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FIRST OF APRIL, Hunt the Gork ! ---All-fools Day. THE SPECTATOR mentions it as a custom prevalent in his tiinė, on the first day of the present month, for every body to take into his head to make as many Fools as he can. “A neighbour of mine,” says he," who is a haberdasher by trade, and a very shallow conceited fellow,
makes his boast that for these ten years successively · he has not made less than a hundred April fools. My
laudlady had a falling out with him about a fortnight ago, for sending every one of her children upon some sleeveless errand, as she terms it. Her eldest sop went to buy a halfpenny-worth of inkle at a shoemaker's ; the eldest daughter was dispatched half a mile to see a monster ; and in short, the whole family of innocent children made April fools. Nay, my landlady herself did not escape him. This empty fellow has laughed upon these conceits ever since."-But no notice is taken of tļie rise of this singular custom, which still prevails among us under the appellation of Hunt-the-Gowk day.
This being generally called All-fools day, is supposed to be a corruption of Auld, i.e. Old-fools day, and owes its beginning on the first of April, probably to a remoral, which was of frequent use in the Roman Calendar, and of which we have one instance recorded by BRAND, in his “ Antiquities of the Common People," I quote an observation on the first of November in the Ancient Roman Calendar so often cited, “ The feast of Old-fools is removed to this day ;' but when it was ree moved to the first of April, he seems to have been anable io discover, as he observes, “All our antiquaries
- (that I have had the opportunity of consultiny) are silent coucerning the first of April. The best finish perhaps we can give to the subject, is in the concluding - lines descriptive of the fooleries of that day, in Poor Robin's Almanack for 1760: . i
At last some tell them of the cheat.
And straightway home with shame they run;
But 'tis a thing to be disputed,
Ph." DESCRIPTION OF THE TEMPLE. .'
w in . Icecernant. 14th June, 1806.)
I bave seen Juggernaut. The scene at Buddruck is but the vestibule to Juggernaut. No record of ancient or modern history can give, I think, an ade.. quate idea of thig yalley of death; it may be truly.com. pared with the valley of Hinnom. The idol called Juggernaut, has ben considered as the Moloch of the present age ; and he is justly so named, for the sacı ifices offered up to bim by self-devotement, are not less crimi. nal, perhaps not less numerous, than those recorded of the Moloch of Canaan. Two other idols accompany Jugger-, naut, namely, BOLORAM and SHUBUDRA, his brother and; sister for there are three Deities. worshipped here.
They receive equal adoration, and sit on thrones d 'nearly equal height."
--This morning I viewed the Temple; a stupen dous fabric, and truly commensurate with the extensiv sway of the horrid king," As other temples are usu ally adorned with figures emblematical of their religion so Juggernaut has representations (numerous and vari ed) of that vice, which constitutes the essence of his worship. The walls and gates are covered with indecent emblems, in massive and durable sculpture.--I have also visited the sand plains by the sea, in some places whitened with the bones of the pilgrims; and another place a little way out of the town, called by the English, the Golgotha, where the dead bodies are usually cast forth ; and wbere dogs and vultures are ever seen."*
•The grand Hindoo festival of the Rutt Jattra, takesplace on the 18th inst. when the idol is to be brought forth to the people. I reside during my stay here at the house of the Company's collector of the tax on pilgrimsg. and superintendant of the temple, formerly a student in the College of Fort-William; by whom I am hospitably en.. tertained, and also by Captain Patton, and Lieut. Wood cock, commanding the military force. I was surprised to see how little they seemed to be moved by the scenes of Juggernaut.. They said they were now so accustomed
.si - . to
* The vultures generally find out the prey first; and begin with the intestines; for the flesh of the body is too firm for their beaks immediately after death. But the dogs soon receive notice of the cir. cumstance, generally from seeing the Hurries, or corpse carriers, re. turning froñ the place. On the approach of the dogs, the vultures. retire a few. yards, and wait till the body be sufficiently torn for easy deglutition. The vultures and dogs often feed together; and some times begin their attack before the pilgrin be quite dead. There are four animals which may be seen about a carcase, at the same time, viz the dog, the jackal, the vultore, and the Hurgeela, or Ad.. jutant, called by Pennant, the Gigantic Crane.
to them, they thought little of them. They had almost forgot their first impressions. Their houses are on the sea shore, about a mile or more from the temple. They cannot live nearer, on account of the offensive effluvia of the town. For, independently of the enormity of the superstition, there are other circumstances which render Juggernaut noisome in an extreme degree. The senses are assailed by the squalid and ghastly appearance of the famished pilgrims; many of whom die in the streets of want or of disease : while the devotees, with clotted haiti and painted flesh, are seen practising their various aus. terities, and modes of self torture. Persons of both sexes, with little regard to concealment, sit down on the sands close to the town, in public view ; and the SACRED BULLS walk about among them and eat the ordure,'! .
The vicinity of Juggernaut to the sea probably prevents the contagion, which otherwise would be pro. duced by the putrefactions of the place. There is scarcely any verdure to refresh the sight rear Juggernaut; the temple and town being nearly encompassed by hills of sand, which has been cast up in the lapse of ages by the surge of the ocean. All is barren and deso. late to the eye; and in the ear there is the never intermitting sound of the roaring sea. htm tot 13"!
- IDOL WORSHIP. 13 .
Juggernant, 18th June, 1806. I have returned home from witnessing a scene which I shall never forget.. · At twelve o'clock of this
This singular fact was pointed out to me by the gentlemen here. There is no vegetation for the sacred Bulls on the sand plains. They ape fed generaily with vegetables from the hands of the pilgrims.
day, being the great day of the feast, the Moloch of Hindoostan was brought out of his temple amidst the acclamations of hundreds of thousands of his worshippers. When the idol was placed on his throne, a shout was raised, by the multitude; such as I had never heard be. fore. It continued equable for a few ininutes, and then gradually died away.. After a short interval of silence, a murmur was beard at a distance:: all eyes were turned towards the place, and, behold, a grove advancing. A body of men, having green branches, or palms, in their hands, approached with great celerity. The people o. pened a way for them; and when they had come up to the throne, they fell down before him that sat thereon, and worshipped. . And the multitude again sent forth a voice · like the sound of a great thunder.'--But the voices I now heard, were not those of melody, or of joyful acclamation ; for there is no harmony in the praise of
Moloch's worshippers. Their number indeed brought • to my mind the countless multitude of the Revelations ;
but their voices gave no tuneful Hosanna or Hallelujah; but rather a yell of approbation, united with a kind of hissing applause. I was at a loss how to account for this lattei noise, until I was directed to notice the women; who emitted a sound like that of whistling, with the lips circular, and the tongue vibrating: as if a ser. pent' would speak by their organs, uttering human sounds.
• The throne of the idol was placed on a stupendous car or tower about sixty feet in height, resting on wheels which indented the ground deeply, as they turned slowly under the ponderous Machine. Attached to it were six cables, of the size and length of a ship's cable, by which the people drew it along. Thousands