THE ambition of Shuja Khan was awakened on the death of Jaffer Khan, his father in law, and generous patron; and made him for­get the right of Sirafraz Khan to the inheritance of his grandfather, as well as the duty of a parent. He appointed, for his naib in Orissa, Mohammed Tuckee Khan*, another son by a concubine; and, leaving him at the city of Cut­tock, marched for Bengal with a consider­able army; and, in order to obtain a sunnud of the soobahdary, he wrote to Balkishen*, Jaffer Khan’s agent with Mohammed Shah, and who had great interest at the court of Dehly. But when Mohammed Shah received intelligence of the death of Jaffer Khan, he conferred the soobahdary upon Khandowran*, the Meer Buckhshy*, and Ameer ul Omah*; who, through the management of the agents of Shuja Khan, as well as from personal regard for his old friend, Shuja Khan, sent a sunnud, appoint­ing him his naib in the nizamut of Bengal.

Shuja Khan received the sunnud on the march, before his arrival at Midnapore; and, consider­ing the place as fortunate gave it the name of Mobarek Munzel*; and gave orders for erecting a brick kehtareh, and serai.

Sirafraz Khan received intelligence of the approach of Shuja Khan, and made preparations for marching to Kutuah, to oppose him. But the mother and grandmother of Sirafraz Khan, women remarkable for their prudence and great sagacity, and for whom he entertained great affection and respect, interposed. They represented to him, that his father being an old man, could not long keep him out of the government, and the inheritance of Jaffer Khan’s estate; and, therefore, advised him to be satisfied, for the present, with the office of dewan of Bengal; and not be guilty of the horrid impiety of appearing in arms against his father, which would scandalize him with all the world. These arguments prevailed so entirely over his resentment, that he went out to meet his father, conducted him to Moorshedabad, and after resigning to him the palace, retired to his own house at Nekta­kholly*; and, from that time, never failed to pay him his respects every morning.

Sirafraz Khan followed the example of Jaffer Khan, so far as regarded the external forms of devotion; and retained many of his karees* and others. He was always attended by two thousand cavalry in his own pay; and had, moreover, a numerous train of young men. But, from the fire of youth, and in imitation of his father, he was much addicted to women, and took great delight in retirement. He had in his house fifteen thousand women, of different descriptions, amongst whom he dissipated his time; and entirely neglected business. All that could be said in his favour was, his not being a drunkard. His time was mostly spent in rambling about to different country-seats, in company with his women. By the death of Jaffer Khan, he suddenly became his own master; and his father being then old, and called into business, was himself too much addicted to pleasure, to attend to his son’s reformation. Through the indolence and mismanagement of Sirafraz Khan, many abuses were suffered, which were highly detrimental to the country. He was greatly attached to the doctrines of the Schiites, and other heretics; and associated with those who were used to talk disrespectfully of the companions of the holy prophet*. Some­times he visited holy men, and implored their blessing. He daily repeated the Dua Siefee*; but, as he neglected to practise the discipline at the same time required, he converted the blessing into a curse, as will be related in its proper place.

Shuja Khan was a gallant soldier, munificent, and very affable in his behaviour; but, even in old age, amorous, and addicted to pleasure.

He commenced his government by taking compassion on the zemindars, and setting them at liberty. After accepting from them a nuz­ziraneh*, and upon their agreeing to an increase upon Jaffer Khan’s settlement of the revenues, he gave them leave to return to their respective countries. The zemindars, some of whom had been years in confinement, were glad to purchase their release at any price. Besides the profits arising from the jageers, with the extra-collections under the descriptions of Emarat*, Karkanehjaut*, and nuzzir­aneh, there was annually paid into the royal treasury, through the house of Juggut Seat, a crore and fifty lacks of rupees.

The old camp-equipage, and unserviceable cattle, that belonged to the late soobahdar, Shuja Khan obliged the zemindars to purchase at twice their value.

Shuja Khan, out of the estate of Jaffer Khan, sent to Mohammed Shah forty lacks of rupees, besides a great number of elephants, and other valuable presents. At the end of the year, he remitted to Dehly the amount of the revenues, and the accustomary peishkush of elephants, Tanghian horses, fine cloths, and other manufactures.

In reward for the eminent services of Shuja Khan, the Emperor Mohammed Shah conferred on him the following titles: Motemen ul Mulk, Shvja eddeen, Mohammed Khan, Behadre, Assed Jung—or the faithful servant of the Empire—the magnanimous champion of Religion— Mohammed Khan, the Brave; the Lion of War;— with a munseb of seven thousand zat*, and the like number of cavalry, a khelut, a fringed palkee*, and the standards of the fish, and the morateb.

Being now virtually invested with the soobahdary of Bengal, he exceeded all his predeces­sors in the splendour and magnificence of his court. The palace of Jaffer Khan being too confined, and ill contrived, he pulled it down, and built another more suitable to his notions of grandeur. On the anniversary of his birth, he was weighed against gold and silver, which were distributed in charity. He augmented the army to twenty-five thousand cavalry, and Berkundaze* infantry. He was very bountiful to his troops and to his servants in general; and thereby sincerely attached them to his interest. He paid great respect to men of learning, and piety; and particularly to derveishes and recluses. He was very charitable: and administered justice with the utmost impartiality. He con­demned to death Morad, and Nazir Ahmed, for their infamous extortions; and confiscated their effects. In a word, by his general conduct in the commencement of his government, he shewed himself deserving of his good fortune