§ 40. Aurangzib preaches humility to an officer.

Yar Ali Beg submitted to the Emperor, on the basis of an oral report from a spy, that while Hamid-ud-din Khan Bahadur was bandying words with Muhammad Murad qul, the latter said ‘You little man (mardak)! you are a chela, (slave) of the Emperor just as I am’; and that at this Hamid-ud-din Khan resigned his post and sent the letter of resignation to Bahramand Khan, the chief paymaster. The Emperor wrote, “The word mardak was not employed in abuse; it is a diminutive, meaning ‘a little man.’ The men of the world are not at all great men. Probably the Khan Bahadur felt ashamed at being called chela. (Verse)

Whosoever quarrels with a man lower than himself,
Tears up his own parda (honour) sooner than the latter's.
Every wise man who enters into a dispute with a worthless man,
Only strikes his own lustrous jewel (i. e., intellect or character) on a hard stone.”

Text.–Ir. MS. 16a & b.

Notes.–Hamid-ud-din Khan Bahadur, surnamed Nimchah-i-Alamgirshahi , was the son of Ihtamam Khan (Sardar Khan), and greatly distinguished himself by his fights with the Marathas. (Life in Masir-ul-umara, i. 605—611). Qul is a Turkish word meaning a slave. The Emperor Akbar changed the title of the imperial slaves from ghulam (slave) to chela (disciple), because he considered it an act of impious presump­tuousness for one mortal to call another his ghulam, all men being the ghulams of God only. (Masum's Tarikh-i-Shujai, 143a; Ain. i. 253).