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L gtto (bitiotn,
BROUGHT DOWN TO THE PRESENT TIME.
THE REV. T. WILSON.
DARTON AND CO., 58, HOLBORN HILL.
PABLEY TELLS OF A GREAT ACT OF HUMANITY PER-
FORMED BY A CAPTAIN .. 5
STORY or THE CAPTAIN .7
PARLEY TELLS OF SIBERIA AND CHINA .. 12
TALE OF THE TIGER'AND CROCODII4. 22
ABOUT TARTARY AND THE TARTARS 46
SOME ACCOUNT OF THIBET 49
AN ACCOUNT O JAPAN 62
PARLEY DESCRIBES HINDOOSTAN 56
THE TIGER HUNT 57
ABOUT THE IMMENSE WEALTH OF INDIA-ITS TEM-
PLES-AND IDOLS OF GOLD 67
DESCRIPTION OF A HURRICANE. 78
SOME INFORMATION ABOUT INDIA BEYOND THE RANGES 81
STORY OF MR. AND MRS. JUDSON 84
PARLEY TELLS OF THE MUTINY AND THE FAMINE. 97
PARLEY RETURNS TO AMERICA-A WATER-SPOUT 100
JENHINS RELATES HIS ADVENTURES .. 107
SOME ACCOUNT OP ARABIA 117
THE MIRAGE-THE SIMOOM . 124
A VOYAGE TO AF ICA-AND AN ENCOUNTER WITH -
CorEAIBs .. . 141
IMPRISONED AT TBIPOLI-STBANGE ADVENTURES 146
BTORY OP THE CAPTAIN wo RESCUES PARLEY 154
HOW DECATUR AND TWENTY AMERIOANS BURNED
A SHIP .158
PABLEY ARRIVES IN EGYPT, AND GOES ACROSS THE
PARLEY BETS OUT FPO CHINA .166
CAPTAIN BILEY'S ADVENTES 167
sOME TALES ABOUT UNGO PARK 170
SOME ACCOUNT OP AFRICA-DR. LIVINGBTONE'S DIS-
COVERIES-M. CHAILLU AND THE GORILLAS-
-CONCLUSION . 174
ASIA AND AFRICA.
PARLEY'S ARRIVAL-TELLS OF A GREAT
ACT .OF HUMANITY IN A CAPTAIN-
AND OF A RESCUE.
" HERE comes Peter Parley again, here he
"Yes, here I come, you see; I have
come out for a short stroll, to which
the freshness of the morning air has in-
2 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
vited me; but I cannot move about so
briskly, nor walk so far as I used to do. I
am now much fatigued, therefore I will sit
down under the shade of yon spreading
beech tree, and tell you some stories about
Asia and Africa.
I have visited many foreign countries,
and have seen many strange sights, as you
no doubt recollect, from what I have told
you in my Tales of Europe.'
I began when I was quite as young as
any of you, to accustom myself to observe
narrowly every thing which passed before
me; and from the habit I soon acquired of
constantly reflecting, I not only enriched my
mind with much useful knowledge, but also
cultivatedmymemory, so that I can remember
almost every thing I have ever seen or heard.
The memory," continued Peter Parley'
" is one of the most important faculties of
the mind, and should be cultivated with
great care; and ifyou accustom yourself to
reflect, it may be strengthened to an almost
incredible degree. But I must not forget
ASIA AND AFRICA.
Asia is one of the three great divisions
of that part of the globe, formerly styled the
Old World, to distinguish it from the conti-
nent of America, which was called the New
World. It comprehends extensive territo-
ries and mighty empires, nor is it less in im-
portance than vast in extent.
Most of the events recorded in the
Bible took place in Asia. Noah and his
family settled there after the Deluge, and
thence their descendants dispersed them-
selves over every part of the globe. It was
in Asia that the Jews dwelt, and that the
revelations of heaven were delivered by the
prophets. Asia was the quarter of the globe
in which our blessed Saviour was born, the
sceneof his ministry and mighty miracles,
and the spot in which he accomplished his
merciful work of human redemption. Here
the first edifices were raised, the first cities
built, and the first nations founded, while
as yet the other parts of the world were in-
habited only by wild beasts.
We will look on the map of the world:
let us examine how Asia is situated with
4 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
respect to the other countries. You see it is
bounded on the north by the Frozen Ocean,
on the east by the North Pacific, on the
south by the Indian Ocean, and on the
west by Europe, from which it is separated
by a lofty chain of mountains, called the
The first time I quitted home to visit
the shores of Asia, I was full of the buoy-
ancy of youth, and my thirst to view new
scenes and other countries, moderated my
regret at leaving my native land and friends
I sailed in a trim-built English vessel.
under the command of one of the best
hearted men that ever walked a deck, a good
seaman, and, what is but too rarely met
with among sailors, a pious man. You may
form some idea of his character from the
following circumstance, which happened as
we were doubling Cape Horn, the passage
round which is always a time of anxiety, on
account of the frequent and sudden squalls,
and the tempestuous weather which are here
ASIA AND AFRICA.
It was about mid-day, and we were
scudding, all sail set, before a strong wind
at twelve knots an hour. On a sudden the
cry of 'a man overboard' was heard, and
re-echoed through the ship. Our captain
sprang upon deck, followed by all hands on
board; but the poor fellow was already toss-
ing about, so far astern, as scarcely to be
visible. No sooner did the captain perceive
him floating on the billowy surge, than, fol-
lowing the wishes of his generous heart, and
unmindful of consequences, he called out to
the helmsman to put the ship about.
The mate and seamen entreated him to
reflect upon the danger of such a step;
there was no time then to furl the sails-
and to put about while the wind was blow-
ing so stiff a gale, and with so much canvas
spread, would probably carry away both mast
and rigging, and endanger the lives of the
whole crew, for the mere chance of saving a
man, who could scarcely outlive the time
that must elapse ere they could reach him.
"' He is a good swimmer,' replied the
captain, 'and I will not thus abandon a
6 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
man without one effort to save him.' So
saying, he cast his eyes imploringly to
heaven for protection, then seized the helm
to carry his humane design into execution.
A loud huzza burst spontaneously from
the delighted crew-the boat is lowered and
manned, and a long pull and a strong pull
soon restored their companion to safety.
I need not tell you how much this act
endeared the captain to his crew. His or-
ders were with cheerfulness and promptitude
obeyed, though ever unaccompanied by an
oath, for he had learned in early youth to
shun both swearing and intemperance, the
two besetting sins into which sailors so rea-
dily fall. As the story he used to tell of the
ASIA AND AFRICA.
manner in which he first saw their danger-
ous tendency, is interesting, I will relate it
STORY OF THE CAPTAIN.
It happened early in my career at sea,'
he used to say, 'that the vessel in which I
sailed was bound for Norway, whither we
were sailing with a brisk wind, when the
captain ordered that the vessel should be
kept on a certain tack for the next four
It was the mate's watch upon deck, and
the captain had retired to his cabin to en-
joy his favourite pastime, drinking and smok-
ing, when the former, upon looking at the
chart, discovered we were running directly
for the Maelstroom, a dangerous whirlpool
on the coast of Norway, (of which I have
told in my Tales about Europe).
He sent to apprize the captain of the
situation of the vessel; but the latter was a
man of too much pride to acknowledge him-
self in the wrong, and feeling offended at
8 rARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
being set right by an inferior officer, instead
of directing the helmsman to change the
course, he flew into a violent passion. He
then rushed upon deck with a pistol in his
hand, swearing that he would shoot the
first man who should dare to disobey his or-
The mate endeavoured to calm his im-
petuosity by gentle persuasion, but the cap-
tain's mind was so much affected by liquor
and passion, that he was alike deaf to re-
monstrance and entreaty; and retiring to
his cabin, very much out of humour, he sat
musing till he fortunately fell asleep.
The mate was a man of great nautical
skill, and to him the sailors turned for pro-
tection. They implored him to seize the
command of the vessel, and extricate them
from their perilous situation, in which death
seemed to be staring them in the face.
He then again examined the chart, and
finding the vessel might safely run two
hours upon that tack, he promised that if at
the end of that time the captain should still
refuse to alter the course, he would, as a last
ASIA AND AFRICA.
resource, accede to their request. In the
meanwhile the sailors, relying with confi-
dence upon his judgment, held themselves
ready to obey his commands should danger
Never were the passing minutes watched
with greater anxiety and impatience, and the
vessel still continued on her course; when,
just before the expiration of the four hours
10 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
the look-out from the mast head described
certain indications of their approach to the
Consternation was now depicted in every
face, and fear had almost robbed them of
their powers; but the calm composure and
undisturbed serenity of the mate re-assured
their sinking hearts.
