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of shaking hands with a draggled Dutchman, just escaped from a leaky catamaran.
With the letters however he put off, lauding at Sadras and other places, and experiencing many hair breadth escapes both by sea and land. On the way, he began to debate with himself, whether he should deliver the letters to Colonel Hamilton; and the question proved so difficult to determine, that he was unable to close his eyes. The breach of promise was nothing; that was clearly counterbalanced by the service rendered to his country; the great conflict lay between the loss of the thousand pagodas, and the hatred he felt for the English, to whom the withholding of the letters would occasion an infinite deal of mischief. After a display of much true German sentimentality, he resolved finally to carry Lord Macartney's letters to Pondicherry, and give them up to the French Admiral Suffrein.
A great part of the first volume is occupied with this expedition, in which he introduces his amours with a girl of fifteen, the daughter of a Dutch serjeant, by a native woman. This amiable creature' had been betrothed to a young man whom business had called from Madras to Trincomalee; and Haafner, in his absence, contrived to seduce her affections. At Tranquebar he again met with her and her mother; indeed his expedition seems to have had no other object than that of following these women for a subsistence. Suspecting that Hyder Ali might pay them a visit, he proposed to go to Jaffnapatnam. The mother refused to accompany him, but delivered her daughter into his hands, to be conveyed to her betrothed husband: the girl, however, chose to remain with Haafner, who informs his readers that she abandoned herself to him entirely and unconditionally; not as his wife, but as his mistress, or as his slave, if he should not deem her worthy of the latter title. A rhapsody in the finest stile of Kotzebue, brings him to Jaffnapatnam, with this charıning girl, in whose company • he forgot all his past misfortunes, all bis resolutions, all his projects for the future, his country, and even his friends. With her he determined to occupy a hut at Jaffnapatnam, from whence nothing but death should ever tear him. How he contrived to live here, withouť money and without employment, he does not condescend to inform us. We are equally at a loss to ascertain his continuance at this place; he is very sparing of dates, probably not without reason, for he has not been fortunate in the few which he has given. In order however to stamp a kind of authenticity on this adventurous voyage, he has hazarded one here, but with his usual success. . It was,' says he,' on Tuesday the 24th November, 1782, about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, that I embarked on board the Chelinga.' Now Francis Moore, (and he is no mean
authority,) tells us, in his Almanack for 1782, that the 24th November of that year, fell on a Sunday. In short, we are quite satisfied that the whole of this Chelinga expedition, which occupies more than two thirds of the first volume, is neither more nor less than a downright fiction.
We find the author at the opening of the second volume, at Bimilipatnam on the coast of Orissa, preparing for a journey to the southward; and conclude, from some incidental circumstances, that not more than twelve months intervened between his sitting down for life at Jaffnapatnam, and setting out on his journey from Bimilipatnam. Yet in this short period, all traces of his dear Anne (as he calls her) seem to have been wiped from his memory. Her place is now supplied with a Devadaschie, or Hindoo dancing girl, of the name of Mamia, of whom he is, if possible, more enamoured than he was of the adorable Anne. His amours with this interesting Hindoo certainly form no disagreeable episode. To the sprightliness and activity of Le Vaillant's Narina, Mamia adds feeling and sentiment; her affection appears to have been pure and unshaken, and she lost her life to save that of her lover, who, in our opinion, was little deserving of such a sacrifice. The whole work indeed is written in the stile and manner of Le Vaillant's travels in southern Africa, and may probably contain about the same proportion of truth and fiction, as that amusing romance. This part of it would be read with considerable interest, were it not for the constant recurrence of the author's rancorous abuse of the English. His invectives are more violent, and his charges more unfounded if possible, in this, than in the first volume; and he frankly avows, that he is blinded by the hatred which he bears to those despots of India. He consoles himself, however, with reflecting that their dominion cannot last longer than 50 years from the time of his writing. Yet with the exception of the fright into which he was thrown by Captain Mackay at Sadras, and a little rudeness which he experienced from a young officer who 'd-d the Dutch, he appears to have had no personal reason to complain of them. On the contrary they seem to have been sufficiently ready to favor his supreme wish de faire fortune.' At a choultry near Mazulipatnam, he met with a Mr. Harclay, newly appointed governor of that place. In the course of their conversation, the indiscreet Englishman avowed that he had come out to recruit his finances; that his father, who was a member of parliament, and had ruined himself by play, would himself have come to India to pick up a few hundred thousand pounds, if his health had permitted; that he had been but eight months in India, when he was put in possession of one of the best things on that coast; that the governor of Madras (Lord Macartney) had assured VOL. VII. NO. XIII.
him that in less than five years he might make his fortune; that he had received a few instructions on this head; but, being equally ignorant of the language and customs of the natives, he would appoint him, (Haafner,) who seemed to understand both, deputy receiver of the revenues, if he would enter his service: Haafner refused this seducing offer, alleging that the wealth which he bad already accumulated (in what manner, we are left to conjecture,). was sufficient to allow him to retire to his own country.
'No' ejaculated he when this Mr. Harclay was gone, 'Heaven preserve me from such an employment! No, never can I become the op. pressor of the inhabitants, who are frequently unable to pay the heavy taxes imposed upon them, and whose whole wealth consists in a miserable hut of straw, a mat which serves at the same time as a bed and a seat, two earthen vessels to prepare their food, a piece of cotton cloth to cover their nakedness, and a chest to hold the little property which they may possess. It was with a heart filled with grief and indignation, that I followed with my eyes this hungry vulture, who was about to occupy a situation, which ought to be honourable; for the sake only of fattening himself, after the example of Michalson his predecessor, with the sweat and blood of the miserable inhabitants of Mazulipatnam.'
