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IMponts. ExpoRrs. Merchandize. Treasure. Total Imports. Merchandize. 1818-19 ... 4,54,084 9,92, 182 14,46,266 6,60,107 1819-20 ... 8,79,470 13,87,511 22,66,981 7,25,842 1820-21 ... 9,64, 150 6,74,748 16,38,898 19,55,002
The secret of this large export to South America is doubtless to be discovered in the state of the exchange, which makes a remittance to England through that country by means of merchandize preferable to the purchase of bills, or the export of goods direct. Whilst the trade with South America increases, that with Manilla declines, the channel of this trade being probably changed.
In the Addenda, some of the tables are brought down to the year 1821-22.
The account of “coins, weights, and measures of India,” Mr. Phipps has taken from a very useful work published at Madras, called the Madras Commercial Ready Assistant, which has here betrayed him into errors. After all, however, implicit reliance can be placed upon no statement of Indian weights and measures.— Dr. Kelly informs us that, in the course of the operation upon which he is now employed, of ascertaining the contents and relative proportions of Eastern measures of quantity, he has not only discovered that many errors exist in those recorded, but that there are several of which no mention has ever yet been made.
The Appendix to this work contains a few particulars respecting Madras, Bombay, Ceylon, and other places. We are somewhat surprised at Mr. Phipps' omission, under the title of Bombay, of the valuable Assay Report officially published by the Bombay Government in 1821, which affords so convenient and accurate a view of the relative value of the coins circulating in that Presidency. Under the head of Siam and Cochin China are inserted some particulars relative to the mission of Dr. Crawfurd to these countries, which appeared in the Calcutta Journal, and may likewise be
found embodied in the account of the embassy given in our own publication. We should feel it to be unjust to the compiler of this work, which must have cost him considerable labour, to dismiss it without a more distinct tribute to its merits. The utility of the work cannot be questioned; the loss of time, and the embarrassments which it will obviate, must amply recompense the purchaser. We have no reason whatsoever to distrust the accuracy of the tables quoad Mr. Phipps, who candidly describes them as being “as correct as such papers are generally found.” But with the recollection of what is stated in Mr. Prinsep's work, which was reviewed in our last number, it is our duty to caution the public against being misled by the Custom-house returns in India, which, says that gentleman, in regard to the valuations, “far from approximating to the truth, are not even formed upon a consistent plan.” This circumstance, however, no way concerns Mr. Phipps, whose design would have been incomplete without such statements, and who could not possibly have procured any better. We have, on several occasions, had the temerity to maintain the very unpopular opinion, that the vast prospects indulged respecting the trade with the Eastern Islands are very fantastic, and that the market is of a limited nature, and incapable at present of that extension which speculators pretend it to be susceptible of. It is seldom we can meet with a writer whose observation is sufficiently directed to this subject, and whose judgment is not biassed either by interest or theory. Mr. Phipps, however, seems a person of this character, and we therefore quote his remarks, on this part of the Indian trade, with some satisfaction; for he states, not merely his own opinion, but facts, which clearly demonstrate that the value of this trade has been much exaggerated. “Several writers,” he observes, “upon the subject of commerce with the Eastern Archipelago, appear to have been too sanguine in their expectations as to its extent, and the advantages to be derived from it. The trivial number of private traders from Great Britain, that have engaged in it since the opening of the trade, has entirely glutted the Eastern markets; depressed sales have followed; and consequently considerable losses must have been experienced. British manufactures calculated for these markets have been sold very recently (March 1823), at Calcutta, for a little above prime cost from the manufacturer, and often below it. To these facts must be added, the additional loss caused by the unfavourable state of the exchange. It will therefore be admitted, that a trade fraught with such disadvantages, cannot be prosecuted to any great extent with vigour or success; independent of the loss it heaps on itself, it causes also much depression in the country trade: a branch which ought to be cherished and upheld, for the interest and permanent safety of British India.” This was written in 1823; and we cannot forbear referring to an article in our Journal for December 1821 (Vol. xii, p. 521), wherein the clamorous demand for further extension of our trade with the Eastern Archipelago, was shewn to be unreasonable, and founded upon delusive or imperfect information of the capacity of consumption which these islands possess. It is there maintained that this
species of commerce would absorb but a small portion of our merchandize; that the returns would be insufficient (and bills or bullion are out of the question); that the Chinese junks, whose owners must be better acquainted with the nature of the island traffic, from long experience, and better able to avail themselves of what could be supplied by way of barter, would continue to engross it; and, moreover, that admitting traders more freely into this branch of commerce, whilst it would impoverish instead of enriching themselves, must be most injuriously felt by the Indian merchants, and by the shipping interest of our Eastern possessions. These opinions were perhaps at the time regarded as speculative; but they have since been fully confirmed. The sentiments of Mr. Phipps upon the subject are amply corroborated by the documentary evidence contained in his work.
