[Advices, Appointments and Regulations]

Remember, my son, that this world is no permanent possession. It offers no resting-place, either for reliance or hope. Hast thou not heard how in the chambers of the west, the throne of Solomon was delivered to the winds; of that Solomon the blessed of all generations. Thrice happy the man whose life has been passed in the practice of wisdom and justice, whose exertions have been directed to the repose of mankind; he bears away the honours of the course. The wise man’s care is devoted to the duties of his religion; but, what­ever your pursuits, the world is slipping away. That alone is useful which you can carry to the grave, not that which you have hoarded, and must be left behind you. Let your business be to secure the approbation of the experienced, for though the huntsman has his skill, the old wolf has his cunning. Hast thou a contest with thine adversary, oppose him with thy bravest hearts; the tiger alone is competent to a conflict with the lion. Be not afraid of the young soldier, however sharp his sword; beware of the veteran, with his skill in battle often tried. The young man may have strength to wrestle with the lion and the elephant, but where is his experience in the guile of the year-worn fox? Man acquires prudence by seeing the world at large, byfeeling alternately the effects of heat and cold. Wouldst thou see thy country flourishing and happy, trust not an affair of importance to the discretion of an upstart. In a matter where there is peril employ none others than soldiers tried in many a battle. The true-bred hound quails not before the tiger; the fox will venture battle where the lion is unseen. Train up thy son in the exertion of the chase, and when the day of battle arrives he will subdue his fears. Even the bravest man, when wearied in the lap of indulgence, trembles when the approaches of battle are thrown open to him. Two men there are with whom we should not disgrace the back of the war-horse, and whom the hand of an infant would strike to the earth: one of whom in battle you have seen the back, and whom you should slay with the sword, if perchance he may have escaped that of the enemy. Better is the coward confessed, than the man of the sword who in the course of the conflict turns away his head like a woman.

Of Mirza Gheyauss Beg* how shall I speak in terms of sufficient praise! With the office of high steward of the household he had enjoyed, under my father, the dignity of a grandee of one thousand; and I appointed him, some time after my accession, to the office of diwan or chancellor, in the room of Vezzeir Khaun, with the rank of seven thousand, the title of Ettemaud-ud-Doulah, and the insignia of the great drum and standard. In the science of arithmetic he is in this age without a rival; in composition and elegance of style he stands alone; in critical knowledge on every species of the poetry of former ages, and the facility with which he quotes from it, he has no competitor; and few are diwans, or collections of odes, which he has not pre­served, and of which he has not transcribed the most beautiful and esteemed. But what is better in the proof than a thousand mûferra yakouties,* the recita­tion is never made without a countenance beaming with smiles. I can only add, that in affairs of state, the measure which has not the confirmation of his coun­sels, has little chance, from the imperfection of its arrangements, to remain upon the record.

[Here follow five couplets in praise of the virtues of Ettemaud-ud-Doulah, which it would be tedious to insert.]

Ettemaud-ud-Doulah, it is almost superfluous to observe, is the father of my consort Nourjahaun Begum and of Assof Khan, whom I have appointed my lieu­tenant-general, with the rank of a commander of five thousand. On Nourjahaun, however, who is the superior of the four hundred inmates of my harram, I have conferred the rank of thirty thousand. In the whole empire there is scarcely a city in which this princess has not left some lofty structure, some spacious garden, as a splendid monument of her taste and munificence. As I had then no intention of marriage, she did not originally come into my family, but was betrothed in the time of my father to Sheer Afkunn; but when that chief was killed,* I sent for the Kauzy, and contracted a regular marriage with her, assigning for her dowry the sum of eighty laks of ashrefies of five methkals,* which sum she requested as indispensable for the purchase of jewels, and I granted it without a murmur. I presented her, moreover, with a necklace of pearl, containing forty beads, each of which had cost me separately the sum of forty thousand rupees.* At the period in which this is written, I may say that the whole concern of my household, whether gold or jewels, is under her sole and entire management.* Of my unreserved confidence, indeed, this princess is in entire possession, and I may allege without a fallacy, that the whole fortune of my empire has been consigned to the disposal of this highly endowed family; the father being my diwan, the son my lieutenant-general, with unlimited powers, and the daughter the inseparable companion of all my cares.

