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portation, either to India, br Khorassaun. It would have taken 2 week to satisfy us with the sight of Calla-baugh ; but it threatened rain, and had the torrent filled while we were there, our whole camp must have been swept into the Indus.”
At this place, the party was compelled to remain for the space of a mouth, waiting for a mehmaundaur, or protector and guide to the royal residence, after leaving the above place, they met a party sent by the king, of a hundred horses bearing to Mr. Elphinstone, a dress of honour.
“ In the evening I went to a tent, pitched about one hundred yards from my camp, to receive a dress of honour, sent me by tlie king. I found the tent filled with the principal people from the king, standing with the same respect as if his majesty had been
I was instructed to bow to the dress, and was afterwards invested with a large flowing robe of gold cloth; lined with satin, which I was told, the king himself had worn : a shawl was wound round my hat, and the king's letter was stuck in it ; another shawl. was given to me for a girdle, and all present
said a short
prayer. The dress was rich, and the shawls costly.”
The next place of eminence at which the party halted, was Cobaut, p. 40, 41 ; after passing through the interesting valley of Langee, which is for a considerable space, parallel to the Indus. The next station was Peshawer, beyond which place the Aunbassador did not proceed. Their mode of entrance is thus described :
“On the morning of the 25th, after soine confusion about the mode of our reception, we made our entry into Peshawer. There was a great crowd all the way. The banks on each side of the road were covered with people, and many climbed up trees to see us pass. The crowd increased as we approached the city, but we were put to no inconvenience by it, as the king's horse, that had
out to meet us, charged the mob vigorously, and used their whips without the least compunction. One man attracted particular notice: he wore a high red cap, of a conical shape, with some folds of cloth round the bottom, and a white plume; he had a short jacket of skin, black pantaloons, and brown boots : he was an uncommonly fine figure, tall, and thin, with swelling mus. cles, a high nose, and an animated countenance: he was mounted on a very fine grey horse, and rode with long stirrups, and very well. We carried a long spear, without a head, with which he charged the mob at speed, shouting without a loud and deep voice. He not only dispersed the mob, but rode at grave people, sitting on terraces, with the greatest fury, and kept all clear wherever he went. His name was Russool Dewauneh, or Russool the Mad. He was well known for a good and brave soldier ; but an irregular and unsettled person. He alterwards was in great favour with, most of the mission, and was equipped in an English helmet, and cavalry uniform, which well became him. By the time we had entered the town, the roads were so narrow that our progress became very slow, and we had time to hear the remarks of the spectators, which were expressive of wonder at the procession, and of good will towards us; but the crowd and bustle was too great to admit of any distinct observations. At length we reached the house prepared for us, and were ushered into an apartment, spread with carpets and felts for sitting on. Here we were seated on the ground in the Persian manner, and trays of sweetmeats were placed before us.
They consisted of sugared almonds, and there was a loaf of sugar for making sherbet in the midst of each tray. Soon after our conductors observed that we required rest, and withdrew."
The principal thing which surprized our countrymen in the lodgings prepared for them, was the cellars intended for a retreat from the heats of summer. These cellars are painted and furnished in the same manner as the rooms above, and have generally a fountain in the middle of the hall. The hospitality they received was beyond all bounds, consisting of provisions for two thousand persons daily, with two bundred horses, besides elephants for their accominudation. The mode of receiving ainbassadors at Caubul is whimsical enough. The poor ambassador is brought into a court by two officers, who hold him firmly by the arm. On coming in sight of the king, who appears at a high window, he is made to run forward for a certain distance, when he stops for a moment and prays for the king. He is then made to run forward again, and prays once more, and after another run, the king calls out " Khellut,” a dress; after which one of the officers of state says “ Getsheen," begone. The ambassador is then made to run out of the court, and sees the king no more till sent for to a private audience.
Our countrymen did not choose to submit to this degradation, and on being introduced only pulled off their hats and made a low obeisance ; they afterwards held up their hands as if to pray for the king. The description of the ceremony is very curious, but too long for insertion, see page 49, et seq. The forms and the modes of expression very much resemble those in use among the ancient Persians, and the king wore the famous jewel, of which an engraving may be found in Tavernier's Travels, and which is still called “ Cohi Noor." Among what most attracted the king's curiosity in the various presents, were a magnificent pair of pistols, and an organ ; he also admired the silk stockings worn by the gentlemen, and desired to have some.
The king's officers pretended to consider two English servants, sent to put up the lustres, as part of the present. The description of Peshawer is continued for some pages, and Вь
will VOL. VI, OCTOBER, 1816,
will excite much interest; as will also the civility of the nativet, the beauty of the country, and the singularity of manners. The following is an account of one of the entertainments they received at some little distance from Peshawer.
* We went to the village, and was received most kindly by the chief mar and his people in a delightful grove of mulberry trees, skirted on one side by a running stream. Couches spread with cool mats were laid out for us in such numbers, that they formed a large circle, within which the greatest part of the village were assembled. We sat and conversed for about an hour, respecting the king, the country, crops, &c. They invited us to go out and hawk with them, but it was then too hot for such an amusement. When conversation began to flag, the schoolmaster and priest of the village alternately chaunted the verses and odes of Hafiz. The scene was altogether most interesting, novel, and amusing. The schoolmaster was a wit and a punster, and the priest not disdaining a jest, they out continually at each other. When breakfast was ready we went into the house to eat it. It consisted of excellent pillew and delicious milk; and we made a most hearty meal. We returned to town very much pleased with our entertainment, the place, and the people, having left them with a promise to return some morning early, to amuse ourselves with their hawks and to teach them to shoot birds flying."