Indeed, those persons who urged with most vehemence the policy of opening a free competition between Great Britain and the country traders, did not pretend that the latter would be benefited by the measure. Mr. Crawfurd (the late agent to Siam and Cochin China, and now successor to Sir Thomas Raffles, at Singapore) was one of these advocates; and that gentleman candidly states, in his history of the Indian Archipelago, that when the capital and enterprize of England came into fair competition with the country trade of India, the latter would decline in almost all its branches: a result which has been faithfully realized, without transferring a corresponding portion of benefit to the intruders.
#iterary and $3i)ilogopijical jittelligentre.
cALcurta Asiatic society. On Wednesday, the 7th of May, a Meeting of the Members of the Asiatic Society took place at the Society's apartments in Chouringhee. In consequence of the departure for Europe of the Marquess of Hastings, the late President, the Members proceeded to the election of a successor; when the Hon. J. H. Harington, Esq., one of the VicePresidents, was unanimously chosen President of the Society. Mr. Henry Cooper was elected a Memher; and Mons. Rémusat, Secretary to the Société Asiatique of Paris, and Mons. Gottheif Fischer, Secretary to the Imperial Society of Naturalists at Moscow, were elected Honorary Members of the Society. A letter was read from the Rev. T. Thomason, presenting to the Society, in the name of the Rev. J. Yaul, one of the Chaplains at George Town, Port Dalrymple, New South Wales, two boxes containing curious specimens of fossils, &c. collected in that country. Mr. Yaul has liberally offered to transmit other specimens that may happen to fall under his notice in that interesting part of the world. Several curious articles were presented at this meeting by Dr. Robert Tytler, viz. two lingams, with sculptures; a number of large and small images; views of the Taj, and Kutub Minar; a native portrait of Noor Juhan ; two small dried alligators; two human skulls with singularly diversified sutures; several curious Salagrams; and one of the Aerolites which fell near Futtehpore on the evening of the 30th November 1822, weighing four pounds and five ounces. The indefatigable zeal and activity of Dr. Tytler, in the collection of materials for antiquarian and philosophical research, are deserving of much praise. A box of minerals from the Giant's Causeway, Ireland, was presented by Mr. Skipton, Surgeon to the Artillery. A letter was read from Mr. Gibbons, presenting a chart of the variations of the thermometer for 1822. The Secretary read the translation of an Inscription from Gurrah Mundela, by Captain Fell. The inscription contains a genealogical enumeration of fifty-two princes, which, we understand, exceeds that of any Hindoo inscription yet discovered. The document is worth preserving, in case any of the same princes should be found in other records or inscriptions, with which this list may furnish * useful point of comparison. Sundari, the consort of Hridayeswara, the fifty-third Prince of the race described, erected the temple upon which the inscription was Asiatic Journ.—No. 97.
placed, for the worship of Vishnu, Seva, Ganesa, Durga, and the Sun. This genealogy, the inscription adds, was framed by the learned Jaya Govinda. The temple was built by the skilful architects Sinhesahi Daya Rama, and Bhagiratha, and the inscription written by Sadasiva, in the year of the Sombut aera 1724 (A.D. 1667), on Friday, the 11th day of the bright fortnight of the moon of the month of Jeshtha, and engraved by the above artists. If we deduct from the year 1667, the reigns of fiftytwo princes, at twenty years to a reign, 1040 the family must have begun to flourish A. D. 627. The Secretary laid before the Meeting a paper on the building stones and mosaic of Akberabad, by W. H. Voysey, Esq., the geologist attached to the Trigonometrical Surveyorship of India. From this paper it appears that the stones composing the main structure of all the buildings at Agra, or in its vicinity, are of two kinds: sandstones and crystallized limestone, and marble. The Fort, the greater part of the Mausoleum of Akber at Secundra, the Jumma Musjid, the gateway, wall, basement and musiids of the Taj, are built of the sandstone. The Taj Muhal, or tomb of the favourite wife of Shah Jehan; the Mootie Musjid, and some buildings in the interior of the Fort, are built of marble. The marble of Agra resembles the Carrara marble of Italy in the purity of its white, and its containing grey streaks. The stones used in the mosaic of the Taj, and of the other buildings, are of twelve kinds, in
cluding the different species of Calcedony.
