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journey thus far-only your own perseverance; my mate is sick, but I will take you upon my back.
[The Bird carries the Prince.
Prince. Oh Bounmadee! thou mighty bird, alight under the shadow of these banyan trees, and leave me alone.
SCENE 1st.-City of the Silver Mountain.
King. Millions of nobles, wearers of the golden chains of nobility, who follow behind me-my daughter Devay Manan having returned from the country of mortals, will bathe and anoint herself; appoint therefore 500 beautiful maids with budding breasts, to take each nine golden goblets, and go in procession to the east side of the city, to draw water for the ceremony.
Noble. My lord, we attend. Let Maensa be appointed directress of the procession. [To Maensa]. Go forth to the lake without the walls to the east of the city, and draw water for the approaching ceremony. SCENE 2nd.-Procession of Women.
Maensa. Ladies, under the shade of those banyan trees before us I see a young (Nat) spirit sitting, if he calls answer him not; she that transgresses shall pay a fine of five tecals.
Prince. Lovely palace damsels, if you have with you a little betel leaf, I entreat you to give me some.
One of the ladies. Do not be concerned, my lord, for betel leaf; if you desire it, I will give myself to you.
Prince. Oh deities, angels, and spirits! let this ring which I drop into the water reach the hand of my beautiful Manan!
[He assists a maid to place the vessel of water upon her head and drops the ring into it.]
SCENE 3rd.-The Palace.
Manan (while washing finds the ring.) Ladies, tell me if any thing happened at the lake, when the procession went out to draw
Maensa. Under the shade of the banyan trees which grow there we found a young spirit resting himself, and he assisted one of the maids to place the water vessel upon her head.
Manan. Oh my husband, come and take me!
The news of the young prince's arrival being communicated to the king, he is very angry that a mortal should presume to enter his country and lay claim to his daughter; he therefore orders that he be made to ride upon some wild horses and elephants, and the young prince acquitting himself surprisingly well in training them, the king promises to give him his daughter, if he can shoot an arrow from one of the bows of the palace. The prince shoots an arrow with ease and dexterity; but the king insists upon another trial-he obliges the prince to select the little finger of Manan from amongst those of her sisters, which are thrust to him through a screen; this also the prince does, by the assistance of the King of Nats.
ART. II.—On the Bora Chung, or Ground Fish of Bootan.
GENTLEMEN,-The following account of the Bora Chung or as it may be called, the Ground-Fish of Bootan, is so extraordinary, as to be worthy I think of the attention of the Asiatic Society, for so far as I know it is new. I am indebted for it to Mr. Russell, of Rungpore. The Bora Chung is a thick cylindrical fish, with a body somewhat like a pike but thicker, with a snub nose, and grows from three pounds weight, to a length of two feet. The colour is olive green, with orange stripes; and the head speckled with crimson spots. It is eaten by the natives of Bootan, and said to be delicious.
The Bora Chung is found in Bootan, on the borders of the Chail Nuddee, which falls into the river Dhallah, a branch of which runs into the Teestah at Paharpore. It is not immediately on the brink of the water, however, that the fish is caught, but in perfectly dry places, in the middle of a grass jungle, sometimes as far as two. miles from the river. The natives search this jungle till they find a hole, about four or five inches in diameter, and into it they insert a stick to guide their digging a well, which they do till they come to the water; a little cow-dung is then thrown into the water, when the fish rises to the surface. Mr. Russell has known them to be from six to nineteen feet deep in the earth.
Mr. Russell describes their other habits as not less curious. They are invariably found in pairs, two in each hole; never more nor less. He has not met with any less than three to four pounds; but as before said, they grow to the length of two feet. He has seen them go along the ground, with a serpentine motion, very fast, though the natives say they never voluntarily rise above the surface. In some
places they are very common, and live a long time when taken out of the water, by being sprinkled over occasionally with that fluid. One which Mr. Russell thinks to be the female, is always smaller, and not so bright in colour as the other.
I regret this account is so imperfect, especially as I have seen the fish, for when I was at Titalya, in March last, Mr. Russell very kindly sent me two of them. Unfortunately I was on the eve of starting with my family for the hills, and in the bustle of packing up, I had not time to examine them, intending on my arrival here to describe, and preserve the specimens for the Society. And still more unfortunately, I was unable to convey them up here, having been for want of carriage obliged to leave even many of the necessaries of life behind. Mr. Russell undertook to bring them with him; but one of them died and was thrown away in the plains, and the other made its escape from the vessel in which it was confined at Punkahbarry. He has promised to procure other specimens, so I hope soon to have the pleasure of sending some to the Society's Museum.
DARJEELING, 10th July, 1839.
J. T. PEARSON.
ART. III.-Extracts from official records, with descriptive details regarding the new Nizamut Palace of Moorshedabad-erected by Colonel D. M'LEOD, Chief Engineer of Bengal.
