THE Persian manuscript of which this is a translation was handed to me some years ago by Chaudhri Rámzán Ali, Ta’luqdár of Unao, who had heard that I was collecting unpub­lished records of Oudh history. He found it in the library of his grandfather, the late Ta’luq­dár Chaudhri Dost Ali, who had obtained it from an official of the Oudh Court. The deceased Ta’luqdár had died only shortly before I received this manuscript, and as he had left a large and valuable library, I hoped to be favoured with other manuscripts of this class, but unfortunately the library was scattered. This untoward event cannot, I believe, be said to be attributable to any fault of the present Ta’luqdár, and his anxiety to place this work in my hands shows he was alive to the value of family libraries, which are now growing very rare. I take this opportunity of thanking him for his kindness in giving me this work. The author, Abú Tálib, gives in the body of the work (v.p. 13 seq. ) an account of his family and of his antecedents prior to his arrival in search of an official career in Oudh. The general narrative of the book is based on the knowledge of affairs which he acquired through his official connection with the Nawáb Wazír and the East India Company’s agents in Oudh. He gives a detailed history of his personal services and adventures as a revenue official under Haidar Beg Khán; his experience as a subordinate of Colonel Hannay, who farmed the country known as Sarwár; and of his con­nection with Mr. Johnson and others as a manager of the confiscated jágírs of the Begams of Oudh. Little is, therefore, left to be gathered of his life up to the time he removed to Calcutta, which was not long before he wrote his record. He does not seem to have returned to Oudh: On the 7th February, 1799, A.D., he sailed from Calcutta, and went round the Cape to Europe. He visited Ireland, England, France, Turkey and other European States, returning viâ Basrah to Bombay, and he went through to Calcutta, where he arrived on the 14th August, 1803. He has left a well-written account of his travels, Masír-i-Tálib, now difficult to procure. His ultimate fate is not known.

The chief value of this record is that it is a contemporaneous history, and the author was intimately acquainted with all the affairs about which he wrote, and was, indeed, a principal?? actor in most of them. He is fearless in his dis­closures, and, if he is scathing in the denuncia­tion of the Nawáb Wazír and his ministers, he is certainly warm in the defence of his patrons when he considers them unjustly attacked. Of his honesty I have no doubt. The book is so well arranged and concisely written that there is fortunately no need of a summary here: and the reader will at once, as he reads, be able to observe and note the bearing of each part of the chronicle on many questions still open to discussion connected with the beginning of British interference in Oudh affairs.

June 9, 1885. W. HOEY.