The particular circumstances of the residence at Peshawer are agreeably detailed from page 60-64. Whilst Mr. Elphinstone remained at this place, baving been successful in all the circumstances of his negotiations, one of those events happened which frequently occur in the countries of the East, namely a formidable rebellion against the reigning monarch. A great defeat was sustained by the king's party, and Peshawer became an unsafe residence for the gentlemen of the embassy, and they accordingly agreed to retire to the eastern frontier.
Leaving Peshawer, the party proceeded to Attock, which was once a considerable place. Their next halt was at Hussun Abdaul, and here it was intended that the gentlemen composing the mission should remain till the fate of Caubul should be decided. But Mr. Elphinstone had, before he reached this place, received his letters of recall. He was unable, however, to proceed, till the king's answer to this communication should be received, and till the permission should be obtained from the Siks to pass through their country. In this interval, intelligence was received that all the efforts of the king to regain his power had. been ineffectual, and that he was driven into exile.
Their first place of balt in the country of the Siks was Rawil Pindee, a large and populous place. Whilst advancing on their march they were molested by some mountaineers, who fired upon
them, killed a man, and wounded one of the gentlemen of the embassy. They passed the Hydaspes at Jellalpoor, and contie nued their march across the Penjaub, and again entered the British territories at Lodeeana, after passing the Sutledge.
As Sir John Malcolm has given a detailed account of the Siks, Mr. Elphinstone has not conceived it necessary to give any par. ticular description of the region occupied by this singular people.
Such is a concise account of the line of country traversed by Mr. Elphinstone. The large remainder of the volume is occupied by a geographical description of Afghanistaun, of its inhabi. tants, their government, and peculiar manners; indeed of every thing which can possibly be comprehended in a statistical survey. To this the different individuals composing the mission severally contributed. These collected remarks occupy the two first books into which the voluine is divided. The third book exhibits a
precise account of the Afghaun tribes, and among these the portion of the fourth chapter which describes the Dooraunees is most peculiarly full of interest. The fourth book is entirely geographical, and is dedicated to the provinces into which this region is divided. The last book is wholly employed in delineating the royal governmeut of Caubul, its military and religious establishments.
The general execution of this elaborate work is what might reasonably be expected from the united talents of so many accomplished individuals, and certainly merits the highest commendation. To those more particularly, and there are many such, who indulge a zealous curiosity upon oriental subjects, this volume will communicate a great extension of their knowledge, and point out many new sources for their future investigation. The variety and the singularity of national manners and customs, present to every reader an abundant fund of information; among these peculiari. ties, so videly opposite to European manners, the following is not the least striking; it is however taken without any particular selection, from a number of similar characteristic descriptious with which the work abounds.
“ One of the most remarkable characteristics of the Afghauns is their hospitality. The practice of this virtue is so much a nativa nal point of honour, that their reproach to an inhospitable man is, that he has no Pooshtoonwullee, nothing of the customs of the Afghauns. All persons indiscriminately are entitled to profit by it, and a man who travelled over the whole country without money, would never be in want of a meal, unless perhaps in towns. It is the greatest of affronts to an Afghaun to carry off his guest ; but his indignation is never directed against the guest who quits hiin, but the person who invites him away. All the details of the practice Bb 2
of hospitality will appear in the particular account of the tribes, but I shall here mention some customs connected with that principle.
“ The most remarkable is a custom peculiar to this people and called “ Nannawantee,” from two Pushtoo words, meaning " I have come in.” A person who has a favour to ask goes to the house or tent of the man on whom it depends, and refuses to sit on bis carpet or partake of his hospitality, till he shall grant the boon required. The honour of the party thus solicited will incur a stain if he does not grant the favour asked of him, and so far is the practice carried, that a man overmatched by his enemies will sometimes go nannarcantee, to the house of another man, and ask him to take up his quarrel, which the other is obliged to do, unless he is utterly unable to interfere with effect, or unless some circumstance render his interference obviously improper.
“ A still stronger appeal is made, when a woman sends her veil to an Afghaun, and implores his assistance for herself and her family. It was by this expedient that Timour Shah's queen, prevailed on Sinafrawz Khaun, the father of the present grand vizier, to afford his assistance in the elevation of Shauh Zemaun to the throne, an event chiefly brought about by his influence.
“ This last custom is not connected with the laws of hospitality, but it is those laws alone which protect every individual who has entered the house of an Afghaun. A man's bitterest enemy is safe while he is under his roof, and a stranger who has come into' an Afghaun's house or tent, is under the protection of the master as long as he stays in the village. From this principle arises the obligation of protecting and defending a fugitive whatever may be his crime, and hence the frequency of elopements with women from one Oolooss to another, and of the refuge found by murderers in a similar flight.
“ The protection which the rights of hospitality confer, does not however extend beyond the lands of the village, or at most of the tribe; and there are undoubted testimonies of Afghauns of preda. tory tribes entertaining a traveller, and dismissing him with presents, and yet robbing him when they met him again, after he was out of their protection."
An example of this strange inconsistency occurred with respect to two gentlemen of the mission, who, after having been received with much kindness by some Afghauns, were attacked by these same people on their return to the ambassador's camp, and one of them was wounded.
The peculiarities of manners and customs incidental to the several tribes into which this vast region is divided, are noticed in their respective places, and afford ample materials for the speculations of the philosopher and the moralist.
There is a large and copious Appendix, or rather number of appendices, to the extent of almost one huudred and fifty pages.