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informed from an authentic source, it possessed no prétenfions what? ever. The members, however, were treated apparently with much personal respect and attention.' P. 28.4.
The same weak pride leads the court of Ummerapoora to consider every embassador as a tributary, and his presents as tributes, and, generally speaking, the opinion is not void of foundatión; for it feldoin happens that embassadors and presents are sent without some secret ideas of advantage,'even if it be only to have a privileged spy,' as an embalador has been called, in a rival or a friendly court. Our author's interview with the Chinese envoys was not productive of pleasure or information. It was the dullest of the dull scenes of eastern intercourse; yes, at a subsequent vitii, the affection. ate sensibility of the fon of Kellorce, one of the younger Chinese, afforded no small' degree of entertainment, and did the highest honour to the feelings of his heart. Why will not this nation more frequently unbend from its stiffness, and join in fócial intercourse with the rest of mankind ? It is a singular custom in the Birman empire, that the shoom, the hall of juftice, is an open building. Birmán policy or judgement cont ceals no transaction of this kind.
Major Syınes' embassy was, as to its event, uncertain, from various causes. As the agent of the governor-general, it was difficult to substantiate his clains to the honour of being conlidered as the representative of a monarch. Indeed, in all his representations this difficulty recurs ; and though with a laudable spirit of policy, by blending 'conciliation with steadiness, he succeeded in establishing his pretenfions, the intermediate agent is always feen, and, we think; studiously brought forward in the Birman papers. Pride is the characteristic of the Birman court, but its effects are softened by benevolence, and it occasionally unbends itself from political motives.' As in person, so in their political features, the princes form a link between the Chinese and the Hindu sovereigns. The good effects of the embassy were also impeded by the interested jea. lousy of fome rival powers, 'particularly the French, who represented England as an inconsiderable ifland, almost over. powered by numerous enemies, and her Indian territories as a mere commercial settlement on its first establishment, but which was afterwards usurped by conquest; and was then on the eve of annihilation. With every apparent profeflion of Tespect, and every hospitable attention, incivility and public affronts were not uncommon. The Birman court, studiously observant of the minuteít puncilio, could commit indignities,
Ava and Pekin appear to redemble each other in many points, but in lone more than in their vality, which often Rianift.Is i fili in 3 Dauer not less ridiculous than cotcoprible.'
which had a tendency to degrade the embassy, even to derision, in the eye of the people; indignilies which nevertheless could be explained as accidental occurrences, as unintentional or unjinportant. In the end, however, the calm good sense of major Syınes prevailed over every oppofition. .
We have engaged in this detail not to interrupt our account of this empire, hitherto so little known. In religion, the Birmans are followers of Boodh, not 'votaries' of Bramha, and the Birman deity, Guadma, resembles 'very nearly the reprefentative of Boodh, found in Bengal, and described in the first volunue of the Asiatic Researches. Gotma, or Gontum, is the name of an Indian philosopher, who taught the doctrines of Boodh, and from hence the Birman deity's appellation is derived. The followers of Boodh are more numerous than those of Bramha, and the purest profession of this religion is laid to be in the island of Ceylon. .. . in ;
" Whatever may be the antiquity of the worship of Boodh, the wide extent of its reception cannot be doubted. The most authensic writer on the eastern peninsula calls the image of Gaudma, as worshipped by the Siamese, Somona-codom : being unacquainted with the language of Siam, which from so Mort a residence as four months, it was impossible' he could have acquired, he confounds iwo diftinct words, Somona, and Codom, lignifying Codom, or Gaudma, in his incarnate state ;, the difference between the letters C and G may easily have arisen from the mode of pronunciation in different countries; even in the Birman manner of 'uttering the word, the distinction between these letters is not very clear. The · Boodh of the Indians and the Birmaus, is pronounced by the Siamese Pooth, or Pood; by the vulgar, Poo;, which, without any violence to probability, might be converted by the Chinese