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Full text of "Oriental memoirs : selected and abridged from a series of familiar letters written during seventeen years residence in India : including observations on parts of Africa and South America, and a narrative of occurrences in four India voyages : illustrated by engravings from original drawings"

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Illustrated by Engravings from Original Drazvings. 






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Arrival of the English troops at Surat. . news of Ragobah's defeat on the plains of 
Arras., his flight to Cambay and Surat. . interview with the nabob of Surat. . 
suspense of the English commander. . information of Ragobah's army in Guzerat. . 
resolution to proceed with the English detachment to Cambay. . Ragobah's Ze- 
nana. . interview with the chief and council of Surat at Domus. . reluctance of 
the Hindoos to undertake a sea vo}'age. .voyage from Surat to Cambay.. 
Gons;wa. . Gosaings, their peculiar character. . tides in the gulf of Cambay ; their 
rapidity and danger, .nutee-fish. .land at Cambay. . public visit of the nabob to 
Ragobah. . ceremonies on that occasion. . presents. . distant behaviour of Ragobah 
to the nabob, and marked approbation of Sir Charles Malet, the English resident 
..dress of the princes on this occasion, .hospitality of the nabob. . Ragobah re- 
moves from the city to a summer palace. . public visit of the British commander 

and his staff. . ceremony of making presents in the east. . various particulars 

English detachment encamp at Naranseer, near Cambay. . city of Cambay de- 
scribed. . fortifications . . durbar . . jumma. . mosseid . . Hindoo temple. . statue of 
Parisnaut. .magnificent Mahomedan tombs. . monkeys. . manufactures at Cambay 
. .their decline, .indigo plant, its cultivation and manufacture. . fertility of the 
country. . abundance of provisions. . wells. . cornelians, agates, and Cambay stones 
vol. ii. b 



..character of the nabob, contrasted with that of Ragobah. .weakness and super- 
stition of the latter. . narrow policy and cruelty of oriental courts. . noble character 
of the emperor Akber. . fatal effects of unlimited power, and want of moral obli- 
gation among the higher classes of society. . punishments at Cambay. . asylum of 
many Persian emigrants. . etiquette and ceremonies at an oriental court. . general 
effects of opium, .diversions of the nabob and nobles at Cambay. . literature. . 
sentiment of Omar on burning the Alexandrian library. . Pleasant situation of 
the English head-quarters at Narranseer. .beauty of the country. . game. . wild 
beasts and reptiles. . nabob's gardens. . heat in the English camp. . luxury of cool 
water. . roses and rose water. . news of Ragobah's army marching towards Cambay. . 
the English encampment at Narranseer struck ; the detachment proceed to Darab; 
the junction effected. . number and condition of our allies. . unpleasant en- 
campment at Darah..want of water. . delight of shady groves and living 
streams 5 


Account of a Mahratta army. . composed of various tribes and nations. . armour. . 
jemidars. . feudal system among the Mahrattas. . irregularity of the army, .en- 
campment. . standards. . cavalry officers of distinction. . rich caparison of the horses 
. . chopdars and heralds. . titles of honour. . female names. . distinguishing charac- 
teristic of the officers. . character of Ragobah's chief officers. . magnificence of the 
Indian tents. . military character of the Indians, .business in the durbar tent. . 
superiority of English tactics. . variety of warriors. . Mahomedans from various 
countries. . Nujeeb. . Rajepoots. . Husserat troops. . different orders of cavalry., 
pindarees. .bazar, .brahmins, .superiority of the lowest brahmin over a sovereign 
of another caste. . particulars of a brahmin feast. . Mahratta caste calculated for 
a military life. . pleasures and amusements in camp. . their wives and children. . 
conduct of a family on a march, .provender for cavalry, .dancing-girls, plunder- 
ers, and marauders of various denominations. . number of cattle. . horses in great 
variety, .elephants, for state and service. . their docility, affection, and sagacity 


..extraordinary anecdote of Ragobah's elephants, .camels, their use in an 
Indian army. . general description. . Mahratta wealth and state, .behaviour in 
expectation of a battle, .girdle of battle, for their jewels and papers., her- 
maphrodites in camp, .their number. . distinguishing characteristics and occu- 
pation. . improvement in Mahratta tactics, .method of besieging a city.. war 
rockets • 39 


Envoy to Ragobah's generals at Copperwange from the English commander in 
chief, the means of effecting the junction. . march of the allied army towards 
the enemy, .heat and fatigue. . plague of flies. . country destroyed. . river Saber- 
matty compared with the Nile. . first engagement with the enemy. . retreat, of the 
latter. . field of battle. . doubly shocking in a hot climate. . action at Mahter. . 
behaviour of the enemy. . treatment of spies. . patience of the Hindoos. . Kairah 
a city in Guzerat, . situation of the peasantry. . Guzerat villages. . country women 
. .amusements, .adverse change by the war. .action at Hyder-abad. . catastrophe 
among our allies, .combat between five brothers. . council of war. .march to the 
south parts of Guzerat. . beauty of the country. . march to Neriad. . history of the 
Guikwar family. . conduct of Futty Selling and Conda Row. . Neriad laid under 
contribution. . character of the Bhauts. . their occupation, high estimation, and 
peculiar customs. . refuse to pay their share of the assessment, .massacre on the 
occasion. . conduct of the brahmins. . sacrifice of two old women. . poisoned wells 
..march to the plains of Arras. . omens. . superstition of the brahmins and astro- 
logers on reaching Arras. . battle on those plains, .treachery of Hurra Punt., 
defeat of the enemy, .loss in the English detachment, .loss of the enemy., 
care of their dead, compared with horrid scenes on the field of battle. . 
flying hospital. . Ragobah's grant of thirty lacs of rupees, as a donation to 
the British army.. names of Ragobah..the allied army cross the Myhi..pass 
of Fazal-poor. . march to Baroche. . beautiful and expensive well., beauty and 
fertility of the country. . robbers and plunderers, .Thevenot's remarks on that 
part of Guzerat 69 



Encampment at Baroche. .description of that city. . silver mosque. . Bawrhan, . trade 
. . Nerbudda river. . Hindoo women bathing, .discontent in Ragobah's army., 
desertion of his troops. . change of measures. . resolution to pass the rainy sea- 
son in Guzerat. .march from Baroche towards Dhuboy, destined for winter quar- 
ters. . extreme heat. . extract from Bernier. . night march. . confusion of the enemy 
. . cause of not more effectually surprizing them. . pass of Bowa-peer. . encamp at 
Th a in Telow. .sudden setting in of the monsoon, .horrors of the night, .destruc- 
tion of the camp, and death of persons and cattle by the tempest, .situation in 
die commanding officer's tent. . rise of the water. . serpents, scorpions, and reptiles 
in the village huts. . proceed one mile towards Dhuboy. . renew the march. . diffi- 
culty of getting on the artillery. . winter quarters in Dhuboy. .description of that 
city. . durbar. . adjutant bird, .encampment of Ragobah's army at Bellapoor. . 
situation of the country, .journey to Bellapoor. . rise of the Dahder. . inclemency 
of the weather. . females in Ragobah's zenana. . an intrigue witli Esswant Row. . 
his execution, and the death of his mistress. . inconveniences of a camp in the 
rainy season. . miscellaneous remarks. . duplicity and chicanery of the Indians. . 
comparison between the Asiatic and English character. . cruelty of brahmins., 
anecdote of their dire revenge. . division of castes. . Mahratta character. . scruples 
of the Indians respecting food, .story of some palanquin-bearers, on that subject 
. . anecdote of Narrain Doss. . water for drinking. . scruples concerning it. . vessels 
for cooling it. . mangos. . Mahratta tents. . illness of the writer. . conclusion of the 
war. . subsequent fate of Ragobah.. . Memorial relative to a Mahratta army, by 
Sir Charles Malet Ill 


Departure from Bombay to England, .regret on leaving India, .sail for the Cape of 
Good Hope in the Betsy schooner. . Cape Bassos and the coast of Africa. . mer- 
maids at Mosambique and Mombaz ; various accounts of those creatures. . Melinda 


..calms and unpleasant weather near the equator. . Cape St. Sebastian. . cur- 
rents; storms near the Cape of Good Hope, .whales. . Bay Falso, .Simmons' har- 
bour. . Isthmus between Table Bay and Bay Falso. . Dutch settlement at Simmons' 
harbour, .journey from thence to Cape Town. . carriages. . roads. . general aspect 
of the country. . protea. . account of the Cape. . climate, variation of the compass, 
and weather. . Table mountain. . contiguous mountains. . Cape town. . public and 
private buildings. . gardens; fruits, flowers, trees. . menagerie. . inhabitants of Cape 
town. . character of the men, inferior to that of the women. . disproportion of the 
sexes. . boarding houses. . cheapness of living. . fraud of the washerwomen. . price 
of different articles. . scarcity of timber, .beauty and variety of the plants., dis- 
tant farms. . character of the Dutch farmers; their cruelty and savage traits- 
some causes assigned for their degeneracy. . great stock of those farms, .vineyards 
.. Dutch government of the colonj^. . first establishment there. . character of the 
Hottentots. . Boshmen. . Caffraria. . wild animals at the Cape. . hippopotamus. . 
rhinoceros. . . camelo-pardalis. . . zebra. . . monkeys. . . orang-outang. . mongoose. . 
mocock. .birds in southern Africa. . ostrich. . cassowary. .Java pigeon. . secretary 
bird. . penguins. .African lions, .villas, gardens, and farms near Cape town., 
variety and excellence of the fruits. . tent wine. . flowers and vegetables, .myrtle 
hedges. . Constantia and its vineyards. . grand mountain scenery near the Cape.. 
Voyage from thence to St. Helena. . beauties at sea. . St. Helena pigeons. . gene- 
ral appearance and geographical description of the island. . volcanic eruption. . 
fortifications, .town. . public and private buildings, .romantic appearance of the 
country, beauty of the interior vallies. . climate. . inhabitants. . first establishment 
of the English, .government, .cattle, .provisions, fruits and vegetables, .birds. . 
rose-linnets, Java sparrows. . trees and plants, indigenous and exotic. . fish. . sail 
for England, .unpleasant weather near the line. . anchor on the coast of Guinea 
..unfortunate detention there, .sultry weather- . apathy of the crew .. meet a 
French vessel, .variety offish on the gold coast. . Medusa. . sharks. . favourable 
winds.. Cape de Verd Islands. . Fogo. . Azores. . sudden tempest .. St. Mary's 
island, .arrival at Corke. . Cove of Corke. .departure from Ireland, .rapture on 
landing in England. . conclusion 163 



The author's return to India. .Sir William Jones's reflections on the oriental seas., 
his high character. . the author's residence at Bombay, . departure for Baroche. . 
voyage to Surat. .journey from thence to Baroche. . Senassees. . wells. . illustrations 
of scripture. . Dr. Fryer's journey from Surat to Baroche. .general character of 
the Indians. . first establishment of a factory at Baroche by Sir Thomas Boe. . 
trade of the ancients with Barygaza, or Baroche. . Periplus. . dangerous tides in 
the gulf of Cambay. . modern cotton-trade at Baroche. . simplicity of the manu- 
factures, .revenues of Baroche. . purgunna. .villages. . rich soil. . variety of crops 
. . animals. . birds. . fruits. . water-melon. . pomegranates. . oriental wines, sherbets, 
ice. .oils and perfumes. . tribe of Borahs, . Mahomedan fakeers. . penances of In- 
dian devotees. . origin of the very severe austerities of the Hindoos. . l'Hospice of 
Grand St. Bernard. . Hindoo colleges. . Jattaras. . Succulterah. . expiation at Sucla- 
Tirtha. . Mahomedan festivals. . death of Houssain. . English villa near Baroche. . 
gardens. . irrigation, .address to a Hindoo Naiad. . serpents, guardians of Indian 
gardians. . reputed among the good genii, .visit of a Cobra di Capello to a young 
lady's bath, .ordeal trials by water and rice. . singular anecdote of a robbery. . 
mongoose. . ichneumon. . variety of snakes. . provisions at Baroche. . fish in the 
Nerbudda. . markets at Baroche. . price of labour. . lower classes of societ}'. . court 
of Adawlet at Baroche. . Jumma Musseid. . silver mosque. . mausoleum of Baba- 
Rahan. . histoiy of that saint. . illustration of scripture respecting idols cast to the 
bats. . comparison between modern Hindoos and Mahomedans. . bigotry of the 
latter. . letter from Tippoo Sultaun. .dress of an oriental female. . rajhpoots. . 
origin of that high caste, .anecdotes concerning them., their noble character., 
extraordinary circumstance relating to a rajhpoot family in the Baroche pur- 
gunna. . singular exit of a Hindoo family at Bombay. . trial and execution 
of the superstitious Hindoo which occasioned it. .anecdotes from Lord Teign- 
niouth ; 21 1 



Excursion of a shooting party in Turcaseer, its uninhabited and savage forests, .wild 
beasts, .monkeys, .bheels. . serpents, .locusts, their appearance and astonishing 
depredations. . locusts in Egypt, . whether quails or locusts the food of the Israelites 
in the desert. . feathered game of Guzerat. . Florican. . Culleicu and Sahras. . anec- 
dote of a Sahras. . beauty ofthebaubul, or acacia. . curious instinct and sagacity 
in the baubul caterpillar. . further description of the baya, or bottle-nested spar- 
row. . instinct of various animals. . Addison's remarks thereon. . Raje-pipley hills 
..Tiger mountain, .number of wild animals in those unfrequented regions., 
size of the royal tiger, .various habits of tigers., of hyenas and other beasts of 
prey. . rhinoceros, the unieorn of scripture. . wild hogs, .bears, .anecdote of their 
dreadful brutality 27 1 


Appointment to Dhuboy. . revenue of the purgunna. . peninsula of Guzerat. .reve- 
nues of that province, .general division of Hindostan. .city of Dhuboy. .inhabi- 
tants. . tank .. aqueduct .. festivity at the commencement of the rains. . sacred 
groves. . durbar. . mischievous monkeys. . curious anecdote of their agency. . setting 
in of the monsoon, .beauty and fertility of the surrounding country. . Powaghurr 
..source of the Nerbudda. . story of Narmada from the Hindoo mythology., 
address to Narmada. . ablutions of the Hindoos. . uncharitableness of the brahmins 
..goddess of the poor. . recluse brahmins of Dhuboy .. missionaries from the 
church of Rome in India, .requests of the brahmins, .metempsychosis, .high privi- 
leges of the brahmins, .low estate of the Chandala caste. . cruelty of the Jaina 
brahmins. . account of the Jainas. . extraordinary penance of a brahmecary. . singu- 
lar anecdotes of religious Hindoos. . Mahomedan persecutions. . extracts from 
colonel Wilks's history of Mysore. . administration of justice in British India. . 
panchaiet, or Indian jury, .contradictions in the Hindoo character, .distinction of 


castes explained. . worshippers of Siva. . mystical poetry of the Asiatics. . com- 
ments by Sir William Jones, .sublimity of the book of Job. . walls and lowers of 
Dhuboy. .western colonnade. . comparison betweea the porticos at Dhuboy and 
Pompeia. .city of Pompeia. . Roman villa near its entrance, .expense of the Dhu- 
boy fortifications. . city gates. . gate of Diamonds, a general resort of the inhabit- 
ants. . the woman of Samaria. . anecdote of Angelica Kauffman. . lines on a cele- 
brated picture by Guercino. . serpents at Dhuboy. . guardians to Nero. . story of 
the origin and magnificence of Dhuboy. .its destruction by the Mahornedans, 
and subsequent history. . custom of giving a new name to oriental cities. . Dhuboy 
surrounded by the Mahratta army, .official information relating to the purgunna 
of Dhuboy, Zinore, and Bhaderpoor. . their revenues, commerce and agriculture 
briefly stated, .the principal towns in those districts. . reason for inserting the 
preceding documents 293 


Administration of justice in Dhuboy. . trial by panchaut. .satisfactory to the Indians 
..inefficacy of the English laws among the Hindoos. . sacred trees in the durbar 
courts, .veneration of the Scythians and other nations for trees. . Hindoo religion 
supposed to be coeval with the descendants of Noah, who emigrated from higher 
Asia, .minutes in the Dhuboy courts of justice. . three extraordinary trials., in- 
fanticide, .suicide common among the young Hindoo widows. . difficulty of pre- 
venting it. .singular petition in the court of Adawlet at Baroche. .remarks on the 
devils or genii mentioned therein. . general belief in their agency.. Dr. Fryer's 
account of them. . believed among the ancients. . Dr. Buchanan's opinion. . gene- 
ral remarks. . Lord Teignmouth's ideas of the Indian character. . five women put 
to death as sorcerers. . modes of ascertaining the guilt of the accused, .singular 
anecdotes, .necromancy of the Greeks. . demons in sacred and profane history., 
persons possessed by them. . illustrated from Virgil and other writers. . hypothesis 
placed in a full and fair light from an extraordinary occurrence in the life of Dr. 
Townson. .letter from Lord North. . prayer of Dr. Townson on the subject of evil 
spirits, .remarks by archdeacon Churton, illustrative of this curious subject.. 


hidden treasure common among the ancients; anecdote of Nero's credulity on 
that subject from Tacitus, .wonderful accumulation of Asiatic wealth. . guarded 
by serpents, .an extraordinary event of this nature in the Dhuboy purgunna. .one 
similar at Surat. . charmers of serpents. . susceptible of music. . sacred serpents. . 
anecdote of a naga, or hooded snake. . ordeal trials permitted at Dhuboy. . ac- 
count of one. . general ordeals. . Dherna, a most extraordinary kind of arrest, and 
punishment. . Koor equally singular and cruel. . Hindoos buried alive, .story 
of a suttee, or a self-devoted Hindoo widow reclaimed. . ablutions and other 
customs in India, .salt the symbol and pledge of hospitality, .anecdotes to illus- 
trate , 359 


General state of agriculture in Guzerat. .soil, .produce, .various crops. . cotton. . 
. .batty, .juarree. . bahjeree, and smaller grains, .shrubs and seeds for oil. .palma 
christi . . bhang . . tobacco. . betel. . poppy, opium. . sugar-cane. . double crops. . 
enclosures, .morning beauties in India, .best mode of preserving health. . Guzerat 
villages described, .tanks and wells. . allusions in scripture to living waters and 
verdant scenery. . hospitality to travellers in Guzerat. . peasantry. . right of landed 
property. . mode of cultivation, and appropriation of the produce. . massaulchee. . 
illustration of a parable, .washerman, .cullies, or farm-yards. . oppression of the 
zemindars .Hindoo and Mosaic charities, .unfavourable traits in the brahmin 
character, and the Hindoo religion, .human sacrifices, .contrasted with Christi- 
anity. . reflections on this subject, .jaghires and different tenures in Guzerat.. 
scale of oriental despotism, .anecdote of cruel oppression at Tatta. . Mahratta 
cruelty in the sheep-skin death. . Dr. Robertson, on landed property in India. . 
extract from Wilks's History of Mysore. . Hindoo bill of sale of land., lease of 
land at Baroche. .instructions on taking charge of Dhuboy. .minute respecting 
landed property, and farming in Guzerat. .remark from Bombay. . replica- 
tion from Baroche. .conclusion in favour of leases to respectable farmers in 
India , 40? 




Purgunna, capital and villages. . necessity of making good the roads and high-ways 
after the rains, .elucidates a passage of scripture, .another passage explained. . 
beauty of the country at the close of the rainy season. . morvah-tree, its valuable 
produce. . palmyra tree. . sugar-cane. . bamboo. . curious banian-trees. . wells. . few 
wants of the natives. . simplicity of Indian manufactures. . curious method of 
ascertaining the weight of an elephant. . fraudulent deceptions in weighing cot- 
ton. . cunning and duplicity of the Hindoos, .banians at Surat. . excursions in pur- 
gunnas. . use and beauty of a summiniana. .interviews with oriental travellers., 
beauties of Cachemire. . Bernier's account of Aurungzebe's journey to that pro- 
vince. . conversation with a travelling brahmin at Dliuboy ; his account of British 
India under Mr. Hastings. . felicity of his government. . opposed to the misrepre- 
sentations in England. . address from Calcutta on his acquittal. . real character of 
Mr. Hastings. . his retirement at Dalesford. . description of the Hindoo mendi- 
cants. . visit of these naked philosophers at Bombay. . mode of getting rid of 
such troublesome companions. . anecdote of a brabmin destroying a microscope. . 
the difference between the Hindoo metempsychosis and christian philosophy. . 
vanjarrahs. .extraordinary feats of Indian jugglers. . Hindoo drama. . Arab and 
Scindian infantry in India, .hawking. . fighting rams. . hospitality of the Arabs. . 
power of music on antelopes in a spectacle at Poonah. . its effect on different ani- 
mals. . destruction of monkeys by tigers. . cruelty of Bheels and Gracias. . presen- 
tation of a Gracia's head, .cruelty of the ancients in collecting the heads of their 
enemies, extending down to Hyder Ally.. death of an Indian female from Futty 
Silmg's seraglio. . Hindoo southsayers, and diviners. . wilds of Baderpoor. . royal 
spo.tts of the Mogul princes. . description of a tiger-hunt by Sir John Day. . . . 449 


Zinore purgunna. . town of Zinore. . groves and temples. . manufactures. . extreme 
fineness of Indian muslin informer times, . primitive simplicity of the natives.. 


presents from zemindars. . brahmins of Guzeiat. .jattaras, and religious customs 
near the Nerbudda. .history of Shaik Edroos, a leper. . pilgrimage to Mecca.. 
Hindoo deities. . Kama-deva, the god of love, .sacred bulls, .religious groves. . 
phallic deities, .shapeless statue of the Paphian Venus, .wretched state of the 
Chandalahs. . anecdote of swallowing a sword. . mud-palace at Zinore. . cruelty of 
zemindars. . amiable traits in the Hindoo character. . Bhauts and Churruns. . 
fortune-telling brahmins, .three extraordinary anecdotes of prophecies fulfilled, 
after predictions by a celebrated soothsayer. . reflections on these singular rela- 
tions 501 





Much is the good to India's sons assign'd, 
Their wants are few, their wishes all confiii'd : 
Yet let them only share the praises due ; 
If few their wants, their pleasures are but few : 
For every want that stimulates the breast, 
Becomes a source of pleasure when redrest. 
Whence, from such lands each pleasing science flies, 
That first excites desire, and then supplies; 
Unknown to them, when sensual pleasures cloy, 
To fill the languid pause with finer joy; 
Unknown those powers that raise the soul to flame, 
Catch every nerve, and vibrate through the frame. 




Arrival of the English troops at Surat — news of Ragobah's defeat on 
the plains of A tras — his fight to Cambay and Surat — interview 
with the nabob of Surat — suspense of the English commander — 
information of Ragobah's army in Guzerat — resolution to proceed 
with the English detachment to Cambay — Ragobah's Zenana— inter- 
view with the chief and council of Surat at Domus — reluctance 
of the Hindoos to undertake a sea voyage — voyage from Surat to 
Cambay — Gongwa — Gosaings, their peculiar character — tides in 
the gulf of Cambay; their rapidity and danger — nutee-fsh — land 
at Cambay — public visit of the nabob to Ragobah — ceremonies on 
that occasion — presents — distant behaviour of Ragobah to the 
nabob, and marked approbation of Sir Charles Malet, the English 
resident — dress of the princes on this occasion — hospitality of the 
nabob — Ragobah removes from the city to a summer palace — public 
visit of the British commander and his staff — ceremony of ?naking 
presents in the east — various particulars. 

English detachment encamp at Narranseer, near Cambay — city of Cam- 
bay described — -fortifications — durbar— jumma — mosseid — Hindoo 
temple — statue of Parisnaut — magnificent Mahomedan tombs — 
monkeys— manufactures at Cambay — their decline — indigo plant, 
its cultivation and manufacture — fertility of the country — abun- 
dance of provisions — wells — cornelians, agates, and Cambay sto?ies — 
character of the nabob, contrasted with that of Ragobah — weak- 

ness and superstition of the latter — narrow policy and cruelty of 
oriental courts — noble character of the emperor A char — fatal effects 
of unlimited power, and want of moral obligation among the higher- 
classes of society — punishments atCambay — asylum of many Persian 
emigrants — etiquette and ceremonies at an oriental court — general 
effects of opium — diversions of the nabob and nobles at Cambay — 
literature — sentiment of Omar on burning the Alexandrian library. 
Pleasant situation of the English head-quarters at Narranseer — beauty 
of the country — gatne — wild beasts and reptiles — nabob's gardens 
— heat in the English camp — luxury of cool water — roses and rose 
water — news of Ragobah's army marching towards Cambay — the 
English encampment at Narranseer struck; the detachment proceed 
to Darah; the junction effected — number and condition of our allies 
— unpleasant encampment at Darah — want of water — delight of 
shady groves and living streatns. 


J p f 

t -;^ r-, 

SrurmveJ if TJ/fa*9n£Ol. 


Jam,, Forbes 1770. 

fcbtC*hA& ly Richard '<',-.■/,_, -M,V /■.■>■ 'Zzngton S ' > 




When the English detachment sailed from Bombay, we were in 
expectation of forming a speedy junction with Ragobah's army in 
Guzerat; but on our arrival at Surat, we found he had experienced 
a sad reverse of fortune; the confederate generals had engaged him a 
few weeks before on the plains of Arras, near the banks of the 
Myhi, and gained a decisive victorv. Ragobah's army was en- 
tirely dispersed, great part of his artillery, elephants, and camp- 
equipage taken; and himself with some of his women, Emrut 
Row, an adopted son, and a few confidential friends, entrusted with 
his jewels, fled precipitately from the plains of Arras, on elephants 
and camels, escorted by a troop of cavalry. 

Ragobah first halted at the gates of Cambay, in the hope that 
by means of Sir Charles Malet, the Company's resident at that 
durbar, he might be enabled to embark for Surat; but the nabob, 
dreading the vengeance of the victorious army, refused to receive 
the fugitive prince. The resident immediately procured guides to 
conduct him to Bownagur, and sent vessels thither which con- 
veyed him in safety to Surat. At parting, Ragobah left with Sir 
Charles Malet all his remaining treasure and jewels; among the 
latter were some valuable strings of pearl, with diamonds and 


precious stones belonging lo the peshwa family, amounting to six 
lacs of rupees: the whole value in money, bonds, and government 
securities, was said to exceed forty-three lacs, upwards of half a 
million sterling. Perhaps some of the latter might be of imaginary 
worth; but the deposit shews the confidence placed by the unfor- 
tunate prince in an English individual, in preference to an inde- 
pendent oriental sovereign, surrounded by his army and fortifica- 

The arrival of the English forces at Surat gave Ragobah con- 
sequence; he cherished hope, and soon after our landing had his 
first interview with the nabob, who visited him at the house al- 
lotted for his residence, and from thence accompanied him in state 
to one of his summer-palaces, with the usual magnificence: to shew 
Ragobah the greater honour, his body-guard consisted of a bat- 
talion of English sepoys. In the hall of audience he was placed 
on an elevated throne covered with cloth of gold, while the nabob 
and his sons sat on the carpet. The nabob on this occasion pre- 
sented Ragobah with gold and silver coin as a mark of respect; 
and afterwards with an elephant, an Arabian horse, and a profu- 
sion of shawls and keemcobs, in token of friendship. 

We passed some time in suspense at Surat: at length Ra- 
gobah receiving intelligence that his generals in Guzerat had col- 
lected his scattered forces at Copperwanje, resolved to pro- 
ceed to Cambay with the English detachment, and from thence 
endeavour to effect a junction with his army. We embarked at 
Surat, and proceeded in boats down the Taptee; but Ragobah 
deeming it necessary to perform some religious ceremonies at a 
Hindoo temple near Domus, a village not far from the entrance 


of the river, he landed there with his family. Several of us followed 
his example, from a wish to explore the country. No tents were 
pitched, nor any accommodation provided for the ladiesof his zenana, 
who were obliged to pass some time under the humble roof of the 
English serjeant posted at Domus. There I first saw these females, 
seven in number, besides their attendants: one of them was hand- 
some, all richly drest, and covered with jewels ; they appeared 
distressed at their situation, and were much struck by the novelty 
of Europeans. While we gratified their curiosity, we enjoyed no 
common opportunity of indulging our own; but a jealous eunuch 
soon deprived us of this mutual satisfaction, and hurried them to 
the temple, whither Ragobah had retired. 

The next morning some splendid tents were pitched for the 
reception of the chief and council at Surat, who came to pay a 
visit of ceremony to Ragobah at Domus: on taking leave the 
chief presented him, in the name of the English company, with 
three Arabian horses, some bales of the finest scarlet broad-cloth, 
and a valuable assortment of shawls, keemcobs, and muslin. The 
English gentlemen accompanied Ragobah from the tent of audi- 
ence to the water-side; where, previous to his entering the boat, 
he stood for some time, without his turban, gazing steadfastly at the 
sun; he then prostrated himself on the ground, and continued a few 
minutes in silent prayer. 

On reaching Surat-bar the weather was boisterous, and we 
encountered so rough a sea that it was impossible to reach our 
respective vessels. While attempting to gain the yacht appro- 
priated to the colonel and his staff, we were obliged to take refuge 
in the vessel destined for Ragobah and his family, where we had 


another opportunity of seeing his concubines and female attend- 
ants in a state of terror and distress to which the Hindoo women 
are seldom accustomed. We lamented the pride, vanity, and want 
of feeling in the Asiatics thus exposing the tender sex to tne 
fatigues and dangers of war. 

Many religious brahmins and strict professors among the high 
casles of Hindoos censured Ragobah for undertaking a voyage by 
sea, in which they alleged he not only deviated from the esta- 
blished laws and customs of his tribe, but thought he acted con- 
trary to ihe divine injunction. He might have pleaded that 
" necessity has no law," for he certainly had no other alternative. 
The religious Hindoos, like the ancient Magi, and many of their fol- 
lowers among the modern Parsces, consider the sea as a sacred 
element; and, as Tacitus observes of the Parthian magi, " to spit 
in it, or to defile the purity of the waters by the superfluities of 
the human body, was held to be profane and impious." 

The Greeks and Romans seem also to have had a natural dread, 
if not an aversion to the sea, and a horror of dying, or being ship- 
wrecked on that element, and by that means deprived of the fune- 
ral rites and ceremonies which they deemed essential. Ovid, 
miserable as he was on his banishment, seemed to prefer even 
death itself to the danger of a voyage by sea, most probably from 
a fear of being consigned to the deep without the rites of burial. 

" Demite naufragium, mors mihi munus erit." 

" Death would my soul from anxious troubles ease, 
" But that I fear to perish by the seas." 

The voyage from Surat to Cambay was uninteresting; hazy 


weather prevented our seeing any thing of the surrounding shores 
on the first day: the next morning we passed the low sandy plains 
near the entrance of the river Nerbudda, in the Baroche Pur- 
gunna; there were no enclosures, and only a few trees round the 
villages. As we proceeded up the gulf, the atmosphere cleared, 
and we distinguished the western hills at Bownagur: the eastern 
view continued to present a flat country, richly cultivated. We 
anchored that evening with the ebb tide near Gongwa, a village 
embosomed in mango and tamarind trees, surrounded by corn- 
fields, pasturage, flocks of sheep, herds of cattle, and large ricks 
of wheat; monkeys, squirrels, peacocks, doves, and smaller birds 
cheered the groves; the plains were animated by an immense num- 
ber of antelopes. 

This village belongs exclusively to the Gosaings, or Senassees, 
a caste of religious Hindoo mendicants, described in another place, 
who march in large bodies through the provinces of Hindostan, 
and levy heavy contributions : they are sometimes hired as auxilia- 
ries, being an athletic race, brave and hardy, seldom encumbered 
with drapery, and often entirely naked: these gymnosophists at 
Gongwa acknowledge a superior of their own tribe, and seem con- 
tented with their fertile district, which they enjoy unmolested by 
paying an annual tribute to the Mahratlas. Some of us landed 
and were hospitably entertained with milk, butter, and a variety 
of fruit. Unlike the generality of Hindoos, these Gosaings do not 
burn their dead, but bury them, and, what is more extraordinary, 
often inhume them before they expire. On this occasion, when a 
patient is deemed past recovery, his friends dig a grave, and 
placing him in a perpendicular posture, put an earthen pot over 

VOL. II. c 


his head, fill the grave with mould, and immediately erect a tomb 
of masonry over the devoted victim. A living wife is sometimes 
thus interred with her dead husband. These superstitious rites 
seem to be more cruel and absurd than those on the banks of the 
Ganges, where the Hindoos carry their dying friends, that its sacred 
stream may receive their last breath. 

When the tide had ebbed a few hours, we were left aground; 
and before the flood made, the gulf was perfectly dry for many 
leagues around us. The tides flow there with amazing rapidity, and 
occasion fatal accidents; when the south-west monsoon blows 
strong, they are said to rush faster than the swiftest horse can 
gallop, and sometimes rise to the height of forty feet. The flood 
carried us on with wonderful velocity, but with a fair wind, fine 
weather, and skilful pilots, we were not apprehensive of danger. 
The quicksands in the Cambay gulf are frequently alarming; con- 
stantly shifting by the conflux of the tides, they render the naviga- 
tion difficult, and form large banks entirely across, which prevent 
ships and vessels of heavy burden sailing higher than the Ner- 
budda; the small craft, convoyed by light gallivats, proceed to 

Our anchorage, when the flood rushed up the gulf, like the bore 
of the Ganges, resembled Alexander's fleet at the mouth of the 
Indus; which probably consisted of the same kind of vessels, em- 
ployed for a similar purpose, the embarkation of troops and war- 
like stores, on an expedition to the peaceful provinces of Hiudos- 
tan. Arnan mentions several Grecian vessels that were left dry 
on the sands by the ebb-tide, being overset by the velocity of the 
flood. Our fleet would have shared the same fate had not each 


vessel been supported by strong poles. When the water retires 
the mud and sands of the Cambay gulf swarm with millions of a 
small fish called a nutee, in taste resembling an eel, but not in 
form; it seldom exceeds four or five inches in length; and when 
washed from the slimy mud, in which it delights, the body 
appears beautifully spotted, and the fins variegated with shades 
of blue. 

We anchored on the 17th in Cambay road, about a mile and 
a half from the city. Ragobah and his family immediately 
landed, and preceded to the tents pitched near the water-side for 
their accommodation. The next morning I accompanied the 
commanding officer and his staff on shore, to be present at the 
nabob's first visit to Ragobah, who was now before his gates in a 
different character from that of a fugitive. When the etiquette 
and ceremonials of this interview were arranged, the nabob left 
his durbar, and came in state to Ragobah's tents, accompanied by 
Sir Charles Malet, the English resident at Cambay, and many Per- 
sian noblemen. After the usual formalities, the nabob offered him 
gold and silver coin; the acknowledgment from an inferior to his 
superior: he then presented him with an elephant richly capari- 
soned, two Arabian horses, with a variety of keemcobs, shawls, 
and muslin. Emrut Row and the English gentlemen received 
presents according to their respective rank. 'J 'he conversation, 
as customary on such visits, was ceremonious and polite; and on 
the part of the nabob particularly respectful, as if desirous of ob- 
literating the unfavorable impression of his conduct when Ragobah, 
flying from a conquering army, was denied protection in his capi- 
tal, and the means of embarkation from it: while Sir Charles, on 


his own responsibility, supplied him with guides and vessels 
to convey him out of reach of his pursuers. Ragobah's behaviour 
to the nabob sufficiently indicated that he had not forgot his treat- 
ment; especially when addressing Sir Charles, he said aloud in 
full durbar, " You are indeed my friend! you did far more for me 
than my father Badjerow: he gave me life; you saved that life, 
and with it, preserved my honour and my life!" Having made 
this speech, Ragobah presented each guest with a leaf of spices 
and betel nut, and sprinkling us with rose-water, concluded the 

At this interview Ragobah was dressed in a short muslin vest, 
rich drawers, and a profusion of jewels; the nabob wore a plain 
muslin robe, and small white turban, adorned only with a fresh 
gathered rose. State elephants, led horses, and all kind of Asiatic 
pomp had been prepared for Ragobah's procession from the tents 
to a house provided for him in the city, whither the nabob, the 
commander in chief, and the principal English gentlemen then 
attended him. The heat and dust during the cavalcade were almost 
insupportable, and the crowd of spectators immense. On leaving 
Ragobah, the commander and his staff repaired to the factory, and 
remained for several days with Sir Charles Malet, until a camp 
was formed on the plains of Narranseer, a little distance from the 
city. The nabob, in the style of Eastern hospitality, sent us a 
superb dinner of fifty covers, cooked in the Mogul taste; consist- 
ing of pilaurs, keb-abs, curries, and other savoury dishes, with a 
profusion of rice variously dressed in the most delicate manner. 
This was repeated for several clays. 

Ragobah afterwards removed to a summer-palace belonging 


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to the nabob, without the city walls ; where he established a sort of 
court, as peshwa of the Mahratta empire, in which character the 
field and staff officers, and a few other gentlemen of the British 
army, were introduced to him by the commanding officer. The 
ceremonies at the Mahratta durbar were similar to the Mogul 
visits already described, and the presents of the same nature; 
shawls, muslins, and rich stuffs, differing in quality and quantity 
according to the station of the visitors. 

This custom of making presents prevails throughout Asia, and 
has done so from the remotest antiquity; no public visits are made 
without this ceremony: in many parts, among the inferior classes, 
a flower, fruit, or a cardamom, is offered out of respect at familiar 
visits: an Indian never requests a favour from his superior with an 
empty hand. When the aged patriarch sent his sons before the 
ruler of Egypt, he said, " Take of the best fruits in the land, and 
carry the man a present; a little balm, a little honey; spices, and 
myrrh, nuts, and almonds." Solomon remarks that a man's gift 
maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men; and 
there is an Arabian proverb to this effect, " tokens accompany 
love; presents are the vehicles of friendship." 

It is not so much the custom in India to present dresses ready 
made to the visitors, as to offer the materials, especially to Euro- 
peans: in Turkey, Persia, and Arabia, it is generally the reverse. 
We find in Chardin that the kings of Persia had great wardrobes, 
where there were always many hundred habits, sorted, ready for 
presents; and that the intendant of the wardrobe sent them to 
those persons for whom they were designed by the sovereign: 
more than forty taylors were always employed in this service. In 


Turkey they do not attend so much to the richness, as to the num- 
ber of the dresses, giving more or fewer, according to the dignity of 
the persons to whom they are presented, or the marks of favour 
the prince would confer on his guests: thus in primeval times 
Joseph gave to each of his brethren changes of raiment, but to his 
favourite Benjamin, he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and 
five changes of raiment. Among the honourable distinctions con- 
ferred by a Persian monarch on Mordecai, he ordered him to be 
clothed with his own royal apparel: the same honour was granted, 
by the king of Babylon to Daniel, who for his excellent wisdom 
was commanded to be clothed in scarlet, and to have a chain of 
gold about his neck. In modern times, when Charles the twelfth 
was made a prisoner by the Turks setting fire to his house at Ben- 
der, the dresses, tents, horse-caparisons richly ornamented with 
gold and jewels, and other valuable articles which had been given 
him in presents, amounted to fifty thousand pounds. 

On our first public visit to Ragobah, it was intimated to me, 
that acting in the double capacity of chaplain to the British troops, 
and secretary to the commander in chief, the peshwa being a 
brahmin, and associating an idea of priesthood or brahminisin to 
the former appointment, the presents allotted to me were on that 
account superior in quality and quantity to those of the other 

One part of Ragobah 's behaviour on these public visits, was 
extremely offensive to the gravity and politeness of the Nabob, 
and the high-born Moguls and Persians who attended him. On 
our first introduction to the brahmin sovereign, the English gentle- 
men were equally astonished and disgusted: a repetition of such 


uncourfly manners in some degree reconciled us to a succession of 
windy explosions from the royal musnud, or elevated cushions on 
which he was seated; we wondered in silence at such an extraor- 
dinary dereliction from every idea of delicacy and decorum: the 
nabobs of Surat and Cambay publicly expressed their abhorrence 
of such unprincely conduct. 

In a Mogul durbar outward manners and etiquette are carried 
to the greatest extent of ceremonious refinement. Orme says " that 
persons of distinction have been known, through a sense of shame, 
to make away w T ith themselves after having committed an involun- 
tary indecorum in the presence of their superiors. There the prince 
is seated in the center of two rows of courtiers, ranged according to 
their respective degrees of station or favour: all is attention to his 
countenance; if he ask a question, it is answered with the turn 
that will please him; if he asserts, all applaud the truth; does he 
contradict, all tremble. A multitude of domestics appear in wait- 
ing, as silent and immoveable as statues. That tribute of obedience 
which a man pays to his superior, he naturally exacts from his in- 
ferior; and where every man is obliged to pay, and expects to receive 
this obedience, it is natural that a check should be put to all out- 
ward indecorum." 

Such refinements are not expected in a Mahratta durbar, al- 
though their public visits and political councils are always con- 
ducted with ceremony and politeness. The indecorous behaviour 
of Ragonauth Row was a prerogative peculiar to himself. 

We found very few of Ragobalr's troops at Cambay, but were 
informed his army was in the Bisnagar province, about eighty miles 
from thence, and that the confederate forces were encamped twenty 


miles nearer, in hopes of preventing a junction with the English. 
The enemy amounted to forty thousand cavalry, and twelve thou- 
sand infantry; bazar-men, foragers, women, and various camp fol- 
lowers, swelled the number to an hundred thousand. 

Thus circumstanced, the English detachment landed the next day 
and marched to the plains of Narranseer, on the north side of Cam- 
bay, or Cambaut, an ancient city terminating the gulf of that name 
in 22° 16' north latitude and 72° 32' east longitude: it is now only 
three miles in circumference, surrounded by a brick wall perfo- 
rated for musquetry, flanked with fifty-two irregular towers, with- 
out fosse or esplanade: the works are out of repair, and the cannon 
in the towers of little consequence. It is built on uneven ground, 
which on the whole may be termed an eminence; the houses, 
mosques, and tombs reach to the walls, and were formerly a part 
of the city founded near twelve hundred years ago, on the site of 
Camanes, mentioned by Ptolemy. 

Cambay, or Cambaut, once famous in oriental history, is now 
entirely changed, and its grandeur mingled with poverty and deso- 
lation; uninhabited streets, falling mosques, and mouldering 
palaces, indicate its ancient magnificence and the instability of 
human structures: formerly every street was fortified, and defended 
by gates; a few in the principal streets still remain, but the greater 
part have shared the common fate of the city. 

The durbar, or nabob's palace, is almost the only large edifice 
in good repair, its exterior appearance is far from elegant; within 
it abounds with small rooms and porticos, surrounding open 
squares, embellished with gardens and fountains, in the Mogul 


Adjoining the durbar is a handsome mosque, called the Jumma 
Mosseid; it was anciently a Hindoo Pagoda, converted into a 
mosque when the Moguls conquered Guzerat; the idols which 
then adorned it are buried beneath the pavement. It forms a 
square of two hundred and ten feet; a succession of domes of dif- 
ferent dimensions, supported by pillars, compose a grand colon- 
nade round the interior area. This temple was once paved with 
white marble, the greater part is now removed, and replaced with 
stone: over the south entrance was a handsome minaret; its com- 
panion having been destined by lightning, was never replaced. 

Cambay is also celebrated for a curious Hindoo temple, which 
I frequently visited. I was first concluded into an open court, its 
walls adorned with a variety of small sculpture, and images in sepa- 
rate niches; on the east side is an inner temple, the whole length of 
the outer square, but only six feet wide, in which are placed a 
number of statues, nearly of the human size, many of white marble, 
some of black basalt, and a few of yellow antique; inferior deities 
in the Hindoo mythology, cast in silver, brass, and other metals, 
were ranged below them. After a present to the brahmins, we 
lighted candles, and descended thirty feet into a large subterrane- 
ous temple, covered by a dome, and entirely dark: on three sides 
of this temple are a number of empty niches, a little above the 
floor; and on the east is an opening into another narrow temple, 
the length of the large one, which contains five images of white 
marble sitting in the eastern manner, two on each side of a throne 
placed under a magnificent canopy in the center, which contains 
the celebrated statue of Parisnaut, one of the principal Hindoo 
deities. I cannot praise the artist's skill although superior to most 



I have seen in India; the countenances express no character, the 
limbs have neither strength nor elegance, and are destitute of the 
graces which characterize the sculpture of ancient Greece. 

In the suburbs of Cam bay are some large mausoleums and 
Mahometan tombs, in the form of octagon and circular temples, 
many in a beautiful style of architecture, and the marble sculp- 
ture of some exquisitely fine. I was informed the dust that worked 
out in finishing the flowers and ornaments were weighed against 
gold, as a compensation to the artist. The grandest was erected 
to the memory of an eminent Mogul, who died of hunger during 
a grievous famine, which almost depopulated this part of Guzerat; 
it appears from the inscription, that during this dreadful scarcity the 
deceased offered a measure of pearls for an equal quantity of grain, 
which not being able to procure, he perished by hunger. 

From the quantity of wrought stones, and scattered relicks of 
marble at Cambay, we may judge of its former wealth and mag- 
nificence; the charge of transporting them thither must have been 
immense, the mountains from whence they are hewn being very 

The trees which shade the houses are filled with monkeys, 
squirrels, doves, and parrots : the monkeys are the only mischievous 
part of these curious citizens; they occupy the roofs of the houses, 
and swarm all over the town, unmolested by the inhabitants. 

Cambay was formerly celebrated for manufactures of chintz, silk 
and gold stuffs; the weavers are now few and poor, nor is there a 
merchant of eminence to be met with, except the brokers under 
the English protection. The population and opulence of this city 
must have been considerable, when the duties on tamarinds alone 


amounted annually to twenty thousand rupees: two principal 
causes for its decline are the oppressive government of the nabob, 
and the retreat of the sea, which once washed the city walls, but 
now flows no nearer than a mile and a half from the south gate. 

Indigo was always a staple commodity at Cambay, where a 
large quantity is still manufactured; its cultivation employs many 
hands in the adjacent districts. When the plant has attained ma- 
turity, the leaves are stripped from the stalks, and infused in a cer- 
tain quantity of water, Avith a small proportion of sweet oil, for 
thirty or forty hours; the water, which has by that time acquired 
a blue tint, being poured off, is left in large flat troughs, until by 
exhalation there remains only a thick sediment; which is made 
into small cakes, and dried in the sun for use. This is the pure 
indigo; it is frequently adulterated with red earth, which adds to 
its weight, but renders it coarse and dull. 

The country in the vicinity of Cambay is fertile and pleasant, 
abounding with wheat and different grain, peculiar to Hindostan; 
many acres are sown with carrots and other vegetables, and ex- 
tensive fields of cotton, erinda, and various shrubs for extracting 
lamp oil, which is much used. Guzerat is naturally one of the 
most fruitful provinces in India; but in the Cambay districts, 
from the indolence of the inhabitants, and the oppressions of the 
government, they plant only from hand to mouth, and cultivate 
neither grain nor fruits that require trouble: mangos and tama- 
rinds, which grow spontaneously, are almost the only fruit-trees; 
in some of the nabob's gardens are a few pomegranates, grapes, 
and limes. 

Cambay is amply supplied with provisions at a reasonable rate; 


for a rupee you purchase twenty pounds of excellent beef; mut- 
ton, veal, and kid, in the same proportion; poultry not so plenti- 
ful, and fish is a rarity; pork in Mahometan towns is never to be 
met with. In this city and its surrounding domain arc fifty thou- 
sand wells, and some very fine tanks; but the nabob, to prevent 
the Mahratta armies from encamping near his capital, drained 
most of the lakes, and cut off their resources. 

Cornelians, agates, and the beautifully variegated stones im- 
properly called mocha-stones, form a valuable part of the trade at 
Cambay. The best agates and cornelians are found in peculiar 
strata, thirty feet under the surface of the earth, in a small tract 
among the Rajepiplee hills, on the banks of the Nerbudda: they 
are not to be met with in any other part of Guzerat, and are gene- 
rally cut and polished in Cambay. On being taken from their 
native bed they are exposed to the heat of the sun for two years : 
the longer they remain in that situation the brighter and deeper 
will be the colour of the stone; fire is sometimes substituted for 
the solar ray, but with less effect, as the stones frequently crack, 
and seldom acquire a brilliant lustre. After having undergone 
this process, they are boiled for two days, and sent to the manu- 
facturers at Cambay. The agates are of different hues; those 
generally called cornelians are black, white, and red, in shades 
from the palest yellow to the deepest scarlet. The variegated 
stones with landscapes, trees, and water, beautifully delineated, are 
found at Copperwange, or more properly Cubbeer-punge, the 
five tombs, a place sixty miles distant. 

While the English troops were detained at Cambay, I resided at 
head-quarters; but spent much of my time with my kind friend the 


English resident in the city, which, with the surrounding dis- 
trict, was then under the dominion of a Mogul prince named 
Mohman Caun, styled nabob of Cambay; his father was nabob 
of Ahmedabad, the capital of Guzerat, when it was conquered 
by the Mahratlas; on that catastrophe he fled to Cambay, 
then only a sea-port to Ahmedabab; there he established his 
government, and at his death was succeeded by his son, whose 
tyranny had lessened the number of his subjects, and reduced 
the remainder to poverty and degradation. His territory was 
small, and badly cultivated; after paying the Mahratta choute, 
or tribute, his annual revenue did not exceed two lacs of rupees: 
which enabled him to keep only a small establishment, and to 
maintain two thousand Scindian and Arabian infantry, and five 
hundred cavalry. 

The nabob was a Mogul of the middle stature, well made, and 
with good features; but his countenance was a true index to a 
heart cruel, revengeful, and suspicious; to this malevolent disposi- 
tion, it was said, his only son had a few months before fallen a 
sacrifice. The nabob was then about fifty years of age, a good 
soldier, and reckoned a consummate politician, on the narrow- 
system of oriental manoeuvring. These are the distinguishing cha- 
racteristics in an eastern sovereign, who is generally a stranger 
to magnanimity, generosity, and all the nobler virtues which con- 
stitute a good prince. Far from aspiring after the happy title of 
the " father of his people," an Asiatic despot studies every mode 
of oppression which avarice can suggest, or intrigue and craftiness 
carry into execution. 


The nabob of Cambay seemed at length to have ingratiated 
himself into Ragobah's good opinion, and made him an offer of 
taking the field and joining the allied army. Few characters could 
be more constrasted than these sovereigns: had the heart of the 
nabob been equal to his abilities, he might have swayed the im- 
perial sceptre, while Ragobah daily exhibited more superstition 
and fanaticism than Aurungzebe ever pretended to, and equalled 
the sanctity of the visionaries and mystics in the professional castes 
of Hindoo devotees. Duino- the detention of the British forces at 
Cambay, when anxiously expecting a junction with Ragobah's 
army, an express arrived from his principal general, containing 
intelligence of importance: the British commander, after wailing a 
proper lime, sent an aid-du-camp to the Mahratta durbar, for the 
necessary information; who was told Ragobah was at his devotions, 
and the lucky moment for opening the dispatches not arrived. On 
sending again the next morning the colonel received for answer 
that the Mahratta sovereign had not finished his religious cere- 
monies. One day in the month of March occurred, during our 
detention at Cambay, which was marked in Ragobah's horoscope 
as peculiarly unlucky: an inauspicious planet would on that day 
affect his destiny, unless averted by a variety of rites and cere- 
monies: the most pious priests and eminent astrologers were con- 
vened to assist the brahmin sovereign; on this eventful day " big with 
the fale of Caesar and of Rome," Ragobah came forth at day-break 
bare-headed, and naked, except a cloth round his loins, watching the 
rising of the sun, and remained until noon with his eyes stedfastly 
fixed on the glorious orb, which shone with uncommon fervency; 


he then retired to the tent set apart for worship, where the ceremo- 
nies continued until midnight: the malignant star had then lost its 
influence, and the next morning opened brighter prospects. 

Cunning generally usurps the place of wisdom and prudence 
in an oriental durbar; superstition assisted in Ragobah's councils, 
and weakened a mind conscious of possessing unlimited power. 
Its fatal effects are not confined to Asiatic courts; the page of his- 
tory presents the same picture in every age : after the corruption 
of the wise and free governments of Greece and Rome, with what 
tyranny and wanton violations of justice and humanity are their 
annals crowded! Although the limits of most Asiatic princes are 
now comparatively small, yet is each licentious nabob too com- 
monly the Nero or Tiberius of his own domain, and his con- 
tracted court presents a scene of ambition, sensuality, and cruelty. 
The oriental annals afford some amiable exceptions; Acber 
stands high in the roll of fame, and vies in every princely virtue 
with a Titus, and an Alfred; his memory is revered throughout 
Hindostan. Often have I heard the wise and the good speak of this 
emperor in as warm language and high colouring as we find in the 
portrait of the son of Onias, one of the finest characters in ancient 
history. I introduce it not only for its truth, but the beauty of 
its figurative language. " How was he honoured among his 
people! as the morning star in the midst of a cloud, and as the 
moon at the full: as the sun shining upon the temple of the Most 
High, and as the rainbow giving light in the bright clouds ; as the 
flowers of roses in the spring, and as lilies by the waters ; as fire 
and incense in the censer, and a vessel of gold set with precious 


slones; as a fair olive-tree, budding forth fruit, and as a cypress 
which groweth up to the clouds !" 

Such is the voice of a grateful people to a wise and beneficent 
prince; the Asiatics still know how to estimate such a character, 
and use the same language: the names of Hastings, Cornwallis, and 
other eminent Englishmen, are dear to their hearts; and, however 
gradual the progress, the good effect of British legislation, blended 
with a due regard to ancient manners and customs, will in time 
be fully appreciated in our extensive empire. The exertions of 
government for the happiness of millions are already felt and 
acknowledged throughout the fertile provinces of Bengal, notwith- 
standing the most deeply-rooted prejudices and attachment to 
caste: if peace continues to extend her olive over British India, we 
shall see commerce, agriculture, art, and science, once more adorn 
and enrich those realms, from whence they emigrated to the 
western world, through the channels of Egypt, Phenicia, and 

At present, in the courts of the nabobs, petty rajahs, and other 
independent despots of India, there is so little sense of moral ob- 
ligation, that no stigma attaches to the man who plots the most 
base and villainous means for attaining the ends of venality and 
corruption; the odium is incurred for not being properly executed. 
Perhaps this censure should be limited to the verge of the durbars, 
courts of justice, and revenue departments of these princes; we 
will hope that the moral sense operates in general amongst the na- 
tives of India, as in those of other countries, although often vitiated 
by the relaxed state of government and society. 


Under these despotic princes, a suspected person is seldom ar- 
raigned in a court of justice, confronted with his accusers, or per- 
mitted the shadow of a trial; so that judgment and condemnation 
are synonimous; and execution prompt, though silent. This is 
certainly a less degree of misery than some European despots 
have inflicted on their subjects, by confinement in the dungeons of 
a Bastile, Inquisition, or a Venetian prison; where the unfortunate 
sufferer drags on a wretched life in solitude and suspense; a prey 
to that weight of misery emphatically styled the sickness of the 
heart arising from hope deferred. 

Capital punishments are seldom inflicted under these adminis- 
trations; fines are more frequent, and more acceptable to all par- 
ties; pardons can generally be purchased for the most atrocious 
crimes between man and man, where the prince or his rulers are 
not affected. It was formerly customary for the nabob to dedicate 
some time every morning to administer justice; that power now 
devolved on a deputy, called the cutwall, who inflicted punish- 
ments, and superintended the inferior officers of police. 

When the English troops landed at Cambay, although fallen 
from its former importance, it was the residence of many Shah 
Zadas, descendants of the Persian kings, and other nobles who 
left that unfortunate country the beginning of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, when Shah Hussein was murdered by Mir Mahmud, and 
the Afghans usurped the sovereign authority: these were followed 
by many more who abandoned Persia when Nadir Shah seized 
the throne, and destroyed the ro}*al line of Saffles. Ahmedabad, 
then under the Mogul government, and Cambay, were the favour- 
ite asylum of those unfortunate emigrants, and of many Persians 



who accompanied Nadir Shah in his memorable expedition to 
India, and remained there with their plunder; Cambay has also 
been the retreat of others who quitted Persia during subsequent 

The Persian language was spoken in great purity at Cambay, 
and there was as much etiquette and ceremony at the durbar, as 
in the most refined courts of Europe; as in other oriental palaces, 
officers in waiting receive a visitor of distinction at their respective 
stations. He is met at the outer gate by one of inferior rank, 
who attends him to the inner court, where he is received by one 
of higher authority, and so in gradation, until he is presented to 
the prince on the musnud, or throne. The reception by the sove- 
reign varies also according to the rank of the visitors; to those of 
exalted birth or station, he advances a few paces, and embraces; 
to others he simply rises, and exchanges the salam, or salutation; 
while the general throng of civil and military officers, and other 
visitors of the durbar, are received with a return of the salem from 
the prince, sitting; when they are conducted by the chopdars, 
gold-slicks, and silver-sticks in waiting, to the station where they 
are to stand or sit during the levee. In a Mogul durbar, while 
the servants are attending with coffee, which is always served, the 
conversation is general; they afterwards proceed to business: if 
presents are intended, they are next produced; ottar of roses, 
betel-nut, or rose-water, offered to each visitor, concludes the 

At visits of the Rajpoots, Gracias, and many other Hindoo 
tribes, opium is presented in liquid and solid preparations with 
the same familiarity as the snuff-box in Europe: the Asiatics are 


so accustomed to this intoxicating drug, that half the quantity 
which they take for recreation, would compose an European into 
the sleep of death. On the Indian it seems to produce the most 
delightful reveries, transports him in idea to elysium, and fascinates 
him with the joys of paradise; makes him gay, lively, and good 
humoured, and his imagination wantons in voluptuous pleasures. 
These dreams of rapture soon terminate, but the fatal consequences 
of the enervating drug are permanent; it soon undermines the con- 
stitution, debilitates the system, and brings on premature old-age. 
Taken before a battle it inspires temporary courage, or rather a 
dreadful phrenzy; among apparent friends its effects are often 
fatal, by causing those who think themselves injured by their supe- 
riors, to speak and act under its influence with an unguarded 
freedom, which is afterwards recollected and punished: there are 
many instances of officers, thus intoxicated, upbraiding an oppres- 
sive despot when surrounded by his courtiers in full durbar. 

The principal diversions of the nabob and his courtiers were 
hawking and hunting, for which the Cam bay districts afford fine 
sport; the game of chess was also very fashionable, but smoking 
the hooka, chewing betel, regaling with opium, and attending to 
the songs and dances of the courtezans, engrossed most of their 
time, not dedicated to business or the retirement of the haram; 
there they pass many hours, and there, under the most oppressive 
government, they remain unmolested: the severest despot respecls 
the female apartment, where none but a husband enters, where a 
brother does not even visit his married sister. 

The Asiatics in general prefer a sedentary life, and are sur- 
prised to see a European walk for exercise or pleasure; much 



more so to behold the English ladies and gentlemen take the trou- 
ble of dancing themselves, when they can have a variety of dancers 
and singers for money: the men like to be well mounted, and give 
a high price for a good horse and sumptuous furniture; they at- 
tend very little to the fine arts, useful improvements, or literary 
fame; their libraries in general contain only a few tracts of oriental 
history, Persian poetry, and Arabian tales, with voluminous com- 
mentaries on the Koran, but they have little knowledge of general 
history and the belles-leltres. When the caliph Omar was solicited 
to spare the Alexandrian library, he replied that its contents either 
did, or did not, agree with Avhat was written in the holy pages of 
the Koran; if the former, he alleged the Koran to be sufficient; 
if the latter, other books were pernicious, and ought to be de- 
stroyed. Omar was an ignorant and furious bigot, but many of 
the succeeding caliphs encouraged letters, and even caused the 
Greek and Latin classics to be translated, when Europe was en- 
veloped in barbarism and monkish ignorance. 

My situation at camp was always at head-quarters: in a beau- 
tiful summer palace belonging to the nabob, on the border of the 
spacious lake at Narranseer, which was always appropriated to 
the use of the commanding officer and his familj r , we passed our 
time as pleasantly as the extreme heat of the weather and anxiety 
respecting the junction with Ragobah's forces would admit. Thetank 
was surrounded by groves of mango and tamarind trees, surmounted 
by the minarets and domes of Cambay: the adjacent plains, cul- 
tivated and enclosed, produced fine crops of cotton, indigo, wheat, 
and other grain; the wilder tracts abounded with deer, antelopes, 
hares, jackals, wolves, and hyenas; the lakes and rivers with 


flamingos, pelicans, ducks, and water fowl in great variety; pea- 
cocks, partridges, quails, doves and green-pigeons supplied our 
table, and with the addition of two stately birds, called the sahras 
and cullum, added much to the animated beauty of the country; 
while monkeys and squirrels, posted in numbers on the trees, ap- 
proached us with the greatest familiarity. The former are very 
large, and when silting in groups at a little distance might have 
been mistaken for the ryuts, or common peasants, who, except a 
turban and cloth round the middle, are as naked as themselves. 
When all these enliveners of the day retired to rest, the camp was 
surrounded by hyenas, wolves, and jackals; the latter hunted in 
large herds, making a dismal and incessant howl. Tigers, wild- 
hogs, and porcupines sometimes sallied forth from the forests, and 
the camp was much infested by serpents, centipedes and scor- 

Ragobah and his family resided in another of the nabob's 
villas, situated on the banks of Narranseer lake, in the midst of 
luxuriant gardens, which abounded on the borders of that exten- 
sive water; after sun-set, the atmosphere was filled with fragrance 
from the orange trees, tuberoses, champahs,and oriental jessamines, 
wafted by gentle breezes over the lake: these scenes were truly 
delightful, especially when illumined by the lunar ray, or the 
emerald-light of the fire-fly, (Lampyris noctiluca) twinkling in 
immense numbers among the flowering shrubs. 

These delightful evenings hardly compensated for our suffering 
during the heat of the day, when the hot winds blew from ten 
in the morning until sun-set, and were so dry and parching that 
our thirst was never quenched: in the soldiers' tents, composed 


only of single canvas, Farenheit's thermometer often rose to 116 
degrees; it sometimes exceeded 114 in the officers' marquees, with 
a fly, or separate awning, rising some feet above the tent. This ex- 
ceeded every thing I had before experienced, and had it continued 
long no European constitution could have supported it: the tran- 
sition between health and fever, life and death, was so sudden that 
medicine had not time to operate, and our men died rapidly; to 
all, respiration became difficult, and an oppressive languor and 
weariness were the general complaint. 

The greatest luxury I enjoyed during this sultry season was a 
visit to the English factory, where the resident had one room dark 
and cool, set apart entirely for the porous earthen vessels contain- 
ing the water for drinking; which were disposed with as much 
care and regularity as the milk-pans in an English dairy: on the 
surface of each water-jar were scattered a few leaves of the Damas- 
cus rose; not enough to communicate the flavour of the flower, 
but to convey an idea of fragrant coolness when entering this de- 
lightful receptacle: to me a draught of this water was far more 
grateful than the choicest wines of Schiraz, and the delicious 
sensations, from the sudden transition of heat, altogether in- 

Chardin mentions that the Persians use rose-water for cleans- 
ing the leather bottles which contain the water for drinking; they 
cause them to imbibe the rose-water, to take off the taste of the 
skin: roses are the delight of the orientals upon all occasions. 
When Doubdan was leaving the holy sepulchre at Jerusalem, the 
people presented his party with nosegays of flowers, and fresh- 
gathered roses, others sprinkled them from bottles of rose-water. 


The nosegays of roses, mogrees, and jessamine, gathered in the cool 
of the morning, and brought in with a basket of fruit and vege- 
tables to the English breakfast-table in India, are very pleasing 
and refreshing: so are the Japan roses, oleanders, and other richly- 
coloured flowers which ornament the gindey and ewer presented 
to each guest for ablution after dinner. 

We continued in an inactive state at Narranseer until the 15th 
of April, when an express arrived with the interesting intelligence 
that Ragobah's generals had collected his scattered forces, and 
were then on their march to Cambay; but as the enemy were near 
them, in great force, they requested that Ragobah and the English 
detachment would proceed as soon as possible, as a speedy junc- 
tion would be of infinite advantage. 

On a confirmation of this news, we struck our tents on the 
sultry plains of Narranseer, and by short marches arrived at Darah, 
where the junction so ardently desired was effected on the 19th of 
April. Ragobah's army was said to consist of thirty thousand 
cavalry and infantry, with about twice as many camp-followers, 
women and children ; but in reality, from this motley mass, there 
were not more than twelve thousand fighting men, commanded by 
four of Ragobah's principal generals; they narrowly escaped the 
ministerial army on the banks of the river Sabermally, who 
reached the pass too late to prevent their crossing, not expecting 
that so large a force could have proceeded with such rapidity; 
for, eluding the vigilance of the. enemy, they marched sixty coss, 
or ninety English miles, without halting, followed by their ele- 
phants, camels, bazar, and baggage. 

Govind Row Guykwar, an independent chieftain of Guzerat, 


and one of Ragobah's principal allies, arrived soon afterwards 
with a body of eight thousand cavalry, but very few infantry in 
proportion; this being all the reinforcement expected, it was 
resolved to march without delay and attack the enemy, then en- 
camped on the banks of the Sabermally. 

On completing this junction with the Mahratta army, the allied 
forces might altogether amount to twenty-five thousand men in 
arms. The English detachment, under the command of colonel 
Keating, consisted of eighty European artillery, and one hun- 
dred and sixty artillery lascars, natives employed in that line; 
five hundred European infantry, and fourteen hundred sepoys, 
with a proportionate number of officers. Our field train of artil- 
lery contained two eighteen pounders, four twelve, and four six 
pounders; two eight-inch mortars, and howitzers of smaller cali- 
ber, with stores and ammunition in great abundance. 

The encampment at Darah, on an arid plain, bare of trees, and 
exposed to the blasts of the hot winds, was intolerable: Ave looked 
back with regret to the lovely lake and shady groves of Narran- 
seer. There was indeed a large tank at Darah, which accom- 
modated us tolerably well before the arrival of Ragobah's forces : 
from that period the concourse of elephants, camels, horses, and 
bullocks, with thousands of men, women, and children, rushing 
into the water, soon destroyed its fluidity, by mingling it with the 
mud, from which with difficulty we strained off a most unpleasant 

When our allies had sufficiently recovered from the fatigue of 
their forced march, we joyfully left our unpleasant encampment at 
Darah, and marched towards the enemy's ground on the banks 


of the Sabermatty, where we promised ourselves the unspeakable 
refreshment of a running stream. We now found by experience 
the beneficent character of the banian-tree, the ficus indica, so fre- 
quently mentioned for its picturesque beauty; we sometimes met 
with one of these umbrageous pavilions, sufficiently extensive to 
shelter a thousand men from the sultry rajs of a meridian sun, 
and found no house so pleasant or cool as this magnificent bower. 
The shade of the tamarind tree, still cooler, is not so salutary, but 
when in blossom the fragrance is delicious: the atmosphere of the 
mango tree is impregnated with the heat and the smell of turpen- 
tine, which often communicates a disagreeable flavour to the fruit; 
this valuable production was every where attaining maturity when 
w r e commenced our march in Guzerat. 

The deprivation of shade and water at Darah, and our early 
encampments, was a serious evil to the English soldiers, who suf- 
fered very materially from the intense heat. In the mild climates 
of Europe we calmly read of the march of an army over the arid 
plains of Asia, or a pilgrimage amidst the stillness and desola- 
tion of the Arabian deserts, but we must have experienced some 
of their difficulties before we can participate in the joy of the 
Israelites, when, after tasting the bitter waters at Marah, they 
came to Elim, and encamped near twelve wells of fine water, and 
threescore and ten palm-trees. The rich colouring in the pastoral 
psalms and prophetical writings, of rivers, groves, and pastures, 
was intended to depict the greatest blessings both in a literal and 
a figurative sense. Mahomet, a native of Arabia, promises his 
disciples, among the chief pleasures of his voluptuous paradise, 
beautiful groves and gardens, fountains of incorruptible water, 



rivers of milk, and brooks of honey; he well knew how such allure- 
ments would work upon the imagination of his Arabian converts. 
Often on the burning plains of Darah did this affecting soliloquy 
of Hassan the camel-driver occur to my memory, which I most 
feelingly introduced in a letter written on the spot. 

" Ah ! little thought I of the blasting wind, 

" The thirst, or pinching hunger, that I find ! 

" Bethink thee, Hassan, where shall thirst assuage, 

" When fails this cruse, its unrelenting rage? 

" Here, where no springs in murmurs break away, 

" Or moss-crown'd fountains mitigate the day; 

" In vain I hope the green delight to know 

" Which plains more blest, or verdant vales bestow: 

" Here rocks alone, and tasteless sands are found, 

" And faint and sickly winds for ever howl around ! 

Collins's Oriental Eclogues. 















A various host they came — whose ranks display- 
Each mode in which the warrior meets the right: 

The deep battalion locks its firm array., 

And meditates his aim the marksman light ; 

Far glance the line of sabres flashing bright,, 

Where mounted squadrons shake the echoing mead; 

Lacks not artillery, breathing flame and night, 
Nor the fleet ordnance whirl'd by rapid steed., 
That rivals lightning's flash in ruin and in speed. 

A various host — from diverse realms they come. 

Brethren in arms, the Indian chief to aid. W. Scott. 


Account of a Mahratta army — composed of various tribes and nations 
■ — armour— jemidars — feudal system among the Mahrattas — irre- 
gularity of the army — encampment — standards — cavalry officers of 
distinction — rich caparison of the horses — chopdars and heralds — 
titles of honour — -female names — distinguishing characteristic of the 
officers — character of Ragobah's chief officers — magnificence of the 
Indian tents — military character of the Indians — business in the 
durbar tent — superiority of English tactics — variety of warriors — 
Mahomedansfrom various countries— JS ujeeb — Rajepoots — Husserat 
troops — different orders of cavalry — pindarees — bazar— brahmins 
— superiority of the lowest brahmin over a sovereign of another caste 
— particulars of a brahmin feast — Mahratta caste calculated for a 
military life — pleasures and amusements in camp — their wives and 
children — conduct of a family on a march — provender for cavalry 
— dancing-girls, plunderers, and marauders of various denomina- 
tions — number of cattle — horses in great variety —elephants, for 
state and service — their docility, affection, and sagacity — extraor- 
dinary anecdote of Ragobah's elephants — camels, their use in an 
Indian army — general description — Mahratta wealth and state — 
behaviour in expectation of a battle — girdle of battle, for their jewels 
and papers — hermaphrodites in camp — their number — distinguish- 
ing characteristics and occupation — improvement in Mahratta tac- 
tics — method of besieging a city — war rockets. 


The junction of the English detachment with Ragobah's allies 
having been thus happily effected, before I proceed with an account 
of the campaign, I will endeavour to describe the heterogeneous 
mass called a Mahratta army, from the observations which I made 
during a long residence among these extraordinary people. 

The Mahratta armies are generally composed of various nations 
and religions, who consequently form a very motley collection: 
they wear no regular uniform, are under very little discipline, and 
few in the same line, either of horse or foot, have similar weapons; 
some are armed with swords and targets, others with match-locks 
or muskets; some carry bows and arrows, others spears, lances, or 
war rockets; many are expert with the battle-axe, but the sabre is 
indispensable with all. The men in armour make a strange ap- 
pearance; a helmet, covering the head, hangs over the ears, and 
falls on the shoulders; the body is cased with iron net-work, on a 
thick quilted vest; their swords are of the finest temper, and the 
horsemen are very expert at this weapon ; they are not so fond of 
curved blades as the Turks and Persians, but prefer a straight two- 


edged sword, and will give a great price for those which they call 
Alleman, or German, though formerly brought from Damascus. 

In the Mahratla army are no regular commanders by seniority 
or merit; the principal officers arc called jemidars: some com- 
mand five thousand horse, others, though equally dignified in title, 
only five hundred. The Mahratta government, in many instances, 
resembles the feudal system in Europe: the great chieftains, like 
the ancient barons, hold their lands by military tenure; they en- 
joyed their estates, on condition of furnishing a stipulated number 
of knights, esquires, and armed-men, in proportion to their terri- 
tory; and thus in the Mahratta empire, the principal jaghiredars, 
or nobles, possessed of landed property, when summoned by the 
peshwa, appear in the field with the number of men expressed in 
their firmauns, or grants of land; and there they exercise every act 
of authority, without appeal, more fully than was claimed by the 
powerful barons in the Germanic bodies, when issuing from their 
northern forests, and emerging from Gothic barbarism, they 
marched against the degenerate Romans, and conquering then- 
provinces, established that military system, which, under different 
modulations, so long prevailed in Europe. 

Every rajah, prince, or leader among the Mahrattas, is in some 
degree responsible to the peshwa, or head of the empire, for his 
general conduct; he pays a tribute for his district, and attends, 
when summoned, with the stipulated body of men, according to 
its wealth and population: over this corps he has the entire com- 
mand; to him and his fortune they are alone attached, and adhere 
to whatever party he joins. This variety of independent com- 
manders destroys that authority and subordination which prevails 


in European armies, and may in some measure account for ihe 
want of discipline in so large a body ; where every man beats a 
drum, blows a trumpet, or fires his match-lock when he pleases, 
and frequently when loaded with ball. It was with difficulty the 
British commanding officer suppressed this dangerous practice in 
Ragobah's army, where it was so prevalent, that it could only be 
prevented by cutting off the fingers of a delinquent. 

The Indian camps display a variety of standards and ensigns; 
each chieftain has his own: red seems the prevailing colour, but 
they are seldom decorated with any thing like armorial bearings. 
The banner which was always carried before Ragobah was small, 
and swallow-tailed, of crimson and gold tissue, with gold fringes 
and tassels; called by the Mahrattas, zerree puttah: some of the 
flags are on very high poles, and larger than a ship's ensign: in 
the European armies, the knights banneret erected their own 
standard among their followers; the knights bachelors, or simple 
knights, did not: similar distinctions are observed among the 
Mahrattas; the most considerable chieftains display their own co- 
lours, have separate encampments, and their own bazar, or market; 
in which they collect duties, and make such regulations as they 
think proper, without control from the sovereign. 

The Mahratta cavaliers of distinction frequently ornament their 
saddles with the bushy tails of the Thibet cows, as also the horse's 
head. On one side an attendant carries a rich umbrella, called an 
aftaphgere, generally of velvet, embroidered with gold; on the 
other, is a man with a large fan, or chouree, formed by the tail of 
the wild cow from Thibet, covered with long flowing hair, delicately 

VOL. II. o 


white, and soft as silk: the handle is gold or silver, sometimes 
studded with jewels. The chouree is useful in keeping off the flies 
and other insects that swarm in hot climates, and also forms a part 
of oriental state. The cruppers, martingales, and bridles of the 
horses, are ornamented, according to the rank and wealth of the 
owner, with gold or silver plates, knobs, coins, and a variety of 
decorations: the tails of the grey horses are frequently dyed of a 
red and orange colour, and the manes plaited with silk and rib- 
bands, interspersed with silver roses: the camp abounds with far- 
riers, and every thing necessary for their profession. 

The great men have also servants with gold and silver staves of 
rich workmanship running before them, called chopdars and assa- 
burdars; a sort of heralds, who sing their praises, and proclaim 
their titles in the hyperbolic style of the east: in general, their lord 
levels the mountains, and exhausts the ocean; he awes the earth, 
subdues the nations, and makes the people tremble at his nod. 
The chaunters of Judea thus sang the exploits of the heroes of 
Israel when Saul had slain his thousands, and David his ten 
thousands. The generals are likewise distinguished by some title, 
exclusive of their family name; sometimes it is given at their birth; 
but oftener conferred by the prince for gallant behaviour, and a 
reward of military merit; as the valiant swordsman, the illustrious 
conqueror, the victorious hero, the ornament of the age, or some 
other honourable appellation. The women also have names ex- 
pressive of their personal charms, or their lord's affection; choice 
of my heart, delight of my eyes, morning star, fragrant rose, coral 
lips, and a thousand similar fancies, distinguish the favourite ladies 


in the haram, from Taje Mahal, the crown of the seraglio at Agra. 
to the wife of the humblest peasant. 

In the durbar tent, and at other courts in India, I frequently 
observed the officers to whom we were introduced, addressed, not 
by their family name, but by the appellation given them after some 
signal exploit, or analogous to some perfection in their character. 
A little history seemed to be attached to each warrior, similar to 
those we read of in the ancient poets, and the thirty-seven mighty 
men at the court of David: the chief among whom was Adino; 
he lifted up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one 
time : after him was Eleazar the Ahothite, one of the three mighty 
men with David when they defied the Philistines, and smote them 
until his hand was weary and clave to his sword : and three of the 
thirty were there, who fulfilled the wish of David when the Philis- 
tines were in Bethlehem, and longing for water, he said, Oh! that 
one would give me drink out of the well of Bethlehem ! and they 
brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew the water out 
of the well, and brought it to David. And Benaiah, the son of a 
valiant man of Kabzeel, who slew two lion-like men of Moab; and 
also slew a lion in the midst of a pit, in the time of snow; and he 
slew an Egyptian, a goodly man, and plucking the spear out of 
his hand, slew him therewith. 

On the junction of Ragobah's army with the British forces, we 
were introduced to general officers, and mighty men of valour, 
whose prowess, according to their chopdar's account, far exceeded 
the exploits of those who fought with David in Hebron: they 
dwindle into insignificance when compared with the achievements 
of the Mahratta chieftains who joined Ragobah's standard in Gu- 


2erat. The sequel of the campaign will evince how well they 
deserved the encomium, and answered the proclamation of their 
hyperbolical heralds. I shall only observe at present, that they 
could not, like Scipio Africanus, Germanicus, and other Roman 
generals, claim an honorary title from the countries they conquered, 
or the martial exploits they performed. 

The magnificence of the Indian tents, pavilions, and summini- 
anas, or canopy, far exceeds any thing of the kind in Europe, 
especially among the Moguls: these accommodations are the more 
necessary where their women and children accompany them to 
the field. The Mahrattas seem to prefer their tents to houses, and 
enjoy more pleasure in a camp than a city. The martial tribes of 
Hindoos, and Mahommedans of distinction, in other professions, 
generally wish to shine in a military capacity. During the com- 
monwealth of Rome, consuls, senators, and priests, headed her 
legions: the brahmin sovereigns of Poonah have engrafted the mi- 
litary spirit on the sacerdotal character; brahmins not only serve 
in the Hindoo armies, but there are many of that tribe among the 
sepoys, or native troops, belonging to the English. In general, 
whether a man is occupied in the political cabinet, or engages in 
the civil departments of Hindostan, he is not in such estimation 
as when he annexes to it the character of a soldier. 

A military profession seldom interferes with other occupa- 
tions: in the durbar tent, where Ragobah presided as peshwa 
of the Mahralta empire, business was conducted with the same 
facility as in the court at Poonah: every evening the principal 
officers and cabinet ministers attended his levee, and there, as 
secretary, I often accompanied the English commander: politics, 


war, and public business, were then discussed, and orders issued 
for the ensuing day; complaints were heard, grievances redressed, 
and the usual justice of oriental governments administered. 

The native princes of India considered the English tactics as 
superior to their own; although, from national pride, and bigotry 
to ancient usages, they seldom allowed us a preeminence in other 
respects: they were then convinced, by experience, how often a 
small body of Europeans had decided the fate of kingdoms, where 
immense armies of Asiatics had long been fruitlesslj f contending 
for superiority; and trifling as the numbers of our detachment 
may appear to those unacquainted with the vulnerable irregularity 
of oriental troops, Ragobah ceded very valuable acquisitions, and 
stipulated to pay a large sum for such assistance. The different 
tribes and clans of warriors in the Indian armies have various de- 
grees of merit, and differ as much in courage and discipline as 
they do in customs and dress. The common Hindoo and Mah- 
ratta infantry are inferior to those from the northern parts of India: 
Mahommedans from the southern provinces enlist in these armies; 
many of whom are descended from the Arabians; who coming 
from the countries bordering on the Red Sea and the Persian gulf, 
settled on the coasts of India, and from thence extended them- 
selves by conquest and proselytism into the interior regions. The 
Affghans from Candahar, and the mountains between Persia and 
Hindostan, are commonly called Pathans; the Tartars from Sa- 
marcand and the adjacent provinces, Moguls. All these Mahom- 
medan tribes have intermarried with each other, and the natives of 
India, and are now blended into a race of similar manners, fea- 
tures, and complexion, generally styled Mussulmans, or Moors. 


A number of those adventurers are still pouring into India from 
Arabia and Tartary, who for a time preserve the hardy character 
and manly virtues of their country; but, from the enervating cli- 
mate, and tender pampered education of the southern Moguls, 
their native character gradually subsides, and they blend into the 
common mass: these adventurers frequently bring with them a 
horse and arms, and enter into the service of the Indian princes, 
who prefer them according to their merit. There are some corps, 
styled nujceb, or men of good family; originally formed by Sujah 
Dowlah, arid subsequently introduced into the Mahratta armies: 
these are foot soldiers, invariably armed with a sabre and match- 
lock, and having adopted some semblance of European discipline, 
are much respected : as are also the rajepoots, poorbeas, or eastern- 
men, and many other soldiers of fortune, who enlist under their 
banners, and are highly esteemed for fidelity and regularity. 

The rajepoots are all of a high caste, or clan; proud of being 
nobly born, and bred to arms, they display a magnanimity, cou- 
rage, and virtue, uncommon in the Indian character: renowned 
for fidelity and attachment to the prince whose salt they eat, they 
are esteemed among the best soldiers of the east; these warlike 
tribes chiefly inhabit Ajmere, Chetere, and the provinces north of 
the Nerbudda, a country in many respects resembling the habit- 
able mountainous tracts of Switzerland, and, like that once free 
and happy country, may be considered, more than any other ori- 
ental region, the nurse of liberty and independence. The rajepoot 
governments have never been entirely subdued by Mahommedan 
invaders; in the dreadful scenes which marked their conquests, the 
fastnesses and strong-holds, on mountains accessible only by diffi- 


cult passes and narrow defiles, afforded an asylum to the rajepoots, 
Avho there preserved the Hindoo worship, manners, and customs 
in genuine purity. This country, chiefly situated in a delightful 
climate, between 24 and 28 degrees of north latitude, affords some 
of the grandest and most picturesque scenery in Asia. 

The Mahratta cavalry are divided into several classes: the 
husserat, or household troops, called the kassey-pagah, are reckoned 
very superior to the ordinary horse, and belong entirely to the 
peshwa's government. Those of the second order are contracted 
for with government, either by their own commanders, or persons 
employed for the purpose: the third class are the Moguls, poor- 
beahs, and other soldiers of fortune, just mentioned, who with their 
own horse and arms enlist in the service of the oriental sovereigns 
on the best terms they can. Besides these, and the other cavalry 
corps which under various descriptions accompany the Mahratta 
jaghire-dars and chieftains, are a prodigious number of pindarees, 
or licensed marauders, who join the army in quest of plunder: 
these cruel wretches spread ruin indiscriminately on friends or foes, 
wherever they appear, and purchase the privilege for so doing 
by a moiety of the spoil to the commander of the corps to which 
they respectively attach themselves. 

These pindarees, and various descriptions of unarmed followers 
of the camp, swell the Indian armies to an amazing number. 
When Ragobah's forces marched towards the ministerial army, 
after the junction, they consisted of an hundred thousand, includ- 
ing camp-followers of all sorts; the cattle exceeded two hundred 
thousand : the confederates were still more numerous. 

Ragobah's encampment covered a space of many square miles; 


the bazar, or market-place, belonging to his own division, and to 
the principal generals, contained many thousand tents, where 
every trade and profession was carried on with as much regularity 
as in a city. Goldsmiths, jewellers, bankers, drapers, druggists, 
confectioners, carpenters, tailors, tent-makers, corn-grinders, and 
farriers, found full employment; as did whole rows of silver, iron, 
and copper-smiths; but those in the greatest and most constant 
requisition, seemed to be cooks, confectioners, and farriers. How- 
ever erroneous their tenets, I should be unpardonable to omit men- 
tioning the veneration paid to public worship in the Mahratta 
camp: in the different divisions was a temporary dewal, or tent, 
consecrated to religious duties, where brahmins regularly officiated, 
and prayer and sacrifices are offered to the deities with the same 
ceremonies as in the Hindoo temples. 

In the Mahratta camp, as in all the Hindoo governments, ex- 
cept that of the brahminical peshwa's at Poonah, there exists a 
class of people in many respects superior to the sovereign on the 
throne ; this is the tribe of brahmins so often mentioned. Princes 
and governors, as also most persons employed in the political and 
military departments of state, belong generally to the second order 
of the four principal castes into which the Hindoos, as a people, 
are divided: those brahmins who are not engaged in public func- 
tions, or the administration of religious rites, from the superiority 
of caste alone, are treated with respect and deference by their 
respective sovereigns. So tenacious are they of their privileges, 
and so conscious of the preeminence to which the code of Menu 
entitles them, that among the officers in the Mahratta army, a 
brahmin in an inferior station would send part of his dinner ready 


dressed, as a mark of distinction to an officer of higher rank, and 
ar much greater command, but of a lower caste; who accepted it 
respectfully, and ate it with pleasure: no such return could on his 
part be offered to the brahmin; who, in whatever outward condi- 
tion, would be degraded and polluted by tasting, or even by 
touching the food from one of an inferior class. ' 

As it is not common for Europeans to eat with a brahmin, or 
even to see them at their meals, I shall give a description of a 
brahmin dinner, not only from my own observation, but with the 
assistance of a medical friend, who lived much among them, and 
was sometimes invited to partake of their repast. 

When the dinner is prepared, the brahmin first washes his body 
in warm water; during which operation he wears his dotee, or that 
cloth which, fastening round his loins, hangsdown tohis ancles: when 
washed, he hangs up the dotee to dry, and binds in its place a piece 
of silk, it not being allowable for a brahmin to wear any thing else 
when eating. If a person of another caste, or even a brahmin Avho 
is not washed, touches his dotee while drying, he cannot wear it 
without washing it again. After going through several forms of 
prayer and other ceremonies, he sits down to his food, which is 
spread on a table-cloth, or rather a table-cover, formed of fresh- 
gathered leaves, fastened together to the size wanted for the com- 
pany. The dishes and plates are invariably composed of leaves; 
a brahmin may not eat out of any thing else: tin vessels, or copper 
tinned, may be used for cooking, but a brahmin cannot eat out of 

The food, after being prepared in the kitchen, is placed in 
distinct portions, on dishes of different size, form, and depth, on 



the large verdant covering in a regular manner. The feast of a 
brahmin generally consists of seasoned bread, rice, curry, vege- 
tables, pickles, and a dessert. 

Their bread, in its simple state, is prepared from the flour of 
wheat, juarree, or bahjeree: besides which, they are very fond of 
a thin cake, or wafer, called popper, made from the flour of oord, 
or mash (phaseolus max.) highly seasoned with assa-fcetida; a salt 
called popper-khor; and a very hot massaula, composed of tur- 
meric, black pepper, ginger, garlic, several kinds of warm seeds, 
and a quantity of the hottest Chili pepper. These ingredients are 
all kneaded with the oord flour and water into a tenacious paste, 
to form the popper, which is rolled into cakes not thicker than a 
wafer; these are fust dried a little in the sun, and then baked by 
fire until crisp. 

The curry of a brahmin is seldom more than heated butter- 
milk, with a little gram-flour, slightly seasoned; this they highly 
esteem. Something similar is wurrun, a dish composed of tuor, 
or doll, a sort of split-pea, boiled with salt and turmeric (curcuma); 
this they eat with ghee, or clarified butter, which they say destroys 
its flatulency. 

In the centre of the cover is always a large pile of plain boiled 
rice, and at a feast there are generally two other heaps of while 
and yellow rice, seasoned with spices and salt; and two of sweet 
rice, to be eat with chat no, pickles, and stewed vegetables: the 
latter are chiefly berenjals, bendee, turoy, and different kinds of 
beans, all savourily dressed, and heated with chilies of every de- 
scription. The chat n a is usually made from a vegetable called 
cotemear, to the eye very much resembling parsley, but to those 


unused to it, of a disagreeable taste and smell: this is so strongly 
heated with chilies as to render the other ingredients less distin- 
guishable. The chatna is sometimes made with cocoa-nut, lime- 
juice, garlic, and chilies, and, with the pickles, is placed in deep 
leaves round the large cover, to the number of thirty or forty, the 
Hindoos being very fond of this stimulus to their rice. These 
pickles are not prepared with vinegar, but preserved in oil and salt, 
seasoned with chilie and the acid of tamarinds, which in a sailed 
state are much used in Hindostan. Brahmins, and many other 
Hindoos, reject the onion from their bill of fare. Ghee, which, in 
deep boats formed of leaves, seems to constitute the essence of the 
dinner, is plentifully dispensed. The dessert consists of mangos 
preserved with sugar, ginger, limes, and other sweetmeats; syrup 
of different fruits, and sometimes a little ripe fruit, but the dessert 
is not common. Such is the entertainment of a rich brahmin, who 
eats of no animal food. 

In the extraordinary artificial distinction of castes amongst the 
Hindoos, the Mahrattas rank but little above the lowest; and 
therefore being universally educated in the labour and simplicity 
of rural and agricultural society, they are admirably prepared for 
the endurance, privations, and bodily exertions of a military life: 
this has been the origin of many other warlike nations. The brah- 
mins and higher orders are prohibited the use of all animal food: 
that restriction lessens as it reaches the lower classes; amongst 
Avhom the Mahratta is placed in such a degree of assigned degra- 
dation, that the flesh of animals, except of the sacred ox and cow, 
is no pollution, affording a latitude more consistent with the exi- 
gencies and necessities of a soldier's life. It has been remarked, 


that there is an honesty, simplicity, and courtesy in the true Mah- 
ratta character, not common among the political brahmins at the 
peshwa's court, or in other public situations: their chicanery, du- 
plicity, and cunning, are obvious to all who have been concerned 
with them in the diplomatique and revenue departments. 

Fond of a wandering life, the Mahrattas seem most at home in 
the camp; the bazars being supplied with necessaries for the sol- 
diers, and such luxuries as those in a higher station require, they 
know no wants, and are subject to few restraints: surrounded by 
their wives and their children, they enjoy the pleasures of domestic 
life; and many of the principal officers keep greyhounds, chetaus, 
and hawks, trained to hunting, for their amusement on a march, or 
when encamped in a sporting country. 

Not only the officers and soldiers, but in general the followers 
of the camp, have their wives and families with them during the 
march : the women frequently ride astride with one or two children 
on a bullock, an ass, or a little tattoo horse, while the men walk 
by the side On reaching the encampment, the fatigued husband 
lies down on his mat, and the wife commences her duties: she first 
champoes her husband, and fans him to repose; she then cham- 
poes the horse, rubs him down, and gives him provender; takes 
some care of the ox which has carried their stores, and drives off 
the poor ass to provide for himself: she next lights a fire, dresses 
rice and curry, or kneads dough for cakes, which are prepared and 
baked in a simple manner. When the husband awakes, his repast 
is ready; and having also provided a meal for herself and children, 
the careful matron occupies the mat, and sleeps till daybreak, 
when all are in motion and ready for another march. 


Of the Mahratta cavalry, those soldiers who have neither fe- 
male companions nor servants to attend them, on finishing the 
march immediately champoe their own horses, by rubbing the 
limbs, and bending the joints; which not only refreshes the ani- 
mals, but enables them to bear fatigue with a smaller quantity of 
food than would be otherwise necessary. It is generally difficult 
to provide provender for horses on these campaigns: hay is not 
common in India; the villagers fodder their horned-cattle, and the 
few horses ihey possess, with straw and a little grain. In the fair 
season, when there is no pasture, the horsemen and their attendant 
grass-cutters sally out of the camp to dig up the roots of grass, 
which are washed and given to their horses as more nutritive than 
the stems of dried reedy grass and other vegetables, which from 
their rapid growth in the rainy season, have even then very little 
nutritious juice: but, whatever may constitute the other food of 
the horses, they must have a daily quantity of grain, or some com- 
position of heartening aliment, whether on war service, or kept for 
recreation at home. 

Besides the married women, a number of dancing girls and 
tolerated courtezans attend the camp; some of the former officiate 
as choristers in the sacred tents dedicated to the Hindoo gods; 
many belong to the officers, and others form a common cyprian 
corps. Children of both sexes accompany the army in the severest 
marches; they know no home but the camp, and from habit pre- 
fer this wandering life. 

Swarms of beyds, looties, and pindarees, all different classes of 
plunderers, follow the armies, and are far more destructive than 
the soldiers in the countries through which they pass. These 


marauders receive no pay, but prefer a life of spoil and rapine to 
any other profession : armed with spears and sabres, and provided 
with hatchets, iron crows, and implements of destruction, they 
enter villages already laid waste by the army, and deserted by the 
inhabitants: there, as if a general pillage of grain, furniture, and 
other moveables, had not been sufficiently distressing, the pinda- 
rees deprive the houses of locks, hinges, and every kind of iron- 
work, with such timber as they think proper; then digging up the 
floors in search of grain, and demolishing the walls in hopes of 
finding concealed treasure, they conclude by setting fire to what 
they cannot carry off: although there is scarcely any thing that 
does not turn to account in the camp-bazar, where a rusty nail is 
taken in exchange for some article of provision. 

The number and variety of cattle necessarily attendant on an 
Asiatic army is astonishing; there were at least two hundred thou- 
sand in the Mahratta camp, of every description; the expense 
of feeding these animals, as also the difficulty of procuring pro- 
vender, is very great; and their distress for water in a parched 
country and sultry climate, often fatal. Exclusive of the Mahratta 
cavalry trained to war, were many thousand horses belonging to 
the camp-followers; the bazar alone required twenty thousand 
bullocks to convey the commodities of the shop-keepers, besides 
a number of small horses and asses. Some thousand camels were 
em ployed to carry the tents and baggage; but the elephants, proud 
of their distinguished elevation, were appropriated to some honour- 
able service, or covered with caparisons of embroidered velvets 
and scarlet cloth, decorated with gold and silver fringe, were des- 
tined to carry the houdahs of Ragobah and his chief officers with 


majestic pace to join the princely retinue on state occasions: the 
houdah sometimes contains two or three small apartments under a 
dome supported by gilded pillars, for the chieftain and his attend- 
ants. The elephant is extremely useful in other respects, and, 
notwithstanding his enormous bulk and surprising strength, is very 
docile and tractable. 

