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presence of mind of the admiral ; but the place has passed so often through the hands of conquerors, that every trace of former grandeur and importance is swept away. About four miles north of Calicut is a creek, where some have conjectured that the town of Calicut formerly stood, and where the Portuguese fleet must have lain during the inonsoon. There are a few heaps of stones and old walls near the spot; but if it be really the scite of old Calicut, the creek must have been much deeper than it now is, before it could have admitted even one of the ships.
• May 4.--After passing slowly by Telichery, the Anjedive islands, and the picturesque point of cape Ramas, we came in sight of the fortress of Aguada, at the entrance of the harbour of Goa, and I entertained hopes of landing the next morning to see the old city, with its marble churches and magnificent monasteries, and to pay my respects to the tomb of saint Francis Xavier ; but a contrary breeze sprung up in the night, and blew us far from the shore, so that I was obliged to reconcile myself to the disappointment, by reflecting on the present misery of that once flourishing colony, which would have embittered any pleasure I could hope for in admiring its exterior beauties. The old town is so unhealthy that a new one has been built at some distance, and the unpeopled streets of the ancient city echo only to the unfrequent tread of some religious procession. The colony is almost abandoned by the mother country, and its inhabitants scarcely speak their native tongue intelligibly. Their poverty is such, that the women of the best families earn their subsistence by making lace, or artificial flowers, and working muslin.
' Trincomale, June 20, 1810.-Once more I find myself in Ceylon, or, as my great predecessor Sinbad the sailor calls it, Serendib. I left my friends at Bhandoop on the 31st of May, and on the 1st of June I sailed from Bombay in H. M. ship Illustrious, commanded by captain Broughton, who accompanied Vancouver in his voyage round the world. We stood out to sea for two days, to look for a favourable wind, as the monsoon was already set in in the neighbourhood of
Bombay, and on the 12th day from our departure we anchored in the Back-bay of Trincomale, a distance of between 12 and 1,300 miles. Here we found the commander-in-chief, admiral Drury, with seven ships of war, so that we seemed almost to have arrived at a British port. The scene of Trincomale is the most beautiful I ever saw; I can compare it to nothing but Loch Catrine on a gigantic scale. The ships are now lying in Back-bay, but the inner harbour is safe at all seasons; it is so land-locked, that it appears like a lake. Yesterday we rode before breakfast to fort Osnaburgh, on a high point of land, commanding both divisions of the inner harbour. The bay, gleaming with the rising sun, seemed like a sheet of liquid gold, broken into creeks and bays, studded with verdant isles, and enclosed by mountains feathered with wood to the summit ; while, from the nearer crags, the purple convolvulus, the white moon-flower, and the scarlet and yellow gloriosa, floated like banners in the wind.
• The outer bay is formed by a bold projecting rock, at the extremity of which are the remains of a Hindoo temple. Six pillars, beautifully carved, and supporting a cornice and roof, now form the portico of a British artillery hospital; and a seventh pillar is placed on the summit of a rock opposite. We were told that some caves exist in the neighbourhood, but whether natural or artificial we could not ascertain, neither could we procure a guide to them.
« Trincomale was formerly considered very unhealthy, but there does not appear to be any local circumstance to render it so, and the complaints of it on that head are daily decreasing. Like the rest of the coast of Ceylon, the soil had been found unfit for raising vegetables; but, by the exertions of admiral Drury, a colony of Chinese has established a large garden, whose products are already such as to promise the fairest success. The admiral has also been at pains to import cattle and poultry, and to distribute them among the natives, so as, if possible, to secure a supply for the fleet. Timber is in great plenty, and easy of access, and there are many covers where ships may be hove down with the greatest safety at all seasons ; so that repairs can be performed here at less cost
than at any other place in India, though the rise of tide is not sufficient at any season for the building of docks.
• The Dutch forts now remaining are out of repair ; they seem never to have been strong, and the town is small and mean. There are but few European inhabitants, so that the society is composed almost exclusively of the officers of the regiments stationed there.
The lower people are chiefly Hindoos from the opposite coast; the only native Cingalese I saw were a few gold and silversmiths, whose chains and other ornaments equal those of Tritchinopoly. The troops now here are divisions of two Malay regiments, and his majesty's 66th regiment, besides a company of artillery. The other day the officers gave a ball and supper to their naval brethren. The colours of the regiment were suspended over the supper table, and the whole was decorated with flowers and branches of trees. In return, parties are constantly going off to the ships ; and yesterday we had a grand spectacle; every ship in the bay (among which were two seventy-fours and four frigates) fired two broadsides. I never saw any thing so beautiful as the effect of the clouds of smoke, as they first obscured the whole horizon, and then gradually rolling off, left the ships brightly reflected in the water, which was clear and smooth as a mirror. Nor were the thundering reverberations from the rocks less striking, amidst the grand silence and calmness of nature around.
