How shall the extraordinary events of the protean world be described, and by what power shall its marvels be narrated? One of its evil qualities is that it exerts itself to cherish the evil and sedition-mongering, and in furthering the prosperity of the vain-thoughted, while it increases the grief of the right-thinking and auspicious, and uses a thousand stratagems for ruining the wise and honest! The far-sighted and sage do not extend the hand of courage to unveil the countenance of this strange picture, and keep their lips closed. They plant not their foot on the coverlet of enlightenment, and open not the tongue of “Why and Wherefore.” As that mystery-knower and awakened of heart sings


I had many thoughts about the past and future,
There is no road for any one to understand His designs,
In this garden it is proper to garner up the tongue,
Silence and bewilderment are to have the first place.

Though there are few events* which do not give a ray* of light to the minds of the acute seers of understanding, yet they are sunk in the contemplation of the Divine power, and owing to the non-procurement of just-minded listeners they give themselves out to the world as ignorant. They choose the sleep of repose instead of the turmoil of instructing those whose ears are stuffed with the quick­silver of neglect. Abul Faẓl, into whose heart the distress of the age has entered, and to whom a power of understanding has been given, why dost thou not remove the lid of the box, and why dost thou not open the casket of truth?


Thou hast a heart which weighs the niceties of knowledge,
Pour out the treasure from the ocean of wisdom;
The key of the door of science is in thy pocket,
'Tis thy fault if thou dost not open it for humanity.

Evidently, the unloosing the knot of this riddle is difficult when the spectators of events are shortsighted and of small capacity. Their eyes do not grasp the whole of the circumstances (lit. the heights and hollows). They think the thorn in their foot to be the calamity of a world, and they regard an individual grievance as the evil of the universe. Otherwise it is clear to the acute and truth-discerning that just as in the vegetable king­dom, poisons and antidotes (or panaceas) take growth and develop­ment, and among animals there is the production of the affectionate, and the murderous, so among men there is the appearance and the disappearance of the good and the bad. And just as in medicines for the body both kinds (i.e. poisons and panaceas) are of use, so in spiritual remedies both classes of men are beneficial. To the physi­cians of the age it is clear that the (eventual) success of the good and noble and happy starred, and the evil thoughts of the wicked, increase the glory of existence, and give finality to the methods of retribution. Also that the exaltation of those who disturb the world's repose is with the object of casting them headlong into the 284 pit of destruction.


The wine which the world holds forth
Contains one revel and a hundred headaches,
If it raise thee from dejection,
Beware, for 'tis deceiving thee.

There are many instances of the furnishing the garden of humanity with thorns,* and of the conferring increased refreshment on the young plants of auspiciousness. The wise man of the world recognizes that the success of the good is the ornament of God's beautiful attributes (jamāl), and that the advance of the wicked is the ornament of His terrible attributes (jalāl). And he who is acquainted with the privy-chamber of solitude is assured that the graciousness of God and the Divine Beauty display herein wonder­ful illustrations. It is possible* that the fires of the terrible attri­butes may not utterly consume, and that they make futile somnolence impossible.

I now leave this wondrous discourse about mysteries, and relate the circumstances of this instructive story. Though the occupant of the throne of fortune in his noble graciousness, abundant justice, and adornment of universal peace was most liberal and forgiving and like beneficent clouds rained kindness upon the fields of humanity, yet all of a sudden many of the Bihar officers—who had been reared in this dominion which is conjoined with eternity—nay, the garden of whose ancestors had been watered and refreshed by the streams of the Shāhinshāh's bounty—fell into the bitter land of rebel lion, and took the path of pride and presumption.

Time smiled* grimly and encouraged each one to bring for­ward short-enduring wishes!

