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the warm region of Hind; and farther, ingeniously justifies his opinions regarding the unknown and singular qualities of the rain-stone, by the equally singular and inexplicable properties of the magnet.
The branch of literature chiefly cultivated to the north of the Oxus, was poetry; and several of the persons mentioned in the progress of the following work, had made no mean proficiency in the art. The age which had produced the great divines and philosophers, the Burhan-eddins and the Avicennas, was past away from Maweralnaher; but every department of science and literature was still successfully cultivated on the opposite side of the southern desert, at Herat in Khorasan, at the splendid court of Sultan Hussain Mirza Baikera. It is impossible to contemplate the scene which Khorasan then afforded, without lamenting that the instability, inseparable from despotism, should, in every age, have been communicated to the science and literature of the East. Persia, at several different eras of its history, has only wanted the continuous impulse afforded by freedom and security, to enable its literature to rank with the most refined and useful that, has adorned or benefited any country. The most polished court in the west of Europe could not, at the close of the fifteenth century, vie in magnificence with that of Herat; and if we compare the court of Khorasan even with that of Francis the First—the glory of France, at a still later period—an impartial observer will be compelled to acknowledge, that in every important department of literature— in poetry, in history, in morals and metaphysies, as well perhaps as in music and the fine arts—the palm of excellence must be assigned to the court of the oriental prince. But the manners of Baber's court, in the early part of his reign, were not very refined; the period was one of confusion, rebellion, and force; and his nobles probably bore rather more visible traces of the rude spirit of the inhabitants of the desert from which their Turki ancestors had issued, and in which their own followers still dwelt, than of the polished habits of the courtiers who crowd the palaces of princes that have long reigned over a prosperous and submissive people.
Baber frequently alludes to the Tureh or Yasi, that is, the Institutions of Chengis? Khan; and observes, that though they were certainly not of divine appointment, they had been held in respect by all his forefathers. This Tureh, or Yasi, was a set of laws which were ascribed to that great conqueror, and were supposed to have been promulgated by him on the day of his inthronization. They seem to have been a collection of the old usages of the Moghul tribes, comprehending some rules of state and ceremony, and some injunctions for the punishment of particular crimes. The punishments were only two—death and the bastinado;* the number of blows extending from seven to seven hundred. There is something very Chinese in the whole of the Moghul system of punishment; even princes advanced in years, and in command of large armies, being punished by bastinado with a stick,' by their father's orders, f Whether they received their usage in this respect from the Chinese, or communicated it to them, is not very certain. As the whole body of their laws or customs was formed before the introduction of the Musulman religion, and was probably in many respects
* D'Herbelot, Biblioth. Orient. Art. Turk.
t Hist, de Timur Bee, vol. III. p. 227,263, 326, &c.
inconsistent with the Koran, as, for instance, in allowing the use of the blood of animals, and in the extent of toleration granted to other religions, it gradually fell into decay. One of these laws ordered adulterers to be punished with death; in consequence of which, we are told that the inhabitants of Kaindu, who, from remote times, had been accustomed to resign their wives to the strangers who visited them, retiring from their own houses during their stay, represented to the Tartar Prince the hardship to which this new enactment would subject them, by preventing the exercise of their accustomed hospitality, when they were relieved by a special exception from the oppressive operation of this law.* It is probable that the laws of Chengiz Khan were merely traditionary, and never reduced into writing. In Baber's days, they were still respected among the wandering tribes, but did not form the law of his kingdom. The present Moghul tribes punish most offences by fines of cattle.
