Modern India eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 495 pages of information about Modern India.
to see which should house its cadets in the most elegant and convenient style.  Hence, nowhere else in India can be found so many fine examples of modern native residence architecture.  The young princes live in great style, each having a little court around him and a number of servants to gratify his wants.  It is quite the usual arrangement for a college student to live in a palatial villa, with secretaries, aides-de-camp, equerries and bodyguards, for Indian princes are very particular in such matters, and from the hour of birth their sons are surrounded with as much ceremony as the King of Spain.  They would not be permitted to attend the college if they could not continue to live in regal state.  Some of them, only 10 or 12 years old, have establishments as large and grand as those of half the kings of Europe, and the Princes Imperial of England or of Germany live the life of a peasant in comparison.

XIII

THE ANCIENT MOGUL EMPIRE

The ancient Mogul Empire embraced almost as much of India as is controlled by the British today, and extended westward into Europe as far as Moscow and Constantinople.  It was founded by a young warrior known as Timour the Tartar, or Tamerlane, as he is more frequently called in historical works.  He was a native of Kesh, a small town fifty miles south of Samarkand, the capital of Bokhara, which was known as Tartary in those days.  This young man conquered more nations, ruled over a wider territory and a larger number of people submitted to his authority than to any other man who ever lived, before or since.  His expansion policy was more successful than that of Alexander the Great or Julius Caesar or Charles V. or Napoleon, and he may properly be estimated as one of the greatest if not the very greatest and most successful soldier in all history.  Yet he was not born to a throne.  He was a self-made man.  His father was a modest merchant, without wealth or fame.  His grandfather was a scholar of repute and conspicuous as the first convert to Mohammedanism in the country in which he lived.  Timour went into the army when he was a mere boy.  There were great doings in those days, and he took an active part in them.  From the start he seems to have been cast for a prominent role in the military dramas and tragedies being enacted upon the world’s wide stage.  He inherited a love of learning from his grandfather and a love of war as well as military genius from some savage ancestor.  He rose rapidly.  Other men acknowledged his superiority, and before he was 30 years old he found himself upon a throne and acknowledged to be the greatest soldier of his time.  He came into India in 1398 and set up one of his sons on a throne at Delhi, where his descendants ruled until the great Indian mutiny of 1857—­460 years.  He died of fever and ague in 1405, and was buried at Samarkand, where a splendid shrine erected over his tomb is visited annually by tens of thousands of pilgrims, who worship him as divine.

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Modern India from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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