Page images
PDF
EPUB

off his family to seek an asylum in the dominions of Joudpore, thus effected his own escape.

Among the Rajpoot states, the situation of Joudpore is deserving of particular attention ; and we shall therefore, as on similar occasions, turning aside from the detail of military transactions, embrace the opportunity thus afforded of taking a retrospective sketch of the resources of the country, as well as present our readers with an account of some of the manners and customs peculiar to this singular people.

CHAPTER XII.

Geographical description of Joudpoor or Marwar

-Manners and customs of the inhabitants , --HistoryMr. Thomas's military operations -Capture of BhautTransactions in the territories of Roy Kellaun.

ar

TOUDPOOR or Marwar is bounded on the

north by Beykaneer, north-west by Jesselmere, and west by the desert; on the southwest by the country of the Sindys, south by the province of Guzurat, south-east by Mewar, and east by the dominions of Jypoor.

It is in length two hundred and twenty coss, and in breadth one hundred and eighty, at the computation of two British miles to the coss.

This extent of country is supposed formerly to have contained from eight to ten thousand villages, including the capital towns within its range. The population was then great, but at present it possesses not more than five thou

со

sand inhabited villages, with a considerable decrease of population. The southern, southeastern, and eastern frontiers of Joudpoor are abundantly fertile. The land is well watered by streams, which, as in Mewar, flow from the mountains. It yields wheat, barley, and other kinds of grain common in India. Exclusive of these advantages, tead mines are found, which considerably add to the revenues of the state. The imports into Joudpoor consist of cloths, shawls, spices, opium, rice, sugar, steel, and iron. They export salt, camels, bullocks, and horses: the latter are strong, boney, and of high stature. The bullocks are of a very large size, as are likewise the camels. In Short, the breed of cattle in general is superior to that of the neighbouring states.

The inhabitants of Joudpoor are Rhatore Rajepoots. They are not only a more comely race of men as to person, but are braver, pofsess a higher sense of honour, and are more independant than their surrounding neighbours. Mr. Thomas afcribes these distinguishing characteristics to physical causes, to the influence of climate, and to their intermarrying with the purest cast of the Rajepoot tribes. These are the Scesodyah, the Kutchwah, the Adda, and the Bawtee. To these causes may be added the good examples set them, both as to manners and morals, by a succession of wise and prudent princes, who, first by their achievements in war abroad, and afterwards by the care they took of their affairs at home, in the internal regulations of their country, have contributed in a very high degree to ameliorate the character and dispositions of their subjects.

The Rhatore Rajepoots are mild in their manners, and are poffefsed of a natural politenefs which renders their fociety extremely agreeable. When a Rhatore has passed his word for protection, it may strictly be relied on. They are averse to litigious controversy. In their social conversations they carefully avoid disputes, and pay the greatest attention to the person who is fpeaking. In their hofpitality they exceed the bounds of more civilised nations: for so attentive are they to the performance of this duty, that, in the interior parts of the country, the head of a village will not fit

down to eat his own meal until he has been satisfied that travellers and strangers have received every accommodation which his village affords. A rare and fingular instance of primeval simplicity of manners!

They delight ini warlike exercise, are fond of the chase, and firing their matchlocks. Retired after the fatigues of hunting, they are accustomed to hold social assemblies. They liften with great earnestness and eagerness to the bauhtee, or poets, who, like the bards of of old, recite in heroic numbers the warlike deeds of their ancestors.

· In the administration of justice they are alike singular. Murder, the foulest of crimes, is seldom punished with death; and for this reason, that it scarcely ever occurs, except when occasioned by a spirit of revenge for personal injuries: and for this they have the sanction of custom from time immemorial.

Theft is punished by banishment; smaller crimes by a reprimand, which, from the spirit of the Rhatore Rajepoot, generally terminates

« PreviousContinue »