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subjects communicated by our accomplished author to the Royal Asiatic Society, and published in the Transactions of that learned body. The report of several friends lately returned from India, gives us reason to know that it was not merely the commanding situation held by Colonel Tod in the Rajpoot country, which procured him access to the best sources of information: his private character acquired for him such a degree of respect and esteem among the natives, that his researches, whatever might be their object, were facilitated by them with good-will and promptitude ; and the accuracy of this report is sufficiently proved by the mass of curious, extraordinary, and valuable materials collected in the volume here announced, which very properly begins with a geographical account of Rajast'han, or Rajpootana, illustrated by a large and handsome map. Then follows a history of the Rajpoot tribes, with genealogical tables, catalogues of their thirty-six royal races, and their solar and lunar dynasties; every page being replete with interesting notes, on one of which we must pause for a moment: it occurs in p. 80, and relates to the religious feelings of the Rajpoots so often outraged by our impolitic and inconsiderate countrymen in Asia, who amuse themselves and express their contempt for the prejudices of the natives, by destroying certain trees and animals which they regard as sacred. This conduct, says Colonel Tod, is an abuse of our strength, and an ungenerous advantage over the weakness of those brave men who fill the ranks of our army, and are attentive though silent observers of all our actions; the most tached, the most faithful, and the most obedient of mankind ! Let us maintain them in duty, obedience, and attachment, by respecting their prejudices and conciliating their pride. On the fulfilment of this depends the maintenance of our sovereignty in India; but the last fifteen years have assuredly not increased their devotion to
Let the question be put to the unprejudiced, whether their welfare has advanced in proportion to the dominion they have conquered for us; or if it has not been in the inverse ratio of this prosperity? Have not their allowances and comforts decreased ? Does the same relative standard between the currency and conveniences of life exist as twenty years ago? Has not the first depreciated twenty-five per cent, as half-batta stations and duties have increased ? For the good of ruler and servant, let these be rectified. With the utmost solemnity I aver, I have but the welfare ofall at heart in these observations. I loved the service~ I loved the native-soldier: I have proved what he will do where devoted; when, in 1817, thirty-two firelocks of my guard attacked, defeated, and dispersed a camp of fifteen hundred inen, slaying thrice their numbers, Having quitted the scene for ever, I submit my opinion dispassionately for the welfare of the one, and with it the stability or reverse of the other. What says the Thermopylæ of India, Corygaum? Five hundred firelocks against twenty thousand men! Do the annals of Napoleon record a more brilliant exploit? Has a column been reared to the mapes of the brave, European and native, of this memorable day, to excite to future achievement? What order decks the breast of the gallant Fitz
gerald, for the exploit on the field of Nagpore? At another time and place his words—"At my peril be it! Charge !"-would have crowned his crest: these things call for remedy.
Among the royal tribes enumerated by our ingenious author in this portion of his work, we must indicate to the classical historian and geographer, a race denominated Catti, whose religion, manners, and looks, are indisputably Scythic. In the time of Alexander they occupied a nook of the Punjab, near the five confluent streams. Against them the Macedonian hero marched in person, and left a signal memorial of his vengeance, where in his combat with them he nearly lost his life. (p. 111.)
Of the feudal system in Rajast'han a masterly sketch is given; and that Col. Tod's opinion is not founded merely on seeming resemblances between ancient European and Asiatic 'customs, will appear from grants, deeds, charters, and traditions, copied and quoted in the
appendix ; the author deducing his examples chiefly from Mewar. (p. 132.) The poorest Rajpoot retains all the pride of ancestry at this day; it is, indeed, often his sole inheritance: he scorn's to hold the plough, or to wield bis lance but on horseback. The respect which is paid to him by inferiors, and his reception among superiors, support him in his aristocratic notions; and a highly artificial and refined state of society is exhibited in the honors, privileges, and gradations among the vassals of the Rana's house; those of a certain rank being entitled to banpers, kettle-drums, heralds, and silver maces, with peculiar gifts and personal distinctions, in commemoration of some exploit performed by their ancestors. The martial Rajpoots are not strangers to armorial bearings. The great banner of Mewar displays a golden sun on a crimson field : a dagger is the device exhibited on a chief's banner. Ambér unfolds a panchranga, or five-colored flag. The lion rampant on an argent field is extinct with the state of Chanderi. (p. 138.)
