Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. III. - The History of British India, vol. 2
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CHAP. III. - James Mill, The History of British India, vol. 2 
The History of British India in 6 vols. (3rd edition) (London: Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, 1826). Vol. 2.
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From the Commencement of the second Gaurian or Afghaun Dynasty, to the Commencement of the Mogul Dynasty.
Feroze was seventy years of age when he becameBOOK III. Chap. 3. 1289. the master of the kingdom. He was a man of intelligence; and though guilty of cruelty and injustice in acquiring or establishing his throne, he sought to distinguish himself by the justice, and also the popularity, of his administration. “For that purpose,” says his historian, “he gave great encouragement to the learned of that age; who, in return, offered the incense of flattery at the altar of his fame.”
Chidju, however, a prince of the royal blood, nephew of the late Balin, and a nabob or governor of a province, obtained the alliance of several chiefs, and marched with an army towards Delhi. Feroze placed himself at the head of his army, and sent forward his son with the Chilligi cavalry. The prince encountered the enemy, and obtaining an advantage, took several Omrahs prisoners, whom he mounted upon camels with branches hung round their necks. When Feroze beheld them in this state of humiliation, he ordered them to be unbound, gave a change of raiment to each, and set an entertainment before them; repeating the verse, “That evil for evil it was easy to return; but he only was great who could return good for evil.” In a few days Chidju was taken prisoner, and sent to the king; but instead of death, which he expected, received a pardon, and BOOK III. Chap. 3. 1291.was sent to reside at Multan, on a handsome appointment for life. To the Omrahs of the Chilligi, displeased at so much lenity, Feroze replied, “My friends, I am now an old man, and I wish to go down to the grave without shedding blood.”
The mind of this prince, however, did not, it seems, distinguish sufficiently between lenity and relaxation. The police of the empire was neglected; and robbery, murder, insurrection, ever ready to break loose in India, diffused insecurity over the nation. The Omrahs of the Chilligi “began,” says Ferishta, “to lengthen the tongue of reproach against their sovereign.” The design was conceived of raising one of themselves to the throne; the project was even discussed at an entertainment, at which they were assembled; but one of the company privately withdrew and informed the emperor, who immediately ordered them to be arrested and brought before him. It occurred to one of them to represent the affair as a drunken frolic, and the words as the suggestion of intoxication. The prince was pleased to accept the apology; and dismissed them with a rebuke. He was not so lenient to a Dirvesh, or professor of piety, who by the appearance of great sanctity, and by the distribution of great liberalities to the poor, the source of which no one could discover, acquired immense popularity; and on this foundation aspired, or was accused of aspiring, to the throne. Though little or no evidence appeared against him, he was cruelly put to death.
With his expiring breath, the holy Dirvesh cursed Feroze and his posterity; nature was thrown into convulsions upon the death of the saint; and from that hour the fortunes of Feroze were observed to decline. His eldest son was afflicted with insanity which no power of medicine could remove. Factions and rebellions disturbed his administration. In theBOOK III. Chap. 3. 1291. year 1291, Hindustan was invaded by a prince of the house of Gingis, at the head of 100,000 Moguls; and though Feroze engaged them, and obtained the advantage, he was glad to stipulate for the departure of the invaders by consenting to let them retreat unmolested.
In this reign occurred an event of great importance in the history of Hindustan: the first invasion of the Deccan by Mahomedan arms. Deccan means the south; and is applied in a general manner to the kingdoms and districts included in the southern portion of India. It does not appear that the application of the name was ever precisely fixed. It has been commonly spoken of as indicating the country south of the Nerbudda river, which falls into the Gulf of Cambay at Baroach; but as the Patan or Mogul sovereignties hardly extended beyond the river Kistna, it is only the country between those two rivers which in the language of India commonly passes under the name of Deccan.
Alla, the nephew of Feroze, was Nabob or Governor of Corah, one of the districts in the Doab, or country lying between the Ganges and Jumna. Having distinguished himself in a warfare with some rajahs who bordered on his province, he was gratified by the addition to his government of the province of Oude. His first success appears to have suggested further enterprise. He solicited and obtained the consent of Feroze to extend his empire over the Hindus. Having collected such an army as his resources allowed, he marched directly, by the shortest route, against Ramdeo, one of the rajahs of Deccan, whose capital was Deogur, now Dowlatabad.1 Alla met with BOOK III. Chap. 3. 1298.no inconsiderable resistance; but finally prevailed; and exacted heavy contributions (exaggerated by the pen of Oriental history into incredible sums), as the price of his return. He retreated many days through several hostile and populous kingdoms; the governments of which were too weak or too stupid to offer any obstruction to his march.
Feroze was not without uneasiness upon intelligence of the ambitious adventure of Alla; and of the great addition to his power which the vastness of his plunder implied. He rejected, however, the advice of his wisest counsellors to take previous measures for the securing of his authority and power; and resolved to repose on the fidelity of his nephew. He was even so weak as to permit Alla, on feigned pretences, to entice him to Corah, where he was barbarously assassinated, having reigned only seven years and some months.
Alla made haste to get into his power the family of Feroze; of whom all who were the objects of any apprehension were unrelentingly murdered; and the rest confined. He had scarcely time, however, to settle the affairs of his government, when he learned that the Mogul sovereign of Transoxiana had invaded the Punjab with an army of 100,000 men. An army, commanded by his brother, was sent to expel them. A battle was fought in the neighbourhood of Lahore, in which the Indians were victorious, and the Moguls retreated. The successful general was sent into Guzerat, which he quickly reduced to the obedience of the Shah.
The Moguls returned the following year with much greater force; and marched even to the walls of DelhiBOOK III. Chap. 3. 1303., to which they laid siege. Alla at last collected his army, and gave them battle. Though his success was not decisive, the Moguls thought proper to retreat.
The king’s arbitrary maxims of government, and the odious manner in which he arrived at the supreme command, engendered disaffection; and during the first years of his reign he was harassed by perpetual insurrections and rebellions. He applied himself, however, with industry and intelligence, to the business of government; and though his administration was severe and oppressive, it was regular and vigorous, securing justice and protection to the body of the people. His education had been so neglected that he could neither read nor write; but feeling the disadvantages under which his ignorance laid him, he had firmness of mind to set about the work of his own instruction even upon the throne; acquired the inestimable faculties of reading and writing; made himself acquainted with the best authors in the Persian language; invited learned men to his court; and delighted in their conversation.