The brief account of this long affair is that in the beginning of this year H.M. sent Rai Purakhotam, Maulānā ayib, S. Mujdu-d-dīn,* and the eunuch Shamsher K., to Bihar in order that they might display their abilities in managing the province, and exert them­selves in developing the country, in conciliating the soldiers, and in sympathising with the oppressed. Those base and narrow-minded men ignorantly fixed themselves at Patna and plunged into the wide expanse of cupidity. In the matters of reviews and drills and of branding, they exhibited harshness and malignity, and in their blindness neglected tact and the acceptance of excuses—without which the administration of the world cannot be carried on—and lost sight of prudence. One or two (of the soldiers and others) who were wont to repair to the pure temple of loyalty were saved from the narrowness of self-love by the wide expanse of the world of loyalty, and some who were leaders in the market of affairs made former favours counterbalance present disappointments and so did not convert the field of their souls into a thorn-brake of haughtiness. Other traders swallowed the saline water of toil and did not leave a stain on their garments. But many whose evil natures were only veneered (lit. gold-coated) raised the head of disturbance. They turned away from the king of realm and religion, and elevated the neck of opposition. There was no glory of loyalty in their secret 285 chamber, no distinction between loss and gain in their transactions, no right-thinking reason, no clearness of intellect, no noble courage which is the comrade of a wise heart. M'aṣūm K. Kābulī, who held Patna in fief, S'aīd Beg Badakhshī,* and 'Arab, the jāgīrdars of Sasserām, S'aādat 'Alī, who held pargana Tamodāīn(?),* Ḥājī Kolābī and some others whose fiefs were in Dilwāra,* S'aīd Badakhshī and his son Bahādur, and Darvish 'Alī Shakhrū,* who sat at the table of bounty in Tirhut, and its neighbourhood, and other unmanly men (mardam-i nāmardam) were made rebellious by the harshnesses of the officers of the province, and they led away from the path, by plausible speeches and flatteries, many men of the second* class, such as Shāham K. jāgīrdār of Ḥājīpūr, Mir M'uīzzu-l-mulk, Mīr 'Ali Akbar, and Samānjī K., who held Arrah and its neighbourhood, and so made a disturbance. On account of an evil nature, and under the guidance of a wayward and crooked understanding, they fell head­long from the portico of fidelity because their skirt* did not come up to the test of honest merchants. And so they fell unto an abyss of wickedness and ignorance and did not have fellowship* with a party who recognised nothing but a complete coparceny (mushārakatjinsi). If a person fall from a wall on to the ground he falls flat. What happens then if he fall from a hillock or a hill? Who can imagine the reduction to dust of the madman who falls from highest heaven upon the lowest stratum of earth? How then can we describe the ruin of those headlong dispositions which fall from the sky of fidelity to the dusty abode of disloyalty? O searcher after enlightenment, dogs and cats and the like, who are co-partners in vileness display affection and mutual help, and for human beings they have such affection and companionship that a wise man can only attain to the same degree by great effort. And the mutual affec­tion of neighbouring nations, such as Persians, Turanians, Turks (Rūmī) and Indians is too well known to be described. Hence an acute man can understand what should be the feelings of acquain­tances, of dwellers in one place and of those who are bound by various favours! Who can observe such degrees except a prudent and far-seeing man!

