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grade motion; and that Sind and Central Asia, a thousand years ago, presented a very different aspect from that which they have at the present day. The small number of the Arab invaders does not argue against such a view. Only a confused idea can be formed of the population of the country at that period, but it seems by no means to have been entirely friendly to its Hindu rulers. We find that sorceresses advised the capitulation of forts. The Meds and the Jats, with other wandering and aboriginal tribes, enlisted under the Mohammedan banners. In Mekran, Mohammed Kasim got large reinforcements to his army. After intelligence of his first victories reached Damascus, he was reinforced by more troops and many adventurers. When he advanced northward from Mooltan, he had no less than 50,000 soldiers, besides those whom he left in the forts and garrisons of Sind. There must also have been other Arabs in the country, for many adventurers betook themselves to commercial speculation. Horses were imported from Arabia; caravans crossed Central Asia in various directions; the products of China, Ceylon, and Malabar were soon brought to Sind, as a central emporium from whence they might be carried, by sea or land, into any part of the Kaliph's dominions; the shores of the Persian Gulf and the coast of Mekran were studded with Arab settlements, which sent forth a large number of various kinds of vessels; and the pressure of the Ishmaelitish tribes towards India was too great to allow of the Sindians making any stand, for a country always becomes powerless when facing an inevitable destiny.
It has been mentioned that, after the capture of Rawur, Brahminabad and Afore were quickly taken. Governors to these were appointed, and Mohammed Kasim moved victoriously up the valley of the Indus into the Punjaub. Fortune seems never to have deserted him. Mooltan and Debalpore being taken, he advanced to the foot of the Cashmere hills-to the very place where, according to some authorities, Alexander, after Crossing the Hydaspes, conquered Porus. Nor could our young conqueror here weep because there remained
no more kingdoms to be subdued, for the ambitious Hejjaz had suggested to him the more difficult conquest of China. Still a youth, he had conquered a great kingdom, enriched the Kaliph's treasury, and vindicated the honour of God and of the Prophet. In addition to the gratification of his own individual success, he had the proud feeling of bearing no small part in a great and extended movement. In Spain, his contemporary Tarik was beating back the soldiers of the Cross; on the banks of the Jaxartes, Kutaiba was preparing to advance towards China. A conquering glory had burst forth, threatening to envelop the world; and in that he stood, giving and receiving, glorifying and transfigured, thinking, probably, not so much of Ázrael, the separator, of Izrafil, the trumpetblower, of the dark forms of Monker and Nakir, as of daylight and power, and war-horses "which run swiftly to battle."
But already Fate had wound him in her coils. King Daher, it may be remembered, had two daughters, Pari Mull,"the Fragrant," and Soorij, "the Sun," who fell into Mohammed Kasim's power after their father's defeat and death. According to all proper rule, the young conqueror and the beautiful, sorrowing, bewildered maidens ought to have been attracted towards each other, but to have met in love, and not for "mutual extinction." Instead, however, of allowing himself to be captivated by their beauty, the general sent them off at once to Bagdad, as presents for the Kaliph's harem. In his conquering zeal, the Moslem thought little of the chamber of happiness; in their distress and bitterness of heart, the high-minded Ranees did not forget the honour of their house.
Mohammed Masoom tells us that the Kaliph, on seeing the two sisters, became distracted with their great beauty. They displaying, or feigning, a natural girlish timidity and shame, made the Caliph still more delighted and distracted, until the eldest" the Fragrant"-bursting into tears, declared that, ere leaving Sind, they had both been forcibly dishonoured by Mohammed Kasim. Immediately "the fire of anger was lighted in the
body of the Kaliph," as our historian delicately phrases it; his rage knew no bounds; and he determined on the death of the insolent and perfidious young minion of fortune. Wiser men than he are said to have been beguiled. The plan adopted by him for inflicting punishment was rather original, and consisted in writing the following letter: "Wherever this reaches Mohammed Kasim, he is to come from thence to the Kaliphate, wrapped in the raw hide of a cow. There is to be no delay in obeying this order." Curiously enough, the historians do not appear to have imagined the possibility of this order being disobeyed. They do not lament over the ingratitude of kings, and the cruel fate of genius, but tell us, as if it were a matter of course, that the triumphant conqueror became his own executioner; that he ordered himself to be shut up in a raw hide, and handed over to the messenger; that the messenger carried him away; and that, three days after, while his body went on to Baghdad and corruption, the bird of his life left his body and flew to heaven. In those days there must have been great faith in Kaliphs; and then, as now, men walked within invisible walls of adamant.
