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ward bound convoy as far as the Anda mans, when we hauled up for Madras. The winds, however, at this feafon were fo baffling, that it was the 12th of April before we reached the port: thus, a paffage that with a fair wind we might have made in five days, took us thirty-five to perform, so very precarious are voyages in India.
During the greater part of May, June, and July, there are no regular fea and land breezes at this part; the S. W. monfoon then blowing with fuch force, that the caufes which produce those alternate breezes are not fuficient to influence its general courfe; and hence we have the bot land wind blowing all the twentyfour hours, but generally ftronger at that period when the breeze is accustomed to blow from the flore. The long tracts of flat fandy country, on many parts of the coaft (Madras and Mafulipatam, for infance), being heated by the fiercenefs of the fun's rays at this feafon, communicate, of course, this heat to the breeze palling over them, producing thofe hot Land-winds, which continue to blow till the ftrength of the monfoon is fo far exhaufted that the natural caufes of fea and land breezes will again be able to operate and interrupt them.
Thefe winds often blow with confiderable violence at Madras; generally be tween eleven and one o'clock in the day, when they raife fuch clouds of duft that the houses of the town and fort are completely obfcured; and fo high is it car ned into the air, that the decks of the Ships in the roads are frequently covered with fand, rendering this the most difagrecable roadsted in the world at this period.
The natives fuffer very much during the hot wind, as it is very common to fee the palankeen-boys drop in the ftreets, ruck dead by its baneful effects! I
have feen the fand and duft blown about here with fuch violence, that the bearers were obliged to let me down, and get under the lee of the palankeen to prevent their being fuffocated!
Thefe winds are apt to occafion con tractions in the limbs, that are very dif ficult to get clear of: but otherwife this is a healthy feafon, for not a particle of moifture is now afloat in the atmo fphere.
The Europeans have a very ingenious, and indeed philofophical, method of guarding against thefe winds. It is this: along the western fronts of their houses they have thin ftraw inats (called tattys) placed, fo as to cover the doors, windows, or other apertures; fervants being ftationed to keep thefe conftantly wet with freth water, the hot wind, in pafting through, produces fuch an evaporation, that a great degree of cold or abftraction of heat takes place, and thus renders the air infide the mat quite cool. The family, therefore, fitting behind thefe mats enjoy a delightful cool breeze, which at a few yards diftance is like the fiery breath iffuing out of an oven! but completely metamophorfed by this fimple and beautiful chymical procefs. On the fame principle of producing cold by evaporation, gentlemen on board fhips, when they want a bottle of wine cooled quickly, put a couple of glaffes of arrack, or any other fpirit, into a plate, and letting the bottle in the middle of it, keep bathing the tides of it with the fpirit by means of a fpoon, when in a few minutes the wine will become quite cold; the process is accelerated if it is performed in a current of air, under the wind-fail for inftance.
During this feafon, the thermometer in the flade at Madras, ranges from 81 to 95.
After a tedious and haraffing paffage through the islands, rocks, and fhoals, that are scattered in the wildeft order through the straits, we came to an anchor on the 13th in Malacca roads.
This old and once important city is even at prefent a very pretty place. About two centuries ago it was the principal mart for commerce in this part of the world, but has been declining ever fince under the Portuguese and Dutch: nor can it be expected to revive now under the English, as Prince of Wales's Illand will aufwer all the purpofes which it could ferve; namely, a port for the China fleet to touch and refresh at.
It is fituated on the S. W. fide of the Malay peninfula, and in the third parallel of north latitude; yet, clofe as it is to the equator, it is the finett climate in the East Indies, being conftantly refreshed with fea and land breezes, which (with its being a narrow peninfula, and almoft encompaffed by the fea,) render it remarkably fertile and healthy.
The appearances of the town, the remains of a fort, and a church on a little green mount to the right of the town, are very beautiful from the roads: every part of the furrounding country, as far as the eye can reach, is covered with groves of trees and the velieft verdure imaginable; even the fall iflands and rocks fituated along the coaft, are covered to the water's edge with flowering fhrubs.
A small rivulet opens into the fea between the town and fort, which it feparates, and forms a landing-place for boats. The houfes in Malacca are tolerably well built, in the Dutch ftile, with broad and ftraight freets: that part, however, inhabited by the natives and Oriental fettlers is, like moft Indian towns, compofed of mere flieds or wooden cots, thatched over with bamboos and mats.
On the fouthern fide of the little river, are the remaining walls of a fort, which does not appear to have ever becu a place of any great ftrength, and is now in a moft ruinous condition. A few guns are ranged along the brow of a beautiful little mount above the fort, which ferve as a faluting battery, and might repel perhaps a finall force.
On the fuminit of this mount ftands an old Portuguese chapel, built in the fixteenth century, but is now in a state of dilapidation.
It commands a picturefque view of the town, the adjacent country, the roads,
and a great extent of level ocean. The floor is flagged entirely with tomb-ftones, that exhibit a melancholy catalogue of the names of thofe Europeans whom the spirit of adventure, or infatiable avarice, have led to this diftant fpot
The roof is in fome places tumbled in, and the walls, belfry, &c. mouldering faft to decay: the whole having a dreary forlorn appearance infide.