We cannot abstain from transcribing a note (which occurs in p. 153.) on the marriage of a Mogul sovereign, Ferokhsér, with a Hindu princess : To this very marriage we owe the origin of our power. · When the nuptials were preparing, the emperor fell ill. A mission was at that time at Delhi from Surat, where we traded, of which Mr. Hamilton was the surgeon. He cured the king, and the marriage was completed. In the Oriental style he desired the doctor to name his reward; but instead of asking any thing for himself, he demanded a grant of land for a factory on the Hoogly for his employers. It was accorded; and this was the origin of the greatness of the British empire in the East. Such an act deserved at least a column; but neither storied urn or monumental bust' marks the spot where his remains are laid.
For the curious particulars of some general obligations of vassals,
known in Europe under the term of “ feudal incidents,” such as reliefs, fines of alienation, escheats, aids, wardship, and marriage, we must refer to the volume itself. But we must indulge ourselves, and we trust gratify the reader, by extracting the following passage from p. 193. After some judicious reflections, our author proceeds:We have nothing to apprehend from the Rajpoot states, if raised their ancient prosperity. The closest attention to their history proves beyond contradiction, that they were never capable of uniting even for their own preservation : a breath, or scurrilous stanza of a bard, has severed their closest confederacies. No national head exists amongst them as amongst the Mahrattas; and each chief being master of his own house and followers, they are individually too weak to cause us any alarm. No feudal government can be dangerous as a neighbor: for defence, it has in all countries been found defective; and for aggression, totally inefficient. Let there exist between us the most perfect understanding and identity of interests; the foundation step to which is, to lessen or remit the galling and to us contemptible tribute now exacted; enfranchise them from our espionage and agency; and either unlock them altogether from our dangerous embrace, or let the ties between us be such only as would ensure grand results, such as general commercial freedom and protection, with treaties of friendly alliance. Then, if a Tartar or Russian invasion threatened our Eastern empire, fifty thousand Rajpoots would be no despicable allies. Let us call to mind what they did when they fought for Aurungzéb: they are still unchanged, if we give them the proper stimulus. Gratitude, honor, and fidelity, are terms which at one time were the foundation of all the virtues of a Rajpoot: of the theory of these sentiments he is still enamored; but unfortunately for his happiness, the times have left him but little scope for the practice of them.
Of the celestial and demi-celestial princes who florish in the Anuals of Mewar, our limits forbid any particular notice. We are, however, glad to find that there is still one spot, although but one, in India that enjoys a state of natural freedom : this spot is Oguna Panora; not attached to any other state; without any foreign communication; its own patriarchal chief, under the title of Rana, possesses a thousand hamlets scattered over forest-crowned valleys, and can appear, if requisite," at the head of five thousand bows.” (p. 224.)
Of widows burning themselves with the bodies of their husbands, many instances are recorded; and, however, on some occasions, the practice may seem voluntary, one shudders at the idea of beauty, youth, and innocence, being sacrificed in such a manner. Thus when Samarsi, a gallant prince, was slain with his most renowned chieftains and thirteen thousand household troops, “his beloved Pirtha, on hearing the fatal issue,-her husband slain, her brother captive, the heroes of Delhi and Chectore' asleep on the banks of the Caggar in the wave of the steel,'-joined her lord
through the flame.” (p. 260.) But from another anecdote it appears that widows have not always been the only victims. А Rana, or prince, having resolved to die, superstitiously imagining that he might thereby save the city of Chectore from a ferocious enemy;another awful sacrifice (says Colonel Tod) was to precede this act of self-devotion, in that horrible rite, the Johur, where the females are immolated to preserve them from pollution or captivity. The funeral pyre was lighted within the great subterranean retreat, in chambers impervious to the light of day; and the defenders of Chectore beheld in procession the queens, their own wives and daughters, to the number of several thousands. The fair Pudmani closed the throng, which was augmented by whatever of female beauty or youth could be tainted by Tartar lust. They were conveyed to the cavern, and the opening closed on them, leaving them to find security from dishonor in the devouring element. (p. 266.)
