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We have received the following articles, which shall be inserted (if possible) in the course of the winter :-Remarks on Schlegel's Essay on the Language and Poetry of the Provençals Anecdotes of the present King of Persia" An Elder,” (we shall be happy to hear from this Correspondent upon subjects of a less limited interest)—On the Works of the Duchess of Newcastle Observations on Training Review of Surtees's His. tory of Durham-Letter on Leith, by a Young Dantzicker-Account of Donald Bane's Art of Defence-Memoirs of Thomas Purdie- The Dyvot-Flaughter, a Pastoral Poet's Midnight Dream-A Godlye Ballade, shewinge forthe the sudden and wonderful conversion of the Edinburgh Reviewers-Parallel between Hugh Peters and a Modern Fashionable Clergyman-A Poetical Epistle from Aix-la-Chapelle, by William Wastle, Esq.--Observations on the Revolt of Islam, a Poem, by Percy Bysshe ShellyOn Canova's Head of Helen-On Chantry's Statues of Lord Melville and President Blair -On Turner's Liber Studiorum-On Puppet Shows Two Epistles, in Verse, to Thomas Moore, Esq.

The “ Elegia sopra la Morte flebilissima del Marchese Ottone” is deferred till we have leisure to inquire, accurately, whether the fatal event it deplores has really taken place. We are induced to be the more careful in this matter, because we received last week a very sorrowful ditty (to the tune of “ Like Leviathans afloat”) upon the death of one of our most valued Correspondents, which we were just sending off to the Printer, when we observed the supposed Naufragè brushing along the pavèe, “ tres audacieusement.

BLACKWOOD'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

No XX.

NOVEMBER 1818.

VOL. IV.

AN ACCOUNT OF ACBER II. THE PRESENT GREAT MOGUL, OR EMPEROR OF

DELHI, WITH THE MODERN HISTORY OF THAT CITY TO A RECENT DATE.

A mighty dynasty, which long filled 1771, by quitting ihe protection of his the chief place in the history of India, benefactors, and repairing to Delhi, has gradually disappeared from its an where he became a prisoner and polinals; and although still possessing tical instrument in the custody of the both, by many is not known to have Maharattas. either a local habitation or a name. These marauders, by a series of It may consequently be supposed that continual encroachments and consome account of the existing sovereign quests, after the dissolution of the of Delhi, of his ancient capital, and of Mogul empire, had extended their the political relations in which he dominions over a great part of Hinstands towards the British govern- dostan ; about 1770, Delhi, its anment, will not be unacceptable or des- cient capital, came also under their titute of interest, now that the cessa sway, and was governed by officers of tion of European warfare has restored their nation when Shah Allum put to India that portion of attention to himself under their protection. Theinwhich it was always entitled, but which efficiency of this protection he afterhas been for many years suspended by wards most wofully experienced; for the vital importance of the tremendous in 1788, Gholaum Kaudir the Rohil. conflict, at length brought to so happy lah, having, by a sudden irruption, a conclusion. As introductory to the made himself master of Delhi, seized subject, it will be necessary to give a the unfortunate emperor, and after exbrief sketch of the long, eventful, and posing him for many weeks to every disastrous reign of the present prince's species of insult and degradation, in father and predecessor, Shah Allum order to extort the disclosure of

supthe Second

posed concealed treasures, concluded by This monarch ascended the throne piercing his eyes with a dagger, so as in 1761, and commenced his reign by completely to extinguish the sight. an unprovoked and ill-conducted at- For the attainment of the same object, tack on the British possessions in he massacred, starved to death, and Bengal, then recently acquired; but tortured, many of the royal family and being baffled and repulsed by the of the chief inhabitants of Delhi, but Company's troops, and foreseeing that was himself soon overtaken by a retria he was more likely to benefit by their bution ; for being compelled to quit friendship than hostility, he altered the city by a detachment from Sindia's his system of politics, and voluntarily army, he was captured during his surrendered himself at the British flight, and expired under tortures camp, without treaty, condition, or exactly like those which he had so stipulation. On the acquisition of the mercilessly inflicted. A detail of the Dewanny by Lord Clive, in 1765, a atrocities committed by this wretch, pension of 26 lacks of rupees was as or madman, would only create dissigned to him, with a considerable gust; but some

exposure seemed tract of fertile territory in Upper Hin- necessary, that the reader might dostan, both of which he forfeited in enabled to compare the prior felicit