The mate then with modesty descended
to the captain's cabin, and arousing him
from his slumber, he demanded if he was
ready to resign himself with courage to that
death he had so madly run to meet? And
whether he felt himself prepared to answer
at the bar of the Omnipotent, whither he
was about to rush, for his own sins and the
lives of the crew he was about to sacrifice;
' for,' added he, a few minutes more will
carry us beyond the hope of safety,-the
Maelstrom is now in sight.'
A guilty fear now took possession of his
frame, and again he rushed upon deck, but
with very different feelings to those which
occupied his breast two hours before. His
thoughts of proud superiority were gone,-
ASIA AND AFRICA.
he saw the eddying circles of the whirlpool,
and shrinking at the sight of impending
destruction, he exclaimed in the bitterness
of his anguish,-' For God's sake save me
from this danger, and I will never lead you
into such another.'
He then consigned the vessel to the care
of the mate, who, by the blessing of God,
not only saved the vessel, but reclaimed the
captain of two detestable vices, swearing and
12 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
PARLEY TELLS OF SIBERIA AND CHINA.
" THE most northern country of Asia is
Siberia. It belongs to Russia, and is a
cold, inhospitable region, covered with snow
the greater part of the year.
It is about 4,000 miles long, but it is
very thinly peopled. It is used as a place of
transportation for Russian criminals.
The inhabitants are principally occupied
in hunting small animals for their fur skins,
which form one of the principal sources of
Great quantities of these skins are an-
nually sent to Tobolsk; but from the avidity
with which the small animals are hunted,
they are now becoming rather scarce.
Fur skins answer the purpose of money
among the poor natives, their articles of
ASIA AND AFRICA.
both sides of the river seemed like one ex-
tensive garden, displaying all the rich varie-
ties of luxuriant vegetation.
The surface of the water was covered
with boats of various forms and sizes, and
very differently fashioned to the English
boats. Most of them were painted with two
eyes on the fore part, and ornamented with
figures of birds, beasts, and serpents, on the
stern, or hinder part.
The number of these boats was really
countless: some of them lay motionless on
the stream ; other were moving forward
with slow and heavy progress, being tracked
along by poles; while others were shooting
rapidly over the waves, like birds which skim
in their flight the surface of the water.
At first it all appeared to me a dream.
The houses, which were only one story high,
were unlike any I had seen before ;.and the
modes of cultivating the land, the plants,
and trees, were all equally singular. The
fashion of the boats was strange; the dress,
complexion, and features of the people were
30 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
There is something exceedingly impos-
ing in the first sight of ai strange lands I
was indeed delighted with the scene, and
stood upon the deck. feasting my eyes upon
the objects around me. While I was thus
quietly gazing, a loud cry burst from the
boats near us, and a crash and screams of
distress were presently heard. I looked over
the side, and discovered that our vessel had
upset one of their boats, with three men and
two women in it. These people were imme-
diately carried under the ship, and I sup-
posed that they must certainly be drowned;
but I presently saw them t -id the agitated
waves at the stern of the vessel, swimming
like ducks, and tossing up and down like
corks. They were presently picked up by
the surrounding boats.
We now arrived at Whampoa, which is
about thirteen miles from Canton. Here
our vessel was compelled to stop, foreign ves-
sels not being permitted to proceed further
up the river towards Canton. At this place
the ships are unladen, and.the goods carried
in boats to the city, and the vessels are
ASIA AND AFRICA,
obliged to remain here till the merchandise
with which they are to be freighted is
brought from the city in the same manner.
PARLEY DESCRIBES CANTON.
"A short time after my arrival at Wham-
poa, I made an excursion up the river in a
boat to Canton, which is, in many respects,
one of the most remarkable cities':in the
world. It is nearly square, and surrounded
by strong walls, within,which no foreigner is
allowed to enter, and contains twice as-many
inhabitants as Liverpool or New York.
"The streets are always swarming with
foot passengers, for there are neither'coaches,
carriages, nor trucks. All sorts of 'burdens
are carried about by porters, of which vast
numbers are constantly running to and fro;
and even men and women, who are too rich
or too indolent to walk, are carried about by
porters in a species of sedan chair.
"These porters wear a kind of short
frock, and their hair, which is coarse, black,
and more than a yard long, is braided, and
32 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
hangs in a long cue down their backs They
do not wear any kind of covering for their
legs and feet.
"It was until very recently the custom
and the rule in China to exclude all foreigners
from Canton. Since the last war, however,
with the Chinese, Canton has been freely en-
tered, and foreigners are no longer compelled
to remain in the suburbs. The English and
French soldiers were not long in forcing an
entrance to the city when hostilities gave
them the opportunity, and all the boasted
valour of the Chinese and the defences of
ASIA AND AFRICA.
which they talked so proudly were as nothing
before our English soldiers and their gal-
"The Chinese consider themselves superior
to every other nation. They call their coun-
try the Celestial Empire, and consider the
people of every other country as barbarians,
however much they may be before them in
civilization, and in the arts and sciences.
It is not, therefore, to be wondered at, that
they should think the entertainment good
enough even for English gentlemen.
"About three miles from the city of
Canton, there is a place called the Boat
Town. This consists of about forty thou-
sand boats, which cover the river, and form
a kind of floating city. All these boats
touch one another, and are ranged so as to
form streets. The people who reside in
them have no other dwelling, and are pro-
hibited by the laws from settling on shore.
Each boat lodges a family, including grand-
parents and grandchildren. The number of
inhabitants contained in this floating city
amounts probably to one hundred thou-
34 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
"I was one day much amused during a
heavy shower of rain, on -seeing several men
on board these boats, slip over their heads a
kind of jacket, made of flexible reeds, and
then with ithe. utmost .unconcern allow the
rain;,which was pouring in torrents, to con-
tinue, pattering upon them while they pur-
sued, their work. And I was not a little sur-
prised to observe, when the storm abated,
that on: removing these jackets their clothing
appeared to have entirely escaped the effects
of the rain.
"fThe great article of export is tea; of
which forty millions of pouqirs are sent
away every year. The management of the
trade is committed to a council, consisting of
twelve or fourteen of the richest merchants,
called the Hong. The merchants of China
are very honourable in their dealings, though
owing to the. dishonesty of their servants,
they have been sometimes suspected of great
: "Some friends ofmine had a present of a
chest of tea, which was brought on purpose
for:them from China. On opening it they
ASIA AND AFRICA.
found' a quantity of saw-dust in the middle;
this must have been put in instead of
tea, by the servants employed to convey
it to the ship; and they would doubt-
less have been severely punished for the
fraud, if they had been found out. The
supply of.tea in China has been for some
time past rapidly decreasing, in consequence
both of the war with the English, and the
ravages committed by the rebels-for you
must know that there has been, and stillis, a
rebellion in China which threatens, more than
any foreign invasion, to bring the Empire to
an end. Just, however, as tea is failing us
in China, and cotton in America, our Indian
Empire offers to supply both; so it seems we
shall not want for cotton goods, nor lack the
" cup which cheers but not inebriates."
OF THE EMPEROR AND THE CITIES PEKIN
AND NANKIN, WITH SOMETHING MORE
"The whole country of China is about
two-thirds as large as the United States of
North America. The accounts of the num-
36 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
ber of inhabitants most to be relied upon,
state the population to amount to the asto-
nishing number of one hundred and fifty
The Chinese, in the history and descrip-
tion of their own country, state that China
contains more than four thousand cities;
that the sea-coast is defended by 439 castles,
and that the villages scattered over the
country are innumerable.
The wall of China, already noticed, ranks
among its greatest curiosities, and is a most
stupendous work. It is built of stone,r and
carried over mountains and valleys to the
amazing distance of 1500 miles. It is gene-
rally from 25 to 30 feet high. and so broad
that six horsemen can ride abreast upon the
top of it.
This wall which now forms the northern
boundary line of China, was built many
years ago to prevent the frequent incursions
of the Tartars. This is, unquestionably, the
greatest human structure on the face of the
globe, and clearly attests the great energy,
patience, and industry of the Chinese.
ASIA AND AFRICA.
The Emperor resides at Pekin, which is
one of the largest cities in the world; it is
surrounded by high walls, and is exactly
square. All the streets of Pekin are straight,
and some of the principal of them are three
miles in length.
There is something very melancholy as-
sociated with Pekin-to the English, at all
events-for there some of our brave country-
men suffered inhuman tortures, and some of
them lost their lives."
"The concourse of people, and the nunm
ber of camels, horses, and mules, which
38 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
throng the streets of Pekin, is truly asto-
nishing. It is, however, very remarkable,
that amidst this assemblage of living and
moving.things no women are to be seen.