We were here fupplied with great abundance of the moft excellent vegetables and fruits we had yet feen in India; and we were not a litle gratified and furprised to find potatoes equal to any we had tafted in Europe. There are a great number of Chinese fettlers here, as well as in all the eastern islands; and thefe form the moft induftrious clafs of inhabitants, having their shops well ftored with merchandize, with which they fupply you on reafonable terms.
There is a very good tavern near the landing-place, kept by a Dutchman, where one may dine very well for a dollar, and have a bed included.
The rivers about Malacca abound with alligators, and the woods and jungles with tigers and other wild beafts. The Malays, as well as the Chinese, have a fuiking nationality, or rather fimilarity, in their features: one face being a prototype, as it were, of thofe of the whole nation.
It is well known how dangerous thofe people are with their poniards, called creffes, especially when they take opium, and run the muck, ftabbing every one they meet. It is faid thefe weapons are poifoned with the celebrated juice of the upus tree, but I believe very few of them have this property. I was once bargaining with a Malay for one of thofe creffes, which he faid was deadly poifoned, and in drawing it out of the feabbard cut myfelf between the fore-finger and thumb, at which I was not a little alarmed: an old man, who was standing by opening a leaf of betel, took out a piece of chunam and applied it to the part. Whether this had any effect or not I cannot tell, but I felt no more of the cut.
There is fill a little trade carried on at this place, the principal articles of which are as follow:
compofitions, the verfe accompanying them difplays a fweet fimplicity, an affecting tenderness, a forcible pathos, a beauty of fentiment, and power of truth, which caufe a natural curiosity to know the authors of it; and my principal ob ject in this communication is to state, how much I thould be obliged to any one
To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. of your musical readers to inform me who
My own reverence, Mr. Editor, of the man's genius verges upon idolatry; and in becoming more acquainted with the treasures he has left us, my wonder is heightened, and my pleafure increased. But, in analyfing my feelings after at tending to any piece of Handel, I find they are the effect of that power which refts in fuch a combination of poctry, fentiment, and mufic, which the Oratorios of Handel exhibit.
The music of that great master has had many eulogifts, who have juftly appreciated the exquifite fkill difplayed in its compofition; the power, the pathos, the paffion, I may fay the magic and witchery, o his fong. The merits of the poetry which is attached to the mufic, and the beautiful felection of facred fentiments which (I had almost faid) gives a holy and divine authority to the musician, may have been equally felt, but have not in the fame degree been noticed by any ore. Indeed, it is the happy accordance of fenfe and found, the perfect echo of the one to the other, which forms the powerful charm of Handel's fong: it gives a fullness of fatisfaction to the mind, than which nothing can be conceived more complete, your readers will fmile at my enthufiafm); we may imagine it to refemble the fpeaking founds from the harps of angels hymning the praises of Jehovah; it awakens emotions and fentiments in the foul, which evince its own immortality and alliance with the heavenly choir. In Handel's vocal
were Handel's coadjutors in the poetical part of his works? I believe Handel was proud of his knowledge of the Bible, and jealous of any interference in the felection of the fcriptural paffages he has fet to his facred Oratorios: not even a mitred head would he fuffer to choose for him; and we may rejoice in the circumftance, as his judgment in the choice of them appears to have been under an impulfe fhort only of divine infpiration. But dues Handel claim the beautiful flowers and gems of poetry which are fcattered through his works, than which it is hardly poffible to produce any thing fuperior in poetical excellence, in fweetnefs, grace, and power of fentinent? As a foreigner, it is difficult to conceive he could attam to fo masterly a kill in the ufe of our language; and if he had helpers, who were they that feem to have borrowed the very foul of his harmony, and to have written from the impulfe of the fame genius which prompted his own immortal strains?*
To whom muft we afcribe that beautiful fong in the oratorio of Solomon, which enforces a fpirit of piety with more power than the eloquence of a whole fynod of divines could do?
What though I trace each herb and flower That drinks the morning dew: Did I not own Jehovah's pow'r,
How vain were all I knew?"
In other fengs we find in a fingle line the effence of a thousand volumes which holy men have written to recommend virtue by its beauty and excellence; as in the following from Jofhua: "Virtue my foul fhall ftill embrace; Goodness fhail make me great " And this, from Time and Truth, "Pleafure, my former ways refigning, To Virtue's caufe inclining,
Thee, Pleasure, now I leave;
Leit, when my fpirits fail me,
It would be a lively fatisfaction to
the ftores of Handel? What could be more ornamental to public devotion, or more fuccefsful to intereft thofe claffes of fociety who are difgufted with the froquently uncooth mode of celebrating the praifes of the Deity? When the othciating minifter proclaims, "I know that my Redeemer liveth," or "The trumpet fhall found, and the dead fhall be raited," what heart is moved by the cold, the lifeless, impatient manner which generally accompanies the annunciation of the glorious tidings? But who can be indifferent when Handel takes up the theme, aud by the power of his fong realizes to the mind thefe folemn and affecting truths?
