Of the forty-two guns, thirteen are utterly useless on the ground; and out of the remaining twenty-nine, there are draft bullocks for only five. But there are no stores or ammunition for any of them; and the Nazim is obliged to purchase what powder and ball he may require in the bazaars. None of the gun-carriages have been repaired for the last twenty years, and the strongest of them would go to pieces after a few rounds. Very few of them would stand one round with good powder. Five hundred rupees are allowed for fitting up the carriage and tumbril of each gun, after certain intervals of from five to ten years; and this sum has, no doubt, been drawn over and over for these guns, during the twenty years, within which they have had no repairs whatever. If the local governor is permitted to draw this sum, he is sure never to expend one farthing of it on the gun. If the person in charge of the ordnance at Lucknow draws it, the guns and tumbrils are sent in to him, and returned with, at least, a coating of paint and putty, but seldom with anything else. The two persons in charge of the two large parks at Lucknow, from which the guns are furnished, Anjum-od Dowlah, and Ances-od Dowlah, a fiddler, draw the money for the corn allowed for the draft bullocks, at the rate of three pounds per diem for each, and distribute, or pretend to distribute it through the agents of the grain-dealers, with whom they contract for the supply; and the district officers, under whom these draft bullocks are employed, are never permitted to interfere. They have nothing to do but pay for the grain allowed; and the agents, employed to feed the bullocks, do nothing but appropriate the money for themselves and their employers. Not a grain of corn do the bullocks ever get.
The Nazim has charge of the districts of Sultanpoor, Haldeemow, Pertabghur, Jugdeespoor, and that part of Fyzabad which is not included in the estate of Bukhtawar Sing, yielding, altogether, about ten and a half lacs of rupees to Government. He exercises entire fiscal, judicial, magisterial and police authority over all these districts. To aid him in all these duties, he has four deputies—one in each district—upon salaries of one hundred and fifty rupees each a-month, with certain fees and perquisites. To inquire into particular cases, over all these districts, he employs a special deputy, paid out of his own salary. All the accountants and other writers, employed under him, are appointed by the deputies and favourites of the minister; and, considering themselves as their creatures, they pay little regard to their immediate master, the Nazim. But over and above these men, from whom he does get some service, he has to pay a good many, from whom he can get none. He is, before he enters upon his charge, obliged to insert, in his list of civil functionaries, to be paid monthly, out of the revenues, a number of writers and officers, of all descriptions, _recommended_ to him by these deputies and other influential persons at Court. Of these men he never sees or knows anything. They are the children, servants, creatures, or dependents of the persons who recommend them, and draw their pay. These are called _civil sufarishies_, and cost the State much more than the military sufarishies_, already mentioned—perhaps not less than six thousand rupees a-month in this division alone.
The Nazim is permitted to levy for incidental expenses, only ten per cent. over and above the Government demand; and required to send one- half of this sum to Court, for distribution. He is ostensibly required to limit himself to this sum, and to abstain from taking the gratuities, usually exacted by the revenue contractors, for distribution among ministers and other influential persons at Court. Were he to do so, they would all be so strongly opposed to the amanee, or trust system of management, and have it in their power so much to thwart him, in all his measures and arrangements, that he could never possibly get on with his duties; and the disputes between them generally results in a compromise. He takes, in gratuities, something less than his contracting predecessors took, and shares, what he takes, liberally, with those whose assistance he requires at Court. These gratuities, or nuzuranas, never appeared, in the public accounts; and were a governor, under the amanee system, to demand the full rates paid to contractors, the more powerful landholders would refer him to these public accounts, and refuse to pay till he could assure them of the same equivalents in nanker and other things, which they were in the habit of receiving from contractors. These, as a mere trust manager, he may not be able to give; and he consents to take something less. The landholders know that where the object is to exact the means to gratify influential persons about Court, the Nazim would be likely to get good military support, if driven to extremity, and consent to pay the greater part of what is demanded. When the trust manager, by his liberal remittances to Court patrons, gets all the troops he requires, he exacts the full gratuities, and still higher and more numerous if strong enough. The corps under Captains Magness, Bunbury, Barlow, and Subha Sing, are called komukee, or auxiliary regiments; and they are every season, and sometimes often in the same season, sold to the highest bidder as a perquisite by the minister. The services of Captain Magness and Captain Bunbury's corps were purchased in this way for 1850 and 1851, by Aga Allee, the Nazim of Sultanpoor, and he has made the most of them. No contractor ever exacted higher nazuranas or gratuities than he has, by their aid, this season, though he still holds the district as a trust manager. Ten, twenty, or thirty thousand rupees are paid for the use of one of these regiments, according to the exigency of the occasion, or the time for which it may be required.
The system of government under which Oude suffers during the reign of the best king is a fearful one; and what must it be under a sovereign, so indifferent as the present is, to the sufferings of his people, to his own permanent interests, and to the duties and responsibilities of his high station? Seeing that our Government attached much importance to the change, from the contract to the trust system of management, the present minister is putting a large portion of the country under that system in the hope of blinding us. But there is virtually little or no change in the administration of such districts; the person who has the charge of a district under it is obliged to pay the same gratuities to public officers and court favourites, and he exacts the same, or nearly the same from the landholders; he is under no more check than the contractor, and the officers and troops under him, abuse their authority in the same manner, and commit the same outrages upon the suffering people. Security to life and property is disregarded in the same manner; he confines himself as exclusively to the duties of collecting revenue, and is as regardless of security to life and property, and of fidelity to his engagements, as the landholders in his jurisdiction. The trust management of a district differs from that of the contractors, only as the wusoolee kubaz differs from the lakulamee; though he does not enter into a formal contract to pay a certain sum, he is always expected to pay such a sum, and if he does not, he is obliged to wipe off the balance in the same way, and is kept in gaol till he does so, in the same way. Indeed, I believe, the people would commonly rather be under a contractor, than a trust manager under the Oude Government; and this was the opinion of Colonel Low, who, of all my predecessors, certainly knew most about the real state of Oude.
The Nazim of Sultanpoor has authority to entertain such Tehseeldars and Jumogdars as he may require, for the collection of the revenue. Of these he has, generally, from fifty to sixty employed, on salaries varying from fifteen to thirty rupees a-month each. The Tehseeldar is employed here, as elsewhere, in the collection of the land revenue, in the usual way; but the Jumogdar is an officer unknown in our territories. Some are appointed direct from Court, and some by the Nazims and Amils of districts. When a landholder has to pay his revenue direct to Government (as all do, who are included in what is called the Hozoor Tehseel), and he neglects to do so punctually, a Jumogdar is appointed. The landholder assembles his tenants, and they enter into pledges to pay direct to the Jumogdar the rents due by them to the landholder, under existing engagements, up to a certain time. This may be the whole, or less than the whole, amount due to Government by the landholder. If any of them fail to pay what they promise to the Jumogdar, the landholder is bound to make good the deficiency at the end of the year. He also binds himself to pay to Government whatever may be due over and above what the tenants pledge themselves to pay to the Jumogdar. This transfer of responsibility, from the landholder to his tenants, is called "Jumog Lagana," or transfer of the jumma. The assembly of the tenants, for the purpose of such-adjustment, is called zunjeer bundee, or linking together. The adjustment thus made is called the bilabundee. The salary of the Jumogdar is paid by the landholder, who distributes the burthen of the payment upon his tenants, at a per centage rate. The Jumogdar takes written engagements from the tenants; and they are bound not to pay anything to the landholder till they have paid him (the Jumogdar) all that they are, by these engagements, bound to pay him. He does all he can to make them pay punctually; but he is not, properly, held responsible for any defalcation. Such responsibility rests with the landlords. Where much difficulty is expected from the refractory character of the landholder, the officer commanding the whole, or some part of the troops in the district, is often appointed the Jumogdar; and the amount which the tenants pledge themselves to pay to him is debited to him, in the pay of the troops, under his command.
The Jumogdars, who are appointed by the Nazims and Amils, act in the same manner with regard to the landlords and tenants, to whom they are accredited, and are paid in the same manner. There may be one, or there may be one hundred, Jumogdars in a district, according to the necessity for their employment, in the collection of the revenue. They are generally men of character, influence, and resolution; and often useful to both, or all three parties; but when they are officers commanding troops, they are often very burthensome to landlords and tenants. The Jumogdar has only to receive the sums due, according to existing engagements between the parties, and to see that no portion of them is paid to any other person. He has nothing to do with apportioning the demand, or making the engagements between tenants and landlords, or landlords and Government officers.
The Canoongoes and Chowdheries in Oude are commonly called Seghadars, and their duties are the same here as everywhere else in India.
December 28, 1849.—Twelve miles to Hundore, over a country more undulating and better cultivated than any we have seen since we recrossed the Goomtee river at Sultanpoor. It all belongs to the Rajah of Pertabghur, Shumshere Babadur, a Somebunsee, who resides at Dewlee, some six miles from Pertabghur. His family is one of the oldest and most respectable in Oude; but his capital of Pertabghur, where he used to reside till lately, is one of the most beggarly. He seems to have concentrated there all the beggars in the country, and there is not a house of any respectable to be seen. The soil, all the way, has been what they call the doomut, or doomuteea, which is well adapted to all kinds of tillage, but naturally less strong than muteear or argillaceous earth, and yields scanty crops, where it is not well watered and manured.
The Rajah came to my camp in the afternoon, and attended me on his elephant in the evening when I went round the town, and to his old mud fort, now in ruins, within which is the old residence of the family. He does not pay his revenue punctually, nor is he often prepared to attend the viceroy when required; and it was thought that he would not come to me. Finding that the Korwar and other Rajahs and large landholders, who had been long on similar terms with the local authorities, had come in, paid their respects, and been left free, he also ventured to my camp. For the last thirty years the mutual confidence which once subsisted between the Government authorities and the great landholders of these districts has been declining, and it ceased altogether under the last viceroy, Wajid Allee Khan, who appears to have been a man without any feeling of humanity or sense of honour. No man ever knew what he would be called upon to pay to Government in the districts under him; and almost all the respectable landholders prepared to defend what they had by force of arms; deserted their homes, and took to the jungles with as many followers as they could collect and subsist, as soon as he entered on his charge. The atrocities charged against him, and upon the best possible evidence, are numerous and great.
