1208 A. H.
[9th August, 1793—28th July, 1794.]

IN this year Mr. F.* was removed and Mr. Cherry was appointed to Lucknow. Mr. F., after his dismissal, remained at Lucknow fruitlessly, and endeavoured to conciliate the Wazír by presenting nazars to the Nawáb Begam; and, although more than five or six residents of Lucknow used not to visit him, he had a day fixed for receiving them. He did not even adhere to the day, but used to change it, and thus the few who used to go to see him usually returned disappointed.

Oh! who will chide the rose and say:
“Of feathered songsters to thy side
The bulbul only comes to woo;
Then why hast thou its pinions tied?”

Mr. Johnson, who was his assistant, was in every way an able man, so much so that the Wazír’s officials could not sleep comfortably at night for very dread of him. But what was the use of this, when he had no power owing to the discord of Mr. F., and was in a state of constant uneasiness through the resentment he felt at his undignified conduct. Notwithstanding all this the official influence of Mr. F. was greater than that of any other agent of the Company.

In this year Wazír Ali Khán’s marriage with the daughter of Ashraf Ali Khán, son of Bande Ali Khán, took place. The amount of fireworks, illumi­nations, and other vanities displayed was so vast, that the details would swell this book. More than twenty lakhs of rupees were squandered. On the day of the wedding the Wazír himself walked on foot before Wazír Ali’s takht-i-rawán. When the people urged him to ride, he replied: “I have vowed with all my heart that I would on this day walk like all the ser­vants before Wazír Ali’s conveyance.” For all this excessive show of respect for Wazír Ali, the Wazír after a short time confiscated all his allowances and properties, saying, “This son of a farrásh has returned to his origin:” for Wazír Ali used to strangulate fowls and pigeons in the haram-sará and call on the servants to go into mourning and used to clothe him­self in black, as if he were thereby taking omens for the Wazír’s death. For this cause the Wazír was angry with him. The reason why he termed him a son of a farrásh was this: Wazír Ali was really the son of a farrásh, and the farrásh had for a money consideration made over his wife while pregnant to the Wazír. This is not the only case of the kind; nay, all the Wazír’s children are of similar origin; for the Wazír’s servants bought up every woman they could whom they found pregnant, in the beginning of her pregnancy, from her guardians, and placed her in the Wazír’s haram. And sometimes a pregnant woman presents herself at the side of the Wazír’s conveyance and cries: “Though you do not recall the time I slept with you, still take pity on your son whom I carry in my womb:” and the Wazír acknowledges her claim and places her in his haram. Some of his friends of the lower classes had the entrée of his haram, and the ugly features and dark complexion of the children in his haram are incontrovertible evidence of their thorough-bred descent. After this marriage he instituted marriage ceremonies every year about this season, and this custom became one of the finishing festivities of the Holi. Next year he asked the daughter of Mirza Jangali for his second son, Raza Ali. Mirza Jangali, having no choice left in the matter, at last reluctantly gave his consent. But on the bridal night he could not control himself and wept openly, giving vent to his grief and rage in loud cries. Although his cries revealed the secret of his pain, the Wazír said: “Why does my brother weep at parting with his daughter. She is not going to another land where he cannot see her.” He was weeping at the impropriety of a grand­daughter of Shujá’u’d Daulah’s entering the house of a nobody, whose legitimacy all respectable people deny, and in their regret cry: “Allah hath sealed up their hearts, their ears and their eyes: they have deceived him.”