1206 A. H.
[31st August, 1791—18th August, 1792.]

IN this year Haidar Beg died, and Tikait Rai was appointed in his place. As already related, a vast number of women were gathered into Haidar Beg’s house in the famine year. Owing to this and to the old age of seventy years which he had reached, he became impotent, but his lust became more keen, and he asked Hakím Shifâ’i Khán for some medicine. The hakím told him to dip a shoot of grass in cinna­mon ’itar and rub it on betel leaf, and eat it once or twice a day. Haidar Beg, finding this beneficial, began to use it freely without informing the hakím. The spirituous nature and the heating properties of the cinnamon ’itar dried up the decreasing moisture of his system, and gave the mastery to that unnatural heat which was irritating his body because of some chronic fever. Haidar Beg and his medical advisers did all they could, but it was no use, and he went to his reward. The date of his death may be found from the following quatrain composed by a versifier of the day:—

The selfish soul that sowed for others’ pain
Left all, and harvest of his toil was none:
Loss of both worlds—this was his only gain:
He died in seventeen ninety-one.*

After his death the practice of confiscation by the State, which had been the rule since the days of the late Nawáb, and was in this case above all others necessary, was not enforced. The reason was that Hasan Raza Khán, thinking of his own future, acting on behalf of Lord Cornwallis, intimidated the Wazír and restrained him from confiscating Haidar Beg’s house. The wealth amassed by him, consisting chiefly of jewels and gold, was left by his children, who were very young, in the hands of the women, each keeping what she had, for they knew they would anyhow wrest all from them, and everything became scattered all over Lucknow. Nothing that any one held returned to its owner; and the servants and agents of the haram, carrying off precious stones and all sorts of things rolled up in carpets, became so wealthy that the son of a khidmatgár, Muhammad Hasan Khán, who lives in Haidar Ganj, is now worth about a lakh of rupees. Haidar Beg has left many daughters and sons. Of these Akbar Ali Khán and Husen Ali Khán are by his wife, and are best known. Husen Ali is credited with bad practices and levity of character, but Akbar Ali is a steady youth, reticent and well-behaved. No misconduct on his part has been observed or heard of. I should not wonder, provided he gain experience, if he proves himself fit to succeed, and that rightfully too, to his father’s office.

I shall now relate what resulted among the various classes of society from the conduct of Haidar Beg, so that every one may know. First come the officials. When they saw the wealth and outward show of Hai­dar Beg, and that they were partners in his dishonesty, they adopted a high style of living and expenditure like their master. Thus the expenses of Náib, Díwán, sarishtadár, bakhshi and khazánchi, ordinary and current only, are in each case as great as were in old days the expenses of Burhán’ul Mulk himself. Besides this they spend their time in follies and give no thought to the management of the State and army. The corruption of the secretaries and clerks is so great, that any one who gives one of them a hundred rupees gets a place at a hundred rupees a month with an assignment of land and a parwána for tankhwáh. In the accounts of the collectors and troops, the sums which they have in this interval intercepted, would amount to krors of rupees. Bankers, both in the private affairs of the Wazír, and also more especially in their capacity of treasurers in dealing with the public, swallow up about a sixth part of receipts on pretence of interest and discount, and take it as their dues. The prodigality and peculations of the collec­tors had become an established thing long before this time, and have been exposed in the same place as the extravagances of the Wazír. The Wazír’s different stewards of his various domestic departments are so bold in their dishonesty, that they openly sell in the bázárs at cheap prices the grain and other fodder of his horses, wet and dry, and meat, oil, butter, and all the spices of the cook-house, and cooked food, and every­thing entrusted to their keeping, clothes, tents, swords and guns. Of all the evil practices which inspire men with confidence in peculation and cause universal cor­ruption, the worst is this. The commandants of regi­ments and the captains of artillery, and the dároghas of every department, have accustomed themselves to a rate of living four times as great as their annual income, and if they do not embezzle, where do they get the money? Of a class with this is the entertain­ment of the Wazír by his collectors. Each entertain­ment of the kind costs from five to fifty thousand rupees according to the grade, high or low, of the official. The man who is the greatest thief is most profuse in this line, and is most highly esteemed. “Ye who have eyes to see, take warning.”

As to the troops, fifty of every hundred are ficti­tious, and the agents, the jamadárs, and the bakhshi take among them the pay of these fifty fictitious. Ten horses, perhaps, in a hundred may be fit to ride. Most men are without accoutrements, and those that any have, are worthless. Of the people generally, every one who has any power of resistance, by reason either of house, or confederates, or court influence, gives to the collector, after an infinitude of worry, a little of what is due from him and spends the rest ìn paying his helpers, and in the preparation of a fort and procuring arms, and all means of resistance to authority; he who is weak cannot get leisure from the annoyances of the collector to scratch his head, and whatever he can in any way raise, the collector takes from him; nay, more, the collector has his eye open to sell his bullocks and agrieultural implements.

