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turn them all away, and to admit no more natives to me on any pretence whatever. Such were the chief events of my last day in Delhi.
forgot to mention in its proper place that the ornaments and shawls which I received from the Emperor were valued to me at two hundred and eighty-four sicca rupees. The horse was reported to be barely worth thirty rupees, but as I declined redeeming him from the Company's hands I never saw him.
DELHI TO AGRA.
RUINS OF TOGHLIKABAD-VISIT TO THE RAJA OF BULLUMGHUR-DAN
CING GIRLS NAWAB OF SIKRE-HINDOO PILGRIMAGE TO BINDRABUND/MUTTRA-SACRED MONKEYS-DEATH OF ONE REVENGED LEPERS-PARTY OF FAQUIRS_ESCAPE OF TRIMBUKJEE-TOMB OF ACBAR--PUBLIC BUILDINGS-DEWANNY AUM-TAGE-MAHAL-ABDUL MUSSEEH-FRENCH IN CENTRAL INDIA.
JANUARY 3.-This morning early I sent off my tents and bag. gage to Furreedabad, a little town about fifteen miles from Delhi, and in the afternoon followed them on horseback, escorted by five of Skinner's horse, and accompanied by Mr. Lushington and Dr, Smith. We passed by Humaioon's tomb, and thence through a dreary country full of ruins, along a stony and broken road marked out at equal distances of about a mile and a half, by solid circular stone obelisks, “coss minars,” erected during the prosperous times of the empire of Delhi. Half
Half way to Furreedabad we passed the gigantic ruins of Toghlikabad, on a hill about a coss to our right. I regretted that we could not see them nearer, but the stage was of sufficient length for our horses and the few remaining hours of day-light without this addition. Mr. Elliott described them as chiefly interesting from their vast dimensions, and the bulk and weight of the stones employed in them. They were the work of Toghlou Khân, one of the early Patan sovereigns.
Furreedabad offers nothing curious except a large tank with a ruined banqueting-house on its shore; it has a grove of tamarind and other trees round it, but no mangoes ; a few of these, indeed, grow in the province of Delhi, owing to the unusual multitude of white ants, to whose increase the ruins and the dry sandy soil are favourable, and who attack the mangoes in preference to any other tree. The whole country, indeed, is barren and disagreeable, and the water bad. That of the Jumna acts on strangers like the Cheltenham waters, and the wells here are also extremely unpalatable. One might fancy oneself already approaching the confines of Persia and Arabia. Our camp is, however, plentifully supplied with all necessaries and comforts, and a servant of the Raja of Bullumghur brought us some fine oranges, and at the same time told us, that his master would not suffer him to receive either
payment or present for any of the supplies furnished, and only hoped that I would call at his house next morning in my way, which I readily promised to do. The Raja of Bullumghur holds a considerable territory along this frontier as a feudatory of the British Government, on the service of maintaining two thousand men to do the ordinary police duties, and guard the road against the Mewatta and other predatory tribes. The family and most of their people are of the Jât race, and they have for many generations been linked by friendship and frequent intermarriages with the neighbouring Raja of Bhurtpoor, who is now our friend, but whose gallant and successful defence of his castle against Lord Lake during the Maharatta war, has raised the character of the Jâts, previously a very low caste, to considerable estimation for their valour in all this part of India. The present acting Raja of Bullumghur is only Regent, being guardian to his nephew, a boy now educating at Delhi. I had heard the Regent and his brother described as hospitable and high-spirited men, and was not sorry to have an opportunity of seeing a Hindoo court.
January 4.-A little before day-break we set of as usual, through a country something, and but little, more fertile than that we had passed. It improved, however, gradually as we approached Bullumghur, which, by its extensive groves, gave evidence of its having been long a residence of a respectable native family. I was not, however, at all prepared for the splendour with which I was received. First we saw some of the wildlooking horsemen whom I have already described, posted as if on the look-out, who, on seeing us, fired their matchlocks and galloped off as fast as possible. As we drew nearer we saw a considerable body of cavalry with several camels and elephants, all gaily caparisoned, drawn up under some trees, and were received by the Raja himself, a fat and overgrown man, and his younger brother, a very handsome and manly figure, the former alighting from a palanquin, the other from a noble Persian horse, with trappings which swept the ground. I alighted from my horse also, and the usual compliments and civilities followed. The elder brother begged me to excuse his riding with me as he was ill, which indeed we had heard before, but the second went by my side, reining in his magnificent steed, and showing off the animal's paces and his own horsemanship. Before and behind were camels, elephants, and horsemen, with a most strange and barbarous music of horns, trumpets, and kettle-drums, and such a wood of spears that I could not but tell my companion that his castle deserved its name of Fort of Spears. As we drew nearer we saw the fort itself, with high brick walls, strengthened with a deep ditch and large mud bastions, from which we were compli
mented with a regular salute of cannon. Within we found a small and crowded, but not ill-built town, with narrow streets, tall houses, many temples, and a sufficient number of Brahminy bulls to show the poor Hindoo descent of the ruler. The population of the little capital was almost all assembled in the streets, on the walls, and on the house-tops, and salamed to us as we came in. We passed through two or three sharp turns, and at length stopped at the outer gate of a very neat little palace, built round a small court planted with jonquils and rose bushes, with a marble fountain in the centre, and a small open arched hall, where chairs were placed for us. Sitringees were laid, by way of carpet, on the floor, and the walls were ornamented with some paltry Hindoo portraits of the family, and some old fresco paintings of gods, goddesses, and heroes, encountering lions and tigers.