"The women in China are kept in a state
of the greatest ignorance and subjection, and
their, treatment by their husbands is in most
cases brutal. The male children are fos-
tered with the greatest care, but the females
are left almost to shift for themselves. A
wife receives no honour while she is young,
nor from her husband; but should she live
to see her sons grown up, her state becomes
completely changed, and she is almost ido-
lized by them. This arises from the nature
of the Chinese laws, which inculcates im-
plicit obedience to parents as an indispensa-
The emperor's palace, which is in this
city, covers an extent of ground four miles
and a half in circumference. It presents
an assemblage of vast buildings, extensive
courts, magnificent gardens, and is sur-
zounded on all sides by a double wall.
Nankin is another famous city in China,
ASIA AND AFRICA.
and was once the largest in the empire; but
since the removal of the Emperor and the
court from thence to Pekin, its splendor has
been declining. Its walls are sixteen miles
in circumference. The city still abounds
in manufactories of silk, and also of the yel-
lowish cotton goods called nankin, after the
place of its fabrication.
In this city there stood until recently
that remarkable curiosity the Tower, built
of porcelain, which was nearly 200 feet high.
It was divided into nine stories, and was as-
cended by 884 steps. In the corners of all
the galleries were hung innumerable bells,
which, when agitated by the wind, produced
clear and delightfully harmonious sounds.
PARLEY TELLS ABOUT TIE PEOPLE
Having given youtrather a lengthened
account of the country of China, I will now,
in conclusion, tell you something about the
people. 'Kien Long was one of the most
celebrated emperors of China. He lived to
40 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
the age of 86, 'and abdicated the throne
in the year 1795. The ship in which I
sailed was named after this emperor.
"In China the will of the sovereign is
absolute throughout his dominions, and he
can .take away the life or the property of
any individual; for there is no law to restrain
him, if he is wickedly disposed, from com-
mitting the most barbarous and cruel acts.
The present Emperor of China is a mere
child. His mother and another wife of the
late Emperor are the joint regents during his
minority. Great opposition was offered to
this arrangement by some of the late Em-
peror's Ministers, but the Queen acted with
prompt vigour, and seized the throne for
the child. They acted afterwards very merci-
fully towards those who opposed them, and
did not put them to death, as they might
readily have done.
"The common people are mostly worship-
pers of a deity whom they call FO. They
have many temples filled with gigantic im-
ages, to which they attribute great virtues.
The priests, called Bonzes, have a complete
ASIA AND AFRICA.
influence over this ignorant and superstitious
people, who are fond of processions and
religious ceremonies, but entirely neglect
the worship of the only true and living God.
Some time since, those who are known
as the rebels, professed to be Christians; but
their Christianity is so mixed up with
heathenism, as to be little better than the old
"The English missionaries have made
some successful attempts to introduce the
Christian religion to the idolatrous inhabi-
tants of many of the settlements in the is-
lands of the Indian ocean. The Chinese are
much encouraged to emigrate to these is-
lands, in order to relieve their own country
from its overwhelming mass of inhabitants.
In a village in one of these islands is a street
nearly a mile long, inhabited solely by Chi-
nese. The missionaries have given us the
following account of it:-
"'We called,' say they, 'at several of
their houses, and found in each an idol of
some kind; but that which most surprised
us was a French engraving of Napoleon
42 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
Buonaparte, in a gilt frame, before which in-
cense was burning, while the old man to
whom it belonged was paying divine honours
to it, by bowing himself in various grotesque
attitudes, and fervently supplicating that
blessings might attend him and his family.
When we asked him why he worshipped that
as a god, which came from Europe, instead
of one from his own country, he frankly re-
plied, 'Oh, we worship anything.'
ASIA AND AFRICA.
"The fashions of dress never change.
The emperor and his family are alone per-
mitted to wear yellow clothes. The common
people are allowed to wear only blue or
black, and white is the colour for mourning.
"The Chinese, in their theatres, perform
many wonderful feats of strength and agility.
I will describe one of them for your amuse-
"Four men stood as closely together as
they could, making a kind of solid square,
and upon their shoulders two men climbed
up and stood upright, while another man
climbing up still higher, stood upon them,
making a kind of pyramid.
"You will, perhaps, wonder how the
uppermost man could stand where he did
and how the men at the bottom could bear
the weight they had to sustain; but this is
not all. Another man then mounted a ladder,
and got upon the shoulders of the highest,
being thus raised high in the air, and in this
situation received another man from the top
of the scenes, whom he grasped firmly by
the waist, and held up over his head for
44 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
some time. He then stood upon one leg,
still holding the man above his head, and
lastly threw his burden carelessly head over
heels among the actors on the ground, who
caught him in their arms. At the same time
he made a summerset on the opposite side,
and disappeared among the crowd.
During the time that this feat was per-
forming, the stage was as light as at noon-
day, so that there appeared no opportunity
of deceiving the spectators.
"I have now concluded my description
of China, one of the most extensive and
populous countries in the world. It "s con-
sidered the most favoured under heaven, as
to the fertility of its soil, the salubrity of its
climate, and other boons which nature has
lavished upon it; yet it is painful to contem- *
plate it. However beautiful the aspect of a
country may be, if the people are in religious
darkness, and degraded by the influence of
a despotic government, the country cannot
fail to be unhappy.
Now, however, that the ports of China
have been opened, and intercourse with
ASIA AND AFRICA.
strangers freely allowed, it is hoped that a
change for the better may come over the
social, political, and, above all, the religious
condition of this extraordinary people.
46 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
PARLEY TELLS ABOUT TARTARY AND
" MY account of China has been rather long,
but I hope not tedious. I have extended
my description of that interesting country,
because the means of: obtaining information
respecting it, are far less numerous than
those derived from countries with which we
have almost.constant communication.
I will now tell you of another country,
the people of which you will no doubt think
equally singular with the Chinese. To the
north and west of China is a country called
Tartary. It is often called central Asia, be-
ing situated nearly in the middle of it.
This region, which is in general very
elevated and surrounded by mountains,
ASIA AND AFRICA.
spreads out to an immense extent, and in-
cludes a territory of more than twice the ex-
tent of the United States. It is very thinly
inhabited by various wandering tribes, who
are known under the general name of Tar-
tars. There are, however, nations of them:
as the Mantchoo Tartars, who live near
China, the Mogul Tartars, and the Calmucs..
The people, in their personal appearance,
bear a strong resemblance to the native
American Indians, though they are some-
what shorter. Nor are their modes of life
less similar to this people. They do not
settle in towns, and pursue various kinds of
business, as we do here; but on the con-
trary, lead a wandering life, and, as I have
already told you, look with contempt upon
those who live in fixed habitations, and
pursue regular employment.
The Tartars keep many horses of a fine
breed, which are exceedingly fleet and very
highly trained. They are such excellent
horsemen, have such complete command
over the animal, and are so constantly
mounted, that report states them to eat,
48 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
drnnk, and sleep on horseback; but this is
only a traveller's story.
These people are very expert in the use
of the lance, a weapon twice the length of a
man's body, with an iron point at one end.
They employ them in war and in hunting
wild animals, and throw them with such
skill and force, as to send them entirely
through the body of a man or deer at the
distance of many yards.
The Mahomedan religion is generally
professed throughout Tartary, but other
creeds have place among them. The Tar-
tars have many curious customs peculiar to
themselves, among which is that of burying
with a deceased person his best horse, and
such other articles as he possessed of the
greatest value. They do this in the vain
imagination that these things will be useful
to him in the other world. This practice,
though ridiculous, proves that they believe
in the immortality of the soul.
"They have a very singular practice in
connection with religious worship, namely,
that of placing a written prayer on a wheel,
ASIA AND AFRICA.
which is rapidly made to revolve: they sup-
pose that every time the wheel turns round,
the prayer is heard in heaven.
PARLET GIVES SOME ACCOUNT OF
Thibet is another remarkable country
that is subject to China; its surface is greatly
diversified by lofty mountains and deep val-
leys, and it abounds in rocky precipices,
roaring cataracts, and peaks, whose tall sum-
mits are covered with eternal snow. On
the southern boundary of this country are
the loftiest mountains in the world, upon
the cloud-capped tops of which human feet
have never perhaps yet trodden. These are
called the Himmaleh mountains, and were
annexed to the territory of British India in
1826. This region has lately created con-
siderable interest, in consequence of the
failure of the tea supply in China. From the
researches of travellers, it has long been
known that the tea-tree is indigenous to the
soil. This bids fair to be of vast importance to
50 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
the commerce of Great Britain; for if the
cultivation of the plant be promoted, it may
one day render us completely independent
of China for a constant supply of the article
tea, which has now become an indispensable
beverage to almost every inhabitant of Eng-
A quantity of this article, under the title
of Assam tea, has already been sold in the
English market at a very advanced price, a
circumstance which is alone sufficient to sti-
mulate the enterprising to an attention to
this profitable source of traffic.
