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.

13.  These Hindi verses are incorrectly printed, and loosely rendered by the author.  The translation of the text, after necessary emendation, is:  ’Tulasi, oppress not the poor; evil is the lot of the poor.  From the blast of the dead hide iron becomes ashes.’  Mr. W. Crooke informs me that the verses are found in the Kabirki Sakhi, and are attributable to Kabir Das, rather than to Tulasi Das.  But the authorship of such verses is very uncertain.  Mr. Crooke further observes that the lines as given in the text do not scan, and that the better version is: 

    Durbal ko na sataiye,
    Jaki mati hai;
    Mue khal ke sans se
    Sar bhasm ho jae.

Sar means iron.  The author was, of course, mistaken in supposing the poet Tulasi Das to be a Raja.  As usual in Hindi verse, the poet addresses himself by name.

14.  Such slight frosts are common in Bundelkhand, especially near the rivers, in January, but only last for a few mornings.  They often cause great damage to the more delicate crops.  The weather becomes hot in February.

15.  December, 1835.

16.  ‘Musel’ is a very sweet-scented grass, highly esteemed as fodder.  It belongs to the genus Anthistiria; the species is either cimicina or prostrata.  ‘Bhawar’ is probably the ‘bhaunr’ of Edgeworth’s list, Anthistiria scandens.  I cannot identify the other grasses named in the text.  The haycocks in Bundelkhand are a pleasant sight to English eyes.  Edgeworth’s list of plants found in the Banda district, as revised by Messrs. Waterfield and Atkinson, is given in N.W.P.  Gazetteer, 1st ed., vol. i, pp. 78-86.


The Men-Tigers.

Ram Chand Rao, commonly called the Sarimant, chief of Deori,[1] here overtook me.  He came out from Sagar to visit me at Dhamoni[2] and, not reaching that place in time, came on after me.  He held Deori under the Peshwa, as the Sagar chief held Sagar, for the payment of the public establishments kept up by the local administration.  It yielded him about ten thousand a year, and, when we took possession of the country, he got an estate in the Sagar district, in rent-free tenure, estimated at fifteen hundred a year.  This is equal to about six thousand pounds a year in England.  The tastes of native gentlemen lead them always to expend the greater part of their incomes in the wages of trains of followers of all descriptions, and in horses, elephants, &c.; and labour and the subsistence of labour are about four times cheaper in India than in England.  By the breaking up of public establishments, and consequent diminution of the local demand for agricultural produce, the value of land throughout all Central India, after the termination of the Mahratha War in 1817, fell by degrees thirty per cent.; and, among the rest, that of my poor friend the Sarimant.  While I had the civil charge of the Sagar district in 1831 I represented

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