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cure the most ample materials. Notwithstanding his literary engagements, he was occasionally employed in honourable service. He attended the palanquin' of Ibrahim's daughter, when she was married to the son of Akbur the Great, in 1604; and on the accession of Jehangeer to the throne of Delhi, Ferishta was sent to him on a special mission. The time of this accomplished Historian's death is unknown, but Colonel Briggs is disposed to fix it shortly after his forty-first year, supposing his birth to have taken place in 1570. This is a meagre biography, but it is all that can be obtained from the incidental notices which occur in the writings of Ferishta himself, and no other sources of authentic information exist.

The great work of which we now have, for the first time in any European language, an entire and adequate translation, can hardly be praised too highly, whether for the importance of its subject, or for the ability of its execution. Its details are even painfully, though unavoidably complicated. The multitude of proper names, frequently of uncouth and intricate composition, sometimes similar or identical, is occasionally not a little puzzling, notwithstanding the care taken both by Ferishta and his Translator to maintain as clear a distinction as possible. The collateral dynasties, the current histories often intermingling, the changes in the direct lines of succession, the usurpations and vicissitudes of empire,--these, with other sources of confusion incessantly recurring, have imposed on the historian, a task of uncommon difficulty, of which he has, however, acquitted himself with much skill. Without close and sustained attention, these volumes will present a mass of confusion; but with fair application, their connexion may be mastered without much difficulty. Very considerable relief will be afforded by a diligent use of the genealogical and chronological tables attached to the work by the care of Colonel Briggs: they are a valuable and well-executed addition to the history.

A minute analysis of the contents of these volumes, is, of course, quite out of the question: the utmost that can be expected from us is, that we should furnish such general indications as may put our readers in possession of the nature of the work, with so much of detail as may give them a sufficient notion of Ferishta's style and manner. As an introduction to these illustrations, we cannot do better than cite the distinct and admirably compressed statement which occurs in the Modern Traveller (India, Vol. I. page 162), of the preliminary movements and conquests by which the Mohammedan generals advanced towards the invasion and subjugation of India. For nothing is that excellent work more distinguished, than for the skill with which complicated and conflicting narratives are reduced within brief limits, and impressed, with the utmost clearness and precision, on the reader's mind.

• In that extraordinary revolution which transferred the conquests of Alexander, the kingdoms of Ptolemy and Seleucus, to the rude soldiers of Arabia, and reduced the empire of Nourshirwan to a province of the Khalifate, Bassora succeeded to the commerce of Alexandria, and the Indian trade fell into the hands of Mohammedan merchants. Khorasan and Balkh were subdued by Abdallah (Abdoolla) the Governor of Bassorah, in the khalifate of Othman, A.D. 651. The cities of Bok. hara and Samarcand were taken by Kateibah, the Arabian Governor of Khorasan, about sixty years after. When the sceptre of Persia "fell from the nerveless grasp of the despicable successors of Omar and Ali," Transoxiana, Bactria, Khorasan, and Cabul were united in one empire under the dynasty of the Samanæan princes, who for ninety years reigned in tranquillity at Bokhara. On the death of the fifth sovereign of that family, Abustagein, or Aleptekein (Aluptugeen), who had risen from a state of servitude to be Governor of Khorasan, seized upon the city and territory of Ghizni, and assumed the ensigns of royalty. Three successive victories over the general of Munsur, the monarch of Bokhara, secured to Abustagein the undisputed possession of Khorasan and Zabulistan; and at hiş. death, in the year 974, he left the throne of Ghizni to his son. The young monarch enjoyed for only two years the honours of royalty, his life being shortened by his debaucheries; and, on his death, Subuctagi, or Sebektekein (Subooktugeen), the fa. vourite general of his father, was proclaimed king by the army. Hiş marriage to the daughter of Abustagein ratified this election; and the Mohammedan historians dwell upon the valour, moderation, and justice which gained him the hearts of all his subjects.'