The largest elephants are from ten to eleven feet in height, 
some are said to exceed it: the average is eight or nine feet. They 
are fifty or sixty years before they arrive at their full growth; the 
female goes with young eighteen months, and seldom produces 
more than one at a birth, which she suckles until it is five years old: 
its natural life is about an hundred and twenty } r ears. The Indians 
are remarkably fond of these animals, especially when they have 
been long in their service. I have seen an elephant valued at 
twenty thousand rupees; the common price of a docile well-trained 
elephant is five or six thousand; and in the countries where they 
are indigenous, the Company contract for them at five hundred 
rupees each, when they must be seven feet high at the shoulders. 
The mode of catching and training the wild elephants is now well 
known: their price increases with their merit during a course of 
education. Some for their extrarordinary qualities become in a 
manner invaluable; when these are purchased, no compensation 
induces a wealthy owner to part with them. 

The skin of the elephant is generally a dark grey, sometimes 
almost black; the face frequently painted with a variety of colours; 
and the abundance and splendour of his trappings add much to 
his consequence. The Mogul princes allowed five men and a boy 
to take care of each elephant; the chief of them, called the ma- 


hawut, rode upon his neck to guide him ; another sat upon the 
rump, and assisted in battle; the rest supplied him with food and 
water, and performed the necessary services. Elephants bred to 
war, and well disciplined, will stand firm against a volley of mus- 
quetry, and never give way unless severely wounded. I have seen 
one of these animals, with upwards of thirty bullets in the fleshy 
parts of his body, perfectly recovered from his wounds. All arc 
not equally docile, and when an enraged elephant retreats from 
battle, nothing can withstand his fury: the driver having no longer 
a command, friends and foes are involved in undistinguished 

The elephants in the army of Antiochus were provoked to fight 
by shewing them the blood of grapes and mulberries. The history 
of the Maccabees informs us, that " to every elephant they ap- 
pointed a thousand men, armed with coats of mail, and five hun- 
dred horsemen of the best; these were ready at every occasion: 
wherever the beast was, and whithersoever he went, they went also; 
and upon the elephants were strong towers of wood, filled with 
armed men, besides the Indian that ruled them." 

Elephants in peace and war know their duty, and are more 
obedient to the word of command than many rational beings. It 
is said they can travel, on an emergency, two hundred miles in 
forty-eight hours; but will hold out for a month, at the rate of forty 
or fifty miles a day, with cheerfulness and alacrity. I performed 
many long journeys upon an elephant given by Ragobah to Co- 
lonel Keating; nothing could exceed the sagacity, docility, and 
affection of this noble quadruped: if I stopped to enjoy a prospect, 
he remained immoveable until my sketch was finished; if 1 wished 


for ripe mangos growing out of the common reach, he selected the 
most fruitful branch, and breaking it otf with his trunk, offered it 
to the driver for the company in the houdah, accepting of any 
part given to himself with a respectful salam, by raising his trunk 
three times above his head, in the manner of the oriental obeisance, 
and as often did he express his thanks by a murmuring noise. 
When a bough obstructed the houdah, he twisted his trunk around 
it, and though of considerable magnitude, broke it off with ease, 
and often gathered a leafy branch, either to keep off the flies, or 
as a fan to agitate the air around him, by waving it with his trunk; 
he generally paid a visit at the tent-door during breakfast, to pro- 
cure sugar-candy or fruit, and be cheered by the encomiums and 
caresses he deservedly met with: no spaniel could be more inno- 
cently playful, nor fonder of those who noticed him, than this docile 
animal, who on particular occasions appeared conscious of his 
exaltation above the brute creation. 

The Ayeen-Akbery mentions elephants that were taught to 
shoot an arrow out of a bow, to learn the modes which can only 
be understood by those skilled in music, and to move their limbs 
in time: we there learn, that upon a signal given by his keeper, 
the elephant hides eatables in the corner of his mouth, and when 
they are alone together, takes them out again, and gives them to 
the man : that with his trunk he draws water out of his stomach 
which he has reserved there, to sprinkle himself in hot weather; 
from thence also he takes grass on the second day, without ils 
having undergone any change, doubtless to appease his hunger in 
case of an emergency, which does not often happen to the tame ele- 
phants. The Mogul emperors allowed their favourites one maund 



and twenty seer of food a day, equal to fifty English pounds: they 
had besides five seers of sugar, four seers of ghee, and half a 
maund of rice, with pepper and spices, mixed with twenty quarts 
of milk; and in the season of sugar canes, each elephant had a 
daily allowance of two or three hundred canes, according to his 
size, for the space of three months. 

I could mention many anecdotes of the elephant's sagacity and 
tractability, but will confine myself to one occurrence with Rago- 
bah's elephants in camp; which, like those belonging to the Mogul 
emperors abovementioned, besides their daily provender of grass, 
fresh-gathered leaves, and vegetables, were fed with balls, called 
mossaulla, composed of flour, spices, sugar, and butter; ingredients 
generally expensive, especially in a camp where every thing was 
extravagantly dear. A vegetable diet, and about thirty pounds of 
grain, is the usual daily allowance for an elephant; the mossaulla 
is an indulgence on service, and was accordingly allowed to the 
peshwa's elephants and Arabian horses, in a country frequently 
laid waste, and affording little provender for cattle. In our Gu- 
zerat encampments, man and beast suffered many deprivations, 
and were often at a loss for food ; notwithstanding this general 
deficiency, an ample supply of mossaulla was allotted to Rago- 
bah's favourite elephants: yet they became gradually emaciated, 
and pined away without an apparent cause : the keepers were 
suspected of withholding their mossaulla, as those delicate balls 
were composed of the most expensive and savory parts of the pi- 
lau's, curries, and other dishes, too costly for persons in their 
situation: the fraud being proved, the keepers were punished; 
and the master of the elephants (who like the master of the horse 


in European courts is generally a man of high rank), appointed 
inspectors to see them fed, which for a time had the desired effect; 
the elephants regained their strength, and appeared in good con- 
dition. Some months afterwards they fell off again; the inspectors 
were astonished, as they daily saw them fed, examined the mos- 
saulla, found its ingredients excellent, and the quantity not dimi- 
nished. The cause, once more discovered, confirms Abul Fazel's 
account, and evinces the influence the keepers had attained over 
these extraordinary animals: they taught them to receive the balls 
with their trunk, and convey them to their mouth in the inspectors' 
presence, but to abstain from eating them; these docile creatures 
actually practised that self-denial ; they received the food they 
were so fond of from their hands, put it into their mouth with their 
trunk, but never chewed it; the balls remained untouched until 
the inspectors withdrew, when they took them out, and presented 
them to the keepers with their trunks, accepting only of such a 
share as they thought proper to allow them. 

" 'Twixt this and Reason, what a nice barrier? 

" For ever separate, yet for ever near ! 

" Rememlrance and Reflection how ally'd; 

" What thin partitions sense from thought divide! 

Elephants are a common present of honour among the Indian 
princes and generals; and choice camels, used for expresses, 
sometimes accompany other gifts at the durbar. The camel is a 
patient serviceable animal, but deficient in the rational qualities 
ascribed to the elephant: his diet requires no dainties; the leaves 
of almost every tree he meets with afford a meal; and from a 
peculiarity in his internal structure, he carries a reservoir of water, 
from which he draws a small supply for several days without re- 


plenishing. The camel will carry a heavy load, and patiently 
submit to the utmost his strength will bear, kneeling down for the 
convenience of his keeper; if he adds more than the accustomed 
burden, he will not rise, but, making a loud moaning, continues 
on his knees until the additional weight is removed ; nor can any 
threatening or blows of the driver effect the contrary. The num- 
ber of camels in the Mahralta camp occasioned a disagreeable 
smell ; they were seldom free from sores, and their breath was ge- 
nerally offensive. 

Few countries or climates agree so well with the camel as the 
Persian and Arabian deserts, where they are bred in great num- 
bers; as also on the sandy shores of the Indus, in the domain of 
the prince of Scindy : man}' are brought from Malwa, Ajmeer, and 
Nagore. This animal is fit for service at the age of three years; 
they seldom live more than twenty-five years in India, and do not 
often breed in the southern provinces. Moisture, either in soil or 
atmosphere, is not congenial with their constitution, which is 
formed for the arid tracts they traverse, laden with rich merchan- 
dize, content with the coarsest food, and a small portion of water. 
Were it not for this valuable animal, those immense plains of un- 
dulating; sand would be an insurmountable barrier between the 
kingdoms on their borders; but the camel conveys both the" mer- 
chant and his goods from one country to another, with astonishing 
facility, over deserts trackless as the ocean, which has occasioned 
the Arabians to name it emphatically, " the ship of the desert." 

A camel's travelling load should not exceed five hundred 
pounds, some can carry from six to seven hundred; under a weight 
proportioned to his strength, he will perform the longest journey 


under great privations; when loaded his pace never exceeds three 
miles an hour, nor will severity make him quicken his pace any 
more than increase his load. The Mahratta chiefs keep a few 
light camels and dromedaries, called sadnies, to carry dispalches, 
which travel with great expedition. In the southern part of Hin- 
dostan the camel is of more show than service, and is seldom seen 
but with the army, or in state processions: but in the north-west 
provinces, intersected by few navigable rivers, and abounding with 
extensive deserts, trade is chiefly conducted by means of this 
valuable animal. 

A Mahratta's state generally consists in elephants, horses, and 
camels: his wealth in jewels, particularly rows of pearls, valued 
at forty or fifty thousand rupees a necklace: their diamonds are 
seldom well cut, and usually table-diamonds; the rubies and eme- 
ralds are sometimes cut and polished, but oftener set as they come 
from the mines, in bracelets, rings, and an ornament for the turban, 
called serpech. A Mahralta is not ambitious to make a figure in 
his house, furniture, or apparel; his elephants, horses, and jewels, 
are what he most esteems; if possessed of the finest Persian and 
Arabian horses, he seldom rides them; preferring for service the 
fleet mares from his own country, of the Bhimra Tuttee breed. 

When a Mahratta expects a battle where there is a chance of 
beino- defeated, he mounts a Bhimra mare, and girds himself with 
a broad belt round the loins, the better to enable him to bear the 
fatigue of a forced march: this girdle is generally made of strong 
leather, covered with velvet, and divided into small compartments, 
containing his most valuable papers and precious jewels: the se- 
lected companions of his flight, and a sure resource in adversity. 


I have one of these girdles of battle, admirably suited to the purpose. 
In Pitts' Travels is an anecdote identifying the same kind of girdle 
among other nations; when a slave to a respectable Mahomedan, 
and journeying Avith his master on a pilgrimage to Mecca, the 
latter was taken extremely ill, and thinking he should die, he took 
off a girdle which was concealed under his sash, and gave it to 
Pi Its, who had always been a great favourite; in it he found a 
considerable quantity of gold, and his own letter of freedom. 

Among the followers of an oriental camp, at least of the Mah- 
ratta camp to which we were attached, I must not omit the her- 
maphrodites; there were a great number of them in the different 
bazars, and I believe all in the capacity of cooks. In mentioning 
these singular people, I am aware I tread on tender ground ; I 
cannot solve doubts and difficulties, nor shall I enler into particu- 
lars repecting them. There were a considerable number of human 
beings called hermaphrodites in the camp, who were compelled, 
by way of distinguishing them from other castes, to wear the habit 
of a female, and the turban of a man. I was called into a private 
tent, to a meeting between the surgeon-major and several medical 
gentlemen of the army, to examine some of these people: my visit 
was short, and the objects disgusting. Thevenot, an author of 
great veracity, writes thus: " The first time I saw hermaphrodites 
" was at Surat; it was easy to distinguish them: for seeing there 
" is a great number in that town, I was informed beforehand, that 
" for a mark to know them by, they were obliged, under pain of 
" correction, to wear upon their heads a turban like men, though 
" they go in the habit of women." 

There are doubtless many alterations and improvements of late 


late years in the Mahratta tactics, which are foreign to this cam- 
paign: at that time when they intended to besiege a town, they 
generally encamped round the walls; and having by that measure 
deprived the garrison of all external means of assistance, the be- 
sieging army waited with patience until the garrison was starved 
into a capitulation: I have been informed, that when the Mah- 
rattas took Ahmedabad, the capital of Guzerat, they had surround- 
ed it in their desultory manner for several years, before the garrison 
surrendered. A few shot were sometimes exchanged, but seldom 
with effect: when I was with the Mahratta army they did not un- 
derstand the use of mortars. 

The war-rocket used by the Mahrattas, which very often an- 
noyed us, is composed of an iron tube, eight or ten inches long, 
and near two inches in diameter; this destructive weapon is some- 
times fixed to a rod of iron, sometimes to a straight two-edged 
sword, but most commonly to a strong bamboo cane, four or five 
feet long, with an iron spike projecting beyond the tube: to this 
rod, or staff, the tube filled with combustible materials is fastened, 
and on the lighted match setting fire to the fuze, is projected with 
great velocity; if well directed, which is an uncertain operation, it 
causes much confusion and dismay among the enemy, from the 
difficulty of avoiding its terrifying and destructive effects. 


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But what most shews the vanity of life, 

Is to behold the nations all on fire ; 
In cruel broils engag'd, and deadly strife: 

Despotic kings, enflam'd by black desire, 
With honourable ruffians in their hire, 
Cause Wak to rage, and blood around to pour: 

Of this sad work when each begins to tire, 
They sit them down just where they were before; 
Till for new scenes of woe peace shall their force restore. 


VOL. ir. K 


Envoy to Ragobah's generals at Copperwange from the English com- 
mander in chief, the means of effecting the junction — march of the 
allied army towards the enemy — heat and fatigue — plague of flies — 
country destroyed — river Sabermatty compared with the Nile — 
first engagement with the enemy — retreat of the latter — -field of 
battle — doubly shocking in a hot climate — action at Mahter — beha- 
viour of the enemy — treatment of spies — patience of the Hindoos — 
Kairah a city in Guzerat — situation of the peasantry — Guzerat 
villages — country women— amusements — adverse change by the war 
— action at Hyder-abad — catastrophe among our allies — combat 
between five brothers — council of war— march to the south parts of 
Guzerat — beauty of the country — march to Neriad — history of the 
Guikwar family — conduct of Futty Selling and Conda Row — 
Neriad laid under coidribution — character of the Bhauts — their 
occupation, high estimation, and peculiar custo??is — refuse to pay 
their share of the assessment — massacre on the occasion — conduct 
of the Brahmins — sacrifice of two old women — poisoned wells — 
march to the plains of Arras — omens — superstition of the Brahmins 
and astrologers on reaching Arras — battle on those plains — treachery 
of Hurra Punt — defeat of the enemy — loss in the English detach- 
ment — loss of the enemy — care of their dead, compared with horrid 

scenes on the field of battle— flying hospital — Bagobah's grant of 
thirty lacs of rupees, as a donation to the British army — names of 
Bagobah — the allied army cross the Myhi — pass of Fatal-poor — 
march to Baroche — beautiful and expensive well — beauty and ferti- 
lity of the country — robbers and plunderers — Thcvenofs remarks 
on that part of Guzerat. 


Small parties of Ragobah's army that had been dispersed in dif- 
ferent districts, or had not been able to keep up with the main 
body on their forced march to effect the junction, occasionally 
dropped in at Ginnich and Darah: some we had reason to suppose 
fell into the enemy's hands, and many were lost in fording the 
Sabermatty. So completely intimidated were his principal gene- 
rals after their defeat on the plains of Arras, that they refused to 
make any movement towards joining our army unless the com- 
mander in chief sent an envoy personally to announce his arrival, 
and future intentions, and to assure them of the English friendship 
and protection. He accordingly dispatched a German gentle- 
man, then a volunteer in our camp, with an intelligent native 
officer in the sepoy corps, of integrity and attachment to the de- 
feated generals, at the Copperwange hills. Knowing we were sur- 
rounded by spies, and fearful of treachery, the envoys with only 
one attendant were secretly sent off at midnight, with a promise of 
promotion if they succeeded in the hazardous enterprize of passing 
the enemy's posts. After many extraordinary adventures and sin- 
gular escapes, they succeeded in their mission, but the faithful 
German fell a sacrifice to the fatigue and hardship of the under- 


taking; he died a few hours after reaching his tent; the attendant 
was cut across the body with a sabre in passing an out-post, and 
the native officer was promoted. 

Having at length collected all the scattered remnants we had 
reason to expect, we left our unpleasant encampment at Darah, 
and marched towards the enemy's post on the banks of the Saber- 
matty: the country was delightful, the land highly cultivated, and 
the villages populous, generally surrounded by mango and tama- 
rind trees, overshadowing the wells and tanks which abound in 
Guzeral; but it being now the end of the dry season, we found 
all these reservoirs insufficient for our army, and we seldom re- 
mained a night without exhausting them all. The commencement 
of a morning march was pleasant, but by the time the Mahrattas 
were in motion, and the sun had gained an ascendancy, the heat 
and fatigue became excessive; a fierce glow impregnated the at- 
mosphere; clouds of burning sand driven by hot winds continually 
overwhelmed us; and to complete the unpleasant combination, 
the coup-de-solell frequently struck the European soldiers with 
instant death. 

Heat and dust pervaded the camp, fetid smells and swarms 
of Hies rendered it inconceivably offensive: I can easily suppose 
the plague of flics was not one of the smallest judgments inflicted 
on Egypt; few things, not venomous, could be more troublesome 
than these insects; they entirely covered our food, filled the drink- 
ing vessels, and made it difficult to distinguish the colour of a 
coat. Those who had read Gulliver's Travels, magnified these dis- 
agreeable effects by recollecting the loathsome slime and disgust- 
ing appearance of the flies in Brobdignag. 


As we marched northward we found the villages burnt and 
abandoned; passing over extensive fields of wheat and other grain 
Jong ready for the sickle, our allies took away as much as they 
wanted, and, according to the general Mahratta system, destroyed 
all the remainder. We intended to halt one or two days at Versara, 
our next encampment, but in a single night all the wells and tanks 
in the neighbourhood were exhausted; we therefore proceeded 
the next morning towards the Sabermatty, finding that nothing- 
less than a river could supply the necessity of such a multitude. 

On our approaching the Sabermatty, a detachment of the 
ministerial army, posted on the southern bank, immediately crossed 
the river, and joined the main body, who soon commenced a dis- 
orderly retreat: the English troops forded where the water was 
rather shallow, and ascending the northern banks, pitched their 
tents without molestation. The bed of the Sabermatty was there 
two hundred yards broad, the stream much narrower, and seldom 
more than three feet deep, gliding gently over a silver sand, and 
abounding with carp and smaller fish: like most other rivers in 
India, it often overflows its banks during the rainy season, and 
floods the country. 

The blessings of a well in the torrid zone I have endeavoured 
to appreciate; those of a river are inestimable: the Sabermatty 
was the first we saw in Guzerat; it afforded the harassed troops 
and cattle abundance to drink, and a delightful bath after a sultry 
march. The joy of our allies on encamping near the Sabermatty 
was extravagant: the pleasure of drinking it had long been anti- 
cipated, nor were we disappointed in the delicious beverage; the 


Indians say it is both meat and drink, so nourishing and salutary 
that their cattle require less grain than when drinking other water. 
Their encomium and general delight reminded me of the water of 
the Nile, whichMaillet, formerly French consul at Cairo, says is so de- 
licious, that the Egyptians do not wish the heat diminished lest the 
sensation of thirst should subside; they eat salted things purposely 
to excite it anew, and when absent dwell upon the pleasure they 
shall enjoy in drinking it again: all foreigners who taste it, declare 
they never met with such water any where else, having some- 
thing inexpressibly agreeable to the taste, though mingled with 
much sweetness. Herodotus says the Memphians filled large jars 
with the Nile water, and transported it to the Syrian deserts : 
Arislides adds that the Egpvtians preserved it in earthen jars, three 
or four years; it never became impure; on the contrary, its value 
was enhanced by age, as is that of wine in other countries. 

Finding the enemy were encamped within a few miles of us, we 
struck our tents early on the following morning, and, hoping to 
bring them to action, marched along the banks of the Saber- 
matty, to the village of Hossamlee ; from whence we perceived 
the whole confederate army on the opposite side of the river, ad- 
vancing in order of battle. The English line immediately formed, 
and a cannonade across the river commenced on both sides, which 
continued two hours; at length we silenced their guns, and com- 
pelled their left wing and centre to retire: the right kept their 
ground, and a strong body of cavalry crossing the river repeatedly 
charged a detachment under the command of captain Stewart, 
with two field-pieces directed by lieutenant Torriano, who repulsed 


them so gallantly as to be publicly thanked by (he commander hi 
chief: Ragobah presented the former with a diamond ring, the latter 
was promoted to the rank of captain of pioneers. 

At noon the enemy retreated; they amounted to sixty thousand, 
chiefly cavalry: their artillery, consisting of fourteen field-pieces 
of different caliber, kept up a brisk fire for some time, but from 
being too much elevated, did little execution: they were served 
by Europeans, mostly French. The confederates lost two sirdars, 
or principal officers, several of inferior rank, and about four hun- 
dred men, besides three elephants, and a number of horses and 
camels; in the English line three Europeans and five sepoys were 
wounded, none killed; Ragobah's army seemed to be mere spec- 

The river dividing the armies, our fatigued troops were inca- 
pable of pursuing flying cavalry ; we therefore marched a mile 
further, and encamped near Hossamlee, on ground lately occupied 
by the enemy; who in that expectation had cut down the trees, de- 
stroyed the village, and burnt all the corn and provender they 
could not carry off; the surrounding plain, deprived of its verdant 
ornaments, was covered with putrid carcases and burning ashes: the 
hot wind wafting from these, fetid odours, and dispersing the ashes 
among the tents, rendered our encampment extremely disagreeable. 
During the night hyaenas, jackals, and wild beasts of various kinds, 
allured by the scent, prowled over the field with a horrid noise; and 
the next morning a multitude of vultures, kites, and birds of prey 
were seen asserting their claim to a share of the dead. It was to me 
a scene replete with horrid novelty, realizing the prophet's denun- 
ciation: "I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the Lord; 



the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of heaven 
and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy." 

We remained two days in this disgusting situation, and crossing 
the Sabermatty on the third morning, marched six miles, through a 
delightful country, to the village of Chonwar, where we encamped 
in a large mango grove on the banks of the Wartruc, or Bakruc; 
a small river which joins the Sabermatty at a little distance. The 
enemy appearing on the opposite side, our artillery commenced a 
brisk fire, and compelled them to retreat towards Kairah, a fortified 
town belonging to Futty Sihng, one of the confederate chieftains, 
a few miles to the northward. 

We followed them early the next morning, and fording the 
Wartruc near the village of Mahler, four miles from our last 
ground, hailed on the opposite banks, while the artillery and 
baggage crossed the river: this being effected, we marched to- 
wards Kairah, when a large body of the enemy suddenly appeared 
on our right flank, advancing at full charge. Captains Stewart and 
Torriano, now appointed brigade major, advancing with a small 
reconnoitering party, were nearly taken prisoners, having only 
time to unlimber an eight-inch howitzer, which stopped the enemy's 
career until the line was formed to receive them. A discharge of 
artillery soon checked their ardour, and turned their attention to 
the rear of our allies, where Ragobah was stationed on his state 
elephant: but finding an English detachment, with two field-pieces, 
posted there for his protection, they made a precipitate re- 

In this action the confederates were reported to have lost 
twelve hundred men, killed and wounded. Ragobah's halcarras 


and spies, no doubt, thought to please him by a little exaggeration; 
half that amount was probably nearer the truth: their artillery 
was not so well served as formerly, but their cavalry made some 
desperate charges on the allies, who received them with intrepidity, 
and in general behaved well; several were killed, and many 
wounded: among the latter was Saccaram-Hurra, paymaster- 
general of Ragobah's forces and one of his prime ministers; the 
English detachment did not lose a man. One of the peshwa's 
elephant-drivers being wounded, the elephant escaped, and was 
taken by the enemy. I mention the loss of this animal because the 
Asiatics consider them a valuable and honourable spoil; as much 
so as Europeans estimate cannon and standards. 

Before the engagement a spy was detected in the camp of the 
allies, and carried into Ragobah's presence, who ordered his tongue 
to be cut out previous to his being returned to the enemy. As 
the poor wretch could neither write nor read, this might be in- 
tended as a figurative oriental language, and the measure, how- 
ever cruel to the individual, was perhaps necessaiy. The miseries of 
war are manifold; but from a wish to condense the events of the 
campaign, I suppress reflections which naturally occur to every 
feeling mind. It was sometimes deemed necessary to hang 
a person suspected as a spy, and to finish the execution; at 
others, when neither threats nor half-hanging could extort a con- 
fession, it was thought proper to lower the struggling wretch, 
slacken the cord, and restore suspended animation to a harmless 
villager who had unfortunately strayed loo near the line. 

Necessity alone compels Britons to adopt these stern decrees: a 


different spirit rules the Asiatics: the Mogul history is replete with 
blood, nor is the Hindoo character free from cruelty and revenge. It 
has been remarked that the sway of a despotic government has taught 
the Hindoos patience, and the coldness of their imagination enables 
them to practise it better than any people in the world ; they conceive 
a contemptible opinion of a man's capacity who betrays any impe- 
tuosity in his temper: they are the aculest buyers and sellers in the 
world, and preserve through all their bargains a degree of calm- 
ness which baffles all the arts that can be 7 opposed against it. 
This will be allowed by those most conversant with their general 
character, but they also know that the patient Hindoo who shud- 
ders at the death of an insect, and preserves the tranquillity of 
temper just mentioned, can as calmly meditate on the most cruel 
tortures prepared for an enemy, or one he deems to be so: the 
love of money is in general his ruling passion; throughout Hindos- 
tan cruelty and oppression are the servants of avarice. 

We encamped, after the action, on the field of battle, a hot 
sand}' plain, without a tree, or any kind of shade; yet being on 
the banks of the Wartruc,it was preferable to a cooler situation with- 
out that advantage. After remaining there three days, we marched 
towards Kairah : before the vanguard had proceeded half a mile, 
the enemy suddenly appeared, advancing rapidly towards us; the 
British line immediately formed, and on firing a few shot, they re- 
treated to Kairah; this detained us some time, and the day be- 
coming intensely hot, we encamped on the spot ; early the next 
morning we marched under the walls of Kairah without molestation, 
and found the confederate army had retired to some distance. 


Kairah, a large town, situated at the confluence of the Serry 
and Wartruc rivers, is fortified in thelndian manner with a brick wall 
flanked by irregular towers, mounting forty-seven guns; the build- 
ings were almost concealed by trees. Leaving Kairah unmolested, 
we marched to Coomlah, and pitched our tents in a delightful spot 
near the village, on the banks of the Serry, a small deep river, 
abounding with fish; the surrounding country was covered with 
wild fruit trees, and berries of a beautiful hue and pleasant flavour, 
which we found refreshing during a sultry march; these indigenous 
fruits and some tasteless figs were all that remained, the enemy 
having robbed the country of all the ripening mangos, tamarinds, 
and other valuable productions. 

Happy would it have been for the delightful province of 
Guzerat, had their depredations been confined to such devasta- 
tion; but alas ! all was laid waste and destroyed. The peaceable 
Hindoos, by whom Guzerat is mostly inhabited, are greatly to be 
pitied, from its being so often the seat of war; for notwithstanding 
the frequent changes of their oppressors, from a Mogul nabob to 
a Mahratta chief, the lower classes lake very little concern in such 
revolutions. They seldom quit the village where their fathers 
were born and died ; there they plough the fields, reap the harvest, 
and tend the cattle to the groves and lakes which surround their 
humble dwellings, built of mud and straw, where their wives and 
daughters spin cotton, grind corn, and prepare their simple re- 
past of pulse, milk, and vegetables. It must be allowed that 
too large a share of the produce is collected for the government, 
and its subordinate despots; yet in general a sufficiency is left for 


the peasantry, whose wants are few, to encourage them to remain 
at home, and renew the annual cultivation. 

Thus peaceably they pass their lives with the monkeys, squirrels, 
and peacocks attached to every village, which, although in a man- 
ner wild, and perfectly independent, seem fondly to associate with 
man, and are universally fostered and protected. The peacocks 
find sustenance in the cullies, or threshing floors, where the corn 
is trod out by oxen, and divided among the villagers; there the 
playful squirrels claim a little share, while the cunning monkeys, 
concealed in the overhanging brandies, watch a favourable oppor- 
tunity to jump down, and carry off a considerable portion. The 
trees are also enlivened by a variety of small birds, never molested, 
who repay their benefactors in a wild melody. I made many addi- 
tions to my oriental ornithology in Guzerat, especially among the 
museicapee, or fly-catchers. 

The villagers, Avho seldom visit cities, preserve an innocent 
simplicity of manners; the women are modest and delicate; their 
drapery, however coarse, is rendered becoming by an elegant care- 
lessness of the folds, and their altitudes are peculiarly graceful. 
Greatly resembling the pastoral manners of the Mesopotamian 
damsels in the patriarchal days, the young women of Guzerat 
daily draw water from the public wells, and sometimes carry two 
or three earthen jars, placed over each other, upon the head; 
which requiring perfect steadiness, gives them an erect and stately 
air. An English lady in India, whose great delight was lo illustrate 
ihe sacred volume by a comparison with the modern manners and 
customs of the Hindoos, reading the interesting interview between 


Abraham's servant and Rebecca at the gate of Nahor to an intelli- 
gent native, when she came to that passage where the virgin went 
down to the well with her pitcher upon her shoulder, her attentive 
friend exclaimed, " Madam, that woman was of high caste:" this 
he implied from the circumstance of carrying the pitcher upon 
her shoulder, and not on her head. Some of the highest classes 
among the brahmins do the same. 

The Guzerat villagers are not without their amusements, be- 
ing often visited by travelling comedians, who exhibit puppet-shows 
and act historical plays by these miniature performers with laugh- 
able effect. Musicians, dancing-girls, singing men and women, 
occasionally beguile an idle hour; jugglers and wrestlers perform 
extraordinary feats of agility and sleight of hand; dancing-bears, 
trickish goats and monkeys, are also carried about for amuse- 

Such was the peaceful state of Guzerat. During the war this 
pleasing picture was sadly reversed; the villages were deserted 
and destroyed, the harvests reaped by lawless marauders, and not 
a passenger to be seen on the public roads: the cattle that had 
escaped the armies, were driven for protection under the walls of 
cities, where the peasants were promiscuously huddled together 
in famine and wretchedness of every description. The melancholy 
situation of the Guzerat peasants is pathetically pictured in the 
song of Deborah. " The enemy came up with their cattle and 
" their tents, and they came as locusts for multitude, for both 
*' them and their camels were without number, and they entered 
•' into the land to destroy it. The highways were unoccupied, and 
" the travellers walked through by-ways; the inhabitants of the 


" villages ceased; the noise of archers drove them from the places 
" of drawing water: they betook themselves to the dens in the 
" mountains, and to caves and strong holds. When they had 
" sown, the enemy came up, even the children of the east came 
" up against them; and encamped, and destroyed the increase 
" of the earth, and left no substance, neither sheep, nor ox, 
" nor ass." 

We marched next to Hyderabad, where we were once more sud- 
denly interrupted by the confederate army, who had taken the ad- 
vantage of a commanding situation to renew the attack; in about 
two hours we again repulsed them with great loss, few in the 
English line were killed or wounded, but our allies suffered con- 
siderably, the enemy directing their principal fire to that quarter 
where Ragobah, on a state elephant, displayed the imperial 
standard. At the commencement of the action I happened to be 
within a few yards of the peshwa, and finding myself in the imme- 
diate line of fire, took shelter under a large mango-tree, with a 
great number of his troops who ought to have been better em- 
ployed. The shot falling thick among us, I endeavoured to save 
my head by standing under a large arm of the tree, my body being 
perfectly secured by the pressure of the crowd. I had not long 
enjoyed its protection when a cannon ball struck the branch, and 
shivered it over us. Nothing could exceed the panic of the motley 
group by which I was surrounded; Ragobah at the same instant 
alighting from his elephant increased their consternation, and 
caused them to bear away like a flood, by which I was carried 
a considerable distance, without touching the ground, among 
wounded horses, elephants, camels, and oxen, all running off in 


an indescribable confusion of dreadful yells, furious hot blasts, 
and clouds of burning sand. The enemy now advanced so near 
the British line that our grape-shot and musquelry did great exe- 
cution, and some shells bursting among their cavalry compelled 
them to make a hasty and confused, retreat; a deep narrow river 
dividing the armies saved their guns. 

Exclusive of those who fell in action, the battle of Hyderabad 
was attended by many catastrophes on the part of our allies. While 
I was under the mango-tree a cannon-ball tore off the horns of 
an ox, and another, in passing a young woman suckling her infant 
within a few yards of me, carried it from her breast. During the 
engagement at Hossamlee, sitting with the surgeon-major under a 
banian-tree, at the portico of a Hindoo temple, anxious to know 
the proceedings on the field of bailie, we desired one of the palan- 
quin-bearers to mount on a high branch, and give us information : 
he did so, and while making his report a cannon-ball took off his 
head; the body falling at our feet occasioned a precipitate retreat 
within the walls of the temple. 

The brigade major, who had frequently led Ragobah's cavalry 
to the charge, was present at an extraordinary scene during the 
action at Hyderabad. A detachment of cavalry advanced from 
each of the Mahratta armies, one headed by three brothers, the 
other by two more who had espoused a different cause: each 
party endeavoured to convince the other they were acting wrong, 
and during the parley both sides remained inactive. Had there 
been a prospect of accommodation, it would have been rendered 
ineffectual by one of the brothers who had joined the ministers 
tauntingly observing that Ragobah was more indebted to the Eng- 



lish artillery l'or his late successes, than to the prowess of his gene- 
rals: this irritated the peshwa's friends; from high words they 
proceeded to a furious combat, in which one of the opposite party 
lost his life, and another left his hand and broken scimitar on the 

Finding the enemy retreated after every engagement, and yet 
continued near enough to molest us and cut off our supplies, know- 
ing also that harassed European infantry were incapable of pur- 
suing flying cavalry, and that our Mahratta allies would never ad- 
vance half a mile from the British line, Ragobah assembled his 
principal generals and the English commander to a council of war 
in the durbar tent, when it was determined no longer to follow the 
enemy in the northern parts of Guzerat, but to penetrate into the 
Deccan without delay, and endeavour by quick marches to 
reach Poonah, the Mahratta capital, before the setting in of the 

Many of us regretted the intended march to the southern dis- 
tricts without seeing the imperial city of Ahmedabad, the metro- 
polis of Guzerat, celebrated in oriental history as the occasional 
residence of the Mogul emperors, and still indicating many 
splendid remains of ancient grandeur. Deprived of this gratifica- 
tion, we commenced our march southwards, towards Neriad: de- 
tached parties of the enemies cavalry hovered near us, and en- 
deavoured to retard our progress, but were always repulsed with 
little loss on our side. They had not yet encamped in the country 
through which our route now lay, we therefore found its natural 
beauties undiminished; and although deficient in picturesque 
inequality of hill and dale, it was covered with enclosures highly 


cultivated, rich groves, and extensive lakes, abounding with 
game, hares and partridges being often taken close to the tents. 
On finding us taking a southern route, the enemy sent detach- 
ments to burn the villages and provender, and to drain the wells 
and lakes; so that all the cottages around us were in flames, 
and the smoke of distant towns and hamlets indicated their further 

To see this beautiful and fertile country destroyed, and its 
wretched inhabitants compelled to fly to foreign states for protec- 
tion, added a poignancy to other distresses. The calamities of war 
fall heavily on the Indian peasantry: the collectors in those de- 
spotic governments make no abatements of rent nor attend to any 
remonstrance: nothing remains for the wretched farmer but the 
cruel alternative of flight or punishment. 

" O ! think to these depopulated realms 

" What dreadful mischiefs from ambition flow; 
" But heroes, whirl'd in victory's thundering car, 

" Nor hear the widow's cry, nor orphan's woe !" 

Aurungzebe, marching through Hindostan, set an example 
worthy the imitation of other princes, by observing the most exact 
discipline, and permitting no ravages nor injustice by his troops: 
when he encamped among corn lands, he either paid the estimated 
value to the owners, or ordered a receipt to be given for it, as part 
of the revenue due to the crown ; saying, " Although I am com- 
pelled into a war by the machinations of my brother, I cannot 
consider myself as in an enemy's country." Ragobah was now in 
a similar situation, but neither himself nor the arnvy he commanded 
paid any attention to such humane considerations. 


We marched to Neriad through a continuation of the lovelv 
country just mentioned. This city was the capital of Conda Row, 
uncle to Govind Row, one of Ragobah's principal partizans, then 
with his army at the head of eight thousand cavalry; Conda Row 
had also promised to join his standard with a considerable force; 
but uniting with his other nephew, Futty Sihng, one of the most 
powerful chieftains in Guzerat, they went over to the opposite 
party, and fought for them during the whole campaign. 

These princes were all styled Guickwar, in addition to their 
family name, as Futty Sihng Row Guickwar, Govind Row Guick- 
war, and Conda Row Guickwar; the word literally means a cow- 
keeper, which, although a low employment in general, has, in this 
noble family among the Hindoos, who venerate that animal, be- 
come a title of great importance. As they possess a large do- 
main in Guzerat contiguous to the British provinces, and as their 
history is blended with the Mahrattas, and in the political and 
territorial arrangements with the English in that part of India, 
I shall detail the .accounts I collected with some difficulty on 
our march and subsequent encampments in the Guickwar do- 

By the conquests obtained over the Moguls in Guzerat, the 
beginning of the eighteenth century, the Mahrattas annexed the 
greater part of this rich country to their rising empire: these con- 
quests were gained entirely by Pilajee, and his son Damajee, two 
renowned generals of the Guickwar family, who thereby possessed 
so much power, wealth, and influence in Guzerat, that the Poonah 
government, fearful of their adopting the system of the Mogul 
nabobs, and becoming totally independent, gave them a jaghire, 


or grant, of their large possessions, including some of the richest 
purgunnas and principal cities in the province. 

The revenue, as well as the government, of these districts was 
assigned over to them and their heirs forever, on condition of paying 
the Mahralta government an annual tribule of eight lacs of rupees, 
and furnishing three thousand horsemen armed and accoutred for 
the public service, to be maintained at the expense of the Guick- 
war family, agreeably to the feudal tenure already mentioned. It 
was further stipulated, that on urgent occasions the Guickwar 
princes should furnish the state with a troop of two thousand 
cavalry extraordinary, to be paid for from the public treasury at 
Poonah, and by this treaty one of the family was always to be 
stationed at the Mahratla capital in command of the Guzerat 

Damajee succeeded his father Pilajee in the sole command of 
the Guickwar domain, and died only a few years before the com- 
mencement of the civil wars which carried us into this noble prin- 
cipality. Damajee left five sons, Siajee Row, Govind Row, Futty 
Sihng, Monackjee, and an infant prince, with Guickwar added 
to each name. Damajee having been married some years, and his 
wife proving barren, he took a second, in conformity to the Hindoo 
law, which in such cases admits of polygamy; by her he had two 
sons, Siajee and Futty Sihng. A few months after the birth of 
the latter, his first wife, so long childless, bore a son, named 
Govind Row. After this Damajee had several children; Siajee, the 
eldest, being a lunatic, was set aside from the inheritance, and 
when we were in Guzerat resided at Songhur, a southern fortress. 
Govind Row, although in fact a few months younger than Futty 


Sihng, was by the Hindoo law entitled to inherit his father's 
possessions, from being the eldest son of his first wife, in preference 
to Futty Sihng, the fruit of a second marriage: this was the 
cause of the disputes then subsisting in the Guickwar family. 

At the time of Damajee's death Futty Sihng was at Brodera, 
the capital of the Guickwar domain, Govind Row commanded 
the Guzerat troops at Poonah: Futty Sihng immediately seized 
the patrimony, and being of good capacity, endowed with a large 
share of that cunning which constitutes a Mahratta politician, and 
well acquainted with the venality of the peshwa's court, when he 
remitted the stipulated tribute to the Poonah treasury, always 
accompanied it by a valuable present from himself to the peshwa 
and nobles, that they might detain Govind Row in the Deccan; 
there being nothing he so much dreaded as his brother coming in 
person to claim his paternal inheritance. The character of these 
brothers was very different, and so much in favour of Govind Row, 
that Futty Sihng apprehended a revolt should he appear in Guze- 
rat: his bribery to a corrupt ministry overbalanced the merit 
and just pretensions of Govind Row, until the massacre of Narron 
Row in 1773. 

Govind Row, long stationed at Poonah, had been always a 
a firm friend to Ragobah, and on his accession to the Mahratta 
government he obtained leave to proceed with his troops to 
Guzerat, and claim his patrimony: he accordingly appeared at 
the head of a considerable force before the walls of Brodera, which 
Futty Sihng, with a strong garrison, resolved to defend to the last 
extremity. At this time the civil war breaking out in the empire, 
Ragobah left Poonah for Guzerat, while Govind Row and ten 


thousand men were investing Brodera. Ragobah, then in reversed 
circumstances, claimed his friendship and personal attendance 
with all his men. Gratitude for past favours from his unfortunate 
prince, with the prospect of seeing himself in possession of his 
legal patrimony, induced him to comply with Ragobah's request; 
relinquishing his own cause, he cheerfully enlisted under Rago- 
bah's standard, and was from that time a faithful friend in all his 
adverse fortune, though strongly solicited to join the confederate 

On effecting the junction between Ragobah's army and the 
English detachment near Cambay, Futty Sihng, fearful of our 
proceeding against Brodera, commenced a correspondence with 
Ragobah, and sent a vackeel, or envoy, to the British commander, 
who concluded a treaty in which he promised to desert the enemy 
and join us on the first favourable opportunity. An English gen- 
tleman was sent to him, at his express desire, for the ratification, 
which he most craftily eluded by pretending that the confederate 
generals, among whom he was encamped, had got intelligence of 
the negociation, that he was surrounded by spies, and would not 
answer for his personal safety unless the treaty was instantly de- 
stroyed, not by tearing it in pieces, but by mastication, that not a 
particle of it might be visible, and no fire could be procured to 
burn it without suspicion. The gentleman complied in part, and 
was glad to be escorted safely to the British lines. The whole 
was discovered to be an artful contrivance of Futty Sihng, who 
had made better terms with the confederates than the English! 
and afterwards openly fought against us in every action. 


Neriad being the principal town belonging lo Conda Row, 
who had joined in all Futty Sihng's machinations against Rago- 
bah, he determined lo give it up to pillage, or levy a contribution 
from the inhabitants. This city is one of the prettiest in Guzerat, 
nearly three miles in circumference, fortified in the eastern man- 
ner with a slight wall flanked by round towers at irregular dis- 
tances; it has nine strong gates, and a dry ditch round the walls: 
in the seventeenth century it was a place of great trade, frequented 
by the English and Dutch merchants, and now contained about 
twelve thousand families, chiefly employed in fabricating the finest 
baftas, and other cotton manufactures: they also cut and polish 
the sprig stones from Copperwange, in a beautiful manner. 

On approaching Neriad, Conda Row's Subahdar sent the 
keys of the garrison to Ragobah, accompanied by every token of 
respect and submission, in hopes of preventing the intended hosti- 
lities : he offered terms, and British troops took possession of the 
gales until they were settled. The confederate army only left 
Neriad the day before our arrival, and were then encamped within 
ten miles, wailing our movements. We pitched our tents near the 
Avails among rich groves of mangos and tamarinds, and copses of 
an inferior kind of sandal-wood, with a profusion of good wells 
and an extensive lake. 

Ragobah, considering Conda Row's delinquency, was thought 
to have been very moderate in levying a contribution of only sixty 
thousand rupees on the inhabitants of Neriad; which, as usual, 
they refused to pay until the threats of immediate pillage effected 
a compliance. Each caste was assessed according to ils wealth 

and number; but some sects of Brahmins, and a very peculiar 
tribe of people called Bhauts, claimed an established privilege 
of being exempted from every kind of tax and imposition. 

The Bhauts reside chiefly in the province of Guzerat, but are 
not unknown in other pails of India; like the troubadors and 
minstrels in Europe in the days of chivalry, they seem chiefly oc- 
cupied in repealing verses of their own composition, or selections 
from the mythological legends of the Hindoos; they chant their 
verses in a style peculiar to themselves, not unpleasing to a stran- 
ger, as the modulation of the voice, and an energetic graceful 
action give etfect to the poetry; which, like the old ballads in 
Europe, is either to praise some renowned warrior, commemorate 
a victory, record a tragical event, or panegyrise a present object 
The Hindoo rajahs and Mahralta chieftains have generally a Bhaut 
in their family, who attends them on public occasions, and visils 
of ceremony; during these processions he loudly sounds their 
praise, and proclaims their titles in hyperbolical and figurative 
language. Tacitus mentions the historic songs and traditions of 
the German bards: the Greeks and other ancient nations en- 
couraged them; perhaps Homer himself may be included in a class 
which like him repeat their legendary tales, and are the oral histo- 
rians of the country. 

Although this is the usual occupation of the Bhauts, many of 
them have another mode of living; they offer themselves as secu- 
rity to the different governments for payment of their revenue, and 
the good behaviour of the Zemindars. Palels, and public farmers; 
they also become guarantees for treaties between rival princes, and 
the performance of bonds by individuals. No security is esteemed 



so binding or sacred as that of a Bhaut, because, on failure of the 
obligation, he proceeds to the house of the offending party, and 
in his presence destroys either himself or one of his family, im- 
precating the most dreadful vengeance of the gods on the head 
of him who had compelled them to shed their blood. This is 
deemed a dire catastrophe; as the Hindoos are taught to believe 
that the Bhaut's life, to which a superstitious veneration is attached, 
over and above their common horror of bloodshed, will be de- 
manded from the aggressor by an offended deity; it is therefore 
very uncommon for an obligation to be broken where a Bhaut 
stands security. 

For this responsibility the Bhauts receive an annual stipend 
from the district, village, or individual they guarantee: they sign 
their name and place of abode to the agreement, but instead of 
affixing their seal, as customary among the other tribes, they draw 
the figure of the catarra, or dagger, their usual instrument of 

This custom of the Bhauts shedding their own blood, or that 
of their family, has some analogy with many passages in ancient 
history, especially among those nations who ratified their solemn 
covenants by a bloody sacrifice. One method was to kill an ox, 
and after many religious rites, to distribute it in pieces among 
their friends; all who eat of it were from that moment connected 
by a sacred tie, and bound to perform their part of the covenant, 
whether to revenge an injury, or for any other purpose. Lucian 
says, " When anyone of the ancient Scythians received an injury, 
and had not the means of avenging himself, he sacrificed an ox, 
and cut it in pieces, which he caused to be dressed, and publicly 


exposed; he then spread out the skin of the victim, and sat upon 
it with his hands tied behind him. All who chose to take a part 
in the injury which had been done, took up a piece of the ox, and 
swore to revenge him according to their respective ability/' Hero- 
dotus mentions a circumstance of the same people still more re- 
sembling the public engagements of the Bhauts, on the occasion 
where the contracting parties cut their arms with a knife, and let 
the blood run into a bowl of wine: of which all who were present 
drank, with the most dreadful impecations against him who should 
violate the treaty. 

The Ayeen Akbery mentions Charuns and Bhauts, both em- 
ployed in singing hymns of celebration, and reciting genealogies; 
in repealing martial feats during a battle to animate the troops, 
and in discovering parables and secret things: every great man in 
those days had several in his service, both Bhauts and Charuns; 
the former equalled the latter in poetical talent, and excelled them 
in chronology. 

Although the Bhauts possess landed property, and cultivate it 
by the tribes employed in agriculture, as a privileged order they 
are exempted from taxes, and every attempt to levy an assessment 
is succeeded by the Tarakazv, a most horrid mode of murdering 
themselves and each other: this, from invariable custom, it is ab- 
solutely incumbent upon them to do; for were they voluntarily 
to submit to any imposition, those of their own tribe in other 
places would refuse to eat with them, or to intermarry with their 
family; they therefore prefer a voluntary death to this state of igno- 
miny and excommunication. 

Many families of this tribe resided in Neriad, from whence. 


they travelled when wanted officially, and were always considered 
as a most respectable part of the community. As this city had 
been twice assessed and plundered in the three preceding months, 
Ragobah's imposition reduced the inhabitants to the greatest 
distress. The most melancholy scenes occurred in every quarter, 
of families delivering up their last mite, and houses robbed of 
every moveable to answer their proportion of the tax: if insuffi- 
cient, the wretched owners, stripped of clothes and necessaries, 
were left in nakedness and poverty; or, under pretence of secret- 
ing valuables they never possessed, tortures were inflicted with 
merciless rigour. So common are these executions anions;: the 
Mahrattas, that our allies thought nothing of the cruelties in 
Neriad. Britons were not so unconcerned, their generous bosoms 
glowed with indignation against such wanton oppression : but all re- 
monstrances were vain ; Ragobah and his officers, like Gallio of 
Achaia, " cared for none of those things." 

When these cruelties and the refusal of the Bhauts to pay 
the tax were reported in the English camp, the commanding 
officer sent the brigade-major privately into the town, to convene 
the principal Bhauts, and assure them if they discharged their 
quota quietly, they might rely upon protection, sincerely la- 
menting the necessity of the measure. The heads of the tribe 
informed the officer they were able to pay more than was de- 
manded in any other mode, but if Ragobah persisted in com 
pulsory assessment, they should prefer death to submission. 

These humane remonstrances and persuasions proving ineffec- 
tual, and Ragobah continuing inexorable, the whole tribe of Bhauts, 
men, women, and children, repaired to an open space in the city, 



armed with daggers, and with a loud voice proclaimed a dreadful 
sacrifice: they once more prayed for an exemption, which being 
refused, they rushed furiously upon each other, and a consi- 
derable number perished before our astonished troops could dis- 
arm them. One man, more cool and deliberate than the rest, 
brought his family to the area before the durbar: it consisted of 
two younger brothers, and a beautiful sister, all under eighteen 
years of age; he first stabbed the unresisting damsel to the heart, 
instantly plunged the dagger into the breast of one brother, and 
desperately wounded the other before he could be prevented ; 
indeed the whole horrid deed was in a manner instantaneous. I 
afterwards heard this man boast of having sacrificed his father a few 
months before in the glorious cause for which he had now become 
a fratricide. 

A particular sect of brahmins claimed the same privilege of 
exemption: on being refused, they likewise vowed revenge; but 
acting more wisely than the Bhauts, they purchased two aged 
matrons of the same caste, who having performed the duties 
of life, were now past the enjoyment of its pleasures, and quietly 
submitted to the sacrifice. These ancient ladies were sold by their 
daughters for forty rupees each, to enable them to defray the 
expense incurred by the funeral ceremonies, on which the Indians 
all lay a great stress. The victims were then conducted to the 
market-place, where the brahmins, calling aloud for vengeance, 
dispatched them to another state of transmigration. After these 
sacrifices neither brahmins nor Bhauts thought it any disgrace to 
pay their share of the imposition. What an anomaly is sometimes 


found in the human character, and what a deviation from the 
general system does the conduct of these people exhibit! 

" Our depths who fathoms, or our shallows finds, 

" Quick whirls, and shifting eddies of our minds ? 

" On human actions, reason though you can, 

" It may be Reason, but it is not Man ; 

" 'Tis education forms the common mind, 

" Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined." 


The Neriad assessment being at length collected, on the 
14th of May we left that ill-fated city, and marched towards the 
river Myhi. During our progress the enemy's advanced cavalry 
burnt every village on the road, destroyed the forage, and as far 
as possible exhausted the tanks and wells; their whole army 
came twice unexpectedly upon us, but were repulsed with loss. 
It was sometimes reported that they poisoned the wells and tanks, 
as well as burnt the villages and corn-ricks: the latter we daily wit- 
nessed, but I do not recollect an instance of the former more than 
once, and then it appeared doubtful. To our numerous army and 
camp-followers that step would have been of little consequence, 
unless they could have produced deleterious effects on an exten- 
sive lake; since, as already observed, nothing less could satisfy 
us for more than one night; brooks at this late season were 
dried up, and we never allowed them time to alter the course of 
a river, as is sometimes practised. Hezekiah, on the approach 
of the Assyrian army to Jerusalem, took counsel with his princes 
and mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were 


without the city, and the brook that ran though the midst of the 
land ; Babylon was taken by turning the course of the Euphrates; 
and many modern oriental cities would easily fall by the same 

On the 18th we reached the plains of Arras, the spot which 
had been so fatal to Ragobah in his last battle with the ministerial 
army, before the English junction: there, in conformity to the 
Hindoo superstition of omens, astrological calculations, and Brah- 
minical predictions, the enemy resolved once more to try their 
fortune in a general action. Most of the Indians firmly believe in 
omens, whether from cows, birds, or accidental circumstances; 
ignorant and superstitious, the brahmins and Mullahs encourage 
such a disposition, and make their advantage of it. The prac- 
tice of astrology has prevailed in a greater or less degree among 
most nations unenlightened by Christianity. Suetonius mentions 
the army of Vitellius to have been directed by the flight of an 
eagle in the way they were to march. " Praemisso agmini Icetum 
evenit auspicium ; siquidem a parte dextra repente aquila advo- 
lavit : lustratisque signis, ingressos viam sensim antecessit." Homer 
abounds in omens; the Jews were continually requiring signs and 
tokens, and positively ordered to place no confidence in diviners, 
nor to hearken to dreamers. 

Ragobah and the superstitious brahmins svho surrounded him 
were aware of the prevailing opinion in the enemy's camp; they 
doubtless performed many prayers and ceremonies to avert the fatal 
consequences, but we had reason to suppose they placed greater 
confidence in Brilish valour, superior tactics, and formidable artil- 
lery: still it was unpleasant as well as inconvenient to act under 


• such a superstitious prince. A few days before our arrival at 
Neriad, the enemy on a particular occasion sent a herald under a 
flag of truce to Ragobah, and at the same time the officer who ac- 
companied him informed the colonel, that if we (the English) would 
quit their guns, they would be more upon a par with each other, 
and it would shew a more generous courage; or, if we selected a 
champion from our forces, they would appoint another from theirs 
to meet him, and decide the event of the war by single combat; 
but that the effects of our grape-shot and shells were unfair and 

On entering the plains of Arras we perceived the enemy ad- 
vancing; in two divisions, who soon commenced a cannonade on 
the rear, where Ragobah was seated on his state elephant: his 
body guard, at his particular request, had been this day strongly 
reinforced from the English detachment. Our line immediately 
formed, and a further reinforcement of infantry was ordered to 
Ragobah's assistance, but no artillery; the field pieces remained 
with the line, and kept up a heavy fire till the enemy's cannon 
were silenced, and their cavalry dispersed with considerable loss. 
The colonel having frequently told Ragobah that he would attack 
the enemy's guns whenever they brought them on a plain without 
the separation of a river, now gave orders for a strong party to ad- 
vance and take them. The detachment was immediately formed, 
and advanced with captains Myers and Scrle at the head of 
their companies of European infantry, and a strong party of 
&epoys. The enemy on observing our intention returned at full 
speed with their artillery, and threw in a large body of cavalry 
between our advanced party and their guns, who twice charged 


the British detachment with great impetuosity: they were re- 
pulsed and fled. At this time another large body of cavalry, with 
several war elephants, penetrated between our advanced party and 
the British line, who declaring themselves Ragobah's partizans, 
were permitted to approach unmolested; especially as their 
assertions were confirmed by Hurra Punt, an officer of rank in his 
army. Here we were fatally deceived, and Hurra Punt proved a 
traitor! Several among; our allies overheard this infamous man 
calling on the enemy to seize the opportunity of striking a decisive 
blow, by cutting off the advanced division; inconsequence they 
commenced a vigorous attack, and nearly surrounded them b} r 
their elephants and cavalry. Our brave fellows repulsed them 
gallantly in front and rear; many were cut to pieces, among them 
captains Myers and Serle: when by some unaccountable mistake 
of the officer who then took the command, the grenadiers facing 
to the right about, to change their ground, commenced a retreat; 
the other Europeans and sepoys followed their example. Unfor- 
tunately at this time a tumbril of shells belonging to the howitzer, 
pierced by a rocket, blew up, and added to the general confusion. 
Although our men retired with precipitation, they preserved some 
order until they reached an impenetrable hedge of the thorny 
milk-bush ; here they entirely broke their ranks, and leaving a field- 
piece in the hands of the enemy, endeavoured to push through 
the formidable barrier, though repeatedly ordered by the surviving 
officers to form. Another body now advanced against this devoted 
detachment; their officers in vain endeavoured to rally them, and 
fell a sacrifice. The enemy pursued the fugitives to the advancing 
British line, which now recommenced a brisk fire; our grape-shot 

VOL. II. o 


and shells at length drove off the whole confederate array, and we 
remained masters of the field. The brigade major with a com- 
pany of grenadiers had previously retaken the field-piece; the 
tumbril of ammunition was lost in the explosion. 

The engagement lasted near four hours. Situated as we were 
in respect to Europeans, the victory was dearly purchased: out of 
fifteen British officers in the advanced division, seven were killed 
and four wounded, besides a great many native officers and two 
hundred sepoys; we also had to lament eighty Europeans killed 
and missing, mostly grenadiers. The officers at that unfortunate 
crisis separated from the line, and, deserted by their soldiers, 
bravely fell in the bed of honour. I had been conversing with 
most of them during the morning march, and in the evening was 
called to bury them in a large pit with their unfortunate comrades. 
A field of battle is indeed a scene of horror ! 

" For then does Death line his dead chaps with steel, 
" The swords of soldiers are his teeth, his fangs ; 
" And now he feasts, mouthing the flesh of men, 
" In undetermin'd differences of kings!" Shakespeake. 

During the retreat of our advanced division a Mahratta 
officer of cavalry came upon ensign Tureen, a gallant youth of 
sixteen, who lay upon the ground severely wounded: he ordered 
him to mount behind on horseback immediately; the young officer 
declared it to be impossible, from loss of blood, and the nature of 
his wounds; the Mahratta then ordered him to deliver his sash 
as a token to his commanding officer that he had done his duty; 
which having complied with, he was instantly ran over by a 


troop of cavalry, and almost trampled to death. He was again 
severely wounded in colonel Bailie's memorable action in the Car- 
natic, and finished his short career of glory in a subsequent engage- 
ment with the sultan of Mysore. 

In the battle of Arras the confederates lost several principal 
officers, and upwards of a thousand men, with a number of horses 
and elephants; many of the Mahrattas fell in attempting to carry 
off the killed and wounded, an act of humanity to which they 
pay the greatest attention. They seldom leave a body on the 
field, and venture almost to the cannon's mouth, rather than suffer 
the remains of a friend to be exposed: out of the number killed 
in this action only seven bodies were found after their retreat. 

The dreadful scenes on the field of battle before the sepulture 
of our dead, and the removal of the wounded, together with the 
groans of elephants, camels, horses and oxen, expiring by hun- 
dreds, united to the noise of vultures, and screams of other raven- 
ous birds hovering over them, realized the sublime invitation in 
sacred writ for the birds of prey to come to the feast of death. 
" Come, and gather yourselves together, that ye may eat the flesh 
of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, 
and the flesh of horses, and of them that sat thereon, both small 
and great/' 

The traitor Hurra Punt, who betrayed our unfortunate detach- 
ment into the enemy's hands, was punished as his infamous con- 
duct deserved; a grenadier sepoy of the British line pulled him 
from his horse, and Ragobah's Arabs, who had suffered severely by 
his treachery, cut him to pieces. 

We continued several hours on the field of battle, assisting the 


wounded, and burying the dead: the heat was intense, and the 
plains of Arras not affording a drop of water, we proceeded to- 
wards the banks of the Myhi; but, unable to reach that noble 
river, we encamped at Bettassee, a good village, where providen- 
tially meeting with some large wells, and a tank not quite ex- 
hausted, we remained the next day to perform the necessary am- 
putations, and administer such comfort as we could to the sick 
and wounded; our flying hospital now consisting of more than 
four hundred patients, most of them in violent fevers in conse- 
quence of the extreme heat, and the wounds received in the battle 
of Arras. 

About this time Ragobah, or rather Ragonath Row, peshwa of 
the Mahratta empire, signed a phinnaun, or grant, by which he 
engaged himself to pay the English detachment under colonel 
Keating employed in his service, the sum of thirty lacs of rupees 
on his arrival at Poonah, and re-establishment in the government 
of the Mahratta empire; specifying that this donation is intended 
in lieu of plunder, prize-money, and all demands of that kind. 
This is a usual method of recompensing European troops for their 
services to the Indian princes. 

I have already mentioned the inconvenience and confusion 
occasioned by calling the same person by different names. In this 
instrument of royalty, Ragobah styles himself Ragonauth Row, 
Ballajee Peshwa, Pundit Purdun, of the Mahratta empire. This 
was his title as sovereign. Ragonauth Row was his name of re- 
spect; Ragobah that by which he was generally addressed, and 
called by the army; and Dadah-Saheb, the familiar and endeared 
name used by his family. 


The following morning we crossed the Myhi at the pass of 
Fazal-poor: on approaching the banks, we found the ground full 
of hollow ways, and ravines two or three hundred feet deep; the 
steep banks were bare of trees, but covered with prickly bushes. 
The celebrated pass at Fazal-poor is a deep narrow defile, where 
only one of our baggage carts, exceeding four hundred in number, 
could proceed at a time, on a very indifferent road; here the 
enemy might have annoyed us, but we were suffered to pass un- 
molested. The bed of the river is there about four hundred yards 
broad, but the pellucid stream, running over a silver sand and 
shells, does not exceed fifty at that advanced season. 

We fully expected to have encountered the enemy at Fazal- 
poor. On the preceding evening the brigade major volunteered to 
proceed from Bettassee, and reconnoitre the pass and fortress on 
the banks of the Myhi, where, from the natural strength of the 
position, we supposed the confederates would make a stand. 
Ragobah ordered a select troop of cavalry to accompany the 
major on this service, and provided a fleet, to facilitate his re- 
treat, if necessary. They returned at midnight, with the pleasing 
intelligence that the enemy had crossed the Myhi after the battle 
of Arras, and leaving a garrison in Fazal-poor, the main-body pro- 
ceeded in full speed towards the Nerbudda, and left the pass of 
the Myhi free. On the brigade major's report, captain Stuart of- 
fered to march immediately to Fazal-poor with his battalion of 
sepoys, and drive the enemy from the fort, but the commanding 
officer thought the risk too great for the proposed object. 

At sun-set the English detachment, artillery and stores, had all 
safely crossed the Myhi; we encamped on the southern banks, 


and early in next morning marched towards Barochc, where it 
was intended to halt a few days, to obtain a supply of money, 
ammunition and stores, and to send the sick and wounded to the 
hospital. On leaving Fazal-poor, we proceeded through a continu- 
ation of deep defiles, and almost subterraneous passes, for Iavo 
miles; from whence we entered a cultivated plain, in the Brodera 
Purgunna, which having hitherto escaped the ravages of war, pre- 
sented a perfect garden. 

Near a village called Sevasee Contra, I left the line of march, 
to sketch a remarkable building, which formed an oblong square 
of two hundred feet by fifty; the walls were low, and a small 
dome at each corner gave it the appearance of a Mahomedan 
mausoleum. On a nearer approach, I discovered it to be a well of 
very superior workmanship; of that kind which the natives call 
JBhouree, or Bhoulee: the portal was elegant, the roof supported 
by pillars, each a single stone, twelve feet high; this led to a flight 
of an hundred and twenty steps, of hewn stone, terminating at a 
reservoir of fine water; the space from the fountain to the portal, 
the perpendicular height of these noble stairs, was ornamented 
with six tiers of pillars, of an elegant order, each tier supporting 
large stones across the breadth; these columns were of a single 
stone twelve feet high, the base, shaft and capital well propor- 
tioned. These two rows of pillars, and two of pilasters corres- 
ponding on the side walls, formed three magnificent avenues to 
the fountain at the bottom, and produced a good effect from the 
different resting places, which were adorned with niches, and a 
profusion of carved-work; the cross stone on the uppermost tier 
was richly sculptured, and contained an inscription, which I did 


not stay to copy, as several detached parties from the fortress of 
Fazal-poor hovered near us, in the rear. 

A Mahratta general assured me this reservoir cost fifteen lacs 
of rupees, or one hundred and eighty thousand pounds sterling; 
which is not improbable, when it is known that in the Guzerat pro- 
vince, in the space of several hundred square miles together, not 
a stone is to be met with; we must also recollect the former 
wealth of Guzerat, and the execution of the work, when the price 
of labour was comparatively trifling. I have already mentioned 
the encomium lavished on such public benefactors by sacred and 
profane writers: to construct a Bhouree of this kind establishes 
the founder's fame throughout Hindostan. 

About two o'clock we encamped near Pad rah, a large town in 
the Brodera Purgunna, defended by a brick wall and irregular 
towers; the houses are well built, the town populous, and the 
surrounding country highly cultivated. The Brodera district is one 
of the richest in Guzerat; the land divided into extensive enclo- 
sures, the hedges adorned with mango and tamarind trees: the 
latter, then in fresh verdure and full bloom, diffused a fragrant 
odour, and afforded a refreshing shade. The banian trees near 
Padrah, from their amazing size, appeared coeval with the deluge, 
and formed a canopy for our troops impervious to the meridian 
sun: they were filled with monkeys, squirrels and peacocks, all 
favoured and protected by the Hindoos. The country abounded 
with antelopes, deer, hares, porcupines, partridges and quails; the 
lakes and rivers were covered with water-fowl; few encampments 
could be more delicious. 

The following morning we marched ten miles to the banks of 


the Dahder. Crossing the river at the pass of Maun-poor, we 
pitched our tents in a shady spot on the south side of the river, 
and found the plains adorned by a beautiful species of the mimosa, 
covered with fragrant blossoms of rose-colour and yellow; also a 
thorn, bearing a red flower, succeeded by a small plum varying 
in tints of green, pink, blooming lilac, and dark purple. 

On the 25th we marched towards Baroche, through the Ahmood 
districts, generally a rich black earth, favourable to cotton, juarree, 
and many valuable productions; the Brodera Purgunna was 
mostly a light reddish soil, very productive. The next day we 
entered the Baroche Purgunna, belonging to the English: it is 
extensive and productive: the soil in different parts partaking of 
the Ahmood and Brodera districts, resembles them in crops. 

No enemy having been there, we found the country in the 
highest style of cultivation, the inhabitants peaceable and happy, 
the villages, seldom more than two miles from each other, contained 
from fifty to a hundred cottages, with a tank, and one or two pub- 
lic wells; the white dome of a Hindoo temple, or a Mahomedan 
minaret rising among the mango and tamarind trees, added to 
the general beauty. They are usually planted when the village is 
built, and in a few years form a useful and ornamental grove; 
where the women spin, and the weavers fabricate cotton cloth of 
every texture, from coarse canvas to delicate muslin. Many other 
occupations are carried on under this verdant canopy. 

We encamped for the night at Sourban, one of the best vil- 
lages in the Baroche Purgunna. In our march thither we passed 
through the country described by Thevenot in the seventeenth 
century, as a wild tract, once inhabited by anthropophagi; that I 


suppose admits of a doubt; not so that many parts are still in- 
fested by tribes of wild men, and most audacious robbers, under 
the names of Gracias, Bheels, Coolies, Cotties, and other plun- 
derers; who, either in gangs or individually, way-lay the traveller. 
During our sojourning on the banks of the Myhi, Sabermatty, 
and other Guzerat rivers, not a night passed in which our camp 
was not robbed and plundered by these banditti. Thevenot's 
Merdi-Coura certainly no longer remain, but as the existence of such 
a people is a curious circumstance, which probably will be proved 
hereafter, it may not be uninteresting to mention his remarks on 
the country near Sourban, where we were now encamped, and 
from whence we marched the following- morning to Baroche. 

" On leaving Baroche," this intelligent writer observes, " I 
journeyed to Sourban, and having crossed the brook Dader,I arrived, 
at Debca, which lies on the side of a wood; the inhabitants 
thereof were formerly called Merdi-Coura, or Anthropophagi, 
man-eaters; and it is not very many years since man's flesh was 
there publicly sold in the markets. It seems to be a nest of robbers; 
the inhabitants, who are for the most part armed with swords, are 
a most impudent sort of people : passengers are always upon their 
guard; nay, they are obliged to carry a lance with them whenever they 
go only to the water-side. When my friends found I was to travel 
through this country, they advised me, for my security, to take a 
Tcheron (I suppose one of the Charuns mentioned with the Bhauts 
at Neriad) with a woman of his caste or tribe, to wait upon me 
until I were out of danger. These Tcherons are a caste of Gentiles, 
who are highly esteemed amongst the idolaters; if a traveller have 
any of these with him he thinks himself safe, because the Tcheron 

VOL. Ho p 


acquaints the robbers they meet, that the stranger is under his 
guard, and that if they come near him, he will cut his own throat, 
and the woman threatens them that she will cut off one of her 
breasts with a razor, which she shows them; and all the heathen 
look upon it to be a great misfortune to be the cause of the death 
of a Tcheron, because ever after the guilty person is an eyesore 
to his whole tribe, from which he is turned out. From Pitlad, 
we came to Sousentra (most probably Sevasee-contra,) where I 
saw a very lovely well, and met upon the road an infinite number 
of apes of all sorts, not only upon the trees in the fields, but also 
by the way-side, which were not in the least afraid of any body. 
I several times endeavoured to make them fly with my arms, but 
they stirred not, and cried their pou-pou like mad; which is, as I 
think, the houp-houp of which Monsieur de la Boulaye speaks." 








He travels and expatiates, as the bee 
From flow'r to flow'r, so he from land to land ; 
The manners, customs, policy of all 
Pay contribution to the store he gleans ; 
He sucks intelligence in every clime, 
And spreads the honey of his deep research, 
At his return — a rich repast for me. 

He travels, and I too. I tread his deck, 
Ascend his topmast, through his peering eyes 
Discover countries; with a kindred heart 
Suffer his woes, and share in his escapes. Cowper, 


Encampment at Baroche — description of that city— silver mosque — 
Bawrhan — trade — JSlerbudda river — Hindoo women bathing — dis- 
content in Ragobah's army — desertion of his troops — change of 
measures — resolution to pass the rainy season in Guzerat — march 
from Baroche towards Dhuboy, destined for winter quarters — ex- 
treme heat — extract from Bernier — night march — confusion of 
the enemy — cause of not more effectually surprizing them — pass 
of Bowa-peer — encamp at Thain Telow — sudden setting in of 
the monsoon — horrors of the night — destruction of the camp, and 
death of persons and cattle by the tempest — situation in the com- 
manding officer's tent— rise of the water — serpents, scorpions, and 
reptiles in the village huts — proceed one mile towards Dhuboy — 
renew the march — difficulty of getting on the artillery — winter 
quarters in Dhuboy — description of that city — durbar — adjutant 
bird — encampment of Ragobah's army at Bellapoor — situation of 
the country — -journey to Bellapoor — rise of the Dahcler — incle- 
mency of the weather — females in Ragobah's zenana — an intrigue 
with Esswant Row — his execution, and the death of his mistress — - 
inconveniences of a camp in the rainy season — miscellaneous re- 
marks — duplicity and chicanery of the Indians — comparison be- 
tween the Asiatic and English character — cruelty of brahmins — 
anecdote of their dire revenge — division of castes — Mahratta cha- 
racter — scruples of the Indians repecting food — story of some 

palanquin-bearers, on that subject — anecdote of Narrain Doss — 
water for drinking — scruples concerning it — vessels for cooling it — 
mangos — Mahratta tents — illness of the writer — conclusion of the 
war — subsequent fate of Ragobah. 
Memorial relative to a Mahratta army, by Sir Charles Malet. 


On the 27th of May, the English detachment encamped near the 
walls of Baroche, and continued there until the 8th of June : this 
city then belonged to the English, and having many friends there 
in the Company's service, I resided among them during our stay, 
and doubly enjoyed the comforts of domestic life, after a fatiguing 
campaign in the hottest season of the year; when, except to change 
them, I had seldom taken off my clothes, or slept out of a pa- 

Baroche is situated on an eminence, on the north banks of 
the Nerbudda, in the twenty-second degree of north latitude; 
about forty miles from Sural, sixty from Cambay, and twenty- 
six from the entrance of the river; it is two miles and a half 
in circumference, fortified in the oriental manner with high walls, 
perforated for musketry, and flanked by towers, mounted with 
cannon; there are two principal gates, and several smaller out- 
lets: the suburbs are extensive and populous, and the surround- 
ing country fertile and pleasant. Baroche, from its natural situa- 
tion and strength of the works, may, for an Asiatic city, be 
deemed a formidable fortress, and cost the English some loss and 


much trouble to take it from the nabob in lTi'2; from which 
time until 17B3 it remained in the Company's possession. 

The ancient history of Baroche is of little consequence, nor 
can I trace its origin; it is with great reason supposed to have 
been the Barygaza of Ptolemy. It formerly belonged to the Hin- 
doos, but when the Mahomedans conquered Guzerat, and sub- 
dued Ahmedabadj Cambay, and Surat, Baroche shared a similar 
fate. From that period, until taken by the English, it was go- 
verned by a nabob; first as a delegate from the Great Mogul, and 
then by usurped authority as an independent prince: although 
the Mahratta chieftains of Brodera compelled the nabobs at dif- 
ferent limes to assign over six tenths of the Baroche revenue; which 
were then paid by the Company to Futty Sihng, the chief of Bro- 
dera: the whole revenue amounted to six lacs of rupees, upwards 
of seven t} r -five thousand pounds. 

The houses in Baroche are built like those at Surat and Cam- 
bay; the streets are generally narrow and dirty: the durbar, or 
palace of the late nabob, occupies a large range of buildings, com- 
manding a view of the river, and a rich country beyond the southern 
banks. There were formerly several musjids at Baroche, especially 
one, called by way of eminence the silver mosque, situated in the 
centre of a large area containing several marble tombs, under a 
handsome cupola; on the w r est side is the musjid, or house of 
prayer; on the south, a small temple enclosed with a lattice, co- 
vered with thin plates of silver, has obtained this dignified appel- 
lation. There, under velvet canopies, are deposited the remains of 
the former nabobs of Baroche; the last, after the loss of his capital, 
fled to a distant country, and fell a sacrifice to his misfortunes. 


General Wedderburne, Commander in Chief of the Bombay forces, 
was killed during the siege; a tomb is erected to his memory near 
the flag-staff tower. In the vicinity of Baroche are several other 
dilapidated mosques and mausoleums, particularly one called 
Bawhran, on an extensive scale. The nabob's gardens without 
the walls, nearly a mile in circumference, are laid out with some 
taste; they contain several summer pavilions, fountains, and canals, 
with abundance of oriental fruits and flowers. 

Situated in a fertile province, this city is well supplied with 
provision: fine beef, mutton, kid, and poultry, at very reasonable 
rates; with venison, game, wild-fowl, and plenty of fruits and ve- 
getables; the river Nerbudda, which washes the southern walls, 
abounds with carp and other fish. 

Baroche has alwaj^s been a place of considerable trade; very 
extensive cotton manufactures are carried on there; and large con- 
signments of raw cotton from the adjoining districts are exported 
in boats to Surat and Bombay, to be shipped for China and differ- 
ent parts of India; as, from the dangerous navigation in the gulf of 
Cambay, few large vessels venture up higher than Surat. 

The Nerbudda rises in the mountains far to the north-east: it 
is esteemed one of the sacred streams of the Hindoos, and through- 
out the whole day the women of Baroche arc bathing in the river, 
without being at all abashed by spectators, though no females are 
more modest than the Hindoos; they shift their garments, consist- 
ing of a single drapery, elegantly folded, in the most expeditious 
manner, without the least offence to decency. Custom reconciles 
every thing; and not a spark of jealousy enters the breast of a brah- 
min or banian husband, when he sees his Avife bathing in the same 



stream with a hundred of the opposite sex. Besides the flowery 
sacrifices daily offered to the gods of the Nerbuddah, there are 
solemn rites at stated periods; about once in forty years, as regu- 
lated by astrological calculations in the brahminical calendar, a 
grand jatterah, or festival, is celebrated on its banks, to which 
pilgrims resort from all parts of Hindostan; every Hindoo who 
can accomplish the journey, is desirous once in his life to assist at 
this solemnity, and anticipates it with as much enthusiasm as the 
zealous mussulmaun does his pilgrimage to the sacred shrines in 
Mecca and Medina. 

During our stay at Baroche, great discontent prevailed in 
Ragobah/s army, which at length produced murmurs and remon- 
strances, occasioned by long arrears of pay, and other disappoint- 
ments. Govind Row Guykwar, one of the peshwa's principal ad- 
herents, declared he would not accompany him to Poonah, unless 
he was put into the possession of Brodera, his paternal inheritance. 
TheArab andScindian infantry insisted on receiving their arrears be- 
fore they crossed the Nerbudda; a thousand of the former, under 
arms, marched out of the camp with music playing and colours 
flying, and never returned. These seditions caused a change of 
measures in Ragobah's council: it was now finally resolved to 
remain in Guzerat during the rainy months, and proceed to 
Poonah at the commencement of the fair season. Dhuboy, a for- 
tified city about fifty miles from Baroche, was the place destined 
for our winter quarters; accordingly on the eighth of June we 
marched from Baroche, along the banks of the Nerbudda, towards 
that place, which was then in possession of the enemy. 

In our route thither we passed near the celebrated banian-tree, 


called Cubbeer-burr, eighteen hundred feet in circumference,as fully 
described in another place. Proceeding from thence by Coral, 
Ranghur, and Zinore, all situated on the lofty banks of the Ner- 
budda, the army encamped two nights in a delightful spot not far 
from the water-side, from whence the country in every direction 
presented a charming picture: to the north and west an extensive 
cultivated plain, abounding with mango groves and villages, on 
the east and south the river meandered boldly through a fertile 
and populous champaign, bounded by the woody hills and lofty 
mountains of Rajpipley. This hilly tract belongs to an indepen- 
dent rajah, whose wild domain is situated in the midst of the 
Mahratta empire. By paying an annual tribute, he remained 

Our march on the tenth was very fatiguing; in hopes of sur- 
prising the enemy, we had not pursued the direct road to Dhuboy, 
but followed them towards the pass of Bowa-Peer, where we were 
informed they had encamped. The heat this day was dreadful; 
a European serjeant was killed instantaneously by a coup de soleil, 
and several in the ranks were recovered with difficulty. The country 
was still beautiful, but the hot winds and burning dust which con- 
tinually overwhelmed us, were an alloy to every pleasure; the im- 
mense clouds of the latter,occasioned by the motion of threehundred 
thousand men and animals, in a light soil, which for eight months 
had not been moistened by a single shower, is inconceivable, nor 
have I language to describe the rage of the hot winds. Bernier, 
in his excursion with Aurungzebe from Delhi to Cachemire, truly 
characterises our situation, as well as my sensations for havino- ex- 


posed myself to such an ordeal; it is written in the style of the 
seventeenth century. 

" C'est trop de curiosite, il y a de la folie, ou du moins de la 
" temerite a un Europecn de s'exposer a. de telles chaleurs, et a 
" de si facheuses et dangereuses marches; c'est se mettre en evi- 
" dens peril de la vie: mon corps est devenu un vray crible, sec 
" ct aride, et je ne me suis pas plutost jette une pinte d'eau dans 
" l'estomac, (car on n'y va point a moins) que je la voy en mesme 
" temps sortir de tous mes membres com me une rosee jusques 
" aux bouts des doigts; je crois en avoir aujourd'huy beu plus de 
" dix pintes; encore est-ce une grande consolation qu'on en peut 
" quasi boire autant qu'on veut sans quelle fasse de mal, pourveu 
" quelle soil bonne. 

" Le soleil ne fait que de se lever, cependant il est insupport- 
" able, il n'y a pas un nuage; pas un souffle de vent; mes chevaux 
" n'en peuvent plus; ils n'ont pas veu une herbe verte depuis 
" Labor; mes Indiens avec toule leur peau noire, seche et dure se 
" rendent, tout mon visage, mes mains et mes pieds sont pelez, et 
" mon corps est tout couvert de petites pustules rouges, qui me 
" piquent comme des aiguilles; hier un de nos pauvres cavaliers 
" qui n'avoit point de tente, fut trouve mort au pied d'un petit 
" arbre dont il s'estoit saisi. Adieu, 1'ancre se seche au bout de 
" ma plume, et la plume me tombe de la main! adieu!" 

This sultry and fatiguing march brought us in the evening to 
Serulah, a village in the Zinore Purgunna, the residence of 
several respectable families in the tribe of Bhauts. After halting 
until midnight we renewed our march to beat up the enemy's 


quarters at the pass of Bowa Peer; where, notwithstanding their 
usual vigilance, we understood from our Halcarras and spies, they 
were lulled in security, from a supposition of our having crossed 
the Nerbudda, at one of the western fords. We marched in tole- 
rable order by moonlight for two hours, when becoming extremely 
dark, Ragobah's cavalry continually broke through our line, and 
obliged us to halt until day-break; we then proceeded to the heights 
of Ranghur, from whence at sun-rise we discerned the enemy's 
camp, with their tents and colours all standing, at three miles dis- 
tance. The sight of our advanced guard threw them into the greatest 
confusion; they struck their tents with precipitation, and filled the 
bed of the river with elephants, camels, and fugitives of every de- 
scription : their bazar, escorted by seven thousand cavalry, had al- 
ready crossed; the rest of the army now followed them in all direc- 
tions. The British troops, disregarding heat and fatigue, marched 
with alacrity, but were retarded by the deep fissures and defiles on 
the banks of the Nerbudda. Instead of forming, as usual, and 
marching towards us when we approached their camp, the enemy 
fled in the utmost disorder, and our round and grape had but little 

The halt after midnight prevented our completely surprising 
their camp at day-break, otherwise we should have made 
many prisoners, and found considerable plunder; but this delay 
afforded an opportunity to carry off their valuables, and leave us 
little more than some grain and provender. It w r as impossible 
for harassed European infantry and sepoysto pursue flying cavalry, 
nor could we stimulate Ragobah's horse to follow them, or indeed 
to advance in a body beyond our guns: a few independent parties 


took an advantage of still smaller troops of the enemy, to bring 
off an elephant, twenty camels, two hundred horses, and a great 
number of pack oxen: a detachment under their own leader 
crossed the river without orders, and plundered the rear of the 
enemy's bazar; but none attempted to pursue the main body. 
The only article of booty obtained by the British troops fell to the 
lot of the brigade major, who observing a sepoy with a bundle 
under his arm, pursued by a native officer, who seemed resolved 
to share the spoil, he rode up just as they opened the parcel, which 
to their surprize and disappointment contained a new-born infant, 
which some unfortunate mother had most probably dropped in 
her flight. Both parties most willingly consigned their treasure to 
the humanity of my friend, who immediately procured a wet nurse 
for the little foundling, the only want in a climate where infants 
wear no drapery. 

At eleven o'clock we encamped on the enemy's ground, on the 
banks of the Nerbudda, near the pass of Bowa-peer, which takes 
its name from a celebrated Mahomedan saint, buried there eight 
hundred years before; his tomb, covered with silk and embroidery, 
is daily strewed with flowers, and nightly illuminated by small 
lamps; his character is so highly estimated, that Hindoos and 
Mahomedans approach his shrine with equal reverence. The 
Fakeer who resides in a sacred grove near the tomb, and performs 
the stated religious ceremonies, informed us that when the enemy 
first discerned our approach, they threw several of their cannon, 
and a great deal of ammunition into the river; some of them were 
taken up by our pioneers. 

Early on the 12 ih of June we marched from Bowa-peer to- 


wards Dhuboy, twenty miles distant; the day was cloudy: a few 
showers had cooled the air, and rendered the country delightful. 
On leaving the river, we passed several large villages, embosomed 
in groves, and abounding with wells, but found the tanks ex- 
hausted until we reached Thain-telow; which takes its name from 
a large reservoir of water, enclosed with a wall of hewn stone and 
surrounded by a noble flight of steps, the labour and expense of 
former ages. This village being only six miles from Dhuboy, we 
pitched our light tents for the night, with the intention of march- 
ing into Dhuboy the following morning, to take possession of winter 

The shades of evening approached as we reached the ground, 
and just as the encampment was completed the atmosphere grew 
suddenly dark, the heat became oppressive, and an unusual still- 
ness presaged the immediate setting in of the monsoon. The whole 
appearance of nature resembled those solemn preludes to earth- 
quakes and hurricanes in the West Indies, from which the east in 
general is providentially free. We were allowed very little time 
for conjecture; in a few minutes the heavy clouds burst over us 

" With the big stores of steaming oceans charg'd ; 

" There thunder held his black tremendous throne; 

" From cloud to cloud the rending lightning rag'd ; 

" Till in the furious elemental war 

" Dissolv'd, the whole precipitated mass 

" Unbroken floods^, and solid torrents pour'd." 

Thomson's high-coloured picture is no exaggerated description 
of this unexpected tempest. I witnessed seventeen monsoons in 
India, but this exceeded them all, in it's awful appearance and 


dreadful effects. Encamped in a low situation, on the borders 
of a lake formed to collect the surrounding water, we found our- 
selves in a few hours in a liquid plain. The tent-pins giving way, 
in a loose soil, the tents fell down and left the whole army exposed 
to the contending elements. It requires a lively imagination to 
conceive the situation of an hundred thousand human beings of 
every description, with more than two hundred thousand elephants, 
camels, horses, and oxen, suddenly overwhelmed by this dreadful 
storm, in a strange country, without any knowledge of high or 
low ground; the whole being covered by an immense lake, and 
surrounded by thick darkness, which prevented our distinguishing 
a single object, except such as the vivid glare of lightning displayed 
in horrible forms. No language can describe the wreck of a large 
encampment thus instantaneously destroyed, and covered with 
water; amid the cries of old men and helpless women, terrified 
by the piercing shrieks of their expiring children, unable to afford 
them relief. During this dreadful night more than two hundred 
persons and three thousand cattle perished, and the morning dawn 
exhibited a shocking spectacle. Among those who fell a sacrifice 
was the little foundling from the enemy's camp. 

Such was the general situation of the army, such the conclu- 
sion of the campaign. As secretary to the commanding officer, I 
was always one of his family, and generally slept in his tent. At this 
time he was ill with a violent fever, and on the commencement of 
the storm had been removed in his palanquin to the village: I 
endeavoured to follow him; but up to my knees in water, and 
often plunging into holes much deeper, I was compelled to return 
to the tent; there being left alone, and perceiving the water 


gradually rising, I stood upon a chair, to keep me above its surface*. 
by midnight it had risen above three feet. The shrieks of the sur- 
rounding women and children, and the moaning of cattle, espe- 
cially of dying camels, were horrible. To increase my distress, 
the pins gave way, and the tent fell upon me, when no calls for 
assistance could be heard. Providentially it was a small Indian 
tent, with a centre pole, round which it clung; had it been the 
colonel's usual marquee, of English canvas, I must have been 
smothered. At last, finding myself nearly exhausted, I determined 
to make one effort more for my deliverance, in which I happily 
succeeded. Guided through the lake by tremendous flashes of 
lightning, after many difficulties, I reached the hut whither they 
had conveyed the colonel, and there found the surgeon-general, 
and several other gentlemen, drying their clothes round a large fire 
in the centre: with them I passed the remainder of this miserable 
night, among serpents, scorpions, and centipedes, which the fire 
within and the heavy rain without had driven from their hiding- 
places. Several of our men were stung by the scorpions, and bit 
by snakes and centipedes; none fatally. The scorpion, though less 
dangerous than the malignant serpents, inflicts a wound Avhich, 
like that of the centipedes, is attended with inflammation and fever; 
his sting at the end of the tail he darts with great force at the ob- 
ject of his fury; the latter bites by means of strong forceps at the 
mouth: this reptile is more common than the scorpion, and more 
easily concealed. If the scorpion is surrounded by flaming spirits 
or burning embers, and can find no egress, he stings himself to 

Such was our night: the next morning the camp exhibited a 

VOL. II. it 


scene of woe; the train of artillery was sunk several feet into the - 
earth, and covered by the water. To convey them and the heavy 
stores to Dhuboy required the utmost exertion, and, with the assist- 
ance of elephants, could not be accomplished in less than seven 
days, although only a distance of six miles. 

On the 15th we made our first attempt, and proceeded one 
mile from Thain-Thelow to Vurrage, the next village. The plain, 
covered with carcases of horses, camels, and oxen, some at their 
last gasp, suffocated in the mud, others in a state of putrefaction, 
presented a shocking spectacle. The groans of a dying camel are 
dreadful; biit the mind of feeling was more distressed by the 
sight of infirm men and expiring women; of parents, unable to 
support their helpless offspring, or in agonizing grief carrying them 
dead in their arms for sepulture or cremation. 

Had I attempted to walk over this Golgotha, I might have 

shared their fate: my bearers could not carry me in a palanquin. 

With some difficulty I effected it on horseback, for no road could 

be traced through the waters, and the ravines were dangerous. 

We remained at Vurrage until the artillery and ammunition were 

transported from Thain-Thelow, which, although only the distance 

of one mile, was a work of five days. This being accomplished, 

we employed two more in finishing our journey of five miles to 

Dhuboy, occasioned by the Herculean labour of dragging the 

artillery. I made this second attempt on an elephant, and from 

such an eminence had an extensive view of the country, which 

presented a boundless sheet of water, encompassing the rising 

grounds, covered with trees and villages, like so many islands. 

The officers and privates in the English detachment were soon 


provided with comfortable quarters in the ancient city of Dhuboy. 
The remains of its fortifications, gates, and temples, indicate great 
magnificence. The temple near the east gate, called the Gate of 
Diamonds, a work of immense labour and expense, must have 
employed a number of artificers many years. The city is nearly 
quadrangular, exceeding two miles in circumference: such parts 
of the fortifications as remain entire are of larse hewn stones, and 
the interior colonnade is a beautiful and useful work: within 
the walls is a large tank, surrounded by strong masonry, with a 
grand flight of steps, the whole extent descending to the water, 
from the Hindoo temples, choultries, and solemn groves, which 
generally border this beautiful reservoir. 

Dhuboy, with the other Hindoo cities in Guzerat, became an 
early part of the Mahomedan conquests, and remained in their 
possession until the Mahrattas took it on the decline of the Mogul 
power, in the eighteenth century; it is now chiefly inhabited by 
Hindoos: a few Mahomedan families are permitted to reside there, 
on condition of not eating beef. The pundit, or governor, ap- 
pointed by the ministers at Poonah, submitted to Ragobah, and 
on our approach acknowledged him as peshwa of the Mahratta em- 
pire; the latter immediately levied a contribution of three lacs of 
rupees from the inhabitants, which they were unwilling and almost 
unable to pay; for, although some cotton manufactures are carried 
on there, Dhuboy and its dependencies are poor. 

The durbar and some of the principal houses were well built, 
and the streets generally broad and airy: many acres within the 
walls were cultivated, and produced abundant crops of corn and 
vegetables: the city contained about forty thousand inhabitants, 


and nearly as many monkeys, which occupied the roofs of the houses, 
or enjoyed the shade of the mango and tamarind trees with the 
peacocks, squirrels, and green pigeons, that lived there as unmo- 
lested by the Hindoos as if in the midst of a forest. Pelicans, 
wild-ducks, adjutant-birds, and a variety of water-fowl, animate 
the beautiful lake, adorned by the nymphea and many aquatic 

The adjutant-bird, or argali, a large bird of the crane species, 
is sometimes near six feet high, and from twelve to fifteen from 
the extremity of each wing. The adjutant, one of the ugliest in the 
Indian ornithology, is as useful as the stork in Holland, or the ibis 
in Egypt, and equally venerated by the Hindoos; it not only de- 
stroys serpents and noxious reptiles, but eats up the carrion and 
offal in towns and villages, which in that climate are extremely 
offensive. I know not why this bird is called the adjutant; the 
name of sentinel would perhaps be more appropriate; for, when 
not in quest of food, they stand motionless, in a pensive attitude, 
like so many statues. Their pendent red craw, and coarse breast, 
bare of feathers, but protruding some long dark hairs, have a for- 
bidding appearance. 

Soon after the English troops were settled at Dhuboy, Rago- 
bah encamped with his army at Bellapoor, a pass on the river 
Dahder, at ten miles distance. The commander in chief residing 
there more than in Dhuboy, my time was divided between the 
Mahratta camp and the city; especially during a negociation be- 
tween Ragobah aud Futty Sihng, the Guykwar chieftain of Bro- 
dera, when all correspondence with Bombay was in cipher. My 
journeys to Bellapoor were frequent, and in favourable weather 


not unpleasant. After the first heavy falls of rain, the face of nature 
was soon adorned with beauty: the hedges enriched with a variety 
of climbing plants perfumed the air, from blossoms of mingled 
hues and fragrance, springing cotton, crops of various grain, plants 
for oil, with large fields of cucumbers, gourds and melons, gave 
the country the appearance of a well-cultivated garden; but the 
sudden transition in the rainy season from a bright serenity to an 
overwhelming tempest, was an alloy to these delights, especially 
to one so much exposed to their inclemency. 

My journey from Dhuboy to Bellapoor, a distance of only 
ten miles, frequently occupied as many hours, notwithstanding I 
was mounted on a strong elephant, Avhose sagacity generally guided 
me in safety through a continued sheet of water which entirely 
covered the roads. Once, when important business required my 
attendance at Ballapoor, I arrived at the pass of the Dahder, and, 
found the stream, seldom more than three feet deep, suddenly 
risen to forty, and running with astonishing velocity. The moun- 
tain torrents had joined the overflowing lakes and rivulets; whose 
united streams rushing furiously to the river, swept away corn- 
ricks, cottages, trees, and cattle, and then hurried them to the 
ocean ; together with some feeble inhabitants of the plains, and 
several of Ragobah's camp-followers, who lost their lives in at- 
tempting to get the trees and rafters for fire-wood ; for although 
the Indians are generally expert swimmers, the current was too 
rapid for their exertions. 

While detained on the banks of the Dahder I witnessed several 
of these catastrophes; and in view of a comfortable encampment 
on the opposite side, at only a few yards distance, but separated 


by this impassable flood, I found the evening approach, when I 
had neither food, fire, nor hovel to afford me shelter. A volume 
of Pope's Homer had beguiled the journey. We doubly enjoy the 
similes of the Grecian bard when read in a country of similar manners 
and customs. While contemplating the scene just described on the 
banks of the Dahder, the following passage was truly impressive, 

" Thus when in autumn, Jove his fury pours, 
" And earth is loaden with incessant showers, 
" From their deep beds he bids the rivers rise, 
" And opens all the flood-gates of the skies : 
" Th' impetuous torrents from their hills obey ; 
" Whole fields are drown'd, and mountains swept away : 
" Loud roars the deluge 'till it meets the main, 
V And trembling man sees all his labours vain !" 

