Communicated this morning with the “Gannet,” an eighteen gun sloop of war from England.

Thursday Evening.--I am every day called upon to admire the intellectual resources of Lady Hastings. Entering con amore into the various scenes to which her high destiny has summoned her, she has been always prepared to meet the exigencies of the period, and to draw from every object a beneficial and edifying character. During her ladyship’s residence in India, the zeal with which she prosecuted the most arduous undertakings for the improvement and happiness of the natives, has the festimonial of every traveller of the time; and I fancy that I am continually discovering some gratifying trait of kindness of heart and strength of intellect. The schools that she established at Barackpore, marked in their progress by the most inveterate prejudices, evince at the same time the spirit with which she commenced, and the humanity and judgment with which she pursued her career. The difficulty of procuring books that the jealousy of the national priesthood would admit, was long a main obstacle to her ladyship's efforts, and this was at length



overcome only by giving herself up to the wearisome labour of compiling, or rather of composing books to which no exception could be taken on the score of doctrine. An object of this nature could arise but from the purest and most amiable feelings; and when I observed to her that the undertaking strongly indicated how much she had its welfare at heart, she answered—“ that it was true; that a thing of such a description-of such deep and vital interest, must necessarily be had at heart by those who had any heart at all.”—I am proud to be the humble instrument of recording these sentiments : I should be proud of it, originating in any class of life, but in a station of such commanding influence--in a sphere where the weight of them is felt as soon as they are uttered, and where a thousand causes contribute to give them an additional efficacy, I am inexpressibly happy! For to say truth, I am something of Sir Edward Coke's opinion, and disposed to think that

“ Ubi non est scientia, ibi non est conscentia *."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

* Institutes, Cap. 63. Fourth Part. VOL. I.

.. Of the ignorance of the natives of India ges nerally, the Marchioness related a curious anecdote. One of her female attendants absented herself during an eclipse of the moon : on enquiring whither she had been, the woman answered that “ she had been paying the cobler, for that it was quite dark.Not perceiving what connection the darkness had with the payment, her ladyship naturally required a solution of the mystery5 Oh!” said the simple creature, “ it is a very old story. A long while ago they borrowed nails and a piece of leather of a cobler to nail over the moon. The cobler never was repaid; so I have been with the rest to pay our share of the money to the priest.”—Her ladyship stated herself a good deal amused with the naïveté of the girl; and to give her ocular demonstration of the possibility of the moon being eclipsed without being shrouded in a leathern case, she placed herself before a lighted lamp which stood in the apartment, so as to intercept its rays, and then bade her observe how easily the light was diminished and the room obscured. The girl readily comprehended the illustration, (for they are naturally a quick and sensible people) and ran

[blocks in formation]

away in great haste and pleasure to communicate the discovery she had made.... . : Friday, 29th April.-A wet morning rez minds me of one or two curious volumes which I picked up during our last visit to Malta. The first is in Latin, and has the following copious title-page." The Sacred History of the Terrestrial Paradise, and of the most holy State of Innocence : in which is described, I. The Terrestrial Paradise. II. The most blessed Life of Adam and Eve in the Garden. III. The most felicitous State of their Posterity, if their original Uprightness had remained. IV, The Temptation, Sin, Judgment and Punishment of our First Parents. Lastly, the wretched Life which for a long Time they dragged on even in sleep. Collected from Scriptures, Councils and Fathers, from Theological, Rabbinical, Historical,. Chronological, and Geographical Exposis tions, &c. By Augustine Inveges, Priest.”. It was published at Palermo in 1649 : .

Among other curiosities, it may be thought worthy of mention, that the first age of the world was constantly in the habit of bringing two and three children into the world at a time; "ob corporis molem, copiosos húmores,

et sic providente Deo humani generis multiplicationi.”—“ But how many children were our first parents blessed with in the whole period of their long life? This is not quite clear ; but Epiphanius says twelve sons and two daughters, Sava and Azura ; the former of whom was the wife of Cain, and the latter of Seth. However, Philo Annianus asserts that they had thirteen sons and five daughters, whose names he also puts on record. Cedrenus, again, affirms that Adam left thirty-three sons and twenty-seven daughters, but he cannot give us their names. And if, as Moses assures us, Adam lived 930, and Eve, as we have shewn above, 940 years, it is not to be doubted but that, in the course of such a life, they had a much greater number of both sexes.

• Eve weaned her children when they were twelve years old ;--s0 saith Cedrenus. She also brought forth twins annually, a male and a female : consequently, in the thirteenth year of the world, she had twenty-four children, twelve males and twelve females, to all of whom it is certain that she gave suck. But how could a single mother provide for nearly two dozen babes at the same time, and with her

« ForrigeFortsett »