Images de page

A. D. 1527–38.



[ocr errors]

tally routed ; several of the rajahs fell, and Sanga supposed to be dying. Mehdi attended him with escaped with difficulty. After the victory the as- the utmost respect to the door, but as soon as he trologer approached to congratulate the sultan, but was out of hearing he muttered to himself, “ God Bâber poured on him a torrent of abuse, then giv- willing, I will soon flay your hide off, old boy." ing him a large present, he ordered him to quit his Turning round, he saw one standing behind him ; dominions (1527).

he was confounded ; but seizing the witness's ear, The reduction of Hindoo rajahs and Afghân he gave it a twist, saying, hurriedly, “Mind, the chiefs now occupied the active sultan, and success red tongue often gives the green head to the uniformly attended him. As the Afghân king of winds." The menace, however, did not avail him; Bengal seemed resolved to retain North Bahâr, his want of caution lost him the crown. which belonged to the crown of Delhi, Baber Humâyun's reign commenced with the separacrossed the Ganges at the head of an army; he tion of Câbul from India. His brother, Câmrân, then passed the Gagra, behind which the Bengalese who was governor of the former country, refused army was posted, and speedily drove it off the to submit to him, and he was obliged to acknowfield, and the king of Bengal was glad to sue for ledge his independence, and to make the Indus the peace. Bâber then pursued a body of Afghâns boundary between their respective dominions. Inwho had seized the city of Lucknow in Oude. They surrections of some of the Afghân chiefs in India retired at his approach, and a division of his troops succeeded, but they were easily suppressed. A chased them over the Ganges and the Jumnah war then followed with Bahâdur Shâh, the Afghân (1528).

king of Güzerât, who had lately conquered Målwa, his was the last of sultan Bâber's military ex- and whose supremacy was acknowledged by the ploits. He seems now to have fallen into ill-health, Mohammedan princes of the Deckan. The war and his death was brought on in the following was commenced without provocation by Bahadur. unusual manner. His son Humâyun was attacked When Humayun entered Gûzerât, he found the by a severe disease, the physician had given him enemy posted in an intrenched canıp, well supplied over, when Bâber, according to a superstition of with artillery, which was directed by a Turk from the East, declared that he would devote his own Constantinople, and some Portuguese prisoners~ life for that of the prince. He accordingly walked the first mention of Europeans in India. Humâthree times round the bed of the patient, and then yun, however, by cutting off his supplies, obliged spent some moments in prayer, and so strong him to destroy his guns, and fly in the night, leavthence grew his assurance of success, that he re- ing his army to shift for itself. He fled to Cambay, peatedly cried out, “I have borne it away." From and thence to the little isle of Diu. The open ihat hour the health of Humayun began to im- country readily submitted to Humâyun, but the prove, and that of Bâber to decline. Feeling the hill-fort of Champaner long held At length, approach of death, he called his sons and his mi. one night 300 chosen men, among whom was the nisters about him, and explained to them his last emperor himself, scaled it, by fixing iron spikes in wishes, enjoining concord and unanimity. He then the perpendicular rock, while the army made an breathed his last (Dec. 26th, 1530), in the fiftieth attack on one of the gates, and it thus was taken year of his age, the thirty-eighth of his reign, and (1535). the fifth of his residence in India.

Humayun was soon obliged to quit Güzerât, and The character of sultan Bâber is the most pleas- take the field against the most formidable of his ing that is to be met with in Oriental history. It opponents. This was Sheer Khân, one of the is also the one with which we are best acquainted, Afghân chiefs in India, a man of considerable for we possess his autobiography, memoirs actually talent, who, by taking advantage of the unsettled written by himself, in which his thoughts and his state of the country, had made himself master of feelings are displayed as well as his actions. Here Bahâr, and was now engaged in the conquest of we become acquainted with his love for plants and Bengal, the capital of which, named Gour, he was flowers, his unaffected admiration of beautiful besieging when Humayun commenced operations landscapes, his relish for simple and natural plea- against him, on his return from Gûzerât. In order sures, his social and amiable temper, his kind and to check the advance of the monarch, and thus affectionate heart, and his cheerful and buoyant gain time for the reduction of Bengal, Sheer Khân disposition, which no reverses of fortune could placed a strong garrison in the fort of Chunâr, on

