[THIS work may be called the Peerage of the Mughal Empire.] It consists of a Biographical Dictionary of the illustrious men who have flourished in Hindústán and the Dakhin under the house of Tímúr from Akbar to 1155 A.H.

[“Amír Kamálu-d dín, the fifth ancestor of Sháh Nawáz Khán, came from Khwáf to Hindústán in the reign of Akbar, whose service he entered; and his descendants held in succession some of the highest offices of State under the succeeding Emperors. Sháh Nawáz Khán, whose original name was 'Abdu-r Razzák al Husainí, was born at Láhore in 1111 A.H. (1699 A.D.). Early in life he went to Aurangábád, where most of his relatives resided, and he was not long afterwards appointed Díwán of Birár. Having incurred the displeasure of Nizámu-l Mulk Ásaf Jáh, by favouring the revolt of his son Násir Jang, he was disgraced, and went into retirement. It was during this period that he composed the Ma-ásiru-l Umará. After he had passed five years in seclusion, Ásaf Jáh, in 1160 A.H. (1747 A.D.), shortly before his death, took him again into favour, and reinstated him in the Díwání of Birár. Sháh Nawáz Khán enjoyed the highest honours under Násir Jang, the son and suc­cessor of Ásaf Jáh, and subsequently became the chief minister of Salábat Jáng, the Súbadár of the Dakhin, and played a conspicuous part in the affairs of that portion of India, and the struggles for supremacy between the English and French. He was assassinated in 1171 A.H. (1757 A.D.). Ghulám 'Alí implicates Bussy in his murder, but the charge appears to be without foundation, the native historian being no doubt misled by his prejudices.”]

The work was commenced by Sháh Nawáz Khán Samsámu-d daula, but he left it unfinished, and in the turbulent scenes which succeeded his death, his house was plundered, and his manuscript scattered in various directions. It was considered as lost, till Mír Ghulám 'Alí, surnamed Ázád, the author of two biographical works, the Sarv-i Ázád and Khazána-i Amíra,* and a friend of Sháh Nawáz Khán, collected the greater portion of the missing leaves, and restored the work to its entire form with a few addi­tions, amongst which was the life of the author,* and a preface, which gives an account of the work.

[“Ghulám 'Alí was a poet and a biographer of poets. He was born in 1116 A.H. (1704 A.D.), but the date of his death is not known. He was at one time attached to Samsámu-d daula in the capacity of amanuensis. He travelled into various parts of India, and visited Mecca and Medína, and, according to the Khulásatu-l Afkár, ‘after his journeys and pilgrimage he was much honoured, during his residence at Aurangábád, by the Súbadárs, and associated in friendly intimacy with the sons of Nizámu-l Mulk Ásaf Jáh; yet with these temptations he never engaged in the affairs of the world.’

“The biographies comprised in the first edition of the work extend to Ghulám 'Alí's own time, and are 261 in number, in­cluding the life of the author by the editor.”]

At a subsequent period the son of Samsámu-d daula, named 'Abdu-l Hai Khán, completed the work in its present form, giving insertion to his father's original Introduction, and to the Intro­duction of Mír Ghulám 'Alí. So the work as it at present stands contains [“The Preface by the Editor.—The Original Preface of Sháh Nawáz Khán.—The Preface by Ghulám 'Alí.— The Life of Sháh Nawáz Khán by Ghulám 'Alí.—An Index to the Biographies.—The Biographies arranged in alphabetical order. —Conclusion, containing a short life of the Editor, 'Abdu-l Hai Khán.”]

[“The biographies in the second edition are 731 in number, giving an increase of 569 lives not contained in the former edition. They are very ably written, and are full of important historical detail; and as they include the lives of all the most eminent men who flourished in the time of the Mughal Emperors of the House of Tímúr down to 1194 A.H. (1780 A.D.), the Ma-ásiru-l umará must always hold its place as one of the most valuable books of reference for the student of Indian History. 'Abdu-l Hai enumerates no less than thirty histories and biographical treatises from which he has drawn the materials for his portion of the work.”]

Colonel Stewart has curiously confused the names of the authors of the Ma-ásiru-l umará. He has completely reversed the relations of father and son, observing, “This book was compiled by 'Abdu-l Hai bin 'Abdu-r Razzák Sháh Nawáz Khán, and finished by his son Samsámu-d daula A.D. 1779.”* He has repeated the error in the list of authorities prefixed to his History of Bengal. He appears to have been misled by the latter nobleman's different appellations; his name being 'Abdu-r Razzák, and his titles successively Sháh Nawáz Khán and Samsámu-d daula.

