صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[graphic][merged small]

Let none obstruct his (BHA'NU's) enjoying, or letting others enjoy it; or his ploughing, or letting others plough. After this, let future Rájas of our race, or of any other race, reflect that wealth and life are unstable as lightning, and fickle as water in the leaf of water lilies, and so let them respect this our grant, and confirm the grantees in possession. He only whose mind is blackened by the darkness of ignorance will resume, or be pleased at seeing others molest its possessor, reckless of the guilt of the five deadly sins and other heinous crimes, as described at length by VEDAVYA'SA.

He who grants lands lives 60,000 years in heaven, but he who confiscates or resumes, or allows others to do so, is doomed to hell for a like period.

Those who resume lands granted by others will become black serpents in the dry holes of the forest of the Vindhya mountain.

Gold is the first offspring of fire, and the earth the wife of Vishnu, and cows are the daughters of the sun. He who grants these things gives also the three regions.

The earth has been enjoyed by many kings, as the SA'GARA Rája and others, and he who rules it in his turn, is the sole enjoyer of its fruits.

But what generous man will take again the grants made by Rájas who have gone before him, and whose gifts are like wreaths of flowers, spreading the fragrance of a good name, and of the reputation for wealth and virtue.

Oh ye virtuous kings, respect the grants of lands (given by others), for to preserve their grants is better than a fresh donation.

Men whose minds are cleared from sin, considering life and wealth fickle as water in the leaf of the water lily, will never destroy the fame

of others.

It is further said by RA'M BHADRA—You who are the best of Rájas, are hereby repeatedly prayed by RA'M CHANDRA to preserve this bridge

of virtue for ever.

Confirmed by the counter-signature of the presumptive heir and brother of the king, Dantı Varma, and signed with the autograph of myself the Karka Raja, son of INDRA Rája, and prepared and engrossed by the hereditary servant of the king for peace and war, NUNADITYA, son of Durga BHATTA. For the good of my father and his ancestors have I made this grant to the Bráhman BHA'NU', who has served my family with his prayers for many years. May he enjoy the grant, and profit by it!

N.B. There are several counter-signatures, apparently autographs, in the last four lines of the last plate, which besides that they are of doubtful reading, it would be of httle interest to transcribe. On the outside are the words so 'Tis for the good of my father and mother."

[ocr errors]

Art. III.—Collection of Facts which may be useful for the comprehen

sion of ALEXANDER THE Great's exploits on the Western Banks of the Indus (with map).

By M. A. Court, Ancien Eleve de l'Ecole Militaire de Saint Cyr. (Translated for the Journal of the Asiatic Society from the French Original M.S.)

The military achievements of Alexander in the regions which lie between the Indus and the Cophenes form one of the most brilliant episodes of his history.

Those regions at present are known by the name of Yousoufzeïs, Kooner, Suwat, Dhyr, Bajore, and Moumends. More northward lies Kaffristan, which occupies the southern and northern sides of the gigantic snow-topped chain of mountains which bounds this country to the north, and is but an extension of the Himalayas, and to the west reaches Hindo-Koosh at the Khound, an enormous ridge, the tops of which are fat, and almost perpetually covered with snow, a circumstance which renders it observable at a great distance: there are likewise visible the banks of the Indus, from which it is about eighty koss distant.

Those regions are bounded on the east by the Indus, on the south by the river of Cabul, which is no other but the Cophes or Cophenes of the Greeks, placed by Arrian at the eastern extremity of Paropamis, and the source of which Pliny collocates in the north western part of this mountainous province, assigning its course eastward, and stating that after its confluence with the Choes near Nyssa, it falls into the Indus to the south west of Taxila below Ambolima (probably Amb)data that perfectly combine with the Cabul river, which I have described in my journey through Affghanistan. This name Cophes, by which it was known to the historiographers of antiquity, seems to have been given it by the Greeks, who may have derived it from Cophenes who perhaps then governed the country it washes in the name of his father Artabazus, whom Alexander had appointed prefect of Bactria. This is at least what induced Arrian to adopt the above opinion, who relates that Alexander was accompanied, on his arrival at the banks of the Indus, by Cophes and Assagetes, únapxoi or sub-rulers of the province situated to the west of that river. Or perhaps it is the name which it originally bore, and from a corruption of which the Mahometans formed the word Kaffristan.

