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CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE

BY HENRY SIRR

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THE LIBRARY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES

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CEYLON
THE CINGALESE.

PD

What Heaven

What

It

is

a goodly sight to see


!

hath done for this delicious land


blush on every tree
hills
!

fruits of fragrance

St
expand
!"

What

goodly prospects o'er the

sk

ud io

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Byrok.

AND

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CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE;


THEIR

HISTORY, GOVERNMENT,
THE

AND

RELIGION,

ANTIQUITIES, INSTITUTIONS, PEODUCE,

REVENUE, AND CAPABILITIES

OF THE ISLAND;
WITH

ANECDOTES ILLUSTRATING

THE
MAKNEES AND CUSTOMS
OF THE

PEOPLE.

HENRY CHARLES

Lincoln's inn, b arrister- at-law,

PD

LATE DEPUTY QUEEN's ADVOCATE

de

sk

SOUTHERN

CIRCUIT IN

VOL.

LONDON:

WILLIAM SHOBERL, PUBLISHER,


20,

GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET.


1850.
SEntcrtlJ at ^tatiomriS' Hall.

St
BY
SIRR, M.A.,
OF

ANn

FOR THE

THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.

ud io
I.

Tr

ia

PRINTED BY

G. J.

PALMER, SAVOY 8TREKT, STHAND.

de

sk

PD

St

ud io
LONDON
:

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ia

J^
/T

THE MOST NOBLE AND RIGHT HONORABLE

&c.

&c.

C!)uS E23ork t^, fin pcrmtji^ton, rcspcctfulln Uctliratclr,

de

sk

HUMBLE SERVANT,
THE AUTHOR.

PD

BY HIS LORDSHIP'S

MOST OBEDIENT,

St

ud io
&c.

LORD LIEUTENANT OF THE COUNTY OF MIDDLESEX,

Tr
,

MARQUIS OF SALISBURY, K.G

D.C.L.,

ia

"N

JAMES BROWNLOW WILLIAM GASCOIGNE CECIL,

de F St ud io Tr ia l

sk

PD

recent events in Ceylon, and the desire for infor-

mation evinced by

all classes

the late Rebellion, we have been induced to prepare

St
and

after our return

of this beautifid island,

sk

Our object has been

PD

which appeared

in a

from the Colony.


to unfold the capabilities
call attention

the following pages for the press,

leading periodical shortly

ud io

From

the

extraordinary interest created by

upon the subject of some portion of

Tr
to its

de

undeveloped resources

amongst the former may


to

be classed the proposed emigration


Ellia,

and amongst the

latter the

long talked

ia
Neweraof,

and

essential undertaking

ancient tanks

the

the restoration of the


last-

whole credit of which

named

proposition, a recent writer,

who has never


for
of,

visited the Colony, has

most unjustly claimed

himself, although the greater

number

if not all,

PREFACE.

vm
authors

PREFACE.

who have sojourned

in the "

Cinnamon

Isle" have referred to the subject.

In the performance of our task,

voured to notice, and believe


sidered,

we have endeathat we have condescribed


the
its

every topic

of interest,

general features of the countiy,


tiquities

glorious an-

and

literature,
its

and

illustrated the cha-

As a book

ia

racter

and habits of

of reference,

mixed population. we have essayed

to

render these pages useful, by the classification


of chapters, each devoted to a particular subject.

The
glanced

ancient history of Lanka-diva has been


at,

and

its

modem,

is

fully entered into, and,

F
it

St

which

connected with European rule, has been


being brought down to the

present period,

includes a

OF THE LATE KaNDL^N REBELLION, ITS ORIGIN,

the supposed grievances of our fellow-suhjects,

de

(ind the critical position of the colonial govern))ieni.

We
tion

sk

AND CONSEQUENCES, together with an expose of

have also ventured, from personal obsei'vafacts, to

PD

and

show the

as a punishment, or example, amongst a population professing the tenets of


April, 1850.
1,

New

Square, Lincoln's Inn.

ud io

or that portion tliereof

complete account

inefficiency of death,

Buddhism.

Tr

IX

CONTENTS

CHAPTER
Poiut de Galle

PD

Beauty of the scenery aud Arrival of steamerScene on boai'dNative Touters lodging-bouses Custom the House Grotesque appearance of Cbitty Man De Guai'd-house Queen's house scription of the your comDwellings Moonnen Pettah Paying
liai-bour

Canoes

ti-aders

to

de

sk

plexion.

.....
for

fort

St

ud io
I.

Tr
Page
1

CHAPTER

II.

Going to call the coach, instead of the coach calling for you Preparations for Departure Description of the Royal Mails in Ceylon The Colombo road Wild PeaBentotte cock Guano ^lonkeys Toddy di-awers Kestive horses Anecdote Caltura Beauty of scenery Cinnamon plantations Pagoda tree The fashionable Curious Colpetty The Galle Face quarter of Colombo Arrival of the Royal Mail, gives gazers at new-comers

ia

OF THE FIEST VOLUME.

CONTENTS.
rise to conjectures as to

who

the new-comers are, and


.
.

wherefore they have come to Ceylon.

19

CHAPTER
Colombo

III.

PD

Harbom* Custom-house Animated scene Troops Queen's HousePublic in the FortPettah Native tradersChui'ches, chapels, and table institutions Public in the PettahNative Slave Island Galle Face Colonial manners The climate upon the female character The drive Beauty of the spotSunset Seabreezes E vening CinnamonTribute manded by the Portuguese Cultivation introduced by the Dutch Value of the monopoly the Dutch and English governmentsDescription of the Uses of every portion of the cinnamon-laurelPeeling knives Number of crops in the yearPrei)aring the spice ChaUiasor cinnamon peelersPunkahsThe of an unexpected downfall Dessert Crows, their boldness and
Derivation of the name of the Port
Fortifications
offices

religious

chari-

offices

effect of

fasliionable

Tr
to
.

ia
shiTib

police

l
.

Fii-e-fiies

de-

St

ud io

result

audacity.

.39

sk

CHAPTER

IV.
ter-

de

Situation of
races

KandyRoute Bridge of boatsPaddy Aspect of the people AmbepusseMountain zoneKadaganawa pass Mountain scenery Talapat, or great fan palmAnimal Draught elephants Peredenia Bridge and Botanical gardens Curious specimens of the vegetable kingdomTravellers' fiiend City of Kandy lake Bathing house of the Queen's Palace Native shops Customs Buildings Artillery-barracks Deficiency of water The governor's
life

Artfficial

CONTENTS.
residence
site

Xi
of

Beauty of the architectm-e and Views Doombera Major Davie's Groimds of the PavilionLady Horton's roadGrandeur of neiy Altitude of the mountains Military on One-tree hUl Legend Kurunaigalla tunnel Compulsory labour Animals, and ia the
the valley of
tree
sce-

station

bii-ds,
.

reptiles,

sur-

rounding oountiy.

.72

CHAPTER
Route
of
to

V.

de

sk

Native suspension bridgeCaves Remains of tanksDifficulty of construct ing a portion of the road Hot wellsTemperatm-e the waters Beneficial application in certain diseases Legend attached to the waters Coast and liarbour of Trincomalee longitude Size of harbour Fort of Trincomalee Town buildings Troops Insalubrity of the climate Tiincomalee named in ancient records Colony of Malabars established there before 125 A.D. Interesting religious ceremony on the promonotory in honour of Siva Pillar the memory of Francia van Rhede Melancholy histoiy Fantastic appearance of the Quartz RocksPrincipal roads 99
Trincomalee

Dambool

Tr

ia

situation, latitude,

PD

St

CHAPTER

Newera EUia The sanatorium of the islandThe roadMountain conflagration Convalescent station for the

militaiy,

established

1829 Cascades

Scenery European aspect of the dwellings Vegetation The town Public buildings Salubrity of the climate Farming experiments Great capabilities and soU of Newera ElliaProposed plan of emigration Price of stock and
Newera
Ellia a royal residence in 1628
fertile

ud io
to

VI.

of

Rambodde

l
-of

Xll

CONTENTS.

produce

Iron found on the plainCarnage roads^FootHorton Plains, the highest tahle-land in Ceylon Luxuriant specimens or pitcher plant Nelu, or of the Nepenthes
path to the summit of Pedi'o-talla galla
distillatoria,
.
.

honey plant.

.115

CHAPTER

VII.

Geological character of the island

PD

Minerals Salt lakes Revenue arising from themTanksAgiicultm-e Nawhen the paddy trodden out plough Mystic CultivationLemon grass Value and uses of cocoanut trees Cinnamon Coffee Sugai* Cotton Tobacco Areka nutsAmbuprasudana, or water nutJack and IndigoMulbeny treesTalapat pahii Mee Ebony treeCalamander Red sandal and satin-wood The Kabook ^Variety of the vegetable world The bo, or sacred Capabilities of cultivation and extraordinary of the Expense of housekeeping Prices of provisions at Galle and Colombo Meat Poultry Fish and Fnxit Vegetables Servants' wages House-rent Same
tive
rite

bread-fi-uit trees

tree

ud io

trees

St

Tr
ti'ee

tree

tree

ia
is

fertility

de

sk

Kandy and Newera EUia.

....
VIII.
to
tail

tisheries

soil

at

134

CHAPTER

Natural histoiy

and Dionysius

Elephants of Ceylon spoken of by Pliny Sagacity Trained be executioners by the kings of Kandy Ancient mode of valuing elephants Anecdote Catching elephants with the atmaddoo
Ornaments made from the coarse hairs of the

King

of Kandy's personal inspection of captm'ed elephants

Tyranny
sljooting

Knox's account Rogue-elephantElephantMajor Rogers His miraculous escape Siu-

CONTENTS.
gular death

Xlll

Elephants ascend the moxmtainsTusks Elks DeerWalmeenya Wild buffaloesBears Cheetahs, Beauty and or leopards Kandian mode of snarmg them Distinctive pecuUarityWild hogs Animals found in jungle Eats ShrewAnecdote of a musk-rat Ornithological mensLand-leeches Ticks SnakesAnaconda Cobra or the sacred naga of the Cingalese Warning
found buried in the jungles
docility
speci-

capello,

Hau--breadth escapeTic polonga LegendIchneiimon

nests.

St

CHAPTER

ud io
IX.

Crocodiles Hunting CrocodileNative method of catching and destroying crocodiles Fecundity Number of eggs Pugnacity of White antsDestructive prothe yoimgInsect 183 pensities Thencharmers
tribes

....
Size, fertility,

sk

Cingalese records Date of the submersion of the island, nearly coincides with the Mosaic Indian conqueror, Wijeya Aborigines Island visited by the Eomans

PD

Mentioned by

classical writers of antiquity

Geographical position of Ceylon

Ciagalese ambassadors visit


sixth

Rome Account

centmy by Cosmas IncUcopleustes Island first Native accoimt visited by the Portuguese in 1505 Portuguese and the between Wars Ceylon in Dutch The Battles Affecting historical anecdote Dutch Portuguese possessions in Ceylon obtained by Oie Dutch

de

in 1658

List of the Portuguese Governors.


CHAPTER
X.

Tr

and produce

Hindoo and

given in the

ia

Historical account continued fi-om 1659 to 1795,

when

attacking a cobra

218

the

xiv

CONTENTS.
siu-venderecl,

Dutch
Ceylon

by

capitulation, their possessions in

to the British

maiy
the

of the effect

Cingalese

List of Dutch Governors Suniof Portuguese and Dutch rule upon character Philalethe's account of the
254

same.

CHAPTER
Kaadian character
officers

XI.

Personal appearanceCingalese of the Native governmentslowlands CustomsMode of smelting ii-on British King's English rule from 1795 to 1805 Governor North established Judicature Court of Supreme governor Kandian war Fearful massacre of British troops conduct of Major Davie DastaixUy and Extraordinaiy escape of two soldiers Summary of poIL events False poUcy of General Macdowall Noble conduct of Captain Nouradeen Braveiy of Major JohnThomas Maitland succeeds the Honourson Suable Frederick North The judicious rule of Governor
Character of the women
disgi-aceful
tical

St

ud io
.

Tr
.

ia

l
Fii-st

North.

PD

.277

sk

CHAPTER
Sri

XII.
Fii'st

From

family mm'dered

Adikar Wila-ama's tyi-anny Affecting account of the execution Heroic conduct of the wife and son Babe taken from the mother's breast to be decapitatedRebellion in KandyMartial law proclaimedTranquillity restored Dalada rehc Death of the King of Kandy Governor Sir CoUn Campbell His policy Bishopric of Colombo conBishop Dr. Chapman His exertions The causes and characterRebellion in Kandy The disturbancePre* New taxes and of
1805 to 1844
stituted
first

de

Piiests'

dissatisfaction

first

CONTENTS.
tender

proclaimed

His

progi-ess

destroy the public biiildings

from Kandy

Reward offered PretenderDestniction of Kumegalle Observer newspaper exciting discontent Alarming


for

at

Matele

Rebels enter and Troops march

Conflict with rebels Martial law proclaimed

of the police

meeting of natives near the seat of Government Attack Mr. Elliot addi-esses the mob Reinforce-

de

sk

PD

St

ud io

Tr

ments sent to Kandy The Commandant takes possession of the Dalada relic Pretender's brother shot Result of Couits Martial Special sessions of Supreme Court The Cluef Justice's charge His recommendation to mercv Lord Torrington's reply. . .318

ia

de F St ud io Tr ia l

sk

PD

ILLUSTRATIONS.

VOLUME
View of Colombo

I.

Chitty

Man Man

Tr ud io
.
.

Map

of the Island of Ceylon


.

ia
Page
.

Cingalese
Cingalese

"Woman

Ratramahatmeer

St

PD

VOLUME
. .

IL
.

de

The Lake of Kandy


Kandian

sk

Frontispiece

Woman

.35
.

Cingalese Pins, or Ornaments for the Hair

Buddha and

Priests

.116
.

Profile of Cingalese

Woman

l
1

Frontispiece
I

11

279

282

284

36

74

de F St ud io Tr ia l

sk

PD

de F St ud io Tr ia l

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PD

SIO

82

Point Fe</ro

de

sk

PD

80 Ea^t
Fai>lis/ir/:t />y

St

ud io

Tr
Lon^xtwdbt.
Sll

ia
82
.^reeii.

W. S/u>^// , 2o,

OtMvUorou^A

Point de Galle

de

Beauty of the scenery and harbour Arrival of steamerScene on boardNative lodging-houses Custom traders Touters the House Grotesque appearance of Chitty Man Description of the Guard-house Queen's house your comDwellings MoormenPettah Paying
Canoes

sk

PD

to

fort

St
for

CHAPTER

plexion.

Prosaic language

is

inadequate to convey a

faithful portraiture of the exquisite scenery, truly

ud io
I.

oriental in its character, that

abounds

namon Isle, the


'

poet's plume,

and painter's pencil,

Tr
B

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

in the Cin-

being alone calculated for the purpose.


VOL.
I.

ia

l
The

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


fertility

extreme

of the

soil,

and the magnificence


neighbourhood
eye dwelling

of the vegetable kingdom, in no part of Ceylon


are

more perceptible than

in the

of Point de Galle, the traveller's

with delight upon the varied, and verdant foliage

which

encircles

the

sea

shore.

The

pellucid

azure of the cloudless skies, the sun's glittering

beams
the

reflected in millions of sparkling rays

on

bosom

of the blue ocean, the waves rolling


in

and dashing
is

volumes of snowy surf over the


all

dark yellow rocks, present a picture of


sublime and lovely in Nature.

Tr ia
O

l
that

The harbour

of

Point de Galle

ud

io
lies

at

the

an inland bay of a semicircular or horse- shoe


form, constructed by the all-bounteous hand of

PD

St

southern exti'emity of the Island of Ceylon, being

Nature, and
long.

is situate
lat.

in lat. 6

59 north,

and

masses of rock, riven by the dashing of the

de

sk

80" 17' 2"

Skirting

the harbour, are

surge,

and worn by the hand of time


and picturesque forms.
cocoa-nut palms

into

many

fantastic

In the back

ground are

(Cocos nucifera)

with their stately but slender trunks o'er-topping


all

the other trees, and outvieing the rest of the

vegetable world in majestic graceful loveliness.

Nothing can be more elegant than the elongated


green leaves,
with their feathery fringe, which

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


wave
tree,

in a

canopied form fi'om the summit of the

droop around the slender stem,


fro

moving

gently to and

as

the

sea-breeze wantons

among them.

Clusters of nuts (or fruit) of an

oval shape, measuring from seventeen to twenty

inches in diameter, grow amongst the leaves close


to the trunk of the tree
;

and these being of a


colouring,

green less

vivid than their brilliant

dark brown bark of the trunk.


these stately trees
is

the majestic bread-fruit tree

covered with a rough rind, gladdening alike eye

and

heart, wdth the magnificent majestic beauty

St

ud
Near

umbrageous foliage, and enormous emerald-green leaves from the branches are suspended the large round fruit,

io

(Artocarpus incisa) with

its

Tr ia
;

Mingled with

l
in

contrast exquisitely with the subdued hue of the

PD

of luxuriant vegetation.

to this tree will

be

seen the slender

papaw

tree, (Carica

papaya,) the

sk

stem gradually tapering to the top, where the

de

leaves spread
fruit,

forth

in

a parachute form,

the

bright yellow

and melon shaped, hanging

beneath them.
Interspersed amongst these monarch s of vegetation are various other trees,
foliage, but of smaller

clothed

rich

dimensions,

contrasting

well with those of larger growth.

Imagine the
B 2

waves foaming and frothing, dashing against and

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

over the yellow rocks, then a billow gracefully


rolling appearing to gain increased strength as
it

reaches the shingly beach, on which

it

is

pre-

cipitately driven in a

shower of white spray, the


glis-

froth

remaining

for

a few moments on the

tening strand, and even as you gaze, becoming absorbed.

On
in

the

undulating bosom

of

the

rays of Sol,

all

the varied
are
in

Tr ia
graceful
;

prismatic

swelling blue

ocean sparkling with the bright


tints,

a few

European

vessels

riding at

anchor,

are the canoes of the natives, rudely constructed

barks hollowed out of the trunk of a

St

ud

from the yards.

Intermingling with these craft

io
are

their furled sails

hanging

festoons

tree,

with

a slender spar nearly of equal length with the

PD

of the canoe

is

sk

vessel to which

it is

some transverse

sticks for

benches

to

one side

fastened an outrigger, formed of

attached by two curved arms

the possibility of the canoe being capsized.

de

this outrigger floating

upon the water, prevents

These primitive
to

craft vary in length fi-om twelve

twenty

feet,

and in width from two

to three,

being propelled by paddles three feet and a half


long, roughly wrought into a battledore shape,

the three or
at

either

extremity,

more men using them being seated and in the centre of the
fragile barks

canoe.

These

usually laden

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


with luscious
articles of
fruits,

5
or

vegetables, fish,

other

an edible nature, for the use of our

ships; and the native occupants of the canoes, are men and youths of bright bronze complexion,

with well-formed features, and soft black almond-

shaped eyes, the luxuriant long black hair of the former being twisted into a thick knot at the back
of the head
their
;

of the

latter,

allowed to flow " o'er

scarf, or

piece of cotton, tied around their loins

forming their sole clothing.

standing at ninety-six, and a faint

ud

Place all these inanimate and animated adjuncts under cloudless skies, and a tropical sun, with the thermometer

io
it

may be formed
As soon as

of the scenery around, and har-

PD

the steamer from


prevails

bour of Point de Galle.


equal excitement

St

England

mendo," we

de

indulgent readers
will

sk

on board the vessel and on the shore, and as we wish to edify our

"Delectando pariterque moar-

imagine the vessel to have

rived during the night, and the captain as anxious to take in his supply of coal, and pursue his

voyage, as

the

passengers are to touch

firma again, after passing days or weeks without

enjoying that luxury, although


for

a few hours.

The

day has dawned,

Tr ia
may

conception

only be
the

shoulders

bare,"

small

handkerchief,

arrives,

terra

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

morning gun has boomed over the waters, wakening all slumberers, and those amongst the passengers

who

are

about to make Lankadivas *

verdant shores their


busily

home

for a time, are

soon

employed

in

packing up then*

ti*avelling

appurtenances, anxious to avail themselves of the


first

boat that pushes

off,

to take

them

to the

shore.
full

strength

forward with eager anticipation to the comple-

energy of their natiu'e to ensure the accomplish-

ment of their

plans.

St

Could some of the dreamers

ud

to

make

a fortune, resolving to devote the whole

but raise the veil

of futurity,
;

io
his

tion of

schemes and projects, whereby they hope

Tr ia

Many, buoyant with hope, and in the and vigour of manhood, looking

numbers would
and

renown, they would see the phantoms of disease

de

sk

and untimely death throwing around their gloomy shadows, and hovering in their path. But, as
the
orient

PD

shrink back appalled

for,

in lieu of wealth

sun rises in
red blush

unclouded
of

casting the

morning beams
revels in bright

around on land and


visions of

sea, so

man

what

is to be, until

the dull realities

of

life,

like,

clouds obscuring the brilliant

of the planet, cast their shade over the rays of

hope.
*

The ancient name used by

tlie

natives for Ceylon.

splendour,

beams

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

To return

to our description of the harbour. risen, the waters to

As

soon as the sun has

appear to
steamer,

teem with canoes,

hastening

the

some bringing provisions,


sengers and their baggage,

others to land paswhilst large

boats
be-

heavily freighted with coal, force their

way

tween the lesser

craft.

The scene

of confusion

on board the steam-vessel soon becomes


packages into the canoe that
to the shore,
is to

inde-

and hurriedly attempt

io

the ladder at the steamer's side, but in so doing,

of coal, and each then jostles and hustles the

St

other, in the attempt

made by

ud

encounter coolees ascending,

carrying

either

only to be equalled by that of Babel, exclamaPortugese, Hindostanee, in short in every known,

PD

resounds a confusion of tongues and languages,


French,

pursue their respective routes.

Then

Tr ia
to
to his

bear them

descend

party to
arises

and almost unknown, language in the world assail the ear, with comments neither polite, nor
peculiarly complimentary

de

sk

tions

in

English,

Cingalese,

upon the

agility of the

tawny sons of Adam.


through the

native

with a very

minute portion of dirty rag, attached

medium

of a piece of coir rope tied

around his

loins, will step

upon the deck, with

scribable. Passengers are seen tossing their various

baskets

and

Tamil,

person

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


trifling

some

article

for sale,

and possibly enlady retreats a pace

counter a blushing bride, or fair damsel fresh

from Albion's shores. The


clothed dusky figure,

fair

or two, with a slight scream at sight of the un-

placing her hand before

her eyes to exclude the disagreeable vision.

Then

will follow a

Moorman
on the

with shaven head,

a round embroidered cloth cap, thickly padded

Tr ia
of

l
with cotton,

placed
it

top

his

shorn

cranium to protect

from the sun's powerful rays,

with at least six yards of cotton, either white or

io

coloured, tied round his loins with a

showy

silk

handkerchief, forming a kind of petticoat reach-

but leaving him in a complete state of nudity

from the waist upwards.

men
some

of humanity has in all probability brought

PD

events what he considers so, consisting of knife-

handles, and snuff-boxes, cut out of the molar


tooth of the elephant, some fine samples of various coloured glass
off"

de

sk

articles of vertu

St

ing to his ankles, (called by the natives Comboy,)

ud

This demi-nude speci-

or curiosity to

sell,

at all

which he endeavours

to

palm

as precious stones

and gems of the

first

water.

These are accompanied or succeeded by divers other natives and inhabitants of the island, some of them offering tortoise-shell and silver bodkins
for the hair, others

calamander work-boxes inlaid

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


with ivory,

carved ebony caskets, and baskets


for
sale.

made from the porcupine's quills, Amongst the multitude who regard
by
so
all

the steam

boat gentlemen, travellers being thus designated


the native denizens of Ceylon, as their
Jiottels,

lawful game, are the touters for the

for

lodging-houses

are called

by these copper-

estimation, will place a card in the hands of a

ud

traveller

and descant most


to

io
or

fluently

and comforts that are


cular hottel

St

English, upon the good cheer, moderate charges,

be found

So soon
self or to

as the eloquence of the touter has intrust

PD

which he has the

felicity to represent.

duced a passenger, or passengers, to

themselves to his guidance, he intimates


it is

sk

such and such baggage should be placed

de

a coolee that

his will

and pleasure,

Tr ia
in

The touter is invariably a half-caste, or burgher, who generally abounds in a very undue appreciation of his own dignity, and position, and this gentleman, in his own
coloured gently.

in the parti-

l
in

broken

him-

that
a

particular canoe, not condescending to lower his

dignity

by touching,

lifting,

carrying port-

manteau, carpet-bag, hat-box,

or dressing-case.

When

these minor arrangements are completed,


el-

he precedes the traveller down the ladder,

bowing

his way, vociferating in an authoritative

B 5

10

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

manner, to clear a path as he rudely thrusts the


coolees aside.

Most ludicrous

is

the assumption

of these half-castes,

who

are

held in supreme

contempt by the

full-caste natives, their greatest

term of reproach being


half-caste,)

" he burgher man,"


is

(or
in-

dulged in at

and many a hearty gujfaio their expense by Europeans.


is

two hundred feet into the water,

Tr ia
at

end of which

is

a rude building, bearing a strong

and the inquiry made


personal
intermixed.
If

ud

Custom-house, and

io

resemblance to a dilapidated
to it the
if
it

bam

l
;

The

landing-place

a pier, extending some


the shore

this
is

is

the

baggage

taken,

consists

solely of

St

effects, or if there is

any merchandize
satisfactoiy,
after the

the

reply

is

the

has signed a declaration that he has no article

PD

packages are passed unopened,

owner

ketable commodities,

sk

for sale or barter; for should there

be any mar-

the packing-cases are de-

de

tained to be examined,

and duties levied. Never shall we forget our amazement at the grotesque costume and appearance of one of the subordi-

nate Custom-house officers,


the

who was

a native of

Malabar

coast, of the Chitty caste, or those

professing belief in the doctrines of the

Romish
which

Church.
velvet

The man

carried on his

head a black

cap about six inches in height,

de F St ud io Tr ia l

sk

PD

de F St ud io Tr ia l

sk

PD

CHITTY MAN.

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

11

projected forward in a hom-like manner, on either


side of his head, the edges of the head-dress being

trimmed with a thin gold cord.


hair, redolent of
"^from the

His long black

cocoa-nut

oil,

was combed back

copper-coloured face, and twisted into a

knot, close

nape of the neck, protrudIn each ear were three ing beneath the head gear. gold rings, studded with coloured stones, and

down

to the

diameter, rested

upon

the shoulders,

piece having been cut out of the lobe of the ear,


to allow

Tr ia
of his

these

ear-rings

being

fully

thirteen

inches in

l
to

a square

the insertion of these ponderous

barbarous decorations.

to

view his hairy breast, although to one side of the

vest were attached innumerable jewelled buttons

St

white cotton jacket, open in front, thus exposing

ud

This mortal had on a

io

and

round

his loins

yards of white calico, (forming the petticoat or

comboy,) the end of which being brought round


his body,

hung down the fi'ont The comboy was confined round

de

sk

PD

were longitudinally rolled several

person.

his loins

by a

handkerchief folded crossways, the extremities of

which

being pendant at his

back, formed a

novel caudal termination, not hitherto mentioned

by
his

naturalists.

The comboy reaching


feet,

his

ankles, which were guiltless of covering, as well as

unshod splay

which appeared doubly

12

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


being
contrasted

brown from
petticoat.

with

the

white

This gentleman carried in his hand

as a protection against the sun's rays, a Chinese

umbrella,

made

of black varnished

paper, with

bamboo

stick for the

handle

and we do not

think that our visual organs ever beheld a more


ludicrous spectacle than the tout ensemble of this

being presented.

duced on the minds of those fresh from Europe,

when they gaze

for the first time

of half or rather unclothed Asiatics,

lated

by the desire
to

to

gentlemen"

purchase their goods, whilst others,

staring,

open mouthed

PD

from mere curiosity and indolence,


;

St

ud

around them when they land, some being stimuinduce the " steam-boat

io

Tr ia
is

We

cannot dwell upon the impression pro-

upon a crowd

who throng

l
will

stand

the boys with no other

covering save that which nature has bestowed on

sk

all,

namely that of

their long hair streaming

down

pence.

de

their backs, clamorously asking for pice, or half-

The Fort

of Galle, as the tow^n

called, is

approached by an ancient moss-grown archway,


which, with the ramparts and town, were built

by the Dutch
is

after

they had obtained possession


Tradition affirms that Galle
appellation

of Galle, A.D, 1640.

indebted for

its

and symbol

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


cock

13

to

an error of the Portugese conquerors,

who preceded the Dutch in Ceylon. The natives named this spot most appropriately, as it is surrounded by rockSj Galla, which
for
is

the Cingalese

rock

but

the

Portugese confounded this


or cock.

word with Gall us,


garrisoned by a

Galle

is

generally

company

of the " Ceylon Rifles,"


Kaifres,

composed of Malays and

and a detachis

Tr ia
of the

ment
vice Rifles

of whatever regiment of the line


in
is

Ceylon.

The uniform
green,

dark

and

the

Malays make

tolerably efficient soldiers,


trepid

(being far more in-

ud
is

and

active than the Kaffi-es,)

way, a sentinel
the ai'chway, as

is

stationed;

PD

tenanted either

you enter, by our own


duty

St

manded by

judicious officers.

io
men

when com Under the gateand opposite to


by the
In

the guard-house,

soldiers or

regiment of the line and the Ceylon Rifles.

the verandah of this building, the soldiers lounge

when

de

sk

Asiatics,

as

the

alternates

between the

off"

guard, and

if

our

are there, they

may be

frequently seen enjoying the luxury of a


;

cheroot with extreme gusto

but, if the Flifles are

on duty, the Malays and Kaffies are invariably


to

be seen masticating a compound of the leaves

and nuts of the areka palm and chunam, bespattering the whole

verandah and ground with the

l
on
ser-

Ceylon

14

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

disgusting red saliva, produced by chewing their


favourite combination called betel.

Situate

upon an
is

ascent, a short distance from

the guard-house,
nor's

the Queen's house, a govervisits

residence,

when he

Galle.

This

building was erected in 1687, and over the door-

way
the

the date
local

is

inscribed, above

which appears
verandah ex-

symbol

the

cock.

shaded by some magnificent trees


the botanical

from Java by one of the early Dutch governors,

a mile and a quarter, enclosing the town, which

St

ud

name of these splendid exotics is Mimusops Elengi. The ramparts extend about

io

consists

of three

principal

sti'eets,

intersected by several minor ones.


built

PD

on either sides of the

streets, are

story in height

or

to

speak more correctly, confloors,

sist

merely of ground

sk

and, to the best of

de

our remembrance, there w ere but three residences


at Galle

that

had an upper

Tr ia

tends the whole length of this residence, which

these being

The houses
but one

story

these

is

introduced

were

called an up-stairs.

The

roofs are tiled, project-

ing beyond the outer walls, being supported by

w^ooden
or

pillars,

thus forming a covered balcony,


front of
tlie

verandah,

in

which are suspended


glare of the sun's
inquisitive

tats, to

subdue

intense

beams, and exclude the gaze of the

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


passers by.

15

These

tats, or blinds, are

composed

of split reeds, held together


thin coir or string,

by the interlacing of
to the roof

and are attached

of the verandah
ciles in

by rope.

The

roofs of all domi-

Ceylon, whether tenanted by Europeans

or Asiatics, slope outwards from the centre walls?

which are considerably higher than the external


ones
;

tlie

timbers resting upon the walls, leave

the admission of air

thus
is

allowing a thorough

current to pass through the residence

Tr ia
all

a space between the wall-plate and the

l
tiles,
is

for

and

this

arrangement of roof
countries.

met with

io
by

in all tropica

The rooms

ud

are usually lofty

and large
left

are

used,

doors and windows being alike

wide open, a white screen being placed before

PD

St

and, instead of glazed windows, Venetian blinds

the former, to prevent the persons


the inmates being observed
look,

and actions of

who choose
In short,

to

and a thin blind of open cane-work


windows.

sk

occaall

sionally affixed to the

privacy and retirement are sacrificed to that great

de

desideratum in a hot climate

namely,

obtaining

and being

in as

much

cool air as possible.

One street in Galle is inhabited principally l)y Moonnen, some of whom are extremely wealthy,
although the external appearance of their dwellings frequently indicates
abject
7

poverty, com-

If)

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


These men
all

bined with uneleanliness.

traffic

precious stones, rice, paddy, grain of


tions, cottons, prints,
salt,

descripfruits,

hardware, groceries,
;

poultry, saltpetre

in short, in every imaginais

ble

commodity whereby money

to

be made. In
itself,

fact,

they even trade in that valuable article

as they lend cash where they believe repayment


is

certain,

Tr ia

tant interest

and where they can obtain exorbifor there are not more avaricious

usurers

in

the

world

than

the

Moormen

of

Ceylon.

little

namely, the want of pure water; and neither

Europeans nor natives

procured in the
poses,
as
it

fort for drinking or culinary pur-

St

ud
is
if

esque

spot,

has

one

io
is

The town

of Galle, although a clean picturserious

drawback,

will use the water that is

prejudice of the natives

PD

is

peculiarly unwholesome.

The

carried to so great

an extent, that very few,

sk

any, will lave their

wells in the fort, as they declare that a disease

de

persons with the water that

obtained from the


is

produced by
they
call

it

resembling elephantiasis, which

a Galla leg.
is

Water

of the best

and

purest description

procured in the vicinity of

the fort, and the water-carriers gain a good livelihood by furnishing the inhabitants of the town with this essential requisite to health and comfort.

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


Within the
fort is the

17
is

Dutch church, which


the

used also for the service of


places of worship, and the
situated outside the fort.

Established

Church, and a Wesley an chapel, the Catholic

Mahomedans being The pettah or bazaar

market
with
plentiful

in our phraseology

is

well

supplied
alike

fish, fruits,

and vegetables, which are


all

and cheap, the prices of

edibles being

materially

The

trade at Galle

is

confined principally to the


details of

exports

consisting of native produce,

which

will

be given in a chapter devoted to the

purpose.

secure places in the mail,

ing to Colombo,
take them, and

we walked

was printed

sk

when we read

PD

our astonishment was extreme

the following announcement, which

St

Having been informed

ud

io

it

was necessary

Tr ia
lOs.
;

lower than at Colombo, or Kondy.

to

if

we intended proceed-

to the coach-office to

in large type

" Fares

from Galle

to

Colombo, European gentlemen, 2


leors, native

de

Moodin-

noblemen, and their descendants,

10s.; proctors*

and

natives, 1.

Upon

quiring,

we were informed,

there

was no outside

or inferior places in the coach,

and that the same

* Attorneys are called proctors in the island, and, during

our residence in Ceylon, mostly

all

belonging to

tlie frater-

nity were burghers, or half castes.

18

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE. was enforced


to

scale of charges

whatever part

of the island the coach went.

In vain we expos-

tulated at this absurdity, trying to convince the

good-humoured proprietor, that our rank


tainly
ivas

cer-

lower

than a nobleman,

and

our

dimensions might be less than those of a proctor,


or
native,
but,

despite
;

our rhetoric,

we were

obliged to pay the fare


smiling,
teeth,

for said
set of

Mr. Christoffaletz
well-shaped white

which would be envied by many une belle dame, " You cannot say you are not a European
gentleman,
clusive, the

hands.

de

sk

PD

St

ud

money was

forthwith placed in his

io

can you.?"

This argument was con-

Tr ia

and disclosing a

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

19

CHAPTER

II.

G'oing to call

tlie

coach, instead of the coach calling for


for

PD

Description of the Wild PeaKoyal Mails in Bentotte cock Guano Eestive horses Anecdote Caltiu'a Beauty of scenery Cinnamon plantationsPagoda The fashionable quarter of Colombo Colpetty The Galle Face Curious of the Royal Mail, gives gazers at new-comers
you

Preparations

Departure

St
Ai-rival

Ceylon The Colomho road Monkeys Toddy di-awers

wherefore they have come to Ceylon.

The

de

journey from Galle to Colombo occupies


or

sk

rise to conjectures as to

who

eleven hours,

eleven hours and a half, the

coach usually, or rather nommally, starting at


gun-fire,
five

ud

the new-comers are, and

io
tree

o'clock in the

morning.

Tr ia

l
It

not

unfrequently happens, that the passengers have


to

go and call the coach, instead of the coach

calling for them,

and

this

has occurred to our-

20
selves
for

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

more than once whilst resident


natives

at Galle

the

of Ceylon, like

most

Asiatics,

place

little

value either on time or punctnalit)\


fired,

The gun has


and
and

we

have

walked

about,

working ourselves nearly into a


tizing the
at

state of fusion,

quite into a very ill-humour,

by anathema-

want of punctuality of the Cingalese, length resolve to sally forth, and ascertain

baggage.
is

We

reach the

office,

Tr ia
us.

why

the

coach has not come for us and our


the door of which

closed, the

dim

light of a cocoa-nut oil

lamp

is

ud

Not a sound
ing
;

is

heard from within the dwell-

io
for

seen glinnnering through the crevices of the portal.

all are,

or appear to be, buried in sleep,


is in

and

the coach also

ensconced in the verandah, and under the vehicle

St

a state of tranquillity, snugly

PD

are

comfortably reposing two natives.

These

sacrifices to the di'owsy

god are regarded by us

sk

as personal insults, especially as

we have abridged
Exasperated
house-door
at last is

de
the

our matinal slumbers, for the sake of not keeping

coach

waiting

beyond

endurance, we

batter the

lustily for

two or three minutes, which

opened by a yawning Cingalese, with hair streaming over his shoulders,


tone,

who

inquires in a sleepy

"what master want?"

"Want, eh?

that's

too good.

Why

is

not the coach ready that was

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


to

21

have called for us at gun-fire

?"

The coach

master, being

aroused by these noises, comes

forth from his sleeping apartment,

and with many


These

apologies, orders the coach to be prepared forthwith, calling loudly for the horsekeepers.

gentlemen are

still

revelling in the

arms of MorFinding

pheus under the coach, and, despite the reiterated


shouts of their master, continue to dose.

words useless, and patience exhausted, physical


force is restored to, and,

by dint of sundry mani-

pulations in the region of the ribs, the dormant

io
it

faculties

of the

horsekeepers are

orders being given in


(to us),

some

start in quest of the horses;

St
is

away they

ud

unintelligible jargon

the master assisting the remaining

So soon as the horses are harnessed


although the quantity

PD

mestics to pull the coach out of the verandah.


to the vehi-

sk

cle,

the baggage

is

attempted to be collected, and


short that
is

be carried by each passenger, being but twenty

de

pounds, the time


arranged,
or

is

long before

placed upon the


will

conveyance, as
lift

each coolee

maintain that he cannot

Tr ia

aroused, and

awakened do-

allowed to

can be either

l
a
carpet-bag without assistance,

and

that a port-

manteau requires the united strength of four of This feat his brothers in colour and calling.
Accomplished, then ensues the turmoil attendant

22

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

upon placing the baggage, as the sole receptacle for it is a board about three and a-half feet long, and a moiety of the width, placed at the back of
the mail coach.

On

this the

luggage

rests,

one

package being piled upon another, and attached

by pieces

of coir passed over

and under, crossed

dignified

by the name of the " Royal Mail," we

will attempt a description of the same for the

edification,
sers.

and we

trust

The

ud

io

amusement, of our peru-

Tr ia
?

and re-crossed, until all is fairly secured. As we can well remember the astonishment with which we gazed upon the primitive machine,

l
up

royal mails in Ceylon are placed

upon
to

seen in Europe now, but the vehicles have a

St

four wheels, and look like what

nothing

be

slight affinity with,


to,

and bear a

faint

resemblance

the lower half of an antiquated English stage

coach, cutting off the upper half, and detaching

sk

PD

the doors.

The

seat for the driver is attached to

de

the coach, so that his back,

and those of the pas-

sengers on the front seat, touch.


of leather, painted white

The

roof

is

made
iron

lined with cotton,


rods,

and varnished, and supported by four slender


jolt

which shake with every

of the

coach.

To

this roof, leathern curtains are liung, to protect the

which can be either drawn

passen-

gers from the sun or rain, or rolled

to

admit a

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


free

23

passage to the

air.

The

roof of this antedi-

luvian production projects over the driving seat,

thus covering seven persons, namely, the passengers in the

body of the conveyance, the driver, and whoever may be seated at his side, and the

horsekeeper,
self

who

indiscriminately perches him-

on the top of the luggage, stands on the

fixed protruding iron step, or clings to any part

Tr ia

of the vehicle most convenient to seize hold

Picture this machine badly painted, lined with


leather filthily dirty,

and worn

into holes, from


fibre,

which the

stuffing,

made from cocoa-nut

starts forth.

Put

this

on a carriage, with four

fed,

harness,

replaced with fragments of coir rope, and you will

have some remote idea of the royal mails in the


Island of Ceylon.

de

Let us now suppose


horses,

sk

PD

and worse groomed, caparisoned with worn the buckles and straps of which are

St

wheels of various colours, with two horses badly

ud

all

minor obstacles

io
in

mounted, such as dilatory drivers, and refractory

and we
is cool,

fairly clear of Galle,

en route for

Colombo, the seat of government.


breeze
the grey light soothing

The morning
and pleasant,
to

and our good-humour restored, we are prepared


gaze around, and note
all

worthy of observation.
the tropics

We

were particularly struck

l
of.

sur-

24

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


the

by

non-existence of
the

twilight,
it

for

almost

immediately

sun sets

is

dark,

and
on

in

the absence of the

moon

continues so, until he


leisurely
its

re-appears.

The coach proceeds

way, and soon our eyes are gladdened by the


glorious spectacle of the sim's
rising

as

gra-

dually Phoebus appears above the bed of waters,

palms, anon they rest upon the roof of a hut,


like a coquettish

beauty bestowing bright glances

on

all

around.
vehicle,

looking

white cloth being hung up at either end, to pre-

PD

vent inquisitive eyes fi'om prying into the interior.

This machine
in

is

answer

to

our inquiries we learn that

St

tilted cart,

with a thatched semicircular hood, a

drawn by one or two oxen, and


it

ud

Soon we encounter a strangesomewhat like a two-wheeled

io

Tr ia

on which he casts the effulgence of his beams. Now his rays are thrown upon a grove of waving

is

sk

called a bullock-bandy,

and contains Moorwomen,

who have been, or are going to the bathing-place. The rumbling of the coach will occasionally rouse a family, (as many of the natives sleep in
the verandah, instead of their dwellings, for the
benefit of the cool air,) and, as they indolently
lift

de

their heads, will gaze upwards,

and finding

that

day has positively

set in, will slowly rise

from the ground on which their sleeping mats

CEYLON AND THE CINHALESE.


have been spread.

25

Along the

coast, ahnost close

to the sea, the screw-pine

(Panclaenus) flourishes
is

in

extreme luxuriance

and, as the whole shore

planted with cocoa-nut trees, which droop over


the road, the lover of nature pursues his
feelings of intense gratification,

way with especially when

the

sun's
is

young beams

Tr ia
it
;

are

reflected.

prospect

so exquisitely lojrely, that

coach
river,

is

placed in a boat, and ferried across the


this spot is also a

and

enshrined amongst the broad green leaves

PD

floats the

pink lotus, the tulip-shaped flower, being

beauty.

On

the

bosom

St

ud

than sober

reality.

Upon

reaching Gindura, the

scene of surpassing

of the tranquil stream,

de

into the river,

sk

palms (Areca catechu) waving

and here and there a flowering

io
over,
its

more

like

enchantment, or a dream of fairy land,

Areca and drooping

shrub of gorgeous hue, intermixed

among

stately trees clothed in their vee.Lure of brilliant

green.

Within a short distance of the opposite side of


the
ferry,

the

constantly-varying panorama of
if

nature, becomes,

possible,

still

more enchantever-changing

ing: the boundless ocean, with

hues on one
yoL,
I.

side, its

white spray dashing over


c

he gazes upon the waving palms above his head, then upon the blue ocean, upon whose surface

The

appears

the

26

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

the rocks, witli the dense groves of noble trees on the other, are alike sublimely beautiful.

Cocoa-

nut trees planted on either side of the road, bend

towards each other, forming


through which the coach passes.

a shady

avenue

Occasionally young plantations of papns, the


leaves spreading out thickly in an irregular fan-like

form from the root, will greet the eye, contrasting


finely with the older trees,
tall

trunks are surmounted by a crown-like diadem

of leaves.
Startled

by the sound of the coach-wheels, a

peacock, with a

ud

shrill

scream, will take

io

St

gorgeous plumage glittering in the sun, as he

wings his

flight

upwards, or he

Tr ia
ill

whose slender naked

may wend

flight, his

his

way
will

to a noble

ebony

tree,

and alighting

there,

proudly raise his crested head, the feathers

sk

of his drooping tail intermingling with the luxuriant foliage of the splendid tree.

PD

Sometimes a
road in
legs,

guano

de

(a species of lizard,) will cross the

pursuit of his prey,

whose short clumsy

and
agile

slothful ungainly movements, seem


to enable

calculated

him

to pursue, or enti-ap a

more

creature.
little

But

see

he has marked that beautiful


:

squirrel as his victim

how nimbly the reptile


little

is

ascending the tree after the poor

animal,

his

clumsy legs move quickly enough now

luckily the agile fellow has seen him,

and with a

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

27
pursuer.

bound

to

another

tree, gets clear of his

These hideous
feet

reptiles are amphibious,

and we
five
it is

have seen several that measured more than


from the snout to the
tip of the tail,

and

affirmed they possess such strength in that part,


that with one

blow of

their tail a

man's leg

will

be broken.
your

They

are likewise omnivorous, for

fruit.

Indulging in gambols on the boughs of the

Tr ia
;

ud
It
is

of every size, and of numerous species, which in


the very wantonness of sport, will pluck a

io

that skirt the road-side, are to be seen

monkeys,

St

cocoa-nut, and dash

it

on the earth

then run

despite the

sk

drawers,

who

PD

performing again the same mischievous

along the ropes that attach one tree to the other,


antic,

threatening gestures of the toddyhave, for their

convenience, thus

de

linked the trees together.

would be impossi-

ble to travel seven miles in Ceylon,

much

seventy,

the

distance

fi-om

Galle to Colombo,

without

seeing

toddy-drawers

pursuing

calling, and the first time we saw the operation was during the journey now alluded to. The

liquor

is

obtained from the flower of the cocoa-

nut palm,

(Cocos nucifera,) in

its

fresh

being called toddy, which

a sweet refreshing
c 2

they will alike steal and devour your fowls and

treess

young

less

their

state

28
beverage
the
;

L'EYLON

AND THE CINGALESE.


it

when fcmiented,
qualities

becoines

arrack,

intoxicating

of

which
is

are

well

known.
plished
:

The

ascent of the tree

thus accom-

the toddy-drawer knots a piece of rope


it,

into a circle, passing his ankles through

and

the

resistance
to

offered

by

the

ligature

enables

him

press the soles of his feet against the


tree,

naked trunk of the


of slipping

precluding the possibility

down

whilst in the act of climbing,

the toddy-chatty, or jar, being slung at his back.

When

the

summit of the
is,

tree is

the flower

the

man

cuts off the end, suspend-

ing the chatty to the orifice from whence the

the incision.

Some

St

liquid flows, binding the blossom tightly above


of the full-grown trees will

ud

io

Tr ia
6

reached where

l
yield from one to two hundred pints per
])ut

diem

the trees that are tapped never bear

PD

fruit.

sk

To

the tops of the toddy -trees, the drawers attach

ropes, to enable

them

to

move from one


it is

to the

de

other,

without the trouble


;

of descending

and
to
feet,

ascending
see

and, although

most unpleasant
hands and

these

men

clinging with

whilst pursuing their aerial way, comparatively

but few accidents occur.


i)en, it is

When

one does hap-

usually fatal, as the height of the palms

to

which these ropes are attached, varies from

sixty to one

hundred

feet.

The appearance

of a

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


fresh-drawn
chatty of

25)

toddy

is

exceedingly

agreeable, as the form of the red clay jar approaches

the classical

the foaming frothing liquid over-

flowing the brim, and hanging in creamy dro])s

around the vessel

moreover, the toddy-drawers

twine scarves about their brows, to protect them

from the sun's rays, carrying their burthen upon

semblance

to the figures of antiquity.

To speak
in

technically, the coach breakfasts at


;

their
tlieh-

movements, the hour varies according


tempers and inclinations.

ud

Ceylon are equally

io
and
or
the

Bentotte at ten o'clock

but, as drivers
erratic

Tr ia

and horses
to

self-willed in

St

All the inns, or

are only legally permitted to charge twenty-five

per cent, above the market prices, for the provi-

sk

PD

vernment property, and the men placed in them

rest-houses, as they are called in Ceylon, are

our peregrinations, these gentry content with this

ample per centage,


be they
cannot
in

de

sions supplied by them, but

we never found

l
(for

their

turbaned heads, thus completing their

re-

Go-

in

but, like all other innkeepers,

Europe, Asia,

Africa,

we
of
tra-

speak
took

from
every

personal

knowledge

America)
vellers

advantage,

making

pay as much

as possible for the slightest

refreshment, or smallest accommodation.


totte
is

Benfur

a lovely spot,

and

rest-house

30
Ceylon,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


is

tolerably good, that is to say, the roof


;

does not admit the pitiless storm, or the sun's rays

neither are there holes in the doors to admit when


closed, pariah dogs, rejjtiles

and

rats,

and there
of

are a table, a chair,

and a bedstead,
however,
in

guiltless of

Mosquito

curtains,

one

the

sleeping-rooms.

This we can vouch was the case

lirirther

evidence as to the furniture in the other Oysters are obtained

apartments of the building.

differ materially

from

ud

ance, size, and colour, which

our own,

io
is

here from the river, and, although their appearof a purplish tint,

Tr ia

the flavour

when we

left

Ceylon, but dejjonent cannot adduce

is

good.
]nxrt,

It is

rather remarkable that in no other

through which this river flows, nor fi-om

with, Bentotte being the sole place.

to

the shore,

the

harness two restive horses, and attach them to


the Mail, the driver warning them, speaking or
rather shouting at the highest pitch of his voice,
to

de

be ferried over the stream, and, upon reaching

we were highly diverted at witnessing attempts made by several horse-keepers, to

sk

Again, the coach has to be placed in a boat

hold

" Peter

PD

whence

St

it

has

its

source, are oysters to be

met

Layard's head and keep clear

of Dr. Prin's heels,"

and requesting us

to

take
that

our seats as quickly^ as possible.

The scene

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


ensued
is

31

beyond our powers of

description, con-

sequently

we think
the

it

better to narrate verbatim driver

the adjurations

bestowed upon the


spelling,
to

horses, endeavouring,

by defective
you seated

imitate the half-caste's broken English.

" Now, genel-men,


cos if

is

in the cocJi,

you

is,

the osses shall be

put to."

An

given by the driver in Cingalese to the horsekeepers, adding in English, " shall be soon off

We

culty one
creature's

was harnessed

ud

as ready to go as

we

were, and after some


to the

io

now, as you

is

ready."

But the horses were not


diffi-

head being held securely by two horse-

PD

the animal towards the vehicle


traces, the horse rearing

keepers, whilst two others dragged, more than led,

St

putting the horses to the coach, the driver placed


his feet firmly against the splash-board, grasping

his whip, with a

de

was possible, head. During the


as
it

sk

and plunging, as much with two men holding his


hazardous perfonnance
of

most determined expression of


state

countenance, whilst we watched the whole proceedings in


a
of delightful
expectation.

At length the operation was achieved, and no sooner was the last trace buckled, than the horsekeepers
let

go the animal's head, rushing on

Tr ia

coach, the other

and attached the

affirmative

being returned, some orders

being-

32

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


of his path, with the
celerity of
Tliis
iJie

either side

an

arrow sent from a well-strung bow.

horse
other

plunged

violently

forwards,

whilst

planted his four feet firmly in the loose ground,


evincing a resolute determination not to

move

one inch either

for entreaty or castigation.

Now commenced
aiately

a resolute battle for mastery


driver,

between the horses and the


addressed each.

who

thus alter-

kirn

up yer ill-tempered lazy thing yer vont,

rout yer

Thump, bump on

the creature's back

went the butt end of the whip, the driver stand-

ud
at

io
in

Tr ia
minit.''''
it

" Peter Layard yer brute,

ing up to give greater force to the blows.

St

Prins, yer ivillin, do yer vant to hrek the cocJi to


bits
?

is eels lill

be in

my tnout

were

battering

away

the

splash-board.)
if

"Peter Layard, yer hugly beast, kim up,

PD

" Dr.

(They
yer

bined with the implied threat had the desired

de

sk

doesn''t

"

Another heavy

blow,

which com-

effect, for off started

both horses

at full gallop,

rushing close to a hut, the wheels grazing the


dwelling,

and

catching

the

screen

made

of

platted cocoa-nut leaves,

and dragging

away.
</o

"

Now,

^ew6^/-men," said the

driver, ";e shall

along

boo-tifu\, its

honhj at fust starting that we


I

uve a bit of bother,

dunt mind these

osses

when we

hant got lady passengers, for they

do

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

33
that
it's

when Dr. Prins begins is tricks, puts me hoid. You see ere we /</-vays osses halter the genel-raen we buys 'em
squeal so
;

call the

on, for

whoever as a bad

oss

he

sells

he to us

we

giv

15
and

for Dr.
is

but he

and 18 for Peter Layard, a good un to go though he is hugly,


Prins,

fights

shy of his work atfusi


is

but as for Dr.

Tr ia
is

Prins, he

not worth alf the money, for he


ivicious,

is

a arty feeder, werry lazy, werry

and

werry often kicks over the


the quadruped Dr. Prins,

traces."

Although we

to the driver's veracity, as regards the three latter

propensities of the animal.

ed with the Royal Mail and


place being celebrated for

PD

to

be crossed, and again the ferry boat


its

The noble

stream, the Kalloo Ganga, has yet


freight-

St

ud
its
is

we can bear testimony

io

cannot vouch for the gastronomic capabilities of

cargo.

The

sk

river divides

Caltura from Pantura, the former

de

pure water, and

^salubrity,

and, before the discovery of

Newera

Ellia,

was regarded
(almost

as the Sanitorium of Ceylon,

The

scenery about Caltura


equalling

lovely in the ex-

treme,

that

around

Galle,

though of a
the
water's edge
fruit,

less bold

and imposing

character,)
to the

banks of the
tamarind,

river being
stately

wooded down

with

palms, noble
trees.

bread-

and jack

Scattered be
c 5

34

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

tween these majestic specimens of vegetation,


is

the pomegranate-tree

with

its
its

bright scarlet
delicate white

flowers, the cinamon-laurel with

blossom, and the tube-rose shrub, loading the atmosphere with the fragrant aroma of their flowers.

On

the ]3ellucid

rippling waters float luxuriant

aquatic plants, the numerous white water-lilies,

and pink lotuses being entwined with a small


creeper, the elegant blossom of

as glorious as

ud

own " forget-me-not " in size and colour. From Caltiu'a to Colombo, the hand of nature and of art appear to combine to make the vista
our

io

it

is

possible

Tr ia
to

which resembles

conceive

l
;

the

St

distant view of lofty mountains,

and

rich groves
situate in

of trees,

and palm-shaded bungalows,

PD

the midst of cultivated gardens, radiant with the

gorgeous hues of the tropical flowers.

which

sk

this

with the heaving ocean, on the


float

Combine bosom of
;

numberless fishing canoes

the yel-

de

low sandy beach,

glittering with the bright scales

of the newly-caught

members

of the finny tribe

must admit the scene to be one of surpassing sublimity and loveliness. For some
all

and

miles, as

you approach Colombo, the road runs

between cinnamon-plantations, the dark shining


leaves of the laurel contrasting exquisitely with
the pearly hue of the blossom
;

but the shrub

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


is

35
first

clad in

its

greatest beauty

forth its pristine vesture, the

when young

it

puts

leaves then

being of a pale delicate yellowish green, streaked


with bright red.

On

the right-hand side of the road, (near to

the tamarind- tree, where the elite of the colony

go about six o'clock in the morning,

to

drink

fresh toddy,) grows one of the most magnificent

able.*

The

foliage

of

this

tree

and

it

bears a minute fig-shaped, scarlet-coloured

which enlarge as they reach the


trees

take root, fonning a complete grove, or series of

these fibres in their tm'n producing shoots,

PD

which
is

St

ud

the innumerable fibres sent forth

will again multiply

and take root

io
it,

fruit;

nevertheless the principal beauty consists in

earth,

by the branches, and there

Tr ia
is
;

splendid,

pagoda, or banian trees (Ficus indica) imagin-

and

it

asserted, that in the province of Guzerat, one

sk

of these trees measures more than two thousand

stems, the branches of which naturally cover a

much

de

feet in

circumference,

near the bottom of the

larger space.
is

Although the tree we allude


who
tlie

* This tree
affirm the

considered sacred by all Brahmins,

God Vishnu was born under


is

and that
tree.

chai'acteristics of the deity are

emhlcmized in the
all

The

Bo-tree

(Ficus religioso)

held sacred by

Buddhists,

Buddhism being the national

religion of Ceylon.

36
to,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


on the Colombo Road, does not cover near
beauty, more especially after dusk,

the same extent of ground,


its

numberless dark leaves are


ads of
flitting
fire-flies,

we can speak as to when its illuminated by myridelight the be-

(Elater noctilicus,) whose quick

movements dazzle and

holder.

In Colpetty, (the fashionable quarter of Co-

Tr ia
it

lombo,)

large
floor,)

bungalows,

l
(dwellings

on

the

ground

surrounded by highly-cultivated

fort before the

shops close, which they invariably

St

ladies, hastening to

make some purchases


or six at the latest.

ud

compounds or gardens, become more fiequent, and occasionally a palaiiqueen carriage will be met, in which recline one or two European

io

in the

do by half-past

five

Then
is

PD

the Galle Face, the

Hyde Park

of the colony,

greensward, cooling the heated traveller's brow,


vehicles of all descriptions are met, from the hac-

cary of the native, drawn by a bullock, to the


carriage of
to

de

sk

attained

the fresh sea-breeze, as

blows over the

one of England's merchant-princes,


is

which a high-bred Arab horse


all

attached, the

inmates of

these conveyances alike bestow-

ing inquisitive looks upon the passengers in the

Royal Mail

and, w'hen a sti'ange face

is

dis-

covered, every attitude and gesture of the starers

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


evince the utmost curiosity
;

37

for,

believe us, no

new

arrival in a country village, or

town

in

Eng-

land,

no presentation
a colony.

at a

drawing-room, of beauty

or bride, causes so great a sensation, as a


arrival in

new

For

in

a colony everybody

troubles his or her head with every one else's


business, most philanthropically at times neglect-

tum
Mail

PD

So soon as the last passenger and


of luggage have

shades of colour and denominations, being on the qui vive to see " who is in the Mail."
his small quanof,

St

been disposed
to its

ud

own affairs to attend to other people's. The Mail is now at the end of the Galle Face, now it rattles over the drawbridge of the fortificanow it is under the archway now it tions has entered the Fort and now it jingles and rattles down the principal street of the " Fort of Colombo, " many of the inhabitants, of all
ing his or her
;

io

of the passengers, with, at times, sundry additions


also,

men " were come


gives

de

the driver retailing every look and observation

sk

jolts

and jumbles

and embellishments, spreading the news that one or more ^^ strange Englis' genelto the colony,

have been domiciled.

