§ 14. Royal Prerogative infringed.

The Emperor learnt from the letter of the nazir of Muhammad Muazzam Bahadur Shah that when the prince was issuing from the chakla of Sarhind he whispered something into the ears of the superintendent of the elephants which the writer could not catch. When they had marched 8 miles from the [last] halting place, a fight took place between two infuriated elephants. The prince himself stopped with his troops and camp-followers and witnessed the fight; afterwards the drivers of the two elephants separated them from each other and continued the journey. But in this combat neither of the elephants had hurt or trodden down any person.

On the sheet the Emperor wrote, “The first statement was due to fear for his own life, as concealment [of the matter] was not possible. The second correction, viz. that ‘neither of the elephants had hurt anybody,’ dis­plays the shame of avarice which makes people blind and dumb. The chief paymaster should reduce the nazir's rank by 200 and change his jagir in proportion to the reduction in his rank. The prime-minister should write to the foolish prince a ‘Letter by Order’ instead of a farman, saying, Ordering an elephant-fight is the exclusive prerogative of kings. By these useless and unprofitable longings you cannot get the crown sooner. When the time comes and it is in your destiny, you will be king. What ruins a man is demanding more than his lot and before the ordained time. Why do you [by such assumption of royalty] make me angry and yourself afflicted?”

Text.–Ir. MS. 11a & b ; MS. N. 21a & b.