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• They traversed the Punjab from Lahore in a N.W. direction, crossing the Chenab at the usual ferry, and reached the Jelum, or Hydaspes. The country between the two rivers is miserable,-a sterile waste of underwood, the abode of shepherds, whose personal character is very accurately sketched by Arrian. Marching up the right bank of the Jelum, through a rich and fertile tract, between the river and the Salt Range, they came to Julalpoor, supposed to have been the scene of Alexander's battle with Porus. Preceding travellers (Mr. Elphinstone, for example) have found this pass to correspond closely with the scene as described by Arrian. Lieut. Burnes, however, seems to think the village of Jelum the more likely spot. . Between these places are extensive ruins, bricks and, pottery; and here Mr. Burnes is inclined to place the sites of Nicæa and Bucephalia.
The fort of Rotas, one of the great bulwarks between Tartary.and India, is described as a place of great strength. From this fortress they entered a mountainous and rugged country of great strength, and reached the village of Manikyala, where is situated the tope, or sepulchre, recently opened. Mr. Burnes does not hesitate to fix upon this place as the site of Taxila. Other topes of a similar kind are mentioned, and some of them have been explored by Europeans since Mr. Burnes' visit. His theory respecting them is, that they are the sepulchres of either the Bactrian kings, or their IndoScythic successors, mentioned in the Periplus of the second Arrian.
On reaching the Indus, they came in contact with the Afghans, and Mr. Burnes was struck with their manly mien. Fording the river 'at Attock (this fortress is a place of no strength), they proceeded to Peshawar, and were received by the Afghans and Khuttuks at the frontiers with blunt hospitality. Sooltan Mahommed Khan, the chief of Peshawur, treated them with much kindness. The persons they met with in his society were sociable and well-informed, cheerful and even noisy, in mirth, free from prejudice in matters of religion, and many of them well-versed in Asiatic history. The chief himself is described as an educated well-bred gentleman, brave, affable, and who transacts his own business. He spoke to our traveller without reserve of Runjeet, wishing for some change that might release him from his subjection to the Sikhs. On taking leave, nothing could surpass the kindness of the Khan.
From Peshawur they set off for Cabool along the river, which they crossed on a raft supported by inflated skins. “ It is important to know, remarks Mr. Burnes, " that there is a water channel of communication from near Cabool to the ocean."
The approach to Cabool is any thing but imposing; nor was it till they were under the shade of its fine bazar that our travellers could believe themselves in the capital of an empire. This bazar, or chouchout, is 600 feet long, and thirty broad, with a painted roof, fountains and cisterns, which are, however, neglected. 66 Still there are few such bazars in the East." The stock of goods of all kinds is immense ; every trade has its separate bazar, and all seemed busy. Cabool is populous (6,000 souls), and compactly built; but the houses have no pretensions to elegance. Tradition
speaks of its great antiquity. The Afghans of the city are represented as a sober, simple, steady people; idle, but frank and open; they are “ a nation of children, and in their quarrels figlit and become friends without any ceremony." Mr. Burnes “ imbibed a very favourable impression of their national character." He favours the tradition of their descent from the Jews.”,
Dost Mahomed Khan, the governor, received the travellers very graciously, manifesting towards them, during their stay of three weeks,“
great politeness and attention."
The Hindu (Shikapoor) merchants of Cabool, who have houses of agency from Meshed to Calcutta, engross the trade of Central Asia; they are a plodding race, who take no share in any other matters than their own, and secure protection from Government by lending it money." These merchants offered our traveller, for his letters of credit, bills on Nishnei Novogo rod, Astrachan, or Bokhara !
After visiting the tomb of Baber and other objects, they commenced their, journey over the Hindu Koosh, which has been fully detailed in this Journal,* as well as the difficulties they
y encountered' at Khooloom (Khulm), and Koondooz. They arrived at Balkh, " the mother of cities," in June, and remained there three days. The ruins, which extend over a cireuit of twenty miles, consisting of fallen niosques and decayed tombs of sun-dried bricks, present no relics of magnificence ; none of the ruins are of an age prior to Mohamedanism: Mr. Burnes met with some Bactrian and other ancient coins at this place. Without the walls of this bigotted city are the graves of Mr. Moorcroft and Mr. Guthrie, one of his companions.
In traversing the tract between Balkh and the Oxus, (under a guard of Toorkmans) Mr. Burnes had an opportunity of verifying the correctness of its description by Quintus Curtius. The river, where the travellers crossed it, was 800 yards, wide, and 20 deep; its current was at the rate of three and a half miles an hour. The mode of crossing was peculiare si A pair of horses were yoked to the boat at each bow, and the boat was pushed into the water, a man holding loosely the reins of each horse, and urging him to swim: they crossed this wide river by this ingenious and simple means in fifteen minutes.
