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ON THE NAUTILUS-TO MY SISTER.
See you yon bark which nightly
Bounds o'er the moonlit tide,
Reposing in its pride.
Nor will she trembliug scare
Nor leave a furrow there,
But should the storm come o'er her,
As curtained in the eye
Or harm or danger lie,
She leaves the tempest foam,
Finds only there her home,
Sweet voyager to woe,
In this sad scene below;
If tears have dimmed the brightness
Of that soft longing eye,
From thine heart's purity;
O'er this life's ocean wave,
There's hope beyond the grave.
R. C. M.
Art. I. --Account of a Visit to Mount Párusnath, and of the
Jaina Temples thereon,
MOUNT Párswanath" (vulgd Parusnath), the most remarkable place of Jaina worship
in India, forms the point of boundary be. tween
the provinces of Kurrukdeea to the North, and of Ramghur and Pachete to the South-west and South-east. From its summit, which I believe is the highest peak of land in the Eastern portion of our territories, the eye may range over a magnificent map of Bengal on the one hand, and of Behar on the other. Official duties having carried me round the province of Kurrukdeea during the month of November, 1827, I ended my tour of that division at this remote and interesting mountain ; and as I was told by the natives that no European before myself had undertaken the ascent, perhaps I may be able to add some information to such as look with interest upon the ancient sect whose Mount Sinai it seems to have been. I must confess, however, that the attraction of the very imposing scenery throughout this corner of Behar, was quite as powerful a motive as curiosity, in leading me to the top of this princely mountain; and if my account contains as much of the picturesque as research or speculation concerning antiquity, it will only be a more faithful portrait of my tastes.
ALL Dak Travellers who have journeyed along the new military road to Benares, must be familiar with the name of this mountain ; for they can scarcely have neglected to enquire the title of that remarkable line of hill which haunts them like a shadow from Bancoora to Kutcumsandy.t Coming into view at the former place, it grows in height and breadth until it appears frowning in front of the bungalow at Chass, at a distance of koss. From this place, travelling Westward, its numerous and craggy points
The ordinary name of this mountain is Samet Sekhar, as noticed in other parts of this article. ť It is only so far visible in clear weather.
slowly recede from view, until from the high ground at Huzari baug it becomes a faint but picturesque outline, catching tints from the sky in front of the setting sun. From the Telegraph on the top of Tutgi Ghaut the mountain is seen in the most favorable manner-its broad base rises abruptly from the distant plain, and slopes gradually at the extreme sides until the outline breaks into numerous peaks, that form the corner of the hill seem shooting their arrowy points at the Heavens. From the plain to within a few yards of each pinnacle, and even in some of the pinnacles themselves, the mountain is thickly covered with magnificent trees, whose round heads take various tints from the changing seasons of the year, and even from the hourly variations of light between dawn and darkness. Seen from the above point of view, we can scarcely help respecting the eye and taste that first selected this noble pile as the imaginary residence of a Deity.
I approached Parusnath from the North ; and its towering heads, like the eye of a watchful monarch, overlooked my winding route from the time I entered the province of Kurrukdeea from the little pergunnah of Kodurma, or as it is called by Rennel, Korumma, which joins its North-western corner. The road from the village of Kurrukdeea to Palgunje, where the holy land commences, affords a constant variety of ascent and descent, passing through as wild a country, perhaps, as the continent of India contains. The scanty villages have with difficulty been eked out of the thick jungles, where what open grounds there are, present a hard rocky soil, which is the most stubborn enemy to the plough. Art and labour can only secure a partial irrigation, for the whole province contains no more than one considerable torrent stream, which is generally dry in the month of April ; and so uncertain are all supplies from such resources, that it requires greater labour to bring water from the narrow channel of these streams through the immense bed of sand on either side, than to dig reservoirs for col. lecting the showers of the clouds. Few kinds of wild animals, besides the Lion, are wanting in the prodigious wastes that extend in every direction : even wild Elephants frequently come down from the neighbouring forests of Kurrukpoor, and destroy the huts in small villages for the sake of the grain that has been so carefully stored within. The supply of the miserable Ryot which he has laid by for the year, becomes the single meal of four or five of these resistless monsters, who, demolishing every blade of crop that is standing in the fields, and devouring the contents of every granary, completely expel the inhabitants from homes and lands which it has cost them so much toil to prepare.