It is very pleasing to hear him telling the Ganges, south of Benares, well supplied, and how he never enjoyed himself more than when, with directions to hold out to the uttermost. The after he had been obliged to quit Samarcand, he at siege accordingly lasted several months. At length length got a full meal, a quiet night's sleep, and a the place surrendered, and Humayun pursued his temporary release from toil and care.

march unimpeded along the Ganges, and crossing Humayun succeeded his able father ; but a plan that river he entered Gour, from which city Sheer had been formed for excluding him and giving the Khâu had retired, after having reduced it. But crown to another ; for Khalifah, the vizir of the rainy season had now commenced; the country Bâber, over whose mind he had attained great was one sheet of water, no operations could be influence, in order to retain his power, had resolved carried on, and the soldiers suffered severely from to set aside his master's own sons, and give the the damp, unhealthy climate. After a delay of throne to his son-in-law, Mehdi Khaja, a vain, several months, Humâyun found it necessary to thoughtless young man. Every thing had been commence his retreat. But Sheer Khân had arranged, and they were only waiting for the death recovered Chunâr and Benares; he was master of of Båber, when suddenly Khalîfah threw Mehdi all Bahâr, his posts extended up the Ganges as far into prison, and declared for Humayun. The cause as Canouj; he was now engaged in the siege of was as follows :— As Khalifah was one day visiting Juanpûr; and, as a further proof of liis power, Mehdi, he was summoned to the emperor, who was he at this time assumed the title of king (1538).


At Mongheer a body of troops, which Humayun of whom seized the wells in which lay their only had sent in advance under one of his ablest gene- | hope of relief. They were now in despair, but rals, was surprised and defeated by the corps sent the rajah's son was generous. He advanced with against it by Sheer Khân. He himself had reached a white flag, and having gently reproached them Buxâr, on the right bank of the Ganges, half way for having entered the Hindoo territory and killed between Patna and Benares, when he found Sheer kine in it, he supplied them with water, and sufShâh prepared to cut off his retreat. As the latter fered them to proceed. But still the perils of the had marched thirty-five miles that day, Humâyun Desert were to be encountered; all suffered, many was urged to attack him at once; but he declined, died, and Humayun had only seven followers with and next day Sheer Shâh had fortified his position. him when he reached Amercôt. Others, however, Humâyun followed his example, and then com- joined him in a few days. His reception by Rana menced forming a bridge of boats over the Ganges. Persad, the Hindoo prince of Amercôt, was cordial Sheer Shâh suffered him to proceed with it for and friendly. two months ; then, secretly quitting his camp

with At Amercôt was born his son, the celebrated a good part of his troops, he got into the rear of Akber. His mother was a Persian lady, whom Humâyun's position, and, marching by night, at- Humayun had met at an entertainment given to tacked his camp in three several places at day- | him by the mother of his brother Hindal. Struck break. Humayun had just time to leap on horse- with her beauty, and finding she was not betrothed, back: he was preparing to advance against the he had instantly made love to and married her. assailants, when his officers urged him to consult She was far advanced in her pregnancy at the for his safety; and one of them, seizing his bridle, time of crossing the Desert. One of the officers, drew him to the river-side. He plunged into the who had lent her a horse, finding his own exstream to swim across ; ere he reached the further hausted, brutally made her dismount, and Humâbank his horse was exhausted and sank, and the yun had to place her on his own horse and walk by same would liave been the fate of the monarch, her side till he met with a baggage camel. When had not a water-carrier, who was crossing on his | Akber was born, his father happened not to be at inflated skin-bag, been at hand, who supported him Amercôt. It was usual, on such occasions, for and brought him over. Humâyun himself made the father to give presents to his friends ; but his way to Agra ; but his whole army was cut to Humayun, when the news reached him, had nopieces or drowned, and his queen fell into the hands thing but a pod of musk. This he broke up, and of Sheer Shâh, by whom she was treated with the distributed with a wish that his son's fame might most scrupulous delicacy and sent to a place of be diffused through the world like that perfume. safety (1539).