But though Mohammed Kasim thus went to heaven, his body was destined to effect something more upon earth. Being put into a coffin and brought to Baghdad, nothing would serve the Kaliph but that it should be opened in the presence of the daughters of Daher. The scene which ensued was extraordinary indeed. Walid, his portly form swelling with gratified resentment and kingly pride, and with a smile upon his swarthy pox-pitted face, addressed the Ranees when the corpse was displayed: "See how penetrating is the Kaliph's mandate! And if the bird of Mohammed Kasim's life had looked down from heaven, it would have heard wild and bitter laughter issuing from the lips of the Hindu girls, as they scornfully replied, Kings of great justice should not do great things in a hurry; nor destroy a faithful servant on the charge of enemies. We accused Mohammed Kasim, because by him our father was slain, our father's house ruined,
VOL. LXXXIII.-NO. DIX.
and ourselves sent as prisoners into a strange land. It was necessary to invent a tale to secure vengeance, for you would only have laughed at the simple story of our griefs. The truth is, this man was to us as a father or a brother: his hand never touched the skirts of our purity. It is not our fault that he could not reach his master in a day. We have been successful; in the Kaliph's house of judgment there is great sorrow." On hearing these words, the passionate monarch kept his head for one hour in "the pocket of repentance;" and then, in unmanly rage, condemned "the Fragrant" and "the Sun" to immediate death. Their deception was no crime, according to Eastern notions, while the love and daring they displayed were all their own, and deserved not to vanish in a horrid vision of dust-clouds and wild horses and gentle mangled forms, swiftly circling round the walls of Baghdad.
The story just related is too extraordinary to have been invented, and too perfect to be rudely exposed to historical criticism. One account runs to the effect that Mohammed Kasim was recalled on the demise of Walid, and tortured to death by order of Suleiman, the successor to the Kaliphate; but that which we have adopted is supported by better authority, and is much more interesting. With this story closes the first act of Islam in Sind. After Mohammed Kasim's death, the people he had conquered showed their high estimate of him by shaking off the foreign yoke; and Daher's son, Jay Senh, regained possession of Brahminabad. After two years' independence they were again subdued. The tide of conquest which had set in towards Hindostan could not be turned; but Sind still continued to assert itself occasionally in the appointment of its viceroys, until, being thoroughly Islamised, it was again governed by something like native rulers, by its own braver tribes, and by wilder tribes from the hills. Very briefly and quietly our Mohammedan historians record events; looking with lofty indifference on the changes of time and on the fate of the individual; dismissing man after man
from this frail and perishable world into that other country, or the world eternal. One ruler, for instance, is quietly disposed of thus: Doda, marching thence, came to Tattah; remaining there, from thence he travelled into that other world." "Jam Ali Sher," it is written of another, "turned his heart toward pleasure, being in the habit of going out to take exercise during the moonlight nights;" and Jam Ali Sher was quickly despatched, of a starry night, by the nearest aspirer to the Jamship. Not even the Syuds, who performed wonderful miracles-" many men of truth stating it"- or the Meerza Shah Hoosain, "whose mind was always content on that which was good," but were reminded there was room for them in "the ample house of eternity;" and so
"In due time, one by one, Some with lives that came to nothing, some with deeds as well undone,
Death came tacitly, and took them where they never see the sun."