The revenue of the country, is shown in the fol­lowing schedule. In it the revenue of the year 1199 Fasli, the middle of Haidar Beg’s administration, has been selected, and the increase or decrease as compared with 1188 Fasli, the last year of the late Nawáb, has also been entered. The estates which are ‘hazúr tahsíl,’ the confiscated jágírs, and the ‘sayar’ items of revenue, amounting in all to about twenty lakhs of rupees, are not included. If the demand had been paid up in full, the jama’ of 1188 Fasli would have been three krors, and the decrease would be one kror:—

Iláqa. Jama’ of 1188 Fasli. Jama’ of 1199 Fasli. Increase. Decrease.
Sháhráh, Itáwah and Korah, iláqa of Almás Ali Khán. 93,17,000 64,04,300 29,12,700
Chakla Bareli 65,70,000 35,00,000 30,70,000
Bahraich, Gondah, and Gorakhpur. 16,22,000 10,00,000 6,22,000
Sarkár Khairabad 11,64,000 13,80,124 2,16,124
Sultánpur 6,13,000 5,35,000 78,000
Allahábád 9,94,000 8,15,000 1,79,000
A’zamgarh and Máhal 8,66,000 7,00,000 1,66,000
Partábgarh and Ahmeti 13,40,000 6,18,000 7,22,000
Sandíla and Malíhábád with Hardoi. 5,98,300 5,38,645 59,655
Akbarpur Dostpur 4,45,000 4,15,000 30,000
Awadh and Daryá-ábád and Rudauli. 13,82,000 11,31,815 2,50,185
Manikpur Bahár 1,81,000 1,60,000 21,000
Baiswára, Bareli, and Dal­mau. 18,45,000 13,65,303 4,79,697
Ta’luqa Muhamdi 2,29,000 2,00,000 29,000
Khairagarh 2,10,000 2,00,000 10,000
Tándah 4,70,000 8,13,076 3,43,076
Haveli Lucknow 1,62,000 72,000 90,000
Sílak and Salon 5,90,000 2,50,000 3,40,000
Total 2,85,98,300 2,00,98,263 5,59,200 90,59,237

In short, after Haidar Beg’s death, among all the great host of officials, Tikait Rai was selected by the Wazír, and the Wazír’s idea in making this choice was this: he hoped that, as Tikait Rai was less forward and less important than Haidar Beg, he would not resist his foolish demands and would not oppose his wishes in deference to the English as Haidar Beg had done. In this matter of such vast importance he considered nothing else, good or bad, but this one point. Let the wise and discriminating consider what must be the issue of an act which in its inception rested on a foundation such as this. In the same way all the Wazír’s actions are characterized by the same absence of forethought. For this reason respectable people withdrew, and disreputable persons came forward. Still, even the latter do not find things easy, for if the person appointed to an office does any­thing opposed to the Wazír in the despatch of his duties, he at once becomes the victim of the Wazír’s ill-temper, and if he follows Tikait Rai’s example and conforms to the Wazír’s wishes, as the country is going to the bad, he afterwards becomes the subject of reproach. If those who are detached to the service of the English, act according to the secret wishes of their patrons and play the hypocrite, they become the butt of the wrath and hatred of the English: and if they conduct themselves uprightly, they fall into the whirlpool of the Wazír’s malice. I, the author, am one of these latter, who have been for twenty years involved in persecution. There is no knowing how God’s people will obtain release from the wrath of the oppressors. True, there is release in separation from them, but as it involves the desertion of their native land by a great number, it is impossible, and as to rebellion against the Wazír, though it would effect deliverance, it is not practicable, for the apathy of the public and their habitual reconciliation to the customs of India, and the admixture of discordant elements in the population, and the support given by the English to the Wazír, prevent it.

In short, inasmuch as all those who were worthy of the post of Náib, had been stripped by the persecut­ing assailments of Haidar Beg, and had retired into private life, and Tikait Rai was the picked man among those who were available, Lord Cornwallis and the Members of Council confirmed the Wazír’s selection, although they were aware of the mean origin of Tikait Rai, and, as they did not think it would conduce to their keeping the Wazír in good humour, they did not venture to bring forward those who had been the victims of Haidar Beg’s dislike, although this was what the case demanded. And yet, as a fact, they should in everything have run counter to the wishes of the Wazír, and should have checked the tendency to excesses in which he so recklessly indulged. If, for the sake of introducing that complete plan of govern­ment in which is bound up the business and pros­perity of the public, and in which they are themselves expert, and which I shall write about at the close of this book, they were once for all to make the Wazír accept the unpleasant and, as it were, compel him to it, it would be highly advisable: and after seeing the results of this plan, the Wazír would be so satisfied that he would never regret the change.

In short, the Wazír, after receiving sanction, raised Tikait Rai to the position of Náib, and giving Hasan Raza Khán also permission to supervise the administration, nominated him Názir. If Hasan Raza Khán had been worth anything, he could have had a wide influence in the affairs of the State, but fearing responsibility and having no knowledge of business, he held aloof in everything, and screening himself behind Tikait Rai in all matters, made him so prominent, that he himself became dependent on him. Tikait Rai, on the other hand, from incapacity and worthlessness, began to exact too much service from him, until at last things came to the point of a quarrel between them, and Jhao L’al found his opportunity between them.

It must be remembered that Mirza Hasan Raza Khán is not to be blamed in this quarrel, for out of regard for his own dignity and that of his friends, from the time of Haidar Beg up to now, he had always disliked pressure and exertion, and was content with whatever was given him or happened him. The cause of his conduct in this instance was Mirza Ja’far, his sister’s husband, for he excited in his mind by various suggestions false notions as to his and his own efficiency. As a fact, Hasan Raza Khán and Mirza Ja’far were both utterly unable to manage their private affairs, and for this reason they were always in straits and hard up. The brusqueness and laziness of Mirza Ja’far were so great, that in the mere capacity of pri­vate agent (mukhtár) to Hasan Raza Khán, and dur­ing the nominal and temporary tenure of the post of Náib Bakhshi, he gave offence to all his old friends, and daily kept putting off hearing what people had to say, pleading great pressure of business. Yet he used to sit up till three o’clock in the morning listening to music, surrounded by clowns and buffoons.

Master and I—we are a pair so neat,
That two more masters for the two were meet.