1192 A. H.
[30th January, 1778—18th January, 1779.]

I BELIEVE it was in this year that Mirza Sa’ádat Ali returned from Akbarábád to Lucknow. This hap­pened thus. When the Mirza left Etáwah and entered Zúlfiqáru’d Daulah’s camp, the latter treated him with marked attention, reassured him, and gave him the pargana of Biána for his support, and incited him to seize the country on the other side of the Chambal. A vast number of deserters from the Wazír’s army and others gathered round him and went to his par­gana. But in a fight with one of the zamíndárs of the pargana he sustained a reverse and returned to Akbarábád.

Then he sent Rahmatullah Khán, brother of Tafaz­zul Husen Khán, to Mr. Bristow and asked permis­sion to return to the Subah (Lucknow). After some time, having obtained permission, he came to Lucknow, and after an interview with his brother, went on to Benares, and he continues to reside there up to the present, and the two or three lakhs which he derives as a fixed income from the Subah, he draws without trouble through the English officials.

Tafazzul Husen Khán left the service of Sa’ádat Ali in the course of this journey and went to Gauda. From there he went to Calcutta, and through the influ­ence of Major Palmer obtained service from Gover­nor Hastings. He was appointed to accompany Mr. Anderson, when he was nominated mediator in the affairs of the Patel, and after the conclusion of that peace, which proved the source of hundreds of quar­rels, up to the time that he become the associate of Haidar Beg Khán, he was the companion and adviser of Major Palmer on every occasion and in every affair. This will be mentioned in its proper place.

It was, I believe, in the same year that Mirza Jangali, who has been already mentioned, being hard up for money, went off and joined Zulfiqáru’d Daulah, and the Amíru’l Umara, considering his accession an advan­tage, provided him with ample means. Mirza Jangali remained in that quarter as long as Zulfiqáru’d Dau­lah lived and for a long time afterwards. In 1207 A.H., I think it was, he turned again to Lucknow.

It should be stated that Haidar Beg Khán, of all ser­vants, inflicted the most annoyance on the descendants of the late Nawáb. For instance, the sons of the deceased, who are in Lucknow, although each is allotted a thousand rupees a month, are starving owing to his breaches of faith, his dodging and his affronts. The women of his palace, who are in Faizábád, are sometimes so overpowered by hunger, because of the delay in paying their allowances, that a hundred or two hundred females make a raid from the haram-sará, loot the bazár and carry back with them grain and other necessaries. Up to the present no one has arranged for the marriage of any of his daughters, because funds are not found, and the Nawáb-i-’Áliya, Shujá’ud Daulah’s mother, who had even in his time had nothing to do with his son’s affairs, and who managed to live contentedly but with difficulty on a jágír of one lakh, was unable to provide for so great a number; nay, as long as she lived, she grudged nothing to them, and after her death their condition became pitiable. The Nawáb Begam, who has a vast jágír and an immense income, owing to her hardheartedness and insensibility to shame, and her want of leisure from her own pursuits, which are not fit to be mentioned, does not give a thought to the welfare of that side of the house. Worse than all, when a son of the deceased, impelled by hunger, went to Calcutta, and the Governor proceeded to advise the Wazír, the Wazír replied: “It is the crav­ings of youthful folly which have led the youth to go there; you should calm him down and send him back to me.” Where is the painful craving of violent hun­ger and where the folly and pride of youth? It is a thousand leagues from love to patience.

