Page:Views in India, chiefly among the Himalaya Mountains.djvu/175

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addition of sugar, and the juice of some of the abundant fruits, is easily converted into sherbet. A cloak or blanket, or at most a thin mat or mattrass, suffices for the bed, many sleeping as profoundly upon the bare earth, as if they were cradled on the couches of kings. Wealthy persons travel provided with tents; and the night encampment often boasts a great deal more of comfort, than persons unacquainted with the climate and manners of the people could possibly imagine.

The name of Katteawar is frequently applied by the natives to the whole of the peninsula of Guzerat, but in reality it only comprehends a portion of the interior. Accustomed to a predatory life, the natives of this district are very reluctantly compelled to relinquish old habits, to which they return upon every favourable occasion. They are a bold, warlike race, but not numerous; a circumstance partly owing to a practice very prevalent, that of female infanticide. It has been erroneously supposed that the efforts of the British political agents employed for the purpose, and the treaties which they have obtained, have occasioned the abolition of this frightful practice. According to the best-authenticated accounts, it still exists to a very great extent among the higher classes, who, in consequence of the difficulty of procuring suitable matches for their daughters, murder them as soon as they are born. It has been ascertained, that since the year 1820, in which many refractory chiefs were reduced to obedience, and obliged to conform outwardly with the stipulations made by the British Government, not more than one hundred females have been suffered to grow up to womanhood. Until the natives themselves can see the enormity of this crime, no enactments, or representations from persons professing another religion, can ever prevent its commission. Where no other means are employed, neglect will speedily secure the desired end; but in most instances the infant takes its first and last draught in this world, of opium; which sends it immediately to its eternal rest.

The people of Katteawar trouble themselves little about the distinctions of caste. Rajpoots by descent, and children of the sun, they worship that luminary, but, while equally superstitious with their Hindoo brethren, are not imbued with the same religious zeal. Katteawar is famous for a breed of horses which is esteemed throughout India; and its camels, which come from Marwar, a province in the north of Guzerat, are also considered the finest in India, being taller, more muscular, and believed to be of a more noble character, than any other.


The name of Golconda is associated in the mind with ideas of Oriental splendour and magnificence, of diamonds growing in its mines, and riches overflowing on every side. Much of these suppositions are now discovered to be fallacies; diamonds are not, and probably never were, found in the district, which is indebted to the hand of art for some of its most interesting features: Golconda, however, has from time immemorial been the depot for diamonds brought from the neighbouring countries. The city flourished for many years under one of those independent Mohammedan sovereignties which were at length subdued by the mistaken policy of Aurungzebe, who in uniting the whole empire in his own person, bequeathed so vast and unwieldy a territory to his descendants, that it was broken to pieces and lost. Conquered at an early period by the followers of the Prophet, the Deccan became the scene of several successive dynasties. It would be impossible in so brief a record to follow the devious fortunes of the numerous adventurer's,