Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/347

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Reviews. 317

Delhi, Past and Present. By H. C. Fanshawe, C.S.I. , Bengal Civil Service Retired. London : John Murray. 1902, Price 15s. net.

Mr. Fanshawe has done good service to all archgeologists by bringing together in this valuable and well illustrated book all the information available regarding the most interesting of Indian cities. His long service as chief civil officer of the division has familiarised him with the existing buildings, and he has been diligent in collecting all the historical evidence. The volume is, in fact, a glorified guide-book. As such, its present form was perhaps inevitable, but the home reader who has little chance of visiting the place would have preferred another system of arrange- ment, by which in a series of consecutive chapters the history and associations of this wonderful group of seven independent cities might have been connected with the architectural remains. Treated, as the author has preferred to treat it, according to the geographical position of the buildings, the result, it must be admitted, is rather bewildering, and the value of the work would have been much increased if references to the authorities had been given in foot-notes.

Mr. Fanshawe seems to have little taste for the folklore con- nected with the famous group of cities. But we have a good account of the great Kutub Minar and the Iron Pillar with its curious snake legend ; of the remarkable saint Nizamuddin, who is by tradition connected with the Thugs ; and of the curious propitiation for the Emperor Muhammad Shah : " Under the guidance of the Almighty," writes the Emperor Firoz Shah, " I arranged that the heirs of those persons who had been slain in the reign of my late lord and patron, Sultan Muhammad Shah, and those who had been deprived of a limb, nose, eye, hand, or foot, should be reconciled to the late Sultan and be appeased with gifts, so that they executed deeds declaring their satisfaction, duly attested by witnesses. These deeds were placed in a chest at the head of the grave of the late Sultan, in the hope that God, in His great clemency, would show mercy to my late friend and patron, and make those persons feel reconciled to him " (p. 276-7). The corpse of the ruffian Ghulam Kadir, who blinded the unfortunate Emperor Shah Alam, was hung from a tree, head downwards. " A black dog with white round the eyes came and licked up the