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being also richly bossed of the same precious metal. The Amirs did not use any other ornaments, and, except the large signet rings commonly wore by Mahommedans, were not adorned by any jewellery. As affecting to be a military people, the arms were the principal objects of personal ornament. The cold season induced an addition to the costume in the shape of thicklywadded silk surcoats, always of very gaudy colours, or broad cloth jackets richly embroidered. During the pursuit of game the white flowing robes and startling coloured caps were exchanged for dark green dresses, the more effectually to assimilate with the jungle. In travelling, the high Tartan boots of kotah-pacho skin were always adopted after the Persian fashion.
Concerning Sindhian salutations.
The mode of salutation between natives in Sindh is peculiar to the country, and indicates a very simple-mannered people; it consists in inquiries first after the health of the parties, then follows a string of questions after that of the family, succeeded by others as to the state of the house and property. The first of these is not the simple question usually proposed on like occasions, but it is repeated and varied with a tone of intense doubt and anxiety, which becomes quite amusing. It may be translated thus :- Are you well ? quite well? Comfortable ? quite comfortable? Happy ? exceedingly happy? Are you sure you are well ? These being asked by one party, and being answered satisfactorily, are in their turn taken up by the other, and thus an ordinary salutation between friends occupies a considerable time: however large the assembly may be in which a man enters, he must go through this form to the whole of the persons present, as each is introduced to him, the senior or highest in rank making the first advance.
A Sindhian never passes a stranger on the road or river without the whole of these guestions, into which he throws a deep interest; the effect however, being sometimes much damped by the latter demanding, after the termination of the ceremony, “And who are you?” This custom is remarkable, as Sindh is almost the only Eastern country in which good breeding and etiquette permit inquiries to be made after the family of an individual.
Some notice has been taken of the apathy and listlessness of the Sindhian princes. The economy of time with them was not a very important consideration. From the early dawn to what would correspond with our breakfast, was devoted to such business of the state as was transacted privately. The sultry portion of the day was passed in the inner apartments, three or four hours being consumed in sleep. At sunset, after evening prayer, each Amir held a public durbar, which was ceremoniously attended by the officers of state and others at the court. Presentations were now made, together with verbal reports given on matters public or personal. After the durbar broke up, the princes retired, or passed the remainder of the evening in listening to story-tellers, poets, or Nautch women. But exercise was never taken as a matter of healthful enjoyment; so that except for the hunt, or a visit to the tombs of the sainted, the Amirs never left their fort, where they generally bore mild sway, although neglecting the ruler's duty in making personal inquiries into grievances. They were not harsh as slave-masters.
Slavery in a very mild form exists in Sindh : the natives of Zanzibar are brought to the country when very young, and are sold to the wealthier classes ; but in Sindh, as elsewhere in the East, the term slavery does not imply a state of cruel or degrading bondage. Slaves are treated with great consideration, and often become the most influential members of a family. Slaves born whilst their parents are in bondage are the property of the master, and become so exceedingly attached to the place of their birth, and those to whom alone they have been accustomed to look for protection, that liberty would probably offer little inducement to them to change their present for what might be considered a more independent position. In the lower part of the river, some of the villages furnish a large proportion of African inhabitants.
Some of this class held offices of high trust and personal confidence about the Amirs, who would have confided in them rather than the members of their own family: many of their body servants were composed of the Sidis (as the African is styled in these countries.)
Our next extract is taken from a general view of the characters of the Sindhian chiefs.