The country we have passed through to-day is well studded with fine trees, among which the mhowa abounds more than usual. The parasite plant, called the bandha, or Indian mistletoe, ornaments the finest mhowa and mango trees. It is said to be a disease, which appears as the tree grows old, and destroys it if not cut away. The people, who feel much regard for their trees, cut these parasite plants away; and there is no prejudice against removing them among Hindoos, though they dare not cut away a peepul-tree which is destroying their wells, houses, temples, or tombs; nor do they, with some exceptions, dare to destroy a wolf, though he may have eaten their own children, or actually have one of them in his mouth. In all parts of India, Hindoos have a notion that the family of a man who kills a wolf, or even wounds it, goes soon to utter ruin; and so also the village within the boundaries of which a wolf has been killed or wounded. They have no objection to their being killed by other people away from the villages; on the contrary, are very glad to have them so destroyed, as long as their blood does not drop on their premises. Some Rajpoot families in Oude, where so many children are devoured by wolves, are getting over this prejudice. The bandha is very ornamental to the fine mhowa and mango trees, to the branches of which it hangs suspended in graceful festoons, with a great variety of colours and tints, from deep scarlet and green to light-red and yellow.
Wolves are numerous in the neighbourhood of Sultanpoor, and, indeed, all along the banks of the Goomtee river, among the ravines that intersect them; and a great many children are carried off by them from towns, villages, and camps. It is exceedingly difficult to catch them, and hardly any of the Hindoo population, save those of the very lowest class who live a vagrant life, and bivouac in the jungles, or in the suburbs of towns and villages, will attempt to catch or kill them. All other Hindoos have a superstitious dread of destroying or even injuring them; and a village community within the boundary of whose lands a drop of wolf's blood has fallen believes itself doomed to destruction. The class of little vagrant communities above mentioned, who have no superstitious dread of destroying any living thing, eat jackalls and all kinds of reptiles, and catch all kinds of animals, either to feed upon themselves, or to sell them to those who wish to keep or hunt them.
But it is remarkable, that they very seldom catch wolves, though they know all their dens, and could easily dig them out as they dig out other animals. This is supposed to arise from the profit which they make by the gold and silver bracelets, necklaces and other ornaments worn by the children whom the wolves carry to their dens and devour, and are left at the entrance of their dens. A party of these men lately brought to our camp alive a very large hyaena, which was let loose and hunted down by the European officers and the clerks of my office. One of the officers asked them whether this was not the reason why they did not bring wolves to camp, to be hunted down in the same way, since officers would give more for brutes that ate children, than for such as fed only on dogs or carrion. They dared not deny, though they were ashamed or afraid to acknowledge, that it was. I have myself no doubt that this is the reason, and that they do make a good deal in this way from the children's ornaments, which they find at the entrance of wolves' dens. In every part of India, a great number of children are every day murdered for the sake of their ornaments, and the fearful examples that come daily to the knowledge of parents, and the injunctions of the civil authorities are unavailing against this desire to see their young children decked out in gold and silver ornaments.
There is now at Sultanpoor a boy who was found alive in a wolf's den, near Chandour, about ten miles from Sultanpoor, about two years and a half ago. A trooper, sent by the native governor of the district to Chandour, to demand payment of some revenue, was passing along the bank of the river near Chandour about noon, when he saw a large female wolf leave her den, followed by three whelps and a little boy. The boy went on all fours, and seemed to be on the best possible terms with the old dam and the three whelps, and the mother seemed to guard all four with equal care. They all went down to the river and drank without perceiving the trooper, who sat upon his horse watching them. As soon as they were about to turn back, the trooper pushed on to cut off and secure the boy; but he ran as fast as the whelps could, and kept up with the old one. The ground was uneven, and the trooper's horse could not overtake them. They all entered the den, and the trooper assembled some people from Chandour with pickaxes, and dug into the den. When they had dug in about six or eight feet, the old wolf bolted with her three whelps and the boy. The trooper mounted and pursued, followed by the fleetest young men of the party; and as the ground over which they had to fly was more even, he headed them, and turned the whelps and boy back upon the men on foot, who secured the boy, and let the old dam and her three cubs go on their way.
They took the boy to the village, but had to tie him, for he was very restive, and struggled hard to rush into every hole or den they came near. They tried to make him speak, but could get nothing from him but an angry growl or snarl. He was kept for several days at the village, and a large crowd assembled every day to see him. When a grown-up person came near him, he became alarmed, and tried to steal away; but when a child came near him, he rushed at it, with a fierce snarl like that of a dog, and tried to bite it. When any cooked meat was put before him, he rejected it in disgust; but when any raw meat was offered, he seized it with avidity, put it on the ground under his paws, like a dog, and ate it with evident pleasure. He would not let any one come near him while he was eating, but he made no objection to a dog coming and sharing his food with him. The trooper remained with him four or five days, and then returned to the governor, leaving the boy in charge of the Rajah of Hasunpoor. He related all that he had seen, and the boy was soon after sent to the European officer commanding the First Regiment of Oude Local Infantry at Sultanpoor, Captain Nicholetts, by order of the Rajah of Hasunpoor, who was at Chandour, and saw the boy when the trooper first brought him to that village. This account is taken from the Rajah's own report of what had taken place.
Captain Nicholetts made him over to the charge of his servants, who take great care of him, but can never get him to speak a word. He is very inoffensive, except when teased, Captain Nicholetts says, and will then growl surlily at the person who teases him. He had come to eat anything that is thrown to him, but always prefers raw flesh, which he devours most greedily. He will drink a whole pitcher of butter-milk when put before him, without seeming to draw breath. He can never be induced to keep on any kind of clothing, even in the coldest weather. A quilt stuffed with cotton was given to him when it became very cold this season, but he tore it to pieces, and ate a portion of it, cotton and all, with his bread every day. He is very fond of bones, particularly uncooked ones, which he masticates apparently with as much ease as meat. He has eaten half a lamb at a time without any apparent effort, and is very fond of taking up earth and small stones and eating them. His features are coarse, and his countenance repulsive; and he is very filthy in his habits. He continues to be fond of dogs and jackals, and all other small four- footed animals that come near him; and always allows them to feed with him if he happens to be eating when they approach.
Captain Nicholetts, in letters dated the 14th and 19th of September, 1850, told me that the boy died in the latter end of August, and that he was never known to laugh or smile. He understood little of what was said to him, and seemed to take no notice of what was going on around him. He formed no attachment for any one, nor did he seem to care for any one. He never played with any of the children around him, or seemed anxious to do so. When not hungry he used to sit petting and stroking a pareear or vagrant dog, which he used to permit to feed out of the same dish with him. A short time before his death Captain Nicholetts shot this dog, as he used to eat the greater part of the food given to the boy, who seemed in consequence to be getting thin. The boy did not seem to care in the least for the death of the dog. The parents recognised the boy when he was first found, Captain Nicholetts believes; but when they found him to be so stupid and insensible, they left him to subsist upon charity. They have now left Hasunpoor, and the age of the boy when carried off cannot be ascertained; but he was to all appearance about nine or ten years of age when found, and he lived about three years afterwards. He used signs when he wanted anything, and very few of them except when hungry, and he then pointed to his mouth. When his food was placed at some distance from him, he would run to it on all fours like any four-footed animal; but at other times he would walk upright occasionally. He shunned human beings of all kinds, and would never willingly remain near one. To cold, heat, and rain he appeared to be indifferent; and he seemed to care for nothing but eating. He was very quiet, and required no kind of restraint after being brought to Captain Nicholetts. He had lived with Captain Nicholetts' servants about two years, and was never heard to speak till within a few minutes of his death, when he put his hands to his head, and said "it ached," and asked for water: he drank it, and died.
At Chupra, twenty miles east from Sultanpoor, lived a cultivator with his wife and son, who was then three years of age. In March, 1843, the man went to cut his crop of wheat and pulse, and the woman took her basket and went with him to glean, leading her son by the arm. The boy had lately recovered from a severe scald on the left knee, which he got in the cold weather, from tumbling into the fire, at which he had been warming himself while his parents were at work. As the father was reaping and the mother gleaning, the boy sat upon the grass. A wolf rushed upon him suddenly from behind a bush, caught him up by the loins, and made off with him towards the ravines. The father was at a distance at the time, but the mother followed, screaming as loud an she could for assistance. The people of the village ran to her aid, but they soon lost sight of the wolf and his prey.
She heard nothing more of her boy for six years, and had in that interval lost her husband. At the end of that time, two sipahees came, in the month of February, 1849, from the town of Singramow, which is ten miles from Chupra, on the bank of the Khobae rivulet. While they sat on the border of the jungle, which extended down to the stream, watching for hogs, which commonly come down to drink at that time in the morning, they saw there three wolf cubs and a boy come out from the jungle, and go down together to the stream to drink. The sipahees watched them till they had drank, and were about to return, when they rushed towards them. All four ran towards a den in the ravines. The sipahees followed as fast as they could; but the three cubs had got in before the sipahees could come up with them, and the boy was half way in when one of the sipahees caught him by the hind leg, and drew him back. He seemed very angry and ferocious, bit at them, and seized in his teeth the barrel of one of their guns, which they put forward to keep him off, and shook it. They however secured him, brought him home, and kept him for twenty days. They could for that time make him eat nothing but raw flesh, and they fed him upon hares and birds. They found it difficult to provide him with sufficient food, and took him to the bazaar in the village of Koeleepoor; and there let him go to be fed by the charitable people of the place till he might be recognised and claimed by his parents. One market-day a man from the village of Chupra happened to see him in the bazaar, and on his return mentioned the circumstance to his neighbours. The poor cultivator's widow, on hearing this, asked him to describe the boy more minutely, when she found that the boy had the mark of a scald on the left knee, and three marks of the teeth of an animal on each side of his loins. The widow told him that her boy when taken off had lately recovered from a scald on the left knee, and was seized by the loins when the wolf took him off, and that the boy he had seen must be her lost child.
