§ 60. A backbiter punished.

From the report of the army of Prince Muhammad Azam Shah, who was then at Ahmadabad, the Emperor learnt that one Muhammad Beg, who was of the prince's troop of ahadis, had by means of backbiting secured the prince's companionship and become the cause of harm to many of his servants.

His Majesty wrote, “Siadat Khan should send strong mace-bearers [sergeants] to bring that graceless backbiter—who is the ruiner of the State—to my presence, walking on foot, because the most harmful of all bad things on the part of kings and rich men is the company of backbiters and calumniators. Mischief-making is worse than murder. [MS. N. adds]: According to the saying, ‘Verily the outside of a snake is many-coloured, but within it there is poison,’ such is the character of a backbiter that externally he looks charming, but at heart he holds a deadly poison. Avoid him! avoid him!

Text.—Ir. MS. 19a & b, MS. N. 9b.

Notes.—Prince M. Azam was sent to Gujrat, (capital Ahmadabad), as governor in the middle of 1701 and stayed there till 25 Nov. 1705, when he came back to the Court. Ahadis were gentlemen troopers, recruited singly, serving the Emperor directly, and not attached to any chief. (Irvine's Army of the Indian Moghuls, 43). Siadat Khan IV., the son of Sayyid Ughlan (Siadat Khan III) was appointed superintendent of “the confirmation of postings” in 1699.