A superb model of the Moorshedabad Palace is now displayed in the apartments of the Asiatic Society, erected on a scale of half an inch to the foot; it forms an object of perhaps greater interest to the spectator, than would the noble edifice it represents. In the model we have all the details of the structure at once exposed and intelligible. To the amateur architect, as indeed to the general visitor, the documents we now publish, will doubtless prove an instructive and valuable lesson in classical architecture. We should not omit to mention, that every part of the model is of native workmanship, and of the most perfectly beautiful execution.-EDS.
To the Military Board.
GENTLEMEN,-I am directed by the Honorable the Deputy Governor of Bengal, to transmit for your information and guidance, the accompanying copy of a correspondence with the Committee appointed to report on the Nizamut buildings at Moorshedabad.
2. In making this communication, the Deputy Governor has desired me to observe, with respect to the further works contemplated, the most important are, a new Imambarra, in substitution for the old one, stated to be in a ruinous condition; the removal of Meer Munglee's house, and the building of a new one; and, lastly, a Mudrisso or College. The cost of the whole of these, and of furniture for the Palace, is estimated for 3,60,000, of which 1,50,000 has already been sanctioned for the Imambarra and for the Nawaub's house.
4. His Honor the Deputy Governor, further desires me to take this opportunity of observing, that much praise is due to Colonel D. M'Leod, who has designed and executed this noble edifice, which will long remain a monument of the ability of its architect.
9th January, 1839.
I have, &c.
(Signed) H. T. PRINSEP, Sec. to the Govt. of Bengal.
Extracts from the Report of the Special Committee of Inspection; dated 10th November, 1838.
We have the honor to submit, for the information of His Honor the Deputy Governor of Bengal, the result of our proceedings consequent upon the receipt of your letters of the 12th, 19th, ultimo, and without. date, received at Moorshedabad, from the Governor General's Agent, in regard to the Nizamut buildings at Moorshedabad.
3. The new Palace is in length 425 feet, by 200 feet in breadth; and of one Order of architecture throughout the whole of its exterior, without any intermixture of the same on a reduced scale, or of any other Order. It stands on a slight elevation, produced by raising the foundation walls three feet above the general level of the ground, and filling up with earth to that height, in a gradual slope, to the extent permitted by the surrounding buildings, and the termination of the premises towards the river, on the banks of which the Palace stands-a conspicuous and imposing feature in the landscape from a great distance. The effect anticipated by raising the structure, as just described, has been fully accomplished.
4. The Order employed is the Grecian Doric. It is forty-six feet nine inches in height, having fluted columns thirty-six feet high; five feet six inches in diameter at the base, and four feet one and a half inches at the neck, with corresponding antæ, and an entablature of ten feet nine inches; the whole surmounting a basement of eighteen feet six inches, of which three feet six inches forms the plinth of the building. Over the entablature are parapet walls, varying in height according to circumstances, and ornamented with panels, plinths, and cornices. The pro
jections of the cornice of the Order are of stone, having the guttæ and lilies in the angles cut out of the solid. Nothing could be more satisfactory than the execution of the whole detail of what this involves. The Doric Order is notoriously of difficult management, when applied to edifices of complicated design, from the necessity of observing the rules prescribed for the introduction of the triglyphs in the frieze of the entablature. In the present instance, with many projections and recesses, tending to create difficulties, there was not discoverable the slightest deviation from what these rules demand; the cornices and mouldings were noticed as being cleanly and sharply cut and defined, and all lines and surfaces, whether of stone or plaster, exhibited the most successful result of much labour and minute attention.
5. On the south front is a portico of eight columns, ninety-seven feet nine inches in length, surmounted by a pediment twelve feet high, and having a strong trussed roof of timber secured transversely by iron tie-rods. To the north, is the entrance portico of six columns, measuring seventy feet nine inches in length, with a corresponding trussed roof to the pediment, which rises ten feet; in the tympanum of either pediment are the arms of the Nuwaib Nazim, perfectly executed in relievo, and forming a very appropriate and effective finish to the whole.
6. Leading to the northern portico, is a noble flight of stone steps, commencing in its breadth above from the centre of the end columns, and having a platform stretching out in the same parallel to a width of twenty-four feet nine inches, from which, descending, it curves outwards on either side till it ends at its base, in a line extending to the length of 129 feet. There are two intermediate platforms, one of ten, and one of five feet in width; in a line with which last, at the extremities, are well proportioned pedestals with stone slabs, bearing inscriptions (the letters cleanly cut in relief) in English and Persian, exhibiting particulars connected with the erection of the edifice, (see enclosure No. 1,) and in front of these pedestals, on blocks carried out from their bases, corresponding in height and breadth with the last flight of steps, and ten feet six inches in length, are placed two sphinxes, admirably executed, both as regards the design and workmanship. They are of solid teak, but painted and sanded so as exactly to resemble stone, and form highly ornamental appendages to the entrance in the position they occupy. Iron railing, of a graceful pattern, corresponding with that of the colonnades (rising from which are five lamp-posts on either side, with three on either pedestal below) surmounts the flight at either extremity. Underneath, is a capacious carriage way; and there are three vaulted ranges, two of them open,