She went off forthwith to the Koelee bazaar, and, in addition to the two marks above described, discovered a third mark on his thigh, with which her child was born. She took him home to her village, where he was recognised by all her neighbours. She kept him for two months, and all the sporting landholders in the neighbourhood sent her game for him to feed upon. He continued to dip his face in the water to drink, but he sucked in the water, and did not lap it up like a dog or wolf. His body continued to smell offensively. When the mother went to her work, the boy always ran into the jungle, and she could never get him to speak. He followed his mother for what he could get to eat, but showed no particular affection for her; and she could never bring herself to feel much for him; and after two months, finding him of no use to her, and despairing of even making anything of him, she left him to the common charity of the village. He soon after learnt to eat bread when it was given him, and ate whatever else he could get during the day, but always went off to the jungle at night. He used to mutter something, but could never be got to articulate any word distinctly. The front of his knees and elbows had become hardened from going on all fours with the wolves. If any clothes are put on him, he takes them off, and commonly tears them to pieces in doing so. He still prefers raw flesh to cooked, and feeds on carrion whenever he can get it. The boys of the village are in the habit of amusing themselves by catching frogs and throwing them to him; and he catches and eats them. When a bullock dies, and the skin is removed, he goes and eats it like a village dog. The boy is still in the village, and this is the description given of him by the mother herself, who still lives at Chupra. She has never experienced any return of affection for him, nor has he shown any such feeling for her. Her story is confirmed by all her neighbours, and by the head landholders, cultivators, and shopkeepers of the village.*
[* In November, 1850, Captain Nicholetts, on leaving the cantonments of Sultanpoor, where he commanded, ordered this boy to be sent in to me with his mother, but he got alarmed on the way and ran to a jungle. He will no doubt find his way back soon if he lives.]
The Rajah of Hasunpoor Bundooa mentions, as a fact within his own knowledge, besides the others, for the truth of which he vouches, that, in the year 1843, a lad came to the town of Hasunpoor, who had evidently been brought up by wolves. He seemed to be twelve years of age when he saw him—was very dark, and ate flesh, whether cooked or uncooked. He had short hair all over his body when he first came, but having, for a time, as the Rajah states, eaten salt with his food, like other human beings, the hair by degrees disappeared. He could walk, like other men, on his legs, but could never be taught to speak. He would utter sounds like wild animals, and could be made to understand signs very well. He used to sit at a bunneea's shop in the bazaar, but was at last recognised by his parents, and taken off. What became of him afterwards he knows not. The Rajah's statement regarding this lad is confirmed by all the people of the town, but none of them know what afterwards became of him.
About the year 1843, a shepherd of the village of Ghutkoree, twelve miles west from the cantonments of Sultanpoor, saw a boy trotting along upon all fours, by the side of a wolf, one morning, as he was out with his flock. With great difficulty he caught the boy, who ran very fast, and brought him home. He fed him for some time, and tried to make him speak, and associate with men or boys, but he failed. He continued to be alarmed at the sight of men, but was brought to Colonel Gray, who commanded the first Oude Local Infantry, at Sultanpoor. He and Mrs. Gray, and all the officers in cantonments, saw him often, and kept him for several days. But he soon after ran off into the jungle, while the shepherd was asleep. The shepherd, afterwards, went to reside in another village, and I could not ascertain whether he recovered the boy or not.
Zoolfukar Khan, a respectable landholder of Bankeepoor, in the estate of Hasunpoor, ten miles east from the Sultahpoor cantonments, mentions that about eight or nine years ago a trooper came to the town, with a lad of about nine or ten years of age, whom he had rescued from wolves among the ravines on the road; that he knew not what to do with him, and left him to the common charity of the village; that he ate everything offered to him, including bread, but before taking it he carefully smelt at it, and always preferred undressed meat to everything else; that he walked on his legs like other people when he saw him, though there were evident signs on his knees and elbows of his having gone, very long, on all fours; and when asked to run on all fours he used to do so, and went so fast that no one could overtake him; how long he had been with the trooper, or how long it took him to learn to walk on his legs, he knows not. He could not talk, or utter any very articulate sounds. He understood signs, and heard exceedingly well, and would assist the cultivators in turning trespassing cattle out of their fields, when told by signs to do so. Boodhoo, a Brahmin cultivator of the village, took care of him, and he remained with him for three months, when he was claimed and taken off by his father, a shepherd, who said that the boy was six years old when the wolf took him off at night some four years before; he did not like to leave Boodhoo, the Brahmin, and the father was obliged to drag him away. What became of him afterwards he never heard. The lad had no hair upon his body, nor had he any dislike to wear clothes, while he saw him. This statement was confirmed by the people of the village.
About seven years ago a trooper belonging to the King, and in attendance on Rajah Hurdut Sing of Bondee, alias Bumnotee, on the left bank of the Ghagra river, in the Bahraetch district, was passing near a small stream which flows into that river, when he saw two wolf cubs and a boy drinking in the stream. He had a man with him on foot, and they managed to seize the boy, who appeared to be about ten years of age. He took him up on the pummel of his saddle, but he was so wild and fierce that he tore the trooper's clothes and bit him severely in several places, though he had tied his hands together. He brought him to Bondee, where the Rajah had him tied up in his artillery gun-shed, and gave him raw-flesh to eat: but he several times cut his ropes and ran off; and after three months the Rajah got tired of him, and let him go. He was then taken by a Cashmeeree mimic, or comedian (bhand), who fed and took care of him for six weeks*; but at the end of that time he also got tired of him (for his habits were filthy), and let him go to wander about the Bondee bazaar. He one day ran off with a joint of meat from a butcher's shop, and soon after upset some things in the shop of a bunneeah, who let fly an arrow at him. The arrow penetrated the boy's thigh. At this time Sanaollah, a Cashmere merchant of Lucknow, was at Bondee, selling some shawl goods to the Rajah, on the occasion of his brother's marriage. He had many servants with him, and among them Janoo, a khidmutgar lad, and an old sipahee, named Ramzan Khan. Janoo took compassion upon the poor boy, extracted the arrow from his thigh, had his wound dressed, and prepared a bed for him under the mango-tree, where he himself lodged, but kept him tied to a tent-pin. He would at that time eat nothing but raw flesh. To wean him from this, Janoo, with the consent of his master, gave him rice and pulse to eat. He rejected them for several days, and ate nothing; but Janoo persevered, and by degrees made him eat the balls which he prepared for him: he was fourteen or fifteen days in bringing him to do this. The odour from his body was very offensive, and Janoo had him rubbed with mustard-seed soaked in water, after the oil had been taken from it (khullee), in the hope of removing this smell. He continued this for some months, and fed him upon rice, pulse, and flour bread, but the odour did not leave him. He had hardened marks upon his knees and elbows, from having gone on all fours. In about six weeks after he had been tied up under the tree, with a good deal of beating, and rubbing of his joints with oil, he was made to stand and walk upon his legs like other human beings. He was never heard to utter more than one articulate sound, and that was "Aboodeea," the name of the little daughter of the Cashmeer mimic, who had treated him with kindness, and for whom he had shown some kind of attachment. In about four months he began to understand and obey signs. He was by them made to prepare the hookah, put lighted charcoal upon the tobacco, and bring it to Janoo, or present it to whomsoever he pointed out.
[* Transcriber's note—'six weeks' was printed as 'six months', but is corrected by the author, in Volume ii, in a P.S. to his letter, dated 20th November, 1852, to Sir James Weir Hogg.]
One night while the boy was lying under the tree, near Janoo, Janoo saw two wolves come up stealthily, and smell at the boy. They then touched him, and he got up; and, instead of being frightened, the boy put his hands upon their heads, and they began to play with him. They capered around him, and he threw straw and leaves at them. Janoo tried to drive them off but he could not, and became much alarmed; and he called out to the sentry over the guns, Meer Akbur Allee, and told him that the wolves were going to eat the boy. He replied, "Come away and leave him, or they will eat you also;" but when he saw them begin to play together, his fears subsided and he kept quiet. Gaining confidence by degrees, he drove them away; but, after going a little distance, they returned, and began to play again with the boy. At last he succeeded in driving them off altogether. The night after three wolves came, and the boy and they played together. A few nights after four wolves came, but at no time did more than four come. They came four or five times, and Janoo had no longer any fear of them; and he thinks that the first two that came must have been the two cubs with which the boy was first found, and that they were prevented from seizing him by recognising the smell. They licked his face with their tongues as he put his hands on their heads.