This vast extent of mountainous country is very little known to Europeans. The geographical details which Quintus Curtius gives of it are too succinct, and it is a matter of much regret, that the veracious Arrian has been incomparably dry, when treating this subject. Add to this the disastrous conquests of the Mahometans, who spread throughout trouble and confusion, besides the custom that prevailed, wherever the Greeks of Alexander's army were to be found, of changing the names of the places which they traversed, and we must unavoidably conclude that it is no easy task for a traveller to discern true from false.

Among the Oriental works (that treat on this subject) we have only the commentaries of Baberch on which we can rely for exact information. The few modern travellers extant are vague and uncertain. Those regions would procure for any European who would survey them, the glory of throwing a brilliant light on Alexander's march, and of enriching science with hitherto unknown facts relative to the Bactrians ; in as much as they are overspread with ruins, cupolas, and inscriptions, all referring to those conquerors, and attributed by their actual inhabitants to the Caffrans. They are alluded to by the Chinese Religious, who traversed those countries in the commencement of the 7th century of our era, and whose manuscript exists in the Oriental Library of France. But whatever European may undertake a similar journey, must expect to encounter numberless dangers, and almost insurmountable obstacles from the barbarity of the tribes who inhabit them, and above all from the jealousy of the chiefs, who, naturally suspicious, are always inclined to form sinister judgments of the projects of any stranger who travels through their district. This was the lot of Dr. Henderson, who desirous of crossing those regions to repair to Badakchan, although he was disguised as a fakeer, and had a perfect knowledge of Persian, was seized, stripped, and beaten, for having put his foot in Suwat, and was compelled to return to Peshawur, where I had the good fortune to attend him. Subsequently I myself having become intimate with the chiefs of those regions, had cherished some hope of being enabled personally to explore them ; but unfortunately the rank I hold in the army of the Maharajah of Lahore occasioned them so much terror, that they imagined that my researches, far from being actuated by curiosity and an interest for science, were only directed to explore the country, so as to facilitate its conquest by Runjeet Sing. I was thus constrained by their earnest remonstrances to abandon my

intention of undertaking such a journey, and to content myself with having recourse to the people of Peshawur to survey secretly the country, so as to acquire some knowledge of its geography.

The items which I have had here transcribed in Persian were collected by them, and I only give them publicity in order to fix the attention of the geographers and archæologists who may happen to come hither after me, and to facilitate thereby the combination of modern

[ocr errors]

with ancient geography. I may possibly avail myself of these materials hereafter, to furnish a complement to my conjectures on Alexander's marches through Bactria.

The country which I am about to describe, is intersected by three principal rivers, viz. the Khonar, the Pendjecooré, and the Suwat.

The first directs its course S. S. W. along the southern side of the snowy chain above alluded to, dividing Caffristan from the cantons of Bajore and Dhyr, and after rolling its impetuous waters through a bed strewn with rocks, wherein it would be difficult to meet any sand, it falls into the Cabul river, almost opposite the city of Jellalabad. I know not where it rises ; some place its source in Cachgar, which it intersects. The proximity of the snowy chain, and the direction of the river's course, denote that it must necessarily have more than one influx. During the liquefaction of the snow it acquires so great a volume of water that it cannot be crossed but on rafts. This river, as I have stated in my memoirs, is denominated Sind by the Kaffrees who inhabit its banks, and Khonar by the Affghans, a name borrowed from a town that is the capital of a canton or district situated on its western bank, between Jellalabad and Bajore. Some travellers improperly give it the name of Khameh.* This may be possibly the Choes of Arrian, which Alexander coasted on his march to Suastus, to which his troops may have given the name of Choes, a corruption probably of that of Cheva, a canton situated at its confluence with the Cabul river, which may have anciently given its name to this river, as the town of Khonar gave its own. As the Greeks sometimes translated the names of foreign places, and liked to call them by particular ones somehow connected with the traditions they indiscriminately adopted, they may possibly have baptized with the name of Choes one of the rivers of those regions, in memory of the festival of Choes (Xúes) or of the libations which the Athenians celebrated in the month of Anthesterion in honor of Bacchus, and which they also styled 'Aνθετήρια.

After what Strabo relates, we would be led to suppose that the river in question is his Choaspes, which disembogues, according to him, into the Cophenes.

The Penjecooré rising in Ghilghit, flows between the Khonar and the Suwat: its direction is from north to south. It is called Penjecooré because it is formed from the union of five other rivers, viz. the Tal, the Laori, the Awchiri, the Neag, and the Jindé ; the first of which is the most considerable of the five. Besides those influents, it receives

This river is marked “ Kama R.in Tassin's map.

« السابقةمتابعة »