While sitting on the elephant's houdah, waiting for the fall of 
the river, or for some means of crossing it, this scene ceased to be 
ideal: at sun-set, a darkness resembling that at the setting in of 
the monsoon covered the horizon, and a deluge of rain fell the 
whole night. The houdah, or covered throne, which at first served 
for my habitation, being soon broken by the tempest, and filled 
with water, I sheltered myself to the leeward of the elephant, and 
remained until day-break, with the faithful animal and his driver; 
the wet sod our bed, the watery clouds our only canopy. When 
the morning dawned I beheld the river rising still higher, and, 
being unable to hold any communication with the camp, I re- 
turned to Dhuboy through a continued flood, impassable by 
any other conveyance than a boat or an elephant. 

During my next visit at Ragobah's camp, a circumstance oc- 


curred which affords another trait of Asiatic manners and despotic 
power, under the influence of jealousy and revenge. I have men- 
tioned the ladies of Ragobah's zenana, on our departure from 
Surat: they accompanied him throughout the campaign, and gene- 
rally rode on horseback. As the Hindoos do not wear veils, they 
were frequently more exposed on the line of march than is usual 
for the eastern ladies. But in camp their tents were always sur- 
rounded by high canvas walls; where, concealed from view, they 
passed their lives in solitude, apathy, and disgust. Anandabhye, 
the only wife of Ragobah, was not with him on this campaign. Of 
his seven concubines, one only attracted attention; a pretty lively 
girl, who rode gracefully, and seemed pleased with observation: 
many of our officers admired her, but her charms made a deeper 
impression on the heart of Esswant Row, a young soldier of for- 
tune and distinction in the Mahratta army. 

It is unnecessary to detail the particulars of an amour: however 
modified by education, the passions in the eastern and western 
hemispheres are much the same; love, perhaps, burns with a fiercer 
flame in the torrid zone, and an intrigue is carried on with more 
difficulty in an oriental zenana than in the fashionable circles of 
Europe. These lovers cherished a mutual attachment, and by 
means of a confidant baffled for a time the Argus-eyes of Asiatic 
jealousy. The eunuchs and duennas at length suspecting the in- 
trigue, gave information to Ragobah. On the rumour of a dis- 
coveiy, Esswant Row absconded, leaving his tent, armour, and 
horses in camp; and had not his attachment to an Arabian horse got 
the better of his prudence, he would have effectually escaped ; but in 
hopes of carrying off this favourite animal, he returned the follow- 


ing night to his tent: on approaching the tree where the horse was 
picketed, he was made a prisoner. Ragobah ordered him to be in- 
stantly beheaded, by torch-light, at the extremity of the camp, 
and his remains exposed as a public spectacle throughout the next 
day. While the ministers of death dispatched the unfortunate 
lover, his ill-fated mistress was sowed up in a sack, and thrown 
alive into the river; the confidant was condemned to have her 
nose cut off, and thus remain an example to the other slaves in 
the haram. 

Midnight is generally the time for oriental executions; some- 
times the criminal is put to death with the utmost privacy, at 
others an alarm-gun from the imperial tent, at that silent hour pro- 
claims the exit of the devoted victim. 

" Let barbarous nations, whose inhuman love 
" Is wild desire, fierce as the suns they feel ; 
" Let eastern tyrants, from the light of heaven 
" Seclude their bosom-slaves, meanly possess'd 
" Of a mere lifeless violated form; 
" While those whom love cements, in holy faith, 
" And equal transport, free as nature live, 
" Disdaining fear." Thomson. 

Niebuhr mentioned a circumstance at Bussora, of a rich mer- 
chant who had been received into the powerful body of janizaries, 
and a pilgrimage to Mecca had stamped a still higher value on 
his character; but the governor being his enemy, he was strangled 
privately, and his dead body thrown into the market place. After 
this public spectacle, like that of Esswant Row, the friends were 
permitted to take away his remains; but in a history of Morocco, 


we read of a man being sawed asunder, and after this cruel death, 
his body would have remained to be eaten by the dogs, if the 
emperor had not pardoned him. It appears extraordinary to par- 
don a dead man; but unless the despotic tyrant had extended 
this clemency to the deceased, no person would have dared to 
bury him. 

About this time, from being so much exposed to the violence 
of the weather, and sleeping in a wet camp, I was seized with a 
fever; which, resisting all the power of medicine, constantly re- 
turned every springtide, and left me in a weak and languid con- 
dition; but having much to do, in my official capacity, with Futty 
Sihng, the Brodera chieftain, which occasioned several inclement 
journeys to his capital, I resisted its effects as long as possible, and 
continued with the colonel at Bellapoor. A summer campaign 
in India is generally pleasant, but an encampment in the rainy 
season far otherwise; the soft and muddy quality of the soil, the 
humidity of the atmosphere, and the rank grass which springs 
round the tents, united with the fetid odours in every quarter, ren- 
der it a disagreeable residence: it is with difficulty that the pins 
and ropes keep the tents upright in the soft earth, and it is still more 
difficult to preserve them dry during the long and heavy falls 
of rain. 

These are perhaps the only inconveniences attending the rich 
soil of Guzerat, but they are compensated by its fertility and 
beauty. In happier times this province was styled the paradise of 
nations, and it deserved the appellation; for when conversing with 
oriental travellers, and comparing it with other countries, I have 
heard them in the very words of Moses, call it " a land flow- 

VOL. II. s 


ing with milk and honey:" and when the Hindoos and Moguls 
at this day are describing a pleasant and well-cultivated district 
they distinguish it as, in scripture language, " a land of brooks of 
water, of fountains and springs; a land of wheat and barley, of 
vines, fig-trees and pomegranates, a land of oil olive and honey." 

Our own army, both Europeans and sepoys, had comfortable 
winter-quarters at Dhuboy; the public buildings and largest 
houses were appropriated for their accommodations: and the prin- 
cipal caravansary, situated on the border of the tank, was con- 
verted into an hospital. These reservoirs were seldom thought 
complete without a caravansary for the convenience of travellers, 
and a temple for the worship of the deity. Some of them are 
very extensive. Dr. Buchanan mentions a dilapidated tank in the 
Mysore, so large, that in a country where labour is extremely cheap 
it would cost more than three thousand guineas to remove the 
mud collected in the bottom, and to put it into order. 

However unhealthy may be a winter encampment in Guzerat, 
I think it far preferable to the extreme heat which I have so often 
mentioned; we had not indeed the simoom of Arabia, nor the 
sirocco of Italy, but we experienced the mingled effects of the 
scorching heat of the former, and the languor occasioned by the 
latter. A scarcity of w r ater in such situations was a dreadful evil, 
which we frequently encountered; I remember almost dying of 
thirst, when I had emptied my own canline for some wounded 
soldiers, and entreated a friend to give me a few drops without 
effect; his was almost exhausted, and when there is but little water 
in a leather canline, the hot wind soon dries it up. Often, dining 
a short slumber in my palanquin, have I realized the affecting de- 


scription of " the thirsty man dreaming; and behold, he drinkelh! 
but he awaketh; and behold he is faint, and his soul hath ap- 
petite!" How exquisite is the truth and beauty in Park's descrip- 
tion of such a slumber. "No sooner had I shut my eyes, than 
" fancy would convey me to the streams and rivers of my native 
" land; there, as I wandered along the verdant bank, I surveyed 
" the clear stream with transport, and hastened to swallow the de- 
lightful draught; but, alas! disappointment awakened me, and 
" I found myself a lonely captive, perishing of thirst amidst the 
" wilds of Africa." 

The Mahrattas do not seem to mind heat or cold, wet or drj r 
encampments, nor any other inconvenience; fond of a rambling- 
life, predatory excursions are their great delight. The followers 
of the camp, so often alluded to, are generally a singular set of 
people. I do not mean the regular shop-keepers, or persons who 
hold situations in the army, but those who attach themselves to it 
with their wives and children, to pick up what they can find; who 
have no other place of abode, nor mode of obtaining a living: 
each man possesses a poor half-starved ox, or an ass, which is laden 
with the wealth of the family, perfectly corresponding with an 
ancient picture of the wily Gibeonites in their pretended em- 
bassy to Joshua, who " worked wilily, and went and made as if 
they came from a very far country, and took old sacks upon their 
asses, and leather bottles, old and rent, and bound up; and old 
and clouted shoes upon their feet, and old garments upon them; 
and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy." 

Asses are common in many parts of Hindostan, and are used 
as beasts of burden. This humble animal seems to be ill-treated 


in all parts of the world, and seldom meets with a due reward 
for his patience and resignation. But the Hindoos carry their 
aversion to a greater length than is customary elsewhere. Dr. 
Buchanan mentions a dispute among the Hindoos, near Seringa- 
patam, which was not likely to be terminated without killing a 
jack-ass in the street of the town where they lived. " This," he says, 
" may be considered as a very slight matter, but it is not so; for 
it would be attended by the immediate desolation of the place: 
there is not a Hindoo in Karnata that would remain another night 
in it, unless by compulsion: even the adversaries of the party 
who killed the ass, would think themselves bound in honour 
to fly." 

The camp-followers are a very independent set of people; 
and only remain with the army to which they attach themselves 
as long as it suits their convenience; nor are they subject to that 
oppression which is so generally prevalent in Hindoslan. The 
Hindoos, as Craufurd justly observes, " are great observers of deco- 
rum; their manners are unaffected, they possess much natural 
politeness, and are cautious never to say or do any thing which they 
imagine may give offence:" but, in my opinion, there is not that 
urbanity and benevolence so generally prevailing as we mi^ht ex- 
pect among a people so closely connected by casle and religion. 

From long observation among the Mahratta chieftains, and 
principal officers in the camp, they seemed more or less influenced 
by a jealousy of each other, and trying which should gain the as- 
cendency by duplicity, chicanery, and intrigue. In my attend- 
ance, as secretary to the British commander, at the durbar 
tent, where Ragobah generally held a cabinet council every even- 


ing, I had excellent opportunities of seeing the higher ranks ; from 
the brahmins, who under the peshwa administration held secular 
situations, to all the principal military officers and ministers of 
slate. Dissimulation seems to be the predominant trait in the 
Asiatic character; very few Europeans are a match for them. 
In my visits to Brodera during the negociation with Futty Sihng I 
witnessed such dissimulation, treachery, and meanness in the prince 
and his ministers, as would with difficulty be believed by a gene- 
rous Englishman unused to these people. On one occasion his 
naib, or vizier, thought proper to deprive me of my sword, and 
detain me a prisoner for some hours in a close room in the palace: 
a circumstance to a person then in a public character, which his 
master could not be ignorant of, though he afterwards thought 
proper to assert it was done without his knowledge. Nothing could 
exceed the insolence of the men in office when they obeyed the 
vizier's commands; nor the mean apologies of himself and all con- 
cerned, when they repented of their error, and honourably dis- 
missed me to Ragobah's camp. 

The proceedings of the great men in Ragobah's councils, Futty 
Sihng's palace, and most of the pundits and zemindars with whom 
I had any transactions, would have classed them high in the school 
of Tiberius, who reckoned dissimulation among the cardinal vir- 
tues. " Nullum aeque Tiberius, ut rebatur, ex virtutibus suis, 
quam dissimulationem diligebat. E6 cegrius accepit, recludi qure 
premeret." — Tacitus Ann. 

I am aware of what has been generally advanced in favour of 
the innocent and harmless Hindoos, and of the impressions made 
in Europe, a few years ago, by the imaginary system of cruelty in 


British India, most pathetically detailed, by senatorial elo- 
quence, to establish facts which had no foundation, except in 
the warm imaginations of a party under the influence of preju- 
dice and misinformation. During my residence in India I con- 
stantly witnessed the reverse of those assertions; I beheld English 
generosity and clemency stretch forth the hand of mercy and pro- 
tection, and endeavouring to rescue the peasantry from the op- 
pressions of the zemindars and merciless officers in the revenue 
departments. The devastations by the Mahratla armies, and the 
cruelties committed by the Gracias, Bheels, and other banditti, are 
notorious deviations from the national character of peaceful inno- 
cence. An accurate writer, in describing the march of the Mah- 
ratta forces under Purseram Bhou through the Mysore, a march 
marked as usual by devastation, famine, and murder, says that 
" After two days, the Mahratta general took Shiva-mogay, a town 
in Canara, which then contained six thousand houses; the whole 
of them were destroyed, the women ravished, and the handsomest 
carried away. Such of the men as fell into the hands of the Mah- 
rattas were killed, and of those who escaped the sword, a large 
proportion perished by hunger; every eatable thing having been 
swept away by those whom the people in Europe are pleased to 
call the gentle Hindoos. These ruffians did not even spare the 
guroo, or head priest of all the Mahratta brahmins of the Smarlal 
sect, and who is by them considered as an actual incarnation of 
the deity. His college was plundered and burnt; but this cost 
the peshwa clear, as the enraged guroo held out threats of instant 
excommunication, and was only to be pacified by a present of 
four hundred thousand rupees." 


That the brahmins themselves, with all their professions of 
mildness, benevolence, and sanctity, can be guilty of deliberate 
revenge and murder, is evident not only from Ragobah's conduct 
on the massacre of his nephew Narrain Row, as particularly men- 
tioned in the Mahratta history, but still more so from the follow- 
ing account of the Telinga brahmins at Poonah, communicated 
to me by Sir Charles Malet, as a most extraordinary event, which 
happened during his embassy at the Mahratta court, in 1791- 

On the 29th of August, thirty-four men of the caste of Telinga 
brahmins having been confined in a chokey, or close room, by the 
officers of the cutvval, the head magistrate of the police at Poonah, 
twenty-one were taken out dead the next morning, and the re- 
maining thirteen were with difficulty restored to life. In the 
evening the popular clamour became violent against the cutwal, 
who was a gour brahmin, named Gaunseram, a native of Aurun- 
gabad, and whose office, in a city where the most rigorous police 
is established, necessarily rendered him an obnoxious character. 
The peshwa improperly yielding to the furious mob, delivered up 
the cutwal, who was tied backward on an elephant, and in that 
manner conveyed to a prison without the town, amidst the scoffs 
and insults of the populace, while guards were sent to seize his 
family, dependants, and property. The day following the clamour 
grew more violent, being encouraged by many persons desirous 
of mortifying the ruling minister, through the ignominy of the 
cutwal, his dependant. The unhappy man was tied backward on 
a camel, and in that disgraceful manner reconducted into the city, 
amidst the reproaches of the people: here he was made to alight, 
and his head having been publicly shaved, he was again placed in 


the same manner on the camel; and having been carried through 
the principal streets of Poonah, escorted by a strong guard, he 
was for the last time led to a spot about a mile from the city, and 
there ordered to dismount: one of his hands was then strongly fas- 
tened to the end of a turban between twenty and thirty feet long, 
and the other end committed to some Hallalcores, the lowest out- 
casts of the Hindoo tribes, who contaminate all other castes by 
their touch. It was then made known to the Telinga brahmins 
that the cutwal was delivered up entirely to their disposal, cither 
as a sacrifice to their vengeance, or an object for their mercy; on 
which twelve brahmins of that tribe, in the most savage manner, 
immediately attacked the fallen magistrate with large stones. The 
Hallalcores who held the turban, by straitening it, kept him at full 
length running in a circle, pursued by his relentless murderers; 
who at length, by repealed blows on the head and breast, brought 
him to the ground; and there, with an eagerness disgraceful to 
humanity, though merciful to the prostrate object of their cruelty, 
these brahminical murderers dispatched him by a succession of 
large stones thrown violently on his head and breast. 

Such is the weakness of human nature, that on his murderers 
approaching the degraded cutwal with huge stones in their uplifted 
hands, this unfortunate man, who, when overwhelmed with misery 
and disgrace, had incessantly called for immediate death, now rose 
up, and as far as his cruel liberty in the length of the extended 
turban permitted, attempted in vain to avoid the deadly blows in- 
flicted by his executioners. 

Thus fell a brahmin, a foreigner, who for many years had been 
invested with the whole criminal jurisprudence of the capital of 



the Mahratta empire! who had spent the emoluments. of his office, 
in building an elegant tank or reservoir for the ornament and con- 
venience of the city, and bringing its supply of water from a great 
distance, with a spirit of generosity and expense so far above the 
ability of the rich native brahmins, as to subject him to iheir envy, 
and to the cruel sufferings of an ignominious death. 

Instances of cruelty are not confined to the brahmins of Te- 
linga, they appear among the Jaina, Smartal brahmins, and other 
sects among that elevated caste. I shall not again enter into those 
artificial distinctions in the Hindoo tribes: the subdivisions of caste 
are innumerable; in the Ayeen Akbery, the tribe of Bania, or, as 
generally styled by the English, the Banian-caste, is divided into 
eighty-four sects, each having their distinguishing characteristic. 
There also exists some essential difference between the Concan 
and Deccan brahmins, and those of Malabar, the Bengal provinces, 
and other parts of Hindostan. From the latest and best autho- 
rities we find that many of the Bengal brahmins eat fish, and seve- 
ral sorts of animal food ; they are not only allowed them, but at 
some particular ceremonies they are enjoined so to do. They cer- 
tainly are different in Guzerat, and those who held political situa- 
tions under Ragobah appeared to confine their diet to grain, fruit, 
and vegetables, variously modified. They sometimes sent pilaus 
and curries to the British commander from their own dinner; 
which, like the supplies from Ragobah's table, were entirely com- 
posed of rice and vegetables, flavoured with spices, and light of 
digestion: but they never contained any animal substance, except 
milk and clarified butter. 

The Mahrattas, though all Hindoos, are by no means rigid 

VOL. II. t 


in their penances, ablutions, or food. The lower classes, especially, 
eat of almost every thing that comes in their way; as mutton, 
goat, wild-hog, game and fish. Major Moor mentions two places 
by name where the Mahrattas eat beef, and permit cattle to be 
killed, and publicly exposed to sale. I should rather have sup- 
posed it was intended for the food of Mahomedans, had not this 
discriminating writer been so very particular. 

The lower tribes of Hindoos are not so scrupulous as the higher 
about what they eat, or what they touch; especially if they are not 
observed by others. When at a distance from their families, and 
out of sight of their priests, many divest themselves of these nice 
ideas of purity. Those domesticated with Europeans generally 
affect to be very scrupulous: an English table, covered with a 
variety of food, is necessarily surrounded by a number of servants 
of different castes to attend the guests. At Baroche, Surat and 
Bombay, a Hindoo will not remove a dish that has been defiled 
with beef, a Mahomedan cannot touch a plate polluted by pork, 
nor will a Parsee take one away on which is hare or rabbit. I 
never knew more than one Parsee servant who would snuff a 
candle, from a fear of extinguishing the symbol of the deity he 
worships; nor would this man ever do it in presence of another 

The palanquin-bearers, although in general a pleasant set of 
people, are sometimes on a journey extremely tenacious of their 
privileges of caste, and carry their prejudices to a ridiculous length. 
I knew a gentleman, avIio having formed a party for a little excur- 
sion into the country, provided a round of beef, as a principal 


dish in the cold collation: as he was going on horseback, he de- 
sired the beef might be covered with a cloth, and put into his 
palanquin to keep it cool; the bearers refused to carry a vehicle 
which contained such a pollution. The gentleman, on finding 
that neither remonstrances, entreaties, or threatenings, were of any 
avail, cut off a slice of the meat, and eating it in their presence, 
desired them to carry him to the place of rendezvous. This produced 
the desired effect; the bearers were the first to laugh at their folly, 
and exclaimed " Master come wise-man, with two eyes; while 
poor black- man come very foolish, with only one:" and taking up 
the palanquin with the beef, set off towards the tents in great good 

Such scruples are not confined to any particular caste; they 
more or less pervade every tribe in India, and are cherished by 
the active soldier, as well as the pious brahmin. In the Ayeen 
Akbery we read of Narrain Doss, a principal chief in the Rahtore 
tribe, in command of five hundred cavalry and two thousand in- 
fantry, who lived with such austerity, that his only food was grain 
which had passed through oxen, and been separated from their 
dung: an aliment considered by the brahmins as the purest of 
all food. 

The Indians are also very scrupulous about the water they 
drink, and the vessels which contain it. The rich generally have 
the water of the Ganges carried with them on a journey. Most of 
the Mogul emperors travelled with it for their own beverage; and 
Akber, who never drank any other, called it, when cooled with salt- 
petre, " the water of life." 


In cilies, in the armies, and with Europeans on country ex- 
cursions, the water for drinking is usually carried in large leather 
hags, called pacaulies, formed by the entire skin of an ox, sewed up, 
except at one corner left open for filling them: these arc hung 
on each side of a bullock, or tame buffalo, and poured into guglets 
of a porous earth, brought from Persia, Goa, and different parts 
of India; in these the water soon becomes cool, and, as a great 
luxury, is sometimes iced with salt-petre. Often during this cam- 
paign, when suffering from thirst, and panting under the extreme 
heat, have I envied the village buffaloes, who in such weather 
seem the happiest beings in the country : they either get under 
water, or conceal themselves in the thin slimy mud on the margin 
of the lakes and rivers; there they remain during the sultry hours 
without any part of them appearing above the surface. 

Good water and ripe mangos were the greatest luxuries I as- 
pired after in this campaign: the latter arc extremely fine in most 
parts of Guzerat, though inferior in size to the mangos of Agra, 
which sometimes weigh two pounds each. A basket of high- 
flavoured mangos, accompanied by a wreath of mogrees or cham- 
pachs, were a frequent present from the Mahratta officers to the 
English gentlemen, and from the peshwa to the commander 
in chief. 

The mango topes, tamarind groves, and springing crops in 
the extensive plains round the Mahratta camp, were very delightful 
during the fair intervals of the rainy season. Few countries equal 
the Brodera Purgunna in fertility and beauty; but the heat, added 
to the moisture and fetid smells of the camp, were intolerable, 


and attended with pernicious effects. Fortunately there were sel- 
dom any Europeans there besides the colonel and myself; he was 
often ill with an intermittent fever, and I soon experienced the 
bad effects of sleeping in a damp tent, on my palanquin, raised 
only a few inches from the ground, covered only by a cotton carpet; 
for, notwithstanding all the trenches, the heavy rains pervaded 
every thing. Few European constitutions can resist the combina- 
tions of heat and moisture; mine was gradually undermined, and 
at length fell a sacrifice to a severe relapse of fever at the return 
of every new and full moon. 

The Mahratta generals had excellent tents for the rainy season, 
formed of many folds of quilted cotton, purposely to resist the 
elements. When Ragobah resolved to form his winter encamp- 
ment at Bellapoor, all his tents were pitched, and those separately 
appropriated to worship, eating, sleeping, the zenana, and at- 
tendants, occupied a very large site, at some distance from the rest 
of the army, and guarded by a select body of troops. The durbar- 
tent, where the peshwa gave audience and administered justice, 
was placed near the dhall-flag, or royal standard, distinguished 
from all others, like the prastorium of the Roman generals, so called 
from the ancient Latins, who styled their commanders praetors. 
Scipio Africanus first formed the praetorian cohort, stationed near 
his tent, and ready to attend him on all emergencies: such are the 
husserat, or household troops of the Mahratta peshwa, and the life- 
guards of the British sovereign. 

My manuscript volumes contain the transactions, during thewin- 
ter quarters at Dhuboy and Bellapoor camp, for some time longer; 


but those events have ceased to be interesting. My fever increas- 
ing, attended by many symptoms of the liver complaint, I was 
obliged, not only to leave the army in Guzerat, but to return to 
Bombay, and embark in the first vessel for England, in hopes of re- 
establishing my health. 

I shall therefore only add, that in consequence of orders from 
the newly appointed governor-general in council at Bengal, an 
embassy was sent from thence to the ministers at Poonah, by which 
means a peace was concluded between the Mahrattas and the 
English, the Bombay detachment withdrawn, and Ragobah com- 
pelled to resign the peshwa sovereignty to the posthumous child 
of Narrain Row. As a compensation for this sacrifice, he was 
to be allowed a jaghire from the Mahratta government, and 
some other privileges: but becoming discontented with a private 
station, he again asserted his claim to the sovereignty; was once 
more assisted by the Bombay government in an expedition sent 
from thence in 1779, which proved unsuccessful: and Ragobah's 
death happening soon afterwards, terminated the civil wars in the 
Mahratta empire. 

I shall close the subject of the campaign in Guzerat with an 
account of the Mahratta army in 1795, communicated to me by 
Sir Charles Malet, at that time the British ambassador at the 
court of Poonah; in which character he accompanied the peshwa 
in an expedition against the Nizam. This information, derived 
from such a source, I consider a most valuable acquisition to the 
preceding narrative; especially as it elucidates many points which 
I had no opportunity of investigating. 


Memoranda relative to a Mahratta armii, 
by Sir Charles Malet. 

I shall here endeavour to prevent the treachery of memory, 
by committing to writing a few leading traits in the construction, 
organization, and movement of a Mahratta army, which so essen- 
tially differs from the arrangement of European troops. The 
computed number now assembled under the peshwa, as executive 
head, and all the other great chiefs of the empire, amounts to upwards 
of one hundred and twenty seven thousand cavalry and infantry, 
exclusive of the troops belonging to the Guikwar, and the sons 
of Govind Bundela, Ballajee and Gungudur, now employed in 
concert with Ally Bhadur in subduing the country of Bundelcund 
to the peshwa's obedience. 

Peshwa's own force, as head of the empire, under 

their respective generals .... 70,665 

Dowlat Row Sindia 25,000 

Tookajee Holcar ...... 10,000 

Ragojee Bhosla ...... 15,000 

Purseram Bhou ...... 7,000 

Horse and foot, total 127,665 



The foregoing bodies of troops are either under the command 
of feudatory chieftains, whose authority over their own troops is 
absolute, and without appeal, as the four last chieftains, and many 
other leaders of corps paid by government, either in money or 


land, denominated nukdee or tanhazc, which are assignments of 
land resumable at pleasure. In the same manner as the mass of 
the force of the Mahratta empire is thus composed, so the force 
of the various chieftains is, in like manner, composed in a smaller 
or greater degree of the same materials. Thus, for instance, the 
general Mahratta force is composed of jaghiredars, like Sindia and 
Holcar; of nugdee, or ready-money corps, as Shah Meer Khan, 
and Buchaba Serolkar; or of Tankadars, as Bugwant Sihng and 
other paugheas. Now all these different descriptions are again 
detailed in the composition of the Sindian, or other jaghiredar's 
force; that is to say, it contains every species of service: but 
the number is generally far short of the quota stipulated by the 
original feudal tenure. Although the nugdee or ready-money 
corps are not looked upon in so respectable a light as those paid 
in land, yet are the commanders absolute in the management of 
them, and in the disposal of the sums they receive for their pay- 
ment; which generally runs at a certain rate per man, and a fixed 
sum for the commander. And, as in the management of these corps 
the payment by government is usually very tardy, the command- 
ers have recourse to every trick, to elude, if possible, the checks 
by which government attempts to insure faithful service: such as 
the appointment of a duan, furnavees, and other officers to each 
corps, who are themselves guilty of the most scandalous venality, 
in conjunction with the commanders; by which means it happens, 
especially in the peshwa's service, that a corps of one hundred men 
has seldom more than fifty effective, while the allowance of govern- 
ment is reduced to one half before it reaches the sepoy. 

The corps of the paugheas, that is, commanders of cavalry, paid 

1) «.■ 

either in ready-money or land assignments, are smaller or greater, 
according to the interest of the paughea : thus one has- a paughea 
of fifty, another of five hundred, reckoning the whole at a certain 
sum per head, with a distinct allowance for the chief, who again 
distributes that allowance at his pleasure, giving to one twenty, 
to another two hundred rupees per month. Properly speaking, 
the paugheas should be composed of the horses belonging to the 
government, or the chief, mounted by bargheers or hired troopers: 
but this is not always the case, because silladars, (literally armiger, 
bearer of arms), or horsemen with their own horses, often compose 
a large portion of a paughea; and although every horseman, 
throughout a Mahratta army, looks upon himself as company for 
his chieftain, and always sits down with him, yet is the silladar 
considered as rather superior to the bargheer. 

To the paugheas, as to the nugdee corps, there is an establish- 
ment of civil officers to enforce justice between government and 
its servants; but the multiplication of checks seems to have had 
no other end than the increase of corruption; for not only is half 
the grain and forage allowed to the horses embezzled, but horses 
are changed, reported dead, and every species of the most flagitious 
peculation practised with impunity, arising from the general in- 
terest and participation therein ; insomuch that I have sometimes 
been inclined to think that the government must have some mode 
of reimbursement for these palpable defalcations, by withholding 
the pay due to its troops; for, although they sometimes clamour, 
yet from the ample profits of peculation the chief is generally wise 
enough to keep his complaints within bounds, since his illicit 

profits are secure; and his tardy receipt of payment from govern- 
vol. 11. u 


ment furnishes a specious pretext for not paying the poor sepoy, 
who through poverty is often forced to take another service, with 
the loss of all his arrears, which his chief collects as he can; or 
to compound the whole for a part, which is generally anticipated 
by loans taken up of his jummadar, or the karkuns, who are the 
civil officers of his corps, at an exorbitant interest. 

Besides bargheers and silladars, there is another description of 
horsemen, known in the Mahratta armies by the denomination of 
yekandia, which signifies single: these are generally men of family, 
who, with a i'ew attendants, go in quest of service, and are fre- 
quently entertained on the footing of companions by the great 
chiefs, on most ample allowances, from one hundred to one thou- 
sand rupees per month, with one or two horses from the chief's 
stable at their command. 

The arms of the Mahratta cavalry are swords, spears, match- 
locks, and a few bows and arrows; the sword is universal and indis- 
pensable, the matchlock very frequent in the paugheas, and seems 
to be daily gaining ground of the long spear, formerly a very 
favourite weapon with the Mahrattas: but many of the silladars, 
yekandias, and those who claim, or affect superiority of birth and 
rank, seldom encumber themselves with any thing but two swords; 
one of a hard temper, consequently brittle and very sharp, called 
serye; the other, more tough and less sharp, named asseel. h 
must be understood that the arms, accoutrements, and clothing 
of the horseman being his own property, there is not the smallest 
uniformity, every individual equipping himself conformably to his 
taste or circumstances. 

Few paugheas have more than one large routy, the most com- 


mon kind of tent; and perhaps a shameana, or canopy, belong- 
ing to the paughea, pitched at one end of a street, formed by the 
horses of the troop, picketed in two lines, fronting each other. 
The routy serves to shelter the troopers and their furniture in bad 
weather, and as a place of assembly for the corps morning and 
evening. At other times the trooper generally posts himself, with 
his saddle and arms, in front of his horse; there he also sleeps, hav- 
ing nothing more than what he can conveniently carry to any dis- 
tance upon his horse. There are generally a number of tattoos, 
small horses, attached to each paughea; which, while the army is 
under march, are dispatched with the syses, or grooms, to forage; 
by which means they generally get to the ground as soon as the 
main body of the army, laden with provender for the paughea 
horses; or they sally forth in quest of it as soon as they have dis- 
posed of their burthen on the new ground ; though the failure of 
this reliance would not distress the Mahrattas, who are not yet 
sufficiently pampered by wealth to despise that necessary part of 
military duty, Or to affect being above providing provender for the 
aoble animal who administers so effectually to their ease and ad- 

Over and above the foregoing constituent parts of a Mahratta 
army, it is to be observed that they have now introduced large 
trains of artillery, and formidable bodies of regular infantry ; the 
organization of which being copies of our own, needs no par- 
ticular explanation: I shall therefore proceed to the orders for 

These orders, abstracted from emergencies, are signified by 


notes to the chieftains, and promulgated by a crier to the army 
the preceding night. About four o'clock on the ensuing morning, 
the signal for moving is given by the great nabut, or drum; on the 
second beating, the beenee walla, an officer corresponding in some 
measure with our quarter-master-general, sets out with the peshwa's, 
or principal chieftain's flag, escorted by his own corps, occa- 
sionally strengthened, as circumstances may require. With him, or 
a little before, proceed parties from all the different chieftains, with 
their respective flags, bazars, followers, infantry and artillery, 
forming a mass called beheer or boongha : these proceed promis- 
cuously in vast multitudes, and without the smallest order, until 
they see the peshwa's d hall-flag, which is erected at the option of the 
beenee walla, always in a spot in which the convenience of water 
is the principal consideration, without regard to rough or even 
ground, defensible situation or otherwise. By this flag the erection 
of all others in the army (and every chief has one) is regulated: 
for although, except in the line of the bazar, which generally forms 
a fine street in front of the chief's tents, there is not the smallest 
internal regularity in the pitching of a Mahratta camp, yet, with 
respect to head-quarlers, all the chiefs have their relative stations 
to the right and left, from which a deviation is by no means allow- 
able. If a particular chief is stationed next to head-quarters, no 
other officer must come between them, nor must this general ar- 
rangement be infringed upon. Although this has the semblance 
of a regular line, yet as no distances are marked out, and no 
chief's numbers are definitively known, the whole exhibits an ap- 
pearance of utter confusion: for if the camp is on a fordable river, 


both banks are constantly occupied ; nor do they care how far 
they advance in front or rear, their only object being to preserve 
their right and left vicinity. 

The head-quarters being ascertained, as above mentioned, by 
the erection of the d hall-flag, all the flags of the other chieftains 
are pitched as fast as they arrive, and also their tents; their fol- 
lowers dispose of themselves as they can, with their numerous herds 
of cattle, women, children, and retainers, in their repective sta- 
tions. The chief or chiefs, in the mean time, remain on the former 
ground, reserving a small tent, or shameana, for the purpose of 
eating their first meal; which, except on great emergency, is an in- 
dispensable custom, and going through their religious ceremonies, 
called poojah; whereas the bulk of the army, having dispatched 
their tents and equipage with the beenee walla, remain unshel- 
tered, with their horses in their hands. These avocations, pooja, 
ashman, rooswae, devotion, ablution, and eating, which are more 
indispensable with the brahmins than the Mahrattas, being dis- 
charged, the chieftain, if a brahmin, is generally ready to proceed 
by nine or ten o'clock; if a Mahratla, a little earlier. He gene- 
rally sets out on an elephant, in great state, as far as number can 
supply the want of order, accompanied by all the cavalry, ex- 
cept the corps advanced with the flags, and reaches his new 
ground according to the distance of the march, where he finds his 
tents and equipage ready. This mode of proceeding suits very 
well with the convenience of the chiefs and principal brahmins 
in their morning meals and religious ceremonies, especially as they 
are generally provided with baggage sufficient to reserve a small 
covering for that purpose, and with elephants and palanquins for 


the march; but it is much complained of by the bulk of the army, 
who are deprived of shelter during great part of the day, and 
obliged to march at the hottest time; which, if through an open arid 
country, frequently causes a great loss in men and cattle. 

Encampment of a Mahratta Army. 

The dhall, or standard, of the chief being erected, as mentioned 
in the preceding acount of the march, the flags of all the other 
chiefs and leaders of corps are pitched as fast as possible, by 
their respective beenee wallas, or quarter-masters; and all the in- 
ferior commanders dispatch proper people with the flags of their 
respective chief, to secure quarters as well as they can in the 
general scramble. On this occasion severe affrays frequently hap- 
pen. The only part of the camp which carries the appearance 
of regularity is the bazar; which generally forms a long and broad 
street to the tent of the great chieftain, and to that of each chief 
of any consequence; whereas the rest of the camp is so straggling 
and destitute of order, that it is extremely difficult to penetrate 
through the crowd of camels, horses, and bullocks, to the interior; 
which subjects them to the utmost confusion in case of an alarm: 
and so totally is all regard to situation and disposition neglected, that 
I have seen the artillery-park so stationed, as to be rendered entirely 
useless, except by sacrificing their own people which surrounded it. 

As soon as the camp is pitched, the baggage tattoos, attached 
in great numbers to the paugheas, gallop off with wonderful acti- 
vity in quest of forage, if an opportunity has not offered of picking 
up any thing on the march; nor are the camels far behind them in 
these occupations, so that they generally return laden by the time 


the souarree, or equipage, of the chief reaches the ground. These 
foraging parties are more destructive to a country than locusts, 
and so bold and active, as often to overwhelm large villages: nor 
are territories of friend or foe exempt from their depredations, fire- 
wood and forage being allowed to be collected even from their own 
villages; insomuch that I suppose there was scarcely a piece of 
wood, or blade of grass or hay left in the villages, for the space of 
twelve miles round the peshwa's camp, after two days continuance, 
and a great number of villages were totally demolished. 

The safety which the Mahratta armies enjoy as to their com- 
munications, from the multiplicity of their cavalry, insures them 
such ample supplies from vast companies of banjarahs, or grain- 
merchants, who hover near, or march with them, with immense 
droves of oxen laden with grain, that they seem to be totally indif- 
ferent to every other circumstance of encampment, except water; 
and as to magazines of provision, or a dependence on the protec- 
tion or supply of fortified cities, they seem unacquainted with 
those grand objects of consideration to an European army. This 
security gives a peculiar character to their camp and armies; for 
so little danger seems to be apprehended from following their 
camps, that shop-keepers, mechanics, and people of every profes- 
sion, carry on their respective callings apparently as much at 
their ease as in their towns. This gives a convenience and facility 
to a military life perhaps not to be met with among any other 
people; which, added to the simplicity of manners, and absence 
of wants with the Mahrattas, accounts for their spending their 
lives as happily in the field as other nations do in cities: hence 
also they have a vast advantage over other armies, who, while in 


the field, are in a constant state of exertion and hostility with 
their convenience. This is a point of view in which the military 
character of this nation merits a particular comparison with the 
indulgence and luxury of European armies in India. 

The safety of the Mahratta camp is to be attributed to the 
number of their cavalry, hovering round in every direction, rather 
than to any of the precautionary measures of trenches, posts, and 
guards, systematically used in European armies; they have in- 
deed at night patrols of horse, called shabeena, sent out in dif- 
ferent directions, but their ample equipment, at least of the 
host with which I marched, and of which I now write, en- 
abled them always to keep a large army, under the denomina- 
tion of harole, or van-guard, in advance; and when they ap- 
proached the enemy, to divide that again by an advance named 
toage jereede, which signifies the unincumbered army; and it is 
literally so, having seldom a tent belonging to it, every thing, ex- 
cept the immediate apparatus for service, being left at a conve- 
nient distance, and under a very slender guard, on what they call 
beheer, or boonga, the baggage-camp; so that, at the time of battle 
with the Nizam, the Mahratta army consisted of three camps, the 
peshwa's, or head-quarters, being upwards of twenty miles in the 
rear of the toage jereede, whose beheer was between both. 

It will be readily understood, that while this division of force, 
both in marching and encamping, opens a field of great ad- 
vantage to an active enemy, provided with cavalry, an army of in- 
fantry, or one much inferior in cavalry, can avail themselves of it 
very little ; as their camp must be, in a manner, constantly block- 
aded by the numerous troops of the enemy, so as to prevent the 


smallest movement without discovery; for, exclusive of these hosts 
of cavalry serving for pay, there are always a great number of 
pindarees, or looties, a set of predatory horsemen, who march 
with the Mahratta armies; and, instead of receiving pay, actually 
purchase of the chief the privilege of plunder at their own risk 
and charge; a predicament which gives a singular edge to their 
appetite for depredation, and renders them infinitely more active 
and destructive than those who, by receiving pay, have not an 
equal stimulus to rapacity. But though bold and active plunderers, 
little dependence is to be placed on their military prowess, since, 
being only desirous of acquiring their booty with tolerable safety, 
they carefully avoid all situations of danger not pregnant with 
the grand object of their rapacious spirit. 

These pindarees have their distinct quarters, and encamp with 
the chiefs to whom thej r are attached: those which fell under my 
observation were generally Mahomedans; but, as may be sup- 
posed, not very rigid observers of any religious tenets. But al- 
though generally Mahomedans, all tribes are to be found among 
them, since nothing seems wanting but a will to join in depreda- 
tion, so that this corps is generally composed of men whose 
minds and bodies are best suited to their practice. They reside 
principally in Malwa, and usually follow the armies of Holkar and 
Scindia. As those who acquire wealth seldom expose themselves 
while it lasts, these people are generally poor. Their horses are 
small and hardy, and their equipment mean, so that they are by 
no means a match for any cavalry tolerably appointed. The de^ 
predations of the pindarees are so dreaded throughout Hindostan, 

that in those countries most exposed to their ravages, the villages 
VOL. n. x 


are generally walled, and have a little gurry, or citadel, in the 

Battle of the. Mahrattas. 

I have heard but of two instances in which the forces of the 
Mahratta empire may be said to have engaged in pitched battles; 
one was at Panniput, where, being previously reduced to a strait 
by the superior activity of the Patan and Mogul cavalry cutting 
off their supplies, they were forced into a desperate attempt to 
extricate themselves, and failing, were subjected to one of the 
most bloody defeats recorded in history. The other was the battle 
in which Trimbuck Mamma defeated Hyder Ally, not far from 
Seringapatam; but I am unacquainted with the order of battle on 
these occasions. It is reasonable to suppose that the introduction 
of infantry and artillery, forming so large a part as they now do 
in the Mahratta armies, must cause a material alteration, if not 
a total change, in this part of their military service; while, 
by giving to their army a kind of base, or centre of union, it 
alters their former predatory and desultory style of warfare: 
and while on the one hand it makes their invasions infinitely 
more formidable to states unprovided with the means of op- 
posing them with that increase of strength, I am not without 
an idea, that as such an alteration is necessarily attended with 
increasing incumbrances, hostile to rapidity, that an increase 
of that description of strength may be disserviceable to their ope- 
rations against a state like ours, in the degree that the increase 
of strength is effectually inferior to the decrease of the effect of the 
former desultory velocity. The decision of this point, in which I 


suppose our infantry and artillery to be as light and rapid as the 
Mahrattas', will, whenever the contest happens, form an epoch of 
the most critical interest to the welfare, if not to the existence of 
the British empire in the East: and I confess, when I view the 
different manners of the rivals, and the advantages which these 
people possess in the most unexampled simplicity, absence of 
wants in food and clothing, absolute submission to the will 
of their superiors, and constant inurement to the most laborious 
field service; when I observe these things, and contrast them 
with the opposite traits in our manners and customs, and add 
thereto the immeasurable difference and disproportion of our 
numbers, I confess I cannot help feeling some anxiety for the 
issue; but, without anticipating the event of so great a struggle, 
let me revert to the order of battle observed by the Mahrattas 
in their late action with the Nizam, when, with so little lost or 
gained on either side, such immense advantages accrued to this 
empire by the Nizam's pusillanimity. From concurring testi- 
mony it appears, that on the news of that prince marching, the 
Mahratta light army advanced in the order in which it was en- 
camped, about six miles off, to hang on and embarrass his 
line of march. The movement of such an immense line, so 
great a distance, over broken and difficult ground, must necessa- 
rily have been extremely irregular, in point of distance of the 
different bodies from each other, and the time of their approach- 
ing the Nizam's army: but this does not appear to have pre- 
cluded an ultimate and effectual cooperation. For it seems that 
Purseram Bhou being entirely unincumbered with infantry or 
artillery, having advanced too near the enemy, was forced back 


with considerable precipitation: but this untoward event, instead 
of evil, appears to have produced good; for in this interval of 
time, it seems all the other bodies, both of horse and foot, had ad- 
vanced so far, as on Purseram Bhou's retreat to present an in- 
surmountable obstacle to the advance of the pursuers, who in- 
deed were not very numerous. It also appears, that although 
doubtless the whole mass of the Mahratta cavalry might have 
overwhelmed that small part of the Mogul army which had 
advanced, yet, so far from taking that advantage, it is certain the 
cavalry did not advance after Purseram Bhou's retreat; and 
that the falling back of the corps advanced from the Mogul 
army, was caused entirely by the cannon with Sindia's infantry 
on the left, and the effect of the Bhosla's rockets on the right. 
At all events there does not appear to have been a concerted 
plan of action, or order of battle ; but, except in the act of gene- 
ral advance, every chief acted as circumstances and inclination 
prompted. In like manner I have no reason to think that, ex- 
cept the small parties left at the different baggage camps, and 
the body with the peshwa, upwards of twenty miles off, there 
was any corps allotted for a reserve, any plan fixed for a 
retreat, or place appointed for a rendezvous, in case of de- 

Although there appears to be a total deficiency in the com- 
mon measures used by armies on such occasions, I am assured 
that the particular division consisting of Sindia's quota, Perron's 
brigade of infantry, and the corps of Michael and John with 
their guns, preserved a tolerable degree of order, both in their 
march, and during the action, being supported by their cavalry, 


drawn up in the rear, and extending far enough to cover and pro- 
tect both their flanks. 

From my observation of the manners of the Mahratlas, and 
their extreme looseness of particular discipline and general ar- 
rangement, I am strongly of opinion they would afford a very 
easy conquest to an army of a more vigorous composition, 
which could bring a sufficient number of cavalry to prevent their 
making a sport of war, and retreating when they are no longer 
disposed to maintain the contest, in safety and at leisure. 

C. W. Ma let. 

British Embassy, Mahralta camp, 
March 1795. 


Departure from Bombay to England—regret on leaving India — sail 
for the Cape of Good Hope in the Betsey schooner — Cape Bassos 
and the coast of Africa — mermaids at Mosambique and Mombaz; 
various accounts of those creatures — Melinda — calms and unplea- 
sant weather near the equator — Cape St. Sebastian — currents; 
storms near the Cape of Good Hope — whales — Bay False — Sim- 
mons' harbour — Isthmus between Table Bay and Bay False — Dutch 
settlement at Simmons' harbour— journey from thence to Cape-town 
— carriages — roads — general aspect of the country — protea — ac- 
count of the Cape — climate, variation of the compass, and weather 
— Table mountain — contiguous mountains — Cape-town — public and 
private buildings — gardens ; fruits, flowers, trees — menagerie — 
inhabitants of Cape-town — character of the men, inferior to that 
of the women — disproportion of the sexes — boarding houses — cheap- 
ness of living — fraud of the washerwomen — price of different arti- 
cles — scarcity of timber — beauty and variety of the plants — distant 
farms — character of the Dutch farmers; their cruelty and savage 
traits; some causes assigned for their degeneracy — great stock of 
those farms — vineyards — Dutch government of the colony— first 
establishment there — character of the Hottentots — Boshmen — Caf- 
fraria — wild animals at the Cape — hippopotamus — rhinoceros — 
camelo-pardalis — zebra — monkeys — orang-outang — mongoose — 
mocock — birds in southern Africa— ostrich— cassowary — Java pigeon 


— secretary-bird — penguins — African lions — villas, gardens, and 
farms near Cape-town — variety and excellence of the fruits — tent 
wine— flowers and vegetables — myrtle hedges — Constantia and its 
vineyards — grand mountain scenery near the Cape. 
Voyage from thence to St. Helena — beauties at sea — St. Helena pigeons 
— general appearance and geographical description of the island 
— volcanic eruption — fortifications — town — public and private build- 
ings — romantic appearance of the country, beauty of the interior 
vallies — climate — inhabitants — -first establishment of the English — 
government — cattle — provisions, fruits and vegetables — birds — rose- 
linnets, Java-sparrows — trees and plants, indigenous and exotic — -fish 
— sail for England — unpleasant weather near the line — anchor on 
the coast of Guinea — unfortunate detention there — sultry weather — 
apathy of the crew — meet a French vessel — variety of fish on the 
gold coast — Medusa — sharks— favourable winds — Cape de Verd 
Islands — Fogo — Azores — sudden tempest — St. Mary's island — ar- 
rival at Corke — Cove ofCorke — departure from Ireland — rapture 
on landing in England — conclusion. 


Pursuant to the resolution mentioned in the last chapter, I 
sailed from Bombay for Europe, on the 1st of December 1775. 
With regret 1 left a spot, where I had spent several happy years, 
in a delightful society; heightened by the charms of friendship, 
and animated by the hope of acquiring that independence which 
first led me to its distant shores. Although illness frustrated the 
enjoyment of these pursuits, I endeavoured to encourage the pleas- 
ing anticipation of seeing parents, friends, and my native country, 
and returning to India with renewed health and an advantageous 

The ships of that season had been all dispatched to Europe 
previous to my determination of leaving India; I was therefore 
under the necessity of embarking for the Cape of Good in the 
Betsey schooner, a vessel built on an Indiaman's long-boat, and 
perhaps the smallest ever sent on such a voyage, having only four 
European sailors besides the captain and two officers; the rest of 
the crew were Lascars, or Indian mariners. 

Soon after leaving Bombay we fell in with the north-east trade- 
wind, which in thirteen days carried us off Cape Bassos on the 
coast of Africa, which we saw at a few leagues distance. The 


next day we crossed the equator, and passed a range of sandy 
hills and lofty mountains. A. steady wind befriended us to the 
sixth degree of southern latitude, when it was succeeded by vari- 
able breezes, calms, thunder, lightning and heavy rain. The sea 
was enlivened by a variety of birds, uniting with dolphins, al- 
bacores and bonilos, in hostility against the unfortunate flying- 

Near the coast we saw many other sorts of fish, but did not 
meet with any of the mermaids so often mentioned in these seas; 
and especially by Mr. Malcham, a gentleman of great respecta- 
bility, and at that time superintendant of the company's marine at 
Bombay. I have heard him declare, that when in command of a 
trading vessel at Mozambique, Mombaz, and Melinda, three of the 
principal sea-ports on the east coast of Africa, he frequently saw these 
extraordinary animals from six to twelve feet long; the head and 
face resembling the human, except about the nose and mouth, 
which were rather more like a hog's snout; the skin fair and 
smooth ; the head covered with dark glossy hair of considerable 
length; the neck, breasts, and body of the female, as low as the 
hips, appeared like a well-formed woman; from thence to the ex- 
tremity of the tail they were perfect fish. The shoulders and arms 
were in good proportion, but from the elbow tapered to a fin, like 
the turtle or penguin. These animals were daily cut up, and sold 
by weight in the fish markets of Mombaz; nor was the flesh easilv 
distinguished from the fishy pork which those who have resided 
at Calicut or Anjengo are well acquainted with. 

Although the existence of mermen and mermaids is doubted 
by many, the history of England, Holland, Portugal and other 


countries, proves the reality of these creatures. In the fifteenth 
century, after a dreadful tempest on the coast of Holland, one of 
them was found struggling in the mud, near Edam in West Fries- 
land; from whence it was carried to Haarlem, where it lived some 
years; was clothed in female apparel, and it is said was taught to 
spin. In 1531 another, caught in the Baltic, was sent as a present 
to Sigismund, king of Poland; it lived some days, and was seen 
by all his court. In loo'O, the fishermen of Ceylon caught seven 
of both sexes, which were seen by several Portugueze gentlemen 
then at Menar, and among the rest, by Dimas Bosquez, physician 
to the Viceroy of Goa, who minutely examined them, made dissec- 
tions, and asserted that the principal parts, internal and external, 
were conformable to those of ihe human species. 

Our small vessel approached much nearer the African coast 
than is customary for India ships homeward bound. We were 
not far from Melinda, that hospitable port which received Vasco 
de Gama and his brave comrades after encountering the storms 
of the Cape, and escaping the treachery of the Moors at Mombaz 
and Quiloa. Here they met with a friendly monarch to supply 
their wants, and found a number of merchants from various parts 
of India, who opened a scene of glory and profit to Gama's aspir- 
ing mind, and furnished him with pilots to navigate the first ships 
from Europe across the Indian ocean to Calicut, then the grand 
emporium of commerce in the oriental world. 

From Melinda our voyage was protracted by light winds and 
calms, and sometimes by strong southerly gales. A favourable cur- 
rent generally carried us twenty or thirty miles a day; and more than 
once, when we had no advantage of wind, on taking an observation 


we found the current had advanced us upwards of fifty miles on 
our course. Nicholson remarks, that in these latitudes a wind pre- 
vails from south-east to south-west; which, blowing strong, with 
squalls and rain, meets the north-east winds, and these repelling 
each other with great fury, occasion terrible storms and tempests. 
These winds fly about like a whirlwind ; the sky is dark and gloomy, 
and the clouds pour forth deluges of rain, succeeded by calms, a 
sultry atmosphere, and oppressive languor. 

For there the line its torrid influence throws, 
The sky turns gloomy, and the ocean glows ; 
Along the heavens th' incumbent vapours brood, 
Eclipse the day, and darken all the flood ; 
No gentle air allays the smother' d heat, 
While nature sickens with the sultry weight ; 
The breath grows short, the heart but feebly plays, 
And the dim orb of light forgets to gaze ; 
At length the slumbering combination breaks, 
The lightning kindles, and the storm awakes ; 
Th' assembled winds from every quarter roar, 
The weeping skies a liquid deluge pour. 

Continuing our course along the eastern shores of Africa, 
on the 2d of January we saw Cape St. Sebastian, at ten leagues 
distance; the currents, which had hitherto ran to the south, 
now changed their direction, and carried us westward of our 
reckoning. On leaving St. Sebastian we encountered rough seas, 
and having run down the thirty-third degree of latitude, con- 
sidered our voyage as nearly terminated. While anticipating the 
pleasure of shortly landing and enjoying the summer refreshments at 
the Cape, a storm suddenly burst upon us from the south-east, and 


continued with unabated fury six and thirty hours. The sea was 
dreadful; and the situation of our little bark, elevated on its foam- 
ing mountains, or plunged into a dark abyss, filled every soul with 

We saw a number of whales and grampuses in those southern 
latitudes, which we sometimes wished at a greater distance, from 
an apprehension of mischief from their enormous bulk. " There 
go the ships, and there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to 
take his pastime therein." But the sports of these immense ani- 
mals, emerging and diving, often cause a concussion in the waters 
which proves fatal to small vessels. 

On the 13th of January, sounding on the great sand-bank at 
the extremity of Africa, we found ground at ninety fathoms, and 
soon afterwards saw the land. Unfavourable gales again pre- 
vented our entering Bay False until the 20th, when a fair wind 
carried us up that noble bay, and we anchored at noon in a small 
cove, called Simmons' Harbour, where fifteen ships may lie secure 
in the most stormy weather; situated on the western side of False- 
bay it is at all times more commodious than Table-bay, the summer 
harbour near Cape-town. The two bays are separated by an 
isthmus, covered with sand and small shells, most probably once 
under water. The Cape mountains, rocky hills, sandy plains and 
cultivated tracts on the peninsula, contiguous to Cape-town, form 
a territory upwards of thirty miles long, and eight broad. 

The Dutch settlement at False-bay then consisted of on]y a 
few houses, gardens, and store-houses, scattered at the bottom of 
the mountains which form Simmons' cove; with a pier and crane 
for the landing of goods, great convenience for watering the ships, 


abundant supplies of fresh provisions, fruit, and vegetables, and 
tolerable accommodation for passengers at the boarding houses. 
Having no inducement to remain there, 1 proceeded to Cape-town, 
about twenty miles distant, in a light waggon drawn by eight 
horses. The coachmen, or waggoners, who are generally slaves, 
drive these eight in hand with wonderful dexterity, making the 
hills resound with the smack of their long whip, and continual 
vociferation to the horses. The vehicle contains six or eight per- 
sons sitting on benches before each other, which is the usual mode 
<>f travelling in this part of the world. 

The road lor the first six miles, to a place called Muisenburg, 
was over a sandy beach, or the acclivities of the mountains, some- 
times on dangerous precipices, under rocks loosened from the 
mountains, and apparently threatening destruction. The pass at 
Muisenburg, defended by a fortress, is deemed impregnable. From 
thence we entered a sandy plain, little cultivated; but presenting 
a succession of natural beauties in the variety of heaths and other 
plants indigenous to its sterile surface, the ornament of European 
conservatories. The country was not otherwise interesting until 
within a few miles of the capital, when it became suddenly en- 
riched with farms, villas, plantations, vineyards, and gardens; em- 
bellished by groves and avenues of oaks, elms, and piotea-argenlea, 
a most elegant tree: it does not attain a large size, from growing 
extremely close, and is thickly covered with leaves soft and glossy 
as satin, glittering like a forest of silver undulated by the breeze. 
The golden protea, more gaudy than its modest rival, arrayed in 
foliage of yellow-green edged with scarlet, appears in the sun- 
beams like waves of fire; they form a lovely contrast. These 


novelties beguiled a rough heavy road, until our arrival at Cape- 
town, situated at the foot of the Table-mountain; near a large 
bay full of ships, opening to the ocean and several rocky islands. 

The Cape of Good Hope forms the western part of Bay Falso, 
and terminates the south point of the African continent. It was 
formerly called Cabo dos Tormentos, the Cape of Storms, a name 
expressive of its situation amidst contending elements. John king 
of Portugal changed it to Boa Esperanza, when De Gama, after 
conquering all difficulties, doubled this formidable barrier, and 
opened the passage to India. It is situated in the latitude of 34° 
24' south, and 18° 30' east longitude. The variation of the com- 
pass was then 19° west; mariners pay great attention to this varia- 
tion, it being the surest guide for the longitude in the voyage from 
India. The north-west winds generally prevail from May until 
the beginning of September; the south-east during the other 
months. The latter are cold, dry, and unpleasant, but the atmos 
phere clear and healthy. The climate may be called temperate, the 
heats seldom last long, and it rarely freezes in winter, although 
the summits of the interior mountains are frequently covered with 
snow. The barometer varies from 2/ to 28 inches chiefly in the 
winter; in which season the thermometer at sunrise is from 40 to 
50 degrees, and at noon from 6*5 to 70; in summer it rises from 
70 to 90 degrees, and sometimes approaches 100. 

The view of this stupendous promontory from the sea presents 
a scene of massy rocks and barren mountains: that, from its flat 
surface, called the Table-land is most conspicuous, and seen from a 
great distance. The fatigue and difficulty of its ascent are amply 
repaid by the extensive prospects from the summit; where the 

VOL. II, z 


eye, as on a map, stretches over an immense space of sea and land; 
comprising the boundless ocean, rocky isles, majestic mountains, 
softer hills, a large town, crowded harbour, and scenes of cultiva- 
tion. The Table mountain is said to be covered with its table- 
cloth when mantled with white clouds, falling in a striking man- 
ner on its sides. Half concealed by these immense volumes rolling 
over its surface, it makes a very grand appearance, but in height 
is inferior to many others of less note, being only three thousand 
six hundred feet above the level of the sea. On the summit is a 
lake of fresh water, which supplies the town and shipping; the 
stream in its descent falling over grotesque rocks, forms beautiful 
cascades. At each end of the Table-land, is a lofty mountain 
connected with it; one called the Lion's Rump, the other the 
Devil's Mountain. They are all composed of rocky strata, 
but are said not to be volcanic. Their inhabitants are chiefly 
hyenas, wolves, monkeys, vultures, and sometimes run-away 

Cape-town is large, and regularly built; the principal streets, 
leading to the great square, intersect each other at right angles: 
in 1776 it contained six or seven hundred houses, and about eight 
thousand inhabitants, including slaves. The houses, built in the 
European style from one to three stories high, have uniformly that 
neat appearance which characterizes the best towns in Holland. 
The square, and most of the wide streets, are planted with avenues 
of oaks and poplars, on each side of a narrow canal, before the 
houses. There were then only two churches, one Calvinist, the 
other Lutheran. The principal public buildings were the sladt-house, 
library, hospital and prison. The fort at the south end of the 












v — 









- x 












town was not deemed a place of strength; there were several other 
batteries in different situations. 

The public gardens, adjoining the town, were much frequented 
by the inhabitants, and formed a delightful resort for strangers. 
They contained five walks, half a mile long, shaded by oaks, and 
perfumed by hedges of myrtle on each side; which separated 
them from square orchards and gardens, divided by formal nar- 
row walks and hedges; but richly stored with standard peaches, 
apricots, figs, apples, pears, and other European and Indian fruits, 
planted amidst a profusion of roots and vegetables for the use of 
the hospital, and ships belonging to the Dutch East India com- 
pany. Two enclosures before the governor's house, are appro- 
priated to flowers, and curious plants. The garden was terminated 
by a large menagerie, containing the most remarkable beasts and 
birds indigenous to Africa, or brought from other parts of the 

The inhabitants of Cape-town have generally a good com- 
plexion, and some of the young women are pretty; but they soon 
incline to corpulency, and lose the elegant symmetry so attractive 
in the female form. The men are perhaps less phlegmatic than 
the Hollanders in Europe. Descended from an heterogeneous 
mixture of Dutch, Germans, French, and other emigrants, they 
have, in some measure, lost the peculiar traits of national charac- 
ter, and by a constant intercourse with foreigners, have acquired 
more affability aud courtesy than we usually meet with. The 
colonists had mostly large families, matrimony was encouraged, 
luxury and dissipation discountenanced; there were then no 
theatres, casinos, nor public exhibitions of any kind. The morn- 


mo- was dedicated to business, the evening to family meetings; 
frequently enlivened by music and dancing. On the arrival of 
any distinguished strangers the governor gave a public ball to the 
principal inhabitants and passengers from the ships. 

Such is the pleasing side of the picture; for it must be con- 
fessed, that, when compared with the refinements of Europe, or 
the political, military, and commercial pursuits in India, the in- 
habitants of the Cape appear to pass a dull, monotonous, indolent 
life. With little employment in commerce or agriculture, no taste 
for intellectual pleasures, or mental improvement, the gratifications 
of animal appetite usurp a primary consideration, and the impor- 
tant concerns of eating, drinking, and smoking, engross a large 
portion of time which might be dedicated to nobler pursuits. The 
women merit a more amiable character; the girls were educated 
for domestic life, the mother instructed them in needle-work, and 
the various branches of household economy. The father, assisted 
by such masters as were procurable, taught them the French and 
English languages, writing and arithmetic; nor were the elegant 
accomplishments of music, drawing, dancing, and works of in- 
genuity neglected in the higher classes of society. 

I was informed there were, at least, eight women to one man 
among the white inhabitants at Cape-town. Naturalists have ob- 
served that a larger proportion of females are born there than else- 
where: but another cause may be ascribed for this deficiency; all 
the girls remain at the colony, while the boys are generally sent 
to Europe and the East Indies, to enter a more ample field for 
fame and fortune. 

When I first visited the Cape there was no respectable tavern 


or hotel; but many of the best families accommodated strangers 
for a Spanish dollar a day. Mr. de Witt's was then esteemed the 
genteelest boarding-house; where, for this sum, I was provided 
with a neat bed-chamber, the use of the parlours and drawing- 
room, and four meals a day, besides tea and coffee. At dinner 
we always sat down with his well-regulated family to a table plenti- 
fully covered with fish, meat, poultry, and game; a dessert of choice 
fruit, and every sort of Cape- wine, except constantia. 

Some articles, notwithstanding, were very expensive, especially 
fuel and washing; strangers often found the latter peculiarly so; 
for however honest the washerwomen might appear in returning 
clean linen corresponding in tale with the articles delivered, they 
generally deferred bringing in the last assortment until the passen- 
gers were just going on board their ship, who seeing the number 
correct, suspected no other fraud; but I have known more than 
one lady much mortified, when, far from any reparation on the 
distant main, she has found a muslin gown deprived of a breadth, 
and her cambric handkerchiefs reduced a few inches in size; nor 
were the gentlemen less annoyed on beholding their shirts and 
cravats equally curtailed. 

Coach-hire was thought extravagant; they charged eight dol- 
lars a day for a country excursion, and four for an evening ride. 
Bread was always at fixed a price; that made of the best wheat 
flour one penny per pound, which the bakers were allowed to 
charge after the most plentiful harvests, but not permitted to ad- 
vance in a season of scarcit} r . The common Cape-wines then sold 
for ten, twelve, and fifteen dollars the pipe; so that the lower 
classes amply enjoyed the two great blessings of bread and wine; 


the earth supplied abundance of fruit and vegetables, and the 
extensive sand bank, at the end of their promontory, a variety 
of fish. 

Some of the interior districts are said to contain inexhaustible 
forests of timber, but from a want of means to convey it to the 
Cape, the Dutch company preferred sending timber and plank 
from Holland and Batavia. It could probably be transported by 
sea from Mussul-bay and other places at less expense. From this 
cause timber and plank were at an immoderate price; firewood 
was procured with difficulty: to gather it in small quantities was 
the sole occupation of numerous slaves; and a small cart-load of 
roots and brush-wood could not be purchased for less than three 
or four dollars, consequently all manufactures requiring the opera- 
tion of fire were extravagantly dear. 

Although there is so great a deficiency of timber, and useful 
trees, near the Cape, no country can boast of more curious and 
beautiful plants than this part of Africa. The variety of erica, 
geranium, ixia, and other elegant tribes, lately brought to Europe, 
is astonishing, and the number is continually increasing. Were 
I master of the subject, it would be loo copious to enter on a 
Linnsean description of the lovety plants which " waste their 
sweetness on the desert air" of Africa, but become the pride and. 
delight of the English collections. In the season of spring, be- 
tween the months of September and December, the infinite variety 
and beauty of these plants springing up on the sandy plains, cover- 
ing the sides of the mountains, and adorning their rugged summits, 
is astonishing; their colours are brilliant, and many are extremely 


Exclusive of the plantations and villas in the Cape territory, 
many gentlemen had estates at a great distance in the interior 
districts, particularly round Mussul-bay, four hundred miles on 
the eastern shore, where their planters cultivate corn, wine, fruit, 
aloes, and other drugs; but I believe there were no manufactories 
at the capital, or throughout the colony. Some of the principal 
farmers, we were told, employed two hundred slaves and Hotten- 
tots in agriculture and breeding cattle: the former were either 
born in slavery at the Cape, or brought from India, Madagascar, 
and the Comorro isles; the latter, whether they in reality enjoy 
their liberty or not, are considered to be a free people. 

I heard of many farms situated a month's journey from Cape- 
town, among the friendly Hottentots. Those farmers are mostly 
descended from the Dutch, French, and German protestants, who, 
on various occasions, rather chose to encounter the dangers of a 
foreign country than endure the cruelty they experienced in their 
own. They generally speak the Dutch language, and retain the 
European complexion. Scattered throughout those extensive 
wilds, they have little communication with each other, but many 
of them accompany their wives and children once a year to Cape- 
town, in large waggons, loaded with wine, grain, butter, dried 
fruits, hides, and other articles. With the produce they purchase 
wearing-apparel, furniture, utensils, and necessaries for a family. 
Some of those planters are men of amiable manners; honest, in- 
dustrious, and hospitable, but ignorant of every thing beyond the 
extent of their farm: the want of books and social intercourse 
renders them credulous and inquisitive, characteristics usual among 


people thus situated, especially so in the remote districts of the 
United States in America. 

Such were the better sort of farmers in the Dutch colony when 
I made my inquiries; I am sorry to add that another, and I fear 
a much larger class, bore a different character; and perhaps a 
more unprincipled, unlettered, and cruel race of people nowhere 
existed. I do not make this assertion from my own experience ; 
I travelled but little into the interior, and only occasionally saw 
the farmers who brought their commodities to town ; but from 
reports of its inhabitants, confirmed by the accounts of Barrow, 
Pcrcival, and other intelligent travellers, who made long journies 
amono - them, we know these colonists are, in many respects, no 
better than savages, and in clemency, urbanity, and other social 
virtues, far inferior to the Hottentots among whom they dwell. 
The latter are a mild, amiable, gentle race, compared with the 
Dutch boors and yeomanry of the Cape, composed of the lowest 
classes of Dutch, French, and German emigrants, and their de- 
scendants. Their cruelly to their slaves, cattle, and Hottentots, 
has become proverbial, and has been fully detailed. Many of 
these colonists have served in the ranks of the Dutch and German 
regiments, from whence they became servants and overseers in 
the farms, and marrying the farmers' daughters, have in time pur- 
chased landed property for themselves; and without retaining the 
virtues of a soldier, have introduced the vices of the army into a dif- 
ferent order of society. 

Thus, far distant from the civilized manners and refinements 
of the capital, deprived of the blessings of public worship, and 


the social delights of a returning sabbath, the generality of these 
people had descended, or rather degenerated, into an almost savage 
state, and were given up to ignorance, cruelty, and animal gratifi- 
cation. The moral and political laws of Holland, and even the 
by-laws of the colony, had little influence in regions so remote 
from the seat of government; every head of a family found him- 
self at liberty to act without control; and his conduct generally 
evinced, that unrestrained power, whether exercised in the durbar 
of an Asiatic sovereign, or usurped by a Dutch boor in the wilds 
of Africa, has always a fatal tendency. 

In the colonial farms it is not uncommon to have a hundred 
oxen for the plough, thirty or forty milch-cows, eighty horses, and 
a thousand sheep: I was told of some that fed ten or twelve thou- 
sand sheep, with horses, oxen, slaves, and Hottentots in propor- 
tion; the oxen are particularly serviceable in drawing large 
waggons over the indifferent roads in those extensive regions. 

Many vineyards in advantageous situations produce a hundred 
pipes of wine at a vintage. The vines were originally brought from 
France and Germany; but, except from the two vineyards at Con- 
stantia, the Cape wines are not much esteemed. The principal 
inhabitants drink those imported from Madeira and Bourdeaux. 
and prefer Dutch ale and English porter to the best malt liquor 
brewed at the Cape. As the duties were not exorbitant, theTene- 
riffe and Madeira wines were drank at a moderate expense; 
noj was there any want of brandy, rum, or Batavia arrack. 

On every account, the Cape of Good Hope is one of the finest 
places in the world for ships to refresh at. Advantageously situ- 
ated midway between Europe and Asia, they here meet with most 
vol. ir. 2 a 


of the fruits and vegetables of the torrid and temperate zones, with 
plenty of excellent mutton, beef, and lamb; all of which, when 
I was there, sold for a halfpenny per pound; I believe the foreign 
ships paid something more. The medium price of wheat was 
about two shillings and fourpence the bushel. The settlement 
of the English at the Cape, and the consequence of a large garri- 
son established there, have caused many alterations of which I am 
not competent to judge. 

The governor was then appointed by the Dutch East India 
company, and had the rank of an edele heer, equal to one of the 
council of regency at Batavia. Under him was a council, consist- 
ing of eight members, including the fiscal, and the major who 
commanded the garrison; these gentlemen held the principal posts 
in the settlement, and were assisted by junior servants. The co- 
lonists had nothing to do with the police or government, but 
seemed to enjoy much comfort and tranquillity under their admi- 

The Dutch had been in possession of this colony ever since 
the middle of the seventeenth century; the Hottentots, who, were 
easily captivated by presents of tobacco, brandy, and cutlery, per- 
mitted them to extend their territory, establish farms, and, for these 
trifling considerations, to become masters of their flocks and herds, 
far distant from the southern rocks where they first settled. In a 
short lime, when under the pernicious effects of brandy and tobacco, 
they in a manner pawned themselves and children to the Dutch. 
Although it may not amount to direct slavery, they have ever since 
performed all the hard services of agriculture for the colonists. 
Those Hottentots who preferred the blessings of liberty and a 


pastoral life to such debasing gratifications, drove their cattle into 
the interior parts of the country, among extensive forests and high 
mountains, far from the European settlements; there they still 
continue in separate hordes, and fix their kraals at pleasure, where 
pasture, water and shade most invite. They appear to be an in- 
nocent people, in what may be called a savage state; for they 
certainly have made no progress towards refinement, though the 
christian missionaries have been rather successful in converting 

In stature they are seldom above the middle size; their com- 
plexion is dark brown, with short black curling hair, like the 
negroes, whom they also resemble in features; the young women 
are not unpleasing in their form, and soft and feminine in their 
manners. The different tribes vary something in their dress, which 
generally consists of the skins of wild beasts; and both sexes wear a 
skin cloak, called a kross, which ties over the shoulders: the wo- 
men have also a little apron, sometimes covered with beads, and 
an ornament on their head, composed of the same materials. Both 
sexes are fond of painting themselves, and rubbing their bodies 
with the fat of animals; which, as they go almost naked, prevents 
the bad effects of the sun in the summer heats. Their usual arms 
are bows and arrows, spears and lances; which they use with 
great dexterity against their enemies, and the wild beasts that in- 
fest the kraals, and carry off their cattle. They sometimes shoot 
with poisoned arrows, especially at the latter; for which purpose 
they have many vegetable poisons in the inland parts of Africa, 
but the most fatal is said to be the venom of serpents. 

The Hottentots subsist chiefly upon animals caught in the 


chace, and the milk of their cattle, with a few roots peculiar to 
the country, and sometimes a sheep from the flocks; but I believe 
they nowhere cultivate corn, nor have any idea of gardening. 
Cheerful, harmless, and hospitable, they are perhaps happier in 
ignorance, than some other nations with their boasted refinements. 
They are fond of music, singing, and dancing; but nothing can 
be more simple than their musical instruments, more monotonous 
than their songs, nor more ungraceful than their dances. 

The boshmen, or wood-men Hottentots, are a set of people who 
live by plundering their neighbours, whether Hottentots, Caffrees, 
or Dutch farmers, at places the most remote from protection; they 
shoot with poisoned arrows, and their appearance always spreads 
alarm among the planters. I believe they are not of an} 7 par- 
ticular tribe of Hottentots, but form a community of banditti, 
composed of the vilest wretches from the other hordes; as also 
from negro and mulatto slaves, who desert from the Cape, and 
unite with these people in devoting themselves to a life of plunder, 
devastation, and cruelly, throughout the Dutch colony, and the 
peaceful tribes of Hottentots. 

Of Caffraria, which joins the Hottentots' country on the north, 
and other distant parts of this vast continent, the inhabitants of 
the Cape, when I was there, seemed to have but very little know- 
ledge, except from the prejudiced relations and improbable stories 
propagated by the ignorant planters who were settled nearest to 
their districts. 

In the menagerie at the Cape I had an opportunity of making 
drawings of most of the wild animals and curious birds from the in- 
terior parts of Africa. Lions, tigers, elephants, hyenas, jackals, and 


smaller quadrupeds abound in the rocky wilds and forests. The 
hippopotamus, rhinoceros, zebra, and camelo-pardalis, animate 
the distant solitudes. I not only delineated all these animals, but 
endeavoured to obtain the best information I could respecting 
their natural history and local habits, from the farmers who visited 
the Cape-town, from the inland provinces; but so many excellent 
accounts have been since published by English travellers, who 
had still better means of obtaining information, that I need not 
introduce my own remarks; indeed the farmers and planters 
seemed to deal so much in the marvellous, not only respecting the 
savage race, but the Hottentots and their brother farmers in the 
remote districts, that it is necessary to be very cautious in credit- 
ing their narrations; I shall therefore confine myself to a very few 

The hippopotamus, although in size next to the elephant, is a 
a mild and gentle animal, heavy and slow in its motions by land, but 
more active in the water; and, when irritated by the huntsmen, it 
sometimes does mischief in that element: it feeds principally on 
grass, and is caught in pits which the Hottentots dig on the banks 
of the rivers, where it comes to graze. These pits are ten or twelve 
feet deep, concealed by green turf and boughs, from whence this 
ponderous animal can never extricate himself. Its flesh is 
esteemed a delicacy, and the ivory of the tusks preferable to that 
of the elephant; the planters obtain much oil from the hippopot- 
amus, the rhinoceros, and the elephant, both for medicinal and 
domestic use. The feet and trunk of these animals are thought 
excellent by the Hottentots and colonists, who make them into a 
rich stew; the rest of their flesh, which is seldom all devoured 


Avhile fresh, is cul up into long thongs, and dried in the sun for 
future provision. Had we known in the Guzerat campaign that 
an elephant's foot was esteemed a luxury, we might often have 
been regaled when so many were left on the field of battle. 

What a beautiful description does the book of Job give us of 
the hippopotamus, under the name of Behemoth. " Behold now be- 
" hemoth which I have made, he ealeth grass as an ox; his strength 
"is in his loins, and his bones are like bars of iron; he moveth 
" his tail like a cedar, and his sinews are wrapped together: the 
" mountains bring him forth food; he lieth under the shady trees, 
" in the covert of the reeds and the fens: the shady trees cover 
" him with their shadow, and the willows of the brook compass 
" him about; behold, he drinkelh up a river, and hasteth not; 
" he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth!" 

As the hippopotamus is undoubtedly the behemoth, so the 
rhinoceros is supposed to be the unicorn of scripture: these ani- 
mals attain a prodigious size in Africa, and are said to be the mosi r 
powerful of the savage tribe; it is not naturally ferocious, but its 
coat of mail affords a complete defensive armour, and its horn is; 
so formidable a weapon of offence, that he generally remains un- 
molested by the lions, tigers, and other beasts of prey. Here, as 
well as in Hindostan, I found many extraordinary virtues attri- 
buted to the horn of the rhinoceros, especially in drinking out of 
it as an antidote to poison. It feeds upon grass, sugar-canes, and 
esculent plants found in its haunts. 

Many improbable stories are circulated at the Cape of the 
camelo-pardalis, or giraffe, which is certainly one of the most sin- 
gular animals we are acquainted with; its height is often magni- 


fied, but I believe none have yet been met with that measured 
more than sixteen feet, from the hoof to the tip of the horns, or 
short bony excrescences on the top of the head, which are eight 
or nine inches in length; the neck is very long in proportion to the 
body, which is only seven feet; the length of the shoulder-bone makes 
the fore-legs appear much longer than those behind, and gives the 
animal an inclining posture: the male is richly spotted with a dark 
brown on a grey ground, the female of lighter hue. I did not 
see one alive, but made my drawing from a stuffed specimen then 
ready for Europe. The camel-leopard is an innocent peaceable 
animal, and feeds chiefly on the leaves of the mimosa trees, which 
adorn the interior forests. 

The zebra, another native of the African deserts, is a beautiful 
animal: in form, colour, and graceful motion, it has the comeliness 
of the horse, the swiftness of the deer, and the independence of 
the lion. It is larger than the common ass, and although sometimes 
taken alive, I believe not one has been completely tamed, or con- 
verted to any use. 

The adjacent country abounds with monkeys of various kinds; 
many of them are domesticated by the inhabitants. Among 
others, I oflen visited an oran-outang, which had been brought 
from Java; in many instances it approached very near the human 
species, and seems to be the uniting link in the grand chain of 
creation between man and beast. At the Cape they have playful 
mongooses and mococks, from Madagascar and the Comorro isles, 
some of them beautifully marked. 

Africa abounds with a variety of birds, but. their rural haunts 


were at so great a distance from the Cape, that I could only draw 
those I met with in cages, or in the public menagerie. In South 
America, where the loveliest rallies skirt the city of St. Sebastian, 
every walk presented beautiful subjects for the pencil; not so the 
country near the Cape. The African deserts nourish thousands 
of ostriches; some were kept in the menagerie, with the secretary 
bird, and others from the same wilds; together with the cassowary, 
the columba-coronata, and many curious birds from the Dutch 
settlements in the East Indies. 

The ostrich is so well known in the African ornithology, that it 
would lie needless to describe it. Among other peculiarities, it is 
said to digest stones and iron. I am ignorant of their digestive 
powers, but they certainly voraciously devour pieces of glass, iron, 
and similar substances, when thrown into the menagerie. The 
ostrich is the largest of the feathered tribes, and is called in Arabia 
the camel-bird, from ils resemblance to that animal; it runs swiftly 
over the desert, by means of its long legs and expanded wings, 
which arc not formed for an aerial flight. The Arabians, CafTrees, 
and Hottentots, hunt them for their feathers, and eat the flesh of 
the young ones; their eggs, fifteen inches in circumference, also 
afford a plentiful meal. Among the luxuries of the Roman em- 
perors we read of Heliogabalus having destroyed six hundred 
ostriches to furnish one dish of brains. The large thick shell of 
this bird is frequently carved with subjects from scripture history 
and other ornaments. Not rivalling the sculpture of an Italian 
basso-relievo, they are sold for a trifle tp the passing stranger by 
the slaves who carve them ; as are also other of these egg-shells cut 


into longitudinal bars, like a bird cage; in which some poor canary- 
bird, or other unfortunate songster is perched, and sold with his 
singular prison, for a couple of dollars. 

The cassowary, more formidable in appearance, and more 
savage in disposition than the ostrich, is generally his companion 
in the Cape menagerie: not much inferior in size, and stronger 
made, he is capable of doing much mischief, and sometimes 
evinces his power, as our party one day experienced. The casso- 
wary then exhibited had it seems an invincible aversion to the 
fair-sex, which the keeper had not informed us of: a young lady 
approaching, he instantly struck her down with his foot, and got 
the better of two gentlemen who attempted to rescue her, before 
the keeper, with an immense whip, put an end to the combat. 
He was altogether a very formidable adversary; the head, instead 
of a crest or soft plumage, being armed with a hard bony excres- 
cence, like a helmet; his large black eyes are encircled with 
hairs, which sparingly cover the head and neck instead of 

Among other curious birds was the Columba-coronata, or Java 
pigeon, a bird nearly as large as a turkey, with a plumage of 
dusky blue, and a beautiful tuft on the head. Also the secretary- 
bird, a native of the southern parts of Africa; about three feet 
high, chiefly arrayed in purple, Avith some long feathers elegantly 
falling from the head ; it destroys serpents, rats and vermin, and 
is on that account much esteemed, for the Cape abounds with 
venomous snakes, scorpions, scolopendrag, and noxious reptiles, 
as do many situations between the tropics; also with lizards of 
many descriptions, the land tortoise, and gryllne, or locusts, in 

VOL. [I. 2 b 


variety, abundance, and depredation, equalling their destructive 
hosts in other countries. The penguins, seals, sea otters, and 
other animals in the amphibious parts of the Cape zoology, found 
among the rocks and islands near this southern promontory, open 
an ample field to the naturalist. 

The lions, hyenas, and wild beasts in the interior of the colony 
are very formidable and destructive. The wonderful stories of 
these animals, related by farmers from the more distant regions, 
require no common degree of faith; some of their narrations 
would have staggered Vaillant himself There appears to be very 
little difference in the habits of the African lion, and the royal 
tiger of Hindostan; both are equally crafty, ferocious, and cruel. 
We read of the noble behaviour and generous conduct of the 
sovereign of the forest, in ancient history, and cherish the pleas- 
ing ideas early imbibed of his attachment and friendship to man. 
Modern lions have certainly the same propensities as all of the 
feline genus in other countries; and the Cape farmers now com- 
plain as loudly, if not as elegantly, as Virgil's shepherds. 

" Impastus ceu plena leo per ovilia turbans, 

" Suadet enim vesana fames, manditque trahitque 

" Molle pecus." JEti. g. 

" The famish'd lion, thus, with hunger bold, 

" O'erleaps the fences of the nightly fold, 

'■' And tears the peaceful flocks." Dryden. 

I had no time for distant excursions, but joined several parties 
to the villas and plantations beyond the sandy plains, three or 
four miles from Cape-town; where the governor had a country 


house, and most of the principal citizens, plantations, farms, and 
vineyards, surrounding a rural habitation. The gardens and 
orchards were extremely pleasant, and very productive, min- 
gling the peach, apricot, and apple of Europe, with the guava, 
banana, and pomegranate of tropical climes. There were mango 
trees in the company's garden, which had not then produced fruit. 
The peaches, apricots, and plums were all standards, and in 
January, the commencement of the Cape autumn, were bending 
under their grateful produce; nectarines had not succeeded, and 
cherries were uncommon: strawberries abound earlier in the season, 
with a few gooseberries and currants; oranges, lemons, figs, and 
mulberries are as prolific as the apples and pears, every where in 
great profusion. Nothing can exceed the plenty and variety of 
the grapes; one of the most delicious, produces the tent-wine, a 
black grape, with a rich crimson juice like blood; which may have 
caused it to be selected for the sacramental wine. 

The avenues are generally planted with almond, chesnut, and 
walnut trees, which attain a large growth, and protect the flowers, 
vegetables, and tenderer fruit trees, from the high tempestuous 
winds, which so powerfully prevail in that part of the globe. The 
kitchen gardens abound with cabbages, cauliflowers, artichokes, 
asparagus, pease, beans, french-beans, beet-root, turnips, carrots, 
potatoes, salads, and most of the European vegetables; many of 
them much improved by the climate. They seem to be more at- 
tentive to these productive and useful crops, than to the cultiva- 
tion of flowers, for which the Dutch are generally famous. Yet 
a variety of European flowers seemed to flourish among the aloes, 
geraniums, and elegant heaths indigenous to Africa. A chief 


beauty of the Cape gardens, are the luxuriant myrtle hedges, 
which surround every enclosure, to a great height; their bloming 
branches waving over the head of the passenger, unite in fragrance 
with the odoriferous exhalations from the orange and lemon trees, 
abounding in these enclosures. 

I shall take leave of this pleasing subject with a few lines from 
a manuscript poem, descriptive of the gardens and orchards at 
the Cape, written among their delightful variety. 

On flowers, in Europe yet unseen, I tread, 
And trees of stranger form embrace my head ; 
The product here of every clime is known ; 
This generous soil adopts them all her own : 
Arrang'd the vegetable tribes appear, 
And plants, like nations, grow familiar here : 
Around her soft perfume the citron throws, 
There, through the gloom, the rich pomegranate glows ; 
The brightening orange next attracts the view, 
The paler lime succeeds, with fainter hue ; 
There the blue fig the purple grape entwines, 
Here with the rose the Persian-jasmine joins ; 
Here towers, with native grace, the tender palm 
Beneath the weeping shrub distils with balm ; 
There the fair aloe rears its flow'ry head, 
Here the dark cypress forms its equal shade. 

A thousand birds, of various form and sound, 
Diffuse luxurious harmony around; 
Not brighter colours paint the heavenly bow, 
Than grace their wings, and o'er their plumage glow. 

We spent one day at Constantia, the celebrated vineyard, 
twelve miles from Cape-town. We travelled, in coaches drawn 


by eight horses, over the sandy plains already mentioned in the 
journey from False-bay, until we approached the mountains, and 
entered a country abounding with farms and young woods of oak. 
Much trouble and expense have been bestowed to produce this effect 
in a wide waste of barren mountains, rocky precipices, and sandy 
hills. On a rising ground, in this once dreary region, are situated 
the house and vineyard of Constantia: the former is a plain com- 
fortable mansion, sheltered by plantations, and approached by an 
avenue of venerable oaks. The vineyards are in the best aspect, 
whither after visiting the cellars and tasting the choicest wine, we 
were conducted. In general, we were invited, not only to eat as 
many grapes as we pleased, but to carry them away with us. At 
Constantia the vine-dresser requested us to pick only a little fruit 
from the trees, but not to gather a bunch; the wine is too pre- 
cious for this indulgence: it must ever be deemed a rare, as 
well as a delicious cordial, because the peculiar soil of Upper 
Constantia gives the muscadel grape a value there, which cannot 
be imparted to the same vine when planted elsewhere, and treated 
exactly in the same manner; it always produces a different grape, 
and wine of inferior flavour. The experiment has been repeatedly 
tried in the adjoining vineyards of Lower Constantia, without 

We dined at an adjacent villa, delightfully situated among 
citron, orange and lemon groves, and all the pleasing variety just 
mentioned, contrasted also by the rough scenery of rocks and 
mountains which surround it. The vineyard seldom yielded less 
than forty pipes of wine each vintage, inferior in strength and 
richness to Constantia, but resembling it in flavour: it was then sold 


in casks containing twenty gallons, at twelve dollars the cask. 
The hospitable proprietor had lately purchased this estate, with 
a good house, excellent wine-vaults, gardens, vineyard, oak-planta- 
tions, and an extensive tract of contiguous waste land, for six thou- 
sand rix-dollars. 

I do not particularize the aquatic excursions we made to Pen- 
guin island, and other rocks near the Cape, inhabited by penguins, 
seals, and sea-fowl. We sometimes extended them to a greater 
distance, to have a better view of the Table-land and its conti- 
guous mountains, which I had only seen before through the me- 
dium of a dreadful tempest. The scenery around Bay Falso, and 
that of Table-bay is singularly striking. Captain Percival's ani- 
mated description shall conclude my first visit to this grand boun- 
dary of southern Africa. 

" The immense masses which rise in many places almost per- 
pendicularly from the sea, and are lost among the clouds; the 
vast oullies and caverns, which seem to sink to an immeasurable 
depth amidst these stupendous mountains; the long-extended 
ledges of rock, over which, in a few places, are scattered some 
tufts of stunted trees and withered shrubs; the successive ridges 
of white sandy hills, each of which appears like a valley to 
the one by which it is surmounted; the terrible surf which is con- 
tinually raging on the beach, along which these ridges are stretched; 
with the spray, which is thrown to an immense height by the 
waves recoiling from the more rocky parts; all these objects rushing 
at once upon the eye of those who approach the Cape, pro- 
duce an effect which can be but faintly conveyed by de- 


" This surf which is driven to the land with such fury, pro- 
duces a phenomenon in the sandy deserts, even far removed 
from the sea. In the time of the violent south-east winds it is 
carried to a great distance into the country, presenting the appear- 
ance of a thick mist. It gradually quits the atmosphere, lighting 
on the trees and herbs, and lining the surface of the sands. On 
the commencement of the rainy season it is again dissolved; and 
being carried off by the streams which are then formed, it is lodged 
in a number of small lakes; which, by a natural process, in time 
become absolute salt-pans, and thence it is that the Dutch colo- 
nists collect the salt which supplies their consumption. A person 
walking on the sandy beach during the continuance of the south- 
east winds, so as to be exposed to its influence, soon finds his 
clothes covered and encrusted with saline particles; while his skin 
is quite parched up, and his lips begin to feel their effects very 

As the small vessel which brought me from Bombay to the 
Cape was not permitted to proceed to Europe, I embarked on 
board the Calcutta Indiaman, commanded by captain William 
Thomson, from whom I received the kindest attentions, and joined 
a party of friends, who were passengers for England, and had 
sailed from Bombay ten weeks before my departure. As I had 
no intention of leaving India at that time they were astonished to 
find me at the Cape, and that my voyage thither was completed 
in seven weeks, while theirs exceeded seventeen. 

After a pleasant passage of fourteen days from the Cape, we 
arrived at St. Helena. A constant succession of fair winds, smooth 
water, and fine weather, however delightful to the voyager, pre- 


sents but little to amuse the reader: the continued prospect of 
sk} r and water affords no topic for a descriptive pen; although 
the glorious spectacle of the rising and setting sun is perhaps no 
where beheld with such grand effect as on the boundless ocean: 
a scene to which neither the language of Milton, nor the pencil 
of Claude can do justice. 

Before we discovered the island, we saw several of the St. 
Helena pigeons, a sea-bird which has obtained that name, al- 
though it bears no resemblance to the genus. These birds are 
always seen to the windward of the island, but never to the lee- 
ward; thus directing the wanderers on the ocean to this haven 
of repose and refreshment, after a long voyage, although it is 
little more than a volcanic eruption, rising in the vast Atlantic, 
and but a speck in a map of this terraqueous globe. There is 
every appearance of volcanic agency throughout the island, which 
is situated in the latitude of 16 degrees south, and 5° 44' of west 
longitude, from London. It is twenty seven miles in circumference, 
consisting chiefly of high rocky mountains, and deep vallies; 
composed of lava, scoria, ashes, and marine shells, similar to the 
strata of Etna, Vesuvius, and other volcanoes. The highest hill is 
called Diana's Peak, and its summit is c 2d96 feet above the level 
of the sea. The stupendous cliffs on the coast are so extremely 
steep, that a ship sailing under them appears from their lofty sum- 
mits no bigger than her buoy; and we could but just distinguish 
the islanders surveying us, as we passed close under their perpendi- 
cular sides sixteen hundred feet high. 

St. Helena affords neither anchorage nor soundings, except at 
Sandy-bay, and the bank on the north-west side of the island, 


where the vessels ride in safety, about half a mile from the shore; 
the different hills and vallies near it are fortified with batteries 
and redoubts. From hence St. Helena appears to the greatest 
advantage, presenting a prospect of St. James's valley, the land- 
ing-place, governor's house, and the only town on the island; it 
consists chiefly of a long narrow street, with houses ranged at the 
foot of the mountains, built in the English style, and furnished 
from Europe or India. The church is neat; the government 
house convenient, and pleasantly situated; in front commanding 
a view of the ships, and opening behind into the Company's gar- 
den; which, after those at the Cape, appeared rather insignificant. 
This valley is fortified towards the sea; and on the sides of the 
mountains are winding roads, leading to the country. These 
roads are only intended for horses, wheeled carriages would be 
useless. The ladies are bold riders, and gallop up and down the 
most formidable precipices. 

Notwithstanding the dreary appearance of St. Helena towards 
the sea, many of the inland vales are sweetfy rural, bounded by 
magnificent scenery. From some of the least tremendous heights 
the stranger beholds a bold crater, in the centre of steep rocky 
hills, accessible only to wild goats, but the gentler acclivities are 
dotted with neat farm-houses, shaded by trees, and surrounded by 
verdant meadows or enclosures of yams, potatoes, and such pro- 
ductions as the soil and climate admit of. These farms are ani- 
mated by herds of cattle and flocks of sheep, while many a mur- 
muring rill falling from the mountains gives a fine effect to the 
sublime and beautiful landscape. This, although written at first un- 
der the impression of novelty, appeared to me equally true after a. 

VOL. II. 2 c 


second visit, and since I have enjoyed the beauties of Switzerland 
and other alpine scenery on the continent and in Great Britain. 

A short walk from these picturesque views leads to immense cliffs 
and craggy precipices, opening on the unbounded ocean, bringing 
to a stranger's mind the unenviable situation of the islanders, 
secluded from the rest of the world, and entirely dependant on 
foreign supplies for the necessaries of life; for though the valleys 
and acclivities of the mountains are covered with a thin surface 
of mould, which by cultivation would produce a variety of grain, 
in consequence of the rats and mice, that have escaped from the 
ships, and infest the island, not an ear of it could attain maturity. 

The monotony of the town and its local anecdotes present few 
attractions to the inquisitive traveller. In so confined a spot the 
refinements and elegancies of society are not to be expected; but 
nature is always new, always delightful, and as I anticipated ano- 
ther long confinement on the realms of Neptune, I spent as much 
time as possible in the country, and have sometimes been so enve- 
loped in clouds, on the summit of the hills, that I could hardly 
see my horse's head. These vapours penetrate through the thickest 
coat, but are not often of long continuance. Leaving the tops of 
the mountains clear, they roll in immense volumes over the valleys, 
and sometimes present a picture half lighted by the sun, and half 
concealed in an impenetrable mist. 

" Nature there 
" Wantons, as in her prime, and plays at will 
" Her virgin fancies, wild above rule or art." Milton. 