In the next place, I invested the son of Rajah Bikramajit, who bore the title of Râi Râyan, with the important appointment of master of ordnance, or super­intendant of my department of artillery; and I directed that, independently of such as were distributed in various parts of my dominions, either in guns or gunners, there should, in this department, always be ready for service sixty thousand camel-mounted guns, each supplied with ten seirs of powder and twenty shot; and twenty thousand other pieces (perhaps of larger calibre) with every requisite equipment. To defray the expense of such an establishment alto­gether, I set apart fifteen purgunnahs or townships, yielding a revenue of one lak,* or five daunky ashrefies. This equipment was to accompany the imperial camp whithersoever it moved.

The Râi Râyan had for some time held the appointment of Diwan under my father Akbar, and is one of his oldest dependents; he is now far advanced in years, and in proportion possessed of the most extensive experience, not less in the regulations of civil policy than in the management of martial discipline, on which he may be said to be master of the six parts complete. Together with his experience, he accumulated under my father treasure to an immense amount, in gold; so great, indeed, that even among the Hindûs of his class he has not his equal in wealth, since he is known, at the period in which I am writing, to have at a time, in the hands of certain merchants of his caste in the city, no less than ten krours of ashrefies.* From the superintendence of the elephant de­partment, he is now advanced to the dignity of Vezzeir-ul-Oomra.

I availed myself of an opportunity to promote Seyed Kammaul, the son of Seyed Chaund the Bokhârian, from the command of seven hundred to that of one thousand, and assigning for his jaguir the city of Dehly, the metropolis of the ancient monarchs of Hindûstaun. The father of Seyed Kammaul had been killed at Peishawer, in the war with the Afghans. I further advanced Mirza Khorrem, the son of Kherun-e-Azzem, from the rank of two thousand to that of three thousand horse.

In the practice of being burnt on the funeral pyre of their husbands, as some­times exhibited among the widows of the Hindûs, I had previously directed, that no woman who was the mother of children should be thus made a sacrifice, however willing to die; and I now further ordained, that in no case was the practice to be permitted, when compulsion was in the slightest degree employed, whatever might be the opinions of the people. In other respects they were in no wise to be molested in the duties of their religion, nor exposed to oppression or violence in any manner whatever. For when I consider that the Almighty has constituted me the shadow of his beneficence on earth, and that his gracious providence is equally extended to all existence, it would but ill accord with the character thus bestowed, to contemplate for an instant the butchery of nearly a whole people; for of the whole population of Hindûstaun, it is notorious that five parts in six are composed of Hindûs,* the adorers of images, and the whole concerns of trade and manufactures, weaving, and other industrious and lucra­tive pursuits, are entirely under the management of these classes. Were it, there­fore, ever so much my desire to convert them to the true faith, it would be im­possible, otherwise than through the excision of millions of men. Attached as they thus are to their religion, such as it is, they will be snared in the web of their own inventions: they cannot escape the retribution prepared for them; but the massacre of a whole people can never be any business of mine.

Among other regulations of minor importance, I directed, that when any individual of a respectable class in the service of the state was desirous of visiting the country of his birth, application should be made through Sheikh Fereid, the Meir Bukhshy, when permission would be given without difficulty.

It had been usual to send the patents of jaguir in vermillion. I directed that for the future this should be done in gold.

I conferred upon Vezzeir Khaun the appointment of Diwan, or comptroller of finance in Bengal, with unlimited authority; and I despatched him into that province, for the purpose of investigating the state of the revenue, of which for ten years past no correct account had been received.

