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cretly attended with the most unhappy con. sequences.
Should it be the inclination and the wish of one of those despotic monarchs to reign with clemency, it does not often happen that it is in his power. The weight of the Imperial diadem has scarcely been felt upon his brow, than some secret confederacy is formed against the security of his throne, and of his life, which compels him to use the most arbitrary means, and even cruelties, to secure himself in his exalted situation. And these conspiracies are usually the offspring of jealousy and envy, which are set on foot by his brothers, and his nearest relatives, whom he must either destroy, or put out their eyes, unless he is willing to fall by the poison, or the swords of his enemies, in order to make room for a successor; who after having fluttered a few hours in the sun.shine of royalty, shares the same fate.
It is from these dreadful conspiracies that the historic annals of Hindostan are stained * with the relation of crimes and cruelties that
appear so shocking to humanity that fiends
alone could have perpetrated them. It is from such causes that the eastern historians have painted the road to the Imperial thrones of India, as lying through vast seas of blood. Yet with all these cruel obstacles in the road to power, we have seen the descendants of Ti. mur, when once firmly seated upon the throne, administering equal justice, punishing oppression, encouraging commerce, fostering industry, and patronising all the finer arts of peace.
But after the invasion of Nadir Shah, and the great divisions of the empire, which im. mediately succeeded, few traces of those come paratively excellent governments are to be found. The city of Ahmedabad presents the same sad picture of ruin and desolation which is to be found in the once famed cities of Agra, of Delhi, and of Lahore ; but as these are the immediate seats of government, and where all the splendid courts of the Moguls were usually held, the ruins, which are there found, must doubtless be more grand, superb, and magnificent.
I would fain have visited those celebrated cities, but they are too remote from our pos
sessions to admit of a hope on that head; and I must remain content with having seen, and ex. plored one that is but little inferior, and which, with this exception, displays more of the remains of Mogul splendour and magnificence than is to be found in any other part of Hin. dostan *.
* It is, perhaps, necessary for me to state, that this visit was made tu Ahmedabad so late in the last century 24 che: year 170 m
TO THE SECOND VOLUME
As I am now arrived at the close of the Second Volume of the Wanderer, it will be necessary for me to mention a few particulars respecting the progress of the work, before my readers take their final leave of that which is already written, and which has now been laid before the public.
It was my intention to have published four or five volumes of this work, successively; but I have been induced to defer the pub. lication of the remaining volumes until those already presented to the world, shall have received a favourable sanction from that public, before whom I now stand waiting their de. cision. If this, my literary offspring, shalb receive a smiling welcome, and a portion of. that candour, which has ever characterized the patrons of British Literature, and whichi shall enable its faults to be considered as those of the head, and not of the heart, I will go forward in the undertaking I have now begun, and continue the career of the Wanderer, through the various pages of suc. ceeding volumes, until the infirmities of old age shall render its death inevitable; but if on the contrary, my claims to the approba. tion of that public, which alone can uphold any work, shall be deemed nugatory, or unjust, the growth of this ill-favoured child shall be impeded, and instantly cut off by the speedy hand of the executioner.
The rapid inanner in which these volumes were written, and the irregular mode in which they have been printed, has produced many faults, which I am ashamed to own, but which cannot now be recalled or amended. The typographical errors are indeed propora tionately few in number, and not of such material consequence to the welfare of the work, as some hasty and improper sentiments, or expressions, which I have too heedlessly admitted in the rapid progress of my writings. To enumerate those which I principally allude to, in this place, would be equally tedious as