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nown, Shere Afgun began thus in the presence: “ To attack an animal with weapons, is both unmanly and unfair. God has given to man limbs and sinews, as well as to tigers ; he has added reason to the former, to conduct his strength.” 1 he other Omrahs objected in vain, “ that all men were inferior to the tiger in strength, and that he could be overcome only by steel.” “ I will convince you of your mistake," Shere Afgun replied; and throwing down his sword and shield, prepared to advance unarmed.
Although the emperor was in secret pleased with a proposal full of danger to Shere, he made a show of dissuading him from the enterprise. Shere was determined. The monarch with feigned reluctance yielded. Men knew not whether they ought most to admire the courage of the man, or to exclaim against the folly of the deed. Astonishment was painted in every face ; every tongue was silent. Writers give a particular, but incredible, detail of the battle between Shere Afgun and the tiger. This much is certain, that after a long and obstinate struggle, Shere prevailed; and though mangled with wounds himself, laid at last the savage dead at feet. The thousands who were eye-witnesses of the action, were almost afraid to vouch for the truth of the exploit with their concurring testimony. The fame of Shere was increased, and the designs of the emperor failed for the moment. But the determined batred of the latter stopped not here; other plans of destruction were contrived by his parasites against this unfortunate Shere; and to one of these he at last fell a victim.
He had retired from the capital of Bengal to Burdwan. He hoped to live here in obscurity and safety with his beloved Mher ul Nissa. He was deceived. The Subahdar of Bengal had received his government, for the purpose of removing the unfortunate Shere, and he was not unmindful of the condition. Settling the affairs of his government at Rajeinabel, which was at that time the capital of Bengal, he resolved with a great retinue to make the tour of the dependent provinces. In this route he came to Burdwan. He made no secret to his principal officers, that he had the emperor's orders for despatching Shere. That devoted amyr hearing that the Subahdar was entering the town in which he resided, mounted his horse, and with two servants only went to pay his respects. The Subahdar received Shere with affected politeness. They rode for some time side by side, and their conversation turned upon indifferent affairs. The Subahdar suddenly stopped; he ordered his elephant of state to be brought, which he mounted, under a pretence of appearing with be
coming pomp in the city of Burdwan. Shere stood still when the Subahdar was ascending; and one of the pikemen, pretending that Shere was in the way, struck his horse, and began to drive him before him. Shere was enraged at the affront; he knew that the pikeman durst not have used the freedom without his master's orders; he saw plainly that there was a design laid against his life. Turning therefore round
upon the pikeman, he threatened him with instant death. The man fell on the ground and begged for mercy.
Swords were drawn. Shere had no time to lose; he spurred his horse up to the elephant on which the Subahdar was mounted, and having broken down the ambhary, or castle, cut him in two: and thus the treacherous Cattub became the victim of his own zeal to please the emperor. Shere did not rest here: he turned his sword on the other officers. The first that fell by his hands was Abo Khan, a native of Cashmire, who was an Amyr of five thousand horse. Four other nobles shared the same fate; death attended every blow from the hand of Shere. The remaining chiefs were at once astonished and frightened; they fled to a distance, and formed a circle around him. Some began to gall him with arrows; others to fire with their muskets. His horse at length having been shot with a ball in the forehead, fell under him. The unfortunate Shere, reduced to the last extremity, began to upbraid them with cowardice. He invited them severally to single combat ; but he begged in vain. He had already received some wounds; he plainly saw his approaching fate. Turning his face towards Mecca, he took up some dust with his hand; and for want of water, threw it by way of ablution upon his head. He then stood up, seemingly unconcerned. Six balls entered his body in different places before he fell. His enemies had scarcely courage to come near till they saw him in the last agonies of death. They praised his valour to the skies; though in adding to his reputation, they took away exceeding. ly from their own.
Who that pities the fall of the brave and unfortunate Shere can help feeling doubly sorry, when they learn that the woman whose beauty was his ruin, had not a tear to shed to his memory ? The officer who succeeded the deceased Subah. dar in the command of the troops, hastened to the house of Shere, afraid that Mher ul Nissa, in her first paroxysms of grief, might make way with herself. The lady, however, bore her misfortune with more fortitude and resignation. She showed no willingness whatever to follow the fashion of her countrywomen on such tragical occasions ; she even pretended, in vindication of her apparent insensibility, that she was acting in obedience to the injunctions of her deceased lord. She alleged that Shere, foreseeing his own fall from the machinations of the emperor, had conjured her to yield to the desires of the monarch without hesitation. The reasons which she said he gave, were as feeble as the fact itself was improbable-he was afraid that his own exploits would sink into oblivion, without they were connected with the remarkable event of giving an empress to India.
Empress, the faithless widow became; and for many years under the celebrated name of Noor Jehan, she conjointly with Selim, ruled the empire of India. A circumstance so uncommon in an Asiatic government, is thus recorded on the coin of that period : “ By order of the Emperor Jehangire, gold acquired a hundred times additional value by the name of the Empress Noor Jehan.” (Light of the World.)