Soon after his master, Sanaollah, returned to Lucknow, and threatened Janoo to turn him out of his service unless he let go the boy. He persisted in taking the boy with him, and his master relented. He had a string tied to his arm, and led him along by it, and put a bundle of clothes on his head. As they passed a jungle the boy would throw down the bundle and try to run into the jungle, but on being beaten, he would put up his hands in supplication, take up the bundle and go on; but he seemed soon to forget the beating, and did the same thing at almost every jungle they came through. By degrees he became quite docile. Janoo was one day, about three months after their return to Lucknow, sent away by his master for a day or two on some business, and before his return the boy had ran off, and he could never find him again. About two months after the boy had gone, a woman, of the weaver caste, came with a letter from a relation of the Rajah, Hurdut Sing, to Sanaollah, stating that she resided in the village of Chureyrakotra, on his estate, and had had her son, then about four years of age, taken from her, about five or six years before, by a wolf; and, from the description which she gave of him, he, the Rajah's relation, thought he must be the boy whom his servant, Janoo, took away with him. She said that her boy had two marks upon him, one on the chest of a boil, and one of something else on the forehead; and as these marks corresponded precisely with those found upon the boy, neither she nor they had any doubt that he was her lost son. She remained for four months with the merchant Sanaollah, and Janoo, his kidmutghur, at Lucknow; but the boy could not be found, and she returned home, praying that information might be sent to her should he be discovered. Sanaollah, Janoo, and Ramzan Khan, are still at Lucknow, and before me have all three declared all the circumstances here stated to be strictly true. The boy was altogether about five months with Sanaollah and his servants, from the time they got him; and he had been taken about four months and a half before. The wolf must have had several litters of whelps during the six or seven years that the boy was with her. Janoo further adds, that he, after a month or two, ventured to try a waist-band upon the boy, but he often tore it off in distress or anger. After he had become reconciled to this, in about two months, he ventured to put on upon him a vest and a pair of trousers. He had great difficulty in making him keep them on, with threats and occasional beatings. He would disencumber himself of them whenever left alone, but put them on again in alarm when discovered; and to the last often injured or destroyed them by rubbing them against trees or posts, like a beast, when any part of his body itched. This habit he could never break him of.
Rajah Hurdut Sewae, who is now in Lucknow on business, tells me (28th January, 1851) that the sowar brought the boy to Bondee, and there kept him for a short time, as long as he remained; but as soon as he went off, the boy came to him, and he kept him for three months; that he appeared to him to be twelve years of age; that he ate raw meat as long as he remained with him, with evident pleasure, whenever it was offered to him, but would not touch the bread and other dressed food put before him; that he went on all fours, but would stand and go awkwardly on two legs when threatened or made to do so; that he seemed to understand signs, but could not understand or utter a word; that he seldom attempted to bite any one, nor did he tear the clothes that he put upon him; that Sanaollah, the Cashmeeree merchant, used at that time to come to him often with shawls for sale, and must have taken the boy away with him, but he does not recollect having given the boy to him. He says that he never himself sent any letter to Sanaollah with the mother of the boy, but his brother or some other relation of his may have written one for her.
It is remarkable that I can discover no well-established instance of a man who had been nurtured in a wolf's den having been found. There is, at Lucknow, an old man who was found in the Oude Tarae, when a lad, by the hut of an old hermit who had died. He is supposed to have been taken from wolves by this old hermit. The trooper who found him brought him to the King some forty years ago, and he has been ever since supported by the King comfortably. He is still called the "wild man of the woods." He was one day sent to me at my request, and I talked with him. His features indicate him to be of the Tharoo tribe, who are found only in that forest. He is very inoffensive, but speaks little, and that little imperfectly; and he is still impatient of intercourse with his fellow-men, particularly with such as are disposed to tease him with questions. I asked him whether he had any recollection of having been with wolves. He said "the wolf died long before the hermit;" but he seemed to recollect nothing more, and there is no mark on his knees or elbows to indicate that he ever went on all fours. That he was found as a wild boy in the forest there can be no doubt; but I do not feel at all sure that he ever lived with wolves. From what I have seen and heard I should doubt whether any boy who had been many years with wolves, up to the age of eight or ten, could ever attain the average intellect of man. I have never heard of a man who had been spared and nurtured by wolves having been found; and, as many boys have been recovered from wolves after they had been many years with them, we must conclude that after a time they either die from living exclusively on animal food, before they attain the age of manhood, or are destroyed by the wolves themselves, or other beasts of prey, in the jungles, from whom they are unable to escape, like the wolves themselves, from want of the same speed. The wolf or wolves, by whom they have been spared and nurtured, must die or be destroyed in a few years, and other wolves may kill and eat them. Tigers generally feed for two or three days upon the bullock they kill, and remain all the time, when not feeding, concealed in the vicinity. If they found such a boy feeding upon their prey they would certainly kill him, and most likely eat him. If such a boy passed such a dead body he would certainly feed upon it. Tigers often spring upon and kill dogs and wolves thus found feeding upon their prey. They could more 'easily kill boys, and would certainly be more disposed to eat them. If the dead body of such a boy were found anywhere in the jungles, or on the plains, it would excite little interest, where dead bodies are so often found exposed, and so soon eaten by dogs, jackals, vultures, &c., and would scarcely ever lead to any particular inquiry.
Salone district—Rajah Lal Hunmunt Sing of Dharoopoor—Soil of Oude— Relative fertility of the mutteear and doomutteea—Either may become oosur, or barren, from neglect, and is reclaimed, when it does so, with difficulty—Shah Puna Ata, a holy man in charge of an eleemosynary endowment at Salone—Effects of his curses—Invasion of British Boundary—Military Force with the Nazim—State and character of this Force—Rae Bareilly in the Byswara district—Bandha, or Misletoe—Rana Benee Madhoo, of Shunkerpoor—Law of Primogeniture— Title of Rana contested between Benee Madhoo and Rogonath Sing— Bridge and avenue at Rae Bareilly—Eligible place for cantonment and civil establishments—State of the Artillery—Sobha Sing's regiment— Foraging System—Peasantry follow the fortunes of their refractory Landlords—No provision for the king's soldiers, disabled in action, or for the families of those who are killed—Our sipahees, a privileged class, very troublesome in the Byswara and Banoda districts—Goorbukshgunge—Man destroyed by an Elephant—Danger to which keepers of such animals are exposed—Bys Rajpoots composed of two great families, Sybunsies and Nyhassas—Their continual contests for landed possessions—Futteh Bahader—Rogonath Sing—Mahibollah the robber and estate of Balla—Notion that Tillockchundee Bys Rajpoots never suffer from the bite of a snake—Infanticide—Paucity of comfortable dwelling-houses—The cause—Agricultural capitalists— Ornaments and apparel of the females of the Bys clan—Late Nazim Hamid Allee—His father-in-law Fuzl Allee—First loan from Oude to our Government—Native gentlemen with independent incomes cannot reside in the country—Crowd the city, and tend to alienate the Court from the people.
December 29, 1849.—Ten miles to Rampoor. Midway we passed over the border of the Sultanpoor district into that of Salone, whose Amil, Hoseyn Buksh, there met us with his cortege. Rampoor is the Residence of Rajah Hunmunt Sing, the tallookdar of the two estates of Dharoopoor and Kalakunkur, which extend down to and for some miles along the left bank of the river Ganges. There is a fort in each of these estates, and he formerly resided in that of Dharoopoor, four miles from our present encampment. That of Kalakunkur is on the bank of the Ganges. The lands along, on both sides the road, over which we are come, are scantily cultivated, but well studded with good trees, where the soil is good for them. A good deal of it is, however, the poor oosur soil, the rest muteear, of various degrees of fertility. The territory of Oude, as I have said above, must once have formed part of the bed of a lake,* which contained a vast fund of soluble salts. Through this bed, as the waters flowed off, the rivers from the northern range of hills, which had before fed the lake, cut their way to join the larger stream of the Ganges; and the smaller streams, which have their sources in the dense forest of the Tarae, which now extends along the southern border of that range, have since cut their way through this bed in the same manner to the larger rivers. The waters from these rivers percolate through the bed; and, as they rise to the surface, by the laws of capillary attraction, they carry with them these salts in solution. As they reach the surface in dry weather, they give off by evaporation pure water; and the salts, which they held in solution, remain behind in the upper surface. The capillary action goes on; and as the pure water is taken off in the atmosphere in vapour, other water impregnated with more salts comes up to supply its place; and the salts near the surface either accumulate or are supplied to the roots of the plants, shrubs, or trees, which require them.
[* Caused, possibly, by the Vendeya range once extending E. N. E. up to the Himmalaya chain, which runs E. S. E. It now extends up only to the right bank of the Ganges, at Chunar and Mirzapoor.]
Rain-water,* which contains no such salts, falls after the dry season is over, and washes out of the upper surface a portion of the salts, which have thus been brought up from below and accumulated, and either takes them off in floods or carries them down again to the beds below. Some of these salts, or their bases, may become superabundant, and render the lands oosur or unfit for ordinary tillage. There may be a superabundance of those which are not required, or cannot be taken up by the plants, actually on the surface, or there may be a superabundance of the whole, from the plants and rain-water being insufficient to take away such as require to be removed. These salts are here, as elsewhere, of great variety; nitrates of ammonia, which, combining with the inorganic substances— magnesia, lime, soda, potash, alumina, and oxide of iron—form double salts, and become soluble in water, and fit food for plants. Or there may be a deficiency of vegetable mould (humus) or manure to supply, with the aid of carbonic acid, air, water, and ammonia, the organic acids required to adapt the inorganic substances to the use of plants.
[* Rain-water contains small quantities of carbonic acid, ammonia, atmospheric air, and vegetable or animal matter.]