But the sun still rises round the Hala mountains, and lashes its fiery rays down the "Unhappy Valley." New conquerors rule; new life obtains. Through the yellow air at Kurrachee we may see a perfect imitation, surmounting an Episcopal church, of the grand old campanile of the duomo of Lucca. Ashy Hindu devotees rejoice; while grumbling Mohammedan fakheers bend their diminished heads and curse in silence. Thus the deserts of Asia, with their glittering wastes unshaded by living foliage, and their barren mountains -those "bones of desolation's nak edness"-unsubdued by the brooding clouds of heaven, are not portions of the earth in a rugged primeval state, but the degradation of lands which bloomed smiling in some bright dawn of time, under the cultivating hand of man, or the effort of higher Powers. Experience and reason, indeed, assure us that the fabled spontaneity of perfect life is only a sickly dream; for the law of life is but the law of growth and labour; the golden ages of the past have germed in pain, and
grown with difficulty into full widebranched glory; and behind every civilisation we find no primeval paradise, but only the seething swamp with its slimy brood, the low tangled jungle with its self-destroying life, and the hoary salts and petrified flames of the pathless desert. But the backward investigation is quite endless, for older traditions tell of older developments; and seeing that the limestone and sandstone ridges were themselves born in earth-throes, and the death of an older phase of life, while the barren crust itself was won from the howling central fire, by the Powers which roll our star through the dark deep, we ascribe our own conditions to the Earth herself, and image her as the poor rugged striving mother of the countless generations of troubled men. Even in the history of human beings, there is always an unfathomable past, in which figure moves behind figure, shade behind shade, till all is impenetrable confusion and darkness. Light shines round the monads, which unseen airs have wafted to the entrance of that which Shakespeare calls
"The blind cave of eternal night,"
in front of which their being is fulfilled; but, once entered there, they move in dusky gloom; the sound of their movement falls faintly on the ear; and, as one after the other enters in, they are borne back until the still circling crowd appears as darkness. So the world wends; in the light of life onwards, and backwards again under the cold inevitable shadow of death; and its life is ever beautiful and mystic, freshly joyous, or infinitely sad, to the imagination of man, for it is in the nature of the human spirit-its highest exercise and noblest prerogative-not to confine itself within the narrow limits of its petty personalities, but to go forth on the unseen wings of genial sympathy and kindly love into all lands, among all nations and tribes to live as a part of the distant East, and to re-create the vanished past.
FOOD AND DRINK.
AN Irish peasant, in a windowless hut, dining off a meal of potatoes and skimmed milk, flavoured by the aroma of a lively imagination, as each mouthful is "pointed" at the side of bacon hanging against the wall, and a London Alderman seated at a Guildhall feast, are two figures presenting an impressive contrast of the varieties of Food, with which, in the restless activity of life, the human organism repairs its incessant waste. Potatoes and skimmed milk, and it may be a little sea-weed, supply the wants of the one; before the other there is spread a wasteful profusion of turtle captured on the North American coasts, of turkey reared in quiet farmyards, of mutton grazed upon the downs of Sussex, of beef fed on the rich pasture-lands of Herefordshire, of pheasants shot in a nobleman's preserves, of turbot from the Atlantic Ocean, and salmon from the Scotch and Irish rivers, of cheese from France and Switzerland, oil from Italy, spices from the East and wines from Portugal, Germany, and France-a gathering from all nations, assorted with exquisite culinary skill. Yet, in spite of these differences in the things consumed by the two men, the dinner of the one, and the dinner of the other, become transmuted by vital processes into the same flesh and blood, into the same organic substance and organic force. However various the articles of Food and Drink, it is clear that there must be a process by which all differences are annulled, one similar result attained. What
ever characters these substances may have outside the organism, they must quit them shortly after their entrance into it, putting off specific differences, and merging all varieties in a vital unity. The hunter on the Pampas subsists on buffalo beef, with scarcely a particle of vegetable food to vary his diet. The Hindoo is content with rice and rancid butter, and cannot be induced to eat flesh. The Greenlander gorges himself with whale oil, and animal fats of any kind he can secure; the moderate
Arab has his bag of dates, his lotosbread, and dhourra. On the coast of Malabar we find men regarding with religious horror every species of animal food; while the native of New Holland has not a single edible fruit larger than a cherry on the whole surface of his vast island. The Englishman considers himself ignominiously treated by fortune if he cannot get his beef or bacon; the peasant of the Apennines is cheerful with his meal of chestnuts.