Every eager
the

an opinion

concerning

Tr ia
own

halting-place,

and where they


listener then

new-comer's

l
;

the Royal

.38

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


or

profession,

avocation, surmising

how

I
niucli

each individual
with,

may

gain by,
calling

or be interfered

in his peculiar

by

this,

or those

" strange English gentlemen."

de

sk

PD

St

ud

io

Tr ia

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

39

CHAPTER
Colombo

III.

Harbour Custom-house Animated scene

table institutions Public offices in the

police Slave Island Galle

St

ud

Native traders

Chiu'ches,

io
the

Derivation of the name of the PortFortificationsTroops -Queen's House PubUc offices in the Fort Pettah

Tr ia

chapels, religious

and chari PettahNative

Face Colonial manners

The

effect of climate

upon

the female character

The

fashionable

PD

breezes

drive Evening

Beauty of the spot Sunset SeaFire-flies

manded by the Portuguese

CinnamonTribute de Cultivation introduced by the


Dutch and
Englisli

sk

DutchValue of the monopoly to

de

governments

Description

of the slmib

Uses

of every

portion of the cinuamou-laurel

Peeling knives Nvmitheir boldness

ber of crops in the


or

yearPreparing the spice Challias, cinnamon peelers Punkahs The result of an unex

pected downfall
audacity.

Dessert Crows,

and

Colombo

is

alike the seat of the colonial go-

verament, and the capital of the maritime pro-

40

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

vinces, being situate in lat. 6 57" north,


79*^

and

long.

50" east.

Tlie iiarbour

is

semicircular, but

only boats and very small craft can find reluge


within
it,

vessels of

any

size

being compelled

to anchor in the roads, from

one to two miles

Extreme caution is requisite in piloting a ship into Colombo roads, as there are sunken rocks, sand banks, and a coral
distant from the shore.
reef,

during the prevalence of certain winds.

The principal part of the export and import trade


is

carried

on

at this port, consequently, the scene

at the
is

Custom-house, during the hours of business,

carrying bags of coffee, bales of goods, casks of

cocoa-nut

oil,

bundles of the

St

one of great activity and excitement.

ud

io
fibre,

PD

nuts, packages of cinnamon,

and sacks of
shrill

bullock-driver, as he attempts to clear a passage


for his heavily-laden

waggon, or bandy, serves only to make " confusion more confounded."

de

sk

hustle

each other, whilst the

During the time

this is

being enacted at one

part of the quay, boats loaded with various commodities, either endeavouring to land the articles,
or take

them

to

the

outward-bound ships, are

trying to leave or approach the small landingpier


;

and, as the tawny boatmen pursue their

Tr ia
cry

and the vraves break heavily on the bar

baskets of the
grain,

Coolees,

of the

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE,


task, sing at the top of their voices a

41

monotonous

song.

Occasionally a wave will break over the

boat; then ensue shouts and exclamations not in-

tended for ears

polite,

from the cnnicople, or man


he urges the rowgreater

in charge of the merchandize, as

ers to perform

their task

with

caution

and

celerity.
is

Colombo

mentioned

in Cingalese historical

one of their kings, Moongaallonoo, there erected


" warlike defences."

Tradition declares that Ca-

have been, can be a matter of


it is

PD

name from a grove of mangoe trees, called also Calamha in Cingalese; but, in one of the most ancient native works extant, we read that Calamha signifies a sea-port, and a fortified place. What the origin of the cognomen may
its

St
;

ud
is

io

lamha derived

little

quite certain that the Portuguese conquerors

sk

coiTupted or changed the

name

of the spot from


their cele-

brated navigator, Columbus.

de

Calamha

to

Colombo, in honour of

In 1505, the Por-

tuguese visited this port, and obtained permission


to traffic with the natives

disputes ensued, and

we

find that in 1518 the Portuguese

possession of Colombo, and


the fortifications.

commenced
built

The Fort
is

Tr ia

annals, about a.d. 49(), where

it is

recorded that

import, but

had taken
erecting

on a small
for

promontory, which

washed by the sea

more

42
than half

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


its

extent,

and was completed by the

Dutch

after they

had expelled the Portuguese,

and could contahi, on an emergency, nine or ten


thousand
souls.

The

extent of the fortifications


half, the

exceeds one mile and a

ramparts being

well constructed, having eight chief bastions and


several
&c.,

minor ones, with banquets, parapets, &c.,

communicating one with the other, mounting


troops, the

125 guns and six mortars.

by European

The Fort is garrisoned number of which vary,

the Cejdon Rifles

and gun-lascars being stationed


is

outside the Fort, in a spot called Slave Island.

When
is

the governor

St
;

command
a

ud

a military man, he has the


but,

io
in

of the troops
like

civilian,

the present

count Torrington, the commander of the forces


is

usually a major-general.

(^ueen Street, and in this

sk

The

PD

principal

Tr ia
when
his

Governor, Vis-

street

the

Fort

l
Excellency
is

called
is

street,

which

re-

de

markably wide,

and

kept

scrupulously clean,

stands the Queen's or Government House, the gar-

dens of which are laid out with great care

for a

specimen of almost every flowering shrub or plant


indigenous to the island,
is to

be found in them.
stands the
ninety-six
sailors

In the rear of Government House


Ijighthouse, the
l^eet

height

of which

is

above the level of the ocean, and

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


affirm

43

that in

clear

weather this building can

be discerned from an almost incredible distance


at sea.

Near

to

the

Queen's House are

situ-

ated the various military and civil offices, one


of the

English

churches,

that

of

the

Scotch
Office,

Presbyterians,

the Banks,

General Post

Normal School, and the Queen Street, several


the
in

]irincipal Library.

From
off,

side
at

streets

branch
angles,

these

are

situated

the

Military

the

Medical

Museum and
All

Libraiy, with warethe

houses and shops.

mercial houses carry on their business within

all

the merchants

and nearly every one

St

the Fort, be their trade wholesale or retail, but

ud
it

io

European com-

shopkeepers reside elsewhere.

Without the Fort, an extensive trade


on in every saleable
foreign
origin,
article,

PD

both of native and

de

and stores
street of

sk

by the Moormen, whose shops are situated in the Pettah, the main
is

which

one continuous line of shops

and

warehouses.

Every
anchor,

imaginable

dity is here to

be procured, from a lady's bonfrom a paper of pins


to

net to a
to

ship's

Tr ia
is

minor ones crossing

right

Hospital,

commo-

and

of the

earned

a marlin-spike, from a bottle of pickles


fr-om

saddle,

a web of fine muslin to


;

strong

canvass for sails

in short,

would be impos-

44
sible
sale,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


to

enumerate
equally

^Yllat

these

men have
to

for

and

impracticable

say

what
one

they have not.


aihrm, these

Moreover,

we can
their

positively
at

traders
is

vend

goods

half the price, that

demanded

at the principal
is

European shop
situated

in

the Fort.

In the Pettah

the
;

chief bazaar for

edibles of every

description

number

Tr ia
Dutch
the

and here also reside the greater


;

of the burghers, or half-castes

in the

streets that

break off from the main

street,

and

ebony furniture conceivable, the designs, usually


of fruit and
flowers,

the utmost accuracy, depth, and sharpness.

the English, Portuguese, and

PD

Adjoining the Pettah are places of worship for


protestants,

church of the

sk

belonging to the established church, and in the


last are deposited the

St

ud
and

be seen some of the most exquisitely-carved


being chiselled out with

io

in the abodes of these people, is fi"equently to

remains of

de
all

the

island.

Dutch governors who have died in the The Wesleyans, Baptists, and Roman

Catholics, have also their chapels, the

Mahometheir

dans

their

mosque,

Brahmins
and
tigers.

temple, the walls of which are decorated with


carvings of
elephants,
lions,

In

this district is situated the buildings that

belong

to the Society for tlu

Propagation of the Gospel,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

45

Promoting Christian Knowledge, Bible Association,

Church Missionaries, Colombo Friend

in

Need,

Government

Schools,

the

Leper

and
other

Pauper Hospitals, the Dispensary,


charitable
institutions.

and

The

Supreme
and

Court

House, the District Court of Colombo, the Court


of Requests, Police Office, Cutcheny,
Office, are all outside the Fort.
is

Fiscals'

(to

extent, however,) by a body of native police,

who

are

similarly

organized to those

Tr ia
of

Public order

maintained

a very limited

Metropolitan force, and are under the superin-

ud
down

tendence

or were

so

when we

as Messrs.

Thomson and Colpepper were

St

two most

efficient superintendants.

io
left
left

Colombo of But zealous


in the

discharge of their duties, they were not ubiquitous, and, as


district

PD

soon as they had

a street or

to

visit

another, the gTeater


sit

number

the policemen

sk

would

in

nook, commence chewing betel,

indulge in a siesta, until roused by the

de

some shady and eventually


visit

their superior officer, or relieved ft'om their active

occupation by a brother dozer.


force are clothed in the
police, with the

This

efficient

same dress

as the
liat,

London
b\-

exception of the

a peaked

cap being substituted, and the effect produced


tlie latter is

most ludicrous, as

their long hair is

our

of

of

(.?)

46

cp:ylon

and the Cingalese.

twisted into a knot above the nape of the neck,

and on
also
their

this the

cap

rests.

Their European

attire

is ill

calculated either for the climate or for


the
stiff

comfort,

collar,

tight

coat and

trousers, being

most

distasteful to those Avho

have

been habituated, from infancy,

to the loose gar-

ments of the
little

Asiatics,

and

their clothing is as
it is

conducive to their health as

to their

ease.

The

artificial

lake of
Sir

of the Fort,

and

Colombo runs at the back Edward Barnes, during his

Governorship, caused a lock to be constructed,

whereby the inland navigation


the lake,

ud

io

named Slave

St

sea.

small slip of land lies in the centre of


Island, so called

Tr ia
is

carried to the

Portuguese and Dutch, who used here to lock up


the government slaves after their day's labour.

sk

certain space

were

built, these

a lofty wall, the gates of which were fastened at


sunset,

de

and unclosed
all

PD

was enclosed, around which huts


dwellings being surrounded by

at sunrise.

Since the aboli-

tion

of slavery,

these buildings have been

demolished, barracks for the Ceylon Rifles, and


tasteful

bungalows

for

Europeans, having been

erected in their stead.

One

portion of Slave Island has the advantage

of the sea-breezes, being only separated from the

l
by the

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

47

ocean by an isthmus, called the Galle Face, and


this
is

the

fashionable
the

drive

or resort in
five

the

evening,

from
first

hours of

until

seven.

When we

arrived in Colombo,

we

felt

much

astonished at finding but few external marks of


respect paid to the governor.

For instance, his


drive

Excellency's

carriage

would

round

the

Galle Face, and scarcely a hat would be raised

Tr ia
j

as

he passed, although some of the heads on


to civilians,

which the hats rested belonged


of

them high

in

the government service

Surely

it

cannot be derogatory to any man, how-

St

ought to have felt it their bounden duty to have rendered " honour to whom honour was due."

ud
fit

position, as

members

of the legislative council,

io

merchants, who, from their birth, education, and

ever high his station or birth, to evince,

courteous
individual

demeanour,

PD

proper

respect

l
for

some
or to

by a
the

sk
who

is

deemed a

and proper person

ment.

who have
tone

de
It

by

his sovereign, to

hold the reins of govern-

has been previously remarked, by those

resided in colonies, that generally the


of most
colonists
is

of conduct
;

one

of

assumption
permits
us

and, as far as our


to

own experience

form an opinion, we coincide

heartily in this observation, as too

many endea-

vour to assume a position that can only belong


to the

Governor, and act as

if

they believed that

48

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


familiarity

undue

and disrespectful demeanour

to

superiors,

would ensure the

social position they

were endeavouring to usurp.

Although we thus
to say

contemn the manners of men, we regret


that

numbers of our

fair

countrywomen

lose

many

attractive attributes

fi'om a residence in a

colony, or presidency.

We

believe a lengthened

mental as

it

is

to the physical

female sex, the climate alike enervating body and

io

mind, rendering the one incapable of taking

Tr ia
little

powers of the

l
its

sojourn in the East to be as prejudicial to the

suffi-

ud

cient exercise to preserve health,

and the other of

pursuing those studies that eidarge


bilities.

own capaloses

Thus,

St
after

a comparatively short resi-

dence

in India,

China, or Ceylon, a

woman

whole of her energy, becoming equally disinclined

PD

her vivacity, the princijjal part of her beauty, the

sk

to corporeal or

mental exertion.

The

routine of

a lady's existence has but

variety under a

de

tropical sun

the greater part of the

morning

is

passed reclining on a coucli, en dishabille, being

fanned by an Ayah, who


tress

tries to

amuse her misthis gossip


tiffin,*

by relating the occurrences that take place


abodes of her acquaintance,

in

the

being duly embellished with scandal. After


the fair
\-

dame

will either receive or

pay morning
England,

The mid-day meal, denoniinated


is called tiffin.

liiuclieou in

in the East

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


visits,

49

in

when more gossip and scandal are indulged or she will read some silly tale of excitement
soothe her to sleep.
is

to beguile the time, or

For

seldom, we grieve to say,

any intellectual occupaone


retires to

tion pursued that tends to strengthen the mind.

About four o'clock the


an elaborate
"

fair

make

toilette for the


;"

evening drive, or to

don equestrian gear

in either case, the attire


is

cised,

and wonder expressed as


can
afford
to

to

how

bands

supply them

expensive finery, feeling quite sure they must be


over head and ears in debt, strangely forgetting

travagance, has assisted


incurring debts, which
sibility

St
in, if

that, in all probability,

she, the

may

ud

not insisted upon,


the
to

preclude

io

censurer of ex-

of

her

PD

sk

native land for


flirtation

own spouse returning many long years. Add


if

Tr ia
with

of every friend that she meets

severely

their husthis

to this

which,

practised in England, would

de

not be tolerated, and a slight idea

may be formed

of female occupations in a presidency, or eastern

colony.

Let

it,

however, be distinctly understood

that we do not thus


ladies
far

condemn

the conduct of all

who
it

sojourn in presidencies, or colonies


oiu-

be

from

intention so to do, for

we have

known women who were as good wives and mothers, and as valuable members of society in
VOL.
I.

l
criti-

poshis

50

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

every respect, bestowing attention alike on their

domestic

duties,

and

the

cultivation

of their

minds, with the same assiduity they did, or would

have done

in

Europe.

Nevertheless, truth com-

pels us, although

we

feel a

pang

of regret whilst

penning the

line, to say,

such estimable

women

as these cannot be regarded as specimens of the

female character

when removed

fi-om the whole-

some
if

restraints of

English society, and enervated,

not demoralized, by the luxuries and customs

of the East.

and horses

in motion, although the majority of

St

mated appearance, there being many vehicles


the fair occupants of carriages

ud

About half-past five o'clock, the Galle Face, or Hyde Park of Colombo, begins to wear an ani-

io

PD

alike listless in

demeanour, and the eye of the

de

eyes,

sk

stranger seeks,

and seeks in vain, for the clear complexion, roseate hue of cheek and lip, vivacious expressive countenance, and sparkling
which are so pleasingly characteristic of
daughters.
is

Albion's

Every description of conbuilt carriage

veyance

to

be seen driving round the Galle

Face, from the


governor,

Long Acre

Tr ia
G

and saddles, are

l
of the
the dashing phaeton of the wealthy
gig, the country-built

merchant, the unassuming

palanqueen, and the humble bandy.

The horses

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


that

51

draw these vehicles are invariably attended


(grooms being called horse-

by

their keepers,

keepers in Ceylon,)

conveyance,
drives
;

who run by the side of the when a gentleman, or coachman


pace to that of the horse.
sort of livery, their turbans

at other times, they lead the animal, ac-

commodating

their

These men wear a

and loose clothing being composed of bright


tinted, or white calico, the

colours varying ac-

cording to the taste or fancy of their employer,

and many of

their

costumes are both pleasing

and picturesque, adding materially


ness of the scene.

The view

Galle Face,

is

absolutely entrancing to the lover

St

ud
is is

of nature, for cast the eyes where

io

to the strange-

from, and of the

Tr ia
you
will,
full

beauty of the surrounding scenery.

PD

gaze

is

involuntarily arrested

by the extreme There lies


sail

gliding over
the natives
its

de

sk

the boundless ocean,


its

with

a ship in

undulating surface, the canoes of


floating on,

lightly

and skimming and

over

waters, whilst the waves curvetting

rolling,

dash in a shower of white foam on to the


Bordering the beach
the carnage-drive,

shore.

which encompasses greensward, whereon highbred Arab horses are bounding and prancing, in
the full enjoyment of exuberaiit health
istence.

and ex-

On

the opposite side

the race-course,

D 2

l
the

52

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

over whose variegated turf the steeds are caricol-

ing

high glee, whilst the carriage-drive that


the race-course from the

divides

greensward

is

thronged with carriages of every shape and descrii;tion, principally, if

not entirely, occupied by

Eurojjeans, whilst the fantastically-clad Eastern

attendants run at the horses' head, or at the side


of the vehicle.

of

Colombo,

the

banks being studded


branches

Tr ia
filled

At the

baclv of the

race-course flows the lake

with

drooping palms,

whose

overshadow
verandah

lily

of which

is

overgrown with graceful creepers, the

grounds belonging

St
to
it

ud

and white

whilst a bungalow, the


being

io

the clear waters, on which float the pink lotus,

with gorgeous-

PD

coloured flowering shrubs, complete the vista of


loveliness on that side.

Looking from the bun-

galow, with nought to impede the view, save the

stand on the race-course, you can distinctly see

sk

de

the

grey time-mossed ranjparts of the Fort

of

Colombo.
In due time, smiset arrives,

then

riously the planet sinks into the


sea, in majestic tranquillity, as his

how globosom of the parting beams

illumine the gi'een waters, on which they glitter


in

thousands of sparkling rays, whilst over the

azure vault of heaven float violet, crimson, and

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


golden-tinted clouds, which, as you

53
gaze, fade

away,

in

ever-varying

tints.

No

language can

describe the gorgeous, glorious, magnificent beauty


of the sun's rising

and

setting in

the tropics

the

constantly-changing

and numberless

hues

which tinge the clouds in constant succession,


are

beyond the powers of language of the


See Sol
sinking,

orator,

the pen of the scribe, or the pencil of the painter,

appears to be toying with the waters, into whose

bosom he
lurid

is

and on which he throws his


gloriously refulgent

beams.

io

How

Tr ia
;

to delineate.

is

now dipping

he almost

sun's hue,

how noble and

and now he has gone


beams.

St

arch

Gradually he sinks lower

ud

clearly defined is the

lower

low^er

to illumine

another quarter

PD

of the globe, and cast around his life-imparting

After sunset, the sea breezes

become most
across

sk

freshing,

and,

as

they

are

wafted

waters, their delicious coolness

de

invigorates the

wearied frame, exhausted by the depressing heat


of the atmosphere during the day.
trians

The

now seem
the

to

be more at their ease,


in

gentlemen
gallops,

indulging

occasional

vigorous

ladies putting their steeds into u

gentle canter, the inmates of the carriages appear


to

be

somewhat

less

listless,

and

will

l
is

the

re-

the

equestlie

gaze

54
around,
degi'ee

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


or

enter into

conversation with

some
fair

of

animation
horse's
retail,

possibly a cavalier will


to

arrest the

progress

salaam his

owner,

and

or inquire the last on-dits,

as he leans on the carriage-door.

In the same ratio as Europeans enjoy the cool


breezes,
so

do the Asiatics dislike them, and

frequently the horse-keepers will cast an implor-

Tr ia

ing look into the vehicle, giving a slight shiver?


their

countenances clearly implying "this


to

sport

you, but

'tis

death to us."

l
tlie

may be
As
the

shades of evening advance, gradually the Galle

bling of wheels are

PD

sounds greeting the ear being the soughing of


the night-breeze

and the breaking of

St

fall,

the neighing of the horses and

ud
When

Face becomes deserted, and, long before nightthe rum-

no more heard, the only


waves

on the shingly beach.

her sable mantle o'er the earth, the aspect of the

de

scene changes, for over the lake hover myriads


of
fire-flies,

sk

clouds of them

io

night has thrown

flitting

about in the

air,

then alighting on the waving leaves of the

palms, causing the foliage to appear illuminated.

Some few
the lotus,

will

settle

on the floating leaves of


will creep into the flower,

two or three

sparkling like brilliants, then more of these lu-

minous insects

will alight

on other aquatic plants,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


and the waters
specks of
will will glisten with

55

a million minute

light.

Then,
flight

innumerable numbers

wing

their

upwards

until

the

air

appears replete with a

shower of the moon's


settle,

beams.
tall

Many
;

will

then

possibly

on a

banana

the outline of the gigantic graceful

leaves

being distinctly defined by the dazzling


fire

specks of

upon them.

Nought can be ima-

natural

panorama

and although

tainous parts of the island,

the face of nature

a sublimer aspect, never does she

ud

io

may assume
oriental

wear a more pleasing,


one, than in

characteristic,

Face of Colombo.

PD

The cinnamon-gardens in the neighbourhood of Colombo are the most extensive in the island

St

tlie

vicinity

Tr ia
in the

gined more exquisitely lovely than this varied

and

of the Galle

moun-

truly

and, although the beauty and fragrance of the

shrub are much exaggerated,

sk

still

the plantations
It

de

present a most pleasing spectacle.


asserted by many,

has been

and

still

is

by some, that the

aroma of the spice is perceptible at sea, even when a vessel is some miles distant from the " Cinnamon isle :" this statement is as complete
a delusion as can well be imagined,
effluvia of
for,
it is

if the

cinnamon

is

apparent at sea,
else

when

the captain or

some one

on board the vessel

56*

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


rubbed a portion of
to
tlie

lias

iVagrant oil

upon the

sails,

mystify travellers.
is

We

admit that an

aromatic effluvia
of peeling
is

diffused, whilst the operation


is

being carried on, but this odour

only apparent close to the spot where the cin-

namon-peeler

is

performing his task

and were

every bush in the island to


neously,

be barked simultaconvinced the smell

we

are perfectly
felt

w'ork Avas being effected,

and

a perfect impossibility, for the scent of the shrub

ceived at sea.

ud

io
into

so to mingle with the atmosphere

Cavilists have recently

endeavoured
to

Tr ia
that
it

would not be

a mile on land from where the

as to be per-

would be

to

prove

the Laurus cinnamomum not

St

be indigenous,

PD

])ut that it

was introduced
traders,

Ceylon by some

of the

early

assigning as their most

cogent reason, that the early

Roman and Greek

sk

writers,

when speaking
(Ceylon)
;

of the products of Tra-

de

pabane

do not enumerate cinnamon


our opinion, over-

among them

strangely, in

looking,

that

although

not

mentioned
included

indivi-

dually, this spice

may have been

among

the imnd)erless fragrant productions, for which


this island

was celebrated.
'to

To

pursue this sub-

ject farther, or
authorities,

attempt to prove by quoting

and

using

arguments that we are

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

57

borne out in asserting the Lanrus cinnamonmni


to

be indigenous to Ceylon, would be alike un-

interesting to the general reader,


for our present

and unnecessary

purpose

Ceylon, after

it

we became known
;

as

treat principally of
to the Portuguese.

This

shrub

attracted

the

notice

of

D' Al-

meida, who, with


tion usually,
if

the shrewdness

and observainstantly

not invariably apparent in the

perceived the valuable article of commerce this


spice

would

eventually

become.

first

by

the

monarch of Colombo
with the natives
;

ud

governor of Goa,) and permission was granted


to the

traffic

for the

protection promised to be afforded the

Cingalese sovereign against his enemies, that a

sk

certain quantity of

although no care was bestowed upon the

de

given.

This

PD

cinnamon should be annually


with,

demand was complied

year,

we

find the

crown of Portugal demanded

St

and, in the succeeding

io

Ceylon was

discovered by D' Almeida, (then

vation of the shrub, either by the natives or Por-

tuguese, the revenue derived by the sale of the

spicy tribute proved a considerable and welcome

addition to the finances of the king of Portugal.

Although the Dutch gained a footing in Ceylon


in

1G40,

we

find

no attempt was made

Tr ia
In

mental

organization

of

discoverers,

Portuguese to

D 5

1505,

and,
culti-

by

58

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE-

them, to improve the staple commodity of the island

by

cultivation until 1765,

and no strenuous exer-

tions were
until 1770,

made

for the furtherance of the plan


this

and in

year the Governor Falck


for

resolved to

adopt energetic measures

the

culture of the cinnamon-laurel.

In this he was
chiefs,

opposed by the native nobles and


be deteriorated by cultivation.
tuitous

who

imanimously stated the quality of the spice would


the governor caused several

assurances,

plantations to be formed, and tended with the

io
the

gTeatest

care.

The young shrubs

Tr ia
men
w^hy
;

Despite these gra-

throve,

and
sud-

ud
a

promised to repay, by a superabundant crop, the


capital bestowed

upon

their cultivation,

when

denly every plant was found to be withered up.

PD

Falck
the

St

instituted

rigid

investigation

into

cause

of this

phenomena, and discovered


to

that the

chiefs

had employed

pour

sk

boiling water over the roots of the laurels.

Many
and
culti-

de

of the

offenders were

severely punished,
destruction
the

no

ulterior

attempt at

of the

shrubs
vation

ensued.
of

The reason

cinnamon was discouraged


in the first place, that
state,

by
it

the

chiefs, was,

when

grew

only in a wild

they were paid a certain

per centage for allowing their slaves to collect a


stipulated quantity of the bark

as

no European

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


could

59

be found sufficiently courageous to risk


life, in

his health, or

the forests

and jungles of the


best cinnamon
it

Kandian provinces,
was produced.
bruited that
it

where

the

In the second,

had become

was the intention of the Dutch


should be found that cinnamon

government,

if it

could be improved by cultivation, to forbid any


natives or Europeans trafficking in or having plan-

and

for

the

benefit

of the

executive powers.
affiiir,

Dispassionately regarding this


feel surprised that the

of the cultivation of a shrub from which they had


hitherto derived emolument,

maintained by the Dutch government, that neither the

European nor native proprietor of


stick,

sk

PD

So unjustly rigid was the monopoly of cinnamon


the

the bark,

de

land was allowed to destroy, cut a

spontaneous production of their native

St

ud
;

age,

and throw unlawful impediments

io

Cingalese should discourin the path

and which was the


soil.

or pluck the leaves of a shrub,

Tr ia
or

we cannot

seed of which might have been dropped by birds)


that

grew on

their property

and they were

compelled to give notice to the superintendent


of cinnamon-plantations

when a cinnamon-laurel
bosom,
severe

sprouted

from

the

earth's

penalties were imposed.

tations of the laurel, save those appertaining to,

touch
(the

also

60

CEVLON AND THE CINGALESE.

Every cinnamoii-slnub
sole

\vas declared to

be the

property of the Dutch government, and the

superintendent was authorized to send the peelers


into a

man's grounds

to

search for the shrubs,

and,

if

any were found, they were immediately

stripped of their bark, which Avas transported to


the public warehouses,

and the owner of the land

either fined or imprisoned for having infringed

cinnamon-plant grew on his land.

The Portuguese

were

hard task-masters

Tr ia
sj)irit

the Dutch laws by not giving information that a

in

ud

oppressive as the iron fetters which shackled the

io
The

Ceylon, but the yoke imposed by them, was not so

Cingalese during the period that the

Dutch had
of avarice so

possession of the island.

completely reigned lord paramount in the breasts

St

PD

of the

Dutch

rulers, that history affirms,

when

the

bushes yielded a superabundant crop, bales of

cinnamon were burned, or otherwise destroyed,

sk

de

both in Ceylon and Holland,


exorbitant price
for the spice.

to

keep up the
obtained

then demanded and


old Dutch records

From

we

learn

that for

more than one hundred years, the revenue derived annually from the sale of cinnamon was seldom less than four hundred thousand pounds.

When

the island

came

into

our ])ossession, the


granted to the East

cinnamon monopoly was

II

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


India

()1

payment of the was ultimately increased to one hundred thousand, which sum was received by our government until 1823, when the right of cultivation and sale reverted to the Crown, and the amount realized by the sale of cinnamon varied to an almost incredible extent,
for the

Company

yearly
:

sum

of sixty-thousand pounds

this

the

annual receipts

fluctuating

between

fifty

])Ounds.

In 1832, a commission of inquiry into

the effects of this

monopoly was

Tr ia

thousand, to one hundred and seventy thousand

instituted,

in the following year,

St

ud
is

Lord Goderich this doned, and the cultivation

by the judicious policy of obnoxious measure was abanof the shrub has been

thrown open since that period.

io

Many

improveindivi-

duals.

A cinnamon

PD

ments have been introduced by private


plantation

somewhat resembles
ai'e,

sk

a luxuriant laurel copse, as the bushes

de

constant priming, not allowed to exceed twelve


or fifteen feet in height, except those that

be required for seed

and these

will occasionally

attain the height of thirty or forty feet, the trunk

of the shrub measuring from eighteen to twentythree inches in circumference. of the Laurus

The propagation
conducted with

cinnamomum
and

facility, seeds, plants,

roots, (if transplanted

and

by

may

(}'2

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


alike thriving in

with caution,)
soil,

an appropriate
as fine as moist

that consists of a pure quartz sand, Avhich

to

the depth of

many

inches
;

is

sugar,

grey

tint,

and perfectly white it then assumes a and in some of the mountainous dismoss are found immediately
sandy
soil.

tricts,

layers of black

under

this species of sterile

It is re-

markable that although white ants

infest

and

these destructive insects do not injure the bushes


in the slightest degree.

And

it is

many

of the Cingalese, that to have a thriving

plantation of cinnamon bushes four plenties are

sun, plenty of white ants,

St

requisite,

namely

"plenty

ud

io
of
is

and plenty of water."

The

foliage of the laurel is thick

PD

shining green

when amved

Tr ia
sand,

abound

in all

cinnamon plantations

in the island,

a proverb with

and

at maturity, but

young, the leaves are exquisitely beautiful,

l
for
is
it

plenty of

of a dark

when
as

their colour then is a pale yellowish green, striped

de

sk

with bright red


oil is distilled,

from the old leaves a fragrant


medi-

which the natives use

cinal puiposes,

and which

applied by us to

many

uses.

The

cinnamon

blossom

pure

white, and scentless,

the fruit or berry,

acomripens

shaped and small, the hue of which as


gradually changing from

green to purple,

and

from this

is

obtained, by boiling, a substance like

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


wax,

63
candles,

which

is

frequently

made

into

and these emit


burning.

an

agreeable

perfume whilst

Some enormously large tapers made from this wax were found by our troops in the king of Kandy's palace. The spice is the inner
if

bark of the shrub, and, in order to ascertain


this is in a
fit

state, the

peeler makes a diagonal

incision in a shoot, and, should the inner bark

peeling.

The

knives

used

by the cinnamon-

peelers are of a peculiar form, being heavy, long,

convex on one

side,

concave on the other, and

the point of the instrument

ud

is

io

remarkably

year, the

first

crop being the most abundant, and

producing cinnamon of the


first is

St

The bushes

are generally peeled twice in the

Tr ia
quality.

readily separate, the shi-ub

is

in a

l
state
fine.

fit

for

finest

The

obtained between the months of April and


the

PD

August,
January.
is

second

between

November and
cinnamon

sk

The mode

of obtaining the

de

the

following:

the cinnamon-peeler cuts off

the shoots of a year old, which are of the thick-

ness of a man's finger, varying in length fi'om one


to four feet.
off

The leaves

are then carefully stripped

and placed

in heaps, the

peeler

makes an

incision with his knife the entire length of the


shoot, separating the bark

from the wood; he

then carefully scrapes off the grey exterior skin.

G4

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


tiie

and the green inner epidermis, leaving


free

baric

from

all fleshy

substance, about the thickness

of vellum, and of a greenish white coloiu'.

The

man

tlien

places the small portions of the bark

on the larger pieces,


out in a

spreading

the

cinnamon

warm and shady

spot, so as to enable

the spice to dry gradually but thoroughly.


sun's rays

The

and atmospheric influence cause the

and,

when
fifty

all

moisture

is

evaporated, the cinna-

mon
from

is tied

up
to

into sheaves, or bundles,

io

seventy pounds, and

for sale.

distilled

from the root camphor

St

golden-coloured fine-flavoured aqueous


is

ud

market

From

the refuse of the bark, a


fluid
is

the peeled twigs are converted into walking canes

Tr ia
is
is

bark to assume a brown hue, and pipe-like form

weighing

sent to the

procured, and
;

PD
;

in short, there is

no part of the Laurus cinnaapplied to the use of

momum
man.

that cannot be

clusively to a very low caste, called Challias, or

de

The men who

sk

peel the cinnamon belong ex-

cinnamon-peelers

and no native woman or man

of a higher caste will associate with, or partake

of food that has been prepared

by these people
in the

the poor Challia being despised in the maritime


districts, as the

unfortunate Rhodia

Kan-

dian provinces.

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

C5

The abodes

of all Europeans in Ceylon bear a

striking similitude to each other, the houses being-

constructed upon the same j^lan

every door and

window

alike

open, and the portals of distinct

apartments having moveable blinds placed mid-

way
ally

in the frame-work.

The dining-room
is

usu-

extends the whole length of the dwelling,


genein this

consequently the width of this apartment


rally disproportionate to the length
;

hot climate, to enable the residents to partake of


their

meals in some degree of coolness, a punkah,

io
first

nearly the length of the apartment,

from the ceiling over the dining-table.

sk

PD

ment with which we gazed, the first time we saw one of these singular machines, we will describe what a punkah is like, believing there are many in this country who have not the most remote idea what

St
In the

As we have a

vivid recollection of the astonish-

ud
longer

this essential requisite to comfort, in

de

dwelling resembles.
of
w^ood,

considerably

than

Tr ia
is

and

suspended

an Eastern

place, a frame

wide,

l
to

is

covered with white calico, to the bottom of W'hich


is

attached a deep

frill

flounce we believe
is

be

the correct feminine term for this sort of garnishing.

The frame-work
is

suspended from

the

ceiling by strong cords, while to the centre of the

punkah

attached a very

long rope, passing

66

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


which
is

through a pulley
stationed

pulled

by a man

outside the dining-room, and by this


is

means the machine

kept in constant motion.


is to

The
very

use of the flounce


to

catch the air as the

punkah waves

and

fro

over your head, and


artificial

necessary and pleasant are the

breezes thus created by the waving of a certain

quantum
eight.

of

wood-work and

calico,

where the

Tr ia
;

thermometer ranges from eighty-six

There

is

one slight drawback to the delight of


in the tropics, for
will

owning a punkah, even

io

l
to

ninety-

it

is

almost certain that your careless servants

ud

never
sus-

pended, to see if they ai"e worn by the friction, caused

by the constant pulling of the punkah.

St

inspect the ropes by which the punkah

is

It is very,

very, very hot indeed, the mosquitoes are torment-

PD

Jifty times, in the vain endeavour to annihilate

one of these toraienting insects

de

sk

ing you beyond endurance

you slap your own face


at last, in a

fit

of

angiy despair, you

call

out to the

punkah-puller,
?"

" Can't you pull strong, you lazy mortal

The
good

biped, stimulated to exertion by your angry tone,


gives

an energetic

pull

one

in

right

earnest, as

much
?"

as to say, "

Does

that please
rustling-

you now, master

You

hear a sort of

above your head, look up

crash smash down

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

67

comes the punkah on the dmner-table, making a most awful uproar, shivering all the glass and
crockery, and, worse than
all,

utterly desti'oying

your meal.

This disaster assuredly does not

please you, although your orders were obeyed,

"to pull strong," but even the downfall of a punkah, under different circumstances, excites dissi-

milar passions in the


If this contretemps

human

breast.

you rave
&c.,

at

neglect of duty, carelessness, laziness, stupidity,


&c.,
all

&c.

vow
is

io

that

you

will

replace
fretting,

that

broken,

ud
:

stamping,

fury.

But

let

this
it

disaster occur at a friend's

house, you view

with the indifference of a stoic

and the

tranquillity of a philosopher, the equani-

sk

mity of your temper not being in the most remote


degree affected, or ruffled

PD

St

working yourself into both fever and

de

quietly

the table,

you employ your

serviette in wiping

fiom your waistcoat a portion of the contents of


the cuny-dish, which delicious combination
of

vegetables and

fish,

with some chicken cotelettes,

and a
fall

claret jug,

may have been


punkah
in

deposited by the

of the aforesaid

your lap, not to

the improvement of your white clothing.

tone of voice

is

mild,

your speech deliberate,

Tr ia
rising

happen inyour own domicile, your appoo (or head servant) about his

make him
fuming,

from

Your

68

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


to

your manner calm, as you beg your host


rate his vexation, consoling

mode-

him by remarking
it is

" That

it is

a horrid bore, to have a dinner spoiled


just like

and the breakables demolished, but

these fellows, so insufferably indolent in every

way, neglecting their business to chew betel, and


gossip about master's business."

The

host thanks

you again and


becoming

again

for

your

consideration,

his apologies for the mishap.

You beg
if

Tr ia
to place

at last insanely profuse

and prolix
of

in
to

him

say no more on the subject, but order his appoo


to clear

away

io
of

the debris,

and see

some edibles

cannot be found either on the table or in the

sumptuous and varied repast that was spread


perverse punkah has converted into an unpalatable pot-pourri, or hodge-podge.

sk

PD

before you, in numberless dishes, but which the

It

is

the invariable
table

St

cook-house, that will serve as a substitute for the

ud

custom

dessert

de

upon the
consists

after dinner, and,

although this
fruit

of

every

variety

tropical

in

season, none save recent arrivals, ever venture to


eat fresh fruit in the after part of the day
:

the

older residents occasionally venture

upon a

little

dried ginger, or try an Euc/lish biscuit, the crisp-

ness and flavour of which have not been improved

by

its

travels.

We

have noticed the flush of

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

69

delightful anticipation pass over a new-comer's


face, as

he gazed with evident satisfaction upon


fruits,

the cool-looking tempting

garnished with

gorgeous flowers, that were spread in trim array


before

him

what delicious-looking pine-apples

and mangoes, what magnificent bananas and custard-apples, what luscious pumbelows and

he takes one on his plate, and carefully bisects

ritably disposed,

and an old

ud
;"
;)

same with great


case he

gusto.

His neighbour,
resident, in

io
I

the mellow, melting

fruit,

preparing to devour the


if

Tr ia
with an
it

guavas, what inviting water-melons and greenfigs The custard-apples are near " the new man,"

is

almost certain to possess a yellow skin


liver,

and diseased you not


likely to
to

may whisper

St

PD

compassion for such ignorance, "


produce cholera

would advise
is

eat fruit after dinner, as

sk

(the plate is

away with extreme

avidity

" eat as

much as you
harm you in yellow man,

like at breakfast, or tiffin, that won't

de

the least."

The green thanks


morning.

the

resolving to indulge his gourmandise and affection


for fruit the following

We
the

cannot dismiss Colombo without noticing


flocks of carrion crows that infest

immense
;

Colpetty

these birds

abound

in every port of

Ceylon, but we think their number and audacity

cha-

which
air of

very

pushed

70
are

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

more manifest

in this part of the island than

elsewhere.
their

These creatures are much larger than


is

European brethren, the plumage


glossy,

thicker,

and more

and assuredly there


;

culation in their eyes

in short,

is much spewe think them very

handsome-looking, intelligent birds.


did the
first

No

sooner

glimmer of daybreak appear, than


used to break our matinal slumthievish propensities, and per-

haa, kha
bers.

The boldness,

fast-room, hover over the toast-rack, seize a slice

of

bread, and

St
fly

ud
off

We

have known a crow to

io
:

severance of these creatures, are almost incredible.


fly

with

were people seated

at table

house-window, and there remain watching, with


cook, and no sooner was the man's back turned,
the

PD

other marauders

hop on

to the sill of the cook-

de

or a favom'able opportunity occurred, than

hare-faced feathered thieves would pounce

sk

the utmost inquisitiveness, the

Tr ia
it,

haa,

into the break-

although there

we have witnessed

movements of the

their loud

and incessant guttural, kha

haa, kha

on

some

article of food,

and make

for the nearest

tree, or roof of the building, there to

devour

it

at

their leisure.

We

have heard, but did not see

the act perpetrated, that a crow appropriated a

piece of cake, that a child of six years old was


eating, despite the efforts of the little unfeathered

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


biped to drive the feathered one away
;

71

but we

can positively affirm that we have seen the crows


flying off with substances fi'om our dwelling in

Colpetty, that were nearly as heavy and bulky as


their

own

bodies.

There was one fellow


old
soldier,

whom
his

we had

christened the

(from

bravery, and because he had lost the lower half


of one leg in the field of battle possibly, as a

piece of red rag was tied around the stump

Tr ia
;

aught we know to the contrary, this might have

been a novel order of the


used absolutely

to

attempt to take food from a

dog whilst eating, and very frequently succeeded the animal would naturally open its mouth, to

St

ud
fix

io

garter,) whose daring and audacity were beyond credence. This bird

l
for
;

snap or bark

at the creature

pulling at the food

PD

who was pecking


would then

or

the crow

avail

sk

itself of this

opportunity to

the beak in the

coveted morsel.

Constantly we have seen these

daring exploits rewarded with success, the bird


flying off in triumph with the sjjoil,

de

and perch

on the branch of a neighbouring which


looked
tlie

ti'ce, under dog would stand angrily barking, as he

u]) at

the robber leisurely eating the food

in security, that

had been purloined absolutely


teeth.

from between his

rl

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

Situation of
races

KandyKoute Bridge of boats Paddy Aspect of the peopleAinbepusse Mountain zone Kadaganawa pass Mountain scenery Talapat, or fan palm Animal Draught elephants Peredenia Bridge and Botanical gardens Curious specimens of the vegetable kingdom Travellers' friend City of Kandy lake Bathing house of the Queen's Palace Native shops Customs Buildings Artillery-barracks Deficiency of water The governor's residence Beauty of the architecture and Views of the valley of Doombera Major Davie's Groimds of PavihonLady Horton's road Grandeur of nery Altitude of the mountains Military station on One-tree LegendKurunaigalla tunnel Compulsory labour Animals, in the and

io

Tr ia
ter-

CHAPTER

IV.

gi-eat

St

PD

Ai'tificial

sk

ud

life

de

l
site

tree

tlie

sce-

hill

birds,

reptiles,

siu--

roiuiding comitry.

Kandy, the former


1)V

capital of the interior, called


is

the natives Maha-neura, or the great city,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


situated
in
lat

78
80"

7^21' N. and in

long.,

48' E,, at the

summit of an extensive
feet

fertile valley,

which

lies

more than 1500

above the level of


to

the sea.
is

The

distance from
the

Colombo
route

Kandy
the
tlie

seventy-two miles,

crossing

bridge of boats, which was constructed during

government of

Sir

Edward Barnes,
Mutwal-Oya
;

to obviate the

unavoidable delay attendant upon the use of ferryboats, to


cross

the

more than once led

to serious results,

Tr ia
when
first

which delay
the

assistance of our troops

was required on the


For the

io
is
is

opposite side of the river.

eighteen

ud
mud
to

miles of the road, the scenery

of the

St

character as that on the coast, with this exception,


that rice
is

cultivated in a different

manner

that adopted in the southern provinces.

Instead of planting the grain on a level surface,

PD

sk

in

this

district

it

is

more general
to

to

sow

teiTaces of irregular dimensions

and construction,
elevation in the

de

the usual

mode being
paddy

make an

centre of the

field,

round which a terrace


is

of less height extends, below which

a smaller

one, each one decreasing towards the bottom of

the artificial

mound.

Every

level space is kept

well supplied with water, and


the terrace underneath,
l)y
it

separated from
walls, in

arc perforations, to allow

descend and
E

VOL.

I.

l
same
to
it

in

which
irri-

74

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

gate the lower terraces.


galese agriculturist
struction of the
is

And

although the Cincon-

far surpassed in the

paddy

terraces,

by the ingenuity

and regularity evinced

in the formation of the

same by the Chinese,


ance of the young rice

still

the beautifid appear-

is

everywhere

alike,

and

nothing can be imagined more pleasing than the


exquisite brilliant tender green of the

growing

Soon the aspect of nature changes, the cocoanut palm plantations become less frequent, groves
of areka and suriya trees, (Habiscus zeilanicus,)

gradually

taking their place

ud

io

Tr ia
;

paddy.

the

l
latter
is

elm,

and,

when

St

majestic tree, bearing a strong similitude to an


it

is

covered with
is

irs

yellow

blossoms, the lovely appearance


ble.

indescriba-

The

air

sk

PD
of"

the people also varies considerably,

as the maritime districts are left in the rear

the
and a

de

high

comb and long comboy

are

no longer

visible,

a handkerchief taking the place of the

first,

very short cloth or petticoat being used as a substitute for the last.
is

The black paper umbrella


palm being
its

scarcely seen, a leaf of the talapat

used as a protection against the sun's rays in


stead
;

priests of Buddha, with shaven heads,

and

flowing yellow robes, wending their

wav

to

some

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


temple, are

75
in the to

much more numerous than


;

southern province

in short, all

around tends
is in

impress upon the


country and

traveller's

mind, that he

among

a people totally
to

dissimilar

in all essential

characteristics,

the

lowland

Cingalese.

The road

to

Kandy
;

is

planned, and the

skill

of the engineer has been displayed in the most


as

the hilly

ous districts are ascended, the views become sublime in the extreme
;

and the contrast presented

delightful.

The prospect from

St

by the huge masses of black gneiss rock, to the delicate and luxuriant flowering creepers that cling to some part of them, is alike wonderful and

ud
to
its

io

the Rest-house at

Tr ia
from
the E 2

masterly manner

and movmtaiii-

Ambepusse, situated
lombo,
is

thirty-five miles

surpassingly fine. This building lies in

which are wooded from base


Ceylon, in the mountainous
tinguishing
it

sk

a valley that

PD

is

formed by a semicircle of

summit, the luxu-

riance and gigantic character of the vegetation of


districts,

de

alone dis-

from that of Switzerland, Scotland,

and North Wales.

Although the country around

Ambepusse
district
is

is beautiful,

and

soil fertile,

exceedingly

unhealthy,

dents, both native


to

and European, being

debilitating

fever

and ague.

From Ambe-

Co-

hills,

tlie

resi-

liable

76

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


whole route,
for

pusse to Attoomakandy, the


eighteen miles,
is

enlivened by the spectacle of


;

land in
sugar,

tlie

highest state of cultivation

coffee,

and indigo crops alternately greeting the


eye
;

traveller's

and two miles from the

latter

place,

the mountain-zone

commences
At the

in all its
first

sublimity and stern grandeur.

view

stretch in

an enormous chain, (and which, during

successive native dynasties, had formed the boun-

ud

which also enabled them,

io
for

daries of the

Kandian monarchs'

centuries, to set at defiance all the arts of

practised by the Portuguese, Dutch,

conquerors of the maritime

St

Tr ia
We
;

tenitories, and more than three

l
all

of these stupendous and lofty mountains, which

war and English


farther

districts,)

road that winds round Kadaganawa Pass can be

sk

compared

PD

progress seems to be debarred.

believe the

to

nothing of the same construction in

de

modern

times, save the Simplon


first

who planned the

and the officer had innumerable difficulties


inefficient as-

to

contend with, in the shape of


unskilful

sistants,

and

unwilling

labourers,

tropical sun

and unhealthy atmosphere, whilst


the latter task, were aided by

those

who executed

willing hands, ready hearts,

and a genial atmo-

sphere.

We

know

that the sacrifice of

human

life,

whilst clearing the dense jungle for the fonnation

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


of the road was immense, and
that

77

we

regret to say

numbers of our

officers

were claimed by

death, whilst superintending the tardy hxbours of

the natives, in the discharge of

tlieir duties.

series of views of the

most magnificent and


is as-

varied character open forth as the mountain

cended
lands,

on either side of wliich appear cultivated


forests,

bounded by dense

and

rocks, whilst

the clearness of the atmosphere enables the traveller to see the undulating lowlands stretching far

round, and often a perpendicular mountain rears


its lofty crest

on one

side,

same manner on the opposite.

head, as

if

threatening instant annihilation, by


;

PD

brawling waterfall appears over the


hurling him into the deep abyss below

St

ud
for

tain are climbed,

ravines and fissures are

and descends in the Sometimes a


traveller's'

io

into the distance.

As

the steep sides of the

road will become so narrow^ that there appears to

be scarcely room
stand
on,

de

sk

sufficient

the vehicle to

and

the

strongest nerves

shaken, as the eye glances below at the steep


precipice,
rolling,

down which some crumbling

Tr ia
To

then the

may be
earth
is

loosened by the coach-wheels.

circumscribed path, upon turning the next angle,

succeeds a wide road and view of the surrounding country

terminated

by the Blue mountains

l
mounwound
this

78

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

in the distance,

whose towering heads blend with

the azure heavens,


crest

Adam's Peak rearing

his lofty

above his fellows.

The combination
of

of

sublime
notice

and beautiful scenery, brought under


during
the

ascent
;

the

Kadaganawa

Pass
ing

is

nearly incredible
frightful

roaring toiTcnts dash-

down

abysses,

from whose sides

spring enormous trees, and at whose base are lands

Tr ia
own
;

teeming with grain.

Terrific chasms,

hanging masses of rock, where bright coloured


flowering shrubs have taken root, rapidly succeed

each other
tain is

and,

when

the

attained,

and the boundless extent and

ud

io

summit of the moun-

l
and overbeholders of this magnificent scene cannot find
majesty, and glory of the Almighty's works, and

The

sk

tlie

humiliating feeling of their


freshness
of the

PD

utterance

to

express their sense of the might,

St

beauty of the prospect fully perceptible,

many

littleness.

atmosphere, and

the
all,

de

si)lendour of the

scenery, are admitted

by

and extolled by numberless Europeans who have ascended the Kadaganawa Pass and amongst
those

who

are

keenly alive to the beauties of


sensi-

nature,
bilities,

and consequently possessing acute

we never knew

one, whose feelings were

not alienated from home, or blunted by a pro-

longed residence in the East, who did not de-

II

CEYLOM AND THE CINGALESE.


clare they felt saddened, as the distant

79

mountains
never

and cooler
their

air recalled

scenes and persons in

native

land, they

might possibly

behold again,
tains they

while

they compared the mounto those in

were then gazing upon


Ireland,

England,

Scotland,

or

Wales.

A
is

column of noble design and just proportions

placed on the summit of the mountain, erected in

Pass.

diversified

animal and vegetable kingdoms, as numbers of

from, or settle upon, the boughs of the trees adja-

PD

monkeys belonging to different species will spoit among the branches, whilst flocks of parrots and birds with gaudy plumage will wing their way

St
Every

ud

cent to the road-side.

tint of

io

The remaining portion of the route to Kandy is by many beautiful specimens of the

Tr ia
verdure
it

honour of him who planned the Kadaganawa

be seen upon the


the

sk

trees,

from the bright green of

young

de

leaf, to the

sombre

tint of maturit}-,

which
from

will

gradually subside into a rich brown,

assuming a
its

brilliant

orange colom*, before


;

parent stem

and as the eye wanders

farther into the jungle, the trees appear to forni

one vast natural bower.


Attracted

by

the

warmth,

is to

drops

occasionally

speckled serpent

may be

seen gliding from his

80

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


underwood,
to

retreat in the

enjoy the

full

power

of the sun's beams, or the reptile


itself

may entwine
some wing

round the trunk of a

tree in pursuit of

lovely bird, (not sufficiently strong on the


to elude

by

flight the creature's

deadly fangs,) or

to rob the nests of the eggs, or imfledged young.


It

would be impossible

to

enumerate a

tithe of

the trees appertaining to different species that


are to be

met with

Tr ia
garden
;

in this vast

principally attracts the stranger's attention,


large

l
but what
is

the

talapat palm

that grows a short distance

from the right-hand side of the road, a few miles


from Kandy.
all

This magnificent tree towers above

w^orld,

and

St

the other gigantic monarchs of the vegetable


it is

ud

io

utterly impossible to find


its

words

adequate to describe

splendid beauty.

The

PD

talapat, or great fan palm, is designated

by most

call

de

sk
it

authors as Corypha umbracidifera, but some few

Licuala spinosa. Leaving those botanists to


the disputed

settle

name

that have a penchant

for disputation,

we

will give a cm'sory descrip-

tion

of this

celebrated palm

which

varies in

height from seventy to one hundred

feet.

The
feet,

leaves frequently measure, from the exti'emity of


the stalk to the point,

more than twenty-four


for fans

and the width

varies from twelve to seventeen,

and these are used by the natives

and

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


umbrellas.

81

Under

the native kings, none save

these belonging to the highest caste were allowed


to use these leaves,

and the number was fixed was


to

that each chief, according to his rank,

have

borne before him.

The

flowers spring from the

diadem of graceful verdure that crowns the palm,


the

blossoms being of a most exquisite pale

yellow,

and continuing

in

bloom

for the space of

Tr ia
E 5

three months,

when they gradually disappear


Near
tree, the

l
as
;

the fruit forms.*

this gigantic tree, are to

be seen the banian

myrtle (Myrtus), the

bay

tree (Laurus,)

and the tick seed sunflower,


a species of Coreopsis

which bears an immense number of goldenwhilst on the opposite side fragments of yellow

rock are clothed with luxuriant balsams, (Impaticus coccinea,) whose delicate white, and brilliant

sk

red blossoms, stand out' in bold relief fi'om the


shining foliage.

gi'een lizard will dart from out the long grass,

and run across the road, or large cai'penter bees, or beetles, whose wings are resplendant with the
rainbow's hues, will in their airy flight poise on
the wing, preparatory to settling

de

PD

Ever and anon, some sportive

St

coloured blossoms, and

is

scented flower, thus giving the traveller an oppor*

For a detailed account of

ud
this

io

upon some sweet-

palm,

see a future

chapter

82'

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

tunity of noting their several characteristic beauties.

Possibly the eye

may

rest

upon a small
is

lizard,

whose delicate brown skin

spotted like

the tiger's, or striped like the leopard's, or on a


tree frog,

whose peculiar formation and move;

ments delight as well as astonish the former may be resting tranquilly on the trunk of the
tree,

with extended tongue, to catch the mosqui-

toes, or other small insects,

creeping into the cup of the beautiful blossom,


also in search of food.
It

not unfrequently happens, the next strange

ud

io

Tr ia
child.

and the

latter

may be

object that arrests the traveller's attention,

maybe

St

a tame elephant

harnessed to a roughly-made

cart, (as these creatures are

used by the govern-

ment
by

in this district,) the driver

walking quietly

PD

the animal's side,

unprovided with any means


severity, the

derous brute obeying his keeper's voice with the

de

sk

of enforcing his

commands by

pon-

docility

of a well-trained
air

little

In

fact,

earth

and

in

this

fertile

island

teem with

such infinite variety of natural productions, that


the

man

devoted to scientific pursuits, and he

whose
tions.

sole

aim

is

the acquirement of wealth, find


for

alike a wide

field

their respective occupa-

Three miles from the town of Kandy

is

Pera-

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


denia, celebrated alike for
its

83

bridge and botaniof

cal gardens; the bridge being built entirely


satin

wood, one noble arch of two hundred and


feet,

seven

spanning the swelling waters of the

Mahavelle-ganga.

The

Botanical gardens, whilst


of

under the

superintendence

the

celebrated

oriental botanist, Dr. Gardner,


in

were maintained
facility

admirable condition, and every

was
for

the student or enquirer to obtain information.

We believe these extensive gardens contained

Tr ia
whose

afforded

by

that talented

and courteous man,

io
now

specimen of every plant, shrub, or


to the island,
tree,)

tree,

indigenous

(with the exception of the talapat

performance of his duty, and many rare specifi'om the

mountainous

mens

St

as Dr.

Gardner was indefatigable in the


district,

ud

exist-

ence w^as previously unknown, were obtained by


the energetic exertions of this gentleman.

PD

Among
is

the curious foreign plants in these gardens,


species of

sk

de

banana (Musa sapientum), native of

Madagascar, called
friend,"

by many the "

Traveller's
that

owing

to

the sweet aqueous fluid

flows fi-om the sheath of the leaf

when punctured.
alluded to far

Every member of
ful,

this tribe is

exceedingly grace-

but the beauty of the one


its

outvies

compeers, as the leaves sprout with

extreme regularity from either side of the stem,

84

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


each leaf elegantly droop-

in regular gi-adations,

ing over a lesser one, from the base to the summit


of the stem.

The trunk also


it is flat,

is

the

same beautiful
is

green as the leaves, and


peculiar, as

its

formation

most

and has a platted appearif tlu'ee

ance, looking exactly as


regularly entwined.

stems had been

The

height of this extraor-

dinary

specimen

is

nearly eighteen feet, and,

tliis

beautiful tree, Ave feel that

able to impart an adequate idea of


loveliness

and

singularity.

io

The

Tr ia

although

we have

given an exact description of

we have not been


its

lei-chee

excessive
trees,

(Dimacarpus), usually attract

this

parent land growing to an enormous

St

much
we

attention,

but as we had seen them

ud

natives of China

in

size,

PD

did

not feel the pecidiar interest

that

we
the

otherwise

might

have

done.

The

fiaiit,

shape of which

is

oval, is considered

extremely

sk

delicious, varying

in size

from a damson to a
is

de

small

plum

the portion that

eaten,
is

is

a semi-

transparent jelly-like substance, that


in

contained

a tough,

thin,

rough, red rind

these fruits are very palatable,

when dried and can now be


:

obtained in England, but in oiu estimation the


lei-chee to be eaten in perfection, should be pre-

served;

the jelly prepared


is

Chinese,

as delicious a

from them by the compound as can well

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


be imagined.

85

The trees belonging


nevertheless

to this species

in the botanic gardens have not attained


full

their

growth,
;

they

are

universally

admired
in size

the foliage resembles that of the laurel


colour,

and

and the

fruit

grows in bunches

suspended from
the bark
is

stalks six or eight inches long

a rich shade of bright brown, and in

China, these trees, when arrived at maturity, are as


large
lofty as a full-grown

Tr ia
;

and

oak

those

l
now
al-

luded to at Peradenia are only of a moderate

size.

Although not in these gardens, we cannot refrain


from noticing one of the most noble specimens of

ud

vegetation in the world, that

is to

island.

This

is

a tamarind

St

Mahomedan
indicus,)

burial-ground at Putlam,
tree,

io

be found in the
in
this

(Tamarindus
size the

and
;

called fi-om its

enormous

PD

giant's tree

the height

is

ninety-eight feet,

and

nine feet in diameter: just above, the tree divides


into

de

two branches, one of which

sk

seven feet fi'om the root, the solid stem

is thirty-

is

twenty-one

feet,

and the other twenty-seven

feet in circumit

ference.

