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daur, or official welcomer, from the King of Caubul. On the 21st of December, the Acesines was crossed; and on the 7th of January, the Indus. At Dera Ismael Khaun, a delay of a month occurred: the ambassador still awaiting a Mehmandaur. This town is situated in a large wood of date-trees, within a hundred yards of the Indus, and has a ruinous wall of unburnt bricks, a mile and half in circumference: At length, about the end of January, the long-expected welcomer arrived, - Moolla Jaffer Seestaunee, who had originally been a schoolmaster, but who, by literary talent and financial dexterity, was become a sort of Chancellor of the Exchequer at Peshawer. Under his guidance, the mission left Dera Ismael Khaun, February 7., and proceeded to ascend the right bank of the Indus towards the metropolis. In the progress of the journey, it appeared that the road had in many places been widened and repaired for the express accommodation of the embassy, and hence arose the delay of reception. At Calla-baugh, where the Indus breaks through the Salt-range in a channel only three hundred and fifty yards broad, the road quits the plain country, and climbs rapidly among successive stages of mountains into an Alpine climate. The description of this pass is striking :
• Cálla-baugh, where we left the plain, well deserves a minute description. The Indus is here compressed by mountains into a deep channel, only three hundred and fifty yards broad. The mountains on each side have an abrupt descent into the river, and a road is cut along their base, for upwards of two miles. It had been widened for us, but was still so narrow, and the rock over it 80 steep, that no camel with a bulky load could pass: to obviate this inconvenience, twenty-eight boats had been prepared, to convey our largest packages up the river. The first part of this pass is actually overhung by the town of Calla-baugh, which is built in a singular manner upon the face of the hill, every street rising above its neighbour, and, I imagine, only accessible by means of the flat roofs of the houses below it. As we passed beneath, we perceived windows and balconies at a great height, crowded with women and children. The road beyond was cut out of solid salt, at the foot of cliffs of that mineral, in some places more than one hundred feet high above the river. The salt is hard, clear, and almost pure. It would be like chrystal, were it not in some parts streaked and tinged with red. In some places, salt springs issue from the foot of the rocks, and leave the ground covered with a crust of the most brilliant whiteness. All the earth, particularly near the town, is almost blood red, and this, with the strange and beautiful spectacle of the salt rocks, and the Indus flowing in a deep and clear stream through lofty mountains, past this extraor. dinary town, presented such a scene of wonders, as is seldom to be witnessed. Our camp was pitched beyond the pass, in the mouth
of a narrow valley, and in the dry bed of a torrent. Near it were piles of salt in large blocks (like stones at a quarry), lying ready for exportation, either to India or Khoraussaun. It would have taken a 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 Cohaut, the gardens abounded with those English plants which are strangers to the climate of Hindostan. At Budabeer, about six miles from the metropolis, the mission made a farther halt to arrange several ceremonies of introduction, and, after a more than Spanish definition of etiquette, permitted itself to arrive.
On the morning of the 25th Feb., after some 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 come 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 muscles, a high nose, and animated countenance: he was mounted on a very fine grey horse, and rode with long stirrups, and very well. He carried a long spear, without a head, with which he charged the mob at speed, shouting with 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 afterwards was in great favour with most of the mission; and was equipped in en 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,'
• On the day of our arrival, our dinner was composed of the dishes sent us by the King, which we found excellent. Afterwards we had always our English meals; but the King continued to send breakfast, luncheon, and dinner for ourselves, with
provisions for two thousand persons (a number exceeding that of the embassy), and two hundred horses, besides elephants, &c.; nor was it without great difficulty that I prevailed on his Majesty, at the end of a month, to dispense with this expensive proof of his hospitality:'
• The first week after our arrival past without our being introduced to the King, in consequence of a dispute about the forms of our presentation. The common forms of the court, though the ministers alleged that they had been conformed to by ambassadors from Persia, and Uzbek Tartary, and even by the brother of the latter Monarch, appeared to us a little unreasonable.
The ambassador to be introduced is brought into a court by two officers, who hold him firmly by the arms. On coming in sight of the King, who appears at a high window, the ambassador 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 6 Khellut," (a dress,) which is followed by the Turkish word
Getsheen,” (begone,) from an officer of state, and the unfortunate ambassador is made to run out of the court, and sees no more of the King, unless he is summoned to a private audience in his Majesty's closet.'
These humiliating forms, however, were not observed on the introduction of Mr. Elphinstone, who was received in the most gracious manner. Among the presents offered by him, it is noted that pistols and silk stockings appeared to be the most welcome articles. How rapidly such things would be scattered over the East, if our merchants were allowed to trade at their own discretion with Hindostan, as with North America! Is empire in our hands to be but an impediment to commerce? The chartered monopoly persists in a routine plainly unfavourable to the change of fashions in Asia, which the competitory spirit of private adventure would long ago have more extensively effected. Surely some part of the British territory in the East, not originally comprehended in the Company's grant, might be expediently set free for the voluntary experimental colonization of private merchants, Wherever a convenient sea-port were opened to indiscriminate emigration, a great number of adventurers would settle, and would rapidly devise' new sub-, stances of exportation and importation. Profit attaches alike to selling wares inwards or outwards; and a country is not impoverished by increasing its own internal consumption of foreign commodities. On the contrary, both Asia and Europe would gain by every additional intercourse in either direction.
