-east by Prussian Silesia, on the east by Galicia, on the south by Hungary and Moravia, and on the south-west by Moravia. The area is about 1750 square miles, with 430,000 inhabitants, who are partly of German and partly of Slavonian origin. Next to the kingdoms of Lombardy and Venice, it is the most densely peopled part of the Austrian dominions.

The country is mountainous, and on the south-east are the Carpathians (of which the Sigula is 4300 feet high), and on the north-west the Moravian-Silesian chain, a branch of the Sudetes. Near the Carpathians, and about the source of the Oppa and the Mohra, the climate is cold, and the mountains are partly covered with snow till the middle of June. The southern part of the circle of Teschen is not fruitful, the soil being stony; in other parts it is better. The principal rivers are the Oder, with its tributaries the Oelsa and the Oppa; the Vistula (in German, the Weichsel) rises on the north side of the Carpathians from three sources, called the Little, the White, and the Black Vistula; this last rises in the village of Weichsel, at the foot of the Tankowberg, which village gives its name (Weichsel) to the whole river.

The inhabitants have a very good breed of horses, and of oxen, and especially a very improved breed of sheep. They are very skilful and industrious farmers. The manufactures, especially those of linen and woollen cloth, are very important. The exports are linen, thread, woollen cloth, wire, paper, earthenware, cheese, flax, rosoglio, &c. The transit trade is very profitable: the chief articles are Hungarian and Austrian wines, Russia leather, tallow, linseed, and furs; Galician rock-salt, Moldavian oxen, Vienna fancygoods, &c. [Moravia; TeschEN; TROPPAU.]


SILHET, or SYLHET, is a district of Bengal, lying along its eastern border, on the east side of the Megna, as the lower course of the Brahmapootra is called. Up to the year 1830 it consisted only of what must now be called Silhet Proper, or a country situated between 24° and 25° N. lat., and 91° and 92° 30′ E. long., which, according to the most recent information, contained about 4500 square miles, and a population of 1,083,120, which gives 241 to the square mile. It is about 1300 square miles less than Yorkshire, but more populous, as Yorkshire, in 1831, did not contain more than 235 persons to the square mile. In 1830 the royal family of Kashar, a country east of Silhet, became extinct; and a few years later the raja or sovereign of Jyntea, a country north of Silhet, was obliged to give up his territory to the British, and both countries were annexed to Silhet. These two countries taken together are at least three times as large as Silhet Proper, and the district at present contains about 18,000 square miles, or two-thirds of the area of Ireland. Silliet, in this extent, lies between 24° 10′ and 26° 20' N. lat., and between 90° and 94° E. long. On the west it borders on Bengal, on the district of Mymansing, and on the mountain-region of the Garrows; on the north on Asam, on the east on Muneepoor, and on the south it is bounded by the unknown region called the Tiperah Mountains or Wilderness. It is only towards Muneepoor that it has a natural boundary, which is formed by the course of the river Barak, where it runs from south to north, east of 93° E. long., and by two of its confluents, the Jeeree, which joins it from the north, and the Tooyaee, or Chikoo, which falls into it from the south.

small town situated somewhat to the south of their southern termination. But in proceeding farther east, the mountainmass rises gradually in elevation, and occupies a greater breadth. In 90° 20′ E. long. it has attained a general elevation of more than 2000 feet above the sea-level, and occupies a width of about 50 miles. We are only acquainted with the outer border of this mountain-mass, where it consists of ridges broken by numerous watercourses, and is entirely covered with trees and dense underwood. Some isolated peaks rise 2000 feet above the general level of the mass. According to information collected from the natives, the interior of this elevated region is nearly a level tableland, destitute of trees, and covered only with grass; and this is probable, as it corresponds to the characteristic features of the mountain region farther east. Only the lower portion of the Garrow Mountains is subject to the British, and united to the three divisions of Bengal, Rangpoor, Mymansing, and Silhet. The interior, called Gonaser, or Ganeswara, is occupied by the Garrows, a mountain-tribe which has never been subjected by the princes of Bengal, as the country is only accessible by long and winding mountainpasses, which are so narrow as to be impracticable for horses or other beasts of burden: they are properly only paths over rugged crags, and along steep precipices, and through extremely narrow gorges. From these fastnesses the Garrows make incursions into the adjacent countries, and hence several tracts of some extent along the boundary of their country have been entirely abandoned. They cultivate rice, millet, and cotton, and use as food several plants which grow wild in the forests, as different kinds of arum, caladium, and dioscurias. They cultivate capsicum, onions, and garlic. They keep cows, goats, hogs, and eat cats, dogs, foxes, and snakes. Different kinds of deer are said to be common in Gonaser.

