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alarm of his army in the war with Rana Sanka, bears the indications of the most heroic magnanimity. The latter period of his life is one uninterrupted series of
“ But we are not to expect in Baber, that perfect and refined character which belongs only to modern times and Christian countries. We sometimes see him order what, according to the practice of modern war, and the maxims of a refined morality, we should consider as cruel executions. We find him occasionally the slave of vices which, even though they belonged to his age and country, it is not possible to regard in such a man without feelings of regret. We are disappointed to find one possessed of so refined an understanding and so polished a taste, degrading both, by an obtrusive and almost ridiculous display of his propensity to intoxication. It may palliate, though it cannot excuse this offence, that it appears to have led him to no cruelty or harshness to his servants or those around him; that it made him neglect no business, and that it seems to have been produced solely by the ebullition of high spirits in his gay and social temper. We turn from Baber, the slave of such vices, which, probably, hastened on a premature old age, and tended to bring him to an early grave, and view him with more complacency, encouraging in his dominions the useful arts and polite literature, by his countenance and his example. We delight to see him describe his success in rearing a new plant, in introducing a new fruit-tree, or in repairing a decayed aqueduct, with the same pride and complacency that he relates his most splendid victories. No region of art or nature seems to have escaped the activity of his research. He had cultivated the art of poetry from his early years ; and his Diwan, or collection of Tûrki poems, is mentioned as giving him a high rank among the poets of his country. He also wrote a work on Prosody and some smaller productions, which he sometimes alludes to in his memoirs. He was skilful in the science of music, on which he wrote a treatise. But his most remarkable work is, undoubtedly, the memoirs of his own life. No history, perhaps, contains so lively a picture of the life and opinions of an eastern prince.
" A striking feature in Baber's character is, his unlikeness to other Asiatic princes. Instead of the stately, systematic, artificial character that seems to belong to the throne in Asia, we find him natural, lively, affectionate, simple; retaining on the throne all the best feelings and affections of common life. Change a few circumstances arising from his religion and country, and, in reading the transactions of his life, we might imagine that we had got among the adventurous knights of Froissart. This, as well as the simplicity of his language, he owed to his being a Türk. That style which wraps up a worthless meaning in a mist of words, and the etiquette which annihilates the courtier in the presence of his prince, were still, fortu. nately for Baber, foreign to the Tûrki race, among whom he was born and educated.*
Upon the whole, if we review with impartiality the history of Asia, we shall find few princes who are entitled to rank higher than Baber in genius and accomplishments. His grandson, Akber, may, per
* Baber, though his family were of Mogul origin, always speaks of himself as being a Türk ; all his affections were with the Turks, whose language and manners were hereditary to him; and he often speaks of the Moguls with mingled hatred and contempt. Yet, through that loose application of the words Mogul and Tatar, which has become so general, the dynasty which he founded in India, is known as the Mogul dynasty ; and even Ferishta speaks of his having written his Commentaries in the Mogul language,
haps, be placed above him for profound and benevolent policy. The crooked artifice of Aurungzîb is not entitled to the same distinction. The merit of Chengiz Khan, and of Tamerlane, terminates in their splendid conquests, which far excelled the achievements of Baber. But, in activity of mind, in the gay equani. mity and unbroken spirit with which he bore the extremes of good and bad fortune, in the possession of the manly and social virtues, so seldom the portion of princes, in his love of letters, and his success in the cultivation of them, we shall probably find no other Asiatic prince who can justly be placed beside him.” *
Through the influence of Khalifeh, Baber's primeminister, who possessed the chief authority among the Tûrki nobles, Hûmaioon ascended the throne without opposition; but he was soon called to defend it against powerful insurgents and domestic competitors. The designs of his brother Kamirân on the Punjaub were turned aside, by bestowing upon him the government of all the provinces from the most southern branch of the Indus to Persia. Sultan Mahmood, who again seized upon Jionpore, was defeated and put to fight. A still more formidable enemy then took the field, Bahadur,“ king of Gujerat,” over whom also Humaioon's good fortune prevailed ; but while engaged in the complete reduction of that province, news was brought that Shere Khan, the Patan governor of Bahar, had declared his independence. While engaged in putting down this formidable insurrection, Hûmaioon was basely deserted by his two brothers, Hindal and Kamirân, who took that opportunity to en. deavour, severally, to seize the throne. The Emperor, whose conduct towards his ungenerous brothers,
* Erskine's Memoirs of Baber, pp. 429-432.
appears to have been singularly exemplary, endea. voured in vain to bring about a coalition of interests against their common enemy, by representing that their family quarrels would certainly issue in the loss of that mighty empire which it had cost their father so much pains to conquer. The result was, that the house of Baber, thus divided, fell. In 1541, Sheer Khan succeeded in driving Humaioon and his bro. thers from the empire, and took possession of the throne. Humaioon, after being reduced to the greatest extremities and perils, through the treachery of his adherents, * made his escape to the court of Persia, where Shah Tamasp gave the royal fugitive a geneTous reception; and by his powerful aid, in 1545, Humâioon recovered Caubul from his brother Kami. rân. That restless and 'uuprincipled prince, though repeatedly pardoned by Humaioon, never gave up the contest, till he was deprived of his eyes. He died a pilgrim at Mecca. +
Shere, the Afghan conqueror, did not long enjoy the throne, for which he was indebted as much to his perfidy as to his valour. He was killed while besieging Chitore in 1545, and was buried at Saseram in
His flight and sojourn among the Rajpoot princes of Ajimeer, Major Rennell remarks, “ furnish a striking picture of royal distress.” The generous fidelity of the rajah of Amercote to his fallen sovereign, deserves to be recorded for the honour of his nation. While at Amercote, “ the prince Akbar was brought forth by the Sultana Hamida."
+ The Mogul chiefs, to a man, Ferishta says, insisted upon the necessity of his being put to death, and Humaioon was threatened with an insurrection for refusing to imbrue his hands in the blood of his brother. With reluctance he gave orders for his being deprived of sight by means of antimony; and on subsequently visiting the unhappy prince, he is stated to have wept very bitterly, while Kamirân confessed the justice of his punishment. Hindal fell in action.
Bahar, his original estate, in a magnificent 'mausoleum which he had constructed during his lifetime in the middle of an artificial lake. At his death, his empire extended from Bengal to the Indus. He left many monuments of his magnifi.
“ . From Bengal and Sennargaum to that branch of the Indus called the Nilah, which is 1500 krores (about 3000 miles), he built caravanserais at every stage, and dug a well at the end of every krore. Besides, he raised many magnificent mosques for the worship of God on the highway, wherein he appointed readers of the Koran and priests. He ordered that, at every stage, all travellers, without dis. tinction of country or religion, should be entertained, according to their quality, at the public expense. He, at the same time, planted rows of fruit-trees along the roads, to preserve travellers from the scorching heat of the sun, as well as to gratify their taste. Horse-posts were placed at proper distances for forwarding quick intelligence to Government, and for the advantages of trade and correspondence. This establishment was new in India. Such was the public security during his reign, that travellers and mer. chants, throwing down their goods, went without fear to sleep on the highway. Shere divided his time into four equal parts: one he appropriated to the distri. bution of public justice, one to the regulations of his army, one to worship, and the remainder to rest and recreation.". According to Ferishta's account, the character of this monarch would have left little to wish for, had he not stained his honour by a repeated breach of faith ; and had he won the throne by fairer means, the only matter of regret would have been, that he obtained it “ in the evening," when his beard was already turning white.