All are, in due proportion, more or less conducive to the growth and perfection of the plants, which men and animals require from the soil: some plants require more of the one, and some more of another; and some find a superabundance of what they need, where others find a deficiency, or none at all. The muteear seems to differ from the doomuteea soil, in containing a greater portion of those elements which constitute what are called good clay soils. The inorganic portions of these elements—silicates, carbonates, sulphates, phosphates, and chlorides of lime, potash, magnesia, alumina, soda, oxides of iron and manganese—it derives from the detritus of the granite, gneiss, mica, and chlorite slate, limestone and sandstone rocks, in which the Himmalaya chain of mountains so much abounds; and the organic elements—humates, almates, geates, apoerenates, and crenates—it derives from the mould, formed from the decay of animal and vegetable matter. It is more hydroscopic, or capable of absorbing and retaining moisture, and fixing ammonia than the doomuteea. It is of a darker colour, and forms more into clods to retain moisture. I may here mention that the Himmalaya chain does not abound in volcanic rocks, like the chains of Central and Southern India; and that the soils, which are formed from its detritus, contain, in consequence, less phosphoric acid, and is less adapted to the growth of that numerous class of plants which cannot live without phosphates. The volcanic rocks form a plateaux upon the sandstone, of almost all the hills of Central and Southern India; and the soil, which is formed from their detritus, is exceedingly fertile, when well combined, as it commonly is, with the salts and double salts formed by the union of the organic acids with the inorganic bases of alkalies, earths, and oxides which have become soluble, and been brought to the surface from below by capillary attraction. I may also mention, that the basaltic plateaux upon the sandstone rocks of Central and Southern India are often surmounted with a deposit, more or less deep, of laterite, or indurated iron clay, the detritus of which tends to promote fertility in the soil. I have never myself seen any other deposit than this iron clay or laterite above the basaltic plateaux. I believe that this laterite is never found, in any part of the Himmalaya chain. I have never seen it there, nor have I ever heard of any one having seen it there. In Bundelkund and other parts of Central and Southern India, the basaltic plateaux are sometimes found deposing immediately upon beds of granite.
The doomuteea is of a light-brown colour, soon powders into fine dust, and requires much more outlay in manure and labour than the muteear. The oosur soil appears to be formed out of both, by a superabundance of one or other of the salts or their bases, which are brought to the surface from the beds below, and not carried off or taken back into these beds. It is known that salts of ammonia are injurious to plants, unless combined with organic acids, supplied to the soil by decayed vegetable or animal matter. This matter is necessary to combine with, and fix the ammonia in the soil, and give it out to plants as they require it.
It is possible that nitrates may superabound in the soil from the oxydizement of the nitrogen of a superfluity of ammonia. The people say that all land may become oosur from neglect; and when oosur can never be made to bear crops, after it has been left long fallow, till it has been flooded with rain-water for two or three seasons, by means of artificial embankments, and then well watered, manured, and ploughed. When well tilled in this way, all but the very worst kinds of oosur are said to bear tolerable crops. In the midst of a plain of barren oosur land, which has hardly a tree, shrub, or blade of grass, we find small oases, or patches of low land, in which accumulated rain-water lies for several months every year, covered with stout grasses of different kinds, a sure indication of ability to bear good crops, under good tillage. From very bad oosur lands, common salt or saltpetre, or both, are taken by digging out and washing the earth, and then removing the water by evaporation. The clods in the muteear soil not only retain moisture, and give it out slowly as required by the crops, but they give shelter and coolness to the young and tender shoots of grain and pulse. Of course trees, shrubs, and plants, of all kind in Oude, as elsewhere, derive carbonic acid gas and ammonia from the atmosphere, and decompose them, for their own use, in the same manner.
In treating of the advantages of greater facilities for irrigation in India, I do not recollect ever having seen any mention made of that of penetrating by wells into the deep deposits below of the soluble salts, or their bases, and bringing them to the surface in the water, for the supply of the plants, shrubs, and trees we require. People talk of digging for valuable metals, and thereby "developing resources;" but never talk of digging for the more valuable solutions of soluble salts, to be combined with the organic acids already existing in the soil, or provided by man in manures—and with the carbonic acid, ammonia, and water from the atmosphere—to supply him with a never-ending succession of harvests. The practical agriculturists of Oude, however, say, that brackish water in irrigation is only useful to tobacco and shama; and where the salts which produce it superabound, rain-water tanks and fresh-water rivers and canals would, no doubt, be much better than wells for irrigation. All these waters contain carbonic acid gas, atmospheric air, and solutions of salts, which form food for plants, or become so when combined with the organic acids, supplied by the decayed animal and vegetable matter in the soil.
Soils which contain salts, which readily give off their water of crystallization and effloresce, sooner become barren than those which contain salts that attract moisture from the air, and deliquesce, as chlorides of calcium and magnesia, carbonates and acetates of potassa, alumina, &c. Canals flowing over these deep dry beds, through which little water from the springs below ever percolates to the surface, are not only of great advantage for irrigating the crops on the surface, but for supplying water as they flow along, to penetrate through these deep dry beds; and, as they rise to the surface by capillary attraction, carrying along with them the soluble salts which they pick up on their way. In Oude, as in all the districts that extend along to the north of the Ganges, and south of the Himmalaya chain, easterly winds prevail, and bring up moisture from the sea of the Bay of Bengal. All these districts are, at the same time, abundantly studded with groves of fine trees and jungle, that attract this moisture to the earth in rain and dew. Through Goozerat, Malwa, Berar, and Bundelkund, and all the districts bordering the Nerbudda river, from its mouth to its sources, westerly winds prevail, and bring up moisture from the Gulf of Cambay; and these districts are all well studded with groves, &c., and single trees, which act in the same manner, in attracting the moisture from the atmosphere to the earth, in rain and dew. In Rajpootana and Sinde no prevailing wind, I believe, comes from any sea nearer than the Atlantic ocean; and there are but few trees to attract to the earth the little moisture that the atmosphere contains. The rain that falls over these countries is not, I believe, equal to more than one-third of what falls over the districts, supplied from the Bay of Bengal, or to one-fourth of what falls in those supplied from the Gulf of Cambay. Our own districts of the N. W. Provinces, which intervene between those north of the Ganges and Rajpootana, have the advantage of rivers and canals; but their atmosphere is not so well supplied with moisture from the sea, nor are they so well studded as they ought to be with trees. The Punjab has still greater advantages from numerous rivers, flowing from the Himmalaya chain, and is, like Egypt, in some measure independent of moisture from the atmosphere as far as tillage is concerned; but both would, no doubt, be benefited by a greater abundance of trees. They not only tend to convey to and retain moisture in the soil, and to purify the air for man, by giving out oxygen and absorbing carbonic acid gas, but they are fertilizing media, through which the atmosphere conveys to the soil most of the carbon, and much of the ammonia, without which no soil can be fertile. It is, I believe, generally admitted that trees derive most of their carbon from the air through their leaves, and most of their ammonia from the soil through their roots; and that when the trees, shrubs, and plants, which form our coal-measures, adorned the surface of the globe, the atmosphere must have contained a greater portion of carbonic acid gas than at present. They decompose the gases, use the carbon, and give back the oxygen to the atmosphere.
December 30, 1849.—Ten miles to Salone, over a pretty country, well studded with fine trees and well tilled, except in large patches of oosur land, which occur on both sides of the road. The soil, doomuteea, with a few short intervals of muteear. The Rajah of Pertabghur, and other great landholders of the Sultanpoor division, who had been for some days travelling with me, and the Nazim and his officers, took leave yesterday. The Nazim, Aga Allee, is a man of great experience in the convenances of court and city life, and of some in revenue management, having long had charge of the estates comprised in the "Hozoor Tehseel," while he resided at Lucknow. He has good sense and an excellent temper, and his manners and deportment are courteous and gentlemanly. The Rajah of Pertabghur is a very stout and fat man, of average understanding. The rightful heir to the principality was Seorutun Sing, whom I have mentioned in my Rambles and Recollections, as a gallant young landholder, fighting for his right to the succession, while I was cantoned at Pertabghur in 1818. He continued to fight, but in vain, as the revenue contractors were too strong for him. Gholam Hoseyn, the then Nazim, kept him down while he lived, and Dursun Sing got him into his power by fraud, and confined him for three years in gaol.
He died soon after his release, leaving one son. Rajah Dheer Sing,* who still lives upon the portion of land which his father inherited. He has taken up the contest for the right bequeathed to him by his father; and his uncle, Golab Sing, the younger brother of Seorutun, a brave, shrewd, and energetic man, has been for some days importuning me for assistance. The nearest relations of the family told me yesterday, that they were coerced by the Government authorities into recognising the adoption of the present Rajah, though it was contrary to all Hindoo law and usage. Hindoos, they said, never marry into the same gote or family, and they never ought to adopt one of the relations of their wives, or a son of a sister, or any descendant in the female line, while there is one of the male line existing. Seoruttun Sing was the next heir in the male line; but the Rajah, having married a young girl in his old age, adopted as his heir to the principality her nearest relative, the present Rajah, who is of a different gote. The desire to keep the land in the same family has given rise to singular laws and usages in all nations in the early stages of civilization, when industry is confined almost exclusively to agriculture, and land is almost the only property valued. Among the people of the Himmalaya hills, as in all Sogdiana, it gave rise to polyandry; and, among the Israelites and Mahommedans, to the marriage of many brothers in succession to the same woman.
[* Rajah Deer Sing died in April 1851, leaving a very young son under the guardianship of his uncle, Golab Sing.]
The Rajah of Dharoopoor, who resides at Rampoor, our last halting- place, holds, as above stated, a tract of land along the left bank of the Ganges, called the Kalakunkur, in which he has lately built a mud-fort of reputed strength. He is a very sensible and active man of pleasing manners. He has two grown-up sons, who were introduced to me by him yesterday. The Government authorities complain of his want of punctuality in the payment of his revenue; and he complains, with much more justice, of the uncertainty in the rate of the demand on the part of Government and its officers or Court favourites, and in the character of the viceroys sent to rule over them; but, above all, of the impossibility of getting a hearing at Court when they are wronged and oppressed by bad viceroys. He went twice himself to Lucknow, to complain of grievous wrongs suffered by him and his tenants from an oppressive viceroy; but, though he had some good friends at Court, and among them Rajah Bukhtawar Sing, he was obliged to return without finding access to the sovereign or his minister, or any one in authority over the viceroy. He told me that all large landholders, who had any regard for their character, or desire to retain their estates, and protect their tenants, were obliged to arm and take to their strongholds or jungles as their only resource, when bad viceroys were sent—that if they could be assured that fair demands only would be made, and that they would have access to authority, when they required to defend themselves from false charges, and to complain of the wrong doings of viceroys and their agents, none of them would be found in resistance against the Government, since all were anxious to bequeath to their children a good name, as well as a good estate. He promised punctual payment of his revenues to Government, and strict obedience in all things, provided that the contractor did not enhance his demand upon him, as he now seemed disposed to do, in the shape of gratuities to himself and Court favourites. "To be safe in Oude" he said, "it is necessary to be strong, and prepared always to use your strength in resisting outrage and oppression, on the part of the King's officers."
