Imatges de pÓgina

journey along the northern banks of the Nerbedda, which majestically rolls along its mighty and fertilizing stream, through the rich province of Guzerat, and washes the walls of Baroche.

The fine prospects to our right and left were continually varying in interest and beauty, during a three hours journey; when we arrived at the town of Zinore, which is situated on the most lofty bank of the Nerbedda, and commands one of the richest views I ever beheld, over a luxuriant country; in which, woods, streams, beautiful gardens, lofty mountains, and fertile val. lies, were intermingled in harmonising variety.

Hadour journey been through the most ruthless desert, instead of the verdant plains of Guzerat, the interesting conversation of Abdallah would have shortened the distance and beguiled the tedious hours of the journey; and notwithstanding a great part of my attention was occupied in observing the country we passed through, yet I could not resist the inclination I felt to be ac. quainted with the remainder of his travels, and I therefore requested him to renew his narration, wch he did as follows:

As I had passed hastily through the island of Salsette, on my former visit to Bombay, I had

omitted the sight of those celebrated caves, which are situated in the lofty mountains of that island.

As they are justly celebrated for being fine remains of ancient Hindoo architecture and sculpture, I determined to spend several days in an investigation of their peculiar beauties.

I have now seen much of the world, and have seen the most exalted and magnificent works of man, yet I deem the caves in the island of Elephanta, as the most astonishing works of human art and power; and rank them amongst the most wonderful remains of antiquity.

The vast ruins of Persepolis, of Palmyra, and of Balbec, astonish the beholder by their unbounded grandeur and magnificence; and the mighty Pyramids of Egypt strike him with awe and wonder, by their stupendous magnitude; but the lofty and holy temple of Salsette, and the most spacious of the hallowed caverns of the Elephanta, which are planned with no less o taste than of judgment; and whose sacred walls

adorned by numerous and interesting groups of figures, whose vast pillars display such an originality of architectural splendour,“


and whose solemn recesses abound with a profusion of the finest sculpture that has been produced in the eastern world; all loudly demand and deserve our at'ention, for when we consi. der that these astonishing productions of human genius and labour were hown br inches from the solid rock; and that all their pre proportions and beautiful ornaments were all worked in this manner, without piece or without seam: we can scarcely sufficiently admire the genius, or condemn the vast and misapplied labour of those beings who produced them.

Besides the large temples of Salsette, there are several hundred smaller excavations of a si. milar nature, each of which contain two apart. ments, a portico, and a cistern for water; and which are supposed to have been the dwellings of those holy men who officiated at the high altars of the Hindoo Gods.

When I contemplate the remains of those dark and barbarous ages of the world, and which every nation of civilized mankind seems to have undergone, my soul expands in fervent thankfulness and adoration to the God of the universe, "and dwells, with a degree of ecstatic rapture on the prospect of that day; when all the outward shews, and forms, and ceremonies, and empty parade of false religion shall be no more.Oh, how my

heart beats with fervent zeal, for the general welfare of mankind when I contemplate the decreasing gloom of ignorance and superstition. I am sensible of, and do now feel, the glad certainty that knowledge is increasing, and spreading like the smiles of heaven over all the plains of the earth. The picture of almost every domestic circle in society convinces me of this happy truth. I see the offspring excelling their parents in intellect and in knowledge, and I see the rising generation daring to think for themselves, at an age when their grandsires dared not even

their mouths or form an idea ; before their ignorant parents or superiors. Religion, the eternal light hy which the great and excel. lent guide all their steps, is gradually rising like the vast orb of day, in all its heavenly splendour, from those black and condensed clouds of mental darkness, which have so long, and in too great a degree, do yet darken her chief splendour.

The absurd and ridiculous laws of all esta. blished churches and peculiar tenets, become

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those who are gradually parting from the film that has so long darkened their vision, and the blessed and eternal truths, and dispensations of Christianity, 'become less alloyed by the folly, and absurdity of the ignorant, superstitious, and affected portion of mankind. But this is not a place to enter into the wide field of religious disquisition, and I will renew my narrative.

When we are led to consider the great length of time that must have been necessary to complete these temples, of the many thousand arti. ficers that must have been employed, and the astonishing genius of the architect, we become lost in a maze of thought.

History has preserved no account of their ori- . gin, and tradition has furnished no anecdote that conveys' any instruction relating to them. Not even the name of the prince by whom they were projected, nor the age in which he lived has been recorded; or, if they were, the last traces of their existence have long ago rotted in oblivion; and even the puposes of their ordina. tion remain to be conjectured.

As may easily be imagined, the suppositions and speculations of the public mob, have long

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