Inclined as I feel, Mr. Editor, to exercife very confiderable faith in the devotional influencies of mufic, I much regret the difcontinuance of the Abbey performances, in which the memory of Handel received fuch diftinguished honour, and his genius triumphed fo nobly. It is, perhaps, a national lofs; as we need every means in the prefent day of inducing a manly and ferious character in the people of this country, the provailing fpirit running in fo oppofite a courfe, and fashionable folly and levity lording it fo abfolutely. When we fee fo rarely the lamp of intellectual and moral greatnefs in that clafs of fociety which is firft in rank and eminence of fituation, fo little nobility of mind and grandeur of character to fupport the hopes of a country looking to the individuals of that order as its legiflators, ftatefimen, and governors; it is to be lamented that any occafion fhould be loft of giving to fuch a great feeling, an elevated emotion, or ferious impreflion. It muft ftill live in the memory of many, how deep a fenfation was produced by the magnificent performances I allude to; and it fhould not be forgotten, that if the affection raifed by them were not devotion or virtue itself, it might be the dawn of fuch a spirit in the mind. If there be a character light enough to treat religion with levity in every other form, Handel's religion never fails to infpe reverence for the fubject; there is in it a folemnity fo impreffive, an clevation and greatnefs fo obvious and affecting, that the lightest mind is truck with awe, the boldet impiety is abalhed, and the molt profane bow in fpint to its autho rity, its grandeur, its fublimity, and beauty, as difplayed by this wonderful mafter of harmony.
Is it not an honeft indignation which
any one feels who is july impreffed with the character of Handel's mutic, when be compares it with modern mufic, and the prevailing tafte of the day, which exhibits fuch a feries of frivolous intignicant performances? The ethics and the story of mulic (if we may fo ipeak) have no place in the modern purfuit of this fource of improvement and pleafure; a noble fcience is made a piece of legerdemain, a light-of-hand perfmance, a mere mechanical trick, equally astonishing indeed to the eyes and ears, but truly contemptible for any relation it bears to the affections of the mind.
If we cannot expect that many will fly mufic as a profound and highly cunous fcience, furely more dignity might be attached to the purfuit than the prefent talte and practice admit of; and though it might be reafoning too curioudy on the fubject, to regard mufic as an object for the mott ferious confideration of the moralift, or as worthy to be named in connection with public character and manners, the very general attention paid to it as a pleading accomplishment has given it importance; and it must be allowed to be a reafonable quefton, "whether mutic, as an object of education, might not be made more fubfervient than it is to the interefts of virtue and piety?" By initiating their pupils in Handel, and cultivating an early rate for fuch elevated entertainment as he affords, rather than for the frippery and nonfenfe of modern execution, would not mufical profeffers accomplish a more valuable object than they ufually aim at? Would not their pupils be in debted to them for a nobler acquifition than a mere facility of motion in their fingers, as acquired by practising the pretty fonatinas, divertimentos, gigs, vanations, &c. which young ladies play off fo triumphantly, and their mammas adare as the very acme of musical attainment. And if it be true that the moft affecting compofitions of Handel are generally remarkable for fimplicity, and eally performed, there is additional propriety in making young ftudents acquainted with him.
very juftly expoftulates, "if there are laws for fuch cates, it is a pity they are not better enforced." Whether there are ftatute laws in fuch cafes I am not certain; but my profeffion as a landfteward having afforded me many years an opportunity of knowing the general cuftom of feveral manors in the north of England, with refpect to the practice your benevolent correfpondent alludes to, I beg leave to folicit you will afford me room to make my report, as follows:
The common pound in each manor is confidered as belonging to the lord there of, is upheld by him, and at his CourtBaron he and his freeholders nominate the keeper or pounder, appoint his fees, &c. &c. When cattle of any kind are impounded, the owner may take them away upon paying thefe appointed fees, provided the party on whofe lands they were taken makes no demand for damages, or that fuch damages are immediately paid by the owner; or he proceeds by replevin, and puts the injured party to recover faid damages by an action at law. But in no cafe are the cattle to remain in the pound more than forty-eight hours: after this, the duty of the pounder is to take them to the manor houfe, or to that of fome perfon appointed for the purpose by the lord thereof, where the cattle are to be taken due care of. Public notice is then to be given at the parith-church within faid manor, and alio at two or three of the nearest market-towns at the respective market-days, by the common crier, that certain cattle are taken up at fuch a place, which if not owned by proper marks, and the charges of keeping, &c. duly paid, will become the property of the lord of the manor as waifes and eftrays, and as his right by virtue of ancient cuttom.
I have confeffed above that I am no profeffional lawyer, and therefore cannot decide whether the customs described are grounded upon the law of the land? Poffibly, however, what I have written may induce fome of your readers to clear up this doubt, or at least dispose your humane correfpondent, to whom this is more immediately addreffed, to inquire how the law really ftands, and, if poffible, to redrefs the evil in his own place of abode.
I was highly delighted with the mafterly letter of Mr. C. Loft, to which your Conftant Reader" alludes. The animated letter, too, of another corre