At Salone resides a holy Mahommedan, Shah Puna Ata, who is looked up to with great reverence by both Mahommedans and Hindoos, for the sanctity of his character, and that of his ancestors, who sat upon the same religions throne, for throne his simple mattress is considered to be. From the time that the heir is called to the throne, he never leaves his house, but stays at home to receive homage, and distribute blessings and food to needy travellers of all religions. He gets from the King of Oude twelve villages, rent free, in perpetuity; and they are said to yield him twenty-five thousand rupees a-year, with which he provides for his family, and for needy travellers and pilgrims. This eleemosynary endowment was granted, about sixty years ago, by the then sovereign, Asuf-od Dowlah. The lands had belonged to a family of Kumpureea Rajpoots, who were ousted for contumacy or rebellion, I believe. He was plundered of all he had, to the amount of some twenty thousand rupees, in 1834, during the reign of Nuseer-on Deen Hyder, by Ehsan Hoseyn, the Nazim of Byswara and Salone, one of the sons of Sobhan Allee Khan, the then virtual minister; but some fifteen days after, he attacked the tallookdar of Bhuderee, and lost his place in consequence. The popular belief is, that he became insane in consequence of the holy man's curses, and that his whole family became ruined from the same cause.
Bhuderee, which lies a few miles to the south of Salone, was then held by two gallant Rajpoot brothers, Jugmohun Sing and Bishonath Sing, the sons of Zalim Sing. In the month of October, A.D. 1832, Dhokul Sing got the contract of the district, and demanded from Bhuderee an increase of ten thousand rupees in its revenue. They refused to pay this increase. At the established rate they had always paid the Government demand punctually, and been good subjects and excellent landlords. Dhokul Sing was superseded by Ehsan Hoseyn, in March 1833; and he insisted upon having the increase of ten thousand. They refused to pay, and Ehsan Hoseyn besieged and attacked their fort in September. After defending themselves resolutely for five days, Bishonath Sing consented to visit Ehsan Hoseyn, in his camp, on a solemn assurance of personal security; but he no sooner came to his tent than he was seized and taken to Rae Bareilly, the headquarters, a prisoner, in the suite of the Nazim. He there remained confined, in irons, under charge of a wing of a regiment, commanded by Mozim Khan, till February 1834, when he effected his escape, and went back to Bhuderee. In March, a large force was collected, with an immense train of artillery, to aid the Nazim, and he again laid siege to the fort. Having sent off their families before the siege began, and seeing, in the course of a few days, that they could not long hold out against so large a force, the two brothers buried eight out of their ten guns, left the fort at midnight with the other two, cut their way through the besiegers, and passed over a plain six miles to Ramchora, on the left bank of the Ganges, and within the British territory, followed by the whole of the Nazim's force.
A brisk cannonade was kept up, on both sides, the whole way, and a great many lives were lost The two brothers thought they should be safe at Ramchora, under the protection of the British Government; but the Nazim's force surrounded the place, and kept up a fire upon it. The brothers contrived, however, to send over the Ganges the greater part of their followers, under the protection of their two guns, and the few men retained to defend and serve them. Jugmohun Sing at last consented to accept the pledge of personal security tendered by Rajah Seodeen Sing, the commander-in-chief of the attacking forces; but while he and his brother were on their way to the camp, with a few armed attendants, the soldiers of the Nazim, by whom they were escorted, attempted to seize and disarm them. They resisted and defended themselves. Others came to their rescue, and the firing recommenced. Jugmohun Sing, and his brother, Bishonath Sing and all their remaining followers were killed. The two brothers lost about one hundred and fifty men, and the Nazim about sixty, in killed. The heads of the two brothers were taken off, forthwith, and sent to the King. Three villages in the British territory were plundered by the Oude troops on this occasion. This violation of our territory the King of Oude was called upon to punish; and Ehsan Hoseyn was deprived of his charge, and heavily fined, to pay compensation to our injured subjects.
Roshun-od Dowlah, the minister, was entirely in the hands of Sobhan Allee Khan; and, as long as he retained office, the family suffered no other punishment. When he, Roshun-od Dowlah, was afterwards deprived of office, he went to Cawnpore to reside, and Sobhan Allee and all his family were obliged to follow his fortunes. On his dismissal from office, Roshun-od Dowlah was put into gaol, and not released till he paid twenty-two lacs of rupees into the Treasury. He had given eight lacs, in our Government promissory notes, to his wife, and three to his son, and he took some lacs with him to Cawnpore, all made during the five years he held office. Sobhan Allee Khan, his deputy, was made to pay into the Treasury seven lacs, and five in gratuities—all made during the same five years. Sobhan Allee died last year on a pilgrimage to Mecca, with the character of one of the ablest and least scrupulous of men; and his sons continue to reside at Cawnpore and Allahabad, with the character of having all the bad, without any of the good, qualities of their father. The widow of Jugmohun manages the estate; but she has adopted the nearest heir to her husband, the present Rajah of Bhuderee, a fine, handsome, and amiable youth, of sixteen years of age, who is now learning Persian. He was one of the many chiefs who took leave of me yesterday, and the most prepossessing of all. His adoptive mother, however, absorbs the estates of her weaker neighbours, by fraud, violence, and collusion, like other landholders, and the dispossessed become leaders of gang robbers as in other parts.
The Shah receives something from the local authorities, and contributions from Mahommedan Princes, in remote parts of India, such as Bhopal, Seronge, &c. Altogether his income is said to amount to about fifty thousand rupees a-year. He has letters from Governors- General of India, Lieutenant-Governors of the North-Western Provinces and their Secretaries; and from Residents at the Court of Lucknow, all of a complimentary character. He has lately declared his eldest son to be his heir to the throne, and is said to have already put him upon it. I received from him the usual letter of compliments and welcome, with a present of a tame antelope, and some fruit and sugar; and I wrote him a reply in the usual terms. His name is Shah Puna Ata, and his character is held in high esteem by all classes of the people, of whatever creed, caste, or grade.
The Bhuderee family give their daughters in marriage to the Bugheela Rajahs of Rewa and the Powar Rajahs of Ocheyra, who are considered to be a shade higher in caste than they are among the Rajpoots. Not long ago they gave one hundred thousand rupees, with one daughter, to the only son of the Rewa Rajah, as the only condition on which he would take her. Golab Sing, the brother of Seoruttun Sing, of Pertabghur, by caste a Sombunsee, is said to have given lately fifty thousand rupees, with another daughter, to the same person. Rajah Hunmunt Sing, of Dharoopoor, who is by caste a Beseyn Rajpoot, the year before last went to Rewa, accompanied by some fifty Brahmins, to propose an union between his daughter and the same son of the Rewa Rajah. A large sum was demanded, but he pleaded poverty, and at last got the Rajah to consent to take fifty thousand rupees down, and seventy-five thousand at the last ceremony of the barat, or fetching home of the bride. When all had been prepared for this last ceremony, the Rajah of Rewa pleaded the heat of the weather, and his son would not come to complete it, and take away his bride. Hunmunt Sing collected one hundred resolute Brahmins, and proceeded with them to Rewa, where they sat dhurna at the Rajah's door, without tasting food, and declared that they would all die there unless the marriage were completed.
The Rajah did all he could, or could make his people do, to get rid of them; but at last, afraid that some of the Brahmins would really die, he consented that his son should go and fetch his bride, if Hunmunt Sing would pay down twenty-five thousand rupees more, to defray the cost of the procession, in addition to the seventy-five thousand. He did so, and his daughter was taken off in due form. He has another daughter to dispose of in the same way. The Rewa Rajah has thus taken five or six wives for his son, from families a shade lower in caste; but the whole that he has got with them will not be enough to pay one of the Rajpoot families, a shade higher in caste than he is, in Rajpootana, to take one daughter from him. It costs him ten or twelve lacs of rupees to induce the Rajah of Oudeepoor, Joudhpoor, or Jypoor, to take away, as his bride, a daughter of Rewa. All is a matter of bargain and sale. Those who have money must pay, in proportion to their means, to marry their daughters into families a shade higher in caste or dignity, or to get daughters from them when such families are reduced to the necessity of selling their daughters to families of a lower grade.
Among Brahmins it is the same. Take, for example, the Kunojee Brahmins, among whom there are several shades of caste. The member of a family a shade higher will not give his son in marriage to a daughter of a family a shade lower, without receiving a sum in proportion to its means; nor will he give a daughter in marriage to such a family till he is so exalted as to be able to disregard the feelings of his clan, or reduced to such a degree of poverty as shall seem to his clan sufficient to justify it. This bargain and sale of sons and daughters prevails, more or less, throughout all Hindoo society, and is not, even now, altogether unknown among Christian nations. In Oude, this has led to the stealing of young girls from our own districts. Some men and women from our districts make a trade of it. They pretend to be of Rajpoot caste, and inveigle away girls from their parents, to be united in marriage to Rajpoots in Oude. They pretend to have brought them with the consent of their parents, of the same or higher caste, in our territories, and make large sums by the trade.
