Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

TAL OF INDIA.

future joy; but in return, the fairy and sixty-one feet in length, sur. promises of hope, by detaching the rounded at top by three magnificent eye from the passing scene, alevi- domes of white marble, intersected ate the pang of actual misery with with black stripes, and flanked by the cheering view of bliss hereafter two minarets of black marble, and to be enjoyed.

red stone alternately, rising to the It is by a wise dispensation of height of a hundred and thirty feet. Providence that the human mind is Each of these minarets has three ever unsatisfied with that which it projecting galleries of white marpossesses ,....this eager longing ble, and their summits are crowned for futurity” is a proof that we are with light octagon pavilions of the destined to a state of more exalted same. The whole front of the Jama bliss than the present one, in which Musjed is faced with large slabs of nothing can arrest the fancy from beautiful white marble, and along its flights into the ideal world of un- the cornice are ten compartments, arrived events. Were it not thus, four feet long, and two and a half we should see men more disposed broad, which are inlaid with into profit by the reasonings of phi- scriptions in black marble, in the losophers, and to attend to the Nuskhi character, and are said to paths they are actually confined to. contain great part, if not the whole, (7 be continued.)

of the Koran. The inside of the mosk is paved throughout with large flags of white marble, deco

rated with a black border, and is ACCOUNT OF DELHI, THE CAPI- wonderfully beautiful and delicate;

the flags are about three feet in

length, by one and a half broad. Shah Jehanabad is adorned with The wall and roof are lined with many fine mosks, several of plain white marble, and near the which are still in perfect beauty and Kibla is a handsome taak or niche, repair. The following are most adorned with a profusion of freezeworthy of being described, and work. Close to this is a mimber, first, the Jama Musjed, or great or pulpit of marble, having an ascathedral. This mosk is situated cent of four steps, and ballustraded. ahout a quarter of a mile from the The ascent to the minarets is by a royal palace: the foundation of it winding staircase of a hundred and was laid upon a rocky eminence, thirty steps of red stone, and at named Jujula Pahar, and has been the top you have a noble view of the scarped on purpose. The ascent king's palace, and the whole of the to it is by a flight of stone steps, Cuttub Minar, the Currun Minar, thirty-five in number, through a Hummaioon's tomb, the palace of handsome gateway of red stone. Feroze Shah, the fort of old Delhi, The doors of this gateway are co

and the fort of Loni, on the oppovered throughout with plates of site side of the Jumna. The domes wrought brass, which Mr. Bernier are crowned with cullises, richly imagined to be copper. The ter- gilt, and present a glittering aprace on which the mosk is situ- pearance from a distance. This ated, is a square of about fourteen mosk was begun by Shah Jehan, hundred yards of red stone; in the in the fourth year of his reign, and centre is a fountain lined with mar- completed in the tenth : the ex. ble, for the purpose of performing penses of its erection amounted to the necessary ablutions, previous ten lacks of rupees; and it is in to prayer. An arched colonade of every respect worthy of being the red stone surrounds the whole of grand cathedral of the empire of the terrace, which is adorned with Hindestan. octagon pavilions, at convenient Not far from the palace is the distances, for sitting in. The mosk mosk of Roshun-a-Dowlah, renis of an oblong form, two hundred dered memorable to the Delhians

