Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/151

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AURANGZEB' S WARS IN SOUTHERN INDIA. 1 47 scheme of conquering Southern India. He accordingly pre- pared an expedition, on an unrivalled scale of numbers and splendour, to be led by himself. In 1683, he arrived at the head of his Grand Army in the Deccan, and spent the next half of his reign, or twenty-four years, in the field in Southern India. Golconda and Bijapur fell after another severe struggle, and were finally annexed to the Mughal Empire in 1688. The Marathas, 1688-1707. — But the conquests of these last of the five Muhammadan kingdoms of the Deccan only left the arena bare for the operations of the Marathds. Indeed, the attacks of the Mar&thas on the two Muhammadan States had prepared the way for their annexation by Aurangzeb. The emperor waged war during the remaining twenty years of his life (1 688-1 707) against the rising Hindu power of the Mara- th&s. Their first great leader, Sivaji, had proclaimed himself king in 1674, and died in 1680. Aurangzeb captured his son and successor, Sambhajf, in 1689, and cruelly put him to death; seized the Maratha capital, with many of their forts; and seemed in the first year of the new century to have almost stamped out their existence (1701). But, after a guerilla war- fare, the Marathas again sprang up into a powerful fighting nation. In 1705, they recovered their forts; while Aurangzeb had exhausted his health, his treasures, and his troops, in the long and fruitless struggle. His soldiery murmured for arrears ; and the emperor, now old and peevish, told the malcontents that if they did not like his service they might quit it, while he disbanded some of his cavalry to ease his finances. Aurangzeb hemmed in. — Meanwhile the Marathas were pressing hungrily on the imperial camp. The Grand Army of Aurangzeb had grown during a quarter of a century into an unwieldy capital. Its movements were slow, and incapable of concealment. If Aurangzeb sent out a rapid small expedition against the Marathas, who plundered and insulted the outskirts of his camp, they cut it to pieces. If he moved out against them in force, they vanished. His own soldiery feasted with the enemy, who prayed, with mock ejaculations, for the health of the emperor as their best friend. Aurangzeb's Death. — In 1706, the Grand Army was so