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There are three schools established; however, they are more for the be. nefit of country-born and Portuguese than for Burmese. The Bur. mese are not averse to learning European arts and sciences, on the contrary they have a predilection for every thing European, the whole nation being convinced, that Europeans are superior to them in every respect.
If means and inducements were diffused to learn the English language, it would form the first important step to the mental improve. ment of the Burmese ; for with the introduction of this language, English sentiments are easily instilled. The establishment of well regulated schools upon these principles would be a great boon, especially if the distinguished pupils, were rewarded with minor places under government.
It would have, besides, the great advantage of rendering the people more attached to their foreign rulers, and acquainted with English ways and customs, of which they are at present entirely ignorant.
The present form of government is too new, too strange to them; the relations between the British and the natives, too few, and too distant to expect, that sympathies should at present exist, or attach. ments be formed.
Though the British government all over India is well established, and is preferred, because decidedly better than any other formerly existing, yet the governing and managing Englishmen, personally, though in many instances highly esteemed, are not always liked, and very rarely beloved, because they are in most cases to the natives & strange enigma.
Value of the Tenasserim provinces as a part of India.--In the first years of their occupation, the question was raised, whether it would not be more advantageous to restore them to Burmah; and when this was abandoned, because deemed impolitic, they were kept as a necessary burden, the expense annually exceeding the revenue derived from them.
Their possession, however, is valuable in a political point of view, besides, containing the elements of great wealth and riches, which want only development, to become pre-eminently conspicuous.
1. They command a great part of the eastern side of the bay of Bengal, which bay became, since the occupation of Tenasserim, a British sea, excluding any other power, and affording additional security to the rest of the Indian possessions.
2. They prove an advantageous position towards Burmah itself,
1 which is peculiarly visible at the present juncture of affairs with that
power. Maulmain being the main point from which an invasion and
conquest can easily be accomplished, without being obliged to plunge r at once, as in the last war, into the hostile territory.
3. Their natural wealth consists, in a number of valuable productions, unknown at the first time of their occupation, and which are more or less wanted in India, such as tin, iron, coal, teak, and other valuable timber, and a host of other minor productions.
4. They afford the best possible field for European enterprize, being adapted for every kind of tropical cultivation, affording therefore the greatest inducement to make them the resort of Europeans.
ART. II.--Memoir on the Climate, Soil, Produce, and Husbandry of Afghanistan and the neighbouring Countries.—By Lieut Irwin.'
SECTION, III.-Of Animals. 143. These countries have for the most part the insects and reptiles, noxious or otherwise, of the neighbouring ones, and present in this department little subject for remark. The warm and moist, abound the most in flies, musquetoes, and scorpions. Peshawur is famous for the last, but their bite is not mortal. During the spring months flies are very numerous, but before midsummer they are greatly diminished. White ants are but few, and in Cabul and the west, there are none. The musqueto is only troublesome in Cabul for about forty days of midsummer. Khoorasan in general is a dry and temperate country, and has few musquetoes; but there are exceptions to the rule, and particularly Hirat and Seestan. The musqueto of Seestan is remarkably large and troublesome. It is pretended they are produced in the fruit of a certain tree, which is, however, not peculiar to that country. To escape their attacks, the natives sleep in what they call pusheekhanas, which are made of the cotton stuff, in Hindoostan called guzee, and which is either made in the country or imported from that to the west. The horses which have not this defence, are so severely bitten as to bleed from the effects, and roll themselves with the pain. The end of summer and the autumn is the season of the musqueto there, as in most other places. Wasps are most numerous in the cold countries. Snakes are found in all except the very coldest, but most of them are innoxious Futihabad, between Jellalabad and Cabul, abounds in
i Continued from p. 900.
venomous snakes. The locust is found in these countries, but commits the greatest ravages in the warm ones and the open plains; it is commonly observed that they are brought by an easterly wind. Two seasons are yet well remembered in which these insects ravaged a part of Khoorasan. They have visited Cabul in this manner but once in the present generation.
144. The wild bee, of the kind which we have domesticated, is a stranger to Cabul, Khoorasan, and Toorkistan. Its nests are very common in the woods of Kushmeer, and beyond the Indus we find them as far as some parts of the Kafeir's country ; in the south they are plentiful; at Bels, on the borders of Bulochistan, they are made on the branches of trees or shrubs, in the clefts of trees, or even on the ground, and contain as far as 30lbs. of honey and wax, but the average is only one-third of this amount. In the warm climates are two seasons of honey, one in May another in October, but the latter only is known in the cold. Two kinds of bees are distinguished, a smaller and larger. The larger has been chiefly domesticated in Kushmeer.
A large earthen vessel is built into the wall of a dwelling house, care being taken to turn the mouth inwards, and to perforate the bottom of the vessel, by which means the bee shall have access to it from without. The mouth of the vessel is shut up, but so, that the owner may open it when he intends taking his share of the honey. Things being thus prepared, a colony of bees are introduced, and being fed on sugar, soon become reconciled to their dwelling. At the proper season the owner takes his share of the honey, and leaves a portion for the sustenance of the bees. The Kushmeerees leave them very little, but make some amends by introducing from time to time boiled pitha as their food.
