• I. A DISSERTATION on the Origin and Nature of DESPOTISM in HINDOSTAN.
  • II. An ENQUIRY into the STATE of BENGAL; With a Plan for restoring that Kingdom to its former Prosperity and Splendor.






The climate and soil of India,GOVERNMENT derives its form from acci­dent; its spirit and genius from the inherent man­ners of the people. The languor occasioned by the hot climate of India, inclines the native to indolence and ease; and he thinks the evils of despotism less severe than the labour of being free. Tranquillity is the chief object of his desires. His happiness consists in a mere absence of misery; and oppression must degenerate into a folly, which defeats its own ends before he calls it by the name of injustice. These phlegmatic sentiments the Indian [Page viii] carries into his future state. He thinks it a mode of be­ing, in which passion is lost, and every faculty of the soul suspended, except the consciousness of existence.

favourable to despotism.Other motives of passive obedience join issue with the love of ease. The sun, which enervates his body, pro­duces for him, in a manner spontaneously, the various fruits of the earth. He finds subsistence without much toil; he requires little covering but the shade. The chill blast of winter is unknown; the seasons are only marked by an arbitrary number of nights and days. Property being in some measure unnecessary, becomes of little value; and men submit, without resistance, to vio­lations of right, which may hurt but cannot destroy them. Their religious institutions incline them to peace and submission. The vulgar live with the austerity of philosophers, as well as with the abstinence of devotees. Averse themselves to the commission of crimes, they re­sent no injuries from others; and their low diet cools their temper to a degree which passion cannot inflame.

Encourage conquest.The fertility of the soil, which in other kingdoms constitutes the great prosperity of the natives, was a source of misfortune to the Indians. Notwithstanding their abstinence and indolence, they were in some degree industrious, and, in want of but few things themselves, [Page ix] their own arts, and the natural productions of their country, rendered them opulent. Wealth accumulated, in the progress of time, upon their hands; and they became objects of depredation to the fierce nations of the northern Asia. The facility of incursion, among a peaceable and harmless race of men, encouraged con­quest. The victors, instead of carrying the spoil into their native country, sat down where it had been found; and added the ministration of the conquered to the other enjoyments of wealth.

Asia always the seat of slavery.Asia, the seat of the greatest empires, has been al­ways the nurse of the most abject slaves. The moun­tains of Persia have not been able to stop the progress of the tide of despotism; neither has it been frozen in its course through the plains of the northern Tartary, by the chill air of the North. But though despotism go­verns Asia, it appears in different countries under va­rious forms. The Arabs of the desart alone possess liberty, on account of the sterility of their soil. Inde­pendent of revolution and change, they see, with un­concern, empires falling and rising around. They re­main unconquered by arms, by luxury, by corruption; they alter not their language, they adhere to their customs and manners, they retain their dress. Their whole property consists of flocks and herds, of their [Page x] tents and arms. They annually make a small and vo­luntary present to the chief of their blood. They revolt against oppression; and they are free by necessity, which they mistake for choice. When men are obliged to wander for subsistance, despotism knows not where to find its slaves.

Nature of the TartarThe Tartar, though a wanderer like the Arab, was never equally free. A violent aristocracy always pre­vailed in the country of the former, except in a few short periods, when the fortune of one established a transient despotism over the whole. There man is armed against man, chief against chief, and tribe against tribe. War is no longer a particular profession, but the constant occupation of all. Men are more afraid of men in the solitudes of Tartary, than of beasts of prey. The traveller moves with great circumspection, and hears an enemy in every blast of wind. When he sees a tract in the sand, he crosses it, and begins to draw his sword. Though the barrenness of the country has pre­vented the growth or introduction of luxury, avarice prevails, and he that has the least to lose is the most independent, where life is invariably risqued for a tri­fling spoil. Robbery acquires the more honourable name of Conquest; and the assassin is dignified with the title of Warrior.

[Page xi] and Afgan aristoeracies.In the mountains which separate Persia from India, the nature and face of the country have formed a dif­ferent species of society. Every valley contains a com­munity subject to a prince, whose despotism is tempered, by an idea established among his people, that he is the chief of their blood, as well as their sovereign. They obey him without reluctance, as they derive credit to their family from his greatness. They attend him in his wars, with the attachment which children have for a parent; and his government, though severe, partakes more of the rigid discipline of a general, than of the caprice of a despot. Rude as the face of their country, and fierce and wild as the storms which cover their mountains, they love incursion and depredation, and delight in plunder and in battle. United firmly to their friends in war, to their enemies faithless and cruel. They place justice in force, and conceal treachery under the name of address. Such are the Afgans or Patans, who conquered India and held it for ages.

Despotism of the Patans differentThe despotism which the Patans established in their conquests, partook of the violence of their national cha­racter at home. Their government was oppressive through pride, and tyrannical from passion rather than from avarice. Reinforced by successive migrations from the mountains of Afganistân, they retained their native [Page xii] spirit in the midst of the luxuries of India. When the monarch became voluptuous and degenerate, they sup­plied his place with some hardy chieftain from the north, who communicated his own vigour to the great machine of the state. The empire was supported by a succession of abilities, rather than by an hereditary succession of princes; and it was the countrymen, and not the poste­rity of the first conquerors, who continued the domi­nion of the Patâns over India.

from that of the Moguls.The conquest of India by the family of Timur, pro­ceeded from the abilities of one man, and not from the effort of a nation. Baber himself was a stranger in the country in which he reigned, before he penetrated be­yond the Indus. His troops consisted of soldiers of for­tune, from various countries; his officers were men who owed their rank to merit, not to succession. The religion of Mahommed, which they in common pro­fessed, and their obedience to one leader, were the only ties which united the conquerors upon their arrival; and they were soon dissipated in the extensive dominions which their arms subdued. The character of the prince went down on the current of government; and the mild disposition of his successors contributed to confirm the humane despotism which he had introduced into his conquests.

[Page xiii] Cause of that difference,A continued influx of strangers from the northern Asia, became necessary for the support of princes who professed a different faith with their subjects, in the vast empire of India. The army was recruited with soldiers from different nations; the court was occupied by nobles from various kingdoms. The latter were fol­lowers of the Mahommedan religion. In the regula­tions and spirit of the Coran, they lost their primary and characteristical ideas upon government; and the whole system was formed and enlivened by the limited principles which Mahommed promulgated in the de­sarts of Arabia.

from their religion.The faith of Mahommed is peculiarly calculated for despotism; and it is one of the greatest causes which must fix for ever the duration of that species of govern­ment in the East. The legislator furnishes a proof of this position in his own conduct. He derived his suc­cess from the sword, more than from his eloquence and address. The tyranny which he established was of the most extensive kind. He enslaved the mind as well as the body. The abrupt argument of the sword brought conviction, when persuasion and delusion failed. He ef­fected a revolution and change in the human mind, as well as in states and empires; and the ambitious will continue to supp [...] a system which lays its soundation [Page xiv] on the passive obedience of those whom Fortune has once placed beneath their power.

DespotismThe unlimited power which Mahommedanism gives to every man in his own family, habituates mankind to slavery. Every child is taught, from his infancy, to look upon his father as the absolute disposer of life and death. The number of wives and concubines which the more wealthy and powerful entertain, is a cause of animosity and quarrel, which nothing but a severe and unaccount­able power in the master of a family can repress. This private species of despotism is, in miniature, the counter­part of what prevails in the state; and it has the same effect, in reducing all the passions under the dominion of fear. Jealousy itself, that most violent of the feelings of the soul, is curbed within the walls of the haram. The women may pine in secret, but they must clothe their features with cheerfulness when their lord appears. Contumacy is productive of immediate punishment. They are degraded, divorced, chastised, and even some­times put to death, according to the degree of their crime or obstinacy, or the wrath of the offended hus­band. No enquiry is made concerning their fate. Their friends may murmur; but the laws provide no redress; for no appeals to public justice issue forth from the ha­ram.

[Page xv] of the masters of families.Young men, with their minds moulded to subjection, become themselves masters of families in the course of time. Their power being confined within their own walls, they exercise in private, that despotism which they in public dread. But though they are freed from do­mestic tyranny, they still continue slaves. Governors, magistrates, and inferior officers, invested with the power of the principal despot, whose will is law to the empire, exercise their authority with rigour. The idea of passive obedience is carried through every vein of the state. The machine connected in all its parts, by arbi­trary sway, is moved by the active spirit of the prince; and the lenity or oppressiveness of government, in all its departments depends upon the natural disposition of his mind.

Law of com­pensation for murder.The law of compensation for murder, authorised by the Coran, is attended with pernicious effects. It de­presses the spirit of the poor; and encourages the rich in the unmanly passion of revenge. The price of blood in India is not the third part of the value of a horse. The innate principles of justice and humanity are weakened, by these means; security is taken from society, as rage may frequently get the better of the love of money. A religion which indulges individuals in a crime, at which the rest of mankind shudder, leaves ample room for the [Page xvi] cruelty of a prince. Accustomed to sit in judgment on criminals, he becomes habituated to death. He mistakes passion for justice. His nod is condemnation; men are dragged to execution, with an abruptness which prevents fear. The incident has no consequence, but to impress terror on the guilty or suspected; and the spectators scarcely heed a circumstance, which its frequency has made them to expect.

Bathing.The frequent bathing inculcated by the Coran, has, by debilitating the body, a great effect on the mind. Habit makes the warm bath a luxury of a bewitching kind. The women spend whole days in water; and hasten by it the approach of age. The indolence of the men, which induces them to follow every mode of pla­cid pleasure, recommends to them a practice which Ma­hommed has made a tenet of religion. The prohibition of wine is also favourable to despotism. It prevents that free communication of sentiment which awakens man­kind from a torpid indifference to their natural rights. They become cold, timid, cautious, reserved and inte­rested; strangers to those warm passions, and that cheer­ful elevation of mind, which render men in some mea­sure honest and sincere. In the East, there are no pub­lic places of meeting, no communications of sentiments, no introduction to private friendship. A fullenness, and [Page xvii] a love of retirement prevail, which disunite mankind; and as all associations among men are prevented, the hands of government are strengthened by the very virtue of temperance.

Predestina­tion.The doctrine of a rigid fate, or absolute predestina­tion, which forms one of the principal tenets of the Ma­hommedan religion, has a great influence on the charac­ter and manners of men. When this opinion is adopt­ed as an article of faith, the necessity of precaution is in­culcated in vain. The fatalist begins an action because human nature is incapable of absolute idleness; but when a love of repose invites him, when an obstacle arises before him to thwart his designs, he has [...]o motive for perseverance. He waits for another day, perhaps for another month: he at last trusts the whole to Provi­dence, and makes God the agent in his very crimes. Miscarriage can be no disgrace where success depends not on abilities; and the general who loses a battle through his own pusillanimity, lays the blame upon Providence.

Polygamy.The extensive polygamy permitted by the law of Ma­hommed, has a fatal effect on the minds of his follow­ers; but it has its advantages as well as its defects. The peculiar nature of the climate subjects women to dis­eases, [Page xviii] and hurries them forward in a few years to age. One man retains his vigour beyond the common suc­cession of three women through their prime; and the law for a multiplicity of wives is necessary for the sup­port of the human race. But the custom weakens pa­ternal affection; for as a husband cannot equally divide his regard among many women, the children of the fa­vourite will be preferred. Even these will not be much beloved. The loss of a child is no misfortune; and the care of preserving it is lessened, by the opportunity which the number of his women furnishes to the father for begetting more. The child himself is no stranger to this indifference; and he fails in proportion in his duty. Besides, the jealousy between mothers in the haram grows into hatred among their sons. The af­fection between brothers is annihilated at home; and when they issue forth into the world, they carry their animosities into all the various transactions of life.

Concealment of women.These religious tenets, which are so favourable to despotism, are accompanied with singular opinions and customs, which are absolute enemies to freedom and in­dependence. The concealment of their women is sa­cred among the Mahommedans. Brothers cannot visit them in private; strangers must never see them. This excessive jealousy is derived from various causes. It [Page xix] proceeds from religion, which inculcates female mo­desty; it arises partly from the policy of government; it is derived from the nature of the climate, where con­tinence is a more arduous virtue than in the bleak re­gions of the north. Honour consists in that which men are most solicitous to secure. The chastity of his wives is a point, without which the Asiatic must not live. The despot encourages the opinion; as the pos­session of the women of his most powerful subjects is a sufficient pledge for their faith, when absent in expedi­tion and war.

Its effectWhen the governor of a province falls under the sus­picion of disaffection for his prince, the first step taken against him, is an order issued for sending his women to court. Even one of his wives, and she too not the best beloved, will bind him to his allegiance. His obedi­ence to this mandate is the true test of his designs. If he instantly obeys, all suspicions vanish; if he hesitates a moment, he is declared a rebel. His affection for the woman is not the pledge of his fidelity; but his honour is, in her person, in the custody of his sove­reign. Women are so sacred in India, that even the common soldiery leave them unmolested in the midst of slaughter and devastation. The haram is a sanctua­ry against all the licentiousness of victory; and ruf­fians, [Page xx] covered with the blood of a husband, shrink back with confusion from the secret apartments of his wives.

on their manners.In the silence which attends despotism, every thing is dark and solemn. Justice itself is executed with pri­vacy; and sometimes a solitary gun, fired at midnight from the palace of the despot, proclaims the work of death. Men indulge themselves under the veil of se­crecy; and rejoice in their good fortune, when their pleasures can escape the eye of their prince. Volup­tuousness is, therefore, preferred to luxury. The en­joyment of the company of women is the chief object of life among the great; and when they retire into the sanctuary of the haram, they forget, in a variety of charms, their precarious situation in the state. The necessary privacy enhances the indulgence; and the ex­treme sensibility, perhaps, peculiar to the natives of a hot climate, carries pleasure to an excess which unmans the mind. Men are possessed of something which they are afraid to lose; and despotism, which is founded on the principles of fear and indolence, derives stability and permanency from the defects and vices of its slaves.

ReflectionsThe seeds of despotism, which the nature of the cli­mate and fertility of the soil had sown in India, were, [Page xxi] as has been observed, reared to perfect growth by the Mahommedan faith. When a people have been long subjected to arbitrary power, their return to liberty is arduous and almost impossible. Slavery, by the strength of custom, is blended with human nature; and that undefined something, called Public Virtue, exists no more. The subject never thinks of reformation; and the prince, who only has it in his power, will intro­duce no innovations to abridge his own authority. Were even the despot possessed of the enthusiasm of public spirit, the people would revolt against the intro­duction of freedom; and revert to that form of govern­ment, which takes the trouble of regulation from their hands.

on the natureThe simplicity of despotism recommends it to an in­dolent and ignorant race of men. Its obvious impar­tiality, its prompt justice, its immediate severity against crimes, dazzle the eyes of the superficial, and raise in their minds a veneration little short of idolatry for their prince. When he is active and determined in his mea­sures, the great machine moves with a velocity which throws vigour into the very extremities of the empire. His violence, and even his caprices, are virtues, where the waters must be always agitated to preserve their freshness; and indolence and irresolution can be his [Page xxii] only ruinous vices. The first indeed may injure the state; but by the latter it must be undone. A severe prince, by his jealousy of his own authority, prevents the tyranny of others; and, though fierce and arbitrary in himself, the subject derives a benefit from his being the sole despot. His rage falls heavy on the dignified slaves of his presence; but the people escape his fury in their distance from his hand.

of despotism.The despotic form of government is not, however, so terrible in its nature, as men born in free countries are apt to imagine. Though no civil regulation can bind the prince, there is one great law, the ideas of mankind with regard to right and wrong, by which he is bound. When he becomes an assassin, he teaches others to use the dagger against himself; and wanton acts of injustice, often repeated, destroy by degrees that opinion which is the sole soundation of his power. In the indifference of his subjects for his person and government, he becomes liable to the conspiracies of courtiers, and the ambitious schemes of his relations. He may have many slaves, but he can have no friends. His person is exposed to injury. A certainty of impunity may arm even cowards against him; and thus, by his excessive ardour for power, he with his authority loses his life.

[Page xxiii] Mild under Baber.Despotism appears in its most engaging form, under the Imperial house of Timur. The uncommon abilities of most of the princes, with the mild and humane cha­racter of all, rendered Hindostan the most flourishing empire in the world during two complete centuries. The manly and generous temper of Baber permitted not oppression to attend the victories of his sword. He came with an intention to govern the nations whom he subdued; and selfish motives joined issue with humani­ty in not only sparing, but protecting the vanquished. His invasion was no abrupt incursion for plunder; and he thought the usual income of the crown a sufficient reward for his toil. His nobles were gratified with the emoluments of government; and, from disposition, an enemy to useless pomp and grandeur, he chose that his treasury should be gradually filled with the surplus of the revenue, than with the property of individuals, whom the fortune of war had placed beneath his power. Awed by his high character, the companions of his victories carried his mildness and strict equity through all the de­partments of government. The tyranny of the family of Lodi was forgotten; and the arts, which had been sup­pressed by a violent despotism, began to rear their heads, under the temperate dominion of Baber.

[Page xxiv] Humaioon.Humaioon, though not equal in abilities to his father, carried all his mild virtues into the throne. He was vigi­lant and activein the administration of justice, he se­cured property by his edicts; and, an enemy to rapacity himself, he punished the oppressive avarice of his depu­ties in the provinces. The troubles which disturbed his reign were the effect of the ambition of others; and his expulsion from the throne was less a misfortune to him than to his subjects. When he returned with victory, he left the mean passion of revenge behind. He punish­ed not his people for his own disasters; he seemed to forget the past, in the prospect of doing future good. The nations of India felt, by the benefit received from his presence, how much they had lost by his absence. Though worn out under a succession of tyrants, during his exile, Hindostan began to revive when he re-mount­ed the throne. His sudden and unexpected death por­tended a storm, which was dissipated by the splendid abilities and virtues of his son.

Akbar.Akbar was possessed of Baber's intrepidity in war, of Humaioon's mildness in peace. Bold, manly, and en­terprizing, he was an enemy to oppression; and he hated cruelty, as he was a stranger to fear. In the more splen­did business of the field, he forgot not the arts of peace. [Page xxv] He established, by edict, the right of the subject to trans­fer his property without the consent of the crown, and by ordering a register of the fixed rents of the lands to be kept in the courts of justice in every district, he took from his officers the power of oppressing the people. Severe in his justice, he never forgave extortion. He promoted just complaints against the servants of the crown, by various proclamations. He encouraged trade, by an exemption of duties through the interior provinces; and by the invariable protection given to merchants of all nations. He regarded neither the religious opinions nor the countries of men: all who entered his dominions were his subjects, and they had a right to his justice. He issued an edict which was afterwards revived by Au­rungzêbe, that the rents should not be increased upon those who improved their lands, which wise regulation encouraged industry, and became a source of wealth to the state.

Jehangire.Jehangire, though unfit for the field, trod in his fa­ther's path in regulating the civil affairs of the state. Impressed with a high sense of the abilities of Akbar, he continued all his edicts in force; and he was the in­variable protector of the people against the rapacity and tyranny of his own officers. In his administration of justice, he was scrupulous, severe, and exact; and if he [Page xxvi] at any time gave a wrong decision, it proceeded from a weakness rather than from a vice of the mind.

Shaw Jehân.His son, Shaw Jehân, was possessed of better parts, and was more attentive than Jehangire to the business of the subject. He was minutely acquainted with the state of the empire, and being free from that caprice and whim which threw a kind of disgrace on the authority of his father, he rendered his people happy by the gravity, justice, and solemnity of his decisions. The empire flourished under his upright and able administration. Oppression was unknown from the officers of the crown, on account of the vigilance of the emperor; and the strict impartiality which he established in the courts of justice, diminished injuries between man and man.

Aurungzêbe.Aurungzêbe, to whom business was amusement, add­ed the most extensive knowledge of the affairs of the empire, to an unremitting application. He made him­self minutely acquainted with the revenue paid by eve­ry district, with the mode of proceeding in the inferior courts, and even with the character and disposition of the several judges. He ordered the register of the rents to be left open for the inspection of all, that the people might distinguish extortion from the just demands of the crown. He commanded, that men versed in the usages [Page xxvii] of the several courts, in the precepts of the Coran, and in the regulations established by edicts, should attend at the public expence, and give their opinion to the poor in matters of litigation. He established a mode of ap­peal beyond certain sums; and he disgraced judges for an error in judgment, and punished them severely for corruption and partiality. His activity kept the great machine of government in motion through all its mem­bers: his penetrating eye followed oppression to its most secret retreats, and his stern justice established tranquil­lity, and secured property over all his extensive domi­nions.

State of land­edWhen Baber, at the head of his army, took possession of the dominions of the Imperial family of Lodi, he con­tinued to the crown the property of all the lands, These being annually rented out to the subject, furnish­ed those immense revenues which supported the une­qualled splendor of his successors in the throne. The property of individuals consisted, at first, of moveables and money only; and the officers of the crown could not even dispose of these by will, without the written consent of the prince. Time, however, wrought a change in things. The posterity of Baber alienated, sor particular services, estates from the crown in perpetuity; and these descended in succession by will, or if the pro­prietor [Page xxviii] died intestate, by an equal division to his chil­dren, according to the law of the Coran. This kind of property was also transferable by sale; and it has been judged, that one third part of the empire was given away by this species of grants from the crown.

property.These grants, however, were not always a sufficient security against the violence of the crown. Some of the emperors found themselves obliged to resume many estates by an edict; and it must be confessed, that poli­tical necessity justified the measure. Princes who con­tended for the empire were lavish in their donations; and, had not an act of resumption sometimes taken place, the revenue of the crown would, in process of time, have been annihilated. There was, however, a kind of equivalent given to the proprietors; a pension was settled upon themselves, and their children were re­ceived into the service of the government. The wealth of the officers of the crown is, after their death, consi­dered as Imperial property; but unless it is immense, it is never appropriated by the prince; and even in that case a proper provision is made for the children, and they have, by an established custom, a right to be em­ployed in some of the departments of the state. The women of the dec [...]sed receive annual pensions accord­ing [Page xxix] to their rank; and they may either live in widow­hood, or make new alliances by marriage.

Of titles of honour.The Mogul system of government admits of no here­ditary honours. Every man must owe his preferment and rank to himself, and to the favour of his prince. High birth, however, was respected; and, to a person of abilities, it was a great recommendation at the court of princes proud of their own noble origin. The ranks and degrees of nobility were for the most part offi­cial, excepting those of the military kind. Judges, men of letters, and eminent merchants, have been frequently dignified with titles, and admitted into the circle of the principal nobles in the Imperial presence. The nobles consisted of three orders. The EMIRS, who were the first officers of state, and the viceroys of provinces; the CHANS, who held high posts in the army; and the BA­HADURS, who may in some measure be compared to our knights. The number of which these three orders con­sisted was arbitrary, and each of them had peculiar pri­vileges in the empire, and a demand on the respect of the undignified part of the subjects.

Form ofThe course of justice ran through the same grada­tions, which the general reason of mankind seems to have established in all countries subject to regular govern­ments. [Page xxx] The provinces were divided into districts; in each of which a judge, appointed by the emperor, decid­ed in criminal as well as civil affairs. He pronounced judgment on capital offences, but his sentence was never put in execution without the consent and warrant of the governor of the province. In disputes concerning property, there lay an appeal to the supreme court, in which the viceroy presided in person. Every province was, in miniature, a copy of the empire. Three princi­pal judges, with high titles of dignity, sat, with many assessors, in the capital. They not only decided upon appeals, but suits might originate before them. The emperor himself, in the presence of his nobles, presided almost every day in this court, which generally sat for two hours in the hall of public justice.

justice.When the matter appeared clear, the prince, without much hesitation, pronounced judgment; when it was doubtful, witnesses were examined, and the opinion of the judges asked on the point of law. Should the suit appear intricate, it was referred to the judgment of the court in their own common hall; but the subject might appeal from their decision to the emperor and his assessors in the chamber of audience. These courts, both when the monarch was present and when he was absent, were lest open to the people. No judgment was ever pro­nounced [Page xxxi] secretly, except when the power of the delin­quent rendered a public trial dangerous to the state.

Council of state.The great officers of state, by a kind of prescription, formed a council which answers to our cabinet. The emperor asked their advice upon affairs of moment; he heard their sentiments, but nothing came ever to a vote. They were his advisers, but they had no controul on his power. He frequently called to this council men in inferior departments; and when the deliberation con­cerned any particular province, the nobles best acquaint­ed with that part of the empire, were admitted into the cabinet. The offences of the first rank of nobility came under the cognizance of this council, as well as other matters of state. They were a kind of jury, who found the matters of fact, and the sovereign pronounced the sentence. He might, by his despotic power, issue out a warrant of death without their advice; but the known opinions of mankind on that subject bound him like a law.

ReflectionsTo these great lines of the government of the Moguls, some reflections may be joined. Conquests made by incursion, rather than by war, must be retained by vio­lence. The sword, which obtained the empire, support­ed it under the house of Timur. Their subjects obeyed [Page xxxii] them from necessity more than from choice; and the lenity of their administration arose more from the mild­ness of their disposition, than from the spirit of their re­gulations. The despotic principles of the Tartars, in­grafted upon the Mahommedan tenets of religion, led to force; and seemed to recognize no obedience but that which proceeded from fear. This circumstance obliged the despot to invest his deputies in the provinces with a great part of his power; and when they left his capital, they only did not absolutely rise from subjects into princes.

on the com­municationThis communication of power, though in some mea­sure necessary to command the people, became dangerous to the prince. The Imperial deputies began to lose their allegiance in proportion to their distance from the throne. The governors became, in some measure, independent, though they professed obedience to the Imperial edicts. A certain portion of the revenue was remitted to court; and the deputy, in a venal court, found frequently means to retain the favour of his prince, when he disobeyed his commands. Every idea of loyalty was, towards the decline of the empire, destroyed among the people of the distant provinces. They heard of an emperor, as the superstitious hear of a guardian angel, whom they never behold. An indifference for his fate succeeded to his want of power. A peasant, at the end of many months, was informed of a revolution [Page xxxiii] at Delhi. He stopt not his oxen, nor converted the plow-share into a sword. He whistled unconcerned along his field; and enquired not, perhaps, concerning the name of the new prince.

of power.Notwithstanding this indifference in the inferior sort, the emperor every day extended symptoms of his superior power to the very extremities of his empire. His edicts were transmitted to every district; they were publicly read, and registered in the courts of justice. They became a security to the people against the impositions of the go­vernor. An appeal lay from his decisions, by a petition to the emperor in the hall of audience. This doctrine was inculcated by the edicts; and some of the op­pressed took advantage of the promise of justice which they contained. Their petitions, whenever they found access to the throne, were heard with the attention which a jealous prince pays to his own power; and there are many instances in which the governors of pro­vinces have been severely punished for an act of injustice to a poor peasant. Never to forgive oppressions against the helpless and low, was an established maxim among all the princes of the house of Timur.

On the rules ofThe power of disposing of the succession naturally be­longs to a despot. During his life, his pleasure is the [Page xxxiv] law. When he dies his authority ceases; but the strength of custom has made his will, in favour of any of his sons, a superior title to primogeniture. The power is, in some measure, necessary. A prince having an in­dependent right of succession to the throne, might be very troublesome to his father in an empire established on the principles which we have described. The weight which he might derive from his hopes, would clog the wheels of government, which, under a system of des­potism, can admit of no delays, no obstructions, no di­vided or limited power. Personal abilities, under such a system, are more necessary than under established laws. A weak prince brings more calamities than a ci­vil war. A minority is dreadful; and it can scarce ex­ist, where the voice of the prince is the living law, which moves the whole machine of the state.

succession to the throne.Necessity frequently excuses, in the eyes of mankind, the worst of crimes. A prince of abilities, who mounts a throne in the East by the exclusion of an elder brother, escapes the detestation of his subjects from the good which they hope to derive from his superior parts. Even fratricide loses its name in self-preservation, combined with the public good. The greatness of the crime is colipsed by the greatness of the object. Success is a di­vine decision; and the state gives up the lives of the un­happy [Page xxxv] sufferers, as a sacrifice to its own repose. To be born a prince, is therefore a misfortune of the worst and most embarrassing kind. He must die by clemency, or wade through the blood of his family to safety and em­pire.

MildnessThe Hindoos, or the followers of the Brahmin faith, are in number far superior to the Mahommedans in Hin­dostan. The system of religion which they profess, is only perfectly known in the effect which it has upon the manners of the people. Mild, humane, obedient, and industrious, they are of all nations on earth the most easily conquered and governed. Their government, like that of all the inhabitants of Asia, is despotic; it is, in such a manner, tempered by the virtuous prin­ciples inculcated by their religion, that it seems mild­er than the most limited monarchy in Europe. Some of the reigning princes trace their families, with clear­ness, above four thousand years; many of them, in a dubious manner, from the dark period which we place beyond the flood. Revolution and change are things unknown; and assassinations and conspiracies never exist.

of thePenal laws are scarce known among the Hindoos; for their motives to bad actions are sew. Temperate in [Page xxxvi] their living, and delicate in their constitutions, their pas­sions are calm, and they have no object but that of liv­ing with comfort and ease. Timid and submissive, from the coldness of a vegetable diet, they have a natural ab­horrence to blood. Industrious and frugal, they possess wealth which they never use. Those countries, governed by native princes, which lay beyond the devastations of the Mahommedans, are rich, and cultivated to the high­est degree. Their governors encourage industry and commerce; and it is to the ingenuity of the Hindoos, we owe all the fine manufactures in the East. During the empire of the Moguls, the trade of India was carried on by the followers of Brahma. The bankers, scribes, and managers of finance were native Hindoos, and the wisest princes of the family of Timur protected and en­couraged such peaceable and useful subjects.

Hindoo go­vernment.The nation of the Mahrattors, though chiefly com­posed of Rajaputs, or that tribe of Indians whose chief business is war, retain the mildness of their countrymen in their domestic government. When their armies car­ry destruction and death into the territories of Mahom­medans, all is quiet, happy, and regular at home. No robbery is to be dreaded, no imposition or obstruction from the officers of government, no protection necessa­ry but the shade. To be a stranger is a sufficient secu­rity. [Page xxxvii] Provisions are furnished by hospitality; and when a peasant is asked for water, he runs with great alacrity, and fetches milk. This is no ideal picture of happiness. The Author of the Differtation, who travelled lately into the country of the Mahrattors, avers, from experience, the truth of his observations. But the Mahrattors, who have been represented as barbarians, are a great and rising people, subject to a regular government, the prin­ciples of which are founded on virtue.

AN ENQUIRY INTO THE STATE OF BENGAL: WITH A Plan for restoring that Province to its former Prosperity and Splendor.


Preliminary Observations.

Reflections.THE affairs of India, though long of great im­portance to this kingdom, have only very lately become objects of public attention. Facts coming from afar made little impression: their novelty could not rouze, nor their variety amuse the mind. With a self-denial uncommon in a spirited nation, we heard, without emotion, of the great actions of some of our countrymen; and, if we listened to any detail of oppres­sions [Page xl] committed by others, it was with a phlegmatic indifference, unworthy of our boasted humanity. A general distaste for the subject prevailed; an age, marked with revolution and change, seemed ready to pass away, without being sensible of events which will render it important in the eyes of posterity.

Design of the author.The current of public opinion has, at length, taken another direction. Men are rouzed into attention, with regard to a subject which concerns the welfare of the state. They begin to decide, in their own minds, upon affairs which stand in need of the interposition of the nation; and they shew an inclination to be informed, as well as a willingness to correct mistakes and to redress grievances. This consideration has induced the author of the following observations, to submit them, with all due deference, to the public. He has been, for years, a silent spectator of the transactions of the British na­tion in the East; and it is, from the means of informa­tion which he has possessed, that he hopes to give something new to the world. With hands guiltless of rapine and depredation, he assumes the pen without prejudice, and he will use it with all decent freedom without fear.

A brief ac­countThe empire of the Hindoos over all India, came down from the darkest and most remote antiquity, [Page xli] to the 170th year before the Christian aera, when it was dissolved by civil discord and war. Bengal, like many other provinces, started up into an independent king­dom, and was governed by successive dynasties of Rajas, who chiefly resided at the now deserted capital of Ghor. Under these princes, it continued a powerful and opu­lent kingdom, to the beginning of the thirteenth cen­tury, when it was first invaded by the Mahommedans, under a prince of the race of Chillagi, who possessed the countries near the source of the Oxus. The name of this Tartar invader was Eas-ul-dien; but he was soon after reduced to subjection by Altumsh, the Patan em­peror of Delhi, who formed Bengal into a province, governed by a lieutenant, who derived his authority from the conqueror.

of the various revolutionsBengal, during the dominion of the Patans in India, was frequently subject to revolution and change. When a prince of abilities sat on the throne of Delhi, it held of the empire; when the emperor was weak, it became an independent sovereignty under its governor. When the valour and conduct of Baber put an end to the government of the Patans at Delhi, some of that race remained untouched in Bengal. The misfortunes of Humaioon, in the beginning of his reign, not only prevented him from extending the conquests of his sather, but deprived him even of the throne which Baber [Page xlii] had acquired; and death followed too soon, upon his re­turn, to permit him to reduce the wealthy kingdom of Bengal by his arms. The glory of this conquest was reserved for his son, the illustrious Akbar, who, by the expulsion of Daoôd, the last king of Bengal of the Patan race, annexed it in the year 1574 to his empire. Viceroys from Delhi governed the kingdom, from that period, till the debility of Mahommed Shaw gave scope to the usurpation of Aliverdi; and now, by a wonder­ful revolution of sortune, the sovereigns of that distant province are created by the deputies of the East India company.

of Bengal.To give an enlarged idea of the subject, it may not be improper to enquire into the mode of government, which the Moguls established in the important province of Bengal. To impose nothing merely speculative upon the public, the Writer of the Dissertation has en­deavoured to derive his information from undoubted authority. He has, therefore, translated and annexed to his work, the commissions granted by the court of Delhi to its principal officers in the provinces: From which it will appear, that the despotism of the house of Timur was circumscribed by established forms and re­gulations, which greatly tempered the rigid severity of that form of government.

Various Tenures under the Moguls.

Policy of the Moguls.THE Mogul Tartars, when they conquered India, carried a system of necessary policy through the countries which their arms had subdued. Instead of seizing the lands of the vanquished, they con­firmed them in their possessions. The number of the conquerors bearing no proportion to the conquered, self-preservation obliged the first to adhere together, and to hold the sword in their hands. Had they attempted to settle in different provinces, they would have soon ceased to be a people; and their power would have been broken by separation. They retained, therefore, their military character; and, when they reduced a province, they made the taxes paid to former princes, the invariable rule of their imposts. The people changed their lords, but if their government suffered any change, it was in the substitution of a milder despotism, in the place of the fierce tyranny of the Patans.

Tributary Rajas.Many of the Rajas, or indigenous Indian princes, had, from the first establishment of the Mahommedans in India, been permitted to retain a great part of their ancient possessions, which they continued to govern by their own laws, without any appeal from their jurisdic­tion [Page xliv] to the courts of justice established by Imperial commissions. The only mark of homage paid by the Rajas, was a certain annual tribute. The house of Timur, no less remarkable for their prudence than for their clemency and justice, never encroached upon the privileges of the tributary princes. They found, that though the Rajas paid not to the crown above half the sum raised upon the subject, their policy, industry, and good government, were so much superior to those of the Moguls, that the countries which they possessed, yielded as much in proportion to their ex­tent, as those which they had farmed out to Zemin­dars of their own nation and faith. In the two provinces which the British nation now possess, and which, for the future, we will distinguish by the general name of Ben­gal, many districts of greater extent than any county in Britain, are still possessed by the aboriginal Rajas. But we are more rigid than the Moguls: we have encroached on their privileges, and annihilated their power. Dur­ing the domination of the house of Timur, one fourth of Bengal was subject to these hereditary lords.

Mahomme­dan Zemin­dars.The division of the province which was more im­mediately under the Mahommedan government, was parcelled out into extensive districts, called Chucklas, resembling, in some measure, our counties, into lesser [Page xlv] divisions, like our ancient tithings. These were lett to Zemindars, or farmers of the Imperial rents, who some­times possessed a whole district, or Chuckla; as the Zemin­dar of Purnea, who assumed the style and state of a Nabob, though only a farmer of the revenue, under the unfortunate Surage-ul-Dowla. The court of Delhi, under the best princes, was venal. A sum of money, secretly and properly applied, osten secured the posses­sion of his office to the Zemindar during life; and he even was sometimes enabled to transmit it to his heirs, till, by length of time, they were, in some measure, considered as lords of their respective districts.

Their powerThe farmers, however, had no lease from the crown of the lands over which they presided. Their authority for collecting the rents from the inferior tenants, was derived from a written agreement, for a certain annual sum to be paid to the treasury, exclusive of the Imperial taxes. To prevent imposition on the poorer sort, in every district there was established a register, in which the rents and imposts upon every village and farm were entered, and open to the inspection of all. The regi­stered rents and imposts were collected by the Crorie of the district, who was established in his office by an Imperial commission. He was accountable for the whole, even to the last Dâm, as the commission ex­presses it, to the Fotadâr or treasurer of the district, who [Page xlvi] paid them into the hands of the Dewan, or receiver-general of the Imperial revenues in the province.

restrictedThe rights or dues of the Dewanny, or the reve­nue paid to the crown, did not amount to above half the sum raised upon the subject by the great farmers. These were, from time to time, permitted to raise the rents upon the inferior tenants, in proportion to the general improvement of the lands. The surplus, which was known to government from the public re­gisters of the districts, was, in part, allowed to the gene­ral sarmers, for the purpose of building houses for the husbandmen, for furnishing them with implements of agriculture, for embanking to prevent inundations, for making reservoirs of water for the dry season; and, in general, for all expences attending the improvement and cultivation of the lands; which otherwise would have rendered the accounts of government intricate and perplexed.

by the crown.The great farmers, however, were not permitted to oppress the tenants with exorbitant rents; neither was it their interest to extort from the husbandmen sums which would render them incapable of cultivating their lands, and of living comfortably upon the fruits of their toil. In the Imperial officers of the revenue, the poor [Page xlvii] had friends, and the Zemindar spies upon his conduct. They were such checks upon him, that he could con­ceal nothing from their observation. They transmitted monthly accounts of his transactions to court. If the tenants were able, without oppression, to pay the ad­ditional rent, the demands of the crown rose at the ex­piration of the year upon the farmer, in proportion to the new impost; if they were found incapable of bear­ing the burden, the Zemindar was turned out of his office for his avarice and imprudence.

A double revenue.A double revenue, it appears from what has been already observed, rose to the crown from the lands; the ancient rent, established at the conquest of India by the Moguls, and the sums which proceeded from the an­nual contracts with the great farmers. The viceroy of the province was vested with the power of letting the lands; and he was obliged to transmit to the receiver-general a record of the sums payable by each Zemindar. The cause of this mode of raising the revenue is ob­vious. The detail of accounts, the making of con­tracts with the inferior tenants, would have rendered the business of government too minute and too expen­sive; and to have permitted the general farmers to manage their districts without either check or controul, would have given birth to scenes of oppression, [Page xlviii] which Fate had reserved for an unfortunate people, to our times. The Mogul empire is now no more; and the servants of the freest nation upon earth have left the body of the people to the mercy of the Zemindars.

Various Ze­mindars.The general farmers of districts were not the only persons known by the name of Zemindars. Men, who possessed estates for life, and sometimes in perpetuity, free from all taxation, by virtue of Imperial grants, were distinguished by the same title. These grants were generally given to learned and religious men, to fa­vourite servants at court, to soldiers who had deserved well of their prince, and they were respected by succeed­ing emperors, and seldom revoked. One sixth part of the lands in Bengal had been conferred, in perpetuity, by different princes, on their favourites and adherents. Many of these estates have fallen into the East India Company, from a failure of heirs; and others daily fall, as the property is not transferable by sale. A minute enquiry might greatly increase our revenue. Many grants said to be derived from the emperor, are only from the governors of the province; many are in the possession of men who cannot trace their blood to the original proprietors. A succession of revolutions has rolled one part of Bengal upon the other; and it is not hitherto settled from confusion.

[Page xlix] DifferentLands were held by a tenure less permanent, of the emperors of Hindostan. A firmân or Imperial man­date, called by the name of Jagieer, was issued fre­quently to particular men. This species of grant was for no term of years. It was given through favour, and revocable at pleasure. When any person was raised to the rank of an Omrah, it was an established rule to confer upon him an estate, for the support of his dignity. This, however, was nothing more than an assignment on the revenues of the crown, arising from a specified tract of land in a district, named in the body of the grant. The grantee had no business with the tenants, as he never resided on the estate allotted for his subsistence. He sent his agent every season to the public officers of the district; and his receipt to them, for his allowance, was received by the Dewan, as a part of the Imperial revenue. No con­ditions of service, none for the maintenance of troops, was annexed to this grant. These are the fables of men who carried the feudal ideas of Europe into their relation of the state of India. The armies of the em­pire were paid out of the public treasury. Every pro­vince had its particulr establishment of troops, which the governors were impowered to augment in times of rebellion and commotion.

[Page l] tenuresDuring the domination of the house of Timur, there was no transferable landed property in Hindostan; excepting gardens, orchards, houses, and some small portions of ground, in the environs of great cities, for which merchants and wealthy tradesmen had obtained particular grants, distinguished by the name of Pottas. This species of property was repeatedly secured by ge­neral edicts, for the encouragement of building, for the accommodation of citizens, and the improvement of towns. Grants of this kind did not always proceed from the crown. The governors of provinces were im­powered to issue Pottas, under certain limitations and restrictions: the principal one of which was, that the usual rent of the ground should be paid regularly by the proprietor, to the collectors of the Imperial re­venue.

under the empire.Tenures of other various kinds were common in Bengal, as well as in the other provinces of the empire. An assignment was frequently granted, upon a specified tract of land, for the discharge of a certain sum; and when the sum was paid, the assignment expired. Par­ticular farms were burthened with pensions, called Al­tumga, to holy men and their descendants, without their ever having any concern in the management of the lands. The despot reserved the people entire to himself, [Page li] and established his power by preventing oppression. Certain imposts were also appropriated for the main­tenance of Mullas or priests, for the support of places of worship, public schools, inns, highways, and bridges. These imposts were laid by the receiver-general of the revenue, upon the different husbandmen, in proportion to the rent which they paid; and the tax was distin­guished by the name of the impositions of the Dewan.

Civil Officers and Courts of Justice.

Despotism limitedIN states subject to despotism, the legislative, the ju­dicial and executive power are vested in the prince. He is the active principle which exists in the center of the machine, and gives life and motion to all its parts. His authority and consequence, however, depend, in a great measure, on the degree in which he communi­cates his power to his officers. If he gives them all his authority, the reverence for his person is lost in the splendor of his deputies. If he bestows only a small part of his power on his servants, that terror, which is the foundation of his government, is removed from the minds of his subjects; and a door is opened for commotion, licentiousness, and crimes. The emperors of India, of the house of Timur, had, for two centuries, the good fortune to clothe their officers [Page lii] with that happy medium of authority which was suf­ficient to govern, without the power of oppressing the body of the people.

among the Moguls.The despotism of Hindostan, it ought to be observed, was never a government of mere caprice and whim. The Mahommedans carried into their conquests a code of laws which circumscribed the will of the prince. The principles and precepts of the Coran, with the com­mentaries upon that book, form an ample body of laws, which the house of Timur always observed; and the practice of ages had rendered some ancient usages and edicts so sacred in the eyes of the people, that no pru­dent monarch would chuse to violate either by a wan­ton act of power. It was, besides, the policy of the prince, to protect the people from the oppressiveness of his servants. Rebellion sprung always from the great; and it was necessary for him to secure a party against their ambition, among the low.

Nabob,The Imperial governor of a province, known by the corrupted name of Nabob, in the East as well as in Europe, was an officer of high dignity and authority; but his power, though great, was far from being un­limited and beyond controul. He conferred titles below the rank of an Omrah; he was permitted to [Page liii] grant estates till they should be confirmed by the crown. He appointed and dismissed at pleasure all officers both civil and military, excepting a few, whom we shall have occasion to mention, who acted by commission, under the seal of the empire; and some of these, upon misbehaviour, he could suspend till the emperor's pleasure was known. He let the lands to the general farmers, in conjunction with the Dewan; but he bore no part in the collection of the revenue, but by aiding the Imperial officers with the military power. The Omrahs, who served under him in the army, having generally, on account of the convenience, their al­lowance from the emperor on the rents of the province, he had the power, for disobedience or notorious crimes, to suspend them from their Jagieers, until he should receive an answer from court, where the dispute was examined in the cabinet. In matters of justice, there rested an appeal to his tribunal, from the Cazi or chief-justice, though he seldom chose to reverse the decrees of that judge. Disputes where property was not concerned, and where the established laws had made no provision, were settled by his authority; but he was instructed at his peril not to turn the subjects of the empire out of the lands, tenements, or houses, which they them­selves either possessed or built, or which descended to them from their ancestors.

[Page liv] Dewan,The Dewan was the officer next in dignity to the viceroy, in the province. He derived his commission from the emperor, as receiver-general of the revenue. His office was altogether confined to the administra­tion and collection of the Imperial rents and taxes. He corresponded with the minister; he audited the accounts of the governor; and as he had entire to himself the charge and disposal of the public money, he might, for good reasons, refuse to discharge any extraordinary and unprecedented expences; or to issue out pay to new troops, raised without apparent ne­cessity. He presided in the office called Daster Ali, or over all the Mutasiddies, or clerks of the cheque; the Canongoes or public registers; Crories, or col­lectors of the larger districts; Fusildars, or collectors of the lesser districts; Fotadars, or treasurers; Chow­dries, or chiefs of districts; Muckuddums, or head-men of villages; and in general over all the officers of the Imperial revenue.

Crorie,The Crorie of every Pergunna or larger district, de­rived his commission from the emperor. His office, though in miniature, was the exact counterpart of the Dewan; being the receiver-general of the county, if the name may be used, as the former was of the whole province. He was immediately accountable to the [Page lv] Dewan, in whose office he passed his accounts. He produced the receipts of the Fotadar or treasurer of the Pergunna or district, for the sums which he had paid into that officer's hands, from the collections made by the Fusildars, who, in the subdivisions of the Pergunna, held offices, each of which was a counterpart of his own.

Carcûn.The Carcûn of the larger districts was an officer com­missioned by the emperor, to settle all matters and dis­putes between the tenants and the officers of the reve­nue, and to preserve the ancient usages of the Pergun­na. He was also a kind of spy upon all their private as well as public transactions; he audited their accounts publicly, transmitting copies of them monthly to court, attested by the Sheickdars, Chowdries, and Canon­goes of the district. These accounts being entered with great regularity in the visier's office at Delhi, the emperor had an immediate view of the collections in the province, before the general accounts of the Dewanny were adjusted; and this was also a great check upon the office of the Dewan.

and other officers.The view already presented of the mode of collecting the Imperial revenue, renders it unnecessary to descend through all the inferior offices in the department of the [Page lvi] receiver-general. The revenues, it must be observed, were never transmitted entire to the Imperial treasury in the capital of the province, much less into that of the empire. The expences incurred in every district were deducted from the receipts of the Fotadar or treasurer of the district; and the disbursements of the province in general from those of the Dewan. The surplus alone, which was more or less according to accident, found its way to the Imperial exchequer. The estimates of the Imperial revenues are, therefore, not the sums received in the exchequer at Delhi, but the gross collections in every province.

Chief-justice.The courts of justice in Bengal, distinguished by the general name of Cutcherries, were of various kinds. They generally received their designation from the officer who presided in each, or within whose jurisdic­tion they were comprehended. The Author of the Enquiry is not fully informed concerning the powers of the different judges, or the mode of proceeding in their courts. There arose a chain of appeal from the lowest to the highest. An action might be removed from any of the courts below before the Cazi of the province, commonly called Daroga Adalit, or chief-justice; and from him there lay an appeal to the tribu­nal of the viceroy.

[Page lvii] Judges.Inferior judges were appointed by an Imperial commission, in every large district, and in every con­siderable city, with whom appeals rested, from the courts in the country, and from the decisions of Cut­wals, or mayors of towns. These Cazis, or judges, were vested with power to summon before them all persons, to examine records, public registers, grants, and witnesses. They were, at their peril, to pass judg­ment impartially, according to the laws of the Coran, and the canons and regulations of the empire. They were impowered to make and dissolve marriages, to execute contracts of every kind between individuals, to inflict punishments, which did not extend to either life or limb. They took cognizance of all riots, disorders, and tumults; and they were denominated the general guardians of the morals of the people. They were provided with an establishment of clerks, registers, and officers of the court. They passed judgment in a summary manner, and their legal fees were one fourth of the matter in dispute, equally levied upon the plain­tiff and defendant. This regulation was intended to prevent vexatious law-suits, as well as to bring them to a speedy issue. During the vigour of the Mogul empire, capital punishments were hardly known in India. When a crime which merited death was committed, the Cazi, after a full proof of the fact, by witnesses, [Page lviii] pronounced sentence against the guilty person; but, without the confirmation of the viceroy, it could not be put in execution. Though the empire sometimes abounded with treason, it was never punished but in the field.

Inferior officers.In each subdivision of the Pergunna or district, sub­ject to the jurisdiction of the Cazi or judge, there was an inferior officer called a Chowdri, similar to our justice of the peace. Every village had its chief-man, who was the constable of his own department. A Fogedar was, properly speaking, the commander of the troops, in every military station. He sometimes farmed the lands in the neighbourhood; and being the imme­diate representative of the viceroy, he was considered as the principal officer in his district. But he did not sit in judgment, the civil being always kept distinct from the military department, under the go­vernment of the Moguls, as long as it retained its vigour. The Zemindars or general farmers, were some­times entrusted with the command of the troops in their own districts; but in their courts they decided only upon trivial disputes between the inferior hus­bandmen.—Such was the government of Bengal, under the empire of the house of Timur.

Revenue and Commerce.

Revenue of Bengal and Behâr.
A Brief, but it is hoped a comprehensive, idea being given, in the preceding section, of the government of Bengal under the Imperial house of Timur, the Au­thor of the Enquiry will proceed to explain the Revenues and Commerce of that once flourishing and opulent kingdom. In the reign of the emperor Jehangire, the revenues of the provinces of Bengal and Behâr, both which, for the sake of brevity, we comprehend under the name of the former, amounted to
£ 2,796,719 13 2
Under his grandson Aurungzêbe they encreased to2,911,866 7 6
Mahommed Shuffia, who wrote an abridgment of the History of the Empire, from the death of the illustrious Akbâr to the fatal invasion of Nadir Shaw, where he mentions the provinces which revolted during the in­dolent reign of Mahommed Shaw, estimates the reve­nues of Bengal at sixty crores of Dâms, or one crore and fifty lacks of roupees, which sum is equal to£ 1,875,000
The revenues of Behâr, according to the same writer, amounted to forty-five crores of Dâms, or1,406,250
 £. 3,281,250

[Page lx] Increase un­der the em­pire.It appears, from the above calculation, that the reve­nues of Bengal had been gradually increasing, in the progress of the empire, through time. They continued still to increase, under the revolted Nabobs, some of whom brought into their treasury four millions of our money, but not without distressing the subject, and plundering him of a part of his wealth. It may be ne­cessary to repeat an observation, already made, that not above half the sum raised upon the people came into the coffers of government. The exact sum transmitted annually to Delhi, before the dissolution of the empire, is not easy to ascertain; but we can form some judgment of the amount, from the ruinous policy of the Imperial court, when its ancient vigour began to decline. The provinces of Bengal and Behâr, during some years of in­dolence and debility, were farmed out to the viceroys, who paid into the treasury, one million two hundred and forty-nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine pounds seventeen shillings and sixpence of our mo­ney.

Sum annual­ly remitted to Delhi.This sum, it is supposed, was a medium struck, upon an average of years, of the money remitted to the trea­sury at Delhi, when the empire retained its force. But this stipulated revenue, as might have been foreseen, was never regularly paid. The viceroys acquired an inde­pendent [Page lxi] power, by a regulation which threw the whole management of the province into their hands, without controul; and the vigour of the Imperial government, in proportion, declined. The country profited, how­ever, by the refractoriness of its governor; if his avarice prompted him to raise more on the subject, the latter was more able than before to pay the additional impost, from the revenue being kept and expended in the province. Bengal began to flourish, under an additional load of op­pression. It yielded more to a severe Nabob, than to the milder government of the empire; and being relieved from an annual drain of specie to Delhi, it became opu­lent under a degree of rapine.

Commerce ofThough despotism is not the most favourable govern­ment for commerce, it flourished greatly in Bengal, un­der the strict justice of the house of Timur. Sensible of the advantages which they themselves would derive from a free commercial intercourse between their subjects, they were invariably the protectors of merchants. The mili­tary ideas which they brought from Tartary, prevented the principal servants of the crown from engaging in trade; and, therefore, monopolies of every kind were discouraged, and almost unknown. No government in Europe was ever more severe against forestalling and re­grating, [Page lxii] than was that of the Moguls in India, with regard to all the branches of commerce. A small duty was raised by the crown; but this was amply re­paid, by the never-violated security given to the mer­chant.

Bengal.Bengal, from the mildness of its climate, the fertility of its soil, and the natural industry of the Hindoos, was always remarkable for its commerce. The easy com­munication by water from place to place, facilitated a mercantile intercourse among the inhabitants. Every village has its canal, every Pergunna its river, and the whole kingdom the Ganges, which falling, by various mouths, into the bay of Bengal, lays open the ocean for the export of commodities and manufactures. A people, from an inviolable prejudice of religion, abstemious, were averse to luxury themselves; and the wants of nature were supplied almost spontaneously by the soil and climate. The balance of trade, therefore, was, against all nations, in favour of Bengal; and it was the sink where gold and silver disappeared, without the least prospect of re­turn.

Balance of trade in its favour.
All the European nations carried chiefly on their com­merce with Bengal in bullion. The Dutch, at a me­dium [Page lxiii] of ten years, threw annually into the bosom of that kingdom, in bullion
£ 475,000
The English192,500
The French, Danes, and Portuguese250,000
The exports of Bengal to the gulphs of Persia and Arabia, were very great. She supplied Arabia, Persia, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, and the lesser Asia with her manufactures, and brought home annually, into her coffers, of gold375,000
Her trade in opium and piece goods to the eastern kingdoms of Asia, to the Malayan and Philippine islands, brought yearly a balance in her fa­vour of150,000
The inland trade of Bengal, with the upper Hindostan and Assam250,000
The coasting-trade with the coasts of Coromandel and Malabâr160,000
 £ 1,852,500

Observations.The above estimate is made designedly low; for were we to argue from general principles, a greater sum must have been imported annually into Bengal. The twelve hundred and fifty thousand pounds remitted annually to [Page lxiv] Delhi, never returned into the province, and, as there were no mines wrought in the country, the surplus of the revenue must have proceeded from the balance of trade. Coin, it is well known, loses greatly by friction, where little alloy is mixed with the silver, and where the want of paper-currency makes the circulation extremely rapid. It loses also by re-coinage, which happened an­nually under the empire in Bengal. The practice of con­cealing and burying treasure, which the terrors of despo­tism introduced, has occasioned a considerable loss, be­sides the quantity of silver and gold used in rich manu­factures. These various losses could be only repaired by a favourable balance of trade; and the sum which we have stated above, would barely supply the waste.

State of Bengal under the revolted Nabobs.

Gradual de­clineTHOUGH the causes which broke the empire were obvious, the decline of the power of the house of Timur was gradual and imperceptible. The seeds of decay were long sown before they were brought to an enormous growth, by the indolence of Mahommed Shaw. Had even the Persian invasion never happened, the fa­bric which Baber raised in India was destined to fall to ruin. The abilities of Aurungzêbe, by establishing half a century of domestic tranquility in his dominions, broke [Page lxv] the spirit of his subjects, whilst that of the Imperial fa­mily declined. The distant provinces obeyed the man­dates of the court, through habit, more than through fear of its resentment and power; and governors, though destitute of ambition, found, in their own indolence, an excuse for their inattention to commands which could not be inforced with rigour.

of the powerThe intrigues of the two Seids at the court of Delhi, who raised and removed monarchs at pleasure, weakened that respect for the house of Timur which bound the al­legiance of the subject, even after their mildness had de­generated into indolence. Every month brought intel­ligence into the distant provinces of the murder of one prince, whilst another was placed on a throne, still warm with his predecessor's blood. The veil which hid des­potism from the eyes of the people, was rent in twain; monarchs became puppets, which the minister moved at pleasure, and even men, who loved slavery on its own account, knew not to what quarter to turn their political devotion. The viceroys, under a pretence of an unset­tled succession, retained the revenues of the provinces; and, with specious professions of loyalty for the Imperial family, they became polite rebels against its autho­rity.

[Page lxvi] of the em­pire.Through this debility in the Imperial line, a new species of government rose in various provinces of India. The viceroys, though they assumed the state of princes, were still the HUMBLE SLAVES of some desolate monarch, who sat without either power or dignity in the midst of the ruins of Delhi. They governed the people in his name, but they listened not to his commands. He even became an instrument of oppression in their hands; and they sanctified the most unpopular of their measures by inducing the prince to pass, in their own cabinet, regu­lations, which originated under the seals of the empire. Instead of a revenue, they remitted to him bribes; and the necessity of his situation reduced him into a tool, to the very rebels who had ruined his power.

Effect ofThis mock form of an empire continued for many years; and some provinces are still governed through the medium of a monarch that only subsists in his name. But though the Nabobs affirmed that they had still an emperor, the people found, in their oppressions, that there was none. The check which the terror of com­plaints to Delhi had laid formerly on the conduct of the viceroys, was now removed; and the officers of the crown who had been placed between the subject and the governor, were discontinued or deprived of their power. The inferior tenants, instead of being support­ed [Page lxvii] by the Imperial collectors of the revenue against the avarice of the general farmers, were submitted, without redress, to the management of the latter, and were con­sidered by him as a kind of property.

its dissolutionThe usurpation of Aliverdi introduced, more than thirty years ago, the above-described form of govern­ment into Bengal. The same policy was continued by his successors. They owned the emperor of Delhi for their sovereign, but they governed the country, and collected its revenues for themselves. The in­terposition of the crown being removed, the indepen­dent Nabobs, who succeeded one another either by force or intrigue, adopted a more simple, but a more impoli­tic mode of collecting the rents and imposts, than that which had been practised by the house of Timur. The lands were let from year to year to Zemindars, who were accountable for the rents to the treasury, and the former officers of the revenue, though not annihilated, possessed neither emolument nor power.

on the pro­vince.An intimate knowledge of the country, however, en­abled the Nabobs to prevent their government from de­generating into absolute oppression. They had sense enough to see, that their own power depended upon the prosperity of their subjects; and their residence in the [Page lxviii] province gave them an opportunity of doing justice with more expedition and precision than it was done in the times of the empire. The complaints of the injured, from a possession of the means of information, were bet­ter understood. The Nabobs were less restricted than formerly, in inflicting necessary punishments; and, as they were accountable to no superior for the revenue, they had it in their power to remit unjust debts and taxes, which could not be borne. The miseries of Ben­gal, in short, were reserved for other times. Commerce, manufactures, and agriculture, were encouraged; for it was not then the maxim to take the honey, by destroy­ing the swarm.

of Bengal.The folly of the prince had no destructive effect on the prosperity of the people. The Nabobs, carrying down, through their own independent government, the idea of the mild despotism of the house of Timur, seem­ed to mark out to the people certain lines, which they themselves did not chuse either to overleap or destroy. Many now in Britain were eye-witnesses of the truth of this assertion. We appeal to the testimony of those who marched through Bengal after the death of Surage-ul-Dowla, that, at that time, it was one of the richest, most populous, and best cultivated kingdoms in the world. The great men and merchants were wallowing in wealth [Page lxix] and luxury; the inferior tenants and the manufacturers were blessed with plenty, content, and ease. But the cloud which has since obscured this sunshine was near.

Brief recapi­tulationWhen the troubles, which ended by putting Bengal into the hands of the Company, first arose, Surage-ul-Dowla, a very young and inconsiderate prince, was Na­bob of the three provinces. The good fortune which had at first forsaken us, returned to our arms; and, by the assistance, or rather opportune treachery of Jaffier, one of his generals, he was deposed and murdered. We raised the Traitor, as a reward for his convenient trea­son, to a throne still warm with the blood of his lord; and the measure seemed to be justified, by our apparent inability of retaining the conquered province in our own hands.

of itsThe fortune of Jaffier, however, did not long with­hold her frowns. Though he had treachery enough to ruin his master, he was destitute of abilities to reign in his place. His weakness became an excuse for a revo­lution, which had been meditated on other grounds; and Cassim Ali, Jaffier's son-in-law, an intriguing politician, was invested with the dignity and power of his father. If Jaffier was weak, Cassim had too good parts to be permitted to govern Bengal. He was deposed, and his [Page lxx] predecessor reinstated in his place. This farce in poli­tics was adopted as a precedent. A governor, without a revolution in the state of Bengal, could not answer to himself for idling away his time.

late revolu­tions.The civil wars, to which a violent desire of creating Nabobs gave rise, were attended with tragical events. The country was depopulated by every species of public distress. In the space of six years, half the great cities of an opulent kingdom were rendered desolate; the most sertile fields in the world lay waste; and five millions of harmless and industrious people were either expelled or destroyed. Want of foresight became more fatal than innate barbarism; and men found themselves wading through blood and ruin, when their object was only spoil. But this is not the time to rend the veil which covers our political transactions in Asia.


Observations on the Treaty for the Dewanny.

ReflectionsAN ample field lay open before us; but we have appropriated revolution and war to history. The present disquisition is of an inferior kind; an en­quiry, which means not to irritate but to reform. Let it suffice to say, that Bengal suffered from disturbances and violent measures; and that Fortune, though unfa­vourable, was less fatal, than the rapacity of avaricious men. Peculiarly unhappy, an unwarlike but indus­trious people, were subdued by a society whose business was commerce. A barbarous enemy may slay a pros­trate foe; but a civilized conqueror can only ruin na­tions without the sword. Monopolies and an exclusive trade joined issue with additional taxations; the unfor­ [...] were deprived of the means, whilst the demands upon them were, with peculiar absurdity, increased.

[Page lxxii] ObservationsBut to wander no farther into declamation: though the misfortunes of Bengal began with the revolutions and changes which succeeded the death of Surage-ul-Dowla, the system, which advances still with hasty strides, to the complete ruin of that once opulent province, was established several years after that event. A noble governor sent to command in Bengal, by the East India Company, arrived in that kingdom in the May of 1765. The expulsion of the Nabob Cassim Ali, and the reduction of Suja-ul-Dowla, by our arms, had enabled the servants of the Company to establish peace upon their own terms. The treaty which they concluded was absurd; and had it been less exception­able, it would not probably have pleased a man, who went not to India to be idle.

on the treatyThe various revolutions of Fortune, which had sub­jected several of the richest provinces of India to the Company's servants, threw the undoubted heir of the Mogul empire into their hands. The governor availed himself of this circumstance. Other Nabobs had convert­ed the unfortunate prince into a tool; and it was now the turn of our governor to do the same, for the benefit of his constituents. Conscious of his power over the em­peror, and having the absolute direction of a Nabob, who owed his elevation to the governor, himself, and to his own [Page lxxiii] crimes, he threw aside the former treaty. A perpetual commission for the office of Dewan, or receiver-general of the revenues of Bengal, Behâr, and Orissa was ob­tained, from SHAW ALLUM, for the Company. The office of perpetual Nabob might have been as easily ob­tained; but the former balanced a thousand disadvan­tages, by rendering the nature of the tenure perplexed.

with the em­perorIn consideration of the Imperial mandate, which, with the revenues, conferred the government of Bengal for ever on the Company, Shaw Allum was to receive an annual pension of three hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds. The annuity was moderate to the lineal successor of Timur. He was, at the same time, guaranteed in the possession of the province of Alla­habâd; and thus a kind of provision was made for a prince, who retained nothing of what belonged to his illustrious ancestors, except the empty title of emperor of Hin­dostan. This treaty, however, though it dazzled with its splendor, was neither solid nor advantageous in itself. The emperor, instead of being placed at Allahabâd, ought to possess the province, out of which his pre­tended visier Suja-ul-Dowla, had been recently driven; or should that measure be supposed to invest him with dangerous power, the territories of Bulwant Singh, equal in revenue to Allahabâd, might have been conferred [Page lxxiv] upon him. The Company, being then in possession of all these provinces, might, by its servants, have adopted either of these systems.

Shaw Allum,To the first measure there are no well-founded objections, and many advantages might be derived from it. The sum of three hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds might have been annually saved, which sum is now sent to a distant province, from whence it never returns. This latter circumstance is of more real preju­dice to Bengal and the affairs of the Company, than if half the revenues of the province had been given to the em­peror, upon condition of his keeping his court in that country. Had Shaw Allum been put in possession of the dominions of Suja-ul-Dowla, the natural inactivity of his disposition, and the extraordinary expence and magnificence, which he is, in some measure, obliged to support, would have prevented him from being so dangerous a neighbour as even Suja-ul-Dowla. The whole empire was in a state of rebellion; and we were only from convenience his friends.

for the De­wanny.Arguments crowd in to support this position; but there are still stronger reasons for placing the emperor in the territories of Bulwant Singh. His residence, in such a case, might have been fixed at Patna or Mon­geer; [Page lxxv] and our army, instead of being cantoned at Alla­habâd and Cora, two hundred miles from the frontier of our provinces, might have remained in Patna, in the center of our dominions. Bengal, had this measure been adopted, instead of losing the pension paid to the emperor, and the enormous expence of a brigade in a fo­reign country, would have been enriched by the greater part of the revenues of the territories of Bulwant Singh; for which he had paid twenty-two lacks of roupees to Suja-ul-Dowla, though in reality he collected double that sum upon the subject.

Its loss and inconveni­enceThe latter position will appear more obvious from the following state. Bengal, had the measure been adopted, would annually have saved,

The pension paid to the emperor,£. 325,000
The expence of a brigade,187,500
Twenty lacks from the territories of Bulwant Singh spent at Patna,250,000

to the Com­pany.This measure alone, we may venture to affirm, would have preserved Bengal in a flourishing condition, in spite of avarice and mismanagement. It would, at the same time, have been attended with many salutary effects in our political system in India. The emperor would have been more immediately under our eye; for [Page lxxvi] though he at present labours under an eclipse, he may, some time or other, shine forth like a comet, in the hands of an ambitious and able man. We are now obliged to protect and support him, under manifest dis­advantages. His territories border on the Mahrattors, Jates, and Rohillas; and he is under a perpetual appre­hension from these nations. Had the measure, the ad­vantages of which we have described, been taken, Suja-ul-Dowla would have come in between him and these powers; but, at present, our army at Allahabâd becomes a security to that prince; whose apprehensions would otherwise have induced him to adhere more firmly than he now shews an inclination, to his treaty with the Company.

State of Commerce in Bengal, under the Company.

Observations on theTHE prosperity and opulence which Bengal enjoyed during the government of the house of Timur, and even under the revolted viceroys, proceeded from her lu­crative commerce, as much as from the fertility of her soil. Rich in the industry of her inhabitants, she became in­dependent of the partial rapine of impolitic governors, who plundered only to squander away. The money, which entered by injustice at one door of the treasury, was carried out at another by luxury. The court of the [Page lxxvii] Nabob was the heart, which only received the various currents of wealth, to throw it with vigour, through every vein of the kingdom.

present com­merce of Bengal.We may date the commencement of decline, from the day on which Bengal fell under the dominion of foreigners; who were more anxious to improve the pre­sent moment to their own emolument, than, by provid­ing against waste, to secure a permanent advantage to the British nation. With a peculiar want of foresight, they began to drain the reservoir, without turning into it any stream to prevent it from being exhausted. From observation, we descend to facts.

The annual investments of the Com­pany, for which no specie is received, amounts, at an average of ten years, to£. 927,500
Those of the Dutch, for which the servants of the Company take bills on Europe, for remitting fortunes acquired in Bengal,200,000
Those of the French, paid for to the natives, in the same way,350,000
Those of the Portuguese and Danes,100,000
 £. 1,577,500
[Page lxxviii]£. 1,577,500
Bengal, it shall hereafter appear, to replace all this waste, scarce annually receives in bullion,100,000
She loses, therefore, yearly, to Europe,£. 1,477,500

Cause of its declineThe above estimate of the exports of Bengal, for which she receives no specie, is formed on the prime cost of her manufactures. The balance against her comprehends the savings of the Company on the reve­nue, the value of British exports, the private fortunes of individuals, which center in this kingdom. This ruinous commerce with Europe is not balanced, by a lucrative intercourse with the various states of Asia. The increase of the demand for the manufactures of Bengal, for our markets here, and the revolutions which shook and greatly depopulated that kingdom, have raised the price of goods. The demand would, upon this head, sink in proportion in the East; but besides, the internal state of the various countries, which formerly exchanged bullion for the goods of Bengal, has been long unfavourable to foreign commerce.

with Persia, Egypt,Persia, about thirty years ago a great and a flourishing empire, has been torn to pieces, and almost depopulated [Page lxxix] by the cruelties of Nadir Shaw; and, since his assassina­tion, by unremitting civil wars. The few inhabitants, who escaped the rage of the sword, sit down in the midst of poverty. Georgia and Armenia, who shared in the troubles of Persia, share also her untoward fate. Indigence has shut up the doors of commerce; vanity has disappeared with wealth, and men content them­selves with the coarse manufactures of their native countries. The Turkish empire has long declined on its southern and eastern frontiers. Egypt rebelled: Babylonia, under its Basha, revolted. The distracted state of the former has almost shut up the trade, by ca­ravans, from Suez to Cairo; from the latter of which, the manufactures of Bengal were conveyed by sea to all the ports of the Ottoman dominions.

Syria, Babylonia,The rapacity of the Basha of Bagdat, which is en­creased by the necessity of keeping a great standing force to support his usurpation, has environed with terror the walls of Bussora, which circumstance has almost annihilated its commerce with Syria. Scarce a caravan passes from the gulph of Persia to Aleppo once in two years; and when it does, it is but poor and small. Formerly, in every season, several rich and numerous caravans crossed the desart to Syria; but the few that venture at present, being too weak to protect themselves against the wan­dering [Page lxxx] Arabs, are stopt by every tribe, and are obliged to purchase safety with exorbitant duties. Trade is in a manner unknown; the merchants of Bussora are ruined; and there were, last year, in the warehouses of that city, of the manufactures of Bengal, to the value of two hundred thousand pounds, which could not be sold for half the prime cost.

the rest of Hindostan,The number of independent kingdoms, which have started up from the ruins of the Mogul empire, has almost destroyed the inland commerce of Bengal with the upper parts of Hindostan. Every prince levies heavy duties upon all goods that pass through his dominions. The merchants, who formerly came down toward the mouths of the Gan­ges to purchase commodities, have discontinued a trade, not only ruined by imposts, but even unsafe from banditti. The province of Oud and Assâm are the only inland coun­tries with which Bengal drives, at present, any trade. The former has greatly the balance in its favour against us of late years, from the money expended by seven thousand of our own troops, which till of late have been stationed in the neighbourhood of the dominions of Suja­ul-Dowla, in consequence of an impolitic treaty, and to answer private views. The commerce of salt, beetle-nut, and tobacco, with Assâm, is almost balanced by [Page lxxxi] the quantity of silk, Mugadutties and lack, which we receive from that kingdom in return.

and the re­gions of east­ern Asia.The trade of Bengal, with the kingdoms and islands of the eastern Asia, still continues in some degree; but it has been long on the decline. The coasting trade with the maritime provinces of Hindostan has, upon various accounts, decayed. We may venture to affirm, upon the whole, that the balance in favour of Bengal, from all its Asiatic commerce, exceeds not annually one hundred thousand pounds. The council of Calcutta have calculated it at less than half that sum. They estimated, in the year 1768, the importation of bullion into Bengal, for the space of four years, at fifteen lacks of roupees; which amounts annually to forty-six thou­sand pounds of our money. But the cause of this decay lies more in negligence, than in the present state of the maritime regions and islands beyond the eastern mouth of the Ganges.

Estimate of the lossTo draw a conclusion from the observations made: Though Bengal, by her industry, yields to Europe, of manufactures, to the annual amount of one million five hundred and seventy-seven thousand five hun­dred pounds, for which she receives nothing; yet, [Page lxxxii] if the balance of her trade with Asia amounts to one hundred thousand pounds, she may still continue to flourish under a proper system of internal regulation. The paradox is hitherto supportable by argument and proof; but there still remain heavy articles to be brought into the account against Bengal. Some of the articles, from their complicated nature, must be stated from opinion: Others rest on incontrovertible facts. The estimate of the first shall be made as low as pos­sible: The latter are established beyond the power of cavil itself.

of specie to Bengal.
The specie carried from Bengal by the ex­pelled Nabob, Cassim Ali, is supposed to amount to
£. 1,250,000
Specie carried away by men of property, who have deserted the kingdom since the power of the company prevailed,2,500,000
The expences of the war, for one whole year, in the dominions of Suja-ul-Dow­la, at five lacks per month; which, after deducting fifty lacks, paid by treaty by that prince, amounts to125,000
Carry over3,875,000
[Page lxxxiii]Brought over£. 3,875,000
Specie sent from Bengal to pay a brigade, consisting of seven thousand men, sta­tioned for five years, after the peace, at Allahabâd, at the annual expence of fifteen lacks—937,500
Specie sent from that kingdom to China and Madrass, including the expences of troops on the coast, detached from the establishment of Bengal—1,500,000
Specie brought to England—100,000
Exported of specie—6,412,500
Deduct the imports of bullion for twelve years, at the annual sum of one hun­dred thousand pounds—1,200,000
Decrease in the specie of Bengal since the accession of the company to the domi­nion of that kingdom—5,212,500
Her present compared
This ruinous state of the commerce of Bengal is, by no means, exaggerated. To deprive every adversary of argument, the calculations are, by the Author of the Enquiry, purposely rendered extremely low. A com­parative view of the former situation of that once opulent kingdom with its present condition, will throw [Page lxxxiv] additional light on the subject. In the days of the empire, the balance of trade for which Bengal received bullion, has been estimated at
£. 1,687,500
Deduct the annual revenue sent in specie to Delhi—1,250,000
Yearly acquisition in money—437,500

with her an­cient com­merce.The kingdom of Bengal, it appears, has not, in the midst of her misfortunes, fallen off greatly from her former ex­ports of manufactures. She still sends to Europe, within one hundred and ten thousand pounds a-year of the quantity, for which she received the above balance of bullion, in the days of her prosperity. This, had not her specie been exported, would not have impoverished her. But let us suppose that her whole currency amounted to fifteen millions; the entire loss of a third part of that sum must have inevitably distressed her; and an annual decrease of near half a million must, if not prevented, in a few years, totally ruin the little commerce that still remains. The prospect is gloomy. The taxes must be lessened, and the ruin, which we have brought on an unfortunate country, will recoil upon our­selves.

Reflections on theTo illustrate the argument by comparison. Were the paper-currency of Great Britain totally suppressed, [Page lxxxv] and her gold and silver currency, which is estimated at seven millions, left for the purposes of trade and taxation, it is evident, that ruinous consequences must ensue; but none will pretend to affirm, that the nation, by such a measure, would become one farthing poorer than before. Trade, however, from the want of a sufficient quantity of the signs of wealth and property, would be cramped in all its veins. The interest of money, in spite of laws, would rise to an enormous pitch. The same want of curren­cy would, at the same time, become such a check upon luxury, that the price of labour, and especially of provi­sions, would fall, unless the latter were kept up by rigo­rously inforcing the present taxes without abatement. The price of provisions, in that case, would rise every day, and the poor would daily become less able to pur­chase. The people would, in a very few years, be stript of all their property, and national beggary would be fol­lowed by national ruin.

ruinous state of Bengal.Bengal, from the decrease of her specie, feels, in fact, the miseries which we have in speculation just described. Were not her taxes inforced by oppression, provisions would fall in proportion to the decrease of wealth; sup­posing the number of inhabitants and state of cultiva­tion to continue the same. But the reverse happens, from our endeavouring to keep up the revenues to their [Page lxxxvi] former pitch. The farmer cannot sell his grain without a price, which bears a proportion to the rents which he is obliged to pay, whilst his cultivation decreases for want of a sufficient stock. The consumer, at the same time, must have food. If he is a manufacturer or labourer, he must raise his goods or his wages to answer the price of bread. The evils of a forced state of society encrease. Famine, with all its horrors, ensues, and, by sweeping away some millions of wretched people, gives, to the unhappy survivors, the respite of a few years.

Observations on Monopolies.

ReflectionsTHE Monopolies established by the servants of the Company in Bengal, furnish an ample field for ani­madversion. But other writers have already occupied that province. The brevity which the Author of the Enquiry has prescribed to his work, induces him to pass lightly over ground that has been trodden before. It is superfluous to insist upon the prejudice which Monopoly has done to the natural rights of the natives, and to the privileges which they possessed, by prescription, from Despotism itself. This part of the subject has been handled with ability by others: we shall slightly touch upon what has escaped their observation.

[Page lxxxvii] on the ruin­ousSalt, in almost every country, is one of the necessaries of life. In Bengal, which still contains near fifteen mil­lions of people, the consumption of this article must be very great; for, besides what they themselves consume, they mix great quantities with the food of their cattle. Salt is produced by filtrating the earth near the mouths of the Ganges, and by then boiling the water which is impregnated with saline particles. The process is simple and cheap, where wood for fuel costs nothing. The low price at which salt could be conveyed through all the branches of the Ganges, rendered it an advantageous article of trade with the inland ports of Hindostan. Great quantities were sent to Benâris and Mirzapour, from the markets of which, the provinces of Oud and Allahabâd, the territories of the Raja of Bundela, and of all the petty princes of the kingdom of Malava, were supplied. This trade, by a society of Monopolists in Calcutta, was seized in the year 1765. Avarice got the better of prudence; and a rage for present gain cut off all future prospects. The article of salt was raised two hundred per cent.; and the foreign purchasers, find­ing that they could be supplied at a much cheaper rate with rock-salt from the dominions of the Rohillas near Delhi, this valuable commerce at once was lost.

[Page lxxxviii] Monopolies in Bengal.Beetle-nut and Tobacco have, by the strength of ha­bit, become almost necessaries of life in Hindostan. The first is produced in many parts of the Decan; and the latter is cultivated over all the empire. There was, however, a considerable exportation from Bengal in these articles; and it, unfortunately for that country, attracted the notice of the Monopolists. But, as if Monopolies were not sufficient to destroy the inland commerce of Bengal, with the rest of Hindostan, an edict was issued, in the year 1768, prohibiting all the servants of the Company, the free merchants, Armenians, Portuguese, and all foreigners whatsoever, from carrying goods be­yond the limits of our province, under the pain of con­fiscation, and the severest punishments inflicted on their agents.

The Direc­tors vindicat­od.The Court of Directors, it is but justice to declare, have invariably opposed the above-recited destructive monopolies. But the commands of fugitive and tran­sient masters are weak in opposition to interest. The fluctuations in Leadenhall-street, deprived the mandates which issued from it of all their authority; and the pre­sidency abroad frequently received orders, from their constituents at home, with the same inattention that the Nizâm of Golconda would pay to the Firmân of the [Page lxxix] unfortunate Shaw Allum. The Directors, in short, are only to blame in an acquiescence to a disobedience to the orders of their predecessors in office. Carrying fre­quently the animosity of prior contention into their measures, they forgot the attention due to their own power, in the pleasure of seeing a slur thrown on that of their opponents. They are also blameable for the sus­picious veil of secrecy with which they affect to cover their affairs. The door of information is, in some mea­sure, shut up; the inferior servants are precluded, by an ill-founded fear, from laying open to them the state of Government abroad, and it was perhaps the interest of their superior servants to conceal a part of the truth. Substantial darkness has by these means settled on ob­jects, which, it is even the interest of the Company, as well as of the nation, should be known to the world.

Mode of collecting the Revenues.

FugitiveTHE princes, whom we raised in Bengal, vanished imperceptibly from their thrones. Light and unsub­stantial as the shew of power with which, as in derision, we invested them, they disappeared, like Romulus, but without a storm. The benefits derived from former re­volutions, created a love of change; and the angel of [Page xc] death, if not our friend, was opportune in his fre­quent visits to the Musnud. In the course of five years, three Nabobs expired; and the unfledged so­vereign, who acceded to the nominal government of Bengal on the March of 1770, has enjoyed alrea­dy, considering the times, a long reign. Nabobs, to own the truth, are useless; and they are dismissed to their fathers, without either ceremony or noise.

Nabobs.In the year 1765, upon the demise of Jaffier, whom we had, for the first time, raised in 1757 to the go­vernment for his convenient treachery to his master, Nijim-ul-Dowla, his son by a common prostitute, was, in the eighteenth year of his age, placed upon the throne, in the capital of Murshedabâd. Soon after the accession of this prince, a noble governor, on the part of the Company, arrived at Calcutta, and executed the treaty which has furnished materials for a preceding section. Mahommed Riza, a man of less integrity than abilities, was made prime minister; activity being a virtue more necessary to the intention of his creation than honesty. The wretched Nijim-ul-Dowla was a mere name; a figure of state more despicable, if possible, than the meanness of his family and parts. The whole executive government turned upon Mahommed Riza. A resident was sent from Calcutta to check the accounts of the [Page xci] nominal government; as if one man, who knew very little of the language, manners, and opinions of the people, could prevent the frauds of an artful minister, and ten thousand of his dependents, versed in the manage­ment of finance. The consequence might be foreseen with little penetration. Unable, and perhaps unwilling to oppose the current, the resident fell down with the stream, and became so far a check upon Mahommed, that he appropriated to himself a part of what the mi­nister might otherwise have thrown into his own trea­sure.

Mahommed Riza Chan.Mahommed Riza, as a small salary of office, received annually one hundred and twelve thousand five hun­dred pounds, with three hundred and seventy-five thou­sand pounds a-year to be distributed in pensions among his friends. The minister, with his other good quali­ties, had no local attachment to friends. They were of various complexions and religions; fair-faced Euro­peans, as well as swarthy Indians; and, though profess­ing Mahommedanism himself, he was so far from being an enemy to the uncircumcised, that it is said the most of his pensions and gratuities were bestowed on good Christians born in Great Britain and Ireland. Mahom­med, however, did not take up his whole time with acts of benevolence to our nation. He applied himself to [Page xcii] business; and he was more rigid in executing the government which the revolted Nabobs had established in Bengal, than fond of introducing innovations more favourable to the prosperity of the country.

ImpoliticThe Nabobs of Bengal, it has been already observed, began the ruinous policy of farming out the lands an­nually; leaving the wretched tenants to the oppression and tyranny of temporary Zemindars. At the com­mencement of every year, there is a general congress of all the great farmers, at the capital of Bengal; which meeting is, in the language of the country, called Punea. The object of the congress is to settle the accounts of the former year, and to give the lands for another, to the highest bidder. The competition between the farmers is favourable to the private interest of Mahommed Riza, and his friend the resident; but it is destructive to the poor, and consequently to the Company's affairs.

and cruelThe charge of travelling, from the more distant divisions of the province, and the expence of living in the capital, are but a very inconsiderable part of the loss of the farmers in this visit to court. Pretences are never wanting to intimidate them, on account of their past conduct; and where no competitors offer of themselves, some are created by the minister, to raise anxiety and [Page xciii] terror. Presents are an infallible remedy for quashing all enquiries into former oppressions; and a bribe secures to them the power of exercising, for another year, their tyrannies over the unhappy tenants. It would be endless to trace the intrigues of the farmers upon this occasion: it would be difficult to expose all the artful villany of the minister. The Zemindars, however wealthy they may be, feign such poverty, as not to be able to make up the balances of the preceding year. They have even been known to carry the farce so far, as to suffer a severe whipping before they would produce their money.

mode ofThe avarice of Mahommed Riza is the cause of this unmanly behaviour in the wretched farmers. When they seem rich, the impost is raised; and the bribe must in proportion be greater. Their love of money is often more powerful than the fear of bodily pain. When they have long groaned under the lash, some banker or money-broker appears, who, for the exorbitant interest of ten per cent. per month, discharges the debt. The farmer, by such means as these, often deceives the vigi­lance of the minister and resident, and obtains his lands for another year, because no one else will offer a sum which the possessor finds so much difficulty to pay. A friend, in the secret, gives security for the rents; [Page xciv] and a present, thrown into the hands of the minister, suspends, for the time, the discipline of the whip.

collecting the revenue.In the year 1767, the Author of the Enquiry, who resided, at the time, in Bengal, had the curiosity to calculate the expence of the Bundubust, or yearly settle­ment. He formed his estimate from the accounts of various Zemindars, and he avers, without exaggeration, that the expences amounted to twenty-seven and one-half per cent. of the rents of their lands; which may amount to a million sterling. These trivial per­quisites were shared between Mahommed Riza, his friends, and the bankers of Murshedabâd. The place of the Company's resident at the Durbâr, or the court of the Nabob, was HONESTLY worth one hundred and fifty thousand pounds a-year.