In 1303, he projected another expedition into Deccan by the way of Bengal, but was recalled by a fresh invasion of the Moguls of Transoxiana; who advanced as far as Delhi, but retreated without sustaining a battle. After their departure, he resolved, by an augmentation of his army, to leave himself nothing to fear from that audacious enemy. But reflecting that his revenues were unequal to so great a burden, he resolved to reduce the soldiers’ pay. Reflecting again, that this would be dangerous, while the price of articles continued the same, he ordered all prices to be reduced a half; by that means, says Ferishta, with an ignorance too often matched in BOOK III. Chap. 3. 1305.more instructed countries, “just doubling his treasures and revenue.” The Moguls were not discouraged by frequency of repulse. The armies of the king of Transoxiana twice invaded Hindustan in 1305, and were twice defeated by Tughlic, the general of Alla.
In the following year the design against Deccan was renewed, and prosecuted with greater resources. Cafoor, a slave and eunuch, his favourite, and, it was said, the instrument of his pleasures, was placed at the head of a grand army, and marched towards the south. He first “subdued the country of the Mahrattors,1 which he divided among his Omrahs,” and then proceeded to the siege of Deogur. Ramdeo endeavoured to make his peace by submission; and having agreed to pay a visit to the emperor at Delhi, and to hold his territories as a dependency, he was dismissed with magnificent presents, and his dominions were enlarged.
The division of Deccan, known by the name of Telingana, is supposed to have extended, along the eastern coast, from the neighbourhood of Cicacole on the north, to that of Pulicat on the south; and to have been separated on the west from the country known by the name of Maharashtra, or by contraction Mahratta, by a line passing, near Beder, and at some distance east of Dowlutabad, to the river Tapti.2
Alla was on his march against the Rajah of Warunkul, one of the princes of this district, in 1303, when he was recalled by another invasion of the Moguls. He made, indeed, a part of his army proceedBOOK III. Chap. 3. 1310. in the expedition, for the purpose of reducing the fort of Warunkul, a place of great strength, and, by repute, of immense riches; but the project failed. In 1307, Cafoor was ordered to march into Telingana by the way of Deoghur, and lay siege to Warunkul. Warunkul was taken by assault, after a siege of some months.1 The rajah made his peace, by sacrificing largely to the avarice of his conquerors, and accepting the condition of a tribute.
The more Alla tasted of the plunder of Deccan, the more he thirsted for additional draughts. In 1310, Cafoor was sent on a more distant expedition. He marched by Deoghur; and penetrating as far as Carnatic, took the Rajah prisoner, and ravaged his kingdom. According to the historians, he returned with such wealth as no country ever yielded to a predatory invader.2 Nor did he remain long at Delhi before he persuaded the Shah to send him once more into Deccan; where he ravaged several countries, and sent the plunder to Alla. This prince had ruined his constitution by intemperance in the seraglio; and felt his health in rapid decline. He sent for Cafoor from Deccan, and complained to him of the undutiful behaviour of his wife and his son. Cafoor, whose eyes had already turned themselves with longing to the throne, contemplated the displeasure of the emperor against his family as a means for realizing his most extravagant hopes. He prevailed upon Alla to throw his two eldest sons, and their BOOK III. Chap. 3. 1316.mother, into prison; and to put to death several of the chiefs by whom his pretensions were most likely to be opposed. When things were in this train, Alla expired in the year 1316, in the twenty-first year of his reign.
The time was not yet come when Cafoor deemed it expedient to declare himself king. He produced a testament, genuine or spurious, of the late prince, in which he appointed Omar, his youngest son, then seven years of age, his successor, and Cafoor regent. The first act of Cafoor’s administration was to put out the eyes of the two eldest of the sons of Alla: But there was a third, Mubarick, who escaped, till a conspiracy of the foot guards put the regent to death, only thirty-five days after the decease of his master. The reins of government were immediately put into the hands of Mubarick; but he thought proper to act in the name of his young brother, already upon the throne, for the space of two months, till he had gained the Omrahs. He then claimed his birthright; deposed his brother; according to the Asiatic custom, put out his eyes; and sent him for life to the fort of Gualior.
Mubarick was a man of vicious inclinations, and mean understanding. He for a moment sought popularity, by remitting the more oppressive of the taxes, and relaxing the reins of government; but the last so injudiciously, that disorder and depredation overran the country.
The reduction of the revolted Guzerat was one of the first measures of Mubarick. The enterprise, being entrusted to an officer of abilities, was successfully performed.
The Rajahs in the Deccan yielded a reluctant obedience; which, presuming on their distance, they imagined they might now, without much danger, suspend. Mubarick, in the second year of his reign,BOOK III. Chap. 3. 1321. raised a great army, and marched to Deoghur; where not finding much resistance, he did little more than display his cruelty, in the punishment of those, who, charged with enmity or disobedience, fell into his hands.
Among the favourites of Mubarick was Hassen, formerly a slave, and, according to Ferishta, the son of a seller of rags in Guzerat. This man was an instrument of the pleasures of the Shah; and upon his accession to the throne had been honoured with the title of Chusero, and raised to the office of Vizir. Finding nothing more to perform in the region of Deoghur, Mubarick placed Chusero at the head of a part of the army, and sent him on an expedition against Malabar, while he himself returned with the remainder to Delhi.
The vices of Mubarick, and of his government, became daily more odious. He was the slave of every species of intemperance, and void of every humane or manly quality, which could procure the indulgence of mankind to his faults. Conspiracy succeeded conspiracy, and one insurrection another; till Chusero, beholding the contempt in which his master was held, believed he might shed his blood with safety, and place himself upon his throne. The reputation and plunder, derived from the success of his expedition to Malabar,1 had added greatly to his power. He made use of his influence over the mind of the emperor to fill with his creatures the chief places both in the army and the state. In the year 1321, he conceived himself prepared for the blow; when in one night Mubarick and his sons were destroyed.
BOOK III. Chap. 3. 1323.On mounting the throne, Chusero assumed the title of Nasir ul dien, or defender of religion; a cause which has seldom been associated with that of government, except for the purposes of fraud; and Chusero, it seems, was aware that, for his government, such a covering was required.
He put to death, without remorse, a great multitude of persons in the service of Mubarick; all those from whom he imagined that he had any thing to fear; and distributed the offices of government among his creatures. “The army,” says Ferishta, “loved nothing better than a revolution; for they had always, upon such an occasion, a donation of six months’ pay immediately advanced from the treasury:” so exactly does military despotism resemble itself, on the banks of the Tiber, and those of the Ganges.
But though Chusero met with no opposition in ascending the throne; he did not long enjoy his kingdom in peace.