• The first chieftain'-such are the ominous and exulting words with which Ferishta commences his introduction, who

spread the banners of the true faith on the plains of Hind, was • Mohalib Bin Abry Sufra.' His invasion, however, was nothing more than a predatory inroad, about the year 664; and its extreme limit was the province of Mooltan. The earliest instance of conflict, on a large scale, between the Mohammedans and the Hindoos, was at the battle of Lumghan, between Subooktugeen and Jeipal, the raja of the Punjab, when the latter was defeated with great slaughter. This conflict occurred about 979, and the reigns of Subooktugeen and Jeipal were synchronous with those of our Ethelred and Edmund Ironside. The circumstances connected with this battle, are strikingly illustrative of the causes of that military superiority which the Persian and Afgbaun races have always maintained. At a period of the

campaign a little antecedent to the actual contest, a heavy storm happened, of which the following romantic account is given by Ferishta. The Mahmood there mentioned, is the celebrated Mahmood of Ghizni, the son of Subooktugeen, and afterwards the scourge of the Hindoos.

Many days elapsed without the opponents having engaged each other, when it was mentioned to Mahmoud, that in the camp of Jeipal was a spring, into which, if a mixture of ordure should be thrown, the sky would immediately become overcast, and a dreadful storm of hail and wind arise. Mahmoud having caused this to be done, the effects became visible ; for instantly the sky lowered, and thunder, lightning, wind, and hail, succeeded, turning the day into night, and spreading horror and destruction around; insomuch that a great part of the cattle was killed, and some thousands of the soldiers of both armies perished. But the troops of Ghizny, being more hardy than those of Hindoostan, suffered less than their enemies.'

Here we have an instance of that inferiority in bodily strength and powers of physical endurance, which has so often, in the wars of India, given the advantage to the invader. In ardent and high-souled courage, the Rajpoot yields to none; but his frame is lighter, his thew and muscle less rigid, and, at close quarters, all other things being equal, weight carries the day. In other circumstances of warfare, the cause and the effect were the same. The Ghiznevy cavalry were better mounted than the Hindoo horsemen, and probably more heavily armed; it was the combat of dragoons against hussars; and it was also, in the battle of Lumghan, the strife of skill and discipline against numbers and rude valour. Subooktugeen gained the victory by refusing part of his line, by making incessant charges on a single point of his enemy's array, and, when he had thus shaken the Hindoo formation, by making a fierce and simultaneous attack with his whole force.

But the great spoiler of North-western India, was the prince to whom we have already referred, the famous Mahmood Ghiznevy, with his ten predatory and iconoclastic expeditions against the pagan princes of Hindostan. The effects, however, of his irruptions, although frightful in point of devastation, were not permanent. His conquests rarely led to territorial acquisition, but usually terminated in the levy of contributions, and the imposition of tribute. Mahmood, though an accomplished commander, does not seem to have been eminent as a statesman. His profession was war; his improvement of victory, rapine; his passion was the accumulation of treasure, especially jewels; and among his best qualities, his patronage of men of learning and genius, deserves distinct record. Having one night, in the caprice of intoxication, cụt off the long and beau

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tiful hair of a favourite mistress, with returning sobriety grief and shame overwhelmed him. • He sat, he rose, he walked, by turns', and his alarmed attendants trembled to approach him. In this crisis, the poet Oonsury addressed him in some extemporaneous lines, which so highly gratified him, that he ordered the bard's mouth to be thrice filled with jewels'. He then called for wine, and in the delight of a poetical symposium, soon got rid of his dejection. That he was avaricious, there can be no question; although Ferishta seems rather disposed to acquit him, yet without concealing or garbling the facts which tend to establish the charge.

• The king one day asked Aboo Tahir Samany, what quantity of valuable jewels the Samany dynasty had accumulated when it became extinct? He replied, that in the reign of Ameer Nooh Samany, the treasury contained seven ruttuls weight of precious stones.

Mahmood flung himself prostrate on the floor, and cried out, “ Thanks to thee, all-powerful Being, who hast enabled me to collect more than 100 ruttuls”.