Now that I have said something of mines of fidelity, and of fountains of purity, hear (reader) the misconduct of the ingrates of that country, who were shaped like men! When those avaricious and ignorant creatures (the collectors) came to the province they opened the door of desire and became hard upon the common soldiery. Those who from being slaves to gold gathered it instead of soldiers, laid out money in bribes and failed in providing* horses, while those who did spend money for military things, were driven to distraction by having to conciliate and satisfy the cravings of the greedy officials. Both groups of men got a pre­text 286 for discontent, and plunged into thoughts of sedition. Muḥibb 'Ali K, who had an ample share of loyalty and understanding, regarded obedience as the bliss of realm and religion, and exerted himself to carry out the work. He transferred those men from Patna to Muḥibb'alīpūr near Rohtās, and commenced the business of branding. He laboured to satisfy that bad lot of men. The other officers behaved with obstinacy and blindness. Whilst Muḥibb 'Alī K. was strenuously carrying on the work of the dāgh (branding), a large caravan* arrived from Bengal and the evil nature of the wicked crew now revealed itself. Moaffar K. had dispatched to court the accumulations (i.e. his goods and his revenue collections) of Khān Jahān, including his choice elephants. He had also sent Naulakā, the mother of Dāūd with other ladies (aghrūq), and the whole was under the charge of Fatḥ Chand Manklī. Many soldiers and many traders, bringing with them large possessions, accompanied the caravan. The ungrateful opportunists were lying in wait to plunder it, and were engaged in making arrangements for stand­ing by one another. On becoming aware of this, Muḥibb 'Alī K. hastened to give them good advice: “Let not the veil of your honour be rent, and do not from ignorance and shortsightedness become dishonoured and disgraced in the retribution-halls of justice.” He joined the arrivals from the eastern provinces (the convoy) at Arrah, and it appeared that the rioters had not had the courage to act from not having been able to carry out the scheme of a general conspiracy. As the general body of the travellers was perturbed by the activity of the sedition-mongers, Muḥibb 'Alī sent them to his own quarters (yūrt) under the charge of Ḥabsh K. Meanwhile, the evil-doers cast off the veil of shame and plundered the city of Patna. Their wicked designs thus became manifest. Muḥibb 'Alī hastened off to Rohtās along with aiyīb and Majdu d-dīn in order to look after the fortress. Rai Purokhotam went off to Ghāzīpūr with the idea that he might bring M'aṣūm K. Faran-khūdi to a battle,* and Shamsher K. went off to Benares with the idea that he would collect Rajah Todar Mal's soldiers and give battle. Meanwhile the conten­tious 'Arab ('arab 'arbadajūī) went rapidly in pursuit of the caravan. The journeyers to the true K'aaba had under God's protection crossed the Causā ferry and nothing fell into his hand except some belated elephants. Ḥabsh K. did good service in that man-testing field and was made prisoner. That tumultuous-brained one ('Arab) sought to get at Muḥibb 'Ali to join him by means of vulpine tricks on the part of Ḥabsh K. The latter replied, wisely and judiciously, that he could not manage to deceive him (Muḥibb) by plausible speeches, and that under no circumstances would Muḥibb 'Alī join him. “But,” he continued, “every one knows that I dislike his com­pany, and that I have long meditated separating from him. If you will make faithful promises to me and accept my wishes I shall go to Rohtās and win over all the garrison. The cup of the life of that governor (Muḥibb) will easily run over (i.e. he will be easily killed), a fortress which is like the heavens will come into your possession, and you will have a shelter in case of misfortunes.” That friend under the guise of an enemy by his plausible words and stratagems extri­cated himself from his dangerous position. He reported his scheme to his master (Muḥibb) and made the jewel of his fidelity be appre- 287 ciated by the experts of the world's markets. At this time the unavoidable catastrophe of Rai Purokhotam took place, and disturbed weak souls who did not understand matters. When he hastened to Ghāzīpūr, M'aṣūm K. Farankhūdī came forward with craft and deceit, and got rid of him by his promising him that he would join him near the Causā ferry. The simple-minded man was deceived and went off in that direction, and engaged at Baksar in collecting soldiers of that part. Kamālu-d-dīn Ḥusain Sīstānī, Saiyid Ḥasan, Dūdrāj and some other fief-holders in that neighbourhood joined him. One day he was engaged at the bank of the Ganges in his ablutions and Divine worship when suddenly 'Arab came there with a number of wicked men. Seizing his opportunity he pushed for­ward. The cowardly men who had joined Purokhotam withdrew on the pretence that they were going to prepare themselves, while he stood his ground and fought bravely. By heaven's decree he was wounded and cast upon the earth. His companions put him into a boat and conveyed him to Ghāzīpur. There, after two days, he yielded up with honour this transitory existence, and his days ended auspiciously and loyally. When Muḥibb 'Alī K. heard of this he marched against 'Arab and fought a battle with him. Ḥabsh K. drank the wholesome sherbet of life sacrifice, and 'Arab was stained with the dust of failure and went off to the wilderness of defeat.