Adjacent to Gonaser on the east, and only separated from it by the river Patli, is the mountain region of the Kasias (Cossyas), which extends eastward to the river Kopili, an affluent of the Deyung, which falls into the Brahmapootra. This mountain region runs above 100 miles east and west, be tween 91° 10' and 93° E. long. ; and in proceeding eastward it gradually enlarges in breadth from 50 miles to about 70 miles. This portion of the mountain region is much better known than Gonaser, being subject to the British, who have traversed it at two places in passing from Silhet to Asam, and who have erected on it several sanatory stations, among which that of Chirra Punji is very much frequented. The western road leads from Pondua in Silhet, through Chirra Punji, Moiplong, Lombray, and Nungklao, to the banks of the river Kailasi, an affluent of the Brahmapootra, and to the low land of Asam. The traveller, passing by a steep ascent over four ridges, arrives at Chirra Punji, which is 5000 feet above the sea-level. Here begins a table-land, the surface of which is often level, but generally exhibits very gentle slopes, which continues to Nungklao. The most elevated points are at Moiplong (5942 feet) and Lombray (5914 feet). At Nungklao it is only 4550 feet. North of the last-mentioned place it sinks by three wide terraces with steep descents to the plain of Asam. The table-land is entirely destitute of trees and bushes, especially in the southern parts. This sterility, as Fisher thinks, is closely connected with the character of the sandstone-rocks of which the mountain-mass is composed, and with the disturbance of the strata, but more especially the latter; for where the strata are horizontal, there is an absence of vegetation, and where the strata are inclined, The Mountain Region, of which Silhet now comprehends symptoms of fertility begin to show themselves. Throughnearly one-half, extends along the southern border of Asam, out the ascent from the plains of Silhet to Chirra Punji, and at its most eastern extremity, near 97° E. long. and the vegetation is only dense on the slopes; and where 28° 40′ N. lat., at the sources of the Lohit river, or Brah- ledges or steppes occur, it is comparatively barren. The mapootra, it is united to the high table-land of Central table-land itself is covered with a short turf, and there Asia. Its western extremity comes close to the Brahma- occur only a few bushes, as raspberries; stunted fir-tiees pootra, where this river, after leaving Asam, forms its only occur in the glens which are formed by the rivergreat bend to the south (90° E. long.). The western courses-as, for instance, in that of the Bogapani. To the portion of this extensive mountain region is called the north of this river the aspect of the country changes graGarrow Mountains, which are considered to extend east-dually; and though the elevation is greater, the vegetation ward to the river Patli, which, traversing the mountain increases, and continues to increase, until in the vicinity of region in a southern direction, joins the Soorma near the Nungklao it becomes abundant, though it does not exhibit town of Laour (91° 10' E. lat.). The most western offset that excess which prevails farther to the north, on the lower of the Garrow Mountains skirts the banks of the Brahma- descent of the table-land towards Asam. This change is attripeotra, between the mouth of the river Lalu and the village buted to the numerous large granite boulders which are scatof Mahendragandj. a distance of about twelve miles. Along tered in great abundance over the country. The disintegra the banks of the river the mountains are merely rocks, from tion of these boulders has largely contributed to the forma 150 to 200 feet above the level of the river, rising with a tion of the soil, especially where it has been favoured by the steep ascent. They are called the Caribari Rocks, from a configuration of the surface. But in those tracts where