1, Lapis Lazuli. 2, Jasper. 3, Heliotrope. 4, Calcedonic Agate. 5, Calcedony. 6, Cornelian. 7, Sarde, 8, Plasma, or Quartz and Chlorite. 9, Yellow and striped marble. 10, Clay Slate. 11, Nephrite. 12, Shells, Limestones, yellow and variegated. The Lapis Lazuli seems to be a foreign stone, Mr. Voysey not having found it in India, and it is said to be brought from Ceylon and Thibet. The Jasper is blood-red, and of the kind found in the basaltic trap and wacken rocks of Hindoostan, and in the beds of rivers issuing from them. The Calcedonic Agate, Calcedony Cornelian, and Sarde, are generally very beautiful, and of various shades of red, white, and yellow. The Cornelians and Sardies remarkably fine. The Sonea, the Nerbuddah, and Godavero rivers are said to produce them in great abundance. The Plasma is frequently found in the basalt amygdaloid rocks of the Deccan. It is used in the mosaic to vary the shades of the leaves of the flowers. The yellow marble is seen principally in the tomb of Etemad ad Dowlah. His sarcophagus and VoI. XVII. H
that of his wife are formed of solid blocks of this stone, which is said to come from Guzerat. The whole of the precious stones and marbles used in the structures at Akerabad are understood to have been the produce of commuted tribute, or to have been received as gifts from tributary powers: but the labour bestowed on polishing and giving the exact shape to such hard materials must have been immense, and this forms the distinguishing feature of the magnificent works at Agra. A single flower in the screen around the tombs, or sarcophagi, contains a hundred stones, each cut to the exact shape necessary, and highly polished; and in the interior alone of the building there are several hundred flowers, each containing a like number of stones. A letter was read from Jacques Graberg de Hemso, his Swedish and Norwegian Majesty's late Consul at Morocco, and now appointed to Tripoli, transmitting to the Society several publications in French, Latin, and Italian, of his own composition, viz. Théorie de la Statistique. Leçons élémentaires de Cosmographie et de Statisque. Précis de la Littérature Historique du Mogh'ribel-Aksa. Saggio Istorica su gli Scaldi o Antichi Poete Scandinavi. Annali de Geografia, e di Statistica, 2 vols. De Natura et Limitibus Scientiae Statisticae ejusque in Italia hactenus fortuna. Lettera sulla Peste di Tangeri neglianne 1818-9. La Scandinavie Vengée de l'accusation d’avoir produit les Peuples barbares qui détruisirent l'Empire de Rome. In the latter work the author has performed a patriotic and meritorious task, and zealously endeavours to exonerate his country from the stigma of having produced the barbarous people who subverted the Roman Empire, and destroyed the monuments of science, letters, and the fine arts. He conceives that he has demonstrated the local and historical impossibility of Scandinavia being the nursery of the barbarians of the middle ages, showing, as he does, the introduction of a colony of Asiatics into Scandinavia towards the end of the fourth century of our era, which he thinks conclusive in favour of his argument.—[Cal. Gov. Gaz.
MeDICAL AND Physical society.
Resolved—1. That an association of Medical men be established at this Presidency, on the same principles as the medical associations in England, and to be designated the “Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta.”
2. That the members of the Medical
Board be requested to become, ea officio, patrons of the Society. 3. The Society to consist of a president, vice-president, and secretary, to be elected annually, and of resident and non-resident members. The resident members include those stationed at the Presidency and its vicinity, as Dum-Dum, Barrackpore, &c.; and the non-resident, those stationed in other parts of India. 4. The objects of the Society to be, the advancement of professional knowledge, for the mutual benefit of the members, more particularly with reference to Indian diseases and treatment; and the promoting, by every means in their power, the study of such branches of Natural History as are connected with the practice of medicine, or lead to medical research. 5. The Medical Officers of his Majesty's and the Honourable Company's service, at the three Presidencies, and attached to the insular dependencies of India, to be immediately invited to become members of the Society, or to form others in communication with it. 6. The Society to be open also to all other medical men, of whatever denomination or country. 7. The Society shall meet on the first Saturday of every month, at eight o'clock in the evening, and such communications to be then laid before it by the Secretary as have been received in the intervals. Papers to be read; and calm and temperate discussion encouraged, on the subjects of which they treat. The members will afterwards converse on professional topics in general; or communicate to the society accounts of cases, and any interesting medical intelligence they may be possessed of. 8. In furtherance of the objects of the Society, a medical library and museum to be formed as early as possible, and donations of books, &c. &c. solicited from the members for that purpose. 9. In order to defray the current charges of the Society, and provide a fund for various necessary expenses, a contribution is to be furnished by the members. 10. The amount of this contribution, for resident members, to be twelve rupees a quarter, and non-residents twelve rupees per half year. This sum to be paid in advance, to meet immediate contingencies. 11. An application to be made to Government for permission to circulate letters free of postage, intimating this meeting and its resolutions to the different medical men within the Bengal Presidency, and calling upon them for their cordial cooperation and support. 12. The Members of the Asiatic Society to be also requested to grant their apartments for the use of the Medical Society, till such time as permanent accommodatio" can be procured elsewhere.
