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pany, and to save their beards; but, excepting in the instance of the Jauts, they will not consent to intermarriages ; nor will they eat or drink from the hands of an alien, except he be a bramin, and for this cast they always profess the highest veneration.

If, indeed, some regulations which are in their nature purely military, and which were introduced by their founder Nanick, be excepted, it will be found that the Seiks are neither more or less than Jauts in their primitive state.

Thus far, fays Mr. Thomas, we have seen the fair side of the picture ; let us now con. sider the reverse.—The Seiks are false, fanguinary, and faithless ; they are addicted to plunder, and the acquirement of wealth by any means, however nefarious. Instances have occurred of a child's arm being raised against his parent, and of brothers destroying each other.

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Women amongst them are held in little estimation, and though ill treated by their husbands, and prohibited from accompanying them in their wars, these unhappy females nevertheless attend to their domestic concerns with a diligence and sedulousness deserving of a better fate.

Instances, indeed, have not unfrequently occurred, in which they have actually taken up arms to defend their habitations from the desultory attacks of the enemy, and throughout the contest behaved themselves with an intrepidity of spirit highly praiseworthy.

In the seik army, the modes of payment are various : but the most common is at the time of harvest, when every soldier receives the amount of his pay in grain and other articles, the produce of the country; to some is given money in small sums, and to others lands are allotted for their maintenance. Three-fifths of the horses of the Punjab are the property of the different chieftains: the remainder belong to the peasantry who have become settlers.

Aseik soldier has also his portion of the plunder acquired in the course of a campaign : this is set aside as a reward for his services; and

in addition to it, he sometimes increases his gain by secreting part of the public plunder.

The nature of the seik government is fingular, and probably had its origin in the unsettled state of the tribe when first established in their possessions. Within his own domains each chief is lord paramount. He exerts an exclusive authority over his vassals, even to the power of life and death; and to increase the population of his districts, he proffers a ready and hospitable asylum to fugitives from all parts of India. Hence, in the seik territories,

though the government be arbitrary, there ex'ifts much less cause for oppression than in many

of the neighbouring states; and hence likewise, the cultivator of the soil being liable to frequent change of masters, by the numerous revolutions that are perpetually occurring, may be confidered as one of the causes of the fluctuation of the national force.*

* În the above sketch of the situation and resources of the seik nation, Mr. Thomas does not include the territories of Zemaun Shah lying east of the Attock; part of which were, during the reigns of the emperors, included in the Punjab, and may therefore be considered as belonging to it.

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CHAPTER VI.

Mr. Thomas defeats the Seiks-concludes an ad

vantageous treatya-disagreement with Bappoo ScindiaMr. Thomas forms the design of establishing himfelf as an independant chief- for that purpose selects the province of Hurrianah --his establishment at Hanfi.

SUCH was the tribe against which Mr. Thov mas now prepared to march. Leaving a force competent to the defence of Jyjur, which he expected would be attacked by Vavon Row, he marched to Karnal, near which the Seiks lay.

Four successive actions took place, attended with considerable loss on both sides; Mr. Thomas having lost five hundred men, and the Seiks double that number. Both parties inclining to peace, a treaty was concluded, by which the Seiks agreed to evacuate the province, which was accordingly done.

As Mr. Thomas had foreseen, he now received intelligence of Vavon Row having laid siege to Jyjur, to defend which he immediately marched back. On his approach, Vavon Row thought proper to retire. Mr. Thomas next determined to punish Cashmiree Bolee, who, as before stated, had been the author and fomenter of all the differences which had occurred betwixt him and Vavon Row. Mr. Thomas, therefore, fell suddenly on the pergunnah of Daderee, which belonged to Cashmiree Bolee, and laid it under contribution.

From hence he was called away to affift Bapoo Scindia against a body of Rohillas, who, instigated by Nevil Sing, a seik chief, had crossed the Ganges, and invaded his possessions near the head of the Dooab. But previous to Mr. Thomas's arrival, the Mahratta chief had not only defeated the invaders, but followed up his blow by laying fiege to the enemy's capital.

A body of Seiks had assembled to assist him; but, on the approach of Mr. Thomas's force, thought proper to separate; and Bapoo Scin

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