The

natives affirm that

increases in

size annually,

and that

it is

not more than a hun-

dred-and-thirty years old.


trees,

At one time tamarind

but of a smaller

jungles, but

used to abound in the immense numbers have been desize,

stroyed in the formation of coffee estates, and

86

CEA-LON

AND THE CINGALESE.

many have been


into furniture.

felled to obtain their exquisitely

variegated timber,

which

is

often manufactured

The
diva,

position of the former capital of


is

Lanka

as

beautiful

and romantic as can be


imagination

well

depicted by the most vivid

being situated in a valley, partially surrounded

by

lofty

mountains, which are clothed in the


trees,

girth

betoken these were saplings in ages past,


(varying from 300 to 2000 feet

The mountains
in height) theatre, in the
like

io
him

are nearly in the form of

and,
lake's

when
clear

their

ud

shadows are reflected


the

Tr ia
scene

perpetual

verdure

of

Avhose

l
fell

enormous

an amphi-

enchantment than

St

waters,

is

more

reality.

This

artificial

lake was formed by the last tyrant monarch of

PD

Kandy, out of paddy-fields,


the owners
to yield

which he forced
;

up

to

and many thou-

sk

sands of

men were compelled

to labour without

de

the slightest compensation, at the embankments,

and numbers of wives were made widows, as


score
after

score of the

labourers

victims

to the

unwholesome exhalations of the disturbed


Notwithstanding
all

stagnant waters.

the atro-

cious associations connected with the construction of this lake,


it

is

a most refi'eshing sight,

as the silver stream extends nearly a mile and

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


three

87

quarters

in

length,
five

the

breadth at the
feet.

widest part exceeding

hundred and ten

A
in

winding road encircles the lake, which being


base of the surrounding
hills,

at the

is

sheltered

some measuie by them from the scorching rays of the sun consequently, Europeans can indulge in pedestrian and equestrian exercise at a later hour in the mornmg, and an earlier
;

one in the afternoon, than they can either at


Galle,
or

Colombo.

small

artificial

stands in the centre of the lake, on which

Tr ia
to

octagonal building that was used by the Queens


of

Kandy

ud
;

io
it

as a bathing-house

since

we have

St

had possession of the


the palace,

capital,

has been con-

verted into a powder-magazine.


is

Near the lake


destruction

and,

suffered

fearfully

PD

from the wanton

although the building has

sk

of our troops,
its

still

much remains
The massive
art,

show what
in

magnificent decorations

must have been

its

hour of pride.

de

walls bear im-

press of the sculptor's

and they are equally

remarkable for their

solidity.

From

the ])Hlaee to

the side of the lake, runs a beautiful low trellised


wall, in
size,

which are perforations of every shape and


the purpose of illumination of

for

upon
;

casions

public

rejoicing

and

festivity

nothing can be conceived more picturesque than

l
island
is

an

oc-

and

88

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


hill.

the view of this low wall fi'om the opposite

Alas

we

grieve to say,

this

elegant structure
it

was fast crumbling away, and, as paired, in a comparatively short


vestige

is

not re-

time not a
great objects

of

it

will

remain.

The

of interest in

Kandy

are the temples

and tombs

of the kings, and as a full account of

them

will

The town
in a basin,

of

Kandy

is

insalubrious, as

Tr ia
are
sit

be mention of them here.

given in a future chapter,

we omit

especial

l
it

lies

o])en drains
streets,

rmming

at either side
effluvia

io
it

of the principal

and the

from

these receptacles of
is

absolutely pestiferous.

commenced, by covered drains being constnicted,

PD

and stagnant waters drained off, but as bour proceeds in Ceylon in an inverse

St

ud
filth,

especially after rain,

Improvements were

all la-

ratio to

sk

the growth of vegetation,


(if

will

be years before
effected.

ever)

these sanitary measures are

The

de

present town consists of two main streets

called

Colombo and Trincomalee


and and the principal market
side

Streets,

the

foi-mer running east

west, the latter north

and

south

for edibles is

situated in the middle of the intersecting roads.

On

either

of the

streets

small open

shops, Avhere

the

indolent owners

chewing

betel, being almost too lazy to serve a customer

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


with their wares,
oriental customs

89

presenting a correct type of

and productions.
all

Spread upon
from
oval
;

small wicker trays, are


the small

sorts of spices, to the

romid black peppercorn

nutmeg and long pipe of brown cinnamon


chillies,

in-

termixed with these, are heaps of brilliant red


white
rice,

green and yellow plantains, and mat bags containing curry stuffs, coffee,

and

sugar.

divested
covering.

and undivested of
Occasionally

St

ud

whilst the others are occupied with

io
is

corner

may be

a pile of oranges and citrons,


cocoa-nuts

then* exterior green


articles

Tr ia
are

In one

these

hand alone could thus have placed them.

sk

When a
cles,

buyer approaches one of these receptais sufficiently

PD

that one

is

almost tempted to believe an

an'anged, and the colours blend so harmoniously,


artist's

his favourite

the

employment of betel-chewing, to state ]mce of the required commodity, a wordy


for the native purveyor,
fruit,

war immediately ensues,


let

him

de

and the proprietor

roused from

traffick in the

cheapest

or the costli-

est jewel, invariably asks


article

double the value of the


native buyer in all

he has

for sale.

The

probability
stufi'

requires

a fanam's-worth of curry

or spice, double the

amount

asked, until

from the roof

are

and golden turmerick, whilst suspended bunches of the

so

90
fraction

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

by
to

fraction

is
;

abated, and the just price


each, party chaffering with

agreed
as
as

be taken

much vehemence,
if

energy,

and

gesticulation,
at stake,

three

thousand rix-dollars were

instead of three-halfpence.

During the Kandian monarchy, the

relatives
in

and connexions of the royal family resided


direction from the principal temple

and which

is

now

Tr ia
it

a particular district, situated in a south-easterly

and palace,

called

Malabar

Street.

The
re-

liance

St

upon his relatives. The Kandian laws forbade

ud

be prepared for rebellion, naturally placed

io
their

ruling despot invariably

deeming

essential to

all

save the nobles

and chiefs

to

constmct

dwellings

with
or

de

them from the ground the domiciles composed of a compound of mud and sticks, called waretchie, and roofed with platted cocoa-nut leaves, or paddy
to elevate
;

sk

of all of inferior rank being

straw.
\^"as

A Kandian

PD

bricks, or kabook, or to roof

them with

tiles,

chief informed us the following


;

the original plan of the city

all

the streets,

including the principal, being five in number,

ran in straight lines, inclining from west and


east to the north, forming a triangle based

by

the artificial lakes.

There are a few good shops where European

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


aiticles

91

can be obtained in Kandy, but on account of the expense attendant upon inland

transit, the prices are exorbitant.

The

religious

edifices

scription as those at
is

and public buildings are of the same deColombo, but their number materially less. A very handsome church was

built

pious prelate, Dr.


first

by subscription, and consecrated by the Chapman, the present and

tion of this edifice, divine service

in the Hall of Audience, formerly used

kings of

Kandy
is

for the reception of


is,

which was, and

used also as the Court-house.

the kings are the artillery barracks, situated in

a most picturesque spot, the grounds of which


are

sk

PD

for both affording

and of the Ceylon Rifles, the barracks ample accommodation for a large number of soldiers. Near the tombs of
troops,

St

The town

garrisoned by a detachment of our

ud

io

de

stocked with flowering shrubs,


that are reared

European vegetables,
by the
taking pride
in,

Tr ia
;

Bishop of Colombo.

Previously to the erec-

was performed by the


ambassadors,

and many

and tended
the

soldiers with the greatest care

and bestowing extreme attention


Scattered over the

upon, the well-kept garden.

lower hills are some houses of a better description, that

years,

have been erected within the last few and are inhabited by the government em-

men

92

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE,


Although these dwellings
built
in

ployes and Europeans.


are

commodious,

and

comparatively

salubrious spots, they have

one most essential

drawback, namely, want of a plentiful supply of

good water
water
is

for as gneiss forms the

bed of Kandy,

difficult to

obtain in certain situations,


hill sides.

being particularly scarce on the

His Excellency's residence, called the Pavicalculated


trusted
for

the

abode of one

Tr ia

lion,

is

the

only structure in Ceylon that

l
who

is

is

en-

with the
is

government of

Asiatics,

and,

moreover,

the representative of the Sovereign


It is

of Great Britain.
are cognisant,

treme value upon


although this
too
is

St
all

that

ud
the

Eastern nations place exappliances of state,


it

admitted theoretically,
practically,

io

a fact of which most

is

PD

frequently

disregarded

and

de

we have heard the remark made many times, both by highland and lowland nobles, that the Queen's House of Colombo "was plenty small

sk

for gi-eat

man,

all

same Rajah."

Surely

it

is

unwise to practise niggardly parsimony in such


matters, giving a people,

(whom we have

con-

quered,

and wish

to

impress with an idea of


the convic-

our notions of wealth and power,)


tion that

we

either cannot, or will not provide

suitable

residences for the

Governors who are

sent to rule over them.

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE,

93

The Queen's House

at

Kandy was planned by


This building

Lieut.-Colonel Brown, R.E., and built while Sir

Edward Barnes was Governor.


is

composed of a centre and two wings, which


is

form in the rear three sides of a square,

elegant
for

and commodious, combining every requisite


architectural

a dwelling in a tropical climate, and beautiful


proportions.

The

house

is

sur-

surface

of this

handsome

edifice

with a preparation that bears a high polish, the


of
the building has the

io

whole

appearance of

ud

being constructed of white marble.


lion

commands a view
and

of the principal part of

the town, as well as an extensive prospect of the


;

possible to have selected a


site

in

every way.

PD

adjacent country

The house

St
it

would have been immore advantageous


stands
in

Tr ia
is

rounded by regular coUonades, and, as the entire


encrusted

The

centre of a large lawn, about which are planted

sk

trees

and are well stocked with flowering


kept in excellent order.
sides of the hills,

de

at regular intervals

groups of magnolia and palm

the park-like grounds cover a large space,


exotics,

The park extends

and beautiful views of the moun-

tain landscape valley of

Doombera, and the meanon which

dering river are obtained. But in the centre of this


lovely valley stands a gentle elevation,

pavi-

the

and

to the

94
is

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


a large and solitary tree, that recalls mournful
it

recollections, for
it

is

called Davie's tree

and

was

in this vicinity in

1803 the fearful massacre

of our poor soldiers took place, occasioned by


the cowardice
of the
;

them, Major Davie


his country

who commanded man who alike disgraced


officer

and humanity. and


laid

The

beautiful grounds were planned

who succeeded
that winds

Sir

round the
still

hills

Pavilion

is

called,

and known only by the


road.

ud

io

name

of

Lady Horton's

from this mountain path are most glorious, as the


the forest-clothed mountains, and

PD

rapid waters of the Mahavelle ganga flow below,


hills,

St

cession of magnificent views that meet the eye

Tr ia
The
fifty feet

out during the government of Sir

Wilmot Horton, Edward Barnes, and the road


in the rear of the

every tint and variety of foliage are to be dis-

sk

cerned.
to the

From

the

main road, a minor path leads


above the

de

one that encircles the lake of Kandy, (whose

level is sixteen

hundred and

ocean,) the height of the mountain immediately

over
is

it,

being three thousand

feet.

A
;

the rocky ridge of Hantanna, which

rapid suc-

on which

mile beyond
is

four

thousand three
Hoonasgiri

hundred

feet high

the

again

towers above

this,

Peak of and the


its

summit of the Knuckles, then proudly rears

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


loft}'^

95
all,

crest towards

the heavens above

the

height of this mountain exceeding six thousand

one hundred

feet.

From

other parts of

Lady

Horton's road, various mountains are perceptible,


besides those already enumerated, whose altitude
varies fi'om three to five thousand feet; but al-

though we can give the heights of the eminences,

rounds Kandy.

The
Kandy,

Citadel,
is

or stronghold of our troops at

situated

upon one-tree

io

hill,

ud

cating by signals with Atgallee, which

and
it

is

a military station of great importance, as

stands upon rising ground that

St

seven and a half miles on the Trincomalee road,

Tr ia
is

we cannot impart an idea of the transcendant sublimity and grandeur of the scenery that sur-

communidistant

commands

PD

vast extent of country,

and

this part

proved of

the utmost service during the late rebellion.

On

every side

brated Kurunaigalla tunnel, w^hich was five hun-

dred and thirty-seven feet in length.

de
;

passes

approached by mountain and through one of these ran the celeis

sk

Kandy

The road

through the tunnel united at

the base of the

mountain, with the principal route to Colombo thus enabling troops advancing on Kandy, to
turn the

heights

near the Kadaganawa Pass.


constructed by order of Sir

This

tunnel was

9j8

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE,


to consolidate,

Edward Barnes,
British

so to speak, the
into

power
;

after

Kandy came

our pos-

session

for a legend has

been extant, from time


re-

immemorial, that no foreign power could


tain the

Kandian dominions, until a path was BORED THROUGH THE MOUNTAIN. And a chief
told us, that

when
it

his

countrymen beheld
failed

this

task commenced,

their hearts

them, but,

through the bowels of the earth,


it

was

their destiny to

be ruled by a nation who

could pierce rocks, and undermine mountains.

The tunnel
(collapsed,

w^as

completed on the 8th of De-

and the road

St

cember, 1823, but we regret to say this has


is

ud

io

Tr ia
rare

when they saw

completed, and

men walking they then knew

now
This

impassable.

tunnel, the principal carriage roads,

and bridges,

never could have been constructed, had not the

system of compulsory labour been adopted by

sk

PD

our government, as

it

had been carried on under

de

the native

dynasty.
all

By

order of the King in


services,

Council, in 1832,

compulsory

and

forced labovn* of every description was declared


illegal

and abolished.

Whilst making the exca-

vations for the tunnel,

some

and valuable

gems were discovered, and the only ruby we


have ever seen without flaw or defect in colour,

was fomid

at that period.

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

97

Wild animals and game abound in the neighbourhood of Kandy, as the jungles and forests afford them safe retreat. For as the surrounding
country consists alike of mountains and valleys,
hills

and

dales,

woods and

plains,

rivers

and

streamlets, every animal from the elephant to the

cheetah, every bird from the peacock to the snipe,

every reptile from the python to the centipede,

one or other of their respective haunts.


have known discredit cast upon an
tion,

officer's asser-

who

stated that during Sir

government, he had heard continually after night-

St

fall,

the shrill cry of the elephant, and bellowing

of the elk, in the jungle behind,

ud
now

Governor's temporary residence.

io
and

Edward Barnes'

We feel
was

that every syllable of this statement

PD

correct

as

formerly beasts of prey would constantly come

de

sk

we have heard Kandians

into the city during the night,

when pressed by

hunger, and that leopards have often been found

drowned

in the wells.

Much

of the dense jungle

that surrounded the town is

cleared away,

but we can positively declare that very recently

a cheetah was seen close to a dwelling-house,


in

the

early part of the

day, and, despite the

shouts of the servants,


VOL.
I.

pounced ujion a large


F
"^

Tr ia

or amphibious guano, can find secure shelter in

close to the

certain
strictly

affirm, that

We

98

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

turkey, deliberately walking off with his prize,

not bounding, into the neighbouring plantation.

Neither can
in

we

forget that during our residence

Kandy, a cobra capello was seen within a hundred yards of our abode, nor that we killed
a black scoi-pion,
tribe,)

(the

most venomous of
in

this

fully

nine

inches

length,

in

the

verandah, narrowly escaping treading upon the

nor that we were roused from our slumbers by


the efforts of a favourite dog,

vouring to
crawling
curtains.

kill

an enormous centipede, that was

up the bed-post under the mosquito

de

sk

PD

St

ud

io

Tr ia

reptile,

which we mistook

for

a piece of stick,

who was endea-

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

1)9

V.

Route
of

to

Trincomalee

Native

suspension bridge Caves

of constructRemains of tanks Hot wells Temperature of the waters Beneficial application in certain diseases Legend attached the waters Coast and harboiu- of Trincomalee Situation, longitude Size of har Fort of Trincomalee Town Buildings Troops Insalubrity of the climate Trincomalee named in ancient records Colony of Malabars established there 125 A.D. Interesting religious ceremony on the promontoiy in honour of Siva the memory of Francina van Rhede Melancholy lustory Fantastic appearance of the Quartz RocksPrincipal roads.

Dambool

boxu-

befoi-e

de

sk

PD

to

latitude,

The
in
is

route from

Kandy

St
to

ing a portion of the road

ud

Ditficulty

Pillar to

Trincomalee abounds
interest
;

io

Tr ia
the
first

CHAPTER

objects of novelty

and

situated six miles from

Kandy, and consists of


F 2

a cane suspension bridge, thrown over the De-

l
one

100

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

deioo-oya.

The

construction

of this

fragile

medium

of oomnumieation to the opposite sides

of a rapid stream, evinces alike the

ingenuity

and readiness of the natives


of those

to avail themselves

means most
structure
is

easily obtained,

and calcu-

lated for their purpose.

This

composed of

cable-rattan,

which frequently grows to the length of


hundred yards
;

two

and

varies but little in thickness


is

from one end to the other,


flexible,
b}'

Tr ia
is

extremely

l
light,

and tough.

The

bridge

commenced

entwining canes a few feet apart round the

trunks of two large trees that grow on the opposite

St

banks of the stream, and whose branches


the river
;

ud

io
the

bend over

when

the required

number

of canes are

portions of the same material are laid across to

PD

securely fastened in this manner,

sk

form the path, which

is

same breadth as the


Rattans
to

circumference of the stems of the trees.

de

are then placed at a sufFicient height

form

hand-rails,

these

being attached to the bridge


sticks,

by

thin

bamboos, or

which

alike support

and retain the

rails in their

proper place.

From
bridge,

the overhanging boughs are suspended

cane or coir ropes, which are attached to the


thus

strengthening

the

structure,

and

lessening the vibration.

The

means

of ascent

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


are

101

by a ladder composed of the same materials,


rests against the

which
trees
;

trunks of the opposite

and

it

is

perfectly astonishing to see the

fearlessness

with

which

women,

children,

or

men

can-ying heavy burthens, will cross one of

these aerial structures.


Thirty-five

miles

from Kandy

is

Dambool,
Buddhist

near which place are the celebrated


rock cave temples, which

among

the wonders of the

world,
skill,

complete specimens of man's

perseverance,
that

and ingenuity. *
once
fertilized

The remains
their waters

by
fall

ud
to

io
for

of tanks,

whole

up with dense underwood and rank vegetation


sui-prise

and pain, that our government


of wealth

PD

are continually passed

St

now

suffered to

into decay,

becoming choked
sensations
of

causing

suffer

such sources

focus of disease, instead of having them repaired,

sk

were constructed.

The
a

de

and applying them

to the

purpose

last thirty miles of the

road are peculiarly

interesting to the antiquarian, as they lie through


foiest,

in

which are scattered remains

Tr ia
become
officer

may

almost be classed
as they are

districts,

sliould

which they

temples, tanks,

and

villages.

The

* For tbe detailed account of these extiaordiuary exmvatious, see the chapter devoted to the autiqiiities.

the

of

who

102

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

traced tins portion of the road, had to overcome

innumerable

difficulties,

and endure both


portion
of the
trees,

toil

and privation was traced


sufficient

in the performance

of his task, as

nearly the whole


fi"om

of this

road

the

summit of the
experienced
the large
in

and

great difficulty

was

obtaining

necessarily

ud

io

number of men was indefatigable in his exertions, and the road was completed in an incredibly short time and we cannot do better than quote his own words, showing the obstacles he had to surmount, and the
water for

employed.

Captain Atchison

Tr ia
tract

remains
light.

of

civilization

that were

l
;

brought

to

"The

ruins of Wihares (temples), remains of

antiquity, prove that the vast wilderness of beautiful

PD

deserted villages, tanks, and other remnants of

St
of

and valuable

forest-trees

through which the

new

sk

line of road passes, heretofore

supposed a

de

trackless desert, obnoxious to the existence of

man, and

destitute

water and

inhabitants,

once contained a considerable

population,
of

by

whose labours an extensive

irrigated

lands was regularly cultivated."

Seven miles from Trincomalee, near a ridge


of

wooded

hills,

are the hot springs of

Kanya

there are seven wells of various sizes, containing

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


pure water, the temperature of which
100 to
are, is
is

103
uuequal,

the thermometer ranging in different wells from


112^^.

The

enclosure in which the springs

about forty feet long, and eighteen wide,

being surrounded

by a wall of kabook, each

well likewise having a low embankment.


taste

The

of the waters

is

not unpleasant, although

they are not drank, the natives believing only in

nally.

These waters are considered


our medical

efficacious

Tr ia
over

their restorative qualities,

when applied

exter-

The mode
tlie

of using these waters

invalid standing
chatties

St

is by affiision, upon a square stone tablet,

PD

person.
natives,

The

whilst

of water are

ud

men recommend

io

cutaneous and rheumatic diseases, and some of


their application.

poured

springs are

deemed sacred by

which

de

there

is

erected a temple near the spot, and in

is

a stone statue of the god; and the folis

sk

and under the especial protection of Ganeesa, (the Hindoo god of wisdom,) to whom

lowing legend

extant

among

the natives re-

garding the origin of the springs,

which they

view with awe and reverence.

The

god, Vishnu, being resolved to prevent the

hero King, Rawana, going to war, with one of his


devotees, assumed the form of a venerable man,

in

his

the

104

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

and appeared before the monarch, just as he


was
setting forth to battle,

tations

and with loud lameninformed him that his mother, Kanya, was

dead.

The

king,

deeply

afflicted,

immediately

ordered his soldiers to their homes, stating that

he could not go forth

to

war

until the solemnities

and ablutions were gone through that were enjoined to be performed


for

deceased

relatives.

Tr ia

Vishnu disappeared,
might

but,

fearing

his

be
if

accidentally

encountered

favourite

by

the

monarch,

he went to the bath, caused the hot

appeased his wrath,


never ceased to flow

eomalee has been expatiated upon by many, and

sk

PD

The beauty

the mother of the monarch. of the coast

St
;

the eulogies bestowed

ud

king laved his person, the waters miraculously

and from that time have


being called Kanya, after

upon the immense

io

springs to burst forth on the spot, and as the

and harbour of Trin-

tracts

jacent country, and bold shores, are fully merited.

Trincomalee
vince,

de

of inland forests, groves of palmyi*a palms, ad-

is

the

capital of the
lat. 8

eastern pro-

and

is

situated in

33' 5" north,

and
and

in long.

81 13' 2" east,

possessing a harbour
position,

which
size
;

is

invaluable for

its safety,

naval

men have

declared in our presence,

the greater portion of our men-of-war could find

CEVLON AND THE CINGALESE.


room, and ride in
it

lOO

with the utmost security.

The inner harbour

or

bay

is

land-locked, and

being nearly unfathomable, vessels of every class

can there find shelter from, and in the most violent storms.

The entrance
east,

to the

harbour

is

nearly five miles

wide, and lies between Foul Point on the south-

and Fort Frederick on the north-west, the


to

Norway Point
denly,

the

south-west,

and

Island on the north-west,

and

Trineomalee harbour
this
is

ud
to
;

Indian navy, as there

is

St

During war,

the principal depot for

io
the

when it expands sudand forms Great Bay to the southward,


northward.
tlie

an excellent dockyard

and

arsenal, capable of holding

and

largest man-of-war.

The

fort of

Trineomalee extends over a space

exceeding three and a half miles, and commands

de

the entrance to the inner bay

sk

PD

within the walls

are buildings, erected for the defence of the low

ground by the landing-place.


of Trineomalee
sea,
is

Three miles west


Osna-

cliff

which projects into the

and on

this is the citadel called Fort


is

burgh, which

built

exclusivel}^ for the defence

of the harbour, and which cannot be taken, until


the lower fort has been captured. F 5

Tr ia

width gi'adually decreasing to three miles between

Chapel

refitting the

106

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


of Trincomalee extends in a north-

The town
easterly

dh-ection,

along the outer bay, being

situated in a well-wooded, hilly country,

and

is

separated from the fort

by a wide esplanade.
is

Although the population

extremely limited

when compared with


are

that of

Colombo, the houses


greater extent than

scattered over a

much
at

they are at the

seat of government,

but

few

quently the society

is

restricted to the families of

the military and civil officers


there.

Malabars and Moors,


little

St

ud
is

The

native j)opulation

io
so.

composed

Tr ia
who
fill

Europeans have

settled

Trincomalee, conse-

are stationed

who pay comparatively


conse-

attention

to agi'icultural pursuits,

PD

cultivated.

The government

quently large tracts of valuable land remain unoffices are

chiefly of

compa-

ratively few
for the

the religious edifices are calculated

de

tions than are likely ever to

sk

accommodation of much larger congregatheir walls, as,

from the insalubrity of the climate, few Euroat

peans would reside


sity

Trincomalee unless neces-

compels them

to

do

The Wesleyans

and

Roman

Catholics

have each appropriate

jjlaces of worship,

and the natives likewise have

their temples

and mosques.
garrisoned by a detachment of our

The

fort is

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


soldiers,

107

and the Ceylon

Rifles,

and our troops

evince great dislike to being sent to this station,


as the enervating nature

and excessive heat of


74",

the climate, the thermometer ranging from


to 91

throughout the year,

almost incapacitate

Europeans from exerting themselves, especially when encumbered with a soldier's uniform and
accoutrements.
will

Occasionally spasmodic cholera

attacking and destroying alike in


the European and the

native, the

ud
and

the sober, the brave man and the coward, the happy and the wretched, and after committing

io

fearful ravages will as


theless,

suddenly cease.

cholera

is

always more

St
down,

PD

of Ceylon.
If

Trincomalee and Jaffnapatam, than in other parts

we

are

to

credit

traditions,

appears to
ages, as

sk

have been well known in the earliest


stated there

de

it is

was a temple erected


all

on

this

spot,

that

was celebrated

continent of India.

Brahminical records declare

that in the earliest wars of the gods, three of the

peaks of the Maha-meru, or abode of


beings,

were

thrown

and driven

Tr ia

a few hours

drunken and

prevalent in

Trincomalee

over the

celestial

various parts of the earth,

that one of thestf

break out suddenly in a most virulent form,

Never-

into

108
is

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


it

Trincomalee, and that

immediately became

the abode of Siva, or Eiswara.

The

heir apparent of

Manoo

Salen, sovereign

of the Coroniandel coast, hearing of the sanctity of Trincomalee,


left

his

father's

dominions,

erected a temple to the god, on the summit of


the rock,
built a town,

constituted
city

a Malabar

chief

the

governor

of the

and adjacent
stated to have

emigrants to settle there.

This

occurred 1589 B.C., and, although this early date

works

in the

Tamil tongue that profess

ud
;

temporary writers, the Malabars possess several


to de-

St

scribe the beauty of this temple

buildings.

io

cannot be authenticated by the testimony of con-

corroborate the Tamil, as they say their King,

de

Gaja Bahoo, who reigned between 1 13 A.D., and 125, gave rice-fields and lands as endow-

sk

ments

to the

PD

Cingalese

historical

records to

temple for entertaining the inten-

tion of destroying the fane of Siva,

anew one
account

to

Buddha

in its place.

also states that

The Cingalese Gaja Bahoo took the


whilst the

natives of the

Coromandel coast prisoners, and


Trincomalee

Tr ia
is

and other sacred

some extent

and building

country, inviting his father's subjects and other

sent

them

to

Tamil

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


writers
their

109
period,
to

declare that at

much

earlier

forefathers

had

voluntarily emigrated

this spot.

Without attempting
flicting statements, it is

to

reconcile

these

con-

an indisputable fact, that


era,

in the

second century of our

and during the

reign of the Cingalese

monarch, Gaja Bahoo,


it

a colony was established at Trincomalee, and


is

at

Trincomalee can distinctly trace back their

pedigree to the period above named.

peculiar veneration

by the god's worshippers, as

they believe that on this spot the


dedicated to his
service,

St

ud

dedicated to Siva, and this rock

io
is

The promontory on which

the fort

Tr ia
is

l
to)
is

rather remarkable that

many

of the Malabars

built

is

regarded

Avith

first

temple

by the Prince Kala-

erected.

Some

PD

kootu

(the

king's

son before alluded

was
that

oriental

scholars maintain

that Eiswara, the ancient designation for Siva,

de

mean

authority, states in his Sanscrit dictionary,


is

" an universal spirit."

Although every vestige of the temple has long


since been obliterated, at stated periods oblations
are offered to the

sk

Siva means desti-oyer, whilst Wilson,

who

no

god on the presumed


ascends the rock,

site

of

his original temple.

Shortly before sunset, the

Brahmin

priest

wearing a

no

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

peculiar costume for the occasion, which consists


of a yellow cloth twisted round his loins, and a

chaplet of large and many-coloured beads

bound
climbs

around his brow.

The

officiating priest

to a lofty part of the

rock that overhangs the

sea; the subordinate priests standing upon the

adjacent crags, some of the worshippers ranging

themselves by their side, whilst others stand or

The
chasm
rice

priest

first

performs various ablutions,

then makes several low salaams towards a deep

ud

suppose the god they worship dwells,) casting

io

in the rock, (in

which the deluded beings


into the fathomless

Tr ia
the
it

and betel leaves


;

that rolls below

then again bows lowly to the


in

waters, a subordinate priest hands a species of

PD

upon the
censer

sun.

So soon as the sun touches the

chasm, and stands

sk

St

a devotional attitude gazing

to

his superior,

who holds

l
ocean
vessel
to

kneel in more secure situations.

de

above his head with one hand, waving


fi'o

and

in the air

he then ignites the incense, which

being composed of inflammable and fragrant preparation, bursts instantaneously into lurid flames,
diffusing a powerful perfume around.

When

the

flame has subsided, the priest casts two

young
the

cocoa-nuts into the

ocean,

and receives

oblations and offerings of the congi'egation, for

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE,


the god.
priests

111

When

these have been collected, both

and people make low reverences, in the

direction of the chasm,

and the

service concludes

with a few muttered words from the officiating

Brahmin.

The
little

offerings

made by
flowers,

the devotees are

of

value, as they consist of small quantities of

rice, betel leaves,

and cocoa-nuts, and,

copper.
as
it

This ceremony
is

is

remarkably interesting,
;

undoubtedly

one of great antiquity

Tr ia
the
is

the hour of sunset, has a character

ud

whose steep sides beetle


and wildness about

io

from

being performed upon a lofty precipice,


o'er the deep,

when money

is

presented, the coins are generally

and,

and

at

of mystery
affi-

it,

PD

As recently as 1622, an extensive range


temples
dedicated
to

nity to romance, than to the realities of

St

that bears a stronger


life.

of

Siva,

were

levelled

by

sk

the Portuguese,

when Trincomalee was


they
applied

in their

de

possession,

and

materials,
fortifi-

to the construction

of a portion of the

cations.

Above
mental

the part of the promontory where the

officiating priest
pillar,

worships the god,

a monu-

erected to the

memory

of Francina

van Rhede, who in 1687 committed suicide by


leaping from a projecting crag.

lengthy in-

112
scription

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


was
originally carved
to

upon

tlie

pillar,

but time and exposure

the

elements have

nearly obliterated the whole, leaving merely the

name,

date,

and a few words

visible.

Tradition

has handed

down

the cause of the sinful act,


lady's family are

and
still

some descendants of the


in Ceylon.

Francina van Rhede was

the daughter of a
sei-vice

had formed an attachment


the day
tials.

to

an

army, which was sanctioned by her father, and

of the bride's dowry,

and other matters being

disputed, the intended bridegi'oom broke

St

ud
should

Misunderstandings arose as to the amount

io

was

fixed for the celebration of the nup-

Tr ia
officer

girl,

rendered desperate by the desertion of her

PD

to

Europe.

The

match, and shortly

after

obtained leave to return

unfortunate

and misguided
not leave the

lover,

sk

resolved that

he

information as to the time of the ship's sailing,

de

island during her lifetime

and, having obtained

watched

from her

chamber-window the

spread that were to waft


isle.

him from

the

cinnamon

Before clearing the coast, the vessel was compelled to tack, and pass close to the precipices
that

bound

the southern part of the Fort.

l
ofi"

Dutch gentleman

in the

government

and

in the

the

sails

For

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


this

113

moment

she had watched

she rushed from


cliffs,

her dwelling, darted along the edge of the

under which the swift vessel was gliding,


instant balanced

for

an

on an overhanging crag, then,

with a wild exclamation of revengeful despair,

leaped from the giddy height, and was dashed


against the rocks below.

With some

difficulty,

her mangled remains were collected, by the order

burial

and, although

of self-murder
insanity,

ud

mission of so fearful a crime, we have often

io

we can only hope the act was perpetrated during temporary as that alone can extenuate the comfelt

St

surprise that the family should have

rated so awful an occurrence

by the erection of

Some
a low

of the quartz rocks at Trincomalee have

a most picturesque appearance from the sea, and

sk

PD

a pillar in this conspicuous situation.

Tr ia
edifices.

of her heart-broken father, to

receive christian

commemo-

hill,

(that extends a distance of nearly


to the opposite

two

Fort Ostenburgh, has a fantastic and singular


aspect.

de

miles,) from Chapel Point

one of

The

sides of the rock are precipitous,

being perfectly bare, standing out like denuded


veins, exhibiting a strong similitude to the ruins

and columns of ancient monastic

The

principal route through the island ends at Trin-

114

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


;

comalee

for

though roads diverge

at various

points both at Galle, Colombo, and Kandy, the

main road commences


terminates at the
latter.

at the

former town and

de

sk

PD

St

ud

io

Tr ia

CEYLON AND THK CINGALESE.

115

CHAPTER
Newera EUia
military,

VI.

The road the Convalescent station estahlished 1829 Cascades of Ramhodde Newera EUia a royal residence in 1628 Scenery European aspect of the dwellings VegetationThe town Public buildings Salubrity of the climateFarming periments Great and soU of Newera EUia Proposed plan of emigration Price of stock and produce Iron found on the plain Carnage roads Footthe summit of Pedi'o-taUa galla Horton Plains, path the highest table-land in Ceylon Luxuriant specimens or pitcher plant Nelu, or of the Nepenthes
sanatorium of the island

Mountain conflagration

ud

io
fertile

The

St

Tr ia
for ex-

de

to

honey plant.

The

road to Newara Ellia, the sanitoriura and

convalescent military station of Ceylon, (called

by the natives the City of the Plain,) commences


at the

Peredenia bridge, three miles from Kandy,

sk

PD

capabilities

distUlatoria,

116

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


it

whence

runs through

tlie

mountainous parts of
in

the island,

which are celebrated

Cingalese

records from being connected with the names of


the heroes,

Rama, Rawana, and

the lovely Seeta.

The

route winds round precipitous slopes, the

recesses of which, from their peculiar formation,


are called the Devil's Punchbowls, and, during

the whole of the journey, wide-spread valleys,

mountains, gushing cascades, and a well-wooded


country, are passed in quick succession by the
delighted traveller.

Moreover, the invigorating

ud
an

coolness of the atmosphere, as the higher ground


is

io
the

reached,

enables

European
comfort.

Tr ia
best
:

gently undulating ground, flowing rivers, towering

l
to

enjoy
will

St
of

the

exquisite scenery

in

Some

day, remaining at Gampola, twelve miles from

Kandy, (where there

PD

commence

the journey in the after part of the

is

Rest-house

sk

in the island,) for the express

purpose of witness-

de
pala,

ing the sublime spectacle of a mountain conflagration,

which frequently occurs during the hot

and dry season.

The mountain

Ambulawe overhangs Gamit

and the coarse vegetation which clothes

frequently ignites spontaneously

much

of the

grass grows to a height of seven or eight feet,

being distributed over the

hill

in patches

this

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

117

peculiar herbage being one of the characteristic

productions of Ceylon,

called

lemon-grass,

or

Andrapogon Schsenanthus, and


gi'own with

in this part of the

island generally covers the hills that are not over-

underwood and jungle.


of this burning grass
is

The appearance
magnificent
:

most

a lurid flame suddenly bursts forth

in distinct spots over the


flagi'ation

mountain, and the con-

goes on rapidly against the wind, the

breeze causing the long grass to bend towards


the flames, which drying
it

instantaneously, im-

mediately ignites, casting around a lurid

io
also.

When
bome
tufts

the blaze has subsided, myriads of sparks,

St
;

aloft

with the volume of dense


or,

ud
are

illumine the atmosphere of grass, set


fire

falling

to

them

means

the conflagration extends, a loud crackling

PD

bourhood, and in the distance a roaring hollow


sound, until the advancing flames are arrested by
the dense

de

sk

sound being perceptible

in the

immediate neigh-

woods

that clothe each ravine.


is,

appears extraordinary

that the roots of

Andrapogon Schaenanthus
two-days' rain,

neither

nor desti'oyed by the conflagi^ation,

Tr ia
By

smoke,

upon other
these

injured

for, after

from the midst of the calcined and


will burst

blackened masses the young shoots


forth
;

and

in

a week the whole mountain will be

l
light.

What
the

118

CEYLON

A.ND

THE CINGALESE.

again dotted over with patches of waving grass of


the most brilliant green.

Newera

Ellia

was

first

visited

by Dr. Davy

in

1819, and, although he at once saw and stated the

to

be contended with in the formation of the from Rambodde to the


is

latter part of the road, as

ud

io
6

plains the route through the pass

Tr ia
roll

immense advantages to be derived from its salubrious and temperate atmosphere, it was not until ten years had elapsed that a military convalescent station was established on this spot, and this desirable measure was adopted in 1829 by Sir Edward Barnes. Many serious difficulties had

l
is

on an

in-

fourteen.

Even now much

St

clined plane, which ascends

one foot in every


experi-

difficulty

enced in keeping the road in repair,

for continu-

PD

ally

masses of

soil

and stones

from the
It is

mountain's sides and block up the path.

sk

rather singular that

it

should have been during

every important road in Ceylon was either com-

menced

de

the government of Sir Edward Barnes that nearly

or completed,

and these vast undertak-

ings were carried into execution before the abolition of compulsory labour.

The cascades

of

Rambodde
down
is

are

superb,

and

during the rainy season the vast volume of the


torrents that dash
incredible, the noise

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


of the
waterfalls being

119
at
is

heard

distinctly

considerable distance.

Near Rambodde

the

lovely valley of Kotmaale, through vphich

mean-

ders

a flowing

stream,

whose waters possess

peculiar efficacy, according to the superstitious


belief of the natives
;

as they assert that whatever

woman

bathes in the river within three months

after she

becomes a

wife, will

be blessed with a

beautiful,

numerous, and fortunate family.

From
lies

the summit of

Rambodde Pass
is

Tr ia
the
hills,
it

clear view of

Newera Ellia
it is

obtained, which

about six thousand three hundred feet above


;

the sea

and, although

ud

called a plain,

io

l
first
it

is

from south-west to north-east, divide

St

not such in reality, as a chain of

running

unequally.

the only vestiges found of former occupants were

PD
it

When we

took possession of this place, in 1829,

F
is

sk

the remains of a temple,


ings,

and one or two buildhistorical fact, that the

although

an

Queen

de

of

Kandy,

in 1628, here took

up a tempo-

rary abode after her second marriage,

when

she

was compelled
guese.

to leave the capital

by the Portuand
it

Game abounds
Iftie

in

this district,

was

in

pursuit of elk that a party of our officers dis-

covered the plains, some natives having volunteered to

conduct them to a spot where the

1-20

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE,

animals abounded.

The boldness
it is

of the scenery

aroimd Newera Ellia can only be equalled by


that of

Snowdon, as
mountain

encircled on every side

by craggy mountains,
loftiest

amongst which

is

the

in

Ceylon, Pedro-talla-galla,
rises eight

whose towering peak hundred


feet

thousand three

above the ocean's


is

level.

The
for

plain

dotted over with white-washed

Tr ia
tell,

residences,

recalling

many home

recollections,
to

on the roof of every dwelling are


;

chimneys

the cool
fires

and bracing atmosphere not


pleasant morning and even-

only rendering

ing, but causing


sary.

them

tropics
will

this

remark may appear puerile, but

be fully appreciated by those who have

sojourned in the east, for none can

PD

St

To

those

who

ud
to

io
have

be absolutely necesnot visited


the

sk

latter, the feeling of strangeness that pervades

the

mind when

the

beholder

first

de

dwellings unmarked by this sign of the household

hearth.

Nothing about Newera Ellia Plain


tropics,

l
tells

be seen

save the

looks upon

of the
to

the bracing air enabling


at

Europeans

walk out
frame
its

any hour of the day, the mental and


soon regain their
lost vigour,
the'

1)odily faculties
is

invigorated, the palled appetite recovers

tone,

and speedily the hollow sallow cheek

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

121

becomes rounded, and assumes


hue
;

health's roseate

many
land,

a desponding invalid, whose large

family and slender


native

means forbade return

to his

has reason to bless the day the

sanitorium of Lanka-diva was discovered.

The
liar

beauties of vegetation also wear a famiis

aspect as the eye

gladdened with

floral

gifts that

appertain especially to the temperate

damask, and pink rose-trees,

violets, sweet-peas,

acacia, peach, apple and pear-trees, with nearly

every fruit and vegetable that are produced or

consumed by
diate

us,

can be met with in the imme-

upon the summit of a mountain seven degrees


from the equator, where occasionally the ther-

mometer has
half an

PD

St

neighbourhood.

And

ud
all

io

fallen

below

28,
is

and where

Tr ia
this
is

zone, such as rhododendrons, the white guelder,

in the morning.

The town
6,300 feet

table-land mountains rise in various directions,


diversified

over

de

which

sk

inch in thickness

sometimes found

Newera EUia stands upon a plain, above the level of the sea, and from this
of

with gentle slopes and undulations,


are

scattered

various

residences.

Perpetual cascades burst from the sides of the

neighbouring mountains, and pure rapid streams


of wholesome water wind
VOL.
I.

through the valleys,

found

ice

\-2-2

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

whilst

much

valuable

timber clothes the

hills

and

for

an extent of several miles well watered,


plains,
hills

and alternate

and

dales,

give the

sunounding scenery the appearance of a natural A church has been built near the Gopark.
vernor's

house,

and there are

also

residences

belonging to the Bishop, Commander, Colonial


Secretaiy,

and other governmeiit


of

servants.

Newera
are

Ellia,

excellent.

and their barracks, Throughout the

Tr ia
of

detachment

our

troops

l
the
;

is

always

at

hospital, &c.,
district,

from

November
seldom
are

to the

end of April, the thermometer

rises

above 65 Fahr., and, although

ud

io

frosts
is

St

not unfi'equent during the night,


of
:

snow

unheard

the

temperature
bracing

winter

months resembles

the

atmosphere of

PD

a fine October in

England,

and the summer


in short,

with the beneficial showers of April

de

sk

months combine the genial Avarmth of August


oppressive

tlie

atmosphere

of

the

tropics

is

unknown at Newera Ellia. The soil varies as in Great


rich

Britain from the

brown

to the black loam,

and

all

English

produce succeeds in a most luxuriant manner,


although hitherto the farming has been almost
entirely in the

hands of the natives, who, notignorance


of

withstanding

their

the

subject,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


have amassed
tion

128
cultiva-

large

sums

from
turnips,

the

of

potatoes,
;

carrots,

aud

other

vegetables

their farming

experiments not ex-

tending beyond these simple endeavours.

Many

gentlemen for their amusement have planted English grass, clover,

wheat, oats, barley, beans, peas,

and have found green crops of every description


thrive
ner.
It

and yield

in the

most extraordinary man-

has afforded us great pleasure to peruse the

circular of

Mr. Baker, an energetic and enter-

prising gentleman,

who has
the

located himself at

Newera
which

Ellia,

wherein he sets forth in most

St

glowing language,

ud

io
which

agricidtural

this district possesses,

and where an
for
;

Tr ia
offers

advantages
ar-

rangement has

lately

been made

opening a
suggesting

new

field for agricultural enterprise

peculiar advantages to the colonist, and ensures

him, on his aiTival in Ceylon, a comfortable farm


with a dwelling-house and requisite buildings,

ready for his immediate occupation.

de

sk

also a system of emigration,

PD

This forewriter

thought for the emigrant's comfort, the


usual hardships experienced by those,

very justly remai'ks, obviates his exposure to the

who under

ordinary circumstances seek to improve their fast-

decaying prospects in their fatherland, by migratG 2

l
both

124

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


;

ing to uiiknown shores

and the

fact

undeniably

bespeaks a most favourable impression for the


honesty, integrity, and sincerity of the promoter
of the scheme.

Mr. Baker

is

said to have en-

gaged the services of seventeen English fannservants of both sexes, who, with a large supply
of farming implements, have ere this, in all probability,

reached their destination, where that

development of his laudable plan, which,


cessful,

Tr ia

gentleman

is

stationed exerting himself in the


if

l
The

suc-

must be

alike beneficial to the

colony,

and the new

settlers.

results likely to accrue

gration,

still,

plan

is

PD

most deserving of the serious considera-

from Newera Ellian emimaking due allowances, we think his

tion of those

amongst our own

St

Mr. Baker in all his sanguine expectations of the

ud

Although we are not prepared to agree with

io

Irish fanners,

who

contemplate a change, and we wish him, and

sk

de

those British subjects

who may

follow him, the

success

which his energy,


so

honesty, and forecircular

thought

eminently deserve.

before us draws most forcibly the contrast be-

tween the
rica,

settler

proceeding to Australia, or Ame-

and

the

emigrant to Ceylon, the former

landing in a wild and barren country, houseless

and

friendless, with nothing but the certainty of

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


the greatest privations before
is

1*25

him

while the latter

landed free of expense in Ceylon, and without

delay takes possession of his farm, and, settled in


his house, is ready to

commence
to the

his operations

immediately.

We
in this

can bear witness

advantages offered

mountain

district for a

European

settleis,

ment, and the only matter of astonishment

elapsed before the attempt was made.


Ellia
is

a district blessed with a peculiarly salu-

brious climate, and in every

way adapted
life,

io

ud

production of those necessaries of

Tr ia
may be
Baker,

that so

many

years of British rule should have

Newera
for the at

which

enoraious expense, and capable of raising supplies considerably

beyond the wants


says

St

this

moment

are imported into the colony at an

of the in-

habitants, for which ready markets


tained.

PD

The
five

natives,

Mr.

produce
the

same land

de

sk

successive crops of potatoes fi'om


:

thus,

even from their ignorant

farming, they
quality of the

adduce a proof of the pecidiar


soil.

Stock of

all

kinds
is

is

remarkably cheap, and

the draught buffalo

an animal which entirely


all

supersedes the horse for

heavy work, not only

on account of his great strength, but from the


fact of his requiring

no other food than pasture.

ob-

now

126

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


buffaloes
;

Cows and
40.?.

may be purchased from 25*.


36".

to

per head
;

sheep, from

to 7s.
;

pigs from 3.

to Is.
ditto.

fowls, from 7s. per

dozen
to

ducks, from 12*.


that, notwithis

Mr. Baker proceeds

show

standing the very low price of stock, fine meat

unknown

in Ceylon, the beasts

being unfattened,

and slaughtered without

discretion.

Although in

many parts of the island the

calf is permitted to take

has ever been manufactured in Ceylon, and butter sells for


2.5.

Qd. per pound.

the abundance and cheapness of pigs,

ud

bacon have never been cured


articles

io
;

Tr ia
and yet
profit
28.s".

the whole supply from the mother, yet not a cheese

Notwithstanding

l
at

hams and
all

these

are

imported from England at an enormous price,


per pound.

2*.

PD

cheese, hams, and bacon being generally sold at

St

consumed

in large

quantities,

and

All these articles

may be prepared
facility,

Newera

EUia, with the same

sk

and

at one-fourth of

de

the

cost,

of those

produced in England, and


at a large

would therefore
island
toes,
is chiefly

sell

both for

home consumption and

for

exportation.

The
pro-

supplied by

Bombay
at

with pota-

but those of a superior quality


at

now
sets,

duced
three
are

Newera

Ellia

sell

per cwt.

In
they

months from the planting of the


to dig,

fit

and one

set has frequently

been

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

1*2/

known
proved

to yield fifty potatoes.

Wheat has been


imported,

experimented upon, and the quality produced


infinitely superior to the seed
is

and yet Ceylon


thrive
well,

entirely

dependant ujjon AmeOats and beans


conse-

rica for the supply

of ilour.

but have been neglected,

quently the horses in the island are fed expensively

upon

paddy and
is

gram,

the

principal

a most extensive market

is

open

home

market, as well as that of the Mauritius.

fann, free from those heavy taxes which burthen


his industry
at

home, where he may not only

St

ud

small capital, a comfortable and most profitable

io
but
still,

Mr. Baker

offers to the enterprising

residing in a comparatively civilized society, with

We

de

the house of
feel

sk

a school for the education of his children, and

God

bound

PD

happy, luxurious

amass a considerable

fortune,

Tr ia
to

supply the

farmer of

may

l
live
;

portion of which

imported from India:

thus

life,

with

the

advantages of

within his reach.


to

correct

an error of Mr.

Baker's,

who

states that cheese and

hams were

never produced in Ceylon, as the former have

been made, and we believe are

at the island

of Delft, near Jaffna, and also at


latter

Manear

the

have been cured at Newera Ellia by British

soldiers

however

this

has nothing to do with the

128
fact,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


which must be apparent
to the

meanest caat

pacity, that were those articles

produced

New-

era

EUia equal

to the English, they

would bring

remunerative prices to the farmer.

We

should

also observe another mistake, namely, that the

Colony is not
flour,

entirel}-

dependant upon America

for

large quantities being

annually imported

from the

Bombay

Presidency.

In respect also

promoter has overlooked the necessity of manure,

and

his circular

makes no mention of whence he

ud

that in all probability the market


to the

io
;

]3roposes to derive his supply, as well as the fact,

Tr ia

would be limited
island.

to the successive crops of potatoes,

we

fear the

European population of the


Ellia were

We

have been informed that recently potatoes grown

than stated by Mr. Baker.

sk

We

repeat that the scheme of Mr. Baker

PD

market

at 24^. per cwt.

at

Newera

St

offered in the

Colombo

being four shillings less

is

de

highly deserving of consideration


of the climate, circumstances,

what he

states

settlement
little

is

perfectly correct,

and position of the and there can be

doubt that the fattening and improving of

the breeds, both of cattle and poultry, would be

remunerative, as well as the gi-owing of seed and

green crops

luxuries and enormous fortunes are

out of the question

some comfort and an honest

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


livelihood are to be found
that there
is
;

129

and we should think and


to

a good opening for some able-bodied


their wives

industrious Irish labourers,


families,
their

and

who

are

more inured
;

hardships than

English neighbours

the

men

could be con-

stantly

employed

in this delightful climate in the

cultivation of the soil, while their

women might
and poultry-

find profitable

employment

in dairies

yards.

The

difficulties are great

which encompass the

agriculturist in Ceylon, for

want of a sure supply

of labourers.

The

local press is full of constant

coolees,
coast.

and very few are appearing from

St

complaints and communications on the subject such as these, " Some estates are hard up for

ud

io

Tr ia
G 5

l
tTie

their

own country

PD

Indeed

if it

be

true, as

it is

said, that in
after

fine rains

have fallen

long

lands,
their

we cannot expect men, for it is only in work in their own country, that the Malabars come here."
" Accounts of the most deplorable nature con-

tinue to reach us on the difficulty of obtaining


coolees.

de

exigency, having no

sk
to the

drought, filling their tanks and fertilizing their

There

is

every reason to apprehend

that a large portion of the crops will be lost for

want of hands."
his

"A friend

has just been here on


in search of coolees.

way

Four Korles

130

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


gives

He

a most

melancholy account of the

scarcity

of

labour which prevails everywhere.


coolees have bolted, and there
to replace them.
is

Nearly
little
is

all his

hope of being able

Happy
on an
Nearly

the

man who can muster

thirty coolees

estate of three
all

hundred acres

in bearing.

the superintendents have gone to look for

coolees, with but faint hopes of success,

and the

ceed, the crop

must be

entirely lost.

large estates the coolees have fled to a

By

the foregoing, our readers will perceive that

ud

io
is

the agriculturist in Ceylon

from the Malabar coast, who require but

St

for labour

upon the periodical

Tr ia
entirely
if

comfortable conviction, that

if

they do not suc-

visits of the

On some

man."

dependant
coolees
for

little

their support,
rice,

which consists

for the

most part of

and when they have acquired a small sum


immediately return to their families,
re-

in wages,

gardless of acquiring more money, and leaving


their

de

Taking

as well as the utter hopelessness of being able to

sk

employers without notice, or redress.


this fact, therefore, into consideration,

PD

induce the Cingalese to work,


cient food to
eat,

they have

suffi-

with very slight


to

and which they can procure exertion, it would appear to us

be indispensably requisite, as an element of

success in Mr. Baker's undertaking, to secure the

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


assistance of a sufficient

131

number of

Irish, English,

or Scotch labourers, who, being accompanied


their families,

by

ment
have

to

would not have the same inducemake a speedy retreat after the Malabar

The Irish, we know from experience, many good qualities, and that of attaching themselves to those who give them food and raifashion.

ment, and treat them with consideration,


the least; and
heart,
tion.

is

not
at

is

when beyond
For
all fiu'ther

the reach of political agitaparticulars on the subject of


Ellia,

the settlement at

Newera

to the promoter, S.
lar is dated

W.

Baker, Esq., whose circu-

tenham.

Iron of good quality

the natives say that formerly precious stones were

met with in the swamps about Newera Ellia. This statement is disbelieved by many, although excavations are still to be setn that were made by the gem-seekers and we, w lit) know the inert disposition of the Asiatics, can

de

sk

also occasionally

PD

St
4,
is

from No.

Wolseley Terrace, Chelfound on the plain, and

ud

hardly imagine they would have exerted themselves,

had they not anticipated and found proht


toil.

arise

from their

Dr.

Davy
tlie

io
;

we refer our reader

jewel-hunters, for he writes, in 1819,

Tr ia

Paddy

a right good fellow

alludes to these

"There

l
is

good reason

to believe that

individuals en-

132

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


this pursuit,

gaged in

who

are not very numerous, better

and
in

chiefly

Moormen, would be
the

employed

cultivating

ground

that

they ransack."

Carnage -roads and paths have been constructed


around and through the plain, which branch
into the surrounding valleys
off'

and wind round the

mountain's base

and a foot-way has been con-

structed that leads to the cloud-capped crest of

The

ascent of the mountain

and fatiguing; nevertheless, we have known ladies


attempt and accomplish this hazardous journey,

and have been well rewarded

ud

St

by

the

sublime scenery that surrounds "


altitude of which, as
is

io
The

Tr ia
is

Pedro-talla-Galla.

remarkably steep

for their exertion

l
Mat
we have
and most
eight thousand three hunrichest
sea.

wove rock," the

dred feet above the

PD

previously remarked,

luxuriant parts of Ceylon, namely.

Upper and
and
in the

Lower Ouva,

sk

are seen in the distance,

de
mass

background towers Samenella, or Adam's Peak,


clothed in perpetual verdure; whilst the projecting
of the nearer mountains are distinctly visible,
sides are clad with impervious forest

whose bold

and dense underwood.

The
the

highest table-land in the island

is

situated

some few miles from Newera Elba, and is called Horton Plains, as it was discovered during the

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


time Sir

133

Wilmot Hortoii governed Ceylon.


it

This

district is celebrated for the rich botanical speci-

mens

that

affords, the

most curious of Avhich

is

the pitcher plant,


thrives

(Nepenthes
in great

distillatoria,) that

and grows
its

luxuriance, as the

extraordinary blossom, or vessel from which the


plant derives

name,

is

frequently ten or eleven

inches long, and the graceful effect of these beau-

is

indescribable.

In this neighbourhood a plant flourishes that


is

called

by the natives nelu, or honey-plant, as


This
a jointed plant that flowers

the flowers emit a powerful effluvia resembling

but once in eight years, and, as the blossoms

PD

decay, large numbers of bees appear to be attracted by the peculiar effluvia


;

St

new honey.

is

are the insects, that chisters of

ud

io
;

and so delighted them


will hang-

sk

suspended from the branches

for hours.

the nelu-plant a leafless parasite often entwines,

whose beautiful blossoms are bell-shaped, having

amber hearts and

de

scarlet edges

appear to be united with the nelu at the

natives declare that this plant bears two kinds of


flowers,

which are

totally distinct in

colour.

Tr ia

tiful

productions, as the breeze plays

among them,

Around

and as these
root, the

form and

134

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

Geological character of the island

MineralsSalt lakes Revenue arising from tliemTanksAgricultureNative plough Mystic when the paddy trodden out CultivationLemon grass Value and uses of cocoanut trees Cinnamon Coffee Sugar Cotton Tobacco Areka nutsAmbuprasudana, or water nut Jack and bread-fruit trees Indigo Mulberry trees Talapat palm Mee treeEbony treeCalamander Red sandal and satin-wood trees The kabook treeVariety of the vegetable worldThe bo, or sacred Capabilities of cultivation and extraordinary of the Expense of housekeeping Prices of provisions at Galle and Colombo Meat Poultry Fish and Fruit Vegetables Servants' wages House-rent Same
rite

ud

io
to

PD

St

sk

de

fertility

Tr ia
is

tree

tree

fisheries

l
soil

CHAPTER

VII.

at

Kandy and Newera

Eilia.

The
likened,

simile
is

of a pearl,

which Lanka

is

most peculiarly appropriate, not only


form of the island, but from

in reference to the

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


the natural beauty of
its

135

scenery, the productiveits

ness of

its soil,

and the richness of

mineral

kingdom.

We

have previously referred to the

beauty of the scenery, which we have witnessed


with such deepfelt gratification, and

we

purjjose

devoting this chapter to the mineral construction,

produce, revenue, and capabilities of Ceylon.

The
little

geological character of the country


;

is dis-

exception, constituting the whole

Tr ia
is is

tinguishable for uniformity

primitive rock, with


island.

The exceptions

consist of recent fonnations,

are only to be found in the neighbourhood of

Jaffnapatam, and at a few places along the shore.

St

The
is

varieties of primitive rock are innumerable,


ill

but the species are

defined and few.

ud

io
is

the most dominant species, whilst

domolite,

quartz,

and hornblend, are

PD

l
still

and

Granite

less li-equently to

be

met

with.

Gneiss and granite exist in countless

varieties,

de

sk
and

offer considerable difficulty to the

mineralogist,

who attempts

to

name them.

Fine-

grained grey coloured granite

occasionally to

be met with, and the best we have seen was at


Point de Galle, but graphic granite
less

common.

We

have seen, however, veiy beautiful

specimens from the sea shore in the vicinity of


Trincomalee, in which the quartz
of a grey or

13b'

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

blackish-coloured rock crystal, and the felspar of

a vivid fleshy hue.

Gneiss and sienite are found in the Kandian


provinces
tiful,
;

the former

is

very abundant and beaufelspar,

and

is

composed of quartz and white

with black mica and innumerable garnets of a


pale colour.

Hornblend, dolomite, and quartz

are rarely to be seen in massive forms.

Horn-

tions of hills in the

Kandian provinces, but

Tr ia
It is

blend and greenstone are plentiful, forming por-

l
is

it

is

not believed that they constitute the whole forma-

io

tion of

any

hill,

or mountain.

Dolomite

found

in as large varieties as granite, generally crystaline

ud

(piently

it is

formed of rhombs, which a blow of a

imbedded, and

PD

hammer
abounds
posed of

St

and of a pure white

colour,

and very

fre-

separates with facility.


in

met with
form
it

veins,
;

and

in

this

in

Kandy

while small hills are comof the


island.

sk

it

in other parts

In

de

ancient days, dolomite was exclusively appropriated


for the use

of the

king.