The badThese embezzlements and fraudulent practices were not, however, so detrimental to the Company's affairs, from the actual decrease in the revenues, as from the general depravity of manners, and the oppressions which they introduced. When the sources of government are corrupted, they poison the whole stream. Every petty officer in the state, every clerk of the revenues, assumed the tyrant in his own department. Justice was totally suspended; and the fear of being plundered by a supe­rior, [Page xcv] was the only check that remained against the commission of the most atrocious crimes. Every in­stance of abstaining from the most cruel oppressions, proceeded from indolence: every act of tyranny from the love of money. The distemper of avarice, in the extreme, seemed to infect all, whom the wrath of God against a devoted people, had placed in power.

consequencesThe consequences of this mode of letting the lands of Bengal, were such as might, with little foresight, have been expected; had not stronger impressions, than those of reason been necessary to convince men of a profitable error. Nothing in the conquered provinces was premeditated but rapine. Every thing, but plun­der, was left to chance and necessity, who impose their own laws. The farmers, having no certainty of holding the lands beyond the year, made no improvements. Their profit must be immediate, to satisfy the hand of Avarice, which was suspended over their heads. Im­pressed with the uncertainty of their situation, they raised the rents, to the last farthing, on the wretched te­nants; who, unwilling to forsake their ancient habita­tions and household gods, submitted to impositions which they could not pay. They looked up to Hea­ven in their distress; but no redress remained for the wretched.

[Page xcvi] Year after year brought new tyrants, or confirmed the old, in the practice of their former oppressions. The tenants being, at length, ruined, the farmers were un­able to make good their contracts with government. Their cruelty to their inferiors recoiled, at length, on themselves. Many of them were bound to stakes and whipped; but their poverty ceased to be feigned. Their complaints were heard in every square of Murshe­dabâd; and not a few of them expired in agonies, under the lash. Many of the inferior tenants, reduced to de­spair, fled the country, hoping to derive from other despotisms, that lenity, which our indolence, to speak the best of ourselves, denied. Those that remained were deprived of the small stock necessary for cultiva­tion; and a great part of the lands lay waste. Every governor thought it incumbent upon him to keep up the revenues to their former pitch; but, in spite of the per­mitted cruelty of Mahommed Riza, they continued, every year, to decrease. It could not have happened otherwise; unless Heaven had wrought miracles as a reward for our VIRTUES.

Wretched state of the country.In proportion as an unfortunate people became less able to bear the established taxation, the modes of collecting it became more oppressive. Seven entire battalions were added to our military establishment to [Page xcvii] inforce the collections. They carried terror and ruin through the country; but poverty was more prevalent than obstinacy every where. This new force became an enormous expence to the Company; and the un­natural pressure on the people raised the price of pro­visions. The manufacturers, to be able to purchase bread, shewed an inclination to raise the price of their goods. It was soon perceived that, should this be per­mitted, the manufactures of Bengal would not an­swer in Europe, so as even to indemnify the Company for prime cost, for duties and other expences, exclusive of the profit which a commercial body had a right to expect. The prices must be kept down; but this could not be done without violence. Provisions became daily dearer; and the demand for goods encreased.

from the officersThe officers chiefly employed in the management of the revenues, being needy adventurers from Persia and the upper India, carried avarice, as well as the arbitrary ideas of their own distracted governments, into their de­partments. Solicitous to obtain an immediate advan­tage to themselves, they forgot the interest of their employers; and practised every species of rapine and violence on the timid inhabitants of Bengal. The wealth, which, in the space of a few years, they accu­mulated, enabled them to return into their native [Page xcviii] countries; and thus they furnished another cause of the decline of specie in the kingdom. These foreign col­lectors maintained a numerous train of needy depen­dents, who, under the protection of their tyrannical masters, assumed the privilege of rapine and peculation. Venality ceased to be a crime; and dexterity in the art of imposition, was deemed a recommendation to the first offices of trust.

of govern­ment.Mahommed Riza made it his invariable policy to keep the servants of the Company in ignorance of the true state of affairs; and when any deception was prac­tised, another was formed to conceal it from view. He entered into a collusion with many of the farmers. Occasional accounts were framed; and the usual ac­counts were studiously involved in inextricable confu­sion. Men, averse to trouble, throw them aside; and neglect their duty in their indolence. The servants of Mohommed Riza not only escape censure, but retain their places; and thus iniquity furnishes to itself a new field, for a repetition of its execrable talents.

ExtortionsTo investigate the various demands and extortions of the Aumins, or the protectors of the people, who, in­stead of defending, pillage their charge, would be end­less. These, by a collusion with the Zemindars, prey [Page xcix] with them on the unfortunate tenants. The Go­mâstas, or agents, Dellols, Pikes, Pikars, Burkândaz, and other vermin, employed in the collection and in­vestment, establish a thousand modes of oppression and extortion. An ignorant and unhappy people see these officers of government through the medium of fear; and comply, in melancholy silence, with their exorbi­tant demands. No collector, not even his principal servant, travels over any part of his district, without imposing upon the village in which he chuses to rest, a tax of rice, fowl, kid, fruits, and every other luxury of the table, for himself and his dependents. He also levies fines, at pleasure, for frivolous offences, and under various, and often false pretexts. The crime consists, in the ability of the person to pay the fine; and no­thing but excess of misery and poverty is safe from the griping hand of Avarice.

of the col­lectors.The Zemindars, or principal farmers, copy the officers of government, in tyranny. The Riôts, or wretched tenants, are forced to give their labour gra­tuitously, to this transitory lord of a year, whenever he chuses to employ their toil in his fields, when their own farms lie waste for want of cultivation. There is not one article of consumption with which the poor tenants are not obliged to supply the general farmer. [Page c] The quantity brought is frequently more than his consumpt demands; and, in these cases, they are forced, under the inspection of his servants, to carry their own property to market, and to dispose of it for the use of their lord. They even frequently raise or fall the ex­change upon the roupees, against the wretched husband­men; and, without even the strength of custom, they exact, from the lower sort, fees upon births, marriages, and contracts. There is scarce an occurrence upon which they have not invented arbitrary imposts.

Negligence of the Com­pany,The Company, having never examined into the real tenures by which many possess their lands, left an ample field for sequestration, fraud, and encroachment. The Talookdârs, or the favourites and dependents of former Nabobs, hold, by grants from their patrons, extensive tracts of land. Some of these grants convey a kind of freehold; others, estates at a very low rent, possessing, besides, par­ticular exemptions and extraordinary immunities. These alienations were never valid, in the days of the empire, without being renewed by every viceroy; and no good reason remains, why they should now exist, as the illegal means of oppression, in the hands of petty ty­rants. They have even added encroachment upon the adjacent lands, to the injustice by which they possess their own; and they have presumed to lay tolls on [Page ci] ferries, and imposts upon markets, even beyond the limits of their imperfect grants. This encroachment on the rights of the Company is, however, a kind of benefit to the people. The possessor of the grant, con­siders the lands which it describes, as his own property; and he is, from a natural selfishness, more a friend to his inferiors than the fugitive Zemindar of a year.

in examining intoTo render clear affairs hitherto little understood, we must descend into more particulars. The frauds and oppressions committed in Bengal, in the collection of the revenue, are as various as they are without number. The interior policy subsisting in that kingdom, will throw new light on the subject. Some of the lands in Bengal go under the designation of Comâr, having no native tenants, being cultivated by vagrant husbandmen, who wander from place to place in quest of labour. A farmer takes frequently large tracts of these lands upon contract. He obliges himself to be answerable to go­vernment for the produce; but he keeps the accounts himself. The vagrant husbandmen whom he employs, having neither implements of agriculture nor stock, are, from time to time, supplied with small sums by the farmer, and, when the harvest is gathered in, he appropriates to himself two thirds of the crop; after paying himself from the remainder, for the interest of the sums advanced to the vagrants. The accounts delivered in to government [Page cii] contain every thing but the truth; and this mode, from our indolence, becoming most profitable to the Zemindar, he wishes to depopulate the country, in some measure, for his own gain.

variousThe lands, which are under the immediate manage­ment of government, are, in the language of the coun­try, called Coss. They differ from the Comâr in vari­ous particulars. Stewards are appointed to superintend them, without the power of making new contracts with the tenants, or of raising upon them the rents, being account­able only for the rents of the lands, as they stand upon the rolls of the district. These rolls, however, are in ge­neral false and defective. Some lands, to serve particular friends, are greatly under-rated; and others are entirely concealed by the address of the stewards. To grant cer­tain immunities to the stewards themselves, was formerly much in practice. They were permitted to possess, for their subsistence, gardens, pastures, ponds for fish, and fields for rice. These privileges have been greatly en­larged since Bengal fell under the Company; and the stewards have fixed no decent bounds to their encroach­ments.

fictitious te­fiures.The lands distinguished by the name of Riotty, are possessed and cultivated by the native inhabitants under Zemindars, or farmers, who contract for them with go­vernment for an annual sum. The rents are partly le­vied [Page ciii] on a measurement, and partly on the various pro­ductions which are sent to market, and converted into money by the farmer. The ruinous effects of this mode of collecting the revenue have been already explained. There are, besides, great quantities of waste lands, which are of two kinds; lands struck off the public books, at a former period, which are now cultivated, but not brought to account; and such as are really waste, which comprehend at least one fourth part of Bengal. Of the former there are many large fertile tracts, well cultivated, which have been appropriated by Zemindars and their dependents; and they find means, in their accounts, with an indolent government, to avoid all scrutiny into their usurpations.

and en­croachmentsTo add to the mismanagement, lands are set apart for almost every officer under the government; a mode of salary which makes no appearance upon the annual ac­counts, but which, notwithstanding, amounts to more than all the apparent charges of collection. Great hurt arises to the revenues from this practice, and the abuse subsists without reformation. The lands of all the officers ought instantly to be resumed, and their sa­laries to be paid out of the exchequer. Many of the collectors have also imposed partial duties upon the sub­ject; and thus have added oppression and injustice to the people, to their usurpations upon government.

[Page civ] Perversion of justice.Justice is suffered to be greatly perverted by the offi­cers above specified, and others, who, from their inhe­rent art or abilities, substitute their own decisions where government have established no legal judges. The cus­tom of imposing mulcts and fines in all cases, is an in­tolerable grievance to a wretched people. The rich suf­fer, by having money to give; the poor, by being de­prived of restitution, because they have none. Every Mahommedan, who can mutter over the Coran, raises himself to a judge, without either licence or appoint­ment; and every Brahmin, at the head of a tribe, distri­butes justice according to his own fancy, without con­troul. The latter threatens the ignorant with the dreadful punishment of excommunication; and thus his own moderation becomes the measure of the sums which he receives from an unfortunate race of men.

S [...]lutary re­gulations made in [...].Such, in the year 1767, was the true state of Bengal: but, it is to be hoped, that the regulations of 1770 have reformed many abuses. A plan was in that year digested, and begun to be carried into execution by men who could not be strangers to any one of the above particulars; though, from their strict adherence to the regulations of a noble governor, to which they were tied down by express orders from the Court of Di­rectors, the abuses were permitted to exist till the country was beggared and depopulated. The effect [Page cv] which the plan may have, cannot yet be estimated with precision. Were we, however, to judge from the improvements in Burdwan, which has been under the management of a very able servant for some years past, and has greatly encreased in revenue and popula­tion, the new regulations will be attended with very con­siderable advantages to the Company. But even Burd­wân owed part of its prosperity to the misery and distress of the surrounding districts. The plan adopted will be far from effectuating the reformation and encrease of the revenue which are now required; for the balance of the revenue could, in the year 1770, hardly discharge the four hundred thousand pounds paid annually to govern­ment. If our information is just, what mighty advan­tages have the Company derived from their great acqui­sitions in Bengal?

Idea of the present Government of Bengal.

Total sus­pension of all justice.THE total suspension of all justice, among the natives of Bengal, was another cause of national decay. Men who retained some property in spite of the vio­lence of the times, instead of being protected by Bri­tish laws, found that they had not even the justice of a despot to depend upon when they were wronged. The officers of the Nabob, AS THEY WERE CALLED, com­mitted [Page cvi] every species of violence, under the pretence of the orders of the Company. When any person complained to the governor and council, he was referred back to those very men of whom he had complained. The heavy crime of having appealed to British justice was thrown in his face, by oppressors who were at once judges and party; and ruin and corporal punishment were added to his other wrongs. The spirit which asserts the natural rights of mankind, was called inso­lence, till it was totally broken by oppression; and men were even cautious in venting their complaints in secret, fearing that the very walls of their most private apart­ments had ears.

Apology for the Compa­ny's gover­nors.These grievances, however, proceeded not from the inhumanity of the British governors in Bengal. The Author of the Enquiry can aver, from personal know­ledge, that the successors of a certain noble lord were men of probity and honour, enemies to oppression and cruelty of every kind. But the whole weight of such a monstrous and heterogeneous chaos of government, con­sisting of military, political, commercial and judicial affairs, falling upon the shoulders of men unexperienced in the regulation and management of the great machine of state, it was impossible for them to give the necessary attention to all departments. The multiplicity of af­fairs [Page cvii] overwhelmed them with its weight; and the kingdom suffered more from a total want of system, than from any premeditated design.

Every thing left to the summary de­cisions of Mahommed Riza.The courts of justice, which the wisdom of the house of Timur had established in the cities, and various divi­sions of the provinces, were either annihilated, or they lost their power under the summary despotism of the revolted Nabobs. Mahommed Riza, as the acting minister, had the whole executive power in his hands; and those who retained the name of judges were only the executioners of his partial and violent decisions. The Company's governor could not, in the nature of things, enter into the cause of every individual, in a very popu­lous kingdom. When he consulted his own ease, he yielded to a kind of necessity; and he had to his own conscience the plausible excuse of having remanded the complaints to the judgment of a man who was per­fectly acquainted with the manners, customs and pre­judices of the natives.

Impolitic and ruinousBut even friendship itself will not permit the Writer of the Enquiry to justify the political conduct of any of those men who possessed the supreme power in Ben­gal. Many regulations, obvious in themselves, might have been formed; many pernicious practices be abo­lished, [Page cviii] which have been continued either through neg­ligence or motives of another kind. Among the latter, ought to be numbered the custom of striking roupees every year, and issuing them out at five per centum above the real weight and standard. To explain the subject, a dry dissertation must be introduced. The new-coined roupees are issued from the mint at sixteen per centum more than the current roupee; a coin merely imaginary, for the convenience of reducing all money to a certain denomination. The Sicca roupee, as the coin is called, continues to circulate, at the above value, till towards the latter end of the first year. The dealers in money, as the roupee loses three per centum of its value at the beginning of the second year, refuse to re­ceive it in payment, without a deduction of one or two per centum as it advances to that period.

conduct ofIn the beginning of the second year, the roupee, by this most preposterous of all regulations, has lost three per centum of its imaginary value. In this manner it continues gradually to fall, till the third year after coinage; and, from that time forward it remains at eleven per centum, the intrinsic value of the silver. The possessor of the roupee may then, upon the payment of three per cen­tum to the mint, have the same re-coined into a new Sicca of the imaginary value of sixteen per centum. [Page cix] This gain of two per centum is intended as an induce­ment to bring in the silver, that the government may have an opportunity, every year, of robbing the public of three per centum upon the greater part of their cur­rent specie. To support this most iniquitous system, the revenues are directed to be paid in the new Sicca roupees, otherwise the money-changer will make such deductions, as must occasion a very considerable loss to the unfortunate people. This evil is attended by an­other. The course of exchange in the markets varies toward the worst, from this cruel regulation by go­vernment, from combinations among the bankers, and the demand for particular roupees to discharge the reve­nue.

the mintThis mode of levying an annual tax on the silver cur­rency, is not of the invention of the British governors of Bengal. The regulation derived its first existence from the well-known bankers, the Jaggat Seats of Mur­shedabâd, in the short reign of the inconsiderate Surage­ul-Dowla. The error lies in its being adopted. But we drop this part of the subject, and return to the pre­sent state of government. To do justice to the Court of Directors, their repeated orders have checked the vio­lence and rapine of the nominal government of the Na­bob. Some of the Company's servants superintend, in [Page cx] various divisions of the country, the collection of the revenue. The pension, and emoluments of Ma­hommed Riza have been lessened with his power. The kingdom, in point of civil regulation, if civil regulation can exist without regular courts of justice, is on a better footing than before. But much re­mains to be done! The distresses of an unfortunate people continue to increase, through causes which must be explained.

General Observations.

ConclusionsTHE idea of the present state and government of Bengal conveyed, in the preceding sections, justi­fies the following conclusion, That the Company, in the management of that great kingdom, have hitherto mis­taken their own interest. To increase the revenues was the point to which their servants invariably directed their attention; but the means employed defeated their views, and became ruinous to a people whom their arms had subdued. Though they exported the specie, though they checked commerce by monopoly, they heaped op­pression upon additional taxes, as if rigour were neces­sary to power.

[Page cxi] deducedMuch penetration was not necessary to discover, that it was not by the revenues of Bengal alone that either the British nation or the Company were to be enriched. A country destitute of mines, deprived of foreign com­merce, must, however opulent from better times, in the end be exhausted. The transitory acquisition, upon the opinion that all the specie of Bengal had centered in Great Britain, would have no desirable effect. The fu­gitive wealth would glide through our hands; and we would have only our folly to regret, when the sources would happen to become dry. Bengal, without ruin to itself, could spare none of its specie; and the objects to which our aim should have been directed, are as obvious as they are salutary. We ought to have encouraged agriculture, the trade with the rest of Asia, and internal manufacture.

from theAgriculture constitutes the wealth of every state, not merely commercial. Bengal, a kingdom six hundred miles in length, and three hundred in breadth, is com­posed of one vast plain of the most fertile soil in the world. Watered by many navigable rivers, inhabited by fifteen millions of industrious people, capable of pro­ducing provisions for double the number, as appears from the desarts which oppression has made; it seems [Page cxii] marked out, by the hand of Nature, as the most advan­tageous region of the earth for agriculture. Where taxes are moderate, where security of property is joined to a rich soil, cultivation will encrease, the necessaries of life will become cheap, as well as the gross materials which manufacturers require. Manufactures, by these means, would not only fall in their price, but they would be produced in a greater quantity; larger investments might be made by the Company, the consumption would encrease, and the profits rise. Bengal can, in short, be only useful in the prosperity and industry of its inhabitants. Deprive it of the last remains of its wealth, and you ruin an unfortunate people, without enriching yourselves.

precedingIn the place of those placid regulations, which render mankind useful to their lords, we substituted, with pre­posterous policy, force, the abrupt expedient of barbarous conquerors. The pressure of taxation has, in the space of a few years, trebled the price of provisions of all kinds. The Company have, in the mean time, been endeavouring, by every possible measure, to encrease their investments, without raising the price. Various oppres­sions have, for this purpose, been adopted. This wretch­ed expedient is of short duration. The manufacturer [Page cxiii] may, for one year, perhaps for two, redouble his indus­try; but whilst the works of his hands is forced from him at a stated and arbitrary price, he sinks under an uncommon effort, subject to despair. The principal servants of the Company, to conceal the evil, have found themselves obliged, either to remit in the quality of the goods, or to raise the price to the manufacturer. Both expedients have been in part adopted; but it is a tem­porary remedy, without the hopes of effectuating a cure.

Observations.The reasons already mentioned have contributed to de­stroy the trade of Bengal with the rest of Asia. Mer­chants can only procure the gleanings of the Company. The quality is inferior, and the prices high. Nations, formerly supplied from Bengal, found themselves under the necessity of establishing manufactures of the same kind at home, or to adapt their clothing to their po­verty. Argument on this head is superfluous. The plan must be totally and radically changed. The ques­tion is not to oblige the people to become silk-winders, spinners and weavers, and to take the fruits of their la­bour, as it is practised at present, at an arbitrary price. Industry cannot be forced upon a people; let them de­rive advantage from toil, and indolence shall lose its [Page cxiv] hold. Ingenuity expires under the foolish despotism which defeats its own ends; and human nature, in its most wretched state, revolts against labour, which pro­duces nothing but an increase of toil.


Preliminary Observations.

Reflections on the go­vernment of India.GOVERNMENT, among the natives of a coun­try, rises imperceptibly from that impenetrable obscurity with which time and barbarism have covered the origin of mankind. When states are subdued by fo­reign enemies, who are advanced in the arts of civil life, a new constitution generally starts up from their pressure upon the old. Some laws of the conquerors must ne­cessarily supersede some of the regulations of the con­quered; but the ancient form of government remains in all the lesser departments of the state. When the Patans conquered India, when the Moguls extended their empire over that country, many of the indigenous laws of the northern nations of Asia were introduced; but the great system, in most of its parts, descended from [Page cxvi] the regulations which Brahma transmitted, with his fol­lowers, from remote antiquity.

Design of the Author.The British nation have become the conquerors of Bengal, and they ought to extend some part of their own fundamental jurisprudence to secure their conquests. To call the possessions of the Company by any other name, is to leave them undefined. The sword is our tenure, and not the Firmân of an unfortunate prince, who could not give what was not his own. The thin veil of the commission for the Dewanny is removed; and we see a great kingdom at last in our power, whose re­volutions we directed before. It is an absolute conquest, and it is so considered by the world. This it was neces­sary to premise. The Author of the Enquiry will now proceed to his plan for restoring our conquests to their former prosperity. But he proceeds with diffidence: he sees the magnitude of the subject, he feels his own want of abilities. He hopes not to escape without cen­sure, as he confesses himself liable to error; but he shall answer his own purpose, if he can throw some rays of light upon a subject, which, though interesting to the nation, continues still involved in obscurity.

Proposal for establishing landed Property.

New arrange­ment pro­posed.POLICY precedes regulation in every society; and a nation has public before it has private concerns. The great line of general arrangement is prior to the inferior detail of government, the latter being necessarily a superstructure raised on the foundation of the former. In Bengal we are to suppose, that a new treaty is to settle its great affairs; otherwise we build on the sand, and the rain comes, and washes all away. We shall only mention a subject on which we may hereafter enlarge. Give the province of Allahabâd to Suja-ul-Dowla, the territories of Bulwant Singh to the emperor, recal your troops into your own dominions, make Patna or Mon­geer the residence of the representative of Timur, degrade the wretched Mubârick from his nominal Nabobship, and let Mahommed Riza RESIGN. These arrangements re­quire no address; the persons mentioned were the creatures, and they still continue the slaves of your power. Besides, the measures will not displease the parties. The province of Allahabâd will satisfy Suja-ul-Dowla for the territories of Bulwant Singh; Shaw Allum will prefer Patna to his residence at Allahabâd; a small pension is more eligible for Mubârick, than the dangerous name of power which [Page cxviii] he does not hold; and Mahommed Riza has derived from his SERVICES the means of securing an affluent re­treat for his age. If it shall appear necessary to retain Bengal by an Imperial Firmân, let it be changed into that of perpetual Nabob.

Reflections on landed property.This fundamental regulation being settled, another of equal boldness, but no less practicable, ought to succeed. An established idea of property is the source of all in­dustry among individuals, and, of course, the foundation of public prosperity. When mankind are restrained from possessing any thing which they can call their own, they are but passengers in their native country, and make only those slight accommodations which suit fugitive wayfarers through the land. A carelessness for industry is the natural consequence of the transitoriness of the fruits of toil; and men sit sluggishly down, with their hands in their bosoms, when they are not for a moment certain of possessing property, much less of transmitting it to their posterity or friends.

Proposal for establishingThe decline of agriculture, of commerce, and of trade, in the kingdom of Bengal, have been already represent­ed, and the ruinous consequences of farming out the lands from year to year, have been amply explained. Though long leases might greatly contribute to remove [Page cxix] these evils; there is no possibility of doubt, but the establishment of real property would more immediately and effectually promote a certainty of prosperity to the kingdom. Let, therefore, the Company be impowered, by act of Parliament, to dispose of all the lands in Ben­gal and Behâr, in perpetuity, at an annual sum, not less than the present rents. This single operation would have a chain of beneficial effects. The first sale of the lands would raise a sum which cannot be estimated with any degree of precision; but we may venture to affirm, that, should the scheme be properly advertised before it was to take place, and a fourth part of the lands only to be disposed of every year, until the whole should be sold, no less than ten millions, besides a certain and per­petual revenue, might be drawn from the hidden trea­sures of Bengal, and especially from the other opulent kingdoms of Hindostan.

landed pro­pertyMankind, it is easy to perceive, would, in an empire where no real property exists, crowd to a country in which they could enjoy the fruits of their labour, and transmit them to their posterity. Cultivation would be the consequence of security. The farmer would im­prove, to the height, lands that were his own. The re­venue would be regularly paid without the heavy ex­pence of a band of oppressors, under the name of Col­lectors, who suck the very vitals of the country; and no­thing [Page cxx] would be required but a few comptoirs for the purpose of receiving the rents. The whole face of the country would be changed in a few years: in the place of straggling towns, composed of miserable huts, half of which are washed away every season by the rain, great and opulent cities would arise. Inhabitants would crowd into Bengal from every corner of India, with their wealth; the deficiency in the currency would be restored, commerce would diffuse itself through every vein, and manufactures would flourish to a degree be­fore unknown.

in Bengal.Men of speculation may suppose, that the security of property to the natives might infuse a spirit of freedom, dangerous to our power, into our Indian subjects. Na­ture herself seems to have denied liberty to the inhabi­tants of the torrid zone. To make the natives of the fertile soil of Bengal free, is beyond the power of poli­tical arrangement. The indolence which attends the climate, prevents men from that constant activity and exertion, which is necessary to keep the nice balance of freedom. Their religion, their institutions, their man­ners, the very dispositions of their minds, form them for passive obedience. To give them property would only bind them with stronger ties to our interest; and make them more our subjects; or, if the British nation prefers the name—more our slaves.

[Page cxxi] Its greatMen who have nothing to lose, are only enslaved by disunion; and the terror of the impending sword. Drive them to the last verge of poverty, and despair will stand in the place of spirit, and make them free. Men pos­sessed of property are enslaved by their interest, by their convenience, their luxury and their inherent fears. We owe our freedom to the poverty of our ancestors, as much as to the rude independence of their ferocious barbarism. But it is even difficult, in the cool air of our climate, to retain, in the midst of luxury and wealth, the vigour of mind necessary to keep us free. To confer pro­perty on the inhabitants of Bengal, will never raise in their minds a spirit of independence. Their sole hopes of retaining that property, will be derived from our policy and valour. When we fall, their lands will deviate to other heirs.

and immediateThe revenues of Bengal, when properly paid, amount to four millions. Should this sum appear too small for perpetuity, many ways and means of encreasing the taxes, without raising the rents, will present themselves. The British nation, famous for their political free­dom, are still more famous for their judgment and wisdom in imposing taxations. Let them transfer to the Banks of the Ganges, a part of that science of finance, which has so much distinguished their councils [Page cxxii] at home. The wealth of the people of Bengal is a treasury which will never fail, if drawn upon with judgment. Taxes may rise, in a just proportion, to the wealth which this regulation will inevitably throw into our dominions in the East.

advantages.Very extensive possessions in the hands of an indi­vidual, are productive of pernicious consequences in all countries; they ought, therefore, to be prevented in the present regulation. Let the purchasers be confined to a certain quantity of land, not exceeding, upon any account, fifty thousand roupees a-year. To prevent the accumulation of landed property, let the spirit of the laws of a commonwealth be adopted, and the lands be divided equally among all the male issue of the proprietor. Let the moveable property be divided among the Ma­hommedan part of our subjects, according to the laws of the Coran. Let the Hindoos, in the same manner, retain their own laws of inheritance; which are clear, simple, and defined.

Paper Currency.

A proposal for establish­ingTHE absolute establishment of landed property, would create a perfect confidence in our faith, among our subjects in the East; and this circumstance leads to another regulation, which, if adopted, would have a great and immediate effect on the prosperity of Bengal. The want of a sufficient quantity of specie for the purposes of trade, and the common intercourses among mankind, is one of the greatest evils under which Bengal at present labours. Let, therefore, a paper cur­rency be introduced; a measure at once salutary, easy, and practicable. Let a bank be immediately established at Calcutta, for the convenience of Europeans. This would, by becoming familiar to the natives, prepare them for a more general paper currency. The mode of carrying this into execution, is left in the hands of those better acquainted with the nature of banking, than the Author of the Enquiry.

currency.To destroy, at once, the fraudulent science of ex­change, which proves so detrimental to trade in Bengal, a current coin ought to be established, to pass with­out variation, for its fixed and intrinsic value. This was, in some degree, attempted by a noble governor, but he failed in his first principles, by imposing an ar­bitrary [Page cxxiv] value upon his coin, not less than twenty per cent. above its intrinsic worth. No other reason is ne­cessary for the bad success of this coinage. Though a decimal division of money is the most rational and commodious; yet entirely to change the forms of a country, in that respect, might be attended with great inconvenience. Let the roupee, therefore, consist, as at present, of sixteen of the imaginary Anas, which are now used in accounts in Bengal. The Pice, which is the twelfth part of an Ana, may be continued as the imaginary coin; but a copper coin of one half of an Ana, would answer the subdivisions of money, and be greatly beneficial to the poor.

Its greatThe immediate fall of the exorbitant interest of money, which prevails in Bengal, would be one of the first effects of this regulation. Ten per centum is the present interest; not so much owing to insecurity, as to the want of currency. Men of undoubted and esta­blished credit are ready to give this great premium to the lender, as they can turn the money to a great and immediate advantage. Were every man enabled, by a paper currency, to bring his whole property to the mar­ket, monopoly, in spite of oppression, would be at an end, and trade extend itself through a thousand channels not known now in speculation. The consequence [Page cxxv] would be highly beneficial; Bengal would draw great quantities of money from all the regions of Asia; and, by enriching herself, be rendered capable of bearing such taxes upon different articles, as this nation, for the augmentation of the revenues, might think proper to impose.

and imme­diateNapal, Thibet, Ava, Arracân, Pegu, Siam, Cochin­china, China, and almost all the islands in the Eastern ocean, produce gold: In the west, that metal seems on­ly to be found in the Turkish Diarbekir. Japan and China only have silver mines. Asia contains native wealth, which has enriched it in all ages, exclusive of the balance of its commerce against Europe. The Author of the Enquiry means not that specie should be drawn from the East. But it might center in Bengal, and make it one of the richest kingdoms in the world; whilst we might import, in its manufactures, the surplus of its revenues, without damaging either its foreign com­merce or internal prosperity.

advantages.These two plans, and it is to be feared only these, would restore, under a government established on im­partial justice, Bengal to its former prosperity and splen­dor. Let the lands be disposed of in property: let a paper currency be established. Every individual would, [Page cxxvi] in such a case, become industrious in improving his own estate; provisions would fall to a third part of the pre­sent price; the country would assume a new face, and the people wear the aspect of joy. Immense tracts of rich land, which now, with their woods, conceal the ruins of great cities, would again be cultivated; and new provinces arise out of those marshy islands, near the mouth of the Ganges, which are, at present, the wild haunts of the rhenoceros and tiger.


MonopoliesTHERE is no maxim in commerce better establish­ed, than the destructive tendency of monopolies. In Bengal, its recent evils are well-known and abhorred. A law must provide against it; otherwise every other regulation will be made in vain. The inhabitants must be permitted to enjoy a free trade; subject, however, to such imposts upon various articles, excepting those of either the growth or manufacture of Great Britain, as may be thought reasonable from time to time. Gross articles, necessary for carrying on the finer manufactures, ought, however, to be exempted from duty; and every encouragement possible given to the export trade.

[Page cxxvii] abolished.Free merchants ought to be encouraged; neither must they be excluded from the inland trade; as that circumstance would place the subjects of Great Britain on a worse footing than foreigners, whom we cannot, without violence, prevent from trading wherever they please. Let, however, the residence of the free merchants be confined to Calcutta; as the influence which all the natives of Britain have acquired over the inhabitants of Bengal, is so great, that the selfish can convert it into the means of oppression. The Indian agents of British traders will not carry, among a wretched people, the same terror which clothes their masters; whom it is a kind of sacrilege not to obey, in their most unjust commands.

Superior ser­vants debar­red from trade.The servants of the Company will have many ob­jections to this proposal. But the management of the revenues, and of the general trade, which must remain in their hands, will still give them superior advantages, sufficient to gratify all their reasonable desires. The influence of a member of the council will, without doubt, enable any man, in that high station, to engross a share of the trade, almost equal to a partial monopoly. Should even a man of that rank be so self-denied, as not to take advantage of the influence annexed to his place, his attention to commerce would encroach on [Page cxxviii] the time allotted for public affairs. Let him, therefore, when he rises to the board, be debarred from trading, either directly or indirectly, by severe penalties of law; and let there an ample allowance be made forhis services, from the funds of the Company.


An absoluteMEN who submit to bodily servitude, have been known to revolt against the slavery imposed on their minds. We may use the Indians for our benefit in this world, but let them serve themselves as they can in the next. All religions must be tolerated in Bengal, except in the practice of some inhuman customs, which the Mahommedans have already, in a great measure, destroyed. We must not permit young widows, in their virtuous enthusiasm, to throw themselves on the funeral pile, with their dead husbands; nor the sick and aged to be drowned, when their friends despair of their lives.

tolerationThe Hindoo religion, in other respects, inspires the purest morals. Productive, from its principles, of the greatest degree of subordination to authority, it prepares mankind for the government of foreign lords. It sup­plies, [Page cxxix] by its well-followed precepts, the place of penal laws; and it renders crimes almost unknown in the land. The peaceable sentiments which it breathes, will check the more warlike doctrines promulgated by the Coran. The prudent successors of Timur saw that the Hindoo religion was favourable to their power; and they sheathed the sword, which the other princes of the Mahommedan persuasion employed in establish­ing their own faith, in all their conquests. Freedom of conscience was always enjoyed in India in the ab­sence of political freedom.

of all reli­gions.Attention must be paid to the usages and very pre­judices of the people, as well as a regard for their re­ligion. Though many things of that kind may appear absurd and trivial among Europeans, they are of the utmost importance among the Indians. The least breach of them may be productive of an expulsion from the society, a more dreadful punishment Draco himself could not devise. But the caution about re­ligion is superfluous: these are no converting days. Among the list of crimes committed in Bengal, perse­cution for religion is not to be found; and he that will consent to part with his property, may carry his opinions away with freedom.

The Executive Power.

Reflection on theTHE great path of general regulation is with less difficulty traced, than the minute lines which carry the current of government from the center to the extremities of the state. Practice resists theory more on this subject than in any other; and the wisest legi­slators can neither foresee nor prevent obstacles, which may rise in the progress of time. In a country where the body of the people meet annually, in their representa­tives, to new inconveniences new remedies may be instantly applied; and even the mandate of the despot loses half its tyranny, in the expedition with which it opposes evil.

mode of le­gislation;The distance of Bengal from the eye of the British legislature, renders it extremely difficult for them to frame laws against every emergency that may arise; and it is equally difficult, with propriety, to create a legisla­tive authority in a kingdom, which cannot, in the nature of things, have a representative of its own. The executive power being vested in the governor and coun­cil, it is dangerous to trust them with the legislative; and it is impossible to permit the court of justice, which we mean to propose, to make those laws upon [Page cxxxi] which they are to decide. The least of two evils is preferred by the prudent. Let the governor and council suggest annually, in their general letter, the necessary regulations; and these, after being duly weighed by the Company, in their collective body at home, be laid before parliament, to be by them, if found just, necessary, and equitable, framed into a law. The general laws for the government of Bengal being, by the British legislature once established, the inconve­niences which may arise in India, will neither be so great nor detrimental as to occasion much mischief for one, or even two years; in which time, the proposed regulations, sent home by the governor and council, will return to them with the force of laws.

the council:The executive power, in its full extent, as at present, must be vested in a president and council, of which the chief justice and commander in chief of the troops ought to be, ex officio, members. The number should be encreased to sixteen, of which any five, with the president, may form a board; and ten always to reside at Calcutta, exclusive of the chief justice and the commander in chief, should even the peaceableness of the times permit him to be absent from the army. The four remaining counsellors should be directed to reside in the capitals of the larger districts, into which, for the benefit of justice, we [Page cxxxii] shall hereafter divide the provinces of Bengal and Behâr. The business for forming regulations to make a founda­tion of a law, being of the last importance, ought never to come before less than ten members in council, of whom the chief justice ought invariably to be one.

boards of re­venues.Let a general board of revenue be established at Cal­cutta, at which a member of the council is to preside. Let this board, in its inferior departments, be conducted by the Company's servants; and let it receive the cor­respondence and check the accounts of four other boards of the same kind, but of inferior jurisdiction, to be fixed at Dacca, Murshedabâd, Mongeer, and Patna. Let the provinces of Bengal and Behâr be divided into five equal divisions, each subject, in the first instance, to one of the four boards, which are all under the con­troul of the superior board of revenue established at Calcutta. In the lesser districts, let a Company's servant superintend the collection of the revenue; and be accountable for his transactions to the board, under whose jurisdiction he acts.

[...].The wild chaos of government, if the absence of all rule deserves the name, which subsists in Bengal, must be utterly removed. There some saint traces of the British constitution is mixed with the positive orders of [Page cxxxiii] a Court of Directors, the convenient and temporary ex­pedients of a trading governor and council, the secret orders of the select committee, the influence of the pre­sident, with the Nabob, and the boisterous despotism of Mahommed Riza. To separate, or even to restrain them within proper bounds, is beyond human capacity; some branches must be lopt off to give more vigour and room to others to flourish. Mubârick must retire from the Musnud; Mahommed Riza and the secret com­mittee vanish away; and even the council itself must be restrained from BREVI MANU despotism; such as, the sending home, by force, British subjects, and dismissing officers without the sentence of a court martial.

Judicial Power.

Reflection.TO preserve the health of the political body, the pure stream of impartial justice must rush, with vigour, through every vein. When it meets with ob­structions, a disease is produced; and, when the whole mass becomes corrupted, a languor succeeds, which fre­quently terminates in death. To drop the metaphor, the distributers of justice ought to be independent of every thing but the law. The executive part of government must not interfere with the decisions of the judge, otherwise that officer, who was created for the defence [Page cxxxiv] of the subject from injury, becomes a tool of oppression in the hands of despotism.

Various jurisdictions in Bengal.The first principle of wise legislation is to open an easy passage to the temple of Justice. Where the seat of redress is either distant or difficult of access, an injury is forgot to avoid the trouble of complaint; and thus injustice is encouraged by the almost certain prospect of impunity. To avoid this evil, the Author of the Enquiry thinks it necessary, that the act of the legi­slature, which shall constitute the mode of distributing justice, should also divide Bengal and Behâr into five great provinces, the capitals of which ought to be Cal­cutta, Murshedabâd, and Dacca, in Bengal; and Patna and Mongeer, in Behâr. Let each of these five great divisions be subdivided into ten Chucklas, or extensive districts, almost the number of which the kingdom consists at present; and let each of these be still subdivided into an indefinite number of Pergunnas.

Constables and justices of the peace.To bring justice, to use a certain author's words, home to the door of every man, let there, in each vil­lage, be established, as in the days of the empire, a Muckuddum, to act as a constable for the preservation of the peace. A Sheichdâr, with a commission similar to that of a justice of the peace, should be fixed in the most [Page cxxxv] centrical part of the Pergunna or lesser district, to whom disputes, which cannot be quashed by the authority of the Muckuddum or constable, may be referred. Let the court of this officer, however, communicate with ano­ther of a more extensive and ample jurisdiction, establish­ed in the capital of the division or district, of which the Pergunna is a part.

Cutwál, or Mayor.Similar to the office of a Sheikdâr or justice of the peace, ought to be that of the Cutwâl or mayor of great towns and considerable cities. The wisdom of the house of Timur established this officer, to animadvert upon thieves, gamblers, and other miscreants; to remove nui­sances, to suppress pimps and jugglers, to prevent fore­stalling of grain and other provisions; to be the regula­tor of the market, and to decide in all trivial and vexa­tious disputes, that tended toward a breach of the peace. His ministerial office coincided almost with that of the mayors of our lesser towns; and his court was the coun­terpart of the now obsolete CURIA PEDIS PULVERIZATI, mentioned by our lawyers.

Courts of Cutcherri.In every Chuckla, or greater division, let there be established a court similar in its nature, but different in its mode, to the courts of Cutcherri, instituted in the days of the empire. Let this court be composed of the [Page cxxxvi] Company's servant, residing for the collection of the re­venue in the Chuckla, and of two Mahommed Cazis, and two Brahmins. The servant of the Company ought to be the nominal president of the court, but only to sit when the voices are equal, to throw his casting-vote on the side of equity. In such a case the process to begin anew. The fees of the court must be regulated, and a table of the expence of every article to be hung up to public view, in the common hall. The punishment for corruption, upon conviction in the supreme court of Bengal, ought to rise to a degree of severity, suitable to the danger of the crime.

Its jurisdic­tion.This court, besides the power of hearing appeals from the decisions of the Sheichdâr in the lesser districts, ought to retain its ancient authority, subject, however, to an appeal from decisions beyond a sum to be speci­fied, to the provincial courts, which shall be hereafter described. Its jurisdiction ought to extend to the con­tracting and dissolving of marriages, to the settlement of doweries for women, and the succession to money and moveables among children, according to the respective institutes of the Mahommedan and Hindoo systems of religion. It ought also to be a court of record; and to be obliged to keep an exact register of all public and private contracts, births, marriages, and deaths; and, to execute that department of the business, a Canongoe and [Page cxxxvii] a Mutaseddy, as clerks, ought to be annexed to each court. These, with other matters to be described in the succeeding section, ought to comprehend the whole power of the court of Cutcherri.

Provincial courts.In each of the capitals of the five provinces, a mem­ber of the council of state at Calcutta ought to reside. He, together with possessing the management of the Company's commercial affairs in his province, ought to be empowered, by a special commission, with three as­sessors of the elder resident servants, to form, and pre­side in a court of justice, which we shall, for distinction, call, The provincial court of appeal. To direct their judgment upon points of law, an officer, under the name of Attorney-general for the province, ought to be appointed to give his advice, together with a Mahom­medan Cazi, and an Indian Brahmin, to explain the principles of their respective institutions and usages, and to tender oaths to the parties. Suits may originate in this court; and it ought to have the power of removing before itself the proceedings of the court of Cutcherri.

Supreme court, its civilTo establish thoroughly the independence of the ju­dicial on the executive power, a supreme court, from which an appeal ought only to lie to Great Britain, should be erected at Calcutta, by the authority of the legisla­ture. [Page cxxxviii] Let it consist of a chief justice and three puisné justices, who derive their commissions from the king; and let them be in Bengal the counterpart of the court of king's bench in England. The jurisdiction of this court, which, from its transcendent power, may be called the supreme court of Bengal, ought to extend, without limitation, over the whole kingdom; and to keep the inferior courts, within the bounds of their authority; as well as to decide ultimately upon all appeals. It ought to protect the just rights of the subject, by its sudden and even summary interposition; and to take cognizance of criminal as well as of civil causes.

and criminal jurisdiction.To carry justice, in criminal matters, with all the expedition possible, through our conquests, it is proposed, thas two of the puisné justices shall, twice a-year, go on circuits, to the respective capitals of the five provinces, one into the three provinces in Bengal, and one into the two, into which Behâr is to be di­vided. The puisné justice shall sit, upon these occa­sions, with the members of the provincial court; but the member of the council, who is the president of the court, shall still be considered as the principal judge. In criminal matters, the culprit shall be tried by a jury of British subjects only; there being always a sufficient number of good and lawful men to form a jury, in the [Page cxxxix] capital of the province. In the supreme court at Cal­cutta, disputes between the natives may be decided in civil cases, according to equity, without a jury, by the judges; but, in suits between British subjects, the mat­ter ought to be tried by a jury, upon the principles of the law of England.

Court of ex­chequer,The sole management of the revenue of Bengal, being in the Company, many capital alterations are necessary to be made in that important branch. The great chan­nel of public justice has been, by the above regulations, separated from the executive power; but some part of the judicial authority must still remain in the Compa­ny's hands. To manage the receipts of the revenue, it has been already mentioned, that five boards must be formed, the superior one of which to remain in Calcut­ta. The boards ought to consist of two divisions, or rather of two sides; the receipt of the Exchequer, and the judicial part, which must enable them to inforce the payment of the revenues.

its jurisdic­tionThe mode of proceeding in this branch ought to rise in the same gradations with the course of appeals in the civil line of disputes between man and man. Let the Cutcherries inforce the payment of the revenues of the Chucklas, under an appeal to the provincial board, [Page cxl] whose decisions, beyond certain sums, ought to be sub­ject to the revision of the general board at Calcutta. But, as the state must not suffer through delay, let the sum in dispute, upon a decision against the subject, by any of the courts of revenue before whom the suit shall originate, be forthwith paid into the exchequer; and let the person aggrieved seek for redress, by petition, to the court which is placed immediately above that court, of whose decision he complains.

confined as such.The board of revenue, in each of the capital cities of the five provinces, except in Calcutta, where no court of law except the supreme court exists, is to be made up of the same persons whom we have already placed as judges in the provincial court of appeal. The court of exche­quer, in England, examines, by a fiction, into all sorts of civil causes. It is necessary to preclude the boards of revenue from such powers, as a court of exchequer. As provincial courts of common law, their decisions are liable to an appeal to the supreme court at Calcutta, and therefore any prejudices which they may be sup­posed to imbibe, as members of the executive part of government, cannot be of great detriment to the people, subject as their proceedings are to a court not amenable to the jurisdiction of the Company.

Observations on the Judicial Power.

ReflectionsTHE despotism which naturally sprung from the double government which arose on the foundation of the success of our arms in Bengal, repressed one evil, whilst it gave birth to a thousand. Those frequent dis­putes which grow between individuals, where the access to justice is easy, were quashed by a terror which pre­vented an unfortunate people from appearing before rulers who wanted but an excuse to oppress. The hand of power fell heavy upon both the plaintiff and defendant; and, therefore, men put up with injuries from one another, in hopes of concealing themselves from the rigid eyes of government. This alludes to the boisterous tyranny of the minister of a nominal Nabob; indolence was more our crime, than cruelty.

on what of their own lawsThe doors opened to justice in the preceding section, will, without doubt, introduce an ample harvest for men of the law; but it is better that they should live by li­tigiousness, than that the people should perish by tyran­ny. The objection rising from this circumstance must therefore vanish in the utility of the thing; and another objection, just as obvious, may be as easily removed. It [Page cxlii] may be thought impolitic by some, that any part of the judicial authority should remain in the hands of the na­tives. But this is objected in vain. The officers of jus­tice, as well as being subject to a revision of their de­crees to the British, derive from them their own power; and the people, by being left in possession of some of their laws and usages, will be flattered into an inviolable sub­mission to our government.

ought to be lest entireThough the inhabitants of Bengal are, from their na­tural disposition, prepared to submit to any system of government, founded upon justice, there are some laws of their own, which absolute power itself must not vio­late. The regulations, with regard to their women and religion, must never be touched; and, upon mature con­sideration, the Author of the Enquiry is of opinion, that many other ancient institutions might be left entire. There are, however, particular usages established by time into a law, which our humanity must destroy. No pe­cuniary compensation must be permitted for murder; no theft be punished by cutting off the hand. Let the Mahommedan laws still in force against the Hindoos be abrogated; let no women burn themselves with their husbands, no dying person be exposed by his friends.

[Page cxliii] to the na­tives.To leave the natives entirely to their own laws, would be to consign them to anarchy and confusion. The in­habitants of Bengal are divided into two religious sects, the Mahommedan and Hindoo, almost equal in point of numbers. Averse, beyond measure, to one another, both on account of religion and the memory of mutual injuries, the one party will not now submit to the laws of the other; and the dissention which subsists between individuals, would, without a pressure from another power, spread in a flame over the whole kingdom. It is, therefore, absolutely necessary for the peace and pro­sperity of the country, that the laws of England, in so far as they do not oppose prejudices and usages which can­not be relinquished by the natives, should prevail. The measure, besides its equity, is calculated to preserve that influence which conquerors must possess to retain their power.

Expence ofThe expence of the judicial establishment is but tri­vial, if compared to the advantages which the kingdom of Bengal must derive from such a necessary institution. The judges in every country should be placed in afflu­ence; in Bengal they ought to derive a fortune from the labour of some years. The natives of a northern climate settle not for life in the torrid zone; they always place the prospect of returning with wealth to their friends, [Page cxliv] among their great inducements for venturing to cross the ocean. The following table presents an estimate of the annual expence of justice in Bengal.

The Supreme Court of Bengal.
One chief justice,
the su­preme,
£. 10,000
Three puisné justices,15,000
One attorney general,3,000
One register,2,000
Two Cazis and two Brahmins, to attend the court,0,400
 £. 31,400
the provin­cial,
The four provincial courts of ap­peal, consisting of the Company's servants.
Four counsellors, as presidents,£. 2,000
Twelve assessors,2,400
One provincial attorney in each,2,000
One register in each,0,800
One Cazi and one Brahmin in each,0,800
Contingencies in all,1,600
 £. 9,600

[Page cxlv]

and Cut­cherri courts.
Fifty courts of Cutcherri.
Fifty presidents, being servants of the Company,£. 5,000
Two hundred assessors,10,000
Fifty registers,1,500
Fifty Clerks,1,000
 £. 17,500
 £. 58,500

Observation.The above calculation, it is hoped, will not be thought extravagant, for dispensing justice to fifteen millions of people. The salaries of the members of the boards of revenue, and of these, as forming courts of exchequer, are not mentioned, as the Company is supposed to pay its own servants, with certain sums and lucrative privileges for the whole of their trouble. The Shiechdârs, the Cutwâls, and the Muckuddums, have no salaries; the influence and distinction which they shall derive from their employments, being a sufficient reward for their toil.

General Reflections on the Plan.

Reflections on thePROPERTY being once established, and the forms of justice to protect it delineated, public pro­sperity is placed on a solid foundation. But the love of money, which generall prevails, renders the most of mankind more anxious to possess present profit, than to look forward to future advantage. The plan which we have laid down in the preceding sections, will begin to yield an apparent benefit from its commencement; at the same time that the tide will become the more rapid the longer it flows.

ImmediateThe immediate pecuniary advantages which will rise to Bengal, are to be derived from various sources. The removal of the emperor, either to Patna or Mongeer, will save to the kingdom his pension of three hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds; the revenues of the territory of Bulwant Singh, three hundred and twelve thousand five hundred pounds to be spent in Bengal; and fifty thousand pounds, which is now sent abroad, without hopes of return, to pay three battalions of our troops, stationed at Allahabâd. This sum of six hun­dred and eighty-seven thousand pounds, thrown at once into the circulation, would animate the languid [Page cxlvii] pulse of commerce; and at once prepare the kingdom for the commercial improvements, which the plan, in its other regulations, seems absolutely to ensure.

and future advantagesThe future advantages arise also from various springs . The influx of specie and inhabitants, which the sale of the waste as well as of the cultivated lands, would draw from all the other provinces of Hindostan, would be productive of immediate national wealth. The ad­vancement of agriculture would promote the advance­ment of manufactures. The peace of the country would be secured from abroad; and justice, by pre­vailing at home, would attach the natives to a govern­ment, on the stability of which the possession of their landed property depended. The establishment of a paper currency, on national faith and the Company's security, would enable mankind to bring all their pro­perty into action, lower the exorbitant interest of money, and render Bengal, in the space of a few years, the most commercial, the most flourishing, and the most wealthy kingdom, of its extent, in Asia.

to be derived from the plan.The Company, in the midst of the prosperity of the subject, would amazingly thrive in their affairs. A sum not less than ten millions, independent of their revenue, would, in the space of four years, flow from the first sales of [Page cxlviii] the land into their coffers. The improvement of their present revenue would join issue, with its future certainty and permanency. A large annual sum would arise, from a thorough examination of tenures; and from imposts already laid upon fairs, markets, entrance into great towns, shops, magazines of grain, fees upon marriages, tolls collected at ferries, licences for exercising trades, ground-rent of houses, which though at present paid by the public, have never been brought to account by Mahommed Riza and the general farmers. These ar­ticles, at the lowest average, might amount to the an­nual sum of four hundred thousand pounds. Five hundred thousand pounds would yearly be saved in pensions, and on the charge of collection; besides, the immense encrease in the revenues, which would most certainly be derived from the growing prosperity of the kingdom.

ConcludingThe absolute establishment of property, without which written law seems superfluous to society, is, as has been observed, the foundation upon which national prosperity is laid. Regulations which stop short of this primary object, are only temporary expedients, which may, for a time, alleviate the pain of the distem­per, but it can never cure. A tacit acquiescence in the right of possession of the natives, the prevention of [Page cxlix] [...] [Page cxlviii] [...] [Page cxlix] some part of the present national waste, a mild de­spotism, which we may dignify with the name of Justice, will have an immediate good effect; but the advantage is limited, partial, and transient; and the Author of the Enquiry will venture to affirm, that, unless something similar to what has been, in the pre­ceding sections, proposed, is adopted, Bengal will, in the course of a few years, decline into a shadow, and vanish from our hands.

reflection,Miracles are not to be expected in this age; and, without them, in the absence of a bold and determined exertion, the boasted fruits of our victories in the East, will wither with our laurels. A kingdom, lying under all the disadvantages of a foreign conquest, which, without return, deprives it of one million and an half of its annual industry, must sink under the weight, un­less it is placed on a better footing than the surrounding countries which pay no tribute. Let our justice to our own subjects, let the advantages of our regulations, entice foreigners with their wealth to settle among us; let us, without the sword, appropriate the wealth of India by our policy; otherwise the stream which slows into Great Britain, will soon become dry. The lake, which feeds it, has already disappeared from the banks. Temporary regulations may dazzle with their imme­diate [Page cl] effect; but a permanent plan, which in its wide circle comprehends futurity, will preserve the vigour and health of Bengal, to the verge of that political death, to which all empires seem to be subjected by Fate.

Concluding Reflections.

PresentARGUMENTS deduced from general principles, however obvious they may appear, strike not the bulk of mankind so forcibly as facts. The revenues of Bengal, without including the Jagieers, amounted, in the year 1766, to near three millions and six hundred thousand pounds of our money. The charges of col­lection, the Nabob's government, pensions, civil, mili­tary, and marine expences, being deducted, there re­mained a balance of one million three hundred thou­sand pounds, for the Company. The expences have since been encreasing yearly, and the revenues decreas­ing. Both were hastening to that middle point, which would balance the accounts of the British nation, with the fortune of their arms in the East.

ruinous stateTo conceal this decrease as much as possible, men fell on a very shallow and poor expedient. The ser­vants of the Company protracted the time of closing [Page cli] the accounts to make up the usual sum; and, by these means, an encroachment of five months was, by de­grees, made upon the succeeding year. To under­stand this circumstance, it is necessary to observe, that the collections are not fixed to a particular term. They are continued without intermission, and the pro­duce of the five months, which may amount to one million five hundred thousand pounds, must be de­ducted from the accounts made up, since the Dewanny was submitted to our management.

of the reve­nue.Notwithstanding this deception, it was not the only deficiency in the state of money affairs. The reve­nues of the year 1769 had, besides, fallen short five hundred thousand pounds; and what further reduction the famine which ensued may have made, time can only demonstrate. By the best accounts from Bengal, there was not a balance of five hundred thousand pounds remaining, after all expences were paid; and this was not above half the sum necessary to purchase the annual investments of the Company. No fair conclusion, however, can be drawn from the produce of one year; and the vigilance of the Court of Directors has since established some beneficial regulations. To flatter the sanguine, we will suppose, that the net balance will amount, on the present sooting, to one million. The [Page clii] sum is just sufficient for the investments of the Com­pany; without leaving a single farthing in the treasury to answer any extraordinary emergency.

ObviousThe advantages of the proposed plan are obvious; and, therefore, easily explained. Let it be supposed, that the rent-roll of the year 1766 shall be taken as the rule of the quit-rent to be paid, after the sale of the lands. Let none think this sum too much. Under the management of the proprietors, the lands would in a few years produce, thrice the sum of three millions six hundred thousand pounds; but the subject must receive a bride for his industry. The Company, at present, complain, that the Talookdârs, or those who possess lands in property, run away with all the tenants. Their estates are flourishing, whilst our limited policy of letting the lands by the year, has created solitudes around. After a thorough examination of fictitious tenures, private encroachments and public embezzlements, we may, with great propriety, venture to add, at least one million to the above sum. But to speak with a mode­ration which precludes reply, we shall only take it for granted, that four hundred thousand pounds are, by these means, only gained. Even this sum will fix the annual revenue at four millions; and there let it rest till the prosperity of the country shall authorise an encrease, by slight imposts on trade and the articles of consumption.

[Page cliii] AdvantagesThe abolition of the tyrannical and impolitic govern­ment of the Nabob, will be a saving of five hundred thousand pounds on the annual expences. The fact is notorious, that the real expence of this secondary and intermediate government, in pensions and in the mode of collection, exceeds six hundred thousand pounds; but the judicial and fiscal systems established in the preced­ing plan will not exceed one hundred thousand pounds, with all the advantages of a salutary and equitable admi­nistration of justice and law. To this sum we may add the five hundred thousand pounds which have fallen off from the revenue, as the first-fruits of the plan; all which, supposing the expences of the civil, military, and marine departments to remain as at present, would make an annual difference of one million four hundred thou­sand pounds, in favour of the Company. The invest­ments of the Company might in that case be increased, yet leave a sum for the treasury in Calcutta for emer­gencies.

of the pro­cedingThe treasury, however, ought not to be too rich, lest circulation should deaden in the kingdom. Two mil­lions in specie would be sufficient. To employ the sur­plus to advantage, together with the ten millions, which are supposed to arise from the sale of the lands, a bank ought to be established for the purpose of lending out sums of money, not exceeding three years purchase on landed security to the Proprietors, at the interest of seven per centum. The land-holders would be, by these [Page cliv] means, enabled to raise the necessary sums, at less than half the interest which they now pay; and the Com­pany would have good security for their advances. Let us suppose, that, in the course of a few years, ten mil­lions were lent upon these terms, that sum would pro­duce an annual interest of seven hundred thousand pounds; which, upon the whole plan, makes a yearly balance, in favour of the Company, of TWO MILLIONS ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS MORE THAN THEY AT PRESENT RECEIVE, exclusive of a PRODIGIOUS and GROWING TREASURE; and the moderate imposts which may be hereafter laid on articles of luxury.

Plan.The Plan, to speak the least its favour, is practicable in its great and general line. It would produce, even partially followed, immense, sudden, and permanent advantages; but no human foresight can absolutely estimate the precise sums. Though the Author of the Enquiry has not the vanity to suppose that his scheme is, in all its branches, infallible, he will venture to pledge himself to his country, that, should the more material parts of his system be adopted, the advantages to be derived from it would not fall short of his calculations. His know­ledge of the kingdom of Bengal, and its various re­sources, gives him a confidence on this subject, to which he is not intitled by his abilities.


  • CHAP. I. OBservations—Death of Akbâr—Accession of Selim, by the name of JEHANGIRE—Rebellion of Sultan Chusero—Battle of La­hore—Chusero's misfortunes—Rebellion quashed—Executions—War with Persia—A conspiracy Page 1
  • CHAP. II. Disturbances in Bengal—Story of Chaja Aiass—His flight from Tartary—Distress in the desart—Birth of the Sultana Noor-Mâhil—Marriage with Shere Afkun—Persecution—and murder of that Omrah—Her marriage with the emperor—Promotion of her family 19
  • CHAP. III. Prudent administration—Insurrections quelled—Bad success in the Decan—Emperor's progress to Ajmere.—Peace with the Rana—Prince Churrum in favour—Character of Sultan Purvez—An English ambassador—His reception at Ajmere—Transactions at court—Power of the Sultana—Progress to Mando—To Guzerat—The emperor's return to Agra—Death and character of the Visier 34
  • [Page] CHAP. IV. Disposition of the court—Expedition to Sewalic—The emperor in Cashmire—Disturbances in the Decan—Prince Chusero mur­dered—Rebellion of Shaw Jehân—He is repulsed at Agra—De­feated at Delhi—Pursued by his brother Purvez—Defeated at the Nirbidda—He reduces Orixa, Bengal and Behar—He marches toward the capital—Totally defeated by Purvez—Be­sieges Brampour—In great distress—His submission Candahar lost to the empire 56
  • CHAP. V. Mohâbet in favour—Accused of intended treason—Ordered to court—Machinations of his enemies—Indignities offered him—He re­solves to seize the emperor—He takes him in his tent—Defeats the Visier—Condemns the Sultana to death—But pardons her—Governs the empire—Attacked by the citizens of Cabul—He lays down his power—Obliged to fly—Sent against Shaw Jehân—Death of prince Purvez—His character—Death of Chan Chanan 81
  • CHAP. VI. Schemes of Mohâbet and Asiph—Death of the emperor—His charac­ter—Anecdotes of his private life—His religion—His violence—Severe justice—and humanity—The son of prince Chusero raised to the throne—Defeat of Shariâr—Shaw Jehân marches from the Decan—Young emperor deposed, and murdered—Children of Jehangire—State of Persia 100
  • [Page]CHAP. I. REflections—Accession of Shaw Jehân—Promotions—The empe­ror's children—State of the empire with regard to foreign powers—Incursion of the Usbecs—War in Bundelcund—Disgrace—Tragi­cal story—and flight of Chan Jehân Lodi—Death and character of Shaw Abâs of Persia—Emperor's march to the Decan—War in Golconda and Tellingana—Irruption of the Afgans—The visier Asiph takes the field 113
  • CHAP. II. The Visier commands the army—Defeat of the confederates—Flight, misfortunes, and death of Lodi—Progress of the war in the Decan—Death of the favourite Sultana—A famine—Peace in the Decan—Emperor returns to Agra—Persecution of Idolaters—War with the Portugueze—Their factory taken—Raja of Bundela reduced and slain—Marriages of the princes Dara and Suja—War in the Decan—Golconda reduced—Death of Mohâbet—Affairs at court 136
  • CHAP. III. Emperor's expedition to the Decan—Reduction of that country—Death of Chan Zimân—An insurrection in Behar—Quelled—Candahar restored to the empire—Invasion from Assâm—Reduc­tion of Tibet—Oppressive governors punished—Prince Suja nar­rowly escapes from the flames of Rajamáhil—An embassy to Con­stantinople—Calamities in the northern provinces—Death and character of Asiph Jâh—Tirbiet punished for oppression—An in­vasion threatened from Persia—Interrupted by the death of Shaw Sest 156
  • [Page] CHAP. IV. Reflections—Emperor arrives at Agra—Incidents at court—Incur­sions of the Usbecs—Aurungzêbe removed from the Decan—Sa­dulla Chan made visier—Buduchshân invaded by the Moguls—Death and character of Noor Jehân—Balick reduced—Prince Morâd disgraced—Aurungzêbe defeats the Usbecs—Who submit to the empire—Emperor jealous of his sons—Arrival at Delhi—Persians take Candahâr—Aurungzêbe besieges it in vain—Defeats the Persians—Usbecs of Balick claim the Emperor's aid—Canda­hâr again besieged to no purpose—Emperor returns to Agra—Promotions 177
  • CHAP. V. Dara's jealousy of Aurungzêbe—His bad success before Candahâr—Raised to a part of the Imperial power—Rebellion of the Rana—Rise and character of Jumla—Death of the Visier—War in Gol­conda—Exploits of Mahommed the son of Anrungzêbe—War and reduction of Bijapour—Sickness of the emperor—Too great vio­lence of Dara—Emperor removes to Agra—Recovers—Dara in high favour—Carries all before him at court 198
  • CHAP. VI. Cause of the civil war—Character of the emperor's sons—Dara—Suja—Aurungzêbe—Morâd—Suja takes the field—Defeated by Solimân the son of Dara—Morâd rebels in Guzerat—Aurungzêbe in the Decan—Marches to Brampour—Battle of the Nirbidda—Preparations and obstinacy of Dara—Opposes Aurungzêbe—To­tally deseated near Agra—Reflections 215
  • [Page] CHAP. VII. Reflections—Dara appears before his father—His flight to Delhi—The army deserts Solimân Sheko—Shaista Chan condemned to death—Rescued—The confederate princes appear before Agra—Aurungzebe writes to his Father—Conference between him and the princess Jehanâra—His artful conduct—By stratagem seizes the citadel and the emperor—Deceives Morad—Marches with him in pursuit of Dara—Seizes and imprisons Morad—Pursues Dara—Mounts the throne at Delhi—Reflections on his conduct—The news of his accession brought to Shaw Jehân—Character of that prince 239
  • CHAP. I. REflections—Misfortunes of Solimân Shekô—His flight to Serinagûr—Distress, irresolution, and flight of Dara—He quits the Suttuluz—the Bea—and Lahore—Aurungzêbe returns—Preparations and march of Suja—Approach of Aurungzêbe—The battle of Kidg­wâ—Defeat and flight of Suja—Unaccountable conduct of the Marâja—His flight—Aurungzêbe arrives at Agra—Writes to his father 269
  • CHAP. II. Dara's flight to Bicker—He crosses the desert—Gains the governor of Guzerat—Marches toward Agra—Fortifies himself at Ajmere—Deceived—Attacked—and totally deseated by Aurungzebe—His unheard-of misfortunes—Distress in the desert—Arrival at Tatta—Throws himself under the protection of Jihon—Death of the Sultana—Dara betrayed—Carried with ignominy through Delhi—Confined at Chizerabad—Assassinated—Reflections 290
  • [Page] CHAP. III. War against Suja—He is driven from Mongeer—and Raja-Mahil—The prince Mahommed deserts to Suja—A mutiny in the army—Quelled by the Visier—Battle of Tanda—Artifice of Aurungzêbe—Mahommed leaves Suja—His imprisonment and character—Suja driven from Bengal—His flight through the mountains of Tippera—Arrival at Arracan—Perfidy, avarice, and cruelty of the Raja—Misfortunes—resolution—bravery—and murder of Suja—Deplorable fate of his family—Reflections 316
  • CHAP. IV. Prudent administration of Aurungzêbe—Observations on his conduct—His behaviour toward his second son—Solimân Shekô betrayed by the Raja of Serinagur—He flies—is taken—brought to Delhi—and imprisoned—An embassy from Persia—Shaw Allum declared heir-apparent—A famine—Wise and humane conduct of the em­peror—War in the Decan—Aurungzêbe falls sick—Distractions at Delhi—Intrigues of Shaw Allum—Recovery of the emperor—He demands the daughter of Dara—and the Imperial jewels from Shaw Jehân—but is refused—His art to appease his father—Promotions 333
  • CHAP. V. Recovery of the emperor—Progress to Cashmire—Disturbances in Guzerat—Conquest of Assam—Death and character of Meer Jumla—Insurrection of Fakiers—quelled—An universal peace—Death of the prince Mahommed—War with Sewaji—Death of the emperor Shaw Jehân—Anecdotes of his private life—Grief of Aurungzebe—Strange conduct and flight of Sewaji—The Maraja discontented—War against Arracan—Chittagong re­duced 353
  • [Page] CHAP. VI. Origin of the quarrel with Persia—Conduct of Shaw Abâs—Aurungzêbe endeavours to appease him—He prepares for war—Writes a letter to the Visier—which is intercepted—The emperor suspects the Persian nobles—A proclamation—A massacre threat­ened—Consternation at Delhi—The princess Jehanâra arrives from Agra to appease the Persians—The Visier exculpates him­self—The Persian nobility received into favour—March of the emperor—Death and character of Shaw Abâs—Peace with Persia—Revolt of the prince Shaw Allum—He returns to his duty—War with the Afgans—Magnificent reception of the king of Bucharia 374
  • CHAP. VII. Observations—Education of Eastern princes—Genius of Aurungzêbe—His attention to justice—Contempt of pomp—Austerity—Clemen­cy—Knowledge—Public buildings—Encouragement to letters—Charity—Skill in war—Learning—Manly exercises—Continence—Accessibleness—Amusements—Ceremonies of reception—Creation of nobles—Business of the morning—noon—and evening—Observa­tions 393
  • NUMB. I. Tenor of a Nobob's Firmân 407
  • NUMB. II. A Dewan's commission 408
  • NUMB. III. Tenor of a Jagieer 409
  • NUMB. IV. A Firman granting lands to a Zemindar 410
  • NUMB. V. The tenor of a Cazi's Firmân 411
  • NUMB. VI. Tenor of a Cutwal's Firmân 412
  • NUMB. VII. Commission or Perwanna for a Carkum or Chief of a district 413
  • NUMB. VIII. Commission or Purwanna for a Crorie 414
  • NUMB. IX. Commission of a Fotadâr or treasurer of a district 415
  • Glossary to the Appendix 416


THOUGH the Author of this volume derives by far the greatest part of his facts from Eastern writers, he has not overlooked the interrupted glimpses of the transactions in the Mo­gul empire, preserved by intelligent Europeans, who travelled, the last century, into India. He relies upon their authority with regard to what they had seen. He prefers the accounts of do­mestic writers, to what they only heard. He draws his informa­tion chiefly from the following authors; and the originals are, at this moment, in his hands.

I. MIRAT UL WARIDAT; or, The MIRROR OF OCCURRENCES, written by MAHOMMED SHUFFIA of Delhi. He undertook the work at the request of Byram Chan, in the reign of Ma­hommed Shaw. He professes his book to be a continuation of the work of Ferishta; and it contains a compendious histo­ry of the Mogul Empire, from the death of Akbâr, to the in­vasion of Nadir Shaw.


III. SHAW JEHAN NAMMA; or, THE HISTORY OF THE EM­PEROR SHAW JEHAN. By MIRZA CASIM, the son of MIR­ZA AMIN, private secretary to Aurungzêbe. Our Author succeeded his father in that office.

IV. ROSE NAMMA; or, A Journal of the first Ten Years of Au­rungzêbe. By the same Writer.

V. ALLUMGIRE NAMMA; or, THE HISTORY OF ALLUMGIRE or AURUNGZEBE. By the same. This work is little more than an abridgment of the above.

VI. MIRAT ALLUM; or, THE MIRROR OF THE WORLD. By NAZIR BUCHTAR CHAN, a man of letters, who led a pri­vate life near Feridâbad, within a few miles of Agra. This work contains the history of the first Ten Years of Aurung­zêbe.





Observations—Death of Akbar—Accession of Selim, by the name of JEHANGIRE—Rebellion of Sultan Chusero—Battle of Lahore—Chusero's misfortunes—Rebellion quashed—Executions—War with Persia—A conspiracy.

A.D. 1605 Higer. 1014 GeneralTHE great abilities of Akbar confirmed the house of Timur on the throne, and established tranquillity over all their vast conquests in India. Vigorous in his measures, with­out tyranny, he impressed the minds of men with awe, and checked that spirit of discord and private ambition, which had pre­vailed in more feeble reigns. Government becoming settled and uniform in its regulations, the arts of civil life began to increase and flourish, among a people naturally industrious and ingenious. The splendor of the court, the wealth of individuals, created a [Page 2] general taste for pomp and magnificence; and the crowded levees of the great, where all endeavoured to excel in the art of pleasing, rendered the Indians equal in politeness to the nations of Europe. Learning was not unknown, if we exclude the abstruse sciences. The Arabian and Brahmin systems of philosophy were studied; and the powers of the mind were generally cultivated and improved.

observa­tions.This character of civilization, it must be confessed, tallies not with the political conduct of the people. But necessity and self-preservation make a kind of apology for crimes under despotism, which would be unpardonable in a community governed by general and known laws. In states subject to arbitrary government, there is no security, no honour, no independence in private life. The nation is divided into two sorts of people, the oppressors and the oppressed. Every man of spirit, of family, and of fortune, must, in self-defence, endeavour to possess a share of the government under which he was born. When he starts forth from obscurity, he must adopt the political principles of his country, or be ruined in all his schemes, however repugnant these principles may be to the general dictates of humanity, and the particular disposition of his own mind. The greatest virtues therefore are often blended with the worst vices; and this circumstance gives a variety and strength of feature to Asiatic characters, unknown in the settled governments of the west.

Extent and revenues of the empire.Though the empire of the Mahommedans in India was not so extensive under Akbar as it had been under some princes of the Patan Dynasty, it comprehended a vast tract of country, divided into twenty-two provinces; each equal to some kingdoms in wealth, fertility and extent *. A small part only of the Decan or sourthern peninsula of India had been con­quered: [Page 3] yet the dominions of the family of Timur, in their northern and southern frontiers, fell under the thirty-sixth and ninetenth parallels of latitude; and they extended themselves, from east to west, about twenty-five degrees. The revenues, according to the Imperial register, were thirty-two millions ster­ling, received in the exchequer, exclusive of the customary presents, and the estates of the officers of the crown, which at their death reverted to the emperor, and amounted, at a mediùm, to twenty millions more of our money. These immense sums were expended in maintaining an army of three hundred thousand horse, as many of foot, in support of the splendor of the court, and in the salaries of civil officers.

Intrigues a­gainst Sultan Selim.When the indisposition of the emperor Akbar rendered him incapable of attending to public business, the whole weight of government fell on Chan Azim, the Visier. Selim, Akbar's only surviving son, notwithstanding the disputes which he had formerly with his father, was still looked upon as the heir of the empire. But the Visier's daughter being married to Chusero, the eldest son of Selim, that minister was desirous of placing the reins of government in the hands of his son-in-law. He was supported in this scheme by many of the nobles; the most enterprizing and powerful of whom was Raja Man Singh, whose sister was the mother of Chusero. The Raja, from the antiquity of his family, and his own address, commanded all the Hindoo interest in the empire; and he had, at that very time, twenty thousand of his native subjects of the Rajaput tribe in and near the environs of the capital, prepared to execute his orders. Selim being apprized of the powerful confederacy against him, waited upon his father Akbar, two days before his death, and laid before him all their schemes. The emperor called them to his presence, reprimanded them severely; and having publicly acknowledged Selim his law­ful [Page 4] successor in the empire, obliged the confederate lords to pay him homage, and to promise to support his title.

His accession to the throne.On the sixteenth of the second Jemmâd, in the year of the Higera one thousand and fourteen, the illustrious Akbar expired at Agra, amid the tears of his subjects; who loved him as their father, admired him as their leader, and feared him as their prince. The promise extorted by the emperor from the Visier and Man Singh in favour of Selim, had no effect on their conduct. He was no sooner dead than they assembled their party in the house of the former, and renewed their deliberations in favour of Chusero, in prejudice of his father. Selim in the mean time was not idle. He convened all his friends in his own palace. Things remained in suspense for some hours. Ferid Bochari, who commanded the city-guards, took at length a spirited resolution. He ordered the gates to be shut, to prevent any troops from entering the city; and, taking the keys in his hand, hastened to the palace of Selim. He presented them on his knees, and saluted him emperor. All present followed his example. The news soon reached the house of the Visier. The party of Chusero was struck with a sudden panic. They broke up from council, and made all possible haste to pay their respects to the new sovereign. The Visier took care not to be the last. The hopes of Chusero were dashed in a mo­ment. He was seized with fear, and fled down the river in a small canoe, with Raja Man Singh, and concealed himself in that prince's house till he obtained a pardon from his father. Ferid, for this signal service, was advanced to the rank of paymaster-general of the forces, by the title of Murtaza Chan; and many other distin­guishing honours were at the same time conferred upon him.

His titles and age.Selim was born at Sikri, near Agra, on Wednesday the seven­teenth of the second Ribbi, in the nine hundredth and seventy-seventh [Page 5] year of the Higera. The most remarkable event of Selim's life, before his accession, was, his disobedience to his father's orders, rather than his rebellion against him, about two years prior to that monarch's death. Insolent at first, he refused to return to his duty, and was once actually at the head of seventy thousand men. Upon the death of the prince Daniâl, he, however, submitted, having then a nearer prospect of the throne; Akbar having upbraided him for his disobedience at first, and his pusillanimity afterwards, for throwing himself upon an enraged sovereign's mercy, when he was at the head of a great army, received him into favour. When Selim took the reins of government in his hands, he assumed the titles of Noor-ul-dien Mahommed JEHANGIRE, or Mahommed the Light of the Faith and CONQUEROR OF THE WORLD. He dated the commencement of his reign from the twentieth of the second Jemmâd 1014, which answers to the 21st of October 1605, being then in the thirty-seventh year of his age. Akbar was interred with great pomp at Secundra, near Agra; and the minds of men were distracted between grief and joy, funeral solemnity, and the festivity attending upon the accession of a new sovereign.

His prudent and wise administra­tion.Chan Azim, the discontented Visier, and the Raja Man Singh, were so formidable in the empire, that Jehangire thought it most prudent to accept of the offered allegiance of both, and to con­firm them in their respective honours and governments, without animadversion upon their late conduct. Man Singh was dispatched to his subaship of Bengal; Chan Azim to that of Malava. The prince Chusero made his appearance at court; and his father, after a severe reprimand, took him at last into favour. The emperor in the mean time began his reign by a strict administra­tion of justice, and by a minute inspection into the finances and resources of the state. He issued a public edict to confirm all the [Page 6] laws and regulations in force. Many subas were removed from their respective governments into other provinces: some were dis­missed to make room for the emperor's abettors and friends. The deprived governors repaired to court to restore themselves, by money and intrigue, to their former dignities. Some succeeded in their views: others were reduced to despair, through want of suc­cess. The latter began to form treasonable designs to recover the consequence and power which they had lost.

A conspiracy in favour of his son Chu­sero;To accomplish their purpose, the discontented lords turned their eyes upon Chusero, and hoped, by his means, to effect a revolu­tion in the state. They pretended to have the greatest attachment to his person: they magnified the number of his friends, and his own merit. They rouzed his ambition by the praise of past actions, and animated it by the fair prospect of present success. But what had most weight with the prince, they intimidated him with pretended discoveries of the designs of his father against his life. The secrecy necessary to be observed in all arduous under­takings against despotic governments, rendered it difficult for Chusero to know the true state of things. The spies, whom the emperor had placed around him, in the mean time, increased, and confirmed his fears. Ambition, aided by timidity, at length pre­vailed over filial duty. He plunged therefore into danger, to take immediate possession of a throne, which he was born one day to mount, without the doubtful fortune of the sword.

who rejects a proposal of assassination.Chan Azim, and the Raja Man Singh, had the address not to appear openly in the conspiracy. They were, however, known to be the life and support of the whole. They were still under the cloud of the emperor's displeasure, which, at a convenient season, might burst on their heads. The prince being so far involved in the plot, it would be dangerous for him to recede: and they, [Page 7] A.D. 1606 Hig. 1015 justly considering the improbability of success by open force against the Imperial power, proposed the more speedy expedient of assas­sinating Jehangire. The proposal came to the ears of the prince. Though he was bent upon rebellion, he startled at parricide. Na­ture was rouzed in his breast. ‘"My father," said he, "may enjoy life without a throne; but I can never enjoy a throne stained with a father's blood. Let him try the fortune of the field. Let us throw away the daggers of assassins, and owe our advancement to our swords."’

The plot dis­covered.The conspirators pretended to applaud the noble sentiments of the prince: but they, from that instant, were irresolute and embarrassed in their councils. Many, violent at the beginning, now awed by the greatness of the undertaking, shrunk back from their purpose, and began to shelter themselves behind one another. The empe­ror, in the mean time, was in part informed of the plot. He pre­pared to seize the prince: the latter was apprized of his father's designs. By a premature discovery, this conspiracy, like many of the same kind, failed. Fear took possession of the adherents of Chusero. He himself was afraid. They neglected to execute the daring stroke, which their situation and safety required. They began to remove themselves from immediate danger, as if the pre­sent were more to be feared than those which in future they had to oppose. They, however, did not altogether relinquish their designs.

First rising.On Monday the eight of Zehidge, six months after the acces­sion of Jehangire to the throne of India, near one hundred of the conspirators assembled privately, in the evening, at the tomb of the emperor Akbar. Chusero having joined them, on pretence of pay­ing his devotions at his grandfather's shrine, they proceeded, that very night, toward Delhi. About day-break, next morning, they had reached the city of Muttra, about thirty-eight miles from [Page 8] Agra; and entered the town, when the troops, who garrisoned the place, were on the parade. They halted for refreshment; and they had the good fortune not to be suspected by the officer who commanded at Muttra. Hussein Beg Chan Buduchshi, who had been governor of the province of Cabul during a considerable part of the former reign, being turned out of his office by the emperor, was on his way to court. Having travelled in the night on account of the heat of the weather, he happened to enter the city of Muttra at the opposite gate just when the prince arrived. They met in the market-place. Chusero was no stranger to the discon­tent of Hussein; and esteeming him a great acquisition to his party, from his known bravery and popularity among the Tartars, who formed a great part of the imperial army, he called him aside, and having sounded him, laid open his whole plan. Hussein being conscious of no crime against the state, thought himself highly injured by Jehangire. Possessed of no property but the sword, from the generosity of his disposition, which had lavished his fortune upon his friends, he required not much intreaty to espouse the cause of the prince.

Chusero marches to Delhi.The retinue of Hussein was but small. It consisted of two hun­dred Tartar horse, and three hundred Afgan foot. But his military fame was great; and he gave life to the conspiracy. The prince endeavoured to bring over the governor of Muttra to his party. That officer, perceiving his intentions, shut himself up in the citadel, and would listen to no terms. Chusero had neither time nor force to reduce him. He contented himself with enlisting as many as he could of the inhabitants and garrison into his service; and, leaving Muttra, continued his route to Delhi.

Ravages the country.The road between the two great cities of Delhi and Agra being crowded with travellers, and detachments of horse and foot going [Page 9] on different services, the prince forced them to join his standard. Those who refused were, without mercy, put to the sword, after being plundered of all their effects. Small parties of horse were at the same time dispersed through the country on every side; and such as did not immediately take up arms in favour of Chusero were submitted to military execution, and all the severities of war. Many were compelled to join him, through fear. Others, from the same cause, fled into the woods; and saw from their retreats the smoke of their burning houses, and mourned over their infants and aged parents, who had not strength to avoid the flames. Some more resolute defended themselves against the rebels, and to their valour owed their lives. The orders of the prince, it must be owned, did not extend to such rigour and cruelty. But he found it impossible to restrain from excesses his undisciplined soldiers. He had set them an example of wickedness by rebellion; and it was not to be expected that they would submit to his commands in favour of humanity and justice.

Lays the sub­urbs of Del­hi under con­tributions.Such was the wasteful progress of Chusero to Delhi. His fol­lowers having greatly increased their numbers in the march, he laid the suburbs of that capital under contribution. The gates being shut, the city itself was preserved from pillage. The unfor­tunate people who lived without the walls, from their delay in raising the sum imposed upon them, had their houses consumed with fire. Many thousands were ruined. Many, to retrieve their affairs, joined the rebels, to make reprisals upon the world for the loss which they had sustained.

The emperor pursues Chu­sero,At eleven o'clock of the same night on which Chusero left Agra, his father was informed of his flight by the captain-general, who was ordered to pursue immediately the fugitive. About an hour [Page 10] after this officer's departure with a considerable body of horse, the emperor, suspecting his loyalty, dispatched his commands to him to return. Ferid Bochari, lately raised to the dignity of Murtaza Chan, and to the office of paymaster-general of the forces, was dispatched upon that service, with an additional number of troops. The whole under Ferid amounted to ten thousand horse, which greatly retarded his march. Chusero, of course, had the more time to harass the country, and to strengthen himself. In the morn­ing, as soon as day-light appeared, the emperor mounted his horse; and having assembled all the forces in and near Agra, leaving a sufficient garrison in the place, marched with a great army toward Delhi. He was, upon the occasion, heard to repeat a verse, which implied, ‘"That fortune depended upon expedition more than on counsel; and that his life should be darkened who put off till to-morrow what ought to be done to-day."’ The undu­tiful behaviour of a son, whom he loved, was a severe stroke to his mind. He refused to eat or drink, or to take rest for some time; and even opium, to which he was much addicted, he declined.

who takes the route of Lahore.The governor and inhabitants of Delhi, having recovered from the first impressions which the sudden arrival and ravages com­mitted by Chusero had made upon their minds, prepared for a resolute defence. Some troops, who were stationed in different parts of the country, had thrown themselves into the town. As there was a considerable quantity of the Imperial treasure lodged in the city, as well as the great wealth of private persons, the inten­tions of the prince were to have surprized Delhi, and to furnish himself with money sufficient to raise an army in the province of Punjab. But the general terror which his rapacity had excited carried the news of his march before him, and disappointed his designs. Despairing of being able to force Delhi to surrender [Page 11] before the arrival of the Imperial army, having remained only two days in the suburbs, Chusero took the route of Lahore. Having been, on his march, joined by a great number of men, he attempted, immediately upon his arrival, to take that city by escalade. He was repulsed with some loss by the garrison; and being at the same time destitute of artillery, he was greatly disconcerted in his mea­sures. He, however, invested the place.

He is deseat­ed by Ferid Bochari.The Imperial troops stationed in the province threw themselves into Lahore. They sallied out on the besiegers nine successive days, but they were as often repulsed, and obliged to shelter them­selves behind their walls. Chusero in the mean time had drawn together some artillery from small fortresses in the neighbourhood, which he had found means to surprise. Nothing could be effected against the place before the arrival of Ferid, the paymaster-general, with the emperor's advanced guard. The prince, with an army of thirty thousand horse and foot, but without order, without dis­cipline, marched out of his camp to give battle to Ferid. The garrison of Lahore perceiving his motions, fell upon his rear. He left a part of his army to oppose them: With the remaining part he attacked Ferid. His troops behaved better than their discipline seemed to promise. He exposed his own person. He was at length deserted; and, pressing among the thickest of the enemy, he found himself with only a few of his principal adherents, who bravely fought by his side. In this situation he was surrounded by the Imperialists on every side. He was personally known to them all. They were tender of his life; and, in attempting to take him prisoner, they permitted him to make his escape. Great honours were conferred upon Ferid by the emperor, on account of this signal victory.

