Abbildungen der Seite

assumes a wilder and more romantic appearance, the whole surface is hill and dale, and the intervening valleys are covered with plantations of rice, divided regularly into square beds; a small bank of earth divides each bed or field, and being set on each side with a number of cocoa-nut and plantain trees, the whole wears rather the appearance of a garden, than plantations of grain.

24th.To Soolia, twelve miles. To-day we passed the barrier, separating the Coorga and Company's territories by one sooltany-coss (equal to four miles.) Very heavy dews fall during the night, and the weather is much colder than usual.

25th.—To Tory Khan, at the foot of the Coorga Pass, fourteen miles. At this place the Rajah has established a small chokey (picquet guard) of six or eight men. The districts round Soolia and Tory Khan, were many years a subject of dispute between the Mysoreans and Coorgs.

26th.—After a toilsome march of three hours, I I ascended the pass of the first mountain, and then halted. Afterwards, I proceeded on over a less difficult road, winding up two smaller hills, and, at noon, gained the highest part of the ascent. On the northern and southern sides, this chain of the Indian Apennines is continued as far as the eye can reach ; many of the ridges rear their heads abruptly above the clouds, while their base remains enveloped in the mists and exhalations of the low country. To the west, two distinct ranges branch off towards the sea, and are separated by a shelving valley, until lost in the bounds of the horizon. On every side the mountains appear covered with majestic woods, and Nature sways the wide domain, with an air of primeval grandeur and varied magnificence; indeed, the very elevated situation of the summit of these Ghauts, and extensive prospect from them, may not unaptly be compared to that spot from whence Scipio, in his dream, viewed the whole surface of the earth, and could scarcely discern that speck of dirtthe Roman Empire!

The sandal, teak, sissoo, and other forest trees, grow in great abundance over this mountainous tract. After descending by a gradual declivity for two hours, I went on, two miles farther, to Baugmundel, and reached the village at three o'clock in the afternoon—distance about sixteen miles. Baugmundel is an inconsiderable village, with a large pagoda: the Brahmins here were very civil and attentive. From the little information I could obtain of them, there appears to be a schism among the Hindoos, in regard to the power and pre-eminence of the Maha Deo and Vishnoo, —the Deccannees esteem the former as having the greater rank and authority ; while the followers of Brahma, at Benares, give the precedence to Vishnoo, or Bishun.

27th.—To Nauknar, the Coorga Rajah’s residence, sixteen miles. Nauknar, situated at the foot of a mountain, that surrounds the place on every side except the north, is the Rajah's residence during the dry season. On my arrival, I sent a message, with Mr. U—'s letter of introduction, to the Rajah ; and, in the course of the afternoon, I waited on him in person : on this occasion I presented Dr. C—'s letter, to whom, as well as to Mr. Uhe seemed to me much attached. His manners and address are very easy, frank, and affable. The Rajah has a small, but good stud of horses, and among these are some excellent mares, which formerly belonged to Tippoo's stable, and had been presented by General S(command

ing the Bombay army) to the Coorga chief.

29th. This afternoon the Rajah set off on a hunting excursion, on which I accompanied him. We proceeded ten miles in a north-west direction, and pitched our tents in the centre of a small plain, surrounded on all sides by


“ Majestic woods of every vig'rous green,

Stage above stage high waving o'er the hills."

The whole of this district appears mountainous and woody, but the land, although good, is not much cultivated. This may be attributed to the invasion of the country, about fifteen years ago, by the Mysore prince: the severe losses sustained by the Coorgas on this occasion, have not yet been repaired.

Passing by several villages, I observed, on the

[ocr errors]

Rajah's approach, that the men and women who belonged to them came out; the men, who carried arms, drew up in one rank, to pay their homage and make their salam,—while the women, each with a lighted cheragh in her hand, stood in a modest, respectful attitude on one side of the road. The marks of attention and respect appear to originate in the affection and gratitude of the inhabitants to their chieftain, who, by his courage and address, delivered them from the severest persecution, and the most cruel bondage. This evening, a number of Coorgas, armed with a kuttee, (a kind of hatchet) and matchlock, came and paid their respects to the Maharaj.

The 30th and 31st.-We made excursions into the adjacent jungles—there was plenty of game, but neither tiger nor wild elephant could be found. The first day our party killed six buffaloes, and twenty sombre or large deer. The second day, seven or eight more of the former, and thirty of the latter, besides smaller game. The wild buffalo of this country is of an uncommon size, and very powerful; he is called by the natives, the Junglee Coorga."

The mode of hunting the larger game is as follows :—A body of ten, twelve, or fifteen hundred men are sent off early in the morning to the place of rendezvous ; about one half of them surround a wood of several miles in extent, forming a chain of sentries at the distance of twenty-five or thirty paces from each other ;-on a given signal, the remaining party entered the jungle, with arms and long sticks to beat about, and drove every thing before them, toward the centre of the enclosed space, where we had taken our seats among the branches of the trees, cut and prepared for this purpose. The game being thus surrounded and fired on from all quarters, has little chance of escaping. The matchlock-men on the flank keep up a continued fire on those animals that endeavour to escape; and they do not quit their post until the thickets have been several times beaten. In the evening the heads of all the principal game are brought to the tents.

(To be continued.)


“Hail! gracious silence!” says the inimitable Shakspeare; and when we reflect on all its extensive powers and various beauties, we cannot but join in the exclamation.

It is not, however, to the silence of discretion, which declares the man to be wise who speaks little, or to that of secrecy, I allude,—but to the mute enunciation—the eloquence without words

« ZurückWeiter »