Quartz

is

very

abundant, and a very remarkable

hill is

com-

pletely formed of this rock in the neighbourhood

of Trincomalee
hill is laid

on the side towards the sea the

bare,

and presents

to the spectator the

appearance of a mass of ruinous buildings, and

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


possibly owing to this, the

137

name

of Chapel Point

was given
is at

to

one end of

this hill.

In the north of the island, at JafFnapatam, which

once the most populous and productive por-

tion of Ceylon,

we

find two instances of recent

formation,

namely
as

sandstone

and
to

limestone.

Sandstone however cannot be said


to
this
district,
it

be confined

is

found in a variety of

tween high and low water-mark, where


in horizontal stratified beds.

Tr ia
it is
;

places, extending

round the

coast, in general be-

In some instances,

the sandstone
to black,

is

very dark coloured, approaching


it is

and

in others

Limestone however has been considered, and


believed, to be confined to the north

St

colour.

ud

of a greyish yellow

io

l
is

seen

is

it

very

compact, of a fine grain, containing innumerable


shells, of

a pale brown or grey colour, and

PD

its

fracture

is

Iron and manganese are the only metallic ores


of any consequence which have been discovered
in

de

sk

conchoidal.

Ceylon
all

the former

is

plentiful,

and may be

found

over the island, either as magnetic iron,

bog

iron, red hematite, iron pyrites, specidar iron,

or blue phosphate of iron. of any

But we do not know


having as

vein, or large bed, of iron ore

yet been discovered in Ceylon.

Black oxide of

138

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


in

manganese occurs scattered and imbedded

gigantic rocks in small quantities, but at so great a

distance inland, that the can-iage would be too

expensive to admit of a profitable export trade.


It is

very remarkable, that no other metals have

as yet been discovered, in a country, where the

nature of the rock would indicate their existence.

However, although some authors have asserted,


such we believe to be most incorrect, and we

have never heard, that either lead, copper, or

Tr ia
and
eye
is

that gold

and mercury are found native

in Ceylon,

tin,

ud

Lanka-diva abounds in every variety of the


quartz family
rock-crystal,
;

io
of
is
it

has as yet been discovered.

hyalite, ^chalcedony, iron flint,

and

St

which latter

is

found crystallized and

PD

F
is

massive, in great quantities, and of a variety of


colours.

This

made use

by the Cingalese,
from
it,

who form
employ
it

lenses for spectacles

and

sk

for statuary

and ornamental purposes.


cat's eye, are

de

Rose

quartz, phrase, amethyst,

also abundant.

The Ceylon

cat's

the most

valuable in existence, and


there, than in Europe.

much more
in

prized

former

Topaz and schorl are also found is commonly of a yellowish,

Ceylon

the

or bluish-white

colour, but perfect crystals of

are very rarely to

be met with.

Common

schorl occurs very plenti-

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


fully
ill

139
it

granitic rocks,

and

in

some
;

places,

is

mixed with
description,

felspar

and quartz

tourmalin

is

oc-

casionally to be

met

with, but of a very inferior


red, green, or

and these are either of

honey

colour.
granitic rock, garnet,

In the

cinnamon-stone
is

and pyrope abound, and the common garnet


found diffused in gneiss through the whole
the
crystals

island,

defined.

The

precious garnet occurs in horn-

blend rock in the neighbourhood of Trincomalee,


but of an inferior description.

has heretofore been exclusively found in Ceylon,

St

where

it is

very abundant, although confined to

ud
is

io

Cinnamon-stone

particular districts,

and

is

principally

Tr ia
The

however are

diminutive

and

met with

ill-

in

Matura.

It is

found

in

very large

masses of
irre-

many pounds
called

PD

in weight,

and small pieces of


" Matura

gular form in the granitic alluvial.

zircon,

by the
is

sk

Cingalese

diamond,"

de

which

found in the island,

considered to be

the best in the world; besides zircon

and hyawhich
is is

cinth, there is another species in Ceylon,

opaque, uncrystallized, and massive.

Zircon

found both of yellow, green, red, and light grey


colours,

which the native merchants dispose of


for

respectively

topaz,

tourmalin, rubies,

and

diamonds.

140

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


for

Ceylon has

a considerable period been

renowned
species,

for its rubies, of

which there are four


spinell,

namely sapphire,

chrysoberyl,

and corundum, which are found

in granitic rock.

The
met

principal varieties of sapphire, such as red,

purple, yellow, blue, white,


with,

and
size,

star

stone, are
in perfec-

sometimes of large

and

tion at Matura, SafFragam,

and other places.


very rare, and

The
occa-

still

more

so.

Spinell

is

plentiful at a place called

it is

found on the banks of a small

St

met with in the clay-iron ore in the Kandian provinces, where gneiss is abundant. Chrysoberyl is peculiarly rare, and is said generally to come from SafFragam. Corundum is very
sionally

ud

Battagammana, where
river, called
is

Agiri
in the

Kandura

PD

it is

of a brownish colour, and

form of large six-sided prisms.

sk

In the family of felspar,


tablespar,

io

Ceylon

de

Labrador stone, adularia, glassy felspar,

compact

felspar,
is

and common

felspar.

brador stone

found at Trincomalee, and adula-

ria is plentiful in

Kandy.

Common

Tr ia
is

purple, or oriental amethyst,

is rare,

and the green


is

hornblend

produces

The Lais

abundant, and glassy tremolite and pitch-stone


occur in the neighbourhood of Trincomalee.

Mica, forming a component part of granite and


gneiss,
is

very plentiful, and frequently

found

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


enclosed in these rocks, where
extensive flakes,
it

]41

occurs in very
for

which the Cingalese employ

ornamental purposes.

Green earth

is

rather un-

common

but

is

found in Lower Ouva of a green

and pea-green

colour.
is

At Galle and Trincomalee


found
scattered

common
quartz.

chlorite

through

Talc, dolomite, carbonate of magnesia,

the former rarely, but the latter

Tr ia
is

and native carbonate of magnesia, are occasionSulphur and graphite also occur, ally discovered.
abundant

in

SafFragam.
Nitrate of lime

io

and

nitre are very

common, and

the nitre caves appear to be formed of carbonate

Salt lakes exist to a large extent in the district

St
little

of lime and felspar.

ud

called Megam-pattoo, on the sea shore,


in all probability are supplied

and which

PD

fi'om the sea, as

sk

the saline contents of both prove to be of a similar

nature.

The

salt

monopoly

produces the

de

government a yearly

revenue of 5t'42,000, and,

were this portion of government property superintended and conducted upon scientific principles,

there can be
if

doubt that the revenue

would be twice,
It

not three times the ainount.

appears to us rather extraordinary, that the

attention of the

home and

colonial government

has not been directed to such a legitimate source

142

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

of revenue, in preference to the tax vipon dogs,

and such
tent

like,

which has created so much discon-

amongst the followers of Buddha.

All the soils of the island appear to have origi-

nated from decomposed granite rock, gneiss, or


clay-iron
stone,

and
It is

in

the

majority of cases

quartz

is

the largest, and frequently nearly the

sole ingredient.

very remarkable that the

than between one and three per cent, of vegetable


substance, which

may be

attributed to the rapid

decom])osition, occasioned

temperature, and heavy

ud
falls
is

St

The most abundant crops


dark brown loam, which

posed granite and gneiss, or in reddish loam,


which
stone.
is

duce inferior crops, are those in which a large

de

sk

The

PD

formed from Kabook stone, or clay-iron


soils,

which have been found

io
is

by a high degree of
of rain.
are produced in the

formed from decom-

Tr ia

natural soils of Lanka-diva do not contain more

l
The

to pro-

proportion of quartz

is

contained.

soil de-

rived fi-om clay-iron stone


colour,

of a reddish

brown

and has the property of retaining water for a very long time, to which may be attributed its To the practical and scienproductive quality.
tific

agriculturists,

Lanka-diva affords abundant op-

portunity for experiment and investigation, where


the soil
is

in a state

of nature,

and unimproved

by

the admixture of any description of manure.

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

143

Ceylon possesses one great advantage over

many

other countries, namely, a very abundant

supply both of spring and river water, which, in

most instances,
been
tion,

is

of a pure description.

The

ancient inhabitants of the island seem to have


fully cognisant of the advantages of iiriga-

and they availed themselves of the best


to secure a constant supply of water for

means

the purpose.

by them, which

irrigated the

whole island, " and

indicate a degree of prosperity, civilization,

ud
in

io
ai'e

were hardly suii^assed by the kindred wonders of Egypt," and the ruins of these stupendous works

those

not have learned a lesson from these

sk

for

upwards of half a century

PD

who visit the country at the present day. It is much to be regretted that a British Colonial Government, which has now been established

St

population, which can

scarcely be credited by

Ceylon, should
gigantic
jjui'jioses

remains, and restored them to the useful


for

which they had originally been constructed.


such a course been adopted, capital and

Had

labour would have been ex])ended to some purpose, occupation

de

and employment would have

been given

to a population,

who

dolent, the country

would have produced more

abundant crops, and the land would have been


rendered doublv valuable.

Tr ia

Tanks and lakes were constructed

naturally in-

and

144

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

This important question has been under the


consideration of various
colonial

governments,

commencing with Sir Thomas Maitland, in the year 1806, who proposed the restoration of the
tanks,

and the Colonial Engineer of that period.


wherein he estimated the expense of

Captain Schneider, made his report upon the


subject,

restoring the Giant's Tank, Cattoekare, at twenty-

would occupy three years.


the

Tradition attributes
national

construction

of this

Tr ia
work
;

five

thousand pounds,

and considered that

it

to the

giants,

which

is

by no means unreasonable,

io
;

as

the people in those days


at all events in energy,

ud

must have been giants


the

present race.

St

when compared with

is

land near Mantotte in the northern province, and


covers a space of twenty thousand parrahs of

north-west to south by an earthen dyke, to confine

de

sowing land, a parrah being equal to about an English bushel and a third it is bounded from
the water in the rainy season

sk

PD

The tank

situated in a large tract of

low

and,

when

necessary, to irrigate the paddy-fields, which are

now
able.

broken, and in several places scarcely trace-

On
rains,

the

south side,
the

the

river,

during heavy
lands

carries

water from the high

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


to

145

the

sea,
its

and

at

some seasons
depth

rises nine feet

above

banks, notwithstanding the bed of the


;

river is twelve feet in

about nine miles


of Cattockare,

from the south end of the


there
is

dam

another, six hundred feet long, from forty

to sixty broad,

and from eight


stones,

to twelve in height,

built of large

hewn

some measuring seven


from three to four in

and eight
breadth,

feet in length,

Tr ia
is

and from two and a half

to three

l
in

thickness, firmly cemented together, which must

have been constructed at enormous labour.


to this

Near

dam

there

is

a canal to lead the river-

ud
has

water to the tank, but

it

St

of not having been completed, and


several places.
level

io
now

the appearance

broken

at

The height

of the

dam above
at

the

of the
it

sea varies

considerably,

some
it

places

is

PD

thirty-six feet, while at others

is

The
river,

lets running into Cattockare, independently of the

de

would be

sk

sixty-seven.

natives consider that the water of the rivu-

sufficient to
it

supply the tank;

if

this

be the case

would cost a much smaller sum

than Captain Schneider's estimate, and would


consequently take a
plish.

much

Villages have

shorter time to accombeen formed ivithin the

tank, whose inhabitants have constructed smaller

tanks for the irrigation of paddy-fields, which are


VOL.
I.

146

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

also cultivated within the


tract

same

limits.

large

of country in the vicinity of the Giant's


is

Tank,

now

unproductive, which might be conif

verted into paddy-fields

the people had the


;

means of
be

artificial
if

irrigation

and

it

has been
it

calculated that

the tank were repaired,

would

sufficient to irrigate land,

capable of producfifty

ing annually one hundred and


of rice.

thousand bags

sufficient for our purpose, without reference to the

other tanks and lakes of Ceylon, as ex uno disces

omnia.
After Sir
rigg

St
all

Thomas Maitland, Sir Robert Brownsupported this measure, who was followed in
Sir Robert Plorton,

ud
of

io
and Mr.

the

same views by

Stewart M'Kenzie,

whom

PD

Tr ia
it is

This one instance, therefore, we consider

concurred in the

opinion that the undertaking should be

made

government one

still

no scheme was arranged,

sk

the tanks

continue unrepaired,

question lay dormant until Sir


the

de

and the whole Emerson Tennent,


it

present Colonial

Secretary resuscitated
to

from the colonial archives, and


that the
light,

be hoped

same energy which has restored it to will ere long devise a scheme whereby the

tanks and lakes

may be gradually restored to


to the report of the

their

original purposes

of irrigation, an undertaking

which according

Committee of

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


Finance and Commerce "
the revenue the whole,
is

147

so certain to repay

and more than the whole

of the expenditure incurred."

As

the inhabitants are

to contribute

labour or

now compelled, either money towards the conthe

struction or repairing of roads, this labour, or

subsidy,
equally,

may be
if

very fairly employed in

not more beneficial work of repairing

colony would become not only self-supporting,


but would export rice equal in amount to the
quantity for which she

now

exports specie.

ud

io
;

Tr ia
The
is

these ancient fountains of wealth, whereby the

l
to

Agriculture has been conducted in Ceylon

by

vation pursued
tions,

by them being of two descrip-

St

the natives on the simplest principles, the culti-

namely, the dry, and wet.

chenas, or

grounds which are overgrown with underwood,

PD

sk

are cultivated in the dry manner, which

com-

menced by

cutting

down
is

the jungle,

by fencing

de
is

in that portion

which

intended for cultivation,

and by consuming the timber which has not been employed for the latter purpose the groimd is immediately after turned up and sown. Great
care

subsequently required to protect the crops

from the wild animals which abound in Ceylon,

and accordingly the natives are obliged strict watch during the night.

keep

148

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


chiefly

Those crops which are


can,

grown

in dry

ground consist of a species of

rice,

called corri-

and Indian corn

these are occasionally


is

weeded, and no further trouble


crop

taken by the

agriculturist until the time of harvest,


is

when

the

either reaped, or the


off,

heads of the

com

are cut

in case the straw is not preserved.

The chenas do not grow


first

crops the second year,

up

into a plentiful crop, never having

perly extirpated, and secondly, owing to the want


of maniu'e, which
cultivation,

io
This

is

never employed.
is is

however,

comparison with the wet, which


for the

St

poorest classes,

and

ud

only adopted by the

very inconsiderable in
is

Tr ia
;

owing

to the

underwood, which soon springs


been proThis dry

entirely

used

growth of paddy.

last description

PD
is

of cultivation
water,

requires

an abundant supply of

and

followed by the natives in every part

of the island and in every locality, where sufficient

de

water can be
of the paddy.

sk

commanded for the

successive stages

The

fields

devoted to the cultivation of paddy

are suiTounded

by embankments each field is flooded with water between tw^o and three inches
depth,

in

and,

when

sufficiently
;

saturated,

is

ploughed while under water


repeated, or the gTound
is

this process is again

trodden by buffaloes

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


until the

I4!>

whole
is

is

worked

into

mnd.

The mud

thus formed

made

perfectly level, the water

drawn
water,

off,

and the paddy-seed, which has already


its

germinated, owing to
is

having been steeped

in

thrown over the

muddy

surface.

Imme-

diately after the seed has struck root, the apertures in the

embankments, by means of which the


off,

water was drawn


is re-flooded.

ai"e

closed up and the field

ud
is

io

The weeds are carefully eradicated from the paddy when it has attained about thi'ee inches in height, and those parts of the field which appear
too thin, are supplied from others where
tlie

Tr ia
is

under water until the paddy

St

has sprung up too thickly.

The

l
paddy
kept
field is

nearly ripe,

when
and

it is

again drained, and

when

ripe is reaped,

immediately trodden upon the threshing-floor by


buffaloes.

time until harvest, the farmer

sk

PD

During the whole period from sowing


obliged concorn-field,

de

tinually to

watch the

day and night, to

prevent the destruction of his crop by wild animals.

Where
field,

a sufficient supply of water can be

had, two and three crops are annually grown in


the same

but where the farmer can only get

a supply

in the rainy season he can only

grow

one crop.

This circumstance alone

is sufficient

to prove the great advantages

which would accrue

150

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


from the repairing of the ancient

to the colony,

tanks and lakes.


Froro the want of water in the lowland districts,
as

we have

said, only

one crop can be grown, and


;

the fields are generally of a large size

but, in the
is

mountainous and higher

districts,

irrigation

more conveniently managed, there being a more abundant and easy supply of water ; and here, as

Tr ia
which

in China, cultivation is
hills

carried

up the

sides of

l
is

in the form of terraces, and the paddy


its

may

often be seen in
fields, fi'om

various stages, in adjoining

ud

reaped, and trodden out by buffaloes, or oxen. The plough which is used in Ceylon is of

io
is

the newly

sown

to that

being

most simple natm-e, the shear and single upright

F
is
j

handle being made out of a cui^ved piece of


timber
;

St

the single handle

PD
is

surmounted with a

cross-tree, a pole

fastened into a mortice with a

sk

wedge,

at the curve

between the handle and shear,

de

while a yoke
pole,

attached by coir ropes to the

which

is

fastened by coir cords to a pair of

buffaloes or

oxen

one

man

in general holds the

plough, and guides the buffaloes, or oxen, with a


goad, occasionally urging them with his voice.

On

every occasion where the plough

is not,

or
{

cannot be used, the mehmotte, or large ,hoe, of an

unwieldy nature,

is

employed, which in their

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


hands
is

151

made a most useful implement.

Instead

of a harrow after ploughing the ground, they em-

ploy an implement which they call anadatpoorooa,

which

is

a board with a pole, to which oxen or

buffaloes are yoked,


sits.

and upon which the


is

driver

lighter

implement

used with the hand,


purpose of pre-

like a rake without teeth, for the

paring the

mud for paddy


to

seed.
all

The jungle-hook,

own implements The treading


upon a hard

need description.

out of the

paddy

floor,
;

work, however, a mystic

ud

beating the clay

before the natives begin the


rite

io
j

prepared for the purpose by

and incantation

Tr ia
is

axe, and reaping hook, are

too similar to our

performed

are

observed by the owner of the paddy, in the ex-

PD
M

spirits.

The ceremony

F
;

pectation of preserving the produce from the evil


is

ing three circles, one within the other, on the


centre of the floor, with the ashes of wood, which

de

the owner scatters from a large leaf; the circles


are equally quartered

sk

of which are terminated by a character resembling

a written

letter

owner lays some paddy straw, upon which he places a few pieces of quartz and a small piece
of the

kohomba

St
by a

performed by describ-

cross, the four points

within the inner circle, the

tree,

the whole

of which

he

covers

over with paddy-straw

he then walks

152

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

round the cabalistic figure three times, and stops


at

one of the ends, salaams three times with up-

raised hands, and finally prostrates himself


the earth,
all

upon

the time

repeating incantations.

Wlien

this
is

ceremony has been completed, the

paddy

piled

upon the concentric

circles,

and

the buffaloes are immediately after urged to the

task of treading the corn.

occus, brinjals, and other Eastern vegetables are


cultivated, but the natives
lar

do not construct regu-

ropean vegetables

have been introduced, and

they are grown there with great success, which

island.

We must here inti'oduce

PD

the climate will not admit of in other parts of the

St

sk

ud

English potatoes, cabbage, peas, and other Eu-

the most characteristic

production of Lanka-diva, the

io
is

gardens for the purpose.

Andropogon
is

Tr ia

In Newera Ellia

In the vegetable kingdom, sweet potatoes, yams,

schce-

growing from two to eight feet in height, emitting when crushed a powerful smell of lemon; very
agreeable in the
the effluvium
in taste
ter
;

de

nanthus, or lemon-grass, which

a hard grass,

first

instance, but after a time


aiid sickening;

is

most oppressive

it is

an acid of a very refreshing charac-

this grass is the usual clothing of the


hills,

Kan-

dian

and when young

considered choice

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


pasture for buffaloes.
essential
oil

15-3

We

have seen a very


grass,

fine

extracted fi-om this

which

would no doubt be most valuable

to perfinners.

The cocoa-nut (Cocos


sively cultivated in

nucifera) is very exten;

Ceylon

indeed nearly the

whole island

is

encircled with this useful and

productive tree, which


the

may be
of the
is

justly designated

summttm honum
cultivation of
it

native population.

it is

found

to

be a most valuable and safe invest'

ud

io
is
j

ment of property, as it requires a trivial outlay, and little further care than the planting, except
protection from cattle during the
first

St

thriving as

it

does most luxuriantly in sandy

Tr ia
is
;

The

rapidly increasing, for

two years
soil,

and bearing
per annum.

fruit in the fifth j'ear.

The estimated
a rix dollar

value of the produce of a single tree

hundi'ed feet in height, and there

PD

This tree fi'equently exceeds one

no part of

it

which

sk

is

unproductive to the owner

from the

flower he obtains toddy, from which the finest

arrack in the world


is

de

also

and from which prepared a coarse-grained brown sugar,


is

distilled,

called by the natives jaggery, and an excellent

description of vinegar.

The green fiiiit


age to the weary

yields a delicious cooling bevertraveller,

and a vegetable

pul]),

highly esteemed by the natives

the ripened fruit

134
is

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


is

also used as food, or oil


is

extracted from
into

it,

which
soap,

now manufactured
refuse,
;

candles and
is

and the

or

oil

cake,

used for

feeding cattle

while the external husks, after


coir,
is

long soaking, are beaten into


well

which

is

now

known

in

England, and

used for

stuffing

mattresses, &c.,

and from which cordage and

matting are manufactured.

thatch,

and afford protection from the sun's rays, or,


are converted into an alkali.

when burned,
young leaves
of usefid

Tr ia
;

l
its
it

interwoven, are called cajan, and

The leaves, when make excellent


The

ud

are used by and ornamental purposes,

io

the natives for a variety


particularly

the latter on joyous

and

festive occasions,

when

bamboo

arches

are

which the native practitioners use as an

PD

A
cious

F
oil

brooms and mats are made from the young pine.


medicinal
is

St

decorated with them, and

extracted from the bark,


efficais

sk

remedy

in cutaneous diseases

the root

de

also used for medicinal purposes,


fibres are

and

elastic

woven

into strainers for liquids, while


in building, or conveil^ed

the timber

may be used

into beautiful articles of fm-niture-.

But

would
tree is

be endless to describe the various additional uses


to

which every portion of

this valuable

convertible,

which are said to be upwards of one

hundred, and have formed the theme of

many

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


native poets.

1^0

There are annually exported from the colony about eight thousand pounds' worth of cocoa-nuts, thhty thousand pounds' worth ot
cocoa-nut
arrack,
oil,

seven thousand pounds' worth ol


coir.

and ten thousand pounds' worth of Cinnamon (Laurus cinnamonum) is a


produce
in

staple

article of

Ceylon, but

it is

not neces-

sary for us here to enter


the gardens, in which

upon

the appearance of

of barking the twigs, as


in a former chapter.

very accurate account

Tr ia
half.

it is

cultivated, or the mode we have described both

l
to

is

given of the shrub by Nicolo


of
its

De

appearance, but also of the manner in which

ud

io

Conte, not only

cultivated

cinnamon gardens, which had been previously by government, were disposed of to private individuals, and those that remained in
hands of the crown were farmed
of two shillings per
the

the

highest bidder.

The enormous sum


was levied upon
3'^ear

de

sk

sway of native rulers, as well as that of the Dutch and Portuguese, cinnamon was a government monopoly, and was so continued after the establishment of British authority in the island, until the year 1833, when it was abolished, and many large

PD

St

the bark

was prepared

in his day.

During the

pound
Still
it

all
it

exported cinnamon until the

1842,

when

was reduced one

156
M'as

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


found incompatible with the existence of the
re-

export trade in this article to continue this

duced duty

as from careful investigation

it

was

proved that cinnamon could not be cultivated,


prepared for market, and delivered in London,

paying a shilling per pound export duty, under

two

shillings

and four^^ence per pound


profit

which
out-

was of course without allowing


hiy, or interest of

upon

in 1848, the

whole

the export duty

tariff was considerably altered, upon cinnamon was again re-

Tr ia

any description.

Accordingly,

l
own

duced

to

fourpence per pound, with a duty of

threejjence per

expect the trade in this spice, which has fallen


off

But
and we

PD

this

hope seems

more than one

half, will

St
to

parent country

pound on importation into the and the government confidently

fear that this tardy legislation will not

enable Ceylon to compete with the East India

de

Company's possession on the coast of Malabar,


or with the

sk

Dutch settlement

ud

be revived.
us to be fallacious,

io

in Java,

where the

shrub has rapidly increased in cultivation, since


the prohibitive export duty of two shillings was

imposed by Ceylon
duce.

legislation

on

its

pro-

We

say this advisedly, pailicularly with

regard to Java, as the cost of the grower there

has been calculated

at a

considerably smaller

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

157

sum than

that of his competitor in Ceylon,

and
this

the former can import his

cinnamon

into

country paying sixpence duty, which gives


in duty alone, the advantage of

him

one penny under

the latter, therefore something

be done by our legislators for


prietors of Ceylon.

more remains to the cinnamon proof export duty

The amount

received

upon

this article in 1844,

was

fifty

three
;

while, in 1846,

it

amounted

to only

sand and eight3^-two pounds.


Coffee
(Coffea arabica)

we

digenous to the island, as we have questioned

they both agreed in stating that a decoction from


the

introduced into Ceylon, fi'om Java, by the Dutch,

sk

who procured

PD

beny had been used by the natives from time immemorial. Some authors state that coffee was
seedlings from Mocha,
in

St

an erudite priest and noble upon the subject, and

ud

io

believe to be in-

Tr ia
it

tliousand one hundred and ninety-seven pounds

twenty thou-

and that under the auspices of the GovernorGeneral of Batavia, Zwaardenkroom, the
plantations were formed in Java.
first

de

When and
and cultivated

wherefore

coffee

was introduced
is

in other settlements,

purpose to investigate,

we treat solely of productions but we feel convinced its Ceylon and the coffee shrub has been known in the island in
as
;

1723,

not our

158

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


Coffee was
first

a wild state for ages past.


tivated in 1820,

cul-

and has become an object of

great speculation amongst British residents,

who

have expended large sums of money in clearing,


planting,

and

cultivating estates.

Many

indivi-

duals have been

ruined by coffee plantations,

some few

have

succeeded in improving their

financial resources,

who were
to

sufficiently

prudent

and

either

had experience

guide them in the

personal superintendence of their properties, or

berry

is

considerably improved by cultivation

ud

worthy of their confidence.

io
The
first

entrusted the

management

to

those

Tr ia
own

who were

quality of the
;

many

like

Ceylon

St

or fortunate to purchase land at a fair valuation,

coffee

for our

part,

we

bear comparison with

PD

very rarely tasted coffee in Ceylon, which could


it.

sk

The expense

of clearing jungle, and forming

de

it

into

a coffee estate, have been calculated at


acre.

eight

pounds per
is

candidly confess

we

prefer

Mocha, and we have

The

step in this

clearance

both curious and imposing to wit-

ness

the plantations being formed on the

moun-

tain sides, the

coolees are set to work on the

forest trees at the base of the hill,

whose trunks
summit, upon

they notch half


their

way

through, thus labouring on

way up

to

the mountain's

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


attaining

159

which the uppermost trees are com-

pletely felled,

and these simultaneously


course.

falling

on those beneath, cany them, with a


in

terrific

crash

their

downward

The

falling

mass,

like

the

avalanche, increasing at each step in


its

bulk and weight, acquires fresh impetus in


progress, overpowering
all

obstacles,

and thus

with the roar of thunder, thousands of noble forest

trated

timber

is

usually fired

and reduced

Tr ia

l
like

trees are laid

low

in a

few seconds.

The

prosto

ashes.

The

seedlings are generally planted out

grown with weeds, and jungle

The appearance
truly
beautiful,

of a coffee estate in flower

St

ud

and attention

to prevent

them from being overgrass.


is

which are thrown out in strong and bold

PD

covered with a mass of silvery white blossoms,


relief

sk

the

bushes

io

in the rainy

season,

and require constant care

being

completely

by

the glossy, deep-green coloured leaves.

Then

changed
tacle

de

in the

advanced

stage,

when

these blossoms are

into ripened berries of a

deep red colour,

under whose weight the branches yield, the specis

extremely pleasing,
;

and must be

wit-

nessed to be appreciated
our word for
it,

the

reader must take


is

that at these periods the sight

one of immense beauty, while the general appearance of the coffee estate
is

somewhat

an

160

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

extensive plantation of evergTeens, dotted here

and
the

there, with

enormous

forest trees, purposely

left in

clearing the jungle, for the protection of


plantation.

young

The

coffee exported in

1846 amounted to one

hundred and seventy-three thousand eight hundred and ninety-two


ewt.,

which was increased in


thousand cwt.
millions
of

1847 to two hundred and


and,

forty-five

pounds have passed over the roads

We

will not

go through the mechanical prepa-

every planter must have to contend with.


first

ud

the difficulties that to a greater or lesser extent

io

ration of the berry for the market, but glance at

Tr ia
young

to the coast.

place,
if

it is

impossible to ascertain from the

sk

and plan pursued upon both, produce

PD

we have known contiguous coffee estates, although the same attention has been bestowed
as
totally dif-

yielding an abundant harvest, whilst the other

has been a total

de

ferent crops, the one having thriven, the bushes

soil

a plantation

St

is

certain to succeed or not,

failure,

from the

rats

gnawed
or

the roots of the plants, or the attacks of


shoots,
coffee-

insects having entirely ruined the

from some inexplicable cause.

The

plant also speedily exhausts the productive quality

of the

soil,

and, unless manured, the earth

during the year

1849, forty

In the

having

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


loses the elements of fertility, finally

10

becoming
be pro-

incapable of producing even a scanty crop.

Labour likewise

is

extremely

difficult to

cured at times, as the planter depends in a great

measure upon the labourers who arrive from the


coast,
ficient

and possibly they may have amassed a


the crop is ready for gathering, or
is fit

suf-

sum, and choose to return home either

when
beiTy
coffee

when

the

are

annually spoiled.

Many

have suffered severely fi'om this cause, and those


especially

whose superintendents maltreat the

tunate coolees treated with the consideration due


to

human
It is

PD

beings

which

by beating them, or by mulcting them of their scanty and hardly-earned wages. We feel convinced that a more certain supply of labour might be depended upon, were the unforcoolees, either

St

we regret

ud
The

too fi'equently are not.

de

many

sk

years since the cultivation of the


first

sugar-cane was

commenced, but the planta-

tion at Caltura failed, owing principally to want

of experience on the part of the cultivator, in the


selection of a congenial soil.
estate of

io

Hudson, at Peradenia, however, having been more


judiciously formed, led to a successful result,

was the cause of many planters following the

Tr ia

for peeling.

Thus

large quantities of
capitalists

to say they

Mr.

and
in-

162

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


Several

defatigable proprietor's spirited example.

sugar plantations are


fully

now

actively

and success-

managed, producing an article inferior to none grown in the East, either in appearance or for use, and at no distant period, we may fairly
conclude, that the sugar of Ceylon will be a most

important article in her export trade.


Cotton-cultivation
is

very
is

much

neglected in

believe, that

it is

capable of producing as fine a


;

quality as

any which has ever been grown

Tr ia
service,

the island, although there

every just ground to

in-

ud

has not, as yet, arrested either the attention of the


local authorities, or of the agriculturist.

io
soil,
it

deed the importance of

this

branch of produce
In this

opinion

we

are fortified

St

by an American planter

PD

reports, " I

am

in the East India

Company's
and

who

thus

of opinion, from what I


that

saw of the
will

climate, temperature,

Ceylon

de

comparatively small ainount of capital required


is

sk

produce cotton equal in quality, and when the

considered, T doubt not


article

may even produce


can in America,

the

cheaper than

ive

where a large sum must be

laid out for labour^


is

and where the expense of food and clothing

much
lity

greater than the cost of importing labour

into Ceylon, independently of the risk of a morta-

among

the labourers after they

had been pur-

chased."

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

163

The advocates of amongst the first


can
fairly

slave emancipation shovild be


to

encom'age the growth of

cotton in Ceylon, and produce an article which

compete with the slave-grown cotton of

America.

commencement has been made


is

in

the neighbourhood of Batticaloa, where

American
grown

seed has been sown, and country cotton

by some
com.

in conjunction with maize, or Indian

heretofore been grown

is

insufficient for the con-

sumption of the island.

Jaffna,

and

its

quality is held in high estimation

amongst the Malabars and Malays, so much so, that some years ago the Rajah of Travancore
contracted for an annual su])ply
quantity of tobacco

St

ud

period grown, and very extensively cultivated at

io

The tobacco-plant has been

for a considerable

Tr ia
of
it.

The

quantity of cotton however which has

PD

now

exported from the island


thirteen thousand

sk

amounts

in value to

some

The Areka,
It is

de

per annum.

or Betel-nut tree (x\reka-catechu)

flourishes in great

abundance through the

a slight

tall

palm, with

much

smaller leaves

than those of the cocoa-nut, and more feathered


in their appearance
tree
:

these are attached to the


skin,

by a tough

impervious

which

The

pounds

island.

is
in.

used by the natives to carry their provisions

164

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


nuts hang in luxuriant branches, one tree

The

producing several hundreds, which are used by


Easterns with chunam, for the
chewing.
filthy
is

purpose of

large export trade

annually car-

ried on in this article, amounting to about the

value of thirty thousand pounds, which


to

is

likely
lately
is

be

increased,

since

a dentifrice has
in this country,

become much esteemed


prepared from the nut.

which

The ambuprasudana,

Tr ia
is

or water-nut,

valuable provision of nature, for purifying

face of their water chatties, wdiich has the pro-

perty of precipitating

able.

The jack-tree (Artocarpus

PD

ticles,

thus rendering the water pure and drink-

St

all

ud

and unwholesome water; the natives use it for this purpose by rubbing it over the internal surimpure and earthly par-

io

integrifalia)

l
a most

muddy

grows

to

sk

an enormous

size, is

a most beautiful object in

duces an immense quantity of

de

nature, affords most agreeable shade,


fruit

and proits

both from

branches and trunk.

The
;

fruit are of

a some-

what oval form,


ing
is

in size varying

from half a foot to

five or six in cii'cumference

their external cover-

rough and of a greenish hue, and their sec-

tion of a whitish colour, containing a

number

of

kernels, enveloped in a yellowish coating, which

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


is

165

of a most luscious flavour, but peculiarly dis-

agreeable to the olfactory nerves.


are the size of a pigeon's egg,

The

kernels

and when cooked


curry. The when polished

make
timber

good
is

food,

and excellent

of a yellow colour, but


it

with bees-wax

approaches to a light-coloured
ordinary furniture
is

mahogany, and
tured of
it.

all

manufac-

one of large

size,

and abundantly productive.

Tr ia
soil,

The bread -fruit- tree


this, there are

(Artrocarpus incisa)

two descriptions, the one bearing


is

fruit

other,

lesser sort are both used in culinary preparations,

as well in the green, as in the matured state, the

eat the fruit as a vegetable either boiled or fried.

The
and
for,

native

who has a

PD

jack-tree, has nearly all his wants provided

we may
people.

Indigo was formerly


during Dutch
that the plant
rule
is
;

de

and

it is

attribute the inactive disposition of the

sk

to this bountiful provision of nature,

natives

making a curry of one, whilst Europeans


bread-tree, cocoa-nut-tree,

St

exported from

ud

io

with seed and which

much larger than the which has no seed. The greater and

Ceylon,

notwithstanding, however,

indigenous to the

with the climate oflers every inducement for


cultivation,

and that the greatest

facilities

l
is

also

Of

which
its

for

166

CEYLON AND THK CINGALESE,


still

manufacture are at hand,

no step has yet


has had
the

been taken since Great

Britain

island, to unfold this source of wealth.


tion,

A proposi-

we

believe,

was made

to

government in the

year 1817 to embark capital in this cultivation,

upon condition that the speculators should be


assisted with a grant of land, which, in the event

of the
to

abandonment

of the design, should revert

been entertained, and


indigo, as Mr.
sugar- cane.

it

remains for some other


to
set

enterprising individual

Tr ia
the

example

government.

This does not appear to have

in

The mulberry
might
easily'

ud

io

Hudson did

in the culture of the

tree flourishes in the island,

and

be propagated, for the nourishment

of the silk-worm

had the natives a moiety of the

St

PD

industry and perseverance of the Chinese,

we

see

no reason

why

silk of as fine

a quality as any ex-

de

])roduced in Lanka- diva.

The most
is

island

umbraculifera,) which varies in height from seventy


to

sk

ported from the Celestial Empire, should not be

glorious vegetable production of the

the Tala, or Talapat palm, (Carypha

one hundred

feet.

The circumference
is

of the

trunk near the ground

about nine

feet,

and

gradually tapers to the summit, where the gigantic

leaves droop

and spread out

in a parachute

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


form
has
;

167

it

is

a singular

fact, that

wherever a leaf
tree,

sprung from the trunk of the

an

in-

delihle

mark

is left after

the leaf has fallen.

The

natives affirm, that the tree never lives

one hundred years, and that

it

more than commences to

decay as soon as the blossom has arrived at perfection.


site

The

flower

is

large

and of a most exquiis

yellow; whilst in blossom this

enclosed in

Tr ia
these
meal

a sheath, which bursts with a loud explosion as

soon as the flower has arrived at maturity.


flowers

remain in

full

bloom

for nearly

months, when they gradually disappear, and the


fruit,

which

is

about the size of a plum, ripens.

measure, from the extremity of the stalk to the


tip

varies from twelve to seventeen feet

PD

of the leaf, twenty-five feet, and the width

St

The

leaves of this magnificent tree frequently

ud
;

io

perishable leaves,

when

dried, are applied

sk

natives to various purposes

from the form of the


can be folded like a

leaf without preparation,


fan,

de

it

and

this is

borne before the chiefs and nobles

by

their retainers.

The

leaves are also cut into

strips

and used

for olas

and books, a thatch

l
;

The

three

im-

by the

is

also

made from them, which


In the trunk
is

serves as a roofing

to dwellings.
pith,

found a species of
fine

which when dried yields a

the

168
natives

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

make

this into

cakes,

and the

flour is

most
the

delicate

and

delicious.

We
leaves,

regret that

we

are unable to give the reader

name

of a tree which grows in Ceylon,


to their roughness,

whose

owing

are constantly

used by native

cai-jienters instead of

sand-paper

they have also the property of extracting stains

from fiuniture, and are known by the name of

Tr ia
fell

" carpenter's leaves."

l
to

The mee-tree grows


the

an enormous

size,

and
the

branches afford a welcome shelter

to

io

weary

traveller

from the noonday sun

neverthe-

white flower,

is

most unpleasant, and some affirm

St

especially unwholesome.

tance around the parent tree, and the natives say,

PD

appears to be covered with snow for some dis-

buds, that

when they

ud

less, the effluvia of its

blossom, which

is

a minute

So luxuriant are these


the gi'ound the earth

fall to.

sk

that

when

the periodical heavy rains

wash down

de

an accumulation of these^ pestiferous blossoms


into the tanks,

and they

are allowed to remain

floating on the waters, the exhalation invariably

])roduces disease.
tion,

Notwithstanding this convica mee-tree,


oil,

nothing will induce them to


fruit

because the
they apply to

produces pungent
purposes.

which

many

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

109

The magnificent ebony-tree (Dyospiras ebonum) is most peculiar in its aspect, as the foliage
is

almost black, the bark of the trunk nearly

white,
feet

and the branches sprout


root,

forth about thirty

from the

giving the tree a mournfully

grand
black,

appearance.

The
aft'^'r

Avood

is

usually jet

invariably extremely hard

and weighty,

and

is

much sought

both by Europeans and


are readily obtained for

niture,
fine

and high prices


trees,

specimens, that are elaborately carved.

oldest and best

are generally found in the

forests of the eastern province.


tree,

most majestic,
time, this
forests
;

and

St

(Dyospyrus

ud

io
as
is

The Calamander
ebony,
is

hirsuta,) or variegated
is

also

much

prized.

ti'ee

was exceedingly common in the

PD

but has become

scarce,

esteemed
the

for articles of furniture than

beauty of the wood, which

sk

Tr ia
it

the wealthy natives, for articles of decorative fur-

At one

is

ebony, fi'om
striped
is

mottled with black and shades of brown,


grained, will bear a high polish, and
large sum.
is

de

worth a

The red

sandal and satinwood trees

are natives of Ceylon, but these are

now

as rarely

met with
reason.

as the

Calamander tree, and for the same


tree,

The Kabook
VOL.
I.

a species of teiTninalia, attains

a large size, the timber being exceedingly duraI

l
The
more
or
close

170
ble,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE. and of a brick-dust colour


;

the peculiarity of

this tree consists in its flourishing, alike

on the

banks of streams,

and also at an elevation of two thousand three hundred feet, and what is more remarkable still is, that the
in level districts,

natives believe, (and with apparent justice,) that

wherever

this
its

tree

is

found, water will be met

with near

lowermost roots, and those who

ably declare that by digging close to the tree

water has been always discovered.


to notice

tithe

ud

vegetable productions worthy of remark, that are

io
the

Were we
met with
suffice
;

in this fertile spot, volumes

therefore

we

St

shall but give


is

PD

of one

more, and that


bo-ti-ee,

Tr ia
tree

have caused the experiment to be made, invari-

of the trees and

a description
sacred
to

Buddha, the
this

or Ficus religiosa.

magnificent tree, Buddhists believe the god

to

have slumbered, when he became the incarna-

sk

tion of

ant and beautiful, the broad leaves being heart-

shaped; and so sacred were these considered, that


their

de

wisdom.

The

foliage is peculiarly luxuri-

semblance was only permitted to be carved

or painted

upon the palace,

or articles of furni-

ture intended for the sole use

of the reigning

monarch.

The blossoms

are

most lovely and


colour a milk-

fragrant, being bell- shaped,

the

would not

Under

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

171
is

white, save in the centre of the flower, which

delicately tinged

with

gold.

These

trees

are

carefully guarded from injury,

by terraces of

earth

and

stone,

and some

fi'om their

huge cavernous

trunks appear to have braved the sun's beams,

and the
citron,

lightning's flashes for centuries.

In the early morning, the perfume of the orange, wild


is

jessamine,

and

other

flowering

shrubs,

delicious

beyond conception, and exmore so by the


fragile

quisite as these floral beauties are at all times,

they are rendered


parasites,

still

and pepper

vines, that entwine aroinid

their trunks
is

when met with

ud
in

io
in

a wild state.

Tr ia
if
I

l
It

St
;

impossible to enumerate the luscious fruits of

the island, as every one, save the


that grows in the torrid zone, is

mangostein,

produced by the
trees

PD

prolific soil of

Lanka-diva

from the stately tama-

down

to the small delicate chillie, all alike spring

spontaneously from the teeming earth.

What

de

sk

rind.

Shaddock papaw mangol, and banana

especially

demands the
is,

attention of the

European

agriculturist

that

the various

parts of the island, the peculiar productions of

Europe and Asia

will

alike

thrive,

care
;

is

bestowed upon the cultivation of the former


that while the fragrant

so

nutmeg and

clove-tree,

with

all tropical

productions, attain the utmost


2

172

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


on one portion of the
turnips,
soil
;

luxui'iance

wheat,

and other European potatoes, vegetables, will yield renumerative crops, and And we believe that no flourish upon another.
barley,

portion of the globe possesses the same capabilities for

cultivation

as are to be found on this

whose internal resources are comparatively undeveloped thus offering a fair opening for the
island,
;

The expense
siderable
;

of housekeeping in Ceylon

Tr ia

enterprising capitalist

and industrious emigrant.


is

con-

for, although the prices of provisions

are generally moderate, the multiplicity of articles required,

and used, by the

ud

io

servants,

com-

expenditure, fiequently, very great. Moreover,

St

bined with the style of

living,

render the domestic


it is

peculation, as the appoo, or head-servant, invari-

ably goes to the bazaar to purchase

PD

impossible to keep such a check as to avoid

all articles

of

sk

daily consmnption

thus

it is

absolutely impracti-

de

cable for the head of the household to ascertain


the con-ect price of food, as
it

not only depends

upon the supply and demand, but upon the honesty


or cupidity of the appoo.

This only applies to native produce, as

all

European productions,

comestibles,

and every

other import are paid for monthly

and

we can

conscientiously aver that either the

importers,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


exporters, or consignees, ought to

173
rapid
is

make

and immense fortunes, as the price demanded


often trebled,

and frequently

quadnipled, when
fre-

there

is

a scarcity.

Thus, good butter will

quently fetch two shillings and half-a-crown the

pound, cheese the same, ham, bacon, dried and


pickled tongues, preserves and pickles,
sold in the

being

same

ratio.

The
same
been

prices of all viands are

at Galle

and Colombo, although before the

steamers touched at the former place,

informed

that

edibles

io
were
at
is

cheaper at the former place.

ud
pound
tlic

Mutton, when
is

Tr ia
any

now

nearly the

we have
it

materially

seldom, fetches an enormous price, being sold at


the rate of a rupee or two shillings per pound,*

but a good succulent haunch or joint of mutton

Kids are
and,

sk

cannot be procured in the bazaar


sold,

PD

St

can be piu'chased in the market, which

and used as a

substitute for sheep,

when

de

the creatures are young,

and have been


not a despi-

well fed, a quarter of one roasted

cable dish

the price per

varies from six-

pence
*

to

sevenpence halfpenny.
this aiises

From

Mutton Clubs, a

certain

number of genBut even

tlemen, generally four, forming


feed them,

club, pm-chase shoe]).

and divide the expeubc amongst them.


is

then the price

enormous.

l
but
price.

174

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


is

Beef
the

invariably tough, and lean,

the
:

best
is

parts being sold at sixpence per

pound

pork

best

animal food that can be procured in


is

Ceylon, and the value of good meat


as beef
price,

the

same
in

Poultry
turkeys

is

plentiful

and moderate
selling

and

geese
to

from

four

shillings

and sixpence
;

seven

shillings

and

sixpence each

ducks from three to four shillings


;

to

one shilling and sixpence each


is

observe that although the price


are never fatted,

ing them materially adds to their original cost.

The
in

St

ud
to

they are

full

grown, therefore the expense of feed-

io
it

and

are generally sold before

Tr ia
;

and sixpence the couple

fowls from ninepence

but we must

low, the birds

fishes

of Ceylon are numerous, and

many

prices of the best descriptions are tolerably rea-

PD

delicacy of flavour and lusciousness, and the

sk

sonable.

The

of their varieties are unsurpassed,

if

not unequalled

fish,

par
is

excellence, of the island is

having much of the appeai'ance and flavour of the


finest

de

the

seir-fish,

which

a species

of scomber,

salmon, which however


is

infinitely excels;

the flesh
less

of a delicate pink, but becomes colour-

when

subjected
fish is

any culinary process.


line,

This delicious
is

caught with hook and

solely found in

salt water,

and we have seen


twenty pounds.

some whose weight

exceeded

; ;

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

175

The

bull's-eye pomfret is likewise


this
fish
is

much esteemed,

and the beauty of

indescribable, as

the head, body, and fins are of a brilliant red, the


scales being tinged with gold. Soles, whiting,

mackarel, and mullet are also plentiful, attain a


large size, are cheap

and good, and the method


to

adopted by the natives


tioned fish
is

catch the last mei:-

somewhat

singular.

sunset; and,
spot, one

when they have reached

man waves
and

a torch over the water, and

the fish apparently fascinated, speedily rise to the


surface,

remain floating

ud
to
it

io
of

near

instrument, (not unlike a large horse-comb,) at-

back, and hauls


It

PD

it

tached to a wooden handle, into the creature's


into the canoe.

would be impossible

bers of the piscatory tribe that supply the table of

to ensnare them.

de

Europeans, or the means adopted by the natives


Suffice
to say that
for salt-

sk

St

another

man immediately

darts a

enumerate the mem-

Tr ia
the
so
fish to
is

The

fishermen push off in their canoes after


a favourable

pronged iron

water

fish,

the hook,

pronged instrument,

nets are used, whilst for a particular fresh-water


fish,

l
left

torch

and
a

kraals are
it is

constructed

intricate

nature, that
in

impossible for the

escape
thin
for

some

places, conical baskets

made from

slips of

bamboo

in

which an aperture

176
the

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

hand

are used

this

machine

is
is

cautiously

lowered over the

fish,

and the prize

seized hold

of by the fisherman.

to catch the smaller fry,

So primitive are some of the means employed by and for the poor, that
the

we have seen

men

attach

a grain of boiled

rice to a piece of

cocoa-nut

fibre,

hang

it

over the

side of their canoe,

and patiently catch, and de-

craw-fish,

which would not exceed three farthings. Crabs, and prawns, are to be procured along
be met with in the
river

Bentotte, and these the divers detach from the

rocks with mallets.

St

The most remarkable

ud

to

io

the entire coast, but oysters

Tr ia
its

fit

for food are

tach fish after fish, for hours; the market value of

only

that flows through

cir-

distance beyond, and has not


totte, it is

PD

that although the stream flows for a considerable

cumstance connected with the

latter edibles is,

source at Ben-

that the importance of the fisheries in Ceylon,

both in reference to the consumption of the island,

and as a great source of export


attracted the attention
it

de

We

sk

only at that place the oysters are found.


conviction,

cannot avoid expressing our

trade, has not

deserves.

There

is

considerable

demand

for salt fish in the interior,

and the Roman Catholic population alone amounts to nearly two hundred thousand, who generally

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


observe most strictly the fasts of the church.

177

To
salt

meet

this

demand, there

is

an import trade of

or preserved fish, amounting annually to the value

of some 0615,000.

coast on every side

every description,

The waters which wash the swarm with the finest fish of and a number of boats are em-

ployed in fishing, particularly in the vicinity of

very small quantity of

fish,

however,

served,

and the mode of salting adopted by the

death

it

is obvious, therefore, that a fish should


it

be salted immediately
natives rarely salt

of,

and the curing never takes place

PD

they have not been fortunate enough to dispose


until after

sk

exposure to the powerful rays of the sun on a

any except that portion which

St
is

de

sandy beach.
gether,

Sand and
fish

salt are

and the

result can

namely, that such


peans, who,
if

cannot be eaten by Euro-

they could succeed in eradicating

the sand, cannot cure the incipient putridity.

The most

ud
easily

climate decomposition

commences rapidly

io

Cingalese

is

peculiarly defective.

In a tropical
after

caught, whereas the

thus mixed to-

be imagined

judicious method for salting that

have heard of is that which has been suggested by Mr. Bennett, namely, to adopt the practice
I

Tr ia
is

l
we

Colombo, during the prevalence of the south-w est monsoon.


pre-

178

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


;

observed by the nutmeg-curers

and construct,

beneath a thatched

roof,

tiers

of open platforms,
distances and of

composed of
dimensions
fish.

split

bamboo,

at

to

correspond with the size of the

Thus, any quantity might be cured by smoke,


placed

proceeding from the ignition of damped paddystraw,

beneath

the

lowest

tier,

which

would thus ascend to the roof, passing through


gested that, as the boats employed

Tr ia
in
this

have

pied in salting the


after it

fish,

St

ud

little room enough to carry their cargo, a dhoney* should accompany a certain number of them laden with salt, whose crew could be occu-

as rapidly as possible
It

had been caught.

that the extravagant price of salt has acted most

The

attention of the government appears to have

PD

prejudicially

upon the improvement of the

io

must be observed
fisheries.

industry during the Government of Sir

Barnes,

de

sk

been directed to the importance of

Edward when an ordinance was passed imposing


upon the prime cost
fish

a duty of fifteen per cent

of

all salt fish

imported into the island, and perall

mitting the exportation, free of duty, of

cured in the colony.

The

vegetable productions indigenous to the


*

Or native sailmg- vessel.

each

tier in its

progress.

It

has also been sugfishing

branch of

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


tropics are both
;

179

abundant and cheap and, although

the mangols do not equal those of Bengal, nor the

pine-apples those of Singapore, nevertheless the


delicious fruits of

Ceylon

are, as a

body, unrivalled
Potatoes

for their exquisite

flavour

and

variety.

are at times exceedingly scarce

and dear, and we


sevenpence
half-

have occasionally paid

at Galle

penny per pound


island

for

them, and never less at

for the

supply of these vegetables, but in 1823

first

this article of food

remains dear and comparatively

St

ud

good crops are now annually procured, but


scarce, as there has arisen a greater

io
is

the

potatoes were planted

Tr ia
in

Colombo than threepence. Some years ago, the was dependant upon Madras and Bombay
Kandy, and
still

demand from

Servant's

monthly

in

most establishments
;

PD

wages are not high, but the sum paid


large in proas the

sk

the influx of Europeans.

portion to the income

number of domeshousehold in
dollars *

de

tics,

although not to equal the retinue kept up in


far

India,

exceeds

moderate

Europe.
from

The appoo,
to

or head servant, receives


rix

fifteen

twenty-five

per

month, a good cook the same, the table-servant


from ten
to twelve, the horsekeepers,

and there

is

one to each horse, receive the like sum, the coolee,


*

A lix

dollar is one sliiUing

and sixpence.

180

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

or servant that sweeps the rooms,

and performs
boy
five,

menial

offices,

six or seven, the cook's

the grass-cutter for each horse three rix dollars,

and the ayah, or native female attendant where


there is a lady or children,
is

remunerated accordshe

ing to her knowledge of needlework, but never


receives less than the table-servant
;

and,

if

understands her business thoroughly as ladies'raaid, or nurse, frequently as

much

as the appoo.

is

paid according to the number of baths and


It is

quantity of water required daily.

custom

to provide the domestics with food; never-

theless few edibles ever

make

St

a second time upon the table

ud
;

io
for,

their appearance

your domestics' account, the


purloin

rats, dogs, or heat,

and

spoil

everything

that

Unmarried men,

sk

few are in the East,) can make two or three


vants suffice; but, although

PD

if

economically disposed, (but


ser-

we have known many


to

de

families have a larger

number of domestics than


our recol;

we have enumerated, we cannot recall


lection

any that had a smaller establishment

Tr ia

To

these must be added the water-carrier,

according to

disappears.

the whole household of


duties as efficiently as
in

men

will not

perform their

two women servants would

England.
House-hire
is

comparatively low, as there are no

who

not the

and

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

181

taxes, but in particularly healthy or fashionable

quarters, the rent


will

demanded
in

for

a good dwelling,
is

be found

little

lower than that which

paid

in

England, and

some instances much higher.

The

price of provisions at
at Galle, or

Kandy

is

one- third
at times

more than
and

Colombo, and

edibles of every description are exceedingly scarce,


difficult

to

be procured

upon
or

any terms.

Servants"*

wages and house-rent are also exceed-

ingly high.

Those who

reside

Tr ia
money
is

sojourn

l
at

Newera EUia,
or lodging,
is

are compelled to

pay exorbitantly
and,
to

for every article of food,

and

not to be procured for

io

at times a residence,
;

when

ud

the whole or portion of a domicile

be

obtained, the

St
for

sum paid

temporary accommo-

dation, equals if not exceeds, the rent extorted

by

ing place during the height of the season.

the

Dutch and Portuguese

sk

We

have been informed by the descendants of


that wages, house-rent,

de

the price of

PD

the lodging-house keepers of a fashionable water-

provisions and furniture, in every

part of the island, have


.

become more than

trebled
;

since the English obtained possession of Ceylon

and they have pathetically bemoaned


each year the value of everything
strangely
forgetting that,

to us that

increased

although

individuals
for-

might have to pay a higher sum than they

18-2

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

merly did, the diffusion of specie must benefit the


majority of the inhabitants, as lands become cultivated, and the market-price of the produce materially

enhanced by augmented consumption

de

sk

PD

St

ud

io

Tr ia

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE

183

CHAPTER

VIII.

Natural histoiyElephants of Ceylon spoken of by Pliny and Dionysius Sagacity Trained to be executioners by

Tyranny
shooting
gulai-

Knox's account Rogue-elephantElephantMajor RogersHis ninaculous escape Sindeath Elephants ascend the mountainsTusks found buried in the jungles Elks DeerWalmeenya Wild buffaloesBears Cheetahs, Beauty and or leopards -Kandian mode of snaring them Distinctive peculiarity Wild hogs Animals found in jungle Rats vShrewAnecdote of a musk-ratOrnithological mens Land-leeches TicksSnakesAnaconda Cobra or the sacred naga of the Cingalese Warning Hair-breadth escapeTic polonga LegendIchneumon attacking a cobra Crocodiles Hmitiug Crocodile chai-mersNative method of catching and destroying crocodilesFecundity Number of eggs Pugnacity of

de

sk

PD

docility

St

Ornaments made from the coarse hau-s of the tail King of Kandy's personal inspection of captm-ed elephants-

ud

KandyAncient mode of valuing elephants Anecdote Catching elephants with the atmaddoo
the kings of

io

Tr ia

capello,

l
speci-

184
the

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


young

}teiisities

Insect tribes Wliite Tlieir nests.


chapter

ants

Desti-uctive pro-

In

this

we do

not pretend to classify

scientifically the

mammalia, or ophidia, of Ceylon

we merely give sketches that we think interesting and amusing to those who desire general information. From historical records we find that Lanka-diva
has been celebrated for the tusks of
its

elephants

sius dilate largely

upon the superior

the ivory, which they represent as being whiter,

In ancient times also, the monarchs of the peninsula eagerly sought for the Ceylon elephants,

on account of their superior docility and courage

St

ud

other animals of the same species.

io

and of a

less

porous nature, than the tusks of

Tr ia
at

quality of

from a remote period; and both Pliny andDiony-

phants that were used in battle

sk

well as during the whole of the Punic wars, were

PD

and

it is

believed that the greater

number of eleby Pyrrhus, as

obtained from Ceylon, by the Phoenicians,

who

shipped them to the Persian Gulf, or the ports of


the

Red

de

Sea.

Cingalese annals

slate, that in the

palmy days of
and
spices,

their island, the traffic in elephants


all

formed their principal exports, as

the Eastern potentates, either

when

war with
show,

their neighbours or for purposes of stately

eagerly sought, and gave large sums for these

ponderous but sagacious creatures.