Ghazi was governor of Lahore; and though, for the sake of securing him to his interest, Chusero had bestowed high office and rank upon his son Jonah, Jonah made his escape from Delhi, and joined his father at Lahore.
Ghazi dispatched circular letters to the Omrahs; exerted himself to raise forces; and was joined by several of the viceroys with their troops. Chusero dispatched an army to subdue the rebellion; but the soldiers of Ghazi were hardened by frequent wars with the Moguls; those of Chusero, enervated by the debauchery of the city, were broken at the first onset; and the confederates marched with expedition to the capital. Chusero was ready to receive them with another army. Though betrayed and deserted in the action by a part of his troops, he maintained the conflict till night; when he made a fruitless endeavour to fly with a few of his friends.BOOK III. Chap. 3. 1323. Deserted by his attendants, and dragged from his lurking place, he met the fate which he would have bestowed.
The Omrahs hastened to pay their respects to the victor; and the magistrates of Delhi presented to him the keys. Mounting his horse, he entered the city, and arriving at the gates of the palace, he addressed the people; “O ye subjects of this great empire! I am no more than one of you, who unsheathed my sword to deliver you from oppression, and rid the world of a monster. If, therefore, any of the royal line remains, let him be brought, that we, his servants, may prostrate ourselves before his throne. If not; let the most worthy of the illustrious order be elected among you, and I shall swear to abide by your choice.” But the people cried out, with vehemence, that none of the royal family remained alive; and that he, who had protected the empire from the Moguls, and delivered it from the tyrant, was the most worthy to reign. He was then seized, and by a sort of violence placed upon the throne; the people hailing him “King of the World.”
Tuglick is the name, by which the new emperor chose to be distinguished. It was the name of his father, who is understood to have been a slave in the service of Balin. His mother was of the tribe of the Jaats.
After appointing the instruments of his government, the first care of Tuglick was to secure his northern frontier against the formidable incursions of the Moguls; and so judiciously did he station his force, and erect his forts, that he was not once molested by those invaders during his reign.
This being accomplished, he sent his son Jonah into the Deccan to chastise the Rajah of Warunkul, BOOK III. Chap. 3. 1323.who, during the late disorders, “had withdrawn his neck from the yoke of obedience.” Jonah, with the usual ease, hardly meeting with any resistance, overran the Hindu kingdoms; leaving every where behind him the cruel marks of imperial vengeance and avarice. After a few efforts in the field, the Rajah of Warunkul shut himself up in his strong-hold, and was besieged. From the strength of the place, the siege was a work of time; during which sickness, and along with sickness, desire to return, and from that desire opposed, disaffection, spread themselves in the Mahomedan army. Several of the Omrahs withdrew with their troops; when the Prince, no longer able to continue the siege, retreated, first to Deoghur, and thence to Delhi. The army was recruited with great expedition, and he marched again in a few months towards Warunkul, which soon yielded to his arms. Many thousands of the Hindus were put to the sword; and the Rajah and his family were sent to Delhi. Appointing Omrahs to the government of Telingana, he marched against Cuttack, where he gained some advantages, and then returned by the way of Warunkul to Delhi.
Tuglick, receiving complaints of great oppression against his officers in Bengal, appointed Jonah governor of Delhi, and marched toward that province with an army. Nazir, the grandson of the emperor Balin, had possessed the viceroyalty of Bengal, since the death of his father. He advanced to meet the Emperor with submission and presents; and was confirmed in his government. Jonah, with the nobles of Delhi, went out to meet his father with rejoicings upon his return. A wooden house was hastily erected to entertain him. When the entertainment was concluded, and the emperor was about to retire, the Omrahs hurrying out to be in readiness to attend him, the roof suddenly fell in, and crushed him with several of his attendants; whether by the contrivanceBOOK III. Chap. 3. 1324-51. of Jonah, by the fault of the building, or a stroke of lightning, was variously conjectured and believed. He reigned but four years and some months, with the reputation of a wise and excellent prince.
Jonah mounted the throne by the title of Mahomed III.; and began his reign with acts of liberality and beneficence. He distributed profuse gifts, and made magnificent appointments. This prince was a compound of heterogeneous qualities. He was generous to profusion; a lover of literature, in which he had made considerable acquirements; he was not only temperate but austere in his manner of life, and an attentive performer of acts of religion; he had no regard, however, to justice, or to humanity; he was cruel and vindictive as a man; oppressive and tyrannical as a ruler. His plans proceeded on the supposition, that the happiness or misery of his subjects was a matter of indifference; and when their disaffection began to afford him uneasiness, their misery seemed to become an object of preference and a source of gratification. He displayed however no contemptible talents in supporting himself against the hatred and detestation of mankind.
Immediately upon his accession he directed his attention to the further subjugation of Deccan; but more, it would appear, with a view to plunder, than to permanent dominion. His generals appear to have over-run a large portion of its more accessible parts. He reduced the Carnatic; and in the hyperbolical language of Ferishta, spread his conquests to the extremity of the Deccan, and from sea to sea.
He adopted frantic schemes of ambition. He raised an army for the conquest of the kingdom of Transoxiana and Chorasan, and another for the subjugation of China. Previous to the grand expedition BOOK III. Chap. 3. 324–51.against China, 100,000 horse were sent to explore the route through the mountains, and to establish forts to the confines of China. The horse did, we are told, penetrate to the frontiers of China, but were met with an army which they durst not oppose; and the rains, covering with water the roads and the plains, obstructed their retreat. They perished through fatigue, famine, and disease; and scarcely a man survived to describe the disaster. The inaccurate and uninstructive genius of Oriental history gives us no information respecting the track which this illfated army pursued.
The expense of Mahomed’s government led him to oppress his subjects by increase of taxes. To this great cause of misery and discontent, he added others by injudicious schemes of finance. “The King,” says Ferishta, “unfortunately for his people, adopted his ideas upon currency, from a Chinese custom of using paper upon the emperor’s credit, with the royal seal appended, for ready money. Mahomed, instead of paper, struck a copper coin, which, being issued at an imaginary value, he made current by a decree throughout Hindustan.” This produced so much confusion and misery, and so completely obstructed the collection of the revenue, that Mahomed was obliged to recall his debased coin; and individuals acquired immense fortunes by the ruin of many thousands, the general misery of the people, and the impoverishment of the sovereign.
