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Rambles and recollections of an Indian official!
Major-General Sir W. H. Sleeman, K.C.B.
New Delhi, or Shāhjahānābād

On the 22nd of January, 1836, we went on twelve miles to the new city of Delhi, built by the Emperor Shāhjahān, and called after him Shāhjahānābād; and took up our quarters in the palace of the Bēgam Samrū, a fine building, agreeably situated in a garden opening into the great street, with a branch of the great canal running through it, and as quiet as if it had been in a wilderness.[1]

We had obtained from the Bēgam permission to occupy this palace during our stay. It was elegantly furnished, the servants were all exceedingly attentive, and we were very happy.

The Kutb Mīnār stands upon the back of the sandstone range of low hills, and the road descends over the north- eastern face of this range for half a mile, and then passes over a level plain all the way to the new city, which lies on the right bank of the river Jumna. The whole plain is literally covered with the remains of splendid Muhammadan mosques and mausoleums.

These Muhammadans seem as if they had always in their thoughts the saying of Christ which Akbar has inscribed on the gateway at Fathpur Sīkrī:

'Life is a bridge which you are to pass over, and not to build your dwellings upon.'[2]

The buildings which they have left behind them have almost all a reference to a future state—they laid out their means in a church, in which the Deity might be propitiated; in a tomb where leaned and pious men might chant their Korān over their remains, and youth be instructed in their duties; in a serai, a bridge, a canal built gratuitously for the public good, that those who enjoyed these advantages from generation to generation might pray for the repose of their souls.

How could it be otherwise where the land was the property of Government, where capital was never concentrated or safe, when the only aristocracy was that of office, while the Emperor was the sole recognized heir of all his public officers?

The only thing that he could not inherit were his tombs, his temples, his bridges, his canals, his caravanserais. I was acquainted with the history of most of the great men whose tombs and temples I visited along the road; but I asked in vain for a sight of the palaces they occupied in their day of pride and power.

They all had, no doubt, good houses agreeably situated, like that of the Bēgam Samrū, in the midst of well-watered gardens and shrubberies, delightful in their season; but they cared less about them—they knew that the Emperor was heir to every member of the great body to which they belonged, the aristocracy of office; and might transfer all their wealth to his treasury, and all their palaces to their successors, the moment the breath should be out of their bodies.[3] If their sons got office, it would neither be in the same grades nor in the same places as those of their fathers.

How different it is in Europe, where our aristocracy is formed upon a different basis; no one knows where to find the tombs in which the remains of great men who have passed away repose; or the churches and colleges they have founded; or the serāis, the bridges, the canals they formed gratuitously for the public good; but everybody knows where to find their 'proud palaces'; life is not to them 'a bridge over which they are to pass, and not build their dwellings upon'.

The eldest sons enjoy all the patrimonial estates, and employ them as best they may to get their younger brothers into situations in the church, the army, the navy, and other public establishments, in which they may be honourably and liberally provided for out of the public purse.

About half-way between the great tower and the new city, on the left-hand side of the road, stands the tomb of Mansūr Alī Khān, the great-grandfather of the present King of Oudh. Of all the tombs to be seen in this immense extent of splendid ruins, this is perhaps the only one raised over a subject, the family of whose inmates are now in a condition even to keep it in repair.

It is a very beautiful mausoleum, built after the model of the Tāj at Agra; with this difference, that the external wall around the quadrangle of the Tāj is here, as it were, thrown back, and closed in upon the tomb. The beautiful gateway at the entrance of the gardens of the Tāj forms each of the four sides of the tomb of Mansūr Alī Khān, with all its chaste beauty of design, proportion, and ornament.[4]

The quadrangle in which this mausoleum stands is about three hundred and fifty yards square, surrounded by a stone wall, with handsome gateways, and filled in the same manner as that of the Tāj at Agra, with cisterns and fruit-trees. Three kinds of stones are used—white marble, red sandstone, and the fine white and flesh- coloured sandstone of Rupbās. The dome is of white marble, and exactly of the same form as that of the Tāj; but it stands on a neck or base of sandstone with twelve sides, and the marble is of a quality very inferior to that of the Tāj.

It is of coarse dolomite, and has become a good deal discoloured by time, so as to give it the appearance, which Bishop Heber noticed, of potted meat. The neck is not quite so long as that of the Tāj, and is better covered by the marble cupolas that stand above each face of the building. The four noble minarets are, however, wanting. The apartments are all in number and form exactly like those of the Tāj, but they are somewhat less in size. In the centre of the first floor lies the beautiful marble slab that bears the date of this small pillar of a tottering state, A.H. 1167;[5] and in a vault underneath repose his remains by the side of those of one of his grand-daughters.

The graves that cover these remains are of plain earth strewed with fresh flowers, and covered with plain cloth. About two miles from this tomb to the east stands that of the father of Akbar, Humāyūn, a large and magnificent building. As I rode towards this building to see the slab that covers the head of poor Dārā Shikoh, I frequently cast a lingering look behind to view, as often as I could, this very pretty imitation of the most beautiful of all the tombs of the earth.[6]

On my way I turned in to see the tomb of the celebrated saint, Nizām-ud-dīn Auliā, the defeater of the Transoxianian army under Tarmah Shīrīn in 1303, to which pilgrimages are still made from all parts of India.[7] It is a small building, surmounted by a white marble dome, and kept very clean and neat.[8] By its side is that of the poet Khusrū, his contemporary and friend, who moved about where he pleased through the palace of the Emperor Tughlak Shāh the First, five hundred years ago, and sang extempore to his lyre while the greatest and the fairest watched his lips to catch the expressions as they came warm from his soul.

His popular songs are still the most popular; and he is one of the favoured few who live through ages in the every-day thoughts and feelings of many millions, while the crowned heads that patronized them in their brief day of pomp and power are forgotten, or remembered merely as they happened to be connected with them. His tomb has also a dome, and the grave is covered with rich brocade,[9] and attended with as much reverence and devotion as that of the great saint himself, while those of the emperors, kings, and princes that have been crowded around them are entirely disregarded.

A number of people are employed to read the Korān over the grave of the old saint (scil. Nizām-ud-dīn), who died A.H. 725 [A.D. 1324-5], and are paid by contributions from the present Emperor, and the members of his family, who occasionally come in their hour of need to entreat his intercession with the Deity in their favour, and by the humble pilgrims who flock from all parts for the same purpose.

A great many boys are here educated by those readers of their sacred volume. All my attendants bowed their heads to the dust before the shrine of the saint, but they seemed especially indifferent to those of the royal family, which are all open to the sky. Respect shown or neglect towards them could bring neither good nor evil, while any slight to the tomb of the crusty old saint might be of serious consequence.

In an enclosure formed by marble screens beautifully carved is the tomb of the favourite son of the present Emperor,[10] Mirzā Jahāngīr, whom I knew intimately at Allahabad in 1816,[11] when he was killing himself as fast as he could with Hoffman's cherry brandy.

'This ', he would say to me, 'is really the only liquor that you Englishmen have worth drinking, and its only fault is that it makes one drunk too soon.'

To prolong his pleasure, he used to limit himself to one large glass every hour, till he got dead drunk. Two or three sets of dancing women and musicians used to relieve each other in amusing him during this interval.

He died, of course, soon, and the poor old Emperor was persuaded by his mother, the favourite sultana, that he had fallen a victim to sighing and grief at the treatment of the English, who would not permit him to remain at Delhi, where he was continually employed in attempts to assassinate his eldest brother, the heir apparent, and to stir up insurrections among the people.

He was not in confinement at Allahabad, but merely prohibited from returning to Delhi. He had a splendid dwelling, a good income, and all the honours due to his rank.[12]

In another enclosure of the same kind are the Emperor Muhammad Shāh,[13]—who reigned when Nādir Shāh invaded Delhi—his mother, wife, and daughter; and in another close by is the tomb which interested me most, that of Jahānārā Bēgam, the favourite sister of poor Dārā Shikoh, and daughter of Shāh Jahān.[14]

It stands in the same enclosure, with the brother of the present Emperor on one side, and his daughter on the other. Her remains are covered with a marble slab hollow at the top, and exposed to the sky—the hollow is filled with earth covered with green grass.

Upon her tomb is the following inscription, the three first lines of which are said to have been written by herself:-

Let no rich canopy cover my grave.

This grass is the best covering for the tombs

of the poor in spirit.

The humble, the transitory Jahānārā,

The disciple of the holy men of Chisht,

The daughter of the Emperor Shāh Jahān.'

I went over the magnificent tomb of Humāyūn, which was raised over his remains by the Emperor Akbar. It stands in the centre of a quadrangle of about four hundred yards square, with a cloistered wall all round; but I must not describe any more tombs.[15]

Here, under a marble slab, lies the head of poor Dārā Shikoh, who, but for a little infirmity of temper, had perhaps changed the destinies of India, by changing the character of education among the aristocracy of the countries under his rule, and preventing the birth of the Marāthā powers by leaving untouched the independent kingdoms of the Deccan, upon whose ruins, under his bigoted brother, the former rose.

Secular and religions education were always inseparably combined among the Muhammadans, and invited to India from Persia by the public offices, civil and military, which men of education and courtly manners could alone obtain. These offices had long been exclusively filled by such men, who flocked in crowds to India from Khorāsān and Persia.

Every man qualified by secular instruction to make his way at court and fill such offices was disposed by his religions instruction to assert the supremacy of his creed, and to exclude the followers of every other from the employments over which he had any control.

The aristocracy of office was the ocean to which this stream of Muhammadan education flowed from the west, and spread all over India; and had Dārā subdued his brothers and ascended the throne, he would probably have arrested the flood by closing the public offices against these Persian adventurers, and filling them with Christians and Hindoos. This would have changed the character of the aristocracy and the education of the people.[16]

While looking upon the slab under which his head reposes, I thought of the slight 'accidents by flood and field', the still slighter thought of the brain and feeling of the heart, on which the destinies of nations and of empires often depend—on the discovery of the great diamond in the mines of Golconda—on the accident which gave it into the hands of an ambitions Persian adventurer—on the thought which suggested the advantage of presenting it to Shāh Jahān—on the feeling which made Dārā get off, and Aurangzēb sit on his elephant at the battle of Samūgarh, on which depended the fate of India, and perhaps the advancement of the Christian religion and European literature and science over India.[17]

But for the accident which gave Charles Martel the victory over the Saracens at Tours,[18] Arabic and Persian had perhaps been the classical languages, and Islamism the religion of Europe; and where we have cathedrals and colleges we might have had mosques and mausoleums; and America and the Cape, the compass and the press, the steam-engine, the telescope, and the Copernican System, might have remained still undiscovered; and but for the accident which turned Hannibal's face from Rome after the battle of Cannae, or that which intercepted his brother Asdrubal's letter, we might now all be speaking the languages of Tyre and Sidon, and roasting our own children in offerings to Siva or Saturn, instead of saving those of the Hindoos.

Poor Dārā! but for thy little jealousy of thy father and thy son, thy desire to do all thy work without their aid, and those occasional ebullitions of passion which alienated from thee the most powerful of all the Hindoo princes, whom it was so much thy wish and thy interest to cherish, thy generous heart and enlightened mind had reigned over this vast empire, and made it, perchance, the garden it deserves to be made.

