Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

camels moved up into a line of twelve or lake, enclosing several little islands ; fifteen abreast, and the whole of our ca notwithstanding the well known nature ravan began to move with tolerable speed. of the country, many were positive that The contrast between this and the sand- it was a lake ; and one of the surveyors hills was very exhilarating, though even took the bearings of it. It was, however, those had not been unpleasing, while only one of those illusions which the they had novelty to recommend them. In French call mirage, and the Persians sirthe course of the day we were overtaken raub. I had imagined this phenomenon by a subject of Bahawul Khaun's, wlio to be occasioned by a thin vapour, (or had lost his way in tracking some camels something resembling a vapour), which is carried off in an excursion of the Rauj seen over the ground in the hot weather poots, had exhausted his skin of water, in India, but this appearance was entirely and had tasted no food for two days. We different, and, on looking along the ground, fed and put him on a camel. Before dark, no vapour whatever could be perceived. we met a party of one hundred and fifty The ground was quite level and smooth, soldiers on camels, belonging to Bahawul composed of dried mud or clay, mixed Khaun, the chief of one of the king of with particles of sparkling sand: there Caubul's eastern provinces. There were were some tufts of grass, and some little two men on each camel, and each had a bushes of rue, &c. at this spot, which long and glittering matchlock. They ad were reflected as in water, and this apvanced and saluted in three or four very pearance continued at the ends, when good lines. Their camels seemed as ma

viewed from the middle. I shall not atnageable as horses, and their appearance tempt to account for this appearance, but was altogether novel and striking ; their shall merely remark, that it seems only commander had a long beard, and was to be found in level, smooth, and dry dressed in a Persian tunic of buff broad places. The position of the sun with cloth, with gold buttons, and a low cap

reference to the spectator, appears to like the crown of a hat. He was mount be immaterial. I thought at first that ed on an excellent, light, speedy, and great heat always accompanied its appeareasy camel, with a very showy saddle and ance ; but it was afterwards seen in Datwo reins, one passing through a hole in maun, when the weather was not hotter each nostril of the camel. His language than is experienced in England. was scarcely intelligible to any of our About sun-set we descried the high party. He brought us one hundred ca wall and towers of Moujgur, with a conmels, carrying four hundred skins of spicuous mosque which stands over the water from Moujghur. He had also four gateway, and a tomb with a cupola, orbrazen jars of water from the Hyphasis, namented with painted tiles, resembling, which was intended for our own drink as I was told, the tombs of Imaumzading, and was sealed up with the Khaun's dahs in Persia. We arrived a little after signet. We soon after encamped in the dark, and encamped near the fort, which

idst of the desart, about twenty-six is small and weak. We remained here miles from Pooggul. We enjoyed the two days, taking in water. Bahawul water of the Hyphasis extremely, and Khaun's Dewaun, and another of his offiwere all delighted with the new people cers, who joined us here, were Hindoos, we were getting among, and the new the third was a Moullah of Moultaun, scenes we were approaching.

whose dress, language, and manners, On the 22d, we made a march of thirty were very like those of Persia. Even the miles to Moujgur ; the heat of the after Hindoos sometimes used the Persian idiom noon was intense, while we halted as in speaking Hindoostanee, and the Deúsual in the naked plain, to give our peo waun looked and spoke more like a Perple some water, and to take some refresh sian Moollah than a Hindoo. On the ment ourselves. In the course of the day 25th of November, we marched twentyseveral hundred skins of water came to seven miles to two wells in the desart. us from Moujgur, where Bahawul Khaun In the way we saw a most magnificent had sent his principal officers to receive mirage, which looked like an extensive us. Towards evening many persons were

lake, or a very wide river. The water astonished with the appearance of a long seemed clear and beautiful, and the figures

caravans.

of two gentlemen who rode along it, were the desart. We past for a mile and a half reflected as distinctly as in real water. under the walls of Bahawulpore, which, A small but neat tower was seen in this as well as the roads, were crowded with march, and we were told it was a place spectators, who, in their turn, afforded of refuge for travellers, against the pre no uninteresting spectacle to us. A strikdatory hordes who infest the route of ing difference was observable between

There were some stunted them and the people on the east of the bushes of the Mimosa Arabica on the desart. Those we now saw, were strong, march, and at the ground was something dark, harsh featured ; had their hair and that might be called a tree.

beards long ; wore caps oftener than turWe have lengthened the pre

bans; and spoke a language, entirely unceding extract, in order to include

intelligible to our Hindoostauny attend

ants. The better sort wore the dress, the description of a second mirage,

and affected the manuers of Persia. After that singular and beautiful, though,

crossing a small canal, and passing through to the thirsty traveller, cruel phe some fields, we left the woods, and at nonemon of the desart.

length reached the banks of the Hyphasis. As we have just intimated, Mr.