Fluctuating counsels of his adhe­rents.The unfortunate Chusero wandered all night through the woods, with a few attendants. His army was all dispersed. He came in [Page 12] the morning to a hut, where, quite overcome by fatigue, he laid himself down to rest. Some of his friends having discovered where he lay, assembled around him. They began to consult together on the present untoward situation of their affairs. They differed in opinion. Such of the chiefs as were natives of Bengal and the adjacent provinces, insisted upon taking the route of that quarter of India, by the foot of the northern mountains: they alleged, that the Raja Man Singh, who was then suba of Bengal, possessed great power, which he would not fail to exert in his nephew's cause *: that the country was rich and populous: that it was an invariable maxim among the Hindoo princes, never to desert the interest of a stranger who should throw himself under their protection: Besides, that the Raja Man Singh joined the affection of a relation to the prince, to the natural faith of his nation to the suppliant and unfortunate. The natives of Chan­deish and Malava were for trying their fortunes in their respec­tive provinces. Chan Azim, the late Visier, father-in-law of Chusero, was governor of the latter; and they doubted not but he would support the dignity of his own family. They added, that Azim was possessed of a fine army, provided with artillery, and furnished with stores.

They dis­perse.Hussein Beg, who was in chief confidence with the prince, started objections to the different plans of his other adherents. He urged the distance of the march, and the impossibility of forcing their way through countries full of Imperial troops, who would be very active, since Fortune had forsaken the side of Chusero. He proposed that they should continue their route to Cabul; where he himself had interest sufficient to arm the whole province, toge­ther with his native country Buduchshân, in favour of the prince. [Page 13] Chusero, during the debate, sat silent. Having at length weighed each opinion, he declared in favour of that of Hussein; alleging, that the troops of the north were most faithful to their chiefs. The observation displeased the other chiefs: they murmured, and left his presence. They saw that their affairs were desperate, and they resolved to retreat to their respective habitations; covering their fears under a pretended disgust at the preference given to the counsel of Hussein.

He arrives on the banks of of the Attoc;Chusero in a few minutes found himself deserted by those who had made him the tool of their ambition and revenge. Reproaches were to no effect. He blamed his adherents for their timidity and perfidy; but he himself was not less culpable. His mind was agitated with various passions. Rage against his own folly was the most predominant. Hussein was the only chief of note who remained of the conspirators. His followers, consisting of three hundred horse, and a few of the prince's menial servants, formed their whole retinue. With these they set out for Cabul. Being forced to depart from the high road, they frequently lost their way, as they were obliged to travel in the night.

where, for want of boats,Keeping their course through unfrequented paths and by-roads, they at length arrived on the banks of the river Attoc, the largest branch of the Indus. It was impassable without boats. It was then midnight. They moved down the river to the ferry of Chou­dera. Finding no boats at that place, though a much frequented passage, they understood that orders had been sent to conceal them. The ferryman and villagers were asleep. It was proposed to seize them, to force them to discover where the boats were laid. Some were taken in their beds; others escaped, and, with their outcries, alarmed the country. The prince understood from those that were taken, that orders from the Imperial camp had two days before been received by the zemindâr of the district, to stop the [Page 14] passage of the river; and that, in obedience to these orders, he had secreted the boats. Hussein in the mean time having dispatched some of his followers in quest of the boats, they found two, filled with wood, in a neighbouring creek. These were unloaded, and brought to the proper place. The zemindâr, being rouzed from sleep by the noise, had come by this time to the banks of the Attoc, attended by a concourse of people. He called to those who drag­ged the boats, that he had an Imperial mandate to prohibit all per­sons, under pain of death, to cross the river. They, intimidated by his threats, turned the head of the two boats across the stream, The prince's party fired upon them: some were killed, others plunged into the river; and a few expert swimmers, in the reti­nue of Chusero, brought one boat with difficulty to the shore.

he is in great distress.The banks of the Attoc were in the mean time crowded with the country people. An officer arrived with a hundred horse to guard the passage. Other detachments came gradually in from every quarter. Chusero and Hussein resolved to save themselves in the boat. They placed their horses in the center, and they themselves took their seats in the stern. Their attendants, afraid of being left to the mercy of their enemies, threw them­selves headlong into the vessel, and almost sunk her. They, how­ever, pushed her from shore; threw some overboard, and cut off the hands of others who clung to her sides. Many were drowned. A few slain by the Imperialists. This was but the beginning of misfortunes. Most of the oars had been lost in the confusion; and the rudder, to complete the ruin of the unfortunate Chusero, had been inadvertently thrown overboard with the wood with which the boat had been found loaded. These inconveniences, joined to a want of skill in the rowers, rendered it impossible for them to manage the boat. She was carried down the stream. The confu­sion was great, and danger every moment increased.

[Page 15] He is taken prisoner.The zemindâr, and the party who guarded the ferry, were not idle. They seized upon those left ashore. They fired at the boat, and followed her down the river. She struck at last on a sand­bank. Some plunged into the water to push her off: she remained immoveable. The fire continued. Many were killed. No resource was left. The sun was just rising. Casim Chan, who com­manded the party of horse, seeing the unfortunate prince in this unextricable situation, stopt the fire. Being by this time joined by another officer who commanded a body of troops in the neigh­bourhood, both mounted their elephants; and, riding in to the bank on which the boat lay, seized the prince. Casim placed him behind him on the elephant, while the other officer secured Hus­sein. The few that remained of their attendants were carried ashore in another boat.

His behavi­our before his father.Such was the end of a rebellion begun without any just cause, concerted without judgment, and carried on with very moderate abilities, by a prince scarce more unfortunate than he deserved to be. The emperor was at the time encamped in a garden near Lahore. He received the news of the seizure of the prince with excessive joy. He ordered him to be brought before him, with a golden chain from his left hand to his left foot, according to the laws of his ancestors, Zingis and Timur. Hussein, loaded with iron chains, was placed on the right hand of Chusero; Abdul Rahim, another of the principal rebels, on his left. Jehangire sternly asked his son, ‘"What could induce thee, Sultan Chusero, to rebel against thy sovereign and father?"’ Chusero was silent: the emperor began to relent. He then, in a soster tone, questioned him about his advisers and abettors in rebellion. Chusero burst into tears. His father was surprized: for till then he had remained firm. ‘"Father," said the prince, with a broken voice, "my crime is great; but let me suffer for it alone. When you [Page 16] accused me, I was sensible of my faults; and, as I was reconciled with the loss of life, I behaved with dignity. But when you raise the remembrance of my friends, I am troubled at their fate. Let them escape as they can; I will never become their accuser."’

Execution of his adhe­rents.Jehangire stood silent; and, by his pressing him no farther, seemed to applaud his sentiments. Any information from the prince would be unnecessary. The conspirators had impeached one another; and three hundred of the chiefs were already seized. The prince was delivered over, in close confinement, into the hands of the paymaster-general. Hussein was sentenced to be sewed up in the raw hide of an ox, and to be thrown in that con­dition into the street. The hide was soon contracted by the heat of the sun; and he expired in a few hours. Abdul Rahim did not so easily escape. Finding that Hussein was dead sooner than they expected, those appointed to superintend the executions, kept the ass's hide in which Rahim was inclosed, constantly moist with water. He lived for several days in that miserable condition. Three hundred pales in the mean time were set up in two rows along the public road. The rebels, to that number, were drawn alive on the pales. Chusero was brought every day, as long as any of the unhappy wretches breathed, under their tortures, to view the horrid sight. He was led in chains through the midst of them, whilst he watered the ground with his tears. Some of them had been his dearest companions; others his faithful ser­vants, who had followed his fortunes, merely to shew their fidelity to a master whom they loved.

Candahar in­vested by the Persians.These barbarous executions were scarce over at Lahore, when news was brought to the Imperial camp, that the Persians had invested Candahar with a numerous army; that Shaw Beg, the governor of that city and province, had, by his rashness, suffered [Page 17] a very considerable loss in a sally; yet that he continued, without any necessity, to expose the garrison. His conduct could only be accounted for by an absurdity bordering on madness. He was as careless of his own life as he was of his duty. Dissolute beyond example, he ordered an awning to be spread over the gate-way most exposed to the enemy's fire. He sat under it all day, con­versing with common prostitutes, whom, much against their inclination, he forced to attend him. The emperor, fearing more from his negligence and debauchery, than he hoped from his fidelity and courage, sent Sirdir Chan, an old Omrah, to supersede him in his government, with orders to defend Candahar to the last extremity. Ghazi Chan, an officer of great reputation, was, at the same time, dispatched with twenty-five thousand horse, to harass the enemy. Jehangire himself, with the remaining part of the Imperial army, marched to Cabul.

The siege raised.Ghazi had scarce advanced within six days march of Candahar, when the Persians raised the siege, and retreated towards Chorassan. No reason could be assigned for these hostilities on the side of Persia, except the favourable opportunity offered, by the rebellion of Chusero, for seizing the city of Candahar, which was, in some measure, the key to the Persian empire. Shaw Abas of Persia pretended, that his lieutenants in the provinces of Seistan and Chorassan had taken this step without his orders; and that it was his positive commands which raised the siege.

A peace with Persia.Jehangire placed little faith in the professions of Abas; being satisfied, that the death of Akbar, and the rebellion of Chusero, were the true motives of the invasion. He, however, admitted the excuses of the Persian, which were brought by his ambassador Hussein. Several small forts near Candahar, which had been taken by the Persians, were evacuated, and peace between the two [Page 18] formidable powers was re-established. Shaw Beg, deprived of the government of Candahar, was made Suba of Cabul: for, notwithstanding his absurd behaviour, he had displayed both ability and spirit in the defence of the city. The emperor, after these transactions, returned toward Lahore.

A conspi­racy.Sultan Chusero was still in close consinement, which his active and vehement disposition could very ill endure. The usage he met with deprived him of every hope of a reconciliation with his father. The marks of assection shewn by the emperor to his younger sens, Purvez and Churrum, confirmed the suspicions of Chuscro. It was also currently reported, that Jehangire was to appoint one of the two favoured princes, his successor. Nothing but disappointment, and even death, presented to Chusero's mind. His friends were still numerous in the army. He sounded them, by his emissaries: some moved by his misfortunes, many in love with novelty, began to form treasonable designs against the emperor's life. It was concerted to fall upon Jehangire at the chace, and, having dispatched him, to raise Chusero, from his prison to the throne.

Discovered.Some writers doubt, whether Chusero was at all privy to this conspiracy: others deny the whole. The first argue from the humanity of Chusero; the latter say, that it was a siction of Sultan Churrum, third son of Jehangire. This much is certain, that the first intelligence of the conspiracy came, through prince Churrum, to the emperor's ears. He informed his father, that five hundred of the nobility were engaged in a plot against his life. Jehangire was slartled, and knew not how to act: he considered, that, should he seize some, the rest would be alarmed; and that danger might arise from their power. As it was diffi­cult, therefore, to secure them all at once, he thought it most [Page 19] prudent to send all on different services. Four of the principals he reserved, whom he ordered to be seized. They were tried for treason; sufficient proofs could not be found. They were kept in consinement: Chusero was more narrowly watched; and became daily more and more obnoxious to his father.


Disturbances in Bengal—Story of Chaja Aiass—His slight from Tartary—Distress in the desart—Birth of the Sultana Noor-Mâhil—Marriage with Shere Ashun—Persecution—and murder of that Omrah—Her marriage with the emperor—Promotion of her family.

Distarbances in Bengal.JEHANGIRE, having resettled the affairs of the provinces to the north-west of the Indus, marched toward the capital. When he was crossing the Attoe, letters were received from Islam Chan, governor of Behâr, with intelligence, that Shere Afkun, a native of Turkomania, who commanded in the district of Burdwan, had, with his own hand, killed Kuttub-ul-dien Ko [...]a, Suba of Bengal, together with several other o [...]cers, who had set upon Shere Afkun, with an intention to assassinate him. Jehangire was much afflicted at the death of his favourite Kuttub; but he derived some comfort from the Suba's success against the life of Shere Afkun. The circumstances of the unhappy fate of this chief are in themselves extraordinary; and the knowledge of them is necessary for clucidating the sequel of the history of Jehangire. To trace things to their source, we must, for some time, lose sight of the unfortunate Shere.

[Page 20] Story of Chaja Aiass.About twenty years before this period, Chaja Aiass, a native of the western Tartary, left that country to push his fortune in Hindostan. He was descended of an ancient and noble family, fallen into decay by various revolutions of fortune. He, how­ever, had received a good education, which was all his parents could bestow. Falling in love with a young woman, as poor as himself, he married her; but he found it difficult to provide for her the very necessaries of life. Reduced to the last extremity, he turned his thoughts upon India, the usual resource of the needy Tartars of the north. He left privately friends, who either would not or could not assist him, and turned his face to a foreign country. His all consisted of one sorry horse, and a very small sum of money, which had proceeded from the sale of his other effects. Placing his wife upon the horse, he walked by her side. She hap­pened to be with child, and could ill endure the fatigue of so great a journey. Their scanty pittance of money was soon expended: they had even subsisted, for some days, upon charity, when they arrived on the skirts of the Great Solitudes, which separate Tar­tary from the dominions of the family of Timur, in India. No house was there to cover them from the inclemency of the weather; no hand to relieve their wants. To return, was certain misery; to proceed, apparent destruction.

His distressThey had fasted three days: to complete their misfortunes, the wife of Aiass was taken in labour. She began to reproach her husband for leaving his native country at an unfortunate hour; for exchanging a quiet, though poor life, for the ideal prospect of wealth in a distant country. In this distressed situation she brought forth a daughter. They remained in the place for some hours, with a vain hope that travellers might pass that way. They were disappointed. Human feet seldom tread these desarts: the sun declined a-pace. They feared the approach of night: the [Page 21] place was the haunt of wild beasts; and should they escape their hunger, they must fall by their own. Chaja Aiass, in this ex­tremity, having placed his wife on the horse, found himself so much exhausted that he could scarcely move. To carry the child was impossible: the mother could not even hold herself fast on the horse. A long contest began between Humanity and Necessity: the latter prevailed, and they agreed to expose the child on the high-way. The infant, covered with leaves, was placed under a tree; and the disconsolate parents proceeded in tears.

in the desart.When they had advanced about a mile from the place, and the eyes of the mother could no longer distinguish the solitary tree under which she had left her daughter, she gave way to grief; and throwing herself from the horse on the ground, ex­claimed, ‘"My child! my child!"’ She endeavoured to raise herself; but she had no strength to return. Aiass was pierced to the heart. He prevailed upon his wife to sit down. He promised to bring her the infant. He arrived at the place. No sooner had his eyes reached the child, than he was almost struck dead with horror. A black snake, say our authors, was coiled around it; and Aiass believed he beheld him extending his fatal jaws to devour the infant. The father rushed forward. The serpent, alarmed at his vociferation, retired into the hollow tree. He took up his daughter unhurt, and returned to the mother. He gave her child into her arms; and, as he was informing her of the wonderful escape of the infant, some travellers appeared, and soon relieved them of all their wants. They proceeded gradually and came to Lahore.

His arrival and good fortune at Lahore.The emperor Akbar, at the arrival of Aiass, kept his court at Lahore. Asiph Chan, one of that monarch's principal Omrahs, attended then the presence. He was a distant relation to Aiass, [Page 22] and he received him with attention and friendship. To employ him, he made him his own secretary. Aiass soon recommended himself to Asiph in that station; and, by some accident, his diligence and ability attracted the notice of the emperor, who raised him to the command of a thousand horse. He become, in process of time, master of the household; and his genius being still greater than even his good fortune, he raised himself to the office and title of Actimâd-ul-Dowla, or high treasurer of the empire. Thus he, who had almost perished through mere want in the desert, became, in the space of a few years, the first subject in India.

Character of his daughter Mher-ul-Nissa.The daughter, who had been born to Aiass in the desert, re­ceived, soon after his arrival at Lahore, the name of Mher-ul-Nissa, or the Sun of Women. She had some right to the appel­lation; for in beauty she excelled all the ladies of the East. She was educated with the utmost care and attention. In musie, in dancing, in poetry, in painting, she had no equal among her sex. Her disposition was volatile, her wit lively and satirical, her spirit lofty and uncontrouled. Selim, the prince-royal, visited one day her father. When the public entertainment was over, when all, except the principal guests, were withdrawn, and wine was brought on the table, the ladies, according to custom, were intro­duced in their veils.

She capti­ [...] Sultan [...]:The ambition of Mher-ul-Nissa aspired to a conquest of the prince. She sung—he was in raptures: she danced—he could hardly be restrained, by the rules of decency, to his place. Her stature, her shape, her gait, had raised his ideas of her beauty to the highest pitch. When his eyes seemed to devour her, she, as by accident, dropt her veil; and shone upon him, at once, with [...]ll her charms. The confusion, which she could well feign, on [Page 23] the occasion, heightened the beauty of her face. Her timid eye by stealth fell upon the prince, and kindled all his soul into love. He was silent for the remaining part of the evening: she endea­voured to confirm, by her wit, the conquest which the charms of her person had made.

Marries Shere Afkun;Selim, distracted with his passion, knew not what course to take. Mher-ul-Nissa had been betrothed, by her father, to Shere Afkun, a Turkomanian nobleman of great renown. He applied to his father Akbar, who sternly refused to commit a piec [...] of injustice, though in favour of the heir of his throne. The prince retired abashed; and Mher-ul-Nissa became the wife of Shere Afkun. The latter, however, suffered in his prospects in life, for not having made a voluntary resignation of the lady to the enamoured prince. Though Selim durst make no open attack upon his fortunate rival, during the life of Akbar, men in office worshipped the rising sun, and threw accumulated disgrace on Shere Afkun. He became disgusted, and left the court of Agra. He retired into the province of Bengal, and obtained from the Suba of that country, the superintendency of the district of Burdwan.

who is per­secuted by Selim.The passion for Mher-ul-Nissa, which Selim had repressed from a respect and fear for his father, returned with redoubled violence when he himself mounted the throne of India. He was now absolute; no subject could thwart his will and pleasure. He recalled Shere Afkun from his retreat. He was, however, afraid to go so much against the current of the public opinion, as to de­prive that Omrah of his wise. Shere was inflexible: no man of honour in India can part with his spouse, and retain his life. His incredible strength and bravery had rendered Shere extremely [Page 24] popular. He was naturally high-spirited and proud; and it was not to be expected, that he would yield to indignity and public shame.—His family, his former reputation was high.—Born of noble parents in Turkomania, he had spent his youth in Persia; and had served, with uncommon renown, Shaw Ismaël the third of the Sufvi line. His original name was Asta Jillô, but having killed a lion, he was dignified with the title of Shere Afkun, or the Overthrower of the Lion. Under the latter name he became famous in India. In the wars of Akbar, he had served with great reputation. He had distinguished himself, in a particular manner, under Chan Chanan, at the taking of Sind, by exhibit­ing prodigies of personal strength and valour. Preserments had been heaped upon him; and he was highly esteemed at court, during the life of Akbar, who loved in others that daring intre­pidity for which he himself was renowned.

He is called to court.Jehangire kept his court at Delhi, when he called Shere Afkun to the presence. He received him graciously, and conferred new honours upon him. Shere Afkun, naturally open and generous, suspected not the emperor's intentions. Time, he thought, had crazed the memory of Mher-ul-Nissa from Jehangire's mind. He was deceived. The monarch was resolved to remove his rival; but the means he used were, at once, foolish and disgrace­ful. He appointed a day for hunting; and ordered the haunt of an enormous tiger to be explored. News was soon brought, that a tiger of an extraordinary size was discovered in the forest of Nidarbari. This savage, it was said, had carried off many of the largest oxen from the neighbouring villages. The emperor directed thither his march, attended by Shere Afkun, and several thousands of his principal officers, with all their trains. Having, according to the custom of the Mogul Tartars, surrounded the ground for many miles, they began to move toward the center, [Page 25] on all sides. The tiger was rouzed. His roaring was heard in all quarters: and the emperor hastened to the place.

He attacks,The nobility being assembled, Jehangire called aloud, ‘"Who among you will advance singly and attack this tiger?"’ They looked on one another in silence: then all turned their eyes on Shere Afkun. He seemed not to understand their meaning: at length three Omrahs started forth from the circle, and sacrisicing fear to shame, fell at the emperor's feet, and begged permission to try singly their strength against the formidable animal. The pride of Shere Afkun arose. He had imagined, that none durst attempt a deed so dangerous. He hoped, that after the refusal of the nobles, the honour of the enterprize would devolve in course on his hands. But three had offered themselves for the combat: and they were bound in honour to insist on their prior right. Afraid of losing his former renown, Shere Afkun 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."’The other Omrahs objected in vain, ‘"That all men were inferior to the tiger in strength; and that he could be overcome only with steel."’ ‘"I will convince you of your mistake,"’ Shere Afkun replied: and, throwing down his sword and shield, prepared to advance unarmed.

and kills an enormous tiger.Though the emperor was, in secret, pleased with a proposal full of danger to Shere, he made a shew of dissuading him from the enterprize. Shere was determined. The monarch, with seigned 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 [Page 26] detail of the battle between Shere Afkun and the tiger. This much is certain, that, after a long and obstinate struggle, the astonishing warrior prevailed; and, though mangled with wounds himself, laid at last the savage dead at his feet. The thousands who were eye-witnesses of the action, were even 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. But the determined cruelty of the latter stopt not here: other means of death were contrived against the unfor­tunate Shere.

Defe [...]t [...] a design ag [...]inst his life.He had scarce recovered from his wounds, when he came to pay his respects at court. He was caressed by the emperor; and he suspected no guile. A snare, however, was prepared for him. Jehangire had meanly condescended to give private orders to the rider of one of his largest elephants to waylay his rival, in one of the narrow streets, when he next should return to court, and there to tread him to death. As accidents of that kind sometimes happen, from the rage of those animals in the rutting season, the thing might have passed without suspicion. Shere was carried in his palanky. He saw the elephant in his way. He gave orders to the bearers to return back: the elephant came forward. They threw the palanky, with their master, in the street, and sled to save their lives. Shere saw his danger. He had just time to rise. He drew a short sword, which always hung by his side: with this weapon he struck the elephant across the root of the trunk, which he cut off with one blow. The animal roared, turned from him, fell down and expired. The emperor was looking out at a window. Here tired with amazement and shame. Shere continued his way to the palace. Without any suspicion of treachery, he related the particulars to Jehangire. The latter disguised his sentiments, but reliquished not his designs. He [Page 27] praised the strength and valour of Shere, who retired satisfied and unsuspecting from the presence.

DiscomfitsWhether the emperor endeavoured to conquer his passion for Mher-ul-Nissa, or felt remorse from his own behaviour, is uncer­tain; but, for the space of six months, no further attempts were made against the life of Shere, who now retired to the capital of Bengal. The former designs of Jehangire were no secret. They were the subject of common conversation, little to the advantage of the character of a great prince. Absolute monarchs, however, are never without men who flatter their worst passions, and ad­minister to their most pernicious pleasures. Kuttub, Suba of Bengal, was one of these convenient sycophants. To ingratiate himself with the emperor, though perhaps not by his express commands, he hired forty russians, to attack and murder Shere, when an opportunity should offer. Shere was apprized of the intentions of Kuttub. He continued within doors: but such was his confidence in his own strength and valour, that at night he would not permit his servants to remain in his house. They, according to custom, retired each to his own home. An old porter only remained of the men servants, under the same roof with Shere. The assassins were no strangers to a circumstance common in India. They made their observations upon the house. They found that there was a room, on the right hand, within the the principal door, which Shere used, as a writing-chamber. This room communicated, by a narrow passage, with the sleeping apart­ments. When it was dark, they took advantage of the old porter's absence, and conveyed themselves, without discovery, into the house.

forty assassins.The principal door being bolted at the usual hour, Shere and his family went to bed. Some of the assassins, when they thought [Page 28] he was fallen asleep, stole silently into his apartment. They prepared to plunge their daggers into his body, when one of them, who was an old man, being touched with remorse, cried out with a loud voice: ‘"Hold! have we not the emperor's orders? Let us behave like men. Shall forty fall upon one, and that one asleep!"’ ‘"Boldly spoken,"’ said Shere; starting that instant from his bed. Seizing his sword, he placed himself in a corner of the room. There he was attacked by the assassins. In a few minutes, many of the villains lay, weltering in their blood, at his feet. Scarce one half escaped without a wound. The old man, who had given warning, did not attempt to fly. Shere took him by the hand, praised and thanked him for his behaviour, and, having enquired about those who had hired the assassins, dismissed him, with handsome presents, to relate the particulars abroad.

He is mur­dered.The fame of this gallant exploit resounded through the whole empire. Shere could not stir abroad for the mob, who pressed around him. He, however, thought proper to retire from the capital of Bengal, to his old residence at Burdwan. He hoped to live there in obscurity and safety, with his beloved Mher-ul-Nissa. He was deceived. The Suba of Bengal had received his government, for the purpose of removing the unfortunate Shere; and he was not ungrateful. After deliberating with himself about the means, he, at last, fell upon an effectual expedient. Settling the assairs of his government at Tanda, which was, at that time, the capital of Bengal, he resolved, with a great retinue, to make the tour of the dependent provinces. In his rout he came to Burdwan. He made no secret to his principal ossicers, that he had the emperor's orders for dispatching Shere. That devoted Omrah, hearing that the Suba was entering the town in which he resided, mounted his horse, and, with two servants only, went to pay his respects. The Suba received Shere with assected [Page 29] politeness. They rode, for some time, side by side; and their conversation turned upon indifferent assairs. The Suba sud­denly stopt. He ordered his elephant of state to be brought; which he mounted, under a pretence of appearing with becoming pomp in the city of Burdwan. Shere stood still, when the Suba 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 that freedom without his master's orders: he saw plainly, that there was a laid design against his life. He turned round upon the pikeman; and threatened him with instant death. He 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 Suba was mounted; and having broke down the amari or castle, cut him in two; and thus the unfortunate Kuttub 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 Aba Chan, a native of Cashmire; who was an Omrah of five thousand horse. Four other nobles shared the same fate. A death attended every blow from the hand of Shere. The remaining chiefs were at once astonished and frightened. They sled to a distance, and formed a circle around him. Some began to gall him with arrows; others to sire with their musquets. His horse, at length, being 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 sace toward 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 [Page 30] entered his body, in different places, before he fell. His enemies had scarce the courage to come near, till they saw him in the last agonies of death. They praised his valour to the skies: but in adding to his reputation, they took away from their own.

Mher-ul-NissaThe officer, who succeeded the deceased Suba in the com­mand of the troops, hastened to the house of Shere. He was afraid that Mher-ul-Nissa, in the first paroxisms of grief, might make away with herself. That lady, however, bore her misfor­tunes with more fortitude and resignation. She was unwilling to adopt the manners of her country, upon such tragical occasions. She even pretended, in vindication of her apparent insensibility, to sollow the injunctions of her deceased lord. She alleged that Shere, foreseeing his own fall by Jehangire, had conjured her to yield to the desires of that monarch without hesitation. The reasons, which she said, he gave, were as fecble 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.

ill-received at court.Mher-ul-Nissa was sent, with all imaginable care, to Delhi. She was sull of the ambition of becoming the savourite Sultana. Her vanity was disappointed. Though she was received with great tenderness and affection, by Rokia Sultana Begum, the emperor's mother, Jehangire refused to see her. Whether his mind was then sixed on another object, or remorse had taken possession of his soul, authors do not agree. They, however, assert, with great improbability, that the emperor was so much assected with the death of his savourite, the Suba of Bengal, that he resolved to punish Mher-ul-Nissa, for an accident in which she had no concern. Be that as it will, he gave orders to shut her up in one of the worst apartments of the seraglio. He even [Page 31] would not deign to see her; and, contrary to his usual munificence to women, he allowed her but fourteen anas, about two shillings of our money, a-day, for the subsistance of herself and some female slaves. This coldness to a woman whom he passionately loved when not in his power, was at once unaccountable and absurd.

Not seen by the emperor,Mher-ul-Nissa was a woman of a haughty spirit, and could not brook this treatment. She had no remedy. She gave herself up, for some time, to grief, as if for the death of her husband; but it was disappointment only that preyed upon her mind. She was at length reconciled to her condition, from a hope of an oppor­tunity of re-kindling the emperor's former love. She trusted to the amazing power of her own beauty; which, to conquer, required only to be seen. The emperor's mother, who was deeply interested for Mher-ul-Nissa, could not prevail upon her son to see her. He turned away from her in silence, when she spoke of the widow of Shere. An expedient, however, offered itself to Mher-ul-Nissa. To raise her own reputation in the seraglio, and to support herself and slaves with more decency, than the scanty pittance allowed her would admit, she called forth her invention and taste in working some admirable pieces of tapestry and embroidery, in painting silks with exquisite delicacy, and in inventing female ornaments of every kind. These articles were carried, by her slaves, to the disserent squares of the royal seraglio, and to the harams of the great officers of the empire. The inventions of Mher-ul-Nissa excelled so much in their kind, that they were bought with the greatest avidity. Nothing was fashionable among the ladies of Delhi and Agra, but the work of her hands. She accumulated, by these means, a considerable sum of money, with which she repaired and beautified her apart­ments, [Page 32] and clothed her slaves in the richest tissues and brocades, while she herself affected a very plain and simple dress.

till the end of four years.In this situation the widow of Shere continued four years, without once having seen the emperor. Her fame reached his ears from every apartment in the seraglio. Curiosity at length vanquished his resolution. He determined to be an eye-witness of the things which he had so often heard, concerning Mher-ul-Nissa. He resolved to surprize her: and communicating his resolution to none, he suddenly entered her apartments, where he found every thing so elegant and magnificent, that he was struck with amazement. But the greatest ornament of the whole was Mher-ul-Nissa herself. She lay half reclined, on an embroidered sopha, in a plain muslin dress. Her slaves sat in a circle round her, at work, attired in rich brocades. She slowly arose, in manifest confusion; and received the emperor with the usual ceremony of touching first the ground, then her forehead with her right hand. She did not utter one word; but stood with her eyes fixed on the ground. Jehangire remained for some time silent. He admired her shape, her stature, her beauty, her grace; and that inexpressible voluptuousness of mein, which it is im­possible to resist.

Her nuptials with Jehan­gire.Jehangire did not, for some time, recover from his confusion. He at length sat down on the sopha, and requested Mher-ul-Nissa to sit by his side. The first question he asked, was, ‘"Why this difference between the appearance of Mher-ul-Nissa and her slaves?"’She very shrewdly replied, ‘"Those born to servi­tude must dress as it shall please those whom they serve. These are my servants; and I alleviate the burden of bondage by every indulgence in my power. But I that am your slave, O Em­peror [Page 33] of the Moguls, must dress according to your pleasure and not my own."’ Though this answer was a kind of sarcasm on his behaviour, it was so pertinent and well turned, that it greatly pleased Jehangire. He took her at once in his arms. His former affection returned, with all its violence; and the very next day, public orders were issued to prepare a magnificent festival, for the celebration of his nuptials with Mher-ul-Nissa. Her name was also changed by an edict into Noor-Mâhil, or the Light of the Seraglio. The emperor's former favourites vanished before her; and during the rest of the reign of Jehangire, she bore the chief sway in all the affairs of the empire.

Promotion of her family.The great power of Noor-Mâhil appeared, for the first time, in the immediate advancement of her family. Her father, who, in the latter end of the reign of Akbar, had been chief treasurer of the empire, was raised to the office of absolute visier and first minister. Ferid Bochari, who, under the title of Mortaza Chan, managed the affairs of the empire, had been, by a stroke of the palsy, rendered unfit for business, which opened the way for the promotion of the Actemâd-ul-Dowlat. The two brothers of Noor-Mâhil were raised to the first rank of nobility, by the titles of Acticâd Chan and Asiph Jah. Her numerous relations poured in from Tartary, upon hearing of the fortune of the house of Aiass. Some of them were gratified with high employments, all with lucrative ones. Her father was not dazzled with the splendor of his high station. He was a man of probity in private life, of ability in office. He became a great and good minister. His name is revered to this day in Hindostan. The talents of her brothers were rather popular than great. They behaved with honour and moderation upon every occasion; strangers to inso­lence, and enemies to oppression. The invidiousness of their situation did not raise envy. Men allowed, that merit intitled [Page 34] them more to their high stations, than their relation to the favourite Sultana. The writers of the affairs of Hindostan remark, That no family ever rose so suddenly, or so deservedly, to rank and eminence, than the family of Chaja Aiass; and this is our apology for the minute relation of their progress to great­ness.


Prudent administration—Insurrections quelled—Bad success in the Decan—Emperor's progress to Ajmere.—Peace with the Rana—Prince Churrum in favour—Character of Sultan Purvez—An English ambassador—His reception at Ajmere—Transactions at court—Power of the Sultana—Progress to Mando—To Guzerat—The emperor's return to Agra—Death and character of the Visier.

Prudent ad­ministration.THE charms of the Sultana estranged the mind of Jehangire from all public affairs. Easy in his temper, and naturally voluptuous, the powers of his soul were locked up in a pleasing enthusiasm of love, by the engaging conversation and extraor­dinary beauty of Noor-Mâhil. The state, however, did not suffer from the negligent indolence of the emperor. An ample field was left for the virtues and abilities of the new visier; who turned his attention more to domestic improvement than to foreign conquest. Agriculture, which had been much neglected, was encouraged. Many provinces, desolated by former disturbances and wars, were, by degrees, repeopled and cultivated. Security of property was given to the farmer; the industry of the mechanic was protected. The country assumed a new face: the useful arts were revived and flourished in the cities. The visier even extended his improvements to desarts. Forests, formerly the haunts of wild beasts, were cut down; and villages and towns [Page 36] A.D. 1611 Higer. 1020 began to rise in solitudes. Insurrection and rebellion were not heard of, because there was no oppression: idleness being dis­couraged, robberies were things unknown. The revenues of the empire gradually increased: to prevent extortion in the collec­tion, every Suba was obliged to transmit monthly to court, a state of the improvements and regulations made, in consequence of public instructions from Agra. When the improvements were not adequate to the taxes, the Subas were either severely repri­manded, or degraded. No distinctions were made, in the admini­stration of justice, between the Mahommedan and Hindoo. Both were worshippers of God, each in his way; both members of the same community, and subjects of the same lord.

Afgans rebel.When the father of the Sultana was thus employed, in internal regulations for the good of the empire, new commotions arose near its northern frontier. The Afgans, a sierce and untractable people, natives of the mountains beyond the Indus, always thirst­ing after slaughter and plunder, could not long endure peace. These barbarians were encouraged to insurrection, by the absence of Shaw Bcc Chan, Suba of Cabul, from the capital of the pro­vince of that name. The Suba had been obliged to make a journey northward, to settle some affairs on the frontiers; and Majin-ul-Muluc, the deputy-governor of Cabul, suffered himself to be surprized in the city by the insurgents. They entered Cabul, with a considerable army, and began to exercise all the cruelties of war. The inhabitants, rendered desperate by misfortune, took arms against the plunderers. The city became a seene of slaughter and distress. Nadili Meidani, a gallant man, and an officer of rank in the province, hastened to the relief of Cabul. Some of the banditti fled: many were put to the sword. The sugitives were pursued to their mountains, and the rebellion [Page 37] quashed. These transactions happened in the month of Siffer, of the sixth year of Jehangire.

An in surrec­tion in Ben­gal.An insurrection happened in Bengal toward the close of the same year. Asman, an Afgan, descended of the race of the Patan princes, who reigned in India before the empire fell under the dominion of the house of Timur, stirred up a rebellion. He had formerly made many attempts to recover the throne of his fathers; but this was his most formidable and resolute effort. Sujait, an officer of rank, was dispatched against the rebel by Islam Chan, Suba of Bengal. Both armies soon came to an action. Sujait was on the point of being defeated. He drove his elephant, as the last resort of despair, through the thickest of the enemy, in search of Asman, who was mounted on a horse. The elephant having seized the horse, dashed him and his rider against the ground; but when the animal was about to tread the unfortunate Asman under his feet, one of his attendants came and wounded the elephant in the trunk. The elephant, with the pain of the wound, plunged in such a manner, that Sujait was thrown off, and fell headlong on the ground. His life was saved by his men; who seeing him exposing his person, became less careful about their own. In their effort to extricate their chief, they repulsed the enemy. Asman, bruised with his fall, was carried back to his tent, where he soon after expired. His death gave the victory to Sujait, and quashed the rebellion in Bengal. Sujait, for this signal service, was raised by the emperor to the title of Rustum Zimân, which signified the Hercules of the Age.

Another in Behâr.The insurrection in Bengal was scarce quelled, when another of a more extraordinary nature happened in the neighbouring province of Behâr. A man of low degree, whose name was [Page 38] Cuttub, descended of the Rohilla tribe of Afgans, and a native of Atcha, found his way to Behâr. That province was possessed by a number of his nation, who had settled there under the Patan em­pire. He affirmed that he was the prince Chusero, the reigning emperor's son; and he accompanied his imposture with a probable story of his escape from prison. The misfortunes of Chusero had rendered him popular. Many believed the tale. Many, in love with innovation and spoil, joined the standard of Cuttub. He numbered, in less than a week, seven thousand among his fol­lowers. He assumed immediately the Imperial titles, and ad­vanced, with his motley army of banditti, toward Patna, the capital of the province of Behâr. Assil Chan, the Suba of the province, was absent at Gazipoor, about one hundred and twenty miles from Patna; and his deputy commanded in the city, when Cuttub appeared before it.

Quashed.The city of Patna was too large and ill-garrisoned with troops to make any defence. Cuttub entered it, with little opposition. He took possession of the palace, women, and wealth of the Suba; and, giving up Patna to plunder, divided the spoil among his adherents. Some, who were no strangers to the person of Sultan Chusero, endeavoured to expose the imposture. They suffered for their rashness, and were put to death. Some, conscious of the imposition, were afraid to own their folly; and, having gone so far, were unwilling and ashamed to recede. Assil himself, at first, gave some credit to a report brought from all quarters. He knew not how to behave. He affected the party of Chusero; and he feared the emperor. Ten days after Patna was surprized by Cuttub, Assil was convinced, by various letters, that the leader of the insurrection was not the prince. He hastened from Gazi­poor, with all the forces he could collect. On the third day he [Page 39] presented himself before Patna. Cuttub marched out and gave him battle. The insurgents were defeated and fled. In the hurry of their flight they neglected to shut the gates; and the enemy entered at their heels. The pretended prince, driven to the last extremity, shut himself up, with a few friends, in the Suba's house. He defended himself for some time. Assil, having lost twenty men in endeavouring to scale the walls, was so fortu­nate as to kill the impostor with a brick-bat; and thus a ridicu­lous kind of death put an end to the ambitious views of Cuttub.

Prince Pur­vez sent a­gainst the Rana.Intelligence of this insurrection arrived at the court of Agra, at the same time with the news of its being quelled. Fresh disturbances broke out in a different corner of the empire. Amar Sinka, prince of Odipour, in the Decan, setting suddenly upon the Imperial troops on the frontier, defeated them. The action hap­pened near the city of Brampour, among the mountains of Bala­gat. The emperor was alarmed. He placed his second son, Purvez, at the head of thirty thousand horse; and gave him, at the same time, a commission to take the command of all the troops on the confines of the Imperial dominions and the Decan. The force, had it even been well conducted, was no more than adequate to the service. Amar Sinka, who went under the title of Rana, or THE PRINCE, by way of eminence, deduced his descent from the Imperial family, who reigned in the great city of Kinôge over all India for many centuries, before that empire was invaded by the followers of Mahommed. He added power to his noble birth. He possessed the greater part of the territories which compose the extensive dominions of the present Mahrat­tors; and the lawful heir of his family bears, to this day, the name of Prince among that powerful aristocracy.

[Page 40] Feuds in the Imperial ar­my.Many nobles of the first rank and renown attended Sultan Purvez in this expedition. The most considerable were Chan Jehan, descended of the Imperial family of Lodi, who reigned before the house of Timur, in Hindostan; Mirza Abdul Rahim, who derived his pedigree from Timur; and Chan Chanan, the son of the famous Byram, who had been regent during the mino­rity of the emperor Akbar. These composed the prince's coun­cil. But they carried their former feuds into their deliberations. They were unanimous in nothing. Jealousy, in its most forbid­ding form, appeared in all their debates; and they could not even abstain from indecent reflections upon one another. The spirit of discord spread from the council of war to the army. Each of the great Omrahs had his partizans and abettors. Faction and tumult reigned in every corner of the camp. The prince was naturally mild; he wanted experience; and he was destitute of that intrepid firmness and severity, which is necessary to awe mankind into obedience. He descended to intreaty where he ought to command; and when he endeavoured to reconcile them, their passion became more inflamed, as every check was removed by his known softness of disposition.

Their distress and retreat.The army in the mean time advanced. Within a few days march of Brampour, the Imperialists came in sight of the enemy. Men generally become united at the approach of danger. It happened otherwise here. The spirit of Discord and Envy had been let loose; and the Omrahs feared the enemy less, than the success that might attend the advice of any one of themselves. Chan Jehan was for battle. Chan Chanan differed from him in opinion; as the enemy was too advantageously posted in the hills. Abdul Rahim, was for entering the Rana's country by another road. The prince was ready to adopt any resolution, upon which they all should agree. This was impossible. The [Page 41] A.D. 1613 Hig. 1022 army lay inactive. The air in the camp became putrid. Fevers raged. The enemy hovered round on the mountains. Provisions and forage became scarce: the fields around were red with the fresh graves of the dead. But though the council of war disa­greed about an attack, they concurred in a retreat. They fled with precipitation to Ajmere. The enemy hung on their rear. The Omrahs wrote separately letters to court, with accusations against each other's conduct. Chan Chanan was recalled to Agra, divested of all his employments; and he even thought himself happy in being able to save his life. The disgrace of this noble­man redounded not to the honour of Chan Jehan. That lord, through whose accusations Chan Chanan chiefly fell, rendered himself odious by ingratitude. He had been educated in the family of Chan Chanan: he had risen, through his influence, to all his honours and offices.

Purvez re­called.Jehangire, alarmed at the bad success of his arms against the Rana, dispatched Mohabet Chan to take the command of the army. He could not have made a better choice. Mohabet was brave in action, intrepid in deliberation; full of dignity and spirit; under the absolute dominion of judgment and good con­duct. Purvez was recalled to the presence. The unfortunate issue of the campaign was a severe blow to that prince. It affected his reputation; it lost him his father's affections; and even his prospect of succeeding to the throne.

Emperor's progress to Ajmere.Though the choice which Jehangire had made of a general to command his forces against the Rana seemed to promise success, the event did not answer the emperor's sanguine expectations. The army was in too bad a condition, to be suddenly restored to discipline and order. Mohabet could not, with any assurance of victory, shew them to the enemy. Jehangire was naturally [Page 42] impatient. On the second of Shabân, of the one thousand and twenty-second year of the Higera, he moved the Lescar or Im­perial camp, with a professed design of putting himself at the head of the troops employed against the Rana. The magnificence of the emperor's progress to Ajmere, deserves a brief description. When the monarchs of Hindostan take the field, their camps are a kind of moving cities. That of Jehangire, in his present pro­gress, was in circumference at least twenty miles. The Lescar is divided, like a regular town, into squares, alleys, and streets. The royal pavilion is always erected in the center: no man raises his nearer than the distance of a musket­shot around. Every man of quality, every artificer, knows his ground, the space allotted for him, on which side, how far from the emperor he must pitch his tent. The pavilions of the great officers of the court are, at a distance, known by their splendor; at hand, by marks which distinguish the various ranks of the owners. The shops and apartments of tradesmen are also known by rule; and no man is for a moment at a loss how to supply his wants. The Lescar, from a rising ground, furnishes one of the most agreeable prospects in the world. Starting up, in a few hours, in an uninhabited plain, it raises the idea of a city built by enchantment: and fills the mind with delightful wonder and surprize. Even those who leave their houses in cities, to follow the prince in his progress, are frequently so charmed with the Lescar, when situated in a beautiful and convenient place, that they cannot prevail with themselves to remove. To prevent this inconvenience to the court, the emperor, after sufficient time is allowed to the tradesmen to follow, orders them to be burnt out of their tents.

Prince Chur­rum sent to command in the Decan.Though the emperor, at his departure from Agra, declared that he was to command in person his army in the Decan, that [Page 43] service was actually destined for Sultan Churrum, his third son. That prince left Ajmere on the twentieth of Zicâda. He was more successful than his brother. Having superseded Mohâbet, he entered the mountains without hesitation. The enemy was seized with a panic, and fled before him. He made himself master of Brampour, the capital of the Rana's dominions, with little opposition. Several skirmishes were fought; but no deci­sive battle. The Rana sued for peace. His son Kinwâr Kirren came, with magnificent presents to the prince. Churrum received him with apparent kindness and great distinction. The Rana himself, encouraged by Churrum's reception of his son, came unexpectedly into the presence. He threw himself at the feet of Churrum; who very courteously raised him, took him in his arms, and obliged him to sit on his right hand.

The Rana offers terms.The Rana opened the conference, by excusing his own beha­viour, the outrages committed by his people: and he extolled the clemency of the prince, who, though superior in the field, was willing to grant an equitable peace. Churrum knew that the blame of the war did not rest on the Hindoos. He therefore replied, That excuses on the side of the Rana were unnecessary; that it was the duty of every prince to exert the power placed in his hands, in defence of his subjects and dominions; but as war had been kindled, and the fortune of the Mahommedans had prevailed, he thought it his duty to use his success with moderation; and that he was willing to put an immediate end to all differences, by a solid and lasting peace. The Rana consented to pay a tribute to the family of Timur. Some dissiculties arose about the sum: the decision was left to Jehangire. To finish the treaty, as well as to be an hostage for the Rana's faith, Kinwâr Kirren, that prince's son, was dispatched to the Imperial presence. Jehangire, at the time, kept his court at Ajmere. He received Kinwâr with great [Page 44] A.D. 1614 Hig. 1023 distinction. He presented him with arms, jewels, a rich dress for himself, and one for each of his principal attendants. He also gave to the prince an Imperial elephant, sumptuously caparisoned; and one hundred fine Persian horses. He created him by patent an Omrah of five thousand: but all these were splendid badges of slavery; and the means of degradation from his former inde­pendence and rank. Peace was finally settled, upon the terms proposed by Churrum.

Prince Chur­rum in great favour.The success of the expedition into the Decan, raised to a high pitch the reputation of Churrum. His father's affection for him grew with his fame. Men began to turn their eyes upon him, as the heir-apparent of the throne. Jehangire treated him, in his conversation, with the highest distinction; and he seemed anxious to express to the world his affection and regard. A court was appointed for him. Estates were settled upon him, for the maintenance of a body-guard of a thousand horse, and fifteen thousand foot, subject only to his commands. Sultan Purvez, in the mean time, declined in his father's esteem in proportion as Churrum rose. The prince Chusero was still in close consinement; and a fair field was left for the ambition of Churrum.

A whim of the emperor.During the transactions in the Decan, a ridiculous whim rose in the emperor's mind. He ordered his ears to be bored; and then he hung them with large pearls. An edict was issued to forbid the court to all nobles who should not do the same. He, in the mean time, distributed a vast quantity of pearls and jewels among the nobility, to induce them to pay obedience to the edict. Many, however, were refractory. Ear-rings are the badge of slavery among the Indians; and the Mahommedans, though subject to despotism, wished to avoid the appearance of being [Page 45] slaves. Jehangire himself gives a ridiculous reason for this inno­vation in dress. In his memoirs of the first twelve years of his reign, he excuses the introduction of ear-rings, from a motive of religion, to the superstitions of which, he was by no means often subject. His father Akbar, it was pretended, by the merit of a pilgrimage to Ajmere, to the learned and religious Chaja Moin­ul-dien, had been blessed with children. Jehangire was the first fruits of this piece of devotion: and he said, in the preamble to his edict, that he, who was brought into being by the prayers of Chaja, could do no less than become his slave, and wear the marks of servitude. His reasons appeared so absurd and super­stitious, that some of the nobles taxed him with favouring ido­latry. The effeminate custom was, however, introduced by the weight of the Imperial authority; and it still remains a blot on Jehangire's memory, and a lasting mark of the weakness of his mind.

Disgrace of Chan Azim, and death of Maa Singh.On the twentieth of Mohirrim of the 1024; Sultan Churrum returned to court, covered with laurels. He was received by Jehangire with marks of the highest esteem and affection, which the artful prince converted to means favourable to his schemes of ambition, and to gratify his passion for revenge. Chan Azim, already mentioned as the principal abettor of Chusero's rebellion, was accused by Churrum of intended treason. He had long been excluded from the councils of state; and though his government of Malava had been continued to him, it was more from a fear of his influence, than from a respect to his character and person. Habi­tuated to the high office of visier, in the reign of Akbar, he could not brook his want of power. He spoke incautiously of govern­ment; and it is said, that he actually meditated to render himself independent of the empire, in his own province of Malava. He was seized before his schemes were ripe for execution, carried to [Page 46] A.D. 1615 Hig. 1024 Gualiâr, and imprisoned in that impregnable fortress. Raja Man Singh, the next great adherent of prince Chusero, died in the course of the same year, in his government of Bengal. He was chief of the Rajaput princes. His honour was great, his reputa­tion high. In the wars of Akbar he signalized himself upon many occasions. He was very instrumental in the conquest of Bengal; the government of which, as a reward for his services, he retained to his death. His son Bao Singh succeeded him in his subaship; being raised by the emperor to the rank of an Omrah of five thousand horse, by the title of Mirza Rajagi.

Character of Sultan Pur­vez.When Sultan Churrum carried all things before him in the Imperial presence, his elder brother Purvez resided with all the pomp of royalty at Brampour, as governor of the dominion and province of Candeish. Chan Chanan, in some measure restored to favour, remained with Purvez, and managed, under him, the affairs of the province. In the end of the autumn of the 1024 of the Higera, Sir Thomas Roe, the English Ambassador to the court of Agra, arrived at Brampour. Politeness and affability were natural to Purvez. Full of honour and good-nature, his virtues were of the milder cast: too indolent for the fatigues of business, diffident of his own abilities. He possessed the personal courage of a good soldier; but he was destitute of the conduct necessary to a great general. He followed implicitly the advice of others, when there was no disagreement in their opinions; when there was, he was embarrassed, and could not decide. His genius suited times of tranquillity; and had he lived to possess the throne, he might have rendered his people happy, from his inva­riable clemency and love of domestic quiet.

His cour­teous recep­tion of Sir Thomas Roe.When the arrival of Sir Thomas at Brampour was announced, by the proper officer, to the prince, he sent him a plite message [Page 47] to come into his presence. The ambassador obeyed; and Purvez prepared to receive him in state. In the outward court of the palace, a hundred gentlemen on horseback formed a lane, through which the ambassador, conducted by the Cutwal, passed. In the inner court, the prince sat mounted in a gallery, under a royal canopy. The nobles, according to their rank, formed a line on either side. The chief secretary stood on the steps of the throne, and conveyed, in the concisest terms, to the prince, whatever was addressed to him from below. The behaviour of Purvez was, upon the whole, courteous and obliging: he passed from the usual ceremonies required from ambassadors, and affected to treat Sir Thomas after the manner of his own country. A firmân was immediately issued, for a permission to an English factory to settle at Brampour. The prince invited the ambassador to a private conference, to thank him for his presents; insinuating, that he was anxious to throw off that state and distance, with which he was obliged to receive him, before so great an appearance of nobles.

Transactions at the court in Ajmere.Jehangire, in the mean time, kept his court at Ajmere. He seemed insane upon the article of paying honours to Chaja. He ordered a magnificent palace to be built, in the neighbourhood of Ajmere, for Hafîza Jemmâl, the saint's daughter: the holy man himself, from the austerity of his principles, not chusing, by an acceptance of presents, to depart from the simplicity of life and philosophical character which had raised his fame. The palace built for Jemmâl was remarkable for beauty and situation. Fine baths were crected over natural fountains; and extensive gardens were laid out around it, with great elegance and taste. Tran­quillity prevailed over all the empire. The motions of the army in the Decan were rather parade than war. Luxury prevailed in every form. The magnisicence of the favourite Sultana was [Page 48] beyond all bounds. Expensive pageants, sumptuous entertain­ments, were the whole business of the court. The voice of music never ceased by day in the street; the sky was enlightened at night with fire-works and illuminations.

The English ambassador arrives at court.In the midst of this festivity and joy, the English ambassador arrived at Ajmere. He was received by Jehangire with the utmost affability and politeness. He even prevented the ambassador with expressions of respect for his master, and felicitations to himself upon his safe arrival at court. The presents given by the ambassador were agreeable to the emperor; but a fine coach sent by King James pleased him most of all. He even had the impatience to go into it that very night, and to desire the ambassador's servants to draw him around the court of the palace. Sultan Churrum, at the time, was all­powerful in the affairs of the state. To him the ambassador applied, as lord of Surat, to redress the grievances of the English at that port. The prince was courteous, and promised fair; but he was an enemy to all Christians, whom he called Idolaters; and most of all an enemy to the English. The emperor's favour for the ambassador prevailed, in some measure, over the prince's prejudices and obstinacy. In the month of January 1615, a firmân was obtained for the establishment of a factory at Surat. But it was worded with caution, defective and circumscribed.

Disturbances in Guzerat.In the end of the year 1024, two insurrections happened in the kingdom of Guzerat. The first was a rebellion excited by a youth, descended of the ancient kings of that country: the second was an extraordinary incursion of the Coolies, a race of robbers, who, from their desarts, infested the highways and cultivated country. The young rebel assumed the title of Bahadar Shaw. Before he could execute any thing material he died, and Guzerat was relieved from the threatened misfortune of a civil war. Ab­dalla [Page 49] Chan was ordered, from the Decan, against the Coolies. He had commanded the Imperial army against the Rana, in the intermediate space of time between the recall of Mohâbet and the arrival of prince Churrum. He was successful; but his glory was obscured by the superior reputation of the prince, who suc­ceeded him. Jehangire was not insensible of the valour and abilities of Abdalla. To leave a fair field to his favourite son, he removed the general to Guzerat. The emperor departed from his usual humanity, in his instructions to Abdalla. The Coolies were a barbarous and cruel race of men: and Jehangire gave directions to extirpate the whole tribe, as enemies to the rest of mankind.

Quashed by Abdalla.Abdalla arrived with great expedition at Ahmedabâd, the capital of Guzerat. Some chiefs who, from the hopes of booty, and through fear, had joined the Coolies, submitted to him in his march. With five hundred select men, the general left Ahmeda­bâd; and he made so much expedition, that he entered the moun­tainous and almost impervious country of the Coolies, before they had any intelligence of his march. The two principal chiefs of the banditti were Eder and Laël. Abdalla sat down suddenly before the castle of Eder. That chief, not intimidated, marched out and gave him battle. After an obstinate conflict of some hours, the Coolies were obliged to fly. Eder took the way of the desart; and left his castle and treasure to the victor. Laël, in the mean time, was on an excursion of depredation in another corner of Guzerat. He had robbed a great caravan of all its merchandize; and it was the news of this misfortune that directed Abdalla to the enemy. Laël had under him three thou­sand horse and twelve thousand foot: but Abdalla had been rein­forced. The Cooli did not decline battle. The action was bloody. Victory declared for Abdalla; and the head of Laël, [Page 50] who was slain in the fight, was placed over one of the gates of Ahmedabâd.

Disturbances in Cabul quashed.The insurrection at Guzerat was scarce quelled, when the Afgans, the natives of the mountains between India and Persia, revolted; and issuing from their hills, laid waste the neighbouring country, in the province of Cabul. Shaw Bec, governor of Cabul, marched against the insurgents. They had the folly to come to a regular battle with that Suba; and they were defeated. Shaw Bec made the best use of his victory. He pursued the fugitives beyond Candahar; and restored his province to its former tran­quillity.

Bad success in the Decan.During the residence of Sultan Purvez in Brampour, the capital of Chandeish, Chan Jehân, already mentioned, as an Omrah of great distinction, descended from the royal family of Lodi, com­manded the Imperial army, in subordination to the prince; and pushed his expeditions into the unconquered kingdoms of the Decan. Maleck-Amber was at the head of the confederacy against the Imperial invasion. Nothing of consequence was done by Chan Jehân, on account of disputes between the officers of the army. The prince Purvez was ordered to take the com­mand in person. Upon his appearance at the head of the Impe­rial troops, several chiefs submitted; and paid the accustomed tribute. Maleck Amber stood out alone. The Rana broke his treaty, and appeared in arms. The danger alarmed Jehangire. He had a better opinion of the military abilities of Sultan Chur­rum, than of those of Purvez. The former was ordered to super­sede the latter, which was at once reckoned unjust and impolitic; as Churrum was as much detested by the soldiers, as Purvez was beloved.

[Page 51] A.D. 1616 Hig. 1025 Sultan Chur­rum's name changed to Shaw Jehân.In the month of June, one thousand six hundred and sixteen, according to our computation of time, the prince Churrum marched from Ajmere to the Decan. His father, before his de­parture, conferred upon him the title of Shaw Jehân, or KING OF THE WORLD. This name he retained even after his accession to the empire; and he was distinguished by it, during the remain­der of his father's reign; that of Churrum being, from his going upon the present expedition, laid for ever aside. The friends of the family of Timur, represented to the emperor the danger of sending the younger to supersede the elder brother; consider­ing the animosities which subsisted between them. ‘"No matter," said Jehangire, "let them fight it out. The victor shall manage the war in the Decan: the vanquished may return to me."’ The speech of a lunatic, more than that of a prudent prince. Purvez, however, was of a milder disposition, than to push his resentment so far. He quietly resigned the command: and was succeeded by Shaw Jehân, much against the inclination of the army.

Forces the princes of the Decan to a peace.Shaw Jehân having carried from Ajmere a great reinforcement, upon his arrival, set the army in motion toward the enemy. The princes of the Decan were intimidated; and they were divided among themselves. They retreated at Shaw Jehân's approach, and sent ambassadors to sue for peace. Shaw Jehân, glad of an opportunity of eclipsing Sultan Purvez, received their submis­sion upon easy terms. Maleck Amber, again deserted, had the resolution not to accede to the pacification. Shaw Jehân, anxious to return with his laurels to court, left the war suspended by a partial truce, rather than finished by a solid peace. On the eleventh of Shawal, of the one thousand and twenty-sixth of the Higera, he arrived in the presence; accompanied by the princes [Page 52] who had submitted to his arms. Their respective tributes were soon settled, and they were permitted to return.

Cause of the former bad success.The success of this expedition was by no means the effect of Shaw Jehân's prudent and resolute conduct. The way to a pacification had been paved before he left Ajmere. The em­peror, justly astonished at the small progress of his arms in the Decan, enquired minutely into the cause. Chan Chanan, who managed every thing under Sultan Purvez, was secretly in the pay of the enemy. He clogged every measure; and rendered every expedition of no effect. He long endeavoured, by his friends at court, to prevent the removal of Purvez. The emperor had taken his resolution. Shaw Jehân was destined for the command of the army; and Chan Chanan, to deprive him of the honour of a victory over an enemy, who had apparently resisted all his own and his pupil's efforts, persuaded the confederates to sue for peace, in the Imperial presence; without alleging their fear of Shaw Jehân as anyways conducive to their offers of pacification. The emperor, however, would not receive their submission, but through the hands of the prince; anxious to raise the consequence of his favourite son in the eyes of his subjects.

The emperor removes from Ajmere.In the month of December of the year one thousand six hun­dred and sixteen, according to the Christian aera, the emperor, with all the accustomed magnificence of his march, left Ajmere. His professed design was to approach nearer to his army on the frontiers, to give them spirit with his presence. After a tedious journey, he arrived at Mando, in the province of Malava; and took up his residence in that city. He did one very popular action on his march. Passing by the place where his son Chusero was confined, he ordered his coach * to stop at the gate. The prince, [Page 53] by his commands, was brought before him. His chains were struck off; and he was placed upon one of the Imperial elephants. The people were overjoyed at the release of Chusero. His affa­bility, and the beauty of his person, recommended him to the vulgar; and they loved him on account of his misfortunes. Many causes concurred to make the emperor adopt this measure. He was informed, that some friends of Shaw Jehân were plotting against the life of Chusero. The minister, Asaph Jah, the fa­vourite Sultana's brother, had also behaved rudely to the unfor­tunate prince, and betrayed symptoms of dislike and revenge. Shaw Jehân was probably at the bottom of all. His friends, without his permission, would searce have attempted the life of his brother; and he had been lately married to the daughter of Asaph Jah. The emperor was enraged at their wickedness and presumption; and, by an act of power, frustrated, for the time, their designs.

Great power of the em­press.The power of Noor-Mâhil over the emperor's affections, had not in the least abated. She, for the most part, ruled over him with absolute sway: sometimes his spirit broke forth beyond her controul. Her brother's alliance with Shaw Jehan, kept her in the interest of that prince: and her aversion to Chusero and Purvez was equal to her regard for him. An edict was issued to change her name from Noor-Mâhil into that of Noor-Jehân, or the LIGHT OF THE WORLD. To distinguish her from the other wives of the emperor, she was always addressed by the title of SHAHE, or Empress. Her name was joined with that of the emperor, on the current coin. She was the spring which moved the great machine of the state. Her family took rank immedi­ately after the princes of the blood. They were admitted, at all hours, into the presence; nor were they excluded from the most secret apartments of the seraglio. By her influence, Chan [Page 54] A.D. 1618 Hig. 1027 Azim, the late visier, was released from his confinement in Gua­liâr, and admitted into court.

Transactions at court du­ring its resi­dence at Mando.It was after Jehangire's arrival at Mando, that the affairs of the Decan were settled. The English ambassador remained still at court. The affability and good-nature of Jehangire did not, for some time, overbalance Shaw Jehân's aversion to the English nation. An incident at Surat was magnified into an insult upon the Imperial power, by the prince and his party. The ambassa­dor, however, removed the emperor's jealousy: and he had the address to gain, at last, the favour of the prince, the minister, and the empress; and obtained the privileges of trade, which were the object of his embassy. An ambassador from Persia was not so successful: he was received with little ceremony, and dismissed with a coolness little short of contempt. He came to negociate a loan at the court of Agra; and Jehangire was in no humour to give any of his money away. The emperor even descended into meanness, on the occasion. The Persian had been served in all necessaries from court. A bill was ordered to be sent him, when he announced his design of departing. He was obliged to pay the last farthing; but the presents which he had brought for the emperor were valued, and deducted from the sum demanded.

Emperor's progress to Guzerat, and return to Agra.The emperor, having settled the affairs of the Decan, and spent at Mando seventeen months, in hunting and other rural amuse­ments, marched, with his Lescâr or great camp, into the kingdom of Guzerat. In the latter end of the Autumn of the one thousand and twenty-seventh of the Higera, he arrived at Ahmedabâd, the capital of Guzerat. He took, from that city, the route of Cam­bait; where he had ordered ships and magnificent barges to be ready for him, to take his amusement on the ocean, with all his court. He was soon tired of the agitation of the vessels on the waves; and returned to Ahmedabâd on the second of Ramzan, of [Page 55] the year one thousand and twenty-seven. He did not long re­main at Ahmedabâd. He took the route of Agra, and arrived in that capital after an absence of near five years.

Death and character of the visier.Soon after the court returned to Agra, the good old visier, Actemâd-ul-Dowla, the emperor's father-in-law, gave up a life, which, on account of his many virtues, had become dear to the people. Bred up in the school of Adversity, Actemâd-ul-Dowla had learned to subdue his passions, to listen to the dictates of Reason, to feel for the misfortunes of mankind. Having raised himself from servitude to authority, from indigence to honour and wealth, he knew the duties of every station. He was not less conversant with the world in practice, than he was from his extensive reading and the well-weighed reflections of his own mind. An oeconomist in every thing, but in charity, he was only covetous of wealth to relieve the needy and the poor. He chose rather to maintain the dignity of his rank by the number of his friends, than by that of domestics, followers, and slaves. The people loved him as a father, but feared him as a father too; for he tempered severity with moderation, and lenity with the rigour of the laws. The empire flourished under his wise administration. No evil but luxury prevailed. That weed takes root in prosperity; and, perhaps, can never be eradicated from so rich a soil.—The empress was inconsolable for the death of her father. She proposed, at once, as a proof of her affection and magnificence, to perpetuate his memory in a monument of solid silver. The Imperial architect soon convinced her, that a metal so precious would not be the most lasting means of transmitting the visier's fame to posterity. ‘"All ages," said he, "are full of a varice; and even the empire of the house of Timur, like all sublunary things, is subject to revolution and change."’ She dropt her purpose; and a magnificent fabric of stone still retains, in Agra, the name of Actemâd-ul-Dowla.


Disposition of the court—Expedition to Sewalic—The emperor in Cashmire—Disturbances in the Decan—Prince Chusero mur­dered—Rebellion of Shaw Jehân—He is repulsed at Agra—De­feated at Delhi—Pursued by his brother Purvez—Defeated at the Nirbidda—He reduces Orixa, Bengal and Behar—He marches toward the capital—Totally defeated by Purvez—Be­sieges Brampour—In great distress—His submission—Candahar lost to the empire.

Disposition of the court.THE death of the old visier produced no alteration in the affairs of the court of Agra. Habituated, under his father, to public business, Asiph Jah was active in his high depart­ment; and Jehangire himself had acquired a considerable degree of experience and knowledge, in the past years of his reign. The favourite Sultana was not in the mean time idle. She even attended to transactions in which her own passions were not immediately concerned; and often gave seasonable advice to her consort. She had such an ascendancy over the emperor's mind, that he seldom durst attempt any material measure without her concurrence. She disposed of the highest offices at pleasure; and the greatest honours were conferred at her nod. Asiph was atten­tive to his sister's humours. He knew the pride and haughtiness of her disposition; and he forgot the equality which nature gives to a brother, in a profound respect for the empress.

[Page 57] Hig. 1028 Expedition into the mountains of Sewalic.Toward the close of the year, the Raja Bickermajît was sent, with a considerable force, to the mountains of Sewalic, to the north-east of the Ganges. In the numerous vallies which inter­sect that immense ridge of hills, many tribes lived, under their native princes, who had never been subdued by the arms of the followers of Mahommed. Safe in their inaccessible retreats, they often issued out, in a depredatory manner, from their fastnesses, and harassed, with incursions, the northern provinces. Bicker­majît, after having encountered with great difficulties, penetrated into the heart of their country, and sat down before the fort of Eangurra, which was situated upon a rocky mountain, and thought impregnable. It fell soon into his hands; but the reduc­tion of all the tribes was not finished till the close of the succeed­ing year. Twenty-two petty princes agreed to pay a certain tribute; and they sent hostages to Agra, as securities for their future obedience.

Aurungzébe born.The eleventh of Zicâda was rendered remarkable by the birth of a son to the prince Shaw Jehân, by Sultana Kudsia, the daughter of Asiph Jah. Jehangire, who, from his affection to his son, was highly pleased with this increase in his family, called the infant AURUNGZEBE, or the Ornament of the Throne.—To avoid the approaching heat of the season, the emperor resolved to remove his court to the delightful country of Cashmire. Shaw Jehân accompanied his father in his progress. They entered the mountains of Sewalic, in their way, and visited the fort of Ean­gurra, which had some time before surrendered to Bickermajît. Je­hangire, in a pretended zeal for religion, ordered all the images of the gods of the Hindoos, which were found in a temple within the for­tress, to be broken to pieces; and he assisted in consecrating the place for the worship of God, after the manner prescribed in the Coran.

[Page 58] A.D. 1619 Return of the ambassador to Persia.In his progress to Cashmire, the emperor was met by Chan Alum, from his embassy to the court of Persia. Jehangire, after reflecting upon the contemptuous treatment which he had given to the Persian ambassador, had resolved to remove any coldness which might arise on that account, between the two empires. He, for that purpose, had dispatched Chan Alum, with magnificent presents to Shaw Abas of Persia. This nobleman was received with every mark of respect. The treaties between the two crowns were renewed and confirmed; and the Persian loaded him with rich presents, accompanying them with a letter of friendship to Jehangire; without mentioning the injurious reception of his own minister at the Indian court.

The great roads im­proved.Jehangire, fond of making progresses through his extensive dominions, made, this year, great additions to the convenience of travelling. Considerable sums were issued from the treasury, for mending the great roads of the empire. Wells were dug at the end of every two miles; and a building for the reception of way­farers, was erected near each well. This improvement began on the road to Cashmire, where Jehangire arrived in the beginning of the year 1029. He was highly pleased with that most beauti­ful province. The principal valley of which it consists, being much more elevated than the plains of India, is cool and pleasant in the hottest season of the year. A profound tranquillity reign­ing over all the empire, Jehangire remained many months in Cashmire. He went daily to the chace; and wandered, after a variety of rural pleasures, over the face of that charming and flourishing country. He did not return to Lahore, till the month of Mohirrim of the year that succeeded his arrival at Cash­mire.

[Page 59] A.D. 1620 Higer. 1029 Disturbances in the Decan.The emperor had scarce arrived at Lahore, when he received advices, that the princes of the Decan, who had engaged to pay a certain tribute, had driven away, by force, the deputies who had been sent to receive it. The refractory tributaries backed this violent measure with an army of sixty thousand horse. They encamped at Ballapour. The chiefs of the confederates were Nizam-ul-Muluc, Adil Chan, and Cuttub. They were descended of the Mahommedan princes, who, at the fall of the Patan empire, had assumed the state and independence of princes in the Decan.

Shaw Jehin sent to quell the insur­gents.Jehangire, upon receiving this intelligence, immediately dis­patched Shaw Jehân to Agra. He gave him a commission to command the Imperial army stationed in and near that city. The prince did not continue long at Agra. He marched, on the twentieth of Siffer, toward Brampour. His force consisted of forty thousand horse. Abdul Hussein, an experienced officer, was his second in command. Letters came to the prince, on his march, from the Imperial governor of Mando, that a considerable detachment of the enemy had crossed the Nirbidda, and were laying waste the country. Abdul Hussein was immediately detached against them, with five thousand horse. That general came up with the plunderers, defeated them, slew many on the spot, and pursued the fugitives to the hills. The prince himself continued his route to Brampour.

The rebels reduced.Chan Chanan, who commanded at Brampour, was in a manner besieged in that city by the enemy. They had traversed the provinces of Berâr and Chandeish; and spread their devastations to the gates of Brampour. The Imperialists recovered their spirit, upon the prince's arrival with an army; and the hopes of the insurgents began to vanish. Some petty Rajas, who had [Page 60] joined the confederates, took the first opportunity of throwing themselves at the feet of Shaw Jehân. They were pardoned, but obliged to pay the arrear of their tribute, which amounted to fifty lacks. The Mahommedan princes, being deserted by the Hindoo Rajas, their troops mutinied, and dissentions rose in their councils. They separated in disguist and despair, each to his own territory. Shaw Jehân divided his army into five parts, and followed the rebels. In the space of a few months, without any considerable action, he reduced the insurgents to their former obedience; forcing them to pay the arrears of their tribute, which was now settled at the annual sum of fifty-five lacks of roupees.

Chusero de­livered into the hands of Shaw Jehân.When Shaw Jehân had received orders from his father to quell the disturbances in the Decan, he requested that his brother, the unfortunate prince Chusero, might be put into his hands. He had often made the same request before, but to no effect. Jehan­gire justly doubted his sincerity, when he professed, that it was a regard for a brother that induced him to wish to have Chusero in his possession. He knew the ambition of Shaw Jehân: he still had an affection for Chusero. Asiph Jah, even the favourite Sultana had gone into the views of Shaw Jehân; but the emperor remained long inflexible. Shaw Jehân, for some time, seemed to drop his designs. He, in the mean time, grew daily in his father's esteem; and Chusero declined in proportion as his brother rose. When the alarming news from the Decan arrived at Lahore, the emperor's hopes rested all on Shaw Jehân. The artful prince, in the critical moment, renewed his request, with regard to Chusero, and he was delivered into his hands.

The Sultana suspects his designs.Though Noor-Mâhil had been formerly in the interest of Shaw Jehân, she had lately many reasons to alter her opinion concern­ing that prince. Her penetrating eye had pierced the veil which [Page 61] A.D. 1621 Hig. 1030 he had drawn over his designs. She saw the great lines of ambi­tion, and an unrelenting perseverance in pursuit of power, in all his conduct. She communicated her suspicions to Jehangire: she told him, that Shaw Jehân must be curbed; that he manifestly aspired to the throne; that all his actions tended to gain popu­larity; that his apparent virtues were hypocrisy, and not the offspring of a generous and honest mind; and that he waited but for a convenient opportunity to throw off the mask of deceitful duty and feigned allegiance. The emperor was convinced; but it was too late. Chusero was already in the hands of Shaw Jehân; and the latter was at the head of an army. Silence now was prudence; and a melancholy anxiety succeeded to conde­scending weakness.

Character of Chusero.Chusero, though popular on account of the beauty of his per­son, and his misfortunes, was a prince of a haughty disposition. He was governed by furious passions. His mind was in a per­petual agitation, without pointing to any end. He was now volatile and cheerful; now dark and sullen. He often laughed at misfortune; he was often enraged at trifles; and his whole conduct betrayed every mark of an insanity of mind. His judg­ment was little: his memory weak. He always preferred the last advice, having no power of mind to distinguish propriety, no retention to make just comparisons. His designs were there­fore often ill-founded; his actions irresolute and undecisive, and they always terminated in disgrace and ruin. Yet he had some­thing about him that commanded respect in the midst of his in­firmities. Nobody could look at his conduct without disgust; none observed his manner or saw his person without regard and a kind of esteem. Had he not been soured by misfortunes, he was naturally of a generous and tender disposition; but adversity [Page 62] stopping up the current of his mind, threw it out of its channel, and he, at last, became indifferent concerning his own fate.

He is assassi­nated.Shaw Jehân, for some time, affected to treat the unfortunate Chusero with attention and respect. But this was a delusive gleam before a storm. His designs were not yet ripe for execu­tion. To remove Chusero would be to no purpose, till other obstacles to his own ambition were removed. Fortune favoured his designs. His success in the Decan raised his reputation; the plunder of the enemy furnished the means of gaining for him the army. They expressed their inviolable attachment to his person and views. He threw off the mask at once. He disre­garded the mandates of the court of Agra; and to complete his crimes, he ordered the unfortunate Chusero to be assassinated by ruffians, under the walls of Azere. He assumed, soon after, the Imperial titles; laying the foundation of his throne in a brother's blood.

Manner of his death.Though all mankind were convinced, that Shaw Jehân was accessary to the murder of Chusero, he had taken previous mea­sures to conceal the intended crime. When he had quelled the insurrection in the Decan, he became apparently melancholy, and pretended to fall into a disease. His friends were full of anxiety. One only was in the secret; and he began to insinuate, that the prince had received intelligence, that Jehangire had determined to raise Chusero to the throne. He expatiated upon the un­certain fate of Shaw Jehân; and upon the doubtfulness of their own fortune, as connected with that prince. One Raja Bandor, a notorious villain, understood the meaning of Shaw Jehân's friend. In hopes of a reward, he went at midnight to the tent of Chusero, and pretending a message from the emperor, he was admitted by the attendants of the prince, without sus­picion. [Page 63] He found him fast asleep, and stabbed him to the heart. The favourite wife of Chusero, the daughter of the visier Chan Azem, came to her husband's tent in the morning. She found him cold in his blood; she filled the camp and the neighbouring city of Azere with her cries. She ran about distracted, and called down the vengeance of God upon the murderers. Shaw Jehân, who had removed to the country for the benefit of the air, returned upon the news of Chusero's death, and shewed such apparent fymptoms of grief, that he was believed, for some time, innocent of the murder.

The emperorr enraged at the murder.The news of the death of Chusero came soon to the emperor's ears. Retaining still some affection for his unfortunate son, he was shocked at the murder, and gave himself up to grief. He suspected Shaw Jehân, but common fame had not yet fixed the crime on that prince. Jehangire wrote a public letter to him and his principal officers, signifying that he was determined to make a strict and severe enquiry concerning the assassination; and that he would punish the murderers with the utmost rigour. He ordered the body to be dug up from the grave, and examined. He openly accused Shaw Jehân; who, finding himself discovered, resolved to continue in his rebellion.

Apology for Shaw Jehân.The author of the life of Shaw Jehân, ascribes his rebellion to the violence and ambition of the favourite Sultana. That wo­man, says the writer, finding that the health of the emperor declined, was apprehensive that the crown would devolve on Shaw Jehân; who had, for some time, been the determined enemy of her influence and power. She, therefore, resolved to ruin the affairs of that prince; and to fix the succession in the person of Shariâr, the fourth son of Jehangire, who was married to her own daughter, by her former husband Shere Afkun. Her [Page 64] A.D. 1622 Hig. 1031 absolute dominion over the emperor obtained credit to her asper­sions. She actually procured a promise for an alteration of the succession: and it was the certain intelligence of this circum­stance, continues his apologist, that drove Shaw Jehân to ex­tremes.

He assumes the Imperial titles.Though Shaw Jehân's designs upon the throne were no secret, he did not assume the Imperial titles till the twenty-seventh of the second Jemmâd of the one thousand and thirty-first of the Higera. He immediately, with a numerous army, took the route of Delhi, where, at that time, his father resided. The news of his march flew before him, and reached the ears of Jehangire. That monarch became anxious, irresolute, and perplexed; and to complete the confusion in his councils, advices were, at the same time, received, that Shaw Abas, king of Persia, at the head of a great force, had surprised Candahar. The emperor was thunder­struck at this double intelligence of approaching misfortune. The rebellious prince had the flower of the Imperial army under his command. Jehangire, as the last resort, had recourse to policy. Instead of arming for his own defence, he diffembled his knowledge of his son's intentions. He wrote him affectionate letters from day to day. He praised his former actions. He commended his present alacrity, in coming so expeditiously to his aid against the Persian. Shaw Jehân was not to be flattered out of his designs. He saw through his father's policy, and he gradually advanced; but being overtaken by the rains, he was obliged to halt some months at Mando, the capital of the province of Malava.

Is repulsed at Agra.Shaw Jehân in his march made the first hostile attempt upon the castle of Agra. In that fortress was lodged a great part of the Imperial treasure. Upon the news of the prince's departure from Mando, the emperor sent Asiph Jah, the visier, to transport the [Page 65] A.D. 1623 Hig. 1032 Asiph Jah, the visier, to transport the treasure from Agra to Lahore. Etabâr Chan, who commanded the fortress, was unwil­ling to risk the treasure on the road, as the news of Shaw Jehân's near approach was arrived. The importunities of Asiph pre­vailed. Etabâr with a party escorted the treasure: some of the enemy appeared in view. Etabâr immediately retired, with his convoy, to the castle of Agra; and Asiph made the best of his way to Delhi. Shaw Jehân, immediately upon his arrival, ordered the castle to be assaulted; but Bickermajît, who com­manded the attack, was so warmly received, that he was glad to retire, with the loss of five hundred men. The prince, enraged at this disappointment, delivered up to plunder some of the nobility's houses at Agra; and then took the rout of Delhi.

His demands on his fatherThe prince having advanced, formed his camp at Feridabâd. The city of Delhi was alarmed: the emperor perplexed. A letter, in the mean time, was brought to him from his rebellious son. Shaw Jehân demanded, That the command of all the Imperial troops should be given to him without reserve: that orders should be sent to the governors of the provinces to receive all their future instructions from his hands: that permission should be given him to receive, into his possession, all the warlike stores; that he should have access to the royal magazines and treasures to supply him with every necessary, for carrying on the war against Persia: and that the impregnable castle of Rentimpour should be placed in his hands, as a place of security for his family, against the machinations of the Sultana, during his absence in the north.

refused.Jehangire was enraged beyond measure at proposals which, if granted, would actually dethrone him. His resentment and pride got the better of his temporizing timidity. He issued out [Page 66] an edict declaring his son a rebel, should he not disband his army, and return to his duty, by a certain day. Another edict confiscated all his estates, by recalling the grants which had been given him, for a magnificent subsistence. The estates were con­ferred upon Sultan Shariâr; who was, at the same time, invésted with a commission to carry on, with the utmost vigour, the Persian war. Rustum Suffavi, an experienced and able officer, was placed next in command to the prince in the expedition. Rustum was himself a Persian, a near relation to Shaw Abas, and deduced his paternal descent from the Imperial family of Suffvi.

Preparations against him.The Imperial edicts made no impression on Shaw Jehân. The emperor flew from the pen to the sword. The troops stationed near the capital flocked to his standard: others joined him from the provinces. Asiph Jah and the Sultana had foreseen the storm, and the adherents of the emperor were on their march to Delhi, when the rebel prince was on his route from the Decan. Jehan­gire, in a few days, saw forty thousand horse under his command. Scarce ten thousand of these were of the standing force of the empire, so that Shaw Jehân had still a manifest superiority.

He endea­vours to ex­cuse his con­duct.The river Jumna, being in the dry season of the year fordable, the emperor crossed it; and both armies arrived at Belochpoor, and remained some days in hourly expectations of a battle. The prince, in the mean time, endeavoured to excuse his own conduct, by affirming, that he was driven to extremes, by the intrigues of the Sultana against his power. She carried, he said, all before her with the emperor; and to throw disgrace upon him, per­suaded Jehangire to order him to the Persian war, without the necessary supplies of money and warlike stores. He, therefore, alleged, that his demands had been made in so peremptory a [Page 67] manner, merely because he did not consider his father as a free agent, swayed and commanded as he was by the pernicious coun­sels of a vindictive and ambitious woman. These allegations lessened his crime in the eyes of the superficial; and tended to strengthen in his army, the attachment to his interest, which he had purchased with donations.

Distress of the emperor.The emperor was impatient to come to action with his son. Asiph Jah, the visier, opposed this measure, by affirming that it was imprudent to risque all, with a small force, while reinforce­ments were daily expected. The emperor suspected his fidelity; and he had some reason. Asiph was said to have provided against all events, by keeping up a correspondence with Shaw Jehân. His enemies affirmed, that it was his advice which hastened the prince from the Decan; though this agrees but little with the preparations which Asiph had made against Shaw Jehân from foreseeing his rebellion. Jehangire, however, believed his minister guilty. He gave himself up to rage and despair.

His dream.In the heat of his imagination upon the occasion, he fell asleep in his tent. He dreamed that he saw a pole fixed in the ground, before the Imperial palace. On the top of the pole, which almost reached the skies, a meteor seemed to play, and to lighten the whole world with its splendor. An elephant came from the west and overturned the pole. The meteor fell and expired on the ground, leaving the whole earth in profound darkness. Jehangire started from his bed. Naturally superstitious, he fore­saw some coming evil in his dream. He related it, in the morning, to his Omrahs. None ventured to interpret it; and when they stood in silence in the presence, a courier arrived, with advice that Mohâbet Chan, with all the forces of Punjâb, was at the distance of a few miles from the Imperial camp. This sudden [Page 68] and unexpected reinforcement diffused an universal joy. The emperor cried out, That his dream was interpreted. Mohâbet joined the army in the evening; and private orders were imme­diately issued to the officers to prepare for action by the dawn of day.

He prepares for battle.The Imperial army was in motion while yet it was dark; and Shaw Jehân, apprized of their march, did not decline to engage. He advanced apace. The two armies came in sight of each other opposite to Tuglick-abad. The Imperialists were commanded in chief by Asiph Jah, the visier, who was posted in the center. Mohâbet Chan had charge of the right wing; Nawasis Chan, of the left. Abdalla commanded the advanced guards, consisting of three thousand horse. The Emperor himself stood behind the center; and to encourage the generals, sent to each some pre­sents, as a mark of his confidence and favour.

The action begins.Some of the rebel lords, who thought they were giving good advice to Shaw Jehân, prevailed upon him not to expose his per­son in the field. He retired to a small distance; and Raja Bicker­majît marshalled his troops in order of battle. The Raja placed himself in the center: Raja Bimé commanded the right, Darab Chan the left wing. The action was begun by the advanced guards on both sides. Those of Shaw Jehân were defeated, at the first onset, by a strange accident. Abdalla, who commanded the advanced guard of the Imperialists, spurring on his horse among the enemy, with a few officers in the secret, joined the rebels. His troops, mistaking their commander's perfidy for valour, rushed forward to support him; and having engaged the enemy hand to hand, drove them back upon their own line.

[Page 69] Shaw Jehân defeated.Asiph Jah took immediate advantage of the confusion occa­sioned by the flight of Shaw Jehân's advanced guard. He pressed forward with the center of the Imperialists, and came to action with Raja Bickermajît. The shock was violent, and the battle continued obstinate for some time. Both the commanders exerted themselves to the utmost. At length the fortune of Asiph prevailed. Raja Bickermajît fell, pierced through the head with an arrow. The center of the rebels immediately fled; and, at that instant, Mohâbet drove the left wing from the field. Raja Bimé, in the mean time, pressed hard upon Nawasis Chan, who commanded the right wing of the Imperialists. The dust was so great, that the contending armies were involved in darkness. They felt for each other with their swords. Nawasis was driven from the field. Many of his officers were killed, and some taken prisoners. Raja Bimé, imagining he was returning after a com­plete victory, fell in with the troops of Asiph Jah. They mixed undistinguished with each other. Slaughter and confusion reigned. Wounds were inflicted at random. Chance governed all. Every individual considered himself as in the midst of ten thousand foes. The armies retreated to their camps. The field was left to the dead.