Being called into Deccan, to suppress an insurrection raised by his nephew, whom be ordered to be flead alive, and in that condition carried, a horrid spectacle, round the city; he took a fancy to the situation of Deoghur, resolved to make it his capital, by the name of Dowlatabad, and to remove thither the inhabitants of Delhi. This caprice he carried into execution; unmoved by the calamities that wereBOOK III. Chap. 3. 1324-51. to fall upon the individuals; and unable to foresee the alienation in the minds of men to which the sight and the reports of so much unnecessary evil must of necessity expose him. “The emperor’s orders,” says the historian, “were strictly complied with, and the ancient capital left desolate.”
The provinces, one after another, began now to rebel. The Governor of Multan set the example. Scarcely was he subdued when Bengal broke into insurrection. This too the vigour of Mahomed quickly reduced. He was thence summoned by disturbances in Telingana, where he lost great part of his army, by a plague, then raging at Warunkul. But what, to the mind of Mahomed, was of more importance than the lives of half the inhabitants of Hindustan, he himself was afflicted with the tooth-ach. He even lost a tooth. This he commanded to be buried with solemn pomp, and a magnificent tomb to be erected over it.
Calamity in every shape assailed the wretched subjects of Mahomed. Such was the excess of taxation, that in many parts, particularly in the fertile country between the Jumna and the Ganges, the cultivators fled from their fields and houses, and preferred a life of plunder and rapine in the woods. From this, and from unfavourable seasons, famine raged about Delhi, and the neighbouring provinces; and multitudes of people perished from want. A chief of the Afghauns came down from the mountains, and plundered the province of Multan. The fierce tribes of Hindus, called by Ferishta, Gickers, were combined by a leader, and ravaged the Punjab and Lahore.
Mahomed, struck at last with the calamities of his reign, had recourse to religion for a cure. He sent a splendid embassy to Mecca, that, his coronation being BOOK III. Chap. 3. 1324-51.confirmed by the successor of the prophet, the blessing of Heaven might descend upon his throne.
The Rajahs of Telingana and the Carnatic formed a confederacy; and within a few months expelled the Mahomedans from every place in the Deccan, except Dowlatabad.
Even the Viceroy of Oude rebelled. But the Emperor, marching against him with expedition, brought him quickly to his feet. Contrary to his usual practice, Mahomed pardoned the offender, and even restored him to his government; declaring, that he would not believe in his guilt, and ascribing his transgression to a temporary delusion, which the malice and falsehood of others had produced.
An effort was made to regain what had been lost in Deccan, and governors and troops were dispatched to the different districts; who in the way of plunder performed considerable feats. But in the mean time disturbances of a new description broke out in Guzerat. Of the mercenary troops, composed of Tartars, Afghauns, and other hardy races from the North, in which consisted a great proportion of the armies of the Mahomedan emperors of Hindustan, a considerable number, during some ages, had been Moguls. Of these it would appear that a considerable body had been sent to keep in check the turbulent inhabitants of Guzerat. They began now to commit depredations, and to set the power of Mahomed at defiance. Mahomed resolved to punish and extirpate them. The presence of the emperor, and their fears made them withdraw from Guzerat; but they retired into Deccan; and took Dowlatabad by surprise. Mahomed allowed them little time to make an establishment. They ventured to meet him in battle; when they were partly slain and partly dispersed. Before he could take the city, fresh disturbances arose in Guzerat. Leaving an Omrah to push the reduction of DowlatabadBOOK III. Chap. 3. 1351-57., he hastened to the new insurgents. An army of no inconsiderable magnitude opposed him. He carried on his operations with vigour, and once more prevailed. But in the mean time the Moguls in Deccan, gathering strength upon his departure, defeated his General, and pursued his troops toward Malwa. He resolved to march against them in person. But the settlement of Guzerat was an arduous and a tedious task. Before it was concluded, he fell sick, and died in the year 1351, after a reign of twenty-seven years.
His death was propitious to the Moguls in Deccan; and afforded time for laying the foundation of a Mahomedan empire, which rose to considerable power, and preserved its existence for several centuries. Upon seizing Dowlatabad, the rebel chiefs agreed to elect a sovereign; when their choice fell upon Ismael, an Afghaun, who had been commander of a thousand in the imperial army. Among the insurgents, was a military adventurer of the name of Hussun. Wonderful things are recorded of his predestination to power; as usually happens in the case of those who, from a degraded station, rise to great command over the hopes and fears of mankind. He was an Afghaun slave or dependent of a Brahmen, who professed astrology in Delhi. The Brahmen gave him a couple of oxen to cultivate a piece of waste ground near the city, as means of a livelihood; where his plough turned up a treasure. He informed the Brahmen; and the Brahmen, equally conscientious, or equally cautious, the emperor. The Emperor, struck with the honesty of Hussun, bestowed upon him the command of one hundred horse. The Brahmen told him, that he saw by the stars, he was destined to greatness, and stipulated that, when king of Deccan, he would make BOOK III. Chap. 3. 1351-57.him his minister. Hussun offered his services to the first commander who was sent into Deccan; joined the insurgents; and when Ismael was chosen king, he was decorated with the title of Zuffeir Khan; and received a large jaghire for the maintenance of his troops.
After Mahomed was summoned from Deccan, by the new disturbances in Guzerat, and after his general was obliged to raise the siege of Dowlatabad, Zuffeir Khan marched with twenty thousand horse against Beder, a city on the Godavery, nearly a hundred miles north-west from Golconda, and about the same distance west from Warunkul. This had been the seat of a Hindu rajahship; it was at this time a station of one of the imperial generals. Zuffeir Khan, obtaining the assistance of the Rajah of Warunkul, who sent him fifteen thousand men; and being reinforced with five thousand horse, detached to his assistance by the new king of Dowlatabad, engaged and defeated the army of Mahomed. Returning, with glory and plunder, he was met, before reaching the capital, by the king; who could not help observing, that more attention was paid to the general than to himself. Making a merit of what would soon be necessity; and taking the pretext of his great age, he proposed to retire from the cares of government, and recommend Zuffeir Khan as successor. The proposition was applauded; and the slave or peasant Hussun, mounting the new throne by the style and title of Sultan Alla ad dien Hussun Kongoh Bhamenee, became the founder of the Bhamenee dynasty. Koolburga, or Culberga, which had been the place of his residence, he named Ahssunabad, and rendered it the capital of the Deccanee empire.
