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Full text of "Akbar, The Emperor Of India"

I4                        AKBAR, EMPEROR OF INDIA.
lost thereby his greatest possession, his caste, and was
shut out from any intercourse with his equals. Accord-
ingly he was compelled to pass his whole life trembling in
terror before this horrible evil which threatened him. That
a man of Akbar's nobility of character should remove such
an atrocious, yes devilish, decree seems to us a matter of
course; but for the Hindus it was an enormous beneficence.
Akbar sought also to advance trade and commerce in
every possible way. He regulated the harbor and toll
duties, removed the oppressive taxes on cattle, trees, grain
and other produce as well as the customary fees of subjects
at every possible appointment or office. In the year 1574
it was decreed that the loss which agriculture suffered by
the passage of royal troops through the fields should be
carefully calculated and scrupulously replaced.
Besides these practical regulations for the advancement
of the material welfare, Akbar's efforts for the ethical
uplift of his subjects are noteworthy. Drunkenness and
debauchery were punished and he sought to restrain pros-
titution by confining dancing girls and abandoned women
in one quarter set apart for them outside of his residence
which received the name Shaitanpura or "Devil's City."^_
The existing corruption in the finance and customs de-
partment was abolished by means of a complicated and
punctilious system of supervision (the bureaus of receipts
and expenditures were kept entirely separated from each
other in the treasury department,) and Akbar himself care-
fully examined the accounts handed in each month from
every district, just as he gave his personal attention with
tireless industry and painstaking care to every detail in
the widely ramified domain of the administration of gov-
ernment. Moreover the Emperor was fortunate in having
at the head of the finance department a prudent, energetic,
perfectly honorable and incorruptible man, the Hindu To-
12 J. T. Wheeler, IV, I, 173; Noer, I, 4380.