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were freshly painted for the occasion, and were the objects of sensual gaze by both sexes. One of the victims of this year was a well-made young man, of healthy appearance and comely aspect. He had a garland of
flowers round his neck, and his long black hair was dishevelled. He danced for a while before the idol,
singing in an enthusiastic strain, and then rushing suddenly to the wheels, he shed his blood under the tower of obscenity. I was not at the spot at the time, my attention having been engaged by a more pleasing Scene. * On the other side, on a rising ground by the side of a Tank, stood the Christian Missionaries, and around
them a crowd of people listening to their preaching.
The town of Serampore, where the Protestant Missionaries reside, is only about a mile and a half from this Temple of Juggernaut. As I passed through the multitude, I met several persons having the printed papers of the Missionaries in their hands. Some of them were reading them very gravely; others were laughing with each other at the contents, and saying, ‘What do these words mean ** * I sat down on an elevated spot to contemplate this scene,—--the tower of blood and impurity on the one hand, and the Christian Preachers on the other. I
thought on the commandment of our Saviour, “Go ye,
teach all nations.' I said to myself, ‘How great and glorious a ministry are these humble persons now exercising in the presence of God!’. How is it applauded by the holy Angels, who “ have joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth; and how far does it transcend
the work of the Warrior or Statesman, in charity, utility and lasting fame l And I could not help wishing that the Representatives of the Church of Christ in my own country had been present to witness this scene, that they might have seen how practicable it is to offer Christian instruction to our Hindoo subjects.”
IMMOLATION OF FEMALES.
Before the Author proceeds to shew the happy effects of Christianity in those provinces of India where it has been introduced, it may be proper to notice in this place that other sanguinary rite of the Hindoo superstition, the FEMALE SACRIFICE. The report of the number of women burned within the period of six months near Calcutta, will give the reader some idea of the multitude who perish annually in India.
‘REPORT of the Number of Women who were Burned * Alive on the Funeral Pile of their Husbands, within ‘thirty miles round Calcutta, from the beginning of
‘Bysakh (15th April) to the end of Aswin (15th
From Gurria to Barrypore; at eleven different places” 18
From Tolly's Nulla mouth to Gurria; at seventeen
different places . . . . . . . . . . 36 From Barrypore to Buhipore; at seven places . . 1 1 From Seebpore to Baleea; at five places........ 1O From Balee to Bydyabattee; at three places...... 3 From Bydyabattee to Bassbareea; at five places.. 1O From Calcutta to Burahnugur (or Barnagore ;) at
four places. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 From Burahnugur to Chanok (or Barrackpore;) a
six places . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 From Chanok to Kachrapara ; at four places. . . . 8
Total of women burned alive in six months,
* The above Report was made by persons of the Hindoo cast, deputed for that purpose, under the superintendance of the Professor of the Shanscrit and, Bengalee languages in the College of Fort-William. They were ten in number, and were stationed at different places during the whole period-of six months. They gave in their account monthly, specifying the particulars of each immolation, so that every individval instance was subject to investigation immediately after its occurrence.
* See the names of the places and other particulars in Memoir of the Expediency of an Ecclesiastical Establishment in British India, p. 102.
* By an account taken in 1803, the number of women sacrificed, during that year, within thirty miles round Calcutta, was two hundred and seventy-five.
“In the foregoing Report of six months, in 1804, it will be perceived that no account was taken of burnings in a district to the west of Calcutta, nor further than twenty miles in some other directions; so that the whole number of burnings within thirty miles round Calcutta must have been considerably greater than is here stated.’
The following account will give the reader some idea of the flagitious circumstance which sometimes attend these sacrifices.
SACRIFICE OF THE KOOLIN BRAHMIN’s THREE WIVES.
* Calcutta, 30th Sept. 1807.
* A horrid tragedy was acted, on the 12th instant, near Barnagore (a place about three miles above Calcutta.) A Koolin Brahmin of Cammar-hattie, by name Kristo Deb Mookerjee, died at the advanced age of ninetytwo. He had twelve wives;* and three of them were
* The Koolin Brahmin is the purest of all Brahmins, and is privileged to marry as many wives as he pleases. The Hindoo families account it an honour to unite their daughters with a Koolin Brahmin. “ The Ghautics or Registrars of the Koolin east state that Rajeb Bonnerjee, now of Calcutta, has forty wives ;
burned alive with his dead body. Of these three, one was a venerable lady, having white locks, who had been long known in the neighbourhood. Not being able to walk, she was carried in a palanquin to the place of burning; and was then placed by the Brahmins on the funeral pile. The two other ladies were younger; one of them of a very pleasing and interesting countenance. The old lady was placed on one side of the deal husband, and the two other wives laid themselves down on the other side; and then an old Brahmin, the eldest son of the deceased, applied his torch to the pile, with unaverted face. The pile suddenly blazed for it was covered with combustibles ; and this human sacrifice was completed amidst the din of drums and cymbals, and the shouts of Brahmins.—A person present observed, Surely if Lord Minto, were here, who is just come from England, and is not used to see women burned alive, he would have saved these three ladies. The Mahomedan Governors saved whom they pleased, and suffered no deluded female to commit suicide, without previous investigation of the circumstances, and official permission
wives; and that Raj-chunder Bonnerjee, also of Calcutta, has forty-two wives ; and intends to marry more : that Ramraja Bonnerjee, of Bicrampore, aged thirty years, and Pooran Bonnerjee, Rajkissore Chutterjee, and Roopram Mookerjee, have each upwards of forty wives, and iniend to marry more; that Birjoo Mookerjee, of Bicrampore, who died about five years ago, had ninety wives." This account was authenticated at Calcutta in the year 1804. See further particulars in “ Memoir" before quoted, p. 111.