Surface and Soil-Silhet is naturally divided into two regions. The northern part is a mountain region, which extends along the southern boundary of Asam, and divides that large vale from the valley of the Barak, which river, as far as it drains Silhet, runs through a wide valley that constitutes the low and level portion of Silhet. The mountain region comprehends about two-thirds of the country, or 12,000 square miles, and the plain about one-third.


there are no boulders, and the strata preserve their hori- to skirt the southern banks of the Sumoona, an affluent of zontal position, vegetation is deficient. The climate at the Deyung, the country north of that river constitutChirra Punji is very temperate and pleasant, especially be- ing a portion of the plain of Asam. It is much more thickly tween November and March. Neither snow nor frost inhabited than the table-land of the Kasia Mountains. A occurs; but in December and January hoar-frost is very very large portion of it is fit for agriculture, and the small common. The sky is generally clear, but violent showers progress that both agriculture and population have made is frequently occur. The almost continual coolness of the air, mainly if not exclusively to be attributed to the unsettled and the absence of frost, has pointed out this place as a state in which the country has been for a long time, under convalescent station. Near Moiplong however frost occurs the sway of petty sovereigns, who were never able to even in November, as the thermometer then descends to 21°. defend their subjects against the incursions of the bold Nungklao has a more pleasant climate. The earlier part tribes who inhabit the mountains, especially the Angamee of the summer is not much warmer at that place than in Nagas. Some large tracts are quite uninhabited, though the London, as the thermometer ranges between 65° and 74°. vigorous growth of the trees shows the excellent quality of Cultivation appears only on the southern declivity, and the soil. But along the large rivers and in their neighbourin the neighbourhood of Nungklao, where rice is grown in hood cultivated tracts and villages are numerous, and will considerable quantity. On the southern declivity of the increase, since the British have compelled the Angameo mountain-mass many fruits are cultivated, as oranges, plan- Nagas to keep quiet. The inhabitants cultivate rice, and tains, and the areca palm; and much honey and wax is in the valleys of the hilly and mountainous part of the councollected. On the northern declivity, where fir-trees cover try several kinds of coarser grain are grown; there is also a large tracts of land, European fruit-trees grow, especially very fine-flavoured kind of purple vetch. About the vilapples, pears, and plums, and also strawberries and rasp-lages of the more elevated region there are groves of peachberries. The eastern road traverses the Kasia Mountains, be- trees in the most luxuriant state, and the apple-tree grows tween 92° and 92° 20′ E. long, from the town of Jynteapoor, wild and produces a well-tasted fruit. The bay-leaf and a the capital of the former kingdom of Jyntea, to Raha very small kind of orange are also natives of these moun Choky in Asam, situated where the Deyung unites with tains. Cloth is made of a nettle, which is procurable in the river Kulung. The southern edge of the mountain great abundance. On the lower hills cotton and chillies region, which is only a few miles distant from Jynteapoor, are grown as articles of commerce, and in these parts also seems to be formed by a ridge which is considerably elevated much wax and honey is collected. The cultivation of the above the table-land farther_north, and which is traversed lower and level country resembles that of Asam, being simiby the mountain pass of Mutagul. North of this ridge lar in climate and soil, but no part of it is subject to annual lies a plain, about 2000 feet above the sea-level, whose sur- inundations. face is undulating, and in some parts hilly, but it is covered only with thick grass, without bushes or trees, except that in a few places, and at great distances from one another, small groves of firs or other trees are met with. It certainly might be used as pasture-ground, especially as the climate is very mild; but the few inhabitants say that they are prevented from keeping cattle by their neighbours, who frequently make predatory incursions into their country. This table-land occupies a width of 50 miles along the road. The northern edge is less distinctly marked, and the descent occupies about twelve miles. The nature of the table-land precludes agriculture; but in the northern districts rice is raised in considerable quantity, particularly in the small glens and on the sides of the valleys, where irrigation is practised, water being brought to the fields through narrow canals, and conveyed over hollows and up heights for short distances by means of trunks of trees and bamboos. Rice and yams are cultivated, and a kind of coarse silk called mong is collected on the trees.

