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before and after this, was entirely decorous and respectful. Indeed, not a single indication had occurred of an unfriendly or hostile spirit, on the part of the people, from our quitting Rangoon until our arrival at the capital. Among the spectators were a great many priests ; although the indulgence of curiosity, laudable or otherwise, is a thing expressly forbidden by the rules of their order.'-pp. 87, 88.
The journey from Rangoon to Ava was performed in thirty days, and might have been performed in twenty, had not the mission halted frequently, and been detained by having to tow a heavy boat along. The actual distance, according to computation, is about 540 miles; yet, during the freshes, a war-boat, proceeding day and night, has been known to go from Ava to Rangoon in four days, and to retun in ten.
During the stay of the mission at Ava, their residence was watched by a Burman guard ; but, as they were not prevented from making excursions, in whatever directions they pleased, into the fields, they bad numerous opportunities of observing the state of the country, and the condition and manners of the peasantry. In their intercourse with the agricultural portion of the Burmese population, they found them communicative and intelligent, and were, therefore, able to collect much valuable information respecting the methods of culture, and the various crops raised in the country. In all their excursions, they met great numbers of people, chiefly women, carrying heavy burdens, of different goods and wares, to market, upon their heads; the principal articles, generally, being cotton, fire-wood, and various species of coarse esculent greens, most, if not all, of which were culled from the marshes and forests.
For the first week after their arrival there was little or no rain, and although the mornings and evenings were pleasant, the weather was bot, and the sky cloudless. The husbandmen, however, in the neighbourhood of the metropolis were busy ploughing, and Mr. Crawfurd observes, that he counted twenty ploughs and harrows at work within the space of a few acres. Their agriculture is rude, and it is remarkable that their plough-shares, the only respectable part of the plough, are imported from China or Lao. Little or no manure is used, except in the betel-vine gardens. Reaping is performed, as in England, with the sickle; the corn is trodden out by oxen; and the straw is carefully preserved for fodder. The husbandmen, who are compelled to suspend their labours during the heat of the day, are generally in the field before sun-rise, and from three o'clock until sun-set, and upon an average labour about seven hours a day.
In the vicinity of the capital, wheat is cultivated in considerable quantity. It appears to have been introduced into the Burman empire in times comparatively modern, and is known by a name derived from the common language of Hindoostan. The Burmese have not yet learned to make it into bread, and only eat it boiled entire, mixed with coarse sugar or oil, and made into sweet cakes. In the markets of Ava it is about one third cheaper than rice, being about two shillings and sixpence per Winchester bushel. Our countrymen found it to be a plump and heavy grain, and the bread they made from it was well-tasted and remarkable for its whiteness, superior upon the whole to that made from the Patna wheat. This being the case, it is somewbat remarkable that the Burmese should bave hitherto neglected to enjoy the luxury of wheaten bread.
The mission at length obtained an audience of the Golden Foot, and the Palace and Hall of Audience are thus described :
• That portion of the Palace which contains the Hall of Audience, consists of a centre and two wings; the first containing the throne, and directly fronting the outer gates of the enclosure. The building is entirely of wood, with the exception of its many roofs, which are covered with plates of tin, in lieu of tiles. Over the centre is a tall and handsome spire, called by the Burmans a Pyat-thad, crowned by the Ti, or iron umbrella, which is an exclusive ornament of the Temple and Palace. The Hall of Audience is without walls, and open all around, except where the throne is placed. The roof is supported by a great number of handsome pillars, and is richly and tastefully carved. The whole fabric is erected upon a terrace of solid stone and lime, ten or twelve feet high, which constitutes the floor : this is so smooth, even, and highly polished, that I mistook it at first for white marble. With the exception of about fourteen or fifteen inches at the bottom of each pillar, painted of a bright red, the whole interior of the Palace is one blaze of gilding. The throne, which is at the back of the hall, is distinguished from the rest of the structure by its superior brilliancy and richness of decoration. The pedestal on which it stands is composed of a kind of mosaic of mirrors, coloured glass, gilding, and silver, after a style peculiar to the Burmans. Over it is a canopy richly gilt and carved, and the wall behind it is also highly embellished. The Palace is new, not having been occupied altogether above two years and a half; so that the gilding and ornaments were neither tarnished nor defaced, as we often found to be the case in other places. Although little reconcilable to our notions of good taste in architecture, the building is unquestionably most splendid and brilliant ; and I doubt whether so singular and imposing a royal edifice exist in any other country. It has the same form and proportions with that described by Colonel Symes, at Amarapura; but is larger, in the proportion of one hundred and twenty to ninety.