It must be remembered that this closeness of the Wazír and Haidar Beg Khán in their treatment of those who had claims on them is a fact, but the extravagance of their own expenditure was so great that their waste would support an army. A trifle only of this extravagance is incurred during the whole of Phágun at the Holi, in the Wazír’s carnival, and mar­riages and illuminations, and each year five or six lakhs are set spart for these customary celebrations; and similar expenses are incurred in the Muharram; and the expenditure on his elephants, his stables, and kennels may be imagined when it is stated that he has twelve hundred elephants, two or three thousand horses and a thousand dogs to feed. Of these, 400 elephants, 500 horses and a hundred dogs are fit for riding or the chase, and the rest are good for nothing. The others are kept by dishonest servants for purposes of peculation, so that if a dog die, they procure another from the streets and put a collar on him. The expenditure on the Wazír’s pigeon-house, cockpits, sheep-folds, deer park, monkey, snake, scorpion, and spider houses, is so great that, if they were carefully managed, the money would suffice for the maintenance of all the children of the late Nawáb and of his women, for 300,000 pigeons and fighting cocks are kept, and there are some snakes a pair of which eat a maund of flesh. All things are fondly cared for by the Wazír save men, especially his relatives and old dependents. Another expense is the pay of the Wazír’s household servants, who num­ber thousands, including 2,000 farráshes, 100 chobdárs and khidmatgárs, and 4,000 gardeners, and hundreds of cooks. His cook-room costs Rs. 2,000 or 3,000 per diem, and the loose and idle characters whom he has with him on his tour, carrying baggage, camp furni­ture, and tents, amount to a thousand, who receive their daily bread as wages. His expenses pass description. The prodigality of Haidar Beg Khán may be guessed when, after his death, Tikait Rai set down his table expenses at 50 lakhs, and this foolish expenditure was not confined to the Wazír and Haidar Beg or to Mirza Hasan Raza Khán and Tikait Rai, but every one who had anything to do with Government or revenue collec­tion, was appointed to his post without fear of being called to account. Accordingly Fatah Ali, chela of Almás Ali, constructed so many sarais, tanks, mosques, and temples that he cannot himself have met the cost, and the expenses of Almás Ali Khán, and of each of some officials and friends of Tikait Rai, are as great as used in old days to be those of the late Nawáb. And this was the ease with all their agents and dependents, so that this waste was not confined to them only, but was the general rule in matters of food and clothing, buildings, amusements, and all expenses of both males and females. Men of position in Lucknow are not so affected by slenderness of income as to feel themselves thereby straitened, for if they are close-handed in mat­ters of clothing and on occasions of weddings and funerals, they are reckoned among the lower orders of society, If they spend lavishly, they must have money. Hence under the pressure of necessity they have resorted to swindling, and whole families have been ruined.

Another of the events of this year was the leasing of the whole country of Sarwár to Colonel Hannay, and the beginning of my connection with it. This came about thus. The Colonel applied to Haidar Beg Khán to place at his disposal the services of some trustworthy and experienced administrators of this Subah, who might assist him in managing the country. Haidar Beg nominated six persons, of whom I was one. As the Colonel’s rigour and ill-temper and Haidar Beg Khán’s ill-treatment of the friends of the English were notorious, I declined to join the Colonel and begged to be excused the service, but Haidar Beg Khán, hoping that I might be disgraced by the Colonel in his wrath, and that he might thus pay me off for my former non-compliance with his wishes in the case of Zainu’l Abdín, would not listen to my representation, but said that I must serve the Colonel according to the Wazír’s orders.

Accordingly, I complied, at the time unwillingly and under compulsion, with this order, which was the beginning and cause of my acquaintance and connec­tion with the English. Notwithstanding this, Haidar Beg Khán and his party gave out that the English knew but little of me, and the people were turned against me; but they were too ashamed to avow their own connection with the English as it was intended to solely further their personal interests.

Let every one judge of the facts for himself. To be brief, the other five persons who had an advantage over me by Haidar Beg’s protection were turned off by the Colonel, some for embezzlement, some for idleness, and others for incompetence. The Colonel conceived a strong liking for me because I was cir­cumspect night and day from a sense of independence and self-respect, and I showed no greed for money, so that eventually he left in my hands all the affairs of his troops and of the revenue administration, amounting to forty lakhs of rupees, and fixed my salary at one thousand rupees per mensem from his private purse, but I declined to take pay as a servant, and said I should prefer some mark of favor at the end of the year if he continued satisfied with me. I meant by this that, even should he continue satisfied with me at the end of the year, I should escape even this remunera­tion, and that, if in the meantime I should do anything which would displease him, I could, as I was working for him without pay, excuse myself and appease him by declining all reward. This device proved very useful. Three years passed in friendship and concord, and whatever fault my subordinates committed in adminis­tration, the Colonel,owing to his great confidence in me, attributed nothing to me and held them alone responsible; but, during that period, matters were ripen­ing which caused dissatisfaction to Haidar Beg Khán and Tikait Rai. They are as follows:—