for being the place whence Nadir front of it, with a capacious reser. Shah saw the massacre of the un- voir faced with marble. The prin. fortunate inhabitants. The cause cess who built it, having declined assigned by historians for this in- entering into the marriage state, human act is, that a sedition broke laid out a large sum of money in out in the great market, in which the above mosk, and, on completing two thousand Persians were slain. it, she built a small sepulchre of Nadir, on hearing of the tumult, white marble, surrounded by a wall marched out of the fort at night of the same, in the west corner of with a small force to the Musjed of the terrace. In this tomb she was Roshun-a-Dowlah, where he was buried in the year of the Hegira fired upon in the morning from a 1122, corresponding with the year neighbouring terrace, and an offi- of Christ 1710. There were forcer killed close by his side. He merly lands allotted for the support instantly ordered an indiscriminate and repairs of this place, amountslaughter of the inhabitants, and ing to a lack of rupees per annum, his squadrons of cavalry, pouring but they have all been confiscated through the streets, before the af- during the troubles this city has ternoon put to death one hundred undergone. Exclusive of the mosks thousand persons of all descrip- above described, there are in Shah tions. “The king of Persia," says Jehanabad and its environs, above the translator of Ferishta,“ sat forty others; but as most of them during the dreadful scene, in the are of inferior size, and all of them Musjed of Roshun-a-Dowlah ; none of the same fashion, it is unnecesbut slaves durst come near him, sary to present any further detail. for his countenance was dark and The modern city of Shah Jehaterrible. At length the unfortunate nabad is rebuilt, and contains many emperor, attended by a number of good houses, chiefly of brick. The his chief Omrahs, ventured to ap- streets are in general narrow, as proach him with downcast eyes. is usual in most of the large cities The Omrahs who preceded Mo- in Asia ; but there were formerly hummud, bowed down their fore- two very noble streets ; the first heads to the ground. Nadir Shah leading from the palace-gatethrough sternly asked them what they wan- the city to the Delhi gate, in a dited; they cried out with one voice, rection north and south, I'his u Spare the city.” Mohummud street was broad and spacious, hasaid not a word, but tears flowed ving handsome houses on each side fast from his eyes; the tyrant, for of the way, and merchants shops, once touched with pity, sheathed well furnished with the richest arhis sword, and said, 6. For the sake ticles of all kinds. Shah Jehan of the prince Mohummud, I for- caused an aqueduct to be made of give.” Since this dreadful massa- red stone, which conveyed the wacre, this quarter of Delhi has heen ter along the whole length of the but very thinly inhabited. The street, and from thence into the mosk of Roshun-a-Dowlah, is situ- royal gardens, by means of a reserated at the entrance of the Chand- voir under ground. Some remains ney Choke, or market; it is built of the aqueduct are still to be seen ; of red stone, of the common size, but it is choaked up in most parts and surmounted by three domes with rubbish. The second grand richly gilt.

street waslikewise from the palace Zeenul-al-Mussajid, or the orna- to the Lahor gate, lying east and ment of mosks, is on the banks of west: it was equal in many rethe Jumna, and was erected by a spects to the former, but in both of daugter of Aurungzebe, of the them the inhabitants have spoiled name of Zeenut-al Nissa’h. It is their appearance by running a line of red stone, with inlavings of mar- of houses down the centre, and ble, and has a spacious terrace in across the strects in other places,

LABRE.

so that it is with difficulty a person of the chancery office. Whether can discover their former situation the city be of the antiquity report. without a narrow inspection. The ed, is difficult to determine ; but bazars in Delhi are but indifferently this much is certain, that the vast furnished at present, and the popu- quantity of buildings which are to lation of the city miserably reduced be found in the environs, for up, of late years : the Chandny Choke wards of twenty miles in extent, is the best furnished bazar in the as well as their grandeur and style city, though the commerce is very of architecture, prove it to have trifling. Cotton cloths are still ma once been a rich, flourishing, and nufactured, and the inhabitants ex- populous city, port indigo: their chief imports are by means of the northern cara, vans, which come once a year, and bring with them, from Cabul and ACCOUNT OF THE VENERABLE Cashmere, shawls, fruit, and horses, the two former articles are procurable in Delhi at a reasonable In the course of the month of rate. There is also a manufacto- April, 1783, while Pius VI, was on ry at Delhi for bedree hooka bot- ' a visit to the Pontine marshes, a retoms. The cultivation about the port was suddenly spread in Rome, city is principally on the banks of of the death of a French beggar, the Jumna, where it is very good; who was become the object of pubthe neiglıbourhood produces corn lic veneration. His body, which and rice, millet and indigo. The was exposed for three days, prelimes are very large and fine. Pre- served, it was said, the flexibility of cious stones are likewise to be had its members, without shewing the at Delhi of very good quality, par. least sign of putrefaction. He had ticularly the large red and black lived nine years at Rome unnoticed cornelians, and peerozas are sold by every one ; but no sooner had in the bazars.