Circum­stances.Both parties, at first, claimed the honour of the victory, but the consequences declared it to belong to Jehangire. Though both the emperor and Shaw Jehân had been kept out of the line at the beginning of the action, by the assiduity of their friends, when the battle became hot, they mixed with their respective armies. Bickermajît, observing the emperor, pressed forward to seize him; but in the attempt was slain. The spirit of the rebels fell with their leader. Shaw Jehân presented himself to the run­aways in vain. Neither threats nor promises would do. A panic had seized them; and though the prince cried aloud, That [Page 70] he himself, as good and as brave an officer as Bickermajît, was alive, they listened not as they passed, and soon fled beyond the power of hearing.

during the battle.Shaw Jehân became almost distracted with his misfortunes. He resolved seriously to prevent future misery and distress, by an immediate death. His adherents, however, prevailed upon him to retreat. He fled to the mountains of Mewat; his army falling off as he fled. Jehangire was the more astonished at his good fortune, the more it was unexpected. When the news of Ab­dalla's treachery was brought him, he had given all over for lost. He distrusted Asiph Jah; and he sent a messenger to recal him from the front, when that minister was upon the point of engag­ing the enemy. Fortunately for the emperor, the messenger did not come up to the visier till the affair was decided. The latter obeyed Jehangire, and brought him the news of victory.

Sultan Pur­vez arrives in the camp.The battle was scarce decided, when Sultan Purvez, in conse­quence of his father's orders, arrived from Allahabad, in the Imperial camp. Jehangire received him with an excess of joy. The victory over his rebellious son had elevated his spirits, and dissipated all his fears. He sent his seraglio before him to Agra; and raised Purvez, under the tuition of Mohâbet, to the command of the army. Shaw Jehân, in the mean time, with a few adhe­rents, pursued his way to the Decan; and Purvez was ordered to follow him with a considerable force. The fugitive prince stopt with his adherents, to refresh themselves at the river Genîva. Purvez, in the mean time, came up; a cannonade ensued, and the Imperialists having forced their passage, Shaw Jehân retreated with precipitation.

[Page 71] Affairs in the Decan.We must, for a moment, lose sight of the prince, in the mis­fortunes of his adherents. The Emperor in his extreme affec­tion for Shaw Jehân, had, while yet he remained in his duty, submitted to his government an extensive division of the empire, consisting of several provinces. In that number was the rich king­dom of Guzerat. Bickermajît, who was slain in the action near Delhi, had been governor of that province; and when he joined the prince in his expedition against his father, Suffvi Chan was left in the superintendency of Guzerat. Abdalla, whose perfidy, in deserting his sovereign in the late battle, we have al­ready mentioned, was rewarded, by the prince, for his treachery, with the government vacant by the death of Bickermajît. Un­willing to leave the prince in his distress, Abdalla dispatches his friend Offâder Chan to command, in the mean time, in that pro­vince. Offâder arriving with a small force at Ahmedabad, the capital, displaced Suffvi Chan, the Imperial governor. Suffvi fled to Hanksi. He wrote from thence to Nasir, the governor of Patan. Understanding that Suffvi was no stranger to the march of Sultan Dawir Buxsh the son of Chusero, under the tuition of his maternal grandfather Chan Azem, to command for the emperor in Guzerat, Nasir blamed him for his flight. He met Suffvi, with a force at Caperbenîz. They resolved to march to Ahmed­abad: and setting forward in the evening, they arrived next morning under the walls of the city. Dividing their forces into three bodies; each body attacked a gate. The elephants broke them open: the Imperialists entered, and Offâder was seized.

Shaw Jehân's party de­feated in Guzerat.Shaw Jehân, after the rencounter at the River Genîva, fled to Mando, the capital of Malava. News was brought to him in that city, that Guzerat was lost. He was much affected; but Abdalla made light of the matter. That Omrah marched to­ward Ahmedabad with seven thousand horse. When he arrived [Page 72] at Wasset, he found Suffvi, now the Imperial Suba, ready unexpec­tedly to receive him. This lord, finding that prince Dawir Buxsh and Chan Azem had lagged on their march, provided himself with an army. He posted his forces about twelve miles from Ahmedabad. Abdalla endeavoured to turn his rear. He was prevented by the vigilance of Suffvi; and he, therefore, resolved to come to battle. Dividing his army into three columns, he advanced, in that order, upon the enemy. Nasir Chan supported Suffvi, with his courage and conduct. The battle was obstinate. Many officers of rank fell on the side of Abdalla. He was routed, with great slaughter. He fled to Surat. The country people cut off the greatest part of the shattered remains of his followers in their retreat. He soon after, with a few troops, betook himself to Brampour.

Purvez de­feats Shaw Jehân at the Nirbidda.The prince Purvez and Mohâbet, after the affair at the river Genîva, returned to the Emperor, who was encamped under the walls of Fattépour. The disturbances in Guzerat convinced Je­hangire, that the flames of civil war could be only extinguished by the total ruin of Shaw Jehân. He, therefore, ordered Pur­vez and Mohâbet, at the head of the Rajaputs, in the Imperial pay, to pursue the rebel and to take him alive. Shaw Jehân left Mando, with a resolution to try his fortune in a battle. He passed the river Nirbidda and threw up works to defend the ford. He was, by this time, reduced to great distress. His adherents gradually deserted him. He became tired of hostilities which promised no success. He sent to his brother Purvez, for very moderate terms. Purvez, by the advice of Mohâbet, amused him with hopes, without coming to any determined point. The usual precautions were neglected on the side of Shaw Jehân; and Mo­hâbet, who watched an opportunity, crossed the river and sur­prized him in his camp. He was defeated with great slaughter.

[Page 73] A.D. 1624 Hig. 1033 Shaw Jehân flies to Orixa.Shah Jehân fled from the field, through Golconda; and then took the rout of Orixa, to Bengal. The governor of Orixa, Ahmed Beg, fled on the prince's approach. That province was given to Kulli Chan, one of Shaw Jehân's adherents; whilst he himself advanced to Burdwan, and took possession of that district. He did not continue long at Burdwan. Ibrahim, governor of Bengal, had collected all his forces to Raja Mâhil, to oppose the unexpected invasion; and Shaw Jehân marched toward the place.

Enters Ben­gal, and de­feats the Suba.When the prince had arrived within a few miles of Raja Mâ­hil, the Suba abandoned that fortress as untenable. He retreated, in good order, to the fort of Tellia-Gurri; which had been built to defend the pass between the mountains and the Ganges. In the fort were a number of Europeans. He strengthened them with a reinforcement of his best troops, whilst he encamped his army on the opposite bank of the river. Shaw Jehân, upon his arrival, invested the fort of Tellia-Gurri. He made little impres­sion; the Europeans being excellent gunners and engineers. He attempted to cross, but was repulsed, having but a few boats. A neighbouring Raja, however, provided the prince with a fleet of boats; and in these he transported two thousand horse. Ibra­him, finding that he was to be attacked in his camp, crossed the river in his turn. He drew up in order of battle, against the prince; but in the action his troops were defeated and he him­self slain. Bengal fell, with the Suba, from the empire. Rumi, the chief engineer of Shaw Jehân, in the mean time, found means to carry a mine, under the fort of Tellia-Gurri, and blew up about twenty yards of the rampire. The place was taken by assault, and the garrison put to the sword.

Bengal sub­mits;Shaw Jehân, after this great and unexpected success attending his arms, marched to Dacca, where Ibrahim, the late Suba, had [Page 74] deposited his own and the Imperial treasure. He no sooner ap­peared before Dacca, than it surrendered. Forty lacks of rou­pees were found in specie, besides jewels, much spoil, and war­like stores. Dacca was the last place in Bengal, that held out for the emperor. The Rajas, the hereditary governors of districts, and all those who held estates of the crown, crowded into the court of the prince; and with presents and proffers of allegiance, endeavoured to secure their possessions. The whole kingdom re­ceived a new sovereign; and Darab, the son of Chan Chanan, was raised to the high office of Suba under Shaw Jehân.

and Behâr.The ambition of the prince was not to be confined to Bengal. He turned his eyes upon the adjoining province of Behâr. He scarce had permitted his army to breathe after the conquest of Dacca, before he led them into Behâr. Muchlis Chan, the Im­perial governor of that province, fled to Allahabad, at the ap­proach of the prince. The gates of Patna, the capital, were left open to receive him. He kept his court in the Suba's palace. The Zemindârs crowded, from all quarters, into the city, made their submission, and, with presents, obtained his favour. But what was of greater consequence to the prince, Mubârick, governor of the impregnable fort of Rhotas, which had never been taken by force, came and presented to him the keys. Shaw Jehân was exceedingly rejoiced at this piece of good fortune. He had now a place of security for his family; and he found his mind, as alleviated from care, sitter to encounter the dangers of the field and the vicissitudes of fortune.

He divides his army into three parts.The prince having restored the civil government of Behâr, which had been ruined by his invasion, raised Nasir Chan to the office of Suba. He himself took again the field. He divided his army into three parts. The first he placed under the com­mand [Page 75] of Abdalla, who had been lately so unfortunate in Guzerat. He ordered that officer to proceed to Allahabad, with his divi­sion; to drive away the Suba of Behâr from thence, and to take possession of the place. Deria Chan was placed, by the prince, over the second division. That general was ordered to reduce the country round Jionpour. The third division Shaw Jehân, in person, commanded. He advanced, by very slow marches to Benaris, hearing complaints, deciding causes, and settling the government of the country, as he went.

Purvez ad­vances to­ward him.Fortune hitherto favoured the arms of the rebellious prince. Purvez with Mohâbet Chan had pursued the fugitives, from the affair at the Nirbidda, into the heart of Golconda. At Hydrabad they gave over the pursuit; and began to employ themselves in resettling the affairs of the Decan, which the rebellion of Shaw Jehân had very much deranged. The news of the loss of the eastern provinces alarmed Mohâbet: Even Jehangire, who passed his time in voluptuousness, with his favourite Noor-Mâhil, was rouzed from his lethargy. He dispatched express after ex­press to Purvez. The march of Shaw Jehân toward the capital, determined Mohâbet to endeavour to intercept him on his way. He marched with Purvez through Malava and Behâr. He cross­ed the Jumna at Calpé, and the Ganges at Babere. The Im­perial army came up with Deria, who commanded one of the three divisions of the rebels, at Manicpour. He was instantly defeated; and he fell back to Benâris. Abdalla, at the same time, evacuated Allahabad, and joined Shaw Jehân. A council of war was called. Their deliberation was short. They resolved to give immediate battle to Purvez and Mohâbet.

Preparations for action.The resolution was scarce taken, when the Imperialists ap­peared in sight. No time was to be lost. Shaw Jehân drew up [Page 76] his army on the banks of a brook called Tonish. Abdalla com­manded the right wing; Nasir Chan the left; the prince him­self took his post in the center. The advanced guards were com­manded by Raja Bimè: and the whole field was marshalled by Sujait Chan, who was at the head of the reserve in the rear. The artillery, under the direction of Rumi was drawn up in one place before the center, instead of being disposed pro­perly along the line. The army of the rebels exceeded forty thousand horse: the Imperalists were more in number.

The army of Shaw JehânMohâbet, in the mean time, was not idle. He formed in or­der of battle the army of Prince Purvez. His superiority in point of numbers, enabled him to out-flank the enemy. The par­ticulars of his disposition are not related.—The action was be­gun by the artillery on the side of Shaw Jehân. But more than a thousand shot were expended before one took place: the ene­my being yet at too great a distance, Mohâbet would not per­mit his artillery to play, till he was sure of doing execution. The cannonade continued near an hour. Some of Rumi's guns were dis­mounted, his men were driven from others. Shaw Jehân immedi­ately ordered his advanced guard to charge a body of the Impe­rialists, who were coming forward, with hasty strides, to seize his artillery. The two advanced parties fought with great bravery. Those of Shaw Jehân at length gave ground. Raja Bimè, who commanded them, preferred death to flight. He stood, with a few gallant friends, and was cut to pieces.

totally de­feated.Mohâbet, observing the defeat of the enemy's advanced guard, came forward briskly, with his whole line; and fell, with great sury, on the center, where Shaw Jehân commanded in person. The shock was violent, but did not last. The prince was driven back from his guns, which were seized by Mohâbet. Sujait Chan, [Page 77] who commanded the reserve of the rebels, threw himself into the interval left by Shaw Jehân's retreat. He fought, for some time, with great bravery, and furnished the prince with an op­portunity of rallying his broken squadrons. But Sujait was, in his turn, defeated; and driven back in great confusion. Shaw Jehân advanced to the charge: but advice was brought him, that Nasir was defeated on the left; and that some of the enemy, who had passed his flanks, were seen advancing in his rear.

His bravery.The desperate situation of the prince suggested to him a des­perate resolution. He advanced as if he heard not the messen­ger, and plunged into the thickest of the enemy. He was fol­lowed by five hundred horse. This small body, devoting them­selves to death with their leader, were irresistible. They effected more by despair than the whole army had done by courage. Mo­hâbet received a check, when he least expected it. He began to retreat: but Shaw Jehân was not properly supported. His of­ficers considered the battle as lost, and refused to advance. Ab­dalla, who had hitherto maintained his ground on the right, re­ceived a message from the prince. He returned for answer, that all hopes of victory were gone, and that the best retreat they could make, was now the only thing left them by fortune. The prince was enraged. He resolved to die. His companions, seizing his horse by the reins, forced him from the field. He fled not, but he was carried to the fort of Rhotas. The rich plunder of his camp saved him from being pursued.

He flies to­ward the Decan.Sultan Purvez and Mohâbet, having stopt for a few days to refresh their army, after the fatigues of a long march and an obstinate battle, took the route of Bengal. Shaw Jehân left his family in the fortress of Rhotas. He collected the remains of his defeated army. He marched to Patna, and prepared to defend that city. He, how­ever, [Page 78] A.D. 1625 Hig. 1034 evacuated the place at the approach of his brother. He fled through Bengal. Purvez was close at his heels. Shaw Jehân took the route of the Decan, by the way of Cuttack. Bengal, Behâr and Orixa fell into the hands of Purvez. That prince and Mohâbet spent some time in resettling the government of the three provinces; and when the current of regulation and law was restored to its ancient channel, they marched after Shaw Jehân into the Decan, by the northern road.

Besieges Brampour.Though Shaw Jehân's affairs were, to all appearance, ruined, he found resources in his own active mind. During the time that Purvez and Mohâbet remained in the recovered provinces, he found means to attach to his party the Raja of Ambere. By the junction of the Raja's forces, he found himself in a condition to sit down before the city of Brampour. He had reduced it to great distress, when the Imperial army, under Purvez and Mo­hâbet, arrived on the banks of the Nirbidda. He had not a force sufficient to oppose them: he raised the siege, and took shelter in the mountains of Ballagat. In his retreat he made an attempt on the castle of Hasser. This is a strong fortress on the fron­tiers of Chandeish. It stands upon the top of a mountain: it has springs of water, and of good soil a sufficiency to maintain with its produce four thousand men. As all access to the fortress is impracticable, he might have waited there for the change which time might make in his fortunes. He was repulsed.

His affairs ruined.This latter piece of bad success completed the ruin of his party. His nobles first deserted him; and they were followed by the pri­vate soldiers. A thousand horse only remained. His spirits sunk within him; his misfortunes oppressed him; his guilt and folly were always present to his mind. Sickness was added to his other miseries. He was hunted, like a wild beast, from place to [Page 79] place. All mankind were his enemies; and he was their foe. Where he thought he could not overcome, he fled: he spread devastation through places where he could prevail. He was, however, tired of rapine; worn down by contention and hostility. He wrote letters of compunction to his father. He enlarged on his own guilt; he even added, if possible, to his own wretched­ness and misfortune. Jehangire was often full of affection; he was always weak. He was shocked at the miserable condition of a son, whom he once had loved. His tears fell upon the part of Shaw Jehân's letter which mentioned guilt; and his crimes va­nished from memory.

He is par­doned.In the midst of this returning softness, Jehangire was not alto­gether void of policy. He wrote to his son, that if he would give orders to the governors of Rhotas, of Azere, and other places, which were still held out in his name, to deliver up their forts; and, send his three sons, Dara, Aurungzebe, and Murâd, to court, and at the same time accompany them, he would be for­given for his past crimes. Shaw Jehân embraced the offer with joy. He delivered up the forts; he sent his children to Agra. He, however, found various pretences for not appearing in person at court. He alleged that he was ashamed to see a father whom he had so much injured; but he was actually afraid of the machinations of the favourite Sultana. He made excur­sions, under a pretence of pleasure, through all parts of the empire, attended by five hundred horse. He was sometimes heard of at Ajmere, sometimes at Tata on the Indus; and again, in the Decan.

Candahar lost to the empire.In the rebellion of Shaw Jehân, we lost sight of the Persian invasion, under Shaw Abas. The sovereigns of Persia had long laid claim to the city of Candahar. They endeavoured often to [Page 80] obtain it by negociation, and often by force. They had failed in the first; and they were not successful in the latter, till the civil distractions of India furnished them with an undisturbed oppor­tunity of besieging the place. When the Persian invasion hap­pened, Candabar was but slightly garrisoned. The place, how­ever, held out with vigour, till Shaw Abbas appeared before it in person. It surrendered to that monarch; and the news of the misfortune met Rustum Suffavi at Lahore, as he was on his march to relieve the besieged. The Persians, after the capture of Candahar, retreated; and Jehangire, having occasion for all his troops to quell domestic disturbances, sat silently down with the loss.

Irruption of the Usbecks.Shaw Abas had scarce retreated, when the Usbeck Tartars, encouraged by his success and the civil dissentions in Hindostan, invaded the province of Ghizni, and took several small forts. When the news of this invasion arrived at court, Chana-zâd, the son of Mohâbet, was sent from Cashmire, with some troops, to oppose the invaders. This young officer attacked them with vigour on all occasions, and, in general, with great success. They were, at length, after an obstinate and bloody war, which con­tinued nine months, driven out of the empire. The conqueror pursued the fugitives, and laid waste a part of their country.


Mohâbet in favour—Accused of intended treason—Ordered to court—Machinations of his enemies—Indignities offered him—He re­solves to seize the emperor—He takes him in his tent—Defeats the visier—Condemns the Sultana to death—But pardons her—Governs the empire—Attacked by the citizens of Cabul—He lays down his power—Obliged to fly—Sent against Shaw Jehân—Death of prince Purvez—His character—Death of Chan Chanan.

Hig. 1035 Mohâbet in high favour.THE valour and abilities of Mohâbet, in conducting the war against Shaw Jehân, raised sentiments of gratitude in the breast of Jehangire. His son, Channa Zâd, had been lately gratified with the government of Cabul; and others, his rela­tions and friends, were advanced to lucrative and honourable em­ployments. The great victory near Benâris confirmed the em­peror's high opinion of Mohâbet, and the news of that impor­tant event filled him with excessive joy. His grateful feelings for his general rose in proportion to the decrease of his fears for his throne. These sentiments, however, did not long con­tinue. Mohâbet had a great many enemies: his sovereign had but little firmness. The abilities of the former had raised envy; and nature had given to the latter a disposition too easy and pliant, to be proof against misrepresentation. To explain the causes of an event which almost transferred the empire from the house of Timur to other hands, we must look back to some circum­stances prior to this period.

[Page 82] Accused of intended treason.Chan Chanan, mentioned as the tutor of Purvez, in his go­vernment of Candeish, had, through some disgust, attached him­self to the fortunes of Shaw Jehân, when that prince succeeded his brother in the command of the Imperial army in the De­can. It was by that lord's advice, that he cut off Chusero: by his advice he rebelled against his father. He accompanied the prince in his expedition to Agra and Delhi; and, though he took no part in the fatigues of the field, he ruled in the cabinet. When the affairs of Shaw Jehân became desperate, after his retreat to the Decan, he advised him to sue for a pardon, through his brother Purvez. He himself undertook to be his messenger to Purvez, to whose temper and character he could have been no stranger. When he arrived in the Imperial camp, he found no disposition in Mohâbet to relinquish by terms, the advantages which had been obtained by the sword. Having failed in his endeavours for the prince, he applied for himself. Mohâbet was shocked at this reiteration of treachery; and he persuaded Purvez to throw him and his family into pri­son. The latter were sent, under an escort, to Agra; he him­self was detained, in close confinement, in the camp, and his estate was confiscated by an Imperial edict.

The grounds of the accu­sation.After the decisive battle near Benâris, the province of Bengal, which had been reduced by Shaw Jehân, fell at once into the hands of the conquerors. Purvez, who had a commission from his father to govern the eastern provinces, conferred the suba­ship of Bengal upon Mohâbet, who sent his son Channa Zâd, lately arrived in the army, to manage his government in his own absence. Dara the son of Chan Chanan, had been made suba of Bengal, by Shaw Jehân. That young lord was seized by the people, and delivered into the hands of Channa Zâd, as soon as he arrived at the capital of the province. He immediately sent [Page 83] Dara to his father; who, having informed the emperor of that cir­cumstance, received orders to put him to death, as an obstinate rebel. Mohâbet obeyed, and sent the unfortunate suba's head to Agra.

His enemies at court.Chan Chanan, though confined in the camp of Purvez, found means, by letters, to insinuate himself into the good graces of the Sultana, and her brother the visier. The two last had been long the enemies of Mohâbet; and the former imputed the death of his son to that lord, and was resolved to revenge the injury. He wrote to the Sultana: he sent letters to Asiph. He informed them that Mohâbet was forming designs to raise Purvez to the throne. This was carried to the emperor's ears. He ordered Chan Chanan to be released: and that Omrah, who remained with Purvez, accused Mohâbet, by letters to the emperor, of intended treason.

The emperor alarmed.Jehangire, naturally suspicious, was alarmed. The spirit of jealousy and distrust took possession of his mind. He forgot the services of Mohâbet in his own fears. He ordered him to court; and raised Chan Jehân Lodi from the government of Guzerat to the command of the army under Purvez. Mohâbet, before the em­peror's orders arrived, had set out with Purvez, for Bengal. He had been guilty of a neglect, which gave colour to the accusations of his enemies. The elephants taken in battle are Imperial property. These he had retained, together with the presents which his son Channa Zâd had received in resettling the pro­vince. A second peremptory order was sent to him. He was acquainted, that he was appointed to the subaship of Pun­jâb; but that the emperor deprived him of Lahore, which had been usually annexed to that government. He was thunder­struck at the sudden change in the emperor's mind. He re­solved to obey. He went to take his leave of Purvez. The [Page 84] prince was cold and stately; and seemed to forget his friend in the displeasure of his father.

Mohâbet commanded to court.Sensible of his own abilities, conscious of his honour, elevated by his reputation in war, Mohâbet was disgusted, beyond mea­sure, at this return for his services. He resolved to retire to his castle of Rintimpour: but an order arrived to deliver that fortress into the hands of one of the Sultana's creatures. This latter circumstance confirmed what his friends at court had written to him before, that his life was in danger, should he trust himself in the Imperial presence. He wrote to Jehangire. He expressed his astonishment at his displeasure. He declared his perfect confi­dence in the honour of his prince; but he expressed his well-grounded distrust of his advisers. The letter produced nothing but an order for his immediate appearance at court. To refuse was to rebel. He wrote again to the emperor. ‘"I will," says he, "serve my sovereign with my life against his enemies, but I will not expose it to the malice of his friends. Assure me of safety, and I will clear myself in the presence."’ Jehangire, upon receiving this letter, was enraged. He dispatched a courier, with his last commands for his appearance. He at length re­solved to obey. Five thousand Rajaputs, in the Imperial pay, from an affection for their general, offered him their service to conduct him to court. Escorted by these, he took the rout of Lahore, where the emperor, at the time, resided.

He obeys.On the eighteenth of April 1626, Jehangire set out from Lahore toward Cabul. News was brought to the Imperial camp that Mohâbet had sent before him the elephants taken at the battle of Benâris; and that he himself followed, with a re­tinue of five thousand Rajaputs. The Sultana and the visier were struck with a double terror. They were afraid of a recon­ciliation: [Page 85] A.D. 1626 they were afraid of his force. They persuaded the emperor not to admit him into the camp. When, therefore, he arrived near the tents, he was ordered to stop, till he accounted for the revenues of Bengal, and the plunder taken at the battle of Benâris. Mohâbet was enraged: he dispatched his son-in-law to the emperor, to complain of an indignity so unworthy of his fidelity and services. He could not have chosen a worse mes­senger. The emperor had been much offended with Mohâbet, for giving his daughter in marriage without his consent; and he had resolved to be revenged. When, therefore, the young lord alighted from his elephant in the Imperial square, he was suddenly seized; he was stript of his clothes, covered with rags, bastinadoed, and sent out of the camp riding backward on a sorry jade, amid the shouts of the whole army.

His messen­ger grossly affronted.The intelligence of this gross affront came to Mohâbet, before the dishonoured youth appeared. He bore it with seeming pa­tience. He was shocked at the weakness of the emperor, which had yielded so much to the malice of a vindictive woman. He separated, by degrees, his retinue from the camp. He found he could not trust himself in the hands of his enemies; and he took at once a bold resolution. The emperor was on his march to Cabul, and he resolved to watch his motions. He hovered, dur­ing the night, round the skirts of the camp; and the morning presented a favourable opportunity for the execution of his scheme.

He surprises the emperor in his tent,When Mohâbet arrived, the Imperial army lay encamped on the banks of the Behat or Gelum, at the end of the bridge, on the high-road which led to Cabul. The advanced guard began to move over the bridge in the morning, and was gradually fol­lowed by the other troops. The emperor remained in the old [Page 86] camp. He was not in an enemy's country, and he used no precau­tions. When the greatest part of the army had passed, Mohâbet suddenly advanced with his faithful Rajaputs. He seized the bridge, and set it on fire; leaving two thousand of his men under the command of his son, to defend the flames, and to stop the return of the enemy. Having made this disposition, he rode with great speed to the Imperial square. He was first observed by the officers of the household, passing by the haram in seeming disorder. His countenance was pale, but determined. They were alarmed; and he rushed forward to the emperor's tent.

takes himThe writer of the Acbal Namma, who was then lord of the wardrobe, suspecting that Mohâbet meant to assassinate the emperor, drew his sword, and followed him with great speed. The Omrahs in waiting did the same. When they had advanced to the Im­perial tent, they found Mohâbet surrounded by five hundred Raja­puts on foot, standing at the door, with swords by their sides and pikes in their hands. The lords were immediately seized and disarmed. The emperor, hearing the noise and confu­sion without, cut his way through the screens, and entered the bathing-tent, which was behind his sleeping apartment. Mohâbet alighted and entered; not finding the emperor, he pressed forward with forty Rajaputs, to the bathing-tent. Some of the Imperial guards stood at the door. The officer who com­manded them, sternly asked Mohâbet, Why he presumed to in­trude on the emperor's privacy? He answered him, by putting his hand upon his sword and frowning upon him, with a de­termined countenance. A panic seized the guards. They made way for him to pass. In the outer apartment of the bathing­tent, stood many Omrahs of high rank. They drew their swords; but the Rajaputs surrounding them, they thought proper to deliver up their arms.

[Page 87] prisoner,The news of this insult was carried to the emperor by some of the women who attended him in the inner tent. He seized his sword, and was about to assault Mohâbet, when he saw his guards and nobles disarmed. He dropt his point; and said, ‘"What dost thou mean, Mohâbet Chan?"’ Mohâbet touching the ground and then his forehead with his hand, thus replied: ‘"Forced by the machinations of my enemies, who plot against my life, I throw myself under the protection of my sovereign."’‘"You are safe,"—answered the emperor; "but what would these, who stand armed behind you?"’‘"They want full security," rejoined Mohâ­bet, "for me and my family; and without it, they will not retire."’ ‘"—I understand you," said Jehangire: "name your terms, and they shall be granted. But you do me an injustice, Mohâbet; I did not plot against your life. I knew your services, though I was offended at your seeming disobedience to my commands. Be as­sured of my protection: I shall forget the conduct which neces­sity has imposed upon you."’

and carries himMohâbet, without naming his conditions, observed to the em­peror, that it was now time to take his daily amusement of hunt­ing. Without waiting for a reply, he ordered his own horse to be brought. Jehangire declined mounting him: Mohâbet seem­ed not to listen. ‘"Then, Mohâbet Chan," said the emperor, "if still I have a horse of my own, I will mount him."’ One was brought him. They rode slowly away together, surrounded by the Rajaputs. When they had advanced beyond the skirts of the camp, Mohâbet observed to the emperor, That it would be prudent for him to mount an elephant, to avoid any accident that might happen in the confusion which was likely to ensue. Jehangire had now no will of his own. He mounted the ele­phant; and three Rajaputs, under a pretence of defending him, mounted by his side.

[Page 88] to his own camp.The emperor had scarce placed himself on the elephant, when Muckirrib Chan, one of the officers of state, pressing through the Rajaputs, climbed up the elephant's side, and sat down by his sovereign. He was threatened by the Rajaputs. He was obstinate, and would not stir. One slightly cut him on the fore­head with his sabre; but he was not to be moved. They had now proceeded near a mile from the camp, when some of the officers of the household, mounted upon elephants, came up, and placed themselves on the road before the emperor. Mohâbet ordered them to clear the way: they refused, and were cut to pieces. He then continued his rout, without further obstruction, to his own camp. The emperor was brought to his tent: and all spectators being removed, Mohâbet explained himself to him, protest­ing, that he had formed no designs neither against his life nor his power. ‘"But," concluded he sternly, "I am determined to be safe."’

Cuts off Sujait Chan.Asiph, the visier, had crossed the bridge in the morning with the Imperial army. The Sultana, when Mohâbet was busy in securing the person of the emperor, made her escape to her brother. He considered, that nothing was done, so long as that haughty woman remained out of his power. He resolved to prosecute his plan, with the same resolute boldness with which it was begun. He returned with the emperor to his former camp, on the bank of the Gelum. Sujait Chan, an Om­rah of high reputation, had arrived that instant to join the Imperial army. He knew the situation of affairs; and loudly inveighed, in the presence of the Rajaputs, against Mohâbet. That lord was at once enraged and alarmed. He ordered his troops to fall upon Sujait and his retinue, and every man of them was put to the sword. The other Omrahs, who had hitherto hovered [Page 89] round, struck with the fate of Sujait, fled across the river, and joined the Imperial army.

The visier determines to rescue the emperor;Noor-Jehân was the messenger of the disaster, which befel the emperor, to her brother Asiph. He immediately called the Om­rahs together: and the Sultana vehemently accused those who had been left with Jehangire, of negligence and cowardice. A debate arose about the best method of rescuing their sovereign out of the hands of Mohâbet. The measure was full of peril; but it must be taken. They agreed to assemble their forces by the dawn of next morning; and to endeavour to repass the river against the rebel. The emperor was apprized of their intentions. He began to fear for his life. Repeated messages were sent to the visier to desist from his purpose; but that minister did not think himself obliged to obey the commands of an imprisoned monarch, who was under the influence of the man who had seized his person.

But is de­featedAsiph begun his march with day. When he came to the bridge, he found it burnt down. He resolved to ford the river; but the water was so deep, that many were drowned. Those who gained the further shore, had to fight the enemy at a mani­fest disadvantage. They were cut off as fast as they ascended the bank. A succession of victims came to the swords of the Raja­puts. The action continued for some hours. The rear of the Imperialists pressing into the river, prevented the front from re­treating. The Sultana was not a tame spectator on the occasion. Mounted on an elephant, she plunged into the stream with her daughter by her side. The young lady was wounded in the arm: but her mother pressed forward. Three of her elephant-drivers were successively killed; and the elephant received three wounds on the trunk. Noor-Jehân, in the mean time, emptied [Page 90] four quivers of arrows on the enemy. The Rajaputs pressed into the stream to seize her; but the master of her household, mount­ing the elephant, turned him away, and carried her out of the river, notwithstanding her threats and commands.

with great slaughter,Whilst these things happen in the river, Fidai Chan and Abul Hassen, with some other gallant nobles, forming a squadron of gentlemen in the rear of the Imperialists, plunged into the river and gained the opposite shore. The shock between them and the Rajaputs was violent. The latter gave way, and fled toward the tents of the prince Shariâr, where the emperor re­mained under a guard. They stopt, and the action became bloody. The arrows and shot piercing through the tents, the emperor was in imminent danger: but Muchlis Chan, who stood near him, covered him with shields. In the mean time, Mohâbet re-esta­blished the ranks of the fugitives behind the tents. He turned them, and fell upon the flank of the Imperialists. Visier Bec, Attalla, and several gallant lords were killed: Fidai was covered with wounds. The spirit of his followers began to sink. Mo­hâbet pressed hard upon them; and at length they fled. The sield was covered with dead bodies; and a complete victory re­mained to the Rajaputs.

and taken prisoner.The runaways, gaining the opposite side of the river, found their troops diminished and completely ruined. They gave up all thoughts of further resistance: each fled to his own home. The army, in the space of a few hours, was dissipated. Asiph fled to his estate; and shut himself up, with five hundred men, in the castle of New Rhotas, on the Attoc. The Sultana found means to escape to Lahore. Mohâbet dispatched a messenger to Asiph, with assurances of safety, should he return to the camp. The visier would not trust himself in his hands. Meer Berwir, [Page 91] the son of Mohâbet, with a detachment besieged the fort of Rho­tas. Asiph was soon reduced to distress; and, on the arrival of Mohâbet before the place, that lord, with his son Abu Talib, The Sultana seized. surrendered at discretion. Noor-Jehân had scarce returned to La­hore, when she received letters from the emperor. He acquaint­ed her, that he was treated with respect by Mohâbet; and that matters were amicably settled between them. He conjured her, therefore, as she regarded his peace and safety, to lay aside all thoughts of hostile preparations. He concluded, with command­ing her to follow him to Cabul, whither, of his own free choice, he then directed his march. Noor-Jehân did not long hesitate. She set out from Lahore, and soon came up with her lord. When she arrived, troops were sent out by Mohâbet, by way of doing her honour. But they were her keepers, and not her guards. They surrounded her tent, and watched all her motions.

Condemned to death.Mohâbet, who carried every thing before him in the presence, accused her publicly of treason. He affimed, that she had con­spired against the emperor, by estranging from him the hearts of his subjects: that the most cruel and unwarrantable actions had been done, by her capricious orders, in every corner of the em­pire: that her haughtiness was the source of public calamities, her malignity the ruin of many individuals: that she had even extended her views to the empire, by favouring the succession of Shariâr to the throne, under whose feeble administration she hoped to govern India at pleasure. He therefore insisted that a public example should be made of so wicked a woman; as a sign to man­kind, that crimes in the most exalted persons ought to meet with no more favour, than iniquities in the mean and low. ‘"You, who are emperor of the Moguls!" said Mohábet, addressing him­self to Jehangire, "whom we look upon as something more than [Page 92] human, ought to follow the example of God, who has no respect for persons."’

Saved at the request of the emperor.Jehangire was too well acquainted with his situation to con­tradict Mohâbet. He owned the justice of the accusation, and he signed a warrant for her death. Being excluded from his pre­sence, her charms had lost their irresistible influence over him; and when his passions did not thwart the natural bias of his mind, he was always just. The dreadful message was delivered to the Sultana. She heard it without emotion. ‘"Imprisoned sove­reigns," said she, "lose their right to life with their freedom; but permit me for once to see the emperor, and to bathe with my tears the hand that has fixed the seal to the warrant of death."’ She was brought before her husband, in the presence of Mohâbet. Her beauty shone with additional lustre through her sorrow. She uttered not one word. Jehangire burst into tears. ‘"Will you not spare this woman, Mohâbet?" said the emperor; "you see how she weeps."’‘"The emperor of the Moguls," replied Mohâ­bet, "should never ask in vain."’ The guards retired from her, at a wave of his hand; and she was restored that instant to her former attendants.

March to Cabul.The friends of Mohâbet disapproved of his generosity, and he had cause to repent of it himself. The Sultana lived not to thank her forgiver, but to revenge herself. The Imperial camp moved to Cabul. Mohâbet, without appearing to command, di­rected every thing at court. The emperor implicitly followed his advice; and he even seemed to harbour no resentment against him for the past. He had long known his abilities; he was now convinced of his integrity and generosity. Naturally fond of in­dolence and pleasure himself, he could not wish to have left the affairs of the state in better hands. The attention paid him by [Page 93] Mohâbet, eradicated every idea of bondage: and the weight which his edicts carried, from their precision and wisdom, recon­ciled his situation to his pride, by the obedience which was paid to them over all the empire.

Designs of the Sultana against Mo­habetSix months had passed in Cabul in an apparent harmony be­tween the monarch and his minister. The busy spirit of Noor-Jehân was, in the mean time, hatching mischief. She concealed her schemes so effectually, that they escaped the penetrating eyes of Mohâbet. The emperor resided in his palace at Cabul: the minister lay every night in the camp of his Rajaputs, without the walls. When he came one morning to pay his respects at court with his retinue, the citizens, at the instigation of the Sultana, attacked him from both ends of a narrow street. Some, posted in windows on either side, fired upon him with mus­quets. He turned back, and forced his way to his camp. He arrived among the Rajaputs unhurt: his followers were all either wounded or slain. The citizens did not rest here. They fell upon the guards, which he had placed round the emperor; and put five hundred to the sword.

defeated.Mohâbet, enraged at the perfidy of the Cabulians, prepared to take ample revenge. He blocked up the city, with his army. The massacre within was discontinued. Fear succeeded to rage. The principal inhabitants, laying the whole blame upon the rab­ble, came out in the most suppliant manner to Mohâbet. Jehan­gire, who disclaimed all knowledge of the tumult, interceded for them; and the enraged minister spared the city, after having punished the most notorious ringleaders of the insurgents. He, however, declared, that he would never enter the perfidious city of Cabul: he gave directions to the emperor to quit it the next [Page 94] day, and, having made the necessary preparations, the Imperial camp moved in a few days toward Lahore.

Mohâbet re­signs his power.On the way to Lahore, Mohâbet took a sudden resolution to throw up his power. He had no intentions himself upon the empire; and he had triumphed over his enemies, and served his friends. He exacted, and obtained from Jehangire, the most so­lema promises of oblivion for the past; and he restored that prince to all his former consequence and power. He promised to assist him with his advice; and to shew his sincerity, he dis­missed the greatest part of his guards and attendants. This con­duct was noble; but he had gone too far to retreat. Gratitude is not so strong a passion as revenge. The weak forget savours; but the haughty never forgive indignities. The Sultana kept fresh in her memory her disgrace; she remembered her danger from Mohâbet. She applied to Jehangire for his immediate death. She urged specious arguments to strengthen her request. ‘"A man," said she, "who is so daring as to seize the person of his sove­raign, is a dangerous subject. The lustre of royalty must be di­minished, continued the Sultana, in the eyes of the people, whilst he who pulled his prince from the throne, is permitted to kneel bef [...]re it with feigned allegiance."’ Jehangire was shocked at her proposal. He commanded her to be silent.

H [...] i [...] obliged to [...].She was silent, but she did not drop her design. She resolved to take off by private treachery the man whom she failed to bring to a public death. She contrived to place one of her cunuchs behind the curtain, with orders to shoot Mohâbet, when he should next come to pay his respects in the presence. Jehangire over-heard her commands to the slave. He acquainted Mohâbet with the snare laid for his life; insinuating that his power was not [...] to protect him from private treachery, though he was [Page 95] resolved to save him from public disgrace. Mohâbet was alarm­ed. He escaped from the camp. The army lay that day on the banks of the Gelum, in the very spot where the emperor had seven months before been seized. Mohâbet, after having the whole power of the empire in his hands, was obliged to fly from that very place, without a single attendant. He carried nothing with him but his life: his wealth was left in the Im­perial camp, and became the property of Noor-Jehân. His flight had scarce become public, when an edict was issued by the Sultana's procurement, to all the governors of provinces to make diligent search for him. He was declared a rebel, and a reward was put upon his head.

His confer­enceAsiph disapproved of his sister's violence. He knew the merit of Mohâbet: he was not forgetful of his kindness to himself, when under his power. He was tired, besides, of the weakness of Jehangire, and of the Sultana's tyranny. He, however, ob­served a cautious silence. His power depended upon his sister; and she was haughty as well as vindictive. Mohâbet flew from place to place. He took, at first, the route of Tatta; but the un­fortunate have enemies every where. The boldness, which had lately raised him to the summit of power, forsook him not in his distress. He mounted his horse; and rode solitary near four hundred miles, to throw himself into the conversation of Asiph. That minister, at the time, was in the Imperial camp at Karnal, on the road between Lahore and Delhi. Mohâbet, in a mean habit, entered the camp when it was dark; and about nine o'clock placed himself in the passage, which led from the apartments of Asiph to the Haram. The cunuch, who stood at the door, questioned Mohâbet. He knew that lord by his voice; but he assured him of his sidelity. Mohâbet told him, that he wished [Page 96] to speak to his lord on affairs of the last moment. The visier came.

with AsiphWhen Asiph saw the low condition into which he, who lately commanded the empire, was fallen, he could scarce refrain from tears. He took him in his arms: they retired in silence to a secret place. Mohâbet, after mentioning the ingratitude of Noor-Jehân, complained of the imbecillity of the emperor, and plainly told the visier, that, low as he was reduced, he was deter­mined to raise up another sovereign in India. ‘"Purvez," con­tinued Mohâbet, "is a virtuous man, and my friend. But he is easy and pliant; and we must not change one weak prince for another. I know the merit of Shaw Jehân; I have fought against him; and when I conquered, I gained not a victory but my own life. He suits the times. He is ambitious, and some­times severe; but he will aggrandize the empire abroad, and add vigour and precision to the laws at home."’—Asiph was over­joyed at this declaration. He was connected in friendship as well as in affinity with Shaw Jehân. ‘"You must go hence with speed," said Asiph; "and I will endeavour to procure your pardon. The emperor, who is not averse to you, will listen to my request; especially as Shaw Jehân, with whom you alone are able to cope in the field, is in arms. I shall procure for you an army, which you shall use as the circumstances of the time will demand."’

in favour of Shaw Jehân.The two Omrahs, having sworn fidelity to one another, part­ed. Mohâbet, mounting his horse, dived into the night: Asiph went into the presence. The emperor was much alarmed at the news from the Decan, that his rebellious son had collected an army. He regretted the loss of Mohâbet, and Asiph took that opportunity of suing for his pardon. The emperor, in the warmth [Page 97] of his zeal against his son, ordered an edict of indemnity to be forthwith issued, which restored Mohâbet to his honours and estates. A commission was given him to command the army against Shaw Jehân; and the ceremony of giving thanks in the presence, was dispensed with in his favour, as he could not trust his life to the mercy of Noor-Jehân.

Death of Purvez.An event, however, happened, which rendered these preparations against Shaw Jehân unnecessary. That prince desisted from his new enterprize without the interposition of force. When Mohâ­bet carried all before him at court, his friend and pupil, the prince Purvez, remained at the head of the army, and command­ed all the eastern and southern provinces in great tranquillity. He took no notice of his father's confinement; and he used no means for his releasement. He knew that Mohâbet had no de­signs upon the empire; and he was rather pleased, with a check upon the emperor, which might prove an excuse to himself, from being bound by his commands. In the midst of the insen­sibility and tranquillity of Purvez, he was seized by an apoplexy, which carried him off in the thirty-eighth year of his age.

His charac­ter.Sultan Purvez was one of those harmless men that pass with­out either envy or fame through life. Destitute of those vio­lent passions which agitate the animated and ambitious, he was never completely happy, nor thoroughly miserable. Ease was his only comfort; toil his sole aversion. Though battles were gained in his name, he was rather an incumbrance to an army, than the spring which should move the whole. Without ambi­tion to command, he thought it no indignity to obey. He ap­proved of the counsel of others, without ever proposing his own. He was in short an useful engine in the hands of an able gene­ral. There was a kind of comity in his manner, which com­manded [Page 98] respect, where he impressed no awe; and even men who knew his weakness, listened with attention to his commands. His constitution was feeble and lethargic; his life a perpetual slumber. Had he lived, he was destined for the throne; and, as he had no passions to gratify, the happiness or misery of his reign would depend on those whom chance might place around him. His death was regretted, more, perhaps, than that of an abler man might have been. He never committed injuries, and mankind gave him credit for benevolence. Mohâbet mourned him as a good-natured friend; Jehangire as a dutiful son. The contrast which the character of his brother presented, justified the sentiments of both.

Affairs at Court, and in the Decan.When Mohâbet fled, Noor-Jehân governed the empire without controul. While yet he held the reins of government, he had sent orders to his son Channa-Zâd, Suba of Bengal, to send him the sur­plus of the revenues of that country. Twenty-two lacks, under an escort, were advanced as far as Delhi, when the flight of Mohâbet happened; and the same messenger, who brought the news of the treasure to the emperor, brought him also intelligence of the death of Purvez. Jehangire was affected, beyond measure, at the loss of his son: he never had disobeyed his commands, and his manner was naturally engaging and pleasing.—The command of the army de­volved upon Chan Jehân Lodi. He was ordered to send his family to court as hostages for his faith.—An unexpected war furnished a field for the abilities of Lodi. The Nizam raised disturbances; but he was reduced, without battle, to terms.

Death of Chan Cha­nan.Chan Chanan, who, after his release from confinement, had remained with Purvez in the camp, did not long survive that prince. He attained to the seventy-second year of his age; and, though in his latter days he was accused of treachery, he had [Page 99] covered the former part of his life with renown. He performed many memorable actions, under the emperor Akbar. He reduced the kingdom of Guzerat; he defeated with twenty thousand horse, an army of seventy thousand, under the confederate princes of the Decan. He was a scholar, as well as a soldier. He was the most learned man of his time: shrewd in politics, eloquent to a proverb. He translated the commentaries of the emperor Ba­ber into the Persic, from the Mogul language. He understood the Arabic, the Pehlvi, and all the dialects of India. He was also a good poet, and many of his pieces have come down to our time. In abilities he yielded not to his father, the famous By­ram; though he possessed not his integrity and unsullied vir­tue.


Schemes of Mohâbet and Asiph—Death of the emperor—His charac­ter—Anecdotes of his private life—His religion—His violence—Severe justice—and humanity—The son of prince Chusero raised to the throne—Defeat of Shariâr—Show Jehân marches from the Decan—Young emperor deposed, and murdered—Children of Jehangire—State of Persia.

A.D. 1627 Hig. 1037 Schemes of Mohâbet.MOHABET, after his conference with Asiph, made the best of his way to the dominions of the Rana. He had been recommended by letters from the visier, to that prince; and he was received with extraordinary marks of distinction. A cir­cumstance, omitted in its place, will contribute to throw light on the sequel. A correspondence, by writing, between Mohâbet and Asiph would be a measure full of peril to both. They had re­solved to seize upon the accidents that might arise in the course of time, for the service of Shaw Jehân. The visier was to be the judge, as having the best access to know the period fit for their purpose, from his residence at court and intimate knowledge of its affairs. Mohâbet left a ring in his hands, which, when it should be sent, was the signal for him to espouse openly the inte­rests of the prince.

Death of the emperor.The edict of indemnity to Mohâbet had scarce been promul­gated, when that lord understood from court, that the emperor [Page 101] began to decline visibly in his health. The prospect of his ap­proaching dissolution rendered it unnecessary to wrest from him by force a scepter which he was soon to resign to death. Mohâbet remained quiet with the Rana; who, holding a friendly correspond­ence with Shaw Jehân, took an opportunity of informing that prince, that his noble guest was no enemy to his cause.—Jehan­gire had, for seven years, been troubled with a slight asthma. His disorder increased toward the end of the preceding year; and he resolved to make a progress to Cashmire, for the benefit of the air. The autumn proved very severe in that elevated country. He was seized with a violent cold, which fell upon his lungs. The sharpness and purity of the air rendered his breathing diffi­cult. He complained of a kind of suffocation; and became impa­tient Oct. 27th. under his disorder. He commanded the camp to move, with slow marches, toward Lahore. He was carried in a litter as far as the town of Mutti, which stands about half way on the road from Cashmire. At Mutti his difficulty of breathing in­creased. He was growing worse every day, and the army halted. On the ninth of November of the year 1627 he expired; having lived fifty-eight and reigned twenty-two lunar years and eight months.

His charac­ter.Jehangire was neither vicious nor virtuous in the extreme. His bad actions proceeded from passion; and his good frequently from whim. Violent in his measures without cruelty, merciful without feeling, proud without dignity, and generous without acquiring friends. A slave to his pleasures, yet a lover of busi­ness; destitute of all religion, yet full of superstition and vain fears. Firm in nothing but in the invariable rigour of his justice, he was changeable in his opinions, and often the dupe of those whom he despised. Sometimes calm, winning, and benevolent, he gained the affections of those who knew him not; at other [Page 102] times, morose, captious, reserved, he became terrible to those in whom he most confided. In public, he was familiar, complaisant, and easy to all; he made no distinction between high and low; he heard, with patience, the complaints of the meanest of his subjects; and greatness was never a security against his justice: in private, he was thoughtful, cold, and silent; and he often clothed his countenance with such terror, that Asiph Jâh frequently fled from his presence, and the Sultana, in the plenitude of her in­fluence over him, was known to approach him on trembling knees. His affection for his children bordered on weakness. He was as forgetful of injuries as he was of favours. In war he had no abilities; he was fond of peace and tranquillity; and rather a lover than an encourager of the arts of eivil life. Naturally averse to tyranny and oppression, property was secure under his administration: he had no avarice himself to render him unjust, and he was the determined and implacable enemy of extortion in others. He was a man of science and of literary abilities; and the memoris of his life, which he penned himself, do him more honour as a good writer, than the matter, as a great monarch. Upon the whole, Jehangire, though not a faultless man, was far from being a bad prince: he had an inclination to be virtuous, and his errors proceeded from a defect more than from a depravity of soul: His mother was thought to have introduced a tincture of madness into his blood; and an immoderate use of wine and opium rendered sometimes frantic a mind naturally inflamed.

His private life and opi­nions.Though Jehangire was often serious and distant among his domestics, he was fond of throwing off the character of the em­peror, and of enjoying freely the conversation of his subjects. He often disappeared in the evening from the palace, and dived into obscure punch-houses, to pass some hours in drinking and talking with the lower sort. He had no enemies, and he was under no [Page 103] apprehensions concerning the safety of his person. Being in the hall of audience, accessible to all ranks of men, after the per­formance of the usual ceremonies, he was often known in his nocturnal excursions. But the people loved his familiar openness, and did not by rudeness abuse the trust reposed in them by their prince. He often desired his companions at the bowl to ask no favours of him, lest SELIM, in his cups, might promise what JEHANGIRE, in his sober senses, would not chuse to perform. When the liquor began to inflame him, he was rather mad than intoxicated. He flew from one extreme of passion to another; this moment joyful, the next melancholy and drowned in tears. When in this situation, he was fond of arguing upon abstruse subjects. Religion was his favourite topic. He sometimes praised the Mahommedan faith, sometimes that of the Christians; he was now a follower of Zoroaster, and now of Brahma. In the midst of these devout professions, he would, sometimes, as starting from a dream, exclaim, That the prophets of all nations were impostors; and that he himself, should his indolence permit him, could form a better system of religion than any they had imposed on the world. When he was sober, he was divested of every idea of religion, having been brought up a Deist under the tuition of his father Akbar.

Scheme of establishing a new faith.The variety of opinions, on the subject of religion, which pre­vailed in India, occasioned great uneasiness both to Jehangire and his father Akbar. The tenets of Mahommedanism, which the family of Timur had brought along with them into their con­quests, were the religion established by law; but the majority of their subjects were of different persuasions. The followers of the Brahmin faith were the most numerous, and the next were the Persian Guebres, who worshipped the element of Fire, as the best representative of God. The Christians of Europe and of Ar­menia [Page 104] possessed several factories in the principal cities and ports, and they wandered in pursuit of commerce over all the empire. The different opinions among all these sects, on a subject which mankind reckon of the last importance, were the source of dis­putes, animosities, and quarrels. Akbar was chagrined. He tolerated every religion; he admitted men of all persuasions into his confidence and service; and he had formed serious thoughts of promulgating a new faith, which might reconcile the minds of all his subjects. He esteemed himself as equal in abilities to Mahommed, and he had more power to enforce his doctrine. But, foreseeing the distractions which this arduous measure might occasion, he dropt his design; and, instead of establishing a new faith, contented himself with giving no credit to any of the old systems of religion. Jehangire in his youth had imbibed his father's principles. He began to write a new code of divine law; but he had neither the austerity nor the abilities of a pro­phet. He shewed more wisdom in relinquishing, than in forming such a visionary scheme.

His violence.Jehangire was subject to violent passions upon many occasions. Complaints against his nobles, and even against his favourite sons, were received with an eagerness, and a rage against the offenders, more easily imagined than described. When his mind was heated with a relation of oppression, he often burst out into a loud excla­mation, ‘"Who in my empire has dared to do this wrong?"’ His violence flew before the accusation; and to name any person to him, was to convince him of his guilt. Shaw Jehân had been known, when in the greatest favour, to have come trembling be­fore his father, at the accusation of the meanest subject; and the whole ministry, and the servants of the court, frequently stood abashed, pale, distant, and in terror for themselves, when a poor man in rags was relating his grievances to the emperor.

[Page 105] An instanceHis excessive severity in the execution of impartial justice, was the great line which marks the features of the character of Jehangire. He had no respect of persons, when he animadverted upon crimes. His former favour was obliterated at once by guilt; and he persevered, with undeviating rigour, to revenge upon the great, the injuries done to the low. The story of Seif Alla remains as a monument of his savage justice. The sister of the favourite Sultana had a son by her husband Ibrahim, the Suba of Bengal, who, from his tender years, had been brought up at court by the empress, who having no sons by Jehangire, adopted Seif Alla for her own. The emperor was fond of the boy; he even often seated him upon his throne. At twelve years of age Alla returned to his father in Bengal. Jehangire gave him a letter to the Suba, with orders to appoint him governor of Burd­wan. Alla, after having resided in his government some years, had the misfortune, when he was one day riding on an elephant through the street, to tread by accident a child to death. The parents of the child followed Alla to his house. They loudly demanded an exemplary punishment on the driver; and the governor, considering it an accident, refused their request, and ordered them to be driven away from his door. They abused him in very opprobrious terms; and Alla, proud of his rank and family, expelled them from the district of Burdwan.

of his seve­rityJehangire residing, at that time, in the city of Lahore, they found their way, after a long journey on foot, to the presence. They called aloud for justice; and the emperor wrote a letter to Alla with his own hand, with peremptory orders to restore to the injured parents of the child their possessions, and to make them ample amends for their loss and the fatigue of their journey. The pride of Alla was hurt, at the victory obtained over him; and instead of obeying the orders of his prince, he threw them into prison, [Page 106] till they made submissions to him for their conduct. But as soon as they were released, they travelled again to Lahore. Alla was alarmed, and wrote letters to the Sultana and Asiph Jâh, to prevent the petitioners from being admitted into the presence. They hovered to no effect, for some months, about the palace. They could not even come within hearing of the emperor, till one day, that he was taking his pleasure in a barge upon the river. They pressed forward through the crowd; and thrice called out aloud for justice. The emperor heard them, and he recollected their persons. He ordered the barge to be rowed, that instant, to the bank; and, before he inquired into the nature of their complaint, he wrote an order for them to receive a pension for life, from the Imperial treasury. When they had explained their grievances, he said not a word, but he commanded Alla to appear immediately at court.

in the execu­tion of jus­tice.Alla obeyed the Imperial command; but he knew not the in­tentions of Jehangire, which that prince had locked up in his own breast. The youth encamped with his retinue, the night of his arrival, on the opposite bank of the river; and sent a mes­senger to announce his coming to the emperor. Jehangire gave orders for one of his elephants of state to be ready, by the dawn of day; and he at the same time directed the parents of the child to attend. He himself was up before it was light, and having crossed the river, he came to the camp of Alla, and commanded him to be bound. The parents were mounted upon the ele­phant; and the emperor ordered the driver to tread the unfortu­nate young man to death. But the driver, afraid of the resent­ment of the Sultana, passed over him several times, without giving the elephant the necessary directions. The emperor, however, by his threats obliged him at last to execute his orders. He retired home in silence; and issued out his com­mands [Page 107] to bury Alla with great pomp and magnificence, and that the court should go into mourning for him for the space of two moons.—‘"I loved him;" said Jehangire, "but justice, like ne­cessity, should bind monarchs."’

Of his hu­manity.The severe justice of Jehangire established tranquillity through all his dominions, when they were not disturbed by the ambi­tion of his sons. The Subas of provinces avoided oppression, as the poor had a determined avenger of their wrongs, in their so­vereign. He upon every occasion affected the conversation of the lower sort. They had immediate access to his person; and he only seemed pleased, when he was humbling the pride of his nobles, upon the just complaints of the vulgar. He boasted of his humanity, as well as of his justice. He had used to say, That a monarch should even feel for the beasts of the field; and that the birds of heaven ought to receive their due at the foot of the throne.

Dawir Buxsh raised to the throne.As soon as Jehangire expired, Asiph, at the head of the Im­perial retinue, proceeded with the body to Lahore. When he arrived on the banks of the Gelum, he dispatched a Hindoo named Narsi, with the ring to Mohâbet, as the signal for that lord to espouse the cause of Shaw Jehân. The will of Jehangire had been opened immediately upon his demise. He had, at the instigation of the Sultana, named his fourth son Shariâr, as his successor in the throne; but that prince had, some weeks before, set out for Lahore. When the news of the death of Jehangire arrived at that city, the prince seized upon the Imperial trea­sure, and encouraged the troops to join him, by ample donations. The visier was alarmed. To gain time for the execution of his designs in favour of Shaw Jehân, he proclaimed Dawir Buxsh, the son of prince Chusero, emperor of the Moguls. His [Page 108] sister disapproved of this measure; and endeavoured to raise a party in the camp in favour of Shariâr: but he put an end to her schemes, by confining her to her tent; and gave strict orders, that none should be admitted into her presence.

Shariâr de­feated, taken and blinded.Shariâr, by means of the Imperial treasure, collected together a considerable force. Being ill of a venereal disorder himself, he appointed Baiêsâr, the son of his uncle, the prince Daniâl, to com­mand his army. The troops of Asiph were inferior in number to those of Shariâr; but they were, in some measure, disciplined, and inured to the field. Shariâr had crossed the Gelum before the arrival of Asiph; who drew up his forces upon the first appearance of the enemy. It was rather a flight than a bat­tle. The raw troops of Shariâr gave way, before they came to blows. He was not himself in the action: he stood on a distant hill, and fell in into the current of retreat. He shut himself up in the citadel of Lahore; which was invested the next day by the army of Asiph. The friends of Shariâr deserted him; and made terms for themselves. The unfortunate prince hid himself in a cellar within the haram. He was found, and dragged to the light by Ferose Chan; and Alliverdi bound his hands with his girdle, and brought him to Dawir Buxsh. He was ordered to be confined; and the second day he was deprived of sight.

March of Shaw' Jehân.Narsi, the messenger of Asiph, arrived with the ring, after a journey of three weeks, at Chibîr on the borders of Golconda, where Mohâbet, at the time, resided, with Shaw Jehân. He in­formed the prince of the death of Jehangire; and acquainted Mohâbet of the plan, formed by the visier, to secure the throne for the former; and that Dawir Buxsh was only raised, as a tempo­rary bulwark against the designs of the Sultana, and to appease the people, who were averse to Shariâr. Shaw Jehân, by the [Page 109] advice of Mohâbet, began his march through Guzerat. Two officers were sent with letters to the vizier; and Nîshar Chan was dispatched with presents to Lodi, who commanded the army in the Decan.

Suspicious conduct of, Lodi.Lodi was always averse to the interests of Shaw Jehân. He was proud and passionate; of high birth, and reputation in war. Deriving his blood from the Imperial family of Lodi, he even had views on the empire. Many of his nation served un­der him in the army; and confiding in their attachment, he look­ed with secret pleasure upon the contests for the throne, which were likely to arise in the family of Timur. He had detached a part of his army to seize Malava, and all the Imperial territories bordering upon that province. The messenger of Shaw Jehân was received with coldness. The answer given him was undeci­sive and evasive; and he was dismissed without any marks either of resentment or favour. Lodi did not see clearly before him; and he was resolved to take advantage of events as they should happen to rise.

Dawir Buxsh deposed and murdered.Shaw Jehân having, as already mentioned, taken the rout of Guzerat, received the submission of that province. Seif Chan, who commanded for the empire, being sick, was taken in his bed; but his life was spared at the intercession of his wife, who was the particular favourite of the sister of the prince. Having re­mained seven days at Ahmedabâd, news arrived of the victory of the visier over Shariâr. Chidmud-Perist was dispatched to the con­queror with letters. They contained expressions of the deepest gra­titude to the minister; but he, at the same time, intimated, that dissention could not cease but with the life of the sons of Chusero and Daniâl.—The temporary emperor, Dawir Buxsh, had been dethroned and imprisoned three days before the arrival of Shaw [Page 110] Jehân's messenger at Lahore. His brother Gurshasp, and Baiêsâr and Hoshung, the sons of Daniâl, had been also confined. To show his attachment to Shaw Jehân, the visier delivered the keys of the prison to Perist; and that chief, to gain his master's favour, strangled the three princes that very night. Asiph made no en­quiry concerning their deaths. He marched the next day to­ward Agra, having proclaimed Shaw Jehân emperor of the Moguls.

Shaw Jehân arrives at Agra.Shaw Jehân arriving at Ajmere, was joined, in that city, by the Rana and his son. They were dignified with titles; and several Omrahs were raised to higher ranks of nobility. The govern­ment of Ajmere, with many rich estates, were conferred upon Mohâbet; and the emperor, for Shaw Jehân had assumed that title, marched toward Agra, and pitched his camp in sight of that capital, on the 31st of January 1628, in the garden which from its beauty was called the Habitation of Light. Cassim, the governor of Agra, came with the keys, and touched the ground with his forehead before the emperor; who entered the city the next day, amid the acclamations of the populace. They forgot his crimes in his splendour; and recognized the right to the throne, which murder had procured.

Jehangire's children.Seven children were born to the emperor Jehangire: five sons and two daughters. The first were Chusero, Purvez, Churrum, Jehandâr, and Shariâr; the daughters were Sultana Nissa, and Sultana Bâr Banu. Chusero, Purvez and Jehandâr died before their father: Shariâr fell a victim to his brother's jealousy; and Churrum, under the name of Shaw Jehân, succeeded to the em­pire. The prince Chusero left two sons, Dawir Buxsh and Gur­shasp: the first had obtained the name of emperor; they were both murdered, as has been already mentioned, at Lahore. The chil­dren [Page 111] A.D. 1628 Hig. 1037 of Purvez were a son and a daughter: the first, by dying a natural death soon after his father, prevented the dagger of Shaw Jehân from committing another murder; and the latter became afterwards the wife of Dara, the eldest son of Shaw Jehân.—The two sons of Daniâl, Baiêsâr and Hoshung, had been confined during the reign of their uncle Jehangire. Strangers to the world, and destitute of experience, their nerves were re­laxed by inactivity, and their minds broken by adversity. This state of debility did not secure them from the jealousy of the new emperor, by whose commands they were strangled at Lahore. The emperor, either by the dagger or bowstring, dispatched all the males of the house of Timur; so that he himself and his children only remained of the posterity of Baber, who conquered India.

State of Persia and Usbekian Tartary.The state of Persia suffered no change during the reign of the emperor Jehangire in Hindostan. Shaw Abas, sirnamed the Great, who was in his twentieth year on the throne of the family of Seifi at the death of Akbar, outlived Jehangire. He covered with splendid exploits, and a rigorous adherence to justice, the natural severity and even cruelty of his character; and acquired the reputation of a great, though not of an amiable prince. The Usbec Tartars of Great Bucharia, who had made encroachments on the Persian dominions during the interrupted reigns of the immediate predecessors of Abas, lost much of their consequence in the time of that victorious prince. Domestic troubles and dis­putes about the succession converted the western Tartary into a scene of blood; and offered an object of ambition to Abas. He invaded Chorassan; he besieged the capital Balick, but he was obliged to retreat, by the activity and valour of Baki, who had possessed himself, after various vicissitudes of fortune, of the throne of the Usbecs. Baki, dying in the third year of his reign, [Page 112] was succeeded by his brother Walli; who being expelled by his uncle, took refuge, with many of the nobles, in the court of Shaw Abas. The Persian assisted him with an army. He was success­ful in many engagements, defeated his uncle's forces, and took the city of Bochara; but his fortune changed near Samarcand, and he fell in a battle, which he lost. The views of Abas, on the western dominions of the Usbecs, which had formerly belong­ed to Persia, fell with his ally Walli. Emam Kulli and his bro­ther divided between them the empire; and, notwithstanding the efforts of Abas, retained the dominion of the extensive province of Chorassan.



Reflections—Accession of Shaw Jehân—Promotions—The emperor's children—State of the empire with regard to foreign powers—Incursion of the Usbecs—War in Bundelcund—Disgrace—Tragical story—and flight of Chan Jehân Lodi—Death and character of Shaw Abas of Persia—Emperor's march to the Decan—War in Golconda and Tellingana—Irruption of the Afgans—The visier Asiph takes the field.

Reflections.THE ideas upon government which the Tartars of the nor­thern Asia carried into their conquests in Hindostan, were often fatal to the posterity of Timur. Monarchy descends through the channel of primogeniture; but despotism must never fall into the hands of a minor. The prince is the center of union be­tween all the members of the state; and, when he happens to be a child, the ties which bind the allegiance of the subject are dissolved. Habituated to battle, and inured to depredation, the Tartars always adopted for their leader, that person of the family of their princes who was most proper for their own mode of life; and lost sight of hereditary succession in the convenience of the nation. When they settled in better regions than their native country, they did not lay aside a custom suited only to incursion and war. The succession to the throne was never determined by established rules; and a door was opened to intrigue, to murder, and to civil war. Every prince, as if in an enemy's country, mounted the throne through conquest; and the [Page 114] safety of the state, as well as his own, forced him, in a manner, to become an assassin, and to stain the day of his accession with the blood of his relations. When therefore the Despot died, am­bition was not the only source of broils among his sons. They contended for life as well as for the throne; under a certainty that the first must be lost, without a possession of the second. Self-preservation, that first principle of the human mind, converted frequently the humane prince into a cruel tyrant, and thus necessity prompted men to actions, which their souls perhaps abhorred.

Accession of Shaw Jehân.Shaw Jehân had this apology for the murder of his rela­tions; and the manners of the people were so much adapted to an idea of necessity in such a case, that they acquiesced with­out murmuring under his government. He mounted the throne of the Moguls in Agra, on the first of February of the year 1628 of the Christian Aera; and, according to the pompous man­ner of eastern princes, assumed the titles of THE TRUE STAR OF THE FAITH, THE SECOND LORD OF THE HAPPY CONJUNC­TIONS, MAHOMMED, THE KING OF THE WORLD. He was born at Lahore on the fifth of January 1592, and, on the day of his accession, he was thirty-six solar years and twenty-eight days old. To drive away the memory of the late assassinations from the minds of the people, and to gratify the nobles, who had crowded from every quarter to Agra, he ushered in his reign with a festival, which exceeded every thing of the kind known in that age, in magnificence and expence. The pompous shews of the favourite Sultana, in the late reign, vanished in the su­perior grandeur of those exhibited by Shaw Jehân.

Promotions.In the midst of festivity and joy, Shaw Jehân did neither for­get the state nor the gratitude which he owed to his friends. Asiph Jâh, though not yet arrived from Lahore, was confirmed in the office of visier. His appointments to support the dignity [Page 115] of his station, and as a reward for the part he acted, in securing the possession of the throne to the emperor, amounted to near a million sterling. Mohâbet who, in Shaw Jehân's progress from the Decan to Agra, had been presented with the government of Ajmere, was raised to the high office of captain-general of all the forces, and to the title and dignity of Chan Chanan, or first of the nobles. His son Chanazâd, who had been raised to the title of Chan Zimân, was placed in the government of Malava. Behâr was conferred on Chan Alum, Bengal on Casim, Allaha­bâd on Jansapar Chan. The emperor, in bestowing the province of Cabul on Liscâr, exhibited an instance of justice. He had, during his rebellion, taken eight lacks of roupees by force from that Omrah, and when he appointed him to Cabul, he at the same time gave him a draught on the treasury for the money; signifying to Liscâr, ‘"That necessity being removed, there was no excuse for the continuance of injustice."’ Fifty Mahommedan nobles, together with many Indian Rajas, were raised to honours, and gratified with presents.

Asiph arrives at Agra.During these transactions at Agra, Asiph pursued his journey in very slow marches from Lahore. His sister, the favourite of the late emperor, being ruined in all her schemes of ambition, was left, in a kind of consinement at Lahore, in the Imperial palace. The four sons of the reigning emperor, Dara, Suja, Aurungzêbe, and Morâd, had been sent as hostages for their father's good be­haviour to Jehangire. They were in the Imperial camp when that monarch expired; and Asiph treated them with kindness and respect. He arrived at Agra on the twenty-second of March, and presented his sons to the emperor, when he was celebrating the festival of the Norose, which is kept by the followers of Ma­hommed at the vernal equinox in every year. The emperor was so much rejoiced at the sight of his children, who had been all [Page 116] born to him by his favourite wife the daughter of Asiph, that he conferred upon their grandfather, the pompous title of THE FATHER OF PRINCES, THE STRENGTH OF THE REALM, AND PROTECTOR OF THE EMPIRE.

Children of the emperor.The Imperial prince Dara Shêko was thirteen years old at the accession of his father to the throne; Suja was in the twelfth, Aurungzêbe in the tenth, and Morâd in the fourth lunar year of his age. The eldest of the emperor's children, by the favou­rite Sultana, the daughter of Asiph, was the princess Jehânara, which name signifies THE ORNAMENT OF THE WORLD. She was fourteen years of age when Shaw Jehân mounted the throne. Sensible, lively and generous, elegant in her person, and accom­plished in her mind, she obtained an absolute empire over her father. A similarity of disposition with the open and sincere Dara, attached her to the interest of that prince; and he owed, in a great measure, the favour of his father to her influence. Roshenrai Begum, or THE PRINCESS OF THE ENLIGHTENED MIND, was the second daughter of Shaw Jehân, and his fourth child by the favourite Sultana. Her wit was sharp and penetrating, her judgment sound, her manner engaging like her person; she was full of address, and calculated for stratagem and intrigue. She resembled the pervading genius of Aurungzêbe, and she favour­ed his designs. The emperor's third daughter was Suria Bânu, or THE SPLENDID PRINCESS; a name suited to her exquisite beauty. She was easy and gentle in her temper, soft and pleas­ing in her address, humane, benevolent and silent: averse to du­plicity and art, full of dignity and honourable pride. She took no part in the intrigues which disturbed the repose of the state, devoting her time to the accomplishments of her sex, and a few innocent amusements.

[Page 117] State of the empire.Shaw Jehân found himself in the peaceable possession of the extensive empire of his father, and he had abilities to govern it with dignity, justice and precision. Tranquillity was established at home; and there were no enemies to disturb him from abroad. Shaw Abas soon after died in Persia; and the scepter fell into the weak and inactive hands of his grandson Sesi; a prince, incapable of either governing his subjects with dignity, or of giving any disturbance to his neighbours. The spirit of the Usbecs had declined; and they were exhausted by dis­puted successions and civil wars. The Indian nations, beyond the pale of the empire, were peaceable and unwarlike: incapable of committing injuries, and too distant from the seat of govern­ment to receive them. The Portugueze, though the most power­ful European nation in India, were not formidable to the empire, though hated by the prince. Shaw Jehân, when in arms against his father, had solicited their assistance. They had not only re­fused him their aid, but, in a manly manner, reproached him for having demanded it against his parent and sovereign. He was sensible of the justice of the reproof, and therefore could not forgive it. The Sultana was their enemy. She had accom­panied her husband to one of their settlements; and she was en­raged beyond measure against them for the worship they paid to images.

Lodi submits.The disrespect shewn by Lodi who commanded in the De­can, to Nishar Chan the emperor's messenger, produced a su­perceding commission to the latter against the former. Nishar produced the Imperial mandate: but Lodi would not obey. Mohâbet was ordered with a force against the refractory general; and Nishar, on account of his not having acted with a proper spirit, was recalled. Chan Zimân, from his government of Ma­lava, marched with all his forces to the aid of his father Mohâ­bet. [Page 118] Lodi was soon reduced to extremities. He sent messen­gers to Mohâbet, with a request of his mediation with the emperor, explaining away his conduct, by the difficulty of decid­ing in favour of the reigning emperor against the will of Jehan­gire. ‘"But now," continues he, "that Shaw Jehân remains alone of the posterity of Timur, Lodi cannot hesitate to obey his commands."’ These letters were received by Mohâbet before things came to open hostility. He transmitted them to Agra, and Lodi was restored, in appearance, to favour.

InvasionThe confusions occasioned by the disputed succession, after the death of Jehangire, rouzed the ambition of Shaw Kull, prince of the Usbee Tartars. He looked upon a civil war as a certain event in India; and he resolved to seize on the opportunity presented by Fortune. He ordered ten thousand of his best horse under Nidder Mahommed, accompanied with a good train of artil­lery, to penetrate into the province of Cabul. That general entered the Imperial dominions, and laid siege to the fortress of Zohâc. But the place was so strong, and so well defended by Zingis, who commanded the garrison, that Mahommed, after suffering a considerable loss, raised the siege. The Usbecs, however, did not retreat to their own country. Mahommed, after being repulsed at Zohâc, attempted to surprize Cabul, and, having failed in the enterprize, he sat down before that city.

of the Usbecs.Having summoned the garrison of Cabul to no purpose, the Usbecs began to make their approaches. They soon advanced their batteries to the counterscarp of the ditch, and, by a constant fire, made several breaches in the wall. Ziffer, the late Suba, had left the place; and Liscâr, the new governor, was not yet arrived. The command of the garrison was in Jacob Chan; who defended himself so well, that the enemy was beat back with great loss in [Page 119] a general assault. Mahommed, though repulsed, was not dis­couraged. He raised, with great labour, mounds to command the walls; and drove the besieged from the rampart. The breach, however, had been repaired, and the Usbecs durst not attempt to scale the walls.

Repulsed.The news of the invasion had, in the mean time, arrived at the court of Agra; and the emperor, finding that Mohâbet had settled the affairs of the Decan, ordered that general to the relief of Cabul. Having left his son in his command in the south, Mohâbet hastened with all expedition to the north. Twelve thousand horse attended him; and he was to take up the forces of Punjâb on his way. The siege had now continued three months; the Usbecs had again made a practicable breach, and the ditch was almost filled, when the news of the march of Mohâbet arrived in the camp of Mahommed. He redoubled his diligence; and the garrison, who knew nothing of succour, began to despair. When, therefore, the Usbecs began to prepare for a second general assault, the besieged sallied out with all their forces. The battle was ob­stinate and bloody; but Mahommed was at length obliged to give way; and the garrison hung on his heels beyond the frontiers of the province. Mohâbet, upon the news of this defeat, re­turned to Agra; and civil contests took up the attention of the Usbecs at home.

War with theThe invasion of the Usbecs was succeeded by an insurrec­tion in the small province of Bundelcund. The Indian prince of that country, whose name was Hidjâr Singh, having come to pay his respects at the court of Agra, found that an addition was made, in the books of the Imperial treasury, to the tribute which he and his ancestors had formerly paid to the house of Timur. Instead of petitioning for an abatement of the impost, he fled with­out [Page 120] taking leave of the emperor. When he arrived in his domi­nions, he armed his dependants to the number of fifteen thou­sand men. He garrisoned his fortresses, and occupied the passes which led to his country. The emperor was enraged at the pre­sumption of this petty chieftain. He ordered Mohâbet to enter his country with twelve thousand horse and three thousand foot, by the way of Gualiâr. Lodi, lately received into favour, with twelve thousand more, was commanded to invade Bundel­cund from the south; and Abdalla, with seven thousand horse, from the east, by the way of Allahabâd. These three armies, under three experienced and able officers, were more than neces­sary for the service; but the emperor was desirous to shew an instance of vigour at the commencement of his reign, to raise the terror of his displeasure, and to establish tranquillity and good order by the means of fear.

Raja of Bun­delcund.The emperor himself marched from Agra on the twentieth of December, on a tour of pleasure to the forest of Niderbari, where he hunted tigers for six days, and then took the route of Gualiâr, that he might be near the seat of war. He opened the gates of that fortress to all state prisoners, some of whom had remained in confinement during the whole of the former reign. This cle­mency procured him popularity, and took away part of the odium which his bloody policy had already fixed on his character. The refractory Raja was, in the mean time, pressed hard on every side. He resisted with spirit; but he was driven from post to post. He, as the last resort, shut himself up in his fort of Erige. Abdalla sat down before it; and having made a practicable breach, stormed the place, and put the garrison, con­sisting of three thousand men, to the sword. The Raja made his escape. He was ruined, but his spirit was not broken. With the remaining part of his army he fell into the rout of Mohâbet; [Page 121] Hig. 1038 and his forces being cut off, he himself came into the hands of the captain-general.

He is taken prisoner.Mohâbet carried his prisoner to the emperor, who had returned to Agra. Shaw Jehân was rigid to an extreme; and his huma­nity gave always place to policy. He ordered the unfortunate prince into confinement, intimating that a warrant should soon be issued for his execution. Mohâbet, who admired the intrepid constancy of the Raja, shewed an inclination to intercede for his life; but the stern looks of the emperor imposed silence upon him. He, however, the next day carried his prisoner into the presence: the rigid darkness of Shaw Jehân's countenance con­tinued; and the captain-general stood at a distance, in close con­versation with the Raja. The emperor saw them; but he was silent. The prince, and even Mohâbet, despaired of success. They came the third day into the presence, and stood, as usual, at a distance. The Raja was in fetters, and Mohâbet chained his own hand to that of the prisoner. ‘"Approach, Mohâbet," said Shaw Jehân. "The captain-general will have it so; and I par­don Hidjâr Singh. But life without dignity is no present from the emperor of the Moguls, to a fallen prince; I, therefore, to his government restore Hidjâr Singh, upon paying sixteen lacks of roupees, and furnishing the Imperial army with forty elephants of war."’

Mohâbet re­moved from the head of the army.Notwithstanding the deference which was shewn to Mohâbet for his great abilities, the emperor was jealous of his influence and popularity. He therefore requeited of him to resign the command of the army on the frontiers of the unconquered provinces of the Decan, together with the government of Candeish; both which offices the captain-general discharged, by Chan Zemân his son. Eradit, the receiver-general of the Imperial revenues, [Page 122] was appointed to that important station. He set out from court, and Chan Zemân, having resigned the army and government to him, returned to Agra. This change in the government of the frontier provinces was productive of disturbances. The Nizam of Golconda, who had been kept quiet by the reputation of Mohâbet and his son, invaded, upon the departure of the latter, the Imperial province of Candeish. Diria, who, in subordination to the new Suba, commanded the army, attacked the Nizam in a disavantageous situation, and obliged him to retreat into his own dominions, with the loss of a great part of his army.

Irruption of the Usbecs.The unsuccessful attempts of the Usbecs upon Cabul, in the be­ginning of the preceding year, together with domestic distractions consequent upon their disgrace, had hitherto secured the peace of the northern frontier of the empire. They were, however, anxious to recover their lost reputation. An army of volun­teers were collected, and the command vested in Zingis. That officer suddenly entered the Imperial dominions; and sat down before the fort of Bamia, in the mountains of Cabul. The place was feebly garrisoned, and the Usbecs pressed the fiege with vigour. It fell into their hands; and Zingis having demolished the walls, returned, with the plunder of the open country, to the dominions of the Usbecs. This irruption could be scarce called a war; as the sudden retreat of the enemy restored the public tran­quillity.

Story of Chan Jehân Lodi.The most remarkable event of the second year of Shaw Jehân is the flight of Chan Jehân Lodi from Agra. This nobleman, at the death of Jehangire, commanded, as already mentioned, the Imperial army stationed in the Decan. The favourite Sultana had found means, by letters, to gain over Lodi to the interest of the prince Shariâr, whom she had resolved to place on the [Page 123] A.D. 1629 throne of India. Shaw Jehân, in his march to Agra, applied to him for a passage through his government, which he absolutely refused. He added contempt to his refusal; by sending a thou­sand roupees, a horse, and a dress to the prince, as to a person of inferior dignity to himself. The messenger of Lodi, how­ever, had not the courage to deliver the humiliating present. He gave the roupees, the dress, and the horse to a shep­herd, when he got beyond the walls of Brampour, where Lodi resided. He, at the same time, desired the shepherd to return the whole to Lodi; and to tell him, That if the pre­sents were not unworthy of him to give, they were too insig­nisicant for his servant to carry to a great prince. Having given these directions to the shepherd, the messenger proceeded to Shaw Jehân. The prince approved of his behaviour, thanked him for having such a regard for his honour; and after he was settled on the throne, raised the messenger, as a reward for his services, to the rank of a noble.

Cause of the emperor's re­sentmentShaw Jehân, being in no condition to force his way through the government of Lodi, took a long circuit round the hills, through wild and unfrequented paths. Lodi became soon sen­sible of his error. The defeat and death of Shariâr, the im­prisonment of the Sultana, the murder of Dawir Buxsh, and the accession of Shaw Jehân to the throne, came successively to his ears. He thought of submission; but an army was on its march to reduce him to obedience. Zimân, the son of Mohâbet, was at the head of this force; but Lodi being in possession of an army, and an extensive and rich province, the emperor gave to his gene­ral a commission to treat with that refractory Lord. He soon closed with the terms. He was appointed to the government of Malava, upon his resigning the Imperial division of the De­can. The emperor, however, was not sincere in the pardon which [Page 124] he promised. His pride revolted at the indignities offered him by Lodi; and, at a proper occasion, he resolved to punish him.

against that Omrah.Lodi was not long in possession of the government of Malava, when he received orders to repair to court. As his resignation of the command of the army might be construed into obedience, rather than attributed to fear, he was under no apprehensions in making his appearance in the presence. An edict of indemnity had been promulgated to all the Omrahs who had opposed the accession of Shaw Jehân to the throne; and Lodi thought that there was no probability of his being excluded from the indul­gence granted to others. He was, however, convinced of his error, on the first day of his appearance at court. The usher, Perist, obliged him to exhibit some ceremonies of obe­dience, inconsistent with the rank which he held among the nobility. He was somewhat refractory, but he thought it prudent to submit. His son, Azmut Chan, was introduced after his father. The youth was then but sixteen years of age. He thought that the usher kept him too long prostrate upon the ground; and he started up before the signal for rising was given. The usher, in a rage, struck Azmut over the head with his rod, and insisted upon his throwing himself again on the ground. Azmut, full of fire and valour, drew his sword. He aimed a blow at the usher's head; but one of the mace-bearers warded it off, and saved his life.

He is dis­graced in the presence.A sudden murmur spread around. All fell into confusion; and many placed their hands on their swords. Lodi, consider­ing the blow given to his son, as the signal of death, drew his dagger to defend himself. Hussein, his other son, followed his father's example. The tumult encreased, and the emperor leapt from his throne. Lodi and his sons rushed out of the presence. [Page 125] Their house was contiguous to the palace; and they shut them­selves up, with three hundred dependants. The house being inclosed with a strong wall, no impression could be made upon it without artillery; and as a siege so near the gates of the palace would derogate from the majesty of the emperor, Shaw Jehân endeavoured to entice Lodi to a surrender, by a promise of pardon. His friends at court, however, acquainted him, that that there was a resolution formed against his life; and he resolved to make his escape, or to die in the attempt.

His distress▪Night, in the mean time, came on; and he was tormented with various passions. His women were all around him. To leave them to dishonour was intolerable, to remain was death, to remove them by violence, cruelty. He was afflicted beyond measure; and he burst into tears. His wives saw his grief, and they re­tired. They consulted together in an inner apartment. Their resolution was noble, but desperate; they raised their hands against their own lives. The groans reached the ears of Lodi. He rushed in; but there was only one taper burning, which, in his haste, he overturned and extinguished. He spoke, but none answered. He searched around, but he plunged his hand in blood. He stood in silence a while; and one of his sons having brought a light, discovered to his eyes a scene of inexpressible horror. He said not a word; but the wildness of his eyes was expres­sive of the tempest which rolled in his mind. He made a signal to his two sons, and they buried the unfortunate women in the garden. He hung for some time in silence over their common grave. Then starting at once from a profound reverie, he issued forth in a state of horror and despair. He ordered his drums to be beaten, his trumpets to be sounded. His people gathered around him. They mounted their horses in the court-yard, and he himself at once threw open the gate. He issued out with his two [Page 126] sons; and his followers fell in order into his path. The Imperial troops were astonished, and made little resistance. He was heard to exclaim, ‘"I will awaken the tyrant with the sound of my departure, but he shall tremble at my return."’ He rushed through the city like a whirlwind, and took the rout of Malava.

and flight.The emperor, disturbed by the sudden noise, started from his bed. He enquired into the cause; and ordered Abul Hussein, with nine other nobles, to pursue the fugitive. They collected their troops; and left the city by the dawn of day. Lodi, with­out halting, rode forward near forty miles. He was stopt by the river Chunbil, which was so high, so rough and rapid, on account of the rains, that he could not swim across it, and all the boats had been carried down by the stream. This was an unexpected and terrible check; but as the weather was now fair, he hoped that the torrent would soon fall; and in that expectation, he and his followers stood on the bank. In the midst of his anxiety, the Imperial troops appeared. He called his people together, and told them, he was resolved to die in arms. There was a pass behind him, which opened between two hills into a narrow plain. He took immediate possession of the pass; the river, which had cut off all hopes of flight, served to cover his rear.

