THE TEACHINGS OF BUDDHA.
In order to gauge with any accuracy the general effects of Buddhaas doctrines in controlling such propensities to evil as his devotees may have possessed, some knowledge of their condition before the promulgation of such teachings would be indispensable; and I am further prevented from forming a judgment in the matter by the fact that my ignorance of their language, at the period of which I am writing, afforded me but scant opportunity of mixing with the inhabitants.
Moreover, we were then virtually at war with them. We had, it is true, fulminated a a Proclamation,a annexing the country up to a certain point; but, ipso facto, beyond a few places along the river, we could not call an inch of territory our own. A guerilla warfare was maintained for some time, accompanied by reprisals and cruelties common to fighting in all countries and ages, no matter whether the combatants are barbarians or civilized. On the whole, however, I hardly think the Burmese displayed any special aptitude for inflicting torture, although a general idea somehow obtained currency that they were facile princeps in this respect. Most assuredly they never tarnished their nationality with such hideous and indelible stains as the natives of India brought on themselves during the whole ghastly course of the Mutiny, by unparalleled atrocities that sent a shudder through every land, branding them with infamy throughout all time. What more natural than that the Burmese, knowing from bitter experience their own inability to cope with us in the open field, and occupying every coign of vantage in their jungle fastnesses, should pounce down upon us when least expected ?
We received more than one salutary lesson in this wise, and had to retreat under difficulties, often withWe received more than one salutary lesson in this wise, and had to retreat under difficulties, often with