THIS is an admirable compilation, the celebrity of which is by no means in proportion to its merits. It is written on the model of the Haft-Iklím, but is far superior to the work of Ahmad Rází and all others I have seen, both in accuracy and research. Besides the geographical details of the work, there are various minor histories of the events succeeding the decline of the Mughal monarchy, and of the Mahrattas, Rohillas, and the Nawábs of Oudh, etc., which convey much information, derived not only from extensive reading, but close personal observation.
The author, Murtazá Husain, known as Shaikh Illáh Yár
'Usmání of Bilgrám, says of himself, that from 1142 to 1187
A.H. (1729 to 1773), i.e. from the times of Muhammad Sháh to
the middle of the reign of Sháh 'Álam II., he had the honour of
being employed under the following nobles of India: 1. Saiyid
Sarbuland Khán Túní; 2. Saiyid Sa'ádat Khán Naishapúrí; 3.
Muhammad Kásim Khán; 4. 'Alí Kulí Khán 'Abbásí shash-
The Hadíkatu-l Akálím contains a description of the Terrestrial Globe, its inhabited quarter, and the seven grand divisions of the latter. A short account of the wonders and curiosities of every country, a brief account of the Prophets, great kings, philosophers, and celebrated and great men of many countries.
“Quotations,” says the author, “from every existing work have been sometimes copied verbatim into this work, and sometimes, when the style of the original was too figurative, alterations have been made in the extracts, my object being that my readers might acquire some knowledge both of the ancient and modern style of the Persian language, and by observing its changes should be led to reflect that every sublunary thing is subject to change.” The reason is somewhat curious, especially as that moral might be much more easily learnt from the political vicissitudes he undertakes to record.
The author moreover confesses that he has an eye to his own interest in this compilation. “If the work shall ever be perused by the intelligent and learned English, it is expected that, taking into their consideration the troubles and old age of the author, they will always do him the favour of maintaining their kind regards towards him and his descendants, especially as this was the first Persian work compiled under their auspices, which gave a history of the establishment of the British Empire.” This supplication has been granted, and his son has been raised to high office under the British Government. He concludes by saying that this work was composed when he was in his sixtieth year, and was submitted for the inspection of Captain Scott and Colonel Polier before being engrossed.
It is probable that this work is amongst those used by Capt. Scott in his account of Aurangzeb's successors; but as in the two copies of his history which I have examined, the promised list of MS. authorities is not given, there is no knowing what were the materials which he used as the chief sources of his information.
SIZE—Large 8vo., 888 pages of 25 lines each.
The British, after the rainy season, in the year 1178 A.H. (1764 A.D.), marched upon Baksar, and in a pitched battle defeated Shujá'u-d daula, who retreated to Lucknow. The conquerors advanced upon Alláhábád, and laid siege to its strong fort, which surrendered after a short resistance; whereupon the Nawáb was obliged to abandon all his dominions. The British had now under their entire control the conquered provinces; but they did not kill or plunder their subjects; nor did the rent-free holders and pensioners find any cause to complain. Shujá'u-d daula courted the alliance and support of Ahmad Khán Bangash, ruler of Farrukhábád, Háfiz Rahmat Khán, and Dúndí Khán, chiefs of Rohilla, Bareilly, and Anwalá, which they all declined. Then he repaired to Kálpí, but he was driven thence by the British.
At this time the Emperor of Dehlí made an alliance with the
British, and the district of Alláhábád was assigned to him for
his residence. He agreed to grant to the Company possession
of the Bengal province, in return for which he was to
receive annually twenty-five lacs of rupees. Moreover, seventy-