[BUT for the great name of the writer, this little work would scarcely deserve notice. It consists of a series of letters written to the Emperor by Shaikh Faizí, while he was absent on his embassy to the Dakhin, in the thirty-sixth year of the reign (see Vol. V. pp. 460, 467). The letters are of a gossiping familiar character, and are embellished with plenty of verses; but they contain nothing of importance, and throw little light upon the political relations of the time.
All these letters were translated for Sir H. M. Elliot by Lieut. Prichard, and it is to be regretted that they were not more worthy of the labour bestowed upon them.
Faizí cannot be considered an historian, so a memoir of his life would be out of place in this work. A full and satisfactory one will be found in Blochmann's Áín-i Akbarí, vol. i. p. 490.]
After travelling a long distance, and accomplishing many stages, I arrived on the 20th of the month of December (Púr), at a place fifty kos from Burhánpúr, and the next day pitched my camp and arranged my tent in a manner befitting a servant of the Court. The tent was so arranged as to have two chambers; in the second or innermost of which, the royal throne was placed, with the gold-embroidered cushion on it: over which the canopy of velvet, worked with gold, was erected. The royal sword and the dresses of honour were placed on the throne, as well as Your Majesty's letter, whilst men were standing around with folded hands. The horses also, that were to be given away, were standing in their proper place. Rájá 'Alí Khán, accompanied by his followers, and the vakíl and magistrate of the Dakhin, approached with that respect and reverence that betokened their obedience and good-will to Your Majesty. They dismounted some distance from the tent, and were admitted into the outer chamber. They approached respectfully, and were permitted to proceed onwards. When they entered the second chamber, and saw the royal throne at some distance from them, they saluted it, and advanced with bare feet. When they arrived at a certain distance, they were directed to stand and make three salutations, which they did most respectfully, and continued standing in the place. I then took the royal letter in both hands, and calling him a little nearer, said, “His Majesty, the vicegerent of God, has sent your highness two royal orders, with the greatest condescension and kindness,—this is one.” On this, he took the letter and put it on his head respectfully, and saluted it three times. I then said, “His Majesty has bestowed on your highness a dress of honour.” Upon this he bowed, kissed it, and bowed again. In the same way he did homage for the sword, and bowed every time Your Majesty's name was mentioned. He then observed, “I have for years wished to be seated in your presence,” and, at the same time, he appeared anxious to do so. Whereupon I requested him to be seated, and he respectfully sat down in your humble servant's presence. When a fitting opportunity offered itself, I addressed him warily, and said I could show him how he might promote his interest; but the chief part of my discourse consisted of praises and eulogiums of Your Majesty. He replied that he was a devoted servant of Your Majesty, and considered himself highly favoured that he had seen Your Majesty's good-will and favour. I replied, “His Majesty's kindness towards you is great, he looks upon you as a most intimate friend, and reckons you among his confidential servants; the greatest proof of which is, that he has sent a man of rank to you.” At this he bowed several times, and seemed pleased. During this time I twice made signs that I wished the audience to close; but he said, “I am not yet satisfied with my interview, and wish to sit here till the evening.” He sat there for four or five gharis (an hour and a half). At last the betel-leaf and scents were brought. I asked him to give them to me with his own hands. I gave him several pieces of betel with my own hands, at which he bowed several times. I then said, “Let us repeat the prayer for the eternal life and prosperity of His Majesty,” which he did most respectfully, and the audience was broken up. He then went and stood respectfully in his place at the edge of the carpet opposite the throne. The royal horses were there. He kissed the reins, placed them on his shoulder, and saluted them. He then took his departure. My attendant counted and found that he made altogether twenty-five salams. He was exceedingly happy and contented. When he first came in he said, “If you command me, I am ready to make 1000 salams in honour of His Majesty. I am ready to sacrifice my life for him.” I observed, “Such conduct befits friendship and feelings such as yours, but His Majesty's orders forbid such adoration; and whenever the courtiers perform such adoration out of their feelings of devotion, His Majesty forbids them, for such acts of worship are for God alone.”