Humayun could not collect more than a hundred Sheer Shâh now resumed operations in Bengal ; men for the invasion of Sind, but rajah Persad and Humayun, being aided by his brother Câmrân, joined him with his troops ; and when in that collected another army, with which he advanced country he was joined by other Hindoo rajahs, so to Canouj. Sheer Shâh occupied the opposite bank that his force at length amounted to 15,000 horse. of the Ganges, and, as Humayun's troops were Ill-fortune or imprudence, however, prevented him beginning to desert, he crossed the river by a from deriving any advantage from it. One of his bridge of boats, and gave battle. But fortune Moguls offended Persad, who got so little redress again proved adverse ; his army was totally de- when he complained to the emperor, that he and feated and driven into the Ganges. Humâyun's his friends retired from the camp. Humayun, unhorse being wounded, he mounted an elephant able to maintain himself now in Sind, resolved to which he met, but the driver, when desired to make his way, if possible, to Candahâr, where his attempt the passage of the river with him, refused ; brother, Mirza Askeri, then commanded for Câmthe king then hurled him from his seat on the rân. He gave out that his intention was to leave animal's neck, and gave his place to a eunuch who his son there, and proceed himself on pilgrimage chanced to be also on the elephant. They entered to Mecca. He had reached Shâl, within 130 miles the stream, and reached the opposite bank, which of Candahâr, when a horseman, sent by one of his proved too steep to be ascended, and the king friends, galloped up to his tent, and rushing in, might have perished, had not two soldiers tied announced that Askeri was at hand with the intheir turbans together, and thus drawn him up. tention of making him a prisoner. He had only He then, with some difficulty, made his way to time to place his queen on his own horse, and fly Agra (1540).

with her, leaving the child to the mercy of his The empire of India was now lost ; for Câmrân uncle. Askeri, on coming up, pretended that his resigned the Punjâb to Sheer Shâh, and retired to intentions had been altogether friendly ; he treated Câbul, leaving lumâyun to shift for himself. After his little nephew with affection, and took him with an ineffectual attempt to get his authority recog- him to Candahâr. Humâyun escaped to Sîstân, nized in Sind, Humayun resolved to throw himself whence the governor sent him to Herât, there to on the protection of Maldeo, rajah of Marwâr. He await the pleasure of the Shâh of Persia (1543). set out in order to cross the Sandy Desert, but on The present monarch of Persia was Shâh Tahreaching Jodpůr he learned that he had nothing masp, the second of the Suffavi dynasty. He into expect from the rajah. He now resolved to vited Humayun to court, and treated him with the make for Amercôt, a fort on the Indus. In the utmost respect. But Shâh Tahmasp was a bigoted march thither over the Desert, the sufferings of Shiah in his faith, and he insisted on the exiled himself and his followers were intense. To obtain monarch’s conforming to his creed. At their first water they had to fight with the villagers, to whom interview Tahmasp required him to wear the red it was precious as gold, and, to add to their distress, cap, distinctive of the followers of that creed. To they soon found that they were followed by a this he consented, and a flourish of music anstrong body of horse, led by Maldeo's son, a party 'nounced the important fact. On the subject of the

A. D. 1545–53.




creed itself, Humâyun does not appear to have have ceased. When he went to rise by the aid of been so compliant, for next day, when Tahmasp, his staff, it slipped on the marble, and he fell over going on a journey, passed by Humayun's palace, the low parapet of the stairs. He was stunned by and the latter went to the gate to salute him, he the fall, and on the fourth day he breathed his last, went on without noticing him. A few days after, in the forty-ninth year of his eventful life, and the when a large quantity of firewood was sent him, twenty-sixth of his reign. he was told that it would serve for his funeral pile, We must now take a retrospect of India during if he refused to conform. To his request to be the sixteen years' absence of Shâh Humayun. allowed to proceed on his pilgrimage a decided Sheer Shâh, having taken possession of the negative was returned ; and it was added, that he Punjab, and suppressed a rebellion in Bengal, must become a Shiah, or take the consequence. turned his arms against the southern Hindoo states,