THE TWO APOTHECARIES. About the year 1712, there lived in a country town near Canterbury, a private gentleman named Turner. He had an only son, who, baving attained the age of fifteen, was very desirous of qualifying himself to follow the professions of apothecary and surgeon. Accordingly, his father had him bound apprentice for seven years, to an eminent surgeon of the same place, whose name was Steevens. The young man was so attentive to his business, that before he was out of his time, he was universally allowed to be as great a proficient in medical and surgical matters as his master.
His apprenticeship being concluded, the friends and acquaintance of young Mr. Turner came to make merry and spend the evening with 'him, as was at that time customary, and among the rest, his father; who, entering into conversation with Mr. Steevens, relative to his son's capacity and inclination for his profession, at last thus addressed him :
Sir, I should grieve to find any thing left undone that might prevent or lessen his perfect qualification in his art." The apothecary replied, “Sir, I believe him to be as capable in it as myself, barring that he cannot have had so much experience. I have neglected no part of his instruction, and have communicated all I know, except one single point, which is a secret I discovered myself, and having experienced its truth and its value, I am not willing to impart it to any one without an adequate compensation.”
Mr Turner was unwilling his son should be deficient in any point which might be wanting to complete him for his profession, and, therefore, demanded the price of his secret. answered Mr. Steevens, “ if your son makes a proper use of
« Sir," it, it may bring in thousands. I look upon it as infallible, and to a man of prudence, and in great practice, it may be invaluable; but as your son has served his time with me, and has behaved well and attended diligently to his business, I will make him master of this useful and excellent nostrum for thir. ty guineas. After a little consideration, and debating the matter with his son, Mr. Steevens agreed to take twenty guineas, which were paid immediately, and he gave in return, a slip of paper, on which seven words were written, being the recipe of his great and precious nostrum.
The old gentleman, after reading the recipe, burst out into a violent passion, saying he had been defrauded, and had parted with his money without an equivalent compensation, and that he would appeal to the laws for redress. The surgeon, being in possession of the money, remained quiet, and permitted him to vent his rage at leisure; when this had somewhat subeded, he said calmly to Mr. Turner, “Why, Sir, although you now make so slight of this secret because you know it, yet, insignificant as it may seem to you, it has put many hundred pounds into my pocket, and if your son will always bear it in mind, and make a proper use of it, he may turn it to as good an account as I have done.”
Still this did not satisfy old Mr. Turner; at length, his son interposed, and said to his father, “ Do not, Sir, make yourself uneasy about the purchase of this seeming trifle; my master has treated me kindly and honourably during the whole time of my apprenticeship, and I have no reason to suppose he wishes to impose on either of us. You, Sir, do not understand dur business; there are secrets in all trades, and I have no doubt but I shall, as Mr. Steevens says, profit greatly by this valuable arcanum, so that I beg you will be contented, and leave the rest to me; I shall take care the money shall not be thrown away."
By this interposition of the son, his father became, at last, easy, and when the company broke up, took him home.
A few days after, he wanted his son to set up in business for himself immediately, in opposition to his old master, whom he still considered as having cheated him. The young gentleman, however, had a mind to travel, and endeavoured to convince father how necessary it was to go to Paris for further experience in the practice of surgery, and that in that city, surgeons had the opportunities of perfecting themselves in their profession. At length, the old gentleman, however reluctanily, gave his consent, and his son set out for Paris.
After his arrival there, he attended the hospitals during a year, and then continued his travels through Italy and Ger
many. After having thus employed seven or eight years, and being greatly improved in his person, learning, and professional skill in both physic and surgery, he returned to England, with a resolution to travel all over it in the character of a mountebank Doctor, which profession was at that time in great esteem both in Germany and Italy.
This, he accordingly began to do, with great success and applause, and having completed his tour in about a year, he at last contrived to arrive at the little town where he had served his time. His long absence had made such an alteration in his person and features that he was under no apprehension of being known, so that assuming the name of the Baron de Retourgnac, and announcing himself as a famous foreign physician, on his travels throughout Europe, he advertised that he purposed remaining some time in Canterbury, and in its vicinity. Accordingly, he began by making a figure with his carriage and servants, and, in a short time, acquired great deputation as well as emolument from a number of cures which he performed.
It so happened, that one day, whilst he was mounted on his stage in this town, attended by his servants, who dealt out his medicines to the numerous purchasers, his old master, Steevens, approached as near as he could, in order to hear this learned Doctor harangue.
As soon as the Doctor saw him, he knew him, and a pleasant fancy that moment striking him, he began to address the attentive spectators as follows :-“ Ladies and gentlemen, it is notorious that the medical practitioners and professors in this country almost entirely neglect the study of those sciences which do not immediately relate to physic; so that they remain unacquainted with many curious facts and observations which tend to elucidate numberless cases in their professional line. These observations are generally known to the most celebrated physicians on the continent, and are of the utmost consequence to thousands of people, who are afflicted with grievous disorders and maladies. When I was at Rome, I learnt of a very eminent Italian professor, a certain arcanum, nostrum, or secret, which for real use and value can scarcely be paralleled in the known world, and which I have often experienced without ever having been deceived; it is an art of such a nature that millions of gold are not to be compared to its intrinsic value, and which, I am bold to say, no one besides myself this day in England has the least knowledge or conception of.
“ You may observe, ladies and gentlemen, that it is a maxin among the learned, that unless the texture or combination