When no ships are at St. Helena the town is forsaken ; most 
of the inhabitants reside at their farms during great part of the 


year; as the valley, which is the general name for the town, is, from 
its situation, very warm, and the prospects confined: there the 
thermometer rises to 78 or 80 degrees, but seldom exceeds 67 or 08 
on the hills. The whole island, considering its situation so near 
the equator, is remarkably cool, the air mild and salubrious; few 
disorders are known, and the small-pox is particularly guarded 
against. The ladies have fine complexions, for natives of a 
warm climate; which is generally unfavourable to the roses of 
my fair countrywomen in India, where the blushing flower of 
love soon decays, and the jonquil subdues the snowy tint of the 
lily. At St. Helena health and pleasure sparkle in the countenances 
of the young islanders; who are in general lively, smart, and agree- 
able, although superficially endowed with those accomplish- 
ments and refinements which are only to be acquired by edu- 

The English took this island from the Dutch in 1673; it had 
been first discovered by the Portugueze in 1508, on St. Helen's 
day: they thought it too barren for a settlement, but left poultry 
and goats to run wild, and afford refreshment to such vessels as 
might occasionally touch there for water. The number of inha- 
bitants in 1776 did not exceed two thousand; more than half of 
those were slaves and black servants from Asia and Africa, the 
rest were Europeans and their descendants, including four hun- 
dred soldiers, and officers; the other inhabitants capable of bear- 
ing arms, both black and white, are formed into a militia, regu- 
larly disciplined. The government was vested in a governor, 
lieutenant governor, and two members of council, under whom 
were a few junior servants; no foreign trade was 'permitted. The 


governor's table was kept at the Company's expence, but his 
salary and emoluments did not then exceed seven hundred pounds 
a year, the lieutenant governor was allowed five hundred, and the 
other servants proportionally less. 

The island at that time contained about two thousand head of 
cattle, which were not deemed sufficient to supply the ships, ami 
keep up a stock. The mutton is good, but not abundant; geese, 
turkeys, and smaller poultry were dear; pheasants, partridges, and 
Guinea-fowls, scarce, though often seen wild upon the hills. The 
gardens and plantations produced a variety of fruit; the plantain 
Avas most attended to, from forming; with the vara the chief food 
of the slaves. Apples, peaches, mulberries, figs and melons were 
good; the peaches large, coloured like an apricot, and highly 
flavoured, but grapes were scarce. In some of the best gardens 
were pine-apples, mango and tamarind trees, several oriental 
shrubs and flowers lately introduced; they had also begun to 
cultivate the tuar, or doll, of Hindostan, which if it succeeds will 
be a valuable acquisition. 

The apple-trees are deservedly esteemed at St. Helena, for 
when the summer fruit is ripe the winter crop on the same tree 
begins to blossom; but this valuable fruit only succeeds in parti- 
cular sitiralions: oranges, limes and citrons grow well; the cus- 
tard-apple, papah, and pompelmoos had been lately introduced 
from India; all seemed to flourish; and it must afford delight to 
every voyager, to contribute to the improvement of this interest- 
ing spot; where the British oak and banian-tree of Hindostan 
unite their fiiendly shade with the indigenous ebony and Caledo- 
nian fir-tree; where the African aloe and prickly pear, the Indian 


bamboo, and Arabian coffee, grow luxuriantly in the same border 
with the apple, the peach, and the mulberry from Europe. 

The ficus indica, or banian-tree, thrives at St. Helena; still more 
so the ficus religiosa, or pepal. The string-wood I have only 
seen on this island; its long strings of red blossoms give this tree 
a beautiful appearance; its drooping branches, and the thick fo- 
liage of the standard peaches, shelter the rose linnets, which now 
abound in St. Helena, perhaps brought from South America, where 
their rosy bosoms form a beautiful contrast to the snowy blossoms 
of the orange groves. This is the passerculus orientalis, a small 
bird of delicate brown plumage, varied by rose-colour and white, 
the eyes encircled with feathers of a bright red. They build two 
nests, one above the other; in the largest below, the hen lays her 
eggs, and, like the interesting baya of India, the cock watches in 
the upper apartment, and sings to his mate during her incubation. 
The Java sparrows are more common ; they were first brought 
from China and Batavia for their beauty, but from their wonder- 
ful increase, are become a great annoyance to the farmers. 

The cotton plant had not been long introduced at St. Helena; 
with what success it may be cultivated time must determine. The 
Gum-wood, (solidago-leucadendron,) seems the most thriving tree 
on the St. Helena hills, it produces a resinous substance like gum- 
benjamin. They also abound with ferns in great variety and 
beauty, particularly the dicksonia, or tree-fern, which grows to the 
height of twenty feet ; the seed of the furze brought from Eng- 
land, and scattered about the hills, clothes them with beauty and 

The variety of fish daily brought to market, is a source of 


entertainment to a stranger, as well as a luxury at his meals. 
Many are curious and finely coloured, but I am no adept in 
icthyology, and only sketched the most beautiful; the mackarel are 
inferior to those in Europe; the little fish called ihe bull's-eye is 
delicious, equally so the cunning-fish, thus called from its stealing 
the bait, and eluding the hook. The hog-fish is curious, and the 
green-fish vies with the dolphin in alternate changes of purple, 
crimson, green, and gold. 

"We left St. Helena on the last day of February, and favoured 
by the south-east trade-wind crossed the line on the 12th of March; 
there it forsook us, and was succeeded by variable breezes, squalls, 
calms, thunder, lightning, and heavy rain, with a hot condensed 
atmosphere. This unpleasant weather continued until the 23d, 
when being in the latitude of 7° 12' north, we flattered ourselves with 
the hope of meeting the north-east trade wind, and soon terminat- 
ing our voyage; but different scenes awaited us: after a moderate 
breeze all that clay, followed by a mild evening, we retired to rest 
as usual about ten o'clock. At midnight the officer upon deck 
was alarmed by the noise of a swelling surf, and very soon dis- 
tinctly heard the hollow surges successively rolling upon a near 
shore. The captain was instantly called, and a general alarm suc- 
ceeded : on sounding we found only ten fathoms water, when we 
imagined ourselves on the Atlantic ocean,, some hundred miles 
from land. As the wind blew fresh on the land, there was no 
time for deliberation; we therefore anchored immediately, and 
at day-break beheld within a mile of the ship a sandy beach, 
shaded by groves of cocoa-nut and tamarind trees, but could not 
distinguish any hills or mountains. We now knew it to be a part 


of the coast of Guinea, near St. Ann's, generally called the Gold 
coast, from its producing gold, ivory, and slaves; but as none of the 
natives came off, and we sent no boat on shore, I had not an op- 
portunity of making further observations. 

Although it was deemed imprudent to have any communica- 
tion with the natives, or partake of nature's bounty on shore, we 
unfortunately continued near it a long time. We weighed anchor 
the next morning, but could neither get out of soundings, nor lose 
sight of the coast. The land-winds were too faint to assist us, 
and the sea breezes always contrary; to render our situation still 
more distressing, an unfavourable southern current set so strong 
that frequently when we had sailed several miles to the northward, 
the observation convinced us we were far south of our last reckon- 
ing; and thus, after a fortnight had elapsed, we were further from 
England than when we first saw the land. The wind seldom 
varied more than two points from the north-west, which was the 
very course we wanted to steer; we crossed the line several degrees 
more to the eastward than is customary for the homeward-bound 
ships from India. 

The days. were sultry, and the nightly dews unwholesome; the 
pressure of the atmosphere caused a lassitude both of body and 
mind. Nothing can be more uncertain than the weather on the 
coast of Guinea: from a sky perfectly clear and serene, in a mo- 
ment bursts a storm of thunder, lightning, rain, and wind; the sea 
instantly becomes confused and tumultuous, its lovely lints of 
azure and aqua-marina, assume the sable hue of the overspreading 
gloom; this as suddenly subsiding leaves the air more sultry than 
before, producing all the enervating effects of the Italian Sirocco. 


Thus we continued in a state of listless apathy for some weeks, 
when after stealing gently on with a faint land breeze during the 
night, we were agreeably surprized one morning at day-break with 
the appearance of a vessel at a few miles distance. Pleased with 
the novelty, we dispatched a boat, and found her to be a French 
ship from Mauritius, bound to FOrient, which had already been 
a month in these latitudes, amid calms, contrary winds, and south- 
erly currents. We kept company many days, and frequently dining 
with each other, diverted our ennui; for,notwithstanding their misfor- 
tunes, the French captain and passengers were cheerful and volatile. 

Among a variety offish on the coast of Guinea, the most beau- 
tiful is the Medusa, or Portugueze man-of-war, which enlivened the 
surface of the ocean, sailing by thousands before the wind. It 
appears individually like a large bubble or inflated bladder, per- 
fectly transparent, and varying with tiic most lovely tints of blue, 
pink, and violet; it is generally of an oval shape, two or three 
inches long, with a protuberance at each end, something like a 
bird's head and beak. I could never discover eyes, nose, or 
mouth, yet it certainly belongs to the tribe of fishes, with a carti- 
laginous body, assuming different shapes as it is more or less in- 
flated. On the top of the body it spreads a pink transparent 
sail, supported by delicate fibres, which enable it to raise or lower 
the sail at pleasure; with this they scud away before the lio-ht 
breezes, but are seldom seen in a boisterous sea; under the body 
are suspended several filaments of the most beautiful blue, of un- 
equal length, and always in the water. These appendages are of 
a pungent caustic quality, and wherever they touch the skin it 
rises in blisters like a bum, followed by acute pain. 





/'/ . /'■////,/'/,.>, , //</,; &/ // t/ I 



These curious animals are attended by a train of beautiful 
tish, six or seven inches long, marked with dark stripes over the 
pale hues of the iris, like the pilot fish, which always accompany 
the shark, and like them I never saw these little fish but under 
the Medusa; whose protection they seem instinctively to claim 
from the bonitos, albacores, and other voracious fish, which are 
continually pursuing them and the flying-fish; but these have the 
advantage, for the instant their gigantic enemy approaches, they 
swim under the Medusa, which is so poisonous that no fish at- 
tempts to touch it; and it would be impossible to snap up one 
without the other, so closely do the little fugitives adhere to their 
protector; while the unfortunate flying-fish, in endeavouring to 
escape a watery foe, are devoured by the aquatic birds conti- 
nually hovering over them. 

The sharks on the Guinea coast are of a tremendous size, and 
often follow the slave vessels from thence to the West India islands; 
to feast upon the bodies of the negroes, who are so fortunate 
as to die on the vo3 r age, and escape from christian bondage. 

" Lur'd by the scent 
" Of steaming crowds, of rank disease, and death, 
" His jaws-terrific arm'd with three-fold fate, 
" Behold die direful shark ! he cuts the flood 
' ' Swift as the gale can bear the ship along ; 
" And from the partners of that cruel trade, 
" Which spoils unhappy Guinea of her sons, 
" Demands his share of prey : their mangled limbs 
" Crashing at once, he dyes the purple seas 
" With gore, and riots in the vengeful meal." 

VOL. II. 2D 


On the 17 tli of April, having proceeded considerably to the 
westward of the coast of Guinea, we had the happiness to find the 
wind veering gradually from west, and at length it settled in the 
regular north-east trade. We soon forgot all our late misfortunes; 
the anticipation of pleasures in our native isle again seasoned our 
repast, and we sailed gaily on. In three days we saw St. Jago, 
Brava, and several of the Cape de Verd Islands, and were de- 
tained by a calm close to Fogo, a barren mountainous island, only 
ten miles in circumference, which takes its name from a burning 
mountain, that frequently sends forth liquid lava and other vol- 
canic matter, like the more sublime alembics of Etna and Vesu- 
vius. Brava, situated between Fogo and St. Jago, seems to be 
an uninhabited mountain, three or four miles long. I have 
already described St. Jago in my voyage to India; very few of 
the homeward-bound ships ever fall in with the Cape de Verd 

From thence pleasant gales and fair weather carried us to the 
Azores, or Western Islands, which we saw on the 13th of May ; 
1 must except one half-hour, when we were suddenly assailed by 
a violent storm, with thunder, lightning, and rain. It came on so 
instantaneously that we had no time to prepare against it before 
all our sails were split to pieces: it commenced from the south- 
east, and in a moment shifted to the north. I shall not attempt 
to describe this dreadful scene; its horrors exceeded every thing 
I could have conceived, and the oldest seamen declared they had 
never met with any thing to equal it. Fully indeed did we realize 
the description of my favorite bard. 


" Amid the heavens 
" Falsely serene, the tempest brooding dwells: 
" Fiery and foul, the small prognostic hangs ! 

" then down at once 

" Precipitant descends a mingled mass 

" Of roaring winds, and flame, and rushing floods !" Thomson. 

Sailing eastward of the Azores, a pleasant breeze wafted us 
along the coast of St. Mary's, within sight of its orange-groves, 
villas, hamlets, and corn-fields, scattered among craggy precipices 
and foaming cascades. We passed between St. Mary's and a chain 
of rocks called the Homugas, on which the waves beat violently; 
and after coasting along St. Michael's, famous for its oranges, we 
saw several other islands belonging to Portugal, situated about 
three hundred leagues to the westward of that kingdom. The 
climate of the Azores, though subject to earthquakes, is mild and 
salubrious; they afford the inhabitants all the necessaries of life, 
and abound with corn, wine, and fruits. Angra, in the island of 
Tercera, is the seat of government, and the residence of the gover- 
nor-general, the bishop, and principal officers; this capital con- 
tains a cathedral, and several other churches; there is a good har- 
bour, and generally a brisk trade. 

After leaving the Azores, the Atlantic presented a lively 
scene of vessels sailing in all directions: we spoke with several, 
and exchanged presents of tea, arrack and Indian delicacies, for 
the grateful return of English porter, butter and cheese, on which 
we regaled for the remainder of the voyage; which, notwithstand- 
ing it was now the beginning of summer, was not concluded with- 
out fresh gales, boisterous seas, and cold weather; so late as the 
30th of May, the decks were covered with snow, At that time 


our water and provisions running low, and the sails being in a 
shattered condition, we steered for the Cove of Cork in Ireland; 
where we arrived the next day, after a voyage, by the log, of twelve 
thousand nine hundred miles from Bombay. 

The prospects on the coast of Ireland were very pleasant, 
especially in the Cove of Cork, which presented a continued suc- 
cession of villas, parks, and farms, with the ruins of castles and 
religious edifices. The Cove is spacious, and reckoned one of the 
most commodious harbours in Europe. We found it crowded 
with vessels, and anchored near the small town of Cove, about 
nine miles from Cork, from whence, early the next morming, the 
Calcutta was filled with company, from the principal nobility to 
the lowest shopkeepers, flocking on board for India bargains. All 
the beauty and fashion from the city and the nearer villas were 
constantly arriving. Longing to be on shore, I accompanied the 
captain and passengers to Cork ; sailing up the river in an open 
boat, we had beautiful views of several noblemen's and gentlemen's 
seats on the acclivities of hills sloping to the water's edge, covered 
with groves, gardens and farms; while the busy sons of industry and 
commerce in the different vessels enlivened the picture. 

We were treated with the greatest kindness and hospitality by 
many of the principal families at Cork, which ranks next to Dublin 
in magnitude and wealth, and carries on a more extensive com- 
merce. It contains about fifty thousand inhabitants. As the Cal- 
cutta was likely to be detained there for some weeks, and I ar- 
dently longed to reach home, I left Ireland on the 6th of June, 
with several of our passengers, in the Pitt yacht. 

We sailed with a fair wind, and next evening saw the lights on 


Seilly; on the third morning we were off the Land's-end in Corn- 
wall, and swiftly passing the romantic coasts of Devon, on the 
fourth evening we were near the Isle of Wight; the wind then 
becoming contrary, we landed on the 10th of June at Hastings in 
Sussex, with feelings which I cannot express; the thrillings of joy 
were too powerful, and produced a sickness of the heart well 
known to minds of sensibility. 

" Bliss goes but to a certain bound — 
" Beyond 'tis agony !" 

We ordered supper, but I could not taste it, nor did I sleep the 
whole night; which indeed was very short; for at three the next 
morning we set off in a post-chaise and four for London. It was 
indeed an interesting journey, and most delightful did every thing 
appear in this lovely month; orchards and hawthorn hedges in full 
bloom and fragrance, verdant meadows and springing corn-fields, 
all united to endear my native land, from which I had been absent 
eleven years. My happiness was complete on reaching my father's 
house and finding my family well. 

" How are thy servants bless'd, O Lord ! 

" How sure is their defence ! 
" Eternal wisdom is their guide, 

" Their help, Omnipotence ! 

" In foreign lands, and realms remote, 

Supported by thy care, 
" Through burning climes I pass'd unhurt, 

" And breath'd in tainted air. 


*' Thy mercy sweeten'd every soil, 
" Made every region please; 

" The torrid clime of Asia cheer'd, 
" And smooth'd the raging seas. 

" In midst of dangers, fears, and death, 
" Thy goodness I'll adore ; 
" I'll praise thee for thy mercies past, 
" And humbly hope for more !" 






But not alike to every mortal eye 
Is the great scene unveil' d : some in finer mould 
Are wrought, and temper'd with a purer flame. 
To these the Siee omnipotent unfolds 
The world's harmonious volume, there to read 
The transcript of himself. On every part 
They trace the bright impressions of his hand. Akenside, 


The author's return to India — Sir William Jones's reflections on the 
oriental seas, his high character — the author's residence at Bombay — 
departure for Bar oche— voyage to Surat— journey from thence to 
Baroche — Senassees — wells — illustrations of scripture — Dr. Fryer's 
journey from Surat to Baroche— general character of the Indians 
—first establishment of a factory at Baroche by Sir Thomas Roe 
— trade of the ancients with Barygaza, or Baroche — Periplus — 
dangerous tides in the gulph of Cambay— modern cotton-trade at 
Baroche — simplicity of the manufactures — revenues of Baroche — 
Purgunna — villages — rich soil — variety of crops — animals— birds — 
fruits — water-melon— pomegranates — oriental wines, sherbets, ice — 
oils and perfumes — tribe of Borahs — Mahomedan fakeers— pe- 
nances of Indian devotees — origin of the very severe austerities of 
the Hindoos— V Hospice of Grand St. Bernard — Hindoo colleges 
— Jattaras — Succulterah — expiation at Sucla-Tirtha — Mahomedan 
festivals — death of Houssain — English villa near Baroche — gar- 
dens — irrigation— address to a Hindoo Naiad— serpents, guardians 
of Indian gardens— reputed among the good genii— visit of a Cobra 
di Capello to a young lady's bath — ordeal trials by water and, rice — ■ 
singular anecdote of a robbery — mongoose — ichneumon — variety of 
snakes — provisions at Baroche — -fish in the Nerbudda — markets 
at Baroche — price of laboui — lower classes of society — court of 
Adawles at Baroche —Jumma Musseid- silver mosque — mausoleum 

VOL. II. 2 E 

of Jiaba-Rahan — history of that saint — illustration of scripture 
respecting idols cast to the bats— comparison between modern 
Hindoos and Mahomedans — bigotry of the latter — letter from 
Tipoo Sulfa un — dress of an oriental female — rajhpoots — origin of 
that high caste — anecdotes concerning them — their noble character 
—extraordinary circumstance relating to a rajhpoot family in the 
Baroche Purgunna — singular exit of a Hindoo family at Bombay 
— trial and execution of the superstitious Hindoo which occasioned 
it — anecdotes from Lord Teignmouth. 


The voyage to Europe, and a residence of nine months in Eng- 
land restored my health ; when having obtained from the Court of 
Directors an appointment to the first vacancy at Baroche, a settle- 
ment in the province of Guzerat, subordinate to Bombay, I em- 
barked a second time for India in 1777 9 with a beloved sister, and 
several agreeable passengers. 

After a pleasant voyage, without an hour's bad weather, losing 
a man by sickness, or meeting with accident or adventure, we 
arrived at Bombay in little more than four months from leaving 
Portsmouth. We stopped a few days at the Cape for water and 
refreshments; I renewed my visit to the different objects men- 
tioned in the last chapter, but saw nothing new. Thus circum- 
stanced, a voyage of twelve thousand miles affords no subject for 
communication; numerous passengers, like myself, have probably 
traversed the expanse of rolling oceans between Europe and Asia, 
without once reflecting on the situation which afforded Sir William 
Jones enthusiastic delight; it requires a mind enlightened and 
expanded as his own to enjoy the sensations which he describes 
in his preliminary discourse to the Asiatic Society at Bengal. I 


confess it is a passage I never read without envying his feelings, 
and distantly participating in his pleasure. 

" "When I was at sea last August," says our great Orientalist, 
i£ on my voyage to this country, which I had long and ardently 
desired to visit, I found one evening, on inspecting the observa- 
tions of the day, that India lay before us, and Persia on our left; 
whilst a breeze from Arabia, blew nearly on our stern. A situa- 
tion so pleasing in itself, and to me so new, could not fail to 
awaken a train of reflections in a mind, which had early been ac- 
customed to contemplate with delight, the eventful histories and 
agreeable fictions of the eastern world. It gave me inexpressible 
pleasure to find myself in the midst of so noble an amphitheatre, 
almost encircled by the vast regions of Asia, which has ever been 
esteemed the nurse of sciences, the inventress of delightful and 
useful arts, the scene of glorious actions, fertile in the productions 
of human genius, abounding in natural wonders, and infinitely 
diversified in the forms of religion and government, in the laws, 
manners, customs, and languages, as well as in the features and 
complexions of men!" 

Justly does Lord Teignmouth, his worthy successor, as presi- 
dent of the Asiatic Society, thus speak of his departed friend. 
" The faculties of his mind, by nature vigorous, were improved by 
constant exercise; and his memory, by habitual practice, had ac- 
quired a capacity of retaining whatever had once been impressed 
upon it. To an unextinguished ardour for universal knowledge, 
he joined a perseverance in the pursuit of it, which subdued all 
obstacles; his studies began with the dawn, and during the inter- 


mission of professional duties, were continued throughout the day. 
Reflection and meditation strengthened and confirmed what in- 
dustry and investigation had accumulated. It was a fixed prin- 
ciple with him, from which he never voluntarily deviated, not to be 
deterred by any difficulties that were surmountable, from prosecut- 
ing to a successful termination what he had once deliberately 

To spread thy fame two rival worlds contend, 

To worth, to learning, and to genius just ; 
And Love's and Friendship's mingling tears descend. 

To embalm thy memory, and bedew thy dust. 

'Twas thine, with daring wing and eagle eye, 

To pierce antiquity's profoundest gloom ; 
To search the dazzling records of the sky, 

And bid the stars the sacred page illume. 

Nor did th' instructive orbs of heaven alone 

Absorb thy soul 'mid yon ethereal fields ; 
To thee the vegetable world was known, 

And all the blooming tribes the garden yields. 

From the tall cedar, on the mountain's brow, 

Which the fierce tropic-storm in vain assails, 
Down to the humblest shrubs that beauteous blow, 

And scent the air of Asia's fragrant vales. 

But talents, fancy— ardent, bold, sublime, 

Unbounded science, — form'd thy meanest fame: 
Beyond the grasp of death, the bound of time, 

On wings of fire Religion wafts thy name. 

And, long as stars shall shine or planets roll, 

To kindred virtue shall that name be dear ; 
Still shall thy genius charm th' aspiring soul, 

And distant ages kindle at thy bier ! 


After residing six months at Bombay, a vacancy happened at 
Baroche, and I took the first opportunity of succeeding to my ap- 
pointment. I went by sea to Surat, and from thence across the 
country to Baroche. Surat I have already described ; it afforded 
no further novelty; and the voyage thither is too short and un- 
varied to interest a distant reader. A land-wind every night, and 
a sea-breeze throughout the day, equally assisted us; the morning 
presented a splendid sun, rising over the eastern mountains, and 
the western sky and curling waves were tinged by his evening 
beams. The pleasure of the voyage was heightened by a serene 
atmosphere and regular winds; we felt their salubrious influence, 
and were amused by the sportive inhabitants of the deep, and 
interested in the commercial intercourse with different sea-ports 
which we passed. 

The little journey of thirty-six miles from Surat to Baroche is 
delightful. Soon after leaving the former, I crossed the Tappee, and 
travelled through a fertile country to Kimcatodrah Chowkey, a 
caravansary on the banks of the river Kim, about half way to 
Baroche: situated in so great a thoroughfare it is much frequented 
by merchants, and travellers of all descriptions; especially by 
senassecs, yogees, and other religious pilgrims. I have there met 
with Hindoo mendicants, who had made the tour of Hindostan, 
extended their journey to Persia, and some of them had even 
penetrated into Russia, and reached Moscow. 

Mr. Stewart remarks, that " the Indians have an admirable 
method of rendering their religion lucrative; it being usual for the 
fakeers to carry with them in their pilgrimages from the sea-coasts to 
the interior parts, pearls, corals, spices, and other precious articles, 


of small bulk; which they exchange, on their return, for gold- 
dust, musk, and other things of a similar nature, concealing them 
easily in their hair, and in the cloths round their middle; carrying 
on, in proportion to their numbers, no inconsiderable traffic by 
these means." 

These people were often brought to me secretly, to know if I 
would purchase ottah of roses, pearls, or other concealed commo- 
dities : I had frequently some trouble with them as custom-master 
at Baroche. 

Kimcatodrah, being near the river, is amply supplied with water. 
Most villages in this tract of country have public wells and tanks, 
where the pilgrim and his cattle are sure of finding abundance, 
except in dry seasons; and then some charitable individual gene- 
rally alleviates the failure, by placing a person to dispense water 
gratis from a temporary receptacle. On our Saviour's words, 
" Whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink, in my name, 
verily I say unto you he shall not lose his reward." Harmer justly 
remarks, that " the general thought is plain to every reader; that 
no service performed to a disciple of Christ, out of love to his 
master, though comparatively small, should pass away unrewarded : 
but those in more temperate climates, are sometimes ready to 
think that the instance our Lord mentions, is of so very trifling 
a nature, that it appears almost ludicrous. It certainly would not 
be so now to an inhabitant of the east; nor did it then, we have 
reason to believe, appear in that light to them, to whom he imme- 
diately made that declaration ; a cup of cold water is to them a 
refreshment not unworthy of acceptance." To this, Dr. Clarke 
adds a further illustration, that " it appears from the most authen- 


tic information, the Hindoos go sometimes a great way to fetch 
water; and then boil it, that it may not be hurtful to travellers 
who are hot; after this they stand from morning till night in some 
great road, where there is neither pit nor rivulet; and offer it, in 
honour of their gods, to be drunk by the passengers. This neces- 
sary work of charity in those countries, seems to have been prac- 
tised among the more pious and humane Jews; and our Lord 
assures them, that if they do this in his name, they shall not lose 
their reward. This one circumstance of the Hindoos offering the 
water to the fatigued passengers in honour of their gods, is a better 
illustration of our Lord's words, than all the collections of Harmer 
upon the subject." 

I spent the heat of the day at Kimcatodrah, and passed the 
night at Occlaseer, a pleasant Hindoo town, the capital of a 
small purgunna in the Baroche districts, then belonging to the 
English. Occlaseer is not many miles from the south bank of 
the Nerbudda, where I arrived the next morning, and crossed the 
river to Baroche. 

As my trip proved barren of incident, I shall add Dr. Fryer's 
entertaining account of the same journey, a century before. " Go- 
ing out of Surat by the Baroche-gate, we fell into a notable beaten 
way; and found the roads pestered with cophales of oxen, camels, 
and buffaloes; with heavy waggons drawn by teams of oxen, yoked 
eight, sometimes a dozen or sixteen times double, bringing and 
carrying goods of all sorts; there with guides, here with guards, 
for fear of thieves descending from the mountains, or lying in 
ambuscade among the thickets. Here are no caravansaries nor inns 
to shut them in a-nights, for then is their time of travelling; and 


when they rest, if they have no tents, they must shelter themselves 
under shady trees, or sometimes great tombs on the high-way; 
and where rivers are deficient, they want not great tanks, or deep 
stately wells." 

" We passed pleasant enclosures and flourishing fields of corn, 
and plantations of tobacco, baiting when it grew hot, under 
groves of palm or toddy-trees: when the crows came to roost there 
we departed, and at midnight arrived at Occlaseer. We slept at 
the broker's house, and at sun-rise proceeded over delicate mea- 
dows to Baroche river, round about which is all champaign. We 
met more than five hundred oxen, laden with salt for the inland 
countries. We then crossed the river in a boat; it is broad, swift, 
and deep; but on account of the sands, forced down by the rains, 
good pilots are required to steer clear of them; by whose direc- 
tions good lusty vessels are brought up to the city walls, where 
they are laden with salt and corn ; and also excellent wheat, and 
good cottons, the growth of the country; it is likewise the great 
thoroughfare to Lahor, Delhi, Agra, and Ahmedabad." 

Such as the journey then was, such I found it a hundred years 
afterwards; for in India we are not to expect much variety or 
novelty either in the manners and customs of the inhabitants, or 
in the general aspect of the country. It is difficult to persuade 
a Hindoo to adopt any improvement; and it is astonishing what 
inconveniences and deprivations he will submit to, rather than do 
any thing out of the usual way to prevent it. " My father and 
grandfather never did so/' is a sufficient reason for the refusal; 
and what is not the business of any one particular caste, is never 
done at all. I am not at present alluding to religious tenets or 

VOL. II. 2 f 


moral duties. It is observed by Sir William Jones, that " who- 
ever travels in Asia, especially if he be conversant with the litera 
ture of the countries through which he passes, must naturally remark 
the superiority of European talents. The observation is as old 
as Alexander; and though we cannot agree with the sage pre- 
ceptor of that prince, that the Asiatics are born to be slaves, yet 
the Athenian poet seems perfectly in the right when he represents 
Europe as a sovereign princess, and Asia as her handmaid; but, 
if the mistress be transcendently majestic, it cannot be denied that 
the attendant has many beauties, and some advantages peculiar 
to herself." 

I have already mentioned the establishment of the English 
factory at Surat in 1615. The Company were soon afterwards 
permitted to have factors at Ahmedabad, and other cities in Gu- 
zerat, where they carried on a considerable trade. Sir Thomas 
Roe, in the progress of his embassay from James the First to the 
Emperor Shah Jehan, stayed some days at Brampore, where 
Sultan Currum, the emperor's second son, was encamped with his 
army. During that visit, Sir Thomas Roe, by his negociation with 
Mahobet Caun, received a phirmaun, granting him permission to 
establish a factory at Baroche, with several valuable immunities. 
The words of Sir Thomas Roe will best describe his opinion of 
these privileges; they also contain some curious particulars in that 
early period of our oriental commerce. 

" On the two and twentieth of July 1616, I received letters 
from Brain pore, in answer of those to Mahobet Caun; who at 
first request granted my desire; making his phirmaun to Baroche 
most effectual to receive our nation, and to give them them a house 


near the governor; strictly commanding no man to molest them, by 
sea or land, or to take any custom of them, or any way trouble them 
under colour thereof. Finally, that they might buy, sell, and 
transport any commodity at their pleasure, without any molesta- 
tion ; concluding that they should expect to hear no other from 
him, and therefore they should be careful in the execution. I re- 
ceived with it a letter from himself, which was more civility than 
all the Indies yielded me, full of courtesy and humanity, and 
great respect, protesting his desire to give me content, and that 
what I had demanded I should make no doubt of performance; 
and if I had any other occasion to use him, he desired me to write, 
and it should be performed. The copies are worthy the seeing, 
for the rareness of the phrase. The phirmaun I caused to be sent 
to Sural, in order to be forwarded by the agency there to Baroche: 
so that Baroche is provided for a good retreat for the prince's in- 
juries, and the custom given; whereby fifteen hundred pounds per 
annum will be saved, besides all manner of searches and extor- 
tions. For the performance of this no man maketh any doubt; 
for that all men confess, that he careth not for the prince, and so 
feareth not, nor needeth any man; being the only beloved man 
of the kino-, and second person in his dominions; and in all his 
life so liberal of his purse, and honourable of his word, that he 
hath ingrossed good reports from all others: and concerning cus- 
tom, the king takes none; the governors make it their profit, 
which he professeth to scorn, that he should abuse the liberty of 
the king's ports." 

The trade of the ancients with India, as recorded by Ptolemy, 
Arrian,and other writers having been mentioned at Surat andMirjee, 


I shall now only particularize their commerce with Baroche, the 
Barygaza of the Greeks: on which subject the publications of 
Dr. Robertson and Dr. Vincent have thrown considerable light. 

Dr. Robertson's account of the ancient commerce of this city 
is taken from Arrian's treatise of the navigation of the Erythrean 
sea. After describing the trade of Pattala on the Indus, he says 
" a far more considerable emporium on the same coast was Bary- 
gaza; and on that account the author, whom I follow here, 
describes its situation, and the mode of approaching it, with 
great minuteness and accuracy. It situation corresponds entirely 
with that of Baroche, on the great river Nerbudda; down the 
stream of which, or by land carriage, from the great city of Tagara 
across high mountains, all the productions of the interior country 
were conveyed to it. The articles of importation and exporta- 
tion in this great mart were extensive and various. Among the 
former, our author enumerates Italian, Greek, and Arabian wines, 
brass, tin, lead, girdles or sashes of curious texture, melilot, white 
glass, red arsenic, black lead, gold and silver coin. Among the 
exports he mentions the onyx, and other gems, ivory, myrrh, va- 
rious fabrics of cotton, both plain and ornamented with flowers, 
and long pepper." 

The modern imports and exports of Baroche are similar to 
those mentioned by Dr. Robertson; wines indeed are not in- 
cluded, except for the consumption of Europeans, and the trade 
in onyxes, cornelians, and agates, from the Sardonyx mountain 
of Ptolemy, not many miles from Baroche, has been transferred 
from thence to Cambay, where these stones are exclusively cut and 
polished » 








Dr. Vincent's Periplus of the Erythrean sea gives an exact 
account of the trade in India from the Arabian gulf. The articles 
imported from thence at Barbarike, a mart situated in the middle 
channel of the Indus, are similar to those mentioned by the former 
historian : clothing, plain, and in considerable quantities ; clothing, 
mixed; cloth, larger in the warp than the woof; topazes, coral, 
storax, frankincense, glass vessels, plate, specie, and wine. The 
exports from India to Europe by the same channel were emeralds, 
sapphires, spikenard, the spice costus, the gum bdellium, yellow 
dye, cotton, indigo, silk, and hides from China. Most of these 
articles are still exported from Baroche and Cambay. 

The unknown author of the Periplus, generally minute and 
accurate in his descriptions, is in none more so than his account 
of the tides in the gulf of Cambay, which I particularly mentioned 
when sailing with the British detachment to the assistance of Rago- 
bah. It is pleasant and satisfactory to see them described by 
an accurate vo} r ager two thousand years ago. " At Barygaza the 
violence of the flux and reflux of the tides is so remarkable, that 
without warning, you see the bottom laid bare, and the sides next 
the coast, where vessels were sailing but just before, left dry as it 
were in an instant; again, upon the access of the flood tide, the 
whole body of the sea is driven with such violence, that the stream 
is impelled upwards for a great number of miles, with a force that 
is irresistible. This makes the navigation very unsafe for those 
that are unacquainted with the gulf, or enter it for the first time. 
No anchors are a security; for when the vehemence of the 
tide commences, there is no intermission, no retreat: large vessels 
caught in it are hurried away by the impetuosity of the current, 


and thrown on their sides, or wrecked upon the shoals; while the 
smaller ones are completely overset. Many also that have taken 
refuge in the creeks, unless they have fortunately changed their 
place in due time (which it is very difficult to do on account of 
the instantaneous fall of the water) upon the return of the tide 
are filled with the very first head of the flood and sunk. But all 
these circumstances united concur more especially if the new 
moon falls in conjunction with the night tide; for then, if you 
have been prepared to enter upon the first flood, and when the 
sea appeared perfectly calm, you shall hear, in a moment, a rush- 
ing sound like the tumult of battle, and the water driving forward 
with the utmost impetuosity, covers the whole of the bare shoals 
in an instant." 

Upon this passage Dr. Vincent remarks, " it will immediately 
appear, that the description relates to that sort of tide which is 
called the bore; and is common to many places in Europe as well 
as India. On the coast of Egypt, or in the Red Sea, the author 
could have seen nothing that resembled it; and he dwells upon it, 
therefore, with more minuteness than a modern observer would 
employ; but from this very cause it is that we have a picture 
which cannot deceive us; and a conviction that the author relates 
what he had himself experienced." 

Three years had elapsed since my last visit to Baroche, with 
Ragobah's army; I found it much improved in buildings, popula- 
tion, and commerce. The cotton trade was very considerable; 
and the manufactures of this valuable plant, from the finest muslin 
to the coarsest sail-cloth, employed thousands of men, women, 
and children, in the metropolis and adjacent villages. The cotton- 


clearers and spinners generally reside in the suburbs, or poorahs 
of Baroche, which are very extensive. The weavers' houses are 
mostly near the shade of tamarind and mango-tees; under which 
at sun-rise they fix their looms, and weave a variety of cotton- 
cloth, with very fine baftas and muslins; Surat is more famous 
for its coloured chintzes and piece-goods. The Baroche muslins 
are inferior to those of Bengal and Madrass; nor do the painted 
chintzes of Guzerat equal those of the Coromandel coast. 

Nothing can exceed the simplicity of the oriental manufac- 
turers and mechanics. In Surat and Baroche, the silver-smith, 
if convenient to his employer, brings his apparatus to the house, 
and there makes such things as are required; in a style of 
strength and neatness that answers every useful purpose; and in 
some parts of India, especially at Sumatra and Anjengo, the work 
of the natives in gold and silver filigree executed with only an iron 
nail, is beautiful. The carpenters and cabinet-makers generally 
came to our own houses, and made up our furniture; I have had 
a chariot, in the English style, begun and finished, under my own 
roof, except the heavy parts of the iron-work. 

Besides the numerous cotton manufactures at Baroche, both 
for home consumption and exportation, during my residence there, 
more than twenty thousand bales of raw cotton were annually 
sent from thence to China and Bengal; which at the medium 
price of thirty-five rupees a bale, amounted to eighty thousand 
pounds. Exclusive of that valuable article, the Baroche districts 
abound with wheat, juarree, rice, and a variety of grains and 
pulse; nuts and seeds for oil; also shrubs and plants for dying 
the cottons, 

The Baroche purgunna, which then belonged to the East India 
company, contained one hundred and sixty-four villages ; and its 
revenues amounted to six lacs of rupees, or something more than 
seventy thousand pounds a year, which was six tenths of the 
whole produce; the remainder belonged to the cultivators. In 
the reign of Akbar, at the end of the fifteenth century, the circar 
of Baroche, or Bheroatch, to which the Purgunnas of Occlaseer, 
Hansoot, and some others, were then annexed, contained fourteen 
mahls, three hundred and forty nine thousand seven hundred 
beegahs of land, and yielded a noble revenue. 

Sir Thomas Herbert, who was here in 1626, says " in quondam 
times the royalties of Baroche were spacious, sovereignizing over 
many towns and provinces of note, a great way distant: each of 
which now enjoys peculiar podestates; howbeit, the Mogul has 
received hereout, as an annual tax or tribute, no less than one 
million two hundred and threescore thousand mamooders, or shil- 
lings, which revenue, from one province, shews what a vast exche- 
quer all his empire yearly contributeth." 

The Baroche villages are rural and pleasant; each is embo- 
somed in its own mango and tamarind grove, and the surrounding 
country resembles a luxuriant garden; the rich crops of grain are 
contrasted by extensive fields of capsicums, or chilies, glowing 
with scarlet; large tracts of yellow cossumba, (carthamus) which 
makes a valuable red dye, and acres of tobacco, crowned with 
flowers of a pale rose-colour. Several villages cultivate the sugar- 
cane, as also the turmeric, amomum curcuma, Lin.; fenugreek or 
meti; meti trigonella, faenum-grcecum, Lin.: benda, hibiscus escu- 
lentus, Lin. ; fulsi, ocymum, and many other useful plants and vege- 







tables, peculiar to the country; it is almost unnecessary to mention 
that turmeric, ginger, and capsicums, are planted, wherever they 
will grow, throughout Hindostan; they form a principal ingredient 
in most of the oriental dishes; spices, savoury herbs, and hot seeds, 
are particularly used in the vegetable curries of the Hindoos. 

The cultivated tracts abound with hares, antelopes, foxes, and 
jackals; also partridges, quails, and other game; and every village 
has its monkeys and pea-fowl; the wood-lands, and wilder parts 
towards the eastern hills, shelter tigers, leopards, hyenas, and hogs; 
the lakes and rivers are covered with flamingos, pelicans, ducks, 
and water-fowl in great variety. The partridges frequently roost 
on high trees; and several sorts of wild ducks settle on the lofty 
branches of the palmira, borassus flabelliformis, Lin. The bam- 
boo, bambusa, grows in many of the wilds; it is also cultivated 
near some of the villages. In Guzerat the natives are seldom 
distressed for grain; but in many parts of India the poor eat the 
seed of the bamboo. The bamboo forms an impenetrable hedge 
round the villages, when thickly planted for that purpose; and the 
branches uniting at the top, produce a shady walk, with the effect 
of a gothic cloister. 

The water-melons at Baroche are esteemed the best in India, 
especially those which grow on a sandy island in the Nerbudda, 
near the city. I think the water-melon, (anguria citrullus, Lin.) 
one of the pleasantest and most refreshing of the tropical fruits; I 
have found them extremely good in the south parts of Europe, 
particularly at Venice and Naples, where they are very abundant. 
An eminent physician observes, that " the water-melon, is provi- 
dentially calculated for the southern countries, as it affords a cool 

VOL. II. 2 G 


refreshing juice, assuages thirst, mitigates feverish disorders, and 
compensates thereby, in no small degree, for the excessive heats 
of those climates." Melons of every kind abound in their season 
in most parts of India, and the best musk-melons are often sent 
as presents from a great distance. Chardin mentions having eat 
melons at Surat which grew in Agra, a journey exceeding thirty 
days; they were carried by a man on foot in baskets, hung 
on a pole, one at each end, the pole being laid over one of his 
shoulders, from whence, for ease, he shifted it to the other from 
lime to time, and travelled seven leagues a day with his load". 

The Indian pomegranates, although sometimes tolerable, are 
by no means equal lo those brought from Arabia by the Muscat 
Dingeys: these are a very fine fruit; large, and full of juice, highly 
flavoured; some are red, others white. The most luxurious method 
of eating them is to have the juice expressed from the seeds and 
interior film, by which means the harsh seeds and bitter flavour 
are avoided. It is a delicate beverage, and one of those pome- 
granates will sometimes fill a small bason. They make a pleasant 
wine from this fruit in Persia and Arabia, to which there is pro- 
bably some allusion in the Song of Solomon, where they are men- 
tioned as growing in orchards. " I will cause thee to drink of 
spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranates." I have never 
tasted this, nor any other Persian wine, except that of Schiraz, 
which, although much extolled by poets, I think inferior lo many 
wines in Europe. 

Wine is so little publicly drunk in India by any of the castes, 
that I can say nothing of it, whether spiced, or iced. But there 
are various methods of cooling sherbet and water-melons: in that 


state I always considered the latter a great luxury, although seldom 
introduced at the English tables: they are then like the iced- 
fruits in Europe, and dissolve in the mouth like snow. I never 
met with ice during my residence in India: it is now I believe 
generally used by all who can afford it, especially in Bengal, 
where it is procured without much difficulty or expense. How 
Alexander the Great at the siege of Petra, a city of India, pro- 
cured a sufficient quantity of this luxury to fill thirty ditches, is 
difficult to account for. Chares, the Mytelenean, is cited by 
Athenaeus for this anecdote, and adds that it was preserved for a 
long time by covering it with boughs of trees. 

As perfumed and spiced sherbets are much esteemed in the 
east for the palate, so are perfumed oils and spicy unguents for the 
person. A variety of fragrant oils are made in Persia and India, 
by putting blossoms of mogrees, jasmine, and other highly scented 
flowers into the most delicate oil; which after a certain time im- 
bibes the flavour, and is poured off into small bottles, stopped 
with cotton and wax, to be dispersed throughout the provinces by 
borahs, gosannees, and yogees, who carry the most costly of these 
oils, with ottah of roses, pearls, and other valuables that take up 
little room. 

The borahs are not only considerable traders in commercial 
towns, but are the chief travelling merchants in Guzerat and the 
western parts of India; going about like the Jews in Europe 
with boxes of different commodities; particularly perfumes and 

These fragrant oils are not only used by all descriptions of 
Indian females, but the venerable Mahomedan is fond of perfum- 


mg his beard ; which, when grey, is often died black, or a dark 
brown, with a composition of al'hinna, and other herbs; especially 
among the Turks and Persians who reside in Hindoslan; where 
they have also introduced the custom of perfuming their beards 
by holding them over salvers of smoking incense, which are also 
offered to their guests. They likewise unloose the shawls and open 
their vests, to receive as much as possible of this favourite delicacy. 
The use of perfumes has been immemorially practised in the east. 
Moses gives particular directions for the preparation of oils and 
fragrant ointments for the sanctuary. Domestic happiness and 
brotherly union is beautifully compared by- the Psalmist to " the 
precious ointment upon the head, that ran down unto the beard, 
even unto Aaron's beard, and went down to the skirls of his gar- 

In Persia, Cashmere, and the northern parts of India, they 
make very delicate conserves, and syrups of roses, violets and 
jasmine, which on particular occasions are presented to visitors, 
with sherbets of falsee, lemons, and acrid fruits, mingled with 
odoriferous waters, or a few drops of these rich syrups. 

The tribe of Mahomedans, called Borahs, are settled in Baroche, 
Surat, Bombay, and other parts of Hindostan: they appear to be very 
distinct from the Moguls and other sects of Mussulmans in India. 
The English at Bombay consider them as a sort of Mussulman 
Jews; on what foundation I know not. The only mention made 

* It having been objected that the words — going down to the skirts of the garment, imply 
a needless profusion of precious ointment, it has been suggested that the Hebrew word translated 
the skirt signifies more properly the openi?ig ( or mouth) of the garment, where it is fastened 
round the neck, immediately under the beard. 






of them to my knowledge is by Mr. Hunter at Oujein, where he 
says, " they distinguish their own sect by the title of Ismaeeliah; 
deriving their origin from one of the followers of the prophet, 
named Ismaeel, who flourished in the age immediately succeed- 
ing that of Mahomed. This singular class of people forms a very 
large society, spread over all the countries of the Deccan, particu- 
larly the large towns. Surat contains six thousand families; and 
the number in Oujein amounts to fifteen hundred. But the head- 
quarters of the tribe is at Burhanpoor, where their mullah, or 
priest, resides. The society carries on a very extensive and multi- 
farious commerce in all those countries over which its members 
are dispersed ; and a certain proportion of all their gains is appro- 
priated to the maintenance of the mullah, whose revenue is con- 
sequently ample. He is paramount in all ecclesiastical matters, 
and holds the keys of Paradise; it being an established article of 
faith, that no man can enter the regions of bliss without a pass- 
port from the high priest, who receives a handsome gratuity for 
every one he signs. He also exercises a temporal jurisdiction 
over his tribe, wherever dispersed; and this authority is admitted 
by the various governments under whose dominion they reside, 
as an encouragement to these people, who form the most industri- 
ous and useful class of the inhabitants. A younger brother of the 
mullah resides at Oujein ; and, with that same title, exercises over 
the borahs resident there the authority, spiritual and temporal, 
annexed to the office. Five mohillas of the city are inhabited by 
them, and subject to his jurisdiction." 

The tomb of Baba Rahan, and other sacred places belonging 
to the Mahomedans, are visited at stated seasons by pilgrims; 


and often resorted to by fakeers and pretended saints of that reli- 
gion; who, like their religious brethren among the Hindoos, are 
guilty of those various extravagancies, indecencies, and immoral 
practices so well described by Dr. Fryer: " These fakeers, or holy 
men, profess to be abstracted from the world, and resigned to God. 
On this pretence they commit many extravagancies, and put 
themselves on voluntary penances. Here is one that has vowed 
to hang by the heels until he get money enough to build a mosque 
to Mahomed, that he may be held a saint: another shall travel the 
country with an horn blowed before him, and an ox it may be to 
carry him and his baggage, besides one to wait on him with a 
peacock's tail; whilst he rattles a great iron chain fettered to his 
loot, as big as those elephants are foot-locked with, some two 
yards in length, every link thicker than a man's thumb, and a palm 
in length; his shaking this speaks his necessity, which the poor 
Gentiles dare not deny to relieve; for if they do, he accuses them 
to the cazy, who desires no better opportunity to fleece them ; for 
they will not stick to swear they blasphemed Mahomed, for which 
there is no evasion but to deposit, or be made a Moor. 

" Most of these are vagabonds, and are the pest of the nation 
they live in. Some of them dwell in gardens, and retired places 
in the fields, in the same manner as the Seers of old, and the 
children of the prophets did ; their habit is the main thing that 
signalizes them more than their virtue : they profess poverty, but 
make all things their own, wherever they come; all the heat of 
the day they idle it under some shady tree, at night they come 
in troops, armed with a great pole, a mirchal, or peacock's 
tail, and a wallet, more like plunderers than beggars: they go 


into the market, or to the shopkeepers, and force an alms, none 
of them returning without his share: some of them pass the 
bounds of a modest request, and bawl out in the open streets for 
an hundred rupees, and nothing less will satisfy them. 

" They are clothed with a ragged mantle, which serves them 
also for a mattress, for which purpose some have lion's, tiger's, or 
leopard's skins to lay under them. The most civilized of them 
wear flesh-coloured vests, somewhat like our brick-makers' frocks, 
and almost of that colour. The merchants, as their adventures 
return, are bountiful towards them, by which means some of 
them thrive upon it. These field-conventiclers, at the hours 
of devotion, beat a drum, from them called the fakeer's drum. 
There are of these strollers about Surat enough to make an 
army, so that they are almost become formidable to the citi- 
zens, nor is the governor powerful enough to correct their inso- 
lence; for lately setting on a nobleman of the Moors, when his 
kindred came to demand justice, they unanimously rose in de- 
fence of the aggressor, and rescued him from his deserved punish- 

The above is an excellent description of the Indian fanatics, 
who go even greater lengths than is there mentioned, as many in- 
jured husbands and deluded females can testify: but I imagine 
Dr. Fryer has in some measure confounded the Hindoo Gosan- 
ness and similar tribes with these Mahomedan saints; especialby 
as to numbers. I never saw or heard of such a multitude either 
at Surat or Baroche, where they most abound: it is easy for a 
stranger to mistake appearances from their general pursuits being 
the same. The- Hindoo austerities far exceed any which the fol- 


lowers of the Arabian prophet have attempted; many arc almost 
incredible. In my journey from Surat to Baroche, I saw some 
which, as I was then just returned from Europe, much astonished 
me; they, however, bore so near a resemblance to those formerly de- 
scribed that I shall not enter into particulars; but it may be interesting 
to mention the parent stock from which the Hindoo devotees seem 
to have derived their severest penances; which Mr. Halhed traces 
to Tarakee, a devotee in the wood Midhoo, on the confines of the 
kingdoms of Brege, who there performed incredible penances. 
This ingenious writer enumerates their variety, and the length of 
time he allotted to each; which 1 omit as fabulous, and foreign 
to the subject, but the penances themselves seem to have formed 
a model for his misguided disciples; and as such, I select a few 
from the number there mentioned. 

For many years Tarakee held up his arms and one foot to- 
wards heaven, and fixed his eyes upon the sun. For a consider- 
able length of time he remained standing on tiptoe, nourishing him- 
self with water; sometimes he stood and made his adorations in 
the river, at others buried up to his neck in the earth, and fre- 
quently enveloped with fire. He often stood upon his head, with 
his feet towards heaven; or upon the palm of one hand resting 
upon the ground; and then varied the penance by hanging from 
a tree by one hand, or suspending himself from a branch with his 
head downwards. 

These I believe to be the principal penances of the Hindoo 
enthusiasts, and I have seen most of them performed. Cui bono? 
necessarily occurs on the perusal of such things. The monastic 
institutions in the church of Rome, although in some respects 


liable to censure, and perverted from their original intention, had 
many advantages; they afforded an asylum to learning and science 
in the dark ages, and, before the art of printing, were the deposi- 
tory of the manuscripts that escaped the wreck of the Roman 
empire. They were the hospitals and places of refreshment for 
travellers at a time when inns and houses of entertainment were 
unknown in Europe. I can gratefully acknowledge, with many 
other travellers, the hospitality and kindness of the monks of Grand 
St. Bernard, after a long and fatiguing ascent up the Alps to the 
well-named Hospice of that benevolent society. There, on the loftiest 
site of any human habitation in Europe, Asia, or Africa, these 
good fathers exercise the noblest charities to every weary stranger, 
without a question as to religion or country; it is sufficient that 
he is " a man and a brother." Not only do they leave their con- 
vent in the darkness of the most tempestuous nights, to seek the 
bewildered pilgrim, but train dogs to search out the wretched 
traveller lost in the snowy tracts of those dreary regions: 

Stung with the thoughts of home ! the thoughts of home 
Rush on his nerves ; and call their vigour forth, 
In many a vain attempt. How sinks his soul ! 
What black despair, what horror fills his heart ! 
He plunges deep amid the drifted heaps. 
Far from the tract, and blest abode of man ! 
While round him night resistless closes fast ; 
And every tempest, howling o'er his head, 
Renders the savage wilderness more wild! Thomson. 

We contemplate the Hindoo colleges and brahmimcal semina- 
ries, at Benares and different parts of Hindostan, with pleasure; 

VOL. II. 2 H 


they are useful institutions; and, however limited in their benefits 
to particular castes and descriptions of people, they are the nur- 
series of literature, medicine, and science, as far as is deemed 
necessary among the Hindoos. But I cannot praise a religion 
which encourages thousands, perhaps millions, of idle vagabonds, 
who practise no virtue; but under the mask of piety, with a sort 
of stoical apathy and pharisaical zeal, undergo these needless 
austerities and penances near their celebrated temples, or pervade 
the provinces of Hindostan, singly, and in large bodies, to make 
depredations on the hard-earned property of the poor villagers, 
and violate the chastity of their wives and daughters, under a 
eloak of sanctity and religious perfection. 

The number of these medicants who assemble at the festivals 
and jattaras held in the vicinity of Baroche, and especially under 
the embowering fane at Cubbeer-Burr, is astonishing. The island 
covered by that sacred tree, the banks of the Nerbudda, and the 
river itself, are thronged beyond conception from the adjacent 
districts, and distant parts of Hindostan: especially the holy 
precincts of Succulterah, a large village on the banks of the 
Nerbudda, a few miles from Baroche, much celebrated for the 
sanctity of its temples. In the Sacred Is/cs of the West, Captain 
Wilford mentions this as a place of great antiquity, under the 
name of Suela-Tirtha; and relates a curious anecdote which oc- 
curred there about three hundred and fifteen years before the 
Christian sera, taken from the Cumarica-chanda. 

" About the time of Alexander's invasion of India, Chanacya, 
a wicked and revengeful priest, that he might establish the base- 
born Chandra-gupta on the imperial throne, caused his eight royal 


brothers, the legitimate sons of his father, to be murdered. After 
this paroxysm of revengeful rage was over, Chanacya was exceed- 
ingly troubled in his mind, and so much stung with remorse for 
his crime, and the effusion of human blood which took place in 
consequence of it, that he withdrew to Sucla-Tertha, a famous 
place of worship on the bank of the Nerbudda, to get himself 
purified. There, having gone through a most severe course of 
religious austerities, and expiatory sacrifices, he was directed to 
sail upon the river in a boat with white sails; which, if they 
turned black, would be to him a sure sign of the remission of his 
sins, the blackness of which would attach itself to the sails: thus 
it happened, and he joyfully sent the boat adrift, with his sins, 
into the sea. This ceremony, or another very similar to it (for the 
expense of a boat would be too great) is performed to this day at 
Sucla-Tirtha ; but instead of a boat, they use a common earthen 
pot, in which they light a lamp, and send it adrift with the accu- 
mulated load of their sins." 

In the Agni-purana this expiation is mentioned differently by 
the Carshagni: it there consists in covering the whole body with 
a thick coat of cow-dung; which, when dry, is set on fire. This 
mode of expiation, in desperate cases, was unknown before; but 
occasionally performed afterwards. Chandra-gupta, when firmly 
established on the imperial throne, accompanied Chanacya to 
Sucla-Tirtha, in order to get himself purified also. Chanacya's 
crimes, repentance, and atonement, are the subject of many legen- 
dary tales in verse current in Guzerat. 

I have mentioned the Hindoo jattaras, and some of their prin- 
cipal festivals, in another place; they are solemnized with great 


delight at Baroche, and the sacred spots in its vicinity. But as it 
had been a Mahomedan principality before the English conquest, 
and was still inhabited by numerous Mussulmans, their fasts and 
festivals, although celebrated Avith less pomp and expense than 
formerly, were strictly observed by all the followers of the prophet. 
Their two grand festivals are those of the Ramazan and Beiram, 
when the princes and great men repair in state to the mosques. I 
have described the procession of the nabob of Surat on this occa- 
sion. The Mogul splendour is mostly subsided at Baroche; few 
families of eminence now remain there; their religious ceremonies 
therefore were by no means expensive: but on the feast of Beiram 
they all made the best appearance they could, and generally con- 
trived to procure a new dress for the occasion. D'Herbelot men- 
tions a curious anecdote of Mostanser Billah, caliph of Bagdad, 
on the approach of the Beiram. This monarch going one day to 
the highest part of his palace, saw many of the flat roofs around 
him " spread with clothes of different kinds, and being told by his 
vizier, upon his asking the reason of it, that the inhabitants of 
Bagdat were drying their clothes, which they had newly washed 
on the account of the approach of the Beiram, which is a very 
solemn Mahomedan festival, Mostanser was so concerned, that 
they were so poor as to be obliged to wash their old clothes, for 
want of new ones with which to celebrate this festival, that he 
ordered a great quantity of gold to be instantly made into bullets, 
proper to be shot out of cross-bows, lvhich he and his courtiers 
threw, by this means, upon every terrace upon the city where he 
saw their garments laid a drying." 

The anniversary of the death of Houssain, the grandson of 


Mahomed, is celebrated with great parade by all the Mussulmans 
in Hindostan of the sect of Ali. They call it the death of Hous- 
sain and Hussen, two imans or successors to Mahomed in his reli- 
gious and civil government. Houssain was murdered on the 
plains of Kerbela, by an officer of the usurper Yezid, on the 10th 
of the month Mohurrum, in the 6'lst year of the Hejira. Houssain 
was grandson to Mahomed, by his daughter Fatima, who was 
married to Ali; and this murder was the cause of the enmity 
which subsists to this day between the Ommiades and Abassides". 
On the anniversary of that catastrophe the Mahomedans at Ba- 
roche, and other large towns in India, of the sect of Ali, go in 
procession through the streets, making the most dismal bowlings 
and lamentations, and often inflict severe wounds on each other, 
in the mock combat, in memory of the attack on the plains of 
Kerbela, where Houssain, with seventy-two of his family, were 
cut to pieces. They were surrounded by ten thousand of Yezid's 
cavalry, and after fighting desperately, himself, his children, and the 
whole party were destroyed. 

This combat is rather the termination of the tragedy ; for the 
spectacle commences with solemn processions, plaintive music, 
and religious ceremonies. According to Chardin the Persians an- 
nually solemnize this massacre to the fullest extent. They con- 
tinue the mourning for ten days, during which they suspend all 
appearances of joy and pleasure, and appear as mourners in their 
dress; affecting discourses relating to the murder are pronounced 
in numerous assemblies; mournful cries of Houssain unite with 
melancholy music; numbers personate Houssain, at the time of 


his death, when fainting with thirst, and covered with blood gush- 
ing from his wounds. They daub themselves with black paint, 
to represent the first, supposing that extreme thirst produced this 
effect on the prince; others use a red powder to resemble him 
when covered "with blood. Hymns are sung in the royal palace 
in honour of the race of Ali, in presence of the prince, as well as 
the funeral dirges among the populace. 

In the Tanzea, or Lamentations, composed for this occasion, 
and annually recited at the commemoration of this martyrdom, 
are the following stanzas, which I have selected from the affectionate 
dirge supposed to have been uttered by the Lady Zineb, sister to 
the murdered prince, Sekeena, his daughter, and the youth Zeen- 
ul-Abedeen his son, upon the horse of Houssain, called Zu-al- 
Jinnah, returning to the tents, covered with blood, without his 

O ! Zu-al-Jinnah ! where is the son of Ali ? 
Where is the martyr of Kerbela? 
Whither is fled my comfort, my support? 
The favoured of God, whither is he fled? 

O! Zu-al-Jinnah! what hast thou done with the prince of re- 
ligion? What is become of the fragrant flowers of the garden of 
Kheen-ul-Nissa, the most excellent of women ? Of Fatima, the 
daughter of the prophet, the wife of Ali, and the mother of Hous- 
sain? Alas! alas! O misfortune, and distress! 


O Zu-ul-Jinnah, stained with blood! 
What hast thou done with my father ? 
Where lieth the crown of my delight? 
My companion, my morning, my evening! 
Where is the iman beloved of God ? 
Where is the father of Sekeena ? 
WE'ere is the bright taper of Sekeena's nights, 
Where is the support, the comfort of thy daughter? 
Alas ! I am now an unfortunate orphan ! 
My father, my protector, is no more! 

Soon after my arrival at Baroche, I purchased a small house 
and some land in the village of Vezel-poor, about a mile from 
the city, situated between two English gardens bounded on the 
north by a ruined mosque and sacred grove, the occasional retire- 
ment of an English gentleman from Baroche, and on the south 
by the Nerbuddah, there near a mile broad. My garden occu- 
pied about six acres; I formed it as much as possible after the 
English taste, and spared no pains to procure plants and flowers 
from different parts of India and China: it contained several 
large mango, tamarind, and burr-trees, which formed a delightful 
shade; besides a variety of smaller fruit-trees and flowering-shrubs. 
At the southern extremity a bower, elevated on a mount overlooking 
the river, commanded an extensive view of the plains of Occlaseer, 
and a rich tract of country bounded by the Raje-Pipley hills. 
Shade and water were my grand objects; without them there can 
be no enjoyment in an Indian garden ; even wrtfi those advantages. 


the time of enjoyment is short, especially during the hot winds. 
One great desideratum is the verdant lawn almost peculiar to the 
•English gardens; a tropical sun would not admit of it in the fair 
season, and during the rainy months the rank luxuriant grass more 
resembles reeds and rushes than the soft carpet bordered by an 
English shrubbery. 

Beautiful as are the British gardens and pleasure grounds, in- 
somuch as to have become proverbial on the continent, I do not 
think their charms can be fully appreciated by those who have 
not travelled in the torrid zone; the deprivation of shady groves 
and living streams has taught them to know their value. We can 
form some idea of the traveller's joy from the sensations they have 
expressed on leaving the burning deserts of Syria and Arabia, and 
approaching the groves of Yemen, or the gardens of Damascus. 
The beauty and value of a garden thus refreshed by shade and 
water, is perhaps no where more highly estimated than by the 
prophet Jeremiah; who, in foretelling the return of the Jews from 
the Babylonish captivity, uses a variety of customary images to 
express their joy. " I will build thee, and thou shall be built, O 
virgin of Israel! thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrels, and 
shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry. Thou 
shalt plant vines upon the mountain, upon my mountain in the 
field: 1 will cause thee to walk by the rivers of waters, and keep 
thee as a shepherd keepeth his flock. They shall flow together 
for the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, for oil, and 
for the young of the flock; their soul shall be a watered garden : 
they shall sorrow no more !" 

I have mentioned various modes of irrigating the oriental gar- 


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dens and orchards; a practice in constant use in our garden at 
Baroche, which generally employed three men and a boy eight hours 
every day. This custom seems to illustrate a passage in scripture 
respecting the gardens of Egypt, which were probably watered by 
small streams, conducted from a reservoir filled at the annual 
overflowing of the Nile. "The land whither thou goest to possess 
it, is not as the land of Egypt; where thou sowedst thy seed, and 
wateredst it with thy foot (or by an instrument worked by the foot) 
as a garden of herbs; but it is a land of hills and valleys, and 
drinketh water of the rain of heaven." Two under gardeners raise 
the water from the well to the reservoir by a yoke of oxen, work- 
ing on an inclined plane, extended according to the depth of the 
well; the head man attended by a boy conducts it from thence, 
by artificial channels, to each bed of herbs, and every favourite 
flower. These little conduits being made in the mould, near the bor- 
ders, require constant attention to remove obstructions, and give 
a free circulation to the rill, which seldom exceeds a few inches in 
breadth. This the gardeners sometimes do in a stooping posture with 
their hands, oftener in an upright position with their feet, and by 
practice become very expert. 

My favourite seat was under a tamarind tree, near the well 
just mentioned; the adjoining shrubberies were generally enlivened 
by squirrels, parrots, and bulbuls; vines and creeping plants were 
trained to conceal two pillars of rude construction, that supported 
the beam over the well, to which the large water bucket was sus- 
pended: one of these I entirely covered with the lively ipomea, 

and every variety of clematis; the other I modernized a little in 
vol. ir. 2 i 


the European taste, and placed an urn on the summit, dedicated 
to the naiad. One sultry morning, when enjoying the luxury of 
shade, and listening to the falls of water, under this umbrageous 
canopy, a few lines occurred, which I addressed to the nymph of 
the fountain, and inscribed on the pedestal supporting the urn. 
It requires an apology for introducing my first poetical essay to 
the public eye, now transcribed from the manuscript letter; and 
which my partial friends will not allow to be suppressed. 

Lines inscribed under an Urn in a Garden at Baroche, near a Spring over- 
shadowed by a Burr, or Banian-tree, surrounded by flozvering Shrubs. 

To Medhumad'ha, a lovely nymph, 

The guardian of my spring; 
To thee, this votive urn I raise, 
Where hulbuls b sweetly sing. 

Thy gurgling, cool, pellucid stream 

Fair naiad, gently pour; 
And murmuring softly from thy font, 

Awake each opening flower. 

Let spicy groves luxuriant rise 

Around this blest retreat, 
And India c balmy zephyrs breathe 

On every peaceful seat. 

Let lofty champa's d graceful boughs 

Diffuse their fragrance far; 
Al'hinna, e tulsee/ mogree,s sweet, 

Perfume the ambient air. 


Bright Mahadavi's h crimson star? 


On pensile tendrils stray 
Around the mango's ' stately trunk, 
And with the hreezes play. 

Then, gentle naiad, kindly pour 

Thy vivifying dew; 
And tint the flowers that kiss thy stream 

With beauty's loveliest hue! 

But the lov'd burr's k entwining trunk 
Claims most thy fostering care; 

Emblem of God ! its out-stretch'd arms 
Beneficence declare ! 

When Mitra 1 throws his powerful rays 

On every distant tree, . 
My favor'd plants shall gaily bloom, 

And owe that bloom to thee. 

a Medhumadha, a water nymph in the Hindoo mythology. 

b Bulbul, the Indian nightingale. 

c Indra, god of the seasons. 

d Champa, a flower of great fragrance, growing on a large tree, similar to the magnolia 

c A favorite shrub with the oriental ladies, who use the flowers for dying their nails and 

fingers of a lively red. 
f Tulsee, a plant held sacred by the Hindoos. 
« Mogree, a beautiful species of Arabian jessamine. 
b Mahadavi, a most elegant crimson creeper; ipomea; often mentioned in the drama of 

Sacontala, and universally admired. 
1 Mango ; esteemed the best fruit in Hindostan. 

k Burr or banian-tree. Ficus bengalensis ; a sacred tree of the Hindoos ; considered as em- 
blematical of the Deity, from its out-stretching arms, and overshadowing beneficence. 
1 Mitra, the sun, or solar deity of the Hindoos. 


I shall not enter on a description of" the various birds, insects, 
and plants, which accompanied my drawings from Baroche, as in 
general they varied but little from those at Bombay and on the 
Malabar coast. The serpents in Guzerat were more numerous, 
and in greater variety; many were of a large size, and especially 
a species which seemed peculiarly partial to the shrubs and creep- 
ing plants which overshadowed the large well in my gardens; these 
the gardeners would neither destroy, nor suffer to be molested, as 
they looked upon them to be the genii, or guardian-angels of the 
garden, and often invoked them under the endearing appellations 
of father, mother, and other respectful and affectionate epithets. 
This veneration for serpents is confined to Hindustan; the ancients 
thought there was something divine in these reptiles. Esculapius, 
and several of the heathen deities are supposed to have appeared 
in this form; their statues were often adorned with serpents, and 
the cobra de capello makes a conspicuous appearance among the 
Hindoo sculpture in the temples of Elora. Salselte, and the 

Whether our hortensial snakes were evil genii, or guardian- 
angels, I shall not determine; IIarrabhj r , the head gardener, con- 
sidered them as the latter, and paid them religious veneration: 
on that account I never disturbed them until I had erected a cold 
bath in an orange and lemon grove for an English lady, who re- 
tired thither at sun-rise, with her sable nymphs, to enjoy one of 
the greatest luxuries in the torrid zone. This bath, perfectly con- 
cealed from view, was more useful than ornamental, and very un- 
like the lake of Diana, or any of the modern hummums in orien- 
tal cities; it was indeed nothing more than a humble shed, thatched 


with the leaves of the palmyra; and although as sacred to chastity 
as the speculum Diana?, or the gardens of Susanna, it neither at- 
tracted an Acteon, nor an elder of Babylon. It certainly did attract 
another visitor, equally unexpected and disagreeable; for one 
morning the young lady, in the state of Musidora, was alarmed by 
a rustling among the palmyra leaves which covered the bath; and 
looking up, beheld one of the garden genii, with brilliant eyes 
under the expanded hood of a large cobra de capello, pushing 
through the thatch, and ready to dart on the fountain. Pure and 
unadorned as Eve when her reflected beauties first met her eye, 
the lady and her hand-maids made a precipitate retreat through 
the grove, and gained her chamber, heedless of gazers, whether 
in the form of gardeners, snakes, or monkeys. 

I have mentioned the ordeal trials, and the practices of diviners 
in India: whatever may be our opinion of such things, we are 
often, from various motives, under the necessity of acquiescing in 
them. Residing in a family at Surat with the same English lady, 
she lost a gold watch on which she set a particular value. Seve- 
ral modes of divination were practised to discover the thief; one 
was similar to that used among the ancient Chaldeans and Egyp- 
tians, and perhaps not unlike the cup of divination belonging to 
the viceroy of Egypt found among the shepherds of Canaan. On 
this occasion the name of every person in the house was placed in 
a separate ball of paste or wax, and thrown into a vessel of water: 
one only swam on the surface; the rest fell to the bottom, and 
there remained. On opening the floating ball, it contained the 
name of an unsuspected female, who immediately confessed she 
had stolen and secreted the watch. Supposing this to be like other 


Asiatic juggles, I gave it very little attention; but afterwards at 
Baroche I attended minutely to an ordeal in which myself and 
Harrabhy were more immediately concerned. 

On removing from our country house at Baroche to Surat, we 
packed up most of our things, and placed them in the front veranda, 
where the peons slept on their moveable beds. An iron plate- 
chest was for greater security deposited in an inner room near 
that where the family slept: we saw it there when we retired 
to rest, and in the morning it was missing. The contents being- 
valuable, and the time of our departure near, we used every means 
to discover so extraordinary a robbery, in which, from the weight 
of the chest, three or four persons must have been concerned. Pro- 
mises and threatenings were of no avail, the delinquents were con- 
cealed. I suspected an individual, but not knowing how he could 
have accomplished the robbery, I was silent. The public officers 
belonging to the court of Adawlet not being able to discover the 
robber, at the earnest solicitations of all our servants, Hindoos, 
Mahomedans, and Parsees, we had recourse to divination by balls in 
the water; our own names were included with the rest. On 
forming a circle round the vase, I observed the man I suspected 
to change colour, and become a little agitated: no other person 
remarked it until on the balls being immersed in water one only 
rose to the surface; his confusion was then evident; still more so, 
when on opening the ball it contained the name of Harrabhy. 
He had lived with us several years as head gardener, without our 
having any reason to suspect his honesty: he positively denied 
the robbery, and we had no other proof than the ordeal, which, 
although fully satisfactory to all the Indians, was not so to us. They 


requested that neither Harrabhy nor any other person might leave 
the spot until we had gone through the rice ordeal ; to this we 
submitted, though by no means palatable to Harrabhy. He reluc- 
tantly complied, and with all the rest of us put a few grains of 
unboiled rice into his mouth: it was previously intimated that 
from the mouth of the innocent after mastication it would come 
out a milky liquid, from the guilty a dry powder. We were all 
of the milky party except Harrabhy : mingling with the saliva it 
became a white fluid; with him it remained a dry powder, notwith- 
standing a number of fruitless efforts to liquefy it. He was com- 
pelled thus to spit it out: his complexion changed from a rich 
brown to a sort of livid blue, his lips quivered, and his altered 
countenance plainly indicated guilt; he would make no confession, 
and on this evidence we could only put him in confinement under 
the court of Adawlet, until we obtained further proof. The next 
day a little slave-boy, whom I afterwards brought to England, 
discovered the bent iron hasp of the plate-chest just appear- 
ing out of the steep bank of the Nerbudda, at the end of our 
garden, about twenty feet above the river, and as much below the 
summit of the cliff; there Ave found the chest, buried in the 
earth. The robbers had attempted to wrench it open, and the 
clasps fastened by padlocks had given wa}-; but the lock occasion- 
ing greater difficulty, they waited for a more favorable opportu- 
nity. When the culprit found the chest had been discovered and 
restored to the owners, and had no prospect of benefiting by its 
contents, he confessed that in concert with three other men he had 
carried it off in the night, while our people were asleep, and was in 
hopes we should have departed without finding it. Profane history 


abounds with ordeals; the bitter water of chastity, and many 
similar trials in the sacred page, prove their prevalence among 
the Jews. 

As his guardian genii the snakes could not protect Harrabhy 
from the hands of justice, so neither could they always save their 
mortal form from destruction: for the greatest enemy the serpents 
have to encounter is the little mongoose, (viverra Ichneumon Lin.) 
an animal of the weasel kind, in all respects the same as the ich- 
neumon of Egypt; they destroy rats, mice, and other vermin, but 
seem most inimical to serpents; on which they dart with an in- 
conceivable agility. I was informed at Anjengo, by many eye- 
witnesses of the fact, that on the mongoose being wounded by the 
serpent, he immediately retired, and ate of a certain herb, which 
proved an antidote to the poison; after which he returned to 
his antagonist, renewed the combat, and generally gained a 
victory. The ichneumon destroys the eggs of the serpents, 
and providentially has the same propensity for those of the 
crocodile, which the female deposits on the banks of the Nile; 
for which reason this little animal, with more reason than can 
be assigned for the bean or onion, was worshipped among the dei- 
ties of the ancient Egyptians. 

My garden at Baroche was not only frequented by Harrabhy's 
genii, but by a variety of other serpents, green, blue, scarlet, and 
black, and by one shaded with every varied hue in a Turkey- 
carpet; for that reason called the carpet-snake. They never 
molested us, nor did I ever hear of an accident there; indeed I 
believe very few of them are venomous. 

Our gardens produced abundance of fruit and vegetables; and 


few places are better supplied with provisions than Baroche; 
meat of all kinds is excellent and cheap; there is no want of 
poultry: the bazars are stocked with indigenous fruits and vege- 
tables, and the Nerbudda supplies a variety of fish, exclusive of 
that brought in by the fishing boats from the sea. The carp in the 
Nerbudda are uncommonly large; they sometimes weigh fifty 
pounds; these, when stuffed and baked in a plantain leaf, are 
much esteemed; it is most probably the same as the rooee and 
cutlah of the Ganges, which often weigh forty pounds. Long 
after my arrival in England, I accidentally met with an official 
report, sent to me by the clerk of the market when I was acting 
for the chief of Baroche, then absent in the Purgunna. It contains 
an authentic account of the principal commodities publicly sold 
there, at the price in Indian money, and their own weights and 
measures, which I have brought as near as possible to the English 
standard. It should be remarked, that at Baroche most articles 
for the table are about one third of the price for which they can 
be purchased at Bombay. Grain is not much dearer in general; 
it being imported there from the northern settlements, the prices 
at Surat are much the same as in the Baroche markets. 



To JAMES FORBES, Esq. &c &c. 

Report of the Markets at Baroche, 7th January, 1782. 



12 rupees per cu 



. . ditto 



. . ditto 

Tuar. dohl 


. . ditto 



. . ditto 



. . ditto 



. . ditto 



. . ditto 



. . ditto 

£. s. d. 
1 10 
1 12 6 
1 12 6 
1 2 6 
1 7 6 
1 7 6 


Ghee 7 rupees per maund, 28 lbs. English . 
Gingely oil 2| . ditto 








Erinda oil 
Foreign sugar 7 
Sugar-candy 13 
Pepper 13 


6 rupees per seer, a weight rather less 
than lib • . . . 

17 6 
6 3 
8 3 

17 6 

1 12 6 
1 12 6 



£. s. d. 
Nutmegs 5| rupees per seer, a weight rather less 

than lib 13 9 

Cardamoms 5 . ditto . . . . 12 6 


2 pice per seer, about one penny per lb. 













two-pence ditto 

three halfpence 
three halfpence 
one penny 

. . ditto . 
. ditto . 

. . quarter 

. . ditto . 

pice per seer, 
Bombalos, dried fish, ten for 1 pice, 
Bajee spinach Sh seer for 1 pice 
Beans 1| seer for 1 pice 
Cucumbers 3 seer for 1 pice 
Bendey 1^ seer for 1 pice 
Bringals 1^ seer for 1 pice 
Onions 2 seer for 1 pice 
Garlick 1£ seer for 4 pice 
Limes one hundred 12 pice 
Plantains and bananas, 4 for 1 pice 
Guavas 5 for 1 pice 
Radishes 12 for 1 pice 

(Signed) J. Rigo, Clerk of the Market. 

The price of labour, at Baroche and the neighbouring districts, 
is from two to four rupees per month. The labourers in my gar- 


den received three rupees and a half each man, the boy who at- 
tended the water-rills only two; with this they were perfectly con- 
tented, and it was probably more than they would have got from 
a wealthy native in a similar situation. The price of labour, 
servants' wages, and many other expenses appear small when 
compared with the same classes in England ; but the number of 
persons necessarily employed in every department of domestic 
economy 'in India, brings the expense of an English family, in 
each country, more upon a level than may at first be imagined. 

In most parts of Guzerat, a small native family of the low 
castes may live comfortably in their humble cottage for forty and 
fifty rupees a year; perhaps for less. When the wants of a people 
are so few, and those few so easily supplied, the same quantity of 
land must be able to support a much greater number of inhabi- 
tants than the same quantity in England; it has been calculated 
at three, and in some places at four to one. 

For petty offences committed by the inhabitants of the Baroche 
districts, the court of Adawlet established in the city, and the 
power of the English chief as a magistrate, seemed adequate; in 
cases of a more criminal nature the prisoners were tried by the 
quarter sessions at Bombay, and civil suits of importance were 
decided there by the Mayor's court, and court of appeals, agree- 
ably to the laws of England and the charter of the East India 

Among the works of art at Baroche, is the Jumma Musseid, 
the silver mosque, and a few other remains of Mahomedan build- 
ings; but the most interesting is a mausoleum called Baba-Rahan, 
or Bawrhan, which is built on an eminence, a mile from the city, 

near a spacious tank and shady groves, where are many Maho- 
medan tombs of less importance. But the grand mausoleum is 
in the Saracenic, or Moorish style of architecture; where columns 
and arches form corridores, and support several large domes and 
smaller cupolas, richly ornamented, which cover the marble tombs. 
This monument of Mahomedan splendour was erected seven hun- 
dred years ago, and is still held in great veneration: its lofty terrace, 
which was one of my usual evening excursions, commands an ex- 
tensive prospect. 

In the year 1078 of the Christian aera, and 492 of the Maho- 
medan hejira, while the government of the Hindoo rajahs remained 
undisturbed in this part of Hindostan, a mussulman saint, called 
Baba-Rahan, came into the Baroche country from Bagdad, ac- 
companied by a number of fakeers and dervises, to convert the 
Hindoos to Islamism; but the saint, like many other Mahomedan 
champions, after a successful mission, no longer trusting to the per- 
suasive powers of eloquence, drew the sword of intolerant zeal to 
increase the number of true believers, and caused such disturb- 
ances in the province, that the rajah of Baroche sent his son, Roy- 
Currun, to oppose him with a considerable force. Baba-Rahan 
not thinking it prudent to contend with so powerful an antagonist, 
entered into a treaty with the young prince, and in a few days con- 
verted him to the tenets of the Koran, and gave him the name of 
Mullick Mahomed. By their united endeavours the princess 
Bhaga, the rajah's daughter, embraced the new religion; and many 
other Hindoos, following the example of the royal converts, left 
the shrines of Brahma, and became disciples of Baba-Rahan. But 
as the most pure and peaceable of all religions has been too often 


perverted to the most cruel purposes, as ambition, interest, or mis- 
guided zeal, have spread their pernicious effects, so it was with 
these Mahomedans; for the prince of Baroche, forgetting every 
moral and filial duty, look up arms against his father, and was 
killed in an engagement near Bawrhan, where the bodies of 
himself, his sister, and a number of converts who fell in the action 
were interred. Soon after this catastrophe Baba-Rahan made his 
peace with the rajah, and at his death was buried on this sacred 

When this country was settled under the Mogul government 
a prince named Jengis Shah erected a mausoleum over the graves 
of the saint and his disciples; future nabobs added to the embel- 
lishments, and ordered their remains to be interred in this holy spot, 
at the same time endowing lands to keep the buildings in repair; 
but during the lapse of time these bequests have been converted to 
other purposes, and the whole is in a state of decay. 

An evening walk to Bawhran was one of my favourite excur- 
sions; the prospect from the upper terrace was delightful; the 
breeze over the lake refreshing; and the scene altogether formed 
for meditation. Monkeys, squirrels, doves, and pea-fowl, ani- 
mated the groves; the decayed parts of the building were occu- 
pied by bats, owls, and noxious reptiles, the usual inhabitants of 
desolation. Some of the dark sepulchral chambers contained 
fragments of sculpture, and other decorations, rudely heaped toge- 
ther from the mouldering tombs; but the stench of the bats was 
so intolerable, that it was impossible to remain many seconds to 
examine them. These bats were of very large size, and their gloomy 
retreats illustrated the prophetical language — " Thou hast forsaken 


thy people, because they be replenished from the east, and are 
soothsayers like the Philistines; their land also is full of idols; to 
whom the mean man boweth down, and the great man humblelh 
himself; but in that day the lofty look shall be humbled, and the 
haughtiness of man shall be bowed down; and the Lord alone 
shall be exalted: in that day, shall a man cast his idols of silver, 
and his idols of gold, which they had made, each one for himself to 
worship, to the moles and to the bats." 

Whatever might have been the animosities between the Hin- 
doos and Mahomedans in the time of Baba-Rahan, or during 
subsequent periods, it is certain, as an intelligent writer observes, 
that now " the professors of both religions have acquired a habit 
of looking on each other with an eye of indulgence unusual in 
other countries between those who maintain such opposite tenets. 
Thus the Hindoo is often seen to vie with the disciple of .Ali in 
his demonstrations of grief for the fate of the two martyred sons 
of that apostle; and in the splendour of the pageant annually ex- 
hibited in their commemoration, he pays a respect to the holi- 
days prescribed by the Koran, or set apart for the remembrance 
of remarkable events in the life of the prophet or his apostles. 
This degree of complaisance is perhaps not surprizing in the dis- 
ciple of Brahma, whose maxim is, that the various modes of wor- 
ship practised by the different nations of the earth, spring alike 
from the Deity, and are equally acceptable to him; but even 
they who follow the intolerant doctrines of the Koran are no lon- 
ger those furious and sanguinary zealots, who, in the name of God 
and his prophet, marked their course with desolation and slaughter, 
demolishing the Hindoo temples, and erecting mosques on their 


ruins. They found the patient constancy of the Hindoo superior 
to their violence; that the fear of torments and of death was 
unable to make him desert the tenets which his ancestors had 
handed down to him from an unfathomable antiquity; but that, if 
left in the quiet possession of these, he was a peaceable, indus- 
trious, and valuable subject. Accordingly, we observe among the 
Mussulmauns of Hindostan a great deference for the prejudices 
of their neighbours or dependants of the Hindoo persuasion, par- 
ticularly in the hooty, or saturnalia of India, when liberty of speech 
and action towards superiors are allowed to as great an extent as 
among the ancient Romans; the Mussulmauns are seen to enter 
into the diversion with as much alacrity as the Hindoos them- 

These remarks are very just; they establish the liberality of 
sentiment which now generally prevails in the mingled society of 
commercial cities. We had no invidious distinction between Maho- 
medan and Hindoo at Baroche; but a very unpleasant schism 
existed among the Parsees, who formed a considerable part of its 

However delightful it is to cherish the idea of such liberal 
opinions among the Hindoos and Mahomedans in the British settle- 
ments, it is well known there exist under the Turkish and Persian 
governments thousands of intolerant bigots, who act diametrically 
opposite to those philanthropical sentiments, and pervert certain 
passages of the Koran to the most cruel and diabolical purposes. 
In this number, few have been more active, determined, and power- 
ful than the late Tippoo Sultaun, whose misguided zeal led him to 
commit the most atrocious cruelties. In the curious history found 


in the palace at Seringapatam, mentioned by colonel Wilks to have 
been written by himself and his secretary, among other diabolical 
suggestions and false aspersions on the Christians, is this sanguinary 
passage from a letter written by the Sultaun to general Macleod 
at Mangulore, which stamps the character of the tyrant of 

" It is admitted by the concurring testimony of all religions, 
that no apostle, excepting the seal of the apostles, has been in- 
vested with the power of the sword; and that the text of " slay 
them wheresoever thou canst find them" has descended from the 
Almighty avenger to no other. That holy personage did, in con- 
formity to the command of the great Creator, let loose the infidel- 
destroying sword, without distinction, on the Jews, the Nazarenes, 
the Sabians, and other idolaters. And Ali, the victorious lion of 
the Lord, who was the rightful Imaun, and the absolute vicegerent 
of the seal of the prophets, removed the darkness of infidelity and 
association (that is the doctrine of assigning to God associates in 
power) and sent abundance of associators on the road to the abode 
of misery. Therefore God, and the apostle of God, and all his 
elect, abominate and abhor you, and you have incurred the wrath 
of the throne of God. Wherefore, all sects being bound by the 
laws and precepts of their respective apostles, it follows, that kill- 
ing and slaying, and bravery, and heroism, and holy war, and the 
destruction of infidels, and the arts which belong to the gallant 
and the brave, have descended as an hereditary right to us from 
our apostle." 

I need not particularize the inhabitants of Baroche; the Hin- 
doos are much the same every where. The high Moguls and other 

VOL. II. 2 l 


Mahomedans at Baroche and Surat are a dignified, polite, and re- 
spectable people; the manners and dress of the females are deli- 
neated in the prophet Ezekiel's portrait of an oriental lady: " I 
clothed thee with broidered work, I girded thee with fine linen, 
and covered thee with silk: 1 decked thee with ornaments; I put 
bracelets upon thine hands, and a chain on thy neck; I put a 
jewel on thy forehead, and ear-rings in thine ears, and a beautiful 
crown upon thine head. Thus wast thou decked with gold and 
silver'; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered 
work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil; and thou wast 
exceeding beautiful/' 

In the Baroche purgunna were many families of the Rajhpoots, 
or Hajhputs, a noble race of Hindoos, divided into distinct 
tribes, and settled in various districts, chiefly in the northern 
parts of Hindostan. Some of the highest distinction trace their 
origin to the suryabans, or children of the sun, and in that re- 
spect vie with the incas of Peru. This celestial descent is con- 
fined to few families; but the Rajhpoots all pride themselves 
on their noble ancestry, and seldom disgrace their pedigree 
by an ignoble action. I became acquainted with several in 
Guzerat who confirmed these sentiments, and 1 knew some of 
their females, who considered themselves very superior to the 
surrounding Hindoos. The Rajhpoots make the best soldiers 
in the country; imbued with a noble spirit, great energy, and 
generally of an athletic form, they have the grand essentials of 
a military character, and are highly respected by all the other 

Some of the Rajhpoot tribes can furnish from twenty to thirty 


thousand fighting-men. In Mr. Hunter's journey from Agra to 
Oujein, we find the descendants of one of their princes at this time 
able to raise forty-one thousand troops, which he particularly 
specifies as to number and family. It is unnecessary to mention 
these, but some peculiar characteristics of the tribe to which they 
belong are interesting: it is named Cuchwa'ha, and is of the sury- 
bans, or children of the sun, already noticed, being descended from 
Rama, the celebrated rajah of Ayodhya. Rama had two sons, 
one named Loh, the other Cush; the descendants of Loh are 
named Bud-Gujer, and the descendants of Cush, Cuchwa'ha. From 
Cush, the Jayanagar chronologers reckon two hundred and ten 
rajahs, in succession, to Prit hi Raj, who succeeded to the musnud 
of Ambh'er in Sumbut, 1559, or A. D. 1502; and died in Sumbut 
1584, in the twenty-fifth year of his reign. 

Prit'hi Raj had eighteen sons; Bha'eamul, the eldest, suc- 
ceeded him on the throne ; Bhim, the second, was established 
the Raj, or Nirwir; four died without children. To the remaining 
twelve sons, Prit'hi Raj, to avoid the contention which he foresaw 
was likely to happen after his death, assigned, in his lifetime, 
portions of territory, which descended to their offspring, and are 
called Cut'hri, or the twelve chambers of the house of Cuchwa'ha. 
Of these twelve sons the descendants of eight can now furnish a 
corps of forty-one thousand horse and foot in the northern dis- 
tricts; of the other four sons no descendants are now remaining; 
but to complete the number of chambers, four other tribes have 
been adopted in their room. The whole families descended from 
the rajahs of Ambh'er are fifty- three in number, under their respec- 
tive chieftains; and these, including the above forty-one thousand, 


can raise a corps of cavalry and infantry amounting together to 
one hundred and forty-seven thousand. 

I shall not pursue the subject further; but so noble and dis- 
tinct a race of people, more or less dispersed throughout the north- 
ern provinces, deserves our notice. The character they every where 
preserve of a dignified martial spirit, throws light on the following 
anecdote, and shows the insufficiency of the English laws among 
such a people. 

About four years before my appointment to Baroche, some 
Mahomedans, walking through a village where a family of Kajh- 
poots resided, approached their house, and accidentally looked into 
a loom Avhere an elderly woman was eating. They intended no in- 
sult; they saw her at her meal, and immediately retired: but this 
accident occasioned a disgrace on the Rajhpoot lady for which, 
on her part, there could be no expiation. She at that time lived 
with her grandson, a fine young man, who was absent when the 
Mahomedans committed their trespass: on his return home she 
related the circumstance, and her determination not to survive it; 
she therefore entreated him instantly to put her to death, a step 
which she had only deferred that she might fall by his hand. The 
youth's affection and good sense induced him to remonstrate with 
his venerable parent, whom he endeavoured to dissuade from her 
purpose by alleging that none but her own family knew of the dis- 
grace, the very men who were the innocent cause of it being uncon- 
scious of the offence. Persevering however in her resolution, but 
unable to persuade either her grandson, or any other person, to 
perform the sacrifice, she calmly waited until he next went from 
home, and then beat her head against the wall, with dreadful vio- 


lence. On his return he found his venerable parent in this agonizing 
and shocking state! She again entreated he would finish the sacrifice, 
and release her from misery: he then stabbed her to the heart. 
By the English laws he was secured as a murderer, sent to Bombay 
for trial, and confined in the common prison unlil the ensuing ses- 
sions. The grand-jury found a bill for murder; the petty jury, com- 
posed half of Europeans and half of natives, found him guilty; 
and the judges condemned him to death. The Rajhpools in gene- 
ral have a noble mien and dignified character; their high caste 
is stamped in their countenance: this young man possessed them 
all. I saw him receive his sentence, not only with composure, 
but with a mingled look of disdain and delight not easy to de- 
scribe. Unconscious of the crime laid to his charge, he said he 
had nothing to accuse himself of, but disobedience to his parenl, 
by permitting humanity and filial affection to supersede his duty, 
and the honour of his caste: that life was no longer desirable; nor, 
if acquitted by the English laws, would he survive the ignominy 
of having been confined with European culprits, and criminals of 
the lowest castes, with whom he had been compelled Lo eat, and 
associate in a common prison; acts so contrary to every thing 
which he esteemed right and honourable, that the sooner he was 
transferred to another state of existence, the beller. However in- 
clined the government might be to clemency, it would evidently 
have been fruitless ; the noble Rajhpoot would not survive the 
disgrace, and the sentence of the law was executed, in the hope 
it might prevent others from following his example. 

