Compare it in full detail with the original pdf. Where you find ‘red’ fonts, that’s where I’ve found something of interest in my initial cursory examination fo the text. The life and letters of raja rammohun roy

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STAPLETON GRAVE.


The Raja’s tomb. (By Miss Acland.)

This is the spot! There needs no sculptured line;

No column marks the Rajah’s lovely tomb;

But shadowing elms there drooping boughs incline,

And shroud his cold remains in sacred gloom,

Yes; far from Ganges’ consecrated wave,

Beneath our pallid groves, and northern skies,

A stranger’s hand hath laid thee in thy grave,

And strangers’ tears have wept thine obsequies.

A stranger? No; thy “caste” was human kind;

Thy home wherever freedom’s beacon shone;

And England’s noblest hearts exulting shrined

The turband offspring of a burning zone.

Pure generous mind! all that was just and true,

All that was lovely, holiest, brightest, best,

Kindled thy soul of eloquence anew,

And woke responsive chords in every breast,

Sons of the western main around the hung,

While Indian lips unfolded Freedom’s laws,

And grateful woman heard the Brahman’s tongue

Proclaim her worth, and plead her widowed cause,

Ah! why did Fortune dash with bitter doom,

That cup of high communion from thine hand,

And scatter, darkly withering o’er the tomb,

The blessings gathered for thy native land?

Be hushed our murmurs! He whose voice had won

Thee, heav’nbound traveller, forth from pagan night,

In mercy called the trusting spirit on,

And bade it dwell with uncreated light.

Perchance when o’er thy loved paternal bower,

The sun of Righteousness shall healing rise,

When India’s children feel his noonday power,

And mingle all in Christian sympathies,

Hither their pilgrim footsteps duly bound,

With fervent zeal, these hallowed haunts shall trace,

And sweetly solemn tears bedew the ground

Where sleeps the friend and prophet of their race!

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH129


MY DEAR FRIEND,

In conformity with the wish, you have frequently expressed, that I should give you an outline of my life, I have now the pleasure to give you the following very brief sketch.

My ancestors were Brahmins of a high order, and from time immemorial were devoted to the religious duties of their race, down to my fifth progenitor, who about one hundred and forty years ago, gave up spiritual exercises for worldly pursuits and aggrandisement. His descendents ever since followed his example, and according to the usual fate of courtiers with various success, sometimes rising to honour and sometimes falling; sometimes rich and sometimes poor; sometimes excelling in success, sometimes miserable through disappointment. But my maternal ancestors, being of the sacerdotal order by profession as well as by birth, and of a family than which none holds a higher rank in that profession, have up to the present day uniformly adhered to a life of religious observances and devotion, preferring peace and tranquility of mind to the excitements of ambition and all the allurements of worldly grandeur.

In conformity with the usage of my parental race, and the wish of my father, I studied the Persian and Arabic languages, these being indispensable to those who attached themselves to the courts of the Mahommedan princes; and agreeably to the usage of my maternal relations, I devoted myself to the study of the Sanskrit and the theological works written in it, which contain the body of Hindu literature, law and religion. When about the age of sixteen, I composed a manuscript calling in question the validity of the idolatrous system of the Hindoos. This, together with my known sentiments on the subject, having produced a coolness between me and my immediate kindred, 1 proceeded on my travels and passed through different countries, chiefly within, but some beyond the bounds of Hindoostan, with a feeling of great aversion to the establishment of the British power in India. When I had reached the age of twenty, my father recalled me and restored me to his favour; after which I first saw and began to associate with Europeans, and soon after made myself tolerably acquainted with their laws and form of government. Finding them generally more intelligent, more steady and moderate in their conduct, I gave up my prejudice against them, and became inclined in their favour, feeling persuaded that their rule, though a foreign yoke, would lead more speedily and surely to the amelioration of the native inhabitants; and I enjoyed the confidence of several of them even in their public capacity. My continued controversies with the Brahmins on the subject of their idolatry and superstition, and my interference with their custom of burning widows, and other pernicious practices, revived and increased their animosity against me; and through their influence with my family, my father was again obliged to withdraw his countenance openly, though his limited pecuniary support was still continued to me.

After my father’s death I opposed the advocates of idolatry with still greater boldness. Availing myself of the art of printing, now establishd in India, I published various works and pamphlets against their errors, in the native and foreign languages. This raised such a feeling against me, that I was at last deserted by every person except two or three Scotch friends, to whom, and the nation to which they belong, I always feel grateful.

The ground which I took in all my controversies was, not that of opposition to Brahminism, but to a perversion of it; and I endeavoured to show that the idolatry of the Brahmins was contrary to the practice of their ancestors, and the principles of the ancient books and authorities which they profess to revere and obey. Notwithstanding the violence of the opposition and resistance to my opinions several highly respectable persons, both among my own relations and others, began to adopt the same sentiments.

I now felt a strong wish to visit Europe, and obtain, by personal observation, a more thorough insight into its manners, customs, religion, and political institutions. I refrained, however, from carrying this intention into effect until the friends who coincided in my sentiments should be increased in number and strength. My expectations having been at length realized, in November 1830, I embarked for England, as the discussion of the East India company’s Charter was expected to come on by which the treatment of the Natives of India, and its future government, would be determined for many years to come, and an Appeal to the King in Council, Against the Abolition of the Practice of Burning Widows, was to be heard before the Privy Council; and His Majesty, the Emperor of Delhi, had likewise commissioned me to bring before the authorities in England certain encroachments on his rights by the East India Company. I accordingly arrived in England in April, 1831.

I hope, you will excuse the brevity of this sketch, as I have no leisure at present to enter into particulars, and,

I remain, &c.

RAMMOHUN ROY.





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