I, THE humble Abu Tálib, son of Muhammad Isfaháni, beg to inform those who are interested in and value historical truth and accuracy that, in the year 1211 Hijri, during my residence in Calcutta, Captain Richardson, a gentleman of great natural ability and very eminent, asked me, the humble author of this book, to commit to writing all the occurrences of the time of Nawáb Ásafu’d Daulah, so that the real facts of that period, which are inaccurately and par­tially retailed by unreliable strangers, might be brought together in one clear narrative. In compliance with the request of that kind friend, these fragmentary notes were collected. As the writing of history is the most important of all means of conveying knowledge, if my readers discover any error, I beg to be par­doned, for I have lost my diaries, and I have been compelled to write from memory.

As the succession of office passes from one to another, I shall, before entering on the real subject of these pages, give an account of some of the servants of the late Nawáb, Shujá’ud-Daulah, so that the reader may not be at a loss to know who the persons are whose names will subsequently occur.

Twelve centuries and twelve years from the Flight
Saw me ‘Tafzíhu’l Gháfilín’ indite.
* * * * *
For my repose pray ye who read these pages,*
Which shrine my name though I be dead for ages.