The interior of Thibet is litt. known;
for few travellers have ever penetrated into
these wild regions. The inhabitants appear
to be of the same race as the Mongolian
Tartars. The Thibetians have a species of
goat which, under their coarse hair, produce
a kind of fine down. This down is carried
to Cashmere, in Northern India, and there
made into shawls of costly price.
The cashmere shawls are so highly
prized in Europe and America, that they
sometimes sell for two or three hundred
ASIA AND AFRICA.
pounds each. These, it is said, are gene-
rally second-hand articles, having been first
worn by the Hindoos on their heads for tur-
bans; and after their beauty is in some de-
gree lost, they are dressed over, and sent to
this country, where they find a ready
The people of Thibet describe the ob-
ject of their devotion to be a man into whose
body the spirit of the Diety had entered.
When he dies, his soul is not supposed to
leave this world, but to animate another
person, who is carefully sought after by the
inferior lamas or priests. When discovered,
he is generally a child. Thus, they say,
their Deity renders himself perpetually visi-
ble to his creatures.
The man that has, as they suppose, thus
become their Deity, sits cross-legged upon
a throne, and in this manner receives the
homage of his worshippers, who pretend
that a divine odour is constantly exhaling
from his body, rendering it peculiarly de-
lightful to be in his presence. They also
say that flowers spring up beneath his feet,
52 PARLEY's TALES ABOUT
and bud and blossom; and that rivers burst
forth from the rocks, and flow at his com-
mand. All this, the worshippers of the
Grand Lama profess to believe, and like-
wise that his power can save them from mi-
sery on earth, and bestow upon them happi-
We who are blessed with a knowledge
of the true religion, cannot but look with
wonder upon the superstition of these igno-
rant and deluded Thibetians. Let us there-
fore recollect, that we are indebted to that
good God, who has ordered all things well,
for the superior advantages we enjoy, and
let us resolve so to employ the talent com-
mitted to our care, that we may be called
good and faithful servants, and enter into
the joy of our Lord. To us has been given
much, and of us much will assuredly be re-
PETER PARLEY GIVES AN ACCOUNT
Japan is an extensive empire, situated at
ASIA AND AFRICA.
the eastern extremity of Asia, and consists
of three large and a number of small is-
lands. The three principal are Niphon,
Sikokf, and Kin-sin. The large island of
Jesso, immediately north of Niphon, has
been colonized and governed by Japan; but
it is scarcely considered as a part of the em-
I found that the most of Japan is very
rocky and precipitous; and that there are
few parts that can be approached with safety,
on account of the numerous shallows and
While I was there, several earthquakes
were felt in different parts of the empire,
and sometimes to a desolating extent. The
fertile parts of the country consist chiefly of
narrow valleys; while extensive tracts are
naturally so barren, that they are only com-
pelled, by unremitting industry, to afford a
Turnips, carrots, melons, and cucum-
bers, grow here without cultivation. Many
other vegetables are common, but the most
54 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
remarkable production is the Varnish tree,
with the juice of which the natives varnish,
or, as we call it, japan their furniture.
The industry of the Japanese agricul-
turists exceeds that of every other nation;
every spot that can be rendered productive
being cultivated with the greatest assiduity.
The duty of cultivating the soil is considered
so sacred, that the law has provided that he
who omits it, even for one year, shall forfeit
the land so neglected.
In a country where every inch of ground
is employed in raising food for men, the
number of quadrupeds mlast necessarily be
small. The sheep, goat, camel, ass, mule,
elephant, and hog, are almost unknown;
and even when introduced by foreigners, the
breed is discontinued, being considered not
only as useless but prejudicial. Oxen and
cows are reared merely for labour; and
horses are only employed in the retinues of
Japan, like China, has been for a long
period closed against, all intercourse with
ASIA AND AFRICA.
foreigners. No strangers have been per-
mitted to settle in the empire; no native
has been allowed to leave it with the chance
of returning home. It must, however, be
acknowledged that for some time the Japan-
ese were far less exclusive than the Chinese;
they not only permitted the residence of
strangers amongst them, but they allowed
them freely to exercise their religious faith.
An Englishman was promoted to high offices
of state, and received especial marks of favour
from the Imperial ruler.
But the Jesuits attempted to raise an
insurrection and overturn the throne, and
the result of this was a frightful massacre of
the Christians, and the closing of the ports
against all intercourse with foreign nations.
These restrictions have within a very recent
period been removed. Japan has been visited
by many intelligent travellers, all of whom
have agreed in expressing their admiration
as well as astonishment at the civilization of
the people. The arts are in a very flourish-
ing condition, and the social habits of the
people appear highly commendable.
56 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
PARLEY DESCRIBES HINDOSTAN.
'( Of all the countries on the Asiatic conti-
nent, India, from the earliest antiquity, has
excited the greatest interest, and enjoyed the
highest celebrity. It has ever appeared to
the Western world as adorned with what-
ever is most splendid and gorgeous, glitter-
ing as it were with gold and gems, and re-
dolent with fragrant and delicious odours.
The diversity of its surface, the varied gran-
deur of its scenery, and the rich and copious
productions of its soil, are unequalled in any
The two most remarkable quadrupeds
are the elephant and tiger. The elephant,
of a species distinct from that of Africa, is
here not merely pursued as game, but being
caught alive, is trained for the purposes of
the state, for hunting, and for war. The
tiger, the formidable tenant of the Bengal
ASIA AND AFRICA.
jungle, supplies the place of the lion, and
though not quite equal to the latter animal
in strength and agility, it is still more fierce
These two mighty animals are brought
into conflict in the Indian hunt. The ele-
phant is then used as an instrument for
attacking his fiercer, but less powerful, an-
A short digression to describe one of
these hunts, at which I was present, will, no
doubt, prove acceptable to my young friends.
THE TIGER HUNT.
The tiger is, with justice, esteemed the
most cruel and rapacious animal in the crea-
tion; and in India, where it attains to a very
large size, it does considerable mischief. It
is so strong that it carries off cattle and
horses, and not unfrequently lies in wait in
the jungles contiguous to the public roads,
whence it springs upon the unwary traveller,
ere he has time to fire, even if he is armed
During my stay at the house of a friend,
58 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
who resided but a few miles from Calcutta,
news was brought that some large tigers had
formed a lair in an extensive jungle, on the
banks of the Ganges, at no great distance
from a neighboring village. They had
already committed so many depredations as
to excite universal terror and alarm. A re-
solution was therefore speedily formed of
uniting to destroy their common enemies, or
at least to dislodge them from their present
On the day preceding that appointed
for the hunt, a party of armed Indians was
dispatched to pitch a tent abu It a mile and a
half from the jungle, in which the animals
were said to be concealed. The jungle was
described as being very dense, anrd contain-
ing thickets of long grass and reeds from fif-
teen to twenty feet high.
These preliminary arrangements having
been made, a troop of thirty elephants was
sent off on the following morning at one
o'clock, with servants and refreshments of
all kinds, and at two the party followed in
ASIA AND AFRICA.
On reaching the scene of action, we
formed a line of considerable extent, and
entered a small detached jungle. My ele-
phant, sorely against my wish, passed
through the centre; for this there was no
remedy, as my driver was a keen sportsman,
and he and I spoke no common language.
Happily, however, no tiger had at that hour
nestled there. As we passed through, the
bed of one appeared to have been just left.
There was still lying there a half-devoured
bullock, with a heap of bones, some bleached
and some still red with gore.
We hadnot proceeded five hundred yards
beyond the jungle, when we heard on our
left a -general cry of Baugh! -Baugh!
Baugh! On hearing this exclamation of
Tiger! we wheeled round, and forming the
line anew, entered the great jungle. The
spot where a single tiger lay having been
pointed out, on the discharge of the first
gun a scene presented itself, declared by all
the experienced tiger hunters present, to be
the finest they had ever seen. Five full-
grown royal tigers sprang at the same in-
60 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
stant from the spot where they had been
crouching together. They ran in different
directions, but crouched again in new covers
within the same jungle, each of which was
marked. We followed, having formed the
line into a crescent, so as to embrace the two
extremities of the jungle: in the centre
was the Houdar or State Elephant, with the
ladies, and the marksmen, to comfort and
encourage them. The gentlemen of the
party had each an elephant to himself, and
formed the wings of the crescent.
ASIA AND AFRICA.
We slowly and warily approached the
spot where the first tiger lay. He stirred
not until we were just upon him, when
uttering a roar, that resembled thunder, he
rushed upon us. The elephants wheeled
round at once, and shuffled off, if I may be
allowed the term to express their motions,
which cannot be described by that of any
quadruped with which we are acquainted.
