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of romance; and why, above all things, should we not have one in which the writing should refer strictly to the fine arts of this country?
We scatter these suggestions, in the hope that some one of them, at least, may be taken up and acted on.
At present, the best literary pocket-book is like a room in Somerset-house, containing here and there a fine picture, but covered in the main with daubs. It is very well to walk through the exhibition; but who would wish to give house-room to half the things he sees there, even if he could have them for nothing?
ART. V.-Narrative of a Journey through the Upper Provinces of India, from Calcutta to Bombay. By the late Reginald Heber, D.D., Lord Bishop of Calcutta. 2 vols. 4to. London. OF all the foreign possessions of England, India is, we think,
the most important; assuredly, it is the most interesting. A body of our countrymen are employed there, whose zeal, talents, and accomplishments are beyond praise-a set of functionaries, civil and military, whose general deserts have not been surpassed in the history of any independent state, ancient or modern; while, to seek for any parallel example in colonial annals, would, it is admitted on all hands, be vain and ridiculous. Literature of various kinds is widely and profoundly cultivated among a large portion of these meritorious officers, during their stay in the East; and not a few of them are every year returning to spend the afternoon of life, in well-earned competence and leisure, in their own country. Under such circumstances, it is impossible not to reflect, without some wonder, that the English library is to this hour extremely poor in the department of books descriptive of the actual appearances of men and things in India; of the scenery of regions where almost every element of the beautiful and the sublime has been scattered with the broadest lavishness of nature's bounty; of cities, on the mere face of which one of the most wonderful of all human histories is written, through all its changes, in characters that he who runs may read-where the monuments of Hindoo, Moslem, and English art and magnificence may be contemplated side by side; of manners, amongst which almost every possible shape and shade of human civilization finds its representative; where we may trace our species, step by step, as in one living panorama, from the lowest depths of barbarian and pagan darkness, up to the highest refinements of European society, and the open day-light of protestant christianity.
This poverty, where so much wealth might have been expected,
is, nevertheless, easy enough to account for. The great majority of our Anglo-Indian adventurers leave their native land very early in life, and become accustomed to Indian scenery and manners before the mind is sufficiently opened and calmed for considering them duly. Ere such men begin to think of describing India, they have lost the European eyes on which its picturesque features stamp the most vivid impression. When they set about the work, they do pretty much as natives of the region might be expected to do that is, in writing for people at home, they omit, as too obvious and familiar to be worthy of special notice, exactly those circumstances which, if they could place themselves in the situation of their readers, they would find it most advantageous to dwell upon. They give us the picture, without its foreground-the scholia, without the text. The literary sin that most easily besets them is that capital error of taking for granted; and how fatal that error is, even where materials are most copious, and talents not unworthy of such materials employed on them, may be seen by any one who reads Pandurang Hari and the Zenana,-novels which, but for this radical defect, might have been almost as interesting and popular as Hajji Baba.
When men of riper years and experience repair to these regions, they go in the discharge of important functions, which commonly confine the field of personal observation to narrow limits, and which always engross so much time, that it is no wonder they should abstain from supererogatory labour of any sort. Those who under such circumstances have been led by extraordinary elasticity of mind to steal time for general literature from the hours of needful repose, have, in most instances, paid dearly for their generous zeal. Very few of those distinguished victims, however, have bestowed any considerable portion of their energies on the particular department which we have been alluding to. The history and antiquities of Indian mythology, legislation, and philosophy have appeared worthier of such high-aimed ambition; and he who once plunges fairly into that mare magnum of romantic mystery, is little likely to revisit, with all his vigour about him, the clearer, and, perhaps, with all reverence be it said, the more useful stream of week-day observation and living custom. It would be below the dignity of these learned moonshees and pundits to quit their Sanscrit and Persic lore, for the purpose of enlightening ignorant occidentals in regard to the actual cities and manners of Eastern men.
There is a circumstance of another kind, which it would be absurd to overlook. The intercourse which takes place between distinguished English functionaries in the military and civil service of the Company and the upper classes of the natives, is and must
be accompanied, on the side of the latter, with many feelings of jealousy. It seldom wears even the slightest appearance of familiarity, except in the chief seats of government; and there, as might be supposed, the natives are rarely to be seen now-a-days in their pure and unmixed condition, either as to real character or as to external manners. Exceptions of course there are to this rule, as to most others; but we believe they are very rare. Of recent years, Sir John Malcolm furnishes by far the most remarkable instance;-but they who read Bishop Heber's account of Sir John's personal qualifications will be little disposed to draw any general inference from such an example.
It is strange, but true, that only two English gentlemen have as yet travelled in India completely as volunteers-Lord Valentia, and a young man of fortune, whom Bishop Heber met with at Delhi; and who is still, we believe, in the east. Perhaps, were more to follow the example, the results might be less satisfactory than one would at first imagine. Orientals have no notion of people performing great and laborious journeys from motives of mere curiosity; and we gather, that when such travellers do appear in India, they are not unlikely to be received with at least as much suspicion as any avowed instruments of the government.
