§ 38. Qualifications of a Governor.

Khwajah Sarbuland Khan, the chief paymaster, whose father belonged to an eminent Khwajah family of Bukhara, was treated with great consideration by the Emperor. Once when His Majesty complained about him, it was only this that his words savoured a little of Shia-ism. He replied, “Ay! your Majesty, in Bukhara many of the Sayyids of Bukhara belong to that sect. Traces of their society have been left [in my speech]. But I have not yet been confirmed in that faith. Through ill luck I have withdrawn myself from this and yet not arrived at that [creed].” The Emperor smiled and gave no reply.

For this reason Sarbuland Khan showed great favour to the Persians and exerted himself much in furthering their affairs, so that he recommended a certain [Persian] lord for the governorship of Kabul. Across the sheet of his petition the Emperor wrote, “I grant the request of this trustworthy servant. Let a robe of honour consisting of six pieces of cloth from my wardrobe be given [to his nominee]. Jewels, horse, and elephant will be presented to him according to the regulations. But remember that this man will not be able to discharge the duties of that post. May God make it end well!”

Notes.–Sarbuland Khan, appointed 2nd paymaster in October, 1672 and died in office, 27 December, 1679. (Life in Masir-ul-umara, ii. 477). Sarbuland's mother was Ai Begam, a daughter of Mirza Shahrukh, king of Badakhshan.

Text.–Ir. MS. 12b and MS. R. 15. But in MS. N. 18a–20a, which also differs a little textually from the Ir. MS., the above order of the Emperor is continued in the following words:–

“–so that it may not be a cause of disgrace and ridicule, and may not make people talk about it for years. This man's thoughts are full of violence and his notion about himself is marked by great confidence and pride. Plato wrote to Alexander, ‘Government should be strict without being oppressive, and gentle without being weak.’ This noble has extreme severity and obstinate adhesion to one policy only, inasmuch as he has never known subterfuge. Besides, he is very honest and simple-minded, as he cannot at all under­stand fraud and stratagem. One cannot rule without practising deception. The clear text of the Holy Traditions [of Muhammad] is ‘War is stratagem.’ The science of Jurisprudence has many component parts. It is most likely that the art of government is included in this total. In the days when I was going to take up the governorship of the Deccan, I met at Burhanpur a darvish who was a master of taksir (word-breaking and word-forming). He had learnt some examples of this art from his preceptor, and he also now and then composed some others himself. It is a fixed rule of taksir that if we strike off the common letters from the two lines of taksir, we can extract a meaning from the words [which may be formed from the remaining letters] consistently with sense. So that, if the words hakumat (government) and hilat (cunning) are arranged in two lines, and the common letters are cancelled, the words kul, yum, and malik are derived [from the remainder] by combination (qalb), and we get malik-i-kul-yum * (king for all time), that is to say, a government that is joined to cunning lasts and re­mains firm for ever and the master of this [art of government] becomes ‘a king for all time.’

In the opinion of the common herd, cunning and deception are greatly scorned. As God himself in His Holy World [i., e., the Quran] has ascribed cunning to His own holy self, saying, ‘God is the best of plotters,’ * it is contrary to the Quran to consider stratagem as blamable. Besides, in governing Kabul this quality is most beneficial and excellent. (Verse)

I am speaking to you what is required by eloquence;
You take wisdom from it or feel displeased, [as you like].”

Text.–MS. N. 19a 2–20a 5.