Omitting a variety of interesting anecdotes we must page 312, for the notice of a custom which our accomplished author describes as analogous to the taste of the chivalrous age
of Europe. This is an intercourse of the most delicate gallantry established between the fair sex and the cavaliers of Rajasthan, and called the “ festival of the bracelet” (Rakhi). The bracelet may be sent by a maiden, only on occasions of urgent necessity or danger. The Rajpoot dame invests with the title of adopted brother the man whom she honors with the bracelet, thus securing to herself all the protection of a cavaliere servente without the slightest risk of incurring scandal: for, although he is ber constituted protector, and often hazards his life in her cause, he may never receive a smile in reward, or never even see the fair one who has adopted him as a brother. We agree with our author, that there is a charm in such mysterious connexion never endangered by close observation; and the loyal admirers of the fair may well attach a value to the public recognition of being Rakhibund-Bhaé, the “bracelet-bound brother” of a princess. The intrinsic value of such a pledge is never considered : and in token of its acceptance, a katchli or corset is returned, which may be of simple silk or satin, or of gold brocade and pearls. The katchli has often been accompanied by a whole province : and the courteous delicacy of this custom so pleased the Indian monarch, on receiving a bracelet from the Princess Kurnavati, which invested him with the title of her brother, and uncle and protector of her infant, that he pledged himself to her service, “even if the demand were the castle of Rinthum bor.” The great Hemayoon proved himself a loyal knight; and even abandoned his career of conquest in Bengal, when called to redeem his pledge by succoring Chectore, and the widows and minor sons of Sanga-Rana.
Many romantic tales (adds Col. T.) are founded on the gift of the Rakhi. The author, who was placed in the enviable situation of being able to do good, and on the most extensive scale, was the means of restoring many of the ancient families from degradation to affluence. The greatest reward he could, and the only one he would receive, was the courteous civility displayed in many of these interesting customs. He was the Rakhi-burd-Bhaé of, and received "the bracelet" from three queens of Oodipoor, Boondi, and Kotah, besides Chund-Bae, the maiden sister of the Rana, as well as many ladies of the chieftains of rank with whom he interchanged letters. The sole articles of" barbaric pearl and gold” which he conveyed from a country where he was six years supreme, are these testimonies of friendly regard. Intrinsically of no great value, they were presented and accepted in the ancient spirit; and he retains them with a sentiment the more powerful, because he can no longer render any service. (p. 3-13.)
With the purity and refinement of this ancient custom, we are grieved to contrast the Khooshrooz, or“ day of pleasure," instituted by the Emperor Akber, and celebrated on the ninth day following the chief festival of each month : then the queen held her court, and the wives of Rajpoot vassal princes, nobles, and merchants assembled ; and a fair was established within the palace, attended only by females, unless when the monarch contrived to be present in disguise These ninth-day fairs are the markets in which Rajpoot bonor was bartered. The wife of Pirthi Raj, a princess of Mewar, by the exertion of great courage, and with the assistance of a weapon, saved herself from contamination : but a brother of Pirthi Raj was not so fortunate in his wife, who, unable to withstand the regal tempter, returned to her dwelling despoiled of chastity, but loaded with jewels; or, as the native historian says, she returned to her abode tramping to the tinkling sound of the ornaments of gold and gemis on her person; but where, my brother, is the moustache on thy lip? Thus the writer addressed the disgraced husband, who, in sign of mourning, had cut off his moustache. (p. 346.) The extraordinary hero Pertap must interest every reader, as will many other illustrious
personages celebrated in this work, but of whom our limits will not allow more particular notice.
To the Annals of Mewar succeeds an account of the religious establishments, festivals, and customs of that country. From the beginning of chapter xix. (p. 507.) we shall copy soine remarks which, mutatis mutandis, perhaps might not be inapplicable to regions in another part of the world, and where a religion very different from that of Mewar is professed :In all
ages the ascendancy of the hierarchy is observable: it is a tribute paid to religion through her organs. Could the lavish endowments and extensive immunities of the various religious establishments in Rajast'han be assumed as criteria of the morality of the inhabitants,