Sultan Alla was not unmindful of his ancient master; from whose name he added the term Kongoh, and according to some authorities, that of Bahmenee,BOOK III. Chap. 3. 1357-89. Brahmen being so pronounced, to his royal titles. He invited Kongoh from Delhi; made him lord of the treasury; and in his edicts associated the name of the Brahmen with his own. Hussun lived, after the acquisition of royalty, eleven years, two months, and seven days; having in that time reduced to his obedience all the regions in Deccan which had ever acknowledged the sway of the emperors of Delhi. He governed with wisdom and moderation, and died at Koolburga, in the year 1357, and the sixty-seventh year of his age.1
Upon the death of the emperor Mahomed, his nephew Feroze, whom he recommended for his successor, was in the imperial camp; and without difficulty mounted the throne. The nerves of the state were relaxed by mis-government; and it displayed but little vigour during the days of Feroze. The governor of Bengal aspired to independence; and the emperor, after several efforts, being unable to reduce him to obedience, was forced to content himself with a nominal subjection.2 Feroze, however, employed himself with laudable solicitude, in promoting agriculture, and the internal prosperity of his dominions. He lived till the age of ninety years; twenty-eight of BOOK III. Chap. 3. 1357-89.which he spent upon the throne. He is celebrated in history for having constructed fifty great aqueducts or reservoirs of water; forty mosques; thirty schools; twenty caravanseras; an hundred palaces; five hospitals; one hundred tombs; ten baths; ten spires; one hundred and fifty wells; one hundred bridges; and pleasure-gardens, without number.
Mahomed, a son of Feroze, had received the reins of government from his father, when the weight of them began to press heavily upon his aged hands. A conspiracy, however, of the Omrahs, had, after a time, obliged him to fly from the throne; and Feroze made Tuglick, his grandson, successor. Tuglick was a friend to pleasure; and slenderly provided with talents. He made an effort to get into his power Mahomed, his uncle, who had been chased from the throne; but Mahomed threw himself into the fort of Nagracote, which, for the present, it was deemed inexpedient to attack. The emperor, meanwhile, inspired so little respect, that Abu Becker, his cousin, in danger from his jealousy, found himself able to hurry him to his grave. By means of some Omrahs, he corrupted the imperial slaves; who assassinated their master, after he had reigned but five months.
Abu Becker was hardly more fortunate. Some of the Mogul mercenaries, in the imperial service, conspired against him, and invited Mahomed from Nagracote, to place himself at their head. Mahomed succeeded; and Abu Becker resigned his life and his throne, one year and six months after the death of Tuglick.
In the reign of Mahomed, the Mahrattors (Mahrattas) again appear in the field. They were soon brought to submission; and Narsing their prince waited upon the emperor at Delhi. The six years of this emperor were chiefly employed in subduing or anticipating the insurrections of the provincial OmrahsBOOK III. Chap. 3. 1389-96. or governors, from whom he enjoyed scarce an interval of repose. His son Humaioon, who succeeded him, was seized with a fatal disorder, and survived his father not many days.
The Omrahs, after high dispute, at last raised Mahmood, an infant son of the late Mahomed, to the throne. The distractions in the empire increased.
Three of the most powerful Omrahs of the court, Mubarick, Ekbal, and Sadit, fell into deadly feuds. The emperor having left the capital, with the army commanded by Sadit, Mubarick, fearing the resentment of Sadit, shut the gates of the city. The emperor was constrained to abandon Sadit, before he was allowed to re-enter his capital and palace. Joined by his sovereign, Mubarick, the next day, marched out and gave battle to Sadit, but was worsted and forced back into the city. As the rains had commenced, Sadit was obliged to lead his army into quarters. He immediately sent for Nuserit, a prince of the blood, and set him up in opposition to Mahmood, by the name of Nuserit Shah. A conspiracy soon threw Sadit into the hands of Mubarick, who put him to death. But a strong party adhered to Nuserit; and a most destructive contest ensued between the partisans of the rival kings. The balance continued nearly even for the space of three years, during which every species of calamity oppressed the wretched inhabitants. Some of the distant Subahdars looked on with satisfaction, contemplating their own elevation in the depression of the imperial power. But in the year 1396, Mahomed Jehangheer, the grandson of Timur, or Tamerlane, having constructed a bridge over the Indus, invaded Multan. The governor, who already regarded the province as his own, opposed him with BOOK III. Chap. 3. 1396.no contemptible force; but was overcome, and resigned Multan to the conqueror. In the mean time the Omrah Ekbal obtained and betrayed the confidence of Nuserit, whom he obliged to fly to Paniput. He opened a deceitful negotiation with the Emperor, under cover of which he surprised and slew Mubarick. All power now centred in Ekbal; and the emperor was converted into a cipher. In this situation were affairs at Delhi, when intelligence arrived that Timur himself had crossed the Indus.
The birth of Timur, or Tamerlane, was cast at one of those recurring periods, in the history of the Asiatic sovereignties, when the enjoyment of power, for several generations, having extinguished all manly virtues in the degenerate descendants of some active usurper, prepares the governors of the provinces for revolt, dissolves the power of the state, and opens the way for the elevation of some new and daring adventurer. At no preceding period, perhaps, had these causes enervated the powers of government over so great a part of Asia at once, as at the time of Tamerlane. The descendants of Gingis had had formed their immense conquests into three great kingdoms; of which Persia was one; the intermediate regions of Transoxiana, Chorasan, Bactria, and Zabulistan or Candahar, and Cabul, lying between Persia and Tartary, were the second; and Tartary itself, or rather Tartary and China in conjunction, the third. The dynasties of the race of Gingis, in all these several kingdoms, had been in possession of power so long, as now to display the effects which possession of power in Asia invariably produces. The reigning sovereigns had every where given themselves up to the vices which are the natural growth of the throne; the viceroys of the provinces despised their authority; and weakness and distraction pervaded the empire. About thirty years before theBOOK III. Chap. 3. 1396. birth of Timur, the kingdom of Persia had undergone a species of dissolution; almost every province, under a rebel governor, had been erected into an independency, and the whole divided into a number of petty states. From nearly the same period, the kingdom of Zagatai, (this was the intermediate sovereignty, so called from that son of Gingis whose inheritance it became,) had been contended for by a succession of usurpers. The Mogul throne of Tartary and China had been less violently agitated, but was greatly reduced in power. Into what confusion and weakness the Afghaun empire of Delhi had fallen, we have seen in sufficient detail.
