Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

LATE accounts from India state, that at companied us for some days past. They the last procession of Juggernaut, there cover the road before and behind as far as were scarcely persons sufficient to draw the eye can reach. At nine o'clock this the Car; whereas, formerly, numbers were morning, the temple of Juggernaut apready to throw themselves under its pon. peared in view at a great distance. When derous wheels, while the infatuated peo- the multitude first saw it, they gave a ple threw cowries or small shells on their shout, and fell to the ground and wor. bodies. The temple is a stupendous fa- shipped. I have heard nothing to-day bric, and truly commensurate with the but shouts and acclamations by the sucextensive sway of the horrid king. As cessive bodies of pilgrims. From the other temples are usually adorned with place where I now stand, I have a view figures emblematical of their religion, so of a host of people like an army, enJuggernaut has representations, numerous camped at the outer gate of the town of and various, of that vice which constitutes Juggernaut: where a guard of soldiers the essence of his worship. The walls is posted to prevent their entering the and gates are covered with indecent em- town, until they have paid the pilgrim's blems, in massive and durable sculpture. tax.-I passed a devotee to-day who laid

The grand Hindoo festival of the Rutt himself down at every step, measuring Jattra, takes place on the 18th of June, the road to Juggernaut by the length of when the idol is to be brought forth to his body, as a penance of merit to please the people ; but twelve or thirteen pil- the god. grimages are made to it every year. It “ A disaster has just occurred at the is calculated that the number who go outer gate of Juggernaut. - As I apthither is, on some occasions, 600,000 proached the gate, the pilgrims crowded persons, and scarcely ever less than from all quarters around me, and shout100,000 ; and that at the lowest calcula- ed, as they usually did when I passed tion in the year 1,200,000 persons at them on the road, an expression of wel. tend. Now, if only one in ten died, the come and respect. I was a little alarmed mortality caused by this one idol would at their number, and looked round for be 120,000 in a year; but some are of my guard. A guard of soldiers had acopinion that not many more than one in companied me from Cuttack, the last ten survive, and return home again. military station, but they were now

Dr. Claudius Buchanan who resided about a quarter of a mile behind, with many years in India, has fully described my servants and the baggage. The pilthese horrible ceremonies. “We know,” grims cried out that they were entitled to says he, “ that we are approaching Jug- some indulgence, that they were poor, gernaut (and yet we are more than fifty they could not pay tax; but I was miles from it) by the human bones which not aware of their design. At this mowe have seen for some days strewed by ment, when I was within a few yards of the way. At this place, Buddruck, we the gate, an eld Sanyassee (or holy man,) have been joined by several large bodies who had travelled some days by the side of pilgrims, perhaps 2,000 in number, of my horse, came up and said, “ Sir, who have come from various parts of you are in danger; the people are going northern India. Some of them, with to rush through the gate when it is whom I have conversed, say that they opened for you." "I immediately dishave been two months on their march, mounted, and endeavoured to escape to travelling slowly in the hottest season of one side ; but it was too late. The mob the year, with their wives and children. was now in motion, and with a tumul. Some old persons are among them, who tuous shout pressed violently towards the wish to die at Juggernaut. Numbers of gate. The guard within seeing my dan. pilgrims die on the road ; and their ger opened it, and the multitude rushing bodies generally remain unburied. On through, carried me forward in the tor. a plain by the river, near the pilgrim's rent a considerable space : so that I was Caravansera at this place, there are more literally borne into Juggernaut by the than a hundred skulls. The dogs, jack. Hindoos themselves. A distressing scene als, and vultures seem to live here on followed. As the number and strength

The vultures exhibit a of the mob increased, the narrow way shocking tameness. The obscene ani- was choked up by the mass of people ; mals will not leave the body sometimes and I apprehended that many of them till we come close to them. This Budd- would have been suffocated, or bruised ruck is a horrid place. Wherever I turn to death. My horse was get among my eyes I meet death in some shape or them. But suddenly, one of the side other. Surely Juggernaut cannot be posts of the gate, which was of wood, worse than Buddruck.

