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[[title centered]] KULLAL. 
[[page number centered under title]] (227)

THE use of ardent spirits is very common throughout India, and is of very ancient origin, as may be inferred from the Institutes of Menu, in which regulations for the classes of distillers and vendors of spirits are laid down with much particularity.  Hence we have proof that the distillation of spirits was practised in India more than three thousand years ago, and it would be impossible to trace, with any accuracy, its discovery or invention.  Up to the period of the first Mahomedan invasion by Sooltan Mahmood of Ghuzni, A.D. 1001, the existing Hindoo governments had never, it may be inferred, interfered with distillation of spirits or their sale; but after the establishment of Mahomedan monarchy, the use and sale of spirits was prohibited by several of the most fanatical and bigoted of the kings of Delhi;  distillers were heavily fined, and in some instances cruelly tortured and put to death.  The effect was, however, only temporary, and restricted to a very confined area of the country; and while distillation was practised in secret, the succession of a new monarch enabled the distillers to carry on their trade as before.  Although the use of spirits was forbidden them by the law of the Koran, yet very many of the Mahomedan kings appear to have been hard drinkers, if not habitual drunkards.  The Prince Daniel, son of the great Akbur, was hopelessly abandoned to the use of ardent spirits, and died at Boorhanpoor in 1603 of delirium tremens, after drinking for several days.  Babur, Hoomayoon, Akbur, and other emperors, were decidedly free drinkers, but were good-humoured in the carousals; while, on the other hand, the terrible cruelties and excesses perpetrated by other Indian monarchs under the influence of intoxication, were unhappily too numerous.  Babur, in his own memoirs, admits the free use of wine; but wine as known among ourselves, with the exception of what was brought from Persia, was unknown in India, and spirits, under the same Persian name, took its place.  It is believed that the use of ardent spirits has increased very considerably under the English rule in India ; and if the increase in the excise revenue under this head be a criterion, and there appears to be no