I visited the celebrated mosque known by the name of Jāmi (Jumma) Masjid, a fine building raised by Shāh Jahān, and finished in six years, A.H. 1060, at a cost of ten lākhs of rupees or one hundred thousand pounds. Money compared to man's labour and subsistence is still four times more valuable in India than in England; and a similar building in England would cost at least four hundred thousand pounds.

It is, like all the buildings raised by this Emperor, in the best taste and style.[19] I was attended by three well-dressed and modest Hindoos, and a Muhammadan servant of the Emperor. My attention was so much taken up with the edifice that I did not perceive, till I was about to return, that the doorkeepers had stopped my three Hindoos.

I found that they had offered to leave their shoes behind, and submit to anything to be permitted to follow me; but the porters had, they said, strict orders to admit no worshippers of idols; for their master was a man of the book, and had, therefore, got a little of the truth in him, though unhappily not much, since his heart had not been opened to that of the Korān.

Nathū could have told him that he also had a book, which he and some fourscore millions more thought as good as his or better; but he was afraid to descant upon the merits of his 'shāstras', and the miracles of Kishan Jī [Krishna], among such fierce, cut-throat-looking people; he looked, however, as if he could have eaten the porter, Korān and all, when I came to their rescue. The only volumes which Muhammadans designate by the name of the book are the Old and New Testaments, and the Korān.

I visited also the palace, which was built by the same Emperor. It stands on the right bank of the Jumna, and occupies a quadrangle surrounded by a high wall built of red sandstone, about one mile in circumference; one side looks down into the clear stream of the Jumna, while the others are surrounded by the streets of the city.[20]

The entrance is by a noble gateway to the west;[21] and facing this gateway on the inside, a hundred and twenty yards distant, is the Dīwān-ī-Amm, or the common hall of audience. This is a large hall, the roof of which is supported upon four colonnades of pillars of red sandstone, now white-washed, but once covered with stucco work and gilded.

On one of these pillars is shown the mark of the dagger of a Hindoo prince of Chitōr, who, in the presence of the Emperor, stabbed to the heart one of the Muhammadan ministers who made use of some disrespectful language towards him. On being asked how he presumed to do this in the presence of his sovereign he answered in the very words almost of Roderic Dhu,

I right my wrongs where they are given,

Though it were in the court of Heaven.[22]

The throne projects into the hall from the back in front of the large central arch; it is raised ten feet above the floor, and is about ten feet wide, and covered by a marble canopy, all beautifully inlaid with mosaic work exquisitely finished, but now much dilapidated.

The room or recess in which the throne stands is open to the front, and about fifteen feet wide and six deep. There is a door at the back by which the Emperor entered from his private apartments, and one on his left, from which his prime minister or chief officer of state approached the throne by a flight of steps leading into the hall. In front of the throne, and raised some three feet above the floor, is a fine large slab of white marble, on which one of the secretaries stood during the hours of audience to hand up to the throne any petitions that were presented, and to receive and convey commands.

As the people approached over the intervening one hundred and twenty yards between the gateway and the hall of audience they were made to bow down lower and lower to the figure of the Emperor, as he sat upon his throne, without deigning to show by any motion of limb or muscle that he was really made of flesh and blood, and not cut out of the marble he sat upon.

The marble walls on three sides of this recess are inlaid with precious stones representing some of the most beautiful birds and flowers of India, according to the boundaries of the country when Shāh Jahān built this palace, which included Kābul and Kāshmīr, afterwards severed from it on the invasion of Nadir Shāh.[23]

On the upper part of the back wall is represented, in the same precious stones, and in a graceful attitude, a European in a kind of Spanish costume, playing upon his guitar, and in the character of Orpheus charming the birds and beasts which he first taught the people of India so well to represent in this manner. This I have no doubt was intended by Austin de Bordeaux for himself.

The man from Shīrāz, Amānat Khān, who designed all the noble Tughra characters in which the passages from the Korān are inscribed upon different parts of the Tāj at Agra, was permitted to place his own name in the same bold characters on the right-hand side as we enter the tomb of the Emperor and his queen.

It is inscribed after the date, thus, A.H. 1048 [A.D. 1638-9], 'The humble fakīr Amānat Khān of Shirāz.' Austin was a still greater favourite than Amānat Khān; and the Emperor Shāh Jahān, no doubt, readily acceded to his wishes to have himself represented in what appeared to him and his courtiers so beautiful a picture.[24]

The Dīwān-i-Khās, or hall of private audience, is a much more splendid building than the other from its richer materials, being all built of white marble beautifully ornamented. The roof is supported upon colonnades of marble pillars. The throne stands in the centre of this hall, and is ascended by steps, and covered by a canopy, with four artificial peacocks on the four corners.[25]

Here, thought I, as I entered this apartment, sat Aurangzēb when he ordered the assassination of his brothers Dārā and Murād, and the imprisonment and destruction by slow poison of his son Muhammad, who had so often fought bravely by his side in battle. Here also, but a few months before, sat the great Shāh Jahān to receive the insolent commands of this same grandson Muhammad when flushed with victory, and to offer him the throne, merely to disappoint the hopes of the youth's father, Aurangzēb.

Here stood in chains the graceful Sulaimān, to receive his sentence of death by slow poison with his poor young brother Sipihr Shikoh, who had shared all his father's toils and dangers, and witnessed his brutal murder.[26]

Here sat Muhammad Shāh, bandying compliments with his ferocious conqueror, Nādir Shāh, who had destroyed his armies, plundered his treasury, stripped his throne, and ordered the murder of a hundred thousand of the helpless inhabitants of his capital, men, women, and children, in a general massacre.

The bodies of these people lay in the streets tainting the air, while the two sovereigns sat here sipping their coffee, and swearing to the most deliberate lies in the name of their God, Prophet, and Korān;—all are now dust; that of the oppressor undistinguishable from that of the oppressed.[27]

Within this apartment and over the side arches at one end is inscribed in black letters the celebrated couplet, 'If there be a paradise on the face of the earth, it is this—it is this—it is this.[28]

Anything more unlike paradise than this place now is can hardly be conceived. Here are crowded together twelve hundred kings and queens (for all the descendants of the Emperors assume the title of Salātīn, the plural of Sultan) literally eating each other up.[29]

Government, from motives of benevolence, has here attempted to apportion out the pension they assign to the Emperor, to the different members of his great family circle who are to be subsisted upon it, instead of leaving it to his own discretion. This has perhaps tended to prevent the family from throwing off its useless members to mix with the common herd, and to make the population press against the means of subsistence within these walls. Kings and queens of the house of Tīmūr are to be found lying about in scores, like broods of vermin, without food to eat or clothes to cover their nakedness.

It has been proposed by some to establish colleges for them in the palace to fit them by education for high offices under our Government. Were this done, this pensioned family, which never can possibly feel well affected towards our Government or any Government but their own, would alone send out men enough to fill all the civil offices open to the natives of the country, to the exclusion of the members of the humbler but better affected families of Muhammadans and Hindoos.

If they obtained the offices they would be educated for, the evil to Government and to society would be very great; and if they did not get them, the evil would be great to themselves, since they would be encouraged to entertain hopes that could not be realized. Better let them shift for themselves and quietly sink among the crowd. They would only become rallying points for the dissatisfaction and multiplied sources of disaffection; everywhere doing mischief, and nowhere doing good.

Let loose upon society, they everywhere disgust people by their insolence and knavery, against which we are every day required to protect the people by our interference; the prestige of their name will by degrees diminish, and they will sink by and by into utter insignificance. During his stay at Jubbulpore, Kāmbaksh, the nephew of the Emperor, whom I have already mentioned as the most sensible member of the family,[30] did an infinite deal of good by cheating almost all the tradesmen of the town.

Till he came down among them with all his ragamuffins from Delhi, men thought the Padshāhs and their progeny must be something superhuman, something not to be spoken of, much less approached, without reverence. During the latter part of his stay my court was crowded with complaints; and no one has ever since heard a scion of the house of Tīmūr spoken of but as a thing to be avoided—a person more prone than others to take in his neighbours.

One of these kings, who has not more than ten shillings a month to subsist himself and family upon, will, in writing to the representative of the British Government, address him as 'Fidwī Khās', 'Your particular slave'; and be addressed in reply with 'Your majesty's commands have been received by your slave.'[31]

I visited the college which is in the mausoleum of Ghāzī-ud-dīn, a fine building, with its usual accompaniment of a mosque and a college. The slab that covers the grave, and the marble screens that surround the ground that contains it, are amongst the most richly cut things that I have seen.

The learned and pious Muhammadans in the institution told me in my morning visit that there should always be a small hollow in the top of marble slabs, like that on Jahānārā's, whenever any of them were placed over graves, in order to admit water, earth, and grass; but that, strictly speaking, no slab should be allowed to cover the grave, as it could not fail to be in the way of the dead when summoned to get up by the trumpet of Azraīl on the day of the resurrection.'[32]

'Earthly pride,' said they, 'has violated this rule; and now everybody that can afford it gets a marble slab put over his grave. But it is not only in this that men have been falling off from the letter and spirit of the law; for we now hear drums beating and trumpets sounding even among the tombs of the saints, a thing that our forefathers would not have considered possible. In former days it was only a prophet like Moses, Jesus, or Muhammad, that was suffered to have a stone placed over his head.' I asked them how it was that the people crowded to the tombs of their saints, as I saw them at that of Kutb Shāh in old Delhi, on the Basant, a Hindoo festival.

'It only shows,' said they 'that the end of the world is approaching. Are we not divided into seventy-two sects among ourselves, all falling off into Hinduism, and every day committing greater and greater follies? These are the manifest signs long ago pointed out by wise and holy men as indicating the approach of the last day.'[33]

A man might make a curious book out of the indications of the end of the world according to the notions of different people or different individuals. The Hindoos have had many different worlds or ages; and the change from the good to the bad, or the golden to the iron age, is considered to have been indicated by a thousand curious incidents.[34]

I one day asked an old Hindoo priest, a very worthy man, what made the five heroes of the Mahābhārata, the demigod brothers of Indian story, leave the plains and bury themselves no one knew where, in the eternal snows of the Himālaya mountains.

'Why, sir,' said he, 'there is no question about that. Yudhisthira, the eldest, who reigned quietly at Delhi after the long war, one day sat down to dinner with his four brothers and their single wife, Draupadī; for you know, sir, they had only one among them all. The king said grace and the covers were removed, when, to their utter consternation, a full-grown fly was seen seated upon the dish of rice that stood before his majesty. Yudhisthira rose in consternation.

'When flies begin to blow upon men's dinners,' said his majesty, 'you may be sure, my brothers, that the end of the world is near—the golden age is gone—the iron one has commenced, and we must all be off; the plains of India are no longer a fit abode for gentlemen.'

'Without taking one morsel of food,' added the priest, 'they set out, and were never after seen or heard of. They were, however, traced by manifest supernatural signs up through the valley of the Ganges to the snow tops of the Himālaya, in which they no doubt left their mortal coils.'

