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India to preserve a respectable appearance in the eyes of the natives. We spent three weeks in this delightful tour, although the distance did not exceed two hundred miles. December, January, and February, are the best months for travelling in Guzerat ; the mornings and evenings are cold, and the whole day temperate and pleasant.. The thermometer at sun-rise is frequently under 60°, sometimes considerably lower, and at noon, until the warmest time of the day, seldom exceeds 70°; during the hot winds in the succeeding months, although the mornings may be tolerably cool, the thermometer gradually rises from 70 to 100°.
On leaving Baroche and its extensive suburbs, we travelled twelve miles near the banks of the Nerbudda, to our first encampment, under Cubbeer-Burr, (ficus Indica) one of the most magnificent banian-trees in India, which I have so often mentioned, as forming a canopy of verdant foliage impenetrable to a tropical sun, extending over a circumference of two thousand feet.
The birds, monkeys, and serpents abounding in Cubbeer-Burr are well known. The enormous bats which darken its branches frequently exceed six feet in length from the tip of each wing; and from their resemblance to that animal, are not improperly called flying-foxes.' Bats of this magnitude are a kind of monster extremely disagreeable both in smell and appearance. They must have been the harpies mentioned by Virgil :
“ When from the mountain-tops with hideous cry,
These large bats, like the rest of their species, suspend themselves by the claw or hook on the wings, with their heads downwards, when they repose or eat, in which posture they hang by thousands in the shades of Cubbeer-Burr. · Archdeacon Paley remarks, that “ the hook in the wing of a bat is strictly a mechanical, and also a compensating contrivance. At the angle of its wing there is a bent claw, exactly in the form of a hook, by which the bat attaches itself to the sides of rocks, caves, and buildings, laying hold of crevices, joinings, chinks, and roughnesses. It hooks itself by this claw, remains suspended by this hold, takes its flight from this position, which operations compensate for the decrepitude of its legs and feet. Without her hook, the bat would be the most helpless of all animals. She can neither run upon her feet, nor raise herself from the ground; these inabilities are made up to her by the contrivance in her wing; and in placing a claw in that part, the Creator has deviated from the analogy observed on winged animals. A singular defect required a singular substitute.”
As some of the monkey tribe seem to unite the brute to the human species, in the great chain of creation, so the bat forms the link between birds and beasts. Naturalists have disputed to which class they belong. Pliny and the ancients place them among the feathered race ; the moderns, with greater propriety, arrange them with quadrupeds. Like a bird they have wings, and the power of flying ; unlike the oviparous tribes, they bring forth their young alive, and suckle them the mouth is furnished with very sharp teeth, and shaped like that of a fox.
The most disagreeable inhabitants of this verdant caravansary are snakes, which in great variety dwell among the branches; some malignant, others inno
The monkeys destroy a number of these reptiles ; sufficient still remain to cause anxiety in a sojourner before his slumbering siesta, or nightly repose ; yet it is extraordinary how few accidents happen from venomous creatures in India, where the natives in travelling are accustomed only to spread a mat, or cotton carpet, on the hearth when they sleep.' I have occasionally mentioned circumstances irreconcileable to Europeans, constantly occurring among the Hindoos. I insert another anecdote respecting the bite of a serpent, and the consequences which took place at Baroche the year before I made this excursion ; I shall only affirm that my relation is an unembellished matter of fact, from which I do not pretend to draw any conclusion.
At Baroche I was intimate with a Banian named Lullabhy, the richest man in the city, and of great influence in the purgunna. He was universally believed to possess the power of curing the bite of venomous serpents, by a knowledge peculiar to himself, which he never imparted to another. By this art he certainly recovered many natives from a desperate state, after being wounded by the cobra-di-capello, and the scarlet snake of Cubbeer-Burr, without touching the patient or prescribing any thing inwardly. The talent of Lullabhy seemed to have no affinity with that of the ancient Psylli, or the modern snake.charmers, but probably was not unlike the science professed by Mesmer or Dr. de Mainoduc ; be that as it may, his fame for effecting these cures was every where established.
Mr. Perrott, then second in council, and some other of the civil servants at Baroche, were satisfied with a cure of which they had been frequent witnesses.
Of all the Europeans I was acquainted with in India, Mr. Robert Gambier, at that time chief of Baroche, was perhaps the most incredulous respecting talismans, charms, divinations, and preternatural pretensions of the Brahmins. His opinion of Lullabhy's talent was publicly known; a circumstance in his own garden now afforded a fair opportunity of detecting its fallacy. One of the under-gardeners working between the pavilions was bitten by a cobra-di-capello, and pronounced to be in danger. Mr. Gambier was then holding a council in an upper pavilion, and, at the desire of Mr. Perrott, immediately sent for Lullabhy, without informing him of the accident, of which he remained ignorant until ushered into the chief's presence. The gardener was lying on a slight bed of coir-rope, in a veranda adjoining the council-room. Being asked if he could effect a cure, Lullabhy modestly replied, that by God's blessing he trusted he should succeed. The poor wretch was at this time in great agony, and delirious ; he afterwards became torpid and speechless ; still Lullabhy was not permitted to commence his operation. The members of council anxiously waited the chief's permission, especially when Lullabhy asserted that any further loss of time would render it too late. Mr. Gambier examined the man's pulse by a stop-watch, and when convinced his dissolution was inevitably approaching, he allowed Lullabhy to exert his influence. After a short silent prayer, Lullabhy, in presence of all the company, waved his catarra, or short dagger, over the bed of the expiring man, with
out touching him. The patient continued for some time motionless ; in half an hour his heart appeared to beat, circulation quickened ; within the hour he moved his limbs and recovered his senses. At the expiration of the third hour Lullabhy had effected the cure. The man was sent home to his family, and in a few days recovered from the weakness occasioned by convulsive paroxysms, which probably would neither have been so severe or of such long continuance, had the counteracting power been sooner applied.
Lullabhy was not only one of the most opulent inen in Guzerat, but the principal zemindar of Baroche. He was extremely charitable, and daily appropriated a considerable sum of money to alms-giving and relieving persons in distress; no mendicant was dismissed from his gate without a measure of rice, or a mess of vegetable pottage mingled with meal. In time of dearth he distributed grain throughout the villages in the Baroche district; nor was his bounty confined to those of the Hindoo religion. He repaired public tanks and choultries for travellers, dug several common wells, and constructed a bowree, or large well, in the Baroche suburbs, with steps leading down to the water, all of hewn stone, in a very handsome style of architecture. A marble tablet placed over the fountain of this noble reservoir, contains a short inscription more expressive and beautiful in the Persian language than can be given in an English translation :
“ The bounties of Lullabhy are ever flowing."
About this time Lullabhy celebrated a splendid wedding for his son, a boy under five years