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.

17.  The State of Satara, like that of Nagpur, lapsed owing to failure of heirs, and was annexed in 1854.  It is now a district in the Bombay Presidency.

18.  During the early years of the twentieth century a spirit of Maratha nationalism has been sedulously cultivated, with inconvenient results.

19.  This paragraph, and that next following, are, in the original edition, printed as part of Chapter 48, ’The Great Diamond of Kohinur’, with which they have nothing to do.  They seem to belong properly to Chapter 47, and are therefore inserted here.  The observations in both paragraphs are merely repetitions of remarks already recorded.

20.  It need hardly be said that these fire-eaters no longer exist.


The Great Diamond of Kohinur.

The foregoing historical episode occupies too large a space in what might otherwise be termed a personal narrative; but still I am tempted to append to it a sketch of the fortunes of that famous diamond, called with Oriental extravagance the Mountain of Light, which, by exciting the cupidity of Shah Jahan, played so important a part in the drama.

After slumbering for the greater part of a century in the imperial treasury, it was afterwards taken by Nadir Shah, the king of Persia, who invaded India under the reign of Muhammad Shah, in the year 1738.[1] Nadir Shah, in one of his mad fits, had put out the eyes of his son, Raza Kuli Mirza, and, when he was assassinated, the conspirators gave the throne and the diamond to this son’s son, Shahrukh Mirza, who fixed his residence at Meshed.[2] Ahmad Shah, the Abdali, commanded the Afghan cavalry in the service of Nadir Shah, and had the charge of the military chest at the time he was put to death.  With this chest, he and his cavalry left the camp during the disorders that followed the murder of the king, and returned with all haste to Kandahar, where they met Tariki Khan, on his way to Nadir Shah’s camp with the tribute of the five provinces which he had retained of his Indian conquests, Kandahar, Kabul, Tatta, Bakkar, Multan, and Peshawar.  They gave him the first news of the death of the king, seized upon his treasure, and, with the aid of this and the military chest, Ahmad Shah took possession of these five provinces, and formed them into the little independent kingdom of Afghanistan, over which he long reigned, and from which he occasionally invaded India and Khurasan.[3]

Shahrukh Mirza had his eyes put out some time after by a faction.  Ahmad Shah marched to his relief, put the rebels to death, and united his eldest son, Taimur Shah, in marriage to the daughter of the unfortunate prince, from whom he took the diamond, since it could be of no use to a man who could no longer see its beauties.  He established Taimur as his viceroy at Herat, and his youngest son at Kandahar; and fixed his own residence at Kabul, where he died.[4] He was

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