They seem to feel a singular attachment for the birthplace of their great progenitrix, for no place in the world is, I suppose, more infested by them than Delhi, at present; and there a dish of rice without a fly would, in the iron, be as rare a thing as a dish with one in the golden, age.

Muhammadans in India sigh for the restoration of the old Muhammadan regime, not from any particular attachment to the descendants of Tīmūr, but with precisely the same feelings that Whigs and Tories sigh for the return to power of their respective parties in England; it would give them all the offices in a country where office is everything.

Among them, as among ourselves, every man is disposed to rate his own abilities highly, and to have a good deal of confidence in his own good luck; and all think that if the field were once opened to them by such a change, they should very soon be able to find good places for themselves and their children in it. Perhaps there are few communities in the world among whom education is more generally diffused than among Muhammadans in India.

He who holds an office worth twenty rupees a month commonly gives his sons an education equal to that of a prime minister. They learn, through the medium of the Arabic and Persian languages, what young men in our colleges learn through those of the Greek and Latin—that is, grammar, rhetoric, and logic.

After his seven years of study, the young Muhammadan binds his turban upon a head almost as well filled with the things which appertain to these branches of knowledge as the young man raw from Oxford—he will talk as fluently about Socrates and Aristotle, Plato, and Hippocrates, Galen and Avicenna: (alias Sokrāt, Aristotalis, Aflātūn, Bokrāt, Jālīnus, and Bū Alī Sena); and, what is much to his advantage in India, the languages in which he has learnt what he knows are those which he most requires through life.[35]

He therefore thinks himself as well fitted to fill the high offices which are now filled exclusively by Europeans, and naturally enough wishes the establishments of that power would open them to him. On the faculties and operations of the human mind, on man's passions and affections, and his duties in all relations of life, the works of Imām Muhammad Ghazālī[36] and Nāsir-ud- dīn Tūsī[37] hardly yield to those of Plato and Aristotle, or to those of any other authors who have written on the same subjects in any country.

These works, the Ihya-ul- ulūm, epitomized into the Kīmiā-i-Saādat, and the Akhlāk-i- Nāsirī, with the didactic poems of Sādī,[38] are the great 'Pierian spring' of moral instruction from which the Muhammadan delights to 'drink deep' from infancy to old age; and a better spring it would be difficult to find in the works of any other three men.

It is not only the desire for office that makes the educated Muhammadans cherish the recollection of the old regime in Hīndustan: they say, 'We pray every night for the Emperor and his family, because our forefathers ate the salt of his forefathers'; that is, our ancestors were in the service of his ancestors; and, consequently, were the aristocracy of the country.

Whether they really were so matters not; they persuade themselves or their children that they were. This is a very common and a very innocent sort of vanity.

We often find Englishmen in India, and I suppose in all the rest of our foreign settlements, sporting high Tory opinions and feelings, merely with a view to have it supposed that their families are, or at some time were, among the aristocracy of the land. To express a wish for Conservative predominance is the same thing with them as to express a wish for the promotion in the Army, Navy, or Church of some of their near relations; and thus to indicate that they are among the privileged class whose wishes the Tories would be obliged to consult were they in power.[39]

Man is indeed 'fearfully and wonderfully made'; to be fitted himself for action in the world, or for directing ably the actions of others, it is indispensably necessary that he should mix freely from his youth up with his fellow men.

I have elsewhere mentioned that the state of imbecility to which a man of naturally average powers of intellect may be reduced when brought up with his mother in the seraglio is inconceivable to those who have not had opportunities of observing it.[40]

The poor old Emperor of Delhi, to whom so many millions look up, is an instance. A more venerable-looking man it is difficult to conceive, and had he been educated and brought up with his fellow men, he would no doubt have had a mind worthy of his person.[41]

As it is, he has never been anything but a baby. Rājā Jīvan Rām, an excellent portrait painter, and a very honest and agreeable person, was lately employed to take the Emperor's portrait. After the first few sittings, the portrait was taken into the seraglio to the ladies. The next time he came, the Emperor requested him to remove the great blotch from under the nose.

'May it please your majesty, it is impossible to draw any person without a shadow; and I hope many millions will long continue to repose under that of your majesty.'

'True, Rājā,' said his majesty, 'men must have shadows; but there is surely no necessity for placing them immediately under their noses. The ladies will not allow mine to be put there; they say it looks as if I had been taking snuff all my life, and it certainly has a most filthy appearance; besides, it is all awry, as I told you when you began upon it.'

The Rājā was obliged to remove from under the imperial, and certainly very noble, nose, the shadow which he had thought worth all the rest of the picture. Queen Elizabeth is said, by an edict, to have commanded all artists who should paint her likeness, 'to place her in a garden with a full light upon her, and the painter to put any shadow in her face at his peril'.

The next time the Rājā came, the Emperor took the opportunity of consulting him upon a subject that had given him a good deal of anxiety for many months, the dismissal of one of his personal servants who had become negligent and disrespectful.

He first took care that no one should be within hearing, and then whispered in the artist's ear that he wished to dismiss this man. The Rājā said carelessly, as he looked from the imperial head to the canvas, 'Why does your majesty not discharge the man if he displeases you?'

'Why do I not discharge him? I wish to do so, of course, and have wished to do so for many months, but kuchh tadbīr chāhiye, some plan of operations must be devised.'

'If your majesty dislikes the man, you have only to order him outside the gates of the palace, and you are relieved from his presence at once.'

'True, man, I am relieved from his presence, but his enchantments may still reach me; it is them that I most dread—he keeps me in a continual state of alarm; and I would give anything to get him away in a good humour.'

When the Rājā return to Meerut, he received a visit from one of the Emperor's sons or nephews, who wanted to see the place. His tents were pitched upon the plain not far from the theatre; he arrived in the evening, and there happened to be a play that night.

Several times during the night he got a message from the prince to say that the ground near his tents was haunted by all manner of devils. The Rājā sent to assure him that this could not possibly be the case. At last a man came about midnight to say that the prince could stand it no longer, and had given orders to prepare for his immediate return to Delhi; for the devils were increasing so rapidly that they must all be inevitably devoured before daybreak if they remained.

The Rājā now went to the prince's camp, here he found him and his followers in a state of utter consternation, looking towards the theatre. The last carriages were leaving the theatre, and going across the plain; and these silly people had taken them all for devils.[42]

The present pensioned imperial family f Delhi are commonly considered to be of the house of Tīmūr lang (the Lame), because Bābur, the real founder of the dynasty, was descended from him in the seventh stage.[43] Tīmūr merely made a predatory inroad into India, to kill a few million of unbelievers,[44] plunder the country of all the movable valuables he and his soldiers could collect, and take back into slavery all the best artificers of all kinds that they could lay their hands upon.

He left no one to represent him in India, he claimed no sovereignty, and founded no dynasty there. There is no doubt much in the prestige of a name; and though six generations had passed away, the people of Northern India still trembled at that of the lame monster.

Bābur wished to impress upon the minds of the people the notion that he had at his back the same army of demons that Tīmūr had commanded; and be boasted his descent from him for the same motive that Alexander boasted his from the horned and cloven-footed god of the Egyptian desert, as something to sanctify all enterprises, justify the use of all means, and carry before him the belief in his invincibility.

Bābur was an admirable chief—a fit founder of a great dynasty—a very proper object for the imagination of future generations to dwell upon, though not quite so good as his grandson, the great Akbar. Tīmūr was a ferocious monster, who knew how to organize and command the set of demons who composed his army, and how best to direct them for the destruction of the civilized portion of mankind and their works; but who knew nothing else.[45]

In his invasion of India he caused the people of the towns and villages through which he passed to be all massacred without regard to religion, age, or sex. If the soldiers in the town resisted, the people were all murdered because they did so; if they did not, the people were considered to have forfeited their lives to the conquerors for being conquered; and told to purchase them by the surrender of all their property, the value of which was estimated by commissaries appointed for the purpose.

The price was always more than they could pay; and after torturing a certain number to death in the attempt to screw the sum out of them, the troops were let in to murder the rest; so that no city, town, or village escaped; and the very grain collected for the army, over and above what they could consume at any stage, was burned, lest it might relieve some hungry infidel of the country who had escaped from the general carnage.

All the soldiers, high and low, were murdered when taken prisoners, as a matter of course; but the officers and soldiers of Tīmūr's army, after taking all the valuable movables, thought they might be able to find a market for the artificers by whom they were made, and for their families; and they collected together an immense number of men, women, and children.

All who asked for mercy pretended to be able to make something that these Tartars had taken a liking to. On coming before Delhi, Tīmūr's army encamped on the opposite or left bank of the river Jumna; and here he learned that his soldiers had collected together above one hundred thousand of these artificers, besides their women and children.

There were no soldiers among them; but Tīmūr thought it might be troublesome either to keep them or to turn them away without their women and children; and still more so to make his soldiers send away these women and children immediately. He asked whether the prisoners were not for the most part unbelievers in his prophet Muhammad; and being told that the majority were Hindoos, he gave orders that every man should be put to death; and that any officer or soldier who refused to kill or have killed all such men, should suffer death.

'As soon as this order was made known,' says Tīmūr's historian and great eulogist, 'the officers and soldiers began to put it in execution; and, in less than one hour, one hundred thousand prisoners, according to the smallest computation, were put to death and their bodies thrown into the river Jumna. Among the rest, Mulānā Nasīr-ud- dīn Amr, one of the most venerable doctors of the court, who would never consent so much as to kill a single sheep, was constrained to order fifteen slaves, whom he had in his tents, to be slain. Tīmūr then gave orders that one-tenth of his soldiers should keep watch over the Indian women, children, and camels taken in the pillage.'[46]

The city was soon after taken, and the people commanded, as usual, to purchase their lives by the surrender of their property—troops were sent in to take it—numbers were tortured to death—and then the usual pillage and massacre of the whole people followed without regard to religion, age, or sex; and about a hundred thousand more of innocent and unoffending people were murdered.

The troops next massacred the inhabitants of the old city, which had become crowded with fugitives from the new;[47] the last remnant took refuge in a mosque, where two of Tīmūr's most distinguished generals rushed in upon them at the head of five hundred soldiers; and, as the amiable historian tells us, 'sent to the abyss of hell the souls of these infidels, of whose heads they erected towers, and gave their bodies for food to birds and beasts of prey'.

Being at last tired of slaughter, the soldiers made slaves of the survivors, and drove them out in chains; and, as they passed, the officers were allowed to select any they liked except the masons, whom Tīmūr required to build for him at Samarkand a church similar to that of Īltutmish in old Delhi.

He now set out to take Meerut, which was at that time a fortified town of much note. The people determined to defend themselves, and happened to say that Tarmah Shirīn, who invaded India at the head of a similar body of Tartars a century before,[48] had been unable to take the place.

This so incensed Tīmūr that he brought all his forces to bear on Meerut, took the place, and having had all the Hindoo men found in it skinned alive, he distributed their wives and children among his soldiers as slaves. He now sent out a division of his army to murder unbelievers, and collect plunder, over the cultivated plains between the Ganges and Jumna, while he led the main body on the same pious duty along the hills from Hardwār[49] on the Ganges to the west.