Timur was born forty miles to the south of Samarcand, in the village of Sebzar, where his fathers, enjoying the rank or command of a toman of horse, had possessed a local authority for some generations. Timur had, from a tender age, been involved in the warfare of a distracted period; and by his courage, activity, and address, had at five and twenty fixed upon himself the hopes and esteem of a large proportion of his countrymen. Amid the other calamities which had fallen upon the kingdom of Zagatai or Samarcand, upon the breaking up of the government of the descendants of Gingis, the Tartars of Cashgar had been incited, by the apparent weakness of the state, to invade the country, where they now oppressed and massacred the wretched inhabitants. Timur stood forward as the deliverer of his country; but when the day for action arrived, the chiefs who had promised to support him betrayed their engagements, and he was constrained to fly to the desert with only sixty horsemen. Timur run every sort of danger, and endured every sort of hardship, for several months, during which he led the life of a fugitive BOOK III. Chap. 3. 1396.or outlaw. By degrees, however, he collected a party of well-tried adherents. The soldiers of fortune, the most adventurous of the youth, gathered around him. He harassed the Tartars by daring, yet cautious onsets; whence he increased his reputation, and multiplied his followers. After a series of struggles, the invaders were finally driven from Transoxiana. But it was not till the age of thirty-four, and after a course of strenuous and fortunate activity, that he was raised by the general voice to the undivided sovereignty of his native country.
Placed on the throne of Samarcand, the eye of Timur perceived the situation of the neighbouring countries. The provinces or kingdoms which had become detached from the house of Zagatai; Karisme, and Chorasan; first tempted his restless ambition; and some years were spent in adding these important conquests to his dominion. The contiguous provinces of Persia; Mazenderan and Segistan, to which was added Zabulistan, the grand southern or Indian district of the kingdom of Zagatai; next employed his conquering arms. These enterprises successfully terminated, he passed into Fars, the Persia proper; into Persian Irac, and Aderbijian, the conquest of which he completed in two years. The princes or usurpers of the provinces, Shirvan and Gilan, sent to make their submissions, and to promise obedience. At Shiraz, in the year 1386, he received intelligence, that Toktamish Khan, a Tartar chief, whose authority was acknowledged throughout the region known to the Persians under the title of Desht Kapshak, north of the Caspian, had made incursion into Transoxiana. He flew to repel the invader; and the desire of chastising Toktamish was the primary cause of the conquests of Timur in Turkestan. He followed his enemy into regions, void of houses, where the men fled before him. When far driven to theBOOK III. Chap. 3. 1397. north, they were at last constrained to fight; and the army of Timur, after severe suffering, repaid itself by a complete victory, which compelled Toktamish, with his remaining followers, to take shelter in the mountains on the western side of the Caspian Sea. From this enterpise, the victor returned to complete the conquest of Persia. He drove from the city of Bagdad, the last prince in Persia of the house of Gingis; he conquered the whole of Mesopotamia; pushed his way into Tartary through mount Caucasus, to chastise anew the insolence of Toktamish, who had passed Derbend and made an inroad in Shirvan; and, having settled these extensive acquisitions, was, in 1396, prepared to carry his army across the Indus.
Timur proceeded from Samarcand, by the city of Termed, and passing a little to the eastward of Balk, arrived at Anderob, a city on the borders of that stupendous ridge of mountains which separates Hindustan from the regions of the north. The difficulties of the passage were not easily surmounted; but every thing yielded to the power and perseverance of Timur. He descended to the city of Cabul; whence he marched towards Attock, the celebrated passage of the Indus; and in the year 1397, commenced his operations against Mubarick, who governed the frontier provinces of the empire of Delhi. Mubarick betook himself to a place of strength, and resisted the detachment sent to subdue him; but on the approach of the conqueror with his whole army, fled, with his family and treasure. The attention of Timur was now called to the situation of his grandson, who had invaded Hindustan the preceding year. The solstitial rains had forced him to draw his army into Multan, after it had suffered much from the season; and no sooner was he enclosed within the city, than BOOK III. Chap. 3. 1397.the people of the country invested it, preventing supplies. Mahomed was reduced to the greatest distress, when his grandfather detached a body of horse to support him, and soon after followed with his whole army. He ravaged Multan and Lahore, putting the inhabitants of such of the cities as presumed to offer any resistance indiscriminately to the sword. Without further delay, he directed his march towards Delhi, and encamped before the citadel.
On the seventh day, though unlucky, Ekbal, and his ostensible sovereign, marched out to engage him. But the enervated troops of Delhi scarcely bore to commence the action with the fierce soldiers of the north; and Timur pursued them with great slaughter to the walls of Delhi. Ekbal, and Mahmood, fled from the city in the night, the sovereign towards Guzerat, the minister towards Birren; upon which the magistrates and omrahs of the city tendered their submissions; and opened the gates. In levying the heavy contributions imposed upon the city, disputes arose between the Moguls of Timur and the inhabitants; when blood began to flow. One act of violence led to another, till the city was involved in one atrocious scene of sack and massacre, which Timur was either (authorities differ) careless to prevent, or pleased to behold.
Timur remained at Delhi fifteen days, and arrested the progress of conquest in Hindustan. Having received the submissions of several omrahs, the governors or subahdars of provinces, and confirmed them in their commands, he marched in a northern direction, over-running the country on both sides of the Ganges, till he reached the celebrated spot where it issues from the mountains. He then advanced along the bottom of the hills to Cabul, and thence proceeded to Samarcand.
Delhi remained in a state of anarchy for twoBOOK III. Chap. 3. 1413. months after the departure of the Moguls. It was then entered by the pretended emperor Nuserit, with a small body of horse. Ekbal, however, by means of some Zemindars, was still able to dislodge him, and recovered the Dooab or country between the rivers, which, with a small district round the city, was all that now acknowledged the sovereign of Delhi. The governors or subahdars of the provinces all assumed independence, and adopted royal titles. Lahore, Dibalpore [Punjab], and Multan, were seized by Chizer; Canoge, Oude, Corah, and Jionpoor, by Shaja Jehan, then styled the king of the East; Guzerat, by Azim; Malwa, by Delawir; and the other departments, by those who happened in each to have in their hands the reins of government. Ekbal made some efforts, but attended with little success, to extend his limits. He received Mahmood, who fled from the disrespectful treatment bestowed on him by the governor or king of Guzerat; but compelled him to live on a pension, without claiming any share in the government. At last he came to blows with Chizer, the powerful usurper of Multan and Lahore; when he was defeated, and lost his life in the action. Mahmood then recovered a small remainder of the power which once belonged to the Shahs of Delhi; but knew not how to employ it either for his own or the public advantage. Nothing but the struggles and contests which prevailed among the usurpers of the provinces prevented some one of them from seizing his throne, and extinguishing his impotent reign in his blood; when dying of a fever, in the year 1413, “the empire fell,” says Ferishta, “from the race of the Turks [or Tartars] who were adopted slaves of the emperor BOOK III. Chap. 3. 1413.Mahomed Gauri, the second of the race of the sovereigns of India, called the dynasty of Gaur.”1 An Omrah, who happened to be in command at Delhi, presumed to mount the vacant throne; but Chizer, with the troops and resources of Multan and Lahore, found little difficulty in throwing him down from his rash elevation.