The same motive operated in another instance which hap- 
pened at Bombay about ten years before; and this, as well as the 
preceding trial of the Rajhpoot, is entered in the proceedings of 


the Court of Sessions. One of those Hindoo visionaries, whom I 
have frequently described, lived in the cocoa-nut woods at Bombay, 
in the neighbourhood of several Hindoo and Mahotnedan families: 
he was a man of an amiable character, in the prime of life, mar- 
ried, and the father of four young children. Although the Chris- 
tian sabbath is not held sacred by the Indians, yet in compliance 
with the English laws no shops are opened, and no business trans- 
acted among the natives; becoming consequently a leisure day, 
they consider it a holiday, and generally retire to their country- 
houses and gardens ; or walk on a sandy beach near the sea, called 
Back-bay, a pleasant spot two or three miles in extent, bounded 
on one side by the sea, on the other by the cocoa-nut woods where 
this Hindoo resided. One Sunday afternoon he desired his wife 
to prepare herself and the children for a walk on the beach; from 
whence he intended to accompany them on a longer journey: on 
inquiring whither, he informed her he had received an invitation 
from the deity to go to heaven, and lake his family with him; 
that ihey were to proceed by water, and depart from Back-bay. 
Thither the parents repaired with the children ; the two eldest walked 
before them to the sea-side, and each carried an infant: in this 
manner they walked into the water. Hitherto there was nothing 
extraordinary in their conduct had there been strangers on the 
beach, because the Hindoos are more or less in the water through- 
out the day in their usual attire, performing ablutions and religious 
ceremonies, especially the females. What arguments or influence 
this Hindoo used to induce his wife to comply with his singular 
desire, is foreign to the subject; it is certain the infatuated parents 
drove their two eldest children into the sea, and saw them carried 
off" by the waves. After plunging the helpless infants into the same 


abyss, the wife voluntarily followed: the husband was deliberately 
drowning himself, when he suddenly recollected, that, living under 
the English government, the disappearance of a family without 
any apparent cause, might involve his neighbours in trouble; he 
therefore determined to return once more to his habitation before 
his final departure, and inform them of the truth: he accordingly 
did so. The Hindoos received the intelligence very calmly, and 
some of them, probably, applauded his conduct; but a Mahome- 
dan, among the number of his auditors, said the communication 
was so extraordinary, that as they did live under the English govern- 
ment, whose laws and customs so essentially differed from the Hin- 
doo system, it might be difficult to convince them of the truth, 
and therefore the enthusiast must accompany him before a magis- 
trate, and relate the story himself. With this he reluctantly com- 
plied, and they repaired together to the acting magistrate in the 
town of Bombay; who thought it an affair of such importance, 
that he placed the man under a guard, and the next morning con- 
vened a bench of justices, who committed him for trial at the 
ensuing sessions, where he was found guilty of murder, condemned, 
and executed. The only circumstance which caused him distress, 
was the procrastination of his change in the metempsychosis, and 
not being permitted to accomplish his exit in the manner he had 

I will not introduce any further anecdotes of this kind from 
my own knowledge: but in confirmation of such extraordinary 
facts, and at the same time to shew the cruelty which the brah- 
mins frequently commit, I shall insert two or three instances com- 


municated by Lord Teignmouth to the Asiatic Society, which 
throw further light on their manners and customs. 

In 1791, Soodishter Mier, a brahmin, ihe farmer of land 
paying revenue, and tenant of tax free land, in the province of 
Benares, was summoned to appear before a native officer, the 
deputy collector of the district where he resided. He positively 
refused to obey the summons, which was repealed without effect; 
and after some time several people were deputed to enforce the 
process by compelling his attendance. On their approaching the 
house he cut off the head of his deceased son's widow, and threw it 
out. His first intention was to destroy his own wife ; but it was 
proved in evidence, that, upon his indication of it, his son's widow 
requested him to decapitate her, which he instantly did. In this 
case the process against Soodishter was regular, his disobedience 
contemptuous; his situation in life entitled him to no particular 
exemption, he had nothing to apprehend from obeying the requi- 
sition, and he was certain of redress if injury or injustice were prac- 
tised upon him. 

Another brahmin, named Baloo Paundeii, in 1793, was con- 
victed of the murder of his daughter. His own account of the 
transaction will best explain it, and his motives; I give it in ab- 
stract. That about twelve years before the period of the murder, 
he, Baloo, and another man were joint tenants and cultivators of 
a spot of ground, when his partner Baloo relinquished his share. 
In 1793 this partner again brought forward a claim to a share in 
the ground: the claim was referred to arbitration, and a decision 
was pronounced in favour of Baloo. He consequently repaired 


to the land, and was ploughing it, when he was interrupted by his 
opponent. The words of Baloo are as follows: " I became angry 
" and enraged at his forbidding me; and, bringing my own little 
" daughter Apmunya, who was only a year and a half old, to the 
" said field, I killed her with my sword." 

The last instance is an act of matricide, perpetrated by Bee- 
chuk and Adher, two brothers, brahmins, and zemindars, or pro- 
prietors of landed estates, the extent of which did not exceed emht 
acres. There had been a dispute among the zemindars respecting 
the revenues of the village, particularly with a person named 
Go wry, and the immediate cause which instigated the brahmins 
to murder their mother, was an act of violence said to have been 
committed by the emissaries of Gowry in entering their house 
during their absence at night, and carrying off forty rupees, the 
property of Beechuk and Adher, from the apartments of their 
women. Beechuk first returned to his house; where his mother, 
his wife, and his sister-in-law, related what had happened. He 
immediately conducted his mother to an adjoining rivulet; where, 
being joined in the grey of the morning by his brother Adher, 
they called out aloud to the people of the village, that although 
they would overlook the assault as an act which could not be re- 
medied, the forty rupees must be returned. To this exclamation 
no answer was received, nor is there a certainly that it was even 
heard by any person. Beechuk, without further hesitation, drew 
his scimitar, and at one stroke severed his mother's head from her 
body ; with the professed view, as entertained and avowed both by 
parent and son, that the mother's spirit, excited by the beating of 
a large drum during forty days, might for ever haunt, torment, 

VOL. II. 2 m 

and pursue to death Gowry and the others concerned with him. 
The last words which the mother pronounced were, that she would 
" blast the said Gowry and those connected with him." 

The Society will observe, with some surprize, that the perpetra- 
tors of the several acts which I have related, were brahmins." 






O Nature! Filleduciel! tes (Euvres annoncent ton origine ! saintete parfaite, science supreme, 
sagesse inexprimable ! permets moi, qui ne suis qu'une atome faconnee de la matiere nnimee, 
de desirer une connoissance suffisante pour pouvoir expliquer tes ouvrages merveilleux ! 

Each moss, 
Each shell, each crawling insect, holds a rank 
Important in the plan of Him, who form'd 
This scale of beings ; holds a rank, which lost 
Would break the chain, and leave behind a gap, 
Which Nature's self would rue. Stielingfeeet. 


Excursion of a shooting parti/ in Turcaseer, its uninhabited and savage 
forests — wild beasts — monkeys — bheels — serpents — locusts, their 
appearance and astonishing depredations — locusts in Egypt — whe- 
ther quails or locusts the food of the Israelites in the desert — 
feathered game ofGuzerat — Florican — Culleim and Salwas — anec- 
dote of a Sahras — beauty of the baubul, or acacia — curious instinct 
and sagacity in the baubul caterpillar — further description of the 
baya, or bottle-nested sparrow — instinct of various animals — Addi- 
son's remarks thereon — Raje-pipley hills — Tiger mountain — number 
of wild animals in those unfrequented regions — size of the royal 
tiger — various habits of tigers — of hyenas and other beasts of prey 
— rhinoceros, the unicorn of scripture — wddhogs — bears — anecdote 
of their dreadful brutality. 


During my residence at Baroche I frequently joined the Eng- 
lish chief on hunting and shooting parties in the neighbouring dis- 
tricts: not that I had any pleasure in those diversions, but his 
tents being often pitched in unfrequented forests, and savage tracts, 
little known to Europeans, I had an opportunity of exploring 
scenes of nature, which, on account of wild beasts and wilder men, 
it would have been impossible to have traversed without a strong 
and expensive guard. 

The most interesting of these excursions occurred the year after 
my arrival at Baroche, when the sporting camp was formed in the 
environs of Turcaseer, a small Mahratta town which gives name to 
ruined districts once populous and cultivated, then containing 
only two inhabited villages, and the shabby capital. A scene so 
contrasted to the fertile plains in the Baroche purgunna, afforded 
me a fund of novelty and amusement; the woods and forests 
abounded with tigers, hyenas, wolves, jackals, elks, antelopes, 
spotted-deer, and a variety of smaller game. 

We continued some time at Turcaseer, and then moved on, in 
the patriarchal style, from place to place, as shade, water, and game 
attracted us. The different quadrupeds just mentioned were occa- 


sionally seen ; peacocks, doves, and squirrels, unaccustomed to mo- 
lestation, approached our tents with familiarity; while monkeys in 
great number diverted us with their playfulness, and cunnino- 
devices to purloin the bottled-bcer, fruit, or any delicacy that 
suited their taste. The gentleman who shot the female monkey 
formerly mentioned, was generally on these parties; they were from 
that time a privileged race with him and his friends. The Chinese 
are said to eat monkeys; but I never heard of any caste, tribe, or 
individual in Hindostan using them for food; not even the 
Pariahs and Chandalas, who eat carrion, and offal of every de- 

The surrounding districts were nearly as wild and uncultivated 
asTurcaseer: the wildness increased as we approached the Raje- 
pipley hills, and there every trace of agriculture and population 
ceased. The only human inhabitants are a set of cruel robbers 
called Bheels, more barbarous than the beasts among whom 
they dwell. 

The serpents, reptiles and insects in these wilds were varied 
and beautiful, particularly some of the cicadas and locusts; that 
called the creeping leaf was to be seen in great variety; they are 
not easily distinguished from the plants on which they feed. Gu- 
anas, cameleons, and lizards of every description; some of the 
latter, basking in the sun, appeared in alternate stripes of blue and 
gold; and a large kind of locust was arrayed in the same splen- 
did hues. 

Many of these insects, when separately viewed, are extremely 
curious, and very pleasing; but, considered collectively, as instru- 
ments of divine vengeance, and destroyers of a country, they ap- 


pear in an awful light. Desolation and famine mark their pro- 
gress; all the expectations of the husbandman vanish; his fields, 
which the rising sun beheld covered with luxuriance, are before 
evening, a desert; the produce of his garden and orchards is 
equally destroyed ; for, where these destructive swarms alight, not 
a leaf is left upon the trees, a blade of grass in the pasture, nor an 
ear of corn in the field: all wears the marks of dreadful devasta- 
tion; to be renewed no more until the next rainy season. The 
locusts not only cause a famine, by destroying the produce of the 
country, but in districts near the sea, where they had been drowned, 
they have occasioned a pestilence, from the putrid effluvia of 
immense numbers blown upon the coast, or thrown up by the 

It is not a few fields, or only two or three villages, that are ruined 
by these voracious creatures; the face of the country is covered 
with them for many miles; yet in India they are not near so perni- 
cious as in Arabia, and many parts of Africa, where they prove a 
scourge of the severest kind. Soon after my arrival at Baroche I 
saw a flight of locusts extending above a mile in length, and half 
as much in breadth; they appeared, as the sun was in the meri- 
dian, like a black cloud at a distance; as they approached the 
density of the host obscured the solar rays, cast an awful gloom, 
like that of an eclipse, over the garden, and caused a noise like 
the rushing of a torrent. They were near an hour in passing 
over our little territory; I need not say with what an anxious 
eye we marked their progress, fearful lest the delicacies of our gar- 
den should allure them to a repast. We picked up a few stragglers, 
but the main body took a western direction, and without settling 

VOL. II. 2 N 


in the country, most probably perished in the gulph of Cambay. 
A few months afterwards a much larger army alighted on the op- 
posite side of the Nerbudda, destroyed every vegetable production 
throughout the Occlaseer purgunna, and gave the whole country 
the appearance of having been burnt. Each of these flights were 
brought by an east wind, from whence I cannot say: they com- 
pletely realized the picture so afFectingly recorded in holy writ. 
" The Lord brought an east wind all night upon the land of Egypt; 
and when it was morning the locusts were brought, and went over 
all the land, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt; very grievous 
were they; for they covered the face of the whole earth, so that 
the land was darkened, and they did eat every herb of the land, 
and all the fruit of the trees, and there remained not any green 
thing on the trees, or on the herbs of the field throughout all the 
land of Egypt." 

It has been a matter of dispute between learned commentators 

on the scriptures, whether the animals mentioned by Moses in the 

miraculous supply of food for the Israelites in the wilderness, 

were emails or locusts. Our translators render them the former; 

but, from the description given by the sacred historian, and from 

what I have observed of locusts, I rather incline to the opinion of 

Ludolphus, and the late bishop of Clogher, that they were locusts, 

and not quails, which the children of Israel ate in the desert. 

Moses says, " There went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought 

quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a 

day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the 

other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high 

upon the face of the earth. And the people stood up all that day, 



'. , 

RTGEQ ,///,/ Cll; f ' i r.-\.M I M l.\ T.'t ^///,- COS"CAIf. 

J.un.F. ?/>■•■ 


and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered up 
the quails; he that gathered least gathered ten homers; and they 
spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp." 

These discussions are of little consequence in regard to the sacred 
truths of scripture, but they are pleasant and profitable investi- 
gations; and in the present instance, as the supply of food to the 
Israelites in the desert was altogether miraculous, and tended to 
illustrate the power and goodness of the theocracy, the only govern- 
ment under which they then lived, it is not of much impor- 
tance whether the supply was of quails or locusts, since both are 
eatable; and the latter are an article of food among the Arabians, 
who inhabit the same desert, at this day. 

The Nerbudda is enlivened by fourteen different kinds of wild- 
ducks; some are extremely beautiful in their plumage, and many roost 
on trees. Pelicans, spoon-bills, white and rose-coloured flamingos, 
storks, cranes, and a variety of aquatic birds frequent the lakes 
and marshes; woodcocks are sometimes seen in the cool season; 
snipes are more common, and immense flocks of wheat-ears and 
ortolans emigrate from distant countries during the harvest. The 
common partridge in shape and plumage is very like that in Eng- 
land ; the feathers of that called the black-partridge are peculiarly 
rich; the quails are excellent. The florican, or Curmoor, (otis 
houbara, Lin.) exceeds all the Indian wild-fowl in delicacy of 
flavour; its varied plumage, lofty carriage, and tuft of black fea- 
thers, falling gracefully from its head, make him one of the most 
elegant birds in India; it is of the bustard species, but much 
smaller than the English otis. Green-pigeons, doves, and the 
usual variety of songsters, animated the woods of Turcaseer. 


The cullum, or large crane, similar to the demoiselle of Nu- 
midia (ardea virgo, Lin.) is a majestic bird ; some when erect are 
near six feet high; the sahras or cyrus, a bird of the same genus, 
equals it in stature, and excels it in the beauty of its plumage, ge- 
nerally of an azure hue, with a crimson head. The mention of 
these birds induces me to transcribe a circumstance from my memo- 
randa, which, if not otherwise interesting, affords an additional 
instance of the instinct and memory of birds, to those related by 
Buffbn, Goldsmith, and other naturalists. 

Riding out one evening in the Dhuboy district, I left my 
hackery and attendants at a village, and taking my book retired 
as usual, with only one peon, to walk in the corn-fields; where, 
amidst a crop of juarree (holcus sorghum, Lin.) I saw a large flock 
of cullums and sahrases, devouring their share of the harvest. On 
our approach they all flew away, except one young sahras, who, 
being too weak to escape, was caught by the peon. He very con- 
tentedly ate some juarree out of my hand, and we carried him to 
Dhuboy, where he became quite domesticated. At Baroche he 
was equally beloved and caressed by all the family. Our garden- 
house was about a mile from the west gate of that city; the sahras 
generally walked thither at the dinner hour of the garrison; he was 
always a welcome guest, both with the Europeans and sepoys, and 
ate as much of their rice and cutcheree as he chose. This bird, 
when he attained his full growth, was near six feet high; with 
beautiful plumage, an elegant form, and stately air, blended with 
a pleasant familiarity. We were then preparing to leave India, 
and, however agreeable the sahras might be in the extensive pre- 
cincts of a villa, I was fearful his size and appetite might cause 



X ; - 

• i I 



him to be considered in a less favourable light as a passenger on 
board a crowded Indiaman: therefore, on embarking for England, 
I gave him to a friend, who went in another ship with fewer in- 
cumbrances. On our arrival the gentleman informed me the bird 
had made a pleasant voyage, was welcomed to every mess by the 
good-natured sailors, and soon after landing had been given to a 
friend, to oblige a nobleman from whom he had received particu- 
lar favours. 

Nine years afterwards I went with a party to Park-place, 
near Henley, then belonging to general Conway. After we had 
been delighted with the pleasing variety of those lovely scenes, we 
visited the menagerie; among other birds, a sahras, in a state of 
confinement, immediately brought my former friend to my recol- 
lection; nor could I help remarking, with some emphasis, the re- 
semblance between them. On hearing my voice, the bird flapped 
his wings, pushed his head through the bars of the enclosure, and 
shewed signs of joy and impatience, which surprized us all, espe- 
cially the gardener, who declared he had never seen him in such a 
transport. On telling him I believed the sahras was an old ac- 
quaintance, he thought it impossible, as his lady had possessed it 
several years, and had been assured it was the only living bird of 
his species in England. The more I noticed it, the more affec- 
tionate and violent were its gestures; until a sentiment of feelino- 
a mutual sympathy, or mutual instinct, convinced me it was my 
sahras. Upon further investigation I found this bird had been given 
to the lady by the nobleman to whom it was presented on its arrival. 
This anecdote being related at Park-place, procured us the kindest 
attentions from the hospitable owners, and gave rise to a corres- 


pondence between the general and myself. The bird died in 
the following winter. I had drawn its portrait in India; a recol- 
lection of its affectionate attachment induces me to offer it among 
those selected for engraving; for which, and the prolixity of the 
anecdote, I trust I shall be excused by every heart of sensibility. 

A number of curious trees, shrubs, and aromatic plants, adorn 
the wilds of Turcaseer; among them are extensive forests of the 
baubul tree, the acacia, or Egyptian thorn, much esteemed in 
the materia-medica of the ancients for its gum, which it 
produces in great abundance, with every property of gum- 
arabic. The leaves, like all of the mimosa tribe, are pinnated, 
the branches covered with sharp white thorns, adorned with clus- 
ters of fragrant globular blossoms, in great profusion; pink, yel- 
low, or white ; the most beautiful is an oblong flower, the lower 
part nearest the stalk of a delicate rose-colour, the other half a 
bright yellow: the gum oozes from the bark on the trunk, and 
larger branches. The flowers are not converted to any purpose 
that I have known in India, but it is said the Chinese extract from 
them a valuable yellow dye. 

The baubul tree afforded a curious specimen of insect sagacity 
in the caterpillars' nests, suspended by thousands to the branches. 
This little animal, conscious of its approaching change, and the 
necessity of security in its helpless state as a chrysalis, instinctively 
provides itself a strong mansion during that metamorphosis. As a 
caterpillar it is furnished with very strong teeth; with them it saws 
off a number of thorns, the shortest about an inch long, and glues 
them together in a conical form, the points all tending to one direc- 
tion, the extremity terminating with the longest and sharpest. This 


singular habitation is composed of about twenty thorns, for the 
exterior, lined with a coat of silk, similar to the cone of the silk- 
worm, suspended to the tree by a strong ligament of the same 
material. In this asylum the baubul caterpillar retires to its long 
repose; and, armed with such formidable weapons, bids defiance 
to birds, beasts, and serpents, which might otherwise devour it. 
When the season of emancipation arrives, and the chrysalis is to 
assume a new character in the papilis tribe, the insect emerges 
from the fortress, expands its beautiful wings, and with thousands 
of fluttering companions, released at the same season from captivity, 
sallies forth to enjoy its shorted-lived pleasures. Paley has hap- 
pily defined instinct to be a propensity prior to experience, and 
independent of instruction. 

" Whether with reason, or with instinct blest, 
" Know all enjoy that power which suits them best ; 
" And reason raise o'er instinct as you can, 
" In this 'tis God directs, in that 'tis man. 

" Who taught the nations of the field and wood 
" To shun their poison, and to choose their food? 
" Prescient, the tides or tempests to withstand, 
" Build on the wave, or arch beneath the sand ? 
" Who made the spider parallels design, 
" Sure as de Moivre, without rule or line? 
" God in the nature of each being founds 
" Its proper bliss, and sets its proper bounds." Pope. 

The baubul trees are also covered by pensile nests of the bay a, 
or bottle-nested sparrow, which I have formerly described. These 
birds seem to have formed immense colonies in the wilds of Tur- 
caseer, and most of the Acacia forests in Guzerat; from fifty to 


an hundred nests are often suspended from one tree, each contain- 
ing a numerous family. The noise of these sociable birds is won- 
derful, and their golden plumage glitters in the sun with great 
splendour. The baya, under the name of the toddy-bird, was not 
overlooked by a member of the Royal Society travelling in Guzc- 
rat in the seventeenth century. " Nature," says this intelligent 
writer, " affords us a pleasant spectacle, as well as matter for ad- 
miration, in the toddy-bird; whereby I know not why we should 
deny reason wholly to animals, unless it be, that man having so 
much, they seem comparatively to have none. This bird is not 
only exquisitely curious in the artificial composure of its nests 
with hay, but furnished with devices and stratagems to secure it- 
self and young ones from its deadly enemy the squirrel; as like- 
wise from the injury of the weather; which, being unable to op- 
pose, it eludes with this artifice, contriving the nest like a steeple- 
hive, with winding meanders; before which hangs a penthouse 
for the rain to pass; tying it by so slender a thread to the bough 
of the tree that the squirrel dare not venture his body, though his 
mouth waters at the eggs and prey within ; yet it is strong enough to 
bear the hanging habitation of the ingenious contriver from all the 
assaults of its antagonist, and all the accidents of gusts and storms. 
Hundreds of these pendalous nests may be seen on these trees. 

The bottle-nested sparrow, taylor-bird, and sea-swallow, afford 
a source of amusement and wonder in the construction of their 
nests. Every bird's nest is indeed a matter of wonder when at- 
tentively considered. Addison pertinently and beautifully asks, 
" What can we call that principle which directs every different 
kind of bird to observe a particular plan in the structure of its nest, 


and directs all of the same species to work after the same model? 
It cannot be imitation; for though you hatch a crow under a hen, 
and never let it see any of the works of its own kind, the nest it 
makes shall be the same, to the laying of a stick, with all the 
other nests of the same species. It cannot he reason; for were 
animals endued with it to as great a degree as man, their buildings 
would be as different as ours, according to the different conve- 
niences that they would propose to themselves. Animals in their 
generation are wiser than the children of men; but their wisdom 
is confined to a few particulars, and lies in a very narrow compass. 
Take a brute out of his instinct, and you find him wholly deprived 
of understanding/' 

Few situations afford more variety than the forests of Tur- 
caseer; I only laid aside my pencil to traverse those solitary wilds, 
and procure new subjects, while my attentive friends brought 
every thing curious from their distant excursions. One of our 
keenest sportsmen left the party for a few days, with some expert 
Indian marksmen, to explore the Raje-pipley hills, and shoot on 
Bhaug-Doongur, the " Tiger-mountain," a spot abounding with tigers, 
leopards, hyenas, and wild beasts of various description. There, 
for the first time, he saw the mountain-goat (capra ibex Lin.) an 
animal resembling the steinbock, or bouquetin of Switzerland. In 
a narrow defile, where they were stationed for the destruction of 
tigers, a male elk, (cervus alces, Lin.) of noble appearance, fol- 
lowed by twenty-two females, passed majestically under their plat- 
form, each as large as a common-sized horse. They shot one, but 
being obliged to leave it, in pursuit of royal game, on their re- 

VOL. II. 2 O 


turn next morning they found it nearly devoured by beasts of 

They saw many other herds of elks, and a great variety of 
deer, but never met with the niel ghou, or blue ox, though they 
seem to partake much more of the deer than the ox. These animals 
were frequently brought to Baroche and Surat as a curiosity from 
other parts of India. 

There were no lions in that part of India; the royal tiger was 
considered as the lord of the forest, and a more powerful animal 
cannot easily be conceived. The adventures and escapes of our 
sportsmen from these ferocious beasts, and their encounter with 
boars, hyenas, and other savage monsters, highly entertained us 
in the tents. Distance of time, and the death of three fourths of 
the parly, deprive them of interest; I shall therefore suppress them, 
and the observations I occasionally made on the animals in those 
wilds; except as they coincide with a few general remarks by the 
author of the Oriental Sports. 

Some tigers in Turcaseer were nearly as large and ferocious as 
those in the Sunderbunds of Bengal, and were said to equal the 
largest ever killed there, which measured fourteen feet from the 
tip of the nose to the extremity of the tail, was four feet high at the 
shoulder, and the circumference of his foot near the paw twenty- 
six inches. Every action of the tiger confirms captain William- 
son's idea, that it so closely resembles the cat, that the latter may 
be deemed a tiger in miniature. Their motions, tempers, habits, 
are all precisely similar; and, except in the number of young 
usually borne at a litter, it would perhaps be difficult to point out 


any distinguishing trait. They have two, three, and sometimes 
five cubs at a litter, seldom so many; they attain their full growth 
at two years of age. 

" Those who are accustomed to see tigers only in a state of con- 
finement, would imagine, from their wildness and apparent ferocity, 
that, were one to get loose, it would not rest until it had destroyed 
every living object within its view. But most probably its first 
act, when liberated from its cell, would be to gain some shelter, 
where it might be hidden from the eyes of man; for, notwith- 
standing the extreme boldness with winch tigers act on some occa- 
sions, and which no doubt results either from extreme hunger, or 
from reiterated success, they are, generally speaking, very pusi- 
lanimous. It happens but rarely that they act openly, even in 
situations where persons may unhappily be exposed completely 
to their assaults. They delight in concealing themselves, especi- 
ally when intent on making a prey, and should they adventitiously 
be discovered, or be defeated in their first attack, they ordinarily 
retreat with precipitation. 

" The opinion entertained that a tiger will not at any time 
approach fire, is carried much too far: it is true that they are ex- 
tremely averse to it; but when hungry, nothing will deter them 
from their object. The dawks, or posts, throughout India travel on 
foot, one man carrying the mail over his shoulder, and accom- 
panied at night, as also through all suspicious places in the day- 
time, by one or more men with small drums, and eventually a 
teereudaur, or archer. Yet this precaution does not suffice to in- 
timidate the ravenous animal during the day, however great his 
antipathy to noise, any more than two strong flambeaux which the 


postman has at night. An instance is well known of a tiger 
occupying a spot in Goomeah-pass for near a fortnight, during 
which time he daily carried away a man; generally one of the 
postmen. At one time he was disappointed of his meal, as he by 
mistake carried off the leather bag instead of its bearer; but the 
following night he seized one of the torchmen, and soon disap- 
peared with him. 

" A melancholy proof exists of the little respect a tiger pays 
to fire when hard put to for a meal, in the well-known fact of a 
young gentleman of a respectable family, and of the most amiable 
qualifications, having been taken away by one when benighted on 
Sanger's island, at the entrance of the Hooghly river, as a party 
were silting by a fire which had been kindled for the purpose of 
security: the tiger sprung through the flames, and carried off the 
unfortunate victim in spite of the efforts of his companions, who 
were well provided with fire arms. 

" The number of stragglers taken by tigers from a line of 
march, when troops are proceeding through a close country, would 
surprize persons unaccustomed to such events; three sentries have 
been carried off in one night, besides several camp-followers, who 
fell victims to their impatience in their attempts to get a-head of 
the line, by taking short cuts through the jungles. These become 
extremely dangerous on such occasions, owing to the great noise 
and concourse of persons preceding the troops, which move at an 
early hour in the morning, perhaps at two or three o'clock, and 
forming a constant chain of disturbance to all animals near the 
route, so as to occasion their retiring to some small distance from 
its verge; for, as has been already observed, the tiger will not, 


unless impelled by hunger, attack in an open or frequented situ- 
ation, but quickly avails himself of the opportunity afforded b} f the 
deviating traveller, to secure a prey." 

The tiger will eat nothing but what he destroys himself. The 
hyena, sya-gush, and even the leopard, will, on emergencies, act 
otherwise. The lion, with respect to eating, has the same propensity 
as the tiger, and in many instances they seem to blend something 
noble with their ferocity. These animals generally seem to have 
their own walks in the solitary regions Avhich they inhabit, and 
are seldom seen more than two together. For several miles in ex- 
tent, the Turcaseer forests, in the dry season, are destitute of water. 
There was a pool in a wild part, whither the natives informed us 
the savage race nightly resorted to drink; which they could only 
approach by one narrow pass. One of our eager sportsmen had a 
platform fixed among the branches of a lofty tree overhanging 
this path, where he passed two moon-light nights, and was highly 
gratified with his success. Among the variety of animals which 
went to the water, he saw five royal tigers marching together, 
which the Indians reckon a very extraordinary circumstance. 

I mentioned the rhinoceros in the menagerie at the Cape of 
Good Hope; it is not uncommon in some of the Bengal provinces, 
and other parts of Hindostan frequented by the wild elephant, 
with whom it often has a desperate engagement: but as these 
animals are seldom seen to the westward of the Ganges, I shall 
here only add, that the skin of the rhinoceros is very valuable, 
forming shields said to be impenetrable to a musket ball: the 
foot is also highly esteemed by the Indians for medicinal pur- 
poses; and, exclusive of other useful properties, a cup turned from 


the horn of this animal is reputed to be an effectual antidote to 
poison. I have one of the largest and most beautiful I ever met 
with, being thirteen inches in circumference, though not turned 
from the thickest part of the horn. There can be little doubt of 
the rhinoceros being the unicorn of scripture; the questions in the 
book of Job perfectly correspond with his habits. " Will the 
unicorn be willing to serve thee, will he abide by thy crib? canst 
thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow, or will he har- 
row the valleys after thee? wilt thou trust him because his strength 
is great, or wilt thou leave thy labour to him? wilt thou believe 
him that he will bring home thy seeds, and gather it into thy 

Next to the rhinoceros and buffalo, the wild boar is perhaps 
one of the most ferocious animals in India; and not only fierce, 
but so swift, that few of the savage tribes afford more variety of 
diversion to sportsmen. Their chief abode is in the jungles and 
forests; but when the grain is nearly ripe they do great mischief 
in the corn-fields, especially in sugar plantations, as they are ex- 
tremely fond of the sugar-cane. The sows have very large litters 
of pigs, which are soon able to shift for themselves. There is a 
great variety in the form and colour of the wild hogs: the former 
varies according to the season. When the sugar-cane is full of juice, 
and the corn ripe, the hog is large and heavy; during a scarcity 
of food, he becomes meagre, light, and grim. When hunted in 
the proper season, we frequently had a young boar barbacued, or 
roasted with spices and madeira wine, in a sylvan style of cookery, 
which afforded a sumptuous feast. The largest boars are from 
three to four feet high at the shoulder; their tusks are five or six 


inches from the sockets; these render them a formidable ad- 

Not only the wild hogs, but bears, porcupines, and many other 
animals are particularly fond of the sugar cane, which supplies 
them with food and beverage of a delicious kind ; and as they also 
afford a cool retreat in hot weather, their incursions are attended 
with incalculable mischief. Bears abound in many mountain- 
ous tracts of Hindostan: its natural history is too well known to 
need a description; but captain Williamson mentions some traits 
in their character of less publicity. This gentleman says it has 
often been in his way to see the operation of bears, and he is con- 
fident that no animals are more cruel, more fierce, nor more impla- 
cable. Such as have suffered under their brutality have, in all in- 
stances within his knowledge, borne the proofs of having un- 
dergone the most dilatory torments, some having their bones 
macerated with little breaking of the skin, with others the flesh 
was sucked away into long fibrous remnants, and in one instance 
the most horrid brutality was displayed. 

Whilst stationed at Dacca, captain Williamson w r ent with a 
party several times to Tergong, about five miles from thence. They 
had on many occasions seen bears among the wild mango tops, and 
did not consider them so dangerous, until one day returning with 
another gentleman from hunting some hog-deer, ihey heard a most 
lamentable outcry in the cover through which they had to pass. 
Being provided with guns and spears they alighted, not doubting 
but a leopard was attacking some poor wood-cutter. They met a 
poor woman, whose fears had deprived her of speech, and whose 
senses were just flitting; she however collected herself sufficiently 


to pronounce the word bauloo, which signifies a bear. She led 
them with caution to a spot not more than fifty yards distant, 
where they found her husband extended on the ground, his hands 
and feet sucked, and chewed into a perfect pulp; the teguments 
of the limbs in general drawn from under the skin, and the skull 
mostly laid bare; the skin of it hanging down in long strips, ob- 
viously effected by the talons. What was most wonderful, the un- 
happy man retained his senses sufficiently to describe that he had 
been attacked by several bears, the woman said seven; one of 
which had embraced him while the others clawed him about the 
head and bit at his arms and legs, seemingly in competition for 
the booty. The gentlemen conveyed the wretched object to the 
house; where, in a few hours, death released him from a state in 
which no human being could afford the smallest assistance! 


. . .. 


'//./,/,„ M :::-//-, ' ■/^/•.v/-// 



OF guzerat: 
an account of the religious brahmins in those sacred 


with reflections on their extraordinary 

character and general conduct. 


'/ Travellers are often censured for enumerating what are called trifling occurrences : the cen- 
sure appears to be unjjist ; trifling occurrences are often very amusing, and lead to important specu- 
lations. Every man of sense and observation must see, as he passes through a foreign country, 
some characteristic and singular circumstances, which cannot fail to please in the recital. Truth 
only is required : and truth, told with judgment and delicacy, will sufficiently recommend the 
narrative." Vicesimus Knox. 



Appointment to Dhuboy — revenue of the purgunna — peninsula of Gu- 
zerat — revenues of that province — general division of Hindostan— 
city of Dhuboy — inhabitants — tank — aqueduct — festivity at the 
commencement of the rains — sacred groves — durbar — mischievous 
monkeys — curious anecdote of their agency — setting in of the moon- 
soon — beauty and fertility of the surrounding country — Powa- 
ghurr — source of the Nerbitdda — story of Narmada from the Hin- 
doo mythology — address to Narmada — ablutions of the Hindoos — 
uncharitableness of the brahmins — goddess of the poor — recluse 
brahmins of Dhuboy — missionaries from the church of Rome in In- 
dia requests of the brahmins — metempsychosis — high privileges 
of the brahmins — lots estate of the Chandala caste — cruelty of the 
Jaina brahmins — account of the Jainas — extraordinary penance 
of a brahmechary — singular anecdotes of religious Hindoos — Maho- 
medan persecutions — extracts from colonel Wilks' history of My- 
sore— adudnist ration of justice in British India — panchaiet, or 
Indian jury —contradictions in the Hindoo character — distinction 
of castes explained — worshippers of Siva — mystical poetry of the 
Asiatics — comments by Sir William Jones — sublimity of the book 
of Job — walls and towers of Dhuboy — western colonnade — compa- 
rison between the porticos at Dhuboy and Pompeia — city of Pom- 
peia — Roman villa near its entrance— expence of the Dhuboy for- 
tifications — city gates — gate of Diamonds, a general resort of the 
inhabitants — the woman of Samaria — anecdote of Angelica Kauff- 

man — lines on a celebrated picture by Guercino — Serpents at Dhu- 
boij — guardians to Nero — story of the origin and magnificence of 
Dim boy — its destruction by the Mahomedans, and subsequent his- 
tory — custom of giving a new name to oriental cities — Dhuboy sur- 
rounded by the Mahratta army — official information relating to 
the purgunna of Dhuboy, Zinore, and Bhaderpoor- — their revenues, 
commerce and agriculture briefly stated — the principal towns in 
those districts — reason for inserting the preceding documents. 









When Dhuboy was made winter quarters for the Bombay army, 
during the Mahratta campaign in 1775, I little thought it would 
so soon belong to the East India Company, and that I should be 
entrusted with its government; a situation to which I was ap- 
pointed in 1780, on its being surrendered to general Goddard, in 
command of the detachment from the Bengal army. 

Dhuboy is the capital of a purgunna, or district, of the same 
name, in the province of Guzerat which contains eighty-four villages, 
and yields a revenue of four lacs of rupees, about fifty thousand 
pounds sterling per annum. The peninsula of Guzerat, two hun- 
dred miles long, and an hundred and forty broad, is formed by 
the Arabian sea on one side, and the gulph of Cambay on the 
other, extending inland in a north and east direction. From ils 
numerous ports and commercial advantages, the sea-coast contains 
as great a variety of castes and religions as any part of Hindos- 
tan. The revenues of this soubah, or province, in the reign of 
Aurungzebe, at the beginning of the eighteenth century, amounted 
annually to one hundred and fifty lacs of rupees, or one million 
eight hundred thousand pounds sterling. Akber, the greatest of 
the Mogul emperors, divided Hindostan into eleven soubahs, or 


grand divisions; subdivided into smaller provinces, called circars; 
each circar contained a number of districts, or purgunnas; three 
of those purgunnas, in the soubah of Guzerat, Dhuboy, Zinore, 
and Bhaderpoor, with the little district of Chandode, were placed 
under my management as collector of the revenues for the India 

The city of Dhuboy, upwards of two miles in extent, forms 
nearly a square ; fortified in the Indian manner, with a high wall 
and fifty-two irregular towers. At each angle is a round tower, 
surmounted by a cavalier bastion. In the centre of each face is 
a double gate of hewn stone, richly ornamented, with a spacious 
area between them. Dhuboy at that time contained only forty 
thousand inhabitants: the magnificent remains of public build- 
ings, and the site of numerous houses in a ruinous state, indicate 
it to have been, at a former period, a place of great importance, 
and much more populous. 

Within the walls is a lank lined with hewn stone, and a flight 
of steps all around, three quarters of a mile in circumference; 
part of it was then much out of repair: its first cost exceeded five 
lacs of rupees, or sixty thousand pounds. This magnificent re- 
servoir is supplied with water, not only by the periodical rains, but 
also from receptacles without the walls, by means of a stone aque- 
duct communicating with the tank; which it enters under a small 
temple in the hallowed groves of the brahmins, forming a cascade 
with a picturesque effect. 

The opening this aqueduct at the commencement of the rainy 
season, affords a festival to the inhabitant for several days: like 
the Egyptians at the annual rising of the Nile, they make religious 


processions to the temples, and perform their flowery sacrifices in 
the surrounding groves. The elders look on with complacency, 
younger females dance on the banks, while the boys rush into the 
foaming cataract, and swim about the lake. This annual supply 
of water is far more beneficial than the gifts of Bacchus in other 
countries; the peasants and their cattle here assuage their thirst 
in seasons of drought, when the surrounding reservoirs fail, and 
the small rivers are generally exhausted. 

These dances Avere less formal, and more active than any I 
had seen in India, unlike those of the dancing-girls, and little re- 
sembling the English country-dance; the tune and figure seemed 
both unstudied; and the songs which accompanied them, like the 
rhapsodies of the Italian improvisatore, or those of their own Bhauts 
and minstrels, were all extemporaneous effusions. The dances on 
this occasion reminded me of those mentioned in scripture, when 
" Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in 
her hand, and the women went out after her, with timbrels and 
dances:" or perhaps they were more like those which Lady Wort- 
ley Montague describes among the modern Greeks; " whose man- 
ner of dancing is certainly the same that Diana is said to have 
danced on the banks of Eurotas. The great lady still leads the 
dance; and is followed by a troop of young girls, who imitate her 
steps, and if she sings, make up the chorus. The tunes are ex- 
tremely gay and lively, yet with something in them wonderfully 
soft. The steps are varied, according to the pleasure of her who 
leads the dance, but always in exact time; and infinitely more 
agreeable than any of our dances." 

During these festive rites the brahmins offer sacrifices, in the 


temples and adjoining groves, to their different deities; espe- 
cially to Isa the god of nature, and Indra, who presides over 
the seasons. 

In whose sweet garden tower'd a giant tree ; 
Rock-rooted, on a mountain-top, it grew, 
Reared its unrivall'd head on high, 
And stretch'd a thousand branches o'er the sky, 

Di inking with all its leaves celestial dew. 
Lo ! where from thence, as from a living well. 
A thousand torrents flow ! 
For still in one perpetual shower, 
Like diamond-drops, ethereal waters fell 
From every leaf of all its ample bower. 

There Indra sat upon his throne reclin'd, 

Where Devetas adore him; 
The lute of Nared, warbling on the wind, 
AH tones of magic harmony combin'd, 
To please his heav'nly mind, 
While the dark-eyed Asparas dane'd before him." Kehama. 

The durbar, or governor's mansion at Dhuboy, where I resided, 
with its courts and garden, occupied seven acres; it was almost 
surrounded by the lake, except near the principal gate, commu- 
nicating with the town; a pavement of large flat stones admirably 
united, formed a dry walk at all seasons, above the steps of the 
tank, shaded in most parts by lofty trees, and adorned with fra- 
grant shrubs; through which only a few houses and towers on the 
walls were visible; so that from the windows of the durbar, overlook- 
ing the lake, every thing had more the appearance of a rural vil- 
lage, than a fortified city. Near the Durbar was a small woody 


island affording a nightly roost for cranes, kites and crows ; and 
shelter for a number of those immense bats, not improperly called 
flying-foxes. To finish this picturesque scene a ruined Hindoo 
temple, nearly covered with moss, and the clematis in great variety, 
terminated the terrace walk in the garden, where the animal 
creation had hitherto been so unmolested, that my orange and lime 
trees were filled by peacocks, doves, and bulbuls ; monkeys and 
squirrels feasted on my pomegranates and custard-apples; while 
pelicans, spoon-bills, and other aquatic birds occupied the lake. 

The intrusion of the monkeys I could have dispensed with; 
their numbers were often formidable, and their depredations 
serious. I believe there were as many monkeys as human inha- 
bitants in Dhuboy ; the roofs and upper part of the houses seemed 
entirely appropriated to their accommodation. While the dur- 
bar was repairing, on my first arrival, I resided a short time in one 
of the public streets; the back of the house was separated by a 
narrow court from that of a principal Hindoo. It being the shady 
side, I generally retired during the heat of the afternoon to a ve- 
randa, and reposed on a sofa, with my book; small pieces of mor- 
tar and tiles frequently fell about me, to which, supposing them to 
be occasioned by an eddy ofwind,Ipaid no attention; until one day, 
when I was so much annoyed by their repetition, accompanied by 
an uncommon noise, and a blow from a larger piece of tile than usual, 
that I arose to discover the cause; and, to my astonishment, saw the 
opposite roof covered with monkeys, employed in assaulting the 
white stranger, who had unwittingly offended by intruding so 
near their domain. Although my new situation invested me with 
considerable power, and made me the first man in the city, yet as 

VOL. II. 2 Q 


J knew T could neither make reprisals nor expect quarter from 
the enemy, I judged it most prudent to abandon my lodging, and 
secure a retreat. 

I do not imagine the inhabitants of Dhuboy protect the mon- 
keys from any other motive than humanity to the brute creation, 
and their general belief in the metempsychosis; but in Malabar, 
and several other parts of India, Dr. Fryer's assertion is very true, 
that " to kill one of these apes the natives hold piacular; calling 
" them half men; and saying they once were men, but for their 
" laziness had tails given them, and hair to cover them. Towards 
" Ceylon they are deified; and at the straits of Balagat they pay 
" them tribute." 

I cannot omit mentioning one singular employment in which the 
monkeys of Dhuboy are engaged. I believe among the higher castes 
of the Hindoos duelling is everywhere unknown, and the lower classes 
are equally ignorant of the art of boxing; but as even Hindoos do 
quarrel, though they do not often lose their temper, one principal 
mode of offence is that of abuse; not by calling a man a rascal or 
a villain, for that would neither lessen him in his own opinion, 
nor in that of society; but to abuse his mother, his wife, his sister, 
or his daughter, would be esteemed the grossest insult, and only 
to be reconciled by a more abusive retaliation. If that is not ac- 
complished, it remains a subject for future revenge, which brings 
me to the point in question respecting the Dhuboy monkeys, who 
are the innocent agents of this revenge. 

Previous to the commencement of the periodical rains, about 
the middle of June, it is customary to turn the tiles on the roofs 
of all the houses in the towns and villages in Hindostan, both of 


Europeans and natives. These tiles are not fixed with mortar, 
but are regularly laid one over the other, and by being adjusted 
immediately before the setting in of the rains, they keep the roof 
dry during that period; after which their being misplaced is of 
little consequence, in a climate where not a shower falls for 
eight months together. At this critical juncture, when the tiles 
have just been turned, and the first heavy rain is hourly expected, 
the injured person, who has secretly vowed revenge against his ad- 
versary, repairs by night to his house, and contrives to strew over 
the roof a quantity of rice, or other grain ; this is early discovered 
by the monkeys, who assemble in a large body to pick up this 
favourite food: when, finding much of it fallen between the tiles, 
they make no ceremony of nearly unroofing the house, when no 
turners of tiles are procurable; nor can any remedy be applied 
to prevent the torrents of rain from soaking through the cow-dung 
floors, and ruining the furniture and depositories of grain, which 
are generally formed of unbaked earth, dried and rubbed over 
with cow-dung. 

I have formerly described the severity of the setting in of the 
south-west moonsoon, when I was with the Mahratta army, a few 
miles from Dhuboy. I afterwards resided there several years dur- 
ing the rainy season; although in those months there were many 
delightful intervals of fair weather, yet the commencement and 
breaking up of the moonsoon was generally very severe: it was 
then 1 understood the force and beauty of Elihu's speech to Job, 
which is not so easily conceived in Europe. " Behold God is 
great, and we know him not! he thundereth with the voice of his 
excellency, and sendeth his lightning to the ends of the earth: 


great things cloth he, which we cannot comprehend, for he saith 
to the snow, be thou upon the earth: likewise to the small rain and 
the great rain of his strength." 

The upper terrace of the durbar overlooked the garden, the 
lake, and all its surrounding embellishments; consisting of rich 
groves, embowering Hindoo temples, Mahomedan mosques, and 
costly tombs of the principal Mussulmans. Beyond the city walls 
was seen a landscape replete with populous villages, luxuriant corn- 
fields, herds of oxen, flocks of sheep and goats, and a numerous 
peasantry, employed in agriculture: this charming plaiu was ter- 
minated on the north-east by the mountain ofPowa-Gur, one of the 
strong-holds of the Mahratta empire; of a stupendous height, diffi- 
cult ascent, and completely fortified at the summit. This majestic 
eminence is connected with a chain of hills, stretching eastward, 
until they join the mountains beyond the Nerbudda; that ferti- 
lizing stream which begins its course many hundred miles off, in a 
mountainous region on the confines of the Bengal proviuces; and 

flowing: from thence in a narrow channel to the falls near Chan- 

dode, there expands into a noble river, still increasing in size until 
it washes the walls of Baroche, and becomes navigable for large 
vessels to the gulph of Cambay. 

Powa-gur is with great reason supposed to be the Tiagur, or 
Tiagura, of Ptolemy: though he there mistakes the river Narmada, 
or Nerbudda, for the D'had'hara, or Dahder, a contiguous stream 
often mentioned in these volumes. The Nerbudda, the Narmada 
of the Greeks, takes its rise in the mountains of Pindara, a wild 
and barbarous country. Near its source, the Hindoos erected a 
temple called Omercuntuc, which at stated times is much resorted 


to by pilgrims. In 1795 captain Blunt was sent to explore a route 
through that part of Hindostan, which lies between Berar, Orissa, 
and the northern Circars: he then approached within a few miles of 
the source of this celebrated river, but the cruel and savage man- 
ners of the mountaineers prevented him from proceeding nearer. 
He however obtained the most satisfactory information that the 
Nerbudda and Soane rivers take their rise at a little distance from 
each other, near the temple of Omercuntuc, where the Hindoos 
worship the consort of Siva, whom Sir William Jones, in his trea- 
tise on the gods of Greece, Italy, and India, mentions as being- 
distinguished by the names of Parvati, or the mountain-born 
goddess; Durga, or difficult of access; and Bhavani, or the 
goddess of fecundity; which latter is her leading name at Omer- 
cuntuc. The temple which contains the moorat, or image of Bha- 
vani, was built by one of the ancient rajahs of Rutturpoor, the 
principal place in that country. 

" The spring from which the Nerbudda takes its source, is said 
to be enclosed by a circular wall, which was built by a man of the 
name of Rewah, and on that account the river is called Maht 
Rewah, from its source all through Mundilla, until it reaches the 
confines of Bhopaul." 

From the classical streams of ancient Greece, to Pope's Lo- 
dona, rivers, fountains, and naiads, have afforded a copious sub- 
ject for poetical fiction; the Nerbudda and the Soane, with poor 
Johilla, have in like manner enriched the Hindoo mythology : for 
the same intelligent writer informs us, that the images at Omercun- 
tuc are said to represent Bhavani, (who is there worshipped un- 
der the symbol of Nermada, or the Nerbudda river) much enraged 


at her slave Johilla, and a great variety of attendants preparing a 
nuptial banquet; to which a romantic fable is attached. Soane, a 
demi-god, being enamoured with the extreme beauty of Narmada, 
after a tedious courtship presumed to approach the goddess, in 
hopes of accomplishing the object of his wishes by espousing her. 
Narmada sent her slave Johilla to observe in what state he was 
coming; and, if arrayed in jewels, of lovely form and dignity, or 
worthy to become her consort, to conduct him to Omercuntuc. 
Johilla departed, met with Soane, and was so dazzled with the 
splendor of his ornaments and extreme beaut}', that she fell pas- 
sionately in love with him, and so far forgot her duty, as to attempt 
to personate her mistress; in which succeeding, Narmada was so 
enraged at the deceit, that, upon their arrival at Omercuntuc, she 
severely chastised Johilla, and disfigured her face in the manner 
said to be represented on the image. She then precipitated Soane 
from the top of the mountain to the bottom, whence that river 
rises; disappeared herself in the very spot where the Nerbudda 
issues; and from the tears of Johilla a little river of that name 
springs at the foot of Omercuntuc. 

Such is the fabulous source of the Nerbudda, on whose banks 
I had a beautiful villa, and extensive gardens; in whose rural 
villages, shady groves, and holy island, I have enjoyed many de- 
lightful parties; and by a residence of seven years, generally 
within view of its bold meanders, have occasion to recollect many 
local circumstances with peculiar pleasure. The fate of Nerbudda 
is in many respects similar to that of Lodona, the chaste nymph 
of Diana, who, with her virgins, had for a season forsaken the 
haunts of mount Cynthus for the shades of Windsor: the meta- 


morphosis of the former was the effect of enraged jealousy, that 
of the latter was exerted for the protection of chastity. Oriental 
and occidental poets are allowed the same privilege, and the man 
of taste enjoys their pleasing fictions. Narmada graces the Hin- 
doo mythology, Pope has immortalized Lodona. 

I shall, for the present, take leave of the Nerbudda with Beas 
Muni's address to her in the character of the goddess Narmada, 
extracted from the Vayer Purana, and presented by the pundits 
of Ruttonpoor to captain Blunt. " O Narmada! glorious as the 
sun and moon are thine eyes; but the eye in thy forehead blazes 
like fire: bearing in thy hand a spear like the tresul, and resting 
on the breast of Byroe. The blood of Anduk is dried up in thy pre- 
sence; thy weuson (a sort of snow) is the dispeller of dread from 
the human race: Brahma and Siva resound thy praises ; mortals 
adore thee. The Munis reverence thee; dewas (demi-gods) and 
hindras (angels) are thy progeny: thou art united with the ocean; 
thou art descended from Surya. By thee are mortals sanctified. 
Thou dispeller of want, thou increasest the prosperity of those 
Avho perform their devotions to thee. By thee are mortals directed 
to the blissful regions, and taught to avoid the mansions of punish- 
ment: thou art also Reba, a child of Hemala, the mountain of 
snow! Narmada answered, O Muni! thy words are perfect, and 
thy heart is pure: be thou chief of Munis! By reading this a 
man's life will be lengthened, his happiness and fame increased, 
and his progeny multiplied." 

The affection of the Hindoos for lakes and rivers has been 
mentioned; in no part of Hindostan are they more venerated than 
at Dhuboy, Zinore, and Chandode; where I so often resided, en- 


circled by the sacred groves and temples of the brahmins. The 
ablutions, strongly enforced in the Hindoo religion, are wise in- 
junctions. Bathing is not only one of the most refreshing plea- 
sures in a hot climate, but purity of body is supposed to be nearly 
connected with purity of soul: thus thought many of the ancient 
sages and philosophers ; and in the sacrament of Christian bap- 
tism the one is typical of the other. I am willing to believe that 
acceptable prayers and praises ascend to heaven from the ablu- 
tions of the innocent Musnavi brahmin, who rising with the early 
dawn, washes himself in the holy stream of the Ganges, the Indus, 
or the Nerbudda; waiting for the appearance of the celestial lumi- 
nary over the eastern hills, to worship Om, the Great Invisible, 
who through this agency gives light, and life, and joy to his crea- 
tion: but emotions of pity and of blame are mingled with our ap- 
probation when we behold these eastern philosophers worshipping 
God themselves in his unity, and at the same time sanctioning 
and teaching polytheism among all the other tribes of Hindoos; 
and saying to the poor Soodra and Chandala, " stand off, for I am 
holier than thou." 

I know not whether these humiliated castes are permitted to 
worship any of the higher order of the Hindoo deities: Marialalee, 
peculiarly styled the goddess of the Poor, is said to be composed of 
two distinct properties, the virtues of a goddess, and the vices of a 
criminal, from a monstrous union of impurity and virtue having 
accidentally happened by mistake, as particularly recorded in the 
Hindoo legends. Sonnerat says, Mariatalee is the great goddess of 
the Parias; to honour her they have a custom of dancing with 
several pots of water on their heads, placed one above another: 


these pots are adorned with the leaves of the margosies, a tree con- 
secrated to her. Southey in the " Curse of Kehama," has happily 
availed himself of this circumstance in saving the interesting 

Near to the holy river's verdant brink. 
The sculptur'd form of Mariatalee stood ; 
It was an idol roughly hewn of wood, 

Artless, and poor, and rude. 
The goddess of the poor was she; 
None else regarded her wilh piety. 
But when that holy image Kailyal view'd, 
To that she sprung, to that she clung, 
On her own goddess, with close-clasping arms, 
For life the maiden hung. 

Dhuboy was chiefly inhabited by brahmins of different orders; 
some of them were actively employed among the other castes of 
Hindoos; numbers seemed to pass their lives in a state of religious 
indolence, and an apparent abstraction from sublunary objects, 
like the devotees at Seringham, described by the elegant Orme, 
" living in a subordination which knows no resistance, and slum- 
bering in a voluptuousness which knows no wants." The brah- 
mins of Dhuboy repose from morning till night under the trees 
which border their sacred lake, meditating on the Institutes of Menu, 
or bewildering themselves with the Avatars of Vishnu; nine in- 
carnations of that deity, which form an interesting part of the 
Hindoo mythology. 

In the inner court of the durbar at Dhuboy, into which my 
front veranda opened, an altar had been erected under a shady 

VOL. II. 2 R 


pepal-tree (ficus religiosa) which I carefully preserved ; a hollow- 
cavity on the top contained the tulsee, or tulsi, (ocymum) a sacred 
plant of the Hindoos, to which they frequently resorted; as also 
to a few of their dii penates, which were left in the surrounding 
niches; it was a scene nearly resembling that of Priam's palace 
in Troy. 

" jEdibus in mediis, nudoque sub setheris axe, 
" Ingens ara fuit, juxtaque veterrima laurus 
" Incumbens arae, atque umbra complexa penates. Vieg. VEn. 

" In the centre of the court, and under the naked canopy of heaven, stood a large altar; 
" and near it an aged laurel, overhanging the altar, and encircling the household gods with 
" its shade." 

I sometimes almost envied these peaceful Hindoos the plea- 
sure they enjoyed in the performance of their religious duties, and 
the delights of social worship; in my solitary situation I felt, for 
near four years together, a privation of all the sacred ordinances 
of Christianity, and from attendance on public worship. During 
that period I had very little communication with Europeans, and 
no personal intercourse with one kindred mind: in such situations 
the Christian can happily experience, in some degree, the conso- 
lations so sweetly mentioned by the pious Cowper in a letter to a 
religious friend in a foreign country : 

" Ah ! be not sad, although thy lot be cast 
" Far from the flock, and in a dreary waste; 
" No shepherds' tents within thy view appear, 
" But the chief Shepherd is for ever near: 
" Thy tender sorrows, and thy plaintive strain, 
' ' Flow in a foreign land, but not in vain : 


" Thy tears all issue from a source divine, 

" And every drop bespeaks a Saviour thine ! 

" 'Twas thus in Gideon's fleece the dews were found, 

" And drought on all the drooping herbs around." 

In the southern parts of India, as I have frequently observed* 
are abundance of churches, and thousands of Roman-catholic 
Christians, who are generally converts from the lowest castes of 
Hindoos. In Guzerat there are very few of that persuasion, 
and none in this part of the province: among their priests and 
missionaries are liberal and intelligent men, but these are not 
numerous. Far be it from me to cast a reflection upon any 
religious profession, particularly on missionaries from a Christian 
society; but certainly those of the Romish church do not ap- 
pear to have sown the seeds of that gospel which Paul planted 
and Apollos watered, and to which so great an increase was 
given in the days of the apostles. I would not pass an un- 
charitable censure, but we well know there may be zeal without 
knowledge; the excellent, the liberal Bernier, who was a member 
of their own church, thus writes of the missionaries during his 
residence in India in the seventeenth century. 

" Je ne scaurois certainement que je n'approuve extremement 
" les missions et lest bons missionaires, et entant qu'ils sont le re- 
" fuge et la consolation des pauvres etrangers et voyageurs, et que 
" par leur science, vie retenue et exemplaire, ils confondent l'igno- 
" ranee et la vie libertine des infidelles; ce que ne font pas tou- 
" jours quelques autres qui seroient bien mieux dans leurs couvens 
" bien resserrez, au lieu de nous venir faire dans ces pais une 
" momerie de notre religion, et qui par leur ignorance, jalousie, 


" vie libertine, el abus de leur authorite et caractere, se font les 
" pierres de scandale de la loi de Jesus-Christ : mais cela n'empeche 
" pas que je n'approuve extremement les missions, el les bons 
" et savans missionaires; ils sont absolumenl necessaires." 

There was not a Christian inhabitant either in Dhuboy or the 
districts under my care; the Mahomedans were in all respects 
similar to those 1 have described in other places, and the Hin- 
doos brought to my recollection the simplicity of the patriarchal 
age; they had not been accustomed to any intercourse with 
Europeans, and while under the Mahomedan dominion their reli- 
gious and national customs were generally tolerated. Soon after 
my arrival some venerable brahmins and principal Hindoos en- 
treated of me that the Europeans belonging to the garrison might 
not be permitted to molest the monkeys, nor to fire at the pelicans, 
cranes, and water-fowl, which resorted to the lake. They not 
only dwelt upon the metempsychosis, but alleged that they were 
extremely useful in keeping the city and tank free from dirt and 
nuisances, and that for ages, even during the Mahomedan govern- 
ment, they had never been molested. It was a capital offence in 
ancient Egypt to kill an ibis or an hawk; the former was vene- 
rated because it devoured the serpents and reptiles which bred in 
ihe country after the inundation of the Nile: the inhabitants of 
Holland are as strongly attached to the stork, because it destroys 
the rats, mice, and other vermin which undermine the dykes. 
Supposing therefore that the Hindoos had similar reasons for their 
prejudice in favour of monkeys and pelicans, I readily granted 
their request; and this compliance led to another of far more im- 
portance, and indeed to the greatest favour I could confer upon 


them; which was, that I would issue an order that no ox or cow 
might be killed in the city, nor the flesh publicly exposed to sale. 
They said they knew the English soldiers would have beef where 
it was procurable; but as those animals were esteemed sacred, 
and none had ever been killed in Dhuboy during the Hindoo 
government, nor had a Mahomedan ever dared to offer such an 
offence, they hoped, if I could not entirely suppress the slaughter, 
that I would keep the whole matter as private as possible during 
the hours of darkness. It would have been cruel as well as im- 
politic to have refused them so innocent and reasonable a request. 
I only wished the rest of my countrymen there had been as indif- 
ferent to this part of their food as myself, and their feelings should 
not have been wounded. I made some fruitless attempts to reason 
with the brahmins on the necessity of killing animals intended for 
food ; they opposed the doctrine of the metempsychosis to all my 
arguments, and would neither admit the truth nor beauty of Pope's 
more rational system. 

" The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to day, 
" Had he thy reason, would he skip and play? 
" Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flowery food, 
" And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood." 

According to Herodotus, the ancient Egyptians believed, that on 
the dissolution of the body, the soul immediately entered into some 
other animal, and that after using as vehicles every species of 
terrestrial, aquatic, and winged creatures, it finally entered a second 
time into the human body; and that it underwent all these changes 
in the space of three thousand years. Very similar to these ideas, 


are the reveries of the modern brahmins, with whom I found it 
fruitless to argue upon the metempsychosis or any religious sub- 
ject; their pride and self-sufficiency militated against every attempt 
to convince them of their errors. The brahmins of Malabar 
usually treated such kinds of conversation with arrogance and 
contempt: those at Dhuboy affected either an air of superiority, 
or indifference. Indeed these extraordinary beings are so highly 
exalted in the institutes of Menu, that it is almost impossible it 
should be otherwise; for thus sailh this celebrated Hindoo law- 

" From his high birth alone, a brahmin is an object of vene- 
ration, even to deities; his declarations to mankind are decisive 
evidence; and the Veda itself confers on him that character. Never 
shall the king slay a brahmin, though convicted of all possible 
crimes; let him banish the offender from his realm, but with all 
his property secure, and his body unhurt. Although brahmins 
employ themselves in all sorts of mean occupations, they must 
invariably be honoured; for they are something transcendently 

Such were doubtless, in their own estimation, the brahmins at 
Dhuboy, who reposed under the solemn groves, or offered sacrifices 
in their temples. But how shall I describe the poor out-cast Chan- 
dalas, who were not allowed to have a habitation within the city 
walls, and were compelled to live in wretched huts at a distance 
from the western gate! which, on that account, was seldom fre- 
quented by the other tribes; while the gate of diamonds, on the 
eastern face, was the resort of the zemindars, banians, and 
chief men of the city. I have described the abject condition of 


of these Chandalas and Pariars at Bombay and Malabar; it will 
scarcely be believed by a liberal-minded European, that the very 
same code of the benevolent Menu, which deifies the brahmins, thus 
condemns to perpetual and hereditary ignominy, the poor Chan- 
dala, created by the same God, and born as pure and as innocent 
as the brahmin. 

" The abode of the Chandalas must be out of the town; they 
must not have the use of entire vessels; their sole wealth must be 
dogs and asses. Their clothes must be mantles of the deceased; 
their dishes for food, broken pots; their ornaments rusty iron; and 
continually must the} r roam from place to place. Let food be given 
to them in potsherds, but not by the hands of the giver; and let them 
not walk by night in cities or towns." 

It cannot be supposed that with a set of men who preached 
and practised such doctrines, and encouraged their followers to do 
the same, my authority or arguments should have much influence. 
I did indeed wish to redress the grievances of the Chandalas, but 
I found it in vain to combat with the prejudices of a whole city; 
prejudices which are interwoven with every part of the civil and reli- 
gious system of the Hindoos. What a wrong opinion have the 
Europeans, until very lately, formed of the brahmins, and how 
many are there who still see no necessity for introducing among 
them the purity and benevolence of the gospel! But the veil is 
now withdrawn, and men of enlightened minds will make a just 
comparison between the two religions. 

Let us not imagine that because the Hindoos do not admit of 
converts from other religions, they have no dissensions nor schisms 
among themselves; nor that the brahmins are so mild with those 


who differ from them in religious sentiment as they have been re- 
presented. Dr. Buchanan, when speaking of the Jaina in Mysore, 
says that " in a quarrel among the brahmins, the party which ob- 
tained the victory, caused the priests of Jaina, with as many of 
their followers as were obstinate, to be ground to death in oil- 
mills; while the remainder, who were converted by this powerful 
mode of argument, received pardon from the offended brahmins." 
This intelligent traveller further observes, that the houses at Tonoru, 
where this cruelty took place, are roofed with tiles, and covered 
with thorns, to prevent the monkeys from unroofing them, because 
those mischievous animals are very numerous, and to destroy them 
is reckoned a grievous sin. Those very persons who applaud the 
brahmins for having ground the Jainas in an oil-mill, shudder with 
horror at the thought of a monkey being killed. 

These Jainas are a very singular sect among the Hindoos; we 
find in the Asiatic Researches, that there are three classes of yatis, 
or ascetics, in this tribe, called Anuvrata, Mahavrata, Nirvana. 
" To attain the rank of Anuvrata, a man must forsake his family, 
entirely cutting oft' his hair, throwing away the sacred thread, 
holding in his hand a bundle of peacock's feathers, and an earthen 
pot, and wearing only tawny coloured clothes; he must reside 
for some lime in one of the temples. He next proceeds to the 
second rank, Mahavrata; when totally abandoning any degree of 
elegance in his dress, he uses only a rag fastened to a string round 
his loins, as a BraJunachdri: he still retains his fan and pot; he 
must not shave his head with razors, but employs his disciples to 
pull out the hair by the roots. On the day, when this operation is 
performed, he abstains from food; at other times he eats only once 


daily, of rice put in the palm of his hand. Having, for a con- 
siderable time, remained in this state of probation, he attains the 
third degree of Nirvana; he then lays aside even rags; and, being 
perfectly naked, he eats, once every second day, of rice, put by 
others in the palm of his hand; carrying about with him the clay 
pot, and a bundle of peacock's feathers. It is the business of his 
disciples to pull out his hairs; and he is not to walk, or move 
about, after the sun sets. He is now called by the dignified title 
of Nirvan, and the Jainas worship him as god of their tribe, in 
the like manner as the images, which they worship in their temples, 
of their ancient Nirva?is or Guroos. 

" The other Jainas, who have not entered into these religious 
vows, are obliged to abstain from the following things, viz. eating 
at night, slaying an animal; eating the fruit of those trees that 
give milk, pumpkins, young bamboo plants; tasting honey or 
flesh; taking the wealth of others; taking by force a married 
woman; eating flowers, butter, cheese; and worshipping the gods 
of other religions. To abandon entirely the abovementioned, is 
to be a proper Jaina. The Jainas, even the young lads, never 
taste honey, as it would occasion expulsion from their caste; they 
never taste intoxicating liquors, nor any other forbidden drink." 

Such are the penances and privations among the Jainas; in 
Dhuboy I had occasion to witness a thousand similar austerities 
of the devotees who frequented its sacred shrines: but I never 
saw one like the Brahmechary; an account of whom, with his por- 
trait reclining on a bed of iron spikes, was communicated by Mr. 
Duncan, the present governor of Bombay, to the Asiatic Society. 

This wretched fakeer is described as fixing himself on his ser-sejn, 
vol. II. as 


or bed of spikes, where lie constantly day and night remains. 
" To add to what he considers as the merit of this state of mortifi- 
cation, in the hot weather he has often logs of wood burning 
around him; and in the cold season, water falling on his head 
from a perforated pot, placed in a frame at some height above 
him; and } r et he seems contented, and to enjoy good health and 
spirits. Neither do the spikes appear to be in any material degree 
distressing to him, although he uses not the defence of ordinary 
clothing to cover his body, as a protection against them." 

In captain Wilford's essay on the Sacred Isles in the west, com- 
municated to the Society, is a very curious account of some of 
these devotees, taken from the writings of Ctesias, who accom- 
panied Cyrus and the ten thousand Greeks, in his unfortunate ex- 
pedition to Persia. Ctesias was taken prisoner, but being a phy- 
sician he became a great favourite with Artaxerxes Mnemon. In 
describing different conn hies in Hindostan, four hundred years 
before the Christian aera, Ctesias says, ?* beyond the sources of the 
" Sipa-chora, is a tribe of men, who have no evacuations ; they 
" however make a little water occasionally; their food is milk 
" alone, which they know how to prevent from coagulating in their 
" stomachs. In the evening they excite a gentle vomiting, and 
•' throw up the whole." " This strange narrative is not without 
foundation. Many religious people in India, in order to avoid 
the defilement attending the coarser evacuations, take no other 
food but milk; and previous to its turning into fasces, as they say, 
they swallow a small string of cotton; which, on their pulling it 
back, brings up the milk, or those parts of it which they consider 
as the caput mortuum. This they make the credulous believe; 


their disciples are ready to swear to it; and they have even de- 
luded persons otherwise of great respectability. I suppose they 
conceal themselves with great address; and their evacuations 
cannot be very frequent, nor copious; for they really live upon 
nothing else but a very small quantity of milk, though certainly 
more, as I should suppose, than they do acknowledge; and the 
ceremony of the string they perform, occasionally, before a few 
friends. I have known many of these people: they are all her- 
mits, who seldom stir from the place they have fixed upon: there 
is one near the military lines at Sicrowre, near Bernares, on the 
banks of the Burna; but, I believe, he is rather in too good a case 
for a man living upon so scanty an allowance." 

I have perused, with attention and pleasure, colonel Wilks's 
History of Mysore, and have availed myself of his valuable infor- 
mation respecting landed property in India. I admire, through- 
out the work, his philanthropic sentiments towards the Hindoos, 
and gladly subscribe to many of his liberal opinions ; but I can- 
didly confess I cannot admit of all his reasonings on this impor- 
tant subject. In the following extract from the appendix the 
word forcibly is printed in italics. Although my sentiments on the 
cremation of a Hindoo widow, on which that humane and bene- 
volent writer lays so great a stress, may differ, yet I trust our mo- 
tives to promote the happiness of the Hindoos are the same. I 
therefore disclaim every idea of compulsion, or any weak, sinister, 
or improper means for their conversion to Christianity. No force, 
no coercive measures were employed by the Great Founder 
. of our faith, nor by those who immediately followed the steps of 
heir Divine Master. How contrary to that letter from a Makome- 


dan prince in the work now before me, where it is expressly said, 
" slay the infidels without distinction, wheresoever thou canst find 
them" was a power given by the Almighty Avenger to his prophet 
Mahomed, and to no other. But the Christian apostle, the Holy 
Messiah, according to universal admission, was not invested by the 
Almighty with the power of the sword, and never did undertake a 
holy war." The power of working miracles, the supernatural gift 
of languages, and the extraordinary operations of the Holy Spirit, 
sealed the ministry of the first apostles; mild persuasion, impres- 
sive conviction, united to a corresponding life and practice, marked 
the character of the primitive teachers, and were the most power- 
ful engines of proselytism ; their successors in every age, and in 
every nation, must regulate their conduct by such examples, if 
they wish to disseminate the truth of Christianity. 

I admit most of the arguments in the following cmotations ; 
they are too obvious to be mistaken by an unprejudiced mind, 
and convince us of the necessity of blending the wisdom of the 
serpent with the innocence of the dove, in undertaking the great 
work of religious and moral improvement among a people so 
rivetted to ancient usages as the Hindoos. 

" Of the actual system for the administration of justice to the 
native subjects of British India, I wish to speak with respect; because 
it originated and has been continued in the purest intentions. On 
the political question I presume to risk but one short observation. 
It is impossible to separate the political tendency of laws from 
the genius of the government from which they emanate. The 
spirit of the English constitution assigns to the mass of the people 
an extensive control over the exercise of public authority; and 


deems the executive government to be the representative of the 
public will. This spirit pervades the whole body of its laws; these 
laws necessarily reflect back, and reproduce the principles from 
which they spring: and it is matter for grave reflection, that if 
this species of reaction should ever be produced in India, from 
that moment it is lost to this country for ever. The efficient pro- 
tection of our native subjects in all the rights which they them- 
selves consider to be essential to their happiness, is certainly the 
most sacred and imperious of all our duties; and it is on this ex- 
press ground that our present regulations, considered as a system 
of jurisprudence for the south of India, appear to me to require 
a radical reform. 

" The English civil code professes to govern the Hindoos by 
their own laws: the distinction of castes, which is absolutely the 
key-stone of Hindoo law, has unfortunately either not been recog- 
nized at all in our laws and regulations, or indirectly treated with 
contempt; thus insulting the higher, without gratifying the lower 
classes; and, added to the novelty of our forms, exciting in both 
the apprehension of further change. It would be absurd and un- 
just to impute to the authors of this system the intention of pro- 
selytism; and it can only be lamented that it has contributed, 
among other causes, to produce the belief of such an intention. 
But if, as some publications give reason to believe, such views 
have really been entertained by other persons, it will be incum- 
bent on sober thinkers seriously to consider that, exclusively of the 
excess of visionary folly, it is a most unmanly, ungenerous, and 
unchristian deception, to veil this object under the pretext of re- 
specting the civil and religious customs and prejudices of the 


people; for all their prejudices, all their opinions, and all their 
customs, from the most trifling to the most important, are abso- 
lutely incorporated with their religion, and ought all to be held 

" The founder of a philosophical Utopia would certainly reject 
with abhorrence a system which tends to enslave the human 
mind, and to entail hereditary degradation on a large portion of his 
citizens. But we are not here discussing a speculative theory ; 
the objects in our contemplation are not metaphysical entities to 
be moulded into ideal forms; but human beings, already fixed 
in stubborn and immoveable prejudices, to which any system 
founded in wisdom and humanity must necessarily conform. It is 
not the question, it never can be a question, whether the English 
or the Hindoo code of religion and jurisprudence be entitled to 
the preference; but whether the Hindoo law and religion, for they 
are one and the same, are, or are not, to be maintained, or whe- 
ther we are at liberty to invade both. If we profess to govern the 
Hindoos by their own laws, let us not falsify that profession by 
tearing them up by the roots, on the pretence of pruning and 
amending them. They are no longer Hindoo if they are subject 
to innovation. Before quitting this branch of the subject, it may 
be useful (for the sake of illustration) to examine the reasonable- 
ness of interfering with the most exceptionable of all their institu- 
tions. It has been thought an abomination not to be tolerated, 
that a widow should immolate herself on the funeral pile of her 
deceased husband. But what judgment should we pronounce on 
the Hindoo, who (if any of our institutions admitted the parallel) 
should forcibly pretend to stand between a Christian and the hope 



of eternal salvation? And shall we not hold him to be a driveller 
in politics and morals, a fanatic in religion, and a pretender to huma- 
nity, who would forcibly wrest this hope from the Hindoo widow? 
To return to the question of caste. To equalize them is impos- 
sible; to attempt it, offensive beyond all endurance to those whom 
we would exalt, as well as to those whom we would debase; and if 
we possessed the power, to exercise it would be a gross and into- 
lerable oppression. That our regulations, where they do extend, 
and where they have not yet reached, are considered with terror 
as the instruments of a foreign rule, and that the Hindoos neither 
do nor can feel that they are governed by their own laws, seems 
to have been distinctly foreseen by that able and learned officer, 
major Leith, judge advocate general, who aided in the first com- 
pilation of the judicial regulations of Fort St. George. In a pre- 
liminary report he deprecates the idea of sudden innovation, and 
observes, " that the system ought rather to grow out of the first 
germ, than start at once, full grown, like Minerva from the head of 
Jupiter, shaking a lance and aegis at the astonished native. They 
will arise gradually, as the best laws ever have done, out of the 
manners and habits of the people, meliorating, and reflecting back, 
the principles they have derived from them." 

"If Anglo-Indian legislators would throw off a little of that, 
which they somewhat too largely ascribe to the natives of India, 
namely, the prejudice of education, they would find the rules of 
the proceeding prescribed by the Hindoo code (with all its numer- 
ous imperfections on its head), combined with the local customs, 
or common law of India, not ill adapted to the state of society to 
which it is intended to apply; and in the panchaiet, or Indian jury, 


which is (or rather was) universally established in the south as 
the common law of the land, an admirable instrument of practical 

To the last paragraph its intelligent author adds this note: " The 
" panchaiet, or Indian jury, is an institution so enliiely neglected, 
" or misunderstood, that I believe its existence is now, for the first 
" time, presented to the notice of the English reader." I am happy 
to find this excellent judge passing so favourable an opinion on 
the only mode of administering justice I adopted during my resi- 
dence at Dhuboy; as will appear in the chapter set apart for that 
subject, under the name of panchaut, or the " decision of five." I 
was delighted with so simple and effectual a mode of satisfying all 
parties, and in confirmation of the colonel's remark, I must ob- 
serve, that it was an institution perfectly new to me, and appeared 
to be so to all my European visitors. 

I will now conclude this quotation. " The Hindoo character, 
like all others, is of a mixed nature; but it is composed of strange 
and contradictory elements. The man who may be safely trusted 
for uniformly unfolding the whole truth to an European in whom 
he reposes confidence, may be expected to equivocate, and even 
to contradict every word he has said, if called on to repeat it in 
the presence of a third person, whom he either fears or suspects; 
and in one of these descriptions he usually includes all strangers. 
The same description of man, sometimes the same individual, who 
from pique, and often without any intelligible motive, will perjure 
himself without shame or compunction at a public trial, is 
faithful, kind, and respectable in the intercourse of society ; and 
the single but notorious fact of habitual lending and borrowing 


of money and effects, among the husbandmen, without bond, or 
note, or witness, abundantly proves that this people, apparently so 
destitute of morals, in one view of their character, are in another 
habitually honest and true in their dealings; that they mutually 
trust, and deserve to be trusted. The more intimately they are- 
known, the more favourable is the judgment of every good and 
humane European on the character of this interesting people; but 
fully to understand them, requires to have lived and been edu- 
cated among them, as one of themselves; and I conscientiously 
believe, that for the purpose of discriminating the motives of action, 
and the chances of truth in the evidence of such a people, the 
mature life of the most acute and able European judge, devoted 
to that single object, would not place him on a level with an intel- 
ligent Hindoo panchaiet. 

" The fanciful notions of internal and external purity and un- 
cleanness (the former having a twofold division of bodily and 
mental) are the foundations of most of the distinctions of castes 
Avhich seem so absurd to Europeans. To the question of what is 
the difference between such and such a caste, the first answer will 
certainly be to indicate what they respectively can and cannot eat; 
but when we consider the plausible dogma not altogether unknown 
in Europe, that a regular and abstemious life (which they would 
name the internal purity of the body) contributes to mental ex- 
cellence, we may be disposed to judge with more charit}" of the 
absurdity of these distinctions. The Jungum priests, and the elect 
among their disciples, abstain altogether from animal food; while 
the Sheneveea brahmins of the Concan and the Decan indulge in 

fish; and many of Bengal, Hindostan, and Cashmire, eat the flesh 
VOL. 11. 2 T 


of a fawn, ofmulton, and whatever is slain in sacrifice. The brah- 
mins of the south abhor these abominations; but the latter at least 
is distinctly authorized by Menu, and all the ancient Srnirtis, as 
the most bigotted are compelled to admit." 

" In the leading- traits of the doctrine of the Juneum we recoo- 
nize the hand of a rational reformer: one part is not so favour- 
able. The Jungum profess the exclusive worship of Siva; and 
the appropriate emblem of that deity in iis most obscene form, 
enclosed in a diminutive silver or copper shrine, or temple, is sus- 
pended from the neck of every votary, as a sort of personal god; 
and from this circumstance they are usually distinguished by the 
name of ling-ayet, or lingevunt. They profess to consider Siva as 
the only God; but on the subject of this mode of devotion they 
arc not communicative, and the other sects attribute to them not 
veiy decent mysteries. It is however a dogma of general notoriety, 
that if a Jungum has the mischance to lose his personal God, he 
ouffht not to survive that misfortune." 

Who can read Sir William Jones' dissertations on the mystical 
poetry of the Persians and Hindoos without exquisite pleasure? 
His comments are admirable; and his quotations from Barrow and 
Neker fill the soul with ecstasy. It would be a rash attempt to 
controvert what that elegant and experienced writer has said on 
the absorption of the religious brahmins: from my.own knowledge 
of those devotees on the sacred banks of the Nerbudda, I admit 
it all. "A figurative language," that celebrated orientalist observes, 
" in expressing the fervour of devotion, or the ardent love of 
created spirits towards their beneficent Creator, has prevailed from 
time immemorial in Asia; particularly among the Persian theists. 


both ancient Hushangis and modern Sujis; who seem to have 
borrowed it from the Indian philosophers of the Vedanta school; 
and their doctrines are also believed to be the source of that sub- 
lime, but poetical theology, which glows and sparkles in the Avrit- 
ings of the old academicks. It is a singular species of poetry, 
which consists almost wholly of a mystical religious allegory, 
though it seems, on a transient view, to contain only the sentiments 
of a wild and voluptuous libertinism. Now, admitting the danger of 
a poetical style, in which the limits between vice and enthusiasm 
are so minute as to be hardly distinguishable, we must beware of 
censuring it severely, and must allow it to be natural, though a 
warm imagination may carry it to a culpable excess; for an ar- 
dently grateful piety is congenial to the undepraved nature of 
man; whose mind sinking under the magnitude of the subject, 
and struggling to express its emotions, has recourse to metaphors 
and allegories, which it sometimes extends beyond the bounds of 
cool reason, and often to the brink of absurdity." 

Situated as I was among the brahmins I had ample opportunity 
of witnessing the truth of those passages which the illustrious pre- 
sident thought necessary to lay before the Asiatic Society. I ad- 
mit the truth and influence of the sublime communion to which 
he alludes, on some of the brahminical priesthood; yet, as I have 
had occasion to ask in another place, what is the religion of the mil- 
lions of Hindoos, who are not initiated into their mystical reveries? 
Sir William Jones allows that his quotation from Barrow borders 
upon quietism, and enthusiastic devotion; and perhaps among 
Christians there may be only a few, who, like Fenelon and others 
of that description, attain to that holy approximation, that ineffable 


communion, with their Creator and Redeemer, by the influence 
of the Divine Spirit; but there is a simple, a practical, and a de- 
lightful path, for the humble Christian of smaller attainments; a 
religion which will render him useful and happy in this world, 
and blessed for ever in that which is to come: a religion, which 
expressly assures us, that to whom much is given, from him much 
will be required; but where only one talent is committed, the im- 
provement of only one talent will be expected. Therefore, allow- 
ing to the brahmins all their pretensions, the Hindoo religion, 
when opposed to the philanthropy and benevolence of the gospel, 
is unsocial, proud, and uncharitable. 

The sublime passages so often quoted from the Hindoo scrip- 
lures and oriental poets, excite our admiration. But the brah- 
mins and sufis alone can comprehend them; passages far more 
sublime may be selected from theOld and New Testament. Nothing 
can exceed the energy and beauty of the prophecies of Isaiah, 
nothing can equal the beatitudes in the sermon on the mount; 
nor can any oriental imagery of the shastah and vedas be com- 
pared with the sublime and energetic language of that ancient 
poem, the book of Job. 

The profusion of hewn stone, and remains of sculpture, scat- 
tered about Dhuboy, is astonishing; the walls and towers were 
built entirely of large square stones. The west front, which is the 
only part remaining in any degree of perfection, presents a grand 
view of the ancient fortifications; the terreplein, several feet broad, 
is supported by a colonnade of pillars, which form a casemate or 
covered piazza, the whole length of the wall, in a style of elegance, 
not only ornamental beyond any thing I have seen elsewhere, 


but when in repair must have afforded excellent accommodation 
for an India garrison, who generally prefer a covered shed or ve- 
randa to a close room. This colonnade, half a mile in length, 
resembles the porticos in front of the barracks at the ancient city 
of Pompeia; where the soldiers' names are written in a rude man- 
ner on the walls, and after a lapse of seventeen hundred years are 
still legible. The barracks at Pompeia surround a large court, with 
a portico in front of their sleeping rooms; their appearance in- 
stantly reminded me of the fortifications at Dhuboy; and the 
villa and gardens without the gate of Pompeia, as well as many 
objects both there and in Herculaneum, were completely oriental. 
No town in India, nor any other part of the globe, can create 
those peculiar sensations which absorb the spectator when he be- 
holds two cities brought to light after being buried near two thou- 
sand years; the one under a torrent of liquid fire, the other over- 
whelmed by a mountain of burning ashes and volcanic produc- 
tions. Herculaneum still remains in a subterranean state; but at 
Pompeia, cleared of ashes, pumice-stones and cinders, with the 
plantations and vineyards which during a lapse of ages had pro- 
gressively covered them, the astonished traveller beholds temples, 
theatres, houses and tombs, again restored to day, and on a level 
with the surrounding plain! The massive covering having been re- 
moved, the modern visitor walks through the streets, visits the 
temples, ascends the amphitheatres, and enters the houses, shops, 
and porticos of the ancient Romans, with the same facility as when 
they were first finished. In some he finds the furniture not yet 
removed; in a few the skeletons of their inhabitants still remain. 


It is a scene which fills the mind with new sensations, impossible to 
describe, or previously to conceive. 

But the immediate object which caused me to take this retro- 
spective view, was the Roman villa just mentioned. On entering 
the portal I fancied myself in one of* the modern mansions of an 
oriental city, and particularly the durbar which I so long occu- 
pied in Dhuboy. Like the Asiatic houses, the Pompeian villa 
consisted of several ranges of apartments, surrounding a large area, 
with a fountain and garden in the centre; each floor had a ve- 
randa, or portico overlooking the garden, and shading the rooms, 
leading also to the closets, baths, and store-rooms similar to those 
in India: these had been then lately cleared, and discovered the 
tracery of the flower-beds, and channels from the fountain, all 
perfect. In the extensive cellars which encircle the area, under 
the summer apartments, I saw several wine jars, some fixed in the 
lava, others standing loose against the wall ; many of them con- 
tained the dried lees of red wine, which even then retained a fra- 
grant odour. 

In clearing the rubbish from one of these cellars the work- 
men discovered eight skeletons of the unhappy family crowded 
together against the door, which opened outwards into the area; 
and, from the accumulation of lava, could not be pushed forwards: 
thither these devoted persons had fled for refuge from the burning 
atmosphere above; some of the females were adorned with brace- 
lets of gold and jewels; the master of the house stood next 
the door with one hand on the key, and a purse of gold in the 






mfeeem&n' of \ I \': : I >( > (J SCTUIDPTURE on //b K„A- <>/ \)\ 


thbhihtdliy Richara. Av/,-/., I . '. ■■ S 


In the paintings discovered at Herculaneum and Pompeia, are 
many near resemblances to the houses and gardens in India, and 
much oriental costume in other respects; but these real objects 
were far more impressive; especially the soldiers' guard-rooms and 
porticos just mentioned, which are so very similar to those at Dhu- 
boy, that I could not omit the comparison. 

The western wall and colonnade at Dhuboy are the only re- 
mains of the ancient fortifications now entire; the other faces hav- 
ing been razed to the ground by order of a Mahomedan prince 
who took the town many years ago. 

The Bhauts, and oral historians of the country, say that these 
fortifications, with the tank and Hindoo temples adjoining, cost 
nine crores of rupees; upwards of ten millions sterling. This is 
not improbable, when we consider the extent and beauty of the 
walls and corridores, the grandeur of the double gates, and the 
amazing expense of bringing such massive stones from the distant 
mountains; for not the smallest pebble is to be found in that part 
of Guzerat. The city-gates are all strong and beautiful; there is 
a double gate in the centre of each face, with a spacious area be- 
tween, surrounded by a corridore and rooms for the guards. But 
the eastern portal, called by way of eminence the Gate of Diamonds, 
and the temple connected with it, present the most complete and 
elegant specimen of Hindoo taste I ever saw. In proportion of 
architecture and elegance of sculpture it far exceeds any of their 
ancient or modern structures I have met with; and the latter is 
superior to the figures at Salsette and the Elephanta. This beau- 
tiful pile extends three hundred and twenty feet in length, with 
proportionate height. Rows of elephants richly caparisoned sup- 

i > 


port the massy fabric; the architraves .and borders round the 
compartments of figures are very elegant, and the groups of 
warriors, performing martial exercises, on horseback, on foot, and 
on fighting elephants, approach nearer to the athletic gladiators 
and classical bas-reliefs of ancient Greece, than any performances 
in the excavations of the Elephanta, or the best finished temples I 
have seen in Hindostan. The warlike weapons of the soldiers, 
with their armour, as also the jewels, chains, and ornaments in the 
caparisoned horses and elephants, are admirably finished; there is 
likewise a profusion of lions, camels, birds, and serpents, too nume- 
rous to discriminate. In one compartment, a man and woman, 
standing under a plantain-tree, with an infant at their feet, are 
very conspicuous; it forms a separate group, resembling the gene- 
ral representation of Adam and Eve in paradise. The serpent, 
which forms so distinguished a feature in the Hindoo mythology, 
and is usually introduced with our first parents, made no part of 
this sculpture, although a prominent subject in other places. 

In the sculpture of the eastern portal the cobra di-capello was 
very distinguishable; and not only this species, but a variety of 
other large snakes abounded in the city and its environs, espe- 
cially in the banian-groves without this beautiful gate. The ruinous 
buildings near the durbar were so infested by serpents of almost 
every description, that I frequently employed the charmers to with- 
draw them. The cobra di-capello, like those mentioned at Ba- 
roche, were considered as the guardian genii of my garden. The 
brahmins and Hindoo astrologers of Dhuboy on hearing my escape 
from the hooded-snake, and the cobra minelle found in such num- 
bers in my bed-chamber at Bombay, began their astrological cal- 


culations, made abundant use of the astrolabe, and in due time 
recorded me on their cabalistical tablets as a very lucky man; for 
which I was indebted to my friends and protectors in the coluber 
tribe. Tacitus says, Nero in his infancy was supposed to have 
been guarded by two serpents. According to Murphy, Suetonius 
explains the origin of this fable, from a report that certain assassins 
were hired by Messalina to strangle Nero in his bed, in order to 
remove the rival of Britannicus. The men went to execute their 
purpose, but were frightened by a serpent that crept from under 
his pillow. This tale was occasioned by a serpent's skin being 
found near Nero's pillow; which, by his mother's order, he wore 
for some time upon his right arm, enclosed in a golden bracelet. 

In the Indian Antiquities, a work of deep research and great 
merit, the author ingeniously remarks, " that it is impossible to 
say in what country the worship of serpents first originated. The 
serpent was probably a symbol of the x.a.x.o$ot.ijxuv, or evil genius; 
and those whose fears led them to adore, by way of pacifying the 
evil daemon, erected to the serpent the first altar. In succeeding 
periods, its annual renewing of its skin, added to the great ao-e to 
which it sometimes arrived, induced the primitive race to make it 
the symbol of immortality. Serpents biting their tails, or inter- 
woven in rings, were thenceforwards their favourite symbols of 
vast astronomical cycles, of the zodiac, and sometimes of eternity 
itself. In this usage of the symbol we see it enfolding all the sta- 
tues of gods and deified rajahs in the sacred caverns of Salsette 
and Elephanta. Symbols also being the arbitrary sensible sio-ns 
of intellectual ideas, in moral philosophy, the serpents, doubtless 
from what they themselves observed of it, and from the Mosaic 

VOL. II. 2 u 


tradition concerning its being more subtle than any other animal, 
became the emblem of wisdom. An ancient Phoenician fragment, 
preserved in theCEdipusiEgyptiacus, fully explains the notion which 
the Egyptians and other pagan nations entertained of this compound 
hieroglyphic, the globe, wings, and serpent, which decorated 
the portals of their proudest temples. Jupiter, says the fragment, 
is an imagined sphere; from that sphere is produced a serpent. The 
sphere shews the divine nature to be without beginning or end; 
the serpent, his word, which animates the world and makes it 
prolific; his wings, the Spirit of God, that by its motion gives life 
to the whole mundane svstem." 

The principal image in the temple at the east gate of Dhuboy 
is said to have diamond eyes; from their magnitude I doubt their 
reality : the brahmins have probably exchanged those magnificent 
ornaments for stones of inferior value. Whether this portal was 
dignified with the appellation of the gate of diamonds from those 
brilliant eyes of the deity, or from its costly architecture, I cannot 
say; but I have no doubt that this immense work, with the sanctity 
annexed to it, as well as to the temple itself, is indebted for its 
celebrity to its eastern situation, as much as for its ornaments. 
Possibly had it not been erected in that relative aspect it would 
not boast of such magnificence. Whether this gate was pecu- 
liarly appropriated to the entrance of the ancient Hindoo rajahs, 
and brahmins of the higher order, or whether opened only for 
the admission of religious processions, I could not learn from 

We know from ancient history that the east was generally con- 
sidered to be a more sacred aspect than the other cardinal points; 


whether from the sun rising in that quarter of the heavens, or 
from what other cause is unnecessary to inquire. Many passages 
from sacred and profane authors might be adduced in support of 
this idea, none perhaps more striking or appropriate than an oc- 
currence in the visions of Ezekiel; when "a man appeared with a 
measuring-line, and brought him to the gate of the temple at 
Jerusalem, whose prospect is towards the east, and measured it 
round about: he measured it on the east, and west, and north, and 
south sides, five hundred reeds each, with the measuring-reed; he 
measured it by the four sides; it had a wall round about, five hun- 
dred reeds long and five hundred broad; to make a separation be- 
tween the sanctuary and the profane place. Afterwards he brought 
me to the gate, even the gate that looketh towards the east: and be- 
hold the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east; 
and his voice was like the voice of many waters ; and the earth 
shined with his glory; and the glory of the Lord came into the 
house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. 
Then said the Lord unto me, this gate shall be shut; it shall not 
be opened; and no man shall enter in by it: because the Lord, the 
God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut! It 
is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before 
the Lord: he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and 
shall go out by the way of the same." 

The eastern gate of Dhuboy was not only a venerated part of 
the city, but the general morning rendezvous of the brahmins and 
principal inhabitants; shady trees protected them from the heat, 
and on the verdant slope without the exterior portal, heedless of 


all the coluber genus, or trusting lo the reputed benevolence of 
the warning lizard, they enjoyed a listless indolence, or entered on 
the political news of the day, a favourite topic with most of* the 
castes in India. Under these trees were some rude altars of single 
stones; uncouth, and apparently unhewn; smooth by age and 
the friction of the worshippers, especially an ordeal stone under 
a banian-tree, daily strewed with flowers, and anointed with oil, 
where the citizens generally assembled for their morning discus- 
sions. This scene reminded me of Nestor at Pylos, and shews a 
great similarity of manners. 

" The old man early rose, walk'd forth, and satr 
" On polish'd stone before his palace gate ; 
" With unguents smooth the lucid marble shone . 
•' Where ancient Neleus sat, a rustic throne; 
" But he descending to the infernal shade, 
" Sage Nestor fill' J it, and the scepter sway'd." Odyssey. 

A public well without the Gate of Diamonds was a place of 
still greater resort; there most travellers hailed for shade and re- 
freshment. The women, as already mentioned, frequent the foun- 
tains and reservoirs morning and evening to draw water. Many of 
the Guzcrat wells have steps leading down to the surface of the water, 
others have not; nor do I recollect any furnished with buckets and 
ropes for the convenience of a stranger; most travellers are therefore 
provided with them, and halcarras and religious pilgrims frequently 
carry a small brass pot, affixed to a long string for this purpose. 
The Samaritan woman, in the memorable conversation with our 


Saviour, says unto him, " Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, 
and the well is deep ; from whence then hast thou that living water?" 
Nothing is more common than for strangers to enter into conver- 
sation upon such occasions. Happy was the meeting of the wo- 
man of Sychar with the holy traveller at Jacob's well. An assem- 
blage of pilgrims at an oriental reservoir, often brings to mind the 
interview in Samaria. When at Rome I purchased a picture on 
this subject, by Guercino, large as life; reckoned one of the finest 
works of that master: meekness and dignity are happily blended 
in the Saviour's countenance, and the whole composition is a chef 
d'ouvre of the Italian school. I spent much of my time with the 
amiable Angelica Kauffman, while finishing the large picture of 
our Saviour uttering those endearing words, " Suffer little children 
to come unto me, and forbid them not : for of such is the king- 
dom of God!" The marked countenance of the disciples, ma- 
ternal love pressing forward with infants at the breast, the inno- 
cence of the children already embracing his knees, and the tender 
sympathy of the surrounding spectators, were all admirable; but 
in the character of the Divine Redeemer Angelica transcended 
her usual excellence, and formed a union of majesty and meekness 
not easy to conceive. The expression of majesty, or dignity, 
alone, was comparatively easy to a mind accustomed to sublime 
ideas; meekness and humility still more so; to combine them 
with propriety required all the efforts of her transcendent genius. 
Angelica told me she had often dwelt with pleasure on my 
picture by Guercino, it had in some degree been a model for 
her own. A learned friend, eminent in his profession, on seeing 


it at Stanmore Hill, wrote the following extempore lines, which I 
trust he will forgive me for inserting. 