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

185

Some

authors have attempted to cast discredit


intelligence of the elephant, but

upon the natural


tiously say, that

from our personal observation we can conscien-

we

believe

them

to

be the most

sagacious of

all

quadrupeds, and most capable of

receiving man's instruction.


this statement,

Although we make
to affirm that all
;

we do not mean

elephants exhibit extreme intelligence

neither

all

fool-hardy enough to declare, that the characteristic


quality of

Tr ia
was a

do

men, nevertheless few would be

sufficiently

manhood was

stupidity, because

few are especially obtuse.


the faculty of

That elephants possess


an extraordinary extent,

memory

to

St

has been evinced in numberless instances, and


that they also understand the

ud
it

io
this

meaning of
of

guage has been distinctly proved, and we

PD

adduce

the

following

in

corroboration

assertion.

sk

During the native dynasty

was the practice

de

to train elephants to

put criminals to death by

trampling upon them, the creatures being taught


to

prolong the agony of the w^retched sufferers by


vital parts.

crushing the limbs, avoiding the


the last tyrant-king of

Kandy

favourite

mode

of execution, and as one of the elephant-

executioners was at the former capital, during our


sojourn there,

we were

particularly anxious to test

l
some
lanwill

our

With

186

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

the creature's sagacity

and memory.
enormous

The animal
and was

was mottled, and


neck
the noble

of

size,

quietly standing, with his keeper seated


;

upon

his

who accompanied us
of

desired the

man to dismount, and stand on one The chief then gave the word

side.

ordering the creature to " slay the wretch

command, !" The


it,

elephant raised his trunk, and twined

as

if

motions as

if

he were depositing the

Tr ia

around a human being, the creature then made

man on

the

earth before him, then slowly raised his fore-foot,

placing

it

alternately

upon the spots where the

limbs of the sufferer would have been.

ud
upon

io
to

This he
if satis-

fied the

bones must be crushed, the elephant raised

his trunk high

work," and the creature immediately placed one


foot, as if

de

upon his head, apparently using his


to crush,

sk

upon the man's abdomen, and the other


entire strength

and terminate the wretch's misery.


bear in mind the monarch was de-

When we

throned in 1815, and the animal had never since


that period been called

PD

above his head and stood motionless; the chief then ordered him " to complete his

St

continued to do for some minutes, then, as

perform the bar-

barous task to which he had been trained, few we


believe will be disposed to cavil, concerning the

extraordinary intelligence and

memory

evinced by

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


the creature.

187

Space will not permit us to bring

forward other instances, to demonstrate our assertion,

but volumes might be written in proof of the


sagacity and

elephant's

memory, being second

only to those of man.


Cuvier, no

mean

authority, slates that a

marked

difference is manifest in the formation of the Afri-

can and Asiatic elephant, and writes, " Elephas

boidalibus.

Elephas Indicus, fronte plano-con-

cava, lamellis malarium arcuatis undatis."

The
colour

height of a full-grown Ceylon

io
The

ud
mottled

varies from eight

and a half
their

to ten feet,

Tr ia
and
all

capensis, fronte convexa, lamellis malarium

elephant
their

have a portion of
flesh

St

is also diversified,

as

some of the tuskers


over their

head and ears of a speckled

colour,

others

PD

bodies, whilst

many

hue.

White elephants have been occasionally

but rarely found in the island, and the natives

sk

are

are of the usual elephantioe

duced from Siam.


Although
all

de

affirm this breed is not indigenous, but

was

tusk-elephants are males, not more

than three or four in a hundred have these valuable protuberances


;

the remainder being provided

with short tusks like the females, which project


eight or ten inches
variably incline

beyond the mouth, and

downwards.

tusks vary in

rhom-

intro-

in-

188

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


feet,

length from three to seven

and

their

weight

ranges between thirty to one hundred and twenty

pounds, but sixty-five or seventy are the average

weight of those appertaining


animal.

to

a full-grown

Formerly the
pally carried on

traffic

in elephants

was

princi-

by the Moormen, and, was

as their

mode

of valuing the creature

singular,

we
the

extremity of the fore-foot to the top of the shoulder,

and

for

every cubit they

demanded one thou-

io
;

sand rupees, and readily obtained that sum

Tr ia
One
that
is,

subjoin a statement.

They measured from

for

anecdotes are extant connected with the acknow-

ledged superiority of the island elephants, even

will not

vouch

as

we have never

sk

PD

for the accuracy of the statement,

by those of

their

own

St

ud

the Ceylon elephants.

Numberless extraordinary

species

and, although

we

seen an African and Ceylon

elephant

in juxta-position,

de

anecdote from Tavernier,


tell

we who

give the following


writes, "
I will

you hardly

to

be believed, which

when

any other king or rajah has one of these elephants


of Ceylon,

them,

in

if they bring any other breed before any other place whatever, so soon as the

other elephants behold the Ceylon elephants, by

an instinct of nature, they do them reverence, by


laying their trunks upon the ground, and raising

them up again."

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE,


In their native jungle,
tlie

189
tormented
in-

elephant

is

by a large species of mosquiio,


sect called the tick,

or fly,

and an

which pierces the hide, causing


on

excessive pain

and, to baffle these tiny but inrolls itself

exorable enemies, the huge creature


the earth, and,

when a wild elephant emerges from


is

the jungle, the skin

of a dingy brick-dust colour,

from the sand and particles of red earth that cover


the hide.

The elephants are now only found in the thickl}'wooded forests of the interior, although under the
Dutch, and during the rule of the

io

governor, the Honourable Frederick North (since

St

Lord Guildford), the great elephant-hunts used


one or two thousand men would be employed

ud

Tr ia
first
;

English

l
to

take place in the maritime province, and at times

for

many weeks
into kraals.

in snaring elephants, or driving them

As
is

the

de

generally the

sk
mode

PD

of snaring and hunting elephants

same and has been

often described,

we

will only allude to

one of the former, that

we
is

believe to be peculiar to the island, and which


called are

ATMADDOO,
either

or hand-snaring.

The ropes
the hunters

made
in

from buffaloes' or bullocks' hide,


at

and have a running noose


lie

one end

wait in a jungle where they find recent


;

tracks of the elephants

concealed in the trees,

190

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

they readily perceive the approach of the animal,

and allowing

it

to

pass their ambush, stealthily

creep in the rear, getting close to the creature,

and awaiting

the favourable

moment

slip

the

noose under a hind-foot, another hunter twining


the opposite end of the rope around the trunk of

tree.
is

The

elephant in attempting to pursue the


finally

route

checked and tripped up,

stumbling

additional ropes, and secure the legs

cords from one to the other in a figure of eight


the elephant is then

io
for

Tr ia
to

the other hunters immediately rush forward with

securely

fastened

by twisting
to

the

neighbouring

trees,

and a shed erected

ud
These

to protect

with safety.

phant-hunters were highly rewarded by the monarch, and were allowed to pluck out the long
coarse hairs that are occasionally found at the

sk

PD

Under

the native dynasty, the successful ele-

St

the animal until sufficiently

tamed

be removed

de

extremity of the

tail.

are highly valued

by the Kandian women, who weave them into bangles and anklets. The Kandian kings only
retained the tuskers and speckled elephants, the
others being set at liberty.

Sometimes,

to please

the potentate, the herd would be driven into the


city

and captured
in

in his presence,

and Knox, who

was a prisoner

Kandy

twenty-one years,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


says,

191

" If the elephants caught did not please the


he ordered their liberation, but
if

kmg

they did,

he selected some spot near the

city,

and there

they were kept until he ordered them to be secured.

This might not take place

for

two or

three years, during

which interval headsmen and


if

watchers were set over them, and

the beasts did

chance

to

stray

beyond the royal bounds, the


for,

back again immediately,

were one only

they were apprehensive of the king's displeasure,

which was
It
is

little

short of death."

well

these

seen, the Cingalese say that


alia^''

St

found in herds, and when a solitary elephant


it is

ud

known

animals are usually


is

and turbulent conduct by the other members of It is strange, that whenever a solitary the herd.

sk

elephant

is

found or heard

PD

" liora

who has been

expelled for nefarious

of,

the creature is in-

and taking human


in former

de

variably viciously mischievous, destroying crops,


life,

apparently in wantonness

and without provocation, and a rogue-elephant


days used frequently
to lie in

io
a rogue-elephant,

a road, rush upon the unwary travellers, trample

them

to death, then quietly return

to the jungle.

Such an occurrence took place a comparatively


short time ago.

Tr ia

headsmen summoned

their followers to bring

wait near

them
lost,

192

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


the

In certain parts of the interior,


suffer

natives

materially

at

times

from the destructive

depredations of herds of elephants;


sionally,
trees,

and occa-

paddy-fields,

and topes of cocoa-nut

will

be completely devastated in the course

of the night.

Elephants have a strong partiality


cocoa-nut
;

for the leaves of the

and,

when they

cannot reach them with their trunks, they throw

tinued pressure, succeed in laying low the stately

palm.

vivid glare of the sun, is evidently obnoxious to


their eyes
;

and, for this reason, an experienced

St

ud

mals

is

extremely acute, but a strong

io

The

sense of smell and hearing, in these anilight, or the

PD

place himself in such a position as to allow,


possible, the

elephant-shooter

will

invariably

Tr ia
unless

endeavour

their

whole weight against the

tree,

and, by con-

to
if

beams
is

to fall

upon the elephant's


to

sk

forehead, as

it

near the eyes, at the top of the


is

de

skull, the vulnerable spot

be found.

Balls

will inflict

no serious

injury,
;

the brain

of the animal is perforated

when

this is the case,

in the time of a passing thought,

the ponderous
at the feet

and motionless of the comparative, pigmy destroyer.


creature lies prostrate
their

As elephant-hunters cannot conveniently bag


game,
it

is

customary

to cut off their tail,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE. and bear


it

193

away

as a trophy,

and some amusing

anecdotes are current in Ceylon connected with

new arrivals and young sportsmen, who have commenced docking a live, instead of a dead
elephant, the creature having been merely stunned

by the shot; and the pain of the


its

incision acting

as a counter-irritant, causing the animal to regain


scattered senses and feet, the animal shuffling

off in

running swiftly in the opposite, bawling loudly


for assistance.

The most

celebrated elephant-hunter in Ceylon


it

was Major Rogers, and


by those who knew
that

ud

has been stated to us

io

he had

elephants. culous, and

PD

among

slain more than fourteen hundred His hair-breadth escapes were mira-

St

this

adventurous

Tr ia
man
its

one direction, and the inexperienced hunter

the

many we

will cite but one,


is

strictly correct.

The Major had


ball glanced off,

de

sk

which, although

it

savours of the wonderful,

shot at an elephant, but the


;

merely inflicting a flesh-wound

the creature, infuriated with pain, raised

uttering the terrific trumpet-like squeal,

they always

make preparatory

to a charge.

elephant seized Rogers with the proboscis, and


carried

him

a short distance, then dashed

the ground, into a deep hole, and trampled


VOL.
I.

l
K

well,

trunk,

which

The

him on
upon

194

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE,


places,

him, breaking his right arm intow


several of his ribs;

and
size

and

it

was only the small

of the hole into which he

saved his

life,

as

had been thrown that the elephant had not sufficient

room

to

use his

full strength.

When

his brother

sportsmen came up

to the

Major, they found him

lying senseless, and, so soon as he recovered his

speech he stated, that he was perfectly conscious


the elephant both seized

him, but that he knew attempting to escape, or

ud

was worse than futile, and that he was entirely passive upon principle, as he had often reflected upon such an event occurring, and
struggling

io
:

Tr ia

when

and trampled upon

believe no greater mastery of


resolution,

the 7th of June 1846, and the party were taking

refreshment at a Rest-house, preparatory to pursuing their


journey.

de

sk

mind over matter, or was ever recorded ihan this. The death of this courageous man was as melancholy as extraordinary he was travelling in the interior with a gentleman and his wife, on

PD

St

had resolved

to

remain perfectly motionless.

We

violent thunder storm

came on which detained the travellers for some time it had abated, the sun was again shining and preparations were making to resume their tour, when the Major stepped into the verandah, saying that he thought the rain had entirely subsided, and it was time to set out.
;

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

195

Suddenly, a vivid flash of lightning was seen,


a loud crash of thunder heard
called to him, saying they
;

his

companions

had

better wait awhile

longer
out,

not receiving a reply, the gentleman went


lifeless

and there lay poor Rogers a and merriment.

corpse,
full

who
life

but a few moments previously, was

of

Thus

died one whilst under

often braved the heat of the

battle, the fury of

the elephant,

and who had never shrunk from a

phants, without remarking upon their capability


of enduring extreme atmospheric changes,

St

ud

We

cannot conclude our observations upon

io

hazardous undertaking.

Tr ia
K 2

Cej'lon, the tracks

of these

animals are found

PD

alike in the valleys of the interior,

and on the

elevated thickly-wooded mountains, and

shelter

and apparently out of danger,

who had

ele-

for, in

many

of

valleys,

de

the ocean's level, the thermometer varying in the

sk

these elevations exceed six thousand feet, above

and on the mountains

forty-five degrees.

These clumsy animals appear also to delight in climbing steep hills, and slippery rocks, and ofttimes their mutilated bodies are found in precipices and abysses below.

Frequently tusks of a large size are discovered


in the jungles,

but whether they have been buried

by the

natives,

and forgotten, or have been forced

196
into

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


the
it

earth
is

by the animals, none can


tusks, their

tell;

though
fall

asserted that elephants in flight will

upon

their

own impetus and


sockets.

weight snapping them

off close to the

But, even presuming the latter statement to be


correct,
it

is

a problem to us

how

the tusks can

be found beyond their own depth, unless in the


course

of lime

them.

In the central province elks abound and afford

ud

the red deer of Scotland, and at a distance might


readily be mistaken for them.

io

good sport; these animals approximate closely

Tr ia
When

l
are

the soil has

accumulated over

to

they are

full-grown their height varies from four to five


feet

and a

St
their

half, their colour a

dark reddish brown,

vvliich

and hinder

lor their

among them Albinoes


llie

de

sk

deer indigenous to the island, that are remarkable


elegant forms and beautiful coats, and
are occasionally seen, with

red eyes peculiar to the colour,

PD
part.

gradually shades into black upon the neck

There are several species of

and these

animals are highly prized by the Kandians.

We

shall only describe the smallest of the deer

tribe called

by some

naturalists
is

the musk-deer,

the Linuffian the

name

of which

Moschus meminna,
These diminutive
the

Cingalese

Walmeenya.

creatures,

perfect in

proportions,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


most exquisitely lovely of
beauty of
their
all

197
the

qnadrupeds
lustrous

delicate limbs,

eyes,
all

spotted skins, and graceful forms baffling


scription.

de-

We

had a full-grown
ten inches,

male,

whose

height did
fourteen
;

not exceed

and length

the throat, neck, and stomach, were milk

white; the remainder of the body was grey, regu-

tant yellow spots.

The head

gradually tapered to

the snout, whilst from either side of the mouth

io
how
to

protruded a small but perfectly-shaped tusk; the

Tr ia
tail
;

ud

eyes and ears large and open, the


the

short,

weight

of

the Lilliputian

was under

pounds.
It

St

was curious

to observe

kindness con-

PD

quered the animal's natural timidity


first

when we
to

had him,

if

an attempt was

made

kicking violently, and small as he was, he could


inflict

hoofs.

came domesticated, he was placed upon


after dinner,

de

strong kicks with his slender pointed hind-

sk

or

lift

him, he immediately snorted and resisted,

Gradually fear subsided, and, as he bethe table

and allowed

to nibble first

l
one
last,

larly striped

with black, over which were equi-dis-

and
five

handle

fruit

and then another from

the dishes;

at

he

would boldly walk about, and, when called by


name, would fearlessly approach and take food
from the hand, allowing caresses

be bestowed

198

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE. His


;

upon him. by degrees


crouch
in

terror of the

dogs also diminished

at

first,

when they barked he would


the grass for concealment,

down

instantaneously, (as this species do

a wild

state,

among

as soon as they hear a noise,) and remain motionless,

panting with alarm, exhibiting other sympfear,

toms of

with dilated eyes.

At

length,

he

would become calm, finding no injury


and before we
terrier to
if left

inflicted,

stand close

to,

and

sniff his

the larger dogs barked

when he was out of

Tr ia

the island would allow a small


coat, and,

l
for,

his

cage,

would gaze inquiringly towards the spot

where the noise proceeded from, without exhi-

the

alive,

and succeeded

PD

With some difficulty, we obtained a female of same breed, as these animals are rarely taken
in bringing both to

St
first

biting the slightest uneasiness.

ud

io
is

England,

but unfortunately our changeable climate did not


agree with them, and

sk

our tame petted favourite

died of inflammation of the lungs.

de
The

and then the female sickened, and eventually each


wild buffalo of Ceylon

a variety of the

Malabar, but much larger and


in

fiercer,

and abounds

many

of the thinly inhabited districts.


is

Huntshould

ing these animals

considered perilous, (although

adventurous

spirits

pursue the pastime)

the ball not take effect near the

shoulder, the

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


brute invariably charges, in
clining sideways,

199
line,
in-

a curved

and presenting one horn with

unerring accuracy,

which too frequently enters


Their indomitable

the body of the sportsman.

courage and tenacity of life, are only equalled by


the spirit of revenge evinced
tacked.
natives,

when they

are at-

This

animal

is

called

gaura by the

and formerly

this breed overran

many

localities, that still

bear the creature's name.

The

bears of the island, though small, are refierce,

markably

and
their

will attack

unmolested.
the natives

These animals
as

are

ud

io

man even when much dreaded by


sharp

powerful fore-legs,

or so disfigure the person as to leave few pleasing

marks of humanity.

The
coat,

leopard, or cheetah, has a most beautiful

and a half feet, and, although extremely destructive

de

sk

and occasionally

PD

to

cattle, dogs,

and

all

never attacks

human

beings, unless in self-defence.

The Ceylon

leopard has distinctive peculiarities,


its

the principal one being,

back the claws within the sheath.


Cheetahs abound in the Kandian
the natives
districts,

St

claws, and fangs, usually inflict mortal injuries,

attains the length of seven

domesticated creatures,

incapacity to draw

Tr ia

wage

a perpetual

war of destruction

against them, on account of their partiality for

l
and

200

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


and poultry.

their cattle

They shoot them, with


is

cross bows, furnished with large bladed arrows,

and spring guns


closures, with
laid

they dig pitfalls over which

suspended a newly-killed animal, and make ena dropping gate, under which
;

is

some tempting morsel


is
left

in short,

no scheme

of extermination

untried,

and our only

astonishment

is,

that the whole race has not been

The wild hog


districts, is

is

found in most of the wooded

both ferocious and powerful, and will


are larger than the Westphalia boar,

ud

grown males
black,

io
;

readily turn to attack man, or beast.

Tr ia
is

l
The
full-

extirpated centuries ago.

the colour of their hides being a dark

brown

or

which shades

voured and succulent, resembling


venison.

PD

sport,

and the

and

throat.

Hunting these creatures


flesh

St
of a

into grey on the shoulders

a favourite
is well-fla-

young hog

newly-killed

hares,

de

In the jungles are also to be found jackalls,


the ichneumon or mongoose,

sk

a peculiar

species of weazel,

many

descriptions of monkeys,
sloths, squirrels of

some of them
flying-fox,

rare

and curious

every variety, and the hideous creature called

the

porcupines,

(which seriously damage

plantations of cocoa-nut trees, as their favourite

food

is

the centre of the root,)

and other animals

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


that our prescribed limits preclude noticing.
in
to

201

But

no part of Ceylon are


be seen.

lions, tigers, or wolves,

Amongst

the greatest domestic pests in Ceylon,

are the innumerable legions of rats that

abound

in

every part of the island and infest every dwelling,

and the audacious boldness of these destructive


vermin will hardly be credited.

We

have

fre-

quently seen the creatures perched upon the back

Tr ia
;

of a chair, or top of a screen, and not offer to


until

something was thrown

at

them

and we

io

give an account of a rat's presence of mind, that


will

equal that exhibited by Rogers

when he was

seized

by

the elephant.

our dogs,

we went

St

Hearing a great commotion and barking among


into the

ud

verandah

to ascertain

musk-rat;
prize,

the vermin, promising them that as soon as our

survey was completed, the rat should be returned.

We

de

we made the dogs relinquish their pro tem., as we were desirous to examine

took up the creature by the

sk

our nostrils soon informed us was a shrew, or

PD

the cause, and found they were disputing about the possession of a recently-caught animal, which

tail,

(the dogs
it

leaping and barking around us,) carried

dining-room, and held


observe
its

it

close to

the lamp, to

distinctive peculiarities.

K 5

l
move
will

into the

202

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE,


creature was without motion
;

The

not a muscle

moved, and the limbs hung loose as if life had This examination totally quitted the carcase.
lasted fully five minutes, and,

when our

curiosity

was

satisfied,

we threw

the rat to the dogs, (which

closely surrounded our legs and the table, yelping

with the excitement of expectation,) expecting to


see
it

torn to pieces,

when
its

to our

amazement the
all

celerity,

and ran

off,

but got clear away, baffling


it.

every effort of the dogs to retake


all

but also

stole a

cunning march upon us.


will

The musk-rat

occasionally measure twelve


tail
;

ud

io

must admit that the rat not only " stole away,"

inches from the snout to the

slender, the upper jaw^ projecting considerably be-

white, the colour of the coat grey, but the feet are

sk

totally
root.
ful
;

devoid of hair, and the

PD

yond the lower, the whiskers bushy, long and


tail is

St

The

effluvia of this creature is

de

and,

if it

runs over any edible, the article


llie

becomes so impregnated with


as to be totally unfit for use.

The

ornithological specimens of Ceylon are as


as beautiful,

numerous

and no study can be con-

ceived that offers a wider field for investigation.

From

the gorgeous feathers of the wild peacock

Tr ia

the head is

thick at the

most power-

peculiar smell

l
Assuredly,

brute not only took to

legs with

imaginable

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


to the diversified

203

plumage
aJl

of the Cingalese star-

ling,

from the rhinoceros bird to the jungle-crow


being met with on the

and blue rock-pigeon,


island,

and

all

furnishing alike subjects of profit;

able thought
to

and observation
to

we

believe Ceylon

be only second
of,

Australia for the

number

and beauty

indigenous birds.

In some parts of the island red-legged partridges,

to

contend with two serious drawbacks,


jungle and

Tr ia
it

l
let
;

quails,

and snipes abound, but the sportsman has


the

game he seeks be an
tridge,

elephant, or buffalo, a par-

ud
is

abounds with land-leeches, and an exceedingly


disgusting insect called the tick.
is

found wherever there

St

io

or

snipe,

as

every

morass

The land-leech
its

long grass, and

through

to

exclude these blood-thirsty creatures.

The dimensions

de

never yet knew, or heard of any one, being able

sk

what

are

Some sportsmen wear called leech-gaiters, others boots, but we


the
clothing.

inch in length, and one-tenth in diameter, their


colour a dark green approaching to black

PD

then a very fine needle,

slender form

when ungorged not being


enables
to

thicker

penetrate

of the land-leech are about an

but

when gorged they

are quite

two inches long, and

three quarters of an inch in circumference.

They

draw a considerable quantity of blood,


7

their bites

204

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


irritation
;

causing great

and,

if

the-

places are
their

scratched, eventually inflammation.

As

mo-

tions are peculiarly agile, they are most difficult to


kill,

or to

remove

for,

when you have succeeded


legs,

in taking

them

off"

your

they ahuost instanta-

neously fasten upon your hands, before you have


time to destroy them.
It
is

dangerous

to

pluck

them

oft"

quickly, as that increases the irritation of

they immediately drop

off.

Lime-juice, and other acid applications, will

ous, only suffer


iheir bites,

temporary inconvenience from

St

ud

those

who

are of

good habit of body and abstemiothers

io
who
is

alleviate the itching

and staunch the bleeding, and

Tr ia
live

the wound, bul,

if

ihey are touched with brandy,

whilst

freely,

and

animals suffer severely from the land-leech, and

sk

sheep will not thrive upon any pasture where they


are to be found.

PD

whose wounds

constitutions are debilitated, often find the

fester,

and ultimately

ulcerate.

Many

During the dry season, these


all

noxious creatures multiply to an almost incredible


extent,
hills.

de

and especially abound upon

wooded
the ticks
leaves in

As leeches abound in the grass, so do upon the trees, where they lie upon the
myriads, and,
or
if

the branch

shaken by the wind


fall

touched by the sportsman, they

upon

his

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


person and drive him neariy insane
;

205

as their sting

resembles the prick of a red-hot needle, and the


skin
is

no sooner pvmctured than intolerable

itch-

ing supervenes.

These

filthy

insects are about

the size of a very large pin's head, of an oblong

form, and

flat,

and of a mulberry colour

they are distended with their sanguinary meal,

can positively declare that


that were quite a quarter of

when we many have seen we


;

but,

The

legs of ticks

seem

to

small hooks, as they cling to the skin with most

Tr ia
to pull

be provided with

ud

them, without pulling the body from the limbs

io

obnoxious tenacity, defying every

effort to

l
remove
;

an inch wide.

these insects are as troublesome to animals as they


are
to

man, and without extreme caution

St

will

agonizing torture upon the poor brute which, mad-

PD

between the

toes,

cluster

round the fleshy part of a dog's foot and


eating into the flesh, inflicting

sk

dened by the pain, vainly essays

them out

de

with the teeth.


readily fasten

We

found that ticks Would more

upon an European than upon the


used
to

country-born dog, and we shall not readily forget


the

manner

in wliich our terriers

be bitten
care
tor-

by them, despite the daily ablutions and


taken to free the dogs from these ruthless
mentors.

Snakes, venomous reptiles, and insects, aboiuid

'206

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE,


and
it is

in Ceylon,

surprising that so few deaths

occur annually from their bites.

We

shall neither

attempt to enumerate, nor classify the Ophidia,

merely mentioning what we think most likely to


interest the general reader.

The
is far

largest of the serpent tribe in

Ceylon

is

the

anaconda, (belonging to the genus Python,) and

from being

uncommon

in the island

full-

twenty

feet,

and we have heard


feet long,

one twenty-five

in regular

patches of a dark rich brown and yellow


are large

ud

informant.

This

reptile is

io

and a half

in

and whose body was two circumference, was killed by our


handsomely marked
;

the teeth

and sharp, and the muscular


is

St

PD

has two

homy

excrescences, or spurs, near the


reptile to

povver of the jaws

very great.

Tr ia
it

asserted that

The

l
its

grown snake will measure from

seventeen

to

creature
tail,

and these enable the

cling with greater

sk

security to the branches of the trees, from

which
reach.

de

it

will swing,

ready to seize upon and entwine

around any animal that

may come

within

They
the

encircle their victims in the

boa-constrictor,

crushing every bone,

same manner as and

lubricating the carcase with saliva before swallow-

ing

it

and, although they have been


deer, or

known

to

seize

upon a
is

young

buffalo, their usual

prey

believed to bejackalls.

The Cingalese do

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


not particularly dread this snake,
attacks man.
as
it

207
rarely

The
as

cobra-capello, or

hooded snake,
is

is

called

naga by the natives, and

considered sacred,
arrival

on the western coast before the


it is

of

Goutama Buddha,

believed the people wor-

shipped this snake.

The

reverence with which


its

this reptile is regarded,

although

venomous

tives

destroying

reasons are assigned

by them

to

Europeans, to ex-

In Kandy, when a cobra

slaying the noxious vermin, and thus preventing

farther mischief accruing, the people wishing to

the night to

some
fear

PD

be rid of

St
it,

it,

will secure

and convey
village,

ud
is
life,

inflicted

by the

cobra, or naga.

caught, instead of

io

tenuate or account for the deadly bite too often

distant
desire

sk

Those who
to hesitate

and

the destruction of

de

the naga, but

whose

superstition

causes them

before they take

make a comfor

promise with their conscience, by enclosing the


snake in a mat-bag, with some boiled rice
food,

and place the

receptacle,

inmate,

food in a flowing stream, where the snake


certain
to

Tr ia
it

during
jungle.

or

meet death either by drowning, or

from the hands of some less scrupulous devotee.

l
and
is

nature

is

well

known, prevents many of the naand the most ingenious it;

208

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

Therefore,

we warn our
Isle,

readers,

if,

in the course of

their peregrinations, they should

wnnder through
a river's

the

Cinnamon

and see floating upon

sparkling surface a mat-bag, the mouth of which


is tied

with especial care, not to open the same

without due caution, or they

may be

greeted with

a loud hiss, and be severely punished for indulg-

ing in the ao-caWed /e?nmi?ie propetisiti/ of curiosity.

This

reptile,

when

full

grown,

from six to seven

feet

in length,

Tr ia
is

and varies

l
often found
in

colour, those of a light


natives, high-caste,

snakes,

The

ud

io

hue being called by the and those of a dark, low-caste


poisonous and
seen by a

bite of this reptile is

there

is

time to

flee

St

generally deadly, but

if

human

being
;

from the impending danger

as the creature is compelled to twine the lower

extremity, and erect itself

PD

upon the
it

coil,

before

it

sk

can dart.

The

aspect of this creature with

its

inflated head, just before

de

deadly spring,

is

said to
is

makes its be most terrific

unerring;

and the

following occurrence

indelibly imprinted

upon

our memory.

A
and

legal friend
to relieve

was going on
the

circuit to Jaffna,

tedium of the journey had

quitted his palanqueen and taken his gun, re-

solving to walk in the shade, looking for game.

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

209

and soon bemoaned his


sport.

fate at

not meeting with

He

observed

for

some distance the tracks

and footmarks of elephants, but neither bird nor


beast presented
thicker,
itself;

the footfalls

became deeper,

and

fresher as he penetrated farther into

the jungle, bearing evidence that a numerous herd

had but recently passed through. Our friend picked his way carefully between
these tracks, and, as he stepped over a very deep
hole,

he thought he saw a dark glistening subit

stance filling

up

he proceeded a few yards,

then turned round intending to retrace his steps

and

satisfy himself
to his

what the shining object was,

head, rising from the hole over which he had just


before stepped
;

he instantly levelled his gun and


it

PD

St

when,

dismay, he saw a cobra with inflated

ud

shot the venomous brute before

io

had time

The
more

sk

and

erect itself.

tic-polonga, although

somewhat
and the

Tr ia
in

smaller,

l
to coil
is

de

to

be dreaded than the cobra, as the


fatal,

bite is

almost instantaneously
tile

terrible rep-

darts forward without the slightest warning,

or giving the victim a moment's notice,


it is

in short,
Ceylon.
spiteful.

the most dangerous and vicious snake in the

island, despite the assertion of a recent author to

the

contrary,

who has never been


is

This

snake

peculiarly

active

and

210

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

attacking alike bipeds and quadrupeds, and the


effects of its
all,

venomous fangs

are the

same upon
and

the muscular powers becoming paralyzed, and


;

the sanguineous fluid speedily coagulating

we

never heard but of two

men who

recovered

after

being stung.
tic-polonga
is

The
long,

frequently three or four feet


thick in proportion to the

and the body


;

is

is

dark grey, almost appi'oaching to lead.


galese abhor this snake as

much

the cobra-capello, and the following legend con-

nected with these two reptiles illustrates the

ud

io
;

Tr ia
is

length

the head

triangular,

and the colour a

as they venerate

l
a
its

The Cin

dif-

" In the
valley,
is

St

ferent sentiments entertained


isle

by them.
there

of Serendib
call the

happy
It
fields

that

men

vale of Kotmale.

watered by numerous streams, and


rice in

produce

PD

abundance

but at one season

great drought prevails, and the mountain torrents

then cease their constant roar, and subside into


rivulets, or altogether disappear.

de

sk

At

this period

when

the rays of the noontide sun beat fiercely


earth, a tic-polonga

and hotly on the parched


encountered a cobra-capello.
in vain sought to

The polonga had


thirst,

quench his burning

and

gazed with envy on the cobra, who had been

more successful

in his search for the pure beve-

; ;

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


rage.
tell

211

Oh puissant cobra, me where T may find the


' !

I perish with thirst

stream wherein thou

hast revelled.'
cobra,

Accursed polonga,' replied the


the
earth,

'thou

cumberest

wherefore

should I add to the span of thy vile existence.

Lo,

near to this flows a mountain-rill, but an


is

only child

disporting herself therein, while

her mother watches the offspring of her heart.

Wilt thou then swear not


if I

to injure

impart to thee where thou mayest cool thy


'

parched tongue.'

swear by

all
*

Serendib,' rejoined the polonga,

harm

the infant.'
it

'

Thou

St

in front of

gushes forth a spring of water,

ud
seest
evil

io
his

that I will not

yonder hamlet

that abates not during the intensity of the


heat.'

The polonga wended

Tr ia
way
girl

the infant,

the gods of

summerto

spot,

and there beheld a dark-eyed


rushing
waters.

PD

bathing
the

in

the

Having quaffed

sk

delicious liquid,

he repented him of his oath

de

touching

the infant.
her, and,

His
as

soul prompted

him
and

to

kill

she lay beneath

shade of a leafy tamarind-tree,


inflicted

he approached

a mortal wound.

As he

from his dying victim, he again met the cobra,

who
the

seeing blood on his fangs, and perceiving


cause,

thus

addressed him.
oath

'

Hast thou

forgotten the sacred

thou

swearest unto

l
the the
retired

212

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


?

me

geance.

The blood of Thou shalt

thy victim
surely
die.'

cries

for

ven-

And, darting

his fangs into the

body of the polonga, he slew

him
tiles,

instantly."

There are many other venomous snakes, repand insects indigenous


notice
;

to the island,

which

we cannot
and
till

and,

when the Kandians catch

any of these, they invariably suspend

a warning to their fellows.


to
if

The

this rule

being the sacred naga, who, even


is

exterminated,

never subjected to so great

The
is

ud

an indignity.
beautiful

io

little

creature,

St

the declared foe to this snake,


:

of the snake and seixes the nape of the neck, and

PD

the assailant

the animal springs

never uncloses
less.

its

teeth

until the

Tr ia
the

their lifeless bodies to the trees,

we presume

as

only exception

ichneumon,
is

and

invariably

upon the back


snake
is life-

de

Those who have witnessed the


tries

sk

battle say that

the cobra always

to escape,

and that before


to a

commencing

the

fight the

ichneumon runs

particular plant

and eats a portion, and

this serves

as an antidote to the reptile's poison.

We

are

rather incredulous

upon

this latter point, but are


will assail the

quite certain that the

ichneumon

snake in the open

air,

and as scrupulously avoid

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


doing so
say
either
if in if

213
cannot

an enclosed space.
antipathy of the

We

the

ichneumon
encounters

extends

to other serpents, as all the

we

have heard of took place with the cobra-cacrocodiles of Ceylon grow to a great size,

pello.

The
feet;

some of the full-grown males measuring twenty


species found in the island differ materially in the

formation of the head from the crocodiles of the

io

Ganges,
animals

but they are

equally ferocious,

and a native told us he knew a

was dragged out of


one of these monsters.
of

St

his canoe

ud
the
fire

leaving go of their prey, seizing alike

and devoured

Tr ia

men and man who


by-

In the tanks and streams

in small sheets of

sionally in a season of long-continued drought,

de

sk

flat

and

scantily-populated districts, and occa-

PD

Putlam these

reptiles

water that are met with in the

swarm, being also found

crocodiles will be seen


their

in

jungles,

making

way from
sport,

the dried-up tanks to the rivers.


creatures,

Europeans hunt these


good

and consider

but their average length

is

fifteen.

The

never

it

and the

lives of

many

valuable dogs
fre-

have often been sacrificed, as the crocodiles

quently seize the animals and drag them under


the water.

The only way

to avoid this disaster is

to ride close to the dogs,

and

as they approach

the water.

214

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


is

Another method of destroying the crocodiles


too

the following, which, although efficacious, savours

much

of slaughter in our estimation to be

called sporting.

Hooks, baited with

flesh,

are

attached to about twenty thin, but strong strings,


a piece of

wood being

fastened to the opposite

extremity of the
attached.

lines, to

which a strong cord


is

is

This apparatus

cast into the water

has been seized


the

the

men

then pull the cord, and


in
is

numerous

strings

having become entangled

the wide-set teeth of the crocodile, the head

soon drawn above the water, and the sportsman

the spine

the creature

St

aims a shot between the head and neck


is

ud

io

Tr ia

by attendants, the

float indicating

when

l
to

the bait

break

then hauled on shore

and despatched with spears, or guns.

We

have

heard of some men killing in this manner

PD

many

dozens in the course of the year, but we again


repeat,

de

In the districts infested with crocodiles,


themselves
crocodile-charmers

sk
it is

too like butchery to suit our taste.

men

calling

abound,

and, as these cunning fellows

know

the habits and

haunts of the reptiles, they generally succeed in

conveying a party safely through, or across a


stream.

Crocodiles, although ferocious, are slugif

gish and cowardly

attacked, and the natives of

Putlam

will

go

in

a large body into the water.

CFALON AND THE CINGALESE.


and drag them on shore with strong
nets.

215

Those

who drag
tion,

the net keep their legs in constant moothers

whilst

shout and
;

strike

upon the

water with long poles


to terrify

this disturbance appears

and confound the crocodiles,


struggle but
little

who comin

paratively

when entangled

the net.

Men, armed with spears and


as the reptiles are

fire-arms, remain

on the banks of the tank, or stream, and so soon

drawn

into shallow water they

the spear try to


leg, as that is

the

most vulnerable part of the

creature.

they prefer this

St
;

And

ud
by
bark

wound

the reptile under the fore

io
it

are speedily despatched.

The

natives in using

mode

powder and

ball,

as from the hard

PD

surface of the

crocodile's skin,

any, save a good marksman, to mortally

The

fecundity of the crocodile

sk

the reptile.

is

the female lays from seventy to eighty eggs, which


are larger than a goose's

de

these are deposited in


the heat of the sun,
arrive

the sand, being hatched

and numbers of the eggs fortunately never


at maturity.

eggs, and liberated the


that

Those who have broken the mature young crocodiles, state


immediately

they utter a sharp

Tr ia
and

to wasting

is difficult for

proverbial, as

l
irregular

wound

on

leaving the shell, and will snap and bite a stick,


or

any other weapon held near them.

216

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

It is impracticable to particularize

many

of the

insect tribe,

although Ceylou

is

as rich in these

as she is in her ornithological

and vegetable kingfire-flies

dom, and the brilliance and beauty of the

and beetles are proverbial, whilst the white ants


are equally celebrated for their destructive propensities.

This small insect and natives, as


furniture,
it

is

dreaded both by Europeans

devour clothing, and render provisions

useless.

And what

is

most extraordinary

Tr ia
a to entice
fire

will

undermine houses, destroy

is,

that

the insect will eat

ud

leg of a piece of furniture, leaving the exterior

io

away

the interior of a beam, or

apparently

sound, and the

first

intimation you

have of the work of destruction being commenced,


is

the

beam

St
down

falling

in particles of dust

or

PD

the table, bedstead, or chair giving way.


tain seasons they acquire wings,

At

certo

and possibly,

sk

the dismay of the inhabitants, in

few minutes

de

every article in the room will be covered with

white ants, and the only


of the dwelling
is

way

them out
in

to

have a

kindled

the

compound,

as a bi'illiant light invariably attracts

these insects.

The Cingalese
boiled rice,"

call

their nests

" heaps of old

and they are composed of various

substances, so amalgamated as to bear a strong

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


resemblance
grains of rice.
to

217

a fine

white

honeycomb

and

We

have heard of those who have abodes to examine them,


for their

broken

off pieces of these

and who have as a reward


of investigation,
bitten or

laudable spirit

we presume, been most severely stung by the inmates. A difference of

opinion exists, as to whether white ants sting, or


bite;

VOL.

de

I.

sk

PD

St

ud

io

Tr ia

we know not what means they employ, but we do know they can draw blood in one instant, and cause extreme pain when inflicting the wound.

218

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

CHAPTER
Geographical position of Ceylon

IX.

io
visited
5*^

Size, fertility,

classical wiiters of antiquity

Cingalese records

Date of the submersion of the

ud

Mentioned by
Wijeya

Tr ia
and produce

l
Hindoo and
island,

nearly coincides with

St

the Mosaic

Indian

conqueror,

Aborigines Island

by the Komans
given in the
first

PD

Cingalese ambassadors visit


sixth
visited
centui-y

Rome Account

by Comas Indicopleustes

Island

sk

by the Portuguese in 1505 Native account Dutch in Ceylon Wars between the Portuguese and

de

Dutch

Affecting

historical

anecdote

Battles The

Portuguese possessions in Ceylon obtained by the Dutch


in 1658

List of the Portuguese Governors.


is

Ceylon
gitude
island,

siliiale

between

56',

and

9^ 50'

north latitude, and between 80 and 82 east lon;

and, froin the shape and position of the


it

has, with
to

no

less

beauty than truth,


of"

been compared

a jiear'-drop on the brow

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


the Indian continent.
miles, its
is

219
about 276

Its

length
its

is

breadth about 103, and

circumference
is

about 900.

The

superficial area

nearly
is

24,000 square miles, and the population

esti-

mated
a-half.

(since the last census) under a million

and

The

island

is

bounded on the north-east


it is

by the Gulf of Mannar, by which


other shores.

separated

from the main land, and the Indian Ocean bounds


its

The
scenery
;

Tr ia
for

l
sea-shoi'e
in

presents

great

diversity

of

rocks, in others

cocoa-nut trees, which skirt the island, presenting


a scene of truly oriental beauty.

In the interior are mountains from 6,000 to

natural circular fortification, protecting the inte-

to defy

European modes of warfare

sk

rior,

by means

PD
of

8,000 feet in elevation, which form a species of

which the natives were enabled

St
it is

ud

io

some places studded with barren wooded to the water's edge with

more than

de

three

centuries.

Many
trees

of these

mountains are

clothed from base to summit with primeval forests,

and among the


laurel, but,

may be

seen the cinnamon-

when

this

shrub attains the dimensions


useless for

of a moderate sized tree,


cial purposes. It is

commer-

on the slopes of these mounadapted


for the

tains that the soil best

cultivation

of cofTee

is

situated,

and since 1835 the culture of


L 2

220

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

this slirub lias so increased, that the ]ivoduce of

Ceylon alone,

is

nearly sufficient to furnish the

supplies requisite for the consumption of Great


Britain.

Although the breezes passing over the ocean

and these
the

lofty

mountains are

at

times refreshing,

oppression
is

produced by the heated atmo;

sphere

frequently extreme

but the suffocating

are here entirely

unknown.

The Wellanee,
dora,

the Mahawelliganga, the Gui-

and the Kalluganga, are the principal

io

Tr ia
:

simooms experienced on the continent of India

rivers

and the sources of these, together with those of


mountains

St

some smaller and


lofty
isle
;

tributary ones, originate in the


fertility

and the

ud

of this verdant

may be

good water.

The temperature

PD

attributed to the plentiful supply of

of the

island varies consider

sk

ably,

as in

the mountains, and at


fall

Newera

Ellia,

de

the thermometer will

below freezing-point,
range from eighty-six

whilst on the coast

it

will

to ninety-six of Fahrenheit.

From

the earliest ages


for

Lanka-Diva, or Ceylon,
the sea yield-

has been renowned

the wealth of its marine,

vegetable, and mineral productions

ing cosily pearls, and a plentiful supply of various

and delicious

fish, fit fur

the sustenance of

man.

CEYLON AND THK CINGALESE.

"2-2

The

vegetable

kingdom teems with

riches of

another nature, equally valuable

the coffee-bush,
is

from the berry of which the fragrant decoction

made
pure

the cinnamon-laurel, the bark of which

furnishes delicious spice, and from


oil is

whose leaves a
its

obtained
;

the nutmeg-tree, with


its

aromatic spice

the dove-tree, with


its

fragrant

spiral slender leaves

and the tobacco-plant.

The
into

graceful cocoa-nut tree,


is

which

a cooling and delicious beverage, the ripened nut

St

food, the shell fuel, the fibres are


or rope, tracted
;

ud
is

cient to cover the root; the green fruit furnishing

io
is
;

existence where there

scarcely soil suffi-

woven

and from the old nut a pure

Tr ia
oil is

will spring

into coir,

from the elements

sk

which, when fermented, a spirit


sugar extracted
fruit,
;

PD

the

leaves,
;

when

plaited,

form a shelter

the trunk yields a juice from


distilled, or
]jast

and the

tree,

when

bearing

timber

de

is

cut

down, and the beautifully-variegated


into articles of furniture.
its

is

made

The
in

Jack-tree, with

enormous

fruit

oval shape, measuring more than eighteen inches

diameter,

affording

nourishment

while

yellow trunk, when hewn,


for

made

into articles
bread-fruit-

domestic use.

The magnificent

blossoms; the sugar-cane, with

juicy pulp and

ex-

of an

its

2-22

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE


with
its

tree,

splendid

foliage

and

fruit

the

orange, pomegranate, lime, shaddock, and tamarind,

with their luxuriant verdure, flowers,


;

and

delicious fruit

added

to these,

we

find the

Malay

apple, cashew-nut,

fig,

papaw, jambo, almond,


rambatam,

guava,
trees,

custard-apple,

and

mangoe
fruit, all

and nearly every other

tropical

being distinguished for their size and umbrageous


foliage.

Amongst the denizens of


young
other
;

vegetation,

Tr ia

l
we
find

the elegant banana, or plantain-tree, with


leaves, folded trumpetwise

its

broad,

io
:

one within the

the superb amethyst, bell-shaped flower,

St

with yellow petals, and the pendant clusters of


yellow, ripened, luscious fruit
the

ud

amber ananas,
and the grena-

or pineapple, with its green crest,

PD

dilla

melon with

its

mottled rind.

Whilst amongst

sk

culinary vegetables are brinjal, yams, sweet potatoes, occus, a species of

cucumber, pumpkins, and


fruit,

de

rice

whilst European vegetables and

such

as strawberries, peas, beans, potatoes, and cab-

bages,

have been introduced into Kandy

and

Newera-Ellia since 1823.


In the forests are found,
the

noble talipat,

ebony, calamander, banyan, areka-nut, suriya and

many

other trees, whose

names

are totally

un-

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

223

known

to

Europeans

but,

were we

to attempt to

give an account of

all
it

the riches of the botanical

produce of Ceylon,

would occupy volumes.


the earth's

The

frultfulness of

womb

is

here

developed in the production of the ruby, emerald,


sapphire, onyx, amethyst, opal, moon-stone, cat'seye, jacynth,

and topaz.

The

precious gems here

enumerated are found

at the present

day

and we

have been informed by a Kandian noble of high


rank, that gold was formerly found on the island.

io
;

From
"

the foregoing facts,

it is

apparent

Tr ia

has done for this delicious land

and,

management, the
nies,

by judicious and energetic government and prolific and fertile isle might
and the brightest colonial gem

PD

soon be rendered the most productive of our coloin the British

The Cingalese

sk

diadem.

St

are extremely

ud

What Heaven

proud of the

de

brity

and antiquity of

their isle

and the native

historians assert,

that thousands of years before

the birth of our Saviour, the island

was peopled by a race whose mental powers were highly cultivated,

and of
it is,

whom

they are the descendants.

Certain

that the Cingalese, for centuries past,


in

have been retrogading

the arts and sciences

l
;"

cele-

as the antiquarian remains of public buildings,

224
tanks,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

and temples of vast magnitude, found

in

the interior of the island, indicate the existence of

a nation, which had nurtured and brought to perfection the nobler arts.

These extraordinary remains

will

be noticed
to the

more particularly
larly,

in a future

paper devoted

antiquities of Lanka-diva; but to proceed regu-

we must now

glance at the early history of

volved in obscurity.
that here

Cingalese historians affirm


;

was situated the garden of Eden

Tr ia
first

Ceylon, although the greater portion of

l
it

is in-

from

the top of the highest mountain in the island,


called

Adam's Peak, they say

St

of

all

mankind was expelled, and

ud

io

that the progenitor

that from this


is

mountain's top the trace of his footstep


seen.

to

be

We

PD

gather from

F
Herodotus that the

earlier

sk

Greeks had a knowledge of the countries and


islands east of the Indus, but the

circumstanor Ceylon,

tial

is

who
B. c.

de

account that we haveof Taprabane,

given by Onesiculus, the Macedonian admiral,


lived B.
c.

329 or 80.

Diodorus

Siculus

44, gives a correct account of the size and

situation of the island

and describes the


is

natives,
fidelity,

customs and pi'oductions, with extreme


although a love for the marvellous

occasionally

indulged

in.

Strabo

states

that

Taprabane

CEYLON AND THK CINGALESE.

'220

abounded

iu elephants,

and that the contiguous

waters teemed with amphibious creatures of an

immense

size.

Dionysius,

who

flourished a.d. 36,

confirms former accounts,

saying,

"

And from
to the

thence the vessel's course being turned

west, immediately in front of the promontory of

Koolis, you will come to a large island, Taprabane, mother of Asia born elephants, and other strange

the size and value


tusks, the

of the

elephants and their

gems and

fragrant spices.

standing numerous

other proofs
is

to

prove that Ceylon

sity of

opinion has arisen

St

Taprabane of the ancient classical historians, a diver-

among
it

PD

identity of the island j but, as

able to follow ancient or


their various

modern authors through


on
this

ud
:

duced

synonymous with the


writers, as to the

io

would be unprotitsubject,

Tr ia
L 5

animals."

This celebrated geographer

treats of

Notwith-

have been ad-

disquisitions

sk

shall proceed to give an account of the

presumed

" Historia de Ilgha de Zeilau "

The Chinese, from a remote period, w ere the masters of Oriental commerce and some of their
;

de

origin of the Cingalese.

Ribeiro writes, in his

vessels were driven

near the district


Chilau.

upon the coast of Ceylon, which they subsequently termed

The mariners and passengers saved

themselves upon the rocks; and, finding the island

we

226
fertile,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


soon
established

themselves

upon

it.

Shortly afterwards, the Malabars, having discovered


it,

sent hither their exiles,

whom

they deno-

The exiles were not long in mixing with the Chinese and from the two names was formed Chingalees, and afterwards
;

minated Galas.

Chingalais."

The
sities,

other statement

is,

that the son of an Indian

who, the native authors

the island, and bestowed

upon them

Tr ia
assert,

king, Wijeya Singha, of renowned warlike propen-

l
is

conquered

his

name

of

or wherefore the island

io

Singha.

Why

called

ud
who

Ceylon, and the people Cingalese,


little
;

can matter

nese were neither wholly nor in part the abori-

the yellow skins, small elliptic eyes, broad faces,

and

flat features

that the Cingalese differ from

great similitude in every way, between the person

and complexion, of the Cingalese and Indian.

de

both in

To

sk

them completely, complexion and features. But there is

PD

gines of Ceylon, as those

St

but to us

it

appears evident, that the Chi-

are acquainted with

of that nation, will readily admit

us

it

seems that the only hypothesis


is,

to

be

drawn from the above


early date,

that the Indian king,

Singha, did conquer the island of Ceylon, at an

and that his followers mixed with the


is

aborigines, and from them the present race

de-

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


scended.
ever, are

227

Whether any of the

aborigines,

how-

now

to be found in the island, whose


it

blood

is

unmixed with Indian,

is

difficult to

prove, or whether the Veddahs, or wild men,

of

the present day, are descendants of the original

inhabitants of Ceylon
distinct race,
terior, living

but at this time they are a

and

are only to

be found
in caves,

in the in-

in the jungle,

or in rude

jungle to jungle in search of game, quitting each


successively as food becomes scarce, and shooting
their prey with rude

bows and arrows

io

Veddahs

ud
;

will not hold intercourse, live in a

Tr ia
;

huts built of the branches of trees, wandering from

and these
town,

St

or intermarry

with

the

inhabitants.

We

been informed that the language they speak

intelligible to

most other natives of the


therefore,

PD

All

these

facts,

strengthen our pre-

viously-stated supposition, that the Veddahs, are

sk

the aborigines of the island

and that the other

Indians.
[t is

de

inhabitants are the issue of the aborigines and the

distinctly

proved by historical records that


54."5,

the island was conquered by Wijeya, B.C.

and Ceylon was then


Hindoos, Lanka-diva.
to

called, as
It

it

now

may

not be irrelevant

remark, that both Hindoo and Cingalese chro-

nicles agree in stating, that about

2387

B.C.,

l
is is

have
un-

island.

by

the

228
island
(late

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE,

was ovevwlielmed by the


are but
forty years
it,

sea,

and

in this

there

difference

be-

tween

and the time assigned

to the

dehige by
native

Usher, in his erudite chronology.


writers state that this calamity

The

was brought about

by the wickedness of
of the inhabitants
similarity

their

monarch, Rawana, who


remarkable

then ruled the island, and the obdurate sinfulness


;

and

this also, is a

sons assigned for the flood.

Cingalese records

state,

"

The foaming waves

of our pearl-like island,

since then the resplendent palaces, stately towers,

llawana was the sovereign of Southern India and


king of Oude, into his " pearl-island kingdom," and

bloody wars ensued which nearly depopulated the


island.

de

sk

Ceylon, and carred off the lovely wife of Rama, the

And

PD

brass, are

known

the whole history


oldest epic

seven concentric walls, and battlements of shining


only to the gods of the sea."

St

ud

extensive provinces, as well as the lovely capital

io

of the ocean overwhelmed the most fertile and

Sri-Lanka-poora, and

Tr ia
extant.

between the Mosaic and heathen

rea-

is set forth in

the

Rama-yama, the

poem

Having

thus glanced incidentally at the history of Ceylon


before the flood, and the birth of our blessed Lord,

we

will proceed to the first century of our era.

Piinv affirms, that during the reign of the

Em-

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


peror Claudius, a

229

Roman

vessel from the coast of

Arabia, was driven upon that of Taprabane, or

Ceylon

that the king of the country treated the

Romans

with hospitality

and kindness during

their sojourn

of six months; and

upon

their de-

parture they were accompanied by four ambassadors

from the Eastern to the


writers
treat this

Roman monarch.
account as fabu-

Many modern
lous
;

his statement

by the

fact,

that

Roman

ancient date were found, in the year 1574, at

Mantotte, in Ceylon.

learn also, from Pliny,

that a fleet, consisting of


sail,

coasts of Malabar and Ceylon, for the purposes of

trade.

Doubt has been thrown on

St

went each year from the Red Sea

ud

more than one hundred


to

io

We

Tr ia
to

but, in our opinion, Pliny

is

borne out in

medals of

the

this assertion,

PD
ill-

as writers state that

it

would have been impracti-

cable for the

constructed vessels of that period,


for
;

and with imperfect knowledge of navigation,

de

the

Romans

sk
to

have traversed the Indian Ocean


it

and although

must be allowed that such a


have sailed

voyage must necessarily have been a perilous one,


still
it

was

perfectly practicable

with one monsoon, and to have returned by the


opposite, as
is

the custom, in the present day,

with the unwieldy junks of Siam.


All writers agree that in the
first

century after

230

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

the Christian era, regular commercial intercourse

was established between the inhabitants of Southern Europe and those of India and Ceylon.
Gibbon,
in his

" Decline and Fall of the


:

Empire,'' writes

" The objects of Oriental


trifling
;

Roman
traffic

gious worship and the


articles here

pomp

Tr ia
we may

pound of which was esteemed not inferior in value to a pound of gold precious stones, amongst which the pearl claimed the first rank after the diamond and a variety of aromatics that were consumed in reliwere splendid and
silk,

of funerals."
to

luxurious

Romans

with

ud
the
;

principal exports

required by the wealthy and

io

enumerated appear

have been the


of the

exception

elephant's tusks, from

St

which they manufactured


and personal

supply most abundantly

PD

ornaments, and this coveted-material Ceylon could


;

articles of furniture, drinking-vessels,

therefore

conclude that the trade of Ceylon with

sk

Rome was

de

considerable.
to

About

this time the

Chinese began

trade with the Cingalese

and we find com-

merce gradually extending until the sixth century, when Ceylon was visited by Cosmas, who was
surnaraed Indicopleustes, during the reign of the

Emperor Justinian and he particularly treats of the precious gems and spices, which were con;

veyed

to all parts of India, Persia,

and the Arabian

Gulph, from Ceylon.

l
;

The

fairly

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

231

We

cannot trace, century by century, the course

of the history or

quote the

commerce of Ceylon, but words of Marco Polo, who visited


1244.
:

will

the

island, a.d,

After describing

its

position

and
"

size,

he writes

Both men and women go nearly


grain besides rice

in a state ol

nudity,

only wrapping a cloth round their loins.

They have no
which
rice,

and sesame, of

part of the world

and likewise sapphires, topazes,

costly

stones. *

St

amethysts, garnets, and

ud
many

io

and they drink wine drawn from The island produces more valuable and trees. beautiful rubies than those found in any other
and
flesh,

other precious and


is

Tr ia
it

latter

they

make

oil.

Their food

In this island there

high mountain, so rocky and precipitous, that the


ascent to the top

PD

is

impracticable, as

l
is

milk,

a very

is said,

excepting by the assistance of iron chains

em-

sk

ployed

for that

purpose

persons attain

de

by means of these some the summit, whei'e the tomb of


;

Adam, our

first

parent,

is

reported to be found."

And
the

yet this circumstantial account, w'ith its

veracity of detail,

was stamped
writers,

as fable, both

by

contemporaneous

and

those

who

Ibllowcd, for a lengthened period, after the decease


of the learned and truthful author.
* Samauella, or Adaiu's Peak.

232
Ill

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


the year of our Lord, 1444, Nicola de Conle,
tali-

a Venetian, gives a particular account of the


pot-tree, its leaves, size, &c.,

and describes the


precious

mode

of preparing cinnamon, and the

gems and

pearls that were found in Ceylon.

the fourteenth to the sixteenth century,

From we have
;

much

valuable information given us by various

authorS;,

concerning the trade of the island

but
after

it

came
once

into the possession of


state, that, in

Europeans, we

Tr ia
its
it

as our principal business is connected with

it

will

at

1505, the Portuguese, under

Previously to proceeding with the history of the

St

ud
is

were permitted

to trade.

io

Don Lorenzo

de Almeida, visited the island, and

country from the sixteenth century,

we must

take

PD

count of the government of Ceylon under


rulers, or kings.

a retrospective glance at the ancient historical ac-

native

From

these accounts,

appears

sk

that the island

was frequently

in a state of war-

adjacent continent; that, with the fortunes of war,

each would conquer alternately, and in turn be subdued, when ratifications of peace would ensue
to

be again broken, which, necessarily, produced


hostilities;

de

fare, either

with the Malabars, or

Muormen

of the

fresh

and

it

apparent that

Kandy

and

the

adjacent

country became

subjugated
a prince

eventually by the Malabars,

who placed

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE,


of their

233

own

nation on the throne, and maintained

their position against the native kings of the south,

the Portuguese and

Dutch

rulers, until

dethroned
in 1815.

by the

force of British

arms and valour

The
ally

island

was divided
its

into various principalities,

each ruled by

own

king,

who would
the
his

continu-

make

incursions into the domains of a brother

monarch, when war would result;


party would become
captive,
tlie

weaker

and

would merge

into that of

conqueror.

Notwithstanding these continued internal commotions, the wealth of the people appears to have

been great; and

arts

and sciences were cultivated

the

statement not borne out by historical and

St

to an extent which would seem incredible, were

ud

io

Tr ia
that
it

kingdom

native writings of that period, and supported

PD

the remains of ancient grandeur,

which

are dis-

We

shall

de

sk

persed throughout the island.

now

leave the ancient historical retro-

spect of Ceylon, and return to a.d. 1505,

when

Portuguese obtained permission from the emperor


of Ceylon to trade with his subjects, bartering the

produce of Europe
of
their
island.

for the ivory,

gems, and spices

History

asserts

chance, or rather adverse winds, which drove the

Portuguese vessels on the shores of Ceylon, whilst


in

pursuit of

some Moorish

pirates

whom

l
by
the

was

they

234

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


sailing in the dii'ection of the Maldives,

had seen
in the

and the winds proving adverse, they sought refuge

Bay

of Colombo.

The Portuguese

at that

period were endeavouring to extend their trade,

and obtain possessions

in the east

Goa,

on the

Malabar
liar

coast, being their principal settlement,

and the contiguity of


facility for

Goa

to

Ceylon offered pecu-

bringing their policy into action.

a shrewd, crafty, wily politician, and one well

calculated to carry his sovereign's schemes for the

io

extension of his dominions into


ingly,

we

ud

find that the vessels

were scarcely an-

St

chored off Colombo, before he made overtures to


the emperor to trade with the natives.