We are so much accustomed to hear the manners and fashions of the East characterized as unchangeable, that it is almost needless to remark, that the general manners described by Baber as belonging to his dominions, are as much the manners of the present day as they were of his time. That the fashions of the East are unchanged, is, in general, certainly true; because the climate and the despotism, from the one or other of which a very large proportion of them arises, have continued the same. Yet one who observes the way in which a Musulman of rank spends his day, will be led to suspect that the maxim has sometimes been adopted with too little limitation. Take the example of his pipe and his coffee. The Kalliun, or Ilukka, is seldom out of his hand; while the coffee-cup makes its appearance every hour, as if it contained a necessary of life. Perhaps there are no enjoyments the loss of which he would feel more severely; or which, were we to judge only by the frequency of the call for them, we should suppose to have entered from a more remote period into the system of Asiatic life. Yet we know that the one (which has indeed become a necessary of life to every class of Musulmans) could not have been enjoyed before the discovery of America; and there is every reason to believe, that the other was not introduced into Arabia from Africa, where coffee is indigenous, previously to the sixteenth century ;f and what marks the circumstance more strongly, both of these habits have forced their way, in spite of the remonstrances of the rigorists in religion. Perhaps it would have been fortunate for Baber had they prevailed in his age, as they might have diverted him from the immoderate use first of wine, and afterwards of deleterious drugs, which ruined his constitution, and hastened on his end.
The art of war in the countries to the north of the Oxus, was certainly in a very rude state. No regular armies were maintained, and success chiefly depended upon rapidity of motion. A prince suddenly raised an army, and led it, by forced marches, into a neighbouring country, to surprise his enemy. Those who were attacked, took refuge in their walled towns, where, from the defects in the art of attacking fortified
* For a farther account of this code, see Notes to Langles Institute Politiques et Militaires de Timour, p. 39(i; Hist, des Decouvertes Russes, torn. III. p. 337; and Tooke's Russia, vol. IV. p. 23; whence farther particulars may be gleaned.
t La Roque, Traite Historique de l'Origine et du Progre's du Cafe", &c. Paris, 1716, 12mo.
places, they were for the most part secure. The two countries harassed each other by predatory inroads and petty warfare. Sometimes the stronger party kept tlie field, blockaded a fort, and reduced it by wasting the surrounding country; but peace was usually made with as much levity as war had been entered upon. Great bravery was often exhibited in their desperate forays; and the use of the sword and the bow was carefully studied. Some matchlocks were beginning to be introduced into their armies; but the sabre and the charge of horse still generally decided the day. They were not ignorant of the art of mining. Their most skilful miners were from Badakhshan, where they probably learned the art from working the ruby mines and beds of lapis lazuli. A few cannon had begun to be used in sieges, and latterly even in the line. Their military array, however, was still formed according to the rules given by Taimur Beg. They had, indeed, a right and left wing, and a centre, with a body in advance, and a reserve ;* they had also parties of flankers on their wings; but they seem seldom to have engaged in a regular battle. Most of the armies mentioned by Baber were far , from being numerous; and the day seldom appears to have been decided by superior skill in military tacties.
These are the only remarks that seem necessary regarding the countries north of the Hindukush Mountains; and little need be added concerning those to the south, which were subdued by Baber. The labours of Major Rennell throw sufficient light on the geography of that monarch's transactions in India; and long before this volume can appear, a similar light must have been shed over his marches in Afghanistan, by the publication of the work of Mr Elphinstone on that country. It may only be briefly remarked, that the Hindukush range, after passing to the north of Kabul, breaks into numerous hills running west and south-west, which constitute the ancient kingdom of Bamian, and the modern countries of the Hazaras and Aimaks; that the Belut-tagh Mountains, formerly mentioned as running north from Hindukush, seem also to shoot south by Sefid Koh, forming the Suleman range which traverses the whole of Afghanistan, as far as the country of Belochistan, running in the greater part of its course nearly parallel to the Indus; and that this range, soon after it passes the latitude of Ghazni, seems to divide into three or more parallel ridges that run south; but that though the mountains run north and south, the slope of the land is from west to east; in consequence of which, some of the rivers that rise in the high lands of Ghazni and Kabul, appear to be obliged to force their way through a rupture in the transverse ranges, when they pursue their course eastward to the Indus. Such is the case with the river of Kabul, when it bursts its way first through the Logur range, and lower down, through the Sulemani, near Jelalabad; and in an inferior degree, with the Kurram and Gomul rivers, which have wrought themselves a course through the more southern branches of the same range.