he closed his eyes, than the most The city is divided into thirty-six edifying wonders were related of mohauls or quarters, each of which him. He had led the most pious is named either after the particu- and most exemplary life. Reduced lar Omrah who resided there, or to the lowest degree of indigence, from some local circumstance rela- he added voluntary sufferings to his tive to the place. It appears that unavoidable privations; covered the modern city of Shah Jehana- with rags, he remained exposed to bad has been built principally upon the inclemency of the weather, and two rocky eminences; the one by way of penance, suffered the where the Jama Musjid is situated, vermin to prey upon his flesh. Manamed Julula Pahar, and the other ny persons recollected to have seen the quarter of the oil sellers, called him stand motionless in the streets, Bejula Pahar; from both of these and at the doors of churches, exeminences you have a commanding pecting, without asking, the charity view of the remainder of the city. of passengers. It was said, that he Ancient Delhi is said by the histo, was accustomed to distribute the rians to have been erected by Rajah surplus of the alms he received to Lelu, who reigned in Hindostan other paupers, and that he had preprior to the invasion of Alexander dicted the moment of his death, the Great; others afirm it to have The greatest personage in Rome, been built by Rajah Peitourah, who the populace, and all, the priests, flourished in a much later period. hastened in crowds to his tomb, It is called in Sanscrit, Indraput, where a great number of miracles or the abode of Indra, one of the were performed. The sick were Hindoo deities, aad it is also thus carried thither : they returned distinguished in the royal diplomas hçaled; and these wonders, as als

ways happens, were attested by nu- cularly to our lady of Loretto, and merous and creditable witnesses. to the holy bodies of the apostles The most minute particulars of his Peter and Paul. He then came life were collected; his portrait and settied at Rome, which he newas engraved; and in less than ver quitted, unless to go once a year twenty-four hours more than four to Loretto. He lived at Rome upthousand impressions were sold. on alms, of which he reserved but While waiting for canonisation, the very little for himself, constantly title of veneradle was adjudged to giving the surplus to the poor. He him. Men of observing minds were led at the same time a very exemnot long before they perceived that plary life, allowing himself only this was a competitor, set up by the what was rigorously necessary for Jesuistical party, in opposition to his food and raiment; holding all the venerable Palafox, whose speedy worldly things in sovereign concanonisation the court of Spain was tempt; and cdifying mankind by at that moment, soliciting out of ha- the severe penance he imposed uptred to the Jesuits. It was the on himself ; by the continual prayheads of that party who appeared ers which he offered up in the to concern themselves the most churches ; and by the other emiabout the beatified beggar. In the nent virtues which he displayed. absence of the pope, the cardinal. Although, while living thus, he apvicar gravely countenanced the peared disgusting from the rags disgusting farce ; and, at the end with which he was covered, he was, of three days exhibition, ordered nevertheless, rendered dear and the holy mendicant to be pompousa amiable to other men by his manly interred in a vault constructed ners, forgetting himself and seeking on purpose by the side of the princi- only to please God. On the 16th pal altar of the church of Madonna of April, 1783, after a long prayer del Monte. In his tomb was inclos- in the church of Madonna del Moned a brief notice of his life written te, he was seized with a fainting in Latin, an Italian translation of fit, and carried to the house of a which was profusely given away. pious man, who happened to be In spite of thy style of minute exag- there. His disorder growing worse geration, in which this singular he received extreme unction, and piece of necrology was composed, at an hour after midnight, departed means could not be found to render this life. The following day his it interesting. It was confined to body was conveyed, with decent the few following facts.

