AT this period, our beloved brother, dear as life, (Moraud Buksh) out of unanimity and concord, has written to me on several points, requesting my opinion upon them: and I have sent by his messenger in reply, what appeared to my mind most proper.

As it is right you should be informed of the above circumstances, I send you the particulars of each question, and my answer; which if, on perusal, you approve, it is well; otherwise, you will write me what seems proper to your better judgment, that I may com­municate it to him.

He writes first, that “we should not give the enemy (Dara Shekkoh) leisure to prepare; because, if the people become attached to him, and he obtains an influence, (may it never be his fortune!) to circumvent him may be difficult. On this account it is proper to fix a day of march towards Agra, so that we may all three join our forces at an appointed place; but if this motion is not at present in my opinion prudent, I should write him my reasons for so thinking.”

I have written in answer, that the ideas of our dear brother are just, and that I think we should act while our enemy is not completely prepared; yet as the news of the unavoidable event (the death of Shaw Jehaun) is not yet arrived, but, on the contrary, signs of his recovery daily increase, to move and engage openly in active measures, would be just now improper; that it would have been most prudent for our brother to have waited for certain intelligence, before he had excited the storm of insurrection;* that he should not have sent an army to Surat, or have besieged the fortress. However, as the matter had been carried to a point it ought not, he should reduce the place as speedily as possible, that all the forces levied might attend his stirrup, and that I would, when my determination should be made, inform him of the hour of my march.

Secondly he writes, “As from the reports of my agent it seems to be the plan of the enemy not to break immediately with us brothers, but, from views of policy, to court our friendship; if overtures of this nature should be sent to me, how shall I reply to them?”

In answer to the above question I wrote, that though no reliance should be placed on such professions, and it was scarcely probable they would be made at all now our dear brother had drawn aside the veil from his intentions; yet, should they come, not to give the reins of gentleness and moderation from his hands, but to write what might occasion the self-security of the enemy, and, by this soothing charm, to lull him into hare-sleep, would be most politic and prudent, and occasion no detriment to our settled purpose.

Thirdly he writes, “It has been agreed, that if the enemy attacks either of us, the two others shall assist in preventing the execution of his designs. Should an attack happen, what is to be the mode of succour, and how shall we support each other?”

I wrote in answer, that our treaties would remain as before; and, by God’s blessing, no departure from them could occur. If the impious enemy should threaten him, I would instantly advance by the way of Boorahaunpore, and that you would move from Patna; so that the chief of atheists* should not be able to direct the whole of his force to one quarter. In like manner, should he turn the face of misfortune to other parts, the pillars of his security and con­fidence would be thus shaken.

Such are the particulars of the que­ries, and of my replies. I hope, that having considered them in your sublime mind, you will speedily inform me of the result of your judgment.*