Mirza Sûltân, the son of Mirza Shahrokh, prince of Badakhshaun, being the most accomplished of the children of his father, I ever considered as a son of my own, and as such placed him under the care of the Ameer-ul-Oomrah, as the highest in rank in the empire. I referred the claims of Mirza Shemsy, the son of Khaun-e-Azzem, with instructions to investigate the truth, to Bauz Bahauder. To gratify the wishes of his father, I bestowed the rank of a grandee of fifteen hundred on Bhaou Sing, the son of Rajah Maun Sing. He was the only surviv­ing son, although the latter is known to have had by his fifteen hundred wives not less than two and three children each, all of whom died except this one: neither was he possessed of sufficient ability to qualify him to be his father’s successor. Nevertheless, in this instance, I was induced to promote him. He was a com­mander of five hundred in the court of my father.

Zemaunah Beg, the son of Ghour Beg the Kabûlite, had been in my service from childhood, and previous to my accession had received from me the rank of five hundred; I now bestowed upon him the title of Mohaubet Khaun, with the rank of fifteen hundred, and the appointment of Vezzeir of the Shagird Beishah, provost of the apprentices, perhaps director of the manufactures. I also gave to Zeya-ud-dein the Kazvinian the rank of one thousand.

For distribution among my cavalry and other retainers I directed Bikkendas, the keeper of the stables, to bring into my presence two hundred horses every day; for it were a thousand pities to have in my retinue any number of horses, either lame or worn down by age or hard labour.

On the 11th day of the month of Shabaun, of the year one thousand and nine­teen,* I bestowed the daughter of Mirza Rûstam, the grandson of Behram Mirza, upon my favourite son Parveiz, with a marriage portion of one lak of ashrefies.* At the entertainment given on the occasion, the richest and most splendid dresses were distributed to the Ameirs and others permitted to be present, and nearly one hundred maunns Hindy of frankincense, sandal, musk, ambergris, and other aromatic drugs, were consumed during the ceremony. The consumption in other articles may be estimated from this statement. On the evening on which the bride was brought to the palace, I presented her with a necklace of sixty pearls, for each single pearl of which my father had paid the sum of ten thousand rupees.* I also presented them with a ruby of the value of two laks and fifty thousand rupees, equivalent to seven thousand tomauns of Irâk;* and I finally assigned for her expenses the annual sum of three laks of rupees, and for the establishment of her household one hundred maidens from Surat, who were devoted to her service.

I promoted Mirza Ally Akbar Shâhy to the rank of four thousand, and sent him to command on the frontiers of Kashmeir, giving him at the same time an enaum or premium of one lak of rupees, together with a valuable charger and saddle set with jewels, enriched girdle and dagger, and a jeighah, or aigrette, for the turban.

Bauker Khaun Nûdjûm Sâni, who held under my father the humble rank of a command of three hundred only, I advanced by degrees to the dignity of two thousand, and finally invested him with the government of Mûltan, assigning to him the foujdaury, or military command on the river Ally Khan, and over the districts in that quarter. More than this, I destined the sister’s child as Nourja­haun Begum for his bride, giving him the appellation of son, which I caused to be inserted in the patent for his appointment. In his profession of a soldier he is most distinguished for courage and intrepidity, and I have it in mind to avail myself of every opportunity to advance him in rank and dignity.

With a gratuity of three thousand rupees I committed to Rana Sing the super­intendance of my father’s tomb, which is three kôsse to the westward of the city of Agrah;* my Ameirs, of whatever degree, being enjoined on coming to court, first of all to offer homage on that consecrated spot, after which only they would be permitted to do the same in my presence.

Upon receiving a hint one day from the Ameir-ul-Oomra, which concurred most exactly with the suggestions of my own mind, I established as a rule, that no one was to be entrusted with the transaction of any concern of my govern­ment until his qualifications were first tried by the touchstone of experience, in order to form something like an estimate how far in his hands it was likely to be brought to a favourable issue. A matter of importance can, indeed, never be expected to succeed in the hands of a blockhead; and to engage a man of ability in the transaction of a trifle, would be to let fly a hawk against a mosquito. Without some considerations of this nature the business of any state must soon fall into confusion; and the welfare and regularity of every government must always greatly depend upon the character of those who are retained about the person of the sovereign. [Here follow four couplets so perversely transcribed as be scarcely legible].