December 31, 1849.—Eight miles to Sotee, over a country well studded with trees, and generally well cultivated. The soil is, all the way, doomuteea. The road, the greater part of the way, lies in the purgunnah of Nyn, held by Jugunnath Sing, a Kumpureea Rajpoot, and his nephew, and the collateral branches of their family. They have a belt of jungle, extending for some twelve miles along the right bank of the Saee river, and on the right side of the road, and within from two to six miles from it—in some parts nearer, and in others more remote. Wild hogs, deer, neelgae, and wild cattle abound in this jungle, and do great injury to the crops in its vicinity. The peasantry can kill and eat the hogs and deer, but dare not kill or wound the wild cattle or neelgae. The wild cattle are said to be from a stock which strayed or were let loose in this jungle some centuries ago. They are described as fat, while the crops are on the ground, and well formed—some black, some red, some white, and some mixed— and to be as wild and active as the deer of the same jungle. They are sometimes caught by being driven into the Saee river; but the young ones are said to refuse all food, and die soon, if not released. Hindoos soon release them, from the religious dread that they may die in confinement. The old ones sometimes live, and are considered valuable. They are said to be finer in form than the tame cattle of the country; and from July to March, when grass abounds, and the country around is covered successively with autumn and spring crops, more fat and sleek.
The soil is good and strong, and the jungle which covers it very thick. It is preserved by a family of Kumpureea Rajpoots, whose whole possessions, in 1814, consisted of nine villages. By degrees they have driven out or murdered all the other proprietors, and they now hold no less than one hundred and fifty, for which they pay little or no revenue to Government. The rents are employed in keeping up large bands of armed followers and building strongholds, from which they infest the surrounding country. The family has become divided into five branches, each branch having a fort or stronghold in the Nyn jungle, and becoming by degrees subdivided into smaller branches, who will thrive and become formidable in proportion as the Government becomes weak. Each branch acts independently in its depredations and usurpations from weaker neighbours but all unite when attacked or threatened by the Government.
Rajah Dursun Sing held the district of Salone from 1827 to 1836, and during this time he made several successful attacks upon the Kumpureea Rajpoots of the Nyn jungle; and during his occasional temporary residence he had a great deal of the jungle around his force cut down, but he made no permanent arrangement for subduing them. In 1837, the government of this district was transferred to Kondon Lal Partak, who established a garrison in the centre of the jungle, had much of it cut down, and kept the Kumpureea barons effectually in check. He died in 1838, and Rajahs Dursun Sing and Buktawar Sing again got the government, and continued the partaks system for the next five years, up to 1843. They lost the government for 1844 and 1845, but their successors followed the same system, to keep the Kumpureeas in order. Bukhtawar Sing got the government again for 1846 and 1847, and persevered in this system; but in 1848 the government was made over to Hamid Allee, a weak and inexperienced man. His deputy, Nourouz Allee, withdrew the garrison, and left the jungle to the Kumpureeas, who, in return, assigned to him three or four of their villages, rent free, in perpetuity, which in Oude means as long as the grantee may have the power or influence to be useful to the granters, or to retain the grants. Since that time the Kumpureeas have recovered all the lands they had lost, restored all the jungle that had been cut down, and they are now more powerful than ever. They have strengthened their old forts and built some new, and added greatly to the number of their armed followers, so that the governor of the district dares not do anything to coerce them into the payment of the just demands of Government, or to check their usurpations and outrages.*
[* This Nourouz Allee was, 1851, the agent of the Kumpureea barons of this jungle, at the Durbar, where he has made, in the usual way, many influential friends, in collusion with whom he has seized upon many estates in the vicinity of the jungle, and had them made over to these formidable barons.]
The present Nazim has with him two Nujeeb Regiments, one of nine hundred and fifty-five, and the other of eight hundred and thirty men; a squadron of horse and fourteen guns. The two corps are virtually commanded by fiddlers and eunuchs at Court. Of the men borne on the muster rolls and paid, not one-half are present; of the number present, not one-half are fit for the duties of soldiers; and of those fit for such duties, not one-half would perform them. They get nominally four rupees a-month, liable to numerous deductions, and they are obliged to provide their own clothing, arms, accoutrements, and ammunition, except on occasions of actual fighting, when they are entitled to powder and ball from the Government officer under whom they are employed. He purchases powder in the bazaars, or has it sent to him from Lucknow; and, in either case, it is not more than one- third of the strength used by our troops. It is made in villages and supplied to contractors, whose only object is to get the article at the cheapest possible rate; and that supplied to the most petted corps is altogether unfit for service.
The arms with which they are expected to provide themselves are a matchlock and sword. They are often ten or twelve months in arrears, and obliged to borrow money for their own subsistence and that of their families, at twenty-four per cent. interest. If they are disabled, they have little chance of ever recovering the arrears of pay due to them; and if they are killed, their families have still less. Even the arms and accoutrements which they have purchased with their own money are commonly seized by the officers of Government, and sold for the benefit of the State. Under all these disadvantages, the Nazim tells me that he thinks it very doubtful whether any of the men of the two corps would fight at all on emergency. The cavalry are still worse off, for they have to subsist their horses, and if any man's horse should be disabled or killed, he would be at once dismissed with just as little chance of recovering the arrears of pay due to him. Of the fourteen guns, two only are in a state fit for service. Bullocks are provided for six out of fourteen, but they are hardly able to stand from want of food, much less to draw heavy guns. I looked at them, and found that they had had no grain for many years, and very little grass or chaff, since none is allowed by Government for their use, and little can be got by forage, or plunder, which is the same thing. One seer and half of grain, or three pounds a-day for each bullock, is allowed and paid for by Government, but the bullocks never get any of it. Of the six best guns, for which he has draft bullocks, the carriage of one went to pieces on the road yesterday, and that of another went to pieces this-morning in my camp, in firing the salute, and both guns now lie useless on the ground. He has one mortar, but only two shells for it; and he has neither powder nor ball for any of the guns. He was obliged to purchase in the bazaar the powder required for the salute for the Resident.
The Nazim tells me, that he has entertained at his own cost two thousand Nujeebs or Seobundies, on the same conditions as those on which the others serve in the two Regiments, on duty under him—that is, they are to get four rupees a-month each, and furnish themselves with food, clothing, a matchlock, sword, accoutrements, and ammunition, except on occasions of actual fighting, when he is to provide them with powder and ball from the bazaar. The minister, he tells me, promised to send him another Nujeeb corps—the Futteh Jung— from Khyrabad; but he has heard so bad an account of its discipline, that he might as well be without it. All the great landholders see the helpless state of the Nazim, and not only withhold from him the just dues of Government, but seize upon and appropriate with impunity the estates of the small proprietors in their neighbourhood.
January 1, 1850.—Fourteen miles to Rae Bareilly, over a plain with more than usual undulation, and the same doomuteea light soil, tolerably cultivated, and well studded with trees of the finest kind. The festoons of the bandha hang gracefully from the branches, with their light green and yellow leaves, and scarlet flowers, in the dark green foliage of the mango and mhowa trees in great abundance. I saw them in no other, but they are sometimes said to be found in the banyan, peepul, and other trees, with large leaves, though not in the tamarind, babul, and other trees, with small leaves. I examined those on the mango and mhowa trees, and they are the same in leaf and flower, and are said to be the same in whatever tree found. Rae Bareilly is in the estate of Shunkurpoor, belonging to Rana Benee Madho, a large landholder. He resides at Shunkurpoor, ten miles from this, and is strong, and not very scrupulous in the acquisition, by fraud, violence, and collusion, of the lands of the small proprietors in the neighbourhood. I asked Rajah Hunmunt Sing, of Dharoopoor, as he was riding by my side, this morning, whether he was not a man of bad character. He said, "No, by no means; he is a man of great possessions, credit, and influence, and of good repute." "But does he not rob smaller proprietors of their hereditary lands?" "If," replied the Rajah, "you estimate men's character in Oude on this principle, you will find hardly any landholder of any rank with a good one, for they have all been long doing the same thing—all have been augmenting their own estates by absorbing those of smaller proprietors, by what you will call fraud, violence, and collusion, but they are not thought the worse of for this by the Government or its officers." Nothing could be more true. Men who augment their estates in this way, purchase the acquiescence of temporary local officers, either by gratuities, or promises of aid, in putting down other powerful and refractory landholders; or they purchase the patronage of Court favourites, who get their estates transferred to the "Hozoor Tehseel," and their transgressions overlooked. Those who augment their resources in this way, employ them in maintaining armed bands, building forts, and purchasing cannon, to secure themselves in the possession, and to resist the Government and its officers, who might otherwise make them pay in some proportion to their usurpations.
Benee Madho called upon me after breakfast, and gave me the little of his history that I desired to hear. He is of the Byans Rajpoot clan, and his ancestors have been settled in Oude for about twenty-five generations, as landholders of different grades. The tallook or estate now belongs to him, and is considered to be a principality, to descend entire by the law of primogeniture, to the nearest male heir, unless the lands become divided during his life-time among his sons. Such a division has already taken place, as will be seen by the annexed note :*
[* Abdool-Sing, the tallookdar of Shunkurpoor, had three sons; first, Doorga Buksh, to whom he gave three shares; second, Chundha Buksh, to whom he gave two shares; third, Bhowanee Buksh, to whom he gave one and half share. The three shares of Doorga Buksh descended to his son, Sheopersaud, who died without issue. Chunda Buksh left two sons, Ramnaraen and Gor Buksh, Ramnaraen inherited the three shares of Sheopersaud, as well as the two shares of his father. He had three sons, Rana Benee Madho, Nirput Sing, and Jogray Sing; Benee Madho inherited the three shares, and one of the other two was given to Nirput Sing, and the other to Jogray Sing. Gorbuksh Sing left one son, Sheopersaud, who gets the one and half share of Bhowanee Buksh, whose son, Joorawun, died without issue. Benee Madho is now the head of the family; and he has more than quadrupled his three shares by absorptions, made in the way above mentioned.]