From this long range, which runs south, there issue three minor branches of some note, that run eastward. The most northerly is the Khaiber, or Kohat range, which extends from Sefid Koh, to Nilab on the Indus, running all the way nearly parallel to
* See White's Translation of the Institutes of Timour.
the Kabul river, and to the road from Kabul to Peshawer. The next, which by Baber is called the Bangash Hills, and by Mr Elphinstone is designated as the Salt Range, runs from Sefid Koh, south-east to Kalabagh, where it is crossed by the Indus, but pursues its course in its original direction to the Behat or Jelam river, the Hydaspes of antiquity, beyond Pind-Daden-Khan. The third, which runs from Bazar to Paniala, on the Indus, may be called the Duki Range. Between the two first lies the valley of Kohat, so particularly mentioned by Baber; and between the two last, Banu, part of Bangash, and several other districts. The other places in this direction will be noted when they occur.
From the west of the Sefid Koh, runs a range which passes to the south-west of Kabul, Ghazni, and Kandahar, whence it runs down to the desert of Sistan.
Between this range and that of Paropamisus, the level country of Kabul rises up to Ghazni, which is the highest table land in Afghanistan, the rivers descending on the one side, north to Kabul, on the other, west to Kandahar, and on the eastward, to the Indus. The western slope of Ghazni is by Kandahar, to the Lake of Sistan, and the desert. This level country is of no great breadth.
But the part of Afghanistan which is most frequently alluded to by Baber, is the tract lying along the southern slope of the Hindukush Mountains, and the angle formed by the Paropamisan Hills, as they advance to the south. It consists of a number of mountainous mounds, pushed forwards from the higher hills, and forming steep and narrow, but beautiful and finely watered valleys between, which transmit their streams to swell the Kabul river. Most of these, from Ghourbend and PenjshSr, down to Penjkora and Sewad, are particularly commemorated by Baber himself, in his lively description of the country. His account of the different roads from Hindustan is a curious portion of the geography of Afghanistan.
With the assistance of Major Rennell's and Mr Elphinstone's maps, it will be easy to follow Baber through all the journeys mentioned in the two last parts of the Memoirs; and the Memoir and map of Mr Waddington will give a clearer idea than is elsewhere to be found of the country north of the Oxus, the scene of the first part of the Memoirs.
A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE SUCCESSORS OF
FROM THE DEATH OF THAT PRINCE TO THE ACCESSION
Baber begins his Memoirs abruptly, by informing us, that he mounted the throne ot Ferghana at the age of twelve. As he often alludes to events that occurred previous to that time, and speaks familiarly of the different princes who had governed in the neighbouring countries, supposing the reader to be well acquainted with their history, it becomes necessary, for the better understanding of his text, to give a short review of the succession of the most eminent of those who had ruled in his kingdom, and in the adjoining countries, for some years before his accession; and as the whole of these princes were descended from the famous Tamerlane, or Taimur Beg, as all their kingdoms were only fragments of his immense empire, and their claims and political relations derived from him, the reign of that prince is the most convenient period from which to commence such a review. Death of Taimur Beg, after having spread his empire over the fairest provinces of Asia, died Beg. in the year 1405,* near the city of Otrar, beyond the river Sirr. His dominions, how
ever, though extensive, were ill compacted and ill governed. He had conquered countries, but he had not the genius to found an empire. Though a conqueror, whatever
* 17 Shaban, A. H: 807. Wednesday, 18th February, A.D. 1405, (not 1st April, as fixed by Petis de la Croix, Hist, de Timur Bee, vol. IV. p. 228, and Gibbon's Rom. Empire, vol. X. p. 42.) I generally follow Gladwin's Tables of the Christian and Mahommedan -Eras, Calc. 1790, 8vo, and correct them by the Chronological Tables in the first volume of L'Art de Verifier les Dates, 3 vols. Paris, 1783, folio.