• There are three entrances to the Hall of Audience, by a fight of a few steps,-one at each wing, and one at the centre; the last being appropriated to the King alone. We entered by the stair which is to the right, at the bottom of which we voluntarily took off our shoes, as we had from the first agreed to do. We passed through the hall, and seated ourselves where our station was pointed out, in front of the throne, a little way to the King's left hand, the presents being directly in front of the throne. The King made his appearance in about ten minutes. His approach was announced by the sound of music, shortly after which a sliding door behind the throne opened with a quick and sharp noise. He mounted a flight of steps which led to the throne from behind with apparent difficulty, and as if tottering under the load of dress and ornaments on his person. His dress consisted of a tunic of gold tissue, ornamented with jewels. The crown was a helmet with a high peak, in form not unlike the spire of a Burman Pagoda, which it was probably intended to resemble. I was told that it was of entire gold, and it had all the appearance of being studded with abundance of rubies and sapphires. In his right hand his Majesty held what is called in India a Chowrie, which, as far as we could see, was the white tail of the Thibet cow. It is one of the five established ensigns of Burman royalty, the other four being a certain ornament for the forehead, a sword of a peculiar form, a certain description of shoes, and the white umbrella. His Majesty used his flapper with much adroitness and industry ; and it occurred to us, who had never seen such an implement but in the hands of a menial, not with much dignity. Having frequently waved it to and fro, brushed himself and the throne sufficiently, and adjusted his cumbrous habiliments, he took his seat. The Burman courtiers, who were seated in the usual posture of other Eastern nations, prostrated themselves, on his Majesty's appearance, three times. This ceremony, which consists in raising the joined hands to the forehead, and bowing the head to the ground, is called, in the Burman language, Shi-ko, or the act of submission and homage. No salutation whatever was dictated to us; but as soon as his Majesty presented himself, we took off our hats, which we had previously kept on purposely, raised our right hands to our foreheads, and made a respectful bow.
“The Queen presented herself immediately after his Majesty, and seated herself upon the throne, at his right hand. Her dress was of the same fabric, and equally rich with that of the King. Her crown of gold, like his, and equally studded with gems, differed in form, and much resembled a Roman helmet. The little Princess, their only child, and about five years of age, followed her Majesty, and seated herself between her parents. The Queen was received by the courtiers with similar prostrations as his Majesty, and we also paid her the same compliment as we had done to the King. When their Majesties were seated, the resemblance of the scene which presented itself to the illusion of a well got up drama, forcibly occurred to us; but I may safely add, that no mimic exhibition could equal the splendour and pomp of the real scene.