I was much disappointed in the breadth

of the river, as well as with the appearE.'s portraits delight us much ;

ance of its shores; but it was impossiand, of all others, the simple, ge ble to look without interest on a stream nerous, and hospitable character of

which had borne the fleet of Alexander. the Khan of Bahawulpore has fixed On the next day but one, Bahawul our particular regard. It is, in Khaun arrived, having come forty miles deed, a picture upon which we may

on purpose to shew attention to the mis

sion. Indeed his whole conduct from the excusably love to gaze, surrounded

time we approached his frontier, shewed as it is with so many traits of vice

a spirit of kindness and hospitality which and crime, of disorder and

oppres could not be surpassed, nor did it cease sion, as present themselves in the when we left this country; for, even after short narrative before us. With we had passed the Indus, he continued

to send us intelligence, and to take every this apology, we shall extract what relates to our favourite Khan, as

opportunity of showing us attention. In

our first intercourse with him, we began also to his city, country and peo to determine the presents to be made, ple :

expecting to have a long struggle against On the 26th, we marched at day-light, his rapacity, as is usual on such occasions and passed over low and bare hills of in most parts of India ; but we soon loose sand, and bottoms of hard clay, till

found we had to encounter a difficulty of after having travelled twelve miles, we another kind, Bahawul Khaun would perceived something stretched across in take nothing without a negociation ; while front of us, which soon after appeared he was anxious to shew his own liberality to be trees. We then pushed on with in

to an extent which we were unwilling creased alacrity, and soon reached a place to admit. where the desart and the cultivated coun On the day of his arrival, he sent try were separated as if by a line. A long eighty sheep, one hundred maunds of row of trees ran along the edge of the flour, and other articles of the same kind. sands; and beyond it, were clumps of Next day, he sent one hundred pots of trees, green fields, and wells of abundant sweetmeats, a vast number of baskets of and clear water, with houses, and every oranges, ten bags of almonds and raisins, sign of fertility and cultivation. One of and five bags, each containing 1000 ruthe first things we saw was a well, work pees (equal to £120) to be given to the ed by a Persian wheel, which was pouring servants. I was a little embarrassed by out water in the greatest abundance. The this last piece of hospitality ; but was trees, though only low tamarisk, seemed obliged to submit, on condition that the enchanting to us ; and every thing was Khaun's servants should accept a similar welcome after our five weeks sojourn in donation from me.

On the 29th, Mr. Strachey and Capt. crossing the river. He introduced the Raper paid a visit to the Khaun, and mechanic who made the clock, and prereturned charmed with the polite and sented me to several persons, who he cordial reception he gave them. Among said were Ulema (or Mahomedan school other conversation, he praised the King divines). Afterwards, he retired to a of Caubul highly; but said he had never carpet at some distance from the tents seen him.

“ He feared the snows of with Mr. Strachey and me; and there “ Caubul, and was besides a dweller of spoke fully on all subjects, giving me all “ the desart, and unworthy to appear the advice and information in his power. " before so great a monarch.” On the He ended, by saying, that, as he was the 1st of December, he came to my tent. first subject of Khorassaun with whom He was a plain, open, pleasant man, we had met, he hoped we would preserve about forty-five or fifty years of age : he the remembrance of him after we had had on a white tunic, with small gold extended our acquaintance.

We took buttons, over which was a wide mantle leave of him with great regret. He had of very rich and beautiful gold brocade : been liberal and kind to us during our on his head was a cap of brockade, and stay, without over civility or ceremony ; over it a lougee (or silk turban), twisted and, he had an appearance of sincerity loosely. About six of his attendants sat, in every thing he said, which made his the rest stood round, and were well shew of friendship the more agreeable. dressed, and respectable. Our conver

os Before we reached Moultan," sation turned on India and England, and

adds Mr. E. a little further on, lasted till the Khaun remarked it was getting late.

we were overtaken by twentyOn the 2d, I returned his visit. The five camels, sent us by the Bahawul streets were crowded to an incredible de Khan. That chief is famous for gree, and the terraced tops of the houses his camels, some of which he keeps were covered with spectators. They left for his own use, and always hunts the part of the street through which we

