AFTER offering the accustomed duty, I represent to the most sublime audience, that the respectable firmaun, full of reproaches, which was issued on the ninth of the present month, conferred its honouring arrival, and what was written respecting the evil deeds of myself, who am overwhelmed in crimes, became known.

It is not concealed from your mind, enlightened as the sun, that I have never yet attempted to blazon the merits of my own actions; but have been always ready to acknowledge my faults, and am so still.

Since the period of my arrival at years to distinguish good from evil, I have not neglected my utmost endeavours to obtain the approbation of your sacred mind, though thro’ your partiality to my eldest brother, (who possessed no talents but an hypocritical flattery, a smooth tongue, and superabundant vein of ridicule, and whose heart, in attach­ment to his benefactor, accorded not with his professions;) I, at his improper instigation, experienced repeated affronts, of which your former firmauns are ample proofs. In the hope that unfeigned duty and submission would finally produce their deserved reward, I deviated not in the least from the path of loyalty and obe­dience. If your majesty did but express satisfaction at my endeavours, I was happy. However, as at such times no impression was made by my sincerity, nor falsehood distinguished from truth; as the purity of my intentions and firmness of my attachment were neglected, and the slanders of my enemies prevailing, the friend was not distinguished from the foe, nor right from wrong; so that I was not esteemed worthy of con­fidence or favour — now — that I have really been guilty of various affronts and disrespect, it is clear that your majesty will not expect good from me, nor in future rely upon my words or actions.

You mentioned the duty of children to parents. My patron, as in this world no event occurs without the divine will and decree, no one can oppose the commands of heaven. What you expressed in the firmaun, has happened to many in former ages.* What power have I, a weak mortal, to remove my head from the eternal order? “God acteth as he chuseth, and command­eth what he willeth.” From him every one obtaineth according to the purity of his intentions. As mine are just, I trust, while I live, to experience nothing but good.

What was written relative to my sister,* is merely slander and suspicion; for when I arrived at Agra, and events happened which gave your venerable mind anguish and displeasure, where was she then? Alas! that during these few days, since our meeting, rumour should have opened her mouth in scandal. We never boasted of our accomplishments and virtues, like others; but, God be praised! their true characters are now known.* Purity of intention is seen by the Penetrator of secrets, who knoweth best what rests in the hearts of his ser­vants. What probability is there, that Shaisteh Khan* should have written such a report, or given a hint of such suspi­cion? He is one of our household ser­vants, the claims of whose ancestors are binding upon our family, which your majesty well knows, and there are few his equals. As I have favoured strangers, so have I also distinguished him. It is not probable he would represent false accounts; so that what has been told you respecting him, must be untrue altogether.

May your protecting shade be long extended over us!