After a flight of about fifty yards they re-
turned, and as they approached the skirts
of the jungle, where the tiger had lodged
himself, he rushed forth, and springing at
the side of an elephant, upon which three of
the natives were mounted, at one stroke of
his paw lie tore off a portion of the pad
from under them, and one of the riders,
panic struck, fell off. The tiger, seeing his
enemies close upon him returned slowly and
indignantly into his shelter, towards which
place a heavy and well-directed fire was
poured in by the principal marksmen. In
a few minutes we pushed in, and saw him
lie growling and foaming in the agonies of
62 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
"We marked the spot, by fixing a long
spear, and tying the muslin of a turban to
the end of it, and then proceeded to seek
the rest. We roused three others in close
succession, and with little variation killed
two 'of them.
"While the fate of the last and largest of
these was depending, more shots were fired
than in the three other attacks.; he escaped
four several assaults, and taking post in dif-
ferent parts of the jungle, rushed upon us
with rekindled rage at each wound he re-
ceived, and as often put the whole line to
flight. In one pursuit, he singled out an
elephant, upon which was seated a lady of
distinction, when, rising upon his hind feet,
and distending his enormous jaws, he was
just in the act of springing upon her as she
cleared the jungle. At another time he
sprang at the leg of one of the elephants,
and clinging round it, was inflicting the
most fearful gashes with his talons; while
the latter animal, bellowing with the pain,
had but feeble means of resistance by push-
ing at the tiger's head with his trunk. At
ASIA AND AFRICA.
this fearful crisis, it fortunately happened that
one of the boldest of the hunters, who was
near, plunged a long spear into the neck of
the tiger. This forced him to quit his hold,
and falling to the ground, he was presently
crushed beneath the feet of the enraged
elephant. The fifth, which appeared to be
the oldest and most ferocious of the family,
had early in the conflict quitted the scene of
action, and wisely escaped to another part
of the country.
"The chase being over, we returned in
triumph to our encampment, and were fol-
lowed by the spoils of the morning, and by
a great number of peasants from the neigh-
bouring villages, who pressed round the
open tent, in which we sat at breakfast,
vying with each other in offering congratu-
lations and in calling down blessings upon
The four tigers were laid in the front of
the tent, and round them stood a crowd of
natives, who appeared to view them still with
terror, and many shed tears. Among the
spectators, was an old woman of sickly
64 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
aspect, and a countenance that bespoke her
inward grief. She remained some time look-
ing at the largest tiger, then pointing to his
tusks and lifting up one of his fore-paws,
and viewing his talons, she commenced in
broken and doleful tones to narrate some-
thing to the little circle by whom she was
JML 6 j
surrounded, composed of three Brahmins,
and a young woman with a child in her arms.
Her aged cheeks streamed with tears, and
her voice assumed a tone so piteous and
plaintive, that I was considerably affected,
ASIA AND AFRICA.
though her language was unknown to me.
Her tale of misery had no effect upon the
apathy of the Brahmins, nor was a feature
of their countenances softened; but horror,
anxiety, and fear, were alternately depicted
upon the female's face, and from her clasp-
ing, at times, her child more closely to her
breast, I readily divined the subject of the
old woman's story.
"Upon inquiry I learned that she was in
one day rendered a widow, and childless;
her husband, and her two sons, both grown
up to manhood, had been carried off by
tigers, and probably by those which now
lay dead before her.
PARLEY DESCRIBES THE PHENOMENON
"On the more smooth and level portions
of the dreary tract about Poogul, the tra-
veller is tafitalized by the phenomenon
called Sirab, or Mirage, producing before
him the appearance of immense lakes, that
even reflect the surrounding objects; and
66 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
the illusion continues till he has almost
touched the watery semblance, and finds it
consists of the same arid soil as the rest of
.,4 .. :
ASIA AND AFRICA.
PARLEY TELLS ABOUT THE IMMENSE
WEALTH OF INDIA.
"It is scarcely possible to form a just idea
of the wealth which India once contained,
and of the booty borne off by the conquer-
ors in the Indian wars. I shall give a few
instances only, which will convey some no-
tion of the extent of its treasures.
Hyder Ali is said to have carried off, at
the sacking of Bednore, a booty estimated
at twelve millions sterling.
The Persian monarch, Narid Shah, is re-
ported to have continued, during thirty-five
days, to ransack that splendid capital, Delhi;
and historians hesitate not to affirm, that he
and his officers seized a spoil of more than
thirty-two millions sterling. Of this, at
68 FARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
least, one half was in diamonds and other
jewels, which the Mcgul Emperors, since
the first accession of their dynasty, had
been indefatigable in collecting from every
Mahmoud, the Mohammedan conqueror,
in his expeditions into India, plundered se-
veral of the richest temples which that
country contained, and among others, the
antique shrine of Simnaut, a temple con-
sisting of a majestic hall, supported by fifty-
six columns, and entirely encircled by Hin-
doo deities. Sumnaut himself, a figure
whose dimensions are variously reported,
towered gigantic above them all. On first
beholding this idol, Mahmoud, fired with
wrathful zeal, struck off his nose, and gave
orders that the whole of the figure should
be forthwith reduced to fragments. The
attendant Brahmins, fearing the entire des-
truction of this object of their profoundest
veneration, fell upon their knees and prof-
fered an immense sum to save what still
remained; but the king indignantly rejected
the idea of becoming the seller of idols.
ASIA AND AFRICA.
The work of demolition continued, and, on
reaching the interior, there was disclosed
a treasure in pearls, rubies, and diamonds,
almost beyond conception, and very far sur-
passing the immense sum tendered for its
redemption. The amount has never been
70 PAltRLY'S TALES ABOUT
ascertained, but it is generally admitted to
have greatly exceeded that of any former
From the shrine of Bime he is said to
have carried away more gold, silver, and
precious stones, than had ever been found in
the possession of any one prince upon earth.
Thus he continued to plunder the shrines,
one after another, till he made himself mas-
ter of treasure, the accumulated value of
which, the utmost stretch of the imagination
falls short of conceiving.
"But of all the temples of India, that of
Muttra or Mathura, sacred to the Hindoo.
deity Krishna, contained shrines eclipsing
all others even in this wealthy state. These
shrines, splendid beyond comparison, were
filled with gigantic idols of pure gold, with
eyes of rubies. At the plunder of this tem-
ple, Mahmoud is said to have possessed him-
self of gold and silver estimated at half a
million sterling, with jewels and pearls ex-
ceeding all calculation.
ASIA AND AFRICA.
THE TEMPLE OF ELEPIIANTA.
Of the wonderful structures in India, the
most celebrated is Elephanta, situated about
half way up the declivity of a hill, in a small
wooded island near Bombay. Three entran-
ces are afforded between four rows of massive
columns, and the principal avenue is 220 feet
long and 150 broad. The most conspicuous
object, placed in the centre, is a triple
head of colossal dimensions, being a figure
of Siva, to whom the temple is dedicated,
and with whose images it is filled.
72 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
THE STRUCTURES OF ELLORA.
Near the antient city of Deoghir and the
modern Dowlatabad, are the wondrous struc-
tures of Ellora. Here a lofty hill is com-
pletely cut out into a range of temples, and
its surface covered with sculpture and orna-
ments that display considerable taste, and
,bespeak for its founders a degree of civiliza-
tion, to which the modern Hindoos have not
the slightest pretensions.
THE ISLAND PALACE OF JUGMUNDER.
The palaces of many of the Indian princes
are of a highly beautiful character, and that
of Jugmunder ranks among the most su-
perb. This edifice is composed entirely of
marble, and is situated upon the border of an
extensive lake, which reflects the majestic
and polished towers in the fair bosom of its
lovely waters. The surrounding scene is of
the most enchanting description, and fills
the mind of the beholder with the most dc-
ASIA AND AFRICA.
lightful sensations. A great part of the
floor is inlaid with rich mosaic, the effect
of which is greatly heightened by the light
passing through variously tinted glass.
The character of some of the Indian
chiefs is not less remarkable than the coun-
try they inhabit, and deserves to be especi-
ally noticed. I will relate an anecdote or
two, to give you an example of them.
Nahur Khan, the Tiger Lord, was the
fierce, the brave, and faithful adherent of
Jesswint Singh, chief of Marware. He was
a commander, who, both in serving and
opposing the Mogul Emperor Aurenzebe,
showed himself to be one of the greatest that
India can boast. Nahur led the van in all
Jesswint's battles, and widely spread the
terror of his master's name. He acquired
the epithet of Faithful of the Faithful, by
his generous promptitude even to submit to
the loss of life, on an occasion of the gross-
est superstition, in order to serve his master.
