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which that prince held the sceptre of India; but as far as it goes, it is highly characteristic of the writer. It is no modern discovery. Its existence was known to Dow, who, however, seems to have made no use of it in his valuable and often elegant translation of the History of Hindostan. In alluding to this composition he says very truly, though somewhat quaintly, that the emperor
was a man of science and literary abilities, and that the memoirs of his life, which he penned himself, do him more honour as a good writer, than the matter as a great monarch.'
Few eastern princes ever ascended a throne under more auspicious circumstances than Jehangire. He was the great grandson of Baber the restorer of the dynasty of Timur, and the son of the renowned Akbar, by whose chivalrous valour in the field the twenty-two provinces, * then composing the empire of India, were firmly subdued and tranquillized. Like the Swedish Charles,' Akbar' gained important victories by surprising rapidity and boldness of movement, attended frequently by little more than an ordinary guard of his followers. But by his extraordinary wisdom as a statesman during his lengthened reign of fifty-one years, he secured and consolidated the conquests which he had achieved as a soldier. Assisted by his celebrated minister, Abul Fazel, he completed the well-known survey of his empire called the · Ayeen Akberry,' a very valuable work, which comprises a full account of everything connected with his government and the productions of the different provinces. At the period of his death, which occurred in the latter part of the year 1605, the ordinary annual revenue of the empire, including the average amount of presents made to the sovereign, and of the estates of his officers which reverted to him at their death, is estimated by Dow at the sum of fifty-two millions of our money. His standing army consisted of three hundred thousand horse, and as many foot; and the civil as well as the military departments of his administration were based upon a system of wonderful regularity.
• The arts of civilized life,' says Dow," began to increase and flourish among a people naturally industrious and ingenious. The splendour of the court, the wealth of individuals, created a general taste for pomp and magnificence; and the crowded levies of the great, where all endeavoured to excel in the arts of pleasing, rendered the Indians equal in politeness to the nations of Europe. Learning was not unknown, if we exclude the abstruse sciences. The Arabian and Bramin systems of philosophy were studied; and the powers of the mind were generally cultivated and improved.'
* These were Kandahar, Ghizni, Cabul, Cashmire, Lahore, Moultan, Outch, Sinde, Ajmere, Sirhind, Delhi, Doab, Agra, Allahabad, Oude, Behar, Bengal, Orissa, Malava, Berar, Chandesh, and Guzerat, to which was added a small portion of the Deccan.
It was quite in keeping with every part of the new monarch's character, that, upon succeeding to the empire, he should have changed his original name of Selim to that of Jehangire-shah, which signifies the world-subduing king;' and that he directed a legend to be stamped upon the current coin, proclaiming himself the sovereign splendour of the faith,' and the safeguard of the world. He inherited the literary talents of Baber, mingled with the fantastic tastes of Humaioon; but in his love of extravagant ostentation in dress and household ornament, he surpassed both his Mogul and Patan predecessors. He constantly boasts, throughout his memoirs, of his boundless wealth and of his munificence to his favourite servants. He reveals, though not always without reserve, his daily occupations, especially when connected with the proceedings of his government, his sumptuous amusements, and the homage paid to him by the princes under his
sway. The business of war always appears burdensome to his mind; but he describes a splendid dress decorated with precious stones, with all the man-milliner minuteness of a Pepys. His effeminacy upon this point, his extreme fondness for the tricks practised by jugglers, his habit of escaping from the palace at night, and mixing with the lowest of his subjects at the punchhouses, and his violent attachments easily changed into sudden indifference and even into hostility, betray an infirmity of character bordering on insanity. It is said, indeed, that his mother introduced a tincture of madness into his blood, and he confesses himself that he was much addicted to the use of wine, (and he might have added, of opium,) which sometimes inflamed to frenzy the natural fever of his mind.
Nevertheless, it is impossible to read these Memoirs, without concluding that the errors of Jehangire, enormous as they were in some instances, had their main source in the circumstances of his position, rather than in a bad heart. He was warmly attached to his children, faithful to his bosom friends--and generally mild towards his enemies, and inexorable in enforcing the execution of impartial justice. When his own passions were interested, however, he seemed to recognise no restraint in divine or human law.
He was upon these occasions the Eastern despot to the full extent of that pregnant phrase. He concerted his measures for the assassination of any person who stood in the way of his designs, with as much coolness as if he were only transcribing a couplet. If thwarted in his nefarious operations, he persevered with all the treachery of the tiger, but without
a particle of his fierceness. This insensibility to crime he no doubt partly derived from his Tartar origin, but it seemed also to be aggravated by that indifference with respect to religion, which he inherited from his father. Strange to say, with all this callousness of conscience he combined a tenderness of heart that often, when his affections were awakened, melted into tears. A woman in his passion for jewellery, he was all energy in the suppression of turbulence; a man of pleasure by habit, he was in his cups a philosopher; and though in principle, as well as in practice, a cold deist, a little opium transformed him into a trembling devotee.
