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Mr. Elphinstone, as is well known, went into strict retirement soon after he reached the British shores; but his interest in India, in which he had spent the more active portion of his life, continued undiminished.
His leisure he spent principally in researches connected with its most eventful though peculiarly obscure history. The fruit of his study in due time appeared. In 1841 he published his well-known “History of India, embracing the Hindu and Muhamadan Periods," a work of so much value that it is not likely to be superseded, though it requires additions and annotations corresponding with the late progress of Oriental research, particularly as connected with the more ancient literature of the Hindus. It opens with a general description of India, in which the author's own intimate acquaintance with the country is very apparent. It reviews, under appropriate headings, the state of society at the time of Manu's Code, presenting the best analysis which has yet been made of the more important portions of that curious work; and it minutely and successfully contrasts that state of society with that of the Hindus in later times, in connexion with which it ably reviews the changes in caste, in government, in law, in religion, in philosophy, in science, in geography, in chronology, in language, in literature, in the fine and mechanical arts, in commerce, and in the manners and character of the people. It notices the prominent facts and traditions connected with the Hindu dynasties in the upper provinces of Hindustán, in Central India, in Gujarát, and in Southern India. It then takes up the earlier Muhammadan History of India. which it treats in a masterly manner,-commencing with the Arab conquests in Sindh ; passing on to the dynasties formed after the breaking up of the empire of the Khalífs ; presenting a graphic view of the different expeditions into this country of Mahmud, and his successors dominant at Ghazní and Lahor; and giving an interesting view of the kings of Delhi and of the Government of the houses of Toghlak, of the Sayyids, and of the house of Lodí to the commencement of the house of Taimur. Of the later Muhammadan history, commencing with the reign of Bábar,-embracing the great names of Humáyun, Akbár, Jahángír, Shah Jehan, Aurangzíb, and his successors, and including notices of the inferior kings of Hindustán, Gujarát, and the Dakhan-it presents us with a digested summary, in framing which, from a great variety of sources, the greatest patience, tact, and judgment are apparent. This part of the work has an interest to the general reader scarcely inferior to that of the most stirring portions of European history. Of the principal characters of which it treats, it furnishes most correct portraits, which can never fail to at
tract attention. Honesty, judgment, and simplicity of style (too much akin, however, to that of official correspondence), are the characteristics of the work from beginning to end. For educational purposes it is invaluable.
The History of the British Empire in India, it is to be regretted, Mr. Elphinstone did not find time to write. Few persons, however, had such qualifications for such a work as those he undoubtedly possessed. His acquaintance with the principles and proceedings of our great Indian statesmen was perfect; and no individual was better fitted than himself to trace and narrate their consequences. Even in his retirement,– from which the repeated offers of the Governor-Generalship of India failed to withdraw him,- he became the Nestor of Indian politicians, consulted by the Indian Government at home and by its servants abroad in all cases of importance and difficulty. To the unexpected and disastrous events which occurred in India in 1857-58, he directed much attention ; and during this most trying period he was a constant counsellor and encourager of his highly-esteemed nephew, John, Lord Elphinstone, the distinguished Governor, and under God, in an important sense, the saviour of this Presidency. It is consistent with the knowledge of his friends that he was decidedly of opinion, after much inquiry and perusal of documents, public and private, that the lamentable rising of the Bengal Army had no connexion with any deep-laid political conspiracy throughout India.
Mr. Elphinstone's interest in all matters connected with local Oriental research, I may add, continued undiminished to the last. Of this fact I may adduce a pleasing illustration, though it is of a personal character. On receiving a copy of my “Notes on the Constituent Elements, the Diffusion, and the Application of the Maráthí Language," prefixed to the last edition of Molesworth's Maráthí Dictionary, he thus wrote to me:* “I had yesterday the pleasure of receiving the copy of the Notes on the Maráthí Language, which you were so kind as to send to me, and for which I beg you to accept my best thanks. I read them with the greatest interest, and with proportionate satisfaction. The subject was one about which I had great curiosity, and very little knowledge, and on which I did not know where to look for information. The difference of the Scythian element in Maráthí from that of the other languages of the Deckan is quite new to me, and may perhaps lead to the discovery of a connection between the nation and some of those north of the Nerbudda, and so
* 21st November 1857.
furnish a clue to the history of its settlement beyond the limits of the rest of the A'rya race. It is satisfactory to see the disposition there is among the Maráthás to print the works already existing in their own language, as promising the means of diffusing knowledge of more value than what they now possess. I need not say how much I am honoured by the mention you made of me in this part of your dissertation." Mr. Elphinstone had in historical antiquities, as in politics, great readi. ness in marking every important fact which might be elicited, and of making of it its distinctive and appropriate application.