145. Fish are an important article of diet only in Kushmeer, Sindh, and the neighbouring coast. The species known in our upper provinces, for the most part are found in the rivers of the Punjab and at Peshawur; in Kushmeer, however, the alligator and that other more dangerous animal which the Hindoostanees call mugur, never appear to enter the river, nor are they known in Khoorasan or Toorkistan. Khoorasan has few fish, even if we comprehend Seestan and its lake.
146. This lake is more noted for fowling than fishing. Among its reeds are great numbers of a web-footed bird, which the natives call ghoo, and catch in nets solely with a view to its feathers, which are used in stuffing pillows, and for other purposes. In all these countries ducks are found in a domestic state, but never in great numbers. At Tashkund geese are kept. The common fowl is much kept by the
pasturing tribes. In Bajour, the whole of Toorkistan, especially Bulkh, and some other quarters, this bird is found in a wild state. The chief prey of fowlers is the bird in India called chikor. Some Indian birds are not to be found wild in Peshawur, far less beyond it, for instance the peacock, and that which the English call the adjutant. The parrot and myna are scarcely natives of Toorkistan, or at least of the country beyond the Oxus.
Quadrupeds. 147. The brown ground rat of India is well known in many quarters of Khoorasan and Toorkistan. It prefers a sandy soil, and is a formidable enemy to growing or ripe crops. The musk rat perhaps does not extend to Cabul. The cold countries of Toorkistan and Khoorasan, excepting Hirat, have not the squirrel. The monkey and mungoose are also not found in the same countries, except in Kushmeer, to which the mole seems confined. Hedgehogs, porcupines, turtles, and tortoises are generally diffused, as is the hare. White hares are chiefly found beyond the Jaxartes. In Cabul only is the hare kept in a domesticated state, and they may be purchased in the market for eight annas. The rabbit is not found in these countries, India, or Persia.
148. A variety of the cat is bred in Cabul, and some parts of Toorkistan. By us it is very improperly called Persian,' for very few are found in Persia, and none exported. The Cabulees call this cat bubuk or boorrak, and they encourage the growth of its long hair by washing it with soap and combing it. With respect to the other species of the cat genus, the tiger is found as far as Tashkund, but in that temperate climate he falls much short of the Bengal tiger in strength and ferocity. The lion is a native of Persia, and some are found as far as Tasbkund, in a northerly direction and in an easterly. There remains no doubt of lions being found in Hurriana; but in many of the intermediate countries this ani. mal is very rare.
Neither the lion nor tiger is found in the cold climates, such as Kashkar and the Pamer. Leopards seem to prefer cool hills. They are very common in the Kohistan of Cabul, but they do not attack men.
149. The wolf attacks man only when urged by excessive hun. ger, and hence is the most formidable in cold countries and severe winters. The jackal is known every where, except in the coldest and driest districts. The fox of Toorkistan, and generally of the cold and temperate countries, has all the cunning of the English, unlike the puny fox of India. Chinese Toorkistan is the only market worth
Before proceeding to quadrupeds strictly domestic, we may mention
mentioning for peltry, and thither are carried from independent Toor. kistan, skins of the common brown fox, the black fox, the sable, the ermine, the beaver, and some other fur bearing animals. These are partly known in Khoorasan and Persia, but (except the brown fox) are not found in Cabul or Afghanistan in general. From Toorkistan are also carried the furs of young lambs, the best of which reach the court of Pekin. The lamb must be killed when a few days old.
150. The Mahomedans reckon the bear impure and forbidden, but find several uses for his skin. He frequents the vallies of cold hills, and especially if they possess a stream. In Kushmeer there seems to be two species, the yellow and black. He is scarcely found among the detached hills of Khoorasan. The hog prefers the plains, especially if shrubby. The Hindoos sometimes eat his flesh in secret. The Kafeir's alone eat bears. In Toorkistan young horses are fed up to be slaughtered, and the onager, where found, is eaten. The rude tribes eat flesh in general in a half boiled state, and sometimes raw. The ass and mule are no where eaten.
151. Among quadrupeds, the chief game are the various species of wild goat, antelope, and deer genuses, which pass into one another in such a manner that there is great difficulty in identifying the species from description. The goats inhabit the mountains, the antelopes and deer prefer the plains. Khootun is famous for its musk deer, which are known to be found in some parts of Tibet and on the Pamer. An inferior kind of musk is brought from upper Swad, or perhaps the country beyond it to the north. With respect to what the natives call wild sheep, they cannot be of the same species ticated kinds, but are probably what zoologists call ovis ammon.
152. There is no reason to believe the existence of wild horses in any of these countries. The animal which the Persians call goorkhur is, I presume, the onager, or wild ass of naturalists. This animal is of incomparable swiftness but may be killed by art. He is common in Persia, the western part of Khoorasan, and the plains of Toorkistan, from which he extends north into the Russian dominions and the centre of Asia. A few are kept by the Ymaks more for curiosity than use
as any of the domes
the bos grunniens, or ox of Tibet, which is found in a wild state on the Pamer and the upper parts of Budukhshan, and has also been domesticated by the Kirghizes, who frequent the Pamer. They keep a few of the common kind, but many more of this species.