Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

The ten mighty giants, and the army of Gemunu Rajah, now closed on the Malabars, making dreadful slaughter

, insomuch that the blood which flowed from the Malabars that day formed itself into a tank. Gemunu Rajah, in the mean time, gave orders that none of his army might kill Elala the king, which work he wished to be reserved for himself; and, accordingly, mounted on the Cadol elephant, he rode up to Elala, caused the elephant to bend so as to put his two teeth in the ground, and telling Elala that he should die, killed him on the spot; and there he caused a pillar to be erected, on which he caused to be engraven as follows: " Let no king, in future, pass this way with palanqueen, bamboo, or with beating drums;" and then having burned the body of Elala Rajah, Gemunu Rajah, as if he had been Sakra Dewindra himself, entered the city of Anuradha Pura in triumph.

During the siege of Wijita Pura, Elala Rajah had written several letters to Damba Dewa; in consequence of which, the younger brother of Elala, named Bullúkaya, took shipping with thirty thousand men from Damba Dewa, and arrived at Maha Totta (or Matura) with the said army. On hearing that his brother was dead, he said within himself, “ Let me not return again to Damba Dewa; but as my brother has died, let me die also :” and, accordingly, wrote a letter to Gemunu Rajah, and prepared for war.

The letter was delivered to Gemunu Rajah, who, upon reading the same, called his ten mighty giants, mustered his troops of all descriptions, mounted the Cadol elephant, and went forth to battle; while the rattling of sixty-four kinds of drums made a noise like thunder breaking on Yagandara Parwata, and made the earth to tremble. In going forth on this occasion, the Cadol elephant made a stop, and recoiled backwards, which he had never done before in going out to twenty-eight battles against Elala Rajah's forces; on which account the king began to think, that for this time the battle would go against him, and took counsel with his giants. The giants answered and said, “ O king, the elephant's going backward is rather marking out the vanquished ground, and where he began to recede we will make our stand."

By this means the army of Gemunu Rajah did not descend to the ground of Ballukayau, and, therefore, he approached with his army to fall upon Gemunu Rajah, and cried out that he would shoot the king. His intention, by making use of these words, was, if the king should attempt to speak, to shoot an arrow into his mouth. The king heard the word, and, as in the mean time, the giant called Pusa Dewa, who

sat behind the king upon the elephant, was ready to shoot Ballukayau, the king called to him, saying, " Why so,

thou abject Malabar ?" in the mean time, covering his mouth with his shield; and, upon these words, Ballukayau let his arrow fly; but as the mouth of Gemunu Rajah was covered with his shield, the arrow striking the same, fell to the ground. The king thereupon spit out of his mouth the spittle which he had masticated, which Balukayau mistaking for blood, cried out with triumph that he had shot the king in the mouth; but while thus uttering his joy, and boasting of his victory, the giant Pusa Dewa let fly his arrow, and shot him in the mouth, whereupon he fell to the ground; and now the ten mighty giants rushed into the middle of the Malabar army, and having made great slaughter, and routed the whole, returned in triumph ; and with great rejoicing, Gemunu Raja and his army again entered Anuradha Pura.

The number of Malabars killed, from the battle of Mihiguna to the battle of Ballukaya, was ten hundred and eighty thousand. Thus be it known, that in order to do much for the religion of Buddha, this king was born with great power, and from one state of being to another, having abounded in good works for a space of time equal to the duration of one asankha and a hundred thousand worlds; and, therefore, may hope to come as the right hand, or first priest, of Mytree Buddha. Know, also, that Tissa Cumara will be the left hand, or second priest, of the said Mytree Buddha.

The king, Gemunu Rajah, extirpated the religion imported into Ceylon by his enemies; caused to be made the dawgob of Mirisawmy-caused pillars of stones to be cut, and placed in forty rows, and forty in each row - caused to be constructed nine hundred thousand houses of mud, and eighty hundred thousand houses which were covered with tiles caused the pillars to be covered over with copper; and also to bebro ug ht through the air from Damba Dewa, the Dhatu of Buddha. He caused nine hundred thousand priests to be set down in the palace Lowau Mahapaweya, and fed them for seven days; supplied them also with clothing — caused the Dhatu of Buddha, which were at the place of the snakes called Naga Cawaua, to be brought to Ruwan Wella, where he caused to be built the dawgob called Maha Sawya - did not allow the commission of sin; abounded in works of charity; and, after a reign of twenty-four years, died, and went to the city of God.

VOL. 111. NO. 6.

