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transcendent energies—as he was pro- could these strong assertions be contected by the British power from ex- troverted, as, owing to the complete ternal invasion ; for his internal com state of seclusion in which he had forts a large stipend had been assigned; been retained by his father, his chaand from within the extensive walls racter was wholly unknown, while the of his seraglio, where his sway was mind of the infatuated sovereign, nanot questioned, he might apparently, turally weak, was perplexed by the like the gods of Epicurus, or the in- artifices of his servants, among whom habitants of the happy valley, have no honest man could remain without viewed with indifference the passing external support. Being entirely ige events of an agitated world, enjoying norant, also, of his relative situation to in all its perfection, leisure and a large the British government, he persevered pension. But of all institutions ever in his determination to alter the line invented by the ingenuity of man for of the succession, notwithstanding the the promotion of his own misery, a se reiterated remonstrances of the resiraglio appears to be the most efficacious; dent, who soon found that the effect as the materials of which it is com of the kindness of the British governposed, consisting of wives, concubines, ment was quite destroyed by the imslave-girls, eunuchs, poets, musicians, positions practised on him by his fasinging and dancing boys and girls, mily and attendants, each of whom dealers in sweetmeats, venders of claimed the merit of accomplishing opium and perfumes, tumblers, snake every object which the British admi, dancers, barbers, nail-cutters, hair- nistration acquiesced in. extirpators, and shampooers, are cer The operation of this intestine war tainly the best adapted for producing at length reached beyond the walls of the greatest quantity of discord from the the seraglio, and threatened to disturb smallest causes. As might be expected the peace of the metropolis. The Emin a community so constituted, the buzz peror, after several preliminary steps, and ferment are incessant; discordant proceeded to the extremity of openly interests, low amours, petty intrigues, proclaiming his fourth son, Jehandar plots, and squabbles, lies, messages, Shah, heir apparent, to the exclusion notes, and whispers, keep up the com of his eldest son, under the pretext, bustion, while the intervention of the that he was disqualified for such an anarch old, by his decision, more em- elevation, by the weakness of his inbroils the fray.
tellects, not reflecting that the same Being entirely under the influence allegation, if listened to, might have of such advisers, Acber the Second precluded his own accession. In this had scarcely ascended the throne, when emergency, the interposition of the he commenced a series of intrigues, British government became necessary, with the view of effecting the exclu- and the resident at Delhi was accordsion of his eldest son (to whom he had ingly directed to institute an investitaken a most preposterous aversion), gation regarding the sanity or derangefrom the succession, and of procuring ment of the legitimate successor. The the sanction of the British government result proved highly favourable, as, on to the nomination of his fourth and examination, he was found to possess favourite son, Jehandar Shah, as Wulli a perfectly sound, although not very Ahud, or heir apparent. The causes capacious mind-a mind certainly fully of the different princes were supported equal to that of his worthy parent, or by parties within the walls of the pal- to the transaction of any affairs to ace; and the most contemptible acts which his fortune seemed ever likely of meanness and absurdity were prac- to destine him. This fact being estatised by the different factions. The blished, his Majesty was informed, cause of the legitimate heir, however, that it was an invariable maxim of was fast declining, owing to the un- British policy, never to pass over the natural hatred of his father ; and he next in succession and lawful claimant was described to the British function to the throne, unless circumstances aries at the court of Delhi as an idiot, were so strongly against him as to who, so far from being equal to the shut out all hopes of amendment or government of an empire, was scarcely improvement: That in the present able to perform the commonest offices case, no such urgency existed, as the for himself, and in intellect little su- heir apparent's mind seemed quite adeperior to the brute creation. Nor quate to his duties, and that the evils
which would originate from an irregu- tem, and the consequent individual sea lar succession were too great to permit curity which they have experienced, so momentous a deviation, merely for imprisonment for life does not now the possible benefit to be derived from excite the same degree of admiration. a successor of greater abilities. Nor of this change, in process of time the could any thing very satisfactory be female portion of the population will expected from the conduct of such a also feel the benefit, as in all probasovereign as his favourite Jehandar bility they were originally doomed to Shah, whose youth, and whatever abi. strict seclusion, only from the absence lities he possessed, had been directed of efficient laws to protect them from to the base purpose of supplanting his violence, if exposed to public notice. eldest brother. To prevent the repe In consequence of this appeal from tition of the miserable artifices which the royal brothers, the governor-gehad so long distracted the interior of neral was induced to proffer his kind the seraglio, and now threatened the offices, and a reconciliation, at least in capital with commotion, Jehandar appearance, was effected in this disShah was ordered to take up his fu- united family. The Emperor's broture residence at Allahabad, there to thers were permitted to attend his Maremain under the supervision of the jesty during the customary religious judge and magistrate.