74 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
"Jesswint, through the pressure of deep
remorse, had become subject to temporary
alienation of mind, imputed by the magi-
cians to the operation of an evil spirit. The
spirit being exorcised, was said to declare,,
that the chief could only be restored by some
one suffering death as a voluntary sacrifice.
Nahur Khan instantly offered himself as the
victim; but the magicians saved him, by
pretending that the spirit had descended
into a vessel of water, which, being swal-
lowed by Nahur, caused the reason of his
illustrious master to resume its seat.
On another occasion, when employed
against Soortan, also one of the most gal-
lant of these chieftains, Nahur, with a
chosen band, surprised the chief in the dead
of night, and having bound him to his
pallet with his own turban, he sounded the
alarm, that the surrounding clansmen might
see their master carried off in triumph, with-
out daring to attempt his rescue.
"At another time Jesswint, in a fit of
rage, ordered his faithful chief to be thrown
into the den of a tiger, and there unarmed
ASIA AND AFRICA.
to contend for his life. But Nahur pre-
sented to the monster so firm an aspect,
that it turned away; whereupon the brave
chief observed, that honour forbade him to
attack an adversary that dared not look him
in the face.
CUNNING STRATAGEM OF
i" Jesswint, having become
person of Soortan, conveyed
the Mogul court, in order to
to the Emperor Aurenzebe.
master of the
his captive to
- -- -~ ''
76 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
"Soortan was accordingly instructed in
regard to those prostrations required of all
who were ushered into the presence of the
great ruler of India. But Soortan proudly
observed: My life is in the king's hands,
my honour in my own;' adding at the same
time, 'I have never yet bowed down the
head to mortal man, and never will.'
Jesswint, knowing the determined reso-
lution of his captive, became considerably
embarrassed, having given him a promise of
honourable treatment, which he could now
scarcely expect to have the power of redeem-
"It was, therefore, necessary to have re-
course to stratagem, a faculty which forms
no inconsiderable part of the Indian cha-
racter; and the master of the ceremonies
endeavoured to obviate the difficulty, by pre-
paring for the chief's entrance into the pre-
sence hall, a species of wicket, raised a little
from the ground, and so low, that it was
thought he could not pass through it, except
in such a position as might be interpreted
into an expression of homage. But the
ASIA AND AFRICA.
same subtlety of stratagem, which in the
one had suggested the means of obviating
the difficulty, was by the other employed in
defeating their designs; for Soortan effected
his entry by advancing his feet first, by
which means his head appeared last, and his
body in a position the very reverse of that
he was desired to assume.
"Aurenzebe, who was a man of lofty
sentiment and great discernment, was much
pleased with Soortan's noble bearing, and at
the same time so amused with his ingenious
contrivance, to avoid doing constrained ho-
mage, that he offered him a gift of lands, to
78 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
attach him to his service. But Soortan re-
plied, that no boon which the Emperor could
bestow, would be so agreeable to him, as the
simple permission to return to the wild hills
that surrounded his castle of Aboo ; and his
wish was immediately granted.
Hindostan is unquestionably one of the
fairest and most fertile countries on the sur-
face of the globe, yielding every thing in
abundance; yet it must not be denied that it
is sometimes visited by scourges of famine for
want of rain, pestilence from the heat of the
climate, and sometimes by those devastating
hurricanes which carry all before them, lay-
ing the ground waste in one extended plain
of universal ruin. As we have no hurri-
canes in this country, I will describe one.
They generally follow a perfect calm,
when the air is serene, and all is still and
tranquil. The birds are quietly reposing
amid the thick branches of the trees, andt
the cattle stretched at length, sleeping in
thoughtless security in the shade. The sun
shines brightly over the landscape, and all
nature seems hushed in sweet repose.
ASIA AND AFRICA.
But presently a small cloud.is seen in
the distance. It rapidly approaches, and in-
creases in size till it stretches far across the
wide expanse of the heavens. The cloud
seems in great agitation, and a rushing sound
is heard on the distant hills. It moves on-
ward, whirling and roaring like, the waters
beneath a cataract, and covers the sky as
with a sable veil. All around is dark as
blackest night, excepting now and then.the
lightning's vivid flash illumes the sky with
awful blaze, and crashing thunder follows
peal on peal, rolling along the vaulted arch
of heaven with a sound so horrid, that even
the stoutest hearts must quail.
The storm proceeds, the grass and
grain, and all the tender plants, are levelled
with the ground. The roar of the raging
tempest fills the ear; and fragments of the
wreck of other places over which the storm
has passed, are borne upon the wind and fall
around with fearful noise. The houses
tremble, and with horrid crash fall down in
ruin on the affrighted inmates. Mighty
fragments of the topmost rocks come rollin
80 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
down the mountain side, bearing away with
devastating sweep whatever opposes them.
"The roaring of the wind becomes fainter
and fainter, and at length stillness succeeds
the dreadful uproar. The cloud is seen
hurrying away over the hills, carrying with
it to other places the same destruction it has
left behind. The terrified inhabitants come
forth and witness the ruin that is spread
around them. Many of their dwellings are
lying in heaps of rubbish, perhaps burying
beneath them, the tender wife of their
bosom, or child of their affection. Their
crops are cut off, and their cattle are either
killed or hurried away before the gale, so
that they never recover them.
ASIA AND AFRICA.
PARLEY DESCRIBES THE EASTERN PENIN-
SULA, OR INDIA BEYOND THE GANGS.
'*IT is highly important that the various
names under which this peninsula is known,
be thoroughly impressed upon the memory,
to prevent the confusion which must neces-
sarily arise in the mind from a multiplicity
of names being given to one place.
"It is called Indo-China, Chin-India,
India without, and India beyond the Ganges,
It comprises the Burman empire, the empire
of Tonquin, and the kingdoms of Assam,
Siam, and Malacca; but the principal of
them is the Burman empire, recently formed
by the union of several small kingdoms sub-
dued by the Burmans.
82 rARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
THE BURMESE EMPIRE.
"The capital of the Burman empire is
Ummerapoora, about four miles from Ava,-
the former capital, which is now in ruins, the
most splendid part of the materials having
been carried thence to form the present ca-
pital. The city is called the Golden City,
and the emperor styled his Golden Majesty.
Though absolute in power, and very des-
potic, he is nevertheless almost wholly un-
,der:the influence of the court astrologers,
since nothing of importance is undertaken
without consulting them as to the propitious
time for its performance.
"The people are very superstitious, inso-
much that an unusual grunt from the white
elephant, which -they highly venerate, is at
all'times sufficient to interrupt the most im-
portant affairs, and cause the most solemn
engagements to be broken off.
The principal feature in the Burmese wor-
ship is that of building pagodas, of which
ASIA AN) AFRICA.
great numbers are found in every part of
THE SIIOEDAGON, OR GOLDEN PAGODA
"The lofty Shoedagon stands on the sum-
mit of an abruptly rising eminence, situated
about two miles and a half from Rangoon,
from whence it is seen rising in splendour
and magnificence above every other object.
There arc two roads leading to it from the
town, and each of them crowded with nume-
rous pagodas, varying in size and richness,
according to the wealth or zeal of the pious
architects. These pagodas are all private
property, every Burman, who can afford it,
building one as an offering to Ghandma.
They are not temples, for no worship is per-
formed in them; and when once built, little
care is .afterwards taken of them, it being
considered more meritorious to build a new
one than to repair the old.
"The Burmese are said to be given to
lying, pilfering, and dissimulation; and the
84 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
character is but too justly merited by the
government functionaries. But the poor
people, by far the better part of the nation,
are represented as frank and hospitable, and
by no means deficient in qualities that would
do honour to more civilized' communities.-
They are acute, intelligent, and observing,
and very generally can read and write. A
writer of acknowledged veracity, who spent
some time in their country, sums up their
character in the following remarkable words:
-' Their virtues are their own; their faults
and vices, the effect of education and the
pernicious influence of a cruel and despotic
STORY OF MIR. AND MRS. JUDSON.
"The truths of Christianity were some
years ago attempted to be disseminated
among the Burmese, by Mr. and Mrs. Jud-
son, American missionaries. They met with
very little success; for, being suspected by
the Emperor of being secret friends of the
English, who were then waging war against
ASIA AND AFRICA.
the'Burmese, they were thrown into prison,
and endured very great hardships.
While Mr. and Mrs. Judson were settled
at Ava, at that time the capital of the Burmese
empire, the Emperor and his family came to
reside at his palace in that city, which is a
?\ .__- ....... ==~ ..^
most splendid edifice. They were attended
by an immense procession of Viceroys,
dressed in their robes of state, officers and
soldiers, horses and carriages, hundreds of
elephants with trappings and decorations of
the most brilliant and costly description.