gave way and fell to the ground. And * Many thousands of pilgrims have ac perhaps this circumstance alone prevented

human prey.

the loss of lives. Notice of the event slowly under the ponderous machine. was immediately communicated to the Attached to it were six cables, of the size superintendent of the temple, who re. and length of a ship's cable, by which paired to the spot, and sent an additional the people drew it along. Thousands of guard to the inner gate, lest the people men, women, and children pulled by each should force that also ; for there is an cable, crowding so closely that some outer and an inner gate to the town of could only use one hand. Infants are Juggernaut ; but both of them are made to exert their strength in this office: slightly constructed. Mr. Hunter told for it is accounted a merit of righteous. me that similar accidents sometimes oc- ness to move the god. Upon the tower cur, and that many have been crushed were the priests and satellites of the idol, to death by the pressure of the mob. He surrounding his throne. I was told that added, that sometimes a body of pil. there were about one hundred and twenty grims, (consisting chiefly of women, and persons upon the Car altogether.

The children, and old men,) trusting to the idol is a block of wood, having a physical weight of their mass, will make, frightful visage painted black, with a what he called, a charge on the armed distended mouth of a bloody colour. His guards, and overwhelm them; the guards arms are of gold, and he is dressed in not being willing, in such circumstances, gorgeous apparel. The other two idols to oppose their bayonets."

are of a white and yellow colour. Five Dr. Buchanan himself saw, and thus elephants preceded the three towers, describes the procession. “I have return bearing towering flags, dressed in crimed home from witnessing a scene which son caparisons, and having bells hanging I shall never forget. At twelve o'clock to their caparisons, which sounded muof this day (June 18th,) being the great sically as they moved. day of the feast, the Moloch of Hin- “I

went on in the procession, close by the dostan was brought out of his temple, tower of Moloch; which, as it was drawn amidst the acclamations of hundreds of with difficulty, grated on its many wheels thousands of his worshippers. When harsh thunder. After a few minutes it the idol was placed on his throne, 2 stopped; and now the worship of the shout was raised by the multitude, such god began. A high priest mounted the as I had never heard before. It con. Car in front of the idol, and pronounced tinued equable for a few minutes, and his obscene stanzas in the ears of the then gradually died away. After a short people, who responded at intervals in interval of silence, a murmur was heard the same strain. • These songs,' said at a distance : all eyes were turned to he, . are the delight of the god. His wards the place, and, behold, a grove Car can only move when he is pleased advancing. "A body of men, having with the song.' The Car moved on a green branches, or palms, in their hands, little way, and then stopped. A boy of approached with great celerity. The about twelve years was then brought forth people opened a way for them ; and when to attempt something yet more la civious, they had come up to the throne, they if peradventure the god would move. fell down before him that sat thereon, The child perfected the praise' of his and worshipped. And the multitude idol with such ardent expression and gesagain sent forth a voice like the sound ture, that the god was pleased, and the of a great thunder.'-But the voices I multitude emitting a sensual yell of denow heard, were not those of melody or light, urged the Car along. After a few of joyful acclamation ; for there is no minutes it stopped again. An aged mi. harmony in the praise of Moloch's wor. nister of the idol then stood up, and with shippers. Their number indeed brought a long rod in his hand, which he moved to my mind the countless multitude of with indecent action, completed the vathe Revelations ; but their voices gave riety of this disgusting exhibition. I no tuneful Hosanna or Hallelujah; but felt a consciousness of doing wrong in rather a yell of approbation, united with witnessing it. I was also somewhat apa kind of hissing applause. I was at a palled at the magnitude and horror of the loss how to account for this latter noise, spectacle ; I felt like a guilty person, on until I was directed to notice the women; whom all eyes were fixed, and I was who emitted a sound like that of whist. about to withdraw. But a scene of a ling, with the lips circular, and the tongue different kind was now to be presented. vibrating : as if a serpent would speak The characteristics of Moloch's worship by their organs, uttering human sounds. are obscenity and blood.