The above resolutions having been agreed to, it is further resolved: 18. That Dr. Hare, Dr. Mellis, and Dr. Adam, be nominated President, Vice President, and Secretary to the Society. 14. A Committee, composed of the President, Vice-President and Secretary, and four members to be appointed to draw up a code of regulations for the Society, and to present the same for general approval at the next meeting. They will also write and dispatch the circulars, and transact any other business that may occur in the interval. The President to convene the Committee. That the following gentlemen be nominated on the Committee : Mr. Crawfurd, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Grant, Mr. Newmarch. That the election of all members in future, exclusive of those up the country, who are not yet advertised of the Society, be effected by ballot, the question of election being decided by the majority. 15. The next meeting of the Society to be held on Saturday the 15th March, at 8 o'clock in the evening. (Circular.) “Sir : The President and Members of the Managing Committee of the Medical Society, recently established here, have directed me to transmit to you a copy of the resolutions, adopted at their meeting on the 1st instant; and should you feel disposed to join the association, they will have great pleasure in adding your name to the list already formed. The objects of the Society are such as every medical man may contribute to. They are stated in the Resolutions to be the advancement of professional knowledge, and the promotion of such branches of natural istory as are connected with it. They embrace, in short, the whole range of medical pursuits, and whatever bears the most distant relation to these will be considered as a fit matter of inquiry. Without assigning any limits to the members in their choice of subjects, the Society would invite communications generally on the following topics: lst. The meteorology and medical too of the various districts of India, the peculiarities of the inhabitants of each, with reference to their physical configuration. 2d., The diseases of the country, as they affect both Europeans and Natives, with their treatment, adhering closely to ascertained facts, and deriving them, if possible, from local and personal experience. 3d. The diseases peculiar to natives, and the mode of treatment followed by native
Practitioners, together with the received.
opinions as to their nature and causes. 4th. Descriptions of surgical instruments, and of the mode of operating among the natives. 5th. The Materia Medica of Hindos'an, whether animal, vegetable, or mineral
productions of the country, or artificial compounds, employed in native practice, with their chemical analysis. 6th. The history of medical science in general in the East, both in its past and present condition. 7th. Descriptions of plants unknown to the Botany of Europe, either with or without reference to their medical virtues. 8th. Descriptions of animals, either unknown to, or but imperfectly described by European Zoologists. 9th. Account of diseases affecting the lower animals, as the horse, camel and others, more particularly valuable from their services to man. 10th. Dissections of all the varieties of animals, with their peculiarities of structure, and whatever is comprehended under the term of comparative anatomy. All communications are to be addressed to the Secretary, by whom they will be presented at the first meeting after their receipt. They will then be read, and deposited with the Society as part of its records, and in that form be accessible to any member who may wish to consult them. For the benefit of non-resident members, and that an interest in the proceedings of the Society may be kept alive at the most distant stations, it is contemplated to draw up a summary of what takes place at each meeting, to be printed and forwarded by Dawk to the members, should the funds prove adequate to the expense. No means will be left untried to accomplish so desirable an object, and to render the Institution in every respect an efficient medium of communication to the profession throughout India. Should circumstances admit of it, the Society will also in time publish their transactions, in such form as may be agreed on. Although little progress has hitherto been made towards the history of diseases peculiar to this climate, or of the modifications of those known in other parts of the world, and although the difficulties in the way of medical improvement, which are every where considerable, be exceedingly augmented in this country by want of books, and the great distance from each other at which medical men are placed, they surely cannot be insurmountable. With so extensive and so varied a field as this vast empire presents, and stimulated by every inducement that can render the profession honourable to ourselves or useful to mankind, the interchange of knowledge and opinion here proposed requires only cordiality to make it as delightful to individuals as profitable to the community. There are also the best grounds for believing, that much original and highly important information may be collected, that will materially pro