* In one of the villages which was visited lately by twelve of these formida. ble invaders, the first notice of their approach was given to an old woman who was quietly grinding grain in her hut.” She was suddenly surprised by a poise more startling than thunder, and by the fall of part of her mud wall upon berself; turning round she was terrifiod at seeing an Elephant's head between the
TAB destruction of human life by Tigers along the banks of the Burrakur Nuddy is enormous—an hundred lives during the year were reported to me as a fair average ; and if one third of this number perish in this horrid manner, the continuance of the natives to inbabit the neighbourhood, is a strong instance of their naturally indifferent character. The crops are cut and the lands ploughed to the beat of drum; and so impervious are the jungles to all pursuit of the savage enemy, that the only mode of hunting him with success is to attach some bait to the trunk of the tree, amongst the branches of which the patient Hunter must remain concealed with his gun. There is a great scarcity of smaller game in these parts on account of the scanty cultivation and rocky soil.
The village of Palgunjo is beautifully situated in point of landscape, between the large woods that spread to the North and East, and the gradually rising hills to the South-west, that concentre at last in the majestic pile of Párusnath. From this point of view this fine mountain forms a screen along the greater part of the Southern horizon-the deep blue tinge which it wears at sun-set and moonlight, struck me as different from any effects of light and shade which I had observed in other mountainous countries. Amongst the smaller hills and stony plains around there are very considerable veins of iron ore* ; but on the mountain itself there are no traces of chopper and the wall, and his trunk quietly stealing the grain from the corner The villagers succeeded in poisoning eight of these animals ; the other four were too sagacious to touch the offered poison, and destroyed several persons in their attempt to give it.
• An inconsiderable traffic in this metal is supplied from this pergunnah, and it may not be useless to notice the process of collecting and extracting the metal. The families of those who keep Bhathús (Furnaces) are sent out to collect the heavy dust and stones which are loosely scattered on the surface of the part where the stratum discovers itself-such fragments are so abundant that no recourse bas been had to excavation. The Furnace into which the material is thrown bears a rade and dwarfish resemblance to the smelting houses generally used in Europe. The whole apparatus looks like an earthern stove standing about 4 feet high. An incision is made from the top, descending into the fire chamber in the form of a funnel, which serves for the double purpose of admitting the stones and releasing the smoke, A small aperture in the side admits the throat of the bellows, which is worked by the hand, and through small holes in the bottom of the chamber, the metal when precipitated falls by its own weight into a cavity prepared beneath. The fuel is admitted either through the funnel above or through a door in the side, in which the aperture for the bellows is bored. The process of fusing in the pergunnahs of Ramghur, which supply the whole of Eastern India with Iron, is frequently repeated; but in Kurrukdeea, the metal of which fetches a less price, the ore is seldom subjected to the fire more than twice. A Tungee, or 6 maunds of Iron from these smelting houses is sold for 7 or 8 Rupees to the Baparies, who carrying it on bullocks to the markets of Behar and Benares, obtain a price of 17 or 18 Rupees for the same quantity. The Iron of Ramghur is sold for 12 Rupees a Tungee in the mofussil, and 24 Rupees in the market. The natives distinguish four kinds of Iron by the following names-1. Sarunsaee2. Mahabooa-3. Puttul peet'tha-4. Balooa. The two tirst kinds are only available in manufactures. In this pergunnab no revenue accrues either to the Zemindar or to Government from this production and traffic, and the smelters are bound to the Muhajuns of the nearest villages, who retain them in a species of perpetual slavery by means of the debts which they never allow them to settle. European superintendance and skill would no doubt improve this staple of trade, and send it to the market for a much cheaper price,