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of the splendour of the Court of Delhi,
previous to the ruinous invasion of the Persians.

Before leaving Delhi, Nadir Shah replaced
the crown on the head of the Great Mogul
with his own hand, and gave him a long
lecture on the government of India, concluding
with these alarming words: " If necessary, I
can be with you, myself, in forty days from
Candahar. Never reckon me far off."

On the fourth of May, seventeen hundred
and thirty-nine, the conqueror mustered his
army in the gardens of Shalimar, on the north
side of Delhi, with a vast train of camels,
horses, and elephants laden with the spoils,
and the following day he commenced his
march towards Persia.

It is estimated that, besides the treasure
taken away, the Indians lost thirty million
pounds by damage done to houses burnt and
fields laid waste. At least two hundred
thousand human beings perished in this
terrible visitation; forty thousand between
Peshawur and Kurnaul, one hundred and ten
thousand in the massacre, and fifty thousand
by a famine caused by the ravages of the

It would have been well, for the fame of the
once mighty family of Timour, if Mohammed
Shah had fallen, sword in hand, at Kurnaul,
instead of lingering on a disgraced existence in
his ruined capital. His pitiable descendants
sank lower and lower, first in the power of
Affghans and Mahrattas, then as pensioners
of the British government; and now the
representative of the mighty Timour, the
accomplished Shah Rokh, the brave and learned
Baber, and the magnificent Aurungzebe, has
become the miserable puppet of that gang of
inhuman miscreants who await their doom in
the city of Delhi.

Nadir Shah returned to Persia with his
vast treasure, and deposited it in the castle
of Kelat, close to the place of his birth, and
Meshed, the capital of his native province of
Khorassan, became his capital. But the
robbery of the riches of Delhi proved a curse to
him. From the time of his return, he became
avaricious, and so unjust and cruel that his
tyranny at length became intolerable.

In the year seventeen hundred and forty-seven,
he encamped his army on the plains of
Sultan Meydan, about a day's journey north-west
of Meshed; where he meditated, with
the assistance of his Unbeg and Toorkman
forces, the massacre of all the Persians whose
fidelity he suspected.

But the plot was overheard, and recoiled
upon himself. At dead of night an officer
named Saleh Beg passed the guard, and
having discovered Nadir's tent, cut him with
a sabre while asleep. The tyrant sprang up;
but, in retiring from the tent, he tripped
over the cords, and Saleh gave him a mortal

"Spare me," he cried, " and I will forgive
you all!"

The assassin answered:

" You have not shown any mercy, and
therefore merit none."

His head was sent to his nephew Ali
Kooli; but the courier lost it on the road,
and, to screen his negligence, substituted
that of some other man. The body was
buried at Meshed, under a small tomb with
a garden planted round it; but the founder
of the present reigning dynasty of Persia,
whose family had been persecuted by the
mighty conqueror, desecrated his tomb,
destroyed the garden, dug up his body, and
placed his bones under the steps of the throne
at Teheran, that all who passed might trample
on them. Over his grave at Meshed some
industrious peasant has planted a crop of


THE philanthropist whom I have ventured
to distinguish by this title, flourished at the
beginning of the last century, and enrolled
himself among the ranks of English authors by
writing a book, which I purpose to examine
briefly, with a view to the reader's edification
on the subject of imprisonment for debt,
as it was practised more than a century ago.
The work is called " An Accurate Description
of Newgate, with the rights, privileges,
allowances, fees, dues, and customs thereof;
together with a parallel between the Master
Debtors' side of the said prison, and the
several Sponging-houses in the County of
Middlesex. Wherein are set forth the cheapness
of living, civility, sobriety, tranquillity,
liberty of conversation, and diversions of the
former, and the expensive living, incivility,
extortions, close confinement, and abuses of
the latter. Together with a faithful account
of the impositions of Bailiffs and their vile
usage of all such unfortunate persons as fall
into their hands. Written for the public
good, by B. L., of Twickenham."

Under these mysterious initials does the
Debtor's Best Friend, with the modesty of
true merit, hide himself from discovery by a
grateful public. In the first pages of his
work he apologises for the lively sympathy
with insolvent humanity which induced him
to turn author, in these terms:—" I am not
insensible that many persons who perfectly
know me will be not a little surprised to see
my first public appearance in a treatise of this
kind, which is so infinitely foreign from those
eminent parts of Mathematics and Philosophy
in which, for many years past, I have been
familiarly conversant." Here, then, is a
profound mathematician and philosopher,
perfectly acquainted (as we shall soon see) with
the insides of sponging-houses and the habits
of bailiffs; resident (when at large) in the
delightful seclusion of Twickenham, at the
commencement of the last century; and
publicly willing to acknowledge that his initials
are B. L. A more interesting subject of
literary investigation than an inquiry after