Farther on the author adds :
· The princes and public officers were all habited in their court or state dresses, which, as I before stated, consisted of purple velvet cloaks, with highly ornamented caps of the same material : each bad his chain of nobility over his shoulders, and his title blazoned on a thin plate of gold affixed to the front of the cap. The princes were distinguished by dresses of superior splendour, and especially by the form and decoration of their caps. The dress of the Prince of Sarawadi was particularly brilliant. The courtiers, according to their rank, were seated more or less near to the throne. The nearest to it was the Prince of Sarawadi ; for the heir-apparent, having as yet, on account of his youth, no public station assigned to him, did not attend. The inferior courtiers were scattered over the body and wings of the hall : this might have made their number appear fewer than they really were. It struck us, however, that the attendance was not numerous, and certainly it by no means equalled the crowd assembled at the Siamese Court. The spectacle, upon the whole, was sufficiently imposing. Yet, notwithstanding the better taste of the Palace, and the superior dresses of the Burman courtiers, (for those of Siam, when I saw them, did not appear in their dresses of ceremony,) the pageant was less calculated to affect the imagination than that exhibited by the Court of Siam, where the demeanour of the courtiers was more constrained, the crowd of suppliants more numerous, and the manners of the sovereign himself unquestionably more imposing-authoritative and dignified. The Siamese Court, in short, seemed more consonant to our preconceived notions of the pride, the barbaric magnificence, and wild despotism of an Eastern monarch.'—pp. 138, 139.
The constables of Ava are unquestionably very worshipful personages, and every way worthy the despotism they aid in supporting:
• The nature and history of the office of these constables, form one of the ugliest and most odious features of the Burman Government. They are denominated in the language Pa-kwet, which means “ the cheek branded with a circle.” They are, in fact, most frequently atrocious malefactors, pardoned in consideration of their performing for life the duties of constables, gaolers, and executioners, for all these offices are united in one person. They receive no pay or reward for their services, and must live by their wits ; that is to say, by the extortion and impositions practised upon their unfortunate prisoners. Besides the ring on each cheek, a mark which implies the commission of a capital crime, these guardians of the peace are to be seen with such epithets as the following tattooed upon their breasts, “ man-killer," “ robber," " thief,” &c. The chief of these persons was pointed out to us, and was soon recognised by Mr. Judson as the person who had the principal charge of the European and American prisoners during the war. This was an old man of sixty, lean, and of a most villanous countenance. He was by birth of the tribe of the Kyens, had murdered his master, and had a large circle on each cheek, with the Burman words“ Lu’-that,” or “man-killer," in very large letters on his breast. The Pa-kwet are held to be infamous. Even in the execution of their office, they are not permitted to enter any house, nor in any case to come within the walls of the Palace. When they die their bodies cannot be burnt, nor the usual funeral rites performed, but they are interred like those of lepers and others held to be impure.'—pp. 145, 146.
The following account of a visit to the Queen's brother is highly interesting :
Our public visits were nearly completed this morning, by our introduction to the Queen's brother. The dwelling of this personage, who in consequence is beyond all comparison the first subject of the Burman Government, is in the inner town, a short distance beyond the palace. This is a good house of brick and lime, with a spacious and convenient court in front. Our reception here was far more splendid than at the palaces of the Heirapparent and the Prince of Sarawadi, and it was evident that the owner had the key of the royal treasury at his command. A tent pitched in the street in front of the house served as an ante-room, but instead of benches, we had European chairs to sit upon. We were not detained here above twenty minutes, when we were ushered into the ball prepared for our accommodation : this was the front part of the house. The verandah, or front gallery, through its whole length was shaded by a canopy of scarlet broadcloth, which threw the most singular shade upon every object within, making the candles especially appear as if a phosphorescent light issued from them. At one end of the hall, the King's numerous band of dancing-women, richly and most fancifully attired, was playing; the players were all young females, and some of them very handsome. Two dancing-women, still more richly dressed than the rest, one in male and the other in female attire, were in advance, acting a kind of Burman opera. The ball was crowded with chiefs, and towards the back part of it were a number of their wives and daughters. The Queen's brother himself made his appearance almost immediately. A richly decorated couch, on which be commonly sits, was at the back of the hall; but instead of occupying it, he placed himself upon the floor, on the lowest of two cushions, and exactly upon a level with us. His attitude was the most respectful possible : he was upon his knees, resting himself upon his heels, so as effectually to keep the soles of his feet out of view -a point of indispensable etiquette towards visitors of any respectability. We were quite unprepared for so much condescension. We had reckoned at least upon a cold and haughty demeanour, and even thought it possible that the favourite might display some of