Tr ia
effect.

Francisco de Almeida, the governor of Goa, was

Accord-

From

curious antiquarian work

F
:

in Cingalese, the follow-

ing description of the Portuguese, their diet, and


guns,
is

extracted
it

"

And now

sk

1505, that a ship from Portugal arrived and an-

de

PD

occurred, in the Christian year

chored in Colombo.

The

race of
;

men

are exceed-

ingly white and beautiful


to the feet

they wear a covering


iron,
is

and head made of

and they are


the colour of

always

in motion.

Their drink

blood; and they eat what looks like a white stone.

They have weapons of warfare which make a noise like thunder when it breaks upon Jugan-

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

235

dere Parivata, and a ball of iron shot from one of

them, after flying some leagues, will break a castle


of stone."

According
a treaty

to the

Portuguese historian, Ribeiro,

was made between the Portuguese and it was stipulated that the emperor, Prackrama, should pay a tribute annually, to consist of two hundred and fifty
Cingalese raonarchs, and

thousand pounds of cinnamon,


tugal,

to the

on condition that the latter should assist in

Although the trade of the island had been de-

ud

io
to

defending Ceylon from her enemies and invaders.

creasing for centuries,

still,

in 1518,

Tr ia
it

king of Por-

must have

been considerable
narch sent a
fleet

for,

of nineteen sail to enforce the

expedition, Alvarengo, writes (according to Ri-

many

sk

beiro):

" In

PD

payment of the

tribute, the

St

when

the Portuguese

commander of

the harbour of

Colombo we found

ships from Bengal, Persia, the

Red
to

Sea, and

other places, waiting for their freights of elephants'


tusks and spices "
tribute,

de

Prackrama refused

pay the

and
the

hostilities

were commenced by Alva-

rengo,
forced

who took

possession of Colombo,

Cingalese

monarch

acknowledge

himself tributary to the crown of Portugal.


the death of Prackrama, in 1527, the island
torn by civil war, which

was

carried on with

l
mothis

and

On
was
more

236

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

or less vigour until the year 1536 (during the

whole of

this period skirmishes continually took

place between the Portuguese and natives, which


invariably concluded by the success
of"

the former j,

when

the reigning monarch placed his grandson,


to his throne,

and successor

under the protection

of the crown of Portugal, sending an embassy to


that court with the

image of the young prince, and

Between the years 1518 and 1536, the Portuguese had introduced the form of Roman Catholic
worshij) into Ceylon, and had
tery in

Colombo, and Juan Monteira, the

ud
John

io

endowed a monasfirst

latter year.

In 1541, the effigy of the young prince, Dhar-

maa

Paala, which had been sent

PD

St

Romish bishop

of Ceylon, died at

Tr ia
Colombo
to

a crown of pure virgin gold.

the court of

Portugal, was crowned by

III., in the great

sk

hall of his palace at Lisbon, with

extreme cere-

mony and

de

rejoicings, the

ambassadors from the


retinue,

Cingalese monarch,

with a numerous

being present on the occasion


tugal,

the

king of Por-

by

this public act,

acknowledging that he

had accepted the protection of the young prince, and that he undertook the charge confided to him
by the grandfather of Dharmaa Paala, the then
reigning monarch of Ceylon,

who having been

l
in the

CKYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


accidentally

287

shot by a Portuguese gentleman in

the succeeding year, the Portuguese raised Dharraaa Paala to the throne, thereby exciting consi-

derable commotions amongst the natives, as the

uncle of

Dharmaa Paala

laid claim to the crown,

and was supportedby numerous followers; and, in


consequence,

much bloodshed

ensued.

Eventually the arms of Portugal were victorious,

and Dharmaa Paala retained possession of the


It is
:

throne until he bequeathed the whole island, in

time that a native historian writes


period forward, the

io

1580, to the crown of Portugal.

Tr ia
to

women

St

and also the women of the low

ud

" From

about this
this

of the principal people,


castes, such as

humowas and
gold, began to

challias, /or the sake

the Portuguese

PD

of Portuguese turn Chrhtians, and to live with

;"

and

it is

from this intercourse

subsequently with the Dutch, that the burghers,


or half-castes, have

de

sk

of the Cingalese

women

with the Portuguese, and

principally

sprung.

Ceylonese, as they

call

themselves, in contradis-

tinction to the Cingalese, possess all the vices of

the natives, without the redeeming or ennobling


qualities of either their
genitors.

European or Asiatic pronot allowed


retain

The Portuguese were

peaceable possession of the island, asRajah Singha

l
These

238

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

proclaimed himself king of Ceylon, and a long

and bloody war ensued, which ended and death of Rajah Singha,
curred in the year 1592.
at the

in the defeat

advanced age

of one hundred and twenty years, which event oc-

The Portuguese now


dependent
state,

resolved

upon subjugating
an infor

Kandy, which had remained


that purpose,
loss.

to this period

and sent a large force thither

which was defeated, suffering great

sessions in the
tive,

East Indies were vast and lucraisland

and

St

this

would open a new gate


;

ud

turned their attention towards Ceylon

io

It

was

in the year 1602, that the

Tr ia
;

l
Dutch
first

their pos-

to

gain, could they obtain a footing

consequently,

was despatched by the Prince of Orange and

sk

States General of Holland, with

PD

in furtherance of their design,

Admiral Spillbergen
men-of-

three

war, fully armed and equipped, to open


nication with the natives.

commu-

de
The

fleet anchoi'ed

south of Batticalloa on the

29th of March in that year, and the admiral immediately commenced a correspondence with the
o-overnor of Batticalloa,

and

finally

despatched a

messenger to the king of Kandy, Wimala Dharmaa, who received him with cordiality, and sent a
letter to the admiral, written

by himself, inviting

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


the admiral to his kingdom.

239

Accordingly, on the

6th of July following, Admiral Spillbergen, with


his suite, set out for

Kandy, and they were

treated

by the king with great attention and hospitality


every opportunity was afforded them to acquire
information, and every public building opened to
their inspection.

The king appeared


for allies,

desirous to
faci-

lity for

carrying on trade between the two nations;

endeavouring at the same time, with eager curi-

The

admiral's mission proved a most successful

one, as he obtained permission to build a fort on

the sea-shore, and to carry on a free trade in cin-

ticalloa

on the

PD

namon and pepper.

'Snd

made

sk

three Poi-tuguese sail


for,

engaged with, and

Spillbergen sailed from Bat-

of September, and, espying


off"

St

the coast of Ceylon, he


finally

ud

religion of

Europe.

io
8

osity, to obtain insight into the laws,

de

these vessels,

and sent them as presents

king of Kandy.

De Weerd was by the Dutch to Ceylon, and was received by their new ally, Wimala Dharmaa, in the most
In the following year, Schalt
sent

amicable manner, and an ambassador from the

king of
sailed

Kandy accompanied De Weerd when he De Weerd, however, subsefor Achcn.

Tr ia

customs, and

captured
to the

have the Dutch

and offered every

240

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

quently exasperated the king of Kaiidy by breaking the treaty of alliance, and releasing four Por-

tuguese vessels which had been recently captured

by him. WimalaDharmaa, upon the return of the Dutch squadron to the coast of Ceylon, remonstrated with the admiral upon this violation of the
treaty

and breach of

faith

and the ambassador


suspicion, cautioning

excited

Wimala Dharrnaa's

Shortly afterwards, the admiral requested the

king

to visit

him on board

his ship

St

monarch positively refused to do, fearing that he might be made prisoner, alleging, as his reason, that the queen was alone at Kandy, and that he
must return
to her.

De Weerd continued

ud

io
to

Tr ia
;

him against

the treachery of his

new

his request with impertinent importunity,

cluded by saying, that the king need be in no


hurry to retmni to the lascivious queen, as doubt-

sk

PD

less she

had found some one

supply the king's


if his

de

iilace before this

time: adding, that

allies.

but this the

to press

and con-

request

was not complied with, he would not attack Galle,

according to the articles of the treaty.

Wimala

Dharmaa immediately

ordered his attendants to

De pig!" A
seize

Weerd, saying, " Seize that foul-mouthed


skirmish then ensued between the Kanto

dians
carry

and the Dutch, as the former essayed


their

monarch's

orders

into

effect,

and

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

241 were

De Weerd and many


killed.

of

his

attendants

It is

impossible to read of the conduct of Schalt

De Weerd
met the

without loathing the character of the

despicable, treacherous, coarse,


fate his insolence

Dutchman, who
his

drew on

head

and,

although historians endeavour to palliate his con-

the

estimation
if

of

all

right-minded

excuse,

a correct one, only heightens the folly of

with an

ally.

The
sent

following epigrammatic and terse note was

It

appears from history, that the Dutch allowed

the death of

de

let

there be peace

sk

the king of Kandy to the second officer in command of the squadron "He who drinks wine is worse than a sow. Buddha lias executed justice. If you want peace,

PD

by

If war, tlien war."

De Weerd

to

did not

declare

war against VVimala Dharmaa,


the

who

died in 1604, and was succeeded by his bro-

ther, Senerat,

who married

St

pass unnoticed, as they

ud

drunkenness, to negotiate and carry out a treaty

widowed queen

io

the Dutch, in

sending an admiral, addicted to

Tr ia
men

Kandy.

We
VOL.

find

no further mention of the Dutch

the year 1612,


I.

when Marcellus De Boschouder M

l
;

duct, by saying that he

was heated with wine

in

this

of

until

242

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

arrived at Kancly, and entered into a

new

treaty

with the Kandian sovereign, offensive and defensive


;

they were then granted the exckisive right

of trading in Ceylon, and were allowed to com-

mence building a

fort

at Cottiar.

The

Portu-

guese, already in possession of the island, viewed

with jealous hostility the privileges granted to the


;

being commenced, despatched an army, consisting


of

more than 4,000


Cingalese,

soldiers,

ance made by the Dutch? and butchered

ud

fort,

which they took

after

io

guese,

and Moormen,

Tr ia
to
allies,

composed of Portuattack

Dutch

and immediately on the

fort

of Cottiar

the

a desperate resistin

the

most barbarous manner the whole of the occuThis massacre of his new
guese,

pants, including

St

women and

children.

PD

by the Portuwith
terri-

so exasperated Seneiat, that he sent an

sk

array of 5,000

men

in

pursuit,

who

fell

in

de

the invaders before they reached their


tories,

own

and vanquished them, making many prisoners, from whom they demanded heavy ransoms.

The king

of

Kandy now
from

resolved

upon ex-

pelling the Portuguese

Cejlon, and com-

menced war
cessfully
;

in a vigorous style against them, suc-

and, in 1614,

from the viceroy of

we learn Goa proceeded

that an envoy
to

Kandy, and

proposed a treaty of peace, which Sencrat refused

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


to accede to.

243

From

this date until 1635,

we
at

find

the

Kandians, assisted

by the Dutch,
;

con-

tinued war with the Portuguese

the latter erect-

ing forts at Trincomalee and Batticalloa, for the


protection of the coast, but suffering constant and

severe defeats
as

the

Kandian army advancing as


and

far

Colombo,

in their attempts to expel the Portu:

tracted

and desperate struggle that the Portuguese

succeeded in retaining possession of the fort of

reign of thirty years,


eldest son,

and was succeeded by his

Raja Singh a

should be formed into a separate kingdom, and

sk

he proclaimed their monarch; and endeavoured

PD

his right, that Matele

de

to

enforce his

demand by

Wijaya Paalaa, the king's brother, claimed

St
II.

ud
civil

In the year 1635, Senerat died, after a brilliant

io

Colombo.

Tr ia
who
;

and the adjacent provinces

flying to arms,

calling in the aid of the Portuguese,

readily

acceded
the

to

this request in the

expectation that

commotion produced by

war would aid

their

own

designs.

Historians differ materially as to the


of the invading
that
it

number

army Ribeiro

and Botelho stating


while

was composed

of seven hundred Euro-

peans, and twenty-eight thousand Indians

guese from Ceylon

it

was only

after

a pro-

as

and

244

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


it

Valentyn affirms that


three
six thousand Caffres.
it

consisted of two thousand

hundred Europeans and half-castes, with

But be the number what


comdid penetrate

might,

it

is

certain that a large army,

manded by Don Diego de Melho,


into the interior, and,
retired to
after

ransacking Kandy,

Gannaruwa.

Here Rajah Singha, the by the sword


in

putting

all to

death, either

Tr ia

king of Kandy, surrounded them with his forces,


or baroff

barous modes of torture, and subsequently cut

ud

form, as a warning to

all

io

their

heads and piled them up

a pyraraidical

aggressors; and history

asserts that only eight-and-thirty

Europeans

es-

caped

this frightful slaughter.

In the year 1637, the Kandian monarch re-

to assist ])im in

sk

driving
to

PD

solved upon calling in the aid of his Dutch allies

vanquishing the Portuguese, and them from Ceylon, and sent ambassadors
for that

St

Batavia

purpose,
;

who were

received

de

with every mark of res])ect

and envoys from the

Dutch were immediately despatched to Kandy. A treaty was entered into, whereby the Dutch
that the whole expenses of

agreed to furnish troops to the Kandian monarch


u])on the stipulation

the war, on land and at sea, were to be defrayed

by Rajah Singha.

This the king consented to

readily, but insisted that all the forts built

by the

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

215

Portuguese, as they were taken, should be placed


in his hands.

All being

now

satisfactorily

ar-

ranged, the envoys returned, and Admiral

Wes-

terwold was sent in

command

of a force of six

hundred men and several pieces of cannon, who


immediately
attacked
;

Batticalloa,

wresting

it

from the Portuguese

and the king of Kandy, as


to the

Batavia with presents


of the Indies.

General and Council

was razed

to the

ground, and not one stone

ud

1639, and by the orders of Rajah Singha the

io

Trincomalee was taken from the Portuguese

Tr ia
to the

a token of gratitude,

sent two ambassadors to

standing on the other.

St

The

fort at

Batticalloa
that the

PD

whole of the
tuguese,
stroyed.

had previously shared the same


fortifications

fate, so

belonging
coast,

on

the

eastern

were now de-

with renewed vigour, success following the Kandian and Dutch troops.

de

In the year 1640, the war continued

sk

to

Negombo,
after a faint
spirits

a fortilicd

town about eight leagues and a-half

to the north,

was taken by the Dutch

resistance

made by
followed
taking

the Portuguese, as the

of the

were sinking under the continued prosperity that


the Dutch arms. Immediately after Negombo, the Dutch marched to Point

l
in
fort
left

Por-

rage

men

246
de Galle,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


and stormed the place, which was

taken after a vigorous resistance had been

made

by the governor, Ferreiro de Bretto, who fought by the


assault,
life

side of his

men

the whole night of the

and

fell

covered with wounds, and his


at the entreaty

was only spared


wife.

of his noble

and heroic

Tr ia
life.

instance of the devotion and courage of

where her
is

affections are called forth,

io

recorded by Ribeiro,

who

states, the

ried
to

to

woman who was


at his side

him, and that on the night of the assault she

remained

PD

and cheering him by her presence and courage.

At

length,

after

sk

with a mushet levelled him, and the soldier was

St

receiving five wounds, a blow

de

about

to dispatch

him when

ud

of Point de Galle, Ferreiro de Bretto,

passionately attached

on the batteries, animating

his wife threw herself

between them, calling upon him as a


a Christian to spare her husband's
the soldier hesitate, she implored
life first,

him

and thus save her the anguish of seeing


her

her beloved husband butchered before her eyes,

and threw herself on her knees, clinging


prostrate husband.

This affords us an opportunity of relating an

woman,
governor

and which

was mar-

man and
Finding

to take her

to

Dutch

officer,

who was

near, hastened to the group, desired the soldier

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


to desist, raised the

247

weeping lady, and had the

gallant governor

tended until his wounds were

healed.

Admiral Koster, under whose command Galle had been taken, was now made governor of the
place,

and he immediately commenced building


fortifications
;

and repairing the

but finding the

Point de Galle, he deemed


in the aid of the
to

it

necessary to call

Kandian king, and proceeded

promised to

assist the

Dutch admiral against the

Portuguese, refrained from keeping his word, as

be exchanging his enemies.

sk

The king now appeared


to give

PD

masters of the south of the island he would only

he considered that were the Dutch to become

St

ud
to

ceived

him with cold

civility,

have awakened

io

Kandy

for that purpose.

Rajah Singha

Tr ia

and, although he

Portuguese from Kandy, which was,

de

the line of policy

which had induced the Dutch


that they

him

the aid of their troops to expel the

might eventually become the masters of the whole island, as every place which had been taken by the Dutch had a large garrison left there to guard and protect
the
it

from the natives as

much

as from

Portuguese.

Admiral

Koster

vehemently
last

pressed the king for his aid, which was at

Portuguese were making preparations to retake

re-

to

248

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

peremptorily refused.
the
king's

The admiral then accused


of
interfering
to

ministers

prevent

Rajah Singha keeping his treaty with the Dutch.

High words
the

ensued, and the admiral quitted


in great wrath, setting out

king's presence
for

by the king's

orders.

The Portuguese appear

to

island between them and the Dutch.

ud

and there were constant skirmishes

io

with their former valour, as they retook

Tr ia
all

have been imbued

in

the hands of the Dutch, and they forthwith

PD

fortified the

town, throwing up earthen bastions


fort,

St

1644, the fortune of war again placed

at every

corner of the

and on these were

sk

mounted

several pieces of cannon.

In 1646, a temporary pacification

de

into

between the Dutch and Portuguese, which

continued until 1654, and, during the intervening

period a species of desultory war was carried on

by Rajah Singha against the Dutch and Portuguese.

The Dutch
carried off

authorities at Negombo, in 1646, some of the king of Kandy's tame ele-

phants, and slew them for the sake of their tusks

he was never murdered on the was destined to reach, as he road between Kandy and Batticalloa, it is said
immediately
Galle,

which

Negombo,
over the

In the year

Negombo

was entered

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


and molar
teeth.

"249

This act of wanton aggression

natmally excited the anger and aronsed the vengeance of Rajah Singlia, who without loss of time

surrounded the Dutch troops,

took their com-

mander, Adrian van der

Stell, prisoner,

caused

him
sent

to
it

be strangled, then

cut off his

head, and

enclosed in a silken wrapper to his coun-

murderers and robbers.


In
the

year

1655,

hostilities

again recom-

following,

the

Dutch took prisoner

St

menced between the Dutch and Portuguese, and Callura was taken by the former in the October of that year. During the month of December

ud

io

guese governor of Jaffnapatam, as he was on his


road from Manaar to Colombo, then the stronghold

the

war against the Portuguese with renewed


;

energy

de

and, marching up to Colombo, laid siege

sk

of the Portuguese.

PD

The Dutch now prosecuted

to that city,

blockading

it

both by sea and land

Tr ia
the

trymen who were stationed on the sea coast, with a message to the effect that thus he punished

Portu-

and, after severe loss on both sides, and an obstinate resistance on the part of the Portuguese for

seven months,

it

was surrendered by
unimpeded

capitulation,

the Portuguese stipulating that they should be

allowed to

retire

to Jaflnajiatani.

The accounts

given by Ribciro of the sullcrings

l
;

250

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


frightful.

of the Portuguese during this siege are

Reduced

to starvation, they

swallowed the most

loathsome matter, resorting to the most revolting


expedients to sustain
life

maternal
life.

love being

engulphed in the pangs of hunger, and mothers


cutting the throats of infants at their breast, de-

voured their offspring

to

sustain

These ac-

counts are too horrible to dwell upon, and


willingly let a veil
fall

we

ready obtained,

Not contented with the victory they had althe Dutch pursued the Portu-

guese to Jaffnapatam, thereby violating the


cles of the capitulation

io

Tr ia
houses

over them.

l
arti-

made

prisoners of war.

vituperates most bitterly the indignities offered

PD

to his nation

by the Dutch

St

months,

it

was surrendered, and the inhabitants

ud
;

and, after a siege of four

The Portuguese historian


pillaged,

plantations destroyed,

wives dishonoured,

and

daughters ravished, are amongst the crimes that

de
It

he attributes to the Dutch conquerors.


is

sk
at

all

times fearful to contemplate the


its

horrors of war, and

attendant misery to indi-

viduals, even of the victorious nation, but

how
of

much
in

greater

to

meditate on the sufferings


?

those attached to the conquered country

But

no history do we find greater

atrocities recorded

than those laid to the charge of the Dutch after

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


the surrender of JafFnapatam, in 1G58, and

251

which
;

terminated Portuguese dominion

in

Ceylon

but

own sentiments cannot better be expressed than in Fox's favourite maxim, " Iniquissimam
our

pacem justissimo

bello antefero."

We

conclude the account of the Portuguese

rule in the island,

by quoting the following from

Percival's " Ceylon


*'

:"

Ceylon by the Portuguese were by no means considerable

that
it,

people,

when they

first

session of

were rather warriors than merchants.

Their continual wars with the natives contributed

attention seems to have been directed to the fortification of a

few stations on the coast, and the

PD

St

to

keep up the same

ud
;

spirit

and

erection of

some

military posts to

io
awe

their principal

But

the Portuguese appear never to have properly

discovered the advantages to be derived from this

de

sk

island, either in a

commercial or military point of


all

view.

Their dominion extended

Tr ia

The improvements made

in the cultivation of

took pos-

the natives.

around

and no station could be pointed out more commodious for a depot, either of merchandize or military stores.

These advantages were overlooked


;

by the court of Lisbon

and those individuals


at Ceylon,

who were

sent to the

command

more anxious

to gratify their pride

by conquest,

it,

were

252

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


their avarice

and

f
pursue a
there-

by extortion, than

to

plan of permanent advantage either to the mother


country, or to the colony.
fore,

The Portuguese,

by

their

own misconduct, were


it."

deprived of

this valuable island before they

were aware of the

benefits to be derived from

Although we do not coincide completely with


the view taken
self-evident

by

this excellent writer, still it is

attention to the cultivation of this prolific spot of


earth,

and we do not find amongst Portuguese

records

any statement of the proceeds of any


;

pearl-fishery

so
little

that

ud

we may conclude
was paid
to

io

Tr ia

that the Portuguese paid but

little

that

comparatively

attention

the

commercial or agricultural capabilities of Ceylon.


tuguese had to contend against innumerable
culties,

PD

However,

it

must be borne in mind

St

that the Pordiffi-

being not only at war with the natives,

whom

sk

they never entirely conquered, but continu-

European enemies, the Dutch.

de

ally harassed

by skirmishes and war with


is

their

The

following

list

of Portuguese governors

and commanders
cois de

in Ceylon, as given

by Ribeiro:

Pedro Lopez de Souza, Jerome de Azevado, Fran-

Menezes, Manuel Mascarenhas, Homen, Nunho, Alvares Perreira, Constandin de Sa y Noronha, G. d'Albuquerque, D, George d'Al-

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

253

meida, Diego de Mello, Antoine Mascarenhas,


Philippe Mascarenhas,

Francois

de

Mello de

Castro, Antoine de Souza, Continho, under

whom

Colombo was

lost.

At Jaffnapatam and Manaar

there were also Antoine d'Araarel y Menezes, the


last of their captain-generals.

de

sk

PD

St

ud

io

Tr ia

254

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

CHAPTER
Historical accouBt continued
j&."om

X.

1659 to 1795, when the

Dutch
Ceylon

siuTcnderecl,

by

capitulation, then- possessions in

to the British

List

io
of

Tr ia

l
Dutch Governors

Sum-

maiy

ud

of the effect of Portuguese

and Dutch ride upon the


account of the same.

Cingalese character

PD

Portuguese by the Dutch in Ceylon, namely, in


1659, Captain Robert Knox, the
first atithor

The

year succeeding the subjugation of the

St

Pliilalethe's

who

de

soner at Batticalloa, the frigate Ann, which he

commanded, having been wrecked off that coast, when the natives made him and several of his crew prisoners, who, by the orders of Rajah Singha II., were sent up to Kandy, and there held in captivity until 1679, when an escape was
effected.

From

sk

wrote an account of the islands, was taken pri-

" Knox's Historical Revelation,"

we

learn

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE,


that the

255

Dutch experienced great difficulty in rewhich they had wrested from the Portuguese, as Rajah Singha, the king of Kandy, was constantly at war with them, entaining the possessions

deavouring to retake the various

fortified

places

and

sti'ongholds occupied

by the Dutch. Notwithfur-

standing these continual skirmishes, the Dutch,

therance of their commercial and political views,

endeavoured to preserve an amicable course with

anxiety and desire

to

be at peace with him.


to

Rajah Singha was not


ances, or professions
;

St

ud
to

Kandian

court,

to assure the

io

the natives, and sent frequent embassies to the

monarch of

be appeased by assur-

occasionally, he

Tr ia
to

times he would detain their envoys, without assign-

an envoy, who was resolved


sacrifice his
life

de

In the year 1670, we find Rajah Singha detained


to leave

sk

ing any reason for so doing.

PD

ceive the embassies with toleration, while at other

would

Kandy,

wishing to retain a footing in the island, in

their

re-

or

in

the attempt.

This noblefind re-

spirited

man, whose name we do not


ought
as an

corded, but which

have been handed

down
sat

to posterity

example of dauntless
his court,

bravery, presented himself before the king, as he

on his throne giving audience

fully

armed and equipped

for a journey, his per-

256

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


outside
the

sonal attendants remaining


gates, saying that he

palace

had come

to take leave of

his Majesty, as he
diately for

was about setting out immeColombo. He bowed respectfully to

the walls, in accordance with the etiquette ob-

served at the Kandian court on taking leave, and


quitted

the

palace without

any attempt being

made by
to

the king to arrest his progress.

On

the

proceed on his journey unmolested, and

Tr ia
that

contrary. Rajah Singha gave orders that he

was

l
of

to re-

ceive

what aid he might require

in so doing.

We

well estimate the dauntless daring and courage,

St

ud

duct

himself a

noble brave character, he could

io

can fully appreciate the Kandian monarch's con-

that

would prompt such

a course of action.

And

have met with the constant annoyance which they


experienced from the king of Kandy.

de

No

sk

language of ours can so well explain the

PD

had the Duch invariably pursued an open, honourable course with Rajah Singha, they would not

erroneous plan they pursued as

Knox

himself, at that time a prisoner at the

Kandian

court

"The
their

Dutch, knowing his proud


it

spirit,

make
their

advantage of

by

flattering

him with
and that

ambassadors, telling him that they are his


jesty's

Mait is

humble subjects and

servants,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


out of loyalty to

257
forts,

him

that they build

and and

keep watches round about his country,


foreign nations

to

prevent
;

and enemies from coming

that as they are thus


service, so
it is

employed coming up

in his Majesty's

for sustenance,

which they want,


into his Majesty's

that occasioned their

country.

And

thus,

by

flattering

him, and ascrib-

things he greatly delights


vail

in,

sometimes they pre-

to
to

have the country they have invaded, and


;

but

falls

upon them

at

unawares, and does them

great

damage."

France directed her attention

PD

between the Kandian and Dutch,


to

Events pursued the same monotonous routine,


until 1672,

St

ud
off"

upon

better consideration, he will not be flattered,

io

he

have the honour

yet at other times, and

Lanka-diva and

mediately sent envoys to the Kandian king.

de

de

la

Haye, which anchored

sk

despatched a squadron, commanded by Monsieur


Cottiar,

Singha received them most amicably, and granted

them permission
Trincomalee.

to build a fort la

near the

Tr ia

and im-

Monsieur de

Haye

shortly after-

wards

sailed for the

Coromandel

coast, sending in

his stead

Monsieur de Lanerolle, accompanied by

a suite, to the Kandian court.


for the

Most unfortunately

French nation, Monsieur de Lanerolle was

l
Bay

ing to him high and honourable

titles,

which

are

when

Rajah
of

258
ill

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

calculated for a political mission

hot-headed

and impetuous, absurdly vain of the power, grandeur,

and customs of his own nation, he refused


court,

observ^ance to the code of etiquette adopted at

Rajah Singha's

and treated the monarch


This ex-

with undue familiarity and insolence.

asperated Rajah Singha, and, upon the return of

Monsieur de
prisoner.

la

Have, he found De Lanerolle a

The Dutch,
affairs,

taking advantage of this position of

gave chase to the French squadron, taking

only

well-arranged

scheme concocted by
and which,
in all

ud

malee which they had

built.

io

some of

their vessels,

and the

So terminated the
the

French

to obtain a settlement or possessions in

St

Tr ia
fort

near Trinco-

the island of Ceylon

l
probait

PD

bihty,

would have been


for the

successful,

had

not

been

insane, overweening vanity of

De
in

de

the French nation in the seventeenth, as


the nineteenth century

sk

Lanerolle, which was as strongly characteristic of


it is

it

being a national

fail-

ing, and not an individual's foible.

For vanity,
caused the

and nought but

self-sufficient vanity,

disastrous events, precursors of the downfall of

the French empire, which occurred during 1848

and the
shaking

effect
it

has been the convulsion of Europe,

to its very centre.

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


There
is

259

a paucity of interesting matter con-

nected with the history of Ceylon, until the year


1679,

when

the Dutch governor of Colombo,


to

Van

Goen, sent an embassy

Kandy, requiring the

king to abide by the articles of the treaty made

between the two powers.


raised

To

this the

king pro-

adherence, his warlike propensities

and
infir-

energy having become subdued by age and

eighty.

In the month of October, in the same


effected his escape, after having

year,

Knox

Tr ia
in

mity, for at this time he was between seventy and

years.

Again, there seems to have been a cessation of


historical events

worthy of record, until the year

PD

1685,

when Rajah Singha

St

ud

io

detained a prisoner at the Kandian court for twenty

II. died, after

tracted reign of fifty-one years, and

was succeeded

by his son, Wimala Dharma Suriya.

Knox

been

a pro-

de-

sk

scribes

Rajah Singha, with

whom

he frequently

well-formed, portly, athletically-built man, of a

darker hue than most of his countrymen, with

keen shrewd eyes " that were always

de

conversed during his captivity, to have been a

motion,

who

bears his years well, being between seventy

and eighty years of age, and though an old man,


yet appears not to be like one, neither in counte-

nance nor manners."

He was

abstemious

in his

260
diet,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


and chaste
his court.
in morals,

and punished severely

any dereliction from morality that he discovered

among
"

Knox

writes

Many

times

when he hears of

the misde-

meanours of some of his nobles, he not only


executes them, but severely punisheth the women,

and he hath so many

spies, that there is

but

little

done which he knows not of; and often he gives

command
not one

to expel all the

women
little

out of the city,

Tr ia
and
died,

l
to

remain

but,
is

by

little,

when

they think his wrath


again."

aj^peased, they do creep in

Rajah Singha possessed,

io
in

satraps of the East, an inordinate fondness for

dress and jewels, delighting to adorn his person

with gaudy-coloured raiment, and ornaments stud-

Singha exhorted his son and successor, Wimala


remain

de

sk

Dharma Suriya
at

PD

ded with jewels.

the Second, on his death-bed, to

peace with the Dutch, and allow them


and, being

to retain possession of their territories;

of a tranquil temperament, he followed his father's

counsel

consequently, during his reign, there are

no accounts of a peculiarly interesting character.


In 1707,

Wimala Dharma Suriya

St

History affirms that Rajah

ud

common

with most

and was

succeeded by his sou, Narendra Singha.

The

following year the Dutch obtained possession of

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


the island of Java, and, at the

261
of

commencement

1709, they banished the ex-king of Java, Susasan

Mang
liing

Burat Mas, with his family and attendants,

to Ceylon.

There were many followers of


it

this

who

shared his exile, and thus

was

that

the Malays

became

residents in the island, where,

as a natural result, they multiplied considerably.

In 1721, the queen of

the king, Narendra Singha,

upon

that event

Dutch, preserving
for the

all

external tokens of respect

king of Kandy,

io

who allowed them

in peaceable possession of their

ud

main
in

Ceylon.

vernor

Rumph was

St

The

letter

of condolence sent by go-

to this effect

" To

occasion of the demise of the high-born, excellent,

and all-accomplished queen."


In
1723,
forty-four in

the

Dutch

de

sk

some Javanese princes and chiefs, number, that had revolted against
were banished to Ceylon,
into the

at Batavia,

and thus more Malays were introduced


island

by the Dutch.
to render

In 1729, Governor Vuyst (governor of Colombo)

made an attempt
had recourse

PD

the Almighty to comfort his Majesty on the trying

himself an independent

sovereign, and in the prosecution of that


to the

most atrocious

Tr ia
cruelties,

Dutch sent an embassy

to

Kandy died, and the Kandy to condole with

dominions

implore

scheme
and

the

to re-

262

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

perpetrated crimes of the blackest dye.


at last

He was
to

taken prisoner by his countrymen and sent

to Batavia, tried,

and convicted of high treason


to

his country,

and was sentenced


his

be broken alive

upon the wheel,


collected

body

to

be quartered, and
It is revolting to

then to be burned to ashes, and those ashes to be

and cast into the


to

sea.

humanity

read these loathsome details, savour-

met a merited reward for his crimes, in having had sentence of death executed on his person
body, throwing the ashes into the sea, refusing

them Christian

burial, is almost past credence, as

having occurred in the eighteenth century, and

St

ud

io

still

breaking alive on the wheel, quartering the

casts a stigma of disgrace

upon the nation

Tr ia
vile
:

ing of the ages of barbarism, and, though V^uyst

that

ing vengeance on senseless remains.

de

and was succeeded by his brother-in-law, SreewiHistory says that the character of

jaya Rajah Singha.

sk

In 1739, Narendra Singha died without issue,

PD

would sanction torturing the

living body, or wreak-

Narendra Singha was

he was most

licentious, indulging his passions without restraint;

prone

to anger,

he insulted his nobles, and was on


Notwith-

the brink of losing his crown, through a rebellion

which these injured nobles headed.


standing
all this,

he reigned two- and- thirty years,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


and during
this period his

263

peaceable possession,

Dutch allies retained and employed the advanlast

tage offered to increase their maritime dominions.

During the reigns of the


kings,

two Kandian
the

the ordinances of the

Buddhist religion
priests

had

been

considerably

neglected,

having become lax and careless in the administration of the various rites thereof; and, in 1745,

his chiefs to Siam, to request that priests might

be allowed

to

come

to

Kandy,

to

ud
;

with this request, several npasampada, or high


priests, returned with the chiefs,

io
who

neglected ordinances of Buddha.

In compliance

vigorously, immediately on their arrival, to

St

It

appears that

the principal portion of his time to purify and

sk

PD

the mission which

had brought them from Siam. Sreewijaya Rajah Singha devoted


and Buddhism
to all its

restore the religion of the state,

grandeur.

During

de

under this monarch was restored

this

reign,

hostilities

were renewed
and, although

between the Dutch and Kandians

some of

the maritime provinces were taken

Tr ia
set to

Sreevvijaj^a

Rajah Singha sent a deputation of


restore the

former

the latter, they were eventually retaken by the

Dutch; and,
died,

in 1747, Sreewijaya Rajah Singha and was succeeded by his brother-in-law.

work
fulfil

by

264
Kirtisree

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


Rajah
of

Singha,

who,
and,

in

1750,

sent

another deputation of chiefs to Siam, to procure priests

Buddha;

in

1753,

these

chiefs returned to Ceylon,

accompanied by some

Siamese
wike, of the

priests of the highest rank,

and Welleat the

the chief pinest,

was placed

head

Buddhist
title

establishment in the

island,

under the

of

Sanga Rajah.

against the natives by governor Screuder, occa-

sioned an insurrection on the western coast; the

ties, (for

there had been

tion,)

and skirmishes were constantly carried on

St

ud

and thereby involved themselves

io

Kandians aided the insurgents against the Dutch,


in fresh hostilifor a short period a cessa-

until the following year,

when

bera, and

sk

PD

themselves masters of

Kandy, Matele, Doomkingdom,


hideous
after

Wallapana; but Kirtisree Rajah Singha


portion
of the
the
for nine

retook

this

de

Dutch had held possession


the slaughter that ensued
is

Tr ia
the
to

In the year 1761, the violent measures adopted

Dutch made

months, and
read
of.

From

this period, desultory warfare

was carried
until

on between

the
to

contending

parties,

the
;

Dutch appear
as, in

have obtained the advantage


treaty

1766, a

new

was entered into between

the

Kandian monarch and the Dutch, which en-

sured to the latter the unmolested possession of

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


all

265 and
the

the

places

on

the

sea

coast

Dutch now might look upon themselves as conquerors,

having brought the eastern potentate

under subjection, as by this treaty they dictated


the articles which were agreed to by Kirtisree

Rajah Singha, and one of these was, that the


various humiliating ceremonies which were ex-

acted by

the

king,

when an envoy from


were to be

the

to his court,

for the future

entirely dispensed with,

and

totally abolished.

Pybus was sent by the Madras government


monarch of the
to furnish

ud
;

io

must now take a retrospective view of events, and return to the year 1763, when Mr.
as

We

friendly feelings of the English

towards him, and the anxiety of the government

him with

war against the Dutch, and


a treaty.

PD

the

means of carrying on the


offered to enter into

National events of importance, and

the stirring incidents of the American war, called


for all the attention

de

ment had

sk

and money that our governand


to this only

to

bestow,

St

ambassador

to the

king of Kandy, to assure the

attributed the non-fulfilment of the treaty entered

into with Kirtisree

Rajah Singha
this

but the imfaith,

pression
the

produced by

breach of

minds of the king and royal family, was


1.

VOL.

Tr ia
N

Dutch went

can be

l
on

266

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


to

most prejudicial
England.
In

the honour

and probity of

1781, Kirtisree Rajah

Singha died, and

was succeeded by his brother Rajadhi Rajah Singha; and in the following year a fleet, commanded by Admiral Sir Edward Hughes, and a body of troops, headed by Sir Hector Munro, were dispatched by Lord Macartney, then Go-

Tr ia
to
in

l
;

vernor of Madras, to Ceylon, to take from the

Dutch
troops

their

territories in

that island

and our

took possession

of

Trincomalee,
in the

which
August

Sir
to

have some necessary repairs performed

St

ud

of the

same year, during the absence of Admiral Edward Hughes, who had sailed for Madras
to his

ships.

Mr.

Hugh Boyd had been


as

io

the French re-took for the

Dutch

sent

with

PD

the

expedition

ambassador

the

king of

Kandy, and

left

Trincomalee
until

February, but

sk

did

not reach

Kandy
to the

the

beginning of
for,

de

March, owing
although

badness of the roads;


is

Trincomalee

less

than

180 miles

from Kandy, the route was a most tedious and


perplexing one, Mr.

Boyd and
force

his

companions
a

having
dense

at

times to

their

way through

forest,

or jungle.

Previously to quitting

Trincomalee, the following letter was despatched

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

267

by Mr. gha:*
"

Hugh Boyd

to

Rajadhi Rajah Siu-

To the king of Kandy, &c. "I have the honour of acquamting your highness, that I am appointed ambassador to your
Highness, Durbar, by His Excellency the Right

Hon. Lord Macartney, the Governor, and the President of Madras; and that I am charged with
order to explain to you their favourable sentiments,

and assure you of

their friendship.

suppose your

highness has already heard of the great successes


of the English against their enemies, particularly

from the coast of Coromandel, having taken from

them

their last settlement,

"To
against

carry
the

on the victories of the English

PD

St

the Dutch,

whom

they have

Negapatam.
Sir

ud
now

io

driven entirely

Dutch,

Vice-admiral

Hughes, commander in-chief of the king of Eng-

de

sk

land's ship

and marine

forces in India, is

arrived with the fleet and force under his


at

Trincomalee, in conjunction with the troops of

the English East India

Company. He has

taken one of their

forts

from the Dutch, called

Trincomalee Fort, with many prisoners, and with=;=

This

letter will

be foimcl in the " Miscellaneous Works

of

Hugh

Boyd,"

vol. II.

Tr ia
N
2

a letter to your highness, from the governor, in

Edward

now command
alread}^

268

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


;

out opposition

and he

is

proceeding with vigour,

and with certainty of equal success against their


only other
fort,

called Ostendburgh,

which must

also yield to the great superiority of the British

arms.
" This will certainly have been effected long
before your highness can have received this letter.

But

in the character

with which

have the
to

highness, I
portunity
in

am

desirous to take the earliest opto

ti'ansmitting

io

particulars, to assure
their enemies, the

you that

English are directed, and that the highest respect

and attention

will

wath the utmost kindness and friendship, according to a declaration

PD

and dignity, and that your subjects

St

be shown your highness's rights


will

ud

Dutch, that the arms of the

Tr ia
it is

honour of being invested, as ambassador

your

you these happy


only against

which his excellency, Sir

Edward

sk

Hughes,

admiral

and commander-inI

de

chief,

has ah-eady published.


to

am happy

be treated

in

communicating these matters


not doubting that
it

your highness,

will

give

you pleasure

to

hear of the success and power of your friends.

" As

many more English


to

ships and troops are

expected soon

be here, and, as some great


enemies,

further operations will probably be soon carried

on by them

for the destruction of their

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


and the advantage of
their friends, I

269
ordered
to

am

by

his

excellency, the Governor of Madras,


to

communicate
sible,

your highness, as soon as poshim,

the letter from

which

have the

honour of being charged with.


"
I shall

be happy, therefore, to deliver

it

to

your highness in person, with every explanation

and friendly assurance which you can


soon as
I shall

desire, as

have sent proper persons

to

conduct
will

me

Tr ia
Boyd,"

know,

in reply to this, that

thither

and

this I

hope your highness

be pleased

do immediately, as there ought to be no delay in


transactions of so

much

importance,

ness, from his

Highness Walah Jah, Nabob of

the Carnatic, which I shall be

St

"

am

also charged with a letter to

ud
"

happy

PD

to

you.

only wait

to

have the honour of


;

hearing from your highness, as I have desired


I shall

then immediately proceed to enter on

sk

io

your high-

to deliver

these important matters, on the most friendly and


satisfactory

de

ground

to

your highness.
(Signed)

Hugh

Upon

the arrival of our ambassador at

Kandy,

he met with innumerable delays, and was received


with distrust and suspicion by the Kandian court
the natural result of our former breach of faith.

l
you
to
;

all

;i70

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


ill-accorded

and which but


since

with

the

British

character for probity.

" It

is

now twenty
:

years

your ambassador arrived here, while we

waged war with our Dutch enemies


promised aid
breath have

we

replied

frankly, and accepted cheerfully your offered


;

and

but since your envoy

left,

not a

we heard of your offered aid, nor promised assistance. As you are now at war, in
to injure

them, and obtain their possessions, you

that

ever

PD

met with treachery from Europeans." Our ambassador made excuses for the nonfulfilment of the former treaty, and referred to the high character borne by England for probity and
truth
;

but

all

sk

his efforts proved abortive, and he

St
to

ud

come to us, professing that it is only for our benefit you desire to force them to quit our kingdom. We doubt the sincerity of your nation, as we have

io

quitted

Kandy

the latter end of

de

having accomplished either of the objects of his


mission

namely,
left

make

a treaty, and form an

alliance with the king of

Kandy

Tr ia

your turn, with the Dutch nation, and are desirous

March, without

and

for

some

years

we

the

Kandians and Dutch

in undis-

turbed possession of Ceylon.

In the year 1785, Governor Vander Graaff

first

introduced paper currency into Ceylon

and, in

1789, the same governor caused a census to be

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


taken of
tricts,
all

271

the inhabitants of the maritime dis-

subject to the

Dutch East India Company


of both

and the

statistical returns

gave eight hundred and


sexes,

seventeen thousand inhabitants,

and of all ages.


In the year 1795, the union of Holland with

France took place, and war was declared by us

and Colonel, afterwards General Stewart, was sent

by the Governor of Madras, with a large

reduce Trincomalee, to which he laid siege, and,


after the lapse of little
fort

more than

three weeks, the

was surrendered by the Dutch commander,

io
place

Tr ia
it.
;

force, to

our troops were preparing to storm

ud

In the

by the same general


to

Colpentyn was surrendered


under the

St

September following of that year, Jaftha was taken


the
British

forces,

Colonel Bowser, on the 5th of

Success

now

de

sk

General Stewart shorly afterwards took Negombo.


followed the British arms in Ceylon,

PD

command of November and

and General
now,
and

Stewart

resolved

upon attacking
with
his

Colombo, the
Majesty's

seat of

government then as well as


for

marched

that

52nd, 73rd, and 77th regiments, ac-

companied by three battalions of Native Infantry,

and some Bengal Artillery. The route to Colombo lay through dense jungle,
and over
rivers swollen

by the

late rains

but no

l
as

272
auibush

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

was

laid

by the Dutch

to obstruct the

progress of our troops, and they reached the river

Kelany (about four miles from the Fort of Colombo), which was defended by a strong
there halted to await the expected
fort,

and

coming of the

Dutch

troops.

At the conclusion of the second

day, intelligence reached them that tHe guns were

dismantled and spiked, and that the troops had

Our men crossed

the river with great caution, fear-

PD

ambuscade had been laid. Our encampment was then formed, the siege of Colombo planned, and our soldiers immediately afterwards marched for the fort, expecting a strong resistance to be made by the Dutch but to the astonishment both of General Stewart and the troops which he commanded, the only attempt to defend Colombo was made by a body of Malays,
ing surprise, but no

St

ud
ofl&cer,

io

headed by a French

sk

who were

de

them, but quickly retreated, and very shortly

Tr ia
;

abandoned the

fort,

and retreated

to

Colombo.

sent to meet
after

Colombo surrendered,
British forces,

by

capitulation,

to

the

who were commanded by General


Within a

Stewart and Captain Gardiner, R. N.

short period, the whole of the forts and possessions in the island belonging to the

Dutch were
facile a

delivered

up

to our troops.

We

should not have found Ceylon so

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


conquest, had
it

273

not been for the want of disci-

pline and subordination found

amongst the Dutch

troops

the

men

refusing to obey their officers'

orders,

and the

officers

ahnost devoid of bravery or


rights.

energy to defend their country's


to " Percival's Ceylon," p.

According
force

92" The Dutch

consisted of two battalions

of Hollanders, the

French

Regiment

of

Wirtemberg,
all

with some

native troops, forming in

a force equal to that

of the invaders."

In taking leave of the Dutch as rulers in Ceylon,

we

give the

names of those who were

governors.

The
;

ud

first,

in 1640,
J.

was W.

io
P.
J. P.
J.

sent there as
J. Koster,
J.

Kiltenstein, A.

Vander Meyden, R. Van Goens,

St
Von

who

took Galle

J.

Thysz,

Matsuyher,

Hustaur, L.

Van

Peil, T.

Van Rhee,

P. Vuyst, S. Versluzs, G. Wontersz, J. C. Pielaat?

de

sk

De Heer, C. J. Simonsy, N. Rumph, A. Moll, J. Hertenberg,


G.

PD

Becher, T. A.

D. V. Domburg,

J.

Maccara, Baron Von Imhoff,

W.

M. Bruininch, D. Ovcrpeck,

W. M.

inch, D. Overpeck, J. V. S.

Galnesse, G.

Vreeland, J.

De

Joug, J. G. Saton,

Van

Baron Van Eck, A. Mooyart, J. W. Falck, W. J. der Graaff, J. G. Van Angelbeech, under whom Colombo and the entire possessions of the

Dutch were delivered over

to the British.

Tr ia
N 5

De Rhoo,
Schagen,

Bruin-

Schrender,

l
Van
J.

Van

27-1

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


their

Under the Dutch,


professed converts

own mode
the

of worship

v^as introduced into Ceylon,

and there were many


Cingalese.

among

This

arose from a regulation of the Dutch,

which pro-

hibited any native from holding an office, however

humble, under their government, unless he professed to belong to their church^

The Dutch

en-

covn'aged agriculture to a great extent, and intro-

and cinnamon.
the latter shrub
fisheries

It

was under Governor Falck


JiJ'sl cultivated.

Tr ia
it

duced the cultivation of

coffee,

pepper, cardamons,
that

was

The

pearl-

io

were also lucrative and productive, under

ud
;

their

management

consequently,

must have

been a national loss of no

trivial nature,

when

so

St

profitable

and promising

a settlement

was wrested
at

the effect produced upon the native character by

PD

We

shall

from them by the British.

wind up our summary by glancing

de

acted as if they believed that their responsibility

sk

the line of conduct pursued by the Dutch,

who

as Christians

and enlightened men, commenced

and terminated by forcing nominal religion upon the natives by making an external avowal of

Christianity the only stepping-stone to patronage,

employment under government; and they neglected no opportunity or means whereby wealth could be amassed. Their public policy and private
or

OEYLOxX
enterprise began

AND THE CINGALESE.

275

view

and ended with the same goal in namely, the acquirement of riches. Thus

the English

commenced

their

rule

in

Ceylon,

having the impressions

to eradicate

which had

been produced upon the minds of the Cingalese, through the sufferings they had experienced under
the military

and

religious oppression of the Porreli-

tuguese, and no less oppressive grasping and

These

fearful

examples,

set

Christians, have been too forcibly

by professing stamped upon


;

the feeble and flexible characters of the natives

and European vices have thus

time districts, thus forming a character of the

most despicable description.

We
lethe's

subjoin the following extract from " Phila-

sk

PD

St

upon the effeminate, pusillanimous dispositions of the Cingalese who inhabit the lowland and mari-

History of Ceylon,"

previously-expressed views and sentiments

de

ud
in

become engrafted

io

support of our
:

The Portuguese were under the influence of a sentiment of bigotry, which, when it becomes a predominant feeling in the human heart, equally
disregards the suggestions of caution, admonitions

"

of prudence,

and the higher considerations of


a blind impulse, and
it

humanity.

Tr ia
has

gious despotism of their

Dutch

successors.

It is

the effect of blindness, both visual and mental

l
all
;

270

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


which
truth,
it

in the strange deviations

causes from the

straight path of virtue

and

and consequently

of the best policy, and most stable interest.

The

Dutch did not bend before the grim Moloch of rt>ligious bigotry; but cent, per cent, was their faith, gold was their object, and Mammon was
their god.

But

the idol of the

Dutch

is

as un-

favourable to the growth of the loftier virtues, and

as that of the Portuguese.

Avarice
it

culating feeling, and where

as impenetrable as a stone to those moral considerations

which are more particularly associated


are placed in subjection to our will, or

PD

those

who

with

a benevolent regard for the happiness of

St

ud

the desires in a single object,

io
it

bosom, absorbing the

affections,

within the sphere of our influence.

Tr ia
is

totally pervades the

and concentrating
renders the heart

The

de

the happiness of the people of Ceylon, as the


enthusiastic bigotry of the Portuguese."

sk

avarice of the

Dutch proved

as unfavourable to

to all that

tends to humanize the exercise of power,


a cold, cal-

insensate

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

277

ud
rule,

lowlands

officers

PD

St

Dastardly and disgraceful conduct of


Exti'aordinary escape of two soldiers

tical

Suimnary ofpoli policy of General Macdowall Noble events conduct of Captain Nouradeen Bravery of Major Johnson Thomas Maitland succeeds the Honourable Frederick North The judicious rule of Governor North.
Sir

Before we

de

sk

^False

enter

upon the history of Ceylon

under the British, as the subjugation of Kandy


forms a prominent feature of our

io
we

Kaudian character

Personal appearanceCingalese of the Character of the womenNative government King's CustomsMode of smelting British rnle from 1795 to 1805 Governor Nortli First English governor Supreme Court of Judicature established Kandian war Fearful massacre of British troops
ii-on

Major Davie

a sketch of the character of the people, and the

government of that nation under the dominion of

Tr ia

will give

CHAPTER XL

278
their

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE,


All those own sovereigns and rulers. who have written upon Ceylon remark,

authors

with great justice, the difference of character that


is

observable between the inhabitants of the

moun-

tainous and those of the lowlands and maritime


districts
It is

an insult to a Kandian to

call

him

a Cingalese, as the Kandians hold the latter in contempt.

The Kandians term only


Cingalese
;

the inhabit-

of the

latter,

when speaking

variably

make

the same distinction

io

Kandians, and not Cingalese.

Tr ia

of the former, in-

calling them
much
ser-

nobility of character are daring, courageous, and

generous; whilst the Cingalese are cowardly,

vile,

and mean
it

and the nobles of Kandy

St

ud

The Kandians

are a purer race, possessing

ants of the lowlands,

and the natives

assert

high rank, and the highest caste) that the vices of

PD

(and

was

stated to us

by a Kandian chief of
so fearfully prevalent in

lying and thieving,

de

Ceylon, were introduced into the Kandian provinces

sk

now

by the Cingalese, who had acquired

these

intolerably despicable vices from intercourse with

the Portuguese and Dutch.

Robert Knox, who

passed twenty years in captivity at Kandy, thus


writes of them, in the seventeenth century
:

"

Of

all

the vices, they are least addicted to

stealing, the

which they do exceedingly hale and

de F St ud io Tr ia l

sk

PD

=4

de F St ud io Tr ia l

sk

PD

CINGALESK MAN.

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


abhor
;

279 comand

so that there are but few robberies

mitted amongst them.

They do much

extol

commend chastity, temperance, truth in words and actions ; and confess that it is out of weakness and infirmity that they cannot practise the

same, acknowledging that the contrary vices are


to

be abhorred."
After

making

this statement,
is

he gives the

fol-

contradictory, as

regards their propensity to lying.

lowance must be made

for the position in

Knox was placed


ceived

as his protracted captivity for

so long a period (during

ud

which time he had


to

io
in
;

Tr ia
But
his

lowing one, which

somewhat

l
great al-

which
re-

St

many promises

relative

release)

would not predispose him

to place

much

reliance

on their veracity, or enable him to give an unprejudiced opinion as to the national character.

PD

Not-

the

succeeding quotation, which gives, on

sk

withstanding, there

is

much

truth to be found in

the

whole, a fair estimate of the Kandian character: " In understanding, quick and apprehensive
in design,

de

subtle

and

crafty
;

discourse, cour-

teous, but full of flatteries

naturally inclined to

temperance, both in meat and drink, but not


chastity
;

near and provident in their families


in

commending good husbandry


tions, not passionate

their disposito

neither

hard

be recon-

280
ciled

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

when angry
it

in

their

promises very un-

faithful

approving
in others;
till

lying in themselves, but disdelighting in sloth

liking

defeiTing
to

labour

urgent necessity compel them; neat

in apparel; nice in eating,,


slee]3."

and not much given

For the bravery, which we deem inherent in the


Kandians, and their love of country, no better proof
protracted resistance opposed to the attempted

subjugation of their country by the Portuguese,

extent at this moment, as the recent insurrection

proved

whilst the Cingalese have tamely sub-

Kandians and Cingalese,

PD

a half.

The

difference of person apparent in the


is

mitted to foreign rule for more than a century and

St

ud
The
;

posed yoke of a foreign power exists

io
as

Dutch, and British.

And

this dislike to the imto

Tr ia
marked
;

can be offered than the determined, vigorous, and

sk

mental dissimilitude.

bearing of the Kan-

de

dian

is

haughty and erect


fixedly

the complexion, bright

bronze, or brown;
observer's

the eye large

meeting
the
;

no small

as their

the

and undauntedly

brow

high

nose, well formed and prominent


their

and the

expression of the face intelligent.

While, on the
is

contrary, the deportment of the Cingalese


vile

ser-

and crouching;
;

complexion of a yellower

brown the

eye, although of

good

size,

seldom

fully

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

281

opens, and endeavours to avoid looking fixedly on


the observer
;

the

brow low

the nose less promi-

nent, and not so well formed, as that of the

Kan-

dian

and the expression of the countenance has

a cliaracter of servile, low cunning.

Although

it is

affirmed

by writers that the Kan-

dians and Cingalese are both descended from the

same parent
rially, as

stock,

we

disagree with them mate-

marks of a nobler race, and purer blood


in our opinion, the offspring of

Malabars,

Kandy remained

St

to

non-admixture with foreign conquerors


a
free, warlike,

ud

had intermarried with the Veddahs, or aborigines of Ceylon, whose blood has remained pure, owing
;

io

Tr ia
who

the Kandians have

all

the distinctive

being,
who

and independent

state long after the

lowlands had experienced the

yoke of numerous conquerors, of various nations:


whilst the Cingalese are the descendants of the
followers of the Indian King, Wijeya,

sk

PD

quered Ceylon long anterior to the Christian

de

But the
cally

latter race

has deteriorated, both physi-

and mentally, by constant admixture with

the various tribes and nations

who have conlowlands and

quered, colonized, or visited the

maritime

districts.

Although Buddhism inculcates the practice of


chastity

and continence more than

any other

l
era.

as

con-

282

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


is

heathen religion, yet in no part of Asia


the followers of

the

observance of these virtues less practised than by

Buddha, and more


all

especially in

Ceylon, where the want of chastity in woman,

which pervades

classes,

beginning with the


is

highest and descending to the lowest caste,

lamentable in the extreme.

This appears to have


earliest records

been a national
of the island
;

failing,

from the

perusal

it

would be unadvisable
from

et seriatim
tiates
fully

Knox on
women
:

this topic,

io

and strongly on the

Tr ia
to
total
;

but in a work intended for general


quote verbatim

therefore, confine ourselves to the following extract

she desire and seek her

PD

of a

man
own

of a lower caste than herself, so would


it

from that author " Whilst a woman would

St

ud

evinced by the

for

chastity.

who expadisregard

We

shall,

flee

from the contact

most anxiously with one of

de

At

sk
this

caste, or of a higher one."

time

it is

the crying sin of the natives,

even among

women
arise

professiug Christianity

and

many murders
husbands and

from the excited jealousy of

lovers,

who come

unexpectedly,

and

find a

paramour with the women


of,

when
is

the

ever-ready knife, or any other weapon that


is

near,

seized hold

and bloodshed ensues.


of

The government

Kandy was an

absolute and

de

sk

PD

sg^.

'S^^

CINGALESE WOMAN.

'"^

St

ud

io

Tr ia

de F St ud io Tr ia l

sk

PD

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

283

despotic one, the king having unlimited power

over the lives and property of his subjects


fact, the

in

Kandian nation being the

slaves of the

monarch

slavery

was permitted, and

practised

to a great extent

throughout the kingdom.

But

the king was not only lord paramount of the soil, the whole produce of which he could claim, if it pleased him so to do but he claimed and en;

forced equal ownership over the persons of the


cultivators.

The men

of the next rank to the monarch were

io
this
to

the two adikars, or prime ministers

adikars also acted as judges, and to them an ap-

St

peal could be made, should a suitor


tisfied

ud

with the decision of the governor of his

province
to the

PD

and

from the adikar a final appeal lay


;

king in person

and human
occasions.

sk

himself the power of inflicting capital punishment,


life

was constantly

but the king reserved to

sacrificed in the

most wanton manner, and on the most puerile

and held office during the king's pleasure.


the adikars

de

These adikars were appointed by,


After
the dissaaves, or governors of

came

provinces.

certain

number of

appointed to the

command
was

of the king's troops

Tr ia
;

and these
dissa-

I'eel

body were
;

and these held a superior rank

their fellows,

whose business

it

to receive

and pay into the

284

CEVLON AND THE CINGALESE.

royal treasury the tribute to the king, and maiutain

peace and order in their provinces.

