Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and eBook

James Emerson Tennent
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 892 pages of information about Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and.
the consummation of a revenge provoked by the discovery of the treason concocted by the Adigar in confederacy with the representative of the British Crown.  Nor is this construction weakened by the fact, that no immediate vengeance was exacted by the Governor in expiation of that fearful tragedy; and that the private letters of Mr. North to the Marquis of Wellesley contain avowals of ineffectual efforts to hush up the affair, and to obtain a clumsy compromise by inducing the Kandyan king to make an admission of regret.

[Footnote 1:  Additional MSS., Brit.  Mus., No. 13864, &c.]

[Footnote 2:  DE QUINCEY, collected Works, vol. xii. p. 14.]

I am aware that there are passages in the following pages containing statements that occur more than once in the course of the work.  But I found that in dealing with so many distinct subjects the same fact became sometimes an indispensable illustration of more than one topic; and hence repetition was unavoidable even at the risk of tautology.

I have also to apologise for variances in the spelling of proper names, both of places and individuals, occurring in different passages.  In extenuation of this, I can only plead the difficulty of preserving uniformity in matters dependent upon mere sound, and unsettled by any recognised standard of orthography.

I have endeavoured in every instance to append references to other authors, in support of statements which I have drawn from previous writers; an arrangement rendered essential by the numerous instances in which errors, that nothing short of the original authorities can suffice to expose, have been reproduced and repeated by successive writers on Ceylon.

To whatever extent the preparation of this work may have fallen short of its conception, and whatever its demerits in execution and style, I am not without hope that it will still exhibit evidence that by perseverance and research I have laboured to render it worthy of the subject.


LONDON:  July 13th, 1859.





GENERAL ASPECT.—­Ceylon, from whatever direction it is approached, unfolds a scene of loveliness and grandeur unsurpassed, if it be rivalled, by any land in the universe.  The traveller from Bengal, leaving behind the melancholy delta of the Ganges and the torrid coast of Coromandel; or the adventurer from Europe, recently inured to the sands of Egypt and the scorched headlands of Arabia, is alike entranced by the vision of beauty which expands before him as the island rises from the sea, its lofty mountains covered by luxuriant forests, and its shores, till they meet the ripple of the waves, bright with the foliage of perpetual spring.

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