That portion of the mountain region which lies east of the Kopili and Deyung rivers, and extends eastward to the river Dooyong and the boundary of Muneepoor, comprehends Upper Kachar, and is called the Kachar Mountains. It is likewise a table land, the southern edge of which is marked by an elevated range, which continues to run east to 93° 12' E. long, when it turns north-east and continues in that direction till it approaches 94° E. long., where it again runs east and stretches into an unknown country. Where this range runs north-east it is called the Bura Ail Mountains, and attains a mean elevation of 6000 feet above the sea-level. It is covered with large trees and light underwood. The southern declivity of the Bura Ail Mountains is very little known, but it seems to be certain that this side of the range is intimately connected with the three ridges which traverse the western portion of Muneepoor, and by running north and south unite the mountain region which we are now noticing with the extensive mountain-system of Tiperah. The ridges are called, from west to east, the Keibunda, Kubitshing, and Muneepoor Mountains. These chains and their numerous short offsets render the western portion of Muneepoor a rapid succession of elevated ridges and deep and narrow valleys. The country which lies north of the Bura Ail Mountains, both near the range and to the distance of 10 or 12 miles, is covered with the high offsets of the range, and has an entirely mountainous character. North of this comparatively narrow mountain-tract the surface of the country is nilly. Most of the hills are isolated, but in some places they form ridges. This hilly tract occupies a width of about | 20 miles, and it is followed by a plain. Both the hilly and level country are almost entirely covered with forests. The norther edge of the table-land is marked by a range of low hills, and a gentle descent, the greater part of which seems

The Plain. Along the southern base of the mountain region hitherto noticed there is a plain, or rather a vale, for along its southern side the mountain-system of Tiperah rises to a great height. The length of this vale may be about 120 miles, and the width in the western half about 50 miles on an average, but towards the east it narrows to 30 and even 20 miles, until it is shut up by the Keibunda range, which lies near the boundary and within the territories of Muneepoor. As to the configuration of its surface and the capacities of the soil, it may be divided into two portions. A line drawn from Chattac on the Soorma, south-west of Pondua (91° 40′ E. long.), passing in a south by west direction west of Tajpur, through Nubigunj and thence to the hills south-east of Turruf near the Tiperah Mountains, very nearly separates these two tracts. The country west of this line is very low and level, and constitutes properly a portion of the lower portion of the plain of Bengal. It is in most parts marshy, and the whole is subject, like the greater part of Lower Bengal, to periodical inundations of long duration, being in general under water from April to the middle of November. These inundations are partly the effect of the heavy rains which fall during the south-west monsoon, and partly of the immense volume of water which is brought down by the rivers during that season, especially by those which drain the mountain-system of Tiperah, the Manu, Khwa-hi, and Cognati. This lower tract is called Bhatta. The towns and villages, which in some parts, especially to the south, are numerous, are built on mounds of earth; huts, temples, mosques, and sheds for cattle are huddled together. When the inundations are at their height, there are from 8 to 12 feet water on the lower grounds. As soon as they have sufficiently subsided, or in the beginning of November, such lands as are high enough for the purpose are sown with rice and millet; the crop is cut in April. The lands yield only one crop. There appear occasionally a little sursoo and hemp, with some gourds and cucumbers about the huts. The marshes are however filled with cattle, from which profit is derived sufficient to make the occupa tion of these desolate tracts desirable. Ghee and cheese are made from the milk of buffaloes and cows, and the upper country, which lies farther east, is furnished with young bullocks for the plough. During the inundations the cattle are confined to the sheds and feed on green fodder brought in boats from the jhils or marshy tracts.