processions and ceremonies, and also Acber the second reluctantly ac at certain festivals to visit the tomb of quiesced in what he could not prevent, their father, a gratification from which and shrunk into the recesses of his they had been hitherto debarred, and seraglio. But it soon appeared that for the recovery of which they expressed he was not the only discontented per- the utmost gratitude to the mediator. son within the royal precincts; for in The mortifications which the Delhi 1809 the brothers of the king repre. sovereign experienced from these petty sented to Lord Minto, then governor- alterations, were qualified to a certain general, and ex officio the arbiter ele- degree in 1807, by the donation of the gantiarum of the palace, the severe re six lacks of rupees already mentioned, straints under which they were kept and in 1812 by the augmentation of by his Majesty, being deprived of their his stipend to one lack of rupees arms, horses, and equipage, and not (£11600) per month, the prosperous permitted to take the slightest recrea state of the assigned territories fully tion, or to pass the gates of the royal admitting of this augmentation. On residence. This harsh treatment was their acquisition in 1803, they were attributed to the influence of Boodsua leased on a triennial settlement, and Begum, the king's mother, who, accus the first year they yielded only tomed to the forms that had subsisted 353,952 rupees (£41,058); the second during the reign of Shah Allam, could 390,701 rupees; and the third 432,432 not be prevailed on to depart from rupees ; but so rapidly did a few years them, alleging their great antiquity, of tranquillity and good government and the number of centuries during ameliorate the condition of the cultiwhich they had regulated the etiquette vators, and the productive powers of of the Mogul court. Nor probably, in lands, that more tempestuous times, would these
In 1812 they yielded 994,944 rupees. relations of his Majesty have wished
1,256,505 (£145,754.) for greater liberty, as they would have been inevitably involved in the in- and the revenue was not only suffitrigues of the factions that agitate all cient to defray the expences of the oriental courts, and have become ob- royal family, but also to leave a conjects of distrust and jealousy to the siderable surplus applicable to general reigning prince, whose suspicions purposes. Within the assigned terriwould have consigned them to a closer tories are several jaghires, the principrison, or expedited their final exit. pal holders of which are the Nabob Within the last half century, great al Bhamboo Khan, the Nabob Nijabut teration has taken place in the pecu- Ali Khan, and the Seik chiefs Bhang, liar feelings of the higher classes of Singh, and others; a further increase natives, who used formerly to consi- of revenue may therefore be expected der seclusion as essential to their dig- on the falling in of these by the denity and safety; but since the esta cease of the existing incumbents, beblishment of the British judicial sys- sides what may be anticipated to arise
on the reconstruction of the Nuhri the land within the walls became of Fyz, or canal of bounty.
little or no value to the owners, who Nor did the ancient and venerable carelessly disposed of their rights for capital experience less benefit from the any trifle of ready money, and fretransfer than the surrounding territory, quently to escape extortion, left their although the effects were not
so quickly properties unclaimed altogether. Of perceptible, and although no iinproved this supineness they had subsequently system of government could at once cause to repent; for no sooner had compensate for the absence of a splen- the city surrendered to Lord Lake, did and luxurious court, which in India than the value of houses and lands will always collect a population, and cre- within the walls instantaneously douate a city, as if by enchantment. Not- bled, and it has been progressively inwithstanding its great antiquity, and creasing ever since. the long period of time during which Among the most magnificent and it has ranked as the first city of Hin- useful memorials of the taste and dostan, there is nothing in the situa- splendour of the Emperor Shah Jehan tion of Delhi peculiarly attractive, the remaining at Delhi, is the well belongadjacent soil being rather of a sterile ing to the Jamma Musjeed (mosque), than fruitful description, and the river which was excavated at an immense not navigable during the dry season expense out of the solid rock on for boats of any considerable burthen. which that edifice stands. The water Under these disadvantages, however, is raised by a complicated machinery, it had become a city of great fame and and a succession of reservoirs, to the magnitude prior to the Mahommedan area of the mosque, where, at the top invasion, when it was distinguished of a grand flight of steps, it fills a in the Hindoo books of history, or small fish-pond; it is of great utility rather Mythology, by the appellation to all ranks of persons, but more espeof Indraprest ; but it never appears to cially to the Mahommedans in performhave had the same sanctity of character ing their prescribed ablutions. For in popular estimation as Mathura and many years the decayed state of some Kanoje. In 1011 it was taken and of the principal wheels, and the ruinsacked by Sultan Mahmood of Ghizni; ous condition of the masonry,
renderbut it did not become the permanented the supply of water both difficult residence of a Mussulmaun dynasty to be procured, and extremely scanty: until A. D. 1193, since which date, At length, in 1809, it completely failwith the exception of a short interval ed, and the consequences during the during the reign of Acber I., when intensity of the hot season were exthe royal court was removed to Agra, tremely distressing to the inhabitants, it has continued to be the metropolis and excited considerable interest in the of Hindostan.
