§ 28. Humiliation of Nusrat Jang.

WHEN Zulfiqar Khan Bahadur Nusrat Jang, after the capture of Jinji, arrived within 4 koses * of the imperial camp at Panhala, Sarbarah Khan, the kotwal, reported to the Emperor that an imperial order had been issued [to Nusrat Jang] for the chastisement of the enemy [i.e., the Marathas] roving in the direction of the Base Camp, and [yet] the Khan had arrived near the imperial camp. The Emperor said, “Don't give him a pass to enter the lines of the army. Yar Ali Beg, who is the [Court] agent of Nusrat Jang, should write about this matter to him.” Next morning he entered the imperial encampment without a pass and demanded permission for admission to the Emperor's private audience. His Majesty ordered that Nusrat Jang should come to the presence with his quiver and pouch [of ammunition] fastened to his waist, his bow on his shoulders, and his musket in his hand, and that, contrary to the former practice, when his palki used to come up to the network-fence (jali) of the Private Audience Hall, he should that day leave his palki inside the network-fence near the two rawtis (small square tents) of the Hall of Private Audience. Yar Ali Beg wrote [to Nusrat Jang] all about these ironical favours due to anger. The Khan dismounted at the gulal-bar (red canvas wall forming the outermost limit of the Emperor's own quarters), stripped off all weapons from his person, and walking on foot towards the presence chamber, sat down in the rawti at the door of the Private Audience Hall, waiting for an order for his presentation. He passed two gharis in silence and neglect, and was then permitted to enter. As he wished to kiss the Emperor's toes, His Majesty extended his right leg. On account of his great confusion and agitation, Nusrat Jang's kness touched the cushion (masnad) of the Emperor, who was displeased at it, but with extreme kindness and favour laid his hand on the Khan's back and said, “You were absent for a long time and so have forgotten the etiquette of the Court. (Verse).

A crow turned its tail to the city and its head to the village;
[Surely] the crow's tail was better than its head!”

Then the Emperor turned his face towards Bahra-mand Khan and said, “How can it be that servants brought up in my household would unlearn etiquette by reason of their going away from the Court? Evidently this Khan's eyesight has been affected.” So he ordered Muharram Khan to bring a pair of spectacles and with his own hands place them on Nusrat Jang's nose, and also insisted that he should go to his quarters in that guise, and that as it was a gift from the Emperor he should for three days come to the darbar wearing the spectacles, as was the rule when robes of honour were presented.

When Nusrat Jang saw this disgrace, he, through the intercession of Amir Khan, the superintendent (darogha) of the Emperor's personal servants (khawas), at night secured permission to depart for the punishment of the Marathas. After the 'isha prayer he came with the spectacles on, had audience in the room where the Emperor counted his beads, and took his leave.

Text.–Irvine MS. 1b–2a, MS. N. 37b–39a.

Notes.–Zulfiqar Khan, surnamed Nusrat Jang Bahadur, was a son of Aurangzib's prime-minister Asad Khan. (Born 1657 A. D., executed in 1713). The fort of Jinji (or Gingee in the South Arcot District) capitulated to him on 7th January, 1698. Panhala was besieged by Aurangzib from 9th March to 28th May, 1701. The Base Camp was at Islampuri on the Bhima river. Bahramand Khan was the chief paymaster, (died 5th November, 1702). Amir Khan was Mir Abdul Karim (son of Amir Khan Shah Jahani). A ghari is 24 minutes.