Mr. E. thus deswere to pass quite clear; and, except now and then an exclamation of surprize when cribes Bahawalpore and its inhabit. we came in sight, they kept a profound ants :silence. The Khaun received us in a The town is about four miles in cirhandsome room with attic windows, cumference ; but there are gardens of round which a neat and orderly company mangoe trees within the walls. The houwere seated on a Persian carpet. He ses are of unburnt bricks, with terraces conversed freely on all subjects : said he of mud; the city wall is of mud, and had never seen the King, and please God very thin. Bahawulpoor is remarkable he never would ; he could live in his de- for the manufacture of lougees, or silken sart and hunt his deer, and had no desire girdles, and turbans. The inhabitants of to follow courts. He shewed me a cu

this, and all the neighbouring countries rious clock, made by one of his own peo on the west and north, are principally ple. The works seemed very good. The Juts aud Beloches, who profess the Mabell was below the works; and the whole hommedan religion. There are more was in a case of gold, with very thick Hindoos at Bahawulpoor than any of the chrystal sides. He also shewed an excel- other provinces the mission passed lent gun lock, made at Bahawulpoor, through: Afghauns are foreigners there. He gave me two fine hawks, some grey

And thus, the environs and the hounds, two horses (one with gold, and the other with enamelled trappings), a

river :very beautiful matchlock, richly enamel The country, for four or five miles on led, with a powder flask in the English mo each side of the Hyphasis, is formed of del, and some trays of cloths of the place. the slime, deposited by the river. It is

On the 4th, we marched. Bahawul very rich, and often so soft that it cannot Khaun seut out a tent into the neigh- be ridden on. Some parts are highly bourhood of ours, where we had a part cultivated, and others are covered with ing meeting while our last bargage was coppice of low tamarisk, in which are

upon them.”

many wild boars, and hog deer ; wild wheat, millet, cotton, turnips, carrots, geese, partridges, tlorikens, and other and indigo. The trees were chiefly neem game are also abundant on the banks of (melia azadarachta), and date, with here the river.

and there a peepul (ficus religiosa) tree. The river winds much at this place, The uncultivated country near the river and is very muddy, but the water, when was covered with thick copse-wood of cleared, is excellent. It is here called tamarisk, mixed with a tree like a wilthe Gharra, and is formed by the joint low, about twenty feet high ; at a disstreams of the Hyphasis, or Begah, and tance from the river, it was bare, except Hysudrus, or Sutledge.

for scattered tufts of long grass, and Very different from the frank here and there a date tree. The country and unsuspecting deportment of abounded in game of all kinds. The

weather was delightful during our stay ; the Khan of Bahawalpore was that

the thermometer, when at the lowest, of the Governor of Moultan, who was at 28° at sun-rise; there were slight did but act, however, upon the frosts in the night, but the days were doubts entertained by his sovereign, rather warm. and by the several Afghan provinces We come, now, to the account respectively, on the objects of the of the timid governor. The sketch British Mission :

is taken from nature, and is alive :The city of Moultaun stands about four Mr. Strachey went to meet the govermiles from the left bank of the Chenaub, nor, and found him mounted on a white or Ascesines. It is above four miles and herse, with gold trappings, attended by a half in circumference. It is surrounded his officers and favourites, surrounded with a fine wall, between forty and fifty with large standards, and escorted by two feet high, with towers at regular distan hundred horse, and three thousand foot. ces. It has also a citadel on a rising The dust, crowd, and confusion of the ground, and several fine tombs, particu- meeting, are represented by Mr. Strachey, larly two, with very high cupolas, orna as beyond all description. The governor mented with the painted and glazed tile welcomed Mr. Strachey according to the already noticed, which altogether give it Persian custom, after which they joined, a magnificent appearance. These tombs and proceeded to the tent, the pressure are seen from a great distance all round and disorder increasing as they went.