Having massacred a few thousands of the hill people, Tīmūr read the noon prayer, and returned thanks to God for the victories he had gained, and the numbers he had murdered through his goodness; and told his admiring army that a religions war like this produced two great advantages: it secured eternal happiness in heaven, and a good store of valuable spoils on earth—that his design in all the fatigues and labours which he had undertaken was solely to render himself pleasing to God, treasure up good works for his eternal happiness, and get riches to bestow upon his soldiers and the poor.

The historian makes a grave remark upon this invasion: The Korān declares that the highest glory man can attain in this world is unquestionably waging a successful war in person against the enemies of his religion (no matter whether those against whom it is waged happen ever to have heard of this religion or not).

Muhammad inculcated the same doctrine in his discourses with his friends; and, in consequence, the great Tīmūr always strove to exterminate all the unbelievers, with a view to acquire that glory, and to spread the renown of his conquests.

'My name', said he, 'has spread terror through the universe, and the least motion I make is capable of shaking the whole earth.'

Tīmūr returned to his capital of Samarkand in Transoxiana in May, 1399. His army, besides other things which they brought from India, had an immense number of men, women, and children, whom they had reduced to slavery, and driven along like flocks of sheep to forage for their subsistence in the countries through which they passed, or perish.

After the murder on the banks of the Jumna of part of the multitude they had collected before taking the capital, amounting to one hundred thousand men, Tīmūr was obliged to assign one-tenth of his army to guard what were left, the women and children.

'After the murder in the capital of Delhi,' says the historian, an eye-witness, 'there were some soldiers who had a hundred and fifty slaves, men, women, and children, whom they drove out of the city before them; and some soldiers' boys had twenty slaves to their own share.'

On reaching Samarkand, they employed these slaves as best they could; and Tīmūr employed his, the masons, in raising his great church from the quarries of the neighbouring hills.[50]

In October following, Tīmūr led this army of demons over the rich and polished countries of Syria, Anatolia, and Georgia, levelling all the cities, towns, and villages, and massacring the inhabitants without any regard to age or sex, with the same amiable view of correcting the notions of people regarding his creed, propitiating the Deity, and rewarding his soldiers.

He sent to the Christian inhabitants of Smyrna, then one of the first commercial cities in the world, to request that they would at once embrace Muhammadanism, in the beauties of which the general and his soldiers had orders generously and diligently to instruct them. They refused, and Tīmūr repaired immediately to the spot, that he might 'share in the merit of sending their souls to the abyss of hell'.

Bajazet, the Turkish emperor of Anatolia, had recently terminated an unavailing siege of seven years. Tīmūr took the city in fourteen days, December, 1402;[51] had every man, woman, and child that he found in it murdered; and caused some of the heads of the Christians to be thrown by his balistas or catapultas into the ships that had come from different European nations to their succour.

All other Christian communities found within the wide range of this dreadful tempest were swept off in the same manner, nor did Muhammadan communities fare better.

After the taking of Baghdad, every Tartar soldier was ordered to cut off and bring away the head of one or more prisoners, because some of the Tartar soldiers had been killed in the attack; 'and they spared', says the historian, 'neither old men of fourscore, nor young children of eight years of age; no quarter was given either to rich or poor, and the number of dead was so great that they could not be counted; towers were made of their heads to serve as an example to posterity.'

Ninety thousand were murdered in cold blood, and one hundred and twenty pyramids were made of the heads for trophies. Damascus, Nice, Aleppo, Sebastē,[52] and all the other rich and populous cities of Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, and Georgia, then the most civilized region of the world, shared in the same fate; all were reduced to ruins, and their people, without regard to religion, age, or sex, barbarously and brutally murdered.

In the beginning of 1405, this man recollected that, among the many millions of unbelieving Christians and Hindoos 'whose souls he had sent to the abyss of hell', there were many Muhammadans, who had no doubt whatever in the divine origin or co-eternal existence of the Korān; and, as their death might, perhaps, not have been altogether pleasing to his God and his prophet, he determined to appease them both by undertaking the murder of some two hundred millions of industrious and unoffending Chinese; among whom there was little chance of finding one man who had ever even heard of the Korān—much less believed in its divinity and co- eternity—or of its interpreter, Muhammad.

At the head of between two and three hundred thousand well-mounted Tartars and their followers, he departed from his capital of Samarkand on the 8th of January, 1405, and crossed the Jaxartes[53] on the ice.

In the words of his judicious historian, 'he thus generously undertook the conquest of China, which was inhabited only by unbelievers that by so good a work he might atone for what had been done amiss in other wars, in which the blood of so many of the faithful had been shed'.

'As all my vast conquests', said Tīmūr himself,[54] 'have caused the destruction of a good many of the faithful, I am resolved to perform some good action, to atone for the crimes of my past life; and to make war upon the infidels, and exterminate the idolaters of China, which cannot be done without very great strength and power.

'It is therefore fitting, my dear companions in arms, that those very soldiers, who were the instruments whereby those my faults were committed, should be the means by which I work out my repentance, and that they should march into China, to acquire for themselves and their Emperor the merit of that holy war, in demolishing the temples of those unbelievers and erecting good Muhammadan mosques in their places. By this means we shall obtain pardon for all our sins, for the holy Korān assures us that good works efface the sins of this world.'

At the close of the Emperor's speech, the princes of the blood and other officers of rank besought God to bless his generous undertaking, unanimously applauding his sentiments, and loading him with praises. 'Let the Emperor but display his standard, and we will follow him to the end of the world.'

Tīmūr died soon after crossing the Jaxartes, on the 1st of April, 1406, and China was saved from this dreadful scourge.

But, as the philosophical historian, Sharaf-ud-dīn,[55] profoundly observes, 'The Korān remarks that if any one in his pilgrimage to Mecca should be surprised by death, the merit of the good work is still written in heaven in his name, as surely as if he had had the good fortune to accomplish it. It is the same with regard to the "ghaza" (holy war), where an eternal merit is acquired by troubles, fatigues, and dangers; and he who dies during the enterprise, at whatever stage, is deemed to have completed his design.'

Thus Tīmūr the Lame had the merit, beyond all question of doubt, of sending to the abyss of hell two hundred millions of men, women, and children, for not believing in a certain book of which they had never heard or read; for the Tartars had not become Muhammadans when they conquered China in the beginning of the thirteenth century.

Indeed, the amiable and profound historian is of opinion, after the most mature deliberation, that 'God himself must have arranged all this in favour of so great and good a prince; and knowing that his end was nigh, inspired him with the idea of undertaking this enterprise, that he might have the merit of having completed it; otherwise, how should he have thought of leading out his army in the dead of winter to cross countries covered with ice and snow?'

The heir to the throne, the Prince Pīr Muhammad, was absent when Tīmūr died; but his wives, who had accompanied him, were all anxious to share in the merit of the holy undertaking; and in a council of the chiefs held after his death, the opinions of these amiable princesses prevailed that the two hundred millions of Chinese ought still to be sent to 'the abyss of hell', since it had been the earnest wish of their deceased husband, and must undoubtedly have been the will of God, to send them thither without delay.

Fortunately quarrels soon arose among his sons and grandsons about the succession, and the army recrossed the Jaxartes, still over the ice, in the beginning of April, and China was saved from this scourge. Such was Timūr the Lame, the man whose greatness and goodness are to live in the hearts of the people of India, nine-tenths of whom are Hindoos, and to fill them with overflowing love and gratitude towards his descendants.

In this brief sketch will perhaps be found the true history of the origin of the gipsies, the tide of whose immigration began to flow over all parts of Europe immediately after the return of Tīmūr from India. The hundreds of thousands of slaves which his army brought from India in men, women, and children, were cast away when they got as many as they liked from the more beautiful and polished inhabitants of the cities of Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, and Georgia, which were all, one after the other, treated in the same manner as Delhi had been.

The Tartar soldiers had no time to settle down and employ them as they intended for their convenience; they were marched off to ravage Western Asia in October, 1399, about three months after their return from India. Tīmūr reached Samarkand in the middle of May, but he had gone on in advance of his army, which did not arrive for some time after.

Being cast off, the slaves from India spread over those countries which were most likely to afford them the means of subsistence as beggars; for they knew nothing of the manners, the arts, or the language of those among whom they were thrown; and as Arabia, Palestine, Syria, Anatolia, Georgia, Circassia, and Russia, had been, or were being, desolated by the army of this Tartar chief, they passed into Egypt and Bulgaria, whence they spread over all other countries. Scattered over the face of these countries, they found small parties of vagrants who were from the same regions as themselves, who spoke the same language, and who had in all probability been drawn away by the same means of armies returning from the invasion of India.

Chingīz Khān invaded India two centuries before; his descendant, Tarmah Shirīn, invaded India in 1303, and must have taken back with him multitudes of captives. The unhappy prisoners of Tīmūr the Lame gathered round these nuclei as the only people who could understand or sympathize with them.

From his sixth expedition into India Mahmūd is said to have carried back with him to Ghaznī two hundred thousand Hindoo captives in a state of slavery, A.D. 1011. From his seventh expedition in 1017, his army of one hundred and forty thousand fighting men returned 'laden with Hindoo captives, who became so cheap, that a Hindoo slave was valued at less than two rupees'.

Mahmūd made several expeditions to the west immediately after his return from India, in the same manner as Tīmūr did after him, and he may in the same manner have scattered his Indian captives. They adopted the habits of their new friends, which are indeed those of all the vagrant tribes of India, and they have continued to preserve them to the present day.

I have compared their vocabularies with those of India, and find so many of the words the same that I think a native of India would, even in the present day, be able without much difficulty to make himself understood by a gang of gipsies in any part of Europe.[56]

A good Christian may not be able exactly to understand the nature of the merit which Tamerlane expected to acquire from sending so many unoffending Chinese to the abyss of hell. According to the Muhammadan creed, God has vowed 'to fill hell chock full of men and genii'.

Hence his reasons for hardening their hearts against that faith in the Korān which might send them to heaven, and which would, they think, necessarily follow an impartial examination of the evidence of its divinity and certainty.

Tīmūr thought, no doubt, that it would be very meritorious on his part to assist God in this his labour of filling the great abyss by throwing into it all the existing population of China: while he spread over their land in pastoral tribes the goodly seed of Muhammadanism, which would give him a rich supply of recruits for paradise.

The following dialogue took place one day between me and the 'muftī', or head Muhammadan law officer, of one of our regulation courts.[57]

'Does it not seem to you strange, Muftī Sāhib, that your prophet, who, according to your notions, must have been so well acquainted with the universe and the laws that govern it, should not have revealed to his followers some great truths hitherto unknown regarding these laws, which might have commanded their belief, and that of all future generations, in his divine mission?'

'Not at all,' said the Muftī; 'they would probably not have understood him; and if they had, those who did not believe in what he did actually reveal to them, would not have believed in him had he revealed all the laws that govern the universe.'

'And why should they not have believed in him?'