(as it has been called) of the Mogul Such was the desolation of this anemperor, with the oppression which, cient capital in 1803, when Lord with equal truth, it has been assert- Lake, having defeated the army of ed, his descendants suffer under the Dowlet Row Sindia, six miles from British domination.

Delhi, on the 11th of September, enNor was the misery of his condition tered it next day, to the infinite joy alleviated by the transfer in Saghire, of the aged emperor, whose subsequent which about this period took place, of conduct, however, evinced a greater Delhi and some adjacent territory, to eagerness to profit by the existing the French officers commanding the confusion, than any sense of gratitude corps of disciplined infantry retained to the brave army which had effected in the service of Madhagee, and after- his liberation. Soon after his arrival, wards of his nephew, Dowlet Row Lord Lake was informed, that a sum Sindia; for although the aged em of money, amounting to six lacks of peror came successively under the os rupees, had been lodged in the care of tensible superintendence of M. de M. Drugeon, the commandant of DelBoigne, M. Perron, and M. Drugeon, hi, for the payment of his troops, of he effectively remained a prisoner in which sum that officer had only disthe hands of the native Maharatta bursed 60,000 rupees; and that on the officers, and subjected to all their pro- approach of the British army, to preverbial rapacity. During 1802, when vent their obtaining it, the Frenchman there were fifty-two sons and daugh- had transferred the balance to the empeters of the emperor, the monthly sti- ror's treasurer, Shah Nawauz Khan. pend allowed to each prince of the The commander-in-chief being satisimperial family did not exceed 15 fied that the treasure in question was rupees per month (£21 per annum); enemy's property, thus attempted to and the sums disbursed by M. Dru- be fraudulently withheld, claimed it geon, who had charge of the emperor's for the British forces, his Majesty, afperson, for the aggregate expenses of ter some deliberation, despatched the his Majesty, the royal family, de- amount to the camp. This tardy act pendants, and establishments, amount- of justice was accompanied with a mes ed to only 17,000 rupees per month, sage, stating the money to be a door £23,664 per annum, while, with an nation from the emperor to the troops avarice and meanness almost unparal- that had relieved him from his capleled, the Maharattas retained and tivity with the Maharattas, and placonverted to their own use all the ced him under the long-desired progardens and houses, in and about the tection of the British nation. city, which were royal property.

Lord Lake received the

money,

and Upon this wretched pittance the referred the decision of the question to descendants of a monarch (Aureng- the Marquis Wellesley, then governorzebe), whose revenue was under-esti- general, who, without delay, informed mated at 32 millions sterling, were the commander-in-chief, that the sum compelled to subsist, or rather to being unquestionably enemy's prostarve; for there is reason to appre- perty, its surreptitious transfer, on the hend they were frequently destitute of advance of the British army, could the commonest necessaries, and certain not alter its nature, and that it consely of all the comforts of life. But low quently could be accepted in no other as Shah Allum's income had fallen, light than prize-money, the legitimate his authority had fallen still lower; right of the captors. The state of infor his name was never brought for digence and misery to which his Maward but to sanction some unjust jesty, the royal family and household, claim, or to legalize extortion. The had been subjected by the Maharattas, individual placed near his person by the degraded and destitute condithe Maharattas, administered justice tion to which the imperial house of and injustice on all occasions, without Timour had been reduced by Sindia's the slightest reference to his imperial officers,--and the utterly deplorable prisoner; great cruelties were exercised circumstances in which Lord Lake in his name, for the basest purposes; found the emperor on the surrender commerce was obstructed, or rather of Delhi,--precluded the possibility of annihilated; and the city became the supposing that M. Drugeon, by a sudasylum of all sorts of banditti who den impulse of generosity, intended so could purchase impunity.

