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12. "The accident of a horse neighing once decided the succession to the throne of a mighty empire." [Anon.
Selections of the same kind, from recent publications, might be multiplied indefinitely; but there can be no need of augmenting the number. Of those which have now been presented, it must be perfectly obvious to every English scholar, that there is not one in which the grammatical construction corresponds with the real meaning of the writer or speakerin other words, not one in which the fact or idea intended to be communicated, is expressed by the language employed; and, of course, not one in which the rules of composition are not grossly violated. This may be made very apparent by a partial analysis of a few of the examples: To take the first-the meaning of the writer certainly is, not that the owner was the means by which the possession of his goods was altered, but that his taking them into his own custody was so. grammatical construction, however, the language expresses the former meaning, and no other.
In the second example, the fact which the historian intended to state, is, in substance, that in consequence of the invasion of Saxony and Bohemia by the king of Prussia, the Aulic council voted, &c. But, according to the grammatical purport of the sentence, as it now stands, the words, "invading Saxony and Bohemia," express merely an incidental circumstance, which might have been thrown into a parenthesis, or a distinct clause; and the whole sentence might, without any material alteration of the sense, as expressed by the writer, be paraphrased thus: "In consequence of the king of Prussia-who, by the by, had invaded Saxony, &c. the Aulic council voted his conduct to be a breach of the public peace." If the paraphrase is nonsense, it is the nonsense of the original.
In the third, the meaning expressed by the words, is, that the secretary, (who happened, indeed, to wear a sword and uniform), was himself the circumstance which added to his own natural awkwardThe fact intended to be communicated is, that his wearing a sword, &c. was that circumstance.
of the hon. gentleman himself, who had made the allusion. In the ninth, the gentleman referred to-not his having advanced an unconstitutional doctrine-is, according to the true construction of the sentence, the speaker's apology: And in the twelfth, the horse, instead of his neighing, is made the accident which decided the succession. An examination of all the other examples would present similar results.
To avoid unnecessary particularity, I will advert to only two or three more of the examples:-In the fifth, the declaration of the speaker, if construed according to the rules of syntax, is, that he rises, not in consequence of the allusion made to a remark of his own, by the "hon. gentleman; but in consequence
Now, all this blundering and absurdity might have been avoided, and the intended sense of the several passages cited, have been made to correspond with their syntax, by merely using the possessive case of the nouns, put in italics, in the several examples: as, by writing owner's, instead of "owner"-Prussia's, instead of "Prussia"-secretary's, instead of “secretary," &c.
If any one can doubt the justness of these strictures, he may bring them to a very simple and decisive test, by substituting pronouns for nouns, in each of the passages cited. Thus: "The possession of one's goods is altered, by him taking them into his own custody." "The Aulic council voted the king's conduct to be a breach of the public peace, in consequence of him invading Saxony," &c. "He wearing a sword and uniform was a circumstance which added to his natural awkwardness." "The lives of many studious men are lost, by reason of them indulging," &c. This, it will readily be agreed by every reader, is absolutely intolerable: and yet it does not at all surpass, in grossness of inaccuracy, any one of the original passages cited.
It is really a reproach to the literature of the age, that so much of it should be disgraced by this awkward hallucination. Barbarous as it is, however, it has not, thus far, I believe, become strictly vulgar; that is, it has not, as yet, interwoven itself as an idiom, with our common colloquial style. If so, it is not, perhaps, too inveterate for correction: and surely so rank a barbarism ought, if possible, and as speedily as possible, to be banished from the English tongue.