mind of the Emperor. Under these According to popular tradition, du. circumstances, Mr Seton, the resident ring its splendid era, Delhi covered a at Delhi, conceiving that the repair of space twenty miles in circumference; the well, at the expence of the British and its ruins still occupy that surface, government, would be highly gratifyalthough its present walls cannot being to the inhabitants, authorised its reckoned at more than ten miles in being put in a state of repair, and the compass. Ever since the death of expense incurred was sanctioned by Aurengzebe in 1707, the population the governor-general. has been decreasing, and it received a Many other repairs and improveserious blow in 1739, during the in- ments of a similar description were vasion of Nadir Shah, who massacred gradually carried into execution ; but 100,000 of the inhabitants; nor was much remains still to be done, espeit likely to recover during the state of cially the renewal of the great canal, anarchy which subsisted in Upper excavated in the reign of Shah Jehan, Hindostan from that period until the by Ali Mordan Khan, a Persian noBritish conquest in 1803. Under the bleman, which is now choked up as useSindia family its decline was uninter- less. In the reconstruction of this, the rupted, every year exhibiting some credit of the British government is impalace newly dilapidated, or some plicated, and the augmented fertility street choked up with rubbish or of the tract it intersects would more jungle. In fact, the decay was so ra than compensate for the expenditure. pid, and apparently so hopeless, that there is no region in Hindostan susVOL. IV.
ceptible of greater improvement by mount more than doubles that of Agra,
is flows undisturbed to the sea, through easily led by the flattery of those athe Satuleje and Jamna, might be ar bout him, to entertain erroneous norested in its progress, and made sub- tions of his own importance, and is in servient to the purposes of husbandry. consequence much disposed to inFour years ago, an intelligent engineer crease his influence by a system of imofficer* was deputed to survey and portunate solicitation and petty entake the levels of the extinct canals croachment. And certainly an ima and rivers; but his services being pression is still prevalent all over Ina called for in the Nepaul war, he was dia, that the power which has posseswithdrawn from the investigation, sion of Delhi, and the king's person, which does not appear to have been is the virtual ruler of Hindostan; and since resumed. As in Egypt, the sur under this idea many independent face of the country, subject to alluvion, states have repeatedly applied to be has prol risen, by successive de received as subjects and tributaries, posits, and the channels of the rivers in and complained of the refusal as a diproportion sunk; but as they all issue reliction of duty on the part of the from lofty mountains, a high level British government. Applications of may always be found; and it is to be this nature have been pressingly urged apprehended, that the fertility of Egypt by the Rajas of Joudpoor, Jeypoor, will never bé restored until canals are Bicanere, Jesselmere, Assam, Cachar, drawn from above the cataracts of the and Aracan, the Nabobs of Mooltan Nile, where the elevation is sufficient and Behawulpoor, and by the innumeto admit of their irrigating an immense rable petty states exposed to the raextent of what is at present a sandy pine of Sindia, Holcar, and other Madesert.
