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remarkable for a simplicity of character, and an absence of parade or affectation. The N ewar tribe differ in many respects from the other Hindu inhabitants, particularly in feeding on the flesh of buffaloes. The ordinary hue of their complexion is between a sallow and a copper colour. It is remarkable that the Newar women, like the Nairs of Malabar, may, in fact, have as many husbands as they please, being at liberty to divorce them on the slightest pretencesf"
An account of the religion of the Nepalese will be found under the head of Buddhism in Nepal, page 213.
In conjunction with the Nepalese, the Sirmoris may be noticed. The country of this people is bounded on the north, west, and south, by Bisr, Hindwar, and the Shikh possessions, and on the east by Ghoorkwal. Naken is the capital, once a flourishing town. After our successes in the Nepal war, the Sirmoris were released from the cruelty and extortion of the Ghoorkas, and taken under the protection of the British government. Their manners to European travellers have, however, been deceitful and inhospitable. They are filthy in their persons and habits, and nothing can be conceived more disgusting than the skirts of their villages at the close of the winter, when the snow begins to melt. Their villages are small, containing from three to fourteen houses ; but being situated on the summit of the ranges, or ornamenting their craggy slopes, they give a singular and highly pleasing effect to the mountain landscape.
“ Ten years of restraint have not subdued the mutual animosity of the borderers of Sirmor and Goorkwal. The one, in speaking of the other, rarely uses the appellation of his nation, but substitutes the more expressive and rancorous term “ Baz'ri,” signifying foe.
After the conquest of Nepal by the Ghoorkhalies in 1768, the seat of government was transferred
to Catmandoo, and the city of Ghoorka, having been much neglected, is greatly decayed. ' Asiatic Journal.
“ The superstition of this people is extreme. Every peak is the residence of some sprite, whose wrath it is deemed dangerous to provoke.
“ Polyandry, or the custom of one woman having two or more husbands (relations), obtains among them. It frequently happens that two brothers succeed conjointly to an estate: they cohabit with one wife, and the integrity of the property is thus preserved.” *
This latitude of female indulgence prevails also among the happy dames of several other Indian tribes. Among the T odirs of the N ilgiri mountains, the brothers of a family have usually only one wife between them, who makes her election of which of them she is disposed to drop the handkerchief to. She is, moreover, allowed to do so to a lover, without the slightest objection or jealousy on the part of her proper lords. In other parts of India females have had less deference paid to them; and in Malwa it has been said they were, till very recently, accounted witches; that is to say, after a certain age. They were then, according to a statement published in the Calcutta Journal, 1821, put into a sack and thrown into a tank; if they swam they were certainly witches and suffered death ; if they sank they were drowned, and it may be supposed not witches. Many hundreds, adds the writer, have in some seasons been doomed to this cruel death. The Rajah Zalim Singh of Kotah sentenced four hundred to die in this manner, because the death of his favourite wife was attributed to witchcraft. Through the laudable and humane interference of the British political agent this barbarous custom has now, it is said, ceased ; and the benevolent author of the change became so popular among the old ladies, that it is supposed he might have married them all, had he been so disposed.
* Abstracted from the Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society.
The Rohillas have long ceased to be an independent power, their country having been, in 1774, annexed to the territories of the Vizier (now the kingdom) of Oude, by which it was bounded on the east, as it was by those of the Mogul emperor on the west. In 1801, Rohilcund came, with other provinces ceded by the Vizier to the East-India Company, under the dominion of Great Britain.
The foundation of the Rohilla state, in the country now known as Rohilcund (formerly called Kuthair), took place between the years 1720 and 1730, and had its origin in two enterprising chiefs of the Rohilla tribes of Afghanistan, with a few followers, entering Hindustan in search of military employment, and engaging in the service of one of the chiefs of the predatory bands of northern Hindustan. This chief assigned to them certain lands for the maintenance of themselves and followers, which, in a few years, after many adventurous but varying incidents, they contrived to exchange, by the only law which they acknowledged-the sword, for the
dominions of their former employer; who fell in one of the battles that he
fought against those enterprising Afghans.