An Historical Essay on the Rise and Progress of Civil Liberty in Asia. We can scarcely conceive a more important study than the examination of principles manifestly operating upon a numerous, high-minded, and intelligent people, to the production of national grandeur, power, and prosperity. We are
earnestly intent upon the comparative rude and imperfect developement of energies whose matured and refined action is to exhibit results so gratifying. The affairs of a nation destined to commence a career at once honourable and glorious; vet struggling with the difficulties inseparable from a new and scarcely settled state; composed of parts not yet cemented into one great and efficient whole; whose civil dissentions partially consume the strength and talent which a more enlightened policy will direct to enterprises of foreign grandeur, and the consolidation of a widely-spread and well-administered dominion;-must always open to the student in human character, sources of more minute and accurate knowledge of its constituents, than can possibly be afforded by the history of older and more polished nations, whose affairs are, too generally, conducted in a manner that systematically excludes the agency of superior abilities.
The abstract correctness of these observations, we may presume, will be generally acknowledged; but when predicated of an Asiatic people, such an exordium may sound rather strange in the ears of all who are versed in the history and policy of the East. They will recall to to their recollection those scenes of atrocious tyranny which, with the fewest imaginable exceptions, occupy the pages of oriental historians; that system in which the ruler is every thing, and the people nothing, will rise before them in all its variety of guilt; its unspeakable horror and gigantic enormity; held together only by that dreadful compact which it has instinctively entered into with the vices, passions, and ignorance of its miserable victims. That selfish and sanguinary temper which teaches the sovereign to endure no eminence but his own, or that springing from and dependent on himself: that morbid jealousy and distrust that will not bear even "a brother near the throne," and consequently interdicts the march of moral and political amelioration, and submits the interests of the community to the wayward and desolating caprices of a fool, perhaps, or a madman-always a tyrant,-will not, assuredly, be forgotten it will not be forgotten, that blood-stained basis on which nearly every Eastern dynasty has erected its seat of power, and terror, and oppression, from the height of which it has hung abroad the standard of its terrible and heart-bowing dominion: nor will the limited extent to which, it would seem on the first hasty glance, the nations of Asia are confined in their advances in science and practical morality, be under
rated by those whose acquaintance with the Eastern character and genius would dispose them earnestly and sincerely to dispute the most plausible speculations on the capabilities and natural tendencies of the Orientals; then, too, the enervating climate, and the luxurious propensities of which it invites and sues the indulgence; and the habitual unmurmuring submission to despotic authority, which it appears to superinduce in the uncultivated minds and overawed hearts of the population; and the deep-rooted prejudices of an intolerant faith; and the want of concert among the people; and the absence of every feeling bearing the remotest connexion with patriotic sentiment; and the tranquil equanimity in the endurance of predestined hardships and distresses: these, we are well aware, will enter largely into the calculations of the readers of Eastern records, when they are told that at this moment there are three vast and independent states in the East, whose government is constructed upon principles singularly liberal, and the nature of whose internal polity encourages the progress of useful knowledge.
The communities to which we allude, are the WUHABEES, the SIKпs, and the AFGHAUNS.
The doctrine of the Wuhabees, while it embraces a considerable portion of the Muhammedan ethics and rules of morality, and acknowledges the unity of God as the fundamental article of faith, dissents from Islamism, and, indeed, from every other eligion, ancient and modern, in two or three particulars, which the clergy of all nations will, we are persuaded, regard with the most disinterested displeasure; and should these sectaries succeed in overthrowing the Turkish power in Asia, the establishment of a creed which denies the claims of prophets, and apostles, and inspired volumes, and looks not with the eyes of affection on mosques and richly-endowed benefices, and whose principles inculcate the smallest possible reverence for the pillars of the church, may invigorate and diversify the exhausted eloquence of the Moollas of Christendom.
Niebuhr is the first European traveller who reports the rise and progress of this interesting and enterprising sect. ABDOUL WUHAB was a native of El áred, (or Ool Urud,) a province of Arabia. In his youth he diligently applied himself to the study of his native literature, and after residing some years at Básra (Bussora) repaired to Bagdad, whence he returned
to Arabia. Here he began to propagate his opinions, and having attached several of the principal Shaiks to his interests, among others, the governor of his native town, the success of his first endeavours encouraged him to proceed, and his labours were quickly rewarded by the happiest results. His authority became speedily acknowledged throughout El ared, and he established his capital at Deryeh, near Lahsa. His principal doctrines were,
1. That there is but one God.
2. That God never did, and never will, impart to man the gift of prophecy.
3. That there are no inspired books. 4. That it is a duty incumbent upon all true believers o join in the destruction of mosques, magnificent tombs, &c.
