Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/255

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


Buries' F'isit to the Court of Sinde. embassy in 18?0, finally led to Mr. James Burnes, surgeon to the Residency at Bhooj, and author of the work before us, being called to the court of Hyderabad in his medical capacity. Previous to the publication of Mr. Burnes's work, which ?only took [?lace in this country two years after its publication at Bom- bay, the reports of Mr. Crow, sometime resident at Tattah, and of Messrs. Seton and Ellis, had furnished us with much that was new relative to the history and resources of this country; and it is to be regretted, as these memoirs are not accessible to the public, that our author did not incorporate more of their details in his own narrative. As, however, so little has hitherto been published on this interesting country, we shall, in analysing the result of Mr. Burnes's observations, draw also from other authorities, more espe- cially the excellent work of Colonel Pottinger; and thus present a sort of digest of-what is at present known of the state and condi- tion of Sinde. Unlike most countries situate on the banks of large rivers, the plains adjoining the Indus have, in no period of their history, attained a very high degree of agricultural or commercial wealth; nor have their inhabitants ever occupied a situation high in the scale of civilization and political power. This is to be attributed first to physical causes, and afterwards to the moral consecluences of those which have, as usual, co-operated with them. In the im- mediate ueighbourhood of a mighty river there is a dearth of fresh water, and hence Nomadic tribes and tempo. m. ry residences. The uncertain sway of its possessors thus gave or?gm to internal discus- siena and predatory habits; and the want of imposing institutions, sad of exact and severe discipline, entailed their bad effects on society, and prevented its ever arriving at maturity. Science and literature were neglected; arts and agriculture remained conse- quently stationary; while, for ?ges, fanaticism aud superstition? prejudice and despotism, have united in overwhelming the industry and latent enterprise of the inhabitants. The physical characters of Sinde are not, however, c?uite uni- form ;---some parts appear to have been but lately claimed from the ocean, and exhibit abundant remains of decayed shells and other marine productions, as in the vicinity of Luckput, though we have not sufficient data to determine whether [rs saline steppes, which here constitute the desert part of the province, are or are not of modern formation. At Kutree, the landing place oa crossing the Lloonee brauch, there is neither house nor inhabitants, nor even the usual party of soldiers for the collectiota of the revenue; the country around is equally without trees, and the road, in the rainy season, impassable, though, at other times, firm and hard. The comatry around Kurrachee, a? the south-western extremity, is also a perfect level: and after dry weather, with the exception of Dig,tiz?d by Google