Soon as (he silken curtain I undraw, 

My soul is fill'd with reverential awe ; 

Emotions various agitate my breast, 

With fear, grief, joy, alternately imprest. 
When the frail fair Samaritan I view 

Trembling with conscious guilt, I tremble too ! 

Like her, I seem a wretched sinner, brought 

Before that God, who knows man's inmost thought ; 

With shame abash'd, back from myself I start, 

And keen remorse and sorrow pierce my heart. 

But when that image meets my ravish' d sight. 
Where softness, grace, and dignity, unite 
Meekness with majesty, I think I see 
My God himself cloth'd in mortality ! 
His eyes beam mercy, while his lips reprove. 
Tempering rebuke with gentleness and love: 
His hand uplifted, points the way to heaven ; 
I hear his voice — " Repent and be forgiven !" 
Desponding fears no more my peace destroy, 
Sorrow's black gloom, Hote ripens into joy ! 
Bur, if a mere resemblance here pourtray'd, 
The child of Art, the effect of light and shade, 
Can to my mind such strong sensations call, 
O! what must be the Great Original! B. I. S. J JQJ. 

Having described the eastern gate of Dhuboy,and the interesting 
scenery in its vicinity, I may observe that the Bhauts and Churruns, 
the only historians of Guzerat, account for this expensive and sump- 
tuous portal and the other magnificent structures in the city, by the 
following story ; which is probably founded on fact, though blended 


with fable. Their traditions relate that, many centuries ago, a 
Hindoo rajah, named Sadara Jai Sihng, the " Lion of Vic- 
tory/' reigned in Putton, the Paithana, or Pattana, of the ancient 
Greeks; a city built on the banks of the river Godavery, at a great 
distance from Dhuboy. 

According to the privileged custom of oriental monarchs, this 
rajah had seven wives, and many concubines; the first in rank, 
and his greatest favourite, was called Ratanalee, the " Lustre 
of Jewels," an additional name conferred upon her, expressive 
of transcendent worth and superior beauty; in which, and every 
elegant accomplishment, she excelled all the ladies in the haram. 
She thus preserved an ascendancy over the rajah, notwithstanding 
she had no child, and several of the rest had presented him with 
princes. The intrigues and jealousies among the secluded females 
in the eastern haiams are well known; they prevailed powerfully 
at Putton, where the ladies were all jealous of Rattanalee, and 
used every means to alienate the rajah's affection from his favou- 
rite; but when they found that she also was in a state of pregnancy, 
their hatred knew no bounds. According to the superstitious 
customs of the Hindoos, they employed charms and talismans to 
prevent the birth of the child; and the beloved sultana, supersti- 
tious and credulous as themselves, imagined their spells had taken 
effect, and that while she remained in the palace, her infant would 
never see the light. 

Impressed with these ideas, she departed with a splendid re- 
tinue to sacrifice at a celebrated temple on the banks of the Ner- 
budda, and after a long journey arrived late in the evening at a 
sacred grove and lake, about ten miles from the river, on the very 


spot where Dluiboy now stands; there the princess pitched her 
tents, intending to conclude her journey the next morning. In 
this grove dwelt ;i Gosannee, who had renounced the world, and 
pass* (1 his life in religious retirement. On dealing of Rattanalee's 
arrival he requested to be admitted into her presence; a request 
which is seldom refused to those holy men: he desired her not to 
proceed any further, as that grove was sacred, and there in a 
few days she would be delivered of a son. The princess followed 
his advice, and continued in her encampment until the birth of 
her child; who, at the Gosannee's desire, was named Viseldow, or 
" the child of twenty months." 

This pleasing news was soon conveyed to the rajah, who de- 
clared young Viseldow heir to his throne; and finding his mother 
delighted with the spot where she had obtained the blessing, and 
fearful of returning among the ladies of the haram, he ordered the 
lake to be enlarged, the groves extended, and a city erected, sur- 
rounded by a strong fortification, and beautified with every costly 
decoration. The most eminent artists were engaged to build this 
famous city, and over them was placed a man of superior abili- 
ties, who lived to complete the immense work, thirty-two years 
after its commencement. At that lime Viseldow had succeeded 
his father on the throne of Pulton, but generally resided at the. 
place of his nativity ; where, on dismissing the several artists, he 
made them suitable presents; but desirous of more amply gratifying 
the man to whose superior taste it was indebted for such extraordi- 
nary beauty, he desired him to name a reward for his services. The 
architect respectfully replied, that being happy in the prince's favour 
he wanted neither money nor jewels; but as the place had not yel 


received any particular name, he entreated it might be called 
after his own, Dubhowey, which was immediately granted, and with 
a slight alteration is the name it still retains. 

There is a story something similar to this, in the Ayeen Akbery. 
respecting Bunsrajh, the founder of the Guzerat monarchy, in the 
one hundred and fifty-fourth year of the hejira ; it mentions Putton 
as having been built by that prince, whose mother was delivered 
of him in the wilds of Guzerat, where a hermit took charge 
of him. 

Dhuboy for a long time was inhabited only by Hindoos, no 
Mussulman being permitted to reside within the walls, nor under 
any pretence to bathe or wash in the tank; but a young Maho- 
medan stranger, named Sciad Ballah, on a pilgrimage with his 
mother Mamah-Doocre, in their way to Mecca, alighted at a cara- 
vansary, without the gates of Dhuboy; and Sciad Ballah, having 
heard much of its magnificence, walked in to gratify his curiosity. 
After viewing the curious gates and temples on the borders of the 
tank, and ignorant of any prohibition to the contrary, he rashly 
ventured to bathe in the sacred lake: the brahmins, deeming the 
water polluted, prevailed on the rajah to punish the delinquent 
by cutting off his hands, to deter others from following his ex- 
ample: he was then turned out of the city with disgrace; and 
thus covered with shame, and weak with the loss of blood, he 
could but just reach his mother at the caravansary, and there 

These strangers were Mahomedans of distinction, then on their 
way to Surat to embark for the Red Sea, from the interior parts 
of Hindostan. Mahmah-Doocre, after the first paroxysm of grief, 

VOL. II. 2 x 


laid aside her pilgrimage, and vowed revenge. She immediately 
returned to her own country, and sued to her sovereign to redress 
this disgrace and cruelty to her family; he immediately ordered 
a large army to march under the command of his vizier against 
Dhuboy. The siege continued for several years; at length famine 
raging in the city, the garrison having no hopes of foreign assist- 
ance, made a sally, and fought with enthusiasm : a dreadful slaughter 
ensued, but the besiegers were at length victorious; the principal 
Hindoos fled to a distant country, and the Mahomedans entered 
the city. On viewing the strength of the works, the vizier deter- 
mined to destroy them: three sides of the fortress were imme- 
diately razed to the ground; the beauty and elegance of the west 
face, and the magnificence of the four double gates preserved 
them from his fury; they remain to this day splendid monuments 
of the architectural taste of the ancient Hindoos. 

After the destruction of Dhuboy, the Mahomedans returned 
to their own country, and the city remained for many years in a 
state of desolation. Mahma Doocree, the lady on whose account 
the expedition had been undertaken, came with the army against 
Dhuboy, and dying during the siege, was revered as a saint, and 
buried in a grove near the gate of diamonds, where her tomb still 
remains. Near it a perforated stone, already mentioned, is used for 
ordeal trials, and I was often obliged to consent to this experiment 
in favour of injured innocence, from the faith which the present 
inhabitants of Dhuboy, both Hindoos and Mahomedans, place in 
the sanctity of this heroine. The monument of Sciad Ballah is 
near that of his mother. 

When the Moguls finally conquered Guzerat, Dhuboy once 


more became populous, and remained under their government 
upwards of two centuries; it then fell into the hands of the Mah- 
rattas, who rebuilt the walls in their present heterogeneous condition; 
under them it continued until the beginning of 1780, when, during 
the Mahratta war with the English, general Goddard appeared be- 
fore it at the head of an English army from Bengal. While he was 
preparing for a siege, the pundit with the Mahratta troops evacu- 
ated the city in the night, and the next morning the English took 
possession. General Goddard having established a garrison, marched 
to the conquest of Ahmedabad, and I was appointed to take charge 
of this new acquisition, and to collect the revenues, still retaining 
my situation as a member of the council at Baroche, where I oc- 
casionally resided. 

The circumstance of giving a name to a city on any particular 
occasion, or of changing the name on some extraordinary event, 
frequently occurs in ancient history, as we find at Alexandria, 
Constantinople, and many other places: in India it is equally pre- 
valent; Ahmedabab, Hyderabad, and Aurungabad derive their 
name from their founder or conqueror. And although the former 
name of Dhuboy, if the spot had any peculiar appellation, is no 
longer remembered, I should suppose it must have been the " city 
of waters;" for in the rainy season it is completely insulated by 
large lakes, so that the cattle swim in and out of the gales every 
morning and evening. A similar passage occurs in the reign of 
David; when the Israelitish monarch sent Joab, his principal 
general, to besiege Rabbah, a royal city of the Ammonites. After 
the conquest, Joab sent messengers to David, and said, " I have 
fought against Rabbah, and have taken the city of waters; now 


therefore gather the people together, and encamp against the royal 
city, and take it; lest I take the city, and it be called after my name." 

I had not been many weeks in Dlinboy, before it was sur- 
rounded by the Mahratla army, consisting of near an hundred 
thousand horse and foot, who encamped within sight of the walls, 
although not within reach of our cannon. The Dhuboy garrison 
consisted only of three companies of Bombay sepoys, commanded 
by three European officers, a few European artillery-men and 
lascars, with five byracs of Arabs and Scindian infantry. Our 
situation was very unpleasant; but finding from the halcarras and 
spies sent into the enemy's camp, that they entertained a much 
higher opinion of our strength, we were in hopes the city might 
be defended until we received a reinforcement from Baroche. 

Two English gentlemen, with whom I was intimately ac- 
quainted, were at that time hostages in the Mahratta camp; one in 
the civil service on the Bombay establishment, the other a military 
officer. The former contrived to send me secretly a few words con- 
cealed within the tube of a very small cpaill, run into the messenger's 
ear, to inform me of the enemy's determination to recapture Dhu- 
boy; advising me, as I could expect no relief from Baroche, and 
general Goddard's army was pursuing a different direction, to make 
the best terms possible, and deliver up the keys to the Mahratta 
sirdar, as all resistance would be vain. My library at Dhuboy 
was very scanty; the Annual Registers and Encyclopedia were 
its principal treasures. I consulted the commanding officer, and 
looked over various articles of capitulation, that in case of neces- 
sity we might at least have made honourable terms; and having 
no artillery officer, nor engineer, we studied the treatises on forti- 


fication, gunnery, and similar subjects to strengthen the ramparts, 
repair the towers at the diamond gate, and render the old Mah- 
ratta guns of some service. Fortunately at this critical period, 
the approach of general Goddard, with his conquering army from 
Ahmedabad, was announced; the Mahrattas instantly broke up 
their encampment, and retreating towards Poonah, the general 
marched to Surat. 

It having been suggested to me that authentic official informa- 
tion, connected with the subject, introduced with brevity, would 
be interesting and satisfactory, I shall transcribe part of my pub- 
lic correspondence after I had been a year at Dhuboy, and had 
put the fortifications into tolerable repair: premising that in my 
retired situation, among people strangers to Europeans, and with 
very few artificers from Baroche, my Encyclopedia was of won- 
derful utility; the Indians thought it contained all knowledge, 
from building a castle to making a gun-carriage, and were con- 
stantly consulting it; and so ingenious and persevering were the 
Indian artificers, that in a few months after my arrival I had fur- 
nished the durbar with chairs, tables, sofas, and other necessary 
articles, after the latest fashion from Europe, finished entirely by 
the natives of Guzeral. 

I shall in the first place make a few extracts from my instruc- 
tions from the chief and collector-general of Baroche and its de- 
pendencies, on my being appointed collector of Dhuboy, to shew 
the moderation and justice which universally prevailed. on such 
occasions in India. 

" As I have appointed you collector of the Honourable Com- 
pany's revenues at Dhuboy, and its districts, you will please to 


proceed immediately thither, with the troops intended for its gar- 
rison, as per enclosed return ; which general Goddard will rein- 
force with a company of Bombay sepoys from his army; and then 
the garrison will be abundantly sufficient, in the opinion of those 
who should be judges, to defend it against any attack of the coun- 
try powers. Sundry guns and stores are also sent for the use of 
Dhuboy, accounts of which will be given you by the storekeeper. 

" General Goddard has left in Dhuboy four companies of Bom- 
bay sepoys, to garrison it until our detachment arrives, when they 
will join his army; and on your arrival the officer commanding 
these sepoys will deliver over charge of it to you; you must ac- 
cordingly take charge of the fort, and all its dependencies, which 
in any respect belonged to, or were under the government of the 
peshwa, his officers, or agents; but cautiously avoid, until hostili- 
ties are actually commenced against Futty Sihng, to interfere with, 
or in any shape molest his people, or their concerns. I also en- 
close you a list of the Arabs and Scindians, consisting of five by- 
racs, entertained as part of the garrison for Dhuboy, specifying 
their respective pay. They will proceed thither with the detach- 
ment from Baroche. 

" As Dhuboy was taken by force of arms, and did not surrender 
on any articles of capitulation, in course whatever houses or pro- 
perty belonged to the peshwa, his officers, agents, or servants, 
are become the property of the Honourable Company; and as 
such, must be taken charge of by you, and not given up without 
orders from me. 

"The whole of the purgunna is to be considered as the Honour- 
able Company's property, until the claims any person or persons 


may have on it for vajefa, pysita, or any other established custom, 
are regularly produced; and properly and fully proved on a strict 
inquiry, which will be made hereafter. At present the grand 
point is to collect all the outstanding revenue that can be done 
with justice and reason. You will therefore, without delay, please 
to make the necessary inquiry as to the cultivation and produce 
of the lands this season; and what has already been recovered 
from them, and what they can still bear to pay; and acquaint me 
with the result of your inquiry. 

" I am exerting my endeavours, as you must yours, to get the 
Dessoys, Patells, and Ryots, who have absconded, or are absent 
from their villages, to return home, and pursue their business; 
and to them, and all the other subjects of the Company in your 
districts, you will please to give all assurances of protection and 
favourable treatment. 

" Enclosed is a list of the civil and revenue establishment which 
I think right for Dhuboy; you will please to appoint the several 
people wanted: if you judge any addition necessary, acquaint me, 
and it shall be made. A junadar with five and twenty horse will 
attend you for the protection of the purgunnas, or any other ser- 
vice you may require. The number of Malzupty sepoys neces- 
sary for the collection I cannot determine; you will therefore em- 
ploy as many as you find requisite; observing in this, and all other 
circumstances, the greatest frugality. 

" As Bhaderpoor and its villages belonged to the Mahratta 
government, we should have possession of it; and having given 
this opinion to general Goddard, he has written to me, to take 
charge of this district; you will therefore send proper persons so 


lo do, in the name of the Honourable Company, and annex it to 
Dhuboy. In respect to ihc inhabitants, revenues and appoint- 
ments, you will proceed agreeably to my instructions for the Dhu- 
boy purgunna. 

" Your expenses will be paid by the Honourable Company; in 
them I need not to you recommend frugality. 


As Chief of Baroche, and Collector General of 

all its dependencies, 6;c. 

0.6th January, 1780. 

Two months after taking possession of the Dhuboy and Bha- 
derpoor districts I received directions to occupy the purgunna 
of Zinorc, and the fortress of Ranghur, in a commanding situa- 
tion on the banks of the Nerbudda, which had been ceded 
by Futty Silmg to general Goddard, in behalf of the Company, 
on settling a peace with the Guykwars in Guzerat. These 
places were garrisoned only by a small party of Arabs and Scin- 

After the Mahratta army had entirely left the country, and the 
Ryots were returned to their respective villages and agricultural 
employments, peace and plenty once more blessed the purgunnas 
intrusted to my care. And in consequence of orders from Bom- 
bay to the Board of Revenue at Baroche, directing them to trans- 
mit the most exact statement of the revenues in the several depen- 
dant districts, with a particular account of the produce, popula- 
tion and commerce of those lately acquired by general Goddard, 


I sent the following particulars of the purgunnas under my manage- 
ment to the Collector General of Baroche. 

"The purgunna of Dhuboy contains eighty-four villages, exclu- 
sive of the capital. Four of these villages, in consequence of the 
late troubles, are entirely deserted, and a few of the remainder 
very thinly inhabited. The greater part are as populous as can 
well be expected, when we consider the situation of this province 
for some years past. The cultivation during the last season has 
been as much attended to, and the crops as favourable as I could 
hope for after the desertion of the country during general God- 
dard's campaign; Avhen more than half the villages were burnt to 
the ground, and the Ryots were not able to rebuild their cottages, 
or cultivate the land, until both armies left the country, only a little 
before the commencement of the last rainy season. 

" During those troubles, the villagers, with their cattle and the 
most portable of their effects, took refuge under the walls of Bro- 
dera, Dhuboy, and other fortified towns. Many fled to the Raje- 
pipley mountains; from whence, notwithstanding all my endea- 
vours, they are not yet returned ; nor can it be expected until they 
are assured of peace and safety. This prevents my being more 
particular respecting the population and state of agriculture in 
the Dhuboy purgunna: but, from the knowledge I have acquired 
during a year's residence on the spot, I have every reason to flatter 
myself, when the country is entirely restored to tranquillity, and 
the Company's government firmly established, that agriculture 
and population will both flourish in a great degree, as the soil is 
generally rich, and very productive. 

" Notwithstanding the preceding impediments during the last 
VOL. II. 2 y 


season of cultivation, I have the pleasure to add, that the Com- 
pany's share of the revenue from the crops for the present 
year, as settled at the late jumma-bundec, amounts to a lac and 
twenty five thousand rupees; which I am assured is equal to any 
collected for several years in the Dhuboy purgunna, and greatly 
exceeding the usual revenue. Last year, from unfavourable rains 
and subsequent troubles, the assessment did not amount to sixty 
thousand rupees. The rains this season were remarkably favour- 
able, and the crops generally answered every expectation. I have 
also the satisfaction to add, that of the lac and twenty live thou- 
sand rupees settled for the Dhuboy purgunna, not two hundred 
remain to be recovered. 

"The produce of the Dhuboy district consists of batty, bajeree, 
juaree, and smaller grain; with some cotton, mowrah, seeds for 
oil in great variety, and shrubs for dying. Batty may be termed 
the staple grain of this purgunna; the others bear only a small 
proportion, and wheat is seldom sown. 

" The city of Dhuboy is two miles, two furlongs, and twenty 
poles in extent; the fortifications form nearly an exact square, 
and, like most of the Indian works, consist of a single wall, flanked 
with small toners, within musket shot of each other, and a ditch 
which in most places is very shallow. To the south the wall is 
well built of stone, and in excellent repair; has now a new thin 
brick parapet, and a terreplein broad enough for the free passage 
of troops. To the west there is a good stone-wall, and brick para- 
pet, in the same manner; but the terreplein, which has been the 
terrace over a kind of casemate, or colonnade of hewn stone, which 
extends along all that face, is now impassable; the stone beams 


are broken, and the roof fallen in. The north side has been ori- 
ginally of the same construction: but the stone casemate has been 
totally removed, and its place supplied with earth, which has 
been so much washed away lay the rain, that in many places 
there is only room for one man on the terreplein ; and in some, 
no footing at all. The parapet of this face is only of mud, and in 
many places entirely broken down. The east side is in the worst 
repair of any; it has, like the rest, a stone wall, but there is hardly 
any terreplein, and the parapet is almost washed away; it has 
this advantage, that the ditch is deep, and retains water most part 
of the year. 

" The number of inhabitants in Dhuboy is about forty thousand, 
mostly Hindoos, including a very large proportion of brahmins. 
There are three hundred Mahomedan families; but no Parsees 
have yet settled here. 

" The manufactures chiefly consist of coarse dooties, sent from 
hence to be dyed at Surat for the Mocha and Judda markets; no 
very fine cottons are wove here; the common sort dyed in the city 
are generally for home consumption. Ghee and the coarse cottons 
called dooties are the staple commodities of Dhuboy. The cus- 
toms collected in the capital, and at the naukas, or smaller custom- 
houses in the purgunna, seldom exceed sixteen thousand rupees a 

" Dhuboy is the only fortified town in this district. There was a 
small gurry at Verah, which has been almost washed away by 
heavy rains, and is now a scene of ruin. Chandode and Nun- 
daria are now added to the Dhuboy purgunna; the revenues of 
these villages amount this year to four thousand rupees, and the 


customs exceed fifteen hundred. Cliandode lias no fortification; 
being esteemed a place of great sanctity by the Hindoos, and 
much respected by all other tribes. The detachment of horse 
kept for the security of the Dhuboy districts, are particularly 
useful about Zinore and Chandode, situated near the Gracias, a 
most insolent and cruel set of banditti. 

"The Zinore purgunna contains fifty inhabited villages; the 
town of that name is open, large, and straggling; tolerably popu- 
lous; situated on the steep banks of the Nerbudda, the deep 
gullies which nearly encompass it are the only defence. The 
trade and manufactures are similar to those at Dhuboy; so is the 
produce of the country, except that it bears less rice, and a larger 
proportion of cotton. 

" During the troubles last year, the Zinore villages suffered the 
same cruel fate as those in the Dhuboy purgunna. The Ryots 
sought for safety in other places, and many are not yet returned. 
The cultivation was nevertheless forwarded as much as possible, 
and the jumma-bundee for this year settled at ninety thousand 
rupees; a revenue seldom exceeded under the Guykwar govern- 
ment of Futty Sching: this amount is nearly recovered. The 
customs of Zinore and the Naukas, are usually about three thou- 
sand rupees per annum. 

" The small compact gurry at Ranghur, strongly situated on the 
banks of the Nerbudda, eight miles from Zinore, is now included 
in that purgunna. 

" Bhaderpoor, although dignified as a separate purgunna, does 
not with its whole district annually produce so much as one of 
the best Dhuboy or Baroche villages. The principal town situated 


on the banks of the Oze, is little more than seven miles from 
Dhuboy ; some of its villages only three. There are sixteen inha- 
bited, many desolated from the incursions of the Bheels and Gra- 
cias. The produce is similar to that of the Dhuboy purgunna; 
the revenue this year, which exceeds most under the Mahratta 
government, is only sixteen thousand rupees: the customs in 
tranquil times amount to three or four thousand rupees per 

" In Bhaderpoor is a small gurry for the protection of the town. 
It contains the custom-house, and a few other low buildings, of 
poor materials; which were burnt down by the Mahrattas, with 
a considerable part of the gurry, when they found it would be- 
come English property. I have repaired the whole at a small 
expense; and in all respects have endeavoured to fulfil the duties in 
the several districts intrusted to my care, with fidelity to my 
honourable employers, and to the benefit and happiness of the 
subjects in their late acquisitions. 

(Signed) James Forbes, 

Collector' of Dhuboy, fyc. 

\§th January, 1781. 

In the course of the preceding year I put the fortifications 
and public buildings at Dhuboy into the best repair in my power, 
at a small expense, and^ sent the following answer to some re- 
marks made by the chief of Baroche on my accounts. 

" I now return the Dhuboy accounts, rectified according to your 
instructions; and I flatter myself the following remarks will be a 
satisfactory answer to that part of your letter, desiring me to assign 


my reasons for the high charges under the head or* fortification 
and house repairs. 

"The building up the large breach on the south face of the 
town, in length nine hundred and twenty-six feet, was by far the 
most expensive work; but so indispensably necessary, that I could 
not avoid representing it to you immediately on our taking posses- 
sion of Dhuboy; and obtained your consent for instantly repair- 
ing it. A subadar's guard, which our weak garrison could very 
ill spare, was required to be constantly posted there, and a much 
stronger guard at the time we were so annoyed by the Mahratta 
army. This work included several towers; which, with a strong 
outer wall of brick and chunam, has been constructed on the old 
stone foundation, with a retaining wall and rampart. 

" A magazine was no less requisite the city afforded no build- 
ing fit for that purpose, either from its structure or situation. I 
expended near three hundred rupees in repairing a pagoda and 
contiguous shed near the large tank, to serve as temporary maga- 
zines for our ammunition from Baroche, and a quantity of loose 
gunpowder found on our taking possession of Dhuboj r : but as 
the water in the rainy season rises higher than the floor of these 
buildings, they would then have been totally useless. They were 
also very near several houses communicating with the town; and 
two fires happening in that neighbourhood after our arrival, 1 lost 
no time in procuring the plan for a small magazine from captain 
Jackson of the artillery, to be built as cheap as possible in a pro- 
per place. 

" Strengthening the works at the Herau-Durwajee, or Diamond- 
Gate, filling up contiguous breaches with strong masonry, making 


embrazures for nine guns, and erecting a flag-staff on the inner 
tower of the east-gate, were expenses that could neither be avoided 
nor delayed; the whole wall on that face being made of mud, 
without either brick or stone, is entirely weak and defenceless, 
without this strong gate-way, and the angular towers to flank it. 
To these timely repairs we certainly were much indebted when 
the enemy repeatedly advanced on that side, from knowing its 
weak state under the Mahrattas. One of our first steps was to 
put the Gate of Diamonds in order, and mount nine guns on its 
ramparts; by which we several times compelled their advancing 
cavalry to make a hasty retreat. 

" In the area between the eastern outer and inner gates, I erected 
sheds for the accommodation of the regular and local sepoys, 
doing duty in the garrison; having previously been dispersed in 
the open streets, or violently possessing the houses of the inhabi- 
tants, which occasioned continual disturbances. These were 
finished before the setting in of the monsoon, when their situation 
would otherwise have been still more distressing, and for their ac- 
commodation I also repaired some part of the colonnade in the 
interior of the west wall. The five byracs of Arabs and Scindians, 
constantly posted on the walls, were exposed to every inclemency 
of the weather, without a place of shelter: their own jamadars and 
the English commanding officer made so many complaints of their 
situation, that I ordered the four lar^e angular towers to be co- 
vered in, and the terrace then afforded them excellent accommo- 

" Unavoidable expenses for repairs almost daily occurred, when 
the enemy approached the weak parts of the fortress; but all 


these, with cleaning out the ditch on the north face, where it was 
entirely filled up, fell short of one thousand rupees. 

" The durbar had for many years been in so ruinous a state, that 
the Mahratta pundit would not reside there; it was scarcely habit- 
able when colonel Keating wintered here in 177^> from that lime 
it had been converted into smiths'-shops, powder-mills, and other 
conveniences, from the natural aversion of the Hindoos to reside 
in a house that has been inhabited by Europeans. I have been as 
frugal as possible in rendering it commodious for myself, and have 
repaired the houses allotted to the English officers, Serjeants, and 
artillery -men, and the caravansary used for an hospital. 

" The foregoing remarks will I trust be satisfactory; and con- 
vince you that nothing has been undertaken which could be 
avoided, and that every thing has been done at as small an ex- 
pense as possible. 

(Signed) James Forbes." 


3\st January, 1781. 

As the estimate which I afterwards delivered to the chief of Ba- 
roche for further repairs to the fortifications at Dhuboy, recom- 
mended by general Goddard and colonel Kyd, (engineer in the Ben- 
gal army, when the general and his staff were with me during the 
rainy season in 1781), is very short, and contains the price of bricks, 
mortar, labour, and other articles, I annex the estimated account 
for the information of the reader, and have put the amount into 
English money, as well as in the Bombay currency of rupees, 
quarters, and reas. By this will be seen the great difference in 


price, of building in India and England, especially in the article 
of labour; which also extends proportionably in all manufactures, 
and the various branches of agriculture. In the followino- estimate 
the usual profit which the Company allowed lo their paymasters 
and storekeepers, is included in the charges. 

Estimate of the expense in taking down the ?nud wall in the fortifica- 
tions at Dhuboij, and rebuilding it with bricks and chunam, on the 
ancient stone foundation, being in length 3520 feet; including the 
retaining wall and the parapet in this measurement. 


Bricks, thirty lacs, 5,000,000, at 2 rupees 2 quarters, about 

6s. per million 7,500 

Chunam, (mortar) 10,560 moondah, at 1 rupee 1 quarter, 

or 3s. per million 13,200 

Bricklayers 4,520, at one quarter of a rupee, or l\d. per day 1,130 

Biggarees, (labourers) 8,600, at 50 reas, or 2>%d. per day . 1 ,075 

Master bricklayers, at half a rupee, 15c?. per day ... 90 

Stone-cutters , . . ditto . . .ditto 450 

Pacaulies, (water carriers) ropes, baskets, iron utensils, and 

other necessary articles, about 106/. 5s. . . . 850 

Rupees . 24,295 
£. sterling . 3,036 

I have inserted the preceding documents and accounts, not 
only to gratify the wishes of some particular friends, but to con- 
vince my readers in general, that there was a regular system in 

VOL. II. 2 z 


every department of the Company's service in India; a system of 
simplicity, truth, and virtue, on a plain path, in which moderation, 
and clemency were the predominant features, at least as far as local 
circumstances admitted : and as I have every reason to believe that 
this system was generally adopted, I have enjoyed a peculiar plea- 
sure in transcribing the above passages from manuscripts, long 
since consigned to oblivion. 

Virtus, repulsae nescia sordidae, 
Intaminatis fulget honoribus : 
Nee sumit aut ponit secures 

Atbitrio popularis aurae. Hor. L. 3. Ode 3. 

With stainless lustre Virtue shines ; 

A base repulse nor knows, nor fears ; 
Asserts her honours, nor declines 

As the light air of crowds uncertain veers. 

PtiHttli.J /.i Michari BmtUjI #.. \i» HuHsnn tfn Si ■ ' ' 

I , \<Q\n EJL a-ttJ- " 



OF dhuboy; 






------ if our virtues 

Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike 

As if we had them not. What's open made to Justice 

That Justice seizes." Shakespeare. 

" Let us reflect upon sixty millions of human beings, either absolutely subjects of the East 
India Company, or under their influence; beings who for countless ages, certainly not less than 
twenty centuries, have had their minds debased by the grossest and most disgusting superstitions, 
and their feelings blunted and confused by a strange and inconsistent mixture of cruelty and 
humanity ; of cruelty extending to the murder of parents and children, with stony-hearted 
apathy; of humanity exaggerated in the preservation of noxious reptiles at the public expense; 
with the most affected aversion to the taking away of life. These and greater abominations con- 
stitute the picture which India offers to the British philanthropist, and call upon us emphatically 
in the present extended state of our dominion, to consider the responsibility we have assumed." 

British Review. 


Administration of justice in Dhuboy — trial by panchaut — satisfactory 
to the Indians — inefficacy of the English lazes among the Hin- 
doos — sacred trees in the durbar courts — veneration of the Scy- 
thians and other nations for trees — Hindoo religion supposed to be 
coeval with the descendants of Noah, who emigrated from higher 
Asia — minutes in the Dhuboy courts of justice — three extraordi- 
nary trials — infanticide — suicide common among the young Hindoo 
widows — difficulty of preventing it — singular petition in the court 
of Adawlet at Baroche — remarks on the devils or genii mentioned 
therein — general belief in their agency— Dr. Fryer's account of 
them — believed among the ancients — Dr. Buchanan's opinion — 
general remarks — Lord Teignmouth's ideas of the Indian charac- 
ter — -five women put to death as sorcerers — modes of ascertaining the 
guilt of the accused — singular anecdotes — necromancy of the Greeks 
—demons in sacred and prof ane history — persons possessed by them 
— illustrated from Virgil and other writers — hypothesis placed in a 
full and fair light from an extraordinary occurrence in the life of 
Dr. Townson — letter from Lord North — prayer of Dr. Townson 
on the subject of evil spirits — remarks by archdeacon Chart on, illus- 
trative of this curious subject— hidden treasure common among the 
ancients ; anecdote of Nero's credulity on that subject J'rom Tacitus 
— wonderful accumulation of Asiatic wealth — guarded by serpents 
•—an extraordinary event of tins nature in the Dhuboy purgunna 

— one similar at Surat — charmers of serpents — susceptible of music 
— sacred serpents — anecdote of a nana, or hooded snake — ordeal 
trials permitted at Dhuboy — account of one — general ordeals — 
Dherna, a most extraordinary kind of arrest, and punishment — 
Koor equally singular and cruel — Hindoos buried alive — story of a 
suttee, or a self-devoted Hindoo widow reclaimed — ablutions and 
other customs in India — salt the symbol and pledge of hospitality 
— anecdotes to illustrate. 


In a short time after my arrival at Dhuboy, I became tolerably 
reconciled to its recluse situation, which afforded me very little 
intercourse with my countrymen : in other respects I was far from 
leading a solitary life; for the administration of justice, collecting 
the revenue, superintending the agriculture of five large towns, 
and a hundred and fifty populous villages, which were under my 
care, gave me constant and anxious employment. 

I dedicated one day in the week, and more when necessary, 
to the administration of justice, in which 1 was assisted by four 
principal brahmins; the cazee, and three Mahomedans, conversant 
in the laws of the Koran, with some respectable merchants, and 
the heads of other castes. These persons advised me in doubtful 
cases, and especially on points relating to the religious ceremonies 
and customs of the Hindoos. The carpet of justice was spread in 
the large open hall of the durbar, where the arbitrators assembled: 
there I always attended, and, agreeably to ancient custom, referred 
the decision to a panchaut, or jury of five persons; two were 
chosen by the plaintiff, two by the defendant, and the fifth by my- 
self, from among these elders. I had, by this means, the satisfac- 


tion of pleasing a hundred thousand inhabitants; who only made 
one appeal to the superior courts at Baroche or Bombay. 

I was delighted with the simplicity of this mode of proceeding. 
From having been an alderman and sheriff at Bombay, and for 
some years worn the black gown as a pleader in the courts of jus- 
tice at that presidency, I was not enlirely unacquainted with Eng- 
lish law: but had I equalled Blackstone in knowledge of British 
jurisprudence, it would have availed little among a people com- 
pletely attached to their own customs, and influenced by the pre- 
judices of caste. I was therefore happy to accommodate m_ysclf 
to their usages. I believe I may truly say, that not a present was 
ever made to an individual belonoino- to the adawlet; nor was a 
court-fee under any description ever exacted. This mode of jus- 
tice was something similar to the statute ordained in the Levilical 
law. " If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, be- 
ing matters of controversy within thy gates, then thou shalt come 
unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge, and shall inquire 
of them, and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment: and 
thou shalt observe to do according to the sentence of the law 
which they shall teach thee; and according to the judgment which 
they shall tell thee, that shalt thou do/' 

In the inner court of the durbar, immediately fronting the open 
side of the hall of justice, was a sacred pepal-tree, and in an ad- 
joining square a noble banian-tree. These places were esteemed 
holy while Dhuboy continued under the peshwa government of 
Poonah, and a brahmin pundit resided at the durbar; on be- 
coming the abode of an Englishman, the building lost its reputed 
sanctity; the trees still retained their claim to veneration: they 


afforded a sort of sacred shade to the Hindoos who were sum- 
moned to the adawlet, and proved at least a useful shelter to other 

I was far from discouraging this idea respecting such umbra- 
geous canopies in the torrid zone. It prevented their destruction, 
and added to the ornament and refreshment of the city. Among 
the ancient Scythians, a stately tree with out-spreading branches 
was considered an emblem of the godhead, and an object of wor- 
ship. Trees and groves were either worshipped or consecrated by 
most pagan nations; and from them the same idolatrous custom 
was introduced among the Jews, who were reproached by the 
prophet for the oaks which they had desired, and for the gardens, or 
groves, which they had chosen. Not only the Scythians, but the 
Persians, Druids, and many other people, rejected enclosed temples 
for the worship of God, as too narrow a limit for the adoration 
of a Being who filled immensity. The modern brahmins seem in 
many instances to adopt the same idea; they most probably all 
derived their religion from the same source, and the most en- 
lightened among these various tribes have united in their ado- 

" To Him., whose temple is all space, 

" Whose altar, earth, sea, skies; 
" One chorus let all beings raise, 

" All Nature's incense rise ! 

An ingenious writer in the Asiatic Researches asserts, appa- 
rently on well-grounded authority, that from Noah and his de- 
scendants, who established themselves on the mountains of Taurus 

VOL. II. 3 A 


in Higher Asia, " the Hindoo religion probably spread over the 
whole earth. There are signs of it in every northern country, and 
in almost every system of worship. In England it is obvious; 
Stonehenge is evidently one of the temples of Booim; and the 
arithmetic, astronomy, astrology; the holidays, games, names of 
the stars, and figures of the constellations; the ancient monuments, 
laws, and coins; the languages of the different nations; bear the 
strongest marks of the same original. The brahmins of the sect of 
Brahma were the true authors of the Ptolemaic system ; the Bood- 
hists, followers of Budha, the authors of the Copernican system, 
as well as of the doctrine of attraction; and probably the esta- 
blished religion of the Greeks, and the Eleusinian mysteries were 
only varieties of the two different sects/' 

In whatever light the reputed sanctity of the trees at the Dhu- 
boy durbar may be viewed in Europe, to me they were of oreat 
advantage. Under their sacred shade the ordeal trials were per- 
formed; the Hindoo witnesses examined ; and the criminals were 
allowed a solemn pause, while wailing for their trial; a pause, per- 
haps, doubly solemn and impressive, from standing under the 
immediate emblem of the godhead. 

I generally kept minutes of the causes which came before 
me, in case of reference or appeal. They were often trifling, 
sometimes ludicrous. I shall insert two or three which occurred 
in the same morning, as characteristic of the singular situation in 
which I was placed. 

A certain blind man, well known in Dhuboy, died during my 
residence there. Although deprived of one sense, he seemed to 
enjoy the others in greater perfection; among various talents he 


could generally discover hidden treasure, whether buried in the 
earth, or concealed under water, and possessed the faculty of 
diving and continuing a long time in that element without incon- 
venience. As he never commenced a search without stipulating 
for one third of the value restored, he had, by this occupation, 
maintained an aged father, a wife, and several children. The old 
man complained, that several persons for whom his son had found 
money, refused to make good their promise; and particularly a 
goldsmith, who on being summoned before the court, acknow- 
ledged the truth of the story, but thought a third part of the amount 
too large a proportion. The goldsmith had reprimanded his wife 
for misconduct: being a woman of spirit, she took the first oppor- 
tunity of his absence to collect as much of his money and valu- 
ables as possible, and threw them, together with herself and her 
own jewels and ornaments, into a well. As they had not lived 
very happily together, the goldsmith on his return, was not much 
concerned about his wife, but regretting the loss of his treasure 
he made diligent search for her body, which was found in an ad- 
joining well, divested of all her ornaments. Surprized and disap- 
pointed, he knew not what further to do, when a confidential friend 
of his wife told him the deceased had taken off her gold chains 
and jewels, and tying them up in a bag Avith his own valuables, 
threw them into another well, but where it was she knew not; hav- 
ing alleged two reasons for her conduct, that he might lose his 
property, and be deprived of the means of procuring another wife, 
which he would find difficult without the jewels. The blind man was 
sent for, and after a long search, found the bag in a distant well, 
but could not prevail on the goldsmith to give him his share; and 


since his decease his father had been equally unsuccessful. The 
court of adawlet decreed him one third of the property. 

Next came two respectable brahmins, a man and his wife, 
of the secular order; who, having no child, had made several reli- 
gious pilgrimages, performed the accustomed ceremonies to the 
linga, and consulted the diviners, and recluse devotees, in hopes by 
their prayers and sacrifices to obtain the desired blessing. A wo- 
man skilled in divination promised the wife a son if she would 
drink a potion composed of the pure essence of jewels. This she 
consented to, and produced all her pearls, diamonds, and precious 
stones, which her chemical friend deeming insufficient, persuaded 
her to borrow more from her relations: these were deposited in a 
small vase, hermetically sealed, and, with many superstitious cere- 
monies, placed in a jar of holy water, where it was to remain 
eight days, without molestation, or the secret being communicated. 
Two days after this consecration, the woman told the brahmin's 
wife she was going to a celebrated temple on the banks of the Ner- 
budda, to perform some additional ceremonies ; if she did not re- 
turn before the expiration of the time, she might open the vase, 
and would then discover the jewels under the surface of an, essen- 
tial oil; which she was immediately to swallow, and in due time 
her wishes would be accomplished. On the appointed day the 
deluded wife found only an empty vase in the jar of holy water; 
and learned that her deceiver had fled to a distant country. The 
unhappy pair now petitioned that I would write to the rajah to 
deliver the culprit up tojustice. 

The third in succession was a tandar, or petty officer of a dis- 
trict; who appeared with a banian merchant who had plunged 


into a well, to drown himself; but having been discovered, timely 
assistance restored suspended animation, and he was brought be- 
fore the court. On being asked his reason for committing this 
rash action, he coolly replied, that several people owed him consi- 
siderable sums of money, and would not pay him: whereas he was 
only indebted to one man, who threatened to imprison him if he 
did not discharge it; which being unable to do, and unwilling to 
act with the same cruelty to his debtors, he thought it better to lose 
his life, than his good name; and therefore resolved to leave them 
all, and enter upon another stage of existence. This affair was 
soon compromised to general satisfaction. 

Most of the disputes which came before the paunchaut at Dhu- 
boy were for infringing the rules of caste, encroachments upon 
sacred territories, misbehaviour of women, or similar offences; 
which were generally settled by the brahmins. What gave me the 
greatest trouble and uneasiness, was to prevent, as far as in my 
power, the suicides frequently committed by young women in a 
state of pregnancy. A crime generally practised by the higher 
class of Hindoo widows; who having been married in infancy, 
and losing their husbands in childhood, were, by the cruel and 
impolitic laws of Menu, prevented from marrying a second husband, 
and consequently led into imprudences. Some of these unfor- 
tunate females, conscious of bringing a disgrace on their family, 
thus terminated their own existence and that of their unborn in- 
fant; their bodies were often found in the public wells of the city, 
and villages in the purgunna, but none of the brahmins in the 
panchaut, nor any Hindoo officer took the smallest trouble to pre- 


vent these shocking occurrences. The suicides were at last so fre- 
quent, that I was under the necessity of issuing an order, to be 
affixed at the market-place and city gales, that ihe body of any 
female found in a well or tank, within the Dhuboy districts, should 
be exposed naked for twenty-four hours before it was taken to the 
funeral pile. This had so far the desired effect, that after the pro- 
clamation of the edict, cither no more suicides were committed, or 
they were carefully concealed from my knowledge, as I never had 
occasion to make an exposure. Suicide is not only sanctioned 
among the Hindoos, but on certain occasions is deemed merito- 
rious. Major Moor mentions, that among the five most eligible 
modes, is that of going into the sea near the mouth of the Ganges, 
and there praying and confessing sin, until the alligators or some 
other monster devours the penitent. 

While writing on this subject, I shall insert a singular petition 
presented lo me when acting judge in the court of adawlet at 
Baroche; which, however ludicrous or trifling it may appear to 
an European, strongly characterizes the superstition of the Indians, 
and the difficulty of accommodating English laws to a people 
under such extraordinary prejudices, and who believe in a race of 
beings whose existence we do not admit of. I shall only premise 
that the heroine of the story was the wife of a rich and eminent 
merchant at Baroche, of a very repectable family among the Par- 
sees; and that all the persons necessarily convened to investigate 
this mysterious affair, were astonished at my entertaining any 
doubts about it. 


Presiding in the Court of Adawlet, at Baroche. 

The humble petition of Ruttonjee-Monackjee, a Parsee merchant, 

inhabitant of Baroche, 

Most humbly sheweth, 

"That your petitioner, with all respect and submission, 
begs leave to represent to your worship, that Framjee Nanabhy's 
Avife and your petitioner's daughter were for many years intimate 
friends, and lived near each other in this city. 

" Some time ago the said Framjee's wife had two devils entered 
into her body, which devils were sisters. One day your petitioner's 
daughter went to her friend's house, where she found her burning 
frankincense on a fire, and performing some magical ceremonies; 
soon afterwards the devils began to speak, and angrily asked why 
they were called up; telling her at the same time that their sacri- 
fices had been neglected and their daily offerings of flowers, cocoa- 
nuts, and fruit, discontinued. The devils then vehemently cried out, 
" for this we will destroy, we will kill, we will eat." On which Fram- 
jee's wife immediately made the proper offerings at the altar of the 
devils, and promised no more to offend. The devils then declared 
they were satisfied, and shewed your petitioner's daughter much 
amusement; and the said Framjee's wife, by means of the devils 
within her body, performed many conjuring tricks, and curious ex- 
ploits, with which your petitioner's daughter was greatly delighted. 


" It is however well known lo your petitioner, and all who entei 
into these mysteries, that Framjee's wife committed a great fault 
in performing these ceremonies before a stranger, who had not been 
initiated, and which she had been enjoined to keep secret. For 
this reason, and because your petitioner's daughter had been pre- 
sent at those magical rites, one of the devils left Framjee's wife, and 
entered into your petitioner's daughter; who, on coming home from 
that visit, fell down upon the bed, without sense or motion, and 
continued in that state for some hours. On coming to herself, her 
parents inquired the cause of her illness: she answered she could 
not tell; and sunk again into silence and stupidity. 

" In this melancholy situation your petitioner's daughter con- 
tinued for two months; at the expiration of which time she told 
her friends that a devil from Framjee's wife had entered her body, 
and tormented her for food and sacrifices; saying she would de- 
stroy her if she did not furnish every thing necessary, as Fram- 
jee's wife had supplied both her and her sister; that if she would 
treat her in all respects as her sister was treated, she never would 
hurt her, because the devils were sisters, and there must be no dif- 
ference in their treatment. From that day the devil in }'our peti- 
tioner's daughter was supplied with necessaries and sacrifices to 
her liking, and all remained in peace and quietness. 

" Some lime afterwards, as Framjee and his wife were sitting at 
home together, the latter burnt incense, and performed the usual 
ceremonies to call up her devil: she accordingly made her appear- 
ance; when Framjee desired her to cause the devil, which had so 
long been in your petitioner's daughter, to come and dwell again 


in the body of his wife. On which the devil replied that her sister 
could not leave your petitioner's daughter, who now treated her 
with good things, and performed her daily sacrifices. 

" Your petitioner has likewise a female relation, named Johye, 
who is skilled in these mysteries, and understands all the conjuring 
business; she was a great friend to Framjee's wife, but because 
she would not assist her in getting the devil to leave your peti- 
tioner's daughter, and return into her own body, she quarrelled 
with the said Johye, and accused her falsely before your worship, 
in the Court of Adawlet, of having performed certain magical 
ceremonies, by which she almost conjured her only son to death. 
On Framjee's son being carried on his bed to your garden house, 
and shown to you in those dreadful fits which left him without any 
appearance of life, you was pleased to hear all the stories and 
accusations of Framjee and his wife against the said Johye, and 
to order her to be confined in the chowkey of the adawlet until 
the next court day, when she is to be tried upon this false accu- 

" But your petitioner begs leave to say, that this is all a false 
story against the said Johye; for it is God who has been pleased 
to afflict Framjee's son with a sickness almost unto death; and it 
is not in the power of Johye to cure him, although Framjee has 
assured you that she can ; and you have, in consequence of his 
assertion, ordered her to take off* the spell, and to effect his cure. 
And further as your petitioner knows that his daughter will die 
whenever the devil leaves her body, he begs leave to inform you, 
that the said Johye cannot assist Framjee's wife in callino- her out, 
and sending her again into her own body. 

VOL. II. 3 B 


" This being the case with respect to the said Johye, your 
petitioner requests that you will be pleased to release her from 
confinement, as he will be bound for her appearance next court 
day in the Adawlet; together with her son Hormuz, whom Fram- 
jee has also accused of being an accomplice in this conjuring 

" And your petitioner will ever pray for your long life ami haj>- 
piness. Ruttonjee Monackjke." 

Bth January, 1782. 

As the spirits in the original petition arc called devils, and I 
did not choose to alter any part of this singular production, except 
to correct the orthography of the Hindoo translator, so I have in- 
serted that term, and copied it in all other respects from the peti- 
tion which was presented to me as judge in the public court; but 
I believe the original word means those genii, or spirits, who form 
a class of middle beings in the creed of most Indians, whether 
Hindoos, Mahomedans, or Parsees. Every Persian and Arabian 
tale is embellished with their adventures. The Mahomedans 
firmly believe in their agency; and the Hindoos arc taught that 
two of these genii attend upon every mortal, from the moment of 
his existence until his death ; that to the one is committed the 
record of his good actions; to the other the report of his trans- 
gressions, at the tribunal appointed for judgment. 

On these subjects it is difficult even for a person of more ex- 
perience than myself to expatiate; the acute Dr. Fryer, however, 
affords some assistance. After describing the sacrifice of a dun<*- 


hill-cock under a banian-tree, by the chief of a Hindoo town, he 
says " the blood was sprinkled upon the dancers, who giving a great 
shout, cried out that the devil must be pacified with blood; God 
with prayers. Some of these people sell themselves to wicked- 
ness; nourishing a familiar in their families, appearing to them 
upon their command, and undergo fiery afflictions to have the 
most hurtful devil. Besides those diseases that are said to be 
devils put into one another; about which, as many as I have met 
with, I have been curiously inquisitive, their phenomena, or ener- 
gies, are discussed by natural causes, and as often cured by natu- 
ral means: but, on the contrary, it is allowed where they resist 
them it is suspicious. And the devil, without doubt, cannot more 
easily work on an}" than the weak and simple; and on that ac- 
count may probably delude and over- awe these people that give 
themselves up to him wholly out of fear; having not so much 
virtue, fortitude, and cunning, to resist and check their cunning, as 
the wiser sort. As for the visible appearance of a devil or daemon, 
which they say is common among them, I am convinced it may be 
credible; but in the meanwhile rage and melancholy madness, 
assisted by the infernal powers, may create great illusions to a 
fancy fitted for such an operation; and they may think ihej' see 
things which in reality are not so." 

All history, ancient and modern, presents grounds for these 
phenomena: the scriptures of the Old and New Testament clearly 
assert the fact, as in the case of Saul with the woman of Endor, 
and in many other passages. That such da3mons existed in our 
Saviour's time none can doubt; had they not been common amono- 
the heathen nations in preceding ages, the Israelites would not 


have had these solemn injunctions. " There shall not be found 
anions you any one that uselh divination, or is an observer of 
times, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a necromancer; for 
all that do these things are an abomination to the Lord." 

Dr. Francis Buchanan mentions a man who was supposed to 
be possessed by one of these evil spirits in Mysore; which caused 
great uproar in the village, and was at length appeased by the 
brahmins' prayers, and strewing consecrated ashes over the invalid. 
Dr. Buchanan proves that this man was subject to the epilepsy, 
and that the recurrence of the fit had been occasioned by a vio- 
lent paroxym of intoxication. That I have no doubt was the 
cause in this instance, but I am of opinion that the effects I have 
alluded to, proceeded from other causes, although I cannot under- 
take to explain them. The petition of the Parsee merchant was 
entered on the records of the court of Adawlet at Baroche, and 
I preserved it among my manuscripts, on account of the impres- 
sion it then made upon my mind, and the agitation it caused in 
a large city, inhabited by many thousand Hindoos, Mahomedans, 
and Parsees, widely differing in religious sentiments, but unitino- 
in the belief of this supernatural agency. When these facts are 
compared with many other circumstances, more or less connected 
with them, throughout these volumes, respecting the ignorance, 
superstition, and prejudices of the natives in general, their intro- 
duction may perhaps not be thought irrelevant to the subject of 
Indian jurisprudence. 

Since the commencement of this selection from my original 
manuscripts, I have endeavoured to omit such passages as did not 
appear generally interesting; and by abridging others as much as 


possible, to avoid prolixity. But if a writer on foreign countries 
were to suppress every thing which could not be brought to the 
standard of reason, and to withhold local anecdotes, apparently 
trifling, which often very strongly mark the national and indivi- 
dual character, his narrative would be comparatively dull, and want 
that zest which distinguishes the traveller from the sedentary com- 
poser: at the same time it must be allowed, that after a long series 
of years, the traveller who wrote from first impressions, and com- 
mitted to paper all that then engaged his attention, will find it 
necessary to expunge many incidents which at the time were in- 
teresting to himself, though at a subsequent period they might not 
be deemed so by general readers. 

Few persons have had more experience of the Indian cha- 
racter than Lord Teignmouth. Being elected President of the 
Asiatic Society, after the much-lamented death of Sir William 
Jones, he thus addresses them in his first paper: " Ma??, and Na- 
ture were proposed, by our late President, as the comprehensive 
objects of our researches; and although I by no means think 
that advantage should be taken of this extensive proposition, to 
record every trivial peculiarity of practice, habit, or thinking 
which characterizes the natives of India, many singularities will 
be found amongst them which are equally calculated to gratify 
curiosity, and to attract the notice of the philosopher and politi- 
cian. Of all studies, that of the human mind is of the greatest im- 
portance; and, whether we trace it in its perfection or debase- 
ment, we learn to avoid error, or obtain models for improvement, 
and examples for imitation. In pursuing customs and habits to 
the principles from which they are derived, we ascertain ,by the 


sure rule of experience, the effects of natural or moral causes upon 
the human mind, The characters of the natives of India, not- 
withstanding all that has been published in Europe, are by no 
means well understood there; and a careful and accurate investi- 
gation of them, with a due discrimination of habits and usages, 
as local or general, would afford a subject for a curious, useful, 
and entertaining dissertation." 

After these general observations, the President instances seve- 
ral very extraordinary facts respecting the brahmins; some of 
which I have mentioned at Baroche. lie then introduces a 
story from the judicial records, in which five women were put to 
death for the supposed practice of sorcery. " In the year 1792, 
three men of the caste of Soontaar, in one of the Bengal districts, 
were indicted for the murder of these five women: the prisoners 
without hesitation confessed the crime with which they were charged, 
and pleaded in their defence, that with their tribes it was the im- 
memorial custom and practice to try persons notorious for witch- 
craft. That for this purpose an assembly was convened of those 
of the same tribe, from far and near; and if, after due investio-a- 
lion, the charge was proved, the sorcerers were put to death: and 
no complaint was ever preferred on this account to the lulino- 
power. That the women who were killed had undergone the pre- 
scribed form of trial, were duly convicted of causing the death of 
the son of one of the prisoners by witchcraft, and had been put 
to death by the prisoners, in conformity to the sentence of the 

" To ascertain with a degree of certainty the persons guilty of 
practicing witchcraft, the three following modes are adopted. 


First, branches of the saul Iree, marked with tlie names of all 
the females in the village, whether married or unmarried, who 
have attained the age of twelve years, are planted in the water 
in the morning, for the space of four hours and a half; and 
the withering of any of these branches is proof" of witchcraft 
against the person whose name is annexed to it. Secondly, 
small portions of rice enveloped in cloths, marked as above, are 
placed in a nest of white ants; the consumption of the rice in any 
of the bags, establishes sorcery against the woman whose name it 
bears. Thirdly, lamps are lighted at night; water is placed in cups 
made of leaves, and mustard-seed oil is poured, drop by drop, into 
the water, whilst the Dame of each woman in the village is pro- 
nounced; the appearance of the shadow of any woman on the water 
during this ceremony, proves her a witch. 

" Such arc the general rules for ascertaining those who prac- 
tise witchcraft. In the instance which I have quoted, the wit- 
nesses swore, and probably believed, that all the proofs against the 
unfortunate women had been duly verified. They assert in evi- 
dence, that the branches marked with the names of the five wo- 
men accused, were withered; that the rice in the bags, having their 
specific names, was devoured by the white ants, whilst that in 
the other bags remained untouched; that their shadows appeared 
on the water on the oil being poured upon it whilst their names were 
pronounced; and further that they were seen dancing at midnight, 
naked, by the light of a lamp, near the house of the sick person. 
It is difficult to conceive that this coincidence of proof could have 
been made plausible to the grossest ignorance, if experience did not 
shew that prepossession will supersede the evidence of the senses." 

What connexion the oriental sorcery may have with the necro- 
mancy of Homer and other ancient writers, I cannot say. The 
Grecian bard asserts its antiquity in several instances, and espe- 
cially in the most ancient of all denominations, the evocation of 
the dead; by customs and ceremonies, similar perhaps to those 
used by the infernal agent for calling up Samuel at the desire 
of Saul. 

" There, in a lonely land, and gloomy cells, 
" The dusky nation of Cimmeria dwells ; 
" There the wan shades we hail, 
" New wine, with honey-tempered milk, we bring, 
" And living waters from the crystal spring; 
" O'er these we strew'd the consecrated flour, 
" And on the surface shone the holy store. 
" Thus solemn rites and holy vows we paid, 
" To all the phantom nations of the dead. 

" Know to the spectres that thy beverage taste 
" The scenes of life occur, and actions past; 
" They, seal'd with truth, return the sure reply, 
" The rest repell'd, a train oblivious fly." 

Dacier, on these passages, proves that this kind of necro- 
mancy prevailed before Homer's time, among the Chaldeans, and 
spread over all the oriental world. vEschylus introduces it in his 
tragedy of Persa: and thus it appears that there was a foundation 
for what Homer writes, and that he only embellishes the opinions 
of antiquity with the ornaments of poetry. 

From the story of Saul and the woman of Endor, there can be 
no doubt of the general belief and practice of this kind of necro- 



mancy in Palestine, derived most probably from the surrounding 
nations. In that instance we find that the woman herself had a 
familiar spirit; and by that means obtained the power of convers- 
ing with departed spirits [from the human body]: similar to that 
is the belief so universally entertained throughout Persia, Arabia, 
and India, of the existence of genii, demons, and familiar spirits, 
under different denominations. Manner, on this singular subject, 
says, " the sacred and profane writers, believing the reality of the 
same thing, use exactly the same language, and apply the same 
terms in precisely the same sense. An afflicted father brings his 
wretched son to our blessed Lord, and thus in accosting him de- 
scribes the case of the child: ' Master, I beseech thee, look upon 
my son, for he is my only child; and lo, a spirit taketh him, and 
he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him, till he foameth again; 
and bruising him, hardly departeth from him.' 

" That the same form of speech is used by heathen writers, 
and the same effects described, when they speak of supernatural 
influence, the following account from Herodotus will make suffi- 
ciently evident. Speaking of Scyles, king of the Scythians, who, 
having received a Grecian education, was more attached to the 
customs of the Greeks, than to those of his own countrymen, and 
who desired to be privately initiated into the bacchic mysteries, he 
adds, " Now because the Scythians reproach the Greeks on ac- 
count of these bacchanals, and say, that to imagine a god driving 
men into paroxysms of madness is not agreeable to reason; a cer- 
tain Borysthenian, while the king was privately performing the 
ceremonies, went out, and discovered the matter to the Scythian 
army in these words. " Ye Scythians ridicule us because we cele- 

VOL. II. 3 c 


brate the mysteries of Bacchus, and the god possesscth us; but 
now this same demon (AAIMHN) possesseth your king, and he per- 
forms the part of a Bacchanalian, and is filled with fury by the 

god/ IlEIiODOTUS. 

This passage is truly remarkable. The identical expressions 
used by the evangelist are also used by Herodotus. A demon, 
($txifjt.uv), or spirit, is the agent in the Greek historian, and in the 
case mentioned in the text; in both cases it is said the demon takes 
or possesses the persons, and the very same word hecpfiuvu is used 
to express this circumstance by both historians. They both also 
represent these possessions as real, by the effects produced in the 
persons. The heathen king rages with fury through the influence 
of the demon, called the god Bacchus; the person in the text 
screams out, is greatly convulsed, and foams at the mouth. The 
case in the sacred text was certainly a real possession; and there- 
fore when the Jews saw that, by the superior power of Christ, 
the demon was expelled, they were all astonished at the majesty 
of God ! 

Virgil has left us a description of a demoniacal possession of 
this kind, where the effects are nearly simitar. 

" — ^— — — ait, deus, ecce, deus ! cui talia fanti 
" Ante fores, subito non voltus, non color unus, 
" Non comptae mansere comse ; sed pectus anhelum, 
" Et rabie fera corda tument : majorque videri, 
" Nee mortale sonans, adflata est numine quanda 
" Jam propiore Dei. — 

At Phcebi nondum patiens immanis in autre 

" Bacchatur vates, magnum si pectore possit 


* c Excussisse deum. Tanto magis ille fatigat 

*' Os rabidum, fera corda domans, fingitque premendo. JEhzid rj. 

" I feel the god, the rushing god ! she cries — 
~" While thus she spoke, enlarged her features grew, 
" . Her colour chang'd, her locks dishevell'd flew ; 
" The heavenly tumult reigns in every part, 
" Pants in her breast, and swells her rising heart ; 
" Still spreading to the sight, the priestess glow'd, 
" And heav'd impatient of th' incumbent god. 
" Then, to her inmost soul, by Pho-bus fn'd, 
" In more than human sounds she spoke inspir'd." Pitt's Virgil. 

These are remarkable instances, and mutually reflect light on 
each other: the sacred historian explaining the profane, and the 
profane illustrating the sacred. I am indebted to Harmer's obser- 
vations for many of the preceding illustrations of this singular 
subject, which I shall conclude with an extract from the life of 
the late Dr. Townson, by archdeacon Churton; it deserves the 
attention of every unprejudiced mind, as it places the hypothesis 
in a fair light, and is ablj r defended by the writer. It may be 
necessary to premise that it was Dr. Townson to whom Lord North 
addressed himself when the Divinity chair of the university of Ox- 
ford became vacant by the death of Dr. Wheeler, in 1783. Lord 
North, then chancellor of Oxford, thus writes to Dr. Townson: 
" Upon the death of Dr. Wheeler, the king commanded me to 
look out for a proper successor; by which words his majesty un- 
derstood some person confessedly well-qualified for the Divinity 
chair, whose promotion should be acceptable to the public at 
lar^e, and, particularly, to the university of Oxford. I have since 
endeavoured to execute his majesty's commands; and, after the 


most minule inquiries, I cannot find any person in the kingdom, 
who corresponds so exactly to his majesty's definition of a Divi- 
nity Professor, as Dr. Townson ; a gentleman, whose character is 
universally beloved and esteemed, and whose general learning, 
and particular knowledge in theology, has been acknowledged in 
the most distinguished manner by ihc university where the pro- 
fessorship is now vacant. You will, therefore, 1 hope, give me 
an opportunity of acquiring credit to myself, of promoting theolo- 
gical knowledge, and of giving satisfaction to the public and to 
his majesty, by accepting a situation which, by the public testi- 
mony of the University of Oxford, and by the general consent of 
all who are acquainted with you, you are the properest person in 
England to fill. 

(Signed) North." 

This character, then, so illustrious for learning and piety, on a 
special occasion, composed and used the following prayer by the 
desire of the sufferer. 

" O Almighty and everlasting God! whose blessed Son Jesus 
Christ did give to his apostles and other ministers of his word, 
power over unclean spirits, grant, O Lord, that if any evil spirits 
have afflicted this thy servant, they may be driven away from him, 
and be suffered no more to hurt or come near him. Hear, O Lord, 
our humble supplication in the name and through the mediation 
of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." 

On this prayer his excellent biographer remarks, that " Dr. 
Townson was well aware the hypothesis on which it proceeds, 
though consonant to the sentiments of our best divines, is not the 

■ I 


current opinion of the clay. But what is unfashionable is not al- 
ways false. It is thought by some to be in all cases a sufficient 
proof that nothing beyond natural disease has happened, because, 
when by medical aid bodily health has been restored, the mind is 
again perfectly free and tranquil. He esteemed this argument by 
no means satisfactory. There are persons who will converse with 
you coolly and rationally on any subject whatever, who yet 
have occasionally propositions darted into their mind (as they be- 
lieve and express themselves) as distinct from their own train of 
thoughts, as if they were pronounced by another person. To al- 
lege that the body occasions these things, is surely to assign an 
effect without a cause; or, which is the same thing, without an 
adequate cause; for it is not, I hope, the body that creates thoughts 
and forms propositions. To say again that the mind itself is the 
sole agent in the business, is to argue against the consciousness 
and conviction of that mind; for the person thus molested shall at 
the sarne instant be talking with you cheerfully on a subject totallj r 
different; shall be reading, or praying. If these momentary inter- 
ruptions are seldom experienced but when the body is more or 
less indisposed, and cease when it has regained the full tone and 
vigour of health, this only shews that a disordered body was the 
predisposing occasion or organ, but does not prove it to have been 
the immediate or efficient cause. It will not be denied that there 
are malignant beings, who watch every opportunity, and eagerly 
seize every permitted mode, of assaulting us; and where then 
is the absurdity of supposing they may be able to harass us, 
when one part of the machine is disordered, in a different manner 
or degree, from what is in common cases possible, when the whole 


moves in perfect harmony? When a wicked monarch was troubled 
by a more wicked spirit, the melody of the harp composed and 
refreshed him, and he was well, and his toiled assailant departed 
from him. In what I have slated, I am assured, I represent facts; 
and I know, as to the probable cause of those facts, 1 express his 
sentiments, whose opinions, as well as actions, so far as it is mate- 
rial to record the one or the other, it is my duty to exhibit with all 
fidelity. We cannot pronounce with certainty what is merely 
natural disease, what demoniacal possession, and what the occa- 
sional molestation of the powers of darkness; for we have not, as 
bishop Newton has justly remarked on the subject, that miracu- 
lous gift, the discerning of spirits; but it is right surely to pray for 
deliverance from the more extraordinary degrees of temptation or 
trouble, as well as from those which are less uncommon; provided 
it be done with a condition expressed, that the case be what to us 
appears probable; and a better prayer for the purpose will not 
easily be devised, than that which precedes and occasioned these 

Soon after my appointment to Dhuboy, I witnessed an extra- 
ordinary occurrence, and committed the particulars to paper a few 
hours after it happened. 

The discovery of money and jewels, concealed in receptacles 
within the thick walls and subterraneous cells in oriental houses, is 
well known; such treasures are also frequently found in obscure 
spots in fields and gardens. A town is seldom conquered with- 
out such a discovery; and it is not uncommon to find similar de- 
posits in the country. That such concealments were believed 
among the ancients, we learn from many historians; especially 


from an anecdote in Tacitus, respecting Nero becoming the dupe 
of fortune, and incurring the derision of the public, from believing 
the visionary schemes of Cesellius Bassus, a native of Carthage; 
a man of a crazed imagination, who relied on whatever occurred 
to him in his distempered dreams. This man arrived at Rome, 
and, by the influence of money well applied, gained admission to 
the emperor. The secret, which he had to communicate, was, that 
on his own estate he had found a cavern of astonishing depth, in 
which were contained immense stores of gold, not wrought into 
coin, but in rude and shapeless ingots, such as were used in the 
earliest ages: besides these were vast heaps and massive columns 
of pure gold; which were supposed to have been deposited there 
by Dido, when she fled from Tyre, and founded the city of Car- 
thage. The result of the story is well known; I have only men- 
tioned the anecdote in corroboration of existing circumstances in 
India; where, from time immemorial, it has been the custom for 
sovereigns and great men to make immense collections of gold and 
precious stones. The treasures belonging to some of the ancient 
Hindoo rajahs almost exceed belief. Nadir Shah's plunder at the 
court of Delhi excites our wonder; and the treasuries of the late 
Tipoo Sullaun afford a recent instance of these accumulations. 
The Iliad and Odyssey abound with descriptions of royal wealth; 
and sacred history informs us, that Hezekiah, king of Judah, shewed 
the ambassadors of the Babylonish monarch all the house of his 
precious things; the silver, the gold, and the spices; the precious 
ointments, and all the house of his armour. 

But what comes nearest to the point in my own adventure is, 
an anecdote related by d'Herbelot, of a Persian king who, from 


want of attention to his finances, was reduced to great difficulties, 
and knew not how to replenish his exhausted exchequer. Walk- 
ing one day in an unfrequented part of his palace, he saw a snaki 
put his head out of a hole in the wall; on which he ordered it to 
be killed. His attendants accordingly broke down a part of the 
wall, in search of the serpent; it eluded their vigilance, but, in so 
doing, they discovered a secret receptacle, containing treasure to 
a great amount, which had been concealed there by another prince, 
and relieved the monarch from his necessities. 

After this preamble, I have more courage in relating the adven- 
ture which occurred during a journey from Baroche to Dhuboy; 
when I stopped, with a small escort, for water and refreshments 
at Nurrah, a large ruined village about six miles from the capital. 
It had been plundered and burnt not long before, by the Mah- 
ralta cavalry, when general Goddard took Dhuboy. The princi- 
pal house at Nurrah, a mansion far beyond the general style of 
Hindoo buildings, had belonged to a man of family and opulence, 
who emigrated during the war, and died in a distant country; the 
house and gardens were then in a state of desolation. I received 
private information, that under a particular tower in this mansion 
was a secret cell, known only to the owner and the mason who 
constructed it; that very man gave me the intelligence; adding it 
was purposely formed to contain his treasure without the know- 
ledge of his family, and was afterwards closed with strong 

We accompanied the informer through several spacious courts 
and extensive apartments, in a state of dilapidation, until we 
came to a dark closet in a tower, at one corner of the mansion: 


this was a room about eight feet square, the diameter of the inte- 
rior of the tower, some stories above the supposed receptacle of 
the treasure. In the floor of this closet we observed a hole in the 
bricks and chunam, of which it was composed, sufficiently large 
for a slender person to pasS through. We enlarged the opening, 
and sent down two men by a ladder. After descending several feet 
they came to another chunam floor, with a similar aperture; this 
also being enlarged and torches procured, I perceived from the 
upper room that it was a gloomy dungeon of great depth. I de- 
sired the men to enter it and search for the treasure, which they 
positively reused, alleging that throughout Hindostan, wherever 
money was concealed, there existed one of the genii, in the mortal 
form of a snake, to guard it. I laughed at their credulity, and 
enforced the order for their immediate descent with some energy. 
My attendants sympathized in their feelings, and, under a deep 
impression of fear, seemed to wait the event in a sort of awful 
expectation. The ladder being too short to reach the floor of this 
subterraneous cell, I ordered strong ropes and additional torches 
to assist their descent. They at length reluctantly complied, and. 
by the lights held in their hands, during a slow progress down the 
ropes, we could distinguish, through the gloom, the dark sides and 
moist floor of the dungeon. They had not been many seconds in 
search of the treasure, when they called out vehemently that 
they were enclosed with a large snake, and their cries, ascend- 
ing from this dismal abyss, were most horrible. I still remained 
incredulous, and would not suffer the ropes for facilitating their 
escape to be lowered until I had seen the serpent. Their 
screams were dreadful, and my resolution inflexible; until at 

VOL. II. 3 d 


length, by keeping the upper lights steady, I perceived some- 
thing like billets of wood, or rather more resembling a ship's 
cable coiled up in a dark hold, seen from the deck; but no lan- 
guage can express my sensations of astonishment and terror, when 
I saw a horrid monster rear his head, over an immense length of 
body, coiled in volumes on the ground; and working itself into 
exertion by a sort of sluggish motion. What I felt on seeing two 
fellow creatures exposed by my orders to this " fiend of vengeful 
nature," I must leave to the reader's imagination. There was not 
a moment for reflection; down went the ropes, and we drew up 
the panting terrified wretches speechless; but, to my inexpressible 
joy, no otherwise affected than by the cold perspiration and death- 
like state produced by fear, which soon subsided. Some hay be- 
ing then thrown clown upon the lighted torches left in the cavern, 
consumed the mortal part of the guardian genius, as we afterwards 
took up the scorched and lifeless body of a large snake; but, not- 
Avithstanding a minute search, no money could be found. The 
proprietor had doubtless carried off his treasure Avhen he fled 
to a foreign country. As the cells in the tower were all very 
small and deep, and the walls of strong masonry, it appears won- 
derful how this snake had subsisted. Toads have been discovered 
alive in the centre of large blocks of marble, without any aper- 
ture, and in the midst of a solid trunk of oak; how either those rep- 
tiles, or the coluber genii of India, subsist in their singular abode, 
I must leave to the investigation of the curious. 

My upper servant, then with me at Nurrah, was of the Parsee 
tribe; an intelligent man, unprejudiced, and not tinctured with 
superstition. He told me that one of his countrymen at Sural, in 


repairing a house a few years before, had found a considerable sum 
of money in a similar receptacle; guarded in the same manner by a 
large cobra di capello, or hooded-snake, of which several persons 
were witnesses. This Parsee was a man of consequence, and 
head-broker to the Dutch factory at Sural. Such an accumula- 
tion of wealth made a great noise in the city; but instead of de- 
stroying the extraordinary centinel, he brought it a bason of milk, 
and burnt incense, which caused it to retire while he removed the 
treasure; one half of which he wisely presented to the nabob, and 
dedicated part of the remainder to charitable purposes. After this 
adventure he was considered to be a lucky man, and prospered in 
all his undertakings* 

I wished very much for one of the ancient psylli, or a modern 
snake-charmer, in my train at Nurrah, to have called forth the 
serpent who had guarded the treasure confided to his care until 
its owner most probably carried it away, but forgot to liberate the 
centinel. Having acted faithfully in his trust, his life ought to 
have been spared. I have mentioned the power of music over 
the dancing-snakes at Bombay, and the fatal accident which enr 
sued there; I have since had many opportunities of witnessing the 
effect of these charmers upon the serpents in Guzerat; my garden 
at Dhuboy was infested with them, and I have every reason to 
believe they were attracted from it to follow these musicians. It 
may appear extraordinary in Europe, but as I have already ob- 
served, there is an allusion to it in the Hebrew poetry; and the 
ancients were doubtless well acquainted with their power, if any 
such they possess. Medea is said to have charmed the dragon 


which guarded the golden fleece by the melody of her voice; and 
similar effects are mentioned in Virgil's iEneid : 

" Vipereo generi, et graviter spirantibus hydris 
" Spargere, qui somnos cantiique manuque solebat, 
' ' Mulcebatqne iras, et morsus arte levabat. 

" His wand and holy words the viper's rage, 

" And venom'd wound of serpents could assuage." Dryden's Virgil. 

Herodotus mentions that in the vicinity of Thebes there were 
sacred serpents not at all troublesome to men; and also that in the 
citadel of Athens there was a large serpent in the temple which 
continually defended it; and of this they had such an entire con- 
viction, that they offered it every month cakes of honey, which 
were always consumed. Bryant observes that the symbolical 
worship of the serpent was in the first ages very extensive, and 
was introduced into all the mysteries wherever celebrated. 

Dr. Buchanan, describing his journey through the Mysore, says 
that he was shewn the pit where Sedasiva, who flourished there in 
the fifteenth century, and erected a temple to Iswara at Kilida, 
found a treasure, and a sword, which were the commencement of 
his good fortune. " To this spot he was conducted by a naga, 
" or hooded serpent, sent for the purpose by some propitious deity. 
" While Sedasiva was a asleep in a field, the naga came, and 
" shaded his head from the sun, by raising up as an umbrella its 
" large fiat neck. The young man was awaked by a shriek from 
" his mother, who in looking after her son found him under the 
4S power of the monster. He immediately started up to escape, 


" but was opposed by the serpent, until he consented to follow 
" it quietly, and was conducted to the place where the treasure was 
" hid. Here the snake began to bite the ground, and make signs ; 
" at length Sedasiva, having dug into the earth, found a cave filled 
" with treasure, and containing a sword. Such are the fables by 
" which the Hindoo chiefs endeavour to gain the admiration and 
" respect of their countrymen, whose credulity indeed renders the 
" means very adequate to the end proposed." 

Among other curious circumstances in my administration of 
justice at Dhubo3 r , I was sometimes obliged to admit of the ordeal 
trial. In the first instance a man was accused of stealing a child 
covered with jewels, which is a common mode of adorning in- 
fants among the wealthy Hindoos. Many circumstances appeared 
against him, on which he demanded the ordeal: it was a measure to 
which I was very averse, but at the particular request of the Hin- 
doo arbitrators, who sat on the carpet of justice, and especially at 
the earnest entreaty of the child's parents, 1 consented. A cauldron 
of boiling oil was brought into the durbar, and after a short cere- 
mony by the brahmins, the accused person, without shewing any 
anxiety, dipped his hand to the bottom, and lookout a small silver 
coin, which I still preserve in remembrance of this transaction. 
He did not appear to have sustained any damage, or to suffer the 
smallest pain; but the process went on no further, as the parents 
declared themselves perfectly convinced of his innocence. 

In a former chapter I related some particulars respecting 
the ordeal trial on the Malabar coast, where it is much used. 
During my abode among the northern Hindoos I found it univer- 
sally credited, and more or less used under all the governments 


in Guzerat. They are permitted to practise it in several different 
modes, both under their own rajahs, and the Mahomedan princes. 
These ordeals are by fire, water, poison, rice, the balance, and boil- 
ing oil. I have already described the trials by water, and by rice, 
I shall now confine my remarks to that by boiling oil, as being 
most customary in the Dhuboy districts, and the only method 
which came under my own observation. 

In general, on the day appointed for the trial, many religious 
ceremonies are used by the brahmins, and the prisoner; the vessel 
is consecrated, and the ground on which the fire is lighted, is pre- 
viously covered with cow-dung; a substance much employed in 
religious ceremonies by the Hindoos. When the oil is sufficiently 
heated, a leaf of the holy pippal (ficus-religiosa) is put into the 
vessel, and when it has evidently felt the effect of the fire, a solemn 
prayer is offered by the superior brahmin; the accused is then 
ordered to take out the ring or coin which had been placed at the 
bottom of the vessel. There are some instances where the prisoner 
has been terribly burnt; and there are many others, equally 
well attested, where the hand and arm received no injury. 

Voltaire, in writing on the ancient ordeal in Europe, says, that in 
the dark ages they were possessed of a secret to pass unhurt through 
many of these singular trials; especially that of plunging in boil- 
ing water, which consisted in rubbing the body over with spirit 
of vitriol and alum mixed with the juice of onions. Whether this 
was efficacious in those days I leave to the determination of anti- 
quarians; in the Malabar ordeals, especially those permitted by 
the English government, I know that every possible care was taken 
to prevent deception. 


The practice called Dherna, is not only known, but used in 
many places in Guzerat; it appears to me as singular as any cus- 
tom among the Bhauts, or any other extraordinary people among 
whom my lot was cast; and seldom did a day pass without my 
hearing something extraordinary concerning them. As I cannot 
describe the dherna from my own experience, I shall introduce 
lord Teignmouth's account of it, as another instance of the won- 
derful power the brahmins have obtained over the minds of the 

" The inviolability of a brahmin is a fixed principle of the 
Hindoos; and to deprive him of life, either by direct violence, or 
by causing his death in any mode, is a crime which admits of no 
expiation. To this principle may be traced the practice called 
dherna, which may be translated caption, or arrest. It is used by 
the brahmins to gain a point which cannot be accomplished by 
any other means; and the process is as follows. The brahmin who 
adopts this expedient for the purpose mentioned, proceeds to 
the door or house of the person against whom it is directed, or 
wherever he may most conveniently intercept him; he there sits 
down in dherna, with poison, or a poignard, or some other instru- 
ment of suicide, in his hand; and threatening to use it if his adver- 
sary should attempt to molest or pass him, he thus completely 
arrests him. In this situation the brahmin fasts; and by the rigour 
of the etiquette, which is rarely infringed, the unfortunate object 
of his arrrest ought also to fast; and thus they both remain until 
the institutor of the dherna obtains satisfaction. In this, as he 
seldom makes the attempt without resolution to persevere, he 
rarely fails; for if the party thus arrested were to surfer the brah- 


min sitting in dherna, to perish by hunger, the sin would for ever 
he upon his head. This practice has been less frequent of late 
years, since the institution of the court of justice at Benares in 
1783; but the interference of that court, and even that of the 
resident there, has occasionally proved insufficient to check it; as 
it has been deemed in general most prudent to avoid for this pur- 
pose the use of coercion, from an apprehension that the first ap- 
pearance of it might drive the sitter in dherna to suicide. The 
discredit of the act would not only fall upon the officers of jus- 
lice, but upon the government itself. The practice of sitting in 
dherna is not confined to male brahmins only; as is proved and 
exemplified in the conduct of Beenoo Bhai, the widow of a man of 
the brahminical tribe." 

The same intelligent writer mentions another singular and cruel 
custom called the koor. This term is explained to mean a circular 
pile of wood, which is prepared ready for conflagration; upon 
this, sometimes a cow, and sometimes an old woman, is placed by 
the constructors of the pile; and the whole is consumed together. 
The object of this practice is to intimidate the officers of govern- 
ment, or others, from importunate demands; as the effect of the 
sacrifice is supposed to involve in great sin the person whose 
conduct forces the constructor of the koor to this expedient. A 
woman who had been placed upon the Khoor in a dispute be- 
tween three brahmins in the province of Benares, was saved by 
the timely interposition of authority, and the attainment of the ob- 
ject by the temporary intimidation. She was summoned to ap- 
pear before the English superintendant of the province, but abso- 
lutely refused to attend him; declaring that she would throw her- 


self into the first well, rather than submit. She was nearly blind 
from age, and the summons was not enforced." 

The conduct of the bhauts and brahmins at Neriad, which I 
have particularly mentioned in the campaign in Guzerat, was 
exactly similar to the khoor described by lord Teignmouth, and 
proceeded from the peshwa of the Mahrattas making what they 
deemed an unjust demand. 

Many other extraordinary customs prevailed in the purgunnas 
under my charge; which I do not particularize, from a conscious- 
ness that in England they would have a very suspicious ap- 

The cremation of Hindoo widows with the bodies of their de- 
ceased husbands, is now no longer doubted; but, it is more diffi- 
cult to believe, that men in the prime of life, and surrounded by 
every blessing, should voluntarily desire to immolate themselves 
to their deities, and be buried alive; which is no uncommon sacri- 
fice among the tribe of Gosannees and other Hindoo devotees. A 
short time before I took charge of Dhuboy, a young man insisted 
on being interred alive near the temple at the Gate of Diamonds; 
and soon afterwards another performed the same sacrifice about 
half a mile without the English districts, because I refused him 
permission to do it in his native village; for neither is this self- 
immolation, the cremation of women, nor any other act of suicide 
allowed of within the company's territories. These solemn sacri- 
fices are always performed in the presence of many witnesses, and 
during the celebration of various religious rites and ceremonies 
by the brahmins. 

On such a sacrifice being announced, a large crowd assemble; 

VOL. II. 3 E 


a round pil is dug, of a depth sufficient for a man to stand up- 
right, into which the self-devoted victim descends, and the earth 
is gradually thrown on, until it entirely covers him. A tomb of 
solid masonry is immediately erected over his head, and solemn 
rites and flowery offerings are performed at stated periods, in me- 
mory of a saint who is supposed to have rendered an acceptable 
sacrifice to the destructive power, or some other deity in the Hin- 
doo mythology. 

In some particular castes, the Hindoo widows, instead of burn- 
ing themselves on the funeral pile of their hushands, are buried 
alive with the dead body. The deluded female, with the utmost 
composure, seats herself near the deceased in an upright posture; 
when the earth is gently filled around her, until it reaches her 
mouth; it is then thrown on in large quantities, that she may be 
the sooner suffocated. 

Instances occur of the Suttee, or Hindoo widow who has thus 
devoted herself to death, being reclaimed; but they are very un- 
common. Sir Charles Malet has communicated to me an event 
of this kind, which happened during his embassy at Poonah, on 
the 5th of September 17.92, as related in the following extract from 
his diary. 

" An extraordinary incident happened this day. A sepoy of 
my guard, of the Mharatta, or Columbee tribe, died ; his wife imme- 
diately declared herself a suttee; that is, resolved to devote her- 
self to the flames with his body: she accordingly assumed the 
yellow garment, the turban, the mirror, and all other insignia usual 
on such occasions. When informed of her resolution, I desired 
the officer of the guard, captain H , to endeavour to divert 


the suttee from her intention, and in case of failure to acquaint 
me with the result. He soon communicated his despair of success, 
and I desired her to be brought to me. 

" I found her a healthy young woman, about twenty-two years 
of age, in a state of mind firmly resolved on sacrificing herself 
with her dead husband, whom she incessantly and passionately 
invoked, with every endearing expression. The scene was singu- 
lar and affecting: I scarce knew how to commence the difficult 
task of soothing grief so poignant, or of diverting a resolution 
founded on despair. In the course of my endeavours 1 found the 
poor suttee had no relations at Poonah ; her father and mother 
lived in her native village, at some distance. I discovered like- 
wise that her husband's death had exposed her to the dread of ab- 
solute distress. The first subject furnished a strong counteracting 
power to the passionate grief that possessed her mind, and by pro- 
per application awakened a new sensation: which, followed up, 
produced a flood of tears, the first symptom of relaxation from de- 
termined grief; such as must have been the despairing sorrow of 
Niobe! A counteracting passion being thus excited, the dread of 
distress was soothed by assurances, properly introduced, of main- 
tenance in the means of devoting her future life to the discharge 
of religious ceremonies at the shrine of her household gods, in 
honour of her husband's memory; which would be more grateful 
to the gods, and acceptable to him, than sacrificing herself on his 
pyreal pile. 

" After these and a variety of other arguments, which occupied 
nearly three hours, in the course whereof gentle restraint was some- 
times imposed on occasional fits of passion and anguish, she was 


at length persuaded to suspend her fatal purpose, until the arrival 
of her parents; to whom a messenger was dispatched in her pre- 
sence, with a letter, and money for the expenses of their journey 
to the capital. The Hindoos attach the merit of the most sublime 
and holy heroism to this self-devotion; but the resolution once 
suspended, is seldom resumed, and was not in the present in- 

" I am sorry to remark, that I really believe the Hindoo spectators 
were rather grieved and mortified, than pleased at our success in 
saving this poor creature from the flames." 

These human immolations shock an Englishman in every point 
of view: animal sacrifices are no longer common on the Hindoo 
altars; but the morning offering of fruit, flowers, and meal, to the 
benevolent deities, create a pleasing sensation in the mind of the 
worshipper, the priest, and the European spectator; the latter at 
least beholds an innocent and grateful sacrifice, the brahmin 
finds it a beneficial one, and the humble devotee rejoices in having 
performed his daily duty at the altar of gratitude, for blessings 
daily enjoyed. 

I am not certain whether the Hindoos have any religious cere- 
mony, or libation, before their meals, like thelibaminaof the Romans, 
or the Christian's grace; that ablution precedes their repast is well 
known; it is also introduced among the Mahomedans, and adopted 
by some Europeans. Although, after a dusty journey among the 
Hindoo villages in my districts, I might neither drink out of their 
cups, nor wash my hands in their basons, yet would the women 
gently pour water from their jars into my hands, contracted into 
the form of a cup; and held sloping to the mouth: this is a com- 


mon method for the Indians of different castes to take water from 
each other. Pouring water over the hands to wash, instead of dip- 
ping them into a bason, has been always an oriental custom; we 
frequently meet with it in ancient manners. Elisha poured water 
upon the hands of his master Elijah: Moses washed Aaron with 
water, and poured the anointing oil upon his head, to sanctify 
him. When I dined with the Dutch governor at Cochin, three 
female slaves, neatly dressed, attended each of the guests before 
the dinner was put on the table; one girl held a silver bason 
decked with flowers, to contain the water, which another poured 
upon his hands, from a silver vase; and a third offered a clean 
napkin on a salver. At the English tables two servants attend 
after dinner, with a gindey and ewer, of silver or white copper; 
the former is adorned with fresh-gathered flowers, stuck in a per- 
forated cover, to conceal the water which is poured from the lat- 
ter over the hands of each guest. 

Whether the Hindoos annex any sacred idea to salt, I am not 
certain; the Mahomedans assuredly do throughout Asia. It is 
common among all the castes of India, and adopted by the Eng- 
lish, to say of an ungrateful or perfidious man, that " he is not 
worth his salt." It is a sacred pledge of hospitality among all the 
followers of the prophet. Numerous instances occur of travellers 
in Arabia, after being plundered and stripped by the wandering- 
tribes of the desert, claiming the protection of some civilized Arab, 
who, after once receiving him into his tent, and giving him salt, 
instantly relieves his distress, and never forsakes his guest until he 
is placed in safety. The tale of the forty thieves in the Arabian 
Nights Entertainment, presents a singular instance of the effect of 

eating salt, even in the mind of a robber and a murderer. When 
Morgiana, the faithful slave of Ali Baba, had in the character of 
a dancer struck a dagger in the heart of a merchant, his guest, 
and excited the horror of her master for such an act, she threw oft' 
her disguise, and told Ali Baba, that in the pretended merchant 
Coja Hussain, she had destroyed his cruel enemy, the captain of 
the robbers : to convince him of the truth of her assertion she dis- 
covered under his robe the murdering poignard, and asked her 
master this simple question, which caused her suspicion of his pre- 
tended friend : " Do you not recollect that he refused to eat salt 
with you? Can you require a stronger proof of his malicious in- 

This Arabian story is confirmed by a real anecdote in d'Herbelot, 
of Jacoub ben Laith, then a celebrated robber, but afterwards the 
founder of a dynasty of Persian monarchs, called Soffarides; who in 
one of his exploits having broken into the royal palace, and collected 
a large booty, was on the point of carrying it off, when he found 
his foot kick against something which made him stumble. Imagia- 
ing it might be an article of value, he put it to his mouth, the bet- 
ter to distinguish it. On tasting he found it was a lump of salt, 
the symbol and pledge of hospitality ; on which, he was so touched, 
that he retired immediately without carrying away any part of the 
spoil. The next morning occasioned the greatest surprise in the 
palace; Jacoub was taken up and brought before the prince, to 
whom he gave a faithful account of the whole transaction, and 
by this means so ingratiated himself with his sovereign, that he em- 
ployed him, as a man of courage and genius, in many arduous 
entei prizes ; in which he was so successful as to be raised to the 


command of his troops; whose confidence and affection to their 
general, made them, on the prince's death, prefer his interest to 
that of the heir to the throne, from whence he afterwards spread 
his extensive conquests. 

Salt was equally emblematical and sacred among the Greeks; 
Homer says " they sprinkle sacred salt from lifted urns/' 

" With water purify their hands, and take 

" The sacred offering of the salted cake." Iliad. 

Drinking water in an Arab's tent has the same good effect 
as eating salt. It was so in the time of the crusades, when the 
sultaun Saladine allowed his prisoner Lusignan, king of Jerusalem, 
to drink water in his presence; on the captive monarch offerino- the 
cup to one of his lords, equally thirsty, the sultaun prevented his 
drinking, because he meant to put him to death. However we may 
view the transaction in a political light, it adds no honour to Jael's 
character, that she treacherously murdered an unfortunate prince 
who had fled to her tent for protection; and " when he asked for 
water, she gave him milk; and brought forth butler in a lordly dish." 








Such themes as these, the rural Maro sung 
To wide imperial Rome, in the full height 
Of elegance and taste, by Greece retin'd. 

In ancient times, the sacred plough employ'd 
The kings and awful fathers of mankind: 
They held the scale of empire, rul'd the storm 
Of mighty war ; then, with victorious hand. 
Disdaining little delicacies, seiz'd 
The plough ; and, greatly independent, liv'd ! Thomson. 

VOL.. II. 3 F 


General state of agriculture in Guzerat — soil— produce — various crops 
— cotton — batty— juarree—bahjaree, and smaller grains — shrubs and 
seeds for oil — palma-christi — bluing — tobacco — betel — poppy, opium 
— sugar-cane — double crops — enclosures — morning beauties in In- 
dia — best mode of preserving health — Guzerat villages described — 
tanks and wells — allusions in scripture to living waters and verdant 
scenery — hospitality to travellers in Guzerat — peasantry — right of 
landed property —mode of cultivation, and appropriation of the 
produce — — illustration of a parable — washerman — 
cullies, or farm yards — oppression of the zemindars — Hindoo and 
Mosaic charities — unfavourable traits in the brahmin character, 
and the Hindoo religion — human sacrifices — contrasted with Chris- 
tianity — refections on this subject— jaghirts and (liferent tenures 
in Guzerat — scale of oriental despotism — anecdote of cruel oppres- 
sion at Tatta - Mahratta cruelty in the sheep-skin death — Dr. 
Robertson, on landed property in India — extracts from JVilks's 
History of My ore — Hii.doo bill of sale of land — lease of land at 
Baroche— instructions on taking charge of Dhuboy — minute re- 
specting landed property, and farming in Guzerat — remark from 
Bombay - replication from Baroche — conclusion in favour of leases 
to respectable farmers in India. 


The administration of justice, collection of the revenues, and 
superintendence of the districts under my charge, especially dur- 
ing the seasons of seed-lime and harvest, required frequent excur- 
sions into the country, and afforded me an opportunity of observ- 
ing the state of agriculture in the Guzerat province, and the man- 
ners and customs of the peasants in some of its remote purgunnas. 
In that delightful part of Hindostan are " no antres vast, nor de- 
serts idle," all is fertility and plenty; the soil, generally rich and 
loamy, produces valuable harvests of batty, juarree, bahjeree, and 
other grain, with cotton, shrubs for oil, and plants for dying. 
Many parts yield a double crop, particularly the rice and cotton- 
fields, which are both planted at the commencement of the rainy 
season, in June. The former is sown in furrows, and reaped in about 
three months: the cotton shrub, which grows to the height of three 
or four feet, and in verdure resembles the currant-bush, requires 
a longer time to bring its delicate produce to perfection. They are 
planted between the rows of rice, but do not impede its growth, or 
prevent its being reaped. Soon after the rice harvest is over, the 
cotton-bushes put forth a beautiful yellow flower, with a crimson 
eye in each petal; this is succeeded by a green pod filled with a 


while stringy pulp; the pod turns brown and hard as it ripens, 
and then separates into two or three divisions, containing the cot- 
ton. A luxuriant field, exhibiting at the same time the expanding 
blossom, the bursting capsule, and the snowy flakes of ripe cotton, 
is one of the most beautiful objects in the agriculture of rJindoslan. 
Herodotus says, the Indians, in his time, possessed a kind of plant, 
which instead of fruit, produced wool of a finer and belter quality 
than that of sheep, of which the natives made their clothes: this 
plant was no doubt the same as the (gossypium, Lin.) or modern 
cotton of India. The medium price of this valuable commodity 
when I was at Baroche and Dhuboy was from seventy to eigl ty 
rupees the candy, or from eight to nine pounds sterling for seven 
hundred and forty English pounds weight of cotton. Bally, or 
rice, from eighty to ten rupees a culsey, a weight equal to six 
hundred pounds; most of the other grains in Guzcrat were of a 
similar value. 