His gallant behaviour,The Imperialists, trusting to their numbers, advanced with con­fidence; but they were so warmly received, that they drew back, with manifest signs of fear. Shame forced them to renew the charge. A select body pressed forward into the pass. The shock was violent; and the slaughter, on both sides, was as great and expeditious, as the small place in which they engaged would permit. Hussein had a resource in numbers; Lodi had no­thing in which he could conside but his valour. Scarce one hundred of his men now remained unhurt; he himself was [Page 127] wounded in the right arm, and the enemy were preparing a third time to advance. His affairs were desperate. His two sons, Azmut and Hussein, conjured him to attempt the river, and that they would secure his retreat. ‘"The danger is equal," replied Lodi, "but it is more honourable to die in the field."’ They insisted upon his retreating, as his wound had rendered him unsit for action. ‘"But can I leave you both," said Lodi, "when I have most need of my sons? One must attend me in my misfortune, which is perhaps a greater evil than death itself."’ A dispute immediately arose between the brothers, each contending for the honour of covering their father's retreat. At that instant, the Usher Perist, who had struck Azmut in the presence, appeared in the front of the Imperialists. ‘"Hussein, the thing is determined;" said Azmut, "dost thou behold that villain, and bid me fly?"’ He spurred onward his horse: his father and brother plunged into the river.

and escape▪Perist was a Calmue Tartar, of great strength of body and in­trepidity of mind. He saw Azmut advancing, and he started from the ranks, and rode forward to meet him half-way. Azmut had his bow ready bent in his hand: he aimed an arrow at Perist, and laid him dead at the feet of his horse. But the valiant youth did not long survive his enemy. He was cut to pieces by the Impe­rialists; and the few faithful friends who had remained by his side, were either slain on the spot, or driven into the river and drown­ed. The conquerors had no reason to boast of their victory; four hundred men, and three officers of high rank were slain in the action, six nobles and a great number of inferior chiefs were wounded. The latter action was so short, that it was over before Lodi and Hussein had extricated themselves from the stream. When they ascended the opposite bank of the river, they looked back with anxiety for Azmut; but Azmut was no more to be seen: [Page 128] even his followers were, by that time, slain; and the victors, with shouts of triumph, possessed the further shore.

His distress and bravery.Lodi had no time to deliberate, none to indulge his grief for Azmut. The enemy had already plunged into the stream; and he made the best of his way from the bank. He en­tered his own province of Malava, but the Imperialists were close at his heels. Before he could collect his friends, he was over-powered by numbers, and defeated in several actions. He was at length driven beyond the boundaries of Malava. He continued his flight to Bundela, with a few adherents who had joined him; and he maintained, with great bravery, every pass against the troops that pursued him in his retreat. The Imperialists, however, being at length harassed by long marches, bad roads, and continual skirmishing, gave over the pursuit. Lodi remained a few days at Bundela, then he traversed the provinces of Berâr and Odipour, in his rout to Golconda, and presented him­self before the Nizâm at Dowlatabad. That prince received the unfortunate fugitive with open arms, a warm friendship having, for some years, subsisted between them.

Uneasiness of the emperor.The emperor expressed great uneasiness at the escape of Lodi. He knew his abilities, he was acquainted with his undeviating perseverance. High-spirited and active, Lodi loved danger, as furnishing an opportunity for an exertion of his great talents; and he was always discontented and uneasy at that tranquillity for which mankind in general offer up their prayers to Heaven. The more noble and generous passions of his mind were now up in arms. His pride had been rouzed by the indignities thrown upon him, and he ascribed the death of his wives and of his gal­lant son to the perfidy of Shaw Jehân. His haughty temper re­volted against submission, and his prudence forbad him to listen [Page 129] any more to pardons that were not sincere. The emperor knew the man with whom he had to contend; and he was alarmed at the news of his arrival in the Decan. He foresaw a storm in that quarter, should time be given to Lodi to reconcile the jarring interests of princes, who were the avowed enemies of the house of Timur. Shaw Jehân was naturally provident. He judged of futurity by the past; and he was rapid in decision. He thought the object not unworthy of his presence, on the southern fron­tier of his empire; and he ordered his army to be drawn toge­ther, that he might command them in the expected war in person.

Death and character of Shaw Abas.During these transactions, an ambassador arrived from Shaw Abas of Persia, to felicitate Shaw Jehân on his accession to the throne. He had scarce made his public entrance, when the news of his master's death arrived. Abas died in the month of January of the year 1629, after a reign of fifty years over Chorassan, and more than forty-two as sovereign of all Persia. He was a prince of a warlike disposition, a good stateman, a deep politi­cian, a great conqueror. But he was cruel and prodigal of blood. He never forgave an enemy; nor thought he ever sufficiently rewarded a friend. Severe in his justice beyond example, he rendered what is in itself a public good, a real evil. He knew no degrees in crimes: death, which is among mankind the greatest punishment, was the least inflicted by Abas. Though given to oppression himself, he permitted none in others. He was the monarch, and he would be the only tyrant. He delight­ed in curbing the haughtiness of the nobility: lie took pride in relieving the poor. All his subjects had access to his person. He heard their complaints, and his decisions were immediate and terrible. His people, therefore, became just through fear; and he owed a reign of half a century to the terrors with which [Page 128] [...] [Page 129] [...] [Page 130] A.D. 1631 Hig. 1040 he surrounded his throne. He was passionate and violent to a degree that sometimes perverted his judgment; and he who boasted of holding the scales of just dealing between mankind, broke often forth into outrageous acts of injustice. During his life, he was respected by all; but his death was lamented by none.

Preparations for war.The great preparations made by Shaw Jehân for an expedi­tion into the Decan, detained him at Agra till the fourth of Fe­bruary of the 1631 of the Christian Aera. He placed himself at the head of one hundred thousand horse; which, together with infantry, artillery and attendants, increased the number of the army to three hundred thousand men. He advanced toward the Decan; and the governors of the provinces through which he passed, fell in with their forces into his line of march. On the borders of Chandeish, he was met by Eradit Chan, the Suba of the province, who conducted him to his own residence, the city of Brampour. The emperor encamped his army in the envi­rons of Brampour; and dispatched messengers to the tributary princes of the Decan. The principal of these were, Adil sove­reign of Bejapour, Kuttub, who styled himself king of Hydrabad and Tellingana, and the Nizam prince of Golconda. He threatened them with utter destruction should they not come personally to make their submission, after having disbanded the armies which they had raised to support the rebellion of Lodi. He also recom­mended to them, either to deliver up or expel the man who had, by encouraging their schemes, projected their ruin. They sent eva­sive answers to these demands; and continued their preparations for war.

Emperor ar­rives in the Decan.The sudden arrival of the emperor with such a great force, was, however, premature for the affairs of Lodi. He had not [Page 131] yet been able to unite the armies of his allies, nor to raise a suf­ficient force of his own. The terror of the Imperial army had made each prince unwilling to quit his own dominions, lest they should become the theatre of invasion and war. They saw the storm gathering, but they knew not where it was to fall: and when they were afraid of all quarters, they took no effectual means for the defence of any. They were besides divided in their councils. Ancient jealousies and recent injuries were remember­ed, when the good of the whole was forgot. Distrust prevailed, indecision and terror followed; and the unfortunate Lodi, in spite of his activity, his zeal and abilities, found but small ground on which he could rest his hopes.

He detachesThe emperor, in the mean time, was piqued at the inattention which princes, whom he considered as tributaries, had shewn to his embassy. He resolved upon revenge. The Nizam, as being the first who had received Lodi under his protection, was the first object of his resentment. He raised Eradit, the governor of Chandeish, to the title of Azim Chan, and submitted an army of twenty-five thousand men to his command. The force was not judged sufficient for the reduction of the Nizam; but the emperor would not trust Eradit with the absolute command of a more nu­merous army. He fell upon the expedient of detaching two other armies, consisting each of fourteen thousand horse, under the se­parate commands of Raja Gop Singh and Shaista Chan. These two generals were to act in conjunction with Eradit, but they were not absolutely under his orders. The three armies began their march from the capital of Chandeish, about the vernal equinox of the 1631 of the Christian Aera, and took the rout of Dowlatabâd.

[Page 132] armies from the Imperial camp.The emperor, in the mean time, remained at Brampour. Forces from various quarters crowded daily into his camp. He detach­ed seven thousand horse, under Raw Ruton, toward Tellingana; and as many more, under the conduct of Abul Hussein, into the principality of Nasic, in the mountains of Ballagat. The Raja of Nasic had insulted Shaw Jehân in his exile and misfortunes; nor did he ever forget an injury which affected his pride. The Hindoo prince suffered for his insolence; his country being, without mercy, subjected to fire and sword. The emperor told Hussein at parting: ‘"The Raja of Nasic listened not to me in my distress; and you must teach him how dangerous it is to in­sult a man, that may one day be sovereign of the world."’ The expression alluded to his own name; but a jest was unfit for the tragedy which was acted in the desolated country of Nasic.

Success in Golconda.The first account of the success of Shaw Jehân's arms arrived at Brampour, from Bakîr the governor of Orissa. That province lying contiguous to Golconda, Bakîr had received orders to make a diversion on that side. He accordingly had marched with a considerable force; and found the side of the country nearest to Orissa uncovered with troops. He laid siege to Shud­da, Shikerist, Chizduar and Berimal, places of great strength in Golconda; and they fell successively into his hands. The news of this success pleased the more the less it was expected. In the splendour of the other expeditions, that under Bakîr was forgotten; and the emperor scarce remembered that he had given orders to the Suba to invade the enemy, when he heard that he had pene­trated into the heart of their country. Honours were heaped upon him; and his messengers were loaded with presents.

Lodi com­mands the consederates.Though Lodi had failed in bringing the united force of the confederates into the field, he led the councils of the [Page 133] courts of Golconda and Bijapour. By representing to them, that when they fought one by one all should be overcome, they sub­mitted their armies to his command. He advanced immedi­ately toward the Imperialists, and threw himself into the passes of the mountains before Eradit, who made many vain efforts to penetrate into Golconda. A reinforcement of nine thousand men were detached to him from the Imperial camp. Nothing would do. His situation and abilities enabled Lodi to counteract all his mo­tions; and he either remained inactive, or lost numbers in fruitless attempts. An army, which penetrated from Guzerat into the coun­tries on the coast of Malabar, was not so unsuccessful. The strong fortress of Chandwar fell into their hands; and they spread their devastations far and wide.

Affairs at court.Shaw Jehân was not in the mean time idle at Brampour. Though he directed all the motions of the armies, he was not forgetful of the civil government of his vast empire. With a justice which bordered on severity, he quashed all petty disturbances through his dominions. He inquired minutely into every de­partment. He heard all complaints against his own officers; and when the people were aggrieved, he removed them from their employments. Nor was he, in the midst of public business, ne­gligent of that grandeur and magnificence which, by raising awe in his subjects, gave weight to his commands. He selected a hundred out of the sons of the nobility, who were of the most distinguished merit, and created them Omrahs in one day. He gave to each a golden mace, and they were, by their institution, always to attend the presence. They were all uniformly dressed in embroidered cloaths, with golden helmets, swords inlaid, and shields studded with gold. When the emperor rode abroad, these attended him, with drawn sabres, all mounted on fine Arabian horses. Out of these he chose his officers; and when he sent any [Page 134] of them on service, his place was immediately supplied from another corps who, though not dignified with titles, were equipped in the same manner, only that their ornaments were of silver. They also attended the emperor on horseback, when he rode abroad.

An action.Eradit, having despaired of being able to force the passes of the mountains where Lodi was posted with the army of the confe­derates, directed his march another way. He was close pursued by Lodi with twelve thousand horse. That general, finding a proper opportunity, attacked the Imperialists with great vigour, threw them into confusion, and went near routing the whole army. Six Omrahs of rank fell on the Imperial side; but Era­dit having formed his army in order of battle, Lodi thought proper to give way, and to shelter himself in the hills. Eradit took advantage of his retreat, and hung close upon his heels:—but Lodi had the address not to offer battle, excepting upon un­equal terms on the side of the enemy. He in the mean time ha­rassed the Imperial army with flying squadrons; cutting off their convoys, defeating their foraging parties, and laying waste the country in their rear. Nor was the expedition under Raw Ru­ton into Tellingana attended with more success than that under Eradit. The general was inactive, and the army weak. Raw Ruton was recalled, and disgraced for his inactivity; and Nazir Chan took the command of the Imperial troops in Tellingana.

Asgans re­pulsed.The active spirit of Lodi was not consined to the operations of the sield. No stranger to the superior power of the emperor, he armed against him, by his emissaries, the Afgans of the north. They issued from their hills to make a diversion on that side. They were led by Kemnal, the chief of the Rohilla tribe; and they entered Punjâb, with a numerous but irregular army. The [Page 135] project failed. The emperor despised too much the depredatory incursion of naked barbarians, to be frightened by them from his main object. He contented himself with sending orders to the governors of the adjacent provinces to repel the invaders. The Afgans accordingly were opposed, defeated, and driven with little loss on the side of the empire, to shelter themselves in their native hills. The project of Lodi, though well planned, fell short of the intended effect.

Eradir super­seded in the command of the army.The slow progress made by Eradit, against the conduct and abilities of Lodi, induced the emperor to think of supersed­ing him in his command. He had promised to himself success, from the great superiority of his army in point of numbers, and the disappointment fell heavy on his ambition and pride. To place himself at the head of the expedition, was beneath his dig­nity; and his presence was otherwise necessary at Brampour, as the place most centrical for conveying his orders to the different armies in the field. Besides, the civil business of the state, the solid regulation of which he had much at heart, required his at­tention and application. He therefore resolved to send his visier Asiph into the field. His name was great in the empire; and his abilities in war were, at least, equal to his talent for managing the affairs of peace.


The Visier commands the army—Deseat of the confederates—Flight, misfortunes, and death of Lodi—Progress of the war in the Decan—Death of the favourite Sultana—A famine—Peace in the Decan—Emperor returns to Agra—Persecution of Idolaters—War with the Portugueze—Their factory taken—Raja of Bundela reduced and slain—Marriages of the princes Dara and Suja—War in the Decan—Golconda reduced—Death of Mohâbet—Affairs at court.

Visier takes the command of the army.THE visier, in obedience to the emperor's orders, set out from Brampour on the nineteenth of November, with a splendid retinue, together with a reinforcement of ten thou­sand horse. He took the command of the army upon his arrival in the mountains, and Eradit remained as his lieutenant; the emperor distrusting more the abilities than the courage and fidelity of that Omrah. The name of Asiph, at the head of the army, struck the confederates with a panic. They were no strangers to his fame; and they began to be conquered in their own minds. They resolved to retreat from their advantageous post. Lodi re­monstrated in vain. They had taken their resolution, and would not hear him. His haughty spirit was disgusted at their cowar­dice. Several nobles, formerly his friends, had joined him in his misfortunes, with their retinues. They adhered to his opi­nion, and resolved to stand by his side. They took possession of advantageous ground; and they engaged the visier with great resolution and conduct. The battle was long equal: num­bers at last prevailed. Lodi and his brave friend Diria Chan [Page 137] covered the retreat of their party, whilst they themselves slowly retired. The sield of action and the passes of the mountains re­mained to the visier, who immediately detached a great part of the army under his lieutenant Eradit to Dowlatabâd.

The Nizam proposes terms.The Nizam, being advanced in years, was unfit for the fatigues of the field. He had remained in his capital; but as soon as he heard of the approach of Eradit, he evacuated the city, and shut himself up in the citadel, which was thought impregnable. Lodi, after his defeat, made the best of his way to Dowlatabâd, with an intention of throwing himself into that capital, to defend it to the last extremity. He was too late by some hours: Eradit was in the city. He fled, and took possession of a pass near Dowlatabâd, where he defended himself till night, against the whole force of the Imperialists. He escaped in the dark, and wandered over Golconda. The army of the Nizam had, by this time, thrown themselves into the fortresses, and the open country was over-run by the enemy. To complete the misfortunes of that prince, his nobles daily deserted him, with their adherents, and joined Shaw Jehân. He began seriously to think of peace, and dispatched am­bassadors both to the emperor and to the visier.

Flight,The emperor had given instructions to Asiph to listen to no terms, without a preliminary article, that Lodi should be deliver­ed into his hands. The affairs of the Nizam were desperate; and Lodi was afraid that necessity would get the better of friend­ship. He now considered his allies as his greatest enemies, and he resolved to fly from Golconda. The emperor had foreseen what was to happen, and he placed strong detachments in all the passes of the mountains. Notwithstanding this precaution, in spite of the general orders for seizing him dispersed over the country, Lodi forced his way, with four hundred men, into [Page 138] Malava, and arrived at the city of Ugein. Shaw Jehân was no sooner apprised of his escape, than he sent Abdalla in pursuit of him with ten thousand horse. Abdalla came up with the fugitive at Ugein, but he escaped to Debalpour; and being also driven from that place, he surprised Sirong, where he seized several Im­perial elephants; and with these he took the route of Bundela.

misfortunes,Misfortune pursued Lodi wherever he went. The Raja's son, to gain the emperor's favour, fell upon him. In the action he lost many of his best friends. Deria was the first who fell; and the unfortunate Lodi gave up his soul to grief. He fled; but it was to accumulated misery. He fell in, the very next day, with the army of Abdalla: there scarce was time for flight. His eld­est son, Mahommed Azîz, stopt, with a few friends, in a narrow part of the road; and devoting their lives for the safety of Lodi, were cut off to a man. He waited half the night on a neigh­bouring hill, with a vain expectation of the return of his gallant son. All was silent; and the unhappy father was dissolved in tears. The noise of arms approached at last; but it was the enemy, re­cent from the slaughter of his son and his friends. He fled to­ward Callenger; but Seid Amud, the governor of that place, marched out against him. A skirmish ensued: Lodi was defeat­ed; Hussein, the only son left to him, was slain, and his adherents were now reduced to thirty horsemen. He was pursued with such vehemence, that he had not even time for despair.

2nd death of Lodi;Abdalla, hearing of the low ebb of Lodi's fortune, divided his army into small parties, to scour the country. A detachment un­der Muziffer Chan fell in with the unfortunate fugitive. When he saw the enemy at a small distance, he called together his thirty followers. ‘"Misfortune," said he, "has devoted me to ruin: it is in vain to struggle longer against the stream. I have lost my sons; [Page 139] Hig. 1041 but your attachment, in the last extreme, tells me I have not lost all my friends. I only remain of my family, but let me not involve you in the destruction which overwhelms me with­out resource. Your adherence is a proof that I have conferred favours upon you: permit me to ask one favour in my turn. It is—that you leave me—and save yourselves by flight."’ They burst all into tears, and told him, that was the only command from him which they could not obey. He was silent, and gave the signal with his sword to advance. Muziffer was astonished when he saw thirty men marching up against his numerous de­tachment. He imagined they were coming to surrender them­selves. But when they had come near his line, they put their horses on a gallop, and Muziffer ordered his men to fire. A ball pierced Lodi through the left breast; he fell dead at the feet of his horse, and his thirty faithful companions were cut off to a man.

His charac­ter.Such was the end of Chan Jehân Lodi, after a series of uncommon misfortunes. He was descended of the Imperial family of Lodi, who held the sceptre of India before the Moguls. His mind was as high as his descent: his courage was equal to his ambition. He was full of honour, and generous in the extreme. His pride pre­vented him from ever gaining an enemy, and he never lost a friend. The attachment of his followers to his person, is the best eulogy on the benevolence of his mind; and the fears of the em­peror are irrefragable proofs of his abilities. Those misfortunes, therefore, which might have excited pity had they fallen upon others, drew admiration only on Lodi. We feel compassion for the weak; great men are a match for adversity: the contest is equal, and we yield to no emotion but surprize.

Negociation broke off.When the news of the death of Lodi arrived in the Imperial camp, Shaw Jehân betrayed every symptom of joy. The head of [Page 140] the unfortunate rebel was placed above one of the gates of the city of Brampour. Abdalla was caressed for his services. Valu­able presents were given him, and he was dignified with the splen­did title of, THE SUN OF OMRAHS, AND THE VICTORIOUS IN WAR. Muziffer, whose fortune it was to kill Lodi, was raised to the dignity of the deceased, being afterwards distinguished by the name of Chan Jehân. The negociations for the re-establish­ment of peace between the emperor and the confederate princes of the Decan, was, in the mean time, broke off by the too great ne­mands on the part of Shaw Jehân. Hostilities were accordingly recommenced, and Eradit was left in the command of the army; the public business demanding the presence of the visier at court. The confederates had, as has been already observed, retired from the field into their strong holds. The war was converted into a succession of sieges. The fortresses were strong, the garrisons de­termined, and the Imperialists unskilful; but the emperor was ob­stinate, and would not abate from his first demands. The conse­quence was, that Shaw Jehân, after a war of two years, in which he lost multitudes of men by famine, disease, and the sword; and after having expended prodigious treasures, found himself possess­ed of a few forts, his army tired out with ineffectual hostilities, and the enemy distressed, but not vanquished.

Progress of the Imperial arms.A minute detail of unimportant campaigns would be tedious and dry. Uninteresting particulars and events scarce stamp a suffi­cient value on time, to merit the pen of the historian. In the sum­mer of 1631, Damawir, the strongest fort in Golconda was taken. In the beginning of the year 1632, Candumâr in Tellingana, which was deemed impregnable, fell into the hands of the Impe­rialists. Little treasure was found in either. The Patan princes never had a disposition for hoarding up wealth. A sierce, warlike, and independent race of men, they valued the hard tempered steel [Page 141] Hig. 1042 of their swords more than gold and silver, which the rest of man­ [...]ind so much prize.

Death and character of the Sultana.On the eighteenth day of July 1631, died in child-bed, about two hours after the birth of a princess, the favourite Sultana, Arjemund Banu, the daughter of Asiph Jah. She had been twenty years married to Shaw Jehân, and bore him a child al­most every year. Four sons and four daughters survived her. When her husband ascended the throne, he dignified her with the title of Mumtâza Zemâni, or, THE MOST EXALTED OF THE AGE. Though she seldom interfered in public affairs, Shaw Jehân owed the empire to her influence with her father. Nor was he ungrateful: he loved her living, and lamented her when dead. Calm, engaging, and mild in her disposition, she engrossed his whole affection: and though he maintained a number of women for state, they were only the slaves of her pleasure. She was such an enthusiast in Deism, that she scarce could forbear persecuting the Portuguese for their supposed idolatry; and it was only on what concerned that nation, she suffered her temper, which was naturally placid, to be ruffled. To express his respect for her memory, the emperor raised at Agra, a tomb to her name, which cost in building the amazing sum of seven hundred and fifty thousand pounds.

Public cala­mities.The death of the Sultana was followed by public calamities of various kinds. The war in the Decan produced nothing but the desolation of that country. An extraordinary drought, which burnt up all vegetables, dried up the rivers, and rent the very ground, occasioned a dreadful famine. The Imperial camp could not be supplied with provisions: distress prevailed over the whole face of the empire. Shaw Jehân remitted the taxes in many of the provinces, to the amount of three millions sterling; he even [Page 142] opened the treasury for the relief of the poor; but money could not purchase bread: a prodigious mortality ensued; disease fol­lowed close on the heels of famine, and death ravaged every cor­ner of India. The scarcity of provisions prevailed in Persia: the famine raged with still greater violence in the Western Tartary. No rain had fallen for seven years in that country. Populous and slourishing provinces were converted into solitudes and de­sarts; and a few, who escaped the general calamity, wandered through depopulated cities alone.

The confe­derates sue for peace.But as if famine and disease were not sufficient to destroy mankind, Asiph Jâh, who had resumed the command of the army, assisted them with the sword. He trod down the scanty harvest in the Decan; and ravaged with fire and sword the king­dom of Bijapour. Adil Shaw, the sovereign of the country, came into terms when nothing was left worthy of defence. He pro­mised to pay an annual tribute to the house of Timur, and to own himself a dependent on the empire. Money was extorted from the Nizam, and from Kuttub, prince of Tellingana. The conditions were, That the emperor should remove his army; but that he should retain, by way of security for their future beha­viour, the strong-holds which had fallen into his hands. Such was the end of a war, begun from motives of conquest, and con­tinued through pride. The emperor, after squandering a great treasure, and losing a multitude of men, sat down without extending his limits, without acquiring reputation. His great superiority in point of strength, when compared to the small force of the confederates, prevented battles which might yield him renown. He wasted his strength on sieges, and had to contend with greater evils than the swords of the enemy. He, however, humbled the Patan power in India, which, during the distractions [Page 143] A.D. 1633 Hig. 1043 occasioned by his own rebellion in the preceding reign, had be­come formidable to the family of Timur.

Return of the emperor to Agra.The emperor returned not to Agra, from the unprofitable war in the Decan, till the seventh of March of the year 1633. Eradit was left in the city of Brampour, in his former office of governor of Chandeish. He, however, did not long continue to execute the duties of a commission which was the greatest the emperor could bestow. The command of the army, stationed on the fron­tiers of the Decan, had been annexed to the subaship of the pro­vince; and though Shaw Jehân was in no great terror of Era­dit's abilities, he, at that time, placed no trust in his fidelity. The command and the province were offered to the visier; who was alarmed lest it might be a pretence of removing him from the presence. He covered his dislike to the measure with an act of generosity. He recommended Mohâbet to the office destined for himself; and the emperor, though, from a jealousy of that lord's reputation, he had kept him during the war in the com­mand of the army near Brampour, consented to grant his request. He, however, insinuated to Mohâbet, that he could not spare him from his councils; and, therefore, recommended to him to appoint his son Chan Zimân his deputy, in the province of Chandeish.

Persecution of the Hin­doos.The emperor had observed, that during the distress occasioned by the late famine, the superstitious Hindoos, instead of cultivat­ing their lands, flew to the shrines of their gods. Though neither an enthusiast, nor even attached to any system of religion, he was enraged at their neglect of the means of subsistence, for the uncertain relief to be obtained by prayer. ‘"They have a thousand gods," said he, "yet the thousand have not been able to guard them from famine. This army of divinities," continued he, "instead of being beneficial to their votaries, distract their [Page 144] Hig. 1044 attention by their own numbers; and I am therefore determined to expel them from my empire."’ These were the words of Shaw Jehân, when he signed an edict for breaking down the idols, and for demolishing the temples of the Hindoos. The measure was impolitic, and, in the event, cruel. The zealous followers of the Brahmin religion rose in defence of their gods, and many enthu­siasts were massacred in their presence. Shaw Jehân saw the im­propriety of the persecution; he recalled the edict, and was heard to say, ‘"That a prince who wishes to have subjects, must take them with all the trumpery and bawbles of their religion."’

Suba of Ben­gal complains of the Portu­gueze.Soon after this insult on the superstition of Brahma, letters were received at court from Casim Chan, governor of Bengal. Casim complained to the emperor, that he was very much disturbed in the duties of his office by a parcel of European idolaters, for so he called the Portuguese, who had been permitted to establish themselves at Hugley, for the purposes of trade; that, instead of confining their attention to the business of merchants, they had fortified themselves in that place, and were become so insolent, that they committed many acts of violence upon the subjects of the empire, and presumed to exact duties from all the boats and vessels which passed by their fort. The emperor wrote him in the following laconic manner: ‘"Expel these idolaters from my dominions."’ The severity of this order proceeded from another cause.

Their inso­lence to Shaw Jehân.When Shaw Jehân, after the battle at the Nirbidda, found him­self obliged to take refuge in the eastern provinces, he passed through Orixa into Bengal. When he arrived in the neighbour­hood of Dacca, Michael Rodriguez, who commanded the Portu­gueze forces at Hugley, paid him a visit of ceremony. Shaw Jehân, after the first compliments were over, requested the assist­ance [Page 145] of Rodriguez, with his soldiers and artillery; making large promises of favour and emolument, should he himself ever come to the possession of the throne of Hindostan. The governor saw the desperate condition of the prince's affairs, and would not grant his request. He had the imprudence to add insult to his refusal, by insinuating, that he would be ashamed of serving under a rebel, who had wantonly taken up arms against his father and sovereign. Shaw Jehân was silent; but he laid up the sarcasm in his mind. He, therefore, listened with ardour to the representations of Casim; and ordered him to invest Hugley.

Hugley taken by assault.Casim, in consequence of the Imperial orders, appeared with an army before the Portuguese factory. Their force was not suffi­cient to face him in the field; and he immediately made his ap­proaches in form. A breach was made, and the ditch filled up in a few days; and the Imperialists carried the place by assault. The Portuguese, however, behaved with bravery. They continued to fight from their houses. Many were killed, and the living pro­posed terms. They offered half their effects to Casim; they pro­mised to pay an annual tribute of four lacks, upon condition that they should be permitted to remain in the country, in their former privileges of trade. The victor would listen to no terms until they laid down their arms. Three thousand souls fell into his hands. Their lives were spared; but the images, which had given so much offence to the favourite Sultana, were broken down and destroyed. These were the first hostilities against Europeans recorded in the histories of the East.

Revolt of the Raja of Bun­dela.The petty war with the Portuguese, was succeeded by the second revolt of the Raja of Bundela. The terms imposed upon him at the reduction of his country by Mohâbet, were too severe; and he only had remained quiet to prepare for [Page 146] another effort against the Imperial power. Aurungzêbe, the third son of the emperor, was sent against him, under the tuition of Nuserit, the Suba of Malava. This was the first opportunity given to that young lion of rioting in blood. The Raja, though much inferior in force, was obstinate and brave. Possessed of many strong holds, he resolved to stand upon the defensive, against an enemy whom he could not, with any assurance of victory, face in the field. The war was protracted for two years. Judger Singh maintained every post to the last; and he yielded in one place, only to retire with accumulated fortitude to another. Aurungzêbe, though but thirteen years of age, displayed that martial intrepidity which distinguished the rest of his life. He could not, by the influence of Nuserit, be restrained in the camp: he was present in every danger, and shewed an elevation of mind in the time of action, which proved that he was born for tumult and war.

His misfor­fortunes, bra­very,The last place which remained to the Raja was his capital city; and in this he was closely besieged. He was hemmed in on every side by the Imperial army; and the circle grew narrower every day. Resolution was at last converted into despair. His bravest soldiers were cut off: his friends had gradually fallen. The helpless part of his family, his women and children, remained. He proposed terms; but his fortunes were too low to obtain them. To leave them to the enemy, would be dishonourable; to remain himself, certain death to him, but no relief to them. He set fire to the town; and he escaped through the flames which overwhelmed his family. A few horsemen were the companions of his flight; and Nuserit followed close on their heels for two hundred miles. The Raja at last crossed the Nirbidda, and penc­trated into the country of Canduana.

[Page 147] and death.The unfortunate prince was, at length, overcome with fatigue. He came into a forest, and finding a pleasant plain in the middle, he resolved to halt; dreaming of no danger in the center of an impervious wood. Both he and his followers alighted, and tying their horses to trees, betook themselves to rest. A barbarous race of men possessed the country round. They had not seen the Raja's troop, but the neighing of his horses led some of them to the spot. Looking from the thicket into the narrow plain where the fugitives lay, they perceived, to their astonishment, a number of men richly dressed, sleeping on the ground; and fine horses standing near, with furniture of silver and gold. The temptation was too great to be withstood by men who had never seen so much wealth before. They rushed upon the strangers; and stabbed them in their sleep. While they were yet dividing the spoil, Nuserit came. The robbers were slain; and the head of the Raja was brought back to the army, which Nuserit had left under the command of Aurungzêbe. In the vaults of the Raja's palace were found to the value of three millions in silver coin, in gold, and in jewels, which Aurungzêbe laid at the feet of his father, as the first fruit of his victories. He was received with uncommon demonstrations of joy; and Nuferit, for his services, was raised to a higher rank of nobility.

Marriages of the princes Dara and Suja.During these transactions, all remained quiet at court. The emperor applied to public business; nor was he forgetful of plea­sure. Though, during the life of the Sultana, his affections were confined to her alone, he became dissolute after her decease. The vast number of women whom he kept for state in his haram, had among them many enchanting beauties. He wandered from one charming object to another, without fixing his mind on any; and enjoyed their conversation, without being the dupe of their art. The daughter of his brother Purvez was now grown into mar­riageable [Page 148] years; and he gave her to wife to his eldest son Dara, whom he destined for the throne. Suja, his second son, was at the same time married to the daughter of Rustum Suffavi, of the royal line of Persia. The ceremonies of these two mar­riages were attended with uncommon pomp and festivity: eight hundred and seventy-five thousand pounds were expended out of the public treasury alone; and the nobles contended with one another in expensive entertainments and shews.

Mohâbet in­vades Gol­conda.Though the jealousy of the emperor prevented Mohâbet for some time from taking upon himself the Subaship of Chandeish, and command of the army on the frontiers, that lord was at last permitted to retire to his government. His active genius could not remain idle long. Dissatisfied with the conduct of his predecessor Eradit, who had carried on the late unsuccessful war in the Decan, he found means of renewing hostilities with the Nizâm. He led accordingly the Imperial army into the kingdom of Golconda. The Nizâm was no match for that able general in the field, and he shut himself up in the citadel of Dowlatabâd. Mohâbet sat down before it; but for the space of six months he could make little impression upon it, from its uncommon strength and situation.

Takes Dow­latabâd.The citadel of Dowlatabâd is built on a solid rock, almost per­pendicular on every side, which rises one hundred and forty yards above the plain. The circumference of the outermost wall is five thousand yards; the thickness, at the foundation, five; the height fifteen. The space within is divided into nine fortifications, sepa­rated by strong walls, rising gradually above one another toward the center, by which means each commands that which is next to it beneath. The entrance is by a subterraneous passage cut from the level of the plain, which rises into the center of the inner [Page 149] fort, by a winding stair-case. On the outside, the entrance is secured with iron gates; the top of the stair-case is covered with a massy grate, on which a large fire is always kept during a siege. But the strength of Dowlatabâd was not proof against treachery. Fatté, the son of Maleck Amber, who was the governor, sold it to Mohâbet for a sum of money, and an annual pension of twenty-five thousand pounds, secured on the Imperial treasury.

The Nizâm confined.The old Nizâm was dead before the treachery of Fatté had delivered up the impregnable fortress of Dowlatabâd to Mohâbet. An infant succeeded him; and Fatté chose to make terms for him­self, under the uncertainty of the young prince's fortunes. The delivery of the Nizâm into the hands of the Imperial general, was one of the conditions imposed on Fattè for the bribe which he received. The prince was carried to Agra. He was treated with apparent respect and kindness by the emperor; but it was danger­ous to permit him to remain at large. He was ordered into con­finement in the castle of Gualiâr; with an attendance of women and servants to alleviate his captivity. His dominions, in the mean time, were annexed to the empire; and Mohâbet, with his wonted abilities, established the form of government, by which the new province was to be, for the future, regulated.

Suja sent to the Decan.The animosity and jealousy which broke out afterwards among the princes, the four sons of Shaw Jehân, made their first appear­ance at this time. Aurungzêbe, who shewed a courage and understanding beyond his years, was in great favour with the emperor. He delighted to encourage him in the martial exercises, which the prince ardently loved; and though he did not abate in his regard for his other sons, they repined at the preference given to Aurungzêbe. A feat which that prince performed on his birth-day, when he entered his fifteenth year, strengthened his [Page 150] interest in his father's affections. He fought on horseback against an elephant, in the presence of the emperor and the whole court; and by his dexterity killed that enormous animal. The whole empire rung with his praise; and the action was celebrated in verse by Saib Selim, the best poet of the age. The prince Suja, naturally high-spirited and jealous, shewed violent signs of dis­content at the preference given to Aurungzêbe. He began to look upon his younger brother as designed for the throne; and his haughty mind could not endure the thought. He wished to be absent from a scene which gave him uneasiness; and he prevailed on Mohâbet to write to the emperor, requesting that he should be sent to him to the Decan. Shaw Jehân consented. Suja was created an Omrah of five thousand horse; and, having received sixty thousand pounds for his expences from the treasury, he took leave of his father.

Jealousy of Dara.Dara, the Imperial prince, highly resented the honours con­ferred on Suja. He himself had hitherto remained at court, without either office or establishment. He complained to his father with great vehemence; and the latter endeavoured to sooth his son, by insinuating, that from his great affection for him, he could not permit him to take the field; and that, in the palace, there was no need of the parade of a military command. Dara would not be satisfied with these reasons; and the emperor, to make him easy, gave him the command of six thousand horse. The prince, however, could not forget the prior honours of Suja. He was told that Mohâbet designed that prince for the throne; and there were some grounds for suspicion on that head. Had Shaw Jehân had a serious design of favouring Suja, he could not have fallen upon more effectual means of serving him, than by placing him under the tuition of so able an officer as Mohâbet. But he had no inten­tion of that kind. He had sixed on Dara as his successor; though [Page 151] A.D. 1634 there was little policy in his placing Suja in the channel of acquir­ing the favour of the army, a knowledge of the world, and a su­perior skill in war. It was upon these grounds, that Dara justly complained; and the sequel will shew, that he judged better than his father of the consequences.

Emperor's progress to Cashmire.On the fifth of April 1634, the emperor marched from Agra toward Lahore. He moved slowly, taking the diversion of hunt­ing in all the forests on the way. He himself was an excellent sportsman; and the writer of his life relates, that he shot forty deer with his own hand, before he reached Delhi. In that city he remained a few days; and then proceeded to Lahore, where he arrived after a journey of more than a month. The gover­nours of the northern provinces met the emperor near the city; and, with these and his own retinue, Shaw Jehân went with great pomp to visit the tomb of his father. He distinguished, by pe­culiar attention and acts of favour, Mirza Bakir and Sheich Be­loli, two learned men, who resided at Lahore; and, having made a considerable present to the Fakiers, who kept up the perpetual lamp in his father's tomb, he set out for the kingdom of Cash­mire, on the limits of which he arrived on the thirteenth of June. Pleasure was his only business to Cashmire. He relaxed his mind from public affairs for some days, and amused himself with viewing the curious springs, the cascades, the hanging woods, and the lakes, which diversify the delightful and romantic face of that beautiful country. His progress was celebrated in verse by Mahommed Jân: but his care for the state soon brought him back to Lahore.

Suja recalled.The Prince Suja arrived in the Imperial army in the Decan, while Mohâbet was yet settling the affairs of the conquered do­minions of the Nizâm. The general received him with all the [Page 152] distinction due to his birth, and soon after put his troops in mo­tion toward Tellingana. The enemy forsook the field, and be­took themselves to their strong holds. Mohâbet sat down before Bizida; but the garrison defended the place with such obstinacy, that the Imperialists made little progress. The warm valour of Suja could not brook delay. He attributed to the inactivity of Mohâbet, what proceeded from the bravery of the enemy, and the strength of the place. He raised by his murmuring a dissen­tion between the officers of the army. Mohâbet remonstrated against the behaviour of Suja; and gave him to understand, that he himself, and not the prince, commanded the troops. Suja was obstinate. Mohâbet sent expresses to court, and the prince was recalled. He was enraged beyond measure at this indignity; but it was prudent to obey. He left the camp; and Mohâbet, falling sick, was obliged to raise the siege. He returned to Bram­pour; and his disorder having increased in the march, put a period to his life in a very advanced age.

Death and character of Mohâbet.Mohâbet was one of the most extraordinary characters that ever sigured in India. Severe in disposition, haughty in com­mand, rigid in the execution of his orders, he was feared and respected, but never beloved by an indolent and effeminate race of men. In conduct he was unrivalled, in courage he had few equals, and none in success. In the field he was active, dar­ing and intrepid, always in perfect possession of his own mind. His abilities seemed to rise with the occasion; and Fortune could present nothing in battle which his prudence had not foreseen. In his political character, he was bold in his resolves, active and determined in execution. As his own soul was above fear, he was an enemy to cruelty; and he was so honest himself, that he seldom suspected others. His demeanor was lofty and reserved; his manner full of dignity and grace: he was gene­rous [Page 153] A.D. 1635 and always sincere. He attempted high and arduous things, rather from a love of danger than from ambition; and when he had attained the summit of greatness, and might have rested there, he descended the precipice, because it was full of peril. Jehan­gire owed twice to him his throne; once to his valour, and once to his moderation; and his name gave the empire to Shaw Jehân, more than the friendship of Asiph Jâh.

AnecdotesNotwithstanding the great abilities of Mohâbet, he seemed to be sensible of his own merit, and conscious of his importance in the state. He was punctilious about rank; and would upon no occasion give place to the visier; who would not relinquish the precedence which he derived from his high office. The dispute was carried so high between these two great men in the begin­ning of the reign of Shaw Jehân, that it was agreed they should not come to court on the same day. The emperor did not chuse to interfere in the contest: they were both his benefactors, both were powerful in the state; and it would not be prudent to dis­oblige one, by giving preference to the claims of the other. He, however, was at last prevailed upon to decide in favour of Asiph: And he made his excuse to Mohâbet, by saying, ‘"That in all civilized governments the sword should yield to the pen."’ Mo­hâbet submitted; but he avoided ever after, as much as possible, the ceremony of appearing publicly in the presence of the emperor.

concerning him.These disputes, though they did not break out into an open rup­ture between the visier and Mohâbet, were the source of a cold­ness between them. Shaw Jehân was at no pains to reconcile them. He was unwilling to throw the influence of both into one channel; and by alternately favouring each, he kept alive their jealousy. Mohâbet had a numerous party at court; and they had once almost ruined the power of Asiph by recommend­ing [Page 152] [...] [Page 153] [...] [Page 154] him to the emperor, as the only fit man for settling the af­fairs of the Decan. His commission was ordered without his know­ledge; but he fell upon means of turning the artillery of the enemy upon themselves. He persuaded the emperor that Mohâbet only was fit to conduct the war; at the same time that he made a merit with that general, of transferring to him a government the most lucrative and important in the empire.

Embassy to the Usbecs.The emperor, upon the death of Mohâbet, separated the com­mand of the army from the government of the Decan. Islam Chan became general of the forces, with the title of pay­master-general; and the Subaship was conferred on Chan Zimân, the son of Mohâbet. In the beginning of January 1635, Tirbiet Chan returned from his embassy to Mahommed, prince of Balick. That lord had been sent to Mahommed to demand re­dress for the incursions of his subjects into the northern provinces. Mahommed excused the insult, in submissive letters, accompa­nied with presents; the most valuable of which, to a prince of Shaw Jehân's amorous disposition, was the young and beautiful Malika Shadè, the daughter of Mahommed Sultân, lineally de­scended from Timur. The emperor received this northern beauty with excess of joy; and soon forgot the invasions of the Usbecs in her charms.

Emperor re­turns to Agra.Shaw Jehân, after his return from Cashmire, continued for some time at Lahore. He left that city on the 27th of January, and arrived at Agra on the 23d of March 1635. Nadira, the daughter of Purvez, and wife of the Imperial prince Dara, was brought to bed, on the way, of a son; who received the name of Solimân Sheko from his grandfather. Great rejoicings were made upon the birth of the prince; and the emperor, upon the occa­sion, mounted a new throne formed of solid gold, embossed with [Page 155] various figures, and studded with precious stones. The throne had been seven years in finishing, and the expence of the jewels only amounted to twelve hundred and fifty thousand pounds of our mo­ney. It was afterwards distinguished by the name of Tuckt Taôus, or the Peacock Throne, from having the figures of two peacocks stand­ing behind it with their tails spread, which were studded with jewels of various colours to represent the life. Between the peacocks stood a parrot of the ordinary size, cut out of one emerald. The finest jewel in the throne was a ruby, which had fallen into the hands of Timur when he plundered Delhi in the year 1398. Jehangire, with peculiar barbarity, diminished the beauty and lustre of the stone, by engraving upon it his own name and titles; and when he was reproved for this piece of vanity by the fa­vourite Sultana, he replied, ‘"This stone will perhaps carry my name down further through time, than the empire of the house of Timur."’

Promotions.The festival on account of the birth of Solimân, was succeeded by various promotions at court. Aurungzêbe was created an Omrah of five thousand horse; and the visier was raised to the high dignity of captain-general of the Imperial forces. Shaw Jehân was not altogether disinterested in conferring this honour on Asiph. He paid him a visit in his own house upon his appointment, and received a present of five lacks of roupees; which he immediately added to the sum of one mil­lion and an half sterling, which he laid out in the course of the year on public buildings, and on canals for bringing water to Agra.


Emperor's expedition to the Decan—Reduction of that country—Death of Chan Zimân—An insurrection in Behâr—Quelled—Can­dahâr restored to the empire—Invasion from Assâm—Reduction of Tibet—Oppressive governors punished—Prince Suja nar­rowly escapes from the flames of Rajamâhil—An embassy to Constantinople—Calamities in the northern provinces—Death and character of Asiph Jâh—Tirbiet punished for oppression—An invasion threatened from Persia—Interrupted by the death of Shaw Sefi.

A.D. 1636 Hig. 1046 The emperor resolves to in­vade the De­can.SHAW JEHAN, whether most prompted by avarice or by ambition is uncertain, formed a resolution to reduce the Ma­hommedan sovereignties of the Decan into provinces of the Mo­gul empire. The conquests made by his generals were partial. They had laid waste, but had not subdued the country; and when most successful, they imposed contributions rather than a tribute on the enemy. Even the great abilities of Mohâbet were not attend­ed with a success equal to the sanguine hopes of the emperor; and all his prospects of conquest vanished at the death of that able ge­neral. Shaw Jehân, though addicted to the enervating pleasures of the haram, was rouzed by his ambition to mark his reign with some splendid conquest; ‘"For it is not enough," he said, "for a great prince to send only to his posterity the dominions which he has received from his fathers."’ The thought was more [Page 157] magnificent than wise. To improve the conquests of his fathers with true policy, would be more useful to his posterity, and more glorious to himself, than to exhaust his strength in violent efforts to extend the limits of his empire. He however had determined on the measure; and the advice of his most prudent Omrahs and counsellors was despised.

He sets out from Agra.On the first of October 1636, he set out from Agra with his usual pomp and magnificence. Dowlatabâd was the point to which he directed his march; but his progress was politically slow. He had given orders to the governors of the provinces to join him with their forces as he advanced; and the distance of many of them from the intended scene of action, required time to bring them to the field. The prince Aurungzêbe attended his father on this expedition, and was highly in favour. He proposed, with a youthful ardor which pleased the emperor, to take a circuit with the Imperial camp, through the province of Bundela, to view the strong holds which he himself, under the tuition of Nuserit, had some time before taken from the unfortunate Judger Singh. The emperor had not as yet collected a force sufficient to ensure success to his arms; and to gain time, he listened to the request of his son. The whole of the year was passed in preme­ditated delays, and in excursions of hunting; so that the emperor did not arrive in the Decan till the latter end of the rainy season of the 1637 of the Christian aera.

He lays waste the enemy's country.The Subas of the different provinces had, with their troops, joined the emperor on his march. His force was prodigious when he entered the borders of the enemy. On his arrival at Dowlata­bâd, he was able to form twelve different armies, which, under twelve leaders, he sent into the kingdoms of Bijapour and Tellin­gana. The princes of the country had collected their forces, but [Page 158] A.D. 1638 Hig. 1048 they knew not to which quarter they should direct their march. The Imperialists formed a circle round them, and war was at once in all parts of their dominions. The orders of the emperor were barbarous and cruel. He submitted the open country to fire; and garrisons that resisted were put to the sword. ‘"War is an evil," he said; "and compassion contributes only to render that evil per­manent."’ The eastern writers describe the miseries of the De­can in the peculiar hyperboles of their diction. ‘"Towns and cities," say they, "were seen in flames on every side; the hills were shaken with the continual roar of artillery, and tigers and the wild beasts of the desert sled from the rage of men."’ One hundred and fifteen towns and castles were taken and destroyed in the course of the year. The emperor sate, in the mean time, aloft in the citadel of Dowlatabâd, and looked down, with horrid joy, on the tempest which he himself had raised around.

which sub­mits.The devastations committed by the express orders of the empe­ror, had at last the intended effect on the sovereigns of Tellingana and Bijapour. Shut up in their strongest forts, they could not assist their subjects, who were either ruined or massacred without mercy around them. They proposed peace in the most humble and supplicating terms. Shaw Jehân took advantage of their ne­cessities, and imposed severe conditions. They were established, by commission from the emperor, as hereditary governors of their own dominlons, upon agreeing to give a large annual tribute, the first payment of which was to be made at the signing of the treaty. The princes besides were to acknowledge the emperor and his suc­cessors lords paramount of the Decan in all their public deeds, and to design themselves, The humble subjects of the empire of the Moguls.

Emperor re­turns to Aj­mere.The treaty being signed and ratified, the emperor left his son Aurungzêbe under the tuition of Chan Zimân, the son of Mohâbet, [Page 159] at the head of a considerable force, to awe his new subjects. In the strong holds which had fallen into his hands during the war, he placed garrisons; and, having left the Decan, took the route of Ajmere. On the eighth of December 1638, he arrived in that city, and visited the shrine of Moin ul Dien, more from a desire to please the superstitious among his courtiers, than from his own devotion. He had not remained long at Ajmere when the prince Aurungzêbe arrived, to celebrate his nuptials with the daughter of Shaw Nawâz, the son of Asiph Jàh. The visier, who had remain­ed during the war at Agra, to manage the civil affairs of the em­pire, came to join the court at Ajmere, accompanied by Morâd, the emperor's youngest son, and was present at the splendid festival held in honour of the marriage of his grandson with his grand­daughter.

Death of Chan Zimân.Soon after the departure of Aurungzêbe from the army in the Decan, Chan Zimân, fell sick and died. His death was much regretted by the whole empire. Calm, manly and ge­nerous, he was esteemed, respected, and beloved. He was possessed of all the polite accomplishments of the gentleman: he was a brave general, a good statesman, an excellent scholar, and a poet. Under his original name of Mirza Amani, he pub­lished a collection of his poems, which are still in high repute for their energy and elegance over all the East. The emperor was so sensible of the high merit of Chan Zimân, that he sincerely la­mented his death, and spoke much in his praise in the hall of the presence, before the whole nobility. ‘"We did not miss," said he, "the abilities of Mohâbet, till we lost his son."’ Aurungzêbe re­ceived immediate orders to repair to the Decan, and to take upon himself the sole command of the Imperial army, stationed in the conquered provinces.

[Page 160] Insurrection in Behâr.During these transactions in Ajmere, the revolt of the Raja of Budgepour happened in the province of Behâr. The emperor de­tached a part of the army under Abdalla to suppress the insurrec­tion. Abdalla at the same time received a commission to govern Behâr in quality of Suba. He attacked and defeated the Raja on his first arrival; and that unfortunate prince, whose love of inde­pendence had made him overlook his own want of power, was re­duced to the last extremity. He shut himself up in a fortress which was invested on all sides. When a breach was made in the walls, and the orders for the assault were issued, the Raja came out of his castle, leading his children in his hand. He might have been pardoned; but his wife appearing behind him, sealed his doom. She was extremely handsome, and Abdalla, though old himself, wished to grace his haram with a beautiful widow. The unfortunate Raja, therefore, was put to death on the spot as a re­bel.

Candahâr de­livered up to the empire.The news of the defeat and death of the Raja of Budgepour had scarce arrived at court, when Shaw Jehân received an agreeable piece of intelligence from the northern frontier of the empire. The feeble administration of Sefi, who succeeded Shaw Abas in the throne of Persia, had thrown the affairs of that kingdom into confusion. Ali Murdan commanded in the fortress of Can­dahâr. His fidelity was suspected; and, besides, he saw no end of the troubles which distracted his country. He resolved to save himself from the malice of his enemies, by delivering the city to the emperor of Hindostan, from whose hands it had been wrested by Shaw Abas. A negociation was therefore set on foot by Ali Murdan with Seid Chan, the governor of Cabul. His terms were only for himself. Seid closed with him in the name of his sove­reign. He sent his son in haste with a force to Candahâr, which [Page 161] was delivered by Ali Murdan, who set out immediately to pay his respects to his new sovereign.

Persian de­feated.Sefi no sooner heard of the treachery of Ali Murdan, than he issued orders for a force to march from Chorassan to retake Candahâr. This expedition was under the conduct of Scâhôsh. That officer appeared before the city with seven thousand horse; but Seid, who commanded in the place, sallied out with an inferior force, and totally defeated the Persians, for which sig­nal service he was raised, by the name of Ziffer Jung, to the dignity of six thousand horse. Gulzâr, the governor of Moul­tan, was removed to Candahâr; and as a general war with Persia was apprehended, the prince Suja was dispatched with a great army to the province of Cabul. Before Gulzâr arrived at his new government, Seid following his victory over the Per­sians, penetrated into Seistân. Bust, Zemindâwir, and other places fell into his hands; and all the district which had formerly been annexed to the government of Candahâr, was reduced to subjection by his arms.

Ali Murdan rewarded.The emperor was so overjoyed at the recovery of Candahâr, that he received Ali Murdan with every mark of esteem and gratitude. He was raised to the rank of six thousand horse, with the title of captain-general of the Imperial forces, and invest­ed with the government of Cashmire. The service he had done was great, but the reward of treachery was extravagant. Ali, however, seemed to possess abilities equal to any rank. Bold, pro­vident and ambitious, he grasped at power; and when he had ob­tained it, he kept it during his life by management and intrigue. His generosity rendered him popular; and before his death he is said to have numbered sixteen thousand families of Afgans, Usbecs, and Moguls among his clients and dependants.

[Page 162] Invasion from Assam.The most remarkable transaction of the year 1638, next to the recovery of Candahâr, was an invasion of the province of Bengal by the Tartars of Assâm. They rushed down the river Birram­puta in armed boats, to where it falls into the Ganges, below Dacca. They plundered some of the northern districts, and made themselves masters of several small forts. Islam, governor of Ben­gal, hearing of the invasion, marched against the enemy with all the Imperial troops stationed in the province. They had the folly to come to action with the Suba, and he gave them a signal defeat. Four thousand were killed on the spot, and five hundred armed vessels fell into the hands of the conqueror. The remaining part of the invaders fled; and the governor pursued them into their own coun­try. Fifteen forts, with the king of Assam's son-in-law, fell into his hands. The whole province of Cochâgi was reduced; and he invaded that of Buldive. The latter was very obstinately defend­ed. Few passes led into it, being environed with mountains. The Suba at last forced the passes, and the enemy fled to the hills.

Reduction of Assam.The sovereign of Buldive did not long survive the reduction of his country. Worn out with fatigue, harassed with grief, and tormented with vexation, he was seized with a contagious distem­per, which infected his family, and carried him and them off in a few days. His people, however, would not quit their hills. The enemy spread devastation over the plain below; and the unfortu­nate Assâmites beheld from the woods, the smoke of their burning towns. But the unbounded ravages of Iflam occasioned his re­treat. The grain was inadvertently destroyed in the fire which consumed the towns of Buldive, and a scarcity of provisions began to be felt in the Imperial camp. Islam marched back with the spoils of Assâm; but he suffered incredible hardships from the bad­ness of the roads, the torrents which fell from the hills, and a dis­temper, which the rainy season, now come on, had raised in the [Page 163] army. The kingdom of Tibet was, at the same time, reduced by Ziffer. The news of this double conquest came at the same instant to the emperor. He was greatly pleased with the success of his arms, as none of the Mahommedan princes, who had reigned be­fore him in India, ever penetrated into those countries.

Death of the Mah-Raja.The eleventh year of the reign of Shaw Jehân commenced with the death of the Mah-Raja, prince of the Rajaputs. He was succeeded in the throne by his second son Hussinet Singh; it be­ing the established custom of the branch of the Rajaputs called Mahrattors, to leave the sceptre to the disposal of the sovereigns by their latter will. The Rajaputs, properly so called, did not ac­quiesce in the right of Hussinet. He had an elder brother, and they adhered to him. The flames of a civil war were kindied; but the emperor interfered; and, after having examined the claims of both the princes, he confirmed the Raja's will in favour of Hus­sinet, whom he raised to the rank of four thousand horse. His elder brother, who was deprived of all hopes of the throne by the decision of the emperor, was also created an Omrah of three thou­sand.

Peace with Persia.The insult which Persia received through the invasion of its ter­ritories by the Mogul governor of Candahâr, did not raise any spirit of revenge in the court of Ispahan. The debility in the coun­cils of Sefi brought on a peace between the empires. Shaw Jehân had dispatched Sifder Chan his ambassador to the court of Persia. That lord returned this year from Serifa, where Sefi resided, with a present of five hundred horses, some curious animals, and va­rious manufactures of Persia, to the value of five lacks of roupees. Sifder executed his commission so much to his master's satisfac­tion, that he was raised to the dignity of five thousand horse. The chief condition of the treaty of peace between Perfia and [Page 164] Hindostan was, an entire cession of Candahâr by the former in favour of the latter.

Death of Af­zil, the em­peror's pre­ceptor.The winter of the year 1637 had been remarkable for a great fall of snow in the northern provinces of India. It extended as far as Lahore; and in the mountains of Cabul and Cashmire, many villages, with all their inhabitants, were overwhelmed and de­stroyed. The emperor, in the mean time, kept his court at La­hore. Peace being established on every side, he applied himself to the management of the civil government of the empire. He issued many salutary edicts for the security of property, the improvement of the country, and the encouragement of commerce. In the midst of his cares for the good of the state, he was afflicted with the death of Afzil Chan, a man of great literary talents, who had been his preceptor. The young princes were also educated under his care, and they mourned him as a father. He had been raised to the first honours of the empire. He obtained the rank of seven thousand, and the management of the civil affairs of the em­pire were in a great measure in his hands. The emperor, to show his great veneration for his abilities, allowed him an annual reve­nue of three hundred and seventy-five thousand pounds.

Dara and Suja promot­ed.Soon after the death of Afzil, the princes Dara and Suja were raised to higher ranks of nobility. Dara was dignified with the title of an Omrah of ten thousand horse and ten thousand foot; and Suja with the rank of seven thousand horse and as many of foot. The emperor having frequently declared his intentions of leaving the throne to Dara, gave him always the first place in dig­nities and power. He shewed an inclination of habituating his other sons to a submission to Dara; and whatever marks of supe­rior affection he might bestow on his younger sons in private, in public he directed his principal attention to the eldest. Aurung­zêbe [Page 165] was not at court when his brothers were promoted. Averse to idleness in his command of the army in the Decan, he made an incursion, under pretence of injuries, into the country of Bag­lana. The forts fell into his hands, and the chiefs submitted to a tribute; but the sterility and poverty of those regions did neither answer the expence of the war, nor that of keeping the possession of the conquered country. He therefore evacuated the places which he had taken, and depended for the tribute on the future fears of the enemy. Having brought back the army within the limits of the empire, Aurungzêbe, who was jealous of the influence of Dara with the emperor, requested leave of absence, and came to Lahore, where his father at the time resided.

Suja made governor of Bengal.The prince Suja, who had been sent with an army to Cabul, when a war with Persia was apprehended, had for some time re­mained in that city. His wife dying, he returned on the twenty­third of June 1638 to Lahore, where he was married with great pomp and solemnity to the daughter of Azim. Complaints having been sent to court against Islam, governor of Bengal, he was removed from his office; and Suja was ordered to pro­ceed, with a commission, into that kingdom, to restore the civil re­gulations which had been ruined by the rapacity of Islam. Ab­dalla, governor of Behâr, had also fallen under the emperor's dis­pleasure for some oppressions which he had exercised in the execu­tion of justice. Shaw Jehân, who was a severe justiciary, would not even have his representatives in the provinces suspected of partiality in the distribution of the laws. He heard the com­plaints of the poorest subjects, from the most distant corners of the empire, and the influence of the first men in the state was not sussi­cient to protect the delinquents from his resentment. He was, therefore, beloved by the people, and reverenced and feared by the great. An Imperial order was issued to Abdalla to appear in [Page 166] the presence, to give a public account of his administration; and Shaista, the son of the visier, was raised to the government of Behâr. Abdalla had the good fortune to clear himself of the aspersions thrown on his character by his enemies; and he was sent, with a considerable force, against insurgents in the province of Bundela, and some Rajas, who, from their hills, made depredatory incursions into Behâr.

Excellent government of the em­peror.Abdalla no sooner arrived in the place of his destination than peace was restored. The banditti who infested the country, fled precipitately to their mountains, and dispersed themselves to their several homes. Some examples of justice upon those who fell into the hands of the Imperialists, confirmed the tranquillity which now was general over all the empire. The attention of the emperor to the improvement of his dominions, his impartial execution of justice, his exact but not oppressive mode of collecting the reve­nues, rendered his people happy and his empire flourishing. A lover of pleasure himself, though not fond of parade and shew, his haram was a considerable market for the finest manufactures; and the ample provision made for his sons and nobles, rendered his capital a cluster of princely courts, where magnificence and elegant luxury prevailed in the extreme. He divided his time between the hall of audience and the haram. He heard com­plaints with patience; he decided with precision and equity; and when his mind was fatigued with business, he dived into the elegant and secret apartments of his women; who, being the na­tives of different countries, presented to his eyes a variety of charms.

The capital of Bengal destroyed by fire.Suja, to whom a son was born soon after his arrival in Bengal, narrowly escaped with his life, from a fire which broke out in the capital of the province. Many of his servants, and some [Page 167] A.D. 1639 Hig. 1049 of his women were destroyed in the flames; and the whole city was burnt down to the ground. Rajamâhil never recovered from this disaster. The waters of the Ganges joined issue with the flames in its destruction. The ground on which it stood was carried away by the river; and nothing now remains of its former magnificence, except some wells, which, as the earth in which they were sunk has been carried away by the stream, appear like spires in the channel of the river, when its waters are low.

Ali Murdan promoted.Ali Murdan, who, for the delivery of Candahâr to the emperor, had been gratified with the government of Cashmire, returned to court at Lahore on the eighteenth of October. No complaints against his administration having been preferred in the hall of audience, he was received with distinction and favour. To re­ward him for the equity and justice of his government, he was raised to the government of Punjâb; with a power of holding Cash­mire by deputy. Ali Murdan took immediate possession of his new office; and the emperor signified to his son Aurungzêbe, that his presence in the Decan was necessary, to superintend the affairs of his government, which, in the hands of deputies, might fall into confusion, from the distance of the conquered provinces from the seat of empire.

Return of the ambassador to the Otto­man empe­ror.When Aurungzêbe set out for the Decan, the emperor, resolving upon a tour to Cashmire, moved the Imperial camp northward from Lahore. Whilst he amused himself in that beautiful coun­try, Mahommed Zerif, whom he had some time before sent ambassador to Constantinople, returned to court. Morâd, who at that time held the Ottoman scepter, had received Zerif with every mark of respect and esteem. The empires having no political business to settle, the embassy was chiesly an affair of compli­ment; with a request to permit Zeriff to purchase some fine horses [Page 168] A.D. 1640 in Arabia. Morâd not only granted the required favour, but even gave to the ambassador several horses of the highest blood, with furniture of solid gold, studded with precious stones, as a present to Shaw Jehân. The emperor was highly pleased with the re­ception given to his ambassador; and he was charmed with the beauty of the horses. On the seventeenth of February 1640, he set out for Lahore, the business of the empire requiring his pre­sence nearer its center.

Calamitous floods.When he was upon the road, a prodigious fall of rain laid the whole country under water. No dry spot was left for pitching the Imperial tent; and he was obliged to sleep for se­veral nights in a boat. His army were in the mean time in the utmost distress. Their horses without provender; and they themselves destitute of provisions. Four thousand families were swept away and drowned by the river Bêhat. On the banks of the Choshal the destruction was greater still. Seven hundred villages were carried away, with their inhabitants; and every day brought fresh accounts of disasters from other parts of the country, through which the branches of the Indus flow. When the waters began to subside, the emperor hastened his march. The scene which presented itself to his eyes as he advanced, was full of horror. Boats were seen sticking in the tops of trees; the fish were gasping on dry land, the bodies of men and animals were mixed with the wreck of villages, and mud and sand co­vered the whole face of the country. He was so much affected with the misery of his subjects, that he issued an edict for the remission of the taxes for a year, to the countries which had suf­fered by that dreadsul calamity. He also made donations from the public treasury to many of the farmers, to enable them to maintain their families; and, continuing his journey, arrived on the first of April at Lahore.

[Page 169] Hig. 1050 Bust surprised and retaken.During these disasters on the banks of the Indus, Bust was sur­prised by the Persian governor of the province of Seïstân. Gul­zâr, who commanded for the empire in Candahâr, detached a part of the garrison under his lievtenant Leitif Chan, to retake the place. He summoned Bust upon his arrival, but the Persians re­fused to surrender. He began his approaches; and, after a smart siege, in which his vigilance, activity, and courage did him great honour, he took Bust. The garrison were made prisoners; and Leitif, pursuing the advantage which he had obtained, made in­cursions into Seïstan, and carried off great booty, with which he returned to Candahâr. The debility of the councils of Persia suffered this affront to pass without revenge.

An ambassa­dor from Constanti­nople.In the summer of the year 1640, Arselan Aga, who had accompanied Zerif from Constantinople, as ambassador from Morâd, had his audience of leave of the emperor. He was presented with twelve thousand pounds for the expences of his journey home; and he was charged with magnificent pre­sents for his master. News at the same time arrived at court, that the oppressions committed by Azim, governor of Gu­zerat, had occasioned an insurrection; at the head of which, the two chiefs, Jami and Bahara, appeared. Azim, possessed of an immense revenue, soon raised a force, which, in the end, re­duced the insurgents; but all the money, which ought to have been remitted to the treasury, was expended in the war. The emperor was enraged at his conduct. He deprived him of his government; and ordered him to repair to court, to give an account of his administration. His friends interceded in his be­half. The emperor was inflexible; till a fair consin of Azim, who was retained in the Imperial haram, threw herself at his feet, and not only obtained the pardon of the governor, but even his reinstatement in his former office. After he had [Page 170] A.D. 1641 Hig. 1051 passed his word in favour of Azim to this weeping beauty, he commanded her never more to appear in his presence: ‘"For," said he, "I will not have my justice perverted by my weakness."’

The prince Morâd dis­tinguishes himself.Morâd, the fourth son of the emperor, was now in the seven­teenth year of his age. Like his brothers he was high-spirited and a lover of war. An opportunity offered which suited his disposition. Jagenât Singh, a prince on the confines of Marwâr, who was a subject of the empire, revolted, and issuing from his native mountains, spread devastation through the neighbouring plains. The active spirit of Morâd flew before him. He out­stripped the news of his coming by his expedition; surprised, defeated, and pursued the prince to his fort of Tara Cudda, in which, after a smart siege, he was taken; but pardoned, upon conditions. The emperor was pleased with the vigour which he discovered in the soul of Morâd; and he received him upon his return with great distinction and affection.

Death of the visier.The death of the visier Asiph Jâh, in the seventy-second year of his age, was the most remarkable event of the succeeding year. His daughter Moina Bânu, the sister of the favourite Sultana, and wife of Seif Chan, the high-steward of the household, died a short time before her father: and his grief for her, as he was worn-out with business, infirmities, and age, seems to have hastened his death, which happened on the twentieth of Novem­ber. He was born in Tartary, many years before his father Aiâss quitted that country to push his fortune in Hindostan; and he did not leave the place of his nativity, till the affairs of his father assumed a very favourable aspect in the court of the emperor Akbâr. The merit of Aiâss raised himself to the first offices of the state; and his son was not of a disposition to relinquish the advantages which his family had gained. Habituated to business [Page 171] under his father, he succeeded him in the office of visier, and managed the affairs of the empire with great address during the remaining part of the reign of Jehangire. The active part which he took to secure the empire for Shaw Jehân, met with every return of gratitude from that prince; who, soon after his accession, raised him to an office superior in dignity to that of visier, called Vakiel Mutuluck, or absolute minister of the empire. The emperor, who had the sincerest affection for his daughter, the mother of so many princes and princesses, distinguished Asiph in his conversation with the title of Father. He dignified that mini­ster at the same time with many pompous titles. In public deeds he was styled, The Strength of the Realm, the Protector of the Empire, the Powerful Prince, the Lord of Lords, the revered Fa­ther of Wisdom, the Leader of Armies, in rank great as ASIPH, and a Lion in War.

He leaves his fortune to prince Dara.Though three sons and five daughters survived the visier, he adopted his grandson Dara, the Imperial prince, and consti­tuted him heir to all his fortune. He excused himself to his sons, by saying, that he had already raised them to high ranks and employments in the state; and that, if they conducted themselves with prudence and wisdom, the favour of the emperor would be to them an ample fortune. ‘"But, should Folly be the ruler of your conduct," continued Asiph, "you do not deserve to possess the wealth which I have acquired by my services."’ There was pru­dence in the conduct of Asiph upon this occasion. The emperor loved money; and he might have availed himself of the law, which constitutes the prince the heir of all his officers; and a dis­pute of that kind might prove fatal to the influence and interest of the family of the visier. He, however, divided, before his death, three hundred and seventy-five thousand pounds among his children and servants. Dara, in terms of his will, took possession [Page 172] of the bulk of his fortune, which in coin, in jewels, in plate, elephants: and horses, amounted to near four millions sterling, exclusive of his estates in land, which, according to the tenures in India, re­verted to the crown.

His charac­ter.Though the abilities of Asiph Jâh were little known under the wise and able administration of his father, they broke forth with lustre when he himself came into the first office in the state. He was a great orator, a fine writer, an able politician. In his pri­vate character, he was mild, affable, humane, generous; in his public, severe, reserved, inflexible, exact. He never excused ne­gligence; he punished disobedience. His orders, therefore, were no sooner issued than they were executed; his very nod was re­spected, understood, and obeyed. He was possessed of political as well as personal courage; as little afraid of the unjust reproaches of his friends, as he was of the weapons of his enemies; and he was often heard to say, ‘"That he who fears death is unworthy of life."’ He was uniform in his conduct, impartial and dignified in his actions, consistent with himself. He courted not popula­rity by his measures: justice, propriety, and the ultimate good of the state, and not the applause of the vulgar, were his objects in all his decisions. He was fit for the field, as well as adapted for the cabinet; and had he not gained renown with the pen, he would have commanded it with the sword. In his youth, he was addicted to poetry. He wrote upon heroic subjects; and the fire of his genius was such, that the very sound of his verse animates the soul to war. The glory and happiness of India during his long administration were great; and when war raged on the frontiers, the interior provinces enjoyed uninterrupted peace. The field in which he moved was extensive, but his eye comprehended the whole. An eastern writer continues the metaphor, and says, ‘"That he rendered that field flourishing and fruitful. He passed [Page 173] through it with reputation and lustre, and when he sunk into the grave, a cloud of sorrow obscured the face of the empire."’

His sons.The original name of the eldest son of Asiph was Mirza Morâd. He was dignified afterwards with the title of Shaista Chan; and he was governor of Behâr at the death of his father. He pos­sessed not the abilities of his family; being of an infirm and sickly constitution, with a delicate, rather than a vigorous and active mind. Mirza Misti, the second son of Asiph, was a youth of great hopes; vigorous, active, and full of fire. He lost his life in a drunken frolic; for being one day at the river Behât in Cash­mire, when it foamed over its banks, he spurred his horse into the stream, by way of bravado, and, for his temerity, was drowned. Mirza Hussein, the third son of the visier, was a man of moderate abilities; and his fourth son, who had been digni­fied with the title of Shaw Nawâz, was a nobleman of great reputation and high distinction in the empire.

Justice of the emperor.The emperor, jealous of the influence which the governors of the provinces might acquire by a long continuance in their offices, made a practice of removing them every third year. When the news of any oppression committed by them arrived at court, they were instantly superseded; and, upon examination, if found guilty, divested of all their honours, and confined. The punishment of death seemed to have been laid aside from the com­mencement of this regin. Tirbiet Chan was, this year, ordered back from the government of Cabul, for his severity in exacting the revenue from the poor. The emperor himself had been a witness of the miserable condition to which the people of that pro­vince were reduced, by the floods in the rivers Choshal and Behât; and they had not yet recovered from that grievous calamity. They were unable to pay their rents; and Tirbiet submitted them [Page 174] A.D. 1642 Hig. 1052 to the rigours of military execution. He was divested of his honours as well as of his government; and the emperor issued money from the treasury to relieve thirty thousand of the inha­bitants, whom the exactions of Tirbiet had reduced to want: ‘"Remember," said the emperor to his nobles, "that when you are too severe on my people, you only injure me; for it is but just I should pay for losses occasioned by my wrong choice of officers, to govern the provinces of my empire."’ Ali Murdan was appointed to the government of Cabul, in the room of Tirbiet. He was succeeded in that of Cashmire, by Ziffer. Complaints had been received against the prince Aurungzèbe from the Decan. His father ordered him to the presence, to answer to the charge; which he did to satisfaction, and was forthwith reinstated in his government.

Persian inva­sion threat­ened.The cruelty of Shaw Sefi of Persia had crowded hitherto his reign with tumult and misfortune. The empire suffered in its consequence with foreign powers, during years which Sefi distin­guished only with the blood of his subjects. His intentions against Ali Murdan lost him the strong fortress of Candahâr, and he took no measures to revenge the insults which he received on his fron­tiers, after that place had fallen into the hands of the Moguls. The tumults of the Persians were at length quelled in their blood; and Sefi, having destroyed his domestic enemies, turned his atten­tion to his foreign foes. Having collected a great army, he took the field, and moved toward Candahâr with a professed design to retake that city.

Prevented by the death of Shaw Sefi.The news of the motions of the Persian was brought by express to the court of Agra. The emperor was alarmed. He gave a commission to the Imperial prince Dara, to command an army of fifty thousand men. The troops were soon ready, and [Page 175] the prince took the route of Cabul. Thirty thousand men, sta­tioned on the frontiers, flocked also to the standard of Dara, upon his arrival at Cabul. Morâd, the emperor's fourth son, was posted with twenty thousand men behind the Nilâb, with orders to reinforce, in case of a requisition for that purpose, the army of Dara. But these formidable preparations were, in the event, unnecessary. Sefi, to the great joy of his subjects, fell sick and died. The war, which was begun by him, was dropt, with his other measures, by his successor. The Persians retreated; and Dara and Morâd returned to their father, who still kept his court at Lahore. Morâd, soon after his return to the presence, married a daughter of Shaw Nawâz, the son of the late visier Asiph.

Affairs at court.The emperor, who took pleasure in managing in person the affairs of his empire, created no visier upon the death of Asiph. That lord's deputy in office, without any rank or title, ma­naged the business of the department, and by a special commis­sion, countersigned all public edicts. Aliverdi, governor of Pun­jâb, who resided at Lahore, which had formerly been the capital of his government, had the imprudence to speak contemptuously of this mode of transacting the public business. He said, That the emperor, from extreme avarice, endeavouring to save to himself the usual appointments bestowed on visiers, had thrown disgrace upon his own administration. He made no secret of his sarcasms; and they were carried to Shaw Jehân. He sent for Aliverdi, and said to that lord: ‘"You do not like, I am told, my mode of governing my subjects; and therefore Aliverdi shall not assist in an administration which he does not love."’ He was immediately divested of his government and honours, and dismissed with ignominy from the presence. The prince Morâd was raised to the vacant government; and, having received magnificent presents from the emperor, set out for Moultân. The emperor, in the mean [Page 176] time, assisted at a grand festival, which he gave to his court upon opening the new gardens of Shalimâr, which had been begun in the fourth year of his reign. The gardens were laid out with admirable taste; and the money expended upon them amounted to the enormous sum of one million sterling.


Reflections—Emperor arrives at Agra—Incidents at court—Incur­sions of the Usbecs—Aurungzêbe removed from the Decan—Sa­dulla Chan made visier—Buduchshân invaded by the Moguls—Death and character of Noor Jehân—Balick reduced—Prince Morâd disgraced—Aurungzêbe defeats the Usbecs—Who submit to the empire—Emperor jealous of his sons—Arrival at Delhi—Persians take Candahâr—Aurungzêbe besieges it in vain—defeats the Persians—Usbecs of Balick claim the Emperor's aid—Canda­hâr again besieged to no purpo seEmperor returns to Agra—Promotions.

Reflections.IN absolute governments, the Despot is every thing, and the people nothing. HE is the only object of attention; and when he sits in the midst of tranquillity, the page of the historian languishes in the detail of unimportant events. His hall of audience is a court of summary justice. His decisions are rapid; and they are generally impartial, as his situation has placed him beyond the limits of fear and of favour. But there is a sameness which never plcases, in the transactions of a government whose operations run through one unchangeable channel; and it is for this reason only, we pass lightly over the more peaceable years of the reign of Shaw Jehân. In these he acted in the character of a judge, a mere determinator, if the word may be used, of [Page 178] differences between individuals; and it must be confessed, that he had abilities to see, and integrity to do what was right.

Emperor arrives at Agra.Lahore, during the former reign, had been considered as the capital of the empire, and the most settled residence of the prince. Jehangire, whose lungs were weak, wished to breathe in the free air of the north; and the improvements which he made in the palace and gardens, had rendered Lahore the most convenient and beautiful, if not the most magnificent of the Imperial residences. Shaw Jehân, however, whose attention to the affairs of the em­pire was always uppermost in his mind, thought Lahore too distant from the southern provinces; which, on account of their wealth, were the most important division of his dominions. He therefore resolved, as there was a prospect of permanent tranquillity on the northern frontier, to remove his court to Agra, where he ar­rived in the month of November. The cavalcade which attend­ed his progress, was magnificent and numerous beyond descrip­tion. The armies returned from the north were in his train; and half the citizens of Lahore, who, from his long residence in that place, were become in a manner his domestics, accompanied him on his march. He pitched his tents in the gardens of his fa­vourite wife, Mumtâza Zemân. The tomb of that princess was now finished at a great expence; and he endowed with lands a monastery of Fakiers, whose business it was to take care of the tomb, and to keep up the perpetual lamps over her shrine.

Applies to the public business.Nothing material happened during nine months after the em­peror's arrival at Agra. The public business, which had been ne­glected through the alarm of the Persian war, took up a part of his time; and pleasure appropriated to itself the rest. Several beautiful acquisitions had been made in the haram; and the [Page 179] A.D. 1643 Hig. 1053 emperor's attention to the execution of justice was interrupted by his love for women. A son was in the mean time born to Dara, the Imperial prince. Shaw Jehân, who loved his son, gave a magnificent festival upon the occasion. His posterity began to multiply apace. A son was born to Aurungzêbe, whom he named Mahommed Mauzim; and Morâd had this year a daughter whom he called Zêbe-ul-Nissa, or, The Ornament of Women. The emperor, in the course of the year, made an excursion to Ajmere; and after he returned to Agra, Dara was seized with a violent fever, which endangered his life.

An accident.The emperor's alarm for Dara was scarce subsided, when a dreadful accident happened to his eldest daughter, whom he loved above all his children. Returning one night from visiting her father to her own apartments in the haram, she unfortu­nately brushed with her clothes one of the lamps which stood in the passage. Her clothes caught fire; and, as her modesty, being within hearing of men, would not permit her to call for assistance, she was scorched in a terrible manner. She rushed into the ha­ram in flames; and there were no hopes of her life. The em­peror was much afflicted. He gave no audience for several days. He distributed alms to the poor; he opened the doors of prisons; and he, for once, became devout, to bribe Heaven for the re­covery of his favourite child. He, however, did not in the mean time neglect the common means. Anit-Alla, the most famous physician of the age, was brought express from Lahore; and the Sultana, though by slow degrees, was restored to health.

Rashness and death of A­mar Singh.The princess had scarce recovered, when the emperor himself escaped from imminent danger. The brother of the Maraja, whose name was Amar Singh, having rebelled against the deci­sion [Page 180] of Shaw Jehân in favour of his father's will, was defeated by a detachment of the Imperial army, and sent prisoner to court. When he was brought into the emperor's presence, he was forced, by the lords in waiting, to make the usual submissions, and the emperor pronounced his pardon from the throne; desiring him at the same time to take his place among the lords, in the rank which had been conferred upon him on a former occasion. He accordingly took his place; but being a young man of a proud and ungovernable spirit, he burnt with rage at the late indignity, as well as at the past injury done him by the emperor, in prefer­ring to him his younger brother. He drew his dagger in secret; and rushed furiously toward the throne. Sillabut Chan, the paymaster-general of the forces, threw himself before Amar, who plunged his dagger in his body, and stretched him dead at his feet. Chilulla, Seid Sallâr, and several other lords drew immedi­ately their swords, and slew the Hindoo prince on the spot. The emperor, who had descended from his throne with his sword in his hand, ordered the body to be dragged out of the hall of audience. A number of his followers, seeing their master dead, fell upon the guards, and fought till they were cut off to a man.

Incursions of the Usbecs.The Usbees, who had for a long time remained quiet, made an incursion this year into the territories of the empire. They were led by Kuli the general of Mahommed, king of the Western Usbecs. Ali Murdan, governor of Cabul, marched out and de­feated the invaders. He followed his victory, and driving the fugitives beyond the limits of the empire, ravaged their country as far as Balick, and returned with a considerable booty. The news of the victory arrived at Agra, on the day that another son was born to Dara the Imperial prince. The emperor expres­sed his satisfaction on this double occasion of joy, by restoring Abdalla, his own former friend, to the dignities of which he had [Page 181] A.D. 1644 been deprived, on account of his mismanagements in the go­vernment of the province of Behâr. Abdalla, however, did not long enjoy the good change in his fortune. He died in the eightieth year of his age, having been sixty years a noble of the em­pire. At the time of his death, he was possessed of the dignity of six thousand horse. He had passed through all the various vi­cissitudes of fortune. He was engaged in every war, and was unsuccessful in all; yet he was esteemed an able and active ge­neral.

Aurungzêbe removed from the De­can.Dara, by his constant residence with his father, had gained an ascendency over his mind. The prince was free, generous and manly; pleasing in conversation, affable, polite and mild. The emperor loved him as a friend, as well as a son: he listened to his advice and studied to please him. He represented to his father, that it was dangerous to the repose of the empire to leave so long the management of the Decan in the hands of Aurung­zêbe. ‘"I trust," says he, "to my brother's honour; but why should the happiness of the emperor depend upon the honour of any man? Aurungzêbe possesses abilities; and his manner, and perhaps his integrity, has gained him many friends. They, in their ambition, may persuade him to things which, without their advice, he would abhor. The army he commands are, by habit, accustomed to perform his pleasure, and are attached to his per­son. What if they should prefer the spoils of the empire, to their watchful campaigns on our frontiers? Are the troops, de­bauched by the loose manners of the capital, sit to cope with men inured to arms? To foresee danger is to no purpose," continued Dara, "unless it is prevented. It is my part to advise my fa­ther and sovereign; his to do what he pleases: but to remove Au­rungzêbe from the government of the Decan, is to remove temp­tation from that prince. If he is that devout man he pretends to [Page 182] A.D. 1645 Hig. 1055 be, he will thank Heaven for being deprived of the means of com­mitting crimes."’

Reflections of the em­peror.The emperor was sensible of the justice of Dara's observations; and he complied with his request. He was naturally fond of his children: he liked their spirit, and loved their aspiring genius. He was, however, too prudent not to foresee the disturbances which were likely to rise from even their good qualities. His affection, when they were young, prevented him from following the policy of other Despots, by shutting up every access of know­ledge from their minds: and to keep them at court after they had commanded armies and provinces, would be a perpetual source of animofity between them, and of uneasiness to himself. He was heard often to say; ‘"I have the sons I wish; yet I wish I had no sons."’ But hitherto he had no just reason to complain: they kept on apparent good terms with one another, and they implicitly obeyed his commands.

Aurungzêbe sent into Guzerat.Orders were sent to Aurungzêbe to remove to Ahmedabâd, the capital of Guzerat, where he should find a commission to govern that province. The prince obeyed; and Chan Dowran, who had lately been governor of Cashmire, was advanced to the superin­tendency of the conquered provinces, and to the command of the troops stationed on the southern frontiers of the empire. Dow­ran did not live to enjoy his high office, being assassinated by one of his domestics, whom he had punished for some crime. Sixty lacks of roupees, or about seven hundred and fifty thousand pounds of our money, were found in coin and jewels in his tent. The emperor was his heir, as he had amassed his fortune in his service. He had been governor of several provinces; and he possessed the rank of seven thousand horse in the empire. When the news of his death came to court, Islam Chan was appointed [Page 183] his successor; and that lord set out for his government, in the month of August of the year 1645.

Sadulla made visier.The emperor, it has been already observed, did not appoint any successor to Asiph Jâh in the high office of visier. Sadulla, the chief secretary of Asiph, who was acquainted with the business of the empire, transacted the duties of the office without the name. He was a man of abilities. His experience in his department recommended him first to the emperor; and when he came to know him better, he esteemed him for his integrity. He was sent for one day to the presence; and the emperor, with­out previously acquainting him of his design, delivered to him the seals of the empire; and at the same time presented him with a patent, for the dignity of five thousand horse.

Ali Murdan invades Bu­duchshân.Whilst these things are transacted at court, Ali Murdan, go­vernor of Cabul, continued his incursions into the dominions of the Usbecs. He took the fort of Shermud in Buduchshân, and some other strong towns. When the winter came on, he retreat­ed into his province; and took that opportunity of paying his respects to the emperor, who, upon his return from a tour to Cashmire, had stopt at Lahore. Shaw Jehân approved of his in­cursions, and recommended to him to continue the war. Ali re­turned to Cabul, and led his army to the north in the beginning of the spring. He took the direct road to Balick; but the enemy turning his rear, cut off both his supplies and his communication with Hindostan. They, at the same time, laid waste their own country, by carrying off or destroying the grain and cattle. Ali thought it prudent to retreat; but the Usbecs had re­taken the forts which had, when he advanced, fallen into his hands. He, a second time laid siege to Shermud; and, having forced it to surrender, he established posts along the skirts of Bu­duchshân, [Page 184] and then returned to Cabul. An ambassador, charged with rich presents, was dispatched this year to the court of Persia, to congratulate Shaw Abas the Second, upon his accession to the throne.