• Madras, July 12, 1810.- When our fleet at Trincomale dispersed, each ship to her station, by the admiral's permission I accompanied captain Graham in the Hecate to this place, where we arrived on the third day from our departure, the distance being between 2 and 300 miles. I do not know any thing more striking than the first approach to Madras. The low flat sandy shore extending for miles to the north and south, for the few hills there are appear far inland, seems to promise nothing but barren nakedness, when, on arriving in the roads, the town and fort are like a vision of enchantment. The beach is crowded with people of all colours, whose busy motions, at that distance, make the earth itself seem alive. The public offices and storehouses which line the beach are
fine buildings, with colonnades to the upper stories supported by rustic bases arched, all of the fine Madras chunam, smooth, hard, and polished as marble. At a short distance fort George, with its lines and bastions, the government-house and gardens, backed by St. Thomas's mount, form an interesting part of the picture, while here and there in the distance, minarets and pagodas are seen rising from among the gardens.
"A friend who, from the beach, had seen our ship coming in, oblingly sent the accommodation-boat for us, and I soon discovered its use. While I was observing its structure and its rowers, they suddenly set up a song, as they called it, but I do not know that I ever heard so wild and plaintive a cry. We were getting into the surf; the cockswain now stood up, and with his voice and his foot kept time vehemently, while the men worked their oars backwards, till a violent surf came, struck the boat, and carried it along with a frightful violence; then every oar was plied to prevent the wave from taking us back as it receded, and this was repeated five or six times, the song of the boatmen rising and falling with the waves, till we were dashed high and dry upon the beach. The boats used for crossing the surf are large and light, made of very thin planks sewed together, with straw in the seams, for caulking would make them tvo stiff; and the great object is, that they should be flexible, and give to the water like leather, otherwise they would be dashed to pieces. Across the very edge of the boat are the bars on which the rowers sit; and two or more men are employed in the bottom of the boat to bale out the water; they are naked all but a turban, and half a handkerchief fastened to the waist by a packthread. They are wild-looking, and their appearance is not improved by the crust of salt left upon their bodies by the sea-water, and which generally whitens half their skin. At one end of the boat is a bench with cushions and a curtain, for passengers, so that they are kept dry while the surf is breaking round the boat.
· We were hardly ashore when we were surrounded by above a hundred Dubashis and servants of all kinds, pushing for employment. The Dubashis undertake to interpret, to
buy all you want, to change money, to provide you with servants, tradesmien, and palanquins, and, in short, to do every thing that a stranger finds it irksome to do for himself. We went immediately to our friend's garden-house; for at Madras every body lives in the country, though all offices and counting-houses, public and private, are in the fort or in town. The garden-houses are generally only of one story; they are of a pretty style of architecture, having their porticos and virandas supported by pillars of chunam; the walls are of the same material, either white or coloured, and the floors are covered with ratan mats, so that it is impossible to be more cool. The houses are usually surrounded by a field or compound, with a few trees and shrubs, but it is with incredible pains that flowers or fruit are raised. During the hot winds, tats (a kind of mat), made of the root of the koosa grass, which has an agreeable smell, are placed against the doors and windows, and constantly watered, so that as the air blows through them, it spreads an agreeable scent and freshness through the house.
* July 16.-I went the other day to see the naval hospital here, a large handsome building, with an excellent garden, and very well appointed. On the top is a large platform, where the convalescents take exercise and enjoy fresh air, with the view all over Madras, its petah or Black-town, and garden-houses, to the shipping in the roads. There is a rope-walk attached to the hospital, but it wants air and is rather short; it however furnishes employment for the invalids. From the hospital I went to see the garden which the late Dr. Anderson had planted as a botanical garden, at a tast expence, but it is now in a sad state of ruin.
• We had heard so much in Europe of the slight of hand practised by the Madras jugglers, that we were very curious to see some of them. Accordingly we yesterday procured an excellent set to exhibit before us. After shewing the common tricks with the cups and balls, which were changed so as to elude the most narrow observation, and making me start at finding a serpent in my hand when I was sure I received a pebble, the principal exhibitor took up a pinch of white sand