[Regulations, Inheritances, and Appointments]

About this period my attention was engaged in regulating the currency of the empire, for which purpose I issued directions for a new coinage, the silver rupees and mohrs of gold in present circulation among the commercial and other classes having become in the course of time much debased or deteriorated, my object being to give to the new coinage an advantage over the old, and any difference unfavourable, to the new coinage being inadmissible. (Qu.)

Furthermore, having entrusted the funds destined for the support of the general poor to the superintendence of Meiran Sudder Jahaun, I consigned the management of the widows’ fund on the same principle to Hadjy Koukah. About the same period I advanced Zauhid Khaun from the order of fifteen hundred to that of two thousand.

Another regulation which I considered it expedient to introduce about this period was the following: in the time of my father the superintendant of the present department, whenever it was thought fit to distinguish any person by the gift of a horse or elephant, the supply being always furnished from the imperial stables, was known to enjoy an annual profit to the amount of five laks of rupees,* equivalent to fifteen thousand tomauns of Irâk. This practice, which I considered equally absurd and oppressive, I caused to be abolished altogether; and I directed that henceforth the imperial bounty was not to be encumbered with any exaction in the shape of fee, perquisite, or emolument whatever.

It may be proper to mention here the arrival about this period of Sâlbahan from the Dekhan, with the property and effects of the departed Sûltan Danial, the middlemost of my brothers, which he now placed at my disposal. Among these may be enumerated fifteen hundred elephants of the largest class, each of which might be considered cheap at the price of four laks of rupees.* To these must be added eight thousand horses of the best breed of Irâk and Badakhshaun, none of less value than the other, and eight thousand road or despatch camels. These were accompanied with all the appendages, all the requisites of a splendid court, with articles of gold brocade from China and elsewhere, the finest piece-goods of the manufacture of Gûjerat, and other com­modities of the most valuable description. His jewels alone were estimated at fifty laks of ashrefies;* the specie in his treasury amounted to six or eight laks more: the whole of which was now brought to account in my presence.

On the same occasion the three hundred women of my brother’s harram were put under my protection. To these I caused it to be explained, that if any were desirous of being disposed of in marriage they were to make it known to me, and they would be betrothed to such of the retainers of my court as I might think fit. It is to be observed, that each of these females possessed a regular allotment of jewels, vestments of gold brocade, utensils of gold and silver, a canopied elephant and horses, as also a separate establishment of hand­some eunuchs and beautiful female slaves, and last of all a dower or marriage portion of three laks of rupees; all of which I freely relinquished to be conveyed with them to such of my Ameirs as they chose to espouse: thus at once relieving them from their constitutional wants, and myself from female impor­tunity.

Among my brother’s elephants devolved to me on the occasion was one of which I could not but express the greatest admiration, and to which I gave the name of Indraguj (the elephant of India). It was of a size I never before beheld: such as to get upon its back required a ladder of fourteen steps. It was of a disposition so gentle and tractable, that under its most furious excitements if an infant unwarily threw itself in its way, it would lay hold of it with its trunk and place it out of danger with the utmost care and tenderness. The animal was at the same time of such unparalelled speed and activity, that the fleetest horse was not able tokeep up with it, and such was its courage that it would attack with perfect readiness an hundred of the fiercest of its kind.

Such in other respects, although it may appear in some degree tedious to dwell upon the subject, were indeed the qualities of this noble and intelligent quadruped, that I assigned a band of music to attend upon it, and it was always preceded by a company of forty spearmen. It had for its beverage every morning a Hindustauny maunn of liquor, which is equal to ten maunns of Irâk; and every morning and evening there were boiled for its meals four maunns of rice and two maunns of beef or mutton, with one maunn of oil, or clarified butter.* And this, it is to be remembered, although the elephants which descended to me on the demise of my father, alone amounted to twelve thousand, was the daily allowance allotted to each animal. From among all the others the same elephant was selected for my morning rides, and for this pur­pose there was always placed upon its back a throne or howdah of solid gold. Four maunns Hindustauny of gold was moreover wrought into rings, chains, and other ornaments, for its neck, breast, and legs: and lastly, its body was painted all over every day with the dust of sandal-wood.

