Cabool: A Personal Narrative of a Journey To, and Residence in that City, in the Years 1836, 7, and 8

Front Cover
J. Murray, 1843 - Afghanistan - 398 pages
Cabool: A Personal Narrative of a Journey to, and Residence in that City, in the Years 1836, 7, and 8 is an account of an 18-month voyage undertaken by Sir Alexander Burnes and three companions by order of the governor-general of India. The purpose of the journey was to survey the Indus River and the territories adjoining it, with the aim of opening up the river to commerce. Following a route that took them up the Indus from its mouth in present-day Pakistan, Burnes and his party visited Shikarpur, Peshawar, Kabul, Herat, and Jalalabad, before completing their journey in Lahore. The book contains detailed information about the ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups living in Afghanistan and parts of present-day Pakistan, and observations about the war underway at that time between the Sikh Empire and the Emirate of Afghanistan. Also included is a brief account of the formal audience with the amir of Afghanistan, Dost Mohammad Khan, who cordially received the visitors as representatives of the governor-general of India. Of particular interest is the economic and demographic data compiled by Burnes and his party, which is presented in striking detail. The book notes, for example, that the bazaar at Dera Ghazee Khan (present-day Dera Ghazi Khan City, Pakistan) had 1,597 shops, of which 115 were sellers of cloth, 25 sellers of silk, 60 jewelers, 18 paper sellers, and so forth. Equally detailed information is given about the prices of grains and other commodities, the production of dates and pomegranates, and the number of Hazaras living in the region between Kabul and Herat, which is put at 66,900. Burnes was killed in Afghanistan in 1841, and this book was published posthumously, with the first edition published in London by John Murray in 1842. Presented here is the second edition, also published in London by John Murray in 1843. A one-volume, U.S. edition, which was also published in 1843, was based on this second edition. It was published in Philadelphia by Carey and Hart.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.



Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 158 - When this sand is set in motion by a body of people sliding down it a sound is emitted. On the first trial we distinctly heard two loud, hollow sounds, such as would be produced by a large drum. On two subsequent trials we heard nothing: so that perhaps the sand requires to be settled and at rest for some space of time before the effect can be produced. The inhabitants have a belief that the sounds are only heard on Friday; nor then, unless by the special permission of the saint of Reg-Ruwan, who...
Page 158 - RegRuvvan faces the south, but the wind of Purwan (bad i Purwan), which blows strongly from the north for the greater part of the year, probably deposits it by an eddy. Such is the violence of this wind, that all the trees in the neighbourhood bend to the south, and...
Page xiii - The objects of Government were to work out its policy of opening the river Indus to commerce, and esta" blishing on its banks, and in the countries beyond it, such relations as should contribute to the desired end.
Page 142 - As we passed through the city some of the people cried out, " Take care of Cabool!" " Do not destroy Cabool!" and wherever we went in this fine bustling place, we were saluted with a cordial welcome. Our visits were soon returned, both by the Ameer and his brother the Nawab. Power frequently spoils men, but with Dost Mahommed neither the increase of it, nor his new title of Ameer, seems to have done him any harm.
Page 140 - with great pomp and splendour by a fine body of Afghan cavalry, led by the Amir's son, Akbar Khan. He did me the honour to place me upon the same elephant on which he himself rode, and conducted us to his father's court, whose reception of us was most cordial.
Page 104 - Six out of ten lacs are thus abstracted ; and besides all this, extensive lands are alienated to religious persons, a large garrison is kept up, and much additional expense is incurred : so that Peshawur is a drain on the finances of the Lahore state, with the additional disadvantage of being so situated as to lead the Sikhs into constant collision with fierce and desperate tribes, who, were it not for their poverty, would be formidable antagonists.
Page 113 - Prinsep, in reporting to government on the coal found on the western bank, stated that " four of the specimens were in fact of the very finest form of mineral coal, that in which all vegetable appearance is lost ;" of one of the specimens, a kind of jet, he remarked " that, if found in sufficient quantities, it would not only answer well as a fuel, but be superior to all other coals for the particular object in getting up steam, from the large proportion of inflammable gas it , Burne8i Pers.
Page 286 - Umritsir than any of the other places on the Indus, and lies on the road between it and Cabool. This tract, however, is not much frequented, except...
Page 192 - Audkhoee, where he is known to have fallen a victim, not more, I believe, to the baneful effects of the climate than to the web of treachery and intrigue by which he found himself surrounded, and his return cut off.
Page 196 - Moorcroft's own handwriting a list of the articles, which he offered on his presentation to the King of Bokhara, and a note at the end to the effect that the King had, in return, ordered him a remission of the duties of his merchandize, rather more than equalling the estimated value of the goods. It is further satisfactory to be able to add, on the authority of several Bokhara merchants, who were on terms of intimacy with him during his stay in that city, that his character was highly appreciated...

Bibliographic information