into Foe; the Taniulic termination en, as Mr. Chambers remarks, creates a striking resemblance between Pooden and the Woden of the Goths; every person who has conversed with the natives of India knows that Boodh is the Dies Mercurii, the Wednesday, or Woden's day, of all Hindoos. Chronology, however, which must always be accepted as a surer guide to truth, than inferences drawn from the resemblance of words, and etymological reafoning, does not, to my mind, fufficiently establish that Boodh and W'eden were the same. The period of the ninth incarnation of Vishnu was long antecedent to the existence of the deihed hero of Scandinayia. Sir William Jones determines the period when Boodh appeared on the earth to be 1014 years before the birth of Christ. Odin, or Woden, flourished at a period not very distant from our Saviour, and was, according to forne, a coteinporary of Pompey and of Julius Cæsar. The author of the Northern Antiquities places him 70 years after thie Christian æra. Even the Birman Gaudma, conformably to their account, must have lived above son years before Woden. So iinmense a space can hardly be supposed to have been overlooked : but if the supposition refers, not to the warrior of the north, but to the original deity Odin, the attributes of the latter are as widely opposed to those of Boodh, who was himself only an incarnation of ViQnu, as the dates are incongruous. The deity, whose doctrives were introduced into Scandinavia, was a god of terror, and his votaries carried desolation and the sword throughout whole regions ; but the Ninth Avatar brought the peaceful olive, and came into the world for the sole purpose of preventing sanguinary acts. These apparent inconsistencies will naturally lead us to hesitate in acknow. ledging Boodh and Wodin to be the same person: their doctrines are opposite, and their æras are widely remote.' P. 300.
We are not prepared, nor indeed is this the proper place, to. discuss the question, respecting the identity of Gaudma or Boodh, and Odin ; but we may remark, that among a ferocious or fanguinary tribe, the inild doctrines of Boodh may have assumed a fiercer character; and, though Odin was a warrior of a comparatively late epoch, we know that Scandinavia received its inhabitants from the East ; that they had deities long before the æra of this warlike chief; and that, previous to the time of Odin, they revered Woden. We fuspect, therefore, that our author's opposition to the opinion of fir William Jones will be found not very formidable.
The laws of the Birman empire are those of Bramah, and their fundamental work is that of Menu, whose ordinances, with the commentaries, form the Shaftra. The commentary which they adopt is, in major Symes' opinion, distinguished for perfpicuity and good fense, and coinprises almost every Species of crime. The minuter details of the legislative code, with the distinction of ranks, in their political system, dress, &c. must be perused in the work itself,
The population of the empire is estimated at about fourteen millions and a half, but this is in a great degree confellcdly conjectural, Its revenues cannot even be approximated. The monarch hoards all the inoney, rewarding his officers and favourites with governments, &c. and keeping them in a dependence, strictly feodal. Thus every man in the kingdoin. may be a soldier, and the Birman is, of courie, a military nation. The standing army is by no means numerous. The cavalry are all casavers, and resemble those of Allain ; the magazines are well provided with numerous arms, but the firelocks are in a very imperfect state, as the manufacturers are by no means expert.
• By far the most respectable part of the Birman military force is their establifhment of war-boats. “Every town of note, in the vicinity of the river, is obliged to furnish a certain number of men, and one or more boats, in proportion to the magnitude of the place,
I was informed that the king can command, at a very niort notice, . 500 of these veílels: they are constructed out of ihe solid trunk of the teak tree, which is excavated partly by fire, and partly by cutting; the largest are from eighty to one hundred feet long, but the breadih seldom exceeds eight feet, and even this space is produced by artificially extending the sides afier the trunk has been hollowed. They carry from fifty to fixty rowers, who use Niort oars that work on a spindle ; the prow is folid, and has a flat surface, on which, when they go to war, a piece of ordnance is mounted, a fix, a nine, or even a twelve pounder ; the gun carriage is secured by lashings to strong bolts on each side, and lwivels are frequentiy fixed on the curvature of the stern. .