It having been represented to me by certain individuals, that the departed Shah-zadah had, as formerly intimated, made use of force not only in the purchase of his elephants but of almost every other species of property, I caused it to be proclaimed, that if any of the persons thus aggrieved would come forward with their claims I was ready to make a restitution, in behalf of my brother, for any loss they might have sustained in their transactions with him.

I had in my possession a certain fowling-piece, for which I understood that Mirza Rustum had offered to the former owner the sum of twelve thousand rupees and ten horses, without success. As this appeared to me an extravagant consideration, I wrote to that person desiring to know what were the peculiar excellencies of the piece that could have induced such an offer. In reply he informed me, in the first place, that if fired a hundred times successively without intermission, the piece was never inconveniently heated; in the next place, that it was self-igniting, i. e. it was a firelock and not a matchlock; in the third, that a ball discharged from it never missed the mark; lastly, that it carried a ball of five mathkals weight. All these excellencies notwithstanding I made him a present of the gun.

On Saturday the seventeenth of Shavaul, of the year one thousaud and twenty,* I presented my son Khoorum* with a necklace of pearl and a diamond jeighah or aigrette, altogether of the value of eight laks of rupees.* In process of time, indeed, Khoorum became the proprietor of jewels to a very extraordinary amount. I only wish that in genius, and virtue, and every good quality, he may surpass all my other children in an equal degree.

On this same day I received from Kauzy Abdullah of Kabûl a written memo­rial representing the inconvenience and injury to the public revenue that would arise, if my ordinance for the general remission of zekaat throughout the empire should extend to all descriptions of merchants, or such as thought proper to assume that character. It instantly occurred to me that this representation on the part of the worthy Kauzy had its origin, nevertheless, in views of sordid self-interest, and not, as he wished to make it appear, in zeal for the advance­ment of the revenue. I therefore issued a further decree, ordaining that what­ever the question of merchant or no merchant, I peremptorily remitted the duties to all passengers conveying effects through the country without distinc­tion. I caused it to be made known, moreover, that no person serving in my armies was to presume to transgress an order thus publicly repeated; and those employed to guard the passes into the country were charged, as they valued their heads, to beware, a thousand times over to beware, of making the collec­tion of duty or any other object the pretext for oppressing the peaceeble traveller with exactions in any shape whatever.

Seyed Kamaul, the son of Seyed Abdulwahab the Bokharian, had been invested by my father with the government of Dehly, an appointment which he had been permitted to retain for a number of years. In the discharge of this important trust it now however appeared, that he had indulged in practices utterly incon­sistent with that integrity which should ever distinguish the character of a just and upright government. For this it was at first my determination to bring him to condign punishment, the love of justice being the predominant principle in my nature. But recollecting the distinction which he enjoyed in my father’s friendship, I was prevailed upon to forgive, without inflicting upon him any other penalty than suspension from his authority.

When I decreed the remission of zekaat (or tenths) throughout Hindustaun, the indulgence was extended to the province of Kabûl and its dependencies, of which latter altogether the revenue amounted in the time of my father to a krour of ashrefies.* Now the province of Kabûl may be considered to bear towards Hindustaun the same relation as Irân to Tûuraun. I was therefore desirous that the natives of Khorassaun and Ma-wer-un-Neher (Transoxiana) should enjoy the same advantages in the bounty of my government, in every respect, as the people of Hindustaun.

I had transferred the jaguir of Assof Khaun to Bauz Bahauder; but as the former stated that he had a claim on his jaguir for an arrear of two laks of rupees, I ordered the transfer to be suspended until such arrear should have been paid up. In the meantime, I directed that the sum of one lak of rupees should be immediately given to Assof Khaun from the imperial treasury, while Bauz Ba­hauder was enjoined to collect this arrear, and remit the whole to government:— about the same period, I conferred upon Sherreif Khaun the Afghan, who had accompanied my son Parveiz on the expedition against the Rânah of Oudipour, a donation of thirty thousand rupees. On the same day I bestowed the daughter of my great uncle, Hindal Mirza, upon Shah Kûly Khaun Mohurrem. She had been chosen by my father to take care of my son Khoorum.