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Br. You have spoken so positively as to affirm of it that its duration is infinite, and that it is a state of progressive improvement. I wish you then only to say, what prevents the mind from arriving at omniscience and omnipotence, if it be continually making progress thereunto.

Eur. If I were to admit that the mind of a created being could ever attain unto infinite power and wisdom, I should make a concession that it was possible for man to become god, and so I should virtually uphold a system of atheism.

Br. You are not the first that has affirmed that the Sanchya doctrines are essentially atheistic; but I can assure you that there are many who hold those doctrines who are very far from atheism : indeed, I will say that your views of philosophy are far more atheistic than mine; for though you admit the existence of a deity having infinite wisdom and power, yet your notions of infinite wisdom and power seem to be very limited and imperfect.

Eur. My notions are, that omniscience and omnipotence belong only to one supreme being, and that they are unattainable by any created being.

Br. But notwithstanding that you deny the attainableness of omniscience and omnipotence, you acknowledge the existence of those principles on which they are manifestly attainable. There is somewhat in this that is inconsistent, and that is quite as perplexing as the affirmation that it is possible for the same thing to be and not to be at the same time. Either the mind goes on increasing in wisdom and power, or it does not. If it goes on increasing to all eternity, it must arrive at infinity of power and wisdom; but if it does not arrive at omnipotence and omniscience, how, when, and where, is its progress interrupted ?

Eur. Truly, I must say that to answer you in this matter is not in my power.

I cannot suppose that the created should ever attain unto the power of the uncreated. And now, after all that we have said on this topic and on others connected with the Sanchya philosophy, I am of opinion that the discussion has not produced any, even the slightest, assimilation of sentiment between us. We leave off nearly, if not quite, as we began. I must, however, be permitted one remark, and that is, that I do not know any one system of philosophy, or, if I may so speak, of antiphilosophy, which may not be pushed into absurdity by an ingenious arrangement of questions. And I think that when we quit sense, we talk nonsense.

Br. So do I.

304

PAUPIAH BRAHMINY, THE DUBASH OF

MADRAS.

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There may be an appearance of pedantry in the phrase, but it is not the less true as a proposition, that there are two histories of India, an esoteric and an exoteric history. By the latter, is meant only the general course of political and civil events, in our relations with the people, whom Providence has placed under our rule; the mere outline, in which great changes and momentous transactions are, as it were, mapped and delineated ;-by the other, the interminglings of our respective domestic histories, and which, though never formally recorded, are still valuable, inasmuch as they lift up the curtain to features of character peculiar to each, and are perhaps the more valuable, because, being beneath the diguity of regular history, they are chiefly oral traditions, which in a few years are forgotten, and sometimes impossible to be recovered with tolerable exactness. Yet, as moral pictures

and moral lessons, they are full of instruction, and most assuredly not devoid of amusement.

The Dubash system is peculiar to the southern peninsula ; but it has principally flourished at Madras. The dubashes are a class of persons who act as stewards, bankers, and general agents to those emphatically called the gentlemen, a generic appellation of the civil and high military servants of the Company. Nor is it quite ancient history, when they had an influence, sometimes slight, sometimes powerful, and at times overbearing, upon men high in office at that presidency—and occasionally acted as go-betweens the government and the Arcot nabobs, at whose diwans they often held responsible situations of considerable importance. This

This may be traced, amongst other causes, to the pecuniary resources they were enabled to command beyond any other class of Hindûs, and to the immense accumulations which, from small beginnings, rapidly swelled them into immense and bloated capitalists. It is not true, that native usages are impassive to change and untouched by time. Slowly, indeed, and almost imperceptibly, they undergo those silent modifications which, in a long cycle of years, make the contrast between was and is,-and probably there is no stronger proof of the fact, than the altered character of that class within the last forty years. They are now, for the most part, needy adventurers, on the watch for the arrival of ships from Europe, which at certain intervals import, as if for their special advantage, some raw inexperienced lads, to whom, on their first landing, every thing is new, and captains and mates of ships, to whom they render very important services in the disposal of their investments, and by the advance of money upon the goods themselves at a devouring interest.

Some authentic sketches of this peculiar vein of character, and a genuine occurrence elucidatory of that almost extinct genus, may probably be worthy the attention even of the students of regular Oriental history.

Amongst the principal members of this memorable body of natives, at the time we are speaking of, was Avadanum Paupiah Brahminy, a character which, from the vehement contrasts embodied in it, would require the colours of Rembrandt to depicture. Supple, submissive, patient of affront and even injury—but with the love of revenge the odium in longum jacens-deeply lurking in the recesses of a mind capacious of every project that hate can devise or meditate. But the domineering passion was litigiousness. To the lawyers, as they were then called by courtesy, he was a

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