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The natural hiftory of horfes, camels, oxen, and mules, which are alfo kept in the royal ftables, contains nothing materially different from the common accounts.
The next chapter, defcribing the manner in which the emperor spent his time, may amufe the generality of our readers.
It is his majesty's conftant endeavour to gain and secure the hearts of all men. Amidst a thousand cares, and perplexing avocations, he fuffers not his temper to be in any degree disturbed, but is always cheerful. He is ever ftriving to do that which may be moft acceptable to the Deity, and employs his mind on profound and abAtracted fpeculations. From his thirst after wisdom, he is continually labouring to benefit by the knowledge of others, while he makes no account of his own fagacious adminiftration. He liftens to what every one hath to fay, because it may happen that his heart may be enlightened by the communication of a juft fentiment, or by the relation of a laudable action. But although a long period has elapfed in this practice, he has never met with a perfon whofe judgment he could prefer to his own. Nay, the moft experienced statesmen, on beholding this ornament of the throne, blush at their own infufficiency, and ftudy anew the arts of government. Nevertheless, out of the abundance of his fagacity, he will not fuffer himself to quit the paths of enquiry. Although he be furrounded with power and fplendour, yet he never fuffers himself to be led away by anger or wrath. Others employ ftory-tellers to lull them to fleep, but his majefty, on the contrary, liftens to them to keep him awake. From the excess of his righteoufnefs, he exercises on himself both inward and outward aufterities; and pays fome regard to external forms, in order that those who are attached to established cuftoms, may not have any cause for reproach. His life is an uninterrupted series of virtue and found morality. God is witnefs, that the wife of all ranks are unanimous in this declaration.
He never laughs at nor ridicules any religion or fect. He never waftes his time, nor omits the performance of any duty; fo that, through the bleffings of his upright intentions, every action of his life may be confidered as an adoration of the Deity. He is continually returning thanks unto Providence, and fcrutinizing his own conduct. But he most efpecially fo employs himself at the following ftated times at day-break, when the fun begins to diffuse his rays; at noon, when that grand illuminator of the universe thines in full refplendence; in the evening, when he disappears from the inhabitants of the earth; and again at midnight, when he recommences his afcent. All these grand myfteries are in honour of God; and if dark-minded ignorant people cannot comprehend their fignification, who is to be blamed? Every one is fenfible, that it is indifpenfably our duty to praife our benefactor, and confequently, it is incumbent on us to praise this diffuser of bounty, the fountain of light! And more efpecially behoveth it princes fo to do, feeing that this fovereign of the heavens fheddeth his benign influence upon the monarchs of the earth. His majesty has alfo great veneration for fire in general, and for lamps; fince they are to be accounted rays of the greater light.
He spends the whole day and night in the performance of his neceffary avocations, excepting the fmall portion required for fleep. He takes a little repofe in the evening, and again for a fhort time in the morning. The greatest part of the night is employed in the tranfaction of bufinefs. To the royal privacy are then admitted philofophers, and virtuous fofees, who feat themfelves, and entertain his majefty with wife difcourfes On these occafions his majefty fathoms the depths of knowledge, examines the value of ancient inflitutions, and forms new regulations; that the aged may ftand corrected in their errors, and that the rifing generation be provided with fit rules for governing their conduct. There are alfo prefent at thefe affemblies learned hiftorians, who relate the annals of past times, just as the events occurred, without addition or diminution. A confiderable part of the night is spent in hearing reprefentations of the ftate of the empire, and giving orders for whatever is neceffary to be done in every department. Three hours before day, there are introduced to the prefence, musicians of all nations, who recreate the affembly with vocal and inftrumental melody. But when it wants only about an hour of day, his majefty prefers filence, and employs himfelf at his devotions. Juft before the appearance of day, people of all ranks are in waiting, and, foon after day-break, are permitted to make the Koornifh*. Next the haram are admitted to pay their compliments. During this time various other affairs are tranfacted, and when those are finished he retires to reft for a short time.'