The traffic, the removal to and fro, is the greatest service which commerce renders to the world; it keeps in repair the
roads, the havens, and the canals of nations; it diffuses knowlege, refinement, intercourse, and civilization.
« The King of Caubul was a handsome man, about thirty years of age, of an olive complexion, with a thick black beard. The expression of his countenance was dignified and pleasing : his voice clear, and his address princely. We thought at first that he had on armour of jewels, but, on close inspection, we found this to be a mistake, and his real dress to consist of a green tunic, with large flowers in gold, and precious stones, over which were a large breast-plate of diamonds, shaped like two flattened fleur de lis, an ornament of the same kind on each thigh, large emerald bracelets on the arms (above the elbow), and many other jeweis in different places. In one of the bracelets was the Cohi Noor, known to be one of the largest diamonds in the world. * There were also some strings of very large pearls, put on like cross-belts, but loose. The crown was about nine inches high, not ornamented with jewels as European crowns are, but to appearance entirely formed of those precious materials. It seemed to be radiated like ancient crowns, and behind the rays appeared peaks of purplevelvet: some small branches with pendants seemed to project from the crown; but the whole was so complicated, and so dazzling, that it was difficult to understand, and impossible to describe. The throne was covered with a cloth adorned with pearls, on which lay a sword and a small mace, set with jewels. The room was open all round. The centre was supported by four high pillars, in the midst of which was a marble fountain. The floor was covered with the richest carpets, and round the edges were slips of silk, embroidered with gold, for the Khauns to stand on. The view from the hall was beautiful. Immediately below was an extensive garden, full of cypresses and other trees, and beyond was a plain of the richest verdure: here and there were pieces of water and shining streams; and the whole was bounded by moun. tains, some dark, and others covered with snow. When I left the King, I was reconducted to the Kishik Khauneh, where all the gentlemen of the mission received rich dresses of honour. In the above description, I have chiefly confined myself to what was splendid in the ceremony. I must however mention, before Iconclude, that although some things (the appearance of the King in particular) exceeded my expectations, others fell far short of them, and all bore less the appearance of a state in prosperity, than of a splendid monarchy in decay.'
Until the presentation to the King was over, none of the gentlemen of the mission went out, but after that time they rode freely through the country. Peshawer stands in the midst of a circular plain about thirty-five miles in diameter. In March, the distant mountains were covered with snow, the plain with the brightest verdure, and the climate was delicious.
• * See & print of it in Tavernier's Travels'
The trees were enough in leaf to give grace and richness to the prospect; and a fortnight completed the new foliage, which exceeds in brilliancy that of Hindostan.
• Many streams ran through the plain : their banks were fringed with willows and tamarisks. The orchards scattered over the country, contained a profusion of plum, peach, apple, pear, quince, and pomegranate trees, which afforded a greater display of blossom than I ever before witnessed; and the uncultivated parts of the land were covered with a thick elastic sod, that perhaps never was equalled but in England. The greater part of the plain was highly cultivated, and irrigated by many water-courses and canals. Never was a spot of the same extent better peopled. From one height, Lieutenant Macartney took the bearings of thirty-two villages, all within a circuit of four miles. The villages were generally large, and remarkably clean and neat, and almost all set off with trees. There were little bridges of masonry over the streams, each of which had two small towers for ornament at each end. The greater part of the trees on the plain were mulberries, or other fruit trees. Except a few picturesque groupes of dates, the only tall trees were the Ficus Religiosa or peepul, and the tamarisk, which last grows here to the height of thirty or forty feet. Its leaves, being like those of the cypress, and very thick, the groves composed of it are extremely dark and gloomy. The town of Peshawer itself stands on an uneven surface. It is upwards of five miles round; and contains about 100,000 inhabitants. The houses are built of brick (generally unburnt), in wooden frames : they are commonly three stories high, and the lower story is generally occupied by shops. The streets are narrow, as might be expected, where no wheeled-carriages are used: they are paved, but the pavement sloping down to the kennel, which is in the middle, they are slippery, and inconvenient. Two or three brooks run through different parts of the town; and even there, are skirted with willows and mulberry trees. They are crossed by bridges, none of which, however, are in the least remarkable.
There are many mosques in the town; but none of them, or of the other public buildings, deserve notice, except the Balla Hissaur, and the fine Caravansera. The Balla Hissaur is a castle of no strength, on a hill, north of the town: it contains some fine halls, commands a romantic prospect, and is adorned with some very pleasing and spacious gardens; but, as it is only the occasional residence of the King, it is now much neglected. On the north it presents a commanding aspect; but a view of it from the side nearest the town discloses strong signs of weakness and decay. Some of the palaces of the great are splendid, but few of the nobility have houses here.
• The inhabitants of Peshawer are of Indian origin, but speak Pushtoo as well as Hindkee. There are, however, many other inhabitants of all nations; and the concourse is increased, during the King's visits to Peshawer. We had many opportunities of observing this assemblage in returning from our morning rides;