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THE ELTHARIAHS.

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were more lax, and allied themselves with the Khás females in concubinage, were permitted to give to their children, so begotten, the patronymic title only, not the rank. But their children again, if they married for two generations into the Khás, became pure Khás, or real Kshatriyas, in point of privilege and rank, though no longer so in name. They were Khás, not Kshatriyas; and yet they bore the proud cognomina of the martial order of the Hindoos, and were in the land of their nativity, entitled to every prerogative which Kshatriya birth confers in Hindoostan. Such is the third and less fruitful root of the Khás race. The Elthariahs speak the Khás language, and they speak no other.

The Thâkuris differ from the Elthariahs, only by the accidental circumstance of their lineage being royal. At some former period, and in some little state or other, their progenitors were princes.

The remaining military tribes of the Parbattiahs are the Nagar and Gurûng, who now

upply numbers of the soldiers of that state. From lending themselves less early and heartily o Brahminical influence than the Khás, they have retained, in vivid freshness, their original languages, physiognomy, and, in a less degree, habits. To their own untaught ears, their languages differ entirely the one from the other ; but, in very truth, only as remote lialects of one great tongue, the type of which is the language of Tibet.

Their physiognomies, too, have peculiarities proper to each, but with the general Calmuk caste and character in both. The Gurûngs are less generally and more recently redeemed from Lamaism and primitive impurity than the Magars.

But, though both Gurùngs and Magars still maintain their own vernacular tongues, Tartar faces, and careless manners; yet, what with military service for several generations, under the predominant Khás, and what with their commerce of Khás males with their females, they have acquired the Khás language, though not to the oblivion of their own; and the Khás

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habits and sentiments, but with sundry reservations in favour of pristine liberty.

As they have, however, with such grace as they could muster, submitted themselves to the ceremonial law of purity, and to Brahmin supremacy, they have been adopted as Hindoos.

But partly owing to the licenses above glanced at, and partly by reason of the necessity of distinctions of casts to Hindooism, they have been denied the thread, and constituted a doubtful order below it, and yet not Vaisya nor Sudra, but a something superior to both the latter, which it might puzzle the Shastras to explain on Hindoo principles.

The Brahmins of Nepaul are much less generally addicted to arms than those of the plains; and they do not, therefore, properly belong to our present subject. The enumeration of the Brahmins is nevertheless necessary, as serving to elucidate the lineage and connection of the military tribes, and especially of the Khás.

The martial classes of Nepaul are, then, the

Khás, Magar, and Gurûng ; each comprising a very numerous clan or race, variously ramified and subdivided.

The original seat of the Khás is ordinarily said to be Goorkha, because it was thence immediately that they issued, seventy years ago, under the guidance of Prithi Narayan, to acquire the fame and dominion achieved by him and his successors of the Goorkhali dynasty. But the Khás were, long previously to the age of Prithi Narayan, extensively spread over the whole of the Choubésya ; and they are now found in every part of the existing kingdom of Nepaul. The Khás are rather more devoted to the house of Goorkha, as well as more liable to Brahminical prejudice than the Margarsar Gurúngs; and, on both accounts, are somewhat less desirable as soldiers for our service than the latter tribes. I say somewhat, because it is a mere question of degree; the Khás having, certainly, no religious prejudices, nor probably any national partialities, which would prevent their making excellent and faithful servants in

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arms; and they possess permanently that masculine energy of character, and love of enterprise, which distinguishes so advantageously all the military races of Nepaul.

The original seat of the Magars is the Bara Mangrouth, or Satahung, Payung, Bhirkot, Dhar, Garahung, Rising, Ghiring, Gulmi, Argha, Khache, Musikot, and Isma; in other words, most of the central and lower parts of the mountains between the Bhêre and Marsyánde rivers. The attachment of the Magars to the house of Goorkha is but recent, and of no extraordinary or intimate nature. Still less so is that of the Gurûngs, whose native seats occupy a line of country parallel to that of the Magars, to the north of it, and extending to snows in that direction. Modern events have . spread the Magars and Gurûngs over the most part of the present kingdom of Nepaul. The Gurûngs and Magars are, in the main, Hindoos, only because it is the fashion ; and the Hindooism of the Khás, in all practical and soldierly respects, is free of disqualifying punctilio.

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