Juarree, or cush-eush, (holcus-sorghum, Lin.) is a fine large 
grain, growing to the height of eight or ten feet: each ear contains 
many hundred seeds, sometimes two thousand; the slem generally 
bears more than one head of corn, but the uppermost is always 
one of ihose royal ears, which, like the largest head of the helio- 
trope, greatly exceeds the rest in size and beauty. This grain in 
many respects resembles the maiz and guinea-corn, and forms a 
chief article of food in ihe Guzcral province. 

Bahjeree (holcus spicatus, Lin.) is another valuable grain, 
growing in the manner of the juarree; of an inierior size, and only 
eaten by the poor. Providence has been peculiarly bountiiul U 
the natives of Guzerat, in a variety of other useful grains. Codra, 


)RA S • : 

I i 


G i. 3 ,« I ! 

■ i . ■ . ■• 
BATT1 i — 


chena, buntec, and bowtah, all of a nutritious quality, and grate- 
fVl to the peasants, are planted in June, and the harvest is finished 
in September: they are generally two or three feet high; when ripe, 
their golden, purple, and varied tints, give the country a rich ap- 
apearance ; as do the leguminous classes, of tuar, mutt, gram, 
and other pulses. Tuar (cytisus cajan, Lin.) when taken from 
the skin, like the split pea, is called dohll, and forms, with rice, a 
principal part of the best Indian dishes. Mutt, and gram, (doli- 
chos-birlorus, Lin.) are the most nutritious food for cattle: the 
Guzerat cows are very fond of the capaussia, or cotton-seed; it 
makes them give abundance of rich milk, and costs only four or 
five rupees the culsey. The large villages breed a number of 
milch-cows and buffaloes, as ghee, or clarified butter, for foreign 
consumption is a principal staple in the Guzerat markets. They 
also rear the best oxen for the service of the vanjarrahs, or mer- 
chants, so often mentioned, who travel with large caravans of 
these animals; they are also bred in many parts of Hindostan, for 
the purpose of transporting salt and other merchandize from the 
sea-coasts, to the interior towns at a distance. They will carry a 
load, according to their size and strength, from two to three hundred 
pounds, and travel ten or twelve miles a day for a great length of 
time. The food of these animals is straw, grass, capaussia, and 
oil-cakes, after the oil is expressed from the nuts. 

The variety of shrubs and plants which arc cultivated for oil 
in that part of India, add much to its general beauty. The natives 
never burn candles, and in the inland districts, where the cocoa- 
nut does not thrive, large tracts are set apart for the seeds from 
which they extract oil: those in the greatest esteem are the Efincreli, 


or Scsamum; and the erinda, ricinus Palma-christi. The latter oil 
is used medicinally with great success; an outward application of 
the leaves is often efficacious; when previously healed, and rubbed 
with oil, 1 have known it to give great relief in the gout. The 
consumption of vegetable oils for many millions of lamps which 
are lighted every night, for anointing the body, culinary purposes, 
and religious ceremonies, is very great throughout the whole of 
India, where I believe animal oil is never used. 

Mustard-seed is in great estimation for pickles, and similar pur- 
poses, but more so for its oil, which is expressed in great abun- 
dance. Hemp and flax are cultivated by many villages, not for 
the fibres, converted in Europe to such valuable manufactures; 
they are thrown away, or burnt as useless: but for the valuable 
oil produced from the seeds, and an intoxicating drug called bhang. 
The usual mode of expressing the oil from the different seeds is to 
put them into a cylindrical trough, or large mortar; a bullock 
driven round the simple machine, keeps the pestle in action, until 
the oil is extracted; after which, the remainder forms a nutri- 
tious food for horned cattle. Besides the annual plants for this 
purpose, the mawah, and some other large ornamental trees, 
produce nuts and fruit, from which they obtain oil of a good 

Tobacco is cultivated in most parts of India; it requires a good 
soil, and attains the height of two or three feet. The hairy slalk 
is covered wijh large leaves, which are carefully picked off when 
they change colour and scent the air; they are then dried in the 
shade, and preserved for use. Tobacco is an annual plant, of 
delicate appearance; the blossoms of a pale rose colour, and 

• //,• 

W.Eaokv -fatto. 

IWIAW. ^r>' ,>/ SPSEEAT. 

/ Jam/. Fcrhof. BhaAetpoor, f}8x . 


sometimes of a darker tint, grow in clusters, like the cowslip, at 
the top of a stately stem, abundantly enriched with leaves of 
varied and beautiful verdure. This plant, so common throughout 
India, Persia, and China, is doubtless indigenous to Asia, as well 
as to America. 

The areca, or betel-nut tree, does not thrive in Guzerat. Betel- 
leaf (piper betel, Lin.) so highly esteemed by the natives, is cul- 
tivated in most of the Indian provinces; abundantly so in Guze- 
rat. I have already mentioned it, and shall here only observe, that 
this beautiful creeper climbs upon small poles, like hops; a betel- 
garden, kept free from weeds, and well watered, is a beautiful ob- 
ject. The cooler the situation, the more luxuriant are the plants; 
for which reason the gardeners often raise a clump of plantain 
trees at the end of each bed, as they are known to cause addi- 
tional coolness in the atmosphere. The betel requires constant 
care; it does not attain perfection until the fourth year; but con- 
tinues to repay the cultivator's trouble, for at least six or seven 
years, by a plentiful crop of leaves, which are always a staple 
commodity in the bazar. The betel is produced by cuttings, 
planted four or five in a hole, and from the first requires great 

Ginger and turmeric abound in the Dhuboy purgunna: like 
the betel, they are planted in rows in large gardens, from cuttings 
of the roots, put into the earth at the commencement of the rainy 
season; in December and January following they are ready for 
taking up and drying. There are a few poppy-gardens in Guze- 
rat; the natives are fond of mixing the seeds in cakes arid con- 
fections. The opium poppy (papaver sonmiferum, Lin.) thrives 

VOL. II. 3 G 


•StcsI in Malwa, and is a great article in the commerce of Eujeen. 
The opium oozes from incisions made at the lop of the plant, in 
a white milky juice; which, when congealed, is gathered for sale, 
and frequently adulterated. Opium from the poppy is a drug per- 
fectly distinct from bhang, which is made from the hemp already 
mentioned. Both are used as a substitute for spirituous liquors; 
their intoxicating effects are very similar, and equally injurious to 
the constitution. 

The sugar-cane grows to the height of eight or nine feet, with 
a spreading tuft of leaves; the cane is three or four inches in cir- 
cumference. Like the bamboo, and other arundinaceous plants, it 
is intersected by numerous joints, which do not impede the circu- 
lation. The stem, covered with a hard rind, contains a spongy 
pith, full of juice; which in Bengal, Java, and other places is 
manufactured into sugar; in the western provinces of India it is 
seldom brought to such perfection. The natives either purchase 
foreign sugar, or are content with jaggree, a coarse kind of mo- 
lasses made from the boiled juice of the cane; it is also cut into 
small pieces, and sold, like fruit, in the bazar. Honey, wax, drugs, 
and a variety of medicinal plants, are produced, more or less, 
throughout Hindostan. 

It is necessary to make a distinction between the double 
crops in the agriculture of Guzerat, and the double harvests in 
the Concan and Malabar. I have just mentioned two respec- 
tive crops of rice and cotton, in the same field, in Guzerat. The 
two harvests in Malabar, during my residence in Travencore, 
were exactly as Dr. Fryer has described them in the style of the 
seventeenth century: " At the period when the rains invade India, 


they put a stop to journeying, voyaging, and all warlike operations, 
until the middle of August, when the earth is discovered,' and 
the rice begins to ripen; all this while it floated in the water, 
which it rejoices in. This is the first harvest, natural and uncom- 
pelled, because of the rain. The other crop ripens about March, 
with great pains of bringing water by gutters into their sown-fields: 
which, notwithstanding, yields not so plentiful a crop as the first." 

The lands in the Dhuboy districts are generally more enclosed 
than the Baroche purgunna; the hedges, frequently shaded by 
large mango and tamarind trees, are formed by different kinds of 
euphorbia, and a variety of bushes, shrubs, and creeping plants, 
in the rainy season profusely covered with blossoms of every 
mingled hue, which they more or less preserve through a few suc- 
ceeding months. Their early fragrance is delicious; the nightly 
dews, impregnated by the odours, exhale their short-lived sweets, 
and render a morning Avalk delightful. Those who do not then 
enjoy them, may truly say, 

We lose the prime, to mark how spring 
The tender plants, how blooms the citron grove, 
What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed ; 
How nature paints her colours, how the bee 
Sits on the bloom, extracting liquid sweet. Milton 

Such beauties are lost on those who do not rise at an early hour in 
India: the heat soon becomes too powerful for rural excursions. 
It is late in the evening before the atmosphere becomes cool ; the 
plants have lost their freshness, and every thing appears through 
a different medium. 

My first improvement in the garden at Dhuboy, was to make 


a bathing room, under an umbrageous banian-tree, close to the 
principal well. Bathing is generally eonsidered to be one of the 
greatest luxuries in India. Early rising, the cold bath, a 
morning walk, temperate meals, an evening ride, and retiring soon 
to rest, are the best rules for preserving health in India; and, 
wherever circumstances permitted, this pleasing routine was my 
general practice. An amiable medical writer has since given the 
same advice to the British youth in India, clothed in the pleasing 
dress of poetry. 

" The peaceful evening draws her sober shade 

Round the green summits of Malaya's hills ; 
While meek-ey'd Contemplation, pensive maid ! 
My bosom with a secret rapture fills. 

The gentle sea-breeze scarce is heard to blow. 

The tall areca waves no more its head, 
The shady plantain in the vale below 

Hangs pensive o'er the modest Hindoo's shed. 

Beneath the humble roof, their frugal meal 

Behold Hindostan's tawny sons prepare j 
No wish for other dainties do they feel, 

Than their own simple vegetable fare. 

Rash youth, beware! advice attend : 
Soon as Aurora gilds the eastern skies, 

And birds in pearly dew their plumage lave, 
Dispel your slumbers, from your couch arise, 

And fearless plunge into the briny wave. 

Next where the towering hills their umbrage lend, 

And fragrant champahs scent the morning gale, 
On the swift steed your devious courses bend, 

And health from every passing breeze inhale. 


But when the sun, with fierce meridian ray, 
Pours the bright torrent of ethereal fire, 

When ravening birds, and prowling beasts of prey, 
Seek the green shade, or to the den retire ; 

Then, stretch'd at ease in plantain-shelter'd bower, 

Poetic fiction, or the classic page, 
May oft beguile the tedious sultry hour, 

And the ripe cocoa's juice his thirst assuage. 

■ Observe the Hindoo, whose untutor'd mind, 
All false seductive luxury disdains ; 
To nature's wants his wishes are confined, 

While Health her empire o'er his frame maintains. 

His modes of life, by ancient sages plann'd, 

To suit die temper of his burning skies, 
He, who the climate's rage would long withstand, 

Will wisely imitate, nor e'er despise !" J. Johnson. 

The villages in the Dhuboy purgunna generally consist of 
thatched cottages, built of mud, and a few brick houses, with 
tiled roofs; a small dewal, a mosque, and sometimes a choultree, 
are the only public buildings. Near the large villages there is 
generally a tank, or lake, where the rain is collected, for the use of 
the cattle in the dry season; when, for the space of eight months, 
not a shower falls, and no water is to be met with except in these 
reservoirs: they are often enclosed with strong masonry, and their 
banks adorned by banian, mango, and tamarind-trees, to shade the 
weary traveller, and lessen evaporation. The tanks are constructed 
at the expense of government, or by an assessment on the villages; 
they also contribute to the masonry of a good well, and cistern for 
the cattle, when the large reservoirs fail. Sometimes these useful 


works arc private acts of chanty from a rich individual, as in- 
stanced in the noble works of Govindsett, in the Concan. Large 
wells, with a grand flight of steps down to the water, are not un- 
common in remote situations where travellers, merchants, and 
caravans are obliged to pass, far from other supplies. 

These are unspeakable blessings in the torrid zone, and have 
consequently been celebrated in the songs of the oriental poets, 
and in the sacred page; where we find the most beautiful and 
natural allusions to refreshing fountains and sacred groves happily 
illustrating spiritual joys. " The glorious Lord will be unto us a 
place of broad rivers and streams; in the wilderness, waters shall 
break forth, and streams in the desert; the parched ground shall 
become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water- When the 
poor and needy seek for water, and there is none, and their tongue 
faileth for thirst, I, the Lord, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, 
will not forsake them ; I will open rivers in high-places, and foun- 
tains in the midst of vallies; I will plant in the wilderness the 
cedar, the myrtle, and the oil-tree; I will set in the desert the fir- 
tree, the pine, and the box-tree." 

Those trees are not indigenous to Hindostan, but my districts 
afforded as great a variety : mangos and tamarinds were planted 
near the villages, for general use, or were the property of indivi- 
duals, who enjoyed their produce, after a small deduction for 
government. In a plentiful season, at Dhuboy, a culsey, or six 
hundred pounds weight of good mangos sell for one rupee; poor 
as well as rich enjoy the golden produce; birds, bats, and monkeys 
partake of that bounty, which " spreads a common feast for all 
that live." 


Hospitality to travellers prevails throughout Guzerat; a per- 
son of any consideration passing through the province, is pre- 
sented at the entrance of a village, with fruit, milk, butter, fire- 
wood, and earthen-pots for cookery ; the women and children 
offer him wreaths of flowers. Small bowers are constructed on 
convenient spots, at a distance from a well or lake, where a person 
is maintained by the nearest villages, to take care of the water-jars, 
and supply all travellers gratis. There are particular villages, where 
the inhabitants compel all travellers to accept of one day's pro- 
visions; whether they be many or few, rich or poor, European or 
native, they must not refuse the offered bounty. 

Thus contented and happy do the peasantry live in that garden 
of India, when war keeps at a distance, and their pundits and 
collectors do not treat them with severity ; even to that they habi- 
tually submit, for they have no idea of liberty, as it is felt and 
enjoyed by Britons. As well may you talk of colour to the blind, 
or the harmony of sound to the deaf, as liberty, patriotism, and 
the nobler virtues, to the inhabitants of Asia, under the political 
and religious systems to which they have hitherto been accus- 

The mode of apropriating the land, and collecting the revenues 
in Guzerat, is in many respects similar to that of the ancient Ger- 
mans, on their emerging from Gothic barbarism, when the pro- 
perty of land was invested in the tribe or nation, and a portion of 
corn was allotted lo every individual, by the magistrate; and cor- 
responded to the number of his family, the degrees of his merit, 
and the importance of his services. Yet he derived no source of 


power, or influence, from a territorial property which he could not 
bequeath lo his successor. 

Thus it is in Hindostan: the lands appropriated to each village 
belong to the government; the ryots or peasants, who cultivate the 
fields, under the orders and inspection of the patell, or superior of 
the village, are in a manner attached to the spot. The cattle for 
the plough, and other services of husbandry, are sometimes the 
common stock of the village, oftener the property of individuals. 
The patell provides seed and implements of agriculture, takes 
care that such as are able cultivate the land, and at the lime of 
settling the jummabunda, or harvest-agreement, with the collector 
of the revenue, allots to each family their portion of grain, or 
a share of the money for which it has been sold; according to 
the number of the family, the quantity of their cattle, and the ex- 
tent of the land they have cultivated. Some particular fields, called 
pysita and vajcessa lands, arc set apart in each village for public 
purposes; varying, perhaps, as to the mode of application, in dif- 
ferent districts; but in most the produce of these lands is appro- 
priated to the maintenance of the brahmins, the cazee, washerman, 
smith, barber, and the lame, blind, and helpless; as also to the 
support of a few vertunnees, or armed men, who are kept for the 
defence of the village, and to conduct travellers in safety from 
one village to another. An English reader may perhaps be sur- 
prized to see the barber in the list of pensioners: there is seldom 
more than one in each village; he shaves the inhabitants gratis; 
and as he has no exercise in the day, it is his province at night to 
carry a mussaul, or torch, to light travellers on the road, or for 


any other purpose required; no time remaining for him to attend 
to husbandry or lo provide for his family, it is but just he should 
be maintained at the public expense; this is also lo be applied to 
the washerman and the smith, who work for the village, without any 
other emolument. In some places, particularly in Mysore, there 
is an appropriation of grain lo ihe saktis, or destructive spirits; and 
perhaps to many other deities who may be the objects of hope or 
fear in the worship of the villagers. 

The occupation of massaulchee, or torch-bearer, although gene- 
rally allotted to the village barber, in the purgunnas under my 
charge, may vary in other districts. The massaul, or torch, in In- 
dia, is composed of coarse rags, rolled up lo the size of an Eng- 
lish flambeau, eighteen or twenty inches long, fixed in a brass 
handle: this is carried in the left hand; in ihe right the massaul- 
chee holds a brass vessel containing the oil, with which he feeds 
the flame as occasion requires. By these means a bright extensive 
light is kept up. A great number of torch-bearers are assembled 
at the Hindoo festivals, especially weddings; they give a brilliant 
effect to the spectacle, and illustrate the parable of the ten virgins. 
It is introduced in another place, though not for the purpose of 
mentioning the mode of supplying the oil, which is thus clearly 
ascertained. The wise virgins took oil in the vessels with their 
lamps; the foolish omitting that necessary store, their vessels failed 
them when they most needed a supply. I have sometimes, during 
a midnight journey in the ravines and nullahs between Baroche 
and Dhuboy, infested by wild beasts, and wilder men, been in a 
perilous situation from a failure of oil in a tract where there were 
no villages to replenish the vessels. 

VOL. II. 3 h 


It may appear equally extraordinary to an European to see 
the washerman mentioned among those who have a stipulated 
portion of grain. The Hindoo females in general do not wash 
either their own or their husbands' clothes: a public washerman, 
attached to each village, performs that office, which 1 believe is 
hereditary in his family; and for this duty he receives his portion 
of grain from the cullies. The washing in India, both for Euro- 
peans and natives, is performed without doors; if possible near a 
running stream; if not, on the margin of a lake, where the linen 
is beat violently against fiat stones, or large blocks of wood, 
placed for the purpose: this mode of cleansing soon destroys the 
linens of Europe ; but has no bad effect on the Indian cottons. 

The cullies just noticed, are farm-yards, or receptacles at the 
different villages, for the general produce of the lands at the 
close of harvest. There the cotton, oil-seeds, and all kinds of 
grain are accumulated for the inspection of the zemindars, and 
officers of government, previous to the assessment for the revenue, 
and usual appropriations. The cully contains the thrashing floor, 
where the corn is trampled upon by oxen, the immemorial custom 
in the east. Here also are large receptacles for cotton, formed by 
digging holes in the earth, lined with cow-dung, and filled with 
cotton as picked from the bushes; which are then covered with 
clods of dried earth, rubbed over with a cement of cow-dung, to 
preserve the contents from the weather. 

In some places the cattle and implements of husbandry belong- 
to individuals, who receive their proportion of land from the 
patell, to cultivate at their own expense, and to furnish their cattle 
and seed-grain. At the settling of the jummabunda, they pay 


their proportion of the village assessment to government, and then 
dispose of their grain, cotton, and fruit, without being accountable 
to the patell; for between the palell and the collectors belonging to 
government, are a set of venal corrupt men, called zemindars, who 
by a powerful influence in every district, take an advantage of 
both parlies; these men, in fact, ought to be only intelligent 
clerks and accomptants, conversant in the revenue department; 
and, from being acquainted with its forms and usages, should 
settle accounts between the collectors and patells, and see that jus- 
tice is done on both sides. But so much is this office abused, that 
the zemindars are permitted to advance money to the patells and 
cultivators, to purchase cattle, seed, and other things wanted at the 
commencement of the rainy season, at the exorbitant interest of 
three and three quarters per cent, per mensem, or at the rate 
of five and forty per cent, per annum ; though it is always lent 
by the month. For the security of money thus advanced, the 
produce of the land is mortgaged to the zemindars, who, at the 
time of settling the Jummabunda, assume the new title of minute- 
dars; which is a name and an office by right only belonging to 
the seraffs (bankers) and monied men of the district; who, by a 
proper agreement, and for a reasonable consideration, take upon 
themselves to pay the sum assessed by the collectors, to the officers 
of government. The pernicious practice of permitting the zemin- 
dars, who have already too much influence, to be the minutedars 
also, extends their power to a dangerous length; and is productive 
of the worst consequences to the cultivators. The cunning, chi- 
canery, and wickedness of the minutedars cannot easily be de- 
scribed, or comprehended, by a generous mind, unused to their 


artful wiles; yet pysita-lands are set apart in almost every village 
for these oppressors, who share with the industrious peasants and 
proper pensioners, the allotments before mentioned ; and I must 
own, when I cheerfully acquiesced in every distribution to the 
poor, the maimed, and helpless objects of compassion, it was a 
painful imposition to reward these wretches for their cruelty and 
oppression. It is pleasing to reflect how similar were many of the 
Hindoo appropriations to the charities enjoined by the Mosaical 
law. " If there be among you a poor man within any of thy 
gates, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thy hand from 
thy poor brother; but shalt open thine hand wide unto him, 
and to the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow: that the 
Lord thy Gon may bless thee. When thou beatest thine olive- 
tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again; when thou gatherest 
the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shall not glean it afterwards; 
when thou cultest down thy harvest, and hast forgotten a sheaf in 
thy held, thou shalt not go again to fetch it; these shall be for the 
stranger, the fatherless, and lor the widow; that the Lord thy God 
may bless thee!" 

In different districts of Guzerat are different modes of cultiva- 
tion, collecting the revenues, and distributing the crop. Those 
that I have alluded to were usual in the purgunnas under my 
management. In some parts of Hincloslan, exclusive of the 
larger jaghires to princes and great officers, whole villages with all 
the lands belonging to them, are appropriated to favorites of the 
reigning sovereign, to dancing-girls, or celebrated devotees. One 
of the most beautiful and flourishing villages I ever saw, had, with 
its surrounding districts, been given to a set of dancing-girls; 


another, of similar population and fertility, belonged to a tribe of 
Gosannecs, or Hindoo mendicants. 

Besides the portions of grain set apart for the charitable pur- 
poses already mentioned, in many places before the final allot- 
ment of the crops between the government and cultivators, a con- 
siderable quantity of grain is appropriated for the gods, brah- 
mins, astrologers, and others, not particularized in my division. 
The gods and brahmins are every where well fed; not only from 
the general stock of grain, but by the fruits, meal, and dainties 
offered every morning in the temple. The story of Bel and the 
dragon was not confined to Babylon ; it is daily realized in India, 
where it would be happy if all the offerings and sacrifices were as 
innocent. But surely a religion which tolerates lasciviousness, and 
dedicates the delicate virgin to lingam,orthe lustful priests of Jag- 
gernaut, requires some reformation. This is an unpleasant sub- 
ject; but such expositions are necessary in the present system of 
false philosophy and general toleration. Thus writes the amiable 
Bernier, in the seventeenth century. 

" Les brahmens, ces fourbes prennent une jeune fille, des plus 
"belles qui se trouve entre-eux, pour etre l'espouse de Jagger- 
" naut; ils la laissentla nuit dans le temple, ou ils l'ont transporter 
" en grand* ceremonie, avec l'idole; luy donnant a entendre que 
" Jaggernaut viendra dormir avec elk; et luy ordennent de luy 
" demander si l'annee sera fertile &c. cependant un de ces impos- 
" teurs enlre 14 dedans la nuit, par une petite parte de derriere, 
'• jouit de cette fille, et luy fait acroire tout ce que bon luy semble; 
" et le lendemain qu'on la transporte de ce temple dans un autre, 


" a'vec la mesme magnificence, qu'onl'avoit portee sur ce chariot de 
" triomphc, a cole de Jaggernaut son epoux,ces brahmens luy font 
" dire hautement au peuple, tout ce quelle a appris de ces fourbes, 
" comme l'ayant appris de la bouche mesme de Jaggernaut." 

Such is the faithful account of an unprejudiced traveller a 
hundred and fifty years ago : it is well known this infamous practice 
still continues! Silence from those who have obtained the same 
knowledge, should not sanction such infamous proceedings, under 
the idea of vindicating a "harmless religion/' if a religion can be 
so called, which allows of infanticide; encourages a young mother 
to deprive her infants of maternal care, and sacrifice herself on 
the funeral pile of her husband; which ordains a child not four 
years old to be betrothed to a man of forty; and, should he die 
before the marriage is consummated, dooms her to virgin-widow- 
hood, and domestic degradation, for the remainder of her life. 
The murder of female infants among whole tribes of Hindoos, and 
the painful cremation of widows, cannot be included in that de- 
scription; neither are their sacrifices confined to flowers, fruit, and 
herbs, nor yet to that of animals. It is proved, by late researches 
into Hindoo mythology, that human victims were formerly offered 
by the brahmins to the destructive powers; probably, in that sense, 
now every where discontinued. But what can be said by their 
modern advocates for the sacrifice of those pilgrims who annually 
resort to the temples of Jaggernaut, and are encouraged by the 
brahmins to place themselves under the enormous wheels of the 
idol's triumphal car, and thus be crushed to death, amidst the shouts 
and acclamations of a deluded multitude attending the proces- 


sion? Surely these are as much human sacrifices as those offered 
at the shrine of Moloch, or the sanguinary rites in the mysterious 
proves of the Druids. 

A religion which admits of such shocking practices, and many 
other enormities which might be adduced, cannot have proceeded 
from a pure and holy God. He has revealed himself under a 
very different character; as a God, glorious in holiness, fearful in 
praises; a God merciful and gracious; slow to anger, and plen- 
teous in mercy ! The divine and moral laws tinder the Mosaical 
dispensation I shall not enter upon; we learn from a royal teacher 
what was then required of a religious man. " Lord, who shall dwell 
in thy tabernacle, and who shall rest upon thy holy hill? He that 
walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the 
truth from his heart: he that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor 
doeth evil to his neighbour; in whose eyes a vile person is con- 
temned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that 
sweareth to his neighbour, and disappointeth him not, though it 
were to his own hinderance. He that putteth not out his money 
to usuiy, nor taketh reward against the innocent/' Similar to 
this is the prophetical language. "Wherewith shall I come be- 
fore the Lord, and bow myself before the High God ? Shall I 
come before him with burnt-offerings, with calves of a year old? 
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thou- 
sand rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the 
fruit of my body, for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, 
O man, what is good : and what doth the Lord require of thee, 
but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy 


Love breathes through the whole Christian dispensation. 
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart; and thy 
neighbour as thyself. A new commandment give I unlo you, 
that ye love one another." What jurisprudence ever reached this 
excellent system? " Whatsoever ye would that men should do to 
you, do ye even so to them." It supersedes every moral code; and 
were the world at large actuated by the spirit of that single precept, 
what a happy world would it be! Charity, seraphic guest, when 
implanted in the christian's heart, how dost thou exalt human 
nature! "Thou sufferesl long and art kind, thou enviest not, 
seekest not thy own. art not easily provoked, thinkest no evil!" 
What a heavenly portrait! Scarcely can it be believed that any 
person acquainted with both systems, would wish to establish the 
contracted scheme of Hinduism, the limitation of brahminism to 
castes and sects, in opposition to this divine and universal system 
of faith, hope, and love ! nay even to endeavour to exalt it above 
this heavenly religion, by saying, " when it does as much for the 
lower orders of society in Europe, as the Hindoo system has done 
in India, they will vote for its establishment." I cannot withhold 
my sentiments, feeble as they may be thought, against such power- 
ful opponents. To endeavour to counteract them is a duly I owe 
to truth, to feeling, to my country, and to fallen India, once called 
the " land of virtues!" 

I have been asked by one of the most amiable men I know, 
and one of the most valuable friends I ever possessed, why I 
trouble myself so much about the Hindoos: why not allow mo- 
thers to destroy their infants, widows to immolate themselves with 
their husbands, and brahmins to pour boiling oil into the ears of the 


lower castes who hear the Shastah ? This gentleman lived 
upwards of twenty years in India, and, like many other others, 
saw no impropriety in such conduct; or he would have been 
among the first to reprobate it, and attempt a change. But as 
I know he speaks the sentiments of numerous philanthropists, 
I shall answer the question in the language of the excellent. 

" Much. — I was born of woman, and drew milk, 
" As sweet as charity, from human breasts. 
" I think, articulate, I laugh and weep, 
" And exercise all functions of a man. 
" How then should I, and any man that lives, 
" Be strangers to each other ? 

" nor can I rest 
" A silent witness of the headlong rage 
" Or heedless folly by which thousands die, 
" Bone of my bone, and kindred souls to mine." 

There is a sweet simplicity, a pure and holy joy in the Chris- 
tian religion, unknown to other creeds. It needs not external 
pomp, nor splendid decoration to captivate the soul. They may 
be appropriate and necessary in a national church: and very far 
be it from me to lessen the influence of any mean whatever, which 
tends to encourage piety or convert a single soul to the path of 
peace ! The brahminical, as well as the papal hierarchy, knew how 
much the human mind is influenced by mysterious pageantry. 
Bigotry, or some other cause, unnecessary to develope, led the 
one to prevent the poor from reading the holy scriptures, and the 
other to pour boiling oil into the ears of the Soodra or Chandala 
who heard the Shasta; but in this happy country, where the gospel 

VOL. II. 3 I 


is every where preached, and the Bible every where read, a British 
ploughman can tell us in strains of poesy, peculiarly his own, that 
religion, in a lovely form, is to be found where neither the aid of 
sacred music is employed, nor the splendid ornaments of religious 
worship are adopted. 

" The cheerfu supper done, wi serious face, 

" They, round the ingle, form a circle wide ; 
" The sire turns o'er, wi patriarchal grace, 

" The big ha-Bible, ance his father's pride : 
" His bonnet reverently is laid aside, 

" His lyart haffets wearing thin an bare} 
" Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide, 

" He wales a portion with judicious care ; 
" And, " Let us worship God !" he says with solemn air. 

" They chant their artless notes in simple guise; 
" They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim. Burns. 

The share of the territorial revenue appropriated to the brah- 
mins, has caused a digression from the general subject. The cha- 
ritable distributions, and jaghires of landed property in Guzerat, 
are various and extensive; not only small villages, and particular 
fields are set apart for the maintenance of religion, and charitable 
purposes, large districts and whole provinces have been sometimes 
assigned by sovereigns in jaghire to their favourites. As men- 
tioned in the Mahratta history, these jaghiredars hold their lands 
upon the feudal system. The revenue is their own; they assess 
their subjects as they please, and have an uncontrolled power of 
life and death in their dominion. For these honours and advan- 
tages they pay an annual tribute, or maintain a stipulated number 
of troops for public service. Under these chieftains are pundits, 


duans, and oppressors of various denominations; who all agree 
in extorting from the poor ryots every thing they possibly can, to 
enrich themselves : that, in conformity to the general system, they 
may be able to answer the exactions of their superiors ; who view 
the growing wealth of their ministers with an eager eye; and 
when sufficiently accumulated, seize their persons, and claim a 
large share of the spoil. 

This system of oppression so completely pervades all classes of 
society under every form of oriental government, that it is almost 
impossible, out of the British dominions, to find an Asiatic of any 
caste or tribe, who, like the English country gentleman, in the 
middle walk of life enjoys his patrimonial inheritance, surrounded 
by domestic happiness and rural pleasures. Such a character is 
now probably confined to this favoured island: however it may be 
comparatively known in other European slates, it certainly would 
present a most uncommon spectacle among the Asiatics. A sys- 
tem of oppression prevails from the throne to the zemindar, 
whom I have frequently heard give the order for a patell and 
head farmer to be unmercifully flogged, as representatives of the 
village they were ruining by their extortions. This system as- 
cends by a regular scale from these brahmin and banian zemin- 
dars to the imperial despot upon the musnud; who, like the 
Babylonish monarch of old, allows of no other alternative to 
those that obey or disobey his unjust decrees, than that in the 
former case, they should receive gifts, and rewards, and great 
honour; and for the latter they should be cut in pieces, and their 
houses made a dunghill: who, one day, fell upon his face and 
worshipped Daniel, commanding an oblation of SAveet odours to 


be offered unto him, and ihc next condemned his three friends to 
a fiery furnace for not worshipping his golden image. Or of his 
immediate successors, one of whom clothed his virtuous minister 
with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, as a reward 
for his services; and the other, who at the instigation of his wicked 
counsellors ordered him to be thrown into a den of lions ! Such 
was despotism two thousand years ago, such it continues at this 
present day ! 

That absolute power hardens the heart, in whatever climate 
or country it is permitted, cannot be doubted. We need not con- 
fine our remarks to Asia: some of the cruel and wanton acts of 
tyranny exercised by the feudal barons in Europe, over their bond- 
men and villains, arc too shocking for the modest page. Oriental 
despotism proceeds on different grounds, though acting from the 
same principle; lust and revenge predominated in Europe, domi- 
nion and avarice in Asia. ]t would be painful to describe the 
various modes of oppression within my own knowledge; I shall 
only mention one anecdote in confirmation of what I have lately 
alluded to; it happened at Tatlah, on the banks of Indus, where 
one of my friends was the English resident at the prince of Scindy's 
court. Taltah, the capital of those princes, has for many years 
been in a declining stale, occasioned by wars and revolutions. The 
little commerce it enjo\s since the English factory has been with- 
drawn, is in the hands of the Hindoo merchants; the principal 
officers in the commercial and revenue departments are also Hin- 
doos. The prince and his court are Mahomedans, who, like other 
oriental despots, permit these officers to amass wealth by every 
means in their power, and then seize their prey. 


The collector of the customs was a Hindoo of family, wealth, 
and credit. Lulled into security from his interest at court, and 
suspecting no evil, he was surprised by a visit from the vizier, with 
a company of armed men, to demand his money; which being 
secreted, no threatenings could induce him to discover. A variety 
of tortures were inflicted to extort a confession ; one was a sofa, 
with a platform of tight cordage in net-work, covered with a chintz 
palampore, which concealed a bed of thorns placed under it: 
the collector, a corpulent banian, was then stripped of his jama, 
or muslin robe, and ordered lo lie down on the couch: the cords 
bending with his weight, sunk on the bed of thorns; those long and 
piercing thorns of the baubul or forest acacia, which being placed 
purposely with their points upwards, lacerated the wretched man, 
whether in motion or at rest. For two days and nights he bore the 
torture without revealing the secret; his tormentors fearing he 
would die before their purpose was effected, had recourse to ano- 
ther mode of compulsion. When nature was nearly exhausted, 
they took him from the bed, and supported him on the floor, until 
his infant son, an only child, was brought into the room; and 
with him a bag containing a tierce cat, into which they put the 
child, and lied up the mouth of the sack. The agents of cruelty 
stood over them with bamboos, ready at a signal to beat the bao-, 
and enrage the animal to destroy the child: this was too much for 
a father's heart! he produced his treasure, and on his recovery 
was sent for to court, invested with a sirpaw, or robe of state, 
and exalted to a high situation in another province; there to ac- 
cumulate more wealth, and, at a future period, be again subject 
to the capricious fiat of a needy despot. 


Another act of tyranny sometimes practised by the Mahrattas, 
is called the sheep-skin death. On this occasion the culprit is 
stripped naked, and a sheep being killed, the warm skin of the 
animal is immediately stretched to the utmost, and sewed tight 
over the prisoner's body; he is then conducted to the rial roof of 
the prison, and exposed to the fervour of a tropical sun, the skin 
contracting by the heat, draws with it the flesh of the agonizing 
wretch; until putrefaction, hunger and thirst terminate his suf- 

When we compare the benevolent precepts of the gospel, and 
the conduct of its professors, with such practices, the superiority 
of its doctrines, and the moral dignity of a christian must be 
allowed a glorious pre-eminence ! The divine rule, of doing unto 
others as we would they should do unto us, outweighs the whole 
code of Menu, and all the moral precepts of the Koran. I had 
not so many opportunities of being personally acquainted with the 
rapacity of the Mahomedans, as of the venality and corruption of 
the Hindoos, either in the Cutcheree court, or the Adawlel; but I 
imagine there is very little difference, especially in the revenue 
department. Orme's scale of cruelty and oppression is equally 
true under both governments: although the climax presents a sad 
picture of human depravity, its truth must be confirmed by every 
impartial observer. "The havaldar plunders the village, and is 
himself fleeced by the zemindar; the zemindar by the phousdar; 
the phousdar by the nabob, or his duan. The duan is the nabob's 
head slave; and the nabob compounds on the best terms he can 
make with his soubah on the throne. Wherever this gradation is 
interrupted bloodshed ensues!" 


I am so unwilling to be thought actuated by prejudice against 
the Indians in general, and especially the Hindoos, among whom 
I so long resided, that I endeavour to avail myself of every 
valuable and authentic proof in support of my assertions; whether 
from the living or the dead, from sacred or profane history, from 
ancient annals or modern travels. As I may perhaps have else- 
where observed, I no longer feel myself at liberty to conceal my 
sentiments on the moral and religious conduct of ihe Hindoos, 
and particularly of the brahmins: although I confess my partiality 
towards them in many respects. 

" Seize upon Truth where'er 'tis found. 
" On Christian or on Pagan ground ; 
" The flower's divine where'er it grows : 
" Neglect the thistle, but assume the rose." Watts, from memory. 

Dr. Robertson observes, that " the accounts given by ancient 
authors of the condition and tenure of the renters of land in India, 
agree so perfectly with what now takes place, that it may be con- 
sidered almost as a description of the present state of iis cultiva- 
tion. In every part of India, where the native Hindoo princes 
retain dominion, the ryots, the modern name by which the renters 
of land are distinguished, hold their possessions by a lease, which 
may be considered as perpetual, and at a rate fixed by ancient 
surveys and valuations. This arrangement has been so long esta- 
blished, and accords so well with the ideas of the natives, concern- 
ing the distinctions of castes, and the functions allotted to each, 
that it has been inviolably maintained in all the provinces subject 


cither to Mahomedans or Europeans; and to both, it serves as 
the basis on which their whole system of finance is founded. 

In another part the same intelligent writer says, " it is now 
known that what the sovereign receives from land varies greatly in 
different parts of the country; and is regulated by the fertility or 
barrenness of the soil, the nature of the climate, the abundance or 
scarcity of water, and many other obvious circumstances. One 
particular with respect to the administration of revenue in Ben- 
gal merits notice, as it redounds to the honour of the emperor 
Akber, the wisdom of whose government I have often had occa- 
sion to celebrate. A general and regular assessment of revenue 
in Bengal was formed in his reign; all the lands were then valued, 
and the rent of each inhabitant and of each village ascertained. 
A regular o;radation of accounts was established. The rents of 
the different inhabitants who lived in one neighbourhood being 
collected together, formed the account of a village; the rents of 
several villages being next collected into one view, formed the ac- 
counts of a larger portion of land ; the aggregate of these accounts 
exhibited the rent of a district; and the sum total of all the 
districts formed the account of the revenue of the whole pro- 

To the preceding remarks by Dr. Robertson, I had added 
many of my own observations and answers to my own inquiries, 
during my residence in Guzerat. They were attended with more 
difficulty and deception from the zemindars than I was at first aware 
of, and from not being brought to any satisfactory proof are now 
suppressed. My sphere was limited, and my sources of informa- 


tion slender when compared with recent publications on landed 
property in India, by gentlemen of superior attainments; none 
throw more light on that thesis than colonel Wilks's History of 
Mysoor; to which I must refer for full information, as the gene- 
rality of my readers would probably not deem it a very interest- 
ing subject; although it is one which from the higher powers 
seems to require a minute investigation, and the maturest delibe- 
ration. The result of the Mysoor Researches proves the difficulty 
attending such inquiries. After several excellent discussions on 
landed property, the author conducts us to regions remote from 
the first impressions of the northern conquerors of India, in Tri- 
chinopoly and Tanjorc, sometimes united and sometimes separate, 
" the latter principally containing the town of Cambacemim, the 
ancient capital of the Chola race; one of the oldest Hindoo dynas- 
ties of which any traces have hitherto been discovered in those 
lower regions, and from which the whole coast in later times took 
its name. Tanjore in .1675 fell into the hands of Eccojee, brother 
of Sevajee, the celebrated founder of the Mahratta empire. 

" Throughout all its revolutions this country remained under 
a Hindoo government, with the exception of the very short period 
that it was possessed by Mahomed Ally; and the whole province 
exhibits at this day every character that constitutes a highly re- 
spectable proprietary right. A late report says, that immemorial 
usage has established, both in Tanjore and Trichinopoly, that the 
occupants, whether distinguished by the names of Meerassdar or 
Mahajanums, have the right of selling, bestowing, deriving, and 
bequeathing their lands in the manner which to them is most 
agreeable." The landed property is in the. hands of men who feel 

VOL. II. 3 K 


and understand the full rights and advantages of possession; who 
have enjoyed them, in a degree more or less secure, before the 
British name was known in India; and who, in consequence of 
them, have rendered populous and fertile the extensive provinces 
of Tanjore and Trichinopoly. 

" This class of proprietors are not to be considered as the actual 
cultivators of the soil; the far greater mass of them till their lands 
by the means of hired labourers; or by a class of people termed 
Pullers, (perhaps the same as those called Poolcahs on the Mala- 
bar coast.) These are of the lowest class, and may be considered as 
the slaves of the soil. The landed properly of these provinces is 
divided and subdivided in every possible degree; there are pro- 
prietors of four thousand acres, of four hundred acres, of forty 
acres, and of one acre. 

" The occupants and meerassdars, above described, are far 
from being mere nominal proprietors; they have a clear, ample, 
and unquestioned proprietor's share; amounting, according to the 
same authority, to the respectable proportion of twenty-seven per 
cent of the gross produce; a larger rent than remained to an Eng- 
lish proprietor of land, who had tythes and land-tax to pay, even 
before the establishment of the income tax. 

" One hundred and fifty is the whole produce of a fixed por- 
tion of land, on which the calculation is made; of which eighteen 
goes to the general charges, and one hundred and thirty-two re- 
mains to be divided between the government and the proprietor. 
The government receives 59 m, or fifty-five per cent, and the 
proprietor 72 AV, or fifty-five per cent. This latter amount is again 
to be divided between the proprietor and his paragoodic, an iude- 


pendent labourer, who receives a fixed share of the produce; 
and out of it defrays the expenses of cultivation; his share of 
the above seventy-two is thirty-eight, and the proprietor's thirty- 
four; the former being twenty-eight per cent., and the latter 
twenty-seven per cent,, upon the whole sum to be divided, viz, 
one hundred and thirty-two. The difference is remarkable (as it 
necessarily must be from the facility of culture) between the ex- 
penses of cultivation, and maintenance of the farmer's family, in 
this province and in Canara; viz. twenty-eight per cent, and fifty 
per cent." 

I shall close this part of the subject with the translation of a 
bill of sale of some land in India, written originally in the Tamul 
language, introduced in those valuable researches. It affords a 
very satisfactory specimen of those deeds among the natives of 

" Be it propitious! 

" On this fortunate day, Monday the 16th of the month Ahvany, 
of the year (of the cycle) Kahlyuktee, in the year of Salinahan 
1720, and of the Call Yug 4899, being the third day of the increas- 
ing moon, under the auspicious conjunction and happy influence 
of the constellation Ashanaltee and Magarum: Kistna Sawney 
Villa of Cunnatoor, the son of Vencatachelum Pi/la, for himself and 
his house executes this deed of sale of land to Cumdnce Sawrhey 
Pilla. That is to say : of the twenty-eight established shares 
of Cunnatoor, I have made a full and complete sale to you of 
my own two shares therein, for one hundred chuckrums; and 
you having paid, and I having received the said one hundred 


chuckrums for the said two shares: therefore possess the Nwija, 
Pitnju, (wet and dry lands) trees, groves, gardens, hilloeks, water, 
wood, stone, and treasures; the well that points beneath, the tree 
that points above, together with all property belonging in common 
thereto, within its lour boundaries. Your children, from generation 
to generation, are free to bestow, or exchange, or to dispose of it 
at their pleasure. Possess and enjoy it as long as the sun and the 
moon, the earth and its vegetables, the mountains and the river 
Cauvery, exist; and all prosperity attend you. Thus it is sub- 
scribed by me Kistna Sawmey Pi/la, with my full consent to Cu- 
mana Sawmey Pi/la. This deed is written by Mootoo Sawmey, the 
village Conieopo/y." 

(Signed) Kistna Sawney. 




That the inhabitants of Baroche, when under the English 
government, were considered to possess landed property in their 
own right, appears from a lease of some lands which I obtained 
for the term of ninety-nine years, from Lullabhy, the celebrated 
zemindar at Baroche; not drawn up in such strong terms as the 
preceding deed of sale, but equally binding on all parties concerned 
in the transaction. 

" This indenture, made on the 25th day of June, in the eighteenth 
year of the reign of our sovereign Lord George the Third, and in 
the year of the Christian iera 1778, between Lullabhy Daaldass,moz- 


irmndar of Baroche, in behalf of himself and of all his family, by 
due and regular authority so invested, on the one part; and James 
Forbes, senior merchant in the service of the United Company of 
merchants of England trading to the East Indies, and a member of 
the council at Baroche, residing in that city, on the other part; 
Witnessed), that the said Lullabhy Daaldass, in behalf of himself 
and every branch of his family aforesaid, in consideration of the 
sum of fifty rupees, lawful money of Baroche, to be annually p&id 
to him, the said Lullabhy Daaldass, his heirs, executors, adminis- 
trators, or assigns, by the said James Forbes, or his assigns, doth 
covenant and agree, to let unto the said James Forbes, his heirs, 
executors, administrators, and assigns, a spot of ground, situated 
on the west side of the city of Baroche ; bounded on the north 
by the house and garden of the said James Forbes; on the east 
by the garden and house occupied by Charles Brome, Esq.; on the 
south by the river Nerbudda; and on the west by the garden of 
James Cheape, Esq. containing seven begahs, more or less, together 
with all the wells, water-ways, trees, hedges, and all appurtenances 
whatsoever to the said ground appertaining or belonging. To 
have and to hold the said land for the full and just term of ninety- 
nine years, from the date aforesaid, for the annual consideration 
of fifty rupees before specified/' &c. &e„ 

During the Mogul government it was considered that all the 
land of the empire belonged to the sovereign, but the lands in the 
provinces were subject to the respective nawabs, or nabobs. With 
them, or their representatives, Orme observes, the farmers agreed 
for the cultivation of such an extent, on reserving to themselves 
such a proportion of the produce. This proportion was settled 


according to the difficulty or case of raising the grain; and seldom 
exceeded one third. 

The landed property in Guzerat was certainly as generally 
considered to belong to the respective governments of the pro- 
vince, whether English, Mogul, or Mahratta. My instructions, 
on beinc- appointed collector of Dhuboy and the adjoining pur- 
ounnas, clearly authorised me so to consider them. Before I he 
expiration of the first year after those districts had been inlrusled 
to my management, the governor and council of Bombay thus 
addressed the Board of Revenue at Baroche : 

" We direct that you give us your opinion, fully and explicitly, 
whether letting out the lands to farm in a public manner, for a 
certain term, or continuing the present method by jummabundy, 
may be the most eligible method of collecting the revenues, espe- 
cially in times of tranquillity." 

To this the majority of the Board at Baroche sent the follow- 
ing answer. 

" Minute of Messrs. Callander, Brome, Forbes, and Dalton, the majo- 
rity of the Board of Baroche, in answer to the Governor and 
Council's commands, respecting farming the Purgunnas of Baroche 
and its dependencies. 

" That having maturely weighed and reflected upon this very 
important subject, with its various connections, they highly and 
decidedly disapprove of the proposed mode of fanning; as con- 
trary to all the Company's real interest in this country, and in no 
wise necessary, either from the extent or situation of their posses- 


sions. They are clearly of opinion, that in its consequences it 
will become oppressive, and extremely disgusting, to the ryots, 
and subjects in general; ruinous to the Company's revenue, by 
removing the regular check in that department; and giving a scope 
and opportunity to the most corrupt practices. And from the 
knowledge they have of the few persons in these parts capable 
of being either real, or even nominal, farmers, and the mode of 
collecting in kind, that it must terminate in monopolies of the most 
dangerous and distressing nature, particularly all sorts of grain, to 
the ruin of the country ; they are therefore of opinion, that the 
present mode by jummabundy, although liable to exceptions, is 

far preferable. 


Alexander Callander, 
Charles Brome, 

Baroche, JaMES FoitBES, 

19th December, 17 SO. John DaLTON. 

The Board of Revenue at Bombay being of opinion that the 
preceding minute required a further explanation, desired us to 
specify what scope or opportunities farming the lands could give 
for corrupt practices ; or if, as we represented, there were so few 
persons capable of becoming farmers, how there was a possibility 
of having nominal farmers? They also desired we would explain 
the exceptions to the present mode of assessment by Jummabundy: 
and what methods occurred to us to obviate those objections. 

In answer to which we addressed the following letter to the 
Board at Baroche. 



Chief, &c. Members or the Board of Revenue 

at Barociie. 


In obedience to the commands of the Honour- 
able the Governor and Council at Bombay, we are now to give the 
required explanations of our minute on the subject of farming the 
Honourable Company's lands; but previously we deem it incum- 
benton us to disclaim all collusion which our Honourable superiors 
seem to suspect. 

In answer to the first point we have to observe, that contracts 
for farms, from the want of a sufficient number of responsible 
persons in this place, cannot be managed in the manner the 
Honourable board may expect. Once, on public trial even of 
single small villages, competitors could not be found; and the first 
and principal part of the business will therefore be necessarily 
transacted in a sort of private manner, and through the adminis- 
tration of a set of corrupt zemindars. Add to this the constant 
and unavoidable dependance of the farmers on the same persons 
who grant the leases, for effectual support in their farms; and we 
imagine what has been already said, without enlarging, will be 
sufficient to give the preference to the mode of jumma-bundy. 
But no farm having, to our knowledge, ever taken place, it was 
impossible we could mean any reflection on the present collector- 
general, or sub-collectors; but as they might be hereafter intro- 


duced, we gave our opinion that it would be lodging a dangerous 
power in the hands of any set of men. 

In explanation of the second point, we have only to remark. 
that the want of competitors and persons capable of being farmers 
bona fide, will, in our opinion, give rise to nominal farmers. And 
by our minute in council, we meant only to express, that however 
the lands may be divided, in order to avoid monopolies, the farms 
will fall into the hands of a very few individuals; although perhaps 
covered under the ostensible names of other persons who have no 
real interest in them. 

Here we desire to be understood, that whatever we have said 
respecting farming, is merely local to Baroche and its districts; 
for with a more extended territory, and under different circum- 
stances, farming may be expedient and necessary. 

We cannot take upon us to explain all the exceptions that 
may be made to the present mode of collection by jumma-bundy; 
or to any other system of revenue, but what we alluded to in our 
minute, were the three following. First, the disadvantages incident 
to annual rents, which in all countries have been found unfavour- 
able to improvements in cultivation. Secondly, the great uncer- 
tainty both on the part of the sircar and ryot, notwithstandino- 
any division that may be adopted; and the continued dependancc 
thereby occasioned, both in the officers of government, and land- 
holders, on a worthless set of men called zemindars; which creates 
to them a very prejudicial influence. Lastly, the peculiar situa- 
tion of the collector-general, or sub-collector. If the jumma- 
bundy unfortunately falls low, they are suspected to have sacri- 

VOL. II. 3 L 


ficed the Company's interests; and if, trusting to their own judg- 
ment, they push it high, contrary to the opinion and inclination 
of the zemindars, the ryots are led to be dissatisfied, and the 
whole immediately cry out oppression. These inconveniences 
appear to us to be inseparable from that mode, nor do we know 
any way to obviate them. 

We are respectfully, 

Your very obedient servants, 

Alexander Callander, 
Baroche, Charles Brome, 

VAth February, 1781. JaMES FORBES, 

John Daton. 

I shall conclude the subject of landed property and assess- 
ments in India, (which to many may perhaps have been uninte- 
resting,) with this remark, I am decidedly of opinion, upon my 
own knowledge, founded on practice as well as theory, that, how- 
ever sanctioned by long habit and established custom, the mode 
of assessment by jumma-bundy, in the districts under my cogni- 
zance, failed, in many essential points, to produce the good effects 
which might reasonably have been expected, could we have found 
men of humane character, and responsibility to conduct the busi- 
ness. A better mode would be, were men of moral conduct and 
probity to be found, to grant such leases as would give the farmer 
a secure and permanent interest in the land he cultivates; and 


such a tenure would be the only means of preventing the abo- 
minable fraud, plunder, and oppression, which the ryots suffer 
under the zemindars, and the whole mass of native officers, em- 
ployed in the cutcheree, or revenue department. Such farmers 
as I allude to Avere not to be met with in the Company's territory, 
nor, I believe, throughout the whole province of Guzerat while I 
resided there. 






Far as Creation's ample range extends, 
The scale of sensual, mental, powers ascends; 
Mark how it mounts to Man's imperial race, 
From the green myriads in the peopled grass ; 
What modes of sight betwixt each wide extreme 
The mole's dim curtain, and the lynx's beam ! 
Or smell, the headlong lioness between 
And hound sagacious on the tainted green! 
Of hearing, from the life that fills the flood, 
To that which warbles through the vernal wood ! 
The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine ! 
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line ' 
In the nice bee, what sense so subtly true, 
From pois'nous herbs extracts the healing dew ? 
How instinct varies in the groveling swine, 
Compar'd, half-reasoning elephant, with thine ! Pope 


Purgunna, capital and villages — necessity of making good the roads 
and high-ways after the rains — elucidates a passage of scripture — 
another passage explained — beauty of the country at the close of 
the rainy season — morvah-tree, its valuable produce — palmyra-tree 
— sugar-cane — bamboo — curious banian-trees — wells— few wants of 
the natives — simplicity of Indian manufactures — curious method 
of ascertaining the weight of an elephant — fraudulent deceptions 
in weighing cotton — cunning and duplicity of the Hindoos — banians 
at Surat — excursions in purgunnas — vse and beauty of a summi- 
niana — interviews with oriental travellers — beauties of Cachemire — 
Berniers account of Aurungzebe' s journey to that province — con- 
versation with a travelling brahmin at Dhuboy; his account of 
British India under Mr. Hastings — felicity of his government — 
opposed to the misrepresentations in England — address from Cal- 
cutta on his acquittal — real character of Mr. Hastings — his re- 
tirement at Dalesford — description of the Hindoo mendicants — visit 
of these naked philosophers at Bombay — mode of getting rid of 
such troublesome companions — anecdote of a brahmin destroying a 
microscope — the difference between the Hindoo metempsychosis and 
christian philosophy — vanjarrahs — extraordinary feats of Indian 

jugglers — Hindoo drama — Arab and Scindian infantry in India — 
hawking— fighting rams — hospitality of the Arabs — power of 
music on antelopes in a spectacle at Poonah — its effect on different 
animals — destruction of monkeys by tigers — cruelty of Bhecls and 
Gracias — presentation of a Gracia's head — cruelty of the ancients 
in collecting the heads of their enemies, extending down to Hyder 
Ally — death of an Indian female from Futty Sihng's seraglio — 
Hindoo soothsayers, and diviners — wilds of Baderpoor — royal 
sports of the Mogul princes — description of a tiger-hunt by Sir 
John Day. 


Having described the city and inhabitants of Dhuboy, the ad- 
ministration of juslice, and collection of the revenues in that dis- 
trict, I will now more briefly mention the subordinate purgunnas 
intrusted to my management. 

The nearest of those districts was called Bhaderpoor; it con- 
tained a small town of the same name, and sixteen inhabited vil- 
lages. As the capitals were within a few miles of each other, I 
frequently visited it, and sometimes resided there at the commence- 
ment of the harvest immediately after the rains; when the roads, 
not only in the Bhaderpoor purgunna, but many other places, were 
so destroyed by the preceding heavy rains and floods, that it was 
impossible to travel without sending precursors to see that the 
hills of sand and mud were levelled, and the chasms and ravines 
filled up, before a wheeled carriage could pass. This, by the cus- 
tom of the country, is performed gratuitously for governors and 
persons in office; and at this season travellers of every descrip- 
tion, whether in a palanquin or on horseback, must have the high- 
ways mended before they undertake a journey. During the rainy 
season they are generally impassable, and frequently invisible, 
from inundation. On the halcarra, or harbinger, arriving; at a 

VOL. II. 3 m 


village with an intimation that a man of consequence is on his 
way thither, a proclamation is issued to repair the road as far as 
the next village, and so in continuance. In a light soil it is a work 
of no great expense, and soon accomplished. 

This established custom elucidates a beautiful passage in the 
evangelical prophecy respecting the coming of the Messiah, pre- 
ceded by John the Baptist, as a harbinger, in the spirit and power 
of Elias, to prepare the way of the Lord, and make his paths 
straight; when every valley was to be exalted, and every mountain 
and hill to be made low; and the crooked to be made straight, and 
the rough places plain. 

Another passage occurs in the same prophet, not easily com- 
prehended by an English reader, which is clearly illustrated by a 
common practice among the peasants in Hindostan, particularly 
in the unenclosed parts of my districts. At the commencement 
of the rainy season they plant abundance of melons, cucumbers, 
and gourds, which are then the principal food of the inhabitants. 
They are not sown in garden-beds, as in Europe, but in open fields, 
and extensive plains, liable to depredation by men and beasts. 
In the centre of the field is an artificial mount, with a hut on the 
top, sufficiently large to shelter a single person from the incle- 
mency of the weather. There, amidst heavy rain and tempestuous 
winds, a poor solitary being is stationed day and night, to protect 
the crop from thieves of various descriptions, but especially from 
the monkeys, who assemble in large bodies to commit depreda- 
tions. From thence the centinel gives an alarm to the nearest 
village, and the peasants come out and drive them off. Few 
situations can be more unpleasant than a hovel of this kind, ex- 


posed for three or four months to thunder, lightning, and rain. The 
prophet, no doubt, alludes to it in that passage deploring the 
desolation of Judea; "the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage 
in a vineyard; as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers; as a be- 
sieged city !" 

During these periodical rains, and for a few weeks after, the 
aspect of the country is verdant and beautiful. At other seasons 
the russet hue generally prevails; the autumnal tints, which give 
so much beauty to the English woods and groves, are little known 
in the torrid zone; but there is sufficient variety in the verdure of 
the trees and plants to produce a pleasing contrast. In the Bhader- 
poor purgunna are many noble burr-trees, extensive mango topes, 
and abundance of the mowah (bassia butyracea). This is a valu- 
able tree, indigenous to many parts of India, and particularly 
flourishing in my districts; it attains the size of an English oak, 
grows in almost any soil, and from the beauty of the foliage, makes 
a conspicuous appearance in the landscape; its timber is very 
desirable, from being proof againt the destructive teeth of the 
termites; those formidable ants, it is said, are unable to eat it. 
The leaves are large and shining; and the flowers, which grow in 
full bunches, of so rich a nature, that when gathered and dried in 
the sun, they resemble Malaga raisins in flavour and appearance. 
These blossoms are ate in various ways, either as a preserved fruit, 
or to give an acidity to curries and other savoury dishes; but their 
greatest consumption is in the distillery of arrack, of which there are 
many kinds, from rice, jaggaree, tari, and sugar: this, by way of 
distinction, is called mowah-arrack, and is so strong and cheap a 
spirit, that the lower class of natives drink it to great excess; its 


consequences are as pernicious as the same deleterious liquors in 
Europe. In a plentiful season, a good tree produces from two 
to three hundred pounds weight of flowers; the proportionate 
quantity of spirit I cannot ascertain. The flowers are never en- 
tirely gathered; those that remain on the tree are succeeded by a 
fruit, or shell containing a pulp of delicate whiteness ; from which 
is extracted an oily substance like butter, or ghee, which keeps 
a long time, and for family use answers all the purposes of those 
valuable articles. The kernel, or seed of the fruit, contains an oil 
of inferior quality and a more rancid flavour; it does not congeal, 
and is chiefly used by the poor. 

The palmyra, or brab-tree, flourishes on the banks of the Ner- 
budda and many Guzerat rivers. The cocoa-nut tree does not 
grow in the interior districts, nor is it abundant on the sea coasts 
so far north. The palmyra, like the rest of that beautiful genus, 
gives an oriental costume to the landscape, and is a tree of long 
duration ; it sows itself from the seed contained within its semi- 
transparent fruit, when it falls from the tree, or is dispersed by birds 
and monkeys. A palmyra-tree, when in perfection, yields daily 
about three quails of tari, or palm-wine; which when boiled down 
produces a pound of coarse sugar, called jaggaree. This also is 
made of a better quality from the juice of the sugar-cane, which 
grew plentifully in several parts of my purgunnahs. No finer sugar 
was manufactured, but a great number of canes were daily sold 
in the bazars for the fresh juice, which the natives are very fond of. 
The cane is planted by joints, in regular rows: when arrived at 
maturity, such as have escaped the depredation of wild hogs (and 
of elephants where they are indigenous) are cut down; the juice 

■ ■ ■ 


■■■.■■'. . I . ■.:.■ 


expressed by a mill constructed with great simplicity, and the 
boiled into jaggaree. 

The bamboo, (bambusa, Lin.) flourished near the rivers in 
the Bhaderpoor districts; it is a beautiful and very useful plant, 
common in most parts of India and China: it does not attain the 
laro;est size in Guzerat; but there the thick stems and smaller 
branches are converted to various purposes; building, furniture, 
baskets, and utensils. In Malabar, those of large dimensions 
are formed into arches, by training them, while vegetating, over 
an iron frame of the shape required, to support the canopies of 
palanquins. Some bamboos, of large diameter and a lofty arch, 
are valued at five or six hundred rupees. 

I mentioned the wedded-banian-tree at Salsette; it is not un- 
common in this part of Guzerat, and causes a singular variety in 
vegetation. Colonel Ironside describes a very curious one in the 
province of Bahar, among the other banian-trees, which he says 
are creepers; as is the peipal, orficus religiosa, which often springs 
round different trees, particularly the palm; and observes that the 
palmyra growing through the centre of a banian-tree looks ex- 
tremely grand; it frequently shoots from old walls, and runs alon<> 
them. On the inside of a large brick well, one of these trees lined 
the whole circumference of the internal space, and thus actually be- 
came a tree turned inside out. Under this tree sat a fakeer, a 
devotee. He had been there five and twenty years, but did not 
continue under the tree the whole time; his vow obliging him to 
lie, during the four coldest months, up to his neck in the Ganges; 
and to sit, during the four hottest months, close to a large fire. 

A banian-tree thus inverted is uncommon, but their general 


usefulness and beauty, especially in overshadowing the public 
wells and village markets, can only be known by those who live 
in a sultry climate: the best wells in Bhaderpoor are similar to the 
Bowrees, already described; and possibly the wells in Palestine 
were of the same construction, from a circumstance mentioned in 
sacred writ. " Jonathan and Ahimaaz being suspected at Enrogol, 
came to a man's house in Bahurim, which had a well in the court; 
whither they went down; and the woman took and spread a cover- 
ing over the well's mouth, and spread ground corn thereon ; and 
the thing was not known." 

Cheap as every common necessary of Indian life was in Dhu- 
boy, they were still more so at Bhaderpoor; few indeed were the 
wants of the inhabitants in that lonely district: a couple of yards 
of cotton cloth tied round the middle, was all the clothing of the 
common men; some wore a turhan, A single piece of coarse 
cotton, several yards in length, put on in graceful folds, was the 
usual dress of the females. A thatched hut, containing a few 
earthen pots for cookery, a large jar of unburnt clay to hold grain, 
another of burnt clay for water, and a glazed pot for oil, comprized 
the stock of a villager. The oil is produced from various seeds 
planted for the purpose; expressed, like the kernel of the mowah, 
by mills of the simplest structure. 

The construction of all the machines for the arts and manu- 
factures in India are light and simple: in these respects the Asiatics 
are far behind Europeans, and, as frequently mentioned, are averse 
to imitation or improvement. Colonel Wilks relates an anecdote of 
the ingenuity of Shahjee, father of Sevajee, the founder of the 
Mahratla empire, from which some conjecture may be formed of 


the general state of the arts and sciences in India, at the com- 
mencement of the seventeenth century. " The minister Jagadeva 
Row had made a vow to distribute in charity the weight of his 
elephant in silver; and all the learned men of the court had 
studied in vain the means of constructing a machine of sufficient 
power to weigh the elephant. Shahjee's expedient was certainly 
simple and ingenious in an eminent degree. He led the animal 
along a stage prepared for the purpose, to a flat- bottomed boat; 
and marking the water line removed the elephant, and caused 
stones to be placed in the boat, sufficient to load it to the same 
line. The stones being brought separately to the scales, ascer- 
tained the true weight of the elephant, to the astonishment of the 
court at the wonderful talents of Shahjee." 

Sugar-canes, mangos, and biingals, always formed a principal 
part of my villagers' presents when I halted at the public well. 
Although too great a part of the Bhaderpoor purgunna was un- 
cultivated, in the other districts I had seldom occasion to look out 
for gardens or pleasure grounds to pitch my tent or erect my sum- 
miniana, orshamyana, the whole country being generally agarden. 
A corn-field, considered in its full extent, affords one of the most 
gratifying objects in nature: not much less interesting, and more 
beautiful to the eye, are the fields of cotton already mentioned. 
I then omitted one of my occupations respecting this valuable 
production. I had generally large commissions annually to pur- 
chase cotton at Baroche for the Bombay merchants, to be sent 
from thence to Bengal and China. For this purpose the English 
gentlemen at Baroche made their contracts with the cotton dealers, 


who received it from the villages every evening; and early on the 
ensuing morning weighed the cotton gathered the preceding day 
to the brokers, by whom it was immediately packed in bales for 
foreign markets. As these brokers, and native cotton-dealers of 
every description, play into each others hand, and use all possible 
means to cheat an European, we found it very difficult to coun- 
teract their cunning. One of their principal frauds was that of 
exposing the cotton, spread out on cow-dung floors, to the nightly 
dews, and then weighing it early the next morning in a moist state 
to the receivers. This occasioned a great lo>s in the weight of a 
candy, containing five hundred and sixty pounds, when it became 
dry. To prevent it as much as possible, I often paid an unex- 
pected visit at day-break to at least a hundred of these small 
cotton-merchants; when, by placing a handful of the cotton taken 
up indiscriminately from the floor, upon the cheek, it was easy to 
discover whether it had been exposed to the dew to increase its 
weight. Like Gideon's fleece, spread upon the floor, with an honest 
dealer the cotton was perfectly dry; if in the hands of a ropue, 
you might like him wring out a bowlful of water. 

Notwithstanding so many late encomiums on the Hindoo cha- 
racter by respectable writers, it will I believe be generally allowed 
by those who have dealt much with Banians, and merchants in 
the large trading-towns of India, that their moral character can- 
not be held in high estimation; since they are guilty of all the arts 
of craftiness, duplicity, and cunning that can be practised without 
the pale of the law. A modern writer has asserted that " no 
" people ever exhibited more suavity of manners, or more mild- 


." ness of character; and that the Christian religion has not done 
" so much for the lower orders of society in Europe, as that of 
" Brahma appears to have done for the Hindoos." 

I cannot acquiesce in these opinions, and others of a similar 
nature, unnecessary to introduce; a residence of many years 
among the brahmins, and a constant intercourse with those em- 
ployed in the revenue department, afforded me great opportunity 
of becoming acquainted with the Hindoo character, from the 
religious and lay brahmins, to the lowest of the banian tribe. On 
my return to Europe I had the pleasure of a long intimacy with the 
venerable and respectable governor Holwell, one of the first who 
published an account of these people, under the name then better 
known ofGentoos; that benevolent man was esteemed very partial 
to the natives of India, and had investigated their character more 
than was usual at that period. Yet this is his portrait of them. 
" The Genloos, in general, are as degenerate, crafty, superstitious, 
" and wicked a people, as any race of people in the known world, 
" if not eminently more so, especially the common run of brah- 
" mins ; and we can truly aver, that, during almost five years that 
" we presided in the cutchery court of Calcutta, never any murder 
" or other atrocious crime came before us, but it was proved in 
" the end a brahmin was at the bottom of it." 

I have no pleasure in making these quotations, but when so oppo- 
site acharacter is held forth by modern writers, truth and candor com- 
pel me to confirm them by my own observations; the same opinion 
was formed of these people by Dr. Fryer, a century before governor 
HolwelFs publication. "The banians at Surat make all the bargains, 
and transact all money business; and though you hear, see, and 

VOL. II. 3 n 


understand lliem, yet you shall be choused, they looking you in the 
face; for, as a piece of superstition, they must put their hands under 
a cloth, or mantle, when by their fingers they instruct one another, 
and by that sleight often contradict their tongues. These banians 
are the absolute map of sordidness; enduring servilely foul words, 
affronts and injuries, for the hope of future gain; expert in all the 
arts of thriving and insinuation; so that lying, dissembling, cheat- 
ing, are their master-piece; their whole desire is to have money pass 
through their fingers, to which a great part is sure to stick; for they 
well understand the constant turning of cash amounts, both to the 
credit and profit of him that is so occupied; which these banians 
are sensible of, otherwise they would not be so industrious to en- 
slave themselves." 

My journies in the purgunnas made a pleasing variety in my oc- 
cupations; and the little difficulties occasioned by heat, rain, or the 
appearance of a tiger, rendered them interesting. Travelling in a pa- 
lanquin during the rainy season, I generally met with accommodation 
at the towns and villages in my own districts. In the warm months a 
friendly tamarind or banian-tree sheltered me by day ; at night a small 
tent contained my bed, and a summiniana protected me from the 
evening dews; these with a camp table and chair were all the con- 
veniences I wanted when travelling alone. The summiniana, used 
both by Europeans and natives in most parts of India, is an awn- 
ing, or pavilion, open on all sides, supported by poles, and stretched 
out by cords, in any level spot in the country; often in a court or 
garden near the house; where we assembled after sun-set to enjoy 
the society of our friends, smoak a hooka, and partake of a slight 
supper. The ground was generally covered by a thick cotton 


FAMILY, fib B.'\ I . 

,'/ ///< 



cloth, or Persian carpet: convenient furniture and cheerful lights 
rendered it preferable to any part of a house;' which, during 
the hot winds, was never cool until midnight. The summiniana 
differs from a tent in having a flat covering lined with chintz, and 
no side Avails; it is neither troublesome nor expensive, but ex- 
tremely useful in a hot climate ; and often alluded to by ancient 
writers, especially in that sublime description in the sacred records, 
" He stretched out the heavens as a curtain; and spreadeth them 
out as a tent to dwell in." 

One of my chief pleasures in these excursions was the oc- 
casional interviews I enjoyed with travellers of various descrip- 
tions from different parts of Hindostan, who stopped at the 
same choultrie, or reposed under the same banian-tree with my- 
self. My people at Dim boy knowing my desire for informa- 
tion, seldom suffered a Mahomedan fakeer or Hindoo pilgrim 
of any celebrity to pass through the city without an intro- 
duction to me: their narratives were generally interesting, though 
sometimes extravagant, in describing the miracles of saints and 
hermits in remote regions, where there was little probability of 

Of all the countries visited by these Yogees and Senassies, they 
were most lavish in praise of Cachemire, whither they frequently 
extended their pilgrimage. These narrations made me lono- to be- 
hold this " Earthly Paradise," formerly a kingdom, happy under 
its own monarchs; surrounded by lofty mountains, their summits 
covered with perpetual snow; the acclivities, according to their 
different aspects, either adorned with the trees of Europe, or 
decked by the perennial plants and flowers of Asia, and some- 


times presenting a delightful aesemblage of both. Immense rocks, 
rich groves, magnificent cataracts, and murmuring cascades, pro- 
duce a sublime and beautiful effect. These waters, either in roar- 
ing cataracts, or gentle streams, flow to the lakes and rivulets 
which fertilize the plain, and there uniting, form the celebrated 
Indus, one of the great rivers of Asia. 

This charming diversity of mountain and valley, wood and 
water, cornfields, meadows, orchards, and gardens, intermingled 
with towns, villages, palaces, and cottages, present a scene un- 
rivalled in any part of the world. Most travellers confirm this 
account, especially Bernier, who accompanied the emperor Au- 
mngzebe and his court on a visit to this province in the year 1663; 
which, next to the march of Darius, was perhaps one of the most 
magnificent scenes of eastern pageantry ever exhibited. The num- 
ber and sumptuous caparisons of the elephants, camels, horses 
tents, and equipage of every description, for the accommodation of 
the emperor, the ladies of his haram, and principal nobles of the 
court, were truly surprising. They were escorted by an army of 
thirty-five thousand cavalry, ten thousand infantry, a large train 
of artillery, and every splendid accompaniment belonging to the 
Mogul sovereigns in the zenith of power. Bernier gives an excel- 
lent description of this journey, and an account of Cachemire, 
which exactly corresponds with the narrations of the Hindoo pil- 
grims who visited Dhuboy. 

" Quoy qu'il en soit Kachemire n'est plus un lac, c'est a pre- 
■" sent une tres-belle campagne, qui est diversifiee de quantite de 
" petites colines, qui a trente lieues de long ou environ et dix ou 
" douze de large, qui est situee dans rextremitc de l'Hindoustan 


" au nord de Lahor, et qui est enclavee dans le fond des mon- 
" tagnes du Caucase. Les premieres montagnes qui i'entourent, 
" je veux dire celles qui sont les plus pres de la plaine, sont de 
" mediocre hauteur, toutes vertes darbies ou de paturages, pleines 
" de betail de toute sorte, comme vaclies, brebis, chevres et che- 
" vaux: de gibiers de plusieurs especes, comme perdrix, lievres, 
" gazelles, et de quelques animaux qui portent le mux; il y a 
" aussi des abeilles en tres-grande quantite; et ce qui est tres-rare 
" dans les Indes, il ne s'y trouve ni serpens, ni tygres, ni ours, ni 
" lyons, si ce n'est tres-rarement; de sorte qu'on pent dire que ce 
" sont des montagnes innocentes et decoulantes de lait et de miel, 
" comme etoient celles de la terre de promission." Voyages de 

Besides a description of countries, the Hindoo travellers in 
Dhuboy, often gave me a faithful account of men and mariners, 
which they were very capable of estimating. For although the 
natives of India are seldom communicative in what relates to their 
religion, caste, or domestic oeconomy; and perhaps are neither 
ready nor willing to answer the statistical inquiries of strangers, I 
generally found these pilgrims very much the contrary; their 
minds were enlarged, and their sentiments altogether more liberal 
and philanlhropical than the stationary Hindoos. I made a proper 
allowance for marvellous adventures, endeavoured to extract a 
little honey from every flower, and in the durbar at Dhuboy, or 
on the shady banks of the Nerbudda, I spent many a pleasant 
and improving hour with religious mendicants, both Hindoos and 

I was highly entertained with one visitor of this description at 


Dhuboy; who seeing me engaged on public business in the dur- 
bar, inquired to which presidency I belonged. On replying that 
I was on the Bombay establishment, he wished me to explain 
the nature of the British governments in India, particularly in 
what manner the other Presidencies were subordinate to the gover- 
nor general of Bengal. Having endeavoured so to do, the vene- 
rable brahmin told me he had lived under different governments, 
and travelled in many countries; but had never witnessed a gene- 
ral diffusion of happiness equal to that of the natives under the 
mild and equitable administration of Mr. Hastings, at that time 
governor-general of Bengal. I cannot forget the Avords of this 
respectable pilgrim; we were near a banian-tree in the durbar 
court when he thus concluded his discourse: " As the burr-tree, one 
" of the noblest productions in nature, by extending its branches 
" for the comfort and refreshment of all who .seek its shelter, is em- 
" blematical of the Deity; so do the virtues of the governor re- 
" semble the burr-tree; he extends his providence to the remotest 
" districts, and stretches out his arms, far and wide, to afford pro- 
" tection and happiness to his people ; such, Saheb, is Mr. Hast- 
" ings !" Yet, this is the man, who, by the violence of faction, in- 
tended for patriotic zeal, and conducted by a flow of eloquence 
seldom equalled, was arraigned for crimes the most foreign to his 
benevolent heart, and doomed to a trial of seven years duration: 
a scene unparallelled in the annals of mankind ! 

I never saw Mr. Hastings until his public appearance on that 
solemn occasion, and could then hardly conceive it possible, by 
any combination of ideas, or concatenation of circumstances, to 
believe that a man should be tried in his own country, for crimes 


supposed to have been committed at ten thousand miJes distance; 
among a people who not only knew his character, but feeling the 
blessings which flowed from his humane and benevolent heart, 
considered him as an emblem of the Godhead ! 

This is confirmed by the congratulary address from the English 
inhabitants of Calcutta, who had witnessed the blessings of his 
government, and thus addressed him on his acquittal from the 
charges preferred against him. " We cannot but admire, Sir, the 
patience, fortitude, and resignation, with which you have borne 
a trial unexampled in its length; and a scrutiny into character, 
motives, and actions, the most strict and minute that ever was in- 
stituted. But, upheld by conscious innocence, you have given an 
example of your reliance on the justice of your cause, which, we 
doubt not, will carry conviction to the world and posterity, equal 
to the verdict of the illustrious tribunal before which you have 

" Go, "bid the neighbouring poor his crimes proclaim, 
" Full in their answering smiles is writ his shame : 
" Go to the rich, in their affection find 
" The blameless history of this monster s mind. 
'■' Go to his couutry, bid his sovereign tell, 
"" All, all delighted, on his virtues dwell ! 
" Go, launch the bark, his baseness to explore, 
" And pierce the bowels of the Indian shore : 
" Go, make the visit to the Begum race, 
" Scene of his fraud, his plunder, and disgrace ! 
■" In Asia, as in Albion, were he tried, 
" Still should we find that honour is his guide." 

Such are the confirmations to the traits of justice, humanity, 
and benevolence, communicated to me by my delighted Hindoo 


traveller at Dhuboy, which there distinguished the governor-gene- 
ral. Colonel Malcolm will not be accused of partiality to Mr. 
Hastings's political character; yet of that he gives this admirable 
summary. " In the history of British India, it is admitted, even 
by those who condemned part of his conduct, that Mr. Hastings, dur- 
ing a time of unexampled public embarrassment, and at a moment 
when he had to contend against those from whom he should have 
derived support, shewed all the active energy of a great statesman; 
and, by his spirited and extraordinary exertions, saved the inte- 
rests of his country in India from that ruin with which they were 
threatened; and in which they undoubtedly would have been in- 
volved, had a man of less resolution, fortitude, and genius, held the 
reins of government." 

I have since passed one of the happiest days which has fallen 
to my lot, at Dalesford, the paternal seat of this great man; where, 
in the bosom of his family and the pleasures of society, hospitality 
and benevolence, but above all, in the retrospective view of a 
well-spent life, he passes the evening of his days in a state of 
calm delight, far beyond all the wealth and honours to Avhich his 
country and his sovereign deemed him entitled. Never have I 
beheld otium cum dignitate more truly enjoyed : never was I more 
convinced of the serenity and happiness of mens sibi conscia recti. 

" One self-approving hour whole years outweighs, 
'* Of stupid starers, and of loud huzzas!" 

I now return to the Hindoo pilgrims which occasioned this 
digression. Bhaderpoor, though in itself an insignificant place, and 
nothing in the district very interesting, afforded me occasional en- 


tertainmenls in meeting with travellers of various descriptions. 
The gurry, or little fortress, situated near the fords of the Ouze, 
and the pandauls, or open sheds for the collectors of customs, at 
the pass of the Ore, the two Bhaderpoor rivers, were the general 
rendezvous of travellers, in their way to the eastern hills, or com- 
ing from the interior to the sacred shrines of Guzerat, and on the 
latter account very much frequented by Hindoo devotees, and pil- 
grims of every caste. There I beheld, assembled in the same pan- 
daul, or reposing under the friendly banian-tree, the Gosannee 
in a state of nudity, and the Yogee with a lark or paroquet, his sole 
companion for a thousand miles; the Guroo, of the first rank in 
the brahminical hierarchy, travelling with oriental pageantry to 
visit the temples and superintend the seminaries, meeting the brah- 
macharee, with a covered mouth and nostrils, that he may not in- 
hale an animalcule; and a soft broom in his hand to sweep the 
ground, that he may not tread on an insect. There also were reli- 
gious enthusiasts reduced to a skeletonby abstinence, or almostburst- 
ing under a vow of swallowing so many maunds of consecrated ghee. 
One resting from turning over his body in a rolling posture, ano- 
ther imploring food from others, by having rendered himself in- 
capable of lowering or moving his arms in consequence of super- 
stitious devotion. But it would be endless as well as needless 
to enlarge further on these enthusiasts, so often mentioned in 
these memoirs; except that in the eastern parts of my districts, 
attracted no doubt by the sacred fanes at Dhuboy and Chandode, 
they were more abundant than I ever saw them elsewhere, and 
seemed to have acquired an unusual degree of consequence. The 
annexed engraving exhibits two of these singular characters, drawn 

VOL. II. 3 O 


from life, meeting near the ford of a river ; the one accompanied 
by his faithful lark, nearly in the state of the ancient Gymnoso 
phists; the mouth of the other covered with a cloth to prevent the 
death of an insect. The next engraving represents a further 
variety of these deluded fanatics, also taken from nature. 

Far be it from me to cast a general reflection on these men- 
dicants, but respecting the majority, those who have had the best 
opportunities of knowing them, will, I am confident, coincide in 
Dr. Fryer's remark, made a hundred and fifty years ago, that 
" most of them are vagabonds, and the pest of the nation they 
live in: some of them dwell in gardens and retired places in the 
fields, in the same manner as the seers of old, and the children of 
the prophets did. Their habit is the main thing that signalizes 
them more than their virtue; they profess poverty, but make all 
things their own wherever they come. All the heat of the day 
they idle it under some shady tree, at night they come in troops, 
armed with a great pole, a mirchal or peacock's tail, and a wallet, 
more like plunderers than beggars : they go into the market, or to 
the shopkeepers, and force an alms, none of them returning without 
his share. Some of them pass the bounds of a modest request, 
and bawl out in the open streets for an hundred rupees, and no- 
thing less will satisfy them. They are clothed with a ragged mantle, 
which serves them also for a mattress; for which purpose some have 
lions', tigers', or leopards' skins to lay under them; the civilest of 
them wear flesh-coloured vests, somewhat like our brick-makers' 
frocks, and almost of that colour. The merchants, as their ad- 
ventures return, are bountiful towards them; by which means 
some of them thrive upon it. These field-convenliclers, at the 

' ■ 

• ! ■ : b) '■ theJznuu <■ ," r7..; st t ■ . 





■"'>.; 1$- 





■ ' 


hours of devotion, beat a drum, from them called the fakeer's 
drum. There are enough of these strollers in Surat, to make an 
army, insomuch that they are almost become formidable to the 
citizens; nor is the governor powerful enough to correct their in- 
solence; for lately setting on a nobleman of the Moors, when his 
kindred came to demand justice, they unanimously arose in de- 
fence of the aggressor, and rescued him from his deserved punish- 

This portrait is certainly confirmed by too many of these fana- 
tical vagabonds at the present day. On the continent they are 
very often complete Gymnosophists. When they visit the Eng- 
lish settlements, some of them, from a little regard to decency, 
wear a slight covering. Within my recollection, a party of these 
naked philosophers, amounting to more than two hundred, crossed 
over from the temple of Vizraboy to Bombay, under a pretence 
of some religious visit; they were generally fine looking young men; 
athletic, bold, and impudent, beyond any set of Indians I ever 
met with: they became very troublesome even to the Hindoos, 
and in the English town were perfectly disgusting. The governor 
wished to get rid of them without offending the brahmins, who 
rather encouraged their visit. The fosse surrounding the fortifica- 
tions, of great extent and considerable breadth, at that time re- 
quired cleaning. A government order was issued for all vaga- 
bonds, mendicants, and idle persons, who could not give a proper 
account of themselves, to be immediately employed in cleaning 
out the town-ditch. The next morning not a travelling } r ogee, 
gosannee, senassee, or any one of the fraternity, was to be found 
upon the island. 


There are doubtless many in these tribes of wandering enthu- 
siasts who deserve a better character; and like the brahmins 
stationed at the temples, lead a more useful life; and are actuated 
by a spirit of philanthropy, sensibility, and acuteness of feeling, 
flowincT from a humane and benevolent heart. Their religious 
tenets, and superstitious prejudices, lead them, doubtless, into many 
errors; some excite our pity, a few our censure. Among the for- 
mer, I recollect a well-authenticated story of an English gentle- 
man, extremely fond of natural and experimental philosophy be- 
ing intimate with a liberal-minded brahmin, who had been edu- 
cated at Benares, or some other celebrated college; they gene- 
rally passed the morning together in the pleasing walks of science. 
The brahmin read English books, searched into the Encyclopedia, 
and profited by the best philosophical instruments. The gentle- 
man, on receiving a valuable solar microscope as a present from 
Europe, shewed it with rapture to his Hindoo friend; and, in 
opposition to the scheme of the metempsychosis, discovered to 
him the innumerable animalculae devoured by the brahmins on 
every fruit and vegetable they eat; each of which, like archdeacon 
Paley's canary-bird, is a cluster of contrivances: " in the single 
ounce of matter which composes the body of that little warbler, 
are instruments for eating, for digesting, for nourishment, for 
breathing, for generation, for running, for flying, for seeing, for 
hearing, for smelling: each appropriate, each entirely different 
from all the rest." By analogy, we have every reason to suppose, 
indeed we must be assured, that the same infinite wisdom and 
goodness has endued the minutest insect with organs, faculties, and 
propensities, suited to its link in the great chain of creation. The 


brahmin, consistent with his idea of the Hindoo metempsychosis, 
remains in a slate of happy ignorance; he views the tint of the 
mango and the bloom of the fig as only the beautiful colouring 
of nature; and innocently slays his thousands and ten thousands 
at a meal of fruit and vegetables. The European philosopher, 
in contemplating the great scheme of Providence, beholds a super- 
fecundity in many parts of the animal economy ; which, though 
of great occasional use and importance, exceeds the ordinary 
capacity of nature to receive or support its progeny. " All super- 
abundance supposes destruction, or must destroy itself. Perhaps 
there is no species of terrestrial animals whatever, which would 
not overrun the earth, if it were permitted to multiply in perfect 
safety, or of fish, which would not fill the ocean: at least, if any 
single species were left to their natural increase without disturbance 
or restraint, the food of other species would be exhausted by their 
maintenance. In almost all cases nature produces her supplies 
with profusion; a single cod-fish spawns, in one season, a greater 
number of eggs than all the inhabitants of England amount to. 
It is necessary, therefore, that the effects of such prolific faculties 
be curtailed. In conjunction with other checks and limits, all 
subservient to the same purpose, are the thinnings which take place 
among animals, by their action upon one another. In some in- 
stances w r e ourselves experience, very directly, the use of these 
hostilities. One species of insects rids us of another species, or 
reduces their ranks. A third species, perhaps, keeps the second 
within bounds; and birds or lizards are a fence against the in- 
ordinate increase by which even these last might infest us/' 

Such is the wide difference between the contracted system of 


the Hindoos, and the enlightened philosophy of Europe; the dis- 
cussion might be extended over an ample and beautiful field ; but 
I must return to the anecdote which caused the digression. After 
a full display of the wonders produced by the new apparatus, the 
English gentleman, instead of seeing his friend delighted, ob- 
served him to be unusually thoughtful, and at length he silently 
withdrew. At his next visit he requested the gentleman would 
sell him the microscope; to this he objected, observing that it was 
a present from a friend in Europe, not to be replaced, and while 
in his possession would afford them a mutual gratification. The 
brahmin offered him a very large sum of money, or any Indian 
commodity of equal value, in hopes of obtaining it, without effect; 
at last the gentleman, overcome by incessant importunity at every 
repeated visit, presented him with the microscope. A momentary 
gleam of joy flashed across the brahmin's countenance on obtain- 
ing possession of the object he had so ardently desired. They 
were then in a veranda overlooking a garden, with some kind of 
artificial rock-work composed of flints and rough stones; from 
which the brahmin, grasping the instrument, descended with a 
quicker motion than is customary with his caste into the garden; 
where, seizing a large stone, he laid the microscope upon the lowest 
step of the veranda, and instantaneously smashed it to pieces before 
his astonished friend could prevent it. He flew into a violent passion, 
and in his heat upbraided the brahmin with ingratitude, ignorance, 
and fanaticism. As usual with his caste, he bore it all patiently, 
and respectfully withdrew, saying when he was cool he would pay 
him a visit, and explain his reasons; justification was deemed im- 
possible. The brahmin returning a few days afterwards, met with 


a polite, if not a welcome reception; and thus addressed his friend: 
" O that I had remained in that happy state of ignorance wherein 
you first found me ! yet will I confess that as my knowledge in- 
creased, so did my pleasure, until I beheld the last wonders of 
the microscope; from that moment I have been tormented by 
doubt, and perplexed by mystery: my mind, overwhelmed by 
chaotic confusion, knows not where to rest, nor how to extricate 
itself from such a maze. I am miserable, and must continue so 
to be until I enter on another stage of existence. I am a solitary 
individual among fifty millions of people all educated in the same 
belief with myself; all happy in their ignorance! so may they 
ever remain ! I shall keep the secret within my own bosom; 
where it will corrode my peace, and break my rest: but I shall 
have some satisfaction in knowing that I alone feel those pangs, 
which, had I not destroyed the instrument, might have been ex- 
tensively communicated, and rendered thousands miserable! For- 
give me, my valuable friend, and Oi convey no more implements 
of knowledge and destruction .!" 

Could this man have been instructed in the sublime truth of 
religious philosophy, could he have been made the mean of impart- 
ing a true system of natural theology, happy might have been the 
consequences. To use the language of that excellent author who 
has written such a work on the evidences of the existence and at- 
tributes of the Deity, collected from the appearances of nature, 
the deluded brahmin would have found, that, according to his own 
creed, "immortality upon this earth is out of the question: that, 
without death, there could be no generation, no sexes, no parental 
relation, i. e. as things are constituted, no animal happiness. The 


particular duration of life assigned to different animals can form 
no part of the objection; because, whatever that duration be, 
whilst it remains finite and limited, it may always be asked, why it 
it is no longer. The natural age of different animals varies from 
a single day to a century of years. No account can be given of 
this; nor could any be given, whatever other proportion of life 
had obtained amongst them. The term of life in different animals 
being the same as it is, the question is, what mode of taking it away 
is the best even for the animal itself. 

" According to the established order of nature, the three methods 
by which life is usually put an end to are acute diseases, decay, 
and violence. The simple and natural life of brutes is not often 
visited by acute distempers, nor could it be deemed an improve- 
ment to their lot if they were. Let it be considered, therefore, 
in what a condition of suffering and misery a brute animal is 
placed which is left to perish by decay. In human sickness or 
infirmity, there is the assistance of man's rational fellow creatures, 
if not to alleviate his pains, at least to minister to his necessities, 
and to supply the place of his own activity. A brute, in his wild 
and natural state, does every thing for himself. When his strength 
therefore, or his speed, or his limbs, or his senses fail him, he is 
delivered over, either to absolute famine, or to the protracted 
wretchedness of a life slowly wasted by the scarcity of food. Is 
it then to see the world filled with drooping, superannuated, half- 
starved, helpless, and unhelped animals, that you would alter the 
present system of pursuit and prey ? This system is also to them 
the spring of motion and activity on both sides. The pursuit of 
its prey forms the employment, and appears to constitute the 


pleasure, of a considerable part of the animal creation. The 
using of the means of defence, or flight, or precaution, forms also 
the business of another part. And even of this latter tribe, we 
have no reason to suppose that their happiness is much molested 
by their fears. Their danger exists continually; and in some 
cases they seem to be so far sensible of it as to provide in the 
best manner they can against it; but it is only when the attack is 
actually made upon them, that they appear to suffer from it. To 
contemplate the insecurity of their condition with anxiety and 
dread, requires a degree of reflection which (happily for them- 
selves) they do not possess." 

On such a system the brahmin would have concluded with the 
religious philosopher of Europe, " that if one train of thinking be 
more desirable than another, it is that which regards the phe- 
nomena of nature with a constant reference to a supreme intelli- 
gent Author: to have made this the ruling, the habitual sentiment 
of our minds, is to have laid the foundation of every thing which 
is religious. The world henceforth becomes a temple, and life 
itself one continued act of adoration: the change is no less than 
this, that, whereas formerly God was seldom in our thoughts, we 
can now scarcely look upon any thing without perceiving its rela- 
tion to him. Every organized natural body, in the provisions 
which it contains for its sustentation and propagation, testifies a 
care on the part of the Creator expressly directed to these pur- 
poses. The works of nature want only to be contemplated; when 
contemplated, they have every thing in them which can astonish 
by their greatness. For, of the vast scale of operation through 
which our discoveries carry us, at one end we see an intelligent 

VOL. II. 3 p 


Power arranging planetary systems; fixing, for instance, the 
trajectory of Saturn, or constructing a ring of two hundred thou- 
sand miles diameter to surround his body, and be suspended like 
a magnificent arch over the heads of his inhabitants; and, at the 
other, concerting and providing an appropriate mechanism for 
the clasping and reclasping of the filaments of the feather of the 
humming-bird. One being has been concerned in all! Under 
this stupendous being we live: our happiness, our existence, is in his 
hands: all we expect must come from him! Nor ought we to feel 
our situation insecure. In every nature, and in every portion of 
nature, which we can descry, we find attention bestowed upon even 
the minutest parts. The hinges in the wings of an earwig, and the 
joints of its antennae, are as highly wrought as if the Creator had 
nothing else to finish. We see no signs or diminution of care by 
multiplicity of objects; or of distraction of thought by variety. 
We have no reason to fear, therefore, our being forgotten, or over- 
looked, or neglected \" 

Such is the sublime and rational system of the Christian philo- 
sopher; who, after the minutest investigation he is capable of, 
in the great scheme of nature, with a regulated, though fervid 
rapture finds his mind in a higher state of preparation for the truth 
and consolations of the gospel. There it is that the Christian feels 
himself exalted above the deist and mere natural philosopher. 
" An undevout astronomer is mad." It seems impossible to exa- 
mine the works of nature without adoring the Great Author of 
nature; it seems almost equally impossible to read the volume of 
divine revelation in a spirit of humility and reflection, without 
being not " almost, but altogether a christian." In a comparison 


between the truths of that holy volume, and the hypotheses of the 
two prevailing religions in India, the allowed sublimity, as well as 
the acknowledged puerility, of the Vedas must recede; the morality 
and cruelty of the Koran must retire before the tome of divine 
inspiration : " Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth ;" when the sun 
arises, darkness flies ! On a superficial view, the doctrine of the 
metempsychosis appears humane and beautiful; and, unlil the 
scheme of Providence is more deeply investigated, the Pythago- 
rean system captivates by a thousand tender suggestions. No 
advocate for this innocent and merciful hypothesis, has more pathe- 
tically appealed to humanity and compassion towards the brute 
creation than Ovid. 