'Because what he revealed was sufficient to convince all men whose hearts had not been hardened in unbelief. God said, "As for the unbelievers, it is the same with them whether you admonish them or do not admonish them; they will not believe. God hath sealed up their hearts, their ears, and their eyes; and a grievous punishment awaits them."'[58]

'And why were the hearts of any men thus hardened to unbelief, when by unbelief they were to incur such dreadful penalties?'

'Because they were otherwise wicked men.'

'But you think, of course, that there was really much of good in the revelations of your prophet?'

'Of course we do.'

'And that those who believed in it were likely to become better men for their faith?'


'Then why harden the hearts of even bad men against a faith that might make them good?'

'Has not God said, "If we had pleased, we had certainly given unto every soul its direction; but the word which hath proceeded from me must necessarily be fulfilled when I said, Verily, I will fill hell with men and genii altogether".[59]

And again, "Had it pleased the Lord, he would have made all men of one religion; but they shall not cease to differ among them, unless those on whom the Lord shall have mercy; and unto this hath he created them; for the word of thy Lord shall be fulfilled when he said, Verily, I will fill hell altogether with genii and men".'[60]

'You all believe that the devil, like all the angels, was made of fire?'


'And that he was doomed to hell because he would not fall down and worship Adam, who was made of clay?'

'Yes, God commanded him to bow down to Adam; and when he did not do as he was bid, God said, "Why, Iblīs, what hindered thee from bowing down to Adam as the other angels did?"

He replied, "It is not fit that I should worship man, whom thou hast formed of dried clay, or black mud".

God said, "Get thee, therefore, hence, for thou shalt be pelted with stones; and a curse shall be upon thee till the day of judgement".

The devil said, "O Lord, give me respite unto the day of resurrection".

God said, "Verily, thou shalt be respited until the appointed time ".'[61]

'And does it not appear to you, Mufti Sāhib, that in respiting the devil Iblīs till the day of resurrection, some injustice was done to the children of Adam?'


'Because he replies, "O Lord, because thou hast seduced me, I will surely tempt men to disobedience in the earth".'

'No, sir, because he could only tempt those who were predestined to go astray, for he adds, "I will seduce all, except such of them as shall be thy chosen servants".

God said, "This is the right way with me. Verily, as to my servants, thou shalt have no power over them; but over those only who shall be seduced, and who shall follow thee; and hell is surely denounced to them all ".'[62]

'Then you think, Mufti Sāhib, that the devil could seduce only such as were predestined to go astray, and who would have gone astray whether he, the devil, had been respited or not?'

'Certainly I do.'

'Does it not then appear to you that it is as unjust to predestine men to do that for which they are to be sent to hell, as it would be to leave them all unguided to the temptations of the devil?'

'These are difficult questions,' replied the Muftī, 'which we cannot venture to ask even ourselves. All that we can do is to endeavour to understand what is written in the holy book, and act according to it. God made us all, and he has the right to do what he pleases with what he has made; the potter makes two vessels, he dashes the one on the ground, but the other he sells to stand in the palaces of princes.'

'But a pot has no soul, Muftī Sāhib, to be roasted to all eternity in hell!'

'True, sir; these are questions beyond the reach of human understanding.'

'How often do you read over the Korān?'

'I read the whole over about three times a month,' replied the Muftī.[63]

I mentioned this conversation one day to the Nawāb Alī-ud-dīn,[64] a most estimable old gentleman of seventy years of age, who resides at Murādābād, and asked him whether he did not think it a singular omission on the part of Muhammad, after his journey to heaven, not to tell mankind some of the truths that have since been discovered regarding the nature of the bodies that fill these heavens, and the laws that govern their motions. Mankind could not, either from the Korān, or from the traditions, perceive that he was at all aware of the errors of the System of astronomy that prevailed in his day, and among his people.'

'Not at all', replied the Nawāb; 'the prophets had, no doubt, abundant opportunities of becoming acquainted with the heavenly bodies, and the laws which govern them, particularly those who, like Muhammad, had been up through the seven heavens; but their thoughts were so entirely taken up with the Deity that they probably never noticed the objects by which he was surrounded; and if they had noticed them, they would not, perhaps, have thought it necessary to say anything about them. Their object was to direct men's thoughts towards God and his commandments, and to instruct them in their duties towards him and towards each other.

'Suppose', continued the Nawāb, 'you were to be invited to see and converse with even your earthly sovereign, would not your thoughts be too much taken up with him to admit of your giving, on your return, an account of the things you saw about him? I have been several times to see you, and I declare that I have been so much taken up with the conversations which have passed, that I have never noticed the many articles I now see around me,

'nor could I have told any one on my return home what I had seen in your room—the wall- shades, the pictures, the sofas, the tables, the book-cases,' continued he, casting his eyes round the room,' all escaped my notice, and might have escaped it had my eyes been younger and stronger than they are. What then must have been the state of mind of those great prophets, who were admitted to see and converse with the great Creator of the universe, and were sent by him to instruct mankind?

'I told my old friend that I thought his answer the best that could be given; but still, that we could not help thinking that if Muhammad had really been acquainted with the nature of the heavenly bodies, and the laws which govern them, he would have taken advantage of his knowledge to secure more firmly their faith in his mission, and have explained to them the real state of the case, instead of talking about the stars as merely made to be thrown at devils, to give light to men upon this little globe of ours, and to guide them in their wanderings upon it by sea and land.

'But what', said the Nawāb, 'are the great truths that you would have had our holy prophet to teach mankind?'

'Why, Nawāb Sahib, I would have had him tell us, amongst other things, of that law which makes this our globe and the other planets revolve round the sun, and their moons around them. I would have had him teach us something of the nature of the things we call comets, or stars with large tails, and of that of the fixed stars, which we suppose to be suns, like our sun, with planets revolving round them like ours, since it is clear that they do not borrow their light from our sun, nor from anything that we can discover in the heavens.

'I would also have had him tell us the nature of that white belt which crosses the sky, which you call the ovarious belt, "Khatt- i-abyāz", and we the milky-way, and which we consider to be a collection of self-lighted stars, while many orthodox but unlettered Musalmāns think it the marks made in the sky by "Borak", the rough-shod donkey, on which your prophet rode from Jerusalem to heaven. And you think, Nawāb Sāhib, that there was quite evidence enough to satisfy any person whose heart had not been hardened to unbelief? and that no description of the heavenly bodies, or of the laws which govern their motion, could have had any influence on the minds of such people? '[65]

'Assuredly I do, sir! Has not God said, "If we should open a gate in the heavens above them, and they should ascend thereto all the day long, they would surely say, our eyes are only dazzled, or rather we are a people deluded by enchantments."[66]

'Do you think, sir, that anything which his majesty Moses could have said about the planets, and the comets, and the milky way, would have tended so much to persuade the children of Israel of his divine mission as did the single stroke of his rod, which brought a river of delicious water gushing from a dry rock when they were all dying from thirst?

'When our holy prophet', continued the Nawāb (placing the points of the four fingers of his right hand on the table), 'placed his blessed hand thus on the ground, and caused four streams to gush out from the dug plain, and supply with fresh water the whole army which was perishing from thirst; and when out of only five small dates he afterwards feasted this immense army till they could eat no more, he surely did more to convince his followers of his divine mission than he could have done by any discourse about the planets, and the milky way (Khatt-i-abyāz).'

'No doubt, Nawāb Sāhib, these were very powerful arguments for those who saw them, or believed them to have been seen; and those who doubt the divinity of your prophets mission are those who doubt their ever having been seen.'

'The whole army saw and attested them, sir, and that is evidence enough for us; and those who saw them, and were not satisfied, must have had their hearts hardened to unbelief.'

'And you think, Nawāb Sāhib, that a man is not master of his own belief or disbelief in religions matters; though he is rewarded by an eternity of bliss in paradise for the one, and punished by an eternity of scorching in hell for the other?

'I do, sir, faith is a matter of feeling; and over our feelings we have no control. All that we can do is to prevent their influencing our actions, when these actions would be mischievous. I have a desire to stretch out this arm, and crush that fly on the table, I can control the act, and do so; but the desire is not under my control.'

'True, Nawāb Sāhib; and in this life we punish men not for their feelings, which are beyond their control, but for their acts, over which they have no control; and we are apt to think that the Deity will do the same.'

'There are, sir,' continued the Nawāb, 'three kinds of certainty—the moral certainty, the mathematical, and the religious certainty, which we hold to be the greatest of all—the one in which the mind feels entire repose. This repose I feel in everything that is written in the Korān, in the Bible, and, with the few known exceptions, in the New Testament.[67]

'We do not believe that Christ was the son of God, though we believe him to have been a great prophet sent down to enlighten mankind; nor do we believe that he was crucified. We believe that the wicked Jews got hold of a thief, and crucified him in the belief that he was the Christ; but the real Christ was, we think, taken up into heaven, and not suffered to be crucified.'

'But, Nawāb Sāhib, the Sikhs have their book, in which they have the same faith.'

'True, sir, but the Sikhs are unlettered, ignorant brutes; and you do not, I hope, call their "Granth" a book—a thing written only the other day, and full of nonsense.

'No "book" has appeared since the Korān came down from heaven; nor will any other come till the day of judgement. And how', said the Nawāb, 'have people in modern days made all the discoveries you speak of in astronomy?'

'Chiefly, Nawāb Sāhib, by means of the telescope, which is an instrument of modern invention.'

'And do you suppose, sir, that I would put the evidence of your "dūrbīns" (telescopes) in opposition to that of the holy prophet? No, sir, depend upon it that there is much fallacy in a telescope—it is not to be relied upon. I have conversed with many excellent European gentlemen, and their great fault appears to me to be in the implicit faith they put in these telescopes—they hold their evidence above that of the prophets, Moses, Abraham, and Elijah.

'It is dreadful to think how much mischief these telescopes may do. No, sir, let us hold fast by the prophets; what they tell us is the truth, and the only truth that we can entirely rely upon in this life. I would not hold the evidence of all the telescopes in the world as anything against one word uttered by the humblest of the prophets named in the Old or New Testament, or the holy Korān.

'The prophets, sir, keep to the prophets, and throw aside your telescopes—there is no truth in them; some of them turn people upside down, and make them walk upon their heads; and yet you put their evidence against that of the prophets.'[68]

Nothing that I could say would, after this, convince the Nawāb that there was any virtue in telescopes; his religions feeling had been greatly excited against them; and had Galileo, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Newton, Laplace, and the Herschels, all been present to defend them, they would not have altered his opinion of their demerits.

The old man has, I believe, a shrewd suspicion that they are inventions of the devil to lead men from the right way; and were he told all that these great men have discovered through their means, he would be very much disposed to believe that they were incarnations of his satanic majesty playing over again with 'dūrbīns' (telescopes) the same game which the serpent played with the apple in the garden of Eden.