The fecond part of this first volume contains, chiefly, the regulations for the military department. Toward the end of it, we have the following curious accounts of the modes of hunting. For catching the lion,
They make a large cage, ftrengthened with iron, into which they put a kid, in fuch a fituation, that the lion cannot come at it without entering by the door which is left open. The cage is put in the place which the lion frequents, and when he enters to feize the kid the door shuts on him, and he is taken; or an arrow is fet in a bow of a green colour which is faflened to a bough of a tree, and when the lion paffes under it, the motion difcharges the arrow and kills him. Or they faften a fheep to the fpot which he frequents, and furround it with ftraw, worked up with fome glutinous fubftance, fo that when the lion attempts to feize the fheep, his claws become entangled in the ftraw; on which the hunters, iffuing from their covert, either kill him, or take him alive and tame him.-Sometimes a bold refolute fellow feats himself on the back of a male buffaloe, and makes him attack the lion, and tofs him with his horns till he kills him. It is not poffible for any one, who has not feen this fight, to form an adequate idea of the fport it affords, nor to conceive the boldness of the man, who feats himself erect like a pillar, notwithstanding the violent motions of the buffaloe during the bloody conflict.'
The Author defcribes the leopards as animals remarkable for their provident and circumfpect conduct. They are taken in
* A peculiar mode of falutation.
traps, and are afterward tamed, and one fpecies of them are trained for hunting. As the method of hunting with them is defcribed by many European writers in nearly the fame manner as by this Author, we fhall pafs it over, and give our readers the following fingular method of hunting deer with deer.
They faften a foare about a tame deer, fo that when a wild one engages him, he is entangled by the horns or ears; on which the hunters iffue from their coverts and feize him. If the tame deer is overpowered, or the fnare breaks, he returns to his keeper. SULTAN FIROZE KULJIE had fome idea of this manner of hunting; but it is only now brought to perfection. They will now hunt in the night, and if the wild deer runs away, or the fnare breaks, the tame one obeys the orders of his keeper, and comes or goes juft as he directs. -Formerly, only two or three people partook of this fport, and for fear of frightening the wild deer, ufed to difguife their perfons or hide themselves in the grafs, but his majefty has introduced a method whereby upwards of four hundred people may go together. Forty oxen are taught to move flowly and in fuch a manner as to conceal the people who are behind them.'
The third part of this volume relates wholly to the revenue, excepting the introduction, which is a learned account of the fe veral æras ufed by different chronologers and different nations; and the conclufion, which contains inftructions for the feveral great officers of ftate. The chronological part admits not of abridgment, and the others would afford no entertainment to our readers, in general.
In the fortieth year of Akber's reign, his dominions confifted of 105 provinces and 2737 townships. The empire was then parcelled into twelve grand divifions, and each was committed to the government of a Soobahdar or viceroy.
The fecond volume contains a fuccinct defcription of each Sco'bah or viceroyalty, with its hiftory, and the lives of their refpective viceroys; and as it cannot much intereft the European reader, we fhall enter into no detail of its contents, but proceed to the confideration of the laft volume,-which contains, as we mentioned in the beginning of this article, an account of the religion and philofophy of the Hindoos.
The intrinfic merit of the introduction, which is truly philofophical, will be a fufficient apology for our tranfcribing it, more efpecially as it gives an account of the contents of the volume.
I had long fet my heart (fays the hiftorian) on writing fomething of the hiftory of Hindoftan, together with an account of the religious opinions of the Hindoos. I know not if my anxiety herein proceeds
*This, as we learn from other accounts, is a fmaller kind of leopard, named the chetab.
Europeans often confound Soobah for Soobahdar; and the title of the viceroy is commonly written Subah.
from the love of my native country, or whether I am impelled by the defire of fearching after truth, and relating matter of fact.
At first my head was filled with the idle tales of BENAGUTTY, HAFEZ ABROO, and other ancient authors, who have written ftories of things that never exifted but in their own imaginations; but at length, becoming fenfible of the ignorance of mankind, and of their evil difpofition toward one another, I refolved to endeavour to establish peace and amity. However, multiplicity of bufinefs occafioned delay, until I undertook to write this work, which has run out to great length; and having finished the history of the Soobahs (including a good part of the hiftory of Hindoftan), I thought this a fit time for carrying into execution my long-concealed intention.
Before this period I had acquired fome knowledge of the subject, but deeming that infufficient, I had again recourfe to those who were capable of inftructing me, and renewed my former ftudies. From my ignorance of the fignification of the Hindoo terms, and the want of an able interpreter, my researches became painful; as I was obliged to make repeated enquiries after the fame thing. At length, by the will of heaven, unremitted affiduity has obtained the object of my wishes.