The journey to Bokhara was fatiguing. On arriving at this city, they were obliged to adopt the distinguishing dress of Franks. The city struck Mr. Burnes with surprise. He walked two miles through the streets before he reached the citadel. The circumference of the city is eight miles; it has a wall of earth twenty feet high, with twelve gates. The interior is filled with lofty and arched bazars of brick, ponderous and massy colleges and mosques, and lofty minarets; there are about twenty caravanserais, and about 100 ponds and fountains of squared stone. The city is intersected by canals shaded with mulberry trees. Most of the private houses are small and of one story, and are built of sun-dried brick on a frame-work of wood; but some are superior, and neatly painted, with stuccoed walls; others had Gothic arches, decorated with gilding; the apartments were elegant and
* Vol. xii, p. 114.
comfortable. The population amounts to 150,000. A description of this celebrated city is given by Mr. Burnes in a paper inserted in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, which we have abridged and inserted in this Journal.
Mr. Burnes did not deem it prudent to attempt visiting Samarcand, which has now dwindled to a town of 8,000 souls, and gardens and fields occupy the place of streets and mosques. In the vicinity of Bokhara are the ruins of an ancient city, named Khojuoban, where he procured some beautiful coins of the Bactrian kings.
After about two months' residence at Bokhara, (whose king they were not introduced to), the travellers took leave of the vizier, who had treated them with great kindness, though reputed to be of a cunning character. They determined to proceed to the Caspian, but owing to some misunderstanding between the khan of Khiva and the merchants whose cafila they had joined, they were detained at Meerabad, a small Toorkman village forty. miles from Bokhara, for near a month, which gave them an opportunity of becoming tolerably familiar with the character and manners of the Toork, mans and Uzbeks. Mr. Burnes says :
I really began to feel an interest in the affairs and prospects of many of the individuals with whom I had been thus associated. The names of tribes and places, which had at one time appeared as far beyond my means of enquiry, were now within its compass. The Toorkmun chief, who was our master of cerenionies on these occasions, was himself a character;, he was accompanying, the caravan, to instruct his brethren by the way, and prevent our being plundered; but we soon found that he himself had no definite ideas of meum and tuum; since he had already appropriated to himself three gold tillas, which he had asked of me as part of the hire due to the Cafila-bashee, who was also a Toorkmun. Ernuzzar (for that was the name of our friend) was, however, both an 'useful and amusing companion. He was a tall bony man, about fifty, with a manly countenance, improved by a handsome beard, that was whitening i by years. In early life, he had followed the customs of his tribe, and proceeded on" allaman” (plundering) excursions to the countries of the Huzara and Kuzzil-bash; and some fearful wounds on his head showed the dangerous nature of that service.
* Ciri We shall complete our notice of this work in a succeeding article. !
,wy :-)&gentot CHINA.700,'ois oly? 17.1 (PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCE.)
TO THE EDITOR. Sır: There is a case at present in progress here, which is grievous to all the friends of China, of which I desire to be one. I will briefly rehearse it, Some time ago, an affray occurred at a place called Kum-sing-moon, in which a foreigner was deliberately murdered by three or four natives, who overpowered him in the affray; and, to conceal the murder, instead of burying the body, they cut it to pieces, carried it in a fishing-boat out to the roads, and cast it into the sea. This statement was obtained from their own confes.
sion : no remnant of the man was ever found. On the other side, a native was wounded in the posteriors with small shot; the parts mortified, and he died within twenty or thirty days. The local government caught the natives who murdered the foreigner; and they demanded that the foreigner, who fired the shot which wounded and caused the death of the native, should be found and delivered up to them. With this demand it was not practicable to comply. Week after week, they reiterated the order to have the “foreign murderer," as they called him, delivered up. At last, despairing of compliance, government has connived at a hong merchant, a leader among that responsible body, having, for four or five hundred dollars, bribed some ignorant, half-foreigner about Macao, to personate the foreign murderer, and have put this confession into his mouth, in order that his life may be safe, and he be banished from China, after the farce of trial and report to the emperor shall be gone through. This is the purport of the confession, which the Chinese admire for its ingenuity : “The foreigner, who was killed at Kum-sing-moon, was my elder bro. ther; when I saw the natives murdering him, I ran up and stooped forward to rescue him; at which moment, a fowling-piece I had fastened on my back went off and shot the native, who has since died. We two brothers were the only children of an old mother, who has now no one to take care of her. I beg for mercy, that I may return home and wait on my mother in her old age.”