We have seen 6 The throne of the idol is placed on a the former. Now comes the blood. stupendous Car or tower, about sixty feet “ After the tower had proceeded some in height, resting on wheels which in- way, a pilgrim announced that he'was dented the ground dceply, as they turned ready to offer himself a sacrifice to the idol. He laid himself down in the road, many times revived, after having re. before the tower as it was moving along, mained in an apparently lifeless, dry state lying on his face, with his arms stretched for a considerable period.

The most forwards. The multitude passed round common animalcule procured from the him, leaving the space clear, and he was paste of four, possesses this quality. The crushed to death by the wheels of the gordius, or horse-hair eel, is also endowed tower. A shout of joy was raised to the with it: this, while it is in water, is one god. He is said to smile, when the lic of the most restless of all animals, for in bation of blood is made. The people this state it never has been observed to be threw cowries, or small money, on the one single instant without motion of some pody of the victim, in approbation of the sort; but, if the water be dried up, its deed. He was left to view a consider- slender body shrivels, and it soon loses able time ; and was then carried to a every appearance of life: how long it place a little way out of the town, called, might be preserved in this condition by the English, Golgotha, where the without extinction of life, or how often it dead bodies are usually cast forth, and might admit of being revivod, has not where dogs and vultures are ever seen. been ascertained; but it is certain, that There I have just been, viewing his re. after being kept for a long time in a state mains.

of complete arefaction, upon being re“ I beheld another distressing scene at turned to its natural element, its body the place of sculls,—a poor woman lying soon resumes its former appearance, it dead, or nearly dead ; and her two chil. begins to move, and shortly becomes as dren by her, looking at the dogs and vul- brisk and as lively as ever. tures which were near. The people

A kind of disease sometimes prevails passed by without noticing the children. in wheat, which, in its character, differs I asked them where was their home. They wholly from smut, or rust. Grain thus said, they had no home, but where affected, is denominated rachitic, or their mother was.' Oh, there is no pity rickety. Water, when poured upon raat Juggernaut ! no mercy, no tenderness chitic wheat, soon moistens it, and brings of heart in Moloch's kingdom.

to life, in various stages of their growth, “ As to the number of worshippers as- puinbers of eel-shaped animals, which sembled here, at this time, no accurate had there taken up their residence, while, calculation can be made. The natives the grain was yet in its succulent state, themselves, when speaking of the num

and thus occasioned the disease. As the bers at particular festivals, usually say grain ripened, these animalcules were arthat a lack of people (100,000) would rested in their progress, life was totally not be missed. I asked a Brahmin how suspended, and their destructive opera. many he supposed were present at the tions upon the corn of course obstructed most numerous festival he had ever wit- so long as it remained dry. No sooner, pessed. • How can I tell,' said he, however, does this grain become soft, in

how many grains there are in a hand- consequence of being moistened with ful of sand ?"

water (whether after being sown in the Our engraving contains a correct view ground or otherwise), than these creatures of this death-dealing temple.

are restored to life and activity; they feed upon the grain while it is moist,

and, if not impeded by another desiccaON THE REVIVIFICATION OF tion, quickly lay their eggs (for they are ANIMALS.

oviparous) and go through the ordinary (For the Mirror.)

evolutions of nature. The young, when

hatched in the corn that was sowed, after In No. 77 of the Mirror, under the above living upon it for some time, begin to eat head, we mentioned that some of the their way up the growing, stalk, and minute objects of animated nature are establish themselves at length in the capable of being preserved in a dry state grain itself while it is advancing towards for an indefinite length of time, liable to maturity, where they are interrupted in be revived at pleasure by being moist- their course in the manner already deened with water; and we now offer, scribed, when it is fully ripened. according to our promise, a few facts in This instance is attended with a greater illustration of this assertion.

degree of certainty than is that which There are numbers of the animalcula precedes it, with regard to the length of infusoria, those small microscopic objects time that the animalcule can be preserved that are observed in the watery extracts alive in a quiescent, dried state, for the obtained from the infusion of most dry experiment is stated to have been tried plants and many other substances, which for nearly thirty years, after the lapse or are known to possess the property of being which period, the animalcule of the rachitic wheat was found to revive as be exposed to a very moderate degree of readily as if its vital functions had been heat, or cold, it is effectually killed. thus suspended only for one day,