From this low country a few tracts of low and level land extend eastward of the line above indicated. They run up for several miles, more especially between the courses of the great rivers, where they form jhils of great depth, which are uncultivable. The remainder of the eastern division has a higher level, and rises gradually towards the mountains on both sides. This country is in general dry, though there are some marshes of small extent. The surface of this divi

sion presents great irregularities. It is crossed by several ranges of alluvial formation, which run up into ridges from one to three hundred feet high, and the valleys between rise gently towards each side. The banks of the Soorma and all the mountain rivers are also considerably elevated above the general level; the tracts which lie near the swampy places, and are not much elevated above their level, are under water for some weeks, and yield only one crop. They are sown in January, and the short inundation does not damage the grain. The crops are much more abundant than in the Bhatta. The more elevated parts, which are never inundated, and especially the slopes of the ridges, yield two crops of grain, which are generally good. Some experiments which have been made show that wheat, barley, oats, and potatoes might be raised. All the grains found in the plains of the Ganges are cultivated. Indigo is not cultivated, but an excellent dye very similar to it is obtained from a plant which grows wild on the hills. Poppy, sugar-cane, safflower, sursoo and other plants yielding oil, and also hemp and flax are grown. Orange-trees and the areca are cultivated on the declivities of the Kasia Mountains, and large quantities of the produce are annually sent to Calcutta and other places in Bengal. Areca of inferior quality is found all over Silhet, but it deteriorates in quality towards the east, and in Kachar it wholly disappears. Among other fruits the plantain is particularly fine, the lemon grows wild in the Kasia Mountains, and the apricot and lichi in those of Kachar. It is thought that the teaplant would succeed in some of the alluvial soils of Kachar or Tiperah.

The Tiperah Mountains, which lie to the south of the plain hitherto noticed, belong to Silhet only so far as a portion of their lower declivities is included within the boundary of the district. We are not acquainted with the interior of this extensive mountain-system. The central parts, between 23° and 24° N. lat. and 91° and 94° E. long., probably attain a great elevation, which may be inferred from the great volume of water brought down by the rivers which fall from the south into the Soorma and Kusiara, as the Delaseri, the Sungai, the Munu, the Khwa-hi, and the Cognati; and from their rapid course. During the rains each of these rivers discharges on an average a volume of about 25,000 cubic feet per second, though none of them are more than 50 yards wide. It is certain that they have a long course, and descend from very elevated country. The northern portion of this mountain-region, towards Silhet, as well as that which towards the south enters the district of Chittagong, consists of ranges running south and north, divided by wide valleys. Some of these ranges enter the northern plain, as the Banca Mountains, which extend along the western banks of the Delaseri, and the Bokman range in Kachar, which compels the river Barak to change its southern course into a northern one. Immense masses of lava occur even on the northern ranges of the Tiperah Mountains, and it is supposed that this is the termination of the long series of volcanoes which stretch from the island of Java northward through Sumatra, Barren Island, the island of Narcondam, and those of Cheduba and Ramri on the coast of Arracan, where the traces of volcanic agency are lost: they appear again in the Mountains of Tiperah. The southern declivities of the Tiperah Mountains are noted for immense forests of bamboo and large herds of elephants. The northern declivities are also covered with forests of trees and bamboos, from which the inhabitants of the plain derive great profit, but they resort also to these hills to cultivate cotton, which does not grow in the plain. The quantity of cotton which is raised is barely sufficient for domestic consumption. It is short in staple, but the cloths made from it combine warmth with lightness.