These circumstances were intended to be kept secret from foreigners; but common fame and some tell-tale divulged them. The foreigners protested against an innocent man being thus implicated, although by his own ignorance and folly, to the governor of Canton. The governor has over and over again denied the man's innocence, but says the man 'has delivered himself up, in which there is some merit, and has confessed facts which will save his life, inasmuch as the deed was purely accidental-quite unintentional; therefore, he will not be required to forfeit his life. All this, the governor, the kwang-chow-foo, and other mandarins concerned, as well as the foreign and native public, know is perfectly untrue; but with this fiction of law they are proceeding, and have reported to Peking in substance as above, and are now waiting, with the man in confinement, for the emperor's answer.
Every man of truth and principle must consider such a mockery of justice as extremely odious in itself. It is, moreover, a precedent dangerous for foreigners; and it implies such weakness and wickedness in the Chinese government, as utterly disgrace them.
In Chinese affrays and private wars, when parties are killed, the rich can procure, strange to say, substitutes to suffer death. They are called Tingheung, or substitute murderers:' but they are forbidden by law. And the Chinese have a capital crime which they call ke-keun, 'deceiving and insulting the sovereign.' The hong merchant, who has acted in getting up the present farce, by buying the poor ignorant foreigner, has once in his life-time been nearly frightened to death by a Canton judge threatening to convict him of the crime of ke-keun. Should the present fraud be discovered by the emperor, the farce now enacting may be tragical for the parties many years hence. Yet, to get over the present difficulty, they foolishly run this risk.
No. II.-AKHTAL-THE CHRISTIAN ARAB Poet. AKHTAL, Farazdak and Jareer, who were contemporary and rival poets, under the Ommiyades, were reputed by the Arabs, in the first two centuries of Islamism, to approach nearest to the ancients, who flourished at that dark period of their history, which is denominated by them äalalali, The Age of Ignorance;' and this opinion is confirmed by the authority of the best critics. *
The real name of Akhtal was Gheeath ben Ghauth; he was of a family, the Benu Malek Ebn Josham, which formed a branch of the great tribe of Taghleb, and dwelt in Mesopotamia. At that period, there were three Arabian tribes, which consisted mostly of Christians, namely, those of Behra, Taghleb, and Tenookh. Gheeath was educated in the Christian religion, and continued always attached to it, notwithstanding the offers sometimes made to induce him to embrace Islamism. His grandfather, whose name, according to Meydāni, was Selineh ben Tareka, was renowned for his exploits. King Noman, son of Moonzur, having sent to the Arab tribes four lances for the most valiant of their warriors, one of them was awarded to Selmeh.
Gheeath was unhappy in his youth; he was poor, and had a step-mother who scarcely gave him sufficient food, reserving the best for her own children; she employed him in severe labour and sent him to keep her goats. His first verses were, it is said, an impromptu, directed against this lady, on the following occasion. Seeing at his step-mother's a skin of milk and a bag of dates and raisins, hunger impelled him to pilfer them. He found means to get his step-mother out of the way, and in her absence drank up the milk and devoured the fruit. Upon her return, she flew into a violent passion, and seized a stick in order to chastise the thief; but he escaped and, as he ran, recited these two verses, which, like the lines of Master Samuel Johnson on the duck, have been thought of sufficient importance to be preserved in the Book of Songs :'t
Gheeath a naughty trick has done ;
He has stolen his step-mother's fruit and cream.
Leaves her alone to swear and scream. It is not positively known on what occasion Gheeath received the surname of Akhtal, bell, or 'the Flap-eared.' According to Damiri, it was on account of the conformation of his ears, which were loose and flapped like those of certain animals. Others say, that this nick-name signifies' silly babbler,' and thus explain its origin. Caab ben Joayl, then the most celebrated poet of the tribe, came one day on a visit to the family of Malek Ebn Josham, to which the poet belonged. The talents of Caab made him an object of so much regard amongst the Taghlebites, that all, of whom he sought hospitality, were eager to entertain him. A separate tent was prepared for his reception; a kind of enclosure was formed with cords, and it was filled with cattle, as a present to him, --customary honours offered to Caab by the family of Malek. Gheeath let the animals out of the enclosure and drove them about the plain. He was rebuked for this, and the cattle were returned to the enclosure; but he liberated them a second time. Caab was irritated; and from this moment,
* Kitab al Aghani, IV. fol. 243, II. fol. 177. Asiat. Journ. N.S. VOL. 14. No. 56.
+ Ibid., II. 180.