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vicissitudes which so often mark the progress of time, Cranganore was shorn of her glory. It was no Nebuchadnezzar, no Alexander, no Titus, that blotted out her name from history, and laid her stones, and her timbers, and her dust in the midst of the waters;' and made her a place to spread nets upon '-a mere village, as she is now, of a few fishermen's huts : she fell a prey to the geological instability of the coast, before referred to. Like so many things of earth, the very foundation on which she was built was insecure: the entrance to her harbour became choked


the remorseless monsoon washed away her bulwarks; and, losing her trade, she lost also her inhabitants.

It was in the year A.D. 1341, about a century and a half before that great European pioneer, Vasco da Gama, first sighted the Malabar coast, that the Backwater ceased to discharge its monsoon flood of waters into the sea by the Cranganore outlet, and forced another passage some miles further south, thereby forming the present beautiful harbour of Cochin. Cranganore, deprived of her harbour, gradually dwindled down to its present state of insignificance, the Jewish colonists being among the last to leave it.

Its trade fled northwards to Calicut, and southwards to the new harbour of Cochin ; and these two were, in their turn, the scenes of the earliest adventures of those European navigators who, late in the world's history, found in


Cochin Harbour.


India, what centuries before Phenicians, and Persians, and Arabians, and Egyptians had found, a mine of wealth and luxury. A wonderful chapter is that in the history of western Europe, when, fired originally by the Crusaders' rhapsodies on the “glowing Orient, brave men first sought through the waters of the Atlantic a new route to the spices, and the silks, and the pearls, and the diamonds of the East Indies. Who shall ever sift for us out of the world's history the whole truth as to how much we ourselves as a nation owe for our knowledge of navigation, of geography, of astronomy, of ethnology, of history, of language—and, by these as stepping stones, for a growth in knowledge in a thousand other matters—how much we owe for our wealth as well as our luxuries, our intelligence as well as our commerce; nay, for our very position among the nations of the earth, directly and indirectly, to India!

And now we are nearing the Cochin harbour. A small forest of masts is visible. Some scores of patamers—for so the native vessels are called—are lying at anchor. Not a few ships of European build are there also. Some have French, some Dutch, some English colours flying. Several noble-looking vessels, of apparently from 600 to 1,000 tons burden, are by the wharves busily receiving cargo others are at anchor out in the roads. Signals are flying from the flagstaff that stands on the top of that old sub

stantial tower, once part of a Portuguese cathedral. They are evidently signalling to that steamer out at sea, which, leaving a long line of smoke behind it, is making its way northwards. And here, close by us, getting up steam to follow ere long probably in the same direction, is another iron-built steamship, which is just receiving a boat-load of passengers, perhaps the last for the season; for the monsoon is at hand. We are already experiencing something of the swell of the Indian Ocean as it rolls in, subdued, but not quite broken, at the mouth of the harbour; and in another minute we shall be at Cochin.

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The Jewish Synagogue - Feast of Tabernacles—The Shâsana on

copper plates-Anthropological theories-Emigration of the Jews from Cranganore to Cochin-Portuguese and Dutch—The Jewish watchman- The fort of Cochin - Missionary lesson from the history of St. Paul-Protestant Church of Cochin—Cathedral ruins—Vasco da Gama—Roman Catholics banished by the Dutch -The Hortus Malabaricus-Evening rendezvous-Journey to Cottayam-Phosphorescence on the Backwater - Cottayam and Travancore.

COCHIN, as I have already said, is a place of considerable interest in connection with the history of the western coast of India. My own sympathies were especially drawn out towards the old Jewish colony. And I had not been in Cochin long, on my first visit, before I made my way to the Jewish synagogue-a visit I have since not unfrequently repeated. It was Friday, and I wished to be present at their evening service. Their settlement is about a mile up the harbour, the synagogue being but a stone's throw from the water ; so, accompanied by a few friends, I went by boat.

The synagogue is a more imposing place than I had expected to find. A good number of lamps hung from the ceiling, all in brightest glass shades, and many brilliant with lustres. The reading-pew and other benches were scrupulously neat and clean, and in fact in every respect just such as are to be seen in a synagogue in Europe; and the floor was laid with those inimitable old Dutch tiles with which our great-grandfathers were wont to decorate their fireplaces, and which recalled to my memory the fireplaces of an old rectory that I used to visit as a child—such tiles as those from which Dr. Watts is said to have received his first lessons in Bible history at the lips of his mother. And then the handsome robes, nearly all of silk, and the noble bearing, for the most part, of the Jews, both young and old, completed what was really a grand picture.

After the service the rolls of the Law were taken from their silver cases and shown to us. They were all written at Amsterdam, and were no doubt brought to Cochin in the time of the Dutch, who were good friends to the Jews. I have since then been in the synagogue during the Feast of Tabernacles, when there is more than ordinary fervour of worship and a very full synagogue. On that occasion the men all reverently march, one after another, up to the

1 I have since seen Holman Hunt's celebrated picture of the Finding of Jesus in the Temple, and was instantly struck with the extreme fidelity, both in physiognomy and dress, with which each figure is drawn. It carried me back at once to the synagogue at Cochin ; and I could scarcely persuade myself that I had not seen the exact original of each character there.

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