Mean and avaricious, the accumulation of wealth at the expense of their possessions by excessive taxation on skill and industry, were the vital faults of misgovernment, proving at the same time how grossly ignorant and short. sighted a system they pursued. As feudatory chiefs of a conquered country, they were bound to acknowledge the extensive claims of their ignorant and wild feudatories, and these knew no form of government, and cared for none other than that which provided for their own immediate rights and interests. The sole end and aim therefore of the Sindhian Amirs was to board up riches, conciliate their retainers, and enjoy themselves after their own fashion, looking upon all ameliorating and improving systems as interferences against which they were bound to place the most decided barriers. Though by no means cruel--for they were singularly free from this common vice of absolute rulers—they were necessarily arbitrary and despotic to the mass of their subjects, as evinced in the miserable condition of the latter, which was debased and degraded under the system of government pursued. Unambitious of conquest and of foreign alliances, they looked merely to pass as independent princes, uncared for by other states, and as much as possible unknown, The individual merits of these chiefs apart from their faults, which were those of circumstances, consisted in the exercise of the domestic virtues, which are always so conspicuous in the East, and in the ruder though not less pleasing qualities of hospitality, vrbanity, and gratitude for favours conferred. Of the few distinguished British officers who have had an opportunity of being closely connected in the course of official and friendly intercourse, a favourable impression was invariably produced ; and though our first visits to their courts induced feelings of contempt for their want of candour and shallow artifices to conceal their childish suspicion of our purposes, these feelings were succeeded in after years by more generous sentiments, the result of a liberal view of their position and its at
A word or two more from the Captain's volume concerning the native government of Sindh, the nature of our connexion with and the fall of the Amirs.
The history of our connexion with Sindh is strikingly illustrative of the difficulties encountered in treating with its chiefs, though as steadily overcome by the distinguished public servants who have had to lay the foundation of a more liberal policy, by pleading its cause with that ignorant and therefore arrogant court. The Amirs of Sindh latterly, there is every reason to believe, were becoming gradually awakend to a sense of their errors of government, and individually could be brought to acknowledge them ; but the princes were not, it must be kept in mind, the parties to be alone consulted; there were those about them to whose opinions they were bound to pay every respect, if not obedience, who looked upon the slightest alteration as direct innovation, and all improvement as totally opposed to their interests -hence the difficulties to be contended with. Probably no form of rule, and class of rulers with whom we have been brought into contact in the East, presented so many obstacles to reformation as that of Sindh, and no court required from its peculiar construction so much diplomatic address and talent as this in dealing with it: how abundantly both were displayed will soon appear.
Captain Postans makes it out that there have been eleven changes of dynasty in the same number of centuries, in the history of Sindh, the last being indicated under this head—"Conquered by the English, 1843." Our grasp has been laid upon its rulers, and its warriors and people have nominally become subjugated to British power. But this has not been accomplished without results that are touching to the feelings in the fate of the fallen, and quite apart from battle-field scenes. A melancholy interest attaches to these few sentences :
The fallen Amirs of Sindh, consisting of Mirs Nasir Khan, and his nephews, Mirs Shadad Khan and Hussein Alli Khan, Mir Mahommed, and Sobhdar, of Hyderabad, and Mirs Rústum Khan, and Wulli Mahommed Khan of Khyrpur, with others, arrived at Bombay in her Majesty's sloop of war Nimrod, on the 19th of April, and every consideration was shown to their altered fortunes, by the honourable governor and other authorities, one of the governor's residences being appropriated to their reception. A local journal describes their condition thus :-"The Amirs, being prisoners of state, are retained in strict seclusion; they are described as broken-hearted and miserable men, maintaining much of the dignity of fallen greatness, and without any querulous or angry complainings at this unalleviable source of sorrow, refusing to be comforted.” It would be superfluous to add to this description. The Amirs of Sindh merit deep sympathy; and those even who were opposed to them in the stern shock of arms will yet acknowledge that their fate has been indeed a melancholy one.
Art. X.-Nelsonian Reminiscences; Leaves from Memory's Log.
By G. S. Parsons, Lieut. R.N. Saunders and Otley. These Reminiscences appeared originally in the Metropolitan Magazine, but are now brought together in a connected and compact form, in the hope that they will be received with favour in the shape of a volume. Of this cordial reception there can be little doubt. The period in our national history over which Mr. Parsons' pages extend is the most stirring and interesting in our annals, or in naval history; and the hero under whom the Lieutenant served during the Mediterranean cruise, maintains a hold on the imagination, admiration, and grateful feelings of the people, that is more terse and tender, that has more of the undying principle in it, than any man that has ever existed. The book, too, is attractive merely as a book, or a literary performance. It becomes the Lieutenant well; for it shows much of the heart and spirit of the sailor, is in a straightforward tone,-at times laughter-moving, and at others grave or touching,—but always entertaining. The style, to be sure, is in rather a more youthful and modern cast than might have been looked for in 1843, from one who was in the action off St. Vincent, albeit only eleven
years old at the time. Memory's Log,” too, is marvellously fresh and particular in details, giving us conversations just as if they had made their first impression in the course of yesterday's doings, and as if the dialogues of sailors had always the picturesque and the dramatic in them. However, the reader is to bear in mind that the Reminiscences have been got up for magazine papers, and that the main question is, whether the essence of truth is presented—whether the pictures and sentiments be faithful and true in spirit and in manner. Tested and interpreted in this way, the Log, we think, may be taken as an authority so far as it pretends to go, and therefore it has its value in a more important sense, than being merely an amusement for an idle hour.
