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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.

Still, however, there is enough of this unquiet transition spirit left to give anxiety to a settled government; for the moment insurrection breaks out at any point, from whatever cause, to that point thousands are found flocking from north, east, west, and south, with their arms and their horses, if they happen to have any, in the hope of finding service either under the local authorities or the insurgents themselves; as the troubled winds of heaven rush to the point where the pressure of the atmosphere has been diminished.[13]


1.  On the sieges of Bharatpur see ante, chapter 17, note 9.

2.  In the original edition the year is misprinted 1804, though the correct date is indicated by the phrase ‘thirty-one years before’.  The operations on January 9, 1805, are described in considerable detail in Thornton’s history, and Pearse, The Life and Military Services of Viscount Lake (Blackwood, 1908).  Dig was taken on December 24, 1804, and Lord Lake’s army moved from Mathura towards Bharatpur on January 1, 1805.

3.  The Bombay column joined Lord Lake on February 11, and took part in the third and fourth assaults on the fortress.

4.  As in the previous passage, this date is printed 1804 in the original edition.

5.  They have been repaired to some extent, and the town has improved much since the author’s time.

6.  That is to say, the well-cylinder is gradually sunk by its own weight, aided, if necessary, by heavy additional weights piled upon it.  The sinking often takes many months, and is continued till a suitable resting-place is found.  The cylinder is built on a strong ring of timber.  Indian bridge-piers commonly rest on wells of this kind.  The ring is sometimes made of iron.  Such a method of sinking is possible only in deep alluvium, free from rock, and consequently had not been seen in the Sagar and Nerbudda territories.

7.  In the original edition Dig is illustrated by four coloured plates.  The buildings are all the work of Suraj Mal, the virtual founder of the Bharatpur dynasty, between A.D. 1725 and 1763.  The palace wants, say Fergusson, ’the massive character of the fortified palaces of other Rajput states, but for grandeur of conception and beauty of detail it surpasses them all. . . .  The greatest defect of the palace is that the style, when it was erected, was losing its true form of lithic propriety.  The forms of its pillars and their ornaments are better suited for wood or metal than for stone architecture.’  It is a ‘fairy creation’. (History of Indian and Eastern Architecture, ed. 1910, vol. ii, pp. 178-81.)

8.  On these topics see the ‘Journey through the Kingdom of Oude’, passim.  The composition of the Bengal army has been much changed.

9.  The quotation is from the end of chapter 14 of the Germania of Tacitus.

10.  This picture of English roads infested by clergymen turned highwaymen is not to be found in the ordinary histories.

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