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the year 1396, his armies arrived at the Hindoo Koosh, the mountain barrier of this country. The mountaineers fought with desperation against the invaders; but as the Mongols outnumbered them a hundred fold, their courage was unavailing; they were nearly all slain while defending the mountain passes. The Mongols, however, found great difficulties still in their way. They were ignorant of the defiles which led to the plains of the south, and destitute of guides to conduct them through those wild regions. The mountain tops and sides were covered with snow, and abounded in cliffs and precipices, which caused a great destruction of men and horses. Timour himself was placed on a scaffold, and lowered down from ledge to ledge by ropes. At length, he reached the valley of Cabul, and crossed the Indus at the pass of Attock.

The Mongols had heard of the innumerable armies of the Hindoos, with their formidable elephants and impenetrable cuirasses; they manifested much repugnance to engage these terrible enemies; but Timour's ardor for conquest was not to be restrained. He prosecuted his march southward, ravaged a great part of the rich territory of the Punjaub, and then advanced toward Delhi. The Hindoo emperor Mahmood took the field with an army of fifty thousand men, and one hundred and twenty elephants, having their tusks armed with poisoned daggers. Timour saw that the elephants were the chief terror to his own army, and



knowing that these animals have a great dread of fire, he armed his front ranks with blazing torches. This device was successful. The elephants took fright at the fire, and turned upon their own ranks. The Hindoo army was completely routed.

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Timour pursued his conquering march to Delhi. That city opened its gates to him without resistance, and was immediately given up to pillage and massacre. The barbarous Mongols destroyed every thing valuable which they could not carry off. The temples and palaces were set on fire, and more than one hundred thousand of the inhabitants were butchered in cold blood. The conquest of Timour, however, like that of Zingis, was not permanent. He was obliged to content himself with reducing the Patan sovereign to an ostensible tributary dependence upon him, after which he withdrew his armies to ravage other portions of the globe. He left behind him in India the shadow of authority: his name was stamped on the coin, and prayers were read for him in the mosques.

The Patan dynasty became extinct in 1413, and was followed by the dominion of the Seids, or descendants of Mahomet, as they styled themselves. They retained possession of the throne but thirty-seven years, when the country was disturbed by new revolutions. In the beginning of the sixteenth century the dominion known by the name of the Mogul empire was established by Sultan Baber, a descendant of Timour. We have elsewhere given a full account of his empire. It will, therefore, be necessary to notice this empire here, only so far as to continue the thread of the history of Hindostan.

Baber made himself master of the north of India, and laid the foundation of a dynasty which endured for nearly three centuries. He exhibited nothing of the barbarous character of the race from which he descended. He mounted the throne at the age of twelve years, and in a reign of thirty-eight years, diversified with various turns of fortune, proved one of the ablest sovereigns of the East. He was generous, enlightened, and humane, and patronized literature and the arts. In a military capacity, he was equalled by very few of his race. He accomplished the most daring enterprises by his undaunted courage and perseverance, which rose above all difficulties, and made him much more the object of admiration in his adversity than in the height of his prosperity. Nor did he forget himself in the hour of success, but always behaved with that moderation and equanimity which characterize a great soul. Besides distinguishing himself as a lawgiver, he excelled in literature, and, as elsewhere remarked, wrote a volume of commentaries on his own reign, in the Mogul language, with elegance and perspicuity.

Notwithstanding his great capacity for politics, he was something of a voluptuary. When disposed to give himself up to pleasure, he caused a fountain to be filled with wine, upon which was inscribed a verse to the following effect: "Jovial days! blooming spring! wine and love! Enjoy freely, O Baber, for life is not twice to be enjoyed! He died A. D. 1540.

Baber was succeeded by his son Humaioon, who, after a reign of about twelve years, was dethroned by the Afghans, and compelled to seek refuge in Persia. His crown was seized by Shere Shah, an Afghan prince; but after two years' exile, Humaioon returned, and recovered his authority. This prince died in 1555, and was succeeded by Acbar, one of the most suc



cessful and powerful sovereigns of all who have reigned in Hindostan. His administration was distinguished by wisdom and equity. With the assistance of his prime minister, the learned Abul Fazil, he effected a thorough improvement of the internal state of the empire, while his generals were adding to it by conquest. A methodical survey of the Mogul dominions was drawn up, comprising an account of the revenues, manufactures, and agricultural productions of the various districts, &c. This work, to which we have before alluded, is still extant, under the title of Ayeen Acberry, and affords valuable material for the historian. The resources of the empire being thus fully ascertained, the improvement of the administration was carried on with the greatest vigor. A new division of the empire was made, and under this arrangement the dominions of the emperor comprised eleven soobahs, or states: these were subdivided into circars, and these last into pergunnahs, which distinctions exist at the present day, though the Mogul sovereignty is at an end.

Acbar was also a friend to literature and education. He established schools, and directed the compilation of books; he fostered the arts and industry with such success, that no country appears ever to have been in a more prosperous state than the Mogul empire in his reign. There was abundance every where in his dominions: no heavy burdens were imposed on the people; yet the revenues amounted to the enormous sum of two hundred and fifty millions of dollars, according to some estimates. No monarch of the East, nor perhaps of any other part of the world, has distinguished himself in a more striking manner by administrative reforms than Acbar, His internal improvements accomplished more real good for his people, and gained more true glory for himself, than could have been done by the most brilliant and successful military career of the mightiest monarch on the globe. The ancient city of Agra, having become much dilapidated, Acbar determined to rebuild it, and make it the capital of the empire, instead of Delhi. For this purpose, he collected the most skilful artisans and mechanics from every part of the country; and by their aid, the city rose from its ruined condition with increased splendor. There was erected a magnificent castellated palace, which surpassed every other structure of the kind in Hindostan. It was four miles in length, and lofty walls were built of enormous red stones resembling jasper, which, under the bright sun of India, shone with great brilliancy. The whole edifice was ornamented with stately porticoes, galleries, and turrets, all richly painted and gilded, and many of them overlaid with plates of gold. The gardens attached to it were laid out in the most exquisite taste, and decorated with all that could gratify the eye or the ear. There were the loveliest shades of foliage, the most blooming bowers, grottoes of the most refreshing coolness, fruits of the most delicious flavor, and cascades that never ceased to murmur. In front of the palace toward the river was a spacious area for the exercise of the royal elephants, and the battles of wild beasts, in which spectacles the Hindoo emperors were accustomed to take great delight.

The Dutch traveller Mandelslo, who visited Agra in 1638, states that this palace was the most magnificent pile which he had ever beheld. The avenue to the emperor's presence chamber was lined with pillars of silver. The chamber itself, which was of the

dimensions of a large hall, was adorned with pillars of gold. The throne was of massy gold, incrusted with diamonds and other precious stones. One of the towers of the palace was also covered with plates of gold in this were contained the imperial treasures, in eight large vaults, which were filled with gold, silver, and precious stones of an inestimable value. In a line with the palace along the banks of the river were ranged the magnificent dwellings of the princes and great rajahs, who vied with each other in adorning the new metropolis. These majestic edifices were interspersed with avenues of lofty trees, broad canals, and beautiful gardens. Agra was also provided, by the munificence of Acbar, with a great number of spacious caravanserais, bazaars, and mosques, remarkable for their stately size and elegant architecture.. The policy of this enlightened sovereign was in a high degree liberal to foreigners. He invited intelligent men of all nations to settle in his capital; he built for them houses and stores, permitted them the free use of their religion, and granted them various privileges and immunities. The Portuguese had, at that time, extended their commercial enterprises into the Indian Ocean. Acbar opened an intercourse with them, and invited the Portuguese government to send missionaries into his empire, that the Hindoos might learn something of Christianity. So far from displaying the bigotry which has characterized most of the Mahometan sovereigns, Acbar appears to have understood the principles of religious toleration better than any Christian king of that day. In his letter to the king of Portugal, he censured, in the strongest terms, the slavish propensity of mankind to adopt the religious opinions of their fathers without evidence or investigation; and he desired to be furnished with translations of the religious books of the Christians, as well as other works of general utility.

In one of his proclamations, addressed to the officers of the empire, he utters the following sentiment : "The most acceptable adoration in this world, which a man can pay to his Maker, is to discharge his duty faithfully toward his fellow creatures, discarding passion and partiality, and without distinction of friend or foe, relative or stranger." He allowed the Portuguese to build a church and found a college in Agra, and he even endowed the college with a pension from his own treasury. By such liberal and politic measures, Acbar succeeded in rendering Agra the most flourishing city of Hindostan, a thronged resort for Persian, Arab, and Chinese merchants, beside those from the European settlements in India, who flocked in multitudes to this rich mart of commerce. Its name, during this reign, was changed to Akberabad, or the city of Acbar.

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were reclaimed from the woods and jungles, and filled | with an industrious population. Jehanghire was one of the most prosperous and powerful of all the Mogul emperors. He administered justice impartially, when his personal interests and passions were not concerned; but when these obtained an influence over him, he seemed to recognize no restraint in divine or human law, but to exhibit himself an Eastern despot, in the full extent of that significant phrase. After a reign of twenty-two years, he was succeeded by Kurrum, or Shah Jehan, who reigned thirty-two years, and was dethroned, in 1659, by his third son, Aurungzebe. Aurungzebe was one of the most powerful of all the Oriental sovereigns. Under him, the Mogul empire attained to its supreme height of wealth, power, and splendor. Its territories extended from Persia to Assam, and from Hindoo Koosh to the River Kistna, and comprised a population of eighty or ninety millions. Aurungzebe displayed abilities equal to the power and extent of his empire. He was familiar with the whole business of internal administration, and gave his attention to it with unremitting industry. He rose at dawn every morning, and was in his hall of audience at seven o'clock, where, according to the custom of Eastern monarchs, he heard the complaints of his subjects, both rich and poor, and administered justice with strict impartiality. To the poor he gave money liberally, and he commanded that persons learned in the law and the precepts of the Koran should attend in the public courts at his own expense, to assist the poor in matters of litigation. He punished judges severely for corruption and partiality. His activity kept the machine of government in motion through all the members of the political fabric; his penetrating eye followed corruption to its most secret retreats; and his stern justice established tranquillity and secured property all over his extensive dominions. No instances of Oriental splendor ever surpassed the spectacle exhibited by his court. His trappings of state were costly beyond example, and almost beyond credibility. The roof of his hall of audience was of silver, and the screens that divided it from the other apartments were of solid gold. His throne, with the canopy, trappings, and harness of the state elephant, were valued at sixty millions. Every thing else pertaining to the royal person and residence was on the same magnificent scale. Most of the wealth of Aurungzebe, however, was obtained by plunder and oppres sion, which he tolerated in none but himself. While he increased the expenses of his government to an enormous degree, the legal revenues were not much greater than under the economical administration of Acbar.

This emperor passed a great part of his time in his camp, in consequence of his apprehensions of the hostile designs of his sons against one another and against himself. This camp was a sort of moving city, and generally contained fifty thousand soldiers, one hundred and fifty thousand horses, mules, and elephants, one hundred thousand camels and oxen, and three or four hundred thousand camp followers. All the principal men of Delhi attended the court wherever it went, and the magnificence of this style of living supported the immense number of traders and artisans attached to the camp.

In the year 1665, a remarkable insurrection broke out in the Mogul empire, which, although we have already given some account of it, requires a more par


ticular notice, as exhibiting the great power of superstition over the weak-minded and credulous Hindoos. There is a class of fanatical devotees in Hindostan, called fakirs, who wander about the country in crowds, almost naked, pretending to live by begging, but in reality practising theft, robbery, and murder. In the territory of Manwar, or Judpore, a rich old lady began to enlarge her liberality toward the fakirs. These sturdy beggars crowded around her by thousands, and not satisfied with the alms of the pious patroness, began to plunder the neighboring country. The people rose in arms against these hypocritical robbers, but were defeated several times, with great slaughter. At length a belief that enchantment was at work, began to prevail. The people regarded the old woman as a sorceress, and believed that she compounded for her followers a witch's mess, which rendered them invincible by mortal weapons.

The fakirs, finding the protection of the old dame so powerful, assembled in great numbers, and spread their devastations to a wide extent. The rajah of Manwar attacked them, but was defeated. They grew presumptuous from unexpected success, and resolved to strike a blow at the capital. An army of twenty thousand of them, with the old woman at their head, took up their march, accordingly, for Agra. Within five days' journey of the city, this ragged regiment encountered a body of imperial troops, commanded by the collector of the district. This force they overthrew by superiority of numbers. They now deemed themselves invincible, and able to grasp the whole wealth and authority of the empire. The old woman was immediately proclaimed empress of Hindostan ! Aurungzebe, who had at first despised this insurrection, now felt it to be serious. The soldiers were affected with the superstitions of the people, and it was extremely hazardous to permit them to engage with these fanatical banditti, who were believed to possess magic arts, by which they could paralyze the bodies of their enemies. The prompt sagacity of the emperor invented an antidote to the religious contagion. The sanctity of Aurungzebe was as famous as that of the old woman; for, in his younger days, he had distinguished himself by the devotion and austerity of a religious mendicant, leading a life of rigorous penance, eating only barley bread, herbs, and fruits, and drinking nothing but water. The reputation thus acquired he now turned to good account. He pretended that, by means of incantation, he had discovered a counter-enchantment to that of the fakirs. He wrote, with his own hands, certain mysterious words upon slips of paper, one of which, carried upon the point of a spear before each of the squadrons, he declared would neutralize the spell of the enchantress. The emperor was believed. counter-spells were carried into battle, and though the fakirs fought with great desperation, they were cut entirely to pieces. Such was the issue of the affair, known in the history of Hindostan as the "old woman's war; one of the most singular events recorded in history. "I find," said Aurungzebe, when speaking of this affair, "that too much religion among the vulgar is as dangerous as too little in the monarch."


Aurungzebe died in 1707. His death was the sig nal for a bloody civil war among his sons. Battles were fought near Agra, the capital, in which three hundred thousand men were engaged. The second son, Mahomed Mauzm, defeated his brothers, and ascended the throne, under the names of Shah Allum,



the King of the World, and Bahauder Shah, the Val- | This jewel was called Koh-e-noor, or "the Mountain iant King. He inherited neither his father's capacity of Light." After various adventures, it came into the nor good fortune. Perplexed by the restless ambition hands of Runjeet Singh, the late sovereign of Lahore, of his four sons, who, during his lifetime, showed and was seized by the British a short time previous to themselves competitors for the crown, he died of grief the conquest of the Punjaub, in 1849. and anxiety, A. D. 1713. The usual civil war arose among his sons, who joined to the force of arms every stratagem that fraud and treachery could suggest to base minds, in order to circumvent each other. At length, the eldest, Mauz Odin, by a superior stroke of perfidy, succeeded in overthrowing and putting to death his three brothers. He reigned a year and a half in voluptuous indolence, when he was dethroned by the disaffected omrahs. Furrukhsir, or Feroksere, his nephew, was placed on the throne; but, while he was invested with the external marks of authority, the omrahs, who were the means of his advancement, reserved to themselves all the essential powers of government. The emperor, finding himself used as a puppet, projected the overthrow of his masters. This design, according to the genius of Oriental policy, was secret and perfidious. The omrahs detected the plot against them, and, by superior address, counteracted it, and caused their enemy to be strangled.

The empire was kept in an unsettled state for some years, by the intrigues of the omrahs, till, at length, about A. D. 1720, Mahomed Shah was raised to the throne. This prince, by an expert use of his power, effected the destruction of those who had contributed to his advancement. After this, deeming himself perfectly secure from enemies, he plunged into a career of debauchery, and neglected all public affairs. The most destructive oppressions and abuses prevailed throughout the empire, and the misgovernment brought the whole country into so distracted a state, that a treacherous omrah, hoping to aggrandize himself by the subjugation of his countrymen, instigated Nadir Shah, of Persia, to invade Hindostan, in 1738. The country submitted to him with hardly a struggle; but a peaceful conquest was not suited to the taste of this sanguinary warrior. Delhi was sacked, and set on fire, and a hundred thousand of its inhabitants were massacred, as heretofore detailed. The Hindoos, panic struck, submitted themselves like sheep to the slaughter, or shut up their wives and children in their houses, and set fire to them, throwing themselves into the flames. The dead bodies caused a pestilence, which was succeeded by a famine; and thus every horror, or suffering, which follows in the train of war was heaped upon this unhappy country. Having extorted from the wretched Hindoos all the money and treasures which they could furnish, Nadir reinstated Mahomed in his authority, with great pomp and solemnity, and returned to Persia. The spoils of this campaign were immense; they amounted to sixteen millions of dollars in money, seven millions in plate, seventy-five millions in jewels, the celebrated “ peacock throne," beset with diamonds and other precious stones, valued at five millions, the trappings of the state elephant, valued at fifty-five millions, with other things, the whole exceeding three hundred and fifty millions of dollars in value. Such was the fate of the enormous wealth amassed by the avarice of Aurungzebe! Nadir was attacked by the Afghans on his march homeward, and his camp was plundered of a considerable portion of this treasure. Among other things, he lost a diamond of enormous value, which had been one of the ornaments of the peacock throne.