In truth, Mr. Harelay was rightly served for bestowing his confidence at first sight upon a foreign vagabond. We hope that the East India Company dismissed him from their en ploy as soon as they were apprized of his folly, which we think must have been the case, as we do not find any such name upon their records. Seriously, the whole of this story is a ridiculous fable. In 1783 Mr. James Daniell was resident or chief at Mazulipatnam, and was succeeded by Mr. James Hodges in 1784. Harclay and his predecessor Michalson, therefore, are two fabricated names, which will pass on the continent, as well as any others, for those of two 'hungry vultures,' who made their fortunes by wringing from the hard hands' of the peasanits of Mazulipatnam their vile trash, in the form of rupees and pagodas.'
In the course of this volume Mr. Hastings comes in for his proportion of abuse; and a whole chapter is dedicated to the seven and forty capital crimes with which he was charged, but of which both he and his counsel knew before band that the judges would acquit him, provided he would make the sacrifice of a couple of hundred thousand pounds sterling! He was not only declared not guilty, but what is more, saw himself elevated to the peerage of England!'
It is amusing to witness the delight with which this kind-hearted Dutchman dwells on our disasters in India. He details with uncommon glee the unfortunate affair at Perambani, in which Colonel Bailey's detachment was defeated, and adds that if Hyder Ali and
Tippo Saheb had managed rightly, the English would have been driven out of the country. What a blessing,' he exclaims, would this have been for humanity! what glory for the Nabob of Mysore !'. But as both these worthies frustrated his expectations, he bursts out into a rapturous exclamation; “Zemaun Shaw! Holkar! my hopes still live in you! Hyder Ali is however his chief favourite; he calls him an ardent friend to the interests of humanity;' and affirms that he was, in every sense of the word, a great prince, and infinitely more deserving of that title than Alexander, Charles XII., and many others to whom adulation has prostituted it.' We had almost persuaded ourselves that Buonaparte was meant to be included among those many others', until we observed, in the preface to the second volume, the following paragraph.
“The beloved monarch who now governs us, will take these people (the Hindoos) under his mighty protection. His well known justice and humanity will not permit them to be oppressed and trampled upon as they have hitherto been. He will prevent every kind of vexation, and his paternal goodness will extend itself to those Hindoos who are his subjects, with the same zeal which he manifests in restoring to Europe tranquillity and peace.'
It is lamentable, Jacob says, that the great Hyder Ali bas not vet found a well-informed and faithful biographer; and he therefore undertakes to give a “Notice Historique' on this father of his people,' every particle of which is ridiculously false. He neither knows his parents, the place where, nor the time when he was born, nor when and where he died; neither is he correctly informed of the education which he received, the disposition wbich he evinced while a youth, the feats which he performed, the tricks by which he ascended the musnud of Mysore; nor in short, of any one circumstance of his chequered life. After acquainting us that he died at Arcot, (which is not true, for he died at Chittoor, he observes that certain proofs have been found that this prince was poisoned.
'O Anglois !- Anglois ! and you, unfortunate Tippo, who exhibit so terrible an example of the frail and gloomy lot of the great; you, like : another Hannibal, had sworn, while yet an infant, upon the Coran to your father an eternal hatred against the English ! But, alas! you were not permitted to fulfil this noble vow, of which you were yourself the victim !
This amiable prince also fell, it seems, by the craft and treachery of the English, for it was only by surprize that Seringapatnam was taken, when Tippo Saheb died by the sword of a hired assassin. The city was then given up to pillage, and the women of the king saw themselves exposed to the brutality of the English soldiers.'
A reference to the London Gazette is the best answer which we can give to such infamous falsehoods.
The work is written in a stile and manner well calculated to take the attention of the generality of readers. The language is nervous and concise; sometimes, however, it becomes clumsy, inflated and declamatory. It embraces, in fact, the pert flippancy of a Frenchman, the coarse vulgarity of a Dutchman, and the whining sentimentality of a modern German. The reflexions on events are not more just or accurate than the events themselves. The descriptions however are sufficiently clear; the objects are distinctly brought forward, but they are all studies; true to general nature, they are false to individual and insulated facts. The indications of the approaching hurricane at Madras may serve to illustrate our remark. Not satisfied with the actual accompaniments of the storm, the author collects all the phenomena which his reading can supply, to aggravate the horrors of the description. He sees the sun set in blood, the moon rise (when by his own account there was no moon) in unwonted magnitude, the sea monsters leaving their deep abodes to float on the surface, and, from the streets of Madras, wild beasts seeking the shelter of the forest, with twenty other incongruous concomitants, which may have been observed at various times and in various places, but not one of which, we will venture to say, was visible on the occasion to which we allude.
His observations on the manners of the natives, and the characteristic features of the country which he deliueates, form by far the most interesting part of his book, and may be read with pleasure. We travel with brahmins and fakirs—with jugglers and fortune tellers, musicians and dancing girls; we ascend the sacred mountains amidst thousands of Hindoos, and sleep in choultries with groups of coulis, kaschi-kaunis, and travellers of every description. Our ears are stunned with the noisy din of the village school; and we see before its door a group of boys sitting cross-legged and tracing their letters with the finger in the sand, pronouncing each letter or word or sentence at the same instant of time, with a loud voice, the better to impress them on the memory. The bezars or market, with all the diversified produce of the east, is laid before us. We join in the religious processions—the pilgrimages-the oblations of the Hindoos; and we accompany the poor widow, who, in consequence of her vow, burns as a willing sacrifice on her husband's funeral pile. Of this extraordinary ceremony an instance occurred at Velour, which, being conducted in a different manner from those on some parts of the coast, we shall give in the author's own words.