Within a short period subsequent to the departure of Timur from Delhi, that conqueror had settled the affairs of Persia; reduced Syria, Egypt, and Asia Minor; defeated Bajazet the Turkish emperor on the plains of Galatia; and prepared a vast expedition against China, which he was conducting through the plains and across the mountains of Tartary, when he fell sick, and died, in the year 1405, leaving his vast empire to his son Shiroch.
Chizer, it seems, was of the race of the prophet. His father had been adopted as the son of a great Omrah, who was governor of Multan, in the reign of Feroze. Upon the death of this Omrah and his son, the father of Chizer succeeded as Subahdar of Multan, and from him the government descended to his son. At the time when Timur arrived in India, he was involved in difficulties, through the power of a neighbouring chief; and had the prudence, or good luck, to solicit the protection of the conqueror, who confirmed him in the government of Multan, and added to it several other important provinces.
Chizer affected to decline the title of sovereign; pretending that he held the government of India only as deputy of the house of Timur, in whose nameBOOK III. Chap. 3. 1420. he ordered the coin to be struck, and the instruments of government to be expedited. By this expedient, we are told, he obviated the jealousies and competition of the Omrahs, many of whom would have regarded their claim to the throne as preferable to his own. Chizer governed with considerable abilities; and the people again tasted the fruits of peace and protection under his reign. He made but little progress in reannexing the revolted provinces to the empire of Delhi. He reigned, however, from the furthest branch of the Indus, to the extremity of the Doab; and from the Cashmere and Himaleh mountains to the latitude of Gualior.
After a reign of seven years and some months his death transferred the government to Mubarick his son. Mubarick was early involved in a contest with the Gickers, who, under a leader of the name of Jisserit, continued to molest the Punjab and Lahore during the whole of his reign. The Hindu tribes in the hill country of Mewat, to the south of Delhi; those also in the hill country to the north of Budaoon or Rohilcund, gave him at various periods no little disturbance. A war was at one time kindled between him and the governor who had usurped the provinces lying eastward from Delhi, and was then known by the title of the King of the East. Coming however to a drawn battle, the two sovereigns were contented ever after to leave each other in peace. A rebellious slave, in the northern provinces, drew him into a contest with the Moguls of the empire of Samarcand; the rebel having invited the Viceroy of Shiroch who resided at Cabul, to come to his assistance. The Moguls were defeated in battle and repelled. Mubarick, however, in consequence of a conspiracy, headed by the Vizir, was shortly after assassinated, in BOOK III. Chap. 3. 1420-46.the fourteenth year of a reign, during which he had displayed considerable talents for government, and more than usual attention to justice and humanity.
The Vizir placed Mahomed, a grandson of Mubarick upon the throne, expecting to govern the kingdom in his name, or in time to appropriate the shadow as well as the substance of command. But the Omrahs were disgusted with his pretensions, and levied war; which enabled or compelled the king to rid himself by assassination of his domineering minister. The Omrahs returned to obedience; and the king, after making a parade of his power in a progress through several of the provinces, returned to Delhi, and resigned himself to pleasure. The temper of the times was not such as to permit a negligent hand to hold the reins of government with impunity. The Omrahs in the distant governments began immediately to prepare for independence. Beloli Lodi, the governor of Serhind, a town on the Sutledge, or eastern branch of the Indus, made himself master of Lahore, of the greater part of the Punjab, and the country eastwards as far as Paniput, within a few leagues of Delhi. Beloli retired before the imperial army, but preserved his own entire; and reoccupied the country as soon as the troops of Mahomed returned. Another Viceroy, who had become independent in Malwa, and assumed the title of its King, marched against the feeble sovereign of Delhi, who saw no hopes of safety, but in calling the rebel Beloli to his aid. An indecisive action was fought: and the monarchs of Delhi and Malwa, both suffering from their fears, made haste to quiet their minds by huddling up an adjustment; but Beloli attacked in its retreat the army of Malwa, which he plundered and deprived of its baggage. He was dispatched by Mahomed against Jisserit the Gicker chief, who still harassed the northern provinces. But Beloli madeBOOK III. Chap. 3. 1446. his own terms with the plunderer; and returned to besiege Delhi. It held out however so long, that for the present he abandoned the enterprise. Mahomed shortly after died, his power reduced to a shadow, after a reign of twelve years and some months.
In the same year, viz. 1446, died Shiroch, son of Timur, and Emperor of the Moguls. Upon his death the vast empire of Timur, which had yet remained entire, underwent division. The eldest son of Shiroch, the famous Ulug Beg, inherited the imperial titles, and the dominion of Western Tartary or Transoxiana. The eldest son of Basinker, another of the sons of Timur, possessed himself of Chorasan, Candahar, and Cabul. The second son of Basinker held possession of the Western Persia. And Abul Kazem, the third of Timur’s sons, became sovereign of Georgia, and Mazenderan.
Alla, the son of Mahomed, mounted the throne of Delhi, honoured now with the obedience of little more than a few of the contiguous districts. Alla showed no talents for government; and after a few years, being attacked by Beloli, resigned to him the throne, upon condition of receiving the government of Budaoon, where he lived and died in peace.
Beloli was an Afghaun, of the tribe of Lodi, which subsisted chiefly by carrying on the traffic between Hindustan and Persia. Ibrahim, the grandfather of Beloli, a wealthy trader, repaired to the court of Feroze at Delhi; and acquired sufficient influence to be entrusted with the government of Multan. When Chizer succeeded to the same command, he made the son of Ibrahim master of his Afghaun troops; and afterwards bestowed upon him the government of Serind. Beloli was not the son of the governor of BOOK III. Chap. 3. 1446.Serhind, but of another of the sons of Ibrahim. Beloli, upon the death of his father, repaired to his uncle at Serhind, and so effectually cultivated his favour, that he received his daughter in marriage, and his recommendation to succeed him in his government. But Ibrahim left a brother Feroze, and a son Cuttub, who disputed the pretensions of the son-in-law of the governor of Serhind. Beloli was the most powerful and adroit; and of course the successful competitor. The rest, however, excited against him the Emperor of Delhi. His country was attacked and over-run. But Beloli kept his army together, and speedily recovered his territory, when the imperial troops were withdrawn. By activity, valour, and skill, something was daily added to the power of Beloli; by indolence, effeminacy, and folly, something was daily detached from the power of the sovereign of Delhi; till Beloli was able to measure strength with him, on more than equal terms, and finally to seat himself on his throne.