• The rowers are severally provided with a sword and a lance, which are placed by his side whilft he plies the oars. Besides the boatmen, there are usually thirty soldiers on board, who are armer with murkets: thus prepared, they go in fleets to meet the foe, and, when in fight, draw up in a line, presenting their prows to the enemy. Their attack is extremely impetuous; they advance with great rapidity, and fing a war-long, at once to encourage their people, daunt their adversaries, and regulate the strokes of their oars; they generally endeavour to grapple, and when that is effected, the action becomes very fevere, as these people are endued with great courage, strength, and activity. In times of peace they are fond of exercihing in their boats, and I have often been entertained with the dexterity they dispiay in the management of them. The vessels being low in the water, their greatest danger is that of being run down by a larger boat striking on their broadlide, a misfortune which the steersman is taught to dread, and to avoid, above all others. It is surpriống to see the facility with which they feer, and elude each other in their mock combats. The rowers are allo prac. rised to row backwards, and impel the vesel with the stern foremost; this is the mode of retreat, by means of which the artillery still bears upon their opponent. The largest of the war-boats do not draw more than ihree feet water. When a person of rank is on board, there is a fort of moving tilt or canopy, for his particular accommodation, placed sometimes in the centre, and sometiines on the prow. The Gides of the boat are either gilt as far as the wa. ter's edge, or plain, according to the rank of the person it carries, Gilded boats are only permitted to princes of the blood, or to persons holding the highest stations, such as a maywoon of a province, and a minister of state,' p. 320. . . · The great innovation made by Boodh, in the religion of Bramha, was the forbidding the slaughter of animals for food, This precept the Birmans have refined upon, and construc it to mean domesticated animals. Garne they eagerly devour, and do not seem anxious to inquire how any domefticated ani. mal was killed, if not expressly informed. :
• The country is particularly fertile : besides its invaluable production, the teak, tree, in the northern mountainous parts, the fir seems to grow to a vast lize, so as to be able to supply masts and yards for the fhips constructed of this Indian oak. Gold,' Glver, and precious Tonės, except diamonds and eineralds, are plentifully produced. The first is applied as an ornament to all the regal' infignia, and hence the epithet golden, implies royal: the golden feet' is the imperial presence ; and information conveyed to the monarch, is said to reach the • golden ears. The marble of Ava is a sacred slone, employed only for the images of Gaudma'; the amber and ivory are of an extraordinary fineness, and in greai quantity ; and cotton, both white and of a nankeen colour, are exported to China. Rice is produced in immense profufion. The Birmans have, however, no coin, and the builion is weighed as in China. It was a sensible and judicious request of the emperor to have from Bengal the instruments for coinage, as well as a person acquainted with the process.
• It has already been noticed, that the general disposition of the Birmans is strikinglý contrasted with that of the natives of India, from whom they are separated only by a narrow range of mouna tains, in many places admitting of an easy intercourse. Notwithstanding the small extent of this barrier, the physical difference between the nations could scarcely be greater, had they been Gtuared at the opposite extremities of the globe. The Birmans are a lively inquisitive race, active, irascible, and impatient; the character of their Bengal, neighbours is too well known, as the reverse, to need any deliveation ;. ,the unworthy pasion of jealousy, which prompts moff nations of the east to immure their women within the walls of ari haram, and surronnd them with guards, seems to have scarcely any influence over the minds of this extraordinary and more liberal people. Birman wives and daughters are not concealed from the sight of men, and are suffered to have'as free intercourse with each other as the rules of European society admit; but in other respeits women have just reason to complain of their treatment; they are considered as not belonging to the same scale of the creation as nien, and even the law' stainps a degrading distinction beiseen the feses ; the evidence of a woman is not received as of equal weighi with that of a man, and a woman is 'not suffered to ascend the fteges of a court of justice, but is obliged to deliver her teftiinony on the outside of the roof. The custom of selling their women to strangers, which has before been adverted to, is confined to the lowest classes of society, and is perhaps oftener the consequence of heavy pecunjary,embarrafinent, than an act of inclination; it is not, however, considered as an elul, nor is the female dishonoured; partly perhaps from this cause," and partly from their habits of education, wonien surrender themselves the vi&ims of this barbarous custom with
* Ohrid M4