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Full text of "Akbar, The Emperor Of India"

AKBAR, EMPEROR OF INDIA.                        39
it possible to win over his people to a spiritual imageless
worship of God? Had he known that the religious re-
quirements of the masses can only be satisfied by concrete
objects of worship and by miracles (the more startling the
better), that a spiritualized faith can never be the posses-
sion of any but a few chosen souls, he would not have pro-
ceeded with the founding of the Din i IlahL And still we
cannot call its establishment an absolute failure, for the
spirit of tolerance which flowed out from Akbar's religion
accomplished infinite good and certainly contributed just
as much to lessening the antagonisms in India as did Ak-
bar's social and industrial reforms.
A man who accomplished such great things and desired
to accomplish greater, deserves a better fortune than was
Akbar's towards the end of life. He had provided for his
sons the most careful education, giving them at the same
time Christian and orthodox Mohammedan instructors in
order to lead them in their early years to the attainment of
independent views by means of a comparison between con-
trasts ; but he was never to have pleasure in his sons. It
seems that he lacked the necessary severity. The two
younger boys of this exceedingly temperate Emperor,
Murad and Danial, died oŁ delirium tremens in their youth
even before their father. The oldest son, Selim, later the
Emperor Jehangir, was also a drunkard and was saved
from destruction through this inherited vice of the Timur
dynasty only by the wisdom and determination of his wife.
But he remained a wild uncontrolled cruel man (as differ-
ent as possible from his father and apparently so by inten-
tion) who took sides with the party of the vanquished
Ulemas and stepped forth as the restorer of Islam. In
frequent open rebellion against his magnanimous father
wrlio was only too ready to pardon him, he brought upon
this father the bitterest sorrow; and especially by having
the trustworthy minister and friend of his father, Abul