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TRAN's LAtion of one of the Inscriptions on the Pillar at Delhi, by H. Colebrooke, Esq. With Introductory REMARKs by Mr.
[From the Asiatic Researches, Vol. VII.]
go I HAVE the pleasure of presenting to the society a book of drawings and inscriptions, prepared under the inspection of their late member, captain James Hoare, and intended by him (I have reason to believe) for the use of the society.” Two of the drawings represent •elevations, taken on the spot, of the stone building near Dehlee, called the Shikargah, or hunting place, of Feeróz Shah; with the pillar in the centre, and above the summit of it, commonly known by the desigmation of Feeróz Shah’s Lāt; and described, with an outline of the building and pillar, in the 21st paH. e 1st vol. of the society's ransactions. The copy of the inscriptions on this pillar, which was
received by our reverend president
and founder, from colonel Polier, enabled him to exhibit a translation of one of them, as accurate as the imperfect state of the transcript would admit; but on comparing it with a more perfect copy made for captain Hoare, it was found in several parts defective and inaccurate; and the date, instead of being 123 of the aera of Vicramaditya, or A. D. 67, as appeared from the former copy, was clearly ascer
tained from the present to be 1220 of the above ora; or A. D. 1164. An accurate translation of this inscription has therefore been furnished by Mr. Henry Colebrooke who has distinguished himself as a anscrit scholar by his version of the Hindoo Law Digest, compiled under the superintendance of sir William Jones), and is now submitted to the society; with the original Sanscrit in Roman letters. “Of the five other inscriptions
contained in the accompanyin book, and taken from the same pillar, but in a different character, no translation has been yet procurable. The deposit of them among the society’s papers, and, if they think proper, the publication of an engraving of them in their Transactions, may lead to a future explication of them; which must be also facilitated by captain Hoare's
collection of the characters.
... “The same characters appear in the inscription on the pillar at Allahabad, a specimen .# which, with a modern Arabick and Persian inscription in the reign of Jehangeer, and a drawing . the pillar, are also contained in the accompanying book. I have not been able to procure any information respecting M 4 this
this pillar, and understand from Moonshee Mohummud Morad, who accompanied captain Hoare, that lis inquiries at Allahabad were equally unsuccessful. “The Feeroz Shah, whose name is now attached to the Dehlee pillar (though it must have been erected as some Hindoo monument at a much earlier period), appears from Ferishtuh's history to have reigned at Dehlee between the years 1351 and 1388, in the last of which he died at the age of ninety; and Ferishtuh, in the words of his translator, lieutenantcolonel Dow, gives him the following character:— “‘Though no great warrior in • the field, he was, by his excellent • qualities, well calculated for a “reign of peace. His severity to • the inhabitants of Cumaoon for • the assassination of the governor * of Samana, is a great blot in his “reputation. But to this he per“haps was prompted by a religious • zeal and enthusiasm, for the per• sons murdered were seids, or de“scendants of the prophet. He “reigned thirty-eight years and * nine months, and left many me‘morials of his magnificence in the ‘land. He built fifty great sluices, * forty mosques, thirty schools, * twenty caravansaries, an hundred ‘palaces, five hospitals, an hundred ‘tombs, ten baths, ten spires, one • hundred and fifty wells, one hun“dred bridges; and the pleasure- gardens he made were without • number.” “The author of the Huft Akleem, Mohummud Ameen Razee, who wrote his history of the world, (or, as the title of his book imports, of the Seven Climes into which the Mahomedans divide the universe), in the reign of Akbur, corroborates the above character of Feeróz Shah,
and adds the following passa
translated verbatim from his history:—“Among the places built ‘by this king (Feeróz Shah) is a ‘hunting-place, which the popu“ lace call the Låt of Feeroz Shah. * It is a house of three stories, in • the centre of which has been ‘ erected a pillar of red stone, “of one piece, and tapering up“wards. The visible part of the “shaft is, by measurement, twenty“seven zirras, and it is said that ‘ one-third only is visible; the re‘maining two-thirds being buried * in the earth. “tal length must be eighty-one zir• ras; and it is five zirras in cir* cumference. Round it have been ‘ engraved literal characters, which • the most intelligent of all religions “have been unable to explain. Re‘port says, this pillar is a monu“ment of renown to the rajuhs (or “Hindoo princes), and that Feeroz
• Shah set it up within his humting-"
‘place. But on this head there are “various traditions, which it would * be tedious to relate.” “The exact length of the zirra, referred to in the above description, is uncertain. But there can be no doubt but the height of the pillar, now visible above the building, is thirty-seven feet; and that its circumference, where it joins the terrace, is ten feet four inches. These dimensions I have from Moonshee
- Mohummud Morad, who himself
measured the pillar for captain Hoare, in July 1797; and who adds, that, as far as it could be seen (which from the ruinous state of the building it cannot be, at present, below the upper terrace), it is certainly, as described in the Huft Akleem, a single stone, of reddish colour, as represented in the drawing. One of captain Hoare's draw. ings further represents the plansi.
