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heat of the weather, and the fatigue of walking over a tract of deep sand, induced me, after passing it, to indulge in my pipe. During this regale, which I enjoyed under the shade of a tree, the kafilah had gone out of sight. The ground in front being thickly covered with leaves, no appearance of a road was discernible j and my horse, when I mounted, was so much alarmed, that he would not, but with great reluctance, move in any direction. Whether the animal, from any instinctive power, perceived the embarrassment of our situation, or that its organs of smell were sensible of the effluvia which is emitted from the body of most wild beasts, I will not presume to determine: though I was induced to ascribe its agitation to the first cause, having once been placed in a similar situation, with the difference, that no animals of prey, or of the large size, were in the neighbourhood. After traversing the forest in various directions without perceiving the appearance of tract or habitation, or the vestige of any creature, except great quantities of elephants' dung, I, at length, fell into a narrow path, which leading through a long space of woody desert, brought me to a village; whence the people with much kindness conducted me to our halting-place.
On the 24th, at Jumah,—a few scattered
VOL. i. Q,
houses—four cosses. This hamlet lies within a mile of the Ganges, which, there, has nearly a southern course, and is about two hundred yards broad; with a depth of water from ten to fifteen feet. About half a mile below the place of passage, is a bed of rocks, extending from the east side more than half way across the river, on which the stream breaks with some force. The Ganges doth not here, as in your more happy land, roll its tide through a country spréad with fertile plains and populous villages, whose inhabitants live in peace and plenty. Here, a thick gloomy forest, tenanted only by the beasts of the field, skirts it on the eastern side; and on the other, an uncultivated flat, over-run with low wood. ON the 25th, crossed the river at the ferry of
Nackerghaut, which is about twelve miles above
Hurdwar; the kafilah being to remain some days at Jumah, I quitted it, and, accompanied by the Kashmirians, I joined a small party of merchants carrying cotton to the town of Nhan. The officer stationed on the western side of the Ganges for the collection of customs, laid me under a contribution of two rupees ; alleging, that as I seemed to travel much at my ease, I must be well enabled to pay that sum. It was to little purpose urging that I did not possess any property on which duties could be collected,
or the justice of levying a tax on a traveller. My argument was held wholly inadmissible, and that of the custom-house officer being supported by a party of match-lock men, I gave up, with decent resignation, the unequal contest. When the long roll of galling taxes imposed on other nations, esteemed more enlightened and humane than the mountaineers of Siringnaghur, is considered, we shall probably not judge the measure rigorous, which obliges those riding at their ease to contribute to the relief of a state that affords a safeguard to their persons by its salutary government. ON the 26th, arrived at the village of Khalsawala—seven cosses. The kafilah halted this day on a pleasant green plain adjoining to the village, and skirted by a wood, through which a transparent stream flowed in many a winding channel. From its alluring appearance, though the weather was cold, I was induced to bathe; and to prevent interruption, I strayed into the thickest part of the wood, which I found abounding in peacocks, and a variety of other birds, one of which resembled the common fowl, but of a smaller size, and of very active flight. ON the 28th, at Dayrah, the residence of the deputy of the Siringnaghur rajah. This small town, which is populous and neatly built, may
be called the capital of the lower division * of Siringnaghur, which includes a space of level country lying between a chain of scattered hills on the south, and the larger range of northern mountains. The Sicques have an unrestrained access into these parts through the southern hills, which are broken by small valleys; and, fearing no opposition from Zabitah Khan, they can at pleasure penetrate into the lower districts of Siringnaghur. The chief resides at a town bearing the common name of the Territory, which lies, I am informed, about one hundred miles to the north, and by the east of Lall Dong. The inactivity of thes present rajah has enabled the Sicques to exact from this country a regular tribute f. Of what superior courage and resource was that chief of Siringmaghur, who, in defiance of Aurungzebe, the most powerful prince of his time, protected the son ; of Dara, brother of the emperor, and his deadly foe, regardless of every menace | But he fell to the sacra fames auri, the most destructive evil, my friend, which Pandora's box let loose upon the sons of man. It hath often armed the son against the father, hath sown dissension
* It is called the doone, or low country.
f Said to be four thousand rupees annually.
# See Bernier's account of Sipahi Sheko's retreat into Siringmaghur.
in the marriage bed, and broken the tie of honour, and the bonds of friendship. To adjust the account of the Siringnaghur customs, the kafilah halted until the 15th, when we proceeded to Kheynsapoor—ten cosses. At this place, I saw two Sicque horsemen, who had been sent from their country to receive the Siringnaghur tribute, which is collected from the revenues of certain custom-houses. From the manner in which these men were treated, or rather treated themselves, I frequently wished for the power of migrating into the body of a Sicque for a few weeks—so well did these cavaliers fare. No sooner had they alighted, than beds were prepared for their repose, and their horses were supplied with green barley pulled out of the field. The Kafilah travellers were contented to lodge on the ground, and expressed their thanks for permission to purchase what they required;—such is the difference between those who were in, and those who were out of power. ON the 6th of March crossed the Jumna, and halted on the western banks—eight cosses. It flows with a clear stream to the south-east, and has about the same breadth with the Ganges". Fish abound in this part of the Jumna,
* It is to be noticed, that I crossed these rivers at the season of their lowest ebb.