large a sum to alleviate the sufferings

per month.

treasurer,

90,000

of Shah Allum and his impoverished assigned territory: That no sentences court; the object of the unexpected of the criminal court, extending to the deposit being manifestly to elude the punishment of death, should be carried well-earned claims of the conquerors. into execution without the express The sum in dispute was accordingly sanction of his Majesty, to whom the distributed among the troops ; but in proceedings in all trials of this descripconsideration of the distressed condi- tion were to be reported; and that tion of the old emperor, instructions sentences of mutilation should be comwere issued to pay into the royal trea- muted: That, to provide for the imsury the sum of six lacks of rupees, mediate wants of his Majesty and the with the view of providing for the royal household, the following sums immediate wants of his Majesty. Owe should be paid in money from the ing, however, to the pressing exigen- treasury of the resident at Delhi : cies of the public service, funds could

Rupees, not be collected until 1807, when the

To his Majesty, for his private expenses, 60,000 whole amount was discharged at one To the heir apparent, exclusive of certain payment. Shah Allum no longer til favourite son of his Majesty, named

10,000 survived to experience the benefit of Mirza Izzit Baksh,

5,000 this generosity, his troubles having

To his Majesty's 50 younger sons and
daughters,

10,000 eeased in December 1806: the sum To Shah Nawauz Khan, his Majesty's was, in consequence, paid into the

2,500

To Seid Rizzee Khan, British agent at his treasury of his successor, Acber the Majesty's court, and related to him by Second, to whom it was not unaccept

marriage,

2,500 able.

Total per mensem, Soon after the surrender of Delhi,

£125,280 per annum. the Maharatta sway being completely To be afterwards augmented to one destroyed in Upper Hindostan by à lack of rupees per month, if the proseries of discomfitures, the Bengal go- duce of the assigned lands admitted of vernment proceeded to make arrange- it-exclusive of all the private proments for the support of their blind perty, and of 10,000 rupees to be paid protegé, and, as a commencement, re to his Majesty on the celebration of stored to the royal family all the certain festivals. houses, gardens, and lands, of which The most urgent wants of the aged they had been deprived by the Maha- monarch and his family being suprattas, and which, from the increased plied, various municipal improvements scarcity of property, soon became of were effected, some of the canals were great value. It was also determined cleaned, the principal streets cleared that a specified proportion of the ter- of rubbish, and an efficient police ritories in the vicinity of Delhi, situ- established. The punishment of muated on the right bank of the Jumna, tilation was abolished in this and in should be assigned in part of the pro- all the territories adjacent subject to vision for the maintenance of the royal the British jurisdiction, and a regulafamily ;-these lands to remain under tion was enacted, directing, that when a the charge of the resident at Delhi, person, by the Mahommedan law, was but the revenue to be collected, and condemned to lose two limbs, the de justice to be administered, in the name cree should be commuted to imprisonof his Majesty Shah Allum, under ment and hard labour for a term of regulations to be promulgated by the fourteen years; and if one limb, the supreme government: That his Ma same for seven years. The frequent jesty should be permitted to appoint a assassinations which were customary dewan, and other inferior officers, to during the Maharatta administration attend at the office of the collector, for were effectually suppressed, more by the purpose of ascertaining and report the institution of regular courts, to ing to his Majesty the amount of the which persons aggrieved could appeal, collections, and satisfying his mind than by any extension of the penal that no part of the revenue of the as- code, or sanguinary examples; the signed territory was misappropriated : long suspension of justice having in a That two courts of justice should be manner compelled the inhabitants to established, for the distribution of take the law into their own hands, civil and criminal justice, according to and to seek redress by poison and the the Mahommedan law, to the inha- dagger. bitants of the city of Delhi and the In thus protecting the person and