In this case, the to
the three stories of the Shikar-gah, and his moonshee informs me, the current opinion is, that they were used partly for a menagery, and partly for an aviary, which the plans appear to confirm. “Perhaps the same misguided religious zeal, which prompted his severity towards the inhabitants of Cumaoon, may have impelled him to erect a mansion for birds and beasts, round a venerable relic of Hindoo antiquity, the age of which cannot, I conceive, be determined by the date of the inscription now communicated to the society, as the character of it is modern, and altogether different from the older inscriptions, not yet explained. s “J. H. HARING To N.”
sAN scrit inscription, iN Roman CHARACTERS.
“ samvat 1220 vais'âc’ha sudí 15 s'ácambhari bhūpati srimad vélla dévátmaja Srimad visala dévasya. “l àvind'hyád himádrér virachita vijayas tirtha yatrá prasangád udgrivéshu praharta nripatishu vinamatcand’haréshuprasannah āryūvertam yat'hārtham punar api critaván mléchch'ha vichch’hédanábhirdévah sacambharindró jagati vijayaté visalah cshônipálah “2 brúté samprati báhujáta tilacah s'ácambhari bhāpatih Srimad vigraha rāja Čsha vijayi santánaján atmanah asmábhih caradam vyad’háyi himavadvind'hyántarálambhuvah sésha swicaranáya mástu bhavatám udyoga sanyam mapah. ambhá náma ripu priyá nayanayóh pratyart'hidantántaré pratyacshan'i trin'ani vaibhava milat cishtám yasis tivacam márgölöca viruddha £va vijanah sunyam manó vidwishám
“In the year 1220, on the 15th day of the bright half of the month Vaisac’h, [this monument] of the fortunate Visala Déva, son of the fortunate Vélla Déva, king of Sácambharí. “As far as Vindhya, as far as Himádri, having achieved, conquest in the course of travelling to holy places; resentful to haughty kings, and indulgent to those whose . are humbled; making A'ryãverta once more what its name signifies, by causing the barbarians to be exterminated ; Vísala Déva, supreme ruler of Sácambhari and sovereign of the earth, is victorious in the world. “This conqueror, the fortunate Vigraha Rāja, king of Sácambhari, most eminent of the tribe which sprang from the arms [of Brahmá, J now addresses his own descendants: “By us the region of “ the earth between Himavat and “Vind’hya has been made tribu‘tary ; let not your minds be void * of exertion to subdue the re* mainder.” “Tears are evident in the eyes of thy enemy’s consort; blades of - gross
On the Optical PHARNoMENoN named the Mir AGE.
£Translated from the French of M. Gaspard Mosco, by the Author of “A Non-Military Journal made in EGyrr.”]
“ TNAURING the march of the French army through the Desert, from Alexandria to Cairo, we had an opportunity of observing a phenomenon daily, that must be considered extraordinary by the eater part of the inhabitants of rance. It is necessary for its production, that the spectator should be placed in an extensive plain, wholly, or at least nearly, level; that this plain should be prolonged to the limits of the horizon, and that the soil, by exposure to the sun, should have acquired a very high degree of temperature. It is supposed that these three circumstances may be united in the flats of Bourdeaux, for their level, like that of Lower Egypt, is nearly horizontal; they are not terminated by any mountain, at least in the direction from east to west; and it is probable that, during our long summer days, the arid soil of which they are formed may acquire a sufficient temperature. It is, therefore, not wholly improbable but that this henomenon may be known to the inhabitants of that department; it is familiar to mariners, who observe it frequently at sea, and have given it the name of mirage. “In truth, the cause which occasions the mirage in the ocean, may
be very different from that which
produces it at land; but the effect being the same in both cases, i. have not deemed it properto introduce a new word. I shall first describe the phenomenon, and afterwards endeavour to give an explanation of it. “The country of Lower Egypt is nearly a level plain, which loses itself, like the sea, in the clouds at the extremity of the horizon: its uniformity is only interrupted by a few eminences, either natural or factitious, on which are situated the villages, thus kept out of the reach of the inundations of the Nile; and these eminences, less usual on the skirts of the desert, more frequently to be seen on the side of the Delta, and which appear like a dark line on a very transparent sky, are rendered still further visible by the date-trees and sycamores, oftener to be met with in such situations than elsewhere. “Both morning and evening the aspect of the country is exactly as it ought to be ; and between you and the last villages which present themselves, you perceive nothing but land; but when the surface of the earth is sufficiently heated by the rays of the sun, and indeed until it begins to get cold towards the evening, the land no longer seems to have the same extension, but to be terminated, to within the distance