windings through the upper plain in one channel for 40 miles, but having passed the northern extremity of the Banca ridge, it begins to divide at Banga. In these parts the name of Soorma begins to prevail. The northern arm, or the Soorma, flows along the southern base of the Kasia Mountains with numerous windings, sometimes approaching the hills and sometimes receding from them, until it reaches the town of Sonamgunj after a course of 90 miles, when it turns southward, and in that direction traversing the lower plain, joins the southern arm after having run 70 miles. The southern arm of the river branching off at Banga bears different names, but in its upper course it is generally known by that of Kusiara, and in the lower by that of Barak or Brak. Its direction through the plain is west-south-west for about 100 miles, when it joins the Soorma, and the united river joins the Megna near Sunerampoor by a more southern course of about 20 miles. These appear to be the principal branches of the river, but both of them divide and subdivide again so frequently, that the whole of the lower plain is traversed by numerous watercourses, all of which join, either singly or united, the Megna between the town of Caribari and that of Sunerampoor, which are more than 100 miles from one another. Nearly all these watercourses are navigable for boats, and greatly facilitate the transport of grain from the upper plain of Silhet to other districts of Bengal. It is observed that these rivers are subject to change their beds in the districts which approach the Megna, which is the case with the Soorma itself below Azmerigunj.


Of the rivers which join the Brahmapootra or Lohit, we shall only mention the Dooyung and the Deyung. The first-mentioned river, which falls into the Brahmapootra west of 94° E. long., probably rises north east of the source of the Barak, but its source has not been ascertained. Its course is nearly due north, and about 30 miles from its mouth it is joined on the left by the river Dhunsiri, which rises in the Bura Ail Mountains, and skirts their northern declivity for more than 30 miles. The Dooyung, as well as the Dhunsiri, is navigable. The Deyung rises in the Bura Ail Mountains near 93° E. long., and after having been joined by some small rivers it becomes navigable about 20 miles below its source at Aloogong (25° 25′ N. lat.), and continues to be navigable to its mouth, with the exception of one place, where a ledge of rocks traverses the bed of the river. The Deyung is joined from the left by the Kopili, and from the east by the Soomoona river, of which the latter is navigable about 30 miles above its mouth. It is not known how far the Kopili is navigable, but this important point will soon be ascertained, as it is supposed that a good road, made between the places where the Kopili and the Jatinga, an affluent of the Barak, become navigable, will establish an easy communication between Asam and the plain of Silhet.

Climate. The climate of the lower plain does not appear to differ in any respect from that of Bengal [BENgal, vol. iv., p. 230]; but the upper plain has the advantage of earlier rains, which begin to fall in February, and become more abundant in the following months. Owing probably to these rains, the lower plain of Silhet is under water earlier than that of Lower Bengal.

Productions. In the forests of the Tiperah Mountains there are herds of elephants, many of which are annually sent to Calcutta, where however they are reckoned inferior in size and quality to those brought from Chittagong. Among the minerals the chunam, or lime, perhaps is still the most important, as large quantities of it are taken from the lime-hills which skirt the Garrow and Kasia Mountains at Pondua and farther west, whence it is conveyed by water to Calcutta and other places in Bengal. Many years Rivers. The largest of the rivers of Silhet is called in ago coal was discovered in the Garrow and Kasia Mounthe upper part of its course Barak, and in the lower part tains, but it was not turned to any profit until the introducSoorma. The Barak originates in the mountain region tion of steam-navigation. It is now known that coal is north of the plain of Muneepoor [MUNEE POOR], near 25° 30' found on the table-land of the Kasia Mountains at ChirraN. lat. and 94° 20′ E. long, and traverses in a south-Punji and Serarim, and at the base of these mountains near west and south by west direction the mountain region Sillet and Laour. But none of these coal-deposits seem to which connects the Tiperah Mountains with the Bura Ail be extensive. It is however stated that those which occur range. After a course exceeding a hundred miles, it meets in the Caribari Hills and along the southern boundaries of with the Bokman ridge of the Tiperah Mountains, which Asam, both which localities are within the Garrow Moun compels the river to change its southern into a northern tains, are not inferior in extent to any in England. Iron-ore course. Flowing in that direction 30 miles, it turns round is abundant in the Kasia Mountains north of Chirra-Punji, the northern extremity of the Bokman ridge westward, and where it is worked, and whence iron is sent to Bengal. thus enters the plain, where it begins to be navigable, a few Inhabitants. The inhabitants of Silhet Proper are Benmiles above Lukipoor. It runs westward with numerous galis, and hardly distinguishable from that race in the dis

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