In the pargana of Hisámpúr there was a ta’luqa comprising ninety mauza’s, of which a part of each was in the ta’luqa and the rest belonged to zamíndárs. The ta’luqdár, abetted by Haidar Beg Khán, had taken possession of a large quantity of uncultivated land belonging to the zamíndárs and used to pay Rs. 5,000 for it into the hazúr tahsíl, and used to divide the profits of it with his abettor. As this ta’luqa was among the lands excluded from the Colonel’s lease, the Colonel collected Rs. 50,000 after survey and measure­ment from the ta’luqa and ousted the ta’luqdár from the land he had wrongfully seized, and in this way he dealt with all abettors and accomplices of Haidar Beg Khán and Tikait Rai, many of whom there were among the ta’luqdárs and zamíndárs of those parts. Since the Colonel carried out all his plans through me, Haidar Beg Khán and Tikait Rai, although they knew per­fectly well that, the Colonel being a thorough business man, his agent could not interfere with his resolu­tion, blamed me for all his actions. They regretted the introduction they had given me to the Colonel and cherished malicious intentions regarding me.

Another event was the appointment of Ismá’íl Beg Shurah to the Subah of Allahábád. The explanation of that is this. Ismá’íl Beg, on pretences connected with the despatch of mails and through Mr. Middleton’s and Haidar Beg Khan’s friendship, used to interfere with the officials of that Subah. At first this med­dling went only so far that he levied black-mail from every official by working on his fears and hopes through false reports, and by the same means he obtained douceurs from the Wazír and all his ser­vants. Afterwards, when he had scraped large sums of money together, he used to pay for an ámil the qist in advance, which was a condition prior to his confirma­tion in his appointment, and then, notwithstanding that he took four per cent. interest, he used to take possession of the ámil’s i’láqa. In this way he built up a large ta’luqa in Allahábád, and his whole heart was set upon it, when the administration of the Allahá­bád district was handed over at a fair jama to Mirza Muhammad Hasan, an unsophisticated man, a Persian noble, resident at Benares. Ismá’íl Beg Shurah paid for him the qist in advance and became his agent at head-quarters, took the profits for himself and tricked him. This he managed thus. When Mirza Muham­mad Hasan was going away, he left some blank papers with his seal affixed in Ism’áíl Beg’s care, that he might not in emergent cases have to wait for a letter from him from Allahábád. Ismá’íl Beg, after two or three months, without giving notice to Mirza Muhammad Hasan, brought about an inquiry as to his misman­agement. Replies were sent. When they were not accepted by the Nawáb, Ismá’íl Beg wrote a forged resignation of the Mirza’s appointment on one of those papers and tendered it to Mr. Middleton. In this way the unfortunate Mirza Muhammad Hasan was dis­missed and Ismá’íl Beg was appointed in his stead on Haidar Beg Khán’s nomination. But Haidar Beg Khán’s motive in nominating him was not to befriend him, for he entertained doubts of him, that as he had recommended him to Mr. Bristow, he might now recommend another to Mr. Middleton. It must be noted that Haidar Beg Khán brought many men to ruin while feigning friendship for them and nominating them to appointments. He never rendered any one any assistance after procuring his appointment, and the knowledge of his indifference caused the zamíndárs and the troops appointed with his nominee to prove refractory, until the victim fell into arrears and was imprisoned and disgraced. But the circumstances of Allahábád were not such as to require the attention of Haidar Beg Khán, and it was only Isma’íl Beg’s folly that caused his overthrow. He was greedy to acquire zamíndári, and when any zamíndár fell into arrears of revenue, he induced him to write a deed of sale to him in lieu of that arrear and some cash, and hence most zamíndárs of the Subáh spent their money and fell into arrears, and knowing that Ismá’íl Beg could not lift up their land and carry it away, they executed deeds of sale and gave them to the fool. After two years Ismá’íl Beg was imprisoned for arrears and was kept in prison for a long time by Haidar Beg, until Mr. Johnson, in 1196 A. H., who was bent on clipping Haidar Beg’s wings, released him and sent him again to Allahábád, where he held the same position for two years more, and after that went with Mr. Bristow to Bengal.