Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official eBook

William Henry Sleeman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,051 pages of information about Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official.
himself greatly in the command of his regiment, under Lord Lake, at the battle of Laswari[8] and siege of Bharatpur.[9] It was impossible ever to persuade him that the characters and incidents of these novels were the mere creations of fancy—­he felt them to be true—­he wished them to be true, and he would have them to be true.  We were not very anxious to undeceive him, as the illusion gave him pleasure and did him good.  Bolingbroke says, after an ancient author, ’History is philosophy teaching by example.’[10] With equal truth may we say that fiction, like that of Maria Edgeworth, is philosophy teaching by emotion.  It certainly taught old G------ to be a better man, to leave much of the little evil he had been in the habit of doing, and to do much of the good he had been accustomed to leave undone.


1.  December 5, 1835, The date is misprinted ‘3rd’ in the original edition.  See note 2 to last preceding chapter, p. 110.

2.  A good view of the precipices of the Kaimur range, the eastern continuation of the Vindhyan chain, is given facing page 41 of vol. i of Hooker’s Himalayan Journals (ed. 1855).

3.  The author’s theory is untenable.  He failed, to realize the vast effects of sub-aerial denudation.  All the evidence shows that the successive lava outflows which make up the Deccan trap series ultimately converted the surface of the land over which they welled out into an enormous, nearly uniform, plain of basalt, resting on the Vindhyan sandstone and other rocks.  This great sheet of lava, extending, east and west, from Nagpur to Bombay, a distance of about five hundred miles, was then, in succeeding millenniums, subjected to the denuding forces of air and water, until gradually huge tracts of it were worn away, forming beds of conglomerate, gravel, and clay.  The flat-topped hills have been carved out of the basaltic surface by the agencies which wore away the massive sheet of lava.  The basaltic cappings of the hills certainly cannot have ’formed part of continued flat beds of great lakes’.  See the notes to Chapter 14, ante.  Mr. Scrope was quite right.  Vast periods of time must be allowed for geological history, and millions of years must have elapsed since the flow of the Deccan lava.

4.  In the Sagar district.  The last Raja joined the rebels in 1857, and so forfeited his rank and territory.

5.  The name panther is usually applied only to the large, fulvous variety of Felis pardus (Linn.) (F. leopardus, Leopardus varius).  The animal described in the text evidently was a specimen of the hunting leopard, Felis jubata (F. guttata, F. venatica).

6.  This officer was one of the many ‘condottieri’ of various nationality who served the native powers during the eighteenth century, and the early years of the nineteenth.  He commanded five infantry regiments at Gwalior.  His ‘kingdom-taking’ raid in 1815 or 1816 is described post in Chapter 49.  The history of the family is given by Compton in European Military Adventures of Hindustan from 1784 to 1803 (Unwin, 1892), App. pp, 352-6.  In 1911 Michael Filose of Gwalior was appointed K.C.I.E.

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Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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