« PreviousContinue »
try.—A fort also appears on the fide of a distant hill, which is only brought into the evening prospect. The village of Mow, situate at the bottom of the descent, which before the capture of Bidgi-ghur was well peopled, and possessed a considerable commerce, is now deserted and in ruins. This village, whose loss is severely felt in many parts of the country, afforded the only mart on that quarter for supplying the wants of the bordering mountaineers, who resorted thither, and bartered their wares for the produce of the low lands. Since the depopulation of Mow this commercial communication has ceased, and the Benares traders maintain little conne&tion with the inhabitants of the hills, who are a hardy ačtive race of men, and were they encouraged like those of Bauglepore to enter into our service, an useful body of soldiers might be acquired. They are not, it is said, subjećt to that species of fever incident to a hilly country, which has operated so fatally on the health of our troops; nor do they entertain those prejudices in their mode of living which affect the higher ranks of the Hindoos, and which have been found to embarrass military operations. An introdućtion also of a foreign class of men into the army, might be conducive by its counterpoise, to the ensuring the fidelity of the whole body of native troops. Bulwant Sing, through a channel of intrigue and direét dishonesty, qualities he notoriously possessed, seized on Bidgi-ghur, which he strengthened and made the principal repository of his Vol. I I wealth;
- 7. T. D. F. Allahabad, 17th Dec. 1782. o MY DEAR SIR,
THE want of a subjećt to inform or amuse you, was the only cause of my not sooner acknowledging your long and very kind letter. You may with confidence believe, that a forgetfulness of the many offices of friendship which I have experienced at your hands, will never be classed in the roll of my offences, which, God knows, already is too long a one and trust me when I say, that I hold the connečtion which has so long
subsisted between us, as the chiefest honor and credit of my life. I AM now to inform you, that having resolved on proceeding to Europe by a northern tract, I assumed the name of a Georgian, for the sake of travelling with more safety, and left Benares on the 12th of this month, mounted upon a small horse. After a journey of four days, or forty cosses, in which no particular occurrence fell out, I arrived at Allahabad. About mid-way commences the territory of Oude, which is immediately distinguished from that of Benares by its barren and desolate aspect. The fortress of AllahaI 2 bad, bad, founded by Acbar,” stands on the point of land which forms the confluence of the Ganges and Jumma;-a situation beautiful as it is commodious ; and in the season of the year when the flow of water is spacious and rapid, exhibits a scene of uncommon grandeur. On one side, the Ganges is seen rolling down a strong and yellow tide, and on the other, the Jumma glides with a clearer stream close to the walls of the fort. To this favorite and sacred spot a large assembly of Hindoos resort at an annual period, to wash away their fins, and obtain permission to begin a new score. These pilgrims, who are laid under contributions for participating this indulgence, furnish the yearly sum of about 50,000 rupees to the Vizier's treasury. The fort of Allahabad, which is built of stone, occupies a large space of ground, and has been amply supplied with superb and useful buildings, whether for promoting the pleasures or conveniences of life. The place entitled the Ghah Padshil 4 is one of the best Mahometan mansions I have hitherto seen ; but the want of suitable tenants has occasioned great disorders in it. The infide of its upper room is construćted of marble of variegated colours, and neatly adjusted. From this apartment, the lord of the world, as he is entitled by his subjećts, hath a dis. tinét view of twelve different suits of female apartments; in the teous handmaids are arranged in his fight that he may solečt the favorite of the day. The imperial choice, or rather edict, (to what humiliations do the laws of Mahomet subjećt ye my fair friends !) is conveyed to the fortunate damsel, and full joyously doth her heart beat, who on the day of review attracts the fancy of her lord;—for the passion of vanity is said oftentimes to supply in a female breast the place of love. I should not dislike, my friend, to be a Padshah myself, were it not that many of them have had their throats cut by their friends, and been compelled to drink very bitter potions ; since liable to such treatment, much good may their fine ladies and other fine things do them IN the palace yard stands a round pillar of about forty feet high, consisting of an entire stone, which coarsely resembles the porphyry, and seems covered with an inscription, in the ancient Hindoo charaćter; but the letters are so much effaced and impaired by the ravages of time, which, my friend, spares not even marble, that they are become illegible. The erection of this monument is attributed to Beemshyne, whom your Bramin will tell you, was in his day a powerful chief, and one of the principal warriors in the Mhah Bhaut.” But as a devout believer, you must not repose too much faith on the Bramin's account of the aera in which this Beemshyne is said to have flourished; for he will tell you that our great progenitor was not even heard of in those days. The
front of which, when the monarch issues the mandate, his beau
* This Emperor commenced his reign in A. D. 1556, and died in 1605.
teous * The great war which was carried on by the Paunch-paun-Deve, or the compačt of the five Brothers, against Dur-jodin, See Wilkin's Ghecta.