Mr. Elphinstone's death occurred on the 20th November 1859, at Hookwood, near Limpsfield, where he had lived in peaceful retirement for several years. Its immediate precursor was a stroke of paralysis, which proved fatal in a few hours, during which he remained in a state of insensibility. His removal attracted little attention from the general public in England; but it did not fail to be noticed by his numerous Indian friends and admirers, who offered to his memory such tributes of affection and respect as he received when he left the shores of the East. A statue to his memory is to be erected in St. Paul's Cathedral. A subscription for his bust was made by the students and ex-students of the College in Bombay which bears his honoured pame. Many of the Chiefs of the Maráthá Country expressed their sorrow at the bereavement, which, sympathizing with the traditional feelings of their families, they understood they had experienced. “ We have lost,” I heard H. H. the Holkar say, a few weeks after the event occurred, our friend, and the friend of our country.”
I shall be pardoned for quoting, in conclusion, the following notice of Mr. Elphinstone's death from the pen of the party most deeply affected on the occasion, his attached and amiable nephew, Lord Elphinstone. It is from a letter addressed to me on the 13th January 1860:* I have to thank
kind letter of the 6th, from Deesa. I feel very grateful to you for the sympathy you express upon the loss I have sustained in my uncle's death. Of all the men I have ever known, I loved and respected him the most. Upon all occasions of difficulty I looked to him for counsel and encouragement. I was in frequent correspondence with him to the last ; and I feel that his place can never be supplied. On the other hand, although his death was very sudden, I cannot say that I was surprised at it. When I came out to India, my hopes of seeing him again in this world were very slight. He was then 74 ; and his health was always delicate. Yet, as years passed away, and as he continued to write to me with his usual
vigour and interest in this country, I could not but hope that I should be permitted to see him again. And as the time of my probable return approached, this hope grew stronger. It was with feelings of sorrow and disappointment therefore, rather than of surprise, that I received the account of his death.
“ There is indeed much for which I can never be sufficiently thank. ful. In the first place, that it pleased God to allow my dear uncle to retain the possession of his intellect unimpaired to the last. Of all things the saddest is to see a great rind in decay; and this trial I have been spared in his case. Then I have every reason to believe that his death, though at the last sudden, did not find him unprepared. He made some slight alterations in his will within a month of his death ; and a letter was found with it addressed to me in which he begs that his papers may not hastily, or without due reservation, be made over to any one for publication. All his papers were found in the most admirable order; and I have requested that they may be kept exactly as he left them until I return. He has remembered most of his relations and all his servants in his will; and more than one of his bequests show his delicacy and thoughtfulness towards others. He was indeed one of those who delighted in doing good by stealth.”
It was the intention of Lord Elphinstone to superintend the publication of his uncle's papers. But alas ! he was destined to be in a few months his companion in the tomb. These treasures, however, will doubtless be ere long given to the public, to which they cannot fail to be peculiarly interesting and instructive. To an able Memoir of Mr. Elphinstone by Sir Edward Colebrooke, Bart., M.P., in the last No. of the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, which has come to hand as this short notice is going through the press, the reader is directed for the general story of Mr. Elphinstone's life. That Memcir is enriched with
portion of Mr. Elphinstone's correspondence with its author, and interesting reminiscences by General Briggs, Mr. John Warden, and others who personally enjoyed his friendship during his days of active service in India.
Art. VI.-- Genealogical and Historical Sketch of the Gohel
Tribe of Rajpools, translated from a Document in possession of the Bhaonuggur Raja. By Col. LEGRAND JACOB.
Presented 13th August 1857.
GoHEL SREE SALIVAHUN was supreme.
He reigned in Moongeepoor Patun; his era commencing with that of Vikremajeet S. 135. race is as follows :
1. Gohel Salivahun. 2.
Sudewunt. 3. Sonukjee. 4. Geheojee. 5. Veerumjee. 6. Ramjee. 7. Wuchrajjee. 8. Sangojee. 9. Hunsrajjee.—This prince came from Marwar to Khere
(Kaira), and there reigned.
Bhojrajjee. 12. Prithirajjee.
Poorun Chandjee. 14. Jussregjee. 15.
Dhoondlee Muljee. 16. Umur Paljee. 17. Segpaljee. 18. Sesmuljee. 19. Jhanjhojee. 20. Seehajee.
Khutmuljee. 22. Wagjee. 23. Ununtraejee. 24. Sajee, who swam his horse in the sea, and gave it to his
Bhat. 25. Seehajee.