increasing the comforts of the blind calculated the facility of gaining the and despised Mogul emperor, it was town, they moved off on the 15th, never intended by the British govern- although they had prepared three ment to employ the royal prerogative mines laid under the bastions between as an instrument to establish any con the Turkoman and Ajmeer gates, one trol over the different states and chief- of them pushed directly under the tains of India. An object of import- bastion, and ready to be loaded. In ance was attained by his rescue from this manner, by the judicious arrangethe custody of the French and Maha- ments of Colonels Burn and Ochterrattas, who made use of his name to lony, and the determined resistance of sanction their machinations for the their troops, a small force was enabled subversion of the British dominion in to sustain a siege of nine days, repelled Hindostan, and retained, in the most an assault, and defended a city ten degraded condition of poverty and in- miles in circumference, which had sult, this unhappy representative of ever heretofore been given up on the the house of Timour. The most ra first appearance of an enemy. tional course appeared to be, to leave The siege of his capital by a rapathe king's authority exactly in the cious enemy was viewed by the aged state in which it was found, and to sovereign with the characteristic apathy afford the royal family the means of of a person whose life had been a sucsubsistence, not merely in a style of cession of vicissitudes; nor did the comfort, but of decent splendour, not danger to which they were exposed in unsuitable to a fallen but illustrious the slightest degree animate the inharace, to whose power the British nation bitants. Like Hudibras in the stocks, had in a great measure succeeded. they seemed to think, that he that is

From this period (September 1803) down can fall no lower, and waited the the tranquillity of Delhi remained un event as indifferent spectators. Shah disturbed, until 1801, when Holcar, Allum also probably foresaw, that in who was retreating from Mathura be- whichever way it might end, his intefore Lord Lake, sent his infantry, rest in the drama would not be of long provided with a formidable train of continuance, as his health had been artillery, to invest the city; and the gradually declining, and his advanced siege was accordingly commenced on age precluded all hopes of a protracted the 7th day of that month. Owing to existence. Accordingly it came to a a variety of pressing exigencies in close in December 1806, when he other quarters, the garrison was at finished, in his eighty-third year, a this time not only too small for the de- long and calamitous reign of forty-five fence of so immense a city (the walls of years; and on the same day his eldest which, besides their great extent, were legitimate son, Acber, was placed on accessible on all sides), but extremely the throne. In happier times Shah faulty in its composition, consisting Allum might have been a beneficent partly of 300 Mewaties, robbers by sovereign; but his abilities, or perhaps profession, and of a body of irregular any human abilities, were unequal to horse, whose fidelity could not be re the task of retrieving the fortunes of

The Mewaties justified their that tottering dynasty : he fell with a eharacter, by going over to the enemy falling state, and appears neither to at an early stage of the siege ; and the have retarded nor accelerated the ima irregular horse fled on the approach of petus of the descent. the enemy, and could not be prevailed The accession of Acber the Second on to impede his advance by an attack wss marked by the most unexampled while on the march. The enemy, a tranquillity, the commencement of few days afterwards, having opened every prior reign having been invaritheir batteries, and several breaches ably stained with bloodshed, and disbeing effected, as much by the con turbed with tumult and commotion. cussion of the guns on the crumb- Of this prince nothing very brilliant ling ramparts, as by their shot, an was anticipated, as, during his father's attempt was made to carry the place life, he had been for many years enby escalade, in which they were re-, tirely under the guidance of a woman pulsed; and soon after the guns were of low extraction, weak, proud, ignospiked in their batteries, during a rant, and of insatiable rapacity. The sortie, by a detachment under Lieu- peculiarities of his destiny, however, tenant Rose. Finding they had mis- did not call for the exertion of any

lied on.

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