Solicit not thy thoughts with matters hid;

Leave them to God above: him serve and fear;

Of other creatures, as him pleases best,

Wherever placed, let him dispose: joy thou

In what he gives to thee, this Paradise

And thy fair Eve: heaven is for thee too high

To know what passes there: be lowly wise:

Think only what concerns thee, and thy being:

Dream not of other worlds, what creatures there

Live, in what state, condition, or degree:

Contented that thus far hath been revealed,

Not of earth only, but of highest heaven.'[69]


1. Chapter 75 post is devoted to the history of the Bēgam Samrū (Sumroo). The 'great street' is the celebrated Chāndnī Chauk, a very wide thoroughfare. The branch of the canal which runs down the middle of it is now covered over. The Bēgam's house is now occupied by the Delhi Bank (Fanshawe, p, 49).

2. Ante, chapter 54, note 14.

3. The Emperors were not in the least ashamed of this practice, and robbed the families of rich merchants as well as those of officials. In fact they levied in a rough way the high 'death duties' so much admired by Radicals with small expectations. Some remarkable cases are related in detail by Bernier (Bernier, Travels, ed. Constable, and V. A. Smith (1914), pp. 163-7).

When Aurangzēb heard of the death of the Governor of Kābul, he gave orders to seize the belongings of the deceased, so that 'not even a piece of straw be left' (Bilimoria, Letters of Aurungzebe, No. xcix).

4. The meaning of this sentence is obscure.

5. Corresponding to A.D. 1753-4. In the original edition the date is misprinted A.D. 1167.

6. The tomb of Mansūr Alī Khān is better known as that of Safdar Jang, which was the honorary title of the noble over whom the edifice was raised. He was the wazīr, or chief minister, of the Emperor Ahmad Shāh from 1748 to 1752, and was practically King of Oudh, where he had succeeded to the power of his father-in-law, the well-known Saādat Khān: Safdar Jang died in A.D. 1754 and was succeeded in Oudh by his son Shujā-ud-daula.

The author's praise of the beauty of Safdar Jang's tomb will seem extravagant to most critics. In the editor's judgement the building is a very poor attempt to imitate the inimitable Tāj. Fergusson (ed. 1910, vol. ii, p. 324, pl. xxxiv) gives it the qualified praise that 'it looks grand and imposing at a distance, but it will not bear close inspection'. See Fanshawe, p. 246 and plate. In the original edition a coloured plate of this mausoleum is given.

7. Nizām-ud-dīn was the disciple of Farīd-ud- dīn Ganj Shakar, so called from his look being sufficient to convert cods of earth into lumps of sugar. Farīd was the disciple of Kutb-ud-dīn of Old Delhi, who was the disciple of Mūin-ud-dīn of Ajmēr, the greatest of all their saints. [W. H. S.] Mūin-ud-dīn died A.D. 1236. For further particulars of the three saints see Beale, Oriental Biographical Dictionary, ed. Keene, 1894. Dr. Horn (Ep. Ind. ii, 145 n., 426 n.) gives information about the Persian biographies of Nizām-ud-dīn and other Chishtī saints.

8. For the personal history of Nizām-ud-dīn see the last preceding chapter, [13]. His tomb is situated in a kind of cemetery, which also contains the tombs of the poet Khusrū, the Princess Jahānārā, and the Emperor Muhammad Shāh, which will be noticed presently.

Fanshawe (p. 236) gives a plan of the enclosure. Nizām-ud-dīn's tomb 'has a very graceful appearance, and is surrounded by a verandah of white marble, while a cut screen encloses the sarcophagus, which is always covered with a cloth. Round the gravestone runs a carved wooden guard, and from the four corners rise stone pillars draped with cloth, which support an angular wooden frame-work, and which has something the appearance of a canopy to a bed. Below this wooden canopy there is stretched a cloth of green and red, much the worse for wear.

The interior of the tomb is covered with painted figures in Arabic, and at the head of the grave is a stand with a Korān. The marble screen is very richly cut, and the roof of the arcade-like verandah is finely painted in a flower pattern. Altogether there is a quaint look about the building which cannot fail to strike any one. A good deal of money has at various times been spent on this tomb; the dome was added to the roof in Akbar's time by Muhammad Imām-ud- dīn Hasan, and in the reign of Shāh Jahān (A.D. 1628 [sic., leg. 1627]-58) the whole building was put into thorough repair. . . .

The tomb is in the village of Ghyāspur, and is reached after passing through the 'Chaunsath Khambhā'. (Harcourt, The New Guide to Delhi (1866), p. 107.)

In the original edition a small coloured illustration of this tomb, from a miniature, is given on Plate 24. Carr Stephen (pp. 102- 7) gives a good and full account of Nizām-ud-dīn and his tomb.

9. According to Harcourt (p. 108), the tomb of Khusrū was erected about A.D. 1350, but this is a misprint for 1530. The poet, whose proper name was Abūl Hasan, is often called Amīr Khusrū, and was of Turkish origin. He was born A.D. 1253, and died in September, 1325. His works are numerous. (Beale.) The grave, and wooden railing round it, were built in A.H. 937 (A.D. 1530-1). . . .

The present tomb was built in A.H. 1014 (A.D. 1605-6) by Imād-ud-dīn Hasan, in the reign of Jahāngīr, and this date occurs in an inscription under the dome and over the red sandstone screens. (Carr Stephen, p. 115.) In the original edition a small coloured illustration of this tomb, from a miniature, is given on Plate 24. See Fanshawe, p. 241.

10. Akbar II, who died in 1837.

11. When the author was with his regiment, after the close of the Nepalese war.

12. Harcourt (p. 109) truly observes that this tomb 'is a most exquisite piece of workmanship. The tomb itself, raised some few feet from the ground, is entered by steps, and is enclosed in a beautiful cut marble screen, the sarcophagus being covered with a very artistic representation of leaves and flowers carved in marble. Mirzā Jahāngīr was the son of Akbar II, and the tomb was built in A.D. 1832 '.

'He was, in consequence of having fired a pistol at Mr. Seton, the Resident at Delhi, sent as a State prisoner to Allahabad, where he resided in the garden of Sultān Khusro for several years, and died there in A.D. 1821 (A.H. 1236), aged thirty-one years; a salute of thirty-one guns was fired from the ramparts of the fort of Allahabad at the time of his burial. He was at first interred in the same garden, and subsequently his remains were transferred to Delhi, and buried in the courtyard of the mausoleum of Nizām-ud- dīn Auliā.' (Beale, Dictionary.)

The young man's 'overt act of rebellion' occurred in 1808, and his body was removed to Delhi in 1832. The form of the monument is that ordinarily used for a woman, 'but it was put over the remains of the Prince on a dispensation being granted for the purpose by Muhammadan lawyers'. (Carr Stephen, p. 111.)

13. Muhammad Shāh reigned feebly from September, 1719, to April, 1748. 'He is the last of the Mughals who enjoyed even the semblance of power, and has been called "the seal of the house of Bābar", for "after his demise everything went to wreck".' (Lane-Poole, p. xxxviii.) Nadir Shāh occupied Delhi in 1738, and is said to have massacred 120,000 people. The tomb is described by Carr Stephen, p. 110.

14. Jahānārā Bēgam, or the Bēgam Sāhib, was the elder daughter of Shāhjahān, a very able intriguer, the partisan of Dārā Shikoh and the opponent of Aurangzēb during the struggle for the throne. She was closely confined in Agra till her father's death in 1666.

After that event she was removed to Delhi, where she died in 1682. (Tavernier, Travels, transl. Ball, vol. i, p. 345.) She built the Bēgam Sarāi at Delhi. Her amours, real or supposed, furnished Bernier with some scandalous and sensational stories. (Bernier, Travels, transl. Constable, and V. A. Smith (1914), pp. 11-14.) Some writers credit her with all the virtues, e.g., Beale in his Oriental Biographical Dictionary.

The author has omitted the last line of the inscription-'May God illuminate his intentions. In the year 1093 ', corresponding to A.D. 1682. The first line is, 'Let nothing but the green [grass] conceal my grave.' (Carr Stephen, p. 109.)

15. The tomb of Humāyūn was erected by the Emperor's widow, Hājī Bēgam, or Bēgā Bēgam, not by Akbar. She was the senior widow of Humāyūn, entitled Hājī or 'pilgrim ', because she performed the pilgrimage to Mecca. Carr Stephen and other writers confound her with Hamīda Bānū Bēgam, the mother of Akbar.

For her true history see Beveridge, The History of Humāyūn by Gulbadan Begam (R.A.S., 1902). Carr Stephen (p. 203) says that the mausoleum was completed in A.D. 1565, or, according to some, in A.D. 1569, at a coat of fifteen lākhs of rupees. The true date is A.D. 1570, late in A.H. 977 (Badūouī, tr. Lowe, ii. 135). It is of special interest as being one of the earliest specimens of the architecture of the Moghal dynasty, The massive dome of white marble is a landmark for many miles round. The body of the building is of red sandstone with marble decorations.

It stands on two noble terraces. Humāyūn rests in the central hall under an elaborately carved marble sarcophagus. The head of Dārā Shikoh and the bodies of many members of the royal family are interred in the side rooms. After the fall of Delhi in September, 1857, the rebel princes took refuge in this mausoleum. The story of their execution by Hodson on the road to Delhi is well known, and has been the occasion of much controversy.

In the original edition a small coloured illustration of this tomb, from a miniature, is given on Plate 24. See Fergusson, ed. 1910, pl. xxxiii; H.F.A., fig. 240; Fanshawe, p. 230 and plate.

16. The tragic history of Dārā Shikoh, the elder brother, and unsuccessful rival, of Aurangzēb, is fully given by Bernier. The notes in Constable's edition of that traveller's work and those to Irvine's Storia do Mogor (John Murray, 1907, 1908) give many additional particulars. Dārā Shikoh was executed by Aurangzēb in 1659, and it is alleged that with a horrid refinement of cruelty, the emperor, acting on the advice of his sister, Roshanārā Bēgam, caused the head to be embalmed and sent packed in a box as a present to the old ex-emperor, Shāh Jahān, the father of the three, in his prison at Agra.

The prince died invoking the aid of Jesus, and was favourably disposed towards Christianity. He was also attracted by the doctrines of Sūfism, or heretical Muhammadan mysticism, and by those of the Hindoo Upanishads. In fact, his religions attitude seems to have much resembled that of his great-grandfather Akbar.

The 'Broad Church' principles and practice of Akbar failed to leave any permanent mark on Muhammadan institutions or the education of the people, and if Dārā Shikoh had been victorious in the contest for the throne, it is not probable that he would have been able to effect lasting reforms which were beyond the power of his illustrious ancestor. The name of the unfortunate prince was Dārā Shikoh ('in splendour like Darius'), not merely Dārā (Darius), as Bernier has it.

17. The 'great diamond' alluded to is the Kohinūr, presented by the 'Persian adventurer', Amīr Jumla, to Shāh Jahān, who was advised to attack and conquer the country which produced such gems, (Ante, Chapter 48.) The decisive battle between Dārā Shikoh, on the one aide, and Aurangzēb, supported by his brother and dupe, Murād Baksh, on the other, was fought on the 28th May, 1658 [O. S.], at the small village of Samūgarh (Samogar), four miles from Agra.

Dārā Shikoh was winning the battle, when a traitor persuaded him to come down from his conspicuous seat on an elephant and mount a horse. The report quickly spread that the prince had been killed.

