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ment in

which was to colonise Madagascar, proved disastrous.

But in 1668 a settlement was effected under First settle

François Caron, at Surat, where the English India, 1668.

and Dutch already had flourishing factories; and in the next year another settlement was obtained at Masulipatam. At Sarat, however, French trade did not prosper; and before long the agents of the company took a somewhat sudden departure without paying their debts—an omission which of course pre cluded their return. In 1672 Trincomalee, in the island of Ceylon, and Meilâpûr, or S. Thomé, on the Coromandel coast, were taken from the Dutch, but were lost again in 1674. Yet, notwithstanding these reverses, they still persevered, and in the month of April of this same year, having bought a piece of land

from the Bijapur government, they erected Pondicherry founded, the city of Puthu-chêri, now called Pon1674.

dicherry. The founder was François Martin, the greatest, though perhaps not the most conspicuous, French potentate in the East. But the new settlement was not destined long to enjoy India's then greatest luxury—the luxury of peace. It had only just completed its third year when the first and the greatest of the Mahratta chieftains, during his memorable expedition into the Carnatic, advanced upon and threatened the town. Martin by his energetic and judicious measures managed to conciliate the native chief, and to save Pondicherry; and so for awhile was left free to mature and establish his plans. But before very long the place attracted the attention of the Dutch, and was stormed and taken by them in the year 1693. The conduct of Râja Râm, the Mahratta

regent, on this occasion is worth recording. Having been offered a price for the town by the Dutch, he answered that the French had fairly purchased it, and paid a valuable consideration for it; and that all the money in the world would not tempt him to dislodge them.” However, the well-meaning regent was soon cooped up in Gingî; and the Moguls not only received the Dutch bribe, but even aided them in their attack. In 1697 the Peace of Ryswick was signed, and Pondicherry being restored, Martin returned in triumph to enlarge and fortify the town, and to raise it at last by skilful policy, good government, and fair dealing, to the rank of a great commercial city.

In 1688 the French obtained from the Emperor Aurungzib a settlement at Chândernâgôr, near Calcutta, Shayista Khân being then viceroy of Bengal.

In 1725 Mahî was added to their possessions, and its name was changed to Mahé, in honour of the young naval officer Bertrand François Mahé de la Bourdonnais, through whose daring and ingenuity it was taken. In 1731 we find another memorable man commencing his career of distinction in India. In this year Joseph François Dupleix was appointed director of Chândernâgôr, and, during the ten years of his rule at this post, not only did he amass great wealth by private trade, but also raised the town from an almost deserted port to a flourishing emporium. But many years before this, in fact as far back as the year 1672, a great colony had and Bourbeen founded in Cerné (called by the French bon, 1672. Ile de France, and by the Dutch Mauritius, in honour



of Prince Maurice, of Nassau) and in the Isle of Bourbon. The governor of this colony, M. Dumas, Dumas,

was created governor-general of the French

possessions in India in 1735, and proved himself a worthy successor of François Martin. It was in his time that there began that system of interference with the affairs of the Hindû princes, which raised the French name for a time above the name of all other European nations in native estimation, and which led to such important results. [t was through the influence of Dôst Ali, Nuwâb of the Carnatic, whom the French supported, that Muhammad Shâh, emperor of Delhi, conceded to them the right of coining. But their influence with Chandâ Sahêb, the son-in-law and diwân of Dôst Alî, was of still greater importance.

rough his good offices that Kârical and the Kârical,

neighbouring villages were wrested from the

Mahratta king of Tanjore, and made over to the French in 1739; and it was through their intrigues with him and his party that this nation obtained the position from whence they rose to be for a while the dictators of the south-eastern portion of the Dakhan. During the Mahratta invasion of the Carnatic, under Râghuji Bhonslê and Morâri Râo, Pondicherry had been threatened, and Dumas had been reduced to great straits; but through his boldness and his liberal donations of French liqueurs he eventually induced his foe to leave him unmolested. In 1741, however, he was superseded by Dupleix, and retired amid the praises of Southern India, with the thanks of the aged Nizâm-ul-Mulk, of the Nuwâb of

It was


Dupleix Dupleix,

The Danes


Arcot, and of the emperor himself, who even conferred on him the title of Nuwâb. immediately assumed the pomp and state of 1741-1754. this illustrious office, and proceeded to Chândernâgôr for installation, using every effort to strengthen his position. What he accomplished, what part he played in the memorable transactions of the ensuing years, I must leave Lord Macaulay to tell.

There is but one other European nation which attempted to gain a footing in India. It accomplished indeed little or nothing in the way of territorial acquisition; but the illustrious names in India, connected with its settlements make its attempts worthy of record. The government of Denmark never held more than two factories in India-one at Tranquebâr (bought from the Raja of Tanjore in 1616), the other at Serampore on the Hûglî—and both these were sold to the English in 1845. But both places were celebrated in the eighteenth century for the laborious and learned men who were there engaged in translating the Bible into the native languages of India, and as the centres of missionary work in the East. The names of Ziegenbalg (1706-1719) and Fabricius (1739-1791) of Tranquebâr, and of the noble band of Serampore, of whom Carey, Ward, and Marshman were the chiefs, will always command respect as long as unselfishness, purity of life, and heroic effort retain their hold on our admiration. Nor should the name of the noble missionary Schwartz (1750-1798) be forgotten, or the work that he did in Tranquebâr, in Trichinopoly, and in Tanjore. Indeed, in the field of Eastern language and Eastern literature the Danes and the Danish government have not yet ceased to have much cause to be proud of each other.



After the death of Teimûr (or Tamerlane) and his accomplished son Shah Rokh, his vast dominion, which included all Central and Western Asia, fell rapidly to pieces. Not only were the more distant provinces cut off, but the original domain of Transoxiana was split into portions, for which the different branches of the family eagerly contended. One held Samarkhand, another Bactria, another Bokhâra, another Kâbul, and another Kokhân, then called Ferghana, a fertile valley extending along the course of the Sir, the ancient Jaxartes. This last, in 1494, was inherited by a son of a great-grandson of Teimûr, a

boy aged only twelve, whose mother was a

descendant of the Mogul (or Mongol) house of Genghîz Khân. The boy's name was Zahir-uddîn-Muhammad, the “ Light of the Faith," but he is better known under the epithet of Bâber, or the Lion. This youth proved to be, if not, according to Elphinstone, “the most admirable prince that ever reigned in Asia," at any rate a most remarkable man. He was emphatically the wandering knight adventurer of Asia, and till past the age of forty spent his life in winning and losing kingdoms. One moment he was ruler of a vast dominion, the next he had not where to lay his head; now he marched with a mighty army, and now he could scarcely muster a hundred


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