funeral ceremonies, at the expense “ Benedict Joseph, son of J. B. of some good Christians, to the said Labre and of Anne-Barbe Gransir, church. The report of his death was born on the 26th of March, diffused itself through the city; and 1748, in the parish of St. Sulpice ere long, such an immense number d'Anettes, in the diocese of Bou- of persons of all ranks hastened logne. After having passed his thither to see him, that it became youth in the most orderly manner, necessary to call in the assistance under the care of an uncle, who of the military, to keep off the was curate of Erin, he determir.ed crowd. His body was thus exposed to devote himself to a life of peni- till the evening of Easter-day (the tence, and took the monastic habit 20th of April), when it was attestin the convent of Sept. Fonts of the ed by eye-witnesses, before a notaCistercian order. The austerity of ry, that it was still flexible, palpathis mode of life occasioned a dis- ble, and free from putridity. It was ease, which he suffered patiently; then put into a wood coffin, which but the physicians obliged him to was sealed with the scal of the carlay aside the habit, after a noviciate dinal vicar, inclosed in another cofof eight months. He afterwards fin also of wood, and deposited in a went on several pilgrimages, parti- vault, constructed on purpose, on

the epistle side * of the principal tryman in heaven, and recommend altar of the said church.”

ed him to their devotion. He colThis monument of superstition lected with scrupulous attention the and hypocricy is worthy of preser- most minute particulars of the life vation. It is well that posterity of the venerable Labre, both during should know with what consummate his abode under the paternal roof, impudence the priests imposed on and after he quited it. His relathe credulity of the people at the tions, intoxicated with the unhopedend of this enlightened century, in for honour, and little inclined to a city abounding with illustrious per- wait for the happiness that would sonages, with travellers from eve- thence result to them in heaven, alry part of Europe, and with master- ready thought their fortune made pieces of art. It is well that pos- upon earth; and solicited pensions terity should be able to appreciate and benefices; while the sage carthose factious knaves, who, disguis- dinal de Bernis, who knew not wheing their worldly ambition under ther to laugh or weep at all these the mask of fanaticism, had the ef- follies, saw a new article added to frontery to engage heaven in a con- his diplomatic correspondence. He test with earth ; called upon the advised the enthusiastic admirers devout to pay homage to a vile of the holy man to moderate their mendicant, whose only merit, ac- zeal; or at least to defer the exprescording to their own confession, sion of it, until it should be proved was the having led a useless and that their new idol was deserving disgusting life ; and thus exposed of their worship. But at Rome noto ridicule that religion of which thing could repress the transports they called themselves the support. of devotion. To doubt the miraers; and paved the way for its final cles of the blessed Labre was impieoverthrow.

ty. His revered images were proInstead of the hand of God, the fusely circulated ; the pencil, the hand of the Jesuits was plainly visi- burin, and the chisel, emulated each ble in the whole of this affair. In other in producing them; and even order that the enthusiasm inspired the scraps of his ragged apparel by the new saint, might not cool, a became an object of contention. collection was made to defray the The Pope himself, at a loss how to expenses of his beatification; and act; dreading the reproach of fathis pious care was entrusted by vouring Jesuitical intrigues, and the cardinal-vicar to several per- dreading still more the danger of sons of distinction at Rome, notori- opposing them openly, dared not ous for their attachment to the de- refuse to join his pious homage to funct society. Care was taken to in- that which was lavished upon the form all the friends it had in France, relics of the holy mendicant; orderof the miracles performed by the ed the bedstead in which his disholy Labre, which wanted nothing gusting limbs had been laid, to be but witnesses; and of his prophe- carried to the Vatican; and resolycies, which were only known to his ed to make it serve for the repose confessor, and which threatened the of his own. Holy See with great calamities, In the meantime, information that were about to follow the sup- continued to be collected, with repression of the Jesuits. The bishop gard to Benedict Labre, as well at of Boulogne, one of their furious Rome as out of Italy. The whole partisans, already announced to his of it did not prove to his advantage. flock, that they had another coun It was even to be feared lest one of

his letters sent to that capital of the * In Roman catholic churches, the Christian world, by the bishop of two sides of the church are distin- Boulogne, should throw a damp upguished by the terms, the gospel side, on the fervour of the devout. In and the epistle side. T.

that letter, Labre advised his pe

« PreviousContinue »