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.

  Ei me moi tlaies ge, thea, megan horkon homossai
  Meti moi autps pema kakon bouleusemen allo.]—­Odys. x. l. 343.]

“She spake, I, drawing from beside my thigh The faulchion keen, with death denouncing looks, Rush’d on her,—­she, with a shrill scream of fear, Ran under my raised arm, seized fast my knees, And in winged accents plaintive thus began:—­ ’Who, whence thy city, and thy birth declare,—­ Amazed I see thee with that potion drenched, Yet unenchanted:  never man before Once passed it through his lips and lived the same. * * * * Sheath again Thy sword, and let us on my bed recline, Mutual embrace, that we may trust henceforth Each other without jealousy or fear.’  The goddess spake, to whom I thus replied:  ’Oh Circe, canst thou bid me meek become, And gentle, who beneath thy roof detain’st My fellow-voyagers. * * * No, trust me, never will I share thy bed, Till first, oh goddess, thou consent to swear That dread, all-binding oath, that other harm Against myself, thou wilt imagine none.’  I spake, she, swearing as I bade, renounced All evil purpose, and her solemn oath Concluded, I ascended next her bed."[1]

[Footnote 1:  COWPER’s Odyssey, B. x, p. 392.]

The story of Wijayo’s interview with Kuweni is told in nearly the same terms as it appeared in the Mahawanso in the Rajavali, p. 172.

Another classical coincidence is curious:  we are strongly reminded of Homer’s description of the Syrens by the following passage, relative to the female Rakshasis, or demons, by whom Ceylon was originally inhabited, which is given in the memoirs of HIOUEN-THSANG, the Chinese traveller in the 7th century, as extracted by him from the Buddhist Chronicles.  “Elles epiaient constamment les marchands qui abordaient dans l’isle, et se changeant en femmes d’une grande beaute elles venaient au-devant d’eux avec des fleurs odorantes et au son des instruments de musique, leur adressaient des paroles bienveillantes et les attiraient dans la ville de fer.  Alors elles leur offraient un joyeux festin et se livraient au plaisir avec eux:  puis elles les enfermaient dans un prison de fer et les mangeaient l’un apres l’autre."[1]

[Footnote 1:  HIOUEN-THSANG, Mem. des Peler.  Boudd. 1. xi. p. 131.]



[Sidenote:  B.C. 543.]

The sacred historians of Ceylon affect to believe in the assertion of some mysterious connection between the landing of Wijayo, and the conversion of Ceylon to Buddhism, one hundred and fifty years afterwards; and imply that the first event was but a pre-ordained precursor of the second.[1] The Singhalese narrative, however, admits that Wijayo was but a “lawless adventurer,” who being expelled from his own

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Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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