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.
in the 16th Century, by Frederick Augustus, Count of Noer; edited from the Author’s papers by Dr. Gustav von Buchwald; translated from the German by Annette S. Beveridge.  Calcutta, 1890.) This work of Count von Noer, unsatisfactory though it is in many respects, is still the best exiting modern account of Akbar’s reign.  The competent scholar who will undertake the exhaustive treatment of the life and reign of Akbar will be in possession of perhaps the finest great historical subject as yet unappropriated.  The editor long cherished the idea of writing such an exhaustive work, but if he should now attempt to deal with the fascinating theme, he must be content with a less ambitions performance.  Colonel Malleson’s little book in the ‘Rulers of India’ series, although serviceable as a sketch, adds nothing to the world’s knowledge.  Akbar’s reign (1556- 1605) was almost exactly coincident with that of Queen Elizabeth (1558-1603).  The character and deeds of the Indian monarch will bear criticism as well as those of his great English contemporary.  ’In dealing’, observes Mr. Lane-Poole, ’with the difficulties arising in the Government of a peculiarly heterogeneous empire, he stands absently supreme among Oriental sovereigns, and may even challenge comparison with the greatest of European rulers.’

Unhappily, there is reason to believe that the marble slab no longer covers the bones of Akbar.  Manucci states positively that ’During the time that Aurangzeb was actively at war with Shiva Ji [scil. the Marathas], the villagers of whom I spoke before broke into the mausoleum in the year 1691 [in words], and after stealing all the stones and all the gold work to be found, extracted the king’s bones and had the temerity to throw them on a fire and burn them’ (Storia do Mogor, i. 142).  The statement is repeated with some additional particulars in a later passage, which concludes with the words:  ’Dragging out the bones of Akbar, they threw them angrily into the fire and burnt them’ (ibid. ii. 320).  Irvine notes that the plundering of the tomb by the Jats is mentioned in detail by only one other writer, Ishar Das Nagar, author of the Fatuhat-I-Alamgiri, a manuscript in the British Museum.  Manucci seems to be the sole authority for the alleged burning of Akbar’s bones.  I should be glad to disbelieve him, but cannot find any reason for doing so.


Nur Jahan, the Aunt of the Empress Nur Mahal, over whose Remains the Taj is built.[1]

I crossed over the river Jumna one morning to look at the tomb of Itimad-ud-daula, the most remarkable mausoleum in the neighbourhood after those of Akbar and the Taj.  On my way back, I asked one of the boatmen who was rowing me who had built what appeared to me a new dome within the fort.  ‘One of the Emperors, of course,’ said he.  ‘What makes you think so?’

‘Because such things are made only by Emperors,’ replied the man quietly, without relaxing his pull at the oar.

Project Gutenberg
Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook