Imatges de pÓgina
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therefore

you
know what

you

have to expect, should you refuse to comply with " the terms I have offered you. Peace " and war are now before you, choose which

you please, but choose quickly. “ You are a Mahometan, versed, as I would. hope, in the laws and doctrines of the Ko

ran, and consequently more enlightened " than the Pagan Gracias. I have written " to you therefore, as to a man of some un. “ derstanding.

Why need I say more? “ From Dhuboy, 1 or the eighth day of the

15th of Oct. 1782. " Month of Shaoval, of the Mahomeran

Hegira.” The conquest of Mandwa, and several lets ters to the same purport

as the preceding, which were sent to the other Gracian chief. tains, accomplished all the views of the go. vernor of Dhuboy, without any further warfare.

All the different princes sent ambassadors, and entered into solemn treaties, which, in all probability, they would have thought proper to adhere to, had the British remained in possession of those districts; but being stung

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with shame and vexation, by the disgrace they had suffered from the capture of Mandwa, a place, which from its extraordinary situation, they had deemed impregnable; and which, indeed, had withstood every attempt of the Indian powers, they never would forgive the person who had sent the expedition against them; and finding that the city of Dhuboy, and all its territories, had, by a late peace,

been restored to the Mharattas, they secretly resolved to cut him off, upon his journey from Dhu. boy to Baroche, when taking his final leave of the country.

But it pleased that power, tempers the wind unto the shorn lamb," to defeat all their diabolical purposes.

Upon the morning of the day he had fixed for his departure from Dhuboy, a deputation from the principal Brahmins and elders of the city, waited upon him, to request that he would defer his journey until the troops marched to Baroche, for they had received certain intelligence that the Gracias intended to way-lay, and murder him, in order to revenge themselves for the sore disgrace they had so lately sustained by his persevering activity.

But this worthy and unsuspicious man, truste

who "

ing in the solemn treaties they had so recently entered into, could not credit their information, and only at their very earnest request, he con. sented to accelerate the hour of his departure, having been accustomed not to leave Dhuboy during the heat of the day; he generally tra, velled to Baroche by night, being upwards of fifty miles distant.

About mid-way, on this route, he had to pass the dry bed of a river, having a very wild tract of country for some miles upon

each side, full of deep ravins, and covered with the thickest woods, which are the usual haunts of tygers, and other ferocious beasts of prey.

This wilderness appearing the most likely place for the concealment of an ambuscade, he wished to pass through it before sun-set, and accordingly he took his final leave of the in. habitants, and quitted Dhuboy, at two o'clock, which was three hours sooner than he had intended, as five o'clock was the usual hour of his departure.

He travelled, attended by six horsemen, leaving twelve more behind to follow with his palankeen, escrutore of papers, and other things

Passsing through the ravines I have mentioned, a little before sun-set, he met with no kind of molestation, and consequently concluded, that the Brahmins had been misinformed of the Gracias' wicked intentions. But this was a premature supposition.

The horsemen he had left behind to take charge of his baggage, arriving at the same place only about a quarter of an hour afterwards, were suddenly surrounded by between two and three hundred armed horse, and about four hundred foot, all well armed. This force cruelly attacked the small troop, killed the principal officer, with some others, and beat and wounded the rest in the most barbarous manner; calling out vehemently for their master, and insisted upon being informed when he would arrive there.

Those of the horsemen who were yet able to speak, had the presence of mind to answer, that their master had passed some time before, and was then far enough from their power.

Fortunately this reply made them desist from further pursuit, yet had they determined to follow the road towards Baroche, they would very soon have overtaken the object of their

hate, who at that time, could not be more than two miles distant, on account of the slow pace by which he travelled, being drawn in a hackery by heavy bullocks, who proceeded very tardily.

The Gracias finding themselves deceived, be. came desperately exasperated, and added insult to their cruelty. They barbarously attacked and wounded the palankeen-bearers, and the other unarmed wretches, in the most horrid manner, and carried off the palankeen, with the horses and arms of their riders, leaving those who survived, to convey the melancholy tidings to their master; whọ, by passing those dismal wilds, but a very few minutes before, had, under the protection of Providence, escaped that dreadful fate which had awaited him.

• The Lord my pasture shall prepare,
" And feed me with a shepherd's care;
“ His presence shall my wants supply,
" And guard me with a watchful eye;
My noon-day walks he shall attend,
" And all my midnight hours defend.

" When in the sultry glebe Ifaint,
« Or on the thirsty mountains pant;
“ To fertile vales, and dewy meads,
“ My weary wand'ring steps he leads ;

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