22 AKBAR, EMPEROR OF INDIA, as he was seen at a window, at the same time singing religious hymns. This fanatical enthusiasm of the Hindus for his person Akbar knew how to retain not only by actual benefits but also by small, well calculated devices. It is a familiar fact that the Hindus considered the Ganges to be a holy river and that cows were sacred ani- mals. Accordingly we can easily understand Akbar's pur- pose when we learn that at every meal he drank regularly of water from the Ganges (carefully filtered and purified to be sure) calling it "the water of immortality/'18 and that later he forbade the slaughtering of cattle and eating- their flesh.19 But Akbar did not go so far in his cpnnivance with the Hindus that he considered all their customs good or took them under his protection. For instance he forbade child marriages among the Hindus, that is to say the mar- riage of boys under sixteen and of girls under fourteen years, and he permitted the remarriage of widows. The barbaric customs of Brahmanism were repugnant to his very soul. He therefore most strictly forbade the slaught- ering of animals for purposes of sacrifice, the use of ordeals for the execution of justice, and the burning of widows against their will, which indeed was not established accord- ing to Brahman law but was constantly practiced according to traditional custom.20 To be sure neither Akbar nor his successor Jehangir were permanently successful in their efforts to put an end to the burning of widows. Not until the year 1829 was the horrible custom practically done away with through the efforts of the English. Throughout his entire life Akbar was a tirelessly in- dustrious, restlessly active man. By means of ceaseless activity he struggled successfully against his natural tend- ency to melancholy and in this way kept his mind whole- some, which is most deserving of admiration in an Oriental MNoer, II, 317, 318. */&«., 376, 317. *J. T. Wheeler, IV, I, 173; M. Elphinstone, 526; G. B. Malleson, 176.