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Peshour party, where we experienced from the countrymen of Mohubullah, every token of welcome.
At noon arrived at Hyder Bunghee, nine cosses, a populous village,' dependent on Attock, the principal town of a small district, which acknowledges the supremacy of Timur Shah. The chief, an Afghan, yields an obedience conformable to the motions of that prince, or the leading motives of the day; but, when destitute of other resource, he furnishes a tribute of about fiftv thousand rupees.
On the 10th, at Bazzar, five cosses, a small village, at the distance of three quarters of a mile from the western shore of the river Indus,* which we crossed about twenty miles above the town of Attock. The stream, though not agitated by the wind, was rapid, with a rough undulating motion, and about three quarters of a mile, or a mile in breadth, where it was not interrupted by islands; and having, as nearly as I could judge, a west and by south course. The water was much discoloured by a fine black sand, which, when put into a vessel, quickly subsided. It was so cold, from (I apprehend,) a large mix
* In the Persian language, usually called the Ab or Water of Scind, and sometimes Neil Ab or Blue Water; and by th» Hindoos, Scind and Attock.
ture of snow, then thawed, by the summer heats, that in drinking it, my teeth suffered a violent pain. In our boat were embarked seventy persons, with much merchandize and some horses. This unweildy lading, the high swell of the current, and the confusion of the frightened passengers, made the passage dangerous and very tedious, v
The Indus forms a strong barrier to Hindostan on the west, and it seems a manifest truth, that had the Indians made their grand stand on the banks of this river, at the period of the Tartar, Afghan, and Persian invasions, their empire might have made a powerful resistance. Armies, at all times, have sustained difficulties and damage in crossing the Indus, but the attempt to force its passage must be arduous and full of danger.1
The road from Muzzufferabad, tending to the south-west, led me through the mountains, into the upper part of the Punjab, at Nheamut Serau; from which place to Kote, are seen some scattered hills; but thence, the country is plain and thinly wooded. The inhabitants, chiefly Afghans, or as they are called in India, Patans, live in small forts or walled villages, and entertain such mutual dread and distrust of each other, that a single traveller is a rare object. The depredations of the Sicques, on the Attock and adjacent districts, generally subject this tract of country to much desolation, and a failure of rain, in the preceding year, now gave it the appearance of a desert.
Ox the 11th, at Akorah, a small town. At the distance of six miles from the great river, crossed the Atlock.so called in these parts, from its falling into the Indus, in the vicinity of the town of that name; but, in some of the interior parts of Afghanistan, it is denominated the Kabul river.* The weather had now become extremely hot; and I was often surprized, at my ability to bear, with scarcely a shelter, the force of so scorching a sun. I arrived at Akorah about noon; when immediately entering a spacious cool mosque, I spread my bed, and lay down much at my ease. In the evening, the. time of a common prayer, being desired, by one of the Mollahs or Priests, to 'prepare myself for the ceremony, I urged in excuse, the debilitated state of my body, which prevented the requisite performance of so incumbent a duty; looking at me with contempt, he said it was the more necessary for me to pray, that I might obtain better health. At midnight, I perceived a person endeavouring to take my turban from the bed
* Its course lying within six miles to the south-east of that city.
clothes, and being caught by the arm, he told me, in a faultering voice, that he w as the Mollah of the mosque, and, from his speech, I believe, the man who had reprehended my neglect of prayer. What think you, my friend, of these Mahometans, who, if they wash and pray at the five stated times, abstain from wine and the flesh of hogs, and utter a string of Arabic ejaculations, which they do not understand, believe that they have procured the divine licence to violate the laws of justice. This opinion is not formed on the moment, but has arisen from long experience and the intimate intercourse which my various occupations in India have produced; and is now so firmly substantiated by undeviating testimony, that it shapes my general sentiments of the Mahometan character. When they daringly commit these acts on each other, even amidst the rites of their religion, what is to withhold their attacks on those of a different faith?
This day a body of Afghan cavalry encamped in the environs of Akorah, and overspread the country like a swarm of lucusts, devouring and destroying wherever they went. It seemed as if the land was invaded; they entered in a violent manner every village within their scope, and fed themselves and horses at the expense of the inhabitants. Such expeditions afford these hun
gry creatures almost the only public means of subsistence; for when inactive, they are often reduced to such distress, by the blind parsimony of their prince, that their horses, arms, and clothes are sold for a livelihood. ON the 12th, at the village of Peer Pyah, ten COSS6S. ON the 13th, at the village of Kalalah, eight cosses, the residence of Mohubullah's family, where I was treated with much hospitality. The male inhabitants of this village, are all proprietors of mules, and employed in conveying merchandize, and from the name of their abode, denominated Kalals, ON the 14th, at Peshour, four cosses, a large, populous, and opulent city, governed, with the dependent districts, by an Afghan officer, who remits to the capital a revenue of seven lacks of rupees. The road from the Indus to Peshour, has nearly a west and by south direction ; and the country to Akora is sandy and interspersed with stones; from thence to Peshour, are seen many tracts of cultivation. The city of Peshour was founded by the great Acbar, who seeing, it is said, the Afghans averse from dwelling in towns and the occupations of commerce, encouraged the inliabitants of the Punjab, Mahometans, and Hindoos, to resort to his new settlement, where their descendants have greatly multiplied. From