Muhammed, Jesus, Moses, and other prophets, they regard with high respect, as great and excellent men, whose actions are worthy of imitation; but the junction of whose names with that of God they reprobate. Sobriety and temperance are religious duties, and even the use of vegetable stimuli-coffee, opium, tobacco, &c. -is prohibited among them. Countrymen of Muhammed, and surrounded by his disciples, they evince an accommodating disposition towards the Muslims, highly advantageous to their cause. Thus, they consider it illegal to levy duties on the moveable property of Muhammedans, enjoin a strict observance of the moral precepts of the Koraun, &c.
his late contests with the Pasha of Egypt) is firmly fixed in Arabia, and their general success against the Turks, and the ease and rapidity with which they propagate their tenets, make it more than probable that at no very distant period the whole of Ottoman Asia will be included within their boundaries. Their armies are numerous and better disciplined than any forces the Porte can send against them; Mecca and Medina (the holy cities) have fallen before them, and their expeditions into Syria are frequent and successful.
Abdoul Wuhab was succeeded by his son Muhammed, according to Niebuhr, (Description de l'Arabie, tom. ii. p. 211. quarto ed. Paris,) but Major Waring (Tour to Sheeraz, p. 120) calls him Ubdool Uzeez, while a French historian (Salaberry, Histoire de l'Empire Ottoman, tom. iii. p. 334. Paris, 1813) making no mention of the establishment of the sovereign authority in the family of the founder, says that Ebn Sehoud, prince of a powerful Arabian tribe, having afforded refuge to Abdoul Wuhab during his difficulties, embraced the opinions of his guest, and made them the means of erecting an empire, which he transmitted to his descendants. These apparent contradictions may possibly be reconciled, by supposing Muhammed Ubdool Uzeez to have been the name of Abdoul Wuhab's son and successor, and Ebn Sehoud the same with BinSaoud, the present sovereign and generalissimo of the Wuhabees, according to Major Waring. Be this as it may, the fact appears sufficiently clear that the Wuhabee empire (notwithstanding the partial defeats sustained by its chief in
The SIкнs are a powerful people, the independent possessors of a large portion of Upper Hindûstaun, several of the extensive and opulent provinces formerly subject to the Monguls, having been conquered partly, and partly allured into the Sikh alliance by the vast benefits held out to the Hindû inhabitants by those martial reformers. The countries of the Punjaub, or territories watered by the five branches of the Indus, part of Multaun, and nearly all the regions between the Jumna and the Sutlege (their north-western frontier leaning on the limits of Afghaunistaun, and their south-eastern boundary reposing, at present, on those parts of India held by the British,) have thrown off the yoke both of their Muslim and Brahminical tyrants, and embraced the liberal and stimulating tenets of this bold and adventurous people.
The founder of the Sikhs arose in the reign of the Afghaun Sooltaun, Belloli. NANOCK, or NANAC, was born in the village of Tulwundy, or Rai-pour, sixty miles west of the city of Lahore. A strict regard for the principles of justice, a commanding, a persuasive eloquence, and an unshrinking fortitude, fitted him for the station in which he was destined to shine. He visited most of the Indian States, and his disciples believe that he penetrated into Persia and Arabia. His travels occupied fifteen years, and from the circumstance of his having converted, during his absence, a Muslim who accompanied him, we may infer that he drew up his civil and religious code, while employed in studying the manners and condition of foreign nations. The death of the venerable apostle (whom his disciples secretly believe to have been an incarnation of the Deity) took place in 1539, at Dayrah, on the banks of the Ravee, where the anniversary of their founder's decease is still celebrated by the Sikhs with many sacred ceremonies.