86 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
To these were added an interminable con-
course of people, many of whom were carry-
ing flags and banners, waving in the air.
"Among the 'chief objects of the proces-
ision was a beautifullwhite elephant, with the
most superb ornaments, and attended by
persons in the must gorgeous and sumptu-
ous attire. This elephant was an object of
the most profound respect, and so reverenced
by the populace, that they prostrated them-
selves and fell on their faces as it passed
along. Mr. and Mrs. Judson, were at that
time in favour, and obtained a .seat in the
beautiful garden, where a richbanquet was
prepared for the king and queen; and the
principal nobles. 'The :spectacle was bril-
liant in the extreme, and far surpassed any
thing the missionaries had hitherto seen.
Mr. and Mrs. Judson had been some
time at Ava, when news arrived that the
English. hadtaken Rangoon, a large town of
the Burman empire, situated at the mouth of
the Irrawaddy, where it empties itself into
the Bay of Bengal.
The Emperor suspecting Mr. Judson to
ASIA AND AFRICA.
be the secret agent of the English, ordered
him to be seized and thrown into prison.
The merciless minions of the government,
therefore, rushed into Mr. Judson's house,
seized him, threw him on the floor, and
having bound him strongly with cords, they
dragged him away in the most barbarous and
cruel manner. While he was being thus
brutally hurried away, the cords around his
body became so tightly drawn that he could
scarcely breathe; and in this miserable state
he was thrust into the death prison.
88 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
"An officer was afterwards sent to Mrs.
Judson, and after asking her a great num-
ber of questions, he placed a guard of ten
men around the house and went away.
Mrs. Judson now took her children into an
inner room and barred the door; while the
men from without were threatening in the
most violent manner to break it open, if she
did not let them in. On her persisting to
keep the door closed against them, they took
two of her servants and treated them very
roughly. At length she pacified them by a
promise of presents.
"The next morning she learned the dis-
tressing situation of her husband, and after
many entreaties, she obtained permission of
the governor to visit him. He was lying on
the floor, in a damp, gloomy place, heavily
loaded with chains, which prevented him from
standing upright. During the few minutes
the pitiless keepers allowed them to be to-
gether, he gave her instructions as to the
means she should employ to obtain his
With a zeal prompted by affection for
ASIA AND AFRICA.
her husband, and with a heart devoured by
the anguish she felt at the thoughts of his
sufferings, she endeavoured to incline the
queen to intercede with the king for his re-
But alas! all her efforts were useless;
the queen, though affected at Mrs. Judson's
entreaties, refused to interfere in the affair,
and she returned to her house in the utmost
consternation and alarm for his safety. The
government officers came and took away
what money and other valuables they could
find in the house, and left her in a state of
anguish and distress, better to be conceived
Month after month rolled away, and
Mr. Judson still continued in prison, shut up
with about one hundred others, The poor
prisoners suffered great distress during the
summer months from the excessive heat of
the climate, and the want of fresh air; for
the place of their confinement was not only
small but badly ventilated; while the weight
of their chains galled their limbs in the most
490 PARLEL'S TALES ABOUT
"Mrs. Judson used every means she
could devise to procure relief for her hus-
band and his fellow sufferers. She went to
the different officers, and assuring them of
his innocence, she implored them to mode-
rate the rigor of his confinement, but all was
useless; neither her tears, her prayers, nor
her entreaties were of any avail. At length
poor Mrs. Judson, worn out with anxiety
and disappointment, fell sick and was con-
fined to the house. During this period the
prisoners suffered extremely, having been
thrust into an inner prison, and loaded with
five pairs of chains each. Some fell victims
to the cruel treatment they received, and
Mr. Judson caught a fever, from which he
seemed little likely to recover. His wife, on
her recovery, went to the governor, and im-
plored, that her husband might, at least, be
placed in aless unwholesome situation. This
was at first refused, till at length tired of her
importunities and entreaties, the governor
permitted him to be removed to another part
of the prison, which, though wretched in the
ASIA AND AFRICA.
extreme, procured them many happy mo-
ments, as she was allowed to visit him, and
attend him in his sickness.
But these moments cf consolation were
too soon to be exchanged for hours of the
most bitter anguish. Mr. Judson and the
surviving prisoners, were marched away, and
that so privately, that his wife could not even
learn the direction of the route they had
taken. Her grief was now indescribable;
she had every reason to conclude, that. her
husband had been hurried away to execu-
tion, and she never expected to see him more.
Her situation was at this time truly distress-
ing; she was quite alone in a strange land,
surrounded by a cruel people, without
money, without friends, without protection,
and had an infant only three months old,
hat now claimed from her a double share
of tenderness. But she drew consolation
from religion, in this her hour of sorrow,
and received strength from that unseen
friend of the distressed, to whom she ap-
pealed for help.
92 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
Shortly after Mr. Judson's removal, she
discovered that he was still living, and with
the rest of the prisoners had been removed
to a town at a considerable distance, whither
she resolved to follow them. She proceeded
part of the way in a boat, and part of the
way in a cart, and at length reached the
place, where she found her husband and the
rest of the prisoners in a most deplorable
condition; not only from the fatigue of the
journey, but from the cruel treatment they
had received on the way.
It was near night when she arrived, and
she found considerable difficulty in procuring
shelter. At length the jailor permitted her
to occupy a small miserable room in his
Mrs. Judson's personal sufferings were
now greatly increased. She had under her
care two Burmese children, whose parents
had given them to her. One of them was
taken with the small pox, and shortly after
the other also, and from these her own in-
fant caught the infection. Her anxiety and
fatigue were now extremely great, and in
ASIA AND AFRICA. 93
addition, Mr. Judson's feet were so much
blistered and torn by his journey from Ava,
that he could neither walk nor stand.
"She supported for some time the accu-
mulated load of affliction under which she
laboured; but at length she fell sick her-
self. Yet even in this situation she resolved
to go to Ava to fetch some medicines which
she had there.
She accomplished the journey and re
turned in a few days; but in a state of such
extreme exhaustion, that she was scarcely
able to stand. She was incapable of further
exertion, and sank in a state of insensibility
upon a mat, for she had no bed; and there
remained for two months. She had no food
for her infant, and there was no milk to be
obtained for it in the village.
It seemed that the poor babe must cer-
certainly die for want of nourishment; but at
length the jailor permitted Mr. Judson to
leave the prison for short periods, during
which he carried the child to such of the
women as had children, and would permit
the little starving nurseling to partake of
94 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
nourishment designed for their own, off-
"After having been a prisoner in this
place for six months, Mr. Judson was re-
leased, and sent by the Burman government
to a considerable distance, for the purpose of
translating some state papers: Mrs. Judson
was seized with the spotted fever, and
brought so low, that it was thought she was
dead; but, as if by a miracle, she recovered.
Shortly after this she had the happiness of
ASIA AND AFRICA.
having her husband restored to her by his
being set at liberty.
"The British soldiers, who, as I have told
you, had captured Rangoon, prosecuted their
march towards the Burmese capital. They
were repeatedly attacked by overpowering
numbers; but the determined valour and
great superiority of the British over the
Burmese troops, enabled the former con-
stantly to triumph. Place after place was
taken by the British, and the Burmese were
driven from one post to another, till the
former had arrived within a few miles of the
capital. The people were now in the utmost
consternation at their sad reverse of fortune.
Their arms, hitherto deemed invincible, hav-
ing been uniformly victorious in the wars
with the neighboring powers, by which the
empire had acquired its present greatness,
were now destined to be worsted in every
The Emperor, who had hitherto proudly
refused to make peace with the English, be-
gan to entertain serious fears for his capital,
and sent for Mr. Judson. At length through
96 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
his influence, and that of some other indi-
viduals, peace was finally concluded, and the
British army departed.
Mr. and Mrs. Judson also left Ava, and
settled at Rangoon, where they commenced
preparations for prosecuting their grand de-
sign, that of introducing Christianity among
the ignorant and superstitious inhabitants
of northern India.
"But Mrs. Judson's health visibly de-
clined; and the long train of sufferings she
had endured impaired her constitution so
much, that she was seized with a fever. Her
enfeebled frame could not withstand the
shock, and whilst her husband was upon a
journey of three or four months, she died,
leaving behind her a name that will never
perish. I have never known a more beautiful
example of piety, tenderness, and fidelity,
blended with heroic fortitude and christian
resignation, than is afforded by the life of
this admirable woman."
ASIA AND AFRICA.
WHICH TELLS OF THE MUTINY AND
"BUT I must not close my remarks on In-
dia without particularly calling your atten-
tion to some of the recent events which have
there taken place.
