and MAHOMMED HUNEEF; dated 24th EEZIDY. (1st March.)

YOUR letters have been received, and their contents are understood. You write, “that all the stores, supplies, merchandize, &c. are laden “on board the ships, and that you only wait for the arrival of the “Usud Ilhye men and the jewels, when you will proceed [on your voyage].” It is known. The men, in question, were dispatched [from hence] some time ago, and most probably have reached you before this. The jewels are now forwarded, and will arrive. As soon as you have received them, hasten your departure, and do not let the season* escape you.*

You write, “that the season for sailing to Juddah is passed, but that “the season for Bussorah and Muscat is not yet over;” adding, “that “whatsoever we may please to order on this subject, you will act “accordingly.” It is known. Some time since Othman Khân, a ser­vant of the Sircar, being dispatched by us, reached Bussorah, and thence proceeded to Baghdad, from whence he was sent on by the Bâsha [of the latter place] to Constantinople; which, as we understand, is sixty days journey, with a caravan, from Baghdad. Now what appears [to us] to be most proper and advisable is, that you likewise should proceed by the same route; that is, first to Bussorah, from thence to Baghdad, and from thence to Constantinople.

It is our wish to obtain possession of the port of Bussorah in farm. Consequently, we are, for several reasons, well pleased at your going to that place.* Proceeding thither, accordingly, you will examine into the state of things there, and make every [necessary] enquiry respecting the port, where you will, at the same time, dispose of your merchandize. From thence you must repair straight to Nujuf, the most noble;* where presenting our very humble duty, you will represent in the most re­spectful and submissive manner, that if it be agreeable [to the priests in charge of the holy shrine] to have an aqueduct brought to Nujuf the most noble [from the Euphrates], and they will signify their pleasure to that effect, we will, in the following year, send the necessary people and money for its construction. You must report to us, at length, the answer which you may receive to this proposal, together with all other particulars, in order that we may act accordingly.

You must not make any further delay, after the arrival of the party of Usud Ilhyes and the jewels, but proceed [immediately on your voyage]. Consider this order as positive.


The Sultan’s project of acquiring possession of Bussorah was, probably, as extravagant as any he ever entertained. By what means he could hope to attain such an object, it would be difficult to conceive: but it is probable, that the instructions to the embassy, and its journal, which, no doubt, are still extant, would throw some light on the subject. It has been said, that the ambassadors were empowered to offer Mangalore in exchange for it: but I think it unlikely that a prince of the Sultan’s characteristic jealousy and distrust, should have consented to such an arrangement: and the letter before us certainly discoun­tenances the notion; since, besides its not containing the most distant allusion to an exchange, it distinctly speaks of his wish “to farm” the port in question.

There is reason to believe, that the Sultan’s project of constructing a canal from the Euphrates to Nujuf, if ever seriously entertained by him, was ultimately relinquished; since Mirzâ Abû Tâlib, who visited this sanctuary in 1803, does not mention such a work, though he has recorded a similar one, executed at the expence of the late Nabob, Asophûd Dowlah.