« PreviousContinue »
One of the students, being sleepy, was not aware of her coming, and therefore he remained in the college. He awoke and peeped fearfully through the holes of thewindow. He cast his eyes on a ruby-lipped lady, one of the companions of Gonna SHXD.” She caught the sight of the scholar, and fell in love with him. She left her associates, and entered the room of the student, who gained the pleasure of her society.
She was a delicate virgin, and after leaving the student, she joined her party, who suspected her by the irregularity of her dress and manners.
Gonna Snip, on the information of this, was very much vexed, and to wipe away the reproach, she married all her associates to the students of the college, who were first ordered to avoid the friendship of the women. She gave them clothes, fine beds, and good salaries to live upon ; she made rules forthe collegians to meet their wives after seven days, on the condition not to forget their studies. She did all this to arrest the progress of adultery.
On the east end -of the city flourished a very grand ancient building, called Masiid Jamah, or great mosque. It was erected by SULTAN Gnmsunmn, the old king of Gaur, 700 years ago. He was the son of MUHAMMED SAM, and the sixth descendant of ABU BAKE, one of the friends of MUHAMMED.
The mosque has four doors and many arched domes. We made our entrance through the door called dar-hauz-vakil. Having traversed 70 paces under a roof supported by massive pillars, we opened into the great square of the mosque.
On our left hand were two pieces of marble, decorated with Persian inscriptions, which contained no valuable subjects, but an order to the custom-house oflicers, to provide the mullas with livelihood. The length of the square is 111 paces, and the breadth, 83.
There are four lofty and magnificently painted arches facing each other. The arch which stands to the west led us into the praying place, covered with heaps of mud, which has lately fallen by the severity of the winter. We saw a marble tomb-stone lying on the ground, which had Arabic characters. It was engraved by Fnnoxn SHAD SHERVANI, to cover the grave of SULTAN Anv SAED KURGANI.
The eastern arch exhibits a great deal of Muhammedan neglect. It is almost hidden under considerable masses of earth. The arch, which is situate towards the south, contains numerous Arabic inscriptions. They are all wasted away by the rains.
The northern arch is the place for students; it conducted us into a cupolated structure, where we were astonished to see a marble slab in the shape of a door. It was of a single piece, and so beautifully clear, that our faces were reflected in it. The length of the stone was ten spans, and the breadth, eight.
Having passed through a very small door, we happened to come into a. square of 20 paces, where the body of SULTAN GHIASUDDIN reposes. The place is very filthy, and the grave is reduced to pieces. There is no inscription at all. The roof has fallen into decay, and overwhelms the tomb. There are many graves also, and the bones of the dead seemed to be decayed. Our sight got dim by visiting the sepulchres. There was no difi'erence between the tomb of the great Sultan and that of the poor man.
In the square of the mosque is a small cistern of Water, for ablution, and a large heavy vessel of tin, made by SULTAN GHIASUDDIN; the circumference of which was 20 spans, and the thickness of the edge was one. There were inscriptions written on the borders of the vessel, dated 700 years ago.
It was repaired by MALAK Gnmsunmn Cnfivr, 470 years ago, and repainted by Mm ALI Srum, the minister of SULTAN Hosuu, 350 years ago. The verse informs us the day of the repair.
fame like the Icaaba. I inquired the date of the building, and my mind answered : “ it is a second altar of Abraham." A. 11. 950.]
The ruined buildings of Her-at are beyond my ideas of description, and I am very sorry indeedthat I am not well conversant with the English language.
One farsangfar from the city towards the south is a famous bridge, called Pul Mdlén. In former days there were 33 arches, but now only 27 remain.
No history gives us any information about the foundation of the bridge, but the people say that it was built by a lady named Non Bier, who lived more than lO00 years ago. The books of Herat give no account of the bridge, which is called by the natives ‘ the matchless in the world.I The inundation of the river was so rapid, during our residence at Herat, that three arches were swept away‘ from one end, and nearly for two months all intercourse between Herat and other places was arrested.
From Kochan, or Kabu Shain, where we were with the camp of H. R. H. Axis Mmza, Astrabad, a sea-port town on the bank of the Caspian, is nine days’ journey; and I am sorry not to know what sort of road continues from this to the above place ; but in winter we hear the road to Astrabad is so muddy and troublesome that foot passengers even find difficulty to go.
The horsemen from Kochan to Herat may come very easily in eight days, and are supplied with all sorts of provision in the way. From Herat to Cabul the route is beautifully covered with villages, the produce of which can feed a considerable army. It is 20 days’ journey without crossing any hill.
On the death of VIZIR FATHA KHAN, his brother, Dosr MUHAMMED, mutiniedagainstSn.ur M UHAMMED and Prince KAMRAN, and defeated them after a great loss. They escaped from Cabul and came to Herat through the Hazrira country, after 13 marches; they were also accompanied by a numerous army.
SHAH ZAMXN, on his coming to the throne, had occasion to quell an insurrection at Cabul, and arrived there from Herat in the space of 10 or ll days, and a large body of horsemen accompanied him.
The road through which these two above-mentioned kings came to Ca[ml is hilly, and the people are called independent Hazdras.
From Cabul to the bank of the Indus, the road, through the Khybur country, is not to be traversed by carriages, and is eight days’ journey : and from thence to Lahore we saw ourselves in some places that it was a difficult route. 15 marches bring the travellers from the bank of thelndus, or Atock to Lahore.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT, on his invasion of India, came by this road, without encountering any difficulty, and also NADIR, who is called‘ an adventurer, followed his example.
Our last interview with SHAH KAMRAN was avery friendly one. He promised a great deal to be friendly with the British Government, and never to submit to the Persians, who he said, are the “ obedient slaves of the Russians.” He told Dr. GERARD to come again to Herat on leave from the Government, where they both will get a great advantage by working the valuable miues of his country.
III.—On the Climate (f the Fossil Elephant. By the Rev. R. Everest, M. G. S. 1%.
Since the discovery of fossil bones of the Pachydermata, and some large Carnivora in England and other parts of Northern Europe, it has been usual to consider them as evidence of a tropical climate having ex
isted in those localities, while the animals to which they belonged were living.
The term has been rather vaguely used; for the Cape of Good Hope, of which country four of the animals whose bones have been found most abundantly are natives, viz. the elephant, the rhinoceros, the hippopotamus, and the hyaena, is situated without the tropics, and in a hemisphere much colder than the northern one.
But, barring this, the assertion has been more seriously called in question by Mr. FLEMING, a Scotch naturalist, who observed, that the circumstance of certain animals being incapable of bearing a certain climate -was no proof that their congeners laboured under a like disability ; and he instanced the rein-deer, which by its habits, its food, and its climate, is totally separated from the genus, in which, according to its conformation, it must be ranked.
Unless therefore (he continued) you can prove the identity of the fossil with the existing species, you cannot with propriety draw any conclusion, as to the climate the former may have lived in.
In confirmation of this, we may 'remark under what disadvantageous circumstances we commonly judge the animals of a tropical climate unable to bear our northern cold. They are mostly individuals who have not even been born in a domestic state, but have been caught wild, caged, and suddenly exposed to a great change of temperature. We see in our own people, and in animals brought with us from Europe, the consequences of such a change, equal to, though the reverse of, the other. What numbers are carried off, and how few can preserve a healthy and vigorous condition with every precaution that can be taken; yet man, the horse, and the dog are, with little exception, the hardiest of existing animals, and the most universally diffused over the globe. We have a marked instance of the liability even of certain varieties of the same species to sufi‘er more than others, in the Newfoundland dog, which, I believe, no one has ever succeeded in preserving alive in India.
The objection of Mr. FLEMING was strengthened by the circumstance that the elephant, which was found in Siberia preserved in ice had actually a coat of long hair, such as would have fitted it for living in a severe climate. Mr. LYELL too quotes from Bishop Hanna the information that along the lower range of the Himalaya mountains, -in the north-eastern border of the Dehli territory, between lat. 29°, and 30° he saw an elephant covered with shaggy hair. I have inquired a great deal, of people used to elephants, respecting this, since my residence in the Dehli territory, but could never find any one who was aware of the existence of such a breed or variety of the animal. One solitary individual was mentioned to me, as having been seen at Dehli some years ago, with a good deal of long hair upon it, but it was altogether an
anomaly, being of a dirtv white or cream colour, like -the state -elephants of the Burmese sovereign.
Since Mr. FLEMING raised the objection above stated, the discovery of fossil bones of the elephant in Yorkshire, intermingled with those of the Bison, a North American animal, and several species of land and freshwater shells yet existing in Great Britain, seems to have determined, that the climate, at the period those animals lived, was nearly what it is at present. But it is still a question of some interest, how much that difference was; and our situation in a country, where races of animals similar to those, whose bones have been found fossil, are yet existing, enables us to throw some light upon this. I mean, of course, supposing the species to be the same. If we revert to Mr. FLnMmo’s objection that no argument can be drawn from the capabilities of one species, as to those of another, then we must desist from reasoning on the subject, until we can ascertain the law according to which difl'erent species of the same genus are distributed over the globe.
Of the six species of Carnivora which were discovered in the celebrated Kirkdale cavern, four are yet inhabitants of Northern Europe, viz. the bear, wolf, fox, and weasel; of the two others, the tiger and the hyaena, the first is sometimes found at the very edge of perpetual snow in the Himalaya, as we learn from Mr. Honaso1s’s account of the Mammalia of Nepal*. PENNANT too mentions it among the snows of Mount Ararat and in Armenia, and it is said to be abundant (see Pi.ArrAiR’s Geography) in the northern part of the peninsula of Corea on the eastern coast of China. This peninsula extends from 34° 30’ to 43° N. Lat. and its climate cannot differ greatly from that of ‘Pekin in 39° N. Lat., where it is stated that the frost lasts from November to March, and that the thermometer is usually ‘below 20° Fahrenheit at night in winter time. An account too, has lately been published in Calcutta of a trading ship (the Sylph) having been frozen up-on the same coast, in Lat. 40° by the 1st of December. ‘So that there can hardly remain a doubt, but that the tiger is capable of bearing a climate even more severe than that of England, probably one -approaching to that of the southern coast of the Baltic.
The only circumstances essential to its-existence appear to be a great extent of very thick forest, and an abundance of ruminant animals, both which -would be the consequence of excess of moisture. It is most numerous, I believe, in Ceylon, the eastern peninsula of India, the Delta of the Ganges, and the vast belt of forests that border the outer Himrilaya range ; every where, in short, that great moisture, and the vegetation consequent upon it are to be found. Where ‘the climate becomes dry, as inthe countryto the west of Dehli, the soil sandy, and the ‘vegeta
* Journal, As. Soc. vol. i. page 340.