'In a few minutes', says Bernier, 'the army seemed disbanded, and (strange and sudden reverse!) the conqueror became the vanquished. Aurangzēb remained during a quarter of an hour steadily on his elephant, and was rewarded with the crown of Hindustan; Dārā left his own elephant a few minutes too soon, and was hurled from the pinnacle of glory, to be numbered among the most miserable of Princes; so short-sighted is man, and so mighty are the consequences which sometimes flow from the most trivial incident.'

According to another account the prince's change from the elephant to the horse was due to want of personal courage, and not to treacherous advice. (Bernier, Travels, ed. Constable, and V. A. Smith (1914), p. 54.)

18. Battle fought between Tours and Poitiers, A.D. 732.

19. The principal mosque of every town is known as the Jāmi Masjid, and is filled by large congregations on Fridays. The great mosque of Delhi stands on a natural rocky eminence, completely covered by the building, and approached on three sides by magnificent flights of steps, which give it peculiar dignity. It is, perhaps, the finest mosque in the world, and certainly has few rivals. It differs from most mosques in that its exterior is more magnificent than its interior.

The two minarets are each about 130 feet high. The year A.H. 1060 corresponds to A.D. 1650. The mosque was begun in that year, and finished six years later. It is close to the palace, and seems to have been designed to serve as the mosque for the palace, as well as the city, for which reason no place of worship was included in his residence by Shāh Jahān. The pretty little Motī Masjid in the private apartments was added by Aurangzēb. Fergusson (ed. 1910, vol. ii, p. 319) gives a view of the mosque. Carr Stephen (pp. 260-6) gives approximate measurements, translations of the inscriptions, and many details. See Fanshawe, pp. 44-8 and plates.

20. Since the Mutiny multitudes of houses between the palace and the mosque have been cleared away.

21. 'Entering within its deeply recessed portal, you find yourself beneath the vaulted hall, the sides of which are in two stories, and with an octagonal break in the centre. This hall, which is 375 feet in length over all, has very much the effect of the nave of a gigantic Gothic cathedral, and forms the noblest entrance known to belong to any existing palace' (Fergusson, ed. 1910, vol. ii, p. 309). This is the Lahore Gate.

22. What recked the Chieftain if he stood

On Highland heath, or Holy- rood?

He rights such wrong where it is given,

If it were in the court of heaven.'

—(Scott, Lady of the Lake, Canto V, stanza 6).

23. The foundation-stone of the palace was laid on the 12th of May, 1639 (N.S.—9 Muharrum, A.H. 1049). (E. & D., vii, p. 86), and the work continued for nine years, three months, and some days. Nadir Shāh's invasion took place in 1738. Kāshmīr was annexed by Akbar in 1587. Kābul had been more or less closely united with the empire since Bābur's time.

24. 'In front, at the entrance, was the Naubat Khāna, or music hall, beneath which the visitor entered the second or great court of the palace, measuring 550 feet north and south, by 385 feet east and west. In the centre of this stood the Dīwān-i- Amm, or great audience hall of the palace, very similar in design to that at Agra, but more magnificent.

'Its dimensions are about 200 feet by 100 feet over all. In its centre is a highly ornamental niche, in which on a platform of marble richly inlaid with previous stones, and directly facing the entrance, once stood the celebrated peacock throne, the most gorgeous example of its class that perhaps even the East could ever boast of. Behind this again was a garden-court; on its eastern side was the Rang Mahall, or painted hall, containing a bath and other apartments' (Fergusson, ed. 1910, vol. ii, p. 310).

The inlaid pictures were carried off, sold by the spoiler to Government, set as table-tops, and deposited in the Indian Section of the Victoria and Albert Museum at South Kensington (Hist. of Ind. and E. Archit., ed. 1910, vol. ii, p. 311, note); but in November, 1902, the Orpheus mosaic, along with several other inlaid panels, was returned to Delhi, where the panels were reset in due course. The representation of Orpheus is 'a bad copy from Raphael's picture of Orpheus charming the beasts'. Austin de Bordeaux has been already noticed. Many of the mosaics in the panels which had not been disturbed were renewed by Signor Menegatti of Florence during the years 1906-9.

The peacock throne and the six other thrones in the palace are fully described by Tavernier. (Transl. and ed. by V. Ball, vol. i, pp. 381-7.) Further details will be found in Carr Stephen, Archaeology of Delhi, pp. 220-7.

25. The throne here referred to was a makeshift arrangement used by the later emperors. Nādir Shāh in 1738 cleared the palace of the peacock throne and almost everything portable of value. The little that was left the Marāthās took. Their chief prize was the silver filagree ceiling of the Dīwān-i- Khās. This hall was, 'if not the most beautiful, certainly the most highly ornamented of all Shāh Jahān's buildings.

It is larger certainly, and far richer in ornament than that of Agra, though hardly so elegant in design; but nothing can exceed the beauty of the inlay of precious stones with which it is adored, or the general poetry of the design, It is round the roof of this hall that the famous inscription runs: "If there is a heaven on earth, it is this, it is this ", which may safely be rendered into the sober English assertion that no palace now existing in the world possesses an apartment of such singular elegance as this' (Fergusson, ed. 1910, vol. ii, p. 311).

26. All the events alluded to are related in detail by Bernier and Manucci. Sulaimān and Sipihr Shikoh were the sons of Dārā Shikoh. The author makes a slip in saying that Shāh Jahān sat in the palace at Delhi to negotiate with his grandson. During that negotiation Shāh Jahān was at Agra.

27. It is related that the coffee was delivered to the two sovereigns in this room upon a gold salver by the most polished gentleman of the court. His motions, as he entered the gorgeous apartment, amidst the splendid train of the two Emperors, were watched with great anxiety; if he presented the coffee first to his own master, the furious conqueror, before whom the sovereign of India and all his courtiers trembled, might order him to instant execution; if he presented it to Nādir first, he would insult his own sovereign out of fear of the stranger.

To the astonishment of all, he walked up with a steady step direct to his own master. 'I cannot', said he, 'aspire to the honour of presenting the cup to the king of kings, your majesty's honoured guest, nor would your majesty wish that any hand but your own should do so.'

The Emperor took the cup from the golden salver, and presented it to Nādir Shāh, who said with a smile as he took it, 'Had all your officers known and done their duty like this man, you had never, my good cousin, seen me and my Kizil Bāshis at Delhi; take care of him for your own sake, and get round you as many like him as you can.' [W. H. S.]

28. The famous inscription of Saād-Ullah Khān, supposed to be in the handwriting of Rashīd, the greatest caligraphist of his time; Agar Firdaus bar rūe zamīn ast—hamīn ast, to hamīn ast, to hamīn ast' (Carr Stephen, p. 229; Fanshawe, p. 35 and plate).

29. All these people were cleared out by the events of 1867, and the few beautiful fragments of the palace which have retained anything of their original magnificence are now clean and in good order. The elaborate decorations of the Dīwān-i- Khās have been partially restored, and the interior of this building is still extremely rich and elegant.

'Of the public parts of the palace all that now remains is the entrance hall, the Naubat Khāna, Dīwān-i-Amm and Khās, and the Rang Mahall—now used as a mess-room, and one or two small pavilions. They are the gems of the palace it is true, but without the courts and corridors connecting them they lose all their meaning and more than half their beauty. Being now situated in the middle of a British barrack-yard, they look like precious stones torn from their settings in some exquisite piece of Oriental jeweller's work and set at random in a bed of the commonest plaster' (Fergusson, ed. 1910, vol. ii, p. 312).

Since Fergusson wrote an immense amount of work has been done in restoration and conservation, but it is difficult to obtain a general view of the result.

The books about Delhi are even more tantalising and unsatisfactory than those which deal with Agra. Mr. Beglar's contribution to Vol. IV of the Archaeological Survey Reports is a little, but very little, better than Mr. Carlleyle's disquisition on Agra in that volume. Sir A. Cunningham's observations in the first and twentieth volumes of the same series are of greater value, but are fragmentary and imperfect, and scarcely notice at all the city of Shāhjahān.

Fergusson's criticisms, so far as they go, are of permanent importance, though the scheme of his work did not allow him to treat in detail of any particular section. Guide-books by Beresford Cooper, Harcourt, and Keene, of which Keene's is the latest, and, consequently, in some respects the best, are all extremely unsatisfactory. Mr. H. C. Fanshawe's Delhi Past and Present (John Murray, 1902), a large, handsome work something between a guide-book and a learned treatise, is not quite satisfying.

The late Mr. Carr Stephen, a resident of Delhi, wrote a valuable book on the Archaeology of the city, but it has no illustrations, except a few plans on a small scale. (8vo, Ludhiana, 1876.) A good critical, comprehensive, well illustrated description of the remains of the cities, said to number thirteen, all grouped together by European writers under the name of Delhi, does not exist, and it seems unlikely that the Panjāb Government will cause the blank to be filled.

No Government in India has such opportunities, or has done so little, to elucidate the history of the country, as the Government of the Panjāb. But it has shown greater interest in the matter of late. The reorganized Archaeological Survey of India, under the capable guidance of Sir J. H. Marshall, C.I.E., has not yet had time to do much at Delhi beyond the work of conservation. A fourteenth Delhi is now being built (1914).

30. Ante, chapter 53, [19].

31. These epistolary formulas mean no more than the similar official phrases in English, 'Your most obedient humble servant', and the like. The 'fortunate occurrence' of the Mutiny—for such it was, in spite of all the blood and suffering—cut out many plague-spots from the body politic of India. Among these the reeking palace swarm of Delhi was not the least malignant.

32. Azraīl is the angel of death, whose duty it is to separate the souls from the bodies of men. Isrāfīl is entrusted with the task of blowing the last trump.

33. The resurrection, and the signs foretelling it, are described in the Mishkat-ul-Masābih, book xxiii, chapters 3 to 11. (Matthews, vol. ii, pp. 556-620.)

34. The Hindoo 'ages' are (1) Krita, or Satya, (2) Treta, (3) Dwāpara, (4) Kali, the present evil age. The long periods assigned to these are merely the result of the calculations of astronomers, who preferred integral to fractional numbers.

35. This kind of education does not now pay, and is, consequently, going out of fashion. The Muhammadans are slowly, and rather unwillingly, yielding to the pressure of necessity and beginning to accept English education.

36. Imam Muhammad Ghazzālī, who is also entitled Hujjat-ul-Islām, is the surname of Abu Hāmid Muhammad Zain-ud-dīn Tūsī, one of the greatest and most celebrated Musalmān doctors, who was born A.D. 1058, and died A.D. 1111. (Beale, s.v. 'Ghazzālī'.) The length of these Muhammadan names is terrible. They are much mangled in the original edition. See ante, chapter 53, note 10, and Blochmann (Aīn) pp. 103, 182.

37. Khwāja Nāsir-ud-dīn Tūsī, the famous philosopher and astronomer, the most universal scholar that Persia ever produced. Born A.D. 1201, died A.D. 1274. (Beale.) See ante, loc. cit.