х

On the Advantage of affording the Means of Education to the

Inhabitants of the further East. (Communicated by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, Knt., Lieut.-Gov. of Fort

Marlborough, Sumatra.) It is the peculiar characteristic of Great Britain, that wherever her influence has been extended, it has carried civilization and improvement in its train. To whatever quarter of the world her arms or her policy have led her, it has been her object to extend those blessings of freedom and justice, for which she herself stands so pre-eminent. Whether in asserting the rights of independent nations, whether advocating the cause of the captive and the slave, or promoting the diffusion of truth and knowledge, England

led the van. In the vast regions of India, where she has raised an empire unparalleled in history, no sooner was the sword of conquest sheathed, than her attention was turned to the dispensing of justice-to giving security to the persons and property, and to the improvement of the condition of her new subjects—to a reform in the whole judicial and revenue administration of the country-to the establishment of a system of internal management, calculated to relieve the inhabitants from oppression and exaction-and to the dissemination of those principles, and that knowledge, which should elevate the people whom conquest had placed under her sway, and thus to render her own prosperity dependant on that of the people over whom she ruled. A desire to know the origin and early history of the people, their institutions, laws, and opinions, led to associations expressly directed to this end; while, by the application of the information thus obtained to the present circumstances of the country, the spirit and principles of British rule have rapidly augmented the power, and increased the resources of the state ; at the same time, that they have in no less degree tended to excite the intellectual energies, and increase the individual happiness of the people.

The acquisitions of Great Britain in the East have not been made in the spirit of conquest; a concurrence of circumstances not to be controlled, and the energies of her sons, have carried her forward on a tide whose impulse has been irresistible. Other nations may have pursued the same course of conquest and success, but they have not, like her, paused in their career; and, by moderation and justice, consolidated what they had gained. This is the rock on which her Indian empire is placed, and it is on a perseverance in

the principles which have already guided her, that she must depend for maintaining her commanding station, and for saving her from adding one more to the list of those who have contended for empire, and have sunk beneath the weight of their own ambition. Conquest has led to conquest, and our influence must continue to extend'; the tide has received its impetus, and it would be in vain to attempt to stem its current; but let the same principles be kept in view; let our minds and policy expand with our empire, and it will not only be the greatest, but the firmest and most enduring that has yet been held forth to the view and admiration of the world. While we raise those in the scale of civilization over whom our influence or our empire is extended, we shall lay the foundations of our dominion on the firm basis of justice and mutual advantage, instead of the uncertain and unsubstantial tenure of force and intrigue. Such have been the principles of our Indian administration wherever we have acquired a territorial influence; it remains to be considered how they can be best applied to countries where territory is not our object, but whose commerce is not less essential to our interests. With the countries east of Bengal an extensive commercial intercourse has always been carried on; and our influence is more or less felt throughout the whole - from the banks of the Ganges to China and New Holland. Recent events have directed our attention to these, and in a particular manner to the Malayan Archipelago, where a vast field of commercial speculation has been opened, the limits of which it is difficult to foresee. A variety of circumstances have concurred to extend our connexions in this quarter; and late arrangements, by giving them a consistency and consolidation, and uniting them more closely with our best interests, both in India and Europe, have added much to their importance and consideration. Our connexion with them, however, stands on a very different footing from that with the people of India ; however inviting and extensive their resources, it is considered that they can be best drawn forth by the native energies of the people themselves, uninfluenced by foreign rule, and unfettered by foreign regulations; and that it is by the reciprocal advantages of commerce, and commerce alone, that we may best promote our own interests and their advancement: A few stations are occupied for the security and protection of our trade, and the independence of all the surrounding states is not only acknowledged, but maintained and supported by us.

Commerce being, therefore, the principle on which our connexions with the Eastern States are formed, it behoves us to consider the effects which it is calculated to produce. Commerce is universally allowed to bring many benefits in its train, and in particular to be favourable to civilization and general improvement. Like all other powerful agents, however, it has proved the cause of many evils, when improperly directed, or not sufficiently controlled. It creates wants, and introduces luxuries; but if there exist no principle for the regulation of these, and if there be nothing to check their influence, sensuality, vice, and corruption, will be the necessary results. Where the social institutions are favourable to independence and improvement - where the intellectual powers are cultivated and expanded, commerce opens a wider field for their exertion, and wealth and refinement become consistent with all that ennobles and exalts human nature. Education must keep pace with commerce, in order that its benefits may be ensured, and its evils avoided; and in our connexion with these countries, it should be our care, that while with one hand we carry to their shores the capital of our merchants, the other should be stretched forth to offer them the means of intellectual improvement. Happily our policy is in accordance with these views and principles, and neither in the state of the countries themselves, nor in the character of their varied and extensive population, do we find any thing opposed. On the contrary, they invite us to the field; and every motive of humanity, policy, and religion, seems to combine to recommend our early attention to this important object.

A few words will be sufficient to show the nature and extent of this field. Within its narrowest limits, it embraces the whole of that vast Archipelago, which stretching from Sumatra and Java to the Islands of the Pacific, and thence to the shores of China and Japan, has in all ages excited the attention, and attracted the cupidity of more civilized nations; - whose valuable and peculiar productions contributed to swell the extravagance of Roman luxury, and in more modern. times have raised the power and consequence of every successive European nation into whose hands its commerce has fallen: it has raised several of these from insignificance and obscurity to power and eminence; and, perhaps, in its earliest period among the Italian states, communicated the first. electric spark which awoke to life the energies and the literature of Europe. The native population of these in-. teresting islands cannot be estimated at less than from ten to

« AnteriorContinuar »