Considering the lamented prelate whose journals are now before us merely as a traveller, he appears to us to have carried to India habits and accomplishments, and to have traversed her territories under circumstances, more advantageous than any other individual, the results of whose personal observation have as yet been made public. He possessed the eye of a painter and the pen of a poet; a mind richly stored with the literature of Europe, both ancient and modern; great natural shrewdness and sagacity; and a temper as amiable and candid as ever accompanied and adorned the energies of a fine genius. He had travelled extensively in his earlier life, and acquired, in the provinces of Russia and Turkey especially, a stock of practical knowledge, that could not fail to be of the highest value to him in his Indian peregrinations. His views were, on all important subjects, those of one who had seen and read much, and thought more-liberal, expansive, worthy of a philosopher and a statesman. In the maturity of manhood he retained for literature and science the ardent zeal of his honoured youth. The cold lesson, nil admirari, had never been able to take hold on his generous spirit. Religion was the presiding influence; but his religion graced as well as heightened his admirable faculties; it employed and ennobled them all.
The character in which he travelled gave him very great opportunities and advantages of observation. His high rank claimed
respect, and yet it was of a kind that could inspire no feelings of personal jealousy or distrust; this the event proved, whatever might have been anticipated. The softness and grace of his manners; a natural kindliness that made itself felt in every look, gesture, and tone; and an habitual elegance, with which not one shade of pride, haughtiness, or vanity ever mingled-these, indeed, were qualities which must have gone far to smooth the paths before him, in whatever official character he had appeared. As it was, they inspired everywhere both love and reverence for the representative of our church. Many will hear with surprise, none, we think, without pleasure, that his sacred office, where it was properly explained, even in the remotest provinces, received many touching acknowledgments. There was no bigotry about him, to check the influence of his devout zeal. In quitting one of the principal seats of Hindoo superstition, we find him concluding his lamentation over the darkness of the atmosphere with an avowal of his hope and belief that God, nevertheless, may have much people in this city.' And who will not be delighted to learn that this wise and charitable spirit met with its reward; that learned doctors, both Moslem and Brahmins,— men who would have shrunk from the vehement harangues of half-educated zealots, however sincere and excellent,-were eager to hear a mild and accomplished scholar reason of life, death, and the judgment to come; and that the poor peasantry often flocked to him, as he passed on his way, to beg, not for medicines only, but for the prayers of the holy stranger.
For the unwearied assiduity with which the bishop discharged all professional duties in his immense diocese, and cultivated every branch of strictly professional knowledge, we may refer to the brief sketch of his life which appeared in a recent number of this journal. The correspondence included in the volumes now before us will illustrate and complete that part of his history. By the favour of one of his oldest and most intimate friends and. companions †, we were permitted to enrich the Article to which we have alluded with some specimens of his letters written in India, which gave, we believe, unmixed delight to all our readers; and from these alone it might be gathered, that the mere literary activity of the bishop, while in India, would have been something remarkable, even had his professional avocations been not the hundredth part of what they really amounted to. The publication of this work will, however, strengthen that impression far beyond what any person, but one, could possibly have anticipated at the time when our paper made its appearance. The
* Quarterly Review, No. LXX.
The Rt. Hon, Robert Wilmot Horton.
Journal, which occupies the greater part of the book, would of itself appear more than sufficient to have occupied the whole time that Heber spent in his diocese. It was not written with any view of immediate publication, if, indeed, the bishop contemplated publishing it at all. It forms, nevertheless, a monument of talent, sufficient, singly and alone, to establish its author in a very high rank of English literature. It is one of the most delightful books in the language; and will, we cannot doubt, command popularity, as extensive and as lasting as any book of travels that has been printed in our time. Certainly, no work of its class that has appeared since Dr. Clarke's can be compared to it for variety of interesting matter, still less for elegance of execution. The style, throughout easy, graceful, and nervous, carries with it a charm of freshness and originality, not surpassed in any personal memoirs with which we are acquainted. The secret is, that we have before us a noble and highly cultivated mind, pouring itself out with openness and candour, in the confidence of the most tender affection for the journal is addressed to Mrs. Heber. In his description of India, one of the most loveable of men has unconsciously given us also a full-length portrait of himself.
The bishop, luckily for his English readers-(for even a Heber might have written about India in a style less adapted for them, had he deferred the task)-seems to have begun this work the very day that he entered the Hooghly: he landed in the course of the evening at a small village, one, he was told, that had been but rarely visited by Europeans, where he was conducted to a temple of Mahadeo :
The greenhouse-like smell and temperature of the atmosphere which surrounded us, the exotic appearance of the plants and of the people, the verdure of the fields, the dark shadows of the trees, and the exuberant and neglected vigour of the soil, teeming with life and food, neglected, as it were, out of pure abundance, would have been striking under any circumstances: they were still more so to persons just landed from a three onths' voyage; and to me, when associated with the recollection of the objects which have brought me out to India, the amiable manners and countenances of the people, contrasted with the symbols of their foolish and polluted idolatry now first before me, impressed me with a very solemn and earnest wish that I might in some degree, however small, be enabled to conduce to the spiritual advantage of creatures so goodly, so gentle, and now so misled and blinded. 66 Angeli forent, si essent Christiani!" As the sun went down, many monstrous bats, bigger than the largest crows I have seen, and chiefly to be distinguished from them by their indented wings, unloosed their hold from the palm-trees, and sailed slowly around us. They might have been supposed the guardian genii of the pagoda.'vol. i, pp. 13, 14,