Owing to the silladar system, under which the Indian sowar provided his own horse and provender in return for a monthly wage, the Indian cavalry were almost to a man in debt, and therefore favoured any attempt to upset the existing regime, and with it to wipe out the moneylender and his books; and the general enlistment order passed in July 1856, for the purposes of the war in Persia, made the Hindu sepoys afraid of losing caste by crossing the sea.
That army, like a herd of cattle run wild and trampling underfoot the provender which might have saved it from starvation, disintegrated and perished with each additional day it remained in Moscow.
In 1708 Peter sent Alexius to Smolensk to collect provender and recruits, and thence to Moscow to fortify it against Charles XII.
Elijah emerged from his retirement in the third year, when, the famine having reached its worst, Ahab and his minister Obadiah had themselves to search the land for provender for the royal stables.
They only travel by night; and, staying in congenial places for considerable periods, with unaccustomed abundance of provender, notwithstanding the destructive influences to which they are exposed, they multiply excessively during their journey, having families more numerous and frequent than in their usual homes.