The

dis-

saaves, like the adikars, received their appointment

from the king,

who would
offices,

disgrace them, depriv-

ing them of their

and putting them

to

death, or torturing them, as caprice dictated.

hatmeers,

preserving proper order in their provinces during


the disaaves' necessary absence from their dis-

io

tricts,

whilst on duty at court.

Tr ia
Under
official
;

The next in rank and power were the ratramawho acted as deputies to those dissaaves, who commanded the king's guards, or troops, by

these ra-

St

obtained their posts either by bribery or from the

ud

tramahatmeers were many

inferior officers,

who
the

patronage bestowed by their superior.

When

PD

dissaave, or ratramahatmeer, travelled through his

province, to administer justice, he

was attended
Before the

by the whole of

his inferior officers.

sk
or

dissaave,

ratramahatmeer, was borne a long


the talipot palm,

whip made from the fibres of which was the emblem of their

de

rank, and

also used

by them

as an

implement of punish-

ment.

This whip was constantly kept in motion


before these officials
to

when borne

and the sound


or passers-by

produced served
to clear the road,
to

warn

all travellers

and leave a

free passage,

and also

apprize those

who had complaints

or charges to

de F St ud io Tr ia l

sk

PD

RATRAM AHATMEER

de F St ud io Tr ia l

sk

PD

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


prefer, that the dissaave, or
at

285

ratramahatmeer, was

hand.

AVhen

complaint had been substantiated,


official,

which, in the estimation of the

called for

corporal punishment, the criminal was straight-

way

stripped, tied to the

first tree,

and flogged
This busi-

with the whip which a short time previously had


given notice of the judge's approach.

way,

to enact the

same scene elsewhere.

imprisonment, and torture were the other punish-

tions,

which were conducted with great


;

ud
is,

meers,

in the course of these periodical visitastate,

ceremony, and parade


tive, as the dissaaves

and were

St
that

sequently whoever could or would administer the


largest bribe almost invariably gained his suit.

de

But on the reverse of this pleasant picture stood a despotic monarch, who, from the merest whim,
would take from them
their

sk

PD

bribed to decide in the briber's favour, and con-

and ratramahatmeers were

rank and wealth.


facts, writes
:

Knox,
all

after referring to the


is

above

" But there

io

ments

inflicted

by the dissaaves and ratramahat-

also very lucra-

something came

after, that

the honour and wealth of these great courtiers


all

not at

desirable

and

that they are

so obnoxious to the king's displeasure,

Tr ia
which

Fines,

makes

l
is

ness concluded, the dissaave would resume his

286

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


it

SO customary, that

is

no disgrace

for a iioble-

maii to liave been in chains

nay,

and

in

llie

common
so ready,

gaol, too

and

tlie

great men, too, are

when

the king con)mands, to lay hold


as he
to

on one another,

command them, and

glad to have the honour to be the king's executioners,

hoping

to

have the place of the exefound a summary

cuted."

In the foregoing quotation

is

Tr ia
us,
;

l
of the uncertain tenure of place and power,

when

held from or under a despotic monarch,


dictated

who even
almost

what description of dwelling


It

his subjects

were to build or inhabit.

paradoxical that a nation should have suffered


to tyrannize over their persons, actions,

and properties,

St
own
the

one

man

to the extent

rebel against the mild rule

PD

permitted under their

F
is

sk

ment

But such

human
lingly

nature, that

we

ud
will

kings, and should yet

of the British govern-

anomaly presented by
cheerfully

io
we

may appear

which the Kandians

and

wil-

de

endure what we voluntarily submit

to,

or

our forefathers
intolerable
it

have borne before


to others

however

may appear
knowledge

whilst the

su]iposition or
into

that

are to be forced dictated


its

a particular line of action,

bv a

novel or foreign power,


laws, although
tlie

who

rules with

own

adiiiinistration

of those laws

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

287

may be

equitable,

and

for

our benefit, produces

a feeling which causes us to consider ourselves

aggrieved

and we rebel against the foreign yoke


ti

This

is

not only

national feeling predominant


will

amongst the Kaudians, but


quarter of the globe, and
is

be found in every

applicable to the in-

habitants of every country.

Knox,

alter

describing

the

various
:

modes

houses above one story high


cover them witli
tiles,

neither

nor whiten their walls with

lime

but there

is

a clay which

ud
;

St
men
to

that they use sometimes.

The

not above one room in their houses


two, unless they be great

PD

io
is

poorest sort have

neither doth the

king allow

them

to

build better.

sk

people have handsome and commodious houses.

They have commonly two


site

buildings

the other, joined together on each side with

a wall, which makes a square court-yard in the

de

middle.

Round about
are

against the walls of their


sit

house,

banks of clay

slaves and servants dwell round about without,


in other houses, with their wives

and children."

This author speaks of the ancient remains of


grandeur which were found in Kandy, and these

Tr ia
may
The
upon.

adopted for building their dwellings, says " For they are not pennilted to build their
they

as white, and

few above
great

one oppo-

Their

"

288
will

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


be noticed
in

a chapter devoted to the antiIn writing of their cultivation

quities of Ceylon.

of rice,

the

staple

commodity of food

for

the

nation, he tells us that their ploughs consisted of

" a piece of wood, shod with iron [these primitive

ploughs are used in the interior at the present


day, and to them are yoked buffaloes, or bulloclis]

proper for the country."


the husli, " and this

He

describes minutely

the Oriental custom of treading out the grain from


is
;

a far quicker and easier


at

way than

threshing

reaping also they are

He

also stales, " their rents


in

io

excellent good, just after the English manner."

Tr ia
and not
it

were brought

l
to the

king thrice
in the

each year, and were generally paid

ud

St

produce of the

soil,

in

money."

upon the king's

PD

Besides these, however, whatsoever is wanted in " the king's house, and they have it, they must,

Kandian dominions,

sk

Knox

order, bring

describes the state


to

of learning in the
in a fearftil

have been

de

slate

of degradation,
;

to
is

what

it

had been

in

former times

and

it

certain that for centuries,

the inhabitants of Ceylon had been retrograding


in learning, arts,

and sciences, more particularly

since the Portuguese


footing in

and Dutch had obtained


all

the island,

"Their learning," says


they ordinarily learn
is,

Knox, "

is

but small;

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


to read
if

289
to

and

write, but

it

is

no shame

man

he can do neither

nor

have they any schools


polished the precious

wherein they might be instructed in these or any


other arts."

The Kandians
still

stones found in their dominions by a species of

grinding stone,

in

use

which

is

very similar to an European one.

among them, and They

smelted the gold found in their rivers, in furnaces,

and they fashioned the precious metal


ments
toes
;

for

the head,
in the gold

nose,

ankles,

and

were frequently

stones and gems.


lines

subtract the succeeding

interesting account of the

St
the

from Knox,

as giving a most accurate and

mode adopted by
ore.

ud
it

We

io
ore

mences
about
earth
:

by saying,

PD

Kandians

to obtain iron

from the

that

throughout the country, and that

generally lay

sk

five

or six feet

" First they take these stones and lay them in a heap, and burn them with wood, which makes

de

below the surface of the

them

softer

and

fitter

for

the

furnace.

they have so done, they have a kind of furnace,

made with a white


furnace, behind

sort of clay,
;

wherein they put


is

a quantity of charcoal

there

a back to the

which the man stands that blows.


o

VOL.

I.

Tr ia
fingers,

formed of a species of white clay, found inland,


into orna-

set precious

He

was found

When

and

the

com-

290

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

Behind the furnace they have two logs of wood


placed
fast in
;

the ground, hollow at the top like

two pots

upon the mouths of these two pieces

of hollow

wood they
in

tie a

piece of deer's skin, on

each part a piece, with a small hole, as big as a

man's finger,

each skin.

In the middle of each


are

skin, a little beside the holes,


tied fast to as
like a spring,

two

strings,

many

sticks

stuck in the ground,

bending
describes

like a

bow

this pulls the

skin upwards."

He

then

minutely the process of


:

is in

them

ud

melts,
is

and runs out

io

blowing, and continues " As the stones are thus burning, the dross that
at

Tr ia
;

pose.

of
it

fire,
is

PD

Out of this hole runs the dross-like streams and the iron remains behind, which, when
think enough, they drive

purified as they

sk

through the same slanting hole


it

St

where there

a slanting hole

made

l
the bottom,
for the

pur-

then they give


so fling
it it

a chop half
:

way through, and


it

into

de

the water
that
it is

they so chop

that

may be

seen

good

iron, for the

satisfaction of those

who are minded to buy." The state of religion


Kandians, anterior
to, at

observable
the period

among
of,

tlie

and sub-

sequent to Knox's captivity, will be noticed hereafter


;

and we

will fur the present bid adieu

to

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


the

291

ancient Kandians,

and resume our history


possession
of

subsecutively,

from
in

taking

the
in

Dutch settlements
1796.

Ceylon by the British,

Mr. Andrews was sent as ambassador

to the to

Kandian
minary

court,

by
and

the

Madras government,

obtain Rajah Siugha's ratification to the


treaty,

preli-

to negotiate

a definitive one

dian nation was to have enjoyed privileges and

advantages which they had not possessed in tranquillity for

more than two


free

centuries.

vessels
service,
to

were to have been placed at the king's

carry on
or

foreign

and home trade

St

entirely

from our superintendence,


;

ud

io
to

seways,

salt-marshes at Putlara,

profitable,

and which had been

PD

in the possession

of the Dutch, from

whom

they had passed into

our hands, were to have been given up to Rajadhi

de

Rajah Singha.

sk

Our ambassador could not

ceed in bringing matters to a termination, as the

king of Kaudy required various alterations

Tr ia
to

on more enlarged principles, by which the Kan-

Ten armed

and the

then most

made

in

the

proposed

treaty,

which Mr.

Andrews was not authorized

to accede.

The

first

pearl-fishery, under our government,

took place during this jear, and yielded upwards


of sixty thousand pounds.

The proceeds
o 2

of the

suc-

be

292
several
will

CEVLON AND THE CINGALESE.


fisheries

under ihe Dutch and English


to

be given in a porlion of this work devoted

the produce of Ceylon.

In the year 1797, an insurrection was caused

by the employment
lectors of the
offices

of

Malabar Duboshes,
;

or col-

revenue and other duties


filled

these

had been formerly

by the Cingalese

aratchys, or headmen, but the

Madras governmeht
These

had displaced them, substituting natives of the


Malabar coast
sided,
official

Tr ia
;

l
in their stead.
trivial

dis-

turbances were speedily quelled, and entirely sub-

when

the Cingalese were reinstated in their

appointments.

The king

ud

io
made
of the negocialion,
but, before a definitreaty

of Kandy, during this year,

and conclusion of ihe

tive

arrangement

Singha died,

PD

after a

wives or queens, as well as concubines, he did

de

not leave any male issue


racter of
lo love

sk

seventeen years.

St
v\

overtures to us for a renewal

as entered into, Rajadhi Rajah


tolerably tranquil reign of
five legitiniaie

Although he had

and he bore the chaan indolent, voluptuous man, " addicted


;

and poetry, and


the

to

nothing

else,

and who

ruled his subjects with an easy yoke."

The

fol-

lowing

is

personal

description

of Rajadhi
" Miscella-

Rcijah Singha, given by

Boyd

in

his

neous Works

:'"

10

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


"

"293

He

is

about thirty-six, or thirty-seven years

of age, of a grand majestic appearance, a very


large man,

and very black, but of an open,


as
I

intelli-

gent countenance,
nearer approach.
attitude put

found afterwards on a

On
mind

the whole, his figure and of our Harry the Eighth.


is

me

in

He

wore a large crown, which

a very important

In the following year, 1798, Ceylon was

a King's Colony, and the Hon. Frederick North,

ud

cessor to his learned

and philanthropic progenitor,


island,

io
it

afterwards Earl of Guilford, and a worthy suc-

there in the

St

was appointed governor of the month of October.


Historians
differ,

as to whether

the concubines of the late king, that Pilimi Ta-

Kandy, under the title of Sri Wikrama Rajah Singha, to the exclusion of the royal family as Prince Mootoo Sawme, the chief or
the throne of
first

de

queen's brother, was the legitimate heir to

the crown.

sk

lawe, the

first

This step was taken by Pilimi Talavve

PD

of one of the queens, or a son of a sister of one of

adikar or prime minister, raised to

to further his

own ambitious

views, as Sri
throne,

rama was but an automaton on the actions were directed by the first

Talawe, who imprisoned the chief queen of the

Tr ia

and arrived

was a nephew

adikar, Pilimi

l
made
Wikwhose

distinction from the other princes of the East."

294
late

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

monarch Rajadhi, and


;

several relatives of the

Mootoo Savvme, with his adherents and followers, made their escape from Kandy, and placed themselves under the
royal family

whilst Prince

protection of the British government at Colombo.

During the following


slaves

year, the importation of

was

prohibited, and torture and barbarous

Tr ia
to Pilimi

North granted an interview

the prime minister appears to have been most cau-

tary one

but in a subsecutive one, in September,

he offered to assassinate the monarch, Sri WikEnglish would assist him to ascend the throne,

PD

rama,

whom

he had raised

St

ud

ment, as this interview was merely a complimen-

that he, Pilimi Talawe,

io

tious in his

mode

of proceeding with our govern-

to that dignity, if the

would govern Kandy


This

modes of punishment abolished in our possessions in Ceylon. In the month of February, Governor
Talawe, and

as

sk

the English would

dictate.

ignominious

de

proposition was rejected in the

manner it merited, and the governor made Pilimi Talawe understand,


that neither the

monarch, nor nation, which he had

the honour to represent, either aided or abetted murder, or assassins


;

but,

undaunted by

this

prompt
to aid

and determined refusal of Governor North

him

in

his

criminally nefarious project, Pilimi


the

Talawe made many after-communications of

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

295

same

nature,

which were rejected with the scorn

and contumeliousness they merited.

The
year;

first

English seminary was established at


within the
after

Colombo,

for the instruction of natives

thus

we

find that

immediately

Mr.

North held the reins of government, and when naturally in a new colony, there were many important political,

and

commercial

subjects

to

engross the governor's attention and time

gentleman had been employing his leisure hours


in

endeavouring to ameliorate the

suflferings,

improve the condition of his sable fellow-man.

Governor North abolished


slaves,

ud
the

io

Tr ia
;

importation

ment, and established a seminary for the instruc-

tion of the ignorant

and benighted

St

torture

and barbarous modes of punishnatives,

that within the space of twelve months.

conduct of this nature needs no comment or praise,

wise."

In the following year, 1800, Governor North


agreed
to

de

and each one in reading this may apply the following text to himself, " Go and do thou like-

sk

send an ambassador to the king of


first

PD

Kandy, as the

adikar, Pilimi

l^alawc,

made name

overtures of an honourable nature, in the

of Sri Wikrama, in his

ofllicial

capacity of
:

prime-minister.

The Rev. Mr. Cordiner writes

l
that

and
of

and Noble

had

296

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

" In order to elude the arts of the adikar, the

governor promised that Major-General Macdowall


should be sent as ambassador,
if

the consent of

the liing were previously obtained to his carrying

with him a sufficient military force to maintain


his independence.
It

was

at the

same time proit,

posed, that

if

the king should approve of

he

should transport his person and his court for

enjoy

all

his royal rights,

and

Tr ia
to for

depute

l
19lh

greater safety to the British

territories, there to

to Pilimi

Talawe, the adikar, the exercise of his power in

and General Macdowall started

four battalions of his Majesty's

St

Kandy on his embassy, escorted " by the light company, and


foot,
five

PD

companies of the second battalion of the 6th

ud

The king

of

Kandy consented to

io

Kandy."

the requisition,

regi-

ment of

coast sepoys, five companies of the

Malay

sk

regiment, a detachment of the Bengal artillery,

with four six-pounders and two howitzers."

Now,

de

the utility of the caution evinced

by Governor

North
escort,

in

sending an ambassador, with a powerful

tion

was displayed, as on the road the deputamet with opposition from the natives, and
Talawe had
secretly instigated

several skirmishes resulted, not without suspicion

that Pilimi

the

rebels to this contumacious

mode

of proceeding.

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

297

Our ambassador and


Kandy, where a

his escort finally reached

series of lengthened interviews

ensued between Sri Wikrama and General

Mac

dowall, which terminated in the general returning


to

Colombo, without having been able

to

effect a

new

treaty, or alter the position of affairs then ex-

isting

between the British and Kandian governhistorical nature

ments.

quo during the year 1801, but the following year

was fraught with circumstances of


point of view.

interest, as well

as with those of deep importance in a political

The Supreme Court

ud

lion

was introduced.

year, the king of

PD

Kandy

St

was now

first

established,

and vaccine innocula-

At the beginning of the


sent his second adikar as

io

ambassador
a

to

our government at Colombo,


treaty

satisfactory

was

entered

ensured the safety, and permission to carry on

de

commercial intercourse,
powers.
it

sk

to the subjects of the

Tr ia
into,

Events of an

remained

in statu

of Judicature

Shortly after the

new

treaty

was

ratified,

was

violated

by the Kandians, who connnitted

the

first

act of aggression,

by plundering some
Governor North de-

British subjects,
in the

who had purchased Areka-nuts


should be

Kandian dominions.
that restitution

manded

made
o 5

stolen property, or that the parties should be rcim-

when
which
two

of the

298
bursefl
to

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


the
full

value of their merchandize.

This demand Pilimi Talawe, in the name of his


sovereign^ promised to

comply with, but postponed

the fulfilment of his promise, and after repeated

demands had been made by our government for the required compensation, which were constantly
met by puerile evasions, Governor North
if the

threat-

ened the king of Kandy with hostile proceedings,


forthwith made.

War was
the head

declared against the Kandians in

io

the January of 1803, and General Macdowall, at

Kandy.
plete

These troops consisted of "two incom-

companies of Bengal

St

ud

of a considerable

force,

Tr ia
the

marched

l
had pursued

demanded and promised

restitution

was not

for

artillery,

with the usual

proportion of gun-lascars, two companies of his

51st regiment (625 strong,) one thousand Ceylon

PD

Majesty's 19th regiment of foot, the entire of the

ment, and a small corps of pioneers."

sk

native infantry, one

company of

Malay

regi-

Colonel

de

Barbut also

set out for

Trincomalee, commanding
artillery, five

"one company

of the

Madras

com-,

panics of the 19th regiment, the greater part of the

Malay regiment, and a necessary proportion of


lascars

and pioneers."

These

divisions, in their

respective marches, did not meet with the slightest


resistance, and, although each
differ-

CEYLON and the CINGALESE.

299

ent routes, arrived almost simultaneously at the

Kandian

seat of government,

which they found

undefended and deserted, and our large army,

which consisted of more than three thousand men, took undisturbed possession of Lanka-divas
capital, the palace of

which had been

fired before

the retreat of the Kandians, and

was

partially de-

stroyed

but in some of the apartments were found

dha, sets of glass and china-ware, and

golden cups adorned with silver filagree."


arsenal, or

what was used

for the store-house for

their warlike

weapons, a large quantity of arms

and appropriated.

the brother of Rajadhi's chief queen, and he

de

sk

Mootoo Sawme was now proclaimed king by Governor North, and he was crowned with all due ceremony at Kandy. This prince was the legitimate heir to the Kandian throne, as he was

PD

St

of various descriptions were found by our troops,

ud
treaty

io

Tr ia

" pier glasses, statues, particularly those of Bud'


a few

placed himself under the protection of the British


government, when Pilimi Talawe placed Sri Wik-

rama on the throne,


without male issue.

after the decease of

was

l
tG>

In the

had

Rajadhi

ratified

by

Governor North and Mootoo Sawrae,

to the effect

that the British merchants and soldiers should be

indemnified for losses sustained previously

and

300

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

during the war, that a portion of land was to be


given up for the purpose of constructing a road

from Colombo to Trincomalee, that the province


of the Seven Korles, which
is

a tract along the

western coast, should be

made

over for ever to the

British, that the king should not form

any alliance

without the concurrence of his Britannic Majesty,

and that an European

force should be kept in

these
agreed.

considerations,

Mootoo

Tr ia
into
to

Sawme

Kandy,

for

the preservation

of order.

To

all

readily

Barbut, in pursuit of the fugitive Sri Wikraraa,

which
but,

was nearly drawn

St

ud

was now sent to Hangrenketty, about sixteen miles from Kandy, commanded by Colonel

io
much

force

an ambuscade,

the troops were sent remained unaccomplished.

de

mode

being

sk

Pilimi Talawe evinced

PD

retreat

was

owing

to the caution of the colonel, a timely

effected, although the object for

which

penetration in the

of warfare which he adopted with our troops,


fully

conscious

of the inferiority of the

Kandian

soldiers if

opposed

them

in regular

engagement.

He

harassed

them by hovering
all

about the capital, cutting off supplies, and

communication between Kandy, Colombo, and


Trincomalee.
nearly taken

detachment of our men were

by

Pilimi Talawe, which had been

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


sent out to

30l

commence a negociation with some


vicinity,

chief in

the

and our soldiers

barely
to
of

escaped annihilation,
retreat into

and were necessitated

Kandy
was
set

precipitately.

reward

ten rupees

on the head of each European,

and

five

rupees on that of any of the native troops

in the service

of the British.

to

make

inroads on the health of our troops,

a negotiation

was opened with General Mac-

Sri

Wikrama,

into the

hands of the

ud
men.

to surrender the person of the

condition that he, Pilimi Talawe, should have

and that Mootoo Sawme should


government.

PD

Octoan Komarayan, or great and supreme prince,


retire to JafFna-

Unfortunately for the honour of Britain, this

degrading proposal was acceded

de

sk

patam, receiving a pension from the Kandian

supreme authority

St

in

Kandy, under

io

dowall by Pilimi Talawe,

The

adikar proposed

deposed monarch,
British, on the

Tr ia
the
to

l
title

This harassing mode of warfare was beginning

when

of

by General

Macdowall, who returned

to

Colombo, withdraw-

ing a large body of the troops, leaving

Kandy
Talawe

under the command of Major Davie, with a garrison of only one thousand
Piraili

having found that his nefarious scheme


ing power, aud raising himself

for obtain-

to the highest dig-

302
nity

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


had succeeded, now resolved upon attempting of the person of Governor
at

to obtain possession

North, and for this purpose requested a conference

might take place


royal residence.

Dambadiva, about
North

fifty-seven

miles east of Colombo, and which had been a

Governor

being most

anxious for peace, and to avoid bloodshed, acquiesced most readily to Pilimi Talawe's proposi-

A
to

day having been fixed upon

ence, namely, the 3rd of

ud

guards, whilst a detachment


soldiers

io

May, the governor went Dambadiva, attended by a numerous suite and


of three hundred

Tr ia
it

for the confer-

l
met Governor North
at that place.

tion.

These

precautions were necessary to guard against the

accompanying the governor,

PD

lawe

and, had

F
it

treacherous designs of the perfidious Pilimi Ta-

St

not been for this armed force


in all probability

he

de
arrival,

made prisoner, as the adikar had of armed men awaiting the governor's body a

sk

w^ould have been

but he liad not any proposal, or fresh ne-

gotiation to enter into.


seize the person of

Finding

impossible to
in the face of

Governor North

his escort, Pilimi


after

Talawe broke up the conference,

a nominal ratification of the former treaty.

General Macdowall returned to Kandy, and


took the

command

of the garrison on the

6th of

CEYLON AND tHE CINGALESE.

303
sake of

May, and most unfortunately


taken seriously
ill,

for

the

humanity, and of Great Britain's honour, he was

and compelled

to leave

Kandy

on the 11th of June following, leaving the garrison


under the

command

of Major Davie.
its task,

Our pen

almost refuses to perform

and record the

horribly sickening details of the fearful massacre

and

sacrifice of

human

life,

brought about, and

by the cowardice and pusillanimity of one man, who dishonoured and disentailed on his victims

he served, the commission he held, the uniform he


wore, and
wielded.
the sword which he ought

ud
is

io
power
;

graced the country that gave him birth, the king

Tr ia
to
all
;"

St

So long as there

in language,
will

or truth in history, the

name

of

Major Dmue
treacherous,

PD

be execrated and loathed, as denoting


vile,

despicable,

dastardly,

Therefore,

de

sk

mean

" Veritatis simplex oratio est

we resume our

history.

From concomitant
duced
for

circumstances,

we

Talawe only waited the absence of General Macdowall to attack


to believe, that Pilimi

the weakened garrison of

Kandy

the

power of

the troops was diminishing daily, either by deser*


lion, or sickness.

They were under

the

command

l
have
that is

and

are

in-

304

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

of Major Davie, a creature unworthy the

name

of

man, who had neither the courage nor


an
office

ability for

which placed

in his

keeping and power

the honour of his country, and the lives of his


fellow-creatures.

Within a few days


to leave

after the general

was forced

son,
tion

delivered

up forthwith, with the whole of the


and that the British troops should

military stores,
retire

der had been made, our

Kandy.
pital,

Major Davie, marching

St

ud
whom

their arras.

Before sunset on the day the surren-

gamson had evacuated


at the

io

to Trincomalee, being allowed to retain

Tr ia

our troops, leaving 150 sick Europeans in hos-

PD

who had

not been
for

named

in the articles of

Kandy, Pilimi Talawe besieged the garriand Major Davie surrendered by capitulaand it was stipulated thai Kandy should be ;

head of

capitulation,

and

no provision

was

de
Our

enemies might choose.


troops,

sk
to

made,

be dealt with as their savage, barbarous


consisting of

seventeen

officers,
fifty

twenty British soldiers, two hundred and

Malays, one hundred and forty gun lascars, ac-

companied by Mootoo Sawme and

his attendants,

reached Wattapolawa on the Trincomalee road,

when

their progress

was intercepted by the


all

river

Mahavelliganga, at

times a rapid stream, but

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


at that season

305

much

increased by the late rains.

Major Davie in vain attempted to get the men across; and no mention had been made of this
river in the articles
;

therefore their enemies, the


to

Kandians, were not bound


canoes, or rafts
;

provide them with


sur-

and they now stood on the


jeering at the
position

rounding heights,

our

troops were placed in.

Mootoo Sawme, Major

Tr ia
?"

Davie, and the

officers,

with their followers,

re-

mained on the banks of the


and

river during the night,

their attempts to procure rafts the following

morning proved
lution,

abortive.

Observing their irreso-

some Kandian

chiefs

lowers, and

these chiefs offered to provide boats,

St

cation with

Major Davie, and his perplexed

ud

io
lost

opened a communifol-

on the condition that Mootoo

Sawme was

delivered

PD

into

the

power of

the Kandians.

Major Davie

sk

for a short

time hesitated, but Jinally agreed to

this dishonourable, base,

infamous, atrocious proto

position,

the

unfortunate prince, or rather king, Mootoo Sawme. "Is it possible," he exclaimed, "that the triumphant arms of England can be so humbled, as
to fear the

de

and communicated his determination

menaces of the Kandians


were

But
tardly,

his expostulations

upon the das-

cowardly Davie, and Mootoo

Sawme

v\

as

306

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

delivered to his enemies

living holocaust, pre-

sented by British officers to the demons of disgrace

and cowardice.

No
tain

language

is

sufficiently

powerful to express

the dishonour brought on the

by

this

infamous

act.

name of Great BriThe law of nations, as

well as those of good faith and honour were violated


:

Mootoo Sawme

fled to us for protection,

placed his person in our keeping, confiding in our

l
honour
;

we accepted

the

more, caused him to be crowned king in his own


dominions, and entered into an alliance with him then broke our faith with him, by listening

Tr ia
trust
still

reposed

nay
;

io

to,

ud

and accepting the overtures of a

rebel, thus depos-

He

retreated

with

St

ing the monarch

whom we

ourselves had crowned.


trusting in

our troops,

PD

British probity,

when

he was shamelessly handed

over to his enemies, by one of that nation to

whom

And
a

de

man who was guilty soldier, and one who ought


the

sk

he had confided the safe-keeping of his person.


of this atrocity was
to

have guarded the

honour of his country, and the persons of those

who

placed themselves under the protection of

Great Britain.
dishonoured
endure, and

Shame on
and
will

the

name

of Davie

it is,

be as long as time

shall

we spurn

the

name from our

pen, as

we would

a loathsome reptile from our path.

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

307

Mootoo Sawme was taken


Sri

before the usurper,

Wikrama and

his adikar,

put the following question to " Was it proper for you, being, as you are, of
:

when him

Pilimi Talaue

the royal family, to fly to the English for protection,

and join them

in fighting against

your coun-

try?"

"

am

at

your mercy," the unfortunate Mootoo

Sawrae meekly replied.

Some
humble

further questions were put,


replies,

ordered to suffer the most barbarous tortures, and

be impaled
terrific

alive,

thus meeting death in his most

ud
their

io

when

this

wretched prince was

and agonizing form.

Mootoo

Sawme

did not appease the insatiate

PD

Kandians, who, finding that their former demands

had been agreed

to,

now

sk

promised boats, insisting that the British troops


should lay

down

St

This

refused to provide the

their arms,

and return

No

de

attempt at resistance
to this

was made by Major

Davie
bited

unprecedented demand

tulation used as to the breach of faith


;

Tr ia
to

and received

sacrifice of

no

now

all they required was by the Kandians readily agreed to, and Major Davie, with his offi-

cers,

were separated from

men, and the arms

of the whole party taken from them.

The men

were then marched into a narrow pass, strongly

l
Kandy.
exposexhi-

308

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


their

guarded by

armed Kandian

escort,

and
if

ordered out, two by two, and the question put

they would serve under the Kandian king


a negative

When

was given, these poor fellows were taken some distance from the main body, and
butchered in the most horrible manner by their
savage enemies.

At the conclusion of this


three

revolt-

ing slaughter of the soldiers, the officers shared

but Captain Nouradeen's fate merits more particular

and honourable

PD

returned to Kandy, and murdered the whole of


the hundred-and-fifty sick

The Kandians, not

St

ud
yet

lives in a

wretched captivity among the Kandians,

notice.

io

and Nouradeen.

The

first

three lingered out their

European

Tr ia
glutted
officer,

European and one Malay officer being spared. The names of these were. Major Davie, Captains Rumley, Humphreys,

de

these

sk

hospital.

What must have been the agony of men, whilst this revolting massacre was
Left

taking place?
country, by their
it

unprotected,

commanding

was

to

have provided

for their safeguard, pros-

trated

by sickness or wounds they had received

whilst fighting under their country's banner, and


in

her monarch's cause, unprovided with arms,

prostrated

by bodily

infirmity,

prevented thus

l
in

the

same

fate

but

with blood,

soldiers in

a hostile

whose duty

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


from availing themselves of the means of
defence, with
their mental

309
self-

which nature had provided them,


sufferings must, indeed,

have been
if,

most
their

terrible.

Nor can we be

surprised,

in

dying agony, they forgot their duty as Chris-

tians,

and cursed the man whose cowardice, want

of firmness,

and hum.anity, had


inflicted

left

them

to

meet death,
enemies.

by the hands of barbarous

l\vo of our men most miraculously escaped


from the fearful slaughter; the
first

Barnsley of the l9lh regiment, he received a deep


sword-cut on his neck, and had his head laid

St

open by blows from a club, but he contrived


extricate himself from the

ud
and

io
swam

Tr ia
and
difficulty,

was Corporal

heap of
then

slain,

over a

bank
until

into a paddy-field,

where he lay conacross the

cealed
river,

night.

and received assistance and food from some

sk

kind Samaritans,

PD

He

who

followed the precepts of

Buddha, succouring the sick and needy, although


the suppliant

de

was not one who believed


suffering

in their

god.

After

much

poor fellow reached our garrison at Matele, and


finally recovered

from his wounds.

The
was

other soldier

was

in hospital at

Kandy,

torn out of his bed,

had

a blister pulled off

his chest, and

was knocked on the head with the

l
to
roll

the

310

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

butt end of a musket, and thrown with his mur-

dered companions into a deep

pit.

He made

his

way from among

the dead bodies, and crawled

into a neighbouring drain, from

whence he was
to a tree
:

dragged in the morning, and hung

the
left

rope broke, and he was again suspended, and

to die, but strange to say the rope again gave way,

and he contrived
subsisted
sides.

to

secrete himself in a neigh-

upon the grass that grew from

Tr ia

bouring cave for ten days, during which period he


the

his preservation, that he determined to inform the

king.
soldier

The

superstitious tyrant declared that the

ordered him to be provided with food, raiment, and

sk

a dwelling, and eventually he, as well as Barnsley,

PD

the

gods, thus to have

must be under the especial protection of


escaped with
life,

St

ud

accidentally found him, and was so astonished at

io

Kandian who had seen him twice hanged

and

de

had the
in a
to
it

gratification of

being restored to their

families.

We

believe if these accounts were read

work of imagination, they would be declared

be beyond the bounds of probability, so true

is
"

That

tiTith is strange,

stranger than fiction."

The wretched

being, Davie, died in 1810, and

it is

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


asserted that
in

311

appearance and dress he had

become
family,

essentially

Kandian

and that he cohabiwhom


affirm

ted with a

low caste vvoraanj by


it is

he had a

and

said that grandchildren of his are

now

in

Kandy.
tried

Military
to

men

that our

government

ransom

this

contemptible
sea-

creature, but as the

Kandian king demanded a


to

port to be given
tion, it

up

in consideration for his libera-

was impossible
left to

accede to such terms,

and Davie was


with
they

linger

among

Tr ia
a people

all their faults

are not cowardly ; consequently,

must have despised him

io
to

for his

bravery.
It is the

St

bounden duty of an historian

ud

l
who
want of
be
to

impai lial, and draw notice to the conduct of

thos.e

it

necessary to animadvert upon the line of policy

sk

adopted by General Macdovvall.


place,
it

PD

placed in responsible positions; therefore we deem

In the
faith,

first

was a decided breach of


crowned^

and

vio-

de

lation of our treaty with

Mootoo Sawme,

the mo-

narcli

whom we had

enter into a

negotiation with Piliuii Talawe,

and agree that

he should be the viceroy of Kandy, thereby deposing Mootoo Sawme, and pron.ising that he
should
retire to

Jaffnapatam.

The

overtures of

the crafty, Pilimi Talawe,

had not the excuse of

being made in the name of the king,

whom

he

312

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE,

acknouledged, and whose prime minister he was,


namely, Sri Wikrama, but were made in his own

name and

for his

own

benefit, as

he consented
into the

to

deliver the person of his

monarch

hands

of the British.

General Macdowall evinced but

an imperfect knowledge of
listeniiig to,

positions
traitor to

faithless

to

the country

which gave him

Tr ia
whom
added
to

human nature, even in much more in acceding to, the proof a man who was alike a rebel and a his king and country. He who was

birth,

and the monarch whose confidential servant he

io

was, could not be relied upon, or be expected to

himself of

to

use as a step in ascending the ladder

of his ambition.
\\\ tlie

a body of troops from Kandy, leaving only one

sk

thousand men

PD

be censured, for prematurely withdrawing so large

second place, General Macdowall

St

ud

keep

faith

with the British,

he only availed

is

to

in garrison, in the

midst of a hos-

de

tile,

treacherous

nation,

who

could,

from the
all

natural defence of the country, cut off

comof

munication and supplies


small body of

which, this

men was

left

under the

command
to

an

officer totally

incapable and unfit

have so
fearful

important a trust reposed in him.

The

consequences attendant upon the whole of the


mistaken line of policy pursued by General Mac-

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

313

dowall in this disastrous business, has been seen


in the fatal results recorded in previous pages.

No

attempt at palliation can be


;

made

for

Major

Davie's misconduct

and, for the credit of Great

Britain, such transgressions of the laws of

honour

and humanity

are

rare.

The

result of Davie's
all

pusillanimous cowardice, in acceding to

the

met with awful retribution in and those of his brother officers


ings could not restore
to
life

his o/.n
;

but their sufferthe

ud
is
it is

slaughtered

men who had


is

fallen

io

victims to the

savage brutality of the Kandians.


regulated

mind, death

St

always preferable

Tr ia
To
and
is

person,

hundreds of

a wellto

his country; and fortunate

PD

imprinted on the heart of the British defender of


that the contrary

dishonour, and this feeling

generally deeply

sk

sentiment
sons
as
;

is

rarely
it

met with

among

Britain's

for,

de

were

otherwise, and conduct such

Major

Davie's

of

frequent occurrence,

should become a byword


the earth,
instead

among

the nations of
re-

of being honoured

spected where the name of England

known.
the
life

We

expressed our intention

of nuticiug

heroic conduct of Captain Nouradeen, whose

was spared
This
officer
1.

at

Watlapolov\a by the Kandians.


a

was

Malay, ihen comniauding the


p

VOL.

unconscionable demands of his Kandian enemies,

we

314

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


;

Malay regiment

and Pilimi Talawe had used


during the period our troops

every persuasion

occupied Kandy, to induce Captain Nouradeen


to leave our service,

and enter that of the Kanriches.

dian, promising

him high rank and


;

All

these offers were steadfastly refused

and,

when he

was made
riches, if

prisoner, Pilimi

Talawe renewed them,


life,

tempting Captain Nouradeen with

rank, and
;

radeen) was already the servant of a mighty king,

persuasion useless, threats and tortures were es-

St

ud

serve

whose uniform he wore, and that he could not two masters." Finding all entreaty and

io

Tr ia

he would serve Sri Wikrama but the answer he received was, " that he (Captain Nou-

sayed; but these proved alike

futile, in

try

which he served; and


to death

PD

Captain Nouradeen to become

inducing

traitor to the

coun-

this noble, heroic fellow

was put

by Pilimi Talawe. The contrast

presented in the character and conduct of Noura-

menced between the British and Kandians, when Sri Wikrama, stimulated and intoxicated by his
late successes, threatened to attack

de

deen and Davie needs no concluding comment. In August, desultory warfare and ravage com-

sk

Colombo, but
importance, in

refrained from doing so; and, in September, he

besieged Ilangwelle, a

fort of little

our possession, and suffered a severe defeat.

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

315

At the commencement of the year 1801, the

Kandians prepared and attempted a general invasion of the British settlements, but were repulsed

on

all

sides

great havoc

was made among

their

troops,

and the

losses they sustained

were con-

siderable.

Shortly after this, Pilimi

Talawe again

made

overtures of an amicable nature to our go-

had met with previously,


impressed on their minds

Tr ia
in

vernment

but the severe punishment the British


after listening to

his

treacherous propositions in 1803, were too vividly

so treacherous a
tures

man

made by

Pilimi Talawe were rejected with

Kandians again invaded the British

PD

In the month of February of the year 1805, the


territories
;

sk

but the result was the same as that which they

the contempt they called

St

ud
for.

further intercourse of a friendly description with

and, therefore, the over-

de

experienced the preceding year,

and
of

defeat.

body of our

troops, consisting only

three

hundred men, followed by numerous

coolees and servants, and

commanded by Major
interior.

io

to

permit them to hold

viz., that of loss

Johnson, were ordered to the


officer fought his

This brave

way from

Batticalloa to

Kandy,
Sri

and was there surrounded by the troops of

Wikrama.

Nothing daunted, he cut his way

through them,

and proceeded

his

road to

p 2

316

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


constantly harassed

Trincomalee, although
the

by

Kandian troops, who opposed the progress

of this undaunted

body of men. This small army,


their destina-

headed by Major Johnson, reached


tion with comparatively small loss,

having had

to

pass through a hostile country, and constant skir-

mishes having taken place between them and the

Kandian troops thus showing what energy and

treaty

was entered

St

agreed to by the British, although no formal


into,

ud

when commanded by an The war was carried on with much determination and bravery on both sides and the king of Kandy proposed a cessation of hostilities, which was
officer

possessing firmness and valour.

io
;

and peace continued

Tr ia
gem
left

bravery could perform

l
no

till

In July of this year, 1805, Governor North was


relieved
to

PD
by

sk

F
Sir

3814.

Thomas Maitland, who succeeded


of

the

appointment

Governor of Ceylon.
the

de

Governor Norlh
all

returned to England with

good wislies of
of that island
;

the natives and British subjects


certes.

and

Great Britain

is

in-

debted to the abilities


North, the
first

of the

Hon. Frederick
for

English Governor of Ceylon,

retaining this bright colonial

in the Britisli

diadem.

Governor North

the colony in

comparative state of tranquillity,

fresh hos-

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


tilities

317

having been renewed with the Kandiaus


it

until

1814; and he found

a scene of disorder,
left

warfare, and bloodshed.

Mr. North

Lanka-

diva's verdant shores with the


viction, that

satisfactory conto ameliorate tlie

he had done much

condition,

physically

and morally, of the be-

nighted inhabitants of Ceylon.

de

sk

PD

St

ud

io

Tr ia

318

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

From 1805

Adikar Sri Wikrama's tyranny Affecting account of the execution Heroic conduct of the wife and son Babe taken from the mother's breast to be decapitatedKebellion in KandyMartial law proclaimedTranquillity restored Dalada reUc Death of the King of Kandy Govei-nor Sir Colin Campbell His policy Bishopric of Colombo conBishop Dr. Chapman His exertions stituted The and characterRebellion in Kandy The Priests causes disturbance Pre of dissatisfaction New taxes and Eebels enter and tender proclaimed His destroy the public buUdings at Matele Troops march from Kandy Conflict with rebels Martial law proclaimed Reward offered PretenderDestruction Kumegalle Observer newspaper exciting discontent Alarming meeting of natives near the seat of GovernmentAttack of the police Mr. Elliot addresses the mob Reinforcements sent to Kandy The Commandant takes possession Pretender's brother shotResult of of the Dalada
to

1844

Tr ia
first

family murdered

de

sk

PD

fii-st

St

for

ud

io

progi'ess

relic

l
Fii'st

CHAPTER

XII.

of

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


Courts Mai'tial
Cliief Justice's

319

Special sessions of Supreme CourtThe charge His recommendatiou mercy


to reply.

Lord Torringtou's

Although

there

was a cessation of

hostilities

between the British and Kandians, we were not


uninterested observers of the political events oc-

curring in Kandy, which were most important,

weak, supine youth

mere automaton, placed


and dictated by, his

on the throne by Pilimi Talawe, and whose acor prime minister.

which Pilimi Talawe had been with


during, the
first

ud
The
;

adikar,

part of his reign,

PD

not subsist during peace.

dians were engaged in war with the British, could


authority of Pilimi

St

Talawe gradually declined,

as the

io
The

tions

were subservient

to,

upon Wikrama, when the Kanfooting


Sri

sk

more securely the

reins of government,
Sri

Tr ia
whilst

monarch held
and
felt

now

of a despotic tyrant, and he evinced his determination to govern, as his predecessors had ruled

Kandy,
to retain,

de

himself seated fastly on the throne.

Wikrama

exhibited his real character, which was that

with

absolute
side,

power

Talawe, on his

was

in like

manner resolved

and maintain, his


distrust

influential hold over

the

Kandian monarch and


i

his court.

Mutual

between the monarch and his

as the monarch, Sri

Wikrama, was no longer the

Pilimi

320

CEVLON AND THE CINGALESE.

adikar existed for years, until 1812,

when

Pilimi

Talawe excited the jealous fears of Sri Wikrama, by requesting that the illegitimate daughter of
the last king, Rajadhi, might be given in marriage
to his son.

Sri

Wikrania was highly incensed

at

this

presumptuous proposal of the adikar, as he


it

viewed

as a covert attempt to be enabled to

claim affinity with

the

royal blood,

and sum-

Tr ia
Sri

moned

ferred various charges of misconduct,

assumptions, against Pilimi Talawe.

Talawe was condemned by


the surprise of

ud
:

tiie

complaints made by their king, and Pilimi

io

The

chiefs listened with

becoming

the whole of his chiefs to court, and pre-

and arrogant
gravity to

Wikrama, with

the concurrence of the assembled chiefs; when, to

PD

declaring his reluctance to punish so old a servant,

and reinstated Pilimi Talawe

St
all,

the king pardoned the adikar,

in his office of

adikar.

sk
It is

de

difficult to

fathom the motive which acit

tuated Sri
either

Wikrama

must have been dictated

by the most noble generosity, or by the

most subtle cunning; but Pilimi Talawe enjoyed


his position as adikar only for a short time after

he had been reinstated

in his office, as his con-

duct again excited the king's displeasure,

who
to

banished him to his province, forbidding him

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


leave
it

321

without his (the king's) permission, and

depriving

him of his rank and honours. Scarcely was Pilimi Talawe in his province,
This
for-

before he hired Malays to murder the king.

conspiracy was discovered by Eheylapola,

merly the second adikar,

but

whom

the

king

had made first adikar when he disgraced Pilimi Talawe the conspirators were taken, tortured,
;

and condemned

to

be trodden to death by
;

ele-

phants, trained to that pur|30se

Talawe and his nephew were tortured and

Tr ia
breast
to
for

whilst Pilimi
be-

io
to
:

headed.

reigned lords paramount

ud
in

The demons

of cruelty

and suspicion
the
chiefs

he

condemned

St

Wikrama
in

his

without just cause, and feared rebellion to exist

who

at

that time

PD

every breath his subjects drew.

Eheylapola,
his king, Sri

was devoted

province the king declared to be in a state of re-

de

sk

Wikrama, regarded with


bellion, although

distrust

province after

Eheylapola vouched

allegiance

nevertheless, Sri

Wikrama

fined

of the inhabitants,

imprisoning,

torturing,

mutilating others.

In

some

districts, the

ordered the priests and

Moormen

to

quit,

bidding

all

women, except

natives of those dis-

tricts, to

remain in them.

The domestic

wretch-

P 5

l
now
death
of Sri
their

some
and
king
for-

322

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

edness this edict caused

is well described by Dr. Davj, who was in Ceylon at the time. " Wives were separated from their husbands mothers from their children the young bride and
; ;

the aged parent

all

indiscriminately were torn

from the bosom of their families, and driven from


their

homes, producing scenes alike of

distress

and anger, which might well shake the firmest

Thus we
subjects.

see

how

Sri

Wikrama
1814,

goad into rebellion his stanchest adherents and


neglect of duty, Eheylapola
district of Saffragam,

io

In the year

Tr ia
;

ud

for some was ordered

l
contrived to
trivial

loyalty."

to his

and thither he

retired, in

St

obedience

to

the king's

command

but as Ehey-

PD

of Saffragam, they exhibited every demonstration of joy at the return


of Eheylapola.

lapola was beloved sincerely by the inhabitants

This Sri

sk

Wikrama chose

to

construe into an act of rebelto

de

lion,

and proclaimed Saffragam


prisoner,
;

be in a

state

of insurrection, and despatched troops there, to

make Eheylapola
capital,
alive,

and bring him


formerly
Sri

to the

or dead

and these were comthe

manded by Molligodde,
adikar, but

seccmd
be-

upon

whom

Wikrama had

stowed the place of Eheylapola.

This nobleman,

however, with several chiefs, took refuge in Co-

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

323

lombo, placing themselves under the protection of the British government, whilst Molligodde
look prisoners

many

of his adherents,

and

re-

turned triumphantly to

Kandy, carrying with him

the adherents of Eheylapola.

The
lapola

fury of the king at the escape of

EheyExe-

knew no bounds,

and he

wreaked his

vengeance on the victims within his grasp.

cutions, tortures, impalements, mutilations, confiscations,

and imprisonments,
hourly

were

daily

almost
air

occurrences.
torturer,

of torture and execution flowed with

under the hands of the

As

Sri

Wikrama

could not get the person of

Eheylapola into his power,

St

now one

vast slaughtering-place.

ud

the

was

filled

with the shrieks of victims,

he determined

io

and Kandy was

Tr ia
to

now the The place human gore

PD

obtain possession of his wife and children.

sk

cordingly, they were


lapola's brother

made

prisoners, with

Eheyforthsuffer

and his

wife, the tyrant resolving


all.

de

to

wreak his vengeance on


brought
to

They were,

with,

death for

Kandy, condemned being the wife, ofi*spring, and Kandy,


for

relations

of a rebel, and were to be executed publicly in


the market-place of
in the presence of the

whole court and population.

The day appointed

this horrible

butchery

l
to

Ac-

324
arrived,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

and the wife of Ehejlapola,


(the eldest

with his

four children

boy being but eleven


were

years of age, and the youngest an infant of a few

months

old, sucking at its mother's breast,)

led to the place of execution.

The

wife, a

woman
attired

of majestic mien and noble deportment,


in her court-dress,

and adorned with

all

her jewels

of state, befitting her high rank and station, ad-

vanced boldly

to

meet her

fate,

declaring her

husband's integrity, and expressing her hope that


the
life

which she was about


to

be of benefit
back, as
it

him.

She was ordered

Tr ia
to

give up might
to stand

to die last

chered.

braced her eldest boy, telling him to submit to

St

She uttered no remonstrance, but em-

ud

was the king's command that she was to stand by and see her children but-

io

PD

his fate as

became Eheylapola's
and
terrified,

son.
to

l
The
his

child

hesitated,
for

clung

mother
years

younger,

de

mother, and told his brother not to disgrace his

father

by such cowardly conduct, and that he would show hira how to die as became Eheyla;

sk

protection,

when

his

brother,

two

stepped forward boldly, embraced his

pola's son

advanced with firm step


lifeless

to

the exe-

cutioner

one blow a
to

trunk, deluged in

blood,
spirit

falls

the earth, and the


its flight.

young noble

had taken

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

325

But the refinement of barbarous cruelty was not to terminate in compelling a mother to stand
the trunkless and see her offspring butchered the paddy-pounder, head was thrown into a
;

pestle placed in the mother's hand,

and she was

ordered to pound the head of her child, or she

should he disgracefully tortured.


hesitated
;

The mother

but the feelings of innate delicacy imthe high-born

planted in
vailed

woman's breast pre-

mental anguish would be prefer-

able to the public exposure of her person


lifted
fall

up

the pestle, closing her eyes, and let

Tr ia
last, it
;

every

l
she
it

on the skull of her dead child.

This hideous scene was enacted with the two

St

other children, and the wretched mother had to

ud
it

io
At
was
its

endure the same mental torture.

F
it

the infant's turn to die, and

was taken from

PD

mother's arms, where

lay sleeping,

and smiling,
then,

pressed her babe convulsively to her bosom

de

sk

in

tranquil unconsciousness.

Eheylapola's wife

in

mule agony, allowed the executioner


from her.

to take
little

her

last child

In a

moment

the

head

was severed from the delicate body. Tlie milk that had been drawn a short time previously from the mother's breast, was seen distinctly Jlo wing
and mingling with the sanguine stream of life. The Kandian matron then advanced eagerly
to

326

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


step, she

meet death. With a firm

walked towards

the executioner, but with caution, to avoid step-

ping in the blood, or treading on the

lifeless,

mutilated bodies of her children. Her face was cahn ahnost wore an expression of satisfaction

the
Sri

worst

had happened

she

had seen her


of the execu-

children slaughtered

they were out of the tyrant


The hand

Wikrama's power.
is

grave. *

She thrusts him


to

Tr ia
;

tioner

laid

on her, to lead her

to

her watery
to

aside, telling

him not

pollute a

high-born Kandian

matron with his


see her children

murdered

would she therefore shrink from meet-

ing them in death


in-law, telling
birth
;

St
?

Bade adieu

ud
sister

wife,

and had stood calmly

io
to

touch

remember

that

she was Eheylapola's

to her brother-

him

to

meet death as became his

her husband by useless wailings, but to follow

ceding, carrying large stones.

de

to

Kandy,) two executioners following and prearrived at the tank

They have

sk

her; then walked towards the tank, (contiguous

PD

called to her sister-in-law not to

unman

Eheylapola's

* Eheylapola's wife

and

were condemned to be

drowned

the brother and children to be beheaded.


this trao^edy

The
eye-

details of

and attendant circumstances were

described to the writer by a Kandian chief,


witness to this hoi'rible butchery.

who was an

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


wife gazes fixedly on the tranquil water,

327

whereon

the sunbeams glitter sportively in millions of rays;


the sister

weeps as the executioner commences


secured
;

attaching the heavy stones to her slender throat.


It is firmly
;

the weight bears her fragile

form to the earth


pelled
to

and the executioners are comthe tank.


;

carry her to

She shrieks

wildly as they near the tank


the waters

they hold her over


air.

more

piercing screams rend the

tyrant's victim,

serenely unconscious of the atro-

city perpetrated.

atmosphere.

'Tis

now

St

over her features, as her sister's shrieks

ud

Eheylapola's wife had stood motionless during this period, a slight expression of scorn passing
filled

io

Tr ia
die.
off.

sudden splash

then

the waters close over a

her turn to

executioners advanced towards her, carryino- the

ponderous stone.
still

PD

She motions them

advance

that are to attach the weight to her throat already

de

sk

are
;

quite close to her; the cords

touch her person

she asks them to desist, assur-

ing them that she will not


or attempt to save her
refuse, stating they
life.

make any resistance The executioners


to their orders

must adhere

She

and one lays his hand roughly on her shoulder. shrieks, and eludes his foul touch, for with a

the

The
They

328

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


darts towards the tank,
:

bound she
the water
circles,

and leaps
for ever.

into

they close over her form in eddying


spirit

and her

has flown

The

executioners depart, palm-trees droop gracefully

over the waters, and the sunbeams glitter sportively


in millions of sparkling rays, as the stream

mursister

murs

a requiem over the

murdered wife and

of Eheylapola.

ud

blood-stained

hand

on

io
the

advances towards him, sword in hand, lays his


chief's

Tr ia
The
is

The butchery in the market was not completed when Eheylapola's wife quitted it, for her husband's brother was slill to die. The headsman

attempting to raise his head.

chief,

indignant exclamation, throws the audacious hand


off his person, plants his feet firmly

St

on the earth,
standing with
desiring

PD

draws himself up
niajestic

to his full height,

dignity,

and

shoulder,

with an

scornfully

the

de

the chief's stern gaze unnerved the

sk

executioner to

fulfil

the tyrant's

command. Has headsman


.?

blow was struck


!

a stream of red blood gushes


!

forth

but,
!
:

horrible

the
is

head

not wholly

struck off

The sword
it

again poised in the air

a flash of light falls on the glittering

destruction
throat
;

weapon of descends on the muscular, manly


is

the sword

now

reeking with red blood

CEVLON AND THE CINGALESE.

329

headless trunk

falls to

the ground, whilst the


rolls

head, with glaring eye-balls,

along the

eartli,

and
foot.

is

thrust aside rudely

by

the executioner's
!

The bloody
to

tragedy

is

finished

Before the temples of the gods Nata and Vishnu,

and opposite

the

queen's
Sri

palace,

was

this

fearful scene enacted.

Wikrama
;

laid all feel-

ings aside save those of revenge dian laws


it

for,

by the Kan-

should be shed near a temple

Tr ia
wound
in
;

was forbidden that human blood


;

also to

shed the blood of a

woman was

considered

girl.

During the time


going on,

ud
We

of Eheylapola

was a

io

heinous crime, and one of the innocent children

this

revolting butchery

women

shrieked, closing their eyes to

torture,

many
rolled

of the noble Kandian youths, in anguish

on the earth, their mouths pressing close

sk

PD

burying their heads in their hands

exclude the

St

terrific reality

men groaned

mental
whilst

de

the sod to

stifle

their

cries.

will

wind up

this fearful account

by quoting a contemporaneous
crowd,

author:

" During assembled


unable

this tragical scene the


it,

who had

to witness

wept and sobbed aloud,


feelings.

to suppress

their

Palihapaul

Depaaul was so
expelled his

affected that
for

he fainted, and was


such
tender

office

showing

or

was

to

330

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

During two days the whole of Kandy, with the exception of the tyrant's court, was as
sensibility.

one house of mourning and lamentation, and so

deep was the

grief, that

not a

fire, it is said,

was
was

kindled, no food dressed,


held."

and a general

fast

We believe the
history
perors,
:

savage cruelty of this barbarous

tyrant to be unparalleled in ancient or

modern

the crimes imputed to the

Tr ia
trivial,

Nero and Caligula, were


with those constantly

l
pared
practised

Roman emwhen comby


Sri

lengthened period to the cruel tyranny exercised

St

as the

Kandians

should
Sri

ud

Wikrama, and our astonishment is extreme that any nation more especially a warlike one, such
have submitted
for

io

by

their

monarch.

Wikrama spared
alike

neither

PD

age nor sex

the sucking
all

infant, children, old

and
be

tortured in the most revolting, disgusting manner,

de

mutilated and executed,

sk

young women, were

condemned

to

if thej^

or their relations

incurred his displeasure, or from the caprice of

the instant.

We

can comprehend

man viewing
;

with apathy the destruction of his fellow-man

but

we cannot understand how men could permit the slaughter of the delicate woman, or the helpless
child

every
against

feeling

implanted

in

our nature
that

rebels

the

bare

supposition

the

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


creatures
selves

331
feel our-

whom, from

very instinct,

we

bound

to protect, should

be slaughtered

before

our eyes, for no crimes which they had

committed, but simply for being the wife of the

bosom, and the offspring of a man who had


curred a tyrant's
displeasure.
It
is

in-

an enigma
nature, Sri

how

this

debased specimen of

human

hovering in his path, although the punishment he

met with

in this

world did not equal his deserts.

io

At the end of

this year, Sri

Wikrama

had gone into his

ud
for

tortured ten native traders (British subjects)


territories

merchandize.

They made their escape from Kandy, coming to Colombo in a mutilated condition, some without
ears, others

PD

without eyelids

St

of

the remainder either

noseless, footless, or handless

and

sk

plaint to the Governor-general, Sir Robert

de

rigg.

On

the 10th of January,

1815, war was

declared against the


the

King
*'

Kandy, not against

Kandian nation,

but against that tyrannical

power which had provoked, by aggravated outrages and indignities, the just resentment of the
British nation, which
families in the

had cut off the most noble kingdom, deluged the land with
subjects, and,

the blood of

its

by the

Tr ia

Wikrama, escaped assassination by the hands of his subjects; but the scourge of retribution was near,

cruelly

made comBrown-

violation of

who

33-2

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

every religious and moral law, had


object of abhorrence to mankind."

become an
territo-

The
ries

British troops entered the

Kandian

on

the

following

day,

and

fighting

com-

menced.

The Kandians gave


and
service of a

battle, not as

men

fighting for liberty

their land, but as

merce-

naries in the

tyrant,

who,

for gold,

fought against the British,


befriend them
;

who were disposed

to

and war was carried on by the Kandians without


spirit,

or energy.

Mollegodde, the successor of

Eheylapola, at this critical period, deserted his


cruel master,

one whose place

PD

was impossible to refill, the loss Sri Wikrama sustained was irreparable. Mollegodde had been long disgusted with the
it

St

only efficient

Wikrama and, commander whom he


Sri
;

ud

io

Tr ia
the

and skirmish

after skirmish ensued,

as he

was

the

possessed, and

tyrant's

service,

and

awaited

opportunity

sk

of joining

the

English,

which had been only

de

deferred until he could get his wife

and children

from Sri Wikrama's court.

The

tragical execu-

tion of

Eheylapola's family warned Mollegodde

what would be the fate of his wife and children, if he abandoned his office of adikar, leaving these
sacred ties in the clutches of the savage king.

But no sooner had he


his family from the

effected the withdrawal of


territories,

Kandian

than he

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE

333

offered his aid to the British, to assist in dethron-

ing Sri Wikrama.

