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Ghizni. In 1214, Mohammed, prince of Korasan, took possession of Ghizni, but was expelled from it, as well as from his own territory, Korasan, by Gengis-Khan. The history of the Mohammedan conquests in India, of their rulers, and revolutions, till about the end of the fourteenth century, is a labyrinth which we shall avoid entering into, and is indeed a subject foreign to our present purpose. Those of Mahmoud, the Ghiznavide, had led to others; but the expedition of Tamerlane completed the ruin of the Hindū empire, and fixed on succeeding generations a lasting train of miseries. Tamerlane, in virtue of the conquests of Gengis-Khan, having granted to his grandson Mirza Pir Mahomed-Gehangir, all the dominions that were supposed to belong to the Ghiznian empire, on both sides of the Indus, he, early in 1398, crossed that river, marched to and subdued Moultan, while his grandfather advanced at the head of a powerful army from Samarcand. Tamerlane having also entered India, was met by his grandson, and after subduing the town

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and provinces of Delhy, marched with a part of his army in a north-east direction as far as the place where the Ganges issues out of the mountains of Srinagur, about 100 miles E. N. E. of Hurdwar. From thence, moving in a north-west direction along the skirts of the Sewalic mountains, he quitted India at the spot where he had entered it.* His whole course through that henceforward devoted country, was marked with blood and devastation. In one single day he caused a hundred thousand Hindū prisoners to be put to death, because they were judged by him to be idolaters. The riches carried away by Tamerlane, are said to have yet exceeded those which had been amassed by the Gauride prince Shah-Abdin. The disappearance of this malignant meteor, was succeeded by scenes of persecutions and warfare, during which it may be presumed the Hindus endeavoured, as much

* See the march of Timur, in Rennell, p. 115 and seq.

as possible to conceal their treasures.* But
the immense wealth of India was anciently
to be found principally in the temples, and
in the palaces of the princes and nobles.
In the former were numerous images of
massive gold and silver, and many of them
enriched with the most precious gems of
the east.
Almost every individual had his
household gods, formed of more or less valu-
able materials according to the means of the
possessor. They who could not afford to
have them in the precious metals, had them
of brass, and even of clay. In descriptions
of palaces that are to be met with, we read
of ceilings of rooms plated with pure gold

* "In the plains of India, also, not less than in those of Europe, are supposed to lie buried treasures, principally in bullion, to an incalculable amount, deposited there during the ravages and oppression of successive conquerors, through at least eight centuries of anarchy and tumult; I mean from the seventh century, to the mild and peaceable reign of Akber. These are now and then, though rarely, discovered, and sometimes Greek coins."-Maurice's Indian Antiquities, vol. vii. p. 546.

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and silver, and columns of the latter entwined with vines of gold. Quintus Curtius says, that when the Hindu princes went abroad, they were carried in litters* of gold, ornamented with fringes of pearls, and were preceded by numerous officers carrying censers of silver to perfume the way. In the Ayeen Akbery, we have an account of the jewels and ornaments anciently worn by Hindu women, which serves to give an idea of the variety, quantity, and great value of those ornaments.

But notwithstanding the wealth with which India abounded, it is very possible that the precious metals in circulation, instead of being in proportion to that wealth, were but in proportion to the demands of traffic. It has been observed, that none was employed for the purpose of purchasing the productions of other countries, and

* Meaning the palankin. But, supposing the gold and silver of the ceilings, the columns, and the palankins, to have been merely laminæ, which undoubtedly was the case, the quantities of those metals thus employed must have been immense.

with the Hindus, the mode and habits of living never change: from the mildness of their climate, their wants are fewer than those of the inhabitants of colder regions; and the prices of things necessary for food and raiment, are cheaper than in almost any other part of the polished world. The principal food of the Hindus is rice, vegetables, and milk; those who are permitted to eat animal food, are commanded to do it sparingly, and spirituous liquors of every kind are positively forbidden. Scarcity of water naturally lessens the harvests; failure in the periodical rains, may produce famine; but, in the ordinary state of things, a labourer may be supplied with his wants of every kind with about two-pence English a day, in all the parts of India that we have visited.*

*

Though the prices at the principal European settlements, even of the productions of the country, are higher than those in places remote from them, yet when the author left India, the hire of one of the best household servants, at Madrass, was two pagodas, or about fifteen shillings a month, for which he fed and clothed himself

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