It is now come to light that the generally-received opinion of the Hindoos being polytheifts, has no foundation in truth; for although their tenets admit many pofitions that are difficult to be defended, yet that they are worshippers of GOD, and ONLY ONE GOD, are incontrovertible points.
In order to establish what I have here advanced, I fhall fet forth the various faiths and ceremonies of this immenfe multitude, that the neceffary proofs may be found collected together, and ftrife and animofity be thereby moderated.
Although there have never been wanting in the world men of upright and honeft intentions, yet from the following causes there have always been diffenfions regarding this religion.
• First. The difference of language, which has prevented the Hindoos and thofe of other nations from comprehending the meaning of each other, and occafioned much strife.
Secondly. The remoteness of fituation, which has prevented the Hindoos from having any intercourfe with the learned of other countries. Or if it happened that one of each met together, no communication of ideas could be effected, for want of an intermediate perfon, it being very difficult to find an interpreter fo well acquainted with the depths of fcience and the various philofophical doctrines, as to be able to explain himself thereon in a fatisfactory manner. Even now, notwithstanding his majesty has taken fuch pains to affemble the learned of all nations, who aid and affift each other in their refearches after truth, the inconvenience ftill remains unremedied. Where then is a perfon to be found poffeffed of the qualifications requifite for this talk ?
Thirdly. The subjection of mankind to their corporeal fenfes, infomuch that they will not allow any thing to exift, which they themfelves have not felt.
Fourthly. The indolence of mankind, which induces them to prefer the little they actually poffefs to the profpect of increafing it by
the fatigues of commerce, which inclines them to adopt ease and reject labour, and forego the pains required in fearching after knowledge; contenting themfelves with difputes about appearances only, regardless how far they are confonant with truth and reality.
Fifthly. The habit of imitation, which people of all nations fall into, without asking why or wherefore. Whatever they have received from their father, tutor, acquaintance, or neighbour, they confider as the rule of conduct moft acceptable to the Deity, and stamp those who differ from them with the name of INFIDEL.
Sixthly. The referve which prevents a candid communication between perfons of different perfuafions, and to this it is owing that no instance can be produced of two or three perfons meeting for the purpofe of difcuffing the tenets of their respective creeds, and of ascertaining the principles on which they are founded.-Even monarchs, deeming the investigation unimportant, have either treated it with indifference, or, actuated by the pride and felf-conceit of fectaries, have prohibited free difcuffion and enquiry. A regard for felf-prefervation, therefore, induces men either to be filent, or to exprefs themselves in obfcure language; or compels them to conform to the temper of the times. But if princes had evinced a difpofition to promote the fearch after truth, many illuftrious men, having no grounds for fear or apprehenfion, would have publifhed to the world, with freedom, their fentiments and opinions. The monarch's example is a law to all; and thus every fect becomes infatuated with its particular doctrines; animofity and diffenfion prevail, and each man, deeming the tenets of his own feet to be the dictates of truth itself, aims at the deftruction of all others, vilifies reputation, ftains the earth with blood, and has the vanity to imagine he is performing meritorious actions. If the voice of reafon was attended to, mankind would be fenfible of their error, and lament the weakness which mifled them to interfere in the concerns of each other. Perfecution, after all, defeats its own ends; and obliges men to conceal their own opinions, but produces no change in them.
Seventhly. The fuccefs which too often attends the wicked and ill-difpofed, from the facility with which the profeffions of virtue and rectitude gain belief. Hence a variety of evils are derived, and truth lies buried under a load of errors. Enough, ABUL FAZEL, enough: the various forms of divine vengeance are inexplicable; the hiftory of them is long and intricate: proceed to execute your original defign of attempting to establish peace and unanimity.
Although fome will be difturbed with the information they receive, others will embrace it with fatisfaction.
Thanks be unto God, who hath no equal, I am neither of the number of those who are ready to condemn the ignorant, nor averse to praise those who know better.'
What a noble-minded man was this hiftorian of the Eaft!
After giving a fuccinct view of their religion, the excellent Author proceeds to describe the state of science among the Hindoos. He more particularly enlarges on their knowlege of aftronomy and geography; and in these parts of the work, the Tranflator has received much affiftance from our ingenious coun