haratta depredators; and so far from No regular census of the inhabi
an insatiable desire having been shown tants of Delhi has ever been taken, to extend the British limits, the diffiand any attempt at an actual enume- culty has been, for the last ten years, ration would be viewed with jealousy to resist the importunities of the sure and distrust by a people naturally a- rounding states. Of this fact, our liverse to innovation, or to any new ar mits wiĩl not permit us to multiply rangement which tends to bring them examples; we shall therefore make more under observation, or seems like
one suffice, that of the Raja of Jesselly to impose on them either additional duties or expense. From a con In 1808, this chief applied to Mr currence of circumstances, there is rea- Seton, then resident at Delhi, stating son to believe, that the total number the desire he entertained of visiting is somewhere between 150,000 and the banks of the sacred Ganges, for 200,000 souls; and low as this esti- devotional purposes, provided he could mate is for so great a capital, the a receive from the British government
assurances of respectful treatment; for * Lieutenant Blane of the Bengal Esta- it appears he had received very erroneblishment.
ous impressions of that people, both
individually and as a nation. He was successor's right, it was still considera encouraged to proceed, and his confi- ed as so gratifying a mark of distincdence being restored, he adverted to tion, that, in 1807, Maun Singh, the his political situation, representing, powerful Raja of Joudpoor, petitioned that many chiefs had by violence ob the British government with much tained fragments of the Mogul empire, anxiety, to interfere with the king to which they ruled with an iron hand, obtain it for him. The British gowhile he and his ancestors had remain- vernment, however, refused to intered at rest from the remotest antiquity fere, the right of conferring the mark within their own domains; but even of distinction in question being consithese were now endangered, as such dered an obsolete act of sovereignty, encroachments were daily making on the revival of which would be partihis hereditary possessions as threaten- cularly objectionable.—It was feared, ed utterly to annihilate his principa- moreover, that their interference would lity. He therefore appealed to the be considered as a recognition of the British, as sovereigns of Hindostan, to pretensions of Raja Maun Singh, then whose protection he was entitled, and disputed by a competitor, and as a deentreated them to save for him his parture from the neutrality which had small residue of country, which its nat- always been observed. The Raja was ural barrenness and seclusion could accordingly apprized of this determinnot preserve from molestation. To ation; the inutility of the act, as this petition a conciliating answer was
a mark of confirmation, was represent, with some presents; but the sented to him, as well as the folly of Raja was informed, that the principles making an unmeaning refe: race of the which regulated the conduct of the validity of his title to a power which British government precluded all ex- neither claimed nor exercised a right tension of territory, unless they were to grant or to withhold it. compelled to it in their own defence; The universality of this impression and that therefore all interference with throughout Hindostan may be farther his political concerns must be declined; inferred from the conduct of the Tambut that he would experience every baretty, or Princess of Travancore, a office of friendship due to a friendly Hindoo state, situated near Cape Corneighbour, and the utmost hospitality morin, the southern extremity of Hinduring his contemplated pilgrimage. dostan, and at no period of its history
Although the Delhi sovereign had subject to the Mogul, or to any Mabeen deprived of all real power and hommedan superior ; yet, in 1813, she dominion, before political events made applied to have a dress of investiture him connected with the British go- for her son, the infant Raja, although vernment, almost every state, and he was under the special guardianship every class of people in India, still of the British government, to which continues to reverence his nominal he was indebted for the tranquillity of authority. The current coin of every his accession. The result of her apestablished power is still struck in plication was the same as the one a. his name, and princes of the high bove mentioned, but she could not be est rank still bear the titles, and dis convinced that the ceremonial was play the insignia which they or their
their wholly superfluous. Under existing ancestors derived from this source, and circumstances, his Majesty's assumpthe Delhi Emperor, amidst all his vi- tion of legitimate authority is altocissitudes, is still considered the only gether incompatible with the situation legitimate fountain of similar honours. in which he is placed; his granting In conformity with this notion, it is dresses of investiture was accordingly still usual, when a Hindoo prince-suc- prohibited, both as impolitic, and as ceeds to his deceased father, to solicit adding nothing to the validity of the the Mogul to honour him with a succession. The same objection did teeka, as a mark of investiture, or at not apply to the granting of titles, least, of royal approbation, which ce which have been admitted through the remony consists in having the fore- agency of the British government, in head anointed with a preparation of favour of the Nizam, and of the Nabruised sandal wood. Although this bobs of the Carnatic and Bengal. inur.ction had long ceased to be a ne These and similar applications, the cessary token of confirmation of the king, being a man of weak intellects,