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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 circumstance, 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 bis assembled ameirs, he placed

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 that 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.” pp. 6, 7.

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 bis favours, stand the prime minister, Chaja Aias, and his bewitching daughter, the celebrated Voor- Mahil. The fortunes of this family are still remembered 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 nigorous, 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


the infant, and they were obliged to abandon it in the desert. But before they quitted the child, they contrived to deposit it under a tree, and to cover it with leaves. They then renewed their journey, bathed in bitter tears.

The mother, as she departed, kept her eyes fixed upon the tree, beneath which she had thus been constrained to leave the precious fruit of her womb. She bore her grief in silence until that beacon began to fade on her sight, and then she could no longer suppress the voice of nature. - My child! my child !' she exclaimed, in agony, throwing herself from the palfrey, and attempting to return to her infant; but she could not move. Aias, pierced to the heart, tottered back for the child; but what was his horror on approaching the tree to behold an immense black snake coiled round the babe, and preparing to devour it ! The shouts of the father frightened the reptile, which fled into a hollow part of the tree, and he succeeded in restoring the innocent safe to her mother's arms. A few hours afterwards travellers appeared within the horizon, from whom they received a supply of necessaries. Eventually they made their way to the city of Lahore, where Akbar then held his court.

Aias in a short time became secretary to Asiph Chan, a kinsman of his, who was then one of Akbar's omrahs. Having by his abilities in his office attracted the notice of the emperor, he was gradually promoted to the appointment of high treasurer, and thus became, from a poor adventurer, one of the first subjects in the empire. His daughter—who from her extraordinary beauty was at tirst called Mher-ul-Nissa, · The Sun of Woman,'-received the best education that could be obtained for her. In music, dancing, and poetry, she was eminently accomplished-in painting she had no equal among her own sex. She was in the early bloom of her beauty when Jehangire (then Selim) was in the heyday of his youth. Being invited one day to her father's, he remained after the public banquet was over, and all but the principal guests had withdrawn, when, according to custom, wine was brought, and the ladies of the family made their appearance veiled. Mher-ul-Nissa's graceful figure at once attracted the attention of the young prince. She sang- her voice touched his very soul: she danced-he followed all her movements with expressions of rapture that could hardly be restrained within becoming bounds. In the midst of this excitement the fair enchantress, turning towards Selim, accidentally dropped her veil. He was completely taken in the toils which her ambition had designedly spread for him, although she was already betrothed to Shere Afkun, a Turcomanian nobleman of distinguished character. Selim demanded from his father a dissolution of this contract,


but Akbar honourably refused to perpetrate so gross an injustice, and she was married to Shere Afkun at the appointed time.

When Selim succeeded to the throne, one of his first objects was to obtain possession of the woman to whom he had been so violently attached. But he durst not venture to use open force, as Shere Afkun was one of the most popular chieftains in the empire. Having attempted various modes for destroying him, which are related in the East with the exaggerations usually invented in favour of an injured hero, Jehangire at length succeeded in his atrocious purpose.

Shere Afkun was assassinated by a band of armed men employed for the purpose, by Kuttub, then Suba of Bengal, one of the emperor's most devoted adherents. But before the victim died, he slew the ruffian who had lent himself to the passions of the despot.

Whether Jehangire was really shocked and disturbed by these incidents, or only wished to allow some time to pass away before he took possession of the blood-bought prize, in order to induce the people to suppose that he had no hand in the murder of her husband, we have now no means of ascertaining. It appears, however, that for four years the matchless beauty remained shut up in the worst apartment which his harem afforded, without once seeing the emperor. She endured her fate not only with resignation, but cheerfulness, still sustained by the hope that accident would one day enable her to overrule the resolutions of Jehangire, from whatever source they sprung: She was allowed a miserable stipend, of about two shillings of our money per day, for the support of herself and her female slaves. But her spirit rose with her difficulties. She employed herself and her attendants in working pieces of tapestry and embroidery, in painting silks, and inventing and executing female ornaments of every description. Her various manufactures were finished with so much delicacy and skill, that they were bought up with the greatest avidity, and became the models of fashion at Delhi and Agra. She was in this way enabled to repair and decorate her residence, and to clothe her slaves in the richest garments ; but she spent no part of her newly acquired wealth upon herself; she continued to dress in the plainest style, as most suitable to her then personal condition.

The emperor heard of her fame in every quarter, and at length he was tempted by curiosity, if not by passion, to visit her. He entered her apartment suddenly, and was surprised to find her half reclining on an embroidered sofa, dressed in a plain muslin robe, her slaves, attired in splendid brocades, sitting around her, and all industriously employed. The magnificence of the chamber astonished him, as well as the exquisite taste with which it was

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