The mother of Beloli was smothered, while pregnant, under the ruins of a falling house. Her husband, opening her body, saved the infant, afterwards emperor of Hindustan. It is related that when Beloli was yet a youth, in the service of his uncle, a famous Dirvesh, whom he came to visit, suddenly cried out with enthusiasm, Who will give two thousand rupees for the empire of Delhi? Beloli had but one thousand six hundred rupees in the world. But he sent his servant immediately to bring them. The Dirvesh, receiving the money, laid his hand upon the head of Beloli, and gave him salutation and blessing as the king of Delhi. Ridiculed by his companions as a dupe, Beloli replied, that if he obtained the crown it was cheaply purchased; if not, still the benediction of a holy man was not without its use.
Those Omrahs, who regarded their own pretensionsBOOK III. Chap. 3. 1480. to the throne as not inferior to those of Beloli, were disaffected. A party of them joined Mahmood, who held the usurped sovereignty of Bahar, and the country towards Orissa; and was called king of Jionpoor, the city, at which he resided, on the banks of the Goomty, about 40 miles from Benares. The victory which Beloli gained over their united forces established him firmly on his throne.
Beloli made a progress through his unsettled provinces, confirming or removing the several governors, as he supposed them affected to his interests. He was not long suffered to remain in peace. Between him and the rival sovereign of Jionpoor, or the East, an undecisive war was carried on during the whole of his reign. The advantage, partly through force, and partly through treachery, was, upon the whole, on the side of Beloli, who at last drove the king of the East from Jionpoor, and severed from his dominions the district to which it belonged. In his declining years Beloli divided the provinces of his empire among his sons, relations, and favourites; and died at an advanced age, in the thirty-ninth year of his reign. He was a modest sovereign; and when reproved by his friends for showing so little of the prince, “It was enough for him,” he replied, “that the world knew he was king; without his making a vain parade of royalty.”
The partition which Beloli made of his dominions had no tendency to prevent those disputes about the succession, which are so frequent in the East; but neither, perhaps, did it augment them. A strong party of the Omrahs declared for Secunder, one of the younger sons of Beloli; and after some struggle of no great importance he was seated firmly on the throne. The usual measures were pursued for placing BOOK III. Chap. 3. 1525.the provinces in a state of obedience; and Secunder was stimulated to endeavour the restoration of some of the districts which for several reigns had affected independence on the throne of Delhi. The tranquillity, however, of an empire, which had been so long distracted, was not easily preserved; and Secunder was perpetually recalled from the frontiers of his kingdom, to anticipate or to quell insurrections within. He waged notwithstanding a successful war with the king of the East, who had been driven from Jionpoor by the father, and was now driven from Bahar by the son. But he found himself unequal to a war for the recovery of Bengal, to the confines of which he had once more extended the empire of Delhi; and that important province still remained in the hands of the usurper. Secunder reigned, with the reputation of abilities and of no inconsiderable virtue, for twentyeight years and five months, and was succeeded by his son Ibrahim.
Ibrahim had personal courage, and was not altogether destitute of talents; but he was a violent, capricious, unthinking prince; and quickly lost the affections and respect of his subjects. One of his maxims was, “that kings had no relations; for that all men equally were the slaves of the monarch.” This, though perfectly constitutional doctrine in the East, was a language which had now become unusual to the proud Omrahs of the falling throne of Delhi. Ibrahim was involved in an uninterrupted struggle with rebellion; against which, however, he maintained himself, during a space of twenty years. His empire was then invaded by Baber, a descendant of the great Timur, who in 1525 deprived him at once of his throne and his life.
[1 ]Written Deogire, by Col. Wilks, and declared to be the Tagara of Ptolemy. The author of the Tibcat Nasiri says, that Alla left Corah on pretence of a hunting party, and passing through the territories of many petty rajahs, too feeble to think of opposing him, he came upon Ramdeo by surprise. Ferishta, i. 231. The proofs of the division and subdivision of India into a great number of petty states meet us at every step in its authentic history.
[1 ]This is the first mention which we find of any of the tribes to whom the term Mahrattor, or Mahratta, is applied, by the Moslem historians. From this statement we can only conjecture, that some district in Deccan, inhabited by the description of Hindus to whom this name was applied, was overrun, and nominally parcelled out by Cafoor.
[2 ]Wilks, Hist. of Mysore, p. 6.
[1 ]The neighbouring Rajahs, says Ferishta, hastened to the assistance of the Rajah of Warunkul; another proof of the division into petty sovereignties.
[2 ]Besides several chests, of jewels, pearls, and other precious things, the gold alone amounted to about one hundred millions sterling. Col. Dow thinks this not at all incredible: Hist. of Hindost. i. 276: and Col. Wilks (Hist. of Mysore, p. 11) seems to have little objection.
[1 ]According to Wilks, what is here called Malabar was not the district which is now called by that name, but the hilly belt along the summit of the Ghauts, from Soonda to Coorg. Hist. of Mysore, p. 10.
[1 ]A circumstantial history of the Bahmenee sovereigns was composed by Ferishta; and to Jonathan Scott we are indebted for an instructive translation of it. The above sketch of the origin of the Bahmenee dynasty is drawn partly from Ferishta’s Deccan, translated by Scott; partly from his history of Delhi, translated by Dow. The facts are very shortly mentioned, or rather alluded to, by Lieut.-Col. Mark Wilks, (Historical Sketches of the South of India, ch. i.;) where the reader will also find all that research has been able to procure of Hindu materials, and all that sagacious conjecture has been able to build upon a few imperfect fragments of the history of the ancient Hindu governments in the south of India.
[2 ]Such is the account of Ferishta. Mr. Stewart, (Hist. of Bengal, sect. iv.) follows other authorities, who represent Bengal as now erected into a Mahomedan kingdom, perfectly independent.
[1 ]The two dynasties of Gaur are spoken of occasionally by the Oriental historians under the title of the Afghaun and Patan government of India; Afghaun and Patan, as also Abdauly, and several others, being names, applied to the whole or a part of the people who inhabit the chain of mountains from Heart, to the mouths of the Indus.