In the town. Moultaun is famous for its some places men were fighting, and in silks, and for a sort of carpet much infe- Others people were ridden down; Mr. rior to those of Persia. The country im- Strachey's own horse was nearly borne mediately round the city was very pleas to the ground, and only recovered himing, fertile, well cultivated, and well wa self by a violent exertion. When they tered from wells. The people were like approached the tent, they missed the road, those at Bahawulpoor, except that there came in front of the line of troops, and were more men who looked like Persians rushed on the cavalry with such impetumixed with them; these, however, were osity, that there was barely time to wheet individuals, and chiefly horsemen. back, so as to allow a passage. In this

The mission remained for nineteen days manner the tide poured on towards the in the neighbourhood of Moultaun, and tent; the line of servants were swept as most of the party were out almost away, the skreens were torn down, and every day from seven or eight to three or trampled under foot, and even the tent four, shooting, hunting, or hawking, we ropes were assailed with such fury, that had good opportunities of observing the the whole tent was nearly struck over our country. The land was flat, and the soil heads. The inside was crowded and excellent, but a large proportion of the darkened in an instant. The governor villages were in ruins, and there were and about ten of his companions sat, the other signs of a well cultivated country rest seemed to be armed attendants; and, going to decay ; about one half was still indeed, the governor seemed to have atcultivated, and most abundantly watered tended to nothing but the number of his by Persian wheels; the produce was guards. He sat but for a very short

time, during the whole of which he was The Indus, besides its great name, and telling his beads with the utmost fervency, the interest it excites as the boundary of and addressing me with “ You are wel. India, was rendered a noble object by its come, you are very welcome,” as fast own extent, and by the lofty hills which as he could repeat the words. At last, he formed the back ground of the view. said he was afraid the crowd must annoy We were, however, a little disappointed me, and withdrew. Surafrauz Khaun was in its appearance, owing to an island, a good looking young man, he wore the which divided it, and impaired the effect Persian dress, with a cap and a shawl

of its stream. There were other islands turban over it, and spoke very good Per and sand banks in the river ; but near sian. His attendants were large, fair, the side where we stood, it came up to and handsome Afghauns, most of them the edge, and seemed deep and rapid. very well dressed, but in no sort of order While on the banks of the river, we met or discipline. On the same evening I re a native, to whose conversation, and that turned his visit, and found him sitting of the guide, we listened with great inunder an awning, on a terrace, in one of terest and curiosity. The plains on the his gardens. He had a large company opposite shore we found were inhabited sitting with him in good order. They by Beloches, and the mountains by the differed greatly in appearance from the Sheeraunees, a fierce and turbulent tribe, natives of India, but were neither so On the other side of the range were tribes handsomely dressed, nor so decorous as and places, of which we had never heard Persians. The Nabob being now free the names ; while those we had learned from alarm, was civil, and agreeable from our maps, were equally new to our enough.

informants. All we could learn was, that Mr. E.'s stay at Moultan presents beyond the hills was something wild, us with an anecdote too striking to

strange, and new, which we might hope

one day to explore. pass unnoticed :

From Oodoo dla Kote, near which we My intercourse with one person de first saw the Indus, to the ferry of Kaserves to be mentioned, as characteristicheeree, where we crossed it, is about of the government of Moultaun. Secun- seventy-five miles. It is a narrow tract, der Khaun, the Nabob's uncle, being contested between the river and the desart. once hunting near my camp, sent to If in hunting, we were led many miles me, to say that he had enclosed three to the west of the road, we got into wild boars within his nets, and to beg branches of the river, and troublesome that I would come and join in the chace quicksands, among thickets of tamarisk of them. I thought it prudent to excuse

or of reeds; and, if we went as far to myself, but I sent a native gentleman the right, the appearance of sand, and with a civil message, some fine gunpow

even in some places of sand hills, admoder, and a spy-glass. Secunder Khaun

nished us of the neighbourhood of the returned me an indifferent horse, and desart. Many parts, however, were culsent a boar to be hunted at leisure. Thus tivated, with great pains and method, far all was well, but two days afterwards,

and produced good crops of wheat, barhe sent back my present, and desired to ley, turnips, and cotton. The fields were have his horse back, as he was in danger always enclosed either with hedges of of being confined, or put to death for in dry thorn, with hurdles of willow, or triguing with the English.

with fences, made of stiff mats of reeds, Having crossed the Ascecines, often built of the same material. We

supported by stakes. The houses were or Chunab, (the Hydaspes of an were struck with the neatness of the cient story) and approached the In- farm-yards, so unlike those of Hindosdus, the embassy now « first dis tan. They were regularly enclosed; had cerned the mountains of Afghau- gates of three or four bars ; and connistaun," which rise parallel to,

tained sheds for the cattle, dung-hills,

&c. It was also new to us to observe and the west of the course of the

hand-barrows, and to see oxen fed with last-mentioned famous stream : turnips. Some of the houses near the

« EdellinenJatka »