THE celebrated Empire of India is called by the Persians Hind, or HINDUSTAN*, The Country of the Hindús: it is bounded on the west and south by the Ocean, on the north by Candahár and Turán, on the east by Chîn or China; for so the Asiaticks call the Peninsula beyond the Ganges, which comprises the kingdoms of Tipra, Asám, Aracan, and Siam. The country of Hind is divided into three parts; 1. Guzerat, or DECAN, including most of the southern provinces, and, among them, the city and territory of SUMENAT, where Sadi, as he tells us in his Bostán, had an adventure with the worshippers of an ivory image, whose artful contrivance he detected at the hazard of his life. 2. MALABAR, or, The country of the Malais, which includes what the Arabians call Beladelfulful, or, The land of pepper*, and is terminated on the south by the cape of Comron, famous for producing the best aloe-wood, a favorite perfume of the Asiaticks: to the south west of this promontory are the numerous islands, which we call Maldives, and the Arabs Rabíhát, and a little to the south east, the famed Serandíb or Seilán, which pro­duces so many precious perfumes, jewels, and spices. M. d’Herbelot remarks, that the Eastern Geographers say nothing of the cinnamon, with which Serandib abounds, and, as they call that spice the wood of China, he imagines, with some appearance of probability, that it was trans­planted to Seilán by the Chinese, who, as it is currently reported, had once a great connection with the natives of that island. Farther east­ward are the islands of Samander, or Sumatra, Rámi, or Lameri, which may, perhaps, be Java, though, by the accounts of it, one would take it for the same with Samander, and then Albinoman will be Java, Jálûs, the Moluccas, and Mehrage, or Soborma, Borneo; to which isle the Easterns seem to confine their knowledge of Asiatick Geography*; for what they call the isle of Anam, is no other than the southern part of the peninsula, which the ancients named The Golden Chersonnese; and as to Sinf, Sili, and Sindafúlat, they are rather ports on the coast of China than islands. The city of Khancú, which the learned African Prince Edrissi mentions, seems to be the Cantón of our merchants.

The third division of Hind is called MABER* by the Arabians, and extends from the gulf of Bengal on both sides of the Ganges as far north­ward as the straits of Kupele; and here we may observe, that it is usual with the Asiaticks to give the same name to the countries, which lie on both sides of any considerable river: thus the province of Sind is divided by the Indus, Kha­rezm by the Oxus, Palestine by the Arden or Jor­dan, Egypt by the Nile, and this part of India by the Ganges. The ancient system of govern­ment, which prevailed in this country, seems to have been perfectly feudal; all the territories were governed by Ráï’s or Rájas, who held their lands of a supreme lord called Belhár, the seat of whose residence was the city of CAN­NOUGE, now in ruins. There is a curious book at Oxford, which was presented to the University by Mr. Pope, and contains the pic­tures of all the Kings who reigned in India, from the most early times to the age of Timúr, whose descendant Báber founded the monarchy of the Moguls at the opening of the sixteenth century.

DEHLI, called also Shahgehânabád, was the Capital of a kingdom, which bore the same name, where a race of Mahomedan princes reigned before Tamerlane, who were lovers of poetry and eloquence, and liberal patrons of learned men: this City, as well as a great part of the Indian Empire, has been agreeably described by M. Bernier, who tells a pleasing story of two Raja’s, named Gemel and Polta, who were besieged in a castle by Sultan Acbar, where, fear­ing to be led in chains by an insulting Conqueror, they made a desperate sally, in which they lost their lives fighting boldly to the last moment: he adds, that Acbar ordered the statues of these two illustrious brothers to be cut in marble upon two elephants, and placed over the gates of Dehli. To the north west of this city stands Lahawar or LAHOR, the capital of Penjáb, or, The five Rivers, a province so called, because the Indus is in that part divided into five large branches: it seems to have been the ancient kingdom of Pór or Porus*, which is almost the only Asiatick word, that the Greeks have not corrupted, Our travellers mention a fine road of two hundred and fifty leagues, with rows of beautiful trees on each side, that reached from Agra to Lahór; and it is observable that the Persians call that city also Ráhver*, in allusion, perhaps, to this road. We cannot forbear men­tioning in this place the city of BENARES on the Ganges, famous for an academy or college of Indian priests, commonly called Bramens, who once possessed all the learning of India, and spoke the language, in which Bidpai wrote his excellent fables: there are some of this frater­nity remaining, but their learning, it is probable, has not been preserved among them in any great degree, and their ancient language begins, like the Greek, to be respected rather than known.