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Koer Sing and Ummer Sing.
centuries before its time. We have to learn much before we ought to hazard a leap. The world has grown much wiser since the times of the patriarch monarchs and legislators, and India can no longer be expected to relapse into the days of a Brahmin ascendancy, or a Mahratta government—a state in which rights are strong, and law weak. The advent of the Anglo-Saxon race was not merely fortuitous, but had been fore-ordained in the wisdom of Providence. First of all, our efforts should be to shake off the fetters which a past age has forged for us, to effect our freedom from moral disabilities; and not to stake the well-being of the country on the result of a contest between ploughmen unused to shoulder a musket, and veteran soldiers who have marched triumphant into Paris, Canton, and Candahar. Nothing less than Hindoostan ought to be given away to the English in grateful reward for their introducing the art of printing, which is emancipating thousands of minds from the yoke of a superstition that held us as brutes for centuries.
Three years ago, how high the popularity of Koer Sing in these quarters was.
The tocsin of his name sounded in the ears of the peasantry, and they left the plough to run to his standard. So far away as in our own household, there was a Beharee bearer who used to be busy every morning in wrestling and other gymnastics. The crotchet entered his head, that he would one day be called upon to serve in the ranks of Koer Sing's army. In time, however, the poor fellow was laughed out of his infatuity by his fellow-menials.
No trace of the inroads of the rebels along the road -no fair fields and villages turned into a desert. low spur, there yet stood one of those towers which had been erected at intervals for conveying signals from post to post in the days of the Mahratta War. Very hot sun. Not a trace of water within five miles. Halted at the Gossain-talao—the eleemosynary foundation of a temple, tank, and well by a Gossain in an arid district --and a fair sample of Hindoo public work. The stone-enfaced tank has a pretty appearance. But the heated water was impregnated with zoophytes: the well is, in its stead, therefore used for all purposes. Over the Ghaut is a small temple of Shiva. The whole plot of ground is enclosed by high embankments of earth planted with young neem trees. The open area is shaded by many fruit trees. Under a Mango tree an old man bent down with years was cooking some coarse rice on an iron platter. Five years ago he had travelled on foot from Midnapore to Bindrabun on pilgrimage. He was now returning home. But he had been robbed of his baggage on the way, while asleep in a serai near Allahabad. From thence he has been begging his food all the way down, and he was now hopeless of being able to accomplish the rest of his journey by depending upon the precarious charity in the jungles. Tears trickled down the old man's cheeks as he told his tale, and we gave him a couple of rupees to help him to his home.
Sasseram is welcome after a journey of 200 miles through a dreary country. From desert-hills and valleys,
Sasseram,—Haseyn Khan's Tomb.
where there are scarcely any landmarks of man's existence, the traveller alights here amidst the haunts of society, friendship, and love.' The spot is crowded with some 3000 huts and shops, all of mud walls and tiled roofs. The two-storied hut is first visible here, as also the pottery, so much superior to that of Bengal. The neat wooden toys in the shops remind us of that ancient Asura, who had a thousand arms with a different plaything on each—from whom is the name of Sasseram. The town is finely situated, with a beautiful view of the distant blue hills, and a rich and cultivated valley for many miles. But Sasseram, noted for the birth-place of Shere Shahthe Ceur de Lion of the East, and intended by him to have been turned into another Delhi, disappoints all expectations, and disgusts one by the loathsome aspect and odour of the narrow, crooked lines of human dens, little better than sheds provided for cattle. The people have a miserable look, denoting poverty and wretchedness. Sasseram is a decayed Patan town, which is marked by the usual filth and squalor of the race. Building was a rage with the Moguls, not with the Patans. The rage of the latter was in the opposite way–demolition, and not erection.
Haseyn Khan's Roza or tomb is an exception to our remark. Filial piety could scarcely have honoured the memory of a father with a more splendid mausoleum. The building stands in the middle of a walled quadrangle, with lofty gateways. The form is an octagon, with small cupolas at the angles, and a magnificent dome on the top. The structure is of masonry, with outer enfacements of freestone. Inside, the walls are plastered like polished marble. Time has dimmed their lustre by laying on a crust of dirt upon them. Our voice, resounding in echoes beneath the dome, scared away a number of pigeons that were perched on the cornices, and to whom the place seems to be abandoned. The sarcophagus is placed just in the middle of the ground-floor. Though a little too much ornamented, the general design of the building is simple. The date of the tomb is A. D. 1531. But excepting a slab or two that is out of place, the whole edifice is yet in a very good condition.
From the top of the Roza, the town, spread out beneath the feet, can be seen in detail. Towards the north the tomb of Shere Shah appeared to rear itself in the air from out of an artificial lake. In form and design it is much the same as that of his father ; but it is loftier in height, larger in dimensions, and more superb in appearance.
Rising in an open uninterrupted plain, the effect also is more telling.
‘From 'midst a limpid pool, superbly high,
And e’en in death, maintains pre-eminence.' The tank, which once measured a mile in circumference, has decayed into a cesspool; the stone-enfacements have all slipped down into the reservoir ; the causeway to the tomb is dilapidated; only a cemetery or two remains of the humble tombs of the faithful servants, -the rest are all prostrate upon the ground, and disapShere Shah's Tomb,—his Highway.
pearing every autumn to fill up the tank. Cremation left no choice to the Hindoos for such splendid obituary monuments and storied urns.' Shere Shah himself caused the erection of this tomb-distrusting, perhaps, his immediate survivors, posterity, tradition, history, and everything, to do him adequate justice. It is remarkable that he did not prefer to build a palace, but his tomb. He was killed by the explosion of a mine at the fort of Callinger. Only his little finger was foundand that alone lies interred beneath the stately mausoleum, which is the ornament of the valley of the Soane. In another generation or two, this tomb may leave not a trace behind.' The utilitarian economy which appreciates only reproductive works, is sadly mistaken to consign to decay the costly works of a preceding age. To abolish all ornamental works would be to question the beauty of the stars and flowers--the general loveliness of nature in the creation.
No more useful work, nor a more splendid monument of his glory, could have been left behind by Shere Shah, than the highway which stretched a four months' journey from Sonargong in Bengal to the western Rotas on the Jhelum, and compared with which the Grand Trunk Road of our age falls into the shade. Had that road existed, as his rupee coinage is still current, it would have saved the fifty lacs expended on the present thoroughfare. In many places that road had remained for fifty-two years much in the same state as when originally founded. To this day the remains of one of his stone and brick-built serais may be seen at