Death and character of Noor-Jehân.The emperor had not been returned to Lahore many days, be­fore the famous Noor-Jehân, the favourite Sultana of his father Jehangire, died in her palace in that city. Twenty-five thousand pounds had been annually paid to her out of the treasury; and, as her power ceased with the death of her consort, she was too proud even to speak of public affairs, and she, therefore, gave up her mind to study, retirement, and ease. The extraordinary beauty of her person has been already mentioned; we shall now deli­neate the features of her mind. Her abilities were uncommon; for she rendered herself absolute, in a government in which wo­men are thought incapable of bearing any part. Their power, it is true, is sometimes exerted in the haram; but, like the vir­tues of the magnet, it is silent and unperceived. Noor-Jehân stood forth in public; she broke through all restraint and custom, and acquired power by her own address, more than by the weakness of Jehangire. Ambitious, passionate, insinuating, cun­ning, bold and vindictive, yet her character was not stained with cruelty; and she maintained the reputation of chastity, when no restraint but virtue remained. Her passions were indeed too mas­culine. When we see her acting the part of a soldier, she ex­cites ridicule more than admiration; and we are apt to forget that delicacy, beyond which her sex ceases to please.

War with the Usbecs.The ineffectual expedition of Ali against the Usbecs, did not induce the emperor to relinquish the war. He set up an antiquated claim, which his ancestors had on Buduchshân, and [Page 185] A.D. 1646 Hig. 1056 the district of Balich, and moved with a great army toward Ca­bul, to support his pretensions. When he arrived in that city, he detached fifty thousand horse with a large train of artillery, under the conduct of prince Morâd, to the north. Nidder Mahommed, who had taken Balich and its district by force from the Usbecs, shut himself up in that city, where he was besieged by Morâd. Mahommed made but a poor defence; for he evacuated the place in a few days. Morâd entered the city in triumph. He protected the inhabitants from being plun­dered; and detached a party in pursuit of Mahommed. His own army fell, in the mean time, upon Mahommed; and hav­ing plundered him of sixty lacks of roupees, separated, and left him alone. The unfortunate prince had no resource but to fly his dominions, which were now over-run by the conquerors. He hoped to engage Persia in his interest, and he hastened to Ispahan. The prince Morâd, in the mean time, took all his towns and castles, at leisure: there was no enemy in the field, and scarce a garrison within the walls. Having left detachments of his army in the conquered countries, he moved toward the frontiers of the empire; and waited there for orders of recal.

Moràd dis­graced.The emperor having fixed his mind upon the complete conquest of Buduchshân and Balich, had no intention of withdrawing his army from these provinces. Morâd became impatient. He wrote letters to his father. He pretended want of health; he said he disliked the country; and he earnestly requested leave to re­turn. Shaw Jehân, knowing the real state of his son's health, was much offended at his request. He commanded him to remain in the north, to settle the country according to the instructions given to him, and not to attempt to enter the dominions of Hindostan without orders. Morâd having a violent inclination [Page 186] to be near the capital, in case of his father's death, and preferring the rich and fertile provinces of the south to the sterile regions of the north, obstinately disobeyed the emperor, left the army, and returned to Cabul. His father resented this undutiful beha­viour. He formally divested him of the government of Moul­tân, and of all his dignities, without admitting him into his presence. He at the same issued an edict, which banished Morâd to the mountains of Peshâwir. Sadulla the visier was sent to settle the affairs of the north.

Prince of the Usbecs slies 10 Persia.The fugitive prince Mahommed having arrived at Ispahan, was treated by Shaw Abas with great friendship and respect. He received at different times four lacks of roupees, for his subsistence. He, however, could obtain no aid. His applications were counter­acted by the ambassador of India; and, besides, the Persian was not fond of war. The bad success of Mahommed soured his temper. He spoke disrespectfully of Shaw Abas and his mini­sters. His subsistence was withdrawn, and he was reduced to great distress. Sadulla, in the mean time, settled the affairs of Balich. In the year 1646 he was recalled to court; and the em­peror returned to Lahore. Morâd, in the mean time, wrote letters of contrition to his father. He owned his error, and ex­pressed his grief. His friends solicited warmly in his favour. He was permitted to come to court; and, by his prudent manage­ment, he soon regained the affections of his father, who restored him to his dignities, and to the government of Moultân.

Usbecs in­vade Balich.When the prince of Balich was deserted by his own army, and obliged to take refuge in Persia, his son Abdul Azîz, who commanded a body of troops in another part of the province, threw himself under the protection of the northern Usbecs. The petty chieftains beyond the Oxus were induced, by promises of [Page 187] A.D. 1647 Hig. 1057 advantage to themselves, to join his small squadron; so that he soon found himself at the head of an army. He however could not cover his intentions of invading the conquered dominions of his father, from the Mogul garrison of Balich; who sent advices of the approaching storm to the emperor. That monarch issued or­ders to his son Aurungzêbe to leave Guzerât, and to hasten to take the command of the army in the north. The emperor himself marched to Cabul to sustain the operations of his son; whilst Dara commanded another army in the environs of Lahore. Shaw Jehân, upon this occasion, shewed an instance of his generosity. Two of the sons of the prince of Balich, together with some of his wives and daughters, had been taken prisoners in the war. The sons, he raised to the rank of nobles; and the women were treated with the decency and respect due to their quality.

Aurungzêbe sent against them.Aurungzêbe, who was fond of action, posted with great expedi­tion to Balich. He took the command of the troops upon his ar­rival; and he was informed that the enemy were, by that time, advanced to within a few miles of the place. He surveyed the works, and made temporary repairs; then devolving the command of the garrison upon Raja Mado Singh, he marched out against the Usbecs with the troops which had flocked in to his standard from the untenable posts in the province. Bahadur of the Rohilla tribe of Afgans, commanded the vanguard. Ali Murdan was stationed on the right wing, and Ziffer on the left. The prince himself, after having marshalled the field, took his post in the center. The enemy, seeing the good order and firmness of the Moguls, declined, for that day, to come to action. They, however, skirmished with small parties, whilst the main body retreated. Night coming on, Aurungzêbe lay on his arms.

[Page 188] He comes to action,When day-light appeared, the prince formed his line of march, and pursued the Usbecs. Several detachments of the enemy ho­vered round, and insulted him from time to time, whilst others turned his rear, and began to plunder a part of his baggage: the main body, in the mean time, began to form in his front. The prince detached parties from the line, who drove the flying squa­drons of the enemy from the field. He then drew up his forces in the same order as on the preceding day; but Ziffer, from exerting himself too much, was seized with a violent fever, and obliged to devolve his command on his son. He scarce had retired, when Abdul Azîz advanced upon the Imperialists with his whole force. Ziffer again mounted his horse, and when he returned to his post, he found his son in close engagement with the Usbecs. The ene­my advanced with redoubled violence; but Ziffer, who now had resumed the command, stood his ground with great spirit and firm­ness, till he received nine wounds. He fell, with loss of blood, from his horse, and two of his sons covered him from the Usbecs, and carried him between their horses to the rear.

defeatsAbdul Azîz, in the mean time, with ten thousand Tartar horse, fell in, sword in hand, with Ali Murdan on the right. The con­test was fierce and bloody. The Tartars, proud of their native valour, despised the opposition of troops whom they deemed in­ferior to themselves; the Imperialists being chiefly composed of soldiers from the north, and better disciplined than the Tartars to war, stood their ground with great firmness, and checked the confident bravery of the enemy. Ali exhibited all the qua­lities of an able general, and valiant soldier: he sometimes encou­raged his troops by words, but oftener by example; and finding that the enemy charged in a deep column, he contracted and strengthened his line. The Usbecs were thrice repulsed; but de­feat only rendered them more desperate. In the fourth charge, [Page 189] the Imperialists were thrown into confusion; but they were ra­ther borne down than defeated. They were on the point of fly­ing; but Aurungzêbe came in to their aid.

the Usbecs▪The prince had been engaged in the center, where the action had not been so hot. Finding how affairs went on the right, he formed into a column, and advanced on full speed on the flank of Abdul Azîz. That chief, however, was ready to receive him. The shock was violent and bloody. A mighty shout arose on either side; and men seemed to forget they were mortal. The Usbec was at the last overpowered, and driven off the field with great slaughter. Aurungzêbe thought himself in possession of a com­plete victory; but the battle was not yet over. The enemy took a circuit round the right, where Ali was restoring the line of his broken squadrons, and fell upon the rear of the Imperialists. The vanguard had retired thither after the commencement of the action, and formed a line round the artillery which had been little used. Abdul Azîz attacked them with great violence, and drove them from the guns. Bahadur, who commanded the vanguard, rallied them, and sustained the charge till Aurungzêbe came up in full speed from the line. Abdul Azîz was again repulsed with great slaughter, and the remains of the Usbec army quitted the field in disorder.

and takes: their camp.The prince, after the action was over, advanced and took pos­session of the enemy's camp. It was now dark; and such an im­pression had the valour of the enemy made upon the Imperialists, that even the flight of the vanquished could not convince them of their victory. A panic seized the victors; frequent alarms dis­turbed the night; and, though fatigued and wearied, they lay sleep­less upon their arms. Morning appearing convinced them of their error, and discovered to them how much they had done, by [Page 190] the number of the slain. Ten thousand lay dead on the field. Many officers of distinction fell on the Imperial side; and Au­rungzêbe justly acquired great reputation from the fortunate end of such an obstinate battle.

They are dri­ven from Bu­duchshan.The Usbecs, under their gallant leader, being frustrated in their designs on Balich, by the signal victory obtained over them, fell upon the province of Buduchshân. Despairing of conquering that province, they laid it waste, and filled their rout with confusion, desolation, and death. Express upon express was sent to Cabul to the emperor; and he forthwith detached twenty thousand horse, under the prince Morâd, to expel the enemy. The Usbecs, weakened in the late bloody battle with Aurungzêbe, were in no condition to face Morâd. They fled be­fore that prince beyond the limits of the province, and left an un­disturbed conquest to the family of Timur.

They submit.Nidder Mahommed, who left the court of Persia upon advice of the invasion under his son, received on the way the news of the unfortunate battle, in which all his hopes were blasted. To contend longer in arms against Shaw Jehân was impossible: he therefore had recourse to submission and intreaty. He sent a letter to Aurungzêbe: ‘"To the emperor," said he, "I dare not write. But you, descended from the victorious line of sovereigns, who support, with your sword, their title to command the world, may find an opportunity of presenting the request of Mahommed among those of his meanest subjects; and he who confers happi­ness on mankind, will relent at the misfortunes of an exiled prince. Inform him, that Nidder Mahommed wishes to be num­bered among the servants of the King of Kings, and waits melan­choly on the skirts of his dominions to receive his answer."’ Au­rungzêbe sent the letter to his father. The emperor, moved by [Page 191] prudence as much as by pity for Mahommed, ordered his son to reinstate that prince in his sovereignty over his former domi­nions. It was difficult to defend such a distant frontier against the incursions of the Usbecs beyond the Oxus; and he made a merit of his policy, by restoring the provinces of Balich and Bu­duchshân to Mahommed, upon condition of receiving a small an­nual tribute. That prince being sick, sent his grandson Chusero to Aurungzêbe to sign the terms of this pacification.

Emperor re­turns to La­hore.The emperor, in the month of April of the year 1647, returned to Lahore; and Aurungzêbe, after the treaty was signed and ratified, joined his father in that city. He was ap­pointed to the government of Moultân, to which province he went, after remaining a very few days at court. The prince Suja was, at the same time, sent to command in the province of Cabul, to watch the motions of the Tartars on the northern frontier. The war with the Usbecs was undertaken through wan­tonness; and ended, though successful, with loss to the empire. Six millions were expended upon it out of the Imperial treasury, besides estates granted to the nobility to the value of one million more. The emperor had a puff of reputation for this enormous sum.

Jealous of his sons.Shaw Jehân, who became jealous of the abilities and ambition of his sons, repented sincerely of having raised them to the first offices of the state, and to the government of the richest provinces of the empire. They had hitherto maintained a shew of implicit obedience; but the nation looked up to their power and conse­quence, and seemed apparently to divide themselves into parties in their favour. To prevent them from taking a stronger hold of the affections of the people, he removed them from one province to another, to prevent an increase in their popularity, and to inure [Page 192] A.D. 1648 Hig. 1058 them to obedience. In the midst of this policy, the complying weakness of the father prevailed over the prudence of the mo­narch. None of his sons liked the northern provinces. They suited not with their pride, and they were not fit for their ambition. They were destitute of treasure to acquire dependants: they abounded not in lucrative employments to gratify friends. Morâd, by an act of disobedience, had quitted the north: Au­rungzêbe, by his address, was permitted to leave it; and Suja, by his friends at court, wrought so much upon the emperor, that he was removed from Cabul to the government of Bengal.

Resides at Delhi.The emperor, ever fond of sestivals, found an opportunity of exhibiting his generosity and hospitality, upon finishing the re­pairs of the city of Delhi. Seven hundred and fifty thousand pounds had been laid out on the Imperial palace; in which the em­peror mounted the throne of his ancestors, on the first of April of the year 1648. The nobility paid their compliments with mag­nificent presents; and their ladies waited with gifts of value, up­on the most favoured of the emperor's wives. During nine days, the whole city, as well as the court, were entertained at the public expence. Magnificent dresses were distributed among the great officers; and several new Omrahs, among whom were the two sons of prince Dara, were created. Hamid, one of the dis­ciples of the great Abul Fazil, presented, upon the occasion, to the emperor, a history of the first ten years of his reign, and re­ceived a princely present.

Promotions.The emperor remained at Delhi nine months, and returned to Lahore in the end of December the same year. Soon after his arrival in that latter city, he raised the visier to the rank of seven thousand; and gratified him, at the same time, with the government of Behâr, which he was permitted to hold by deputy. [Page 193] A.D. 1649 Hig. 1059 The abilities of this lord in his high deportment, and, above all, his unintriguing disposition, if the expression may be used, re­commended him in the highest degree to his master. He never sought a favour of the emperor; and he conferred none without his permission. His assiduity to please consisted in his undeviating attention to business; and he gained the affections of his prince, by making him believe, that he was the sole spring which moved all the affairs of his own empire. The vanity of Shaw Jehân in­duced him to wish that every thing were done by himself; and the prudent visier did not, by his obvious interference, deprive him of the reputation which he strove to maintain. On the same day that Sadulla was promoted to the government of Behâr, the prince Morâd was raised to that of the Decan. The emperor, though fond of his son, distrusted his natural impetuosity and fire: he therefore committed the charge of the army on the frontiers to Shaw Nawâz, the father-in-law of Morâd himself. Without the consent of this lord, Morâd was not to attempt any thing of ma­terial concern to the empire.

Persians take Candahâr.Though the Imperial ambassador, who had been sent to congra­tulate Shaw Abâs the Second on his accession to the throne, had been well received at Ispahan, the court of Persia had not relinquished their pretensions to the city of Candahâr. The ar­rangements necessary to restore the kingdom to order, after the ty­ranny of Shaw Sesi, had hitherto engaged their attention; and the numerous armies employed by Shaw Jehân on his northern fron­tiers against the Usbecs, rendered it imprudent to break with him, till they were withdrawn. After the pacisication with the prince of Balich, the greater part of the Imperial army had been removed to the south, and a fair field was left for th designs of Shaw Abas. That monarch accordingly, in the year 1648, marched with a great force toward Candahâr; but the news [Page 194] of his preparations for the expedition had been previously carried to Lahore. Shaw Jehân, who had arrived in that city toward the close of the year, detached fifty thousand of his troops under the visier to cover Candahâr. The prince Aurungzêbe joined that minister with the forces stationed in his province of Moul­tân; but before they arrived, the city was surrendered to the Persians by capitulation. Shaw Abas left ten thousand mus­queteers to garrison the place, and retreated with the rest of his army.

Aurungzêbe besieges it in vain.Aurungzêbe and Sadulla invested the place in the March of 1649. The siege continued more than three months before a practicable breach was made; and the Imperialists, in a general assault, were repulsed with great loss. The prince, however, did not raise the siege: he continued his approaches, but he made very little progress toward taking of the place. Winter was now approaching, and the weather began to be already very severe in that high country. There was a great scarcity of forage and provisions; and the warlike stores were exhausted. The emperor, being ap­prized of the state of his army, ordered the siege to be raised; and Aurungzêbe, without laurels, returned toward Lahore.

Defeats the Persiants.Nizier Ali, the Persian governor of Candahâr and Murtizi, who commanded an army of observation on the frontiers of that pro­vince, having joined their forces, fell on the rear of the Imperial­ists in their retreat. Aurungzêbe behaved, upon the occasion, with his usual spirit and conduct. He fell upon the assailants in the flank, with a column of cavalry, which he had filed off from his front, when he first observed the enemy. The Persians were repulsed with considerable slaughter. Though defeated, they were not however intimidated. Being reinforced from Candahâr, they hovered round the Imperial army; and, after a few days, formed [Page 195] A.D. 1650 Hig. 1060 their line and offered battle. Aurungzêbe did not decline to come to action. The shock was from wing to wing; and the contest was long and bloody. The prince owed the victory which he ob­tained to the bravery of Rustum, one of his generals, who com­manded the reserve, consisting of two thousand horse. Rustum, when the prince was on the point of quitting the field, fell on the the enemy sword in hand, and threw them into confusion. Au­rungzêbe, in the mean time, restored his ranks, and returned to the charge. The Persians fled, and were pursued twenty miles beyond the field; and the prince returned, with unexpected glory, to the emperor, who set out soon after the arrival of his son for Agra.

Usbecs apply for aid.The Usbec Tartars beyond the Oxus, taking advantage of the debilitated state of Nidder Mahommed, who had not recovered from the blow given to his power by the conquest of his country by the Imperialists, invaded the dominions of that prince. Ma­hommed applied, in the character of a vassal, to the emperor, who was so well pleased with this mark of his submission, that he sent him a very considerable sum of money, which was the prin­cipal thing wanted. The escort sent with the treasure to Ba­lich, conveyed his women and children to Mahommed; but two of his sons, Chusero and Byram, who had been created nobles of the empire, remained from choice in India. Many marks of the emperor's favour were conferred on the family of Mahom­med. An honorary dress was given to each, together with a considerable sum of money. Nor had their education been neg­lected. Masters had been appointed to teach the young princes; and the daughters were instructed in the suitable accomplishments of their sex.

[Page 196] A.D. 1651 Hig. 1061 Morâd remo­ved from the Decan.The prince Morâd, as before related, had been sent, un­der the tuition of his father-in-law, into the Decan. Proud, haughty, and full of fire, he could not bear, with patience, the controul of that lord. He possessed abilities, and he knew it; and he considered it as an insupportable hardship to have the name, without the power of government. He, upon many occasions, neglected the counsel given him by Shaw Nawâz; but at last he added insult to contempt. ‘"Know you not," said he one day to his father-in-law, "that even you, who attempt to command me, are, by the Imperial commission, subject to my government. Behave yourself, therefore, as the humble adviser, not as the proud dictator of my measures."’ Shaw Nawâz was enraged at this dis­respect; and he wrote letters of complaint to the emperor, who, without further examination, removed his son from the govern­ment of the Decan. He, however, conferred upon him that of Cabul, and removed Ali Murdan to the government of Cash­mire.

Aurungzêbe besiegesMorâd, impatient in every station, did not long keep the government of Cabul. Aurungzêbe, by the command of the emperor, made preparations for re-commencing the siege of Can­dahâr. Morâd, instead of assisting him with the troops stationed in his own province, threw every obstacle in his way; and pre­tended that the necessary service required all the troops under his command. To Aurungzêbe's commission for taking his choice of all the troops in the northern provinces, his brother opposed his own commission for the absolute command of the forces in Cabul. Au­rungzêbe wrote to the emperor; and Morâd was ordered into the province of Malava. Upon his removal, his brother col­lected an army. The visier joined him with fifty thousand horse from the south, escorting five hundred camels loaded with treasure to pay the army, five hundred with arms, and two [Page 197] A.D. 1652 Hig. 1062 thousand with other warlike stores. The retaking of Candahâr engrossed so much of the emperor's attention, that he himself made a progress to Cabul to support the besiegers. Channa-Zâd, the son of Asiph Jâh, was upon this occasion raised to the office of paymaster-general of the forces. Prince Suja came from his go­vernment of Bengal to pay his respects to his father, soon after his arrival at Cabul.

Candahâr in vain.The preparations for the siege of Candahâr took up a consider­able time. Aurungzêbe did not appear before it, till the month of January 1652. He invested the place on all sides, and began to make his approaches in form. But his gunners were bad, and his engineers, if possible, worse. The siege continued two months and eight days, without any impression being made on the city. All the warlike stores were at length exhausted; the army was discouraged, from seeing no end to their toil. The prince was ashamed; and the positive orders of his father recalled him to Cabul. Shaw Jehân, after all his expence and idle parade, return­ed, without having effected any thing material, to Agra. In that city his first business was to promote his children and nobles to honours and governments. Solimân, the son of Dara, was raised to the dignity of eight thousand horse, and sent to the go­vernment of Cabul. Aurungzêbe was ordered back to the Decan. Dara, who held Guzerât by deputy, was removed to Moultân: Suja returned to Bengal; and Shaista Chan, one of the sons of the late visier, was promoted to the government of Guzerât, in the room of Dara.


Dara's jealousy of Aurungzêbe—His bad success before Candahâr—Raised to a part of the Imperial power—Rebellion of the Rana—Rise and character of Jumla—Death of the visier—War in Gol­conda—Exploits of Mahommed the son of Anrungzêbe—War and reduction of Bijapour—Sickness of the emperor—Too great vio­lence of Dara—Emperor removes to Agra—Recovers—Dara in high favour—Carries all before him at court.

Dara's jea­lousy of Au­rungzebe.THOUGH Shaw Jehân, by his great attention upon every occasion to Dara, had convinced his subjects of his design to appoint him his successor in the throne, that prince was jealous of the growing reputation of Aurungzêbe. The latter, in his frequent expeditions at the head of armies, found various opportunities of gaining friends, by the places of honour and profit which he had, by his commission, to bestow; and he was not of a disposition to relinquish by negligence, the influence which he had acquired by favours. Cool, subtle, and self-denied, he covered his actions with such an appearance of honest sincerity, that men imputed his attention to their own merit, and not to his designs. The penetrating eye of his father had pierced the veil which he had thrown over his ambition; but the implicit obe­dience which Aurungzêbe paid to all his commands flattered him into a kind of oblivion of his former observations on the duplicity of his character. Dara had carried his jealousy of Aurungzêbe into a kind of aversion to his person. He envied him when suc­cessful; [Page 199] and he triumphed over his misfortunes: but his exulta­tion was as secret as his hatred, as both proceeded from fear, a passion which his soul disdained to own.

His unsuc­cessful expe­dition against Candahâr.Aurungzêbe having twice miscarried in his attempts on Canda­hâr, Dara wished to gather laurels where his rival had fail­ed. He applied to his father for an army: insinuating, that the bad success which attended his brother, proceeded from his want of knowledge and conduct. A very large sum was issued from the Imperial treasury; and the army and artil­lery in the provinces beyond the Indus were submitted to the command of Dara. That prince invested Candahâr. The siege continued five months, without any impression being made. The stores were at last exhausted, the troops were dispirited, and Dara found himself under the necessity of retreating with loss of repu­putation. Shaw Jehân was silent upon the occasion; and even Aurungzêbe, who triumphed in secret over Dara's disappoint­ment, attributed, in his conversation, this fresh miscarriage to the strength of the place, more than to his brother's want of abilities in war.

He is so­lemnly ap­pointed suc­cessor to the emperor.The unsuccessful expedition to Candahâr did not shake the emperor's design in favour of Dara. He foresaw the tumult and disorder which were likely to arise from the ambition of his younger sons after his death; and he resolved to habituate them, in his lifetime, to the authority of their elder brother. Having ordered all the nobles to attend the presence; he descended from his throne, took Dara by the hand, and placed him under the Imperial conopy; commanding the lord of the requests to read aloud an edict, changing the name of Dara into that of Shaw Belind Akbal, or THE EMPEROR OF EXALTED FORTUNE. ‘"Behold," said Shaw Jehân, "your future prince! Upon him [Page 200] we leave the support of the reputation and honour of the family of Timur."’ Nor was this merely a ceremony. He devolved on Dara a part of the Imperial power; and made an allowance of more than two millions a-year, for the expences of his house­hold.

A Turkish embassy.Soon after this solemn appointment of Dara to the succession, Shaw Jehân made a progress of pleasure to the city of Ajmere. During his residence in that place, Zulsikar Aga, the Turkish ambassador, arrived from Bussora at Surat. He was received with the usual honours, and escorted by a party of the Imperial cavalry to court. The presents which he brought to the emperor were rather curious and rare, than valuable. He was treated with the highest distinction; a table was kept for him at the public ex­pence; and he was gratified with a considerable present in money for his own private use. He remained for some months in Hin­dostan; and Caim Beg, an Omrah of distinction, returned with him to Constantinople, on the part of the emperor.

Marâja re­bels, and is reduced.The Marâja, who owed his throne to an Imperial decision against his elder brother, the unfortunate Amar Singh, forgot, about this time, the gratitude which he owed to Shaw Jehân. He stopt the payment of the stipulated tribute, and began to fortify the strong city of Chitôr. The emperor detached thirty thousand horse, under Sadulla the visier, to chastise him for his insolence, and to demolish the works. The Hindoo prince hung out the flag of desiance, and the visier invested Chitôr. Parties were at the same time, detached on all sides to lay waste the open country. The refractory prince had not the spirit necessary to support his rebellion. He sent, on the eleventh day, to Sadulla a most sub­missive overture of peace. The minister referred him to the emperor, who still remained at Ajmere; but that monarch would [Page 201] A.D. 1656 Hig. 1066 not receive the letters. Orders were sent to prosecute the siege with vigour; and to give no terms. The Maraja, in this extre­mity, found means to convey a present to Dara. That prince softened his father's resentment; and the Maraja, upon paying the expence of the war, was reinstated in his hereditary dominions.

Rise and character of Jumla.The most memorable transaction of the year was the promotion of Mahommed Jumla, to the rank of five thousand horse. He was recommended to the emperor by the prince Aurungzêbe; and as he is to make a great figure in the sequel of the history, there is a propriety in premising something concerning his origin and gradual rise. Jumla was a Persian, born in Ardistan, a village in the neighbourhood of Ispahan. His parents, though of some rank, were extremely poor: he, however, found means to acquire some knowledge of letters, which circumstance procured for him the place of clerk to a diamond merchant, who made frequent journies to Golconda. In that kingdom he quitted his master's service, traded on his own account, and acquired a considerable fortune, which enabled him to purchase a place at the court of Cuttub, sovereign of Tellingana. In that station he behaved so well that he attracted the notice of his prince, who raised him to a considerable rank in the army. His military promotion opened a field for the abilities of Jumla. He yielded to few in conduct; in courage to none. He rose by his merit to the head of the forces of Tellingana. He led the army into the Carnatic; and, in a war which continued six years, reduced that country to subjection. But when he conquered for his sovereign, he acquired wealth for himself. Cuttub wishing to share with his general in the spoil, disobliged him; and he attached himself to the fortunes of Aurungzêbe, who then commanded for his father in the con­quered provinces of the Decan. The prince, who was an excel­lent judge of character, saw something extraordinary in Jumla. [Page 202] He found him, upon trial, a fit instrument for his ambition; and he exerted all his influence at court in his favour.

Promotions.Soon after the promotion of Jumla, the eldest son of the prince Suja was sent by his father from Bengal to pay his re­spects to the emperor. Shaw Jehân, naturally fond of his po­sterity, was struck with the accomplishments of his grandson; and raised him to the rank of seven thousand horse. To avoid giving umbrage to Dara, always jealous of distinctions bestowed on his brothers, Cipper Shekô, the second son of that prince, was promoted to the same rank of nobility. A magnificent festival was given on the occasion; at which the dependants of the two dignified princes assisted. Though jealousy prevailed in private between the posterity of Shaw Jehân, in public there was nothing but harmony and affection: Dara who, with the state of an em­peror, possessed also a part of the power, treated the son of Suja with distinction and respect. His fears of the ambition of Aurungzêbe absorbed all his suspicions concerning the designs of his other brothers. Suja, who was a man of pleasure, was not so formidable as the hypocritical austerity of Aurungzêbe; and the open valour of Morâd, without the necessary balance of prudence, was not an object of serious terror.

Death and character of the [...]isier.On the twentieth of February 1656, the visier died, after a short illness. He was forty-seven years of age at the time of his decease. His assiduity and ability in business recommended him, in an uncommon degree, to the emperor's affections; and the bier of the minister was bathed with the tears of his prince. His parts were rather solid than shining: industry and indefa­tigable perseverance made up for the defects of his genius. Ex­perience rendered him master of the detail of finance; and he was by habit conversant in the inferior intrigues, which are the [Page 203] springs of actions of moment. His mind was too much circum­scribed in its powers, to comprehend, at one view, the great line of public affairs; but he could execute with precision what he could not plan with judgment. He was fond of military fame, but he was unsuccessful in the field; though neither deficient in conduct nor distitute of courage. Superstition, which was none of the follies of the age, was the greatest defect in his character; and his sanctity was said to be frequently a cloke for dishonourable deeds.

War in Gol­conda.The influence of Jumla with Aurungzêbe, was the source of a new war in the Decan, though another cause was assigned, to reconcile the emperor to the measure. Cuttub Shaw, sovereign of Tellingana and of a great part of Golconds, had, upon the desertion of Jumla, imprisoned the son of that lord, and seized upon his wealth. Aurungzêbe complained, in repeated letters, of Cuttub to his father; alleging, that he was dilatory in the pay­ment of his annual tribute to the empire. He therefore applied for leave to bring the refractory prince to reason by force. The emperor, jealous of his authority, gave permission for the march of an army into the dominions of Cuttub. Mahommed, the eldest son of Aurungzêbe, commanded in this expedition; a brave, an obstinate, and a haughty prince, not to be swayed from his purpose either by argument or fear.

Mahommed the son of AurungzêbeMahommed, at the head of twenty thousand horse, entered suddenly the dominions of Cuttub; and that prince, expecting nothing less than hostilities, was totally unprepared for war. He sent messengers to the camp of the Imperialists; and paid down the arrears of the tribute. He, at the same time, released Amîn, the son of Jumla; and endeavoured to sooth Mahommed with rich presents. This, however, was not the sole object of the expedi­tion [Page 204] of the Imperialists. The fortune of Jumla was still in the hands of Cuttub. A just restitution was demanded; and the lat­ter in vain objected, that the accounts between him and Jumla were not settled; and, therefore, that till they were adjusted, he could form no judgment of the sum which ought to be paid. Ma­hommed continued obstinate, and advanced to the gates of Hydra­bad. When things appeared ready to come to extremities, a few chests of money and some caskets of jewels were delivered by Cuttub, as the whole wealth of Jumla. Amîn made greater claims in the name of his father; and the prince, offended at the prevarica­tions of Cuttub, ordered him to come out of the city to do him homage, as the grandson of his emperor and lord.

takes Hydra­bad,The pride of Cuttub was still greater than his avarice. His mind revolted against the very idea of homage; and his rage overcame his prudence. Mahommed entered Hydrabâd. Death and confusion filled every street, and the city was submitted to the ravages of fire and sword. The spoils was great, but the destruc­tion was immense. The avarice of the Imperialists was defeated by their fury. The flames moved quicker than depredation; so that except silver, gold, and jewels, which neither the rage of men nor of fire could destroy, nothing of value remained to the con­querors.

and deseats the king of Golconda,Cuttub, from this scene of slaughter, tumult, and ruin, fled to the old city of Golconda, which stood about six miles from Hy­drabâd. A number of his troops and many of the citizens fol­lowed their sovereign. Mahommed immediately invested Gol­conda. Cuttub, in his distress, resolved to try the fortune of the field. He accordingly marched out with six thousand horse, twelve thousand foot, and a great rabble of half-armed men, to [Page 205] give battle to the Imperialists. The affair was soon decided. Cuttub was defeated; and the enemy entered the city at his heels. The horrors of war were renewed in every form. Mahommed waded through blood; Cuttub threw himself at his feet, but he was not to be appeased by submission. The unfortunate prince at length produced his beautiful daughter, Rizia, to the victor, and he sheathed his sword. He married her in form, and a mag­nificent festival was held to celebrate the nuptials. Mirth was mixed with sorrow; and pageants of joy with the solemn funerals of the dead.

Returns to Brampour.Mahommed, after finishing with more good fortune than repu­tation the war with Cuttub, returned to his father, who resided at Brampour. Aurungzêbe wrote a pompous account of the suc­cess of his son to the emperor; and that monarch raised him to the rank of eleven thousand horse. Shaista, the son of the late visier Asiph, was second in command in the expedition against Hydrabâd; and he, as a reward for his services, was dignified with the honours of six thousand horse. Jumla, who had hitherto remained with Aurungzêbe at Brampour, charged himself with the letters of that prince to his father. His son Amîn attended him to court; and both were received with distinguished marks of kindness and esteem. His knowledge and abilities recom­mended Jumla, in a high degree. The place of visier was vacant by the death of Sadulla, and notwithstanding the re­monstrances of Dara, who was averse to Jumla on account of his attachment to Aurungzêbe, that lord was invested with the highest office in the empire. The avarice of the emperor joined issue, in this promotion, with the merit of Jumla. When he received the seals, the presents which he made amounted to more than sixty thousand pounds of our money.

[Page 206] A.D. 1657 Hig. 1067 War with Adil Shaw.The emperor, soon after the promotion of Jumla, took a tour of pleasure toward the north. Having hunted for some time in the forests on the banks of the Ganges, he returned to Agra; and, upon his arrival, received intelligence of the death of Adil, king of Bijapour. The principal officers at the court of Adil, without asking permission of the emperor, raised the son of the deceased to the throne. This conduct was highly resented by Shaw Jehân, who considered the dominions of Bijapour as an appendage of the empire. The expedient upon which he fell, was, in some mea­sure, the source of his misfortunes. The new visier was or­dered with twenty thousand horse into Bijapour, to depose the son of Adil, till he should make his submissions in the Imperial presence. Amîn, who was his father's deputy in his high office, remained at court to carry on the business of that department.

Death and character of Ali Murdan.In the month of November of the year 1656, died Ali Murdan, the nominal captain-general of the Imperial forces, on his return from Agra to his province of Cashmire. His defection from his sovereign, the emperor of Persia, and his delivering up the im­portant fortress of Candahâr, had highly recommended him to Shae Jehân; and he had abilities to keep the favour which he had once acquired. The designs of Shaw Sefi against his life, were a sufficient apology for his revolt from that prince; and the fidelity with which he served his benefactor, is a proof that necessity was the sole cause of his treachery. He was ra­ther a dignified than a great character; more sit for the fatigues of the sield than for the intrigues of the closet. He was a faith­ful servant to his prince, a constant and unshaken friend, an active and a gallant officer. A love of money, which did not amount to absolute avarice, was the greatest defect of his mind; but, were we to judge from the number of his dependants, he was possessed of a generous disposition. Being always absent from court in [Page 207] the government of various provinces, he had no opportunity for expending his vast income; and he therefore amassed great wealth. The emperor became the heir of his fortune, which, in money and jewels, amounted to one million eight hundred and seventy-five thousand pounds.

Expedition into Bijapour.Intelligence of the march of Jumla flew before him to the kingdom of Bijapour. Ali, the visier of the deceased Adil, who had raised the son of that prince to the throne, had foreseen the strom which was now gathering over his head. He levied forces; he fortified his dismantled castles and towns. Jumla, in the mean time, advanced to Brampour. Aurungzêbe joined him with his forces; and, with his usual affected humility, pretended to submit himself to the command of his father's visier. That minister, however, was too much attached to the interests of the prince to avail himself of his modesty; and though Jumla bore the name of commander in chief, the orders of Aurungzêbe were only issued and obeyed. The greatest harmony subsisted between them; for they reckoned this present expedition as a fortunate prelude to their future designs.

Siege of Bider.The rapid march of the Imperialists disconcerted the measures of Ali. He had collected an army, but it was too small and the troops too raw to risque the fortune of the field. He threw a numerous garrison into Bider, which is one of the strongest places in Hindostan. With a body of cavalry he himself harassed the enemy, leaving the command at Bider to Jân Jissi; who had been thirty years governor of that important fortress. Aurungzêbe arriving before Bider, reconnoitred it with great attention and care. He foresaw the difficulty which would attend a siege; and he endeavoured, by bribes and large promises, to corrupt the fide­lity of Jissi. That old officer rejected his proposals with indig­nation [Page 208] and disdain; and the prince, despairing of success by in­trigue, prepared to ensure it by force: he accordingly made his approaches to Bider.

That city taken.On the twenty-seventh day of the siege, a mine being sprung, a practicable breach was made in the first wall. Aurungzêbe, wishing to make a lodgment within the wall, ordered an assault. It happened that one of the principal magazines of the place was under a great bastion in the second wall, opposite to the breach. The besieged having expended all their granadoes and ammunition in repelling the attack, this magazine was thrown open, that they might supply themselves with more. A rocket by accident fell near the door of the magazine, upon some powder that had been scattered there in the confusion. It took fire, and communicating with the magazine, blew up the bastion, which was covered with people, and destroyed the greatest part of the garrison, who had been drawn together into that place to oppose the enemy. The governor and his three sons were numbered among the dead. The assailants, in the mean time, suffered considerably from the explosion. The whole place was exposed. The Imperialists took advantage of the consternation of the surviving part of the enemy. A thick darkness, occasioned by the smoke and dust, covered Bider: Aurungzêbe rushed over the ruins; and when light began to appear, he found himself in the midst of the citadel. Though there was no resistance, death ravaged all around him; for even his authority could not appease, for some time, the rage of the troops.

Adil Shaw defeated,Ali, who had looked on Bider as impregnable, had deposited in that city the greatest part of his young sovereign's wealth; and Aurungzêbe acquired an immense treasure as well as an unex­pected reputation, from the capture of the place. The minister, [Page 209] though struck with the loss of his strongest fortress, did not give all his hopes away. He collected a numerous army of Abyssinian mercenaries under the walls of Kilburga; and placed the prince at their head. Aurungzêbe despised the enemy too much to march against him in person. He detached twenty thousand horse, under the command of Mohâbet, toward Kilburga; whilst he himself sat down before Kallian, which, after a siege of a few weeks, fell into his hands. Mohâbet, in the mean time, came to battle with Ali, and defeated his mercenary army with great slaughter. Aurungzêbe himself arrived in the camp soon after the battle, and invested Kilburga, where the fugitives had taken refuge.

and submits.Kilburga was large and well fortified. The garrison was nu­merous, and made frequent sallies. They at length issued forth with their whole force, came to battle, and were driven back into into the city with great slaughter. These repeated efforts weak­ened those within; but one of the generals of young Adil, who commanded a body of horse, was very active in harassing from without, the Imperial army. He cut off their convoys; and a scarcity prevailed in their camp. Aurungzêbe, however, was not to be driven from his designs. He carried on the siege with un­abating diligence; and, having made a practicable breach in the walls, he took Kilburga by assault on the eleventh of June 1657. Adil, led by his minister Ali, threw himself at the feet of the conqueror. The tribute of Bijapour was fixed at one million eight hundred and seventy-five thousand pounds; and a great sum toward defraying the expence of the war, was paid down by Adil. He, at the same time, was obliged to give up his strongest forts, and to settle estates upon some of the adherents of Aurungzêbe. That prince having changed the name of the city of Bider to that [Page 210] of Zifferabad, or the City of Victory, returned in triumph to Bram­pour, the seat of his government.

Plans con­certed be­tween the visier and Aurungzebe.Jumla, the visier of the empire, remained in the army during the war against Bijapour. After the taking of Bider, the name of Aurungzêbe appeared first in the commission for commanding the army. The attachment and gratitude of Jumla to that prince, induced him to request the emperor to confer upon him the honour as well as the power in the expedition. The measure besides was favourable to their concerted plans of ambition. Shaw Jehân was now become aged; and his excesses in venery had weakened his constitution. The scene of ambition was not dis­tant; and Aurungzêbe, who had opened his whole soul to Jumla, had concerted all his future measures with that lord. Orders, in the mean time, arrived, for the visier to return to court. Hav­ing sworn fidelity and secrecy to one another, the prince and the minister parted at the gates of Brampour.

Emperor falls [...]ck.On the seventeenth of September 1657, Shaw Jehân was sud­denly seized, in the city of Delhi, with a paralytic disorder, ac­companied with a violent strangury. He remained in a state of insensibility for several days, and all hopes of his recovery va­nished. But by the copious bleeding prescribed by his physicians, he was at length relieved. His disorder, however, returned, though not with the same violence; and, on the occasion, the customary edict for the remission of the taxes due for the year, when the life of the emperor is in danger, was issued, with the usual formalities. Large sums were, at the same time, given to the poor, and to Fakiers of reputed sanctity, for their prayers to Heaven for the recovery of Shaw Jehân. The mosques were filled with the devout; and the people in general expressed un­feigned [Page 211] grief at the danger of a monarch, under whose auspicious reign they had enjoyed protection and happiness. All business was suspended in Delhi. Silence prevailed over the whole place; except when that silence was broken by anxious enquiries con­cerning the emperor's health. Shaw Jehân was a stranger to the interest which he possessed in the hearts of his subjects, till he fell into a disease which was thought mortal by all.

Dara assumes the govern­ment.The emperor being by his disorder rendered incapable of giving any attention to business, the management of public affairs fell into the hands of Dara. His father had prepared for an accident which might occasion a suspension of government. An edict had some time before been issued, bearing that the signet of Dara should be considered as equally valid with that of the emperor, through all the dominions of the house of Timur. The prince, however, till Shaw Jehân fell ill, made no use of this extraordi­nary power. When his father became insensible, Dara mounted the throne. Warm, vehement, and precipitate, he acted the sovereign with too much violence. He issued out a public order, that no person whatever should presume, under pain of death, to hold any correspondence with his brothers, upon the present posture of affairs. The agents of Aurungzêbe and Morâd at court, were seized, with their papers, and imprisoned. The mo­ney in their hands, on account of the princes, was locked up; and, in short, the whole conduct of Dara betrayed the most vio­lent suspicions of the designs of his brothers.

His violence.The suspension of the visier was among Dara's first acts of power. He suspected his sidelity, as being raised to his office by the influence of Aurungzêbe. An Indian prince, by the title of Rai Raiân, was made temporary visier; for the commissions given by Dara were limited expressly to the time of the empe­ror's [Page 212] illness. The prince, in the mean time, ordered all the nobles into the hall of presence. He explained to them, with unfeigned tears, the hopeless condition of the emperor. He hinted the ambition of his brothers; and the dangers which would arise to the empire from a civil war. ‘"The emperor," said he, "more from an idea of justice, than from any superior affection to me, has appointed me his successor in the throne; and I find, in my own mind, no inclination to relinquish what Heaven and my father have thrown into my hands. Those, therefore, who will show the earliest zeal in my support, shall command my gratitude. Be explicit and open, as I always am; and resolve to continue faithful. Such of you as owe favours to my brothers, will not serve me with zeal. Let them, therefore, in their prudence, retire to their houses. I want not their pretended support; and I will not bear with their intrigues in favour of others."’ The wishes of the prince were commands. The lords, who had estates in Bengal, in Guzerat, and in the Decan, the governments of Suja, Morâd, and Aurung­zêbe, to avoid suspicion, confined themselves at home.

Emperor carried to Agra.On the eighteenth of October, the emperor being much reco­vered of his disorder, was placed by his son in a barge, which was ordered gradually to fall down the Jumna to Agra. The army and court moved along the banks of the river, with slow marches, under the command of Dara; who, though he passed the most of his time with his father, spent the night always ashore. Several arrangements were made in the greater offices, during this pro­gress. Chilulla was sent back to the government of Delhi; and Danismund was turned out of his office of paymaster-general of the Imperial forces. Amîn, the son of Jumla, had found means to recommend himself to Dara; and, notwithstanding that prince's aversion to his father, the son was raised to the vacant office of Danismund.

[Page 213] Hig. 1068 Recovers.The tour from Delhi was recommended to the emperor, for the re-establishment of his health; and he gradually recovered on the way. On the 16th of November 1657, he arrived at a palace in the country near Agra, and he continued daily to mend, till the 7th of February 1658, on which day he entered Agra in perfect health. The populace, who had exhibited their affection in silent sorrow during his illness, crowded round him with tumultuous joy. His heart was opened at the shouts of his people; and he ordered con­siderable sums to be distributed among the poorer fort. The first thing he did after his arrival in the Imperial palace, was to en­quire for Jumla, the late visier. He was, however, told that, during his illness, that lord had applied to him for leave to proceed to the Decan, and that the leave had been granted. He sent for Dara. The prince appeared before him; and was se­verely reprimanded, for dismissing so able a man from an office which demanded abilities. ‘"But Jumla," said he, "must be dis­graced, since you will have it so. Dara is to be my successor in the throne; and the authority of the heir of the empire must not be diminished, by the restoration of men whom he has dismissed in his displeasure."’

Favour for Dara,Dara had bestowed great attention and care on his father dur­ing his illness. He sat often, for whole nights, by his side; and watched the very motion of his eye, to supply him in all his wants. When the emperor was at the point of death, the prince dropt unfeigned tears; and he could not suppress his joy when the first dawn of his father's recovery appeared. But if Dara's silial piety was great, the emperor's gratitude was not less. He exhibited to his son unbounded testimonies of his affection and regard. He raised him to the honours of sixty thousand horse; and, in one day, gave him jewels to the value of one hundred thousand pounds, twelve hundred thousand in specie, and an order upon cer­tain [Page 214] A.D. 1658 revenues to the amount of three millions more. Three hun­dred Arabian horses, with rich furnitures, and a number of elephants were, at the same time, bestowed on the prince by the lavish hand of his father. ‘"He who prefers the life of an aged parent," said Shaw Jehân, "to the throne of India, can never be sufficiently paid for his filial piety."’

who carries all before him at court.Though Dara laid down the name of authority at the recovery of his father, his influence was equal to actual power. Solimân Shekô, his eldest son, was appointed to the command of ten thousand horse, to suppress some disturbances in the province of Allahabâd; his second son, Cipper Shekô, was raised to the government of Behâr; and Bahadur was sent as the deputy of the prince, to manage the affairs of the province. The Rana, Jesswint Singh, who adhered to the interest of Dara, was raised to a higher degree of nobility. All means were used to attach the affections of the grandees to the heir-apparent. Jaffier Chan, known long for his abilities, was placed in the high office of visier; Mohâbet was sent to the government of Cabul, on account of his hatred to Aurungzêbe; and the Rana, who had been saved from destruction at the intercession of Dara, was gratified with the rich and exten­sive province of Malava.


Cause of the civil war—Character of the Emperor's sons—Dara—Suja—Aurungzêbe—Morâd—Suja takes the field—Defeated by Solimân the son of Dara—Morâd rebels in Guzerat—Aurungzêbe in the Decan—Marches to Brampour—Battle of the Nirbidda—Preparations and obstinacy of Dara—Opposes Aurungzêbe—To­tally defeated near Agra—Reflections.

Cause of the civil wars.SHAW Jehân, after a reign of thirty years of prosperity, found himself suddenly involved in trouble and misfortune. The storm had been long gathering: it was foreseen, but nothing could prevent it from falling. The emperor, with abilities for business, was addicted to pleasure; and, though he was decisive in the present moment, he was improvident of the future. His affection for his sons was the source of the calamities which shook his empire. Pleased with their promising parts when young, he furnished them with opportunities for exerting their talents in the cabinet, as well as in the field; and when they became, by their own merit, objects of public attention, it was dangerous, if not impracticable, to reduce them into private stations. The unsettled system of succession to the crown, had rouzed their am­bition, and awakened their fears. They were to each other ob­jects of terror, as well as of envy. They all looked forward with anxiety to the death of their father; and each saw in that [Page 216] gloomy point, either a throne or a grave. Their hopes and fears increased with their growing age. They had provided themselves against the important event of his demise; and when he was seized with what was deemed a mortal disease, they broke forth at once from that silent respect, which their reverence for the person and authority of a parent had hitherto imposed on their minds.

Views of the emperor's sons.The means of ambition, which their respective ranks in the empire had placed in the hands of each of the sons of Shaw Jehân, were great; but their boldness to carry their schemes into execution was greater still. High-spirited and intrepid, they wished for no object which their natural courage durst not at­tempt to obtain: they were born for enterprize, and though be­yond measure ambitious, they loved danger more than power. Each was possessed of armies and of treasures: and, being rivals in fame as well as in influence, they lost all affection for one another, in the more violent passions of the mind. Dara, vested with his claim of primogeniture, as well as with his father's declaration in favour of his succession, construed the ambition of his brothers into rebellion. Suja, in possession of Bengal, was carried by his pride to the resolution of seizing the whole em­pire: Aurungzêbe covered his ambition with motives of religion; and the vehement Moràd arrogated all to himself by his courage. The figure which the brothers are to make in the succeeding sccnes, seems to demand a delincation of their respective charac­ters.

Character of Dara.Dara, the eldest son of Shaw Jehân, was polite in his conver­sation, affable, open and free. He was easy of access, acute in observation, learned, witty and graceful in all his actions. He pryed not into the secrets of others; and he had no secret him­self, [Page 217] but what he disdained to hide. He came fairly upon man­kind; he concealed nothing from them, and he expected that faith which he freely gave. Active, lively, and full of fire, he was personally brave; and he forgot misfortune in the vehe­mence of his mind; which, neglecting past evils, looked forward to future good. Though elevated with success, he never was dejected by bad fortune; and though no believer in a particular providence, he met with all the incidents of life as if they had been immoveably determined by Fate. In his public character, he was sometimes morose, frequently haughty, always obstinate, and full of pride. Self-sufficient in his opinions, he scarce could hear advice with patience; and all he required of his friends was implicit obedience to his commands. But, with this appear­ance of ill-nature, he was in his disposition humane and kind; for though he was often passionate, his rage was not destructive; and it passed suddenly away without leaving a trace of malice behind. In his private character Dara was, in every respect, un­exceptionable. He was an indulgent parent, a faithful husband, a dutiful son. When he returned at night to his family, the darkness which had covered his brow, throughout the day, was dispelled; his countenance was lightened up with joy, and his whole conversation displayed a peculiar serenity and benevolence of disposition. Though no enemy, from principle, to pleasure, he was naturally virtuous; and he filled up his leisure time with study, instead of those enervating indulgences, which render the princes of the East effeminate.

Of Suja.Suja was humane in his disposition, averse to cruelty, an enemy to oppression. In the execution of justice, he had no respect of persons but when the natural tenderness of his disposition gave his mind a bias toward the unfortunate. Though honest, like his brother Dara, he was not so open and free. He never told a [Page 218] falsehood; but he did not always tell the whole of the truth. He was more tranquil, more close and reserved than Dara; and he was more fitted for the intrigues of party, and that management which is necessary to direct the various passions of men to one point. He was generous to his friends; he did not disdain to hear their advice, though he for the most part followed his own judgment of things. He was fond of pomp and magnificence; and much addicted to the pleasures of the haram. Graceful and active in his own person, he loved in women that complete sym­metry of limbs which rendered himself the favourite of the sex; and he spared no expence in filling his seraglio with ladies re­markable for their beauty and accomplishments. In their society he spent too much of his time; but the warmth of his constitu­tion did not make him neglect the necessary affairs of life. Dur­ing his long government of Bengal, he won the affections of the people by the softness of his manners, and his exact and ri­gorous execution of justice; and the country flourished in com­merce and agriculture, under the protection which he invariably gave to industry. In battle he was brave; nor was he destitute of the talents necessary for a general; and we much attribute his misfortunes in the field to the effeminacy of his troops, more than to his own want of conduct.

Of Aurung­zêbe.The character of Aurungzêbe differed in every respect from those of his elder brothers. Destitute of that graceful appear­ance of person which rendered them popular as soon as seen, he acquired by address that influence over mankind, which nature had on them bestowed. In disposition serious and melancholy, he established an opinion of the solidity of his understanding, even among those who had no opportunity of being acquainted with his great talents. Pliant and accommodating in his man­ner, he gained mankind by flattering their pride; and he wrapt [Page 219] up his behaviour in such plausibility, that they attributed his at­tention to their own merit, more than to his designs. His com­mon conversation turned always on trifles. In affairs of moment he was reserved, crafty, and full of dissimulation. Religion, the great engine of political impostors, he professed in all its severity. With it he deceived the weak, and awed into a kind of reverence for his person, the greatest enemies of his power. Though not remarkable for humanity, he did not naturally delight in blood; but ambition was his darling passion, and before it vanished all the softer feelings of the soul. Fear, which renders other tyrants cruel, had no place in his breast; but that provident caution, which wishes to shut up every access to danger, made him care­less about the lives of his rivals. He had a particular talent for kindling dissentions among those who opposed his designs; and his art and cunning were more destructive to his enemies than his sword.

Of Morâd.Morâd, the youngest son of Shaw Jehân, was by constitution lively and full of fire. With too much levity for business, he gave up his time to mirth, action and amusement. He delighted in the chace; he was more fond of battle than of war. In rid­ing, in bending the bow, in throwing the lance, he met with few that could equal him in the armies which he commanded; and he was more desirous of carrying the palm in the manly ex­ercises of the field, than in the intrigues of the cabinet. He despised all cabals: he gloried in keeping nothing secret. He thought it beneath his dignity to command mankind by art; and he openly professed, that he disdained to owe distinction to any thing but the sword. ‘"To possess a throne by the will of a pa­rent, to owe it to birth," said Morâd, "is unworthy of a great prince; and had not my brother supported his pretensions to the crown by arms, I would disdain to wear it."’ In battle his soul [Page 220] was a stranger to fear; he was even an enthusiast in his love of danger, and slaughter was his favourite pastime. In peace he was mild, though proud, liberal, affable and humane. But his very virtues were weakness; and his fate furnishes a melancholy proof, that an open generosity of spirit is never a match for hy­pocrisy and deceit. His splendid qualities, however, rendered him popular in the army; and Aurungzêbe, notwithstanding his supe­riority of parts, owed, at last, his success over Morâd, as much, atleast, to accident as to his known talents. Such were the illustrious com­petitors for the throne of their father.

Suja takes the field.Suja, who had possessed the government of Bengal for many years, was the first who appeared in the field, upon receiving in­telligence of the dangerous illness of Shaw Jehân. He excused his measures by the violence of Dara. He was informed, that he had nothing to expect from his brother should he possess the throne, but imprisonment, or even death; and he affirmed, that necessity had rendered rebellion lawful. The resources which Suja possessed, promised success to his enterprise. He had accumula­ted treasure, and levied an army; and, though his agent at court transmitted to him accounts of his father's recovery, he affected not to credit the intelligence. When he pitched his tent in the field, he issued out a manifesto, which bore that Shaw Jehân was dead; and that there were violent suspicions of Dara's being accessary to his death. Though he received letters from the hands of his father, announcing his recovery, he alledged that they were a forgery by Dara to amuse him, and to divert him from his in­tentions of revenging the death of the emperor on the parricide. The enemies of Dara contributed by their letters to make Suja persist in his resolution.

[Page 221] Opposed by Solimân Shekô.Dara had the earliest intelligence of the designs of his brother; and he made the necessary preparations against him. His son Solimân, had marched with ten thousand horse, to quell some disturbances in the province of Allahabâd. Dara ordered a rein­forcement to fall down the Jumna, and to join Solimân. Raja Joy Singh and Debere Chan commanded the detachment, and they had positive instructions, after joining the prince, to stop the pro­gress of Suja to the capital with the sword. The emperor, how­ever, repented of orders procured from him by the violence of Dara. He was averse to a civil war; and he sent secret direc­tions to Joy Singh to endeavour to induce Suja to return to his government of Bengal. These directions were scarce dis­patched to the Raja, when advices arrived at court that the prince Morâd, who commanded in the kingdom of Guzerat, was pro­claimed emperor by the army; that the receiver-general of the Imperial revenues, in opposing the usurpation, had been slain in battle; and that Morâd, having negociated a considerable loan with the bankers of Ahmedabâd, had coined money in his own name.

Suja surpriz­ed in his camp,The intelligence of this second rebellion hastened Suja in his measures. He wished to be the first of the competitors who should arrive at the capital; and he therefore moved his camp to Benâris. When he was busy in constructing a bridge of boats for crossing the Ganges, Solimân appeared in sight on the opposite shore with his army. A negociation was set on foot with Suja by Joy Singh; and it was at last agreed, that the prince should return to his government, and disband his army. The active spirit of Solimân did not relish this precarious pacification. Joy Singh, without his participation, had settled the terms with Suja; and he did not think himself bound by a truce, in which he had no hand. He changed his ground, and moved a [Page 222] few miles up the Ganges. The river by an extraordinary drought was remarkably low. Solimân, to the astonishment of every body, discovered a ford by which the cavalry could pass. The circumstance was too favourable to the inclinations of the prince, not to be turned to immediate advantage. In the night he forded the river; and, when day-light appeared, fell suddenly on Suja's camp.

and defeated.Suja, who considered the Ganges as an insuperable barrier, per­mitted himself to be completely surprized. The shouts of the army, the clashing of swords first rouzed him from sleep. He started from his bed, seized his arms, rushed forth, and mounted his horse. When he looked round him, he beheld nothing but confusion and terror, and slaughter and flight. His voice was not heard in the tumult; and if heard, it was not obeyed. The crowd around him was great; but his army was too much agi­tated by fear to be reduced to any form. As no man could trust to another, each endeavoured to provide for his own safety by flight. The slaughter of those who stood, retarded the enemy in their pursuit of the fugitives. Suja, with some of his officers, fought with courage; but they were driven into the river; and the prince with great difficulty made his escape in a canoe, and fell down the stream without stopping, tell he reached Mongeer. Solimân, after his victory, marched into Bengal, and besieged Suja in the fort of Mongeer. But we must turn our attention to ano­ther quarter of the empire.

Aurungzêbe hears of hisAurungzêbe, as has been already related, returned to Brampour after having finished the war in Tellingana. He did not continue long in that city. He took up his residence in a town in the neighbourhood of Dowlatabâd, which he had re­built, and called after his own name Aurungabad. In this place [Page 223] he received the first news of his father's illness;father's illness. but three months relapsed before he heard any further intelligence from court. Dara, who was resolved to establish himself firmly on the throne in case of the demise of his father, had placed guards on all the ferries and highways; at the same time issuing orders to all the officers of the customs, and the commanders of districts, to stop all letters and travellers. These circumstances induced Au­rungzêbe to believe that his father was dead; and he began to levy forces for his own security. In the midst of his pre­parations, letters were received from Morâd, who commanded in Guzerat. That prince informed Aurungzêbe that Dara had usurped the throne, and was taking measures for cutting off his brothers. He therefore proposed that they should join in their own defence. Aurungzêbe embraced Morâd's proposal with joy. He knew his own superior abilities, which were more than a match for the open valour of Morâd; and he hoped, that if by his assistance he could defeat Dara, his own way to the throne would be paved. A negociation with Morâd was opened, and the preparations for war continued.

Gains overJumla, who had been dismissed from the office of visier by Dara, arrived in the mean time from Agra in the Decan. Shaw Jehân having disapproved of that lord's being turned out of his di­partment, endeavoured to gratify him in some other way; and had, for that purpose, given him the command of a considerable body of troops, to reduce some places which still held out in the lately conquered provinces. Dara, who was jealous of Jumla's known attachment to Aurungzêbe, kept his family in the capital as the hostages of his faith. Jumla, pitching his camp in the neighbourhood of Aurungabad, was informed of Aurungzêbe's preparations for war. He sent him a message, informing him that the emperor was recovered, and had resumed the reins of go­vernment. [Page 224] The prince, astonished at the coldness of Jumla, sent to demand a conference: but that lord, fearing the spies of Dara who were dispersed over the camp, refused to wait upon a man, who was arming against his sovereign.

JumlaAurungzêbe penetrated into the cause of this cautious con­duct. He knew that he was attached to his interest; and that it was only the fear of Dara's resentment against his family, pre­vented him from joining with alacrity in his own views. He therefore had recourse to art. Mahommed Mauzim, the second son of Aurungzêbe, was a great favourite with Jumla. That prince was sent to visit him with proper instructions from his fa­ther. Mauzim, who was then about seventeen years of age, pos­sessed a part of Aurungzêbe's address. He waited upon Jumla in his tent, without any previous notice, and was received with great kindness and distinction. When night was coming on, Jumla put the prince in mind of the time; and Mauzim told him, that having waited upon him without either the permis­sion or knowledge of his father, he was afraid of returning without the customary honour of being attended by the per­son to whom he had paid the visit. Jumla, who was asham­ed of being defective in point of politeness, agreed to accom­pany Mauzim home. When they came to the prince's apart­ment, Jumla signified his intention of returning; he was, however, persuaded to enter. Mauzim retired, and his father ap­peared. He earnestly insisted, that Jumla with the army under his command, should join in his designs upon the throne. That lord excused himself, on account of his family, who were in the hands of Dara. It was at length ageced, that the person of Jumla should be seized; and an order issued for consiscating all his effects. This expedient secured him the resentment of both par­ties; and a door of reconciliation was left open, whichever [Page 225] side should prevail. The troops, soon after the imprisonment of their general, joined the standard of Aurungzêbe.

Marches from Au­rungabad.On the sixteenth of February 1658, Aurungzêbe marched from Aurungabad with twelve thousand horse; leaving his second son Mauzim with a sufficient force for the protection of the Decan, from whence he intended to derive his supplies for the war. Nijabut Chan, descended in a direct line from Timur, com­manded his vanguard, and took the rout of Brampour. He him­self followed with the main body, and arrived on the first of March at that place. He remained at Brampour near a month, for an answer to the dispatches which he had sent to Guzerat to his brother. His proposals to that prince were so obviously hypo­critical, that only the open spirit of Morâd, who, being full of honesty himself, suspected no guile in others, could be for a moment deceived. He professed in his letters, that he had al­ways been his affectionate friend; that Dara, from his natural weakness, was incapable of holding the reins of government, be­sides that he was from principle indifferent about all religion; that Suja, with abilities little superior to Dara, was a heretic, and by consequence unworthy of the crown. ‘"As for me," con­tinues Aurungzêbe, "I have long since dedicated myself to the service of God. I desire only for that safety and tranquillity, which suits the fervency of my devotion. But I will with my poor abilities affist Morâd to take possession of a scepter, which the united wishes of the people of Hindostan have already placed in his hand. Morâd may then think of his faithful Aurungzêbe, and assign him a quiet retreat, for passing the remainder of his life in the austerities of religion."’

His manage­ment of Morâd.Morâd, who, with his splendid qualities, was self-conceited and vain, ascribed Aurungzêbe's moderation to his own superior [Page 226] merit. He wrote back to his brother, that he was ready to join him with all his forces; and, for that purpose, was preparing to march from Ahmedabâd. On the twenty-second of March, Au­rungzêbe having received the dispatches of Morâd, left the city of Brampour, and took the rout of Ugein, where the brothers had preconcerted to join their forces. Arriving on the banks of the Nirbidda, he was informed that the Maraja, Jesswint Singh, had, on the part of Dara, taken possession of Ugein, with seventy thousand horse. He was beyond measure astonished, that the enemy had not sent a part of his army to guard the passage of the river, which might have stopt his progress. He, however, with his small force durst not cross it; and he encamped on the oppo­site banks in anxious expectation of the arrival of Morâd.

Opposed at the Nirbidda.The Maraja, instead of attacking Aurungzêbe with a force that promised a certain victory, when he had advanced within ten miles of the rebels, took possession of a woody hill, on the top of which there was an extensive plain. In this place he in­trenched his army; and contented himself with detaching fly­ing squadrons to awe the enemy from crossing the river. The conduct of the Maraja, who was personally brave, proceeded in a great measure from his pride and arrogance. He was heard to say, That he waited for the junction of the brothers, that he might in one day triumph over two Imperial princes. Aurungzêbe owed his safety to this unaccountable folly. His small army, when he arrived on the banks of the Nirbidda, was so much fatigued with the march, and spent with the excessive heat of the weather, that he might be routed by an inconsi­derable force.

Joined by Mor [...]d.A few days after Aurungzêbe's arrival at the Nirbidda, the van of Morâd's army entered his camp. When they were first seen, [Page 227] on a rising ground near the army of Aurungzêbe, the enemy struck his tents, and advanced toward the banks of the river. Aurung­zêbe dispatched a messenger to hasten Morâd, who was still about fifteen miles distant. He himself, in the mean time, resolved to take the present opportunity to pass the river, which by the late extreme drought had become fordable. He placed, therefore, his artillery, which was worked by some Frenchmen in his service, on a rising ground, and entered the river in columns, under his own fire. The Maraja, trusting to the height of the banks and his advanced-guard, who were already engaged with the enemy, contented himself with drawing up his army in order of battle at a distance. Aurungzêbe, having forced the passage of the river, encamped on its bank; and the next day he was joined by Mo­râd, who had left his army on their march. The brothers, after a long conference, resolved to attack the enemy by the dawn of the morning; whilst orders were sent to the forces of Morâd, who were not yet arrived, to hold themselves in readiness for ac­tion.

April 22, de­feats the Ma­raja.The Maraja, by his scouts, being apprised of the motions of the rebels, was ready to receive them. He drew up, before day-light, his army in order of battle, to be ready to accommodate his dispo­sitions afterwards to the appearance of the enemy's line. He ac­cordingly began the action with the Mogul cavalry, but these were soon repulsed by the veteran troops of Aurungzêbe. The Maraja, who foresaw the discomfiture of the Moguls, shewed behind them the front of thirty thousand of his native troops the Rajaputs, in whom he chiefly confided. Aurungzêbe, upon seeing this formi­dable body, drew back from the pursuit, and restored his line. The Maraja advanced with impetuosity, and the prince met him half way. The shock was extremely violent; and the rebels were on the point of giving way, when Morâd, with his troops, just [Page 228] arrived on the field, attacked the enemy in flank. The vic­tory was snatched from the hands of the Rajaputs: their prince disdained to fly. The wings were broken and ruined; but the center, animated by the presence of their prince, stood its ground. Slaughter and danger increased every moment. Morâd was irre­sistible on the right flank; and Aurungzêbe, who had been on the point of retreating, advanced again to the charge. The Rajaputs behaved with their usual bravery; but they were surrounded on all sides. The action became mixed and undistinguished. Friends were mistaken for foes, and foes for friends. Uncertainty would have suspended the sword, but fear made it fall every where. About the setting of the sun, the field, covered with ten thousand dead bodies on the side of the enemy, was left to Aurungzêbe and Morâd. The Maraja, after the battle was over, drove his chariot, by way of bravado, quite round the army of the victors; and when it was proposed to Aurungzêbe that a party should be de­tached in pursuit of that prince, ‘"No," he replied, "let the wounded boar have time to fly."’

Masculine behaviour of the Maraja's wise.The bad success of the Maraja proceeded not more from his own folly, than from the address of Aurungzêbe. That prince had his emissaries in the Imperial camp, who insinuated to the rigid Ma­hommedans, that should the Maraja prevail, their religion would be at an end in India. The Moguls accordingly made but a faint resistance; and the whole weight of the action fell upon the Rajaputs. The Maraja, after his defeat, was ashamed to appear at court. He retreated to his own country; but his wife, a woman of a masculine spirit, disdained to receive a husband not covered with victory. She shut the gates of her castle against him. He in vain remonstrated, that, though unsuccessful, he had fought with the bravery of his ancestors, as appeared from the number of the slain. ‘"The slain," said she, "have lest Jesswint without an [Page 229] excuse. To be defeated is no new thing among the Marajas, but to survive a defeat is new. Descended from their blood, adopted by marriage into their house, they left their glory in the hands of Jesswint, and he has tarnished it with flight. To be the messenger of the ruin of his armies, to show the world that he fears death more than disgrace, is now become the employment of my hus­band. But I have no husband. It is an impostor that knocks at our gates. Jesswint is no more. The blood of kings could not survive his loss of fame. Prepare the funeral pile! I will join in death my departed lord."’ To such a pitch of enthu­siasm had this woman carried her ideas of valour. She herself was the daughter of the late Rana, and Jesswint was of the same family. He, however, prevailed upon her to open the gate of the castle, by promising that he would levy a new army, and recover from Aurungzêbe the glory which he had lost to that prince.

Aurungzêbe remains at Ugein.The princes, after their victory over the Maraja, entered Ugein in triumph. Morâd, who loved battle as a pastime, was unwill­ing to stop in that city; but Aurungzêbe convinced him that it was necessary to refresh the troops for a few days, after the fa­tigues of a long march, and the toils of an obstinate action. He at the same time informed him, that time should be given to their victory to work upon the fears of the enemy. ‘"Besides," said Aurungzêbe, "there are thirty thousand men in the army of Dara, whom I intend to gain over to my interest before we shall again engage."’ The true cause of this delay was a want of in­formation of the real state of the court of Agra. If Dara was the sovereign, Aurungzêbe had no doubt of carrying all before him, on account of the unpopularity of that prince among the nobility; but if the reins of government had reverted into the hands of Shaw Jehân, who was, in a manner, adored both by the army and [Page 230] the people, he was sure that even his own troops would desert him in a day of battle. He had sent privately expresses to his friends at Agra, and he waited for their return.

Perplexity of the emperor.The news of the battle near the Nirbidda arrived, in the mean time, at court. Dara was enraged at the Moguls, from whose cowardice or perfidy the rebels derived their success. The empe­ror himself was perplexed beyond measure. He was snsible of the determined resolution of his rebel sons: he dreaded the violence of Dara. He saw nothing but misfortune before him, and some dreadful calamity hanging over himself and his family. The eager preparations of Dara for another battle, alarmed him as much as the approach of the rebels. A victory would make Dara master of the empire: a defeat would throw himself into the hands of those whom he opposed. His mind flew from one resolution to another, and he could six on none. The prospect was gloomy before him; and seeing no point on which he could rest his hopes, he left all to chance.

Preparations of Dara,Dara, with the natural activity and vehemence of his temper, prepared, with redoubled vigour, for the field. He passed like a flame through the capital, and kindled thousands into an eagerness equal to his own. When the first news of the defeat of the Maraja came to court, Dara sent an express to his son Solimân, who be­sieged Suja in Mongeer. He desired him to make the best terms which the urgency of the times would admit with Suja, and to return to Agra by forced marches. A negociation was opened ac­cordingly with the besieged prince. His neeessities made him listen, with eagerness, to a treaty. Solimân, in the name of the emperor, reinstated him in the government of Bengal, after hav­ing exacted from him a solemn promise of taking no farther part in the war. He himself marched, night and day, to reinforce his [Page 231] father; and had he arrived in time, Aurungzêbe might have given his hopes to the wind. Solimân was then in the twenty-sixth year of his age; graceful in his person, and vigorous in his mind. Nature seemed to have formed him for war. He was brave in action, sedate, and possessing himself in the greatest dangers. He was generous in his disposition, liberal in his sentiments, pleasing to his friends, humane to his enemies. He possessed the fire and warmth of Dara without his weaknesses; the prudence of Aurung­zêbe without his meanness and deceit.

who marches against Au­rungzêbe and Morâd.The Imperial army, in the mean time, marched out of Agra under the conduct of Dara. The emperor became more and more perplexed, as matters approached to a decision. He knew that the nobles loved not Dara: he knew that the best troops were absent with Solimân. One expedient only remained, and that, if followed, would have insured success. He ordered the Impe­rial tent to be pitched without the walls; declaring, that he would take the field in person against the rebels. His frineds saw an end to his troubles in this resolution. His own army to a man would die in defence of his power; and even the troops of Au­rungzêbe and Morâd had openly declared, that they would not draw their swords against Shaw Jehân. The infatuation of Dara pre­vented his father's designs. He had recourse to intreaty, and when that failed, to commands. The emperor, whose intellects had been in some measure impaired by his illness, was, at first, shocked at the obstinacy of Dara. That prince, whose silial piety was even greater than his ambition, waited upon his father. He threw himself at his feet, and earnestly requested that he would not endanger his health by taking the field; as, upon his life, the prosperity of the empire depended, in days of so much trouble.

[Page 232] Charge given him by his father.The emperor, having yielded to the intreaties of Dara, conjured him, though bent on war, to avoid coming to action till the arri­val of his son. The malignity of his fate prevailed also over this advice. He said not a word to his father; but his countenance expressed chagrin and discontent. ‘"Then go, my son," said Shaw Jehân, "but return not without victory to me. Misfor­tune seems to darken the latter days of your father; add not to his grief by presenting yourself before him in your distress, lest he may be induced to say, That prudence, as well as fortune, were wanting to Dara."’ The prince had scarce parted with his father, when news arrived of the march of the rebels from the city of Ugein. Dara placed himself immediately at the head of the army, which consisted of one hundred thousand horse, with a thousand pieces of cannon. He advanced hastily to the banks of the river Chunbul, which is twenty miles from Agra. A ridge of mountains, which extend themselves to Guzerat, advance into the plain country, along the Chunbul, to within twenty-five miles of the river Jumna; and this pass Dara occupied with strong lines, strengthened by redoubts, which were mounted with artillery.

Aurungzêbe turns the rear of the Impe­rial army, June 1.Dara had not long remained behind his lines, when the princes, on the first of June, appeared on the opposite bank of the Chun­bul, and pitched their camp within sight of the Imperial army. Aurungzêbe reconnoitred the situation of the enemy, but he was not to be forced. His army consisted not of forty thousand men; and they were fatigued with the heat of the weather and the length of their march. But there was no time to be lost. Solimân, co­vered with laurels, was approaching fast with the flower of the Imperial army, to support his father's cause. No hopes presented themselves to Aurungzêbe; and he became, of a sudden, sullen, melancholy, and perplexed. To retreat was ruin: to advance de­struction. He was lost in suspence. Morâd, with his usual love [Page 233] of arduous undertakings, was for forcing the lines; but a letter from Shaista, the son of Asiph Jâh, and who was third in com­mand in the Imperial army, broke off that measure, by presenting a better to the brothers. This treacherous lord informed Au­rungzêbe, that to attempt the lines would be folly, and that the only means left him was to leave his camp standing to amuse Dara, and to march through the hills by a bye-road, which two chiefs, who were directed to attend him in the evening, would point out. The princes closed with the proposal. The guides joined them in the evening, and they decamped with the greatest silence, leaving their tents, baggage, and artillery under a strong guard, who were to amuse the enemy. The army moved about thirty miles that night; and the next day they were disco­vered by the scouts of Dara, in full march toward Agra.

Dara's order of battle, June 5.Dara decamped from his lines with precipitation, leaving the greater part of his cannon behind him. By a forced march he pushed between the enemy and the capital; and on the fourth of June he presented himself before the rebels. On the morning of the fifth, the prince ordered the army to be formed in order of battle. Rustum Chan, an experienced general from Tartary, marshalled the field. The artillery was placed in the front, joined together with chains to prevent the passage of the cavalry of the enemy. Behind the artillery stood a number of camels, mounted with small swivels, which the riders of each camel, without lighting, could charge and discharge with ease. In the rear were drawn up the musqueteers in three lines; and the two wings were formed of the cavalry, armed with bows and arrows together with sabres. One third of the cavalry formed the reserve behind the lines. Dara placed himself in the center, mounted on a lofty elephant, from which he could command a view of the field. The treache­rous Shaista took the command of the right wing; and that of the [Page 234] left was destined by Dara for Rustum. That officer, who was ac­knowleged the most experienced commander in Hindostan, was actually at the head of the army. He bore the commission of cap­tain-general, and all orders were issued by him. He represented to Dara, before the action commenced, that he intended to place himself at the head of the reserve in the rear, where he might di­rect the movements of the field, and issue out his orders as the cir­cumstances of affairs might require. ‘"My post," said Dara, "is in the front of battle; and I expect that all my friends shall par­take of my danger, if they wish to share the glory which I hope to obtain."’ The generous and intrepid spirit of Rustum was of­fended at this reflection. He answered with a stern countenance and a determined tone of voice, ‘"The front of battle has been always my post, though I never contended for an empire; and if I wished to change it to-day, it was from an anxiety for the for­tune of Dara."’ The prince was struck with the impropriety of his own conduct. He endeavoured to persuade Rustum to remain at the head of the reserve; but he went beyond hearing, and placed himself in the front of the left wing.

That of Au­rungzêbe.Aurungzêbe, on the other hand, having marshalled his army in­to order of battle, requested of Morâd to take the command of the center. He committed the left wing to his son Mahommed, and he placed himself on the right. Morâd was astonished, and pleased at the ease with which Aurungzêbe assigned to him the post of ho­nour. But the crafty prince had two reasons for his conduct. Morâd was haughty, he had assumed the Imperial titles, and though, out of a pretended complaisance to his father, he had laid them down, he looked forward with undeviating ardour to the throne. It was not the business of Aurungzêbe to offend him at this critical juncture. But his other reason was equally prudent. Rustum commanded the left wing of the enemy; and he was the [Page 235] most renowned general of the times. He had passed many years in the service of the Tartars and Persians, being bred up to the the field from his youth, in which he had always eminently dis­tinguished himself. He had been present in one hundred general actions; he was habituated to danger, and perfect master of his own mind in the most desperate situations. Aurungzêbe there­fore could not trust the experience of Rustum, against the con­duct of any but his own.

The battle begins.Both lines began now to move from wing to wing; and the ar­tillery opened on both sides. Rustum advanced, on the left, with a hasty pace, directing the march of his troops by the motion of his sword. Aurungzêbe ordered a part of his artillery to point toward Rustum; and that general received a cannon-ball in his breast, when he had advanced within five yards of the enemy. The whole wing stopt at the fall of Rustum: but Sittersal, one of the chiefs of the Rajaputs, at the head of five thousand horse, fell in, sword in hand, with Aurungzêbe. Shaw Mahommed, who commanded under the prince, opposed the Rajaputs with great bravery. A sharp conflict ensued; and the Rajaputs began to file off, when their leader engaged personally with Shaw Mahom­med. The Rajaputs strove to cover their chief, but in vain; he was cut down by the sabre of Mahommed. The whole wing fell into disorder, but did not fly; and a promiscuous slaughter cover­ed the field with dead.

Dara's brave­ry.Dara, mounted on his elephant, in the mean time advanced with the center. He was observed by his army to look over all the line, and they gathered courage from his intrepid demeanor. A part of the enemy's artillery was opposed to the very point where Dara advanced. A heavy fire was kept up, and his squadron fell into a kind of disorder; but when he waved his hand for them to ad­vance, [Page 236] they resumed their ranks, and followed him with ardour. Before he could come to blows with the enemy, a second volley occasioned a second disorder. He however stood up on his ele­phant, and, without any change in his countenance, called out with a loud voice to advance with speed. He himself, in the mean time, fell in with the first line or Morâd. He rushed through with his elephant, and opened a way for his horse, who, pressing into the heart of the enemy, commenced a great slaughter.

Morâd's bravery.The whole center under Morâd was broken, and the prince himself was covered with wounds. He endeavoured to lead his troops again to the charge; but they were deaf to his commands. He ordered his elephant to be driven among the thickest of the enemy; being determined to fall with his fortune, or, by a brave example, to re-animate his flying troops with hopes of recovering the day. His boldness was attended with success. His squadron seeing the enemy surrounding their prince, were ashamed of their terror, and poured around him. Arib Dass, an Indian chief, thrice strove to reach Morâd with his sword; but he did not succeed, on account of the height of the elephant. He, however, cut the pil­lars which supported the roof of the Amari or castle, which falling upon the prince, incumbered him in such a manner, that he could not defend himself. He however disengaged himself, and dealt death with his arrows on every side. In the mean time Mahom­med, the son of Aurungzêbe, was sent by his father's orders from the left to the assistance of Morâd. He came up when the prince was in the greatest danger. Fresh spirit was given to the troops of Morâd, and Dara received a check.

Dara, by an accidentThe battle now raged with redoubled fury. The elephant of Morâd, rendered outrageous by wounds, rushed forward through the columns of the enemy. Mahommed, ashamed of being left [Page 237] behind, followed him with great ardour. Dara did not retreat. He gave his orders with apparent composure. But a cannon-ball having taken off the head of his foster-brother, who sat with him on the elephant, he was almost blinded with the blood. A rocket, at the same time, passing by his ear, singed his turban; a second followed, and having stuck in the front of the Amari, burst, and broke it all to pieces. His colour was seen then to change. The lord who drove the elephant observed an alteration in the prince; and, whether through personal fear, or for the safety of his mas­ter, is uncertain, retreated a few paces. Dara reprimanded him with severity; but the mischief was already done. His squadrons saw the retreat of the prince; and their spirit flagged. He how­ever ordered the driver to turn his elephant toward the enemy, but that lord represented to him, that now, being marked out by the rebels, it were better for him to mount his horse, and pursue the fugitives, for that now very few remained on the field. He alighted; but there was no horse to be found. He fought for some time on foot. At length he mounted a horse whose rider had been killed.

is defeated.Almost the whole of both armies had now left the field. Not a thou­sand men remained with Dara, and scarce one hundred horse with Aurungzêbe and Morâd. The latter however sought with increasing ardour. His young son, of about eight years of age, sat with him upon the elephant. Him he covered with his shield, and dealt his arrows around on the enemy. Aurungzêbe, having in vain en­deavoured to rally his flying squadrons, advanced with fifty horse­men to the assistance of Morâd, hoping more for an honourable death than for a victory. It was at the very instant that he came to blows with the Imperialists, that the unfortunate Dara dismount­ed from his elephant. The squadrons who had still adhered to that prince, seeing the elephant retreating with the Imperial stand­ard, [Page 238] thought that Dara had been killed. The cause for which they fought, in their opinion, no longer existed. They betook them­selves to flight; and when Dara had mounted his horse, he found the field bare of all his troops. He fled with precipitation, and the rebel princes found themselves at the head of only two hun­dred horsemen, in possession of an unexpected victory.

Reflections.This battle, in which many thousands were slain on both sides, was lost to Dara by an accident; though that prince was guilty of previous follies, which made men forbode no good to his arms. Had he sat on his elephant a few minutes longer, the princes his brothers would have been involved in those irretrievable misfor­tunes which now surrounded him. But his evil stars prevailed. He who never received counsel before, was ruined by hearkening to advice; and Aurungzêbe, who had placed his hopes on art and intrigue, owed, at last, his success to his valour. Dara, like a des­perate gambler, threw all upon throw; and when Fortune fa­voured him in that, he turned the dye for his foes. Had he permitted Shaw Jehân to have taken the field, his brothers would scarce have dared to negociate for their lives; had he waited for his gallant son, it would not have been a contest but a flight. But ambition had dazzled the eyes of Dara, and he could not see things in their proper light. Had the emperor appeared at the head of his forces, his power would be at an end. Had So­limân arrived fresh from the conquest of Suja, the glory of victory would have rested upon that prince. Dara, unfortunately for himself, was, from his love of power, afraid of his father; and, from the desire of fame, envious of the renown of his son.


Reflections—Dara appears before his father—His flight to Delhi—The army deserts Solimân Shekô—Shaista Chan condemned to death—Rescued—The confederate princes appear before Agra—Aurungzêbe writes to his father—Conference between him and the princess Jehanâra—His artful conduct—By a stratagem seizes the citadel and the emperor—Deceives Morâd—Marches with him in pursuit of Dara—Seizes and imprisons Morâd—Pursues Dara—Mounts the throne at Delhi—Reflections on his conduct—The news of his accession brought to Shaw Jehân—Character of that prince.

Reflections.THE decisive battle, which quashed for ever the hopes of Dara, and gave the crown of Hindostan to Aurungzêbe, was fought within sixteen miles of Agra. The victor, astonished at a piece of good fortune which he did not expect, pursued not his enemies beyond the field. The fugitives on both sides had rallied, in the rear of the small parties who continued the action, and presented a shew of firmness, without any inclination of renewing the combat. To an unconcerned spectator it would have been difficult to determine which party had prevailed. The flight on each side was equal; and the field was left, by both armies, to the dead. But Dara was conquered in his own mind; he passed suddenly through the half-formed lines of his rallied army, and men, who wanted but an excuse for flight, relinquished their ground with precipitation. Aurungzêbe was first convinced [Page 240] of his victory by its consequences; but whether from policy or fear is uncertain, he forbore to advance towards Agra. He gave time to his troops to recover from their terror; as well as room to his enemies to increase their panic: besides, the affairs of his rival were not desperate. Should the emperor take the field in person, the rebel princes, notwithstanding the advantages which they had obtained, would have vanished from his presence. But his distemper had not left Shaw Jehân, and he was incumbered with the indolence of age.