Many more instances of this kind One other instance shall suffice. , In might be adduced; but it is enough to this, nature evinces a still more extra- have mentioned these few, as examples ordinary mode than any we have yet the means that have been adopted by the noticed of suspending animal life, and Almighty Creator of all things, for prepreserving existence in an inert state. serving animal life under circumstances Among the animalcula infusoria has which usually prove destructive to it. been discovered one which, from its Vegetable life has been found in several having the power of exhibiting the ap- cases to be governed by similar laws; pearance of a kind of rotatory motion, by but, lest our article should become too means of certain organs placed on each lengthy, we shall for the present close the side of its head resembling a pair of subject (which we may possibly resume at wheels, has been denominated the wheel a future opportunity) exclaiming with the insect. *

This little creature may gene- Psalmist, “ O Lord, great are the won. rally be found in any pool of water on derous works which thou hast done." the tops of houses, or otherwise, wher

LIOLETT. + ever a cavity (in lead especially) is to be met with. When a drop of this water is No. 77, Lislett.

+ This signature was printed by mistake, in placed on the glass of the microscope, the Erratum. No. 77, page 213, column 1, line animalcule, which is capable of assuming 27, for dissection read desiccation. a considerable diversity of forms, is seen moving about with great activity. But, in proportion as the water evaporates, it

THE TEMPLE OF BELUS, AND

HANGING-GARDENS OF contracts itself more and more, shrivels

BABYLON. up, and becomes, when dry, like a piece of parchment. It, however, is not dead. THE temple of Belus and HangingIn this state it may be preserved for Gardens, were the great works of Nebumany years without suffering the smallest chadnezzar, king of Babylon. The change; being moistened with water, it wonderful tower that stood in the middle will resume its pristine form, and after a of the temple, is said to have been built while becomes as lively and active as many ages before his time; that, and the

The experiment in this case is famous tower of Babel, being, as is comrepresented to have been carried so far, as monly supposed, one and the same structo deaden and revive the insect eleven ture. This tower is believed to have been times, and there was then no appearance of composed of eight pyramidical ones the vital powers being nearly exhausted. raised one above the other, and by Ilerodo.

It is worthy of remark, that if this tus, said to have been a furlong in height; creature be put into pure water, and that but, as there is an ambiguity in his exwater be once evaporated, it dies entirely, pression, it has been disputed whether and can be revived no more. For the each of the towers was a furlong in length, preservation of its life, a little earth must

or the whole of them taken together. of necessity be mixed with the water; it Even on the latter supposition, it must then buries itself in the mud, and when have exceeded the highest of the Egypthus dried, and only thus, it acquires the tian pyramids by 179 feet, though it fell faculty of that species of immortality short of its breadth at the base by 33. which we have noticed. Mixed with the The way to go up was by stairs on the dust in the form of an imperceptible outside round it; whence it seems most atom, it is blown about by the winds, likely, that the whole ascent was, by the and though it be deposited upon the tops benching in, drawn in a sloping line from of houses, and exposed to ardent heat, or the bottom to the top eight times round severe cold, its existence is not thereby it; and that this made the appearance of endangered. It is stated to have been, eight towers, one above the other. Till for the sake of experiment, subjected the time of Nebuchadnezzar, it is thought while in this state to a heat of fifty-six by some that this tower was all the tem. degrees on Reaumur's thermometer, and ple of Belus; but he made great addi. to a cold of nineteen, after which it was tions, by erecting vast edifices round it, equally susceptible of revivification as in in a square of two furlongs, on every side, any other case. It is only in its torpid and a mile in circumference, which excondition, however, that it can bear these ceeded the square at the temple of Jeru. extraordinary vicissitudes; while in its salem by 1800 feet. Nothing was more live state, if the water in which it swims wonderful at Babylon than the Hanging.

Gardens, which Nebuchadnezzar made in • The Vorticella Rotatoria of Muller complaisance to his wife Amyitis; who,

ever.

« VorigeDoorgaan »