The provinces north-west of the Indus were an nexed by Nadir to his own empire; and, from this time, the Mogul sovereign retained little more than the shadow of a mighty name. No sooner were the Persian armies withdrawn, than a general defection of the Hindoo dependants of the emperor took place. None were willing to yield obedience to a monarch who no longer possessed the means of enforcing his authority. All the tribes of enterprising warriors which, during the day of Mogul splendor and dominion, had taken refuge in the mountains, now descended into the plains, and seized the finest provinces of the empire. Even private adventurers raised themselves to the rank of sovereigns. In the midst of this confusion, Nadir Shah was assassinated by his own followers; and this occasioned a new invasion of Hindostan. Achmet Abdallah, his treasurer, seized three hundred camels loaded with treasure, which enabled him to raise an army of fifty thousand men. He marched against Delhi, and the country was again ravaged by the destroying hosts of the invader. Mahomed Shah died in the midst of these turbulent scenes, and his son, Ahmed Shah, mounted the throne. This prince, however, was unable to restore the declining fortunes of the empire. The Mahrattas, a powerful tribe, who, from the Vindhya Mountains, and the head of the Western Ghauts, had already overrun the north of the Deccan, now penetrated to the imperial provinces of Agra and Delhi.


Ahmed Shah reigned but seven years, when he was deposed by Gazi, an omrah of great influence, who placed on the throne Allumgire, or Aulumgeer, a descendant of Aurungzebe, who had been for some time in confinement as a prisoner of state. The new emperor, finding himself restricted in his authority by the power of Gazi, invited the Persian chief Achmet Abdallah to his aid. This was a new calamity for the empire. The Persian obeyed the summons, and, after stripping the country of every thing valuable, withdrew from India, leaving Aulumgeer to repent his folly, and mourn over his exhausted treasury. At length, Gazi caused him to be assassinated. But the factions which ¦' arose on the death of the emperor exposed the country to a fresh invasion from Persia. Delhi was cap | tured, and laid under such oppressive contributions, that the inhabitants, driven to despair, took up arms. The Persian commander, irritated at this, ordered a¦ general massacre, which continued for seven days without intermission. A great number of the buildings, at the same time, were set on fire, and consumed; and thus the imperial city of Delhi, which, in the days of its glory, was said to be thirty-four miles long, and to contain two millions of people, was reduced almost to a heap of rubbish.

These repeated ravages completely broke the power of the Mogul sovereign. The governments of the different provinces were not only usurped by the || native chiefs, but some of them were seized by the Europeans, who now began to form settlements in Hindostan. But, although the Great Mogul became a mere name, it was a name that was held in high veneration by the body of the Hindoos, who felt the advantage of having a chief who could protect them

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from the tyranny of the local governors, and give them redress in case of need. The emperor's dominions melted away, till only the city of Delhi, and a small district around it, remained within his actual jurisdiction; but, while his title remained, many popular reasons existed for respecting it. Grants of land were accordingly sanctioned by his name, even in places where he had no administrative authority. The nabobs had their firmans, or commissions of appointment under his nominal sanction, even though they did not allow him to interfere in their government; and the coin continued to be struck in his name long after he was reduced to the condition of a mere pensioner of a foreign sovereign. Finally, the emperor having become involved in a quarrel with the British, his armies were defeated by them at the battle of Buxar, (A. D. 1764,) in consequence of which he fell completely under the British dominion. This put an end to the influence of his name in Hindostan, and rendered the British the predominant power in all that country. Of these events, however, we shall give a more minute account, when we relate the history of the British empire in India.