At length Humâyun's resolution gave way, and and reduced Mâlwa. He afterwards besieged the he signed a paper containing a profession of the fortress of Raîsîn, which was held by a Hindoo Shiah faith, with, probably, an engagement to intro- chief. A surrender was offered on condition of the duce it into India, and an undertaking to put the garrison being allowed to depart with all their proking of Persia in possession of Candahâr, if re- perty. The terms were agreed to, and 4000 Rajcovered by his aid, for which purpose Tahmasp pûts issued and encamped within a short distance. promised a force of 12,000 horse. After some But Sheer Shâh was induced by the arguments of delay Humayun set out (1545) with 700 followers, some Mohammedan lawyers to break the treaty, and in Sîstần he was joined by 14,000 Persian and he surrounded them with his troops and comhorse, commanded by the Shâh's Morad Mîrza. menced a general massacre. The Rajpûts fell to They took the fort of Bost on the river Helmund, a man, but not unavenged, as double the number and thence marched unopposed to Candahâr, which of the assailants lay dead on the plain. No MoAskeri defended against them for five months. As hammedan prince, but Timûr, had as yet been none of the chiefs of the country had yet joined guilty of such an atrocity India, and it ultiHumayun, the Persians were talking of raising the mately proved the cause of the death of its perpesiege and retiring ; but just then partizans began trator. For, as he was besieging the fort of Cato come in, and the garrison suffering from famine, a linger, where the rajah refused to accept of any part of it fled from the town, while others deserted to terms, as he was sure they would not be kept, and the besiegers. Askeri was thus obliged to surrender, was himself directing the artillery, a magazine, and the fort and its treasures were ceded to the struck by one of the enemy's shot, blew up, and he Persians. The greater part of the army then re- was so much injured by the explosion that he only turned home, leaving a garrison under Morad survived a few hours. In this interval the fort Mîrza;

but that prince happening, as we are told, was taken, and Sheer Shâh, who had not ceased to to die suddenly, Humayun contrived to get into the direct the operations, cried, like Epaminondas and town, where he slaughtered a part of the garrison, Wolfe, “ Thanks be to Almighty God!” and and, as a great favour, allowed the remainder tó breathed his last (1545). depart.

Though Sheer Shâh reigned only five years, he Humayun then advanced to Câbul, whence made more internal improvements in the state Câmrân fed, but while the former was away on than most monarchs had done who had occupied another expedition, he returned and recovered that the throne for long periods. His principal work city, and when Humayun besieged him, he had the was a magnificent causeway extending from Bengal barbarity to expose the young Akber to the fire of to near the Indus, with caravanserais furnished his father's cannon. He was, however, forced to with provisions at every stage, and wells at every fly; he then surrendered, and was forgiven ;. he mile and half, and mosks supplied with priests and rebelled again, defeated Humayun, and recovered criers. Along the whole length of this road were Câbul, whence he was again expelled. He finally planted rows of trees to yield the traveller shade. He (1553) sought refuge with the Guckers, by whom was also the first to establish horse-posts along the he was given up to his brother. Humâyun for the roads, for the despatch of intelligence and of letters. first two or three days treated him with kindness. It was said, that so great was the public security He then determined that he should be blinded. during his reign, that travellers and merchants The operation was performed, as usual, by piercing used to set down their goods and sleep on the the eyes repeatedly with lancets. This he bore highway without appreliension. patiently; but when lemon-juice and salt were Adil Khân, the eldest son of Sheer Shâh, being squeezed into his eyes he cried out, “ O Lord my a prince of a feeble character, was induced to reGod! whatever sins I have committed have been sign his claims in favour of his brother Jelâl Khân, amply punished in this world ; have compassion on on condition of getting the country of Biana. Four me in the next.” He went to Mecca, where he of the principal Ômrahs were guarantees of this died.