The book consists of narrative and anecdote, -of descriptions, sketches, and yarns, all relating to nautical affairs and naval experience. Many are the adventures, the scenes, and the pieces of portraiture to be met with in the Lieutenant's volume; and all that we are called on now to do, is to transfer samples to our pages, in order to enliven them, and also to tempt to a fuller and more leisurely reading
We first of all are introduced to the author in Naples Bay, the time 1799; and the first of his recorded reminiscences relates to a tragical event, the execution of prince Carraciolli, admiral of the Neapolitan fleet; the king of Naples and his court having taken up their quarters in the Foudroyant shortly after the old admiral had been hanged and consigned to thedeep. Our extract speaks for
Some days after the execution, when the name of Admiral Carraciolli had ceased to be remembered among the great and noble of the land, I was roused from my slumbers with an account of the king being on deck. Wondering at his bad taste for early rising, I hurried up, and found his majesty gazing with intense anxiety on some distant object. At once he turned pale, and letting his spyglass fall on deck, uttered an exclamation of horror. My eyes instinctively turned in the same direction, and under our larboard quarter, with his face full upon us, much swollen and discoloured by the water, and his orbs of light started from their sockets by strangulation, floated the ill-fated prince. All the superstition of the Italian school was called into play by this extraordinary (and, in truth, it was a fearful) apparition. The old man's grey hair streamed in the light breeze that rippled the placid waters of this lovely bay ; the king and court were alarmed, and looked very pale; the priesthood, who were numerous on board, were summoned; when one, more adroit than his brethren, told the king that the spirit of his unfortunate admiral could not rest without his forgiveness, which he had risen to implore. This was freely accorded ; and on Lord Nelson (who was suffering from ill health) being awakened from his uneasy slumbers by the agitation of the court, he ordered a boat to be sent from the ship to tow the corpse on shore.
Nelson's conduct at Naples presents passages that we have no mind to review; and Lady Hamilton did not always, Lieutenant Parsons hints, “sympathize in the manner expected from her generous and noble nature." Still, he declares that she has been most grossly calumniated. “Her generosity and good nature were unbounded-her talents and spirit unequalled ; and, to my knowledge, her heart was of softer materials than to rejoice in the sufferings of the enemies of the (Neapolitan) court, to whom both she and Lord Nelson were bound by the strongest ties of gratitude and affection.” "She served the country with unwearied zeal and activity, and in a greater degree than any female ever before had the power.” This service, of course, consisted chiefly in the way which she took with her influence over the hero. “She was the cause of saving millions of British property from the grasp of the Spanish king, in 1797; she enabled Lord Nelson to fight the battle of Aboukir, and kept steady to our interest the fickle and dissolute court of Naples, from her influence over the daughter of Maria Theresa, then queen of that place." " Memory's Log" contains an anecdote worth quoting, referrible to the period of Prince Carraciolli's execution, which, together with some other acts, much to be lamented, our author attributes to a high sense of gratitude for benefits conferred by the Neapolitan court. “Lady Hamilton, with his lordship, (conspicuous from the star-like decorations that occasioned his death,) were skirting the sea-board at Naples, when a shot from the castle of St. Elmo disarranged the glossy curls of the beautiful Emma. On board !' said the hero and genius of victory. 'Not so, my dear lord,' said her ladyship. Let it never be said that Nelson and Bronté were turned by a Frenchman's ball.'”