[“'Abdu-l Hai Khán was born in 1142 A.H. (1729 A.D.), and in 1162 A.H. (1748 A.D.) was elevated to the rank of Khán by Nizám Násir Jang, who also bestowed upon him the Díwání of Birár. In the time of Salábat Jang he became commandant of Daulatábád. On his father's murder in 1171 A.H. (1757 A.D.), he was imprisoned in the fortress of Golkonda, but he was subse­quently released in 1173 A.H. (1759 A.D.) by Nizámu-d daula Ásaf Jáh II., who treated him with great distinction, and re­instated him in his paternal title as Samsámu-l Mulk. He died in 1196 A.H. (1781 A.D.). 'Abdu-l Hai's title varies in a rather perplexing way. It was at first Shamsu-d daula Diláwar Jang. When he was released from prison, he received his father's title, and became Samsámu-d daula Samsám Jang. In his Appendix to the Ma-ásiru-l umará he calls himself Samsámu-l Mulk, and gives his poetical name as Sárim. Mr. Bland refers to a work in which he is called Samsámu-l Mulk Diláwar Jang.”*]

SIZE—Fol. 17 in. by 11 1/4, 421 pages, 25 lines in a page.

Mahábat Khán Khán-khánán Sipáh-sálár.

Zamána Beg was son of Ghuyúr Beg Kábulí, and belonged to the Saiyids of the pure Razwiya stock. Khán-zamán, son of Mahábat Khán, in a history which he wrote, traces the descent of his ancestors from the Prophet Moses. They were all men of position and wealth. Ghuyúr Beg came from Shíráz to Kábul, and settled among one of the tribes of that neighbourhood. He was enrolled among the military followers of Mirza Muhammad Hakím, and on the death of the Mirza he obtained employment in the service of the Emperor Akbar, when he distinguished himself greatly in the campaign against Chítor. Zamána Beg in his youth was entered among the ahadís of Prince Salím (Jahángír), and, having rendered some acceptable services, he, in a short time, received a suitable mansab, and was made Bakhshí of the shágird-peshas . When Rája Uchaina made a treaty and agreement with Mu'azzam Khán Fathpúrí at Alláhábád, and came to wait upon the Prince, the city and its environs swarmed with his numerous followers. Whenever he went out, all men, high and low, gazed with wondering eyes at his followers. This annoyed the Prince, who said one night in private, “Why should I be troubled with this man?” Zamána Beg said that if permission were given, he would that very night settle his business. Having received direc­tions, he went alone with a servant at midnight to the dwelling of the Rája, who was drunk and fast asleep. He left his servant at the door, and telling the Rája's servants to wait outside, because he had a royal message to deliver, he went into the tent, cut off the Rája's head, wrapped it in a shawl, and came out. Telling the servants that no one must go in, because he had an answer to bring, he took the head and threw it down before the Prince. Orders were immediately given for plundering the Rája's followers. When these discovered what had happened, they dispersed, and all the Rája's treasure and animals were confiscated to the State. Zamána Beg received the title of Mahábat Khán, and at the beginning of the reign of Jahángír he was raised to a mansab of 3000, and sent in command of an army against the Ráná.*

* *

Mu'tamad Khán.

Mu'tamad Khán Muhammad Shaníf was a native of Persia, of obscure station. On his coming to India his good fortune caused his introduction to Jannat Makání (Jahángír). In the third year of the reign he was honoured with the title of Mu'tamad Khán. He was Bakhshí of the Ahadís for a long time. In the ninth year died Sulaimán Beg Fidáí Khán, who was Bakhshí of the army of Prince Sháh Jahán in the campaign against the Ráná. Mu'tamad Khán was then appointed to the office. In the eleventh year, when the Prince was deputed to make arrangements in the Dakhin, the office of Bakhshí was again entrusted to him. * * Although he had a reputation for his knowledge of history, yet it appears from his work Ikbál­náma Jahángírí, which is written in an easy flowing style, that he had very little skill in historical writing, as, notwithstanding his holding the office of Ahad-navísí, he has not only left out many trifling matters, but has even narrated imperfectly im­portant facts.