38. Especially the Būstān and Gulistān. Beale gives a list of Sādī's works. See ante, chapter 12, note 6.

39. This is a very cynical and inadequate explanation of the prevalence of Conservative opinions among Englishmen in the East.

40. Ante, chapter 30, [6].

41. In the original edition the portrait of Akbar II is twice given, namely, in the frontispiece of Volume I as a full-page plate, and again as a miniature, dated 1836, in the frontispiece of Volume II.

42. The most secluded native prince of the present day could not be guilty of this absurdity.

43. Bābur was sixth in descent from Tīmūr, not seventh. Bābur's grandfather, Abu Sayyid, was great- grandson of Tīmūr. Bābur, not Bābar, is the correct spelling.

44. This may be an exaggeration. The undoubted facts are sufficiently horrible.

45. Tīmūr was a man of surpassing ability, and knew much 'else'. See Malcolm, History of Persia, ed. 1859, chapter 11.

46. Tīmūr's 'historian and great eulogist' was Sharaf-ud-dīn (died 1446), whose Zafarnāma, or 'Book of Victories', was translated into French by Petis de la Croix in 1722. That version was used by Gibbon and rendered into English in 1723, Copious extracts from an independent rendering are given in E. & D., iii, pp. 478-522. The details do not always agree exactly with Sleeman's account.

47. The 'old city' was that of Kutb-ud-dīn and Īltutmish; the 'new city' was that of Fīrōz Shāh, which partly coincided with the existing city, and partly lay to the south, outside the Delhi gate.

48. In A.D. 1303.

49. Now in the Sahāranpur district.

50. This is a repetition of the statement made above. According to Encycl. Brit., ed. 1910, Tīmūr returned to his capital in April not May.

51. Bajazet, or more accurately Bayazīd I, was defeated by Tīmūr at the battle of Angora in 1402, and died the following year. The story of his confinement in an iron cage is discredited by modern critics, though Gibbon (chapter 65) shows that it is supported by much good evidence. Anatolia is a synonym for Asia Minor. It is a vague term, the Greek equivalent of 'the Levant'.

52. Sebastē, also called Elaeusa or Ayash, was in Cilicia.

53. Otherwise called Sihōn, or Syr Daryā.

54. Two autobiographical works, the Malfūzāt and the Tuzukāt, are attributed to Tīmūr and probably were composed under his direction. The latter was translated by Major Davey (Oxford, 1783), and the former, in part, by Major Stewart (Or. Transl. Fund, 1830). An independent version of the portion of the Malfūzāt relating to India will be found in E. & D., iii, pp. 389-477.

55. Alī Yazdī, commonly called Sharaf-ud- dīn, author of the Zafarnāma in Persian (see ante, chapter 68, note 46), Ibn Arabshāh, in an Arabic work, describes Tīmūr from a hostile point of view. (Encycl. Brit., 11th ed., s. v. 'Timūr').

56. It is impossible within the limits of a note to discuss the problem of the origin of the gipsies. Much has been written about it, though nothing quite satisfactory. The gipsy, or Romany, language (Romani chiv, or 'tongue') certainly is closely related to, though not derived from, the existing languages of Northern India. Some of the forms are very archaic. A valuable English-Gipsy vocabulary compiled by Mr. (Sir George) and Mrs. Grierson was published in Ind. Ant., vols. xv, xvi (1886,1887).

The author's theory does not tally with the facts. Gipsies existed in Persia and Europe long before Tīmūr's time. It is practically certain that they did not come through Egypt. The article 'Gypsies' by F. H. Groome in Chambers's Encycl. (1904) is good, and seems to the editor to be preferable to Dr. Gaster's article 'Gipsies' in Encycl. Brit., 11th ed., 1910.

57. Before the Codes were passed (1859-1861) the criminal law administered in India was, in the main, that of the Muhammadans, and each judge's court had a Muhammadan law officer attached, who pronounced a 'fatwa', or decision, intimating the law applicable to the case, and the penalty which might be inflicted. Several examples of these 'fatwas' will be found among the papers bound up with the author's 'Ramaseeana'.

58. See Korān, chapter 2. [W. H. S.] The passage is the second sentence in chapter 2. The wording, as quoted, differs slightly from Sale's version.

59. See Korān, chapter 32. [W. H. S.]

60. Ibid., chapter 11. [W. H. S.] Sale's version, with trifling verbal differences. The 'muftī's' reasoning has been heard in Europe.

61. See Korān, chapter 15. [W. H. S.] Sale's version, with modifications.

62. 'This is a revelation of the most mighty, the merciful God; that thou mayest warn a people whose fathers were not warned, and who live in negligence. Our sentence hath justly been pronounced against the greater part of them, wherefore they shall not believe. It shall be equal unto them whether thou preach unto them, or do not preach unto them; they shall not believe.' Korān, chapter 36. [W. H. S.]

From beginning of the chapter. Sale's version; a sentence being omitted between 'believe' and 'It shall'.

63. I have never met another man so thoroughly master of the Korān as the Muftī, and yet he had the reputation of being a very corrupt man in his office. [W. H. S.]

64. Aleeoodeen; an unusual name; probably a misprint for Alā-ud-dīn.

65. The 17th chapter of the Korān opens with the words, 'Praise be unto him who transported his servant by night from the sacred temple of Mecca to the farther temple of Jerusalem', 'from whence', as Sale observes, 'he was carried through the seven heavens to the presence of God, and brought back again to Mecca the same night'. The commentators dispute whether the journey to heaven was corporeally performed, or merely in a vision.

'But the received opinion is that it was no vision, but that he was actually transported in the body to his journey's end; and if any impossibility be objected, they think it a sufficient answer to say that it might easily be effected by an omnipotent agent.'

66. See Korān, chapter 15. [W. H. S.]

67. The Muhammadans believe that the Christians have tampered with the Scriptures.

68. It would be difficult to give more vivid expression to the eternal conflict between the theological and the scientific spirit. Compare the remarks ante, chapter 26, note 11, on the attitude of Hindoos towards modern science.

69. Paradise Lost, Book VIII. [W. H. S.] Line 167; from Raphael's address to Adam.

The book




1893 1915




Annual Fairs held on the Banks of Sacred Streams in India


Hindoo System of Religion


Legend of the Nerbudda River


A Suttee on the Nerbudda


Marriages of Trees—The Tank and the Plantain—Meteors—Rainbows


Hindoo Marriages


The Purveyance System


Religious Sects—Self-government of the Castes—Chimneysweepers—Washerwomen —Elephant Drivers


The Great Iconoclast—Troops routed by Hornets—The Rānī of Garhā—Hornets' Nests in India


The Peasantry and the Land Settlement




The Silver Tree, or 'Kalpa Briksha'—The 'Singhāra', or Trapa bispinosa, and the Guinea-Worm


Thugs and Poisoners


Basaltic Cappings of the Sandstone Hills of Central India—Suspension Bridge—Prospects of the Nerbudda Valley—Deification of a Mortal


Legend of the Sāgar Lake—Paralysis from eating the Grain of the Lathyrus sativus


Suttee Tombs—Insalubrity of deserted Fortresses


Basaltic Cappings—Interview with a Native Chief—A Singular Character


Birds' Nests—Sports of Boyhood


Feeding Pilgrims—Marriage of a Stone with a Shrub


The Men-Tigers


Burning of Deorī by a Freebooter—A Suttee


Interview with the Rājā who marries the Stone to the Shrub—Order of the Moon and the Fish


The Rājā of Orchhā—Murder of his many Ministers


Corn Dealers—Scarcities—Famines in India


Epidemic Diseases—Scape-goat


Artificial Lakes in Bundēlkhand-Hindoo, Greek, and Roman Faith




Pestle-and-Mortar Sugar-Mills—Washing away of the Soil


Interview with the Chiefs of Jhānsī—Disputed Succession


Haunted Villages


Interview with the Rājā of Datiyā—Fiscal Errors of Statesmen—Thieves and Robbers by Profession


Sporting at Datiyā—Fidelity of Followers to their Chiefs in India—Law of Primogeniture wanting among Muhammadans




The Suicide-Relations between Parents and Children in India


Gwālior Plain once the Bed of a Lake—Tameness of Peacocks


Gwālior and its Government


Contest for Empire between the Sons of Shah Jahān


Aurangzēb and Murād Defeat their Father's Army near Ujain


Dārā Marches in Person against his Brothers, and is Defeated


Dārā Retreats towards Lahore—Is robbed by the Jāts—Their Character


Shāh Jahān Imprisoned by his Two Sons, Aurangzēb and Murād


Aurangzēb Throws off the Mask, Imprisons his Brother Murād, and Assumes the Government of the Empire


Aurangzēb Meets Shujā in Bengal, and Defeats him, after Pursuing Dārā to the Hyphasis


Aurangzēb Imprisons his Eldest Son—Shujā and all his Family are Destroyed


Second Defeat and Death of Dārā, and Imprisonment of his Two Sons


Death and Character of Amīr Jumla


Reflections on the Preceding History


The Great Diamond of Kohinūr


Pindhārī System—Character of the Marāthā Administration—Cause of their Dislike to the Paramount Power


Dhōlpur, Capital of the Jāt Chiefs of Gohad—Consequence of Obstacles to the Prosecution of Robbers


Influence of Electricity on Vegetation—Agra and its Buildings


Nūr Jahān, the Aunt of the Empress Nūr Mahal, over whose Remains the Tāj is built


Father Gregory's Notion of the Impediments to Conversion in India—Inability of Europeans to speak Eastern Languages


Fathpur-Sīkrī—The Emperor Akbar's Pilgrimage—Birth of Jahāngīr


Bharatpur—Dīg—Want of Employment for the Military and the Educated Classes under the Company's Rule


Govardhan, the Scene of Kriahna's Dalliance with the Milkmaids




Declining Fertility of the Soil—Popular Notion of the Cause


Concentration of Capital and its Effects


Transit Duties in India—Mode of Collecting them


Peasantry of India attached to no existing Government—Want of Trees in Upper India—Cause and Consequence—Wells and Groves


Public Spirit of the Hindoos—Tree Cultivation and Suggestions for extending it


Cities and Towns, formed by Public Establishments, disappear as Sovereigns and Governors change their Abodes


Murder of Mr. Fraser, and Execution of the Nawāb Shams-ud- dīn


Marriage of a Jāt Chief


Collegiate Endowment of Muhammadan Tombs and Mosques


The Old City of Delhi


New Delhi, or Shāhjahānābād


Indian Police—Its Defects—and their Cause and Remedy


Rent-free Tenures—Right of Government to Resume such Grants


The Station of Meerut—'Atālīs' who Dance and Sing gratuitously for the Benefit of the Poor


Subdivisions of Lands—Want of Gradations of Rank—Taxes


Meerut-Anglo-Indian Society


Pilgrims of India


The Bēgam Sumroo



Abolition of Corporal Punishment—Increase of Pay with Length of Service—Promotion by Seniority


Invalid Establishment


Thuggee and the part taken in its Suppression by General Sir W. H. Sleeman, K.C.B., by Captain J. L. Sleeman

Supplementary Note by the Editor

Additions and Corrections

Maps Showing Author's Route


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