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THE ENTRY INTO CABUL.

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CABUL DESCRIBED.

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CABUL DESCRIBED. The Evening Standard of Monday gives the following interesting particulars respecting Cabul Cabul is situated at the western extremity of the great plain which lies between the Paropamisan range and the mountains of the Indian frontier. It lies for the most part on the southern side of the Cabul river, near its junction with the Logar, and is surrounded on three aides by two low ridges of hills. The city, which lies at the btae of these hills, is surrounded by a wall which, although lofty, is very weak. There is no ditch, and the rampart is made of mud alone. The hills which partly sur- round the town, and to which reference has been made, are crowned with a Ion" line of walle, having round towers at certain intervals. These fortifications were constructed for the purpose of protecting the city against the marauding G-hilzies, but since the final effort of these at the beginning of the century for the recovery of their former power, tbey have been per- mitted to fall into disuse. To the eaxt of the town and divided from it by a ditch, stands the citadel, or Bala Hissar. This building is situated on the crest and sides of a rocky eminence. In fact the whole of the rock is a fortification, although the citadal, with the fort and palace known as the Koolah i-Feringheie-or the European hat—stands on another eminence overlook- ing the fortress. The main Bala Hiasar includes the palace and garden of the king, and also an extensive bazaar. The Government offices, such as the treasury, the arsenal, the barracks, &a., are algo situated here. Whereas, Cabul is the residence of the merchant, the trader, and the traveller, the Bala Hi4slir is the place where the official world dwells. The founding of this building has been attributed to the Emperor Baber who, it will be remembered, conquered Cabul before he invaded India but it owes most of its importance to Ali Murdan Khan, the Vizier of AuruDgzsbe, who did so much towards making Cabul an important city. But although the Bala Hissar was constructed for the purpose of being a defence to the city which lies at its foot, it has never been able to fulfil the part which was intended for it, and it is now in so dilapidated a condition that it is quite incapable of withstanding a siege.. Nor oven when something of its original strength existed, was the Bala Hissar ever able to hold out for long against those who besieged it. That may have been the fault of the defenders, but the fact remains. In the annals of history we can only find one occasion when it has undergone what may be honoured with the title of a siege, and that was when Dost Mahomed captured it by blowing up one of the towers during the progress of one of the numerous civil wars of half a century ago. In fact, the Bala Hissar has only been tufficiently etrong to resist any sudden attack on the part of the townspeople, and that was really all that the Afghan monarchs required of ic. It has also served a useful purpose as a State prison-house. We may feel quite clear on the point that the B..la Hissar is no more capable of offering a protracted resistance to the onset of our troops than it was in 1.8; 9 and 1842; nor can we suppose that when a skilled soldier like Dost Mahomed gave up the design of defending the citadel as unfeasible, the didorgauised army which stands to oppose us now will deem that they might fare better. The history of the city of Cabul is of too interesting a character to be passed by in silence, although a brief description of its past will here suffice for all practical purposes. The founding of Cabul is traced back to a mythological period. The Oabulis claim for it the age of 6,000 years, and the common repute is that it was formerly named Zabool, from the name of a Kafar or infidel king. As this monarch is said to have founded it at the remote epoch indicated, it would be interest- ing to know who was infidel and who was not in those days. Other authorities have affirmed that Cain was Cabul, and that the remains of his tomb were to be Been in the city; but Barnes assures us that there was no remembrance of this tradition. Be these stories of whatever value that they are, it is at the least probable that the admirable position on the main trade road from Bokhara and Turkestan to India pointed Cabul out at any early age in the world's history as the site for a city. Notwithstanding this fact it was many centuries before Cabul played the foremost part in the history of the surrounding country. The little-known magnates of Bamain—that mysterious and lonely city in the mountains, whose gigantic idols alone t'emair to furnish proof of its ancient magnifi- cence-lorded it over Cabul, as did the Princes of Ghizni and Ghor at a later day. It was not indeed, until the time of Baber that Cabul rose into any repute. That monarch counted it among one of the earliest of his triumphs, and on account of its admirable climate it became his most favoured place of residence. In his commentaries, the great pleasure which the Mogul Emperor took in it finds expression in the following words:—"The climate is extremely delightful, and there is no such place in the known world, for its verdure and flowers render Cabul, in spring, a heaven;" and again, in another passage, Drink wine in the citadel of Cabul, and send round the cup with- out stopping, for there are at once mountains and streams, town and desert." From the time of Baber until the invasion of Nadir Shah, Cabul remained the chief town in Afghanistan. It was the seat of residence of the Governor of the Mogul, and long after Candahar had become pzrt of the Persian dominions, Cabul was a city dependent upon Delhi. Nadir Shah captured it shortly after his con- quest of Candahar, and it became his chief base in his subsequent operations against India. Upon his death it passed into the hands of Ahmed, the Abdali chief, who founded the Durani monarchy; but although always held to be a place of the greatest importance, it was not until the time of Ahmed's son, Timour Shah, that it became the capital of the State. That event took place in 1776, and when the Sudosye dynasty was overthrown in 1819, the Barucksyes made no change in this respect. It was probably reserved for a later generation to show the wisdom which was so strikingly lacking when it was decided to transfer the capital from Candahar to Cabul. The more recent history of Cabul is of less interest. It has been visited by numerous English or other foreign travellers since Timour Shah constituted it his capital, and many of them, such as Forster, Burnes, Harlan, &c., have left us their opinion of the city and its inhabitants. That Cabul owes much of its prosperity to the fact of its being the capital cannot he denied, but that its situation and climate also entitle it to consideration is evident. It is quite possible that if the capital were transferred to Candahar Cabul would sink into respect- able mediocrity; but there can be no doubt that this fate would not be wholly deserved, for Cabul should always enjoy a considerable trade. We know of no passage from the writings of any visitor which will give the reader a more vivid picture of the interior of Cabul than the following, which is taken from the late Sir Henry Darand's recently published account of the first Afghan war :—The Bala Hissar, particularly the citadel, completely commands the city; but the streets are so narrow and winding that from the sum- mit of the fort an expanse of fiat-roofed houses is alone seen, and the thoroughfares of the city are seldom to be traced. The houses, of unburnt brick walls and mQd roof", have as little tim- ber as possible in their construction, this material b "ing coetly at Cabul; it follows, therefore, that they are not easiiy set on fire. From the irregularity of height and structure, and from the jealousy which guards each flat roof from the gaze of the curious by surrounding walls, communication from housetop to housetop would be very difficult, ex- cept in a few portions of the more regular parts of the city. The lice of hias between which and the river the city li s, is steep and difficult, but accessible, and its domineering aspect formerly led to its being include within the defences of Cabul, for a stone wail, with a crenelated parapet, runs along its summit, and dips down to the gorge by which the Cabul river, breaking through the chain, waters the city. The ends of some of the streets which cross the main thoroughfares are almost upon the foot of the hill, which thus looks into them; but as the minor streets are still more tortuous than the main ones, such views along them are very partial."

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