" Quam male consuescit, quam se parat ille cruori 
" Impius humano ; vituli qui guttura cultro 
" Rumpit, et immotas prcebet mugitibus aures ! 
" Aut qui vagitus similes puerilibus hcedum 
" Edentem jugulare potest !" Met. 15, 463. 

" What more advance can mortals make in sin 
" So near perfection, who with blood begin? 
" Deaf to the calf that lies beneath the knife, 
" Looks up, and from her butcher begs her life : 
" Deaf to the harmless kid, that, ere he dies, 
" All methods to secure thy mercy tries; 
" And imitates in vain the children's cries!" Dryden. 

Plutarch, in his life of Cato, justly as beautifully observes, that 
if we kill an animal for our provision, we should do it with the 
meltings of compassion, and without tormenting it. Let us consider 
that it is in its own nature cruelty to put a living creature to death: 


we at least destroy a soul that has sense and perception. Jt is 
no more than the obligation of our very birth lo practise equity to 
our own kind; but humanity may be extended through the whole 
order of creatures, even to the meanest. Such actions of charity 
are the overflowing of a mild good-nature on all below us. 

Situated as I was for many years among the brahmins in Dhu- 
boy, it was almost impossible not to adopt some of their tenets, 
and imbibe their benevolent sentiments. There every bird that 
flew over the city walls found an asylum, every house was crowded 
with monkeys and squirrels; the trees were filled with peacocks, 
doves, and parrots; the lake covered by aquatic fowl, and the sur- 
rounding groves melodious by bulbuls and warblers of every 
description. Not a gun molested them. I prevailed with the Eng- 
lish officers and soldiers, whenever the garrison was relieved, not 
lo fire a shot within the fortress. I found the edict which I issued 
respecting the slaughter of oxen, and prohibiting their exposure 
for sale, procured me a favourable reception among the Hindoos 
in other places, and it was one cause of the brahmins presenting 
me the images and sculptured ornaments from their dilapidated 
temples mentioned in the sequel. 

It was not only from the different castes and narrations of re- 
ligious pilgrims travelling through my districts, that I derived the 
instruction and entertainment which gave rise to these philoso- 
phical discussions ; I was as frequently amused at the public wells 
and halting places by the vanjarrahs and their families already 
described; and especially by the jugglers, who generally found 
out the encampments of these travelling merchants. There they 
spread their carpets, and performed feats of legerdemain superior to 


any I have seen in England; the most conspicuous was generally 
one of those women mentioned by Dr. Fryer, who hold nine gilded 
balls in play, with her hands and feet, and the muscles of her arms 
and legs, for a long time together, without letting them fall. These 
people also enable me to confirm another anecdote, which I could 
not have so scientifically described. This observing traveller says, 
" I saw a man who swallowed a chain such as our jacks have, 
and made it clink in his stomach; but on pulling it out, it was not 
so pleasant to the ladies, for whose diversion it was brought. I 
was promised also to see a fellow cast up his tripes by his mouth, 
stomach and all, shewing them to the beholders; but this we ex- 
cused. Jn his stead was brought another, who by suction, or 
drawing of his breath, so contracted his lower belly that it had 
nothing left to support it, but fell flat to his loins, the midriff 
beino; forced into the thorax, and the muscles of the abdomen as 
clearly marked out by the stiff tendons of the linea alba, as by 
the most accurate dissection could be made apparent; he moving 
each row, like living columns, by turns/' 

These people were frequently accompanied by strolling come- 
dians, who acted Hindoo plays in the style of the Fantoccini. I 
never saw any Indian theatricals on a larger scale; but on these 
occasions I have at times heard some very humorous and witty 
dialogues, but never witnessed a representation that offended piety, 
morality, or delicacy. That some of their dramatic writings merit 
very high encomium, we may judge from the beautiful play of 
Saconlala, translated by Sir William Jones. Nothing can be more 
innocent, or illustrative of the simplicity of ancient Hindoo man- 
ners. The stage ought every where to be a school for virtue. Ad- 


dison justly remarks, that theatrical entertainments were invented for 
the accomplishment and refinement of human nature; and the Athe- 
nian and Roman plays were written with such a regard to morality, 
that Socrates used often to frequent the one, and Cicero the other. 

In the preface to Sacontala, Sir William Jones observes, that 
" by whomsoever or in whatever age the entertainment of dramatic 
poetry was invented, it is very certain, that it was carried to great 
perfection in its kind when Vicramaditya, who reigned in the 
first century before Christ, gave encouragement to poets, phi- 
lologers, and mathematicians, at a time when the Britons were 
as unlettered and unpolished as the army of Hanumat. Nine 
men of genius, commonly called the Nine Gems, attended his 
court, and were splendidly supported by his bounty. Calidas, 
the author of Sacontala, and the Shakespeare of India, is una- 
nimously allowed to have been one of them. Some of his con- 
temporaries, and other Hindoo poets even to our own times, 
have composed so many tragedies, comedies, farces, and musical 
pieces, that the Indian theatre would fill as many volumes as that 
of any nation in ancient or modern Europe. They are all in verse 
where the dialogue is elevated, and in prose where it is familiar: 
the men of rank and learning are represented speaking pure Sans- 
crit, and the women Pracrit; which is little more than the lan- 
guage of the brahmins melted down by a delicate articulation to 
the softness of Italian; while the low persona? of the drama speak 
the vulgar dialects of the several provinces, which they are sup- 
posed to inhabit." 

I had no European officer, serjeant, or soldier, either at Bha- 
derpoor or Zinore, nor even a Bombay sepoy; the garrison of 


Dhuboy was too weak to admit of more than a detachment to each 
place from the byracs of Arabs and Scindians stationed there for 
the general protection of the districts. The former were mostly 
natives of Arabia, the latter of the country bordering upon the 
Indus. I had frequently an escort of these people; and living 
so much among them under banian-trees, and open sheds, afforded 
me an opportunity of seeing their manners and customs. In the 
Arabian byracs were a few officers of high character; but in gene- 
ral, those who emigrate to India, and enter into the service of 
foreign governments, are not men of the best families; the com- 
manders of the greatest respectability attach themselves to the 
Mahralta chieftains, and different princes of India, and while well 
paid and properly treated, form excellent subsidiary troops, brave, 
hardy, and faithful. Some of them, armed with matchlocks and 
sabres, usually marched with the little escort of cavalry which 
necessarily accompanied me in my rural excursions. 

Similar to the usual accounts of the Arabians in their own 
country, I found those in the Company's service attached, hospi- 
table, and friendly on all occasions. They take more exercise 
than the Indians, and those who keep horses are generally fond of 
field sports. For which purpose, besides the dogs and chetaus 
they often possess, they train hawks and falcons for the purpose 
of hunting antelopes and other game in the forests. As usual 
they carry the bird hood-winked to the chase: on discovering a 
herd of deer the bird is uncovered, and, after taking a general 
survey, singles out one as his prey; then mounting aloft he darts 
down repeatedly on the head of the animal, especially on the eyes, 
until it is so confused and wounded by the beak and talons of the 


falcon thai it is unable to make further resistance. There the bird 
clings fast, until the huntsman cuts the antelope's throat, and sati- 
ates the little victor with its blood. 

The Arabs were very fond of fighting-rains: one of the com- 
manders presented me with a pair of an uncommon size and 
wonderful power; but they were so expensive in their food, and 
afforded me so little pleasure by their prowess, that I soon returned 
them to the donor: after every combat they were regaled with al- 
monds, raisins and pistachio nuts, as a reward for courage, and 
renewal of strength. The Indians, from the prince on the musnud, 
to the subahdar of a small fortress, keep fighting animals. In the 
acme of Mogul splendour, the menageries of the emperors and 
great omrahs were stored with elephants, lions, tigers, and other 
beasts, trained for combat: those who can afford it, still retain a 
few for that purpose: men in inferior stations are content with 
fighting rams, goats, game-cocks, and quails. 

The modern Arabians practise the same hospitality as Abra- 
ham, and the ancient patriarchs. D'Arvieux, travelling with a 
party to an Emir's camp, halted to dine under a tree at the en- 
trance of a village; the shaik sent them eggs, butler, curds, honey, 
olives, and fruit. Where they passed the night they were sup- 
plied with poultry, sheep, or lambs, according to their number; 
sometimes alive; oftener dressed, in pilaus, stews, kabob, or kab-ab, 
which is meat cut into small pieces and placed on thin skewers, 
alternately between slices of onion and green ginger, seasoned 
with pepper, salt, and kian, fried in ghee, or clarified butter, to be 
ate with rice and dholl, a sort of split-pea, boiled with the rice. 
This is a savoury dish, generally liked by the English, f which I 


often partook with my Arabs; and sometimes, as a great delicacy, 
they roast a lamb or kid whole, stuffed with almonds, raisins, and 
spices; or pistachio nuts only, highly seasoned. 

Many of these Arabs and Scindians had lame deer, ante- 
lopes, and ichneumons, which followed the byrac, and, with their 
dogs and horses, shared in all the variety of their wandering life. 
A tame antelope is a very pleasant companion; I kept one a con- 
siderable time; as also another beautiful species of deer, which I 
brought up from a fawn; it became perfectly familiar, and partook 
of every food congenial to its palate, which had not touched the 
lips, or been breathed upon by any of the family. The antelopes 
are said to have an ear for music; I do not assert it from my own 
experience, but it is generally believed in India: and, in confirma- 
tion, Sir Charles Malet favoured me with the following account of 
an entertainment given by the Mahratla sovereign, at one of his 
parks near Poonah, in 1792. 

" The peshwa having invited me to a novel spectacle, at his 
riimna, or park, about four miles from Poonah, I proceeded thither 
about two o'clock in the afternoon, with the gentlemen of my 
party; where we found a tent pitched for the purpose, and were 
received at the door by some of the principal nobles. The peshwa 
arrived soon after; and when we were all conveniently seated on 
carpets, agreeably to oriental costume, four black buck antelopes, 
of noble mien and elegant form, made their appearance at some 
distance, moving gracefully before a party of cavalry, who form- 
ing a semicircle, gently followed their pace, each horseman hold- 
ing a long pole, with a red cloth at the end. On approaching the 
tent, a band of music struck up in loud notes, and three of the 

VOL. II. 3 Q 


antelopes entered in a stately manner. Two swings, commonly 
used by the Indians, being suspended for the purpose, an antelope 
ascended on each swing, and couched in the most graceful atti- 
tude; the third reclined on the carpet in a similar posture. On 
the loud music ceasing, a set of dancing-girls entered, and danced 
to softer strains before the antelopes; who, chewing the cud, lay in 
a state of sweet tranquillity and satisfaction. At this time the 
fourth antelope, who had hitherto appeared more shy than his 
comrades, came into the tent and laid himself upon the carpet in 
the same manner. An attendant then put one of the swings in 
motion, and swung the antelope for some time, without his being 
at all disturbed. The amusement having continued as long as 
the peshwa thought proper, it was closed by the game-keeper 
placing a garland of flowers over the horns of the principal ante- 
lope, on which he rose, and the four animals went off together. 

" The peshwa informed me, that seven months had been em- 
ployed to bring the antelopes to this degree of familiarity, with- 
out the smallest constraint, as they wandered at their pleasure, 
during the whole time, amongst large herds of deer in the runuia; 
which, although I have mentioned as a park, is not enclosed, nor 
has it any kind of fence. I was also assured these animals were 
not impelled by appetite, no grain or food of any kind having 
been given them: on this I am somewhat of a sceptic. The 
peshwa was persuaded they were thus attracted by the power of 
music; aided, perhaps, by some particular ingenuity of the men 
who profess the art of familiarizing this beautiful and harmless 
animal. The peshwa seemed to be much pleased with the amuse- 


ment; which in innocence is suited to the tenets of the brahmins, 
if not to their present character." 

Probably when Sir Charles wrote the preceding description, he 
would not have been sceptical had he read a passage in the Asiatic 
Researches written by Sir William Jones, which beautifully illus- 
trates and confirms the truth of the spectacle at Poonah; I have 
also in my possession a Hindoo painting in water colours, very 
well done, where some young females are playing on instruments, 
and antelopes, attracted by the music, approach from the woods. 
The passage to which I allude is thus mentioned: " I have been 
assured, by a credible eye-witness, that two wild antelopes used 
often to come from their woods to the place where a more savage 
beast, Sirajudaulah, entertained himself with concerts, and that 
they listened to the strains with an appearance of pleasure; until 
the monster, in whose soul there was no music, shot one of them 
to display his archery. A learned native of this country told me 
that he had frequently seen the most venomous and malignant 
snakes leave their holes upon hearing tunes on a flute; which, as 
he supposed, gave them peculiar delight. An intelligent Persian, 
who repeated his story again and again, and permitted me to 
write it down from his lips, declared he had more than once been 
present when a celebrated lutanist, Mirza Mohammed, surnamed 
bulbul, was playing to a large company in a grove near Shiraz, 
where he distinctly saw the nightingales trying to vie with the 
musician; sometimes warbling on the trees, sometimes fluttering 
from branch to branch, as if they wished to approach the instru- 
ment Avhence the melody proceeded, and at length dropping on 
the ground in a kind of ecstasy, from which they were soon raised, 


lie assured me, by a change of the mode. 1 hardly know how to 
disbelieve the testimony of men who had no system of their own 
to support, and could have no interest in deceiving me." 

While the mischievous monkey, as well as the innocent dove, 
found an asylum within the walls of Dhuboy, the adjacent country 
was infested by tigers and savage beasts; who, in defiance of Py- 
thagorean systems and brahminical tenets, waged perpetual war 
on the antelopes and innocent animals near the villages; even the 
monkeys with all their wily craftiness could not escape them. The 
peasants in the wilds of Bhaderpoor confirmed the stratagem used 
by the tiger to effect his purpose, as mentioned by Dr. Fryer. 
" The woodmen assert, that when the tiger intends to prey upon the 
monkies, he uses this stratagem: the monkies, at his first approach, 
give warning by their confused chattering, and immediately betake 
themselves to the highest and smallest twigs of the trees ; when the 
tiger, seeing them out of his reach, and sensible of their fright, lies 
couchant under the tree, and then falls a roaring; at which they, 
trembling, let go their hold, and tumbling down, he picks them up 
to satisfy his hunger. That monkies are their food, their very 
ordure declares, scattered up and down, where is visible the shaggy 
coats of hair of these creatures." 

As I did not always travel with the Arabs and Scindians lately 
mentioned, I found it necessary to be escorted, in the distant parts 
of my purgunnas, by a little troop of cavalry, and a number of 
armed peons; not so much from the fear of tigers and wild beasts, 
as of the Bheels and Gracias, a savage race of men who inhabit the 
hills and wood-lands near Bhaderpoor and Chandode. The protec- 
tion I afforded the villages against their cruel depredations, irritated 


these savages against me; and by experience I found that the 
severity of the Mahratta government was more efficacious in con- 
trolling these people than British lenity. Not long after my arri- 
val at Dhuboy, sitting at dinner with a young gentleman lately 
arrived from England, the chopdar introduced some peasants 
bearing a dish covered with a napkin, which, supposing it to con- 
tain a peacock, or part of an antelope, I desired might be put on 
the table. I attempt not to describe our horror and astonishment 
when, on lifting up the cloth, we beheld a man's head just decol- 
lated. It was the head of a savage Gracia killed during the pre- 
ceding night by the vertunnees, or armed men of a village, where 
a party of them had made a descent to commit robbery and 

Nothing shocks humanity more than to read of Marc Antony's 
delight at seeing- the heads of Cicero, and the noble Romans he 
had proscribed, except the idea of the two princesses in Palestine, 
a mother and a daughter; the one presenting, and the other re- 
ceiving, the head of the Baptist in a charger. True it is, that the 
Persian monarchs heaped up pyramids of heads at their palace 
gates, and a king of Israel received them in baskets, in the 
same manner as Hyder Ally and his son Tippoo were regaled at 
breakfast with avesselful of the ears and noses of our poor sepoys 
who fell into their hands. My young friend and myself were so 
disgusted by the sight of a single head, and so much did it mili- 
tate against British feeling, that I immediately issued the most 
public orders to prohibit such transactions in future. With con- 
cern I found this did not prove an act of mercy to the villages, 


who, in consequence, became more exposed to the atrocity of these 
cruel banditti. 

Cruelty was not peculiar to the Gracias, or the less civilized 
parts of Guzerat; I met with frequent instances, in various ranks 
of society, inconsistent with the mild tenets of Hinduism, or with 
common humanity. I shall mention one only, which occurred 
during an excursion in the confines of the Brodera purgunna, in 
a village contiguous to my encampment; where the women, assem- 
bling, as usual, at day-break to draw water for their families and 
cattle, found the body of a beautiful young woman, richly dressed, 
in the public well. Two strangers on horseback arrived at the 
coultry late in the preceding evening, and desired permission from 
the tandar, (an officer who has the care of a certain number of 
villages) to pass the night there, as travellers. They were both 
armed, and one of them had a large bag tied behind him: no fur- 
ther notice was taken of them, and before morning they departed. 
From subsequent inquiries I had every reason to suppose this 
young beauty was one of the ladies in Futty's Sihng's haram; and 
having incurred the displeasure of a jealous tyrant, was, by his 
order, thrown alive into the Avell ; a fate similar to that of the 
unfortunate female mentioned in Ragobah's haram during the 
Mahratta campaign. I preserve a bracelet, composed of alternate 
beads of embossed gold and coral, taken from the arm of the ill- 
fated beauty in my district, in remembrance of her cruel fate. 

The tandar and Hindoo police officers requested me on this 
occasion to send for some of the bhauts, already mentioned, or 
some other soothsayers, from Serulah and Chandode; who are 


supposed to possess the art of divination, and are in consequence 
the reputed prophets and seers of the country: these they pre- 
tended would inform me of the truth, and prevent an improper 
suspicion. But being then within a few miles of Brodera, Futty 
Sihng's capital, I collected many circumstances which left me no 
doubt of the murderer, and considering it altogether as a foreign 
concern, I took no further notice of the deed. 

Many transactions in the administration of justice at Dhuboy 
brought me acquainted with the Hindoo soothsayers above-men- 
tioned. They are an extraordinary set of people, more particu- 
larly described in a following chapter. Although I do not liken 
them to Samuel and the early prophets in sacred writ, (nor did they 
immediately resembie the augurs and diviners of Homer and 
Virgil) I often found them and their employers entertaining the 
same ideas, and following the same practice as is recorded of the 
seers in Palestine; especially in the little story told of Saul and 
his servants, who being sent in quest of some strayed asses belong- 
ing to his father, had passed through the land of Shalisha and 
Shalim, and found them not : he therefore purposed returning 
home without them, to relieve his father's anxiety for their own 
safety. Being then near to Ramah, the residence of Samuel the 
prophet, the servant said unto Saul, " Behold now, there is in this 
city a man of God, and he is an honourable man; all that he saith 
cometh surely to pass: now let us go thither; peradventure he 
can shew us our way that we should go. Then said Saul to his 
servant, but behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? for 
the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a present to bring 
to the man of God; what have we? And the servant answered, 


behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver; 
that will I give to the man of God to tell us our way." 

Such is exactly the state of things at this day in the eastern 
districts of Guzerat: in every considerable town, and most of the 
large villages, resided one or more of these Hindoo soothsayers: 
who, contrary to justice and good policy, were consulted on all 
occasions. Saul, though wrong in his opinion of a prophet of the 
Most High, was perfectly right in his judgment respecting the 
generality of these seers. An application to a modern oriental 
diviner, unaccompanied by a present, would be very little attended 
to. The ascendancy of these people over the vulgar mind is 
wonderful, and in my jurisdiction was often troublesome. 

The wilds of Bhaderpoor, at the foot of the eastern hills, are 
romantic and beautiful, finely wooded, and abounding with flow- 
ing streams at all seasons; in this respect it resembles the scrip- 
tural Jobbath, a land of rivers of waters; an appellation of a very 
significant meaning in the torrid zone. 

But, as I have already observed, it is dangerous to visit this 
delightful scenery without a large party of armed men, on ac- 
count of the savage animals with which they abound: the num- 
ber of tigers, leopards, and panthers is immense. During the 
viceroyship of the Mogul princes in Guzerat, and also at a later 
period among some of the Mahratta chieftains, it was custo- 
mary for these great men, and their numerous attendants, to 
pitch their tents in unfrequented tracts, for the purpose of hunt- 
ing those ferocious beasts. Their encampments, especially of the 
Moguls, were extensive and magnificent; there they entertained 
their friends in a sumptuous manner during the continuance of 


the hunt, which sometimes lasted several weeks. Such probably 
has been the custom in Persia and Arabia, from the time of Nim- 
rod to the present day. In ancient history we read of royal feasts 
in tents and pavilions; Olearius, who attended a Danish ambassa- 
dor to the court of Persia, says " they were invited by the king to 
accompany him into the country on a hunting and hawking party; 
where, on their arrival at an Armenian village, they found tents 
prepared for the reception of the company. Their various colours, 
and the peculiar manner of the encampment, gave it a most pleas- 
ing appearance." 

I have occasionally joined the European parties in their tiger 
hunts, as particularly mentioned in the wilds of Turcaseer. The 
forests on the confines of Bhaderpoor, are equally wild and in- 
fested with beasts of prey. As I can offer nothing so interesting 
upon this subject as a description of a tiger-hunt in Bengal, the 
subject of a letter from Sir John Day^to Sir William Jones, which 
I have had many years in my possession, I shall not apologize for 
inserting so highly-finished a picture of this royal sport; which 
was given to me by a very intimate friend of the writer, and has 
not to my knowledge appeared in print. 

Description of a tiger-hunt, upon the banks of the Ganges, near Chin- 
sura in Bengal in April 1784. 

Although you could not partake of the pleasure, I am resolved 
that you shall not entirely escape the fatigue of our enterprize ; 
and with that laudable view, although we have not returned more 
than an hour, and at this moment a sound sleep were heaven to 

VOL. II. 3 R 


me, I snalch the pen to give you the following hasty and imper- 
fect description of the business of the day. 

Matters had been thus judiciously arranged: tents were sent 
off yesterday, and an encampment formed within a mile and a 
half of the jungle which was to be the scene of our operations; 
and in this jungle the thickets of long rank grass and reeds are in- 
many places fifteen feet high. At one o'clock this morning thirty 
elephants, with the servants, and refreshments of all kinds, were 
dispatched; at two we all followed in fly-palanquins; at a quarter 
after four we reached the encampment, and having rested near 
two hours, we mounted our elephants, and proceeded to the jungle. 

In our way we met with game of all kinds: hares, antelopes, 
hog-deer, wild boars, and wild buffaloes ; but nothing could divert 
our attention from the fiercer and more glorious game. 

At the grey of the dawn Ave formed a line of great extent, 
and entered a small detached jungle. My elephant (sorely against 
my grain; but there was no remedy, for my driver was a keen 
spoilsman, and he and I spoke no common language) passed 
through the centre, but happily no tiger had at that hour nestled 
there. I saw, however, as I passed through it, the bed of one, in 
which there were an half-devoured bullock and two human skulls; 
with an heap of bones, some bleached, and some still red with gore. 

We had not proceeded five hundred yards beyond the jungle, 
when we heard a general cry on our left of Baug, baug, baug! On 
hearing this exclamation of Tiger! we wheeled; and, forming the 
line anew, entered the great jungle, when the spot where a single 
tiger lay having been pointed, on the discharge of the first gun 
a scene presented itself confessed by all the experienced tiger 
hunters present to be the finest they had ever seen. Five full- 


grown royal tigers sprung together from the same spot, where they 
had sat in bloody congress. They ran diversely; but running 
heavily, they all couched again in new covers within the same 
jungle, and all were marked. We followed, having formed the 
line into a crescent, so as to embrace either extremity of the jun- 
gle: in the centre were the houdar (or state) elephants, with the 
marksmen, and the ladies, to comfort and encourage them. In 
one Mr. Zoffani with Mrs. Ramus, in the other Mr. Ramus with 
Lady Day, led the attack; my brother and I supported them; 
and we were followed by Major Bateman, Mr. Crispe, Mr. Long- 
craft, and Mr. Van Europe, a Dutch gentleman. 

These gentlemen had each an elephant to himself. When we 
had slowly and warily approached the spot where the first tiger lay, 
he moved not until we were just upon him; when, with a roar that 
resembled thunder, he rushed upon us. The elephants wheeled oft" 
at once; and (for it is not to be described by any quadruped- 
motion we know, I must therefore coin a term for the occasion) 
shuffled off. They returned, however, after a flight of about fifty 
yards, and again approaching the spot where the tiger had lodged 
himself, towards the skirts of the jungle, he once more rushed 
forth, and springing at the side of an elephant upon which three 
of the natives were mounted, at one stroke tore a portion of the 
pad from under them; and one of the riders, panic struck, fell off. 
The tiger, however, seeing his enemies in force, returned, slow 
and indignant, into his shelter; where, the place he lay in being 
marked, a heavy and well directed fire was poured in by the 
principal marksmen; when, pushing in, we saw him in the struggle 
of death, and growling and foaming he expired. 


We then proceeded to seek the others, having first distin- 
guished the spot by pitching a tall spear, and tying to the end of 
it the muslin of a turban. We roused the other three, in close 
succession, and, with little variation of circumstances, killed them 
all; the oldest, and most ferocious of the family, had, however, 
early in the conflict, very sensibly quitted the scene of action, and 
escaped to another part of the country. 

While the fate of the last and largest was depending, more 
shots were fired than in the three other attacks; he escaped four 
several assaults, and taking post in different parts of the jungle, 
rushed upon us at each wound he received with a kindled rage, 
and as often put the whole line to flight. In his last pursuit he 
singled out the elephant upon which Lady Day was; and was at 
its tail, with jaws distended, and in the act of rising upon his 
hind paws to fasten on her, when fortunately she cleared the 
jungle; and a general discharge from the hunters having forced 
him to give up the chase, he returned to his shelter. The danger, 
I believe, was not very great; but it was sufficient, when she shall 
be again invited, to make her say with Lord Chesterfield, when 
they attempted to allure him to a second fox-hunt, " I have been." 
The chase being over, we returned in triumph to our encamp- 
ment, and were followed by the spoils of the morning, and by an 
accumulating multitude of the peasants from the circumjacent 
villages, who pressed round an open tent in which we sat at break- 
fast, with gralulations, blessings, and thanksgiving. The four 
tigers were laid in front; the natives viewed them with terror, and 
some with tears. There was a very affecting incident, which so 
fastened upon Zoffani's imagination, and so touched his heart, that 


he means to give it a principal place in a picture which he meditates 
upon the subject; and which, had. you been with us, I should 
have hoped might have been also recorded elegantly and pathe- 
tically in song. 

An old woman, looking earnestly at the largest tiger, and 
pointing at times to his tusks, and at times lifting his fore-paws, 
and viewing his talons, her furrows bathed in tears, in broken and 
moaning tones narrated something to a little circle composed of 
three brahmins and a young woman with a child in her arms. 
No human misery could pierce the phlegm and apathy of the 
brahmins, and with them there was not a feature softened; but 
horror and sorrow were alternately painted in the face of the female; 
and, from her clasping at times her child more closely to her 
breast, I guessed the subject of the old woman's story, and upon 
inquiry I found that I was right in my conjecture. She was 
widowed and childless ; she owed both her misfortunes to the 
tigers of that jungle, and most probably to those which then lay 
dead before her; for they, it was believed, had recently carried off 
her husband and her two sons grown up to manhood, and now she 
wanted food: in the phrenzy of her grief she alternately described 
her loss to the crowd, and in a wild scream demanded her hus- 
band and her children from the tigers; indeed it was a piteous 
spectacle ! 

The site of our encampment was well chosen; it was a small 
sloping lawn, the verdure fresh, and skirted on three sides with 
trees; the fourth bounded by the deep bed of a torrent-river. At 
proper distances on this lawn, there were five large and com mo- 


dious tents, pitched in a semicircle: that in which we all assem- 
bled, and passed the sultry part of the day, was carpeted, and by 
means of the tattees of aromatic grass, continually watered, kept 
at a temperature pretty near to that of an April day in England. 
Here we had a luxurious cold dinner, with a variety of excellent 
wines, and other liquors, well cooled ; and while we dined the 
French-horns and clarionets played marches, hunting-pieces de- 
scriptive of the death of the game, and other slow movements; 
the tigers still lying in front, and the people still assembled, but 
retired to a greater distance; where they anxiously waited the 
signal for skinning and cutting up the slain; for with them the fat 
of a tiger is a panacea; the tongue dried and pulverized a sovereign 
specific in nervous cases, and every part applicable to some use; 
even the whiskers they deem a deadly poison, and most anxiously, 
but secretly, seek them, as the means, in drink, of certain destruc- 
tion to an enemy. 

As my share of the spoil, I have reserved one of the talons of 
the tiger which pursued Lady Day, and intend to have it set in 
gold, with a swivel and fillet, ornamented with diamonds, and fill- 
ing it with ottar of roses, I shall sometime hence surprize her with 
it, and insist upon her giving it a place among the trinkets of her 
watch, as a trophy ; the " spolia opima," torn from the body of an 
enemy slain in battle. I have reserved also a skin for you; which 
shall when cured be sent to you; and I shall hope to see it, ere many 
years elapse, an hammer-cloth to an handsome chariot of yours in 
the streets of London. 

Dinner over, the tigers skinned, and their flesh and offal dis- 


tributed, as soon as the sun declined, we returned to Chinsura; 
and here ends the history of the chase; in which I have been thus 
minute, that you may be tempted to accompany us in some future 
expedition; and if not, that you may be able to say that you 
have been authentically informed upon the subject by an eye- 







How sweet Nerbudda smiles, and glides 
Luxuriant o'er her broad autumnal bed ! 
Her waves perpetual verdure spread, 

Whilst health and plenty deck her golden sides ! 

Thy sacred fanes I often sought, 
And verdant plains, by tepid breezes fann'd, 
Where health extends her pinions bland ; 

Thy groves, where pious Valmic sat and thought ; 
Where Vyasa pour'd the strain sublime, 
That laughs at all-consuming Time, 

And Brahmins rapt, the lofty Veda sing ! 

Blest Nerbudda ! o'er cherish'd lands, 

To Brahma's grateful race endear'd, 
Throws wide her fostering arms, and on her banks divine, 
Sees temples, groves, and glittering towers, that in her crystal shine. 

Hymn to Ganga, altered. 

VOL. II. 3 S 


Zinore purgunnah — town of Zinore — groves and temples — manufac- 
tures — extreme fineness of India muslin in former times — primitive 
simplicity of the natives — presents from Zemindars — brahmins of 
Guzerat—jattaras, and religious customs near the Nerbudda — 
history of Shaik Edroos, a leper — pilgrimage to Mecca — Hindoo 
deities — Kama-deva, the god of love — sacred bulls — religious groves 
—phallic deities — shapeless statue of the Paphian Venus — wretched 
state of the Chaudalahs— anecdote of szmllowing a sword — mud- 
palace at Zinore — cruelty of zemindars — amiable traits in the 
Hindoo character — Bhauts and Churruns— fortune-telling brah- 
mins — three extraordinary anecdotes of prophecies fulfilled, after 
predictions by a celebrated soothsayer — refections on these singular 


Another purgunna under my management, called Zinore, con- 
tained a tolerable town and fifty villages. Zinore, the capital of 
the district, was fifteen miles south from Dhuboy, and forty to the 
eastward of Baroche. Neither the public or private buildings were 
of much importance; but it was delightfully situated on the steep 
banks of the Nerbudda; with a noble flight of a hundred stone steps 
from the houses to the water-side, which would have added to the 
grandeur of a much larger city. The Hindoo temples, brahminical 
groves, and afew superior houses, indicate its having been once a place 
of consequence. When I took possession of it for the Company, it 
contained about ten thousand inhabitants ; generally weavers of 
coarse cotton cloth, for the Persian and Arabian markets, with 
some finer baftas and muslins for home consumption. Very few of 
these cottons are dyed or painted at Dhuboy or Zinore; the art 
has attained a much greater perfection at Ahmedabad and Surat. 

Cotton grows abundantly in most parts of the Zinore pur- 
gunna ; the cultivation, gathering, cleaning, spinning, and weav- 
ing this valuable production, employs the inhabitants of all ages. 
Throughout the greater part of Guzerat we may apply Orme's 
remarks on the manufactures of Coromandel, that a people born 


under a sun too sultry to admit the exercise and fatigue necessary 
to form a robust nation, endeavour to obtain their scanty livelihood 
by the easiest labour : il is from hence, perhaps, that the manufac- 
tures of cloth are so multiplied in Hindostan. Spinning and weav- 
ing are the slightest tasks which a man can be set to; and it is 
observable, that the manufactures prevail most, both in quantity 
and perfection, where the people are least capable of robust labour. 
It is difficult in such provinces to find a village in which almost 
every man, woman, and child, is not employed in the cotton ma- 
nufacture. The loom is fixed under a tree, and the thread laid 
the whole length of the cloth. The Hindoo weaver is not a despi- 
cable caste ; he is next to the scribe, and above all mechanics. 
These people produce works of extraordinary niceness ; and as 
much as an Indian is born deficient in mechanical strength, so 
much is his whole frame endowed with an exceeding decree of 
sensibility and pliantness. Orme, speaking of the silk manufactory 
in Bengal, says, " the women wind oft' the raw silk from the pod 
of the worm : a single pod of raw silk is divided into twenty diffe- 
rent degrees of fineness ; and so exquisite is the feeling of these 
women, that whilst the thread is running through their fingers so 
swiftly that their eye can be of no assistance, they will break it off" 
exactly as the assortments change, at once from the first to the 
twentieth, from the nineteenth to the second." 

At no period have the manufactures of Guzerat or the Deccan 
equalled in fineness and delicacy the muslins of Bengal and the 
eastern provinces : and yet, fine as they now are, they were formerly 
of a more exquisite texture. The fall of the Moguls, who spared 
no expense for these articles, is perhaps a principal reason for their 


decline. As an extraordinary instance of their curious texture, 
Tavernier mentions, that when the ambassadors of Shah Sefi, king 
of Persia, returned from India, he presented his royal master a 
cocoa-nut, richly set with jewels, containing a muslin turban, sixty 
covits, or thirty English yards in length, so extremely fine, that it 
could hardly be felt by the touch. Some of the Cachemirean 
shawls are of so delicate a fabric that they may be drawn through 
a wedding; rin^. 

In the Zinore purgunna, a country little known in the annals 
of Hindostan, I saw human nature almost in primitive simplicity, 
but far removed from the savage condition of the Indians of 
America, or the natives of the South-sea islands. The state of 
civil society in which the Hindoos are united in those remote 
situations, seems to admit of no change or amelioration. The 
brahmins pass their lives in listless indolence within the precincts 
of the temples, with little profit either to themselves or the com- 
munity. Among the inferior castes, whose minds are uncultivated, 
and who have no communication with the rest of the world, I 
found it next to an impossibility to introduce a single improvement 
in agriculture, building, or any useful art or science. In any 
nation, where the art of printing is unknown, and no books are 
introduced, the higher classes can enjoy but little intellectual 

I sometimes frequented places where the natives had never seen 
an European, and were ignorant of every thing concerning us : 
there I beheld manners and customs simple as were those in the 
patriarchal age ; there, in the very style of Rebecca and the dam- 
sels of Mesopotamia, the Hindoo villagers treated mc with that 


arlless hospitality so delightful in the poems of Homer, and other 
ancient records. On a sultry day, neat a Zinore village, having 
rode faster than my attendants, while waiting their arrival under 
a tamarind tree, a young woman came to the well; I asked for a 
little water, but neither of us having a drinking vessel, she hastily 
left me, as I imagined, to bring an earthen cup for the purpose, as 
I should have polluted a vessel of metal : but as Jael, when Sisera 
asked for water, gave him milk, and " brought forth butter in a 
lordly dish," so did this village damsel, with more sincerity than 
Heber's wife, bring me a pot of milk, and a lump of butter on the 
delicate leaf of the banana, " the lordly dish" of the Hindoos. 
The former I gladly accepted : on my declining the latter, she im- 
mediately made it up into two balls, and gave one to each of the 
oxen that drew my hackery. Butter is a luxury to these animals, 
and enables them to bear additional fatigue. 

On my first arrival at Zinore, the zemindars, as customary, 
paid me a respectful visit, bringing presents of money and jewels : 
those I refused, except one rupee ; which, notwithstanding every 
injunction to the contrary, I did take from the head zemindar of 
each district under my charge. These four rupees I preserve in 
remembrance of the people among whom I lived, who would have 
been hurt at a total refusal. Although prohibited by oaths and 
covenants from accepting any valuable presents, I did not refuse 
what they sent for me and my people to the shamyanah I fixed 
near the bank of the river, for want of a more comfortable residence 
in the town. These articles so exactby resembled those which 
Barzillai and his friends brought to David at Mahanaim, that 
hardly a single word need be altered: " Shobi, and Macher, and 


Barzillai brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat 
and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentiles, 
and honey, and butter, and cheese of kine, and sheep, for David, 
and for the people that were with him : for they said the people 
are hungry, and weary, and thirsty in the wilderness." 

The more I saw of the Hindoos in those remote districts, the 
more I perceived the truth of Orme's remark, that Hindostan has 
been inhabited from the earliest antiquity, by a people who have 
no resemblance, either in their figure, or manners, with any of the 
nations contiguous to them ; and that although conquerors have 
established themselves at different times, in various parts of India, 
yet the original inhabitants have lost very little of their original 

A few of the Guzerat brahmins, especially at Zindore and 
Chandode, were men of education, who had studied at Benares, 
and were masters of the Sanscreet language, that inexh?ustible 
mine of Hindoo literature, art, and science ; which, Sir William 
Jones says, is " a most wonderful structure ; more perfect than the 
Greek, more copious than the Latin ; and more exquisitely refined 
than either; yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both 
in the roots of verbs, and in the forms of grammar, than could 
possibly have been produced by accident ; so strong indeed, that 
no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them 
to have sprung from some common source, which perhaps no 
longer exists/' 

Those towns on the banks of the Nerbudda, so famous For 
brahmin seminaries, contain numerous schools for the education of 
other boys : these are generally in the open air, on the shady side 

VOL. II. 3 T 


of the house. The scholars sit on mats, or cow-dung floors, and are 
taught as much of religion as their caste admits of; also reading, 
writing, and arithmetic; the two latter by making letters and 
figures in sand upon the floor. Education, like every thing else 
among the Hindoos, is extremely simple: that of the girls is 
generally confined to domestic employments. 

Near Zinore were several monuments in memory of those de- 
votees, so often mentioned, who bury themselves alive, in hopes of 
expiating their sins, or of pleasing the destructive powers by such 
a sacrifice; and under the lofty banks of the Nerbudda, as on the 
shore of the Ganges, I was told the Hindoos sometimes drown 
their sick and aged parents. In this respect they certainly act 
directly contrary to our ideas of filial affection, and common hu- 
manity ; but I am willing to hope it proceeds from a good motive. 
Similar customs prevailed in many ancient nations. Herodotus says, 
when one of the Massagetae becomes infirm through age, his assem- 
bled relations put him to death ; boiling along with his body the 
flesh of sheep, and other animals, upon which they feast. The 
Hyperboreans, who eat no meat, but live entirely upon fruit, put 
all those to death who attain the age of sixty years. The present 
inhabitants of Arracan are said to accelerate the death of their 
friends and relations when they see them afflicted by old age, or 
an incurable disease ; with them it is an act of piety. 

From my little encampment on the banks of the Nerbudda, 
although accustomed to such spectacles at Baroche and Surat, I 
have been frequently astonished at the number of both sexes in the 
river during great part of the day. From Zinore to Chandode the 
stream is reckoned peculiarly holy ; and there not only religious 


purity, but healing efficacy, is annexed to the ablution. Pilgrims 
from distant provinces resort thither for the cure of different com- 
plaints : they do not, I believe, entirely rely on the virtue of the 
water for convalescence, but apply also to the medical skill of the 
brahmins, who are the principal physicians in India. 

A belief in the purification of the Ganges, Nerbudda, and other 
sacred rivers of India, universally prevails : all castes of Hindoos 
resort to them at stated periods to perform their religious ceremo- 
nies. There may be some among them, who, like Naaman the 
Syrian general, would say, "Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of 
Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel ; may I not wash in 
them and be clean ?" and, like him, may treat the Indian Jordan 
with contempt. Such a character is very rare, nor would his ex- 
ample have much influence in a society where ancient manners 
and customs, especially in religious concerns, are so tenaciously 
adhered to. 

We recommended the cleansing virtues of the Nerbudda to an 
elderly mahomedan, named Shaik Edroos, who lived many years 
in our family. At first he waited at table, and performed little 
offices about our persons ; but on the appearance of some spots of 
leprosy we excused him from that part of his employment. These 
spots increasing, his motley skin grew so disgusting, that we dis- 
pensed with his attendance at table, and at length procured him a 
situation where the disorder did not interfere with his duty ; for, 
although Shaik was not suddenly smitten, like Gehazi, for avarice 
and falsehood, yet his skin gradually experienced the same effect, 
until, like him, he became " a leper as white as snow." The white- 
ness of the Indians afflicted with this disorder is so extremely disa- 


greeable as to render the complexion of the blackest Ethiopian 
beautiful in the comparison. Shaik having no faith in the religious 
or physical effects of the Nerbudda, took a voyage up the Red- 
Sea, and performed a pilgrimage to the sacred shrines of his own 
prophet at Mecca and Medina, by which he imagined he attained 
no small degree of sanctity. After his return, I frequently saw 
him mounted on an eminence near one of the gates of Baroche, 
haranguing a large crowd of both sexes on religious and moral 
subjects, to the delight of his wondering audience, and the surprise 
of his quondam employers, who were ignorant of his oratorical 

Shaik was one of those enthusiasts who laid a great stress on 
having performed a pilgrimage to Mecca; and, in consequence, 
thought himself superior to every person in our family, which con- 
sisted of Hindoos, Mahomedans, Parsees, Roman Catholic and 
Protestant Christians ; exclusive of the Pariahs and Chandalas who 
were employed in menial offices without doors. We all agreed 
very well; for, except our slaves, none ate in the house, nor did we 
furnish them with clothes, or provisions of any kind. A monthly 
stipend of twelve rupees to the upper servant, gradually lessened 
to that of the poor Chandala, who received but two ; which I be- 
lieve was fully sufficient in a climate where their wants are very 
few compared with colder regions. Shaik had seen better days; 
was of a good family, had served in the army, and been wounded 
in Ragobah's campaign in Guzerat ; as a domestic servant he was 
not so contented as the rest, his religion not having taught him that 
patience and resignation, so generally practised by the Indians in 
consequence of their belief in a sort of unlimited predestination : 


neither was he at all given to taciturnity, another striking trait in 
the Mahornedan character. He often amused me with his account 
of the hajje, or pilgrimage to Mecca, and confirmed all that is re- 
lated by travellers on those occasions ; especially those ceremonies 
and penances mentioned by Pitts, when the hajjes, or pilgrims, 
enter into Hirrawen; a ceremony from which the females are 
exempted ; but the men taking off all their clothes, cover them- 
selves with two hirrawems, or large white wrappers ; " one they put 
round their middle, which reaches down to their ancles ; with the 
other they cover the upper part of the body, except the head ; 
and they wear no other thing on their bodies except these wrap- 
pers, and a pair of thin-soled shoes like sandals, their insteps being 
all naked. In this manner, like humble penitents, they go from 
Rabbock to the temple of Mecca, enduring the scorching heat of 
the sun until the skin is burnt off their backs aud arms, and their 
heads swollen to a great degree. It was a sight to pierce the heart, 
to behold so many thousands in their garments of humility and 
mortification, with their naked heads, and cheeks watered with 
tears ; and to hear their grievous sighs and sobs, begging earnestly 
for the remission of their sins ; promising newness of life, using a 
form of penitential expressions, and thus continuing for the space 
of four or five hours. 

The Hindoo temples at Zinore, though smaller and less splendid 
than those at Chandode, are esteemed peculiarly sacred ; and some 
of the sculpture and paintings, as the works of modern times, are 
interesting, and superior to those generally met with. Among the 
statues of the inferior deities in the Hindoo mythology, there 
appear to be many allusions to Camdeo, or Kama-deva, who, Sir 


William Jones informs us, " is the same with the Grecian Eros, 
and the Roman Cupido; but the Indian description of his person 
and arms, his family, attendants, and attributes, has new and pecu- 
liar beauties. 

" According to the mythology of Hindostan, he was the son of 
Maya, or the general attracting power, and married to Retty, or 
Affection, and his bosom friend is Bessent, or Spring. He is re- 
presented as a beautiful youth, sometimes conversing with his 
mother and consort, in the midst of his gardens and temples ; 
sometimes riding by moonlight on a parrot or lory, and attended 
by dancing-girls, or nymphs ; the foremost of whom bears his 
colours, which are a fish, on a red ground. His favorite place of 
resort is a large tract of country round Agra, and principally the 
plains of Matra, where Krishen also, and the nine Gopia, who 
are clearly the Apollo and muses of the Greeks, usually spend the 
night with music and dancing. His bow of sugar-cane, or flowers, 
with a string of bees, and his five arrows, each pointed with an 
Indian blossom of a healing quality, are allegories equally new 
and beautiful." 

Sir William Jones has translated a hymn to Camdeo, which is 
replete with beauty and oriental imagery, from which I shall only 
select these stanzas, as a most elegant illustration of the character 
of this powerful deity, and especially of his bow and arrows. 

" What potent god from Agra's orient bowers 

" Floats through the lucid air, whilst living flowers 

" With sunny twine the vocal arbors wreathe, 

" And gales enamoured heavenly fragrance breathe ? 

'* Hail, pow'r unknown, for at thy beck 

" Vales and groves their bosoms deck ; 


'•' And every laughing blossom dresses 

" With gems of dew his musky tresses. 
" I feel, I feel thy genial flame divine, 
" And hallow thee, and kiss thy shrine. 

" God of the flowery shafts and flowery bow, 

" Delight of all above and all below ! 

" Thy lov'd companion, constant from his birth, 

" In heaven clep'd Bessent, and gay Spring on earth, 

" Weaves thy green robe and flaunting bowers, 

" And from thy clouds draws balmy showers; 

" He with fresh arrows fills thy quiver, 

" (Sweet the gift, and sweet the giver !) 
" And bids the many-plum'd warbling throng 
" Burst the pent blossoms with their song. 

" He bends the luscious cane, and twists the string 

" With bees how sweet ! but ah, how keen their sting ! 

" He with five flow'rets tips thy ruthless darts 

" Which through five senses pierce enraptur'd hearts : 

" Strong Champa, rich in odorous gold, 

" Warm Amer, nurs'd in heavenly mould, 

" Dry Nagkeser, in silver smiling, 

" Hot Kitticum our sense beguiling, 
" And last, to kindle fierce the scorching flame 
" Loveshaft, which gods bright Bela name. 

" Thy mildest influence to thy bard impart, 
" To warm, but not consume, his heart." 

The temples of Guzerat abound with phallic representations ; 
and with figures of most of the deities, who become the alternate 
objects of worship : for the northern brahmins, as well as those 
mentioned by Dr. Buchanan in Malabar, " when in sickness and 


distress, invoke with fear and trembling the power of Bhairava, 
and of the female Sactis ; who were formerly, perhaps, considered 
by the natives as the malignant spirits of the woods, mountains, 
and rivers ; and worshipped by sacrifices, like the gods of the rude 
tribes which now inhabit the hilly country east from Bengal, and 
whose poverty has hitherto prevented the incursions of the sacred 
orders of their more learned western neighbours." 

In the groves surrounding the Guzerat temples, as in many 
other parts of India, are sacred bulls, belonging to their respective 
Dewals. These animals, after being dedicated with great cere- 
mony, by the brahmins, to different deities, have a distinguishing 
mark set upon them, and are permitted to go whither they please ; 
and to eat whatever they like, of grain, provender, or crops in the 
fields ; not only without molestation, but frequently by invitation ; 
these consecrated animals seem to be as much venerated as the 
Apis in ancient Egypt. Where they are not kept within the pre- 
cincts of the temples, as also Avhere they most abound, there is 
generally a representation of one or more of the race, sculptured in 
marble, stone, or petrified rice, reposing under the banian or peepal 
trees ; living or dead they are supposed to add to the sanctity of 
these holy retreats. I mentioned the nearly fatal consequence of 
my having inadvertently strayed into one of these enclosures in 
Malabar: I met with no such prohibition in Guzerat, neither 
within my own purgunnahs, nor any other; I seldom entered the 
temples, but often read or made a sketch under the same banian 
tree with the officiating brahmin and his associates, without giving 
the leasL offence. 

Such shady enclosures seem to have been an appendage to most 



religions. The idolatrous Israelites, in imitation of their Pa 
neighbours, planted those ilex-groves in Judea, for which they 
were reproached by their prophets, and sacrificed to the heathen 
deities on the shady hills of Palestine. This extended from Asia 
to Europe : from the burr trees of the brahmins to the oaks of the 
druids. Their deities, according to Tacitus, were not immured 
in temples, nor represented under any kind of resemblance to the 
human form. To do either were, in their opinion, to derogate 
from the majesty of superior beings. Woods and groves were the 
sacred depositaries ; and the spot being consecrated to those pious 
uses, they gave to that sacred recess the name of the divinity that 
fdled the place which was never profaned by the steps of man. 
The gloom filled every mind with awe ; revered at a distance, and 
never seen but with the eye of contemplation. 

The prophetical writings contain many allusions to Hindoo cus- 
toms : " the3 r inflame themselves with idols under every green tree; 
they sanctify and purity themselves in the gardens, behind one tree 
in the midst : among the smooth stones of the stream in thy groves, 
even on them hast thou poured out a drink-offering, and there hast 
thou offered a meat-offering/' These smooth and shapeless stones 
have been at all times an object of worship : it appears extraordi- 
nary, when we consider the elegant forni of the Venus di Medici, 
Venus Urania, or any other statue of this celebrated Grecian god- 
dess, that when Titus visited Cyprus, the statue of the Paphian 
Venus had no resemblance to the human form, but was a round 
figure, broad at the base, and growing fine by degrees, until, like a 
cone, it lessened to a point. The translator in a note on this passage 
inTacitus, remarks thatClemens of Alexandria supposes the statuary 

VOL. II. 3 u 


had not the skill to give the elegance of symmetry and proportion ; 
he therefore left the form and delicacy of Venus to the imagination : 
as Ovid says, is qua latent, ineliora putat. Tacitus observes, the rea- 
son, whatever it be, is not explained ; whether it has any allusion 
to the uncouth lingam, or any other almost shapeless stone altars 
of the Hindoos, I am not competent to determine. 

In the out-skirts of Zinore, separated from all other inhabitants 
of the town, were a number of poor Chandalahs, the outcasts of 
society ; objects of compassion to every thinking mind, from the 
deprivations and degradations they are compelled to submit to by 
impolitic and inhuman laws. Their condition appears the more 
humiliating, when contrasted with the luxurious brahmins, in their 
calm recesses, surrounded by the ramjannees, and every kind of 
indulgence allowed to their privileged caste: the one pampered by 
voluptuous indolence, the other degraded below the monkeys 
which surround them, and deprived of religious ordinances. 

How different is the conduct of these " transcendantly divine" 
brahmins towards the poor Chandalahs, from that of Nehemiah, 
when the Jews returned to Palestine, from the Babylonish capti- 
vity, ignorant of the Mosaical law, and all the sublime truths of 
their religion. " After repairing the walls of Jerusalem, rebuilding 
the temple, and preparing the priests and Levites, Nehemiah and 
Ezra assembled all the congregation of Israel, both men and 
women, and all that could hear with understanding, and brought 
the book of the law before them ; and the priests read in the book, 
in the law of God, distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them 
to understand the meaning ; and the Levites taught the people ; 
and they wept when they heard the words of the law. And Nehe- 


miah and Ezra said unto the people, this day is holy unto the Lord 
your God, mourn not, nor weep ; go your way, eat of the sacrifice, 
and drink the sweet ; and send portions unto them for whom no- 
thing is prepared : for the day is holy, and the joy of the Lord is 
your strength !" 

I sometimes frequented the jatterahs, or religious festivals, at 
the Hindoo temples of Zinore and Chandode ; or rather I mingled 
with the motle} r crowd who then assembled under the sacred groves 
on the banks of the Nerbudda. It is unnecessary to repeat the 
religious ceremonies, or the sports and pastimes of the Hindoos, 
who, in astonishing numbers, resort to these consecrated spots on 
such occasions. At the jatterah of Cubbeer-Burr, near Baroche, 
the pilgrims, of various descriptions, often exceeded an hundred 
thousand, without reckoning the comedians, dancing-girls, snake- 
charmers, jugglers, and those of similar professions, who came to 
amuse them. I have elsewhere mentioned some feats of the Indian 
jugglers; at Zinore I saw one which surpassed every thing of the 
kind I had before witnessed, I mean the swallowing a sword up to 
the hilt. Had I not afterwards met with the same set on the island 
of Salsette, exhibiting before the English Chief at Tannah, I should 
have doubted the evidence of my senses. 1 witnessed the fact 
more than once, and was convinced there was no deception. Find- 
ing my tale generally disbelieved in Europe, I suppressed it; but 
having since read a clear and satisfactory account of this extraordi- 
nary transaction, drawn up by Mr. Johnson, surgeon in the navy, 
who in the year 1804, was an eye-witness of the performance, and 
havino- described it as a professional man, I shall transcribe the 


account from his memoir, instead of inserting one less scienliiic 
and satisfactory from my own manuscripts. 

" Having been visited by one of these conjurers, I resolved to 
see clearly his mode of performing this operation ; and for that 
purpose ordered him to seat himself on the floor of the verandah. 
The sword he intended to use, has some resemblance to a common 
spit in shape, except at the handle, which is merely a part of the 
blade itself, rounded and elongated into a little rod. It is from 
twenty-two to twenty-six inches in length, about an inch in bread ih, 
and about one fifth of an inch in thickness ; the edges and point 
are blunt, being rounded, and of the same thickness as the rest of 
the blade ; it is of iron or steel, smooth, and a little bright. 

" Having satisfied myself with respect to the sword, by at- 
tempting to bend it, and by striking it against a stone, I firmly 
grasped it by the handle, and ordered him to proceed. He first 
took a small phial of oil, and with one of his fingers rubbed a little 
of it over the surface of the instrument ; then, stretching up his 
neck as much as possible, and bending himself a little backwards, 
he introduced the point of it into his mouth, and pushed it gently 
down his throat, until my hand, which was on the handle, came in 
contact with his lips. He then made a sign to me with one of his 
hands, to feel the point of the instrument between his breast and 
navel; which I could plainly do, by bending him a little more 
backwards, and pressing my fingers on his stomach, he being a 
very thin and lean fellow. On letting go the handle of the sword, 
he instantly fixed on it a little machine that spun round, and disen- 
gaged a small firework,, which encircling his head with a blue flame, 


gave him, as he then sat, a truly diabolical appearance. On with- 
drawing the instrument, several parts of its surface were covered 
with blood, which shewed that he was still obliged to use a degree 
of violence in the introduction. 

" I was at first a good deal surprised at this transaction alto- 
gether; but when I came to reflect a little upon it, there appeared 
nothing at all improbable, much Jess impossible in the "business. 
He told me, on giving him a trifle, that he had been accustomed 
from his early years, to introduce at first small elastic instruments 
down his throat, and into his stomach ; that by degrees he had 
used larger ones, until at length he was able to use the present iron 

" As I mentioned before, the great flexibility of their joints and 
muscles, the laxness of their fibres, and their temperate mode of 
life, render them capable of having considerable violence done to 
the fleshy parts of their bodies, without any danger of the inflam- 
mation, and other bad effects, which would be produced in the 
irritable bodies of Europeans; witness their being whirled round 
on the point of a pole, suspended by a hook thrust into the fleshy 
part of their backs, without experiencing any fatal consequences. 

" There is, therefore, no great wonder, if by long habit, in 
stretching up their necks, they are able to bring the different wind- 
ings of the stomach into a straight line, or nearly so ; and thereby 
slide down the sword into the latter organ without much difficulty." 

I seldom pitched my tent, or spread a shahmyana near any 
principal town in Guzerat, but some of these people, or a set of 
dancing-girls, made their appearance. They generally presented 
themselves in front of my mud-walled palace at Zinore, when I 


look up my abode in the town, during a short visit in the rainy 
season. The inclemency or' the weather then compelled me to 
live in a Hindoo house, situated near the lofty bank of the Ner- 
budda. Unlike an oriental durbar, this building was little more 
than a pendall, or open hall, with two small chambers, formed of 
mud and unbnrnt bricks, between a frame of wood; an elevated 
bench, composed of the same materials, surrounded the front veran- 
da, which, with the floors, and the whole interior of the house, was 
always washed over with a thick wash of cow-dung and water ; 
which, when perfectly dry, had a neat and cleanly appearance ; 
and from having no glare, was. at least in that respect, preferable 
to a white-wash. A cotton carpet, camp-chair, and table, were 
my only furniture; my travelling palankeen formed my bed, its 
purdoe or chintz covering my curtains. The women and children 
decked this humble tenement with mogrees and fragrant flowers, 
and brought the little necessaries I wanted. There I sometimes 
passed a few days very pleasantly among those innocent and 
simple people. 

Under that description I do not include the zemindars, and 
officers in the revenue department, with whom I was under a ne- 
cessity of passing the morning in public business : their oppressive 
conduct was an alloy to every gratification I should otherwise have 
enjoyed. The wives and daughters of these zemindars, and espe- 
cially the higher classes of the brahmin women, impressed a very 
pleasing idea of the female character ; mild, gentle, and affection- 
ate, they seem formed to make good wives and good mothers : 
ignorant of the world, and the various temptations to which Euro- 
pean females are liable, religious and domestic duties engross their 


chief attention. It is notwithstanding a just remark of the Hindoo 
women, who are often mothers at twelve years of age, and wrinkled 
before they are thirty, that " they are flowers of too short a dura- 
tion not to be delicate, and too delicate to be lasting." 

Although I am so frequently under the necessity of reproach- 
ing the corrupt zemindars, I have much greater pleasure in bearing- 
witness to many amiable traits in the Hindoo character; who, 
notwithstanding the natural prejudices of caste, religion, and habit, 
generally shewed an affectionate and grateful attachment to their 
English employers. Yet so contradictory is their character, that 
superstition leads them to most extraordinary deviations, from 
every thing that is humane, gentle, and praise-worthy. As already 
observed, the brahmin who shudders at killing an insect, feels no 
compunction at pounding a brother to death in an oil-mill because 
he differs from him in religious opinions. As a late traveller re- 
marks, " there is no end to the delusions of superstition, nor any 
bounds to the cruelties to which it can instigate people the most 
gentle and timid with which history has made us acquainted. 
Some are persuaded to regain their lost rank in society by precipi- 
tating themselves naked from a great height upon spikes and edged, 
weapons ; others pierce their skin with a hot iron ; in short, cruel- 
ties too horrid for recital, and too extravagant to obtain belief, 
daily provoke our pity and indignation, amidst a people famed 
for humanity in every part of the world. In almost every action 
of his life, the Hindoo is under the immediate influence of his 
superstition : his prayers are offerings to his gods; his purifications 
and ablutions in the river; his dressing and eating his victuals; the 
objects which he touches; the companions with whom he asso- 


dates, are to him all intimately and equally connected with religion, 
and the everlasting welfare of his soul. If there is any part of his 
conduct with which his religious ideas have no concern, it is his 
moral character. In doing justly, or loving mercy, he is apparently 
left to act as he pleases: but, if in the most trivial action he vio- 
late the rites of superstition, he is, in this life, deprived of all the 
comforts of society, and in the next condemned to animate the 
body of some noisome reptile, or contemptible animal." Dr. Tex- 


There were a few families of the Bhauts, or Churrans, in Zinore; 
but Serulah, one of the largest and wealthiest villages in the pur- 
gunna, belonged exclusively to that singular cast of people, parti- 
cularly mentioned at Neriad ; and occasionally in other parts of 
these memoirs. The Bhauts gave me no trouble in collecting the 
Company's share of their revenue, and appeared in all respects a 
worthy, honourable tribe, highly deserving of the confidence placed 
in them by the princes of Guzerat, and the various inhabitants of 
their dominions. This caste were more or less historians, heralds, 
prophets, and soothsayers. In the two last characters they, per- 
haps, a little interfere with the brahmins and Hindoo devotees, 
abounding in Zinore and Chandode. I may have mentioned a 
sheet of paper, now in my possession, seventy-two feet in length, 
containing the calculations and predictions of the Dhuboy brah- 
mins and astrologers, on my destiny. I preserve it as a curiosity; 
but neither curiosity nor inclination have made me yet wish for 
a translation. 

Among many things suppressed from my original manuscripts, 
were several particulars respecting these Indian soothsayers, or 


fortune-telling brahmins, as they are generally called by the Eng- 
lish. It is a subject as unsatisfactory, and difficult to investigate, 
as was that of the Parsces possessed by the demons at Baroche. 
Not to gratify my own inclination, but at the particular desire of 
some discerning friends who had read them in my letters, and 
whose names would add respectability to any publication, I have 
selected three anecdotes on that subject, from many others well 
known in India. I chose these in particular, because, let the pre- 
diction itself stand on what basis it may, I was acquainted with 
the principal persons concerned in each occurrence ; and because 
several eminent persons, now living in England, are ready to attest 
the truth of the narration. 

I have frequently mentioned the augurs and soothsayers, com- 
mon in ancient history, sacred and profane. There are in modern 
India some brahmins, who, like the magicians of Egypt and the 
astrologers of Chaldea, are supposed to " have within them the 
spirit of the holy gods, and light, and understanding, and wisdom, 
in shewing hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts:" this is as 
certain as that such persons existed in Babylon when Daniel was 
consulted by the Chaldean and Persian monarchs. The men I 
now speak of are in no respect similar to the necromancers at 
Baroche, nor do they at all resemble the Jiggerkhars, or liver- 
eaters mentioned in the Ayeen-Akbery, whom I consider to be 
of the same kind as those persons among the Parsees at Baroche, 
who called up demons or genii by some extraordinary agency. 
Abul Faze], in the Ayeen-Akbery, says, " one of the wonders of 
this country is the Jiggerkhar, or liver-eater: one of this class can 
steal away the liver of another by looks and incantations; other 

VOL. II. 3 x 

accounts say, that by looking at a person he deprives him of his 
senses, and then steals from him something resembling the seed of 
a pomegranate, which he hides in the calf of his leg; after being 
swelled by the fire, he distributes it amongst his fellows to be eaten; 
which ceremony concludes the life of the fascinated person. A 
Jiggerkhar is able to communicate his art to another by learning 
him the incantations, and by making him eat a bit of the liver- 
cake. Those jiggorkhars are mostly women; it is said that they 
can bring intelligence from a great distance in a short space of 
time; and if they are thrown into a river, with a stone tied to them, 
they nevertheless will not sink. In order to deprive any one of 
this wicked power, they brand his temples, and every joint in his 
body, cram his eyes with salt, suspend him for forty days in a sub- 
terraneous cavern, and repeat over him certain incantations." Such 
is the account given by Abul Fazel, vizier to the great Akber. 

In confirmation of such kind of people having at all times been 
known in Asia, Pietro dclla Valle mentions many extraordinary 
anecdotes; I select one, because similar complaints were often 
occurring in my districts, unnecessary to detail at so remote a time 
and distance, but which occasioned much trouble and murmuring 
in the jurisprudence of the smaller purgunnas subordinate to Dhu- 
boy, especially when they appealed to me for a decision by pan- 

" This sort of witchcraft, which the Indians call eating the 
heart, is not a new thing, nor unheard of elsewhere ; many persons 
practised it formerly in Sclavonia ; and Pliny, upon the report of 
Isigones, testifies that this species of enchantment was known 
among the Triballes, and many other people whom he mentions, as 


it is at present among the Arabians who inhabit the western side 
of the Persian gulph, where this art is common. The way in which 
they do it is only by the eyes and mouth, keeping the eyes fixed 
steadily upon the person whose heart they design to eat, and pro- 
nouncing certain diabolical words; b} r virtue of which, and by the 
operation of the devil, the person, how hale and strong soever, falls 
immediately into an unknown and incurable disease, which con- 
sumes by little and little, and at last destroys him. This takes 
place faster or slower as the heart is eaten, as they say ; for these 
sorcerers can either eat the whole or a part only ; that is, can con- 
sume it entirely and at once, or bit by bit, as they please. The 
vulgar give it this name, because they believe that the devil, acting 
upon the imagination of the witch when she mutters her wicked 
words, represents to her the heart and entrails of the patient, taken 
as it were out of his body, and makes her devour them." 

" The old woman who gave rise to these observations, at first 
made some difficulty to confess her guilt; but seeing herself pressed 
with threats of death, and being led, in fact, to the public square, 
where I saw her with a sick young man whom she was accused of 
havino- brought into his deplorable state, she said, that though 
she had not been the cause of his complaint, perhaps she could 
cure it, if they would let her remain alone with him, in his house, 
without interruption ; by which she tacitly confessed her witch- 
craft : for it is held certain in those countries, that these wicked 
women can remove the malady which they have caused, if it be 
not come to the last extremity. Of many remedies which they use 
to restore health to the sufferers, there is one very extraordinary, 
which is, that the sorceress casts something out of her mouth like 


the grain of a pomegranate, which is believed to be a part of the 
heart that she had eaten. The patient picks it up immediately, 
as part of his own intestines, and greedily swallows it. By this 
means, as if his heart was replaced in bis body, he recovers his 
health by degrees. These things can be only in appearance, by 
the illusions of the devil ; and if the afflicted actually recover their 
health, it is because the same devil ceases to torment them." 

This anecdote so corresponds with the occurrences in theZinore 
purgunna, and there seems so much probability in that part re- 
specting the devil acting upon the imagination of the sorcerer, as 
to give him the idea of eating the heart of the devoted sufferer, as 
in some degree settles that point. The real illness, dreadful con- 
vulsions, and premature death of the wretched beings subject to 
such diabolical influence, I can only ascribe to the terrors of an 
affrighted hypochondriac, and the powerful effects of imagination, 
which are known to operate strongly upon weak minds in more 
enlightened countries than Guzerat. Be that as it may, the fre- 
quency of these spectacles in the districts under my care, were 
painful, disgusting, and, situated as I was, irremediable. There 
was no deceit in the afflicted persons brought on their beds into 
my presence, bedewed by parental tears, imploring a relief I could 
not give. I seldom saw them in an early stage of this cruel disor- 
der; perhaps hope was encouraged, and other means used for their 
recovery, before they were brought before an English gentleman 
invested with authority to give redress. That certainly was the 
case at Baroche; consequently the wretched beings I generally 
saw, were, like the Parsee youth, brought on his bed to our garden- 
house at Baroche, emaciated, agonizing, foaming at the mouth. 


the tongue hanging out, and the eyes starting from their sockets. 
Or, to make use of the pathetic language of an afflicted father, ad- 
dressed to our Saviour on a similar occasion, " Master, I beseech 
thee, look upon my son, for he is mine only child : and lo! a spirit 
taketh him, and leareth him ; and he foameth, and gnasheth with 
his teeth, and pinelh away : and oft times it casteth him into the 
fire, and into the waters, to destroy him!" That all-powerful Being, 
who went about doing good, and healing all manner of sickness ; 
who restored a daughter tormented by a similar spirit, to the faith- 
ful Syrophenician woman, rebuked this diabolical spirit, healed 
the child, and delivered him again to his father! 

Having discussed this subject in a former chapter, it is unne- 
cessary to enlarge ; although such things must be viewed in Europe 
with doubt and incredulity, to a person in a public station in India, 
who wishes to act with clemency, moderation, and justice, they 
cause sensations not easy to describe, and create doubts difficult 
to resolve. 

Another troublesome set of people in that part of Guzerat, were 
the soothsayers and astrologers, who have very great influence over 
the minds of millions, who, more or less, believe in unlimited pre- 
destination. Such, no doubt, were the sorcerers mentioned by the 
prophet. ** Let now the astrologers, the star-gazers, the monthly 
prognosticators, stand up and save thee from the things that shall 
come upon thee! They shall not deliver themselves; they shall 
wander every one to his quarter; none shall save thee!" Such 
persons abound in all parts of India ; but there are among the 
brahmins a select few, who seem to differ from all the descriptions 
of people beforementioned ; they seem also perfectly distinct from 


the fortune-telling brahmins, and pretended astrologers, who, like 
the gypsy tribe in Europe, are well known in India. Those 1 now 
speak of seem to be gifted with a talent possessed only by a very 
few of the quiet, retired, literary brahmins. To one of these I shall 
now contine myself; he was a man well known to many of my 
contemporaries in India, and I have occasionally met with him at 
Bombay, Surat, and Cambay, where I believe he chiefly resided. 

I shall relate three anecdotes in confirmation of the penetrat- 
ing spirit, preternatural gift, or whatever term may be allowed 
for the talent which this man possessed. I shall detail them as 
they were commonly told, without any remark or comment of my 
own, for which I confess my incapacity : as a christian I must 
hesitate in believing things so apparently contradictory to re- 
vealed religion ; as a member of the society in which they hap- 
pened, and where they were generally believed, I know that the 
predictions were made long before the events happened, and 
were literally accomplished. As a traveller I have told them in 
England, and found it so difficult to impress any thing like 
conviction, that I no longer mentioned them, and suppressed 
them in the latest copies from my manuscripts ; for the reasons just 
assigned, I rather reluctantly introduce them into these volumes. 

On my arrival at Bombay in 1?66', Mr. Crommelin, the gover- 
nor of that settlement, was under orders to relinquish his situation at 
the beginning of the following year, and then to return to England. 
Mr. Spencer, the second in council, was appointed his successor 
in the Bombay government. The affairs of a distant settlement, 
especially after a lapse of many years, must be uninteresting; but 
in the present instance it is necessary briefly to mention them. 


The occurrences in Trinidad, Ceylon, or New South Wales, engage 
the attention of few readers in England, even within a few months 
after they happen; but it is very different on the spot, where lo- 
cality gives them an interest; and the more remote and insulated 
the situation, the more important are the passing events. 

I arrived in India during a profound peace; there were then neither 
king's ships nor troops in that part of the world. Over-land dispatches 
were not common, and a packet by sea seldom arrived. Bombay 
had very little communication with England, except on the arrival 
of the Iudiamen in August and September, a period expected with 
no small anxiety. Such being the general situation and character 
of that small settlement, I found it on my arrival in 1766 peculiarly 
agitated. Society was divided into three parlies : one who paid 
their court to Mr. Spencer, the rising sun ; another gratefully ad- 
hered to Mr. Crommelin; the third were affectionately devoted to 
the interest of Mr. Hodges, whom they deemed an injured character, 
deprived of his just right as successor to the government. 

Mr. Crommelin went out a writer to Bombay in 1732, Mr. 
Hodges in 1737, Mr. Spencer in 1741. At that time superces- 
sions in the Company's employ were little known; faithful service 
and a fair character, if life was spared, generally met with reward. 
I shall not enter upon the political or commercial system of India 
at that period. Previous to Lord Give being appointed governor 
of Bengal, in 1764, Mr. Spencer had been removed from Bombay 
to Calcutta, and for some time acted as provisional governor of 
Bengal ; ten 3 T ears before the appointment of a governor-general 
and supreme council in India, when the four presidencies were 
entirely independent of each other. On Lord Give's nomination 


to the government of Bengal, Mr. Spencer was appointed by th 
court of directors to return to Bombay, with the rank of second in 
council, and an order to succeed Mr. Cronimelin in the government 
of that settlement in the month of January 1767- This superces- 
sion and appointment was deemed an act of injustice by the com- 
pany's civil servants in general on that establishment, and a peculiar 
and personal injury by Mr. Hodges in particular, who was then 
chief of Sural, second in council, and next in regular succession to 
die government of Bombay, which he looked upon as his right, 
being senior to Mr. Spencer by four years. 

Indignant at Mr. Spencer's supercession, and chagrined by his 
disappointment in the government of Bombay, Mr. Hodges ad- 
dressed a spirited letter from Sural to the governor and council, 
complaining of injustice in the court of directors, with whom, as 
an individual, he was not permitted to correspond. This, there- 
fore, was the only regular channel by which he could communicate 
his sentiments, and seek redress. The governor and council of 
Bombay deeming his letter improper, and disrespectful to his 
employers, ordered him to reconsider it, and make a suitable apo- 
logy ; Avhich not being complied with, he was removed from his 
honourable and lucrative situation as chief of Surat, sent down to 
Bombay, and suspended the company's service; thither he accord- 
ingly repaired to settle his private affairs, and afterwards to proceed 
to Europe. The government of Bombay sent a dispatch to the court 
of directors by the way of Bussorah and Aleppo, informing them 
of these proceedings. This was the situation of that settlement at 
the breaking up of the monsoon in 1766. 

Alter this necessary preamble, I can with more propriety, in- 


troduce the brahmin who occasioned the digression, and with 
whom Mr. Hodges became acquainted during his minority in the 
company's service. This extraordinary character was then a young 
man, little known to the English, but of great celebrity among the 
Hindoos, and every other description of natives, in the western part 
of the peninsula. I believe Mr. Hodges first saw him at Cambay, 
where he was appointed the English resident soon after the expira- 
tion of his writership. The brahmin expressed an affectionate re- 
gard towards him, and, as far as the distinction of religion and caste 
allowed, the friendship became mutual and disinterested. The 
brahmin was always justly considered as a very moral and pious 
character ; Mr. Hodges was equally well disposed : his Hindoo 
friend encouraged him to proceed in that virtuous path which 
would lead him to w r ealth and honour in this world, and finally 
conduct him to eternal happiness. To enforce these precepts, he 
assured him he would gradually rise from the station he then held 
at Cambay, to other residences and inferior chiefships in the com- 
pany's service ; that he would then succeed to the higher appoint- 
ment of chief at Tellicherry and Surat, and would close his Indian 
career by being governor of Bombay. Mr. Hodges not having 
been enjoined secrecy, spoke of these brahminical predictions 
among his associates and friends from their very first communica- 
tion ; and their author was generally called Mr. Hodges's brahmin. 
These predictions for some years made but little impression on his 
mind. Afterwards, as he successively ascended the gradations in 
the company's service, he placed more confidence in his brahmin, 

especially when he approached near the pinnacle of ambition, and 
VOL. 11. 3 y 


found himself chief of Sural, the next situation in wealth and ho- 
nour lo the government of Bombay. 

When, therefore, Mr. Spencer was appointed governor of that 
settlement, and Mr. Hodges dismissed from the chiefship of Sural, 
and suspended ihe service, he sent for his brahmin, who was then 
at Pnlparra, a sacred village on the banks of llie Tappee, on a 
religions visit. Mr. Hodges received him at the chief's garden- 
house, where he was sitting in the front veranda. He immediately 
communicated to him the events which had lately taken place, to 
the disappointment of all his hopes and future expectations; and 
that he was then on the eve of his departure to Bombay, and from 
thence to England. It is said Mr. Hodges slightly reproached 
him for a pretended prescience, and for having deceived him by 
false promises. The brahmin, with an unaltered countenance, as 
is usual with his tribe on all such occasions, coolly replied, " You 
see this veranda, and the apartment lo which it leads ; Mr. Spencer 
lias reached the porlico, but he will not enter the palace. He has 
set his foot upon the threshold, but he shall not enter into the 
house! Notwithstanding all appearances to the contrary, you will 
attain the honours I foretold, and fill the high station to which he 
has been appointed. A dark cloud is before him!" 

This singular prophecy was publicly known at Surat and Bom- 
bay ; and the truth or falsehood of the brahmin was the subject of 
discussion in every company. Mr. Hodges's faith in his prediction 
seemed lo have very little influence on his conduct; for, in obedi- 
ence to the orders of his superiors, he had returned from Surat to 
Bombay, and was preparing for his voyage to Europe. 


Thus were affairs situated at Bombay iu the month of Novem- 
ber 1766, at which time an express arrived from England, after a 
wonderful celerity over the Persian desart, and a sea voyage equally 
favourable, from Bussorah to Bombay. The packet contained a 
letter from the court of directors to the president and council, in 
answer to their representation respecting Mr. Hodges's conduct; 
mentioning, in the first place, that on a review of Mr. Spencer's 
proceedings while governor of Bengal, he appeared so blameable, 
that they had thought proper to annul his appointment to the go- 
vernment of Bombay, to dismiss him from the company's service, 
and order him to proceed , to England without delay. Although 
the conduct of Mr. Hodges had been improper, they were pleased 
to pass it over ; and, in consideration of his long and faithful ser- 
vices, his good character and well-known abilities, they had taken 
off his suspension, and ordered him to succeed to the government 
of Bombay on Mr. Crommelin's resignation in the month of Janu- 
ary following. All which accordingly took place. Mr. Spencer 
embarked for England in the same ship in which I arrived in India 
in December ; and Mr. Crommelin sailed in January, leaving Mr. 
Hodges in complete possession of the government. 

Such was the fact: on causes and effects I cannot argue; on 
preternatural gifts I cannot enter. I must leave these discussions 
to those who can account for the conduct of the witch of Endor, 
the genius of Socrates, the spirit which appeared to Eliphaz, or the 
apparition to Brutus. It is almost needless to remark the ascen- 
dancy of this brahmin over the mind of Mr. Hodges during the 
remainder of his life; nor is it to be wondered at, that the new 
governor undertook no important step without consulting his 


brahmin. The public sale of the company's staple commodities 
from Europe, consisting of the cargoes of all the Bombay ships of 
the season, was then annually advertised to commence at a speci- 
fied time, and to be continued during several successive days under 
a large tent pitched for the purpose on Bombay-green, where the 
governor and council always attended in person, with the ware- 
house-keeper, and samples of the broad cloth and metals for sale. 
Notice of these sales was sent to the principal trading towns on 
the adjacent continent, and merchants resorted from thence and 
many other parts of India. During the government of Mr. Hodges 
I have known this sale deferred to a future period because the 
day appointed was pronounced unlucky in the Hindoo calendar; 
and the cause of the procrastination was thus registered in the 
Bombay diary and consultations, and transmitted to Europe. 

In the third year of his government Mr. Hodges fell into a de- 
clining stale of health ; a sea voyage being recommended as one 
mean of his recoverv, I have seen him stand under a burning sun 
at the water-side, with a stop-watch in his hand, wailing for the 
lucky moment to set his foot in the boat which was to convey him 
to the frigate in which he was to sail at some future period equally 
propitious by the brahminical calculations. I must here remark, 
that Mr. Ilodges's brahmin never promised him any thing beyond 
the government of Bombay, he never foretold a return to his na- 
tive country, nor the happiness which an exile naturally expects 
after a long absence ; on the contrary, it was well known, dur- 
ing his life, that a mysterious veil was said to obscure the 
prospect after an era in the Hindoo calendar corresponding with 
the beginning of A. D. 1771. 


Sea voyages not affording the relief expected, and medicine 
having but little effect on the governor's indisposition, he deter- 
mined to try the waters at the hot-wells of Dazagon, formerly de- 
scribed. For this purpose, in February 1771, he sailed to Fort 
Victoria, with a confidential physician and a few friends, carryino- 
with him a moveable house, tents, and equipage, for a long conti- 
nuance at the wells. He landed at Fort Victoria rather benefited 
by the voyage, and his convalescence increased by the pure west- 
ern breezes on the lofty hills at that settlement, where he purposed 
to remain until the accommodations were ready at Dazagon. On 
the 22d of that month, when the sun declined, he ordered his 
palankeen to be prepared as usual, that he might take the air on 
the sea-side. Suddenly changing his mind, he said to his physician, 
and a friend of mine then in company, " I shall not go out this 
evening ; it will be a critical night with me." To which, seeing 
him in his customary state of health, they paid no particular atten- 
tion. An aged Indian woman, who had lived with his deceased 
Avife, and nursed their only child, then attended him. He had 
been many years a widower, and his son was then in England for 
education. Retiring to his chamber he went to bed, and gave 
strict orders to this servant to let no person disturb him. As 
governor, and an invalid, he had been accustomed to many atten- 
tions ; the gentlemen of his family were anxious to know if he 
wanted any thing, and the physician Avished to see him. The 
trusty female obeyed his orders, and for some hours suffered none 
to approach him. A]\ being quiet, and the nurse asleep, after mid- 
night one gentleman opened the muslin curtain at the foot of the 
bed, and seeing the governor in a meditating attitude, with his eyes 


fixed stedfastly upwards, and his finger on his lip as in deep 
thought, he silently withdrew, fearful of* a reprimand for the intru- 
sion. Towards morning, hearing no call for medicine or assistance, 
so contrary to former practice, the gentleman, accompanied by the 
physician, once more approached the bed, and beheld the patient 
exactly in the same situation. On speaking they received no an- 
swer, and the doctor venturing to feel his pulse, found he had been 
dead several hours. His remains were carried to Bombay, and 
buried in the church with the honours due to his high station. 

The second anecdote relates to the same brahmin, and was as 
well known to the inhabitants of Bombay as the former. I have 
suppressed all family occurrences in these volumes, and generally 
curtailed every thing immediately respecting myself. I might 
otherwise have mentioned that I landed at Bombay in my seven- 
teenth year, unknown, friendless, and forsaken, except by the 
worthy character who commanded the ship which carried me to 
India. His kindness during the voyage was unremitted, and for a 
period of forty-six years I have enjoyed his friendship. He still 
lives a fine instance of green old age, and now near fourscore, is the 
delight of the elegant circle in which he moves. On leaving Eng- 
land I might, like most other youth who enter the company's ser- 
vice, have had letters of recommendation from the directors, for 
the chairman and deputy were my father's friends, and offered an 
appointment either at Bengal, Madras, or Bombay. A relation, 
who was then going out as chief supracargo to Mocha, fixed it for 
the latter, that I might sail in the same ship with himself, and pro- 
ceed entirely under his care without other patronage. He promised 
to be my guardian and protector, and introduce me properly at 


Bombay. He lost his health and spirits during the voyage, and 
on reaching our destined port was no longer the same character we 
had known in England. From his forge tfulncss and inattention 
I remained on board until the day after the captain and every other 
passenger had left the ship, to enjoy the pleasures of land, after a 
voyage of eleven months. While the officers and men were busily 
employed in unloading the cargo, I found myself a solitary, deserted 
being, without a letter to offer, or the knowledge of a single indi- 
vidual on the island. 

Having occasionally heard my guardian mention the name of 
a gentleman with whom he intended to reside until the ship sailed 
from Bombay to Mocha, on landing I inquired for his house, and 
was told that a noble colonnade overlooking the sea, under which 
I then stood, formed a part of his mansion. With an anxious heart 
and trembling steps I ventured up a broad flight of stairs leading 
to this colonnade, from whence I saw the family sitting at their 
dessert in a large saloon to which it opened. My guardian gave 
me a sort of reprimand for the intrusion, but introduced me as a 
young gentleman, with the appointment of a writer, who had left 
England under his protection, and whom he meant to have sent 
for from the ship when he had provided a lodging. His friend 
pitied my situation, and felt for the cool reception of a bashful youth 
from one who had promised to extend over him the wings of paren- 
tal love. If the reception of one was cool, that of the other was 
truly warm : he then look me by the hand, and for forty years 
never let it go; he immediately introduced me to his wife and 
family, encouraged me by the kindest attention, supplied me with 
money, and told me to consider his house as my own. So I ever 


found il in India, and for twenty years after my return to Eng- 
land, where I trod the walk of private life; while my friend, with 
an ample fortune, and abilities equal to his station, filled a seat in 
parliament, became a director and chairman of the East India 
company, and purchased one of the finest estates in Hertfordshire, 
where he lived many years a blessing to all around him. To him 
1 was entirely indebted for my appointment to Baroche, and con- 
sequently for the independence I now enjoy. From the first hour 
{ saw him until the day of his death, at the venerable age of four- 
score, he was indeed my friend! A heart overflowing with a grate- 
ful recollection of departed worth, has caused a little deviation 
from the story of the brahmin, to which I now return. 

The lady sitting at the head of my friend's table when I made 
my bashful entry, was a widow at the time he married her. Her 
first husband died when she Avas very young, leaving two children, 
a son and daughter. The latter remained with her mother, the 
former was sent to England for education, and at the age of six- 
teen embarked for Bombay with the appointment of a writer, some 
years prior to my arrival there. The ships of that season all 
reached the island in safety, except the one in which this young 
gentleman sailed, which at length was deemed a missing ship, and 
her safety despaired of. A mother could not so easily give up 
hope ; her usual evening walk was on a sandy beach, forming a 
bay on the western side of the island, in full view of the ocean. 
Maternal anxiety frequently cast a longing eye to that quarter 
where the ships from Europe generally appeared. The shore of 
that bay was also the place where most of the Hindoos erected the 
funeral pile and burnt their dead. This ceremony is attended by 


brahmins, and Mr. Hodges's brahmin, then at Bombay, was occa- 
sionally among them. Observing the mother's anxiety, he asked 
her the cause ; the lady being a native of India, and well 
knowing his character, inquired in his own language why a man 
so extraordinarily gifted should be ignorant of her tender solicitude. 
The brahmin was affected, and said, " I do know the reason of 
your sorrow ; }'our son lives ; the ship will soon arrive in safety, 
but you will nevermore behold him!" She immediately men- 
tioned this conversation to her friends. A signal was made not 
long after for a ship from Europe : on the pilot reaching her his 
private signal indicated the missing ship ; boats were sent off to 
bring the passengers on shore. The expected son was not forgot ; 
his mother's friends went on board, and were informed that he had 
remained at the Brazils, where the ship having been long detained 
for repair, the Jesuits converted this promising youth to the church 
of Rome. Instead therefore of conducting him to his expecting 
parent, they only delivered her letters replete with affectionate ex- 
postulations and entreaties that she would follow his example, and 
enter into the true church. A mother's disappointment is easier 
to conceive than describe. Her son continued at Rio de Janeiro, 
and occasionally wrote to her, until the suppression of the Jesuits 
in the pontificate of Clement XIV, on which occasion, with many 
other members of that society, he faas sent from South America to 
the prisons of Portugal, and no more heard of. 

His sister, who remained with her mother at Bombay, grew up 
beautiful and amiable, and married a gentleman in the civil service, 
by whom she had a large family. He succeeded Mr. Hodges in 
the government, and held that station thirteen years. Long before 

VOL. II. 3 Z 


his own return to England il became necessary for his wife to pro- 
ceed thither to superintend the education of the children. Her 
mother resolved to accompany her to a country in which both were 
strangers, neither having before left the land of their nativity. 
Her husband followed them within four years: the governor remain- 
ing in India, there heard the melancholy news of his wife's death 
in England. This was a stroke her fond mother was little able to 
sustain ; a bereavement which seemed to admit of no consolation. 
The downy wings of time, the balmy comforts of religion, aided by 
every effort of an affectionate husband, were of no avail in extri- 
cating her from a state of apathy and despair. 

Not long after this event, an intimate friend of the family hav- 
ing remitted a considerable sum of money from India by bills on 
Portugal, went to Lisbon to recover them. Walking near a prison 
in that city, he was supplicated for charity by a voice from a sub- 
terraneous grate; and being addressed in English made it the 
more impressive. Not content with affording transient relief, he 
entered into conversation with iLc prisoner, and found he was the 
long lost son of his disconsolate mother. The intelligence was im- 
mediately conveyed to England, and tenderly communicated to his 
sorrowing parent, with the addition that her husband had already 
remitted money to Lisbon, and exerted such means for his deliver- 
ance that there could be no doubt of his speedy restoration to her 
maternal arms. This extraordinary news did shed a momentary 
gleam of joy on her countenance, but it was soon succeeded by re- 
newed pangs of sorrow, and a continued exclamation of " O the 
brahmin! the brahmin!" Her husband, by every tender assiduity, 
endeavoured to rouse her from melancholy by assurances that 


every difficulty was removed, that the Almighty having in infinite 
wisdom thought proper to deprive her of one child, had mercifully 
restored another in this unexpected manner, whom she had long- 
considered dead. All seemed to produce no effect, even on a reli- 
gious mind, of which resignation and indifference seemed to have 
taken mingled possession. Every prospect set before her of future 
joy and comfort only produced a monotonous repetition of "The 
brahmin! the brahmin!" 

The friend at Lisbon, when all was happily accomplished, lost 
no time in communicating to her son that his mother lived,, was 
married to a gentleman of fortune and respectability, and both 
were waiting to welcome him to their parental roof; — that their 
interest and liberality had procured his liberty, which he was the 
happy instrument of effecting, and w T as then come to conduct him 
from a scene of misery to life, and light, and joy! Although the 
communication was made in the most considerate manner, the 
sudden transition, seemed too much for human nature. Like the 
venerable patriarch, his spirit fainled, for he believed it not! or 
scarcely believed the reality of his emancipation from those dreary 
walls where he had for years been excluded from the light of the 
sun and fresh air ; or, to use the pathetic language of Sterne, " in 
all that long and dismal period the western breeze had not once 
fanned his blood ; he had seen no sun, no moon, in all that time; 
nor had the voice of friend or kinsman breathed through his lat- 
tice!" The spirit of Jacob revived; he lived to see his long-lost 
son riding in the second chariot of Egypt, and next to Pharaoh in 
royal splendour. Not so the liberated captive from the dungeons in 
Portugal ; " hope deferred had made his heart sick," " the iron had 


entered into his soul!" " lie had ate no pleasant bread, neither flesh 
nor wine came into his mouth, nor had he anointed himself with 
oil; his comeliness was turned into corruption, and he retained 
no strength!" The sudden transition from hopeless despair in the 
dungeon's gloom to the sight of the sun, the fanning of the breeze, 
and the sympathy of friendship, were too much for his emaciated 
frame. He faintly uttered the effusions of a grateful heart, and 

Thus was the brahmin's prediction to his mother, uttered full 
thirty years before, completely fulfilled! 

The last anecdote which I shall relate respecting this extraordi- 
nary man, is very short. Some months previous to my first leaving 
India, a gentleman and his wife arrived from England at Bombay. 
He having been appointed to a lucrative situation atSurat, proceeded 
thither by an early opportunity, leaving his wife in a friend's family 
until he should have procured a house, and made suitable provision 
for her reception at Surat. They were both young, and had an only 
child. In a few weeks she followed him to Surat. The evening 
before she embarked, sitting in a mixed circle of gentlemen and 
ladies, anticipating her approaching happiness, the same brahmin 
came into the veranda with the gentleman of the house, who was 
high in station at Bombay. He introduced him to the company, 
and in a sort of jest asked him to tell the desliny of the happy fair- 
one lately arrived from Europe. To the surprise of the whole 
company, and particularly so to the object of inquiry, he gave her 
a penetrating and compassionate look ; and, after a solemn pause, 
said to the gentlemen in the Hindoo language, " her cup of feli- 
city is full, but evanescent] a bitter potion awaits her ; for which 


she must prepare!" Her husband had written that he should come 
in a barge to Surat bar to accompany her on shore. He did not 
appear; but a friend of mine went on board to announce to her 
his dangerous illness: he was then in the last paroxysm of a fever, 
and expired in her arms! I came home a passenger in the same 
ship with the widow and another lady, who endeavoured to allevi- 
ate her sorrow by every tender assiduity. The name of a brahmin 
was never mentioned at table, nor any thing relating to Hindoo 
astrology. The anniversary of her husband's death happened dur- 
ing the voyage, and was indeed a day of woe! 

On these singular anecdotes I do not attempt to comment; 
many respectable characters who knew the parlies, still live to at- 
test the truth of the prediction long before the fulfilment. If any 
thing of the kind was permitted among the heathen nations of an- 
tiquity, it may still exist in Hindostan, where arts and science, 
learning and philosophy, and the sublimest poetry, were encou- 
raged by the native sovereigns at a time when Greece and Rome 
were involved in darkness, and Egypt herself was probably in a slate 
of comparative barbarism. The mahomedan conquests and other 
causes have sadly degraded, not only the philosophy and science 
of the Hindoos, but totally destroyed the simplicity of a religion 
which there can be no doubt was then essentially different from 
modern brahminism. If there should still remain any of that 
priesthood who adore God in his unity, and cherish the sublime 
ideas then inculcated, it is perhaps not easy to determine the limits 
of their researches, or the gifts and talents they possess. 

" Such were thy strains, Vyasa, saint and sage, 
The immortal Berkeley of that elder age ! 


Like him, with flames of holiest rapture fir'd. 
To thoughts sublime thy daring mind aspir'd ; 
And, nature opening to thy ardent glance, 
Saw God alone through all the vast expanse. 
Mysterious theme ! Beneath the peipal shade. 
His aged limbs the rev'rend brahmin laid ; 
The snow-white zennar o'er his shoulder flow'd, 
Full on his brow the holy ointment glow'd ; 
The pointed cusa deck'd his green retreat, 
And Ganges' billow kiss'd his sacred feet. 
Serene he view'd the laughing scene around, 
Bright Magadh's vales with floating chawla crown'd ; 
The sun-shine calm on Casis' turrets shed, 
And clouds reposing on Heemalas head ; 
Then all entranc'd, recall'd his wandering eye, 
And fix'd the gather'd beams on Deity : 
From height to height his musing spirit soar'd, 
And speechless thought th' unutter'd name ador'd ; 
Till words unconscious flowing from his tongue, 
He swell'd the strain, and mystic measures sung ! 

C. Grant. 


T. Benslej, Printer, 
FoU Court, Fleet Street, London. 

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