• It is also said, that in the latter end of his reign, Mahmood, on hearing that a citizen of Nyshapoor possessed immense wealth, commanded him to be called into his presence, and reproached him for being an idolater and an apostate from the faith. The citizen replied, “. O king, I am no idolater nor apostate, but I am possessed of wealth ; take it, therefore ; but do me not a double injustice, by robbing me of my money and of my good name”. The king, having confiscated his whole property, gave him a certificate under the royal seal, of the purity of his religious tenets.'

It is, Ferishta further states, a well-established fact,' that feeling his rapidly approaching dissolution, he ordered, only two days previously to his death, all his treasures in gold and jewels to be spread out before him: casting on them a melancholy glance, he gazed awhile, weeping, and desired them to be carried back, without, as it was probably expected that he would, making largess to his attendants and friends. For this, observes the Historian, he has been accused of avarice.' On the next day, he reviewed his army, with all his elephants, camels, horses, and chariots.' From his travelling throne, he looked forth upon this mighty array; again burst into tears, and retired in bitter sorrow to his palace. Within a few short hours, Mahmood, the all-grasping and the all-conquering, was numbered with the dead.

Empire at length passed from the house of Ghizni to that of Ghoor, and the invasions of Mahomed Ghoory, led to the establishment of the Moslem kingdom of Delhi. He stands in the list of Ferishta as the first monarch; but this distinction belongs rather to Kootb-ood-Deen Eibuk, his slave and faithful friend, who took the city, and received the appointment of vice

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roy of India. During his master's life, he conducted himself, in trying circumstances, with exemplary fidelity; and after his death, received from his successor, the ensigns of independent royalty. From his fortunate career originated the taunt, that 'the empire of Delhy was founded by a slave.' Libuk was an eminent and amiable man; and on his whole career, there rests but one stain, the unaccountable fit of debauchery in which he indulged himself for a short period after his capture of Ghizni from a rival chief, and which lost him that city and state. Of this transient error he repented, and the rest of his reign was honourable and prosperous. His liberality made him famous throughout the East; he obtained the name of Lakbuksh, · Bestower of Laks;' and 'when a man,' says Ferishta, is praised for generosity in India, they say to this day, is as liberal as Kootb-ood-Deen Eibuk.” The story of his successor, (for the reign of his incapable son, Aram, was but for a brief interval,) Shums-ood-Deen Altmish, is similar to that of Joseph. He was, like him, of noble birth, and singularly favoured by nature, both in person and in mind : like him too, he was envied by his brethren as the beloved of his father, sold to slave-dealers, and ultimately purchased by Eibuk, who trusted him implicitly, and gave him his daughter in marriage. The reign of Altmish lasted twenty-six years, and he is characterised

an enterprising, able, and good prince.' The mutations and revolutions which followed his reign, would have terminated in the establishment of his daughter Ruzeea Begum, had not her passions, by inducing her to favour obnoxious individuals, led to her deposition and death. She had been accustomed to government, for her father, when entering on an important campaign, had left her in possession of the regency of Delhy: when asked why he preferred her to his sons for such an office, he replied, that they were incapable voluptuaries, but that Ruzeea,

though a woman, had a man's head and heart, and was better 'than twenty such sons.' Another period of turbulence and change terminated in the enthronement of Nasir-cod-Deen Mahmood, the youngest son of Altmish. His rule was equitable and able, but the honours of his reign seem to have been chiefly due to the talents and energy of his vizier, Gheias-oodDeen Bulbun, who after his death, assumed the crown. Mahmood, for an eastern monarch, was a singular man.

He kept no concubines, and had but one wife, whom he made a mere household drudge; and when the lady grumbled, as well she might, at being compelled to bake his bread, without the help of a single servant, he talked very wisely about the duties of this life and the recompenses of another, but refused her request. He meted, however, to himself, the same measure which he dealt forth to others; for he persevered, thiroughout his reign,



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