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WHILE the Mogul empire was declining, a new power was rising in its neighborhood, which was destined to prevail over all the native competitors for the sovereignty of Hindostan. The European nations, in exploring, through many dangers, the passage round the Cape of Good Hope, had made it their first object to gain possession of the rich commerce of this quarter of the globe. The Portuguese, under the command of Bartholomew Diaz, first reached the southern extremity of Africa in 1483. Fifteen years later, Vasco de Gama sailed round the Cape of Good Hope, and reached the shores of Hindostan, at Calicut. The Portuguese, at that period, were the most enterprising, commercial people in the world; and their first en deavors, on their arrival in India, were directed to trade. Under the guidance of their captain-general, Alfonso de Alboquerque, a man of great capacity and energy, they proceeded to establish permanent settlements in that country. They procured a grant of land from one of the native sovereigns near Goa, and built a strong fortress there, to protect their trading factory.

The Arab merchants, who had, previous to this time, engrossed all the foreign commerce of Hindostan, viewed the progress of these intruders with jealousy and alarm. They formed a league for their expulsion, and were joined by the Venetians, who, in their quarter of the globe, carried on a profitable traffic by purchasing Indian spices and other commodities from the Arabs, and disposing of them in the west of Europe. But this league was defeated by the abilities of Alboquerque, and he laid the foundation of the Portuguese empire in India, by capturing the city of Goa,



which afterwards became the Portuguese metropolis in the East. This was the commencement of the system of territorial acquisition by the European powers in India. It was founded in usurpation and violence, and cannot be defended on any principle of national justice. It is much to the credit of the great Vasco de Gama, that he discovered its true character and condemned it, at the very beginning.

The Portuguese arms were carried in triumph to Farther India by Alboquerque. He conquered the city of Malacca, and the Island of Ormuz, in the Persian Gulf, which latter place soon became the most flourishing and wealthy mart of trade in the East. The efforts of his successors were principally directed to the object of maintaining these extensive acquisitions, and of checking the progress of the Turks, who, after their conquest of Egypt in the sixteenth century, made several attempts to establish themselves on the coast of Malabar. In this undertaking they were foiled; but had they succeeded, it is probable that the Christians would never have gained any firm footing in India. The great number of Mahometans spread over this country would have united to support a power equally favorable to their religious prejudices and their commercial interests. The Portuguese, in little more than half a century after their arrival in the Indian seas, had established an empire in this quarter, the extent and power of which were truly wonderful. They possessed the whole coast of Malabar and Coromandel, on the south side of the peninsula of Hindostan; they were masters of the Bay of Bengal, on the eastern side; they ruled over the peninsula of Malacca; they held tributary the large and flourishing Islands of Ceylon, Sumatra, and Java, together with the Moluccas or Spice Islands. In the west, their authority extended as far as the coast of Persia, and over all the islands in the Persian Gulf. Some of the Arabian princes were their tributaries, others their allies. Throughout all Arabia, none dared confess themselves their enemies. In the Red Sea, the Portuguese were the only people that commanded respect, and they exerted an influence over Abyssinia and Eastern Africa. They had also established a commercial factory at Macao, in China, and a free trade with the empire of Japan.

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The most important and remarkable of the Portuguese possessions in the East was Ormuz – a place which derived all its wealth and consequence from its fortunate situation as an emporium of trade. The Island of Ormuz is of itself nothing but a barren rock, at the entrance of the Persian Gulf, and is entirely destitute of water, except when the rain, which seldom falls, is collected in tanks or other cavities in the rock. But its great facilities for trade rendered this island, in the hands of the Portuguese, the most flourishing commercial mart in the Eastern seas. Its harbor was frequented by shipping from all parts of the Indies, and from the coasts of Africa and Arabia, while it possessed an extensive caravan trade with the interior of Asia through the seaports of Persia. The wealth, the splendor, and the concourse of traders at Ormuz, during its flourishing condition, gave the world a memorable example of the superlative power of commerce. ing the trading season, which lasted from January to March and from August to November, there was an unparalleled activity of traffic in this place, and a display of luxury and magnificence which seemed to realize the extravagance of fiction. The salt dust of the streets was kept down and concealed by neat mats


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