In 1857 a mutiny broke out among the
Sepoys-that is to say,the native troops. The
alleged cause of the mutiny was some sup-
posed insult offered to their creed, but the
actual reason was, no doubt, bitter enmity to
the English. The mutiny spread with ter-
rible rapidity, and was everywhere marked
by scenes of the most fearful butchery. The
English were put to cruel tortures-exposed
to every ignominy, and murdered in cold
blood. At Cawnpore a dreadful massacre
took place of ladies and children, the bodies
of the unfortunate victims being flung into a
well to the number of more than two hun-
dred. At Delhi also, and other places, the
savage fury of the mutineers expended itself
on helpless women and unoffending children;
and it was not before a considerable time had
98 rARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
elapsed that a sufficiently strong military force
could be obtained to put down the rebellion.
This was at length happily effected; the old
form of government was abolished, the native
troops disbanded, and Queen Victoria pro-
claimed Empress of India.
"A very heavy calamity fell upon the
poorer classes in India during the years
1860 and 1861. In consequence of a long
continuance of dry weather, the rice fields
bore no harvest, the staple food of the peo-
ple was thus cut off, and famine, with all its
attendant horrors, fell upon the Hindoos.
Some people might fancy that the English,
who had recently suffered so much from the
Hindoos, would rejoice at the calamity, and
do nothing to relieve it; but such people
would harshly misjudge the English cha-
racter. We are Christians, and our religion
teaches us to forgive-to do good to them that
hate us-if our enemyhunger, to feed him-
if he thirst, to give him drink. And this is
whatwas done in the case of the famine. Very
large subscriptions were raised, ample funds
provided to save the Hindoos from starvation;
ASIA AND AFRICA. 99
and thus a calamity which might have swept
away two-thirds of the people was rendered
It is probable that the Indian Empire
will now become more valuable to us than it
has ever been before. The people are more
reconciled to our rule. Increasing prosperity
is showing itself all over the face of the coun-
try. Public works are being rapidly ex-
tended; and the fertility of the soil will
readily yield what America and China may
fail to give us-namely, cotton and tea.
100 PARLEY S TALES ABOUT
A WATER-SPOUT-JAMES JENKINS.
" BEFORE I proceed to tell you about the
other countries of Asia, .I will give you some
account of what I saw in the latitude of the
West Indies. It was a waterspout, which
was one of the strangest sights I had ever
witnessed; and as the account cannot fail to
be interesting, I will describe it.
ASIA AND AFRICA.
"At no great distance a-head of us, we
saw an immense cloud, composed of dense
dark masses, that, rolling over each other in
rapid succession, seemed to be gradually
falling into the ocean below. As it ap-
proached nearer to the surface of the sea,
the waters immediately beneath became
more and more agitated, boiling, foaming,
and occasionally throwing up a vast column
of water, which, after reaching an enormous
height, fell down with a tremendous noise
into the abyss below, causing the waters to
be violently agitated.
The rolling cloud continued to descend,
until at length it came so near the sea, that
the waves, which now ran mountains high,
were within the sphere of its attraction;
when catching up one of them as it arose,
the thirsty cloud continued to suck up, in
one unbroken stream, a mighty column of
water, forming the phenomenon usually
termed a waterspout. The upper part of
the column, which was joined to the cloud,
spread out into a circle of considerable dimen-
sions, while that part of it which touched
PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
the sea was very narrow. On the whole
it was truly an astonishing spectacle.
"Our captain greatly feared that we
should become involved in this waterspout;
and that when it burst, it would fall upon
our ship and sink it. He, therefore, changed
his course, and by this means averted the
danger. We continued our voyage and
happily arrived safe at Boston, without any-
thing that is worth relating having occurred
during the remainder of the voyage.
Several years had elapsed since my de-
parture from my native shores, and you may
well conceive my joy on landing was very
Well, once more I found myself at
home, and I returned my thanks to the
great Ruler of the Universe, for the protec-
tion he had afforded me through so many
During my absence, many changes had
taken place among my friends. Some were
no more, others had quitted the spot for
a distant part of the country. Some whom
I had left in the bloom and pride of youth
ASIA AND AFRICA.
were now reposing in the silent tomb; while
others were married, and surrounded by a
little troop of prattling, sportive children.
"There was one circumstance which
greatly abated the joy I felt at my safe re-
turn; this related to the sad news I had heard
respecting my friend Jenkins, to whom I was
sincerely attached. He sailed as mate of a
vessel bound for Bombay, a city situated on
the western shore of Hindostan, about the
same period that I embarked for the Medi-
"Some years had elapsed, and no other
tidings of the vessel had been received, ex-
cept the rumour that it had been lost during
a storm in the Indian Ocean, and that all
hands on board had perished. The general
opinion was, that the crew had found a wa-
tery grave; and I was reluctantly compelled
to believe, that my long-tried friend James
Jenkins lay shrouded in the deep, and to
console myself under the idea of never
seeing his honest face again.
"One evening, a few weeks after my
return, I was sitting alone by my fire-side.
104 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
It was in the month of December, and a
storm of drifting snow had just set in; while.
a bleak north-easterly wind was blowing.
violently in gushes and sudden squalls, that
every now and then seemed to threaten des-
truction to the windows.
"Sometimes the wind whistled shrilly as
it blew by the corner of the house, and at
others it sounded like distant thunder, as it
rushed over the adjacent hills. The recollec-
tion of the storms I had experienced at sea
flashed across my brain, and the heaving
billows and the rolling waves were strongly
pictured to my mind. I thought upon the
many perils I had passed, and particularly
of those in which the honest Jenkins had
borne a part. I recalled to mind our com-
panionship in different parts of the globe,
which we had visited together, and a host of
ideas, in which he was fondly associated,
crowded themselves on my imagination.
Such musings make the heart tender, and
thoughts and sentiments, of which Jenkins
was the theme, took possession of my mind.
We seldom forget those who have been com-
ASIA AND AFRICA.
panions of our toil, and have been partakers
of our joy and sorrow.
"Whilst I was thus ruminating on the
events of my past life, some one rapped
smartly at the door. It was presently opened,
... r_- -'
S I L -
and a tall, stout man walked in. I rose to
meet him as he entered. He first stamped
on the floor to knock off the snow, then un-
buttoning his shaggy pea-jacket, he took it
off, threw it carelessly on a chair, and stood
silently before me.
106 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
My mind was still half occupied with its
train of thoughts, and I continued looking
at him for some time. He had on a low-
crowned shining hat, a blue jacket, and loose
trousers. The collar of his checked shirt
was unbuttoned, and turned over upon his
broad shoulders, and around his neck he
wore a natty silk handkerchief, the ends of
which, reeved through a small bright ring,
hung negligently down in front upon his
I placed my hand mechanically within
-his, as he exclaimed with emphasis,--
'What, Parley! Don't you know me?'
This appeal, in well-known accents, ac-
companied by the rude clench of his hard
hand, aroused me from my reverie; and the
tones of that remembered voice, as they
reached my ear, descended to my heart,
and whispering said-this is no common
I cast a glance upon his weather-beaten
face, which, though much altered by toils
and hardships he had endured, still por-
trayed the lineaments of my lost friend Jen-
ASIA AND AFRICA. 107
kins. At first, I thought it must be all a
dream; but soon the deep, though cheerful
tones of his familiar voice, convinced me that
the scene was real, and down we sat to join
in mutual conversation.
JENKINS RELATES HIS ADVENTURES.
In a few words he then told me his ad-
ventures, and at another time related them
to me more minutely. They contain many
interesting incidents, therefore I will give
you some account of them.
"He had nearly completed his voyage,
and was within a few days' sail of Bombay,
when his vessel was struck by a sudden
squall. The sails were-all set, and such was
the prodigious force of the wind, that the
ship was instantly capsized, that is, thrown
over on her side.
"The masts were cut away, and she
righted. The vessel now lay nearly motion-
less, like a mere log upon the water, when,
just as they were preparing jury-masts and
temporary sails, that they might continue
108 PARLEY'S TALES ABOUT
their journey, a tremendous hurricane began
to blow, and the vessel was tossed so vio-
lently upon the waves, that in a little time
she sprung a leak.
Two days and two nights the storm con-
tinued. The men laboured incessantly at the
pumps, and by constant exertion she was
kept afloat; but in spite of all their efforts,
the water continued to gain on them, and
the ship was gradually filling. At length,
worn out with fatigue, watching, and anx-
iety, the seamen could no longer keep the
water under; and she filled so fast, that
there was no alternative but to abandon or
go down with her.
"No resource was now left but the long-
boat. This, therefore, was immediately
lowered, and into it were placed such neces-
saries as the confusion on the vessel and the
distracted state of their feelings allowed the
crew to collect. When all things were pre-
pared, the captain and seamen consigned
themselves, in this frail bark, to the care of
a superintending and gracious Providence,
and to the mercy of the waves. They had