Besides varieties in the staple articles of Food, there are the infinite varieties of fancy. Our Chinese enemies make delicacies of rats and of birds' nests; our French allies, of frogs. The ancients, who carried epicureanism to lengths never dreamed of by Guildhall, thought the hedgehog a titbit, and had a word to say in favour of the donkey, which they placed on an equality with the ox; dogs they considered equal to chickens, and even cats were not to be despised. pork, which we eat with great confidence, they considered, and not untruly, the least digestible of animal meats, fit only for artisans and athletes. They ate snails, at which we shudder, with the gusto we acknowledge in oysters. It would be difficult to persuade the British stomach to dine, in full consciousness, off a sirloin of donkey," flanked by "ribs of dog, with fried toadstools." Is this repugnance only prejudice, or were Greek dogs and donkeys more succulent than ours?
The varieties just rehearsed are at any rate easily accepted by the understanding as probable aliments, but what will the reader say on hearing that in many parts of the world even clay is a respectable and respected food? Travellers, who see strange things, are very positive in their assertions on this head. Humboldt, a man whose word justly carries with it European authority, confirms the statement of Gumilla, that the Otomacs of South America, during the periods of the floods, subsist entirely on a fat and ferruginous
clay, of which each man eats daily a pound or more. Spix and Martius declare that the Indians of the Amazon eat a kind of loam, even when other food is abundant. Molina says the Peruvians frequently eat a sweet-smelling clay; and Ehrenberg has analysed the edible clay sold in the markets of Bolivia, which he finds to be a mixture of talc and mica. The inhabitants of Guiana mingle clay with their bread; and the negroes in Jamaica are said to eat earth when other food is deficient. According to Labillardière, the inhabitants of New Caledonia appease their hunger with a white friable earth, said by Vauquelin to be composed of magnesia, silica, oxide of iron, and chalk. The same writer asserts that at Java a cake is made of ferruginous clay which is much sought for by women in their pregnancy. To conclude this list we must add Siam, Siberia, and Kamtschatka as countries of clay-eaters.*
This is rather a staggering accumulation of assertions, which we cannot dismiss altogether, even if we suppose a large allowance of scepticism justifiable. Granting the fact that certain kinds of earth are really nutritious (and it is difficult to escape such a conclusion), we are completely at a loss for an adequate explanation of it. Little light is thrown on it by the assumption, probable enough, that the earth must contain organic matters; because in a pound of such earth there could scarcely be contained sufficient organic matter to supply the demands of an adult. Nor will it get rid of the difficulty to say that the earth only appeases hunger without nourishing the system; because, in the first place, Humboldt's testimony is that the Otomacs subsist on the clay at periods when other food is deficient; and, in the second place, although the local sensation of Hunger may be appeased by introducing substances into the stomach, the more imperious systemic sensation of Hunger is not thus to be appeased. We must, therefore, be content, at present, with accepting
the fact, which the science of a future day may possibly explain. Omitting clay as not explicable for the present, we propose to take the reader with us in an inquiry, having for its object to ascertain what Science can tell us positively respecting the relation of alimentary substances and the organism-to see what is known respecting Food and its varieties. If in the course of this survey we detain the reader to consider certain generalities, when he is impatient to arrive at the details, let him be assured that these generalities, seemingly too abstract and remote for immediate practical objects, are essential to a right comprehension of the details; and that our most practical and pressing objects, whether of feeding cattle, or feeding ourselves, do inevitably rest upon abstract philosophic principles, and are determined by scientific hypotheses. We promise him abundant detail, but must ask him to approach the question through such avenues as we shall open, and not to try any short cut of his own.
To begin with the Method which ought to preside over all investigations into Food: Assured as we are that all alimentary varieties must be transformed into the organic unity we name Blood, and assured also that the substances so transformed are really various in kind, specifically distinct before they have undergone this transformation, it is clear that our chief attention should be withdrawn from these alimentary substances to fall with greater emphasis on the alimentary process; that is to say, we must less consider what the substances are in themselves, than what relation they bear to the organism which they nourish. Obvious as this may seem, it has generally been disregarded, especially of late years. The researches into the nature of Food have been extensive and minute, but they have been almost exclusively confined to alimentary substances which have been analysed, weighed, and tabulated with great labour, and in a chemical point of view with considerable results; but
BURDACH: Physiologie, ix. 260. † See the paper on Hunger and Thirst" in our January Number.