An ill-managed intrigue for changing the succession, which was detected and defeated a short time before his father's death, sowed the seeds of jealousy between Jehangire and his eldest son Chusero, who occupies a prominent place in these Memoirs. Yet he commences his journal without any reference to this circuinstance, being much more intent on describing the gorgeous decorations of the throne of which he had just taken possession, and of the diadem which, in the presence of his assembled ameirs, he placed upon his head. If we are to credit the account which he gives, we must believe that the former was worth one million eight hundred thousand pounds of our money, and that the value of the latter exceeded two millions ! For forty days and nights the great imperial drum struck up, without ceasing, the sounds of joy and triumph. The ground, to a considerable extent around his throne, was spread with the most costly brocades and gold-embroidered carpets :
Censers of gold and silver,' adds the imperial author, 'were disposed in different directions for the purpose of burning odoriferous drugs; and nearly three thousand camphorated wax lights, three cubits in length, in branches of gold and silver, perfumed with ambergris, illuminated the scene from night till morning. Numbers of blooming youths, beautiful as young Joseph in the pavilions of Egypt, clad in dresses of the most costly materials, woven in silk and gold, with zones and amulets, sparkling with the lustre of the diamond, the emerald, the sapphire, and the ruby, awaited my commands, rank after rank, and in attitude most respectful. And finally, the ameirs of the empire, from the captain of five hundred, to the commander of five thousand horse, and to the number of nine individuals, covered from head to foot in gold and jewels, and shoulder to shoulder, stood round in brilliant array, also waiting for the commands of their sovereign. For forty days and forty nights, did I keep open to the world these scenes of festivity and splendour, furnishing altogether an example of imperial magnificence seldom paralleled in this stage of earthly existence.'-p. 3.
Amongst the numerous regulations, many of them highly meritorious, which Jehangire promulgated on his accession to the throne, was one strictly forbidding the manufacture or sale of wine, or of any other intoxicating liquor within his dominions. But as he was conscious at he exhibited in his own proper person an example rather inconsistent with the doctrine which he enforced by law, he deemed it necessary to enter into the following curious explanation of his motives.
• I undertook to institute this regulation, although it is sufficiently notorious, that I have myself the strongest inclination for wine, in which, from the age of sixteen, I liberally indulged. And in very truth, encompassed as I was with youthful associates of congenial minds, breathing the air of a delicious climate-ranging through lofty and splendid saloons, every part of which was decorated with all the graces of painting and sculpture, and the floors bespread with the richest carpets of silk and gold, would it not have been a species of folly to have rejected the aid of an exhilarating cordial—and what cordial can surpass the juice of the grape?
· For myself, I cannot but acknowledge that such was the excess to which I had carried my indulgence, that my usual daily allowance extended to twenty, and sometimes to more than twenty cups, each cup containing half a seir, (about six ounces,) and eight cups being equal to a maun of Irak (about three pounds). So far, indeed, was this baneful propensity carried, that if I were but an hour without my beverage, my hands began to shake, and I was unable to sit at rest. Convinced by these symptoms, that if the habit gained upon me in this proportion, my situation must soon become one of the utmost peril, I felt it full time to devise some expedient to abate the evil; and in six months I accordingly succeeded in reducing my quantity gradually from twenty to five cups-(at entertainments I continued, however, to indulge in a cup or two more-)—and on most occasions I made it a rule never to commence my indulgence until about two hours before the close of the day. But now that the affairs of the empire demand my utmost vigilance and attention, my potations do not commence until after the hour of evening prayer, my quantity never exceeding five cups on any occasion ; neither would more than that quantity suit the state of my stomach. Once a day I take my regular meal, and once a day seems quite sufficient to assuage my appetite for wine ; but as drink seems no less necessary than meat for the sustenance of man, it appears very difficult, if not impossible, for me to discontinue altogether the use of wine. Nevertheless, I bear in mind, and I trust in heaven, that, like my grandfather Humaioon, who succeeded in divesting himself of the habit before he attained to the age of forty-five, I also may be supported in my resolution, some time or other, to abandon the pernicious practice altogether. "In a point wherein God has pronounced his sure displeasure, let the creature exert himself ever so little towards amendment, and it
may prove in no small degree the means of eternal salvation." ,
Jehangire informs us very minutely of the characters and merits of different persons whom he promoted to dignity and wealth. Amongst these he mentions, in terms of peculiar affection, the son of a portrait-painter, to whom he had been much attached from infancy. But eminent above all the other persons whom he enumerates, as having been distinguished by his favours, stand the prime minister, Chaja Aias, and his bewitching daughter, the celebrated Noor-Mahil. The fortunes of this family are still re- • membered in the East, as presenting an extraordinary instance of elevation from extreme poverty to unbounded power.
It was about twenty years before the death of Akbar that Chaja Aias quitted his native home in western Tartary, with a view to improve his wretched condition in the then flourishing empire of India. The settlement of the Mogul dynasty on the throne naturally attracted around it many of the Tartar chieftains, and their kinsmen and dependents, to the lowest degree, as naturally sought, from time to time, to profit by the patronage of their leaders. Aias had received a superior education-it was all his poor but noble parents could bestow upon him. He was of a rigorous, enthusiastic mind, well skilled in arithmetic, an elegant writer in prose and verse, and critically acquainted with the literary productions of former ages, which he quoted with facility, and recited in a graceful and engaging manner. His heart was captivated by the charms of a village girl, whom he married. The prospect of an approaching increase in his family compelled him to take a determined resolution in order to provide for them; and having converted into money the few effects that formed his household, he purchased a half-starved horse, placed his wife upon it, and, walking by her side, set out in this gypsy style for the distant capital of India.
The small store of money which the adventurers had raised soon disappeared. They had recourse to charity; but the assistance which they thus obtained failed them upon reaching the vast solitudes which separate Tartary from Hindostan. Day after day passed, and no traveller came in sight to whom they could apply for succour. At length they both sank upon the earth from exhaustion, and in this miserable state the wife gave birth to a daughter, for whom she had neither clothing nor subsistence. Their desperate condition awakened such energies as they could have possessed after having taken no food for three days; and Aias, replacing the mother upon the horse, endeavoured to carry the babe in his arms, but failed from want of strength. The mother was still less able, in her condition, to bear the weight of