The revolution effected by Nanock was, indeed, in a philosophical and poli-
tical point of view, the greatest that India ever witnessed; though its immediate results were by no means invested with that external splendour so captivating to the imagination. He abolished the worship of images, and ordained that the temples should be of the most simple construction, and utterly devoid of ornament. In each of these "houses" of worship, is deposited a copy of the "Grunth," or civil and sacred ordinances of Nanock. The people are directed to address their prayers and supplications immediately to God, and not through the medium of an intercessor. They are educated in the belief of one unassociated Governor of the universe. The admission of proselytes, forbidden among other Hindûs, aimed a mortal blow at the old superstition, and opening to all the inferior castes the paths of respectability and opulence, shook to its basis the ancient and iron fabric of Brahminical fraud and despotism.
The reformation, once began, continued-rapidly, yet peacefully-to extend itself, and grew up under the eyes of the Brahmins and the Monguls for two hundred years, without molestation. That the Muslims, engaged in foreign and civil wars, and caring little for, and rarely interfering with the religious opinions and ceremonies of their Hindû subjects, should not observe and persecute the dissenters, will not surprise us; but it is surely extraordinary that a class of individuals, depending for all their consequences and privileges upon the existing system, should not have used their influence to crush in the beginning the innovator and 'the innovation-and strangle in its birth a revolution which, though incalculably beneficial to the people, would irreco verably divest them of the sanctity, and power, and immunities they had hitherto enjoyed-and obliterating the magic cirele of their prerogative, drag them forth into the light, and exhibit them in all the paraphernalia of their imposture to the disenchanted vision of the multitude.(Foster's Journey from Bengal to England, vol. i. p. 291, et seq.)
In the beginning of the seventeenth century, the progress of the Sikhs attracted the observation of the Mongul government. It became jealous of the increasing numbers and prosperity of the dissenters and when did jealousy in power refrain from persecution? Har Govind was the sixth ruler of this once peaceful people-his father had perished in a Muslim prison, and the new chief resolved on revenge. He attacked and put to death the agent of his father's mis
fortunes; and was, for a period, successful against the forces sent against him by the emperor Jehan-jire,-at length he was overpowered. (Foster's Journey, vol. i. p. 298.)
The history of the Sikhs continues unimportant till the accession of Aurungzebe. In the reign of that monarch they became more widely alienated from the system of Brahma than was strictly authorized by the precepts of Nanock. Hitherto they had had recourse to arms so far only as was commanded by the law of self-defence and preservation; but the arbitrary treatment they suffered under Aurungzebe, roused a new spirit, which the assassination of their leader, Taigh Bhahauder, by his command, quickened and exasperated. Guru Govind (i. e. the priest Govind), the son of the murdered chief, remembered how his father fell, and determined on retribution. The Sikh records inform us, that at this period he had accomplished only his fifteenth year. But he was active and resolute, accustomed to the use of arms, and his martial genius speedily converted the pacific disciples of Nanock into a nation of warriors.
