§ 11. Advice to his Heir. Gloomy Prophecy.

When the Emperor released Prince Muhammad Muazzam Bahadur Shah from confinement, he conferred favours and gifts on him, and, on the day of giving him leave to depart, said, “Although out of sheer necessity and because I had no other choice, I have punished your extremely ruinous conduct by keeping you in prison for some years, yet, this is the strongest sign of [your future] kingship, as the throne and dignity of Joseph were dependent on his being [first] imprisoned. God willing, the same will happen to you. In this hope I have in my lifetime entrusted to you [the governorship of] paradise-like Hindustan.

“The presages of my horoscope,—composed by Fazil Khan Ala-ul-mulk, [and giving the incidents] from the day of my birth till after my death,—have all been verified by actual experience. * In that horoscope it is written that after me * will come an Emperor, ignorant, narrow-minded, overpowered by injuries,— whose words will be all imperfect and whose plans will be all immature. He will act towards some men with so much prodigality as almost to drown them, and towards others with so much rigour as to raise the fear of [utter] destruction. All these admirable qualities and praiseworthy characteristics are found in your nature! Although I shall send [? or leave] behind me a competent wazir who has come to the front in my reign and whom I have secured, yet what good will it do, as the four pillars of the empire, viz., my four sons, will never leave that poor man to him­self to do his work? In spite of this being the case, [he] will still exert [himself] so that the work [of adminis­tration] will on the whole be well done. But it is a rule of medicine that although the lower limbs of the body may retain their strength so long as the bad humour does not descend from the upper parts of the body, in the end the disease turns into [general] weak­ness and slackness, nay even into disorder and death. In this matter, too, the same is the case. Although owing to my marching through wildernesses and forests, my officers, who love repose and feel disgusted with their own parents, long for the destruction of this my borrowed life,—yet after my death they will, owing to the thoughtlessness and ignorance of this son incapable of appreciating merit, beg from God for themselves that very thing (viz., death) which they are now praying for me. Any how, I advise you, out of fatherly love. ‘Don't be so salt that [your subjects] would spit you out of their mouths, nor be so sweet that they may gulp you down.’ But this advice is out of place here, as saltishness is not at all present in your nature, but is the share of your dear brother. The portion of saltlessness is the lot of you, my very sagacious son. May God keep both the brothers in perfect moderation! Amen, O Lord of the Universe!”

Text.–Ir. MS. 19b & 20a, MS. N. 21b–23a.

Notes.–Aurangzib's last and most favourite wazir was Asad Khan. Fazil Khan (Mulla Ala-ul-mulk Tuni), a versatile scholar, was Shah Jahan's Khan-i-saman. (Life in M. U. iii. 524—530).