Dara appears before his father.The emperor had sat all day, in anxious expectation, in the tower over that gate of the citadel which looked toward the field of battle. Parties of fugitives had often alarmed his fears; but the expresses from Dara, during the time of action, had as often restored his hopes. The prince at length came to the foot of the wall, with marks of his own defeat. To mention the result of the battle was superfluous; his appearance betrayed mis­fortune. ‘"The rebels, I perceive, have prevailed," said Shaw Jehân with a sigh; "but Dara Shekô must have had some other cause than fear for his flight."’‘"Yes," replied the prince, "there is a cause. The traitor Shaista Chan! I have lost the empire, but let him not escape unpunished."’ The emperor bent his eyes to the ground, and for some time uttered not one word; at length suddenly starting up, he said, ‘"What means Dara to do?"’‘"To defend these walls,"’ replied the prince. ‘"You de­ceive yourself," said Shaw Jehân; "walls are no defence to those who have failed in the field."’ Having expressed himself in these words, he ordered the byestanders to remove. He then advised Dara to set out immediately for Delhi. He told him, That the governor of that city should have orders to supply him with all the public money in his possession; and that an express should be immediately dispatched to his son Solimân, to march along the [Page 241] northern banks of the Ganges, and to join him in the province of Doâb, which lies between that river and the Jumna.

FliesDara, approving of this advice, retired to his own palace, and made preparations for his immediate flight. He loaded all his elephants and chariots with his women and slaves; and for want of beasts of burden, he imprudently left his treasure behind. About midnight, the unfortunate prince issued out of Agra, mounted on horseback, accompanied by a few menial servants. One of the pikemen who attended him, had the insolence to ride close by his side, and to murmur in his ears concerning the loss which he himself sustained by such an abrupt departure. Dara was enraged at this sudden mark of his own fallen condition. ‘"Slave!" said he, "murmur not at your fate. Behold me, who but yesterday commanded armies, reduced thus low, and forget your own trivial misfortunes. Behold me, who am called great as Darius," alluding to his own name, "obliged to fly by night, and be silent concerning your fate."’ The pikeman was struck by the reproof. He shrunk back, and the other servants wept. One of them was so much enraged that he prepared to chastise the slave; but Dara interposing said, ‘"Forbear! the friends of the unfortunate have a right to complain in their pre­sence."’

to Delhi.Dara proceeded through night, and deceived his misfortunes by repeating some of the elegies of Hafiz, a famous poet of Shi­raz. When he had rode two miles from Agra, he heard the noise of horsemen approaching from behind. He stood and drew his sword; but they were two private soldiers, who, having perceived the prince passing through the gate of the city, took a resolution to join him. They told their business; and Dara was prevented from thanking them by his tears. He had not advanced many [Page 242] miles, when an officer, with forty troopers joined him; and by the dawn of the morning, several men of distinction came up with him, with three hundred horse. With this retinue he con­tinued his rout to Delhi; and arrived in that city on the third day after his departure from Agra.

Raises sorces.The emperor, anxious about Dara, sent to his palace soon after his departure. He understood that, in the confusion, he had neglected to carry along with him his treasure. He immediately ordered fifty-seven mules to be loaded with gold coin, and to be sent to his son under the protection of a detachment of the guards. But a tribe of Hindoos, who have since made a figure under the name of Jates, having intelligence of this treasure, de­feated the party, and seized the money. This was a dreadful blow to Dara. Thirty lacks of the public money were only found in the possession of the governor of Delhi; and the mer­chants and bankers would subscribe to no loan, in the present untoward posture of the prince's affairs. The threats of military execution at last enabled him to raise considerable sums, for which he gave orders on the Imperial treasury. Soldiers flocked round his standard; and he had, in a few days, the appearance of an army.

Aurungzêbe corruptsAurungzêbe, who still remained encamped near the field of battle, was informed of every transaction in Agra by his spies. The greatest lords, who looked upon him as the heir if not the actual possessor of the empire, endeavoured to gain his favour by giving him intelligence. He found that all the hopes of Dara depended upon the army under the command of his son; and he resolved to gain it over to his own views. He sent letters to the Raja Joy Singh, he wrote to Debere Chan, who were next in command to Solimân Shekô. He exaggerated, if possible, the [Page 243] hopeless condition of Dara; he informed them, that the army of that prince had joined his standard, that he himself had fled un­attended to Delhi, that he could not escape, as orders had been distributed through all the provinces to seize him, as a public enemy. ‘"Shaw Jehân," continued Aurungzêbe, "is rendered unfit for government by age and infirmities. Your hopes, and even your safety must depend upon me; and as you value both, seize Solimân, and send him to my camp."’

the army of prince Soli­mân.Joy Singh, who received the first letters from Aurungzêbe, was perplexed. His fears stood against his adherence to Solimân; his honour rendered him averse to side with Aurungzêbe. He went to the tent of Debere; and that lord placed the letters which he also had received, in his hands. To seize the prince was a measure of peril, from his known valour; to attempt to seduce the army, whilst he remained at its head, dangerous. They fol­lowed the middle course as the safest. When the news of the defeat of Dara arrived at the camp, about a day's march beyond Allahabâd, the prince called a council of war. He proposed to march straight to Delhi; they dissented, and plainly told him, that they would not stir from the camp till more certain advices arrived. The prince, anxious to join his father, was distressed beyond measure. He endeavoured to persuade them; but their measures had been taken. He applied to the army; they too were traitors, and disobeyed. Instead of being able to assist Dara, he became afraid of his own safety. He resolved to leave a camp where he had no authority. He, however, al­tered his opinion, and remained; but the principal officers, with their retinues, left the camp.

Shaista Chan condemned to death.Shaista Chan, who had commanded the right wing of Dara's army in the late battle, betrayed his trust, and retreated without [Page 244] coming to blows with the rebels. He returned to Agra; and a message was sent him by the emperor, commanding him to appear in the presence. His friends advised him not to obey; but his confidence was equal to his want of faith. He trusted in his own power; he was encouraged by the vicinity of the victorious princes. He went, and stood undaunted in the presence. The emperor, offended before at his treachery, was enraged at his impudence. ‘"You villain," said he, "you son of a villain, how could you presume to betray my son and me?"’ Shaista took sire at the reproach. ‘"The name," he replied, "I confess, is not insuitable to Asiph Jâh; he invested Shaw Jehân with power, by delivering the heir of the crown into his hands."’ The em­peror started from his throne, and drew his sword. He looked furiously around on the nobles, and cried, ‘"Will none of you seize the traitor?"’ All were silent; the emperor repeated the same words. Fowlâd Chan stept forth, threw Shaista to the ground, and binding his hands behind him, asked the further pleasure of Shaw Jehân. ‘"Throw him headlong," said he, "from the Im­perial bastion."’ When they were dragging him to execution, Shaista cried out to the emperor, ‘"Shall you, who are the vice­gerent of God, break his laws, by shedding blood on the seventh day of the holy month of Ramzân?"’ Shaw Jehân hung down his head for a moment; and then ordered him to be kept bound till the next day.

Rescued.The friends of Shaista were, in the mean time, apprised of his danger. They gathered from all quarters, and collected near ten thousand men, who came to the gate of the citadel, and perempto­rily demanded him from the emperor. Shaw Jehân continued obstinate during the night. In the morning, the force of the rebels had increased; and he perceived that they were resolved to come to extremities. He sent for the prisoner; and obliged him [Page 245] to write an order for them to disperse. They saw through this piece of policy. They refused to obey the commands of a man subject to another's power. Scaling ladders were actually applied to the walls; and the emperor was obliged to comply with the demands of the insurgents, and to restore Shaista to his freedom.

The princes appear before Agra.On the ninth of June, the confederate princes appeared with their army before the capital. The city was in no condition to sustain a siege; and the gates were left open. Aurungzêbe, de­clining to enter Agra, pitched his tent in a garden without the walls. His schemes were not yet ripe for execution; and he assumed an appearance of moderation. Morâd lay ill of his wounds; and, being unable to attend to business, a fair field was left for his brother. The emperor, when the van of the rebels appeared in sight, ordered the gates of the citadel, which was a place of great strength, to be shut. This resolution alarmed Aurungzêbe. To attack his father would be a measure of great imprudence. His health being re-established, his subjects still looked up to him as their only lawful sovereign. Aurungzêbe, therefore, resolved to substitute art in the place of force.

Aurungzêbe sends to his father.When he arrived at the gate of the city he sent a trusty mes­senger to his father. He ordered him to touch the ground in his name, before the emperor; and to signify to him, that Aurung­zêbe still retained for him the affection of a son, and the loyalty of a subject; that his grief for what had happened was exceedingly great; that he lamented the ambition and evil designs of Dara, who had forced him to extremities; that he rejoiced extremely at the emperor's recovery from his indisposition; and that he himself remained without the city, in humble expectation of his com­mands. Shaw Jehân being no stranger to the dark, crafty, and intriguing disposition of Aurungzêbe, received his messenger with [Page 246] affected joy. He had long disovered his passion for reigning; and he resolved to meet deceit with duplicity. He, however, was not a match in art for his son; and by endeavouring to intrap Aurungzêbe, he himself fell at last into the snare.

The con­ferenceShaw Jehân, to expiscate the real designs of his rebellious sons, sent his eldest daughter Jehanâra to visit them, upon their arrival at the gates of Agra. Aurungzêbe having owned the superiority of Morâd, the princess went first to his tent. Morâd was of a disposition that could neither conceal his hatred nor his love. He knew that Jehanâra was inviolably attached to the interests of his elder brother; and being at the same time fretful through the pain of his wounds, he treated her with disrespect, and even used harsh expressions. The haughty spirit of Jehanâra was impatient of insult. She called for her chair in her rage, and told him, that his brutality was equal to his crimes. The behaviour of Morâd to his sister was instantly carried to Aurungzêbe, by his spies. He ran out of his tent, and stopt her chair. ‘"Will my sister," he said, "leave the camp without enquiring concern­ing my health? My long absence, Jehanâra, has, I fear, blotted me out of the memory of my relations. Should you not deign yourself to honour me with your presence, it would have been kind to have sent to me one of your meanest slaves, to give me some accounts of my father."’ Having flattered her pride with such expressions as these, he prevailed upon her to enter his tent, where she was treated with the highest respect and distinction.

of the prin­cess JehanâraTo gain the confidence of Jehanâra, he pretended the greatest remorse for his own behaviour. He told her, that his happiness in life depended upon his father's forgiveness of his errors. ‘"But why did I call them errors, Jehanâra?" said he, "they are crimes; though I might plead as an excuse, that I was de­ceived [Page 247] by designing men; but my folly in believing them, has thrown discredit on my understanding, in my own eyes."’ His asseverations were accompanied with tears; and the princess was deceived. ‘"I am no stranger," she replied, "to the sentiments of the emperor, on a subject which has caused so much of his sorrow. He is most offended at Morâd, who has added the name of Sovereign to his other crimes. He considers Aurungzêbe as only misled by misrepresentation; Morâd as an obstinate and de­termined rebel. Desert him, therefore, and you may not only depend upon forgiveness, but upon all the favour an indulgent parent can bestow on a son whom he loves."’

and Aurung­zêbe.Aurungzêbe's countenance appeared lightened up with joy, dur­ing the time which she employed in speaking. But an affected darkness returned upon his features when she mentioned Morâd. ‘"Dara's party," he then began, "is ruined; and Fortune has added to the friends of Morâd. The first is unpopular, on account of his passionate severity among the nobility; the latter beloved, for the open honesty of his disposition and his unequalled valour. As for me," continued Aurungzêbe, "I am what I seem, a man devoted to the service of God; a character little calculated to gain the favour of men. But should Dara appear to have friends to support my endeavours to regain the esteem of my father, I venture to assure Jehanâra, that I will succeed or perish in the attempt."’ He spoke these words with such an appearance of emphatic sincerity, that the princess was overjoyed. In the openness of her heart, she informed him of all the resources of her brother Dara; and she mentioned the names of his principal friends. Many who pretended to be in the interest of Aurungzêbe were of the number; though they had yielded for the present to the bias of fortune. Without any personal affection for Dara, they affected his cause from a principle of justice. ‘"I am rejoiced, [Page 248] Jehanâra," said Aurungzêbe, "at the discovery you have made. No doubts now remain to perplex my mind. Go to my father, and tell him, that in two days he shall see Aurungzêbe at his feet."’

Emperor writes to Dara.Shaw Jehân, upon this occasion, forgot the natural cautiousness of his character. He looked upon his schemes as completed; and thought he saw Aurungzêbe already submitting to his clemency. In the fulness of his heart he sat down and wrote a letter to Dara. He acquainted the prince, that the bad aspect of his fortune began to change. ‘"Aurungzêbe," said he, "is disgusted with the in­solence of Morâd. He is to abandon that haughty young man, and to throw himself at my feet. A foolish and inexperienced boy, who owed all his success to the abilities of his brother, must soon fall when deprived of his support. But we are not to de­pend upon the contrition of Aurungzêbe. When he shall enter the citadel, his person will be seized. Hold yourself, therefore, in readiness to march with all expedition to Agra. Two days more shall carry to you accounts of the full completion of our designs."’ The emperor placed his letter in the hands of Nahir­dil, one of his trusty slaves. He ordered him to set out for Delhi at midnight, with all expedition.

His letter intercepted.The impatience of the emperor proved fatal to his schemes. Shaista Chan had his spies in the presence; and one of them in­formed him, that a letter had been written, and given in charge to Nahirdil. He suspected that it was intended for Dara; and he occupied the road toward Delhi with some faithful friends. Nahirdil had scarce issued out of the gate of the city, when some horsemen surrounded and seized him. He was brought to Shaista, who perused the letter. Elevated with the discovery, he immediately went to the palace of Aurungzêbe; for that prince [Page 249] had now taken up his residence in the city. The slave was con­fined with the greatest secrecy. The prince read the letter with­out emotion. He had always doubted the emperor's sincerity, when he promised his forgiveness to a son who had ruined his armies in two battles. He, however, prosecuted his plan of deceit with indefatigable perseverance. To besiege his father in the citadel would be an unpopular, if not a dangerous measure. The reverence which the army still had for their aged sovereign, would prevent them from drawing their swords against him. But the citadel must be possessed, and the person of the father must be placed in the hands of his ambitious son; otherwise he may give his hopes to the wind.

Aurung­zêbe's schemesOn the fifteenth of June, Aurungzêbe was to have performed his promise of visiting his father in the citadel. The emperor, full of anxiety, looked forward to the appointed hour, in which he saw a period to his misfortunes. A letter from his son was delivered into his hands, when he expected him in person. He told his father, that his crimes were of so deep a dye, that he could not divest himself of fear that the injured emperor would not forgive him. ‘"However much desirous I am of being re­ceived into favour, I cannot risque my personal safety in the presence. The guilty are always timid. Permit me, therefore, to receive the most convincing proofs of my sovereign's forgive­ness; and let my son, Mahommed, who reveres the person and authority of his grandfather, be admitted into the citadel with a guard for the protection of my person."’ Shaw Jehân, anxious for the execution of his own project, found, that without consent­ing to these proposals, it must be entirely frustrated. He there­fore returned for answer, that Mahommed, with a certain num­ber of men, might come.

[Page 250] to seize the emperor.Mahommed accordingly, having received the proper instructions from his father, entered the citadel, and disposed his party in different places. The emperor, in the mean time, had concealed a body of men in a court adjoining to the haram. The prince roaming about, lighted on these men. He complained to the emperor of an intention against his father's person; he there­fore plainly told him, that till these men were removed, he would send a messenger to Aurungzêbe to stop him from coming into the citadel. Shaw Jehân, whether he put some confidence in the promises of his son, or that he thought he could seize him by means of the women and eunuchs of the seraglio, is uncertain; but he removed the soldiers out of the fort, as a proof of his sincerity. It afterwards appeared, that the emperor rested his hopes on a number of robust Tartar women in the haram, whom he had armed with daggers; and who, from the spirit of their country, were fit for an undertaking of boldness.

Shaw Jehân taken pri­soner.Mahommed, contrary to his expectations, found his party su­perior within the citadel. He, however, concealed his intentions. Every thing was settled; and the emperor and his grandson remained in silent expectation. News was at last brought, that Aurungzêbe had mounted his horse; and that the procession of his retinue was approaching. Shaw Jehân was elevated with hopes; but the crafty prince, as if struck with a fit of devotion, ordered his cavalcade to change their course, and to move to­ward the tomb of Akbâr, where he intended to offer up his prayers to Heaven. When the emperor was informed of this circumstance, he started up from his throne in great rage. ‘"Ma­hommed," said he to the prince, "what means Aurungzêbe by this behaviour? Is he more anxious to appease the spirit of his great ancestor for his crimes, than the offended majesty of his own father?"’ Mahommed calmly replied, ‘"My father had never any [Page 251] intention to visit the emperor." "What then brought Mahom­med hither?" retorted Shaw Jehan. "To take charge of the cita­del,"’ Mahommed coolly rejoined. The emperor finding himself betrayed and outwitted by his grandson, bore him down with a torrent of opprobrious names. The prince, seeing his passion rising beyond the bounds of reason, retired from the presence with the usual obeisance, and left his rage to subside at lei­sure.

He offers the empireThe emperor, after the heat of his passion was over, began to reflect upon his deplorable condition. He accused his own weak­ness more than his fortune; and he was ashamed to have fallen into a snare which he himself had laid. Resentment and a desire of immediate revenge prevailed over every other passion of his soul. He sent again for Mahommed. The prince came; and found his grandfather with his hand upon the Coran, and his eyes raised to the Imperial crown, which was suspended over his head. ‘"You see, Mahommed," he said, "these sacred objects, before an unfortunate old man. I am overwhelmed with rage, worn out with age and disease. It is in your power, young man, to make me, for once, happy in my latter days. Release me from prison; and by these," pointing to the crown, and holding the Coran in his hand, "I solemnly swear to make you emperor of the Moguls."’ The prince was silent; but various passions flew alternately over his features. ‘"And do you hesitate," begun Shaw Jehân, "to do an action, which will at once gain you the favour of Heaven and the empire of Hindostan? Are you afraid, that it shall be hereafter related to your dispraise, that you de­livered an aged grandfather from prison and disgrace?"’ The prince hung down his head for a moment; then suddenly start­ing, rushed out without uttering a word.

[Page 252] to the son of Aurungz [...]be.It is difficult to determine what motive induced the prince to decline the offer made to him by Shaw Jehân. He was ambi­tious; nor was he remarkable for his filial piety. He probably doubted his grandfather's sincerity; or he did not chuse to trust to proposals imposed by necessity. Aurungzêbe, however, escaped from imminent danger through the self-denial of his son. Had the emperor appeared in public at the head of his friends, Aurung­zêbe would shrink from before him; and the haughty Morâd would fly. The nobles who adhered to the interest of the brothers, and even the common soldiers had repeatedly declared, that they would not draw their swords against a prince under whose long and auspicious government their country had so much flourished. The first repulse received from Mahommed, did not induce the emperor to relinquish his designs. He sent to him a second time; but he refused to come to his presence. He had still the keys of the citadel in his possession; and neither Aurungzêbe nor his son chose to use force to obtain them from him. Two days passed in this suspence. Shaw Jehân was obsti­nate; and Mahommed stood on his guard within the walls. The first, however, despaired of gaining over the latter to his purpose; and, in the evening of the second day, he sent him the keys of the fortress, and desired him to acquaint his father, that he might now come, in full security, to see his imprisoned sovereign.

Aurungzêbe writes to the emperor.Aurungzêbe excused himself in a letter. He complained of his father's intentions against him, under the mask of elemency and friendship; that when he pretended to forgive one son, he assisted another son with money, to take away his life in war. ‘"If the emperor complains," said Aurungzêbe, "Dara is only to blame. He owes his misfortunes to the ambition and evil designs of a son unworthy of his favour. As for me," continued the prince, "no injuries can alter my affections. Nature makes me [Page 253] wish well to my father; and Heaven has imposed my regard for him upon me as a duty. But though I love the emperor, I also love my life; and I am determined not to trust it in the hands of even a father, till the influence of ill-designing persons has departed quite from his mind. Let him, in the mean while, pass his time in that serene tranquillity which is suitable to his years; and when I shall have disabled Dara from doing further harm to the empire, I myself will come and open the gates of the citadel."’ This letter was only intended to deceive the people. It was publicly read to the nobles; and it is even doubtful whether it was sent at all to the emperor.

Deceives Morâd.When the prince Mahommed took possession of the person of the emperor, with the citadel, his father, as has been already related, was paying his devotions at the shrine of the emperor Akbâr. When intelligence of his son's success was carried to him, he immediately waited upon Morâd in his palace; and told him all the circumstances of the affair. That prince, who knew that he could have no hopes from his father, was much pleased at hearing of his imprisonment. Aurungzêbe, in the mean time, saluted him emperor, and said; ‘"Morâd had before the name, but he now has the power of a sovereign. My wishes," continued he, "are now completely accomplished. I have contributed to raise a prince, worthy of the throne of our ancestors, and I have but one favour to ask for all the fatigue which I have undergone." "Speak your wishes," said Morâd, "and they shall be instantly granted." "This world," replied Aurungzêbe, "has already overwhelmed me too much with its cares. I long to throw the burden away; I am tired of the vain bustle and pageantry of life. Will, therefore, the emperor of the Moguls permit me to make a pilgrimage to Mecca? will he give me some small al­lowance to enable me to pass my days in ease, and in the exer­cise [Page 254] of prayer and constant devotion?"’ Morâd, though secretly over­joyed at his resolution, made some slight attempts to dissuade him. Aurungzêbe was determined. His brother yielded to his impor­tunity; and the crafty prince prepared for a journey which he never intended to make.

Prepares to pursue Dara.Whilst this farce was acting at Agra, advices arrived that Dara had collected a considerable force at Delhi. Officers of distinction crowded to the prince every day from the distant provinces. Aurungzêbe pretended to be alarmed. He advised his brother to march in person to finish the war. That prince, who was fond of action, prepared for the field; but he wanted money. The old emperor had concealed part of the Imperial treasure; Aurungzêbe had secreted the rest. The army of Morâd had not been paid for two months, and they began to murmur. The prince called together all the bankers of Agra. He offered to mortgage part of the revenue, for an immediate loan; but they refused to give him credit. He was enraged beyond measure, and he prepared to use force; when his brother advised him against an act of in­justice, and promised to discharge the arrears due to the army out of his own private fortune. Morâd acceded to the proposal, with­out observing its fatal tendency. Aurungzêbe, by this expedient, became at once popular in the army and in the city.

Counterplot of Morâd.The designs of Aurungzêbe were now too palpable not to be perceived. The friends of Morâd had long seen through his deceit; and the prince himself, though not suspicious, was now convinced that he covered ambition under the mask of sanctity. The preparations for Mecca had been converted into preparations for the field. He told his brother, that he still stood in need of his advice. He marched in front from Agra, with a division of the army; and Morâd, having created his uncle Shaista, captain-general [Page 255] of the Imperial forces, left that lord in the government of Agra, and followed Aurungzêbe. The latter prince having ar­rived at Muttra, received intelligence, that Dara had taken the rout of Lahore. He stopt, and waited for the arrival of his brother; who joined him the next day. The latter had, on his march, been convinced by his friends, that his brother had designs on his life; and self-preservation, as well as ambition, rendered it necessary for him to prevent the falling blow.

Miscarries.The day after Morâd's arrival at the camp near Muttra, he invited his brother to an entertainment. Aurungzêbe, who never had sus­pected the open temper of Morâd, accepted of the invitation. When the brothers sat at dinner, Nazir Shabâs, high-steward of the household, who was in the secret, entered suddenly, and whis­pered in Morâd's ear, that now was the time to make a rent in a magnificent dress. Aurungzêbe, whose eye could trace the thoughts in the features of the face, was alarmed at this myste­rious whispering, as well as at the affected gaiety of his brother. He remained silent; and Morâd dispatched Shabâs, with only desiring him to wait the signal. Aurungzêbe was now convinced that there was a design against his life. He complained suddenly of a violent pain in his bowels; and, rising under a pretence of retiring, joined his guards, and returned to his own quarter of the camp.

Morâd de­ceived,Morâd ascribed his brother's departure to his illness; and entertained no idea that he had the least suspicion of his own intentions. In three days he recovered of the pretended pain in his bowels. He received his brother's congratulations with every mark of esteem and affection; and the day after, he sent him an invitation to come to his tent, to see some beautiful women, whom he had collected for his amusement. Their per­formances [Page 256] in singing, in dancing, and in playing upon various in­struments of music, were, he said, beyond any thing ever seen in Hindostan. He enlarged upon their grace, their beauty, the elegant symmetry of their limbs. The mind of Morâd, who was naturally a great lover of pleasure, was inflamed at the descrip­tion; and, contrary to the advice of all his friends, he went to his brother's quarter. On the arrival of the emperor, as Aurung­zêbe affected to call his brother, he was received by the young ladies in an inner tent. They were handsome beyond description, and the voluptuous prince was struck with a pleasing astonishment at their charms.

and seizedAn elegant entertainment was in the mean time served up to the sound of vocal and instrumental music. Morâd was elevated, and called for wine of Shirâz. The ladies sat round him in a circle, and Aurungzêbe, throwing off his usual austerity, began to partake of the wine. Morâd in a short time became intoxicated, and his brother, instead of wine, imposed upon him bum­pers of arrack. He at length fell asleep on a sopha, in the arms of one of the ladies. Aurungzêbe had, in the mean time, given orders to some of his officers, to entertain the lords who attended Morâd in the same voluptuous manner. Even his body-guard were intoxicated with wine; so that the unfortunate prince was left without defence.

by Aurung­zebe.Aurungzêbe gave orders to Ziffer Jung and three other lords, to enter the tent and to bind his brother. The lady retired upon their coming; and they advanced to the sopha on which he lay. His sword and dagger had been already removed by the care of Aurungzêbe; and they began softly to bind his hands. Morâd started up at this operation; and began to deal around his blows. The lords were terrified, and the prince began to call aloud [Page 257] for his sword. Aurungzêbe, who stood at the door of the tent, thrust his head from behind the curtain, and said, with a menacing voice, ‘"He has no choice but death or submission; dispatch him if he resists."’ Morâd, hearing the voice of his bro­ther, began to upbraid him; and submitted to his fate. Nazir Shabas, his principal friend and adviser, was at the same instant seized. He had been sitting under a canopy before the paymas­ter-general's tent; and at a signal given, the ropes of the four pole [...] were at once cut; and before he could extricate himself, he was bound. The other lords who were attached to the prince, being surrounded with armed men, were brought before Aurungzêbe, to whom they swore allegiance. A murmur ran through the camp; but it was an ineffectual sound: and the army, as if but half wakened from a dream, fell fast asleep again.

Sent prisoner to Agra.The night was not far advanced when Morâd was seized and bound. Before day-light appeared, he and his favourite were mounted on an elephant, in a covered amari or castle, and sent off under an escort to Agra. Fearing that some attempts might be made to rescue them, Aurungzêbe ordered three other elephants to be sent off before them, attended by guards to elude pursuers. The precaution was unnecessary. Mankind forsook Morâd with his fortune. In action, in the manly exercises of the field, he had many admirers; but the accomplishments of his mind acquired him but few friends; and even those whom he favoured with his generosity, were disgusted at his haughtiness. He fell by attempting to be artful. Had he followed, in his designs against his brother, the natural bias of his own intrepid mind, he could not have failed; but he met that crafty prince in his own province of deceit, and he was foiled. This remarkable transaction happened in the camp near Muttra, on the sixth of July 1658.

[Page 258] Aurungzêbe advances to Delhi.Though Shaista, who was left in the government of Agra, was sufficiently attached to the cause of Aurungzêbe, that cautious prince left his son Mahommed in that capital, to watch any unforeseen events that might arise. To the joint care of Mahommed and Shaista the unfortunate Morâd was committed; and his brother having no fears remaining in that quarter, mov­ed his camp from Muttra, and arrived at Delhi on the twenty-sixth of July. Though he had not assumed the Imperial titles, he created Omrahs in that city, the first of whom was Ziffer Jung, whom he dignified with the name of Chan Jehân. Un­der that lord he detached a division of his army against Dara. That prince, upon the news of the approach of Zif­fer, decamped from Sirhind, and took the rout of Lahore. In his march he laid under military execution all the Rajas and go­vernors of districts who refused to join. He raised considerable sums in his way; and having crossed the Suttuluz, ordered all the boats on that river to be destroyed.

Dara flies to Lahore.Dara having advanced beyond the river Bea, took possession of Lahore. Giving his army time to breathe in that city, he em­ployed himself in levying troops, and in collecting the Imperial revenue. Daôod, the general of his forces, remained in the mean time at the village of Tilbundi, with half the army, to guard the passage of the river Bea. Aurungzêbe, upon advice of the dis­positions of Dara, reinforced the army of Ziffer with five thou­sand horse, under the conduct of Chillulla. The war with Dara, from being protracted, became serious. The minds of the people were divided, as long as two princes continued in the field. Au­rungzêbe, with his caution, was rapid in his designs. He knew how to use as well as how to gain a victory. His suspicious temper saw peril rising from delay; and therefore, notwithstand­ing the solstitial rains were at their height, and the country de­luged [Page 259] with water, he prepared to move toward Lahore with all his forces.

Aurungzêbe mounts the throne,Apprehending that his not assuming the name of emperor, would be considered by mankind as a tacit acknowledgment of the injustice of his proceedings, he resolved to exalt the Imperial umbrella over his head. His affected self-denial upon former occasions, stood at present in the way of his designs. He was ashamed to take upon himself an honour which, from mo­tives of religion, he had pretended before to reject. His most intimate friends knew, however, the secret thoughts of his mind. They insinuated to the nobles, that Aurungzêbe, from declining so long to ascend the throne, seemed to have still an intention of retiring from the world, that, in his zeal for religion, he might be induced to leave his friends to the resentment of his enemies; that therefore it was the business of all to force upon him, in a manner, a power necessary to their own safety. They waited upon him in a body. He seemed disappointed, and even of­fended at their proposal. At length he suffered himself to be persuaded. ‘"You are," said he, "resolved to sacrifice my love of retirement to your own ease. But be it so; God will, per­haps, give me that tranquillity upon the throne, which I hoped to find in a cell; and if less of my time shall be employed in prayer, more of it will be spent in good actions. I should only have an inclination for virtuous deeds in my retreat; but, as [...]mperor of the Moguls, I shall have the power of doing them. These motives, and not the vain pomp of greatness, induce me to assume the empire."’

at Delhi.On the second of August, in an assembly of the nobility, he mounted the throne, in the garden of Azabâd near Delhi. No pompous ceremonies were used upon the occasion; for he af­fected [Page 260] to despise magnificence. His finances, at the same time, were low; and he prudently considered that money, in the present situation of affairs, would be better bestowed upon an army, than on the idle pageantry of state. He assumed upon his accession to the throne, the pompous title of ALLUM-GIRE, OR THE CONQUEROR OF THE WORLD; being then near the close of the fortieth year of his age.

ReflectionsThe means taken by Aurungzêbe to obtain the empire, were scarce more justifiable, than those by which he secured to himself the undisturbed possession of the throne. Religion, the conveni­ent cloke of knavery in all countries, was the chief engine of his ambition; and, in that respect, he relied on the credulity of man­kind, to a degree of unpardonable imprudence. His self-denial and moderate professions agreed so little with his actions, that it is even ashonishing, how any person of common reflection could have been for a moment deceived. But the vulgar give implicit faith to sanctity in its most questionable form; and Morâd, by whose popularity and valour his brother overthrew the hopes of Dara, suspected not a duplicity to which his own soul was a stranger. To deceive that prince, was to secure the empire. Bearing more the appearance of an hermit himself, than that of a competitor for the throne, the army looked up to Morâd; who being addicted beyond measure to pleasure, gave up the influence as well as the labour of business to his brother. Aurungzêbe, to support his ambitious views, was obliged to have recourse to arts which stamp his character with meanness, whilst they prove the abilities of his mind.

on the con­ductMorâd, with many commendable qualities, was also distin­guished by disgusting weaknesses. Instead of that haughty pride which recommends itself in its very absurdities, he was puffed up [Page 261] with unmanly vanity. A stranger to his own merit in those things in which he excelled in the opinion of the world, he ar­rogated to himself praise in provinces for which nature had al­together rendered him unfit. With an open and generous dispo­sition, he wished to be thought artful and severe; and blind to his abilities in the field, he endcavoured to carry the palm in the cabinet. To mention to him the designs of his brother, was a satire upon his penetration; to suggest to him caution, was, in his eyes, an accusation of his courage. He looked not around him into the conduct of others; and he abhorred every enquiry into his own. Under the shadow of this careless and arrogant vanity in Morâd, his brother fabricated at leisure his own de­signs. But his excessive eagerness to heighten the deceit, was the means of its being discovered. Morâd himself saw through the veil of flattery which he had laid over his ambitious views; but the vanity, which at first induced him to give faith to Aurung­zêbe, made him afterwards despise his insincerity. He fell at last a victim to his own arrogant folly.

and riseAurungzêbe, however, owed not altogether his success either to his own hypocrisy, or to the weakness of his brother. Na­turally averse to pomp and magnificence, he affected all his life that humble deportment which brings the prince near to the people. Without being virtuous from principle, he was an ene­my to vice from constitution; and he never did an act of injustice, till he aspired to the throne. In his private character, he was an example of decency to others; an affectionate parent, a sincere friend, a just master. Destitute of that elegance of person, and that winning behaviour which had rendered his brothers the idols of the people wherever they moved, he endeavoured to acquire a degree of popularity by the austerity of his manners. Like the rest of the family of Timur, he was bred up with very free no­tions [Page 262] upon the subject of religion; but various circumstances in­duced him afterwards to assume the appearance of a rigid devo­tee. His brothers, by encouraging men of all religions, had of­fended the followers of Mahommed. The posterity of those Mo­guls, who under Baber conquered India, and soldiers of fortune from Tartary and Persia, occupied the greatest number of the places of profit and trust in the empire. These could not see, without envy, men of different persuasions from themselves, ad­mitted into the confidence of princes who still professed the Ma­hommedan faith. Though silent at court, they murmured in secret; and lamented the declining state of a religion, under the auspices of which they had extended their government over India. Aurungzêbe, by his rigid adherence to the tenets incul­cated in the Coran, gained the esteem of all those, who, if the expression may be used, were the chains which kept together the nations of Hindostan under the house of Timur. But the influ­ence which Aurungzêbe derived from his devotion did not, for many years, suggest an ambition to aspire to the empire. He only hoped, that under the cloke of sanctity, he might pass in safety his life under any of his brothers, whom Fortune might place on the throne.

of Aurung­zêbe.That specious appearance, which the actions of a man of religion must wear in the eyes of the world, facilitated his schemes. In his long march from the Decan, his troops ob­served a most exact discipline. No ravages were committed; no injustice done. When he sat down with his army in a field of corn, he either paid the estimated value to the owners, or gave a receipt for it as a part of the revenue due to the crown. ‘"Though I am forced," said he, "into a war by the machinations of Dara, I cannot consider myself as in an enemy's country."’ When the people came to decide their differences before him, he remanded [Page 263] them to the officers of the empire. ‘"Fortune," he was heard to say, "may change the prince, but the fundamental laws of the state must not be changed. Should I fail in my present enter­prize," continued he to the petitioners, "my judgment would not avail you, nay, it would do you harm with the conquerors. But if I shall succeed in my undertakings, I promise to acquiesce in the determinations of the Imperial judges."’ These moderate sentiments contributed to reconcile the minds of the people to his government; and even induced them to ascribe the most wicked of his actions to necessity.

IntelligenceWhen the news of his having mounted the throne arrived at Agra, the governor filled every corner of the city with pub­lic demonstrations of joy. The people were rather struck with surprize, than moved with gladness. They, however, observed that cautious silence which suits the subjects of despotism. The noise of the artillery on the walls of the citadel, saluted the old emperor's ears, and rouzed him from the melancholy into which he had been plunged by his misfortunes. ‘"Go, Jehanâra," he said, for his daughter was the only person near him; "go, and learn the cause of this sudden mark of joy! But why should we enquire? The gladness of those who surround us, must add to our grief. Some new misfortune must have fallen on Dara; look not abroad, lest the first object to strike your eyes, should be the head of a brother whom you tenderly loved."’ Jehanâra, bursting into tears, arose; and, in the passage which led to the haram, was met by the chief eunuch, who was hastening to the emperor with the news.

concerning his accession.The eyes of Shaw Jehân flashed with rage. He rose—he walked to and fro through the apartment, but he uttered not one word. His daughter sat at a distance in tears; he raised his [Page 26] eyes, and looked stedfastly for some time on the figure of a crown which hung suspended from the ceiling over his head. He called at length the chief eunuch; ‘"Take;" said he, "that bauble away; it mocks me with the memory of my former condition." The tear stood in his eye: "Yet stay thy hand," resumed the emperor; "this would be owning the right of Aurungzêbe."’ He beckoned to the eunuch to retire: he stood involved in thought. ‘"The new emperor, Jehanâra," said Shaw Jehân, "has prema­turely mounted his throne. He should have added the murder of a father to the other crimes which have raised him so high. But this perhaps is also art; he wants to deprive me, by misre­presentation, of what remains of my fame, before he deprives me of life."’

How received by Shaw Jehân.Whilst Shaw Jehân was making these melancholy reflections on his own lost condition, a message was brought to him from Mahommed, the eldest son of Aurungzêbe, who had remained at Agra. He begged leave to have permission to wait upon his grandfather. The emperor, starting from his reverie at the name of Mahommed, replied to the messenger, ‘"If he comes as an enemy, I have no power to prevent him; if as a friend, I have now no crown to bestow;"’ alluding to his offer to Mahommed, when that prince seized the citadel. The messenger told him, That Mahommed wished only to be admitted to communicate to the emperor the reasons which induced his father to mount the throne. ‘Fathers," replied Shaw Jehân, "have been de­throned by their sons; but to insult the misfortunes of a parent, was left for Aurungzêbe. What reason but his ambition has the rebel for assuming the empire? To listen to his excuses, would be to acknowledge the justice of his conduct, by shewing, by my weakness, that I could no longer wield the scepter which he has struck from my hand."’—Mahommed retired.

[Page 265] ReflectionsThough the power of Shaw Jehân had, in a great measure, ter­minated with the sickness which rouzed his sons to arms, his reign may be said to have continued till Aurungzêbe mounted the throne near Delhi. He held the scepter of India thirty solar years, five months and two days; and when he was dethroned, he had arrived at the sixty-seventh year of his age. The means by which Shaw Jehân obtained the empire of the Moguls, were not more justifiable than those which he so much blamed in Au­rungzêbe. He rebelled against his father, and he permitted his relations to be sacrificed to his fears. When he had secured to himself the undisturbed possession of the empire, he became an excellent and a humane, as well as an able prince. During his long reign, we hear of no private assassinations, no public execu­tions, no arbitrary injustice, no oppression. Rebellion, which gene­rally rises from tyranny, was unknown; universal peace was esta­blished on the undeviating justice and clemency of the emperor. His government was vigorous without severity, impartial, digni­fied, and sudden in its determinations. He received complaints with well-weighed caution; and never passed judgment till both parties were heard. His pervading eye travelled to the most distant corners of his empire. He traced oppression to its most secret retreats; and, though a lover of money, no sum could protect offenders from his justice. Theft and robbery were, by his prudent regulations, eradicated from his extensive empire. The governors of the provinces were directed by an edict, to pay out of their private fortunes, the losses of the subject in that way; which were ascertained upon oath in a court of justice. The sen­tence of the judge was a warrant for the money upon the Su­bas, which they were forced immediately to pay; otherwise they were, upon complaint to the emperor, turned out of their govern­ments, and severely fined.

[Page 266] on the reignShaw Jehân was handsome in his person, active in all the man­ly exercises, affable and agreeable in his conversation. He did not, like his father, descend too much from the dignity of a prince, nor involve himself in an obscure distance and reserve. Warm in his constitution, he loved the company of women; though the charms of the daughter of Asiph, the mother of almost all his chil­dren, kept possession of his affections during her life. His learning was such as was common among the princes of the house of Timur; a thorough knowledge of the Arabian and Persian lan­guages, the arts of writing and speaking with elegance and pro­priety, the study of history, of the Coran, of the laws and ca­nons of his predecessors, of the art of government, financiering, and of the ancient usages of the empire. Though eclipsed by the extraordinary abilities of Mohâbet in war, he was a good general, and an excellent soldier. His reputation was so high in that respect, that he not only kept his own dominions in peace at home, but even made extensive conquests abroad. Rapid in all his measures, he crushed rebellion before it deserved the name; for to suspect it in any man, was with him to be prepared. A lover of pleasure, without being its slave, he never neglected business for sensuality; and industry, wealth and commerce flou­rished under the certain protection and vigilance of his govern­ment. Had he not fallen in some measure from the state of rea­son and sensibility, by the rage of that cruel disorder which he inherited from his father, he might have descended from the throne to his grave, and have crowned his latter days with that lustre which had covered his reign. But his mind was weak­ened by disease; and his age was devoted to melancholy and misery.

and character of Shaw Jehân.Shaw Jehân was, upon the whole, a great, and if we draw a veil over his accession to the throne, a good prince. But we [Page 267] must ascribe his cruelty in a great measure to necessity, and the manners of his country. Ambition, among the princes of the East, is joined with the stronger passion of fear. Self-preservation drives them on to desperate measures; submission will not avail, and they must owe their lives to their valour. The throne itself is no security to the reigning prince, in a country where the suc­cession is not fixed by acknowledged and established rules. Revo­lution and change present themselves to his imagination; till as­sassination steps in, and effectually relieves him from his terrors. Shaw Jehân was not naturally cruel; but he loved his own life better than the lives of his relations. To murder, or to be murdered, was the alternative offered to him by fortune. A throne or a grave terminated his prospects on either side; and when we confess ourselves shocked at his inhumanity, we lose half our rage in the necessity which imposed upon him the measure. He made some amends for his crimes, in the strict justice and clemency of his government; and Hindostan was flourishing and happy, till his own policy was revived by his sons.



Reflections—Misfortunes of Solimân Shekô—His flight to Serinagûr—Distress, irresolution, and flight of Dara—He quits the Suttuluz—the Bea—and Lahore—Aurungzêbe returns—Preparations and march of Suja—Approach of Aurungzêbe—The battle of Kidg­wâ—Defeat and flight of Suja—Unaccountable conduct of the Marâja—His flight—Aurungzêbe arrives at Agra—Writes to his father.

Reflections.THE confinement of the emperor, and the seizure of the per­son of Morâd, opened a fair field for the ambition of Au­rungzêbe. To disguise longer his serious designs on the empire, would, from the improbability of the thing, be imprudent. He however covered his love of power with professions of necessity; and still lamented the occasion which had burdened his head with a crown. This specious conduct, though too obvious in its de­sign to deceive, derived an advantage from its modest appear­ance; and men forgot his deviations from virtue, in the opinion that he was ashamed of his crimes. Having subdued the passion of vanity before he gave the rein to ambition, he appeared insen­sible of his own exaltation. His humility seemed to encrease up­on the throne to such a degree, that even those who could not ap­prove of his measures, were at a loss to what they ought to ascribe his conduct. Averse to pleasure, and contemning pomp and magni­ficence, the obvious inducements to the seizing of the scepter were [Page 270] wanting to Aurungzêbe; but his active mind found, in its own vigour, a kind of right to command mankind.

SolimânThe new emperor had scarce mounted the throne near Delhi, when he was alarmed with intelligence of the march of Solimân, by the skirts of the northern mountains, to join his father Dara at Lahore. We lost sight of that prince in the midst of his mutinous army, near Allahabâd. The principal nobles who had attended him in his successful expedition against Suja, deserted his standard at the first news of his father's defeat. The confinement of Shaw Jehân deprived him of more of his followers; but a number, suf­ficient to deserve the name of an army, still remained in his camp. Though bold and unconcerned in action, Solimân was subject to political fears. The news of repeated misfortunes came daily from every quarter. He became perplexed and undecisive: various expedients presented themselves to his view, but he could fix on none. His first resolution was to return to Bengal; but, dubious of success against Suja with a reduced and dispirited army, he dropt that design, and gave himself up again to wavering schemes. He had none to advise him; and his own mind afforded no re­source in distress. When intelligence of the march of the confe­derate princes from Agra arrived in his camp, he thought of sur­prising the capital, and, by releasing his grandfather, to add the weight of that monarch's name to his declining cause. He de­camped, but his evil stars prevailed. He changed his course, and directed his march to Lahore.

desertedThe undecisive measures of Solimân were known to his troops. They began to despise the authority of one who could not perse­vere in any plan. All discipline became relaxed. The inde­pendance of the soldier rose with his contempt of his general. Re­gularity was lost in licentiousness; confusion, rapine and insolence [Page 271] prevailed; and the whole army, instead of obeying the prince, placed a merit in their not deserting his cause. That intrepidity and firmness which was necessary to the occasion, no longer re­mained in Solimân. His standard had been left by those whom he thought his best friends, and a melancholy distrust prevailed in his mind. To correct the licence of the soldiery, was to lose their support. He permitted them, with a vain hope of conciliating their affections, to ravage the country at large. But when they had loaded themselves with spoil, they deserted in whole squadrons, to secure their wealth as home, and to avoid the doubtful chance of war.

by his army;Destitute of all authority, the prince moved along, sullen and silent, at the head of an army converted into a mob of banditti. He issued out no orders, under a certainty of their not being obeyed; and he even looked with indifference on the gradual decline in the number of his followers. Every morning presented to his eyes at a distance, whole squadrons that had quitted his camp in the night. There only remained at last four thousand miserable wretches, who had suffered themselves to be robbed of their booty. Fear, and not attachment, kept these round the standard of Solimân. Their rapine had converted the whole country into an enemy, and there was no longer any safety in desertion. They, however, marked their march with ruin, and covered their rear with the smoke of villages, which they had plundered and set on fire.

takesAurungzêbe received certain intelligence of the destructive rout of Solimân through the countries of Shinwâra and Muchlis-pour. He detached Fidai Chan with a considerable force to interrupt his march. Shaista, who had been left in the government of Agra, was ordered with troops, by a different rout, to prevent the escape of the prince by the road through which he had come. He was in no condition to cope with either of those lords. He turned his [Page 272] march to the north, and entered the almost impervious country of Serenagûr, where the Ganges issues from the mountains into the plains of India. Pirti Singh, the Raja, received the unfortunate fugitive with kindness and respect. He sent his own troops to guard the passes, and permitted the forces of Solimân to encamp in his valleys, to recover from the fatigues of a tedious march. Aurungzêbe, upon receiving advices of the escape of the prince, recalled Fidai to the Imperial camp, and ordered Shaista to his go­vernment of Agra.

refugeSafe in the hospitality of the prince of Serinagûr, Solimân re­mained shut up in a secluded country. The mountains, which protected him from the enemy, prevented him from hearing of the fate of his friends. He became anxious and thoughtful, and discovered neither pleasure nor amusement in the rural sports pur­sued by others through the romantic vallies which formed the do­minions of the Raja. He loved to walk alone; to dive into the thickest woods; to mix his complaints with the murmur of tor­rents, which, falling from a thousand rocks, filled the whole coun­try with an agreeable noise. One day, as the prince wandered from his party, he entered a narrow valley formed by one of the streams which fall headlong from the impassable mountains that environ Serinagûr. In the center of the valley there stood a mound almost covered with trees; through the branches of which appeared undistinctly what seemed an Indian pagod. The stream, divided into two, surrounded the mound, and appeared to have worn away the foundations of the rock, on which the building stood; which circumstance rendered it inaccessible on every side. Solimân, pleased with this romantic scene, rode forward, and found that what he had mistaken for a temple, was a house of pleasure belonging to the Raja. Thither that prince often retired, with a few attendants, to enjoy the company of some Cashmirian women of exquisite beauty. Some of these were walking on the terrace [Page 273] when Solimân approached. He was struck with their persons; but he instantly retired.

in Serinagûr.When he returned to the residence of the Raja, he mentioned his adventure to that prince. His countenance was suddenly over­cast, and he remained for some time silent. He at length said, ‘"All my dominions have I given up to Solimân, yet he has in­truded upon one little valley which I reserved for myself."’ So­limân excused his conduct by his ignorance; but though the Raja pretended to be satisfied, there appeared from that day forward a manifest change in his behaviour. He became cold and distant; and he was discontented and agitated when the fugitive prince came before him. Jealousy, however, was not the cause of this alteration. Aurungzêbe had applied to him through his emis­saries; and the honour of that prince contended with his avarice. Solimân became uneasy at the doubtful gloom which hung on his countenance. He encamped, with his few followers, at some distance from the Raja's residence; and he began to watch nar­rowly the conduct of a prince, whom he still called his protector and friend.

IrresolutionWhen Solimân entered the mountains of Serinagûr, he dispatch­ed a messenger with the news of his misfortunes to his father Da­ra. That prince was encamped, with a considerable army, on the banks of the Suttuluz. When he received the letters of his son, he shut himself up in his tent, and gave way to melancholy reflec­tions on his own misfortunes. The imprisonment of his father was an event, which, as it was expected, did not surprize him; but the desertion of the victorious army under his son, was a se­vere stroke to his declining fortunes. H [...] even had conceived hopes from the presence of Solimân, whose activity and fame in war might revive the drooping spirits of his party. But he was [Page 274] shut up within impervious mountains; and the enemy had occu­pied all the passes. Dara was left to his own resources, and they failed, in the distressed situation of his mind. He reflected on the past with regret; he looked forward to the future with fear. Agitated by various passions, he could six upon no determined ex­pedient to extricate himself from misfortune; and a panic began to seize his troops from the irresolute undecisiveness of his con­duct.

of Dara.Aurungzêbe, who had his spies in the camp of Dara, was no stranger to the situation of his mind. To add to his panic, he marched from Karnal on the fifteenth of August, and directed his course toward Lahore. Dara, who had remained irresolute on the banks of the Suttuluz, decamped, upon the news of the enemy's ap­proach, with precipitation. The advanced guard of Aurungzêbe passed the river without opposition; and Dara sat down with his army behind the Bea, on the road to Lahore, to which city he him­self soon after retired, leaving the troops under the conduct of Daood Chan, an able and experienced officer. Dara had great re­sources in the provinces behind Lahore. The governors had still remained faithful to the old emperor; the revenues of the pre­ceding year had not been paid; and the prince found a consider­able sum in the Imperial treasury at Lahore. He soon raised twen­ty thousand horse, and his activity had begun to change the aspect of his affairs. But he had hitherto been unsuccessful: and he judged of the future by the past. He was disturbed by the news of the approach of a part of the army of Aurungzêbe, who, hav­ing constructed a bridge on the Suttuluz, were on full march to the Bea.

He retreats from the Bea.Daood, whom Dara had left at the head of the troops on the Bea, had lined the banks with artillery, and thrown up entrench­ments [Page 275] and redoubts, with a firm assurance of stopping the progress of the enemy. The rainy season was now come on, and he was under no apprehensions of not being able to keep the enemy for five months at bay. The northern provinces might, in the mean time, furnish Dara with an army of hardy soldiers. Mohâ­bet, who commanded in Cabul, was in his interest; and he rivalled his predecessor of the same name in his abilities in war. But the evil genius of Dara prevailed. He sent orders to Daood to quit his post. That officer was astonished: he sent a remonstrance against the measure to the prince, and the jealous mind of Dara suspected his fidelity. Positive orders were sent: Daood reluctant­ly obeyed. The prince, finding himself wrong in his suspicions, repented of his conduct. He flew into a violent passion against the accusers of Daood, and he ordered that officer back to his post. It was now too late. The advanced guard of the enemy had crossed the Bea; and Aurungzêbe, with the main body, arriv­ed on the Suttuluz on the twenty-fifth of August.

Hesitates a­bout giving battle,Dara, reflecting on the folly of his past conduct, and the pres­sure of the present time, was thrown into the utmost consternation. Chan Jehân, who commanded the enemy, had been reinforced by a body of troops and a train of artillery from the main body. Daood advised the prince to give battle, to confirm the courage of his troops by the defeat of a force so much inferior in point of numbers. The prince was obstinate. He alleged, that though his army was more numerous than the enemy, they were not equal to them in discipline; that, suddenly gathered together, they had not been habituated to danger; and that to engage the rebels, for so he affected to call the abettors of Aurungzêbe, would be to hasten the completion of their wishes, by giving them an easy vic­tory. ‘"But, Daood!" continued he, "I am not only unfortunate, but weak. Had I followed your advice, and kept possession of the [Page 276] Suttuluz and Bea, I might have at least suspended, for some months, the fate of the empire. But I, who have been so often de­ceived by my brothers, am become distrustful of my friends."’

and slies from Lahore.Daood endeavoured to comfort the prince, by observing, that though the reputation of keeping a victorious enemy at bay during the rainy season, might contribute to change the face of affairs, yet still there were hopes. That to remain at Lahore without obtaining a victory, would be as improper as it appeared impossible; that still they had rivers which might be defended against the whole force of Aurungzêbe; and that if the prince should be pleased to blot all unworthy suspicions from his mind, he himself would undertake to give him sufficient time to collect a force in the provinces beyond the Indus. Dara embraced him with tears, and began to retreat. The army, discouraged at the apparent irre­solution of their commander, began to fear for themselves. Hav­ing lost all confidence in the abilities of the prince, they saw no­thing before them but distress to him, and ruin to themselves. They deserted in whole squadrons; and the unfortunate Dara saw his numbers hourly diminishing as he advanced toward Moultân. The van of the enemy under Chan Jehân hung close on the heels of the fugitive, and his friends throughout the empire gave all their hopes to the wind.

Several no­bles submitAurungzêbe arriving on the Suttuluz, was informed of the flight of Dara. His apprehensions from that quarter vanished, and he encamped for ten days on the banks of the river to refresh his army. The Maraja, who had given the first battle to Au­rungzêbe near the city of Ugein, thinking the affairs of Dara des­perate, came to the camp with a tender of his allegiance. A num­ber of the nobility, who had hitherto remained firm to the old emperor, hastened to the court of the new, and prostrated them­selves [Page 277] at the foot of the throne. Aurungzêbe received them with unconcern, and told them that the season of forgiveness was past. ‘"When Fortune," said he, "hung doubtful over my arms, you either abetted my enemies, or waited in security for the decision of Fate concerning the empire. These," pointing to his nobles, "served me in my distress. I reward them with my confidence; but I grant you, in pardoning your lives, a greater favour than those I conferred on them. Necessity gives me your obedience: let your generosity convince me that you are sincere. My enemies have dissipated the treasures of the empire, and I, who hope long to manage its affairs, will not impoverish it by heavy exactions. Your wealth is great. Justice, which in affairs of state follows fortune, gives me a right to the whole; but my moderation only claims a part."’ They paid large sums to the treasury, and a gene­ral indemnity passed, under the seals of the empire.

to Aurung­zêbe.The haughty spirit of the Maraja revolted at the indignity of a cold reception. He however had gone too far to recede. Natu­rally averse to the subtle character of Aurungzêbe, he had actual­ly performed the promise which he had made to his high-spirited wife after his defeat. He collected an army, and was about to pursue Aurungzêbe, when the misfortunes of Dara began. The loss of the battle near Agra staggered his allegiance; he became more irresolute after the imprisonment of Shaw Jehân; and the flight of Dara to Lahore, threw him at the feet of the new empe­ror. He told Aurungzêbe, That being of a religion which incul­cated the belief of a Providence as superintending over human af­fairs, he was now under no doubts concerning the side on which the gods had declared themselves. It were therefore, continued he, a kind of impiety to oppose him whom Heaven has placed on the throne. Aurungzêbe pleasantly replied, ‘"I am glad to owe to the religion what I hoped not from the love of Jesswint Singh."’

[Page 278] Jumla arrives at court.The visier Meer Jumla, who at the beginning of the rebellion had submitted to a political imprisonment in the Decan, seeing the affairs of Aurungzêbe in too good a condition to demand a conti­nuance of his double conduct, broke his fictitious chains, and pre­sented himself at court. The new emperor received him with every mark of honour and affection. He presented him with elephants, horses, riches, dresses, and arms; but of his whole fortune, which, to keep up appearances, had been confiscated, he only returned about fifty thousand roupees. ‘"In serving the state," said Aurungzêbe, "I have expended your fortune; but you, in serving it again, may acquire another."’ Jumla made no reply, but seemed satisfied with his escape from the critical situation in which he had been plunged by the civil war. A field soon present­ed itself to his abilities; and his fortune was amply restored by the unabating favour of his sovereign.

Aurungzêbe marches to Moultân.Intelligence arriving in the Imperial camp that Dara had taken the rout of Moultân, Aurungzêbe crossed the Suttuluz on the fifth of September. He advanced with rapid marches toward that city, wishing to put an end to the war in the north. Chan Jehân, who commanded the vanguard, arriving in Moultân, the unfortu­nate prince fled toward Bicker, and the mountains beyond the Indus. In vain had it been remonstrated to him by his followers, that he ought to have taken the rout of Cabul. Mohâbet, who had been always averse to Aurungzêbe, was at the head of a disciplined ar­my in that province. Aids might be drawn from the western Tar­tary; there was even a prospect of Persia's espousing the cause of Dara. Soldiers of fortune, men adapted by their manners and climate for the field, would flock to his standard. But Fortune had forsaken Dara, and she was followed by Prudence. Aurung­zêbe, when he first heard of the course of his brother's flight, cried out, in an ecstacy of joy, ‘"That the war was at an end."’ He [Page 279] detached eight thousand horse, under the conduct of Meer Baba, after the fugitive, and moved his camp on his return toward Agra.

Cause of his return.Many causes concurred in making Aurungzêbe anxious to re­turn to Agra. The force left in that city was small; and Shaista, who commanded there, was no great soldier. The troops, though silent, had not yet reconciled their minds to the force used against the person of Morâd; and they were, in some measure, shocked at the emperor's breach of faith to a friend as well as a brother. Shaw Jehân, though closely confined, had his emissaries and friends every where. Whispers concerning the unworthy usage of that great prince were carried round, and heard with attention. Many of the nobles raised by his favour respected him still for what he had been; and the empire; in general, which had flou­rished under his government, lamented the cloud which had set­tled on the latter end of a life of renown. The Maraja was still his friend. Proud and haughty beyond measure, he could not forget his defeat by Aurungzêbe, and he was chagrined at the cold reception which that prince had lately given to his proffered allegiance. Joy Singh, who had in a manner betrayed Solimân, thought also that he was not well requited for his services. He was still attached to Shaw Jehân, whose open and manly behaviour upon every occasion he compared with advantage to the cold duplicity of his son.

PreparationsSuja, who first appeared in arms against Dara, saw now a more dangerous enemy in another brother. The loss which he had sustained against Solimân was soon recovered in the rich and populous kingdom of Bengal. He saw a new could forming which was to burst upon him, and he prepared himself against the storm. He collected an army with his usual activity, and was on the point of [Page 280] taking the rout of Agra, to relieve his father from confinement. To deceive Aurungzêbe, he had congratulated that prince on his mounting the throne at Delhi; he owned his title, and only solicited for a continuance of his government over Bengal. The emperor was not to be deceived. He saw the views of mankind in their situation and character, and took professions of friendship from rivals for mere sounds. He however had behaved with his usual civility to the messenger of Suja. He pretended to be anxious about knowing the state of his health, and he made a minute inquiry concerning his children and family. ‘"As for a new commission to my bro­ther," said he, "it is at once unnecessary and improper. I my­self am but my father's vicegerent in the empire; and I derive my whole power from those infirmities which have rendered THE EM­PEROR unfit for the business of the state."’ This answer, though not satisfactory, amused Suja, and furnished an opportunity for Aurungzêbe to break the power of Dara, and to establish his own authority.

Of Suja.Suja, at length, threw off the mask; from a subject to Aurung­zêbe, he became his competitor for the empire. He begun his march with a numerous army, accustoming them to the ma­noeuvres of the field as he moved. His brother, who expected the storm, was not surprised at its approach. He remained but four days at Moultân. His son Mahommed was made governor of that province; that of Punjâb was conferred on Chillulla. He outstripped his army in expedition; and on the twenty-fourth of October he entered Lahore. He arrived at Delhi on the twenty-first of November; and notwithstanding the pressure of his affairs in the south, he celebrated his birth-day in that city, having entered the forty-first year of his age. The splendid and numerous appearance of the nobility on that occasion, convinced Aurungzêbe, who always made judicious observations on the [Page 281] Hig. 1069 behaviour of mankind, that he was firmly established on the throne which he had usurped. The nobles most remarkable for their penetration, were the first to pay their respects: they saw the abilities of the reigning prince; they were no strangers to the inferiority of his brothers; and they considered Fortune as only another name for Prudence. Daood, who had adhered hitherto to Dara, forsook that prince when he took, contrary to his advice, the rout of Bicker. He threw himself at the feet of Aurungzêbe; who, knowing his abilities, received him with distinction, and raised him to the rank of six thousand horse.

Preparations of Aurung­zêbe.During the few days which Aurungzêbe passed at Delhi, he informed himself minutely of the force and resources of Suja. That prince was more formidable than the emperor had imagined. To insure success, he ordered his son Mahommed to join him with the army from Moultân, and he resolved to avail himself of the great parts of Jumla. That lord had been sent, soon after his arrival at court, to settle the affairs of Chandeish and Guzerat, and he was ordered to return with some of the veteran troops stationed on the southern frontiers of the empire. The emperor, in the mean time, having arrived at Agra, reinforced the garrison of that city under Shaista; being apprehensive of an invasion under prince Solimân, from the mountains of Serinagûr. He himself took immediately the field; and moved slowly down the Jumna, in hourly expectations of reinforcements from the north and west.

Suja on full march.Suja, in the mean time, with a numerous army, was in full march toward the capital. He arrived at Allahabâd; and hav­ing remained a few days in the environs of that place, he renewed his march, and encamped his army, in a strong position, at a place called Kidgwâ, about thirty miles from Allahabâd. Distrustful [Page 282] A.D. 1659 of the discipline of his army, he entrenched himself, and waited for the arrival of Aurungzêbe, whom he wished to engage with an advantage which might supply the inferiority of his troops, in point of courage and hardiness. But Aurungzêbe studiously pro­tracted the time. His march was designedly slow, till he was joined by his son Mahommed with the troops of the north. He then moved forward with great expedition; Mahommed com­manding the van, consisting of five thousand chosen horse. Suja was astonished at this sudden vigour in his brother's measures; he began to fortify his camp, and to make dispositions for receiv­ing the enemy with warmth.

Fortifies his camp.The prince Mahommed, naturally full of fire, exceeded his orders. He pressed onward with the van, eager for a sight of the enemy; and when he presented himself before Suja, the emperor, with the army and artillery, was forty miles in the rear. He rode along the lines of the enemy, and, with unpardonable rashness, seemed to provoke them to battle. Suja, however, for what cause is un­certain, took no advantage of his temerity. The prince at length encamped his small army; and dispatched a messenger with his observations on the position and strength of the enemy. Aurung­zêbe was offended at the rashness of his son. He was, however, gentle in his reproof. ‘"When you shall possess the empire, Mahommed," said he, "you must protect it with more caution. A monarch ought to be a general rather than a partizan; and few forget folly in valour."’ The haughty spirit of the prince was impatient of rebuke. Active, gallant, and siery, he despised the slow dictates of Prudence; and would rather owe his fame to his sword, than to political management and address.

Aurungzêbe [...]sters battle.The Imperial standard came in sight on the thirteenth of January 1659; and Aurungzêbe encamped his army, leaving an [Page 283] extensive plain, very sit for a battle, between him and the lines of Suja. He drew up his army, on the morning of the fifteenth, in two lines, advancing his artillery some paces in the front. About twelve o'clock the cannon began to open on both sides. Suja had placed his artillery on a rising-ground, and his batteries were well served. He scoured the enemy's lines; and Aurung­zêbe, who durst not attack the trenches, was obliged to return with some loss to his camp. Suja took no advantage of the re­treat of his brother. He retired within his lines, and impru­dently neglected to keep possession of the rising-ground on the right, from which his artillery had played with such advantage on the enemy. Meer Jumla, who had arrived a few days before from the Decan, observed the negligence of Suja. He repre­sented the advantage which Fortune had offered to Aurungzêbe; and that prince ordered him to take possession of the hill in the night. Before morning appeared, Jumla threw up a redoubt on the place, and lined it with cannon; which were covered with a strong party of spearmen.

The battle begins.When day-light appeared, Jumla ordered his battery on the hill to open. The tents of Suja were in the range of the shot; and the prince was obliged immediately to strike them, and to move his quarters to the left. Aurungzêbe, who perceived the commotion in the enemy's camp, on account of the unexpected fire from the battery, thought this a proper opportunity to make a general assault. His army were already formed; and he ordered his elephants to advance with all expedition to tread down the entrenchments. A strong body of cavalry sus­tained the charge. The defendants, already in confusion, made but a faint resistance. The elephants soon levelled the entrench­ment, and the horse poured into the camp. Flight, confusion, and slaughter prevailed. Aurungzêbe, mounted on a lofty ele­phant, [Page 284] saw the appearance of victory on every side. He pushed forward into the center, to render complete the advantage which he had already obtained. But Fortune took a sudden change; and inevitable ruin seemed to overwhelm him and his affairs.

Treachery of the Maraja.The Maraja, Jesswint Singh, having made his peace with Aurungzêbe, had joined that prince with his native troops. His defeat at Ugein remained still fresh in his mind; and he longed to recover the laurels which he had lost in that unfortunate field. He had received orders to advance with his Rajaputs; and he even made a shew of attacking the enemy. But when he saw the emperor entering their camp, he suddenly turned, and fled with all his forces. The Moguls, however, followed not his example. Aurungzêbe carried forward on his elephant the Im­perial standard; and they were ashamed to leave it to the enemy. Jesswint, disappointed in his aim of drawing his party to flight by his own, fell suddenly on the rear of the line. He seized upon the baggage; and put servants and women to the sword, without either distinction or mercy. The noise of the slaughter behind was carried to the front, which was engaged with Suja in the center of his camp. Some fled to save their wives; and, cowards, wanting only an example, they were sollowed by thousands. The lines began to thin apace; the attack was sustained with less vigour; and the enemy acquired courage.

Resolution of Suja,Aurungzêbe exhibited upon the occasion, that resolute firmness which always rises above misfortune. To fly was certain ruin; to remain, an almost certain death. He sat aloft on his elephant, in full possession of his own mind; and he seemed not to know that any disaster had happened in the rear. The enemy, who had been tumultuously hurrying out of the camp, returned with [Page 285] vigour to the charge, upon the sudden change in the face of affairs. Suja, with an undaunted countenance, led the attack, standing in the castle, upon an enormous elephant. When his eye fell upon his brother, he ordered his driver to direct the furious animal that way. One of the principal officers of Aurungzêbe, who was also mounted on an elephant, perceiving the intention of Suja, rushed in before the prince. He was over­thrown in the first shock, but the elephant of Suja suffered so much in the concussion, that the animal stood trembling through every joint; having lost all sense of command, and almost the power of motion. The disappointed prince seemed enraged at his fortune; but the elephant of one of his nobles advanced against that of the emperor; and, in the first shock, the latter animal fell upon his knees; and it was with great difficulty he re­covered himself. Aurungzêbe had one foot out of the castle, ready to alight. The crown of India hovered on the resolution of a moment. Meer Jumla was near, on horseback: ‘"Stop," said he, turning sternly to Aurungzêbe; "you descend from the throne."’ The emperor, who was now composed, seemed to smile at the reproof. Whilst the animals continued to engage, the marksman, who sat behind him, shot the adversary's driver; but the enraged elephant continued, notwithstanding, to sight. Aurungzêbe was now in imminent danger; when he was delivered from destruction by the resolution of his driver. He threw himself dexterously on the neck of the other elephant, and carried him off; whilst his own place was supplied by one of the officers who sat behind the castle. Another elephant, in the mean time, advanced against Aurungzêbe; but he had the good fortune to shoot the driver with his own hand.

and of Au­rungzêbe;The emperor now found that his own elephant, from the many shocks which he had received, was much weakened and [Page 286] dispirited. He began to be afraid that he could not even keep the animal in the field. To alight would be equal to flight itself. The elephant began to turn; and Aurungzêbe, whose resolution never failed him in desperate situations, ordered the chains, which are always ready for binding him, to be locked round his feet. The emperor remained immoveable amidst the ene­my; a thousand shot were aimed at him, a thousand arrows fell into the castle; but being in complete armour, he remained unhurt. Some of the nobles observing this daring behaviour in their prince, rushed forward to his rescue. They bore all before them in this last effort; and Suja, in the moment of victory, was beginning to give way. His elephant, disabled by the first shock, was not to be moved forward. Aliverdi, one of his friends, came with a horse; and Suja, in an evil hour, deseended from his lofty seat. The same conduct had ruined Dara. The elephant re­turning to the rear, with an empty castle, the army thought that the prince was slain; and they began to fly on every side.

who obtains the victory.Aurungzêbe, who owed his victory to his own intrepidity, was in no condition to pursue the enemy. Night was now coming on; and he lay on the field under arms. During the action, the Maraja had defeated the party left to defend the baggage; and loading camels with the booty, sent them off under an escort. He himself still hovered round the rear. The proximity of the Imperial tents to the line, had hitherto protected them from being plundered by the Rajaputs. Night coming on, the Maraja ad­vanced; and, about an hour after it was dark, fell upon the tents of Mahommed, who had remained with his sather on the sield. A few, who defended the quarter of the prince, were cut off to a man; and the Rajaputs advanced to the Imperial tents, and seized upon every thing valuable within the square; putting every one that opposed them to the sword. The night became a scene of [Page 287] horror, confusion, and death. Aurungzêbe was not to be moved from the field; but he detached a part of the army to oppose the Maraja. When day appeared, the troops of Suja were no more to be seen; and the emperor, now convinced of his victory, turned his arms upon the Maraja. That prince stood his ground. A bloody battle ensued. The Rajaputs retreated; but they carried their booty away.

Suja pursued by Mahom­med.Suja fled with so much precipitation in the night, that he left all his tents, equipage, and artillery, on the field. His army de­serted him; and he even deserted his army. He changed his clothes, he threw off every mark of distinction, and hurried for­ward to Patna like a private man. He feared no enemy; but he was afraid of his friends. When Fortune had forsaken him, he hoped not to retain their faith; for to deliver him to Aurung­zêbe would not only procure their safety, but advance their inte­rest. The sun was scarce up, when Aurungzêbe detached ten thou­sand horse, under his son Mahommed, in pursuit of his brother. The enemy were so much dissipated, that sew were slain. The instructions of the prince were to follow Suja. He arrived at Patna, and the unfortunate prince sled to Mongeer; hoping to derive from walls that safety which he could not command in the field. His courage, however, forsook him not in his distress. He had still resources in his own active mind; and the whole pro­vince of Bengal was devoted to his interest, from the strict justice and mildness of his government.

Aurung­zêbe's speech to his nobles.After the flight of the Maraja and the departure of Mahom­med, the emperor called together the nobility and principal officers of his army. He had marked, from his elephant, the particular behaviour of each. He punished some for cowardice; others he promoted for valour. His reproofs were strong and [Page 288] pointed; the praise he bestowed manly and just. He, at the same time, made a long speech from the throne. He assumed no merit to himself, he even gave up that of his army, and attributed his success to Providence. He involved Heaven in his quarrel with his brothers; and made it the partner of his own guilt. This religious oration was received with bursts of applause. Mankind are in all ages and nations superstitious; and the bare profession of sancity hides the blackest crimes from their eyes. Aurungzêbe, however, did not forget his temporal affairs in his devotion. An­xious for the reduction of Bengal, and for an end of the war with Suja, he detached a large body of horse under Meer Jumla, to reinforce Mahommed, whilst he himself took the rout of the ca­pital.

A false re­port carried to Agra.The Maraja, in the mean time, with his booty, advanced to the walls of Agra. News of the defeat of Aurungzêbe had already filled that capital with surprize. The appearance of the Raja­puts confirmed the report. The adherents of the new emperor began to shift for themselves; and grief and joy prevailed, as men were variously affected to this or the other side. Shaista, who commanded in the city, was struck with melancholy and de­spair. He knew the active part which he himself had taken for Aurungzêbe; and he could expect no favour from the conquerors. He even made attempts against his own life; and seemed indif­ferent about shutting the gates of the citadel against Jesswint Singh. That prince, though he suffered little in the running fight with Aurungzêbe, was still afraid of the Imperial army, which followed close on his heels. Had he boldly entered the city, taken advantage of the panic of Shaista, and released Shaw Jehân, Aurungzêbe might still be ruined. But the fortune of that prince was still greater than his abilities.

[Page 289] Aurungzêbe arrives in that city.Aurungzêbe, apprehensive of some mischief in Agra, hastened his march to that capital. The city was now undeceived with re­gard to the battle; and the Maraja, who had boasted of the defeat of the emperor, began to fly before him. He directed his course to his own country; and, though incumbered with spoil, outstripped his pursuers in the march. Aurungzêbe entered Agra without any pomp. He did not permit him­self to be saluted by the guns of the fort. ‘"It would be im­proper," said he, "to triumph in the ears of a father, over the defeat of his son."’ He wrote a letter to Shaw Jehân, enquiring concerning his health; and he excused himself from coming into his presence on account of the hurry of public affairs. He slightly mentioned his victory, by insinuating that Providence, by his hands, had frustrated the designs of the enemies of the house of Timur. His father, who was no stranger to the situation of affairs, would not read the letter. He gave it back to the messenger, and said, ‘"If my son means to insult me, to know it would but add to my misfortunes; if he treats me with affection and re­spect, why does he permit me to languish within these walls?"’


Dara's flight to Bicker—He crosses the desert—Gains the governor of Guzerat—Marches toward Agra—Fortifies himself at Ajmere—Deceived—attacked—and totally defeated by Aurungzêbe—His unheard-of misfortunes—Distress in the desart—Arrival at Tat­ta—Throws himself under the protection of Jihon—Death of the Sultana—Dara betrayed—Carried with ignominy through Delhi—Confined at Chizerabâd—Assassinated—Reflections.

Dara flies to Bicker.DARA having fled from Moultân, took the rout of Bicker, beyond the Indus. The Imperialists were close at his heels. His army fell off gradually in his flight. His affairs were desperate, and their attachment gave way to personal safety. Four thousand still adhered to their colours, with which number Dara encamped near Bicker, having garrisoned the place, and submitted it to the command of a faithful friend. He had scarce pitched his tents, when the enemy came in sight. Though worn-out with fatigue, he was obliged to fly. He found boats by accident, and crossed the Indus with all his followers. On the opposite shore stood the strong fortress of Sicar. Struck with the hard fate of Dara, the governor opened the gates. But it was not the business of the prince to shut himself up within walls; which at best could only protract misfortune. He re­inforced the garrison with a part of his troops; and left some valuable effects under the protection of the governor.

[Page 291] Meditates to retire to Persia,Disincumbered, he betook himself to the open field, before he had even thought of the quarter to which he should direct his course. He wandered away in a melancholy mood. His faith­ful adherents, for only those whose attachment to his person overcame their own fears were now in his train, followed silently the path of a master whom they loved. Having marched a few miles, the prince came to the place where the road parted into two; the one leading to Tatta, the other toward the Persian province of Chorassan. Starting from his reverie, he stood for some time irresolute. On the one side there was ap­parent ruin; on the other, a certainty of personal safety. But glory was blended with disgrace in the first; in the latter there was nothing but obscurity and dishonour. When he weighed these things in his mind, the chariots in which were his women arrived. His perplexity increased. The desart toward Persia was extensive and unhospitable; on the side of India, his own misfortunes must overwhelm his family. He could not decide; and a melancholy silence prevailed around.

but changes his course to Tatta.The favourite Sultana, seeing the undecisiveness of Dara, at length put an end to his doubts. ‘"Can the first of the race of Timur," she said, "hesitate in this moment of distress? There is danger, but there may be also a throne on one side; but a frightful solitude, and the cold reception given to fugitive princes by strangers, threaten from the other. If Dara cannot decide, I, who am the daughter of Purvêz, will decide for myself. This hand shall prevent me, by death, from dishonour. The de­scendant of the immortal Timur shall not grace the haram of the race of Sheick Sesi!"’ The features of the prince were at once lighted up into a kind of mournful joy. He burst into tears; and, without uttering a word, spurred forward his horse toward Tatta. He had not remained many days in that city, when he [Page 292] received advices that a considerable detachment of the enemy was arrived within a few miles of the place. He evacuated Tatta, crossed the Indus, and fled toward the capital of Guzerat. The enemy laid a bridge of boats over the river; and were preparing to pursue the fugitive, when unexpected orders arrived for them to repair with all expedition to join the Imperial army, in full march against Suja.

Crosses the desart.The removal of the Imperial troops procured a happy respite for Dara; but it was but a transient gleam of Fortune, who had resolved to continue her frowns. The road of the prince lay partly through burning sands, destitute of water; partly through abrupt mountains, covered with impervious woods, the haunts of beasts of prey. His people were parched with thirst; his very camels died of fatigue. His unfortunate women were just ex­piring for want of water, when the prince, who ranged the soli­tudes far and wide, lighted on a spring. He encamped near it; and having refreshed his attendants, arrived next day on the bor­ders of the territories of the Raja's Jâm and Bahâra, which lay contiguous to each other in his rout. They received him with hospitality; but they declined to embrace his cause. They were the natural enemies of the house of Timur, who had, often from views of conquest, penetrated into their almost inaccessible country. When persuasion failed, Dara endeavoured to work upon the pride of Jâm. He proposed an alliance between his son Sipper Shekô, the constant attendant of his misfortunes, and the daugh­ter of the Raja. The match did not take place. The few Mogul nobles who adhered to him, were so much dissatisfied with the proposal, on account of its inequality, that it was laid aside; and Dara proceeded to Ahmedabâd.

[Page 293] and arrives in Guzerat.Shaw Nawâz, whose two daughters were married to Aurung­zêbe and Morâd, had been left by the latter in the government of Guzerat, and kept his residence in Ahmedabâd. When Mo­râd was seized, Aurungzêbe sent a new commission to Shaw Na­wâz, which that lord received, and governed his province in the name of the new emperor. He prepared to oppose Dara with all his forces. The match was unequal, and the prince, hemmed in with misfortunes on every side, began to despair. He, how­ever, resolved to carry no longer round the empire a life obnoxi­ous to misery. He advanced with his few attendants; and, as the last resort, wrote a letter to the younger daughter of Shaw Nawâz, who was the wife of Morâd, and had been left with her father when the prince marched toward Agra. He recounted his own misfortunes; and compared them with those of her husband. ‘"The enemy of both is one," said he: "if the memory of the unfortunate Morâd still lives in the breast of his wife, she will persuade her father to favour Dara, who is oppressed by the same untoward fate!"’

Gains over the gover­nor.The princess, who had mourned incessantly for the misfortunes of her lord, whom she loved to distraction, burst into a flood of tears at the reception of the letter. She grasped at the shadow of hope for her husband's releasement, which was offered by a prince overwhelmed by his own bad fortune. She threw herself at the feet of her father; her tears suppressed her voice; but she looked up to him with that forcible eloquence of eyes, which it is impossible to resist from beauty in distress. She placed the letter of Dara in his hands. He read it with emotion; and turned away in silence. She followed him on her knees, hold­ing the skirt of his robe. ‘"Is not my daughter," said he, "al­ready sufficiently wretched? Why does she wish to involve her father in the irretrievable misery which has overtaken her lord? [Page 294] But she will have it so—and prudence must give way to pity."’ He ordered the gates to be thrown open; and the princess, in an ecstasy of joy, sent accounts of her success to Dara.

Raises an army.The prince could scarce believe his own eyes, when he received the letter of the wife of Morâd. A gleam of hope came in upon his misfortunes. He entered Ahmedabâd; and the governor re­ceived him with the highest distinction and respect. He gave to the prince about one hundred and twenty thousand pounds in money, together with jewels to a great amount, to contribute to raise troops. This new life to the affairs of Dara, rendered him active in his preparations for war. In a few weeks he found himself at the head of a considerable army. He in the mean time received letters from the Maraja, who, with his native troops, was on his march with Aurungzêbe to attack Suja. That prince acquainted him of his design of deserting the new emperor in the action; and we have already seen that he kept his promise. He conjured Dara to hasten his march to support him in his intended defection. The advice was good; but the evil genius of Dara prevailed. He delayed, that he might aug­ment his forces; and lost the golden opportunity of restoring his affairs by an act of boldness and intrepidity. Suja was, in the mean time, defeated; and Aurungzêbe turned his whole force to­ward the strom which was brewing in the West.

Marches to­ward Agra.The desertion of the Maraja had spread news of the defeat and death of Aurungzêbe to every corner of the empire. The agreeable intelligence came to Dara. He instantly marched to­ward Agra, to seize the capital before the arrival of Suja, who was said to have conquered. In three days, the unfortunate prince was undeceived. Letters from different quarters brought him the particulars of the action, and of the complete victory obtained by [Page 295] his greatest foe. He was again thrown into perplexity. To proceed with so small a force was imprudent; to retreat, ruinous to his reputation. He had built his last hopes on his army; to retire, was to lose them by desertion. Many Europeans were in his camp. He had gained them by large promises; and they na­turally loved that impartiality which he shewed indiscriminately to men of merit of all nations. His artillery was upon the best footing; and he was not destitute of able engineers. His soldiers, for the most part consisting of the troops of the empire sta­tioned on the frontiers, were habituated to action. But they were too few in number; and their leader was destined for mis­fortune.

Turns toward the domi­nions of the Maraja,The Maraja, after plundering the Imperial camp, declared his intentions of marching to Guzerat with the spoil. Dara halted to take him up by his way. But the Indian had no serious inten­tions of assisting effectually any branch of the house of Ti­mur. An enthusiast in his own religion, he considered all Ma­hommedans as his natural enemies. He abetted none of the princes through choice. He studied to add fuel to the flame which raged between them, and to derive advantage from their dissentions. He hoped to find that freedom and independence in their weak­ness, which he could never expect from their favour and power. Under the influence of these political principles, he studiously avoided to meet Dara. He took the rout of Mar­wâr, to lodge his booty in his own dominions in safety. He, however, wrote letters to the prince, to advance to his borders, where he would join him with a recruited army. Dara accord­ingly marched toward Meirta, at which place he encamped with his forces, in daily expectations of the junction of the Ma­raja, who was collecting his forces at the capital of his domi­nions.

[Page 296] who is gained over by Au­rungzêbe,Aurungzêbe was, in the mean time, alarmed at the great pre­parations of the Maraja. He saw danger in his defection; and he had recourse to his usual art and address. He wrote to him a letter. He acquainted him, That the opposition given to his fortune at the battle of Ugein, had long since been blotted out of his memory, as it was the result of the Maraja's opi­nion in favour of Dara; that his submission to his government, while yet his brothers were in the field, was a conduct which entitled him to favour; but that his late desertion in battle, and his subsequent attack upon the Imperial baggage, could not be forgot, though it might be forgiven. ‘"The love of public tranquillity, however," continues Aurungzêbe, "has expelled from my breast every wish of revenge. It is therefore your interest, to withdraw your foot from the circle of Dara's misfor­tunes. That you should join my standard, I neither expect nor wish. I cannot trust again your faith; and my own force is sufficient to overthrow my enemies. You may therefore look from your own country, an unconcerned spectator of the war; and to re­ward you for your neutrality, the government of Guzerat shall be added to that of your hereditary dominions."’

and deserts Dara.The letter had the intended effect on the Maraja. He pre­ferred the proffered advantage to the gratitude of Dara, whose fortunes wore such a doubtful aspect. He broke off his correspond­ence with that prince, at the very time that he was buoyed up with the hopes of the junction of a great army with his own forces. A stranger to the motive of the Hindoo, he sent his son Sipper Shekô to endeavour to prevail upon him to throw off his inactivity. The young prince was received at his capital with distinction and hospitality. He was, however, dis­appointed in his views. The Maraja would give no satisfac­tory answer; and the prince returned to his father, who was [Page 297] greatly disconcerted by this new misfortune. He, however, re­solved to hesitate no longer with his fate. He decamped and marched in a direct line for Agra; and arrived at Ajmere, about eight days journey from that capital.

Dara fortisiesIn the neighbourhood of Ajmere, the high-road to the capi­tal passes between two steep hills, each of which forms the point of an impassable ridge of mountains, which stretch far into the country on both sides, and separate the kingdom of Guzerat from the rest of Hindostan. Dara halted with his army in this pass. His high opinion of the European mode of war, which he imbib­ed from the English, French and Portuguese in his service, had rendered that prince fond of entrenchments. He had considered the appearance of security, more than the movements of the hu­man mind: for armies often take entrenchments in no other light than as a proof of the superiority of the enemy. He threw up lines from hill to hill in his front, and strengthened them with artillery. Aurungzêbe, in the mean time, marched with an army to stop his progress; and arrived with great expedition in the neighbourhood of Ajmere. When he came in sight of the en­trenchments, he ordered his army to encamp; and he himself rode out to reconnoitre the enemy.

himself at Ajmere.Nothing could equal his astonishment when he viewed, through a spy-glass, the position of his brother. The strength of the works was inconceivable; instead of a common entrench­ment the prince had fortified himself with a strong rampire, defended by bastions, a deep ditch and a double row of pali­sadoes, which extended six miles across a valley. Aurungzêbe was perplexed beyond measure. He knew not how to act. An assault was evidently impracticable; to do nothing would derogate from that high opinion which he had already established in the minds of the people. Every day would add to Dara's influence [Page 298] and party; and mankind, who always side with the unfortunate, would attribute to ability what was the gift of chance. He called a council of the nobles. They differed in their opinions; much time was spent in argument without coming to a decisive measure. They at last agreed upon an expedient. They knew that the spirit of Dara was impatient of insult; and they advised the emperor to draw out his forces, and to offer battle.