This was the object of his whole scheme of policy-and the sole addition to the system of Nanock that was required to sweep away the last dyke between the old frame of Hindû society, and the over whelming waves of enthusiastic innovation. Prompted at once by the spirit of revenge and ambition, Guru Govind (who henceforward assumed himself, and made his followers assume, the name of Singh, or Lion) addressed himself to the inflamed and exacerbated minds of his countrymen;-vividly he displayed before them the baseness of their fortunes under the Monguls, and passed in galling review the disgraceful tenure by which alone they held their lands, their lives, their property. He showed them by how slender provisions the institutions of their revered founder were guarded from destruction,every thing valuable in their estimation, and dear to their hearts, was at the mercy of a proud, cruel, and insolent tyrant, whose late atrocious outrage upon them in the person of their chief, too plainly demonstrated the rancourous disposition he fostered against the reformers-the determination he had formed to crush a power that already alarmed his fears-and the measures to which he would resort to effect his abominable purpose. He described the arts that would be employed to deceive and allure-and the rigours that would be practised to awe and com
pel;-disunion among the people-and hostility between themselves and their leaders and cabal among the chiefs and bribery in its hundred shapes: And he unsheathed before their fancy the sword of persecution-and called up in their minds the terrors of desolationand he asked them how they would feel when they beheld their sons and kindred weltering in their blood, their daughters writhing in the embraces of lust and rapine, and their temples, and dwellings, and pleasant places blazing in Muhammedan fires? For the aversion of these dreadful evils, he said, but one mean presented itself-to force, force must be opposed, and the Sikhs must rely for the preservation of their rights and their laws on the strength of their arms, and the sharpness of their swords. He would be their leader; his injuries-his hatred toward the strangers-gave him an undeniable claim to that station of glory and peril. Hereditary chief of the nation, he trusted for support to their free, uninfluenced approbation. The design he had formed to raise his countrymen to greatness, required that every man should become a soldier! The first duty of a citizen was the defence of his country. "That sacred service now demands us all-to all be the ranks of war thrown open-let the prizes of honour and wealth be accessible to each;-Brahmins and Cshatryas, Vaisyas and Sudras, be ye all equals, brothers, warriors! Ye have been lambs in peace-be ye lions in battle. Govind will be your general, and the spirit of Nanock shall inspire your councils."
nant with such great and evident benefits to almost every class of Hindûs but one, that their rapid diffusion could have been imperiled only by a character the reverse of that which belonged to their venerable founder. Courage and eloquence are, indeed, qualities of an exalted order, and he who without them should set about the task of national reformation, would quickly learn on the scaffold his total unfitness for the part he had undertaken to enact: but the apostle of the Sikhs was not only distinguished by the undauntedness of his temperament, and the energies of a commanding elocution,-he was celebrated, likewise, for the uniform sobriety of his deportment, and that inestimable prudence which taught him how to secure the greatest good with the slightest danger, and avoid risking the total failure of his noble plan by too hasty a
developement of all its parts. Had he, in the onset, aimed at that complete enfranchisement of his countrymen, which was reserved as the illustrious distinction of a succeeding age, the chances of his success would have been incomparably diminished; both classes of tyrants, the Monguls and Brahmins, would have taken the alarm-the impetuous reformer and his rash disciples must have fallen beneath the first effects of their awakened dread, and the vigilance of the persecutors would have taken effectual precautions against the repetition of such an enterprize.
Nanock pursued a surer, safer path. The advantages he put the inferior castes in possession of, rendered their present condition too delightful when compared with their preceding state, to leave them either leisure or inclination forcibly to enlarge the circuit of their newly-acquired privileges. Doubtless he was aware that the career of improvement, once begun, is rarely abandoned-that to effect the entire liberation of his countrymen would require more bold and daring measures than were then expedient; but the wise and patient spirit of Nanock perceived, that when the period of a farther mutation should arrive, his institutions would be so extensively propagated, and so firmly established, that the struggle for complete and acknowledged independence would be ushered in with less ambiguous omens, and the triumphant issue of that stern conflict with the oppressors insured by the numbers and experience of the sectaries. The calculations upon which we may suppose the legislator of the Sikhs to have grounded his proceedings, were justified by the result. Between Nanock (whom the gra
Govind addressed an auditory prepared to receive his exhortations with an enthusiasm answerable to his own. They drank the spirit of his wordsthey started to arms, and thronged around the standard of the illustrious youth who thus forcibly displayed to them the evils, the disgraces of their present situation, and so clearly pointed out the long train of disasters that would infallibly trace its march among them, if they longer endured in slavish apathy the heavy and humiliating yoke of their foreign tyrants. Into their hearts his words descended, and the latent fires of independence and glory, for which the principles of Nanock had provided the means of accumulating access, burst at once into flame. At the period when Guru Govind roused them to arms, the Sikhs were a people amazingly different from any other nation of Hindu origin or connexion. The doctrines of Nanock were not merely captivating in their first display, but preg