agreement, and when Selîm (the name which Jelâl Circumstances in India now proving favourable, assumed) gave reason to suppose that he meant to Humâyun was encouraged to attempt the recovery violate it, they took up arms against him. He, of that country. He reduced the Punjâb (1555), however, reduced them, and the rest of his reign and a victory at Sirhind opened the way to Delhi passed in tranquillity. and Agra. He did not, however, long live to enjoy On the death of Selîm (1553), his only son, a his dominion. About six months after his return child of twelve years of age, was murdered by his to Delhi, as he was walking on the terrace of his uncle Mohammed Khân, who then mounted the library, and was descending the stairs (which were throne. He proved a monarch of a most odious on the outside of the building), he heard the call to character, ignorant, fond of low society, and adprayers. He stopped, repeated the creed, and dicted to gross debauchery. His prime minister then sat down on the steps, till the crier should was a Hindoo, named Hêmoo, who had originally

kept a small shop, and whose appearance, it is said, The revolt of Bengal commenced the dismemwas meaner than his origin. But Hêmoo was a berment. The Hindous then recovered Télingana man of talent and of resolution, and he ably up- and the Carnatic, reducing the Moslem dominion held the affairs of his master as long as he lived. in the Deckan within the limits of the Kishna on

Mohammed's extravagance quickly wasted the the south and the meridian of Hyderabad on the imperial treasure. He then to supply his neces- east, and forming from their conquests the states sities, or rather to enrich his favourites, proceeded of Warângôl in the north, and Bejâyanugur in the to resume the governments and the lands of his south. After this came the Moslem rebellion in nobles. This gave immediate occasion to rebellions. the Deckan, when the court of Delhi ceased to be Ibrahîm Soor, a member of his own family, seized obeyed to the south of the Nerbudda. Such was on Delhi and Agra. Another relative, Secunder the state of the empire at the death of Mohammed, Soor, became independent in the Punjab. The and it continued to have this reduced extent till governor of Bengal then rebelled, and while Hêmoo just before the invasion of Timûr, when Güzerât was preparing to march against him, he learned and Mâlwa asserted their independence, and that Mâlwa had cast off the yoke, and that Humâ- another independent state was formed, named yun had entered India, defeated Secunder, and Jûanpûr, consisting of the country on the Ganges taken Delhi and Agra. Hêmoo engaged, defeated, as far as the centre of Oude. After the departure and captured the governor of Bengal. He then of Timûr the remaining provinces threw off the was advancing against Humayun, when he received yoke, and the empire only contained the district intelligence of the death of that monarch, and the round Delhi. accession of his son Akber, who was then in the The Bahmanî empire, founded by Husun Gunga Punjab. Encouraged by this intelligence, he ad- in the Deckan ?, lasted for about one hundred and vanced without halting, his numbers increased seventy years, and during all that time the throne every day, he took Agra by siege, defeated Humâ- was occupied by his descendants. Their wars were yun's Mogul troops under the walls of Delhi, occu- with the two Hindoo states of Warangôl and Bepied that city, and then set out for Lahore. Akber jâyanugur, the former of which they subverted, and was only thirteen years of age ; the general opinion from the latter they gained the country between in his court was in favour of a retreat to Câbul ; the Kishna and the Tumbudra rivers. But in but Behram Khân, one of his father's ablest and their court and army there prevailed a religious most faithful officers, to whom he had given the dissension, which eventually dismembered the conduct of affairs, rejected these timid counsels. state. This was the rivalry between the sects of With a far inferior force he advanced against the Shîahs and Sûnnîs, which, as our readers are Hêmoo, whom he encountered at Pânîput. In

doubtless aware,

divide the Mohammedan church, spite of the talent and courage of its leader, the the latter acknowledging the first three Khalífehs Indian army was defeated, and Hêmoo himself was as rightful successors of the prophet, the former made a prisoner (1556). Mohammed's reign thus regarding them as usurpers, and maintaining that virtually terminated ; and he fell shortly after in Ally, the fourth Khalîfeh, was the only rightful one. battle against another rebel in Bengal.

