Imágenes de páginas
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the figurative descriptions of the New Testament we find the same ideas : “ Her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal : and the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones, the jasper, the sapphire, the chalcedony, the emerald, the sardonyx, the sardius, the chrysolyte, the beryl, the topaz, the chrysoprasus, the jacinth, the ainethyst.”— Rev. ch. xxi. vers. 11, 19, 20.

From Petwah we travelled over a tract of land, once filled with crowded streets and populous mansions, now a cultivated plain, covered with trees and verdure, unless where a falling mosque or mouldering palace reminded us of its former state. These ruins increased as we drew nearer the city, until at length we travelled through acres of desolation. An universal silence reigned; nothing indicated our approach to a capital, nor did we meet with “ one sad historian of the mournful plain,” without the gates of Almedabad ! ·

Et seges est ubi Troja fuit.-Ovid.

or rather let me quote a similar scene in the expressive language of the prophetical writings, of a city still more magnificent than either Troy or the capital of Guzerat, that it should become “ a heap of ruins, a dwelling-place for dragons, an astonishment and a hissing, without an inhabitant; the wild beasts of the desert should be there, and the houses full of doleful creatures ; the owls should dwell in their habitations, and the satyrs dance in their pleasant places." Jeremiah, ch. ix. ver. 11, ch. xix. ver. 8; Isaiah, ch. xxxiv. ver. 14. Such is now the desolation round the circumscribed

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walls of Ahmedabad ; it is literally the resort of tigers, hyenas, and jackals; the abode of monkeys, guanas, serpents, and noxious reptiles !

« The spider holds the veil in the palace of Cæsar ; The owl stands sentinel on the watch-towers of Afrasiab!".


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Description of Ahmedabad - Caravansaries - Public Wells and

Aqueducts-Palaces and Gardens-Kokarea-Artists-Mausoleums and Mosque at Sercaze-Palace and Gardens at ShahBhaug – Nurse's Well — Afghans conquered by the Mogul Tartars-Character of Timur-Lung-Declining State of the Empire, and Usurpation of the Nabobs - Ayeen AkberyAkber—The Dewane-khass—Reflections on the Mogul History.

The imperial city of Ahmedabad is situated in the latiude of 23 degrees north, and in 72° 37' east longitude, and is built on the banks of the river Sabermatty, which washes its western wall. From being formerly one of the largest capitals in the east, it is now only five miles and three quarters in circunference, surrounded by a high wall, with irregular towers every fifty yards, in the usual style of Indian fortifications ; there are twelve principal gates, and several smaller sally-ports.

Ahmedabad was built in the year 1426 A. D. by sultan Ahmed Shah, on the site of a more ancient

The sultan being on a hunting party at a great distance from Gulburga, his usual place of residence, was so delighted with this spot, that he resolved to build a magnificent city, and called it after his own name Ahmedabad.

On every side, nodding minarets, decaying palaces,


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and mouldering aqueducts, indicate the former magnificence of Ahmedabad. It was then enriched by commerce, peopled by industry, and adorned by wealth. Long wars, unstable and oppressive governments, and the fluctuation of human establishments, have brought it to a state of decay from which it seems doomed never to recover. From covering an extent of thirty miles, it had dwindled to less than six : 'much of that space, even within the walls, was covered with ruins, or appropriated to corn-fields and fruit-gardens. Some of the streets were broad, but not planted with rows of trees, as mentioned by Mandesloe, and other travellers ; neither are they paved. The triumphal arches, or three united gates, in the principal streets, with the grand entrance to the durbar, still remain. The mosques and palaces of the Pattans still giveevidence of their original magnificence. The streets were spacious and regular ; the temples, aqueducts, fountains, caravansaries, and courts of justice well arranged. Commerce, art, and science, met with every encouragement, when a splendid court was kept in this city; it was then the resort of merchants, artists, and travellers of every description ; it now exhibits solitude, poverty, and desolation ! You behold the most heterogeneous mixture of Mogul splendor and Mahratta barbarism ; a noble cupola, overshadowing hovels of mud; small windows, ill-fashioned doors, and dirty cells introduced under a superb portico; a marble corridore filled up with Choolas, or cookingplaces, composed of mud, cow-dung, and unburnt bricks. But declining commerce and ruined buildings

not the only symptoms of decay. I saw a





great many unfortunate Pattan and Mogul families, who, having survived the dignified situation of their ancestors, lived in the gloom of obscurity and felt the degradation of poverty. The young men offered themselves as soldiers of fortune to more flourishing governments, or otherwise sought a provision. The jewels and ornaments of the Mogul paraphernalia were privately sold at a great disadvantage to procure the necessaries of life ; during my short residence I saw many articles thus disposed of, espe

ially a small mirror, in the centre of a single agate, adorned with golden foliage, and roses of small rubies, which had been purchased from a Mogul widow for only ten rupees. Of such females it might truly be said, “her virgins are afflicted, her gates are desolate ; they sigh for bread, they have given their pleasant things for meat !”—Lamentations of Jeremiah, ch. i. ver. 4, 11.

These unhappy families excited our pity; their wants were not relieved by that generous charity which characterizes my native country, where the children of adversity find affliction softened, and sorrow soothed, by exalted souls, who wipe the falling tear from the orphan's eye, and cause the “widow's heart to sing for joy.” Virtues amply recompensed in this life, by sweet sensations in the soul of sympathy, unknown to the votaries of dissipation, and which will meet a glorious reward in that day, when those who have pity upon the poor shall be pronounced blessed, and the merciful shall obtain mercy! Love is the essence of that divine religion, it pervades the whole system of the Gospel. And from that pure principle in the Christian's heart, flow all the delightful charities of life.

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