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.

5.  Marwar, or Jodhpur, is one of the leading states in Rajputana.  It supplies the rest of India with many of the keenest merchants and bankers.

6.  See ante, Chapter 4, note 6, for remarks on the supposed prophetic gifts of sati women.

7.  Such feelings of resignation to the Divine will, or fate, are common alike to Hindoos and Musalmans.

8.  ’One of a wife’s duties should be to keep all bad omens out of her husband’s way, or manage to make him look at something lucky in the early morning. . . .  Different lists of inauspicious objects are given, which, if looked upon in the early morning, might cause disaster’ (M.  Williams, Religious Thought and Life in India, p. 397).

9.  Dr. Spry died in 1842, and his estate was administered by the author.  The doctor’s works are described ante, Chapter 14, note 16.


Interview with the Raja who marries the Stone to the Shrub—­Order of the Moon and the Fish.

On the 8th,[1] after a march of twelve miles, we readied Tehri, the present capital of the Raja of Orchha.[2] Our road lay over an undulating surface of soil composed of the detritus of the syenitic rock, and poor, both from its quality and want of depth.  About three miles from our last territory we entered the boundary of the Orchha Raja’s territory, at the village of Aslon, which has a very pretty little fortified castle, built upon ground slightly elevated in the midst of an open grass plain.

This, and all the villages we have lately passed, are built upon the bare back of the syenitic rock, which seems to rise to the surface in large but gentle swells, like the broad waves of the ocean in a calm after a storm.  A great difference appeared to me to be observable between the minds and manners of the people among whom we were now travelling, and those of the people of the Sagar and Nerbudda territories.  They seemed here to want the urbanity and intelligence we find among our subjects in the latter quarters.

The apparent stupidity of the people when questioned upon points the most interesting to them, regarding their history, their agriculture, their tanks, and temples, was most provoking; and their manners seemed to me more rude and clownish than those of people in any other part of India I had travelled over.  I asked my little friend the Sarimant, who rode with me, what he thought of this.

‘I think’, said he, ’that it arises from the harsh character of the government under which they live; it makes every man wish to appear a fool, in order that he may be thought a beggar and not worth the plundering.’

’It strikes me, my friend Sarimant, that their government has made them in reality the beggars and the fools that they appear to be.’

‘God only knows’, said Sarimant; ’certain it is that they are neither in mind nor in manners what the people of our districts are.’

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