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of treachery, refused to come out of the fort; and Mr. Thomas, for similar reasons, was unwilling to enter it. The negotiations were therefore broken off; and Mr. Thomas, continuing to consider this Mahratta chief as an enemy, led his troops toward the frontiers.
This measure was rendered more necessary,, and his attention called to the defence of his northern purgunnahs, which had recently been invaded by the seiks.
But the mention of this remarkable people, leading us aside for a while from the ordinary course of our narrative, invites a detail of the present state of the Punjaub, or country situated between the Indus and the Sutledge.
Geographical description of the Punjab,—of the
feiks, their manners, customs, forces, and refources.
THE extensive and fertile country described
1 by Arrian and other antient historians, as comprehended within the five great rivers, the Hydaspes, the Hydraötes, the Acesines, the Hyphasis, and the Sutledge, is, by modern geographers, denominated Punjab.
On the north it is bounded by the mountains inhabited by the tribe called Yoosuf Zey; on the east by the mountains of Naun, Serinnaghur and Jumbo; on the west by the river Sind or Attock ;* and on the south by the diftricts of Panniput, and the province of Harrianah. It is two hundred and fifty coffes from
* This river above the city of Attock is called by the natives Aba Seeni
north to south, and nearly one hundred from east to west. Notwithstanding the state of warfare in which the chiefs of Punjab are constantly involved, the country is in a state of high cultivation ; and though the population be great, grain is cheaper than in any other part of India. This advantage in a great measure is derived from the numerous rivers by which it is watered. Advancing from the south, a traveller meets in rapid succession the Sersooty, the Cugger, the Chowah, and the Sutledge..
The Sersooty, after passing the towns of Mooftufabad, Shahabad, and Tehnasser, and overflowing the country on each of its banks, joins itself to the Cugger to the north-west of Kaythul.
· The Cugger, on the contrary, after pafling the towns of Bunnoor, Seyfabad, Puttialah, Jowhana, and Jomalpore, enters the country of the Batties at the town of Arwah, formerly the capital of the district. : The Chowah, in like manner, after passing through an extensive tract of country which it fertilizes and en-riches, is finally lost in the sands of Sonáum.'
The Punjab yields to no part of India in fertility of soil ; it produces in the greatest abundance, sugar-cane, wheat, barley, rice, pulse of all forts, tobacco, and various fruits ; and it is also well supplied with cattle. The principal manufactures of this country are swords, match-locks, cotton cloths, and silks both coarse and fine. :
This nation, if united, could bring into the field from fifty to fixty thousand cavalry, but it is Mr. Thomas's opinion that they will never unite or be so formidable to their neighbours as they have heretofore been. Internal commotions and civil ftrife have of late years generated a spirit of revenge and disunion among the chiefs, which it will take a long time to overcome.
The number of cavalry which it is supposed this nation was able to assemble has been considerably over-rated, in consequence of a custom which formerly obtained among the Sciks, of forming an association of their forces under a particular chief. From this association of their forces they had the general interests of the community in view. To those who were ig
norant of the secret causes of the association, this junction of forces was frequently mistaken for the army of an individual; and this error was perhaps increased by the natural partiality of the Seiks themselves to magnify the force and enhance the character of their own nation.
It has been remarked, that the Seiks are able to collect from fifty to fixty thousand horse; but, to render this number effective, those who do not take the field, or who remain at home to guard their poffeffions, must be included.
Estimating the force of the different districts, the aggregate will be seen in the subjoined schedule. *
Cavalry. * The districts south of the Sutledge,
15,000 The Dooab, or country between the Sutledge and Beyah,
- - 8,000 Between the Begah and Rowee,
- 11,000 Force of Bugheel Sing, chief of Pattialah, - 12,000The countries above Lahore, the inhabitants of
which are chiefly under the influence of
Runjeet Sing,. . .. - 11,000 To which may be added the force of Nizamud deen Khan,
- - - 5,000 Roy Elias,
1,300 Other Patan chiefs, in pay of the Seiks, - 800
Grand total .. 64,000