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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll

Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

A. Conan Doyle

Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner

British India analyzed

by Charles Francis Greville


In 1740 the deputies of King Sittarah arrived as usual at Delhi, to receive the Chout; when they were given to understand "that Nadir Shaw had lately exhausted the treasury, and the Emperor was rendered utterly incapable of satisfying their demands; the more especially, a:( the revenues of the Bengal provinces had been withheld from the year 1738 by the rebellion of Aliverdi Khan, who, in conjunction with his brother Hodjee Hamet, had usurped that Soubabdarry, requesting that the deputies would intreat riieir master in the Emperor's name to send an army, sufficient to exact the amount of the Chout wa$ due to them; and ajsy to r*ie the lve&<h of Æverdi and his brother, and restore the family of Soujah Khan to the Soubah/hip, as the then distracted state of the empire put it out of his power to fend a sufficient force to reduce the two rebels." The King of Sittarah immediately sent an army of 80,000 horse into Bengal, by the western hills of Bierboheen. Æverdi Khan was then at Cattack reducing Oriffa, and by forced marches reached near Burdwan, two days after the Mahrattahs had taken possession of it. He there received Bo/char Pundit's demands of " three years arrear of cbout, the treasuries of the two late Soubahs, and the appointment of an officer of their own to have a feat in every Cutcherry throughout the provinces to collect tht fourth part of the customs on their behalf." Æverdi received the proposition with indignation, and determined to force his way through the enemy and to join his brother; the Bengal troops beginning to desert, h* did not delay: his principal dependaftce was on the Patans, and he succeeded in forcing a paflage with much slaughter through the enemy, and gained the Cut* wah road, in the course of which they

they effected a most memorable retreat of near three days and nights, being often surrounded and attacked on all sides by the Mahrattah army, and as often repulsing and forcing their passage, until they arrived at Cutivah with only 2500 Patans and 1500 Bengal soldiers, kept sirm to their duty by the example of the Patans and the intrepid behaviour of their Jemmautdar, Jaffier Khan. They were surrounded, and crossed a river deemed unfordable; escaped a defile; the river being gallantly defended by Mujlapha Khan, Jeyndi Amet Khan, and Jaffier Khan, with 80 Patans, against the whole army; and when they judged the Soubah had safely passed the river, this gallant band retreated gradually, and, though pressed by the enemy, made good their passage of the river and joined the Soubah *. The Mahrattahs, after plundering the country, began to retire with the treasure, to secure their retreat before the rains of June set in. When the rains broke up about the end of September, they returned: the consternation of the inha

* Holwell,, Interesting Events, pi 119.

bitants made them seek safety on the East side of the Ganges. It is observed by Mr. HolwelI, * that the manufactures of the Aurungs received so injurious a blow at this period, that they have ever since lost their original purity and estimation, and probably will never recover them. Aliverdi, unable to protect his country against the Mahrattah cavalry, or to bring them to any decisive action, resolved to treat; the overture only brought forth a demand, that Soujah Kharis family should be restored. Hostilities were continued; at last the usurper proposed a conference with Bojchar Pundit; 200 armed men had been concealed between the double lining of the spacious tent, erected between the two armies, and the Mahrattah General and his attendants were murdered. The Mahrattahs elected a new General, and they continued their ravages from the beginning of December 1742 to February 1743. Every art and endeavour to bring them to a battle proved ineffectual; at length, by astonishing bravery and perseverance, he obliged them to

* Holwell, Interesting Events, p. 124.

repair to their general rendezvous, and they retired over the Bierboom hills to Siftarah. They had no sooner retreated than, the usurper was alarmed by another army of Mahrattahs entering the provinces by the way of Cuttack, commanded by Rogajee, and that a third army, commanded by Ballajee Row, had penetrated within a day or two's march of Sidy gully; each army consisted of 60,000 horse; the first sent by Sittarah to enforce the orders given to Boschar Pundit, the latter to join Rogajee, and avenge the murder of Boschar Pundit. The armies joined in March, 1743, and the usurper, unable to cope with such force, opened a successful negociation, through the means of Sejfarow, a Mahrattah prisoner,, who had influence over Ballajee Row, to whom he was related. He agreed to cede to Ballajee Row alone the C'bout of two years, and Ballajee Row engaged to satisfy Rogajee, or join the usurper to drive Rogajee and his army out of the provinces. Ballajee Row retired with his army, and left Rogajee to shift for himself; this General immediately took possession of Ofijsa; he sent thither, with the title and authority of General, Mhir Nubbeb, who had been collector of the revenues at Dacca, and to avoid answering his mal-administration to Æverdi, had joined Boschar Pundit, and continued high in the confidence of Rogajee. The usurper employed all April and May without being able to bring Rogajee to a general action, and the rains setting in earlier than usual, both armies went into quarters; the Mahrattahs remaining in quiet possession of Orijsa and all the country on the western shore of the Houghly river, from Ballasore to within a few miles of Tannd*s Fort, near the Englijh settlement of Fort William. The armies of Aliverdi retired to Moorjhedabad, and Rogajee with his main army to Bierbootn, during the rains; It is not necessary to relate the events which succeeded each other till the year 1750, when at length a lasting peace was made with the Mahrattahs; Æverdi also defeated the Patans and his best generals, who had revolted during that period of public calamity.

It must be supposed that the trade of the Europeans must have been greatly embarraffed and injured, their effects plundered by the enemy, and these misfortunes much heightened by oppressive exactions of the usurper; but foreigners then participated of oppression, in great measure occasioned by necessity. Though Aliverdi had possessed the treasures of the three last Soubahst yet so immense were his continual expences and disbursements that little of them remained; for it is pretty well known that the retreat of Ballajee Row was not purchased for less than 5 crores of rupees *, though 22 lacks for two years Chout only

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