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"Having thus communicated you every thing re lative to this spectacle which fell under my observa tion, or has come to my knowledge, permit me to subscribe myself. Yours," Bc.

The reader, after his perusal of this letter, will naturally find his curiosity excited to know the mo tiyes which gave rise to this fhocking practice. I have no opportunity, however, at present, to give any satisfaction from their own history. I remem» ber to have read something concerning the chief causes which gave it its rise; but I cannot venture to lay any traces of it, which my memory may have retained, before your readers, as many of them will have the advantage of late publications on the history of Indostan, .where this species of immolation will be fully accounted for.

I will, however, throw out some suggestions of my own, which you are at full liberty to publish or supprefs, according as you think them worthy of public amusement, or agreeable to common sense.

One probable cause may have been the murder of some chief bramin, or some of their priests, by their wives; or the wives, pofsibly, from bad treatment, ør roused by jealousy, or other motives, &c. had committed frequent murders on the bodies of their hufbands. The bramin priests, therefore, to provide for the safety of their lives, had suggested this sacrifice of their wives on the death of their husbands, to make them more careful of their lives, and prevent such unnatural murders.

There is another reason which we may venture upon. There is a jealousy peculiar to all the eastern

Jan. 16, nations of their women. This probably had operated so far with the men, as to render the idea of their widows making a second marriage a very unpleasant reflection. This, in many, (I had almost said in every situation,) is a disagreeable reflection even to ourselves. The woman whom we doated upon with fondnefs, and admired with all the warmth of love and friendship, I say that the reflection, or supposition that this woman fhall, in a fhort time after our death, become equally fond of, and dear to another man, is by no means an agreeable consideration, even on a sick-bed, when the senses are con fused in pain, and the more important business of eternity occupying the mind. If these motives had any weight with the bramin priests, they would make it a tenet of their religion, that the injunc tion might be more strong and reasonable, afsuring them they would be immediately present with their husbands, and have every enjoyment with him in a future state they had in this. There is another inducement to this sacrifice. If they refuse to go through this trying conflict, they are supposed to have had no love for their hufband, and consequently become slaves to their own children; and are derided with scorn and infamy by their friends and sect, and lose the dignity of their cast or rank in life. Whatever may have been the motives for this practice, it cer tainly requires a resolution fired with the warmest enthusiasm, to enable their women to go through this furnace of trial, without which, the utmost de gree of affection, with some women, would be insufficient to urge them to make the attempt. Some

men and women have thrunk at enterprizes, from a constitutional tremor or weakness, which they have contemned in the nobleness of their spirit. But what will enthusiasm, when urged by religion, not do? The human mind only requires to be made warm in the cause of any thing, and enthusiasm will carry us through it, with a contempt of every thing that tends to obstruct its course. There may be as much enthusiasm in the death of some martyrs, as in the selfdevotion of a bramin female, or in the contempt with which an Indian prisoner treats his tormentors. Enthusiasm may often be useful to religion, but it ought not to influence it. There is nothing more plain than the difference which subsists between them; the former being a compound of self-love, or self-righteousnefs, pride, and presumption, whereas the latter is adorned with all meeknefs, diffidence, charity, and humiliation, &c. and makes the Christian appear in his own eyes as a little child. I am, Sir, yours,

Girvan, March 5. 1792.

ON JUSTICE.

For the Bee.

W

W

The peace of society dependeth on justice; the happiness of individuals, on the certain enjoyment of all their pofsefsions.

Pay the debts which thou owest; for he who gave thee credit, relied upon thy bonour; and to withhold from him bis due, both mean and unjust. ECONOMY OF HUMAN LIFE.

MR EDITOR, THERE are few things of more importance to the tradesman, and treated with greater indifference

Jan 16. by his customers, than the regular payment of small debts.

These are as a cancer eating gradually into his credit, and if not timeously prevented, will not fail to prove his ruin.

To the man of businefs in a contracted sphere, these appear more vulnerable even than debts of a considerable amount; especially if the person he runs long accounts with, may. be denominated a good debtor. In looking over his books, the latter of these appear as cash payable on demand, or certain at a subsequent period; whilst the former he is afraid to present, in case of offending, or ashamed to give in, owing to their trifling import, till the credit runs above the profit; and then it is probable his negligent debtors turn out to be slow payers still.

All small accounts, however trifling, should, if pofsible, be settled once a-twelvemonth; and this is a season, at the commencement of a new year, peculiarly adapted for this purpose.

Many there are who attend to this laudable prac tice of clearing off the scores of the old year, at the beginning of the new. Others, I am sorry to add, do

not.

These I would addrefs in your own language, at the close of volume eleventh, of this work. "The sums due by each individual must appear very trif ling to them; but when many small sums are added together, the amount becomes considerable, and of some consequence to the Editor." It is the same with the merchant, the tradesman, and common mechanic, upon whose traffic and industry, so much of

97 our comfort and happiness depends. The sums due by their various customers and employers, are of no value separately considered; but, taken collectively, they become a real drawback and burden upon trade whilst they remain unpaid, as they afford ample relief and assistance when the whole is regularly cleared off. Every reasonable person will allow this; and, it is hoped, will attend to these hints, now that another year is commenced, in case they have neglected to settle their accounts at the conclusion of the old; particularly those, however small, as are of long standing.

The rigid season, the scarcity of coals, and the advanced price upon almost all the necefsaries of life, conspire to call aloud at this time; inattentive then must be the ear, and hardened to every emotion the heart, that remains unmoved by those numerous intreaties, to this indispensible duty they owe to their fellow creatures. JUSTICE.

Fan. 2. 1793.

READING MEMORANDUMS.

For the Bee.

LET not any one build the hopes of to-morrow on the calm evening of the present day. The most horrible earthquakes are generally preceded by motionlefs clouds.

A little mean soul may, upon a particular occasion, do a generous action. But only a great mind can do it in a generous manner.

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