After we had been here a few minutes a set of dancing girls entered the room followed by two musicians. I felt a little uneasy at this apparition, but Dr. Smith, to whom I mentioned my apprehensions, assured me that nothing approaching to indecency was to be looked for in the dances or songs which a well-bred Hindoo exhibited to his visiters. I sat still, therefore, while these poor little girls, for they none of them seemed more than fourteen, went through the same monotonous evolutions which I had heard my wife describe, in which there is certainly very little grace or interest, and no perceptible approach to indecency. The chief part of the figure, if it can be called so, seemed to consist in drawing up and letting fall again the loose wide sleeves of their outer garments, so as to show the arm as high as the elbow, or a very little higher, while the arms were waved backwards and forwards in a stiff and constrained manner. Their dresses were rich, but there was such an enormous quantity of scarlet cloth petticoats and trowsers, so many shawls wrapped round their waists, and such multifarious skirts peeping out below each other, that their figures were quite hidden, and the whole effect was that of a number of Dutch dolls, though the faces of two or three out of the number were pretty. Two sung each a Persian and a Hindoostanee song with very pleasing though not powerful voices, after which, as the demands both of curiosity and civility were satisfied, I gave them a gratuity, as I understood was usual on such occasions, as a token of their dismissal.
After this some cake and Persian grapes were brought in, and I took leave, having in the civilest and most cordial way I could, declined the usual present of shawls, and accepted one of fruit and sweetmeats. On going away I told the Raja's jemautdar to come to the camp in the evening, and he and his fellow-servants should have the usual bukshish, but he answered that neither he nor any of the Raja's people, except the dancing girls to whom
it was an usual token of approbation, dared accept any thing of the kind, the first instance which I had met with of a Hindoo refusing money. Soon after I had taken leave, and while we were still escorted by the Bullumghur cavalry, a message came from the Raja to say that he had heard of my intended liberality to his people, but that it was his particular request that I would give nothing either to his servants or to the suwarrs, whom he intended, with my leave, to send on with me as far as Muttra. Surely this is what in England would be called high and gentlemanly feeling.
On our approach to Sikre, where the tents were pitched, I found we had entered another little feudal territory, being received by about twenty horsemen, with a splendid old warrior at their head, who announced himself as the jaghiredar of the place, and holding a little barony, as it would be called in Europe, under the Company, intermixed with the larger territories of Bullumghur. Cassim Ali Khân, the Nawâb of Sikre, who thus introduced himself, was a figure which Wouvermans or Rubens would have delighted to paint, a tall, large, elderly man, with a fine countenance, and a thick and curly but not long gray beard, on a large and powerful white Persian horse, with a brocade turban, a saddlecloth of tiger's skin with golden tassels which almost swept the ground, sword, shield, and pistols mounted with silver, and all the other picturesque insignia of a Mussulman cavalier of distinction. He said that he had been a tusseldar in command of two hundred horse in Lord Lake's war, and had been recompensed at the end of the contest with a little territory of ten villages, rent and tax free. The Raja, he said, who had two hundred and fifty villages, nearly enclosed him, but they were good friends. The Raja certainly, though his brother is a fine young man, had nothing in his whole cavalcade to equal the old Nawab's figure, which was perfect as a picture, from his bare muscular neck and his crisp gray mustachios, down to his yellow boots and the strong brown hand, with an emerald ring on it, the least turn of which on his silver bridle seemed to have complete mastery over his horse, without too much repressing its spirit. He afterwards showed me his certificates of service from Lord Lake and others, and it appeared that his character in all respects had corresponded with his manly and intelligent appearance.
At Sikre, I found a letter from Mr. Cavendish, collector and magistrate of this district, saying that he was encamped in the neighbourhood and intended to call on me next morning at our next station, at Brahminy Kerar.
January 5.—The country between Sikre and Brahminy Kerar is uninteresting enough, though rather more fertile than in the neighbourhood of Delhi. Half way, near a village named Pulwul, we passed Mr. Cavendish's encampment, and were met by an