Aurungzêbe of [...]ers battle.In compliance with the advice of his nobles, he formed his line on the 23d of March 1659, and advanced with his artil­lery within cannon-shot of the camp. Dara continued with­in his lines; and Aurungzêbe began to fortify himself under the enemy's fire. He continued the work the whole night, and covered his men before day-light appeared, notwithstanding his brother had sallied thrice during that time. The sun was scarce risen, when Debere, and some other nobles, issued out of the camp, and advanced on full speed with five thousand horse near the lines; hoping, by insulting him, to draw Dara from his lines. They paid dear for their temerity. The artillery of the enemy being well served, galled the assailants so much, that they retreated in disorder, and were glad to shelter themselves behind their own lines. Things remained in this doubtful situation for several days. The army of Dara, having the country in their rear open, were in no want of provisions; and were, therefore, under no necessity of retreating; and it was impossible, without a long siege, to overcome their almost impregnable lines.

His stratagemFortune, who never forsook Aurungzêbe, relieved his anxiety upon this occasion. A petty Indian prince, who commanded three thousand of his native infantry in the Imperial army, informed himself of a narrow and steep path, by which men, accustomed to climb, might ascend the mountain on the right of Dara's lines. He communicated his information to the emperor, who was over­joyed [Page 299] at the discovery. He made large promises to the Raja, should he gain, with a party, the summit of the mountain, with­out alarming the enemy. Should he be so fortunate as to succeed in the attempt, he was ordered to make a signal to the emperor from that side of the mountain which was covered from Dara. When night came on, he marched with his troops. Having encountered many difficulties, he ascended the mountain, and the appointed signal was ready to be shewn by the dawn of day.

to deceiveAurungzêbe never rested his hopes upon the success of a single scheme. He had, during the night, planned the ruin of his bro­ther's affairs, by a more fatal stroke of policy than the stratagem of the Raja. Debere Chan, and the Indian prince, Joy Singh, had, at the beginning of the war, adhered with warmth to the interests of Dara. Under the prince Solimân, they had distin­guished themselves in the defeat of Suja, and the reduction of Bengal. Yielding to the pressure of the times, and to the in­trigues of Aurungzêbe, they deserted, as has been already related, the colours of Solimân; and ruined all the hopes which the unfortunate Dara derived from the victorious army under his son. To these chiefs the emperor applied with much address. He promised largely; and he mixed threats with his proffered favour. He at length prevailed upon them to write an insidious letter to Dara, to the following purpose:

Dara. ‘"It is not unknown to the emperor," for with that title they affected to distinguish Dara, "that Debere and Joy Singh once deemed it their greatest glory to be numbered among his servants. With how much fidelity they obeyed his orders, they derive a proof from their actions, under the command of the illustrious prince Solimân Shekô. So much satisfied was Dara with the conduct of his faithful servants, that, in his letters, which were [Page 300] presented to us by the prince, he attributed the victory over Suja to our conduct and valour. The emperor was partial in our favour; but we presume to hope, we deserved a part of his praise. When the news of the defeat of our prince, and of the imprisonment of the king of kings, came to our ears, we thought ourselves alone amidst the victorious armies of our foes. What could we do? Our loyalty remained, but necessity was near. The times left us no choice, and we were forced to submit. We have ever since been dragged along, the unwilling slaves of Aurungzêbe. But now Fortune has returned to the threshold which leads to the presence of Dara. The accession of his faith­ful servants to his power, though not necessary to his affairs, will bring them to a more speedy conclusion. When, therefore, day-light shall appear, let the gate of the camp be opened to receive us; that we may have an opportunity of regaining, by our merit, the favour, of which we have been deprived by necessity. As soon as the sun shall arise, we look for admittance into the camp, with all our followers and friends."’

SucceedsThis letter was thrown into the lines, by a horseman on full speed. It was immediately carried to the prince; and, with that credulity which is inherent in a sincere mind, he im­plicitly believed every thing which the letter contained. Shaw Nawâz in vain remonstrated to him, in the strongest terms, that there was danger in considing in their sincerity. Dara was al­ways averse to advice; and now he was rendered blind by the hopes of gaining such powerful chiefs to his party. He was obstinate; and determined to risque all on the faith of men who had, a few months before, betrayed his son. He gave positive orders, that in the morning, that gate of the camp which looked toward the enemy should be thrown open, to receive the expected fu­gitives. He, at the same time, issued directions to all the officers, [Page 301] that care should be taken not to fire upon them as they advanced. Shaw Nawâz was highly dissatisfied; Mahommed Sherif, who commanded the forces, was astonished. The orders were per­emptory, and they must be obeyed. They, however, resolved to stand upon their guard; and when morning came, they posted themselves, with several squadrons, without the lines; giving orders, at the same time, that all the troops in the camp should stand to their arms.

againstAurungzêbe, who was no stranger to the character of Dara, foresaw that his stratagem would succeed. He drew up his army before day, behind his own camp; being covered by the tents from the enemy's view. The sun was not yet up, when he ordered Debere to issue forth from his right, and Joy Singh from his left, at the head of their troops, and to advance on full speed toward the camp. These officers accordingly rushed forth; and Aurungzêbe, to carry on the deceit, began to fire with his artillery, but with powder only, on the pretended deserters. Dara, full of expectation, stood on the rampire. When he saw the squadrons advancing, he ordered the gate to be thrown open; but Mahommed Sherif, who, with a chosen body, stood without the lines, being still dubious of the intentions of the fugitives, ordered them to stop, till he should be satisfied of their real designs.

that prince,Debere, who first advanced, had no time to deliberate. A par­ley would discover the whole to his own men; he immediately stopt short, and gave the signal of attack, by shooting Sherif, with an arrow, through the heart. That officer fell headlong to the ground; and a dreadful slaughter commenced, hand to hand. Debere, unmatched in that age for strength and personal bravery, hewed on his way to the gate, which Shaw Nawâz was endea­vouring to shut. But the thing was now impracticable, from the [Page 302] numbers that crowded into the camp. Debere entered, sword in hand; and Shaw Nawâz advanced to oppose him. The match was unequal. Debere, who respected the virtues, the years, the high quality of his adversary, desired him to surrender; and to fear nothing from his son-in-law. ‘"I myself," said Debere, "will intercede for Shaw Nawâz."’ The pride of the old lord arose. ‘"No!—Debere Chan;—I have hitherto de­fended my life by my valour; nor shall I purchase a few years of decrepid age at the expence of my former fame."’ Debere, at the word, ran him through with his spear. With Shaw Nawâz and Sherif, the courage of Dara's army fell. The treacherous Debere was now within the camp, with his squadron, who, fired with the example of their leader, made a prodigious slaughter. Joy Singh followed close on their heels.

who is to­rally de­feated.The emperor, in the mean time, advanced with his whole line; and the party, who had gained the summit of the mountain in the night, shewed themselves above the camp. The hills re-echoed to their shouts; and they began to roll stones and loosened rocks into the valley. These, falling from precipice to precipice, came crashing down on the affrighted army; and they turned their eyes from the swords of their enemies to this new species of danger. An universal panic spread over all. Confusion every where pre­vailed. Some fought, others fled, many stood in astonishment, without having even the courage to fly. Dara mounted his ele­phant to be seen by his army; but he himself saw nothing around but terror and death. He rushed forward to meet the enemy; but he was left alone. He called for Sherif; that chief was already cold in his blood: he wished for the presence of Shaw Nawâz, but his dead body presented itself to his eyes. He turned back, and gave his soul to despair. The safety of his women came then across his mind; he hastened with them from the field; [Page 303] whilst the spoils of his camp kept the enemy from pursuing his flight. Four thousand fell on the side of Dara, in this extraordi­nary action: Aurungzêbe lost not above two hundred; and in that number, no officer of distinction except Sheich Meer, the cap­tain-general of his forces.

The misfor­tunes of Dara.The grief of Dara for his defeat was great, but it was not equal to his astonishment. The misfortune, though dreadful, was unexpected, and by the sudden ill prevented the fear. It was, however, succeeded by misery, and unequalled distress. The un­fortunate prince fled to the capital of Guzerat. But the governor, [...]hom he left in the place, shut the gates against his lord. He sat down in silence, and knew not whither to fly. His friends became his greatest enemies. Two thousand Mahrattors still ad­hered to the unhappy prince. When they heard of the message of the governor, they despaired of the affairs of Dara, and added their own cruelty to his misfortunes. In a pretence of having large arrears of their pay due to them, they fell upon his baggage, and plundered it in his presence. Some caskets of jewels were saved by his women; for even in that season of licence and disorder, their persons were sacred from barbarity itself. This outrage was committed in the night. When day-light appeared, the robbers, as if ashamed of their conduct, fled with their spoil. A few only of the lowest menial servants remained. Every thing was re­moved from the field. The miserable tents, which he had col­lected in his flight, were carried away; and nothing was left but a few old screens of canvass, which covered the Sultana and her female slaves from the public eye. The distress of the prince may be imagined, but cannot be described. He walked about in seeming distraction; and the sad complaints of the women from behind their wretched covering, drew tears from the eyes of the few servants who still adhered to their unhappy lord.

[Page 304] Flies to the desart.The pressure of his misfortunes at length awakened Dara from a melancholy reverie, in which he had strayed from the place where his camp had stood. He returned in manifest disorder; and seemed to question every one with his eyes, about the means of moving to some place of safety. A few beasts of burden were collected by his servants; and the robbers, who had deserted and plundered his camp, had left to him the two elephants which he had brought from Ajmere. On these he placed all the effects which had escaped the ravages of the Mahrattors; and a few oxen found in a neigh­bouring field, dragged slowly away in covered carriages his wo­men. The prince himself, with his son Cipper Shekô, attended them on horseback, with an ill-mounted retinue of two or three hundred servants and faithful adherents. He turned his face to the frightful solitudes in which he had suffered so much before; but the parched desarts, which stretched themselves from Guzerat to the Indus, were less unhospitable to Dara than a brother's hands.

His greatThe prince soon arrived in the territories of Raja Jâm, whose hospitality alleviated his distress. He again applied to that chief for his aid, but he was deaf to the request. Dara promised largely, should Fortune again favour his cause; but she had taken her slight to return no more. Jâm was too prudent to throw his own fate into the scale of the prince. He became cold and reserved; and seemed, by his manner, to wish for the departure of his un­fortunate guest. He was again sorced to encounter the hardships of the desart. The heat of the season had added to the natural sterility of these dreadful solitudes. There was no water to be found; not a blade of grass to be seen. The air seemed, in some measure, on sire. There was nothing to shade the desolate tra­vellers from the scorching sun; excepting when clouds of sand, raised by whirlwinds, covered them with a satal darkness. The [Page 305] beasts of burden died for want of provender; the very camels perished for want of water. The favourite elephant, which had often carried Dara in all his pomp, was now the only useful ani­mal that remained; and even he began to fail. To add to the misfortunes of the prince, the favourite Sultana, the mother of all his children, and whom he tenderly loved, was at the point of death. She had been seized with hysteries from the fright of the battle; and had ever since been subject to violent fits. Death cut off gradually his retinue; at the end of every furlong, he was obliged to pay the last sad offices to some favourite servant or friend.

distress.When he came within sight of Tatta, the elephant which had carried his family across the desart, worn out with satigue and thirst, lay down and died. The few that remained of his fol­lowers were so languid and spent, that they could not crawl to the neighbouring villages for succour. Dara himself was obliged to execute that necessary service. He came to a hind, who kept oxen in a field. He mentioned his distress and his name; and the clownfled from his presence. He sat down; having no strength to retur [...] to [...]is desolate family. Curiosity, however, brought the whole village around; and every eye was full of tears. They brought all their beasts of burden to the place; and the whole country accompanied him, with shouts of joy, to Tatta. He, however, did not rest long in that city. He crossed the Indus, and threw himself under the protection of the petty chiefs of the district of Bicker; and they, touched with compassion, promised to support him with their lives and fortunes.

The active spirit of the emperor was not, in the mean time, idle. So long as Dara lives, he must totter on his throne. He knew the rout which his unfortunate brother had taken; but his troops would not pursue the fugitive through such a perilous way. [Page 306] He hoped that the hardships of the desart might prevent him from embruing his hands in blood; but Dara must perish; and Aurungzêbe was resolved to be provided against every event of Fortune. He ordered some troops to march down along the Indus from Moultân; and the news of their approach came a few days after the arrival of Dara. The generous chiefs, who from compassion had resolved to support his cause, being not yet pre­pared to receive the enemy, advised him to fly into Persia, the frontiers of which were within four days march of the place at which he then resided.

[...] prepared for his flight; but Nadîra Bâna, the favourite Sul­tana, was dying. Spent with fatigue, overwhelmed with sick­ness, and worn out with misfortune, she was altogether incapable of the journey; and he could not leave her behind. She knew his situation, and requested earnestly that they should move away. ‘"Death," said she, "will soon relieve the daughter of Purvez from her misfortunes; but let her not add to those of her lord."’ She could not prevail upon him to march whilst she was in such a situation; and he had, besides, placed great hopes in the friendship of Jihon Chan, a neighbouring chief of great power. Jihon had been twice saved from death by the interest of Dara. Shaw Jehân, who was an enemy to oppression, had ordered him to be, at two different times, prosecuted for murder and treason, before the chief justice of the empire. That judge, upon the clearest proofs, condemned him twice to death; and, at the request of Dara, he was pardoned by the emperor, and restored to his estate which had been confiscated. The prince, therefore, had reason to expect a return of gratitude; but the obligations were too great for the pride of this unprincipled chief, and they pressed upon him like injuries.

[Page 307] but throws himself on Jihon Chan.The natural perfidy of Jihon was so notorious, that all his friends, with one voice, remonstrated to Dara against his design of throwing himself on the faith of that chief. The prince, naturally obsti­nate, was now blinded by his fate. He could not think of leav­ing his beloved Nadîra in the hour of death; and he resolved to risque all for the melancholy satisfaction of being present when the faithful companion of his distress expired. Some nobles, who had hitherto attended his person, and who had determined to accompany him in his exile to Persia, separated themselves from a prince devoted to ruin. With seventy domestics only, he went to the residence of Jihon; and that chief, apprized of his coming, came out to meet him, and received him with the warmest pro­fessions of friendship.June 21st. He quitted his own palace to accommodate the prince; and nothing was to be seen around but the greatest marks of hospitality and profound respect.

The Sultana dies.The distemper of the Sultana had increased on the road to the re­sidence of Jihon. She fainted away when she was carried into the apartments assigned for her reception; and the prince sat in tears by her side, during the whole night. In the morning she expired in his arms. ‘"It is only now," said Dara, "I have found that I am alone. I was not bereft of all my friends whilst Nadîra lived. But she has closed her eyes on the misfortunes which are to in­volve her children and lord; and thus a peculiar happiness has succeeded to accumulated distress."’ He tore off his magnificent robe, and threw the Imperial turban on the ground: then, cloth­ing himself in a mean habit, he lay down by his departed consort on the bed. In the evening one of his faithful servants joined him with fifty horse. He was overjoyed at his arrival, and, starting up, took him in his arms, and said, ‘"My situation, Gal Mahommed," for that was the officer's name, "is not without resource. Nadîra, having forsaken the devoted Dara, has met [Page 308] with a part of that good fortune which was due to her virtues. You must, with your fifty horse, escort the body to Lahore, to the sepulchre of her great ancestors. Aurungzêbe himself will not refuse a grave to the family of Dara."’ The body was accordingly embalmed; and, being placed in a magnificent herse, was escorted to Lahore.

He is betray­ed by Jihon,Dara had not remained many days at the residence of Jihon, when intelligence was received, that Chan Jehân, one of the prin­cipal generals of his brother, was advancing from Moultân; and that his van was already arrived in the neighbourhood. Dara resolved to make his escape into Persia. He called his servants together, and he took leave of Jihon. When he had proceeded about a mile on his way, he discovered Jihon coming after him, with about a thousand horse, on full speed. He ima­gined, that Jihon designed to escort him with these troops to Persia. He rode back by way of doing him honour; and, when he was about addressing his thanks to the treacherous chief, he was suddenly surrounded and disarmed. ‘"Villain!" said Dara, "is it for this I twice saved your life from the resentment of my father, when the elephants were standing over you waiting for orders to crush you to death? But Justice will be satisfied, and Heaven has revenged your crimes upon my head."’ He stopt—and, with a scornful silence, submitted his hands to be bound.

and delivered upJihon heard the prince without making any reply; for what could he say to vindicate his conduct? He ordered the prisoner to be mounted on an elephant, and then he fell upon the baggage, to enrich himself with the spoil of his benefactor. He then hastened toward Chan Jehân; and, during the journey, notwith­standing the natural unfeelingness of his mind, he durst not for once come into the presence of the much injured prince. His [Page 309] fate being now determined, that anxiety, which had long clouded the countenance of Dara, vanished. His son was carried with him on the same elephant. Having a talent for poetry, he composed many affecting verses on his own misfor­tunes; with the repetition of which he often drew tears from the eyes of the common soldiers who guarded his person. ‘"My name," said he one day, "imports that I am IN POMP LIKE DARIUS; I am also like that monarch in my fate. The friends whom he trusted, were more fatal than the swords of his enemy."’ Notwithstanding these casual complaints, he main­tained his usual dignity, and there was even something majestic in his grief. It was not the wailings of a woman, but the manly afflictions of a great mind.

to the enemy.When Chan Jehân, who had been apprized of the imprisonment of Dara, saw that prince advancing, meanly dressed on a sorry elephant, he could not bear the sight; and he hid his tears in his tent. He detached a party from his army to escort him, to­gether with the traitor, to Delhi, where Aurungzêbe at the time kept his court. The emperor, though he rejoiced at the news that his brother had fallen into his hands, was full of per­plexity and indecision. He called a council of his nobles; and they differed in their opinions; some, declaring for sending him by another rout to the castle of Gualiâr; some, that he should be carried through the city, to convince mankind that he was fallen for ever. Many advised against a measure that might be full of danger from the humanity of the people; a few argued, that such conduct would degrade the dignity of the family of Timur. Others maintained, to whose opinion the emperor himself seemed to lean, that it was necessary he should pass through the capital, to astonish mankind with the absolute power and invincible fortune of Aurungzêbe.

[Page 310] Carried with ignominy through Del­hi.The unfortunate prince, accordingly, accompanied by his son, entered Delhi on an elephant. This, says a certain wri­ter, was none of the fine elephants of Ceylon and Pegu, which they were wont to ride with golden harness, embroidered covers, and magnificent canopies to defend them from the sun. No. It was an old animal, dirty and lean, with a tattered cover, a pitiful seat, and the castle open on all sides to the winds. The splendid ornaments of his person were now vanished, like his good fortune. A dirty dress of coarse linen scarce covered his body from the weather; and his wretched turban was wrapt round with a scarf made of Cashmire wool. His face, which formerly commanded respect with the manly regularity of its features, was now parched and shrivelled by being long exposed to the heat; and a few straggling locks, which appeared from his turban, presented a grey colour unsuitable to his years. In this wretched situation he entered Delhi; and, when the mob who crowded to the gates knew that it was Dara, they burst into loud complaints, and shed a flood of tears. The streets were rendered almost impassible by the number of the spectators; the shops were full of persons of all ages and degrees. The elephant moved slowly; and the progress he made was marked to those who were distant by the advancing murmur among the people. Nothing was heard around but loud complaints against Fortune, and curses on Aurungzêbe. But none had the boldness to offer to rescue the unfortunate prince, though slightly guarded. They were quite unmanned by their sorrow.

Confined in a neighbour­ing village.After wandering over the features of Dara, the eyes of the people fell on his son. They opposed his innocence, his youth, his graceful person, his hopes and his quality, to the fate which impended over his head; and all were dissolved in grief. The infectious sorrow flew over the whole city: even the poorest [Page 311] people forsook their work, and retired to secret corners to weep. Dara retained his dignity upon this trying occasion. He uttered not one word; but a settled melancholy seemed to dwell on his face. The unfortunate young prince was ready frequently to weep, being softened by the complains of the people; but his father checked him with a stern look, and he endeavoured to conceal his tears. Dara, having been thus led through the principal streets of Delhi, was conducted to Chizerabâd, a village four miles with­out the walls. He was locked up, with his son, in a mean apart­ment, in which he remained for some days in hourly expectation of his death. Here he amused himself with writing instructions for his son Solimân; having concealed an ink standish and some paper in one of the folds of his garment. His anxiety to know the intentions of Aurungzêbe, sometimes broke in upon his me­lancholy amusements. He appeared through the window to the guards; but they knew nothing of what passed at court. He then enquired concerning an old devotee, who had formerly lived in a cell near the foot of the Imperial garden at Delhi. One of the soldiers knew the old man; and the prince gave a billet to be carried to him, requesting some intelligence. ‘"But even he, perhaps," he said, with a sigh, "may have changed with the cur­rent of the times."’

The traitor Jihon slain by the people.The traitor Jihon, in the mean time, made his appearance at court, to claim the reward of his treachery. Aurungzêbe digni­fied him with a title, and enriched him with presents. Passing through the city of Delhi, he was pointed out to the mob, who, falling upon him near the gate which leads to Lahore, killed seven of his attendants. He himself escaped; but the country people rose upon him every where. They hunted him from place to place; till at length he met with his deserts, and was slain when he had almost reached the boundaries of his own govern­ment. [Page 312] The zeal of the people, however, proved fatal to Dara. The emperor, hearing of the tumult near the gate of Lahore, ordered the chief magistrate of the city, with his officers, to go to the place, and enquire into the cause of the disturbance. The mob fell upon the judge and his attendants. They fled to the palace, and the whole city was in an uproar.

Disturbances at Delhi,Aurungzêbe, in dead of a general revolt, called a council of his nobles. He had determined before to send his brother to the for­tress of Gualiâr; but now he was afraid of a rescue by the way. The minds of the people were strangely agitated. Their impre­cations against his cruelty reached him in the midst of his guards; and he began, for the first time, to shew symptoms of political fear. He asked the advice of his lords. The majority seemed to be for sparing the life of Dara; and for sending him, under a strong guard, to the usual prison of the Imperial family. Aurung­zêbe, though not satisfied, was about to yield to their opinion; when one Hakîm, a Persian by birth, with a design to gain the favour of the emperor, insisted that Dara should be put to death, as an apostate from the faith of Mahommed. The emperor pretended to be startled, and said, ‘"The thing is determined. I might have forgiven injuries done to myself; but those against religion I cannot forgive."’ He immediately ordered a warrant to be issued to Nazir and Seif, two fierce Afgan chiefs, which im­powered them to take off Dara that very night.

[...]asten the murder of Dara.On the eleventh of September, about midnight, the un­fortunate prince was alarmed with the noise of arms coming through the passage which led to his apartment. He start­ed up, and knew immediately that his death approached. He scarce had awakened his son, who lay asleep on the carpet at his seet, when the assassins burst open the door. Dara seized a knife, [Page 313] which he had concealed to mend the reed with which he wrote. He stood in a corner of the room. The murderers did not im­mediately attack him. They ordered his son to remove to the adjoining apartment; but he clung round his father's knees. Two of the assassins seized him, to force him away; when Dara, seeing Nazir standing at the door, begged to be indulged a few moments to take leave of his son. He fell upon his neck, and said,‘"My dear son, this separation is more afflicting than that between soul and body, which I am this moment to suffer. But should HE spare you—live. Heaven may preserve you to revenge my death; for his crimes shall not pass unpunished. I leave you to the protection of God. My son, remember me."’ A tear half started from his eye; when they were dragging the youth to the adjoining room. He, however, resumed his wonted dignity and courage. ‘"I beg one other favour, Nazir!" he said, "much time has not been lost by the last."’ He wrote a billet, and de­sired that it should be delivered to Aurungzêbe. But he took it back, and tore it, saying, ‘"I have not been accustomed to ask favours of my enemies. He that murders the father can have no compassion on the son."’ He then raised up his eyes in silence; and the assassins seemed to have forgot their office.

who is assis­sinated.During this time of dreadful suspence, the son, who lay bound in the next room, listened, expecting every moment to hear his father's dying groans. The assassins, in the mean time, urged on by Nazir, seized Dara by the hands and feet, and throwing him on the ground, prepared to strangle him. Deeming this an in­famous death, he, with an essort, disincumbered his hand, and stabbed, with his pen-knife, one of the villains to the heart. The others, terrified, fled back; but as he was rising from the floor, they fell upon him with their swords. His son, hearing the noise, though his hands were bound, burst open the door, and [Page 314] entered, when the murderers were severing his father's head from his body. Nazir had the humanity to push back the youth into the other apartment, till this horrid operation was performed. The head of Dara was carried to Aurungzêbe; and the unfortu­nate young prince was left, during the remaining part of the night, shut up with his father's body. Next morning he was sent privately under a guard, to the castle of Gualiâr.

ReflectionsThus fell the unhappy Dara Shekô; a prince whose vir­tues deserved a better fate. But he was born to distress; and his imprudence often assisted the malignity of his fortune. Though destitute of the address which is necessary to gain man­kind in general, he was much beloved by his family and do­mestics; and he was the darling of his father, who was often heard to say, That all his other children were not half so dear to him as Dara. This predilection in his favour was the source of the misfor­tunes of both. The other princes envied the influence of Dara, and all their differences with, and every disappointment which they expe­rienced from, their father, was laid to the account of their brother, who possessed all his confidence and esteem. Dara was certainly jealous of his brothers, whom he saw invested with too much power in their respective provinces; and his opposing their measures at court was the natural consequence of his fears. This mutual animosity being once kindled, all the princes looked forward to the death of their father with terror. The seeds of civil war were long sown before they appeared; and the illness of the emperor was the signal to begin the charge, from the four corners of his dominions. Dara had the post of advantage; but he was not a match in abilities to Aurungzébe.

on his death.Nazir, before day-light appeared, was admitted into the citadel to the emperor. That prince had remained all night in anxious expectation. Many of the nobles had expressed their high dis­satisfaction [Page 315] at the measure of putting Dara to death; and he was afraid that the resolution, before it took effect, might be communi­cated to the people and army. He saw that he was supported only by his own abilities and the venality of his followers. The unbiassed, by either interest or fear, looked with horror on the crimes which his ambition had already committed. They were disgusted at his cruelty to his father and his injustice to his brothers; and they, with indignation, saw hypocrisy, and the worst kind of ambition, lurking behind professions of religion and moderation. Nazir, however, relieved him of a part of his fears. The head of Dara being disfigured with blood, he ordered it to be thrown into a charger of water; and when he had wiped it with his handker­chief, he recognized the features of his brother. He is said to have exclaimed, ‘"Alas, unfortunate man!"’ and then to have shed some tears.


War against Suja—He is driven from Mongeer—and Raja-Mâhil—The prince Mahommed deserts to Suja—A mutiny in the army—Quelled by the visier—Battle of Tanda—Artifice of Aurungzêbe—Mahommed leaves Suja—His imprisonment and character—Suja driven from Bengal—His flight through the mountains of Tippera—Arrival at Arracân—Perfidy, avarice, and cruelty of the Raja—Misfortunes—resolution—bravery—and murder of Suja—Deplorable fate of his family—Reflections.

Reflections.THE fears of the emperor from the most formidable of his rivals, were extinguished with the life of Dara. The silence which accompanies the decisions of despotism, is an effectual pre­vention of tumult and confusion. The people, for some days, were strangers to the death of the prince, and his prior misfortunes had even lessened the regret, which his murder might have other­wise created in the minds of mankind. Misery had risen to its height; and the worst period it could have, was in some degree fortunate. The conduct of the emperor contributed to obliterate his crimes. With an appearance of humanity and benevolence in the common operations of government, men were apt to attribute the instances of cruelty which he exhibited, to the necessity of his situation; and they forgot the evils done to individuals, in the ge­neral good of the whole. Should self-preservation be admitted [Page 317] as an excuse for the commission of bad actions, Aurungzêbe was not without apology. He had gone too far not to go farther still: he had deposed his father, he had excluded his brother from the throne, and a flame had been kindled which could be extinguish­ed by nothing but blood.

Preparations of Suja.During the misfortunes of Dara in the west and north, the war was carried on with vigour in Bengal against Suja. That prince having, after the unfortunate battle of Kidgwâ, escaped to Mon­geer, was active in making new preparations for the field. Na­turally bold and intrepid, misfortune had no effect upon him but to redouble his diligence to retrieve it; and he wanted not resour­ces in his province for recommencing hostilities, with an appear­ance of being able for some time to ward off the hand of Fate, which seemed to hang over his head. His first care was to collect the remains of his dissipated army in the neighbourhood of Mon­geer, which commands the pass into Bengal; and, whilst he was collecting more troops from the extensive country in his rear, he drew lines from the mountains to the Ganges, to stop the progress of the enemy.

Jumla turns his rear.Mahommed, the son of Aurungzêbe, had been detached with ten thousand horse from the field of Kidgwâ in pursuit of Suja. The prince was soon joined by Jumla the visier, with a great force; and they proceeded slowly down along the banks of the Ganges. The strong position of Suja gave him a manifest advan­tage; and Jumla, an able and experienced officer, contrived to drive him from his post without bloodshed. The ridge of mountains to the right of the Ganges are, in their fertile valleys, possessed by petty, but independent princes. Jumla found means to draw these over to his party; and they shewed to him a passage through their country, by which he could turn the rear of Suja. Having, by [Page 318] way of blind, left a considerable part of the army to fall down, in the common rout, along the river, he himself, accompanied by the prince, entered the mountains, and was heard of by Suja in his rear, when he expected to be attacked in front. Suja de­camped with precipitation; but he arrived in the environs of Ra­ja-Mâhil some days before Jumla issued from the mountains. He fortified himself in his camp; and the visier, who could make no impression without artillery, marched toward the left, to join the army coming down along the Ganges.

Attacks him in his lines.The whole army having joined, the Imperialists presented them­selves before the lines of Suja. The visier opened upon him with his artillery, and made several unsuccessful assaults. During six days he was repulsed with slaughter; but Suja durst not trust the effeminate natives of Bengal in the open field against the Tartars of the north, who composed the greater part of the Imperial army. Jumla played incessantly with his artillery upon the fortifications, which being only made up of hurdles and loose sandy soil, were soon ruined. Suja's post becoming untenable, he decamped under the favour of night; and Jumla, afraid of an ambush, though he was apprised of the retreat of the enemy, durst not follow him. The rainy season commenced on the very night of Suja's flight; and the Imperialists were constrained to remain inactive for some months in the neighbourhood of Raja-Mâhil.

Suja retreats.Suja, with his army, crossing the Ganges, took the rout of Tanda; and, during the inactivity of the Imperialists, strengthened himself with troops from the Lower Bengal. He also drew from that quar­ter a great train of artillery, which was wrought by Portuguese and other Europeans, who were settled in that country. Suja, being at­tached to no system of religion, was favourable to all. He promised to build churches for the Christians, should he succeed in his views [Page 319] on the empire; and the missionaries and fathers entered with zeal into his cause. The affairs of the prince began to wear a better aspect. His effeminate troops acquired confidence from a well-served artillery; and even Aurungzêbe, who confided much in the abilities of Jumla, was not without anxiety. An event happened about this time which raised the hopes of Suja, and added to the fears of his brother.

The prince MahommedThe prince Mahommed, who, in conjunction with Jumla, commanded the Imperial army, had, before the civil war, con­ceived a passion for one of the daughters of Suja. Overtures of marriage had been made and accepted; but the consummation of the nuptials had been broken off by the troubles which disturbed the times. He seemed even to have forgot his betrothed wife in his activity in the field; but the princess, moved by the misfor­tunes of her father, wrote with her own hand a very moving letter to Mahommed. She lamented her unhappy fate, in seeing the prince whom she loved, armed against her father. She expressed her passion and unfortunate condition, in terms which found their way to his heart. His former affections were rekindled in all their fury; and, in the elevation of his mind, he resolved to desert his father's cause.

goes over to Suja.The visier, upon affairs of some importance, was, in the mean time, at some distance from the army, which lay at Raja-Mâhil. The opportunity was favourable for the late adopted scheme of Mahom­med. He opened the affair to some of his friends: he complained of his father's coldness, and even of his ingratitude, to a son, to whom, as having seized the person of Shaw Jehân, he owed the empire. He gave many instances of his own services; many of the unjust re­turns made by Aurungzêbe, and concluded by declaring his fixed resolution to join Suja. They endeavoured to dissuade him from so rash an action; but he had taken his resolution, and he would [Page 320] listen to no argument. He asked them, Whether they would follow his fortunes? they replied, ‘"We are the servants of Ma­hommed; and if the prince will to-night join Suja, he is so much beloved by the army, that the whole will go over to him by the dawn of day."’ On these vague assurances, the prince quitted the camp that evening with a small retinue. He embarked in a boat on the Ganges; and the troops thought that he had only gone on a party of pleasure.

Jumla per­plexed;Some of the pretended friends of Mahommed wrote letters, con­taining an account of the desertion of the prince, to the visier. That lord was struck with astonishment at the folly and madness of the deed. He thought it impossible, that, without having se­cured the army, he could desert his father's cause. He was per­plexed with anxiety and doubt; he expected every moment to hear, that the troops were in full march to Tanda; and he was afraid to join them, with a design of restoring them to their duty, lest he should be carried prisoner to the enemy. He, however, after some hesitation, resolved to discharge the part of a good officer. He set out express for the camp, where he arrived next day. He found things in the utmost confusion, but not in such a desperate situation as he had expected. A great part of the army was mutinous, and begin­ning to plunder the tents of those who continued in their duty. These had taken arms in defence of their property; so that blood­shed must soon have ensued. The country, on every side of the camp, was covered with whole squadrons that sled from the flame of dissention which had been kindled. Tumult, commotion, and disorder reigned everywhere when the visier entered the camp.

quellsThe appearance of that lord, who was respected for his great qualities by all, soon silenced the storm. He mounted an ele­phant in the center of the camp, and spoke after this manner to the army, who crowded tumultuously round him: ‘"You are [Page 321] no strangers, my fellow-soldiers, to the flight of the prince Ma­hommed, and to his having preferred the love of the daughter of Suja to his allegiance to his sovereign and father. Intoxicated by the same to which your valour had raised him, he has long been presumptuous in his hopes. Ambition brought him to the edge of the precipice over which he has been thrown by love. But in abandoning you, he has abandoned his fortune; and, after the first transports are over, regret, and a consciousness of folly, will only remain. Suja has perhaps pledged his faith to support the infatu­ated prince against his father; he may have even promised the throne of India as a reward for his treachery. But how can Suja perform his promise? We have seen his hostile standards—but we have seen them only to be seized. Bengal abounds with men, with provisions, with wealth; but valour is not the growth of that soil. The armies of Aurungzêbe are numerous; like you they are drawn from the north, and he is himself as invincible in the field as he is wise and decisive in the cabinet.’

a mutiny ‘"But should we even suppose that Fortune, which has hither­to been so favourable to Aurungzêbe, should desert him in another field, would Mahommed reign? Would Suja, experienced in the arts of government, and ambitious as he is of power, place the scepter of India in the hands of a boy? Would he submit to the authority of the son of a younger brother? to the tool of his own designs? The impossibility is glaring and obvious. Return, therefore, my fellow-soldiers, to your duty. You can conquer without Mahommed. Fortune has not followed him to the ene­my. Your valour can command her every where. He has em­braced his own ruin; but why should we share in his adverse fate? Bengal lies open before you: the enemy are just not totally broken. They are not objects of terror, but of plunder: you may acquire wealth without trouble, and glory without toil."’

[Page 322] in the army.This speech of the visier had the intended effect. Every spe­cies of disorder and tumult subsided in a moment. The troops de­sired to be led to the enemy; and Jumla did not permit their ar­dor to cool. He immediately began to throw a bridge of boats across the river. The work was finished in three days; and he passed the Ganges with his whole army. Mahommed, in the mean time, having arrived at Tanda, was received with every mark of respect by Suja. The nuptials were celebrated with the utmost magnificence and pomp; and the festivity was scarce over, when certain news arrived of the near approach of the Imperial army under Jumla. Suja immediately issued out with all his forces from Tanda. He posted himself in an advantageous ground, and waited for the enemy, with a determined resolution to risk all on the issue of a battle.

Defeats Suja.Mahommed, who was naturally full of confidence and bold­ness, did not despair of bringing over the greatest part of the ar­my of Jumla to his own side. He erected his standard in the front of Suja's camp; and when that prince drew out his forces in order of battle, he placed himself in the center of the first line. Jumla, conscious of the superiority of his own troops in point of valour, was glad to find the enemy in the open field. He formed his line, and ordered a column of horse to fall immediately upon Mahom­med. That prince vainly supposed, when the enemy advanced, that they were determined to desert Jumla. But he was soon con­vinced of his error by the warmth of their attack. He behaved with his usual bravery; but the effeminate natives of Bengal were not to be kept to their colours. They fled; and he was carried along with their flight. The utmost efforts of Suja proved also ineffectual. His troops gave way on all sides; and he himself was the last who quitted the field. A great slaughter was made in the pursuit, and Tanda opened her gates to the conqueror. The [Page 323] princes fled to Dacca in the utmost distress, leaving the eldest son of Suja dead on the field: but Jumla, remaining for some time in Tanda to settle the affairs of the now almost conquered province, gave them some respite, which they employed in levying a new army.

Artifice of AurungzêbeThe news of the flight of Mahommed arriving in the mean time at Delhi, Aurungzêbe concluded that the whole army in Ben­gal had gone over to Suja. He immediately marched from the capital with a great force. He took, with incredible expedition, the rout of Bengal. He however had not advanced far from Delhi, when intelligence of the success of his arms in the battle of Tanda met him on his way, and he forthwith returned to the ca­pital. He there had recourse to his usual policy. He wrote a letter to his son, as if in answer to one received; and he con­trived matters so, that it should be intercepted by Suja. That prince, having perused the letter, placed it in the hands of Ma­hommed, who swore by the Prophet that he had never once written to his father since the battle of Kidgwâ. The letter was conceiv­ed in terms like these:

to separate Mahommed ‘"To our beloved son Mahommed, whose happiness and safety are joined with our life. It was with regret and sorrow that we parted with our son, when his valour became necessary to carry on the war against Suja. We hoped, from the love we bear to our first-born, to be gratified soon with his return; and that he would have brought the enemy captive to our presence in the space of a month, to relieve our mind from anxiety and fear. But se­ven months passed away, without the completion of the wishes of Aurungzêbe. Instead of adhering to your duty, Mahommed, you betrayed your father, and threw a blot on your own fame. The smiles of a woman have overcome filial piety. Honour is forgot in [Page 324] the brightness of her beauty; and he who was destined to rule the empire of the Moguls, has himself become a slave. But as Ma­hommed seems to repent of his folly, we forget his crimes. He has called the name of God to vouch for his sincerity; and our pa­rental affection returns. He has already our forgiveness; but the execution of what he proposes is the only means to regain our fa­vour."’

from Suja.The letter made an impression on the mind of Suja, which all the protestations of Mahommed could not remove. He became silent and discontented. He had an affection for the prince, and he was more enraged at being disappointed in the judgment which he had formed, than at the supposed treachery. Having continued three days in this agitation of mind, he at last sent for the prince. He told him, in the presence of his council, that af­ter all the struggles of affection with suspicion, the latter had pre­vailed; that he could no longer behold Mahommed with an eye of friendship, should he even swear to his innocence in the holy tem­ple of Mecca; that the bond of union and confidence which had lately subsisted between them was broken; and that, instead of a son and a friend, he beheld him in the light of an enemy. ‘"It is therefore necessary for the peace of both," continued Suja, "that Mahommed should depart. Let him take away his wife, with all the wealth and jewels which belong to her rank. The treasures of Suja are open; he may take whatever he pleases. Go.—Au­rungzêbe should thank me for sending away his son, before he has committed a crime."’

He is dismiss­ed by that prince,Mahommed, on this solemn occasion, could not refrain from tears. He felt the injustice of the reproach; he admired the mag­nanimity of Suja; he pitied his misfortunes. But his own condi­tion was equally deplorable. He knew the stern rigour of his fa­ther; [Page 325] who never trusted any man twice. He knew that his difficul­ty of forgiving was equal to his caution. The prospect was gloomy on either side. Distrust and misery were with Suja, and a prison was the least punishment to be expected from Aurungzêbe. He took leave, the next day, of his father-in-law. That prince pre­sented his daughter with jewels, plate, and money to a great a­mount; and the unfortunate pair pursued their journey to the camp of Jumla.

seized,Mahommed, accompanied by his spouse the daughter of Suja, moved slowly toward the camp of Jumla. His melancholy en­creased as he advanced; but whither could he fly? No part of the vast empire of India was impervious to the arms of Aurung­zêbe; and he was not possessed of the means of escaping beyond the limits of his father's power. He was even ashamed to shew him­self among troops whom he had deserted. Regret succeeded to folly; and he scarce could reflect with patience on the past, though the fair cause of his misfortunes still kept her dominion over his mind. Having approached within a few miles of the Imperialists, he sent to announce his arrival to the visier. That minister hastened to re­ceive him with all the honours due to his rank. A squadron with drawn swords formed around his tent; but they were his keepers rather than guards. Jumla, the very next day, received a packet from court; which contained orders to send Mahommed, should he fall into his hands, under a strong escort to Delhi. The offi­cer who commanded the party was ordered to obey the commands of the prince; but he, at the same time, received instructions to watch his motions, and to prevent his escape. When he arrived at Agra, he was confined in the citadel, from whence he was soon after sent to Gualiâr, where he remained a prisoner to his death.

[Page 326] A.D. 1660 Hig. 1070 and impri­soned.Mahommed, though brave and enterprizing like his father, was destitute of his policy and art. Precipitate, full of fire, and incon­siderate, he was more fitted for acting the part of a partizan than of a general; and was therefore less adapted for war than for bat­tle. Haughty in his temper, yet easy in his address; an enemy to cruelty, and an absolute stranger to fear. He was daring and ac­tive on occasions of danger; but he knew his merit, and he was self-conceited and haughty. He ascribed to his own decisive valour the wholesuccess of his father; and he had been often known to say, that he placed Aurungzêbe on the throne when he might have possessed it himself. Naturally open and generous, he despi­sed the duplicity of his father, and disdained power that must be preserved by art. His free conversations upon these subjects estranged from him the affections of his father, who seems to have confessed this merit by his own fears. Had Mahommed accepted of the offer of Shaw Jehân, when he seized that prince, he had courage and activity sufficient to keep possession of the throne of the Moguls. But he neglected the golden opportunity, and shew­ed his love of sway, when he was not possessed of any rational means to acquire the empire. His misfortunes however were great­er than his folly. He passed seven years in a melancholy prison at Gualiâr, till death put a period to his misery.

SujaJumla, having settled the affairs of the western Bengal, march­ed with his army toward Dacca. Suja was in no condition to meet him in the field; and to attempt to hold out any place against so great a force, would be to ensure, by protracting, his own fate. His resources were now gone. He had but little money, and he could have no army. Men foresaw his inevitable ruin, and they shunned his presence. His appearance to the few troops who had remained near him, was even more terrible than the sight of an enemy. They could not extricate him from misfortune, and they [Page 327] pitied his fate. He however still retained the dignity of his own soul. He was always cheerful, and full of hopes; his activity prevented the irksomeness of thought. When the news of the ap­proach of the Imperialists arrived, he called together his few friends. He acquainted them with his resolution of flying be­yond the limits of an empire, in which he had now nothing to ex­pect but misfortunes; and he asked them, Whether they prefer­red certain misery with their former lord, to an uncertain pardon from a new master?

driven from Bengal,To the feeling and generous, misfortune secures friends. They all declared their resolution to follow Suja to whatever part of the world he should take his flight. With fifteen hundred horse he directed his march from Dacca toward the frontiers of Assâm. Jumla was close at his heels; but Suja, having crossed the Baram­putre, which, running through the kingdom of Assâm, falls into Bengal, entered the mountains of Rangamâti. Through almost impervious woods, over abrupt rocks, across deep valleys and head­long torrents, he continued his flight toward Arracân. Hav­ing made a circuit of near five hundred miles through the wild mountains of Tippera, he entered Arracân with a diminished retinue. The hardships which he sustained in the march were forgot in the hospitality of the prince of the country, who re­ceived him with the distinction due to his rank.

takes refuge in Arracán.Jumla lost sight of the fugitive when he entered the mountains beyond the Baramputre. He turned his arms against Cogebâr, and reduced that country, with the neighbouring valleys which inter­sect the hills of Kokapâgi. But Suja, though beyond the reach of Jumla's arms, was not beyond his policy. The place of his re­treat was known; and threatening letters from the visier, whose fame had passed the mountains of Arracân, raised terrors in the [Page 328] mind of the Raja. He thought himself unsafe in his natural fast­ness; and a sudden coolness to Suja appeared in his behaviour. The wealth of his unfortunate guest became also an object for his avarice. Naturally ungenerous, he determined to take advantage of misfortune; but he must do it with caution, for fear of oppo­sing the current of the public opinion. He sent a message to Suja requiring him to depart from his dominions. The impossibility of the thing was not admitted as an excuse. The Monsoons raged on the coast; the hills behind were impassable, and covered with storms. The violence of the season joined issue with the unre­lenting fate of Suja. The unfeeling prince was obstinate. He is­sued his commands, because he knew they could not be obeyed. Suja sent his son to request a respite for a few days. He was ac­cordingly indulged with a few days; but they only brought accumulated distress.

His uncom­monMany of the adherents of the prince had been lost in his march; many, foreseeing his inevitable fate, deserted him after his arrival at Arracân. Of fifteen hundred only forty remained; and these were men of some rank, who were resolved to die with their bene­factor and lord. The Sultana, the mother of his children, had been for some time dead: his second wife, three daughters, and two sons composed his family. The few days granted by the Raja were now expired; Suja knew of no resource. To ask a longer indulgence was in vain; he perceived the intentions of the prince of Arracân, and he expected in silence his fate. A message in the mean time came from the Raja, demanding in marriage the daugh­ter of Suja. ‘"My misfortunes," said the prince, "were not complete, without this insult. Go tell your master, that the race of Timur, though unfortunate, will never submit to dishonour. But why does he search for a cause of dispute? His inhumanity and avarice are too obvious to be covered by any pretence. Let [Page 329] him act an open part; and his boldness will atone for a portion of his crime."’

distress.The Raja was highly offended at the haughtiness of the answer of Suja. But the people pitied the fugitive, and the prince durst not openly do an act of flagrant injustice. To assassinate him in private was impossible, from the vigilance of his forty friends. A public pretence must be made to gain the wealth of Suja, and to appease his enemies by his death. The report of a conspiracy against the Raja was industriously spread abroad. It was affirmed that Suja had formed a design to mount the throne of Arracân, by assassinating its monarch. The thing was in itself improbable. How could a foreigner, with forty adherents, hope to rule a people of a different religion with themselves. An account of the circum­stances of the intended revolution was artfully propagated. The people lost their respect for Suja, in his character of an assassin. It was in vain he protested his innocence; men who could give credit to such a plot, had too much weakness to be moved by ar­gument.

Ordered to leave Arra­cân.The Raja, in a pretended terror, called suddenly together his council. He unfolded to them the circumstances of the conspi­racy, and he asked their advice. They were unanimously of opi­nion, that Suja and his followers should be immediately sent away from the country. The Raja was disappointed in his expectations; he had hoped that death should be the punishment of projected murder. But the natural hospitality of the nobles of Arracân pre­vailed over his views. He, however, under the sanction of the determination of his council, resolved to execute his own designs. The unfortunate prince, with his family and his forty friends, were apprised of his intentions. They were encamped on a narrow plain which lay between a precipice and a river, which issuing from Arracân, falls into the country of Pegû. At [Page 330] either end of the plain a pass was formed between the rock and the river. Suja, with twenty of his men, possessed him­self of one; and his son with the rest, stood in the other in arms. They saw the Raja's troops advancing; and Suja, with a smile on his countenance, addressed his few friends:

His resolu­tion. ‘"The battle we are about to sight is unequal; but, in our pre­sent situation, the issue must be fortunate. We contend not now for empire; nor even for life, but for honour. It is not fitting that Suja should die, without having his arms in his hands: to submit tamely to assassination, is beneath the dignity of his fa­mily and former fortune. But your case, my friends, is not yet so desperate. You have no wealth to be seized; Aurungzêbe has not placed a price upon your heads. Though the Raja is destitute of generosity; it is not in human nature to be wantonly cruel. You may escape with your lives, and leave me to my fate. There is one, however, who must remain with Suja. My son is involved with me in my adverse fortune; his crime is in his blood. To spare his life, would deprive the Raja of half his reward from Aurungzêbe for procuring my death."’

bravery,His friends were silent, but they burst into tears. They took their posts, and prepared themselves to receive with their swords the troops of the Raja. The unfortunate women remained in their tent, in dreadful suspence; till rouzed by the clashing of arms, they rushed forth with dishevelled hair. The men behaved with that elevated courage which is raised by misfortune in the extreme. They twice repulsed the enemy, who, afraid of their swords, began to gall them with arrows from a distance. The greatest part of the friends of Suja were at length either slain or wounded. He himself still stood undaunted, and defended the pass against the cowardly troops of Arracân. They durst not approach hand to hand; and their missive weapons flew wide of their aim. [Page 331] The officer who commanded the party, sent in the mean time some of his soldiers to the top of the precipice, to roll down stones on the prince and his gallant friends. One fell on the shoulder of Suja; and he sunk down, being stunned with the pain. The enemy took advantage of his fall. They rushed forward, disarmed and bound him.

misfortunes, and murder.He was hurried into a canoe which lay ready on the river. The officer told him, that his orders were to send him down the stream to Pegû. Two of his friends threw themselves into the canoe, as they were pushing it away from the bank. The wife and the daughters of Suja, with cries which reached heaven, threw them­selves headlong into the river. They were, however, brought ashore by the soldiers; and carried away, together with the son of Suja, who was wounded, to the Raja's palace. The prince, sad and desolate, beheld their distress; and, in his sorrow, heeded not his own approaching fate. They had now rowed to the middle of the stream; but his eyes were turned toward the shore. The rowers, according to their instructions from the cruel Raja, drew a large plug from the bottom of the canoe; and throwing them­selves into the river, were taken up by another canoe which had followed them for that purpose. The canoe was instantly filled with water. The unfortunate prince and his two friends betook themselves to swimming. They followed the other canoe; but she hastened to the shore. The river was broad; and at last, worn out with fatigue, Suja resigned himself to death. His two faithful friends at the same instant disappeared in the stream.

Deplorable fate of his family.Piâra Bani, the favourite, the only wife of Suja, was so famed for her wit and beauty, that many songs in her praise are still sung in Bengal. The gracefulness of her person had even become proverbial. When the Raja came to wait upon her in the haram, [Page 332] she attempted to stab him with a dagger which she had concealed. She, however, was disarmed; and perceiving that she was destined for the arms of the murderer of her lord, in the madness of grief, rage and despair, she disfigured her beautiful face with her own hands; and at last found with sad difficulty a cruel death, by dashing her head against a stone. The three daughters of Suja still remained; two of them found means by poison to put an end to their grief. The third was married to the Raja; but she did not long survive what she reckoned an indelible dis­grace on the family of Timur. The son of Suja, who had de­fended himself to the last, was at length overpowered, by means of stones rolled down upon him from the rock. He was carried to the Raja; and soon after, with his infant brother, fell a victim, by a cruel death, to the jealousy of that prince.

Reflections.Such was the melancholy end of Suja, and of all his fa­mily; a prince not less unfortunate than Dara, though of better abilities to oppose his fate. He was bold and intrepid in action, and far from being destitute of address. His personal courage was great; and he was even a stranger to political fear. Had he, at the commencement of the war, been possessed of troops equal in valour to those of his brother, we might probably have the misfortunes of Aurungzêbe, and not those of Suja, to relate. But the effeminate natives of Bengal failed him in all his efforts. Per­sonal courage in a general, assumes the appearance of fear with a cowardly army. When Suja prevailed, the merit was his own; when he failed, it was the fault of his army. No prince was ever more beloved than Suja; he never did a cruel, never an in­humane action during his life. Misfortune, and even death it­self, could not deprive him of all his friends; and though his fate was not known in Hindostan for some years after his death, when it was heard, it filled every eye with tears.


Prudent administration of Aurungzêbe—Observations on his conduct—His behaviour toward his second son—Solimân Shekô betrayed by the Raja of Serinagur—He flies—is taken—brought to Delhi—and imprisoned—An embassy from Persia—Shaw Allum declared heir-apparent—A famine—Wise and humane conduct of the em­peror—War in the Decan—Aurungzêbe falls sick—Distractions at Delhi—Intrigues of Shaw Allum—Recovery of the emperor—He demands the daughter of Dara—and the Imperial jewels from Shaw Jehân—but is refused—His art to appease his father—Promotions.

Reflections.THE war with Suja, which was carried on in the extremity of the empire, neither disturbed the repose of Aurung­zêbe, nor diverted his attention from the civil affairs of the state. Impartial and decisive in his measures, he was even acknowledged to be a good prince, by those who recognized not his right to the throne; and men began to wonder, how he, who was so just, could be so cruel. The people suffered little by the civil war. The damage done by the marching and counter-marching of armies, was paid out of the public treasury. An exact discipline had been observed by all parties; for the rivals for the crown of Hindostan, though in the sield against one another, could not persuade themselves that they were in an enemy's country. The prince who prevailed in a province, extended not the punish­ment [Page 334] of treason to those who supported a competitor with their swords; and, what is scarce credible, not one man beyond the family of Timur, was either assassinated in private, or slain by the hands of public justice, during a civil war, so long, so bloody, and so various in its events.

Prudent ad­ministrationThe emperor accustomed to business, in his long government of various provinces, was well acquainted with the whole detail of public affairs. Nothing was so minute as to escape his no­tice. He knew that the power and consequence of the prince depended upon the prosperity and happiness of the people; and he was even from selfish views an enemy to oppression, and an encourager of agriculture and commercial industry. He esta­blished a perfect security of property over all his dominions. The forms of justice were made less intricate, and more expeditious than under former reigns. To corrupt a judge was rendered for the first time a crime. The fees paid in the courts of judicature were ascertained with accuracy and precision; and a delay in the execution of justice, subjected the judge to the payment of the loss sustained by the party aggrieved.

of Aurung­zebe.The course of appeals from inferior to superior courts was unin­terrupted and free; but to prevent a wanton exertion of this pri­vilege, the appellant was severely fined, when his complaint against a judgment was found frivolous and ill-founded. The distributers of public justice, when their decrees were reversed, could not always screen themselves under a pretended error in judgment. Should the matter appear clear, they were turned out of their offices, as swayed by partiality or bribery. Aurung­zêbe, soon after his accession to the throne, established a prece­dent of this kind. An appeal came before him in the presence of the nobles. The decision had been unjust. He sent for the judge, and told him in public, ‘"This matter is clear and ob­vious; [Page 335] if you have no abilities to perceive it in that light, you are unfit for your place, as a weak man; if you suffered yourself to be overcome by presents, you are an unjust man, and there­fore unworthy of your office."’ Having thus reprimanded the judge; he divested him of his employment, and dismissed him with ignominy from his presence.

Observations on his con­duct.But this is the fair side of the character of Aurungzêbe. Dark and determined in his policy, he broke through every restraint to accomplish his designs. He pointed in a direct line to the goal of ambition; and he cared not by what means he removed whatever object obstructed his way. He either believed that morality was inconsistent with the great tract of government; or, he acted as if he believed it; and he sometimes descended into a vicious meanness, which threw discredit on his abilities, as well as upon his honesty. He held the cloke of religion between his actions and the vulgar; and impiously thanked the Divinity for a success which he owed to his own wickedness. When he was mur­dering and persecuting his brothers and their families, he was building a magnificent mosque at Delhi, as an offering to God for his assistance to him in the civil wars. He acted as high­priest at the consecration of this temple; and made a practice of attending divine service there, in the humble dress of a Fakier. But when he lifted one hand to the Divinity, he, with the other, signed warrants for the assassination of his relations.

Artful con­duct of his second son.During the civil wars which convulsed the empire, all remained quiet in the Decan. The prudent management of Mahommed Mauzim, the second son of Aurungzêbe, prevented the lately conquered provinces from shaking off the yoke. That prince, with a great share of his father's abilities, exceeded him if pos­sible in coolness and self-denial. He knew the stern jealousy of [Page 336] the emperor; and he rather affected the humility of a slave, than the manly confidence of a son. He was no stranger to the faci­lity with which his father could sacrifice every thing to his own security; and he looked upon him as an enemy who watched his motions, more than in the light of a parent who would grant indulgences for errors. He knew that the best means for pre­venting the suspicions of Aurungzêbe, was to copy his own art. He affected to love business; he was humble and self-denied in his professions, destitute of presumption, and full of devotion.

suspected.Aurungzêbe, whose penetrating eye saw some design lurking in secret behind the conduct of Mauzim, insinuated to that prince, that to reign was a delicate situation; that sovereigns must be jealous even of their own shadows; and, as for himself, he was resolved never to become a sacrifice to the ambition of a son. Mau­zim knew the intention of the speech, but he seemed not to understand it; and he redoubled his attention to those arts which had already, in a great measure, lulled asleep the watchful suspi­cions of his father. He remitted the revenue to the capital, with great regularity and precision. He practised, in his expences, the oeconomy and frugality which his father loved. In appear­ance, and even perhaps from constitution, an enemy to effeminate pleasures, without vanity enough for pomp and magnificence, his court seemed like the cell of a hermit, who grudged to others the indulgences for which he had no taste himself. All this art, however, prevailed not with Aurungzébe to continue him in his viceroyship of the Decan. He knew, from his own experience, how dangerous it is to continue the government of a rich pro­vince, long in the hands of a prince of abilities. He, therefore, recalled Mauzim to court, and gave his high office to Shaista Chan.

[Page 337] A.D. 1661 Hig. 1071 Expedient against Soli­mân.The attention of Aurungzêbe turned from Bengal to another quarter, upon receiving certain intelligence of the flight of Suja to Arracân. Solimân still remained inclosed in the mountains of Serinagur, under the protection of the Raja. The emperor did not think himself firmly fixed on the throne, whilst any of the family of Dara remained out of his hands. He applied through Joy Singh, who, from being of the same religion with the Raja, had great influence over him, to the prince of Serinagur. He tempted his avarice, and he wrought upon his fears. The Raja, being averse to be thought dishonourable, hesitated contrary to the bias of his passions. He, however, connived at an invasion of his country to reconcile his people, by an appearance of ne­cessity to the delivering up of the prince. The troops, who enter­ed his country with pretended hostilities, carried to him the price set upon the head of Solimân.

Seized,The unfortunate youth, being apprized of his danger, fled over the frightful mountains which separate Serinagur from Tibet. Three friends accompanied him in this impracticable at­tempt. The sides of these mountains are covered with impervi­ous forests, the haunts of beasts of prey; on their top dwells a perpetual storm. Rapid rivers and impassable torrents occupy the vallies; except where some brushwood here and there hides dangerous and venomous snakes. It was then the rainy season; and mist and darkness covered the desart with additional horror. The unhappy fugitives, not daring to trust any guide, lost their way. When they thought themselves on the borders of Tibet, they were again within sight of Serinagur. Worn out with fa­tigue, they took shelter under a rock, where they were discover­ed by a shepherd, who gave them some refreshment, but at the same time informed the Raja of what he had seen. That chief sent his son with a party to seize Solimân. The prince was [Page 338] asleep when they arrived in fight; but he was rouzed by one of his three friends who kept the watch. They took to their arms. The young Raja plied them with arrows from a distance, and two of the prince's companions were slain. He himself was wounded. He fell under this unequal mode of attack; and was brought bound into the presence of the Raja.

and sent to Delhi.That prince began to excuse his breach of hospitality by pub­lic necessity. He diminished the independence of his own situa­tion, and magnified the power of Aurungzêbe. ‘"To seize an unfortunate fugitive," said Solimân, "is a crime; but it is ag­gravated by the insult of making an apology, for what Heaven and mankind abhor. Take your reward for my life; it alleviates the misfortunes of my situation, that now I owe you nothing for the friendship which you exhibited upon my arrival in your do­minions."’ He turned his eyes in silence to the ground; and, without a murmur, permitted himself to be carried prisoner to Delhi. The emperor affected to be displeased, that the unhappy prince had fallen into his hands. To leave him at large was im­possible; and even the walls of a prison were not a sufficient se­curity, against the designs which the disaffected might form in his favour. He ordered him to be brought into the hall of audi­ence, in the presence of all the nobles; even the chief ladies of the haram were indulged with a fight of a young prince, as fa­mous for his exploits, as for his misfortunes.

Brought be­fore the emperor.When he had entered the outer-gate of the palace, the chains were struck off from his feet; but the fetters of gold were left upon his hands. The whole court were struck with the stately gracefulness of his person; they were touched with grief at his melancholy fate. Many of the nobles could not refrain from tears; the ladies of the haram weeped aloud behind the screens. [Page 339] Even the heart of Aurungzêbe began to relent; and a placid an­xiety seemed to wander over his face. Solimân remained silent, with his eyes fixed on the ground. ‘"Fear nothing, Solimân Shekô," said the emperor; "I am not cruel, but cautious. Your father fell as a man destitute of all religion; but you shall be treated well."’ The prince bowed his head; and then raised his hands as high as his fetters would permit, according to the cus­tom in the Imperial presence. He then addressed himself to the emperor. ‘"If my death is necessary for the safety of Aurung­zêbe, let me presently die, for I am reconciled to my fate. But let me not linger in prison, to languish away by degrees, by the means of draughts, which deprive the mind of reason, when they enfeeble the body."’ This alluded to an infusion of poppy, which the imprisoned princes were forced to drink in Gualiâr. It ema­ciated them exceedingly, their strength and understanding left them by degrees, they became torpid and insensible, till they were at last relieved by death. The emperor desired him to rest satisfied that no design was entertained against his life. He was sent that very night to Agra, and soon after ordered to Gualiâr, with the prince Mahommed, the emperor's eldest son.

Embassies from Persia and Tartary.The imprisonment of Solimân put an end to the fears of Au­rungzêbe. He found himself firmly seated on the throne; and mankind were unwilling to disturb the tranquillity which they enjoyed under his prudent administration. Peace prevailed all over the empire. The most distant and inaccessible provinces became pervious to his authority. He extinguished party, by re­taining no appearance of revenge against those who had opposed his elevation. He made friends of his enemies by conferring upon them favours; and he secured the faith of his friends by repos­ing in them his confidence. The neighbouring states, who had remained unconcerned spectators of the civil wars, acknowledged [Page 340] the right which Aurungzêbe had acquired by his fortune and ad­dress. An ambassador arrived from Shaw Abas the Second of Persia, to felicitate him on his accession to the throne; and he was followed by another from Suja king of the western Tartary. The emperor's pride was flattered by the acquiescence of these two powerful monarchs, in his title to the crown. He received their representatives with unusual pomp; and at the same time that he gratified the princes with magnificent presents, he enrich­ed the ambassadors with very considerable sums of money.

Shaw Allum declared heir of the em­pire.The folly of the prince Mahommed had totally estranged from him the affections of his father: his obstinacy and daring disposi­tion had rendered him an object of terror to the provident mind of Aurungzêbe. That monarch had resolved to keep him al­ways a close prisoner in Gualiâr: he, however, allowed him a household, and the company of women. This humane treat­ment had raised the hopes of the prince of being speedily released. He wrote to his father penitential letters; but they produced no answer. Mahommed, in the vigour of his own mind, had a crime which could not be forgiven. Mauzim the second son, took advantage of his brother's misfortune. He redoubled his attention to his father's orders; and seemed to obey with so much humility, that he eradicated all fears of wishing to com­mand from his suspicious mind. To cut off the hopes of Ma­hommed, as well as to secure the affections of Mauzim, the lat­ter was publicly declared heir of the empire, and his name chang­ed to that of Shaw Allum, or, King of the World. A son was soon after born to that prince; and his birth was celebrated with uncommon splendour and festivity.

A dreadful famine.In the midst of this public joy, the news of a dreadful calamity was received at court. A prodigious famine, occasioned by the [Page 341] uncommon drought of the season which burnt up the harvest, prevailed in different parts of India. The emperor exerted him­self with a humanity unsuitable to his behaviour toward his own family, to alleviate the distress of his subjects. He remitted the taxes that were due; he employed those already collected in the purchase of corn, which was distributed among the poorer sort. He even expended immense sums out of the treasury, in convey­ing grain by land as well as by water into the interior provinces, from Bengal and the countries which lie on the five branches of the Indus, as having suffered less on account of the great rivers by which they are watered. The grain so conveyed was pur­chased, at any price, with the public money; and it was re­sold at a very moderate rate. The poorer sort were supplied, at fixed places, with a certain quantity, without any consideration whatever. The activity of the emperor, and his wise regulations, carried relief through every corner of his dominions. Whole provinces were delivered from impending destruction; and many millions of lives were saved.

Wisdom and humanity of of Aurung­zêbe.This humane attention to the safety of his subjects obliterated from their minds all objections to his former conduct. He even began to be virtuous. The ambition which made him wade through blood to the throne, inclined him to the pursuit of fame, which can only be acquired by virtue. ‘"No man," observes a Persian author, "is a tyrant for the sake of evil. Passion per­verts the judgment, a wrong judgment begets opposition, and opposition is the cause of cruelty, bloodshed, and civil war. When all opposition is conquered, the sword of vengeance is shcathed, and the destroyer of mankind becomes the guardian of the human species."’ Such are the reflections of a writer, who published the history of Aurungzêbe in the heart of his court; and that they were just, appears from his having the boldness to make them. [Page 342] To alleviate the calamity which had fallen on the people, was the principal, if not the sole business of the emperor during the third year of his reign. A favourable season succeeded to his care; and the empire soon wore its former face of prosperity.

A war on theIn the month of September of the year 1661, the news of the breaking out of a war on the frontiers of the Decan, was brought to Aurungzêbe. The Imperial governor, Shaista Chan, irritated at the depredatory incursions of the subjects of Sewâji, prince of Côkin or Concan, on the coast of Malabar, led an army into his country. Sewâji, unable to cope with the Imperialists in the field, retired into the heart of his dominions to levy troops; and left his fron­tier towns exposed. They fell, one by one, before the power of Shaista, and that lord at length sat down before Chagna, one of the principal places, both for consequence and strength, in the province of Côkin. It was situated on a high rock, steep and inaccessible on every side. The utmost efforts of Shaista were baffled. He had made breaches in the parapet, on the edge of the rock, but he could not ascend with an assault. When he at­tempted to apply scaling ladders, the besieged rolled down huge stones upon him, and crushed whole squadrons of his troops. To raise the siege would bring disgrace; to take the place seemed now impossible.

coast of Ma­lab [...]r.Shaista, in the mean time, fell upon an ingenious contrivance, which produced the desired effect. A hill rose, at some distance from the fort; from the top of which, every thing which passed within the walls could be seen through a spy-glass. The captain­general stood frequently on this hill to reconnoitre the place. He observed that, at a certain hour every day, the garrison was sup­plied with ammunition from a magazine in the center of the sort. He had no mortars in his train; it having been found [Page 343] A.D. 1662 Hig. 1072 impossible to carry them across the immense ridge of mountains which separate the Decan from Malabâr. He, however, fell upon an effectual expedient. The wind blowing fresh from the hill upon the town, he let fly a paper-kite, which concealed a blind match, at the very instant that the garrison was supply­ing themselves with powder from the magazine. He per­mitted it to drop in the midst; by an accident the match fell upon some powder which happened to be strewed around. The fire communicated with the magazine; and the whole went off with a dreadful explosion, which shook the country, threw down the greatest part of the fort, and buried the most of the garrison in the ruins. The Moguls ascended in the confusion; and those who had escaped the shock, fell by the sword.

The Maraja▪sentThe emperor was so much pleased with the expedition of Shaista into Malabâr, that he resolved to reinforce him to com­plete the conquest of Côkin. The Maraja, who, for his desertion of Dara, had been placed in the government of Guzerat, was ordered to march to join Shaista with twenty thousand horse. That prince, fond of the activity and tumult of expedition, obeyed the Impe­rial mandate without hesitation. He arrived in the camp before the news of his march had reached the captain-general. Be­ing naturally haughty and violent, he disapproved of Shaista's mode of carrying on the war. He pretended that he was sent to assist him with his counsel as well as with his arms; and that he was resolved, if he did not alter his plan, to complete the conquest of Côkin with his own troops. Shaista would re­linquish no part of his power. He commanded him upon his allegiance to obey. The Maraja was provoked beyond mea­sure, at a treatment so humiliating to his pride. He thwarted privately the measures of the captain-general; and that lord be­gan to exercise over him all the rigour of authority.

[Page 344] A.D. 1663 Hig. 1073 to reinforce the army.The Maraja, whose honour was not proof against his more violent passions, formed a plot against Shaista's life. The nobles of the first rank are permitted, by the patent of their crea­tion, to have, among their other marks of dignity, a band of music, consisting of drums, fifes, trumpets, cymbals, and other warlike instruments. These have an apartment over the gates of their palaces in cities, in the camp a tent near that of their lord, is assigned to them; where they relieve one another, and play, when not prohibited, night and day. The Maraja, under a pretence that the captain-general was much pleased with their music, sent them one night a present of five hundred roupees, in their master's name; and commanded them, to continue to play till next morn­ing. They accordingly struck up after supper; and made a prodi­gious noise. Shaista, not averse to music, took no notice of this uncommon attention in his band.

His plot to assassinateWhen the camp became silent toward midnight, the Maraja, who, having a correspondence with Sewâji, had admitted a small party of the enemy into the camp, ordered them to steal, unper­ceived, into the quarter of the captain-general. They, accordingly, passed the guards, and, cutting their way through the screens which surrounded the tents of Shaista, entered that in which he slept. They searched in the dark for his bed. He awakened. Alarmed at their whispering, he started and seized a lance, which was the first weapon that met his hand. He, at that instant, re­ceived a blow with a sword, which cut off three of his fingers, and obliged him to drop the lance. He called out aloud to the guards; but the noise of the music drowned his voice. He groped for the weapon; and with it defended his head from their swords. His son, who slept in the next tent, alarmed by the noise, rushed in with a lighted torch in his hand. The father and son fell then upon the assassins. Murderers are always cowards. They sled; but the son of Shaista expired of the [Page 345] A.D. 1664 Hig. 1074 wounds which he received in the conflict; and the father himself recovered with much difficulty.

the captain-general.The Maraja, in the mean time, came, in seeming consternation, to the quarter of the general. He lamented the accident; and condescended to take the command of the army till he should recover. The officers suspected the prince of the assassination; but he had cut off the channels which could carry home a proof. Silence prevailed over the camp; and, though Shaista was not slain, the Maraja possessed every advantage which he had expected from the murder. Aurungzêbe, from his perfect knowledge of the disposition of the Maraja, was satisfied of his guilt. It would not, however, be either prudent or effectual to order him to appear to answer for his crimes in the presence: he knew that his boldness was equal to his wickedness. He, therefore, suppressed his resent­ment; and drew a veil on his designs, to lull the prince into secu­rity. He affected to lament the accident which had befallen to his general; but he rejoiced that the management of the war had come into such able hands.

Aurungzêbe falls sick.When the affairs of Aurungzêbe wore the most promising aspect, he was near losing, by his own death, the empire which he had acquired by the murder of his relations. On the twenty-fifth of May, he fell into a fever. His distemper was so violent, that he was almost deprived of his reason. His tongue was seized with a palsy; he lost his speech, and all despaired of his recovery. The people were silent; and looked forward for a sudden revolution. Intrigues for the empire commenced. The lords met in private in their palaces; the court, the haram, were full of schemes. It was already whispered abroad, that he was actually dead. Some regretted him as an able prince, some as a great general; many were of opinion, that Heaven had interfered in [Page 346] punishing his injustice to his relations. His sister, the princess Roshinâra, who had possessed his confidence, was thought to conceal his death till her own plans for the succession of his younger son to the throne should be ripe for execution.

Consterna­tion of the people.Uncertain and improbable rumours were, in the mean time, circulated, and swallowed with avidity by the people. Their af­fections for the old emperor being still entire, they created fictions to flatter their wishes. The Maraja, they said, was in full march to release him from confinement. Mohâbet, ever averse to Aurungzêbe, was on his way with an army for the same purpose, from Cabul; and had already passed Lahore. The people of Agra, they affirmed, were actuated by tumult and commotion; the garrison of the citadel was mutinous, and Etabâr, who commanded in the place, waited only for the news of the death of the new emperor to open the gates to his ancient lord. Though it was impossible that these fictions could have any probable foundation, from the shortness of the time, they were received with implicit faith by a credulous multitude. The very shopkeepers and artizans neglected their business for news. They gathered to­gether in groups; and one continued whisper of important and incredible events flew over all the strects of Delhi.

Shaw Allum intrigues for the throne.The prince Shaw Allum was not, in the mean time, idle. He secretly waited upon many of the nobility, and solicited their interest, with large promises of gratitude and advantage, in the event of his father's demise. Roshinâra, who was best ac­quainted with the intentions of the emperor, insinuated, that the succession was to fall on Akbâr, as yet but a boy. Both parties averred, however, in public, that at present there was no occasion for a new prince. Aurungzêbe himself, they said, only managed the empire during the debility of mind which his illness [Page 347] had brought upon Shaw Jehân. That monarch, continued they, being now recovered, will resume the reins of government; and dispose of the succession in favour of any of his posterity whom he shall think worthy of the throne of the Moguls. The people already believed themselves under the government of the old emperor. The nobility entertained no resolution of that kind. Their acquiescence under Aurungzêbe, had rendered them afraid of the restoration of his father. They knew that the Maraja and Mohâbet, who still professed themselves the friends of the latter, would, in the event of his enlargement, carry all before them; and feared the violence of the first, as much as they dreaded the abilities of the second.

AnxietyEtabâr, who commanded the citadel of Agra, seemed now to have the fate of the empire in his hands. To open the gates to Shaw Jehân, was to involve all in confusion; though it might be expected, that from the attachment of the people to their ancient sovereign, tumult and commotion would soon sub­side. Aurungzêbe, in the short intervals of his excessive pain, applied his mind to business. He gathered the sense of the people from the dark anxiety which covered the features of his attendants. He called his son Shaw Allum before him. He de­sired him to keep himself in readiness in case of his death; to ride post to Agra, and to take the merit of releasing Shaw Jehân. ‘"Your only hopes of empire, and even the safety of your person," said he, "will depend upon the gratitude of your grandfather. Let not, therefore, any other person deprive you of that advan­tage."’ He then called for pen and ink, and wrote to Etabâr, to keep a strict watch upon the emperor: ‘"As my death is not cer­tain," said Aurungzêbe, "let not your fears persuade you to trust to the gratitude of any man."’

[Page 348] of Aurung­zêbe.The anxiety shewn by the emperor on the occasion, convinced mankind that he thought his own recovery doubtful. The lords quitted the palace, and each began to prepare against the worst events. He sent, on the fifth day, a summons to all the nobility to come to the hall of audience. He ordered himself to be carried into the assembly; and he requested them, from his bed, to prevent tumults and commotions. ‘"A Iion," said he, alluding to his father, "is chained up; and it is not your interest to permit him to break loose. He is exasperated by real injuries; and he fancies more than he feels."’ He then called for the great seal of the empire, which he had intrusted to the princess Roshinâra. He ordered it to be sealed up in a silken bag, with his private signet, and to be placed by his side. His exertion to speak to the nobles threw him into a swoon. They thought him dead. A murmur flew around. He, however, recovered himself; and ordering Joy Singh and some of the principal lords to approach, he took them by the hand. Day after day he was thus brought into the presence of the nobility. All intrigues ceased at the hopes of his recovery. On the tenth day of his illness, the fever began to leave him, and, on the thirteenth, though weak, he was apparently out of danger. The storm that was gathering, subsided at once. A serene calm succeeded; and people wondered why their minds had been agitated and discomposed, by the hopes and fears of revolution and change.

He recovers.The sickness of Aurungzêbe was productive of a discovery of importance, to a monarch of his jcalous and provident disposition. He sound that Shaw Allum, whom he had designed for his suc­cessor in the throne, had shewn more eagerness in forwarding the schemes of his own ambition, than anxiety for the recovery of his father. He also found, from the reception given to the solici­tations of the prince by the nobility, that his influence was too inconsiderable to secure to him the undisturbed possession of the [Page 349] empire. His pride was hurt by the first; his prudence penetrated into the cause of the second. He had long thought the self-denial of his son to be a cloke for some deep-laid design; and an acci­dent had convinced him of the truth of what he had suspected before. The mother of Shaw Allum was only the daughter of a petty Raja. Aurungzêbe had, on account of her beauty, taken her to wife; but the meanness of her birth had left a kind of disgrace on her son in the eyes of the nobles, who revered the high blood of the house of Timur. The emperor, therefore, in his youngest son, found a remedy against the objections of the nobility to Shaw Allum. That prince was born to Aurungzêbe by the daughter of Shaw Nawâz, of the Imperial house of Sefi. The Persian nobility, who were numerous in the service of the empire, discovered a great attachment to Akbâr; and even the Moguls preferred him on account of the purity of his blood, to his brother. The affections of the emperor were also in his favour; and he now seriously endeavoured to pave his way to the succession.

His demandsWhen the family of Dara had, with the unfortunate prince, fallen into the hands of Aurungzêbe, that monarch had, at the request of his father and the princess Jehanâra, delivered over the only daughter of Dara into their hands. She remained in the prison at Agra with her grandfather. Aurungzêbe, upon his recovery, wrote a letter, full of professions of regard, to his father; and he con­cluded it with a formal demand of the daughter of Dara, for his son Akbâr; hoping, by that connection, to secure the influence of the young prince among the nobles. The sierce spirit of Shaw Jehân took fire; Jehanâra's indignation arose. They rejected the proposition with disdain; and the old emperor returned for answer, That the insolence of Aurungzêbe was equal to his crimes. The young princess was, in the mean time, alarmed. [Page 350] She feared force, where intreaty had not prevailed. She con­cealed a dagger in her bosom; and declared, that she would suffer death a hundred times over, before she would give her hand to the son of her father's murderer. Shaw Jehân did not fail to acquaint Aurungzêbe of her resolution, in her own words; and that prince, with his usual prudence, desisted from his design. He even took no notice of the harshness of his father's letter. He wrote to him, soon after, for some of the Imperial jewels, to adorn his throne. ‘"Let him govern with more justice," said Shaw Jehân; "for equity and clemency are the only jewels that can adorn a throne. I am weary of his avarice. Let me hear no more of precious stones. The hammers are ready which will crush them to dust, when he importunes me for them again."’

on his im­prisoned father.Aurungzêbe received the reproaches of his father with his wonted coolness. He even wrote back to Agra, that ‘"to offend the emperor was far from being the intention of his dutiful ser­vant. Let Shaw Jehân keep his jewels,"’ said he, ‘"nay more, let him command all those of Aurungzêbe. His amusements constitute a part of the happiness of his son."’ The old emperor was struck with this conduct. He knew it to be feigned; but the power of his son to inforce his requests gave value to his moderation. He accordingly sent to him a present of jewels, with a part of the ensigns of Imperial dignity, to the value of two hundred and fifty thousand pounds. He accompanied them with a short let­ter: ‘"Take these, which I am destined to wear no more. Your fortune has prevailed.—But your moderation has more power than your fortune over Shaw Jehân. Wear them with dignity; and make some amends to your family for their misfortunes, by your own renown."’ Aurungzêbe burst into tears upon the occa­sion; and he was thought sincere. The spoils of Suja were, on the same day, presented at the foot of his throne. His fears be­ing [Page 351] now removed, there was room left for humanity. He ordered them from his sight, and then retired, in a melancholy mood, from the hall of audience.

Shaw Allum sent to the Decan;During these transactions at court, Shaw Allum was commis­sioned by his father to take the command of the Imperial army in the Decan; Shaista being rendered unfit for that charge by the wounds which he had received from the assassins, armed against him by the Maraja. The forwardness of the prince in making a party during his father's illness, adhered to the mind of Aurungzêbe; but he concealed his sentiments on that subject. There, however, subsisted a coolness, which the accurate observers of human nature could plainly perceive, in the conduct of the emperor; and his abridging the power and revenue of his son, when he appointed him to the government of the Decan, shewed that he distrusted his loyalty. Men, who are willing to suppose that Aurungzêbe sacrificed every other passion to ambition, affirm, that he became even careless about the life of his son; and they relate a story to support the justice of the observation. A lion issuing from a forest not far distant from Delhi, did a great deal of mischief in the open country. The emperor, in an assembly of the nobles, coolly ordered his son to bring him the skin of the lion; without permitting him to make the necessary pre­parations for this dangerous species of hunting. Shaw Allum, whose courage was equal to his reservedness and moderation, cheerfully obeyed; and when the master of the huntsmen pro­posed to provide him with nets, he said: ‘"No; Aurungzêbe, when at my age, feared not to attack any beast of prey, without formal preparations."’ He succeeded in his attempt; and brought the lion's skin to his father.

[Page 352] and Mohâbet to Guzerat.The arrival of the prince in the Decan superseded the Maraja, who, during the illness of Shaista, commanded the army. He requested to be permitted to return to his government of Gu­zerat; but it had been conferred upon Mohâbet. This lord, during the troubles which convulsed the empire, remained quiet in his government of the city and province of Cabul. He re­tained his loyalty to Shaw Jehân; and executed the duties of his office in the name of that prince. After the death of Dara, and the flight of Suja beyond the limits of the empire, he saw an end to all the hopes of the restoration of his ancient lord. He, there­fore, began to listen to the proposals of Aurungzêbe. That prince informed him, that instead of being offended at his attachment to his ancient lord, he was much pleased with his loyalty. That such honour, conduct, and bravery, as those of Mohâbet, far from raising the jealousy of the reigning prince, were deemed by him as valuable acquisitions to his empire; and that to shew the since­rity of his professions, he had sent him a commission to govern, in quality of viceroy, the opulent kingdom of Guzerat.


Recovery of the emperor—Progress to Cashmire—Disturbances in Guzerat—Conquest of Assâm—Death and character of Meer Jumla—Insurrection of Fakiers—quelled—An universal peace—Death of the prince Mahommed—War with Sewâji—Death of the emperor Shaw Jehân—Anecdotes of his private life—Grief of Aurungzêbe—Strange conduct and flight of Sewâji—The Ma­raja discontented—War against Arracân—Chittagong reduced.

Recovery of the emperor.THOUGH Aurungzêbe was judged out of danger on the thirteenth day of his illness, his disorder hung upon him for more than two months. His application to business was an enemy to the speedy restoration of his health; but the annual rains, which commenced in July, having rendered the air more cool, his fever entirely left him, and he soon regained his former strength. His physicians advised him to avoid, by an expedition to Cash­mire, the heat of the ensuing season; and his favourite sister Ro­chinâra, whose counsel he generally followed, being very desirous of visiting that delightful country, persuaded him to prepare for his progress. The affairs of the empire had become settled with his re­turning health. The hopes of novelty had subsided in the minds of the people; and the precision with which government was car­ried on, left room for neither their hopes nor their fears. The su­perficial [Page 354] judges of things however blamed the emperor for quit­ting the center of his dominions; whilst his father remained a pri­soner in his own capital. Aurungzêbe judged of the future by the past; the nobles were tired of revolution and war, and the vul­gar are feldom mutinous or troublesome, where no glaring op­pression exists.

His progressAbout the middle of December 1644, the emperor, after a te­dious preparation for this progress, left Delhi; and moved toward Lahore, at which city he arrived by slow marches at the end of seven weeks. The army which accompanied him in this tour, consisted of near fifty thousand men, exclusive of the retinues of his nobles, and the necessary followers of the camp. The heavy baggage and artillery kept the common highway, but the em­peror himself deviated often into the country, to enjoy the diver­sion of hunting. The princess Rochinâra, fond of pomp and mag­nificence, was indulged in her favourite passion by the splendor of her cavalcade. The emperor, who in a great measure owed his success to the intelligence which she had from time to time trans­mitted to him from the haram, shewed himself grateful. Her jealousy of the influence of Jehanâra over her father first attached her to the interests of Aurungzêbe; and the partiality shewn by her sister to Dara, naturally threw Rochinâra into the scale of his foe. Her abilities rendered her sit for politics and intrigue; and the warmth of her constitution, which she could not consecrate to pleasure, adapted her for business and action.

to Cashmire.The progress of the prince did not obstruct the necessary business of the state. Attended by all his officers, the decisions of each de­partment were carried from the camp to every corner of the em­pire. Expresses stood ready on horseback at every stage; and the Imperial mandates were dispatched to the various provinces as soon [Page 355] A.D. 1665 Hig. 1075 as they were sealed in the tent of audience. The nobles, as was customary in the capital, attended daily the presence; and appeals were discussed every morning as regularly as when the emperor re­mained at Delhi. The petitioners followed the court; and a small allowance from the public treasury was assigned to them, as a com­pensation for their additional expence in attending the Imperial camp. In this manner Aurungzêbe arrived at Cashmire. The beauty, the cool and salubrious air of that country, induced him to relax his mind for a short time from business. He wandered over that charming valley, after a variety of pleasures; and he soon re­covered that vigour of constitution which his attention to public business, as well as his late sickness, had greatly impaired.

DisturbancesThe universal peace which had encouraged the emperor to un­dertake his progress to Cashmire, was not of long continuance. Disturbances broke out in the kingdom of Guzerat. The Rajas of the mountains, thinking the tribute which they paid to the em­pire too high, rebelled. Rai Singh was chosen chief of the confe­deracy. They joined their forces, and, issuing from their narrow valleys, presented a considerable army in the open country. Cut­tub, a general of