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William Henry Sleeman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 897 pages of information about Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official.

17.  The King’s demand was improper and illegal.  The Muhammadan law, like the Jewish (Leviticus xviii, 18), prohibits a man from being married to two sisters at once.  ’Ye are also forbidden to take to wife two sisters; except what is already past:  for God is gracious and merciful’ (Koran, chap. iv).  Compare the ruling in ’Mishkat-ul-Masabih’, Book XIII, chap. v, Part II (Matthews, vol. ii, p. 94).

18.  The colonel’s son has succeeded to his father’s estates, and he and his wife are, I believe, very happy together. [W.  H. S.] Such an incident would, of course, be now inconceivable.  The family name is also spelled Gardner.  The romantic history of the Gardners is summarized in the appendix to A Particular Account of the European Military Adventures of Hindustan, from 1784 to 1803; compiled by Herbert Compton:  London, 1892.

19. Ante, Chapter 53 text between [2] and [3].

20.  Kasganj, the residence of Colonel Gardner, is in the Etah district of the United Provinces.  In 1911 the population was 16,429.

CHAPTER 54

Fathpur-Sikri—­The Emperor Akbar’s Pilgrimage—­Birth of Jahangir.

On the 6th January we left Agra, which soon after became the residence of the Governor of the North-Western Provinces, Sir Charles Metcalfe.[1] It was, when I was there, the residence of a civil commissioner, a judge, a magistrate, a collector of land revenue, a collector of customs, and all their assistants and establishments.  A brigadier commands the station, which contained a park of artillery, one regiment of European and four regiments of native infantry.[2]

Near the artillery practice-ground, we passed the tomb of Jodh Bai, the wife of the Emperor Akbar, and the mother of Jahangir.  She was of Rajput caste, daughter of the Hindoo chief of Jodhpur, a very beautiful, and, it is said, a very amiable woman.[3] The Mogul Emperors, though Muhammadans, were then in the habit of taking their wives from among the Rajput princes of the country, with a view to secure their allegiance.  The tomb itself is in ruins, having only part of the dome standing, and the walls and magnificent gateway that at one time surrounded it have been all taken away and sold by a thrifty Government, or appropriated to purposes of more practical utility.[4]

I have heard many Muhammadans say that they could trace the decline of their empire in Hindustan to the loss of the Rajput blood in the veins of their princes.[5] ‘Better blood’ than that of the Rajputs of India certainly never flowed in the veins of any human beings; or, what is the same thing, no blood was ever believed to be finer by the people themselves and those they had to deal with.  The difference is all in the imagination, and the imagination is all-powerful with nations as with individuals.  The Britons thought their blood the finest in the world till they were conquered by the Romans, the

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