The Persians alone, we believe, nationally hold the
Shîah faith ; all the other Moslems, especially the
Ottoman Turks, holding the Sûnnî creed. As the
*courtiers and the army of the first Bahmanî kings

were of various countries, Persians, Afghans, CHAPTER VII.

Turks, Moguls, even Georgians and Circassians ; there were, of course, among them followers of

both creeds. But afterwards, beside the foreigners, Dismemberment of the Empire–The Bahmani EmpireShîahs and Sûnnis-Bejapur-Ahmednugur-Bidr-Gol

there were the Deckanees or native troops, the conda - Elichpûr - Battle of Tâlicote - Güzerât - The

descendants of the conquerors, and these were of Rajpût States.

the Sûnnî faith, as also were the Abassinians, who

came over the sea in great numbers to take service TAE Afghân empire in India began, as we have with the Bahmanî kings. These always took part seen, to be dismembered in the reign of Moham- with the Deckanees against the other foreigners, med Tôghlak. As its recovery and reunion long who were mostly, it would appear, Shîahs. The engaged the arms and policy of the house of Timûr, consequence of this dissension was, that when in it is necessary, for the sake of perspicuity, to take the natural order of things in the east the Bahmanî a view of the states formed out of it, and of the kings had degenerated, and were no longer able to general extent and character of the Mussulman keep the contending parties in order, Yussuf Adil dominion in India.

Khân, a Turk who was the head of the foreigners, When Mohammed mounted the throne, the the Deckanees having got the better of himself and Afghân empire in India embraced the whole con- his party, retired to his government of Bejapûr, tinental part of that country, which we have de- where he made himself independent, and founded nominated Hindústân, including Güzerât and the dynasty of Adîl Shâh. Soon after, Nizâm-ulBengal ; the Râjpût states alone being unsubdued. Mülk, the leader of the Deckanees, having been In the Deckan, the extensive forest tract, named assassinated by a Turk, named Kasîm Barîd, his Orissa, which extends for 500 miles from the son Ahmed cast off his allegiance, and founded a Ganges to the Godaveri, running from 300 to 400 state, the capital of which was named Ahmednugur. miles inland, remained still in the hands of the Kasîm Barîd having thus attained the chief power wild aborigines. All the rest of the Deckan, ex- at court, continued to govern under the name of a cepting a slip along the west coast, and the south- succession of royal puppets ; but his son, Amir ern extremity, acknowledged the sovereignty of the court of Delhi.

2 See above, p. 16.

[blocks in formation]

Barîd, disliking that circuitous kind of dominion, feudal system prevails among them ; the founder of threw off the mask, put an end to the Bahmanî each state, after reserving a royal demesne, having dynasty, and became the first of the Barîd dynasty partitioned the land among his relations, on the of Bidr. Two other chiefs also made themselves terms of obedience and of military service. They, independent; the one, Kûtb Kûlî, a Tûrkmân from in their turn, divided their lands on similar terms; Persia, founded the dynasty of Kûtb Shâh, at and thus the chain of dependence was formed, as in Golconda, the other, Imâd-ul-Mûlk, of a family of feudal Europe. It is interesting to remark how Hindoo converts, that of Imad Shah, at Êlichpûr, similarity of institutions seems to have operated in in Berâr.

forming similarity of character. The Rajpûts had It is hardly necessary to mention that these pride of birth, lofty spirit, and romantic feelings ; states were at continual war with one another and they listened with delight to the spirit-stirring with the adjoining Hindoo states. At length their strains of their bards; they treated their women jealousy of the rajah of Bejayanugur caused a with a degree of respect rare in the East ; they temporary confederacy among them. They united were guided by strict rules of honour in the treattheir forces to attack him, and, in a fierce and

ment of their enemies 3. bloody battle, fought (1565) near Tâlicôta, on the The preceding sketch will, we trust, enable the banks of the Kishna, they defeated his troops, took reader to form a tolerably clear idea of the political himself prisoner, and put him to death in cold

state of India at the time of the accession of Akber. blood, and overthrew his monarchy. They, how