The three and half shares held by his brothers and cousins are liable to subdivision by the Hindoo law of inheritance, or the custom of his family and clan; but his own share must descend undivided, unless he divides it during his lifetime, or his heirs divide it during theirs, and consent to descend in the scale of landholders. He says that, during the five years that Fakeer Mahommed Khan was Nazim, a quarrel subsisted between him and the tallookdar of Khujoor Gow, Rugonath Sing, his neighbour; that Sahib Rae, the deputy of Fakeer Mahommed, who was himself no man of business, adopted the cause of his enemy, and persuaded his master to attack and rob him of all he had, turn him out of his estate, and make it over to Rugonath Sing. He went to Lucknow for redress, and remained there urging his claims for fourteen months, when he got an order from the minister, Ameen-od Dowlah, for the estate being restored to him and transferred to the Hozoor Tehseel. He recovered his possessions, and the transfer was made; and he has ever since lived in peace. He might have added that he has been, at the same time, diligently employed in usurping the possessions of his weaker neighbours.*
[* Benee Madho and Rugonath Sing have since quarrelled about the title of Rana. Benee Madho assumed the title, and Rugonath wished to do the same, but Benee Madho thought this would derogate from his dignity. They had some fighting, but Rugonath at last gave in, and Benee Madho purchased, from the Court a recognition of his exclusive right to the title, which is a new one in Oude. They had each a force of five thousand brave men, besides numerous auxiliaries.]
On our road, two miles from Rae Bareilly, we passed over a bridge on the Saee river, built by Reotee Ram, the deputy of the celebrated eunuch, Almas Allee Khan, some sixty or seventy years ago. He at the same time planted an avenue of fine trees from Salone to Rae Bareilly, twenty miles; and from Rae Bareilly to Dalamow, on the Ganges, south, a distance of fourteen miles more. Many of the trees are still standing and very fine; but the greater part have been cut down during the contests that have taken place between the Government officers and the landholders, or between the landholders themselves. The troops in attendance upon local government authorities have, perhaps, been the greatest enemies to this avenue, for they spare nothing of value, either in exchange or esteem, that they have the power to take. The Government and its officers feel no interest in such things, and the family of the planter has no longer the means to protect the trees or repair the works.
Rae Bareilly is the head-quarters of the local authorities in the Byswara district, and is considered to be one of the most healthy places in Oude. It is near the bank of the small river Saee, in a fine, open plain of light soil, and must be dry at all seasons, as the drainage is good; and there are no jheels or jungles near. It would be an excellent cantonment for a large force, and position for large civil establishments. The town is a melancholy ruin, and the people tell me that whatever landholder in the district quarrels with the local authorities is sure, as his first enterprise, to sack Rae Bareilly, as there is no danger in doing it. The inhabitants live so far from each other, and are separated by such heaps of ruins and deep water-courses, that they can make no resistance. The high walls and buildings, all of burnt brick, erected in the time of Shahjehan, are all gone to ruin. The plain, around the town, is open, level, well cultivated, and beautifully studded with trees. There is a fine tank of puckah masonry to the north-west of the town, built by the same Reotee Ram, and repaired by some member of his family, who holds and keeps in good order the pretty garden around it. The best place for a cantonment, courts, &c., is the plain which separates the town from the river Saee to the south-east: they should extend along from the town to the bridge over the Saee river. The water of this river is said to be excellent, though not quite equal to that of the Ganges. There is good water in most of the wells, but in some it is said to be brackish. The bridge requires repair.
January 2, 1850.—We halted at Rae Bareilly, and I inspected the bullocks belonging to the guns of Sobha Sing's regiment and some guns belonging to the Nazim. The bullocks have been starved, are hardly able to walk, and quite unfit for any work. Some of the carriages of the guns are broken down, and those that are still entire are so rotten that they could not bear a march. This regiment of Sobha Sing's was as good as any of those commanded by Captains Magness, Bunbury, and Barlow, while commanded by the late Captain Buckley;* and the native officers and sipahees trained under him are all still excellent, but they are not well provided. Like the others, this regiment was to have had guns permanently attached to it, but the want of Court influence has prevented this. They now have them only when sent on service from one or other of the batteries at Lucknow, and the consequence is that they are good for nothing. Sobha Sing is at Court, in attendance on the minister; and his adjutant, Bhopaul Sing, a near relative of the Rajah of Mynpooree, commands: he seems to be a good soldier, and an honest and respectable man.
[* Captain Buckley was the son of Colonel Buckley, of the Honourable Company's service, a good soldier and faithful servant of the Oude Government. His mother, widow, and son, were left destitute; but on my earnest recommendation, the King granted the lad a pension of fifty rupees a-month.]
The Nazim has with him this one Komukee, or auxiliary regiment, and half of three regiments of Nujeebs, amounting, according to the pay abstracts and muster-rolls, to fifteen hundred men. He has one hundred cavalry and seven guns, of which one only is fit for use, and for that one he has neither stores nor ammunition. He was obliged to purchase in the bazaar the powder and cloth required to make up the cartridges for a salute for the Resident. Of the fifteen hundred Nujeebs not two-thirds are present, and of these hardly one-half are efficient: they are paid, armed, clothed, and provided like the corps of Nujeebs placed under the other local officers. The tallookdars of the districts have not as yet presented themselves to the Nazim, but they have sent their agents, and, with few exceptions, shown a disposition to pay their revenues. The chief landholder in the district is Rambuksh, of Dondeea Kherah, a town, with a fort, on the bank of the river Ganges. He holds five of the purgunnahs as hereditary possessions:—1, Bhugwuntnuggur; 2, Dondeea Kherah; 3, Mugraen; 4, Punheen; 5, Ghutumpoor. The present Nazim has put all five under the management of Government officers, as the only safe way to get the revenues, as Rambuksh is a bad paymaster. Had he not been so, as well to his own retainer as to the King's officers, the Nazim would not have been able to do this. It is remarked as a singular fact among Rajpoot landholders that Rambuksh wants courage himself, and is too niggardly to induce others to fight for him with spirit. The last Nazim, Hamid Allee, a weak and inexperienced man, dared not venture upon such a measure to enforce payment of balances.*
[* Rambuksh recovered the management of his estate, and had it transferred to the Hozoor Tehseel: but he failed in the payment of the expected gratuities; and in April, 1851, he was attacked by a large force, and driven across the Ganges, into British territory. He had gone off on the pretence of a visit to some shrine, and his followers would not fight. The fort was destroyed, and estate confiscated. He is still, January, 1851, negotiating for the purchase of both, and will succeed, as he has plenty of money at command. The King's troops employed committed all manner of atrocities upon the poor peasantry: many men were murdered, many women threw themselves down in wells, after they had been dishonoured; and all were indiscriminately plundered.]
He married the daughter of Fuzl Allee, the prime minister for fifteen months, during which time he made a fortune of some thirty or thirty- five lacs of rupees, twelve of which Hamid Allee's wife got. He was persuaded by Gholam Allee, his deputy, and others, that he might aspire to be prime minister at Lucknow if he took a few districts in farm, to establish his character and influence. In the farm of these districts he has sunk his own fortune and that of his wife, and is still held to be a defaulter to the amount of some eighteen lacs, and is now in gaol. This balance he will wipe off in time in the usual manner: he will beg and borrow to pay a small sum to the Treasury, and four times the amount in gratuities to the minister, and other persons, male and female, of influence at Court. The rest will be struck off as irrecoverable, and he will be released. He was a man respected at Delhi, as well on account of his good character as on that of his wealth; but he is here only pitied as an ambitious fool.
The wakeel, on the part of the King, with the Resident, has been uniting his efforts to those of Hoseyn Buksh,* the present Nazim of Salone, to prevail upon Rajah Hunmunt Sing, the tallookdar of Dharoopoor, to consent to pay an addition of ten or fifteen thousand rupees to the present demand of one hundred and sixteen thousand rupees a-year for his estate. He sturdily refused, under the assurance of the good offices of Rajah Bukhtawar Sing, who has hitherto supported him. Among other things urged by him to account for his inability to pay is the obligation he is under to liquidate, by annual instalments, a balance due to Bukhtawar Sing; himself, when he held the contract of the district many years ago. Bukhtawar Sing acknowledges the receipt of the instalments, and declares that they are justly due; but these payments are, in reality, nothing more than gratuities, paid for his continued good offices with the minister and Dewan.
[* Hoseyn Buksh was killed in March following, by the followers of a female landholder, whom he was trying to coerce into payment. He was killed by a cannon shot through the chest, while engaged in the siege of Shahmow, held by Golab Kour, the widow of Rajah Dirguj Sing, who had succeeded to the estate, and would not or could not pay her revenue.
A few days before, Hoseyn Buksh attached the crops of another tallookdar, Seodut Sing, of Dhunawan, who would pay no revenue. A body of the King's cavalry was sent to guard the crops, but the tallookdar drove them off, and killed one and wounded another. Hoseyn Buksh then sent a regiment, the Futtehaesh, a corps of his own Seobundies, and six guns, to coerce the tallookdar. Two guns were mounted on one battery, under the Futtehaesh regiment, and four on another, under the Seobundies. A crowd of armed peasants attacked the battery with the two guns, drove back the regiment, captured the guns, and fired upon the soldiers as they fled. They then attacked the battery with the four guns, and the Seobundies fled, taking their guns with them for four miles. In their flight they had three men killed, and twelve wounded. Hoseyn Buksh, on hearing this, sent his whole force, under his brother, Allee Buksh, to avenge the insult. Seodut, thinking he could not prudently hold out any longer, evacuated his fort during the night, and retired, and Hoseyn Buksh took possession of the fort, and recovered his two guns. His successor restored both Seodut and the widow, Golab Kour, to their estates, on their own terms, after trying in vain to arrest them.]