On

the 14th February, Sir Robert Brovvnrigg

established his head-quarters

atKandy; but
that he

the

king had made his escape from thence a few days


before,

and

it

was reported

had

fled to
;

Doombera, about twelve miles from Kandy and as part of our troops, which were advancing to
wives, a quantity of jewels and treasure which

were captured, the report bore every appearance


not an instant in forming plans to ensure the
Sri

capture of

Wikrama.

ud
;

lost

Detachments
the

io
his
llic

of being a correct one.

Sir Robert Brovvnrigg

Tr ia
in

Colonel O'Connell's, Majors Kelly and Rook's


round, making every possible search for the tyrant,
to cut
off' all

retreat.

de

their search

sk

Energetic and efficient as these officers were,

was

the English never

PD

fruitless; and, in all probability,

would have succeeded

divisions,

were ordered

St

to

scour

turing Sri

Wikrama, had not

own

subjects

aided them.

Eheylapola's followers were looking

with lynx-eyed vengeance, for

wretch

had butchered the wife and children of


lo^-ed

their be-

chief.

They sought him with unwearied


found

perseverance,

him

and,

although

the capital,

had

fallen in with

two of the king's

from

country

cap-

who

the

334

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE,


tyrant, Sri

Malabar escort which surrounded the

Wikrama, fought nobly


stained monarch,

in defence of their blood-

captured

the

fugitive

king,

bound him hand and foot, reviled him with the atrocities he had committed, and the murders he had caused, spat upon him, telling him that it
wasEheylapola's slaves
he had butchered

the slaves of the woman


thus treated him, in re-

that

intended to drag him to a neighbouring village,


that he

might be execrated by the multitude as he


Curses loud and deep were showered

went along.

of him for a murdered or mutilated relation or


;

St

as he passed along the road

ud

on the head of Sri Wikrama, by his own subjects,


;

io

Tr ia
;

venge

for

his savage brutality

that they

now

almost each inquired

he was subjected to every species of ignominious


reproach
;

PD

friend

curses and missiles were hurled at

him
pri-

and, finally,

was handed over a

soner to the British.

sk

de

Sri

Wikrama, the

last

king of Kandy, was

taken prisoner at Galleehewatte, in Doombera, on


the l8th of February, 1815, being exactly four

days

after Sir

Robert Brownrigg had established

his head-quarters in the capital of his dominions.

Some

historians, with a misplaced,

maudlin sen-

sibility,

have deprecated the treatment that Sri


at the

Wikrama met with

hands of Eheylapola's

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


followers.

335
to

Although Christianity teaches us

forgive our enemies,


injuries

and those who have

inflicted
it

upon

us,

the best Christian

finds

most

difficult

precept to follow.

Can we,

then,

wonder
these

at

the reproaches and ignominy, which


one,

men showered on

who had condemned


to

the innocent children


solely because

and wife

a cruel death,

he could not lay hands on the per-

son of their chief?

did not profess Christianity, but were heathens,


followers

of Buddha.
to

On

the contrary,

they exhibited in placing Sri


tortured

and unmutilated, immediately


prisoner,

ud
in

Wikrama

io
fire

men

are

be commended

for the forbearance


alive,

Tr ia
after

St

had made him


British.

the hands

not unprepossessing, except

and the face wore an expression of malignant

de

cruelty.

He was

sk

then his eye gleamed with the

PD

The

personal appearance of Sri

Wikrama was when he was excited,


of a demon,

tall,

well-made, slightly enhon-

point

the features of the face good, and the exintelligent


;

pression
rich, dark

the complexion of a clear,

brown

the head well formed, (although

the animal organs predominated over the intellectual,)

with are dundancy of long, thick raven-black

hair.

He

took great delight in adorning his per-

l
these

more especially as

these

men

unthey

of the

336

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


all

son, and wore a profusion of cosily jewels at

times
in

but on state occasions, the cap and dress


glittered with

which he habited himself

gems

of inestimable value.
character, "

We
Sri

need only say of his

Ex

uno disce

oimies.''^

On

the

2nd of March,

Wikrama was

finally

and formally dethroned; and a convention concluded between Sir Robert Brovvnrigg and the

the

Kandian

territories.

The

Tr ia
official
:

Kandian
lished

chiefs, together with the chief officers of

on the

occasion

states

" This
in-chief

notice pub-

day a

the

Governor

and

ud

of the palace of

Kandy, between

io

solemn conference was held in the audience-hall


his Excellency

Commander

of

the

Forces, on behalf of his Majesty, and of his Royal

St

PD

the adikars, dissaaves, ratramahatmeers, and other jnincipal chiefs of the

Highness the Prince Regent, on the one

part,

and

Kandian provinces, on the

other pait, on behalf of the people, and in pre-

de

sence of aratchega3's, coraals, vidhans, and other

sk

subordinate

headmen from

the different provinces,

and a great concourse of inhabitants.


instrument of treaty, prepared
in

public

conformity to

conditions previously agi-eed upon, for establishing


his Majesty's
vinces,

government in the Kandian proin

was produced, and publicly read

Engto.

lish and Cingalese, and unanimously assented

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

337
first

The

British

flag

was then,

for

the

lime,

hoisted,

and the establishment of the British do-

minion in the interior was announced by a royal


salute."

The second article of the treaty stated " Sri Wikrama was, by consent of his subjects, formally
declared to be deposed, his family and relations
for ever
all

debarred from ascending the throne, and

the rights

and claims of

his race to

be extin-

The two succeeding


minor

articles

were devoted

Tr ia
treaty,

guished and abolished."

political arrangements.

protected."

material nature.

de

recognised according to established forms, and by


the ordinary authorities,

sk

By the eighth and eleventh it was declared " That the laws of the country were to be still
and that the royal dues
for the

and revenues were

support of the government." *


*

We have

merely given the outlines of the

PD

to

The

sixth

and seventh

St

and places of worship were

articles

be levied, as before,

ud
to

The fifth article declared " That the religion of Buddha was inviolable its rights, ministers,
be maintained and

io

were of an im-

what we considered most probahly would


general reader.

interest

VOL.

I.

l
to

and
the

338

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

In the month of January following, Sri Wik-

rama, and

all

the

members of
and
to

his family, were

banished

to

Madras,

our

government
of

in

Ceylon were well pleased


duty attendant upon
ex-king's
his his

be

rid of the

onerous
the

the

safe-keeping

person
or

as

they apprehended

either

escape,

that

some Kandian,

to

benefit

country, might assassinate him, to prevent

Kandy.

From
to

Tr ia

this period, until the 10th of

dian chiefs of Welasse rose in rebellion, resolving

St

to struggle to regain the

PD

flicts

with Malabars, Malays, Moors, Portuguese,


finally, their

prized so highly, and for which their various con-

ud
failed

with tranquillity

but at this date some Kan-

Dutch, and,

sk

the English,
breast.

had

io
to

1817, the government of the British was submitted

independence which they

voluntary subjection to
eradicate fiora their

de

The conduct

of the chiefs, in heading

and exciting the inhabitants of their districts to revolt, was inexcusable, as they had voluntarily
sought the aid of the British to assist in dethroning their king, Sri

Wikrama, had entered

the

possibility

of his regaining the

throne of

September,

into a

treaty with, and sworn allegiance to, the government of Great Britain the treaty which had been entered into by us with the Kandians, had

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


been most rigidly adhered to
the

339
not

and they had

shadow of an excuse

for rebelling against the

government, vyhose aid they had sought, and to

whom
went

they had voluntarily subjected themselves.


district,

Mr. Wilson, the government- agent of the


to

meet the

rebels,

and endeavoured
his life
rebels.

to quell

the revolt, but most unfortunately did not succeed


in

his object, although

fell

a sacrifice,

having been killed by the

priest of

Buddha, who had thrown


;

off the yellow

robes of his office

the chief

who

aided the pretender was a

man

of great influence
to

in his district, Kapittipola,

with him to join the pretender.

St

Eheylapola,

and who brought many followers


Pilimi Talavve,

the son of the former adikar, also joined the rebels,

with

many
felt

PD

other chiefs.

now

by our government,

Considerable alarm was


for,

ud

and brother-in law

io
;

in less

months from the commencement of the

sk

de

every district of any importance was in a state of


rebellion
place,
;

in

the various skirmishes which look

we

lost

many

officers

and men

also skulked about our

encampments, waylaid, and

murdered our

soldiers.

On

the 21st of February,


in the

was declared

1818, martial law Kandian provinces, and the

Tr ia
Q 2

The pretender

to

the throne of

Kandy was

principally

than six
revolt,

the rebels

340

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

sacrifice of

human

life

was

terrible

on both sides.
to sink

Our
the

soldiers
effects

were now beginning

under

of the unwholesome

atmosphere of

Kandy, and, day by day, events assumed a more gloomy aspect for the British, whilst the Kandians grew bolder, and held a grand meeting
at

Deyabetmewala, at chiefs were present.


writes
:

which the pretender and Dr. Davy, in his " Ceylon,"

Tr ia
;

" During the three following months our

affairs
little

assumed a army was


fatigue,

still

more gloomy

aspect.

Our

much exhausted and reduced by

de

and disease the rebellion unchecked all our efforts had been apparently fruitless not a leader of any consequence had been taken, and not a district subdued or tranquillized. This was a melancholy time to those who were on the scene of action, and many began to despond, and augur from bad to worse, and to prophesy that the communication between Colombo and our head-quarters at Kandy would be cut off, and that we should very soon be obliged to evacuate the country, and fight
our

sk
way
Tiiese

PD

out of

gloomy forebodings were not destined


:

St
it."

ud

was

still

io

privation,

to

be realized

disunion of a serious nature

now

manifested itself among the chiefs, and the pretender was taken prisoner by an adverse party,

who

set

tipola, their

up a chief of their own selection. Kapitmost able general, was defeated in

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


several engagements, and, in October,
prisoner, with Pilimi Talawe,

341

was taken
;

by the
tried,

British

one

by one, the

chiefs

were taken,

convicted of

high treason, and beheaded.


of rebellion
still

Notwithstanding
to

these stringent, but necessary measures, a spirit

continued
until

manifest

itself,

and

it

was not

February,

1819, that the

administration

of martial law in the Kandian

provinces ceased.
of the Dalada
their this
relic, which they say is a tooth of god Buddha, and which they hold sacred, until page. This relic was taken, towards the end

of the late rebellion, and, trifling as this incident

may appear

ud
we
owing

io

at the first glance,


facts, that it is

believe

stance of having given up the possession of the

Dalada

relic

to the

charge of the priests, which


the full particulars of

has, in a great measure, occasioned the late insurrection in

Ceylon, 1848,

sion

of that sacred

de

be given subsequently. The Cingalese tradition is, "That whoever obtains posses-

which

will

sk

PD

St

borne out by

to the circum-

relic,

obtains

government of Ceylon

and no sooner was it made known that the Dalada was in the posses;"

sion of the British, than the followers of

returned to their allegiance, district after district


laid

down

their

arms,

and acknowledged the

sovereignty of Great Britain.

A new

Tr ia
we
with
it

Buddha

convention

We

purposely omitted mentioning the capture

are

the

342

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE

native

Dissaaves,

who were

Tr ia

was now entered into with the chiefs, by which it was stipulated " That all personal services, excepting those required for making and repairing roads and bridges, should be abolished, and that all taxes should be merged into one, a tax of one-tenth on the produce of the paddy-land. That justice should be administered by the board of commissioners at Kandy, and by the agents of government in the different provinces, aided by the

henceforth

to

be

remunerated, not by the contributions of the peosalaries."

was placed in the keeping of Kandian provinces, and was publicly exhibited to the priests and Whether people, for worship, at stated periods. it was consistent with our character as a Chrisrelic

The Dalada

the government-agent of the

de

sk

of that dignity, his followers quickly dispersed.

PD

assumed the title of king of the Kandians, and collected some few of the Veddahs, or aborigines, but, at Bintenne, and created new disturbances as the self-elected king of the Kandians was apprehended immediately after his assumption

St

ud

In January, 1820, a

man

io

ple, but

by fixed

of the second caste

tian nation to

have aught

to

do with, or sanction

the heathen worship, of a piece of yellow ivory,

we will not enter upon here. The island was now in a state of tranquillity

for

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


although
trivial

343
ar

disturbances took place amongst

few, which were quelled as soon as they arose,


the nation appeared to be satisfied with our go-

vernment.

Attention was directed to the forma-

both by our government and by the missionaries, and attempts were made to induce them to embrace Literary and agricultural societies Christianity. were formed means of communication, by the formation of roads from one part of the island to the other, were planned and commenced bridges were thrown over rivers ; and every facility offered for the transit of passengers and
tion of schools of instruction for the natives,
;

merchandise.
the
natives

In
of

short,

Ceylon,

bigots, or of grasping adventurers

PD

means, that we were not a nation of warlike but wished to improve their moral condition, and contribute

St

ud

we tried to convince by every honourable


;

to their happiness, whilst

they conducted them-

selves as loyal subjects of the

sk

Britain, to

whom

they had sworn allegiance.

de

The

political horizon of
for years; the

Ceylon remained un-

clouded

colony gradually improved


In 1832, the ex-king of

under our management.

and until 1835 ; no event occurred worthy of especial remark.


died at Vellore, of dropsy

Kandy

In the January of thai year, Mollegodde, the

and Dunewille Looko Banda, who Wikrama's queens, with several others of lesser note, were
first

adikar,

was

related maternally to one of Sri

io

crown of Great

Tr ia

344

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


for

charged wilh high treason, and


spired against our government.
tradictory evidence

having con-

A
;

mass of conand, although

was gone

into

they were acquitted,

tioned.

St

The

ud

little doubt remained on the minds of many that a conspiracy had been concocted, but which had been frustrated before the plot had ripened. Regular lists were found, appropriating the various places held under our government to the Kandian chiefs. This the officials did not approve of, and still less did they admire the list whereon the names of their wives were inscribed, each lady being allotted to some particular chief, and to those of the highest rank, two of England's matrons were appor-

io
to
;

conspirators

Tr ia
prove

l
;

tried
;

that

these

documents were forged

and did so

to the satis-

faction of the jury,

de

proofs, during the intervening period, of his loyalty.

into the service of our government;

year died the son of Sri Wikrama, in exile.

From
revolt,

sk

godde lost his rank as first adikar, another chief being appointed in his stead but he was reinstated in his office in March, 1843, having given
Dunewille Looko Banda was also taken and in this
the year 1835 until 1848,

PD

who

acquitted them.

Molle-

no attempt

at

or rebellion, agitated Ceylon.

Since the

colony had come into our possession, various


charitable,
scientific,

scholastic,

literary,

and

agricultural societies

were established

a legis-

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


lative council
instituted.

345

was formed, and a supreme court


all

In short, Ceylon enjoys

the ad;

and by many political economists is considered the most promising colony we possess.
vantages of our most flourishing colony
In
justice
to

the

late

efficient

governor of

Ceylon, Lieuten ant-General Sir Colin Campbell,

who assumed
stale

that

appointment
it

in 1841,

we must

what

his exertions have

done

for that co-

country.

The
;

valuable land sold at five shillings

per acre

and

government

servants enriched

io
it

themselves at the expense of the country, by

Tr ia
Q 5

purchasing this laud, turning


(to

into coffee

sugar estates, and neglecting their


country,) they devoted

ud

official duties,

vation and improvement of these estates.

St

discharge

which

they

their

were paid by their time to the cultiprohibited,

vernor

Sir

Colin

government minute, the sale of crown land under the sura of twenty shillings per acre and at this advanced price found numerous and ready purchasers, and frequently a much higher sum was realized. By the unbiassed representations of the Governor to the home government, civil servants were forbidden to purchase or re-

de

sk

PD

Campbell

tain

land for agricultural

purposes,

and were
which

required to devote their whole lime and attention to the duties of the respective offices

they held under government.

lony.

He

found

burthen to

the

mother

and

Goby a

346

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

Sir Colin Caiupbell

met with most determined


;

opposition on this point from the colonial corps

and vituperation of the most disgraceful nature was heaped upon his head, by those members of it who were amassing large fortunes by these
agricultural pursuits, to the neglect of their of-

should perform those duties that required their

munerated.

de

Ceylon was constituted, by letters under the great seal of England, an episcopal see, by the title of the Bishopric of Colombo, as previously it had been included in the see of Madras and the Rev. Dr. Chapman was appointed the first bishop. The bishop arIn
1845,

patent

sk

undivided attention, and for which they were re-

PD

Undauntedly, however, did Sir Campbell pursue the straight path of honest duty to his sovereign and country, and was rewarded hy his own conscience, and by the approbation of all right-minded men. Sir Colin Campbell used every exertion in his power to have the salaries of the Ceylon civil servants increased, and was successful in his efforts; thus benefiting the men who had so lavishly censured him for performing, to the best of his ability, the duties of his office as Governor of the colony, by insisting that the paid servants of the crown
ficial

duties.

Colin

St
;

ud

rived in

Colombo

in 1846.

io

We

man, have done more towards the conversion of the heathen,


exertions of this truly pious, benevolent

Tr ia

believe that the

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


since his arrival, than

347

had been effected during

the previous centuries, that nominal Christians

had formed settlements in Ceylon.

Every
by Dr.

jDart

of his diocese
;

is

visited constantly

unwearied in his duty, undaunted by the fear of contagion, he visits hospitals, jails, and the unwholesome jungle sedu-

Chapman

lously learning the native language,

whereby he

may

be enabled to communicate with and preach

of an interpreter.

He
is
it is

has

made

understand that his


residence, but that
life

not to be a temporary
his intention to pass his

resolve so beautifidly as his own, and which he

learn

PD

" 1

and humility, Dr. Chapman

de

sk

have come to Ceylon to live among you, and with God's blessing to your language benefit you, and with his permission to die in your country." Possessing great piety, learning,
;

addressed to a native congregation, shortly after he entered upon the duties of his sacred office

St

eloquence, fluency of language, facility of expressing ideas, extreme urbanity of manner, unbounded

benevolence, a most prepossessing exterior

ud
is
;

among them.

No

words can express

io

Tr ia
;

to the Cingalese, without the aid or intervention

the natives

blessed with great

devotes the whole of his time and attention to the arduous duties of his office.

man

In conclusion, we can only say, that Dr. Chapis a worthy, though humble, follower of his
that his appointment

Great Lord and Master

his

and

348
as bishop,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


and residence
in the colony, are calcu-

lated to benefit professing Christians, as well as

the benighted heathen, for the force of his example, coupled with his precepts, must influence

and counteract,
in

to a great extent, the effect

which

the lax morality practised by

many Europeans

Ceylon, has had on the hearts and minds of

the rising generation, both of English and Cingalese.

Tr ia
the

Nothing worthy of remark


1848,

occurred
colony

l
its

until

when
so

the rebellion broke out which has

drawn

much

attention

to

to

stronghold of the purest and most enthusiastic

Buddhism, and the

St

ud

understand the events connected with it clearly the reader must remember, that Ceylon is the
priests of this

io

religion have

rendered to the priests the custody of the tooth


of

de

Buddha, which had ever been regarded

sk

which they have no control, but with which until lately they might have considered themThis conselves in some measure connected. nection was severed when our government sur-

PD

long been dissatisfied with a government over

as the

palladium of Cingalese sovereignty. The abandonuient of this sacred charge on the part of the

government has been regarded by


sacerdotal
faith,

present

guardians, not

only as a breach of
in reference

and a mark of great disrespect, but also as

an exhibition of political weakness;

to the ancient tradition before referred to, namely,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

349

that whoever possessed this sacred relic should govern the island. In 1842, the priests fomented rebellion, and succeeded in raising a puppet-pretender to the

Kandian throne, who with many of


were
tried

his adherents
;

and convicted of high treason

and

made a full confession of his guilt, as well as the manner in which he had been induced to lend his name to the rebels. The flame
the former
the priests availed themselves of the dissatisfaction expressed by the people at certain financial

the smouldering^ combustibles.


early in July of the

In this effort the chiefs were not inactive, and

same year Gonegallegodde

Banda,
Singha,

stated

who

the house of a native, following the occupation


of a wederala, or doctor, resided for five days in
contents.

Kandy, acting as the chief leader of the malWhile there, he was an inmate of the Dalada Maligawa, whose priests maintained him. He had figured in two previous rebellions, and was tried for high treason in 1843, and acquitted.

On

amounting it is said to four thousand, assembled from various districts in Kandy, stating that they desired to have an interview with Mr. Buller,

de

the 6th of July a large concourse of people,

sk

PD

be a descendant of Rajah had been previously sojourning in


to

St

ud

road-tax, gun-tax, dog-tax, and slop-tax, to refan

io

regulations

introduced in 1848,

Tr ia
known

of rebellion thus raised was only smothered, and

as the

350

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


;

the government agent

this

gentleman, on

re-

ceiving intelligence, went to meet them at the

Cutcheriy, but owing to their violence he was


obliged to retire to the Maligawe.

Here he

attempted to address the multitude without effect. Many of the crowd became excited with
ardent
spirits,

and their violence increasing, the


unsuccessfully to disperse the

police attempted

mob and
The

arrest the ringleaders.

civil

authorities

with determined resistance, and the latter be-

coming more and more

irritated,

selves with branches of trees, and

ud

and injured some of the police. the 15th regiment was then called

io

Tr ia
fact,

were met by the people

armed themknocked down A company of


out,

assisted the police to disperse the people.

PD

apparent object of the crowd was to extort a promise, that the obnoxious tax ordinances should

St

who The

be repealed.
of the
occasion

It

is

a remarkable

that none

sk

headmen
;

or chiefs were present on this and there can be but little doubt, that
this step,

having stimulated the people to take


licly

they abstained from implicating themselves pub-

awaited the result of the movement.

de

with the demonstration, while they anxiously


local authorities

The
sures

now took

effective

mea-

to

inform

the

people,

that

the colonial
receive

secretary. Sir

Emerson Tennent, would

the chiefs and small deputations from the various


districts,

at

the Pavilion, on the 8th of July.

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

351

In the meantime every precautionary measure, which was practicable, was adopted to preserve the public peace. Special constables, both European and Malays, were sworn in, notices were posted at the various entrances to the town, and
at the ferries, intimating, that

no persons bearing

arms would be permitted


articles,

to enter.

As
list

evil-de-

signing persons had circulated a

of thirty

information, relative to the

new

taxes.

inhabitants of

Upper and Lower Doombera, he

sent for the Ratra-mahatmeers of those

St
had

the Esplanade, were principally composed of the

ud

nent in the early part of the day on the 8th of July, that the people, who were assembling in

io

It having been intimated to Sir

who

PD

stated that they

failed to counteract the

false reports, or

induce their people to remain

quiet.

of the government, and he accordingly suspended

them from

de

nent informed them, that as they had lost control over the people, they had forfeited the confidence
their respective offices.

In the afternoon of this day, the colonial secretary entered the Pavilion, which was crowded

sk

On

hearing this reply. Sir Emerson Ten-

with the chiefs and their followers.


dressed the meeting

Tr ia

on which they asserted the government were about to levy taxes, the government agent issued a notice contradicting it, and giving correct

Emerson Ten-

l
He

district,-,

ad-

at considerable length in

favour of the

new

ordinances, applauding the

^52
chiefs,

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

who had supported

the government, and

expressing the dissatisfaction which must inevitably follow an opposite course.

After the meet-

ing had broken up, the chiefs and their attendants

de

among the crowd, about two thousand number, which gr;;dually disappeared, and the town was restored to perfect quiet. When the people withdrew from Kandy, Gonegallegodde Banda retired for a day into a jungle called Danha Galla, where he received the homage of a large body of Kandians as their king. From thence he proceeded to the forest of Dambool, from which he was escorted by an armed body of men, sent by Golla-bella Ratra-mahatmeer, to a cave in the forest of Dahe Yatte Madda Gallinna, to await reinforcements. Here the pretender was joined by four hundred followers well armed and provisioned, and an ola was written by his order to Golla-bella Ratra-mahatmeer, desiring him to state why he had not forwarded clothing for his on the 26th of July an answer was sent, use
dispersed
in
;

sk

PD

St

ud

io

accompanied with various


tender's

articles for

My use, stating that they were Lord the King, until such time as you shall pass Ballacadua, where I shall join you with the Maha Nilime and clothes for five kings."
for "

The
armed

following day, the pretender


escort to

came with his Dambool Vehara, and at half-

past eleven o'clock a.m. he was invested with the

gword of

state,

and proclaimed King of Kandy.

Tr ia

the pre-

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE,

353

The morning of the 28th, the whole hody marched to Selleman Galla, where a palanqueen was brought, volleys were fired, and other rejoicings took place.

From

this place the pretender

palanqueen with an increased retinue to Pallaputwelle, where they halted for the night. On his arrival on the following day at Wariapulla, the pretender abandoned his paproceeded
in his

lanqueen, and proceeded during the night with


visit

Ettepulla Banda, leaving the

Tr ia
the 28th,

four of his attendants to

Doomborka Owelle, command

to

of

at

Dambooi
It

the preceding night at the fortunate

hour.

sk

PD

was further ascertained that the postoffice communication was stopped on the Trincomalee road, and crowds of armed people were
assembling in
all directions.

St

to his prime minister. It was not until the 27tlf, however, that a report reached the authorities at Kandy, that the people were assembled at Matele " with swords and fire-arms," and that a king had been crowned
his small

army

ud

io
On

Mr.

de

Buller proceeded in person to Matele to ascertain the true state of affairs,

and was met a short

distance from

Kandy by

the police magistrate of

ance.

Matele, who was hastening to Kandy for assistThis gentleman brought the intelligence

that four thousand armed men were in the neighbourhood of Matele, who had entered the town at noon on that day in a riotous manner, beating tom-toms and blowing horns, drove out the police

stationed there, destroyed the public buildings.

354

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

including the magistrate's residence, and burnt

down

the Bazaar.

rienced officer, well acquainted with the country,

ness, until their arrival at the Rest-house of Balla-

de

sk

PD

cadua,

when the day broke. After the detachment had marched nine miles and a half, a shot was fired within a few yards of them, which did not take Two shots were fired half a mile further efiect. on the road, close to the rear of the troops, which Another possibly were only intended as signals. shot was fired half way down the pass from a
gingal
mile

St

ud

and accompanied by the government agent, and deputy Queen's advocate. The progress of the troops was veiled in dark-

io

Tr ia
;

Mr. Buller hastened back to Kandy accompanied by Mr. Waring, and at ten o'clock the same night a detachment consisting of one captain, two subalterns, four sergeants, one bugler, and one hundred rank and file of her Majesty's 15th regiment and one captain, four subalterns, four sergeants, and one hundred rank and file of the Ceylon Rifles, under the command of Captain Lillie of the Ceylon Rifles, an old and expe;

gun with

the same object in view.

from Matele, some armed natives were observed on the side of the Matele road, and on that leading to Wariapoola. Those in front seemed disposed to parley, and some of the troops went up to them unmolested while some were ordered to move on their flank to get to their rear a few of the rebels escaped, but most of
;

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


those in front were taken prisoners.

356
insur-

The
by

gents
side

who were
the
hill,

concealed in the jungle on the

of*

now commenced

firing,

whom

one man of the 15th wounded.

regiment was
the jungle

slightly

The

Rifles

now entered

on the

flank of the rebels; a conflict ensued, in which

the latter were completely routed, with the loss of six killed and several wounded, and eight of
the latter were taken prisoners.

Tr ia
;
:

ment remained on the high road

in reserve.

jungle was cleared by the Rifles, after which

The

15th regi-

The
it

was ascertained that the insurgents had possessed themselves of a bungalow on the Wariapoola estate, about half a mile from the high Captain Lillie marched with the Rifles to road. attack them, under the guidance of Mr, Adams,

a volunteer civilian.

sook the house as soon as the party came in sight; the latter ]>ursued them, and were fired

upon by a party of rebels stationed in the jungle on their flanks, most happily without effect. Here the palanqueen of the pretender was found, and broken in pieces by the Malays, before Captain Lillie could save it. Some thirty pounds of gunpowder were also discovered and in the verandah of the bungalow, Mr. Baker, the superintendent of the estate, was found tied by his legs and arms to the railing, suffering great
agony from the tightness of the ligatures and the position he was kept in by the ropes on being

de

sk

PD

St
The

ud

natives, however, for-

io

356

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


to

released his skin was found

be quite discoto

loured

he was then removed


aid.

Matele

for

medical

Captain Lillie returned the next day to


ing that of the Ceylon Rifles under the
of Captain

Kandy

with the detachment of the 15th regiment, leav-

command

Watson,

to protect

Matele.

On

the 29th of July, a proclamation was issued

offering a reward of
of the pretender,
tricts

150

for the

apprehension

able to accede to

when

men and two ofllicers of the Ceylon were dispatched on their arrival after a forced march, they found Kurnegalle already in possession of the insurgents. The Cutcherry had been entered and plundered, all the records and papers were being burnt or torn, and the mob were in the act of breaking open the treasurechest, when the troops advanced upon them. The Court House had been plundered and its records destroyed, the gaol had been broken
thirty

de

open and the prisoners liberated, while the bazaar was burnt down, and nearly every building more or less damaged.

sk

Rifles

PD

magistrates came in person to seek assistance,

On

the following day, however, one of the

St
it.
;

ud

and placing the Kandian disunder martial law. On the 28th, an urgent application was made for military assistance from Kurnegalle, which is about twenty-five miles from Kandy, but owing to the troops which had been dispatched to Matele, Colonel Drought was un-

io

Tr ia

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

357

The Rifles opened a fire upon the armed mob, who attacked them in return as they approached,
twenty prisoners were taken, and six-and-twenty bodies of the insurgents were afterwards buried. Notwithbut soon after took to flight
:

standing this

loss,

the rebels, amounting to four

thousand strong, made a second attack upon the town two days later, aud after suffering loss were again driven out by the Rifles; and on the same
tempt, with some further

sions from

he remained until he received an ola and proviDulledewe Maha Nileme, when he

immediately started
attack.

for

place he arrived in time to lead on the second

PD

After

the

St

Kurnegalle, at which
he turned
towards

defeat,

being closely

de

Dambool, but for some unknown cause he altered his course and entered the forest of Madaoelputta, where he reuiaiued for some time in concealment,
pursued

sk

by various detachments

sent out in search for him.

We must here break the narrative of events in Kandy, as they occurred in ciironological ordei", aud request our readers to accompany us to Colombo, to enable them clearly to understand
the causes of the late I'ebellion.

ud

aff'ray at Wariapoola, the Prete.der proceeded to Eleadua with a few followers, where

After the

io

Malay

ti-ooi)S.

Tr ia

day they made another equally unsuccessful atloss, but no casualty on occurred either of these occasions to the

358

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


newspaper, called the " Observer,"
is

pub-

editor;

we

subjoin a literal translation of both.

PD

"

We

have pleasure in publishing a

St

ud

Cingalese language, purporting to be translated from the English, and signed " an Englishman," which was prefaced by certain observations of the

io

Tr ia
all

Colombo, whose editor for several years has endeavoured to excite a spirit of opposition, amongst the Burgher and Cingalese community, against all the measures of the local government, and of jealousy against the European inhabitants. This newspaper has a large circulation therefore amongst that portion of the community to whom it is particularly addressed, and especially the Burghers, to which class, almost all the proctors and notaries belong. On the 3rd of July, 1848, a letter was published in the " Observer," in the
lished in

l
to

letter

written by an English gentleman,

who

is

kindly

race,

de
lately

sk

disposed to men, without distinction of colour or

concerning the injustice of the new taxes imposed by government. The Cingalese
persons, subis

people should consider, that to

ject to the English

government, there

a legal

making known their pleasure, before they expend money in paying taxes. Therefore, those persons who say, that to Cingalese men
right of

there

is

not understanding enough to establish in


represent

Ceylon a council including natives


8

the inhabitants, should consider the present con-

CEYLON AND THE CfNGALESE.


stitution of the council of

359

France, and

its results.

Certainly the Cingalese people are not more unlearned or foolish than the greater part of the
individuals,
council.

who

elected

members

for the

French

men are not more unlearned or foolish than the Tamul men of Pondicherry belonging to France. It is now appointed that a Tamul man of that country
Certainly the Cingalese

freed

from paying improper taxes and other wrongs, let them request a council, where they

they should receive, (Signed)

we

Cingalese, and publish

PD

"

We

sk

"

To

de

the

Gentlemen publishing
Observer.'

St
it.
'

be able to discuss their affairs, not nominally, but in a right manner. " In order to show the wrongs inflicted on the inhabitants of this country, and the justice which
translate this letter into

the Persons

who publish the paper called the


Colombo Observer.'"
the
*

ud

io

may

out-station, and constantly conversing with the natives by privilege, I have an opportunity of knowing the great displeasure
is stirred up among the inhabitants concerning the new taxes lately imposed upon them, and

"

" Gentlemen, By residing in an

that

Tr ia

should represent the inhabitants in the French council. If the men of this country wish to be

Colombo

360
also

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


their
if

thoughts and words on the subject.


the government dare by forcible means
that the diswill

Further,
pleasure

to collect these taxes, I can think

among

the inhabitants

be

much

more increased, and from this many serious consequences will follow. Although there are many
reasons on account of which the people should
resist

the government appointed from time


still

to

time,

up

to this time they, without manifest-

if

they should pay the money required for these


so unjust, and impossible to be borne, imposed by government, obediently, and quiet without imposing their whole power,

taxes,
lately
sit

the Cingalese people will not only be considered


a race of slaves, obedient to everything, just or

PD

done by government, but the world will not regard them as a race of men of good mind, and submitting to justice, and not to injustice
unjust,

St

ud

not right for government to collect taxes for the

de

sk

(i.

e.

to justice only).

io
No

Tr ia
?
;

ing an opposition, have been obedient.

However,

person says that

it

is

protection of the people,

but should

not this

collection of taxes be according to the ability of

the rich and the poor inhabitants


"

Many persons are


it is

displeased on account of the

taxes * collected

from the people of England,


however, we canincome of

and

not proper to impose such taxes unless

the government be very poor


*

By

this tax

we mean

a portion of the annual

the English people paid to government.

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


not say that
rich
it is

361

altogether unjust, since they are

collected accordino; to the circumstances of the

collected

and the poor. In England they are not from hundreds of thousands (lacs) of workmen and poor. They collect 7d. on each 1 of the yearly income of the rich only, but,
according to the taxes lately appointed
the poorest
Ss. in in

Ceylon,

men

will

have

to

pay the new tax of

persons

know

that there are thousands of inha-

bitants in this Island,

who do not possess

four cocoa-nut trees, or the fourth or

io
A
is

10*. in

the year.

However, according

ud

a field, and

who do not

receive into their hands


to

Tr ia
?

the 1. " Is there a greater injustice than this

fifth

new
8s.

taxes, such

people are bound to pay

St

l
7.v.

All

three or
part of

the
or

By some
able

poor people the gun


possessed.

PD

necessary thing for the protection of their crops.


the only valua

yearly

to

government.

gun

is

very

sk

article
;

To

rear

dog

is

also

necessary

and

for these 45.

must be

paid, toge-

ther with the

de

(5d.

paid for writing the certificate;

the gun-tax
3,s*.

is 3.9.,

and

for the

dog

Is

and again
person for

are collected
roads.

yearly

from each

making

If there be

more than one dog,

there is another charj^e. " In this manner, a jioor person will have to pay

7s.

or 8s. to government.

This

sum

is

sufficient

for

maintenance of one person for two months. If other persons were to pay in tliis VOL. I. R
the

362

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

ally

manner, a European who receives 300 annumust pay 50, or two months' pay, for new taxes; he who receives 600 must pay lOO.

An

English padre (clergyman) receiving .700 a year, must pay 1 16, and a little more ; an agent
receiving lOOO,

must pay 166, and a

little

more.

The gentleman, Emerson Tennent, Great

Secretary, must pay about 500, and the Gover-

nor 1.000.

one month, yet, according to this, what a great and unbearable sum goes to the government

PD

yearly " What European


!

St

ud

two months, but I know very well that to the poor people in the Galle and Jaffna districts this sum is quite suffilet us say Very well cient for two months. that Is. or 8s, are sufficient for the expense of
to

maintain a single

man

for

Tr ia

"

Some may

say that

7s.

or 8*. are not sufficient

io
there
is

is

there

who submits
is

to this

sk

payment
or

Even when

a war-rumour,

when

the government

heavily

poor, no

de

European will submit to such an unjust payment. But these taxes are imposed, not only at a time
not only
is

when
from

there

peace, but

when

the

people should be relieved as


other heavy
taxes

much
to

as possible

government. What, then, is the intention of the Governor, since he lays such a heavy burthen upon the poor, and delivers the rich from it?
paid

"The

saying that the collection of this tax

is

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

363

imposed by the unanimous vote of the legislative and executive councils of this island, is not a true saying. The government is trying to make even
those gentlemen of the Legislative Council, not

belonging to government, to agree to any thing that is done those gentlemen of that Council
;

under government cannot oppose government on account of this. Though there is a saying that this matter is sanctioned (apare

who

ud
it

government of Russia. I see no difference between those two governments except in name. It is now understood and acted upon by
like the

io

many

countries in the world, that

de

pay taxes to a government, they must consider whether it is a tax that can be borne by the people, and that they must have the privilege of expressing their opinion to government, and also whether the money raised by the tax is vainly spent, or whether it is spent to the advantage of Not long ago millions of the people the people. received this right some Cingalese people who

sk

understood things right to be done, expected that


they would receive a part of this
right
;

PD

St

Tr ia
is

pointed) by the Council, it is not a true saying. " The government of Ceylon is doing injustice,

when people

according
in
injustice,

to circumstances,

now appears

proportion as other races are delivered from

more and more injustice upon the inhabitants of this country.


"

Now

1 say,

is it

proper that the Cingalese

R 2

but,

that

coming

364

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE,

people should submit to such severe injustice ? Will they do so ? It is altogether improper to submit. I hope they will not act so. 1 think the Cingalese people will show they are not a race of slaves, without doing (not doing) such severe things as Europeans lately did in order to be delivered from injustice. Justice will be done to them if the reasons against injustice are rightly
expressed by petitions to the great Legislative
Council, called the Parliament of England.

l
this,

Tr ia
know

think the Cingalese people

and

have

de

the people of high

sk

ment of taxes like a burthen, that the government is doing injustice, and that you will inform
office,

PD

no doubt they will believe it. Petitions should be written, and sent to the different districts of the Island, and signed by all collectively. Let all the inhabitants of Ceylon demand of the English government to be delivered from injustice, and to have justice done. " Gentlemen, who print newspapers, I request you will publish to the Cingalese under the pay-

St

(or

demon

of injustice) driven from

ud

io

that injustice, as a devil

the

place

where he formerly wass will not be permitted to come and live in this Island, If you do so, Cingalese people are not an ungrateful race.
"
I

am,

"An
of the "

Englishman."

Theforeooing: wasnotconfined to the circulation

Colombo Observer," but they were struck

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


off

365

on

slips

tributed

of paper, which were extensively disamongst the people even in the most

remote parts of the country, by political agitators and in Kandy they were known to have been explained, and enlarged upon, to the natives by
dissatisfied or disappointed

Europeans, connected
bear in

with the coffee estates.

We must

mind

that the publication of the letter took place three

de

penned by an Englishman, An oi'dinance had been passed about the same time with those already complained of, which was intended to provide for the registration and license of certain traders," to resist which an attempt was made by the wealthier shopkeepers, by whom a combination was formed to intimidate their more necessitous brethren, to force them to close their shops, and to prevent the sale
''

sk

PD

of the necessaries of
rapid sale of

St

life.

enabled these wealthy conspirators to


all

their

own

Eventually the poorer class of shopprices. keepers were suffered to continue their trade uninterruptedly, while the conspirators, to whom

annum could not be an object, contented themselves with present-

the payment of one pound per

ud
The

effect a stock at exorbitant

io

injurious

effect

from their

Tr ia
it

days before the disturbances broke out in Kandy, and such a document, with its notes and comments, must have been calculated to excite the minds of the people, upon whom it had a more
belief that

fear of this event

was

366

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

ing a petition

to the Governor, jjraying the suspension of the law, which of course could not be acceded to.

At the same time,


a petition

a large

number

of copies of
to

purporting to be addressed
to

the

House
facts,

of

Commons, mis-stating and exaggerating


inflame
the

calculated

minds of the

people,

were

secretly

circulated

among

the

natives in the vicinity of Colombo, as well as in

obtain

signatures.

The

substance,

and misrepresentations, contained

Tr ia
in
viz.
:

more remote

districts,

by agents employed to
expressions,
it,

so very

many

de

sk

of a document, copies of which were circulated with great activity throngliout the villages for

miles round Colombo.


"

PD

circulation.

The following

quently appeared in the " Colombo Observer," bearing the signature of Mr. Elliott, the editor, that he has been generally considered as the author of the document, and the instigator of its

St

ud

Notice.

" His Excellency the Governor has, for the present, enacted several taxes to be levied from

the inhabitants of this island,


"

Upon

fire-arms, dogs,
;

io
is

closely corresponded with a letter,

which subse-

also the translation

men,

boats,

and bou-

tiques (shops)

and, in addition to

this, it is also

enacted to levy, in a few months more, a tax

upon

trees, lands,

cattle,

and

all useful

quadru-

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


peds.

367

We,

the inhabitants of several viHages,

have consulted and agreed upon a petition about


the matter.
" It
is

therefore kindly requested, that the in-

habitants (both great and small) of all the villages


will

Wednesday,
same."

assemble at seven o'clock in the morning of the 26th instant, prepared for the
of this

The authors

movement most

cautiously

the people.

On
in

the morning of the 26th, the people poured

sk

several roads met, close to the Wellicadde gaol,

PD

numbers towards the town from the neighbourhood and from distant villages, and assembled at a place called Borellse, a spot where
large

St

ud

they would be held responsible for the conduct of

about a mile from the town.

io

taken by the government, and, amongst the rest, a circular was addressed to the headmen, reminding them, that

Tr ia
The mob

kept themselves out of view. were precautionary measures

In the meantime,

de

collected,

marched upon the

police,

who were
to

drawn

across the road to prevent their approach

to the

town.

Their intention was evidently

force a passage through the civil force, the super-

intendent was struck down, and several of his men more or less injured. In the midst of the
contest,

Mr. Elliott arrived, and holding up hands was recognised by the mob, many of

havino-

368

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

were intoxicated, and his influence became immediately apparent, as they were soon tranquillized, and listened with great attention and satisfaction to his harangue.

whom

In the midst of this pro-

ceeding, the Governor, accompanied by the major-

general and some troops, arrived, but finding the excitement of the people quelled, the Governor

and military soon

after returned to

Colombo.

The

ostensible object of this meeting was to

ud

in Cingalese previously prepared

io

and before the crowd dispersed a great number of signatures were obtained on separate sheets of paper, which were undertaken to be presented by Mr. Elliott, along with a document

Tr ia
;

petiiion,

l
all
:

indeed

it

has

been stated that these signatures were


to the petition
at

attached

St

" the office of the " Observer

previously

to the

meeting.

This gentleman

is

PD

leported to have demeaned himself upon the occasion, in such a

manner

as to induce a belief,
;

to

de

have shown that he had such influence over those who guided the mob, that little doubt was
of his

sk

that he was accidentally present

but

lie is

stated

entertained

being the

instigator

of the

movement.

Some

of the paragraphs of this petition, to the

was afterwards presented

which governor by Mr.

Elliott, recapitulate much of the substance contained in the letter of the " Englisliman," and " But if concludes with the following sentence

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


your Excellency
favourable reply,
of these
will

369
a

not mercifully give us


certainly will not obey

we

any

new

laws."
states, that

Lord Torrington
clined to receive

had he been aware

of the concluding paragraph, he would have deit,

and would have held Mr.

Elliott responsible for the presentation of such a document. The editor of the " Observer " ex-

cuses himself on the grounds that the petition

whom

he volunteered

The government having been informed

St

he had only an imperfect and its contents, and his own name was not appended to it. This defence must be admitted, by the most prejudiced mind, to be a criminal admission by Mr. Elliott that he had omitted a public duty, by neglecting to inform himself fully of the opinions and wishes of those
general knowledge of
to support.

ud

io

Tr ia
ft

other meetings would be attempted, under the


plea of petitioning the Governor, the followingnotice

was issued

sk

having been received that the inhabitants of the interior, and of some of the Korlls in the neighborhood of Colombo, are, under the advice and encouragement of evil-disposed persons, assembling in large numbers, under pretence of presenting petitions to the Governor. Notice is hereby given, that his Excellency the Governor, although willing at all
5

" Information

de

PD

being

in Cingalese,

that

370

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

times to receive and consider petitions from any


of the
inhabitants,
if

presented

in

proper

manner,

will not allow large assemblasres of the

people for this purpose, and he will take strong

measures to prevent meetings of this nature, which can tend only to cause breaches of the
peace.

"

By

His Excellency's command, (Sio-ned) " W. Morris,

" Colonial Secretary's Office, Colombo,

July 28, 1848."

active measures, by and military in the vicinity of those places where meetings were proposed to be held, and by this means the peace of the western province was preserved. But, to return to Kandy. Reinforcements marched to the proclaimed districts from Colombo the military pensioners, of whom there are about three hundred in the Island, were called out two divisions of road-pioneers were brought in to assist the troops and escort the baggage, while the " Lady Mary AVood " steamer was despatched to Madras, and returned with tliree companies of her Majesty's o7th regiment and a large supply of ammunition. It must have been also gratifying to the

posting

police

government

de

sk

PD

to

find, that all the respectable in-

St

ud

The government took

io

Tr ia

'*

Acting- assistant Colonial Secretary.

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

371

habitantsof the town and neighbourhood of Kandy


placed

themselves at the disposal of the comofficer, for

manding

the protection of the town

by which means he was enabled to send out detachments to various localities, vrhere their presence was urgently required, both as a protection
to the

Europeans and peaceably disposed amongst

the natives, against rebels and plunderers, and as

Knowing the great importance that is placed by the Kandians in the possession of Buddha's tooth, and fearing that it might be made use of

de

sk

injured.

PD

were recklessly injured and plundered, in all other districts, wherever the proprietors or superintendents remained at their posts and encouraged their coolees, the properties have remained un-

as a great stimulant to,


in, the

rebels, the

commandant demanded

St
if

ud

an encouragement to the Malabar coolees, who, it was feared, through terror might be driven from the coffee-estates. Ammunition was distributed amongst the planters, and most fortunately, wherever the coolees received moderate encouragement, they were found to resist all intimidation on the part of the Kandians. Thus, although nearly all the estates about Matele

not inspire confidence


the

keys of the temple from the priests, and examined the shrine in the presence of the governixient The object of superstitious worship had agent.

io

Tr ia

372

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

not been removed, but the commandant, deeming


it

the priests, kept possession of the keys.


step was soon

prudent to secure integrity on the part of This

followed by an order prohibiting the beating of tom-toms, and the collecting


of crowds in the temples.

Several prisoners,
shot

who had been captured

since

the ])roclamation of martial law, were tried and


rate robbers in the island,

offered.

agent

ketty,

who

pretender,

taken prisoner by a party of the Ceylon

sk

PD

called himself the elder brother of the

was,

most active and an attendant upon, the pretender; he died exclaiming, " If the king had had three men about him as bold and determined as myself he would have been master of Kandy."' On the 4th of August, Dingeralle HanguranThis individual was the
of,

with several of his followers,


rifles, in

St

ud
an

io

de

the neighbourhood of Kurnegalle.

Tr ia

and amongst them one of the most despewho had, on more than one occasion, broken prison, and for whose apprehension a reward had long previously been
;

Amongst

these

was one Calle Banda,

ex ratramahatmeer,

who

acted as adio-ar to Dini;eralle, who had assumed the title of king in the district of the Seven Korles. This aspirant to royalty was shot on the following day, under the sentence of a It is said to have been the intencourt-martial. tion of the two brothers, who were playing the

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

373

parts of kings, to have united their followers at

Kurnegalle, which

was frustrated by the un-

expected arrest of Dingeralle.

We
first

find

that happily the disturbances were

entirely confined to those districts

broke out, and that the


to

loss of life

where they was also


Several

limited

the

unfortunate

rebels.

hundred prisoners were taken, of whom one hundred and twenty were tried by courts-martial eighteen of these were shot, twenty eight tran;

with hard labour; twenty-nine suffered corporal

acquitted.

The Governor having excluded

ud

io

punishment with imprisonment; thirty-three suffered corporal punishment alone, and eight were
in

mation of martial law that portion of the town of Kandy wherein the Court House is situate, a
special sitting of the

Supreme Court was opened on the 28th of August, by the Chief Justice, Sir A. Oliphant. Of eighteen prisoners who were arraigned for high treason, eight were convicted, and the Queen's advocate abandoned the trials of a similar number of prisoners on the same charge, holding them over for minor offences to be tried

de

sk

PD

St

Tr ia

the procla-

sported for various terms

four were imprisoned

at the regular sessions, or gaol delivery.

We

have much pleasure in giving the followinoextracts from the Chief Justice's address in discharging the jury at the close of the special sittings, breathing as it does that humane spirit

374

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

which ought to be predominant in the breast of every British judge. His Lordship having observed that the crown prosecutor had informed him that
there were no more prisoners to be tried on that occasion, said, " It is now my duty, and I must say it is a pleasant one, to thank yon in the name of the
country, and of the court, for the unwearied and patient attention with which you have listened to
investigation of these trials.

invariably been thoseofmen of sound sense and discretion and, while you have thought it your duty
;

to

proper quarter.
I

sk

"

am

PD

you have considered it also incumbent upon you to make recommendations to mercy, which will be backed by me, and I hope they will be allowed to have their due weight in the
myself determined to recommend

St

functions,

ud

support the laws and uphold the government of this country in the proper discharge of your

io

Tr ia
Your

verdicts have

l
it

the court, the bar, and the witnesses, during the

all

government, and thus go a step even further than the jury have done. I have attended to all the cases brought for trial, which perhaps some of you may not have been in a position to do, from not having sat upon the trial of all the cases and I think I can perceive with tolerable clearness the cause of this rebellion, and I venture to

de

the prisoners to the merciful consideration of the

express

my

belief,

that the origin of

is

the

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


feeling remaining in the

376

minds of the people that


It

may not be the immediate cause, and the feeling may principally exist amongst the local and petty headmen, who
they are a conquered nation.
are discontented because they have not a govern-

ment of their own the They have not arrived at


feelings,

original

government.

a participation of our

" It

is

quite possible that the imposition of

taxes fanned the flame, and precipitated

headmen
been
again

availed themselves of this opportunity,


;

to revive old feelings


lost sight of,
;

which

ud

io
'

into the commission

of this crime.

in fact

indeed, I

may

sk

PD

no more rebellions of this sort. " The people must see that any attempt against the British government is now a hopeless one,
will be

St

but

I trust this will

say I feel confident there

and, as a witness said yesterday,

by Lieutenant Annesly, only eleven men marched out of Kurnegalle, and of these only two had shewed themselves, when the three or four thousand Kandians assembled in their front ran away there can therefore be little fear for future occurBut we must not teach our subjects to rences. fight, war is an art too easily learnt.

de

they will only lose their

lives."*

For, as deposed to

Tr ia
The

had never
never occur

that thereby

and do not see the superiority of our government, nor the benefit of our free institutions but, on the contrary, would restore their old laws and institutions.
;

new them
petty

376
"

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

The

legislature,

am

confident, will only

and regulaand I trust they will send the schoolmaster amongst the peojile, who will educate them in the arts of peace, and teach them the sin and folly of taking up arms against lawful authorities. The duty of the governing and governed is mutual, the one paternal, and the other allegiant.
enact, in a paternal spirit, such laws
tions as will prove beneficial to the subject
;

"There is a largo portion of this country, whose wants and circumstances are quite unknown, where no European has been seen for thirty years, except upon some liunting expedition. It
is

not only expedient but necessary for

io

Tr ia

us to

teach the inhabitants of these districts, that the

and
"

collect taxes,

PD
;

The duty

intellectual character of the people.

St
is
it

white

man

has been sent here, not only to impose

but to elevate the moral and


a most important one

of a juror

sk

community. It and liberty and upon


to the

upon the jury for the acand the counsel for the crown will, on the other hand, urge them for a conviction, while the judge may very often take an improper view of the case, for he is not exempt from human infirmity. " It is then to the sound sense of the jury alone that the country must look for discrimination.
sometimes press hard
quittal of his client,

de

nistration of justice.

ud
is

the bulwark of justice

depends the due admiprisoner's counsel will

The

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


All rests with the jury.
It
is

377
to
;

for

them

the guilt and innocence of the prisoner

weigh and I

can only express in conclusion


all

my own

hope, that

future juries in this country will weigh the

cases which

may

be brought before them, with

the

same care and attention, as you have bestowed upon those which have been tried during the
In conformity with the opinion expressed by lordship, the Chief Justice addressed the folto the

present sessions."

lowing despatch

Governor

''

Colombo, September

" Also notes of the evidence, sentence of the


court,

and recommendation

PD

mercy by the jury, and cerQueen v. Penelebodde Kuralle and others, and marked No. 2.
tain petitions, in the case of the

sk

in the case of the

" Also
court,

to mercy by the jury, and certain petitions, in the case of the Queen V. Kandapulle Banda and others, and marked No. 4.

" Also notes of the evidence, sentence of the


court,

de

Tunamalua Kekooa Banda Karale, and another, marked No. 3.


v.

Queen

notes of the evidence, sentence of the

recommendation

and recommendation

in the case of the

Queen

St
to
v.

recommendation

to

ud

" My Lord, I have the honour to transmit herewith notes of evidence, sentence of the court,

mercy by the jury,

to mercy by the jury, Wijayasoondere Mu-

io

Tr ia

23, 1848.

his

378
dianselay

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

Appoohamy and

others,

and marked

No.

5.

All cases of high-treason tried by

me

at

the sessions lately


the late rebellion.

holden at Kandy,

for

the

special purpose of trying persons implicated in

" I have to report to your excellency that the

several convictions in the said cases respectively

were obtained
to
state

in
I

due

coui'se of law.

that

recommend

as

fit

I have also and proper

regards the punishment of death, not only

Tr ia

objects for your excellency's clemency, as far as


all

the

persons recommended by the jury for the reasons

given by them, but also

selay

Appoohamy, and Kolambulamulle Mo-

sk

hattelay

PD

dianselagey Punchiralle, Wijaysoondere Mudian-

Appohamy and under


;

Banda, Kandapulle Banda, Wannenayeke Mu-

St

have been found guilt}^ " The most culpable of these appear to me to be Penelebodde Keerale, Warapitia Ettapolla

ud

io
all

the prisoners

who

different circum-

stances, I should have

recommended your

excel-

lency to have executed such three or four of


those last mentioned as should, after minute investigation

de
most

into their respective cases by the law-

officers of the

crown, have appeared to have been

guilty.

"To have

carried out the last penalty against

these would have been necessary for the vindication of justice, order,
for an

and good government, and

example

to others.

But

I find that that

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.

379

example has been already made. I learn that some twenty persons have been already shot for
their share in this rebellion by the courts-martial
;

therefore think,

when

it

is

considered

that no one

European has been put to death, that one soldier only has been wounded by the

rebels,

that

no persons have appeared

in

war-

like array against the troops since the outbreaks


at Matele and Kurnegalle, that the blood which has been already spilt is sufficient for all purposes, whether of vindication of the law, or for example. " I advise that the prisoners last above men-

tioned be transported for

life,

that the others, not

recommended

mercy by the jury, be transported for fourteen years and that those who have been recommended be imprisoned and kept
to

to hard labour for such

PD

St
;

ud
"

short periods as, after

io
we

consideration with the crown-lawyers,

Tr ia
it

may

deemed due
"

to

them

respectively.

I have, &c.,
J.

sk

(Signed)

Oliphant, C.

de

The Right Honourable Viscount Torrington."


It
is

with deep regret that

feel ourselves

called upon to supply the render with the answer of the Governor to the foregoing recommenda-

tion of the Chief Justice


so

conceiving

as

much

at variance with

that spirit of justice

tempered with mercy, which should be the characteristic attribute of the crown, or the crown's
representative.

be

we do

380

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE.


"The Queen's House, Colombo, September
25, 1848.

have the lionoiir to acknowledge 23rd instant, transmitting the notes of evidence, and sentences of death passed on the prisoners convicted of high treason at the
I

" Sir,

your

letter of the

last session of the

Supreme Court held

at

Kandy

for the special

purpose of trying persons impli-

cated in the late rebellion,

the respectful

attention

becoming

Tr ia

l
it is

" I have given to this communication, not only

your

high

authority, but that painful and anxious consideration inseparable from the solemn question of life and death, suggested by your recommendation of all the prisoners for a commutation of punishments. But, after soliciting the advice and

opinions of the Executive Council,

St

ud

io

with re-

PD

F
to

luctance, that

1 feel

myself unable to concur with


course towards some

you

in the propriety of that

of those men, convicted in due course of law, and

whose

considerations, would have led you, as you state,


to

de

the strict line of your duty, uninfiuenccd by other

sk

guilt has been so clearly established, that

recommend

me

to inflict

on them the

last

penalty of the law, in vindication of justice, order,


I must observe, are unconnected with the judicial question on which it was properly within your province to assist me

and good goveinment. " These considerations,

with your advice; but, irrespective of

this, I

am

compelled

to say, that neither they

nor the rea-

CEYLON AND THE CINGALESE

381

soning founded on them, wliich has induced you to adopt u different line in recommending- these
parties to mercy, has j)roduccd the

my mind

whilst at the

same result in same time such publicity

has unfortunately been given to your opinions on this subject, as would involve the government in

embarrassment were 1 to set aside your recommendation to mercy, and leave these individuals
for execution.

"

inconvenience likely to result from this


review of
all tlie })roceeding-s

of the highest civil

tribunal in the Island, followed by a sweeping

moditication of

its

judgment upon men convicted

of the gravest offences

known

the comparative evils of either course, and feeling

St
life

"Upon

a deliberate calculation, however, of

ud
to
I

io

our laws.

de

commutation of
those convicts,
to

sk

PD

in acting on

have deemed it best to lean to the side of mercy, and to adopt so much of your recommendation as regards the

my own

strongly the disadvantage at which I

judgment,

all capital

punishments, substiin

tuting transportation for

the instance of

who have
juries,
all

not been

recommended
for

mercy by the
(Signed)
"

and transportation

fourteen years in

the other cases. I have, &c., " Torrington.

The Hon.

Sir A. Oliphant, Kt., C. J."

END OF VOL.

I.

Tr ia
am

summary

placed

l
^

On

the other hand,

foresee

much

practical

LONDON
G.
J.

ud

de

sk

PD

St

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world.

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reign of

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King Edward III., and the memoirs of his successors in the Chair of St. Stephens, f )r a period of nearly five hundred years, will be regular! V continued down to the Right Hon. Charles Shaw Lefevre, who now so ably and impartially presides over the deliberations of the third estate of the realm. In its principal features it will be historical, biographical, and genealogical, 'i'he historical portion will narrate concisely, but accurately, the chief events of the biographical sketches will be based Parliamentary- interest upon the authority of general history, the old chronicles, topographical accounts, and family muniments: while the genealogical matter will consist in tracing the origin of the Speakers, and deducing the descents of the various families springing from them to the present time, shewing who are the actual representatives, as well as theprincipal descendants of the illustrious men whose faded memories this work is intended to revive. To both Houses of Parliament "The Lives of the Speakers" must possess sufficient interest to justify the author in his anticipation of their patronage and support.

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ud

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