[AFTER compliments]........ The letter which you sent us, by the hands of the Vakeel, Râm Râo, containing accounts of your welfare, and informing us of your arrival at Pondicherry, for the administration of the affairs of that place, was duly received by us; and an answer thereto (accompanied by a dress) was dispatched some time since, and will, of course, have reached you.

Our earnest wish and object is, that the strong and sincere friendship which has, from former times, subsisted between us and the Râjah of the French, should daily increase; and that, by the divine favour, the affairs of France should attain fresh splendour and prosperity. It is most manifest, that the Râjah of the French is lying in wait for a favourable opportunity;* and as that eminent person* is a leader of political expe­rience, we assure ourselves that the means of attaining this object will not have failed to engage your attention.

At a former period, when the English army had advanced within eight Coss of Poonah, and the Mahrattah chiefs, not finding themselves able to cope with the enemy, meditated on setting fire to their houses, and taking to flight; in this crisis they humbly solicited our aid and support, which, relying on their engagements and promises, we afforded, by waging war [against the English] in the Carnatic for some years, during which period their lives and property, their country and honour, remained in safety. These facts are more manifest, even than the sun. Never­theless, a certain Zemindâr (among the Zemindârs subject to our authority) having lately been instigated, by a contumacious and insolent dispo­sition, to lay waste our country, and we having, in consequence, sent our army to chastise him and to reduce his place, the aforesaid Mah­rattahs, forgetting the numberless obligations conferred on them by us, dispatched their army to the assistance of the said Zemindâr. Hostilities have accordingly taken place between the two armies, and the Mahrat­tahs are meditating further mischief against us. With the blessing of God, however, you shall [soon] hear in what manner we have chastised these people. Further particulars will be detailed to you by the Vakeel, Râm Râo. We have sent, as a token of friendship, a few pieces of cloth.


It is observable, that the Sultan, in this letter, entirely sinks the name of his father, whose actions he applies to himself. Whether such a mode of expression was absolutely warranted by custom, or by the idiom of the language, may be doubted: but, however this might be, there is no reason to suppose that any slight was intended by it to the memory of Hyder; of whom he has, on many occasions, spoken with suitable demonstrations of filial regard and respect.

Having already had occasion to remark on the studied but disguised affront put upon the King of France, by stiling him a Râjah,* it is unnecessary to say any thing, in this place, on the instance of it afforded by the foregoing letter. We shall hereafter see this degrading title applied to the French King, in an epistle addressed directly to himself.

There can be little or no doubt, that a renewal of the war with the English is alluded to, in the second paragraph of the present letter. No other satisfactory explanation can be given of the “opportunity” which the French monarch is represented to be “waiting for,” or of “the attention” which Monsieur Souliac is presumed to have bestowed on “the means” of promoting his sovereign’s views. In short, except for the purpose of aiding his hostile designs against the English, what motive could the Sultan possibly have for cultivating the friendship of the French?