As that monarch was a great political reformer, ever, benefited themselves but little, in consequence

we reserve our account of its social and internal of their mutual jealousies ; and various petty condition till we have narrated the events of his states were formed out of the ruins of his king- reign. dom. The kings of Golconda alone extended their dominions ; they subdued all Warangôl, and conquered the Carnatic as far south as the river Panâr. The kingdom of Gûzerât, though small, became

CHAPTER VIII. the most important of the Mussulman states out of the Deckan; for we may observe all through In- AKBER-Behram Khân-Reduction of various Chiefs-Asof dian history, that Bengal, notwithstanding its Khân-Siege of Chitôr-Marriages with Rajpût Families wealth and its extent, owing probably to the feeble - Reduction of Güzérât-Akber's Temerity-Reduction character of its people, never acts a conspicuous of Bengal-Recovery of Câbul. part in a military point of view. The kings of Güzerât reduced and annexed Mâlwa to their own

With Akber the history of India assumes once kingdom ; they often defeated the Rajpâts, they empire. This noblest and greatest of eastern

more the appearance of that of a potent and regular established their supremacy over Candêsh, made the kings of Berâr and Ahmednugur do them monarchs, distinguished alike by courage, enterhomage, and were frequently engaged in maritime prise, talent, and magnanimity, reduced the whole wars with the Portuguese.

of Hindústân to obedience, and gave it wise laws The native Hindoo states not in the Deckan, at

and political regulations. Many years, however, that time and down to the present day, are those

were occupied in the contests with the various reof the Rajpûts, i. e. Princes’-sons. These seem to

fractory chiefs ; and the enumeration of all his be, as they themselves assert, the descendants of various conflicts would only cause weariness to the

reader. the Cshatriyas of the Laws of Manu. In the states that were overturned by the Mussulmans they he came to the

crown, the government, though he

As Akber was only in his fourteenth year when sank into the mass of the population, devoting themselves almost exclusively to agriculture ; but

was remarkably manly and intelligent for his age, where the nature of the country favoured them, under whose charge his father had placed him,

was of necessity administered by Behram Khần, they retained their independence. The country held by the Rajpûts may be re

and who now received the title of Khân Bâbâ, i. e. garded as lying between the Indus and the Jum

Lord Father, as being guardian of the sovereign. nah, bounded on the south by the Vindhya chain,

Behram was a Turk by birth. He had adhered and extending northwards as far as the parallel of

to Humayun through all turns of his fortune, and Delhi. It thus contains the Sandy Desert and a

his fidelity to Akber was equally firm. But his great part of Central India, being divided by the

temper was arbitrary and his manners haughty and Aravalli hills. To the east of these hills, beginning overbearing. The Ômrahs, who regarded him as no from the north, lie Mewât, Jypûr, Ajmîr, Harâuti,

more than their equal, could ill brook his supeMewâr, Bundescund, and Målwa, containing

many riority, evinced in so offensive a manner ; and disstrong towns and fortresses, such as Jypûr and

content prevailed in the court and camp. Some Ajmîr, Oudipûr and Chitôr in Mewår, Ujên and

of his acts, too, were so flagrantly unjust, as to Bôpâl in Mâlwa, Câlinjer in Bundelcund, Rintam

furnish reasonable ground for apprehension and bôr, Gualiôr, and many others. The general name

complaint. Thus, taking advantage of Akber's for the Rajpût country, to the west of the Aravalli

absence on a hawking party, he put to death Tardi range, is Mârwâr ; it contains the states of Jodpûr, Beg, the general who had lost Delhi to Hêmoo, Jesalmîr, Bîcanîr, and some smaller ones.

As though he had been one of Bâber’s favourites, and these lie in the Desert, their situation has always

3 The last great war among the Rajpûts was of a romantic protected them ; while those to the east of the

character; it was between the rajahs of Jôdpůr and Jypûr, mountains were sometimes subdued, sometimes

for the hand of a princess of Oudipûr. A most copious rendered tributary by the Mussulmans.

account of this people will be found in Colonel Tod's RâjasThe Rajpûts are divided into clans. A kind of thân.

« PrécédentContinuer »