From this inconsiderable beginning, the Rohillas became one of the most powerful and warlike states, as they were unquestionably one of the bravest tribes of India. They did not, however, attain this pre-eminence without numerous desperate and sanguinary conflicts with the neighbouring powers, attended with alternate victory and defeat; but, in every instance wherein the latter occurred, either retrieving or rendering ineffectual the evil fortune of the day, by unextinguished bravery and uncompromising resolution. They were at length subdued, nominally by the Vizier of‘ Oude, but in reality by British valour, in the battle of Bagga N ulla. Whatever laurels the handful of our gallant soldiers (who bore almost the whole brunt of the action) may have reaped on that occasion, the local government of the time appears to have gained little credit for the political share which it had in the transaction.
The religion of the Rohillas is Mahomedan ; and their government, during their existence as an independent state, might be considered to have been, like that of their original country Afghanistan, feudal. Braver men than the Rohillas could not be found, and no power in India could have subdued them except the English. Bred amidst the din of war they believed the only honourable profession in life to be that of arms, and the noblest right of possession to be that of the sword. Entertaining these opinions, it may be readily imagined that, in having given them full credit for their military virtues, little can be said of any other.
In the Asiatic Journal of October 1824, is an extract of a letter which relates some anecdotes illustrative of the Rohilla war in 1774, that terminated in the battle of Bagga Nulla, which I have just mentioned. They appear to have been related by a gentleman who was an eye-witness, fifty years before, of the events described.
In the battle in question “ the Rohillas were commanded by Hafiz Ramnt Khan, a gallant leader, and they bravely stood a cannonade of several hours, before our infantry line moved forward and drove them from their position and encampment, which we took possession of. The enemy was dispersed in every direction, and lost many men in the pursuit, which the Vizier’s irregulars continued for many miles, destroying vast numbers of their brave enemies. 'I well remember the tragic scene of the Vizier’s visit to Colonel Campion, our commander in the battle, who was reposing himself, after the fatigues of the day, in a tent in the Rohilla camp. It was reported that Hafiz Ramnt was killed in the action, and that the Vizier was about to present his head to the Colonel.v Curiosity brought most of the English oflicers to the tent, and shortly the Vizier dismounted from his elephant, and one of vhis followers produced the’ headvof poor "Hafiz. It was wrapped in a dirty cloth : the countenance was placid : the beard, though Hafiz was an old man, was black. Some doubts as to its being the head of the chief were removed by the lamentations and assurances of a wounded Rohilla, who was lying near the tent. There was not an Englishman who did not lament the fate of poor Hafiz. Not so his implacable and ostentatious enemy, who could not conceal his joy at the spectacle exhibiting.” . After the battle of Bagga Nulla, one of the Rohilla chiefs, Fysoolah Khan, escaped with the remnants of his nation to the mountains and jungles, where he entrenched himself, and held out till he negociated for a small independent territory. “ After which (says the writer) curiosity carried many of us to view the spot where these wretched people had suffered so much. It was said that two-thirds of them had died of famine and disease; and truly, the number of graves, and the limbs and offal of dead cattle and horses which were strewed about, were ample proof of the assertion. It was a sight most sickening and distressing.” The English lost many officers by the pestiferous air of the place.
“ Rohilcund, when our army entered it in 1774, was a garden: in a few years after it was rendered a desert by the Vizier’s government." Since it has been ceded to the English it has become more flourishing.
THE ROSHENIAH SECT.
This sect flourished about two centuries ago in Afghanistan; and their doctrines, although they have been proscribed, are still cherished to a considerable extent in that state. Its founder was Banyezid Ansauri, “ who assumed the title of Rosheniah or illuminati ; though his enemies changed his title to Piri Tawreek (apostle of darkness). Besides the notoriety he has acquired as the founder of a sect, he derives some reputation from another source, being the first author who employed in his works the Afghan or Pushtoo language, in which he displayed such elegance of style, as to extort the praise of those writers who condemned most severely his heretical tenets.
“ Banyezid was born on the borders of Kandahar, among the Vurmud tribe. His father, named Abdallah, was of the class of Ulema, a learned and religious man. In early life, it appears that Banyezid became acquainted with a Malhed, or member of the heretical sect, named Moullah Soliman, from whom he is supposed to have imbibed his principles. On his return from a journey to Hindustan, he began to affect the manners of a solitary recluse, retiring to a cell in the mountains. To such visitors as