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HINDOO LAW.

THE Indian rebellion is so far crushed,
that it is broken up into local and comparatively
petty conflicts; but, when it becomes
history, its origin will have to be disentangled
from a maze of contradiction and apparent
anomaly extremely difficult to thread.
Before the revolt, India presented a picture of
fidelity to its conquerors, obedience to
authority, and internal peace, over which no
coming cloud cast its shadow before.
Suddenly, with no warning, the picture is
smeared with blood; the "mild Hindoo"
breaking out, like a long-smouldering flame,
into acts of treason and savage cruelty very
much at variance with his previously
experienced characteristics. Setting aside the
Mahommedan elements belonging to the
mutiny, the solution of this enigma can only
be attained by an insight into the religious
laws under which the Hindoo lives and
moves and has his being: for his every
thought is moulded by them; the minutest
act of his existence being a rite which they
prescribe. Neither can the mysteries and
perplexities of caste be even imperfectly
unravelled without reference to the Shastres,
or Hindoo Scriptures.

The greatest of all Hindoo legislators is
Manu. From time immemorial his institutes
have been referred to by the Brahmans as
the chief guide to morals and the grand
index of duties. To the students of Hindooism
the code is invaluable for the light it throws
on the character of that strange religion in
the days of its greater purity. Concerning
Manu himself little can be said. His name
is traced to the same root as the Latin word
Mens, and the English Mind, and is explained
by the Pandits to signify Intelligence. It is
associated by some Europeans with the Greek
Minos, and the Egyptian Mneues. The legend
which is prefixed to the Institutes gives him
a still higher antiquity. It is related that
when the Divine Being willed to produce this
universe, having first created the waters, he
placed in them a seed. This seed developed
into an egg, from which he himself was born
in the form of a Brahma; the great forefather
of all spirits, who formed the heaven and
earth and all created things. Then, having
divided his own substance, he produced Manu,
"the secondary framer of all this
visible world:'' the first and greatest of
seven Manus, who each gave birth to races
of their own.

Lest any should question the importance
of his instructions, it is related in the Veda,
that "whatever Manu pronounced, was a
medicine to the soul." Among other wise
men, also, the sage Vrihaspeti says, that
Manu held the first rank among legislators;
because he expressed in his code the whole
sense of the Veda; that no code was
approved which contradicted Manu; and that
other Shastres retained splendour so long
only as Manuwho taught the way to just
wealth, to virtue, and to final happinesswas
not seen in competition with them. This
code is said to have been originally taught to
Manu by Brahma, in one hundred thousand
verses; but was from time to time abridged
so as to adapt itself to the growing weakness
of the human race, until it is now comprised
in only two thousand six hundred
and eighty-five verses, divided into twelve
chapters. Sir William Jones dates its
assumption of its present form from the ninth
century before Christ, or about the same era
as that of Lycurgus.

The first chapter goes back to the very
beginning of things, when "this universe
existed only in the first divine idea; yet
unexpanded, as if involved in darkness,
imperceptible, undefinable, undiscoverable by
reason, and undiscovered by revelation, as if
it were wholly immersed in sleep." It treats
of the development of the seed and egg, from
which Brahma and Manu and all spiritual
beings were to proceed; the origin of time
and space; the creation of stars, rivers,
mountains, and all other material bodies; of
devotion, speech, complacency, desire, wrath,
and all spiritual qualities; of pleasure and
pain, cold and heat, and all other "opposite
pairs." That the human race might be multiplied,
Brahma caused the four great classes
the Brahman, the Cshatriya, the Vaisya,
and the Sudrato proceed from his mouth,
his arm, his thigh, and his foot. He formed
genii and men, bloodthirsty savages and
heavenly choristers, and all animals and
vegetables, great and small. These animals
and vegetables, encircled with multiform
darkness, by reason of past actions, have

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